The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in Pyeongchang County, South Korea. The Winter Olympics are an international multi-sport competition held once every four years in a different country. They are staggered with the Summer Olympics, which are also held once every four years, so that an Olympic Games occurs once every two years. It was first announced that South Korea would host in 2011. It will be the country’s second time hosting the Olympics. It hosted the Summer Games in 1988 (Olympic.org).
As reported by CNN, the 2018 Winter Olympics has brought about great controversy for North Korea’s involvement in it. North Korea (officially called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK) and South Korea separated in 1945. Shortly after the separation, the Korean War occurred (1950-1953), which ended in stalemate. Since then, the two Koreas have been separated by a demilitarized zone (DMZ). According to Sky News, relations between the countries has been tense, to say the least. North Korea is a communist dictatorship and South Korea is a liberal democracy, diametrically opposed types of government, but both claim rightful leadership of Korea in totality.
North Korea has been performing nuclear weapons tests since 2006 (most recently on September 3, 2017, “a perfect success,” according to the North Koreans), much to the consternation of South Korea and many Western democracies, including the United States, as noted by the BBC. Delegates from North and South Korea met for peace talks on September, 9, but North Korea continued to test its ballistic missiles afterwards. CNN has even reported that South Korea claims to have a plan to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un if they feel too threatened.
So, with the threat of nuclear war looming, many wondered how South Korea would handle the 2018 Winter Olympics, and what North Korea’s involvement in them would be. Fortunately, it appears that the Olympics have only helped to bring the two countries closer together.
In his 2017 New Year address, Kim Jong Un wished the South Koreans luck in hosting the Games, offered to send a North Korean delegation, and said he wished for a “peaceful resolution with our Southern border [DMZ]” (CNN). Two North Korean figure skaters, Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik, qualified for the Olympics on September, 29, but were not entered by the deadline of December, 21. According to an NRP report, after negotiations between the two Koreas on January 9, it was announced that North Korea would send a delegation of 22 athletes, including the two aforementioned figure skaters. In addition, there will be a united Korean squad playing in women’s ice hockey. North Korea’s involvement in the 2018 Winter Olympics could be a sign of more diplomacy to come between the two Koreas and the rest of the world.
But, not everyone is happy with North Korea’s involvement in the Olympics. According to The Telegraph, some human rights groups think that allowing North Korea to hold any events, as the South Korean minister of sports has gone so far as to recommend, would be an immoral endorsement of authoritarianism, similar to the 1936 Berlin Olympics held in Nazi Germany. The Wall Street Journal has also reported that some see North Korea’s participation as unsafe. France said they would not compete if safety could not be ensured according to Reuters. The Trump-appointed, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said, “it’s an open question.” Later, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on December, 7, “no official decision has been made” on US involvement in the Games, though she, quite contradictory, also said the US “looks forward to participating” as reported by USA Today.
Whether the US will boycott the 2018 Winter Olympics remains to be seen, but it now appears quite unlikely, with the announcement, reported by ABC News, on January, 10, that Vice President Mike Pence and his wife will attend the opening ceremony of the Games. Still, the Trump administration’s messages are mixed. Is North Korea’s newfound sense of diplomacy genuine, or just a ploy?
Highland Park Senior High has an IB dance program that goes in depth into different types of dances. DP dance is a way for students to come together and learn different types of movements, genres of dance, and the background behind them. This year, DP dance consisted of 35 dancers performing duets, trios, small groups ( 4-5 people), and large groups (35 dancers). Instead of nine dances, there were eight due to a missing member. Each dance was different from each other.
Charlotte Landreau is the DP Diploma coordinator and teaches TOK (Theory of Knowledge) and Dance. She introduced the show by encouraging students to participate in the arts at Highland, and to try new things this semester. She was supportive of the dancers and what they were able to produce.
On January 18, the DP Dance kids put on a spectacular show. While all the performances were strong, we have some opinions on the show. We saw that the dancers didn’t have much support from the crowd. Every dancer was strong and did their best, but the audience was lacking in positive reactions. The dancers were brave enough to put themselves out there, but the crowd didn’t reciprocate the energy. While everyone did great, we saw that Fiona (11) stole the show. She is a strong and memorable dancer who will continue to show her talent.
We would like to give props to all the performers because it is hard to dance in front of your peers. We know the feeling of working hard to produce something that means a lot to you, and presenting it. If you would like the chance to branch out and try something new, an art class next semester may be right for you.
Highland Park’s Nordic Ski team has been skiiing for a few weeks now. They started practice in early November, and are still going, with a few days of shoveling in between.
The Nordic Ski team consists of 90 skiers in total, including both boys and girls from both the middle school and high school. There are different rosters for boys and girls which can be found on the Minnesota State High School League for Nordic Skiiing. There are many coaches such as: Abby Boruff, Matt McKinney, Sophia Risatau (HP grad, 2011), Jaclyne Theirs Jandro (former HP teacher), and Brad Moening.
The season this year is said to be going well, and very successful. The Junior Varsity team is doing very well, beating most Varsity teams in their conference. The Varsity teams are both ranked in the top 10 State, and are undefeated during this season. In one of their competitions, both the boys and girls won the Loppet Invitational, which is the biggest invite in the metro.
This season is going very well for the team, including a conference championship win! The season isn’t over yet so let’s wish them the best of luck and look for another successful season next year!
Exciting, unexpected, saddening, life changing all are words used to sum up 2017 in a nutshell. 2017 has been a year of such unexpected events, both good and bad, from world crisis’s to Prince Harry’s engagement announcement. Each year brings new possibilities to unfold throughout the months and the year; the events can take interesting cuts and turns.
So here is a Top 10 of good things to happen in 2017 – just to clear up some of the negativity that has surrounded 2017.
In February, Rhiannon Giddens (a leading actress in Nashville) partnered with Carnegie Hall Musical Connections program to run a music-education workshop for inmates at Sing Sing Prison. At a performance after the workshop, Ms. Giddens performed with a workshop student who had written a song about domestic abuse.
He broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and was a hero in the 1950s. For years, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, founded by Robinson’s family in 1972, has been working toward the goal of opening a museum in lower Manhattan, and in April, they started the process of bringing their collection of memorabilia to the public.
Starbucks picked up on an eye-pleasing trend in April with its Unicorn Frappuccino, and it seemed like everyone followed suit—from Instagram foodies to bagel shops, rainbow-hued food has arched over 2017 like a cheerful milky way.
Doctors have long been searching for ways to combat the influenza virus. And a frog that was recently discovered in Southern India may just be the key to a whole new way to do that. Scientists tested a gooey fluid from the frogs’ backs (NO ANIMAL HARM) and found an amino acid that literally makes viruses explode.
The Women’s March in Washington D.C. had three times as many participants show up compared to a certain individual’s inauguration. Between 300 million and four million Americans protested in the streets at more than 650 marches nationwide.
On January 24, 2017, a hippo, prematurely born 6 six weeks early, named Fiona, was born at the Cincinnati Zoo with health complications. Over time, she has grown stronger, as well as overcoming her health conditions, and she has made an impact on everyone everywhere by touching their hearts and proving you can really do things if you preserver.
On August 21, people across the United States got to witness the first visible solar eclipse since 1979. For a few minutes, we got to look up and bask in communal awe at the wonders of the universe. If you missed 2017’s eclipse, there will be another one in 2024, which will slant Northeast from Mexico through New England.
In September, America’s sweetheart Cardi B unseated Taylor Swift on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late September. One month later, she broke the record for most weeks at the top of the charts by a solo female rapper, after Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” topped the charts for two weeks in 1998. The best rap verse of the year also belongs to Cardi B (in my honest opinion).
Prince Harry of Wales announced his engagement to Meghan Markle, making the next upcoming year’s preparations news. Maybe this will calm the Prince’s partying attitude down a bit?
People who love their pups and kitties know that pets can lift your spirits and calm your nerves. But recent studies now offer scientific proof that interactions with dogs, cats, horses, fish, and even crickets can improve mental health over time.
The flu is spreading all over Minnesota according to WCCO news. According to Doctor Bjorn Peterson, people are coming to the hospital with body aches, headaches, high fevers, and sore throats. Emergency rooms are dealing with many people with these symptoms.
The doctors from Regions hospital, in St. Paul, are saying that they see 30 people a day who have the flu. The high numbers are why the Minnesota Department of Health is declaring influenza and respiratory illness, which means hospitals are putting restrictions on visitors to protect other patients and staff.
Dr. Frank Rhame, a disease doctor, from Allina Health, suggests that you should stay at home if you can. Rhame also suggests to keep kids under the age of five altogether. He also said they may look healthy but they could actually be infected. To prevent the spread of the flu, Dr. Rhame suggests to wash your hands thoroughly and cover your coughs.
These past weeks, Allina Health has admitted 120 people and 870 people have tested positive for influenza. Laboratory tests show that this year, the flu has hit the elderly and younger people hard.
According to the Star Tribune, the best way to prevent the flu is to be vaccinated, but it can’t provide protection against all possible disease. If you experience any flu symptoms like high fevers, chills, muscle aches, continuous coughs, sore throat, headaches, or fatigue, make sure to go see a doctor. The flu is very contagious and can infect you without you even knowing, so make sure to keep clean and make sure to not make physical contact with someone who is already infected.
On Friday January 5th, officials announced that Zara Tindall, Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter, is pregnant again. Mrs. Tindall is also the daughter of Princess Anne. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said, “The Queen and members of the royal family were very pleased to hear this news.”
The baby will the second child of Zara and her husband, Mike Tindall, a rugby star. The couple already have a 3 year old daughter, Mia Tindall. Mia is known for stealing the spotlight, and getting cuddles and kisses from Prince Harry at polo events. Many times, she had happily shown off Queen Elizabeth II’s purse during official photo shoots.
Mia was also there to help her parents’ difficult time when Zara had a miscarriage days before Christmas 2016. Mike Tindall told The Sunday Times, “The saving grace for us was Mia, our daughter who is now 3.” Mike also talked about how he was able to spend more time with Mia now, since he retired from rugby. The spokesperson also stated that the child will be due this summer, arriving a few months after Duchess Kate’s baby, who is due to arrive in April.
Back in October, Kensington Palace made the announcement that Duchess Kate was expecting another baby after the 12-week scan. Duchess Kate Middleton has had hyperemesis gravid arum (severe morning sickness) during her last two pregnancies, which is why the pregnancy was announced early. The pregnancy was initially announced on September 4, when Duchess Kate cancelled a visit to the London’s Children Centre because of severe morning sickness.
This is an exciting year for the royal family as Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding is due to be happening around May, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be welcoming their third child in April, and in the summer, Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter, Zara, will be adding another member to the royal family.
On Monday, January 8th, 2018, superintendent Dr. Joe Gothard came to Highland for a listening group to get students opinions and experiences at Highland, and in the SPPS district in general. I was lucky enough to be a part of this listening group.
The meeting started with Dr. Joe Gothard giving us a little background on his life, and how he got the job as our superintendent. There was also a cameraman recording, and a woman typing notes throughout the whole meeting. He was also taking notes and responding to what some of the students had to say.
A common topic from the students was that Schoology isn’t their favorite app to use because it’s hard to navigate, we can’t always see how much our assignments are worth (points), and teachers still have to take attendance on Campus Portal.
Something else that came up was the 6 period school day and how it would negatively impact students. Students said there would be less time in the day to take the electives that they’re passionate about, and students who are doing the full IB Diploma said it would make it harder for them to take classes/electives that are required for the full diploma like Theory of Knowledge.
Another hot topic was the lack of representation of teachers of color at Highland. Some students of color mentioned that for them, it’s harder for them to make connections with their teachers because they do not look like them.
Something that really stuck out with me, was the transition from middle school Spanish Immersion to high school Spanish Immersion. Highland middle school is the only middle school in the district that offers a Spanish Immersion program. There, you get instruction in math, social studies, and science in Spanish. When you come into Highland, freshman year, and continue the Spanish immersion program, you take social studies, and the immersion class in 9th and 10th grade. Junior and senior year, you only take the immersion class in Spanish. It makes it harder to understand your core classes when you were taught everything in Spanish.
Other things that were mentioned were adding gender neutral bathrooms, more funding for clubs, and having a wider range of electives. Hopefully, with this listening group, there will be positive changes at Highland and in SPPS for the years to come.
2018 is the year for new resolutions, and not resolutions you say you’ll do but never do. Here’s a list of resolutions to keep in mind for the new year.
Number one: Self love: always know to love yourself, you are your own best friend. Don’t look down on yourself, don’t talk bad about yourself, always keep a positive attitude about yourself.
Number two: Write down things about yourself that you appreciate: trust me when I tell you it helps boost your self esteem. And you’ll be happier, and it’ll keep you steady for the rest of the year, and possibly your whole life.
Another good New Year’s resolution is to stop procrastinating. We all know how to avoid doing what we are suppose to do. Whether it’s school related, work, or even personal things. You can make a “To Do” list to help you stay productive and remain focused on your work, even if you don’t want to.
The beginning of the year is a great time to start a healthier lifestyle that you have been talking about. Start to eat less junk food, and more healthy food. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes each day, and by the end of the month you would see incredible results that will motivate you to continue following this new lifestyle you established.
Another New Year’s resolution you might have is doing well in school. You might not be happy with the way things are going at school, with your friends, with your grades and classes, or even homework. You can write a list, or get a planner and write in it daily so you don’t get behind. You can use your smartphone to write your reminders. You can get a piece of paper and stick it on your fridge with all the homework you have to do. There are plenty of ways to help you catch up in school and remind yourself of what you have to do.
There are plenty of New Year’s resolutions you can make. You can make one for whatever you want to fix, or do better, or just something you want to start doing. Just make sure to stick to it and try hard.
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