Serena is currently a senior at Brookline High School who strives to unravel intriguing and meaningful stories. She has been on The Cypress’ staff since 2021. She is passionate about decoding the world that surrounds us and a believer in what Socrates once said, “all I know is that I know nothing.” She said, "We don't know if the colors we see are the right colors or if everyone is living in a dream, and that is the beauty in life, that there is always a mystery hidden beneath the surface." In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with family and friends. A fun fact about Serena is that she is multilingual.
Below you can find all the articles and multimedia I have written to date organized in different sections. In each section, the articles and multimedia are organized chronologically from oldest to newest. Each article/multimedia has a short reflection and a link to the article on the website. Also, some sections will include articles that I am currently working on and that will be published around this or next month. I will update this website as soon as those articles are published.
These are the sections you can see:
I hope you enjoy the articles and multimedia!
This was my first article. The Cypress makes all fist year journalists interview a new teacher at the high school. I interviewed a new art teacher. I really enjoyed getting to know a teacher because I had the opportunity to ask him personal questions. It was a chance to get to know a teacher, something students don’t usually get to do.
This article is a feature of a club at my high school. I went to the club meeting, and there I interviewed a few members of the club. Since this was around the start of the school year, the club members were making posters to advertise their club. Then, for the photo, I had the idea of gathering all the posters into a circle.
I enjoyed learning about a celebration that already intrigued me. From writing this article, I learned that once I have transcribed all my interviews and I start to think about the angle of the story, there are many pathways I can go through to write an article, but I have to choose only one.
For this article, I enjoyed talking to people I wouldn’t necessarily talk to normally, such as the custodians at my high school. Also, I learned that I have to make sure my phone is recording before the interview starts. I did two interviews; however, my phone turned off in the middle of them and paused the recording. Although I lost the interviews, I learned the lesson, and I haven’t lost an interview since then.
Since this was a coverage article, as soon as the event ended, I had to write, along with two other student journalists, the article quickly so it could be published on the same day. However, I learned from this experience that I depend on a whole array of people — the editors, managing editors, editors-in-chief, and advisors — to finish the article.
Now that I reread the article after so many months, I see how my journalistic writing has changed. For example, for this article, I wanted to include everything that my interviewees said because I thought that everything was important and interesting. However, now that I read it, I see that it’s better to only say what is necessary for the reader to know and make sure that the article isn’t too repetitive. The writer knows more than what is in the article, that’s what The Cypress’ advisor says. I am glad to see that my writing has improved through the years I have been in The Cypress.
I really enjoyed co-writing this article because it was a performance review. The thing I most enjoy about co-writing a performance review is that one has to both observe the details of the acts to write something interesting that most people haven’t thought about and communicate with the other writer while also getting to learn from them.
I absolutely enjoyed the opportunity to interview the performers and people behind the scenes of Cirque du Soleil. I also got to watch the performance and learned that one cannot take photos with flash in performances because it can be dangerous to the performers. While creating the article in SNO (SNO is the platform we use to publish articles on The Cypress’ website), another student journalist and I wrote the captions. We wrote the captions as if they were a review and the article as a regular article.
I am currently writing a Q&A about Nathan Sawaya, an internationally recognized lego artist. This Q&A was part of a press conference with student journalists around the country. It was super interesting and I enjoyed hearing how he said that the reason behind making art with legos is that it is accessible and it’s interesting how cubes can create non-rectangular shapes, such as human forms.
I am currently writing this article about how the library at my high school chooses its books. It is actually quite interesting because I got to interview a woman from an organization called Brookline Asian American Family Network. This person helped with fundraising money to buy over a hundred books representative of Asian Americans so students can both read about different cultures and see themselves represented in literature. She also talked about how her experience living in Asian and European countries differs from the US and how she has experienced racism in Brookline.
This article will be published next November. It is about how students at the high school who come from different countries experience Thanksgiving. Since Thanksgiving was really about different cultures coming together, I thought that showcasing what the current international student body does to celebrate it would be important. Also, I try to write articles that represent diverse voices at the high school, and the voices of international students hadn’t been really amplified before.
Each published multimedia is linked to the article if you click on it. I included a very short reflection in some multimedia.
The two photos below (not the graphic) are for an unexpected event that happened at my high school. Amid of this unexpected event, a few student journalists and I began to take photos and interview people. This was an experience where we had to go from student mode to journalistic mode to inform the community of what was happening.
The two graphics below aren’t published yet. The one in the middle is for an article I have written about how people at the high school who are from other countries celebrate Thanksgiving, and the other one is for an article another student journalist wrote about Race Reels, a series of events sponsored by Brookline High School that hosts films.
I am currently writing an article about how my high school isn’t fully complying with a Massachusetts law. To prepare myself for this article, I read a few Massachusetts laws since they are primary sources. This article is in its very early stages, but I am excited to interview more and more people about this issue.
I am starting a column about what advice alumni at the high school can give to current students and what it was like to be a student at Brookline High School a few years ago. This column will be published every fortnight. I have already contacted an alumnus who currently works in Broadway.