The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Trinity Advice-September Installment

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By: Staff Writers Peter Qiu and Rebecca Wu

Advice to Students Too Shy to Participate or Ask For Help When They Need It

“Hang out after class and listen to the questions other students ask. This is a way to get “face-time” with teachers, while developing a more comfortable relationship. You may also get the answer to the question you had. Eventually however, you need to learn to ask your own questions.” -Bill Jeffers, Teacher

“Use Schoolloop or send an e-mail to the teacher with the question you need to ask. You should spend time to write up a thoughtful e-mail before sending it, and the teacher can either address it individually or to the entire class without you having to approach in person.” -Freddy Saldana, Teacher

“Use the buddy system. Link up with someone that you’d be comfortable with in the class so that you can go to them when you have questions. Go out of your way to make contact with somebody and exchange cell phone numbers with them as a backup plan. Of course, come talk to the teachers on your own to get to know them; most should still be there after school. The important thing is that students should not feel isolated. They should feel like part of the community of the class.” -Kathleen Neilson, Teacher

“The first time participating is the hardest. You’re scared of saying something stupid, you don’t want to seem dumb to your teachers and friends, and you feel like the best case scenario is to keep your thoughts bottled up in your head. The people who make fun of you are the ones who never participate and teachers love it when students participate; it makes the class more fun! Even though it might be your first time participating, it never hurts to try, and who knows, maybe you will like it!” -Satwik Bebortha, Alumni

“For people that are too shy to participate or ask for help, now is the time to practice doing that because you’re going to have to be able to later on in college. Practice time is now, game time is later.” -Robin Van Deusen, Teacher

“Your biggest gains come from getting out of your comfort zone. If you don’t force yourself to open up, then it’ll be difficult for you to advance later on in life.” -Jason Cain, Teacher

“You’re providing a service to your fellow students because they probably want to ask the same question. When you’re engaging in class, you learn more because you’re rehearsing in your brain what you’re going to say. And either way, participation makes the class more fun! Your teachers will be eternally grateful because sometimes you feel sorry for them when nobody responds.” -Belinda Eugster, Teacher


Keeping, Making, and Losing Friends in High School

“I once read that high school is like a zombie apocalypse, and I think that’s kind of true. You form groups because it’s necessary to survive, to make it through. But when it’s over, you go your separate ways, and maybe you don’t speak to each other much. And when you do see each other again, it’s like ‘Hey, nice to see you again! Glad you’re not dead. Well, bye!’ The thing that held you together isn’t there anymore. But that’s okay. Friendships in high school are really fragile, but no matter how much people change in four years, or after, you can always reach back out and find that bond again with old friends.” -Nick Wu, Senior

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