Inside Room 104: The Untraditional, Exciting Journalism Class

The Journalism Class is a diverse group of creative and dedicated students, and is anything but a traditional class.


Danica Terk, Contributor

Bishop O’Dowd’s Journalism class is not a regular academic environment. There are no traditional homework assignments, no socratic seminars, nor typical group projects. Journalism is a unique class, and so are its members.

The room itself is unique. Room 104 is filled with long rows of tables that create a dinner-table-like atmosphere. It is a room where dialogue is constant and a given, even when there’s work to do. A film camera attached to the wall spotlights the whiteboard, which is decorated with long to-do lists that always end up getting completed. The back wall is plastered with music records and posters featuring inspirational phrases and grammar tips. A guitar looms above my head, challenging both my creativity and my faith in the supporters holding it up.

The boisterous laugh and sarcastic comments of our teacher, Mr. Barnes, are almost always echoed throughout the room. A pair of sunglasses are likely perched upon his head as he stares skeptically at the computer screen in front of him. Throughout the class, he murmurs words of frustration or excitement.

The editors-in-chief sit at the table closest to the door, silently organizing all the behind-the-scenes work. They edit the articles, design the yearbook spreads, organize surveys, and compile artwork.

Past their table, is mine. Ours is the table of overachievers and gossipers. We sit in our seats, waiting for next year when we move up to the “Editor-in-Chief Row.” We laugh, chat, and maybe whisper some secrets, but obviously, we are primarily concerned with our journalism work… most of the time.

Past our table is the rest of the journalism team. Max Kim is either reading, watching, or writing about sports. Avery Forristal is somehow watching Suits while simultaneously completing one of her one hundred and seventy-three yearbook spreads. Everyone else is doing something in between.

When I first walked into Room 104 at the beginning of the school year, I thought it was one of the most interesting groups of people I had ever seen. A group of people who loved writing, wanted to help create the yearbook, or maybe wanted an easy A.

Nevertheless, they are now some of my favorite people. I have even voluntarily spent time with them outside of school. The classroom has become a safe haven for all of its inhabitants. Room 104 is not only the journalism classroom, it’s a creative workshop, a newsroom, a cafeteria, and above all, a community.