Thursday, June 9, 2016

Asa Clark Middle School Reflections (Past & Present)

This year has been an interesting experience. All the students have been positive and enjoyable to learn with, and I have gained many new friends. The Asa Clark teachers have been encouraging and helpful. Although you may think middle school is going to be boring, it isn't at all. Good luck to next year’s 7th graders!
~ Cole H. (Class of 2021)

On my first day of 7th grade at ACMS, I totally couldn't get my locker open and I was FREAKING OUT. One of the teachers helped me get the custodian and that's when I realized that I wasn't alone "swimming in this new ocean". I loved 7th grade and it was a fun experience. That's when I met my best friends and now I hang out with them all the time. When I went to 8th grade, it was even better - new teachers, new people, and new classes. Even though it was tough this year, I totally enjoyed it and I have grown so much (literally and figuratively).
~ Logan T. (Class of 2020)

Middle school was a blast! Coming from a different school, I met so many new people at Asa. I developed many great relationships with people, and I think those friendships will last for a long time. The sports I took part in were also very fun. When I would take part in these sports, everyone would cheer for me and I would cheer for them. The teachers were also very enjoyable. The teachers would greet me with a smile. During class, the teachers would try their best to make the lessons fun even when we had work to do.
~ Zoe G. (Class of 2019)

Middle School was a big transition period in my life. I met many of my life long friends and began to see what types of classes I was interested in. Being able to participate in extra circulars such as soccer, basketball, XC, track and Student Council gave me a good sense of balance in my life between school, friends, sports and more. The teachers and faculty at Asa are so supportive and prepare you well for high school. Enjoy these two years- join activities, try new things, meet new people and learn as much as you can! It goes by fast and before you know it, you’re a freshman in high school!
~ Molly H. (Class of 2013)

(posted by Mrs. Giese)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

I am... (A Social Experiment)

I am strong.  I am physically, mentally and emotionally strong. There are important things that comprehend with being strong. I am strong to know what is the right decision but I am also strong to deal with the consequences if I make the wrong decision. Being strong could bring out the happy side of you, the mad side of you and even the sad side of you. Strength has many different meanings and different people interpret strength in many different ways. Some people think it means how many sports you play and how much muscle you have, others think it means pain and how you deal with pain. For me, it’s the second one.

I am willing.  Willing to take risks, willing to fail. Willing to take the longer path on the twistier road rather than the short, smooth ride. This is important because everybody makes mistakes and we should all learn from our mistakes that we may make down the twisty road. I can build by not only doing what is right, but also by failing.

I am lost.  Although we must take the longer road at times, sometimes that road is a couple miles too long. We get lost along the path, most of us don’t find our way back. When we get lost, the only thing we can do to be found, is fix ourselves. Fix the problems, fix the pain. Fix the tough times we have brewing inside us, fix what we didn’t know were problems.

I am caring.  Deep down I care about what people say to me and I care about how I react to them. I care about people and most of the time the “people” is only me. I care about myself. I care about what I look like, I care about what I wear to school everyday and how I do my hair and how I do my makeup because I care about what people say behind my back that I don’t know about. People say “You can’t let those words tear you down.” But what they should be saying is, “I know how you feel.” Everyone goes through this and everyone cares about what other people say about them. The only thing is, the people talking about others just don’t CARE.

I am emotional.  I cry, I laugh, I fall but I also get back up. I find the hope within myself and I pick myself back up when I fall. Times get tough, I know, but there is always, no matter what, still that spark in you to start your fire back up, even when the wood is wet.

I am determined.  I find the path of life and I take it. Sometimes the path isn’t always lying in front of you, but takes you on a different journey to find it. That’s where determination comes into play. Most do not succeed when finding the path of life, but I work hard to get there. I fall, I lose, I get lost but I find my way back through determination. With determination comes struggle, comes heartbreak for various reasons and most importantly comes the path and finding the path makes all the struggle and heartbreak worth it.

I am knowing.  I know what is right and what is wrong. I know that ‘doing something just because your friend does it’ is most of the time wrong. I know I am loud, I know I get excited too easily. But, I also know that sometimes the only path of life is going to be long and twisty and I know that life will never be perfect. I know I am not perfect, but I also know that I am strong, willing, lost, caring, emotional, determined and knowing. These things that I know that I am make me who I am and I am okay with not being a perfect child living in a perfect world. I know.

Video and reflection by Emily K (submitted by Ms. Pinzl)

The Biggest Loser

[Note to the reader: A narrative is a story, and narratives can take many different forms. In this piece, an 8th grader uses narrative form to explore an important lesson she learned in childhood.]

Growing up, I had a very small house with a sizeable yard. Lucky for us kids, we enjoyed being outside all day long. We were able to amuse ourselves with sports and games, meanwhile keeping out of my mom’s hair. From the moment the sun came up and I finished devouring my breakfast, to the second I was called upon for dinner, I would challenge my siblings in a variety of games. Brooke, only two years older than me, was a close competitor, but ultimately had more skills than me. Griffin, my brother four years older, was like a species of his own. He would taunt us, running slower or showing the ball in front of us. Then, as soon as we would go for it…woosh! He would take off and win the game.

All day we would play soccer, basketball, capture the flag and more fun games. I would always come out on the bottom of the pack. Occasionally, I would go crying into my room because “Griffin wasn’t being fair.” or “Brooke made me fall.” I would lay in my bed with my teary eyes and frowny face shoved into my pillow and I would think of all the reasons why the games weren’t fair. Eventually I would get bored sulking in my bedroom and would mope back outside to play again. Annoyed, my siblings would hold their tongues and let me rejoin.
One roasting hot summer day, my siblings and I decided not to let the heat stop us from having fun. We dusted off the sprinkler and continued our games, only stopping for an occasional leap through the cool water. We decided to play soccer, Griffin’s personal favorite game. Like usual, Griffin cruised through Brooke and me, scoring more goals than we could count. Again. Again and again. Every goal discouraged me more. The mixture of emotions from the scorching heat and my aggravating losing streak caused me to act up and go crying to my room. While whimpering upstairs, I quickly realized that no one cared that I wasn’t playing. No one was upset that I was pouting… except for me.

I decided to wipe my tears away and go back outside. I sluggishly walked back outside and returned to the front yard where Brooke and Griffin were kicking the soccer ball back and forth. I approached them to a close enough distance for them to know I was ready to receive the ball. After 5 times of them passing to each other and ignoring me, I assured myself that if I were to steal the ball, they would have to start playing again. As the ball left Brooke’s foot and progressed towards Griffin, I lunged forward and picked off the ball. Sprinting a couple of yards forward, I only heard silence behind me. Neither of my siblings were falling for my plan. Instead they held their feet to the ground like glue and gave me a dirty look. Then after all of the times I ran away, pouted and complained, Brooke and Griffin discarded all of their emotions. “Are you going to be a baby like always?” Brooke roared. Then Griffin chimed in, “Do you think you can always just come back and act like you weren’t a brat?” As they howled and made fun of me, I started to form a rock in the back of my throat. I just wanted to run away, but I knew they would make fun of me more. Instead I kicked the soccer ball between my feet and pretended to ignore them. As the day went on they let me play again.
From then on, when I wanted to run away and cry, I would stay and hold my ground. I learned that it was okay to lose games, even when the scores aren’t even comparable. The most important thing when playing is not to win (though it does feel nice sometimes). The most important thing is to have fun and be a good sport. Now, no matter what the competition is, I know that I need to have good sportsmanship and keep my cool. Because I was the biggest loser as a kid, I learned to play with fairness, now I am the biggest winner… Even when I lose. - by Vivianne J (submitted by Mrs. Reagles)

Spotlight on Rithwik

You may have seen Rithwik Mathur in the halls of Asa Clark. You probably recognize his friendly smile, and if you have class with Rithwik, you know that he is a very bright, helpful student. What you may not know is that he is a chess savant!

 Rithwik only began playing chess about two years ago. When he lived in India, his mom encouraged him to check out some chess lessons that were being given nearby. He took his mom’s advice, and he was intrigued by the game. He obviously picked up on the strategies and nuances of the game very quickly, so he began competing and found two coaches to help him improve. The more success he has had, the more dedicated he has become. On average, Rithwik spends five to six hours per day practicing and studying chess. When asked about the benefits of spending so much time on learning such a complex game, Rithwik cites improved mental capabilities. “When there is a critical position on the board, I need to be very precise. I think it has helped me with my mental math, and it’s just a good mental exercise. It can actually be really relaxing for me.”

 As the Wisconsin K-8 champion, Rithwik will be participating in the 2016 Barber Tournament of Champions this summer in Indianapolis. With a successful summer, he will be even closer to his next goal of clinching the National Master Title, and could even participate in the World Youth Chess Championship in Russia. (submitted by Ms. KBD and Mrs. Giese)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Reading, Writing and Speaking in the Real World

Students in the "Reading, Writing and Speaking in the Real World" seminar have studied and crafted various types of writing - beyond the 5-paragraph essay. The pieces shown here are modeled after the short news clips and new product ads that appear in various news, fashion, and business publications. (Submitted by Mrs. Whelan)

Gluten Free Eating Made Easy 
by Stephanie V. 

About 7 years ago, avoiding gluten was practically unheard-of, but today, about one-third of Americans claim to be “gluten-free”. Avoiding bread and wheat is one thing, but what does being truly gluten-free really entail? Well, anyone with celiac disease would be able to tell you. Celiac disease is a disease that makes the small intestine “hyper-sensitive” to gluten, resulting in extreme nausea, and scarring of the small intestine if gluten is continually eaten. So just avoid gluten right? Well, no. Making something gluten-free means it cannot even be touched by gluten, and If it is an animal product, the animal cannot have eaten gluten. Eating at a restaurant, or even having dinner at a friends house can be a nightmare.

That’s why 6SensorLabs created a portable device can test if there is gluten in a meal. Small enough to fit in a pocket, the device contains a disposable food capsule in which you put a small portion of the meal for testing. After 2-3 minutes, you will have your results by the display of a smiley or frowny face on the small screen of the device. If you see a smiley face, the food is safe to eat!

Shoe Fashion 
 by Kayli B.

When you think of high-end shoes, you probably picture shoes like stilettos or shoes with high-end labels like Michael Kors or Marc Jacobs. But what you might not know is that the shoes you probably wore when you were a kid are making a high-fashion comeback. Comfortably beautiful shoes are in and painfully beautiful heels are out! Shoes like Birkenstocks that I’m wearing on my feet right now have made a comeback and now they’re bigger than ever! Fashion stylists like Chanel, Marni, and Celine have even taken the leap out of their high heels and into what they call "normcore" footwear. Even the ‘’Duck boots’’ that had all the hype when you were a kid is still a major trend... so Birkenstocks can stick around too! These shoes have gotten great talk and they don’t look like they’re going anywhere. So try it out! Ditch the heels and slip into something that’s easy on the eye and on the feet!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Transition to PHS

Want to know more about PHS?  
Hear from some PHS Juniors to get answers to your questions, 
and get excited about what is ahead of you in the next chapter of learning!

by Marissa L., Shelby C., and Eden L. with PHS Students (posted by Mrs. Plach)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Gotcha Day

Marima N. talked to the social studies class on her past and her home country in honor of her “Gotcha Day”. 

"May 5th is the day my family celebrates when I arrived in America and joined the Nangle family. I was born in Harper, Africa. There was a twelve-year civil war around the place I was born. It was a Civil War between Native Africans (like myself) and those who were brought to Africa from slavery in other countries. This Civil War set many places in the west part of Africa back 100 years in the time of only twelve years! When I was two years old, the war finally ended. When I was five, I was flown out of my home in a United Nation helicopter all the way to Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. Monrovia looked horrible when I was staying there because it was a big target for the war during that time. I just really love being able to share a little about my past and country." (posted by Mrs. Giese)

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