Column: I am redefining what it means to be an Ole Miss Rebel

OXFORD STORIES

Jordan Majersky

Jordan Majersky
Oxford Stories
jnmajers@go.olemiss.edu

Coming to Ole Miss was not my first option when I started exploring colleges and what I wanted to study. At a young age, I always wanted to be a teacher like my mother, but as I grew and explored my options, I came across journalism and the excitement of the media.

I was exposed to college options and started college tours my freshman year of high school.

Academics always came first in my household, and searching for a college was a big step when continuing that search. I had visited schools in Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, the list goes on and on. Never once did I visit any schools in Mississippi, but something in my heart still made me apply to Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Mississippi.

I have always been attracted to the South, even though I grew up in…

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Pritzker extends stay at home order-Coronavirus closing Illinois school districts till the end of the school year

J271 [8 a.m.] – Jordan Majersky’s Final News Story (638 words)

September is only a couple months away but the 2020-2021 school year in Illinois is uncertain. 

With Governor Pritzkers stay at home order extended until May 30th schools across Illinois will be forced to keep their doors closed.  

Remote learning has opened many fears for teachers, parents and students across the state. 

“We’re concerned about the students who are not doing their work and wondering if they are okay, but knowing there are limited things that can be done to help” Katie Johnson, language arts teacher at West Aurora High School said. 

“We continue to struggle to figure out the best way to keep students engaged and connected, while not adding another stress to their lives” Johnson said. 

West Aurora school district has been implementing more technology into the classroom over the course of the 2019-2020 school year. 

Johnson says “This year was our first year as a one-to-one school, so many of us have made

adjustments to our teaching practices this year to include more technology. I think that

will grow more next year, since we’ve been forced to try new tools during the pandemic.”

West Aurora school district superintendent Jeff Craig says this is an opportunity for the district to evaluate how things are done in the classroom. 

“The remote learning going on in the district is showing the education system to be very flexible. This pandemic should prompt us to think about the ways we educate” Craig says. 

Lack of internet access and little home support is an issue for many districts. Rotolo Middle School principal, Kelly Karnick says that has been a growing concern from her faculty. 

“Teachers reach out to me because they are worried about families, and we have a system in place in the district where there is a team who takes care of needs, other than the academic ones” Karnick said. 

Batavia school district has been working with United Way Kane County to ensure the well being of students. Whether that be shelter, food, clothes, etc. 

“The district has identified students without internet access and provided those families

with Hotspots so that they can have access. For students who get free or reduced lunch

at school, the district has been providing all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) to those

families for the entire week” Karnick said. 

Like many districts Rotolo has adopted the pass/fail system recommended by the state for middle schools. Essentially grades cannot be negatively impacted by the pandemic. 

Karnick says, “if a student was passing (A, B,C,D) before school was closed on March 13th, they would earn a PASS for the year. Students who earn incompletes would have had to have been failing a class before school closed and have done nothing to show that they have the ability to master the standard being taught, even with assistance, while at home.”

Amy Brewner, sophomore english teacher at West Aurora High school says it is tough to work with high schoolers online. 

“Many of my students need to help out financially and/or with household chores. Many are watching their little brothers and sisters throughout the day so that their parents can work. Others are working a part-time job to help out with the bills and other finances” Says Brewner. 

“I cannot fault them for choosing the well-being of their family over the assignment on ethos,pathos, and logos that they were supposed to have completed that particular week.

With the upcoming school year in limbo many students and teachers are hoping for the best! Kelley Karnick said “she hopes to be back in the fall, but knows that will most likely happen in phases.”

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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