All posts by Cori O'Keefe

Top 20 facts About Abraham Lincoln by Jennie Rosen and Jenna Brandaleone

1. Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States
2. Abraham Lincoln had a son named Robert
3. Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865
4. Mary Todd Lincoln married Abraham Lincoln
5. Lincoln was a lawyer
6. Abe Lincoln was a licensed bartender
7. Lincoln’s assassin was a famous actor
8. Abraham Lincoln was the first leader that thought women should be allowed to vote.
9. The brother of Lincoln’s assassin saved his son, Robert, from a train accident
10. Abe Lincoln is in the wrestling hall of fame
11. Fido, Lincoln’s dog was assassinated
12. Abraham Lincoln did not have a college degree
13. Lincoln dreamed of his own assassination before the actual event occurred
14. A girl convinced Abe Lincoln to grow his beard
15. Lincoln was a part of the republican party
16. Abe Lincoln’s mother died when he was nine
17. Lincoln is one of the most regarded presidents in the U.S
18. Important documents of Lincoln’s could Be found inside of his hat
19. Abraham Lincoln went into office on March 4, 1865
20. Abe Lincoln lost two campaigns
Bibliographies:
http://www.factslides.com/s-Lincoln
losseshttp://us-presidents.insidegov.com/stories/11648/25-facts-abraham-lincoln#Intro
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln

Pay to Play: The Problem of Youth Sports Fees by Abby Gavron

I don’t know about you, but when I first learned not all kids have a chance to play youth sports I was furious. I know I’m lucky, my family has always been able to afford the registration fees for sports. Knowing that there are kids like me that don’t have the resources to play sports makes me feel bad. My time on the field and court with my friends make up some of my best memories. I believe all families should be able to send thir children to sport even if they are on a tight budget.

Charging families for youth sports is blocking kids from learning important things including sportsmanship and teamwork, preventing kids from building friendships, and the fees create barriers between kids.

The score was 2-1. We were losing as the whistle blew my teammates all wore frustrated faces. Having arrived at the soccer field at 8:00 that morning, tired but ready to play, this loss was very disappointing. We lined up to shake hands. Even though we were all angry, there was a silent agreement between the team to be good sports, like coach always says. So, we shook everyone’s hands and thanked the referees, because that’s what we were taught. Sports are an opportunity for children to learn important skills including sportsmanship and teamwork. All kids should have the opportunity to learn these skills because later in life you will need to be able to work well with other and show sportsmanship in your everyday life. Don’t you want all children to have the chance to learn these skills?

While some people could argue that kids can make friendships at school and that, sports aren’t required to make friends, I disagree. I have had many friends throughout my life and a majority of them I made through the many sports I play. Playing sports with people for hours builds a certain type of friendship. You understand each other better. You win and lose together and that makes your friendship stronger. I can remember times I would not want to play sport. Then I’d remembered that I would get to see all my friends, it wouldn’t matter the time or day, the thought of seeing them would make me excited for practices. The bonds you make of the through sports extend far off the field or court. The current system that is not allowing all kids to play sports and develop these friendships can cause kids to be more shy, less friendly and less outgoing, the system of fees should be abolished. I believe that every child should have the opportunity to build strong friendships. No matter if the family is struggling financially.

Lastly, I feel that the cost of youth sports has created a barrier between kids. One day I was talking to my mom about sports, and that was when  I learned about the expensive fees in youth sports. I had asked my mom more about the sports fees,  she told me that we were lucky, not everyone can afford to play sports. Anger boiled up inside of me, I couldn’t believe that some kids are not allowed to play sports because they are not doing well financially. The fees represent a barrier of who can and cannot afford to play sports. I feel like this barrier will cause children who cannot afford to play sports to not interact with children who do play sports. It is sending a message of financial inequality. Is that really the message and values you want to be sending to kids?

21% of parents spend more than $1,000 on child sports. Some people can afford that easily but for others with many children the price of sports add up quickly. I believe that the fees on youth sports act as a barrier that are separating kids, preventing children from learning important lessons, and restricting kids from forming friendships. Do you honestly think it’s fair that not all children can play sports?

 

Homework Hell: How Homework Impacts our Children’s Lives by Allen Zou

The school bell rings. Freedom! Free from the stressful workloads during the weekdays. Freedom to spend time with family and friends… Everything is fine until I remember the homework. I puff out a long, frustrated sigh, and start to work. I bunch up in my room like a hibernating bear, surrounded by endless textbook pages, google classroom assignments, and essays to write.

When teachers assign homework on the weekends, it stresses out students. Like all the students that procrastinate, they’re gonna keep off the homework until the last day due to having a full schedule so that they have to stay awake much longer than they’re supposed to and scramble to finish the homework. Studies from the U.S. National Education Association says, “giving homework over the weekend leads to a buildup of stress during a time when students are meant to relax and unwind. The same is true for giving students homework over the holidays, such as winter break.” But doesn’t stress help you focus? Yes, it does. However, it also makes the outcome of your work much, worse than without stress. I recently watched a TED-Talk about procrastination about a man who had a 90 page thesis to write throughout a year and procrastinated until the last three days, having to write 90 pages in 72 hours and you can already guess the outcome. A study of stress in teenagers shows that 56% of students consider homework as a primary source of stress, while only one percent of the students report that homework was not a stressor. This analysis proves that homework is a major key role in creating stress among our students and children. 43% of the students put tests and good grades to add onto the stress so that it becomes a competition of whoever has the better grades. Schools in Finland have shorter school days and little to none homework, and instead of competition between the grades on the standardized tests (which don’t even exist) and grades, there’s cooperation from helping each other out with each other’s problems and struggles. This makes the students less stressful and that can help with memory, relationships, a healthier heart, a better outlook on life, and more benefits. A focus group of students reflected that a majority of them said that their homework load led to sleep deprivation, among other health problems. The researchers concluded that the massive amount of homework impacted the health of the teenagers through headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss, and stomach problems. Weekends aren’t just for de-stressing, it’s also for relaxing and spending time with loved ones.

We all know adults who work usually get the weekends off to relax, but it’s not the same for students. Adults get time off to spend with their family only to find out that their kids are up in their rooms or at the library doing homework or studying. They may not be working in school, but they would be working in their rooms or at the library. I believe that weekends should be a time to relax and spend the time with friends and family. Kids should be kids, spending their time being filled with creativity and wonder, not moping with frustration around because of their homework. Alfie Kohn, author of “The Homework Myth”, told the Huffington Post, “It’s one thing to say we are wasting kids’ time and straining parent-kid relationships, but what’s unforgivable is if homework is damaging our kids’ interest in learning, undermining their curiosity.” The amount of homework schools give is too much, and our relationships with their own families are being damaged due to the lack of time spent together! The piles of homework distract students from their real lives – lives of creativity, fun, adventure. Homework sucks away all of that. Survey data shows that the students are “not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills,” according to the researchers. Due to the heaviness of the homework load, students are forced to drop activities like sports, time with friends or family, and pursue hobbies they enjoy. In high performing schools, too much homework can reduce their times to foster skills of personal responsibilities, the analysts concluded. “Young people are spending more time alone, which means less time for family and few opportunities to engage in their communities.” This says that their time focused on homework, can be turned and used to spend time with friends and family and their personal hobbies. Weekends are also to unwind and breathe a bit.
Weekends are not just for fun, it’s also to slow down and take a break from schoolwork and breathe. It gives us more time to sleep and that alone can influence our entire day or even the entire week. The time assures students that there’s time and no need to rush all the time. In my school, we have C.U.B. weekends which stands for Catch Up and Breathe, it happens every other week. As a student, I can tell you that I look forward to it. Every other Friday, I start to pack my backpack with binders, folders, books, and I complain about the homework, but I realize with a sense of relief, that it was a C.U.B. weekend and I happily put everything back. I could finally spend some time without schoolwork. I’m not saying schoolwork is bad, I’m just saying that to have an excessive amount is bad. Kids in Finland, the country with the best schools and education system, have NO homework, and they use their free time to use their imagination, to have a sense of wonder and creativity. With long breaks students are given time to relax and take in all the information given to them. In the US, we have class after class. Only sometimes do we go out for a break after lunch, and it’s usually not longer than 5 minutes. The schools in Finland don’t just care about the academics, they care about the entire well being. They care about what they do in their free time, about their habits etc. Of course, you can argue that homework is to remember what you learned in school that day, but it really doesn’t help. In Finland kids don’t have homework altogether and they still have the best education system in the world. Do you want to know why? Because they want their students to go out into the real world and explore without stress or anything like that. This makes them remember things a lot easier. Have you ever had to do something under stress and you couldn’t do it, but you could do it when you’re practicing or reciting? This is pretty much the same thing.

This goes the same for a lack of sleep. If teenagers sleep for less than 8.5 hours of sleep (the recommended amount of sleep for a teenager), they can have some major side effects in their heads throughout the day. Lightheadedness, tiredness, being unaware of the current situation, dizziness all results from sleep deprivation. Studies prove that sleep deprivation can influence your ability to pay attention, creativity, abstract thinking, decision making, remembering long term memories, and overall mood and motivation. All of these are required during school and without these, you wouldn’t be able to function the way humans are supposed to. Although sleep is one of the highest priorities for learning, it’s the thing that is most lacking in students. One study showed that less than 15% of the teenagers get at least 8.5 hours of sleep each night. To balance out the lack of sleep, teens sleep a lot more on the weekends which takes even less time from doing homework. A survey given to 1,000 k-12 teachers has shown that students are now spending upwards of up to 17.5 hours a week on homework if they typically have 5 classes with different teachers. This is around 3.5 hours a 5 day week for each teacher and 2.5 hours in a full week in high school, in middle school, it’s about 3.2 hours a 5 day week and 2.3 a full week, and in elementary school, 2.9 hours a 5 day week and a bit less than 2.1 hours a day in a full week. By comparison, a 2011 study from the National Center for Education Statistics found that in 1994, only 39% of 17 year olds said that they did at least an hour of homework each day. Also, the National PTA recommends that there should be 10-20 minutes of homework per night in the first grade, and add an additional 10 minutes per grade level. That means a senior in high school, should be doing roughly 120 minutes (2 hours) of homework a day, but may do more depending on certain courses they take.

Due to this abundance of stress and lack of sleep, socializing, exercising and extra curricular activities. Homework is the number one priority in students’ minds and can really mess up the body and habits. Teachers can relieve the students and ease their studies by giving time in class to do work, give less homework and stick to the recommended amount, or not to give homework on the weekends. Although students are only 20% of our population, they are 100% of our future.

The Scam of Student-Athletes by Michael Long

In 2010, the NCAA(National Collegiate Athletic Association) and Turner/CBS Sports agreed to a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal for the broadcast rights to March Madness, the Division I men’s basketball tournament. Today, the NCAA makes nearly a billion dollars per year from the TV agreement, ticket sales, and other sources like donations. According to NCAA’s official website, more than 90% of this money is distributed to “support NCAA schools, conferences and nearly half a million student-athletes.” The word ‘support’ is used very vaguely here, because really, a lot of that 90% is used for staff salaries. And what about the other 10%? Shouldn’t the remaining $90,000,000 go to the student-athletes who make the industry possible?

It’s about time college student-athletes get paid. They spend countless hours working out and striving to perfect their game, all while keeping up with their classes and social life. Paying them would also teach them how to manage money and prepare them for when they get a job. Their coaches get paid millions. The colleges that they play for earn tons and tons of revenue from ticket sales, selling merchandise, vending at games, and sponsors. The athletes are the heart of the NCAA and the NCAA would be nothing without them. But what do they get out of the billion dollars the NCAA makes a year? Nothing. It’s about time they get paid.

Playing a sport while juggling classes is exhausting. The typical day of a student-athlete goes a little something like this; You wake up at 5:30, only getting about 5 hours of sleep, feeling a bit tired. Then you rush off to an early morning practice at 6:30. After that, it’s time for classes. You can barely keep yourself from falling asleep in class. Now, after 4 hours of classes, it’s time for an afternoon workout. After that workout, you’re exhausted. Now you have to get cracking on your pile of homework. Now you’re absolutely whupped and fall asleep right when you hit your pillow at around midnight. Playing a sport takes up so much time of a student-athlete’s day, it’s like they are working a full-time job. A job of 40 hours a week is considered a full-time job. College football players can spend 70-80 hours a week practicing in August, and about 50 hours a week when the season and classes start up. Some people would say that the college athletes chose to play a sport and they knew the commitments that come with it. But those commitments take effort and that effort deserves to be paid. College athletes are spending more time for their sport than adults at a full-time job, yet college athletes get paid nothing compared to their thousands/millions.

In the future, you have to be able to manage your money. Paying college athletes would give them experience in having a substantial amount of money, and that experience would help them immensely when they get a job or a spot on a professional team after college. Take Johnny Manziel for example; he won the Heisman Award in 2012, the annual award given to the most outstanding player in college football. His future was looking very bright and was drafted 22nd overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft. Soon after he was drafted, Manziel started doing drugs and partying a lot. He got in a lot of trouble and was later indicted for hitting his girlfriend in the ear, rupturing her eardrum. The Cleveland Browns released him from the team, and his agent even dropped him as a client. If he was paid in college, he would have been more prepared for life after college. Sure, some would say that if Manziel was paid in college he would just do the same and get in trouble in college. Maybe that’s true and he would have gotten in trouble in college, but he would have learned from his mistakes, and he wouldn’t make those mistakes during his professional career. Now, his career is basically over, but I feel that he could have perhaps learned his lesson in college and been more prepared and mentally ready for his life after college.

College coaches have one of the highest-paying jobs. According to Business Insider, Jim Harbaugh, the head coach of the University of Michigan Division I men’s football team, makes $9,000,000 a year. In fact, the highest paid public employee in 40 of the 50 U.S. states is the state university’s head football or basketball coach. Colleges pay coaches like professional teams pay athletes; the better they are, the more they are paid. But the coaches’ skill level depends a lot on how the players perform. The coach and the players work together to become as good as they can. The coaches even get bonuses according to how well the team does. But the players are also a large factor in how well the team does, it’s not just the coach. Yet, the players get paid nothing for playing an arguably larger role than the coach does in how well their team performs, while the coaches get paid millions for merely directing players on the sidelines. Yeah, some people would say that coaches are super important and could turn a whole team around by his/herself, but that has rarely happened.

March Madness. The name is very fitting. Every March, the NCAA holds the Division I men’s basketball championship, or, more commonly known as the March Madness tournament. The NCAA recently agreed to a $10.8 billion, 14 year deal with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting for TV rights to the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. 10.8 BILLION dollars. Colleges also make around $120 million a year from ticket sales, vending at games, and selling merchandise. The players are the ones playing in the games that make all of this money. They make the NCAA work, and without the athletes, they wouldn’t make any money. The student-athletes are the heart of the industry, and debatably the most important people in it. They definitely deserve to get paid at least some of that money. According to the NCAA, some of the money actually goes to athlete scholarships and school improvements, but a lot of the money still goes to paying staff and employees.

At the end of the day, college athletes just want to play sports for their love of the game. They don’t think too much about getting paid, they’re just trying to do the best they can in school and doing what they love to do. But should they care about getting paid? The colleges that these student-athletes play for and represent make millions off of them. Nearly all of the people involved in the team are paid except for the athletes themselves. This isn’t right. Let’s change this and finally reward the student-athletes that are the heart of the NCAA and the ones that make it all possible.

Vile Victoria’s Secret: Why This Company is Tearing Down Our Society by Meredith Prince

Vile Victoria’s Secret: Why This Company is Tearing Down Our Society

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: one of the most popular fashion shows in the nation. Millions of people throughout the country flick on their T.V. and wait intently for the different angels wearing fluorescent wings and stilleto kitten pumps to strut down the glamorized runway. Excitement pours out of people like sunshine through fine white linen. Every fiber in their bodies vibrates with anticipation to view the variety of outfits and models. Unfortunately, they aren’t going to be seeing much diversity within those models. Of all 14 angels, 12 are white, 14 are tall, 14 are skinny, and 14 have a “perfect” hourglass figure. Thousands of girls’ faces droop, filled with dismay, desolation and despondency. The giddiness they once had has managed to slip through every piece of them, and has been replaced with pure disappointment. Victoria’s Secret only glamorizes one type of body, making girls insecure about themselves, creates offensive campaigns, all making it a bad influence.

Victoria’s Secret only carries one type of model: your typical gorgeously tall, ultra lean woman with a busty physique. The majority of them don’t weigh over 95 pounds, The average 14 year old girl weighs 105 pounds. When a late teen/mid twenty model weighs less than you do, it doesn’t make you feel so great about yourself. This makes girls look down at the flashing numbers on their scale and fill with disappointment and sadness.Victoria’s Secret only makes one type of body seem “beautiful”, and totally ignores the fact that other body types exist and that all body types are beautiful. Although Victoria’s Secret models and angels all have the same figure, some people can see this as a good thing. A recent survey from She Knows found that women were, unsurprisingly, more likely to buy a product if they liked how women were portrayed in its advertisements. The company knows this, which is why they keep their ‘perfect’ models to appeal to the most females as they can. This does make sense, but don’t you think they will appeal to a wider audience if they widen the types of bodies they support? Besides, it’s the 21st century, when are we going to acknowledge that there is more than one “beautiful” body type?

When you walk into the wide glass doors of a VS store, you are immediately bombarded by wall-size photos of those reed thin, top heavy, beautiful models. And when you don’t exactly look like them, it can make you feel pretty bad about yourself. Women and girls-teenagers in particular- will see these bodies and wonder, “Why can’t I look like that, and what can I do to look like that?” The answer is clear. You cannot look like that because those bodies because they are physically unobtainable without a trustworthy plastic surgeon and some solid photoshopping software. I remember one time I went into the store with my friend. She had been self-conscious about her body, and seeing that the company only supported one body type made her feel even worse. It was hard for her to learn how to love herself and be proud of her body when these models all had the same “perfect” body that she didn’t have. These models make girls feel insecure about themselves, and make girls who are already insecure about themselves even MORE dissatisfied with their bodies.

The company raised online rage only a few months ago with their “The Perfect Body” campaign. The images that they used for this “Perfect Body” campaign were 10 models that all had that same body figure as explained above. No attempts at body diversity were made in the image. Even worse, these images suggested that these were what “perfect” bodies were supposed to be. Given that those models’ bodies are basically unobtainable, it seemed a little insulting to imply that women who didn’t share their exact measurements somehow have ‘imperfect’ bodies. This campaign made thousands of young girls look in the mirror each morning and feel dissatisfied with themselves. An online petition was made, requesting that the brand apologize and take responsibility for the unhealthy damaging message that their ‘Perfect Body’ campaign sends out about women’s boies. More than 33,000 signatures were gathered, but Victoria’s Secret only took minimal action. They changed the campaign name to “A Body For Every Body” (which still didn’t make a lot of sense given the narrow range of bodies depicted in the advertisement remained.) Even after this petition, they still did not add any different body types to this campaign.

Victoria’s Secret has mentioned that they are going to try to add more angels and models of different ethnicities, but if they are serious about diversifying their models, they might want to add different body types as well. Adding different body types will help all women feel better about themselves, make the modeling shows more interesting to watch, and help the company widen its audience. Imagine a new generation where young girls can open up a magazine and instead of pinching their stomach with disappointment, stare into a mirror and think “Wow, I am beautiful.” Imagine a society where everyone believes that they are beautiful and are proud to be in their own skin. But until Victoria’s Secret starts to take action and add different types of models, I refuse to watch their shows or buy their products, and maybe if we all do, we can convince them to make the change.

Weird Ways to Stop Procrastinating (and yes, this is largely for my own benefit.) by Madeline Maurer

We’ve all had that moment…

“Wait…It’s already 10:30? How?” You glare at your phone in shock. “But I was only on Youtube for, like, twenty minutes…Uh oh…” You look back at your unfinished project, your heart dropping like a boulder to the bottom of your stomach. Scrambling, you snatch the glue and Sharpies off of your desk and submerge yourself in the clouds of paper and ink that trashes the room. The next morning, you shamefully drag yourself into your class, eyes barely open and project in hand.

But how do I overcome this tragedy? I hear you asking. Well, I am here to help you out! Here are some weird ways to stop procrastinating.

Set up your materials five minutes BEFORE you want to get started. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re already groaning, but please hear me out. You are going to be more likely to actually get started when there is a constant reminder of your obligations. I am one to write things on my hand because it’s kinda hard to forget something when it is physically on your body, and in a place where you can always see it. If your textbooks are practically staring you in the face, it’s kinda hard to hold off studying.

Use a reward-based system. Do ten math problems, have a cookie. Finish your essay, spend some time on Instagram or texting with a friend. If you look forward to your project’s completion, you will obviously want to finish it faster. Plus, everything is way more rewarding when you work for it! (It’s like how if I see a pack of stickers in a store, I don’t even bother looking twice. But, if a teacher gives me a sticker after a test or something, I protect it like Gollum and the Ring of Power. MY STICKER!)

Tell someone else about what you need to do and when it needs to get done. You will feel more accountable if other people know what you need to do, too. A great way to do this could be to start a group chat with some friends and post when you start and finish your work. With this, you stay responsible and on task. The only flaw with this plan is that group chats may get side tracked…but not yours?

This next one applies if you absolutely must procrastinate. While your goal is looming over your head, think of some ideas for what you want to do. Say you have to write a story based on Mesopotamian life in Social Studies. While you are drawing all over your hand, think about what you want your main character’s name to be, how s/he should behave, what their motives are, etc. You won’t feel like you are doing any hard work, but you are actually creating the bare bones of your assignment. To motivate you more, think about the exciting parts of your project so you want to start!

Force yourself to start on right after school, work, or after you have just done something else. The reasoning is just like Newton’s law: Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, objects at rest tend to stay at rest. I was very interested when I found this technique because it seems so obvious but it’s so brilliant. It takes a familiar concept and flips it upside down so it can apply to our daily lives. Anyway, this rule does apply. You will be more willing to do work after you have just done work. Why stop when you’ve already made so much progress? It’ll be easier to work if you save the couch-potatoing for later.

Now that you’re done reading this list, go get some work done! The world is your oyster! Go off, my child!

Weird Ways To Procrastinate:
Okay, if you’re anything like me, you probably didn’t actually go through with any of the strategies listed. So, instead, here are a few ideas of how you can procrastinate…(reverse psychology at its finest)

Draw on your hand. There’s a reason why I can’t be trusted with ink. Too many happy faces to make out of freckles!

Try to pick up a new useless skill. A Brittany Spears impression would be a great one to try. Also singing with your mouth closed is a new possibility. Hey, who says you won’t go into ventriloquism when you’re older?

Find your alter ego. In other words, put together a stupidly awesome outfit that you’ll never wear again, add a cape to it, and there you have it! Your other self has appeared.
Plan your idea for a restaurant based on your OTP or another amazing theme. I won’t judge! Unleash your ideas!

Don’t just watch anime, BECOME ANIME! Reenact your favorite scenes from the anime you’re binge watching right now or simply go looking for a Death Note. Maybe one of the other Shinigami dropped one, too. Just be careful not to attempt to become the god of a new world.

Read more lists on how not to procrastinate, or write your own! This is self explanatory.

Top Ten Ways to Get an A in School by Jenna Brandaleone and Jennifer Rosen

 

Start here when you need an A. If you are like us you know how much we all want A’s even if it  means slowing down and taking more time. You will be able to get your grades up and learn different techniques at the same time to focus on your goal of an A. The number one rule is to Live, Sleep and BREATHE by these rules!  

  1. Suck up to those teachers that you CANNOT stand! Get them on your good side, and we’ll see who’s getting the A this term. But on a more serious note, breathe. Just breathe. These classes might seem to last for hours more than they should, but all you can do is breathe and try.
  1. Studying hard is one of the most important ways to get an A. Don’t be lazy when studying for a test or doing homework. Learn your work and use your resources.
  1. One thing at a time! Focus on one subject before you move on. It will be really hard if you go back and forth from one subject to another.
  1. Don’t rush, spend your time on homework and things you don’t understand. Instead of misunderstanding, take a few extra minutes to learn and succeed, rather than failing because you didn’t take the time.
  1. Ask for Help! Do not be afraid to ask questions; you might worry that people look stupid when they ask questions, but it actually makes you look smarter to ask questions and you learn a lot more than students who don’t ask questions.
  1. Revise. Make sure to go back to redo writing essays, and any type of school work. Revise and edit constantly especially when you have a project that could really effect your grade. Resources can be helpful and are more available than you may realize. Ask your friends, family, parents, etc.. There are also online sources of help. Google offers spelling and other resource tools too.
  1. Collaborate and share ideas with others. When getting stuck make sure you take a break. But also, make sure you talk to other people about it. If it is over Facetime or face to face, it is good to talk out a problem and work as a team to solve it.
  1. Participate and stay ahead. In class raise your hand. At home, make sure to catch up on homework and your lessons. I am not saying that as soon as you get home you should start studying for hours. I am just saying learning some new vocab words and math problems every day is a good idea. Soon you will be on top of your game and getting an A!
  1. Be yourself, be a good and reliable student for other students, teachers, friends, family, etc.. When taking on personal and group responsibilities you are actually becoming a better student and person. You are learning how to deal with stress and how much responsibility and stress you can take. This can make you a better student because from learning from these responsibilities, you are also learning how to deal with them better. When school has got you on an overload, just remember that you will be prepared.
  1. It is okay to be SMART. I know a lot of other peers of mine that think it is cool to be the dumb. People act stereotypically like the dumb blonde, or the jock with no brain just to be “cool”. Smart people rule the world this century. Look at Bill Gates! He may be the richest man alive and he is nothing less than smart! Smart is the new cool. So don’t be afraid to be yourself, be SMART!

Two Teacher Interviews from Teachers with Two or More Years of Experience–by Grisha Barantsev

I interviewed Ms. O’Keefe, 8th grade English Teacher, and Ms. Barker, 6th grade Social Studies Teacher about…read on to find out more!

Why did you become a teacher?

Mrs. Barker: Because I love what I teach and I wanted to keep thinking it for the rest of my life.

Mrs. O’Keefe: I became a teacher because I always loved English and writing, and wanted to help students develop their love for those topics. Also because everyday is different, kids keep things interesting!

Do you like the subject you are teaching?

Mrs. Barker: Obviously SS!

Mrs. O’Keefe: Yes, I love English!
What is your favorite book?

Mrs. Barker: It’s HARD question … I have different favorite books for different times in my life.

Mrs. O’Keefe: My favorite book from this year is Some Kind of Happiness, Harry Potter, and Bruser.

Who is your favorite author?

Mrs. Barker: I don’t have a favorite author but, I have favorite themes.

Mrs. O’Keefe: I don’t think I have a favorite author, but, I love this one author is Lois Lowry
and I loved each of her books.
If you could teach any subject but the one you currently teach which one would you teach?

Mrs. Barker: I would like to teach world language because I can also teach about history and culture.

Mrs. O’Keefe: SS because I like thinking about what is going on it the world.

Timeless Chapter 11 by Sritha Vemuri

I walk around my new room. Though it is amazing and exceeds all my expectations of a place I call home, I am speechless. Not in a good way though. How could they know about all of this? I think. I know they are from the future and have all this new and improved technology we have but how? How could they see inside my parents. Inside my roots. Do they have my parents? At least their corpses? I don’t know what to say as I clutch both sides of my forehead with both my hands. My palms grow warm and little beads of sweat roll down them. Then a major question hits me. Do people have to be dead for the future people to be able to examine them or even take blood from them? That question leads to many more small questions. Am I even useful for them? Are they trying to take advantage of me? Is Camilla more valuable? Has she requested that I stay alive? Every little or big question swarms around my head like an angry mob of bees. Am I even Bree Suvil?

***

That last question stays absorbed in my head. Am I even Bree Suvil? I think over and over and over again until that’s the only thing imprinted in my mind. I trust fall on my new couch. It’s a lilac purple sofa with the imprints of little plums being picked by women, who later plop them into their baskets. The sofa is made from polyester like any other average sofa. To the left arm side on the lilac sofa there is a mini glass plated table where five chocolates lay next to three small water bottles labeled Fiji on them. Five chocolates. Three water bottles. Five chocolates for the five people who were or are in my family. Three water bottles for the three of them I had lost. Maybe even four considering Camilla’s Grongula mutation mishap. At least that’s what Cathy called it. I’ve noticed that this month of the blasting rays of heat from May are different. There is no Linc. He never appears at my doorway to give me this goofy glare. He doesn’t stop by to chat. Well I guess I deserved it. I practically shooed him away so I guess I got what I wanted then but not now. I just want a decent chat buddy.

***

The next morning Khloe wakes me up. Literally. She splashes water at my face with a large black pale. It fits her personality. A large black hole.

“Come on grouch.” She says. “We’re going to the annual May Maker Meeting!” She jumps up and down in place. Once she notices that I am watching her she stops and smooths down her once straight now ruffled business skirt. She cocks her head to the right side of my new room, signaling I should get changed. Immediately.

“What do I wear?” I ask.

“You wear this.” Khloe says, taking out a ruby red dress with an embroidered blood red rose, pinching the left waist side of the dress. “My sister Kendra let me borrow it for you. Begrudgingly.” Khloe continues.

“Let me guess.” I say. “You stole it from her.”

“Yup!” She said. “Now get ready! We have to get you a mani pedi before we go to the meeting. Which approximately starts at 9:00 am!” I rush into the changing room Khloe shows me and change quickly. Then Khloe drags me to the spa room we were in yesterday. The one with the girl named Celia who Khloe always yelled at. A lady with the mirrored look of Khloe walks in. Khloe has a twin. Gosh. Kill me now.

“Khloe…” The lady starts. “You stole my Ruby Cocher Bouvant dress!”  Then the woman’s gaze darts to me.

“Give me that dress back!” She wails.

“Ok.” I say. The woman stops wailing.

“Sorry.” She says. “I thought you were Celia. I applied for a new job here but Khloe always seems to get a grasp of my stuff, giving them to my new boss and stuff. She gets on my nerves a lot.” Then she ties her hair into a high ponytail.

“Who are you anyway?” She asks again.

“She’s Bree Suvil.” Khloe says, beaming.

“Who the what?” The woman asks confused.

“She’s the one Kendra.” Khloe says rolling her eyes.

“Oh…” The woman who’s supposedly Kendra says. “She’s the one. The one Mom’s been blabbering about?”

“Yup.”

“No time to chat sis! She needs a mani pedi ASAP. The famous rose petal design!”

“Got it!” Kendra says as she readies all the materials. She starts by applying a clear coat first. A base. Then she applies a ruby red coat just like my dress on top of the dry clear coat base. Once she does this for every nail she applies another clear coat on every nail except my two index and thumb fingers. Kendra then picks up a mini stylus and starts making two tiny vibrant red roses on both my thumbs left edge. She then connects vines to those roses which are later connected to something brown, supposedly fertilizer. Once she’s done with both my thumbs she starts getting to work on my index fingers. Kendra makes mini curled designs on the left edge of both index fingers and then applies the top coat on for the thumbs as she waits for the index fingers to dry. Once they dry Kendra happily applies the clear coat.

“Voila!” She says. “That is your mani.”

“What about the pedi?” Khloe asks.

“No time.” Kendra says. “It’s 8:55.”

“Who cares Kendra. She only has to be there for after the main meeting which buys us at least thirty more minutes.”

“Fine.” Kendra says grudgingly. Kendra paints my toes a clear coat base then the same vibrant red color before. Then she puts a small little bright red gem on both thumb toes and paints a clear coat top.

“Happy sis?” She asks.

“Happy.” Khloe says as she checks the time. “It’s 9:25! We better hurry! We need to be there in five minutes ASAP!” Khloe turns to her sister. “Any ideas Kendra?”

“I’ll take you in Mom’s golf cart. She won’t mind.” Khloe nods. The three of us rush to the golf cart like maniacs making a quick drive to the meeting. Once Khloe and I enter the meeting room everyone stands up. Except Cathy.

“Where have you been Bree?” Cathy snaps, signaling that the meeting is over. “I told you 9:00 am.”

“Ma’am it’s my fault.” Khloe says, her head down as the men leave.

“I don’t care who’s fault it is.” Cathy snaps again, and right then I can see the resemblance between Cathy and Khloe. “Khloe please leave.”

“But Mom…” Khloe whines.

“That’s Ma’am to you. Whether or not the congressmen are here or not.”

“Yes Ma’am.” Khloe says as she walks away.

“She’s a bad influence.” Cathy smirks. “That’s why she’s my favorite.” Cathy runs a hand through her hair.

“Your lucky this was a test, Bree.” Cathy continues, glaring at me. “Those men work for me. That’s why they left.” She coughs as she continues again. “If they were the real congressmen then they wouldn’t leave and I wouldn’t be able to lecture you. This was a test for Khloe as well and I am so very sad to say you both failed.” Cathy picks up her red lipstick stained coffee cup, swirls it in the air and takes a large chug of it.

“Don’t do this again, Bree. Speak up.” I don’t respond. “Do you hear me, Bree?”

“Yes Ma’am.” I say.

“Good.” Cathy says. “You’re next hidden test will be tomorrow so study hard. Mentally”

***

Studying mentally. Hmmm… I think. I guess I’ll just have to study Cathy.

The guards let me walk around the so called ‘bureau’ of the future. Kendra and Celia collaborated on giving me a special permission slip;

BREE SUVIL

~VIP~

Water

Food

Walking

Blinking

Staring

Observing

I was astonished once they gave me this card. Of course I can blink, stare, eat, drink, and walk. I understand the ‘observing’ part but seriously. I am still a human just like them. Just less genetically modified.

***

Cathy said I should spend some family time around the bureau so now I am walking with Camilla and Chandler with my permission slip strung around my waist.

“You know that family time means talking right?” Chandler asks as I continue to glare at him.

“Well you know some families don’t talk to each other especially if each and every one of them is disfigured.” I snap back. Camilla is basically floating around roaring and banging against her floating cell in her white Grongula form.. With every bang she makes she gets electrocuted. I stopped trying to explain a while ago. Chandler stays quiet and Camilla collapses of too much static electricity contained in her body.

“Tell Cathy we had an hour walk.” I say and march off. I am off to observing Cathy. What type of mental test would she set up for me? She practically thinks I’m as dumb as a dodo. What to do? I ask myself. What to do? The first place I stop is Cathy’s office. Not literally inside though. That would be stupid and she’d think I cut the walk early by fifty five minutes (which I did) to spy on her. Which is the opposite of what I want her to think. I want her to believe that I am a sweet little innocent girl following orders. So, what do I do? I’ll need Linc’s help.