Student Opinions on Gym Class By Malvina Giannoulis

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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.

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Technology by Shantelle Guinto

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When The Lance was first launched each of our staff members’ initial task was to interview certain teachers and some students on their opinions about the use of technology in NMHS, but what about outside of school?

When the lights went out during Hurricane Sandy for most New Milford residents, people’s main concern was charging up their cellular devices and computers. Local malls like Garden State Plaza were packed with people with no intention of shopping, but using the outlets or spending some time where it is not dark.

I personally think that it’s great that everyone is able to keep in touch, get work done more efficiently, connect with other people from the world, and kill boredom, however it seems to me we are getting a tad too dependent on it. It is completely understandable that people felt inconvenienced by the lack of heat and light, but the amount of tweets I read regarding people being paranoid that their precious cell phone’s battery life wouldn’t last long was ridiculous.

It’s no secret that technology has been advancing drastically and at a fast pace. I, myself, spend a fair share of time online, whether it be blogging, social networking, or reading. Even our own newspaper is digital for crying out loud. In a way, it disappoints me that printed journalism and even printed reading books are dying out and are on the verge of extinction. Today, sure it’s a few cell phones that we’re worried about during the time of a hurricane, but what about years from now? How dependent can one civilization get on technology? It’s definitely something that I’m both looking forward and dreading to see, but I guess as society changes, our only option is to adjust ourselves.    

BOOK REVIEW BY SHANTELLE GUINTO

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a novel by Stephen Chbosky, follows a series of letters that are written by a boy named Charlie. However, the person to which these letters are addressed to is not revealed, either for intentional or unintentional purposes, it does a great job of depicting the story. The Perks of Being a Wallflower may seem like your typical coming-of-age narrative, what with its family problems, making new friends, teen rebellion, and football games, but there is a twist. Charlie observes life and the lives of other people. He sees things, and he understands. He’s existent, but uses thought as an excuse to not participate in life. Charlie is a wallflower, and when a friend of his points this out, he makes it his goal to try to become a man more of action and less of being consumed by his thoughts. Charlie describes this feeling as “being infinite.”
Charlie’s thoughts are filled with utmost sincerity and pureness that he is automatically deemed a lovable character. It makes you wonder how an adult author manages to illustrate the confinement of the mind of such an innocent, yet wise, adolescent, but Chbosky fails to disappoint his readers. Chbosky’s novel makes teens everywhere able to relate, and even adults feel a sense of nostalgia to their days of growing up through it’s underground humor and self-discovering years.
If you haven’t read this book yet, then for once I’m encouraging you to join the hype and get yourself a copy. A movie based on this novel is currently in theatres, and I cannot wait to see it!

Tripping Kids, Going to Jail By Shantelle Guinto .

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The hard part isn’t choosing, its living with the choices you made.  But what happens if a choice you make leads you to spending time in prison?On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, a 24-year old inmate, James, came to our school to tell his story about how he landed a spot in a jail. During these assemblies, the inmates typically talk about their early lives, and continue speaking on up until the point where the events lead up to them going to jail.This year was no different. James told us that when he was around 6 or 7, he wasn’t well-liked among his peers, and all he wanted to do was be cool. Since he wanted to be cool, he did something childish that would soon be the building block of some more serious crimes. He tripped a kid in an auditorium filled with students in third grade, and the worst part of all; he got away with it.James felt that, if he could get away with that, he could get away with so much more. By sixth grade, his life started to revolve less around school, and more around alcohol and drugs. He didn’t even care when he was arrested because he knew all the right cards to play with his mother that would get her to bail him out, but soon enough his actions weren’t something his mom could get him out of.

By the end of this assembly, I felt sympathy towards the inmate. He’s only a human being who made mistakes that he regrets. I think that is something we can all relate to. Some might question whether or not I should be sympathetic towards James because he might have come off as highly inappropriate.

His story is quite similar to other inmates that have come in previous years, but the difference is James made serious topics such as, addiction, substance abuse, and being arrested sound like a huge joke, as opposed to the other inmates from previous years who seemed to have learned something.

However, I still think the assembly served a great purpose even though it may have not seemed like it. James obviously has some problems, not only in his bad habits, but with himself.

That’s what some people do when things get serious, they joke about it because they just don’t have it in them to face it. How do you look at a room full of teenagers, who still have have a whole bright future ahead of them, when you, yourself have ruined yours?

When James was asked what he’d do for a job once he’s released, he said things along the lines of being able to find a pretty decent job. What I think James needs is not jail, but a reality check.

From the way he spoke about his life, nothing really ever phased him. Going to jail, over and over again, is not what this guy needs because he just doesn’t seem to care. I spoke with a CCD teacher, Mrs. Boak about these types of situations and she mentioned that there are many soldiers who come back to their everyday lives that end up committing crimes. Something happened in them, while they were away, that developed things such as anger issues.

A judge realized this, and decided instead of imprisoning them, he asked them, “Do you want to be helped?” Those who said yes were put into a group of other people who have gone through the same thing. “…and it took some time, but gradually they managed to return to their daily lives through relating with…the other soldiers. I just thought it was very nice that a judge would do that, it’s what they needed,” Mrs. Boak said. In this case, jail was not doing anything for these people at all, as it doesn’t seem to do anything for James. When James was asked whether or not he would do drugs again, he said no, but he also said that if he did, he’d become addicted again.

I feel bad for James, and everyone like him because if he doesn’t face the real world and come out of the bubble he’s in where nothing else matters that little hope of him turning his life around will just cease to exist altogether. James needs to come to terms with himself, and what it is that gives him the need do all these things, so he can finally move past them, otherwise, he’s just going to relapse and live a life without much purpose in it much like he was doing before.

To think, the downfall of his life began with a simple act of tripping a kid in 3rd grade.