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Denebola » Tony Wang http://www.denebolaonline.net The Award-Winning, Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School, Newton, MA Fri, 17 Jun 2011 02:00:19 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.2 Shamed seniors shafted by cold cut http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/12/06/shamed-seniors-shafted-by-cold-cut/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/12/06/shamed-seniors-shafted-by-cold-cut/#comments Mon, 06 Dec 2010 10:30:53 +0000 Tony Wang http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5125 As we all heard during the school-wide This I Believe assembly, principal Joel Stembridge echoed the school’s thoughts when he said, “We love our school. And really, we should. What other school in the state, in the country, oh what the heck, in the world, has an entire bulletin board dedicated to the hind legs of a hog?
Yes, I am talking of none other than the legendary Wall of Ham, the wall that I worship and praise to be the epitome of South Spirit, just barely edging out the incredibly successful Crazy Fridays.
Seriously though, this had some serious potential? Imagine it now: Ham Fridays, show off your inner cHAMpion! Or what about Ham Competition: Bring sHAMe to Lady Gaga and her MTV outfit!
Everyone says school spirit is so important to foster a good learning environment or whatnot. “School spirit activity is one of the best ways to bring students and teachers together in a positive learning environment, Bob Sheldon said, on his website that encourages school spirit. Attending school games or wearing school apparel may be too much for the common individual to bear, but something like a ham hat or ham purse shouldn’t blow anyone’s mind away. Sometimes, the absurdity of simplicity is beautiful.
But of course, we all know why school spirit is working so well at South. As Sheldon mentioned, teachers are key in developing school spirit. HAMlet galore, English teachers! History teachers, a chapter devoted to Alexander HAMilton, please. And whatever happened to AP sHAManism? Chemistry teachers, it’s about time we started using cyclophospHAMide and etHAMbutol. Math teachers, we must pay our respects to MuHAMmad ibn MÅ«sÁ al-KhwÁrizmë, who first presented the systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations (google him, he’s real). Clearly, teachers are the key to developing a spirited student body.
But why am I writing all this? This really shouldn’t be necessary. Ever since our childhood days, Dr. Seuss has encouraged green eggs and HAM. Sports fans have idolized Mia HAMm and David BeckHAM. For half of my high school years, I’ve tried to distract myself with more productive things, like colleges and the SATs. One day, I decided to take the Princeton Review’s SAT practice test. After a strenuous four hours of long passages, essays, charts and diagrams, and sentence completions (alpHAMeric? Say what?), I was ready to turn my test sheet in, so I began to sign the certification statement at the bottom of the page, only to find myself writing, “I HAM what I HAM.
I’ll be honest, it made my day.
Clearly, all this talk of ham has made you hungry now. No problem, take a bite out of your ham pants. Ewwww, that’s gross! Next time you’re in the lunch line eyeing that HAMburger suspiciously wrapped in tin foil, think again. Don’t take me too seriously though; I’m not at all suggesting any ideas… Really, I’m just giving you a heads up. If you feel someone in line behind you start munching on your ham pants, don’t be alarmed!
My great-grandfather used to say, “Where there are noodles, there are Chinese people. On a similar note, where there is ham, there’s bound to be bread. So now that December has come, the S and E have been returned to their respective positions on that holy slab of wall outside the library to house our rejection letters. What a sHAMe.

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Opposing Viewpoints: Dissection is a valuable part of the curriculum http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/opposing-viewpoints-dissection-is-a-valuable-part-of-the-curriculum/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/opposing-viewpoints-dissection-is-a-valuable-part-of-the-curriculum/#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 08:11:25 +0000 Tony Wang http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4494 From owl pellets to guinea pigs, all types of things have been dissected to learn more about their insides and their functions. During our final year of elementary school, many of us dissected an owl pellet to examine the eating habits of the owl. More recently, the AP and Honors Biology classes at South dissected a fetal pig to learn about its different organs, glands, and muscles. While some students are more than eager to get started tearing their pig apart, the more squeamish wince at the thought of opening anything that was once alive.

The dissection of animals has raised many controversies over animal rights. There have been arguments over whether or not animal dissection at schools should be banned. Dissecting animals helps us learn more about animals and how they function; on the other hand, it hurts and ultimately kills the animal that is used.

The truth is, animal dissection may harm the animal, but it promotes the superiority of the human race. We, as animals, learn more about how our own bodies work by experimenting on other animals. The only other alternative to that would be to dissect other humans, which consequently, is even more immoral. All of the medication that we use was developed by scientists who tested on other animals similar to humans, such as mice, to ensure its safety and effectiveness. Without animal dissection, our human race would suffer consequences: we would live less healthy lives, and perhaps more painful lives, because medication would not be as readily available.

For students, dissection confers similar benefits, although to a lesser degree. Although students are not finding life-saving cures, they are dissecting to promote their own education. Hands-on experience makes learning more interactive and avoids the boredom students acquire from listening to droning lectures or looking at monochrome powerpoints, which commonly results in half the class falling asleep.

Dissection offers an active learning environment in which students can learn the anatomy of an animal.

Research has shown that students remember 90% of what they physically perform, but only about 10% of what they see or hear. What better is there to learn about the small intestines or the pancreas than by feeling the wriggling organs with your very own forarms or hands?

Dissection also introduces another learning method to students. Research has shown that students learn more effectively when exposed to the same material via different means.

For example, if students are first lectured about animal anatomy and are then allowed to dissect, they would be more likely to recall the information they learned. The brain forms two different paths from different sections of the brain, which strengthens memory recollection.

A common argument against animal dissection is that animals are cruelly treated. However, what the actual dissection does is in no way inhumane, since the animal is already dead. Moreover, animals used for dissection are usually euthanized gently. This is done not only to treat the animal humanely, but also to ensure that the animal is not injured in any way before dissection.

Dissection provides a realm of knowledge that can be replaced by no other means of learning; it is as real as it gets. Though many may point to useful internet dissections that even offer high quality photographs and labeled diagrams, simply the act of using forceps and scalpels provides an irrevocable experience that can never be forgotten. While looking at pictures of a virtual dissection may provide the same quality of information, it again reverts back to the traditional method of learning, involving, looking, and listening.

As helpful of an educational source dissection may be, cutting open any once-living organism may be against the ethical standards of many students. As a result, there is by no mean- s any requirement that a student partake in a dissection experiment. While teachers encourage dissection, they are aware that they have no right to force someone to do something that violates genuine ethical values.

This protects students who are against dissection from jeopardizing their grade. Therefore, dissection is beneficial and also does not affect those who are against it.

Animal dissection is such a useful tool for biology classes to use; in America, high schools dissect over six million animals every year, which shows that biology teachers approve of the benefits of dissecting animals. There is no other way for students to gain such a unique and hands-on form of learning about the anatomy of animals.

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