Archive for the ‘ Columns ’ Category

Student Spotlight: Emma Burns

This post is part of the new Sunday Student Spotlight column. Every Sunday, Denobis features a student at Tri-City who’s doing interesting things. 

By Amanda Bertsch


Emma Burns is a TCP sophomore.

What do you do with your free time?

EB: I hike with my dogs and hang out at Yavapai College.Emma Burns interests

You’re getting your associate’s degree. Why?

EB: I think it would be easiest to get that part of college out of the way now so I can hit the ground running once I graduate. And if I’m going to take the classes for fun anyway, I might as well put them toward a degree.

What’s the best class you’ve ever taken at YC?

EB: Over the summer I took a stress management course, and it really changed the way I look at life… it just made me realize that there’s a whole lot more to it than what I once thought, which was pretty neat.


Emma’s dog Val

Do you have any advice for students considering an associate’s degree in high school?

EB: There’s a ton of classes that work with the degree requirements, so try and only choose the ones that you’re really interested in, otherwise it’ll seem draining! And definitely don’t be afraid to change your major.

What are you thinking of doing after high school?

EB: I think it would be really fun to work on campaigns or be involved in government in some way. I’ve also always wanted to be a national park ranger, so that could be cool.

Speaking of campaigns, you interned with the Yavapai Democrats. Can you tell us about that?



Emma’s dog Benny

EB: Around August I wanted to get involved with the election, so I asked the coordinated campaign (the Yavapai Dems) if they needed any help, and they hooked me up with an internship! From there we got to talk to and register voters around town and get information for the polls! It was really good to get to be around like-minded, passionate people like that, and it really made me realize that’s what I want to do with my life.

Looking forward, how do you plan to be involved with activism?

EB: I want to really get involved with local government and help influence change right here in Prescott, and looking forward I hope to be involved with the 2018 midterm elections.


Interviews have been edited lightly for clarity.



The Infinite Ladder: Elite College Admissions

By Amanda Bertsch

This essay was originally written for a Tri-City Prep class. It represents only the views of the author and not necessarily those of the editorial board, Denobis staff, or Tri-City Prep. The Study Spot column, published bimonthly, aims to shine a light on issues surrounding education and offer assistance to students.

This spring, colleges across the country will be notifying high school seniors about their admissions decisions. Students will rejoice, eagerly accepting offers to their top choice schools or poring over generous financial aid statements. Those lucky few that receive acceptances from the most renown schools in the country will be especially grateful. These students are part of the 10-15% of high school graduates competing for spots at the most selective of schools, typically those that admit less than 30% of applicants (Deresiewicz 40). In the game that is college admissions, and by extension high school, these students have “won.” They earn bragging rights, not only for themselves, but for their parents and schools and communities as well. Applying to highly competitive schools has become a rite of passage for college-bound seniors, a tradition followed religiously by many, but it is hardly one without downfalls.

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Studying Effectively

By Amanda Bertsch


Finals are fast approaching, and many students are at a loss when it comes to studying effectively. These five strategies will take the stress out of the end of the semester.

  1. Get other work done: There’s nothing worse than scrambling to finish a final essay or an honors project instead of studying for that math exam. Aim to finish projects, essays, and hours logs before the week they’re due. This allows time for any projects that take longer than expected and also frees room for studying later on. Plus, final projects are often a significant portion of the semester grade. Procrastinating on these projects doesn’t just hurt study habits; it also damages the semester grade.
  2. Study with friends: Studying doesn’t have to be a solitary and boring endeavor. Set up a table with a few friends in a coffee shop and work through the material together. A group can quiz each other, explain difficult concepts, and compare notes. However, it’s important to not get caught up in socializing –study groups should actually study!
  3. Do a little every day: This can be easier said than done. The most effective way to study is a little at a time, over a period of several weeks, but finding consistent time and motivation every day can be tough. Try working with friends to keep each other accountable for material, ask family members to quiz you on certain days, or set goals far in advance. The more studying you can accomplish before finals week, the less stressful exams will be.
  4. Take personal time: Studying is important, yes, but so is mental health. Enjoy the holiday season! Once you reach a studying goal, reward yourself by going out with friends, watching a holiday movie, or doing whatever you like to do to unwind. Overstressing yourself leads to poorer exam performance, so make sure to have some fun and get plenty of sleep in the weeks before the exams.
  5. Review old materials: Try to make connections. Does the teacher favor multiple choice vocabulary? If so, it’s more important to associate words with general concepts than to memorize every detail. Does the teacher enjoy essay questions? Concept-based studying will help in these classes. Does the teacher provide word banks? If not, be sure you know all the vocabulary terms for the semester. Does the teacher tend to give open-ended problems or vocabulary questions? These questions will show the best way to study for a class and may give clues as to the content of the final, so that there are no surprises on test day.

Still concerned about upcoming finals? Check out our earlier articles on doing well in math, managing your time, and memorizing information.

The Do’s and Don’t’s of Choosing a College

By Amanda Bertsch

By May 1st, all of this year’s college-bound seniors must submit their intent to attend the college of their choice, along with a housing deposit. Many seniors have already made their choices, but some are still trying to decide. If you’re in the latter group (or you’re dreading making that decision in a couple of years), read on.

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a college, but some students consider the wrong things. Avoid making a bad choose by following this advice:

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What Does the New SAT Mean for You?

By Amanda Bertsch


On Saturday, March 5th, students took the redesigned SAT for the first time. This test has been in the works for years—College Board announced the change exactly 2 years before the first test date. The new SAT is supposed to entail less memorization and more application of real-world skills, but what does that mean for the average student? Denobis breaks it all down. Continue reading