HSLP 2017, Session B: Day 4

Reported by: Sinead Nardi-White (Nelson County High School) and Lucas Johnson (Monticello High School)

Following a night of extensive reading, we all woke up and headed to class at around 9 a.m. Our quick walk across the parking lot turned into a scorching caravan of sleep deprived students brimming with intellectual conversation.

Our morning session started when we met Marc Johnson, one of our professors for our time here at Sorensen, who led us into the first activity of the day: presenting on the reading we had all completed the night before. Our groups rushed through the hour and fifteen minutes we were given to make the presentation, which had to encompass the eras of Virginia political history we were assigned: the Byrd Machine, the election of the first Republican governor in close to a century, the ideology switch between the two parties, and recent presidential and gubernatorial elections. We managed to complete our projects on time and presented them all in front of our classmates. We then broke for lunch, which was a nice mix of pizza and salad from local favorite Mellow Mushroom.

[[{"fid":"364","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","alignment":"right","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default","alignment":"right","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"1"}}]]After having our delicious lunch, guest speaker Bob Gibson talked to us about political journalism in the era of “fake news.” He explained the degradation of the news industry as a result of the diminishing line between hard news and entertainment, the loss of investigative journalism efforts nationwide, the elimination of Richmond political bureaus in local newspapers to save money, and the loss of journalistic integrity and independence as a result of newspapers being owned my oligarchical corporations.

Following that discussion, we spent three hours in a study hall dedicated to whatever we needed to work on, giving us a much-needed respite from the stresses of everyday Sorensen (although work began on our culminating policy projects during this time).

Once we were back at the dorms, we enjoyed dinner and s’mores before a lively birthday party for student Landon Sawyer. We all benefitted from today’s lessons on Virginia’s history and the direction we as a state are headed, and we all look forward to our field trip tomorrow to the Shenandoah Valley.

Monday, Jul 24, 2017