Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our Declaration of Independence

As the citizens of the United States of America, every citizen has his or her irrefutable rights. The citizens of Grosse Pointe South High School are mainly the students. We, as the students of Grosse Pointe South, have undeniable rights of our own. Grosse Pointe South High School is a school of outstanding rank. It could not have, however, come this far without some sort of enforcement throughout the school. The execution of rules, however, has rules itself. Rules must be fair and just- for all. However, the authoritarians at South have gone too far; not letting us be students. To be a student is to gain knowledge. A school is a house of knowledge, and must stay that way, especially for a high school. Our minds are at our sharpest in this schooling period, ready for the outside world. It must be a place where knowledge is easily accessible and readily available for the benefit of students. A school must be a safe environment for the children- who learns when they fear for their lives? And we must not be treated as if we are all the same little insignificant clones of adults. We are not! We are only alike in one way; as we all share being in the discomfited stage of adolescence. We are in-between the ways and personalities of a child and an adult.  However, contrary to belief, we do not act alike in anyway whatsoever. Each student is an individual, expressing his or her thoughts in our own, distinctive ways. Nevertheless, we are not allowed to express our true feelings in fear of the rules.  We, the students, have as an assembly, come to the conclusion that Grosse Pointe South High School must change its restrictions in order for the betterment of students, and comply with our indisputable liberties. 

I.         This school needs to give students a stronger voice. As of now, the students do not have a say in the rules and regulations, only teachers, staff, and the school board. We believe that if the students have more of a say in what is going on, then things would run more smoothly because they speak for all students at South. At our school there are many ways to get involved, however not for certain things that some kids are interested in! These include the following such as rules, attendance policies and many more. If the students were given a bit more of a voice, many would be satisfied with the new changes.

II.      This school needs to keep the school open all hours of the day. Students need snacks, drinks, and supplies for school at any instance of the school day. It would help kids tremendously because they would be prepared for each class if they needed something quickly. Since the school store is only open at lunch, most students only get food because it is time to eat. However, lunch is not the only time when kids are hungry. Students are all growing, and need the intake of food more than the average person. In the morning they may be very hungry as well, if they did not enjoy breakfast for fear of making it to school on time. Unfortunately, they do not have anywhere to get food in the seven minute passing time. Keeping the store open throughout the whole school day would help kids in many ways because they would be able to acquire food to fuel their bodies and minds, and school supplies if they are in need of them.

III.   This school has made tardy policy too strict. The teachers should give students a little more consideration, because South is a large school. Having a larger campus area means a longer distance to travel. In some classes, tardiness starts affecting your grade when it has nothing to do with your level of knowledge in that class. It should be changed so that if you arrive in the minute of the bell that you are not late. It is not fair, as getting from the previous class to the opposite end of the building in some situations is very difficult. In order to be on time, students may have to sprint there, which is infringing upon a different, reasonable rule. Students believe that if they are in the class close to the bell, it should not be counted against you.

IV.   This school, to also ratify the problem of tardies, needs to give students more time in between classes. 7 minutes is not sufficient for the length of our passing time. Students have a long way to travel from class to class. The extra time is a necessity. One of the main problem areas is the journey from the IA building to the S building. In fact, just approaching the IA building is an issue. There are many stairs that students must scale to reach their destination. Climbing stairs takes a lot of effort. 10 minutes would be an adequate amount for our passing time, and it would please everyone, even teachers, because we wouldn't be late as much.

V.     This school needs to let students use their cell phones more often. If they were, students would have fewer detentions because they would not be caught breaking an inconsequential rule.  Students have to avoid letting the teacher see them with their cell phones, regardless if they are being used or not. If cell phones were allowed during certain times, the number of detentions and punishments would decrease significantly. This would not only benefit the attendees of the school, but the staff as well. If there were fewer reports of students being reprimanded, out-of-town parents would notice and consider sending their children to South. Cell phones need to be allowed in the building during passing time, lunch, at the beginning or end of classes. Students need them to communicate with parents and friends for help, or for after school activities. Considering that more than three quarters of the school most likely has a cell phone, they should be allowed because they make students lives easier.

VI.      This school, overall, has issue with cellular devices. However, some sensible rules have been mandatory. Students are not allowed to use them during class time, which is logical. Using them during class takes time away from class, and understanding the content being taught is severely depreciated because of use. If this happens, teachers take the mobile away. However, the cell phone holding policy is unjust. The school has no right to keep any students cell phone past 24 hours.  This is critical, especially on a Friday, the end of the school week. The current policy is to hold it for 24 hours. However, the school isn’t open on the weekends, forsaking the owner of the phone without one. The major reason as to why teenagers have cell phones is courtesy of their parents. They are given in case of an emergency. Also, parents give it to their children to know where they are, at all times.  Students should get their phone back at the end of the school day.
VII.     This school needs to change its policy on school dances. Dances are of much importance to the student body. It is a night to celebrate. However, that cannot happen with the rules that are currently placed. The existing policy states that the doors to the dance close one hour into it and open only 30 minutes before it ends. Some students have other responsibilities that do not constrain to these time frames. Emergencies do not occur at specific times; they happen at random. If there is one, regardless of time, students should be allowed to leave as soon as possible. The dances are for the students. If a student happens to be uninterested in the events, they should be permitted to leave.

VIII.   This school has a grading system as such that a school year is split into quarters and two major exams. Grade points of students are calculated by the average of two quarters and one considerably weighted exam. However, the quarters have more influence than the exam. The quarter grade is derived from completion of homework and the grades received on exams in class. This being said, there should be time at the end of the quarter to make up work. All homework should be completed on time, but there are students that have a harder time turning work in because of personal reasons. Some students may have family issues, and focusing on school may be hard for them if they are in a similar situation. This change would not allow them to forgo their homework, but would help them with their grades, as report cards somewhat determine a student’s future.

IX.  This school should punish students fairly and justly. It is true- there are cases in which students need to be punished. If a student has disobeyed severely enough, they will be placed in an "In School Separation", or "ISS". It used to be that in ISS’s students could work on homework and assignments from their classes that they were separated from. Now, the school has become too strict. The offender must write a four-page essay during the day they are isolated from their fellow classmates. The essay serves no purpose whatsoever for the student's benefit. What would be beneficial to students is learning what they need too, just separate from their schoolmates. The point of school is learning, after all. 

X.  This school should not have the right to search the private property of students, such as cars or backpacks. Administrators have repeatedly violated the privacy of students by searching, most notably using drug dogs. Although lockers are the property of the school, backpacks are not. If the locker of a student does not contain any illegal substances or paraphernalia, the school should not be allowed to continue the search of that student's property. Another constant subject of searches are students' cars.  A car is the private property of its owner, and being parked on school property should still deny the right to search it without a warrant.

    We come to this school to learn, not to deal with these oppressive teachers and rules, which crush the basic rights of the children of Grosse Pointe South.  If students are not learning in this school then what is this place for?  Having power over these students, making money on the tyrannical government we call the administration?  Our school is made for the students, not the needs of the teachers or staff.  We need to have more say in this institution. We are the future, and make this school what it is.  If we do not receive these basic rights, then why still attend Grosse Pointe South? We will not come to a place in which we cannot learn.  What will it take for students to have an environment in which we can, and will learn? What will it take to have a school policy accepted by all, including staff and students? In order for this arrangement to happen, this school will have to make changes in many ways. Adjustments will have to be made; modest adjustments will take place, from basic changes in protocol, to larger adjustments, such as school wide enhancements.  Although it may not be easy, it will be done. Some of the reasonable complaints that need to be addressed can be fixed easily. If so, why are they not being addressed?  We will stand up for ourselves and express what will have to be done for the future of this world, because we, the students are the future and will not tolerate this lack of understanding anymore.  If we do not receive our freedom, we will leave this school until we possess it.

Monday, October 17, 2011


  With her husband dead and his baby on the way, Elizabeth Proctor felt hopelessness to the extreme. Her three sons were lost without the guidance of their father, stunned by the fact that he was killed for a reason so inane. Like any mother, she felt their pain, on top of her own. Elizabeth had loved him, John Proctor. Although John was a simple minded man and very ambiguous at times, she accepted all his faults.  Expectedly, everything that reminded her of John sent pangs of agony to her very soul. As she looked at their children, carbon copies of John, she felt her feelings collapse into one another forming an abyss of despair. Still, Elizabeth held her head high whenever in Salem. She would never let anyone know the sorrow she felt when John’s skeleton welcomed her into Salem. The town’s people expected her as the newly head of a prominent household to keep calm and carry on.
  Elizabeth’s facade finally cracked; a monumental moment for her personal character. The cold, grey, ghastly day that she was handed her husband’s noose was when she was done with it. Rage and anger bubbled up inside her, as if she was boiling her feelings. The community of Salem had meant the gesture to be one of grievance. They had no idea that it pushed her to the edge. Elizabeth however, knew she needed to get away. She knew that the environment she currently lived in would not be suitable to continue raising her children. She felt the twisted, uptight community would only become a choke hold on her children. With that in mind, she planned for a miracle.
 Her miracle came. In Salem, rumor had it that the Massachusett Indians had moved from Boston to an encampment not more than 5 miles away. Elizabeth had always been curious about the indigenous peoples of America, and their views and ways of life. She considered how she was going to get there and how she would deal with the “hostile nature” of the Indians. Being the headstrong woman she was, she decided to impulsively head out.
With her belongings and children packed up on her buggy, Elizabeth took one last look at her estate. She was soon going to be free from the madness-inducing town.  Her state of mind was light and cheerful, and she felt warm although it was mind numbingly cold outside. With compass in hand, she vanished for what she hoped to be forever without a goodbye.
  After a journey of many obstacles including blinding snow and icy roads enveloped in snow, Elizabeth and her children finally arrived at the Massachusett encampment. The natives were surprised to see a pregnant woman, by herself and accompanied by 3 children, roaming about in the wilderness. While they were exclaiming in astonishment, she was so relieved to see them that she forgot about the language barrier. Fortunately, there was already a colonist living amongst them named William. She explained her predicament to him, and then he let the tribe know what she had been through. After hearing her story, the tribe pitied her and let her and her family stay with him.
  After spending much time with William, Elizabeth realized that she was in love with William. After her fourth child was born, a beautiful baby girl, they were joined in marriage. Elizabeth, William, and the kids continued to stay with the Massachusett until she felt comfortable enough to return to Salem. Elizabeth journeyed back with her new family members, and took back her estate and the family’s influential position. They lived as happily as they could after. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crucible Essay

    The Crucible was a play written by Arthur Miller in the 1950s filled with lies, deceit, and hysteria. Set in the puritanical town of Salem Massachusetts, one could never imagine the day when a town of God fell to the devil's grasp. However, the city was only puritanical on the surface. In the early 1690s, Salem supposedly became ridden with witches and devils' advocates. Seeing as how Salem was a pure town, the "witches" were hunted down and erased from existence. Based mainly on the lies spun by three people, the one comparative simple lie told in the beginning wound up brutally and ludicrously out of hand. The three people held most accountable for the Salem witch trials in The Crucible were the town's Reverend, Samuel Parris, his niece Abigail Williams, and the influential town member John Proctor.
With all the responsibility placed on him at the time, it is just automatically assumed that the Reverend Samuel Parris was partly accountable for the Salem witch trials. Parris was selfish, greedy, spineless, and extremely concerned about the way he appeared to others. When he first inquired his niece about her and her friends’ questionable doings, he was more so concerned of what his followers might think of the girls' activities and losing his supporters rather than his acquaintances and relatives actually being witches. “Abigail, I have fought here three long years to bend these stiff-necked people to me…” (Miller 11). His personality paved the way for the continuation of the story. The Reverend was told the truth; that the two girls had only fainted from fright from his sudden appearance in the woods. However, as a precautionary method and to save himself from any oncoming trouble, he called Reverend Hale (the other Reverend) to Salem to investigate the possibility of witchcraft. He was too spineless to deal with the rumor of witchcraft himself. Swayed by the hysterics of others while knowing the truth, he let the game of witch crying continue. He was perfectly content with the turn of events until townspeople realized that so much more was happening than just the cleansing of evil. In the latter part of the witch trials, they recognized vindictiveness and ridiculousness, and decided that since Parris was leading them he was to blame. He finally came to his senses and asked for the postponement of John Proctor’s execution, but only until his own well being was threatened. “Tonight, when I open my door to leave my house- a dagger clattered to the ground. You cannot hang this sort! There is danger for me. I dare not step outside at night” (Miller 129).  The lack of leadership while being a leader and the other parts of his personality as well was what made him partially liable for the Salem witch trials. Also responsible for withholding information, though he did not have an appalling personality, was John Proctor.
John Proctor was an influential man in Salem. An honest and hardworking farmer, he was respected widely throughout the community. However, he wasn't perfect. He had his moments, and some rather extreme moments at that; specifically, the infidelity with Abigail. The act of adultery complicated many matters for John and his family's well-being. His previously ill wife was obviously jilted by this committed sin. However, he wasn't fazed. "Then how do you charge me with such a promise? The promise that a stallion gives a mare I gave that girl" (Miller 62)! The affair meant nothing to him. Strangely enough, he still had a thing for Abigail, and even though he constantly denied it, Abigail was obsessed with him, thinking that he loved her instead of his wife. However, his leftover feelings for her completely disappeared once Abigail accused his wife of being a witch. "You mad, you murderous bitch"(Miller 152)! Proctor never believed in witchcraft from the beginning. He knew the truth about the incident that triggered the trials, as Parris did also. Proctor confessed the truth and the affair to try and help not only his family, but as well as other families in Salem. Unfortunately, his act of good was useless. By the time the truth came out, Abigail was too powerful and had the court in her clutches. Also, his wife denied the very existence of the affair, thinking she was saving him. One of her fellow witch criers blatantly accused John of being a witch himself. John decided he would rather hang than to indict others of being seen with the Devil. "I speak my own sins; I cannot judge another. I have no tongue for it" (Miller 141). If only John had not been so naive and weak-minded, the madness could have stopped before it got out of hand. Another influential Salemite, although for the wrong reasons, was Abigail Williams.
     Abigail Williams before the witch trials was of little importance. However, during the witch trials, she exploited her power like no other. It was her that first instigated the crying of witches. When the Reverends began to question the girls, Abigail took care of them. She was a natural born leader, always being quick on her feet. Taking charge, she blamed Tituba. “She made me do it! She made Betty do it” (Miller 43)! However, Tituba was able to shift the blame to others in the village. Once Abby saw this and how well Tituba’s actions were being received, she decided to play along. “I want to open myself! I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil: I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil” (Miller 48)! Since Abigail was a natural born leader, others followed her example without hesitation and began accusing other members of Salem. She continued to make accusations, even though she knew none of them were true from the start. She even knew that the girls had fainted form fright. “Oh posh! We were dancin’ in the woods last night, and my uncle leaped in on us. She took fright, is all” (Miller 22-23). However, she continued her power play. “Are you! I’ve heard that people ride a hundred mile to see your face these days” (Miller 148). She used her new found power to take care of her personal revenges on people she didn’t like. For example, she accused the wife of her once lover, John Proctor, of witchcraft. She wanted to be his wife, and took the perfect opportunity to get rid of her. She was the major cause of the Salem witch trials.
     The Crucible was written about the Salem witch trials. Those trials were caused mainly by three people: Reverend Samuel Parris, John Proctor, and Abigail Williams. Reverend Samuel Parris was at fault for withholding crucial information. John Proctor was responsible for the same thing, as well as being intimate with Abigail Williams. Abigail Williams was responsible because she was vindictive and power hungry. All these traits combined to make one of the most outrageous moments in American History.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Crucible Post 2

As a race, humans are individuals and different from one another. Our differences are not only projected on the outside, but on the inside as well. Beliefs and opinions differ from person to person. However, one objective that every living thing has in common is the will to survive. Surviving is the purpose of living. Most everybody would do anything if their lives depended on it. However, if our survival depended on crossing the line between the truth and deceit, there would be problems.

In society, a virtue that has been constantly drilled into its members is truth. Although some members do not follow this path of honesty, the majority does. Our whole country was built on the foundation of truth and the lack of it. However, most people would falter when given the choice of life or death on the basis of their opinion. In my case, my choice of beliefs would be different for different situations. If my life depended on a lie, I would lie without hesitation. However, if there was even a possibility that my lie would cause harm to someone innocent, I would not. However, if my opinion would change someone's opinion about me, I would stay true to my beliefs. It is important to me to be myself, which is why I would stand up for my beliefs if I would still be alive after voicing them.