Subjects at McDowell

McDowell Exchange School is a school for 7th and 8th graders who live in some parts of Circleville, Laurelville, and a little bit of Pickaway County. McDowell was actually named from the previous Pickaway County superintendent, George D. McDowell, and McDowell Exchange School was to honor his name. Instead of having the name McDowell Middle School, and having Exchange instead of Middle, it was because McDowell has previously had classes for Kindergarten, 7th grade, 8th grade, and some high school classes, and even now it only holds 7th, 8th grade, and some of the high school classes.

Some of the subjects that McDowell offers are Advanced, and regular Language Arts, Advanced, and normal Math, Social Studies, Art, Technology, Science. With the advanced classes, you don’t really have to do more challenging things, your class just moves on past the current lessons faster than the normal classes. You usually have a lot more work in the advanced classes than the regular classes because the teachers can, and will expect more work and work quality out of you. And trust me, it isn’t that fun when you get homework in math on the weekends, and the normal classes don’t.

Another thing that McDowell offers between for a choice is Guided Study, Choir, and Band. Guided study is when you are assigned a class to go to and it’s basically a place to get all of your homework, or extra classwork done. I have it in second period so I usually have to just read, or play a computer game. Choir, is as you can guess, singing, where you do vocal exercises to perfect your singing voice, and you sing songs with the Altos, who can only do high pitch, Baritones who can only do low pitch, and Sopranos who, of course, can do high and low pitch.

I don’t know much about Band, but I know that you can choose it out of the three choices that I mentioned before. In Band, on the first day, you can choose an instrument out of the choices McDowell offers, or, if you play the trumpet, you have to bring or buy you own. Band and Choir, are actually two different things, even though they sound around the same.

(Image Credit from: Circleville Herald)

Power of the Pen

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One of the things that McDowell Middle School offers is Power of the Pen, also known as POP for short. Power of the Pen is something that people who enjoy writing, or creating stories can do for fun, all while challenging themselves. Power of the pen usually meets every Wednesday and usually every Friday, as long as nothing interrupts us or our mentor is here.     

During those Power of the Pen meetings, the students, and myself, are given a writing prompt, whether it be a few words, or a detailed sentence explaining what it is we have to write about. After given the writing prompt, students have about 30-40 minutes on writing a story about it, and the mentor, when the story is finished, will “grade” it. The Power of the Pen way of grading a paper is not with A’s and B’s, but with three different writing levels, which are superior, the highest, honor, the medium, and merit, the lowest grading level. The highest score, superior, ranges from 100-94, honors range from 93-82, and the lowest ranges with 81-75.

After all of these study sessions, sometime in February, our mentor chooses a few students out of the POP program and sends us to the competition of writing. The competitions are basically the same as the sessions during school, but we only get about 40 minutes to write the prompt, and we are competing against other schools to see who can write the best story.

I, myself, haven’t actually done that well in Power of the Pen, unfortunately, my highest scoring story was about 5 superiors out of the 6 grading things, which are creativity, voice/unity, structure/ideas, figurative/descriptive language, paragraph/ sentence structure, and lastly, mechanics/spelling. Although, honestly, I don’t think that I would want to be chosen for the competition team, because I feel like I’d probably mess up if I was actually writing for something important.