As part of the journalism class here at LVA, we have a points system in place. Each assignment has a point value, and at the end of the month, whoever has the most points wins journalist of the month. The journalist of the month receives a feature on the website and a $50 gift card to anywhere they want. The winner for the month of February was Patricia De la Cal with 640 points.
I asked Patricia what she did to get so many points and she said, “I tried to do tasks that I hadn’t done before so I could get the extra 5 points, but I also did a lot of journalism training which was the fastest way.”
Patricia, who is from Spain, is only in Las Vegas for one year. She is here on an academic exchange program through Cultural Homestay International. I asked Patricia about becoming an exchange student and coming to the US, and she said, “I actually didn’t know if I was going to be able to come because of COVID. I got accepted really late into the program but I’m happy I got to come here.”
When asked to describe school in Spain, Patricia said, “I would say it’s stricter and more academic focused. Here you have a ton of electives like dance and photography. For example, I have had to take physics and chemistry every year since seventh grade, which gets kind of boring. Here you only have to take them once.”
Patricia told me that her favorite part of school at Las Vegas Academy is lunch and, when asked about the biggest differences between American and Spanish schools, said, “I would say there is more freedom here in the sense that it is an open campus, teachers aren’t as strict, there aren’t that many tests. Also, they’re on top of you all the time here which I don’t think helps kids become as independent as they should, especially in high school, but overall I would say school is more fun here.”