Dear Sophomores,   Enough of the bad habits and lack of interest in school. Your junior year is just around the corner, so all the playing around and foolish acts need to be thrown in the trash. Junior year is the one that many (including myself) consider to be the most challenging year of high school. The work gets harder and more is required. Sometimes you’ll have so much homework that you won’t have time to be with friends. But it’s OK because it will all pay off in the long run. The thing is, when you’re a junior, you have to make sacrifices. For example, less partying and more studying. You have to become more focused than ever. For those who have been serious all along, avoid burnout. If you are good at juggling things, and do best when you are busy, throw in a social life and a part-time job. Make sure your GPA is on point because this is where it counts. Be expected to take AP classes because you can earn college credits. There is also a major test that will help determine which college you will get accepted into. That test is the SAT. To prepare yourself, you should get as much help as possible. You can either take SAT prep classes or free online courses. Still, your grades and how high you score on the SAT aren’t the only factors. Make sure you participate in afterschool activities and do volunteer work. Colleges love individuality and community service. Schools also want to see what you can bring to their communities. Although it may sound overwhelming, try to make it fun because it can get stressful.   Sincerely,   An Upcoming Senior
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A teacher once taught me how to study for an exam by using an easy and fun method -- asking questions in a song and then singing the answers, too. Now, whenever I have a test, I use the same process and it works. Here are some other study tips from testtakingtips.com: - Review your material right after school while it’s still fresh in your mind; -  Don’t cram the night before; - Find a quiet study space with good lighting; - Make sure you understand the work -- don’t just memorize; - Test yourself to find out what you need to study more; - Take frequent short breaks rather than one big one; - And another tuneful technique: Put on some relaxing background music and play it low.
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Kids need their parents to escort them to success. When parents are involved in their children’s educations, kids do better in school. The family makes      critical contributions to student achievement, from preschool through high school. Learning starts at home. Parents who show their children why it is important to get an education are    more effective than those who just give their kids money and send them off to school. Teachers believe that their students would perform better if parents were more involved. Children of uninvolved parents are more likely to fall through the cracks. One lesson kids learn is: “If my parents don’t care, why should I care?” Students are the future of the country, and it’s sad when the lack of support from parents is a reason that they are dropping out.
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Today’s Harlem Shake is a pop dance consisting of an individual moving to the melody of the music with a group of people who appear to be spectators in the background. Then, all of a sudden, the song reaches its peak with the prompt of “Do the Harlem Shake,” and all the bystanders disregard what they were doing and begin to dance insanely, often in random masks and costumes. Ever since the modern Harlem Shake went viral in late 2012 via a song recorded by an American DJ named Baauer, it has become a sensation all over the country, with grade school students and even professional athletes producing their own versions of the dance. However, some believe the latest edition is a weak copy of the original. “Today’s Harlem Shake is a complete mockery of what the original Harlem Shake stood for,” says Wayne Montague, a junior at Brighton High School.
The original Harlem Shake of the early ‘80s was also known as the Albee after its creator, a Harlem resident named “Al B.” Some say it drew inspiration from an Ethiopian dance called the Eskista, which consists of a variety of body movements, head jerking, and shoulder bopping.
The Harlem Shake grew in popularity in 2001 when G. Dep offered the dance in his music video “Let’s Get It.” It died down and then was revived. Erik Solis, 17, of Another Course to College, has no problem with updating cultural history, believing the dance has simply evolved over the course of the past decades. Although it may be far from its predecessor, Solis says it’s fun and people today enjoy it.
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On Point
Trayvon lives on:
On July 13, George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Myriad people tried to dirty Martin’s reputation by talking about things like his reported marijuana use in attempts to make him look like a thug. How does this justify the fact that he was killed, unarmed, by a man who happened to be stalking him? Well, if we are talking about criminal behavior, let’s take a step back in time and describe a man who got in trouble with the law and still rose up to become successful. As others have noted, this man was charged with driving drunk, paid a fine, and later became president of the United States: George W. Bush. I believe I would have made a better argument than the prosecutors in the Zimmerman case. Zimmerman was caught in a lie when he explained that Trayvon Martin jumped out of the bushes. That should have been a bigger deal in the trial. In his heart, Zimmerman knew he had done wrong. It would take me a very long time to believe that race did not have anything to do with this case. Apparently, Trayvon’s appearance killed him, because he looked so suspicious in a hoodie that Zimmerman felt he could only live to see the next day by following him like some twitter bird or an animal stalking its prey. What would have happened to the whole neighborhood if Trayvon had walked home that night without a chaperone? Was he going to do something drastic like adjust his hoodie?
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