Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Albert Henderson
Speak now or forever hold your peace.
Eisenhower High School Senior Paulina Martinez from Alsip brings the old saying to life, as she has dedicated herself to developing her talent for speech, but it hasn’t always been that way.
“ I was a really awkward person,” she said. “If you asked me to talk in front of a class I would cry in a corner.”
She realized she would eventually have to do something about her reluctance for public speaking.
“ I figured I had to do it in college, so why not now?” she said.
After that epiphany, she joined Eisenhower High School’s Speech Team.
“People think it’s debate, but its not.” Martinez said. “It’s like storytelling. I love it,” Martinez said.
Martinez also enjoys what she sees as the inconsistency of it all.
“I have random moments where I will speak in different accents (such as British and French),” she said. “One time I got to be Celia Foote from ‘The Help.’”
Her love of speech is more than just a hobby; it’s also her source of inspiration as a career.
“I know I want to be a writer, something like science fiction,” said Martinez
To achieve these goals, she plans to go to college, and she already some options in mind, including Eastern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University and Marymount University.
She picked each for very specific reasons, from having a teacher who attended the college (EIU) to the “surreal” experience of an urban university like Marymount, in New York.
But before even that, she has something else to do, and right now that is to maintain a job.
“I work at a country club, and I like to think my title is “Woman” because I make sandwiches,” she said.
All of this — from the speech experience to the job experience — has prepared her to answer the question, “what happens after college?” Martinez has a very simple answer for this age-old question.
“Hopefully I can get a job. Isn’t that what we all aspire to,” she said.