Category Archives: education

Senioritis at its Finest

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Photo By: Rosie Kacenas

Rosie Kacenas
Staff Writer

Oh, the project is due next Friday? That means I don’t need to start until Thursday night.
Second semester, senior hall is a wasteland filled with zombies being strangled by vines of antipathy.
Kayhi senior Cole Varela said he feels threatened by the grip senioritis is starting to have on his academic progress.
“Senioritis is definitely affecting my motivation to do any school work,” said Varela. “It’s hard for teachers to work around it when they have students who aren’t seniors in their classes, but they should realize that some seniors just aren’t as motivated to put in as much work.”
Most adults laugh this off, but in NYU Steinhardt’s article on senioritis, “The Dangerous, Costly Phenomenon (That Only Affects High School Seniors)”, associate professor of applied psychology, Lisa Suzuki, said that it can actually threaten the welfare of high school seniors.
“School counselors are intimately aware of the causes, symptoms, and potential negative consequences of senioritis,” said Suzuki. “It is critical that students continue to stay engaged in school to learn critical life skills needed for success in college, and create exciting and fun memories of the end of the high school years.”
Suzuki acknowledged that senior year can be incredibly hard, but also stressed the importance of seeking help when it’s needed.
“Though senior year is a time for high-schoolers to cherish and celebrate, senioritis can hinder them both in the short-term and the years ahead,” said Suzuki. “However, by recognizing the symptoms and taking steps to avoid the ill effects, parents, teachers, counselors, and students themselves can help mitigate the consequences to succeed in senior year and beyond.”
Kayhi English teacher Jeff Lund said that senioritis is often used as an excuse for students to slack off.
“People in general are looking for the easiest way out. Very few people are like, ‘I want to do the most difficult thing to get the most out of it’,” said Lund. “Because we look for shortcuts, senioritis ends up being the easiest sort of way to excuse behavior. It’s a kind of culturally accepted way of missing the mark.”
Lund explained that losing some motivation toward the end of your high school career is normal, but shouldn’t be an excuse to give up altogether.
“The academic stamina that you need to have for your entire four years starts to wane a little bit because you’re tired, and that’s totally a thing, that happens,” said Lund. “But the danger in accepting the whole ‘I just have senioritis’ is giving something else the control rather than you having the control.”
Lund said that he tries to be over-the-top negative towards senioritis so as not to encourage it. He said that he’d encourage students to use their future goals as motivation.
“If you look into the bigger picture, this is not about chemistry class, this is not about math, it’s not about English,” said Lund. “This is about your willingness to get stuff done rather than using an excuse and saying ‘oh, it’s happening to me’, you can’t do that.”
Kayhi senior Largim Zhuta said that he agrees with Lund, but also thinks that senioritis can have a real effect on students.
“I do agree that senioritis is basically just a lack of motivation, and laziness on behalf of the student,” said Zhuta. “But in high school, pretty much from my freshman to senior year, I’d say I was a motivated student, and this year I realized that I can get away with maybe putting in ten or 20 percent effort and still have my As.”
Zhuta explained that although he’s not worried about senioritis hurting his academic career, he thinks that it could be detrimental to his future.
“I think I have to be aware of it, and I have been thinking about it a lot lately, but I wouldn’t say I’m a victim to it,” said Zhuta. “Knowing the problem exists is a great first step, but then you’ve gotta take other actions to curve it.”

No Cell-f Control

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Hannah Maxwell
Editor

I crafted a dream schedule this school year. Two aide periods, one online lab, and an English class gives me the freedom to write what I want. I thought I had carved out four hours, five days a week, for scholarships. Instead I have become a pro at many thoughtless games and I check social media fives times more than I used to. Decent plan, poor execution.
In an attempt to take back some of that lost time, I deleted all games and social media, excluding Twitter, from my phone. The sad thing is, I still find myself unlocking my phone just as many times a day. Instead of scrolling through posts I’d already seen, I stare blankly trying the think of the reason I opened it in the first place. Initially I thought I was having withdrawals, but then I realized something way worse, constantly being on my phone had become a habit.
It would be an easy habit to break if I had a better understanding of what caused my internal need to have my phone in hand at all hours. Even when I’m at my own house I rarely set it down. I get anxious if I can’t feel its weight in my pocket.
Because I have made being on my phone essential to my existence, I have trouble focusing on things for more than a couple minutes since my mind is constantly thinking about my stupid phone. I’ve tried to make reading a habit and it’s been a lot harder than I thought it would be. I get distracted at the slightest things and end up scanning the pages without soaking in the information. Someone else’s phone dinging or the phantom vibration in my pocket instantly takes my attention away from what I’m trying to accomplish. I am no longer in control of myself, it feels like part of my mind is on a social media leash perfected by the neurologists employed by Facebook et al.
Not once in four years of high school have I forgot my phone at home, not one single day. The scariest thing is that I’m aware of the problem, but haven’t done anything to find a solution until now. I got my first B in Chem 2 and thinking back I don’t think I ever gave Powell my undivided attention. I’m proud of my 3.93 GPA but I can’t help wondering if my addiction to my phone is the reason I let that other tenth of a point slip away. In the long run it hasn’t made a difference, but it’s the principle of it. My lack of prioritization was my demise. I let my phone take over, I watched it reach for the controls and did nothing to stop it.
I want to believe I won’t accept this fate. That I will fight back and not let myself be controlled by an inanimate object. That by admitting I have a problem I can start taking steps toward a permanent solution. I will turn off my phone an hour before I go to bed and I will put my phone on airplane mode during class.
Well, that’s the plan anyway.

 

Balance between Sports and Education

Largim Zhuta
Staff Writer

It’s no secret that the United States trails other countries in the classroom, but
would the United States be willing to sacrifice its sports supremacy to fix its educational system?
Kayhi principal Bob Marshall believes participating in high school sports has positive impacts that go beyond academics.
“[The] team element–where you’re having to work with people– [is] going to be huge one day in the workplace, but also in life,” said Marshall. “With sports, your going to have those competitions but there’s rules and regulations. Which just like life, there’s going to be competition but you have to work within the guidelines that are presented.”
For Kayhi senior baseball player, Tug Olson, sports don’t only benefit the athletes participating in them, but the entire school is positively influenced by them.
“[School sports] keep morale up. Xavier (the exchange student from Belgium) was telling us they don’t have school sports in Belgium, and he loves it here,” said Olson. “He gets to go out and cheer, participate, and have his fellow high schoolers cheer him on. It’s a whole other experience.”
Sports clearly play a considerable role in students’ lives that affect them in other ways besides their academic performance.
Kayhi vocational teacher and business owner Todd Henke thinks sports also play a larger, more communal role.
“Is the whole athletic program apart of the community identity? I think in a small town it definitely is,” said Henke. “It helps the community in being a community. It gives a sense of pride and belonging.”
Countries like South Korea and Singapore do indeed have better performing education institutions without the use of athletics. But, these are also the same countries which are described as “pressure-cookers” when it comes to academia.
Teacher Joey Fama, who has wrestled and is now coaching at Kayhi, was surprised at the strictness and high stress environment of South Korean schooling.
“I had an exchange student from South Korea a couple years ago, and it was pretty crazy hearing about the testing amount and how stressed they are,” said Fama. “I mean there were suicides.”
The system that boasts efficiency and success comes with a cost.
“She couldn’t do what she wanted to do for a career,” said Fama. “In third grade she got a B on her English test, and now she can’t be a doctor.”
When exchange students like Xavier come to the United States, they say high school is fun and are surprised with different schooling experiences. With all the focus being on graduation rates, GPAs, and so on, the fun aspect of high school may get neglected in other countries.
Marshall thinks the emotional well being of students is just as important as their success in school. Sports meet the emotional needs of students.
“I think investing in those type of activities is important and it’s not a waste of money,” said Marshall. “I just think it’s fun. Most people when they do it, have some enjoyment. It gets kids involved that otherwise wouldn’t be.”

Finals at Kayhi

Alex Boegler
Staff Writer

After a grueling semester of work, it’s time to wrap it up and dive into finals. Finals begin on Monday, Dec. 18, and end on Wednesday, Dec. 21. The morning finals will be periods 1, 2, and 3, leaving periods 4, 5, and 6 for the afternoon sessions. Each day of finals will be split into one final in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The schedule for the day will start with a 40 minute study session beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 8:40 . After the study time, there will be a 15 minute break, ending at 8:55. The first final of the day will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 11 a.m. for a 40 minute lunch break. The study session for afternoon final will start at 11:45 a.m. and end at 12:25 for another 15 minute break. The second final will begin at 12:45 p.m and end at normal release time.

 

KOI at Kayhi

Chanell Browne
Staff Writer

PBIS is a new education program created by KOI (Knowledge Outcomes Impact) that’s being implemented in schools across the country. The goal of the program is to help students focus more in school and to stabilize their behavior.
Principal Bob Marshall said he is excited to implement the program at Kayhi. He hopes it will improve student’s abilities to learn and process new information at school. The program is targeted towards students who lack focus and aren’t succeeding as a result.
“As you know most kids come to school from families where parents are present and have a good foundation, other kids don’t have some of those things,” said Marshall. “It’s figuring out how to help students who have a lack of behavior leading to their lack of success.”
Marshall selected the teachers he wanted to participate in the program. Those teachers received two days of training and instruction in finding effective ways to approach students who need additional guidance.
“There was a site team decided by me so I got to choose teachers that were going to be good leaders in learning what KOI is and how it works,” said Marshall. “Basically it’s a school wide positive behavior interventions and support training. It’s a program that tries to encourage more positive behaviors.”
The site team will meet again in March and the program created by the site team will be rolled out next year.

Ketchikan High School Hosts College Fair

Jaret Warstler
Staff Writer

Ketchikan High School hosted over 50 schools Wednesday at the college fair. The goal was for students to talk with admission counselors and receive more information about the colleges.
Senior Verona Kamberi said that having the college fair every year is very helpful.
“I think it is a great opportunity, especially for seniors that are still looking for colleges,” said Kamberi. “There are so many representatives that are trying to get you to go to their college, all you need to do is just go up to their booth and ask the questions.”
Director Amy Potter from Alaska Pacific University said that having a college fair is a great idea for high schools.
“I think it’s really helpful to get exposure to lots of different types of colleges and universities,” said Potter. “Everyone is unique and finding a good college is important.”         

 

Explore Night Returns to Kayhi

Largim Zhuta
Staff Writer

Kayhi students and parents will have an opportunity to learn how to apply and prepare for college tonight at Kayhi’s annual Explore Night from 5:00 – 8:15 p.m. Explore Night consists of workshops that specify in teaching students about a certain area of the college application process.
There are 10 workshops that will be available: Applications, Admissions, and the Selection Process, How to Survive College without Going Broke, Quality Educational Opportunities in Alaska, Preparing a Winning Scholarship Application, Application Essays, Finding the Right College, Making the Most of Your School Visit, Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), Organizing your Senior Portfolio, and Are you Ready for Tomorrow’s (Today’s) World?.
Admissions representatives are leading the workshops. Explore Night will take place in Kayhi’s science wing.

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