All posts by Kalista Willason

Working and McWorking

Working until you fall. That’s what it seems like.

Many students at various high schools know the struggle of trying to keep a minimum wage job as well as trying to keep up their GPA.

As a working student there are many challenges you have to face: getting enough sleep, keeping up a social life, and the obvious, going to work and maintaining your GPA. It never seems like you have enough time to do everything you need to do. I wake up early in the morning, around 6:00am to attend school and then it seems that almost immediately afterward at 4:00pm I have to rush to be to work by 5:00pm. A normal work schedule for me is from 5:00pm-11:00pm but sometimes the schedule runs overtime and I don’t get out of work until 1:00am. And the cycle repeats.

Sleeping is something that you never seem to get enough of. Getting home late at night and having to get some sleep before school can be nerve-racking to anyone. Falling asleep in class after only getting five hours of sleep becomes a norm until you realize your GPA is falling, then you end up doing homework after work and getting less and less sleep. It seems like you never win.

Not only is this lifestyle hard on the employee but it can be hard on their friends and family as well. “I wish they would give you a set schedule, it’s hard to plan for anything with you,” my mother stated one day after picking me up three hours after my originally scheduled time off. “It’s good for the money but it’s just a lot of heartache and hassle trying to work around your schedule,” said Jacob Herald.

The connections you make can either make you or break you. You have to learn who you can trust with things and who you need to stay away from. As a result of learning who to trust and who not to trust you make friends and you also make enemies.

You run into those extremely rude customers or those regulars that you end up memorizing their orders. You have to learn to deal with rude outbreaks and people being excessively frustrated over minuscule things such as only receiving one extra ranch instead of two. The regulars keeps things a little easier. They come in and you already know what they want and how they want it made. Most times, the regulars are actually a lot more understanding than a random customer.

Your co-workers are what keep you going. Their strength and support help you keep a positive attitude. When you feel over-worked and your co-worker helps you out it’s as if a weight is being lifted off of your shoulders. Then again you get those co-workers who seem to think they’re the boss of you and they boss you around. As I stated previously you learn who to stay away from.

Once you get your check it’s as if none of the hassles mattered. You go to the bank and you see the money sitting there and you think, ‘Wow. I really did it. This is my reward.’ And then it all repeats. The struggles, the stress, and the headaches all come back. Would I recommend working while attending high school? No, but who am I to tell you what to do. I’m not the boss.


Stepping Down or Stepping Up?

After 2 years, Chaparral High School (CHS) has hired a new curriculum advisor, Willie Joe Torres.

Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Mr. Torres stuck to his roots. He taught for four years at Parkland Middle School and from there, transferred to other schools for better opportunities.  Soon enough he found an opportunity he had not experienced as of yet and decided to apply to CHS.

Torres has two decades of experience in teaching and administration. As the instructional coach at CHS, he plans to do whatever he can possibly do to help teachers improve. Torres believes our school is in need of improving educationally and experientially. He wants to make classes, “more student centered and with more collaboration.”

Comparing CHS to other schools, Torres says, “There’s no difference so far.” He described the students of Chaparral High as, “a lot older and more mature” than his previous students which is expected considering they were elementary and middle school students.

His experience at the school so far has been “great, everyone is so nice”. Torres previously had a job as an Assistant Principal which is what brought him to Chaparral High School. There are a couple reasons why Torres “stepped down” from being a vice principal; it was to “step up” as Principal for Chaparral High School. Unfortunately, for Torres, Victoria Lopez got the position. He decided to try something different and still applied to CHS. Torres was hired as the curriculum advisor, which is, “a lot more focused and possibly harder,” as Torres stated, “but I still have a lot of learning to do.”

Torres enjoys spending his time with his two sons and his wife. Torres has dreams of someday teaching in either California or Colorado, and someday becoming a principal of his own school. After two or three years as CHS’s curriculum advisor, he hopes to achieve this goal.