Friday, February 23, 2018

New Schedule Review

By Tim Baier

     As we all know, North Warren began running on a rotating drop schedule this year. According to the North Warren website, a drop schedule is described as: Classes follow separate morning, and after lunch rotational patterns. All 8 classes meet 3 times every 4 days. Students meet for 6 out of their 8 classes each day. Each day, one class is "dropped" in the morning rotation; another class is "dropped" in the after lunch rotation.

     This schedule was adopted on belief that it would have positive effects on education and efficiency. The schedule allows for extended period length, meaning that teachers can create longer, more in depth lessons to better their students’ educations. It is also helpful when student athletes need to leave for a game, as they will not have to miss the same class every time. Lunch is 46 minutes long, but for students with science labs that need extra time, the first 25 minutes of lunch are used for labs.

     When the idea for the schedule was first introduced, many people believed that it would be a disaster because the whole school ate lunch at the same time. For those that supported it, it was thought that lunches could be used for students to get extra, more personalized help. They also thought that lunches could be used for club meetings rather than having them before and after school.

     As the first few weeks of school began, people realized that lunch was not crowded especially with outside seating availability. Students and teachers alike were favoring the new schedule. As Mr. Haupt observed, science classes did not lose any time, even though they had less labs. Clubs utilized lunch availability, but some students were struggling to remember what classes they had on a Day 1 compared to a Day 2. This issue was mostly resolved except for the occasional brain fart where someone would walk into the wrong class.

     The most irritating flaw of the schedule is that half days do not contain a lunch period. Some teachers, such as Mrs. Baier say that they let their students eat in their class to make up for the lost lunch time. Another flaw, mainly for students that are involved in many clubs activities and science labs such as Katie Reduzzi, say that having all of these meetings during lunch sometimes interferes with labs or other meetings. Some days, students are left with no time to actually eat any lunch, while others there is plenty of time to eat, study, and socialize.

     The overall opinion on the new schedule is favorable. Students like having longer lunches, which they use for homework or socializing. They like not having every class everyday because it breaks up the day. The downfalls however, are that classes are long and sometimes drag on. Also, days get skipped because of snow days which takes time away from classes.

Friday, February 9, 2018

What It Means To Volunteer

By: Ryan Durling

     When someone hears the word volunteer, what comes to mind is personal gain. The idea of volunteerism is thought to be whether it looks good for college applications or creates a facade of a higher-quality human. When you look at it from my perspective, you see a whole new side to the idea of doing something without gaining anything from it.

     May of 2017 was the month in which I made a decision that I didn’t know would forever change my view of people and would allow me to realize the true meaning behind unconditional giving. At the end of May, I became a member of the Green Township Volunteer Fire Department.  This became something I would come to realize as the greatest decision I’ve made in my life.

     When I found out that I was of age to be able to join the fire department, I jumped on the opportunity and never looked back. The first thought that came to my mind when I got accepted into the department was not all the fun I was going to have, but the idea of giving back to those around me in a way that not many others could. Firefighters are pictured as the hero who saves someone from a burning building or rescues a cat that is stuck in a tree (the latter of which I have actually done), but most of the time firefighters do things as small as checking a house for dangerous gasses or cleaning a road up after a car accident to ensure the safety of other drivers on the road.

     None of us get paid to do what we do, otherwise it wouldn't be called volunteering. Most of us will gladly drop what we are doing to go and help someone else. As per our policy, we do not technically have assigned duty nights where three or four members are “on call,” but we rely on our members to respond if they can. After knowing most of the men and women on my department for the six months I have been around them, I am confident that they would give you the shirt off their back even if they didn't know you. I can tell you from personal experience that I would drop whatever I'm doing at home to respond to a call no matter what time of day it was. For most people it's the idea and the rush that comes with every call that gives them their adrenaline, but for me, it's the thought of simply helping someone that makes it all worthwhile. After joining the volunteer fire department, I began to find myself doing things I would never have imagined before. For example, I was driving down a busy road one day and saw a woman running after her dog who got loose in her front yard. I slowed down, pulled over, and turned on my blue lights to push traffic to the other side of the road and to slow down cars that were headed my way. Once the woman had grabbed her dog and put it back inside, I went on with my day. It's little things like this that make you feel so much better inside. Knowing that something as little as helping someone protect their pet from traffic can not only make your own day better but make someone else's day great.

     Our dedication to the community is unlike any other. The behind-the-scenes work that goes into preparation is unbelievable. From monthly drills to making sure the engines and tankers are 100% outfitted with the proper equipment, we make sure that if something happens, we are ready. We want to make sure that if you are ever in a situation where you need help, we will be ready and able to help you.
     So next time you think of the word ‘volunteer,’ look at it from a new perspective. Don’t look at the personal gain from doing it. Think of the satisfaction you will get from helping someone or doing something that someone else can benefit from. 

Super Bowl LII: Will History Repeat Itself?

By Joshua Colon

The 2017-18 football season has been crazy since week one. There’s been protests, injuries, upsets, and teams doing amazing things nobody thought they could ever pull off. The Bills finally separated themselves from the number one spot on the list of the current longest playoff droughts in American pro sports. Their last playoff game before this year was in 1999, 18 seasons ago. The Jaguars, finishing as part of the bottom 5 teams in all of the NFL for the last 6 seasons, made it to the AFC Championship. On top of that, they only lost on the final drive against a team that is arguably the best team in the NFL. Now, the Philadelphia Eagles have a chance to finish the season with a bang, by upsetting the New England Patriot Dynasty, in a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX. 
The Eagles are still chasing their first Super Bowl win, but they have been football champions before. Since their creation in 1933, they have won two national championships before the Super Bowl Era, in 1948 and 1949. After the creation of the Super Bowl in 1967, they have made it to the championship game twice, but fell short in both games. In Super Bowl XV, they lost to the Oakland Raiders. They did not make it to the Super Bowl after that until the 2004/05 season, where they lost Super Bowl XXXIX against the New England Patriots, 21-24. 
The Patriots, on the other hand, are no stranger to success. This is going to be the Patriots’ tenth Super Bowl appearance, already winning 5 of their previous 9 Super Bowls. Four of these wins came from the duo of head coach Bill Belichick and future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. These two form one of, if not the, greatest coach-player duos ever. The Patriots will remain a serious contender for the Super Bowl as long as these two remain together in Foxborough. 
Beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl is already extremely difficult, but now the Eagles are looking to do it without their starting quarterback, Carson Wentz. After Wentz suffered from a torn ACL in week 14, the Eagles had to switch to their second string quarterback, 29 year old Nick Foles. Foles was the Eagles’ third round draft pick out of Arizona, and he bounced around from team to team before landing back in Philadelphia in 2016. He’s no Tom Brady or Carson Wentz, but Nick Foles isn’t a bad quarterback. He has a career QBR (Total Quarterback Rating) of 87.4, and really showed everyone how athletic he is in the blowout victory against the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. 
Despite it being unlikely, beating the Patriots is not impossible. The Giants weren’t 2 for 2 against them in the Super Bowl because of luck. They hit Brady. Hard. They never allowed Brady to get into a groove, because in every other play, the Giants’ defensive line was pummeling him, not allowing him to get comfortable. If the Eagles can keep Brady out of a groove, they might be able to contain him enough to win. Alternatively, Nick Foles has to get himself into a groove. If he can keep the pressure onto the Patriots defense, there's a good chance he will be successful against them all game. The Patriots, on the other hand, in order to beat the Eagles, have to protect Brady. If you give Brady enough time, he will hit an open man 9 out of 10 times. As long as he has enough time, Brady should have no problem carving up the Eagles defense.
Key Players For the Eagles
Nick Foles- After only starting in 5 games all season, Foles is going to be thrown in to face an extremely dominant team. It should be interesting to see if he can get past the nerves and play like he did against the Vikings.
Ashton Jeffrey- He is third in NFL for regular season touchdown passes. He caught for 85 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Vikings. Look to see if he can remain to be the top Eagles receiver.
Chris Long-  He is a seasoned Super Bowl veteran. He had 5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles in regular season and 8 QB pressures in NFC title game. If he can repeat this performance against the Patriots, the Eagles will be in good shape.
Key Players For the Patriots
Tom Brady- He led NFL with 4,577 yards passing this season. He is a four-time Super Bowl MVP going for a sixth ring. He is 5-2 in Super Bowls, as well as a contender for third regular-season MVP award with 32 TD passes at age 40. If Eagles don’t find a way to bring pressure, he will pick them apart.
Rob Gronkowski- He had team-leading 69 receptions and 8 touchdowns, and is an All-Pro tight end that's nearly impossible to stop one on one. He suffered a concussion against the Jaguars, so it should to be interesting to see how he’ll bounce back.
Nate Solder- Not a household name, but he has the important role of protecting Brady’s blindside. If he can do this effectively, Brady can get very comfortable in the pocket, allowing him to carve up the defense of the Eagles