Top Tech Tips for the Class of 2022

June is quickly approaching, and with that comes the impending break of summer that most students look forward to. But it’ll only be two months until the start of school, and with that comes a new class of freshmen at Staten Island Tech.

Being a freshman at Tech may seem daunting at first from the new classes, a new environment, and new standards that are set for you. However, with a few simple tips, it’s easy to get into the swing of things at Staten Island Tech!

Now, without further ado, here are some of my top tips for your freshman year at Tech!

Don’t procrastinate. This is probably the biggest piece of advice that any Tech student can give you. Staying on top of your homework and classes can leave you with enough time to pursue other extracurriculars, like sports, clubs, or volunteering. Try keeping track of homework; there are lots of tutoring services and resources available at the Tech library. Allotting your time earlier in freshman year helps you deal with tougher classes in junior and senior year!
Try joining an activity. Freshman year is a time for trying out new things to find out what you really want to put your time into. At Tech, there’s tons of opportunities that cater to all sorts of different people. There’s lots of sports teams, clubs like the JSA, Key Club, and the various multicultural clubs. There’s also major events like SING and Spring Musical, and Spirit Week which the whole school takes part of and enjoys. There’s also activities such as Student Organization, the Science Engineering Research Program, and Math Team that can help you find other people with similar interests!
Find your way around. Tech can be a bit confusing when you first try to navigate its hallways, especially when you get your schedule for the first time. Don’t be afraid to ask teachers for directions, or fellow upperclassmen. Get a feel of the hallways of the school- it will definitely pay off later.
Think about what comes next. Freshman year is still fairly early to think about colleges and the SATs and the ACT, but it never hurts to venture into the area. Your guidance counselor is a great source of information for this. You can also get in touch with them later to talk about class choices and any thoughts on your mind. It always pays off to have an idea of what you want to do later. But remember…
Don’t worry. Tech is a great place to find opportunities tailored to certain career choices and opportunities. But it can be easy to get overwhelmed with so many choices and thoughts about what to do next. In freshman year, don’t let these decisions weigh heavily on your mind- just try to get adapted to Tech first.

Hopefully these tips help you out with your first year at Tech! Remember, it’s a time to adjust and adapt, which comes first. With that in mind, I hope to see you next fall at Tech!

Winter Olympics 2018: A Recap

With over 102 events in 15 different sports, the Winter Olympics of 2018, held in Pyeongchang, South Korea was no small feat. It is only the second Olympics ever to be hosted in South Korea, following the 1998 Seoul Games, and the first Winter Olympics to be held there, marking an enormous milestone for the country. The competition has certainly grown from its first incarnation as a small town festival in Chamonix, France, and this year’s Winter Olympics was no exception.

Elected after two unsuccessful bids to host the Winter Olympics, the city of Pyeongchang in Korea has been preparing since 2011. The Gangneung Olympic Park was constructed as a sports venue in the area to house several different sports, including hockey, curling, speed skating, and figure skating. This served as the main location to host the Olympics and was informally known as the Olympic Park. The opening ceremony kicked off as a celebration of peace, harmony, and international communication, all of which have resonated as themes for the Olympics since their creation. In an act of neutrality within the 2018 Parade of Nations, a staple of the Olympics that showcases each country that participates, North and South Korea both marched under a Korean unification flag, symbolizing their willingness to put the conflict aside in order to celebrate the Games. The broadcast of the opening ceremony was available in more than 500 countries all over the world. 92 teams in total qualified for the Winter Olympics this year, each at least allowing one athlete to participate. 

As the games began, future athletes set numerous records and achieved stunning feats. For instance, Chloe Kim, a seventeen-year-old athlete for the American team, became the youngest person ever to win gold at a snowboarding event – in this case, the halfpipe – at the Winter Olympics. Ester Ledecká, a Czech athlete, became the third person, and the only woman in over ninety years to win gold medals in two different sports: alpine skiing and snowboarding. Furthermore, the US women’s ice hockey team won gold medals for the first time in over twenty years, after previously been bested in the Games by Canadian teams. Moreover, American athlete, Redmond Gerard, after a disappointing start, went on to become the youngest American man to win an Olympic gold since 1928, at only seventeen years old. He won the first gold for Team USA, which proceeded to win eight other gold medals out of twenty-three total medals. Norway led with the most medals won in total, with thirty-nine medals in total, with Germany following close behind with thirty-one medals in total.

Even with the Olympic message of peace, benevolence, and cooperation between countries, there was still much worry over the hostility between South and North Korea before the Games. Even so, as evidenced by the Parade of Nations, the countries managed to put their conflict aside in order to participate in the Games. The two nations, even though they competed separately, formed a unified women’s hockey team that played under the Korean unification flag. Over 35,000 people cheered as the flag was held between North Korean ice hockey athlete Hwang Chung-gum and South Korean bobsledder Won Yun-jong, symbolizing unity and peace in a time where hostility is prevalent.

This year’s Winter Olympics was rife with great, record defying moments, and a powerful political message that managed to transcend countries. Hopefully, the 2022 Beijing Games will bring something equally spectacular in tow!

The Last Jedi: A Divided Galaxy Review

WARNING: This review contains spoilers – read at your own risk!

It has only been two years since The Force Awakens, and fans are again gearing up with Star Wars memorabilia, costumes, and of course, anticipation. The newest installation, The Last Jedi, has shocked and delighted many and I am not an exception to this. The Last Jedi continues the saga in surprising ways, and keep fans on their toes about Rey, Poe, Finn, and the fate of the galaxy.

Of course, the newest installation of the sequel trilogy is a visual wonder. It is studded with imposing spaceships, brilliant colors, and new planets. The entire film places a wider lens on the whole galaxy, exposing the viewer to worlds that have never been seen before. The action sequences are also quick, fast, and suspenseful. Shots of red and blue rain across the screen as the Rebellion fights the First Order, and it is quite a spectacle to behold. New aliens, namely the adorable Porgs, add a touch of humor to the drama of the entire tale. Furthermore, the music that accompanies these scenes is no joke either. Hauntingly familiar, it mirrors the original trilogy in fascinating ways while adding its own spin to the mix. While audiences may not hear the iconic Imperial March, they do hear Rey’s own motif winding throughout the movie and in climatic scenes. It is quiet and grand, and tells a tale of its own throughout the entire film.

One of the most anticipated parts of the film was arguably the reveal of Luke Skywalker twenty or so years after the original trilogy. In The Last Jedi, we are met with an old, tired Jedi master who has made mistakes that he could not take back. Guilt constantly prevents him from properly teaching Rey about the Force. Our young protagonist fervently seeks his guidance, but it only reveals the extent of her own power, which makes her a target for Supreme Leader Snoke. She is defiant, but no less unaware of who she is and what she holds inside of her. Though Rey was explored more in this film, it seems to have left audiences with more questions than answers. Finn and Poe are given their own separate adventures to branch off of. Finn gains a new friend, Rose, who accompanies him on a journey that hopefully can breach First Order starships. He does not interact much with Poe or Rey, having just recovered, but it is interesting to see how he develops more as a fighter for the Resistance rather than just a rogue stormtrooper.

Then we have Kylo Ren, formerly Ben Solo, with a fresh new scar and the conflict of Light and Dark still tearing him apart. We see Luke recount his spiral into the darkness, but he is arguably more powerful. He and Rey have a strange dynamic in these films that trumps the other trilogies in its ambiguity. It is not clear whether Ren or Rey will turn to the other side, as it tiptoes throughout the film. This is both muddling and clarifying: it offers a freshness to the sequel trilogy, but again opens another can of questions.

Poe Dameron still maintains his impulsive, driven nature, and embodies the spirit of the Resistance throughout the film. He shows new leadership and depth that was not explored in the previous films, and we get a taste of his relationship with Leia. She treats him as almost a son: admonishing, yet trusting to the highest degree. He is earnest throughout the film, which gives hope to the seemingly dismal circumstances that occur time and time again. The First Order is still after them, and seems to be one step ahead, but Poe insists that they are “the spark.” Contrast is clear, and it really cuts through the somewhat dark tones of the film. Of course, Poe’s companion BB-8 still continues to be funny, and his increased interaction with Finn and Rose certainly add to his character.

The Last Jedi, in all, is a film based on suspense. It asks “will they?” and “won’t they?” so many times, which can either confuse or drive you to the edge of your seat. But even with its harrowing and gripping scenes, it creates so many more questions. It seems almost unfinished in a sense, as you are left with the question of “how?” by the very end. The film’s subplots can seem a bit rocky at times, and Rey is still not quite as a developed character as one would like. This film, however, is the middleman to the beginning and end. It isn’t supposed to introduce grandly or conclude satisfyingly. It is just supposed to explain and connect, and The Last Jedi does a good job. It’s unfinished, but guides the viewer to understand how and why.