Haldane’s Paper: The Blue Print

Six times each year, the members of Ashley Linda’s journalism class at Haldane High School publish a newspaper, The Blue Print. With support from the Haldane School Foundation, The Current is working with the students to share their reporting with the community. Selections from the February, April, May and June issues appear below.

Reporters: Savannah Duggan, Jenny Knox, Giovannina Manfredi, Eloise Pearsall, Kayena Pierre

High School Students are Feeling Burned Out

By Eloise Pearsall

As we entered 2023, students were grasping the reality of being thrown back into a world without strict COVID-19 precautions. As a result, burnout became more prevalent within the past years, and students are learning to reflect on how to overcome this occupational phenomenon.

Burnout is often a term used for the feeling of stress and fatigue, but this is a misconception. Christina Maslach, an expert on job burnout, explained on a podcast that “exhaustion is, in fact, part of the burnout response, but it goes beyond the stress of responding to chronic job stressors.”

Maslach, who is a professor of psychology at the University of California Berkeley, created the Maslach Burnout Inventory to measure burnout in the workplace. She also helped lead the World Health Organization to recognize burnout as an occupational phenomenon. Maslach defines burnout as work becoming “too difficult, too much, with too many negative consequences for not only the workers but the people they deal with.”

Maslach shared how burnout is made up of three components: the stress response of exhaustion, the negative response to the job of cynicism, and the negative response to self-inefficacy.

How to Deal With Burnout

Advice from Haldane students

■ “Write down your goals — some nights when I’m not motivated to do homework I write down what I have ahead of me and break it up into sections. I find this helps to make the amount of work I have more manageable and it also feels great to cross off something when you have completed it.”

■ “It’s important to figure out how you work best, and to treat yourself and be proud of yourself for working so hard.”

■ “If you were good at school growing up, it’s very hard to let go of the future you’ve been told you’ll have: a top school, a fancy job, multiple degrees, etc. If that is no longer what brings you joy or is making you healthy and happy, it is completely OK to let go of that. There are other paths that will make you just as successful and happy. Take time to rediscover the joy in learning for yourself!”

■“Give yourself breaks. Put away your computer and phone and lay on your bed for a while. Read a book. Play video games. Go on a walk. Just sit outside. You deserve a break.”

■ “Reach out to the school, be honest. The best-case scenario is that your teachers are aware of what’s going on with you so they are less harsh.”

According to a survey of Haldane students, many express feelings of Maslach’s definition of burnout. One student shared that they “lost all the motivation for and joy [they] found in learning, especially as [their] education became less focused on growth and exploration and more focused on rigorousness and number scores.” Another expressed how, when they “got an 80 on a test and [they were] in a horrible mood all day,” they went into the bathroom crying to their parents on the phone.” Many students communicated how they feel as though they are sacrificing their mental health for schoolwork.

Haldane’s AP Psychology teacher, Mr. Ogden, shared how he’s seen an increase in student burnout every year, especially since COVID: “There will be students who are high achievers who will stop doing work or not be able to get things done on time because they’re overwhelmed by everything else they have to do.”

But Ogden adds that burnout isn’t permanent: “So maybe you weren’t able to get everything you wanted to accomplish done, but look at the stuff you did get accomplished…

“Give yourself the idea that you know it’s OK sometimes just to take a break and say, ‘I just don’t want to do this right now. I’ll get on to it. I’ll get back to it. But I have to give myself time to kind of decompress.’ Because if you don’t, that stress will just build up in you and it’ll cause all kinds of other issues for you.”

Collector’s Corner

By Savannah Duggan and Jenny Knox

Mr. Posniack

Mr. Posniack

Mr. Posniack, Science Teacher

When and why did you start collecting? 1994, when he started teaching. Mr. Posniack felt that all male teachers should wear ties to work.

Total number in your collection? More than 125.

What is your favorite? Doesn’t have one.

One of his first ties A tie from purchased from Macys, with the brand name called Save the Children. Children made the ties and the proceeds were donated to the charity.

Newest tie Every year in November, Mr. Posniack goes to the New York State Science Teachers Conference and buys a tie. Last year, he got a tie with stars on it.

Ties he enjoys but not his favorites Peanuts movie and Warner Brothers ties.

Mr. Posniack encourages you to buy something you are interested in and start a collection. Also, he encourages people to treat ties with care.

Max Sanders

Max Sanders

Max Sanders

What do you collect? Coins

When and why did you start collecting? I started collecting coins about six months ago since my dad had some coins. I took an interest in them.

Total number in your collection? 27

Do you have a favorite? An 1804 Liberty Dollar coin — I like the look of it.

Aidan Kenny

What do you collect? Vehicle figurines

When and why did you start collecting? At age 6, because I loved cars and vehicles and everything about them.

Total number in your collection? 200-plus

What’s your favorite? 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

Mr. Crowe's kicks

Mr. Crowe’s kicks

Mr. Crowe, Phys Ed Teacher

Why did you start collecting shoes? Ever since I was little, I have always found it fun.

What is your favorite? Nike Jordan 1 SB landscape

Total number in your collection? Over 100

Ski Trip to Gore Mountain

By Jenny Knox and Eloise Pearsall

Over the weekend of Feb. 11, Haldane’s Ski Club went on its first overnight trip since COVID. Students were eager to escape to the fresh mountain air and left the school at 5:45 a.m. on Saturday to make the trek to Gore Mountain in upstate New York.

After a full day of skiing, club members enjoyed swimming back in the hotel pool and participating in a horse race activity after dinner.

On Sunday morning, all members woke up at 6:30 a.m. to eat breakfast and leave for the mountain. The club experienced a slight hiccup when the bus’s battery broke, but after they jumped the bus, everything went back on schedule 15 minutes later.

After a long day of skiing, everyone was eager to sit down on the bus and relax. There was only one problem: the engine started to overheat, making the bus unbearable to sit in with the heat rising. The bus pulled over to the side of the road, with students fleeing the bus to go out to the cold air.

After 30 minutes of trying to find the source of the problem, members got back onto the bus and had a safe and happy ride back home, with The Perks of Being a Wallflower playing on the televisions. The ski club arrived back at Haldane around 8 p.m. on Sunday, happy and content from a weekend in the mountain snow.

The Worst Jobs Our Teachers Ever Had

By Giovannina Manfredi and Kayena Pierre

Although our teachers work at Haldane now, they had jobs before coming here. We sat down and interviewed them on their experiences at their previous jobs. We learned about their worst jobs and some advice they have for kids our age who are working.

The first teacher we interviewed was Ms. Linda, a high school English teacher. We learned that her worst job was at a deli in a local small town. She was 18 when she first started and it was the summer before college. We asked about her worst experiences working there. She stated: “I had to get up really early to work the first shift” and “a lot of people would come in for their coffee and they would expect me to know or memorize their coffee order so that took a lot of getting used to.” She also mentioned that she was vegetarian at the time, so making sandwiches with the deli meats was not her favorite.

Waitress serving

Finally, we asked her what she could share about her experiences that would help younger people in their current jobs. Ms. Linda said: “As a young person, having a job that forces you to talk to people and strangers, in particular, is really important because it pushes you outside your comfort zone and makes you more articulate. Working in the service sector makes us more patient people and customers.”

We also interviewed English teacher Ms. Isabella. We discovered her worst job was working as a hospital greeter. She was 21 years old when she worked for the hospital and worked only for the summer.

We then asked her about the worst aspect of the job. “Doctors would walk by, they would always say the same thing, ‘You know that you get varicose veins when you stand all day.’ ” She explained that this working environment was not an exciting and interesting one, it was extremely boring. She said that you had to stand all day greeting people saying the same thing, this got repetitive.

We asked her if she could provide any advice for young workers she stated: “Remembering that being paid to be there and for that in of itself we should be grateful. When you’re young, jobs are hard to come by, and getting a paycheck helped me a lot. It is also always nice to share a little kindness to make [a person’s] day a little better. No matter what job you have there are always opportunities to be kind and show kindness to others.”

We interviewed Mr. O’Gorman and found out that his worst job was working at Toys ‘R’ Us when he was 18 years old, three months into college on his winter break. “It was not the best job, especially on Black Friday. It was really chaotic when I worked those shifts. The worst part was how I was treated by the customers. And I also barely interacted with anyone most of the time, so it got kind of lonely and boring.”

Mr. O’Gorman commented that it wasn’t all bad though. “The job at Toys ‘R’ Us made me realize that I wanted a more interactive job and an impactful one. I want to leave this world knowing I made a difference. I have a job like that now, as a teacher and a coach.”

Finally, we asked him what he had to say that could help younger people in their current jobs: “I say for the most part every person’s first job is not going to be a dream. You’re not going to have this first job for your entire life, so when you go in, one thing you have to remember is work to live, don’t live to work.

Don’t make your entire life about your job and still remember to have fun.”

We then learned that Mrs. Cordaro’s worst job was also her first — waiter at a coffee shop. She worked there over two summers when she was 14 and 15. “I wasn’t treated well as a waitress and I was criticized all the time because I apparently couldn’t make the order right. I felt like many of the customers were demeaning, talking down to me, and ordering me around.”

Mrs. Cordaro went on: “I feel like teachers and other professions, you build up a reputation for yourself and build up respect from most people. But for this job you had to prove yourself, and when people walked in under the impression they could just order you around. It was shocking to see how nasty people could be. And I was paid off the books and sometimes my boss would take tips, making me end up with $5 from that day.”

Finally, we asked her what she had to say that could help younger people in their current jobs. “Know your worth as an employee, especially as your first job, you might be afraid to do certain things, or make mistakes, or even think you’re not bringing anything to the table. You do have rights as an employee and even if you don’t have the experience or the credentials you should be willing to learn and willing to grow in order to have the best experience.”

The Crow Man of Haldane Prepares to Take Flight

By Eloise Pearsall

David Dougherty

David Dougherty

Every day for 20 years, David Dougherty, a fifth-grade English teacher at Haldane, has visited the deli on the way to work. He buys five buttered rolls, six pieces of bacon, and a variety of lunch meat, such as ham or salami. Although this may seem standard for a meal, Dougherty is not feeding himself with this food: He feeds the crows.

The crows started following Dougherty after he threw part of his tuna sandwich on the ground in the parking lot. The next day, the crow came back hoping that they would receive more from Dougherty. The crows kept showing up at his car, so he kept providing them with food. He now throws them a combo of one-and-a-half buttered rolls, three pieces of bacon mixed with lunch meat, and string cheese.

Throughout the years, Dougherty noticed that there were three groups of crows. However, seagulls have started coming during the cold months to steal all of the food Dougherty throws for the crows. Some days, Dougherty has no choice but to walk past the disappointed crows with no food in order to wait for the seagulls to be gone at the end of the day.

crowNot only does he feed the crows in Cold Spring, he goes to Ossining every weekend for missionary training and throws peanuts up for the crows there, as well. He does the same in New Mexico, where he plans to move after he retires at the end of this year.

Because crows have a life span of 10 to 15 years, Dougherty has fed many generations. Some even follow his car when he leaves work in hopes that he’ll throw more food out of his car. Dougherty hopes that when he retires at the end of the school year, somebody will keep the tradition going.

Field Day: A Way for Students to be Healthy

By Savannah Duggan

Every May at Haldane, we host our annual Field Day for the elementary schoolers. This day contains fun events on the turf including an obstacle course, defending the castle wall, volleyball, and other events. At the end of the day, the students get ice pops and get to talk with their friends.

Field Day

Overall, Field Day is beneficial for students so they can get Vitamin D and take in the outdoors. What’s unique to Haldane is that high school students can go down to the field to help out with the activities. Aine Duggan, a ninth grader who participated, said, “Field Day was a fun day that allowed kids to get exercise and play outside.”

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