Different Types of Seats in the Classroom

The Most Important Thing For A First Day of School

Why classroom seating matters more than you think it does.

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Entering a classroom on the first day of school and not knowing where to sit is the number one challenge that students in America's public school system face. Don't get me wrong, lack of funding, inadequate course material, and a corrupt grading system are all hallmarks of a failing machine, but the real problem that we can fix most directly and most promptly is classroom seating.

To get started, let's separate the classroom by chairs before dealing with the people. Unless you're a chatterbox student, columns shouldn't matter much to you (they're only important to Cross-Talkers). What you should be focusing on are the rows.

Never sit in the front. Not only do you miss everything going on behind you, but you also can't work on assignments not related to the class that you're currently in. It exposes your entire desk and being to your teacher. Who would want that? (I'll give you a clue: not anybody interested in having a social life during high school.)

Moving a few rows behind the NerdZone, you arrive at the safe zone. By aiming for the center, you guarantee yourself a bit of everything: a social life, a good view of the front, and somebody's back to hide your phone behind. Make sure you arrive early to claim a seat here, it's basically prime real estate for anybody looking to be a smartie and a social butterfly.

Some less valuable, but still okay properties to consider are the sides. While these seats do allow for a bit of privacy, the neighbor that sits to your right or left, depending on which extreme you've chosen, better be an okay person. After all, they're your only neighbor. Treat them nice, and they'll let you borrow paper and pencils from them. It'll be a nice positive to counter your distance from the social action that's happening in the center.

Before we move on to people you may encounter, I should probably touch on the back rows. We all know that sitting in the back of the bus was "cool" in elementary and middle school. But think of sitting in the back of a classroom as sitting in the back of the bus as a senior. Unless you're that creep who likes surveying the entire room as you occasionally peek out from behind your Chromebook, avoid the back at all costs.

Now that we've covered classroom seating, it's time to move on to the actual neighbors you'll probably spot as you move in the new area. I hope you were paying attention earlier, as I will be referencing the zones these types of neighbors are most prevalent in.

Imagine walking into a math class on the first day of school. Unfortunately, you've timed your entrance slightly early. Now you can't walk out, as the people already seated will think that you've walked into the wrong classroom. Darn, that social pressure is already getting to you. It's okay. You have a couple of seconds to look around at prospective properties before things really start getting weird.

The most populous zone, of course, is the NerdZone. These kids probably sprinted with open backpacks from their last class so that they could grab what they thought was "Prime Real Estate." Lucky for you, you know better. Not only do you know to never sit in the NerdZone, but you already don't associate yourself with people who sprint around school with their backpacks wide open.

Remembering my earlier advice, you probably thought to move towards the center of the room, but maybe a column closer to the door. Sorry, seat's taken. In fact, a whole pod of friends have taken up most of the center property. You know them. They come in together and they sit together. They probably waited outside for a familiar face to join them before coming in to claim property. Oh well, everybody secretly cares. You're just brave enough to come in alone.

But you're not brave enough to sit next to that kid in the back. (was he there when you entered the room?) He's wearing all black and already has his Chromebook out. (how did he get that? It's the first day of school.)

Yeah….that's a no. Not only will he never talk to you, but just the overall 'creep factor' is too much for you to handle.

Quick, you've got to hurry and make your decision. You only have a few seconds left before people start realizing that you care about where you sit. And we can't have that realization. Cool points docked.

You spot somebody sitting on the far right side of the room. Perfect. They've taken up the isolating spot, so all you need to do is sit next to them. Sure, by doing that you're consenting to occasionally talking to this person. But that's the duty of a friendly neighbor of the second column. I know I said earlier that columns don't matter that much, but this is important. When you become somebody's only neighbor, it's your job as a second column member to make them feel included.

Depending on what type of person you are, you might be more fulfilled if you choose to occupy a second column. You're not associated with a specific clan of classroom property-tenant, but you're able to enjoy all the areas and all the people. Except, of cour—but you already know.

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11 Must-See’s And Must-Do’s In Israel

Don't text me, I'm probably admiring the beautiful gardens in Haifa, or visiting the Israeli-Syrian border right now.

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Israel is a very small Middle Eastern country that is full of culture, religion, and hidden gems. For those of us that identify as Jewish and have not had the pleasure of experiencing a trip to Israel, Taglit-Birthright Israel grants us this fabulous, once in a lifetime opportunity to visit a country so important to our religion.

I finally decided to cash in and take my free trip to Israel and could not have been more excited to head overseas for the first time ever! During my 10-day excursion, I visited and experienced some of the most beautiful and incredible places I have ever seen and I wanted to share some of my favorites, with some pictures of course.

1. Jordan River Rafting

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Don't let “river rafting" scare you off from this experience, because it's not at all as rough as you think it's gonna be. Grab four to six of your friends, head to Israel, and jump in an inner tube to paddle down the Jordan River. When are you ever going to be able to say you rafted down a major famous river in a foreign country? Never, unless you take this opportunity. Don't be afraid to get a little rough with your friends, if they're okay with it, and soaks has each other and push each other into the water. It will be cold even on the hottest days, that's a promise. However, the experience of being in the Jordan River is so worth it.

2. Stargazing

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This experience seriously changed my life, no joke. While on birthright, we stayed at the Bedouin tents- which I'm not going to lie, you should probably pass on that experience as a regular tourist. However, we walked up a hill on the grounds and stargazed in the desert. One of the leaders on my trip read us something to help us relax, clear our minds, and let go of all the bad, evil, and hateful things happening in our lives. This time of self-reflection was definitely needed for myself, in real life and to decompress a little from the long, exhausting trip I was on and inspired me to do some self-reflection more often.

3. Netanya Beach

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I live in South Florida, and let me tell y'all, Netanya beach is one of the most breathtaking beaches I've ever seen. There are lots of people, especially on Shabbat where nobody drives, but it's honestly so serene and no one bothers you while you're laying out, playing ultimate frisbee in the crystal blue water, or grabbing a quick ice cream snack. If you are stopping here for a visit while you're in Israel, I also recommend you stay for sunset. You'll thank me when you see it.

4. Tel Aviv

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This entire city is amazing that I just had to make it its own listicle. From the amazing beach to the city right behind it, I got major Miami Beach/NYC vibes. There are amazing places to go explore and eat in this hub of Israel, so be sure to check out as much as you can! There are even different types of tours (biking, food, graffiti, walking) that you can take to see one of the most amazing cities in the world! The Ha'Carmel Outdoor Market is a great experience for tourists to experience real Israeli culture and even do a little bargaining at the stands and shops. There are even some cute places to take pictures so keep your eyes open for cute insta-picture spots!!

Also: for those of you that like cultural deserts, there's is amazing Muhallebi (milk pudding) at the market. I didn't think I'd be a fan, but you just have to trust me on this like I trusted the native Israelis on my trip.

5. Western Wall

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By far the most religious destination in all of Israel, but a place every Jew should head to on their visits to pray. Make sure you bring a little pen and paper to leave a wish at the wall and be respectful of others there that may be more religious than yourself.

Pro tips for the Western Wall: Don’t turn your back to the wall and girls: cover up!! Wear a skirt/dress that is at least knee length and bring a shawl that covers at least to your elbows!

6. Golan Heights

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This breathtaking view is reason enough to come here, but it’s even more meaningful seeing as you’re at the Syrian/Israel Border. Israel is known for its hikes, and Golan Heights is easily the least challenging and shortest of the hikes the country has to offer. Just an uphill walk to see something most people never get to experience. I’d for sure recommend this one, and it’s a cute photo op.

7. Yad Vashem

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This museum should be one of the first things you decide to do in Israel, and definitely invest in a tour guide. There is so much symbolism and many real artifacts of the Holocaust that makes this experience unlike any other.

8. Mount Herzl

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This amazing memorial is a graveyard to honor fallen soldiers of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). This place creates truly moving and emotional experiences and is definitely a must do to feel in touch with Jewish heritage. I was lucky enough to be able to experience this place with currently active and serving IDF soldiers and watching them see their own, or even their friends, reminds me of what I'm grateful for.

9. Dead Sea

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Obviously a straight-up tourist destination, but a cool one at that. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth and it's super easy to float. So go get your relaxation on here, but be sure to bring water shoes as the ocean floor is salt rock. Another pro tip, cover up any open wounds and don't shave right before you go- this water is extremely salty and will sting vulnerable skin.

10. Machane Yehuda at night

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This outdoor market turns into a trendy nightlife after sundown. With many shops and restaurants turning into bars, Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem is the place to be after dark.

11. Camel Riding

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I actually almost forgot to put this on the list and I'm upset with myself because this was a huge highlight of my trip. People genuinely and literally ride camels in Israel. Find a place, do it. You will not regret it. Probably my one of my most favorite parts about my trip.

Israel is such a cultural place with so many sights to see and things to do. I hope you take my advice and visit these amazing places and do these amazing things, but don't stop here. Venture out beyond these sights and activities and make sure you maximize your Israel experience to include everything the beautiful country has to offer, should you choose to visit.

Most importantly, make sure you eat lots of pita, hummus, Israeli salad, shawarma, and falafel! Oh and for those of you that are 18 and older, drink some Tubi and Goldstar responsibly!!

Yalla (that means “let's go" in Hebrew) on over to Israel and happy traveling!!

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To The Person Who Doesn't See Their Own Potential, Let Me Tell You Differently

No one can tell you how far you will go but yourself.

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"I am on my way, I can go the distance. I don't care how far, somehow I'll be strong." - Hercules

As normal humans, you might already know that we are subconsciously judgemental. What color is that girl's skin? How does the haircut look like on that guy who is sitting at the very back of the class? What grade did he get on that last math test? Should I go ask? This isn't necessarily a bad thing...

Until it affects someone thinking they aren't capable of doing something.

Most of us already think we aren't good enough, but what does that mean? Do I have to be better than the person sitting next to me in class? Would I have to try extra hard to get into the soccer team even though I don't like soccer?

Would I have to try extra hard to impress because everyone around me is better than me?

It shouldn't be like that, obviously, but when we feel constant pressure around us, we can't really help it. I struggle to find my confidence, my worth, and sometimes motivation, every day. A few years ago, I used to try and find reassurance by thinking that I was competing with someone who wasn't the best and was "less" better than me, whatever that was supposed to mean for me.

It sounds bad, but it's true. I wouldn't just mentally attack someone else just because I didn't believe in myself, but I would also attack myself and without realizing it, I was unhappy. I was stressing out so much because I was coming to the realization that there are people who are always going to be better than you, whether academically, in sports, or something else.

We know this, but in the back of our heads, we still can't accept it.

I would find people who were better than me in everything and when people started to tell me how bad I was at something, no matter how small, my confidence started to fade away completely.

That is when I started to question what I couldn't do instead of what I could.

I tried harder to compete with myself instead of competing with other people and I'm still learning to improve myself. One thing I still don't do, which all of us should do, is learning to acknowledge every single achievement.

Be proud of yourself.

If you get an award or a prize or even get recognized for something without anything to come home with, OWN IT. You must know that whoever recognized you wasn't "recognizing the wrong person" or you "heard wrong." You don't even need someone else to tell you that you achieved something because if you feel like your improvement advanced further, feel proud. Realize that if you can do something better than the last time, you can keep doing better, but never stop, not even if you think you reached your full potential.

Just find your own limit, and keep aiming toward it.

Find your own limit, not someone else's and aim toward it. If you make a mistake, so what? We all make mistakes, but what we all don't do is actually accept what we are doing wrong because we are so focused on being "better." Just "better" won't get you to the top, and I don't mean the top of the class or above someone. I mean the top as in success. Courage. Being knocked down but standing back up and doing it again for yourself.

Risking going far will take you far.

Telling yourself that you can do anything, regardless of who you are, will take you far.

Seeing your obstacles as the next step instead of the block in your path will take you far.

Creating the "top" instead of trying to see it will take you further.

Once you make your own road, no one will be there to stop you.

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