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Spring 2011

Floors 7 & 8? The Future of Muchin By Logan Headtke Next school year marks the first time Muchin College Prep will have three different groups of students: Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors. Although change is certain, there are some things that leave us wondering: What will the future of Muchin be like? Besides a brand new batch of freshman and new teachers, there will be new classes and added advisory field trips. There will almost certainly be more events like Baxter and Career Day. But will we have more dances, like prom? One can imagine more community service opportunities, more honors classes, and hopefully more space. The hallways will be full of so many new people—where will they fit? Construction is likely to begin in the next couple years to expand Muchin’s domain, but what else might change? There may be more language options. The classes may start earlier for freshman and sophomores and end later for freshman. In addition, the neccessary space-sharing could alter lunch times and possibly even food options. There may be classes added to keep more Muchin students occupied for more time: astronomy, for instance, or more foreign languages. There could be more enrichment programs for after school. For instance, we could have a Robotics Team, a Swim Team, a Movie Club, and Chess Team. The possibilities remain open and only next year will tell, but it’s a question that has crossed many of our minds. Students have many questions but where do we go for answers? According to Mr. Reimer, “One problem Muchin is going to face is there are so many smart kids in one place.” Leaving us to wonder: Will we have to sacrifice time for space or space for time? Will the weight room turn into a gym? Will students have a place to park in the future? Will juniors ever have a prom? What about seniors? Are we going to press button 7 or 8 on the elevator for next year or will we have to share one floor? Will class periods be cut

down or will our sleep have to suffer to keep the solid GPA’s we all want ? One of Mr. Reimer’s advisory students felt that a parking lot might be neccesary. “Sooner or later students are going to get their licenses, and they are going to get a car but there will be no point when you can’t drive to school. Also, the school has good funding and it would be no surprise if we got one, besides, all public schools have one,” the student commented. But where will they put a parking lot if they haven’t even constructed a second floor for the most important thing: us? “The more students Muchin accepts—it would be a no brainer … it’s going to be a popular school since it is in the middle of downtown, in one of the best cities. It would have to have more floors,” the student said. There are still more questions to be asked, but Muchin is one of the best Noble Street campuses in Chicago. Though we might still wonder what is going to happen to our school we could consider it a surprise to all the students. Perhaps in the next couple of years Muchin will be the number one school not just in the city, but in time and space .


How Well do Your Advisors Know You?

Two students from the same advisory were interviewed about their relationship with their advisor. If you had a chance, what would you want to ask your advisor? Email us at muchinpawprint.com and let us know. Do you think your advisor knows almost anything about you? Amina: Maybe not everything, but some things yeah. Evelyn: Maybe not a lot of things. Ms. Fortner’s Advisory.

How well do you know your advisor? Amina: I know my advisor pretty well. Evelyn: I know her pretty well. What do you know about your advisor? Amina: I know that she’s really shy. Evelyn: I know that she has a boyfriend in California, and she’s shy sometimes What do you think your advisor does outside of school? Amina: Grade papers, go online, plan math lessons Evelyn: Go camping or biking.

Mr. Green’s Advisory.

Mr. Green’s Advisory.

Contents

Muchin Pawprint Student Editors, Spring 2011: Miguel Carmona Gabriele Eimontaite Alexis Foster Logan Headtke. 2

P.2 The Truth about your Advisors P.3 Advisoy Sampling P.4 The Race Conversation at Muchin P.5 Ms. Neal’s Take P.6-7 Opinion: GPA and What it Takes P.8 Summer in the City


How Well Do You Know Your Advisors?

Mr. Bennett

What college did you attend? I attended Indiana university for undergrad and George Washington for grad school.

Here at Muchin our advisors are here to help see us through our four years in high school and into college. Most advisors know their advises very well. However, most students don’t really know their adviWhat is your favorite hobby? sors personally. We should all know our advisors if we My favorite hobby is collecting are going to spend the rest of our high school experisneakers. ence with them.What are their passions? Where did they go to college? What subjects did they like when What is your favorite sports team? they were high school students? The Chicago Bulls We asked a few advisors some questions about them and here are their answers. It turns out, not surWhat is your life goal? prisingly, that advisors are people too. To be a loving father and husband. Also, to work as a professor at a university.”

Ms. Ziegler

How well do you know you know your advisees? Do you know them pretty well? Fairly well; yes.

How well do you feel you know your advisory? On a scale of one to ten I know them at about a nine. Contrary to what we sometimes may think, our advisors are people with lives of their own. They do not live in the school, they were teenagers once, they have hobbies and dreams outside of Muchin’s walls. If they take the time to get to know us, why not extend the friendliness and get to know them too?

What’s your favorite sport? I like to play tennis, but I like to watch hockey. What was your favorite class in high school? I really liked math in high school. It’s my favorite subject.

Mrs. Schnipke

What college did you attend? I attended Eastern Michigan university What is your favorite hobby? My favorite hobby is dancing.

Ohio State Buckeyes

What is your favorite sports team? Critchfield Advisory on a service trip.

What is your life goal? To close the education achievement gap

Think you know your advisor/advisees? Take advantange of the college or camping trips and find out for yourself.

How well do you feel you know your advisory? I feel like I know them well and it’s a pleasure to know them more each day.

Comming soon.... Visit us online to read these stories and more...

www.muchinpawprint.com 3


It’s About Race. No Joke.

By Alexis Foster & Miguel Carmona On Thursday, March 24, 2011, Principal Ms. Neal, of Muchin College Prep, called all the scholars to the Multi Purpose Room or MPR-- a medium-sized room overlooking buildings and a view of the lake. There was a joke going around the school. One that began with the sophomores and freshmen in the boys’ locker room. As Ms. Neal addressed the students, she put them on the spot, attempting to show people about how cruel racial jokes are. “How many people are Latino?” She asked. “Stand up. Keep standing if your parents clean.” Most of the Latino students stayed standing up. She told them to sit back down and then asked the same thing of the Asian students. “Stand up and keep standing if your parents work at a restaurant.” She said. Most of the Asians stood. She called on one Asian student, she asked, “What do your parents do for work?” The boy replied “My dad owns a restaurant.” “Oh he does?” Said Ms. Neal, “Isn’t that funny, that’s what most Asian people do; they own restaurants in Chinatown.” Was this true? Could it have been an Italian restaurant or French restaurant? It didn’t necessarily have to be an Asian restaurant. Many people left the room infuriated that day. The boy that she called on looked embarrassed, his is advisor asked him if he was ok. Could he have been offended by what Ms. Neal said? Could he have been too afraid to say anything about it? Perhaps. Another student, a female, expressed her thoughts in the hallway after school, “She could have handled it in a different way. She didn’t have to go off like that. Half of my advisory was crying; she could have addressed the issue differently.” But on Friday, March 25, 2011, during Freshman Big Group, Principal Ms. Neal apologized for her actions. One girl asked Ms. Neal why she only addressed the Hispanic race. Ms. Neal replied that she only addressed the Hispanic race because most of the school is made up of Latinos, and people with a Spanish backgrounds.

She told students that she should have addressed the issue differently, but that she is personally sensitive about jokes of that sort. “Stand up if anyone was offended by what I said.” She said. Nearly everybody stood up. “Anyone who was offended by what I said yesterday I’m sorry.” Then she went on to clarify her beliefs about the “N” word and how many people use it casually. “Is it right to use the word though?” She posed to the group. Some students tried to answer how to use the word but seemed confused with what it meant. One girl responded that it’s not right to use the word at all. Ms. Neal agreed and felt she needed to clarify her position. When the sudents left that day, there was a different feeling in the Muchin hallways. Perhaps, understanding was what was missing. Students must remember that Ms. Neal is human and makes mistakes. Some may think there was a lack of professionalism but Ms. Neal realized her mistake and apologized for it. Muchin is a diverse school. To be able to get along, students must learn to accept each other’s differences. If these differences were accepted, there would be no racial jokes to begin with. The blame cannot be fully put on Ms. Neal. Students must accept that they too are to blame. It is up to the students of Muchin to put a stop to the offensive jokes—not Ms. Neal.

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Talking to Ms. Neal

And Around the Nation...

By Miguel Carmona What made you want to apologize after the first day we talked about the jokes? I realized that many students misunderstood my intent when I was talking about stereotypes. This concerned me. I wanted to ensure that all of my students understood that I am offended by any racial stereotypes that are spread with malicious (bad) intent. It is one thing to talk about stereotypes, and another to create jokes and make “fun” of people. We have to be aware of our audience, and want to always make sure that if we are talking about race relations our audience knows our position.

While racial slurs occur in many schools around the nation, they are often unwelcome in any environment. Here are a few instances of other racial-slur incidents nationwide and how they were dealt with: In Birmingham, AL one student graffitied a bathroom wall. Though the student was African-American, the words used to denounce racism were graphic and provocative. The student was charged with “racial intimidation” and has currently been suspended with the possibility of expulsion. - WJBK Fox 2 Detroit

In Santa Cruz, CA a handful of students was suspended When you walked into the M.P.R the first day we following the discovery of racial graffiti on campus. talked about this what were your intentions? Students were identified when they showed up to school My intentions were to show how disappointed I wearing white supremacist clothing to a school photo was in the “joke,” and that everyone should have been shoot. The 5 students outed in the investigation will not disappointed and stopped it. However, people accepted be allowed to attend prom or walk at graduation. it, laughed at it, and only one person found issue with - San Jose Mercury News it. That is not how I want Muchin Scholars to react to racial comments. In Ft. Lauderdale, FL a school board member was asked to resign because of a racial slur made prior to her elecHow did the students responsible impact the way tion. A comment she had made while still working as you felt? school bus supervisor nearly 4 years ago was brought There were so many Scholars responsible, that to the foreground again in a letter from the superintenI was disappointed in the student body. The Scholars dent. After being reprimanded when the incident octhat received consequences were merely the ones that curred as well as apologizing, she was asked to resign got caught. They are no different than everyone else immediately when the issue was brought to the board’s that heard, repeated, and laughed at it. attention again. - msnbc.com Do you have any plans to prevent things like this from happening in the future? The play “To Kill a Mockingbird” was cancelled at a I don’t think I can prevent these types of things, Morgan County High school in Ohio this May when the but I can address and educate my Scholars on how to theater group performing the play stated that they could deal with them. not perform it without violating the districts racial-slur policy. Though the theater group, The Zane Trace PlayDo you have any concerns about how the student ers asked the company in ownership of the screenplay body will see you after these events? for permission to perform the play without the racial No, I think Muchin Scholars are smart enough slur, the company declined. A letter was sent home to to understand that I wouldn’t be here, or do what I do if I parents explaining the play’s harsh language and due didn’t love and care about all of them. I have choices in to concerns from parents and community members, the life, and realistically could be doing many other things. play was ultimately cancelled. However, I choose to be here with Muchin’s Finest! -Morgan County Herald What were your thoughts as you walked in to confront the students? Disappointment!

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Floating Among the Crowd Some of the Best and What By Gabriele Eimontaite They Want We have all seen the colorful and intended-for-

Duke University: -Rigor of academic program -Academic performance -Letters of recommendation -Extracurricular activities -Quality of thought and clarity of expression in -Personal essay -Standardized tests University of Illinois: -SAT/ACT scores -2 written essay samples no more than 300 words each -English proficiency requirements, including test scores -Extracurricular activities, service, and work experience -Awards received/honors earned Northwestern University -Common application -High school transcript -Teacher recommendation -Standardized test scores -Admissions Interviews Stanford University -Common application -Online application supplement -School reports and transcripts -Testing requirements-ACT/SAT scores and combined English/Writing scores -Teacher evaluations -Essays-one long and three short-answer

encouragement college flags throughout the school hallways. It seems as though everywhere we go, down every hallway that we walk, the images of the flags and, more importantly, the information beneath them follows us around. The little piece of neatly laminated paper, which seems so small means so much to so many of us. It haunts us, remains in our minds during every test, every quiz, and every homework assignment. We never allow ourselves to forget one little bit of the information from that small sheet of paper that contain the description of our future schools. Most of us never allow ourselves to let those not-so-fun facts bring us down. The competition is on, and now it’s crunch time. A little too early? No, it’s never too early, not even as a freshman student. Not if you’re aiming for one of the most prestigious universities in the state. We’re not going to admit that we pile on so much, especially here at a strict college prepatory school; that we take shots of energy drinks or drink coffee at just fifteen years old. Instead, we’ll remain cool and collected, at least we’ll try. We will float among the crowd of students and pretend that we aren’t exhausted from staying up all night working on a Collins assignment. We will not, under any circumstances (except for maybe a rejection letter from your dream school) allow ourselves to become overpowered by the pressure of the Ivy Legaues. It’s the competition within our school that gets to us. I don’t speak for everyone here, of course. There are students who got a case of freshman or sophomoresenioritis way back in the beginning of the year, and everything has been downhill ever since. But where there are a few slackers, there are many overachievers. Many of the students put so much effort into absolutely everything they do to impress colleges. What can come with that, as they set themselves up for greatness, is the unexpected stress in the years to come. It’s like waving a flag, standing tall on that college application and slapping the average students’ application in the face, going Chuck Norris and saying, “ Ha. You’re applying to this school? I took courses that seniors at this college took when I was just a freshman. Good luck.”

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3.8 to 2.7 in a few Absences Flat By Gabriele Eimontaite

At any other school it is possible, perhaps, to maintain a good GPA, but not here; don’t even begin to think that if you don’t show up, you’ll be okay; you won’t. Around the time that I saw my 2.7 GPA , I began Today really wasn’t my greatest day. From to wonder if this sort of thing does happen at other high the very morning, things were just going completely schools. I discovered that although it may at some, it wrong; I woke up late, missed my bus, and that was all won’t at all. Northside College Prep, for example, has an it took to ruin my entire day. attendance policy that includes excused absences, al So I wasn’t too surprised when, half way through the door, I heard my advisor say, “Gabby, are lowing students to make up work, quizzes, and tests. Their handbook doesn’t mention that points will be lost you okay?” I thought, yea why wouldn’t I be okay, I’m al- if one does not come to school. However, students with ways okay. But I understood why she would ask such extended absences are required to have a written note a question; I had been quiet all throughout advisory, from a medical professional stating the reason for the which isn’t very common for me. It’s likely that while student’s absence. Thankfully, Muchin does not require all of these thoughts sprinted through my head, my that. Ultimately, where one school is tough, another is face also expressed some emotion. She must have seen loose. And each has a system of balances to keep the a look of confusion because she said, “How did your students performance in check. mom react to your grades? Have they gotten better? Are Some Other Handbook Guidelines: Northside College Prep you doing okay?” I guess it’s pretty cool that she cares, but hon- Absences are excused for illness, death in the family, estly, if anyone cares the most about my grades and court appearances, a limited number of college visits and religious holidays. An excused absence allows you schoolwork, it’s not Mom, it’s me. “Yeah, I’m fine and my mom wasn’t exactly to make up work, quizzes, and tests. An unexcused abthrilled about my 2.7 GPA.” She was, after all, expect- sence disallows you from making up work, quizzes, ing a 4.0 so it’s safe to say she was pretty disappointed. and tests. My advisor’s face expressed a look somewhat close to awww I feel so sorry for you; pity, I guess you Lincoln Park High Shcool can call it. This didn’t necessarily upset me because I Poor attendance can penalize your child when applying to CPS Selective Enrollment programs. felt pretty sorry for myself as well. I received my progress report about two weeks Points for poor attendance are deducted from the stuprior during P.M. advisory. Once I glanced down at the dent’s overall score, when the application process is bebright blue slip of paper, I couldn’t believe that it could ing conducted. possibly be mine. The GPA section read 2.7; a dramatic decrease from a 3.8 in just one week. I slowly forced Science Academy of Chicago my eyes back up to the top of the paper to make sure Science Academy of Chicago publishes the grades on that it was mine. My stomach dropped and the once the Internet, parents are able to see them by using their meaningful world around me disappeared. All year, my passwords assigned by Science Academy of Chicago. GPA was above a 3.0 and now within just one week Parents share the responsibility with the student to check it had dropped to a 2.7. I began to think that only at the homework on the Internet. If a student is absent for more than one day, it is the student’s responsibility to Muchin can such a thing happen. Here at Muchin so many different things make call the teachers for homework. Arrangements are to be up our grade. We have class participation points, do made by student or parent for work to be picked up. If a now points, homework points, and everything else you student is absent for an extended period of time, homecan possibly think of. So what happens if you’re really work is to be returned to the teachers or administration sick, practically dying, or in the middle of a mid-life and additional work requests are to be made. crisis? Well, you’re GPA drops drastically, just as mine To find out more on Muchin’s policy, visit: http:// did. Even if you can barely get out of bed, at Muchin, muchincollegeprep.org/StudentCenter/StudentHandbook. it’s tough luck. 7


Summer in the City.... Or Elsewhwere

A Sampling of Students’ Plans

By Gabriele Eimontaite and Alexis Foster Here at Muchin students are expected to do something productive with their time off. We wondered what some of them had in mind...

On any given day, a handful of Muchin students can be seen in the computer lab after school talking or working on homework. The Pawprint staff chose a random afternoon to drop in and ask, “What are your plans for the summer?” Freshman Amina Bah talks about her plans for the sum- Here is a small slice of of Muchin students’ mer: agendas for the next few months. Amina: I think I will be more open minded, learn some “I’m basically going to do community service Spanish, and accept what I have in life and not take with a program I’m in. I’m also going to the beach. I advantage of it. love putting my toes in the sand. I like to go camping too; I love the great outdoors and I love shooting deer. Will this change the way you will come back? Just kidding.” Amina: Yes, I’ll be more positive. - Luis O. How did you get accepted into this program? Amina: I had to write four essays, have one recommendation, and an interview.

“I don’t really have plans. I’m going to plan my party and go to Miami on vacation.” - Daisy G.

What are the requirements for this program? Amina: I have to help around the community, so basically community service.

“I’m going to Florida for a week, probably getting a job, and going to the beach.” - Jasmine G. “Just stay home and then going to Canada.” - Yolanda M. “I’m hanging out with my friends and going camping.” - Ayanna B.

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We know that there are many of you doing service or academic programs. Some of you are even heading to colleges for special classes. What are you doing this summer? Tell us about your plans: Email us at: muchinpawprint@gmail.com


Muchin Pawprint Spring 2011