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VOLUME 15, NUMBER 2 -- September 8, 2008

Insider's Guide to High School

Play review

"No child..." offers realistic view of high school

There was a bullet hole in the window, graffiti on the cinder block walls and a general feeling of misery in the air.

It was another day at the fictional Malcolm X High School in the Bronx, as depicted "No Child…", now showing at TheaterWorks in Hartford.

With its colorful language, "No Child…" excited the audience with the story of poor, black students at the crumbling high school in New York City.

  – By Wesley Saxena and Kiernan Majerus-Collins

When Hurricane Katrina smashed ashore in 2005, Louisiana teen Samantha Perez started writing about the storm that washed away much of her old life. Her journal, chronicled in the pages of The Tattoo, is all online at Hurricane Journal. Read it for an eye-opening and intensely personal look into the eye of the worst storm in recent history.

Surviving extracurriculars

You've finally made it. Welcome to high school. The big dogs. The world is your oyster.
Sort of.
Odds are, you were probably presented with a wide variety of options when you entered high school. Sports, debate team, mathletes, Amnesty International, the list goes on. Everything sounds intriguing and inviting, right?
Well, look before you leap into after-school activities.

– By Leah Igdalsky


How to survive first day syndrome


Maybe it doesn’t show in psychology texts, but it exists and has a name: it’s called first day syndrome.

The symptoms are fear, discomfort and loss of self-esteem and it can infect all high school freshmen. 
Being in a new school can be very difficult for students. It’s easy to imagine how much harder it could be if you don’t have any friends with you or if you are afraid you won’t be able to hold up under the pressures of school.

But there is a remedy for this syndrome you can easily take. 

– By Eugenia Durante


By Justin Skaradosky/ Youth Journalism International

Be proactive

Life at a small high school is many different things. Sometimes, it’s a pain knowing everyone, knowing everything, and never seeing a new face. Other times, it’s cozy and comforting to know all of the students.

The biggest challenge at a large high school is creating opportunities to stand out, while in small high schools, some of these opportunities are just waiting for students to take advantage of them.

I’ve always wanted to be the student council president. With a small student body, my high school also has a small student council. Since sixth grade, I’ve dreamed of being the president – and now, as a senior, I am!

 -- By Rachel Miller


By Justin Skaradosky/ Youth Journalism International

It does actually matter!

There are some differences between high schools in South Africa and high schools in America, the United Kingdom or Australia.

For one, our school year starts in January.

For another, almost everybody wears a school uniform.

The schools here are often in ruins – a sad reminder of our past. My school has electricity, computers, clean running water, security and spacious classrooms. I am one of the lucky few.

We also have probably THE laziest and most inefficient Department of Education in the world! 

Besides that? We also have those little cliquey groups – jocks, plastics, ghettos, nerds, music boffs. We have parties that we wish we never went to, we have students in drunken driving accidents, and we have break-time brawls and girls who cry in the bathrooms over their last heartbreak.  

The fact is, while school systems, morals and personalities vary the world over, the psyche of high school students remain pretty much the same.

 -- By Mariechen Puchert


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 Insider's Guide to High School
















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