The Ranch Review

Choose Media Writing as an Elective

Front pages of past issues of The Ranch Review. The newspaper has been a program at Otay since 2004.

Front pages of past issues of The Ranch Review. The newspaper has been a program at Otay since 2004.

Assad Khalilzadeh, Staff Reporter 

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Juniors have started choosing classes for their senior year. Class registration is through students’ social science classes. Along with the required credits for Math, English, Social Science, and Science students complete their class schedule with electives.

The Otay Ranch Course catalog has a long list of electives and sometimes students don’t know what to pick until they are given with their counselor and given the registration form. The list of electives range from VAPA classes such as: CTE TV Film and Digital Media (KORtv), Photography, Computer Art, sports medicine, to foreign languages such as Japanese, and Filipino to engineering and Capstone Seminar.

The decision regarding which elective to choose can be difficult. Should students take more AP classes, art classes, more math or science? What are colleges looking for?

A class that many overlook is “Media Writing” aka newspaper. The Ranch Review has been the newspaper at Otay Ranch High since October 2004. It is a class where the students involved were very proud of what they did no matter what other students may think.

“I didn’t mind that a few would appreciate the newspaper, it was something I genuinely enjoyed working on regardless of the audience reach,” said Jane Fredeluces, former Editor-in-Chief of The Ranch Review.

Media Writing became a UC A-G “g” elective in 2015. The course follows the UC standards for an English elective. Students write rhetorically and provide the Otay community with news and information.

“It is my understanding that in college students will write rhetorically if they take writing classes. Since newspaper is a writing class, students write a lot,” said Carla Ecklund the class teacher and adviser. “I get that students wanting to be an engineer take more math. Or students going into the medical field take extra science. But students that want to major humanities should consider Media Writing.”

Newspaper is more than just a class. The program is an experience that can help students in more ways than expected. Student writing skills improve in a way that surprises students because students are writing and telling stories all year-round. Students write a story a week. Weekly stories are edited and graded by the instructor but are also peer edited. Students with leadership roles edit stories, improving not only their writing but also help peers enhance their writing.

“The program honestly helped me more than I could have imagined in college, I see people struggling to write essays and to me it feels like a breeze,” said Diego Zuniga, former A&E editor, “my work ethic is a lot better than it was when I first took the class.”

This program will teaches students valuable information such as: how to work in an environment that pushes them to become better than they actually are and working with others that want to be better as well.

“I think anyone who takes this class will have a great time being surrounded by individuals that want information out there,” said Fredeluces.

This program operates like a job and actually helps students prepare for life after school. Weekly deadlines and the entire school reading their work provide experiences staff members will never forget.

“The class requires you to be more involved and dedicated to Otay, which I think makes it very special” said Fredeluces.

Although the newspaper has been a staple at Otay for 14 years, if the class doesn’t have at least 25 students next year, there will no longer be a newspaper program. The program has helped so many people throughout the years like Zuniga and Fredeluces; both would say that they wouldn’t be where they’re at today without this class.

This program is for those you want to tell stories but don’t know how to do it.

“I joined this class to improve my writing and storytelling,” said Zuniga.

Zuniga said his storytelling has improved since joining the program as he was able to mesh his skill with storytelling and his love for filming to land him an opportunity to film and sell a documentary to the Discovery Channel.

“This class made me appreciate journalism and all that went into it,” said Fredeluces “This class also helped made me a little more assertive, which I appreciate a lot.

This year, Ecklund, made a choice to shift The Ranch Review to an online press publication instead of the normal paper print. The paper went online with the idea that it would reach a wider audience and be able to update it more often than the paper print.

Media Writing is open to all student levels. The process continues throughout February and into March. Questions concerning Media Writing can be addressed by Ecklund in room 155 or by counselors.

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Choose Media Writing as an Elective