Diversity Week

This past week at Highland Park Senior High, from Monday the 17th to Friday the 21st, was Diversity Week, as organized by the students of our Gender-Sexuality Alliance.

(The GSA meets Wednesdays after school in Ms. Ostendorf’s room, if anyone is interested in joining.)

Rainbow flag proudly waving image taken from: ttps://www.washington.edu/wholeu/2015/06/17/pride-week-at-uw/

The Day of Silence is usually an international day solely focused on raising awareness for silenced members of the LGBTQ+ community. However, due to the success of the event in the past, and because of the wonderful diversity of our school, the students organizing it made the decision to expand it into a full week, covering other kinds of diversity and culminating in the Day of Silence.

Each day, leading up to Friday, was dedicated to a different kind of diversity, with an associated color for participating students to wear:

  • Monday was gender diversity day, with red
  • Tuesday was ability diversity day, with blue
  • Wednesday was sexuality diversity day, with green
  • Thursday was race diversity day, with purple
  • Friday, as the Day of Silence, didn’t really have a dedicated color, but students were encouraged to wear white and/or black if they were participating

Friday, then, was the Day of Silence, dedicated to people of all walks of life who are discriminated against and silenced. Many Highland Park students signed up for the day, and were given bright orange pieces of paper explaining why they were silent. They were also given the chance to write on a long roll of paper explaining why they were silent. There was also an option to buy a pin, for support, for twenty-five cents.

The students who organized the event also created a video, recording the voices of dozens of people talking about why they were going to be silent for the day. Though participants were not excused from giving presentations, and similar projects, that were already scheduled, they could hold up the pieces of paper to explain their silence if called on in class. 

NHL playoffs round 2 preview

The first round of the NHL playoffs came and left with many surprises. Starting with the Eastern Conference, the New York Rangers were able to knock out the Montreal Canadiens in six games due to Montreal’s lack of scoring. The Ottawa Senators surprised many by beating the Boston Bruins in six games. Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan helped immensely with Ottawa having many injuries. Ottawa’s goalie Craig Anderson played hard for the Senators. His wife was diagnosed with cancer in February, and he’s been playing his best ever since. The Senators and Rangers will open their series in Ottawa on Thursday night, April 27th, at 6pm CT.

The reigning champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins showed no mercy against their rivals, the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Penguins defeated them in just five games with Penguins center Evgeni Malkin leading the league with 11 points in the playoffs so far. The Washington Capitals barely escaped the Toronto Maple Leafs, who drove the Capitals to six games, until Washington brought them down. Five of the six games went to overtime, which the Capitals won three of. The Capitals and Penguins will once again have a hyped up playoff series. Last year the Penguins beat the Capitals in the second round on their road to winning the cup. The teams will play game 1 in Washington D.C. on Thursday night, April 27th, at 6:30pm CT.

Now onto the Western Conference, which held many surprises. The Nashville Predators shocked the world and swept the best team in the West, the Chicago Blackhawks. No one saw this coming. Nashville has always been a dangerous team in the playoffs, but Chicago has always been the most dangerous. Goalie Pekka Rinne carried the Predators with a 0.70 GAA, 0.976 save percentage, and 2 shutouts in the four wins. He let up a total of just 3 goals, and had more points (2 assists) than any Chicago player.

The other Central Division series was the Minnesota Wild vs. the St. Louis Blues. The Wild dominated the whole series outshooting the Blues 182 to 134. The Wild couldn’t capitalize on their many chances. They only scored 8 goals, while the Blues scored 11. The goalies in this series were key. Blues’ goalie Jake Allen carried the Blues, while the Wild’s Devan Dubnyk did the best he could against a scary Blues offense. The Blues got out easily in 5 games winning both overtimes the series had. The Blues and Predators will start round 2 against each other on Wednesday, April 26th, in St. Louis at 7pm CT.

The Anaheim Ducks hosted the Calgary Flames for their series, and it was all Anaheim. The Ducks were 1 of 2 teams that swept their opponent. Anaheim won all but game 4 by one goal. In game 4 they won 3-1 to close out the series. Ryan Getzlaf led the Ducks with 3 goals and 2 assists, while Ducks’ goalie John Gibson posted a 9.26 GAA. The Ducks are heavy favorites in the West.

The Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks played to face Anaheim. The Oilers were carried by superstar Connor McDavid who led the league with 100 points at just 20 years old. Leon Draisaitl was quietly good for Edmonton scoring 77 points this season, but Edmonton was led by their goalie this series Cam Talbot. He had 2 shutouts, and besides letting up 5 goals in 1 game, he played amazing for the Oilers. The Oilers and Ducks will play Wednesday, April 26th, in Anaheim, at 9:30pm CT.

Right now the most likely teams that will play in the Stanley Cup are the Pittsburgh Penguins for the East, and the Anaheim Ducks for the West.

Sports schedule for: May 1-6

For  a full calendar of events please refer to: http://www.sports.spps.org

Activities the Week of May 1-6

Monday May 1:

Girls Varsity Golf vs. Humboldt @ Thompson Oaks GC 2:45pm

Boys JV Golf @ Thompson Oaks 3:10pm

Boys Varsity Tennis vs. Humboldt @ HP 3:15pm JV @ Humboldt 3:15pm (Bus 2:30/5:15pm)

Varsity & JV Badminton vs. Johnson @ HP 4pm

Varsity & C-Squad Softball vs. Harding @ HP 4pm

Varsity & JV Baseball vs. River Falls @ 1st National Bank Stadium, RF, Wi. 5pm (Bus 2:45/7pm)

Girls Lacrosse @ Central HS 5:30pm

Tuesday May 2:

Girls JV Golf @ Cedarholm GC 2:45pm

Boys Varsity Golf vs. Harding @ Highland National GC 2:45pm

Girls Lacrosse @ Minnehaha Academy 4pm

Boys Varsity & Baseball vs. Como Park @ HP 4:30pm (N/C)

Wednesday May 3:

Girls Varsity Golf vs. Harding @ Cedarholm GC 2:45pm

Boys JV Golf @ Thompson Oaks GC 3:10pm

Badminton vs. Central @ HP 3:15pm

Varsity Boys Tennis @ Washington Tech. Magnet 3:15pm  (Bus 2:30/5pm)

JV Tennis  @ HP 3:15pm

JV Baseball @ Toni Stone Stadium 3:45pm (Bus 2:30/5:15pm)

Adapted PI Softball @ Humboldt 4:30pm

Adapted Bowl to Midway  (Bus 2:15/4pm)

Boys Lacrosse @ Central HS 6:30pm

Thursday May 4:

Girls JV Golf @ Cedarholm GC 2:45pm

Boys Varsity Golf  vs. Johnson @ Phalen GC 2:45pm

Boys Varsity & JV Tennis @ SPA 4:30pm (Bus 3:45 One Way)

Co-Ed Track & Field  True Team Meet @ HP 3:15pm

Adapted PI Softball @ Mpls. South 4:30pm

Friday May 5:

Varsity Boys Tennis @ Como Park 3:15pm   JV @ HP 3:15pm

Saturday May 6:

Things to do if you’re not going to prom

This years prom will be on Friday, May 5th. Some people are very excited and are planning on going, while others aren’t. If you are not planning on going, but still want to do something fun with your friends or alone here are some ideas:


Getting a manicure and pedicure done is always fun and relaxing. You can sit back, read a book, watch videos on your phone, or catch up with whoever you went with. Tams Nails (Woodbury) is one of my favorites.

Movie night

By yourself or with family and friends, binging on movies you love is always a good time. Some of my recommendations are Grease and The Breakfast Club. But if you’d rather go to the theater these are some of the movies that are currently playing, The Fate of the Furious, The Boss Baby, Beauty and the Beast and Smurfs: The Lost Village.



Bake something new. If you’re into baking, you can find a new recipe online and try out! This is extra fun if you do it with friends or siblings. But if you prefer the easier route, you can head to a grocery store and buy your favorite cake mix. Whatever you make will be great to eat as you watch movies!



Have a photoshoot!

Dress up in your favorite outfit and go to a park or to your friends house and take pictures! You don’t need any kind of fancy camera; your phone will do just fine! Be creative and have fun! You can buy props from places like Urban Outfitters or a dollar store.


Go to a party/teen event

Prom isn’t the only place where you can dress up and dance the night away. If you’d rather go to a more casual event/dance than prom, start looking now for events. Myth Nightclub (Maplewood) sometimes hosts events for teens ages 16-21. There are also more venues in Minneapolis that do events for teens so start looking!

There are many more things you can do if you choose to not go to prom. These are just some of my ideas. Whatever you choose to do be smart and safe.

For even more ideas, go to: https://www.buzzfeed.com/meganbeese/19-things-to-do-instead-of-prom-15s00?utm_term=.xoBlqGdrY#.imgxdoGDr

Gorsuch confirmed; Senate filibuster removed


Gorsuch at his confirmation hearings image taken from CNN.com

Following a months long battle in the Senate, and possibly years if you count former president Obama’s attempt to nominate Merrick Garland, Mr. Gorsuch was finally confirmed as the 9th justice on the Supreme Court. The final vote count was 54-45 (Johnny Isakson (R-GA) abstained), making the vote substantially more narrow than previous votes.

The process was perhaps most notable for the so called “nuclear option” – removing the ability to filibuster the cloture vote on a Supreme Court Justice. Cloture is distinct from the actual vote in that it is a vote to stop debate – had the democrats been able to filibuster at that point, debate would never technically end, and it would thus be impossible to fill the seat.

This has huge implications for the Senate, especially concerning future Supreme Court nominations. Unless the Senate is tied 50-50 (it hasn’t been since 2000), no bipartisanship is required to confirm a justice.

The problem here is bipartisanship has historically been a necessary part of operation in the Senate. This has certainly taken a backseat in recent years, due to extremism and partisanship on both sides, but even ObamaCare need some GOP votes, if only to avoid filibuster.

Confirming a justice without the opportunity for the opposition to filibuster sets a bad precedent, one that could have potentially devastating consequences on bipartisanship in the Senate.

“Th1rteen R3asons Why” Series Review


Jay Asher’s book: Thirteen Reasons Why, is about a girl named Hannah Baker who committed suicide and had made a set of 13 tapes containing reasons as to why she killed herself. The main character: Clay Jensen, receives these tapes and listens to each one because he is one of the reasons, along with many other people who made an impact on Hanna’s life.

This book was turned into a Netflix series just last month, and I was anxious to watch it because I had read the book in my health class and wanted to see how they would portray the book. Each episode was like listening to one of the tapes, only with action and drama to be seen.

The characters were spot on, the stories were made well, and the whole series really kept me engaged on what would happen next

The difference between the book and the series is we follow more of Clay’s life and what he goes through while listening to these tapes in the series; where as in the book we listen mostly to Hannah and the tapes while following Clay’s actions from time to time. They also changed an important point in the book, and that is Hannah’s death, but just like with movies, they need to change a few things in order to really draw the crowd and make it seem interesting.

An important topic to learn from either the book or the series is the seriousness of suicide, or depression, or anxiety, etc. According to Medical News Today – Suicide is one of the top 10 leading causes of death, and most of those deaths are teens and young adults. Thirteen Reasons Why shows you all about the warning signs of suicide and how it could be prevented.

If you would like to know more about these signs and/or depression, visit your school guidance counselor for more information.



If you remember, back before the break, I had published an article trying to give hope during these bleak days. At the time, the news cycle was all about the Trump/Russia investigations. It was pretty boring compared to now.

But then everything changed when the United States attacked.

Or, more precisely, the United States attacked the Syrian Government in response to the chemical attack against the Syrian people. Donald Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at an Airbase in Syria. The airbase was also used by Russia. Perhaps Trump did this to try to convince people that he “totally didn’t work with Russia?” While Russia-United States relations had been warm, Russia then condemned the attack. However, most of the world agreed with Trump, and soon, people panicked.

I remember the day it happened. It was Thursday of spring break. My dad was out playing poker with his friends, and my sister was at an Anime Convention. My brother and I were home alone; I was working on an entry for a contest and my Brother was probably having a rave in his room. It was about 7:30 pm when my mom got home, and she suggested we go out to eat. We decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants.

Right when we walked in, before we were seated, I looked at the TV to see something about Trump. I thought, “What has that idiot done now…” until I looked closer. It showed the missiles flying through the air, one after another, lighting up the dark sky. I must have only looked at it for 6 seconds before we were seated.

While I ate my burgers and fries, I looked at Twitter. People were making jokes about WW3. Someone even said something along the lines of, “While we’re at it, can we wipe out that ****** Kim Jong-Un? Who wants to grab literal and metaphorical shotgun?” #WW3 was the top trending topic.

And now, they might get their wish. In addition to the Syrian situation, the U.S. and North Korea are getting more aggressive towards each other. Mike Pence says that the U.S. will no longer be “strategically patient.” Even China, who Donald Trump hates, is working on trying to contain the North Korean conflict. Japan and South Korea have been discussing evacuation plans. If WW3 does break out, it will probably be NATO, Turkey, China, South Korea, and Japan vs Russia, North Korea, and Syria.

All in all, pretty scary.

Nerf wars

Nerf wars is an annual event for Highland Park students taking place after spring break. Students who wished to participate had to create a team of 5 and each team member was required to pay a fee of $5 to play.

The competition, this year,  began with 21 teams, and now is in the second round with 16 remaining. Any student was able to participate as long as they paid the fee and had a team of members. The teams were then seeded by grade, number of drivers on the team, previous experience, and if they played any sports.

A team with multiple drivers, and previous experience, is at a much higher advantage than the other teams, but this year’s Nerf wars, in the community, has changed a little. Most parents are not allowing their sons or daughters participate due to the serious risks that come along with the game.

On December 4th, 2015, two Lakeville South students, who were participating in a Nerf wars game, were killed in a car accident. Jacob Flynn, 17, and John Price, 18, were the two students who were killed. Mason Kohlbeck, 18, and Alexander Hughes, 17, were among the ones injured in the car accident. Hughes was driving the pickup truck when it crossed over the center line and flipped multiple times before it stopped.

Due to this tragic event, regarding the Lakeville South students, Ramsey County Attorney, John Choi, sent out an email to many administrators and parents of students participating in Nerf wars this spring. The email brought to attention the potential dangers of the game for the students who chose to play. Choi met, and talked, with parents of different schools, “I learned a lot about what is happening and am concerned that some of these activities are not only dangerous, but also illegal, and could result in serious injuries and/or prosecution.”

In his email, he stated what parents have said about how many different students that have partaken in the game “Have used cars to block other teens; jumped on top of moving vehicles; slashed tires; gotten into car accidents; crawled into homes, garages and/or on roofs without the homeowner’s permission, often in the dark and in violation of curfew laws.” With that being said many of the schools’ administrations are encouraging students not to play.

School administrations aren’t the only ones who are concerned; many parents won’t let their sons or daughters play, which has lowered the number of teams playing. In the past there have been around 34 teams and this year their was only 21 teams.

Sports schedule for: Apr 24-29

For  a full calendar of events please refer to: http://www.sports.spps.org

Spring Sports: Baseball, Softball, Boys Golf, Girls  Golf, Adapted Bowling, Adapted Softball, Boys Tennis, Badminton, Track & Field

Activities the Week of April 24-29

Monday Apr. 24:

Varsity Boys Tennis vs. Eagan @ HP 4pm  JV @ Eagan Northview Athletic Complex 4pm (Bus 2:15/5:15pm)

Boys JV Golf @ Thompson Oaks GC 2:45pm

Varsity @ JV Badminton vs. Harding @ HP 3:15pm

Varsity Softball vs. Johnson @ Phalen Fields 4pm (Bus 2:40/5:45pm)

JV Baseball vs. St. Croix Prep Academy @ HP 4:30pm

Tuesday Apr. 25:

Varsity Baseball vs. Heritage Christian Academy @ Hamel Legion Park 4:30pm  (Bus 2:45/6:30pm)

JV Baseball vs. Mpls. Washburn @ HP 4:30pm

Wednesday Apr. 26:

Varsity Boys Golf @ Highland National for 9 Hole Duals 1:30pm

Girls Varsity Golf 9 Hole Tournament @ Cedarholm GC 2pm

Varsity & JV Badminton vs. Washington Tech . Magnet @ HP 3:45pm

Varsity & C-Squad  Softball vs. Mpls. Southwest @ HP 4pm

JV Boys Tennis vs. Johnson @ Phalen Courts 4pm  Varsity @ HP 4pm

Varsity Baseball vs. Harding @ HP 4:30pm   JV vs. St. Croix Prep @ Barker’s Alps Park 4:30pm (Bus 2:30/5:45pm)

Thursday Apr. 27:

JV Boys Tennis vs. Mpls. Southwest @ HP 3:15pm Varsity @ Mpls. Southwest 3:15pm (Bus 2:30/5:15pm)

Co-Ed Track & Field @ Harding 3:15pm (Bus 1:45/5:45pm)

JV Baseball @ Legacy Christian Academy 4:30pm

Friday Apr. 28:

Varsity & JV Badminton @ Humboldt 3:15pm (Bus 2:30/4:15pm)

Boys Varsity Tennis @ Rosemount   3:15pm  JV @ HP  3:15pm  (Bus 2:15/5:15pm)

Varsity Softball @ Como 4pm   C-Squad @ North Dale Rec. 4pm (Bus 2:40/5:45pm)

Boys Lacrosse “Bobcats” @ Central HS 5:30pm  Girls Lacrosse @ Woodbury HS 7pm

Varsity Baseball vs. Central @ CHS Field 7pm (Bus 5:15/9pm)

Saturday Apr. 29:

Varsity Softball Tournament vs. Central @ Dunning Field 2:15pm

Varsity & JV Baseball @ SPA 12pm

China’s ivory trade ban

Many people have been concerned over the ivory trade that has recently been the cause of elephant extinction. According to National Geographic, this ivory trade takes place mainly in Middle Eastern countries, but it still gets to the U.S with illegal exportation.

According to Snap Partnership, the ivory trade is big in China as ivory is in high demand because of its value and looks. There is also legal trading for ivory, according to Snap Partnership, that many people living in China do not like. Their argument against legal ivory trading is that it allows for the importation and smuggling of illegal ivory. The citizens also argue that because of the legal ivory trade it encourages more people to buy ivory, thus increasing the demand.

Elephants have been going extinct at a steady rate, and according to The Chinese Government, the best way to stop it is to shut down the ivory trade in China entirely. This would decrease the amount of elephant deaths by a large amount, but as we know, there will always be illegal poachers, because there is always a loophole somewhere that is overlooked.

The people who sell and carve ivory legally are very sad about this ban. According to Mr. Liu, an ivory carver interviewed by BBC News, he says he feels like a sinner and is very sad. He says that he feels like a sinner, because the generations of carving passed down will die in his hands and care, and that he will not be able to pass it down to his children.

Although the ban has come through on the ivory trade in China, this probably won’t stop poachers and other ivory enthusiasts from continuing to sell and buy ivory illegally. In order to truly put an end to elephant poaching, as well as ivory trading, they would have to work with African countries to help reign in out of control black markets on the continent. Not only this, but expert advisor of the Chinese government, Wei Ji, says that without a legal market the “illegal market will go wild.”

It is clear to see that people love ivory in China, the aforementioned ivory carver felt like a sinner because he couldn’t keep on doing what had been a tradition in China for many, many years. Because people love ivory so much they will just buy it illegally in order to keep getting the stuff they love. This will inflate the already massive ivory black market (it was estimated by The Guardian that 90% of ivory in China is illegal), to a point where tons of people desperate for money will turn to poaching because the rewards financially will be tremendous.

Overall, this ban has multiple good intentions: to shut down something that has been long plaguing China and it’s people, and to try and save a nose diving elephant population. This ban may seem great, but the chances of it helping anything are minimal. China has had many problems in the past with following through, so the possibility of the government not enforcing the changes is very likely. Not only this, but the ban puts elephants at an even higher risk, as the poaching game will soon transform into a high stakes, big money, black market in already criminally challenged countries. Banning ivory might seem like a wonderful idea, but don’t let that fool you, it will hurt elephants even more.