LIFE HAS ITS MYSTERIES . . .
The Squire Theater this past Sunday showed a film, as part of the Gold Coast Film Festival, about a recently discovered Mona Lisa which Leonardo Da Vinci (not DiCaprio) painted 15 years before the famous version which is on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Life is really interesting. This is one solved mystery, but there are so many which have not yet been solved, such as whether Bogfoot and Yeti (aka the Abominable Snowman) exist, why so many airplanes and ships have disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle, whatever happened to the Jamestown Colony or Atlantis, and whether there was ever life on Mars. Maybe YOU will be the one to solve one of these mysteries some day. That would make you famous. Of course, in order to investigate any of these and other mysteries (Did ancient aliens visit us? Is that why the Egyptians and Aztecs both had pyramids and worshiped cobras even though those two peoples never had contact with each other thousands of years ago, one group having lived in Africa and the other having lived in North America?). However, to get the answers, you will need to develop a skill you have begun to use: how to do research. You'll also need sharp reading and writing skills. Keep working on the ideas and abilities being taught to you in high school. You never know when you will have to use them in the future.
BE ALERT! KEEP YOUR BRAIN ALIVE!
It's always a good idea to be aware of what's right in front of your eyes. For example, you wouldn't try to cross Northern Boulevard without looking all around for traffic. You certainly wouldn't cross any street in Great Neck without watching for the crazy drivers, who are always in a rush to turn the corner, even if it means almost hitting any pedestrians who are crossing with the light and have the right of way. You are alert. You pay attention to your surroundings - if you want to survive. Let's see how alert you are. Read the sign in the upper right corner of this blog entry. See how alert you really are. If you can find the mistake the first time, you are above average. If it takes you two tries, that's still not bad. If you cannot see the mistake, come see Mr. Munshine in the Study Center and he will help you. By the way, it's important to use this same skill of alertness in copying your homework assignments and not losing them. A lack of awareness in that situation will lead to a lowering of your grades, and that can be avoided.
For those of you who have requested that teachers write and submit college recommendation letters to Naviance, REMEMBER that YOU have to hand in the proper form to your guidance counselor, listing the colleges you are applying to. Teachers cannot upload their recommendation letters to Naviance until a student has requested these letters on Naviance. The teachers cannot select which colleges the letters are to be sent to until YOU have done your part of the work and handed the required form in to your counselor, who has to do his / her part of the work and hand it in to Mrs. Claus. It is a process involving several steps, but it all starts with YOU. In high school, college and life, it is up to US to know our responsibilities, and to perform necessary tasks on time. (If you are confused, make an appointment to see your counselor asap.)
CHEATING IS STEALING
Have you ever witnessed someone cheating? Cheating comes in many forms. Sometimes students will copy other students' homework. At another time, a student might copy answers for a test from another student or get hints about a test from another student who has already taken the same test because they have the same teacher. How should these students feel? The student who helps the cheater is also a cheater whether he or she realizes it. In addition, the student enabling the copying is allowing his or her hard work to be STOLEN by a lazy student (who may have a sad story to cover up his or her basic laziness and greed). The cheater should feel embarrassed or ashamed but often does not because he or she rationalizes that others do it, so it's all right. Come on. There is no legitimate excuse for cheating. It's wrong. There aren't that many black-and-white answers in this world but this is one of them. The cheater not only steals from a fellow student but also steals from himself or herself. That student has robbed himself / herself of the opportunities to learn and to feel pride in the work produced. Finally, the student who gets away with cheating in high school will probably continue to cheat as life goes on. Take a close look at the photo which accompanies this blog entry. Do you want to be one of the cheaters pictured? Take a stand against cheating, starting right now. Don't do it - and don't help someone do it.
10% OF THE SCHOOL YEAR IS OVER!
We are now in October. One month of the school year has passed and nine months are remaining. That means that 10% of your academic year is gone. It went pretty quickly, didn't it? The remaining months will seem to pass just as quickly. At this point, it is time for you to look back at how your school year is going. Are you satisfied with ALL your marks? Do you feel that you will end up with the report card grades you want to get - for college admission, for your sense of self-worth, for the pride your parents want to feel about your accomplishments? If the answer is YES, then just keep doing what you've been doing. If the answer is NO, then examine what you can do to improve. Maybe it's to spend more time on homework - at home, in a quiet place, while you are wide awake and full of energy. Maybe it's to take better notes in class or make sure that you copy the assignments accurately. Maybe you have to spend more time studying for quizzes and tests. Whichever it is, YOU have the power to change the way your term and year are going. Nobody can do anything about the results you are getting except you yourself. Get started today!
The ideas on this page come from a Study Center teacher with almost 50 years of teaching experience. More importantly, these entries have NO LIFE until you students write comments and share your ideas and your responses to the ideas presented. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Let yourself be heard.