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Mountaineer

The student news site of Stroudsburg High School

Mountaineer

The student news site of Stroudsburg High School

Mountaineer

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Stroudsburg High Schools promotional Flyer for the King of Hearts dance.
SENIORS! Prepare for King of Hearts and senior superlative voting
Luka Konklin, Editor-In-Chief • January 26, 2024

As the King of Heart's Dance draws near, take a look at the senior superlative and prepare to vote for your KOH nominees on Monday during homeroom! The...

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If you need tutoring, please join the Google Classroom so we can match you up with someone to help you. (Logo credit: NHS)
NHS Peer Tutoring
Luka Konklin, Editor-In-Chief • November 20, 2023

If you need tutoring, please join the Google Classroom so we can match you up with someone to help you. Please fill out the Google Form on Google...

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Poetry Out Loud Contest gives out a prize of $20,000 to the winner! (Logo credit: Poetry Out Loud)
Poetry Out Loud Contest
Luka Konklin, Editor-In-Chief • November 16, 2023

Check out Poetry Out Loud, see Ms. Griswold, room C125 to get more information.

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Denzel Key, 12, at the free throw line during Stroudsburgs 58-41 win over Dieruff on December 22nd, 2023. 
Photo taken by Danielle Ramstine.
Stroudsburg one win away from State Tournament
Jaden Harper, Staff Writer • February 29, 2024

Stroudsburg fell to Parkland High School, 50-38, in the District 11 semifinals Wednesday night at William Allen High School in Allentown, PA. Micaiah 'Meeks' Brown, 12,...

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Anna Kirby poses for a picture after beating her second record of the season.
Anna Kirby breaks a second school record for the season
Georgie English, Staff writer • February 27, 2024

  Then, just last week, Kirby broke another record at The Last Chance swim meet on Saturday, Feb. 17, "Kirby break school record".  Kirby set the record for...

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Jacob Bajek, 11, takes on competitors at EPC competition on February 8th, 2024.
Chess team rallies at 2024 EPC Competition
Jaden Harper, Staff Writer • February 26, 2024

The Stroudsburg chess team sent its varsity roster to the Chess Eastern Pennslyvania Conference (EPC) competition on Thursday, Feb. 8. The team's varsity roster consists of...

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Should LIT circles be cut out of the Honors Literature curriculum?

Students+participate+in+a+LIT+circle+during+7th+period+in+Backs+class.
Lile Bekaia
Students participate in a LIT circle during 7th period in Back’s class.

Ms. Back’s Honors classes are infamous for the LIT circles she conducts. Many students don’t like them and wish they were in CP classes for this reason alone. On average, you have to prepare your answers for more than 20 questions each – including different answers in case someone takes yours. Depending on how you answer them, it might take you anywhere from 30 minutes to more than 1 hour.

Some students stay up preparing their remarks for interpretative questions. This is only if you prepare – most don’t. More than half a class walks into the circles unprepared. Why? Some students have time-consuming extracurricular activities after a full day of classes and homework they have to do for them. It’s manageable, but it comes with great challenges and it’s unfortunate, but sometimes you have to sacrifice some homework to get some sleep that night.

Hailey Abba, a 9th-grade honors student in Mrs. Back’s class stated, “Me, personally, I don’t think preparing is necessary because half of the time people have the same idea as you. Then, you’re basically hopeless, lost, and out of ideas. However, during the final week of LIT circles (for The Most Dangerous Game), I didn’t prepare for any of them and was still able to get my LIT circle points for the week. I only prepared for the last day and that was the only time I actually felt it necessary to prepare. I find it easier to add on to what people have to say.”

I could never walk into that class with nothing prepared to say because I would be sweating like a pig with no plan. LIT circles are the most unpredictable and fast-changing activities I have ever participated in. It can be very nerve-racking for reserved students or people who have difficulty speaking in front of others to have 20+ people staring at you trying to talk about your interpretation of the story.
Fear of public speaking is so common and serious that it’s considered a phobia; glossophobia. It’s so recurrent that it’s believed 75% of people are affected by this fear that they have to face daily. Usually, this fear begins during adolescence and develops throughout life. If not addressed during the proper time, it will most likely turn more severe. Anxiety affects a person’s confidence, relationships, health, outlook on life, and performance at school/work.

LIT circles, from an objective point of view, help students develop many useful skills, such as active listening, confidence, participation, time management, critical thinking, and more. In my case, LIT circles boosted my skills through the roof. I would say I’m more confident in all these aspects than I was at the beginning of the school year. Though students may not realize this since they are concerned with the preparation part of LIT circles, LIT circles are incredibly useful for developing all kinds of skills that are used every day – even out of school.

If you compared me now to how I was during the first time we did LIT circles this year, you would be amazed at how I’ve changed in roughly two months. After our first story, The White Circle, I found the rhythm that worked for me, and I was able to prepare more appropriately for our second story, The Most Dangerous Game. Anabelle Cervone, another one of Ms. Back’s students, says, “The learning experience is great and I understand why we should do them.”

All this said: I’m not saying I didn’t struggle or that answering these questions came easily for me. It was very time-consuming and I’ve had to sacrifice multiple family-movie nights, but I have to say: I think it was worth the validation I received when I shared my interpretations during the LIT circles. If you divide up the story into a specific amount of pages prepared per day then the workload isn’t too much. The key to balancing your homework is a time management schedule that works for you because starting all of your homework earlier than usual might be the reason you start getting a normal amount of sleep every night.

This will inevitably affect your demeanor and learning at school. Who knows – LIT circles might be an activity you start to look forward to. After all this out in the open, I still think that LIT circles should be a part of the curriculum since they have taught me a lot about analyzing text and looking for a deeper meaning behind the author’s words. I think everyone gets nervous, but in the end, we all understand that it’s for our benefit and that we’re learning a lot from these types of experiences.

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    Mrs. CramerDec 15, 2023 at 1:02 PM

    Interesting article, but I would have loved to see Mrs. Back’s thoughts about this in the article.

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