Welcome to the first kid produced issue of Inside Chappaqua ever! When writing for IC last spring, I lamented to publisher Grace Bennett about how few opportunities there are at school for aspiring young journalists (particularly freshmen), and the idea for an entirely freshman-written issue was born. [Read more…] about Guest Editor: Lindsay Hand
Growing Up Here
By Amelia Abemayor
The past year has taught me so much about life. The scared and shy girl that began Horace Greeley High School last fall has evolved into a mature, confident, and outgoing young adult. My freshman experience was not like the movie “Mean Girls,” but was both one of the hardest and most enjoyable times of my life.
Going from middle school’s “big kids” to high school’s “babies” is a big leap during one summer. Here are 12 tips I’ve learned throughout these 180 freshman days:
1. STUDY, STUDY, STUDY!!!
It’s obvious, but important. Even if you think you know the material, review and do practice questions. Flashcards and study guides are great ideas, and websites such as www.regentsprep.org offer great practice for many subjects.
2. DON’T BREAK YOUR BACK!
Most Greeley students do not use their lockers; the campus is simply too big. Get a sturdy backpack with two straps or a comfortable messenger bag to carry those books and supplies. And don’t overbuy; your backpack shouldn’t weigh more then you do!
3. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT COLLEGE!
Yes, I know high school is when grades start to “count,” but don’t get too caught up in one bad grade. Try your hardest, do your best, and things will work out! Strive for improvement, think positive and trust me; you WILL find a college that suits you when the time comes. Do not compare your grades to others’; you are your own person!
4. TALK TO UPPERCLASSMEN!
We are just so intimidating, but finding a nice upperclassman will help you learn the ropes. They can assist with everything from finding a classroom, choosing electives or tutoring you in math. And it’s even better if they can drive!
5. USE YOUR TIME WISELY!
Greeley students have at least one free period each day of the six day cycle. If you have two “frees” on a given day, use the time to get a jump on homework. The library has tables and cubicles where you can get a lot of work done. It’s fun to socialize with friends occasionally, but two hours of homework at night is far preferable to five!
6. DO NOT LOOK FOR “I” BUILDING OR THE POOL
You are, without question, absolutely guaranteed to get lost.
7. RISE AND SHINE!
You thought middle school started early? Greeley starts at
7:45 a.m., so be on time! Unless you enjoy sitting in traffic, you’ll have to leave your house by 7:15 (bus or car). Your parents will not enjoy the emails they receive if you’re late every morning. And get enough sleep; desks do not make comfortable pillows!
8. CHECK BLACKBOARD
What even IS Blackboard, you’re wondering? Blackboard is a website used by many teachers to post information about classes, tests, homework, and even classroom notes. As not every teacher uses it, use the agenda distributed in the fall or a personal organizer to record homework and test dates.
9. NEVER PUT OFF UNTIL TOMORROW . . .
As exciting as those status updates are, Facebook will not help you figure out why a=b. You will regret procrastinating when you can barely pick up your pencil at 2 a.m. when you are still trying to complete work.
10. DON’T SKIP CLASSES!
Global Studies lectures can be thrilling, but are also when useful information for tests and upcoming assignments may be given out, so stay for the entire class. A cut slip will also guarantee you detention after school, which you’d prefer to avoid!
11. FOLLOW THE SIGNS!
A personal GPS is not necessary to get around Greeley! It may be difficult to find your way around at first, but you will get the hang of it quickly by actually looking at the strategically placed signs. This advice is for parents, too; it would be quite embarrassing to be found wandering the Greeley halls the morning after Open School Night!
12. JUST HAVE A GREAT TIME!
High school is a blast, and if you make the right decisions it can be a great experience. Be open to the new people you will meet, and you’ll make new friends. And you might even learn a thing or two!
So welcome HGHS class of 2015! Best of luck with your first year of high school!
Amelia Abemayor is now a sophomore at Horace Greeley High School, having survived freshman year intact.
By Rachel Schelling
Have you ever wanted to escape from this world into another? Have you ever wanted to solve mysteries, seek adventures, take on the bad guys? Reading is a way to do all these things and more. Each novel is its own reality, with its own rules and its own extraordinary aspect.
Reading has been around since the invention of cuneiform in ancient Mesopotamia, and possibly even earlier. The first book, The Tales of Genji by Lady Murasaki, marked a turning point that changed the world, as the number of books exponentially multiplied to the vast expanse we have today. If you find comfort, relaxation, joy, or any other reason you could possibly have for reading, there is a book out there for you. Besides all the genres from which to choose, we now have the choice between electronic books or real paper, ink and binding books.
What are people reading?
This is a difficult question, similar to asking what flavor of ice cream people are eating. There are simply too many choices, too many answers. Everyone has a different personality and therefore different book preferences. There are travelers who simply need short and sweet novels to get them through grueling plane rides. There is the avid crossword puzzle enthusiast who loves to solve a mystery. There is the stay at home mom who is passionate about historical fiction. Joy can be found in a plethora of places for any reader–that’s the beauty of reading.
Chappaqua Librarian Rebecca Rogan offered insight on today’s most popular genres: mystery is widely enjoyed, and is just one popular genre that is granted its own section in the Chappaqua Library. Certain age groups seem to gravitate towards particular genres, such as romance novels; mystery and science fiction can capture the imaginations of members of all generations. However, there are “renegades” in any group, age or otherwise, making it virtually impossible to pick just a few books to represent everyone’s choices.
To E-Read or Not to E-Read?
What we read on has become a 21st century choice. Besides our choices in novels, we can choose to read an electronic book or a paper book. E-readers are smaller, easier to carry and travel with, can hold thousands of books, and may offer more choices such as language, font size, and font type. However, many hard-core readers complain that e-readers lack a “real book” feel; reading simply isn’t the same when you press buttons instead of turning pages, and curling up with a Nook, iPad or Kindle doesn’t have the same feel as curling up with a paperback. It is also virtually impossible to share a beloved book with a friend.
Electronic readers, however, are becoming increasingly popular, especially with the younger generation and travelers. Some book lovers fear that electronic books may someday replace paper books. Ms. Rogan believes that online books won’t take away from real books, but will simply be an addition to the books already out there and the one that have yet to come. The most important thing is that people keep reading, in any and all forms.
Reading continues to be a huge part of our culture. No matter how many genres, forms and authors exist, there will always be a book for each and every person. So go, grab a book (or e-reader!), and prepare to get lost in a whole new and different world.
Rachel Schelling is now a sophomore at Horace Greeley High School.
The New York Times top fiction novels of 2010:
Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen
The New Yorker Stories, by Ann Beattie
Room, by Emma Donoghue
Selected Stories, by William Trevor
A Visit From the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan.
New York Times top nonfiction:
Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet, by Jennifer Homans
Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Schiff
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee,
Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes, by Stephen Sondheim
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
By Liora Fishman
“What do you want to be when you graduate college?” For many, combining their passion and their employer is not easy. For 2006 Horace Greeley High School graduate Jonathan Schwebel, this was not the case.
Throughout Bell Middle School and Greeley, Schwebel discovered a passion for history and politics; in seventh grade, a Social Studies assignment on contemporary history turned into an interview with Bill Clinton at the Clinton’s Chappaqua home.
“I had a school project in which I had to conduct an interview related to contemporary history. It was my idea to interview Bill Clinton. I walked a note over to his secret service people and then two days later I received a call that I could interview him.” Schwebel shared, “I was that kid who would talk to anyone about anything.” Of the resulting press coverage, “I learned how to communicate with people effectively at a young age.”
A 2010 graduate of Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, Schwebel majored in History and Political Science, motivated by events of the past and present, and how they are shaped by external factors like religion, economics and geography. It seems natural that he took those interests to help Americans that have helped their country.
Disabled Vets Need Jobs
Schwebel is a Business Analyst with Hire Disability Solutions (“HDS”), an employment consulting company, promoting the inclusion of veterans with disabilities and disabled people in the work force. Created in 2004 in response to the staggering millions of unemployed disabled people, the company helps connect businesses to the disabled worker. With wars on three fronts and an economic crisis, there has never been a more important time for politics and business to come together for the benefit of military veterans returning to the civilian workforce.
According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics 2011 report, “the unemployment rate for veterans who served in the military at any time since September 2001was 11.5%,” of which about 25% reported having a service-connected disability. With 400,000 U.S. jobless claims per month, according to the Labor Department’s March report, the civilian job prospects for returning troops could not be worse.
After being in the military, though, how are these men and women to find a job? “We’re all about strategic partnerships.” Schwebel said. “Basically, our corporate goal is to empower individuals with disabilities to reach their personal goal. We present information and resources for individuals with disabilities to then connect with employers, employment opportunities, so they can succeed in building their skills professionally.” In an article for Politico, Senators Kay Hagan and Scott Brown explain: “When our heroes become veterans, we must ensure that their hard earned knowledge, skills, and dedication are translated into job opportunities in the civilian world.”
Career Expo for Veterans
On May 24th, HDS hosted “Be a Hero, Hire a Hero” Veterans’ Expo at the Hotel New Yorker. The event was expected to be the largest veteran’s career Expo ever, without accounting for the “virtual attendants” video-conferenced into interviews. The Joint Chiefs of Staff has supported the Expo by allowing it to be broadcast at every military base in the world. Companies were able to communicate with active military duty members within six months of their departure by using a live feed to conduct interviews.
If the importance of this event can be measured by press coverage, the anchor crews reporting spoke volumes. “The Expo went incredibly well,” said Schwebel. “Each of the 108 employers who participated said they were very impressed with how qualified the candidates were, and I would say at least 3,000 veterans attended the event. The next Expo will be in November, and will occur on the Intrepid.”
Preparing Vets for Employment
HDS offers additional programs for veterans, including job training, mentorship, financial counseling, and resume improvement. “The skills [veterans] learn in the military are desired in every company. Many times those skills such as leadership, loyalty, respect, and integrity are the skills which corporations seek.” Schwebel continued, “We assist the veterans in translating their experience to a resume, an interview, and a job.”
Passionate about his work and focused on how history shapes us, Schwebel is hopeful that the success of the Expo will brings success to our veterans. Attending meetings with political officials and large-scale corporations fighting for this important cause, Schwebel has found himself right where he belongs. As Schwebel said, “These people are giving us the life that we are allowed to live, so it’s our responsibility to make sure that they have every opportunity to succeed.”
Liora Fishman is now a sophomore at Horace Greeley High School.