Who Not To Sleep On – Fantasy Football Draft Advice

With the NFL (National Football League) Kickoff less than a month away fans are already preparing to start their fantasy football seasons. Whether you play for money or for bragging rights, everyone’s goal is to come out on top. It’s always exciting drafting your first couple of picks because there is always a superstar available; however, most people’s drafts fall short when it comes to the later rounds. A successful sleeper pick can take your team to the next level, but it’s always a gamble considering no one wants to waste a pick. So here are the sleeper picks that will put you on top.

When it comes to Quarterbacks, you aren’t always going to be able to take a Top 5 QB in the league. However, Jalen Hurts has nothing but a bright future to look forward to with the Eagles. After only starting three games last season, Hurts has a lot to prove this season. Hurts will also have Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith as a new passing target, setting him up for a phenomenal season. 

My top sleeper pick for running back is Antonio Gibson of the Washington Football Team. Washington played exceptionally well last season, sneaking into the playoffs. Antonio Gibson is the perfect example of getting the job done. He is one of the better receiving backs in the league making him a threat in the running and passing game. Gibson is not considered to be anyone’s first choice as a running back, but he can put up numbers like a first pick. 

The top sleeper Wideout Pick has to be Darnell Mooney, ranked 69th in target accuracy in the league. With the Bears trading Anthony Miller to Houston, Mooney has a chance to pick up even more points this season. If Justin Fields lives up to his draft hype, Mooney looks like he will be set up for a solid season. 

The Tight End sleeper spot goes to Dawson Knox. Knox being on the most pass-happy team in the NFL will certainly help his stats this season. He was second in the league last year for target separation at the TE spot. One of the things that restricts him is the amount of weapons in Buffalo. If he gets some more targets this year he has the potential to be an excellent sleeper pick.   

As draft days near, remember everyone will get their star in the first rounds, but it’s the sleeper picks that make a champion.

The Modern-Day Penpal – Online Friends

What is an online friend? Well, you can think of them as a modern-day penpal. Almost 47% of the world population use the internet, according to United Nations News. Therefore it isn’t surprising that those people are connecting with others who live nowhere near them. 

If the saying is true that friends help the world go round, what about having friends around the world? According to Pew Research, 57% of teenagers have made a friend online, and 29% said they have made more than five online friendships. It is common to make these friends while playing video games and social media. According to the University of California, Irvine,  many of these digital friendships serve the same purpose and qualities as face-to-face relationships. 

Despite having similar qualities to traditional friendships, online friendships don’t have in person connections like other kids who have friends from school or in their community. Therefore, they have become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic because many people have been spending much more time online. That may sound like a bad thing, but it can be helpful. You can meet new people without the hassle of social distancing, masks or even getting out of bed. It has not only been beneficial for young people but also for people of any age. Some adults have moved houses during the pandemic and can’t meet their neighbors face to face, but apps like Nextdoor allow you to virtually connect with people around you until it is safe to join social events again. 

Some Jeff High students have online friends who have gotten them through tough times. For example, Junior Georgia Martin says, “It was nice to see how different their life was from mine. I learned about their past experiences and then finding out about mine.” Martin adds that these friendships are mutually beneficial. “I sort of became like their rock. Whenever they needed me or needed to talk to me, I was always there for them. I wish I could do anything for them even though they were like halfway across the world.We could do the same things even though our lifestyles were completely different.” 

Amaya Russell, another Junior at Jeff High, says having an online friend has been beneficial for her, especially through the pandemic. “My online friend has been pretty helpful. Mainly which is like talking about my emotions and talking about stuff other people won’t talk about. They have helped me through a lot that other people won’t talk about, even people I know. They just listen and reply better and sometimes get your situation. It depends on the person, but my online friend has just been very helpful.”

For people who live outside the United States, online friendships can have an even bigger impact. “Jane” (who asked to use a pseudonym), a female from India, says, “Through the internet, we get to know about more things happening globally, and we become aware of our rights. By interacting with people from different nations, we get the idea of what we can do to bring change to our society to make it a more beautiful and safer society. People’s interaction with other people from this vast world can give them the idea for some good thoughts. For example, the farmer’s protest here in India is now becoming a worldwide movement. All can see and give a fair opinion. On the other hand, this is how we came to know about the Black Lives Matter movement.” 

“John” from Iran (who also asked not to use his real name) says his friendships with people in other countries make the world better. “With this ideology, the new generation makes a more peaceful world,” he says. 

The internet has become a world in itself which can benefit us just like our face-to-face reality. With the interconnectedness of the youth across the world, we will see how this impacts the future.

Are College Entry Exams Seeing Their Final Days

The importance of college entry exams such as the Scholastic Assessment Test and American College Testing (more commonly known as the SAT and ACT) have been declining in recent years. It’s decline has only been compounded by COVID-19. Colleges such as DePaul University, University of Southern California, and even Harvard College have gone test-optional due to the pandemic, according to College Advisor. Some schools such as Colorado College and Indiana University were test-optional even before the pandemic. 

As more and more colleges become test-optional, many wonder whether it is truly optional. Will students with test scores still be preferred over students that don’t submit a test score? However, based on interviews and reporting with people in the college admission industry, USA Today says that test optional truly means optional. Despite the effect of the pandemic, admission tests were already on the decline prior to 2020, for a variety of reasons. 

One primary reason for its decline is that many believe the test is unfair, especially towards disadvantaged students. According to the Brookings Institute, Black and Hispanic students typically have lower SAT math scores. Those students are also more unlikely to attend college than white or Asian students. Brookings also believes that SAT scoring can discourage students from working to achieve their goals, saying, “High-potential students may lose confidence and motivation, which could result in them pursuing different fields.”

However, getting rid of these tests altogether could result in colleges overemphasizing other factors. This could favor students from wealthier families who have a more stable background with tutoring and fully college-educated parents. Some allege that high school grades might be a more reasonable approach, but the same risks apply. This is because lower-income students have obstacles that get in the way of them doing well in school, according to the Brookings Institute.  Teachers College Press also mentions that college entry exams are now so influenced by money, parents’ education, and race. Students with high incomes can also have easier access to more time during their tests or a private test-taking area. Those are supposed to be used for students with ADHD or anxiety, states CNBC.

Students with mental illnesses such as emotional and behavioral disorders also are more likely to receive low test scores and lower chances of being admitted into a college. Some SAT scores are also artificially inflated due to social privilege. Wealthy parents have money for multiple retakes and for tutors who specialize in tutoring students for the SAT, says Diverse Education, a group that works for equity in education. Diverse Education thinks GPA might be the way to go when it comes to college admission. Studies have shown that students with high GPAs in high school and low SAT/ACT scores tend to have high GPAs in college, and students with low GPAs and high SAT/ACT scores usually have a low GPA in college. Studies have also found that students who do submit scores and those who don’t submit scores have no difference in academic performance, according to Inside Higher Ed. 

Jeffersonville High School graduate Alexa Roach says, “I think they are a little ridiculous, honestly. I don’t think a huge exam should be the deciding factor of whether someone has the brains or the motivation for college. Some people have test anxiety or other factors that prohibit them from performing well on something like that, and I don’t think they shouldn’t be given a chance just because of it. I can see the appeal of an entry exam for scholarship purposes or recruitment, but overall I think it is time to do away with them and come up with a new way of deciding whether students are fit for a college or not.” 

Restaurant Review: Kabuki Hibachi & Ramen

In early Spring, Kabuki Hibachi & Ramen opened up near Jeff High. From an outside view, the restaurant is welcoming and will pique your interest with windows filled with art. Upon entering, you are instantly greeted with paper lanterns, warm lighting, and a mural in a traditional Japanese style. 

First my group started with an order of crab rangoons, which is a fried dumpling filled with crab meat and cream cheese. Crab rangoons are traditionally a semi-sweet dumpling paired with a sweet and sour sauce, but the ones offered at the restaurant were sweeter than usual, which I didn’t mind. Aside from the sweetness, the dish was great. The presentation of the crab rangoons was appealing thanks to the light fabric separating the food from the plate and adding to the aesthetic, but nothing extreme.

Next we tried some sushi , beginning with an order of Pink Lady, a pastel pink-colored sushi that has tempura shrimp, spicy crab, cucumber and avocado wrapped in soy paper and topped with spicy mayo and eel sauce. The Pink Lady sushi, when given to us, had a lovely presentation. The sushi was arranged so that they looked like hearts, and at the top two sushi rolls had the tails of the tempura shrimp. The taste of the sushi matched the presentation, an amazing flavor tied together by the sauce selection. We also tried an Alaska Roll, a sushi roll which has salmon, avocado and cucumber. The Alaska roll was served on a wooden serving dish, giving it a more classic feel. It was well put together, even if it was a simple roll.

Then we moved on to the steak and scallop hibachi dinner, which consists of various vegetables such as broccoli and mushrooms, steak and scallops, your choice of fried or white rice all cooked on a Japanese teppanyaki grill and served with two specialty sauces on the side. The steak and hibachi dinner was organized so that the vegetables and meat were on one side of the plate and the rice on the other. The steak, cooked medium well, was perfect for my group, and the scallops were cooked near perfection. The rice was cooked evenly and the sauces added to the already flavorful dish.

Lastly we tried the Tonkotsu Ramen, which is a traditional ramen with egg, ramen noodles, narutomaki (a white cured fish with a pink swirl inside), a pork broth and your choice of char siu (roasted) pork or grilled chicken.The Ramen was excellent. However, expect to take some leftover Ramen home, as the portion was large, but who complains about more food? The ramen is presented with a spoon to drink the broth, numerous toppings which make the ramen aesthetically pleasing and a load of noodles for you to enjoy with everything else. In summary, the ramen was superb.

The service of the establishment was impressive, considering the low number of staff members and the amount of customers in the restaurant at the time. Our server came to check on us often, made sure we had refills for our drinks when needed and was very friendly when taking our order. The manager of the restaurant also made rounds in the restaurant to check on his guests. 

The overall experience of Kabuki was amazing, and my group and I enjoyed the experience. While the food was a little pricey, it was worth it for this spectacular small business!

Restaurant Details:

Number – (812) 590-3430

Address – 2784 Meijer Rd, Jeffersonville, IN 47130

Hours – 11 am – 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm – 9 pm, Closed on Mondays

Prom is Back with Some Changes

This year has been a whirlwind for Jeffersonville High school seniors. With uncertainty around many other staples of high school life, Prom’s fate has been a major question. Due to COVID-19, the Class of 2020 ended highschool without a Prom. This year’s Senior Dinner Dance and Anchor Club were both canceled, but Prom is still on. 

Prom’s theme will be “A Night in Venice,” and will take place on June 2 at the Refinery in downtown Jeffersonville from 8 p.m. – 12 a.m. However, this prom is different than most years. This year, Prom will only be for Jeff High seniors, meaning no underclassmen and students from other schools. Also everyone is required to wear a facemask when inside. 

Jayden Schweitzer, a member of the Junior Class Officers planning Prom, has mixed feelings, “Since I am a part of planning Prom, I get to go, but it sucks that my other Junior friends and boyfriend can’t come with me. The seniors got a pretty rough senior year, so I’m happy we get to give the seniors something.”

Senior, Erynn Dickson expressed a similar sentiment, “This year is already so different from any other school year to begin with. As much as it does suck we can’t bring other dates and celebrate it with other schools. It does bring our senior class closer together to get through this year and graduate as a class. It’s one last ‘hoorah!’ at Jeff High

Anxiety With Faceless YouTubers

It isn’t as easy as it seems

Your face is most likely the first thing a person sees. It shows emotions, past pains and many other things that  broadcast who you are as a person.  Your face is a major part of your identity. So what happens when it can’t be seen? As an influential person on the internet, your face is what covers the brand you create. Is someone able to create a personality without your face? The answer is yes. 

To some, leaving your face a mystery to the public has more pros than cons. It leaves some free from cameras and crowds of fans, and it gives you the opportunity to live a more private life. Overwhelming fame isn’t as cozy and fun as it seems, at least not for all. For a variety of reasons, leaving your looks out of the picture can seem to be the easier option. 

Anxiety is a major issue with a lot of influential people, especially Youtubers.”Corpse Husband and Dream, two Youtubers that have been climbing in popularity this past year, have both benefited from the growth.”. Dream is a Minecraft YouTuber and Streamer; Corpse, though originally starting out telling true scary stories, has shifted into occasional gaming and creating his own music.  Gaining followers has not made their life any easier, at least when it comes to mental challenges. Both have said they deal with some form of anxiety. 

Both have been hit with the question of, “When are you going to do a face reveal?” or “Will you do a face reveal?” Both have discussed it in detail. Explaining why, even though they have a major following, haven’t done it yet. During a Q&A video posted in the early ages of his popularity, Dream discussed his plan on a face reveal. He said, “I’m not really the most secure person… I’m fine with how I look, I’ve just never really been comfortable on camera.” This was the first, but not the last time he discussed this. 

Several times the content creator has been threatened by people on the internet, and he has been doxxed – when someone’s personal information is exposed to the public. Though he still plans on revealing himself in the future, more and more stress is added when these problems keep coming up. 

As for Corpse, he has shared that he suffers from severe anxiety issues on top of several medical conditions. These have had an impact on his ability to create content. Sometimes he has had to leave streams suddenly due to his health or panicking, and he often will open up about his problems and anxiety on stream or Twitter. 

Along with a few other faceless Youtubers, SwaggerSouls and BlackySpeackz, sat down with Anthony Padilla (another popular YouTuber, best known for being on Smosh, a sketchy comedy channel, back when it was popular). At one point Corpse is asked, “Do you feel anxious any time you’re out in public, without your face hidden?” in which he responds, “I have really bad anxiety, I never leave my house..” Then was given the follow up question of, “Do you think this attention is the cause for your anxiety?” In which he explains it had definitely added and gave a more logical reason to it. 

SwaggerSouls at one point explains there’s a lot of anxiety when putting your face in the world. Setting things up and trying to get things perfect is really difficult for some. Society today has set standards for how things should go which can cause people rather not take that risk.

During an “Among Us” stream on YouTube, Corpse had a small panic attack. His game shut down and the stream went black. For several moments there was silence until he spoke. He apologized for the troubles as he tried to get the game up and running again. Later on he explained he’d seen his reflection on the screen and thought that his face was showing on stream. This caused him to panic a bit, but later he  laughed it off. Slip-ups are a possibility, and for him he just can’t afford that. 

False face claims of these content creators are made almost everyday. People are going to massive amounts of work to uncover the faces behind these voices. The curiosity of those who watch becomes almost unbearable. Thankfully, many fans understand the issues they face and are willing to wait. They show their support through tweets and encouraging those searching for these faces to leave them be. 

Anxiety is no different for YouTubers, making daily tasks a struggle. It causes fears to dwell within us as we go about life. Not one person is excluded, and for some it weighs more. For these YouTubers, their privacy is a treasure.

Will Biden Cancel Student Debt?

For years parents, teachers, and mentors all had a simple formula for success – go to college. However, while many college graduates leave with better job prospects and a diploma, often these young adults also leave with large amounts of debt. According to Forbes, by February of this year, the collective student debt in American topped $1.7 trillion spread over about 45 million people. Now President Joe Biden is considering how to tackle this challenge, and as students burdened by this debt enter an uncertain economy, many questions remain.

In the first 100 days of his administration, Biden has taken some steps to lessen the amount of debt for certain borrowers. For example, Biden has already cancelled debt for 72,000 victims of fraud and 41,000 debt holders with disabilities, according to Business Insider. Despite these progressive actions, many activist groups and Democratic politicians are urging the Biden administration to do more to tackle student debt.

In 2020, then-candidate Biden promised to cancel $10,000 in student debt for each American borrower. He planned to forgive these debts using his authority from the Higher Education Act of 1965, which many believe gives the President the authority to cancel student debt. Biden is said to have directed his Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to assess the legal issues surrounding student debt cancellation. 

Despite these recent moves, many progressives are pushing Biden to cancel $50,000 of student debt for all American borrowers. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York is part of the group pushing for the larger debt cancellation saying, “It will do so much good for America.” The debate inside the Democratic Party represents one of the first big disagreements of Biden’s Presidency. Advocates for cancelling larger sums of debt say it would help stimulate the economy and decrease the racial wealth gap, while Biden and his allies argue forgiving those large sums of debt for all Americans would benefit some who are wealthier and chose to attend private institutions.

As the debate rages in Washington, the people affected weigh their options. Senior Joselen Lopez cites student loan debt as a huge factor in her college decision, “Financial Aid is always my first consideration. I hope that the Biden Administration takes action and gives more thought to forgiving outstanding loans and decreasing future student debt,” she says. Lopez will attend IU Bloomington in the fall.

As pressure mounts from activists, students, and politicians, Biden will face the same question about student debt that has defined his presidency so far – just how big will Biden go?

Staff Editorial: Moving Forward

This year, our coverage has been dominated by one topic: COVID-19. The pandemic has altered every aspect of our lives. Articles about what were the usual high school moments – sports, dances and clubs now included precautions and notes about how the pandemic affected the event. 

Despite this, we don’t believe the pandemic was over-covered, as its effect can barely be understood even now. Its impact has been all encompassing and has forced us to reconcile with long held beliefs and norms in the face of unprecedented change. We too have reflected not only on our work, but what this pandemic has taught us about ourselves and our world.

As vaccination rates rise and cases fall, life will start to look more normal. However, we as a school and a community should not immediately snap back to the ways of before without question. We would be remiss if we allowed this pandemic to come and go without teaching us something about ourselves.

Here are some things we have learned:

1.) We need community. While America has always been a nation that prides itself on individualism, we must realize that some issues are too widespread and important to face alone. In times of trouble we need help; we need each other.

2.) Division is our weakness. There are important differences in politics today, and those disagreements should be hashed out and vigorously debated. But it is when we fail to recognize our common humanity that those small differences become irreconcilable. That’s when we fail.

3.) School is more complicated than we thought. With virtual school, our learning drastically changed. For some it was a dream come true – the chance to work at your own pace and make your own schedule. For others it was a nightmare – sitting in bed on your chromebook with motivation decreasing by the second. But as we move forward we understand that school is about more than learning in a classroom. It’s about social interaction; it’s about the structure of the school day and it’s about our personal growth.

4.) We all can benefit from some personal changes. In quarantine most of us took up new activities. Whether it was crafting, meditation, or baking, we learned new skills, and as life slowed down we were able to make the changes that we needed. Many people also had changes to their friend group and peers. While change isn’t always easy, sometimes change is what we need.

5.) We need to pay more attention to local government. Often all eyes are on our national government. We hold our breath for presidential and congressional elections, but often the most important governing is done at the local level.In the beginning of the pandemic it was state governments that took action, shutting down businesses and schools in the name of public safety. As we attempted to reenter school this year, it was the school board who set guidelines and rules for how we went back to school safely. While sometimes hard to understand or less exciting, local government matters.

As we enter our new normal, we hope all people learn the lessons this past year has given us. As we head optimistically into the future, let’s make sure to not return to the status quo, but rather, to re enter our normal routines with an open mind, an appetite for improvement and the will to change our lives for the better.

After a year off the field, the Jeff High Baseball Team is Ready for Success

The Baseball team departs the field in their game against Floyd Central. Photo Credit – Claire Smith

Sliding into the season on a new field, the Jeffersonville High School Baseball team has been working hard to make up for what they’ve missed. Going through the challenges of this year, the team has been able to build a family-like connection.

After the season was cancelled last year, the team worked hard and looked forward to this season. Alex Kelley, a Junior on the Varsity Team says,  “Baseball has brought together a brother-like bond that we can turn to keep our minds off the virus and the crazy things going on in today’s world. Baseball has been something I love and can always turn to when things go south and I think that goes for a lot of the guys on the team.” For most members of the team, baseball is really something that keeps them motivated not just on the field but in school as well. Kyle Campbell, a freshman on the JV Team says, “Baseball has helped me by keeping me focused on school work, which helps with baseball, because bad grades equals no baseball.” 

The team has worked hard to improve every time they play. Since COVID-19 spiked last year at the start of baseball season, they lost some teammates. Kannon Stull, another Junior on the Varsity Team says, “Not being able to play was a hit for younger players with little experience on Varsity. Although the sense of having so little experience has given us a sense of being the Underdogs and that really allows us to be calm and play our style of game.” Despite the challenges, this season allowed the team to experiment with new techniques and work even harder. Kelley says, “This season feels like it means more. We didn’t have a season last year and we never know what is going to happen for next season so it really made us play every game like it will be our last because it very well could be.” The time and effort has really paid off.

The new field also provides new opportunities. With easier maintenance and space to control fielding, the new field was a huge benefit. Campbell says, “It’s amazing that we get to play on the turf field. With the turf it helps infielders be able to read the ball better and we don’t have to worry about bad hops. Also when it rains on game days there’s a better chance it won’t get canceled.” Having this field made the team even more appreciative of the work put in.

The team will begin their post season on May 29, 2021, in the Semi-Final of the Floyd Central Sectional.

Senior Leadership Guides the Girls Tennis Team Into the Postseason

The Hyphen sat down for a Q&A with Evelyn Minton to discuss the tennis season.

Evelyn Minton, Congratulates her teammate on a successful point. Photo by Emma Blacklock

The Jeffersonville High School Girls Tennis team is moving through their postseason, optimistic about their chances and fresh off a sectional win against Providence. Senior Evelyn Minton helps prepare her team for the upcoming challenges of the postseason. The Hyphen staff was able to ask her a couple of questions about her experience in the sport and what the team is like this year.

Q: Why do you play tennis?

“I play tennis because it is super fun and I like having a competitive outlet.”

Q: What is the team dynamic?

“We have a lot of strong leaders on the team and we encourage our team mates while we play by cheering up and down the courts. We have 6 seniors on the team so we have a lot of experience and a desire to win for our last season.”

Q: What does a normal practice look like for you?

“Normal practice for me is a ton of serving and doubles drills with the other doubles teams. Sometimes we do game play and other days we just work on strategy and communication with our partners.”

Q: What inspired you to join tennis?

“I started playing back in middle school because I wanted a sport to do in the spring.”

Q: What is the hardest part about tennis?

“The hardest thing about tennis is playing in the weather. If the wind is crazy or it’s super hot it can be hard to adjust.”

Q: What has the season looked like thus far?

“So far we’ve had a good season. We’ve played competitively all year and we’re still getting better as a team every match.”

Q: How do you feel about your performance this season so far?

“I’ve had a ton of fun this season. My partner(Loran) and I have a winning season and we’ve gelled as a team. We feel like we have unfinished business and were looking forward to racking up some more wins this year.”

Q: What is your favorite thing about the sport?

“I love the energy and competitiveness of tennis. I always have fun while playing.”

The Jeff Girls Tennis team will continue their season Tuesday, May 25, 2021 against New Albany in Regionals.

Online Testing: The Challenge of Ensuring Fairness and Avoiding Dishonesty

Jeffersonville High School teachers are using a range of approaches to make sure students are keeping it honest when testing

Story by Amber Walker

With the introduction of Chromebooks, Greater Clark County Schools students were able to switch to online lessons and assignments relatively quickly and easily during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, one issue stands out as a sticky subject: online assessments. 

Cheating on tests is not a new problem. Even before COVID-19, students were able to cheat using a range of methods, from writing notes on your palm to sharing pictures to wearing special sunglasses that allow you to spy on your classmates’ papers. However, the large number of students who are attending school online during the pandemic makes it much more difficult for teachers to spot and prevent cheating. 

Since the pandemic started, many schools have adopted tech solutions to prevent cheating. For example, GCCS Chromebooks have built-in monitoring software called Classwize. Using this service, teachers can monitor students’ screen activity and task behavior. Brittany Wright, who teaches Algebra 1 and Geometry at Jeff High, says she has used Classwize to keep students on task whether they are at home or physically in class working on their Chromebooks. “I can close their browser if they are doing something they’re not supposed to,” Wright says. However, the system is not foolproof because students may still have access to other devices such as phones and tablets. Still, Wright says, Classwize is “better than nothing.”

Some teachers approached the issue by making more thought-provoking, opinion-based test questions. English teacher Taylor Troncin says, “This school year, I have had to think outside of the box when it comes to assessments. Instead of doing multiple choice or true/false questions, I have started using more open ended questions, which challenge students to not only answer questions, but to explain their reasoning.” Troncin is also looking at the concept of an assessment more creatively. “I have moved more towards projects that can be completed virtually,” she says. 

While open-ended questions make it more difficult for students to cheat, there is a major drawback: it takes extra time for teachers to grade long-answer questions. 

Another tactic being used is scrambled questions and answers. Some teachers are also limiting the time students have to complete tests. Finally, open-book and open-note tests have become more common — even for traditional, in person classes. 

As for fairness, it might seem like online students have advantages over traditional students because they are not monitored as easily. Also, as science teacher Eric Robinson points out, taking tests at home allows for “opportunities that aren’t available in your more traditional classroom” such as a more comfortable environment. However, Robinson has noticed one thing in particular that works against online students: motivation. Robinson says, “It’s made students not as concerned about test-taking. It doesn’t feel as concrete to them.” In short, when it comes to testing online, Robinson says “there is more opportunity, but there is also less desire.”

The reasons students are inclined to cheat are often ambiguous. Perhaps it is done out of a simple necessity to move onto the next level in life. Perhaps it is done to achieve a perfect score or avoid failure. Sometimes students just don’t feel up to the task. Even if academic dishonesty cannot be prevented entirely, Jeff High teachers are taking steps to minimize cheating and level the playing field for all students.

Story by Amber Walker

Welcoming Another Creative Mind:Mr. Ridings

After teaching at Parkview Middle School, Corey Ridings adds a new element to Jeffersonville High School’s art program.

Transitioning from a comfort zone can be a challenge, especially if it was for a long period of time. For Corey Ridings, former art teacher at Parkview Middle School, coming to Jeff High this year has been a new but good adjustment. After teaching at Parkview for 18 years, he decided to take the opportunity for a new change. As Mr. Ridings has said, “ So far, so good.” Boosting creativity around Jeff High might just be what we need.

Art teacher Corey Ridings
Hyphen Staff Photo

Mr. Ridings had always wanted to coach Varsity basketball. He had played basketball growing up, and it was always something he planned to do. To be a coach of any sport you have to have a teaching license. This is what led him to art. He enjoyed coaching, but he wasn’t committed like he should have been. “Gradually, about halfway through my teaching career … I started to be more passionate about art and in the process less about coaching.” At this point he knew that his initial future plan had changed direction.

His transition from teaching middle school students and then coming to Jeff High had been somewhat of an easy one. His reasons were, “I wanted to see what it was like to work with kids at a higher level,” says Ridings. “I needed a change,” he added.

He also enjoys working with students who have varying degrees of passion about art. “In middle school you’ve got a lot of kids that get art no matter what, and you still get that here a little bit. You have students who fall under the category of them getting art, and then you have the students who have no art background, and have to figure out a way to connect with them.”

He also works with students who are more experienced. “When you get into painting and drawing in upper level classes, you generally are going to get students who are passionate about art.” There is a constant flow of creativity. The colors draw people in, and captivate them. When there is time put into something, and there is passion, it can create something of meaning. “I try to teach them things so that if they see me in 20 years, something I said meant something to them.”

Regardless of what level students are at, Ridings says his priority is “quality over quantity.” . He explains, “My philosophy on teaching, especially with art, is it’s not just about getting something done, turning it in and getting a grade. It’s about mastering what the content is we are working on.” This gives the students the opportunity to work on something until that skill is mastered. This takes time and dedication, especially if it’s something you enjoy. You aren’t tested on your ability to do something, it’s more of the progression of your work and if there is improvement.

Ridings also looks for opportunities to boost creativity. In the past, he used meditation at the beginning of class to open the students’ minds and really boost that creative side of the brain. He hasn’t really seen an opening where that is needed for his high school students, so he’s not quite sure if he’ll bring that back. With the pandemic going on, he has focused more on how to communicate with students online and the way that each student approaches their art. All different, but all beautifully put together.

Story by Anna Hardin