Monday, January 9, 2017

Does The Sky Speak?

By: Sydney Janeiro

     According to our history books, the Babylonians created the signs of zodiac over 3,000 years ago. So these astrological manifestations have certainly withstood the test of time. Who hasn’t milled through the Sunday paper and paused to read their daily horoscope? Is it malarkey or fate? Do you look to the stars to uncover the scientific mysteries of the universe, or are you hoping to determine your future destiny?

     If you’re a fan of astrology, you’ve probably heard that a rather dull constellation is lighting its way into the zodiacal path. Its name is Ophiuchus (oaf-ih-YOU-kus), and according to NASA, it is the 13th constellation that aligns with the sun for 18 days. They say the earth’s axis has shifted, and the stars may not be in the same place they were when the ancient Babylonians looked up at the starry sky. Another theory is that the Babylonians knew the constellation existed, but only wanted to utilize constellations for the 12 calendar months they created. It is also possible that they chose to ignore this lackluster cluster because it was aesthetically displeasing; it ruined the uniformity.

     Whatever the reason, the possible addition of a 13th zodiac sign has left many enthusiasts bursting at their celestial seams. Should we just ignore NASA’s calculations? I mean, it’s NASA. On the other hand, it has always been just twelve zodiac signs. Ilona Soltys, a Zodiac devotee stated, “I’m not denying that it exists, I’m just denying that it’s a zodiac sign.” If Ophiuchus is inducted, it changes everything in astrology. Thought you were a Capricorn? Well, think again. You may have a new sign guiding your path. Thought you were practical? Well, your new sign says you’re adventurous.

     So, does the news of Ophiuchus leave you heavy-hearted? Or are you a skeptic of astrology altogether? Regardless of our opinions on astrology and zodiac signs, we can all agree that the constellations on a clear night are breathtaking. Their beauty speaks, and we, each on our own journey and with our own set of beliefs, look up to the night sky for inspiration.

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, January 6, 2017

Making A Splash

By Moira Kellaher

        One afternoon in early December, many NWR students and teachers were puzzled by an announcement letting the swim team know when their bus would be arriving. The question “We have a swim team?” floated around many classrooms, and for good reason. North Warren’s athletic department has many options for students, but swimming is one sport the school hasn’t offered—until this year. North Warren Regional High School and Belvidere High School have signed a cooperative agreement allowing NWR students to swim on Belvidere’s team. Nine North Warren students have joined the team and have already participated in several meets.

        The co-op agreement states that because North Warren has no swim team of its own, its students are able to swim with Belvidere High School. The co-op will last for two years, possibly longer if the agreement is renewed. This type of agreement isn’t uncommon. The Belvidere team actually began as a co-op with Warren Hills in the early 2000s. In 2008, Belvidere formed its own team of ten swimmers, known as the County Seaters.

The idea for a North Warren-Belvidere co-op team came about four years ago, when coach Nick Cosimano was looking for a way to boost the size of the Belvidere team. “Belvidere is a small school, especially compared to the other teams in our conference,” Cosimano told the Patriot Press. “I knew it would always be tough to field a team big enough to compete. I also met a girl from NWR that wanted to be a part of a high school team.” Cosimano said that it took a few years for the two schools to find support for the team and work out an agreement.

The team, now 35 swimmers strong, practices at night and divides its practice time between Blair Academy and East Stroudsburg University. The schedule depends on when pool time is available, so it changes week to week. There are a total of ten meets, with the season ending February 1. Swimmers can make varsity by earning 10 points for the team in their meet races, and North Warren swimmers who accomplish this will receive North Warren varsity letters—not Belvidere letters.

According to Cosimano, the new co-op is an amazing opportunity for both schools. “BHS has benefited from it because the co-op provides stability in numbers for the program. Also, I hope out of this co-op, NWR can form its own team years from now,” he said.  

It is not too late for interested swimmers to dive in. “The team can always take on people who have experience swimming or anyone who wants to learn,” Cosimano said. The team is especially short on male swimmers. If anyone is interested in joining the team for this year or next year, they can contact the NWR athletic department for more information.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Ask Alex: I Hate The Weight Room

Dear Alex,

How do I get out of going to the weight room in gym class??

Dear Not So Gym Warrior,

The weight room during gym class is an event dreaded by gym students as they await their turn to enter the sweaty room of horrors. But there are some simple ways to help you get out of the weight room.

  • Tell your gym teacher you’re sick
  • Forget your clothes for gym (not recommended as it will bring down your gym grade)
  • Find your evil twin from another dimension and force them to go to gym
  • Invest in cloning
  • Transfer schools
  • Wear a mustache and pretend you are a new exchange student

But truthfully I would ask your teacher for alternate activity if you do not feel comfortable in the weight room, or talk to your guidance counselor. Also you only have to go to the weight room for half a marking period, so for now, just hang in there and focus on getting ripped!!


Ask Alex: Homework

Dear Alex,
I have put under a lot of stress this year.  My homework load is crazy, I’m having problems at home, and I’m getting a job soon.  I’ve done all I can, but I’m still sleep deprived and have a hard time relaxing.  Any suggestions?

Dear Writer,
I’m sorry to hear that you are having a rough time this year.  High school can be a stressful time and it is easy to get swept into a whirlwind of family, friends, work, school, clubs, sports, etc.  But in the midst of this whirlwind it is important to keep your own well being a priority.  Doing little things for yourself can help you stay calm and relaxed which makes it a little easier to fall asleep. Try listening to your favorite music when you feel like the weight of the world is toppling on your shoulders.  Research shows that listening to soothing music can improve anxiety. Deep breathing can also lower your heart rate and stress levels; taking just a five minute break can help you unwind when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Most importantly, try reaching out to others. Whether it’s a parent, a teacher, or a close friend, I encourage you to share how you’re feeling instead of bottling it all up inside. I hope things improve in your life in school and at home, and I’m sure these problems will all settle down when the stress of high school is over.

Best wishes,