Helping Hand

April 17, 2015
Arnav Damodhar | Staff Writer
Helping Hand

Sophomore Josh Suguitan volunteers in Over the Rhine to help the less fortunate.

Give and you shall receive.

Mason High School students are helping the less unfortunate by volunteering in homeless shelters and soup kitchens in Over the Rhine.

Sophomore Josh Suguitan has regularly been going with his father, a pastor at the Prince of Peace, to feed the homeless in downtown Cincinnati and better their lives by interacting and talking with them. According to Suguitan, helping those people has become part of his life.

“I grew up there doing volunteer work,” Suguitan said. “…We have church and we give them donuts, food, counseling. They become members and they come back every week.”

Apart from feeding the homeless, Suguitan also counsels children on making the right choices.

“I always try to influence them on their future lives,” Suguitan said. “There’s this one kid, and we always hang out. He runs up to me and has me carry him around and we go do activities.”

Junior Sean Reid said he volunteers with an organization that he created, called Service Workers Achieving Greatness or S.W.A.G., Reid said.

“We have done City Gospel Mission, which is an extremely humbling experience, where you can serve breakfast, lunch, or dinner,” Reid said. “The mission that they’re trying to complete is that they bring kids off the street, they have seminars, they have everything from food to church…They also have seminars that prepare people for jobs and give them clothes and interviews to get them involved.”

According to Reid, helping them also has had an impact on him.

“They just thank you so much for everything that you could do for them, because their situation hasn’t been so great,” Reid said. “But seeing that for me and them in that situation, being so thankful and so happy for everything, just gives me a totally different perspective on life.”

Volunteering and helping the homeless also changes perspective on life, Suguitan said. It really exposes him to the real world.

“(It) exposes me to a lot of things I don’t see in Mason,” Suguitan said. “It makes you humble and I complain less about my life, which is really easy, compared to those who can’t get off drugs, they’re going through challenges, and they’re just harsher lives out there and I think it’s good to see it up close and in person.”

Importance of High School Journalism

There is one organization in the entire Mason High School that has become my utmost priority. There is one organization that has shifted my focus. There is one organization that has become my life. The Chronicle.

Everyday, as the bell rings, I walk through the door of room C103. I feel privileged to be there. A lightening bolt of passion and dedication strikes me as I step foot into that room. I have emerged as a completely different person because of The Chronicle. Never have I ever, had such a boost in confidence. Coming out after conducting my first interview for a CSPN story, I will never forget that breath of relief. I will never forget the first time my name The Chronicle has exposed me to so much. I have interviewed a variety of different people from school officials, to project managers constructing new buildings, to high school students. I have been to a soup kitchen in Over the Rhine and have directly interacted with the homeless and the needy. I have grown so much because of our journalism program. A program, that not all are lucky enough to have.

In fact, due to the lack of funding, many high school newspapers are forced to fold. But I know the Chronicle will never have to face that day because, we have outstanding business managers like Emily and Ashton. Programs like the Chronicle and MBC are what connect the 3,600 students attending Mason High School. It gives students a  chance to voice their opinions through staff editorial and opinion columns. After looking at the latest issue of the Chronicle or the latest MBC broadcast, it creates a synergy between the audience. Like  Mr. Conner said, students are able to come together and talk about it and bond over it, creating a bridge between students. Through this, the journalism program has become and will remain an integral part of MHS culture.

Do you speak Christian?

Blog contest visual

Mason High School is the spitting image of the American melting pot.

It’s a school filled people with various races, different cultures, and a plethora of ethnicities. You would expect that in a school like this, people don’t have to be immersed, but are at least aware of other’s cultures and traditions. That’s right. You would only expect.

I was in biology class the other day, and a few kids were talking in their native Indian language. My lab partner, let’s call him Sam, was observing this conversation.  He approached them. Sam then, after they finished rattling away, asked , “Are you speaking Hindu?”

The students responded in shock,”What?!”

Sam continued, ” I mean are you speaking Hindu?”

I was puzzled. I didn’t know whether to laugh in ridiculousness or to take offense. I immediately signaled Sam to come back.

I then asked him, “Do you speak Christian?” Sam laughed in response.

Though Sam was only off by one letter between the language Hindi and the religion Hindu, there was a big difference.  What Sam said, though it was out of ignorance, was threatening cultural identity and diversity. According to nationonline.org, almost 500 million people speak Hindi world wide. Almost that many people speak English.

America is considered the land of immigration, a melting pot, a painted mosaic.  But what Sam said that day, didn’t embody these principles but only presented close mindedness. A sophomore in High School can’t distinguish between one of the most common languages spoken in the world and one of the most practiced religions. This ignorance only proves that even in Mason, where there are events like the Taste of Mason, promoting cultures and the different nationalities from all around the world, some people are still isolated to the outside world. As a nation of immigrants, it’s our duty to pave the way for cultural awareness.

That day, I asked Sam that question as a joke.

But really, do you speak Christian?

 

March 20, 2015
Arnav Damodhar | Staff Writer
Sauer

Sauer’s math research published in professional journal.

Like Pythagoras and Euclid, Dr. Johnothon Sauer too has left his footprints in mathematics.

Honors pre-calculus and algebra teacher Dr. Sauer has evolved the field of abstract algebra, an advanced level of algebra that focuses on the format of system using letters instead of numbers. Sauer’s research was part of his dissertation which was completed in 2009 and his findings on zero divisor graphs have been published this year in Semigroup Forum, a prestigious math journal.

Zero divisor graphs are coordinates of a system, which has two numbers that multiply to equal zero, but neither of the numbers can be zero, Sauer said. Through his research he has found six vertices of zero divisor graphs–a feat that hasn’t been done before.

“There are certain system(s) where if you had two numbers and you multiply them together and they equal zero, it’s not necessarily true that either one of those numbers were zero to begin with,” Sauer said. “These systems exist. The graph that we make shows the numbers that are multiplied together to equal zero. Those that multiply to equal zero are known as zero divisors.”

According to Sauer, the field of zero divisor graphs is very new. There are still a lot of questions to answer, Sauer said.

“When we started on the research, the first major paper dealing with the algebraic graph theory and zero divisor graphs came out in 1999,” Sauer said. “There were a whole bunch of open questions about zero divisor graphs with relation to abstract algebra and the graph theory.”

Though this discovery only contributes to the theoretical side of the field, it is still uncertain if there is a practical application, Sauer said.

“It was nice, neat, pure, theoretical mathematics,” Sauer said. “People are moving forward to see how much more they can find out about the zero divisor graphs, but as far as an application or anything like that, it hasn’t been found yet.”

The Harkness Method, a conventional way of teaching in which the teacher guides the students by asking them questions, has helped him find the answers to his questions, Sauer said. Teachers would act as facilitators and help students learn the material in a more hands-off approach.

According to junior honors pre-calculus student Emma Hodge, the Harkness Method leads to self-realization and allows her to better understand and remember fundamental principles and concepts.

“Most of the time, the class is self taught and we are challenging ourselves to solve the problem before he kind of steps in and saves the day,” Hodge said.  “He is there when you need him to lecture you about something. I know that if I have a question about anything, he will just go to the board and explain it until it is perfectly clear in my mind.”

Doctor’s Discovery

Different cultures blaze in an annual Taste of Mason

February 13, 2015
Arnav Damodhar | Staff Writer

On Wednesday, February 11, Mason High School was blazing with different cultures during the annual Taste of Mason. Different cultures, local vendors, and magnificent pieces of art all gathered in one place to show community members what Mason has to offer.

According to one of Taste of Mason’s hosts and Mason Middle School principal, Tonya McCall, the event is a fantastic way for citizens to learn more and interact better with other community members. The taste of Mason is a fantastic way of watching other cultures interact, McCall said.

“The purpose of the taste of Mason is to provide a community opportunity for different cultural groups to be able to share a little bit about their culture and bring some light to that for all of the Mason community to experience,” McCall said. “It is an efficient event because you have an opportunity to bring lots of different cultural events to one place. So, as a community member, I can come to Taste of Mason, I can experience foods from different cultures, I can experience cultural things such as dance, or the artwork that is here. All of that is one place, so I can have a one stop opportunity to see what’s happening with people in my own neighborhood. I think it’s an efficient opportunity because it brings people together.”

Junior Ashley Kramer, a volunteer in Taste of Mason, said that Taste of Mason is a good way for people to experience other food and cultures and also promotes small business.

“The taste of Mason is a positive influence on the community because it really helps people see all the different types of food and cultures that we have here in Mason,” Kramer said. “So someone who maybe doesn’t know that we have Modern Thai from Banana Leaf, they can come and see that and start helping the community, because most of these business are home businesses and it really helps them grow and spread awareness for them.”

Seventh grader at Mason Middle School, Andrea Hefferan, a Latino dancer, said that the Taste of Mason is a fun away to share her heritage and culture.

“We’re doing Mexican dancing from different countries,” Hefferan said. “It’s just really fun for me to dance. The people who have never seen it before, it looks really cool.”

According to Tony Aponte, the owner of Aponte’s Pizzeria, selling food and participating in Taste of Mason is a good way to reconnect with the community.

“We have been doing this (participating in the Taste of Mason) since the beginning,” Aponte said. “It gets us back in touch with everybody and all the new people in the neighborhood, and let them know who we are and everybody has fun.”

According to McCall, Taste of Mason is so efficient because it brings all aspects of the community together. Taste of Mason is also a good way to bring the entire Mason City Schools staff together, McCall said.

“I would just say that it is a really cool idea that Taste of Mason involves a lot of our different groups,” McCall said. “Not just high school students that are participants, but it involves our community by having vendors here. It involves our leaders in our Mason City Schools…it brings in our teachers. It’s a really good opportunity from everyone from all different aspects of the Mason City Schools and larger community to be together, and that’s one of the unique things that we have.”

October 9, 2014
Arnav Damodhar | Staff Writer
IMG_3054
Hispanic students perform a traditional dance.

Mason High School was blazing with Hispanic heritage and culture on Tuesday afternoon.

The Spanish National Honor Society hosted its fourth annual Spanish Heritage Festival. More than 525 students gathered to an afternoon filled with dancing, singing, face painting, and an unbelievable spread of Hispanic food. A professional merengue and salsa dance instructor swept the dance floor. Noteorious, a Mason choral group, also came in to sing some of their compositions.

Watch Noteorious’ performance.

According to advisor Amy Ortega, the purpose of the festival is to recognize Hispanic culture and celebrate the achievements of Hispanics.

“The festival is something we organized when we began the Spanish National Honor Society recognizing the Hispanic culture and the achievements of Hispanics, not only nationally but also locally,” Amy said. “This is mostly to provide awareness for all the Spanish students as well as anyone else who wants to learn more about the fantastic Hispanic community we have here in Mason.”

According to Ortega, the student body was very involved in this. Spanish National Honor Society even conducted a Hispanic Spirit Week prior to the festival, and they sold tickets to Mason Middle School.

“We had spirit week for the first time this year,” Amy said. “We got approval from administration to have one. It wasn’t overly successful, but it was only approved last minute. There are also trivia questions in the morning, recognizing well known Hispanics. This year, we have made quite a connection with the middle school. We sold tickets at the middle school and the Spanish students from the middle school came over too.”

Though the festival was a huge success, a lot of organizing and planning was necessary. According to cabinet member Clara Ortega, the logistics and planning regard the Heritage Festival began in the summer.

“We have been planning this since the summer,” Clara said. “It’s really hard to contact groups that are involved. It was hard to get the Colombian dancers and Noteorious, the choral group to come in, since we didn’t have their contact information. Planning the date was the hardest thing. It was really hard to find a date to find a date for everyone in the Society to meet.”

According to Ortega, there will also be upcoming events conducted by the Spanish National Honor Society.

“The society is doing an activity called Los Regalos in the winter,” Clara said.  “It is an activity to get people to donate money which will be given to unfortunate Hispanics for gifts. We are also doing the World Cup in spring. We are getting all of the other honor societies such as Art Honor Society and French Honor Society to form soccer teams representing different countries and play against each other. I am really looking forward to it.”

Hispanic Heritage Festival hosted by Spanish National Honor Society

Coaches Classic allows girls tennis team to play with heart

September 15, 2014
Arnav Damodhar | Staff Writer

025 (1)Pictured: Sophomore Shirley Yang
Photo by Arnav Damodhar

Sports should be played for a love of the game.

The Mason girls tennis team has tightly embraced this concept through the Coaches Classic Tournament. On Thursday, September 11, and Saturday, September 13, the girls tennis team served their way through the Coaches Classic Tournament, the first individual tournament of the season.

Because the whole team was in the back draw, most lost their matches. However, second singles player and sophomore Isabel Cepeda carried Mason to success. Cepeda won 8-2 against rival Sycamore in her final match.

“I think that the team did pretty well,” Cepeda said. “I am really surprised with myself.”

According to head coach Mike Reid, the conflict with the ACT has really messed up the entire line up.

“We would have liked to done a little bit better,” Reid said. “But, we did okay. We were missing two of our players. (Junior) Sanjana Datla and (senior) Kelly Noriega were both taking the ACT. That hurt us a little bit.”

According to first singles player, sophomore Elizabeth Kong, the Coaches Classic is not a very important tournament — put relatively.

“It doesn’t count for anything,” Kong said. “It just brings the people in our area together so we can play as players and gives friendly competition. But the thing is that because it is unimportant, other schools like to stack. So they would put one of their best players as doubles, whereas Mason, we play our line up straight up.”

The same belief is also shared by Coach Reid. According to him, the results of Coaches Classic doesn’t set any assertion or expectation for the GMC, sectional, or district tournaments.

“It doesn’t matter in terms of the GMCs, the sectionals, or the districts,” Reid said. “It is more of a fun tournament. Some teams put together their singles players and have them play doubles; some teams use it to get ready for the sectionals. But, it’s not the most important tournament. It’s not the same way we view the GMCs or the sectionals.”

According to Reid, this tournament was good in terms of giving doubles players a chance to play other positions. Sophomore Shirley Yang did well, according to him, although Yang lost her final match 8-6 against Sycamore. Overall, the girl’s tennis team is content with their performance.

“We got the opportunity to have some kids play singles who don’t always play singles,” Reid said. “Shirley Yang is playing really well at third singles. Typically, she would be playing second doubles.”

Senior Expectations vs. Realities

Be a senior, they said. It will be easy, they said.

This is the common misconception that people make. Many underclassmen and juniors have an assumption that senior year is going to be the easiest of them all. A year comprised of a lighter academic load, enjoyment, and a whole different feeling.

Or so they think.

According to senior, Sam Hodge, twelfth grade is just as academically inclined like any other; with classes to attend, homework to complete, and tests to study for.

“I expected that junior year was going the high academic year and everything was going to be a lot harder,” Hodge said. “I don’t think I realized how academically rigorous senior year was going to be.

According to senior, Rachel Holloway, having a rigorous schedule is crucial in order to get accepted into an elite school. It also prepares you for college.

“I think that you have to keep challenging yourself and keep taking hard classes, if you want to go to a hard school,” Holloway said. “If you take easy classes your senior year, you are not going to go into college with the same work ethic. So I kind of always wanted to keep my course schedules rigorous.”

Apart from the academic rigor, seniors are engrossed in their college applications. And on top of that, they have to manage their extracurricular activities.

Senior, Michael Crawshaw said, “Just figuring out where I want to go has taken up a lot of time.” “The pressure from applications and admissions is a lot to handle. It dominates my schedule. The main thing for me is I don’t want to let something like college admissions overpower the things I love to do. I love to play piano. I would never be able to say I guess I don’t have to practice piano for a month, because I have to do all these college applications.”

The pressure of college acceptance has enforced discipline in seniors and has prevented them from slacking off.

Senior, Emily Calvani said, “At some points I want to slack off.” But, at the same time I really can’t do that if I want a college to see me as a good candidate for that school. I want to slack off sometimes, but I know it’s not really an option.”

Apart from the rigorous coursework, the arduous college application process, and numerous extracurricular activities, some seniors don’t truly feel like “Seniors.”

“I always feel like an internal freshman,” senior, Cassidy Peebles, said. “I have said that since sophomore year. I thought I would change every year. I feel more mature knowing that next year I will be going to college and will be out my comfortable surroundings.”

According to Calvani, she was not expecting to feel like this. She too, was expecting to feel like a, “Senior.”

“During the summer I was expecting to feel different coming into school as a senior,” Calvani said. “I think as a freshmen I would always look at people and kind of be a little intimidated and this year I don’t. So I guess in that sense I feel different. But, other than that it’s kind of like the same.”

On the contrary, freshman have very different expectations for senior year, compared to the actual realities.

According to freshman, Brian Karl, being an eighth grader, feels like being a top dog of the Middle School. And this is what being a senior would feel like.

“You [as an eighth grader] should be more of role model,” Karl said. “The eighth graders didn’t get any power. It just made them feel like the senior of the Middle School. I would feel similar (when I am a senior) to being an eighth grader.”

Freshman, Kaitlin Lewis, has a different opinion of senior year. According to Lewis, she won’t feel any different as a senior. But, she expects it to be a little laid back.

“It’s weird to even think about that I am in high school right now,” Lewis said.  “I probably won’t even feel much different. I think it’s going to be more fun. I am going to take harder classes. But I still think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I feel like it’s going to be a little more laid back.”

According to Emily Calvani, senior year is about having fun and experiencing new things. But, at the same time, it also important to concentrate on school.

 

“It’s exciting getting to experience new things and getting to help out underclassmen, but at the same time I am still here for a year,” Calvani said. “I still need to focus. I am just really excited for it.”

Premier Health spends summer working on $11.3 million expansion project in Mason

July 31, 2014
Arnav Damodhar | Staff Writer

medical center2Pictured: Donna Banks outside the Premier Health Middletown branch
Photo by Arnav Damodhar

As summer fun is in full swing, project manager Donna Banks, and others at Premier Health are working diligently toward the $11.3 million hospital expansion project in the Warren County area.

Premier Health has recently purchased a former medical building at 7450 Mason-Montgomery Road for renovation. The building will be named Atrium Medical Center. Atrium Medical Center will be a two-story building, consisting of a 44,000 square feet, 24-hour emergency center, and will offer other services as well.

medical centerThe Premier Health Building is at 7450 Mason-Montgomery Road.
Photo by Arnav Damodhar

“We are going to put in a freestanding emergency center,” Banks said. “What that is, is a full service emergency room without a hospital attached to it.”

According to Banks, Atrium Health Center will have a mobile ICU unit; otherwise known as an MCU, available. Anyone that needs to be admitted to higher level care will either be admitted to Atrium Medical Center, or Miami Valley Hospital, depending on the level of illness.

“The Miami Valley Hospital is a Level One Trauma Center,” Banks said. “Level One Trauma is the highest. They can take anything and everything.”

Atrium Medical Center will be a Level Three Trauma Center. According to Banks, Atrium Medical Center is meant for more common traumas, such as minor injuries.

According to Banks, Atrium Medical Center treats all heart attack and stroke patients. Miami Valley Hospital will administer a procedure where the interventional radiologist can go in with a stroke and fill in aneurysms.

“We do everything with medication here and they need the more advanced treatment over there,” Banks said.

Apart from emergency care, Atrium Medical Center will offer other services such as medical imaging including: CAT Scans, MRI, Ultrasounds, mammography, bone density testing, and regular x-ray. Full laboratory testing will also be available. Additionally, according to Banks, Atrium Medical Center will also have cardiac testing, more physicians’ offices, obstetrics and gynecology offices, and specialists including cardiology, orthopedics, and others.

building planPictured: The building plan for the Premier Health Center
Photo contributed by Public Relations Officer Sharon Howard

According to Banks, for example, primary care physician Dr. Block has his practice on the Atrium Campus, at Dwire Stadium. In order for his patients to get imaging tests, such as MRI, CAT Scan, or any other testing, they will have to come to Atrium Medical Center.

“So what we are doing is bring the care closer to the primary care physicians,” Banks said.

According to Banks, Dr. Marcus Washington, a family-practitioner, just opened his office on July 14.

“What we are doing is not relying on people to find their physicians and to drive to their physicians,” Banks said. “It’s a mean to take services directly to them so it’s convenient.”