Chomp, Chomp, Chomp

Everyday students get in trouble or warned for chewing gum in class.  However, research done by three undergraduates at St. Lawrence University has showed that when students chew gum it improves their memory.  These results were tested on volunteers who … Continue reading

A+ For Uniforms

Although people in middle school and high school like to express themselves through the clothes they wear, many are finding that they would rather wear a uniform to school.

In 1994, Long Beach, CA was the first public school district in the United States to require students to wear uniforms. Today over 10% of public schools in 19 states require them.

Now that nearly 20 years have passed since public school students in Long Beach started wearing uniforms, parents, teachers, and even students agree that uniforms have had a positive effect.

For starters, uniforms create a level playing field for every student. Because everyone is wearing the same thing, it’s easier for people with less money to fit in. Also, uniforms prevent students from using clothing to compete with one another. Students do not feel the need to buy expensive clothes in order to be “cool”.

In this way, uniforms can help boost students’ self esteem. School Safety Consultant Ken Trump noticed this effect when he said, “Kids are trying so hard to one-up each other on everything from hairstyles to shoes. It takes away the daily fashion show and helps level the playing field a little bit with the haves and have-nots.”

In addition, uniforms create a safer school environment. Schools in California and other states that have school uniforms have lower truancy, gang violence, and illegal drug activity. Researches are not sure why, but they suspect that uniforms reduce gang violence by not allowing students to wear gang colors and symbols to school.

In 2013, one year after three middle schools in Washoe County, Nevada instated uniforms, the schools saw a 63% decrease in police actions against students including, “decrease in gang involvement and bullying.” As students felt safer, they attended school regularly and showed increased self confidence in academics.

By improving a school’s environment, uniforms improve students’ capacity for learning. With the focus taken away from material things and safety concerns, students are more relaxed and able to focus on learning.

In 1996 in his State of the Union speech, President Clinton encouraged public schools to adopt uniforms to bring “discipline and learning back to our schools.” He instructed the Federal Education Department to distribute manuals to 16,000 school districts in the United States advising them how they can legally require school uniforms in public schools.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of school uniforms was pointed out by President Clinton when he addressed the Long Beach school district in 1992: “Instead, they slowly teach our young people one of life’s most important lessons: that what really counts is what you are and what you become on the inside, rather than what you are wearing on the outside.”

Trust

Photo Credit: Artem Popov

Photo Credit: Artem Popov

Trust: “Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something” (New Oxford American Dictionary). We experience trust everyday in our lives. We trust our teachers that they will teach us. We trust our parents to protect us. Sometimes we experience trust on a larger scale like trusting the guy with the arrow to shoot the apple and not your head.

Trust involves responsibility and confidence. Hanging onto a suitcase with a million dollars in it is a huge responsibility. You also have to have confidence in the person you are trusting. You wouldn’t go up to a random, sketchy stranger and ask them to keep a suitcase with a million dollars in it safe for a minute while I go run to get some Dunkin Donuts. You may not even trust your best friend with that enormous responsibility. With responsibility, you have control and power. Confidence is the feeling that you can rely on or trust someone. As you can tell, trust is important and takes time to develop.

Ever since the New York City Outward Bound Trip I have seen trust in my life more clearly than ever before. I went rock climbing on a five story wall that towers over sixty feet above the busy streets of New York City. I trusted my instructors who were belaying me and had the confidence to trust them with my life. On a smaller scale, I trusted the navigators who brought my crew to various locations. We ate at a Sikh Temple, and some of the food didn’t look too appetizing. I trusted the people at the temple that the food I was eating wasn’t roadkill found on the highway. The biggest trust exercise was definitely crossing the Brooklyn Bridge blindfolded. You held on to the person in front of you and trusted that they would successfully lead you across the bridge. Crossing that bridge was one of the best feelings in my entire life.

In the morning, you trust your alarm clock to wake you up at the right time. You trust your parents to be there, and you trust that they have not run away. When you went to bed the night before you had to trust yourself that you will be there the next morning. You have to trust Mother Nature that the world will be there the next day. When you get in your car, you trust that it will work. You trust the person driving you that they will bring you to the right place. You trust the people in the other cars that they won’t crash into you. We are always trusting someone or something every year, every day, every hour, every minute, and every second of our lives. Most of the time we trust unconsciously, without even thinking about it.

Trust comes in small packages. Trust comes in extra large packaging too. Trust is the basis of life and the foundation of success, a fundamental. Trust will build you up and tear you down, but trust will make you a better person.

Papi Trampoline

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit: Sunflat Games

Have you seen dozens of students glued to their computers lately? Well, they are probably playing Papi Trampoline. This addicting game has captured the minds of innocent teenagers for hours at a time. So what makes this game so amusing? Vegetables.

You are Mr. Papi, the red ball guy. Your objective is to jump on the monsters, which are vegetables. It starts out easy with onions and progresses to pumpkins, carrots, and tomatoes. You use the arrows on your keyboard to jump up, to move to the right, and to move to the left. Onions are the easiest to jump on and are worth the least points. Tomatoes are the hardest to jump on and are worth the most points. To gain more points you hop on several vegetables without touching the ground. These are called chains. The higher the chain, the more points you receive. The number of chains you get depends on how many veggies you jump on before touching the ground.  If you crash into the monsters from a side or the bottom, the game is over. It’s like jumping on a trampoline, hence the name.

Online you can submit your scores and see how you compare to the rest of the Papi jumpers. It tells you your grade, like an A+ or a C, and has your highest score listed. There are two worldwide ranking lists, a ranking of the last 100 people and top 100 of the month. There is a button on the game after you have died that says, “submit score.” To submit your score you click on it, and it brings you to the rankings online. You can enter your own username and can change it at anytime.

Papi Trampoline is a free game that can be downloaded on an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, almost all Apple computers, Windows 8, the Windows phone, and Androids. To download the app you either go to the App Store or the Google Play Store. Papi Trampoline was created by Sunflat GAMES. Sunflat GAMES has dozens of other fun games. So now you know that most teenagers glued to their computers are probably jumping on some vegetables.

Swimmers

Some may think it is stupid,

But there are few that ever feel the rush of water flowing over their body

The idea that you may never stop,

But the idea that you may never move.

It is so much work paid off

Countless hours towards everything

All related to one thing.

The will to win flows through our veins

We feel the water,

For we are its people

We speak with each other,

and have fun at every turn

But secretly, this we do not share,

We do work, and we do push ourselves

For we fight against something no other athletes do.

The water

We are not the ones to look down on, for if you do,

We shall pass you on the inside

We know who we are

We are swimmers

NYC: In a Different Perspective

 

Photo Credit: Randy Lemoine

Photo Credit: Randy LemoineNew York City

New York City

is the place to be

to experience different cultures

to eat different food

to worship different religions

to meet different people

to see different places.

Different.

New York City is different.

 

The city is a circus

busy

wild

crazy

magical

different.

 

The city is

Times Square, Broadway,

and Manhattan

but also

The Bronx

Brooklyn

Queens

Staten Island.

All Different.

 

The lights are the most outstanding part of the city

but the unique neighborhoods

in the other

(less appreciated burrows)

Make NYC

special

unique

diverse

amazing

Different.

City of Dreams

Photo Credit: Grufnik

The sun peeks out of the horizon, saying “Good Morning”.

But the city is already awake.

The Subway trains slow into the station,

birds in Central Park chirp tunes

and Broadway signs flicker with life.

Blue dotted curtains on apartment windows open,

letting the light flood into their homes.

Cars already fill the streets,

scattered sounds filling the New England air.

The paper stands are open,

today’s news broadcasted across the busy sidewalks.

Doors open and close,

people come and go.

Young and old,

men and women.

Nothing divides them.

Trains pull out of the station,

streaking across the city with no time to lose.

Passing through the city,

slicing the cold early-­spring air,

the train speeds across the tracks.

It’s old engine groans with protest, but keeps going.

Faster, faster.

The engineer urges,

trying to push the train.

It presses on.

And finally the train slows,

the station in sight. As the train squeals to a stop,

passengers walk off the train, the intercom welcoming them.

“Welcome to The City of Dreams.”

New York

New York is a maze

Twists and turns

Turns and twists

Dead ends.

 

Turning in and out

through buildings,

through blocks

 

Seeking for gladness

and happiness.

Find your way

to the new way

of light

 

Casting your dreams,

through day

and

through night

 

NYCOB Poem

I’ve been to New York City

A lot of times before.

But on this Outward Bound trip,

It was a different tour.

We prayed with the Sikhs

And helped teach little kids.

Rock climbed up a building

And trust walked the Brooklyn Bridge.

We tried new food, took copiera,

And cooked a 3-course meal.

But everything was on a budget,

So we had to make good deals.

Inside jokes on the subway,

And counting-off on the bus ride

We became lions leading the pack,

With a little help from the guides.

We gained a new perspective,

And became a team.

Disturbing our universe

In the “City of Dreams”