School has just ended, you threw your cap in the air, and got your high school diploma. Congratulations! You have completed a major step in your life. Now what though? Do you go to college immediately? Do you just hang out for awhile? For some people, the answer to these questions is the gap year.
Ah, the highly controversial gap year. Students can choose to have a year of free time before college. The possibilities are endless what you could do in that time. You could find a job and work, or travel around the world. Many students use this time to future progress in their academics by taking advanced courses. Occasionally gap years are urged to help build responsibility and preparedness for college life.
Taking a break from education is nice for some people, but others might disagree. You might find you get distracted from your goals in the long run and find yourself unmotivated when you return to college. Most teachers I have talked to have strongly advised against a gap year. In fact, every teacher I have talked to has advised me against it.
Overall, the choice is yours. Do what you feel is best and will help you in the long run. But’s it’s always comforting to know that you have options.
Many seniors have questions about the senior trip. Ms. Northrup, Health teacher at East and Senior Class Advisor, clarified some details of this trip she is helping to plan. The Senior class trip will be a three to four day excursion to Ohio. It will take place in May and we will leave from East High School at 7am. “Our hotel will be in the middle of downtown near the available events,” said Northrup. “We already have the trolley tour set up.”
So far only 45 seniors are signed up to go. The deadline to secure your spot on the bus is October 20th. Fundraisers will be held to raise money for the trip. The deadline is coming up fast so if you’d like more information, see Ms. Northrup in C102 today!
Homecoming is an annual event that many students and staff look forward to at East High School. The event often includes alumni who have been invited back to cheer on their alma mater in a big football game and to show their school spirit. Homecoming originated in 1911 in a game between Kansas and Missouri which was claimed to be the first college football homecoming game. It is typically held in the fall because that is when football season starts.
The week leading up to the big homecoming football game, students prepare by organizing a pep rally in the gym during the school day. The pep rally typically includes all of the athletes showing their school spirit on the gym floor with a team dance, chant or cheer. Many times teachers will participate in fun games with students. Often, students sit with their class to show unity and compete with one another to show who has the best class spirit. Usually it involves who can yell the loudest and make the most noise.
Another event that is held leading up to the homecoming game is a parade. The parade includes custom made floats that the students prepared to show their school spirit and the class they are in. Many times the school band leads the parade down the street with an upbeat song. Also the school band participates in the event to show their school spirit. Not only are those events held but they also have school spirit and spirit week.
School spirit this year is done mainly during family group. Students are going to decorate their family group doors with designs for the sports teams. Spirit week is when students participate in dressing up depending on the day. For example, Tuesday is Twin day, Wednesday is Wacky Wednesday, Thursday it is Throwback Thursday, and on Friday it is East day. Homecoming is not only a tradition at East High School but it is all over the country.
Mr. Graham’s art class completed a project called “Creature Contour Line Drawing with Pattern Design.” In this project, scholars looked at creating value and texture through the use of intricate patterns and designs.
Many scholars participate in sports at East and it seems there are some differences between boys and girls sports. East High Athletic Director Eric Robinson explains that there are 45 sports teams at East, which is an extremely high number. Some people suspect that certain sports are given extra funding and others are not funded much at all, but Mr. Robinson explained that this is not the case. “All sports here at East are funded. Some sports even fundraise for extra money for the teams. For example, football and basketball fundraise for their money. We as the staff do not benefit at all from these fundraising,” stated Robinson. This means all the extra funds go straight to supporting the teams.
Some sports are not offered at East, which limits scholars’ opportunities to play that sport. Robinson states that the reason was “because there was not a big enough interest. If there's not enough interest we cannot start a team.” An example of this is girls’ soccer. For years there wasn’t enough interest, but now if there is more interest, the team will start back up. But what about the girls who want to play even if there’s not enough interest to form a team? Robinson stated that “If there is not enough girls for a team, we partner up with SOTA for some sports, and they will go there.”
If a girls’ team doesn’t exist yet, and a girl doesn’t want to combine with another school, she might have the option to play on a boys’ team, depending on the sport. Mr. Robinson clarified by saying, “If there is a girls’ team already they have to play on the girls’ team. That’s also for the boys as well, but boys and girls can play on the same team if they want to.” For example, both boys and girls can be on the same cheerleading team. Also, there are rarely girls’ football teams, so what if a girl wants to play football? “There is not a girls’ team for that so if a girl wishes to play football she may,” stated Robinson. “By law they have to. Title nine is a law that states girls can play if they surely wish to, they can’t be turned down, they also can’t disqualify the team if they play as well.”
These rules are made for fairness between boys and girls, but there is still inequity in equipment and resources. It took years for the girls to get a new softball field, and Mr. Robinson agreed that this is a problem, but it is changing. “We are trying to change that because it’s not fair that the boys get more than girls at times. It took a while to get funding for the girls but it happened, and they got a new softball field,” he assured.
Many of us know already that beloved music teacher Mr. Wilson is no longer working here at East. Although it is a devastating thing for many scholars at East, we were lucky enough to get an amazing new choir director, Mrs. Zajkowski.
Mrs. Zajkowski has some big plans and goals for our new choir this year. “I would like kids to participate in the citywide choral festival in May, also have 4 or 5 scholars in choir perform with the RPO in the Holiday Pops concerts,” she stated. She also gave some smaller goals for choir such as getting comfortable with using sheet music and building a cohesive blend within the choir.
Zajkowski is settling into her new surroundings here at East. “For the first month I’ve been trying to build relationships with students and other staff, and though it has been tiring it has still been very good,” she said.
Some students want to be involved in choir this year, but have no room in their schedule, so Mrs. Zajkowski mentioned a holiday caroling opportunity for students who wanted to sing with the choir. Also, she stated that another way to be involved in the choir is helping advertise concerts and making flyers for events that students could come and show support for their fellow peers in the choir. She mentioned that students could also help with lights and sound for concerts as another opportunity. Another thing that students could get involved in choir is by joining the RCSD Show Choir, which rehearses every Saturday from 1pm-3pm with Mr. Wilson.
The Upper School Book Club will hold its first meeting of the year on Wednesday, October 5th from 3:45pm-4:45pm in room D236. They will meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month and bus passes will be provided to club members. The first book is What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman. If you’re interested in joining and would like a copy of the book, please see advisors Mrs. Price or Mrs. Collins for more information.
Are you a junior or a senior interested in attending college? You will need to apply for financial aid to offset college tuition. The College Prep Center can help you figure it all out. At the College Prep Center you will find wonderful resources to assist you in the process of applying to college and finding the necessary funding you need. There are various adults, such as Mr. Fergusson, Ms. Henry, or Ms. Scriven, who can help you in the College Prep Center. They can help you with any questions you might have about college. They will really walk you through step by step so that you can be successful and be prepared for this next important step in your life. So if you want to stop by, the College Prep Center is located in F116 and you can get a pass from your teacher during family group or your support period. Start getting prepped for college today!
Ever since last year the support room has had many changes. "We are forced to do work," said Angelis Agosto, a senior who had support last year as well. At the beginning of the school year the support room had many activities that would let the support room teachers know what topics the student needed more work on. Another thing they added is the reading test scholars have to take with one of the support teachers discusses their levels with them.
Mariangely Cotto notices another change in the support room from last year to this year. “Last year the teachers would have to leave the support room to go attend other classes and now they can stay in the support room and help us more," said Maria. There are more subject area teachers too, and they try to have a teacher from each subject area available to help more too.
The support room has really tightened up their policy on down time. You can no longer use your phones in the support room unless it is for educational purposes but in that case they have the chrome books. A good thing about the support room is that they help you with any homework you need to get done whether it's on paper or need publisher in that case they'll take you to the computer lab with other students who also need to work on the same assignment or on something similar. And if you find yourself with no homework to do, instead of playing games, you can always read a book.
When teenagers gets their driver’s license, an entire world of freedom opens up to them. After passing driver’s ed and the road test, it seems like the open roads are the limit. However, buying your first car might not be the dream come true you think it is.
East High student Tyjhan June bought his first car with his brother Ronney last week. The car is a 99’ Ford Taurus. The car was a steal, nothing wrong with the engine nor transmission. The only problem was that the car is a stick shift. Both Tyjhan and Ronney are experienced drivers and both know how to drive an automatic. However, neither know how to drive a stick shift. Because they bought the car together, both brothers are determined to learn how to drive the car.
In between their work and school schedules, both brothers take turns learning to drive their manual car. “I’m excited to have my first car,” states June. “Now I just have to learn how to drive it.” Tyjhan says that the first couples times he tried to start the car and actually learn how to reach all gears, and reverse the car was hard, but he’s starting to get it down.
So let this be a lesson to all the teens who are looking to get their first car: make sure you can drive it before you buy it!