Stonewall Jackson High School gives their students six minutes to get from one class to the next, so I went around the school asking some of them how they felt about these six minutes they have throughout the day.
I expected the students to have a negative outlook on their current time, and most of them did. A junior, Jenny Galdamez says, "I don't care. I don't really have anything to do, the only reason I'm late is because I walk really slowly." It seems that she is neither satisfied nor annoyed at the allotted time. Another student that I interviewed was Abby Ho, a sophomore. Whilst interviewing her, she said to me, "It's not bad, it's enough because I never get to class late. Although I think we need more time to go to the lockers."
After asking the question, “How do you feel about the timing in between classes?” to a group of girls in the cafeteria, they responded with similar answers. One of the girls, Blanca Bustos, a sophomore, replied, "It's not long enough. It's far. Classes aren't close to each other. People have to go from the trailers to the third floor." Her answers were curt and she made sure to get her point around. I then asked about the problem considering bathroom time and she replied to me, "Some teachers don't let you go to the bathroom." Another sophomore, Kayleigh Bird, says, "If we had ten minutes, that would be better because the bathrooms are very crowded and you can't get back to class in 6 minutes."
Later, I asked another group of girls the same question and they were alike in their responses to the first group. A sophomore, Iris Andrade-Lopez, spoke up, “I think it’s too short, sometimes you want to go to the bathroom, but you can’t because the line is too long.” If you walk into the girls’ bathroom, there is a large line, leading all the way to the door. She states, “They’re going to lock the doors,” referring to teachers who shut their classroom door when the last bell rings and the students that try to come in after is considered tardy and unexcused. After informing her that the exact given time for students to walk to their next class is six minutes, she replies in surprise, “Six minutes feels so short.” Ashley Salvador, sophomore, agrees that the time is very short. "I think it should be longer so I have time to go to my locker then back to class," said Salvador. I then asked both about their ideal amount of time, “I would say ten minutes,” said Andrade-Lopez. "Ten minutes is a little too much, like eight minutes," countered Salvador.
Most of the students I interviewed had a preferred time of ten minutes. After interviewing and getting statements from students around the school, I concluded that girls are especially very upset with the time because they cannot go to the bathrooms. Not because they want to talk, or for any other reason, they want to be more comfortable and not have to rush from place to place.
The idea behind school supplemental periods is that they are to be used for “enrichment and remediation rather than a study hall”, as principal of Stonewall Jackson High School, Dr. Nichols, helped us to understand.
We sought out to get opinions from students on their views of supplemental blocks and how they feel about them. We got many mixed reviews from our fellow students. A source, Leslie Chinchilla, Junior, gave us feedback on how she feels towards supplemental periods, “There are times we learn new material and I don’t think we should.” She then went to elaborate why she feels this way and her agreeance to the idea behind supplemental periods, “supplemental periods should be more of a time to better understand the subject of the class you happen to be in, in case you have any questions and need the teacher to review things slower, especially me because I sometimes need extra help and there are other students who are like me.”
However, there were many sources who did not perceive supplemental periods the way Leslie may have, for example a fellow student, Eryck Martinez, Junior, felt supplemental periods “should be used as a study hall because of certain cases like people who have to work etc. I don’t believe there should be added work because it’s like a burden almost, students sometimes have enough on their plate, although for the most part I do like the way supplemental periods are run as of right now.” We decided it’d be a good idea to get an outlook from fellow teachers as well.
Ms. Schwarzwalder, Algebra 2 teacher, stated that she “likes the fact that supplemental blocks exist. I find it slightly confusing.” She then went on to explain supplemental blocks are “definitely not a study hall. I use it to get SOL questions in.” Most teachers we interviewed semi-had the same opinion as one another towards supplemental periods.
Mr. Russell, also an Algebra 2 teacher, likes the way supplemental periods are organized for the most part, “depending on the class, supplemental periods should be used to better understand that subject of class they’re in, but let’s say PE supplemental should be like a study hall rather than doing nothing or kicking a ball.” Mr. Russell expands his opinion on this topic by stating why he feels this way, “With certain subjects’ students need their teacher to explain it clearer, while certain other classes like PE, time could be used educationally.”
There are a lot of questions on how supplemental periods should be used, but there’s one thing for certain, supplemental blocks have been around for many years and will continue to be around for many more
On November 5th, a 26 year-old-man killed 25 people, including an unborn child, and injured 20 more people in a Baptist church located at Sutherland Springs, Texas.
After learning about the horrific news, some people have been wondering about the safety of themselves and their church. Wanting the opinions of teens, I went around asking some SJHS students about their thoughts regarding the situation. The very first question I asked was, "On a scale of one to ten, how safe do you consider churches?" Each student's answers were different and had variety. For example, sophomore Ndya Mangum says she considers the level of church safety is at a ten. She also mentioned that she goes to church occasionally and has never encountered something suspicious before. When asked about making security stronger for churches, she replied, "I don't think they should go full on like have bodyguards. They should just have someone to watch out for something suspicious." I the questioned her is she minded letting just anyone into her church. "It's a little awkward, and it's a small church, everyone knows everyone," responded Mangum. I repeated my first question to sophomore Rebecca Hernandez and she replied, "A three, because they don't check your bags or anything." I then asked her if she feels safe at her church to which she answered with, "No, not really because they just let you in, they don't suspect or do anything. I feel unsafe because anyone can be capable of anything." Although freshman Yousef Zaidi goes to a mosque, he considers churches, in general, to be a six out of ten. "I wouldn't mind if they just let anyone in," said Zaidi. Since I wanted people of different ages to interview, I asked a few seniors and a librarian. One of Stonewall Jackson High School's librarians, Megan Link, was interviewed relating to the incident at Texas. "I guess I would say five, it depends on where the church is located." She answered when I asked her how safe churches were. "I go to a United Methodist church," she continued. She also said that she feels safe there. After I had asked her how she felt when they let just anyone in she replied, "I feel that one of the primary purposes is to welcome everyone." Finally, I asked seniors Torie Johnson and Michael Wright about how secure church are to them. "Depends on the church on occasion. I go to a Methodist church, it's in the middle of nowhere. There are only old white country people," said Johnson, implying that she feels fine and safe where she is. On the other hand, Wright says that he considers church safety to be at a seven. "I feel edgy and it's uncomfortable. They should search any bag they have before they walk in."
Many of these students have been giving their honest thoughts and opinions. They are also good at expressing themselves, no matter the issue or situation. It appears that many people are uncomfortable with having "random" people going to their church.
Lunar New Year is a holiday that is widely celebrated throughout Asia and it is a huge part of culture. It might be mistaken by Westerners as a holiday that is only celebrated by China as the Chinese New Year is well known to the rest of the world. It is also the most important holiday to the Chinese. Most Asian countries have their own Lunar New Year that might be celebrated on a different date . This year, the Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese celebrated their Lunar New Year on February 16th. Although China, Korea, and Vietnam all celebrated the Lunar New Year on the same day, the things each country does to prepare and celebrate is a bit different. Since the Lunar New year is based on the Chinese Lunar calendar, it changes every year.
Each year is represented by an animal zodiac sign, and this Lunar New Year fell on the year of the dog. It is tradition for adults to give the children money but the way the money is given is different. The Chinese and Vietnamese give the children money by preparing it in a red envelope since red is a symbol of good luck. Koreans give money to children by putting it in a silk pouch. Junior Makala Weaver, whose grandmother is Korean says she celebrates the New Year by going to church. "I went to a Korean church but there are other Asian heritages. They would invite us over for food and dance." When I asked her if and how she receives money from her parents or other people, she replied, "My aunt gives me flowers and money, but my great, great grandma used to give me money in silk pouches." Later I questioned her if she does anything else and she answered, "We go to this school and the kids dress up as dragons and dance for us. It's really cute." When asked about her favorite part of the Lunar New Year she said it was the food. She also said that they would do a prayer at church and do another one when they go home. Abby Ho who is a Sophomore and is of Vietnamese descent was also interviewed. She explained, "When the date starts approaching, we go to the market and we start buying flowers and we decorate the house with it. We start making food in the early morning, it's kind of like Thanksgiving." Then I asked her how she received money to which she responded, "First, you have to give your greetings and best wishes for the person and then they will give you a red envelope filled with money." Many cultures have their own way to celebrate so I asked her if she did anything else such as play games. Ho said, "Our family plays two different Vietnamese gambling games." Finally, I asked her what she liked about the New Year and she said that she didn't like anything particular . She did express a bit of sadness while talking about Vietnam. She elaborated, "In Vietnam, it's a bigger deal. All the stores are closed and they just sell lanterns. Everyone opens their doors and welcomes strangers in to eat with them.
People light up fireworks and everyone is dancing and eating, but not in America." Lunar New Year and the National New Year are both important to the world as it is a time for people to come together, celebrate, and rejoice.