The new neflix show 13 Reason Why has got BHS talking

As you might have heard, there’s a netflix original series called Thirteen Reasons Why that has Buffalo high school students talking. Here’s the rundown of the story:

Clay Jensen, a shy high school student, returns home from school one day to find that he has received a mysterious package in the mail. It contains seven double-sided cassette tapes used by Hannah Baker, a classmate who has recently committed suicide. Each tape details an explanation about why she killed herself.

 The show has many student’s emotions running high. Some love the show for raising awareness of teenage suicide and depression while others think that it’s too dark and shouldn’t be able to air. What really hit home with several students and teachers at Buffalo was how real the show seemed and while some students have very strong opinions on the show that they want to discuss with everybody, others just thought it was a good series to binge.  The issues brought up in the show are not to be taken lightly; depression, self harm, sexual assault, etc. They’re all very real and serious matters.

While most of the staff here at Buffalo support the TV series’ goal to raise awareness about teenage depression and suicide, not all admin are happy with the show. They think that it gives kids the wrong idea about self harm.  School social worker Krista Kern shared her thoughts on the netflix show: “I haven’t watched the show myself yet but I think that it’s always a good thing when people start talking about depression, peer pressure, alcohol abuse, assault, etc.  I’m really glad that 13 Reasons Why has students and teachers discussing the topics that aren’t commonly talked about.”

Buffalo High School is encouraging parents of BHS students to watch the TV series with their child, and students to watch and discuss the show, even though quite a few schools have banned discussion of the series at school and even going as far as to send emails home to parents warning them that the show is to disturbing for teenagers.  At the end of the day you are the one who gets to choose if you want to watch the show or not.

If you’ve seen the show or not, regardless to if you liked it or not, it has been a great topic for many discussions and has people thinking.  

Library Shenanigans During AAA

The first thing I notice as I step onto the technicolor rug in the entry of the newly-remodeled Learning Commons, is the smell that hits my nose. It smells of clean, fresh paper. In fact, it’s coming from aisles upon aisles of books in various areas of the library. Some shelves are organized in a color-coded rainbow. Others sport popular reads recommended by high school readers. There’s even a shelf for the indecisive readers. In an effort to stop the judgement of book covers, random books were papered over with pink tissue, with just keywords about their genre written on their fronts.

I find a seat at a table of four nearest to the door as the warning bell whistles its familiar, disapproving call to chatty students lingering outside, and they start to file into the Buffalo High school Library. People wander around in a couple of tight-knit circles, and most of them are quick to choose tables. For the few last stragglers, the seats furthest away from the door are the only option. They make their way back slowly and reluctantly.

As the final bell rings, everyone is seated in their groups; an endless stream of banter and nattering flows in each little section. Media Specialist Amy Sparks turns on a cartoon that seems to involve sheep…and maybe a plot? I wouldn’t know because it was hard to hear what the sheep were saying over the drone of voices in the library.

Not only is the talking ceaseless, it also seems that everyone is able to multitask and be on their phones at the same time. There’s a whole library of books at their disposal, should they care to check them out, but I don’t notice a single soul reading a book, unless it happens to be on their phone.

The lights are dimmed near the back corner of the library by the rows of bookshelves to provide shade to see the neglected cartoon. It’s enough to make me squint at my notebook. There are three couples in that corner, two of which are practically sitting in each others laps, kissing.

Suddenly the lights burst into fluorescent white near them, and I spot two library aids striding quickly towards them. The younger of the two, in jean blue and polka dots, tells them, “You gotta cut it out with the cuddling guys.” The lights are left on. The third couple hiding behind a corner defy the librarian’s request.

As the end of the day draws to a close, the gathering together of friend groups is broken up by the packing up of bags. The librarians are in their back room, not anticipating a book check out from anyone.

Kids lumber about and squeeze out the clangy metal doors across the area where faulty security sensors used to stand. The cartoon mutters on as another school session is ended in the High School Library with last minute side conversations and snickers.

A Tennis Story

It was a cloudy, rainy day in Cambridge, Minnesota, but tennis stops for nothing, and so Logan Miller had a tennis meet in the rain.

Miller was a freshman, and this was his first year playing high school tennis, though he had also played in middle school. On the outside, Logan was a quiet kid, but fiercely competitive. Logan didn’t intend to lose this match, especially given the long drive to Cambridge.

“It took us about an hour and a half to get to Cambridge, so about three hours round trip. When we got there, it was going to start, but then it started to rain so they had to postpone the match. Given the three hour trip, we really didn’t want the meet to be cancelled, so we waited out the rain.”

After about an hour, it stopped raining, so the match could begin. It was a singles match, and Logan was up against a Cambridge kid named Jacob. The first set ended with a win for Jacob, the second a win for Logan.

“I was feeling pretty good going into the third set,” he said, “but at that point the time was getting pretty late, so they decided to end the match with a superbreaker.”

In order to win a superbreaker a player only needs to reach ten points and win by two.

“We started off the set, and it didn’t go very well for me.”

Jacob just kept scoring, over and over, until he had reached nine points while only allowing four points from Logan.

“At that point, it was 9-4,” Miller said, “and so if he scored the next point he won the entire match.”

Miller, who had driven an hour and a half to get there and sat through rain for an hour, did not want to lose this match.

Slowly but surely, he began to eat away at his opponent’s lead.

“I came back to 8-9,” Miller said, “and I served the best serve I’ve ever done.”

At this point, Jacob would still win if he scored this point.

“And somehow he managed to return it. I don’t know how he did it, but he did.”

“At this point I saw that my serve had been back far enough, so that I knew that if the shot I did next was just a little tap over the net, there was no way in heck he could sprint up and hit it back over.”

Logan, adrenalin pumping, knew he had to get this point in order to not lose the match.

“So I tapped it over, the ball hits the white tape on the top of the net, it bounces up…

“And it lands back on my side.”
Logan had lost the match.

Freshmen: READ THIS! (or look like fools on the last day)

The last day of school is the day we look forward to all year, because we gain our freedom from the burdens of endless homework and distasteful cafeteria food. One thing about the last day worth noting for freshmen who haven’t experienced it, is that classes are let out in shifts towards the end of the day.

What this means is that a couple classes will be let out of each pod to go clean their lockers, and soon after, another couple of classes will follow them. That way by the end of the day, all the lockers are empty and clean, leaving our hard-working janitors less work and more time to do final clean up. After all, the teachers and the maintenance staff want to get out of school just as much as the students.

There are typically four or five shifts of classes getting released.  The first group of classes get out at around 3:00. Five minutes later the second group gets dismissed. No one will actually get let out with the bell at 3:25 and there is no AAA.

Nick Miller (the principal before Mr. Mischke) was the one who came up with this genius idea over 20 years ago. It initially made it easier if there was just less people in the hallways who were all trying to escape the school. There are approximately 1,850 students, after all! The seniors are ushered out as soon as possible for a couple of last pictures so we don’t have to add nostalgic/crying graduates to the chaos of the last day.

Since the last week of school is usually very stressful for staff, having a good working system for exiting the school helps take some of the stress off of our administration’s shoulders.  Another added bonus to the staggered release is that it reduces the chance that students will want to conduct an end of the year prank that could result in an anxious janitorial staff.

In previous years, the couple attempts at pranks ended fairly badly, with some students arrested for such things as animal cruelty and destruction of property as a result of their poor judgement.

Hopefully this year’s last day can transition smoothly into Summer break, just as Mr. Miller intended it to be.

Student council is hosting the Bison Field Festival for the first time ever

This year to celebrate the end of another successful year of high school, one last event together will take place. It’s not the usual “Last Chance Dance”, but something a little different and more easygoing and casual.
The Bison Field Festival is taking place on June 2nd from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. Everyone is welcome to participate in this social event displaying the excitement surrounding Summer. There is no need to dress up for this event; street clothes are perfectly acceptable.
Food will be available at the festival for students who wish to have hamburgers hot off the grill. There will be different yard games such as; Frisbee, ladder golf, and bean bags set up on the field, along with a chance for students to win a Go Pro if they wish to put their name in a drawing for $2 a ticket. It used to be that the Track team was in charge of heading up the dance, and now the responsibility has been moved to the shoulders of Student Council, so it’s turned into a simple grill and chill party in the new football stadium.
In past years the final event of the school year was a formal dance held in the main gym, but due to the newly added football field on the BHS campus, student council decided it would be best to host a casual get together outdoors with a Summer grill out feel.
It seems like maybe this will be more comfortable for students, so that they don’t have to go through the trouble of buying a new formal outfit and dressing up, only to move around a hot, stuffy gym when they could be outside in the nice weather.

RoboHerd Runs into ‘The Perfect Storm’ at Regionals

RoboHerd. It’s a name many have heard, or maybe seen while walking down the tech ed hallway. But not many really know what it is. So what is the robotics team, and what does it do?

In early March, the RoboHerd had their first and only competition, the Lake Superior Regional in Duluth. At competitions, the teams work to complete challenges outlined in the “game,” the list of challenges which is released at the beginning of the season. The competitions are scored individually, but each group works together with other teams to complete challenges, which didn’t work out well for the RoboHerd. “You get put into an ‘alliance’ of two other teams and then compete against another alliance, so there are six robots out on the field at a time,” said instructor and metal shop teacher Ben Wandmacher. “Unfortunately, our teams didn’t really match up. Most of the time, we scored at least half of the points for our alliance, if not more.” Considering this, the team does better than many other teams. “We got ranked according to how well we did with our alliances,” said team captain David Putz. “Even though that was kind of bad, according to points, we were still in probably the top fifteen [out of sixty-four] teams.”

The RoboHerd also had some technical difficulties during their practice rounds, which freshman Jared Schultz thought may have thrown them off a little as well. “Our robot has to be configured to the place’s internet, and ours wasn’t configured [by the hosts] right, so we couldn’t connect,” Schultz said. “Because of that, we only got two of our five practice rounds, which wasn’t enough to really be ready.”
However, the team still had fun. “The Duluth trip is my favorite part of Robotics,” said David Putz. “Duluth is really fun and it’s definitely a key part of the robotics season.”

“Can Bananas wear Skirts?” One minute with Un Minutos

Each day, BHS Spanish teacher Jess Nickelsen sets time aside for her class to participate in Un Minutos. An Un Minuto is “a word or phrase and it can be anything as long as it’s school appropriate and that we don’t talk about people unless they are famous and we can make fun of them.” Topics can range from ‘what your plans are for the weekend?’ to questioning whether bananas can wear skirts.
Sra. Nickelsen believes that they are a good brain break for students and also help them make connections with their peers. All of the Un Minutos are student made. Students “write a variety of things on a piece of paper, everybody hands it in” Nickelsen explained. “Then one person selects a piece of paper, reads it to him or herself and then picks a person in the class whom they think would have something to say about the topic.” Although “Un Minuto” technically means “one minute”, Nickelsen said “we all know they end up lasting about five because everybody want to contribute and it’s a good way to get kids talking to each other.”
Sra. Nickelsen first started using Un Minutos more than a decade ago: “At a world language teachers conference probably 12 years ago, they said it was a good brain break for people in the upper level language classes.” A lot of high level Spanish students can get frustrated with new material, so Sra. Nickelsen thought it would be “nice to have a space where you don’t have to think so hard.” Also, “it was a good way to get to know some of the people in the class”. Un Minutos offer a space for students to make meaningful connections and relieve stress in a productive environment.

AP United States History Test

The AP United States History (APUSH for short) test is administered to students nationwide. Many of the students taking the test thought it would be more challenging than it was. After taking the test though they felt that it was easier than what they were expecting. Jacob Scherber said
“I feel like the test went better than I thought it would, I was not feeling to good about it going in, but afterwards I felt like it went alright.”
Leading up to the test, students prepared using a variety of resources at their disposal from their textbooks, notecards, Youtube videos and even practice questions. AP United States History Student Megan Lowell said she, “used crash course . . . [the] APUSH textbook, American Pageant . . . and practice questions etc. I also have a friend on the basketball team who took APUSH, [and] I used her study tests . . .“
Students agree that the over the summer readings and homework plus the three quarters of the AP U.S. History class prepared them well for the test.
“The class helped me prepare for the test,” said Sophomore Bailee Larson, “because there was a lot of hard information and activities that helped me learn more about the subject.”
The 3 hour and 15 minutes long test consisted of a first section of 55 multiple choice questions in 55 minutes, 4 short answer questions in 50 minutes and a second section that included a document based question plus a choice of one of two long essay questions in 90 minutes. After taking the test, some of the students had advice for future of APUSH test takers.
“It’s hard, so don’t blow it off or put off studying till the last minute,” Larson said.
Taylor Valek agrees that you should not leave studying to the last minute and Megan Lowell advises that students should,“Be confident . . . [and] pay a lot of attention in class”
According to administrators, students should be aware that this course will be changed to a CIS course instead of AP and will be two quarters instead of three starting the 2016-17 school year. Students will still have the opportunity to take the AP test in the spring, though.

Slither is Slithering In

Quite recently, students at BHS have found a new game to play in their free time, and it’s called Slither. With more and more classes having available computers, students are finding more and more activities to kill time, including computer games.

Slither.io is played much like the game Agar.io that was released last year, where now you gain in length instead of mass because you are a snake. The object of the game is to become as long as possible and make it to your servers leaderboard, of where you keep playing until you meet your untimely demise when you run into someone. When you do so, you go back to where you first started, a small and puny snake.

“If I’m bored, it’s easy to pull up”, says Sophomore Ethan More. “I only play it in class, and even then it’s only when I need some entertainment.”

But with the game being so easy to pull up, it also makes it easy for some students to play when there is work to be done, causing some teachers to have issues with students playing Slither at the wrong time. Despite these problems however, Slither seems to be unyielding in its consistent and common play by the student body.

For better or for worse; your studying routines are set in stone

Tests are an everyday thing for the life of an average high schooler. At Buffalo High School, tests are always given out to test the student’s knowledge of the curriculum. When it comes to tests, there are many different ways to prepare for them.
Ben Presler, a 9th grade science and 10th grade biology teacher at BHS, gives out tests regularly. These tests are to test his students knowledge of recent chapters or topics they have gone over.
“Generally I give out tests anywhere from 1 week after the last test to 4 weeks after the last test,” explained Presler. “I expect my students to prepare for my tests by studying the study guide. That’s the bare minimum. What would be even better is if my students read over and, not only read over the notes but understood the notes.”
Students from BHS have all kinds of different studying techniques and Presler believes that these techniques can be applied to any subject.
“I feel studying is necessary if you don’t know the content,” explained sophomore Michael Dehmer.
Michael started studying for tests way before the school year started because he signed up for AP U.S. History. This class requires summer homework and online testing before the school year even starts. Since Michael has been studying for the AP U.S. History tests for over 9 months, he has perfected his studying routine.
“I study all the materials for the upcoming test. I space out my studying sessions and study for about an hour every night for two to three nights before the test date. I study even longer on the night before the test. I tend to study more when it comes to the harder subjects for me or when the tests are larger,” said Dehmer
All of this seems pretty normal but Michael does have a unique way to get himself ready for a test.
“Before every test I like to listen to music,” said Dehmer. “As soon as I walk into the classroom I sit down, put in my headphones, and listen to rock music before the test is handed out. The music calms me and helps prepare me for the upcoming test.”
Not everyone chooses the life of studying though. A lot of students are the complete opposite. Students like Alec Wakefield and Joshua Anderson, who don’t study for tests but still manage to do well in the classroom.
“I don’t study for tests and I never have,” laughed Anderson.”I find studying to be very boring. I usually don’t have time for it anyway. Even though I know I should be studying I get caught up in other things.”
As BHS students near the end of the school year, finals week is coming closer and closer. Finals week can put a lot of pressure and stress on a student. The student is forced to put more and more time into studying for tests so that they can get the grade they want. Every student studies differently and finding your particular study routine can make or break a test, whether that means studying every night or not studying at all.