Sunday, December 9, 2018

Covering and Competing

Photo taken by Digital Communications Intern Grace Lee. 

Competing in her own cross country race, Arcadia Unified School District Digital Communications Intern Grace Lee manages to cover other races at the same meet through responsible planning and quick thinking. Although it's impossible to snap photos while she's running, she works around a tight schedule to maximize coverage. Intrigued by how she pulls of such a feat, I asked her about her typical experience and how she prepares. 

Currently, my two biggest priorities, other than my education, are cross country and DCI. Both are generally time-consuming, so it's inevitable that the two will overlap once in a while. Although this has its upsides and downsides, luckily, the pros outweigh the cons.

Cross country is an amazing and interesting sport, and I’m very glad I have the opportunity to spread the word about it. However, it requires lots of work, as is anything worth doing. On a normal race day, I pack two sets of clothes, an extra pair of shoes, a towel to sit on, food and drink, and sometimes, my homework if I happen to have a lot that day. When I have to cover the race as well, I need to add my camera and a couple extra batteries to my packing list.

When the team arrives at the race site, I usually have about thirty minutes to an hour to settle down and prepare for the actual race. By that time, my camera is out, and I’ll already have what kind of pictures I want to take in mind. I'm also actively searching for spots that will allow me to take interesting photos. As soon as I see something worthy of a photo, I'll quickly snap a few shots, knowing that the lighting and other factors may change after I run my own race. After taking an adequate amount of photos, I'll store my camera away. After the race, I try to take some more photos of runners from other races if the lighting and time allows.

Overall, covering a race that I’m competing in isn't too challenging or much of hassle. Giving up some time with my teammates and carrying a camera around is hardly a sacrifice for being able to represent Arcadia’s Cross Country Team as well as its Digital Communications Internship.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Graduation—Bittersweet and Happy Endings

Photo taken by Digital Communications Intern Sarah Wang (Class of 2019)

In the midst of college application deadlines, seniors find themselves busy balancing schoolwork, applications, and extracurriculars. If you find yourself in a similar situation, don't give up hope, for there will be a happy ending. In this blog post, senior Sarah Wang (Class of 2019) reminisces on her thrilling experience covering Arcadia High's graduation. 

Graduation is perhaps one of the happiest and most bittersweet moments in life. You’re leaving all your friends, teachers, and classmates behind, but it is for a future that holds incredible things. However, for me, these past two graduations have been an opportunity for me to say my final thank yous to all the amazing seniors that have made an impact on my life. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to cover the event for DCI and capture this joyous moment for the hundreds of students that worked hard to reach the finish line.

Covering an event, especially one as large-scale as graduation, always comes with a sort of thrill. You’re there early with your press pass on and have the ability to strut past long lines to the restricted areas. During the event, you weave through the crowds and can be right where the action is. Last year, I was stationed behind at the Lifetouch stands to capture shots of the graduates as they received their diplomas which gave me a sense of the speed and precision professional professionals need to get their job done efficiently. It was incredibly heartwarming to see all the handmade signs, flowers, and posters that the graduates’ family and friends brought to support them, and I’m glad I was able to be a part of the experience. On the DCI side, it was also super fun to hang out with the other interns and bond over our sore feet and figuring out camera issues. Overall, though covering the small events is important, graduation is definitely one of the most fun events to cover and attend.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Interns' Take on the Staff Appreciation Football Game

Photo by Digital Communications Intern Aaron Wu. 

Every year, Arcadia Unified's Digital Communications Interns (DCI) prepares an amazing assortment of special access, prizes, and activities for the Staff Appreciation Night, which takes place at an Arcadia High football game and was established to thank all the fantastic employees who work for the Arcadia Unified School District. Features range from VIP passes to standing in the field area and from Chromebook laptop and gift card giveaways to free candy for the kids. This year's registration area featured free tiny golden footballs and DCI stickers, a face painting table, a photography booth complete with posters for each school site, and a video interview station. Various DCI members drew school names in calligraphy with chalk onto the walkway, adding to the festive decor of the night.

Of course, none of this could be achieved without the help of the DCI interns. To accomplish such a wide variety of tasks, numerous groups were created, with each intern assigned to a specific role such as photography, registration, and videography. Here's what the DCI interns had to share about the experience.

Photo by Digital Communications Intern Ella Cho.

"As one of the event photographers, I found it especially neat to capture the pure joy and happiness on the staff members' faces when they ran out of the tunnel at the beginning of the game. It reminded me what AUSD is all about: taking large strides to meet a goal while maintaining a high morale."
—Ella Cho, Senior

"Seeing all of the happy faces and being able to capture them as an event photographer was by far the best part of the night. I especially loved seeing kids' faces light up when they were offered golden footballs, candy, and the option to get their face painted!"
—Jocelyn Thao, Sophomore 

Photo by Digital Communications Intern Cassidy Chhay.

"Working at registration was truly a pleasure as it allowed me to greet each and every staff member and their families as they arrived. It was so incredible to see many of my former teachers again, and I was very grateful to be able to thank them for all the effort and energy they dedicated to giving me the best possible education."
—Sarah Wang, Senior

Photo by Digital Communications Intern Aaron Wu.

"Working at the check-in booth, I got to welcome all of AUSD’s amazing staffers: offering them goodies, learning about where they work, and seeing my former teachers—that brought forth a big sense of nostalgia. Switching back-and-forth between that, giving out t-shirts to kids, and face-painting was fun as well as I got to meet so many wonderful people. Seeing all the big smiles and the camaraderie amongst the staff, the schools, and their families and realizing that everyone took time from their Friday night to represent their schools and support our Apaches reminded me part of why I joined DCI: to have the chance to contribute to AUSD and give back to our community."
—Jasmine Oang, Junior

"Taking pictures at the photo booth was such an amazing opportunity as I was able to talk and interact with all of the teacher and staff as well as watching them all interact with each other in a non-work environment. It was so much fun to photograph the teachers and their families with Fur Ann. Personally, I think that because the scene is so chaotic with hundreds of teachers all coming in at once, you need to be comfortable interacting with them and telling them where to go and what to do. Just be warned, you’ll probably lose your voice the next day, but it’s all worth it."
—Courtney Hayata, Senior

Photo by Digital Communications Intern Cassidy Chhay.

"This year, I got to help set up and man the Face Painting booth, and it was such a delight to get to see all the adorable kids coming out to show support for their families and the school! Seeing all the childhood innocence and joy that came from something as simple as getting a football painted on their face was the best reward at the end of the day. It really put all the hard work AUSD does into perspective—the final goal is always to have been able to brighten up someone’s day, week, future."
—Maggie Wong, Senior

"As one of the interns working the raffles, I found it amazing greeting all the incredible staff that came to the booth, seeing former teachers, and having the opportunity to see the delight on their faces as they received their raffle tickets, each hoping to have the winning ticket! Being up in the PA booth during halftime to hand out the raffle prizes was also an unforgettable experience! Not only was I getting an amazing view of the Band and Color Guard halftime performance, but I was also able to see the smiles on the faces of the various winners as they are surrounded by friends and family. All the smiles and laughs truly make me appreciate the value of being a part of the AUSD family."
—Brandon Chen, Junior

Photo by Digital Communications Intern Jocelyn Thao.

"As part of the staff organization crew, I passed out signs with their corresponding schools. It was great meeting all the different staff members. My favorite moment was watching each school run out of the tunnel holding the signs with pride."
—Leila Nunez, Freshman

"Being able to greet staff members and their children with a smile, raffle tickets, mini footballs, and candy was an incredibly uplifting experience! Their joy was so contagious and I was able to see that they all truly loved being part of the AUSD family!"
—Sandi Khine, Junior

Photo by Digital Communications Intern Courtney Hayata.

"As the photo booth assistant, I would find certain school posters and give it to staff members so that they could hold it as they were being photographed. To make the search more efficient, I organized the posters into three stacks: elementary, middle, and other schools. 
When the influx of staff slowed down, the team still had a lot of golden footballs left, so we threw them to the crowd to hype them up. They disappeared in mere minutes!"
—Sandra Tang, Senior

"Working at the registration booth was such a fun and great experience because I was able to meet everyone as they arrived with their family and friends. It was one of the highlights of my night to see all the happy faces of staff members as they entered. I think a tip for the job is to make sure all the passes are not tangled and easily removable from the pile."
—Sarah T. Wang, Junior

Thank you to our amazing bosses, Mr. Foran and Ms. Nuuvali, for organizing this event, and props to my fellow interns for pulling off such an amazing feat. The entire team thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the staff members and their families in addition to being able to show our gratefulness for their efforts. We look forward to next year's Staff Appreciation Football Game!

Instagram Team

Instagram Team assists the Arcadia Unified School District's public relations/communications efforts by updating the @arcadiaunified Instagram account. Our district's Instagram account was given a nod from Buzzfeed as one of the Top Ten Instagram accounts in the world, and we aim to keep it that way! We divide our responsibility for posting to our account into shifts, so one intern takes care of all the posts and captions per assigned day.

The key responsibility of members on the Instagram team is being punctual about posting. All Facebook posts must be transferred to the Instagram account by the same day the post is made on Facebook or by no later than the next day if the Facebook post is made late in the evening. Just remember, the sooner, the better. Members of the team should also proofread the caption, add appropriate hashtags, and tag applicable/appropriate Instagram accounts from other teams and/or organizations associated with Arcadia Unified. Additionally, Instagram team members should be looking through Instagram to find items to re-post to our district account, such as a post from Arcadia High's Girls Volleyball Instagram that would be great to share with our followers. Likewise, the Instagram team member should alert the Facebook team of items found on accounts associated with Arcadia Unified that would be great to post on our district Facebook page. 

The requirements for being on the Instagram Team are to have been in DCI for more than one semester and be committed to making timely posts on the intern's assigned day for posting. 
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