Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Level Thinking, Episode #1

Do Clowns frighten you? Make you laugh? 

Do you laugh at people who are frightened by Clowns? 

Seth Gatlin analyzes this issue in the first episode from his series "Level Headed."

Listen below, and feel free to leave your comments.

Here's a link to the Podomatic platform. That's where we host all of our audio work in The Themisian.

This is the plain link:

Who are you supporting in the election

Who do you support in the election?

A video by Maria Santos

Monday, October 24, 2016

Measure 97: A Short and Simple Explanation

Credit: Bizjournals
As most Oregonians have probably noticed by now, there is word of a new bond floating around. This new bond will be passed or denied on the ballot of November 8th- and to be voted on by you, yes you; that bond is called Measure 97. So, what exactly is Measure 97 and what’s it all about? What’s the big deal?

Obviously, Oregon has a few, rather undeniable, financial issues. Oregon is home to over 280,000 uninsured citizens, we have the 4th lowest high school graduation rate in the US, and about 1 in every 10 elderly oregonians live in poverty. Unfortunately, these are only a few of the problems we face as a state. Measure 97 is a hopeful proposition that offers us a new idea, another option to help stabilize Oregon’s finances and to avoid a threatening budget crisis. 

Measure 97 is a promise, or rather an assurance, that creates a 2.5% tax on large business corporations that make more than $25 million in annual revenue. Supposedly, this will raise over $3 billion that is planned to fund Oregon schools, health care, senior aid, and other public services. If this bond is successful, Measure 97 will reduce Oregon’s dependence on personal income and property taxes- only costing the average Oregon family an extra $600 annually.

Unfortunately, there are many doubts that Measure 97 will be of any help. One issue that reigns true is that businesses don’t necessarily have to be successful to be required to pay the tax. Often smaller business owners and farmers can make over $25 million in annual proceeds, but benefit from a very small profit margin. Many believe this will cause companies to cut valuable jobs and lay off hard working employees- resulting in everyone having to pay more for utilities and basic needs. If this occurs, it will hit poor or fixed income families the hardest.

So, as it always does, it comes down the the people- it comes down to you. Oregon definitely has some major financials issues that need addressing, but is this how you think we should fix it? If Measure 97 works the way it’s supposed to work, Oregon’s finances will become far more stable and many public services will benefit as well. But if it doesn’t? Is the profit of a promise worth the risk? Will you vote YES, or perhaps, will you vote NO on Measure 97?


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Are You Prepared For a Disaster?

These last two weeks have been crazy in weather. Hurricane Matthew and the arising storm on the coast of Oregon and Washington.
Credit: NASA of Hurricane Matthew
So let’s say the power is out and you don’t have any cell service and a massive storm is coming, what do you do? Do you have a plan? You need to be prepared for a disaster. So where do you start? Talk with your family. Things will go much smoother if your family knows what to do if something hits. Talk about getting materials, emergency calls (If you have service), jobs for people to do, a meeting place and practice with your family so you all know what to do and have multiple plans just in case something goes wrong. 
Credit: FEMA
Look up guides for certain disasters that may cause a threat in your area. Create a medical kit, more than one would be better because if something happens to the other one you have an extra, and if you have a two story house it would be ideal to have one upstairs and one down stairs and if you live in a one story make sure you have them if different rooms. And remember every family is different and somethings will need to be added to fit your needs. 

But what needs to go into these kits?

Credit: FEMA
The Basics

  • Bottled Water
  • Flashlights, more than one would be ideal
  • Canned or nonperishable foods
  • Knife and multitool
  • Bandaids and wrap
  • Hygiene items such as soap and toothpaste
  • Batteries that match the equipment you are using
  • Extra Clothing including shoes and importantly boots. They don't need to be new clothes, they can be old rugged out clothes or clothes that you haven't worn in awhile, fashion doesn't matter in a disaster.
  • Food for your pet if you have one
  • Extra money
  • Map of your area. Make sure if something goes wrong and meeting up in your house can't happen you have an know of a place to go.
  • This isn't necessary but a walkie talkie can come in handy but if your on a budget don't worry about it.
  • Mess Kits or durable plates
  • Sleeping bags
Everyone needs to be prepared for a disaster because sometimes the government can't help you with everything. I decided to go and see if the students of Springwater Trail High School where prepared for a disaster.

"I know some of the basics of what to do in a disaster but I lack the effort and money."

"My family isn't prepared for something big but we have the basics like medical supplies. It's no on our priority list as of now."

"It's not my responsibility" 

"It's just a big "what if" to me. It doesn't really matter. You shouldn't live your life in fear."

Most students seem to not be prepared at all. So get started and be prepared and tell others to get prepared. You never know what might happen.

Here are some awesome sources to get help and information on. And thanks to them for the ideas and help.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Who Knows About the School Blog?

Yesterday, I talked to a few people people about what they knew about the school blog-

1. Anthony Brown, a Freshman, knew about the blog (including the full name), and knew how to get there from the school's home page.

2. Xanthus Rose, a Sophomore, knew about the blog (including the first word in the name), but only knew how to get there by an email from a Journalism student.

3. Finally, Brayden Magnan, a Junior, didn't know we had a blog at all.

While this is definitely not all the students in the school, a pattern is shown amongst these three individuals. The longer they are here at Springwater Trail High School, the more they forget about the blog.

Before I was a Freshman, I knew there was a school blog, but my family and I just simply could not find it. Then when I was a Freshman, I still had no idea what the name or the location of the blog was, and I never asked, because even though I enjoy reading and knowing what's going on in my school, myself and people I was friends with didn't feel the need to go out of our way to find it.

To fix this issue, Journalism class needs to find new ways to promote the blog, such as posters, or setting the blog as the homepage for the school computers. Instead of writing a page for the overhead announcements, write a few of the most important details, and say at the end to check out the blog for more information or that there's pictures and other media to check out for the events.

This blog is written to be read, and so it should.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

It’s finally the end of the school year. For some of us, it means three months of vacation until fall comes again. For others, the seniors, this is the end of the end. No more homework. No more crowded hallways. No more high school.

The class of ‘16 has finally reached the end. The river is pouring into the ocean, the whole ride is over. It would be a shame if our seniors left us without leaving behind a bit of advice.

Over to the right here is Blake Prock. He’s one of our best students at Springwater. He’s graduating this year with one of the highest GPAs in his grade, a respectable 3.88 finish.

Anyone who is inspired to do well academically should look up to Blake. He balanced the rigourous CAL coursework while serving as Dr. Bradley’s intern for the school’s FEP. He's also a really great friend.

And according to Mr. Lurie, “He's incredibly intelligent. He doesn't say much, but when he does, he says a lot. He won the social studies award two years in a row.”

So what’s his secret? Well, it's nothing you haven't heard about before.

“Develop good habits,” Blake says. “Don't procrastinate.”

He says to not focus too much on the social aspect of high school because in the end, it may not be as important as we think it is right now.

“Don't feel like you just have to be academic to do well though,” he advises, “take some fun classes! Yearbook, world music, just add some fun to your schedule. It's easy to get stressed out.”

However, Blake does admit that the world of academia consumed his life up till the end. He says that 12th grade is quite busy as opposed to the laidback years of 9 and 10. “CAL is not easy,” he also digresses, “but it's worth it.”

Blake, there's really nothing I could write that will do you justice.

Gonna miss you guys a whole lot.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Outdoor on the Trail

Everyone who went to school in Oregon knows about outdoor school. Most of us went in 6th grade and a select few also went in 4th. Then, as high schoolers some students choose to return as high school counselors. This year, a number of Springwater students were counselors in both the fall and spring sessions. Sophomore Lucy Krout attended Camp Canby Grove during the 8th week of the spring session. She was a counselor for a cabin filled with 6th graders and when asked about her experience she responded “Outdoor School was an eye-opening experience. I never knew that I could be a teacher. I love the kids, they make all of the pain and suffering of Outdoor School so much brighter.” Yes, she did say pain and suffering. It’s not all fun and games you know. There’s cleaning and learning and teaching and watching. You have to constantly be in control of the children and make sure they weren’t hurt on your watch. That’s what Junior Danielle Whitlock was afraid of before attending Camp Arawanna during the 6th week of the spring session. “I was honestly terrified about multiple things when I was about to leave,” says Whitlock, “I was scared that I wouldn’t get along with other leaders, or that I would do something wrong, or (God forbid) I would lose a child in the woods who would then see something shiny, walk off a cliff and die.” Luckily, all of her charges made it out alive. It is hard work being a counselor but there are definitely rewarding parts too, aside from missing a week of school. On the flip side of Whitlock’s experience she says “Outdoor School was honestly one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. I met lifelong friends there, made friendships I already have closer, and developed some seriously awesome leadership skills. It’s  amazing how much just one week can change you.” One great thing about Outdoor School is that, not only do kids learn new things but you do too. You have to learn all the information you’re going to teach, you have to learn HOW to teach, you have to remember everyone's names, well maybe not that, they have wood cookies. Still, it’s an experience that’s well worth it. I’m assuming. I was a counselor, excuse me “Trail Guide”, at Camp Kuratli during the 8th week of the spring session but my experience was a little bit different than most. I was a counselor for 4th graders at Oregon Trail Overnight. It’s extremely similar to outdoor school only the kids are smaller, don’t stay as long, sleep in cabins with their parents instead of you and learn about the Oregon Trail. Ok, so maybe it’s a little different but it is just as fun for the kids. I would know, I went there when I was a kid. Actually, my 4th grade teacher came while I was there, I may or may not have planned it that way *Wink* *Wink*. It was really special to me because it was her last year there. She’s retiring in 2 years but next year she’s going to be a 5th grade teacher. See, that’s my point. Outdoor School brings people together. I also made great friends with my fellow Trail Guides. Because we were all female we all shared a cabin. I know their real names now but to me they will always be Huckleberry, Solstice, Rainier, Sage, Tiger Lilly, Hiccup, Birdie, Nutmeg and Saturn. I don’t think they’ll ever call me anything but Ladybug either. That’s the power of Outdoor School. I’ll definitely be back next year.
- Paige Stewart