Oxford Comma is a Waste?

Attributions: 
Lily Christensen
Picture Credit: andrewpagoda.com

 

For the people who have never heard of an Oxford Comma, it is a comma that is used immediately before the coordinating conjunction (usually and or) in a series. It is also known as a serial comma. For example: In Jeff’s backpack, he carries a book, a pen, and an eraser. The Oxford comma is the comma right after “a pen”. This comma is not required, technically it is optional, all up to you, and whatever you prefer. But I am here to tell you, this comma is futile, pointless, and should never be used unless under special circumstances that require that a comma is in place.

The Oxford comma has no right to be in writing. The majority of the time, it is an unnecessary mark, a literal waste of ink. Even though it is optional, why keep it when everyone can discard it? When it is somewhat helpful in specific circumstances, you could just add it in. Most often the case is that there is no need for it to be attached. Sydney Ward, an eighth grader attending Salem Junior High School states her opinion, “The Oxford comma helps distinguish lists and makes a piece of writing look more polished, professional, and complete. It also properly distinguishes between compound and singular terms.” It may distinguish between singular and compound in some cases, but it can be useless altogether as long as you use a little rephrasing. It also doesn’t make a writing look “complete”, it makes a writing look as if it is carrying an unwanted and unwelcome mark. Not only that, if this comma is used constantly it can force hesitancy or confusion in the reader’s head, and slow down the pace of reading. All because of an expendable mark.

Some might argue that the Oxford comma is necessary to keep sentences orderly and intelligible. For example: I love my friends,  Adam Sandler and Olaf. Some might say that without the Oxford Comma this could be interpreted as you love your friends, who are Adam Sandler and Olaf. Although this is a good argument, if you rephrase this poor sentence it would be just as effective as using an Oxford comma.  Amy Huhtala, and English teacher at Salem Junior High, explains how in some cases the Oxford comma should be used to separate ideas, but when Huhtala was growing up, like many others, they were not taught to use it in school. Recently however, many teachers and students do prefer it, and in some cases they count it as incorrect if you don’t add it in. They should not use it because the coordinating conjunction is there for a reason, to take the place of the comma so there is no use for it. That is all.

 

 

 

Lagoon- More than just a field trip

Attributions: 
Lily Christensen
Picture credit: wordpress.com

 

Annually, our school has the privilege of spending a day at Lagoon. Lagoon is an amusement park, and the trip takes place Wednesday, May 18th. There is many eligibility requirements, fees and other information that you will be able to find in the SaJHS Newsletter in April.

Lagoon has very deep history, that not many people know. For instance, it opened over a hundred years ago (1886). There was many features to the park; roller skating, water sports, a bowling alley, a merry-go-round and many more. In 1899 it moved to the location that is is standing today, in Farmington Utah. With this addition more features were added for thrill-seekers.

In 1906, a ride was added to the collection. This was a Victorian-era Carousel, the crazy thing is that this carousel is still in operation today with 45 handcarved characters. Lagoon also hosts one of the oldest operating wooden roller coasters in the world, it was built in 1921. This coaster speeds up to 45 mph, with 60 foot tall tracks. In 1927 there was a million-gallon, filtered swimming pool installation. Much later in 1989, Lagoon-A-Beach water park replaced the original pool.

A fire hit Lagoon in 1953, burning down much of the park. Half of the Roller Coaster was burnt. Scorch marks on the carousel are still visible today. In 1954 Lagoon was rebuilt with new attractions coming up everywhere.  A well known civil rights advocate, Robert E. Freed, stood up against town ordinances from banning African-Americans from the park. This allowed Lagoon to be entered by any race.

People Magazine has recognized the park, when the mentioned Colossus the Fire Dragon when they named the top 10 roller coasters in the country. There has also been many celebrities that have performed at the park, for example The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.

Lagoon is a great way to have fun. Summer Wilde, and eighth grader that loves the experience to Lagoon reports her opinion on the park. She states,”I enjoy the variation of rides that they have and the many different sections for rides (Kiddieland, Pioneer Village, etc.)”. Many of the students enjoy Lagoon and we are all stoked to make the trip this year.


 

 

May Students of the Month

Attributions: 
Amy Huhtala

From left to right: Madilyn DeGraffenried, Kyler Porter, Caiden Richards, Ethan Bergstrom, Emily Crow (Not pictured: Barbara Weakley.)

April Students of the Month

Attributions: 
Amy Huhtala

From left to right: Mallory Simmons, Quinton Christley, Trevor Ledward, Mark Peterson, Sydney Jones, Miah Hartvigsen.

An Inside Look at SaJHS Tennis

Attributions: 
Summer Wilde


It was a hot and breezy day on Salem Junior High School’s tennis courts.  Matches were about to commence, taking place on Tuesday, April 19 of 2016 at 3:30.  Booker Ward (Salem Junior High’s varsity first singles player and eighth grade student) faced Hudson Ronie (Mapleton Junior High’s varsity first singles player) in a match.  To get off on the right foot they began with a nice and long warmup.  After some time of preparing for a lengthy match ahead of them, they began.  

Ronie started off with the serve.  Everything moved quickly from then on.  Often, they’d end in duces.  At one point, it was duses for at least five to ten minutes straight.  Each game was a near win.  Multiple times the ball would bounce out of bounds, but was still returned which gained Ward a few extra points!  Practice and effort payed off for Hudson Ronie.  It was a devastating loss for Ward, but they made good competition.  With a final score of six to eight, they congratulated each other on a well played match.  

Booker believes his performance was “pretty good.”  Ward shared, “I tried to make [Ronie] mess up.  That’s the point of the game.” One of his many strategies to do this was to hit the ball high.  Ward and Ronie have had additional experiences challenging one another.  Both have won at least one match against the other, but this time Ronie won the pride.  

 

The Candy Bomber visits SaJHS

Attributions: 
Sydney Ward


“I’m really glad to be here,” Gail Halvorsen, the famous candy bomber of the Berlin Airlift, told Salem Jr. High students at a surprise assembly on Wednesday. “At 95, I’m glad to be anywhere!” he said.

Colonel Gail Halvorsen spoke to students on making a difference in the world, gratitude, and his personal experiences during the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and 1949. “Look into yourselves and develop those wonderful skills,” Halvorsen said. “Each of you has special skills. Don’t say: I want to be like somebody else - look to yourself. Build on your strengths and you’ll have a happy life.” The bottom line, for anything you do, Halvorsen explained to students, is to “Be grateful for things in your life, your parents, your teachers…, and those you interact with.” Halvorsen told the story of a little girl from Berlin who gave him her teddy bear, the girl’s prized possession, as a thank you for all the sacrifice to bring the citizens of Berlin freedom. “Those were the kind of things people did,” Halvorsen says. They were truly grateful.

Colonel Halvorsen told the story of the Candy Bombing, said to be the event that stopped World War Three. One day while taking pictures around the city, Halvorsen noticed some kids standing at the barbed wire fence around the air base in Berlin. He talked to them and had an impression to give what he had to them. Two little sticks of chewing gum was all he had, but the poor children thought it was heaven. Even the ones who didn’t get any gum, “politely asked the children that had a piece if they could have some of the wrapper.” And they put it up to their nose and just smelled. Colonel Halvorsen had an idea, drop candy from his airplane down to the children on the ground. This turned into a full scale operation, and by the end of the airlift, 23 tons of candy had been dropped to the citizens of Berlin. For his efforts and kindness, Colonel Halvorsen is an American War Hero and a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal.


 

Renowned music teachers praise SaJHS band

Attributions: 
Daniel Stolworthy

The 8th and 9th grade band students traveled to Snow College on April 19 and performed in a festival judged by John Miller and Paul Watson, both renowned music educators in Utah. Students were also able to perform with the Snow College Wind Ensemble directed by Dr. David Fullmer. The festival was not rated, however, the judges had great things to say about our Salem Jr. High band such as "Nice balance and tone to the band, nice and dark and rich!"  "Very mature sound and musical concepts and phrasing." Both judges also commented that they really enjoyed the performance and the music was very well played. 

These comments may not seem like much, or may not seem like anything out of the ordinary, but if you know who John Miller is (band director at American Fork High School, retiring this year) and what he gets to listen to each day with his incredible bands at American Fork High School, to have him say he "totally enjoyed the performance" is a big deal. He gets to listen to top notch musicians every day at his school and his comments indicate that he believes we are top notch as well.
Thirty seven students were involved in the festival. There names are: 
Liz Ashcraft
Jill Ashcraft
Jex Ashton
Emily Balls
Avery Brown
Kristin Clem
Spencer Fleming
Brayden Hansen
Hunter Harvey
Evelyn Holdaway
Sean Humpherys
Finlay Lofthouse
Makayla Mantilla
Brandon Mayo
Ammon Meyers
Kyle Miner
Jewel Nay
Jackson Pingel
Katelyn Pray
Ariana Stewart
Tyler Stone
Sheridan Vest
Sarah Watson
Percussion:
Caden Bluth
Sierra Campbell
Jesse Christensen
Nathan Hullinger
Kodi Lee
Matthew McGowan
Jacob Merrill
Tanner Murray
McKay Neubert
Rulon Phillips
Walker Price
Nathan Stiles
Jacob Warren
Matthew Warren

 

Teacher Spotlight- Mr. Winget

Attributions: 
Shaylee Obray


We have some amazing teachers at our school who dedicate each and every day to ensure that we have a great future. But have you ever wondered who teachers are outside of school? I interviewed Mr. Winget, a seventh and eighth grade history teacher, about his life and he had some pretty great stories to tell us!

Mr. Winget grew up in Murray, Utah with his five other siblings. He was the youngest boy, with a younger sister after him. Mr. Winget attended Murray High School all four years, and enjoyed it very much. He had great grades and perfect attendance! His best friend's name was Blaine Church, and they had some pretty crazy adventures together. “ There used to be two really tall smoke stacks where the hospital is now,” Explains Winget “ Probably about five hundred feet high, with danger keep out signs every where. Me and blaine decided to climb it together one night, and so we did!” Mr. Winget enjoyed his childhood and teenage days very much!

After High School, Mr. winget attended BYU before switching over to Utah State University. He played college football and basketball there. He soon after served his Lds mission and when he came home,  he went back to Byu. One day he was studying with a girl when her roommate walked through the door. “ I thought ‘hey that one’s cute.’” Soon after Mr. and Mrs. Winget got married and had five kids. They now have twenty two grandkids as well. Mr. Winget absolutely LOVES teaching. “ The eighth graders this year have been awesome! I will miss them next year.” We are so lucky to have the teachers that we do here at SAJHS!!!!!!


 

Book Review- Imperfect Spiral

Attributions: 
Lily Christensen


Imperfect Spiral by Debbie Levy is a incredibly depressing young adult book. The plot is about a girl Danielle Snyder has a babysitting job during the summer. The babysittee is a curious 5 year old boy named Humphrey Danker. He is adorable with very successful busy parents who don’t have enough time for him. One day Danielle and Humphrey are walking home from the park. When their football pops out and bumps into the road. Humphrey runs after it and gets hit by a car. All of this happens in the beginning and throughout the book Danielle is dealing with the consequences of it, with her friends, fear of public speaking, her messed up family, court meetings, and illegal immigration issues.

Danielle has to overcome her fears, like her fear of public speaking that has gone way back to when she was little. Her therapist helps her find ways to subdue it when she gets asked to speak in court meetings. She learns to come out of her shell, makes new friends, and deal an unexpected death of someone that didn’t deserve to die at such a young age, when she has to deal with it at such a young age as well.

This book was heartbreaking, but still a page turner and difficult to put down. It was very well written, with great details on Danielle’s feelings and her perspective on big events that come up. There was great character development, and the characters felt real to me. It made it feel as though the reader is actually in the book experiencing it. Overall, a great book.


 

Celebrities are at SaJHS!

Attributions: 
Amy Huhtala

Not the kind of celebrities you are thinking of.... but our students are Rock Stars! Today is the first day of Sage testing in ELA, Math, and Science. Here at SaJHS, we recognize how difficult and time consuming those tests are so we wanted to help our students feel special and successful by walking in to the school today on the red carpet with teachers and staff cheering them on. Students and staff also received free breakfast from the school cafeteria. Thanks Lunch Ladies! SaJHS students are going to rock the Sage!

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