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

Climate change

Throughout history, the world’s climate has progressively changed. According to NASA, the earth has gone through seven cycles of glacial advancement and retreatment within the last 650,000 years. The cyclical event abruptly ended at the end of the last age, some 7,000 years ago, acting as a starting point for not only the modern climate era, but also of human civilization.

Satellites and other modern technologies are orbiting earth, and recording visual data regarding the world’s climate that enables scientists to observe the planet in a larger, holistic scale. Scientists have stated they’ve observed signals of climate change.

To further strengthen their hypothesis, scientists have drawn ice cores from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers to show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. These ice cores also show that in the past, large changes in climate have happened very quickly. According to these studies, scientists have concluded that, geologically-speaking, the climate changes we are experiencing now, have happened in tens of years, not in millions or even thousands, but within the last decade. Unknown.pngSatellite observations reveal that the amount of spring snowfall in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and that the snow is melting earlier in the year.

Much of the earth’s heat has been absorbed by the oceans. The top 700 meters, about 2,300 feet, of ocean have grown warmer by 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since the year 1969.

In response to the warming oceans, NASA’s Gravity and Recovery Climate Experiment show Greenland has lost as much as 60 cubic miles of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, and Antarctica has lost 36 cubic miles of ice between 2002 and 2005. In 2006, the AAAS, American Association for the Advancement of Science, reported, “The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.”

Oceans also act as a sponge for carbon dioxide. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, 1712, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by 30 percent. This increase is the result of humans emitting significant doses of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, hence more carbon dioxide being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is rapidly increasing. The ocean is absorbing about 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year. The American Chemical Society stated in 2004, “Comprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem.”

1309_consensus-graphic-2015-768px.jpg

Source: climate.nasa.gov

According to whitehouse.gov,  “The United States is leading global efforts to address the threat of climate change. Since 2005, the United States has reduced its total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth. Wind power has tripled, and energy from the sun has increased tenfold. President Obama has taken a series of common-sense steps to curb carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases through initiatives that drive energy efficiency, promote clean energy, and put in place the first-ever carbon pollution standards for power plants.” However, this progress may be halted or regressed due to president elect Donald Trump’s views and future actions on climate change, such as dismantling the Paris agreement, which is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance starting in the year 2020.

Despite all the physical and scitenfic evidence of global climate change, 46% of the worlds population don’t believe global climate change is occurring. However, when given this evidence by NASA, and observing the visuals of the worlds climate, I find it hard to believe that anybody can believe current global climate change can be a hoax. According to pew research.org, “A global median of 51% say climate change is already harming people around the world, while another 28% believe it will do so in the next few years.”

Let’s not let our arrogance harm our neighbors and wild species that rely on the ocean, and other natural lands. Let’s combat this progressive regression of natural land masses and animals. To do so, we can use less energy; install a solar panel, turn the lights for other technologies off when they don’t have to be used, use energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, recycle, reduce waste, etc. In a world of consumers, we’re not only consuming goods and products, but also the natural world around us.