Partner Profile- September 8, 2013
Gianna Honchurak, a sophomore at Prospect High School, found herself this July at an airport in Florence. Ready to explore Italy for the next twelve days, Honchurak started to look around. The airport resembled O’Hare to her because of all of the little shops and tourists walking around, but when she stepped outside she knew that she wasn’t in America anymore.
“I wasn’t overwhlemed by the new culture and people because I have always been interested in traveling and exploring these types of things,” Honchurak says.
“The foreign language was kind of weird, though, because I always felt like they were talking about me.”
Honchurak wasn’t just there to explore the beauty of Italy, however. She was there to visit family members she’s never met before. She was meeting about thirty second cousins of hers. You’d think this would overwhelm her, but it didn’t.
“I wish I was better at Italian so I could have talked with them more,” Honchurak says. “I would have asked them what it was like growing up in such a small town and never leaving.”
The coolest part of the trip for Gianna Honchurak was going to the house where her grandpa grew up. She loved seeing him so happy, and seeing her family’s history meant something to her. Afterwards, her family visited the church and the cemetary by her grandpa’s old house. When looking back at the whole vacation, Honchurak says that the cemetary was the most different aspect when it comes to comparing Italian culture to American culture.
“The cemetary in Italy didn’t have an eerie feeling to it like how ours do in America. Everyone’s tombstone was decorate, and people were smiling and celebrating life. It had a positive atmosphere.”
Although Honchurak is still only a sophomore in high school, she has had many memorable experiences like her trip to Italy. Just this summer, her and her friends saw about ten to fifteen bands live in concert. She got to meet her favorite band Atlas Genius at Summerfest Music Festival for only eight dollars. Honchurak recalls that when she saw them later in the day, the band remembered who she was, which she thought was pretty cool. Also, this past Saturday, September 7th, Honchurak was able to meet another one of her favorite bands Walk the Moon through a connection of her friend’s.
From meeting long lost relatives to hanging out with famous people, Honchurak can say she’s had a few pretty cool life experiences. At the age of fifteen, Gianna Honchurak already has a ton of killer stories to tell her kids, which is a rare blessing.
The worst story I wrote during my first semester as a student journalist is the partner profile story. With limited research, dull word choice, and numerous spelling errors, just reading this story in the comfort of my own home is an embarrassing experience. The great part is, however, that I can learn from my mistakes. Before I do that, I must break the mistakes down one-by-one.
First of all, I spelled my subject’s name wrong the entire story. THAT is unbelievably embarrassing, especially because I sit next to her in class. In my defense, it was still one of the first weeks of school and I barely knew her, but with Facebook and Twitter that excuse does not make up for it. Along with that spelling error, I had at least five other careless spelling mistakes throughout the story. These could have been fixed by a simple spell check on Google docs, but I clearly was too lazy to go through that process. I’m proud to say at the end of the semester that I have beat this lazy mistake by making it a habit to spell check every single one of my papers before I send them in.
Another poor aspect of this story was the lack of depth. I could have asked much better questions to give myself and the reader a much more detailed grasp on who Gianna really is. My angles weren’t too bad, but I could have developed the music one much better. Questions I would ask if I could do it again would be, “When did you develop your love for music?” or “Do you think your musical interests have affected the way in which you choose your friends?” I would also interview her best friend Molly Mueller on Gianna’s musical taste and how she thinks it shapes her overall personality.
A final weakness of this story was the clincher. It was phrased very awkwardly, and it sounded very cheerleader-ish. I clearly had no idea how to end it. Thankfully, later this year I learned that whenever you don’t know how to end it, find a good quote to use as a clincher.