Black History Month Significance
Black History Month to me is a month to represent the great things that African Americans have achieved to date.
Black History Month is a month to bring knowledge and enlighten people on the impact that African Americans have on the world daily.
Most importantly to me Black History Month is a Month to show appreciation to African Americans for the things they've been through, the struggle, lack of equality, and challenges they still face in today's world.
Black History Month is well known and represented from many people, celebrities, and schools.
Even though this month is celebrated by many, I believe schools should have better awareness and more activities when it comes to the education of this month and African Americans.
The topics of African Americans such as accomplishments, slavery, and societal impact is not something that can be discussed in a few short days.
In my opinion schools should be required to expand the learning period of African Americans and Black History Month.
In our history classes we constantly talk about Caucasian people’s successes and the great things they did, rarely leaving room for the success and great things African Americans did.
Dates such as February 1, 1865 which is when the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery, was adopted by the 38th Congress and February 2, 1862 when the District of Columbia abolished slavery.
In addition to these, there are so many more African American accomplishments and successes that should be highlighted to educate all people in American, not just certain groups of people.
This is a month where the world should take time to thank and celebrate African Americans like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Barack Obama, Robert Tanner Jackson, and thousands more.
I personally appreciate the month and believe most African Americans appreciate it and don’t take it for granted.
Personally as a young black man growing up in the world I know the everyday struggle that African Americans still go through.
I understand the lack of equality that we still do not have and the prejudice that we go through today.
Lastly, I understand and respect greatly what our ancestors did and went through to get us to the state we are at now.
Our ancestors sacrificed everything for us to have the life we have today and I believe Black History Month really stands for that and serves its main purpose to show the greatness and struggles of African Americans.
A day in the life of a student
A normal Wednesday for me starts at a quarter to six, when my alarm jars me awake. Immediately, I hit snooze then proceed to lie in bed for the next 15 minutes and contemplate if a diploma is even worth it. Around six, I drag myself out of the warmth and comfort of my bed and throw on whatever I find lying on the floor that smells somewhat clean. Depending on how long that takes, I maybe grab a granola bar then pack my backpack with my Chromebook and fill up my water bottle. I brush my teeth quickly and run to catch my bus, and now my day has really started.
I’ll listen to music on the bus ride to school, which takes about half an hour. What I choose depends on my mood, but really it’s just background noise as I try to catch a couple extra zzz’s before the next seven hours of class kick my butt.
As soon as I get to homeroom, I have to jump on Flextime to try to snag one of the few open spots left for B and C PLT. Then I start on the homework I didn’t have time to finish last night after bowling practice. Usually, I take a trip to the cafe for a cup of coffee to give me the caffeine boost I need to wake up fully.
When the homeroom bell rings and announcements start, I have to pull out my chemistry binder and get ready for notes. I put in half effort into AP Chemistry, finishing the AP European History assignment I have hidden instead.
Euro is filled with the same actions, taking notes while completing the next class’s homework. AP Language and Composition comes next, but in that one, I keep my AP Calculus homework in its binder; calculus is the only class I can finish the homework for, but it usually takes about an hour on its own.
In calc, we take five minutes to go over the homework then move onto notes, working until the end of the class, and sometimes a little bit after. Out of all my classes, calc is the fullest, with barely a break to breathe.
I go to Digital Media Production - newspaper - next and it’s the first time I get to relax out of the whole day. Unless it’s the end of the month or I have articles due, in which case, I spend the whole period busy with typing and laying out articles for the full paper.
I almost always eat A lunch, but usually I don’t actually have enough money to buy food. So when I go to the cafeteria, I swipe food from my friends. Lunch tends to be more of social time for me rather than eating time. I spend most of it gliding between tables and talking with different friends.
My B and C PLTs depend on where my friends are going, but no matter where I go, I spend my time playing on my phone. Except for the couple texts I send in between classes, this is the first time I really have to spend on my phone. Sometimes I work on tomorrow’s calc homework, but usually, it doesn’t get assigned until after school, so I spend PLTs playing on my phone.
My second-to-last class is my second math class of the day - CHS Statistics. Stats is one of my favorite classes. It only has nine people in it, and the coursework isn’t that hard to grasp. It’s a more laidback class, and it’s a good class for nearing the end of that school day.
I have a study hall for my last period, and surprisingly, I actually use it as a study hall. Mostly, I work on assignments I missed, or if I don’t have any catching up to do, I work on my book, HOPE.
When the bell rings to leave school and Mr. Price gets on the announcements, my day is still far from over. Instead of getting on my own bus headed home, I hop onto a bus headed to Ingram for bowling. On a good day when the match goes quickly, I’ll be down at Crafton-Ingram Lanes until 6. On a slow day, I’m stuck there until 7.
Still, after the match, I don’t head home. Wednesdays are the one day of the week I see my dad, so instead of going home, I get in my sister’s car and head out to whatever restaurant they’ve chosen for the week.
After dinner, I finally head home; it’s usually around 9:30 by the time I’m kicking off my shoes and getting attacked by my dogs. But it’s still not my time to relax because I have at least two hours of homework ahead of me. So I’ll work on homework, listen to music, text a couple friends, and finally, around midnight, I’ll crawl into bed to get at most six hours of sleep before the cycle repeats.
That’s my day, from 5:45 when I wake up to 12 o’clock when I go to sleep. Sometimes it’s later; there have been times when I don’t get to sleep until 4 in the morning. But the best case scenario has me asleep around midnight. So for at least 18 hours a day, I’m awake and moving with very little free time to do what I would like. And that’s the true day in the life of a student.
Hrubes earns January Artist of the Month
Junior student Ben Hrubes earned January Artist of the Month for his eminent creativity in his Fashion Arts, Drawing and Painting II, and Ceramics classes noted art teacher Mr. Dan Balcerek.
Hrubes believes he earned Artist of the Month because of his most recent project in Fashion Arts.
“I created a book bag out of records, which everyone found interesting,” says Hrubes.
Mr. Balcerek’s positive reinforcement to Hrube’s works is key to his success.
“Mr. Balcerek helps us with our projects by telling us how to execute our ideas.”
Hrubes’ artistic strength is sewing whereas his weakness is in painting.
“I hoping by taking another painting class next year I will be able to be better at painting.”
Hrubes wants others to see his work as being creative.
“I want others to look at work and see the creativity that went into making it.”
When doing projects in his three art classes, Hrubes enjoys working with fabric and clay.
Hrubes does not have an inspiration behind any of his works.
“I end up finding a lot of my ideas on Pinterest. That’s where I came up with making the bookbag out of records.”
Hrubes will continue to endeavor more in to art by creating more creativity-filled projects.
Flaherty and Benson awarded December Teachers of the Month
Mr. Mark Flaherty and Mrs. Vicky Benson were named December teacher of the month.
Mr. Flaherty teaches English 12, CHS Argumentation, and Sports in Popular Culture, as well as the sponsor for Montour’s Children club.
Flaherty has won teacher of the month before, but believes that he won due to the atmosphere of reciprocated respect, humor, and freedom of expression in the classroom.
The new course Flaherty is teaching, Sports in Popular Culture, is an exciting new aspect in his year and he is enjoying the initial learning process for the class.
Flaherty’s personal philosophy behind his teaching includes impartiality, realistic expectations and connecting course skills to real-world applications.
“Introducing myself to my first class on my first day would be a favorite memory because it was the inception of where I am today,” says Flaherty.
Before coming to work at Montour in 1993, Flaherty worked on a jackhammer crew as a construction laborer. If he was not going to be a teacher, Flaherty has two bucket list goals he would like to achieve; write a novel, or own an ice-cream shop.
Flaherty received his bachelor’s degree from Duquesne as well as his master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
Flaherty’s favorite quote is “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” -Dr. Suess.
Outside of school, Flaherty enjoys travelling with his wife, as well as embarrassing his three daughters, ages 24, 22, and 15.
One fun fact about Mr. Flaherty would be that he has recently made his voice-over acting debut.
Mrs. Benson teaches AP Music Theory, Fundamentals of Music Theory, Music Tech 1 and 2, Guitar 2, Freshman and Concert Choir.
Benson has won teacher of the month before, but she has “no idea” why she won this time.
Benson has had a very busy year so far, with a lot of new things in her classes. “It keeps me on my toes,” says Benson.
Benson believes that it is important for her students to show creativity in the classroom. She wants her students to enjoy what they are learning, without really feeling like they are learning.
Benson received her degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and began teaching at Montour in 2001.
If she was not going to be a teacher, Benson would like to go into a profession that involves cooking or crafting.
Watching her students get on stage and showcase all the hard work they have put in is Benson’s favorite memory from teaching. “Watching the students have fun gives me goosebumps,” says Benson.
One fun fact about Benson is that she is fluent in American Sign Language.
Nicholas Alexander awarded January Musician of the Month
“Nick is a hard worker who selflessly volunteered to play bari sax this year in both Concert Band and Jazz Band. I am proud of his improvement and dedication this year, and I am looking forward to seeing where he will be next year,” commented band director Rob Roehn.
Alexander is a part Montour’s concert, jazz, and marching bands, and also plays for WACA. He plays an assortment of instruments, including the alto saxophone, the tenor saxophone, the bari saxophone, the bass clarinet, and the clarinet. He has been playing them for seven years, five years, one year, two years, and one year, respectively.
Alexander credits Daro Behroozi and his band Lucky Chops for his success in music because he finds himself trying to replicate his sound.
Because he finds music challenging and enjoyable, Alexander plans to keep playing as a hobby, but doesn’t see keeping music in his life professionally.
“The only thing I dislike is how easy it is to lose time and get distracted by the music.”
Without music in his life, Alexander knows life would be boring, and he would lose time to the boredom.
“When I’m playing, it’s like I get lost, but I still know where I am.”
Alexander’s advice to starters is, “Just stick with it. You NEED to learn the fundamentals before tough stuff, but the boring time is just setting up for so much more fun after.”
Briana Beck awarded December Parkway Student of the Month
Junior Briana Beck was awarded Parkway Student of the Month this past December out of the twelve other schools that go to Parkway West CTC.
To receive Student of the Month at Parkway, a teacher has to submit a review of a student he or she believes is eligible; after review, Beck along with approximately 50 to 75 other students were interviewed by the counselors and principal. She was then selected out of those interviewed.
Beck was overwhelmed to know that she earned Student of the Month, not expecting to win due to her quiet nature in class.
“It was a big honor,” commented Beck
Beck believes she received this award because she has high grades and passed all her tests in Vet Tech on top of being dog certified for CPR and working as a vet associate outside of school.
At her job, she cleans cages and takes out the dogs as well as helps out in the clinic by giving them their medicine, such as how to give pills to dogs, the different types of food for the diabetics, and more.
As a reward for Student of the Month, she received a breakfast, a “Student of the Month” plaque with her name on it, a gift card, a T-shirt, a popsocket, and a lanyard.
After graduation, Beck plans to become a certified veterinarian as well as have a backup in biology. For as long as she can remember, Beck has always loved dogs, but it was still a challenging decision to go attend Parkway. Once her friends convinced her to attend her sophomore year, Beck learned that the pros outweigh the cons of attending another school on top of high school.
“It was probably the best decision I’ve ever made because it’s amazing.”
Government shutdown continues with no end in sight
This article was written on the twenty fourth day of the government shutdown. The government was shutdown on December 22, on the basis of funding for a physical barrier between the U.S. and Mexico. President Trump continues to scold Democrats for not funding his wall, which he says will cost approximately 5.8 Billion dollars.
President Trump stands firm, saying he will continue the shutdown until Democrats will fund his wall. He has even begun threatening to declare national emergency to get past congress.
Declaring national emergency will mean that President Trump can fund the wall without going through congress, but this is a risky move as as soon as the emergency ends, Democrats threatened to begin a vote to impeach President Trump.
With the Democrats not seeming to budge, it may be in President Trump’s best interest to reopen the government, so federal employees can start working again. It would also be important for the administration, as President Trump may be impeached as soon as the government is back up and running.
Border security is necessary, as well as a physical border to keep illegal immigrants out of the country, but with the government shutdown, this seems to be hurting more Americans than helping.
The polls show that around 56% of Americans blame the Republicans and Trump for this government shutdown, with only 11% blaming Republicans and Democrats. These are important as it shows that Americans see President Trump as the reason for this shutdown, which does not put him in a great position to continue the shutdown.
Democrats continue to deny the need for a physical barrier. They say that there is no national emergency, but the polls show that 16 million people cross the border illegally every year. Funding the wall would help prevent this, as well as get the government reopened. In the words of CNN’s Jim Acosta at the U.S. Mexico border, “It is quite tranquil down here.” Note that this was said right next to the CURRENT WALL.
President Trump does not want to build a whole new wall, he wants to make the current one spread across the whole border. This is a good idea, seeing as though most illegal immigrants come across either by plane or through the open sections of the wall.
As for declaring national emergency, this is a bit overkill. If the President declares a state of emergency, Democrats will surely vote to impeach him. They may even succeed, thus ending the Republican chance of having a President for the next 6 years. This would be a huge blow to the Republicans.