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The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Academy Blogs express students’ opinions, writing styles

Academy Blogs express students opinions, writing styles

The senior Academy class at GBS has started posting blogs about current events for their English class, with topics ranging from the war in Afghanistan to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. These students have been updating their blogs every week or two since the start of the school year, and they will keep them until graduation.

The students were able to choose their own lens, or theme, for their blogs. According to Karena Nelson, Academy English teacher at GBN, the purpose of these blogs is to provide a great way for the students to follow up on ideas that had come up in class and to allow individual research topics.

The blogs are graded for both the students’ English and History classes.

According to Nelson, the seniors choose the post that best represents their work, and she grades that post, allowing the students to explore different writing styles. Her goals for her students are for them to follow current events more closely, understand different perspectives, develop their own viewpoint and to have fun.

“My mantra is that blogs should live in the happy place between school and life, where you’re honestly interested in what you’re learning,” Nelson said.

According to senior Tim Hofmockel, he updates his blog—which is about the exploration of conflicts throughout the world—around one to two times per week.

One of Hofmockel’s posts includes “Red, White, and Blue Dawn”, a post explaining his view on the newest version of the movie Red Dawn. According to Hofmockel, writing blogs helps explore new ideas that interest him.

“I like my blog mostly because I was able to choose my topic,” Hofmockel said. “I can really delve into new ideas on issues I’m interested in.”

Senior Nicole Celewicz’s blog is about appearance and aesthetics.  She posts about topics that relate to history, discrimination, clothing and professions.

“It’s more fun to write about something we chose ourselves rather than a topic our teacher gives us,” Celewicz said. “It also helps me see how I can take a topic and stretch it to encompass a variety of ideas.”

Other people are also allowed to comment on the student’s blogs with their own thoughts and opinions on their topics.  Celewicz enjoys receiving feedback from her peers as well as others.

“I think the point of putting our blogs out there is to get other readers to consider new ideas and to throw their own ideas out there through a comment or a blog post on their own blogs,” Celewicz said. “It’s a nice way to foster a learning experience for both the reader and the writer.”

Senior Tina Brkovic spends about four to six hours per post on her blog about faith.  According to Brkovic, faith is a belief that is not based on proof.

“At first, I thought writing about faith would be limiting, but it really takes so many forms in our lives,” Brkovic said. “We have faith in political leaders, religious figures, our children, ourselves, and the more I write about the different types of faith, the more I learn about how it works and why we need it.”

Not many people know that blogs can be challenging, but according to Nelson, her students thought they would be easier when they first started out.

“I think the biggest misconception about blogging is that a blog is just an online diary where you say whatever you want,” Nelson said. “But when you read blogs, you realize that they involve a lot of research and analysis, just in a less formal style than a typical academic paper.”

However challenging the blogs have been, many of the students, such as senior Declan Garvey, enjoy keeping them more than writing essays.  According to Garvey, he enjoys the fact that he can explore his own interests and writing styles, and he is allowed to pick the topic every week.

“I’m more writing the blog to grow as a writer myself, but I love when others read it and contribute through the comments section, regardless of whether or not they agree with my opinions,” Garvey said.


Two editors of The Oracle, News Editor Faith Savaiano and Features Editor Zoe Shancer, maintain journalism-related blogs for their senior Glenbrook Academy English course.

Keep up with them both here:

Zoe’s blog:

Faith’s blog:


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