‘Some things you can never un-see'
Ms. Kimberly Fiordimondo, a JHMS dance teacher, shares her experience on Sept. 11, 2001 in New York City.
By SOPHIE OJDANIC, ANNIE GJINECI, RACHEL GADOURY, AND MACEY ZEH-ARNDT
J.Hop Times Staff Writers
It used to be that when Sept. 11 came around, Ms. Fiordimondo, a dance teacher at JHMS, would take the day off. The memories of that day were just too clear.
Thirteen years have gone by since that first Sept. 11, and she has healed enough to be able to go to work on that day.
But she’ll never forget. She can’t.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, a sudden vibration.
Her neighbor was running down the hallway of her apartment building slamming on doors to get everyone’s attention. She was frantically yelling for everybody to get to the roof.
When Ms. Fiordimondo got to the roof, all she saw was a cloud of smoke. And the second plane. “A plane shouldn’t be that close to the ground,’’ she remembers thinking to herself. “There is definitely something wrong.”
After that, all she saw was a mass of smoke and fire.
“All I could think about was that my friends were in those buildings and I needed to help them,” she said.
Up in lights
BY ANNIE GJINECI AND SOPHIE OJDANIC
J.Hop Times Editors
Every school has a place like this. It’s an eerie, uncomfortable, Phantom of the Opera kind of place. At JHMS, that would be the catwalk in the auditorium. It’s located about 25 feet above the front of the stage, and it’s a narrow walkway where spotlights and other stage lights are suspended.
The journey to the catwalk is almost as interesting as the catwalk itself. Start with an unassuming door in the hallway of Building 2. It seems to be a door to a closet, but once you open it, you find a secret ladder inside a metal cage that goes straight up. It’s like something used by spies or assassins. Climbing the 19 steps feels dangerous, even though you’re surrounded by metal bars. You get the feeling that even though you have permission to be here, you shouldn’t be doing this.
And then you’re there.
Only you’re not alone. There are hundreds of students up there with you.
How can you tell what news is true?
By SOPHIE OJDANIC AND ANNIE GJINECI
J.Hop Times Editors
You’ve probably done it — gone on your phone and checked Facebook and saw a few headlines that were ... well ... a bit hard to believe.
“Miley Cyrus dies!” “Ebola outbreak threatens the U.S.!”
Neither story is true, of course. But that didn’t stop millions of people from believing them. Even when something sounds true, it may not be.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams told viewers for years that he was on a helicopter that took enemy fire while he was reporting from Iraq. Only the helicopter was not under fire. It didn’t happen.
Williams, caught in his lie, apologized and blamed his poor memory.
So according to him, he kept forgetting that he wasn’t shot down. We won’t see Mr. Williams again until August. Maybe.
He’s been suspended.
Let’s tiptoe through the minefield. A headline from two years ago declared “Joan Rivers Dyes”, which was actually true. She did dye her hair. But at the time, she wasn’t dead.
And then there were these two widely-circulated news stories recently. One said that the iPhone 5 will have hologram projection, and the other insisted that “Science says blondes are going extinct.”
Wrong, and wrong.
So how do you know what’s accurate and what’s not? How do you know if you’re getting the full story, or only part of it? Many times, a half-truth, or something that sounds like it could be true, is worse than a lie.
The end of a JHOP era
After 35 years, Mr. Sakiotis says goodbye.
BY SOPHIE OJDANIC
J.Hop Times Editor
When Mr. Sakiotis first got to John Hopkins Middle School, he wanted to teach history.
It hadn’t happened yet.
That’s an exaggeration, of course. Still, 35 years at one school is an amazing feat.
When he started teaching, Ronald Reagan was President, gas was $1.19 a gallon, and JHMS was a collection of one-story buildings called 16th Street Middle School. The No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in September, 1980?
Upside Down by Diana Ross.
The Paperless Classroom
Is all digital all the time a good thing?
By SOPHIE OJDANIC, ANNIE GJINECI, AND RACHEL GADOURY
J.Hop Times Editors
It may be the biggest change in education since desegregation.
And it isn’t a question of if it’s going to happen. It’s when.
School districts across the country are moving toward paperless classrooms. Instead of notebooks, textbooks and worksheets, students will be doing their work on laptops, iPads and tablets. In many places, they’re already there.
President Obama announced last year that he wants every student in America to have a laptop, tablet or smartphone, and he wants all 50 million kids on line by 2017. “In a country where we expect free Wi-Fi with our coffee, the least we can do is expect our schools to be properly wired,’’ the President said recently. “If they (students) think school is 20 to 30 years behind them, they’re going to lose interest in schools.’’
Besides saving millions of trees, education experts say that students can learn more quickly on devices that they already use.
But is getting rid of all things paper a good thing?
Me? Worry? Yes.
'Don't sweat the small stuff' may be the best way to relieve stress.
BY SOPHIE OJDANIC, ANNIE GJINECI, AND NADIN ANTONOVA
J.Hop Times Editors
Classwork. Parents. Tests. Gossip, Relationships. Bullying. Getting to school. Getting to class. What to wear. We could go on.
Welcome to Stressville. You know the place. Middle school kids visit all the time.
Sometimes, we stay for weeks.
According to a report earlier this year in USA Today, “Teens across the USA are feeling high levels of stress that they say negatively affect every aspect of their lives.
“More than a quarter (27 percent) say they experience “extreme stress” during the school year, versus 13 percent in the summer. And 34 percent expect stress to increase in the coming year.
“Hard numbers tell us kids are more anxious and depressed now than they’ve ever been.’’
Now that’s depressing. The report also said stress can lead to poor grades, skipping meals, health problems, depression and all sorts of other bad things.
Here’s the amazing thing about stress. You control it.