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Fracking

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that we have a lot of here in the USA, twice as much as Saudi Arabia has oil. Natural gas is found in shale which is found two miles underground.

To get to the natural gas you have to drill wells on empty farmland. You could get millions of dollars selling your land to the gas companies; you could become a millionaire overnight.

Since farmers and land owners get so much money for their land, sometimes they don’t really think about the fact that the chemicals that companies use to get the natural gas out of the land, using a process called fracking, could contaminate the drinking water in the area

Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking) is a process used to get natural gas out of the ground. How it is done is that water is mixed with sand and chemicals and then pumped down into the well, creating an enormous pressure which cracks the shale open and the natural gas floats to the top of the well so companies can sell it.

Fracking has already started production or exploration in over thirty states, and has already started production in Pennsylvania. Even though fracking may not seem like a big issue to people who live near a big city, like Philadelphia, in other parts of Pennsylvania it really is a big deal. People are really worried that the Susquehanna is going to get contaminated and then that cuts off some peoples drinking supplies.

My personal opinion is that we should find a safer way to retrieve natural gas than fracking, but that’s just my opinion. Lots of people think fracking is great because we can now provide our own gas in the USA and become a more independent country.

Here is where I got my information. There is a great video at the first site that teaches you a lot about fracking here in the USA.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7054210n

www.depweb.state.pa.us

http://www.nytimes.c0m/2011/11/04/opinion/brooks-the-shale-gas-revolution.html?_r=2

Secrets of ASP

What You Didn’t Know About the After School Program

By Alex Mirage and Layah Taylor

Since several kids attend A.S.P., we decided to get the scoop on whether or not the After School Program is good or not.  First, of course, we interviewed the After School Program’s director, Candi Root.  We asked her several questions relating to After School, and the children in it. She told us “A.S.P. is a safe and fun environment for kids at G.F.S.”

Question: “Is anything new happening to A.S.P.?”

Answer: “We’re thinking about having activities for middle schoolers so then you guys won’t have to sit in the gym. We also have gotten new equipment such as balls, sidewalk chalk, and blocks.”

Question: “Are you thinking about getting any pets?”

Answer: “We thought about getting a fish, but we’ve taken into consideration that if the fish dies the smaller kids could possibly be upset.  That’s out of the question so far as animals with fur are concerned; we can’t have any because some kids are allergic to its fur. Also, reptiles can get too big and we don’t want it getting out of its cage so there’s that problem.”

After that we went to ask the little kids what they thought of after school and how would they rate it on a scale of one to ten.

Nattily: “I like A.S.P. but I wish we could get ice cream on really hot days not just Friday.”

Rating: 5

Luke: “I don’t really like A.S.P. that much.  It’s just okay and I wish we had a bigger gym.”

Rating: 3

Elias: “I love A.S.P.!!  I wouldn’t change one single thing about it! It’s perfect!!”

Rating: 10

So, over all, we think after school is pretty cool.  You get to do activities; they let you do your homework in the library and if you have any you’re able to cook second snack and tons of other stuff too.  The most important thing is that they let you hang out with your friends and basically be your own person while having fun and doing what you want to do all in a safe and happy environment. No matter what the kids at A.S.P. say badly about it technically you still have to go so as I always say might as well make the best out of it and as long as you do that you can have a really good time there.

A Love Story

A Love Story…

It is Wednesday, 12:47 PM, April 27th, 2011, activity period in the middle school. The 8th graders on the newspaper staff are in a total frenzy. Science night looms over their heads.  To say that they are struggling mightily to muster the necessary enthusiasm and focus required to turn out the last issue of the newspaper would be a grave understatement. Jesse, our editor in chief, is literally drawing squares in Photoshop in an attempt to finish an art project, Schuyler, our usually dependable managing editor, seems to have lost all sense of priorities abandoning her staff mates to make up a math test. Joanna and Jane, film critic and fashion editor respectively, have been caught up in an impenetrable torrent of giggles for at least 20 minutes, poor Joe, our tech guy, is trying in vane to keep things together while newbie reporter Hannah is still under the illusion that something will actually be accomplished in the next half an hour.  When I glance over and see Olenka lying on the floor and Magda upside down in her chair, whirling around face covered by her spinning hair, I’m certain that all hope is lost. In one final act of pure desperation, they ask me to write an article.

So, I stop my high-pitched vocalizations (otherwise referred to as screaming) and look at them.  Just for a moment, I  sit helplessly and just look.  Just five more weeks. In five short weeks, I will attend a Meeting and watch as they move on to their upper school selves. Then they will be gone.  Again.  Not just the newspaper staff.  They will all be gone: the ones I watched peck and claw their way out of their lower school shells, the ones I watched tentatively dip their big toes into the river of 7th grade before diving in head first, the ones I nagged relentlessly about late homework and poor focus, the ones who messed with the system settings on the lab computers and yes, even the ones whose sole criminal act was their very presence during one of my migraines.

Some will leave GFS, but even those who stay on will be gone. The most I can reasonably expect is a smile and brief exchange of greetings when we pass on campus or, perhaps, an unannounced return to the computer lab to use the color printer.

As a middle school teacher, I have often wondered if I have ever done anything that actually mattered in a student’s life or contributed to the person he or she will eventually become.  I’m not talking about making a huge impression on their life, just a tiny dent, a little educational fender bender, if you will, would be just fine with me.  I’m not proud to admit that I have often fantasized that while watching the Oscars, I would be amazed to watch a former student emerge from the crowd, clutch the podium and in a voice crackling with gratitude, thank me for changing the course of his or her life. Of course, I haven’t quite worked out the part about how such a well earned accolade relates back to my oft repeated instructions on how to save to the server with a greater than 50/50 chance of actually being able to retrieve a document sometime in the not so distant future.

More than occasionally, I’ve felt that teaching in the middle school is a lot like dating someone on the rebound, after you have been traumatically dumped by your first love and before you actually meet Mr. or Ms. Right. Somehow, for most, those interim memories of middle school life quickly fade away in a torrent of hormones and chaos forever wandering in the murkiness of lost adolescence.

It doesn’t really matter though.  Whether they remember me is not the point.  I am confident that on some future occasion, I will be lucky enough to catch a peripheral glimpse of their exact whereabouts on life’s path. Then I will remember. Again.

So go, why don’t you all!  Just hurry up and go and don’t look back kids.  You won’t get me again. I have absolutely no more room for memories. Wait just a minute. I forgot to mention something. I love you. Now get out of here!

The Secrets of GFS

By Jesse Overholser

Throughout GFS there are many places that are hidden to the student body; Places that are restricted to students. I ventured into these places, peered around, planning to make them public. These are the many fascinating secrets I uncovered.

First, the Alumni Building used to be a YMCA. On the second floor, through the double doors was an open gym, there were no inside walls. In the basement there was a bowling alley. The lanes and bowling balls still remain. The paint on the lanes also remains. Today, it is used as a storage facility, but the bowling alley aspects are still noticeable. On the third floor there are tiled floors indicating locker rooms. The third floor is no longer used for classes so students are not allowed up there. There are also rumors of a ghost in the alumni building, which may have been made up for a movie, and also a snake in the basement. Next to the alumni building where the science building is now there was an abandoned post office. Next to the post office, where the Hargroves Building is now, there was a cafe, Duva’s ,where students with off campus privileges used to smoke.

One of the stories told here at GFS involves a snake and Cheryl Pinkus, or as many call her, Mrs. P. Mrs. P. is one of the first grade teachers. One day a snake from Geoffrey, one of the lower school science teachers, escaped from his room. It eventually found itself in the Cary building, undetected, who knows how. Then when it entered the building it must have smelled food in Mrs. P’s closet because it ended up there. One day Mrs. P opened her closet , looked up, saw the snake and screamed for Mrs. Shechtman. Another version of this story is Mrs. Shechtman was with Mrs. P. when she opened the closet.

The Little and Smith gyms, and the middle nursery building and the big nursery building, all are connected. The Little Gym used to be called “The Gym” because it was the first and only gym. The Little Gym turned into the girls’ gym and the Smith Gym used to be the boys’ gym. The middle nursery building used to be the boys’ locker room with lockers floor to ceiling. The big nursery was also a locker room, but for girls. It also had lockers floor to ceiling. Outside the little gym there is a circular metal object in the cement. It is believed that is where we store the oil for the heating. The boiler tanks are under the library and the giant steam pipes that transfer the heat stretch all across campus.

The name S-9 might sound very secretive and intriguing, but it’s not. Sorry to break it to you. Well here’s the story of it anyway.  Do you think that the Sharpless building was designed to only have one bathroom? If you said yes, then you are wrong.  S-9 was supposed to be a boys’ bathroom on the first floor of the Sharpless building across the hall from the 8th grade english room. It was decommissioned and used by Will Terry as a dark room for a couple of years. then Bob Miller claimed it as a graveyard for computers before they are recycled. That is what it is used for today.

There are many secrets at GFS, but it is no secret that there are many GFS teachers that graduated from here . Here are a few; Tom Levy, Dorothy Cary, and Kate Hanssen. All three have mothers working at GFS. Others include Jenny Stetzer Goldberg, the former 7th grade history teacher, and Ian Van Wert. Brandon Jones, and Michael Boorse from athletics also attended. Sally West Williams, Meg Cohen Ragas, Diane Mallery, and Stacey Minyard from development attended GFS.  Finally Kathy Paulmier attended GFS.

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Where do you go?

By Emily Beiser
With help from Owen Chung and Elizabeth Wallace.

When you have to go, you have to go. But where? At GFS, not only do we have diversity in students and faculty, but we also have a diverse selection of bathrooms. Some are good, some bad, and some ugly, but don’t fear venturing into new and unexplored loos! We’ve done that, so read on for reviews of both the Ladies’ and Mens’

The rating is  done in rolls of toilet paper, out of five.
1- Awful
2- Quite Bad
3- Good enough
4- Nice
5- Great

Sharpless Building
Girls’

Home sweet home. This bathroom, convenient for most middle schoolers, is functional and well-used. The soap dispenser is sometimes out, and the automatic paper towel dispenser is hard to use (which can be embarrassing). The facilities work well, though, and toilets are rarely clogged, if ever. The dark grout and lack of windows detract from the environment, but overall is fine.

Cleanliness: 4.5
Accessibility: 5
Facilities:4
Environment:3
Overall Average:4.125

Boys’
Not new, but works fine. No windows, ugly mustard yellow walls. Counter gets wet often.

Cleanliness: 2
Accessibility: 4.5
Facilities: 4
Environment: 2
Overall Average: 3.125

Alumni Building
Girls’

This potty is not used much, so it is quite clean, and in a good location if  you are in the Alumni Building. It has nice, natural light from the window. The only drawbacks are the paper towels on the floor by the garbage can and the lock on one of the stall doors being fidgety.


Cleanliness: 4.5
Accessibility: 3.5
Facilities:5
Environment:5
Overall Average: 4.5

Boys’
Beware of the steps by the door of this bathroom. When you enter the room, you have to walk down two steps, which, according to Owen, he almost fell down. Overall nice and clean.

Cleanliness: 4
Accessibility: 4
Facilities: 4.5
Environment: 3.5
Overall Average:4

Main Building-By the Cafeteria
Girls’

This restroom is a big improvement on what it used to be. The walls are freshly painted (last year the walls sported yellow wallpaper with giant pink and purple flowers), and the bathroom is clean. The floor dark red linoleum, so you can’t quite tell if it is dirty or not, but the bathroom overall is nice and well-kept.


Cleanliness: 3
Accessibility: 4
Facilities: 3
Environment:2.5
Overall Average: 3.125

Boys’
Far away from the cafeteria, down a few hallways, so if you don’t know where it is, you had better ask someone, because you won’t find it on your own.

Cleanliness: 4.5
Accessibility: 1.5
Facilities: 4.5
Environment:5
Overall Average: 3.875

Field House Gym
Girls’

Everything is new and clean in this loo. It’s well lit and nicely laid out so you don’t feel cramped or trapped. (It’s also easy to take a good photo of it.) If you’re in the Field House already, the bathroom is easy to get to, and it’s not a puzzle to find it.


Cleanliness: 5
Accessibility: 4
Facilities: 5
Environment: 4
Overall Average: 4.5

Boys’
All right bathroom, the facilities are new and work. No windows and trash are drawbacks, but everything is clean and bright.

Cleanliness: 3
Accessibility: 5
Facilities: 4
Environment:3
Overall Average: 3.75

Smith Gym
This bathroom is Unisex.
The bathroom in the basement of the Smith Gym smells like sweat, probably because it is right next to the wrestling room. Even though it says Ladies’ on the door, nobody cares if boys use it, and most people don’t even know the sign is there. It’s a single-toilet bathroom, but is smaller than most, so don’t go here if you’re claustrophobic.  The yellow walls make the experience more unpleasant, and Owen claims he once saw a cockroach in it, even if it was dead. The bathroom also has a leaky faucet.


Cleanliness: 2
Accessibility: 3.5
Facilities: 3.25
Environment: 2
Overall Average: 2.6875

Loeb Lobby
Girls’

This bathroom is used on certain occasions (like intermission of plays) by a lot of people, but is not used much, or at all, for long periods of time. The bathroom is clean and works well, but it has a bad smell of human feces. The venting is not great.

Cleanliness: 3
Accessibility: 3
Facilities: 3
Environment: 4
Overall Average:3.25

Loeb Basement
This Bathroom is Unisex

This is the scariest lavatory on campus. It’s probably where Myrtle spends most of her time. The lavatory, though only used by actors during  plays, is dirty and badly kept. The majority of the toilets are clogged most of the time, and the stall doors are western-style, so they lock in the middle. Some of the doors don’t even lock, so you have to have somebody hold the doors closed for you. The lavatory is also unisex, so it can be a bit awkward during intermission of upper school theater productions. Lisa Burns, the theatrical director, once broke her nose down there, so be careful. Since the lavatory is in the basement, the floor is concrete, and the lavatory is damp despite the fan. Nobody is actually supposed to go in the basement lavatory except for during productions, so thankfully, most middle schoolers won’t be going there any time soon.

This is probably Myrtle's stall. Best to stay away from here...

Cleanliness: 2
Accessibility: 2
Facilities: 1
Environment: 2
Overall Average:1.75