I’m Joining the Army for Journalism

Ellison Schuman

Recently, I decided to take the same route as my brother and join the Army. All my life I thought I had the perfect plan. I was going to college to get my bachelor’s degree in Journalism and be a writer in New York. That was until I became aware of all the advantages that came with being a journalist in the Army. I made a “Pro’s and Con’s” list to really understand what I would be getting into.


The Army pays for your college education if you choose to get a degree
Travel around the world
Retire by mid-40’s and still getting paid afterwards
Not having to worry about where your next meal is coming from or where you’re going to sleep
I get to do what I’ve always wanted to do


Going through basic training
Dangers of the job
Not being able to see family/friends as much as I would want to

A journalist in the army is classified as a “Public Affairs Mass Communication Specialist”. The responsibility of this career is to assist with the Army public affairs programs through news releases, newspaper articles, Web-based material and photographs for use in military and civilian news media.Screenshot_20191205-121558

In order to become a Communication Specialist, I have to go through 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 12 weeks of AIT (Advanced Individual Training). Basic Training is the recruit training program of mental and physical preparation for the US Army. AIT is where you will learn the skills to perform your Army job after Basic Training. This is where you’ll receive hands-on training and field instruction to make you an expert in that specific career field.

Before you go into Basic Training, it is required to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test. To enlist in the Army, you must get a minimum score of 31, where the maximum score is 99. This test measures your knowledge in 10 different areas, and will assess which jobs you are qualified for. For me I would have to get a 107 in the General Technical portion.

Overall, I think this is a good choice for me, and I recommend it for anyone who has had any interest in being in the Military. Most people are blind to the many jobs that the military has to offer. It’s not just fighting in wars and blowing stuff up.

Personally, I am very nervous/excited for the whole process, but it’s a great way to travel, write, and not have to worry about much.

Looking Back at Living 2019-2020

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A Tribute to Mrs. Reaves

Brooke Bandy

Sept. 25, 2019 – It was announced on September 17 that the beloved Latin teacher, Mrs. Reaves, was going to be resigning, effective at the end of the first quarter, after teaching at The NCLA for five years. 

“She’s one of the best teachers here,” said Junior Wen-Shin Lee.

“Mrs. Reaves is like the mom at school I never had and she always takes time to talk about our personal problems,” said Junior Megan Queen.

“What I will miss the most is just having her there because she has always been someone that I know I can talk to about anything,” said Senior Ashlyn Rice. 

During her five years at the school, she has made many memories. Some of this stick out above the rest.

“I love Saturnalias, graduations, and anytime I’ve had a new class. I love the beginning of the year because I love meeting my new students and seeing the people that I’ve had before and reconnecting. The Caesars and Senators were really fun, watching everybody get so competitive about it, even my earlier years when we would go around caroling in the school,” said Mrs. Reaves. 

Her students have made some fun memories during her time here as well.

“It was when we were doing scansion,” said Lee.

“My favorite memory isn’t actually in her class, but a couple of years ago we went to the Festival of Lights at Tanglewood together and that’s probably my favorite memory,” said Rice. 

One of her students’ favorite things about her is how supportive she is.

“She’s come to a lot of my volleyball games and I can hear her yelling even though she has no idea what she’s yelling about,” said Queen. 

The reason she came here five years ago was because of her good friend, our own middle and high school technology and video production teacher, Eric Gonzalez.

“Eric Gonzalez was the one who talked to me about coming here. There was an opening and he had talked to me about how much his girls loved it and were excited about the NCLA from the time they started the NCLA,” said Reaves. 

Her favorite thing about teaching at the school over the years has been her students, saying, “My babies, my kids, even the present company included.” 

Her favorite thing about teaching here at The NCLA is also the thing she will miss the most. “The same thing… ” referring back to her favorite thing about teaching here,

“ … it’s the interactions, it’s the knowing what’s going on in everybody’s lives and being apart of that,” Reaves said. 

Mrs. Reaves has made a huge impact on the school as a whole with her kind spirit and positivity, and she has even led some students to want to pursue teaching as a career.

“Mrs. Reaves is actually the person that made me decide that I wanted to be a teacher because of how she has always treated me and I want everyone to have someone in their life like her,” said Rice.

What the Quarantine is Like for Students


Brooke Bandy

Apr. 3, 2020 – Quarantining and staying at home is hard enough, but learning from home is an added level of difficulty. Students at The NCLA began learning at home on March 18 and will be (at this time) continuing to do this until May 15. IMG-5823

Online learning has gone fairly well for most students, which is a very good sign. “Online school has made learning very easy and quick. Because we don’t have to listen to lectures, we just have assignments to work on, it makes learning a lot more effective,” said Sophomore Julianna Peters. 

“I have been able to teach myself and go at my own pace which is nice, but it is hard to get motivated,” continued Junior Ally Mattingly. “Sometimes I just write stuff in my planner, but I’m pretty much winging it.”

NCLA Junior Christine Parker said, “I think the online school has impacted my learning in a couple of ways. First of all, not being in a classroom environment is hard for me personally because I get so distracted. This causes me to take so long to get my work done.

IMG-5827“I think another way it affects my learning is in the way that our learning is compromised,” Parker continued. “I think by being in school we are able to learn a lot more and it’s much easier to ask questions, turn things in, and to attend tutoring.

“The last way it impacts me is that it’s a little overwhelming at times. Every teacher teaches different online and everyone uses different websites. With all the assignments due it’s difficult to keep track of them, when they’re due, and where to submit them.” 

Social lives are also being very strongly impacted by quarantine. “My friends and I still talk, but it’s hard for us to have free time at the same time,” said Mattingly. 20200417_133824

“My social life has been pretty rough, I have used FaceTime to keep up with all my friends, which hasn’t been that bad. I miss them though, and sports,” said Peters.

“Quarantine has been both positive and negative for me. Personally, I am a very extroverted person so I thrive when I am around others,” said Parker. “I’ve been pretty lonely while in quarantine and I have been talking to my dogs a whole bunch. On the bright side, quarantine has allowed me to do activities I normally never have time for, such as cooking every day and drawing on my driveway with chalk.

“I think quarantine is a perfect opportunity for our world to just focus on ourselves and enjoy trying new things!”

Flamin’ Hot Fight 

Nicholas Williford

Feb. 28, 2020 – This past week Gideon Van Dyke and Nick Williford went on a journey to establish, once and for all, which Flamin’ Hot chip reigns supreme. 

Our selection came down to 3 chips the Cheetos Flamin hot chips, the Cheetos Flamin’ hot puffs, and the new Doritos Flamin’ hot chips. IMG_4257

The O.G. Cheetos 

These were the baseline for this Flamin’ hot journey. They are always perfect to snack on when you need a pick me up, but they are kind of mainstream and when you think of Flamin’ hot they are the chips you think of. 

The Trash Triangles

The Doritos have a not very good initial taste they are completely different from any of the original chips, and they have a delayed burn. They are our least favorite out of the three.

The “Hit-Different” Puffs

The spicy puffs instantly give you a tingling and spicy sensation to the point where it is almost overwhelming.  They have too much on too little.