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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Guide to Galesburg HS

I am finishing my 37th year at Galesburg High School. So I think I have a pretty good idea about how GHS operates. But as my son was looking at classes for his freshmen year, I realized that I had a lot to learn about GHS. So the last several weeks I have talked to lots of the seniors in my classes. And then I decided I wanted more education. So I decided who better to ask questions about GHS than the seven graduating seniors in the basketball program.

All seven were good students and most of them were very active as leaders. So I thought it would be good to get their perspective on GHS. So here are the responses of Mickey Rodriguez, Tai Peachey, Megan Young, Jessica Howard, Lauren Riggs, Sarah Main, and Jamie Johnson. Thanks for the education!

I would highly recommend this for parents of GHS students- especially entering freshmen. And I would recommend it for GHS students.




What is the toughest part of the freshmen year? Were you scared?

Mickey- The toughest part of freshman year for me, was getting used to a totally different schedule and environment. Yes, I was scared, I thought I was going to get lost or be late to my first class.

Megan- Honestly, freshman year was rough because I lost friends because they chose a different path than me. At times I felt alone and frustrated but I feel that if you establish who you are your freshman and sophomore years that isn't a problem anymore because you find a group you mesh with. Also, I was intimidated by the hot lunch line until junior year. That's probably just me though.

Tai- The toughest thing about freshman year was figuring out how to put money on my lunch card.  Scary times! But it is easy once you get in the cafeteria :)

Jessica- The toughest part of freshman year is just adjusting to all of the people and the amount of homework.  It’s honestly not that hard though. And the only thing I was ever scared about was if I’d have any friends in my lunch, but I was scared about that even this year.

Lauren- The toughest part of freshman year was realizing that you and your close friends from junior high were going to find different things to do and people to hang out with.

Sarah- I would say the toughest part was learning how to balance everything. I was definitely scared going into it but once I figured out my routine, I was a lot more comfortable

Jamie- adjusting and no


Academically, what do you think are the best "college prep" courses you took? Which ones do you think will make college a little easier to handle?

Mickey- Some courses I took that I feel were "college prep" were College Writing, Advanced Biology, and all of my math classes. I think College Writing will make college a little easier to handle because I know the outline of a paper that they expect in college.

Megan- Through all the frustration, I feel ready to tackle all the papers in college thanks to AP English. You learn things in there that are not covered in College Writing and it's a good experience bonding with a class the whole year. Also, I loved anatomy and physiology and I highly reccomend that to anyone considering the healthcare field.

Tai- I think I'll be ready for college because I took College writing and public speaking. 

Jessica- College writing was a good one because we’ll be writing a lot in college. I also think Anatomy and Physiology was a very good college prep course because you have to do a lot of studying and reading on your own.

Lauren- Even though I really, really, really hated it, AP English was a really big help for getting ready for college. Just the experience of researching and writing papers made it relatable to any college class, not just an English class.

Sarah- My GHS math and sciences courses were probablly the ones that helped me to feel most prepared. Especially Anat. & Phys with Mr. Peachey and AP Calc.

Jamie- college writing, anatomy and physiology


I am not thinking about the "hard core areas" (math / science). What are some elective courses you took that you really enjoyed and you think are really valuable?

Mickey- I took a few computer classes and they were really helpful because in todays world many things are based off of computers and their programs.

Megan- Is modern world history an elective? If so, modern world history. Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVED taking art at the high school. That was where I enjoyed myself most. I regret not being able to take film and video, law, and Spanish 5.

Tai- From a physical standpoint I truly feel I got in shape because of Mr. Willey's swimming and total fitness class.  He isn't there now so I don't recommend taking it but it was an awesome class that has given me a mental mindset on how to work hard and never give up. I also enjoyed all the art classes I took! You meet a lot of different people and I think making art is calming during a hectic day of hard classes.

Jessica- Art was definitely a good one because all of the art teachers are great and it’s a peaceful class without homework.  I also really liked psychology- even though you were the teacher J

Lauren- The Political Science class that I took at the beginning of senior year was really cool. It gives you a chance to somewhat understand the crazy world of politics in order to develop your own opinion towards things instead of what your friends of parents say. 

Sarah- I LOVED my GAVC EMT-B course!!! Taking that class gave me a better insight into the medical field and really made me appreciate my goals. 

Jamie- art and p.e.


Before they graduate- who is one teacher they should make sure they have?

Mickey- Before someone graduates from GHS, they should have Mr. Allison as a teacher. He's a good teacher and approachable.

Megan- Mr. Peachey. Not only do you learn a lot but his stories are a riot.

Tai- Definitely Mrs. Qualls.  Her life lessons are so valuable in everyday life!  Mr. Peachey tells great stories that make learning about science stuff more bearable.  Mrs. Dokolasa is a great art teacher and very fun to be around!  

Jessica- Mrs. Qualls. She’s a great teacher and treats EVERYONE with respect.

Lauren- Mr. Schaafsma was my favorite teacher, he's funny and his classes are interesting.

Sarah- Mr. Peachey- I learned so much in his classes and he really made learning fun. His classes also taught me the importance of being prepared and studying on my own.

Jamie- Mr.Chernin


What did you know as a student as a junior and senior that you wished you would have known as a freshmen or soph?

Mickey- High school flies by and to enjoy every moment of it.

Megan- I think that I didn't have as much confidence in myself as I should have. I also wish I wouldn't have taken physical science.

Tai- I wish I would have known that it is important to work hard and not wait till the last week before report card to try to get your grades up-not that I had to do that but I heard that a little later than I'd have liked to.  It's true for anyone-do stuff right the first time so you don't have to go back and do it again.  Or scramble to get your grades up.

Jessica- I honestly can’t think of anything here… sorry

Lauren- I wish I wouldn't have stressed out so much about the social aspects of high school. It's better to just have fun with people you like instead of the people you think you like.

Sarah- You don’t have to do it all, you just have to do what you do well. I wish I wouldn’t have overloaded myself with core classes my freshman and sophomore year.  

Jamie- be more serious about school work


Did playing sports hurt your grades?

Mickey- No, playing sports helped my grades, it made me more responsible and help me to learn to multitask.

Megan- No. For me it was always making the time for school, which was always possible. That or I could do homework really quickly in first block.

Tai- No, playing sports was just apart of life.  I had to make sacrifices to do schoolwork and do sports. Ex: Not being able to hang out with friends because I needed to get a project done ahead of time because we had Regionals the next week the project was due.  It just takes planning and determination to get the work done so you're not stressed the whole time you're playing.

Jessica- No. Sometimes I would go to bed after practice rather than doing my homework, but I always finished it before class the next day.

Lauren- The only time sports ever hurt my grades were the nights when homework was let go due to getting home late.

Sarah- No, I think sports actually helped. While I was in season, I was definitely more organized and motivated.

Jamie- No


Socially, what are school "social activities" kids want to get involved in?

Mickey- Get involved in sporting events like the football and basketball games and try out different clubs at school it makes high school a lot of fun!

Megan- I wish I would have joined interact. In hindsight a service based club like that I would have enjoyed more than student council; however, I would recomend student council depending on the advisors because that is a great way to become involved. Obviously, most of my social activities were in sports but I also enjoyed project graduation.....but I was kind of burned out by my senior year. I feel that C.A.R.E. is something you don't want to miss out on either.

Tai- Well definitely get involved in activities because a lot of juniors and seniors forget about the activities until they try to get the triple G award their senior year-but they dont end up with enough activity credits.  Project Grad. was always great!  Key Club, Care, Student Council, NHS, SNHS, Spanish Club, Artte Clubbe....etc.

Jessica- I really enjoyed being in CARE and I think it’s a good idea for kids to get involved in as long as they respect the rules of CARE.

Lauren- STUDENT COUNCIL!!!!!!!!! I really did love it, ha. I think Key Club is a great club too, and Project Graduation. 

Sarah- I really enjoyed getting involved with organizations that helped other on a regular basis. I learned a lot from student council and project graduation as well as community activities such as Teen Court.

Jamie- sports are good


I am sure you had buddies in jh who did not adjust to high school and were not successful. What seems to be a stumbling block for some kids as they come to high school?

Mickey- They don't take their education seriously and sometimes they start hanging around the wrong crowd.

Megan- I know that during most of junior high I was a smart kid but didn't always get the best grades because I was unorganized. Motivated by the fear of my dad's wrath, I shaped up, sorta,  and realized that getting good grades were important to me and made it a priority. I feel that a lot of kids stumble because they are spacy and forgetful like me but to those kids I say just keep trying and if it's important to you, you will make it work.

Tai- Drama is a big thing that freshman deal with the most, I think.  I think the most important thing besides schoolwork and sports, is making new friends.  Branching out to maybe a group of people you wouldn't normally hang out with.  It's not a popularity contest but the more people you know the more fun hs will be.

Jessica- I’m not so sure if it’s a “stumbling block” but alcohol is definitely a divider among kids once they get to high school.  There really isn’t that jocks vs. non-jocks divider anymore because a lot of people have friends who participate in different activities than they do, it’s more people who party vs. people who don’t party. A lot of people who do party get away with it and can keep up their grades and be successful, but a lot of times it causes people to be unsuccessful at school.

Lauren- Partying is a big factor. The maturity level between freshman and seniors is very different, and when freshman hang out with older kids who party, it's easy to be influenced by that.

Sarah- I saw some of my friends start to change when they lost focus of what they wanted in the long run and started thinking more of what they wanted in the moment.


Of all the things we did in the summer, what did you enjoy the most about "summer basketball?"

Mickey- The most I enjoyed about summer basketball was traveling to different places to play and experiencing all of  it with my teammates.

Megan- I really loved everything except for when my knee brace got all slimy and gross. But really, I loved going on trips and bonding with my team and coaches in between games and at the hotel, or just playing league games and working up a good sweat in the 90 degree heat.

Tai- I just enjoyed when we played well and got along as a team in the summer because it made you feel good and have hope for the coming season.

Jessica- Summer basketball is just fun.  Last summer was one of the best times of my life.  You don’t have to worry so much about your record-you just work to get better individually and as a team, and last summer it was great because we all got so much closer. Also, rockin out in Coach Allison and Nug’s van on trips.

Sarah- I wasn’t too involved with summer basketball but I enjoyed going to games with Lauren and watching the other girls play.

Jamie- summer league, wisconsin



Now that more time has separated you from our basketball season, what are a couple things you think about that make you smile or laugh?

Mickey- I look back and smile at the great times we had as a team and how close we were. We were a family and always will be.

Megan- I can think of almost anything Jamie did and laugh. Or I think about our family and how we nicknamed everyone. We really did laugh and have fun everyday.

Tai- All the jokes and good memories we had as a team.  It's sad that we wont be able to make more memories like that but just thinking about everyone on our team and how we were a family makes me happy about how the season went.

Jessica- This is a really hard question because there are so many good memories I think of throughout the day that make me laugh, most of them involving something that Jamie has said, like “I wish I was a girl…” that was classic. 
-How we adopted each member on the team into our “family” and gave them pet names for which animal they seemed the most like
-When Baylie pulled down Megan’s pants while she was shooting on the GUN haha
-Rainee always singing
-Nug getting mad if someone touched her bun (hair)
-your jokes
I could go on forever

Lauren- Team dinners were always fun, and sleepovers at Jamie's!

Sarah- A. walking out to the bench with the band playing (Hey Baby to be exact) and looking out to the crowd
B. Steve Bryant yelling Hi-Ho- Silver

Jamie- just all the fun i had, every single day was a blast


Obviously Jamie stepped up and became more than just another player on the team. Now that the season is over, I can admit that Jamie and I were like co-head coaches. So how do I replace her or who should I look to take Jamie's place?

Mickey- I believe Rainee Sibley would suit the job. She won't take things personally and will understand Coach Massey's special sense of humor (haha).

Megan- I think a goat because they both can eat roughly the same amount.

Tai- Haaha I don't think anyone can fill Jamison's shoes :)

Jessica- I think that is reference 386 to you and Jamie coaching- Coach Allison and I kept track.  Since Jamie can’t be there next year to coach, and obviously no one could take her place in that area, but I think Rainee is a great candidate.

Lauren- . Jamie is irreplaceable

Sarah- Lauren and I would be glad to take the job... especially after our performance at meet the streaks

Jamie- i have to admit, im not to sure anyone can replace me


So during the last month of school, any sad moments?

Mickey- No sad moments.

Megan- I remember getting sad the day before the last day of school because when my dad said "goodbye, have a good day" I realized that it was the last time. It was just crazy because my dad was always the one who got me ready for school growing up and I know that won't happen again. Wow, I'm even getting teary typing this.

Tai- The only real sad moment I had was on senior night for soccer.  It made me think of the seniors from basketball and how much I miss them! So I talked to Jessica after the game.  Hugging Jamie, Mickey, Lauren, and Sarah at graduation and being able to speak with Megan was all sad but it was just some more good memories to keep. :)

Jessica- Realizing I could no longer sit with Paige at lunch and that I can’t go to your advisory next year.  There were some other little things in there, but I was a lot less emotional than I thought I would be ha-ha.

Lauren- I was only sad when I thought of everyone leaving and moving on with their lives. It was sad to think that the good things we have going won't last forever.

Sarah- The last month of school was exciting but it got sad when I started to realize all of the “lasts.” The last chicken nugget Tuesday, the last time I needed a bathroom escort, the last time I argued with Coach Massey at school, the last time I closed my locker, ect.. It was things like that, that got to me.

Jamie- not really, so much excitement


Since your classes have been over, what is the worst job around the house you have been asked to do?

Mickey- Haven't really been asked to do much besides run errands.

Megan- I have played the stressed victim card so my room is an absolute catastrophe. I think my mom's making me  put a stop to that tomorrow sadly...

Tai- Cleaning my room.........sorry mom....

Jessica- I’m like Cinderella here. I have to do everything because my dad is too lazy (jk!).  All I have to do is some laundry.

Lauren- My dining room table is full of stuff from my grad party. My mom wants me to move it...........................eh

Sarah- Go through everything in my room! I hate cleaning things out.

Jamie- i would have to be home to get asked to do something


So... what do you hope is going on in your life five years from today?

Mickey- In five years, I hope to possibly be working towards my masters in accounting, enjoying life, and who knows possibly engaged.

Megan- Thinking ahead like that kind of freaks me out but hopefully I will be preparing to go to graduate school somewhere new.

Tai- I have no idea what I hope to be doing in 5 years.  I know I'll be following whatever God tells me to do.  If I'll be getting my masters or if I'll be headed straight to Ecuador to teach or if I'll be settled down, or if I'll be living with mom and dad :)  I'm ok with whatever because I know that God's already figured it all out.

Jessica- Hmmm… graduated from college, still with Andrew, successful career, and basketball coach.

Lauren- Hopefully I have a really great job thanks to my wonderful college education. Maybe grad school?

Sarah- I hope to be happy, graduated from Illinois with either a job or graduate school plans, and still in touch with my basketball friends.

Jamie- traveling nurse, just seeing the world, doing adventurous things


We are getting ready to start summer camp- advice to incoming freshmen for the summer?

Mickey- Enjoy summer basketball, but also work hard and you'll have a lot of fun!

Megan- Don't get frustrated and don't be intimidated. That's easier said than done. If girls are giving you crap just ignore them and keep doing your thing. Keep your head up and work hard and good things will happen.

Tai- Don't take shortcuts.  Don't take the easy way out.  Hard work pays off.  You represent yourself, your family, your school, your team, and Galesburg.  Make them all proud, do your best and enjoy it!! :)

Jessica- Just have fun and work hard to make yourself a better basketball player!

Sarah- To watch out for Coach Rux!

Jamie- have fun with it, you will miss it


What advice do you have for our varsity players? 

Mickey- Work hard in the off season, as well as, during the season and you can accomplish many things.

Megan- Make each other work hard and demand that everyone show up ready to play. Enjoy this summer together and grow as a team. If I could play with you guys again I would.

Tai- Same advice I gave the freshman.  Championships are won in the off season.  Lift each other up and work hard because there are younger girls who are watching you.

Jessica- Work hard every single day, even when you don’t feel like it.  Last season we proved that if you work hard, good things will happen- so keep that going!  And eliminate any drama from the team- it’s just not worth it.

Sarah-Love your managers!!

Jamie- work your hardest every minute at every practice, enjoy it you will miss every minute of it  


1 comment:

  1. This is good stuff! I'm thankful that my computer is close to the couch so I can lay down and type this comment....Jessica!

    ReplyDelete