Monday, January 9, 2017

Plastic Surgery

The popularity of teen plastic surgery has increased dramatically over the past five years. Before now it was almost unheard of to get plastic surgery unless at least 18 years of age. Now however, it is getting much attention and might not be a good thing, especially when stars young people look up to like Kylie Jenner are altering their looks.
Society is setting unrealistic expectations for teens in recent years and many are self conscious because of this. We are being taught to compare ourselves to others and held to an unrealistic expectation of beauty. 10 years ago, it didn’t matter what you looked like, everyone was beautiful in some way, which is still true today, people just don’t believe it because of the media. Everyone is so quick to judge. If your lips aren’t big enough or your nose is shifted slightly, you’ll hear about it and it makes people, especially teens, very uneasy. Society is teaching kids not to love themselves. They are being taught to criticize themselves and the others around them so much that plastic surgery is now an option as young as 13.
Stars like Kylie Jenner have a lot to do with the rising popularity of cosmetic surgery. Young teens look up to people like her and she got lip fillers at age 16. She is almost teaching her followers that it is easy and that it takes surgery to look beautiful. Dr. Terry Dubrow from the television show Botched said in an interview “I find it fascinating because I think Kylie has become such a huge star now that she can actually start a trend. She started a trend of young girls coming to our office with pictures of Kylie, showing her lips, wanting her lips.” This is horrible because in present times, people are so quick to jump on trends and having a Kylie Jenner pout is what is trending right now. Another problem arises from this, trends are constantly changing. Although Kylie’s lip fillers are temporary, some may not know this and they may go out and get permanent fillers and be stuck with large lips forever. Then if they change their mind, they will get upset and potentially regret the decision they made when they were 16 or 18 years old.
Along with the negative self image teens have, there are problems that can occur in surgery as well. Botched is a reality show based off of poorly performed plastic surgeries, and although they feature some of the worst cases of failed surgery, they do show real people and their experiences. That can happen to anyone and many people do not think about all of the negatives before going into surgery, they get an image of how they want to look in their head and expect that as the result, which is not always the case. If one is insecure and expects to go into surgery and come out looking flawless, they might need to reconsider. Allergic reactions can occur as well as botched surgeries. The goal of most cosmetic surgery is to improve self image, but it can also destroy it if something bad happens. A lot of people experience complications during or after the procedure, because of this 65% of patients regret getting surgery(Ani). This is why people need to think about their decisions instead of making them on impulse.
Of course if you are getting surgery to correct a medical issue it is another story. From a medical standpoint, If someone has a deviated septum or hooded eyelids which can impair vision or make breathing difficult, plastic surgery should be an option to consider. However, if it is only for looks, it needs to be known that appearance is not everything. Unless strictly for medical reasons, plastic surgery should not even be an option under 18 years old.
    At such a young age, it is hard to tell if you know what you really want, and that is the big issue with this topic. Our parents were taught that looks aren’t everything and we now live in a world that seems to be revolving around them. Social media is not helping at all, and is a big influence on people. We need to stop criticizing looks and spread positive vibes instead.
                                                                                                                       By Brittany Fuller

Working Before College

Working is something that everyone has to do at some point in their lives. For some, it’s once you’re out of college or maybe in college. For others however, getting a part time job while in your Junior or Senior year of highschool is a wiser option for numerous reasons.
    Working before you start college can be listed down as a positive for numerous reasons. Some being you gain experience from having to work in the customer service realm of things, improving your public speaking skills. However, working while in high school can have its downsides. Working can affect the performance that a student has in school. If a student gets out of school for example at 2:05 everyday, then has work from 3-10 after school a few times a week it can greatly impact the way they do other things. These students may have issues regarding their grades, social life, and other aspects of their everyday lives. However, having these part time jobs also can benefit these students as well.
    Once you get a job at a young age such as 16 or 17, you also gain a sense of freedom involving everyday life. Having a job means a source of income for yourself to spend, instead of going to a parent or caretaker to ask for money. A CCHS senior, Kevin Nichols, gave more insight on the issue. “Having a job lets me have money to spend on my hobbies, so I won’t feel as bad asking my parents for money.” However, Nichols also explained saying “I do enjoy working, but sometimes it can be a problem trying to hangout with friends, or my girlfriend.” Job experience also looks good on college applications or for possible future job in your prefered career path.   

Overall, jobs are a very beneficial thing for these now adults to have. They can help them prepare for life later on in college, and just give them a better appreciation for the world. Working is something everyone has to do and starting to work at the age of 16 is the best decision to make.
                                                                                                                       By Alexandra Leisenfelder

Monday, December 19, 2016

How "Bad" is Homework for Kids?

A lot of kids spend most of their time at school, doing school work, and participating in school related activities or clubs, especially during their high school years. Being a high school student myself, teachers assign anywhere from half an hour of homework, to more than two hours of homework a night. Every senior has to have at least five and a half credits, or five classes and gym, to graduate. If each teacher, every day assigned an average of about a half hour of homework every night, that would be around two and a half hours of homework, give or take. At Colonie Central High School, students go to school for about six and a half hours. That time, plus two and a half hours of homework is a total of nine hours a day where a student is revolved around school work. Among other students, I am involved in several different clubs including iCare, as the executive volunteering coordinator, and spend at least two hours a day organizing or planning one event or the other. Some students also play sports, which takes another two hours a day for practice or games, and many have a part time job. That’s around 13 hours a day, excluding work, which most students only have time for on the weekends. This leaves approximately 3 hours to be with friends or family, and some free time to relax, taking away the eight hours we’re supposed to get of sleep every night to be healthy. Is all of this helping teenagers to grow?
Many studies prove that too much homework has been proven to show “stress and negative health effects.” Hours and hours of homework is burning out students and causing many to not want to come to school. One study published in The Journal of Experimental Education, stated that more than two hours of homework per night is counterproductive. In Healthlines article,”Is Too Much Homework Bad for Kids' Health?”, Jenna Flannigan wrote, “When it came to stress, more than 70 percent of students said they were “often or always stressed over schoolwork,” with 56 percent listing homework as a primary stressor. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor. The researchers asked students whether they experienced physical symptoms of stress, such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss, and stomach problems. More than 80 percent of students reported having at least one stress-related symptom in the past month, and 44 percent said they had experienced three or more symptoms.” Some parents believe that high schoolers don’t want to do their homework because they’re lazy or just don’t care enough to do it, but in reality, it can be harmful to students mental and physical health . Seniors who have to focus on school work, choosing colleges, extracurricular activities, and also parents’ expectations, are under tremendous amount of stress. A journalist from The Washington Post wrote an article called, “Homework could have an effect on kids’ health. Should schools ban it?”, and stated that “Empirical studies have linked excessive homework to sleep disruption, indicating a negative relationship between the amount of homework, perceived stress and physical health. But for elementary school students, even 30 minutes of homework a night, if combined with other sources of academic stress, can have a negative impact.” This topic is highly discussed throughout the world, not only in America, and many studies have taken place because of it’s importance. People all over the world are questioning whither homework is helping, or actually hurting students. Teachers need to modify the work they assign their students, to make students want to learn, and live a healthy life mentally and physically. We should eliminate busy work, and focus on assignments that will help students to be better learners, and grow mentally.

Erin O’Keefe

Then an Now, Baseball Edition

Emma Johnson
Period 3 HVCC Journalism
A Saturday night in mid- October is usually engulfed with either college football or Major League baseball. October is the biggest time in baseball, it’s the playoffs. I found time between the hoots and hollers of the games to sit down with college freshman and little league baseball coach Eric Beberwyk. I was interested in finding out how at a young age he got into the world of coaching.  

Q. How long have you been playing baseball?
  1. “15 years i’ve been playing, I started when I was 3.”
Q. What got you interested in baseball?
  1. “I would say probably my parents. Not that the forced me to play but they “forced me to play”  and I learned to love the game!”
Q. What do you think got you interested in coaching?
  1. “I wanted to go back to the league that I had played in and I wanted to give back to them. I want to help get the league back to the way it was when I was playing there.”
Q. When did you decide that you wanted to coach?
  1. “It was after I went to an indoor practice that my little cousin had for his travel team. They asked me to help out and it’s then that I realized that I loved coaching the kids and helping them learn the game that I love. I feel like it’s just a great thing to do.”
Q. What’s it like coaching in the same league that you once played in?
  1. “ I would say it’s harder yet easier if that makes sense. I have high hopes for the kids in the league because of the memories and experiences I have from playing there. I feel that it helps me relate to the kids a little more because not long ago I was in the same position as them. I know what it’s like, I wore the same jerseys as them and I played on the same field as them.”
Q. What differences do you see in the league now as a coach versus when you played?
  1. (sad sigh) “When I played there was so many more kids. I think we had nearly double back when I was there. We had I believe 8 teams in minors this past year but when I played we had around 18 teams. I also noticed that the kids are a lot less interested in actually playing the game, Especially in the All Star season. The kids don’t seem to care  about winning in the league or wanting to beat our rivals. I think that there’s a lot less interest in the league overall.”
Q. Do you think that kids nowadays understand what rivalries are and who they are with?
  1. “No not at all! It has totally phased out.”
Q. What age group did you decide to start your coaching career with and why?
  1. “It’s called the Minors level but the kids are 9 & 10 years old. And in my eyes I thought that it would be the best place for me to start because younger kids are much harder to coach I believe. They are just worse at baseball overall it seems like. They seem to listen less and it’s hard to improve children’s skills when they aren’t capable of listening to what you are trying to teach them. I could have chosen the older 11 & 12 age groups but I felt that they would be too close to my age (17) almost, and it might have been hard for them to understand the line between friend and coach sometimes.”
Q. What is the thing you enjoy most about coaching the minors age group?
  1. “I like how easy they are to deal with! I feel that they’re at the point in their life and baseball career where they’re starting to really understand how the play the game the right way. You can tell which kids really want to be there and want to do well starting at that age. Their attitudes begin to disappear which is a great thing. They stop having these fits of rage, and passion, and every other kind of fit that a small kid can have on the field during the middle of an inning. I like how I don’t have to yell as much to get them to listen to what I am asking them to do, I can have more fun with them while being productive instead of constantly having to corral them and discipline.”
Q. What’s the hardest thing about dealing with that age group?
  1. “It’s not specifically the kids or their age it’s their parents. Almost all the parents  think they know how to coach and that they can do a better job.  They just think that their kid should play every second of every game even though there is a rule that prevents that from happening. It’s by far the hardest thing about working with kids not just that age group. “
Q. Do you think it was difficult to get yourself into coaching? What steps did you have to take to get there?
  1. “So I made it harder in my head than it actually was to get into it. I just showed up to a meeting and said that I was interested in a team at the minor's age level, and since no one else wanted it they gave it to me! After that I just had to show up at the tryouts and then select my team. And I was off and running from that point on.”
Q.  Do you think that the league is set up well and that the tryouts were run well?
  1. “They were poorly run. The kids got 3 fly balls, 5 pitches, and 3 ground balls, and that was it. It didn’t give you the opportunity to figure out which kids could actually play. You had to know the kids prior to the try out and as a new coach not really knowing these kids I don’t think it gave me a fair evaluation.”
Q. What was your Title for last year? What positions did you hold?
  1. “I was the “Manager” of the Rensselaer County Sheriff Pat Russo Minor league for the regular season little league and I was the Manager of the 9&10 “B” All Stars team.”
Q. What responsibilities did you have as a manager?
  1. “I  handle all the behind the scenes stuff that is required to allow a team to play as well as being a head coach. I deal with all the parents, I deal with the board and the president of the league, other board members, other coaches in the league, and I still coach. I coach 3rd base most of the time and sometimes have to keep book. After the games I have to make sure all the official scores are submitted as well as all the pitch counts, innings kids played, and make sure the other coach signs off that he agrees. I got really good at sending out team texts and emails too!.”
Q. What is the most memorable experience you have had as a coach?
  1. “That’s tough, but I would probably have to say when we beat the one team that everyone in the entire league did not like. Watching my kids just play so much better than them was such a good and exciting feeling.”

Q. What about the worst experience you have had?
  1. “Definitely when a parent emailed me an entire line up that they had made for a regular season game. We ended up winning that game by 15 runs.”
Q. Did you use that line up?
  1. “Oh no! I sat their kid for the first two innings and proceeded to not play him in any of the positions that they had told me to put him in. And we won the game by 15 runs without any of their help.”
Q. How many seasons have you coached?
  1. “It has been 1 year but I coached two teams in two different seasons. I was coaching in the Spring and Summer seasons of 2016.”

Q. What is the most rewarding feeling you get from being a coach?
  1. “Getting the kids to learn one thing every time that they step on the field. If they can tell me every time that they leave that they have learned something new that day then I feel like I’m doing my job and it’s such a great feeling to have.”
Q. What about the hardest thing to do as a coach?
  1. “Getting them to learn that one thing every time. Getting them to understand and want to play pitch and catch in their free time is a hard thing to do, especially now knowing most of them don’t really care.”
Q. What has coaching taught you that playing has not?
  1. “It’s changed my personal view of the game, I had to stop worrying about my personal stats and my competitiveness and make sure I had my full focus on the success of the kids. I still want to win! That is for sure, but I have to worry about them wanting to win. It’s about their records now not mine and that has been sort of a tough transition.”
Q. Do you believe that coaching will be in your future?
  1. “I want to start my own summer baseball program and we’re going to be the best team in New York State!.”
Q. Is there anything you regret about coaching or how you went about getting to coach?
  1. “I’ve given up the ability to play 4 more years at the collegiate level at the college i’m attending, but I really don’t regret that because I love to coach. I know in my heart that as much as I aspire to play in the MLB it’s just not realistic, so I prefer to begin my coaching career and start to develop my future. I think that the relationship that I have built with the kids has really helped me to love coaching as much as I do, and I wouldn’t want to walk away from them and send them off on their own without me. I like being their coach and being the one to help them develop as players. I also give up almost almost all of my weekends and lot of nights that I spend at the field but I wouldn’t trade those hours for anything.”
Q. What has coaching taught you?
  1. “I can’t be so personally competitive as a coach like I was as a player. I have to look at the game from a different perspective, now it’s about creating that competitive drive in the kids instead of focusing on my ego.”
Q. Do you feel that you connect better with some of the kids because you played the same positions as them?
  1. “At the travel level I think that I connect with the high level players more so because I see more of myself in them skill and ability wise. Also it’s easier for me to coach them because they can perform and I can begin to teach them more advanced skills in the outfield. That does not mean I don’t work with the lesser plays though!”
Q. How do you handle losing and how do you teach the kids how to handle it?
  1. “I handle it in two very different ways. When I’m playing I don’t take it too well. I’m not the type to throw my equipment like a hot head or yell and cuss after a loss. I am the type to take it to heart and find what I did wrong to not help the team, I blame myself. But when I coach I have to teach the boys not to blame themselves even though it is what I do. At that young age they can’t blame themselves and get discouraged, I have to teach them that there was other kids on the field that could have done something else to help the team win. I remind them constantly that we are a team, we win as a team and lose as a team. And to remain humble no matter if they win or if they do lose.”
Q. What is the most irritating part of the game?
  1. “When someone makes a mental mistake. A physical mistake is going to happen but mental mistakes shouldn’t, I feel that if you have your head in the game and you’re paying attention then they should not happen. From a coach’s standpoint it’s the parents. They always have an opinion on how I should be handling my team and I just respond with If you can do a better job then why aren’t you coaching?“
Q. What is your favorite thing about the game?
  1. “The lessons that it teaches you from such a young age. Some of the best hitters only get on base three out of ten times, it’s a game riddled with failure. I think it’s a great game because it teaches kids that you’re not going to succeed the first time but don’t give up because if you work hard enough you will end up at the top.”

Q. What coach do you model your coaching style after?
  1. “My Upstate Gamers coach who I played for since I was 14 until I was 16. He told me that he saw a lot of himself in me and that he thought I would be a great coach one day. I guess I just started coaching way sooner than he thought. I liked his aggressive style of coaching, he always wanted to push the envelope and force the other team to make the plays. He taught me to not sit back and wait, you have to go and just do it. If you want it, then go and take it.”


2016 Rensselaer County Sheriff Pat Russo Twin Town Regular Season Minor League Team
(Back Center) Manager/ Head Coach Eric Beberwyk

The Feelings of Graduation

Xin Wang
Journalism- Editorial
     High school graduation is one of the treasured moments in a person’s life. When you hear your name being called, walk across the stage and get applauded for your accomplishments, all the stress leading up to that moment becomes worth the struggle. All the emotions swell up as you realize you are about to start a new part of your life.
     These days, people often want to customize their experience to make it more personal. Lately, there has been a movement to fight for the right to decorate graduation caps. Students have brought up the issue during the Student Senate’s speakout and considered a petition, however, the administration has struck down the movement with an iron fist.
     Mr. Robilotti’s justifications for the denial of the request was the feasibility that a few students would take the liberty to an extreme.
     “It’s another layer of management. There is enough stresses [sic] as it is on the students and the faculty to put together a nice graduation ceremony. It would be one more thing that we would have to check and remove someone potentially, and I don’t want to do that. I’d rather eliminate the temptation to decorate,” said Mr. Robilotti.
     “I think it detracts from the event itself. It takes the focus away from the ceremony and puts it on the decorations. I don’t think that they’re trying to hurt the event. In some cases, maintaining a nice ceremony that does not have the potential for some students who would not do the appropriate thing is better.
     On the other hand, through my conversations with my peers, I have come to the conclusion that most people are in favor or feel indifferent about the decision to decorated their caps. It’s more about the journey and feeling proud of your accomplishments.  
     “If the student wants to, then I don’t think there should be any restrictions on it,” said Usman Azhar.
     Victoria Ramirez said, “Because our graduation is supposed to be focused on families, it would be nice for the students to do something for themselves. Also, it’s a way of expressing yourself or just being proud of what college or career you end up going to do.”
     Although it is true that there will always be some student that take some situations too far, they make up only a miniscule portion of the student population. This should not impact the rest of the students. Decoration caps is a harmless action, and it just a method of celebrating an important time in a student’s life. As stated by Ramirez, colleges and career choices are the main focus for decoration. In fact, with a simple google search for “inappropriate graduation cap designs,” all the images that came up were innocent and rather creative.
     A solution to this dilemma would be to allow only honors students to submit a draft for review and perform a final check before graduation. Only students who have gone through the process would be allowed to wear their decorated caps at graduation. Before the ceremony, most students have to stand and wait for a long time. During that open interval, the student officers of the senior class could inspect the caps and report if any are undocumented. They could easily switch the “inappropriate caps” with a plain spare. This easily solves the problem since no faculty members are needed to supervise since honors students are the ones who are the least likely to intentionally create chaos. They worked the hardest to get to where they are now, and I think they deserve at least an opportunity to showcase their efforts. Therefore, why not lighten up on the rules. It is the final moment in the high school path. In the end, it is really just a celebration that is meant to be fun.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Motivation and Recognition

Evan King

With the recent induction of the National Honors Society members, more

students have visibly become mentally exhausted due to the amount of time and work

they put into their applications and volunteering, while continuing to work at school and

attend clubs. At the same time, the early action and early decision deadline for college

applications has just passed and quarter one is ending. Lack of communication between

teachers, club administrators, and students has caused a snowball effect of stress for

those trying to excel in all that they take on. Other students continue to exert minimal

effort, seemingly dissuaded from working by the stress of their peers

As I approached one student, Brendon Dong, to ask him about his level of effort,

I found an immediate answer. Brendon slept on the desk in front of him while the rest of

his class worked on the assignment he already finished. After rousing him from his

sleep, he informed me that he still needed to complete work for his AP Physics class

and showed me his loaded schedule. Brendon, among other students, aims high and

takes on much more than his classmates at the expense of his wellbeing.

Students like Brendon and his group of friends intentionally didn’t pursue the

National Honors Society in order to have time to do other things. That is not to say that

these students don’t put in enough effort, but that not enough programs exist to

acknowledge these high achievers without putting them through more paperwork and

community service among other things.

Though I am not on the same level as my classmates who work many times

harder than me, I feel that I receive recognition for my academics as frequently as they

do. Our school holds a breakfast for high scoring students each year, but students that

take on less and have more free time can receive the same acknowledgement as those

who work far harder than them while maintaining the same number grade. Other

schools across the country such as Lake Dallas High School have even less frequent

ceremonies, one student, Jared Alberts, stating “I can’t remember anytime they did

that.” With this lack of credit for their efforts, it shouldn’t be a surprise that some

students choose to fill their schedule with study halls and avoid clubs entirely.

The reason that Ryan Mullin works hard despite the lack of esteem, is that he

feels satisfaction in the community service that he does for boy scouts and in making

music for the various bands he is a member of. In order to help those that don’t feel the

same way, and allow themselves to work below their potential, there needs to be some

incentive whether in the form of ceremonies such as the one present at Colonie, or

something more tangible. This effort to show appreciation for those making a difference

in the school community through academics and extracurricular activities has some

prospect to encourage those not working at their maximum potential to do so, and to

reassure those who already are.

While I personally do not feel that people like myself that do just well enough to

succeed require motivation, I have witnessed others fail not because they couldn’t do

more, but because they could see no reason to try their hardest. This is the fault of the

school for not trying to provide more evidence proving that working hard will help these

students, and instead stating that students should work hard as if it were a belief.

Sports Recognition

Amanda Chrzanowski

    We all wish to end up at a high school where school pride is high and all sports teams are actively recognized for their victories. Unfortunately, Colonie does not recognize some sports like they do for football. Sports like cheerleading, bowling, and girls basketball don´t get the same amount of praise as the football or boys basketball team does. If it is a team that is constantly bringing home trophies they should be equally awarded no matter what sport it is.
    Everyone should be happy for a team if they are winning. It would boost school spirit at Colonie if there are teams going to states and winning tournaments. A school that doesn’t have teams that win and bring home trophies often lacks school spirit because eventually, there isn’t much to cheer for. All winning teams should be encouraged and supported the same whether it is a girls team or a boys team.
      Often there are times when football games are very crowded and the student section is large. However, when there is a girls basketball game there is barely even a student section cheering the girls on. The school itself even knows this because they only pull out one half of the bleachers for their games, whereas for the boys basketball team both sides of bleachers get pulled out. That isn't fair for the girls team. There are always announcements for boys football and boys basketball but rarely for girls basketball, bowling, and cheerleading. “Just like bowling, cheerleading is not recognized for their achievements throughout the season,” says Marissa Summa, captain of the cheerleading team. Bowling and cheerleading are two of the very few sports teams at Colonie Central High School that bring home trophies every single year. Many teams go through spurts of great seasons and then lose talent as athletes graduate. This hasn't been true for either team in over a decade. These two teams should be awarded for their hard work and effort they put into practices, and then deliver it in competitions and tournaments.
      Another thing that doesn't go unnoticed is that boys teams are more supported than girls teams. “It's upsetting that the school automatically thinks boys sports teams are going to get more fans than girls sports teams,” says Jennifer Tedisco, senior on the girls basketball team. That shouldn't be happening to the girls sports teams. They deserve the support just as must as the boys do. If the school sees that happening they could easily endorse the girls sports teams a little extra to get the students to come.