Editorial: iPods in Study Halls

Whose study hall is it? Why can’t students listen to iPods in their study halls? Study halls are a time to work independently. There are different ways of working just like different ways of learning.  This should be recognized like we recognize different ways of learning. Some students work with a pen, some with a pencil, some fast, some slow, just like some work listening to music, some without listening to music. If students listen to music quietly without disturbing others then aren’t they still working independently? Working quietly and productively is the only rule of a study hall. Some students feel that listening to music is relaxing and allows them relieve stress.  In some instances music is helpful in memorizing school related studies.  iPods in study hall can be useful or preferred.  If people use the them while obliging with the study hall rules there is no reason one should not be able to use them.

~ The Corner Editorial Board 2010-11

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

Festival of lights review

The Festival of Lights, a Middle School Tradition

By Gabe Buyske

When one hears the expression “festival of lights” it conjures up pictures of well…. festivals. But the Festival of lights here at GFS was so much more. Whether it was “Let it Be” performed on stage or “Lean on Me” or even the simple beauty of the decoration  that pulled it together. I for one enjoyed the speeches about the holidays and the many wonderful musical numbers. I would also like to point out that it seemed everyone performed. And they performed so well it made small mess ups funny. I literally laughed out loud when such comedies occurred like the pronunciation of Sleipnir (slap-ner).  Or when the cape of the eight dancing woman fell off in 12 days of Christmas. When I talk it sounds like there was only music but there was something for everyone. There were speeches, interpretive dances, and a magnificent finale of “this little light of mine”. I sincerely hope you agree with me on how wondrous this performance was. If you did see it you will definitely understand me and if you didn’t then you have missed a once-in-a-lifetime event….until next year that is!

Simplicity…

by Elizabeth Wallace

One of the Quaker testimonies that GFS follows is simplicity. Simplicity is the state of being simple, or uncomplicated. In the book Faith and Practice of GFS it says, “We are encouraged to balance our work and school lives with our family, community, and religious lives, not letting busy-ness overcome us.” So is our school actually simple? Is GFS encouraging the teachers and students to live simply?

These days, what I consider a “simple” week is one where everything is normal. On a simple week I have the classes on the days my schedule says, and sports after that. Then I come home and do homework. On a day when I have a game for sports after school, another activity not school related, or even just an unusually large amount of homework, I feel overwhelmed. Usually, I feel overwhelmed about getting schoolwork done, because GFS is such an academically demanding school. Often times when I get home late and have homework to do, I don’t get time to do things with my family, or do anything else that I would like to do. In Faith and Practice of GFS the definition of simplicity is that “activities and possessions should not overwhelm us.” Another definition is that we shouldn’t let our academic and extracurricular activities interfere with the more important things in life, one of which is family.

Look at November, for example. The first week we had no school on Friday, and Wednesday was a Friday schedule. The second week was a full week, but we had open-house day on Thursday. On top of that, Thursday was a Friday schedule. But Friday was also a Thursday schedule. (Note to whoever scheduled that week: It makes no sense and it seems that the only point was to confuse us more.)  In the third week of November there was no middle-school on Friday for parent-teacher conferences, but the rest of the school didn’t have the day off. That makes it more complicated for parents, too. One parent reported that they “sometimes drive to GFS four or five times a day” because of their children’s schedules.

One thing to consider, though, is that one reason the school schedules are so complicated and often overwhelming is that at GFS students have a lot of freedom to choose what they do and don’t want to participate in. Different activities require different amounts of time, which makes scheduling more complicated.

A student or teacher’s life at GFS is often not very simple, but why is this? I think this is because GFS has a high academic standard that requires a large amount of homework. Also, because GFS offers so many extracurricular activities for students to participate in that require more time. Another reason could be that instead of having longer core classes to get more done, at GFS we get to participate in other activities, including art and music classes, gym class, Meeting for Worship (which, by the way, is meant to help simplify and un-clutter our lives), and project time activities.

A simpler life sounds nice, but is it really what we want? What do we sacrifice for simplicity?

Tom and Rhonda

Rhonda and Tom
Two Generations at GFS

Rhonda and her son Tom have been a part of GFS for years. Starting at school together, Rhonda taught as a fourth grade assistant teacher for Diana Corliss, and Tom was a student in kindergarten. Rhonda was inspired to be a teacher by the fact that her son was  going to this school; she came because of her children and has stayed ever since.  Rhonda loves technology but is also very creative “if I wasn’t a computer teacher I would like to teach graphic design or art” she dishes to bridge reporter when they ask her favorite subject. Tom, a “lifer” began GFS at age five in kindergarten. Five years later when he started sixth grade in Jeff Fetterman’s class, he had his mom as a computer teacher. Now he works alongside her as a colleague and he says it’s “much less awkward”. When asked why he started teaching Tom says “when an opportunity came for me to come and teach, I jumped at it.” Tom hasn’t totally decided that he is going to be a teacher but he likes working with the middle-school age group and he enjoys their fun and energetic way of approaching things. He graduated from The George Washington University where he majored in history and since then he says that it is “great getting to work side by side with such a brilliant educator” (Rhonda) and learning from his teaching experience. Rhonda, when asked if she has fun working alongside Tom, says “definitely! This way I get to see Tom everyday!”

Should Laptops be Allowed in School?

Laptops in School, The Great Debate
By Gabe Buyske

Parents, teachers, and students have been arguing about laptops in GFS for about as long as I can remember (I’m new). That’s why I interviewed one representative from each group and talked to them about their opinions so we can finally get an answer to THE GREAT DEBATE

Should laptops be in school? Interview with parent:

Question: What is your general view of laptops in school?

Answer: Overall, I think that they allow you to access a lot of information. Also I think they are a good use of technology.

Q: What are some pros of laptops?

A: Well, for one thing, students can write on them eliminating the issue with handwriting. It also lets you practice using laptops at an early age as you will when you’re an adult, it  gives you access to internet, and easily allows you to receive emails from teachers during the day.

Q: What do you think are some cons of laptops in school?

A: They provide access to Facebook and social networking sites wich can be distracting, they allow for less serious research such as use of Wikipedia, they are expensive and are easily lost or damaged.

Q: How do you think they can be funded?

A: More money needs to be put in student education and should be government funded but damage or loss of the laptops should be the student’s responsibility.

Should laptops be allowed in school? Interview with Rhonda:

Q: What is your general view of laptops in school?

A: I think they will eventually be used more and this will eventually happen.

Q: What are some pros of laptops?

A: The fact that you can bring your files with you and you don’t run the risk of losing data. I also think its good for students who have problems with organization.

Q: What are some cons of laptops?

A: There could be a chance a student could use it inappropriately.

Q: How do you think they can be funded if we do get them?

A: I think we could get donations from ex-students who have graduated.

Should laptops be allowed in school? Interview with student 1

Q: What is your general view of laptops in school?

A: They can be useful. While I don’t bring them in, other people might want to.

Q: What are some pros of laptops?

A: They can provide resources and can be a powerful tool as well you can use it for math and writing as well.

Q: What are some cons of laptops in school?

A: Can be used for non-school things such as social networking and can be distracting.

Q: How can we fund laptops?

A: Donations from parents.

Should laptops be allowed in school? Interview with student 2.

Q: What is your general view of laptops in school?

A: I don’t think that anyone under ninth grade should be allowed to have laptops in school because until that age I don’t believe that students will be responsible. Sixth to Eighth Graders are very unorganized and laptops might help them keep everything together.  Also students with bad handwriting should not be deprived of good grades because the teacher finds it difficult to read.

Q: What are some pros of laptops in school?

A: Organization, no excuse for forgetting work, easy way to type homework, makes finishing work easier and faster so you can do a better job and learn more.

Q: What are some cons of laptops in school?

A: They’re distracting, would distract students, students may go on Youtube and inappropriate sites, easily cheating on tests and work, for example going on a history site because you didn’t study and that promotes dishonesty.

Q: How can laptops be funded?

A: Not funded by school, but by parents so the school can save money and since laptops are not essential  this will be a good punishment but will not hurt the students grade.

Are Middle Schoolers Getting Too Much Homework?

Middle Schoolers take a break from their studies

Are middle schoolers getting too much homework? Here is a question that has been asked many times, by students, teachers, and parents. Out of the eighth graders I surveyed 64% believed that they were getting too much homework (please tell me what you think by participating in the poll.)

If over half of the students in eighth grade think that they are getting too much homework, are they actually getting too much homework? Some people may say, “obviously,” but do students think they are getting too much homework because it takes them too long. Does it take them too long because they have facebook up when they are typing? This is a question that we must ask. Personally, on average I believe I get about two hours to two hours and a half of homework a night, or about 25 to 35 minutes per subjects. That doesn’t sound like a lot but it adds up. If I have a sports game I get home around six and then I have dinner around six thirty so I am up doing homework to nine or ten on a bad night. There are so many distractions and I think that adds some time. This years testimony might just help the eighth grade not be so sleepy in the morning.

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