Highland Park falls short of a State appearance once again

The Scots lost for the second time in a row, in the Section Finals, to Fridley, a team they had beat earlier in the season. Had the Scots beat Fridley, they would have made their first State Tournament appearance in the school’s history. The Scots came back from a 28-7 deficit, but it wasn’t enough in the end as they fell 49-40.

This season has been full of many up and downs.  Some of the highlights include beating the Fridley Tigers in the regular season at their homecoming.  The Highland Scots also got the Musket back as they beat the Central Minutemen, at Central, beating them 21-14 and ending a 6 game losing streak in the musket bowl to Central.

Next season the Scots will be facing 5A teams, unlike this year where they faced many 4A teams, so they will see much better competition then they did this year.  The Scots will also be losing key Seniors, such as team captains Will Conzet, Amitri Collins-Westlund, and Antonio Ortiz.

Key Sophomores and Juniors will need to step up in the next offseason if they want to be the first to make it to the State tournament after losing in the section finals the last couple of years.

Recent hate crimes

Since Tuesday, November 8, 2016 the amount of hate crimes and many other types of discrimination have gone up rapidly.

The amount of threats, vandalism and harassment that we have seen all over the news and social media are much more than what we saw after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 according to experts. Although some of these hate crimes that we see on social media are not all true, there are still many that have been happening in our country.

Many of these hate crimes, and threats, have been towards Muslims, African-Americans, Mexicans and the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) community. Obviously, they are not the only groups that have been attacked, but these are the groups that have been attacked the most. For example, in Ohio, a black male was beaten by two white males just because he was an African-American.

While browsing the web I came across an image that was very disturbing. On a wall, in an alley, there was the words “Black lives don’t matter” spray painted on it.

There was also a case in New York where a white male banged on the door and window of a Muslim woman’s car, with her children and grandpa in the car. Also in New York, two men threw rocks at a young male because he “looked gay.”

As a country we all need to stick up for one another instead of putting each other down. Now more than ever.

Staying organaized

I don’t know that much about staying organized, and I hope that by writing this article I can be a little more organized.

Since school has already started, I think that by starting this new quarter, we should at least start with a clean and organized slate. Some of these tips are my personal favorite things to do.

Staying organized helps in many different ways, not just physically staying organized but also mentally. I think that by staying physically organized, you can have better hygiene and start new habits. Those habits can help you in your learning abilities and in being a better thinker – not making any bad decisions. So, basically, staying physically organized can also help you stay mentally organized, and vise versa.

One of the things that I’ll say that really has helped me, is having a planner. Even though it looks really lame to have a planner, and writing in it after class is over, it’s not, because when you write stuff down, you remember it more. So in my case, all I have to do when I get home is to get my planner out and read through all of my assignments that I had throughout the day.  I can then do them either right at that moment, or I could go do something and come back, like taking short breaks. It helps me because I can’t concentrate on doing one thing for a long period of time; I don’t know why.

Another thing that keeps me organized more, is having color coded things. For example, the first two classes that I have, the notebooks are black and white. I have the rest of the notebooks in different colors to keep me organized in my book bag. I didn’t think that color coding would help me be organized, but now I have the habit of putting my notebooks where they belong in my book bag without thinking about it twice.

Something I haven’t tried, but I’ve heard about is that it is helpful to work on only one thing at a time, and to have only one project/assignment out at a time. When I say I haven’t tried this it is because I have to get everything out of my book bag and see everything that I have to do or else I will get lazy and not do it. Because of this, I keep everything out and put it back in all at the end.

I hope that these tips have helped you in any way possible, have a great quarter and good grades!

Top 10 Ski resorts in the U.S: 10-6

Skiing is a hobby popular all across the globe. With Colorado bringing in $4.8 billion annually from skiing, the skiing industry is big and is only growing. Today, I will be discussing what I think are the best ski resorts in the U.S, covering every region (#10-6). 


photo taken from: http://www.castnc.org/ski

  1. Mount Bohemia

Mount Bohemia, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is not known for the land it covers, or its wide access to land. It’s known for its steep runs, backcountry territory, and the legendary bus that brings you back to the base. It may not compare to some of the resorts out west, but it’s the best of the best in the midwest.

  1. Stowe

Stowe is located in the northern part of Vermont, and boasts a vertical drop of 2,360 feet. Vertical drop is from the base of the mountain to the top. This number is comparable to those out west, and averaging 314 inches of snow every year makes this a prime place to ski.

  1.  Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs is located in Colorado, and is a very famous skiing destination, with around 100,000 visitors every ski season. Known for its famous tree skiing, Champagne Powder, and family friendly accommodations, Steamboat is great for the old or the young, and anywhere in between.

  1. Aspen

Aspen is also located in Colorado, but what is special about it is that it is 3 mountains in 1, providing a huge number of runs compared to other ski mountains in the area. A great choice for beginners as well, with one of the mountains devoted to mellower runs that are great for learning.

  1. Silverton

Silverton is different than any other skiing resort in the U.S. With only one actual chairlift, it isn’t easy to access a lot of the terrain. Most of the good terrain requires hiking, bus ride, or a helicopter – depending on your budget. Silverton is a bad place for beginners and intermediates, and only really worth your time if you consider yourself an expert.

Vikings Stadium fundraiser for HP

This year, students have an opportunity to fundraise for their club by working at the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. The representatives of the new U.S. Bank Vikings Stadium came to our school and offered an opportunity to any sports team, club, or travel group, that needed help fundraising, by allowing the groups a opportunity to volunteer, to work a variety of jobs during a game at the Vikings Stadium.

Some of these jobs involved managing a dessert cart for a suite in the stadium. This meant that you and a group of people would take a big cart of many desserts and go to one of the suites assigned to your group, and offer those desserts to anyone who was interested.

Then, the other job in the stadium is being a runner. This is when a select few are chosen to help bring food supplies, items, and materials to many places around the stadium that request those things during a game.

img_2327Parents are also allowed to volunteer, and work a game as well, as when a single person works one game they raise $100 for themselves to put towards their group of choice. 

It’s a pretty cool experience to work in a place like the stadium because it gives you a chance to see the new interior from the inside, and when your group is on a break, you get to see some of the game from an entrance to the field.

When you work depends on when the Minnesota Vikings face another football team at U.S. Bank stadium, and sometimes, there will be other special events that you can volunteer to work at as well, like a monster truck rally, or a monster supercross, etc.

I have worked 2 games this season so far and I have raised over $200 for a couple of clubs and groups that all work together to help fundraise. I think this is a great way to help raise money for your group while working at the new U.S. Bank stadium.

Beauty standards and are they fair?

You have probably heard all kinds of talk about beauty standards and how they affect a lot of people all over the world. Many people have had trouble with body image and self-esteem but some don’t. The truth is, 7 in 10 girls believe that they do not measure up in some way to beauty standards.

When I use the term “beauty standards,” everybody has a different definition, opinion, and views. Because of this, I made a survey to see exactly what are the beauty standards here at Highland Park, who students think runs the beauty standards, and if these standards are fair. This is what some people said:

How Confident Are You?

Many people said they are confident or extremely confident. Actually 15 out of  20 people responded like that. It surprised me because along with these answers the other 5 that said they are either not confident or extremely not-confident. Given these results, I tried to make a connection to the responses, and I couldn’t really seem to find one except that 4 out of the 5 that said not confident to extremely not-confident are managing a mental illness.

What Are beauty Standards In Your Mind?

I found this section of the survey very interesting. Mostly because in both sections of the confidence levels most felt very strongly about what it means to them. Here is what some people said:

  • A set of rules to oppress people.
  • Dressing or looking like other people
  • Wearing makeup
  • Showing more skin
  • Big Eyes
  • Slim figure
  • Things people say that make them believe they are beautiful or not beautiful

So, as you can see, there are many different opinions and views on what beauty standards are. Because these responses were in both sections and had no connection to mental illnesses, like in the question “How Confident Are You?” it leads me to believe that beauty standards are just there in our minds. Maybe we don’t think about them all day every day but they are there and we are very aware as adolescents as to what beauty standards are.

Do You Think These Standards Are Fair?

A lot of people circled “no” saying that the standards are not fair. 14 out of 20 people said that the beauty standards are not fair. And on the flip side there were also those that said that the standards are indeed fair. So, if you could choose. What would you choose. Fair or Unfair? Real or unreal?

So every single person is different. Everybody has their own views on so many different things and this one topic in particular shows this. Because this can sometimes be a strong or hard topic to talk about for people, it shows that, yes, people have their own opinions and we have to respect them. Beauty standards affect the world as a whole, and it’s up to you to change it or keep it. Could you imagine a world without judgment or misunderstanding?





Trump mural is painted over

Note: for this article we did a follow up on our previous Trump interview.

Donald Trump announces his candidacy for president during a rally at his Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York, on Tuesday June 16, 2015. Mr. Trump also announced the release of a financial statement that he says denotes a personal net worth of over 8 billion dollars.

Donald Trump announces his candidacy for president during a rally at his Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York, on Tuesday June 16, 2015. Mr. Trump also announced the release of a financial statement that he says denotes a personal net worth of over 8 billion dollars. photo taken from: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-27/watch-live-donald-trumps-teleprompted-foreign-policy-speech

We conducted the exact same survey, we gave in the fall, about Donald Trump, except with one additional question. We wanted to see how people would react to the Trump mural after it was covered in spray paint, and how they feel about him post election. Answers ranged from strong political responses, to simply not caring at all. Every survey was anonymous and distributed to a large diverse group of students. The overall reason for this survey was to obtain a better understanding of how students feel at Highland Park Senior High.

We prompted our census takers (students aged 14-18), with the question regarding how they felt about Donald Trump and his election as president, and the responses were nearly identical across the board. The following are some that summed up the views of the census, but explained their thoughts rather than just “yuck” or “ew.”

“I hate him. He’s an egotistical, racist, sexist, homophobic, and Islamophobic moron who pretty much personifies everything wrong with America.”

“I think he is a horrible person. He is sexist, racist, and definitely not a person who should be leading anything, much less our country.”

“Considering my hispanic background and my identity in general, I fear a Trump presidency.”

“The very thought of him as president makes me sick.”

Following the question regarding their viewpoints on Donald Trump we asked if the painting on the third floor evoked any emotion from them. There was more variation in their answers to this question. Some students were neutral to the painting, as there was no ill intention behind it, while others were angered by the concept of such a controversial figure.

“It represents something different than when it was painted but it still makes me uncomfortable.”

“I dislike it but the artist did not have poor intentions.”

“If it makes people feel uncomfortable or unsafe it should be removed.”

“I feel very disgusted that a painting of him is on our third floor. A person like him should not be painted in our school as if it praises him.”

“I am not a fan, but I don’t think you should be able to restrict people from painting what they want.”

Recently the painting had been painted over with black paint, and though it is not known who the culprit is, many students have voiced their opinions on whether they agree with the individual or not. Out of our census the majority thought that even though they don’t like Trump, art shouldn’t be censored. Others believe that there should be something less controversial in that space.

“It doesn’t seem appropriate anymore. There is nothing wrong in painting over something that makes people feel unsafe or uncomfortable, especially in a school environment.”

“Although it would be considered vandalism to paint over someone else’s art work, in this case it makes me feel safer. I don’t feel comfortable with a picture of a disgusting man in our school.”

“He hasn’t acted on any of the terrible things he said, so there is no reason to censor it.”

“I understand they were trying to make a statement, and I appreciate that, but vandalism is illegal.”

We felt that it was necessary to do a follow up on our first Trump mural article because we wanted to give our Highland Park community a voice. We also wanted to see if their opinions changed since the mural’s vandalization occurred. We got an array of answers but not one that was pro Trump, which did not surprise us whatsoever.  

All in all, this article was done as a piece that not only Alandra, Michelle and Jane wrote, but also our peers from Highland.

Election: After the results

These past few weeks have been such an emotional roller coaster. The anticipation and stress put upon ourselves just to see whose next to become the 45th president of the U.S. With some being overjoyed with the results, others are disgusted and confused by the fact that Trump is the next to become the President. I asked a few people about their reactions on the topic and here’s what they had to say:

“It’s disgusting to see a man like him elected.”

“Well, I guess America showed its true colors.”

“No one has any common sense nowadays.”

“It’s ridiculous how a business cooperate could actually become a presidential candidate without any experience whatsoever. Just shows really ANYONE can run for president.”

“I like him as an elect. I mean good for him; he seems fit for the role.”

“He speaks his mind he has no filter I think that’s what we need in a president.”

“Why would such people vote for a child as president?”

“Well, we were either gonna be (expletive) or extra (expletive) I just thought we would be just plain (expletive).”

“He’s trying to take control and take back our jobs.”

“Why would people vote for a man like him anyways? He mocked an entire race just because one person who just happened to be that certain race did. That’s wrong on so many levels.”

“He doesn’t seem to think about the consequences or anything about people’s families at all.”

“If his wife is an immigrant shouldn’t she get deported too?”

“Its heartbreaking… that’s all.”

“Trump is a disgrace. He disgraced the name ‘land of the free’.”

“Make America Great Again!”

In the end, our nation has been divided. We’ll just have to see how the next four years end up to be.

6 period school days

b553615While the St. Paul Public School Board is still deciding whether to change the school start times, a motion for days to be cut down to 6 periods is already in motion. The current school day at Highland Park Senior High consists of 7 classes spanning about 45 min each with a lunch of 20 min in the middle of the day. This new format would have 6 classes spanning about an hour each and with the same lunch time of 20 min. This system, much like the the school start times, could benefit students and hinder them at the same time.

Many students will have one type of class that they enjoy taking, and they will take that type of class every year. For example, many students like band, orchestra, art classes, and PLTW technology and engineering classes, and they will take one of these classes each year. This can benefit the students in a few ways. They can learn more about things that interest them, and colleges will give thousands of dollars in scholarship money to students who take these classes each year. When the school changes from a 7 period to 6 period day, students will no longer have that extra period to take a class of their choice. They would likely need to take a specific class to earn the correct credits.

A benefit of a six period day is that it will give more focus on the core classes of: math, science, English and history. This can be good because some classes like study hall have the same amount of time as science or English classes. This will limit the number of classes that don’t pose much benefit, such as study hall. Giving more time to the classes that need more time to learn will make it easier on students and teachers.This will allow teachers to not rush classes or deadlines because of the short time students have in class. This might limit homework with more time in class to work on assignments.

In the end, the change to 6 periods can benefit some people more than others. Some people, such as the people who always take an elective of their choice, will be rather hindered by this change. However, people that take all sorts of classes, and do not prefer to take one specific type of class, may benefit more by the change.

Seasonal Affective Disorder awareness

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), commonly known as seasonal depression used to be identified as a disorder primarily seen in people in their 20’s. However, it is becoming very relevant among teenagers. SAD affects around 10 million people annually, and that number is growing. It specifically targets people who live in the north or places with four seasons, like Minnesota. For those who may not know, SAD is a type of depression that changes your mood during the same time every year. It also tends to correlate with the changing of seasons.

For the majority of patients, SAD begins in the early fall and lasts through the spring. Possible reasons for this include the reduction of daylight time, snow/cold weather causing people to stay in their houses more, school, less exercise, and the holidays. Symptoms of Fall/Winter SAD include lack of energy and motivation, crying spells, oversleeping, fatigue, overeating, anxiety, depression, and weight gain.

While fall/winter is the most common time period for SAD, the spring/summer time period does affect around 10% of people with the disorder. Possible reasons for this include the length of the daytime, the lack of scheduling/routine that summer provides for people, specifically teens who are at home, the heat triggering stress or trapping you inside your house with the AC on, and body insecurities brought out through peeling off the layers worn all winter and trading them in for minimal summer clothing. Spring/summer SAD symptoms include weight loss, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, decrease in appetite, anxiety, and depression.

SAD is something that goes away, but always creeps back. It is a disorder that people live with and at times have to struggle through. However, there are ways to succeed and persevere with SAD in order to live life the way you want to. Tips for people dealing with SAD vary, the key is trying out different strategies and using resources to find what is best for you. Planning ahead is an important factor to beating you SAD whether it be in the spring/summer or fall/winter time period.

You know when you will have to endure your SAD symptoms, so think about your weaknesses and previous failures, or worries, during this time in the past, and come up with ways to help lessen these challenges. Talk to someone. This could be a teacher, counselor, therapist, friend, coworker or family member. Confiding in others can provide emotional support and offer you an outside perspective on your situation.

Getting active is another tool. Exercise helps your confidence, health, and hormones that control your emotions. Another way to control the imbalance of your hormones are anti-depressants for those who aren’t opposed to the medication route.

Individually, you may explore and find stress relievers, specifically, hobbies that could help you cope with your SAD. Don’t overlook any positive strategy. Everyone is different and something that may work for someone won’t work for the next. This is a trial and error process.

If you have been diagnosed with, or may have SAD, or know someone who needs help with issues relating to depression, there are free resources provided to help you in order to take steps toward improving your life.

Highland Senior High Schoolers can talk to teachers, the nurse, their counselor, or the therapist in the clinic.

Outside of school resources include:

For Minnesota funded 24/7 confidential crisis counselors go to http://txt4life.org or text LIFE to 61222

For the 24/7 national depression/suicide prevention hotline call 1-800-273-8255