In this book club meeting we talked about why the people in the Capitol liked watching children kill each other. Jose said that this was because that all that capitol people wanted was a good show and the capitol needed a way of telling the districts that they have complete over them and not to have another uprising. Paul said that it was because the capitol did not know the feeling of killing anyone and that they live in complete luxury and don’t what losing a family member can impact a family that lives day by day. We also talked about why Haymitch was an alcoholic. Stephen thought the alcohol was meant to ease off the pain of losing his family as stated in the second book. I was also thinking the same thing. I also thought that Haymitch drank because he was to ashamed because there hadn’t been a victor in district 12 in many decades. We also talked about the main theme of the Hunger Games. There were many different answers. Eric said that the main theme was to stay strong and never give up when things are not in your favor. Jake said that it was to thinking before you act. He said that this was because Katniss’s mother had given up on her and Prim when their father died and Katniss was basically raising Prim all by herself. This theme also happened when Katniss and Peeta were in the arena and Peeta “betrayed” her and joined the careers when really he was trying to protect her from them. Mckie said that the theme was about having the right to free speech and that the districts should have the right to talk bad about the capitol.

Imagine if you were singing a popular song that played on the radio almost everywhere you went and was accused of harassment. Well this happened to a six year-old-boy named D’Avonte Meadows, a first-grader at Sable Elementary School in Aurora, Colorado. When singing “Sexy and I know it” by the group LMFAO to a girl, D’Avante was accused of sexual harassment and was suspended for three days. Both parents were astonished and are demanding the school to drop the charges. Schools should go easier on the punishments depending on what he or she was accused of.

Singing a popular song is no where near sexual harassment and the punishment for D’Avante got for it was harsh. This accusation may be put on D’Avante’s school record for the rest of his life and can potentially ruin his chances for a good job. As long as elementary school students understand and follow the rules they should have the same rights to free speech as adults according to attorney Craig Silverman. He also said that school policies should allow for some leeway. This leeway will warn the students what the punishment for this is if they repeatedly do it again and again.

This sometimes happens in my school, depending on what type of student you are. Such as a straight A student who has never gotten in trouble in their life or the more slacker student who doesn’t really care about school. First impressions take on a big meaning when people see you. I have seen teachers give leeway to students who they like more. Some teachers overreact and give things such as detentions for doing  little things like mumbling or not answering one problem on their homework.

Punishments will be decided on what kind of teacher you have. The overall rules are just set in place and the teacher decides whether or not the student is following them. Teachers should always treat everybody fairly and should put their personal emotions behind them. So what do you think what teachers should do? What should teachers do so that they can fairly treat students and give students the appropriate treatment?

In this meeting both Jose and Eric had read the rest of the book. So we had a better understanding on Katniss and Peeta, and a better view of the brutality the capitol was willing to unleash to entertain a crowd. We considered the idea of what if our government punishing our people by watching their citizens kill each other. Eric and Jose were a little quiet during the conversation, but made good points. Jose stated that this would go against our constitutional rights. Eric said that if this happened it would make American citizens rebel even more. I said that this would go against everything that we fought for in the American Revolution and that America was the country of freedom. We also talked about how it is already  happening in today’s world. Wrestling, Boxing, and MMA are all smaller, less minor forms of what is going on in the Hunger Games. Paul said that ,”All of these have a similarity: they all have athletes competing and that the people who are watching don’t care if these people get hurt or are nearly dead, they just want a good show.” There are also differences between these competitions. The people who are looking like they might die  any second also do this for their job and want to do it. In the Hunger Games these are randomly chosen contestants who like it or not.

Next time we will talk about what Katniss and Peeta will do in the future and talk about why the people in the capitol like watching children kill each other. We will talk about the theme of the book and what the reader should learn out of it. We will also talk about what Eric and Jose think about the relationship between Katniss and Peeta and what Peeta thinks about the careers and how Katniss felt when she saw Peeta with them. We will talk about why Peeta thought joining the careers would be the right thing to do to save Katniss.

In this meeting we discussed of what they thought of Katniss in the Hunger Games. Jose had been gone for the time that his class was briefed over what they would do. Eric had read over half the book.  He thought that Katniss was well rounded, a hard worker, and that she would do anything to protect and feed her family. She knew that volunteering for her sister most likely meant death, but she would do anything to keep them alive. Paul said that she was courageous and brave. I agreed and so did the rest of the group. We talked about the relationship with Katniss, Peeta and the rest of the tributes. Dylan said that at first Katniss thought that Peeta was siding with the careers just so that he could win the game, but when she dropped the tracker jacker nest on them Peeta came and saved her from the careers. The main connection between Haymitch, Katniss, and Peeta was that they stuck together through hard times such as the reaping and when Peeta and Katniss were in the cave and Hatmitch was sending them food.

Next time we will talk about Peeta and Katniss how each one felt in the arena. We will also talk about if this is what our government would do if things went out of control within the country. We will talk about how they would feel if they were forced to go into the arena and kill each other and about why Haymitch drinks a lot.

Once again bullying has taken another suffering victim in its growing death toll. This time it was 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn Jr. After many horrid phone calls and comments made online the freshman took his life on April 15. An Iowa newspaper dedicated its whole front page on its Sunday special edition on an anti-bullying article. Weishuhn’s death is another example of just how bad bullying can be in parts of our country. Just making banners and talking about students who have taken their life because another peer was talking bad about him can help encourage a student to take a stand on bullying.

You shouldn’t just say that bullying is bad. Take a stand when you see someone being bullied. Editor Mitch Pugh stated that they have run many front-page editorials but has never dedicated the entire page  to one. Dedicating the whole page to this has really made a stand to the people in this community. It caught their attention and now has spread to many websites. Just posting this on their front page can ignite a whole lot of talk about bullying.

Even though students are not worthy of much T.V. attention a whole school or even a whole district that makes a stand to bullying can catch an eye of a reporter or journalist. Pugh stated that public education is absolutely vital to addressing bullying and harassment in schools and adding that pressure to a community could push schools to do more. This has definitely had an impact on my school. My school has had many major projects that has had to do about bullying and other social issues in the world and the message has spread and students are becoming more informed about the issue.

Everybody can take a stand by helping a victim or to even stop being the bully. This could lower death rates. If you don’t like somebody that is fine, but always respect everyone you meet. Weishuhn did not die in vein. His death will remind everybody that people can make other people feel so useless to such an extent that they don’t even consider life anymore.

“But I don’t want to practice any more!” These are the familiar cries of children and maybe adults who cannot stand another second of practicing. Many people think that once you know something to a certain level then there is no need to relearn the skill. Studies where done by Doctor Ahmed from the University of Colorado-Boulder. It says that these statements are wrong. It turns out that practicing more is the key to perfecting something and to understand things in more detail.

You shouldn’t just study something until you think you should stop. You should go even further, keep practicing until you can do a certain thing without even thinking about it. The truth behind this is that the more practice you do on a certain subject, the more muscle memory your brain develops. Professor Ahmed’s studies states that, the way we find that muscle memory is the main way you remember something.

I find this true because whenever I practice my Clarinet I improve every time and I often find myself repeating the same lines over and over again until I basically memorize my music. This is because the neural processes tend to become more “fine-tuned” according to Ahmed’s studies. From practicing sports or practicing an instrument I believe that not only does over-practicing make things easier for you to do, it also make your brain faster and more familiar at what you are attempting to do.

Overall, practicing is an advantage that only a few people can stand and is a good skill to learn and master. It could be the difference in going into the major leagues or losing it to someone who seems to put more effort at it. Having the physical and mental mentality it takes to over practice us overall beneficial and good for you. It may seem to have no point, but the results are worthwhile. If you want to be the best in your class there is no such thing as too much practice.

Learn, practice and learn then practice again. This is what many people do when they practice. Alaa Ahmed and two of her colleagues are scientists that preformed an experiment. This experiment proved that the more you learn something the less of an effort has to be used in order to accomplish a task. In order to become better at something, you have to practice even when you don’t notice any changes in how you preformed a task. The thing that Ahmed and her colleagues were able to show, was that you improve at something, sometimes without even knowing it. You will  always get better even if it is only minuscule.

In this article, children were used to preform an unusual task they have never performed before. When doing this, Ahmed pointed out that the kids used mass amounts of brain power thus meaning that oxygen levels were higher. However, after performing the same task many times over, the children’s brain energy reduced and the kids still got the same result. This is because when you keep practicing you improve even if you don’t even notice. If you keep practicing and improve, good things will always come out.

There are certain requirements that need to be met when you want to improve at something. To me saying that you have become a professional or a master at something, you have to be able to meet the expectations almost without thinking. For example, when you touch a hot surface you don’t need to think if your hand is burning. Your nervous system automatically sends messages to your brain telling it that something is wrong. Even if your not tech savy, if you use your phone more often, the easier it is to navigate through it.

Practice comes to a point when you don’t even have to think to even perform a task. Eventually it comes to a point when a certain person doesn’t want to practice because they consider themselves perfect. Truth is, is that you always get better. The only way you get worse is to not practice! You can always improve. If you practice to the point where you are better than most people can call professional then maybe you may want to start looking into the task in the future and possibly make a living out of it.

I disagree that school aged children are less environmentally aware then older generations because many people really care about the environment until the past couple decades. Even though schools are trying to get kids to help the environment many forget about it at home.

The poles are melting and the older generation is dying. Some classes in school try to help the environment by building gardens and picking up trash, but do these students actually do these things at home?  Will the environment have to get tragically worse until the young generation can realize that they have been slowly destroying the environment? Kids need to help the environment, but how can we get them to participate not only at school but at home? Students can be capable of being aware to their surroundings, they can make a difference.

“Millennials also were the least likely to say they’d made an effort to conserve electricity and fuel used to heat their homes.” I disagree with this statement in the article because I try to remember to turn off lights when we go out to dinner and don’t let the water running when I brush my teeth. Even though sometimes I forget, I get reminded to turn them off when i’m not using them. Reminders should be used more often even though it can be annoying. “A lot of young people also simply don’t spend that much time exploring nature”, said Beth Christensen. This, I also disagree. Even though the inventions of Xbox’s and PS3’s are making teens more likely to stay inside, many still go outside to play catch or toss a football. If you live in a crowded city where there isn’t much space to do anything active then run around a block or just walk outside and study the environment around you. See how you can help the environment around you improve.

People who have been around longer have matured and have more knowledge about our Earth. This means that if we could inform our young generation than they could be more informed. This makes teens more aware on what to do to help our environment. The article states that is was unusual to find somebody who hadn’t been hiking in the 1980’s and now it was unusual to see somebody who had hiked. This is false because many teens participate in sports such as school football and soccer. They see missing tree stumps and construction workers tearing away nature and replacing it with man made things.

At the rate we are headed global warming will not stop and continue to get worse unless the generation now and the ones to come take a stand. This also means that teachers and parents are going to have to give students information. This may mean that teenagers need to learn to mature. They need to help even if its just recycling one plastic bottle of water. It may not seem like an important situation, but we need to stop the problem early before it gets big enough cause new forms of diseases and destroy mother nature.

So would you rather want students holding 30 pound books on their back costing up to $70 and risking it being out of date, or would you rather have a sleek, lightweight, and very portable electronic device such as an Apple Ipad tablet? Although books can be more authentic and won’t need to charge every now and then, but tablets can be used much more effective if known how to use.

According to tweentribune.com,” Digital books are viewed as a way to provide interactive learning, potentially save money and get updated material faster to students.” FCC chairman Julius Genachowski also stated,”When a student reads a textbook and gets to something they don’t know, they are stuck, working with the same material on a digital textbook, when they get to something they don’t know, the device can let them explore, it can show them what a word means, how to solve a math problem that they couldn’t figure out how to solve.” I agree with all of this. A tablet can allow a student to look up things that he or she cannot understand rather than asking a teacher. This also saves the teacher time.

Even though tablets can be expensive to convert to and can have technical issues they have proven that not only are they used for entertainment they can also be used for educational purposes. People can now download textbooks instantly right in front of your eyes. They can be cheaper and you won’t have to pay extra for faster shipping. Not only can text books be downloaded easy downloads also help the environment because there won’t be any need for shipping.

Technology is advancing very quick so technical issues would reduce dramatically. If schools were to have enough money to buy these tablets than why can’t schools all across the nation switch? This may be due to the economic slump the whole nation is experiencing. Schools can acquire these electronics by fundraising like selling concessions at a football game or by advertising companies. Many people already have iPad and iPods so teachers can ask them to bring them to school and download the books on their devices. Soon books and newspapers will become rare and might even disappear and tablets will take over.

Why should students learn about the Holocaust?

I think students should learn about the Holocaust because it lets people know that human beings can be cruel to others with no apparent reason. It also teaches them that many Jews died and that genocide should stop all around the world because not everybody is the same.

What contemporary issue would you be interested to learn more about and take action on?

I would like to learn more about bullying because bullying has taken a significant role in schools all across the nation and the victims are not speaking up. They are afraid to speak up because they think that the bully will strike harder and more vicious than usual because they told an adult. May be this is because the punishments for bullying is not severe enough and one detention wont be enough to stop a bully from tormenting classmates.