Volume 23

This Week at South Vol. 23

Good Morning South Students, Parents, Staff, and Community Members, 

Please find the Weekly Bulletin for February 24th through 29th (Also Attached) 

Part I: The News

Family Engagement Survey Now Open:

Please use the link and code below to take the Family Engagement Survey, which will provide us with important feedback about how well our programs are meeting the needs of our families and community. The feedback will be used to improve how we work with and support South families in the future.  

Link: https://surveys.panoramaed.com/aasb/login

Code: southfamily

Freshmen Fair to be held February 25th from 6 to 7:30 PM

South High School will hold its annual Freshmen Fair on Tuesday evening from 6 to 7:30 pm. I will briefly welcome all future students and their families in the gym at 6 pm, and then release everyone to interact with our students and staff who will be on hand to offer insight into their programs and activities. 

It’s SOBOSS Week:

This Friday, February 28th, we will hold the all-school competition also known as SOBOSS. I encourage all students to participate in the spirit days, cheer on their respective classes, and take advantage of this opportunity to break the winter monotony. 

The games will begin mid-morning, conclude just before lunch, and then we will return to classes in the afternoon. The bell schedule is available here

South Drama, Debate, and Forensics are State Champions In Policy Debate 

Last weekend, South’s DDF team traveled to Juneau to participate in the State Competition.  Grayson Shaw and David Bascom were named State Champions in Policy Debate! Many of our students earned top five placings in several events (see below).  

Sweepstakes Results:

  • 2nd Place Division 1 Debate Sweepstakes Award
  • 3rd Place Division 1 Drama Sweepstakes Award
  • 3rd Place Division 1 Overall Sweepstakes Award

Other Results

  • Grayson Shaw: 2nd Speaker, Policy Debate
  • Armine Kardashyan: 4th Place Solo Acting
  • Vihan Garg: 3rd Place Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Adil Khan & Grayson Shaw: 3rd Place Duo Interpretation
  • JW Rzeszut: 3rd Speaker, Public Forum Debate
  • Ivan Varga: Quarterfinalist, Lincoln Douglas Debate
  • Pantomime: 3rd Place

Nordic Ski State Championships

This past Thursday through Saturday the ASAA 2020 State Cross Country Ski Championships were held at Kincaid Park. On day one in individual freestyle the girls finished 7th overall, and the boys 9th; on day two in individual classic the girls finished 4th overall, and the boys 9th; and finally, in Saturday’s relays, the girls finished 6th, and the boys finished 10th. Individual results are linked at the NSAA website. Here are photos of the girls after their race, and the scene just outside the South tent before the boys’ race. 

Boys and Girls Basketball Topple Eagle River on Saturday:

Both the Boys and Girls basketball teams defeated Eagle River on Saturday night at South in games rescheduled from Tuesday. The final girls’ score was 57-38, and the boys’ final was 58-44. The upcoming week is busy for our basketball teams. Both will travel to Service on Monday, West on Tuesday, and will host East on Friday. 

 South Art Teacher Mr. Stewart Races the Susitna 100:

South High Art Teacher Mark Stewart took part in the Susitna 100 trail race last weekend, and despite a late race flat, finished the race on Sunday morning. Mr. Stewart is a ten time finisher, and will receive a 1049 Award. To demonstrate the persistence and focus it takes to start and finish the race, here is a picture from the start, and a picture from a rest stop in the midst of the racing

Part II: Big Ideas & Their Application

This week I would like to share ideas from two more chapters of Trevor Moawad’s book, It Takes What It Takes. The first is It Takes a Verbal Governor, and the second is It Takes a Negativity Diet. Both chapters demonstrate that avoiding negative talk and thought as well as avoiding negative input from sources like music and other media has the power to allow us to more objectively assess the challenging situations we face, and to overcome them. 

Speaking in stark terms about thinking and verbalizing negativity and its impact, Moawad writes:

  • The choice to verbalize negativity is a death sentence. Anything you tell yourself inside or--most powerfully--outside about your life is defining your life. And the reason you’ve succeeded and are where you are is not because of things others did or believed for you. It’s what you did and said. (p. 95)

In short, this suggests that we all focus on measuring our current challenges in an objective manner and then identifying the next set of actions to get us past that obstacle and closer to our goals by avoiding defeatist thoughts and language in the process. 

Following his chapter about thinking and verbalizing negativity is a discussion about avoiding negative inputs from music, media, and other sources. As an experiment, the author added four hours of negative stimuli to his day to test whether he could overcome external negativity and remain objective. It took only four hours of negative media per day over 26 days to break him. 

Although he may have become more empathetic to others’ struggles, he was no longer capable of clearly identifying challenges and determining next steps. Of his experience, he writes:

  • The clicker is in your hands. You turn that car radio on or off. You decide which app to download. You choose which websites to visit and who to save or delete on your phone. (p. 101)

So, from Moawad’s research and personal experience, we can all learn to: 

  1. Focus on our daily challenges in an objective manner, and avoid defeating ourselves by thinking about worst-case scenarios. Similarly, 
  2. We can choose positive/objective sources of media with which to engage and avoid media that seeks to inject bias, fear or anxiety. 

Have a Great Week South!