The Park Center Rag. That is the name of this year’s incarnation of the school newspaper. To some of the old readers of the paper it might come as a bit of a surprise that the familiar “Pirate Scroll” had been left behind for this new handle, but this year’s staff wanted it to be known that this is not the same paper as before. Everything about this newspaper has changed. The layout is different, the writers are different, the stories are different, the voices are different, and of course, the title is different. In a sense it was a rebirth for the paper, whose modern origins date back to 2003 after a long periodical famine. In its first incarnation in the 70's, 80's and 90's, the paper was named the Buccaneer and ran for many years under the direction of the English department. When English teacher Dave Kinney retired, there was no teacher to run it, hence no newspaper. Three years ago some students got tired of this, and tried to get a new paper started. Unfortunately, all of the English teachers turned down the opportunity to be in charge, so along came Mr. Dillon the math teacher. The “Scroll” was born.
Since it is completely student run, the style of the paper varies every time the staff changes. This year is no exception to that rule. The PC Rag is more like an editorial journal than a straight newspaper. It voices the opinions of the students and addresses issues that are not only school-wide, but nation-wide and even world-wide as well. Of course, there is always the risk that some opinions may not be as popular as others, which has plagued the editorial scene at PC in the last few years. However, most things are taken with a pinch of salt in the “Rag,” seeing as many of the stories are in fact not fact at all, but exist to prove a point, make a statement, or just to give the reader a chuckle.
The PC Rag is run by a small group of talented writers, including Dustin Cahill, Peng Xiong, Greg Merrit, Brianna Brickweg, and Tony Detvongsa. Of course, they are always looking for new talent, and anyone can submit a story if they want. If you want to be part of the newspaper staff, just drop by one of the staff meetings in room 106 on Fridays after school. Of course, there is an activity fee, just like with all extra-curriculars, but submitting work doesn’t cost a thing.
Currently, the paper is just an after-school activity, run completely by students in every way. Perhaps one of the prerequisites for joining the paper are that you have talent in writing. There is no instruction involved in anything with the paper. Mr. Dillon explains that this is because he is not an English teacher, knows nothing about journalism, and is only in charge because nobody else would do it. Really, the newspaper needs to have more structure, be run by the English department, and even become a full three-trimester elective class. If PC gets a journalism program, then the kids will actually be preparing themselves for a possible career in periodical writing, editing, photographing, or whatever else they might decide to do. This would also mean that there would be more issues of the paper more often, as well as more up to date news in each issue.
This, however, is all just speculation. For now the PC Rag is more of a club, and will continue to provide thought-provoking, funny, interesting, and exciting stories for everyone at PC to enjoy. Keep an eye out for the next issue, which should be coming soon. Copies of the paper are handed out to all the teachers, but you can always drop by room 106 to get one.