Friday, April 28, 2017

Ask Alex About Stress

From Alex
Dear student,

Stress kills. When you have too much stress in your life, you have a hard time sleeping, eating, you get more anxiety, plus you're more at risk for depression, and worst case scenario- a heart attack. Stress not treated can lead to health risks, but it can be successfully treated. So to my stressed out readers, why don't you keep reading and see what I have to say? You may learn something new.

I have deal with stress everyday, and I have discovered my personal ways for dealing with it; it's helped me get to where I am today. I have both anxiety and depression, and it’s a daily battle that I carry with me everyday. I have seen five therapists in my eighteen years on this planet. The one thing that they have all told me is that I'm the only one that can cure this problem.  That no medication will stop it, and no one can come in and take if from me, it's my problem to solve. Stress is a part of me, as it is also a part of you, and I'm going to take you into how I prefer to deal with it.

A simple and great to way to deal with stress is to relieve yourself of that all that crap that’s bugging you in the corner of your room. Everyday take thirty minutes to an hour to just simply clean. When you’re cleaning, make yourself some tea, or put some relaxing music on (music from your favorite film is a classic choice). Think of the cleansing as getting rid of the things that are bringing you the most anxiety.  

Many find comfort in their favorite location. Your favorite room in your house could be your location of choice, or rather your favorite coffee house or eatery.  My favorite place is a place I found while hiking one day. There is a small cliff, with a view of nothing but rolling hills. There is no trail to cross, and no one disturb me. I like to bring my hammock, maybe a book too. It's great to clean your mind with fresh air, and to me it's better than anything you can do for yourself. You should try it,soak in the sun and feel the kiss of Mother Nature on your face.

If you feel that your stress is within school and a large workload, then use your study halls to actually study. Talk to your teachers and schedule a time to work with them. Don't make the excuse that you think you need a break to relax during your study hall, just to goof off with your friends. No. Use your study hall to go to the library and get some work done. Every minute you spend doing work in school, is one less minute you will spend working on whatever assignment it was at home. When you’re studying, listen to music without lyrics to distract you. Start a ritual with your brain; when that music gets turned on, you have to tell yourself, okay, it’s time to study now. My ritual when I get home consists of eating a good, healthy snack, lighting a candle, and putting on the Lord Of The Rings soundtrack before attacking my workload. After doing this for about a week, I found that I can study faster and retain information better. Stress can harm you, your inner peace is more important than academics. I'm not condoning failing and not studying to relax, but taking time for yourself to step back and breathe is so much more important than that paper you have due next week. Once you have the ability to calm the inner beast, you will have the strength to face, and fight the world.

Last but not least, meditation! This is my favorite, and on a particularly stressful week I meditate once a day. You don't need to have a mosk, but what you do need is silence. A great place is your room, a bathroom, or or even a car. If you’re not sure how to go about it, you can find guided meditation on Spotify, YouTube or simply Google. What I find helpful is to count down from twenty to zero with your eyes closed, and focusing on inhaling through your nose and out of your mouth. I'm a musician, so I do this at about fifty beats per minute. With meditation, the options are endless. You can take just five short minutes to close your eyes and reflect, or take thirty minutes to really immerse yourself and listen to a guided mediation.

To Break it Down:


  • Find a guided meditation that you want to use or music that is not distracting or intense
  • Get to your quiet place (this may be your room, bathroom or car)
  • Close your eyes and loosen your muscles from your face down to your toes
  • Focus your chea

  • Again, Find a quiet relaxing place (library, room, maybe even your bathroom)
  • Find a soundtrack that is relaxing and peaceful
  • Think of a ritual that will relax you and get you in the mindset to study

Good luck on finding your inner peace. You are special and you are loved. Peace can be found in stressful time, you just need to know where to look. Be well, this too shall pass my friend.  

Monday, April 24, 2017

NWR’s New Schedule: Drop It Like It’s Hot

By: Connor Breeding and Ben Adams 

     When it comes to next year’s new schedule, students are not sure what to think. The idea of longer classes and a unit lunch can seem overwhelming. Many students referred to the new schedule as “block scheduling” which caused confusion. Mr. Gravatt and Mrs. Black, both on the scheduling committee, were able to shed some light on the issue.
     “To start, it’s not a block schedule. It’s a Rotating-Drop schedule” said Mr. Gravatt. Before the interview with Mr. Gravatt and Mrs. Black, we and many other students believed the new schedule was going to be a block schedule. By definition, a block schedule is when half of the year’s courses run during the first two marking periods, and the other half runs during the second marking period.
     Mr. Gravatt was also able to comment on aspects of the schedule that will be beneficial to us as students: “It will move students and teachers in different patterns. Perhaps right now, 8th period is not your favorite period of your day. Well, first period may not be your favorite period of the day either. Now, that will no longer be allowed. You’ll be seeing that class at a different time during the day, which from a teacher’s perspective, and a student’s perspective, is a good thing. The unit lunch will afford everyone the opportunity to be off at the same time. So now if you’re struggling in a class, there’s no doubt that you and I are off at the same time; we’re all off.” He continued to explain benefits to the school; adding extended instruction time for teachers will help students who need a little more help in some classes.
     Well there you have it; that’s the rotating drop schedule in a nutshell. Now, whether you like it or not, it’s definitely something you want to get used to because it doesn’t look like it’s leaving anytime soon. Who knows, give it a shot and your best effort and you might just grow to like it.