May 2017

SaJHS takes 2nd and 3rd place at District Poetry slam

Attributions: 
Annaliese (left) and Olivia (right) hold up their prize from the poetry slam

Annaliese Eddington, 9th grade, took 2nd place and Olivia Christiansen, 8th grade, took 3rd in our district's annual poetry slam last night at Salem High School. The night's poems were divided into two categories: Original and Recetation. Annaliese and Olivia were in the Original category. Annaliese wrote and performed a poem called "Someday" and Olivia wrote and performed "My Journal."

Another student, Marian Smith recieved an honorable mention for her recitation of a poem called "Slow Dance" which she signed as she recited the poem.

All in all, it was another great year and our students did a great job representing themselves and our school in front of the district. 

Students of the Month for May 2017

Attributions: 
Left to right: Jaydee Jorgensen, Jill Ashcraft, Xander Griggs, Alexandria Goodman, Brayden Adamson, Kyle Campbell

We have officially announced the last group for our Students of the Month. Congratulate these students when you get the chance. They have been working hard and are staying strong until the end of the school year.

7th Grade: Alexandria Goodman and Kyle Campbell

8th Grade: Jaydee Jorgensen, Brayden Adamson

9th Grade: Jill Ashcraft, Xander Griggs

Is Shakespeare Still Relevant Today?

Attributions: 
Andrew Oblad

In English, we are currently talking about Shakespeare. There has recently been some debate about whether Shakespeare is still relevant, and I think that it is. This is an essay that I wrote explaining why I think Shakespeare is relevant today. Enjoy!

Teachers have been seriously debating about whether or not William Shakespeare’s work should still be part of a student’s education. Will he be voted off as irrelevant? Not if I have anything to do about it. In this essay, I will be going over reasons why the Bard’s work is still relevant today, and why it should still be taught in school. Shakespeare’s work is still significantly relevant today because the characters are relatable, works from long ago can still be relevant, and talking about the plays could make for an interesting conversation.

First, Shakespeare’s work is still relevant today because we can relate to the characters. In the article I read that was against teaching Shakespeare, the teacher argues that we are “clinging to” the perspective of one man who lived 450 years ago. I disagree. Shakespeare wrote plays based on his view of life, and were written a long time ago, but his plays are still relatable, and that is one of the things I love about Shakespeare. Some people may say that they would never find themselves in the same situation as one of the people in the Bard’s plays. While this may be true, experiences can still be related to the experiences of the characters. 

Secondly, I found a quote from the article arguing that Shakespeare should still be taught in schools to be interesting. It says that “to dismiss Shakespeare on the grounds that life 450 years ago has no relation to life today is to dismiss every religious text, every piece of ancient mythology, and…everything that wasn’t written in whatever time defined as now.” This is a great argument, and one that I agree with. Just because a piece of written material wasn’t written from a twenty-first century perspective doesn’t mean that it should be dismissed as irrelevant, unimportant, or non-relatable.

My final argument for this case is that Shakespeare’s tales can spark interesting conversation and possibly even begin friendships. Learning that someone else has read a Shakespeare play can make you appreciate them more and quite possibly make them appear smarter than they would otherwise. 

Some might say that Shakespeare is no longer relevant because he wrote his plays 450 years ago and might not be relatable from our viewpoint today. This is not a valid point, because we still experience the same things that they did 450 years ago, and still act in some of the same ways as well. 

In conclusion, the work of Shakespeare should still be taught in schools. Shakespeare’s work is still relevant today because we can compare ourselves to the characters, works from a long time ago can still be relevant, and talking about the plays can possibly build friendships. The Bard’s work is not irrelevant, and he is still one of the greatest writers of all time.

I hope you enjoyed this essay I wrote about the works of Shakespeare and why they are still relevant. See you next time!

Finalists from the 2017 Poetry Slam

Attributions: 
The ten finalists pose with the judges. Marian Smith was not present for the picture.

Today, 60 students met in front of their peers and parents to perform poems for our annual poetry slam. And they were great. Some poems were from famous poets and some were poems that the students themselves have written. This was a great year for the poetry slam and the contestants all did an amazing job, not only reciting a memorized poem, but performing it as well.

Ms. Howard organized the event and she decided to mix things up this year and invited three local songwriters to come to our school and act as impartial judges. We appreciate them taking time out of their busy schedules to listen to our students. I believe they had as much fun as the students themselves did.

Just as in years past, ten students were chosen to go on to represent Salem Junior in the district slam on May 11th. The top 20 students recieved a student-designed poetry slam t-shirt and the top 3 students also recieved a gift certificate. 

Here are the top ten students who will go on to the district slam on May 11th.

  1. Miles Booth
  2. Annaliese Eddington
  3. Michael Langton
  4. Cassidy Haight
  5. McKenzie Graham
  6. Afton Hayfield
  7. Rachael Concoby
  8. Marian Smith
  9. Olivia Christensen
  10. Jared Kearns

English Students Create Poetry

Our students have been learning the art of poetry and how to use and indentify figurative language. Probably the most difficult thing about poetry is the ability to express a lot of meaning in few words. One subgenre of poetry that our students have learned about this  year is Blackout Poetry.

Blackout poetry involves taking a page from a published work, usually photocopied out of a book, and using words from that page to create your poem. It is a fun medium because the words you use are limited and the best ones find a way to say something meaninful with only a few key words. To make the Blackout poem you box out the words you want to use and you color over or black out all of the extra words. It's a fun activity for the students and a way for students to get creative.

The picture above is an example from a student in Mr. Haight's class.