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s s e c ac

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Table of Contents


04 Access Denied

Cover Story: The server overloads due to prohibited downloading

06 The First Shot 07 Hip Hop Evolution

CHS’s first basketball game ever Travel the time line of hip hop evolution with Kyle

08 Overcoming Odds

First generation college students break family curses

09 Two of a Kind

Van White relates to Barack Obama

10 Coping and Conquering

Overcoming obstacles for a brighter future

12 After School Clubs of CHS The many extracurricular activities available at CHS


Lance’s Blog


In the Classroom


From the Editorʼs Desk



Bloc Staff

Staff Writers Justin CHRISTOPHER DeValla BURGOS David DUNN Starlisha FREEMAN Ali GOVANI Shovanni HENDERSON Queena JOHNSON DeAnna MCCOY Shaikeyla MILLS Chris SEMONS Tishaynna SMITH Tim SZUBA Dinah WATTS Ben WICKERSHAM Amy XIONG Nancy XIONG Stefanie XIONG Der YANG Design Ivan JAKACHIRA Tiffany LE Amy XIONG Adviser: J. O’Brien Editorial Policy: The purpose of The Bloc is to be a useful, thoughtprovoking and factual source of information for the students, staff, and community. It is also to be an open forum for students, teachers, and the community alike. It is to be entertaining yet enlightening for its readers. The Bloc upholds a high code of ethics in journalism, relying on responsible and respectful judgement of controversial topics. The Bloc is a monthly paper. To contact The Bloc: Call Jason at Community High School at (414) 934-4057, or email us at

Leap of Faith Throughout the evolution of The Bloc, many

Our cover story, Access Denied, investi-

students have put forth great effort in order

gates an incident that happened earlier in the

to produce a well-developed newspaper.

semester. Many students were download-

As Community High School continues to

ing huge documents, causing the server to

progress, the school’s paper is improving as well. In this light, the staff upgraded its approach to reporting the stories of CHS. Before, The Bloc was designed traditionally, with straight news, features, and editorials. This style, however, is more compatible with a daily

jam. As a result, the teachers logged into the computers using student’s ID numbers and deleted the content. This article will take you on a ride, touching a variety of viewpoints from teachers, students, and even the Constitution.

newspaper. In an effort to connect more with

There will also be stories covering extracur-

the audience and increase readership, The

ricular activities in the school. This is the first

Bloc has revamped its design approach from

year that CHS has a basketball team. Rox-

an orthodox 8-page publication to a 16-page

ane Mayeur’s advanced art class displayed

news magazine.

their artwork at an Alverno College art exhibit.

In the first issue, you will find profiles on 4

There is a guide through the school’s clubs on

individual students. The concept is based on

pages 12-13. Lastly, recurring departments

this anecdote: if you throw a dart on a map, go to that city, open up a phone book, and randomly pick a name, you would be able to get a story from that person. Likewise, the staff randomly chose names of students

consist of Lance’s Blog, Queena’s Corner, and In the Classroom. The first issue of The Bloc would have never been accomplished without the help of Fritz,

from all grade levels and assigned them to

Dustin, and Alex from C2. CHS is also launch-

the writers. Their goal was to write a story

ing a website for the newspaper,,

on that individual. Four profiles have been

which will feature work from this issue and

selected and are on pages 8-11.

also articles from the past papers.


TIFFANY Le Editor-in-chief


Cover Story





If students really want to shoot themselves in the foot and feel the pain, then I say go on and do it. - Roxane Mayeur

Ali Govani & Tishaynna Smith

The fourth amendment is an inalienable right, protecting citizens from unreasonable searches. Yet, “private” space provided at school is property of MPS. The Supreme Court in the 1990s ruled that school officials don’t need a warrant or probable cause to search a student or a student’s locker, but merely a ‘’reasonable suspicion.’’ How far does the law reach when dealing with a student’s right to virtual space?


n a normal day in a Community High School computer lab, you would see the typical sites and sounds: students typing on keyboards, students whispering to each other, students shuffling papers. You’d also see the not-so-typical: shifty faces trying to hide headphones full of music coming from mp3 players or the occasional “copy and paste” style of doing assignments.

Recently, though, something never seen before happened: everything stopped. Students and teachers were not able to login to the computer because of a system overload. Students were downloading music, videos, and pictures and saving it to their student number, causing the server – occupied by CHS, Work Institute, and Sarah Scott – to run out of room.

Only 2% of the server’s memory was available to be used for what servers do: store information. In an effort to fix the problem, the school spoke to the students who had done the most downloading. No serious action was taken other than a warning that further misuse could lead to more serious consequences.

Cover Story


With no penalties issued, the students’ competitive side came out. “I feel good. Teachers didn’t know that I’m the best computer user alive,” stated Darnell Sprewer, a freshman. Sprewer downloaded more files than anyone else. Finishing in second place was senior Marquise Smith. Some of the other runner-ups were Kevarris Borum and Deondre Bolden. As for the teachers, such a notion (clogging a six thousand dollar server is a game with winners and losers) was not appreciated. “If students really want to shoot themselves in the foot and feel the pain, then I say go on and do it,” said Roxane Mayeur, lead teacher at CHS. “Our concerns are just students using the computers at school as if they are personal computers filling up the server, not the race.” But how long have students been involved in the underground resistance?


Since the beginning of the school year, students have been continuously downloading music and pictures to their student number, thinking that their files were private and that no one would be able to find out. According to the Student Use Policy, which every student has to fill out at the beginning of the year, e-mail accounts and file materials are not private in nature and remain subject to monitoring by the school district. This means that even if students were to hide inappropriate files from teachers by using other people’s passwords and going to forbidden websites, Central Office has the right to record their data for 10 years and to block those websites. However, such counter-measures may not be enough.

“Password and Proxies”

“Passwords and proxies spread like wildfire,” said Ieshanoel Govani, a sophomore at CHS, while flipping her hair near the water fountain. With a student account, you have limited access to the Internet, whereas if you have

a teacher’s password, you have unlimited opportunities to the World Wide Web. But how would students get the passwords from teachers? Not as hard as it may seem. “You have to be careful with your password. It’s hard because you constantly use it and you never know if someone is looking over your shoulder,” said Dream Gunther, an English teacher who has had some history with her password being used inappropriately. When Gunther used to work at Vincent High School, she loaned her password out to a student teacher who then allowed someone else to find it. Four years later, after the student teacher received the password, he was arrested for chatting with a student on the schools webmail and meeting her outside of school. “Some teachers practically give their passwords away,” Regena Turner, a sophomore at CHS said. “They will type it in so students can get stuff for their work and the kids will stand behind them and get their password as they type it in.” Adding to the problem, students don’t even need an administrator’s password; they can get into forbidden sites with a proxy. According to, proxies are websites to unblock things on a computer. They also allow you to browse the computer anonymously and bypass school blocks. Some of the sites are, birdsflyfast. com,, and handsoffmycomputer. net.


Central Office is trying to stop proxies and students from accessing inappropriate websites, but what are they doing exactly? “They can’t know everything being downloaded and they can’t tell if it’s being used for good use. So, my job is just to put restrictions on any sites or files that Central Office tells me is misused,” said Joel, a technology support agent for Central Office who chose to use only his first name.

Some teachers practically give their passwords away. - Regena Turner


“Student Use Policy” According to the student use policy, the use of Internet is a privilege, not a right. Inappropriate use will result in a cancellation of those privileges and possible school discipline in accordance with the MPS Student Handbook. It also states that any user identified as a risk or having a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access to the Internet. Under




947.0125, students may be subject to criminal sanctions, if by means of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds or data, they threaten, intimidate, abuse,




person through electronic mail or other computerized communication systems.



The First Shot



“He has a basketball game to play in front of the whole school - for the first time in CHS’s history.” There is an obnoxious background noise in the classroom as students are ribbing, wrestling, and loud-talking each other, while Courtney Simmons, senior and member of the “Black” basketball team, tunes out his surroundings by listening to music from his i-Pod. Simmons calls it “getting in the mode” when he listens to music before performing in front of a crowd. Today is not just an ordinary day, Simmons thinks to himself, as his music relaxes him. He has a basketball game to play - in front of the whole school for the first time in CHS’s history. Nervous? “A little bit. I mean, I ain’t too nervous cause everybody knows me, but just playing in front of the school for the first time is where a little nervousness comes in.” The game, hosted on March 20, 2008, was the first of many for Community High, thanks to Sergio Ferguson, 10th grader and captain of the Black team. Ferguson created the whole idea of having co-ed intramural basketball offered as a school activity. CHS’s intramural basketball program is composed of two teams, Black and Blue, and coached by teachers Jane Wall and Myles Bond. The game was

refereed by volunteer teachers from Sarah Scott Middle School. Bonds appreciated Ferguson’s efforts to get the ball rolling. “This intramural activity has an overall positive affect on the school as a whole because the practices after school keep the kids off the streets, the players’ class attendance and grades increase because they know they can’t play with poor attendance and below average grades, and students that are not participating get a break from school whenever there are games being played during the day,” he said. It was obvious to tell that teachers aren’t the only ones who appreciated basketball at CHS, as numerous girls cheered throughout the game when a player made a shot. “Aye! Aye! Aye!” the girls yelled while dancing to get the crowd energized or “crunk” as others would call it. When asked what they were doing, the girls simply responded, “We’re getting this game cracking!” As far as the actual basketball game, it was fairly played, with the Blue team leading the whole way through. Many anticipated a blow out, but the Black As far as the actual basketball game, CONTINUED on page 11



Evolution of Hip Hop


“Hip-Hop today: No social commentary or political opinions.”

“My girl got a girlfriend / Chevy blue like world wind / and if it’s a drought on that boy / I got that girl then.” Young Dro’s single “Shoulder Lean” is a prime example of what many people believe is wrong with hip-hop today: No social commentary or political opinions. When hip-hop made its big boom in the late 80’s and early 90’s, artists like NWA and Public Enemy became household names. Their songs inveighed against violence in the community and harsh police brutality directed at minorities. Many felt that their songs, though profane, contained a message. Today, critics of mainstream hip-hop artists say topics focus on bragging about their success, the women they have, the cars they bought, and the drugs they deal. Individuality, creative delivery, and uplifting lyricism is what Kyle McGilligan-Bentin claims current artists are missing. Or, as Nas, current hip-hop artist who sparked the “Hip-hop is Dead” controversy, would put it, “Everybody, sounds the same, commercialize the game, reminiscing when it wasn’t all business. It forgot where it started.” B e n t i n , a 2 3 - y e a rold graduate from UW Lacrosse, currently a

student-teacher at Community High, believes he has an “inclination” for listening to what he calls “good” hip-hop music. Bentin did not grow up in a home that listened to hip-hop music. His father loved jazz and his mother had a feel for the Beatles. Rock is the genre of music Bentin listened to as a teenager, before his friend introduced him to the hip-hop album “Puff Daddy and the Family: No Way Out.” Ever since, Bentin heard the Puff Daddy album, he was highly interested in hip-hop music and its 4 elements: the D.J., M.C., dancers, and graffiti. Throughout his college years, Bentin would hang out with his friends, listening, analyzing, and even attempting to make up their own hip-hop lyrics.

Eventually he realized, though he can make up good rhymes, he did not have what he calls “good delivery.” “I could not dance well, I was not good with delivering rhymes I created, and I did not have a lot of artistic skills, so the only thing left was to be a DJ,” Bentin recalls about his college years. Bentin purchased DJ equipment and immediately started buying different hip-hop albums. After dissecting the lyrics of numerous records, he has come up with a solid conclusion on what is really wrong with hip-hop today. “The role hip-hop music played in communities back in the day was way more influential than it is today because hip-hop artists of the past focused their lyrics more on social issues that people could relate to, as opposed to the hiphop artist of today, mainly rapping about their materialistic items, which not everyone has,” says Bentin. “I don’t believe that hiphop is really dead. It is just that the music dominating the mainstream is CONTINUED on page 11





Overcoming the Odds


Filling out applications, getting teacher recommendations, visiting schools, and doing all she can to prepare for college. Alectris Duke, a 19-year-old senior at CHS, is ready for the “real world” of adulthood after high school. Duke, a “first-generation student” - the first student in a family to enter - is planning to attend Talladega University in Alabama. According to, first generation students are least likely to attend a four-year institution. Only 36% of these students get a bachelor’s degree or higher, 45% take the ACT or the SAT and pass with a fair score, and 26% nationally apply to a four-year school.

Once in college, first generation students who attend a four-year school usually have a hard time adjusting to the new setting. One problem is sometimes making new friendships with other students, teachers/professors, and guidance counselors.

‘Struggles’ Duke said that she had trouble at Custer High School before she came to Community High School. Since she was at Custer, she couldn’t correctly focus in class because of the huge environment. She transferred to CHS later in her freshman year. Now she feels that she receives more vital attention from her teachers.

“I really enjoy myself and I am glad to be in an area where I get the proper direction,” she said. John Bates, another senior and first generation student, is headed to a brighter future. Before achieving his goals, he also had some obstacles to overcome. When he started at CHS, he, like any other new student, was unknown. He didn’t begin to do well until later in his high school years. He began to pursue tons of school support because he didn’t get much help from family. “The school grew on me,” said Bates. When applying to college, Bates had problems with money and a lazy work ethic. He said that CHS changed everything for him. Now, with a lot of oneon-one time with teachers, he has selected a college and a major. He plans to attend UW-Lacrosse and study early childhood education. He said that he enjoys working with little kids and has high hopes of finishing high school with a positive feeling.

‘A new day’ Now in her senior year, Duke plans to get her bachelor’s degree and major in business. After college, she wants to get a secretary job and assist people at offices. According to, most first generation students major in CONTINUED on page 11



Two of a Kind


“Being without a father is hard, but it’s not impossible to become a strong man.” “We are both leaders and we both have African-American blood.” Van White says this statement with a proud smile on his face, matching the smile on the pin that sits perfectly aligned on the right side of his red sweatshirt. White is a young supporter of presidential candidate Barack Obama. A senior at Community High School, he says that he supports Obama 100%. “I went to his rally, I wear his pin, and I support him openly,” he said. Barack Obama is a community organizer, civil rights attorney, and the senator of Illinois. In addition, he is in the race to be the president of the United States. Obama, who currently lives in Chicago with his wife and two kids, was born on August 4th in 1961. Obama believes that he can convert America into a better place. Van believes in him. “He can’t make it worse,” White said. “If he gets in office, America will

be more peaceful and hopefully a better environment for all of our people.” Obama is dedicated to such hopeful thinking and that is why White is voting for him. White is also dedicated. He does a lot community service at the ACLU. He says that he might even want to become an alderman one day in the future after he graduates from UWM. Skin color is not all White and Obama have in common. Both of them play basketball, want a change for America, and grew up without a father. “Being without a father is hard, but it’s not impossible to become a strong man,” he said. His father was never around because he was in and out of jail. He currently resides in Milwaukee with his grandmother who has been raising him since he was five. His grandmother stepped in because his mother passed away due to an illness. “I really don’t have any memories of her,” White said on the subject of his mother, “except that she was always sick.” He said that he misses the role his mom was supposed to play in his life. “My grandma acts like a grandma, not a mother,” White said. Obama was in a similar situation. His grandmother also helped to raise him. When Obama’s mom remarried, she decided to move back to Indonesia. Obama wanted to stay in Hawaii so he could continue to go to school where all of his friends were. Madelyn Dunham, Obama’s grandmother, agreed to let him stay with her. His father abandoned him and his mom when he was a child to study at Harvard University. According to, statistics show that males who grow up without a father are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors or go to prison, and are less likely to succeed. White doesn’t want to become a victim of that statistic. He works hard in school and he strives to keep up his grades. His grandmother does her best to push him in the right direction. CONTINUED on page 11





Coping and Conquering


“You don’t have to make it a sad story. It’s what you want it to be.” As the water in her eyes seemed to glisten from the sunlight shining from the window, her voice grew softer in tone. Sharonda Davis, a senior at CHS, said that she planned on attending Talladega College in Alabama studying social work. The accomplishment did not come easy. Davis was adopted by her foster mother, Debbie Lewis, at the age of 16. Most times, when people hear the words “foster child”, they feel sympathetic and want to offer emotional support. But Davis just tries to enjoy life and be herself. “People think that being a foster child makes it a sad story. Yeah, it’s sad because you’re a foster child, but you don’t have to make it a sad story. It’s what you want it to be,” said Davis with a slight grin on her face. Davis understands that, although there are some bad foster homes that do not care as much for the children, there are life lessons in all that we do.

“You just have to stick it out and get through it and you’ll become a better person for it.” Usually children end up in foster homes because whoever they were living with could not care for them or there is no one to care for them at all. In Wisconsin, over 5,100 foster homes care for almost 8,000 foster children each year. It is not easy to provide shelter, food, clothing, and love to children who may have lacked these necessities all their lives. Marqurite McCurdy, a teacher and foster parent to former CHS students, said that being a foster child can be tough. However, when it came to being a foster parent, she “loved it.” She has fostered two girls at the age of 15 and 16 and one boy at the age of 17. The challenge that many foster children face is coping with the situation that they are in, often leading to a lack of social relationships, ineffective communication skills, lack of performance on schoolwork and many other difficulties.

McCurdy, in her genuine voice, advised that good ways to handle these problems are to talk with the children and set a good example for them by being a good role model. As hard as it may be for children to cope with these life obstacles at young ages, there are positive aspects to being a foster child. Foster children are not out there alone. The government has provided health insurance, counseling, and college money for those who qualify. Davis said that through the tough times, she knows that there are people that will always be there for her and help her through. She will someday return the favor after gaining a degree in social work. She feels that she knows how the system works and she wants to let other people in the same situation know that the system is not all that bad. “Don’t let the situation you are in stop you from becoming a greater and better person.”




ACCESS DENIED CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 “What are teachers doing? Aren’t they suppose to be watching the students to see what they’re looking up?” he asked. “It’s physically impossible for one teacher to monitor every single student. I have one voice, two arms, and two eyes. I don’t have thirty-five arms. I can’t know what every student is doing all the time,” answered Kyle McGilligan-Bentin, a student teacher. For a period of time, teachers have been keeping a close eye on students to ensure that they aren’t misusing the machines or on inappropriate websites, yet students always seem able to find a loophole to abuse the Internet. McGilligan-Bentin suggests teachers change their passwords often because students will always find away to adapt to new technology.

“Students Take A Stand”

“They can’t stop us; we’re rebels. There is always a way to get around something,” said Anthony Williams, a senior, while typing his research paper in the library. Williams had also come up with several solutions that can make the Internet a safe learning tool. “Teachers and students should have a password at the login screen and then a secondary password confirmation code to ensure better security. Central Office should also ban students with prior history of misusing computers. It’s unbelievable,” stated Williams. He also mentioned that although there may be students misusing computers, there are always other students who use them for education.

“The Internet is a tool, and if you take it away our tools, that’s hindering us.”

The server on the first floor is shared between three schools.




it was fairly played, with the Blue team leading the whole way through. Many anticipated a blow out, but the Black team, led by Ferguson’s continuous scoring and Brandon Brown’s everlasting energy, stayed in the game. They brought the score to a tie at one point, but ultimately lost 34 to 38. A sweaty, determined, Ferguson at the end of the game lost track of time. “It’s over already? Dang, it went by quick.” Hopefully, he and all the other players will play at the same competitive level but with better time-savvy for the many future games to come.

business, social sciences, health science/services, and vocational/technical areas. The majority of these students are White (64%), Hispanic (16.9%), Black (13.7%), Asian (4.7%), and American Indian (0.6%). Raul Estrada, a senior, is a first generation student, as well. Estrada wants to major in Law Enforcement or in an electricity field at MATC. “I’m really proud to be breaking the cycle in my family of not finishing high-school or going to college. I know my obstacles that I have to fight, but I know what to do to overcome them,” said Estrada. According to, first generation students might not always get a four year degree, but they’re sometimes more likely to get a well paid job than nonfirst generation students. reports that students who attend college have an 85% chance of finding a job after post-secondary education. These students might not have a “perfect start,” but most students come out with a better future.

White admits that from time to time he does “slip.” “I did fall behind before, but now I am back on track,” White said. “There are hundreds of thousands of successful people who didn’t have both their parents and they made it,” White said. “I believe I am destined for success. “Maybe it’s just me,” he said as he shrugged his shoulders, “but sometimes I feel like I was born to change the world.”


Shalecia Boston and company cheer the basketball team.

about the same topics I mentioned before. A lot of rappers are more focused on how much money will be made from a song rather than speaking on how they really feel.” Bentin also said that “real” hip-hop music is not dead, but “buried.” The listener must search for underground artists, such as Taleb Kwali, on the Internet or in stores, as opposed to listening to the radio or watching music videos. The basics of Bentin’s points: hip-hop is not over, but hidden from the mainstream because of the norm that is being presented to the majority of the public. The roots of hip-hop came from people voicing their opinions on subjects they felt needed to be brought to light. Now, to say hip-hop is dead is an opinion itself, so any one who feels it is dead or feels it is indeed alive, it is just their opinion.




Af ter School Clubs of CHS

Sitting on a tan leather recliner, small lamp by his side and a Bible in his hand, Roberto Torres leans in forward to give a message to young men about the Word of God. Tim Roach, freshmen at CHS, listens intently. Roach is attending a weekly church program called “Men’s Group,” which is held every Thursday at senior John Bates’ house. Both Bates and Roach are not adhering to the common “lurking for trouble after school” stereotype many hold about today’s young people. After school, you won’t find many of CHS’s students playing video games, watching TV, or sleeping on the couch, either.


“I love to spend a little more time at school or ‘Men’s Group’ because activities keep me away from all types of trouble out in the streets,” said Roach. Roach also stays after school every Monday and Tuesday for Ambassadors for Peace and Chess Club. “Most students do stay after school for extra-curricular activities, have jobs, or even baby-sit,” said mathematician Karen Green. According to, students who don’t participate in school activities (49% nationally) are more likely to have used drugs and are more likely (37%) to become teen parents than those students who spend one to four hours per week in extracurricular activities.

With such statistics in mind, CHS doesn’t want their students to be a part of those numbers. To help make a difference, CHS offers after school activities for everyone.

FRICAN DANCE CLASS Second semester of this year, Dream Gunther began African Dance with seven students. Tamara Key, guest instructor, teaches the students about African cultures, words, and music and how it impacts today’s society. The dance team meets every Tuesday in Dream’s room/auditorium from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m.



HESS Starting last year with about 10 students and growing to 12, the chess team meets every Tuesday after school from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. in the library. Chess is offered to any student who wants to participate and can stay after school. Being in the chess club you learn abilities to defeat your opponent with your mind. The Chess club is run Brenda Windom and Wendell Harris.

Am b a s


ac e e P r o f ado rs

MBASSADORS FOR PEACE Wendell Harris and Brenda Windom started Ambassadors for Peace two years ago. The program started with 8 students. The numbers increased to 12 students the following year. In the club, students master techniques of peaceful conflict resolutions in order to “attack the problem and not the person.” Students who do attend have the chance to meet other ambassadors in other states, such as New York. Any student is able to participate. The only requirement is a commitment to the idea that violence is not the key. This club is held every Monday from 3:15 to 4:00 p.m. in the library.

This is the first year CHS offers volleyball. Any students who would like to play can do so on Mondays and Thursdays after school. The teams are coach by Myles Bonds and Jane Wall. Playing Volleyball is an excellent source of exercise and you can earn a gym credit.

EALTHY RELATIONS In the beginning of the school year, Healthy Relationships class started with 15 students. Dream Gunther, instructor, teaches the students how to have positive relationships with boy/girl friends, friends, and family. She also teaches the students commitment, trust, and respect for one another. This lighthouse course is held every Thursday in Dream’s room from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.

RAPHIC ART DESIGN Graphic Art Design class is a followup to the newspaper/graphic design class. The class is offered every Thursday from 3:15 to 5:00 p.m. Jason O’Brien, instructor, helps six students conduct photo-shoots and alter them on the computer. They sketch ideas for future newspaper stories and advertisements on the online site. O’Brien and the students are also working on a grant to expand the class and hopefully get more students to join. Any student is welcome to come in and show their artistic skills. As a student, you have to be committed to designing and hard work.


C h e s s C lub


Volleyball is an olympic team sport in which two teams of six active players, separated by a high net, each try to score points against one another by grounding a ball on the other team’s court under organized rules.

An i m a l L a b NIMAL LAB This year, CHS animal enthusiast Joel McElrone introduced biology to 7 CHS students. Biology is offered to seniors who need a half-credit or any student who wants to learn about different animals. As a student of this class, you study snakes, frogs, and fish eating habits and environment behaviors. This course takes place every Monday from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. in the animal lab.


Lanceʼs Blog


Murphyʼs Law


Ladies and Gentlemen: preparation for graduation is a very critical when trying to be successful in life. We must not fool around with our free education. One of Murphy’s Laws states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” I have a few steps that will help you prepare for the big scary world we call high school. First, you have to work on planning and organization. Go to a local Walmart, Target, or Office Depot. Invest money into a good planner and keep it close to you at all times. Write down every event. Give yourself a due date if it isn’t given already. For example, if you have a scholarship deadline due, write it down and always keep the deadline close to you. Imagine missing a $20,000 scholarship just because you sent it in the day after it was due. Remember if something can go wrong, it will. Also, don’t give yourself any room to fail. Keep at least three different storage places for your information. This way we won’t say, “I lost my one and only planner book! My life is over!!” Next, we need to talk about staying current. Stay on top of our news: local, international, and global. What are stocks? Who is the Prime Minister of Great Britain? What are current top box office movies? What is the current status of Iraq and Baghdad? These are the type of questions you should be able to answer in a casual conversation. There are two main tests that factor in what scholarships you receive and colleges you get into; these are the ACT and the SAT. These two tests are nothing to mess with. One of the things people deal with is test anxiety. For example, while taking the ACT, people forget everything they’ve learned throughout their school career. Another aspect people struggle with is

time management. Not knowing how to answer a certain amount of questions within a time period is a problem. I suggest preparing for these test as soon as your sophomore year in high school. There are ACT and SAT prep classes that are available for free. See your high school guidance counselor in order to find out more information. Another aspect in school that people should pay attention to is choosing who

be the supporter. You have to make sure your support or the person who needs support is stable enough to balance work and fun. Community Service is a main theme for Community High School. You will have to take it for most of your years at CHS. If you complete the program, then you will (hopefully) be a mentor and help others to determine what they want to do for Community Service.

student. Just greet appropriately, speak when it is appropriate, and do as you are told. It’s not hard to get on the right track, but the difficult part is staying on the right course. The “wrong factor” in this situation is if you need multiple teacher recommendations for colleges or scholarships and you only have a good relationship with one of your teachers. Be a good student, both mentally and physically. Teachers like that kind of stuff.

your friends are. I’m pretty sure we all want to have fun. The thought of not wanting to enjoy oneself is unrealistic. The problem is prioritizing between friends and work. If you have friends that have too much fun and don’t get work done, then you should consider finding new friends. The painful truth is that your friends influence you more than you think. You can definitely be wrong about how you perceive people to be. Everyone is not the Malcolm X in their group where everyone moves on their command. You have to realize that sometimes you are not leader but need to be led. It all depends on the strength of your mind. Some people need the support and others need to

You have a choice in what Community Service you participate in, so be wise about your decision. Don’t choose a community service that seems to be popular and the only reason you are there is because of your friends. Pick a Community Service that relates to your future career. Get involved with a site that will open opportunities up for you such as: employment, internships, and career starters. Use these sites to your advantage. Building relationships with your teachers and peers is an important concept at CHS. Being discreet is one of the most effective skills to learn in a public setting. One does not have to have perfect etiquette in order to be a good

When you reach the overrated year of high school, the senior year, it is not yet all the way over. You should be looking out for college acceptance letters in the mail, checking your financial aid status, and planning for the future. What do you want to do after college? What is your career plan? Are you passionate for that career? At the same time, understand that in college you don’t make those decisions until your junior and senior year. Still plan for what’s to come. The difference between a person with no plan and a person who has a plan is the amount of work they have to do. Don’t let the “wrong factors” overcome you and you will be successful in high school.

In the Classroom



“The Life Story of Me” KEARAH Moore

“Stored Away” AMY Xiong

Ieasha Govani strives to break media-driven deception via works of art - like this collage.



Discovering the ‘essence of self’: six CHS students partner with artists from Alverno to explore gender in media Iesha Govani recently altered her perception of life and discovered new and better goals to reach towards. She says she has been “enlightened” through fun, knowledge and an artistic connection with older students at Alverno College. And she gives all thanks to Project: Girl. Roxane Mayeur, teacher of the 2-D /3-D art class, introduced Project:Girl to CHS. The collaboration was made possible by Mayeur and her

“friend and mentor” Dara Larson, art instructor at Alverno. Project: Girl itself has been in existence for 10 years on a larger scale. The goal is not only to assist young women to appreciate and understand their natural rights, but to bring them to the realization that they do not need to be tied down by any stereotypes or images. This is an effort “to tell girls it’s OK to be yourself … and not let your gender be your enemy,” said Govani.

Mayeur emphasizes the opportunity for young women to disabuse the notion that misguided, media-driven stereotypes are binding. “Girls shouldn’t get caught up in their own Cinderella fantasies,” Govani said. “It is a message of unity: we’re the face of a new generation of women.” Dominique Strapp, also involved, has reaped similar insight. “The Project: Girl experience has encouraged me to challenge the media and its influences. I began to question

others: why this or that is the ‘in’ thing and who decides what’s cool?” CHS has visited Alverno several times, each visit lasting as long as a school day. The first visit was to prepare the 6 girls for instructing and presenting to the Alverno students. All girls in Mayeur’s “Essence of Self” class attended for followup visits. The other students who participated in the event were Tiffany Le, Shayla SpencerBrooks, Amy Xiong and LaQuisha Turner.

“The Doll House” AUSTRALIA Portis

“Just Being Tica” TICARA McGuire

The best kept

secret in MPS

CHS is a small school that prepares students


for life in the 21st century. With a vast network of community partners, colleges and businesses, CHS’s staff is dedicated to student-centered learning. Online at

The Bloc  

Volume 4 Issue 1

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