Karen Shi, Age 10

Visiting Annenberg Community Beach House

On a mild August 29, 2015, three La Jaja Kids junior journalists--Isabel; Ryan; and I, Karen-- went to the the city of Santa Monica to interview a few participants of this year’s annual cardboard yacht regatta, which was held next to the Annenberg Community Beach House.

  Before interviewing, we reviewed the history of the beach house. Do you know that actress Marion Davies once lived in the Annenberg Beach House mansion? The whole building is now available for tours from June to September, if you are interested. After a few more minutes of reviewing instructions and slating for the camera, we were off to interview!

We had to choose a yacht that looked interesting or creative, then ask the owners if it’s all right to ask them a couple of questions. I had to do two groups (and another by accident), and thankfully they all accepted. I learned from my first team, The Rowers, that they designed their yacht in the theme of Pikachu from the Pokemon series because it is a favorite character of their son. This team’s name is The Rowers because the son thought that it would help them to row to the finish line faster. How interesting! My second team had named their group name and designed the boat after their mother’s work place, which happens to be the dentistry. Two little girls were decorating the yacht with drawings and stickers. It was really cute! The last team’s name was so complicated that it was really hard for me to pronounce. Awacte...something. They designed their boat after an octopus, explaining why their yacht has eight tentacles sticking out of the side.

Wishing the teams good luck, the other journalists and I went to vote with our voting tickets (They said: Most likely to sink, best use of theme, favorite yacht, and most spirited) and joined together to watch the final competition. In the racing process, I discovered that most of the ugliest (no offense to their designers) were the sturdiest and won their races. I’m happy that The Rowers won in their race.

I had to leave early so I missed out on the rest of race. I wonder who came out with the fastest time overall, but I was still happy to participate in such an amazing event. This activity, as I see, has helped improving bonds between family while building their yachts; and determination, because even when some teams fall into the water, they get back on or drag their boat across the finish line. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to view an event like this again soon.

PBS SoCal Studio Tour 

On a sunny August 19, 2015, I went to the PBS SoCal production building, located in Costa Mesa, California along with other Junior Journalists. Two members of the crew in PBs gave us a tour of the main production rooms in their building.

During the tour, we went to a room with many different lights on the ceiling. That way, people can adjust the right brightness in a film. On the other side of the room, there is a green screen. A green screen will help an editor change the background before airing.

We also visited the dressing room. Its purpose is to customize the actors and actresses so they will look their best on television. To help see the makeup more clearly, the vanity includes very bright LED lights. Connected to the dressing room is a miniature lounge for people to relax in between filming. A television set is installed in the lounge to show actors and actresses how they did.

Next, the tour guide led us to an editing room, where editors make sure the time settings are perfect. They must check that advertisements follow immediately after the cut, so there will be no blank space in between. Our next destination was the sound room. In this soundproof room, sound will be adjusted. In some certain periods in a show, sound will get louder or softer. If whoever is acting fails to lower or raise his or her voice, or if they cannot get it to be perfection, the controls in the sound room will deal to that. Wow, making a show is harder than I expected!

Personally, I think that being able to visit PBS was a fun and… learning experience! This tour has taught me a lot about PBS. I hope that it will continue the good work!