Thursday, May 1, 2014

Vox Pop

https://docs.google.com/a/rsu5.org/file/d/0B-TocDn0Shjtd25lUmQ3REVuV1E/edit

The vox pop was an interesting project because it allowed me to go around and see the opinions of everyone and see where they'd been around the world. As someone who is interested in traveling to a lot of places it was nice to get an insight on what certain places around the world were like to visit.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

RSU5 Editorial

This editorial was written from the point of view of a Freeport resident who felt as though the school needs all of the renovations that were proposed and that is the clear tone of the piece. My opinion is very clearly stressed. I think one weakness of the piece is that the opposing view isn't really given much attention or really validated in any way. There may be a little too much bias.





RSU 5 has consisted of the towns of Freeport, Durham, and Pownal for the past few years. It had been a seemingly happy relationship up until a proposal for renovations to Freeport High School was proposed. This proposal included renovations to the school as well as a turf field and a track. The towns of Durham and Pownal combined to vote down the renovations and Freeport was sent back to the drawing board when it came to renovating the school.
Renovations to the school are necessary because the school has become very dated and isn't as technologically modern as it should be, to maximize the learning that occurs in the school. Also some teachers in the school don't even have classrooms of their own and are forced to cart their supplies from room to room for each class. Some classes at Freeport High School are even offered in a modular located near the school.
The towns of Durham and Pownal don't feel renovating the school benefits them in any way and that is why they vote against it. The renovations to the school could potentially increase the attraction of the town for people moving to the area and could therefore raise property values, benefits that Pownal and Durham wouldn't necessarily receive. Some RSU 5 residents saw the track and field as a luxury which caused the next proposal for renovations to have the school renovations on separate bills from the track and field.
The track and field was shot down by Durham and Pownal and was narrowly passed by Freeport. The track and field ultimately failed. The renovations to the school were passed. Freeport approved them voting 1639 to 1029, Durham and Pownal voted it down with votes of 828 against and 467 for in Durham and 395 against and 218 for in Pownal. (All statistics taken from theforcaster.net.) Freeport residents have also voted to explore leaving the RSU. If freeport does leave the RSU the vote to renovate will have to be redone as Freeport instead of the RSU. Freeport residents are far more open to the expansion of the towns schools, as shown by the voting.
Freeport would be better off on its own because Durham and Pownal fight all forms of expansion. Unless those towns are willing to realize that spending a little money is necessary to improve the education of all future generations that attend Freeport High School, the town of Freeport should keep the high school for itself and have only Freeport residents have a say in our school system renovations.

Minimum Wage Editorial

The minimum wage editorial was one that I actually had interest in writing because I currently work a job that I basically make minimum wage. The topic is actually something that is relevant to me which made it much easier to write about and gave me an angle that was about benefiting myself while still managing to show the other side of the issue.

Minimum Wage: A little bit of change.

Minimum wage jobs make up a significant portion of the jobs available. Minimum wage jobs aren't only for teenagers still in school; the average age of minimum wage workers is 35. On average these people earn half of their families income. $7.25, the current minimum wage in the U.S, is simply not enough to make a living on.



Minimum wage is set by the government and needs an overhaul. It hasn't kept up with the increase in the cost of living and the wealth inequality in this country continues to rise. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would remove 4.6 million people from poverty. With those people climbing out of poverty would others find themselves on the other end and be laid off because companies had to pay more while being able to employ fewer?
The people against raising minimum wage, the ones who benefit from keeping the little man down, argue that it's worse for everyone if minimum wage is raised. They argue that employers having to pay higher wages would require them to lay people off and have fewer employees overall. Is it worth it for someone to work a job they can't make a living off of? Employers that are employing minimum wage workers aren't offering jobs that people can live off of. A job should be able to provide a living for the worker. Currently you can't make a living off minimum wage, so a few less jobs being offered, but giving more people than before the opportunity to make a real living is the right step. That will lead to the creation of more and more jobs at wages that people can live on.
The amount of adults with families not making enough money to support their families is much too high. Nobody should be working full time and still not make enough money to live. Many of these workers are forced to rely on government assistance which is bad for all tax payers. Our government is basically admitting that minimum wage is too low because they're willing to give money to those people who work those minimum wage jobs. The solution isn't in giving money to those people through aid programs, it's in raising the minimum wage.
Minimum wage needs to keep up with work productivity and it hasn't. As work productivity goes up the wealth inequality in this country goes up as well. Until the government can open their eyes and realize how beneficial for the entire country raising the minimum wage is we're going to have many people stuck in poverty with no way out.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Senior Move Review

The Passion of the Cam:

Rated R: For violence, drug use, and bullying.
Directed by: Susan Mason
If you're looking for a long, tedious movie that isn't very eventful then this is a must see. It stars a pretty bland high school senior from Maine who really just wants to be out of high school. This film was  No significant plot twists occur and it's clear that our hero is just waiting for the movie to be over, much like you'll be doing about five minutes in. This movie was so boring that no genre really deserves to be tainted by having this title fall under it, but we'll be forced to settle for documentary.

This documentary chronicles what senior year is really like as kids struggle to sit through class after class just counting down the days. Supporting roles in the film were; Ben Macmillan, the slow child who just couldn't seem to spell his own name no matter how hard he tried, Chandler and Niko who were "just friends", and Matthew Schultheis who was a clear love interest of our main character. All of these characters add a little bit of substance to this film and keep you constantly asking yourself questions like, "Are all people from Maine all this weird?" And, "Where is Maine, is that even a state?" And even, "What's wrong with that Ben kid and when will he stop licking those windows?" All in all the supporting cast does manage to lighten the mood of an otherwise bland film.

The setting of this film is in Freeport, a small town on the coast of Maine that will make you grateful for how much there is to do in the town you live in and happy not so many damn French-Canadians visit your home town and try to run you off the road while being the rudest people you will ever meet. Certain scenes of the movie appear to be almost exciting, but don't worry, before anything enjoyable happens someone with authority is sure to show up and ruin everyone's time! Coughcopsandsickelscough. This film serves as an excellent pick me up if you're having a bad year because it can't be any worse than this year! You thought your life was uneventful, just wait.

The sequel to this movie is reportedly already being filmed and should feature a lot of the same characters. We should see a lot of the same from the next with a different setting, a college campus. The film is set to feature a few new characters and some changes to the old ones, such as Ben Macmillan sporting a fancy new helmet to prevent injuring himself. Cam and Matt finally seal the deal and move in together. Chandler and Niko split up and move away from each other, who will win custody of the children in court? The sequel is set to be released in May of next year and will be titled: The Passion of the Cam II: Easter Sunday, the Reckoning.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Partly Cloudy Review

It's up to the clouds to provide the world with new life, but what happens when one cloud just can't get it right? Partly Cloudy tells a story of a cloud who can't seem to make the perfect creatures that the rest do. He tries and tries, but keeps making dangerous animals. His stork partner continually pays the price.

As the stork sees all of the others getting to play with adorable animals he is forced to deal with constant injury by his clouds creations. He becomes fed up after some time and it appears he is going to abandon his cloud.

The stork leaves to another cloud with no explanation. His cloud becomes very distraught and begins to lash out, this is where thunderstorms and rain come from, obviously.  Soon his stork returns and shows the cloud that he has a football helmet and shoulder pads to protect him from injury, he chose to stick it out with this cloud while he tries to get the hang of it. He is then rewarded by an electric shock, something pads don't help with.

This movie is rather clever in the way it portrays it's message. It's a very fun story to follow along with and also managed to have a very sincere message at the end about sticking with your friends through the hard times. Will this cloud ever improve its ability to create life? We don't know, but we do know the same stork will be there if he does.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Movie Reviews

  • If you are thinking about seeing a particular movie, would you consult a movie review for a recommendation? Why or why not? I don't really ever go to the movies, I just watch them on Netflix so I don't bother with a review, I just read the description. 

  • What types of useful information can a movie review offer you? List as many as you can.
    Pace of film, style of acting, which scenes were good and which were bad. 

  • How often do you think young people consult movie reviews before watching a movie?
    No idea. 

  • What aspects about movie reviews make them a positive or negative influence on your decision to watch the movie?  I don't watch them. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

College Crossroads

As a senior in high school you look forward to a fairly laid back year, other than one big obstacle, applying to college. The process of deciding where you want to go to school can be pretty daunting, it shouldn't. Focusing all your effort into getting into one specific school isn't necessary. Not getting into the school of your dreams isn't going to ruin the rest of your lives, plenty of other schools offer the same education and degree your looking for. It's you as a student that decides how beneficial college is for you, not the prestige the name of the school has. Instead the focus of someone applying to schools is to make sure you give yourself options. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, decide what you're interested in, then apply to a few schools that offer what you're looking for. Don't procrastinate though, from personal experience, that makes the entire process infinitely more stressful. You'll feel much better if you apply early and don't have to worry at all about meeting
Deadlines. Don't let yourself get attached to one school, truth be told it isn't that important where you go. What's important is you, what you put into your college experience. It's up to you how much going to school impacts your life. If you put in very little you'll get very little out, if you apply yourself then you'll end up giving yourself a chance for success.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SAT Scores in the Hiring Process

In my opinion businesses should be able to use whatever they want to determine whether or not they want you to work for them. They're trusting you to do a job that helps their business run so if they decide that your SAT scores are important, then they're important. Don't like it? Apply somewhere else. With so many people applying for the same jobs many of them have a lot of similarities and it can be hard to decide between people, using the SAT as a way to weed out some people who otherwise fit the criteria is fair when the people remaining have the same qualifications and also a good SAT score. The scores aren't the entire reason you either don't or do get hired, just another way to compare you to other applicants. Scores shouldn't mean everything, but they should be looked at as a point of comparison.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Climate Change

We haven't really spent any time learning about climate change in school, but I think it's something we all just understand is constantly happening. Most people who think with any sort of clarity can see that we are adversely affecting our climate every day in a lot of ways. I don't think that people not being informed about climate change is the problem I think it's that they are too selfish and short-sighted to do anything about the problem. In order to start solving the problem there needs to be strict regulations that prevent such devastation to the environment. Schools should also be teaching kids from a very young age tactics to allow themselves to do as little environmental damage as possible.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Frats

I have no real interest in joining a frat since being in a first is typically an indicator of what type of person you are, and usually doesn't say anything good about you. Frats can't police themselves because they're just full of college kids who are too drunk to know where they are half the time let alone enforce rules of any kind. With regards to the student who said pledging builds strong bonds, I don't see how tying someone up and forcing them to binge drink till they die builds any sort of bond. I think the only thing that would be lost for colleges campuses if frats no longer existed would be a lot less spots to throw parties. If a frat continues to cause a problem for a university they have the right to ban that frat entirely.

Opening moment.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/13/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-plane/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews

The confusion behind what happened to the missing plane is still alive. Nobody is really sure what exactly took the plane down or where it ended up.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Editorial Thumbnail

Weather in Maine: The weather in Maine consists of freezing winters with a lot of snow and hot summers. This is an awful combination because you don't really escape either the hot or the cold. You get hit by both.

Bumper Stickers: People often use them to express themselves or just because they think it says something funny.  The only bumper stickers that  aren't super tacky are the ones that state something simple such as the school you apply. Your bumper isn't the place to tell a dirty joke or preach to the world your political views.

Reality TV:  Reality TV is basically where people who's lives are a wreck are filmed for the entertainment of others. It's typically very clearly staged and anyone who actually enjoys reality TV should probably pick up a hobby.

School Lunch: School lunches have always been about giving as little food at low quality as possible, at least that's how it feels. The food quality continues to get worse and worse as the prices go up. We pay $2.65 for a couple bites of pizza and a tiny bottle of milk. Good value.

Senior Privileges: This is when a senior in high school who maintains an 85 average basically has free reign to leave the school whenever they don't need to be here for a class. This is a good idea because it gives incentive to keep grades up for a section of students who typically begin to lose interest in high school as it comes to an end.

Warfare to solve political problems: If warfare was ever really used to solve actual political problems this wouldn't be an issue worth talking about. The problem is, it isn't, it's used by governments to further their own agenda instead of assisting the people of whatever underdeveloped country they decide to "rescue" this week.

Gun Control:  Whenever talks begin about limiting guns and who can buy them or what types they can buy many people who may or may not be related to the person they married get very heated. They begin to preach about the founding fathers and the 2nd amendment. The problem is this, the constitution was written at a time when everyone really did need a gun to keep themselves safe. In modern society that typically isn't the case. And even if it is you don't need a 50 round clip fully automatic rifle. Nobody needs that and it shouldn't even be debated on. Nobody needs the high powered rifles that are being banned. Self defense shouldn't require a long range gun.

FHS Renovations: The proposal to renovate the school and include a new athletic field has been tossed around for years. It continually gets shut down by people who think it would cost too much. What those people don't understand is that Freeport is far behind the towns that surround it. When people with children move to the area and look at the schools, what does Freeport have to attract them over, let's say, Yarmouth. Freeport lacks in that regard and renovating the school would be good for the entire town over the long term.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Family and Fate

I believe that everyone has a big say in how their life plays out, but there are definitely factors that we don't control that play a part. Money and geography can both play a big part, we don't decide how much our parents make and we don't decide where we live as children. Growing up in certain places with certain amounts of money can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on which side of the coin you land on. It's not that simple though, you can be born to incredibly wealthy parents who are smart and give you the best possible opportunity to succeed, but if you don't want it, then you won't succeed. Parents don't need to have all the money in the world to be good parents and parents with all the money in the world aren't always good parents. Someone who comes from very little money but has good parents who will teach that child to work hard to give themselves a better life is much more likely to push themselves harder to try to make something of themselves. Someone who is born completely rich with parents who give them everything they ask for will often never learn the value of money and instead not strive for success because they expect money to just keep flowing. Instead that person might just do a bunch of drugs and drive his really nice car fast everywhere and somehow not crash.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pulitzer Prize

Pulitzer Prize: An award for the best editorial pieces written in that year.

1. Tim Nickens and Daniel Ruth for the Tampa Bay Times.

2. Dental stuff mostly about fluoride.

3. Kept stating fact or claim before they stated facts.

4. Yes, every article you can tell the author has their mind made up about the topic and is trying to get their point across.

5. The tone seems like the author is only really giving you the positive details about one side of the issue. They may give you some aspects of the other side, but they're very clear about which side their on.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Creativity

In my opinion everyone has the ability to be creative, it's just about applying yourself. We're all sent to school where we take cookie cutter courses and follow strict guidelines for 12 years. Then we're expected to think outside the box? If we want to teach people to be creative we can't wait until they are adults, it needs to start from a young age. We can't just keep having everyone suddenly realize they can be creative once they're in college. Why not teach people to be creative when they're much younger and then they'll use that thinking for more of their life? Until schools stray away from such tedious learning kids won't have the opportunity to be creative.


Annoyance: car is freezing cold in the morning on the way to school.
Solution: start my car before I leave.

Annoyance: hands too full of food to open door to my room.
Solution: yell "mom" really loud until she comes and opens it for me.

Annoyance: Ben.
Solution: violence.

Annoyance: needing sleep.
Solution: Adderall.



Monday, February 3, 2014

Art of the Interview

Don't ask yes or no questions. Keep the questions short. Avoid charged words.


Don't use rapid patter as it won't allow your subject to speak candidly. Don't use leading questions that generate curt answers.

Interviewing someone who is incredibly bland, such as Joe Nixon, will cause your interview to lack substance even if you ask good questions.

Make sure the person you interview is interested in the interview.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hip-Hop

Hip-hop belongs to whoever comes in and produces the best music. Your skin color may be a factor in how people view you when you first enter in, but once you show them that you're good then that doesn't matter. Eminent is one of the biggest names in the genre and he is white, he's still considered one of the best rappers. Macklemore saying he robbed Kendrick isn't because he's white and Kendrick's black, it's because he knows that Kendrick's music is better. He knows that his cheesy and repetitive songs catch the interest of people who don't necessarily like regular rap. He combines two genres by rapping over dance-like beats and using a catchy chorus. He pulls in fans from other genres of music who think his songs are catchy and they aren't even fans of hip-hop. His skin color isn't a factor in his apology, his music is just worse and he knows it. Macklemore writes his songs to top the charts for a month then never be heard again because they aren't really great songs, just catchy, so they grab attention for a little while the fade.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Reflection

This year has been better for me as a writer than the previous years. What I liked about this year is that there was a lot more choice in what we wrote about. There was less promoting exactly what to write and instead there were just guidelines about how to write, then we usually had a choice about what exactly we wrote about. When you're writing about something of your choice it's a lot easier than when you're forced to write about a topic you have no interest in. When I was choosing my two pieces to use for this I pretty quickly knew the two I'd pick. They were pieces that while I was writing the thoughts just sort of flowed onto the paper. The personality profile, when this was assigned I knew immediately I wanted to write about my mother because she's always had such a passion for her work that would be easy to capture and write about. The strengths of this piece in my opinion are that it actually shows how much she enjoys her job and allows the reader to have a  idea about what my mom is like as a person. When choosing the feature article I thought about choosing something that I felt strongly about. Writing about something you have a genuine opinion about is easier, however, having to stay neutral is difficult when you have a strong opinion. Even though it's hard to keep your opinion out of the writing it's still enjoyable to write about something you care about. Overall I think I've improved this year and having another semester to improve even more is important before I go to college. Writing is always something I've struggle with somewhat and I've been trying to improve because I know when I go to college I'll need to be able to be a better writer than I am now. I always have found it difficult to get my thoughts onto paper and therefore my pieces have lacked information even when I have the ideas in my head. I hope to keep improving on this during the next semester and write more in depth thoughtful pieces.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Personality Profile

The interview I did for my personality profile was my mother, Susan. I chose her not necessarily because I'm super interested in following her career path as a hospice nurse, but more for her passion and interest in the profession. What I personally envy is that Sue wakes up everyday and is excited to go to work. In my opinion this is a concept that many, if not most Americans couldn't even imagine because most of us seem to dred work.

 It wasn't like she just found herself right at her dream job. After high school she owned a business with her husband running a car registration business. Once they moved to Maine she pursued nursing and got a degree as an RN. She initially became a labor and delivery nurse. She enjoyed this job for many years and truly enjoyed being there with women while helping them bring new life into this world. After a while though she knew that her real calling was something far different, quite literally on the opposite side of the spectrum of nursing, hospice. Her interest in hospice started from a fairly young age when Susan had to deal with the traumatic loss of her mother to cancer. Watching those nurses help her mother in her most vulnerable state really struck a chord. She appreciated what they did to make her mothers last moments as comfortable as possible. From that point on she always had a deep respect for hospice and the wonders it did for people who really needed it. For a while she was searching for ways to integrate into working hospice. She found a way that she could work part time and possibly start eventually working full time. She loved it. Even working part time she really enjoyed making a difference and her efforts didn't go unnoticed as she rather quickly was offered a full time job. She has now been able to do what she loves and has really enjoyed making a difference and having an impact on people during there last hours.

I'm really inspired by the fact that Sue found a job she really genuinely enjoys doing. I hope that I can be so fortunate to find a career such as this that I feel almost privileged to be a part of and feel like I'm really doing something positive for every that I work with. I don't really have a specific interest yet and I guess that's why I envy hers so much, I want to have a calling, a job that I really would strive to get to. I need that motivation and Sue has found exactly what most Americans dream off.

Feature Article


Senior Skip Day: Innocent Act? Or Menace?

Senior skip day is a well known custom among high schoolers. For those of you that somehow may not be aware of what exactly senior skip day is even, although it's not exactly hard to figure out, here's a brief explanation. Senior skip day is a school day where all of the seniors in the school skip for a day and go out to do something more enjoyable. This is can be organized fairly easily nowadays because social media websites such as Facebook allow students to reach out and contact virtually every other student in the school. Using Facebook a student can create an "event" with a set date and details about it. Other students can then be added to the event and help spread the word about the day and boom, you now have a set date with the entire senior class in the know. It isn't just that easy though, planning it isn't the tricky thing about over a hundred kids simultaneously skipping school, it's the fact that over a hundred kids aren't attending classes for a day. Is it harmless for the entire class to take a day off at once, or does it have an effect on their education and should have consequences? We asked this question to Freeport High School senior Ben Macmillan who was quoted as saying, "senior skip day is something that's been around forever, it shouldn't have any serious consequences." This viewpoint differs greatly from those of the administration of that very same school who reportedly have threatened to revoke senior privileges, which include open campus and early dismissal, for any seniors who take place in such a stunt. Reports from around the school have shown differing thoughts among students about wether or not it will end up happening. Some students say they have been swayed by the possible consequences to the point where they won't participate while others are feeling more rebellious and still wish to go through with it. It appears then that this won't end up being a class wide skip day and therefore won't have the same effect. A few missing seniors won't have quite the same effect as you picture when thinking of a senior sip day and it is because of this that it seems as though the administration has achieved what they wanted to accomplish with their threats. The school shouldn't expect to see any significant amount of students missing from classes at any point this year.