Agriculture Day 2017

On May 12th, the Highland Park Senior High School Future For Agriculture (FFA) hosted their annual Ag Day. In the past, Ag Day has had many different types of farm animals, colleges in the Midwest, local farmers, and agriculture games and activities. Many of these activities are fun, educational, and rewarding for students and teachers. Every year, Highland has hosted other schools, and allowed for them to come up and visit Ag Day. Students from the elementary school, just down the road, came, as well as students from our middle school. 

This year, Ag Day had multiple types of animals roaming around including: shetland ponies, chickens, fish, many kinds of dogs, chicks, and a goat. The pony, goat, dogs, and fish were all able to be touched and played with.

At one booth, they had a pool of fish where kids could come up and see how many they could pick up. Besides being able to pick up the fish, the two students who ran the fish stand had trivia questions about Minnesota fish. 

The students who brought dogs just walked around with their dog and allowed students to come up and play with them. All of the animal booths not only let you play with the animals, but they were also very educational. They all had posters talking about environmental considerations, temperament, and food requirements. They also had trivia games where students could win candy or other prizes.

Other activities that Ag Day had were: face painting, stacking hay barrels, planting seeds, making flowers, and ice cream. The ice cream stand was by far the most popular; it had a long line all day, at one point they even ran out of ice cream. At the ice cream stand they would ask trivia questions, and in exchange you would get ice cream. The questions at this stand ranged from stuff about dairy, soy milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, all the way to what dairy is and where it comes from. 

Besides all the fun with animals for the little kids, Ag Day had a wide variety of colleges there. The colleges that attended Ag Day were: the University of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota: Crookston, and the University of Wisconsin: River Falls. The colleges were a chance for upperclassmen, and maybe even lowerclassmen, to learn about how they can make a difference in agriculture. The colleges explained different fields of study that revolved around agriculture, and they talked about their campuses, and tried to get your attention to go to their school. It was kind of like a mini college fair.

In the end, Ag Day was very successful, and stayed busy all day long.

The unfair valley

I usually go on field trips for one reason: getting out of class, and food. Since it’s May, as a Senior, I hardly have anything going on in my class. So, I went to Valleyfair to hang out with my friends, and eat food. I’ve never really been a fan of rides, so that might have been a huge factor in my experience.

Basically, going to Valleyfair was probably the worst decision I made in May.

Despite the strange weather pattern, I thought it was right to dress lightly. And I was right, as it was very warm and humid. And yet, I didn’t think to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, or even a hat. I was constantly looking for shade, as having very fair skin means I get burned easily.

Even if we did decide to go on rides, the lines were very long, and in mostly unshaded areas. The arcade was a ripoff, with heavily inflated prices, and as we were told by the staff themselves, paid out very little.

That seemed to be a recurring theme among the park – high prices. The “theme” of the park was capitalism, or at least, unchecked capitalism. I brought $48 with me, and used it all up on about 4 things. We had lunch at a little 50s-style burger joint place. It looked cool, but that was all – the cheapest meal, a cheeseburger and fries, was about $13, and didn’t even include a drink. The malt I ordered was $6, and didn’t even come in one of those retro cups! The fries were unsalted, and I had to cover them in salt, pepper, and ketchup to make them edible. The burger itself though, was okay.

Drinks were very expensive; the cheapest being $5, with no refill. Near the end of the day, I bought a soft pretzel, which was $7, and for an extra $1, got a small drop of cheese sauce. The pretzel was so salty that I was desperate enough to buy one of the $4 drinks from a vending machine. I was out of money by this point, but my good friend Alex let me borrow $4. The machine itself was finicky and took about ten minutes to buy a single drink.

So, when you become a senior, don’t come to the Unfair Valley, a testament of capitalism unchecked.

UEFA Champions League preview

The UEFA Champions League final is set for Saturday, June 3rd, at 1:45pm CT. The two finalists consist of the La Liga champions Real Madrid and Juventus.

Real Madrid finished 2nd in Group F with a 3-3-0 record (W-D-L). They defeated Napoli, Bayern Munich, and Atletico Madrid to advance to the finals. Cristiano Ronaldo was 2nd with 10 goals, and 2nd with 6 assists in the whole tournament.

Juventus finished 1st in Group H with a 4-2-0 record. They defeated Porto, FC Barcelona, and Monaco to reach the finals. They have allowed just 1 goal in their past 7 games, and just 3 goals the whole entire tournament.

Real Madrid this year have already become champs in other areas. They won their league championship on Sunday, May 21st, with a 2-0 win over Malaga, which clinched the title. Real Madrid had a great season totaling 93 points. Ronaldo scored 25 goals and helped lead his team to their first league championship in 5 years. Alvaro Morata helped this year as well, with 15 goals, proving to be a future talent. Toni Kroos also played well, with 12 assists, the 2nd most in the league.

Juventus had yet another successful season in the Italian Series A league. They won the championship for the 3rd straight year and their 12th total championship. Gonzalo Higuain had an outstanding season with 24 goals, although much less than his career high of 36 goals last year; it was still a great showing for Higuain. He’s scored at least 17 goals since 2013-14, and has proved to be a top striker in the world. Miralem Pjanic was tied for 12th in the league, with 8 assists, and was a great help this year.

Juventus and Real Madrid should hopefully put on a show at the National Stadium of Wales in the Capital of Wales, Cardiff. The game can be watched on ESPN and Fox Sports.

I predict Real Madrid will come out victorious, 2-1.

Boat Dance

Highland held their annual Boat Dance on May 19th, on a boat at Harriet Island. As there were many students attending the dance, it was suggested that students show up earlier to wait in line to get on the boat. To be able to get on the boat, students needed their student ID and ticket.

photo courtesy of Jennie Vang

From the outside, the boat was very long and big, having two sides connected together. One side of the boat was bigger and was known as the dance room. The other side was for karaoke. The boat had two levels; both levels had tables and chairs for people to sit on and hang out. On both sides of the boat, there was food, drinks, and candy, which you had to pay for, but water was offered for free.

The boat left around 7:40pm when everyone had boarded the boat. The boat then headed up the Mississippi River for about an hour and a half, and then headed back to the dock.

There were many students in the dance room. People in the dance room were all huddled and dancing near where the DJ was at. Everyone was dancing was jumping, yelling and screaming, to the songs, which made the room very humid.

There weren’t as many people in the karaoke room compared to the dance room. Everyone was allowed to sing whichever song they wanted to sing, as long as it was appropriate.

Also, for the students that didn’t sing or dance, most of them messed around and ran around the boat. Others just sat down with their friends and talked, some were on their phones checking social media, and others were on their phones playing a game.

As the dance came to an end, everyone went outside and waited until the boat stopped at the dock. We got back around 10:05pm. Everyone looked tired and cold due to the chilly wind. Some parents were already there waiting for their kids, while some students had to wait for their ride.

2017 Underclassmen Honors assembly

On Tuesday, May 23, Highland had its annual Honors assembly for underclassmen. The assembly was held to recognize the 9th, 10th and 11th grade students who had kept up good grades throughout the year. A student with a GPA of 3.3- 3.7 is considered an Honors student and a student with a GPA of 3.8 or higher is considered a High Honors student.

All the Honors students were directed to the field house to pick up their Honors certificate. Meanwhile students, parents, and principals gathered in the auditorium around 8:00 am. The orchestra here at Highland played, while people were being seated. By 8:30 the auditorium was almost completely full.

Freshmen

The assembly started with Dr. Tucker and Mr. Sager addressing parents and students about the importance of their education. Ruwayda Egal gave a speech before the Honors freshmen were called on stage to be recognized. Next the freshmen High Honors students were called to the stage.

Arianna Gonzalez gave a monologue about the importance of education and pushing yourself, and was followed by the sophomore Honors students being called on stage to be recognized. Then the sophomore High Honors students.

Henry

Juniors

Finally, Henry Vazquez gave a speech about the community that this year’s juniors have formed together. The junior Honors were called on stage followed by the junior High Honors.

After all the students were called on stage, Dr. Tucker said a few more words about the importance of education, then everyone went to the field house for cookies.

The seniors have a separate honors night in the auditorium on Wednesday, May 31, at 7:00 pm.

 

Retiring teachers

With the end of the year approaching, and summer just around the corner, many people are considering vacation. Some are considering a permanent vacation, or retirement. At Highland Park Senior High School, the people retiring from their jobs here are: Ms. Sherrod, the personal finance management teacher; Mr. Rios, a Spanish teacher; Ms. Harrison, the school nurse; and Ms. Ship, an assistant principal. They have all dedicated their valuable time and skills to teach kids and/or better the school, which is a very noble and nice thing to do. They will soon be leaving Highland Park to start a new chapter of their life, retired from their teaching jobs away from the school. This new chapter of retirement will begin on June 13th when school ends for staff, and will continue throughout the rest of their lives.

I interviewed a student who has one of these teachers and asked them how they felt about their teacher retiring. This student wanted to be kept anonymous for privacy reasons and when asked the question they said that, “I am sad to see them go, but happy for them.”

I’ve only met with a few of these teachers briefly, but I understand how and why they feel this way. I had a teacher of mine in middle school retire and I felt the same way. When I asked the student to explain a little more why they felt that way they did, they said, “I’m sad that I won’t have them next year, but at the same time happy for them to retire.” I see, and know where they are coming from, and completely agree with what they are saying.

I also asked this student how they felt about new teachers for next year, even though we both have no clue who or what to expect. They said, “I’m anxious to see what kind of person they are, and I’m also excited to know who it is at the same time.” I am also interested/excited to see who the new teachers are because maybe I will have them next year, or the year after. I hope that the new teachers will be just as good as the retiring teachers, which won’t be an easy thing to do.

At the end of the day, I’m just happy to have a teacher that enjoys their job and enjoys helping people. These teachers who are retiring have checked both of these boxes during their time at Highland Park Senior High School, and will be missed dearly for their hard work and dedication to this school. I wish them a happy retirement and give them thanks for all they have done to better our school and community.

The firing of James Comey

Earlier this month, President Trump fired the Director of the FBI, James Comey, in a move that has proven to be very questionable and controversial. In the days immediately following the incident, a number of conflicting stories emerged, from many people involved, muddying the truth further and further.

The choice caused backlash from both the Republican and Democratic parties, as well as many Americans, some of whom suspect that Comey was fired due to his investigating Russia, and President Trump’s potential connections to them. In fact, a recent poll by Quinnipiac University showed that a majority of Americans, more than fifty percent, do not believe his story about the firing, and think that he is abusing the powers of his office.

At first, the White House claimed rather straightforwardly that Trump was acting on the recommendations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Supposedly, Comey was fired due to the way he had handled an investigation into Hillary Clinton. Later, however, the president rejected this version of events and instead stated that he had fired Comey himself, and that he had been losing confidence in the Director of the FBI since taking office in January.

What actually happened, at this point, is up in the air, but something else that lends a new perspective to the story is Comey’s own version of events, which is that he refused to pledge his loyalty to the president, instead promising his honesty, when pressed at a dinner party.

Many Americans are of the belief that Trump asked Comey to stop investigating possible ties between National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russia, and by proxy, between Russia and the Trump Administration. These ties have been a cause of great concern, since before Trump was elected, due to rumors of Russians manipulating the election to get Trump into office.

Sports schedule for: May 29- June 3

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 May 

Monday May 29:

Memorial Day

Tuesday May 30:

Co- Ed Track & Field @ East Ridge TBD

Wednesday May 31:

Thursday June 1:

Co- Ed Track & Field @ East Ridge TBD

Friday June 2:

Girls Varsity Golf Sectionals @ Bunker Hills GC 7:30am

Boys Varsity Golf Sectionals @ Bunker Hills GC 7:30am

Saturday June 3:

Go Scots!

Dependence

The week that the Seniors turned in our iPads was strife with technical difficulty. We were all short one more device, and on top of that, the Internet was acting all goofy. Sometimes it didn’t work, sometimes it did. Having no internet for even just an hour really set us back. All of this happening made me realize how dependant we are on technology.

I have always been extremely grateful for my iPad. I have terrible handwriting, and having the tablet really helped me take notes and write things. Having no smart phone until September last year, this also was just really great to have on hand. To look something up, I didn’t need to go on a computer, and for the longest time, it was against the rules in my house to use more than one electronic device at once.

And now, having it removed, it made me realize how much I relied on it. Every morning I would sit down and read about world news and other things. I also used it to write not just for school work, but on my novel. I’ve probably written well over 20,000 words of the book on the iPad alone. In a way, the device was an extension of my brain.

And that worries me.

200 years ago, local journalists just wrote things down. I at first thought I wouldn’t survive in that field with my bad handwriting, but I write far faster than I think. With all this information from the Internet, maybe that’s why I think so fast? I am writing this down on a piece of technology, and you will read it on that. Even if I printed this out, the text would have been made by computers, which is still technology. But then again, isn’t pen and paper technically a technology?

Are we already cyborgs?

Badminton season

This year’s Highland badminton team had a great season. It was a very fun and wonderful season. My friend and I were able to join the badminton team this year. The coaches for this year’s season were: Mrs. Kramer and Mr. Chapman. We decided to interview one of our coaches, Mrs. Kramer, about how she thought season went.

Mrs. Kramer thought this year’s badminton season was a great season. We had a great and awesome team that showed a lot of commitment and potential. The varsity team were very competitive this year, having 3 seniors with a lot of varsity experience, and who also brought a lot of leadership. The varsity doubles team was very young, and worked very hard to get better and where they wanted to be at.

photo courtesy of Quincy Yangh

Coach Karmer continued to talk about the junior varsity team, which had their struggles with the conference tournament at Como High School, but played very well. We had a good team with the junior varsity; it was very fun to coach them. Even though they had struggled in the conference, they continued to come to practice and practiced very well. We had lost to many schools, but also won against many schools with close scores.

We then asked Mrs. Kramer what she thinks we did well and was proud of this year, and also what she hopes to see for next year. Mrs. Kramer said the best part of this year was that we all got along very well. The girls showed a lot of commitment even with busy schedules, and they made badminton their first priority.

Mrs. Kramer said she was most proud of how well the team got along with each other and had fun while learning a lot and teaching each other different skills and strategies. This was very special to them as coaches, and they were proud of what the girls brought to the team this year.

Something Mrs. Kramer hopes for the next year is that the girls will continue to play badminton even when the season is over. She would like to see them get better and improve more. Mrs. Kramer said she sees a bright future for the girls and what they’ll bring to the team the next year.