Journalism
M e s s a g e   i n   a   B o t t l e
Kaplan High

Writers
Emily Deshotel
Cain Lerrete
Emily Carter
Taylor Gaspard


9/11 Special

Remembering 9/11
By: The Kaplan High Journalism Club (Co-written)

September 11, 2001. For most, this day brings horrible memories; memories of things people thought would never happen, of death, of a city covered in debris, and a skyline, changed from its former glory.

The 9/11 attack consisted of four planes and nineteen terrorists. Muhammad Ata al Sayyid was a terrorist who was involved. He is believed to have been the pilot of American Airlines 311, the plane that crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He was accompanied by Satam Suqami, Waleed, Alshehri, Wail Alshehri, and Abdulaziz Alomari. On American Airlines #77, Khalid Almirhdar, Majed Moqed, Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, and Hani Hanjour took control of the plane and crashed it into the Pentagon. United Airlines #175 was overtaken by Marwan Al-Shehhi, Fayez Rashid, Ahmed Alghami, Hamza Alghamdi, and Mohand Alsheri. This plane was crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. United Airlines #93, which crashed into Stony Creek Township, was controlled by Saeed Alghamdi, Ahmad Alghami, Hamza Alghamdi, and Mohand Alsheri. They were fighting for what they believed and wanted to be remembered dying for their cause. However, they are not the only ones who remember.

Many people were devastated on September 11th. If the loss of family members was not enough, the thought of more attacks were always in the back of their minds. Kids in school all over the country, ignorant of what had happened, became afraid to see the adults and teachers bowing their heads and crying. Parents watched the news and children cried, knowing that their family members enlisted in the military would soon be leaving to fight in the newly declared war.

Students today still remember the events that happened on that dreadful day. Francesca Harrington, a junior at Kaplan High School, says she remembers the day perfectly. “I was terrified and I remember my teacher telling us not to be scared. I was only in the first grade and I thought that the next place there were going to attack was to be Louisiana.” Francesca said that even though she did not understand exactly what was going to happen, she was still pretty scared. Kayla Gaspard, senior at Kaplan High also remembers the day the Twin Towers came down. She said, “I was at school and the teachers were trying not to freak the kids out.” Kayla also stated that when she got home, her mother cried for all those people who lost their lives in the Twin Towers.

September 11, 2001 did not just affect kids, that day also affected adults in many ways. Many adults remember the terrifying events that took place on that day. Bernadette Suire says she remembers this day perfectly. She also said that she watched the news and saw the towers come down. She also says that she feels horrible for all the people who lost their lives. Mrs. Suire is also grateful for all of our soldiers that are currently fighting for our safety today.

As for the people who were affected by September 11 personally, it is pointless to say that they suffered the worst. The day completely changed everything about them, whether they lost a husband or wife, sister or brother, parent or child, something in them was broken and they had to fix things to keep moving on for their kids. People might assume that they are not doing well but for the most part that is not the case. They are surviving, putting more effort than ever into what they believe in.

One example of this would be Ed Fine. Ed Fine was a business man working at the New York based Intercapital Planning Corp. On September 11, he was waiting for the elevator on the 78th floor of the North Tower. When American Airlines Flight 11 hit the building, he thought a bomb had gone off, so he and some of the other employees went to the emergency stairs and started the long trek down. They were walking away from the buildings when the South Tower fell. Today Mr. Fine is living in suburban Watchung, NJ with his wife. He was last working at Carpe DM, an investment consulting firm and SEPA Capital Group. He also collaborates with United Medical Solutions. He knows he is lucky to be alive today.

Another incredible story of strength is that of Alice Hoagland. She is the mother of Mark Bingham, one of the courageous passengers who led the revolt on United Airlines Flight 93. This resulted in the plane crashing into an empty field, only killing the people on the plane. Mrs. Hoagland, retired United Airlines flight attendant, is very proud of everyone who was on that plane. In honor of her son’s memory, she is a spokesperson for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community and she avidly supports rugby (Mark was a gay rugby player).

Most people agree that they felt a loss of security when the planes were hijacked. It was not just America losing it, people felt that they had invaded something that many viewed untouchable that it shook the entire world to its core. Something people do not know about the effect it had on Arab Americans. The Arab American Association of New York was founded in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, when Arab Americans were facing a lot of discrimination and victimization. This is what the director of the Arab American Association, Linda Sarsour, says they are fighting against. She says, “We just want to live. We are Americans. I shouldn’t have to tell anyone that.”

After the incident of the World Trade Centers, the United States national government decided to improve its security. One change in our national security is the enactment of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act allows the national government to tap into phone lines without the use of a warrant. In doing so, the government can react quickly to a terrorist threat and immediately intercept communications without waiting for permission. Other issues of concern have been addressed through the increase of security staff at airports, as well as the increased frequency of random searches. This can help in keeping terrorists off of airplanes, and in possibly preventing another Twin Towers event from happening again.

While these improvements to our national security have helped, there are still ways around them. The government could tap into phone lines, but the suspected terrorist and the other person on the other side of the phone line could be speaking in a unique code, or they could already know that their phone lines are tapped. Also, increasing security at airports does prevent many threats, but it is still possible that it will not prevent all threats. With the War on Terrorism still raging, many people are still concerned about another attack, even after the death of Bin Ladden.

While searching through Bin Ladden’s belongings, other war tactics were found. Bin Ladden’s newest idea was to use small, private jet planes instead of huge, commercial airplanes. While crashing a smaller plane would not be as devastation as a commercial plane, these small planes may be armed with poisonous or nuclear containers, so that when they would crash the planes, the after affect would be more devastating than a commercial plane crashing. Also, with these new plans, instead of crashing plane after plane, terrorists can arm their planes with bombs, allowing each plane to be used multiple times. With this new revelation, the United States government has shifted their priority into preventing Bin Ladden’s followers from using these newly discovered tactics.

Whether you lost a family member, a friend, or an important part of the New York skyline, everyone was personally affected by September 11, 2001. Your sense of security was destroyed and every time you are in an airport, the tightened security reminds you of everything that was lost that day. You remember the lives that the terrorists took, and the lives that have been lost in Afghanistan. We fight by never forgetting that people were just trying to do their job or were going to see their family in another state, but were stopped because a group of people chose to take their lives.





Week Three

Freshmen Academy
Taylor Gaspard


Freshmen Academy is a program at schools all over Louisiana. It is to help the Freshmen going into high school be prepared and on a path to graduation. Some Freshmen come into high school almost expecting to fail. That is why Freshmen Academy is there to help the freshmen get with the program and get what they need to graduate.

Freshmen Academy came along when the state wanted a solution for the dropout rates in Louisiana schools. Students that were over the average age for the Freshman class were expected to fail as soon as they would get into high school. Then Freshmen Academy came into action. The program helps the students as well as the teachers. The teachers communicate better with each other to talk about the students they think need help in certain classes. They also make lists, talk about concerns, and even find out why a student might be absent so many days.

Kaplan High School also came up with a solution involving Freshmen Academy. Every year Kaplan High has a six hour orientation for the Freshmen only. KHS runs through a regular school day by taking the students to all of their classes, talking about what they will do in each class, showing them where their lockers are, and even giving them each a senior mentor.

Senior mentors are other students at the school who volunteer to help a freshman that may need to find a class, open a locker, or anything that they might have trouble with in high school. One of the senior mentors is Mia Boullion. She said that she loves being a mentor. “We teach the Freshmen dances, play games, and get them to warm up to high school.” Mia thinks that Freshmen Academy is very important for freshman to graduate.

Ms. Erica Trahan is the head of Freshmen Academy at Kaplan High School. She makes sure that the Freshmen get what they need in order to graduate. If they are failing in a class, Ms. Erica finds out why and what she could do to help them. Ms. Erica gets all of the Freshmen on the path to graduation. All the Freshmen core teachers make five phone calls every day to parents regarding if the call is negative or positive. She said whatever has to be done she will do to get these students to pass without dropping out of high school. Ms. Erica thinks Freshmen Academy is absolutely important because a student’s education is the most important thing and everyone deserves to graduate.



PATS
(Pirate Advisory Teams)
By: Emily Deshotel


PATS(Pirate Advisory Teams) is a mentoring program at Kaplan High School in which a teacher is assigned fifteen or so students. The teacher helps to keep track of students’ grades and make sure they stay on task. If a student is falling behind in classes, the teacher will then talk to that student and refer them to Mrs. Patti Richard, the school’s counselor.

Mrs. Patti Richard gave insight on her opinion of PATS. She said that PATS is very helpful to her in particular because it takes stress off of her. Now, Mrs. Richard has other teachers reviewing the students’ grades and making sure they don’t fall behind in their classes. She also said that it helps the students get a little more prepared for college. The students can learn more about TOPS (Taylor Opportunity Program for Students) and get some college scholarship information through PATS. Mrs. Richard is behind PATS one hundred percent. She said that yes, it does have its downs but the pros outweigh the cons in this case.

Beau Lemaire is a student at Kaplan High and he gave his opinion about PATS as well. He said that it is necessary and he thinks it does help. Beau said it makes it easier to keep up with grades and it helps the students learn more about colleges and get information about them. He also suggests that there be a reward system for those who do well in school. For instance, if a student makes honor roll, he/she could be rewarded with a free McDonald’s breakfast. He said it may help motivate students to do well in their classes and try harder to achieve honor roll.

PATS is a very well-organized program that was designed with the students in mind. Although it creates a little more work for teachers, it works towards the betterment of the futures of the students which will ultimately help the society in the future day. It is important that PATS continues to thrive because so far, it has helped many students bring up their grades. Before PATS, Mrs. Richard was the one who was keeping track of every student’s grades and credits, which was a lot of stress on her and the possibility of making a mistake was far greater. With PATS, teachers are assigned about fifteen students to help and there is a better chance of catching any mistakes in grades and credits, since PATS requires one to one contact and the teachers are only in charge of a few students, compared to before, when Mrs. Richard had to keep track of every student in the school, which is about four hundred.

Overall, PATS is very beneficial. It is a great program. PATS is a terrific way to reduce mistakes and increase improvement in grades. Hopefully, PATS will continue to thrive and help students reach the dreams they have for their futures.



Intervention: What Schools are doing to Help
By: Cain Lerette


For a long time now, some students have failed classes because of the lack of understanding of their lessons. Now, schools have stepped in with a new program to give aid to those students: Intervention. Intervention is a program available for students that are either failing or do not understand the lessons that have been taught. Teachers have twenty minutes after lunch to give support to these students and to help them understand the lessons and work involved. Intervention also allows students to make up work that they could not complete.

“I went to Intervention because I did not do my homework,” says Cody Patton, a Senior at Kaplan High School. “I did not do it because I either did not understand it or I had to work, so I never had the time to do it.” When asked if he considered Intervention as a punishment for not doing his work, Cody said, “No, because a punishment is something where you gain nothing. In Intervention, you earn back what you lost.” Patti Richard, the school’s counselor, was also willing to give her opinions on Intervention.

“Intervention was started because, as a faculty, we go out to other schools to see what is making them successful, and we had visited two schools that had the Intervention system set up and we saw that they were successful with it.” After asking if she believed that Intervention worked, she said, “It is really hard to see the effects of Intervention. It will probably take two or three years to see. It does help some students, but it is only as effective as the teachers make it.”

Patti Richard made a very good point: “... but it is only as effective as the teachers make it.” It is up to the teachers to make Intervention work to its fullest potential. If a teacher assigns a student to Intervention for not doing their homework and then does absolutely nothing about it during Intervention, then the student still does not have the homework completed, be it whether the student did not want to do the homework or if the student could not understand the work involved. If the teacher works with the student to complete an assignment, the student will be able to learn the work involved in the lesson, and will be able to complete similar assignments later in the future.



Discipline
By: Emily Carter


At Kaplan High School we have various forms of punishment. Some of these include noon detention, after school detention, and in school suspension. There are various reasons for people to be assigned one of these.

Noon detention takes place during the beginning of lunch. The reasons for noon detention are dress code violations, ID infractions, and a no read during independent reading, with it being split evenly between uniform violations and not reading, while last year the most common was decals on the pant.

Mrs. Jennifer Saltzman is on duty for lunch detention every day. When asked if thinks it helps she responds that, “It helps because teenagers are social creatures and not being with their friends at lunch upsets them.” Mrs. Jennifer chose to do noon detention because she needs the morning to get ready for her classes. As I leave she informs me, “The administration has decided repeated no read offenders will be given additional punishment because it will be considered willful disobedience.

After school detention takes place in the library. You can get it for reasons as varied as being tardy to sleeping in class. One student remarks that he was constantly in after school for falling asleep in class. This is viewed as being disrespectful to the teacher. The student feels as though it was a waste of his time. After school detention did not make him any less tired than he was before and it did not stop him from going to bed late, making him tired the next day.

In school suspension is the next form of discipline at Kaplan High School. It is assigned for many reasons, the most common ones being cell phones and willful disobedience. Being caught with your cell phone is an automatic three days of in school suspension. Another reason, however, for getting in school is one of the most common thing a teenager does. This, of course, means cursing. One girl was in the bathroom and said the F-word just as the school principal, Mrs. Laura LeBeouf, walked in. She was not happy about being given in school calling it “Bullcorn.”

While people view these punishments as strict, the first high school I went to had a more time consuming form of punishment for serious offenses. For example, one student was caught with their cell phone during a search. This student was sent to the office to claim their phone and they were assigned Saturday detention. At this school, Saturday detention begins at eight o’clock in the morning and last for four hours, until noon. This student resented this detention because, not only did it take time out of a busy day, she felt she had good reason to have her phone in possession. Her mother was in the hospital and she felt more comfortable being able to stay updated on her condition. The school did not allow the phones in the office to be used for things like that, so it was the only way she could know what was going on and still be at school, which was also important to her.

Week Two

T.G.I.F.
By: Courtney Perrin

Thank God it is Friday! Five days of rushing through the halls of your school so that you are not late to your next class, five days of homework that takes all of your free time, and five days of studying for tests(which take even more time!) When the weekend comes, it is time to have fun! Weekends are to have fun, forget about school for a few days, and relieve stress! There are so many ways to spend your weekend. So, how do you spend yours? Some students from Kaplan High School would rather spend their weekend studying for the next weeks’ test and lessons. But most of the students I asked would rather go to a party with their friends or go to the movies with their boyfriend/girlfriend. Parties are fun! It is the time for you to hang out with all of your friends and forget about school for the night. Though some of the students may be slightly tired and out of it when they return to school the following Monday, they will eventually snap back into reality. Personally, I like to spend my weekends playing my Wii, spending time at home, and with my boyfriend. All people are different. Some would rather stay home, like myself. Some would rather spend their whole weekend doing athletic extracurricular activities. Many enjoy parties and movies. A very popular part of Friday nights are football games. Whether you are a football player, a cheerleader, or just a regular student, football games are fun! It is one of the main highlights of a high school student’s memories of high school! The adrenaline you get when you are waiting to see if your school is going to get the next touchdown is really fun. The bright lights shining down on the football field like a spotlight on a stage. But the most important game to most students, specifically girls, is the homecoming game. This year, the Kaplan High School homecoming game is October 14th at Pirate Stadium against Franklin. Throughout homecoming week, we have dress up day themes. The Kaplan High School cheerleaders, dance team, and football players pump up the students with a pep rally at the end of the day on Friday before the game. We go home, dress up in black and gold, and go to the game! The next night is also a very important addition to the homecoming game: the homecoming dance. Break out the dresses, black slacks, stilettos, and corsages, and dance the night away! In my opinion, Homecoming week is the best part about freshman year. There is so many ways to have fun, no matter who you are. So get out! Relieve a little bit of stress. But do not forget to stay out of trouble. We are high school students, and we are too young to die.





Randomness
By: Emily Carter

People these days are very random. They have a mind frame where they just say what they are thinking, whether it is the time for it or not.

This comes from everyone being in a rush about everything from work to school to family. They have to be everywhere, taking care of everything to keep up with all the deadlines. It is hard, but people usually manage this by multitasking. They bring work home with them, take the family to work functions and everybody goes to the school events. It is a balancing act that takes dedication, but no matter what, all events cross over into others.

When kids see the adults in their life crossing over on so many topics they begin to see this as normal, so they do it themselves. It is not wrong, and they do not assume it to be, but when they do not focus on the topic at hand it can create many problems later in life. I have only recently learned how to focus my mind on a certain thing, though I still struggle with this all the time.

For example, my friend and I were talking about Homecoming. Somehow this led to a conversation about a project that she did in English that day. We talked about that, and somewhere along the line it led to us talking about some of the new scary movies that have just come out or are coming out in the next couple of weeks, including Fright Night, Apollo 18, and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, all of which I want to see. Without even trying, my friend and I opened many doors to a conversation that we really never intended to begin.

This is something that happens in normal everyday conversation, it is just because we are so use to it that we never comment on it. Now, people who do have the kind of focus that will keep them on the same topic until they are through discussing it may have bad feelings toward people who do not have the focus. They may assume that they are being ignored or that the person they are talking to feels what they have to say is more important. They feel the snub and they remember it for later. This is unfortunate as it can destroy many relationships.

Having said that, I feel that if children would see more of the adults in their life focusing on one thing at a time, they too would do it and pass that down to their children. All it would really take is having them see the adults in their life doing only one thing at a time. If you are doing homework with your kids, only do that. If you are cooking, do not check your email while you are cooking, unless it needs to simmer. They will probably follow your lead on it, making them more organized.





School Bus
By: MJ Gaston

To the general public, the school bus is an iconic symbol of school and education. Small children stand with their parents at the bus stop, anxiously waiting for that big yellow twinkie on wheels. Youngsters, in general, enjoy riding the school bus because it is a chance to talk to their friends before school, and also to avoid an embarrassing mom or dad making a scene while dropping them off. The young girls sit together on the bus to talk about how cute their Hello Kitty or Dora the Explorer backpacks are and giggle when they look over at their little boy crushes, while the young boys, oblivious to the giggles, talk about their favorite episodes of Power Rangers or Transformers. The little kids peer out the windows, watching the landscape pass them by. From the point of view of a younger child, a view that cannot quite see over the leather seats, a ride on the school bus is a pleasant and fun experience. However, all of the sunshine and rainbows that seem to cloud the vision of young children break away with age, leaving only a harsh reality. For teenagers, on the other hand, riding the bus to school is borderline humiliating. Traditionally, the younger kids had to sit in the front of the bus, while the back of the bus was reserved for the older high school kids, sort of like a VIP section. Now high school kids sit wherever they can find enough room, whether it is next to the peppy, hyper little kids, or stuck with a bunch troublemakers that stick funny notes on other people’s backs. The bus seats are suddenly a lot more uncomfortable, gum from 1943 can be found under the seats or on the floor, and the younger children get more annoying. Some buses are packed with kids three to a seat on both rows of seats, making it stuffy and crowded. Sometimes there are paper ball or paper airplane wars between groups of friends with high school kids caught in the line of fire, and occasionally there is a child refusing to close an open window even though it is pouring down rain. Most high school students would much prefer hitching a ride with some friends instead of taking the noisy, smelly, crowded bus to school. The ideal solution, especially for Juniors and Seniors, would be having a car to drive to school. Having control of when to leave their house, resulting in having control of when to wake up in the morning, is a great luxury. Being able to decide what radio station to listen to is a good perk as well. However, several high school students either cannot afford cars of their own or do not have a license yet. For these poor souls, they have no choice but to be condemned to the “nightmare on wheels” that is commonly referred to as the school bus.




Bullying
By: Emily Deshotel

Bullying is a serious issue that impacts both the younger and older generations of today. Bullying, by definition, is the intimidation or belittling of a person(s) by another person(s). It is a huge problem in our present day world. Studies show that 77% of students are bullied mentally, verbally and physically. A study from Britain shows that at least half of suicides are because of bullying. Studies also show that 42% of kids are bullied online; nearly one in four have had it happen more than once.

Bullying is a major problem in today’s society. However, sometimes the blame is put on the wrong person(s). Some kids have been abused and bullied at home and by people in school so they think it is okay to do it too because that’s what they grew up knowing. Maybe the blame should not be placed solely on the bullies themselves but also on those who influenced them the most as a child.

Many bullies have aggression issues and have a hard time keeping up in school. Therefore, they may feel the need to take out their aggression on the ones who are doing better than they are in order to feel a sense of satisfaction; as if they are trying to prove that they are better than others at something. It is not always a matter of pent-up anger and aggression, but one also of low self-esteem. Sometimes, all bullies want is to feel better. However, they resort to crude and unacceptable methods that tend to get them into trouble.

Bullies can be anyone from the most popular person in school to the most disliked social outcast. The growing number of bullies is phenomenal. It has become difficult to contain the number of bullies due to technology and the inability to enforce rules outside of school. Cyber bullying is a rapidly growing form of this intense problem. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and texting are all forms of social networking and are also the most popular ways of bullying. The lack of restrictions has increased the risk of cyber bullying and opened a new window of concern for parents and administrators of schools. The fact that schools have restricted authority over students outside of school also increases the possibility of bullying. By this I mean that schools can only control and only have authority over what happens on school grounds. Cyber bullying is only brought up when an incident at school brings it into the equation. Other than that, schools have no authority or say in what happens online unless the situation in question involved internet access to the specified source of the cyber bullying during school hours on school grounds.

Bullying is a very broad and serious topic. There is more to it than people realize and this ignorance is exactly the type of thing that leads to bullying. People often do not realize that they bully others and in doing so, they promote it. It is not always intentional but it is still harmful and wrong.





What the Art?
By Taylor Gaspard

Want to know what is new in the art world? Well this is the right place. Find out about Kaplan High School band, taught by Mr. Phelan. Also learn about the speech team taught by Mrs. Timmie. Kaplan High School is a great place for students to pesewa their passions and lean about something they love.

Kaplan High band is very busy this time of season. While they scramble around looking for music for their showcase coming just around the corner, October twenty-second and the twenty-ninth, band will look for a yet another victory. They will be playing music like Proud Marry and many more. Kaplan High School band works their hardest to make sure all their performances are enjoyed and love by their audience.

Speech team also looks a little busy at Kaplan High. Finding pieces to get ready for their first competition coming up on October fourteenth through the fiftieth, Kaplan High Speech will be going to Teurlings. The only exception is homecoming. Good thing that the Teurling’s competition is not mandatory or some of the students would not be able to attend homecoming. Their next event would be the mystery dinner on October twentieth and the twenty-second. With the amazing Aladdin performance last year, Kaplan High Speech team will sure pull something out of their hat to make sure that this year’s performances will be adnominal.

The agriculture department at Kaplan High is taking it slow at the beginning of the school year. They are currently learning about crawfish cages and work on what needs to be done in the fields. Legend has it that at the end of the year, the agriculture department at Kaplan High will be having a crawfish boil.

Kaplan High School Choir is working on the holiday season already. Taught by Miss Polly, the choir is currently getting ready for the Christmas holidays early. They sing songs like “I Hope You Dance” (a famous country song sung by Leeann Womack). The choir is sure to impress their audience with outstanding music like they do every year. The Kaplan High Choir is full of amazing singers that leave chills running down your spine every time.





Technology: What are Students Exposed To?
By: Cain Lerrete

Over the years, Kaplan High School’s technology has advanced at an excellent pace. The seniors of today are very proud of the school’s accomplishment. One of these advances is the new Promethean boards, which have replaced the old Expo Marker boards. Promethean boards are able to hook up directly to a teacher’s computer, allowing the board to become an overhead projector. Also, the board comes equipped with a special stylus that allows its user to use the computer from the board as well as able to draw shapes and other things on the board. The board requires you to calibrate the stylus to the board, first. While the calibration process is fairly easy, that does not necessarily mean that it will work every time. In some cases at Kaplan High, the calibrating system has made it worse, making it difficult to draw even a simple circle.

Teachers and students have two completely different views on technology when it comes to the internet: The teachers try to find what to and what to not block from the students, while the students find loopholes in the teachers’ security programs. As of now, the teachers have been able to stomp out many of the ways that students have been able to gain access to restricted websites, but students are still coming up with ways around those. For example, students used to use “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)” to gain access to restricted websites. When HTTPS would not work for the website, students used proxies, which allow the user to enter a website through the proxy instead of going to the website directly. Teachers finally came up with an ultimate solution to this problem: Disable the use of HTTPS. Without HTTPS usage, accessing restricted websites and using proxies are no longer an option. While this may sound like a permanent solution, some students are designing programs at home that allow them to bypass the system’s security through the use of portable devices, or saving the program to a thumb drive or flash drive and using the program on a school’s computer.

If students would focus on using technology more for gaining knowledge rather than finding ways through security, one would believe that a high school student would be able to learn far faster and greater knowledge than one who would not use them for just fun. While technology is a great modern feature, many students “use and abuse” it, and thus technology loses its true worth.






Week One
Thoughts on the First Day Back to School


Last First Day
Emily Deshotel

Senior year is the year many look forward to. It’s the last year before many achieve independence. Senior year is the year of many worries and much fun and the last year of high school!

On the last first day, it seemed like it was all a dream. I was in a daze the entire day. I knew it was coming but I hadn’t expected time to fly by so quickly. It was like reality slapped me in the face and time had been fast forwarded. It felt amazing to walk into Kaplan High’s doors on my last first day knowing that in a year, I would be out of here and going to college but it never actually occurred to me how short a year really is. As I looked back on my previous high school years, I remember them seeming to never end. Now, they seem to have gone by all too fast. It seems so unreal. But then again, reality always seems a little unreal. I’m glad the day came but I’m more relieved that it’s over. I was honestly nervous when I walked through the doors on the first day back to school but I don’t think I was the only one. I mean, everyone probably gets a little nervous on their first day back, what with new teachers, new classes, and new

A few of my fellow seniors shared their thoughts on their last first day of high school. Samantha Bourque, a senior at Kaplan High said “my first day was good. I was a little nervous, but at the same time I was excited.” Shayna Lasalle, also a student at Kaplan High said, “I wasn't scared or anything it felt the way I expected it to feel. it was just like another year of school only better.” Kody Romero, a Senior at Abeeville High School said that he “ was happy as happy can be to be a senior and back in school.” Rennie Reine and Colby Monceaux (Kaplan High) thought the first day back was exciting, while Andrew Saltzman said it was, “awesome.” Timothy Deshotel of North Vermilion said his first day was just like any other school day. Nece Marie (Kaplan,) said that her last first day was confusing. Nekole Potter, another Senior at Kaplan High School said, “it was a shock. It makes me scared because I am right here. Fixing to start doing my own bills and getting things on my own. And it just makes me nervous because honestly it seems like yesterday that I was little running around in diapers, me and my twin cousins running around and being connected to the hip and my pawpaw still alive. It's scary to see how time has flown. I never thought I would make it here. It always seemed like a whole another world away. And now I have stepped up in it and I'm fixing to be eighteen. Doing all my banking on my own. And I don't know anything about it, I mean I know my mom and dad and all my other family will be there for me, I just feel like a baby bird about to try to fly and I'm scared to hit that ground. My first day was great, this will be an amazing year, but it made me realize I'm at a whole new stage in life now.”

All in all, I think this yr will be great and I think that the last first day of school was an awesome kick off for senior year!





The Last First Day of School
Courtney Perrin

You walk into school as a five year old in kindergarten; wide-eyed and mortified. Then you join middle school years later, and dread the day summer comes to an end. But then comes high school; a new beginning or perhaps a statement. These are the years when you mold your life and become who you want to become. Freshman year is a breeze. Sophomore year is too. Junior year is the climbing point, the hardest year of all. Then comes the seniors. They walk through the doors of their high school with smiles on their faces, their minds focusing on summer, parties, and friends. School isn’t even a concern. But what some of them might not realize is that this is their last first day of school. No more going out and buying tons of school supplies or hitting up every party around to make their summer worth it. Now this is their year; their year to shine and step into the spotlight. It is time for them to get serious, but also to make memories to last a lifetime. They will be leaving their friends at Kaplan High School, and they need to leave good impressions and long lasting memories! Soon, they will be graduating from high school. Graduation is the focus point for most high school students. It is a goal that we work hard to earn. For some of us, it’s a breeze and for others it’s a struggle. But we all someday get the opportunity to do it. Graduating means freedom. It is the beginning of the next chapter in their lives. Before we know it, they will be out of school; college for some and straight to work for others. They are the leaders of tomorrow, and they should be aware of that. But the main thing to becoming a high school graduate is the senior project. It pretty much gives you the opportunity to review your options on future careers. A few seniors are enlisted in a senior project class ran by Ms. Timala Melacon. She is known as the Speech and Theatre teacher at Kaplan High School. Seniors in the class have reviewed careers from cosmetology to teaching. This class is basically for the seniors to get a more advanced outlook on their options. A few of them have changed their minds on what they wanted their careers to be. We are very lucky this project is available today. We could possibly get into a career we might not wish to excel in. Every student will someday be able to do a senior project and become what they wish they can become. But until then, students will wait for that special year. Until that year comes, support your school, have fun, and help yourselves succeed. Students can be the leaders of tomorrow and what we do can only be decided ourselves.





First Day
MJ Gaston

The first day of school is a monumental occasion at Kaplan High School. The halls and classrooms fill up with students after being cold and empty throughout the summer break. The day begins with an assembly with several announcements, mostly made by the principal, Mrs. Laura LeBeouf. New teachers are introduced to the student body, and new students are briefly addressed and welcomed to Kaplan High School. The new students are given an explanation of new programs, such as Intervention/Enrichment. Intervention is a twenty minute period for students to get help from their teachers and finish assignments that they might have missed. Enrichment is the alternative to Intervention, for students that do not go to Intervention. Students select an Enrichment class of their choice on the first day of school. For most students, the first day of school is a lax day to meet up with friends and talk about their summers and the fact that everyone is tired from getting up so early. Some students changed their looks, surprising their friends, sometimes not in a good way. The first day of school is an opportunity to make new friends, or new enemies. It is also the time for upperclassmen to meet new students and incoming freshmen, whether they help them out or give them a hard time. For incoming freshmen, it is the beginning of a fresh start at a new school. They begin learning how the school works, and where all of their classes are. Teachers start learning new names and faces, and maybe even experiment with a new teaching style. For new staff members, like the new assistant principal, Mr. Marc Turner, the first day of school is an opportunity to make a good first impression. It’s also an opportunity to change some procedures or enforce rules in a different way. One thing that is not so good about the first day of school is that students and parents are, once again, forced to sign and fill out dozens of forms. Students have to listen to their homeroom teachers read the same uniform and discipline policies that most of them have heard several times before. Students are reminded that obeying the dress code policy, down to the color of your socks, is very important and any uniform infraction will be noticed. One change made to high schools that was addressed on the first day was the new grading scale. In previous years, the lowest D grade was a 65, but now the lowest D that can be made is a 67. A large hassle for some students on the first day of school is hectic schedule changes and problems. Some students were put in the wrong classes, missing classes, or didn’t have a schedule at all. While the office tries to correct the errors, students are at risk of getting behind because they are being moved in and out of classes. This schedule problem is not good for teachers either. While schedule changes are being made, students are shuffled in and out of their classes, interrupting the classes. However, after changes are made and problems are solved, the first day of school at Kaplan High is very enjoyable.





The Last First Day
By: Emily Carter

People are moving slowly, probably worn out from the summer. They exchange greetings, catching up with friends they had not seen for a few months. Even though they are tired, some are happy to be back, particularly the senior class. They are glad it is almost over, some just glad they leave at lunch. It’s been a long time coming and in a couple of months it will be here.

The other class that seems to be the happiest is the freshmen. They are really happy to be here, and very few seem to be nervous. Things, however, are getting stricter.

We have a new vice principal here. His name is Mark Turner. Mr. Turner seems to be very strict, so far. On his first day, very early in the morning, he fussed one student for walking in the building with gum in his mouth. He is very serious about discipline due in part to being in the Marines.

In the gym, the atmosphere is better. People are laughing, talking, and catching up with friends, until Mrs. LeBeouf comes in and starts explaining the rules and how things are going to work this year. She then tells everyone about the enrichment programs they have this year, which includes relaxation methods, art, and a reading group. She tells the senior class to sign up for what they want, if they stay for a sixth hour, and then dismisses them to first hour. She does the same for the rest of the classes.

First hour last about an hour and a half, giving the teachers the time to pass out all the school papers and talk about their own classes and what they expect. After that the day passes in quick succession. People meet all their teachers, talk to their friends, and count down until when they can finally leave. In one class you hear some seniors talking about where they are eating lunch, while other students tell them they do not want to hear it.

The teachers also seem to be refreshed after a long summer without any students. They are focused on getting through all the rules they have to explain before they can begin their own subject. It takes a good deal of patience to deal with these kinds of rules, like you cannot have feathers in your hair and that we now have metal detectors that will randomly be used.

As lunch draws closer and closer, most of the seniors are ready to get out of there. Everyone else is just ready to eat and take a break from teachers telling them what they can and cannot do in their classrooms.

When the final bell, for most seniors rings, they get out of there as fast as they can, while everyone else goes to lunch, probably a little jealous they cannot leave too. With those seniors gone the school is emptier, but not by much. When it is time, the other students go back to class, not even realizing what just happened: The seniors had their last first day.





Last First Day
Taylor Gaspard

For some students, the first day of school was the same as any other day, but for the seniors, it was their last first day of school in Kaplan High School . School is something kids have to put up with for at least thirteen years. When seniors walked through the halls of their high school, everything they thought about school changed.

As the seniors walked through the doors of Kaplan High School, they all realized that this will be their last year. School is going to be over before they know it, and they are soon going to have to concentrate on graduation and senior project, not to mention prom.

It was Tuesday morning and everyone was tired and worn out from the summer. It seemed like just another day. The bell rang and everyone went to their lockers, then off to first hour. As the day went by, the seniors started to wake up, remove the sleep from their eyes and realize they have to focus on senior project. Senior project is something that seniors have to work on all year. They have to focus on what they want to do for the rest of their life, write a paper on it, and then perform it in front of the school board.

To be a senior is a hard job. Seniors have to work on senior project, worry about their grades to graduate, and be a good role model for their underclassmen; not to mention getting into a good college and worry about what they want to do for the rest of their life. Those are some big shoes to fill. That’s why the first day of school was so nerve-wracking. The seniors knew what is ahead of themselves.

As lunch came around, the seniors began to realize that the first day of school was coming to an end. The seniors got into their cars and drove off to their house, work, or trade school. They will soon be thrown into the real world. The seniors do not really know what to expect for the rest of the year.

Determined to succeed, the seniors will strive to make their last memories at Kaplan High School the best they ever had. The senior class of 2011-2012 will graduate with tears in their eyes and love in their hearts for the pirates, and go out into the world to make history.





Last First Day of School
By: Cain Lerrete

As the seniors walked through the halls of Kaplan High, most of them realized that it would be their last first day of school. Some were excited about the experience, others slightly wounded by the realization that it would be their last time, while some never gave the matter a thought. The seniors’ adventure through high school is varied, from preppy, popular students, down to the students who have done their best to stay under the radar. No matter what the story, the seniors’ final chapters have begun, and only time will be able to turn the pages of their books.

As the first day of school continued, many students sought out their old friends, catching up with what had happened over the summer, making plans for next summer, and to make new schemes of mischief amongst the school. As for the teachers, they were also excited about meeting new, and some returning, students. As the teachers met with their students, the students most likely were either talking to the teacher, their friends, or thinking to themselves how boring or how hard the class will be this year. As for the freshman with their first day of high school, many of them learned that it would be best to stay out of the seniors’ way at all cost.

The day moves onto lunch, where students congregate in one area and become what could be one of the loudest areas in the city at one point. Girls talk about their boyfriends, boys talk about their trucks, and teachers sit back and chat with each other and the occasional student about each other’s summer vacations and what their plans are for this school year. Some seniors converse about how best to treat the freshman this year, some plan on treating them how they would want to be treated, while others treat them how they were treated their freshman year. No matter what the conversation, the students obviously have a blast as they’re back into their old routine.

When school comes to a close and the students go home, many of the students talk about their parents (or boy/girlfriends over their phones) about how well their day went. However the seniors go home, where most of them truly hit the fact that it would be final day entering the school halls on such a joyous emotion. When this moment comes, a turning point arrives, where the seniors vow to make this their best year of their high school careers. With emotions running high and adrenaline running quickly, the seniors enjoy the rest of their day home, and plan out what they want to accomplish for the rest of the summer.





Emily D.