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The Occidentalist

The Occidentalist


Should School Personnel Be Armed?

  • No (55%, 17 Votes)
  • Yes (45%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 31

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Required Readings and Assignments in the Summer

Honors and AP classes often require certain books and assignments to be completed before the school year starts.

  Every year, honors and Advanced Placement (AP) English Language Arts students have a required book and potentially an assignment to pair with the reading.

  “I like the idea that there is something that we can work with right away at the beginning of the year and that we have a shared story. I struggle though, because as a teacher it’s important to me that I’ve done some instruction and that we’ve been able to practice skills and then I evaluate those skills and summer reading doesn’t necessarily allow for that cycle, so I struggle with that a little bit. I think there’s tons of value in reading over the summer. I would rather students just read what they want to and have their own list of books and have them just work through that,” Stem 10 and honors English teacher Kelly Rintala said.

  Benefits and drawbacks aside, all books have at least one good part, some even being elements of the book throughout the narrative. “Go Set a Watchman” was a prequel written by Harper Lee following the plot of the popular book “To Kill a Mockingbird”

  “I loved hearing Scout’s voice as an adult, I thought that was really interesting because ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ uses that innocent-eyed narrator where you get her sometimes as an adult, and then most of the time you’re seeing the world through a child’s eyes,” Rintala said.

  Students can provide a different perspective on the same book, having liked different parts, and disliking different elements of the book. The true importance of having a summer reading book can be found in what’s taken away from it.

  “My favorite part of the book was Jem’s death because I really liked ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, and Jem was my favorite character, and that made me cry,” honors English 10 student Vincent Germaine said.

  A point of contention that is often found among students is the difference between books that are required to be read and books that are being read on their own will, however, for some, required reading brings newfound meaning and importance to a reader.

  “This is probably one of my favorite books personally, just because of the plot and really the magic that is this American literature piece, you know, compared to ‘Moby Dick’ or something like that, [‘Go Set a Watchman’ is] not hard to read,” Germaine said.

  “Go Set a Watchman” wasn’t the only option available to honors English 10 students, some decided to go against the grain and chose a book that they felt more comfortable with reading over the summer.

  “The story [‘The Hate U Give’] revolves around a girl who witnesses her friend being killed at the hands of a police officer. The story revolves around the community and her family’s reaction to a court decision, and the process of making that decision whether to indite the officer or not,” member of the Stem 10 academic community and honors English 10 student, Brady Partlo said.

  Different narratives have different plots and favorite parts, finding the part of a story that connects with the reader the most can be crucial to their enjoyment of the story.

  “[‘The Hate U Give’] was an interesting read, different from what I normally read so it was a different perspective [from] which I normally read, which enlightened me to different ideas. I believe that I would recommend this book, it provides different views that maybe we don’t look at in our day-to-day life,” Partlo said.

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Christopher Chase
Christopher Chase, Graphic Designer, Photographer
Christopher chase is a sophomore taking newspaper for the first time. He is taking newspaper because of his deep appreciation for reading and writing, and fondness of factually accurate stories. Christopher enjoys walking his dog and reading various forms of literature.

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