Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Final Post

I was going to follow up and write part two to my earlier post "Growing Up in Camp Hill: Part 1," but instead, with this being my final blog post to my final year of high school, I'm just gonna write about my days as a student.

First off, I'm proud to say I'm one of the originals. I started at Camp Hill, never left Camp Hill, and will graduate from here next month. Not too many people can say they've  experienced it all, just like me, right from the beginning. It feels like the last episode of the game show Survivor, where the finalists go back and recollect on all the past players who have come and gone. All the way from Channing Smith to Lukas Mendalinskas and everyone in between, I'm glad to have seen it all.

So with that said, I feel like the best way to sum this all up is by reposting my blog in which I began the year with. For walks to school truly do encompass and represent  my entire journey here throughout my time at Camp Hill.

Walks to School

Almost everyday of the year, I drive to and back from school. It takes two minutes to get from Point A to Point B, assuming there is no traffic. Fast and reliable, this way of transportation never does me wrong, nor does it fail any of my other friends who mostly all also drive. Yet, each day as I take the repetitive drive, I always get a feeling inside me that just doesn't sit right.

Right before I hop in my car each day, I get dressed in my room. As I put my clothes on and slide into my shoes, I can't help but look outside my window and notice the group of younger students who assemble at my street corner every school day at 7:00 AM. Regularly there are many, sometimes few; occasionally on bikes, other times riding their scooters. Yet, no matter the means of transportation, or the quantity of the group, each day they go to and back from school together. Just a group of friends who, even if they only get to talk with each other for ten minutes before their first class begins, take the time to get up early and make something of their morning. Despite the less amount of sleep and actually having use energy to transport themselves to school, I have no doubt in my mind that these kids will be glad they decided to meet at that corner each day.

Before school sports, the driver's license, and those valued extra minutes of lying in bed, I walked to and from school everyday with at least one of my friends. In kindergarten, it was my mother. We’d walk up to the old Eisenhower Elementary School holding hands as she asked me questions about various things in life only for me to respond ever-so-purely and innocently with an answer. Next came the short, one-block walk to Schaeffer.  I’d go with my next-door neighbor down the block, sometimes in a sprint, to see if we could make it to our class line before the bell. Hoover came two years after... sometimes walking with one good friend, other times on scooters with a group. Alongside my classmate, I remember being the first known kid in the fourth grade to walk from the North Side of Camp Hill to Hoover Elementary without using a single crossing guard to get to school; simply unheard of at the time. In fifth grade, we’d start our trip to school by jumping off of the local Cheese Mountain and across to the other side of the creek. We’d then proceed to race on our Razor scooters to school, zooming past any pedestrian that stood in our way.
Then came the climax of the walks to school: the sixth grade. Always surrounded by a group of at least three, these mid-range walks to and from the Middle school provided me with some of my most distinct childhood memories. Whether it was failed creek jumps, walnut/pinecone wars, playing in the rain, snowball fights, throwing water balloons at cars, getting into fights with older students, or concussing a girl with a stray hose-nozzle; these times will always be deeply cherished in my heart. 

         As the age of cars and the inability to wake up early set in, these events slowly came to an end. Yet, as nice as cars and maximized time at home are, I always regret not being in a similar type of group each morning gathering outside on a street corner somewhere, waiting to create even more one-of-a-kind memories than passing them by in a mere two minute drive each day. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Growing Up in Camp Hill: Part 1

For years, I've heard peers of mine rant about their hatred for this neighborhood. With the common claim being, "There's nothing to do," Camp Hill has been taking scrutiny ever since I can remember. Although bombarded by this propaganda, I have not fallen victim. My appreciation for this town is, and will always be, quite high. Having lived in the borough my whole life, I've seen the many different types of "non-believers," and come to believe there are two main aspects that make up their mindset: lack of creativity and stubbornness.

For those of you that don't know, Camp Hill is not sizable by any means; 2.1 square miles to be exact. Lacking many eateries, recreational facilities, attractions, and "places to chill;" it's easy to see why this small Pennsylvanian borough has become a scapegoat for many of its teens. Yet, with that said, there are also many unique things Camp Hill does possess. A state-of-the-art turf field and track, two top-notch pools, above-average homes and yards, and a small-town shop atmosphere with two decent malls compressing our borough are just a few of the things this town has to offer. Not for you? Try our creek or sizable woodland area at Siebert. And if that's still not good enough, many enhanced versions of these attractions are only a short commute outside our borders. If you have any creativity, that's more than enough to keep you occupied for years on end. What do you expect to have... the Las Vegas strip in your backyard? If you can't make use all the facilities mentioned above then you don't deserve to enjoy this place. Stop looking at things as how they're merely presented; learn to think outside the box. There are millions of things to do here, you just have to figure out what they are. Boredom's not encompassing Camp Hill, it's encompassing you. Now quit playing meaningless games on your smartphone and try to experience Camp Hill for what it really is: a blessing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Gym Class

Thought this English rant essay was worth sharing… Tell me what you think

Mr. Ziegler,

Lend me your ears, my elder, for I have an important concern to bring to your attention. From banning water bottles to removing grinding to limiting open campus to abolishing finals exemptions, essentially all of your changes to this school have tarnished your reputation from a student standpoint. With that said, isn’t it about time you, you know, please your students? Instead of destroying your image even more in making high-school gym class, dare I say, graded, why not look at the matter logically? Rather than depressing your students even more than you already have, I’d like to make the claim that you instead should remove gym class entirely from Camp Hill High School. The way I look at it, physical education serves two purposes: getting students to exercise and teaching them to take part in a healthy lifestyle. Well, if that’s the case, why does our current curriculum fail to do either? Teachers will drone on about how their class is educationally “enriching” and physically “engaging”, but don’t be swayed- they’re not the one’s actually taking the class. Day in and day out, the understanding of the word “metabolism” is still yet to be found. Day in and day out, I look around and see kids whom I’ve played sports with since kindergarten, some of the most gifted athletes in all of central Pennsylvania, that simply put forth little to no effort in class. You might think people don’t try simply because it’s “not cool,” but there’s much more to it than you might think. The little motivation students do possess going into the class is ripped from their souls upon realizing they can’t even participate in the activities they enjoy. Instead, they are forced to play meaningless games such as pickleball. Yep- you heard me- pickleball. Do you play it with a pickle? No. The game makes just about as much sense as its name. In fact, I’d be willing to bet this game doesn’t even exist outside the gym class universe. But that doesn’t matter here- if it’s absurd it goes. Now even if students were allowed to do want they wanted, it wouldn’t matter. Why? Because we simply don’t have enough time. When you factor in changing before and after class, taking the drawn-out attendance on the iPad, and participating in inane warm-ups, it’s easy to understand why we only have twenty minutes, at most, of the forty-four to actually do something in the class. So as you see, with this class failing to address its objectives, what’s the point in us taking this pointless class? Now, you could argue it plays a crucial role in allowing students to interact with others and make new friends, but in our small school that point is irrelevant since everyone has known eachother since the first grade. Plus, if I want to go somewhere to make new friends, the last place I’m going to go is the wallyball room. Now with all that said, please Mr. Principal- take this opportunity to right your wrongs. Don’t let the class tear us apart, let us tear the class apart. Like pickleball, PE has got to go.

Adam Jones

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Adios, ESPN

I remember the days when I would trot down the stairs, prepare my breakfast, and sit down to watch the 6:00 AM SportsCenter. "She's a beauty that number nine," "Is that bad- it's not good," and "Cool as the other side of the pillow (RIP Stuart Scott)" were just a few of the signature catch phrases the show instilled in my mind during my fine elementary years. Despite this memorable pastime, my view about ESPN has taken a turn for the worse. Once viewing it as unparalleled, I've now come to realize the truth about America's sports network.

Although it's essential for companies to appeal to the masses, ESPN has gone way too far. With all their shows so focused on entertaining and pleasing their audience with eye-popping top plays (neighborhood or pro), the famous sports network is nothing but pleasing. I don't know about you, but when I turn on a sports channel I look for inside and educated insight regarding current issues within sports world. Being the standout sports network in America by a long-shot, it'd be fair to say ESPN fulfills my desire, right? Wrong! From SportsNation to SportsCenter, all the talk is so generic and entertainment based. No in depth conversations are made- it's all "Stan, let's see your imitation of Cam Newton's dab," rather than discussing how Panther's offensive coordinator, Mike Shula, has been able to design his lackluster offense around his key players in order to get the most out of what he has, thus giving the team such offensive success. It doesn't stop there though, ESPN also ruins its content in other ways.

This network is the master at overhyping things! You know that Asian point guard from Harvard that's been traded from team to team these past few years... well, you wouldn't if not for ESPN. Thanks to the severe excess coverage of "Linsanity" from a few years back, this mediocre player became a household name in the networks attempt to "entertain" their viewers. Whenever any feel-good moment occurs or a big-name players does something, ESPN is sure to pounce on it... and pounce on it hard. It's cool at first, but after the third straight week of kissing Tim Tebow's ass, it get's old. I wish ESPN's flaws stopped her- but they don't.

In this day-in-age, people get offended very easily, and, in turn, most networks have started "censoring" their shows to keep up with the trend. Once again though, ESPN goes above and beyond to make sure they please the masses in clearing out any negative content whatsoever from their shows. Employees such as Jim Rome and Colin Cowherd have even been fired due to this stupidity. It's crazy to think that ESPN won't even let their employees be themselves anymore, just to make sure one or two softies don't get their feelings hurt. But it gets worse… The Winter X Games showcased the ultimate downfall of this network just a few days ago. Due to the death of Caleb Moore last year, not only did the ESPN-dictated action sports event get rid of one of its most prominent events in snowmobile best-trick, but it replaced it with the worst thing possible: sports gaming. Deemed an up-and-coming "extreme" sport, professional video gaming made its first official mark on TV this winter. Not only were Halo 5 gamers commentated on and broadcast across the whole country, but they were even given gold, silver, and bronze medals for their "extreme" efforts. 

With that said, I will never be tuning into ESPN again in an effort to shield myself from the "world-class" no-scopes of FaZe Rain and company. I can only imagine what the older generation sports fans think when they see this abomination on their TV screen. I mean, who needs Frazier and Ali when you've got OpTic NaDeSHoT killing it out there for the gold medal each year?

Adios, ESPN.