What’s New With Nate

What's New With Nate?

My name is Nate Stillman and I am in 8th grade. I enjoy reading, sports (especially soccer), and playing with my three brothers. I currently play for and captain the Sage Park Middle School soccer team. I decided to create What’s New With Nate because I enjoy reading and I wanted to volunteer in my community. I know that sometimes it is hard for students to find books that they enjoy. With this column I hope students find books that sparks interest and hopefully some discussion. Contact me at: stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org!

What's New With Nate - October 17, 2022

I recently read a book called “Play With Your Brain,” which taught many important lessons about being a mentally strong soccer player, but included lessons that would apply to other aspects of life. 

 There were many key points which the book highlighted. One key point was the importance of being patient and not trying to force passes that aren’t available. I can attest to the importance of this, because when I was younger, I would kick the ball as far as I could and hope that one of my teammates would get the ball. I have learned that being patient might mean finding a simple short pass instead of trying to make a complicated long pass. It could also mean passing the ball backwards to reset the play and get back in position. 

 Another key point the book emphasized was having good positioning. This is crucial for defending and trying to win the ball from an attacking player. As a defender myself, this part was very important for me to learn how to position my body so that I could try to force the attacker to lose the ball. I learned that you have to position your body diagonally and try to force the attacker one way, preferably to where you have more teammates. 

 The last key point I want to share from the book is recognizing that soccer is a team game. A lot of people will try to do everything themselves, and that can negatively affect the team. For example, if you are defending someone and you try to lunge in and steal the ball from them, they could go straight past you and it could lead to them scoring a goal. If you are instead patient and try to slow them down, then your teammates could come back and help you defend. 

 I felt that there were many ways to connect these messages to situations off the soccer field. For example, in soccer you have to be able to trust that your teammates can play their role and be able to step in and help when needed. This can be similar to many real-world situations. For example, when you are partnering with someone for a project, or working with others to try and solve a problem, it is crucial that everyone involved do their job and are able to jump in and help one another when needed. Another important part is teamwork, both on and off the soccer field. In soccer and in school, it is important to help others, because if you all succeed then the team also succeeds. Having good communication and team chemistry is key to improving the effort and outcome of your game or any other group goal. For example, if you are doing a group project for school and nobody knows what the other people are doing, it could be a problem in manys. Multiple people could be working on the same thing at the same time and it could cause the project to get set back. In the same sense, in soccer, if too many people get drawn over to the same side it could cause confusion, and create space for the other team, making it easier for them to score.

 This book was very beneficial for me learning more about my role as a defender, and I would definitely recommend it to any soccer player who wants to learn more about how to better play their role on the field. But even if you are not a soccer player, the lessons learned in this book can be applied to other situations where you have to work as a team.

What's New With Nate - August 24, 2022

I have not been able to write through the school year so I thought I should reintroduce myself. My name is Nate Stillman and I started writing through Covid. Now I am entering my freshman year at Windsor High School. The topics of my columns vary but I thought I would start with my biggest passion which is soccer. My brothers started soccer when they were very young and so I thought I would follow their lead and I loved it from the start. It took a lot of hard work but eventually I made it to an ECNL level team. ECNL (Elite Clubs National League) is an organization that organizes events for some of the most elite soccer teams in the nation. They have two levels of teams: the ECRL (Elite Clubs Regional League) and ECNL. Each team that is in the ECNL league has both an ECRL team and an ECNL team. The ECNL team usually plays at a higher level and faces better competition than what the ECRL team faces.

Recently my team, which is CFC (Connecticut Football Club) qualified for the National Tournament for ECRL clubs. Our team is based out of East Windsor, and includes myself and one other Windsor student. We had the honor of representing the Northeast in the competition, qualifying by finishing first in our league. The tournament was held in San Diego, California and the environment there was amazing. There were many college scouts as well as tons of fans at every field. These would be the last games we played together as a team, as a couple other of my teammates and I are going to be transferring to the ECNL level CFC team next year, so we put our everything into every game we played. At the tournament, we did not play as well as we would have hoped, as we lost in the group stage of the competition. We ended up losing to the team that eventually won the whole tournament.

The rest of the time in San Diego was spent with my teammates. We did many fun things, such as going to the San Diego Zoo, going to the beach, and just enjoying the California life. At the zoo, we got to do a lot of fun things such as going on a safari tour in an animal enclosure. In the enclosure there were many exotic animals such as giraffes, rhinos, zebras, and many more animals. We were also able to go to a local semi-professional soccer game, and even got to go on the field. My favorite part about California was the quality of everything there. The hotel we stayed at was amazing and was very high quality. Also, the scenery in California was amazing with all of the mountains, palm trees and the great weather. It was an amazing and fun experience, and hopefully next year we will be able to come back and win the tournament.

Reflections on Middle School - March 14, 2022


As I approach the last of my middle school days, I thought it would be helpful if I shared some of my insights for those who are making the transition into middle school. When I was transitioning, I had a mix of feelings. I was proud of myself for conquering elementary school and excited about what Middle School would bring, but also nervous and anxious about all of the rumors I had heard about Middle School. This article will hopefully give you some more comfort and reassurance as you transition into being a middle schooler.

Some of my favorite memories from Sage Park Middle School include getting to play on the Sage Park Soccer team. This was very fun because I got to play soccer and meet people who shared the same interests as me. As a team, we got to practice everyday together and play against different schools. Another good memory was being inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. National Junior Honor Society is a group that recognizes students who have made great academic achievements throughout 6th, 7th and 8th grade. When I got accepted in, it was a very proud moment, and there was also a ceremony to acknowledge us. The last good memory I will share is when I got to be in Ms. Donzella’s class. Ms Donzella was my 5th and 6th grade teacher, and she has also taught my brothers. She was very helpful in getting me prepared for middle school, and was very patient and kind. She was always willing to help and was very accepting. I have come to find a lot of other teachers who have shared these traits, but Ms. Donzella was one of the best.

Some of the more challenging times when transitioning to middle school included when I had first transitioned into 6th grade and most of the people who I had been friends with before were not in any of my classes. This was challenging because it was hard to fit in, since I did not have a lot of my previous friends. The teachers made it easier by doing a lot of icebreakers (an icebreaker is like a get-to-know-you game) and giving us a lot of time to get familiar with our new classes and peers. Another challenge about transitioning to middle school was that I felt like it was too big of a step, and I was very intimidated. I was intimidated by the size of the school, the amount of work, and the overall pace. Once again, the teachers and staff helped by being patient and helping me out with all of the challenges and obstacles that I had encountered.


One of the differences between Middle School and Elementary school is that there is no recess. In elementary school, I remembered always being excited to go to recess, and it was always a very fun time. In middle school, instead of recess there is just lunch, and every couple of days, if you have your V.I.P bracelet, you are allowed to go to the V.I.P room. The V.I.P room has a bunch of different video games and other activities such as foosball and basketball. During lunchtime, once they say you can go to V.I.P, then you check out and go to the lounge. Another change is that no one has the exact same schedule. In elementary school you would travel with the same people throughout the whole school day. In Middle School, you will have different people in most classes. On the positive side, this is a good way to meet new people. Another big change is the size of the school. Windsor’s elementary schools are one story tall and the classes are relatively close. Sage Park is a two story building, and it has two different gyms, a big auditorium, and is just way bigger than an elementary school. Once you go to classes for a week or two, you will get the hang of it and will be able to maneuver to your classes with ease. At the start it will be very challenging, but the teachers and administration will help out a lot.

During the start of 6th grade, you will receive a lot of support from the teachers, and they will help you out very much. When I was starting middle school, I was very intimidated because I thought it was going to be a very scary place, but I got to meet a lot of new people and make a lot of new friends.  I found that the teachers and Principal Jorgenson were very accepting, helpful, and patient. It took me a while to fully get used to the bigger school and the middle school environment, but after a month I was very comfortable in the school and it was a great experience.


new years resolutions - January 15, 2022


New Year’s Resolutions are a popular thing to do at the beginning of the new year. You set a goal, work toward it and see if by the end of the year you have accomplished the goal you have set. According to the website: discoveringhappyhabits.com, the most popular resolutions were exercising more and improving fitness (50% of participants), losing weight (48%), saving money (44%), and improving diet (39%). Of those that made a resolution in 2020, 35% kept all of their resolutions, 49% kept some of their resolutions, and only 16% failed at keeping any of their resolutions. New Year’s Resolutions are one way of putting last year behind and starting the new year fresh. 

New Years Resolutions are something anyone can do, including teens. According to raisingteenstoday.com, some good resolutions include starting a workout routine with a friend, breaking a crummy habit, getting more sleep, and taking a day off of social media every month. As you can see there are a wide variety of resolutions for everybody. There is a lot of flexibility with New Years Resolutions because you could make a ton of them or just focus on one. It could be a huge resolution or a smaller resolution. It is always easier if you have somebody helping you with it to keep you accountable. 

Personally, I set one or two big resolutions that might take some time to achieve and then also set smaller goals as well that I might be able to do more easily. I do this because I can work toward achieving the smaller goals and building toward the big resolution. Feeling some success can help keep me focused on my goals. I do not usually have that many big resolutions because I could get overwhelmed and just give up on them. My big resolution this year is to be a starter on the soccer team I play on. 

Some smaller goals that will help me to achieve my big resolution are being a better leader/influence with teammates during practice, leading warm-ups, being more vocal on the field, being more focused about my training, listening to my coach, not fooling around. I will also need to increase the amount of time I practice and the intensity of the workouts. 

New year resolutions can be rewarding and a valuable way to practice setting and keeping goals, and can be a good way to connect with other people.

What resolutions did you make this year?  If you’d like to comment or share, you can contact me at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org.  


Book Review: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - November 13, 2021


In the book The Outsiders by S.E Hinton, a teenage boy named Ponyboy goes through life as a gang member in the 1960s. He is part of The Greasers, who have been in a war with the Socs for a long time. The Greasers and Socs are separated by class, with the Greasers being poorer and the Socs being richer. Johnny, Ponyboy’s friend, had been jumped by the Socs before and had gotten hurt really badly. He decided to carry a switchblade in order to keep himself safe from that ever happening again. When Ponyboy and Johnny get jumped by the Socs again, Ponyboy is being drowned in a fountain, and Johnny steps in and fatally stabs one of the Socs. This is really bad for Johnny and Ponyboy, and they are forced to go on the run. They end up going to an abandoned church building. An emergency happens at the church, and they are forced to go back home, where they face consequences for their actions.  

One thing I like about this story is how the relationships between the characters are shown throughout the story. For example, the brotherly bond between Ponyboy and his two brothers (Darry and Soda) is so powerful because throughout the story their relationship gets tested through different issues, but they always end up closer. First of all, their parents had died in a car crash when Ponyboy was very young, forcing Darry to become a father figure for them because he didn’t want them to get separated in the foster care system. An example is when Darry slaps Ponyboy because he had come home late and Darry was worried about him. Ponyboy then got angry and ran away. When they came back and reunited, I could feel the emotion between them.  

Another thing I loved about the book was how the gang stuck together even through their tougher times. They showed that you don’t need to be related to be family. For example, when Johnny stabbed the Soc, one of the members of their gang, Dally, helped them hide and gave them money. This shows how they stick together, because a lot of times when something goes wrong with someone, their friends tend to leave them and let them solve it on their own. Sometimes it can be better to let them solve it on their own, but in this case, if Dally had left Ponyboy and Johnny to try and hide themselves, they would have been caught. Instead, Dally gave them a place to hide and money to buy resources. Another example of when the gang showed they were family was how Darry, Ponyboy, and Johnny let people come to their house and rest if things were not going well at their house. This shows the sense of family in their gang, because they were trusting enough to let their friends be in their house, and were caring enough to give them a safe place to sleep and eat if they did not have one of their own. 

For these reasons, I liked The Outsiders by S.E Hinton. This was a nice and quick read, as well as a great read-aloud book. It was action-packed and had a lot of twists and turns. This book included some violence, and I would recommend this book to a middle school audience. 

If you have any questions or comments contact me at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org.

Book Review: I am number four by pittacus lore - August 23, 2021


This story is a science fiction story about Four, one of nine aliens who came from their home planet of Lorien because their planet was under attack by another race of aliens named Mogadorians. On the planet of Lorien were Ten Elders, who were the leaders, the Garde, who were chosen by the Elders to protect their planet, and Cepans, who were chosen to guide the Garde and teach them about their role. This series was about nine of the Garde who were chosen to go to Earth by the Elders, who, when they reached their full potential, would go back to Lorien and restore their planet. 

In this story, the Garde went to Earth along with nine Cepans on a rocket ship and they grow up on earth. The Garde and the Cepans looked like humans, so they fit in on Earth. One thing that the Cepans taught the Lorics was how to use their chest. Each Loric got a chest that had things from their home planet. The Cepans would introduce everything in the chest to the Lorics once it was necessary to use them. Also, the Cepans trained the Lorics in martial arts and other skills. The Loric aliens had some special abilities called Legacies that would develop over time, including powers such as telekinesis, fire resistance, and invisibility. The Cepans taught the Lorics how to control and master the power of the Legacies as well. 

One of the interesting things about the Lorics was that a charm was put on them by the Elders so that they could only be killed in a certain order. Each of the Lorics got assigned a number between 1-9. The main character of this book is number Four and so when numbers 1-3 were killed, Four knew that he was next, so he had to protect himself from the Mogadorians that would come looking for him. Throughout the book, Four and his Cepan, who was named Henri, go through many challenges. Some of the challenges were more normal, like the challenges of being a teenager in high school. Other challenges were not normal, like controlling Legacies.

Four’s Cepan Henri helps and guides Four through his life and saves Four’s life a couple of times. Also, Henri is just a really good friend to Four and really sympathizes with what Four is going through and helps Four be successful. 

 Near the end of the book, there is an unexpected and shocking twist when the Mogodorians attack the school. You will need to read the book in order to find out what this twist is though. 

I would recommend this book to a middle school and a middle school and high school audience because there is some violence in the book. Overall, I really liked this book because it had a really good plot and was just a really good story. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns contact me at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org.

Fantastic Family Whipple - August 10, 2021


Fantastic Family Whipple is a book about a child named Arthur, who is born into a world record-breaking family.  Everyone other than Arthur in Arthur’s family is very good at breaking records, and they have broken many records, but Arthur has failed to break a single record. Throughout the book, he comes so close to breaking a record, but then at the last second he fails, either because he can not do it or because something happens that causes him to have to choose between helping someone and going after the world record. For example, he was going to break the world record for longest time hopping on one foot when he saw his sister in need of assistance, so he had to use both of his feet to run over to her and help her out.

 The Whipple family is always trying to break records with every chance they get. For example, at their birthday party, they have the largest cake with the largest candles, along with the most intricate cheese sculpture, and the highest number of uniquely posed photographs

Everything is fine until the Goldwin family arrives and starts to push the Whipples off of their record-breaking throne. Also, two clowns come and try to make the Whipples fail at their records by sabotaging them. In order to catch the clowns, Arthur teams up with Ruby Goldwin, who is part of the Goldwin family. 

If I could break any world record, I would break the record for the longest time reading nonstop. I would break this record because if I find a good book, I am not able to put it down until it is finished. There have been a lot of times when I would find a good book, I would read the first few pages and love it, and then just read it nonstop. If the book is in a series, I will probably finish the series within a week. What world record do you think you could break? Check out the https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records/hall-of-fame/.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns contact me at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org.

What's New in SPorts - May 26, 2021


Soccer | European Super League

The Premier League has been the most influential soccer league in the world for almost 140 years. At first, in 1888, the Football League was founded (which is called the EFL today). Over 100 years later, in 1992, The Premier League was founded. In April of this year, it looked like all of those years would go to waste, as a knockoff version of the league was in danger of being created. The league, which was going to be known as the European Super League, would include the top teams from all over the world, including the best 6 teams in the Premier League (Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham). All of the teams were prepared to leave, but the fans were very angry. During one of the biggest games of the season, Manchester United vs Liverpool, Manchester United fans invaded the stadium in protest and caused the game to get postponed. When the fans got on the pitch (the British term for the field), they set off flares and put up signs calling for the team to get rid of the current owners of the club. This shows that if you try to do something selfish and greedy and disregard the feelings of other people then it will most of the time it could come back at you. The owners of all of the soccer teams made the league for money with disregard to the fans and they have a high chance of losing their job. 


Football | NFL Draft

Every year, the National Football League (NFL) hosts its draft. In the draft, the top college players from around the nation go to the draft with hopes of getting to play for an NFL team.  The teams are given their draft picks based on their ranking in the last season, with the worst team getting the first pick. Also, the teams can trade draft picks with other teams. Trevor Lawrence was drafted Number 1 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence was born in Tennessee and played college for Clemson. He is 21 years of age, 6 foot 6 inches, and 213 pounds. In college, he completed 758 of his 1138 passes (66.6%), which tallied up to 10,098 yards, with 90 of those passes being touchdowns while only throwing 17 interceptions. He also ran for 18 touchdowns. Mac Jones was selected 15th by the Patriots. I wonder if Mac Jones will be the next Tom Brady. Tom Brady was picked with the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, but went on to win 6 Super Bowls with the Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mac Jones led the Alabama Crimson Tide to a National Championship. Mac Jones is definitely going to be someone to look forward to, but he does have big cleats to fill.


It’s baseball season now, and some important milestones might be broken during this season. In the Major League Baseball (MLB), St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has played in the first game of the season 16 consecutive times. If he starts the first game of the year, he will become the second catcher in MLB history with as many as 17 in a row. Two-time American League MVP Miguel Cabrera is within striking distance of two important numbers in his career totals. The Tigers first baseman is 13 home runs away from joining the 500 homerun club. Only 29 players in history have hit that many home runs in their careers. Cabrera is also just 134 hits away from reaching 3,000 career hits and becoming just the 33rd player in Major League history to accomplish the feat. 


Basketball | Play-In Tournament

In the NBA 2  seasons ago it was simple so that once all 82 of the game were finished the top 8 teams from the Eastern Conference (Teams based in Eastern States) and the 8 best teams from the Western Conference would play in a mini-tournament to see who would win the NBA championship. Since COVID-19 hit though the seasons had been anything but normal. There was less games in a season and there is a new tournament style to see who gets to play in the finals. The 1-6th seed are guaranteed to get play off spots while the 7th through ten participate in a mini-tournament. The 7 and 8 seeded teams play and the winner goes to the playoffs while the loser faces the winner of the 9 and 10 seeded games face the loser of the 7/8 game. Then the winner of that game also goes to the playoffs. Right now the play-in tournament will be Celtics vs Wizards (East 7/8 game) Pacers vs Hornets (East 9/10 game). For the west game Stephen Curry and the Warriors take on the defending champs, the Lakers with Lebron James as their star player for the 7/8 game. Then for the 9/10 the Ja Morant led Grizzlies will take on Demar DeRozan and the Spurs.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns contact me at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org.

Book Review: Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma - March 18, 2021


If you are not familiar with the Mysterious Benedict Society, you might want to check out my other reviews for book one and book two. In the first book, we learn that the Mysterious Benedict Society started when four kids (Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance) met each other via a newspaper ad. They were brought together by Mr. Benedict, who was looking for gifted children he could use to stop his evil twin brother Mr. Curtain from wiping out everyone’s mind in the world. Mr. Benedict had adopted two daughters who were named Number Two and Rhonda. Mr. Benedict also saved someone named Milligan, whose memories had been wiped. The children snuck in and foiled Mr. Curtain’s plans. At the end of the first book, Kate found out that Milligan was her father. 

In the second book, they found out that Mr. Benedict was kidnapped by Mr. Curtain. They found clues and had to battle Mr. Curtain’s Ten Men. The Ten Men are people who have ten different ways of hurting them. They then follow clues Mr. Benedict had placed for them, find Mr. Benedict and narrowly escape. 

In the third book of the Mysterious Benedict Society thriller series, the Mysterious Benedict Society has to try to evade the notorious Mr. Curtain again. They manage to evade him and his evil group of Ten Men for a while, but then they realize too late that they had fallen into a trap set by Mr. Curtain. The trap was set by the Ten Men dropping clues to where Mr. Curtain was located. Once they found where Mr. Curtain was located, Reynie figured out that it was a trap, but it was too late. They try to escape the clutches of Mr. Curtain, but they fail each time. They finally get their chance to escape once Mr. Benedict and the rest of the gang come to break them out. Once they have been broken out, Mr. Curtain tries to take his own life, but his faithful and kindhearted servant S.Q. saves his life. 

This was a good book because it had a lot of challenging riddles that were fun to solve. Also, I liked that there were a lot of heartwarming moments added into this book. For example, Milligan sacrificed himself to save his daughter and the rest of her friends. Even though he survived, it was amazing to see him put his life on the line for the people that he loves. This book had its highs and its lows. Overall, it was not the best book in the series, but it still was a pretty good book. I didn’t really like it because a lot of the book was the kids being captured and trying and failing to get out. I would still recommend this series as a whole. Stay tuned for the last book of the Mysterious Benedict Society series.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns contact me at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org.

Black History month: john lewis - February 20, 2021

This month is black history month, and I have decided to write about someone who I have recently learned about: John Lewis. John Lewis was a civil rights activist whose work was primarily focused on getting voting rights for minorities. I had first learned about John Lewis as I worked on creating a documentary with my friend about the history of voting rights. Recently, I heard about a movie documentary about John Lewis called John Lewis: Good Trouble, and so I decided to review the documentary. 

John Lewis:  Good Trouble is rated PG, and received a very good score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Watching this documentary really showed me what John Lewis was like and how he lived. One part of the documentary that I enjoyed was when it showed a scene where John Lewis was rallying votes for Stacy Abrams, who was running for governor for Georgia in 2018. I liked this scene because it showed how relentless John Lewis was and how many people listened to him.  

Another scene that stood out to me was when John Lewis marched on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965. The day he marched on the Edmund Pettus Bridge became known as Bloody Sunday. On Bloody Sunday, John Lewis and hundreds of other peaceful protesters were stopped by police officers on the bridge and beaten. This scene stood out to me because it showed the resilience and the dedication that John Lewis had. It also showed how passionate he was about equality. 

One last scene that stood out to me was when some politicians told stories of how John Lewis had influenced them to become who they became. This stood out to me because it showed how inspirational John Lewis was and how he encouraged other young people to become politicians. I also learned a few things about his activism life that I had not heard of before. For example, I had not known that he had spoken at the March on Washington. I also did not know that he was part of the freedom riders, and that he was asked to chair SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee). I do know one thing for sure though:  John Lewis played a key role in African-Americans having the right to vote, and he changed a lot of lives. Thank you, John Lewis.

I would recommend this documentary to teenagers who are going to be voting soon, so they can learn how the right to vote is not something to take for granted, but something that people like John Lewis put their lives on the line for. I would also recommend that if a younger person is watching this documentary, that they watch it with an adult so the adult can help the child understand.


In Memoriam of John Lewis

Born: February 21, 1940, Alabama

Died: July 17, 2020, Atlanta, GA

Super Bowl Sunday - February 10, 2021

This year’s Super Bowl was anything but boring. This was one of the most exciting Super Bowls I have ever watched. Let’s start off with the score of the game: the score was 31-9, with Rob Gronkowski getting the first touchdown from a Tom Brady throw. The Chiefs scored 3 field goals, and Brady threw 3 touchdowns, one to Antonio Brown and two to Gronk. Leonard Fournette also ran for a touchdown. I think that the people who deserve a lot of the credit are the members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, who did an excellent job pressuring Patrick Mahomes and shutting the Chiefs down. It was a one-sided Super Bowl, but it sure was an exciting one. 

Some people might say that the Chiefs lost because Patrick Mahomes had an injured toe that affected his running and throwing. One thing is for sure though: Tom Brady is amazing. This is his first season with the Buccaneers, who have had the worst franchise in major professional sports. Brady was able to turn them around to become Super Bowl champs. 

One part of the Super Bowl that I thought was really amazing was near the end of the first half, when the Buccaneers started near half field and went the length of the field in 40 seconds to get a touchdown. Another highlight of the Super Bowl for me was the halftime show. The Weeknd was amazing, and he executed his performance splendiferously. 

It was a game to remember, and Tom Brady really deserved that MVP. I cannot wait to see what happens next season! Do you think that Brady will win another with the Buccaneers, or will someone else take the crown? Tell me what you think at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org

School Schedules Changing - January 19, 2021

Are you ready to go back to school full-time and in-person? Based on communications posted on the Windsor Public School website on January 11th by Dr. Tyrell M. Hill, the interim Superintendent of Schools, I learned that school would be switching to four days per week in-person for all students beginning January 25th, with the only other option being total distance learning. One reason Dr. Hill said he was going to do this was because it would create a better learning environment, since the students would be in the same room as their respective teachers. His second reason was that a lot of other schools in the district had successfully made the switch over to full in-person, so he thought it was time for Windsor to do the same. Lastly, he said that, “We continue to do contact tracing and our district data repeatedly indicates that the transmission of the virus is happening outside of our schools.” 

I interviewed a Windsor High ninth grade student about his/her thoughts on this topic. This person’s name was changed to respect his/her wishes to remain anonymous. Our exchange is below:

Me: What were your thoughts when they announced the change to full-time in-person school?

Student: It is quite early to do that. I think the news is saying that there is a lot of COVID going on and they should give it more time before they put everyone in one spot to stop the spread of COVID.

Me: How did you like distance learning?

Student: It is a lot more comfortable, and there is less worry about going to the bus, more sleep, and more family time.

Me: Do you think changing school to in-school will be better for the teachers? Why or why not?

Student: When students are at home, teachers cannot tell whether their students are paying attention to class or not. And they might not be able to tell if someone is fooling around when their mic is off. If the students are in school, there is more of a risk of covid exposure.

Me: What is your main concern about everyone going back into school and why?

Student: COVID because it is dangerous.

Me: Do you think that more people will start going into school, or will more people do distance learning, and why do you think that?

Student: Distance learning, because people will likely play it safe and want a lower risk of getting the virus.

Me: Would you rather the school stays as is or goes full-time in-person?

Student: Full-time distance because I think with full-time in-person not everyone will be able to do that. I think we should do full-time distance for a few weeks and let the cases of COVID drop, and then go full-time in-person.

Me: What did you expect high school to be like?

Student: A lot of work.

Me: What were some challenges you faced this high school year?

Not having access to talk to my teachers as much as I did before, and not having enough resources. It is harder to do online learning because some teachers do not know how to operate a computer and sometimes technical difficulties can knock me off of a call and I could lose a lot of work time. There are also a lot of distractions that I face at home, which makes it harder for me to learn. 

Me: Thank you for talking with me.

I can understand both sides of this topic. The thing I liked the most about Dr. Hill’s decision was that he gave students the option to stay home if they were like the student I interviewed and preferred to stay home. I think there are a lot of pros and cons with each side, and if there was a debate about it, it could go either way. What do you think about this change? You can contact me at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org.

Book Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart - 1/28/21

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the first book in the thrilling Mysterious Benedict Society series, in that book the main character, Reynie Muldoon, goes to take a test that he sees in a newspaper advertisement for gifted children. After he passes the test, he joins three other kids who passed the test, and they become the Mysterious Benedict Society. Mr. Benedict, the person who organized the tests, recruits the children on a mission to infiltrate L.I.V.E (Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened) in order to stop Mr. Benedict’s twin brother Ledroptha Curtain and his plan to brainwash the world. The kids work together to save the world and capture Ledroptha’s evil device, The Whisperer. 

This story continues in the second book in the series, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey. This book is about the Mysterious Benedict Society’s quest to save Mr. Benedict, who got kidnapped. He got kidnapped by his twin brother Ledroptha Curtain, because he believed that Mr. Benedict knew about a new plant that was connected to The Whisperer. The kids get sent on journeys across the world, and have to escape Ten Men, who are people that can harm them in ten different ways. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book. One big twist was in the beginning, when they came to Mr. Benedict’s house and found out that he had been kidnapped. The kids then found out that the clues that Mr. Benedict had given them would help lead them to Mr. Benedict, and they had to sneak out of the house and past government officials to start their journey. 

This book was exciting, and it had me on the edge of my seat on every page. One thing I liked about it were the riddles that Mr. Benedict had written for the children. I liked them because they allowed me to try to solve the riddles, and it was always fun when I learned what the riddle meant. Overall, this was an amazing book, and I would highly recommend it. I cannot wait to read the next book in this gripping series. 

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this book or have any recommendations for me to read and review next! You can contact me at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org.   

Book Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

In the book The Mysterious Benedict Society four kids get selected to be part of the Mysterious Benedict Society. The kids are given multiple tests to figure out if they are able to get chosen to be in the Society. Once they are in the Society they go through a series of twists and as they try to unveil the evil plot of Mr. Curtain who is the headmaster of a mysterious and prestigious boarding school. At the end you will be amazed at what happens. If you like mystery books you will love this book. One thing I love about this book is the different characters. I like the characters because there are a lot of different personalities with each of the characters. One of the characters was a boy named George “Sticky” Washington; Sticky is very smart and has a really good memory, but he is also shy and very withdrawn. Then there is  Kate who is resourceful and is not afraid to get her hands dirty. Then there is Constance who is a cranky and small kid who will do whatever it takes to succeed. Last but not least the main character of the book Reynie who is smart, calm, curious and level-headed. I liked the mix of personalities because it was really interesting to see how they solved problems together and how they worked together. In the end they worked together and used all of their talents to succeed. 



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