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Communication is focus of workshops

There are many ways to communicate ideas, whether it is through a picture, a Facebook post, a blog or the mandatory school essay. To convey exactly what one wants to say often can be challenging. Students from high schools around Western New York took the initiative to learn more about communication skills at the recent 2011 Media Day sponsored by the Western New York Student Press Association at Fredonia State College.

Every high school student has written perhaps dozens of essays and will write dozens more. One seminar at the event addressed the issue of "writer's block." You sit down to write, knowing what you want to say but not knowing how to say it. Or you are given an assignment or prompt and your mind goes blank. It is during these times when the best option is to free write on a separate sheet of paper. Free writing is writing whatever comes to mind even if you don't like it. This relaxes the brain and let the ideas flow.

The most common way teens communicate these days, however, is through social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter. Through these forms, ideas are instantly available to numerous people. Diction is critical, otherwise things can easily be misinterpreted. Good communication is an important aspect not just on the Internet but in all parts of life.

While posts capture our precious words, pictures capture our precious moments. A photography seminar had newspaper photographers explain the essentials of this art. There is always the traditional strike-a-pose-and-smile-for-the-camera photo, but the best pictures seem to be those in which the subject does not know the photo is being taken. Additionally, taking pictures at different angles allows for new and interesting scenes. For example, when taking pictures of people swimming, use an underwater camera or get in the water to snap some photos.

Writing, for both school and social networks, and photography allow people to creatively express what they are feeling. There are many ways and forms in which people can articulate their thoughts, but conveying the message correctly can produce the greatest satisfaction within yourself and have the greatest impact on others.


Aman Shamaa is a junior at Clarence High School.

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