Orchestra’s Fall Concert

Tuesday November 15, 2011 the orchestra classes had their first concert of the year, and Mr. Pesky took the initiative to try something new and combined all four of his orchestra classes for one of the pieces.  This was a unique thing for the students to experience because it has never been done that way before.  As an orchestra student, I heard a couple of mistakes but none that were too noticeable to non-musicians.  These flaws came from all the groups but the audience gave us praise for our performances.

The Concert Orchestra played two selections.  One of them was composed by Johan Sebastian Bach; this piece happened to be The Brandenburg Concerto.  The entire piece is made up of several movements, but this orchestra only played two of them.  They also played Moods of a Shakers Hymn, arranged by Harry A. Alshin.  While the Concert Orchestra mainly consists of freshmen, there were several amazing aspects of the performance, including widely diverse dynamic changes.  This group included the students from both Capital High and Helena High.

The Chamber Orchestra was also combined between the two schools.  This orchestra played Bach’s Fugue in G Minor; this piece was a little difficult but went smoothly.  I enjoyed playing this piece because it required us as an orchestra to really listen to each other to adjust our dynamics and to watch Mr. Pesky.   The second piece we played was Joseph Hayden’s Symphony 88 in G Major.  This piece is very beautiful if you get the style right, but if you mess up the style, the whole piece does not sound right.  It was definitely one of the most frustrating pieces that we had to learn but sounded amazing according to several of the parents.

Next, all of the orchestras combined to play tunes from Fiddler on the Roof.  None of the orchestras practiced with each other before the concert, but this was not noticeable because it sounded nearly perfect.

After the combined group, the Wire Choir played a couple of fiddle tunes.  This class consists of violins, guitars, a banjo, and an electric bass and it is offered as a zero period class.  If you are interested in joining your style with that of several peers this may be a class you would enjoy because it is quite a group to listen to.

This concert was a job well done, ending on a good note. I hope there are more surprises in the concerts to come.

Healthy Choices

Most people would agree that being fit is an important issue.  Being healthy takes work and a very conscious mind.  That being said, healthy choices are even harder when someone is at a school.  Eating right and working out is a big part of being healthy.  When you are at a school, this becomes difficult to do along with all your work.  Steps have been taken in schools to make sure kids get the healthy choices that they need.  The schools have done things from changing the lunch menu to installing healthy vending machines.

Here at Capital High School there are healthy vending options.  Jim and Allen Beck contacted CHS and asked if they wanted to put these vending machines in.  The assistant principal Mr. Kidder commented, saying, “We get 22% of the profit. We are very lucky to be having a percentage come back to the school.” Some people think that health isn’t an issue in public schools.  Whether it’s a problem is irrelevant; the healthy choices are there for you to use or to ignore.

Two kids from the employability class were asked what it is teaching them to stock the vending machines.  One of the students, David Whitehead, said, “I realize kids need healthy food to grow bigger and stronger.” Another student from the employability class, Emily Francois, said, “They need to learn to eat healthier and job skills [also possible job opportunities].” Their teacher, Taylor Kiesling, followed up by saying “Students learn how to maintain the vending machines, and inventory gives them job opportunities.”

Health is a big deal.  It will decide how long you live and how well you will live.  Schools are taking steps to provide students with healthy choices, including changes to several things, such as healthy vending and salad bars.  The school district is glad to help keep kids in good shape and physical condition.

State Football Championship Facts

Capital High has always been a victorious school; especially in football, we rarely ever lose in games. But when we do, we get up, dust ourselves off and try even harder at the next game. We have made it to the state championship. This time we will do our very best to win.  We’ve gone to state fourteen times and won eleven; this will be our fifteenth time at state. Capital first played in AA football in 1975. It was in the mid-1990s when a student on the football team at Capital High cut his hair, died it, and wore a mohawk for the state championship, starting a tradition that continues today. All the football players wear mohawks and dye it a bright color based on their position if we make it to state. So good luck, Bruins; bring home some metal. Go Bruins!!

Winter Fashion

So, winter is coming. People are going to buy coats, gloves, scarves, as it happens usually. That’s what I thought when I felt on myself first signs of winter, but..no! It was a kind of culture shock when I saw that the majority of students are wearing shorts, t-shirts and sweatshirts only when the temperature was about twenty degrees Fahrenheit! That’s why I decided to do a kind of research on this topic: I interviewed some people and asked them a few absolutely typical questions about how they usually prepare for the cold weather. What I understood from the results of my research is the fact that children in Helena are “weather-beaten,” and they wear warm jackets and coats only when the temperature drops below zero. Also I noticed that few of the girls worry about the health of their skin, hair in winter, which is extremely important at this time. More than half questioned girls told me that they don’t do anything special to feed their skin and hair that suffers especially during the cold winter time. I should say that it is extremely important to take care of your health right now, not postponing it for later. And taking care about hair and skin of the hands and face is not an exception! At any age hair and skin need special nutrition during the winter because they suffer the most, especially here, in Helena where teenagers don’t wear hats, warm coats or mittens. So don’t leave until later buying of nice warm jackets, cozy sweaters, and mittens, sit back and spend the winter without harm to health!

World Issues

If you ask me about the issue that is really important for me, choosing from the politics, the economy, and social life, I’ll tell you that it is social issues. I can explain why it is so important for me, even more than politics and the economy, basic concepts of our developing world.

I want to begin with the definition of the word “issue” as well. “Issue”, according to the dictionary, is a matter of discussion, a problem. And what do we have today in our world? We have poverty and deprivation. School education, as well as higher education, lose their positions, especially in undeveloped, poor countries. We have disrespect for disabled people; usually society just doesn’t accept these people, forgetting that they are people just like we all are, though with disabilities. Now the majority of people think that only the economy affects everything, that if we have a strong economy, then we can better address other things. Fewer and fewer people are thinking about such things as “silent killers” such as I’ve mentioned above like poverty, easily preventable diseases and illnesses, and other related causes.  But we can solve these problems! Even if we can’t, we can try because “you never know what you can do until you try.” We should use our wealth, resources, spirit and generousity to alleviate these conditions throughout the world as best we can.

I should say that it is only my personal opinion, I’m sixteen years old, and I can’t see the world from another point of view — serious and adult. But let’s think about it. For different people there are different issues because our world is full of problems, and people are facing them every day, but they don’t want to deal with them, and that’s the point. So, I’ll explain my opinion here more clearly. Even to deal with problems of politics, and the economy, we should first teach people how to do this, because usually people are afraid to start something new. I really understand that many people will think, reading my essay, that this is a very “loud” speech, and I’m not the only one talking about this, because it’s easy to talk about problems without solving them. People are afraid to make something to support other people. They aren’t ready to give their hand for needy people. But I can prove to you that it’s easy to start! I did a lot of charity work at my school in Ukraine. We collected toys with our group and sent them to orphanages; we collected money for some special presents for these children. And this work makes you brighter inside! You begin to understand that even your little step can make a situation better! I mean, not all children from all orphanages will be happier, but some will. And it’s worth it! Though I haven’t yet done anything here in America, I think I will do as much as I can. You know, when I wrote this article, I was so imbued with this topic that my opinion changed a little. Rather, it remained the same, but it added another very important point to it. I understood that no solution can exist without the other solutions. What I mean is if we have problems with politics, the economy, or social life, we can’t solve any of them. For solving social problems we need money in most cases, but if we have a weak economy, we can’t do anything. If we don’t have politicians who can take care of the country, we’ll not solve economic problems; we’ll not solve social problems. You can’t think about helping poor, homeless children from Namibia when you are worrying about money for food for your family. And because of that, the presence of well-being in any country is the key to a healthy, proper society. So, let’s build it together!

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street is a social movement protesting social and economic inequality. This objective was initiated by a Canadian activist group called Adbusters on September 17, 2011. Since its origination, Occupy Wall Street has become a global movement to improve the distribution of wealth and has become a clash between the wealthiest one percent of nations versus the other 99 percent of the population. For this reason, “We are the 99%” has become a popular slogan for those fighting for economic balance. The protestors are fighting not only for financial equality but also for an increase and improvement in employment, bank reform, and reduction of the influence that corporations have in politics. The Occupy Wall Street movement is based out of Zuccotti Park in New York City, where protestors have formed a semi-permanent community. The park was cleared on November 15th by city officials in order for them to clean it, but protestors have been allowed back in. Previously the participants camped out and lived in the park, but after the cleaning protestors were not permitted to return with sleeping bags, tarps, or tents.

The participants in this campaign come from a wide variety of backgrounds. People of diverse ages, religions, and political views can be found unifying against the nation’s wealthiest one percent. Studies show that a significant percentage of the population supports the movement. A poll conducted by CBS News and the New York Times found that 43% of Americans agree with Occupy Wall Street.  As of November 1st 2,419 cities around the world have established Occupy groups. The protestors have also found support in the form of fourteen major American labor unions, as well as from prominent political figures, including the founder of the Tea Party movement, Karl Denninger. The movement is financially supported primarily by donations. It is qualified for status as a tax exempt organization.

While the Occupy Wall Street movement has many supporters, it has also been highly criticized. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the protests “aren’t productive” but that he can sympathize with the protestors’ condition.  A group criticizing the movement called, “We are the 53%,” refers to the 53% of Americans who are employed and earn enough money to pay income taxes. This group is primarily conservative and takes the position that financial struggles are the responsibility of the consumer, not the structure of capitalism or corporations.

Good or bad, the Occupy Wall Street Movement has made a significant impact on the United States and the international community. It has brought about consideration of the financial system of our country, and the social and moral implications that have resulted.

 

 

Sources:

  1. .wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_Wall_Street
  2. www.occupytogether.org

The Pertussis Epidemic

Pertussis, a disease sometimes deadly in infants and elderly people, has been found in the state of Montana.  In Lewis and Clark County there is one confirmed case of Pertussis or whooping cough as it is most commonly called.  Although there has been only one confirmed case in our county, an incredible 39 cases of Pertussis have been confirmed in the Gallatin Valley of Montana.

According to The U.S National Library of Medicine, “Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable, violent coughing.”  Having this bacterial disease makes it very hard to breathe because of the congestion it causes.  Often times people with Pertussis will produce a whoop when they try to breathe, thus the nickname whooping cough.  This bacterial disease is more than just your average cough.  Pertussis can affect people their whole lives if acquired as infants.  That is, if the infant lives.  The reason this disease is easily spread is because when a person with Pertussis coughs, little drops of the bacteria that cause the disease enter the air; bystanders can pass by and easily get the infection.  In the past many cases of whooping cough were seen in small children.  Nowadays, immunizations are required for children of a young age.  For this reason cases of Pertussis are usually found in adults and young teens.  This is because by this time people may not have been immunized again; thus their immunization from when they were younger may have worn off.  Keeping current on your immunization is very important in combating this harmful disease.

So how do you know if you have the bug?  Well, there are many signs and symptoms of Pertussis, some of which are very similar to the common cold many get during the cold season.  These symptoms include violent coughing that, in some cases, can lead the cougher to vomit.  Along with this coughing, diarrhea and a runny nose, along with a slight fever, may ensue.  If you have any of these symptoms, although you may only have the common cold, it is recommended that you see your doctor as soon as possible.  Time is of the essence for this harmful disease. With awareness, prevention and correct action, we can combat this “pest” and keep it out of our lives.

 

For more information about this disease log on The U.S National Library of Medicine Available from:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002528/

The Final Battle

Way to go Varsity Football!  The Football team beat the might Bengals in a 28-0 Victory last Saturday at Nelson Stadium.  The team played awfully tough and will now play in the state title game against Billings West.  The tradition of going to the state championship can be seen around school in the form of brightly colored Mohawks, based on the person’s position.  The game will be in Billings and we hope to see fans there to support our team.  Good luck Bruin football team at the state tournament, we hope for the best.

Winter Sports

Winter is here, and that means that it’s time for winter sports! Here at Capital there are a few sports that you can do in winter time. There are boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming, and wrestling. For boys’ basketball the head coach is Mr. Almquist, practice is typically every day from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Capital. The games are on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. There are twenty games scheduled for the regular season, followed by the playoffs and the state tournament. There are 35 to 40 kids on the four teams combined. Twelve players suit up for varsity games.

Girls’ basketball the head coach is Mr. Pilgram, practice is after school from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Capital. They also have 20 games scheduled, not including playoffs and the state tournament. Practice is two hours every day. There are 16-18 players on the JV/ varsity team. There are 20 more girls on the frosh/ sophomore team.

And this seems like it would be a fun sport, swimming! The head coach is Mr. Ermels. Practice is at the Carroll College PE Center from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m. on Monday through Friday and Saturday practice from 8 to 10 am if there isn’t a meet. Meets are usually on Saturdays, but sometimes they can be on a weekday evening. Last year there were six boys and twelve girls on the swimming team. The coach is expecting to have more kids this year. Capital and Helena High practice together, so there are about 40 to 50 swimmers total each year. Every swimmer swims about 3 miles on a typical morning. That’s a lot of swimming! And for all of those wrestlers out there, wrestling practice begins at 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the gymnastics/wrestling room on November 17th. The head coach is Mr. Sheridan. As of press time, no further information about the rest of the season has been made available.