Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Best Places to Study Abroad

Claire Dougherty
Staff Writer

There is a rising interest among college students in studying abroad. If you are considering studying abroad, be sure to gather your information so that you can choose the best destination for you. If you choose the right country, your college experience studying abroad could be much more beneficial.
If you choose to study abroad, your reasons for studying overseas should be what helps determine your location.
Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, Italy, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and The United Kingdom are consistently some of the best places to study abroad. This is because they all have great cultures that vary from America’s so you’ll learn a lot, and they will provide you with great experiences.
France, Spain, and Italy are common places where people would go if they’re trying to improve the language that they learned in high school, it’s very common for students to study abroad to practice language skills, and they’re also beautiful places to travel, with an excellent exposure to a different atmosphere.
Ireland and The United Kingdom are both places with excellent culture that college students would like to experience, but they also speak English which is good for people who aren’t going for the benefit of learning or improving their language skills, and are only going to explore different cultures and to become more exposed to the rest of the world.
Economics plays a big role, right now, it’s a great idea to get yourself over to Asia as fast as possible to get yourself experienced, which is something that large companies want. Taiwan, China, Japan, and South Korea are all great places to go  to get that experience.
Something that all of these countries have in common is that they all have good relations with America, so students will be treated equally as to the people of that country ideally. They also have low crime rates, so it’ll be safe to travel there. Many who do choose to study abroad in Asia, are doing very well now.
If you find that studying abroad may be a good choice for you, either Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, Italy and The United kingdom should be on your list of possible destinations.  However your reason for studying abroad should be what helps to decide on your location.

Field trips provide invaluable experiences

Hannah Mui
Staff Writer

In the middle school, each grade goes on field trips to help students understand topics they are learning  but in a different way. When entering the high school last year I expected my classes to go on field trips to museums, historical sites, and theaters. In school many of the courses offered do not go on field trips. Most of the field trips students attend at New Hope-Solebury are through optional school club events.
 If students had the opportunity to visit museums with their fellow classmates and engage in a different way of  learning the same types of topics it could help improve grades. Field trips are fun for students and help them learn new things. By going on field trips, students can retain the information learned in a more engaging way. It’s good for students to get out of the classroom to give the brain a rest.
      Field trips contribute to the development of students into civilized people by placing them in public spaces such as museums, parks, and theaters. Field trips not only contributes to our overall knowledge but also helps shape how we act in public. An experiment was done at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas to test how much students can retain and learn in one day at the art museum. Students were randomly selected from 123 different schools to participate in the study. Half of the students selected received a tour of the art museum and the other half did not.Students that received the museum tour had higher critical thinking about art as opposed to the control group. By visiting an art museum, students can increase their appreciation and understanding of life during certain time periods. 88% of the students who received the tour was able to remember what paintings depicted when asked several weeks later. This shows that things learned outside the classroom can be retained by students.The results of the experiment also showed that student interest in visiting art museums increased.
    Recently, I attended the S.Y.S.T.E.M.S. field trip to a chemistry laboratory in East Hanover, New Jersey. My classmates and I were able to work in a modern laboratory and perform experiments related to pharmaceutical chemistry. I was able to learn about the type of tests the FDA would use to make sure a drug is safe for the public to use before being put on the market. Through performing these tests on the practice drugs I was able to experience working in a real laboratory as a job. I was also able to determine whether I wanted to pursue chemistry as a major in college.
    The New Hope-Solebury High school should offer more field trips for certain courses to improve students grades. By the school offering more field trips students are able to meet others and create new relationships while at the same time learning in a fun way that will be retained for a long time.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Run Through the Mile

by Dalton Waterman

Gym class can be fun from time to time. The reason most students will express their dissatisfaction with gym is because of the circuits. That is why the mile is hated in gym class, because it is not a circuit, it is worse, it is a fitness test. Fitness tests are certainly loathed among students, but perhaps the fitness test that students dread the most is the mile.
 Students hate the idea of sweating in school; it makes them uncomfortable in their next class, which leads to a distraction from learning. Students have enough mental exercise during the day, that they are not expecting to test their strength and endurance during the day.
 Now most of the students will say that they won't try on the mile, but once the teacher says go, many of them will change their minds. Part of that is because they realize the possibility of actually ending up failing gym class, but for the most part it is because of the competitive nature of the boys in the class. People try hard on the mile because they simply want to beat their peers. That competitiveness is what drives the students to run faster and push themselves ahead of their peers. Students also tend to use a peer as a sort of guide to help themselves keep a solid pace throughout the mile.
 A hot topic that surrounds the mile is the unfair scoring between the genders. Boys try harder because they need a 6:30 to get an 100%, and girls need a 8:30 to get an 100%. The boys have expressed their disgust with that, but it doesn’t look like anything will be done about it anytime soon.
 No matter how much the mile is scrutinized throughout the student body, it is then realized that they only have to do it twice a year if they are in gym class. Honestly, the mile is not that bad, and it can't hurt to get some physical activity during the day because students are sitting  at a desk for most of it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Homework vs. Playtime: A controversial analysis

Zoe Russeck
Opinions Editor

Homework: (schoolwork assigned to be done outside the classroom), distinguished from classwork. We spend the majority of our young life in fluorescent lit, industrial classrooms, using our brains and expanding our knowledge. Learning is great; however, I am sure anyone reading this can understand the grief it brings students to have to continue this school work out of school and deep into the night. The time after school should be dedicated to our own wonders. It should be a time for students to cultivate other parts of life. Yes, homework has been part of life for generations, but does that make it right?
  The “Latino Perspectives Magazine” says that in the 20th century, the brain was viewed as a muscle and muscles need to be exercised. The logic behind that was that exercise can be done at home so students should be working their brains at home. In the 1940’s schools started switching from memorization to problem solving which lead them to believe that homework was just repetition of information. The 1950’s started rolling around and people started to think that homework would “speed up learning.” During the 1960’s parents became concerned that homework was putting a cramp on  their children's social lives which meant homework was put to a hault. Finally, this is where it all came together. This is where the homework trend had its takeoff. The 1980’s brought a higher standard of education. Homework was a way to “stem a rising tide of mediocrity in American education.” As you can see, homework has fluctuated throughout the years. It just so happens that my generation is being strangled by it. Hopefully in years to come, homework will simmer down because teachers, parents, doctors and psychologists will realize the massive, negative impact it puts on developing brains.
  I am not so sure teachers understand the impact that homework has on their students. Homework overload leads to students feeling stressed, frustrated, disillusioned and ultimately leads to students losing motivation to want to learn. We are taught for almost eight hours a day, five days a week. As is, most of the student body does not get the required eight hours of sleep recommended. The last six hours of the day should target staying active and spending quality time with our family and peers; not towards homework.

  If the majority of our day is consumed by school, where does that leave us when we get home? It leaves the student body in a stressed and frantic state. By the end of the day, we are mentally spent. If homework is going to be given, it should be for the sole purpose of studying for tests or completing projects that need creativity. You cannot have a creative mind if it is bogged down with homework. Is anybody listening? Play is a serious subject for developing creative minds
  Some of our world’s greatest advocates of creativity and knowledge are preaching to us that we need time to develop creative minds. Sheryl Sandberg, an American business woman and the COO of Facebook is preaching to the world in hopes that women will step up and use their creativity to sit in the front of the meeting rooms, take charge and run businesses! Another example of a creativity activist would be Sir Ken Robinson. He has redesigned school systems in Great Britain. Mr. Robinson wants to “cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence. “Play” is a serious subject when developing creative minds. If we have no time to play, how will we form passion for something? Now, I am not saying that we are going to have millions of Sheryl Sandberg’s or Sir Ken Robinson’s running around but I, along with many other distinguished educationists and public intellectuals are saying that we need to rethink our education programs and shape them into more realistic programs. If we try to change this now, I foresee a better schooling system for the future generations to come.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Touching the Surface

Chris Brady and Alan Smith

Staff Writers
   Do you ever wish you could bring your desktop to school?
   The Windows Surface RT is the newest addition to the tablet market. Released on June 19, 2012 and priced at $350, it is very well priced when compared to with an iPad. These machines are built for fun, much like the iPad, but are also geared toward life on the go, and getting work done.
   The device comes pre-equipped with office home, mail, messaging, photos, SkyDrive, music, video, and much more.
   It also features a touch screen that can be used with a mouse and keyboard. Unlike the iPad, the Surface comes with a USB port. It is a customizable tablet, meaning that you can change the start screen icons, change its colors, set up a picture password, add languages, and sync all your favorites and settings between your various PCs.
   On the subject of fun, the Surface offers a number of games and connects to your Xbox. The Surface is small and light, making it easy to carry on trips and useful for school. But at the end of the day, the 720p screen provides great quality for watching movies streamed through the Netflix app.
    Although the Surface RT is the cheapest, there are many other models such as the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2. The only noticeable difference between the original Surface and the Surface 2 is that the Surface has a 2.0 USB port while the Surface 2 has a 3.0 USB port. The Surface Pro, however, comes with a Surface Pro Pen and a much more powerful processor complemented by more memory. The price of the Surface 2 starts at $449.00, the Surface Pro 2 starts at $899.00.
    In conclusion this device is ideal for anyone who is always on the go and has some important work to do. It is the ideal computing device for the whole campus.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Limited Involvement in Syria Makes Americans Appear Weak

Daniel Locke
Staff Writer

President Obama has been placed with a difficult decision regarding military intervention in Syria; however, seeking Congressional approval was a major mistake. The Middle East has been in a fragile situation since the end of World War I, since the Arab states have been created, and when Israel had been created in 1948. In 2001, President Bush, after September 11, began the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban  and in 2003, the United States  invaded Iraq under the Iraq Liberation Act. Each time, the U.S. had invaded the Middle East we had fought against terrorism, such as removing Saddam Hussein from power, and Bin Laden, and freeing the people.

And while people may argue that we had destabilized the Middle East, and caused more volatile foreign relations, we had disarmed harmful terrorists, showing the world we do not accept terrorism.

However Assad, in particular, Syria itself, has presented a tough predicament for President Obama, as any action done on his part will have consequences. This time around, Obama is left in the dark, as not only is he not receiving any support from Britain, our strongest ally, he is now relying on diplomatic resolution with the help of Russia. After the Arab Spring, civil war had broken out as the muslim population, of which had been greatly angered at the Assad regime, and the Neo-ba’athist government. Beginning with his father Hafez-al-Assad, Bashar had followed in his footsteps his father’s authoritative manner, and as a result the tensions upon handling the pro-democracy groups and keeping the Ba’thist government alive finally it had broken out in what was the Arab Spring.

But the tables have shifted now because Obama has to take action against the Assad regime after he had said in the State of the Union address: “If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas, and using them.” Obama, then decided it was in America’s best interest to have a limited air strike. He had yet to defend his statements to the “red line,” earlier in the year in March. He had stated: “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.  That would change my calculus.  That would change my equation.” However, he has not been so clear; seeking congressional approval made him appear indecisive as to whether Syria’s crossing of the “red line” was to lead to military action on part of the U.S.

Yet, in seeking congressional approval, he shows not only his indecisiveness in proceeding with Syria, it also showed a shocking character of the world itself. Ironically Russia, which had been supplying weapons to Syria for the past few decades was the country who had sought a resolution. They had taken the opportunity to make them appear as peacemakers, after Obama blinked, when in fact they had been part of the problem. Not only was this a slap in the face for Obama, but it was a slap in the face for the UN, and world, as no country had wanted to defend civilians being killed with Sarin.

Nonetheless, our president, as commander in chief has in his power the ability to strike Syria, but rather sought congressional approval. Why did he deem this necessary? Did he not have the guts to take an action that could alter the standing of our relations in the Middle East, and the economy, as we depend on the oil from them. And at the end of the day, he showed not only Assad, but terrorists groups, that we are weak as they have an advantage over us, and that is the power of fear, fear of repercussions if we become involved as evidently shown by Obama. Was he scared we were not going to be successful, was he afraid of becoming entangled in a similar if he had fired cruise missiles and placed troops on the ground a to the situation in Iraq, rather than Yugoslavia. For each time our troops were deployed, whether it be by Clinton, Bush, or even Johnson, and not one had decided to send troops after seeking congressional approval. And while the possibility of the use of force may had unwanted side effects, it can accomplish to a certain degree the goal of removing the threat of chemical weapons in Syria. But if Russia had not set up diplomatic resolutions, after Kerry had made statements during a press conference, essentially a throw away comment, where would Obama stand now? Would he still be afraid to take action without congress, and avoid the repercussions only to protect his name? Is this another attempt to dodge the issues confronting him in order to fend his reputation, because if something goes down, he does not want to be fully responsible.

Tim Rader Inspires Seniors with his Story

Dalton Waterman
Staff Writer

Over the years the class of 2014 has gone through numerous dull presentations about drug prevention. Every time some doctor or some person that knows about all of the negative impact drugs can have stands up there. They pour all of their knowledge onto the students and think that they will come to an epiphany and never do drugs again. The fact is that we listen to those presentations as they are happening, but immediately after there is harsh machery of the presentation; and not too soon after that there is complete forgetting of what was supposed to be an inspirational drug assembly. It was soon realized that in order to get to students about drugs, there to be a story behind it that teaches a lesson. On a day where the sophomores and juniors took the PSATs, the senior class was inspired by a motivational person, with a heartwarming and informative story.
Tim Rader is a former straight A student, captain of the football team, and one of the most popular kids in his school. He started off talking about his high school days. He kept going back to how he tried to please everyone and get everyone to like him. He talked about his football days and how he was going to get recruited and get a full scholarship. He talked about how he saved his little cousins life when he rescued her from drowning in the pool. He talked about all of the friends he had, and how everyone liked him. Its ironic because he succeeded in getting everyone to like him, but ultimately it is what ruined his life.
All it takes is a couple of bad choices to spiral your life out of control. He explained how he made those mistakes, but he thought that nothing would happen to him, and nothing did for a while, until addiction came back to ruin his life. Addiction will always decide when to come back and ruin you, even if you have it all. This was the biggest lesson he was trying to teach throughout his life story.
All of these drug presenters who come to our school drone on and on about the effects of drugs, but Tim Rader was not one of those guys. His story was inspirational and I think it moved a lot of people. He even said that if you don’t get anything out of this presentation take a couple of “I nevers” and hold onto them for the rest of your life, but I think that everyone did get something out of  this presentation because it was different. If there is one presentation about drugs that I think the seniors will remember I think it will be this one.

Monday, October 7, 2013

What's the harm in listening to music?

Lauren Mangano

Opinions Editor

You’re walking through the hallway, earbuds in your ear, your favorite song bringing up a positive vibe throughout your whole body. A faint voice is heard in the background, and it’s time to make the music stop.
 Cell-phones and other technology are a part of the everyday lives of teenagers in almost every environment--including school.  At the start of the 2012-13 school year, cell-phones were allowed in the beginning of class, at the end of class, in the hallways, and were being used for things like music, texting, and popular games. As the 2012-13 school year went on, a dilemma with the once very popular iPhone app, SnapChat, changed the cell-phone rules. There were complaints from parents and students concerning misuse of the app, consequently removing many of our phone privileges as students. Following the rule change, cell-phones were not to be seen or heard, and even weren’t supposed to be seen in hallways.
 As the new school year rolled around and the new principal, Mr. Malone, came to New Hope-Solebury High School, the cell-phone rules changed yet again. Now, it is not even okay to have earphones in while walking in the hallway, disabling students from listening to music during their passing time in between classes. It is now just a little bit harder to enjoy ourselves during these four minute intervals we have during a seven-hour school day.
 This rule seems to actually be enforced, too. Many times I have seen a teacher ask a student to remove their earbuds. But what is the harm? Listening to music doesn’t take away from our vision in the halls, nor does it take away from our attention so much that it would cause any problems. I think that, of course, the “no cell-phones in class” rule is very understandable. Yet, I can’t think of any situation where music would be harmful. The no music rule, along with the many other changes that came along with this new school year, is one of the few decisions that seems unfair, purposeless, and is against the majority of the student body’s wants.
 I don’t think we can get this rule to be changed, but I think we as students can show that we will be more careful. Maybe we can use one earbud instead of both, that way things are still audible. Nothing bad has happened from listening to music in the halls, and we can make sure that things stay that way.

Inappropriate Conduct by Bristol Parents

Mia Kaminoff

On Sunday, Sept. 15th, the New Hope Varsity football team played against Bristol Senior High School at the home stadium field. Bristol’s football team is considered to be the best in the Bicentennial Athletic League, and hasn’t lost to New Hope in over two years. During the game on the 15th, New Hope beat the undefeated team 35-32. Although the win by New Hope was an achievement deserving much celebration, it was not the most surprising aspect of the game.
 In the midst of the student section singing and cheering congratulations to our players at the end of the game, multiple adults from the Bristol cheering section stuck up their middle fingers to the student section as they left the bleachers. Not only were the parents taking part in this inappropriate conduct, but the Bristol students as well, sticking up their middle fingers as they past the students. There is absolutely no reason that anyone, especially parents, should be taking part in unsportsmanlike conduct at a high school sporting event where most athletes and students present are still only kids.    
 Good sportsmanship is required by both the Bicentennial Athletic League and our athletic director, Mr. Harrington for obvious reasons. There have been many incidents in our country when bad sportsmanship has been taken too far. In July of 2000, a 44-year-old father named Thomas Junta beat to death Michael Costin, another father, during an argument over rough play during a youth hockey practice. Although he claimed it was self-defense, Junta received a six to ten year sentence for his crime. This incident exemplifies the painful toll that bad sportsmanship can lead to.
 Parents involvement in their children athletics has also been shown to have negative effects on a child’s emotional health. If participation in sports is effective, students have the opportunity to learn about teamwork, hard-work, and stress management. If parents and coaches push their athletes too hard, students can end up with self confidence issues and poor sportsmanship. Students, parents and coaches all must keep this in mind, especially when they are spectating.
 We all must remember that these athletic events are simply just games and that maintaining proper sportsmanship is what will allow them to continue in peace. It’s the responsibility of parents, students, and athletes to make sure their competitiveness does not cross the line to disrespect. Most of all, parents should be setting good examples for their children and for the future generations to come, or else we are doomed to copy this conduct and persist this inappropriate behavior, turning athletic events from fun competition into unpleasant interactions.     

Sports vs. School

Jacqui Vergis
Staff Writer

In New Hope-Solebury High School many academically successful students participate in after school sports. Most students happen to face the day-to-day dilemma of not having an appropriate amount of time to complete their homework because of their busy schedules. The term “student-athlete” implies that one takes on their duties of a student before becoming an athlete. This leads to the constant concern that an athlete must maintain their grades if they intend to continue in any given school sport. This is a major problem because with sports comes priorities, commitment, and most of all, a need for time in addition to school.
 In addition to this issue, no athlete looks forward to telling their coach about them being late to, or missing practices and games due to lack of time and an excessive amount of school work. Girls Volleyball coach Watson stated; “Being a teacher myself, I understand the need to occasionally miss a sporting event for school work.” Unfortunately not all coaches are as understanding as coach Watson in this regard, thus making day-to-day life challenging for athletes.
 These complications create potential scenarios in which a student athlete has to choose which is more important, being loyal to a team, or being loyal to their academic requirements. Speaking for many other student-athletes and myself, I believe that there should be a change in school policies to help better the lives of the student-athletes representing our school district. If possible I would love to take this issue beyond the Lion’s Tale, and take the initiative to provide ways to better simplify the daily struggles of our school’s athletes. After discussing this common struggle with several teammates, the proposal of extra homework passes, test extensions, and a potential block scheduling all came into mind. In conclusion, this issue should be further reviewed with teachers, parents, coaches, and Mr. Malone due to the fact that student-athletes should be allowed the time and support to get the things done that need to be done to make their high school years a success.

New Hall Pass Policy is a Terror to the Halls

Michael Iverson
Staff Writer

With the onset of a new high school principal, a slough of critical reception has come from students who despise new policies; especially the new bathroom pass policy. The policy, which requires a student to have their agenda signed to leave a classroom, replaces the former policy of teacher bathroom sign out sheets. As teachers and students alike are a bit frazzled by Mr. Malone’s new policy, which has been carried over from the Middle School, the policy has many questioning the benefits of the new system.
 The new policy, declared by Mr. Malone but not explicitly stated in the student handbook, has many students declaring it as an “immature” and “unnecessary” policy from the middle school. Amongst the reactions are those stating that “We are not middle schoolers” and therefore should “not be treated like Middle Schoolers.” With this in mind, many students have sought to undermine the passport program and unveil its flaws. Some of these comments including that “If the hall pass is used daily, you will run out of spaces.” and “If I don’t have my hall pass, I can’t leave and then what? Do I just pee in my seat?”
 Among the concerns is the argument that when there is a fire drill, teachers no longer have a definite record of where students are. Such documentation is pivotal in the event of an emergency because rescue must work quickly to not only clear the building but to also free anyone trapped inside. In the heat, and the stress, of the moment it is very likely that students and teachers who are fleeing from the building will forget, at least temporarily until they reach the sidewalk and do a headcount, that someone is missing from the class. Furthermore, the absence of the sheet won’t provide the information of where a student is definitely located during the emergency. And since many teachers simply sign at a glance, it is likely they would not know the missing student’s location. This within itself is extremely hazardous, and even life threatening, in an emergency situation.
 For everyone who is hopeful, a policy change is still possible. The student handbook states:
“If a student must leave class, a hall pass is to be issued by the teacher and the student must sign out and in upon his/her return to class. Students found in the hallways without passes will be returned to their classroom and disciplined, if appropriate.”
 The handbook never explicitly requires the use of an agenda passport system. Although passports allow the luxury of minimal classroom interruption for classroom breaks, since many teachers only require the agenda book to be signed without having the student raise their hand and then ask to leave, the dangers of the policy severely outweigh the benefits. Students and teachers should continue to voice their concerns towards the system to Mr. Malone if there is to be any change.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Methods to Curb Your Procrastination

Joshua Searle
Staff Writer

We’ve all been there, browsing the internet or doing some menial task knowing well that we have homework or a project to do, but choose to ignore it until the last minute. We then cram or come up with some crazy plan to get out of doing the assignment, when just doing it in the first place would have been exponentially easier. This, as many of you know, is referred to as procrastination, and it has affected nearly all school students one time or another. Speaking from a huge amount of experience, I know procrastination is a very difficult habit to break. However, when different methods are applied together gradually increase your productivity, you’ll turn your back on procrastination and have actual free time before you know it.
 Before you even unzip your backpack, find and set up an ideal working environment, with no distractions in sight and nothing near you that could interfere with your focus. Never work on a bed; procrastination is bad, but sleeping on the job is practically a step down in productivity. The first step is to get started on your actual assignment. This seems obvious, I know, but it’s the main reason that most students procrastinate late into the night, for we feel much less motivation to finish an assignment when we haven’t started it than when we are already working on it. As psychologist Carl Pickhardt says, “In the end, the antidote to procrastination is determination because when motivation becomes committed and effort is consistent, the engine of accomplishment is hard to stop.” He confirms just how much accomplishing a small amount of homework is a driving force. Another useful method is by rewarding yourself in intervals. The Pomodoro Technique makes use of a timer, in which you set the timer for 25 min. and take a 5 min. break afterwards, where you give yourself a small reward such as a snack or a listen to one of your favorite songs. Beware choosing your reward, however, for if it is a video game or the internet, you might choose to ignore the timer. You can gradually start increasing the work time to further increase your productivity as well, and, before you know it, you’ll have plenty of time to give yourself whatever rewards you wish.
 You should also be self-aware of your procrastination, for when we procrastinate, we often deny the fact that we are procrastinating, and think to ourselves that we “have plenty of time” to finish our assignments. We then keep putting off doing the assignment late into the night, turning that “load of time” we have into a few hours (or even minutes). Another technique is to set deadlines for yourself as you’re completing your homework (i.e. “I have to finish my math homework by 6 P.M.), as this will further motivate you to finish assignments right away. Preferably, write the deadline down so you can give youself a visual aid of what you need to do and by when you have to do it (what do you think your planner is for?). As you work, you should also try and think positively about the assignment. Instead of thinking, “Ugh, only 20 min. of TORTURE left!” try and think to yourself, “This is great! I’m being so productive right now! Look at what I’ve done already!” There are also tons of iphone and android apps out there to help you be productive, such as “(10+2)x5 Procrastination Hack” and “Focus Time” (the Pomodoro technique on your phone!), and also “Finish” and “Priority Matrix” (task sheets that list out what you need to do, if you want to be fancier than your planner). In the end, the only thing that can curb your procrastination is yourself, and your willpower to get things done early. Don’t be expected to do this by yourself, however, for if you put to use all of these techniques, I guarantee you’ll start to see significant improvements to your overall productivity

Do Motivational Speakers Work?

Taylor Selbst
Staff Writer

A motivational speaker’s presentation comes to an end and the audience cheers, but not too long after students and teachers start to wonder if the message was actually able to affect each student. Every student goes through challenging events in their lifetime. When motivational speakers share their stories with students, sometimes that specific event may not have been experienced yet by those in the audience. The speaker’s experiences and opinions on a certain topic may not impact some students as strongly as it might do towards others. Although there are many different kinds of motivational speakers who share their life stories with students, there is not just one motivational speaker who is going to help a whole school filled with many different kind of students.
Motivational speakers are not just available to tell students what to do, but they also serve other purposes. They can help students think of different ways of moving through obstacles. For example, when Laymon Hicks came to our school, he told us a story about a girl who flushed her pills down the drain after reading his book. The stories he told us were very powerful and the message that he was trying to get across was to never give up and if you want something, go get it. Although many of the audience members were not able to share the same experiences with the speaker, they were still able to sympathize, and there was definitely a positive impact.
On the other hand, some students may interpret the motivational speaker’s message in a different way. They may make a joke about it or twist the message the speaker is trying to convey. For example, Mr. Hicks told the school that his grandmother told him, “When you fall down, get back up.” Many students took this as a joke and did not get the message Mr. Hicks was trying to send. When this happens this may affect a student’s future if they do not listen to the advice that is given by a professional. Students may also not agree with the message the motivational speaker is trying to convey. While everyone may have their own beliefs, it is important to remember the motivational speaker’s message.  
People can interpret the message in a positive or negative way. Some situations will  affect students personally, while other situations may not connect with a person until years later. Sophomore Maggie Dougherty says, “I think that motivational speakers inspire students briefly, but their messages don’t stick for more than a week generally.” Junior Andrew Bove says, “Motivational speakers are good because they can change someone’s view on something in a good way and it cannot be turned bad.” To summarize, all motivational speakers have the goal of helping students; yet, how much students get out of it depends upon how the message affects each individual student.  

Food For Thought

Nicole Martin
Staff Writer

The bell shrieks through the hallways and students pile out of their classrooms heading to their favorite time of the day. It’s lunch time and people are expecting a mediocre meal because the cafeteria food is deemed inedible. With thorough investigation, this “rubber”, a reiterated term  spoken throughout the school, may not be as horrible as it seems.
 When asked about the quality of the food, Margie Charney, a cafeteria staff member replied, “There are many options, but the majority of people aren’t taking the healthy option. I can’t force you, so it comes down to your choice.”
 In other words, she means that the amount of options aren’t the issue, and it is the students who make the unwise decisions when ordering their food. In addition, she also added that the majority of the way the food is prepared isn’t unhealthy, which excludes all oil from the preparation process. Margie didn’t fail to mention that the produce is fresh and new supply comes every week from U.S Foods, a well-known distributor. Although the food is nutritional according to Margie Charney, questions were still raised whether the taste is up to par. During the period when she was questioned, she stated that there was an adequate amount of choices and never once mentioned the flavor of the food. This raised questions for students who voiced their distaste for the cafeteria food. The point is: who is going to eat the nutritious food if it doesn’t taste good?
 Moreover, most student opinions differ with the cafeteria staff members’ remarks. One student Maggie Czupich voiced, “When I buy lunch, I only buy packaged foods because I don’t trust the food and it doesn’t taste good.”Another claimed that Margie Charney’s statement of the food being fresh was false. According to a sophomore Hannah Mui  at New Hope-Solebury, “The produce is definitely not fresh, and fresh produce should be brought daily to increase the quality.” She among the others who were questioned also voiced their dislike for the flavor of the food. Lastly, Katie Steele, a New Hope-Solebury freshman expressed her opinion saying, “ The options do not differ, it is basically the same everyday.” Regardless of the wide range of opinions, it is a fact that cafeteria food does need improvement.  It may be nutritional according the cafeteria staff, but it lacks in taste according to most students. Whether lacking in the freshness of the produce, the quality of the food, or even the overall flavor,  it is evident that the school truly cares about the service and is willing to improve these faults.

 Speaking of improvements, our cafeteria is currently following the Pennsylvania guidelines and as these change, the offerings will change as well. The first lady, Michelle Obama has also taken initiative to increase the nutritional value of school lunches and these changes will be evident as time progresses.  As a result of these initiatives, Margie Charney predicts the commonly bought ice cream, pretzels, and other unhealthy options to decrease as these guidelines change. This is very important because as childhood obesity rises and the amount of students buying lunches coincides with this, it is critical to keep the student body healthy. In conclusion, the school lunches may not be gourmet, but they do contain valuable nutrients. As Hippocrates once said “ Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food,” and this should apply to the food we are being served everyday in our cafeteria.