Jamming Davis

Music is a big deal in a lot of people’s lives. Some people use music as a stress reliever. Some people use music to hype themselves up, and some people just like to listen. At Davis, there are lots of different ways people listen to music.

Luke Weston listens to music when he wants to vibe and Jam out. “I love listening to folk and indie alternative music because it makes me feel so good.”

This is a good way to really relax and just focus on the music. Different types of music can give you different vibes. For example, when you listen to folk music you get more chill vibes and when you listen to rock music you get more hype vibes.

Spencer Swain listens to music when he wants to sing along to it. “I love to sing as loud as I can and express myself through my music.”

Music can be a great a great way to express your emotions and have fun. “You can either listen to music based off of your emotions or you can listen to music based on the emotions you would like to feel.” Says Gabe Franklin.

“I listen to rap when I want to tune Gabe out,” Says Grace Clark.

Sometimes music is used to tune others out. It is a good way to distract yourself from the chaos of life and just have a good time listening to music. It can be a good way to cool down and re-center yourself. Music can also help you connect with people. Taig Olsen says, “I love to listen to music at parties so I can set a fun mood.”

Music is so diverse and can be used in so many different ways. From listening in the car to listening with friends, music shapes the way kids at Davis High live their lives.

 

 

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Why Metal Music is Underrated

When people think of popular music, most won’t say metal as their first pick since it is discounted through stereotypes. Most people just don’t understand metal, giving it a bad reputation due to stereotypes like people believing it is just screaming, drugs, and alcohol. This can be alleviated by giving it a chance to find something in it you can enjoy. Metal has a lot to bring to the table from a critical and emotional perspective.

The lyrics of most songs in popular genres are repetitive and mindless, not really having meaning and just designed to get stuck in your head. And that is only if you can understand even a word they say. Metal doesn’t have this problem as much, as the lyrics are well though out, well written, and even better sung. Metal musicians design their lyrics around a theme, whether it is trying to provoke an emotional reaction, tell a story, or both.

Bands like Dragonforce and Breaking Benjamin write songs that are designed to make you feel something. Dragonforce makes songs that are encouraging and confident while Breaking Benjamin makes songs that are more caring and compassionate. Thought is put into the how the lyrics will fit with the rhythm and tone of the song. TOOL does this very well, incorporating rhythm and tone into how the song is supposed to sound. Parts of the lyrics in their song Lateralus follow a rhythm of the Fibonacci sequence with the syllables, and in the song Sober some of the sounds of the singing are choked down to fit the theme of the song better.

Metal musicians make the instrumental parts of their songs with skill and precision, not having to rely on cheap psychological tactics to make you think it is well played. Most popular groups and genres make songs and music designed to get stuck in your head on repeat, which makes the mind pay more attention to it. This is done so that you want more of it.

Many people believe metal to be chaotic and disorganized, but if you pay attention to it, it is very controlled; just fast. Bands like Soen and Van Canto make and execute complicated “instrumental” riffs (Van Canto is an A Capella metal band), giving the song more presence and resonance showing that they know how to make music that sounds complicated and good, while popular bands make simple and repetitive or inconsistent acoustics.

In short, Metal is stereotyped and misunderstood in many ways, like the lyrical and instrumental styles. The lyrical styles are meaningful and significant, not nonsense. The instrumentals and controlled and fit with the theme of the song, unlike popular genres. Because of these factors, people should really give Metal a chance.

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The Futuristic Lyrical Loneliness of ‘Her’ – Movie Review

‘Her’ is my favorite movie right now. I’m sure its spot will be taken soon enough, but for now, the crown belongs to Spike Jonze’s beautiful and contemplative celebration of love. But it doesn’t just celebrate the positives of love, and it doesn’t wallow in the negatives. It has a compassion and an appreciation of every step of a relationship. It explores the joy that a connection to another individual can bring, as well as the harsh realities and constant struggles that make up the act of loving someone. The film has a kind of lyrical loneliness that has the supernatural ability to bring those who come into the film with a good mood down, and wrap those that feel lost or hopeless in a warm blanket that tells them that they’re not alone, and that what they’re feeling is beautiful in its own way. I don’t believe that there is a person on Earth who can watch this movie and not get something out of it that feels personal. I’ve watched this movie 5 times since I entered my first relationship, and each time, the film meant something different to me. And each time, it has helped me immeasurably. Through this review, I hope to pin down why this movie is so effective, and attempt to convey my appreciation of this film’s existence.

‘Her’ is a 2013 film that is directed and written by Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation). It takes place in the not-so-distant future and follows Theodore Twombly (played by the brilliant Joaquin Phoenix), a very lonely gentleman that works as an author of love notes for other couples. He is in the process of divorcing his wife (Rooney Mara), when he falls in love with an advanced operating system named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). It’s a simple premise, but it is filled with so many brilliant ideas and unadulterated passion. Passion for the art of film, as well as for the human race.

The future that it portrays isn’t a bleak, Orwellian vision like so many films are. It also isn’t a utopia with outlandish tech and distant characters. The changes to society that the film showcases aren’t conveyed through a title crawl or a montage of every step that led to this future, it is filled with little innovations and differences that exist in the background and are used by the characters in natural ways. This Los Angeles is car free (with the exception of a cab late in the film), leaving the roads to the people. The buildings are all unique and colorful. The tech isn’t all holograms and super extravagant messes of devices, instead it seems to be the natural evolution of our current technology.

The fashion isn’t Back to the Future Part 2 clothing, it instead predicts fashion trends and executes them with such a level of professionalism that it inspired a fashion trend in the real world. It’s the little things. Pastel colors are all the rage, high-waisted pants are everywhere, button-up shirts without a collar are trendy, and mustaches seem to have made a resurgence. They don’t have visors, and they aren’t wearing huge spiky silver shoulder pads. It’s gorgeous.

But everything in this movie is gorgeous. The beautiful fashion and architecture perfectly complement the masterful cinematography. The cinematography in this film is perfect. It switches between beautiful wide shots during the parts of the movie where Theodore is completely aware of his surroundings. When he’s going through his day to day, surrounded by hundreds of others just like him, or when he is able to appreciate his surroundings, be it the beach, the subway, or a mountain top. But when he is lost in his mind, the film uses these intense and long closeups of Theodore’s face that give a feeling of claustrophobia as well as the ability for the audience to read every little movement his face makes. There are long scenes that are just conversations and personal moments that are made so much more effective by the restraint of the camera. At one point, the screen even goes dark, and all you hear is the intense and personal moment between Theodore and Samantha. These scenes would fall on its face with a bad, or even mediocre performance at the center of it, but Joaquin Phoenix kills it.

“I think anybody who falls in love is a freak. It’s a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity.”

This film looks at love as a beautiful and complex thing. It explores what makes a relationship healthy and beneficial to both partners. It fully acknowledges and embraces the fact that there is no catchall for relationships. It’s different for everybody, and the joy of it is truly connecting to your partner and discovering what you both need. In the case of Theodore and Catherine’s (his ex-wife) relationship, they provided a very safe creative environment in which they supported each other’s writing. In the flashback scenes that show them before the divorce, they treat compassion and intimacy differently than any other couple in the film. The way Theodore acts with Catherine is wildly different than how he acts with Samantha and the lady he goes on a dinner date with early in the film. There is a morbid element to the affection shown within their relationship. The scene that comes to mind features Catherine pinning a laughing Theodore on the floor while saying,

“I’m going to kill you. I’m going to f****** kill you. I love you so much, I’m going to f****** kill you.”

It’s a scene that stands out as a strange interaction, but it suits the character of Catherine. She grew up in a very strict house where nothing that she did was ever good enough. I could see how her upbringing could result in her strange way of expressing affection. And this isn’t the only portrayal of morbid affection. We get to hear a good number of love letters that Theodore writes, and there is one that Samantha singles out as her favorite that is surprisingly violent. It fits in with the film’s theme of obscenity and perversion. The film is overall very sweet and tender, but there are moments that really take you by surprise and show how differently this future views these ‘taboo’ things. A vulgar video game character and a scene involving a surprise cameo from Kristen Wiig and a dead cat come to mind. I read these scenes as showing how a more sophisticated and progressive culture has caused more… unique… sexual desires to be created. It asks you to compare that with the other depictions of love that are very tender and emotional. This is a very small part of the film, but it is one that has always intrigued me.

This film’s perspective on love has helped me develop my own ideas about relationships. The film makes the case that every relationship matters. Just because one ends does not mean that it wasn’t worth it. In a good relationship, both partners will help the other grow, and they instill a part of themselves into the other. People are always growing and evolving, and growing apart is only natural. I don’t think trying to find ‘the one’ is very helpful. I think it’s best to evaluate the worth of a relationship based on the now instead of the future. A relationship where both people nurture and support the other is invaluable, and you can learn a lot about yourself through the eyes of a significant other. The world is a terrifying place, and for me, the idea of relationships makes my future seem less daunting.

The last thing I’d like to talk about is the film’s soundtrack. The film’s score was created by the band Arcade Fire, (one of my favorites) and it was nominated for an Oscar. It is my favorite soundtrack of all time, as well as one of my favorite albums, period. The gorgeous synthesizer perfectly complements the masterful piano. Songs like ‘Photograph’, ‘Divorce Papers’, and ‘Song on the Beach’ are just… *chef kiss*, and they have inspired me to learn piano. For some reason, the album hasn’t been available on streaming until now. On March 19, they have released the soundtrack on streaming platforms and vinyl. I highly recommend you give it a listen.

 

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Why “Cheap Queen” needs to be on your playlist this summer

King Princess’s latest album “Cheap Queen” offers the perfect sound for this coming summer break. At the beginning of last year, American singer-songwriter King Princess released her the deluxe version of her debut album, “Cheap Queen”. The album was dropped in February, just before the first nationwide lockdown.

King Princess is a nineteen-year-old musician who rose to fame in 2018 when she released her hit single “1950.” The queer anthem captured the attention and recognition of fellow pop stars Halsey and Harry Styles, as well as millions of fans. Fans were captivated by the soulful vocals and the creative use of synthesizer sounds in the track.

“Cheap Queen” contains the same chill, smooth vibes. While theatrical vocals and impressive runs have their place in pop music, King Princess brings a refreshing relaxed energy to the music industry. Inspired by Perfume Genius, Beyoncé, and Nick Cave, King Princess creates an entire atmosphere with her music. The choice of instrumentation and vocal arrangements is mesmerizing without demanding it outright.

The overall sound of the album is full of the energy of young love and whimsical fantasy. It’s perfect for summer evenings when you’re on a long drive, when you’re doing dishes in your kitchen, or just hanging out. Cheap Queen is one of those albums that you can listen to the whole way through over and over again, getting something new out of it every time.

Maybe you’ll relate to “Tough on Myself” after a long, hard day, and then really be feeling the song “Ain’t Together” the next day after hanging out with the person you like.

King Princess also offers a seamless and effortless album full of the queer experience. Whether you’re gay, straight, or pansexual, the alternating between the universal “you” and specific pronouns makes it so there is something for everyone on this album. The title track of the album, “Cheap Queen”, is one of those songs that makes you want to stand up and dance. The beat and bass are mesmerizing, creating a fantastic rhythm for slowly dancing by yourself.

With this coming summer just around the corner, anticipation and excitement fill many of us with hope for a better time than last year. The laid-back, fun energy of “Cheap Queen” is the perfect album to start off this summer with.

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Davis Students pick their GOAT between Michael Jordan and LeBron James

I asked 9 Davis students who they think the greatest basketball player of all time is.

My prediction was that students who are more into basketball and like to play and watch basketball would probably choose Lebron because they have grown up their whole lives watching him dominate the NBA. On the other hand, I predicted that students who did not care for basketball as much would vote for Michael Jordan because he may be the most well-known basketball player worldwide.

One of the main points usually brought up when having this debate is that Jordan went 6 for 6 in the finals while LeBron is only 4 for 10, however, this isn’t really a fair point because it brings down Lebron for making it to the finals even though that is a great achievement in and of itself, but to be fair Michael Jordan does have more rings.

“Jordan was the better overall player, the best of his time,” explains student Nolan Crook.

“Jordan, but basketball is bad,” argues student Carter Wall.

This goes along with my prediction that students who aren’t into basketball would choose Jordan because it is the more popular choice.

“Lebron James is the more dominant player and he’s been the best player in three different decades now,” says student Braxton Christenson.

Out of the 9 people I asked this question to, 4 answered that LeBron James is the goat and 5 claimed that Michael Jordan is the goat. This shows that high school-age kids of this generation still respect Michael Jordan more even though most of them probably haven’t witnessed Jordan’s greatness firsthand as they have with Lebron’s. Although, if the population size of students I ask increased in size, the answer might shift.

Despite the debate between Lebron and Jordan, most people do agree that they are the top two best players of all time.

 

 

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Women’s History Month

Although Women’s History Month is nearly over, I wanted to compile a list of amazing women in our history so those of you who may not have even been aware are still able to learn about some amazing women in history

Some of you may not know a whole lot about the women in our history, but with this article, that can be at least somewhat resolved.

First up on our list is Abigail Adams, who is mainly known for her role as John Adams wife. Born in 1744, she believed that slavery was evil and spoke out against it many times to her husband.

She also believed that women should be educated and have a role in government as more than just their husbands companions. Abigail consistently spoke out and wrote letters with advice to our nations founders multiple times throughout the process of creating our government.

“If we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women.” Is one of my favorite quotes by Abigail Adams, and perfect for Women’s History Month.

 

For all of the businessmen and women out there, this one is for you. Our next amazing woman is Madam CJ Walker. She is known as the first female self-made millionaire in the US. (At least documented)

Born in the year 1867, she made her fortune off of by making hair products and cosmetics for black women. She also was a philanthropist and often donated to different causes. Her home served as a gathering place for the African-American community.

Madam CJ Walker delivered many speeches for African-American rights and advocated for the community for many years throughout her life, especially after she moved to New York and became contemporaries with people like        W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington.

“I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” She said, when referring to her time spent working up the chain of business, starting in the fields of the south.

 

Next is someone I personally love. It’s Hedy Lamarr! You may recognize her from her time as an actress, but that’s not all she did! She was an amazing inventor and made and improved many different objects, such as stoplights, and airplanes. She was born in Austria in 1914, before later moving to America and becoming a citizen here.

Lamarr told Howard Hughes, an important figure in the airplane industry to streamline his boxy looking planes, and make them smoother so they could go faster.

She also developed a frequency hopping signal that could be used to jam the signals of Axis torpedos during WWII. The techniques she came up with in the 40s are similar to and helped the inventions of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

“Analysis gave me great freedom of emotions and fantastic confidence. I felt I had served my time as a puppet.” She said. Hedy was known for her progressive ideas concerning a woman’s worth, and what was worth her time.

 

Next up on our list is Coretta Scott King. Born in 1927, her husband Martin Luther King Jr. made waves in America with his activism, but she had a huge part too.

After his death she continued his work and opened the King Center and helped establish Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

She continued pushing for rights and broadened her activism to women’s and LGBTQ+ rights. She was very active politically and musically, often putting activist themes into her music.

“Hate is too great a burden to bear” She said, “It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” If you have time, I recommend looking up her other quotes as well, they are amazing.

 

Next up is one of my personal favorites authors. Ever since reading her autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings my freshman year, I have admired her so much.

Maya Angelou is absolutely inspiring. She is best known for her book mentioned above, which details her life until she was about seventeen. She was born in 1928 and faced so many different difficulties. She was still able overcame them and became an amazingly talented and world-renowned writer.

She opened the door for black feminism in the 60s. Although her intent on the subject of feminism was debated, it’s impact was as such. She was an advocate for African-American rights and worked hard for equal rights as well, helping to create new organizations and even was asked by Martin Luther King to help organize a march.

“You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.” She says. Again, highly recommend looking into her quotes more. She truly did rise from hard circumstances and became an absolute inspiration.

She completed many firsts and became an indisputable legend. Her writing achieved so may great lengths, including her piece Georgia being the first screenplay that was produced, written by a black woman.

 

Don’t worry athletes! I haven’t forgotten you! I actually chose someone absolutely amazing. Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee. Jackie for short. She was born in Illinois in 1962 and she won three gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the Olympic Games.

Jacqueline was the first women to score over 7,000 points in a heptathlon. In 1988, she won gold medals in both the heptathlon and long jump. She was the first American woman to win a gold medal in each event.

In those Olympic games she set an Olympic record in long jump for 7.40 meters. Joyner-Kersee also set a still standing record in the heptathlon with 7,291 points.

“It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.” With all of the numerous medals and awards she won, I certainly hope she doesn’t look back and regret anything.

 

Our final woman we are highlighting is Tammy Duckworth of the US Senate. She was born in Thailand in 1968, yet still a natural-born US citizen because her father was a US citizen. Duckworth was in the military and served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot.

In 2004, her helicopter crashed after being hit by a rocket propelled grenade. She suffered severe injuries, and lost both of her legs and some mobility in her right arm. She got a medical waiver and continued serving in the Illinois National Guard until 2014, when she retired.

In 2012, she was elected to the House of Representatives and served two terms. She was the first of many, including first Congress-member born in Thailand, first Asian-American elected to Congress from Illinois, and first woman with a disability elected to Congress.

In 2016, she won a seat in the Senate, also giving her a list of firsts. She was the first to give birth while in office and the first female double-amputee in the Senate. She was the second of three Asian-American women to be US Senators, the first being Mazie Hirono and third Kamala Harris.

U.S. Senate Photographic Studio-Renee Bouchard

“We must be an inclusive nation that respects and supports all of it’s citizens: a nation that doesn’t give up on anyone who hasn’t given up on themselves.”

For the eighth and final subject, I choose to highlight when the National Council of Women was formed on March 31 1888. Just in time to celebrate. The National Council of Women was founded by big names from the Woman’s Suffrage Movement like Susan B. Anthony and May Wright Sewall.

The National Council of Women is the oldest non-secular organization for women in the United States. Today, they bring to light issues that women face and they try to bring the political, social and economic equality of the sexes.

When the UN hosts it’s annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the organization acts as a host to women from all over the world, and showcases them.

All of these women are truly remarkable, and I hope that by reading this article, you were able to learn of at least one more amazing woman than you did before. Happy Women’s History Month!

 

Information was found on Wikipedia.org

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It’s time we start normalizing guys painting their nails

Over the past few years style and clothing has become more gender fluid, with guys wearing dresses and more feminine clothing. However guys painting their nails is nothing new.  Men have been painting their nails since around 3,200 B.C. to show social and economic class. If we have been doing it for so long, why is it frowned upon by many today?

Many people see men painting their nails as girly and it doesn’t make you a man. I see where they are coming from. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and if they don’t like painting their nails that’s fine, but where it crosses the line is when people put men down and say their opinion is invalid just because of their nails.

Davis High senior, Kalen Cox says “I’m not one to paint my nails, but I have no problem with other guys who do. I respect them.”

Many guys and girls see men painting their nails as a sign of weakness. Personally I paint my nails because I like how it looks and I like matching my outfits and things to them. Not everyone has to like it and that is okay because I respect their opinion.

Painting your nails can also show support too. A few years ago lots of male celebrities, such as Zac Efron and Chris Hemsworth painted their nails red to show support for the Polished Man Project. Raising awareness for the one in five children who experience physical or sexual assault and violence before the age of 18.

Due to the popularity of these celebrities and the shocking choice of nail color, they raised tons of money and awareness for the foundation.

At the end of the day we should accept people for who they are and let them like what they like without judging or persecution.

 

 

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What is it like to be a minority in a primarily white area?

How does it feel to be a minority student walking the halls of a white majority school? How does it affect students?

Bringing attention to the exclusion and effects of minority students is not to make anyone feel attacked or to point fingers at anyone. It is to shed light on a situation that is underlying but important. It is hard enough to fit into the social structures of school and environments, but even more so when you are in a position where you can’t easily find people who you can relate to and who share your heritage.

When people get the chance to talk about effects on minority students, it is immediately thought there are accusations of racism or hate being placed and, although there are many situations where this might be true, it is not the case all the time. Many times, it is just the reality of people being left out or pushed to the side. Being noticed and accepted, but never fully understood. Or only being known for what you look like and the different places you come from.

“I can get along fairly well with everyone, but sometimes people can ask the right question without realizing it and I get lost in my thoughts. I ask, ‘is that all you see in me?’”

Says an anonymous student after being asked if there is ever a moment where they feel out of place.

Differences between people are what make the world spin. The unique cultures, languages, customs, beliefs, and colors create meaning for the world. Although there is a large population count where people are accepting of others, there never is a real understanding.

Everyone knows of Hispanics, Asians, Africans, Latinos, Islanders, but do we really know about them? Taking time to learn their history and culture will help us develop an appreciation of each other. Some accept who we are, but never really understand it.

One wrong step and people can get hurt, but we never discuss why. There is the immediate jump of thinking that people are too sensitive and take things too personally without realizing maybe there is a deeper meaning to it.

“If you don’t see my color, you don’t see me. My color isn’t just a skin tone, it’s a story, culture, and life of its own. It’s what has helped me find who I am.”

Says an anonymous student after being asked how they feel about the following comment:

“Just ignore it. I don’t get why everything has to be about race. I don’t see color I just see people.”

I can’t deny that I could make things so much easier by ignoring certain situations and problems. Yet to ignore what someone was born with, who they grew up as, and what is a part of them is to ignore their contribution to this world. Most of these issues are not simple yes or no, black and white types of situations. There are complexities and versatility that need to be recognized and appreciated.

Being a minority myself, I know what it feels like firsthand. I don’t fit in. I have my own difficulties as an individual and with my personality, but being a Latinx student in a white majority school, I can’t adapt. I grew up in a different environment and culture. I don’t understand where others come from and why they know what they do and the same goes for others about me. I can’t ever join simple conversations about what their families had for dinner last night. I feel out of place.

Resources can be more easily accessible for a group of people that have a higher majority rate. There never has to be a worry if you’ll qualify for a work field or scholarship. You never have to worry if you will be turned away based on the way you look, sound, or come from.

“Nowadays it’s never a fair scale. It’s either one or the other. If you’re not receiving microaggressions, it’s a life of affection action. To put it simply, you can get bullied or killed.”

Exclaims an anonymous student after being asked how they see minorities are being treated.

People are valid in having their own opinions, but to completely push aside the arrogance and hate that is directed to some people is surpassing moral limits.

“If I can go one day without being called out for where my background is from, instead of by my name at least five times a day, it’s a miracle.”

Anonymous continues to explain what they experience as a minority student.

“Its small comments that are political or even personal that just completely dismiss human values.”

Hate, racism, segregation, and so forth happens around us every single day. Whether you see it on the news, hear it out on the sidewalk, see it in the produce section of a grocery store, it’s there. Some experience it and others are the cause. There is a lot of hate and it’s a topic that needs to be handled. While it may be an uncomfortable conversation, it is a necessary one to have as you grow up. Being open-minded to differences and conversation is the only way to start change for the better.

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What it means for March Madness to be back after an off year

After a year taken away from basketball fans by Covid-19, March Madness is officially happening. The NCAA tournament is arguably the greatest annual sporting event in history, with thousands of basketball and non-basketball fans alike tuning in.

One of the many great things about March Madness that appeals to those who do not watch basketball is filling out brackets. Competing to see who can correctly predict all 63 games is fun in and of itself, but the fact that you need close to no college basketball knowledge to succeed makes it even better. Just take Gregg Nigl, a man who didn’t watch any college basketball but picked close to 50 games in a row correctly in 2019.

“Don’t overthink it,” said Nigl when asked about the keys to a good bracket.

Whether it’s in a family bracket group, or in the overall bracket pool, the person who has none to very little knowledge of basketball always wins. Experts never get their picks right, because the teams that are “supposed to win” never win.

Since March Madness is fun for those who don’t care about basketball, it is something close to heaven for those who thoroughly enjoy basketball. Something about the huge field of teams, the complete randomness of the teams that win, and the fact that games are always happening make March a month of basketball heaven.

“March Madness is super great because there are so many different teams that can make noise and win, which in my opinion is much better than the NBA,” explains Colby Cox, a March Madness fan.

“I love March Madness because of how it takes a great sport and creates a huge sporting event that brings tons of people together and creates a fun, competitive environment that everyone can participate in,” says Silas Williams, a March Madness fan.

“It’s fun to watch all the games because all the games matter. Plus it’s non-stop action,” exclaims Tyler Tynsky, a March Madness fan.

Even if your bracket is consistently busted every year, March Madness will always be something you can enjoy.

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Conversation pits should make a comeback right now

What’s better than a giant bowl of pillows and cushions?

Conversation pits are a thing of the past for most people, but the pros of having one in your living room are far too great to be overlooked.

What is a conversation pit? Something worth looking into! They are similar to a sunken living room, except that instead of an entire room being lowered into the ground, it’s just the center of the room.

Some conversation pits employ a circular sofa idea, with seat cushion extending around the entire pit wall. Others have smaller sofas that are separated by gaps of concrete. Back pillows can be attached to the back of the sofa or kept loose for versatility.

This alternative furniture was first popularized in 1950’s, though the concept has been around for centuries. Chinese and Spanish architects were building conversation pits long before it became common in the USA.

Bruce Groff, an architect from Oklahoma, is largely credited for the normalizing of conversation pits in America. He first built a pit in his own living room in 1927, which featured a sunken portion of the living with a continuous couch.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, sunken living rooms and conversation pits took off, becoming a normality in the United States. Their popularity was somewhat short lived though when they became an outdated idea in the eighties.

So, why should they make a comeback now? First off, the concept is just objectively interesting. A portion of a room specifically designated for hanging out and conversing? Yes, please!

You might be thinking, why not just have sofas in your living room? While there’s nothing wrong with traditional seating furniture, conversation pits bring a different element to the living room.

Rather than a formal style sitting area, conversation pits offer a laid-back area to relax in. They are much more comfortable and roomier than the typical couch, and because the seating is so long, it’s ideal for lounging about.

It also creates a low-pressure environment, ideal for chilling out with friends. Put a snack table in the middle of the pit and bam! You’ve got the perfect place to entertain guests.

It’s great for summer mornings when you’re taking your time getting your day started and want somewhere to lounge but don’t want to stay in your bed.

Studies have shown that spending time in your bed awake and during the day can disrupt your brain’s connection between beds and sleeping. This can cause difficulty sleeping at night when it’s time to go to bed. Conversation pits solve this problem.

Because of the circular or square shaped design, the conversation pit allows every person a full view of the group. I don’t know about you, but I hate not being able to see everyone who’s talking in a group.

Even if eye contact isn’t maintained, being able to see how their hands move and other body language is often really important to understand what they’re saying. If everyone can see everyone, these elements of conversation are preserved.

Imagine hanging out with your friends, talking and laughing, having the option to roll around, give each other space, or have a giant cuddle party. A conversation pit offers all of these things.

After over a year of quarantining, good conversation is something that every single one of us needs. What better way to facilitate quality conversation than with a comfortable, unique seating area specifically designed for such things?

I say that the conversation pit should become a common addition to homes these next several years. They are a comfortable, welcoming, and a fun, non-cringy throwback to the sixties and seventies. What’s better than that?

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The ACT: predictor of success or bureaucratic failure?

The ACT and standardized testing in general have been questioned recently for if they are out of touch with students. Here at Davis the ACT is dreaded every time it comes around, with students complaining about the long time it takes and the number assigned to them when they complete it.

This all raises the questions: Is the ACT worth it?, is their any alternative to the ACT?, should we remove the ACT?, and finally does the ACT predict success?

In an attempt to answer this question I have asked teachers and students what they think of the often hated exam.

on the student side many resent the use of the ACT in schools.

“The ACT has become a waste of time and effort”

said by a student who hated the ACT

This follows a recent wave of questions on whether the ACT has any use at all in this modern society.

opponents of the ACT claim that it can be replaced by other means and that it has no effect on how successful people are in their careers. This is usually because the ACT tests things that do not relate at all to a students career.

For example if a student would like to go into medicine in the future they would most likely not need to be proficient in the majority of the subjects that are tested on the ACT.

Their are much more useful ways, or so the argument goes, to determine a students academic ability.

We should replace the ACT with “GPA and experience in clubs, we don’t need a test to determine a student’s worth”

Said a student at Davis High concerned about the ACT’s merits.

These days more colleges are refusing to accept ACT results, among these are Utah Valley University, Southern Utah University, and in the works is Utah State University.

However some teachers disagree with students assessment of the ACT.

“Yes its an accurate insight to a students knowledge base, a fair assessment of what a student knows”

Said a history teacher at Davis High.

The ACT is the culmination of all that a student learns and can test whether they will be able to learn effectively at college, or so the argument goes

Pulling a complete 180 on the students idea, the history teacher suggests that the ACT is a good predictor of success

“The ACT is the most accurate prediction of a student’s success”

said the history teacher at Davis.

And so the debate still rages on, but what do you think about the ACT. Is it outdated or is it useful for colleges to use.

One thing is for certain though, that the ACT will continue to effect us within our school years and possibly our children’s school years.

The history teacher has one last message for students worried about the ACT and school in general.

“When students start to focus on the information learned in schools rather than grades they will learn that knowledge is the benefit for their life rather than a grade point average.”

 

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Spring Break with Covid

With Spring Break right around the corner and the pandemic going on also known as Covid 19 still active Davis High students are taking safe but fun measures to make sure their spring break goes well. Mask up is the motto for the Students at Davis High who take pride in making sure their classmates and friends stay safe during this time of worry. Staying safe at school is simple but how do the students act when out of school boundaries.

If the rumor is true, the mask mandate should be lifted by April 10th, and fully lifted by July 1st. Hopefully, this means that we are on our way to a maskless society again, both in and out of school.

Some Davis High students were asked how they were going to stay safe during their spring break and what activities they were doing.  Most of the students questioned gave simple and honest answers about how they are going to set a standard for this coming up Spring Break.

What are you doing for Spring Break? : “Trappin with the boys”

How are you going to stay safe? : “Mask up and don’t Mess up”

Stetson Grant is making sure “the boys” are safe and making sure he still enjoys his spring break. He wants everyone to know that he likes to have fun and party.

What are you doing for Spring Break?: “RIP a send to St Geezy/Vegas”

How are you going to stay safe?: “Wear a Mask when in big crowds”

What event will you be doing?: “Hittin Clubs with PK”

These were Adam Greenman’s responses, who is one of Davis High’s most promising athletes.

Even though covid is still around there is still a safe and fun way to spend your spring break, all ways remember, stay safe, and mask up!

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Mike Trout’s playoff clock is ticking

Michael Nelson Trout has arguably been the best player in the MLB for nearly a decade. He’s already been highly regarded as a first-ballot Hall of Famer and the greatest to ever play the game. The only thing Trout is missing is a playoff win and World Series trophy.

Mike Trout is eager to punch his ticket to the playoffs again. The last time the Angels were in the playoffs was 2014. They were swept in 3 games in the ALDS to the Kansas City Royals. Trout is looking to put that series behind him as he only went 1-for-12.

“We are all trying to get back to the playoffs. If that’s not the mindset, you shouldn’t be here. That’s why I come in. We got one goal. Get to the Playoffs and win the World Series, ” he said when asked about his goals this season.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have been trying to equip the “Millville Meteor” with a winning team. The thing that has prohibited the Halos from winning is their pitching. They, unfortunately, did not address their pitching woes. They traded for Alex Cobb of the Baltimore Orioles and also traded for Jose Quintana of the Chicago Cubs. These are not great additions but ones that upgraded their rotation at the time.

“These pitching additions are ones that are not that significant. I will say though, they finally addressed a problem that has plagued them for the last 5 seasons,” stated Burke Bowles, a massive Angels fan.

The Halos also addressed big holes in the lineup after the departure of shortstop Andrelton Simmons. The Angels were able to acquire Jose Iglesias, Dexter Fowler, and Scott Schebler. These additions combatted the voids at SS, RF, and UTIL.

The Angels’ front office speaks often of its conviction to get Trout to the playoffs without going through a rebuilding phase. The Halos’ philosophy is to add simple pieces around Mike to push them over the hump. This has not worked for the last seven seasons, but manager Joe Maddon believes in this process.

“There’s a lot of great players that never played in a World Series, so it goes beyond Mike, but I don’t want that to happen to him. This guy loves to play. He’s wonderful to be around. Of course, I want to see it for Mike and his family, but I want to see it for everybody,” Joe Maddon told reporters over Zoom on February 22.

Arte Moreno and the Angels’ feet are held to the fire at the moment. They will decide if Trout’s playoff drought ends or extends this season. Moreno and Trout are both praying that the drought ends this season.

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My experience of traveling during Covid-19

I went on vacation to Hawaii last week and experienced the travelling limitations during Covid-19.

As I entered the Salt Lake City airport, I could feel the difference that Covid-19 has made. The terminals and gates felt full capacity, yet there were less people in the airport itself than before Covid-19.

The shuttles could only hold six adults which created small crowds. The airport gates had taped off every other seat to allow social distancing, which meant that some people had to either sit on the ground or stand because there ended up being more people than available seats.

Boarding was much faster than usual due to less people and when we boarded, the seats were taped off once again. This was a good thing because it provided more space since there was no one in the seat next to you.

After a 7-hour flight, we landed in Honolulu. As we walked through the terminal to the baggage-claim, it felt like we were the only plane that had landed there within the last few hours. The Honolulu Airport was almost completely empty and all of the restaurants were closed and seemed like they hadn’t been open for a very long time due to Covid-19.

We got our rental car and started driving to our hotel. Honolulu is built on small businesses that are locally owned, but almost every single store that we drove past was closed. Throughout our entire trip we couldn’t find any stores that were open. This is the toll that Covid-19 has taken on areas that rely on tourism to thrive. I’ve been to Hawaii before, and this felt like a ghost town.

Our flight back was almost the exact same; the Honolulu Airport was almost empty and the Salt Lake Airport had too many people for the seats that it could hold while following Covid-19 guidelines.

Overall the entire trip gave me an insight into what Covid-19 has done to all aspects of traveling and going on a vacation. Vacations just aren’t the same as they were before we were hit with the virus.

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What’s Davis Rockin To?

Music in this generation is a big part of teenagers lives. The most popular genres for kids in high school are indie/alternative, r&b and rap. Most high schoolers can’t get through high school without music. Teachers do limit the amount of music that students are allowed to listen to during free study which is many students opinion is kind of problematic.

“I have problems with focusing if there isn’t some type of music playing in the background, preferably Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar AKA, Cardi b.” Said Matt Allen Davis high Junior.

A lot of students at Davis High are getting there whole taste in music from “Tik Tok”. and its really quite sad. People are also stuck in one genre and not willing to branch out. which can be a problem when it come to starting a conversation. Lots of Davis students also dress to match their favorite music icon. For example,  kids who are more into indie/alternative are dressing like stylish hikers and homeless people with some money but no house. Its definitely a look since everyone is doing it.

When teachers were asked if music is effective during teaching most of them say yes.

“If music can help a student focus more and help them learn then by all means listen to music.” said Mrs. Frey an English teacher.

Music is a big part of growing up in high school and its a good way to get you through your school day If you are going to listen to music during school make sure you are listening to it during respectful times. Lots of students in high school like to listen to music while the teacher is in session and it is super cringe. It is the students choice what to learn so have fun listening to music on your own time, during free study or reading.

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To the seniors stressing about college decisions

This time of year is stressful for seniors. Many have made up their minds about what college they want to go to, but many still haven’t even decided. For those who have decided, there are still a multitude of other questions to answer.

For students who haven’t decided where you want to go, no worries, but you should probably decide soon. Housing and programs are going to fill up soon.

My advice to those still struggling to decide is to talk to your friends about their reasons for choosing a particular school; they may have some you haven’t considered. Or, honestly, if you really have to, just decide based on superficial things like, “Which campus looks better?” or even “Which campus has more vending machines?”

Sorry to tell you, but after you decide which college to go to, you have a million other questions. Like where you should live and what you should bring. In order to help alleviate some of your stress I’ve talked to Anna Larsen, a senior here at Davis High, about how her decision making process has been.

Anna will be attending Utah State University this fall, where many of her relatives have gone. She will be studying  Digital Design with minors in Marketing and Photography. She doesn’t know exactly where she’ll be living but she does have some living/home preferences.

“Close to campus, I want it to be nice, affordable and have plenty of amenities.”

She said.

Her dorm or apartment should be able to provide for her needs and be “easy to work with.” Anna is not planning on getting a meal plan because of the expense.

“I feel like it would be cheaper to do something else and buy a bunch of bulk food beforehand.”

Anna said.

Although Anna isn’t getting a meal plan, she agrees that they may work better for some people than for her, so don’t write off a meal plan if you were planning on one. College is about what works for you.

As for roommates, the most important aspect is personality to Anna. She doesn’t care about what they are studying, but similar interests are important. I agree since you are living with them, not necessarily being tutored by them. They should have a similar preferences to you in terms of cleanliness and organization.

If you’re scared about living alone for the first time, you are not alone. Nearly everyone is. Managing your time, finances, and health yourself is intimidating. On top of that, you are in a new place with new people, and that’s scary.

 “I’m anxious about the social experience and having to put myself out there and having to get to know people. Because it’s really a fresh start, no one knows you so you have to build up your reputation all over again which could be a good or bad thing.”

Anna says about her college fears. 

Ironically, the social experience is also something that Anna is excited about. She’s heard that your roommates or friends in college turn out to be lifelong friends sometimes, and she’s really excited to find close friends and have fun trying new things on the weekends.

Don’t get her wrong though, she’s definitely going to be missing some people. Namely, her family and dog. It’s hard to be away from your family for such a long time, especially for the first time.

Although she’s been preparing and taking advice from her mom about making an Amazon wish list early, Anna still has a lot she hasn’t decided on, so if you’re feeling confused, you aren’t alone.

I still don’t know where I’m living so that’s kind of the biggest decision right now, is figuring that out.”

A laptop is also on her mind, and due to her major being very digitally based, she needs a good one. She’s also deciding on what else to bring to school. All of these decisions are really stressful, and anxiety-inducing. How does one manage it all? Anna just trusts that everything will turn out how it’s supposed to be.

Just do your best, do everything that’s in your power, and then let everything else take care of itself.”

She also advises to get to know people who have gone to the college you are going to. She has relatives on her mom’s side that have gone to USU before, so learning from their experiences is really helpful for her.

To all the seniors, confused and anxious, just get as much information as you can, and make the decision you feel is right. Everything will turn out fine, and work out in the end. So don’t stress, and enjoy the rest of your last year of high school!

 

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What causes the adrenaline when you before you open something?

Ever had trouble sleeping the night before Christmas? Do you get really excited when it’s time to open birthday presents? Have you ever wondered why you have so much adrenaline when you unwrap things?

Unwrapping boxes is one of the most effective ways to give you an adrenaline rush which may be why people love gift-opening so much. It’s clear that humans crave adrenaline. It ignites your fight-or-flight response. Fight-or-flight is a mechanism within your nervous system that creates an adrenaline rush. That’s why in some circumstances, you can have very powerful strength or you can move faster. Thus, adrenaline is a great way to do things you’ve never done before.

“There are other things that cause adrenaline beyond opening presents”.

Said an anonymous contributor.

For example, skydiving! When you go skydiving, it causes you to have an adrenaline rush. Gaining adrenaline can be great because it makes you more aware of your surroundings and allows you to be more alert in certain situations.

I still can’t understand why opening presents and unwrapping boxes gives us so much excitement. Why does it inspire so much joy? Why do you have so much energy when you open it?

“Perhaps it’s because they give you a little taste of the excitement that children enjoy.”

“You get to experience that little spark of joy from getting a meaningful gift”.

Maybe, in some situations, it’s because you know what’s inside. When you have a good idea of what someone got you for Christmas or what you significant other got you for your birthday or anniversary, it can be more exciting. Then, in other situations, it’s because you have no clue what’s inside. It can feel like opening a door not knowing what’s behind it. When you finally open that door, the secrets are out and you immediately feel energized.

No doubt, it’s very fun to unwrap presents. But in the end, it’s not the act of unwrapping that causes adrenaline, but the surprise inside. That’s the beauty of good surprises and adrenaline! It helps renew your energy so that you feel great.

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I will be watching ‘A Goofy Movie’ once every day of March 2021

March has begun. For many, the changing of the month from Febuary to March means nothing. For others, its importance lies in the beginning of Women’s History Month. And the rest of us likely think of lucky clovers and leprechauns when the month of March is brought to mind. But this year, March means something different to me. I’m writing this on March 1st, and as I look forward at the month ahead, I feel a combination of dread, regret, amusement, and curiosity. Curiosity regarding what this ambitious and undoubtedly batty endeavor that I am about to embark on will do to my already fragile mental state. What is this endeavor, you ask?

Every day of the month of March in the year of our Lord 2021, I will watch the 1995 feature film ‘A Goofy Movie’. I will take notes and report my findings, as well as my mental state, on a weekly podcast under the working title of ‘A Goofy Month: 31 Days of A Goofy Movie’. When the podcast becomes available, I will add the link to this article. In addition to the podcast, I will also be posting an article recapping the month in April.

I’m sure you are wondering why, in the name of all that is holy, would I take on such a task? The answer? The answer is unclear. To attempt to give you reasoning, I’m going to give you my history with ‘A Goofy Movie’. But before I do that, I should probably give a rundown of the film itself for the uninitiated. ‘A Goofy Movie’ is a 1995 animated film that acts as a sequel of sorts to the Disney Afternoon series ‘The Goof Troop’ which followed Goofy and his young son Max as they go through life’s adventures together. I have not seen this particular show, but it had a decent following. ‘A Goofy Movie’ follows the titular Goof who, in an attempt to reconnect with his (now teenage) son Max, decides to go on a father-son cross-country road trip to Lake Destiny, Idaho. Max is less than happy with this sudden vacation, and he attempts to steer the road trip to L.A to see Powerline in concert.

 

The film was originally intended to be a Direct-to-VHS release, but Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg had a personal connection to the film (it was inspired by him struggling with his relationship with his teenage daughter)  and insisted it be a theatrical movie. But the movie was far from the studio’s priority. “It wasn’t even a B movie. It was a C movie,” remembered veteran Disney producer Don Hahn. The film was shuffled off to a subsidiary of Disney Animation called Disney MovieToons, which was responsible for TV movies and the Direct-to-VHS sequels to Disney classics. Nothing captures how little Disney cared about the movie better than Bill Farmer’s (Goofy’s voice actor) experience with the film. He spent 43 days recording dialogue over the span of 2-and-a-half years. But the creative efforts behind the film were incredibly talented and very passionate, and that passion overcame the studios’ limitations and shines through in the final product. But due to the infamous falling out between Katzenberg and Roy E. Disney that resulted in Katzenberg stepping down from his position of chairman and helping found rival animation studio Dreamworks, A Goofy Movie was seen as a burden from Katzenberg’s era left for Disney to deal with. Because of the studio’s hate of the film, it was given a quiet little release after its premiere in Florida(!), where it was met with mediocre reviews and box office returns. It seemed like the story of ‘A Goofy Movie’ had come to an end.

But after its VHS release, it quickly gained a following, as well as an overall appreciation of the film. And when the kids that grew up on ‘A Goofy Movie’ grew up, a resurgence began. Starting with a massively popular live-action recreation of the film’s opening musical number ‘After Today’ posted on YouTube, ‘A Goofy Movie’ started to be considered as the Disney classic it deserves to be.

I discovered the film again in June of last year. I had vague fond memories of watching it with my dad once when I was a young’un, and decided to give it a watch on Disney+. I fell in love. It’s a tight 1hr and 18min that is packed with clever jokes, an endless supply of quotable lines, strange and wonderful characters, a surprisingly effective emotional center, and pure, unfiltered 90’s oozing out of every frame. I then watched it around 20 times in a month. I roped my friends and family into my addiction, and it acted as a solid joke. But I didn’t keep a log, and I wasn’t consistent. So now, I’m going to dive back into the world of ‘A Goofy Movie’. But this won’t be for fun. This will be for science. I’m going to crack the mystery of why I love this movie so deeply. And you’d better believe I will make my friends suffer with me again.

As my friend Luke once said when describing me to someone, “He is nothing if not committed to the bit.”

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What Black History Month means in a primarily white area

February is Black History Month, but what does that mean in a primarily white school? Why does it matter to someone who isn’t black?

Black History Month’s purpose isn’t to degrade white history. It’s not to say that white history isn’t important, or to take away from white history at all. In order to fully explain what it is, I’ll use an example from Meredith Wright, a teacher here at Davis, who teaches a Women’s Art History class, as well as AP Art History.

She recommends imagining a stage, where white, male history has always been , due to a very eurocentric view. Black history isn’t pushing the white history off the stage, rather it’s just making room for itself on the stage as well. When people talk about black history, they aren’t saying that white history doesn’t matter, it’s just that black history does too.

In the United States, the history that is taught in our schools is very eurocentric, or white. It leaves out many stories of successful African-Americans, and instead focuses on successful white men. Erica Affronti, an African-American student from New York says “Most of the black history I know, I’ve learned at home. I haven’t learned very much at school. Which illustrates how lacking our curriculum is in providing a place for black stories. 

In terms of whether a black history month is racist, due to the fact that we do not have a white history month, Wright says “We don’t need a white history month, because every month is white history month, we have a very eurocentric view” I agree. To me, stating something such as “Shouldn’t all history matter” in response to black history month, is the same as stating “Shouldn’t all cancers matter” in response to Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. No one is saying white history isn’t important, this month is about recognizing and bringing awareness to black history.

Even if Black History Month isn’t inherently racist to white history, why is it important? Why should we celebrate it? Well, that’s simple, it has to do with equal representation. Have you ever had a character or historical figure that inspired you? Do you see yourself reflected in TV shows and history textbooks?

In order to understand, some of us may need to step away from race for a little bit, but we will come right back in a second. When I was a young child, I wasn’t into Disney Princesses. My mother loved Belle from Beauty and the Beast because Belle was smart and brave, but also because Belle looked like her. My mom was a brunette with hazel-brown eyes. As a young girl with blonde hair and blue eyes, you would think it would be easy for me to find a princess I could connect with easily.

I couldn’t though, to me the only choices were Aurora or Cinderella, whom I disliked because they weren’t smart like Belle. They didn’t act, they were acted upon. To me, an easily angered 5 year old, they didn’t really even have feelings. When I saw the first Tinkerbell movie though, I found someone I could look up to and identify with. She looked like me, but was smart and courageous. To a young child, feeling represented is so important.

In terms of race, African-American children have not had many mainstream historical figures to look up to at all. This isn’t even taking into account someone who looks and acts likes them, as was the case for me and Tinkerbell. I had many people that looked like me. These kids aren’t even being taught about heroes and important people that only look like them.

“When I learned that a lot of the things I use everyday were made by someone who looks like me, it made me feel like ‘Oh, well I could do the same thing,’ or ‘it is possible.’” Erica says. Seeing someone that looks like you, achieve miraculous things, is more than just important, it’s inspiring. 

Having someone to look up to is critical in order to inspire the next generation to achieve personal goals, but not just that, it works for the good of society. It’s important for science, technological advancements, business, economics and more.

So yes, Black History Month is not only not racist, it is important. To everyone, even white people. Our country is made up of different people from different cultures, ethnicities, nationalities and more, and in order to come together, we need to understand and celebrate each other as equals.

“Our Constitution was written in this beautiful way, and our Bill of Rights, that includes freedom, and liberty to all and yet I still feel like we are still trying to catch up and live up to that vision and in order to do so, we need to focus on and highlight and celebrate the voices of all.” Wright says,

She continues “For a group of people that have been oppressed throughout the history of our country, whether it was through slavery, discrimination, segregation, for us to live up to “Freedom and Liberty for all” we have to listen to their voices and hear their history, it’s a really important part of us living up to our Constitution”

Especially since much of black history, is just American history that has marginalized or pushed to the sidelines. Shouldn’t we all be learning about American history? Really, the benefits of learning black history for white people line up with the benefits of just learning history, which is important.

When asked what she thought the most important aspect of Black History Month was, Erica said

“Recognizing that Black History is American History as well, like us, the things we have created, and our everyday lives and it’s important for everyone to celebrate and learn about” 

For one to say “If I’m white, why does black history matter to me?” Is the same to say “If I’m black, then why does white history matter to me?” Our country was built by white men, sure. We should all learn about the founders of our country. But why were many of our founders able to build our country in the first place? They had the time to do so. They had the time to study and plan and prepare because they weren’t busy farming and such. They had the time because they had slaves to do that for them. These people were brought and kept against their will, and then literally built America. Shouldn’t we use time to learn about more of them?

I think what makes our country special is we are a country made up of immigration, of immigrants, it’s really important in my eyes to celebrate our diverse country and what makes us America… highlighting [African-Americans], celebrating them bringing them into the melting pot of our culture and elevating these other cultures cause you know, we are a culture of all these mixed ethnicities, nationalities,” Wright says. She goes on to say how beautiful it is to live in a country full of so many different people and how beautiful it would be if we could all come together and understand each other.

Becoming educated and learning about black history is important. Especially as a white person. We know that especially since this summer, tensions have been high. But rather than only condemning the actions of a few, why don’t we learn about the reasons why they may be angry in the first place? Ask what the majority are protesting for?

Although we know that learning and celebrating Black History is important, how we can learn about it if we live in such a predominantly white area? It’s simple. We live in a time and age where almost everything is accessible to us through the internet. Especially information.

Wright recommends going out of your way to find stories and articles. She even mentioned podcasts. Especially in February, there are so many easy to find sources to read black stories or listen to them. Erica also recommends googling, watching documentaries, and reading books written by black authors.

With the easy access of the internet as well as libraries and streaming services, basically anyone can find black history. Just because it’s not taught extensively at schools, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily always hard to find.

So this month rather than posting a Martin Luther King Jr. quote on your Instagram story, (although he was a truly amazing man) research black stories, share black stories and learn black stories. Become a true white ally.

“The best way we could try to be a white ally is by emboldening POC, instead of boldening ourselves, and listening to POC and letting them lead the way when it comes to their history, letting them lead the way when it comes to how they think we should stop oppression, stepping aside and being a really good listener, and having an open mind and open heart” Mrs. Wright says. She goes on to say that it is not enough to simply be “not racist.” We must actively be anti-racist.  How can you be anti-racist though? The above advice from Mrs. Wright still applies, but so does some more.

“Speak up against racism and injustice, because you feel like it is wrong, not because it’s a trend or not because it looks good to do it, but out of the goodness of your heart.” is what Erica Affronti recommends.

Learning black history is important to the growth of this nation. Like Mrs. Wright said, we need to live up to “Freedom and Liberty for all” and we can’t do that if we don’t understand each other. Understanding is the basis for all beneficial relationships.

So learn as much as you can, in not just this month, but in the months following. You don’t have to limit it to just black history either. You can expand into Native American history, Latino or Asian history as well.

It is the hope that as we learn each other’s history, and come to understand each other more that we can begin to heal this nation finally, from the cloud of racism and injustices that many people, especially African Americans, face. So do your best going forward, to look into others and begin to understand them. Teach yourself their history, as they have always been taught yours.

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

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New Class at Davis Creates New Space for Women

This semester, Davis High is introducing an exciting new class that students should definitely consider taking if they are interested in art, history, or expanding their perspective and understanding of the world around them.

Art History-Women’s Studies is a class in which students explore and learn about female artists who shaped the female narrative and created a space for female voices throughout history. Meredith Wright, who teaches many art-related courses at Davis, was inspired to create the class after seeing her AP Art History students’ enthused reaction to learning about the few female artists included in the curriculum. The idea of dedicating an entire class to female artists excited Wright as well as her students.

“I realized that the school wasn’t offering a class dedicated to the history of women and I thought, let’s do this!!”

Explained Wright.

This class highlights and elevates women throughout history whose lives and artwork beautifully portray their struggle of being a woman in a male-dominated world and how they overcame those challenges to achieve their dreams.

“Most female artists throughout history had to endure great roadblocks because of their gender. I feel that they embody the spirit of women. They embody the spirit of feminism: that women can be included in public discourse, that their voices should be heard.”

The topics covered in this class are extremely relevant and applicable to everyone, everyday. Gender inequality limits societal progression and impacts the whole world in a negative way. It’s especially important for girls to have a class like this to help them recognize their worth and to feel empowered.

“I believe it’s important to provide a space where women are celebrated. I wish I would have had this class when I was in high school. Too often, young females lack enough role models of accomplished women in a variety of fields. This makes them feel limited!”

Boys are strongly encouraged to take this class as well and all male voices are welcome! Feminism is not about excluding men; it’s about including women! Similarly, the purpose of this class is certainly not to exclude male students, but to provide a space where all voices are heard and where people of all backgrounds, colors, beliefs, and genders can come together to bring about necessary change.

“Boys should absolutely take this class! You have to remember that girls spend their entire education learning about amazing men in history. Maybe it’s more than ok to carve out some space where we give women the stage!  Women have accomplished incredible things throughout history, and I think male students will gain greater appreciation and understanding for women by taking this class. Just like girls don’t have to be male in order to appreciate George Washington, boys don’t have to be female in order to appreciate Queen Hatshepsut (if you don’t know who that is, you should take my class!).”

As a student of the class, I have found the curriculum to be eye-opening. It has made me feel seen in a way that I haven’t experienced in any other class. The boys and girls in the class alongside Mrs. Wright have created an extremely positive and respectful learning environment. It has been a place where I have learned new things, participated in meaningful discussions, and gained greater understanding of the world’s heroines.

This class addresses important topics in a very comfortable, fun, and creative way! It promotes open-mindedness, inclusion, and respect for all. This class is a refreshing change of pace and a much-needed space where powerful, intelligent, and talented women from history are valued and honored. Take Art History-Women’s Studies to have fun as you learn about important people who made phenomenal art and paved a new path for humanity!

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McDonald’s New Breakfast Items: Yay or Nay

Recently the fast food tycoon McDonald’s came out with some brand new breakfast items. Featured on their McCafe menu are three new bakery items. Blueberry Muffins, Cinnamon Rolls, and Apple Fritters. As someone who loves breakfast, and anything baked, I wanted to try these foods and see how good they were.

McDonald’s  recommends all of these served with their signature coffee, but I don’t drink coffee so that doesn’t matter to me. I actually drank almond milk with it and it was fine. (Why almond milk? I’m lactose-intolerant. I know what you’re thinking, “allergic to milk and chocolate? This girl must be fun at parties” And I am fun at parties! But parties aren’t always fun for me.)

Before we get into the review I just wanted a small disclaimer: I was not sponsored to do this. I know that one may think that an author as famous as me, writing for a newspaper as big as Davis High News may be sponsored, but I am not. This is all my own opinion, not at all influenced by the fact that the cashier gave me an almost 50% discount when I bought some of the items. (Be nice to fast-food workers during rush hour, kids) But seriously, this is just my opinion and not fact or sponsored.

For the review, I will first go into the taste, and any limitations or modifications that come with the item. Then I will rank it out of 10, and finally tell you how likely I am to order it again.

First, let’s start off with the Apple Fritter. This item is made to primarily taste like apples and cinnamon. It’s a fried item and covered with a “sweet glaze icing.” It’s 510 calories, and although it is apple flavored, I couldn’t find any real apples in there so, take that with what you will.

Honestly, I ate this when it first came out and it was kind of gross. It’s fried so it was kind of greasy, and it was also super sweet. I ate it cold though, so that could be why. When I tried it again I warmed it up this time and the taste improved by a lot. It was less greasy tasting and honestly just tasted like a donut. Which is basically what it is, a glazed, apple-cinnamon donut. I actually liked it quite a bit warm. So if you end up getting it, make sure to either ask for it warm or have an accessible microwave to warm it up.

I would have to rank this a 2/10 cold, and 6/10 warm. 4/10 overall. I’m not a huge fried food fiend, you know? It was good (once I warmed it up), but it wasn’t the best thing in the world. I may order this again, but only if I was craving it, or if I could actually get it warm and with some ice cream.

Next, let’s talk about the new Blueberry Muffin. This muffin is a pretty normal muffin, made with real blueberries and a streusel topping. It’s around 470 calories, and from looks alone it looks to be the best out of the new items.

I actually loved this. It wasn’t too sweet, and tasted pretty good. That being said, the blueberries may have once been real, but the ones in my muffin were more like the ones you get in the muffin mix packages at the store. They tasted fine though, and if you were expecting fresh blueberries in a fast-food muffin, then you will pretty much always be upset, my friend. The streusel topping was just sprinkled on top, so if you are a huge streusel fan, then you may be disappointed. There wasn’t very much. I ate mine warm with butter spread in the middle, and it tasted pretty good.

I give this a 8/10. It tasted really good with the butter, but I had to add that. Honestly, it surprised me. I didn’t think that a fast food muffin would taste that good. I wasn’t expecting it to taste bad, but not that good. I’d probably order this again for breakfast, or if I just wanted something sweet.

Finally, what we have all been waiting for: the Cinnamon Roll. I love Cinnamon Rolls. They have always been a holiday staple at my house, so I was excited to try it. The Cinnamon Roll is approximately 560 calories, and is made of buttery, flakey dough, layered with cinnamon and drizzled with cream cheese icing.

Honestly, in comparison to Cinnabon, or even the frozen cinnamon rolls at Bowman’s, McDonald’s Cinnamon Rolls aren’t that good. But if you are craving a cinnamon roll and McDonalds is closer than a Cinnabon, then it works. They’re good enough to order if you are there, and in the mood, but not amazing enough to go out of your way to get one.

I’d give it a 6/10. It was good and better than I expected but it wasn’t great, and I’d honestly rather just get a pack of  frozen cinnamon rolls and bake them myself. If I were in the mood for a cinnamon roll, far away from a bakery or Cinnabon and didn’t have an oven, it’d be fine. Or I guess if I wanted a cinnamon roll quickly and conveniently. So would I order this again? Yes, if I were at McDonald’s and in the mood for a Cinnamon Roll. It was good enough to order again.

All in all, the new breakfast items weren’t bad, but I’m not sure I’d order any of them for breakfast, except perhaps the muffin. Most of them I’d only order on a certain basis, like cravings or convenience. They do bring a lot more variety to the breakfast menu though, as before it really was just pancakes and egg sandwiches, so I’d say it was a good move on their part.

Although I wouldn’t be super excited to eat these for breakfast, I wouldn’t be upset either, and that’s all you can really ask from a fast food place that specializes in burgers and fries, isn’t it?

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What The Super Bowl is like for people who don’t like Football

As everyone knows, this previous Sunday was the Super Bowl, the biggest Football event of the year (for everyone in America). People tend to gather with family and friends to have a party and celebrate like its a holiday. There’s food, good company, and of course Football. What’s not to like? In my case, it’s the Football. You’re probably wondering, “What do people who don’t like Football do during the Super Bowl?”. Well here is my firsthand account on an anti-Football celebration.

To give you some background, my family has a close bond to our neighbors down the street because they moved in shortly after us. Our family has lived in the same house for 15 years, so our families have been friends for over a decade. As a result, every year we celebrate the Super Bowl at their house. Everyone gets excited for the game except for me and my friend Briana, as we don’t care about sports. We celebrate the Super Bowl together instead as a really long hangout as opposed to a Football party.

Our Super Bowl starts off with everyone; we eat a nice meal with typical party favorites; pizza rolls, chips, soda…you know how it goes. As we eat, the game kicks off so we absentmindedly watch for a few minutes. Most of that time is filled with strange commercials, which we question a lot. For example, what the heck was that Mountain Dew Watermelon Commercial? They have a whole obnoxious city, John Cena is there for literally no reason, and it goes on for way too long. We spend our mealtime conversation discussing opinions like this while we enjoy the food. After eating, we head up to her room to do something else while our families enjoy the game.

In previous years, we have done activities such as playing music from Alexa and hosting our own dance party, laughing at funny YouTube videos until our eyes water, and a variety of board games. This year, I decided to bring my jewelry making supplies so we could create our own accessories. Over the course of the night I made two necklaces, five rings, and two ear cuffs. Briana, on the other hand, made around ten keychains and three necklaces. Of course we still included music, this time just from my phone instead of Alexa.

At about half time, we took a break to join the group for dessert, which is essential to any party. We got to discuss more random commercials while we ate, but the actual dessert was the highlight. This year’s variety included an ice cream bar, brownie bites, and chocolate cheesecake, just to start. In fact, we enjoyed dessert so much that we ended up coming back about 20 minutes later for a second dessert. After all, it was a party so we had to take the opportunity to enjoy the junk food.

Just like anyone’s Super Bowl, however, ours flew by. The next thing we knew, it was time to pack up so my family could head home. While the adults were mourning the loss of their favorite team, me and Briana were feeling accomplished with our art and getting excited to wear and share our new designs. We had so much fun, this might’ve been the best Super Bowl yet! Even though our celebration doesn’t include Football, it’s still one of the best parties of the year in its own unique way, and shows that even those who don’t care for sports can still enjoy the Super Bowl.

 

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My top 20 songs of 2020

With being at home pretty much all year due to COVID I had a lot of time on my hands to hang out and listen to music. I discovered some new songs and albums that came out this year and some older ones along the way.

20. Complicated by Mac Miller

Mac Miller went above and beyond expectations with his album Circles, even after his death. “Complicated” is no acception, with techno synthesizer beats and chords to create an amazing song on an even more amazing album.

19. Western Kids by Hippo Campus

Western Kids appears on the album Landmark. Hippo Campus makes music that combines traditional and rock gutar with a more modern synthesizers to create songs that you just want to dance to and Western Kids is probably one of their best.

18. Casual Encounters by Beach Fuzz

Beach Fuzz is an up and coming Indie band. One of their most popular songs, Casual Encounters, uses complex electric guitar riffs and vocals to create a great song from an already great band.

17. Ghost Town by Kanye West feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR

Kanye and PARTYNEXTDOOR’s talent really shines on this song, showing off PND’s ability to create amazing abstract beats and vocals. Kanye reminds us of how catchy and smooth his rap flow is, creating memorable verses and vocals.

16. Put Your Records On by Ritt Momney

In this cover of the hit song Put Your Records On by Cornie Bailey Rae, Momney brings new life to an older overplayed song with beautiful beats and vocals that make it feel fresh and new.

15. Pressure Love by Safario & Lokoy feat. Jimi Somewhere

German artist Safario uses a beautiful piano melody and hard hitting drums and bass to create a catchy, lyrical song perfect for a party.

14. Cabin Fever by Jaden

Cabin Fever was one of the top songs off of Jaden Smith’s 5th studio album, CTV3. In this song Jaden switched up his hard punk style from his more recent album ERYS, for a more happy pshycadelic tone.

13. Get Out by Oscar Lang

Up and coming Indie rock artist, Oscar Lang uses a trippy echo chorus and an hard guitar riff to make possibly one of the best rock songs of the year.

12. CAN YOU HEAR THE MOON by Grady

Artist Grady makes intense tones and catchy vocals in his song CAN YOU HEAR THE MOON. After hearing the intensity and volume of the song, you’ll know why the name is in all caps.

11. Shampoo Bottles by Peach Pit

Peach Pit tells the story of a mans life after his significant other left him. He goes through greif and sorrow and the tones and guitar melody match the sorrow of the lyrics. It’s the perfect sad/angry song.

10. Silhouette by Ax and the Hatchetmen

The 7 member band combines the sounds of old folk/country using string basses and other not as common insturments combined with electric guitar and new synths to create a catchy, fresh song.

9. Sounds Like Fun by BLACKSTARKIDS

Underground rock band, BLACKSTARKIDS, uses super elaborate electric guitar melodys and riffs to make an amazing love song.

8. Fair Game by Dayglow

Dayglow focuses on creating soft simple melodys with synth and electric guitar that make you feel relaxed and comfortable, which is reflected in his song Fair Game.

7. Jane by LAUNDRY DAY

Alt band LAUNDRY DAY, uses soft slow melodys and guitar riffs to make a love song about excitement and sorrow.

6. Surf by Mac Miller

Also of his previously mentioned album, Circles. Mac used soft guitar and ukulele combined with slower more toned down vocals and lyrics to create a relaxing, fun song.

5. Palace/Curse by The Internet (feat. Steve Lacy & Tyler, the Creator)

Palace/Curse is a two part song following people attending a party hosted by Tyler, the Creator. In this song you hear people cheering and laughing in the background as Tyler yells things like “Aye y’all having a good time tonight?”. The Internet uses heavenly vocals and lots of bass to create a stunning track.

4. Chicken by Your Neighbors

Chicken is about a boy too scared to confess his feelings to a girl that he likes. The song follows him going around in circles in his head trying to figure out what to say to her. Combined with a fun happy guitar riff and a super catchy chorus, Chicken is a song that stays in your head all day.

3. Itchin’ On a Photograph by Grouplove

Itchin’ On a Photograph is over-shadowed by Groupelove’s hit song Tongue Tied, from the same album, Never Trust a Happy Song. With happy beats and claps and one of the most catchy choruses ever, this is the perfect song to yell in the car with your friends.

2. My Favorite Fish by Gus Dapperton

Indie/Alt artist Gus Dapperton creates a soft spoken, heartfelt song about falling for everything about someone. Using ukulele and guitar with overlapping vocals and even some trumpet to create an amazing song.

1. Weekend by Clubhouse

For my number one song I chose Weekend by Clubhouse because it has everything I love about a song, a catchy chorus, a good solid baseline, and great vocals. This song uses all those to its avantage

1. Stars by Xavier Goodman

Up-and-coming rap artist uses a unique flow and beat to create an amazing song about believing in himself and being him, no one else. Xavier just released his first album “Wesday is Hard to Spell” on December, 27th, 2020 and is bursting on the rap scene and blowing up on Tik Tok due to his unique but still fimiliar flow, gaining over 800,000 followers in only a few months.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Monolith: Just a Game

With the recent appearance of the monolith, many think it may be something from a higher power, something we can’t understand. But at the end of the day, it easily could have been another person. With the reappearance happening in other areas, it has lead to the belief that this is all just a promotion for something. Whether it be a product, an art installation, or a tv series, the monolith is most definitely not supernatural.

What leads to this belief is the rising popularity of using ARGs as recent marketing methods. ARG stands for Alternate Reality Game, which is where a company (or an individual, in the first large cases) places a lot of mysteries out there, whether on the internet or out physically, for the sake of marketing. It usually ends up being one big advertisement to pull you into whatever product they’re putting out there.

According to the story on this by the New York Times, one Ross Bernards saw the dismantling of the monolith, surely confirming that its not extraterrestrial in any way. “As they walked off with the pieces, one of them said ‘Leave no trace.’” is what Bernard claims he heard. And it makes sense; this confirms that the culprit was not aliens, but humans, and with a purpose. “They just came in there to execute and they were like, ‘This is our mission.’” said Bernard, it clearly paints a picture where they are doing this for some big plan.

Based on recent events, there is also another lead to believe that the monolith very well might be an ARG based on a new account made on Tik-Tok called “project_blackout”. This very well could be a standalone thing. It’s more likely to be a company, as this would be hard to orchestrate on a small scale. The account claimed that on the first of January, something will happen. What that was, only time will tell. It’s not uncommon for marketing to take place on the app. Whether people know it or not, stuff like this happens on social media more often than not.

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How to combat burnout

It’s halfway through the year! As the semester changes and everyone is saying “We are already halfway done!”, you may be feeling “Only halfway?”. That’s what I am here to help you fix. It’s important to get your mental state up, at least enough to make it until you really feel like you’re nearing the end.

I have been burnt out since my freshman year (I’m from New York, Freshman year is in High School). It was probably my worst year, and all I could think was ‘3 more years of this?’. This time of the year was my worst. I was so tired.

Now that I’m a senior, I have some tips that I’ve learned throughout my almost 4 years of high school.

First is to take classes that you like. I know, I know, you may not be able to switch now, but it’s something to keep in mind for next year. Don’t just take classes because your friends are taking them. Take them because they sound interesting.

If you can’t take classes you like, find something, anything, that you like about each class. Maybe it’s the teacher or that your seat is close to the window. It could be socializing or having some quiet and peace.

Second is something you can control a bit better. Try doing your homework in a new place. Obviously with COVID being a problem, you may have trouble, but with the weather warming up more places should open up. Trying a different room in your house, going outside, or even doing homework in your car can help a lot with ridding yourself of the gray mood you’re in.

You can also try to find a specific motivation to get good grades. Whether it’s a club, a sport, or a job you like, it can give you motivation to do your work. This was evident to me in my sophomore year when I joined a my school’s rowing team. Motivation helped a lot.

You are also going to want to find a way to focus. I know a lot of times when you’re burnt out it’s really hard to focus, but find a way. Whether it be giving it to your parent or setting it aside, you should probably get rid your phone. It is the biggest distraction. Other than that, find a quiet place to work and maybe get a snack.

Now this tip is going to sound a bit strange, but one that I have found to work for a lot of different people. Journaling. Whether it be a small gratitude journal, one where you answer a couple of questions, or a journal about your daily life, there is something about journaling that makes people productive. I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it. It is truly strange, but absolutely true.

Honestly, what really helped me was a combination of all these things. But it mainly came with a change of mindset. It came when I realized that being smart or studious aren’t inherent traits. They aren’t aspects of a person that are developed in the womb from DNA. It had to do with environment and how one conducted themselves. I could become a studious person and get good grades if I just worked to do so.

This is how I changed from someone who had been burnt out for a long time, a chronic procrastinator, into someone who worked hard, got assignments done on time, and got good grades.

Changing your mindset is best advice I can give you. If you want to become a better person, a smarter student, more outgoing, kinder, all you have to do is believe you can and work towards it. So, if you want to become less burnt out, all you have to do is change your mindset and take actions to get there.

If all you do are the first five tips, and never open your mindset to change, you won’t change. I know, I’ve been there. But if you open your mindset to change, everything is so much easier. New habits are easier to create, old habits are easier to get rid of. You can become a different person.

 

 

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You should listen to ‘My Brother My Brother and Me’ (A.K.A the goofy podcast that keeps me sane)

My Brother My Brother and Me (MBMBaM for short) is an ‘advice show for the modern era’. In each episode, Justin (the oldest brother), Travis (the middlest brother), and 30 Under 30 media luminary Griffin (the littlest brother) McElroy alternate between answering strange questions from the online cesspool that is Yahoo Answers, and questions from their listeners. It might seem like a premise that lacks the legs required for a long running podcast, but the premise of the podcast is merely there to provide a platform for these good good boys to goof off of. And goof they do. From ‘Shrimp Heaven Now’, to ‘Glass Shark’, to ‘Cursing Jerry’, to endless goofs and gaffs about horses, ghosts, and ghost horses, the shows’ pantheon of jokes is vast and glorious to behold. There are a lot of comedy podcasts out there, but MBMBaM is special. The McElroy brothers’ brand of humor is simultaneously one of the most pure and good available on the internet, as well as being absolutely filthy. Let’s not get it twisted, these boys are nasty. For every pure and good conversation about if they’d rather have a dog with human hands, or a cat with a human face, there is a conversation about a Yahoo Answers user with a strange attraction to the comic book character Garfield but with Pamela Anderson’s body. But they do have a line, as they don’t answer questions that they deem ‘too blue’. But the real magic of MBMBaM is the loving and accepting attitude of the brothers. Unlike most comedians, the brothers don’t rely on making fun of others for a laugh. They make everyone feel welcome and loved. They have unflinching values that put everyone’s happiness over all else. This creates moments of poignant and legitimately insightful advice amidst the good good goofs. They also provide me with a good perspective and attitude towards life. I feel better about the world after listening to an episode. That’s not an exaggeration. They’ve been doing this every week since April of 2010. At the time of writing this, they are at 545 episodes. And I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve listened to 2,000 hours of it over the last 4 years. I know this is tired and cliché, but these guys have helped me get through a lot. I was mega depressed during eighth grade, and I would cite MBMBaM as the third most crucial thing to my recovery, only behind my parents and friends. Needless to say, it means a lot to me, and I try to recommend it to anyone I can. And I’m not alone. The McElroys have developed a very large and devoted fanbase without spending a dime on advertising. It’s because they are so important to people like me, that their listeners want to give the gift of the gaffs to the people they hold dearest. And the most inspirational thing about them is that it seems so effortless to them. Because they are just genuinely kindhearted and funny people that do what they do because they love to do it. They originally started the show as a way to stay in touch with each other weekly. And that feeling of family is contagious and acts as a constant beacon of light in my life.

Because of their inclusive and kind-hearted nature, I truly believe that MBMBaM is a show for everyone. And it is so cool to see that reflected in social media, and even pop culture! I’ll never forget seeing Lin Manuel Miranda cite the McElroys as an inspiration for Hamilton at the Tonys, and Maia Kobabe name-dropping a character from their Dungeons and Dragons show ‘The Adventure Zone’ in eir touching and honest memoir ‘Gender Queer’. Jimmy Buffet, Jessie Eisenberg, Hank Green, Elsie Fisher, Felicia Day, and Elizabeth Gilbert are just a few celebrities that have championed this show. You’d think the popularity of the show would go to their head, but it hasn’t. It is never in question how grateful they are for their listeners, and they treat everyone with the respect that they deserve. In April of 2019, I went with a friend to see them live in Salt Lake City’s Abravanel Hall, and as I looked across the sea of people who have gathered to see three brothers make dick jokes, I would be hard-pressed to find two people that looked alike. It could not have been a more varied group of people, yet they all had one thing in common: their love of a stupid podcast where three brothers answer YahooAnswers questions. When the brothers made their introductions, they mentioned that they don’t feel worthy of the gorgeous venue that is Abravenel Hall, but I could not disagree more. If something can bring those 2,000 people of all different religions, genders, races, sexualities, passions, and personalities a feeling of safety and joy, it deserves the most grand and gorgeous stage possible.

MBMBaM was the McElroys’ first podcast (and my favorite), but it is nowhere near the only one. There’s ‘The Adventure Zone’ (the endlessly creative D&D podcast they do with their father that spawned a New York Times bestselling graphic novel series), Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine (hosted by Justin and his wife Sydnee), Shmanners (an etiquette podcast hosted by Travis and his wife Teresa), Wonderful! (a podcast about the little joys in life hosted by Griffin and his wife Rachel), to name a few. They also created a short-lived television show of MBMBaM that showed the brothers tackling queries in their hometown of Huntington, West Virginia. They have a lot of love for Huntington, and have created and funded multiple charities to help the community. The largest of these charities is the brothers’ yearly Candlenights show. Candlenights is a pan-religious, pansexual, personal pan winter holiday, and it acts as a combination of all of the different winter festivities.

These boys are my very favorite in the whole wide world, and I hope that this might convince you to give them a shot, for your sake. These fellas have given me an immeasurable amount of joy, and I feel the obligation to give this gift to as many people as possible. If you were to embark on this McElroy adventure, I wouldn’t recommend starting at the beginning. It takes a bit for them to come into their own. Just pick an episode with a title that intrigues you. That’s what I did, and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love. Thanks for reading, and kiss your dad square on the lips.

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Utah Students and Tattoos

How many students in high school actually have tattoos? Stick and pokes, professionally done tattoos, friends tattooing friends, how many students fall into that category?

If the students do have tattoos, what are their reasons and if they do notwhat are theirs? From my knowledge, very few students have real tattoos because many are under the age of 18. However, a few have a stick and pokes that they have given themselves 

The students with tattoos in Davis are a small population, I am one of the few included. The percent of students with tattoos at Davis High were hard to find, but I asked as many people as I could.

I asked friends, friends asked their friends, and found that the population of people tattooed is around 2%. These students didn’t surprise me when they said they had a tattoo, but none the less, they were all good students.

Almost all the students asked were seniors, few grades below 12th had any. The students without tattoos often come from religious backgrounds or their age has stopped them from doing so. I have also had students say that they were planning on getting a tattoo, or many, as soon as they were 18 or graduated.

A student who wished to stay anonymous said: 

I have a tattoo because I really wanted to express myself. I think other students don’t have tattoos because they are seen as rebellious if they do. The culture at Davis, in my opinion, stops students from expressing themselves and getting tattoos. I feel like students that are 18 want to get tattoos the second they are old enough because they have a new sense of freedom. But I feel like adults also tell you that you’ll regret it later and it makes students think twice about going through with it. 

Students all over Utah have tattoos, the percentage is too hard to figure out among the region because I seem to be the only one with the question. The areas where tattoos are most popular among high school students is difficult to determine, but areas with more gang affiliation could have students with more tattoos.

Before, you could often connect lower income and the lower class to tattoos among students and others, but now they seem to be so widespread among everyone that there is no association. 

The tattoo percentages among the students in Utah are low, but still there. In a review of 2180 students in Canada, only 8% had tattoos. One could compare this information to Utah or maybe the United States. It was also discovered that the U.S. has not done as many studies on high school students and tattoos as one would imagine they would have

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The Importance of Perspective in Life

Life is full of disappointments. That’s what we are told on a nearly daily basis from a young age. Something bad happens and immediately we are told “don’t worry, life is full of disappointments.” But, is life really full of disappointments like everyone tells us? The simple answer is no.

Sure, bad things happen to everyone, no matter what is done to prevent it. Just because bad things happen doesn’t mean that it’s a bad life. Often times, life is all about perspective. Carrie Scott talks about how going through life can be very tough, but often times perspective is key to seeing what you are missing.

“There are periods of time in your life that are really tough! It is important to remember that these times will pass. When your kids are young, it is very difficult to get through the day. You go to bed at night exhausted and wonder if you have done more harm than good. Now that my kids are grown, they tell me that they don’t remember all the times I got mad at them or yelled. They remember the good times that we had like holidays, vacations and funny mishaps. I have learned as a parent, not to beat yourself up for the bad days, but enjoy the good days and the surprises.” – Carrie Scott

Life is crazy and often times one can find themselves completely immersed in things that really don’t matter. That is where perspective comes into play, if you can take a step back from everything and almost see life differently, it can make all the difference in the world. Gabe Franklin talks about his outlook on life and how perspective can change your whole outlook on life.

“Life is full of trials and obstacles, you know? It really just goes back to that basic stuff on how you can’t love the sun without the rain or how you can’t experience happiness without knowing sadness. Essentially, if life is always good, and we never feel pain, heartache or sadness, then we will never truly know genuine happiness.” – Gabe Franklin

Why is it that changing your perspective can help your entire outlook on life? Thrive global explains that.

“As you take a different route, you are going to see different things; and you will see the same things from a different perspective, a different angle. When that happens, you see more dimensions and begin to understand on a deeper level what something actually is.” – Thrive Global

So, although bad things do happen, remember to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective. Life isn’t always bad.

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Healthy Replacements: Snacks

Start 2021 off right with switching out your unhealthy snacks for nutritious ones that will make you healthier and happier.

It can be very difficult to give up the delicious snacks that you are craving, so the best way to change up your diet is to find healthy alternatives for your unhealthy snacks. Finding nutritious food that is similar to junk food is perfect to satisfy your cravings while staying healthy.

Try replacing Chocolate for dark chocolate. If you make sure you’re eating organic dark chocolate instead of milk or white chocolate, you’ll find that it’s much better for you. Dark chocolate is very nutritious and contains fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium which are all good for you. It is also full of antioxidants, which help keep you young. Even try coat things like fruit and nuts into dark chocolate for a nutritious snack.

Replace you Chips with sweet potato wedges. Sweet potatoes have high level of beta-carotene and have been proven to raise levels of vitamin A in our blood. They’re also full of vitamins B6, C and D. Vitamin B6 may help reduce levels of degenerative diseases and reduce the risk of having heart attacks.

Pizza is extremely popular and delicious as well, but it is not very healthy for you due to the layers of cheese, thick dough and salty sausages. Instead of ordering pizza, why not make some homemade pitta pocket(s). Use warmed whole wheat pitta breads and fill them with spicy chicken and salad for a healthier dinner while still being rich in savory flavor.

Instead of eating ice cream, try eating frozen yogurt instead. Ice cream is essentially churned, frozen fat and sugar. Frozen yogurt is a lot lower in both and contains probiotics to help our digestive system. Try pairing with fresh fruit or nuts as a sweet and tasty replacement for your dessert.

Most cakes aren’t usually healthy, but if you want an option that has some benefits try a whole wheat organic banana bread. It’s full of fiber, and the whole wheat contains potassium magnesium and zinc.

Test out these healthy options to find new foods that you like with the bonus of them giving you nutritious value.

 

 

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Should we be Giving Tests After a Break?

Recently we got off of Christmas break, and every time we hit this time of year, I have to question, should we really be giving our semester finals right after we leave school for two weeks, or in our case, three weeks? The goal here is that I want to prove that it would have been better for us to finish tests before the break, as opposed to after the break, and we need to stop having the term play out this way with large tests being right after the Christmas break, where inevitably, none of the students are going to study heavily.

In an interview of psychotherapist with Susan Stiffelman, it was said that students need to give their bodies downtime to cope with stress, “I think it all ties in to fear” she says, and as such, breaks are important, that is undeniable, but giving a test right after that downtime doesn’t help because that will only result in poorer test results. This is shown pretty well in a study done by Hermann Ebbinghaus. Ebbinghaus claimed that “people will remember nonsense phrases just as well as new information.” In this study, done in 1885, he tests how people retain information over a period of time, ranging from 20 minutes to a full month, and in this study, it shows that as soon as 2 days only 27% of people retained the information given, and by 31 days it was only 20%, any time before that was exponentially larger, but that shows that as soon as 2 days much info is forgotten, and with that we can easily assume that information is not going to be retained all too well after a break, unless you know the topic very well.

Students should be well aware by now that they don’t perform very well directly after a break, maybe a month or so after, sure, because they got their down time, but certainly not directly after, and that’s what I’m arguing against. In a study done by the Huffington post it showed that students simply don’t do well in school for a bit after a long break, and that’s only to be expected.

That may be a convincing enough argument for the students, after all, they don’t want to test after a break either, but what about the teachers? Well, i believe that testing before a break is also advantageous for the teachers. Teachers really aren’t given much time to grade, but in the case of doing the test before a break, their given a much larger amount of time to do that grading. They shouldn’t have to work over the break of course, but it would give them much more leg room than what they already have.

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Why do People Watch Harry Potter in the Wintertime?

Every year in the winter, multiple television channels host a Harry Potter Movie Marathon. Even if you don’t watch them on live TV, you probably watch them on the discs or, you most likely know someone who does.

In the spirit of the season of Harry Potter, I decided to interview some avid Harry Potter fans to find out why they like Harry Potter, and why it is such a prominent winter tradition for so many people.
I interviewed 4 different people that I knew to be huge fans of Harry Potter. Their names are Kaitlyn Woodbrey, Abigail Fuhriman, Sophie Gilmore and Sarah Bishop.

The reasons for why each likes Harry Potter is mainly because they always have liked it. Kaitlyn, Sophie and Abigail all watched it growing up, and Sarah loves the world of fantasy.

“I love the Magical World, and the Dark Academia Style.” – Abigail Fuhriman

When asked why they liked it more than other series, they all agreed that the world-building had a lot to do with it. The ability to insert yourself into the book by having relatable characters as well as being able to find out your House, Patronus and much more on Pottermore pertaining to the Harry Potter world.

It’s nice that there are ways that you can somewhat be a part of the world through Pottermore and stuff, and even just watching the movies. And there’s merch available, like the cloaks and such with the Hogwarts houses on it where you can like, have some semblance to being a character in it, which is cool.” – Sarah Bishop

They also had other reasons, Sarah details the different layers to the fandom, such as the Marauders, Golden Gen and Next Gen. Abigail goes into how nice the fandom is, as well as the semblance of growing up that you get with both the movies and the books, as they get darker as they go on. Sophie agrees that you get to grow up with the series, and get to watch the actors grow up, which you don’t get to do with many other series.

Their favorite movies often differ from the books, as some things may not be portrayed as well or certain details get left out. Sarah, for example loves the third book Prisoner of Azkaban, but her favorite movie is the first. Both Sophie and Abigail agree that the sixth movie is the best, and the fourth book tends to shine for them. Kaitlyn chose the last book and the third movie.

When favorite characters come up, Sarah has a bit of a disclaimer:

 “I don’t know, most of my favorite characters don’t have that much actual “canon” to them, but Remus Lupin or Sirius Black was a really responsible father figure character, but he also was a huge mess.” – Sarah Bishop

Sophie loves Luna Lovegood, because of her relatability.

“My favorite character is Luna Lovegood, more because she just reminds me of myself a lot, so its fun to see her onscreen and in the books doing things that remind me of myself.” – Sophie Gilmore.

Kaitlyn and Abbey both agree that Hermione is their favorite character, as she brings a lot to the trio (Harry, Ron and Hermione) and it’s cool to see someone who is so smart being represented positively.

Now heading into their experience with the Harry Potter Universe, I asked them what their favorite experience, related to the series was. Sarah’s was being able to visit Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, Orlando.

“[It] was really cool because I was able to see it in real life and how I imagined it… I got a wand and got to go on rides and eat themed food.” – Sarah Bishop

She says. She loved the opportunity to almost live like she was in the Harry Potter Universe and enjoyed trying foods and drinks, such as Pumpkin Juice and Butterbeer.

Sophie agrees that Harry Potter World is definitely a memorable experience for her as well. She particularly liked the themed rides and snacks they had to offer.

“My favorite memory is probably watching the movies with my dad growing up.” – Kaitlyn Woodbrey

Abigail’s favorite memories also have to do with other people, although not all of them are her family.

“My favorite memory is when we got to meet Daniel Radcliffe (the Harry Potter actor) in New York and I was able to tell him I read the series 9 times. He said my name and was super nice, I also got to meet Tom Felton (the Draco Malfoy portrayer) and the Phelps Twins. (both Fred and George Weasley)” – Abigail Fuhriman

As for the reason of this interview, many had similar thoughts on why people tend to re-watch or re-read the series in the Winter, as well as why they themselves re-watch and re-read.

“Well almost every movie has a Christmas scene or a snowy scene and it reminds you of Christmas and the winter and makes it seem magical.” – Kaitlyn Woodbrey.

They also mentioned that during the holiday and winter season, many people tend to feel nostalgic and enjoy the familiarity that the series brings. Sophie and Abbey mention that they are nice movies to watch when you want to feel cozy and warm. 

The real question though, is have they watched them this winter, or do they even plan to?

Abbey, Kaitlyn and Sarah have all watched them, and plan on watching them again, and even re-reading the series this winter. Many mention that the amount of time they have due to quarantine, and it makes it so much easier to have time to read the books and watch the movies. Sophie has not yet but plans to also re-watch and re-read the series this winter.

As for me? Well, I have re-watched the series and have begun re-reading it. I love the series and it brings me a sense of nostalgia, like many of the interviewees were saying. What about you? Will you cozy up with some hot chocolate and re-watch the series this year? Or maybe even for the first time.

 

 

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What it’s like to experience “Culture Shock” in a European Country

Many people have heard about “Culture Shock”, but they don’t always know what it means or how it feels. Some people don’t even know what it is, so I’ll provide a short definition: “Culture Shock” is when you move or travel to a place outside of your hometown, state, or country and find yourself confused or struggling to adjust to the differences in that place’s every-day culture. Here is the story of my most major experience with Culture Shock.

In June of 2019, I spent nearly a month abroad for the first time, as I travelled across several cities in Northern Italy. It was interesting to see the first of many stark contrasts between Italy and the U.S. The first change I noticed was the transportation. Not many people use rental cars in Italy, so we travelled by bus and train very frequently. The size of roads and cars are also very small in comparison to what we’re used to. A two-lane road in Italy is the size of a one-lane road in America, and on average, the biggest car you see is a Mini Cooper, just to put things in perspective. Family size in Italy is also generally small, with four or less people, so our family of 5 didn’t fit into most cabs. Because of that, if we couldn’t travel by bus or train, we walked everywhere. Since trains and busses are typically only for long distances, we ended up walking up to 8 miles a day.

Other than travel, getting used to the city’s layout was a big change. The architecture is a mix of gothic and renaissance themes, with the buildings looking very ancient in comparison to ours. The buildings seem a lot smaller than ours since they don’t have many skyscrapers in Italy, and they’re usually barely taller than the average U.S. house. There is also much less traffic, and the drivers are usually better in Italy than in Utah, with only a few notable exceptions.

All cities also have what are known as “Spickets”. They are little pipes coming out of the ground with a faucet on top that you can turn, similar to a hose. Spickets provide cold, clean water for free to anyone who uses a it, so our family saved a lot of Euros by refilling our disposable bottles. However, they don’t put any ice in their drinks, as it is “too cold” for their teeth, so getting used to warm drinks was a major change for us.

The last thing that was a big shock for me was the change in religion. Due to the fact that it originated in Rome, Catholicism is the dominant religion across all of Italy. Almost everyone you meet is Catholic, and it’s not uncommon to see Nuns or Priests walking the street. Most families have a Catholic lineage going back hundreds or even thousands of years, and the thought of leaving the religion is considered Taboo. There is at least one major cathedral in each city, as well as several small churches, where members can go to worship Mary. One aspect of Catholic churches I found interesting is that you are allowed to walk into one and explore at any time, including pictures, unless there are signs saying otherwise. However, if you enter a church you must be quiet and respectful, as people frequently come there to pray or light candles to Mary and Jesus.

It was fun to explore these buildings and learn more about a different branch of Christianity that I didn’t know a lot about. Here in Utah, the major religion is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Now that I have experienced Culture Shock for myself, I found it to be a very fulfilling and worthwhile sensation for everyone to experience. You never know what you could learn from it! Even though it can be rough for many.

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Junk Drawers

Nearly everyone has a junk drawer, a drawer that people toss all of their random items into when there is nowhere else to put them.

“My family definitely has a junk drawer, often times there are batteries, writing utensils, and smaller items that get thrown into this drawer without a second thought. There have even been times where we have had to take the drawer out completely because there was too much stuff in them. However, something nice about having the junk drawer is that all smaller items make their way to it, so if something is missing than that is not only the first place that’s checked but, it also is where most lost items get found.” – Brooklynn Crowley

This brings up the question, should everyone have a junk drawer or would it be better to find a place for everyone to begin with?

“Junk Drawers are a necessary evil while it would be nice to have everything perfectly organized and easily available sometimes its not worth the headache thus we have the junk drawer to throw everything into until one day when you have to pour it out to search trough everything for something you put in there ages ago.” – Daniel Findlay

Question is, why were these drawers used for such a “trashy” purpose and why do so many people have them?

“I am pretty sure that everyone has at least one junk drawer in their house, some people may even have more. They’re just an easy and convenient place to keep things that don’t necessarily have set place. They were probably just made by people who had a lot of things and nowhere to keep them all, so they decided to keep all their odds and ends in one place. Honestly, it can even make things easier when you have a junk drawer because when you need to find something specific, you can just find it in the junk drawer.” – Grace Clark

As you can see, junk drawers are found in most households and can even sometimes be beneficial in day to day life.

 

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Ways to Grieve – All Similar None the Same

Everyone mourns different things in diverse ways, but is all grief the same in its basics? There are so many different emotions that we put under the category of grief. Anger, pain, hurt, confusion, anxiety, fear, and so many more outside and in between those. Even if two people feel the same feelings, their reactions to those emotions can differ anyway. Someone who feels anger might react by lashing out, cutting off the people they love, doing dangerous or irrational things that they may never have done before. Another person might suppress their anger, often leading to an explosion. 

So, what do they all have in common? In most cases, a substantial change in interests, personality, etc. Things like death, divorce, separation, or other big changes wreak havoc on our emotions. It can bring people together, make them stronger and create more intimate/close relationships. It can cause people to look at the bigger picture, force them to realize what they really value. For instance, when my brother passed away this last year, something interesting happened. His current girlfriend and his last two ex-girlfriends grew closer, forging a bond that can only be created by looking past something that, had he still been alive, would not have been considered possible. 

But the other end of the spectrum is equally powerful, and not so pretty. Too often, pain can drive people apart. Instead of bonding over shared pain, what was once a happy relationship can turn ugly. Fingers are pointed like guns, emotions explode, and in all the pain and confusion, people can forget what really matters. The emotions caused by grief can get so loud that the bigger picture is forgotten. The people who stand right in front of someone pale in comparison to the person they lost. 

Of course, these are only the more common products of grief. They can be experienced in various levels and doses. It all depends on the people. Everyone goes through grief differently, unpredictably, but I believe there is something that every version has in common. Change. When the life a person lives changes, that person changes too. They adapt. 

Whatever the change is, expected or not, needed or not, it happened. We might not get a say in what happens to us, but we do choose what we take from it. We can surrender to the pain, ignore everything else. We can numb it, explode. Or we can choose to learn, to take a deep breath, to focus on what matters no matter how much it hurts. It is hard, and the pain may never go away. But now is not always. It might feel like life will never get better, but this is just a chapter in a bigger story. A long chapter, yes, but one long chapter does not mean a book isn’t worth reading. Just like you can’t judge a book on its cover, you can’t judge a lifetime on a moment. 

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Fun Facts About The Korean Alphabet

While the language might not be so simple, the alphabet takes the average person less than a week to memorize.

Unlike many other languages, the Korean Alphabet doesn’t have upper case letters. There is no Aa Bb Cc, no fifty ways to pronounce the same vowel. In fact, Korea is pretty strict when it comes to pronunciation. One tiny mispronunciation and you might say an entirely different word. The alphabet is the easy part.

There are 24 letters in the Korean alphabet. Plain Consonants, Tense Consonants, Aspirated Consonants, and Vowels. All that may seem like a lot, but it’s simple in it’s theory. The characters that make similar noises look similar. For instance: ㅂ, ㅍ, ㅃ, and ㅁ are all made in the same part of your mouth. The first three all make variations of a b/p noise. The first, ㅂ, makes a soft b sound. The second, ㅍ, makes an aspirated p sound. The third, ㅃ, makes a sharp tense p. The last, ㅁ, makes an m sound.

Another example: ㄱ, ㅋ, and ㄲ. The first makes a plain g sound. The second makes a slightly hard k. The last makes a tense, sharp kk.

Now for the vowels. All the vowels have a slightly similar look, made up of vertical and horizontal lines.ㅏ(a),ㅑ(ya),ㅓ(eo),ㅕ(yeo), ㅗ(o), ㅛ(yo), ㅜ(u), ㅠ(yu), ㅡ(eu), ㅣ(e). As you may have noticed, when the character has two of the shorter lines, it makes a y sound at the beginning.

These vowels can’t make a word all by themselves. If you were to simply write ㅏ, that would be bad grammar. You can’t just have the vowels by themselves. They need to be accompanied by a consonant. That is where ㅇ comes in. ㅇ is another character that may seem confusing, but really isn’t too complicated. When placed at the bottom of a character block (Ex: 성), ㅇ makes an ng sound. When placed anywhere else in the character block (ex: 의), it is silent, a placeholder. When a word begins with a vowel, you put ㅇ in front of the vowel so it isn’t by itself. For example, the word no in Korean is said an-ee-yo. It is spelled 아니요.

As scholar Jeong In-Ji said: “A wise man can learn it in one morning…and a fool can learn it in the space of ten days.” Of course, learning a whole new language can be very hard. I don’t plan on learning to speak Korean fluently, but just learning the alphabet can open up new doors, even if you don’t need it every day.

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The truth about Hermione Granger

Ever since both the Harry Potter books and Movies came out, people have praised Hermione and labelled her as a role model. But the question is, do they actually mean it?

Hermione Granger has been called a nerd, a girl boss, and widely celebrated for being clever, brave, determined and getting good grades. Many, if not all, Harry Potter fans look up to her as a role model, and many will name her as their favorite Harry Potter character.

Everybody has that person in their class that is a know-it-all, and quite obnoxious about it. They constantly raise their hand, get upset when they don’t get called on and smile smugly when they get the right answer. They argue with you quite easily and tend not to back down unless you say that they are right. And if they aren’t? Then it takes them quite a long time to admit it. Nobody really likes them, and if they do, then they certainly don’t like the know-it-all aspects of that person. Even though it’s rare that someone actually likes those traits, Hermione is praised for having those traits. So what is the truth? Do people like those traits? Or do they not?

Growing up, I was as close to Hermione as one could be, without being a British witch. I was constantly raising my hand in class to answer, and mumbling the answer under my breath when someone else got called on and got the answer wrong. It wasn’t because I thought myself to be infinitely smarter than others, it was just the way I learned. Participating in class in the easiest way to learn and make connections, and answering questions was the easiest way as I had to quickly search for the answer in my head before raising my hand.

In my History and English classes I shined specifically, and my hand would rocket up whenever a question was asked. If I was particularly excited, I would jump out of my chair and stand up or kneel on my chair. (I’ve always been short, so it also had to do with the fact that I wanted to be sure that the teacher saw me.) I would get my homework done on time, and even help my friends on homework. I could pass tests and quizzes without studying although I often did.

I even have some of her uglier traits. Refusing defeat if I think I’m right, piping up with unwarranted answers to questions as well as advice. I admit, I was a bit annoying growing up, but so was Hermione.

The only difference is that I wasn’t as liked as Hermione. I was often called a know-it-all, a smart aleck and anything else you can think of along those lines. I didn’t really mind being called that most of the time, as I am the first one to admit that I am a bit of a know-it-all, and I had know-it-alls in my life that annoyed me, so I could definitely see why people would call me that. But for some reason, the people in my life weren’t saying the same thing about Hermione, which confused me.

Sure in the books, she is called a know-it-all, obnoxious, annoyingly smart and she is characterized as so. She was argumentative, I mean she has a huge argument with Ron that results in them not speaking to each other in almost every book! Even in the beginning movies she is characterized as such, although the later movies do glorify her quite a bit.

I loved Hermione. Here was this girl, that was so unapologetically smart, who corrected her teachers and friends, and who was passionate about things like equal rights (S.P.E.W anyone?) and would argue them to the death. Who was willing to fight for what she believed in, no matter the odds. She was who I was and wanted to be.

Later on, I had gained some friends who were huge Harry Potter nerds, and loved Hermione as much as I did and even felt that they related to her as well. They would be the first to praise Hermione when ever her name was brought up.

That’s why it hurt, when they were the ones who called me names like “know-it-all” behind my back. It hurt when they were upset that I was passionate about things like equal rights and wouldn’t back down from an argument about such. They were upset that I “didn’t have to try” in school (although I did), and often gave me backhanded compliments that portrayed such.

I didn’t understand. They loved her for being smart and passionate, but hated me for it? when I had asked a mutual friend what they were saying about me behind my back I certainly hadn’t expected this.

I understood it coming from other people, who didn’t care for the series as much, I definitely agreed that I had those traits and that they were annoying, the hypocrisy stung though. Mainly because I couldn’t understand why they would hate me for the traits that they loved her for.

I  truly don’t think that they’ve thought about it though, the fact that they disliked Hermione’s traits in real life. When being a stubborn, smart-aleck wasn’t  useful to defeating Voldemort, or other magical enemies, they aren’t traits people like. But that’s the truth about Hermione that many people don’t realize.

If you took Hermione out of the magical world, and placed her in your life, you wouldn’t like her very much.

It’s them same in real life too, at least to a degree. If knowing facts off the tip of my tongue was useful in a competition, people loved me. When I was on their side in a debate, people loved me, and those traits. But in any other instance, where those traits weren’t useful to them, they didn’t care. Which goes for a lot of things in life I guess, but why is Hermione praised so consistently, if those traits aren’t always useful? Or even likeable?

I’m not going to tell you that “You can’t praise Hermione, if you aren’t going to praise the smart-alecks in your life” or anything like that. People like that are annoying are annoying, I get it, I’ve known other know-it-alls besides myself, and I don’t really like them either. I just want you to think about it, maybe change your opinion a bit. get the ball rolling. Do you still like Hermione now? Obviously I do, but I relate to her too much not to.

Or, does seeing that the know-it-alls in your life are actually just real-life Hermiones give you a bit more appreciation for them? Obviously you don’t have to love them, I don’t love them (except for the rest of my family who are all huge know-it-alls.) but, I do appreciate them just a tad more after reading this. they still annoy me, and get on my nerves (Imagine living in a house full of them, I know) but i do appreciate these qualities a little bit more and I hope you do to.

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Changes: are they more harm than good?

Everyone gets excited for the end of the semester, but there’s always some mixed feelings. From taking tests to homework deadlines, everyone’s scrambling to get everything done.

Students and teachers alike are overloaded with work at the end of the semester because of the procrastination and lack of motivation that has been building up over the past couple months. It’s the same story every single term/semester.

“The stresses of COVID have overwhelmed my soul!”

Said one teacher.

There’s so much stress and anxiety that comes with end of the term finals, midterms, or projects. Often, these projects encompass everything students have learned throughout the term or semester, depending on the class. These cause students to become over-stressed and  they feel like there’s so much pressure on them from everyone to get good grades when, sometimes, it’s just not possible. They’re still working hard and they’re still doing their work, but they don’t get the scores they want on their assignments and tests.

“As long as they have everything turned in and done, the grade doesn’t matter to me.”

Said an anonymous parent.

Some students don’t feel the pressure to get good grades from parental figures, but from themselves. Students strive for perfection. Everyone wants to get that 4.0 perfect report card, but often fall short. While there are strategies and ways to overcome procrastination, some students thrive off of these methods and are relieved when the semester terminates because it’s a new schedule. So many kids here at Davis High burn out and don’t have the energy emotionally or physically to do anything and that’s something that needs to be fixed.

This is what we call monotony, which is something that can be changed. While the A day/B day schedule helps reduce the repetition, having the same classes every day of every week like we have been doing for the past couple of months diminishes the progress we have accomplished with 5 days a week, switching off the days of classes.

Davis High School was able to go through a hybrid phase of school days and it seemed to be working. There was no 2-week quarantine, practically no cases, and most students were thriving with the new schedule. Students were given an emotional break day from school and were able to regroup themselves and reset without having to go to school day after day after day after day. Yes, four days a week is better than 5, but it still isn’t enough for some students. They need that day to refresh their minds and have a day completely dedicated to the homework and lessons they learned the day before.

Finding out what works for each individual school is tough, but it’s important that each school finds a schedule that prevents monotony and relieves some of the pressure that students feel. Once the school finds a schedule that works during these unprecedented times, stick with it! Why change what is working so well? Who knows.

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Spotify Wrapped 2020

If you’ve logged onto social media in the past week (and who hasn’t?) then you’ve definitely seen somebody post about their Spotify wrapped list. Spotify wrapped is released every December and gives each listener a personalized list about their music history from this year. 

For example, Spotify goes over all your listening history and tells you which song you listened to the most. This is sometimes unexpected.  But most often, it is expected and not very surprising. However, it is still cool to see which song you listened to the most throughout the whole year. 

Spotify will also provide you with the number of minutes you listened to in total. This shows how obsessive people are over music or not. Personally, I listened to 76,386 minutes of music, or 53 days straight.  Which definitely a little obsessive.

It gives you other facts, such as how many artists you listened to, and how many different genres you explored. Spotify also gives you a top 100 list of the songs you listened to the most, which is also really cool. If you have used Spotify for a while, it’s interesting to see how much your music has changed throughout the years.  

Another thing that comes along with Spotify wrapped is seeing the endless social media posts about individual listening history. Some argue that it’s annoying to see so many posts about others music. Others enjoy seeing what everyone is listening to and encourage people to post their individual statistics from Spotify. Personally, I think it is interesting to see everyone’s top artists and songs from the year. 

As bad as 2020 has been, it’s no doubt that some really good music has come out of this year. The worldwide quarantine from earlier this year was definitely boring. The release of new songs and albums helped to release the burden of how difficult that time was for everyone.  

Spotify wrapped is always a cool way to end the year. However, I think that it especially brought some extra happiness this year than it usually does because of how difficult this year has been. The end of 2020 is finally in sight, and the release of Spotify wrapped is just another thing signifying how close the new year is.

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Faux tree? Fo sho or no

In today’s day and age, most people opt to have a fake Christmas tree rather than a real all natural tree. In this article I will address both sides of this argument and let you decide which you believe is actually best.

The main argument against fake trees is that they are bad for the environment. Manufacturing fake trees contributes green house gasses to the atmosphere and when you throw away the tree, it takes several years to break down and  adds to the copious amounts of pollution in our oceans and landfills. Other than the environmental concerns, there is also the fact that fake trees don’t have the same magic. You don’t get the smell of a real tree or the experience of going to a tree lot and picking out the perfect tree. You don’t get the memories of chasing your siblings or family members around with sticky sap on your hands. Real trees can create memories that fake trees can’t.

On the other side of the argument is convenience. With a fake tree, you don’t have to worry about going to a tree lot early enough to get a good one. You don’t have to worry about the mess of falling needles or sap getting everywhere, and you don’t have to worry about watering the tree. Overall, having a real tree is seen as a hassle. Many will say that fake trees are bad for the environment, but isn’t cutting down more than 50 million trees each year around the world worse for the environment? We are cutting down healthy trees that are in their prime and could be doing photosynthesis and keeping our earth healthy for multiple years. On average, people keep the same fake tree for about 10 years which is a lot longer than people keep real trees. Just because most fake trees are made of plastic, does not mean that all fake trees are. If someone has concerns about the plastic of the fake tree, there are several more eco-friendly fake trees that are made out of more biodegradable materials that people could get.

There are a lot of different factors to consider when thinking about this argument, and, overall, it doesn’t matter what I or anyone thinks. This is a choice you get to make on your own; you get to decide which arguments are important to you and what stance you will take on the faux tree debate.

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Mental Illness Epidemic in Utah

Mental illness is something that is often not discussed and thought of as a sort of taboo subject, at least in Utah. Utah has a suicide rate of 22.7% with an estimated total of 663 suicides per year.

“In 2019, suicide was the leading cause of death for Utahns ages 10 to 17 and 18-24. It is the second leading cause of death for ages 25 to 44 and the fifth leading cause of death for ages 45-64,” according to ibis.health.utah.gov.

Many people in Utah suffer silently from mental illnesses because of the surrounding stigmatization in the culture.

Aliyah Clark, 20 from Kaysville, Utah talks about her experience with mental illnesses living in Utah.

“I have PTSD, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphia, passive suicidal ideation.” Utah is an absolute living hell, there’s so much stigma around mental illness that still exists, especially in Utah. There is no way to determine whether or not it is a cause but, in my opinion, there is definitely a correlation between the LDS church and mental illness, which is very ironic because in my experience the church has contributed to continuing the stigmatization of mental illness.”

As a result of the discretization of mental illness throughout Utah, there is a lack of knowledge surrounding the issue. People do not understand the effect their discretization has on people who are struggling to manage mental illnesses.

Liv Watts talks about how she feels the lack of understanding surrounding mental illness has affected her life.

“I have depression and at times it has been pretty severe. Living in Utah I feel has had more of a negative effect than a positive. There isn’t very much awareness of mental illness, especially between my peers. I feel we also live in a very judgmental environment so it’s hard to be open about my mental illness because people don’t understand or try to understand.”

Could the stigmatization surrounding this topic be due to the high religious population in Utah? Out of the 3.1 million residents in Utah, 62% of them are part of the LDS religion. This religion tends to look down upon those with mental illness. Often times it is correlated with not being a “righteous” enough person.

This person who shares their story on how the culture in Utah has affected them has asked to remain anonymous,
“I feel like in Utah standards are so high due to the Mormon religion and it is a lot of pressure added on to what teens already struggle through. For me, my family is very Mormon and I didn’t believe as much as they did and they would judge me so hard for my clothing and how I acted and it pushed my depression over the deep end which led me to attempting to take my life. Then on top of that I was judged for trying to take my life because of how horrible of a sin it is. I didn’t receive the help I needed for recovery from my family instead I had to reach out on my own.”

Alongside the previous quote, Addy Packer, 18 talks about how the LDS religion and culture Utah has played into her depression and anxiety.

“One of the biggest things with the Utah/ Mormon culture that has affected my depression is that many of the Mormons believe suicide is a sin and if someone died by suicide or thought about it then they would go to hell. Also growing up in the LDS church and having anxiety, I always felt like I was being judged at church.”

To many outsiders, Utah may seem to be a beautiful place where everyone is happy and there is not a care in the world. However, if you take a closer look into the lives of those with mental illnesses, you will see that is not the case. Utah is a hostile environment for those who suffer from mental health issues. Something has to change, so people who need it can get help without being looked down upon or judged.

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Women’s Winter Fashion

Winter is definitely the most boring season, but your outfit doesn’t have to be.  Fashion trends are constantly changing. From puffer jackets to turtlenecks, there’s a large variety of styles trending this winter. 

Living in Utah, something to be mindful of is the cold weather. For this reason, layering provides both style and warmth. Simple outfits can be elevated from layering. From example, throwing on a turtleneck under a simple t-shirt and adding a jacket on top will make a basic outfit look more put together. And as a bonus, two extra layers will be much warmer and more comfortable.   

Turtlenecks are versatile and can go with so many different outfits. Adding a turtleneck under a crewneck sweatshirt adds an extra detail. Sweater vests are another current trend. When paired with a long sleeve-shirt, it makes the outfit more practical for winter.  

Another trend this winter is matching sets. For example, matching sweatshirt and sweatpants can be cute, comfortable, and warm. This outfit can be worn for lounging around the house, going to school, or running errands. You can elevate this outfit by simply throwing on some cool sneakers. An extra jacket can be thrown on top for extra warmth if needed. 

Weren’t we all embarrassed for no reason to wear a puffer jacket to school in elementary school? Me too. However, one of my favorite winter 2021 outerwear trends are puffer jackets. They are both functional and fashionable, so you don’t have to pick between the two.  

The possibilities that come with winter fashion are endless. This allows for a wide range of creativity that you can express. And, of course, pairing each outfit with a matching mask will help to keep you warm, and safe.

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Is Disney World safe?

Walt Disney World is one of the most popular and loved theme parks. The food, rides, and overall magic feeling that it brings is what keeps people coming to the parks. However, with the new Covid-19 restrictions, is Disney World the same as it used to be? Is it unsafe? 

I got the chance to go to Magic Kingdom in early January. Disney World is only allowing a 35% capacity in all of their parks, so you have to reserve tickets multiple weeks in advance to ensure entrance into the park.  

Once you reach the park, you will get temperature scanned before being allowed to enter. I liked that they were doing this because it made me feel more secure that I wasn’t going to get sick from the parks.  

Next, masks are always required. Seriously, if you take it off at all in lines or while walking around, an employee will immediately ask you to put it back on. I almost got kicked out because my mom made me take my mask off for a picture and we got in trouble (do it for the ‘gram.. right?)But in all seriousness, I think that making masks mandatory was a smart decision by Disney. And, for the most part, everyone was following the rules. 

Now you might be wondering about lines. If you’ve been to Disney World (or any amusement park) in the past, you know that lines used to mean being crammed next to weird strangers. However, thanks to Covid-19, this is not the case anymore! There are stickers on the ground in every line demonstrating where to stand to remain 6 feet apart from other groups. 

Sanitizing stations were also available at every ride. I found this smart because I was able to sanitize both before and after getting onto a ride. 

Overall, my experience with Walt Disney World while practicing Covid-19 precautions was a positive one. I felt safe and never worried about getting sick because of the temperature checks, mask requirement, and line spacing. The magic of Disney World was still alive, and I enjoyed the experience just as much as I have in the past. 

 

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2020 Christmas Movie Watch List

These are the top 5 best Christmas movies of all-time. Based on mine and others’ opinion, this is the list that most accurately reflects the opinions of Davis High. The following movies are family favorites and watching them is a tradition for a lot of families.

“This is the most accurate list I have ever seen, more accurate than my calculator actually,” Will Sommer states.

5. The Santa Clause

This is always a great movie to sit down and watch with the family, and as a kid, it always gave people hope that your dad was secretly Santa. The character Charlie is great, which is why it is such a fan favorite to Christmas movie lovers.

4.  Die hard

This is not your traditional Christmas movie, but came in at number 4 for a reason and the people say they love to mix it up and watch it this time of year. It is an action movie but has a Christmas touch behind it. It has always been a joy for millions to watch and some say this might be the best Christmas movie to ever be made.

3. The Grinch

We all know the Grinch is an embodiment of the spirit of Christmas. It took him a while to figure out what the true meaning of Christmas was, but people still fell in love with the hairy, green, stinky creature who we call the Grinch. This has some of the funniest scenes in Christmas movies.

2.  Elf

A movie about a caring and lovable elf traveling to find his dad is bound to be a good movie. From throwing snowballs like a machine gun to capturing the hearts of his family, we all know it is the funniest/dumbest movie out there and came to a fan favorite at number 2.

1. Home Alone

A childhood fear of being home alone is brought to life in this goofy Christmas movie. Kevin, the kid protagonist, went through it all after he was left on Christmas vacation.He had to figure out how to live by himself and protect himself from people trying to rob his house. This kid shows the true meaning of Christmas; that Christmas is family time.

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All the new Star Wars series coming to Disney Plus

Disney recently announced nine new Star Wars series that will be streaming exclusively on Disney Plus in the future years. The series takes place all over the Star Wars universe and spans from before the prequel era to the recent sequel era. Here are all the series in chronological order and everything you need to know about them.

The Bad Batch

Based on “The Bad Batch” clone squadron that first appeared in the final season of Star Wars the Clone Wars. The Bad Batch will take place during Order 66 and the Jedi purge. The show will most likely premiere sometime in 2021 due to the fact that you can already watch the teaser trailer on YouTube.

 

Visions 

Not much is known about Star Wars Visions. It will be a collection of short films animated by “the world’s best Japanese anime creators” says Disney. Visions will be coming to Disney Plus in 2021.

 

Obi-Wan Kenobi

The Obi-Wan Kenobi series has been in the works for a few years now. This series will only be one season-long taking place ten years after Revenge of the Sith. It will star Ewan McGregor reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hayden Christensen reprising his role as Anakin/Darth Vader.

Andor

This series focuses on Captain Cassian Andor and his adventures prior to Rogue One. It will star Diego Luna reprising his role as Cassian. The series won’t premiere until 2022 but you can watch a sizzle reel on YouTube showing off some new scenes, concept art, and stills from behind the scenes.

Willow

This is the series with the least amount of information on it. It will star Warwick Davis and judging by the name and cover art it is suspected to be about the Ewoks presumably on Endor after the 2nd death star blew up. Willow will most likely premiere in 2023.

 

Ahsoka

This series will be based around the fan-favorite character Ahsoka Tano. After making her first live-action debut in season two of The Mandalorian, this series will take place after Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens. This series will most likely follow Ahsoka on her journey to find Grand Admiral Thrawn, which was teased at in The Mandalorian. Ahsoka will come to Disney Plus in 2023.

 

Rangers of the New Republic

Rangers of the New Republic will take place around episodes 6 and 7. It will focus on the scout rangers for the New Republic patrolling the outer rim and the adventures they go on. It will most likely arrive on Disney Plus in 2023-2024.

 

The Acolyte

Star Wars: Acolyte will focus on The Sith and different Sith relics. It is unknown when it will premiere. It is assumed around 2024-2025.

 

Lando

There is currently nothing known about this series other than it is about Lando Calrissian. The biggest question mark on this series is if Donald Glover will reprise his role as Lando from Solo: A Star Wars Story. This series will most likely come to Disney Plus in 2026.

 

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Candy Canes-Fruity or Minty

The debate has existed as long as the fruit candy has existed. Which candy cane flavor is the best. Fruit Flavored or Mint Flavored?

Each Christmas when Candy Canes are given out, my friends and I always fight about which flavor is the best. While my friends are usually stoutly for the Fruit Flavored, I won’t eat a candy cane unless it’s mint. I absolutely despise the fruit flavored ones. I just think they’re gross.

The first mint candy canes dates back to the 19th century, perhaps even as far back as the 17th century and have reigned supreme since, although the fruit ones have popped up more recently and became quite as popular as well.

Although I absolutely despise the fruit flavored ones, many enjoy them and despise the mint. The main reasoning is that it tastes like toothpaste. What I want to know is what toothpaste they are using that tastes like Candy Canes?

Meagan says that mint are the best by far and she’s noticed an unfortunate change lately.

“I love mint, but it’s hard to find them. They are slowly being replaced by fruit ones and it’s disappointing”-Meagan Cheney

I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to a party and all they had were the fruit flavored ones. Honestly I think they taste like cough drops. But like I said before, the fruit fans think that the mint ones taste like toothpaste.

“I like mint because it’s normal to me.” Lindsey Madsen

Mint is such a classic flavor at Christmastime, why would you want to get rid of such a great, traditional flavor?

Others like the fruit ones. Mainly the rainbow cherry ones.

“I like the Jolly Rancher ones the best” -Lizzie Bodily

Something weird I’ve noticed is that I have never met anyone who was in the middle. It’s like black licorice, you either like it or you don’t. You either like mint or you like fruit. There isn’t an in between. Like, usually there is a gray area, but not with candy canes I guess.

What do you think? Are you a devout fan of the fruit? Or are you a stout believer of mint supremacy. Or are you someone who IS in the middle? The odd one out? Whatever you are, just know this, you don’t need to get into a heated argument like my friends and I have. It’s just a candy cane.

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My relationship with Chocolate

I love chocolate. It’s my favorite flavor of ice cream and cake, both of which I don’t really like unless it is chocolate flavored. Sadly though, I have developed an allergy to chocolate, or rather an intolerance.

My whole life I have eaten chocolate, and loved it. The problem really started when I was around nine and on vacation. Whenever I eat chocolate ice cream and went on a car ride after, I got sick.

Now, I don’t think it was car sickness as 1. I don’t get motion sick really and 2. The second time, I had eaten the ice cream and then went to sleep in a hotel, I got sick the next morning on an hour drive to the airport. There was around 8 hours in between the car ride and the drive.

Another reason it wasn’t car sickness was that years later the same thing would happen if I had just walked 1/4 of a mile back to my house from the local Ice Cream Shoppe. I just figured that I should only eat chocolate ice cream if I could lay down afterwards. I didn’t really make the connection of an allergy until later.

When I was 16 years old (I’m 17 now) I was talking to my friends about our favorite candy flavors. I said “Yeah, I like chocolate, but it burns your throat when you eat it.” They all looked at me and said “No, no it doesn’t. Are you allergic to chocolate?”

I hadn’t ever thought of that. Was I? I went home later and asked my family if chocolate burned their throats. The consensus then was “No.” I was confused. I had been raised believing that everyone’s throats burned when they eat chocolate. To me it was so normal, that no one talked about it.  If they did, it would be like “Rain makes you wet” something so obvious and known, there was no point in talking about it.

I had no idea that I was the odd one out

Then I moved and suddenly my reactions to chocolate started getting worse, it seemed that whenever I eat more than one fun size candy bar, I would get nauseous. The more I eat, the sicker I got. It took until November of this year, when I got extremely sick after eating my sister’s chocolate birthday cake that my parents were like “No more for you, you can only have a little bit on special occasions”

I love chocolate, and it seemed like all of the sudden I couldn’t eat it. Why now? Why do I have to give it up after I grew to love it?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this had been happening all of my life. Not with all chocolate, (though to be fair it’s not even all chocolate now) but I would get sick when eating really rich, chocolatey foods like brownies or good Hot Chocolate.

It isn’t a new thing, but it seems that with my age, my sensitivity to chocolate grows. I can still eat Nutella and Oreos without getting sick, but how much longer until those are taken away?

I see so many people eating chocolate and serving chocolate dishes and I just want to eat it with them. Sometimes I still do. I can’t give it up entirely.

The jury is still out on whether I am actually allergic to chocolate, or if I am actually just allergic to a commonly used additive, or something used during the refinery process. But for now I ‘try’ to avoid all chocolate, just in case. (Except  for Oreos and Nutella, still not allergic to those!)

So, all in all, it kind of sucks to be allergic to chocolate. Especially because I have been eating it my whole life and I know what it tastes like. I just want to go back to the happy days of being able to eat what I want, whenever I wanted. I want to drink hot chocolate when it gets cold and eat brownies and cake with others. Sadly, I cannot.

In the meantime I tend to prefer vanilla or caramel flavored things, at least, until we can find out a solution that allows me to eat chocolate again. For now thought, Caramel is my favorite flavor.

 

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2021 resolutions

The time has come my friends…the year of tyranny has finally come to a glass-shattering end. 2020, aka officially the absolute worst year of all time, is over! Although we all wish that Covid-19, wearing masks, and the global pandemic would come to a stop as well, we all know that is not the case. However, we need not focus on the past and only trudge on into the future. The end of the Covid-19 pandemic is uncertain and most likely not anytime soon, yet there will be a day when we no longer have to suffocate under masks and carry hand sanitizer with us everywhere we go. Until that day comes, we can only stay positive, hopeful, and alive. In order to succeed in this and continue living life, setting goals for the next year is a great idea…2021 New Years resolutions baby!

Of all the years in our lives, this may be the most important one to create New Years resolutions for. After months of darkness, sadness, and uncertainty enveloping the world, we must not lose hope…we must stay strong.

As for the specific resolutions, there are several aspects and key components to include on the list. You want to make sure you are imaginative, healthy, thriving, challenged, excited, motivated, inspired, supported, creative, and above all…happy. Because we can all agree, after 2020, we need some happiness.

Some classic, yet great resolutions could be to hit the gym, workout more, eat healthier and smarter, learn an instrument or language, make new friends, travel, and so on. Yet, with our current situation, some innovative resolutions could be: do everything in your power to prevent the spread of Covid, find ways to escape the madness and be more positive, or do what you can to help others who have been affected by the virus.

Students at Davis High gave us some insight, tips, and ideas for resolutions,

“Try and focus on what makes life worth living, find that source of happiness in your life and use it to motivate yourself, grow, and do NOT give up in 2021.”

“This one is kind of basic, but get moving and workout more. Exercise helped me get through tough times in 2020 and it’s always good to get into shape. 2021 is the year to get ripped guys!”

“Go outside more, be with friends, and try not to let the pandemic get to you. Obviously follow the guidelines and stay home if you’re sick, but for 2021 just make it a goal to LIVE.”

“Make 2021 a PARTAY!!!!!”

All these suggestions are wonderful, so make sure to set some goals for yourself throughout this coming year. Don’t let 2020 drag you to the bottom and leave you there! We’ll all get through this together and one day it’ll be over, but for now reflect on this past year and set some resolutions for yourself!

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Don’t Catch the Winter Blues!

As 2020 comes to a close and winter sets in, it is more important than ever to protect our mental health. As cheery as the holiday season can be, winter is also long and dark which, paired with the current circumstances of the world, can cause a lot of people to fall into a slump. Experiencing seasonal depression in the winter is very common, but, luckily, there are many ways to prevent and relieve it.

One very popular and effective way to prevent seasonal depression is by practicing hygge- embracing coziness and comfort to engender contentment and well-being. This lifestyle has been adopted by countless people and has become a focus for many during the holiday season. As the holidays become hectic, it is important to take time for yourself to focus on the small daily pleasures. Embracing the coziness of winter by curling up in a blanket by the fire, wearing fuzzy socks, making yourself a nice cup of hot chocolate, or watching a movie with your loved ones can influence your happiness tremendously.

Another great way to promote winter wellness is by finding and participating in winter activities that you enjoy. Participating in snow sports like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing is an amazing way to maintain your well-being both physically and mentally. Other excursions and activities such as going to see the Christmas lights, sledding, ice skating, and snowman-building are also good for your health because they take you outside and allow you to have fun.

There are also countless other really simple ways to boost your mood this winter. Some examples are making your bed, opening the blinds, exercising, writing letters and giving gifts to people, limiting screen time, getting dressed and ready each day, intellectually stimulating yourself by reading books and listening to podcasts, eating healthily, and drinking lots of water. All of these things do not take much time at all and can be done easily (even in a pandemic), and will have a monumental impact 0n your mental health this season.

This year has undoubtedly taken a toll on our emotional well-being, which is why it is so important that it becomes a focus of our attention this winter. If we devote more of our time and energy into protecting our mental health, this holiday season and the new year will be a happy time for all of us!

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Long Hair Highschool

The high school life is complicated enough as it is. But what if you add another thing to make it better or worse. Long hair is a thing that a boy does not usually have. But is has been in style and being a boy that has it there is some plus sides and some down sides.

My high school experience has been pretty good. I have not had any issues, but my hair really makes people say some things. I have been called a girl and people have told me that they did not know they invited the young women into the class. It is funny as long as you know they are joking and that they don’t mean to hurt you.

There is one benefit that I really like. And that is because it makes me stand out. It gives people a really easy way to recognize and find me. When people first look at me they look at my hair because it is unusual for a boy to have as long of hair as I have. And it is an easy way to get attention.

It also gives me something to talk about. A lot of people ask about my hair and it is easy to make a conversation out of it. It is a good way to talk and they usually ask a lot of questions about it. They ask how long it is and how long I have been growing it out for.

Honestly, I love my hair. It is a good way to joke around with people and a good way to talk to people. It is a little more maintenance, but it shows who I am and shows that there are ways other people can live. It is a great way to live and get recognized. I would recommend doing something similar for everyone.

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Behind the Mask

Imagine this. Teenagers are walking into their classes, the halls of the schools are buzzing with the latest gossip, you hear someone yell your name, so you turn to say hello. The bell rings and students file into their classes but the talking does not stop, and the teachers are trying to get their students to be quiet and pay attention.

This is the regular school day we all know, but this year is different. On March 13, 2020, Davis high school was shut down and the requirements for wearing a mask were put into place, we were told to not go to any social event, to stay away from others in fear of being infected, and to stay indoors as much as possible.

Then in August of 2020, school started again. Students could finally socialize again, they could be in clubs, and they could have fun. But something had changed, students began to avoid each other, teachers are forcing kids to talk rather than begging them to be quiet instead. Why is that? How did students go from being social to this level of antisocialism in a matter of a few months? I believe it is the masks.

Masks affect the psychology of us as humans more than we know. The number one complaint of being forced to wear a mask is “they are hard to breathe in”, so of course we aren’t going to talk every chance we get when we can barely breathe in them in the first place, this complaint has gone so far that the teachers have been given a face shield instead of a mask for when they lecture.

Renowned therapist David Christensen says, “Since the COVID-19 virus started to affect our lives, I have noticed that people have become less social, I believe that our masks have become muzzles”.

Ashton Johnson, a student at Davis High, says “Masks have subconsciously taught us to not only stay away from others but to fear being around them because of the virus. I understand why we should wear masks, but it restricts us in so many more ways than we understand”.

As a student, I wondered how this antisocialism could be changed, and so as a journalist I conducted an experiment, I went out and interviewed 10 students about their lives and how they have been affected this year. For the interview, we went to a secluded spot and stat six feet apart, with both our masks on I asked easy questions that got more personal as we went, every response I had got were short answers as if the students just wanted to get this interview over with.

About halfway through the interview I took my mask off and said they could do the same. Most of the students were surprised when I told them they could take off their masks, but all the students happily did so. I then went on with the interview, but the questions I asked this time were actually the same questions but asked in a different way so that the students could not tell it was the same question, the answers this time weren’t short, the answers actually became personal and for a few students, their answers became emotional.

Two of the interviews I conducted ended up being twice as long as I had planned on it being, even though both sets of questions I had asked were extremely similar. I then realized as David Christensen had, the masks we wear have become our muzzles.

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