It's amazing how you don't realize how much you've improved until you go back and look at where you started. For example, I was cleaning out some drawers not long ago and I found the journalism articles I wrote back in grade 11. I did quite well in that class, but after taking journalism in university, I saw SO many ways I could have made my articles better.
Length, for example. In high school our word limit was generally around 500. In university, with a word limit of exactly 303 words, I've learned how to say just as much with less, and learned how to make an article short and snappy. I've since learned to make an article flow better, as I've noticed the ones from grade 11 were a little choppy at times. Word choice is another thing. Years of being told to use synonyms to make your writing richer was shot down by my professor who informed us that using words like "exclaimed" or "remarked" rather than "said" take attention away from what is really important by putting emphasis on what isn't.
One article I found was an opinion piece about how it wasn't fair that teachers were the only ones allowed to purchase coffee from my school's café. As it was something that bothered me a lot (and a year after graduating, still feel irked about), I've decided to rewrite it and make it better: smaller word count, better flow, less informal language, etc. Here's my article, originally 409 words, cut down to 236. Hope you guys like it!
The Coffee Conundrum
You’re walking down the hallway when you smell coffee. Your teacher drinks a coffee from the Cougar Café. A wave of disappointment and frustration washes over you.
Is it fair that the Cougar Café is, for the most part, run by students for students, yet students can’t use all the Café has to offer? The students make the coffee, but they can’t buy it. Why sell something in a school that’s not available for everyone?
Perhaps it has to do with the “no food in the hall” rule. Fine, we’ll take our coffee to the cafeteria. Maybe it’s about the healthy food policy, and coffee isn’t the best thing for you. However, if the school is going to worry about students doing unhealthy things, they should be more concerned about the students who sell cigarettes in the hall, not the hallway coffee drinkers.
If coffee was available to students, it would be another way for the school to raise money. Those buying coffee may be more likely to purchase baked goods from Café than those who get their caffeine fix elsewhere. Money made from selling coffee could be put towards improving the Café, or towards text books and extra curriculars.
It’s not like the school is stopping us from drinking coffee. Whether we bring it from home or buy it from one of the nine Tim Hortons in town, those who want coffee will have it.