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The Excalibur

section Editor • Natasha vitale

may 20, 2009 • volume 19, Issue 9

Point… Counterpoint

‘Froshmore’ title helps push failing kids Matthew Tradewell Editor-in-Chief

Although not labeled with bright neon signs or a form of a “Scarlet Letter,” freshmen who do not earn enough credits to be considered sophomores have been branded with the name “froshmore.” This name is not official, but the act of giving them this alternate title may just be the motivation that these credit lacking students need to push through their current class status. There is no mockery involved with the title but knowing that one is not officially a sophomore could help a student acquire the desire to step up their academic game. Not only do the students feel left behind and in need of catching up, they may actually want to take charge of their own life. Some common characteristics of a failing freshmen are bad attendance, low homework turn-in rates and failing test scores. Their situation is rarely due to anything other than their own failure to show up and do the assigned work. With Lancer Learning Time in place, students

have run out of excuses for not completing assignments. By not falsely promoting students to sophomores and prolonging the inevitable wake-up call, these students may get the additional push and start coming to class regularly, improving their homework scores, and increasing test percentages all because of the fear of a name. While sticks and stone may not break your bones, these words may help to improve you. Students who are not considered sophomores by school rules should not be granted with the title; by giving them the honor of feeling a year older, the school is letting them accept that even with failure there is reward. Life does not work this way, so neither should a school environment. Froshmores should be branded with the name, and relief will come with their work and desire to change it. No one holding these students back except themselves; giving them a social promotion only fools students into thinking that everything is really okay—when it’s really not.


‘Froshmore’ title leaves students behind Natasha Vitale Section Editor

freshman standing: Seniors Matthew Tradewell and Natasha Vitale argue over the “froshmore” title. jerome bwire photo

Casual glances at random students in the halls don’t give anyone enough information to jump to conclusions. Is the student a freshman or a sophomore? Is the student passing his/her classes? At the end of every year, some students do not have enough credits to move up to the next class, but they must continue on anyway. When freshmen do not have enough credits to become sophomores, they have become known as “froshmores” and continued to be categorized as freshmen until they earned enough credits to move on to the next grade. Following new state legislation, this practice has been discontinued this spring, and freshmen are benefitting from that. The freshman year is arguably the turning point when students decide what they are going to achieve in high school for the next four years. Will the students take honors level classes? Have good attendance?

Get good grades? All of this is decided by students in their first year and most likely carries on to the next year for anyone short of credits who is considered to be a “froshmore.” Being in the “danger-of-notgraduating” zone by your second year of high school does nothing to boost students’ morale. Students who feel there is no way they can catch up after falling behind may just give up instead of even trying. Being considered a sophomore even when credit deficient gives the students who want to turn their high school experience around the confidence and incentive to do so. While it has been argued that freshmen who don’t have enough credits to pass do not deserve to be considered sophomores, they will still have to work for the credit and are only sophomores in name. Thankfully, with the Freshman Academy helping students meet this goal, the few who still get left behind should not be singled out. So why not give freshmen the extra push to do what they can? It will keep more students working towards their goal and more students will be able to graduate.

A ‘healthy tan’ becomes anything but healthy Katie Isham

Managing Editor

Clearly, tan is in. With the media pushing the image of tanned, thin young women, the American public thinks it to be the only acceptable look. A tan is supposed to reflect good health, athleticism and enough leisure time to be outdoors a lot. Individuals born white as snow struggle and pay a huge expense to have a look which they think is the only right one. However, the consequences of this

addictive phenomenon is offered at tanning salons that can be found everywhere, where girls and sometimes even boys spend minutes and even hours under fake UV rays, ultimately destroying their skin. Although tanning salons receive high revenue themselves, they are creating a bigger problem for their customers. In fact, for some, the tanning business may even be life-threatening. The UV rays inside of a single tanning bed are the most dangerous, more dangerous than real rays given from the sun. Such engagement with tanning can cause life-threatening effects such as skin

cancer. The most devastating of these skin cancers from living a life of tanning is melanoma, which begins in skin cells called melanocytes. When the melanocytes receive too much ultraviolet light, they become abnormal, ultimately leading to melanoma. It’s ironic that until the 20th century, women did anything they could to avoid getting a tan; tans showed you were a person who had to work outside—you were a farmer, a peasant. Some of the make-up women used for the “pale” look was as harmful as tanning is today: it contained potentially lethal amounts of lead. Risk-

ing one’s health to achieve a certain look is, therefore, nothing new. The pressures put in front of everyday Americans is difficult. Although media may tell the world that everyone has to look a certain way just to be accepted does not mean that the world should follow its wishes. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, no matter what color one’s skin may be. Instead of spending thousands of dollars trying to look like everyone else, individuals should try to embrace themselves for what they look like and simply learn to be happy in their own skin.

Thumbs up, Thumbs down


Fine Arts Dessert Night

The “Under the Sea” theme was cool and everyone agrees its a step up from last year’s prom.

The arts department pulled off a great night! Everything was amazing from the food to the entertainment.

Knight of Honour

Upcoming Graduation

Congratulations to students who receievd awards and scholarships! Despite being a long night, students were being recognized for their hard work.

Congratulations, Class of 2009! Get ready to walk across the stage to your future!


Katie isham Natasha Vitale Congratulations to students who receievd awards and scholarships! Despite being a long night, students were being...