Special Anniversary Edition
OCTOBER 14 & 30, 2011 >>> SELWYN.CA
Issue no. 1
Contents VOLUME 1, NO. 1
Chief Publisher: Euirim Choi
Editor-in-Chief: Ulysses Pamel
(insert name), SORT! Every class has to deal with troublemakers. Some more than others. Every teacher has a strategy to deal with them, but could teachers be approaching the issue the wrong way? BY ULYSSES PAMEL
hey keep it fun, keep it fresh and keep it real. They make it manageable. For the “hard workers” they give class a bit of spice and excitement. They are troublemakers. But if they keep the class endurable, why are they treated like criminals? A simple question begets a simple answer: because they disrupt the class and disturb learning; the usual dreck. It’s true. Teachers deal with troublemakers in the wrong way. Here is my point of view. No external opinions. No outside sources. Here is a new way to deal with classroom disruptions. That other students dislike troublemakers is a myth. That troublemakers disturb the learning of others is also a myth. An uninterrupted class with a constant flow of information is boring, and less information is retained. Take it from someone who knows. Students know this. Even teachers know this. What do teachers mean when they tell the class to get up and stretch their legs? The real message is: “I know it’s boring. Bear with me.” However, leg stretching simple doesn’t do. They legs are not the things that need to be stretched. What is really tired is the brain. At Selwyn House, the message of experiential learning geared towards boys is preached. Go to any of the parent
seminars and one hears that boys learn differently from girls. Boys are less suited to sitting in a class. Boys are simple creatures. They need instant gratification. Some comedy in class allows boys to learn better. This is the simple truth. So, now that we’ve gotten the fact that troublemakers help others out of the way, let us deal with the troublemakers themselves. A typical classroom scene: a teacher is giving a lesson, and a student makes a funny comment. The student is sent out. Here lies the hypocrisy: if the goal is to get the troublemaker to learn and be a disciplined student, then why send him outside? This sends the following message to the student: the teacher obviously does not care. They think: “I hate this teacher. I’ll continue to antagonize them.” A simple solution: provide the comedy. Many Selwyn teachers alleviate the information overload with an easygoing attitude that encourages learning. There is no need to send students out, because the students casually join in the comedy without wanting to disrupt the fun. They retain more, and perform better. Proof ? Take classes that many students have trouble with, and observe the atmosphere. Do the same with a casual one. One wants to jump into it, n’est-ce pas? on’t misunderstand: the teachers are not at fault. In fact, it is more of a student problem. However, teachers need to employ new experiential learning strategies in addition to the plan of provided alleviating comedy. Make it relevant. A math equation is dull by itself, but when given a mechanical application, it comes alive
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to an aspiring engineer. How would a teacher know a student’s goals? Getting to know them is an idea, and one that all teachers should employ. In fact, fostering a positive relationship between teacher and student will help with the problem of troublemakers. A disruptive student will discipline himself in front of a teacher he respects. This only comes with time, but first impressions are important. Teachers need to set a good tone for the year by having a great first day (word to the wise: students appreciate teachers who poke fun at them). A personal show and tell day once in a while never hurt, either. It allows students to have a sense of belonging within the class, and for teachers to be a part of it, too.
friend. The unsuccessful ones fail because of a false system of order. If seating arrangements are the choice, then the only option for a teacher that does not know the class very well is a seating plan created alongside the students. In fact, more decisions that affect the class should be made alongside students. While it may be so in jokes, a classroom is not a dictatorship, nor is it a monarchy. It is a gathering place for a mutual relationship between teacher and students.
n the subject of teachers, there is the issue of commanding ones. These are the teachers who run their classes like boot camps (or the closest thing Selwyn students will get to one). While teaching style is personal, an instructor that locks down their class like a drill sergeant cannot act surprised when troublemakers strike. A caged bird will always dream of flying. The same is true of students. In the Macaulay printing room, there is an article that preaches separating troublemakers and “others”. In a sense, this is the attitude in some classrooms at Selwyn House. The ostracism that is fostered is reflected in many ways, even seating. The classic theory of “try-hards in the front, troublemakers in the back” simply does not apply anymore, if it ever did. However, many teachers choose assigned seating as an option. For some, this works. For others, not so much. The successful cases work because troublemakers sit near hard workers and at least one
o recap, here are the solutions: teachers creating a relaxed environment, taking interest in students, and overall fostering positive relationships. For students, the solution is to have fun, but keep it within reason. So, now that everything is cleared up, here we are on the subject of troublemakers. Once again, no statistics or outside opinions. Just a point of view from both sides of the issue. Take them as necessary and with a grain of salt, but consider them nonetheless. And maybe, just maybe, yelling won’t be heard from across the hall at all hours of the day. Instead, chuckles will replace it.
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How We Get Here
Using clever words and seemingly irrelevant allusions, David Bi explains how Selwyn students get to and from school. This chaotic and daunting subject is no match, however, for this journalist in his Forum debut.
eptember 19th, 2011: at exactly 8:15 am, a group of young men in Montréal, Québec gathered together at Selwyn House School and formed (with the exception of student who were late, suspended, or otherwise absent) the entire undergraduate population of said school. For many years leading up to the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks (an event that, aside from its temporal coincidence with the day before the Forum meeting that lead to the creation of this article, has no relevance with this piece of journalism), the transportation of students to and from the academic institution has been, if you would pardon the clichéd expression, shrouded in a veil of mystery. The acquisition of the knowledge thereof, attempted by many a brave explorer, is impeded by an unshakable wall of pure apathy. It is needless, therefore, to point out that no one has ever collected the complete information on the subject. That is, until now. I reveal to you my understanding on this matter, allow me to recount a story in circulation in many Asian countries and around the world: The Blind Men and the Elephant. One version of the tale goes thus: one day, an elephant is brought to the city. Five blind men are invited to feel this novel, exotic creature and formulate hypotheses as to its type. The five blind men, as they are most naturally men, each came up with a distinct response:
a thick round branch; a great flapping fan; a colossal unmovable wall; a monumental pillar; a coarse swinging rope. They had, of course, as you must have guessed, each handled a different part of the elephant, namely the trunk, ear, belly, leg, and tail, respectively. The meaning beside this ancient story is not the limitations of blind men, but the limitations of every man, woman, child; for we are all like blind men. We can only perceive what our meagre senses tell us and interpret that information. We each, consequently, only know part of the whole. Even via communicating that information, our insight into the world in which we live is limited. I have told a monstrously hideous lie at the end of the antecedent paragraph by implying that I knew, and I say this in layman’s terms for fear of repeating my previous terminology, just how the students got to school in the mornings and went home in the afternoons. I apologize for this purposeful obstruction. To excuse myself, for I know for a fact that affecting apologies do not exist, here I convey to you the particulars of two additional articles of interest, this time two proverbs, one being “every road leads to Rome.” Whether this all-encompassing assertion is true at the literal level is questionable, but it certainly does not reason well to doubt it in metaphorical sense. There exists, for every end, numerous means. Selwyn House School does not excuse itself from this time-attested, golden rule, meaning that there necessarily exists multitudinous paths that all lead to the aforementioned destination. This universal constant, however solidly backed by both theory and observation, is not sufficient by itself in our quest for information, lacking only the complementation phrase, “As people are walking all the time, in the same spot, a path appears.” The previous deficiency is hence repaired, as not only are there
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countless routes, but their creation have resulted from usage. It is not my wish to dispossess construction workers of their claims to the invaluable labour that birthed the modern streets, nor is it in my best interest; for the sake of progress towards awareness, sacrifices are inevitable. With these two proverbs as axioms, one can deduce the various methods by which students travel. deeply regret my need to, once again, retract my statement. The pair of proverbs is not an absolutely indispensible prerequisite to gain a functional understanding of the scholarly transit. I, for one, made all the calculations without these sayings, and concluded that there are three types of transportation in use in modern day and age: public, private, and hybrid. Permit me to assure you, however, that while my ignorance in automobile affairs is rampant, it is innocent, sincere, and honest. My opinion is this: the brands and models of the cars that define the private transit industry realize endless possibilities in studentsâ€™ transportation, but aside from leg space, elevation from concrete, and seat width, the options are limited for the passengers. The key in variety, and therefore in complexity, is not in the vehicle, but in the length of itiner-
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Transportation Selwyn students use several different
types of transportation to get to school in Montreal. For some, getting around is easy, as they live close to the school, but for others it is far more difficult to here if one is from outside Westmount. ary. For those who live at relatively great distances from the school, especially those living off the island of MontrĂŠal, an obvious remark here would be that to be trapped in traffic is a common and irritating predicament. Parking space, as it appears to the untrained eye of the third party, is not a deserving problem. I am a stranger to this mode of transportation, but I can tell you with certainty that most parents do not, if you would be so kind as to turn a blind eye to my collo-
quialism, hit the highway right away. As my patience is long since defunct, it would not do to list all the possible itineraries departing from the school and disobey the word limit. There is a small, although not to the degree of measly, portion of the student body that rides the public transit system. The day omnibus stations in proximity include lines, in ascending numerical order, 24 (twenty-four), 104 (one-o-four), and 138 (one-thirty-eight). A
significant fraction of those who take advantage of the 24 do so to gain access to the Atwater and Guy Concordia metro stations. The 24 and 104 lead to Villa Maria and Vendome, respectively. The design of the fare system of STM, that of allowing a ticket to be used up to, but not including, an infinite number of times under a given amount of time, equilibrates the unattractiveness of transfers by cost-efficiency. Public transit users will find that their wallets bulge from the savings. The third, more traditional way of travel, often used in conjuncture with private and public transit, is hybrid transportation. Two omnibus lines belong to this category, namely the 11 (eleven) and the 00 (double O). The popularity of the latter has fallen short in the advancements in the private transit system, but the 11 stays strong. These are allow the student more control in travel than the omnibus and subway trains, and are marginally more energy-efficient than the small passenger cars and vans, but are simultaneous slower and not suitable for extreme weather. The 11 is the favoured method for Westmount residents, although it is not recommended for long-distance travel. All students, incidentally, use the 11 before transferring to another system. I have yet to see a 00 user.
Scheduling: A Nightmare
I'll Try Fitting You In Selwyn students are busy. From after school activities to shortened between-class intervals, scheduling is problem the change affecting students most. HouJi Yao has some answers to these questions.
hen people from other schools ask you what your school hours are, what would you say? There is no dispute about the starting time; it is 8:15. When it comes to the dismissal time, however, different students will have different answers. Some would say that it ends at 2:45. Others would say it either ends at 2:45 or 4:15, depending on the day. Others would simply say it ends at 2:45, but there is Phys. Ed. after. Besides the most evident reasons in which Selwyn House School differs from other schools – that it is an all-boys, English private school – one major difference is the way its schedule is configured. Unlike most schools whose day consists of periods less than an hour long, a Selwyn House day consists of a 4 periods of 75 minutes each, with a five-minute interval between classes and a morning recess of 20 minutes. The courses that count for the most credits have 6-7 periods per cycle, the less credited ones have 3-4. Those add up to 40 periods per cycle. A Selwyn House cycle is a 2 week rotation. Of course, Phys. Ed. is left out. Therefore, in this system, students take Phys. Ed. after school. That is the sad reality of Selwyn House. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, Senior School students have to attend their athletic option for the season. On those days, unless otherwise specified, they are dismissed at 4:15. For Middle School
students, they have Phys. Ed. on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, the latter starting at 1:30 and ending at 2:45. I hope that I am not the only one that hates the idea of having long school hours. Who is happy to be in school for 8 hours? Yet, this is the reality that these students face. Some people just think 4:15 is slightly too late. Others think that the schedule needs a change. Currently, to have 5 periods in a day, we would need 6 hours and 15 minutes of school time, without counting the 75 minutes of accumulated pastime we have. That is a highly demanding schedule. Combined with some transportation time to and from school, some students can be away from home for up to 12 hours per school day. On other days, one only has 4 periods a day. Wouldn’t it be better to have a uniform schedule throughout the week like many other schools? This brings into question the necessity of the 75 minute period. When you have a teacher only 3 times every two weeks, what difference does it make if you see him/ her for 225 min vs. 180 min? There is hardly any. If you miss one of those classes, the next time you have one of those classes could be in 2 weeks time. The course will hardly progress due to the time lapse. That is not ideal if you are taking Spanish courses! nstead of having 75 minute periods for a combined total of 46 per cycle, why don’t we have 60 minute periods for a total of 50, with a 5 minute pastime. That way, there is the guarantee of seeing each teacher at least twice a week under normal circumstances. 5*60 is equivalent to 4*75, and only slightly less than 5*75. Under this schedule, students will be dismissed by at
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most 3 o’clock each day (TAG considerations). This offers students a less occupied cycle. With the time saved, they can be doing other stuff, e.g. playing an instrument, practicing athletics, spending time with family and friends, or asking teachers for after school help. It could also make up for the time lost during transportation. However, this is easier said than done. There would be endless considerations before this can be a reality. The most important one Schedules Our current system doesn’t help reduce the burden of kids’ already full schedules. is how to structure this schedule. Will we have 4 in the Also, this raises the question class. While it will be a bummer morning and 1 after lunch? 3 and 2? of Phys. Ed. Having Phys. Ed. in for the class missed, other classes 2 and 3? Ultimately, it depends on the morning can be a disaster, as won’t have to suffer the same fate. our lunch hour. As Selwyn House is it can affect student’s punctuality Seventy-five minutes is 15 minutes a K-12 institution, changing lunch for other classes. Also, as we are more than 60, and these minutes hours can be an issue. If we keep a unified school, the faculty and can be put to effective use, especially it at the status quo, we would have facilities are also shared. There will when watching a movie. Under the an overload of classes in the mornbe disputes about the gymnasium current schedule, we can watch full ing. If we change lunch to 11:30, schedules, as well as faculty issues. movies and do some productive work the elementary school’s schedule The best solution is to separate the after. If we watch a 90 minute movie, would have to move. If we move two, but the motive (to implement we still have an hour of work time it to 12:30, they will starve in the a 5*60 schedule) is unconvincing. versus in a 60 minute period, our morning; if we move it to 10:30, There is also the other side of work time would be halved. This is they will starve in the afternoon. the story. There are actually benefits also practical for Phys. Ed. classes.
There are actually benefits to the current system
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to the current system. As a student generously pointed out, “the days here are longer than at most schools, we can have less than the required 180 day minimum.“ Hence, that is why we start after Labour Day, have two weeks off for March break and finish in mid-June. Also, when the periods are longer, events such as assemblies will only affect one
You would be amazed at the lack of progress made in shorter gym classes. Also, team sports can have actual practice sessions, without having to resort to meetings after school. Major changes have already impacted the schedule already, so don’t think that things are set in solid stone. These changes will be based on the general opinion of the student body.
The Spread of MMA
These days, Mixed Martial Arts is the talk of the town. But it wasn’t always that way. Sports analyst Andrew Aziz examines rise of a sport that are uneasy with and others can’t get enough of.
hen Dana White took over the UFC in 2001, he had a vision to turn Mixed Martial Arts into a major sport. With deals like purchasing Strikeforce and a 7-year contract with Fox, it’s safe to say it’s growing, and fast. Although UFC is the most popular company that features MMA fights, other organizations like Strikeforce and Bellator are growing also. Since Zuffa has purchased Strikeforce the ratings have jumped drastically. Bellator is on the verge of a big deal with Spike TV, and in Japan, MMA is huge. Japan is one of many places that Mixed Martial Arts is expanding to. It has been to places like Canada, England, Brazil and Germany. China is next, rumour has it. Steam should get it. Trust me, you won’t regret it. It’s turned into a good sport. What I mean by good is that they got rid of all the moves that are considered cheap, even soccer kicks on the ground, which could seriously hurt a person. Overall, the sport has changed into a more organized form, and this has attracted and converted fans and critics alike. It has changed the opinions of the otherwise narrow minded John McCain, and of many fans. Even boxing fans have made the switch, just like TV watchers made the switch from Analog to Digital. Today it averages about 3M dollars every Pay-Per-View event, and easily gets over a million viewers on free TV cards. It has come a long way since Royce Gracie in 1993.
The UFC helped build the sport of MMA through its various promotions and commercial ventures
Let’s go back to 1993, and see why this business was made. In 1993, Royce Gracie created the UFC to showcase Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He believed that B.J.J. was the most dominant form of fighting. Royce, a 170 pounder, went up against men 60 to 120 pounds bigger than him, but still ended up winning. Until 2001, the sport was not popular, but it did produce some future stars. Some of those stars are even in the UFC today. In conclusion, the UFC helped build the sport of MMA through its various promotions and commercial ventures. Some other organizations also help build up the sport. Whether you like it or not, Mixed Martial Arts is a sport that will be here for a long time, and at the top for a long time.
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NFL 2011 Team Report
How well has your favourite team played so far in this exciting new NFL season? Andrew Aziz has all the answers.
t’s been 5 weeks, and there have been a lot of surprises and disappointments so far this year. This season has been quite exciting in truth. I’ll breakdown every team, and talk about their pro’s and cons.
Arizona Cardinals It seems like that Kevin Kolb trade has not paid off. The former Eagles backup has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns, and their defense has just been awful sometimes. They’ve have no rush deNFL ‘11-12 These 5 weeks have been full of surprises and disappointments on the football field. fense and their pass the Packers, and their pass defense defense has been mediocre at best. ning back is having another great year, has been good too. Brent Grimes is The thing with the Cardinals is that and Joe Flacco seems to be coming instead of being 1-4, they could easily having another good year, and new around. He needs to stay consistent addition Kelvin Hayden is doing well be 3-2. Kevin Kolb has to look at his and he has the receivers around also. They just need to stay consistent targets, like Larry Fitzgerald, Todd him to succeed. He has Anquan throughout the game, and they’ll be Heap and Early Doucet, and if there Boldin, Torrey Smith and Ray Rice, back at the top of the standings. not there then just dump it to the if needed. This is a team that could running back. He needs to start stepmake a run if they make the playoffs. Baltimore Ravens ping up or this team is going nowhere. Defense wins championships! The Buffalo Bills Ravens have won 2 of their games Atlanta Falcons Nobody circles the wagon like the just off their defense. They beat the The Falcons are very inconsistent. Buffalo Bills! They’ve gone through Jets by defensive scores, and they beat They are either very good or very a lot, but they’ve come around. Their the Steelers by defensive scores. Their bad. Against the Bears, and the Bucs, defense is playing very well. Their D defense is definitely there, their runthey’re bad. Against the Seahawks is playing so well, they intercepted and Eagles, they’re good. First half Tom Brady and Michael Vick a vs the Packers, they’re good, second total of 8 times this year (4 times half… bad. Matt Ryan is playing well, each). Their run defense has been Michael Turner is playing well, the pretty good, but not great; that’s the O-line has been okay, but they need part of their defense that has been to play better. Tyson Clabo seems the worse. Last year it was the 32nd to be the only good player on that ranked run defense (worst in the line. On defense, their pass rush has NFL), and 30th the year before. It’s been very good, especially against somewhere they can improve. Their
There’s been a lot of surprises and disappointments
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offense has been terrific. The Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick is using his intelligence and his skills to succeed. He has thrown 10 touchdowns to 4 interceptions, and he has the 7th best passer rating in the league. Their running back Fred Jackson is another big reason why their team is succeeding. He’s one of the best running backs in football right now. He’s averaging 5.3 yards a carry and has 5 touchdowns this game. He’s playing amazingly right now. This team is also tied for the division lead right now with the Patriots. Carolina Panthers Cam Newton has rejuvenated this offense. Steve Smith is producing career numbers, and Cam Newton has turned skeptics into believers. Although the defense is feeling the affects of losing their best defensive player Jon Beason, they have done a pretty good job in his absence. Their run defense is bad, as usual. Their run defense has not been good since 2005. Jon Beason’s injury won’t help that, and Thomas Davis’ torn ACL won’t help that either. That defense is filled with a bunch of good players like Charles Johnson, James Anderson, Jon Beason, Thomas Davis and Chris Gamble, but somehow they underachieve. Back to the offense, Deangelo Williams had a slow start to the year, but has turned the corner and had a big game against the Saints. Although the Panthers may not do anything with this season, their future is looking bright, and don’t be surprised if they make the playoffs next year. Chicago Bears If there’s a team that is not performing like they should, it’s the Bears. Jay Cutler is playing very badly, Matt Forte of one the most inconsistent running backs in football,
and their defense is showing signs of aging. Their defense is not like it used to be. Brian Urlacher is still playing well, and the same with Lance Briggs, but Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings are playing pretty badly. Both players have played in the Bears type of defense for several years now. Charles Tillman has been there for years, and Tim Jennings used to play for the Colts who use Tampa 2, the exact same scheme as the Bears. Jay Cutler is one of the main problems. His completion percentage (54.3%) is horrible and he’s not making any plays, but it’s hard to make plays when your best receiver is Roy Williams or Johnny Knox. They lost to 2 good teams, nearly lost to a mediocre one, and beat a good team. Things need to stay consistent there, or someone’s going to go, whether it be Lovie Smith or Jay Cutler. Cincinnati Bengals Their future is bright… that’s all I can say. Their division is too tough and their remaining schedule is too tough for them to do any damage or gain any ground, but they have had some great wins against the Bills and the Jaguars. They came back to beat both. AJ Green is going to be a great receiver one day, and it looks like that second round pick on Andy Dalton was worth it. He’s producing. Cedric Benson is also having a good year. Their defense is playing very well. They rank number 1 in total yards, number 3 in pass defense, and number 7 in rush defense, but with guys like Carlos Dunlap, Domato Peko, Michael Johnson, Leon Hall (their best defensive player), and Dhani Jones, they should be very good. Their offense is too young to do anything big, and with teams like the Steelers (twice), the Ravens (twice), the Texans, and the Titans is going to be tough to do well.
Cleveland Browns The Browns are not playing well. Colt McCoy was supposed to excel this year, but that clearly has not come true. Peyton Hillis is playing well, but not good enough to carry this offense. The defense is playing badly, and the only bright spot on this defense seems to be Joe Haden. Their only two wins are against teams that have a combined record of 0-9. They need to step up their play, and get some big wins under their belt, or it’s going to be another high draft pick for the Browns. Dallas Cowboys Wow the Cowboys are one crazy team! The thing with the Cowboys is that they could be 4-0, but they could also be 0-4, so they’re 2-2 right in the middle. Tony Romo is inconsistent, something that needs to stop. Their running game has been mediocre at best. Their defense is playing better than last year, much better. They’ve been great against the run, and they’re number 3 in total yards. Demarcus Ware is having another great year, and their defensive backs are playing better. Really, the only problem with the Cowboys is Tony Romo. He threw away 2 games, their only 2 losses. They’re a team that if they make the playoffs, could make a charge, but that’s only if Romo plays well. They give him good protection, it’s just Romo. Denver Broncos Ouch! This team needs help, and fast. Their offense is playing pretty well, but their defense… is playing horribly. Their opponents have scored an average of 28 points a game against them, and with this offense, they’re going to lose most of their games. Kyle Orton is playing pretty well, but he should
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be playing better. Their offensive line is underrated, they have Ryan Clady, Chris Kuper and Orlando Franklin, all solid players, especially Clady. Their defensive scheme needs to improve; they need to play more man-to-man, especially with man 2 man specialists in Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman. Champ Bailey was great in man-to-man coverage’s back in the early 2000s with Larry Coyer (the ex defensive coordinator). It’s safe to say that if this defense keeps playing like this, they’re going nowhere, but the top… of the draft. Detroit Lions The surprise team of the year; The Lions are 4-0, and expected to win against the Bears on Monday night. Calvin Johnson is having a phenomenal season, and Stafford is having a good season too. Calvin Johnson has 8 touchdown receptions, which is half of the Roddy White’s touchdowns last year (15), and it’s only been 4 weeks. Their defense is playing very well. Although their best cornerback is injured, Chris Houston has carried the load, and done a very good job. Their linebackers are playing well, and their D-line has been very good. Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams and Kyle Vanden Bosch have been solid. This team has a good chance at making the playoffs, something they haven’t done in over 10 years. Green Bay Packers The Packers are the best team in football right now. They have the MVP of the NFL right now in Aaron Rodgers, and their looking very good. Although they barely beat the Saints, and the Panthers, they pulled off dominate wins vs the Broncos and the Bears. Their defense is looking very good, even without Nick Collins, and Clay Matthews having a slow start. To make this simple: they’re
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destined to go back to the Super Bowl, and by the looks of it they will. Houston Texans This team is looking good. The addition of Wade Phillips has been amazing. They changed to a 3-4 defense, and they’ve become of one the best run stopping defenses in the league, and also they’ve become better at pass rushing. Mario Williams had a great start to the year, but may miss the rest after suffering a bad pectoral injury. Their offense is shining, and even without Arian Foster they shined with Ben Tate taking over the duties. When Foster returned, he returned to his old form. Matt Schaub is having another good year, and the Texans are using him just right; not too much or not too little. With the Jags and the Colts seemingly out of it, their only compition are the Titans, who are without their star receiver for the rest of the year. Indianapolis Colts The Colts are feeling the effects of the loss of Peyton Manning. There’s a reason why he’s won the MVP award a record setting 4 times. Although their running game has gotten better, they seemingly wasted 4 million dollars and 4 weeks of the season on Kerry Collins. Their offensive line has been plagued with injuries, starting with right guard Ryan Diem in Week 2, and Ben Ijalana and Anthony Castonzo in Week 4. The Colts signed Quinn Ojinaka, who did a great job vs the Chiefs, and he should start there, because Jeff Linkenbach is playing horribly. On defense, Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner are #1 and #2 in tackles in the NFL, but is that necessarily a good thing? Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis have 4 sacks each, and guys like Drake Nevis has provided great pressure. Antoine Bethea has been solid for the Colts,
and Melvin Bullit had a great season opener vs the Texans, but he injured himself that game and his season is over, and his future is uncertain with the Colts. The Colts cornerbacks have done horribly. Jacob Lacey is not a capable starter, and Terrence Johnson is not a good replacement. They need to bring someone in from off the street, like former Colt Ray Fisher who shined in the earlier part of the 2010 Colts training camp. The Colts have a lot of things to fix, but the team is coming along. Jacksonville Jaguars The Jaguars should have never released David Garrard. He knows that system better than Gabbert, and he’s more comfortable with guys like Marcedes Lewis, Mike Thomas, and MJD. Maurice Jones Drew is having another great year, and Blaine Gabbert is playing pretty well. The defense is really letting them down. Paul Posluzny is not giving them the leadership and tackles they wanted from him. The coaching has been horrific, and it’s a safe bet that Jack Del Rio is gone after this year. The Jags need to mix up the pass and the run better, because they’re really going run heavy right now. Their O-line is getting old, and they really have no real scary prospects, so things are not looking up for the Jags. Kansas City Chiefs As of week 5, things are looking up for the Chiefs. Matt Cassel got his mojo back, and the defense seems to be coming back after a 3 week absense. They seemed to have trouble facing the fact that one of their best defensive players, and their star running back are out for the year. Jackie Battle seems to be a good young prospect with a lot of talent. He’s putting Thomas Jones’ job in jeopardy. They need to keep pressuring the
Peyton Manning This 4 time MVP winner was the heart and soul of the Colts
QB on defense. That’s what did they last year so well, and that’s why their pass defense was so good. Like I said, things are looking up, as they are on a 2 win streak, against a tough Colts team and AP and the Vikings. Miami Dolphins Andrew Luck could not come any faster. The Dolphins are destined for the number 1 overall pick as they do not have a very good QB, their running back is garbage, and their defense alone is not good enough to win games. Their defense is still pretty good, but since Dan Marino retired, their main problem has been the offense. They should have never let go of Ronnie Brown. He was a good running back with some good skills. He underperformed in his last year, but that’s because the Dolphins relied on Chad Henne too much.
Another big problem in Miami is the coaching. Tony Sparano seems like a cheerleader out there. For an offensive minded coach, it’s funny how their offense stinks. He may be fired at the end of the year, but if they get Andrew Luck, watch out! Minnesota Vikings Well, Adrian Peterson is like Tom Brady, if he doesn’t have a perfect game their respected teams cannot win. Adrian Peterson had a huge game vs the Cardinals and the Vikings won that game. They need Donovan McNabb to wake up. He has Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe, and Bernard Berian. The playmakers are there, he isn’t. The defense has been pretty good, good enough for that if the offense is good they can win. The offensive line is another suspect. Since Charlie Johnson has come
to town, the opposing teams have gotten a lot of pressure on McNabb. That doesn’t help. For Vikings fans, hope that Adrian Peterson can have a 4000 yard season, or it’s going to be another year of disappointment. New England Patriots After a somewhat quite year, Wes Welker is back. He’s on pace to get 2254 yards of receiving, which would shatter every record. Tom Brady is playing very well, but he’s already thrown 6 interceptions, so it’s not the ideal start, but nevertheless a very good one. On defense, they’re looking very weak. Not even the great Bill Belicheck can fix this defense. They lost their 2nd best defensive player in Jerod Mayo, and their line-backing core has been mediocre at best even with Mayo. Vince Wilfork, funny enough, has as many interceptions
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as Ed Reed (by Week 5). He’s just a monster. Bill Belicheck is holding that team together, and without him there going to have a tough time winning. Benjarvus Green-Ellis is running with authority and could be heading to another 1000-yard season. The Patriots O-line is superb, as they are the best offensive line in the league. They have some nice prospects in Steven Ridley and Nate Solder. It’s looking like another good season for the Patriots, but the playoffs are another story. New Orleans Saints The New Orleans Saints have doing quite good so far. Drew Brees is having another good year filled with a bunch of passing yards, and he has seemed to have found his new favorite target: Jimmy Graham. I said that Jimmy Graham is the next Antonio Gates, and it seems that I could be correct, this kid is a beast. Darren Sproles has added a great spark to this team, a bigger one than Reggie Bush (plus he’s cheaper). Mark Ingram has done pretty well, but he’s only to flourish in a couple of years. On defense, they’ve been surprisingly average. They’ve missed Jonathan Vilma, as the opposing teams are running over them. Lucky for them they’ve faced pretty easy teams so far, but it looks like it’s going to be another NFC South win by the Saints. New York Giants Year after year I wonder if they’re the real deal, and it’s the same this year. They go out and beat the Cards and the Eagles, but then lose badly to the Seahawks. Tom Coughlin is an interesting fellow. Their offense has been good, Eli Manning is throwing many more touchdowns than interceptions, and the running game has been good with Ahmad Bradshaw. Their defense has been
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quite good, especially their D-line. Their best defensive lineman so far has been Jason Pierre Paul who has recorded 4.5 sacks thus far. They need to stay consistent and that all leads back to the coaches. New York Jets Same deal as the Giants. They’re very inconsistent, and Mark Sanchez has not proven to anyone that he’s ready to join the elite QBs. He’s shown little progress as a starter in the big apple, and has relied on his defense to do well. Now the defense is not playing well, and the Jets are not performing. Rex Ryan needs to pump up his players. That’s what makes him so good, the last 2 years he made his players that they were the best, even though they weren’t and that took them to 2 AFC Championship games. They need to get motivated and when they do, watch out! Oakland Raiders RIP Al Davis, a man who was crucial in the development of football. Now as for the Raiders, they’ve been playing well. Darren McFadden is having another great year, and he’s arguably the best running back in football right now. Jason Campbell seems to like this system, a run heavy system. Their defense is playing well also. Tyvon Branch is blossoming into a really good hard-hitting safety, and his partner Matt Giordano is one of the hardest working players I’ve ever seen. When he was with the Colts he ran down Devin Hester and tackled him, but it was in the endzone. He’s fast and tough. Their defense is gritty, and the same with the offense. Their tough those Raiders, and their coaching is good. They’re motivated and dangerous. Philadelphia Eagles Well, things didn’t go as planned.
They showed off all the players they got, but all they really got was a 1-4 record. Michael Vick is playing terribly. For a guy who played so well last year, he’s thrown almost as many interceptions as touchdowns. They have gotten good things from Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins, but they’re missing the most important thing on a defense, a linebacking core. When Moise Fokou is your best linebacker , you have a problem. Their safeties, the last line of defense, are garbage also. Jarrad Page has done nothing since his arrival and Kurt Coleman has no tackling skills. That’s the reason every running back has run over them. Frank Gore, Fred Jackson, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Michael Turner. Things need to turn around quick or Andy Reid will find himself sitting in his home without a job. Pittsburgh Steelers The Steelers have been inconsistent and plagued with injuries. The O-line, the core of your offense has been plagued with injuries, and it’s the reason why they can’t run the ball, and Ben Roethlisberger is getting killed out there. Roethlisberger has since gotten better since his Week 1 blowup vs the Ravens. The defense is playing better as the weeks go on. Troy Polamalu is playing like he did last year, and Ike Taylor is getting the recognition he deserves. He’s one of the best coverage cornerbacks in the league, plus he’s a great tackler. The Steelers pass rush has been good, but James Harrison is injured and his return is uncertain. The Steelers are getting better, and I would like to see a rematch between them and the Ravens. San Diego Chargers The Chargers are looking really solid. Although they haven’t faced some easy teams, Philip Rivers is
playing well, and they got their running game back. Ryan Matthews and Mike Tolbert are playing well. On defense, the loss of defensive coordinator Ron Rivera has not hurt them that much. They’ve been playing well on D, but not as good as last year. Eric Weddle is playing well, and his partner Bob Sanders is on the IR. At the end of the day they’re 4-1 and that’s what matters. The Chargers always start badly and end well. Now they’ve started well, let’s see how they finished. Norv Turner isn’t the greatest coach, but he’s making it work and that’s what matters. San Fransisco 49ers Jim Harbaugh has saved this organization and team. He was a great player with the Colts in the 90’s, he was a great coach at Stanford and now he’s a great coach here. Alex Smith seems to have finally found his stride, only 6 years later. Frank Gore is really living up to his current contract. He’s having an outstanding year. Over the offseason, they acquired Carlos Rogers, and Donte Whitner who have been great for this team, making their weak pass defense into a good one. Justin Smith is playing well, like usual and the best linebacker in the game Patrick Willis is living up to his title. He’s just a tackling machine. Noone can get passed him. This team is looking very good, especially with that weak division. Seattle Seahawks What a greatly confusing team. They get destroyed by the Steelers, but defeat the Giants. Their quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is questionable, by that I mean that he’s inconsistent. At least he has good feet. Overall, this team has the least amount of skill in the NFL, but somehow they’re 2-3. There’s one man who should take all the credit and it’s
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Pete Carroll. He’s an intelligent coach, who knows the game better than a lot of other coaches. He’s very good. With the 49ers in the division and tearing it up, they need to have a string of wins just to have a chance at the playoffs. Otherwise, their chances are quite doubtful. St Louis Rams The biggest disappointment so far this season, and it’s just too bad. Sam Bradford had an insanely amazing rookie season (for a rookie), and he was expected to become a great quarterback this year. That hasn’t happened. Steven Jackson has been injured. Their offense has been their biggest problem. Their defense has been pretty good, James Laurinitis keeps emerging, and keeps getting better. The coaching is not the problem, having your offense not score is the problem. If they can get the offense going, they can succeed, but is it too late for the Rams? All we can do is wait and see. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Their quarterback has thrown 3 touchdowns to 6 interceptions; it’s looking like his rookie season all over again. LaGarrette Blount is a monster and is turning into the African American Larry Csonka. Like many other teams, they’re inconsistent, they beat the Falcons one week, then lose by 45 to the 49ers another. They have a young team and what they need is maturity. Although I still think they have a good shot at the playoffs, I don’t think they will. They’re just too young. Their defense needs to improve, and they still have a hole left by Barrett Ruud who was signed by the Titans in the offseason. Their D-line is good, but their linebackers are quite weak and their safeties are pretty bad. Their coach is great, so let’s see where he goes after a 45 point loss to the
Tennessee Titans I think the best sigining of the offseason was Matt Hasselback. He has turned this team into a great team, something Kerry Collins and Vince Young had trouble doing. He’s won even though Chris Johnson failed to reach 100 total rushing yards through 3 games. They lost their best receiver, but who did Matt play with in Seattle. His best receiver for years was Bobby Engram. The defense has been playing solidly even after losing Babin and Tulloch. They’re playing with intensity, and Mike Mushak has done a great job replacing Jeff Fisher. The Titans and the Texans will have to battle it out for the AFC South title, and most probably a playoff spot. Matt Hasselback has experience and if at the top of their games, Chris Johnson is better than Arian Foster. The Titans are a good sleeper pick going forward. Washington Redskins I guess Rex Grossman was right. They really do have the best team in that divison. Mike Shannahan is molding this team, and all they did was get better than last year. Santana Moss is looking great again, plus Ryan Torain is running well. Their defense is great, surprisingly, as Laron Landry is leading this defense to injury. Their linebackers are great, London Fletcher seems to be like a fine wine, only better with age. Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo also add great pressure on the opposing quarterbacks. With the Eagles playing badly, the Cowboys and the Giants playing inconsistently, who knows maybe the Redskins will sneak into the playoffs. If you have read all of this article I sincerely congratulate you. That’s just the around all the NFL team reports through Week 5. Stay tuned for more.
Build That Wall!
As far as “intellectual gaming” goes, this game is well off. A great playing atmosphere doesn’t hurt either. However, perfect gaming is hard to come by. Nico Claxton examines the pros and cons of Bastion.
o begin with, Bastion is really good. This one could be the best indie game of the year. If you are unsure about getting it, do so. It’s a great game for people who owns Steam (The computer gaming client, not evaporated water), and for $15 (a quarter of the price of most popular games today), it is unlike anything else. This game has a great storyline, compelling characters, good gameplay, and some amazing sound and visuals. Unfortunately, the game let me down in its length, its ending, and it’s lacking in interaction with NPCs. The game is set after an event called “The Calamity”, which destroyed most of the world, leaving only several floating islands to explore, including the house that you were sleeping in. The player must then set off to rebuild the Bastion using crystal cores, restoring parts of the world before The Calamity. After waking up, the game shows us the narrator, who describes everything the player does. His voice is the most calming voice I’ve ever heard in a game, and really helps set the atmosphere. He is the character that makes the game. The game explores actual moral dilemmas, which the player needs to think about, i.e. not a simple obvious good or obvious evil answer. For example, a core plot element is that in the past, your town was at war with another. You must make a decision
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on how to deal with conflict between them. Combat is also great, with a need of skill necessary, but you are never completely overwhelmed by the amount of enemies. By the end of the game, you have access to a plethora of weapons, each completely different than another. If you prefer running straight into battle, than maybe you would take the war machete. Or, if you prefer dealing with problems from a distance, you could take an army carbine and snipe them from afar. The soundtrack to this game is beautiful. The game’s signature song “Build That Wall” really sets the scene in this game. It builds a feeling of sadness and loneliness, of complete isolation and desolation. But underlying it is a feeling of hope; hope that there may be salvation from this disaster yet. The visuals for this game are truly astounding, as demonstrated by the picture. They really give an impression of a society trying to recover from devastation in order to restore life to the way it was. I have a few complaints about this game. It’s rather short compared to most single player games. The ending is my main complaint about this game. Without giving too much away, there are two endings, and which one you get is made by a decision right at the end of the game. The interaction with the Non Player-Controlled Characters is limited to asking them about artifacts from the old world. There needs to be more interaction with them, maybe fighting with them or something of the sort. But for $15, it’s a must have. This game is an experience unlike any other. Overall, a stupendous game, and anyone who owns an Xbox or who has downloaded Steam should get it. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
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