Expectations of the Holidays By Malvina Giannoulis

On Thanksgiving Day everyone is thankful for their friends, family, and everything they have, yet the next day, Black Friday, is when people wake up at four o’clock in the morning and go shopping the rest of the day. Up until Christmas, malls and stores are packed from when they open until they are finally closed. The question is why does everyone have such high expectations of the holiday season?This time of year has seemed to become more about presents rather than spending time with your family and celebrating. Not saying that no one should be given a present around the holidays, but some people go to the extreme. Personally, I think that presents are more about the meaning and less about how much it costs or what brand it is.

Besides buying and receiving presents you should give back to the people who need it the most. For example, you could volunteer at a soup kitchen or donate clothes and toys. All year round there are Salvation Army bins that you could drop clothes in, but around the holiday season you will hear about something called Toys for Tots.

Toys for Tots is basically the collection of toys by schools, girl scouts, and other organizations to give back to kids’ parents who don’t have a lot of money to buy presents for the holidays. This is just one of the many examples of places where you can give back.

Instead of buying loads of expensive gifts for people you can make something yourself that’s meaningful and the person still loves. You can make a scrapbook, piece of jewelry, or even just a nice card.

After asking freshman, Danielle Kelly, about who she exchanges gifts with she said, “A few of my closest friends and family members. Last year I bought too many gifts and it was too expensive.”

Many people around the holiday season expect extravagant gifts such as new phones, computers, and other expensive items, when really it should be more about family. Of course, it is nice to receive many gifts, but you have to be thankful for what you already have and help others who need it more.


Student Opinions on Gym Class By Malvina Giannoulis

What is your favorite part of the day? For many people it is gym, lunch, or their elective. To other students who have it, it might be their free period. Aside from these “classes” the rest of the student’s day consists of their core classes. These times are supposed to be laid back and a short break from the day’s work.After having a conversation with one of the other journalists, Shantelle Guinto, about gym, she remarked, “Gym? I hate gym.”

Many like gym, while others do not. For example, gym is well liked because you have many options of what you would like to do. One day you could be in the weight room, or in the upstairs gym. When the weather is nice in the spring and fall you can even go walk the track across the street from the high school.

Another great thing about gym is how there are several different sports that can be played. So far this year there has been soccer, tennis, and volleyball. If you do not like the sport you are currently playing, you always know that it will not last for the whole year.

Gym is also known as an “easy grade” because if you change every day you already are earning points. Also, if you miss a day of changing you can make up a class after school. Other than that you need to participate.  This does not mean that you have to be running around the gym, but you can’t be sitting down the entire time. If you are not the best at sports, as long as you are standing with your team and are trying to participate you will earn a good grade.

When asked what she liked about gym, Freshman Haley Weininger said, “They teach us skills we never learned in the lower schools…”

For every person who does like gym, there is an equal amount of people who do not. They can choose to opt out of the class by being involved with a sports team, or in the Bergen Performing Arts Center dance program. Those who are unable to opt out, but want to, are lucky when it is their turn to switch to health. One marking period during the year, you are required to take a health class.

There are many reasons why people dislike gym. You will find the majority of the people who do enjoy gym are involved with sports, or are very athletic. The people who dislike gym may not be as athletic and are better at other things, such as reading and math. It can also be taken very seriously at times by others, which makes playing not very fun.

Haley also stated, “I think it’s not fair at times because there are some more competitive people who really want to try while others are new to the game and want to try, but the competitive people won’t let them.”

Another reason students do not like gym is because of fitness testing, which basically means that about three times a marking period students have to take a different variety of tests. These tests consist of running a mile, doing pushups/situps, and completing the sit and reach.

Students are graded on how well they perform these tasks.  The only thing is that one student may be more flexible than another, so obviously they will do better on the sit and reach. Others may have more stamina and endurance and are able to run the mile quicker.

Gym is either enjoyed or hated, depending on the student and the activity. Gym is not for everyone and that’s okay.