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    Privacy, please

    June 11th, 2012

    Here I am, watching Netflix in my bedroom as I do on a normal basis, and I realize I left my phone on the kitchen table. I walk out to find one of my parents, phone in hand, sneakily going through my text messages (as if they have a clue how to work the phone). A good parent’s job is to protect their children and have their best interest, and a parent may think that going through personal belongings is a good idea. But today, the act of being a sneaky, privacy-invading parent has gotten out of hand. According to Juggle Debates, 55% of readers said that they are strong believers in reading their kids’ text messages.

    Calling all snoopy parents! This is not just a minor problem between you and your child. This is a political issue, people! I’m a firm believer that you parents have no business going through your kids’ private belongings. Snooping through your teenager’s phone, Facebook messages, a journal, internet history, etc., are possibly the most aggravating things a mom or dad can do. All of the things mentioned above are examples of private property, are they not? The 4th Amendment in our very own Bill of Rights guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. Therefore, you shouldn’t be able to snoop through our belongings without our consent.

    Only a couple short decades ago, a teenager might have found their mom suspiciously skimming through their diary. What is in that diary? Every secret and detail about their life that has come about since the time they could write. Now that nearly every teenager in the nation has a cell phone, the secrets have transferred from a diary on paper to private text messages between friends.

    Some parents may argue, however, that their kids’ business is their business. But it’s not. The thing that adults struggle to understand is that we, the very adapted-to-technology teens of America, are people too! Although we may be more immature than any other life form on the planet, we have those same undeniable rights that you, our “caring” parents do.

    There are many controversies between teens and their parents when it comes to privacy. I believe the only valid solution to this issue is to give teenagers complete technological privacy. This goes out to all parents. When your kid spots you snooping through their phone, they feel like you don’t trust them. According to a Child Trends Research Brief, good relations between parents and adolescents lessen the likelihood that teens will exhibit problem behaviors. When you snoop through your kid’s belongings, you’re breaking trust in the relationship with their kid. This being said, trust being broken can result in even bigger consequences in the relationship.

    As a fellow American teenager with two very protective parents, I know it is easy to have the urge to rebel against them when they lose my trust. So come on, parents. Go the easy way and simply don’t snoop! First, it’s just wrong. Second, it’ll save your relationship with your teen.

    I suppose parents have the right to be curious about what their kids are posting and sending. But instead of risking your relationship, you can do something much simpler! Ask. You have the obvious right to ask your child who they’re texting and what they’re texting about.

    This is just one thing I don’t understand about you, parents. You know your teen will be frustrated with you if they catch you snooping, and yet you still do it! According to a HubPages Parenting Skills column, as long as a kid lives at home with their parent(s), their business is their parents’ business. I find that this statement has its truths and faults. Indeed, when you live and take care of your kids, you should know what’s going on in their lives. But going through text or Facebook messages is invading some other person’s relationship with your child, not yours.

    So do yourselves a favor, folks. I’m speaking for every teen in America that owns a cell phone or a Facebook (which I believe is most of us); finding a parent snooping is a major heart-sinker. So next time you see that fancy little iPhone on the table screaming “Read me! Read me! I have all the juicy information about your kid that you want to know,” save yourself a lot of time arguing with your kid and simply leave it alone.

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    2012 Girls’ Tennis Team makes a statement

    May 30th, 2012

    Back row: Alley Cook, Jennifer Fine, River Davis, Hanna Greenberg, Ashley Knecht, Elana Cooper, Cass Christopher. Front row: Nikole Maldonado, Anne Kim, Sydney Wisdom, Vika O'Brien, Katy Barnard

    It all started off with a few major changes to the tennis program at Ashland High School. The junior varsity teams were banished due to budget, and a new coach gripped onto the girls’ team. For the AHS girls’ tennis program, there was no more messing around this year. It was time for the team to make its statement as a successful sport at AHS.

    The Ashland Girls’ Tennis Team pulled through an almost entirely rained-out season with a match record of 9-2 including tournaments. At the district tournament on May 7 at Hunter Park, nearly every player managed to get to the third round, and everyone scored points for the team. Hanna Greenberg, Vika O’Brien, River Davis and Ashley Knecht made it through the third round and went on to the district finals in Eugene and claimed the title of District Champions for Ashland.

    The State Championship was another story. The four top-scoring Ashland players from the district tournament fought hard against 37 other Oregon schools, 20 of them being 5A. Sophomore Greenberg and freshman O’Brien won first place in doubles for the entire state of Oregon.

    “Winning state was surreal,” Greenberg said. “It was a very fun experience and showed that all of our work during the season paid off.”

    Singles players Davis and Knecht both scored points for Ashland as well. With all the points tallied up, the Ashland girls’ tennis team got second place at state.

    “This season went better than I could ever imagine,” senior doubles player, Jennifer Fine, said. “I’m really proud with how well we did; I’ve never had a team do so well in districts and state.”

    What is the cause for the sudden success in the tennis program? Most of the girls on the team believe they can lay their accomplishments in the hands of Gail Patton, a tennis pro at the Ashland Tennis and Fitness Club.

    “Watching team members improving their skills and developing sound tennis strategies as the season progressed was my highlight as a coach,” Patton confessed.” That goes along with having all 12 players win matches at the district championships.”

    With the tennis team having the desire to improve as well as a valuable coach continuing to perfect the team, there may be a chance to win it all in 2013.


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    SAT Prep Classes at SOU

    March 12th, 2012

    Attention all students hoping to score well on their SAT’s! In one short month, SOU will be hosting SAT Prep Classes that will be available to all students ages 15 to 18. By attending eight of these helpful sessions, you will strengthen your skills and readiness for when you take the SAT.

    “It’s an essential class for any student that wants to do well on the SAT,” Stephanie Butler, the Pre-College Youth Programs Coordinator said. “You will have a plan and a strategy to do your best.” Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00pm to 9:00pm starting on April 10 and ending on May 3. There is a $195 fee included, but you will obtain an amount of knowledge as well as an SAT study guide that is worth the cost.

    In these sessions, there will be two teachers, Ken Wright  Jenny Welburn, who will be training you and giving you strategies to control test anxiety, manage time and of course polish off your math and writing skills. Register for the prep classes as soon as possible so you can make the difference you need to earn the score you want on your SAT.

    To register for your SAT Prep Classes, call (541) 552-6452 or visit www.sou/youth and click “register.”

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    Open Mic for a Cause

    February 20th, 2012

    Photo illustration by Cassidy Christopher

    Are you looking for a fun night where you can express yourself, but at the same time contribute to an important cause? AHS sophomores Grace St. Clair Bates and Sarah Richmond have organized an Open Mic Night in the Briscoe Art Wing of Briscoe Elementary School with the help of GCC, Poetry Club and the SOU Women’s Recource Center. This fun-filled night will roll from 7:30 to 10:00 on March 9, and the suggested donation is $5.

    “We just want people to express themselves since the women in Africa can’t,” Bates said. If you make a donation, you are contributing to C.A.R.E., an organization that helps women on the Ivory Coast who are struggling with hunger, rape and caring for their children.

    “Just because the crisis in Africa has gone out of the central media’s eye, that doesn’t mean it’s not an important issue,” Richmond stated. People don’t hear about these issues too much, and that’s what C.A.R.E. is about.

    Bates and Richmond thought of the idea months ago, and have just now decided to take action. While attending this Open Mic Night, you have the option of strutting your stuff (poetry, singing, rapping, the choice is yours) or sitting back and enjoying the talent of Ashland while supporting a good cause.

    “We want to keep it open to the public,” Richmond said. Invite whoever you want; the more the merrier. Come one, come all, and support Sarah and Grace as they raise money for helpless women in Africa.

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    West Side Story Poster Contest

    February 13th, 2012

    Are you an artist who is interested in grabbing $100? Betsy Bishop, the AHS drama teacher, is requesting a poster for West Side Story, which is coming in one short month to the Mountain Avenue Theatre. Be sure to get the poster done as soon as possible, and turn it in to Betsy Bishop in her classroom, TH-118. The sooner the better!

    “We like dramatic color,” Bishop says. Your poster should be 8.5 x 14 and full of color. The format of the “West Side Story” poster is as follows, and should include all the given information:

    West Side Story  (logo)

    Directed by Suzanne Seiber and Christine Williams

    Wed-Sat 7:30 p.m.

    March 7–17

    2 matinees: Sun. March 11 and Sat. March 17  at  2 p.m.

    $10. preview Wed. March 7:30 p.m.

     Tickets now @

    Students/Seniors  $12

    General    $17

    Reserved  $22 at only

    Non-reserved tickets at Paddington Station, Tree House Books and Music Coop in downtown Ashland

    Ashland HS Mountain Avenue Theatre



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    How to Get Your Grades Up

    January 24th, 2012

    The second semester is just around the corner at Ashland High School and your report card isn’t as pretty as you had hoped. Whether you are a genius or a total slacker, here are some easy tips to bring your grades up this semester:

    What went wrong? Try to find the cause for your bad grades. What were you doing that made your grades drop? Were personal relationships or stress causing you to not work your A-game in school? The only way you can correct your mistakes is to realize what they are.

    Talk to a teacher for help. Don’t understand something? Rather than leaving class completely confused, raise your hand! A teacher’s job is to TEACH! Teachers want to help you, so simply ask if you’re confused. Most of the teachers at AHS are more than willing to spend a few minutes going over what you need help with. Understanding the material means understand your homework, which means you’ll get good grades on tests.

    Do your homework. Come on, people. Homework really isn’t that bad if you think about it. All there is to it is sitting at a desk, couch, or on the floor in some people’s cases, and writing down what you know. If you are one who chooses to avoid the matter of homework in general, doing even a couple assignments will help boost your grade in that class!

    Homework is a good portion of your grade percentage. Instead of sitting in front of the TV for an hour after school, do a couple math problems! It’s worth it in the end. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation Website, teens can spend up to 7 hours a day using videogames, the television, cell phones, and most importantly, the internet. It’s easy to eliminate a couple of those hours using technology and do some much-needed homework.

    Procrastination=NO. Avoid procrastinating by starting work early and trying not to cram things in the last minute. A major cause of poor grades is doing work right before it’s due and coming to a point where you don’t care. Start changing your habits by spreading out work over a longer period of time and avoid staying up too late, doing everything in one night.

    “Stay organized, and never, ever, ever tell yourself that you’ll do that assignment tomorrow, because you won’t,” sophomore Lars Rockwell says. It’s the truth; rather than saying “I’ve got time later,” say “I should just do this now.” Get it over with, then enjoy yourself!

    Stop making excuses! School is school. Make time for school, it will benefit you in the long run. That’s all that needs to be said.

    Get organized. Look at your schedule from last semester and find what needs to be changed. Do you need to eliminate some extra-curricular activities? Is a class you are taking way beyond your reach? Make a schedule that will suit your needs for the semester. Buy an agenda, write down your assignments.

    Poor organization is a leading cause of failing grades. If you want to bring your grade in a class up a letter, just find a way to manage your time!

    Have good attendance. This is the easiest step to bring your grades up a notch. How hard is it to show up in a class and sit at a desk for an hour or two? Not very hard.  When you are absent, you are missing the information you need for future assignments, tests, and life.

    You can’t help missing school if you’re sick, so it is necessary to check in with teachers the day you come back, and ask friends for homework assignments. You can check with your teachers during TCB time in Advisory. When you do not attend school, it is your responsibility to make up tests, homework, and class information that you missed. Spend a few short minutes with a teacher to make up your work, it’s easy.

    It takes a lot of work and effort to earn straight A’s in high school. But you can certainly bring whatever grade you have up by following these simple steps. Focus on what needs to be adjusted during the second semester that will make you a better student. By changing a few things in your day-to-day high school life, you’ll have at least decent grades by the time you graduate.



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    An Insight on Advisory

    January 18th, 2012

    Sophomore students at work during TCB

    As the first semester comes to a close, the question whether Ashland High School’s Advisory program has truly been worthwhile arises in many students and faculty members. It’s the first year Ashland High has done anything like this, and the opinions regarding the program vary widely.

    As I have observed, it truly depends on your grade, teacher, class and overall attitude of Advisory that determines your outlook on the forty minute class. Some may say Advisory classes, particularly red days, are a complete waste of our day, and that we, the student body of Ashland High School have better things to do in that short period of time. Others have a better take on Advisory and see that it is truly helping them with their skills at being the best students, and people, they can be.

    “I think the journal writings are pretty outrageous and stupid,” junior Ian Alpenia said. “But it’s good to be able to get homework done on white days.” This seems to be the opinion of a lot of students: Advisory is a good time to get work done in a focused environment, but the purpose of red day journal time can be somewhat overlooked. “I like TCB time a lot,” junior Emma Cobb said. According to a few Advisors at AHS, students are really using their time well to take care of business.

    Freshmen, on the other hand, are known to appreciate Advisory the most. While talking to a few Advisors of freshmen classes, I got the impression that the class of 2015 truly enjoys their time in Advisory, at least according to the teachers. “I love getting to know a group of students I’m going to have for four years,” Allison French said.  Advisors at AHS have never had relationships with students like they do today in their Advisory classes.

    It seems the majority opinion of sophomores at Ashland High School revolves around the fact that they have better things to do.“I feel like it would be more effective to have longer classes rather than having Advisory in the middle of the day,” sophomore Hannah Borgerson said. But in the long run, the staff behind Advisory believes there is a benefit for everybody. “There is a sense of community in our classroom,” Mark Schoenleber, art teacher and sophomore Advisor states.

    A stack of the journals that students write to advisory prompts in.

    “There’s a lot more focus for the juniors and seniors,” Jeanne Curty, another sophomore Advisor said. As a sophomore, I have observed Advisory does not have as much purpose as it does for the other grades. When you’re a junior or senior, your days are filled with college applications, study sessions, scholarship opportunities, and real bonding. Seniors are a little more hesitant about advisory; it’s completely new to them. But the faculty behind Advisory knows that it is benefitting them incredibly. “Seniors were six weeks ahead of requesting to apply for colleges,” AHS principal Zundel said. “They were looking at transcripts the first day of school!”

    Despite the complaints from students with a lower look on Advisory, Zundel feels that Advisory is one of the most efficient systems Ashland High School has seen. “It is a systematic, academic, college advising, social support for every student,” she said. Some enjoy Advisory, some don’t. The staff knows that.

    “You can’t paint with a broad brush about advisory,” Zundel said. This means that Advisory can’t apply to everyone, however, her opinion as one of the directors of the Advisory program is that it has been a success and will be a success for years to come. Zundel’s main point is that it really is the grade level of a student that determines how helpful Advisory is to them.

    “We want 1,040 students to be able to make sense of their high school education,” says Zundel. Advisory is a work in progress, and whether you’re a sophomore in a class that does nothing or a senior in a class that does too much, think about the bigger picture and hope that the directors of Advisory are right and whether we enjoy our eighth period or not, it will ultimately benefit us in the end.

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    Advisory: what’s really going on?

    January 11th, 2012

    Teachers Ms. French and Ms. Swain plan the next day's agenda.

    Your opinion of the Advisory Program at AHS counts. The directors of Advisory are constantly adjusting things in meetings to meet students’ needs. I sat in the IVC room today and observed many faculty members and students hard at work preparing for the next semester.

    So what really goes on in an Advisory meeting? Planning, creating and scheduling YOUR Advisory class you go to four days a week. Currently the Advisory staff is taking student feedback and advising the curriculum for red day journalism activities. Here you have a few staff members and one or two selected students sitting at each table in the meeting, answering questions and giving their input to what they believe needs to change in Advisory.

    “It’s a good program, but it needs to be advised. That’s why I’m here,” junior Makenna O’Dougherty said while sitting at the table which specifically was in charge of the junior Advisory classes.

    If you feel that Advisory is not really applying to you, tell someone. The main goal of these Advisory meetings is to take in students’ needs for their class time and to “make things more direct,” as Allison French said. Student senate feedback is a huge aspect of the Advisory meetings; there are lists of requests from the senate to improve the program.

    So if you are hesitant about your Advisory class and what you think could be improved, talk to you senate or you Advisory and the Advisory meetings will always look into students’ advice to advise.

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    Ashland Emergency Food Bank

    December 13th, 2011

    Ashland Emergency Food Bank

    Do you want to do something good for Ashland, as well as knock off a few needed community service hours? Try spending a few hours volunteering at The Ashland Emergency Food Bank on chosen Saturdays.

    The Ashland Emergency Food Bank is a nonprofit organization that works to help feed individuals and families who are in need of food throughout the Ashland area. Volunteering at the food bank is easy and goes straight towards your mandatory 100 hours of community service needed to graduate.

    “It’s nice to help the less fortunate,” Aimee Miller said, a student volunteer at The Ashland Emergency Food Bank. “Volunteering helps make the jobs of workers at the Food Bank easier, so more can be done for our community.” There are multiple tasks you can help with while volunteering, including unloading items from donators, sorting the donations, or storing them away to later be collected.

    If you’re interested, you can volunteer on “pick-up days,” the second Saturday of every evenly numbered month (December, February, April, etc.) Shifts are usually two to three hours, and on these days your work hours count as double toward your AHS community service. As a thank you from the Food Bank, all you have to do is sign in and sign out while volunteering, and the Food Bank will add the hours to your school community service log for you. By volunteering at The Ashland Emergency Food Bank, you are not only benefiting your educational needs, but you are also benefiting the community of Ashland.

    Contact the Ashland Emergency Food Bank:

    560 Clover Drive, Ashland, OR 97520

    (541) 488-9544

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    Global Cat Christmas Dance

    December 9th, 2011

    Picture by Christine Moses

    Ready to get your cat culture on? Cat Club and GCC present the Global Cat Christmas Dance, Friday December 16 at 8:30 PM in the Elk’s Lodge. Admission is $7 at the door, but if you show your spirit and dress up as a cat, it will only cost you $5.

    Global Citizen Corps strives to get more people involved in the fight against global poverty. GCC is an international movement that takes action in facing global and local issues.  What better way to raise money than to join together with Cat Club and host a dance supporting a good cause?  Cat Club has the ambition to help cats through volunteer work and fundraising, also supporting the community.

    These two clubs are constantly obtaining money, food, and ideas to benefit the planet. Cat Club and GCC welcome you to show off your dancing skills until 11:30 next Friday in the fight to help cats and people alike around the world.  The Elk’s Lodge is located at 255 E. Main St. in downtown Ashland, by the Ashland Springs Hotel. So come one, come all, put on your whiskers and get ready to dance your tail off.


    Need additional information?

    Visit the Global Cat Christmas Dance page on Facebook.

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