Speech team at HPSH

The speech team at Highland is directed by Mr. Russel and Dr. Sandra Wieser-Matthews and is on Tuesdays and Thursdays right after school from 3:15-4:15 (room 2304). 

In speech there are 13 different categories you can choose from: Drama, Poetry, Prose, Dramatic Duo, Humorous, Storytelling, Extemp Reading, Creative Expression, Original Oratory, Informative, Extemp Speaking, Great Speeches, and Discussion. 

In Drama, you are able to pick a play, story, or any other work that has been published. You are able to play all the parts that are in the work of choice. You may not use any props or costumes. 

In Poetry, you choose one, or multiple poems that are published, and you must express them. 

In prose, you choose a novel, or another published piece of literature, and analyze it. You write an analysis in your own words of the work that you choose and present that. 

In Dramatic Duo, you work with a partner and can choose any type of published piece and act it out. You can’t touch or look your partner in the eyes. 

In the Humorous category, you choose a published piece and give the speech in a humorous way while using body movements and tone.

In Storytelling, you choose from different books that fit into the theme of that year, and then perform and try to express its story as best as possible. 

In Extemp Reading, you are given three pieces and you are able to choose one to read as your speech. You get 30 minutes to come up with an introduction and read the speech beforehand. 

In Creative Expression, you are able to write your own speech that can be on whatever topic you want. 

In Original Oratory, you are able to write your own speech on a specific topic. The idea is to argue your point and try to get your point across. 

In the Informative category, you must write a speech that is attempting to teach others about a topic you know, and you can use visuals.

In Extemp speaking, you are given a piece to read and you get 30 minutes to write a speech on the topic and your reflection on what you read.

In Great Speeches, you analyze a speech that has already been given and write a speech on it. 

In Discussion, you are given a topic/problem and research it beforehand. You are in a room with other students and you all discuss the topic and try to find solutions.  

Joining speech will enhance your speaking and analyzing abilities, allow you to meet new people, and to talk about something you’re passionate about. 

Math team at HPSH

The Math team at Highland is mainly directed by Mr. O’Connell and Mr. Anderson. The Math team meets every Monday and Wednesday at 3:15-4:15 in Mr. O’Connell’s room on the second floor, room: 2305. The season typically goes from early October to early March. 

In Math team there are four different “events.” “Events” are the different sections of math that you can try and compete in. There is Event A, Event B, Event C, and Event D. The content in these events change after every meet. 

During practice, on Mondays and Wednesdays, you get your events and snacks as well. You must choose two events that you would like to compete in. There is also always at least one teaching. The teachings are on what you will most likely need to know when it comes to the questions that will show up in the events. 

Practice on these events is done by completing the different events that were given in the past years. There is one given each year of each event section. 

You get 12 minutes to complete each event. This time limit is used during both practice and the actual meets. During a meet, you get 12 minutes to complete each event. You also get scratch paper that you may use to solve the problems. There are typically 4 problems on each event.

Each meet is typically around 2 hours. The meets take place in other SPPS schools, and you get meal tickets that get you food. For food there is usually pizza and pop. There is a bus that takes you to the other school and a bus that takes you back to Highland. 

In order to join the math team there is a fee of $35. Math team gives you a chance to enhance your knowledge on math, meet new people, go to other schools, and it looks great on college resumes, so why not give it a try! 

Book review on ‘Red Queen’

 

“I grew up wondering if I’d have enough food for supper; now I’m standing in a palace about to be eaten alive” – Mare Barrow

This quote is from the book: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. 

This is the first book of Victoria Aveyard’s four book series. It is a fantasy novel for young adults. The book has a dystopian type of atmosphere and it contains a lot of action through the entire novel. It has a hint of romance throughout the novel as well. 

The novel is based on the separation of different groups of people. There are those born with red blood and those with silver blood. The Reds (those born with red blood) are born as normal human beings, unlike the Silvers (those born with silver blood) who are born with supernatural powers that allow them to control certain things. 

Mare Barrow, a Red, lives her life in poverty alongside her family and other Reds. She steals in order to try and keep her family stable. One day while she is stealing she meets a mysterious man and the next thing she knew she was working for the King. 

At the King’s palace, she realizes that she has a supernatural power like the Silvers. All Silvers in the different powerful houses witness Mare’s supernatural power. The fact that she is a Red with powers could disrupt the hierarchy that the King rules over, so the King decides to give her a fake identity. 

The rest of the book tells of her journey as a Silver with Red blood.

The book jumps straight into the problems with the society and the harsh conditions that Mare and other Reds must face. The book keeps a consistent pace when revealing information and when placing action throughout the plot. 

The book has a slight touch of humor with Mare’s intriguing and stubborn personality. The book keeps the reader interested, hanging off the edge of their seat to find out what will happen next. 

I would give this book a 5/5.

Debate at HPSH

Debate is a club that is open to all students at Highland. Debate meets on Mondays and Thursdays at 3:15-5:00 in Ms. Becker’s room (room 2214). The type of debate at Highland Park is Policy Debate. 

If you’re new to debate then you can start off as a Rookie and then move on to be a Novice, JV, and finally, a Varsity debater. 

In debate you get to work with a partner. You and your partner debate against another person and their partner. The main idea is to convince the judge that your side/ideas (Affirmative or Negative) are better than the other side. 

Once you join debate you get a topic that you will have to debate about. This year’s topic is the selling of arms to foreign countries. The proposition is: “The United States federal government should substantially decrease Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sales of arms to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” 

The Affirmative side in a debate agrees with the proposition. Their job is to convince the judge that their plan is better and if it doesn’t go through then bad things will happen. In this case, the affirmative’s job is to convince the judge that the United States should stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, and if the United States doesn’t stop selling them then bad things will happen.

The Negative side in a debate disagrees with the proposition. Their job is to convince the judge that the affirmative’s proposition won’t work and we should leave everything as it is or else bad things will happen. In this case, the negative’s job is to convince the judge that the United States should keep selling weapons to Saudi Arabia because if they don’t then bad things will come from it. 

Debate tournaments usually go on for two days. Usually, Fridays and Saturdays. A debate tournament is around as long as a school day and you get to debate around 2-4 rounds depending on the tournament. 

If you want to work on/and or like to:

  • Speak in front of others
  • Analyze text
  • Come up with questions
  • Prove others wrong
  • Argue
  • Meet new people
  • Learn about politics 

then I suggest you join the Highland Park Debate Team!

Volunteering at the Minnesota Children’s Museum

 


The Minnesota Children’s Museum (MCM) is all about learning through the act of play. As a Play Team volunteer at the MCM, one must interact with children and find their inner playful side. 

In order to be a MCM Play Team volunteer, one must be in 9th – 12th grade. 

MCM Play Team volunteers must volunteer for, usually, a four hour shift. Shifts are available from:

Friday, 5pm-8pm

Saturday, 8:45am-12:45pm

Saturday, 12pm-4:30pm

Saturday, 3:45pm-8pm

Sunday, 8:45am-12:45pm

Sunday, 12pm-4:30pm

These are the shifts that are available during the school year. Each volunteer must complete a minimum of 10 shifts before the end of the school year. These 10 shifts may be scattered throughout the school year, but one of the 10 shifts must be on a “Target Free Sunday.” 

“Target Free Sunday” occurs once a month and it is when the museum allows visitors to go in for free. Typically, these days get very busy and one’s normal responsibilities change, along with the schedule.

A regular schedule at the museum starts off with “Daily Development” which is supposed to warm you up for the museum floor. At “Daily Development,” volunteers get to interact with other volunteers and play games, as well as finding the deeper meaning to those games. 

After “Daily Development,” everyone gets their schedules and are ready to go onto the floor. 

Schedules consist of around 6 different shifts, and each shift lasts 30 minutes. During a shift you go to an area in the museum and interact with children to help them learn through play. 

Around 15 minutes before the end, all the volunteers head to the volunteer area and end with “Reflection.” “Reflection” is very similar to “Daily Development,” but it’s at the end instead of the beginning. At “Reflection,” volunteers reflect on how their day was and how they could better improve as volunteers. 

Being a volunteer at the MCM allows you to play, learn, and teach alongside other teens and children. 

If you would like to become a volunteer at the Minnesota Children’s Museum email: 

volunteers@mcm.org

Ballet Folklorico

image taken from: tps://www.anmbf.org/

Ballet Folklórico is one of the many ways to express Mexican culture. Ballet Folklórico is a dance that represents all of the regions in Mexico; therefore, it has many different types of dances, clothing, and music within the category. 

These dances were practiced and performed as early as the 17th century and started to become more popular in the 18th century, after the War of Independence. 

The most popular and widely known type of Folklorico is the Folklorico dances of Jalisco. A traditional Folklorico Jalisco dress is made of a fabric called poplin. The colors of the dresses are strong such as red, Mexican pink, and yellow. The shirt part of the dress has sleeves that go up to the elbow. Both the skirt and the dress are decorated with ribbons that match the dress. 

The men wear a typical charro suit which is made up of long tight pants with decorations on the sides. Along with the pants there is a matching jacket and silk tie. They also wear a wide-brimmed hat, or sombrero, with the outfit. 

All Folklorico dances consist of a lot of movement of the whole body. There is a lot of footwork, legwork, use of the torso, and armwork. In many dances the ladies use their skirts with coordination and elegance to produce beautiful waves of color emanating from their dresses.

Others, such as the style of Gerruero, use other forms to get the people’s attention besides using their skirts. Guerrero dances consist of both males and females using a pañuelo (handkerchief) while they dance, moving it in an infinity symbol like motion.

In many other dances such as those from Nayarit and Colima, the men use machetes while they dance, producing a loud noise and a great reaction from their audiences. 

There are many groups all around the world that teach the wonders of Ballet Folklorico that usually focus on all the different types of dances from all the regions in Mexico. Joining a group allows one to connect with their Mexican culture or learn of Mexican culture, and this makes learning Ballet Folklorico all the more fun.