Plastic Straws and Utensils
This is a featured student article written by CMASAS student Anya.
Over a week’s span, billions of plastic straws are used and thrown out almost instantly slowly making their way into the vast ocean. It might be a small object but it does have a very big influence on the environment. Sophie Hahn, Berkeley’s city Councilwoman, states that “A half-billion straws are used each day in the U.S and may of them end up in our waterways. They are not biodegradable, and there are alternatives.”
Straws are small objects, and when they flow out of the storm drains they end up threatening 500 species of wildlife, and 23 endangered species that live nearby. Not to mention that fish and birds often mistake these objects as food.
In an exciting new spotlight segment, students of CMASAS interview faculty members and fellow students! This article was written by CMASAS student, Shannon
Faculty Spotlight: Shannon Greenland
Shannon Greenland is not only a beloved CMASAS teacher and Personalized Education Counselor, she is also an award-winning published author of many young adult novels and thrillers. This week, I had the opportunity to ask her some questions about her life as an author.
Ms. Greenland, thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions. When did you write your first full-length novel?
Ms. Greenland: I was in my late twenties when I wrote my first full length novel.
A School Wide Skype Chat?
This featured student article was written by CMASAS student Drake
A month ago there were only a few limited ways for students to interact with each other and meet. Homerooms, clubs, and friends of friends of friends. On the 24th of January a new platform was released to the student population of CMASAS. A school wide skype chat!
The idea was formed by Cal Bunders, a former student of Calvert Education, who used to communicate with other students through a school wide skype chat. He simply put the idea by his PEC, Daisy Cheatham and she sent it on to Mr. Guay who approved of the idea.
Art for Awareness by Raquel
This featured article is written by CMASAS student Raquel.
As Mrs. Fox mentioned in her recent email to the student body, mental health and suicide is something that touches many of our lives in every aspect. Unlike pain of any other kind, mental health illnesses can invisible at first glance, and perhaps that is why it often goes so undermined and dismissed. An aching reminder of this occurred in December of last year, when Kim Jonghyun, a South Korean singer-songwriter, author and artist, chose to end his life at 27 years old.
Jonghyun was a member of the worldwide popular group SHINee for 10 years and his unexpected death deeply affected many throughout the globe. His passing was mourned not only for his unique voice and poetic writings, but for Jonghyun's kind and dedicated personality which shined on stage as much as in his every day life. Despite the devastating circumstances surrounding Jonghyun's passing, two of his fans decided to make a move for positive change by formulating Project Blue Moon.
My Big Fat Swim Partner by Shannon
It’s the New Year! And even in the Sunshine State, people are dealing with chilly temperatures. So you might not get excited to step your toes into the cold waters of Crystal River in Florida.
But do it! Slip on one of the wetsuits provided by Manatee Fun Tours because they payoff is well worth the cold.
Each year, from November to early March, manatees return to the warm, spring-fed waters of Crystal River. It’s also the only place in the United States where you can legally swim with manatees. It’s a bucket list excursion that everyone should consider doing at least once in their lives.
When you go, be sure to follow the rules of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because manatees are a protected species. Included in the rules (which are listed in detail here), you cannot chase or harass these creatures. But who would want to? They are so sweet and gentle and seem just as curious about us as we are about them
This article is part of our student-curated newpaper.
"A Piece of CMASAS' History" by CMASAS student Delaney.
Since it is the start of a new year, I thought it might be a good idea to look back at our school’s history, and what made CMASAS like it is today. CMASAS was named after a brave and influential woman, Christa McAuliffe. She was, and continues to be, the inspiration behind the school. McAuliffe was awesome enough to have the school named after her, Christa McAuliffe Academy of Arts and Sciences (CMASAS), but what exactly did she accomplish, and who was she?
This blog post is a featured article from our student-run newspaper.
The holidays, a time of family, presents, traditions…and animals that fly through the sky to help deliver gifts to children around the world. But, before you stay up all night staring at the sky, waiting for a magical herd of animals to frolic by, let’s think about this phenomenon. Could reindeer actually fly? How does this whole Santa delivery system work?
First, what exactly are reindeer? Are they real, and who really are these famous powerhouses behind Santa’s sleigh? In fact, reindeer are real; they are a species of deer that typically live in regions of Siberia, North America, and Europe. These regions include arctic, subarctic, boreal, mountainous, and tundra ecosystems. Both male and female reindeer grow antlers, but the males shed them in late autumn. Female reindeer keep their antlers until they give birth. How does this all relate to Santa, you ask? All this stuff about antlers made me wonder about something. Since male reindeer shed their antlers so early in the season, and all depictions of Santa’s sleigh show reindeer with antlers, this means that all of the famous reindeer, in a surprising turn of events, are in fact female. Even Rudolph. Another fun fact, reindeer are also very skittish around humans, so it probably wouldn’t be easy to hire one to guide your sleigh.
This blog post is a featured article from our student-run newspaper.
"An Inspirational Story for the Holidays" by Shannon
In 2010, Rob Jones was deployed to Afghanistan where an IED exploded, resulting in the above-the-knee amputation of both his legs.
Story over, right? Wrong.
Rob is a Marine, through and through. So the loss of his legs did not stop him. There is a Marine saying, “Semper Fidelis,” and it means “Always Faithful.” Rob has stayed always faithful to his mission of making his life count.
This past year, after winning many Paralympic honors, he decided to embark on a new challenge aimed at raising awareness of veterans’ issues, and raising funds for charities that have helped him in the past. His remarkable goal was to run 31 marathons in 31 consecutive days, in 31 different cities.
For people who have ever run marathons, they know how challenging running 26.2 miles in a day can be. Now picture doing the same thing day after day for 31 days.
If you’re not intimidated yet, now picture doing it on prosthetic legs.
My dream is to become a professional ballet dancer. My mom took me to my first ballet class when I was four years old. When I took my first class I knew that this was what I wanted to do the rest of my life. Many people laughed at me and ask how a four year old could know what career they want. But so far I have still kept striving toward this dream that I wanted since I was four.
Hopes and Dreams
I’ve always been curious and I always will be. The price of being curious nowadays in the “regular” world, is almost, or practically dangerous.
- When I was 7, I was bullied.
- When I was 7, I was in love with rocks and minerals.
- When I was 7, I learned about what I loved.
- When I was 13, I was bullied.
When you look at a picture like this, what is your first thought? Pretty? Funny? Happy? Maybe some other nice adjective? I can tell you one thing for sure. Those words never went through my head when I was younger. Whether looking at a picture of myself like the one above or just seeing myself in the mirror, the words that always traveled through my head were things like ugly, worthless, small, stupid and crazy.
Student voice is an incredibly important value in my life. Not only is it beneficial to myself, but it is also beneficial to the world around me. Oftentimes people tend to be unheard or their thoughts trivialized- whether they’re a student, a worker, or a child. Students not having a voice seems to be incredibly prevalent in today’s society.
Are you at all like me? Do you ever feel that you have no words to express what you are feeling or what you say will come out wrong? That’s an everyday occurrence when you have dyslexia.
My Ancestors Live in Me
Your voice as a student, a member of society, and and individual doesn't just mean the ability to make choices or to speak, it also means self expression in general. A voice doesn't have to be one that is audible, it can be a story or message in the form of paint on canvas, written and shown on posters or billboards, shown through dance or music, and written in books and poetry.
Neurotypical syndrome is a neurobiological disorder characterized by preoccupation with social concerns, delusions of superiority, and obsession with conformity. The above quote, on a page titled the Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical, is offered by Autism.org as a parody. It takes the same framing often used for neurodivergent perception and behavior, and applies it to neurotypicals (aka “normal” people) in a way that hopefully causes you to think.
Students Are Not Broken
This week's Food For Thought comes from Tamra Excell. Tamra is the co-founder of CMASAS and Personalized Education Group. He towered over me, easily twice my size, shaking with anger. How dare I undermine him, making him look like a fool! Having a very large, angry man only inches away from me triggered me into a calm state that he probably interpreted as uncaring. He had a habit of misinterpretations and making assumptions.