The High School Food Chain
Welcome back to another episode of “The High School Food Chain.” Last week we looked at the clique phenomenon, a unique sub-category of the herd involving femme popularum, yet far more exclusive and dangerous.
Today we we will be following three High School subspecies of organism throughout exam week, a biannual occurrence, in which the organisms are brought together to be tested and tried, compared against each other, and marked based on their progress throughout the half year. This event affects the different subspecies in many different ways, a fascinating example of the dangerous and unpredictable world of the high school food chain.
First, the preparation. In the culminating weeks preceding the exams, each subspecies prepares differently. The nerdus calcularus is by far the most prepared, sacrificing social status for academic achievement. Relying primarily on stealth to survive, the nerdus calcularus float throughout the food chain, hoping to get by the high school stage with little confrontation.
“I wish we didn’t have to eat lunch in between the trash cans every day.”
“According to my calculations, this location is the least likely for any type of social confrontation!”
For the majority of the food chain, namely the studentus beeminus, academic preparation is limited. Over the years, many of these studentus beeminus have devolved, their brain stems cloaked by a veil of procrastination and immediate gratification. As the exams approach, however, an exponentially increasing buzz of stress descends upon the inactive organisms. This stress rarely motivates the studentus beeminus to prepare for the approaching exams, but mostly “forces” the studentus beeminus to resort to drastic measures.
“Man, these exams, I haven’t studied and its tomorrow!”
“Yeah, I’m just gonna pop open a few red bulls and pull an all nighter.”
This drastic, last minute measure sacrifices sleep for perceived academic gain, a move that usually backfires in the ensuing days. Combined with the intake of semi-toxic fluid, these poor decisions usually lead to a lower test score, forever trapping the studentus beeminus in their slightly above average cycle.
Finally, we will take a look at the femme popularum, and jockus abdohavus: the heads of the food chain. Preparation, too, is limited, but in an aesthetic attempt to retain their indifferent attitudes, these organisms will not be stressed. The femme popularum, a brilliant display of plumage and ignorance, rely on their attractiveness and perceived mating capabilities to ensure success, rather than their performance on exams. Similarly, the jockus abdohavus will use fear and intimidation to make up for his inability to perform satisfactorily on the exams. Perhaps he will intimidate the nerdus calcularus into working for him, a defining example of mutualism, a relationship in which knowledge is traded for social prowess and protection.
Similarly to the femme popularum, the jockus abdohavus rarely relies on his academic fortitude to assure his success past the high school habitat, instead focusing on physical abilities. Athletics, a form of competition between the jockus abdohavus, decide their social ranking (for example, how the femme popularum choose their mates), and which habitat they will move onto after high school.
Thank you for joining me on this short segment of: “The High School Food Chain” Tune in next week for a special segment on Prom, an annual and traditional ritual involving crude forms of dancing that mature organisms in the high school habitat participate in.
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My Faith in Humanity: Changes Every Time I Go on The Internet
The results from the 2012 High School Mathematical Competition in Modeling are in. Four WIHI teams competed, working furiously for 30 hours over the weekend before Thanksgiving to develop novel and comprehensive solutions to their choice of two real-world problems. This year the problems focused on developing strategies to predicting gas prices and to reintroduce American Elk to the Eastern U.S. Over the next few months, these solutions were then evaluated by expert, independent judges, along with those developed by 514 other teams from 84 other schools from around the world.
Two of our teams received "Successful Participant" awards: Donny Hearn, Brenna McMahon, and Andy Shue; Weiling Huang, Seth Kronick, Katharine Wang, and Mina Yu.
Two of our teams received "Honorable Mention" awards: Sharon Szabo, Sana Matloub and William Derksen; John Park, Brent Schin, and Nate Simon.
Last night we had 18 performances for our 2nd annual WIHI Solo and Ensemble Recital - a total of 20 students performed. It was very well attended!
Students prepared pieces of solo or chamber music to perform. During the performance we had two guest adjudicators who rated students for their performance based on categories of Tone, Intonation, Rhythm accuracy, Technique, and Interpretation (these adjudicators are music teachers from other school districts in the state of Michigan). Each category received a letter grade which was then calculated into an overall performance rating.
I - Superior, best possible, high quality performance execution
II - Excellent, thoroughly well played with minor adjustments needed
III - Student work/performance is lacking in several areas but shows promise and basic ability
IV - Student performance was incoherent, and provided little evidence of quality playing.
Of our 18 performances, we had:
14 Performances achieve a division "I" rating
Alexandrea Somers - Flute Solo
Alexandrea Somers, Isley Coleman, Grace Swanson - Flute Trio
Andy Shue - Piano Solo
Brent Schin - Tenor Saxophone Solo
Chathu Jayatissa - Piano Solo
Chrissy Hart - Violin Solo
Jessica Smith - Oboe Solo
Katharine Wang - Piano Solo
Nate Simon, Brent Schin, Zach Simon, Austin Goven - Mixed Quartet
Owen Strenski, Andy Shue - Marimba/Xylophone Duet
Riley Rawson - French Horn Solo
Sarah Plencner - Vocal Solo
Sloan Talbot - Cello Solo
Weiling Huang - Piano Solo
4 Performances achieve of division "II" rating
Alexabelle Talbot - Violin Solo
Joel Varner - Violin Solo
Qiayel Howell - Violin Solo
Qiayel Howell - Tenor Saxophone Solo
Tonight is our WIHI (rescheduled from a snow storm) solo and ensemble. We have 18 acts/performances and will have 2 judges come in and award ratings to our students.
Please consider attending if possible. It begins at 6:00pm and will likely last until 8pm. You can stay for only a portion if you like.
What a week! Maybe you've noticed that your children wish to raise a point of personal privilege at dinner, or are voting to bring motions to the floor in the middle of the afternoon, or maybe they now insist on wearing business-casual from here on out. Either way, they distinguished themselves this week at MAMUN.
Going up against juniors and seniors, many of whom take Model UN as a class, our students debated, authored resolutions, brokered deals, participated in international crisis management, and stopped the US from completely dominating the UN Security Council. I was impressed, and proud.
Our delegates exhibited maturity and accountability as well, checking in with me and the parent chaperones at appropriate times and reporting their whereabouts when necessary. They are to be commended for this as well.
Special recognition goes out to Shehryar, John, Chloe, Veronica, and the entire Pakistan team. The first four received Second or Highest Honors in their committees, and three of them were part of twenty students in total (out of 410!) invited to a special crisis simulation on Friday night. The country of Pakistan received second honors in the General Assembly, and also received an award for that. This is unprecedented for a MUN program in only its' second year. I don't have enough words to express how surprised and delighted I am at these results.