When I came to the first team meeting in our school newspaper, I learned that my task will be to prepare interviews with interesting guests for you. So far, the interviews were with very interesting people, but they were adults. Therefore, today I wanted to invite you to talk to someone like us. It will be Maja Skrobowska (aged 12). She is student of Junior High Schools in Warsaw. She is happy to answer a few questions that might interest you.
Hello Maja, thank you very much, that you agreed to talk with me. How do you feel this Friday night? Tired?
M.S: Tired? No, I feel good. This week was OK.
You have two weeks of the new school behind you. You get to high school named General Maczek at Warsaw Bielany. Tell me if you feel comfortable in a new school, surrounded by new friends and teachers?
M.S: Yes, I’m in a new school. In the class, there are my friends from my last class. I met new people. I feel comfortable in my new class. I like new teachers and friends.
I know that last week together with your new class you went for an integration trip. We didn’t have such an opportunity. Tell me how it was?
M.S: Our trip was excellent. On the trip we made a show about Sherlock Holmes. We also had to write a song about Sherlock Holmes. I prepared a decoration for the show with three other people. It was the best trip in my life.
It was lots of fun. You probably didn’t want to go back to school. Now it's time for a hard work. I know your additional passions and interests. I know you like to learn foreign languages, but your greatest passion is programming, correct?
M.S: Yes, I like to learn foreign languages. I deal pretty well with English. From this year I started to learn German. It is true that I love programming. I am quite good at this.
Do you think that your future will be linked to computers?
M.S: Yes. I have programming lessons every Saturday. I think in the future I will do something associated with programming.
Do you think that with a high volume of duties students still find time for their interests?
M.S: Yes, of course. After school I meet with friends and then I go home. At home I do my homework and I have free time, when I can do what I want.
I wish you perseverance and dreams come true. Thank you for our meeting.
I would like to write about my journey to Las Vegas. I was there four years ago with my family, but I remember everything very well. It was unforgettable and fascinating journey. In Las Vegas I stayed in hotel Treasure Island. The hotel was a bit of luxurious and well-kept. There were a lot of casinos but this is, after all - Las Vegas :). During our stay I visited a lot of interesting places. The best and most amazing one was a trip to Arizona. We went to a ranch and then we drove to an airstrip where helicopter was waiting for us. We got inside and flew over the Grand Canyon. It was marvelous and beautiful. I will never forget that view. The second trip , which was also very cool, was to Stratosphere Tower. When we got on the top of the building, we could see whole city encompassed by the Mojave Desert. The third trip was to Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas. It was wonderful to see the statues of singers, actors, politicians and other very famous people. The fourth place was the M&M’S shop. You could buy there every kind of M&M’s, gadgets and even watch a movie about M&M’S.
Las Vegas is a very special place where you can see many unusual things, like anywhere in the world. Personally, I recommend that city to everyone, because it is an unforgettable experience to be there.
Today I am talking to Paweł Niewiadomski (aged 14), a student of the Warsaw Gimnazjum No. 123. This school year Paweł started his second grade and he is happy to share his experience with us.
Welcome Paul, who agreed to answer a few questions. Holiday finished and the school year started. How do you feel after the holidays? Did you look forward to come back to school?
P.N: Holidays were pretty good. I've had some good time. I wish, like probably everyone, that holidays would have been longer. About the school, I think I'm pretty okay with it.
I know you're in second grade junior high school, a double-language class. Tell us a little about your school class. It's probably in Białołęka too?
P.N: I'm going to secondary school number 123 in Białołeka. In my school there is a ton of students. Probably over a thousand. In my class there are 29 students. We are very friendly and helpful with each other. I really like them.
Was it easy to choose a school and decide which profile you are interested in?
P.N: I think I can say that it was easy. I just wanted a school that is good and nearby. I wanted to choose the bilingual class, because these classes most of the time are better than others. Also I'm very good at English, so that's why I chose this class.
Together with your class you have been already for a whole year. Do you think you get along with each other? Did you all become friends?
P.N: Yes, we are good friends with each other. Sometimes there are little problems, but we can easily solve them.
What are your interests after school? Do you have any extra activities, hobbies?
P.N: I like drawing and fishing. Also, after school I have additional English lessons in school Early Stage.
Now when you're already in the middle of high school, you have wondered what’s next? What school to choose later, maybe high school or technical school?
P.N: Yes, I was thinking about it. I've come to the conclusion, that I'd definitely go to the high school, probably to the Staszic.
Can I ask you to give two or three tips about school, lessons, which you would give to younger students?
P.N: First of all, you must decide what do you like, what you are good at, for example math or English. Secondly, you should get along with teachers. It's very good to have such ally, trust me. Finally, you must understand that now it's time, when your future is forming. So, if you are still not sure what you like doing, now it's time to try everything and judge.I wish you perseverance and dreams come true. Thank you for our meeting.
Thank you for your help. I wish you successes in school, to fulfill your dreams and achieve your goals.
I would like to describe the Philippines, an island country located in the south-eastern Asia, in Pacific Ocean. With approximately 92 million people , the Philippines occupy 12th place among the most populated countries in the world. An additional 11 million Filipinos live abroad. Islands are characterized by a great ethnic and cultural diversity. One of the first who settled on the archipelago in prehistoric times were Negritos. Then came Austronesian people. A great downside and danger is that the Philippines are exposed to frequent typhoons and earthquakes. Worth mentioning are animals. In the Philippines buffaloes and deers mailny live. There are also bats and monkeys. A precious animal in the Philippines is Philippine Eagle - one of the rarest, most endangered and most powerful birds in the world. In the internet you can find plenty of pictures which show amazing views from Philippines.But, the daily life is different. My uncle was in the Philippines in June and showed me some photos, which you can see next to this article. You will see there common views and life of the local people. Nevertheless, I believe the Philippines is worth to see by people who like to explore and discover new places.
I would like to write about and encourage you to visit Budapest, the capital of Hungary. I was there last summer, and I will describe places which I saw. First what I visited was the Heroes Square. In the middle of the square a column with Archangel Gabriel stands and there are important personalities of Hungarian history surrounding it (for example Saint Stefan.) Then, I saw Matthias Church which was constructed in Gothic style. I can’t describe it in words, you just have to see it. It’s beautiful. Also, I was on the Chain Bridge. When you are standing on this bridge you can see an amazing view of Budapest and do some cool pictures. Finally, I saw the Parliament. It is situated on the Danube and you should also know that this is one of the largest buildings of national parliaments in the world. It is a beautiful building and worth to be seen. I also saw the place with monument in the form of shoes in memory of Holocaust victims. The composition consists of cast iron true 60 pairs of shoes from the twentieth century, attached to the waterfront. At the end I would like to tell you about one curiosity. Everyone knows that in Hungary the most popular spice is pepper. Did you know that 1000 varieties of peppers are grown in this country?! The most spicy is 100 times stronger than chili pepper!
In conclusion I want really encourage that city. There are many interesting places and many beautiful views. I’m sure nobody will be bored there. So, visit Budapest!
PROBLEMS OF TEENAGERS. DO YOU KNOW HOW TO HELP?
Interview with Ms. Anna Nita, psychologist and a specialist on the missing people in the Foundation ITAKA
There was a boy. His name was Max. Max was a bit strange. Someone at school said so. But what did it mean, that he was weird? What is unusual in the fact that a twelve-years old likes to learn and likes his computer and cool games, and that he is higher than others? We all can say that nothing! But someone said that Max was strange and that opinion continued to live its life. With each successive year of school it was getting worse. Max suffered from more and more unpleasant remarks, ridicule, stupid jokes. Then bullying him turned into pushing, undercutting legs, and finally beating. Perhaps a Max has been also in your school? Have you ever wondered how to help him?
Summer came and the school year ended. In the summer, I heard that a boy did not come home. The search included a lot of people. I was very moved. Then, I remembered the story of Max. I started to look for information on this subject, and so I found a webpage of ITAKA Foundation. While exploring it I became surprised because I didn’t know that escape of teenagers from their homes was such a big problem. In my school none of us ever have talked about it. I think in your school too there was little on the subject. I decided to ask for more information people who know best the matter. I wrote to ITAKA, asking questions that I considered important. I got a reply later the same day. It was nice that someone took me seriously, even though I wrote that I was twelve years old. Person answered to me was Ms. Anna Nita, psychologist and specialist for missing people.
Here is our conversation.
Escape from the house of children and adolescents is a topic about which we hear mostly during the summer, but it seems to me that it is not only holiday period. How big is the problem? Has ITAKA foundation information on how many children over the years decided to escape?
Anna Nita: During a year the Police have about 6-7 thousand reported disappearances of teenagers, the main reason being escape from home. This number may be much higher, because many parents do not report that. When it comes to holiday period, there is no significant difference here, and most teenagers run away just at the end and the beginning of the school year.
What are the reasons for escapes?
Anna Nita: There are many: disagreements with parents, fear of school violence, poor peer relationships or need to spend time with friends, boyfriend or girlfriend. But what is common for all these situations is lack of trust in adults and the lack of hope that they can help with problems of concerned person.
To what kind of threats youngsters are exposed during their escape?
Anna Nita: At the time of the escape they may become victims of crime, sometimes they can be forced to commit them, theft and drug sales among others. They agree to that because they have no money or other assistance. If escape is prolonged, it results in a backlog in school, it becomes more difficult to go back to parents and school. There is a sense of shame, sometimes they can’t pass to the next grade and they lose their colleagues.
We always hear "don’t play truant". We know that it causes problems school, but we do not consider it as another form of escape, during which we may be exposed to bad things. Do the risks related to a long run may apply in case of truancy?
Anna Nita: Yes, the risks are similar. You often can meet people who will try to take advantage of credulity or the plight of a young person. You have to remember that if you miss the class or school, it is increasingly difficult to get back.
What is “mental escape”?
Anna Nita: A lot of people just run away from problems, both young and adult. They seek to relive difficult emotions, such as anger, fear or sadness at times. Some people “flee” into the work, some into addiction, e.g. to computer games, drugs, such as alcohol and marijuana. Although they are physically present, it is difficult to contact them, to talk, to learn how they feel.
What should we do if we know that our friend or colleague plans to escape or simply playing truant? Normally, we don’t want to expose ourselves to accusation we of report on colleagues.
Anna Nita: If you are worried about a colleague or friend, you would want to talk about it with an adult whom you trust. This may be your mom, dad, a psychologist at school, school counselor or favorite teacher. Let's say the person we want to talk, that we worry, because our friend is behaving differently than before. Let us remember that secrets should not concern serious matters, that an adult has a greater ability to act and can advise you. Loyalty is an important feature, but in situations when it comes to someone's safety, we are giving it up
On TV, we often hear about very serious cases of teenagers who committed or wanted to commit suicide. How often teenagers may have depression and whether we can recognize that someone has that problem?
Anna Nita: It is important to note the change in behavior, e.g. someone cheerful suddenly becomes sad and scared. Important signs also are when someone says that he wants to do something bad to her- or himself, or to maim. Then you need to report it to adults! Loyalty does not apply when it comes to someone's life! Talking about it with an adult can save a colleague or friend.
Is there anywhere I can anonymously report information about children who have such a problem?
Anna Nita: Yes, there are some institutions that receive such reports. First of all, the foundation "Let’s give children the force" and the Ombudsman for Children. They have telephones with psychologists on duty. In cases of disappearances, if your colleague is thinking about running away from home, you can call the phone on the missing child or teenager which is 116 000.
There might be more such questions. I chose some of them because I wanted to describe the problem very briefly. Anyone who wants to know more can go to the foundation and read about it. For me Gimnazjum 164 is a new school, and we may not know yet each other enough to recognize that one of these problems affects us personally. Our older colleagues can look around, maybe they know someone who needs help.
I would like to thank Ms. Anna Nita for sharing her experience and knowledge with us.
I include information on how to seek for help, if needed.
Free-of-charge phone number (available from all fixed and mobile) 116 111
7 days a week from 12.00-22.00
Children's Helpline - Ombudsman for Children 800 12 12 12
The phone line is open Monday to Friday from 8.15 to 20.00. Anyone who calls after 20.00 or on public holidays can present problem and leave contact number. It will be answered next working day.
And it’s after the May long weekend… I hope each of you passed it nice and pleasant :) For me, it was one of the best May weekend I have ever had.
I went with my family for a four day trip to the Czech Republic and Germany. I will tell you about every day spent in these charming places.
On the first day we went to Mlada Boleslav, where we spent several hours exploring the Škoda Auto factory. We could see the first cars produced, but also the latest ones, which are not yet available on the market.
On the second day we went on an all-day tour of Prague—the city in many respects unique, which attracts many tourists every year. First we visited the Prague Castle where we saw for example bedroom of Władysław II Jagiellonian—son of Kazimierz IV Jagiellonian, a Polish king. I was impressed by the St. Wit’s Cathedral built in gothic style. Then we also went to see the Golden Lane, Charles Bridge and Orloj Clock Town Hall. At the end of the day we sailed in a Vltava river’s cruise. This beautifully city made the most impression at night.
On the third day we said goodbye to the capital and traveled to the famous Czech spa town - Teplice. In this well-known place even some composers such as Beethoven were treated. We saw a small Castle Square and Trinity Column.
On the last day we went to Germany, directly to Dresden, the capital of Saxony. We visited the Zwinger - an 18th-century baroque castle with several museums. We entered the Gallery of Former Masters where we could see a famous painting by Raphael Santi--‘Madonna Sistine’. At the end we drove to Meissen, a capital of porcelain. We visited the State Porcelain Factory where we learned about the process of porcelain production and painting, and could look at about 3,000 dishes, figures and other items in a hall exhibition. After that unfortunately, we had to leave Germany and return to Poland.
I enojyed the trip very much. I could learn a lot and meet many new places. If you haven’t plans for holidays yet, I would definitely recommend you to go to the Czech Republic. You won’t regret it! :)