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NYT Summer Reading Contestan honorable experience!
Written by Matthew Choi | Published. 2017.08.31 11:57 | Count : 625

This summer was a very busy one for me, trying to balance academic learnings and pursuing my hobbies.  In particular, I spent a great deal of my time on the Summer Reading Contest from the New York Times (NYT), commenting and sharing my opinions about articles that I read during the week. As it was my first time participating in such an event, I was nervous, yet enthusiastic for what was to come. 

The Summer Reading Contest provided a platform for the young newspaper subscribers to share their opinions and views on articles posted in the Times during the week. The types of articles are about the multi-variety of topics, ranging from political issues to an article about slavery fan fiction. This experience was truly intriguing, as it opened my eyes to issues all over the world and also taught me to be a better writer, both as a student, and as a reporter.

Through this contest, I learned to make my comments strong both argumentatively, and factually. At first, it was difficult for me to formulate my own opinions, since I was not used to doing something like this at school.  However, as time passed, I learned from the weekly winners that I should utilize and adapt their writing style to strengthen my own. This helped me to show improvements from the first week to the last, even earning myself a “honorable mention” at the 8th week. However, I was not impressed with my own work. Other people’s comments astounded me; the sincerity and their clear opinions expressed in the comments were concise, yet vivid with details. My curiosity and my ambition to earn at least one “Honorable Mention” or even better led me to study the winners’ articles carefully. What I found was more than I had originally expected. Their writings stood out from the rest because of their interesting topics, the creative opinions, and the extremely appropriate usage of word choices. 

Throughout this contest, I became deeply in touch with real-life events and issues occurring around the world; the corrupted re-election of the Venezuelan Government, the Charlotteville protest, the recent events of Game of Thrones season 7, the Cardinal Pell scandal and the occasional terrorist attacks that occur here and there. Hence, my writings naturally focused on were either criticizing the actions made, or analyzing what had happened in the those real-life incidents.
All in all, the Summer Reading Contest is an event that I will never forget, not just because I was able to earn my minor reward, but because how it gave me an awe-inspiring experience that I will never forget. Besides, it’s not every day when one gets to contemplate and form opinions about all sorts of current events around the world, positive and negative alike.

Matthew Choi
Grade 10
Asia Pacific International School

Matthew Choi  student_reporter@dherald.com

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