Okay, seniors: it’s that time of year. Tell the juniors what you wish you had known way back when you were where they are now.
Juniors and seniors: one of my core beliefs about MSMS is that we don’t have problems that money can’t fix. So help me imagine the ways we can make this school a better school. Suggestions for things we can do that won’t cost money are especially welcome, of course. But dream a little, too. Consider dividing your wish list into academic improvement and res life improvement. Think big in this space. The place to offer suggestions to improve particular courses will come on the course evaluations you’ll complete in a few weeks.
All of the teachers we have are fantastic, and all the students here appreciate the tremendous amount of work that goes in to being a teacher at MSMS. Not only does a MSMS teacher have a job during the school day, but also during tutorials. This is why we need more funding for faculty. If every department had only one more teacher the load on all the other teachers would be significantly relieved and would have more time to refine lessons.
-pay for more AP tests
-pay for more classes that have less demand like Spanish 3
-pay for more students to attend MSMS
-have more college representatives to talk to in the lobby
-clean up the mold in the dorms
-get better elevators
-get rid of all the ants/pests in the dorms and at MSMS facilities
-pay for more janitorial services (so no work service)
More classes should be offered to further diverse the curriculum.
In order to have more classes, more money must be allocated to hire teachers.
More AP test should be paid for to not deter students from taking as many AP test as possible do their lack of finances.
A more diverse curriculum in general, to supply the intellectual needs of several students who are in disconnect with most other subjects taught here as well, as hone in on the intellectual curiosity of students as well.
This dream may be far off, but I imagine a MSMS with its very own campus.
I think if a whole lot more money was poured into MSMS, it could eventually grow into its own school on its own campus.
Therefore more Residential Halls for even more students, and more space to further diversify the campus life as a whole. The more space MSMS gains the more students that can be reached and the more independent the school can be.
I have few problems with the academic standpoint of the school because the teachers are all trying their hardest with the workload they’ve been tasked with. I feel like the introductory biology class, Cell Biology, could be improved a little bit since I recall helping a friend study for her test and having to pull out my AP Biology notes for the introductory class. I wouldn’t have had an issue with this except word of mouth was that the material was not being covered as in depth as in the AP class.
Besides that, I think the teacher’s are doing amazingly at their jobs, and I feel as though I am getting the most out of my academic experiences.
I feel like it would be a lot more fair for the rules in each of the dorms to be more similar since it is not exactly fair that there’s room inspection in Frazer Hall after an extended weekend, but not in Goen.
1) Pay for more AP tests or at least pay for a certain portion of the tests after the first test (At my old school, the school district paid for most of the fees, and all students only have to pay $25 for each exam they wanted to take)
2) Have more professionals from different fields visit the school and give lectures about something that is relevant to the class. I feel as though learning it from someone in the field provides more insight. (Not saying that the teachers aren’t great; the professionals may just be able to give the students a more in-depth view of the lesson)
3) Attempt to schedule the teachers so that there is a teacher present for every major department each night of tutorials (English, Math, Social Studies, Science [Physics, Biology, Chemistry]). I know this is not possible due to the limited number of faculty, but it would be great if the school strives to do that. Or instead, have designated tutors for each of those core subjects so that even though a teacher is not present, there is a tutor that is able to somewhat help the students.
Res life improvement:
1) Remodeling of the bathtubs and walls surrounding the shower
2) Getting new elevator doors
3) There’s dust everywhere in the dorms; installing a new air filter throughout the dorms or installing a new venting system would be great.
4) Fixing the computers in the Goen computer lab so that they are all connected to the printer (1/3 of the computers are not)
To make res life better, they should renovate the rooms significantly by replacing the chipping paint, the broken shower tiles, and the dusty ceiling. They should also repair the torn window screens. and the unreliable desk lights.
– The MSMS foundation has been drying up. Not enough money is available to be able to pay for AP testing for all students. In order to attempt a reinvigoration of our funds, MSMS should attempt more programs that can bring in money, such as fundraisers or events. Tales from the Crypt is a great example of this and has gathered over $3,000 for the foundation.
– An ACT and SAT preparatory program would be a wonderful and welcome addition that could bolster school-wide ACT and SAT scores. There is no need for an actual class, just a program along the lines of (All of my peers will hate me for this) CatchupMath and MasteringChemistry.
Completely Unrealistic Academic:
– As Jax said, the teaching staff at MSMS is phenomenal but it needs to be acknowledged that the shrinking faculty cannot properly accommodate the student body. Like Jax has mentioned, it would help a lot to add a staff member to each department.
– A Coffee machine in Hooper Lobby would be pretty wicked. Wait, you know, since I’m being totally unrealistic here, how about a full buffet in Hooper Lobby instead?
– More Dorm staff in Frazier would definitely be welcome, since we have lost such a massive amount.
– A renovation of the rooms and bathrooms is needed at some point.
– (I know this is not under our control) The library seems like it’s taking forever to be built. A fully functioning library could be beneficial for both MSMS and MUW students.
I agree that res life should be better. The bathrooms especially need to be done. The cabinets underneath are very poor quality and the showers poorly designed. We constantly have problems with ours. I also believe that they should janitorial services. I can understand the dorms being our responsibility, but the school buildings shouldn’t. I also think more money should be invested into wifi. When students are all trying to connect and do homework, sometimes its slow or it just won’t work at all.
*I agree with most of these posts on saying their should be more faculty to spread out the teachers’ workloads.
*My big thing about this education is offering classes on a more diverse level as Greg mentioned, such as the basic variety of classes, since MSMS fails to grasp the basic needs of a high school student with all the higher level classes offered here.
*Also decrease the number of required classes that students either have to take or retake just to graduate because it frees up more time for the classes students actually enjoy.
Res Life Improvements
*Let’s just say that the cosmetic improvement’s list is too long to write in a blog post.
*In summary, the overall cleaning after other people on our halls is not fair to any of us, just like Mary said, but I do believe we should be responsible for cleaning our dorm.
– Jenny N. brought up a great point of having a faculty from each subject tutor each night at tutorials. I’ve often in the dilemma of having limited help for Friday’s Mastering chem because of this.
– There needs to be a scheduling change on Tuesday/Thursday. You have 10-15min to eat (depending on where you are in line) in Tuesday/Thurs and 50min to eat Mon/Wed/Friday.
– The residence halls need major structural/cosmetic improvements
Although MSMS requires improvement, it’s still a major step from my home school. .
We need a full-time psychologist or psychiatrist on campus. If we’re really dreaming, we should get both. As of now, the school psychologist is barely even part-time. He comes every other Thursday, and sessions are limited to 30 minutes each because of the influx of students seeking help. Lots of students are pushed to find help off-campus. The school agreed to help us if we need it, so that should be less limited (conditional).
Also, the heating and cooling systems in the dorms and academic buildings are ridiculous.
What money could fix?
In academics it could fix:
– to offer more elective classes
– upgrade the computers in the computer lab, it’s kinda sad that it takes over 10 minutes to log into a computer sometimes.
– fix the air system. It’s freezing!
– more college help, a financial advisor at the end of the year would be extremely helpful
In Res Life it could fix:
– there are so many things wrong with the dorms that the only solution would be to just build new ones. (Keep the same room layout, don’t make communal bathrooms)
– hire RAs that actually care about us. Some Ra’s are great but others make the atmosphere and everything awful.
– do more stress relief things in the dorm, and not as many movies. Also spending more money on mental health in general.
– this isn’t an issue of money but it’s an issue. Follow the handbook, I think all students and RAs should read the handbook. Most don’t. The rules that are written in the handbook should be the rules that are enforced and followed.
One thing I wish I had known as a Junior would be that it doesn’t really matter as much and I thought it did. This applies to almost everything, any sort of drama in the dorms, forgetting something important, or grades. I don’t mean let your grades fall. It means take that and make it push you to get through your senior year. Senioritis sucks, but try to make it till second semester without it. Most of all, just use common sense.
There are so many issues with this school, many of which would not even cost money to fix. The dorms could be seriously renovated, as the walls are chipped, the elevators don’t work to full capacity, and many other glaring issues exist. While there are a multitude of academically-focused issues that could be fixed, many of those have already been mentioned, and I would like to take a different approach.
The bottom line is, while the teachers are very helpful, and many of the students will go out of their way to help others, the overall atmosphere of MSMS isn’t that welcoming. There are stories from countless students of panic attacks, crying, and many have left due to stress or mental issues. The people who come to MSMS that have mental issues or frequent panic attacks should be receiving more help and attention. Nobody should feel the need to withdraw from MSMS. As I look at the activities throughout the school year, it seems as if a multitude of fun activities were held at the beginning of the year to welcome students and keep them here, then those activities seemed to stop. More enjoyable activities like the ones held at the beginning of the year would alleviate stress and make for a more enjoyable MSMS experience.
A final issue I would like to address that I am surprised I haven’t seen mentioned is the issue of suspension as a punishment. The purpose of punishing people at MSMS is to discouraging them from breaking the rules, and rather, to encourage them to focus on their academics. This makes the use of suspension as a punishment seem rather ironic, as it forces students to learn materials they would have learned later on, putting them far behind on work. Not only this, but any missed work is counted as a failure, making it near impossible for students to pull their grades back up. This, in turn, lowers the GPA of the school as well. While an argument could be made for this type of punishment in the form of “they deserved it”, replacing instances of suspension with extra school hours would be a much better alternative, benefiting both the school and the student.
These are obviously not even close to all of the issues with MSMS, but making these changes could be a good start towards making MSMS a more friendly environment.
The kitchen in Goen is only able to be used by a student while an RA or other office worker supervises; this is ridiculous. Does the school really not trust us to use an oven? We are allowed to use very powerful tools in the shop in Hooper, but are not allowed to use an oven. In all reality, the RAs are just a couple of years older than us. Do this very small age difference make them more effective at putting out kitchen fires? I would say no. This is just an example, however, of how our freedoms are taken away. We also have to sign out every time we go out of a certain area of campus. We are not allowed to play music aloud in the dorms, shower during certain times, or even close our doors during study hours at the beginning of the year. Personally, living in the dorms is much more restrictive than living at home, and is almost demeaning. We should be treated like the young adults we are.
Res Life needs several improvements. One major job that needs to be done is incorporating a better “computer lab” in Frazer. The “computer lab” that we have now is not really a computer lab. It is a dorm room with 2 working computers and 1 working printer that runs out of paper and ink every two days. Improving the quality and quantity of the computers in Frazer is a good way to start.
My suggestion doesn’t necessarily fit under the two designated categories, but personally, I do feel it will help the improvement of MSMS. Because of rigorous course loads and demanding college deadlines, many students here are stressed, tired, and generally sickened with the fact they have to endure week after week of the same continuous cycle. Well of course this is no new information and if one ever did get to the point of not having the ability to keep going they could always leave, but what would be the point of giving up on something we as a student body as worked so hard for? I suggest we have retreats. We as a student body can enjoy quality time together beyond the constraining boundaries of MSMS and Columbus,MS. Only sport groups and certain clubs ever have the luxury of leaving the premises and enjoying themselves while being together. The junior and senior class are only given the opportunity to have a field day once a year. Although the on campus dances are great ways to blow off steam and have fun with your friends, they have become repetitive and not fully attended. The retreats will give the junior and senior class the opportunity to have fun and enjoy themselves without having to go home or stay on campus.
One of the biggest issues I have with MSMS is the differentiation between the standards of the academic faculty and the res life staff.
When it comes to academics, all students are held at a (sometimes ridiculously) high standard. Students are expected to behave like adults: manage their time wisely, distribute their workload, and put their academics above all else.
It the res halls, students are treated like juvenile delinquents. It is as if they are expected to fail, and are loaded down with rules and regulations: don’t go outside of the “boundaries” past 6:30, don’t use the kitchen without permission, do leave your keys and ID on your desk for room check– even if you’re asleep.
Students are treated like children yet expected to behave as responsible adults as well. Money doesn’t fix this problem, but it is definitely an issue that should be addressed in order for MSMS to run more smoothly and efficiently.
MSMS is a great school in many ways but could easily be improved. Some of the rules like the boundaries are sort of pointless. We should not be restricted to only a few streets the boundaries should be extended to the whole campus. Also the wellness system needs to be changed. The fact that the first two hours in a week make one point is stupid sometimes you don’t have a lot of time to get wellness in, and every minute should count toward the points we get. Also some of the dorm rooms are really gross several people have been moved out of rooms due to some type of mold in the bathrooms this is a big problem that should get fixed ASAP.
If we had an unlimited amount of cash flowing through our doors, I would recommend that it be used to:
1. Build a new stage for the dramatic performance class; the current stage is below sub-par.
2. Improve the safety of MSMS. I often get scared walking alone at night due to low lighting and numerous places for people to hide behind. (especially walking to Shack)
3. Improve the areas for students to hang out. It would be amazing if we could have a comfortable place to talk, besides the lobby, since we have to keep the volume down.
4. Improve the aesthetics of our campus. MUW is a beautiful campus, MSMS is just located on the wrong part of it. A more inviting campus means more interested students and parents.
5. Lastly, but certainly not least, the quality of the dorm rooms are a serious issue. We need new showers. period. Also, I find the stall aspect of our bathroom very odd. Frankly, the bathrooms just need to be totally re-done.
Although there could be many improvements, I believe MSMS obtains what should be its main goal: to successfully educate students. I have learned more here in one year, than I would be able to in ten at my old high school, and I thank everyone here who has made that possible.
Money should go toward fixing the dorms. Goen needs many improvements. After having only one elevator for over a year, it was fixed and new equipment has been installed. That is the first of many fixes that needs to take place in the ResLife. I’m not sure what problems occur in Frazier, but it would also be nice to get the computers fixed in Goen. There have been numerous occasions when I have gone to print something and the computers aren’t linked to the printer or the computers won’t turn on.
Faculty could also use more funding. We as students are very active and appreciative of our faculty. Our faculty works above and beyond to help us and meet our needs. They spend countless numbers of hours in their office helping students and evenings on campus to tutor and help with homework.
It would also be great if we could get more funding to allow more students to get the MSMS experience.
There is one thing that I must say to the juniors. Senior year is not easy, and you must continue to work as hard as you did junior year. Senior year is going to come and go very quickly so make memories with your classmates, and get to know your juniors. Your juniors will need you. Get your senior portfolio done and get it turned in by the deadline.
The big thing is to please enjoy senior year because time is short.
Improvements for MSMS:
Everyone feels that the dorms need some improvements or many improvements.
Academically, AP exams being paid for and not limited amount of money because many people wanted to take the exams but money was the issue.
Everyone knows that MSMS can be stressful at times. Therefore, it would be a good idea to implement activities to relieve stress such as basketball games, campus hide and seek, or movie night. These activities could also help the more indoor students get outside and socialize. The best part about incorporating stress relieving activities is that it not only benefits students, but it is free.
I didn’t necessarily have an issue with this but i watched many of peers struggle with this issue. The dorms are in such a poor state; the elevators are constantly broken , we have even had incidents where people have been stuck in them. Most of the sockets in the rooms are unsafe to use, and there is no entrance for people with physical disabilities. The dorms in general are extremely out of date and issues are constant throughout the year. I think it would have been helpful for the res life to have let this be known before students began to move in because people who live farther away brought things in bulks on move in day and had a hard time getting them to there respective floors. Also during tutorials I think that more than one teacher for each department should be scheduled on certain nights especially in the math department because there is only so much one teacher can do when they have a room full of over 30 students.
To all juniors, get a planner or calendar that is on your wall in your room. Write down deadlines and get your transcripts early. Try your best to get your college information done as soon as possible. You don’t want that stress on top of the workload of MSMS senior classes. To improve MSMS, the money should go to dorm improvement. The dorms are supposed to be our home away from home, but with the broken down and unkept appliances it makes it hard to enjoy being here. Also, ACT and SAT prep should be offered.
MSMS Juniors should get a head start on college planning. It is time to begin thinking about college expenses, and how it will effect your future.
MSMS Improvements: The residence halls could always use improvement. If we could get a biking system for wellness that would be nice. It gives students another opportunity for wellness outside of stark.