Saturday, February 28, 2009

4 x 4 schedule doesn't run well

On Tues. February 24 I attended the faculty meeting that discussed whether to have next year's schedule be a four by four schedule like Chavez. A four by four schedule allows students to take four classes each semester in hopes of allowing students more chances to earn credits by having more electives.
Teachers did have some concerns involving this schedule so the administrators did a presentation answering the questions. In this schedule students would take some of their core classes like math and English classes in the first semester. Teachers were concerned a seven month break, that includes the second semester, would allow students to forget material.  The administrators replied by saying students would forget material anyway during the summer, but have prepared to have a intensive review week before spring testing.
 And though that may let some students have less stress, how will that affect college bound students? What if instead of taking another elective they wanted to take another math class to get prepared for college? 
Students will however get enough room in schedules to stay in music programs for the whole year without having the course compete with AVID or AP courses.
The students pros of the schedule are that it will allow more students time to meet with teachers if they are struggling or want to discuss something with the teacher. It has also proven to have improved graduation rates. But how can students not graduate with this schedule if  they are give around eight more elective classes?
The teacher pros are that the schedule allows a built in 18 hour staff development, less students, and a longer prep period consisting of 93 minutes.
School hours would begin at 7:16 and end at 2:13 and students will also have a minimum day every week.
Other proposals were to keep the same schedule or have bank minutes for minimum days. Bank minutes adds four minutes to each class in order to have a minimum day every week.

At the faculty meeting nothing was resolved because teachers were afraid to commit to a schedule that still contained problems. Students should voice their opinions on how to wok out problems in this potential future considering it's the students future that is affected the most. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Monkey see, monkey attacks!

You've probably heard all the ruckus about the chimpanzee ripping at a poor woman's face. So I ask, do all the strange people carry monkeys? And believe me, strange is the nicest I can say. The woman who owned the monkey bathed with it for chimp sake!

Michael Jackson has a monkey. Professor of the Power Puff Girls had a monkey. Kim Kardashion gets a monkey the same day the chimp attacks! Are we becoming a nation full of monkey business? Are we taking steps back in evolution? Well, history does repeat itself.

So tell me what you think. Is this a matter of bizarre behavior or a sign of society's development? Either way, let's just hope MoJo JoJo doesn't evolve from the homes of these chimp lovers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stagg Mardi Gras: Just Plain Madness

.....Well, today's Mardi Gras and Stagg tradition dictates that Ms. Berg's army of francophones wage war against the forces of boredom by bringing a taste of French Catholic culture to the school. Of course, there'll be eating, performing, and well, just about everything party-themed.
.....In a sense, students involved with the Mardi Gras celebration think that it's just a day for fun and it doesn't have a deeper meaning.
.....Not one to be a party pooper, but Mardi Gras isn't just centered on multi-colored beads and the highly coveted King Cake. The history of this day proves this.
.....Every French student can tell you that "Mardi Gras" means "Fat Tuesday," but only a few can explain why. Luckily for you, I'm part of that few. In predominantly Roman Catholic countries, Fat tuesday was the day families would cook all their meats, eggs, and dairy products before the fasting and abstaining done during Lent. describes it as the "last hurrah" before Ash Wednesday. Gradually, the party atmosphere crept in and slowly took over the day or so it seems.
.....Mardi Gras is also known as Shrove Tuesday. Shrove comes from the English verb "shrive", meaning to repent. Many Catholics go to church to receive the sacrament of reconciliation today since they know that the Lenten season is about perfecting your spiritual life. Confession is just another way to prepare themselves for the future repenting yet to be done after Ash Wednesday.
.....Sadly, most French students are clueless about Mardi Gras' true purpose. It's not just a random party held early in the year. Mardi Gras still and will always remain a Catholic practice. I find it mildly insulting when I witness my friends building art projects and practicing for plays, all the while unaware of the event after Mardi Gras: Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. To them, once today's partying is over, that's it. No repenting, confessing, and growing in faith. Just partying.
.....Now don't get me wrong. I kind of enjoy all the fun, but that's balanced with the fact that I know tomorrow I'll be trying to understand my religion more, the meaning of my baptism and Holy Communion. I'm not trying to shove my beliefs down anyone's throats, but there should have been more done in explaining Mardi Gras' Church background. It has religious connotations as well, connotations that get drowned out by the whooping and hollering of the celebrants.

La Fin,

Jeremy Dela Cruz, l'etudiant triste

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Let's try out this blogging site

By Don Bott, adviser
In this age of new media, it is not enough to publish once a month. We are looking for ways to give our writers — especially our prolific writers — an opportunity to write and publish much more regularly. This blog can accommodate that. We are inviting our most insightful, most opinionated, and most sports- or entertainment-connected writers to write on at least a weekly basis. Check us out!