The Paw Print
Homecoming Game Results WL 35 : LR 8
Paw Print Features New Teachers page 2
Editorial: Students Want Advisory Back page 7
•5460 Trumpeter Rd. Columbia, MD 21044 •
•Volume 40 Issue 1 •
Wilde Lake Girls Soccer Earns Redemption Against Oakland Mills By Rayma Kochakkan Business Manager
“We’re friends and all, but when it’s game time Wilde Lake is our opponent and there’s a huge rivalry,” said Nia White, junior varsity soccer player for Oakland Mills. The rivalry between the two teams runs deep. This was evident last year when the Oakland Mills girls’ varsity soccer
team defeated Wilde Lake 4-1. The rematch on October 16 was a chance for the girls to redeem themselves. Concerning last year’s game, former girls varsity coach Mr. Robin Sawyer said, “It was all rubbish. We were winning for 80 minutes. They scrambled together and managed to score to tie the game. The referee made a bogus call in the last minute and they scored on a free kick.” Junior Becca Riley, starting defender, recounted the previous year’s events. “I had to leave early to go to a chorus concert, but afterwards no one told me anything, so I didn’t even know the score,” said Riley. With last year’s loss still clear in their minds, the girls all had the same drive, and it showed. O’Toole scored early in the game off of a corner kick from Senior Maria Pascale. A second Wilde Lake goal followed shortly
after from Freshman Brinn Drury, assisted by Rachel Lazris, also a freshman. Oakland Mills kept pressure on Wilde Lake when Fern Peters put the ball in the back of the net late in the first half. Although Wilde Lake was dominating possession and pushing forward for most of the half, the Scorpions created quick counterattacks and strong passing plays. According to Junior Averie Stovall, who sat out the game due to injury, “We were playing hard, did a good job finishing and dribbling, and had great ball placement.” The second half was promising for Wilde Lake when Junior Julia Rocha found a ball from Junior Ni-Ja Richards and pushed the ball past the keeper to give Wilde Lake a 3-1 lead and round off both teams’ scoring for the game.
Wilde Lake’s captains lead the team on both ends of the field. Juniors Sarah Hulit, Carliane Laguerre, and Becca Riley, and freshman Kate Glaros made up a solid defense. Oakland Mills had aggressive forwards in Sophomore Fern Peters and Senior Rachel Hunter but failed to connect in the offensive third to score on more than one opportunity. Alex Phillips-Patterson, senior and goalkeeper for Oakland Mills, prevented Wilde Lake from capitalizing on numerous opportunities. Wilde Lake’s own goalkeeper, Junior Julia Crowe, also helped out, saving goals and directing the defense. As for the final score, Sawyer said the girls looked better than last year. “Wilde Lake is much more dominant this year. Revenge is sweet.”
Apprehension Surrounds Implementation of New Standardized Testing By Christina Kochanski Editor-In-Chief
Students will be hit by a new wave of standardized tests, featuring both multiple-choice questions and numerous writing pieces, in 2014. According to the Maryland State Department of Education (MDSE), these tests are designed to hold students to a higher standard of academic achievement. These PARCC assessments will replace the current HSA tests as a graduation requirement within the next few years. But, other than the addition of narrative and document-based essays, the specifics of the tests are still unclear to the faculty. According to Mr. LeMon, “There are too many unanswered questions. They haven’t released the PARCC test or written the curriculum yet.” Teachers have access to only a few example questions online, so there is still uncertainty about how different PARCC tests will be from the HSA. When asked about how she felt about the two assessments, Ms. Pennington said, “I would vote for a replace-
ment of the HSA, but I need to see the PARCC test first.” Students and teachers will have one year to prepare for the transition between the 2013 implementation of the new curriculum and the first round of PARCC testing in 2014. Raising the bar does raise concerns for students, faculty, and parents. Students who fail the HSA multiple times currently take a Mastery class or fulfill the requirement through the Bridge Program. Ms. Midgley currently teaches the English HSA Mastery class at Wilde Lake. “There are about 18 students in [my] class this year . . . I don’t know if there will even be a mastery program for the PARCC test,” said Ms. Midgley. PARCC testing has the potential to leave even more students behind, particularly during the first few years as students and teachers are adjusting to the new system. “There’s obviously some concern about how to prepare students for a test we haven’t seen yet, especially because these are high stakes tests for graduation,” said Ms. Midgley. Cathy Zhu, a senior taking five AP classes, believes that state mandated tests like the HSA and PARCC assessments can also negatively impact students who pass. “They’re unnecessary, especially for the upper level class-
es because the students are taking time off for these tests when they could be learning other things,” said Zhu. When asked if she believes tests like the HSA accurately reflect student ability, senior and AP student Yelena Malorodova said, “Personally, I’m not motivated to try my hardest on the tests. And too many factors can affect students’ scores, like how much sleep they got that night or if they’re stressed about other schoolwork.” Maryland’s wave of educational reform will begin in 2013 with the Common Core State Standards. This new curriculum focuses on ensuring students’ college readiness, with the PARCC tests tracking their achievement from third through twelfth grade. Concerning the rush to reform, Ms. Vernon said, “The majority of teachers believe in it, but they are pushing it too fast.” The state’s reform initiatives are designed to ready students for college and careers, but the questions surrounding the program could potentially leave teachers and students unprepared for the change.
Wilde Lake’s New Teachers Ms. Moody (Top Left), the enthusiastic conductor behind the harmonies and melodies heard in Wilde Lake’s fall musicals, is now officially a member of the Wilde Lake staff! Ms. Moody has taught private lessons for four years and helped with several musicals. She has also performed in several churches and in Italy. Ms. Moody says that she “loves bein’ back!” and cannot wait for another year of choral experiences.
By Becka Farquhar Opinion Editor
Mr. Mruk, (Bottom Left) the new Art teacher, has been teaching Art at schools in Massachusetts and Delaware for seven years. In his spare time, Mr. Mruk hikes and plays video games, though he hasn’t had much time to since the birth of his daughter. While at the Lake, Mr. Mruk is most looking forward to meeting and teaching students and seeing the artistic capabilities of Wilde Lake students.
“Profa” D’Ascoli (Top Center) has been teaching students for three years. However, this will be her first full year teaching in the United Sates. Before she began teaching at the Lake, Profa D’Ascoli was a Conversational English teacher in Italy. This year, Profa D’Ascoli is most looking forward to building up the Italian program and going on the upcoming Italy trip.
Photos taken by Becka Farquhar
Ms. Stang, (Bottom Center Left) better known as Señorita Stang, is teaching for her first year. More of a “worldly adventurer” than the “standard instructor,” Ms. Stang travels regularly. Her most memorable trip was to Argentina, on a “no structure, freestyle” adventure. Her first teaching position at the Lake is no less of an adventure. Ms. Stang is most looking forward to becoming a mentor to students, a friend, and a valued educator.
Dr. VanNetta (Bottom Center Right) has been a Math educator for twenty-four years and a chauffeur for ten. She grew up in Westminster and attended Towson University and University of Maryland College Park where she played volleyball. This year, Dr. VanNetta looks forward to a year of “Busting problems,” and encouraging students to think outside of the box.
Mr. Satterfield (Top Right), better known as the “man who wears all the bow-ties,” has been working in the education system for 18 years. An Atholton alumni, Mr. Satterfield has also taught in Saratoga Springs and Manhattan, New York. While he’s not traveling, singing to his students, or teaching, he’s occupied with his three children. Mr. Satterfield is most looking forward to the new students of the Lake!
Ms. Higgins (Bottom Right) was a long-term English substitute in both Baltimore City, Maryland and Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Ms. Higgins enjoys running and recently ran the “Broad Street Ten Mile Run” in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. She enjoys singing and plans on joining a choir. While she’s here at the Lake, Ms. Higgins plans on developing better relationships with students, which she says “has been fun so far!”
Top left (Ms. Moody), top center (Profa D’Ascoli), top right (Mr. Satterfield), bottom right (Mr. Mruk), bottom center left (Ms. Stang), bottom center right (Dr. VanNetta), bottom right (Ms. Higgins)
News Do you eat at the dinner table with your family? Sometimes. I’m usually out and about with my friends. -Danny Spall, senior
Yes, but only because my parents force me. -Nathan Washington. senior
Should you eat at the dinner table with your family? It’s better to eat at the dinner table with your family since you can catch up on life and discuss your day. You could use that time to vent. -Xavier O’Connor, senior
Technology is Biggest Obstacle to Family Dinners, Students Say By Sarah Orzach Editor-In-Chief
Senior Yelena Malorodova is an active student who has little time at the end of a busy day to sit down for a long, conversation-filled, family dinner. Malorodova is involved in National Honors Society and is a starting player on the varsity Volleyball team. According to Malorodova, the mix of her extracurricular schedule with the homework that comes with her rigorous course load means that dinner is the least important part of her day. “I usually just grab something to eat by myself. My parents usually only cook dinner once a week anyway. We’re all just too
busy,” said Malorodova. According to Senior Sakshi Suri, though, eating as a family is beneficial. “My family makes a point to eat together every night. Even though we’re all busy, we just squeeze dinner in whenever we can, even if its really late.” Although Suri’s family eats together a majority of the time, they face a similar obstacle that many modern day families face: technology at the table. “Even when my family eats together, we’re almost always preoccupied with our phones or watching television. Since we are all so busy, we don’t want to put aside an hour of time and lose communication with our
“Dinner with the family definitely isn’t what it used to be.” -Emma Hughes
BY THE NUMBERS:
3-out-of-10 students eat dinner with their families four or more days a week. friends,” said Suri. Suri is not the only student in this position. As technology advances to new heights, the presence of cell phones and other communication devices at the dinner table has increased. According to students like senior Emma Hughes, technology is now a major interference in dinner time conversation. “Dinner with the family
definitely isn’t what it used to be. Now when we eat together, we spend a lot of the time texting or e-mailing people that aren’t at the table,” said Hughes. According to the combined opinions of students like Emma Hughes and Sakshi Suri, the easy access to technology makes formal family dinners undesirable and unrealistic in the schedule of busy teenagers.
Yeah, definitely. I don’t think you should make it your biggest priority, but it is important to have some sort of connection with your family. -Mehalye Soloman, senior
I think family dinners are terrible...I would never eat my family! But in all seriousnes I actually think eating dinner with one’s family is imperitive to building relationships with those who are most important to you. -Daniel Ingham, junior
I’m stongly in favor of family dinners. I have dinenr with my family every night, and there is a large amount of research saying that family dinners are very beneficial to good family relationships. -Mrs. Hibbard, Pyschology teacher
I think it’s unrealistic. It would be good if families could eat together more often, but not doing will not be harmful to family relationships. -Mrs. Proctor, Biology teacher
Donated by Alan Schlosburg,
All Love And Light
By Jason Siegel Features/Arts Editor
On July 24, 2012, Wilde Lake lost a beloved special educator when Mrs. Robin Schlosburg passed away. Mrs. Schlosburg was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer in March 2012 and fought a courageous battle for four more months. She is survived by her husband, one daughter, and two granddaughters. Referring to Mrs. Schlosburg as “nice” would be an understatement. Ms. Tucker, a Wilde Lake special educator and a close friend of Mrs. Schlosburg for over 20 years, remembers her as “all love and light . . . she always thought the best of
people, even if they didn’t deserve it.” Mrs. Schlosburg was not only a loving friend and wife, but also a devoted and passionate teacher. “[She was] always one to stay late to work with students. And worked constantly with parents, guidance counselors and teachers to help her students be successful,” said Mrs. Tucker. Mrs. Schlosburg was also the epitome of school spirit. During her time at Wilde Lake, she acted as a class advisor and never failed to be one of the best dressed on Wacky Tacky Day. She continued to come to school events to support her students, even after her diagnosis. Mrs. Schlosburg’s courage and unfaltering positivity had an everlasting impact
Mrs. Schlosburg dressed up for Wacky Tacky Day Donated by Alan Schlosburg
on the people around her. According to Mrs. Dixon, “She was always so generous with her sunshine.” No better words describe Mrs. Schlosburg’s radiant energy and optimism than those of her favorite poet, Maya Angelou: I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
The Removal Of Advisory Divides School Was it a luxury or a necessity? By Syra Kayani Sports Editor
When students came back to school this fall, they were surprised by a major schedule change: Advisory was gone. The response to Advisory’s removal has been divided. Teachers have expressed their happiness that they will no longer lose five minutes out of their classes every Thursday, but students are frustrated that the administration seemed to disregard their perspective on the issue. Last year, Wilde Lake teachers created a survey, asking the faculty about the Advisory program and other school policies. The results expressed the teachers’ opinion that Advisory was not necessary every week.
One of the reasons cited is that, in addition to being a loss of twentyfive minutes every Thursday, Advisory increased the level of traffic in the halls and the number of classes cut. “[Advisory] was a disruption to class time. The schedule is more consistent without it,” said Foundations of Technology teacher Mrs. Busso. According to French teacher Ms. Wu, having Advisory every week was a waste of time because students only used it to work on schoolwork. “It’s good as needed. For example, when there are assemblies or senior meetings it’s good to have Advisory then so students don’t miss class time.” Some teachers suggested modifying Advisory rather than getting rid of it altogether. Mod-
ern World History Teacher Mrs. Donmoyer is one teacher who saw importance in the Advisory program. “It was not used to its potential and students used it as a study hall. But, if we revamped it so that Advisory actually helped students, then it would be much more beneficial,” said Mrs. Donmoyer. Students, though, have been quick to express their support for Advisory, claiming that its merits outweighed the lost class time. According to Junior Bizu Baldinazzo, “Advisory was my emergency study [time] and gave me extra time to finish up homework.” Students have also argued that Advisory was important socially, not just academically.
Evan Bell, junior, said, “Advisory allowed students to form a better relationship with their teachers, catch up with classmates and friends, and learn about all of the events occurring in the school at the time. Without it, a strong sense of community and school spirit is lost.” Mixed opinions concerning Advisory have floated around the school. Claims have been made that it was pointless, but Advisory supporters have contested that the lost class time was negligible compared to Advisory’s benefits. The reactions have not been completely divided along student-faculty lines, but much of the discussion centers around Advisory’s impact on the length of class periods.
The Word on Main Street “I want [Advisory] back because it gives students the time to breath and relax one time during the school week.” -Abbie Draght “No, [Advisory] was pointless. If they were to bring it back, they should use it as a study hall.” -Anthony Rizzi “I used to look forward to Thursday because my classes were shorter, but mostly it was a good time to get stuff done that you couldn’t do on a regular school day, like seeing a counselor, or making up a test.” -Novella Ogunshina
Weathercast Shows Worst Part of “Frankenstorm” Narrowly Misses Columbia By Dylan Reynolds News Editor
Hurricane Sandy brings rain, wind, and extended weekend to Wilde Lake students The weekend before October 29, supermarket shelves were left barren of water bottles, flashlights, and emergency supplies as Howard County prepared for Hurricane Sandy’s approaching landfall. Nicknamed “Superstorm” and “Frankenstorm”, Hurricane Sandy merged with an arctic jet stream and threatened to dump rain and snow on the eastern United States. Although Howard County did not weather the worst of the storm, it did face power outages and schools closures on Monday and Tuesday. The storm that was predicted to cause major destruction was
considered by students, to be a blessing. Concerning the days off, Junior Jordan Wright said, “I had a great time. It was fun . . . I stayed home to watch Paranormal Activity and sleep.” Students used the extended weekend as a reprieve from first quarter’s accumulation of stress and exhaustion. “It was really relaxing and I came back to school feeling refreshed,” said Junior Malachi Wash¬ington. Teachers, too, appreciated the opportunities that the storm presented. According to English teacher Mrs. Kenney, any end-of-the-quarter work or grading could be finished over the impromptu vacation. “I was really scared that a tree was going to fall into my house and kill me . . . However, as an educator, it was a wonderful opportunity to plan a new unit for my students,” said Mrs. Kenney. The anxiety and uncertainty that surrounded Hurricane Sandy before its landfall proved a sharp contrast to the relief it brought to Wilde Lake students and teachers.
Simon Fines Brings Sense of Humor to Drum Major Position “I like the feeling of power on the tower. The drum major is the center of everyone. Everyone relies on him.” Simon Fines
By Sarah Orzach Editor in Chief
It is halftime at a Wilde Lake home football game, but fans are not flocking to the concession stand. Instead, they wait for Drum Major Simon Fines to lead the marching band out onto the field. As Fines climbs onto his podium and blows his whistle, the band explodes into music and the crowd shakes the bleachers. Fines is a senior at Wilde Lake who was recently inducted as the Drum Major for the marching band. He began playing the flute during the third grade, at the age of eight. At the end of the 2011-2012 school year, Mr. Dutrow hosted a formal audition in front of the entire marching band for any rising senior who wanted a chance at being the Drum Major. After the “nerve wracking” audition, the band selected Fines for the position. According to Fines, “The first football game was pretty scary. I was used to being in the back with the other flutists, but as Drum Major I had to be at the very front, all alone.” Despite the unavoidable nerves that come with the position, Fines enjoys being a leader. “The best part is definitely the respect. The marching band members really respect me and my decisions, and that really makes the hard work worth it in the end,” said Fines.
Taken by Becka Farquhar
HCPSS Dress Code Policy • Shirt sleeves must be at least three fingertips in width • All shorts, skirts, and dresses must hit the same spot that ones fingertips would when fully extended downwards • No scarves, sunglasses, hats, or hoods may be worn • No profanity may be displayed on ones clothing (ex. alcohol, drugs, violence, etc.) • Any violations will be punished with mandated school attire for the day, provided by the front office
Dress Code Continues to Confuse Students: Teachers Inconsistent in Enforcing Policy By Syra Kayani Sports Editor
“It all depends on the teacher,” said Senior Tia Hill of Wilde Lake’s dress code policy. “Most teachers have more to worry about than catching someone for a dress code violation. It’s an administrator’s job to look for those kinds of details.” While the dress code policy has always been in the student handbook, it has also been interpretive. For some students, getting dressed in the morning can be difficult when teachers are not consistent in enforcing the rules. Teachers though have expressed similar concern, not knowing when or how to enforce the policy. Mrs. Fant is one teacher who has taken a stand with her opinion on the dress code at Wilde Lake. “I do have a problem with the current state of the dress code policy because I don’t believe that it is enforced . . . If you’re not going to address it every time that there is a violation then there is no need to provide one,” said Fant. Mrs. Fant has proposed a solution: a more clear, better enforced policy.
But a strict dress code is not a silver bullet. Making the dress code more clear does not necessarily mean that more teachers would begin to enforce it. Choir teacher Ms. Moody, for example, rarely enforces the dress code because, as she rarely “sees students wearing inappropriate clothing.” By Ms. Moody’s standards, few students are “potentially distracting.” In contrast with Mrs. Fant, Ms Moody finds it “difficult to reprimand random students because most students don’t respect teachers they don’t know.” Students also are divided on the problem. According to senior Adam Satterfield, “You should be allowed to wear what you want to school because that’s what freedom of expression is, whether you decide to come to school looking inappropriate or not.” Junior Tamara Ismail believes that school-wide uniforms would eliminate the problem altogether. “I would prefer uniforms because it would take less time to get ready in the morning, and then the administration
would not have to worry about dress code violations because everyone would have on the same thing,” said Ismail. Junior Christina Whiting sees another problem. According to her, inappropriate clothing would not be an issue if students were not so easily distracted. “If all a guy can focus on is girls and they flunk out of school, it is his fault, because he should be paying attention to his own work, not the cleavage of the girl sitting next to him,” said Whiting. If students were allowed to wear whatever they wanted, would they use this as an opportunity to learn how to dress professionally? Or would this present them with the chance to never grow out of their “show everything” phase? The issue clearly goes beyond the dress code. The hope for the future is that high school will allow young people to gain common sense and understanding of how the world works. How will Wilde Lake help students to learn these things? The debate goes on.
Wilde Lake Mom Competes on 2013 Team USA By Syra Kayani Sports Editor
#YOLO It’s not what you think. For local mom, Michele Tuttle, you only live once means more than partying and having fun. This respected mother has taken on a new role in the community as 1 of 18 on Team USA competing in the 2013 international Triathlon Union’s (ITU) world championships. Through extensive hard work, rigorous training, and persistence, Mrs. Tuttle has finally achieved a position that she once thought was out of her reach. In Mrs. Tuttle’s eyes, it is not productive to sit at home, “scarfing down chocolate while watching reruns of Bones.” She would much rather be out in the world, taking full advantage of life’s opportunities. When people ask her, after a grueling race, why she competes, she states simply, “I do it because I can.” Mrs. Tuttle trains for Olympic regulation triathlons: that’s a one-mile swim, a 24-mile bike, and then a 6.2-mile run. Mrs. Tuttle has competed in 16 triathlons in the past five years. And so far this year she has completed in six triathlons, one swim race, and one 100-mile bicycle race. She has finished on the podium all but three times. Her competitors are, on average, 10 to 30 years younger than her. Approximately 14 hours a week, Mrs. Tuttle trains, never less than 10, but never more than 16 hours. She wakes up every morning at 4:45 a.m. to start her hectic schedule and then tries to fit in as many little naps as she can through the day. Mrs. Tuttle began participating in competitive sports when she was 13 and has continued to this day. Now that she is winding down in her athletic career, Mrs. Tuttle plans to begin focusing on other aspects of her life. “After I compete at Worlds in 2013, I’ll probably still compete but at a much lower intensity…I won’t be as competitive but I’ll have time to do more of the other things I can’t do right now like read, work in my garden, and watch TV,” said Mrs. Tuttle.
Being a professional athlete is hard. Being a mother and a professional athlete is even harder. Mrs. Tuttle is torn between two worlds, the world of her sport, and the world of her family. It is a problem many girls at Wilde Lake who aspire to do what Mrs. Tuttle does will face in the future. Donated by Jim Tuttle
Junior Lindsay Tuttle, daughter of Michele Tuttle, admires her mother for all her hard work. “I am very proud of everything she has accomplished. It is amazing that someone of her age still has the stamina to do all that she does,” said Lindsay. Being a professional athlete is hard. Being a mother and a professional athlete is even harder. Mrs. Tuttle is torn between two worlds, the world of her sport, and the world of her family. It is a problem many girls at Wilde Lake will face in the future, who aspire to do what Mrs. Tuttle does.
She has achieved the satisfaction that comes from having a family and following her athletic goals, but many young girls will not have the same opportunity because of the lack of professional women’s sports that aren’t time consuming. But Mrs. Tuttle, at 49 years old, still manages to balance every aspect of her life and this is what makes her accomplishments on Team USA so impressive.
Professionals Butt Heads Over Concussions By Dylan Reynolds News Editor
Taken by Becka Farquhar
“My brother’s junior year was completely screwed up by his concussions,” said Senior Jordan Trinh, whose graduated brother, Ethan, wrestled for the Varsity Wrestling team. “He played through at least two concussions before he finally had to quit . . . He had trouble with school, and his GPA dropped.” Ethan’s story is just one of hundreds that are told every day across the nation. Out of the 300,000 concussions that occur annually, over a third of them are sustained in high school contact sports, reports the University of Pittsburgh’s Neurology Department. For Ethan, playing through his concussions meant doing all he could to help his team. But according to head trauma specialist Dr. Mick Collins, “It’s about the worst thing you could do for your health. An overlooked concussion can change an
athlete’s life more than they might think.” Wilde Lake football player and wrestler Kristopher Gough has suffered two concussions in the last two years. At the end of his recovery time, though Gough is ready to go out and fight just as hard. “There’s something about the game that makes you want to play no matter what the risk,” said Gough. Gough feels that he can speak for most of the school’s athletes when he says team dedication means going back out on the field no matter what. In a recent Paw Print poll, nineteen out of twenty Wilde Lake athletes agreed with Gough, saying they would play through a concussion if it meant helping their team win. However, Ally Hammond, Wilde Lake’s athletic trainer, is in firm belief that Wilde Lake athletes concussions are overdiagnosed. “If a student is really injured,” said Ms. Hammond, “they’re not going to be able to play, regardless of whether they want to or not.” Ms. Hammond administers
and the impact testing that is required to participate in most Wilde Lake sports and believes the tests are thorough enough to keep the concussed players off the field. Ms. Hammond prides herself and the school on keeping the concussion rate at Wilde Lake one of lowest in Howard County, averaging below twenty concussions a year. “If nothing else, [concussions] need less attention. There are some really serious problems in sports today, but concussions aren’t one of them . . . Helmets are better. People are more aware. In ten or fifteen years we’re going to look back onto today and see the numbers go way down.” But there is still controversy among professionals as to whether or not helmet s and optimism will be enough. “When it comes down to it,” says Dr. Collins, “thousands of kids are permanently damaging their brain every year, and this number will only increase and become more dangerous.”
When it Comes to Homework, Less is More T.J. Mallo is a junior at Wilde Lake High School and a contributing writer for The Paw Print.
t is seven-thirty in the evening. I have been doing homework all afternoon and expect to work for several more hours. My eyelids are drooping, concentration waning, and I frequently find myself word my mixing up. When I arrived at home earlier, I examined my workload: Each assignment was large but manageable. The problem was that there were three assignments. A chemistry lab report was due in two days, but extracurricular activities would leave me no time between now and then, so it had to be finished tonight. My math packet, on the other hand, was due tomorrow. I had already finished half of my AP Government assignment last night, but there was still a lot of reading to finish and each remaining question appeared excruciatingly long. It was still light out, but on this winter day, the homework made threats to keep me awake long into the evening. I brewed a cup of tea and sat down at my computer to start on the first assignment. I put on soothing music, opened up Microsoft Word, and started to type. In this experiment, data found . . . Quickly enough, I was finished. One down, two to go! I longingly eyed my now empty cup of tea and cleared off part of the floor. Homework, textbooks, and notes piled into a nest around me. Thankfully, the Calculus homework was simple but tedious. The packet took roughly an hour and a half, putting me at about nine o’clock. I started to read about government. Once you master its basics, Congress is full of supremely interesting political puzzles. Puzzles do not bode well for any questions that I will have to answer. I stifled a yawn and scanned the textbook. The Framers chose to place the legislative powers in the hands of Congress rather . . . Could a short nap really be that bad? My eyes gradually slid shut and I slowly drifted off to sleep . . . . . . Until I awoke with a jolt. I checked my watch and immediately renewed my attention on the textbook. After finishing the reading, I tackled the corresponding questions. They were not simple, but the direct references to the textbook made it easy to dig for the answers. When I finally completed the assignment, I printed out the page, stuffed it into my binder, and dragged myself to bed. Chemistry could wait for tomorrow. I wish I could say that nights like this were rare, but they are a fairly common occurrence. It is true that homework can be a tool to keep students sharp, but there is a point of diminishing returns where it becomes more detrimental than helpful. I am not suggesting that teachers stop giving out homework all together, but instead consider the merits of each assignment before doling it out. If the assignment is not worth the time it takes to complete, then it should not be given out. Teachers will be spared the time grading busywork, and students could maybe get the recommended eight hours of sleep.
Students Want Advisory Back
We didn’t react to the removal of Advisory with protests or mass demonstrations. While this could make it seem like we are indifferent to the decision, it is actually a reflection of our belief that we have no say in the school’s goings-on. We were not given the opportunity to express our opinions before it was removed, so why would arguing to get it back make any difference? This situation is forcing us, as students, to become apathetic in regards to the schools happenings. We deserve nothing less than a fair opportunity to present our ideas on the topic with the hopes that the administration will take our suggestions into consideration next time. Advisory was, for the most part, used for socializing and wrapping up homework. Teachers passed out forms and occasionally there was a presentation in the JRT, but it was mainly considered twenty free minutes to chat. But who’s to say that a short break isn’t as important to students and teachers as those forms and assemblies? Advisory broke the monotony of five consecutive days of sitting-sitting-eat-sitting-sitting. After hours of taking notes, hunched over desks with drooping eyes, Advisory was a reprieve that allowed us to be more productive in class. Five minutes is not a very long time. You could play two rounds of Scramble with Friends or microwave a bag of popcorn. Advisory only shaved off five minutes of each class for an, evidently, burdensome total of twenty minutes out of the seven hour school day. Did teachers have to rearrange their lesson plans to account for the lost five minutes? Were our grades slipping every week because of those few minutes? The difference in class time was not nearly at critical as the benefit we gained from Advisory. Advisory was our own twenty minutes. We could do what we chose, within the limits of the normal school rules. While the rest of our day was claimed by teachers and notes and tests, Advisory was ours. It was important to us, and the administration removed it without considering our ideas. We’re not questioning their authority or their ability to establish effective school policies, but instead wonder about the reasoning behind this particular decision. Was there really so much to be gained from removing Advisory? We can offer valuable insight into the benefits of Advisory, but the administration never asked for our perspective. All that we as the student body ask is a voice to express our opinions, and reasonable consideration, in the battle over school policy changes.
The Paw Print
Wilde Lake High School 5460 Trumpeter Road -- Columbia, MD 21044 Volume 40, Issue 1
The Paw Print is published by the journalism class. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the staff, the students, the administators, or the school board. Letters to the Editors are encouraged. The Paw Print reserves the right to edit any submissions. Editors in Chief......................................................................................Sarah Orzach and Christina Kochanski News Editor..............................................................................................................................Dyland Reynolds Fearures and Arts Editor..................................................................................................................Jason Siegel Opinions Editor and Photographer........................................................................................... Becka Farquhar Sports Editor....................................................................................................................................Syra Kayani Business Manager..................................................................................................................Rayma Kochakkan Illustrator.......................................................................................................................................Jorge Alvarez Faculty Advisor.............................................................................................................................Mr. Townsend
This, I Teach
By James LeMon Perseverance and Believing in Yourself Some of us in high school knew exactly what we wanted to do and who we wanted to be. Some did not have a clue. But you all should know that the sky is the limit, and we will be bound only by the limitations we place on ourselves. Life is a journey for all of us. It has certainly been a journey for me to be a high school principal in one of the best school systems in America. You may be surprised to hear that I was a pretty successful athlete in high school and several major colleges were waiting to see if I would be academically eligible after my senior year to accept a full scholarship to play for them. But I wasn’t. When I graduated from high school, I was excited about starting a career, a new job at the local steel mill in my hometown, just like my father had done when he finished school. However, after working at the steel mill for only 8 days, I realized that this was not the job I wanted to be doing for the next 25 years. I went back to my high school football coach (who was also my mentor) and asked if he would call one of the coaches who had tried to recruit and encourage me to attend a junior college in either Texas, Kansas, or Oklahoma. After several phone conversations, a free visit out to the Midwest, and some much needed self reflection, I decided to take the opportunity that was given to me to attend a junior college in Kansas. It was a difficult decision because I had never been away from the Pittsburgh area for any length of time. My family did not have a lot of resources, so I was fortunate that a family friend was traveling from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati when it was time for me to report to school and was able to drop me off at the bus station there because I didn’t have the funds to catch the bus from Pittsburgh. It was a long 36 hour bus ride with an eight hour layover in Chicago, and many other stops along the way. I am not ashamed to tell you all that I cried most of the way there, and it was a very difficult adjustment for me during the first several weeks in Dodge City, Kansas. At first I was very frustrated with the situation that I had found myself in, but I soon realized the opportunity that it provided me. During my time there I got focused and I worked very hard on my academics, improving my study skills and how I prepared for tests. I graduated in two years from Dodge City Community College, and was able to accept a full athletic scholarship to West Virginia University. That was the key part of the journey that has brought me here today. Not many people know about my personal journey or the challenges that I have had along the way. I tell you this story to teach others the importance of perseverance and of family and friends who support you, and the power of positive thinking and believing in yourself. Now, I am passionate about teaching others the importance of making a difference for others, because someone made a difference for me in high school. I am a perfect example that you can do anything you want if you work hard, take advantage of opportunities when they arise, and believe in yourself. I am now proud to say that I completed my first two masters degrees from West Virginia University, my third masters degree from the University of Maryland, and my Administration and Supervision Certification from Johns Hopkins University. This is one of my favorite quotes, and it states:
By Becka Farquhar Columnist
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head by members of the Taliban on her way home. Malala was not a great threat to the Taliban. She was only fourteen years old. She was still in school. She had friends, played games, and gossiped. She was not an ambassador, or a world power. She was just a young girl who spoke out against the suppression of girls’ rights to education. Isn’t it odd that in countries like Pakistan someone can be so badly hurt at such a young age over such strong opinions about education, and that while young Malala was putting her life on the line to speak out against the Taliban’s wrong-doings in education, my fellow students and I were probably finding an excuse to get out of school. I think it’s safe to say that a majority of students in the U.S. take education for granted. It’s only that when a young heroine, such as Malala, toes the line between life and death for an opportunity at education do we really realize how valuable and priceless education is. In comparison to repressed young girls like Malala, we’ve got it pretty good. And you know what’s really this wildest thing about this whole situation? It is the fact that Malala was only eleven when she first spoke out against the Taliban. Eleven. When I was eleven, I still had difficulty tying my shoes, and my biggest concern was that I couldn’t draw a bunny-rabbit the right way. School wasn’t a privilege so much as it was a bothersome task. I didn’t want to go to school, but I did because that’s what the government said I had to do. There are places like Pakistan where the government does the exact opposite, where girls and children aren’t provided with an education or safety, where help is practically a world away. Students at Wilde Lake are given so much that students like Malala don’t have. We are given help when we ask for it. We have a school security guard to ensure our safety. Yet we still complain. We complain that the work load is too much, that we didn’t get that new car, or that we can’t afford that new pair of shoes, myself included. Let’s stop complaining and realize that we’ve got it good.
“You can do anything you want if you work hard, take advantage of opportunities when they arise, and believe in yourself.”
Like it is
Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere. -Barack Obama I teach others that we all have something special, something valuable to contribute. To give themselves permission to be imperfect. To give themselves permission to dream. To set a goal. To make a plan. To work hard. To dream big because now is the perfect time for dreaming. I teach others that now is the perfect time to claim their destiny, to persevere, to believe in themselves. This, I teach. The Paw Print is excited to introduce This, I Teach, a new segment dedicated to the expression of a community figure’s personal beliefs and philosophies.
Drawn by Jorge Alvarez