2011-05-20 / Columnists

From The Seawolve’s Den

PART 1
By Scholars’Academy Students

Readying for College with
a Councilman’s Donation
By Stephanie Stewart

Recently, 25 juniors at Scholars’Academy received a generous gift, provided in the form of a 10-session Kaplan SAT Prep Course, from District #32 Councilman Eric Ulrich. Councilmember Ulrich secured $9,000 in discretionary funding for SAT prep at each of the following high schools in the 32nd District: Scholars’ Academy, John Adams High School, Franklin K. Lane High School, Beach Channel High School, Robert H. Goddard High School of Communication Arts and Technology and Channel View School for Research.

“This program is giving parents and students the chance to receive the best SAT prep available in the most convenient location. I applaud Mr. O’Connell’s decision to spend this money on Kaplan Test Prep. Kaplan has a proven track record of success in preparing students for the SAT and ACT exams. I believe that these courses will go a long way towards helping our young people gain admission to the college of their dreams,” said Councilman Ulrich.

College admission is becoming more competitive each year. This is primarily due to the fact that there are more highPLENTY school graduates than ever competingFREE

PLENTY OF for seats in the freshman class. AsFREE PA well as the students competing, it hasPA RKI become NG known that a college education is increasingly seen as key to economic success in our society, just as a high school diploma was once the minimum requirement.

“With the current downturn in the economy, many students are electing to go to college instead of going directly into the work force. Many students who, in more prosperous times would have gone to private universities, are making city universities their top choice. As a result, college admissions, particularly city and state universities, are much more competitive,” said AP English Language and Composition teacher, Mr. Wong.

The SAT test, made up of 10 sections (a 25-minute essay, six 25-minute sections followed by two 20-minute sections, and one 10-minute multiple choice section) measures a student’s knowledge of reading, writing and mathematics, and is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors.

Test scores range from 200 to 800 for each section, with a total combined score of a possible 2400.

“The SAT’s are the second most determining factor of one’s college application, right after a student’s GPA,” said Wong.

Recipients of seats in the Kaplan SAT course were chosen on a first come first serve basis. With the low turnout at the meeting,NG however, every student whose parent attended received a seat.

“We were happy to give a seat to every student whose parent attended the melt, this is not so easy to do, and the nuclear materials continue to react,” said Professor of Chemistry Mark Kobrak at City College of New York.

More recently, the radiation levels at the power station have risen to Chernobyl levels. Efforts to decrease the damage are ongoing. Still, radioactive material that has already escaped in the air has already posed danger to the Japanese people.

“Many organizations, such as the Atomic Bomb Survivors, had advocated for the elimination of nuclear power plants. Japan is a country with no natural resources, and found in the nuclear power, an efficient way to generate electricity at a lower cost. I heard that the plants needed to be built near the water, and that is one of the reasons this power plant was located in this area of Fukushima. Other reasons being that the region is far from Tokyo, so in the event of an emergency, this major metropolis wouldn’t be affected. At the same time, it [nuclear power] was supposed to bring “prosperity” to its population. Ironically, what was supposed to bring progress to the town [Fukushima], destroyed it. I would like Japan to develop the technology to create or improve other ways to generate electricity without risking the environment and, consequently, people’s lives,” said Ms. Higashide.

As of April 12, the official death toll was more than 12,700 people. Also, more than 237,000 people remain at temporary homes and shelters. There are also 14,700 people that are still missing. Government officials expect the death toll to reach 18,000.

“We are trying to make our contribution to rebuild Japan within our possibilities. At school, we are organizing a concert, pro [efforts for] Japan, and other activities. I am also trying to communicate more often with my relatives overseas. One of my aunts lives in Ibaraki, a region that was affected by the tsunami in its coastal area. Fortunately, she lives rather far from the sea, so the tsunami did not reach her town. However, she did feel the earthquake and aftershocks, and had to take precautions to avoid radiation exposure. I spoke to her yesterday, and she told me that people’s lives in her town are quite back to normal,” said Higashide.

Despite this tragedy, the people of Japan continue to endure and are already dealing with their mistakes in planning for such an event.

“Do not underestimate the power of nature. One of the Japanese towns had built a concrete wall as tall as 33 feet near the sea, thought to be tall enough to contain the most powerful and highest tsunami. The tsunami went over, and even destroyed the wall.

This disaster showed me the spirit of solidarity and organization of the Japanese. I could see in the Japanese news on TV how the victims gave up their small rations of food if they saw someone who needed it more, or even shared their food and goods with reporters, as happened in one of Diane Sawyer’s interviews.

The food company my aunt works for increased their production so that they could donate bread to the shelters, workers volunteered their working hours, and so on.

Cooperation spirit could be seen everywhere,” said Ms. Higashide.

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