How to get off your phone

The are so many ways that  teens can get off their phones, especially in school, during church services, and also at the dinner table. Here are a few that might help.

  • One way to get off your phone is to turn off your data when you are in class, church, or at dinner. If you also turned your notifications off, it would help.
  • You can also uninstall things that you don’t really use, so it won’t take anymore of your time sorting through them.
  • You can also set a specific time to get on your phone and when to get off of it, and you can set a charging station outside your room so you don’t look at it.
  • Also, leave your phone home when you go to church or dinner.

There are many more ways to try to get off your phone, but these are just a few simple ideas.

Winter pepfest and spirit week

This year Highland is going to have its winter pep fest on February 24th. Every school year Highland has a pep fest to celebrate the school, and to get everyone into the school spirit heading into the second half of the school year.

Typically, the school has spirit week, which is the week leading up to the pep fest. Spirit week is a themed week, where each day you dress differently. This year, the students got to give input and vote on which themes they wanted for spirit week. Spirit week starts on Tuesday, Feb. 21st, with the following themes:


  • Tuesday is Pajama Day
  • Wednesday is Decades Day
  • Thursday is Flannel Day
  • Friday is Class Color Day.

( Freshmen class is Yellow, Sophomore class is Green, Junior class is Blue, Senior class is Red)

The pep fest will be held during 7th hour, and the whole school will be there. This pep fest is going to focus on the things that students at Highland are involved with during and after school. The HPSH band will play some songs. Several teams will have presentations. School clubs and activities leaders will make announcements as will sports team captains.

“It will be similar to other pep assemblies, but there are a few surprises to come,” said Ms. Hedwall, when asked about the upcoming pep fest.

Highland has a spirit week and pep fest twice a year, where students and staff are able to show school spirit and enjoy the week that celebrates all of us as a school.




U.S. backing out: Rumor or another inconvenient truth?

2016 was a disaster. I’ve seen the shirts to prove it. But in April 2016, something good actually happened: 194 countries unanimously signed the Paris Agreement, which sought to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” But April 2016 was 9 months ago. It is now January 2017.

A former Trump aide, Myron Ebell, says that it is only a matter of time before Trump pulls out of the Paris Agreement. Considering the bulk of Trump’s supporters, and his cabinet members, are climate change deniers, this is all too likely. But assuming this isn’t just a rumor (he is a climate change denier as well, so there’s that), then this is going to easily end up being the worst idea the U.S. has had in a long time.

Why will this be one of the worst ideas in a long time? For starters, green energy/tech companies are estimated to increase in value substantially in the coming years according to The Atlantic. If The U.S. does back out of the Paris Agreement we’ll be saying auf wiedersehen to a lot of worthwhile cash; something anybody will tell you is not considered good.

On top of that, if the Independent News is correct, it’s going to be a full year before the U.S. actually backs out of the agreement, and if we figure out by then that this was a bad idea, it’s going to take another three years to get back in on the agreement. And on top of all that, there’s the small matter of CO2 producing companies/manufacturers being able to crank up production since the agreement means the EPA must recognize CO2 as a pollutant. Keep in mind here that the Paris Agreement was made to cut down pollutants.

All in all, this could easily be a nightmare for everyone involved and possibly those who aren’t…assuming this actually happens. Remember, it’s still ambiguous. What do you think: rumor or another inconvient truth?

(Al Gore please don’t sue me)

How eSports and traditional sports compare

Esports, maybe you’ve heard a lot about them, but most people have no idea what they are or why they’re popular. For people who aren’t familiar with video games, it might seem confusing why people would want to watch someone play a game that they could just play by themselves. If you think about the premise though, it’s very similar to “real” sports.

Let’s just start with the premise of the competition and tournaments. In traditional sports, teams compete through a long regular season where they play games weekly, and at the end of the season whoever is at the top of the standings will advance to the playoffs, and perhaps the championships. In most eSports, it works almost exactly the same. For example, in the extremely popular eSport, League of Legends, there is a six month long regular season, and a world tournament at the end of the year. So, just by the basic structure of the leagues and competition, the two entities are similar.

Another way that traditional sports and eSports are similar is the formalities of competition. You may think that video game tournaments are just messy, loud rooms filled with nerds staring at screens, but in reality it’s a highly organized event. Teams wear jerseys, shake hands, have equipment sponsors, coaches, substitutes, referees, announcers, and large live audiences. All these things exist in both sporting realms. It was through obtaining these things that eSports was able to get the attention of big investors, and become the nightmare of traditional TV producers.

One way that eSports have gained recognition is just the sheer number of people that love and watch them. Online viewership for eSports happens on video game streaming websites like Twitch and YouTube and has skyrocketed in the past few years with events like the Counter Strike Global Offensive championships garnering 2.2 million concurrent viewers (1.2 million off the internet and 1 million people on TV, according to, smashing the record for concurrent viewers of any eSport. The way that professional video gaming is able to attract so much attention is through their platform. People who play their game will see notifications for an ongoing eSport event when they log in, allowing the companies to target an audience they know will be interested in watching the matches.

A final way to compare traditional sports and eSports is the players themselves, but obviously physical athletes are much more in shape than the average eSports competitor so let’s consider the training hours. Most sports teams will spend up to 5 hours a day training, working out, revising strategy and reviewing film. The average eSports team spends 9-12 hours a day training, and although playing video games may not be as strenuous physically it can a exhausting, draining effect, and the players have to pour just as much energy and focus into their work as other athletes do. A big concern for physical athletes is injuries, but those do happen in eSports as well. The most common sorts of injuries are wrist, finger, and elbow, but often mental injuries can occur as well. When you play a seemingly silly game in front of 12,000 people, for 10 million dollars (basically your only chance of getting a real salary that year), after training for 12 hours a day stress related problems often happen. Recently a big victory was scored for all of eSports when Riot Games lobbied the US Citizen and Immigration Services to make P-1 athletic visas available to professional gamers, to allow them to traverse from tournament to tournament easily.

Recently, eSports have been gaining more recognition throughout the world, and as time goes on the industry will only grow. The biggest question surrounding eSports today is whether they will ever be able to compete with the likes of the NFL and other major sports leagues. In my honest opinion, those sports will never be topped by video games, but maybe, someday, the two could be equal.

9 American things that wouldn’t be American without immigrants

A lot of people may not know that many of the symbols that represent America, from architecture to food, actually come from immigrants and other cultures. Immigration has provided America an upper hand in economics, and they have brought many of our “all-American” items to us. Have you ever thought what your life would be like without many of the innovations immigrants have brought to us? The following is just a short list of the contributions immigrants have made to American culture.

Blue jeans

Blue jeans were invented in 1871 by Jacob Davis, a Latvian-Jewish tailor who emigrated to America in 1854, and Levi Strauss, who emigrated from Germany. They received a patent in 1873 for blue jeans, and later went on to create Levi’s jeans.  


Contrary to popular belief, hamburgers were created by a Danish man: Louis Lassen. Hamburgers are commonly associated with America, and American fast food, and he created the first hamburger in 1895, in New Haven, Connecticut, and sold them out of a small lunch wagon.


The first doughnut came to America in 1920, when Adolph Levitt, a Russian refugee, began to sell doughnuts from his bakery. Doughnuts began to boom in 1938 when the Salvation Army needed money during the Great Depression.  


The founder of Google, Sergey Brin, was born in the Soviet Union (Moscow, Russia) in 1973. He later moved to the United States, and became a computer scientist where he created the wonderful search engine we use on a daily basis.

Hot dogs

Hot dogs, another food commonly associated with America, is actually from Germany. Charles Feltman moved from Germany, to New York, at the age of 15, and opened a restaurant that sold sausages in a roll.


Modern basketball was created in 1891 by James Naismith, a Canadian. He invented basketball while teaching physical education. He came up with the game by having students shoot fruits into baskets that were hung onto the balcony at the school.  


The J. Heinz company, known best for their ketchup, is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was founded by Henry John Heinz, whose parents were German immigrants from Bavaria. They came to the United States in the early 1840s.


Even though cars are a global form of transportation, without Carl Benz, a German engineer, the first car would never have been made, or brought to America. Carl Benz also prompted Henry Ford to create an all-American car company that would be affordable to the middle class.

“God Bless America” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” songs

A Siberian immigrant, Irving Berlin, wrote “God Bless America” at a summer camp in 1918. “The Star-Spangled Banner” was written by John Stafford Smith, a British composer. He wrote the song following the war of 1812 and it was adopted as the U.S. national anthem in 1931.