I told my teachers the other day that I was going to be gone. The natural question to that statement was “Where are you going?” to which I proudly replied: “Regionals.”
Yes, Regionals. I usually say that in the golf season, but this occasion was different. I was going to KSPA Regionals. Write-offs and carry-ins – my kind of fun. Some people would think differently – that voluntary writing would be a drag, but I was excited.
Walking into the building on the KU campus, I saw “journalists” everywhere. Kids from the area were sprawled all over the floor on laptops, grasping notebooks and looking serious for the competition.
I had never been to this type of competition before. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was ready to compete. All that I could do was to try my best.
I was in the first session for newspaper sports writing. I walked into the room with a fellow
Harbinger member and sat in the back row. As people walked in, I scouted them out and asked myself: “Do they really look like a sports writer?” I know, that probably wasn’t the nicest thing to do, but that was my natural instinct. I tried to single out which people looked good, from the others that seemed careless.
For an hour and a half, I wrote. I thought of nothing else but the topic at hand – a boys’ tennis preview that I was supposed to cover. There were some great original names in the piece like – Rafael Nadal and Billie J. King.
It was a fun little topic, but I had quite a hard time getting the length right — 250 words. I counted my story the first time, then I was filled with disappointment. I was 30 words over. I wrote it again, in pen – not a good idea. I made more mistakes, but had to make do with scratching certain words out. It was a challenge, but it was fun and in the end, it was fine.
My story was done.
The competition is definitely something I want to do again next year. To compete and do something that is actually intellectually challenging was fun, and I can’t wait to challenge myself like that again.