Local News Reporter
Job description: You will receive little or no breaks. Your schedule is 24/7 for 365 days a year. Once you take this job there is no such thing as quitting. You eat when your “boss or boss(es)” are done eating. You have to stand up most of the time. You need to have a high level of stamina. You should be able to negotiate. You should be a master of culinary arts and medicine. If you have a life you need to be able to give it up.Your money is now your boss's money. You will need to work on holidays that’s when it’s the busiest. Lastly, you will also need to sometimes pull all nighters. This position pays NOTHING at least not with money. Do you want to take this job? No? What if I told you there are billions of people who already have already?
An advertising agency writer came up with the idea to create a fake job posting and interviews to present being a mom as a thankless job that few people would apply for. Posting it in 14 news papers,29 Craigslist markets, and on Google ad words. The lady who came up with this is not even a mother herself. ‘She got the idea after going home on Christmas break and watching how her sister-in-law never stopped going 24/7 with her kids.’ Says Jon Ruby, vice president and creative director at Mullen advertising agency. “She realized that being a mom was a job and probably the world’s toughest job.” The Mullen agency held the video on youtube and described this job just like I did to you. No one was willing to take this position and even asked if this was legal. YES THIS IS LEGAL!! As of 2014 there were a recorded 85 million people with this job position.
I decided to ask some high school students from all over if they would take the job giving them the descriptions from up top ( I had to re word some words because explicit language was used) : Asiah Knight (17’) says “ No!!! I would not accept that job because I would not be able to support myself and my kids. That’s basically slavery.” I asked her what if I told her over 85 million people around the world decided to take this position, her response: “ I would think all those people are crazy, but it depends on what I would be getting instead of money.”
Keyaira Luis-Finn (17’) “No sounds like a slave… no I need money” when finding out it was the job of a mother she was shocked. Tomeisha Barrett (17’) says “ No absolutely not !”
Continuing I asked each of them what if I told you this was the job of a mother? Their responses were all filled with shock, all admitting they never seen it that way. “ Wowwww that’s crazy I ain’t think of it like that. You fooled me!”
80% of women make the general purchasing decisions in the family, 93% make the food purchases, and even 65% of the auto purchases. The average parent loses about 3 hours of sleep. This adds up to about 20.3 hours of sleep being lost per week. Let’s not wait till the next mother’s day to tell our mothers’ why we love them. Let us let them know why we appreciate them. Even if it’s someone who plays the role of being your mother. If the job description fits thank them!!
By Laura Demée
Local News Reporter
Connecticut’s lack of State funding has affected Norwalk’s schools including the different opportunities students receive. Pictured is Mr. Ayala teaching his second period Civics class. (Photo by Laura Demée)
Norwalk is nestled between some of the richest towns in the country, but it always makes do with what it has. The city often tries to provide our schools with healthy school environments, extracurriculars, and the appropriate staff. Despite all this, there is no doubt that Norwalk is less fortunate when it comes to providing funds to our public schools. Towns like Darien, Westport, and Greenwich always have better facilities when Norwalk struggles to get by. This problem resides in the inequality of income that is dispersed across the state.
On September 7th, 2016 Superior Court Judge Thomas G. Moukawsher finally made a ruling on the 11 year-old case stating, funding Connecticut school districts unequally was unconstitutional. Until now, students from needy districts have been at a disadvantage. The State has failed to provide the same level of education for all public school students based on the Department of Education Funding per Pupil.
The current system divides funds for public schools into two categories: State and Local sources. Schools receive approximately 39% of all funds being provided by the State, while 57% is made up on a local level, and under 5% is received from the federal government.
So why is this unconstitutional?
The majority of the money which is allocated to put into the budgets of CT public schools, is derived from the incomes of those towns. For example, take a town like Darien which has an average median income of $200,724. Since the median household income is significantly higher than of Norwalk, they are able to provide their schools with a heftier budget.
Mrs. Bilodeau, a CGS History teacher, commented on the issue stating how she feels about the current system: “The smaller suburban towns also struggle to get state funding. As a teacher in a city school, I feel there are huge hurdles to overcome. Norwalk falls in that category in some ways as well. Greenwich and Darien are outliers because they have such incredibly wealthy communities.”
The ruling made by Moukawsher reads the State of Connecticut has 180 days to propose a plan to equalize the funding across all districts.
One student who was aware of the issue, offered his opinion in regard to the urgency of the case. Brendan Murtha (‘17) told PrideTime, “I believe all students, rich and poor, black and white, male and female-- they all deserve an equal and outstanding education. Anyone who believes in equal educational opportunity for all should be concerned about the major deficits in school budgets.”
Although public schools have dealt with what they have been given, the growth of students depending on the districts they attend, in an academic realm will differ. If there isn’t enough funding put into each pupil, their end result will reflect that amount.
To get a different perspective of the issue, PrideTime interviewed Lorena DeCaprio (‘17) who currently attends Darien High School. She stated, “Their responsibility should include making sure all the districts are given equal opportunities. I feel lucky to be in a good quality school district, but the emphasis on wealth breeds a lot of competition, making other students uncomfortable.”
It’s important to remember the inequalities between school districts across the State and the urgency to provide all schools same opportunity, however we must not let that divide us from town to town.
Districts within Fairfield County and the Net Current Expenditures per Pupil (NCEP)
*All amounts have been published by the Connect State Department of Education Bureau of Grants Management.
By Celina Mori
This may come as a shock to some students but teachers have a life of their own too! Ms. Witt-Kikta, a math teacher who works for the school, has said that she trains service and therapy dogs. Ms. Witta-Kikta currently has one dog that is working on being having her search and rescue certification finalized and is planning to receive from the Humane Society. The dog a three month old puppy to train for Seeing Eyes for the Blind.
Ms. Witt-Kikta started training dogs because she wanted to give back to her community. She was inspired by her parents to help other. Her father was a doctor that was involved with doing community service during his daily life. While her mother was teacher and church pianist. That doesn’t stop there, Ms. Witt-Kitka also has a sister that trains service dogs as well. Keeping the power of giving back to the community alive and running.
When training the dogs, Ms. Witt-Kikta doesn’t often use clickers, instead she handles training with treats. Ms. Witt-Kikta says all of her dogs are positive reward trained because she prefers it over clickers. Each time Ms. Witt-Kikta accepts a new dog, she has to work with another trainer to help get the dog comfortable and socialized since it will be in a group with other dogs. Usually the age to start training for service dogs is at nine months old, but Ms. Witt-Kikta has trained dogs of different ages.
The first dog she started trained was certified at four years old. “Just because a dog’s old doesn’t mean you can’t train them.” She claims. “The longer the dogs are learning, the longer their minds stay active, so the healthier they are.” She compares training a dog is like educating a child.
Ms.Witt-Kikta specifies that training any hound is difficult, since dogs are very eye and nose driven it is challenging for them to stay calm. “It is stressful they are working, they (people) think oh they’re just going around meeting people how hard can that be? For a dog it’s hard work because they don’t normally don’t do that activity they rather run so being on point, being on task, doing what they’re told when told without scratching, or changing that’s a lot of effort for the dogs.” She clarified.
The dogs that Ms.Witt-Kikta obtains are rescue dogs, some have been through bad experiences resulting in the training being a little more tough. A three year old beagle that Ms.Witt-Kikta received had broken hips and bones,it had taken her a year to recover with an aftermath of having to delay her training.
Body language also plays a big role when training a dog, Ms. Witt-Kikta explains before becoming certified as a service dog the trainer must be tested in a room. If the test is failed then the trainer is mostly blamed for it since the dog is generally right, it’s just the trainer gave the dog the wrong signal. A trainer has to keep notice of a dog’s gestures such as when the dog smells something or can detect if someone is friendly. “You learn a lot about your dog.” She expressed. “ They become an extension of you and it's a really unique partnership that grows as the dog lives with you longer.”
With many dogs already successfully trained, Ms. Witt-Kitka is hoping to acquire the nine month old pup by mid-summer or next fall. Even though training a dog can be challenging, Ms. Witt-Kitka is up for the task. Enjoying the work she is currently doing as both a teacher and a service dog trainer, Ms.Witt-Kitka won’t be retiring any time soon.
By Joseph Murphy
Programing, building, and designing are all apart of the things that make up the robotics club in Brien Mcmahon. Robotics club is the newest club to be created at Brien McMahon high school and is all about introducing young who have an interest in engineering to hone their creative abilities and building skills. You will learn many different things in robotics such as coding, design, and much more about the field of robotics. You will learn how to use the programs ROBOTC and VEXcortex which are a specified easy to learn robot language.
The clubs president and creator is Jake Yonkers who said he had become interested in robotics when he was introduced to it in Project Lead the Way. “My first Project Lead the Way class in 11th grade was “Principles of Engineering” and in it we did a unit on robotics and I realized that I loved it.” Jake isn't the only person who is glad that the robotics club was created, Jack Carlan another member of the robotics club is also very excited that this club was created “Robotics was something that I was interested and was glad that it was started.”
If you are interested in joining the Robotics club then there are many different ways that you can join. You can join by talking to Jake or by talking to Mr.Grillo who is in room 1185. The club meets every Wednesday for two hours after school. The club could use some new members and people should join this club because according to the clubs president Jake “People should join to be introduced to some of the practices of engineers. Also it is very fun.”
By Melissa Burnham
Last Wednesday the Norwalk McMahon Swim Team returned to the Pat Spinola Natatorium, which has been under construction since the start of summer. Zeus Swim Team followed on Saturday Morning.
The Pool closed in June, sending Zeus to Chelsea Piers, Roton Point, and lastly Staples. Norwalk McMahon faired a little better, spending the entire season at Swim 70 where two home meets were even held.
The problems with the Norwalk High School Pool were endless last June, and no one was particularly surprised with its close. The air circulation was horrible, tiles were falling out of the ground. Worst of all, every couple of months the pool went through “backwash”, which was when the filters would move backwards spewing sand and grit into the pool. What finally sent the pool into construction though, wasn’t any of the problems kids were used to complaining about, but something instead they couldn’t even see, “structural issues”.
Returning to the pool on Wednesday, many had noticed that nothing changed. “The Pool looked the exact same” Emily Reinoso, the Captain of the Swim Team explained. The only thing that had changed were the tiles on the deck near the deep end of the pool. They were clean and whiter than the rest of the tiles in the pool, they looked out of place. Complaints already returned the first practice, “the chlorine was too strong” many of the swimmers commented, it burned their eyes, and nose.
“At least it’s our own pool though, it’s really nice to have a place where we can just be our selves and not have to worry about disturbing other people.” Emily admitted. “Swim 70 was really gracious to let us practice there, but I’m still really excited to have our own bulletin board and pool back.”
Returning to the pool had been long awaited, the coaches of the team even counted down the days until the team returned to its home pool. But was the pool really worth the wait? The water was clean, but for how long would that last? What sort of reconstructions were done? What took 5 months? Home Sweet Home might not necessarily describe the Pat Spinola Pool, but at least it’s a place to practice.
By Celina Mori
As McMahon students know the library is usually used to ditch class when there’s a substitute teacher. Although this is commonly the case, students are also able to work on assignments when in need of information. Surprisingly the library holds another purpose that students can enjoy, which is hosting the Brien McMahon Book Club.
Believe it or not the Book Club has been growing in an extensive amount of numbers, reaching up to fifty four members in total so far, which is the largest Book Club has ever been. Ms. Andronik, co-founder of Book Club and Librarian of the school, has stated that she doesn’t know why Book Club has been growing so largely, assuming that people at McMahon like to read.
“ People always say that by the time kids get to high school they don’t like to read anymore and I just haven’t been seeing that.” She commented.
Ms. Andronik has mentioned that she founded the Book Club after applying for a grant to help kids at risk when she worked with one of the school’s psychologist. The following year, the grant’s requirements had changed and the Book Club was not suitable for it anymore. Ms. Andronik then started getting donors choose grants, which is a non-profit organization that allows people to donate to public schools for classroom projects, as a way fund the Book Club. Ms.Andronik has also indicated that Book Club took off, when Mrs. Payton, a librarian who currently works at Norwalk High School, was here. The club at the time had only 10-15 members where she and Ms. Payton would hold the meetings.
Students have the chance to attend Book Club during lunch, from there they discuss about the book while enjoying a lunch that Ms.Andronik provides. A member of Book Club, Xochil Tehuitzil, has described while discussing a book it can refer to someone in some sort of aspect. “Sometimes we get off topic but it’s fun listening to how everyone sees a character in the book that they can compare themselves too.” She expresses.
Ms. Andronik has also mentioned that during the discussions students will reveal what they have learned in English class such as symbolism or foreshadowing. “ It’s really exciting to to hear people applying what they learned in English class with the novels that they read here.” She states. “ That’s exciting for a teacher to see.”
After the meeting the members receive a copy of the next book they are going to read which they get to keep afterwards. The books the members read are from the Nutmeg High School Book Award. The award is given to ten books in the state of Connecticut. Throughout the years, Ms. Andronik has applied for different grants to support the book club, but for the past year she has been receiving funding from the James Patterson Pledge, which provides money to school libraries, bookstores, and book clubs.
Since being eligible for the James Patterson Pledge, Ms.Andronik is able to do special events with the club. Students last year were able to meet author, Libba Bray. Not only did members of the Book Club got to attend but the creative writing class for Mrs.Diaz and a few world literature classes from CGS were able to drop by as well. Ms.Andronik hopefully wants to bring in another author this year and is making plans to take a some members on a trip to the New York Teen Author Festival in March. Authors will make an appearance to explain what they do, also students will get the chance to meet authors.
Overall, Book Club has started to become one of McMahon’s popular clubs. With all the new members and being currently approved for another year of the James Patterson Pledge, looks like Book Club is here to stay for a while.
By: Aaliyah Grasty
Are you tired of pushing your way through the halls , or maybe having to give up your empty locker for another student?
As you may have noticed Brien McMahon High School does not have as many teachers to teach, not having enough room to walk in the hallways, or even enough lockers for every student in the building. Brien McMahon currently has a population of 1,766 students. For the 2016-17 school year the projected enrollment was expected to be 1,647. Over the years Brien McMahon's population has increased drastically. There is about 17 hundred lockers in the school including the Center for Global Studies department. Mrs Anzalone stated that in the beginning of the school year , “There were about 50 students that didn't have a locker.” Some students were asked if they wanted to give up their locker that they didn't use for a student who needed it.
Tamia Holland, a senior at Brien McMahon High School, tells Pride Time, “Mrs Zirulink, my house teacher, asked students if anyone was willing to give up their locker due to lack of lockers
for the freshman. She looked at me and I told her no because It was mine and I needed it. I now share a locker with my friend because she doesn't have a locker.”
Was the solution solved by house teachers asking their students to give up their locker? The answer is no. Now with winter approaching, students are regretting the decision to give up their lockers. They now have nowhere to put their winter jackets and are going to be forced to carry it around the school all day long.