Thursday, September 27, 2012

Some Nights, I Call it a Draw.

I kind of like using lyrics in post titles. Granted, they sometimes have no point or relevance to the post itself. But at the same time, they may have a relevance that transcends sense.

I've recently decided to just live my life. As the son of an Orthodox Priest (This is going to come up a few times here... just roll with it.) I have been brought up with the idea that we aren't in control of our own lives. What others call karma we just believe exists, with no supernatural explanation or anything. There's a plan out there for what we will become, call it a destiny or whatever, but it's a plan. 

Life is kind of like the scouts in the sense that it's a journey. Yeah, you can strive for Eagle, but when you get it... what does it mean? Have you gone through some motions or have you earned a rank for the sake of the side things that come along with it.

Here's a better analogy: you get on a roller coaster, and you get really nervous as you climb the hill (or descend into the depths of the Jackrabbits famed double-dip (mhmhmmmhmmhm)) but you  know three things. A)You're stuck there (can't just press escape) B)It's inevitable what's to come C) You're strapped in, and this has been done before, and people survived it.

John Green's Paper Towns contained a quote about life, how everything is survivable, except that last thing.

So I'm just riding the roller coaster for now, and I've noticed some interesting things. For one, my made-of-awesome friend Lana Meyer (who wrote a play.... you should come see it!) is a nerdfighter.  The only reason I know this is that we were talking during some random study hall in an art room. The conversation went to cupcake vending machines, but the only reason we had even started was because both of us were just riding along.

Post Script: I am in the process of converting my new blue-haired friend into a Nerdfighter. It's not a religion, trust me... not is it a cult.

Thus, (can you tell I've been writing papers?) I recommend you just ride, and you'll notice things you never have before... Post 150 is next week. Thanks for the ride.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Schools Summarized Via Church Pews, and Can Crushes

So, yeah, I've gotten to that point where I write the title more as a reminder to myself as to what the post I thought of was supposed to be about. This is an intro.

So I was recently reminded that rarely do teachers let the students choose where to sit. However, when they do, it is a predictable pattern.

The title describes a church pew mentality (more on the church part in a later post, but right now I'd just care to explain the pew part). People going to church (or school) generally want to be there (or at least signed up for the course) but they are afraid of the front, being too close to the priest (or teacher). Catching on?

With classrooms, naturally everyone wants to sit either a) as far away from the teacher as possible b) as close to the door as possible and/or c) near their friends.

Teachers do this thing that priests cannot (or at least I don't think for them it's all that ethical...) they give seating charts. This forces the people that want to be at the back (the general population) to come closer to hear the sermon, I mean, lesson.

However, if you work the system right (this is where I fit in), you don't appear too eager to be at the back, or for that matter the front, you end up getting put in the middle of it all.

Nevertheless, all English classes will still have comically small desks (I want to spotlight that sometime...) and spinny chairs will never be put in classes.

The Can Trailer... Taken With a Phone Before the Crush
Amazing Quality, right?
And on an unrelated note, I got back from a can crush earlier. So our troop has this trailer outside of our local park where we collect aluminum cans and then sell the scrap as a fundraiser.

People, in general, are mean. They don't read the side obviously and stuff everything---plastic, glass, bags, into this thing. IT'S NOT A TRASH CAN.

So anyway, our mission every few months or so is to open this thing up and take the cans out of the bags, and sort out anything that's not aluminum cans. This is a huge undertaking, and this evening we had like 11 guys working on it with shovels and trash cans and gloves and whatever else (one time we had a huge railroad spike).

After working on this for forty-five minutes, we had completed the mission. The side effects to such a task include but are not limited to: hearing the crash of cans in your sleep, your clothes smelling like a combination of stale pop and stale beer, and of course that headache sparked from the nausea of smelling this concoction...

So yeah, that's a blog post, and I'm dealing with the headache now... hope to post Saturday or maybe Friday... mais je ne sais pas que fois vais apporter...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Rivalries, and some FOOBALL!

No, I didn't make a typo in that title (no promises about this post, but that title is right). It seems that when people get really excited about football (American, that is... Je suis de Pittsburgh, je ne suis pas de Europe.) that they get lazy and drop the t.

Take for example, my brother who (as of the time of this post) plays for the 7/8th grade team at Carlynton. He gets really pumped before a game and sometimes just stares at me and screams FOOOOOOBALLL! I look at him, being the strange articulate dude I am, thinking wow, we as a generation are seriously digressing here...

Nevertheless, we are met on an interesting day. Tonight is the beginning of a rivalry, that between the Carlynton School District and Bishop Canevin. Now, I think it's not as much a rivalry in the classic sense as it is in the geographic sense.

You see, the Carlynton School District's geographical location overlaps with Bishop Canevin's because Canvein is a private Catholic school. Carlynton as a district provides transportation to those district students going to Canevin.

I highly doubt that there will be a huge rivalry here, but it'll certainly be something interesting tonight.

[Insert 38C Downtown Bit Here]

So back a year and a half, I did this project called the CarLynTon project. (I'm working on a 2013 update to it...) on the history of the district. In the four months of research, one venture stuck out in my mind. I interviewed Mrs. Sandra Hugan (I believe she's on our school board) for information on the merger. The pivotal point in the project as it was to finally give an answer to how we became a district. There seemed to be a disconnect between the towns being founded and Carlynton existing.

During this phone interview, I was informed of two interesting points: 1) it was legislation that forced the current system (which I ran with... and if you've seen the project, fills in the gap) and 2)We could have had another town in Carlynton.

Carlynton had the option to add Scott Township to Carlynton, but due to a rivalry with Carnegie High, the district decided against it. Now, this isn't a huge deal... we just could have had more land for a high school and stadium, the site of the current Bottom Dollar plaza in Scott Twp.

A part I omitted from the project was the extent of this rivalry. During this interview, Mrs. Hugan told me about how every time there was a football game between Carnegie High and Scott Twp High, they would have to have Pennsylvania State Troopers on hand.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Forget? Never.

Taken With An Android... Click For Larger.
I am as sick as a dog as I write this, but I needed to write nevertheless. I promise to write either Thursday or Friday at my regular time, but I wanted to post this one.

Every year on 9/11 I post a picture of the flagpole I built with the flag flying on it. It seemed that it was a 50/50 shot of the media caring about the anniversary. This is why we said not to forget. Don't interview a Kardashian during a moment of silence.

WCHS broadcasted a schoolwide moment of silence at 8:29AM, roughly 20 minutes before the anniversary of New York. We won't forget. The upcoming 7th grade may (they were born in 2000 or 2001) but we won't.

Thank you for what you do, and please remember the families of those affected in your prayers. They need it the most.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Football, Friday Nights, and WCHS

I don't think Fridays this fall will be the best time to blog. I apologize in advance for that, but please bear with me. I am announcing this year for the Carlynton Marching Band during all of their halftime shows and band festivals. So why not go there?

So anyway, this Friday was my first announcing gig with the band. It was an away game at Fort Cherry (Before you ask, we lost 31-21, but it was a FANTASTIC game!).

It's kind of weird being at an away game for the first time, and basically being invited into the press box to talk into a mic that plays throughout this entire stadium that, did I mention, is being listened to by about 300 people at their home field you don't know, and your alma mater's side containing your principal? Also, you are like the start gun to the halftime show...

Yeah, I overanalyze things, but at the same time, this is all going through my mind as I stand up to the microphone.

I have this amazing ability to do something and just not think about it. That is exactly what I did Friday night. I read off my infosheet and didn't think twice about it. I seem to snap into this mode when a microphone is live where I read everything smoothly and NEVER REMEMBER IT. Oh well...

So completely switching gears, we also start WCHS's new season tomorrow... and I'm proud to announce that we have an amazing crew including the likes of my brother on sound, internet-footprintless Greg on the video board, the great Clay Bodnar, and I am anchoring alongside Aidan from AK Productions.

SO we attempted a broadcasting test Friday to make sure all systems were go. Unfortunately they weren't. We couldn't get the cameras working, the broadcaster was on the fritz and we didn't have a host mic.

I spent my fourth period study hall working on that lab. I had to work with the breaker boxes, this stupid VHS player, and then everything was hunky-dorey. Whatever.

So anyway, we are set to go tomorrow during homeroom bringing you the latest on Carlynton sports, news, and when the Library will be open.

I hope to write Thursday... As Friday we'll be at Home Versus the Clairton Bears.

Happy Labor Day everyone.