Monday, October 24, 2011

Student Declaration of Independence

I.                   Declaration of Student Rights
We, as students of Grosse Pointe South High School, deserve basic rights as young adults. Being in a public school, a student deserves freedom while maintaining discipline. The student should have the right to dress, express, and act the way they want to, as long as it is appropriate for a school environment. The student should be able to make decisions for their own self that benefit them and the school.
Academically, with the vast majority of classes offered, the student should be able to take whichever classes they want, as long as it goes along with their ability level. The student has to complete certain academic requirements, but the electives are their choice, it all depends on their interests and expression. If the student chooses to take seven academic classes, it is their right. If the student chooses to take the bare minimum of academic classes and the rest classes of their choice, it is their right.
With extracurriculars, the student has the right to participate in whichever pertains to them. From orchestra to choir to sports to clubs, there is about everything offered to interest a student. No administration should have the right to stop these activities; the students have the right to keep them ongoing for as long as they choose.
Being in high school, open campus should be an automatic right for the student. For lunch especially, it allows the students to choose wherever they want to go that interests them. When it comes to attendance, the student should be allowed to take full advantage of the open campus while respecting the attendance policy. As long as approved by the parent, the student should always have the right to leave if sick, injured, or for other reasons. Going along with attendance, the student should always have the right to have the weekends off, holiday breaks off, and occasional regular school days off. Constantly having homework and work to do is not always to the student’s interest, so these breaks are necessary.
When it comes to teachers and counselors, the student should always have the right to communicate with them, whether it be for help or other reasons. Teachers should always be willing to accept the student for their personality and behavior, and to create a good relationship with each one of them. Students have the right to talk to them and counselors, to figure out what is best for them, for help, whatever it best for them.
A student of Grosse Pointe South should have many rights, being a public school. The student should have the right to express themselves academically, through sports and activities, and whatever other ways they choose. School should be a place to benefit the student, give them rights is the best way of showing it.

II.                10 Complaints
I.        Start time- The start time is just too early. It is easier to get up when it is lighter out. The extra half hour that we could add to the start time would increase the attendance in school. It would increase the attendance because the students would most likely get up on time and not skip their first hour. This would boost the grades of the students in the school.
II.      No free period like other schools- Other schools, like Ligget, have a free period when you can do what ever you want. We should also have designated rooms where students can take naps, like in China at some work places. This free period would recharge students’ brains, and work harder. This period could not only be for taking naps, but you can catch up on work, or go get food. Students will not sleep as much in class because they know they have a nap coming up.
III.    Homework on weekends- Homework on weekends is rarely done. Rather than wasting the assignment, we should be given the homework during the week. The undone or half-way done assignments bring down students grades. There is no point to assigning work that will not get done, because without doing the homework, students will not understand the topic. Without understanding the topic, students will not do will on the test that teachers will subsequently give.
IV.    No snow days- Snow days are rarely had here in Grosse Pointe. Even if the entire state and surrounding states are not in school, we still have school. It should not matter that we do not have buses; some of us still need to get rides to school. If there is enough snow to close down most schools in the surrounding areas that would mean that it is too cold to walk. Also, it is very hard to drive in those conditions, so students could be late to school because of difficult driving conditions.
V.      Electronic use in classrooms- The electronic policy is pretty strict. Students should be allowed to use their iPods or other devices after they finish a test, or while homework is being done in class. If they are not disrupting the other students, it should not be a big deal. IPods help some people be more focused and get more done faster. If students got their homework done faster in school, then they would have less at home, and it would be more likely to get done, and not be a zero.
VI.    Lunch too short- The time we get for lunch just does not cut if. If a student wants to go across the street to Subway, then they barely have time to eat. By increasing the lunch period by just ten minutes, it would give the students a chance to go somewhere to get food and to enjoy it. It would also give students minds a break, and have a chance to recharge. Being rushed during lunch is not fun, so adding the extra ten minutes would make it more of a relaxing period.
VII.  Attendance policy- Students are not allowed enough absences. Ten absences are not very many for an entire semester. There are sometimes issues with illness, doctors’ appointments, and even custody. It makes it very hard for students to feel like they can stay home and recover from an illness, when they feel they might miss too many days of school. Even just making the days absent to twelve would greatly improve the attendance policy.
VIII.                        Food/Drink policy- Teachers do not want their students leaving class for any reason, so if drinks were allowed in class, it would take away one reason for students to leave. Also, sometimes students do not get a chance to eat breakfast in the morning. So, being allowed to eat in a classroom would be very helpful. As long as the foods or drinks are not mess or distracting there should not be a problem. Eating and drinking can also help some students concentrate, which would lead to higher grades and test scores.
IX.    Tests and Quizzes on Mondays- Having a quiz or test on a Monday makes life more difficult. Some students will forget over the weekend, and some just will not study, because it is the weekend and they do not feel like it. It is very difficult to have a quiz or test on a Monday because the student did not have the review day the day before, they had it three days before. The extra night to prepare if the test was on a Tuesday, would give the students who did study over the weekend a chance at a better grade. Tests and quizzes on Mondays are harder to concentrate on, because it was just the weekend, where students stayed up late, and are now tired.
X.      Unnecessary required credits (computers, art, health, etc.)- Some required credits are just unnecessary. Some students are not very good at computers, or art, and just do not want to know about health. Not doing well in these classes that they have no interest in taking will just bring down their overall grade point average. These classes are sometimes mundane to students, and serve no real purpose. Some students want to take an arts class, or computer class, and they should be able to, but it should not be required that every student do so.

III.             Concluding Statement

The students are the majority of the population at Grosse Pointe South. Therefore it is only fair that the student body make most of the decisions, or at least get a say in the matter. Instead we are forced to go to a school where we don’t agree with half of the rules and policies. We, the student body, are taking a stand. The student body is revolting against the school, the board and Mr. Provenzano. We are told as teenagers that we need at least 8 hours of sleep that is hard to do when school starts at 8:00 A.M. we should be able to come to school at a reasonable hour. We deserve a free period every day, just a single hour a day where we can do homework or anything within reason. The weekend is a time for students to be relieved of stress and take a break, we are swamped with sports, drama, and homework all week, the student body deserves to have no homework over the weekend. The fact that we have one snow day a year is preposterous! It can be below zero degrees and we still must come to school, when schools like L’Anse Cruse have two in a row, we must get more then one snow day. There should be and acceptance of electronics in class rooms, high school students are old enough to be able to use a cell phone in class. Students go to school for approximately eight hours a day, it should not be too much to ask to have a longer lunch. When you are legitimately sick you should not be penalized, you should still be getting credit for taking the class as long as you get the work done. We get to eat once a day, that is it! We are not allowed to eat or drink anything in class, and that is just not fair because teachers can eat what they want when they want it and the students just have suck it up and be hungry. When there are tests and quizzes on Mondays it makes it difficult to get a good grade because you cannot ask questions and no teenage wants to have to worry about studying all weekend. When we are forced to go to school we should be able to pick what classes we take, not be forced to take unimportant classes such as computers. It is the student’s school; therefore the students should make the decisions. We will not cease until our new requirements are met. It is time for the students to take a stand. We will no longer be walked over and bossed around. Our demands must be met or there will be consequences.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Epilogue (Abigail)

You see Abigail pacing in a small, dark room, with Mercy Lewis sleeping soundly on the floor. Abigail seems to be packing and looks to be distraught.
Abigail: Get up Mercy! We have to leave.
Mercy: Leave? Why? Are we going back to Salem?
Abigail: No, what did I tell you about going back so Salem? We can never go back. We stole all that money from my uncle.
Mercy: But why do we have to leave Boston?
Abigail: I have a feeling that they know that we are here. That they’re going to come, and take us back to Salem, and put us on trial.
Mercy: That would not happen, Abby.
Abigail: We don’t know that, do we? Now just get your but up, and help me pack.
Mercy: John Proctor was hung.
Abigail: What?
Mercy: With Goody Nurse, and Goody Corey.
Abigail: Why would I care about those heathens back in Salem?
Mercy: Well, it just seemed as if you and John Proctor had…
Abigail (Slightly raising her voice): Had what, Mercy? Tell me, Mercy, tell me. What did it seem like we had?
Mercy: I don’t know, Abby. It seemed like you had a sort of, connection.
Abigail (speaking more to herself and less to Mercy): A connection. How silly. John meant nothing to me. He chose his wife, left me to fight for myself. He would have been better off with me. Wouldn’t have been dead now, I can tell you that. He would be happy.
Mercy: Elizabeth also had a baby.
Abigail (clearly distraught, but trying to hide it): A baby? Well then, good luck to her. Having to raise four kids all on her own, and run a farm. I bet she runs the farm to the ground, and ruins the Proctor’s good name. Or, I guess, ruin it more, seeing as John hanged for witchcraft.
Mercy: I don’t know, Abby. From what I hear, she seems to be doing very well.
Abigail: And how do you hear all this, Mercy? You seem to have a lot of information that you couldn’t have just gotten through the grape vine.
Mercy (in a meek, submissive tone): Mary Warren told me.
Abigail: And how did Mary Warren tell you? This all happened after we were clear out of Salem.
Mercy: She’s been writing me letters. She tells me all about what is happening in Salem and the other towns. Like how Reverend Hale left, and hasn’t helped another town since Salem. How you uncle is still reverend of the town, but that towns people are not pleased. She tells me all about Elizabeth, because she is still helping out there. And the other girls they…
Abigail (tired of hearing Mercy speak): How did you get these letters, Mercy? Did you tell Mary Warren where we were? Did you give us away?
Mercy: No, Abby. Of course not. I know how important it is for you to stay hidden, with stealing your uncle’s money and such.
Abigail: Then where did she send these letters. They couldn’t of just magically gotten here. They had to have been sent somewhere.
Mercy: They were sent to that church, in the middle of the city. They’re real nice people there, Abby. They take Mary’s letters, and give them to me, and they send out mine, back to her.
Abigail (her voice raised): You sent letters back?!
Mercy (turning meek and submissive again): Yes. I had to. I had to let Mary Warren know that I had gotten her letters. And to tell her that we were okay.
Abigail: And what do you think would happen to us, Mercy, if someone were to find those letters. Come here, because I am sure you told Mary Warren that we were here in Boston, and take us back to Salem.
Mercy: I don’t know, Abby.
Abigail: They would take us back to Salem, and put us on trial. God only knows what they would do to us. We are thieves, Mercy.
Mercy: Well, technically, only you are. It was your idea to run, and take the money.
Abigail: But you went along with the plan. So you are just as guilty as I am.
Mercy: Oh
Abigail: Now will you please, stop with all this talk about Salem, and help me finish packing so we can leave.
Mercy: Fine, but do we really have to go?
Abigail: Yes, of course we do.
Mercy (talking to herself, not Abigail): I was finally starting to like it here.
Abigail: What did you say?
Mercy: I was just wondering where we would go from here.
Abigail: Philadelphia.
Mercy: Philadelphia?
Abigail: Yes, Mercy, Philadelphia, are you hard of hearing?
Mercy: No, no, of course not. Why are we going there?
Abigail: It’s a big city. They would have trouble finding use there if they came looking.
Mercy: Oh.
Abigail: And when we get there, no more letters to Mary Warren. There is nothing back in Salem that is good. Everything good went out of it a long time ago. You hear me, Mercy? (Mercy does not respond, angering Abigail). I said, you hear me, Mercy? No more letters?
Mercy: Yes, I hear you Abby. No more letters.
Abigail: Good. Now just help me pack. We have got to get going to Philadelphia.
Mercy: Okay, Abby.
The light fades out as we see Mercy begrudgingly start to help Abigail pack.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Guilt in Salem

Grace Henning
Mr. Provenzano
Honours American Lit, 1st hour
10 October 2011
Guilt in Salem
            In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, there is much guilt to go around. There were people who were killed for no good reason, other than the people had a fear of something they did not know. Almost everyone in the town participated, but there are some who are guiltier than others. There is a reverend that did not take charge of his people, and take the power he so much wanted. The man who knew it all was fake, but did not tell anyone before it was too late. As well as a vengeful girl, who had delusions about love. The guilt of the witch trials in Salem lies in the hands of Reverend Parris, John Proctor, and Abigail Williams.
            Reverend Parris may not have directly accused the citizens of Salem of witchcraft, but he still holds much of the guilt. He tried to stand up and say that there were no witches in Salem, but he called Reverend Hale, who “has much experience in all demonic art” (Miller 14). If Parris had really believed that there were no witches in Salem, then he should have just told the people that. After all, he was a reverend, so he should know what the devil looked like. By calling Hale, he admitted that there could be witches in Salem, which put many ideas into people’s heads, and made them paranoid. Parris also could have put a stop to the trials at any time, by saying he wanted the court out of his town, and the devil was not at work. The trials could have been stopped at anytime by Parris, but he never even tried to stop them once they got underway. If he had stopped them, then many people would have stayed. Reverend Parris had the power to say there was no devil in Salem, and to stop the trials, but he never did, which in turn, killed many people.
            In addition, John Proctor knew it was all sport, but he did not tell people at the beginning. He could have ended it very quickly, if as soon as the first person was accused, he told everyone what Abigail had told him. The problem that Proctor saw in telling was that “She told it to me in a room alone—I have no proof for it” (Miller 53). The truth was though, all he would have to do was convince Betty to tell, because she was in the room as well, when Abigail told Proctor this. With him being such a strong leader, and Betty being so young and probably easy to convince, seeing as she went along with Abigail, it would not have been that hard to do. Also, if Proctor had just told Parris at the beginning, Parris would have believed him, because he was the one who found the girls in the woods, and did not quite trust Abigail in the beginning. Though, Proctor did not tell people soon enough, so when he did, he was not believed, which again, lead to more people being hung.
            Abigail Williams by far has the most guilt in the witch trials. Everything that Abigail said was untrue. She even told Proctor that Betty had just “gone silly somehow” (Miller 21). She just did this to try and get Proctor to love her, or admit that he loved her, because she already believes that he does. Everything that happened was because of the dancing in the forest, which was instigated by Abigail, because she wanted Tituba to make a potion that would kill Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth. It is all Abigail’s fault, if she had never done or said anything, nothing would have ever happened. She is the person who started it all, and she could have ended it all. All she had to do was say they were faking it, or just say the devil had left, and everything would have been over. Abigail is the person who is the most responsible for the Salem witch trials.
            The guilt lies in the hands of Abigail Williams, John Proctor and Reverend Parris. Abigail was the instigator of it all. She could have stopped everything at anytime, but she was too delusional about the love that she thought she and John Proctor had. John Proctor knew the entire time that it was all sport. All he had to do was tell someone, and it all would have stopped. Reverend Parris could have stopped it all before it started. All he had to say that the devil was not in Salem, and not call Reverend Hale. Everything that happened in Salem could have been stopped at anytime, but no one did stop it. There is enough guilt in Salem to go around to all the people, but it mainly lies in the hands of Abigail, Proctor and Parris.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Crucible Post 2

Lying is considered a sin, and while all the people in Salem are Christians, or at least claim to be, some of them lie and say they believe in witches just to protect themselves. If a person, like John Proctor, were to say that they did not believe in witches, would be like saying that he did not believe in God, because, witches were in the bible, and if you did not believe in witches then you did not believe in the bible, which is the word of God, so subsequently, not believing in witches means not believing in God. It seems silly now today, that people people would say they believed in such nonsense, but they had to do it to protect themselves. If they did not say they believed in witches, then they would most likely be accused of witchcraft, which pretty much meant that they would be hung, which is a pretty good incentive to lie, even if it is considered a sin.
It is a hard decision, whether or not I would lie to protect myself. I think that I would, but it has stipulations. If I was just protecting myself against dirty looks, and being made fun of(been there, done that), then I would stand up for something I believed in. One example is that I feel more strongly about not using the "r-word" then any other cuss word combined, and I will correct people on it, which warrants some dirty looks from people, who do not get the big deal, but to me it is one. The "r-word" is so offensive to me, I personally do not think I have ever used it, unless I was correcting someone, and rarely even then.
On the flip side though, I might lie to protect myself from death like the people of Salem had to. In beginnings of the Christian religion in Rome, Christians were persecuted for their religion, and some would stand up and say that yes, they were a Christian. If they stood up and said that, then they would be killed. Now, I am a Christian, and I am not ashamed of that in any way, shape, or form. My religion is a big part of my life, but I do not know if I could stand up and say that I was a Christian if it meant I was going to be killed. I wish I could say I would, and that I would gladly do it, because in my beliefs Jesus died for me, so why can I not die for him? It is also a sin to deny your faith in front of your peers, so if I did, would it have a bad outcome for me in the end? The truth is, a dirty look and death are two very different ball games, and I would have to think long and hard about what I was standing up for if it meant that I would die, but I would stand up right away if all it meant was that I would get a dirty look.