“We Were Liars” Review



“We Were Liars” is a young adult novel written by E. Lockhart. This modern tragedy was read in both of Mrs. McNally’s College English 9 classes and is on both the middle and high school booklists for the 2017 YSU English Festival that Beaver Local partakes in. Going into this book, I was a tiny bit skeptical as I knew that there were some concerns with the wording and plot from the middle school teachers. In the end, though, I didn’t think that it was a bad story.

“We Were Liars” is about a wealthy family called the Sinclair family. Every summer, the family, along with Aunt Carrie’s boyfriend Ed and his nephew Gat, spend their time on the Sinclair private island, Beechwood. One summer, Cadence, the main character, has a horrible accident that causes her to lose her memories of that summer. When she returns to the island during Summer Seventeen, Cadence finally finds the truth out about her accident and why her cousins Johnny and Mirren and her crush Gat never answered her emails.

I thought the whole book was a tad bit too dramatic with the way Ms. Lockhart set it up and that it just sort of dragged near the end. I believe that there was a better way that she could of added closure after the discovery of the death’s of the Liars’ without holding the story out longer than she actually did. Other than that, I thought the book had a great plot and great characters and I can’t wait to hear what the author has to say at the English Festival in April.

Technology-Based Schooling

It’s been a year and a half since Beaver Local started teaching out of it’s new facility, and with that time, Beaver Local School District has made a successful transition into a more technology driven paperless school.  Each student, whether it is kept at the school or taken home, has their own iPad that is issued by the administration. Not only does the administration provide students with iPads, but they also supply the teachers with them, along with Macbooks to help assist with daily lessons. Classrooms are also equipped with 80 inch televisions and Apple TVs.

Every day, students use their iPads to access notes and assignments their teachers send out. Students can access these resources through two main programs: Blackboard and Google Classroom. With these “internet classrooms” or classroom management systems existing, students can easily contact their teachers and work on assignments when they are absent so they do not fall behind in their studies. These programs also help mimic the management systems used in colleges and universities around the world to help prepare Beaver Local students for their futures. The iPads are not just used for boring, old assignments, but also for fun activities to help students understand content that they are going over in class. Some activities that the iPads are used for are webquests, where the teacher assigns some sort of stimulation for students to work through and making fun videos that go over content that is being learned to share with their class. Students can complete all the traditional paper and pencil based tasks on their iPads but now have the potential for so much more at their fingertips.

Even though students have mixed feelings about the iPads, they will admit to some of the things that they like about them. Alexis Sell, a freshman, likes that the iPads hold more storage than her phone, giving her more room to work on her school assignments and allowing her to take it on the go. Sophomore Hannah Virden commented, “I like that we have full access to all of our assignments in one handy spot. I feel like it keeps me organized and more on task.” Agreeing with her, Bella Sweigard, another freshman, added that she likes that she can keep up with her grades daily.

While the iPads may be useful in many ways, there are some problems that can occur. One problem would be if a student does not have a form of internet connection at home. Those students would then have no way of accessing their assignments, therefore, they would not have a way to submit them. Another problem is students not using their iPads for educational purposes. At any moment during the school day, students can be seen switching off of their assignments and onto things like video games and social media. This means, teachers have to stay diligent while managing their classes to make sure students are really on task. So, yes, while the iPads may be helpful in many different ways, there are still a few things that need to be straightened around.