Ways to eliminate distractions

~b290328It’s finally the start of a new quarter, and hence the perfect opportunity to change your work ethic to shape your study skills from the start, rather than waiting until the last minute to beg your teacher to bump up your grade since you’re only 0.01 percent away from a B. This year, teachers have been emphasizing their resentment towards students who don’t take the initiative to do their best in class from the start. Change your lazy habits now and show your teacher that you’re capable of being responsible.

Seniors, it is especially important for you to get on your teachers’ good side early on so that they will be more than happy to write you a letter of recommendation when you need it. Starting out strong at the beginning of the quarter will definitely motivate you to continue succeeding. Learning how to balance school assignments with home life will simplify your life, you will not have to face the giant snowball effect of work build-up at the end of the quarter, and you are less likely to have cold bitter feelings towards your teachers.

  • Have a bowl of snacks placed right next to you. Nibbling on simple repetitive snacks like peanuts and chips will both prevent hunger from distracting your work momentum and also the repetitive gestures and chewing actions will keep you in the zone longer. You are also less likely to notice the tediousness of your work until you finish the snack. Some good foods that supposedly makes you smarter? Blueberries, spinach, dark chocolate, and fish.
  • Remove all electronic distractions, and only consider using them for educational use. Studies have shown that listening to music may also help the brain, and a little of something in the background will make you less likely to think you’re not only doing homework. Try listening to natural sounds like rain or birds chirping.  
  • Sleep is a crucial factor in our ability to succeed, therefore you should get at least eight hours of it every night, instead of waiting until 11pm to complete your internal assessments. FYI: Trying to maintain focus and doing homework while you’re sleepy and tired is the same as focusing while intoxicated.
  • Take 5-10 minute breaks in between assignments. Now is the time to check your phone or stretch, because overworking your brain over a long span of time is not a healthy practice. Even when pulling an all nighter on the assignment due the next morning, still take the five minute break every hour and so.
  • Occasionally changing your methods of studying will help keep your mind focused. Change is good! A good way to educationally make use of your iPad is to download the Quizlet app used to make digital flashcard. Quizlet also offers various activities to help you memorize information using the flashcards you created. It’s easy, simple and fun!
  • Create a comfortable learning environment. Whether it’s your kitchen counter or your couch, make sure you surround yourself with all of the learning materials needed. Bring everything from a bag of pencils and pens, highlighters, textbooks, notebooks, and you may as well bring your backpack too. If having doubts about whether you need that one book, bring it with you anyways.
  • Use a planner. Even though our school does not provide students with one, it is a wise choice to invest in a planner. You don’t even have to spend much on it. You can get a small planner at Walmart for only $5, nothing fancy. Even a mini note pad would work.

And lastly, believing in yourself is a significant tool to boost your confidence. Make goals to become a better person, even if you think you’re already perfect. Instead of just sitting there, staring out into space, make use of every bit of time you have to complete work in school so you don’t have to run into the problem of laziness at home.

Boys hockey update

The Highland Park boys hockey team lost their first game of the season, Saturday, November 21st, against Simley 1 to 4. With the devastating loss still fresh in their minds, I decided to go interview some of the players on the team.

The first player I interviewed was Lee Froelich. I asked Lee what he thought about the unfortunate defeat out in the ice. He replied, “I felt bad about me and my team losing but I feel like our loss was a great learning experience.”  

One other player I interviewed was Jacob Boje. I asked him what could he have done better, and he said, “There could have been better communication between the team and we need to work on it at our practice more often.”

Upcoming opponents include:


Grand Rapids

Park of Cottage Grove

Apple Valley

Benilde-St. Margaret’s

Duluth Marshall


Please come out and support the team!

Getting to know the faces in the office

For this “Getting to Know” column, we decided to spotlight the the school’s administrative secretaries.

We interviewed Nicole Danielski and Nancie Whitesell. We asked both of them a series of questions to get to know them, and here’s what they had to say.

IMG_0256Nicole Danieleski

Q: Please describe your job to me, what you do?

-Feels like the center point. Everybody comes through here parents, students family members etc.

Q: What are some examples of interesting/funny things you encounter throughout your day?

-Getting to know the student creating the relationships with them. A lot of laughing in here. It could get very stressful sometimes.

Q: How do you feel about students coming in late?

-Regular students, that’s frustrating they should know they need to take responsibilities.

Q: What kind of advice do you have for students?

-Be yourself. Enjoy school don’t worry too much.

Q: What is your favorite color ?


Q: What school did you go to?

-College of st.Catherine

Q: Do you have kids?

-No kids just a dog

Q: Do you prefer pizza or lasagna?


Q: What’s your favorite season?

– I like to be warm, summer

IMG_0254Nancie  Whitsell

Q: Please describe your job to me, what you do?

-I am the part time Budget clerk and part time Counseling Department clerk…so that means I pay the bills for the school (things teachers order, supplies for the building, etc) and I also take care of the records for the Counseling Department

Q: What are some examples of interesting/funny things you encounter throughout your day?

– The Counseling Office is always an interesting and funny place to be because it is different every day, you learn all sorts of things about life and the Counselors are pretty hysterical!

Q: How do you feel about students coming in late?

– no comment

Q: What kind of advice do you have for students?

– Show up and do your work.

Q: What is your favorite color ?

– Purple

Q: What school did you go to?

– Como

Q: Do you have kids? If so how many?

– Yes, 2

Q: Do you prefer pizza or lasagna?

– Pizza

Q: What’s your favorite season?

– Summer


~b282678Thanksgiving is that time of year that you can come together and spend time with family, eat good food, and relax. I always remember going to my grandma’s house and helping in the kitchen and then sitting down at the table that was set so beautifully. Spending time with mom, dad, aunts, uncles, grandma, and grandpa. It is one of my favorites holidays. I love to spend time with family and relax. Knowing how much Thanksgiving means to me, I decided to ask a few people what they thought about Thanksgiving.

Darron Chapmen

I asked Mr. Chapmen the following questions:

What are you thankful for? Being the age that he is. He didn’t want to comment on his age.

What do you do for Thanksgiving? “Eat a lot of food when visiting with relatives.” 

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? “It’s when family gets together and sits down and eats a good meal and talks about things that pertain to family.”

Andrea Dickinson

Ms. Dickinson, my school counselor, was asked:

What do you do for Thanksgiving? “Get together with family.” 

What are some traditions you do every year? “Eat food tried to go out for a walk.” 

What are you thankful for? “Heath ,family and spend time with family.”

John Edwards

I asked a student in my class the following:

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? “Sit down with the family and eat and talk about about how thankful we are for each other and how we appreciate each other.”

What do you do for Thanksgiving? “Eat with his family.”

What are you thankful for? “I’m thankful for having a good family.”

Tationna McGee

Another student in my class was asked:

What do you do for Thanksgiving? “Gather  with family and play game and hang out.” 

What does Thanksgiving mean to you and what are you thankful for? “Giving thanks to people in your family and being thankful for what I have.”