The BRMS Gazette: A Year In Review
Author: Shreya Jayaswal
Having Fun at Hershey
My last year in middle school (eighth grade) has been one of the most eventful school years of my life. I remember after every school year I used to reflect on the year, thinking about my past school years and comparing how interesting, dramatic, or enjoyable they were. I can say that so far, I have enjoyed eighth grade the most! I’ve made so many memories this year to bring along with me; hanging out with friends, school trips, fun school events (like parties or team days), after school clubs, competitions (the spelling bee), concerts, general school activities and big projects (NHD), and so much more. However, there are some experiences that stick to my mind more than others and teach me valuable lessons that will help me in life. One of these experiences that I will never forget is the eighth grade trip to Hershey Park.
First off, the fun had started even before we went to Hershey that day. The whole school day was more laid back and it felt nice to have a day of school where we could take it easy while working, along with carrying the lingering excitement inside of us of fun times soon to come. Sure, we had a few assignments or projects, but they were still fun to do and it gave the students time to socialize with each other for a bit. At the end of the day, we finally got on our buses and my excitement started to grow. The bus ride to the hotel was enjoyable as I socialized, listened to music, took silly selfies, watched part of a movie, and ate yummy snacks with some of my best friends. Yes, I was eager to get to Hershey Lodge, but the fact that my friends were there with me made it easier to be patient despite my excitement, even when our bus had to stop at one point because another bus had broken down. When we finally reached the hotel, we barely had twenty minutes to get ready for the dinner dance. After rushing to put on our dresses and makeup, do our hair, and decorate ourselves with jewelry, we were led to the banquet hall in the hotel. I can still remember the scene as I walked in; eighth graders were lined up at the buffet as they picked what the wanted to eat for dinner from the variety of food, some were already sitting at the tables which were on either side of the main spotlight...the dance floor. At that point, there was no one dancing on it, but the music was playing and the lights were dimmed. I was greeted by many of my friends from different teams, which was awesome since I rarely went on any school grade trips. I mostly walked around meeting my friends, or even some teachers, and taking photos. After most people were done with dinner, the real fun had started. The crowd of eighth graders on the dance floor began to grow as more and more people started to join. All over the place teachers and students seemed to be dancing their hearts out and having fun. I danced with many of my friends, shouting along to the lyrics of the songs and dancing like crazy as I let myself get lost into the music and the thrill or joy of being with my friends. I even went to the photo booth to take a silly photo with them. The whole night was so awesome that I can’t even express it enough, and I could see the joy and happiness evident on everyone’s faces. However, too soon to believe, the dance was over and we made our way back to our hotel rooms. I stayed up with my friends for a while as we watched TV, talked, told stories, ate chocolate and more sweet snacks, and laughed the night away until 2:15 A.M. However, this was just the first half of fun in the trip.
After that, the next morning we woke up and quickly got ready to go down for breakfast. Like the dinner, when I walked in people were lined up and waiting for food. After eating I found some of my friends sitting at different tables in the middle of the room, and I talked to them until it was finally time to go. Every eighth grader went back to their room, packed their stuff, and we all walked down to our buses. I remember seeing all of the people in my grade in the same blue t-shirts, walking on the road with suitcases or backpacks. It looked like there was a parade of eighth grade students coming from different parts of the hotel as we started to congregate in one spot to board our buses. We finally made our way to Hershey Park and my friends and I started to go on rides. At first I was a bit scared considering my fear of roller coasters, but my friends helped me get over it for the most part. We went on the Carousel (amusement park traditions), Comet, Sooper Dooper Looper, Trailblazer, Music Express, and Lightning Racer. At one point it started to drizzle a little bit but the rain soon stopped. There was also a time when we were waiting in line for Laff Track but it broke down just before we reached the end of the waiting line. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun and got over my fear, mostly, especially when my friends were with me. I was really worried about what would happen before I went on some rides, but my friends were really supportive and assured me that I would be fine. The day went by so fast, that before I knew it, it was time to go home. After buying some souvenirs, we were already on our way back to the middle school. The bus ride back was just like the bus ride going to Hershey, except this time I wasn’t so eager to reach the destination. As I got off the bus I remember seeing the crowds of girls, again in blue shirts, filling the sidewalk as they retrieved their stuff and found their rides to go home. We were back in Bridgewater, the trip was over, and everything already felt so surreal.
Overall, I can probably say that the eighth grade Hershey Park trip has been my most memorable, favorite, and fun-filled trip out of all my past year school trips. I will always remember the fun times I had with my friends, and I will cherish them for as long as I can. This trip has also taught me how to enjoy the little moments in life. It taught me how to focus on what makes me happy in order to overcome some of my fears and live a happy, fulfilling life. This tripe also showed me how valuable my friends are to me and how greatly they inspire me; even to the point where I can overcome one of my fears. I learned so much this year in eighth grade, and I can safely say I will remember this school year like no other, even as I move on to the next part of my life.
Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania
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Public Speaking: It’s Time to Open Up to the Rest of the World
Whether one may believe it or not, the academic subjects that school teaches us are valuable for us and our future. Some people just don’t realize the real worth or importance of academics. Academics teach us about the world around us and how things work, why things are the way they are, how things came to be, and so much more. Jobs, inventions, the structure of our modern world, and much of modern technology is based off of what we learn in school. New discoveries are made by people who have already learned so much about the world and are constantly searching to learn more. Throughout my school years, I have acquired so much knowledge and I know I have a lot more to learn. My eighth grade teachers have taught me many things; whether it was the history of our world, astronomy, geometric proofs, public speaking, or even vocabulary words. They have already shared many different academic lessons with me, and I greatly appreciate it. One important thing that I learned this year is about public speaking, and I would like to share my knowledge on this subject with others because I think it is important for people to be able to speak in front of others in order to share their ideas with the rest of the world.
First of all, it is essential to understand the significance of public speaking before learning about it. Public speaking can help someone gain confidence, make them more comfortable around other people, help get one’s point across, allow someone to demonstrate their knowledge, let people contribute ideas to the rest of the world in order to make the world a better place, and assist people with becoming leaders. There are certain qualities or skills that public speaking gives to a person that may help them through life and when communicating with others. When I was younger, I used to be shy and too afraid to share or express my thoughts, opinions, or ideas with anyone else. Over the years my teachers have trained me to be more open and confident. I can definitely say that this year in eighth grade, I was taught the most about public speaking, and it really made me a better person overall. Now I am able to freely communicate with teachers, friends, or even people who I was just introduced to, and I am truly thankful for what I have learned from the countless number of current event write ups we had to present in social studies or the speech or poem we had to recite in front of the class for language arts.
Secondly, I just wanted to say there are so many things you can learn about public speaking in order to improve your communication skills. If you are nervous, just remember to take a deep breath and read each line slowly. I have learned that the rushing adrenaline in your system when you are speaking in front of an audience makes you think you are saying things way slower than you actually are, when in reality you may be on the verge of speeding through what you want to say. Sometimes it helps to read your piece to yourself in the mirror or in front of a small audience in order to get feedback, particularly if public speaking is something that easily makes you nervous. You should also carefully articulate your words or sentences, especially if you want your audience to understand what you are saying. The main idea of public speaking is to get your point across to the audience anyway, so you have to make sure they understand every word you say. In addition to articulating, you should put some expression and feeling into your words while having good posture in order to hold onto the attention of the audience and show that you care about what you are saying to make them feel the same way. From personal experience, I know how boring or distracting it may be when someone speaks in a monotone voice, barely shows any emotion regarding what they speak about, or is constantly slouching or fidgeting. One more important thing that I think is a key to succeed when public speaking is to relax, smile, and never give up. No matter how many times you mess up, just continue with what you are saying instead letting it stop you. Remember to keep smiling as you continue to talk. Don’t let a little slip up make you fear speaking in front of a crowd because after all, we all make mistakes. Everyone, even the experts, have room to improve.
Overall, I hope these tips and concepts about public speaking will help you share all your wonderful, creative ideas with the rest of the world. I have learned about so many important academic topics in eighth grade, and some of these topics have had a great effect on me, just like public speaking. I won’t forget what I have been taught about public speaking, and I can only hope that this information is as valuable to you as it is to me. In fact, some of the greatest speakers in history have influenced our modern world, like Martin Luther King Jr., for example. Who knows? Maybe learning public speaking could just be your first baby step into your journey to share your bright ideas and make a change in this world...for the better.
Share your ideas with the world!
Letter to the Editor
Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School is truly awesome and I’m so glad that this is the school I attended for education during my middle school year. It’s been a great year, especially because of the comfortable environment, kind people or staff that are part of this school, and fun extra curricular activities. But I have a few suggestions that I feel will make this school a better place and provide a more enjoyable experience for the future students who will attend BRMS. These suggestions are to include healthier lunches and bring back recess, install some type of fan or air conditioner in most of the rooms, and raise more awareness about anti-bullying to make everyone in this school feel included and happy.
First of all, to increase the health of the students in middle school, more nutritious and healthy lunches should be served. This helps ensure that the students and teachers who buy lunch (quite many of them do) will receive proper nutrients that could also help them get through the rest of the school day and even later on in life if they continue to develop a nutritious and healthy eating habit. Maybe more fruits and vegetables could be included or the staff could help encourage students to eat healthier choices during lunch. Not only should healthier lunches be included, but I think recess should be brought back, therefore extending the lunch period overall. This is because when students have recess, it provides a fun way for them to get some exercise and also gives them a break during the school day. Recess is a time when students could take a break and have fun with their friends before getting back to the hard work of the school day. Even teachers get to have a little time to themselves when the students have recess. Also, by giving students a time to look forward to during the school day and have fun, it makes them enjoy the school day more, and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if school hours ran for a little longer because of the lunch period being extended. In general, healthier lunches and recess would probably be a beneficial improvement to this school for both the students and the staff.
Secondly, another suggestion to make this school a better place is to add either air conditioning or fans to the rooms in this school. We all know how hard it is to bear the summer or spring heat, especially at school when so many people are in the building, making it feel a bit more stuffy. It can be hard for anyone to concentrate on their work while they are constantly trying to tolerate the heat. This heat also affects a student’s ability to learn, participate, and do well on tests or schoolwork. Air conditioning and fans would help make both the students and the staff feel more comfortable and work better overall. If air conditioning or heat is installed the rooms, it will bring out a better performance from the students, even during the hot seasons like spring or summer. Also, it would help everyone stay cool and hydrated during the six hours that we stay in school. The more we sweat on these hot days, the more water we lose, which could cause people to become dehydrated, especially if they do not have any water. Adding fans or air conditioning would be a great addition to our school and make the school day better for the staff and students.
Lastly, I have a suggestion that does not only make a better experience for the students, but also makes the students better people themselves. This suggestion is to raise awareness and involve the students in anti-bullying. This could be important because taking a stand against bullying could make everyone fit in and feel like they actually belong here at this school. Every student deserves to feel like they are worthy and included instead of being treated badly. By raising awareness about anti-bullying and involving students in activities about it, we could start to eliminate that feeling about not fitting in or feeling bad about oneself. A way to help spread this idea is to start clubs (like the Free to Be Me club I joined this year) and encourage students into joining them. The school could also get more students to engage in activities that show the importance of anti-bullying. This would help bring out the best in each student of the school, make them feel appreciated, and instill the quality of kindness and care in everyone.
In conclusion, extending the lunch period in order to add recess, making or encouraging students to eat healthier lunches, adding air conditioning or fans to each room, and spreading awareness about anti-bullying are some suggestions that might create a better experience for the future generation of students. This school was a great place and it gave me a memorable experience to take with me as I move on to high school. I am extremely happy that I attended Bridgewater Raritan Middle School for my middle school years, and I think that this school will make many other students feel the same way in the future.