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Weekend plans ease stress on students

BY SABRINA BLANDON

ONLINE FEATURES EDITOR

To forget about the stress of the week, junior Sofia Prieto said she counts on weekend concerts. The last one she attended was Shakira’s El Dorado World Tour concert.

“When I go to concerts on weekends, I feel more relaxed because my mind is on the concert and not on the stresses of school work,” Prieto said. “I get to have more fun knowing [that] I do not have an exam the next day.”

Prieto said she never gets tired of going to concerts on the weekend, as she said she makes new memories at each one. She looks forward to collecting souvenirs from the concerts so she can always remember them.

“Whenever I collect my souvenirs, I think back to certain moments when I went to that particular concert,” Prieto said. “For the Shakira concert, I will always remember the line I had to [wait in] to buy it.”

According to Prieto, when she is able to see her favorite artists after school, the experience becomes the highlight of her day. Therefore, knowing she has something to look forward to, helps her get through the week.

“When I [plan to] go to concerts at the end of the week, it makes me want to work harder,” Prieto said. “When I do [work harder], the next thing I know, it is the end of the week.”

Like Prieto, junior Juan Amador said he aims to make memories during the weekend, participating in activities like paintball. Amador said his last paintballing excursion was spent saying goodbye to his friend who was moving away.

“The reason for the party was sad, but I was happy to say goodbye to him on a good note,” Amador said. “[Participating in] paintball was like a real life video game because you have to work with your teammates to accomplish a goal.”

Amador said he likes paintballing on the weekends, as he said he is normally flooded with work during weekdays.

“There is more freedom timewise [on the weekends], since you do not have to go to school the next day,” Amador said. “[Also], on weekends, there are some parks that will let you play in closed stadiums.”

Like Amador, United States History teacher Javier Calderon said he spends his weekends doing outdoor activities, such as playing soccer with his close friends.

“I like playing soccer because I get to bond with my friends,” Calderon said. “Soccer is a physical sport and it takes me back to my youth.”

Additionally, Calderon said playing soccer during the weekends helps him relax after a long school week.

“Soccer is a perfect way to destress on the weekends because it is a physical sport, so it helps keep my mind off of work,” Calderon said.

Although Calderon said he attempts to unwind from the week through physical activity, he said he occasionally becomes stressed when thinking about his workload. He said students undergo a large amount of stress as well and should utilize the weekend to relax.

“[Students] should be allowed to have the weekend to socialize and reduce their stress levels,” Calderon said. “Students should worry less and enjoy the weekend.”

 

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Dual enrollment enhances learning experiences

BY ILYSSA MANN

Through the dual enrollment program, junior and senior students at the Bay have the ability to take college-level courses outside of school instead of in school. Many students, such as junior Sydney Ure, take advantage of this opportunity.

“I [am taking] United States (U.S.) History online because I want to learn how to study online with a virtual teacher,” Ure said. “I know that there will be a time in college when I have to take a class or two online, and I think this will prepare me.”

Due to her dual enrollment, Ure gets her fourth period off as a privilege period.  She said she takes advantage of the extra time in the afternoon by going straight home and getting her homework done.

“I do not like to slack,” Ure said. “I get my homework done first, and then it allows me to have time in the later afternoon for things like exercising or extra study time for an upcoming test.”

Because Ure has taken all of her classes at the Bay for the past two years, she said switching it up this year meant adjusting to new changes.

“Enrolling in this class has tested my organization skills a lot. You don’t have a teacher reminding you of what and when something is due,” Ure said. “[Therefore], if you do not plan right, then you can end up having mounds of work to do at once.”

Although Ure said dual enrollment has been great so far, she said there are some disadvantages. Without having a physical classroom, she said it can be difficult to stay on track.

“What is really cool about the class is that it finishes in October, but a huge disadvantage of it is that you have to teach yourself everything,” Ure said. “It is challenging to teach yourself a topic that you don’t yet know, but I meet up with other friends who are also taking the class and we learn it together.”

College adviser Shari Bush said she works with many students that dual enroll each year and recognizes the advantages of it.

“I think [dual enrollment] is a good fit for some students,” Bush said. “They can dual enroll and use it to help their grade point average, and some students will take numerous college classes to try and achieve their Associate of Arts degree.”

Dual enrollment has been available at the Bay for at least ten years, as Bush said the school wanted to give students the opportunity to take classes not offered here. She said it is a great program because it teaches students more than just the class itself.

“Dual enrolling teaches students how to be an adult in a college class and [about the] responsibilities that then go with a college class,” Bush said. “Specifically, it is showing up to class on time, turning things in on time or if it is an online class, it means being diligent about checking their class often.”

However, Bush said there are certain issues students need to be able to handle to have this opportunity, including time management, organization and commitment to the class.

“These classes do concern me a bit because sometimes students are taking them while they are taking multiple classes here at the Bay. They do not pay attention to [the dual enrollment] classes as much as they should,” Bush said. “If they end up doing poorly in any of these classes, the grade goes with them to college.”

Like Ure, junior Katalina Enriquez is also dual enrolling in U.S. History because she said she enjoys learning material at her own pace. Moreover, she said she wants to have more available time after school for her other rigorous courses and for dance.

“Having extra time in my schedule leaves me more wiggle room to be flexible with my time,” Enriquez said. “It has taken such a huge amount of stress off my shoulders.”

Because of her positive experience with dual enrollment, Enriquez said she recommends that upcoming juniors and seniors dual enroll and that other schools adopt the program.

“Students that will be juniors and seniors next year should definitely look into dual enrollment. It has been so good for me this year. I feel so much more relaxed and relieved now that I have this extra time to fit everything into my day,” Enriquez said. “Dual enrollment has given me the opportunity to learn from outside sources and I think that other students at different schools should have the same opportunity.”

Whether it is extra time for dance or for herself, Enriquez said dual enrollment has been nothing but beneficial to her.

“I am thankful that The Bay offers dual enrollment because my time taking it so far has been so much more valuable than I initially thought it would be,” Enriquez said. “I seriously cannot imagine going back to a school schedule that does not have dual enrollment.”

 

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College Circuit: Olivia Gott

Olivia Gott is a student athlete at the prestigious University of Virginia (UVA), located in the town of Charlottesville. 2015 alumna Olivia Gott is currently a senior at the university. She plays softball and is majoring in English. She spoke to The Circuit’s Abbie Ballard.

What is it like being a college athlete?

Being a college athlete is an experience that I wish everyone had the opportunity to fulfill. The people you meet and the relationships you create from softball and other activities are ones that will last forever. I applied to a UVA program called I Am More (IAM) that helped me strengthen my resume and networking skills and make connections to others. Along with all of this, I have had the opportunity to play for an institution that is ranked as one of the most prestigious in America time and time again.

What makes UVA unique?

The community here is very welcoming, spirited, loving, kind and to say the least, happy. I think the reason why I fell in love with Charlottesville so quickly is because it is real life. There is a lot of history here that I do not get to experience when I visit my hometown of Weston, Florida.

Is being an athlete and a student hard to handle? Why?

Being an English major, there is not a lot of outside studying. At times, yes, it is tough. However, if you have a strong foundation that wakes you up every morning ready to attack the day, you can remain athletically eligible. Then, you will find a way to pull your weight in the classroom.

What is your advice to incoming freshman?

My incoming advice to freshman would be to advocate for yourself. You should understand that adaptability is the key to survival and that leadership is a lonely place; however, it is okay to separate yourself from the pack.

What do you love the most about UVA?

At UVA, I am more exposed to what the world is really like. UVA allows me to step outside of my comfort zone and get involved. I am a different person, and for that, I am grateful. Charlottesville is also a very diverse city, which I love.

Why did you choose UVA to continue your athletic and academic career?

I chose UVA because it was the best fit for me academically and athletically. I wanted a school that was very spirited. Yet, in the event that a softball career does not work out, I am graduating with a bachelor’s degree from a school that is well known for academics as well.

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The Outlet: Eric Adzima

In this issue’s recurring segment that gives students an opportunity to learn more about the teachers they see every day, staffer Gowri Abhinanda interviews American History and Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) European History teacher Eric Adzima.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

 

I have always had members of my family that were teachers, so I was born into the profession. From an early age, I was told I would be good at it, and I have always liked academia and working with children.

What interests do you pursue out of the classroom?

[Out of the classroom, I am interested in] music. I’m a big musician. I just cut a third album, Landfill Novelties, and that is what I do with my spare time. I also follow my eight-year-old around.

How has music influenced your life?

Music has influenced my life because of musical appreciation, my love for music and wanting to be involved in something that speaks to me. Writing music helps me focus on the world around me in a different way. I tend to zero in on things in music because I want to express myself in such a way where I can communicate easily. It’s shown me to rethink things.

How have any students impacted your teaching?

I have had many great students that have rewarded my efforts and made me feel like I am accomplishing things. [On the other hand,] I have some students that have given me a hard time; [this has been] a challenge, but they made me figure out how to do things better, such as getting a point across to them which will be important. [The students have] all kinds of personalities. Just like in the real world, you have to bend and flex and make sure you are doing right by a lot of different people. It makes you a better person.

What is the greatest success you have had in teaching?

Every time students write to me and tell me the class has affected them and [that they have] taken the things they have learned in class and used it in the real world, it makes me feel really good.

What would you like your students to take away from your class?

[I want my students to learn] hard work. These classes are not easy. If you want to achieve something, you have to put a lot of effort into it. I want them to take away appreciation for where they come from and their culture. If they are from my American history class, I want them to take away appreciation from their heritage.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is if you do not get something, keep plugging away. Keep working hard. Reinforcement. Reinforcement.

What are your goals and expectations in and out of school this year?

This year I would like to increase my passing rates for my Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) European history class. I would like [my students] to do really well on the test this year. Outside of school, I would like to write the greatest song ever written.

What is your personal outlook on the institution of education and some advice for students out there?

Schools should not be looked at as some boring jumble of courses that you need to survive to succeed; it should be something to enjoy as much as possible. You do not get a whole lot of years in your life to spend with no other reason than to educate yourself. I understand school has a role in preparing you for a potential career, but school and education make you better and well-rounded. Enjoy it while you can and work as hard as you can to be the very best that you can. [It is] pretty simple.

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In Honduras

Alumni Strike: Katherine Fernandez

BY SABRINA BLANDON

Alumna Katherine Fernandez, who graduated from the Bay in 2014, went to Honduras this past summer to aid people through a foundation called Humanity and Hope. While there, she said she built homes, taught children at schools, worked on farms and took part in different activities, depending on the village.

“I’m originally from Honduras and I go back to Honduras at least once a year to help out with the communities through other foundations,” Katherine Fernandez said. “When I was helping out in Humanity and Hope, I really enjoyed going back to my home country and helping my people. I know if I were in their position, I would appreciate someone helping me when my situation is as bad as theirs.”

After hearing about Humanity and Hope from her friend, Katherine Fernandez said she was eager to assist. Humanity and Hope assists by funding schools for children and adults to teach them how to work. Recently, the foundation partnered with a coffee factory and came to the aid of the adults in the villages get better jobs to support their families.

“When I first helped the foundation, I was surprised by how many people in Honduras needed our help; but at the same time, I was glad to be a part of something like this that would help change the world,” Katherine Fernandez said. “After this experience, I want to do something bigger than helping one country. I think from now on I want to continue in this foundation and help multiple villages across the world.”

Katherine Fernandez said this experience was amazing, as it opened her eyes to a whole new world.

“This was such a rewarding and an eye-opening experience,” Katherine Fernandez said. “I’ve always been trying to help the community but being in these villages for a week and first- hand experiencing how millions of people live really makes me want to keep doing it as much as I can.”

Through her participation in color guard at the Bay, Katherine Fernandez said she developed many traits that benefited her during her time in Honduras.

“Being in color guard really helped me learn more about my community which helped me during this experience since I had to get out there and help strangers,” Katherine Fernandez said. “We always helped each other and people in other schools out and were there for each other in the good times and the bad.”

Katherine Fernandez said being in color guard forced her to come out of her shell and become more comfortable with talking to others. She said this supported her form better bonds with the villagers while in Honduras.

“At first, I really didn’t want to be in color guard because I felt like I didn’t belong since I wasn’t talking to anyone,” Katherine Fernandez said. “[However], once I got to know my peers, the club really helped me become more comfortable talking to people.”

Katherine Fernandez wasn’t the only one who thought going to Honduras was a good idea. Fernandez’s parents, Hector and Kathe Fernandez, said what their daughter was doing was amazing.

“I think that Katherine doing something like this is amazing. My husband and I stayed in Honduras as well, we helped with other foundations while Katherine worked with Humanity and Hope,” Kathe Fernandez said.

In addition to Color Guard, Katherine Fernandez took Spanish classes and participated in National Honors Society (NHS) while at the Bay. She said out of all her classes, those were the ones that really assisted during her time spent in Honduras.

“For NHS, we did a ton of community service and I loved it which also lead me to want to keep pursuing community service after high school,” Katherine Fernandez said. “As for the Spanish classes, it helped to develop my skills in my native language and it’s always fun to help improve it especially since it’s a language I want to use in the future.”

While working with Humanity and Hope, Katherine Fernandez said she heard stories of how she changed the villagers’ lives. She said she is impressed by the progress Humanity and Hope has made and she hopes to continue positively impacting lives.

“I definitely feel a sense of fulfillment after realizing how much of an impact even small actions can have on these families,” Fernandez said. “Hearing the story of how one family can now go into town with no worries really made my heart smile because I know that I helped them achieve that.”

 

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Teachers find ways to make class more interesting

BY ETHAN GAER

Sophomore Jack Ross said he spends most periods glancing at the clock eagerly awaiting the bell to ring, signifying the end of the period. He said he attempts to pay attention to his teachers’ lessons, but if he finds the teacher boring, this is very difficult.

“I’ll have the urge to use my phone or daydream instead of actually learn the lesson,” Ross said.

In earlier years of teaching, Chemistry teacher Elefteria Halivelakis said she could utilize different styles and lesson plans in order to engage students and allow them to be creative. However, now she said many teachers, including herself, have to teach to ensure that their students pass the mandatory exams. She said this can lead to students losing interest.

“When I see my students lose interest, it is my cue to switch things up,” Ms. Halivelakis said. “I like to incorporate other types of learning other than just note taking. This is a great way to redirect their attention.”

According to Ms. Halivelakis, teachers play an essential role in the education of children and the future of the world.  She said she believes that if the students are bored, it results in a poor education. Ms. Halivelakis said it is a good day for a teacher when they see that their students are engrossed in the lesson.

“I typically ask questions in order to maintain satisfactory levels of classroom engagement,” Ms. Halivelakis said.  “Interactive teaching methods are a successful way to connect with students who are accustomed to continual stimulation. If I am having a good time, I know my students are too.”

Like Ms. Halivelakis, Earth Science teacher Katherine McDonald said she tries to incorporate new and fun ways of teaching into her lesson plans.

“Brain research suggests that fun is not just beneficial to learning but, by many reports, required for authentic learning and long-term memory,” Ms. McDonald said.

While Ross said some teaching methods bore him, he said when teachers use a variety of styles, he enjoys class more.

“When teachers switch up their teaching methods, it keeps me much more engaged,” Ross said. “Teachers are preparing us for the future and the less boring the lesson, the more I want to learn.”

Sophomore Esteban Lamar said many of his teachers tend to be boring, similar to the disinteresting way teachers are portrayed in movies and books.

“There are teachers that deliver lessons in a monotone voice and read loudly from the textbook. This truly makes school painful and not as enjoyable,” Lamar said.

Studies from Washington University have shown that most students learn better when the lesson is a discussion or a group activity rather than a power point or speech by the teacher. Sophomore Spencer Levine said he believes this type of active work is beneficial.

“Having a discussion creates involvement by many students, which in theory, means that the students are focused on the current topic or unit,” Levine said.

According to Levine, working in groups is an effective way of keeping students stimulated. Ross said he agrees that he remains more in-tune when engaged in a group project.

“Doing group work helps me stay focused and I feel that I retain the information better,” Ross said.

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Wisdom teeth removal hinders winter break plans

BY JESSICA BERNSTEIN

Winter break is a time away from school where many students go on vacations or hangout with friends. However, others, such as freshman Marley Solomon, plan to have surgeries, like removing their wisdom teeth.

Solomon said she and her family have planned to get her wisdom teeth out during this winter break for a long time.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I have been planning on getting my wisdom teeth taken out over winter break,” Solomon said. “Since it’s a painful and long process it is just easier to get it done over a time when there is no school.”

Solomon said taking out her wisdom teeth was not only painful, but it was also embarrassing.

“I was so happy I didn’t have to see anybody that I wasn’t close with days after I got them removed,” Solomon said. “I was so self conscious about my face. I looked like a chipmunk.”

Like Solomon, sophomore Gillian Glater had her wisdom teeth removed over winter break. However, she said she liked being able to see people and having support from all her friends and family.

“Whenever someone in my family goes through something serious like a surgery, we all go through it together,” Glater said. “Recently, I have been thinking about how thankful I am to have that, and how often I take it for granted.”

Glater also said she loved the fact that people were able to spend time with her because school was not a priority.

“Because it was break, no one was worried about school. Therefore, I had all the attention to myself; it made me feel really special and happy,” Glater said. “I also received so many gifts, and a lot of ice cream; I was overwhelmed with the amount of love my friends showed me.”

Dentist Dr. Craig Friedman said the schedule at his office becomes a lot busier when it comes winter break time.

“A lot of kids would rather have this procedure done when school is not something they need to worry about,” Dr. Friedman said.

Because the office would not be able to run smoothly if Dr. Friedman went on vacation, he said he spends every winter break at home.

“I am constantly wanting to take a break on those two weeks, but it is just impossible,” Dr. Friedman said. “It is actually the most popular time of the year for teens to make their appointments.”

Although there are a variety of times students can get their wisdom teeth taken out, Solomon said winter break is definitely the best time, so you don’t have to miss out on anything.

“A lot of things annoy me, but not feeling comfortable with the way I look is probably the worst,” Solomon said. “Getting them taken out on winter break allowed me to feel comfortable and enjoy my days instead of missing out on school and feeling paranoid.”

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Different weather patterns impact mood

BY ESTELA SUAREZ

Being born and raised in South Florida, senior Emilie Vargas said the weather has a tremendous effect on her mood. She said her mood changes completely on a dark and cloudy day from how she would be on a bright and sunny day.

“On days when it is nice out and I can enjoy the sun and the breeze I tend to be in a better mood and overall just happier. It makes me more productive and more inclined to be outside and do things,” Vargas said. “On days when it is cloudy and humid, I tend to feel more tired and unmotivated. I usually do not even feel like leaving my house.”

Like Vargas, senior Alexis Maldonado said her mood changes are affected by the activities the weather either enables or prohibits her from being able to do.  She said being able to go outside or having to stay indoors can make all the difference in her mood.

“I have always loved outdoor activities and it was always disappointing when I was younger and the weather would prohibit me from playing outside or doing sports because doing those things has always made me happy,” Maldonado said. “I hated being locked inside my house because I would get so bored.”

Even now, Maldonado said, as a teenager, she hates being in her home. She said that weather restrictions disappoint her even more now that she’s older.

“ Now that I can drive, I love to go out on a sunny day and hang out with my friends and go to the beach or just go to the park and sit because it makes me happy” Maldonado said. “On the other hand, when the day is gloomy and dark it just makes me want to sit at home on the couch and watch movies.”

According to AP psychology teacher David Geller, these effects can all be psychologically explained.

“Studies have shown if a person is sad or depressed and the weather is bad, it will add to the negative emotion,” Mr. Geller said. “Also, dark increases the hormone melatonin levels, which makes you tired and decreases the hormone serotonin level, which is linked to depression.”

Mr. Geller said nice weather will tend to have positive effects on mood while bad weather will have negative effects on mood. Despite this, there are certain situations where the effects of positive and negative weather are flipped.

“Bad weather can lead to depression, moodiness and tiredness, while sunny and nice weather can lead to happiness and motivation,” Geller said. “ That being said, sunny weather can lead to insomnia, which can have negative effects on individuals.”

Mr. Geller said he is not immune to the effects of the weather, as he too feels the effects of gloomy weather in contrast to a bright day.

“I get tired when the weather is dreary. However, when it is sunny and warm, I get excited to exercise and head to the beach,” Mr. Geller said.

Vargas has learned to deal with the varying weather circumstances and tries her best to always be in a good mood, in spite of gloomy or dreary weather.

“I am a generally happy person, but I would be lying if I said that my mood doesn’t damper sometimes,” Vargas said. “I try not to let the weather affect me as much and I think that for the most part I do a good job of it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Transfer students overcome obstacles

BY SOFIA RUSS

When sophomore Clementine Spaethe arrived at the Bay, she said she was confronted by a world of change and excitement. She transferred as an exchange student from France last year and had the chance to live with a host family in Weston.

“When I first came to the Bay, I was anxious to find out what this school had in store for me and how fast I would be able to adapt to it,” Spaethe said.

Spaethe said her first impression of the Bay was mostly influenced by its vast campus and massive student population.

“My first day of school was a little nerve-wracking because the amount of students in the hallways was overwhelming compared to my school back in France,” Spaethe said.

Ever since Spaethe transferred to the Bay, she said her education has blossomed because of the variety of clubs and classes offered. She is involved in the Interact Club and enjoys language classes, such as Spanish and French.

“I enjoy attending the Bay because I am able to learn and prepare for my future in a way that I could not before,” Spaethe said.

According to Spaethe, the education offered in France has many differences compared to the education at the Bay.

“Before transferring, I received a new class schedule every week and I had to stay in the same classroom all year round,” Spaethe said. “Now, school is easier for me due to the better learning environment.”

However, Spaethe said not all changes have helped her adapt to her new school environment. She said learning how to speak English made moving to a new school a slow transition for her.

“Making friends and speaking up was difficult for me at the beginning because I did not speak English well, but eventually everything fell into place and language no longer created a barrier between my classmates and I,” Spaethe said.

For sophomore Bill Jiang, transferring from Somerset Academy introduced new obstacles into both his educational and social life.

“Like most transfers, my social life obviously slowed down, but it is nice to meet new people through this process,” Jiang said.

Although Jiang’s social life was impacted, he said he pays more attention to his academic life and how his transfer has affected it.

“The Bay is definitely more academically competitive compared to my old school, but this keeps me motivated to work hard in my classes,” Jiang said.

Jiang said he misses certain features about his old school, but he is overall happy he went through this change.

“I love the atmosphere at Cypress Bay, but I miss having a smaller class where everyone knew each other,” Jiang said.

Like Jiang, junior Rafael Wever said he faced many obstacles when he first transferred from his school in Venezuela to the Bay. However, he said his optimism and determination allowed him to succeed as a new student.

“At first, I was terrified of going to school with more than 4,000 kids because my school in Venezuela was tiny compared to the Bay, but I knew I had to push through and focus on doing my best,” Wever said.

Like Spaethe, Wever said he was in disbelief when he found out about the variety of classes he could choose from.

“I knew I had to take advantage of the education that was being offered to me and make smart decisions that would benefit me in the future,” Wever said.

After finally settling into his new school, Wever said he was able to discover who he truly was.

“Coming to this school really forced me to come out of my shell,” Wever said. “I did not fit in at first, but when I began making friends, I realized how happy I would be here.”

English for Speakers of Other Languages teacher Sonia Ramirez said she plays a pivotal role in the lives of transfer students who come to the Bay from foreign countries.

“I have a big responsibility in helping new students become comfortable in speaking the English language so they can be successful in all of their classes,” Mrs. Ramirez said.

Mrs. Ramirez said she becomes more than just a teacher to many transfer students because she pushes them to be their best in not only her class, but in all areas of their school life.

“I try to fill in the gap so they can feel that they can progress in their second language and be more active as students,” Mrs. Ramirez said. “I begin to know them individually and after they are used to speaking English, I make sure they like the school and that they are comfortable in their environment.”

Although Spaethe initially faced obstacles, she was able to persevere and adapt to her new school environment.

“The Bay is an awesome school. I really think it is making me into the best student I can be,” Spaethe said. “ I love the atmosphere here and I am happy I had the opportunity to transfer to this school.”

 

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Students, teachers find passion in books

BY SABRINA BLANDON

When sophomore Italia Averett is not binge-watching Netflix, she said she enjoys sitting at home reading a charming book. Averett said she defines herself as a bookworm because she loves to read.

“I read books all the time; every time I finish a book, I start a new one,” Averett said. “I enjoy books because I can enter a world where anything can happen, and it feels like I’m there with the characters.”

When Averett reads, she said she feels she has found herself and has gained a better understanding of some important themes such as staying true to herself. When she was younger, she said she would read during recess instead of playing with the other kids.

“I love getting lost in books, feeling the characters’ emotions with them and finding truly amazing books to read again and again,” Averett said.

Like Averett, sophomore Daniel Posada said he enjoys picking up a book and diving into another realm. Although Posada doesn’t read as often as Averett, he said he still appreciates the way an author writes their stories.

“When I was in fifth grade, I was very into Goosebumps and I wasn’t very social those days,” Posada said. “I would read so much that my mom would ban me from reading books over the summer and tell me to socialize.”

Although Posada does not read as much as he did when he was in fifth grade, he said he is still fond of books.

“I stopped reading recently because I tried to get into more classical books like the Great Gatsby, but those books are very hard to read,” Posada said. “When I tried to read them, I just got bored and stopped reading altogether.”

Like Posada, Language Arts and Creative Writing teacher Mrs. Herring said she has had a true passion for books ever since she was young. Even as technology advances, she said she thinks students will continue to read paperback books instead of electronic books.
“Students will most likely read paper books more because, first, they prefer hardcover books and second, I don’t see schools banning traditional books soon,” Mrs. Herring said.

When Mrs. Herring isn’t teaching, she said she is always reading a great book. She said she loves reading because it allows her to fall in love with the characters and world the author creates.

“I love not only reading the book but just to be able to hold it in my hands makes me feel so happy,” Mrs. Herring said. “I enjoy how books make me feel; it’s like I’m a little girl in a chocolate factory.”

Although Mrs. Herring has always had a passion for reading, she said she often lost interest in books when she was forced to read them in school.

“My love for books would come in waves. I loved books when I was much younger and then when I had to read for school, I got bored. I mean my teachers taught it to me differently, so I lost interest,” Mrs. Herring said. “Now I love books and that’s why I try to make my course interesting so when my students read, they’re not like how I was when I was their age.”

Besides feeling a part of the world the authors create, Mrs. Herring said she enjoys the writing styles of the authors, the words and the characters the authors creates.

“I fall in love with an author’s style, but more importantly I fall in love with vulnerability which is honesty,” Mrs. Herring said. “To me, that is the most important thing.”

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