Hopkins Academy

Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Public vs. Private School

In Features on April 4, 2014 at 8:08 am

Lily Gido ’17  As a student enters middle or high school, one of the most important decisions for them and their families is what school they will attend. The two main types are public and private schools, each of which has its own set of pros and cons. A public school is generally larger and is funded by communal and governmental money, mainly taxes. They are also required to follow a strict state curriculum. On the other hand, a private school is smaller, privately funded, and has more flexibility with their interpretation of the state curriculum. To learn more about the private school lifestyle, I visited MacDuffie School, an international middle/ high school with a boarding dynamic. Established in 1890, the school has an extremely reputable amount of diversity among the students. Boarding schools in general are more diverse because of the boarding option. However, MacDuffie has an especially large amount of cultural variance because it is specifically introduced as an “International” boarding school. A close knit community, a sophomore considers his school-mates as well as himself a “good group,”and notes the friendly atmosphere created in the school system.The school has a wide range of extra-curricular activities including dancing, drama, chorus, and more. Each of these groups regularly show off their work at concerts and plays. Sam Hackett, a freshmen describes his extracurriculars to be “fabulous” and tells us, “There’s just more to do.” The students have a good relationships with their teachers. Izzie Perez, a freshmen tells us that her teachers are, “Friendly, don’t mind helping after school, and are just awesome in general.” Since the school is only a middle and high school, all of the students experienced a different educational system prior to their current one. Sam, being a student who previously attended a public school,  told us that he prefers the private school atmosphere because people are more accepting and aren’t rude like the students at his old school could be. Of course there are also benefits to public education . First, it’s less expensive. The only price payed for a student to attend public schools are taxes while private schools have expensive tuitions. There’s also some disagreement about which one gives a better educational experience, but to some extent it can depend on the schools being compared. Of course it is also easier to know exactly what students are doing in public schools because they are so strict about the state curriculum, where private schools can get away with a little more, and public schools administer standardized tests regularly, which can be very helpful for a parent who would like to keep up with where their student lies in the state’s percentile. Recently a parent told me that they believe a private school is “too sheltered,” and doesn’t allow their child to experience the harsh reality which could so well prepare them for life after high school. Ultimately, what it comes down to is the personal preferences of the student and their guardians. Both private and public schools can provide a capital education, it’s just a matter of the student’s social and academic situation. Neither system will hinder a child’s intelligence, nor will it perform miracles of the mind. The best way for a student to succeed academically is for them to put in the effort to do so.

Movies to Hit the Theatre

In Features on January 31, 2014 at 8:59 am

Emelia Aiken-Hafner ’17

With 2014 already whizzing by, the movie scene is on the rise. Here are some of the highly anticipated movies coming out soon.

That Awkward Moment (1-31-14 )- Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan all play modern-day adults trying to navigate the waters of love. After one of the boy’s has a devastating breakup, they all make a pact to try to stay single for as long as possible. How long will they be able to keep the single status?

3 Days to Kill (2-14-14)- Kevin Costner stars in this action thriller where he plays an international spy fighting for his life. He has distanced himself from his daughter and wife, to ensure that they are not hurt by his line of work. But when his wife has to go out-of-town, he is left to look after his teenage daughter for the first time in 10 years. If this is not hard enough he has “3 days to kill” an international terrorist spy in return for a drug that could save his life. This film is not yet rated.

Non Stop (2-21-14 )- When a retired Air Marshal, Bill Marks, boards a plane in route to London disaster strikes. While on the plane he receives a series of text messages ordering the government to deposit $150 million to a secret bank account. If this action is not carried out, every 20 minutes a person will die on board the plane. Not only is the killer threatening this Air Marshal’s life but all of the passengers aboard the aircraft.

Need For Speed (3-14-14)- Street racer, Aaron Paul, is finally out of prison for a crime he was framed for. Revenge is what he is seeking while he and his buddies build a one of a kind car. Their hopes are that it will win against a race against the man who should have gone to jail so they can put him away once and for all. This street racer is defying all odds in one final race from coast to coast trying not to get thrown into jail, again.

22 Jump Street- (6-13-14)- Jenko, Channing Tatum, and Schmidt, Jonah Hill are back. This time going to college. Yet again their mission is to catch a drug on the rise. As they enter the college life their interests shift causing Jenko and Schmidt to question their friendship. Can they bust the drug dealer while keeping their friendship in tact?

Let It Snow

In Features on December 9, 2013 at 8:09 am

Matt Pipczynski ’15

In early December, the temperature is starting to drop, the wind gusts up to 20 mph, and also we’ve seen the first of the season’s snow. For many people, winter is the worst time of the year. It’s cold and bitter and you have to deal with the snow. But for others, the best time of the year is January, with freezing temperatures, and at least a foot of snow. Read the rest of this entry »

The Return of the Governor

In Features on November 27, 2013 at 9:21 am

Austin Berbrighenti ’14

As I sat down on my couch to watch TV, the weekend slowly drew to a close. There was still one of my favorite parts of the weekend still awaited at nine o’clock. The Walking Dead was on, with its never disappointing episodes that air weekly. If you haven’t been keeping up with the show or haven’t ever watched it, I would strongly recommend that you start. The show has never been better and with the return of a previous character last week there is surely going to be some interesting interactions happening in the next few episodes. There has never been a better time to tune into or start watching Walking Dead. Read the rest of this entry »

Netflix Addicts Anonymous

In Features on November 27, 2013 at 8:20 am

Ally Tudryn ’17

Have you found yourself continuously on the increasingly popular internet television network, Netflix, watching hours after hours of your favorite TV shows and movies? Are you scheduling your life around this growing addiction? Well, you’re not alone. As of this year, over 40 million members in a whopping 41 countries use Netflix to watch endless hours of TV ( where there are more than one billion hours available if you’ve got some extra time on your hands). Read the rest of this entry »

One last year for Mrs. Parsons at HA

In Features on November 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Michela Solano ’16

Mrs. Parsons has been teaching for 37 years and after this year is retiring. She is a wonderful hard working teacher who has taught many children over the years and has made a difference in many peoples lives. Her favorite class in college was American History and her favorite class in high schools was math. The teachers who taught these classes (Professor Mueller and Mr. Atkinson) later became her mentors. These two men had a great influence on her life. When Mrs. Parsons was in high school she wanted to be an archeologist but, when she started tutoring in college she changed her major to education so that she could teach people about history. With this degree she taught at Franklin County Tech. which is a vocational school. She taught many kids at a time which of course, can be very stressful until she switched to teaching at Hopkins. Mrs. Parsons didn’t switch to teaching at Hopkins because of the number of kids but, because of the easier commute.

Mrs. Parsons loves teaching at Hopkins but, like any good job there are some parts that she doesn’t like. Mrs. Parsons least favorite thing about teaching at Hopkins is having to switch her curriculum almost every year. It is hard to rewrite a curriculum that you put so much time into, especially if you have to start over from scratch. Mrs. Parsons favorite thing about teaching at Hopkins is the ¨lightbulb moment.” Mrs. Parsons love the moment when a student who had been struggling with a topic finally gets it (like the lightbulb just went off in their head.) She really likes that it can happen to any student from a student who is good at her class or loves her class to a student who does not necessarily love history or isn’t that great at it.

Mrs. Parsons is planning on doing many things in her retirement. She wants to travel, substitute here, work on her vegetable and flower gardens and read many historical fiction books of course. She loves to travel, but she wants to travel to a place she hasn’t seen yet. She wants to learn and experience a new environment. She would also love to see her daughter. She is happy and nervous about retirement. She is nervous because she has been teaching for so long that she defines herself as a teacher. She is nervous about what will happen when she stops teaching. Mrs. Parsons is an amazing teacher and Hopkins hopes that she has an amazing time during her retirement, she deserves it. Everyone is wishing her the best.

What Halloween candy are you most likely to leave in the candy bowl?

In Features on October 29, 2013 at 8:37 am


How to Love Reading, Even if You Hate It

In Features on October 10, 2013 at 9:18 am
Sampling of books at Hopkins

Sampling of books at Hopkins

Jessica Kotfila ’14


As the internet and television become the modern world’s main source of entertainment, America’s youth experiences a growing animosity toward reading. Why might this be? It could be because television and the internet provide more content instantly, almost effortlessly, than turning the pages of a book can. Or could it be that American High school students, on average, read at a fifth grade level. Read the rest of this entry »

Sam’s Romance Flick Picks

In Features on October 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Gone With the Wind

Samantha Nyarko ’14

1) Gone with the Wind (1939)

This one is a classic. It won 10 Academy Awards and some  (including me) argue that it’s the greatest American movie of all time. The lovers here are Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara, who are equally devious and resourceful. There’s lots of witty banter between these two-played by Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh respectively-and some iconic, smoldering kisses to boot. If you have four hours to watch a tumultuous, historical romance, check this one out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bringing Back Your Bedtime

In Features on October 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Caitlin Lewis ’17

There are many important things to keep track of when a teenager. From homework to sports, sleep isn’t commonly regarded as important. A good nights sleep is thought of as something of the past and considered unrealistic. What many teens don’t realize is that many things depend on what time they go to bed and when they wake up. With no one to tell them when to go to bed, sleep is a sadly neglected part of a teenager’s life.

Teen Sleeping

An ideal amount of sleep is considered to be eight and a half hours, but only 15% of teenagers report following these guidelines. Many are getting seven or less hours, and as a result, experience the many annoying effects of inadequate sleep. When teenagers don’t get enough sleep they leave themselves at risk to depression, tiredness, illness, poor school performance, mood swings, and poor concentration. On top of that, teens can experience increased acne and skin problems. They are also more likely to eat unhealthy, sugary foods leading to weight gain. Everyone needs their sleep, especially teenagers, because they are making decisions that will affect them for the rest of their life.

Insomnia among teenagers is a major issue. Some try to go to bed at a reasonable hour, set their head on the pillow and simply cannot fall asleep. Caffeine and eating too late might be the reason for this. Stress and anxiety from school can also be a factor. More commonly, however, the issue is that the body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock, is off. Usually teens get little sleep during the weekdays and “binge sleep” during the weekends.  By refusing to keep a regular bedtime and wake time, teenagers confuse their circadian rhythm, making it difficult to fall asleep at any given time during the “school nights”. Finally, sleep disorders such as insomnia or restless leg syndrome are also a common problem among teenagers.

There are things that people can do to try to fall asleep easier and gain a good nights sleep. The room’s environment is very important. A neat, cool, and quiet room can greatly help. It is also important to keep it dark by using shades and turning off all the lights and electronics. Avoidance of caffeine (coffee, black tea), eating and exercising right before bed are also advised. As mentioned earlier, establishing a regular bedtime is a good way to get some sleep. Rather than watch TV, go on the computer, or listen to an iPod, try reading or writing in a journal to wind down. It is best to create a relaxing routine to follow before going to bed. Never do homework while sitting on or near the bed, as your brain will associate the two and might prohibit sleeping or encourage unwelcome napping when doing homework. If it is still very difficult to relax, drinking a calming tea with lavender and chamomile can often help.

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Spinks, S.. N.p.. Web. 22 Sep 2013.