Archive for December, 2010

December 22, 2010

The history of Christmas

By Jaime Thomas, Class of 2011

The history of Christmas is something to learn because Christmas as we know is a relatively new phenomenon. The celebration of Christmas as a joyous commemoration of peace, love and the advent of Jesus Christ has only been  popularly celebrated since about the 1820’s when a book called  The Keeping of Christmas at Brace Bridge Hall was published by Washington Irving.

The date universally recognized, December 25th, as marking the birth of Christ and officially opening the Christmas season was contested for hundreds of years. Historians agree that this popular character really existed. “Father Christmas”, as some call him, was in fact a bishop named Nicholas who lived in the territory of Turkey during the fourth century A.D . He was very wealthy and generous, and he loved to make children happy. Often, he would give gifts to the poorest children, sometimes by throwing them into their windows. After Nicholas died, he was canonized as a saint.  His feast day is December 6, a holiday in many countries. He is the patron saint of children and seafarers.  In the Netherlands, the saint’s name is Sinter Nicholas.
The figure of Santa Claus has inspired many Christmas stories and movies that have introduced popular details to Christmas traditions and characters. This is the case of the poem “The Night before Christmas”, by American writer Clement Clark Moore.  Moore created Santa’s reindeer and later, illustrator Thomas Nast depicted a fat Santa in the red dress and hat that he wears today.  Christmas parties have become more popular within the years. Nowadays Christmas Eve is celebrated with fireworks, parties,  games, and Christmas activities. From these changes, many new customs and traditions have been born.  The word “Christmas” means “Mass of Christ,” later shortened to Christ-Mass. The even shorter form – “Xmas”- was first used in Europe in the 1500s. It is derived from the Greek alphabet, in which X is the first letter of Christ’s name in Greek, that is, Xristos, therefore “X-Mass.”
The legend behind the tradition of hanging and filling Christmas stockings is part of the story of St. Nicholas. He threw bags of money through an open window to pay the dowry of three young women whose father could not afford to pay for their marriages. Children all over the world continue still to hang Christmas stockings from the fireplace hoping that Santa Claus will fill them with gifts. In some countries, Santa Claus leaves holiday presents in children’s shoes instead of stockings.
December 22, 2010

Dance Class at Washington

By Berodie Augustin

During dance class, we dance to jazz music.  Jazz dancing is a form of dance that showcases a dancer’s individual style and originality.   Many students in the class enjoy everything in dance class and the opportunities it provides for us.   I personally love the class with a passion.  Students in the class have to work together as a team to dance in a smooth rhythm. Watching the students dancing so elegantly is wonderful for the eye to see, but not every day the class is perfect.   Sometimes a student may slip, fall, or even miss a step or two and ruin the motion of the class.

We have a lot of dance combinations with different songs.   Some of them are very hard, but by learning them step by step, we can get them.  We also have ballet with a professional ballet teacher.   At the end of the year we will host the International Ballet in our auditorium.   We are very excited and we can’t wait for our huge ballet performance.

December 13, 2010

Athletic schedule 12/14/10 – 12/23/10

Sport Date Opponent   Time
BOY’S V BBALL 12/14 FITZSIMONS H 3:15 PM
GIRL’S V BBALL 12/15 KENSINGTON A 3:15 PM
WRESTLING 12/15 FRANKFORD at GWHS H 3:15 PM
BOWLING 12/15 FELS-1300 E Erie A 3:15 PM
BOY’S V BBALL 12/16 BARTRAM A 3:15 PM
SWIMMING 12/16 WEST COOP at Lincoln Pool A 3:15 PM
BOY’S V BBALL 12/17 RYAN H 7:30 PM
GIRL’S V BBALL 12/17 NORTHEAST H 3:15 PM
WRESTLING 12/17 KENSINGTON A 3:15 PM
WRESTLING 12/18 RIDLEY DUALS A 8:45 AM
BOY’S V BBALL 12/21 CENTRAL H 3:15 PM
SWIMMING 12/21 LINCOLN A 3:15 PM
WRESTLING 12/22 NORTHEAST H 3:15 PM
BOWLING 12/22 RANDOLPH- 1300 E Erie A 3:15 PM
BOY’S V BBALL 12/23 SOUTH PHILA A 3:15 PM
December 13, 2010

DECA competition – Hershey here we come!

By Sandybel Cedeno, Class of 2013

On December 7th 2010, students from DECA, which is an association of marketing students, all went to the District 10 competition at the School District Administrative Building on Broad Street.  In this competition, 150 students from GWHS, Bok, Dobbins, Frankford, Kensington, Mastbaum, Randolph, Swenson, Gratz,  Edison High School and Esperanza Nueza all competed against each other.  We all had to take a 100 question test, and then we had to choose an event to work individually or as a team with a partner.  In each event, students competed against people from other schools and, some, even from the same school.  In the individual-type events, the top four won a trophy.  In partner events, only the first and second place teams received a trophy.  Everyone who got a trophy earned the right to go on to Hershey, PA, staying for three days at the Hershey Lodge and competing in the same events, but against students from schools across the state.

In the competition last Tuesday, after registration and the opening session, we prepared for our Role Play events.   I was with my partner Rochell Henry, and we won first place in Hospitality Service.  Almost all of our DECA sophomore students won.   We had 23 students who went to the competition, and 17 of them came home with trophies!  Congratulations to all those who made it on to Hershey!  There are no losers; everyone is a winner as long as you know you tried and did your best.  I also want to congratulate Eric Smith for being re-nominated for District 10 as our District Representative to the state.

This DECA trip was a great experience for everyone, and we all learned something from it.  It was an amazing opportunity for all of us.  Let’s go Washington in Hershey!!

December 6, 2010

Dollar Diva at U of P was a great experience

 By Sandybel Cedeno, Class of 2013

On November  12th , female students from GWHS  went on a trip with Mrs. Kirby to the University Of Pennsylvania  for their annual Dollar Diva conference.  When we reached the destination, there were girls from many different high schools  as well.  At the beginning of the event, all the young ladies were given breakfast and a colored t-shirt to determine which school everyone was from.  GWHS wore yellow.

The first speaker talked about confessions of a shopaholic, and of course every girl was able to relate with it in some way!   We then learned the responsibilities of debt cards, credit cards, bank accounts, checks and cash. They also taught everyone how to write a check, because if you didn’t know, it’s more than just writing a number and signing it.  We then learned how the cost of education works and how much money people spend not only on going to school but for textbooks, campus and food.   All together, it can really be stressing.

 A fun activity we were able to all be a part of was “The Price Is Right.”   The objective was that they would put different items up and we had to best guess the price of it. You would be so surprised how people spend their money on things you can get for such a lower price with the same quality.  For example, some designer jeans that cost $ 250.00 can be made by the same material as a pair of jeans from Forever 21 that would cost about $21.00. Basically, you’re wasting money.   

After a good lunch and a chance to consult with others, we continued on to another activity to practice what we learned about job interview tips.  In the mock interviews, we had an opportunity to show how professional we can be.   Before receiving the exit surveys about our experience at Dollar Diva, the Wharton Women had a fashion show to help us see how to dress for success and present yourself.

It was a wonderful trip and experience that allowed us to gain a lot of knowledge.   It made me think a little harder on how I spend money and to make wiser choices when handling money and your bank accounts…saving money one diva at a time!

December 1, 2010

Athletic schedule 12/2-12/11/10

BOY’S VAR BASKETBALL 12/2 ESPERANZA H 3:15 PM
BOY’S VAR BASKETBALL 12/7 BOYS LATIN H 3:15 PM
BOWLING 12/7 BOK-1300 E ERIE AVE A 3:15 PM
BOY’S VAR BASKETBALL 12/10 ROBESON H 7:30 PM
GIRL’S VAR BASKETBALL 12/10 OVERBROOK A 3:15 PM
BOY’S VAR BASKETBALL 12/11 HOPE CHART/WEST PHILA H TBA
WRESTLING 12/11 CHESTNUT HILL TOURN. A TBA