Letter from the Editor

A few months ago, some editors from The Journal sat around a small table at Chinese restaurant near Columbia University in New York City, where we were attending a journalism conference, discussing the purpose of the Journal within our school community. Together, we were attempting to discover ways that The Journal  could connect with new audiences, broaden our coverage, and explore diverse student perspectives.

This is what we came up with.

Welcome to Journal Magazine, a place for for exploration and experimentation, a playground for new and diverse perspectives. Here, you’ll find in-depth discussions on significant cultural topics, essays, satires, short stories, poetry, even art – think of it as a “catch-all” for anything that represents any aspect of student life, for we believe there is a place for any form of expression within The Journal organization. The Journal Magazine is, in particular, a place for stories of human interest, a slight departure from the news we report in our papers; after all, the mission of the Journal is to document student life, and to have a place to do so outside the realm of journalistic formatting allows us to further fulfill our obligation to the school community.

Journal Magazine will be released online on the final Friday of each month. In this first edition, you will find a wide array of selections –  two poems, a short story, two personal essays, a satire, and an illustration. Check it out. Read through the pieces. Let us know what you think. It is our hope that the magazine will continue to grow and evolve overtime, challenging us to travel in new directions and explore uncharted creative and philosophical territory.

As always, if you would like to engage in this wonderful process, we welcome you to share your writing, your stories, your perspectives, and your ideas with us. As previously announced, the next magazine will be especially dedicated to perspectives on student life at Guilderland High School as a part of School Spirit Week. We are looking forward to showcasing the diverse talents and unique voices of Guilderland students.

Special thanks to Katie Lamar and the Pens to Paper Club for sharing their short stories with us.

On behalf of the staff of The Journal, I invite you to join us on this new journey of Journal Magazine. I hope you have as much fun reading it as we did putting it together.


Leonard Bopp, Editor-in-Chief


Survey: Free Expression at GHS

In light of the recent attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine, The Journal will be publishing a major article on free expression in society and in public schools in our next issue. For the article, we are seeking the opinions and perspectives of GHS students on this issue.

Please respond to the questions below, and comment if you wish to expand on your opinion. Be sure to click the “Vote” button so that your vote is counted! The responses to this survey will be presented in the next issue of The Journal, and any comments may be quoted in the article.

Watch: Guilderland High School Concert Choir rehearses Carmina Burana

On Saturday, January 25, at 3:00 pm at the Palace Theatre, the Guilderland High School Concert Choir will perform Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana will the Empire State Youth Orchestra and other local high school choirs. Helen Cha-Pyo, Music Director of the Empire State Youth Orchestra, conducts. Tickets are available online at


or at the Palace Theatre box office. Tickets prices are $23 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $8 for students.

Check out this rehearsal footage for a preview of this amazing concert! Video courtesy of Mrs. Rae Jean Teeter, Concert Choir director.

Women, society, and food: getting rid of the social stigma


I hate going out to eat with teenage girls. I fully recognize and take ownership of the fact that I am a member of that demographic, and because of this, I feel it is important that I address the growing issue between young women and restaurants. What starts as a way to get a meal with a friend can, and does, quickly turn into a ninety minute game-show style competition which roughly represents a mash-up between “The Biggest Loser” and “The Hunger Games” (no pun intended.) How do you win this, you ask? The directions aren’t clear, but after years of on-field research I’ve concluded that the person who eats the least while simultaneously acting like they don’t care about how little they’re eating comes out on top. Even with its often ambiguous guidelines, by the end of the meal everyone recognizes who emerged victorious and that individual becomes the object of mutual resentment of the entire table.

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Survey results: do you think the Red Sea has sexism within it?

The Journal concludes all polls after one hundred responses have been submitted. We do this in order to obtain a sample of data that is representative of the school population in a period that is fixed rather than arbitrary.

In this survey, we asked students to respond to our controversial article on accusations of sexism in the Red Sea by asking “do you think the Red Sea has sexism within it?” In the final data, 41 percent of people surveyed answered “yes” while 59 percent answered “no,” showing that the opinion on this issue throughout the school is split.

It should be noted that the votes were at an even split of 50 percent “yes” and 50 percent “no” before a rapid influx of votes brought the survey to a close following the Red Sea’s request of their twitter followers to vote “no.”

Thank you for your participation in this survey.


The last time: a reflection


Facing elimination, four girls, water dripping from their bodies, clutched each other in agony as they waited for their swim relay score to go up. Although it was only a couple seconds, it seemed to be forever. Suddenly the scores were up. 1:41:33, enough to qualify for states. Captain and senior Kelly Gao was one of the four swimmers along with Steph Erickson, Olivia Bigge, and Belen Marriaga“ It didn’t even register at first, but then Steph gasped and whipped around and Olivia screamed so loudly I could have sworn glass shattered haha. To say happiness knocked me over like a tsunami would have been an understatement.” Kelly Gao has been swimming for ten years and was just looking to have one last great swim representing Guilderville (Guilderland and Voorheesville combine for swimming). “After screaming our heads off and hugging each other and celebrating like maniacs on the pool deck, it hit me that I was actually going to return to states this year, and this time with 3 incredible teammates whom I’ve seen struggle in practice and work their hardest every afternoon. I was beyond ecstatic, so thankful to them and so relieved that this was not my last race after all.”

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Why high school students need more sleep


When a high school student gets home, they have a lot on their mind. As much as they have going on, an overlying fact prevails above all that is going on in their busy lives. They are tired. They are sleepy. They are being overworked. They need a break. The last thing that they have time to think about is how much sleep they are getting. Teens should get more sleep than they currently get.

Missing out on sleep has created a lot of bad habits for high school students. They miss the bus. They beg their parents to bring them in. They drink sugar overloaded coffee. They barely finish homework. They fall asleep in class. All of these are signs to classmates that someone didn’t quite get enough rest the night before. How can students perform well in school when they have all this adversity to overcome? They can’t possibly be the same way when they are fully rested.

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