The Hawk's Eye

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Pro and Con: Ebooks

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Reporters Anish Mokha and Young Lee investigate the pros and cons of Ebooks, an increasingly popular teaching tool.

Pros of Ebooks

As technology progresses, traditional courses include technology as a more integral part of the curriculums. With the invention of the e-book, the traditionally bulky 300 page novel is being replaced by a device that weighs less than a pound. Despite having been out for almost five years now, many students and faculty at the school have had mixed opinions about the sleek devices.

Not many students read on tablets or e-readers, but the ones who have seem satisfied with the overall experience. “I don’t mind reading on a tablet.” said Senior Thibault Phillippine. The lightweight and compact design of e-books appeal to many students, as their backpacks may be very full already. “Having less things to carry around really helps,” said Sophomore Jack Huang. “My backpack would be much heavier if I didn’t have my Kindle.” Tablets also include an annotation feature which increases the convenience of having an e-book. Therefore, no actual book is damaged while annotating and annotations are much neater.

In addition, books available for purchase on e-books are also much cheaper than regular print books. On average, the normal e-book will cost about half as much as its respective print version. As books these days can be somewhat pricey, it is good to know that there is a much cheaper and viable alternative.

Although the benefits of e-books are very evident, many students and faculty do not believe that a tablet is a productive school resource.

Con of Ebooks

As our creativity with technology is still growing, the concept of an electronic book is a new one. Although an e-book looks slick and even requires no paper, there are still disadvantages many people are worried about. People criticize e-books for their price, which can easily exceed two hundred dollars. Sophomore Donovan Redd states, “I think e-books are destructive because the reading culture…It does not save connection with the pages, and the reading experience is not quite the same.”

Like Redd, other students prefer real hard copy books. “I don’t like ebooks,” says Dylan Thiermann, “I like real books.” Some may despise this idea because they do not have the ability to take notes on a quote they find interesting or some could not like them because of the size. The e-book is designed to be compact and portable, but the actual screen is no bigger than a normal page or maybe even smaller.

One of the biggest problems with e-books is that technology can malfunction. For example, in a situation where battery of an e-book runs out, reading is not possible. However, with a traditional print book, the accessibility of the content is unlimited. In addition, wireless connectivity problems could hinder the download of a certain book. Dean of students Barry Barankin said, “I think it would have been more reproductive if there was a whole unit that involved better technology.” There are complaints about e-books loading and people prefer to return them and go back to paper books.

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Is Dance a Sport?

Senior+FADE+members+pose+during+their+paint+splattering+performance.
Senior FADE members pose during their paint splattering performance.

Senior FADE members pose during their paint splattering performance.

Linnea Engstrom

Linnea Engstrom

Senior FADE members pose during their paint splattering performance.

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Many people have debated whether or not dance is a sport, and majority claim that it is. However, if you visit any school website and look for dance, it is always under the fine arts category and not athletics. This means that the School considers dance an art form, along with electives such as 2-D art and drama, and not does not define dance as a sport. However, many dancers argue that dance is a sport.

For example, dancer and actress sophomore Kimaya Chalpe stated, “Usually people say sports involve teams, practices, competitions, strategy, physical effort, etc. Dance involves each and every one of these aspects. We dance as one, whether individually or as a team, we compete with others and have our own ‘tournaments,’ we practice and exercise just as much as any other traditional sport would, and we entertain and do it all with beauty and grace. Some people say that dance isn’t a sport because it is a fine art. I ask just because it is a fine art, can it not be a sport as well? For all the aforementioned reasons dance has proven itself to be a sport.”

Sophomore Esha Bajaj agreed, saying, “Dance is a combination of art and athleticism. You cannot categorize things into boxes. Dance can be a double threat!”

However, sophomore Abby Judge, a soccer player, said, “Dance is not a sport because it focuses too much on appearance. If you have to have a special hairdo, and you have to wear makeup for your competition, then it is questionable.”

Georgia said, “[Dance] is athletic, but not a sport. It is not competitive if you are just dancing for fun and it is competitive to get into a dance school, but after that,it is not.”

After receiving these four strong opinions, many other people agreed that dance is a sport.

With these opinions, it is up to you to decide where you lie in this debate. You can argue that dance is an art, a sport, or even both.

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Senior’s favorite books

Tommy Cella

Tommy Cella

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Seniors share their favorite books that they read in the Upper School.

Colin Leach said his favorite book was The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Rachel Simons also said that her favorite book was The Great Gatsby. “It’s a classic.”

Emily Wong similarly favored The Great Gatsby.

Alejandro Lara stated, “My favorite book that I read while I was at the School was probably Maus, by Art Spiegelman. It was really interesting and I liked how it was a graphic novel so the story was told using words and pictures.”

Thibault Philippine said, “My favorite book I read at the School was The Odyssey. I really liked it; the writing style was really cool.”

Librarian Mary Goglio gathered a list of the last year Seniors’ favorite books. She said that the most commonly mentioned book was the Game of Thrones series, by George R.R. Martin.

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A Boy’s Perspective on Head-Royce Fashion

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The lack of a dress code at the School means that students are allowed to wear almost whatever they wish. Once a student leaves Middle School, where there are some restrictions on the length of shorts, and enters the High School, all bets are off. Really nothing is off limits: short shorts, bro tanks, shorter shorts, sandals, and so-short-they-are-basically-thongs shorts. You name it. Just look around. Really the only forbidden articles of clothing are those with profanity written on them, and honestly you could probably pull that off as long as it is not that bad.

Starting at the bottom, shoes are very diverse across the School. Of course there are the obvious tennis shoes or cross trainers, sandals, boat shoes, flats, boots, and slippers. There are probably a lot more, but I don’t know the names. Starting with boat shoes, namely Sperry’s, (mostly on men), I am not entirely sure that there is anything that represents the School better than shoes that were originally intended for yachting. Not boating, but billion dollar yachting. Way to beat the stereotype guys. Meanwhile, wearing sandals and flip-flops to School are just an important part of being a Californian.

Higher on the body are the pants. That is where things get interesting. Most shorts that girls wear are probably shorter than the average male’s boxers. That is terrifying. In fact, if you are wearing shorts that have pockets hanging out the bottom, they are probably too short. Not even probably: they are too short. The options for guys are relatively limited. They wear jeans or pants on cold days and plaid or solid color shorts on hot days. There is really no variety. Girls get to wear yoga pants, and when they do, it is cute or sexy. However when a guy does it, it gets weird.

Then we get to shirts and tops. The old “draconian” restriction of two-finger strap width on tops is gone, and everyone can tell. That includes the guys. However, no one is complaining. Meanwhile, all the boys in the school seem to wear plaid. Plaid shorts with plaid shirts and pretty soon, I guarantee, plaid shoes. Miles and miles of plaid. And those who are not wearing plaid are wearing t-shirts. Once again, the guys are relatively limited in fashion choices.

In conclusion, guys wear plaid while girls wear next to nothing.

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Are Class Sizes Getting Too Big?

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For the last two years, the Freshmen Classes have had more students than average. Many parents and students from the School express worries about how this will affect the classroom. One of the most common complaints is that since the class size is too big, there seems to be a fear that students will not  receive the attention from their teachers that they need.  Head of the Upper School Carl Theirmann assured  that while there is a slight increase in class size, it is still manageable. In fact the school cannot control if the grade size is slightly higher than desired, because when the School sends out acceptance letters, they can never know how many people will accept and how many will decline. The fact that acceptance rate has been higher over the last two years is a compliment to the School.

Part of the reason class sizes have been slightly bigger is because a few years ago, the staff made the decision to reduce the amount of classes teachers can teach. Instead of five classes teachers can only teach four. While the the number of sections for a teacher changed, the number of students did not. However, this doesn’t mean teachers are less focused on each individual student, in fact, it is quite the opposite. The reduced number of sections allows the teachers to have more time to focus on their lesson plans. They have more time to grade and focus on each individual students work. If te School were to maintain a small class average, the School would have to hire more teachers and as a result the cost of tuition would go up.

One of the schools main priorities is to keep the School accessible to middle class families, this is not possible by increases the number of teachers. It would be impossible for the school to keep tuition the same and bring in more teachers while keeping finical aid the same price, and not over working the teachers. Overall the faculty will try to keep the grade size down in the future, while simultaneously keeping the teachers happy.

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A Student Guide to Procrastination

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Linnea Engstrom

Every September, I hear my friends tell the same story: this year’s going to be different. They’re going to stay on top of their reading and homework. They’re actually going to start studying for that test a week in advance, not the night before. They’ll show up to class on time, and for once be productive during their free periods. And always, by the end of the first semester (though that may be a stretch, probably the first quarter), all of this has gone out the window. Soon they’ll realize that their motivation has taken an early vacation, and they only have one night to cram for that algebra final that others have spent weeks studying for.

Now, when I say “my friends,” I really mean “myself.” Yes, it’s true. I am the master procrastinator. Heck, look at this article! I’m pretty sure this was assigned to me a couple months ago, and though I’ve had plenty of time to write it, I’ve chosen to spend it elsewhere. Now, here I am, a couple days, or weeks, or months, overdue… (Sorry web editors!).

Procrastination is a problem, and there are ways to overcome it and get organized. But I know more than anybody that when you have 12 hours until that final exam you haven’t studied for, your initial thought isn’t “Golly gee, I should reflect upon my life choices and study habits and perhaps make some major structural changes,” but more like “AHHH 12 MORE HOURS I DON’T KNOW ANY OF THIS I WANT MY MOMMM!”

Now, at this point you might be thinking that I was actually going to give you tips to avoid these crisis situations. But lets be real, don’t we get lectured about that enough already? Turn off your phone. I’d rather not. Make a list of what you need to do. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Stop thinking. Start doing. Seriously? That is honestly no help at all.

But come on, no one can just “stop” procrastinating. Procrastination is much more complex than that. It’s an art form. A talent. A craft. So before you can tackle the grim task of conquering your procrastination, the first step is determining what kind of procrastinator you are. Chances are, if you have a problem with procrastination, you’re one of these:

1) Procrasti-eater

Are you ever working on an assignment, and you’re just like “This sucks. I wonder what we have to eat,” like EVERY five minutes? Don’t lie. Everyone does it.

2) Procrasti-sleeper

“Hmm… this assignment looks (Take note: looks, not is.) terrible. Maybe if I’m well rested I’ll have a better time conquering it!” *takes nap for 3 hours*

3) Procrasti-surfer of the Internet

We all do it. Facebook. Twitter. Tumbler. Pictures of cats. It’s a habit of our generation. Stuck on how to do that math problem? Have writers block? Let’s just go watch some videos on YouTube. What should it be: babies or fat people falling? Oh, Taylor Swift just released a new music video! It could give some inspiration! But for those of you who are true procrasti-internet surfing champions, here’s what I’ll recommend: iwastesomuchtime.com. I think the URL speaks for itself. Yeah, you’re welcome.

4) Procrasti-sitter, staring at a wall

Sometimes you just can’t help it.

5) Procrasti-cleaner

Ok, this one may just be me, but have you ever had something so awful to do that you’d rather clean your room? Trust me, it’s happened before. Once I even attempted to clean out my closet (took a couple of days to finish that one…). This may possibly be the one form of procrastination your parents would approve of, though usually to be reserved for truly desperate situations only.

The second step after diagnosing your procrastination type is figuring out the best way to attack the situation. Here are some tips: [I’ll do this part later.]

I’ll admit, those rare nights when I somehow manage to actually get a good portion of work done before 8 o’clock feel pretty darn good. But those nights are uncommon and not very realistic. So unless you’re completely failing a class, or suffering from IFLIMDBIPSMS (also known as “I Feel Like I Might Die Because I’ve Procrastinated So Much” syndrome), happy procrastinating everybody.

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The Head-Royce Golf Team: Yes, We Exist.

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Linnea Engstrom

It’s needless to say that the School’s golf team is one of the most belittled teams on campus. In the shadow of the School’s high-profile baseball, basketball and soccer teams, most students only laugh and shake their heads when Blakeley makes a rare, often-unenthusiastic announcement about the team at morning meeting.

As a member of the team myself, I’ve gotten used to the constant jabs and remarks. Golf isn’t a real sport. Did you even win a match last year? The golf team is a joke. But fair warning to all you critics out there: this year is the golf team’s time to shine. (And no, no we didn’t win a match last year, but that’s irrelevant.)

This year’s golf team has a record breaking NINE members, four returning and five new players. Led by team captains Senior Will Enderle and Junior Glenn “VanTwinkies” VanWinkle, the team consists of Senior Matt Harband, Sophomores Linnea Engstrom, Pierre “Grammy” Schreyer, Patrick “Patty-cakes” Toppin, Mason “Tipsy” Horning, and Max Apple, and Freshman Malcolm Yeary. And no, the uniforms do not consist of paper bags to wear on our heads, despite some recent reports.

As the 2013 golf season kicks off, send some love out to the golf team, because this year we will have a chance to get a win, maybe.

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Creative Ways: A Guide from the Love Doctor

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Ben Rewis PhD

Making the move from friend to Valentine is always a hard one. You want to ask out your potential lover, but you don’t know how. Too abrupt, and your valentine will be freaked out. But too subtle, and your crush will be unimpressed. Here are some great ways to avoid both of these problems. My first suggestion is a classic, and it really only makes sense if you are interested in impressing a girl. You might recognize this method from the movie Say Anything. The first step is to buy a ridiculously large boombox. Then, find your crush’s favorite love song. After you buy the CD, bike to her house, place the speaker on your shoulder, turn the volume all the way up, and blast that Justin Bieber or One Direction (or maybe something else.) If this method is too corny for you, or you don’t have a boombox, try something a bit more modern. This “love strategy” is a bit difficult, but if it’s done right, your valentine won’t refuse. First, convince your crush to come skydiving with you. Once you figure out where to go, ask the company if you can make some “modifications” to your parachute. If they say yes, paint “Will you be my Valentine?” on your parachute. When you and your crush go skydiving, jump before him or her, and open your parachute underneath them, showing your secret message. When you land, your crush will be in love with you. If skydiving is not a realistic decision, than there is one more foolproof plan. But be warned, this strategy is for expert singles only. First, take a piece of paper and fold it in half. Cut a semi-heart into the creased side of the paper. Unfold the paper, and write “Will you be my Valentine?” on the inside. Give your card to your valentine and ask them out. Good luck… it’s a tough world out there.


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How to Prepare for Finals

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Reid Schnider

With winter break fast approaching, many students wonder how to prepare for their final exams. Through six sets of finals worth of trial and error, I’ve learned what to do and what not to do, in order to survive your finals:

Set yourself a schedule. Plan out the exactly when you’re going to study for each final, otherwise you’re going to end up pushing something off to the last minute. Make sure you know what day and time each final is and plan accordingly.

Get out of the house at some point during the weekend before finals. If you lock yourself inside the whole weekend to study, by Sunday night you’ll feel so cooped up you won’t be productive at all. As a study break, instead of going on the computer, watching TV, etc. force yourself to leave the house and take a walk.

Don’t panic. It’s a waste of time.

When studying for a particular subject, start with the topics you least want to review. Nine times out of ten what you least want to study is what you need to study the most.

Bring snacks with you where you’re studying; it keeps you from using hunger as an excuse to procrastinate.

Get to your final early. You don’t need the extra stress of being late. Also if you’re in a learning difference room, everyone else in the room is stuck waiting for you to show up to start their finals.

If you have a tendency to procrastinate, utilize the power of a study group. If others are working it forces you to work as well.

Use your study day. Even though most students aren’t required to be at school on study day, go anyways. Ask questions on anything you’re confused about, even if it’s a stupid question. Doing well on your final is worth the temporary embarrassment.

Picture Credit: http://blog.orgsync.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/final-exams.jpg

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