SND was a long and grueling weekend, but it was also interesting and fun. Not only did I enjoy looking over the variety of news designs, but I also got to know some of my classmates better and had a blast hanging out with them. I don’t feel like I had much interaction with the judges, who I approached a few times, but I enjoyed getting to know some of the facilitators, especially Mary Garrison, who made me laugh all weekend. It was sad on Monday because she wasn’t there. I loved looking at the newspaper and magazines — I found one magazine, called Teema, which I fell in love with. Besides that, I really liked the bold-colored entries (which seemed to be a huge trend this year), though these were often times not chosen by the judges. The entries that did seem to win some level of award were ones that I didn’t think were all that interesting at first glance, but when you take the time to read the entry and all its components, the design makes more sense. Besides looking at the designs, the medal discussions were the best part of the weekend. I loved listening to what the judges had to say about each entry, and I started to realize how difficult it is to get a gold medal from SND. When I left on Monday, the Features judges hadn’t picked one gold, though they had picked several silvers. Something that surprised me was how good the food was. I wasn’t expecting much and was very impressed, especially since we were never served the same thing twice for lunch or dinner. The Drumlins pleasantly surprised me, especially since I didn’t even know what it was until SND. Also, I was surprised by how quickly the weekend blew by. I thought it was going to drag on because it was so many hours each day, but we always had something to do so the time went by quickly. I learned this weekend that I have a lot to learn about design, and that I shouldn’t just be attracted to the pretty pages, but instead should delve deeper into the page to understand why the designer did what they did. SND also impressed upon me that news doesn’t have to be boring. I’m so used to seeing boring, traditional layouts, like that of the New York Times, but SND allowed me to look at and touch news designs from around the world and see what other places are doing.