Joliet West GI- Maleficent

For the 2014-2015 school year, the Drama Club at Joliet West High School has made a GI (group interpretation) of the well known story “Maleficent”. A group interpretation is a special type of performance made for the sole purpose of competition. Actors all wear the same clothing, props are banned along with off stages sound effects and music. The actors must use their bodies and work together to making the plain looking stage come alive as if the stage were decorated with props and scenery. A great creative skill is needed for the director to make use of what little is given to them. As I watched the performance, which is no more than 30 minutes, move along, I was surprised to see such professionalism and passion showed by all of the 15 high school students on stage. It almost seemed like I had gone to an actual theater to see a short. Overall, I was very impressed by what I saw and they greatly deserve the awards they were given as they used this performance in competition. I can’t wait to see what the people behind this work on next year, and how they will make an even greater performance than this years, Maleficent.

Job Shadowing Experience

While job shadowing, a process in which a student follows someone that works in the career field they are interested in, may seem like a important aspect in a students high school career. My personal opinion is that this graduation requirement can be changed for better for students to come.

The basic principles of the job shadowing experience are a great tool to students that have an interest in the field of work they wish to enter. However, some argue that without a certain interest, job shadowing is just another useless assignment tacked on as a graduation requirement for the “betterment” of the school’s students. labeling this as a graduation requirement for sophomores almost immediately sucks all the enjoyment the experience is supposed to offer. Teachers and counselors make unnecessary restrictions such as not allowing the student to shadow someone living in their home, time requirements and pointless worksheets with bland questions that break the experience of following someone doing what you may or may not love to do.

Changing the job shadowing experience from a mind numbing workload in order to graduate into a English assignment that it already is will bring the excitement and opportunities it is supposed to give to students. Not all students will want to experience job shadowing and forcing them to will only grow for the disapproval of this educational opportunity, but giving the students that are interested freedom to explore multiple options will greatly help further what the job shadowing experience is supposed to be.

High School Advice for Upcoming Students

In middle school, the idea of high school can seem like an overwhelming experience. Leaving the school and all the teachers you’ve come to know to a place with different teachers, work, and all sorts of new people. A few simple steps and actions can help any new student adjust and thrive in high school.

Step 1- Make Friends: However simple this may seem to be, having friends in school is the pinnacle of your high school experience. Some of your middle school friends may have left to different high schools, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be alone for the next 4 years of your life. Be sure to make friends in all of your different classes you’ll have, it will make it much easier to get though the day when you have someone to talk to and work with.

Step 2- Teachers don’t have to hate you: A common misconception in high school is that you will not share the same bonds you have with your high school students. While it may be true in some cases, this doesn’t mean your teachers don’t want anything to do with you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to talk about personal issues, it’s part of their job to make sure you succeed.

Step 3-Join a club your interested in: In high school, early on it is easy to see that there is a club for almost everything imaginable. It may be appealing to join the “popular” clubs or sports that everyone does, but if your heart is not in it then there is no reason to continue something that you have no interested in. Whether it is band, anime club or even heavy metal, don’t feel embarrassed to do something your interested in.

These 3 simple steps can turn the reality of high school life from hell to heaven, for everyone willing to follow their interests and heart.