Slow Down on Homework

Dear teachers,

Students do have lives outside of the classroom.

It is common for us to get homework for all four of our classes during the day, and we are expected to have all of the assignments finished by next class. This is an immense workload and many of us do not have the time to do the work. We have sports after school and may not get home until 5:00. Some have two sports at once and end up getting home at 7:00.

Homework can be incredibly hard at times, too. If we as students do not understand homework, there is often no way to figure out how to do it because the teacher is not able to help. Homework is often a review of materials learned recently, and if we did not grasp the concept during class, we are pretty much hopeless by the time we have to do the homework. With no one to help us, we are forced to struggle with something we do not understand and learn bad habits to find answers.

All students at BRFHS have heard this before: “This should take you no more than 30 minutes.” You as teachers say this and probably think you are being very kind to us by only giving us 30 minutes of homework, but what you do not realize is that we hear this in almost all our classes. If each teacher that a student has in a day says this the student is stuck with two hours of homework. Two hours of sitting at home doing work that is either a review or a new topic that we have to struggle through.

Now, let’s think back to the students who get home at 7:00. If they have two hours of homework and get home at 7:00, they are finishing their work at 9:00. If they did not understand some of the assignments, the work could go on for another hour. Now if you factor in eating and getting ready to go to bed, it is not uncommon for some students to get to bed at 11:00. That is not healthy for high schoolers, and if you ask some when they go to bed, chances are they will say they often go to bed around this time. This leaves no free time for students and increases stress.

“There have been many nights that I have stayed up late to finish homework and I know many other students that have had to do that as well.  A lot of times it seems that teachers tend to give out a lot of homework at the same time, so we have a lot from all of our classes making it very hard to get it all done.  Also, many students are involved in extracurricular activities that teachers encourage them to be in, like sports and clubs that take up time after school and may cause them to get home late after meets or games,” said sophomore Kacey Koenigs.

So what can be done to fix this? Homework does not have to be eliminated altogether, but teachers should talk with each other and try to find out if students are starting to get overwhelmed. If a student does not finish their homework, then the teacher should listen to why they didn’t finish the homework. If they explain that they got homework from all teachers and barely had time to do it, then the teacher should be forgiving and cut them some slack. In general, teachers should just try and realize that students have busy lives and sometimes have trouble finishing homework.


Baseball Builds a Team

IMG_1812Since the beginning of the season, baseball head coach Jake Dahlke has stressed the impact of becoming closer as a team. The players are following the motto “Band of Brothers” for the season.

The team has lost some seniors from last year and have to gain back the talent by putting in the best work at practice, staying together, and keeping every teammate out of trouble so that nothing will end up making the season an unsuccessful one.

“We are trying to become closer by using a motto Band of Brothers. It’s where us players have to keep each other up with encouraging comments when there are successful and unsuccessful parts of the season,” said junior Dylan Chown.

Ever since the beginning of the season, the coaches have included a drill during practice that is called 21 which helps the players come together and get better at their fielding abilities.

“The drill 21 that we play in practice is where we as a team are out in the field and we have to get 21 outs in a row before we leave practice. If we get to 20 outs in a row and not get another out, we have to restart from zero. It’s a fun and enjoyable drill to do which makes us have more focus and determination to become better players,” said junior Eli Parker.

Dahlke has encouraged the players with different tactics to do in practice that will end up benefiting each player so that they will have a successful season.

“Some different things that coach has made us do before every practice and game is give each teammate a hug and a high-five. We do this so that us players gain the trust in each other and feel comfortable as a team,” said Parker.

The impact of giving a hug and high-five at every practice and game will give the players more confidence in themselves to perform at their best level in any type of situation that happens thoughout the season.

Graduation Parties: Personalize, plan, and have fun

DSC_0073With only 7 weeks left before graduation, the race to plan a party that stands out is on.

Both students and parents are preparing in different ways. But according to parent Andrea Hoffman, making it personal is an important thing to keep in mind.

“Make it so it seems like YOUR graduation party instead of just A graduation party,” said Hoffman.


Time and Location

Planning the time and location of a graduation party can be difficult for some. Senior Emily Hammes decided on her location in hopes that more people would attend.

“I live far out of town, so I figured if it was in town, more people would come,” said Hammes.

Senior Paige Fisher also had plans to hold her graduation in town.

“We were going to do it at the Lunda Park shelter, and then my mom said we might at well do it at home because it is less clean up, and we don’t have to spend the extra cash.”

Fisher is also worried about the date and time of her party.

“I feel like I am conflicting with other peoples graduation parties. It is going to be hard to get to all of them.”


The Menu

The menu for a graduation party can sometimes be the favorite part to plan for. But it can also be the most time consuming. Some graduates prefer to go the more traditional route, with sandwiches and chips like Fisher.

But some might prefer to go a little less traditional, like Hammes, who is having tacos at her party.

“I figured it would be easier, and not so generic. A lot of people do hamburgers, hotdogs, or barbeque. I figured tacos would be more exciting,” said Hammes. “We are ordering a lot of our food through Repetes, because it is cheaper, and my mom works there.”

The Finishing Touch

With some graduations parties only months away, planners are  feeling the pressure to get things done.

“To me, calling, ordering, and setting stuff up isn’t a big deal. It’s the personal stuff, like the scrapbooks and pictures.That to me is more stressful,” said Hoffman.

“I am a little worried about getting graduation invites done and deciding how I want them to look,” said Fisher.

But Fisher has a system to make sure she gets things done.

“I set deadlines, when I want to have stuff done so it is all ready.”

Graduation is also a great time to celebrate with friends and family.

“I want to celebrate graduating high school and starting a new chapter in my life,” said Hammes.

For some, graduation parties are the only chance students get to see their extended family. “It’s nice to have family all together. A lot of times you don’t see  your family besides at these big events,” said Hoffman.

With all the planning, it can be easy to get caught up in the stress of it all. But Fisher is determined to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“Do what you like. It’s your party, you should do what you want,” said Fisher.

Spirit Needs to Be Encouraged All Year

School spirit is an important aspect at Black River Falls High School, but lately spirit assemblies have become a thing of the past.

When the school year begins, school spirit is at its highest, but throughout the year, school spirit and assemblies seem to become less and less common. Fall sports have the most spirit activities with dress up days, Homecoming, and encouraging students to support the sporting events or even take part. Once fall sports end and winter sports begin, the spirit assemblies slowly start to become less common and the dress up days become almost completely absent. Once spring sports come around, the school assemblies never happen and spirit or dress up days.

This year, there has been one assembly during spring sports, and the main points of the assembly were clubs like FCCLA. The clubs are important and should be honored, but the spring sports were barely mentioned. If the assembly would have been during the fall, sports would have been the main point of the assembly building school spirit.

School spirit is very important and makes school a more enjoyable place, but BRFHS needs to be consistent throughout the year, and not just have tons of assemblies at the beginning of the year and slowly decreasing the amount of assemblies. School spirit needs to be all year long with each sport.

Instead of increasing the amount of assemblies throughout the year we slowly decrease the amount of assemblies as the year goes on. Instead of decreasing the amount of assemblies during fall sports, we should increase the amount of assemblies throughout the year, boosting support for each sport and school spirit overall. Support for sports is an important way to get students that are not playing sports involved with extracurricular activities. Assemblies are an effective technique at building school spirit, and having them throughout the year would really strengthen school spirit.

The assemblies can show off not just sports but also clubs such as FCCLA. Showing off all the sports and clubs can increase student interest and get people to join a sport or club.

People might say assemblies are boring and they don’t want to have them, but most of the time the assemblies referred to are not spirit assemblies. A lot of people get really pumped for spirit activities like Homecoming and dress up days, and if it makes students more excited to be a part of the school system, then school assemblies should be a common occurrence. Assemblies shouldn’t be every single week or happen enough to where they limit school work, but an assembly once a month honoring every sport and club active at the time would be good to help build school moral and school spirit.

School assemblies are an effective way to get kids involved in their school. More assemblies throughout the year would make each sport feel appreciated and maybe get some extra people out for the sport or just to watch them compete.

Students Party After Prom

After all the pictures have been snapped, dinner has been eaten, and the dance has been danced, the real question is “What are you doing after prom?”

While prom is on Saturday, many people after the dance haven’t made plans. Most of the kids just “go with the flow,” and see what everyone else is doing.

“After prom I will probably see what my friends are doing and maybe go hang out with them, but most likely I will just go home and maybe watch a movie or something and then go to sleep, ” said Tyler Rush.

“I honestly have no idea what I am doing after prom. I am just going to see what my friends are doing after the dance,” said Matthew LaFaunge.

Then there are the people who have everything planned out. So when the dance comes to the end, they know where they are going and they want what they are doing.

“There is a party at our house after the dance, that is all I know,” said Laura Meszynski.

At the end of the dance, the main thing is that people know where you are and your friends and family know you are safe.

“I will be going to an after party somewhere!” said MacKenzie Hoeschele.

When the day everyone looks forward to, comes to a close, the one thing everyone wants is for the kids to be safe. The kids should always have a plan and know what they are doing after the dance.