Wednesday, December 18, 2013

100 Years of Holiday Gifts

Bailey Jaronski

Since 1913 to 2013 childrens lists to Santa have advanced from simple, everyday things, like oranges to machine made, glamorous toys. Based on research using previous Dear Santa letters from a century ago in historical newspaper questions, a family history website called MyHeritage gathered the information of the top ten Christmas gifts from 1913 and compared them towards the gifts asked for in 2013. Back then, it’s interesting to see how children asked for basic items like food and clothing compared to fancy, high tech toys.

Top 10 Gifts in 1913  
  1. Candy
  2. Nuts
  3. Rocking Horse
  4. Doll
  5. Mitten/gloves
  6. Toy Train
  7. Oranges
  8. Books
  9. Handkerchiefs
  10. Skates

Top 10 Gifts in 2013:
  1. Furby Boom
  2. Teksta Robotic Puppy
  3. LeapPad Ultra
  4. Flying Fairy
  5. Bugs Hug Elmo
  6. Barbie Dream House
  7. Giggly Monkey
  8. Nerf Gun
  9. Ninja Turtles
  10. Lego

The History of Santa Claus

Josh Searle
Staff Writer

    You can’t think of Christmas without thinking about the big man in red. His name is now known throughout the globe as Santa Claus, and behind this fictitious gift-giving saint lies a very complex and intriguing history. I mean, come on, the tale of a fat man who lives to fly around the globe giving gifts to every good child in every nation on earth with the assistance of magical reindeer on the 24th of December has to have a pretty interesting background story. This global icon for Christmas cheer is derived from a multitude of sources that even have their own origin stories themselves. We’re going to go as far back as we can to answer the question of what led to the legend of the good-doing sleigh-riding cookie-eating Santa Claus.
    We start in northern Europe, where the winters are long, cold, dark, and depressing, the coldest, darkest, and most depressing day in winter being on the winter solstice. During the solstice (which lies on either  the 21st or the 22nd of December for the northern hemisphere), northern Europe receives only a few weak hours of sunlight, if any at all for some towns. So, to lighten the mood during this time of year, these sun-deprived citizens created magical characters that would visit them to bring presents and celebration. These beings ranged from elves to Gods to even goats, but two in particular pertain to the history of Santa Claus: St. Nick from the Netherlands and Father Christmas from England. In the tradition, St. Nicholas (or “Sinterklaas” in dutch) is a stern character who brings presents to children in early December. He dresses like a bishop in red and white, carries a staff, and rides a white horse through different towns, for whom children are encouraged to leave out a carrot for. Sound familiar at all? England’s Father Christmas, on the other hand, is a large, jolly pagan dressed in green with a holly wreath upon his head. Traditionally, he is less concerned with children and gifts and is more heavily associated with food, wine, and celebration. He is most famously known as the second of three spirits to terrorize Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ novel “A Christmas Carol.” When Europeans from the many different areas of Europe all settled relatively close together when the North American colonies were established, St. Nick, Father Christmas, and all of the other characters started to mix together, explaining why America’s modern “Santa Claus” (America’s take on the dutch “Sinterklaas”) has so many alternative names: St. Nick, Father Christmas, and Kris Kringle (originating from Germany), just to name a few. In the old world, each of these names were for separate characters, but in the new world, they evolved into one overtime, which can be seen in older stories.     
    One of the first instances of America’s gift-giving saint within American literature was the poem “A Night Before Christmas,” which came out in New York in 1823. This poem established that Santa landed on roofs, slid down chimneys, and filled stockings with toys. However, the Santa in the poem is an elf, much like those from Nordic countries. In the poem, Santa is small and drives a miniature sleigh with equally miniature reindeer, which made the fact that he slides down chimneys make more sense. Also, the word “Santa” isn’t even used in the poem, as the original title was “A Visit from St. Nick.” As the 1800s continued, the fat, human-like immortal Santa became the standard among American authors, and it was in America where Santa gained both his elvish work force and a wife. By the early 1900s, Santa had developed into his current iconic style. Also, contrary to popular belief, Coca-Cola didn’t change Santa’s colors to fit their corporate scheme, but but instead his conveniently red and white colors were used in 1931 advertisements to help sell more soda in the off season of winter. Although Coke didn’t create him, their image of Santa in their advertisements probably became the one true image people thought of when thinking of Santa. They even helped this image of Santa spread throughout the world, spreading this idea of Santa to cultures that had no traditions of gift giving during Christmas time. This American Santa in turn helped to change his magical European brethren to become more like him, with the exception of the Netherlands, which still firmly holds the idea of St. Nick as a separate character.
    The last main detail about Santa that is up for debate (at least between countries) is where the jolly gift-giver and his workshop resides. In the late 1800’s, his home was the Magnetic North Pole, centered under the Aurora Borealis. Although this would be the most agreed upon location, magnetic north has since moved off of the polar ice sheet and into the ocean. Obviously, it would be a little difficult to run a busy toy factory underwater, so different countries now argue over where Santa lives. Canada claims that Santa lives somewhere in Nunavut, has given him his own postcode (which is H0H 0H0), and has even given him official Canadian citizenship. Here in the States, we claim that the north pole Santa resides in doesn’t refer to the magnetic north pole but rather to the town of North Pole, Alaska. Denmark claims that Santa lives in their former colony of Greenland, and Greenland unsurprisingly agrees. The nordic countries quarrel over where his exact location is, but Finland trumps above all others with their claim that Santa and his workshop reside in Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle. Finland has actual evidence of the claim as well, for you can go visit the workshop and see all of the elves, toys, and reindeer with your own eyes, making the claim pretty strong. No matter where or what Santa’s origin is, though, he still manages to deliver all of those presents in one night, even when he stops for a cookie break at each house.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Welcoming Ms. Cron to the High School

Jackie Gouris
Staff Writer

You may have noticed that the second entrance to the library has been transformed into a classroom. “Many students come in here thinking they can get to the library, thats how I meet a lot of people!” Ms. Cron, the new special education teacher says. She works out of the new classroom and has also helped create the coffee shop Hope and Sole.
 Ms. Cron previously taught in Boston, and moved to Bucks County after she got married. She grew up in Connecticut and went to a small public high school similar to New Hope. Ms. Cron started doing volunteer work when she was 16, and that is when she knew that she wanted to do similar work as her job. She completed her graduate degree in Boston and began teaching at Pennsbury High School. This will be her sixth year of teaching.
 Ms. Cron says that one of her main goals is “to build a strong transition learning center and a strong, inclusive learning environment.” She is very excited about the coffee shop, because she says it is a great experience and learning opportunity for her students. Ms. Cron says she looks forward to the continued support from her students and colleagues. She would like to say to students:  “Don’t be shy, I’m always looking for student volunteers. A lot of students come here by accident, because this used to be a door to the library. Dont be afraid to stop by and learn about the program, and if you want any volunteer opportunities come and see me.”

Amazon Reaching New Heights

Dylan Selbst
Opinions Editor

As early as 2015, you may look in the sky and observe what looks like a fleet of mechanical birds, however what you actually will see is Amazon’s newest innovation in the realm of online buying. These drones are unmanned flying helicopter-like robots designed to deliver packages to customers directly from warehouses. They are part of a program called Amazon Prime Air and are far from science fiction.
 Currently, Amazon has real, functional prototypes and expects many of these drones to be in use over the next few years. These drones take packages directly from where they are in stock and are programed with GPS technology to fly to the doorstep of nearby Amazon customers in less than 30 minutes.
 This concept could be a great way to bypass ground shipping and would allow customers to quickly and easily receive packages. However, the technology must first be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Currently, it is illegal for private corporations such as Amazon to operate and deliver packages with unmanned drones, but the FAA is expected to allow it by 2015.
 Some major complications with this concept include vandalism to the product while it is in flight and the practicality of drone usage over long distances. While there are still many obstacles in the way of this concept becoming a reality, Amazon is very optimistic.
 If all goes according to Amazon’s plan, their lines of unmanned drones will be released by mid-2015, and we will be telling our grandchildren about the times when mail was delivered in cars.

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Welcome Mr.Nord

Tommy Lupo
Staff Writer
Welcome Mr. Nord to the New Hope Solebury High School faculty! This year has introduced many new faces to the staff, and one of its newest faces is Mr.Nord. Mr.Nord teaches English, but is also eligible to teach Social Studies.
 Last year, Mr.Nord taught English at Klinger Middle School in Centennial School District. Before that, he had taught Social Studies to students from Philadelphia, and taught 11th grade honors Modern United States History for students teaching placement at Pennsbury High School. Mr.Nord’s lifelong goal is to get his own short story published, and he is also a huge film buff. He enjoys Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Carol Reed’s The Third Man, and quite possibly his favorite may be Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
 Mr. Nord made the switch from long and impersonal halls of a large school district to the intimate and close halls of New Hope. His view on this was “New Hope is a smaller school district, which enables me to get to know more of the students and staff.”  This is great to know as a fellow student, because it means there would be more time of interaction with the teacher helping the student(s). Mr. Nord looks for certain qualities in a student, and some of these traits consist of students respecting each others work, working hard, and believing in themselves.
 One thing that Mr.Nord does not like coming from a student, is when somebody tells him that they are just not a good writer.  “I would like students to have a positive attitude.  All students are capable of becoming good writers when they believe they can do it and they are willing to work at it.” Everybody needs somebody else to help them reach a goal, and the person who helped Mr.Nord along the way was his wife Michelle. “She has always supported my dream to become a teacher.  Everyone needs a positive, encouraging person in their life and I truly believe I could not have made it without her.”
 Mr.Nord dreamed of becoming a teacher his whole life, his career goal has always been to become a teacher or an author.”I am teaching English right now, so it all worked out.” Lastly, when Mr.Nord was asked what inspired him to become a teacher, he replied “I have always wanted to share my enthusiasm for literature and history in a classroom setting.”  

No Shave November

Christian Oliveira
Staff Writer   

With the arrival of November also comes one of the most anticipated holidays for many males (and females) at NHS, No Shave November. November is truly the height of beard and facial hair growing season and both seasoned facial hair growing veterans and rookies will look to participate with one goal in mind, to grow an awesome beard. When asked about what the experience of No Shave November was like, rookie facial hair grower Matt Steele said, “It’s a great experience, even if I can’t grow out the full beard. The whole experience is just fun and I look forward to it every year.”
 The fun of not shaving is not limited to males and facial hair though. At NHS many females are also participating in this holiday. When female No Shave enthusiast Chloe LeMunyan was asked about the female participation in the holiday she replied, “I think that equality matters and women need to step it up to hang with the men. One day I hope I can get to the point where I too, can grow out a beard for No Shave November. I think this ability will come with age. In the meantime though, I have seen many men who drop out of No Shave November after the first two weeks, this shows lack of commitment and enthusiasm.” For both males and females perseverance is key in order to achieve success and the ultimate goal of growing out as much hair in a month as possible.
 Along with being a fun holiday and an opportunity to showcase body hair, No Shave November also teaches life lessons to all those who participate. When asked what the importance of staying dedicated was, long-time No Shave November veteran Frank Covino said, “Hard work and perseverance pays off always. No Shave November teaches life lessons to all those who participate. Quitting is never the answer and each year I look forward to November because of the opportunity to improve myself.” Frank accredits many of the life lessons that he has learned to be directly related to No Shave November.
 Whether you’re growing out your leg hair, a lengthy beard, or are simply experimenting with peach fuzz for the first time, No Shave November is truly a holiday that embraces everyone of all genders. What was first believed to be a male only celebration has changed drastically as females have stepped up their game in recent years, truly proving that you don’t need to be able to grow out facial hair in order to not shave.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Unsportsmanlike Conduct?

Katie Steele
Staff Writer

It’s Friday, and you’re getting ready for your football game. You’ve been practicing for months, waiting all week to play. Your nerves are starting to kick in as you walk onto the field and see the other team warming up, along with almost 5,000 of their fans in attendance. As soon as the game begins, you can tell that they’re way better than you. The game goes on and on, and they keep racking up points until it’s hard to tell one touchdown from another. It seems like it will never end. You can’t seem to score, and they can’t seem to stop. You don’t even have a field goal under your belt. After a while you simply stop looking at the scoreboard because it’s not doing anything but making you feel worse. By the end of the game, you walk off the field more beat up than you’ve ever been, take one last look at the bright red numbers on the scoreboard, and see that the game ended up with a total score of 91-0. You go home more deflated than ever. You wake up the next morning with it still in the back of your mind. Apparently, the question to ask yourself then is whether or not to file a bullying report. That’s what parents of a student on the football team at Western Hills High in Fort Worth, Texas did after they saw the game on October 18th.
After the Aledo High Bearcats thrashed the Western Hills High Cougars in a game with an end result of 91-0, a parent from Western Hills High filed an official bullying report on the school district. According to the Texas Education Agency, “Bullying occurs when a person is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.” Many people are questioning whether a football game could fit into these guidelines. Despite the fact that it might fit some of the characteristics, it is undecided whether or not it was over a long enough period of time to be considered bullying. However, the Aledo Independent School District must investigate the complaint filed against the coach of 21 years, Tim Buchanan, a three-time Class 4A State Champion. This year, the Bearcats have outscored their opponents in each of their games by a 77-point average.
While the game obviously got out of hand, with Aledo scoring eight touchdowns on rushing yards, two on passes, two on punt returns, and one on a fumble recovery, the Western Hills coach, John Naylor, does not agree with the parent who filed the bullying report. He knew going into the game that it would be an uphill battle- his team was outmanned from the beginning, with only about 30 players on their varsity team. Naylor acknowledges that the Bearcats are ranked number 1 in the league for a reason. Buchanan told reporters, “I looked around [after Friday’s victory] and asked, ‘Is there anyone here that feels good?’”

Monday, November 11, 2013

Freshman...How Well Do You Really Know Them?

Lexi Anderson and Bailey Hendricks
Staff Writers

    Freshman year: Everyone was there once...and some still are.
    The middle school teachers prepared students for years. Everyone talked it up. But what’s Freshman year really like?
    We asked around and found out how everyone really feels about the class of 2017. From freshmen to seniors, we all have our opinions. Everyone is looking forward to the year to come, whether it be sports or social events, this year is going to be great!
    The first day of school was a big day for the freshmen. Besides going to the beach and hanging out with friends, many students spent some time stressing over the year to come.
With so much new to encounter, there were a plethora of emotions and thoughts running through every student’s mind.
    On the first day, most of the freshmen said they felt nervous, lost, intimidated, anxious, tired, and even stupid.
   “I was nervous and lost because I didn’t know where any of my classes were the first day” said freshman Matt Firth.
   Students were expecting the day to go worse than it did,  one major change between the middle school and the high school is that the classes are completely different. The curriculum’s different and all the teacher’s are people you’ve never met. According to the new freshmen, the classes are good, but a lot more difficult than expected.
   “The teachers are really nice, they don’t stress you out.” said freshman Heather Borochaner.
   Some of the classes are stressful, but they’re a nice change from the classes in middle school in the way that they focus on more interesting topics and the classes are taken more seriously.
    The upperclassman are always a reason to feel nervous in high school. Freshman Cassidy Smith says: “I feel intimidated and small around them."
    They are older than the freshmen and there are so many of them. This is why many of the freshmen said they had not associated with any of the upperclassman yet, and don’t intend on doing so. The only way the freshmen have made inroads with upperclassmen has been through sports and after school activities. One of the drags about high school is the amount of homework and classwork. The workload is such a big change from middle school that it is almost overwhelming. The freshmen said that there is definitely more homework this year. It is a lot to handle with sports, it is bothersome and there is too much at one time. Although the students do not like the amount of homework, it is helping them understand the material in class more.
   Freshman Victoria Kalinovich has a more positive outlook, “All the homework is pretty relevant. There’s more but it serves its purpose and helps me do well on tests.”
  The freshmen have been in the middle school for three years. Entering high school is a big adjustment. The freshmen said that high school is much better. You aren’t treated like children and there is a lot more freedom. Also the teachers aren’t on your case about everything you do.
   “I like high school better, there’s more freedom and in general everything’s better.” says freshman Hannah Reszka.

     Finally, we wanted to know what the freshmen were looking forward to this year. There are so many more events to partake in and people to meet! The freshmen said they were all looking forward to Homecoming, especially the dance. They were also hoping to make some new friends and to get involved with clubs.
   Freshman Elizabeth Both said: “I’m looking forward to see how I will change over the course of four years.”
   Of course the freshman know the freshman, but what about the upperclassmen? From sophomores to seniors we got some very different answers.When asked how they feel about the new freshman we heard everything from “Annoying!” from the sophomore guys to one of the most common answers from Arian Behpour: “We don’t really know them, but they seem very nice.” So, Class of 2017, get out there and get involved! Let everybody know who you are!
   With one of the biggest grades in New Hope history, in terms of sheer numbers, there is much to anticipate.
If you missed them on the field, the freshman girls brought a lot to the soccer field. Another person to keep an eye out for is the group of freshman girls coming to the basketball court this winter. According to the sophomore and junior players, the freshman girls will be a big boost to both teams!
    What would we do without a little more advice to top of everything we’ve gotten so far?
Freshman, listen up because the upperclassmen have some good stuff: Stay on everyone’s good side, don't make any enemies, do all your homework, and keep your head up. And pay attention to this advice from Aaron Nagg: “Ignore all distractions, especially pressure concerning doing drugs and alcohol.”

    Welcome the class of 2017!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sophomores and Juniors take PSATs

Jackie Gouris
Staff Writer

A few weeks ago, the sophomores and juniors took the PSATs during the first half of the day. Although it was met with complaints by various students, it was a great opportunity for students to test their abilities and effectively gauge their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to standardized testing.
The PSAT stands for Preliminary SAT, and its purpose is to prepare students for college admissions tests and become familiar with the testing style. The PSAT questions cover math problem solving, critical reading skills, and writing skills. It was a great way to assess a student’s capability before the test is counts as your SAT grade that is submitted to colleges.
Although the PSAT grade does not affect someones SAT grade, students can earn scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The PSAT also gives students important information regarding colleges and planning tools.
While some students were complaining about having to take the PSAT and then be in school for the second half of the day, many schools in the area do not even offer the PSAT. Those students take it on Saturday, just like the SATs. Kerry Leonardi compared the SATs with the PSATs saying “They have very similar content, but the actual situation is so much more stressful. The environment is completely different because you know that the SATs count so much more.” Although there are mixed opinions on the PSAT, it is still an effective form of assessment for the SATs.

Monday, October 28, 2013

History of Halloween

Nicole Martin
Staff Writer

The opaque sky blankets the streets. Decorations of ghosts, witches, ghouls, black spiders, jack-o-lanterns and spiderwebs adorn the houses. Masses of children pile their way through the streets dressed in various costumes and endless candy fills the bags that are held tightly in their unyielding grips. They lurk to the gloomily lit doors with bags piled high with  nickers, Kit Kats, Twix, Swedish Fish, Skittles, M&M’s, Hershey Kisses, in addition to an infinite list of others. We all know Halloween. It’s a famous time where there are  haunted houses,  bags of candy, frightening costumes, scary movies, and pumpkins. But do you know where it actually comes from? The roots of Halloween may be a lot deeper  than you think.
 For instance, the beginnings of Halloween can be traced back around 2000 years ago to the Ancient Celts. On Oct. 31, they celebrated a holiday known as Samhain, pronounced Sawhin, in order to prepare for the upcoming winter. The word Samhain literally meant “summer’s end” in their language and they would have many rituals on this day.  They believed evil spirits and ghosts rose from the dead on  Samhain,  so they dressed up in horrying costumes in order to scare them away. In addition to wearing ghost masks to be mistaken by fellow ghosts,  adults and children wore costumes  and told tokes and sang for others  in exchange for  food, wine, and other offerings. Another practice included beggars pleading for a pastry known as “soul bread.” In exchange for the bread they would pray for the person’s deceased relatives. These practices have been widely documented to be the prerequisite to the  current “trick or treating” in the United States. After many years of these Medieval rituals, the Catholics created a holiday known as All Saints’ Day on November 1st  in order to distract those partaking in the pagan practices and lead them to their Christian ways. Through much rebellion, those who still desired to continue these rituals created a holiday known as All Hallow’s Eve, occurring the day before All Saint’s Day.
 The Irishmen and women who came to the United States during the Irish Potato Famine are responsible for reviving this ancient holiday. When they arrived in the United States, they brought their rituals with them, and, after a short amount of time, all of the United States began to participate in their evolved rituals. The term “Hallow’s Eve” was then shortened to the current name for the holiday “Halloween.” Now because of the Ancient Celts, there is a nationwide holiday that brings around $6 billion in revenue every year. From ancient rituals, to a night of lighthearted-fun, this holiday has evolved over the centuries and transformed into what it is today.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Call for Boys Volleyball

Connor Smith
Staff Writer

In order to SET up a boys volleyball team, we need to BUMP up the interest.
 Who doesn’t love a good game of volleyball? Don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical, everyone loves volleyball, especially high school boys. There is no reason why we shouldn’t have a boys volleyball team. There are an extraordinary amount of sports have that both a boys and girls team. Just to name a few, there is soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and why not add another one to that list?
 Mr. Harrington, the athletic director, commented on the subject, and stated that PIAA does indeed have a boys volleyball program. This means that the idea of a boys volleyball team at New Hope-Solebury is obtainable, as long as the interest is there. In order for the school to sponsor it, there must be a large interest and the ability to financially support itself for a few years. If we are able to SPIKE the interest, the possibility of this team grows immensely.
 When Matt Steele was asked about the idea of a boys volleyball team, he responded, “I think it is a great opportunity to include every group of guys, especially ones who haven’t found a sport that they enjoy before.”  It seems as though Steele speaks for the student body when he talks about the advantages of having a team.
 The excitement for this upcoming team is shown by the remark of Christian Oliveria when he said, “I’ve been ready since I was 12 for this. This is the time.”

 Christian is right, this is the time. Time for everyone to join the boys volleyball team.

Monday, October 7, 2013

iTunes Radio joins the radio streaming competition

Katie Steele
Staff Writer
Many are calling it the new Pandora. Others are comparing it to Spotify, another popular digital music service. It’s a new free streaming radio, and in its first five days on the market, it attracted 11 million users. It’s iTunes Radio-- and it’s here.
 Much like Pandora, the eighth most-downloaded smartphone app in the world, iTunes Radio offers users customizable “stations” based off of particular songs, artists, or genres. iTunes Radio claims to go even farther than its competitors by building its selections around the music in your phone’s library. Based on what songs you have bought and play most often on your device, the service can choose similar songs to play on your set stations. But is iTunes Radio really beating out its competitors?
 Tabitha Liucci, a freshman at NHS and one of the multitude of users of Apple’s new service, says that she likes iTunes Radio “because you can add songs right to your iTunes Wish List.” If you like a song enough that you would want to buy it, iTunes has made it simple for you to purchase it. By clicking one button, you can simply buy the song or add it to your Wish List.
 Apple has also made their radio extremely accessible from essentially anywhere around your device. By integrating the play, pause, “play more like this” and “never play this song” as well as “add to iTunes wishlist” buttons right on the home screen, Apple has successfully consolidated the controls for the service in a simple way to navigate. iTunes Radio also has fewer advertisements than Pandora does so far; in fact, there are barely any at all.
 The new streaming service, however, lacks any social aspect, which is a major draw for users of Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and other similar apps and sites. Because it is so new, iTunes Radio has less interaction with listeners and therefore lacks intelligence that many of the older apps possess. Apple has set about fixing that problem by using their users’ music library content to make inferences about what songs they would like.
 For now, it is hard to tell if iTunes Radio has a leg-up over its competitors. However, the usage within its first week on the market makes the future for iTunes Radio look extremely bright. Try it out and decide for yourself.

Methods to Curb Your Procrastination

Joshua Searle

We’ve all been there, browsing the internet or doing some menial task knowing well that we have homework or a project to do, but choose to ignore it until the last minute. We then cram or come up with some crazy plan to get out of doing the assignment, when just doing it in the first place would have been exponentially easier. This, as many of you know, is referred to as procrastination, and it has affected nearly all school students one time or another. Speaking from a huge amount of experience, I know procrastination is a very difficult habit to break. However, when different methods are applied together gradually increase your productivity, you’ll turn your back on procrastination and have actual free time before you know it.
 Before you even unzip your backpack, find and set up an ideal working environment, with no distractions in sight and nothing near you that could interfere with your focus. Never work on a bed; procrastination is bad, but sleeping on the job is practically a step down in productivity. The first step is to get started on your actual assignment. This seems obvious, I know, but it’s the main reason that most students procrastinate late into the night, for we feel much less motivation to finish an assignment when we haven’t started it than when we are already working on it. As psychologist Carl Pickhardt says, “In the end, the antidote to procrastination is determination because when motivation becomes committed and effort is consistent, the engine of accomplishment is hard to stop.” He confirms just how much accomplishing a small amount of homework is a driving force. Another useful method is by rewarding yourself in intervals. The Pomodoro Technique makes use of a timer, in which you set the timer for 25 min. and take a 5 min. break afterwards, where you give yourself a small reward such as a snack or a listen to one of your favorite songs. Beware choosing your reward, however, for if it is a video game or the internet, you might choose to ignore the timer. You can gradually start increasing the work time to further increase your productivity as well, and, before you know it, you’ll have plenty of time to give yourself whatever rewards you wish.
 You should also be self-aware of your procrastination, for when we procrastinate, we often deny the fact that we are procrastinating, and think to ourselves that we “have plenty of time” to finish our assignments. We then keep putting off doing the assignment late into the night, turning that “load of time” we have into a few hours (or even minutes). Another technique is to set deadlines for yourself as you’re completing your homework (i.e. “I have to finish my math homework by 6 P.M.), as this will further motivate you to finish assignments right away. Preferably, write the deadline down so you can give youself a visual aid of what you need to do and by when you have to do it (what do you think your planner is for?). As you work, you should also try and think positively about the assignment. Instead of thinking, “Ugh, only 20 min. of TORTURE left!” try and think to yourself, “This is great! I’m being so productive right now! Look at what I’ve done already!” There are also tons of iphone and android apps out there to help you be productive, such as “(10+2)x5 Procrastination Hack” and “Focus Time” (the Pomodoro technique on your phone!), and also “Finish” and “Priority Matrix” (task sheets that list out what you need to do, if you want to be fancier than your planner). In the end, the only thing that can curb your procrastination is yourself, and your willpower to get things done early. Don’t be expected to do this by yourself, however, for if you put to use all of these techniques, I guarantee you’ll start to see significant improvements to your overall productivity.

Getting Used to iOS7

Michael Massimino

On September 18, 2013, Apple released IOS 7 for compatible Apple products. IOS 7 is a software update for Apple products and all iDevices. Updates come out every so often, usually iphone updates appear in spring but were delayed until fall in this case. There was never more hype for an update then there was for IOS 7. So, on September 18, most everybody took to their iPhones and iPads to obtain the new update. Although the update was different, this was overshadowed by the amount of time it took to load onto the phone.
 People waited for days upon days for the whole update to finish. Complaints were flying in left and right about the waiting. Connor Smith was one of many: “It took an hour for my phone to update, it was longer than necessary, but I think it was worth the wait.” While waiting for a phone to update was annoying and time consuming, the update met expectations and beyond. On the other hand Matt Steele was delighted with the time it took to  update his phone: “It only took me about 30 minutes. It was definitely worth it for that amount of time, I'm very pleased.”  
 From the lock screen to the home screen, IOS 7 has a new look. First off, the icon for “slide to unlock” is changed and is no longer a bar, but just words. Also, the font for the time and date has changed and become thinner. As you open and close apps, the transition is different. Multiple people said that the update was “Droid like.”Comparing IOS 7 to a droid this observation is false. “The droid software is not as sophisticated, almost childlike compared to the iphone”, says Matt Steele who is familiar to the look of the droid. Overall there was a positive reaction to IOS 7 after all the wait. With new slide up and slide down menu’s, it is easier to navigate. This includes a flashlight built into the phone. Some students complained like  Brendan Ondick who said: “I like it, but it seems to be a little slower than before.” While some bash the new system, New Hope-Solebury Ben Muzekari gives it praise saying “It’s amazing, futuristic.”
 Most people have adopted the new software on iphones and ipads. Although there are complaints and compliments now, IOS 7 will soon become the standard and the old software will become obsolete. As time will pass, IOS 7 will eventually become outdated and a new software will take the limelight. For now, we can only wonder what it will be.     

Friday, October 4, 2013

Croc Nation

Spencer Tinkel
Features Editor

After a long hiatus, Crocs have returned to New Hope-Solebury High School. Croc Thursdays have been added to a short line of fashion days--Sweater Tuesdays, Animal Shirt Wednesdays--in attempt to revitalize the popularity of Crocs.
 Last Thursday was the first ever Croc Thursday. While the response was less than spectacular, many Croc advocates in the school believe this was due to the lack of marketing. The announcement was abrupt and students were notified of the event the night before on Twitter. Word was spread through #crocnation and #rockthecrocs. Whether or not this trend will stand is unknown, but one thing is for sure: Croc Thursdays are here to stay whether four people wear Crocs or the whole entire school does.  
 The past couple of years, Crocs have been losing out in popularity to Toms, Jordans, Converses, Uggs, and Heelys. Many students at New Hope-Solebury question whether or not Crocs can make a sustainable comeback.
 Although Matt Steele believes in the Croc comeback he understands why they haven’t been successful in the high school: “They are childish, unprofessional, and obnoxious.”
 A moderate Croc fan, Roland Massimino says: “Matt and I both had light brown Crocs with the fur inside, but at the end of the day, they got old, and I grew up.”
 These remarks do not stop students at New Hope-Solebury from wearing Crocs. Croc-enthusiast Christian Oliveira believes Crocs are “a  fashionable, durable, and comfortable shoe choice that positively enhances any outfit.”
  An original creator of Croc Thursdays, Christian thinks they will catch on because “people who hated on Crocs in the past, now realize this is the time. It’s Croc time baby. #crocnation stand up!” Overall, it’s this type of attitude that will allow Crocs to make a reasonable comeback at New Hope-Solebury High School.