Hopkins Academy

Posts Tagged ‘Teenagers’

10 Reasons Why Technology is Ruining Our Brains

In Editorials on February 26, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Editor note — The Hawks Claw welcomes feedback in the comments section.  Comments will only be published when attached to a Hopkins students’ name, with a valid school  or personal email.

Pipczynski ’15

Nowadays, people are so consumed by their smartphones, tablets, video games, and computers. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or something actually useful like educational information; people never stop staring at their screens. You go out to a party or out in public somewhere, and all you see, is people fiddling with their devices like zombies with no personality. Even with driving laws the way they are, people still drive with their heads down reading something off their phone instead of paying attention to the road. That being said, yes, there are upsides to technology like advances in medical technology, advances in transportation, and advances in homeland security. But when it comes to social media, or applications and games, technology is ruining the human brain. I’ve come up with 10 reasons why technology is a bad thing. 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.

National Sleep Foundation, . N.p.. Web. 22 Sep 2013.


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


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


Why Our Generation is Doomed, Part 2

In Editorials on November 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm

#YOLO, possibly the most annoying phrase to come out of our generation. It all started with “The Motto”  by rapper Drake. The “motto” being You Only Live Once. Oh really Drake? I thought I was a freakin’ cat or something. I only live once? Well that means I have to go do the stupidest things I can think of and not worry about the consequences. The concept of YOLO is actually something that I like, but it’s what these ignorant, moronic, trash spewing people have done to it that I have a problem with.

Oh you’re 14 and you’re going to a party to get drunk and black out because YOLO? Have fun being on 16 and pregnant with early signs of alcoholism. You’re going to try hard drugs? Why? Oh YOLO huh? Well just remember, don’t drop the soap once you get to prison. It’s not just the stupid/dangerous things that abuse the YOLO idea. It’s these young kids who think they’re acting adult when they don’t do anything. “Bed time at 9, but I stayed up until 930! #YOLO” Really? That’s what you think deserves a you only live once comment? Between these two types of people using the phrase, I think it is safe to say YOLO’s chance at being anything meaningful has officially been destroyed.

Now, I said the concept of YOLO isn’t a bad thing. I don’t think it is. You Only Live Once is a message to enjoy your life, and to not take anything for granted. It could actually be an important and meaningful message if it wasn’t ruined by pop culture icons and stupid teenagers. But we teenagers take everything and ruin it by using it as an excuse to do stupid things. Once again, this is why our generation is doomed.


In Sports on April 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Rock Climbing is becoming a mainstream sport; rock climbing gyms are popping up all over the globe, like the one that just came to Hadley in April of 2011. Rock climbing is the perfect sport for you if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush and if your okay with heights. Read the rest of this entry »

One Small Step For Teens, One Giant Leap For Lego-Kind

In News on April 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm

So technically, Lego Man didn’t make it into space; he only made it about halfway. But launching a homemade spacecraft 80,000 feet into the Earth’s atmosphere is still pretty impressive. Read the rest of this entry »

Artificial Sweeteners

In News on February 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Sugar is in everything from drinks to deserts to even ketchup. But with the rise of obesity in the US, many have turned away from sugar and are consuming artificial sweeteners. Read the rest of this entry »

Things to do During a Snow-less Winter

In Features on January 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm

As it nears the middle of winter, there’s still no sign of snow in sight. Although the days and nights can be bitter cold, Massachusetts has yet to have a winter storm that is so common during the winter months in New England. So what are winter-lovers to do without snow when its freezing cold? Here’s a list to help you out:

  1. GO ICE SKATING: Even though there might not be snow or frozen ponds, you can still go ice skating! Many indoor rinks have free skate time that won’t cost too much. Ice skating is a fun way to hang out with friends and family while also getting some exercise, too. And because it’s indoor, you won’t be as cold as you would be if you were skating outdoors. Try ice skating for an inexpensive, fun, and healthy way to have fun in the winter!
  2. TRAVEL TO PLACES THAT HAVE SNOW: Other states in New England, such as Vermont and New Hampshire, have snow. Because these places are much colder than around here, it snows quite often in the winter time. Take a quick drive into one of these states for the day and play in the snow. It only takes about 40 minutes to drive to Vermont or New Hampshire, so have fun building snowmen, making snow angels and sledding!
  3. GO SKIING OR SNOWBOARDING: While we might not have snow, most ski and snowboarding mountains do. If they don’t get their snow naturally, they make it themselves, allowing for a snow-covered mountain to enjoy winter sports on. Skiing and snowboarding are both fun ways to enjoy the winter while getting exercise. Even if you don’t know how to ski or snowboard, many of these mountains offer lessons to help you learn. Need some help finding a ski/snowboard mountain? Why not try Mount Snow or Butternut!
  4. HAVE A BONFIRE: Bonfires aren’t reserved for just late summer and fall. In past years, bonfires in the middle of winter were near impossible because of deep snow covering the ground and wood so wet, it would never burn. This year, without the snow, there is plenty of dry wood and green grass to have a bonfire. The cold air also makes the perfect atmosphere for a fire without getting over heated. So grab some hot chocolate and a group of friends, sit around a bonfire and pretend it’s still September.
  5. READ A BOOK: In today’s world, its difficult to find time to sit down and relax, so when we do get a moment to take time for ourselves, why not read a little? Reading for leisure can be extremely satisfying if you have a good book.  Getting entertainment from a book is far better than watching T.V. because you’re able to use your imagination to create your own image of the setting and the characters. Looking for a good book? Try The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Its action-packed, a little sappy, and will keep you wanting more the further you read.
  6. GO TO THE BEACH: The beach is a popular place to spend summer, but not too many people travel to beaches in the winter. As long as you don’t plan on swimming in the freezing cold water, the beach could be quite enjoyable this time of year. Most beaches this time of year are free to enter, usually un-crowded if not empty, and as always, very beautiful. Spending the day at the beach in the winter is something not many people do, so switch up your normal winter-trip tradition and travel to your favorite beach for the day.

The Hawk’s Claw Playlist – Rachel’s Turn

In Features on December 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Written By Rachael Lefebvre ’12

“Perfect Day”- Lou Reed.

Now children, I feel like I’m not one of those people who constantly demands you listen to this song, or that band, because frankly, I hate those people. I don’t go out seeking music, I’m lazy, and wait for it to come to me. Come to think about it, that’s probably why I’m still rocking out to “Genie in a Bottle”, but I’m getting off topic. What I meant to say was that if there is only one song artist on this list you look up, please let it be Lou Reed. Now, I’m known to be dramatic, but I love Lou Reed so much, that if that wrinkled old drug-addled 69-year-old man proposed to me, I’d go out and buy me a veil. Many people know the song “Walk on the Wild Side”, but few have heard “Perfect Day”. Lou Reed has the ability to make you feel what he’s feeling, and damn, I nearly ripped my heart out when I first heard this song. The man sounds like he has a bottle of pills in one hand and in the other a handle of bourbon, and when he’s done playing the amazing piano solo he’s going to end his life. Just one of those songs that is so true, so sparse and pure that it makes an incredible impact.

“Back and Gold”- Sam Sparro.

Now, I love this song for many reasons, but the main one isn’t about the music ( a great thumping heartbeat that makes you think of underground clubs in Amsterdam) or the lyrics (Simple but captivating) but it lies in this man’s voice. When I first heard this song, I thought I was listening to Lenny Kravitz, and when I looked up “Sam Sparro” on Google I came face-to-face with a scrawny white man with a love of neon, not a beautiful black rock-god who sleeps on a pile of money and models. Trust me, this is one of those songs everyone loves, so check it out.

“Attitude”- The Misfits.

So you fancy yourself a punk huh? What, no? You don’t think you’re the next Sid Vicious? You would rather cuddle puppies than mosh in all your dirty, grimy glory? Well that’s okay, because if your angry or about to verbally smack down somebody, listen to this song first, and you’ll have more adolescent rage than Johnny Rotten.

“Waiting in Vain”- Bob Marley .

In my opinion, Bob Marley is one of those few artists who everybody likes. I have yet to find anyone who doesn’t like at least one song by dear old Bob. I personally love a lot of Marley’s songs, but this one has a very special place in my heart, maybe because of the hazy, soft beat, or maybe because everyone can relate to Marley’s simple message.

“Boys Don’t Cry”- The Cure.

Really, this is just a great song. This is one of my wake-up songs in the morning, it’s punky but peppy, what’s not to love? I like the video too, because Robert Smith (lead singer/guitar/songwriter) looks like a tiny adorable troll doll from the 80’s. You almost expect that if you lifted up his shirt he’d have a rhinestone for a bellybutton.

“Walk on the Wild Side”- Lou Reed.

Yes, yes, I’m putting him in here again, but simply because the man is awesome, and you’re doing your ears a favor when you listen to him. This is a classic song, and it’s soft lazy sound brings me right back to summer, back to that feeling of possibility, like anything can happen. I think that’s what great songs are supposed to do ( and this is certainly a great song), the songs we love are as much a part of our personality as our sense of humor or the clothes we wear. Music is a time line of our most triumphant moments, and our most dismal failures. When I turn on this song, I feel myself going back to sunshine, and that wonderful feeling that time has slowed to a crawl. Give it a chance, maybe you’ll feel the same.

“I Wanna Be Your Lover”- Prince.

Oh Prince, just…you’re so fabulous. I think we should hang out and you should let me wear that jacket you have on the cover of “Purple Rain”. I think (or at least hope) that everyone likes one Prince song. This is my dance song, and I don’t dance, but if this came on, I’d be whippin’ out all the white girl awkwardness that the club could handle.

“Suck My Kiss”- The Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Let me just say, I love The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I actually do, they are my musical soul mates, and if Anthony Kiedis grows his hair long again, and shaves off that mustache, he would also be my soul mate (don’t worry Lou, I have enough love for two). And if if they ever decide to get their fancy “ Too-good-for-an-American-tour” butts over here, I will be the first to get tickets, and I will demand they play this song, because it is an awesome, body-rollicking ballad. It’s basically a musical punch in your face, except it doesn’t hurt, it just rocks. But than again, that’s what most RHCP songs are like.

Rachel’s Embarrassing Song of The Week: “It Wasn’t Me”- Shaggy feat. Ricardo Ducent

Okay, technically, I’m not really ashamed I like this song, but I mean, any song with Shaggy is bound to be kinda embarrassing because I mean…it’s Shaggy. When he sings or raps or whatever it is, he sounds like a dog on tranquilizers trying to scat. But this song has hardly any Shaggy in it, and it’s pretty addictive. That doesn’t make it right, but it makes it a little less shameful.

Good News For Coffee Drinkers

In Features on October 24, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Teenagers and Adults in today’s world lead busy lives with little time for sleep. Caffeine consumption has become a daily necessity; coffee being the most popular form of a caffeinated drink with tea coming in second. Rumor has it that coffee is bad for you, but new scientific studies regarding the drink have recently come out and it looks like coffee may be better for us than we think. Read the rest of this entry »

The Senioritis Epidemic

In Features on September 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

Andrea Valentini ’13

Most people would say that the flu is the most common illness among high school students. Many teachers, however, might beg to differ after dealing with classes full of seniors who have come down with senioritis. Senioritis spreads like wildfire, feeding on the weak and the lazy, becoming worse as time creeps on. Unlike the flu, even the worst cases of senioritis aren’t fatal; the end result is graduation. I decided to investigate this epidemic and talk to the people who are infected or are at risk. The most common symptom is procrastination. Every single person interviewed said this was one of the major issues they experienced. Other symptoms most noted by the seniors include laziness, boredom, and a general lack of caring. One student said that he found himself back talking more often and occasionally trying to find a reason to ditch class. Read the rest of this entry »