Highland Park Showcase

On Thursday, January 17th, Highland Park put on their annual Showcase from 6-8pm. Middle schoolers from Highland Park Middle, Capital Hill, and other St. Paul middle schools attended the showcase.

During the showcase, tours were held for the middle school students, and their parents, directed by students in the Year Book club. Throughout the night, 3 different tours took place, popcorn and cookies were served in the gym, and all of Highlands Park’s extracurricular activities we’re presented around the gym including: sports, math team, robotics club, Black Student Union, Asian Culture club, and more.

Highland’s Showcase is a great way to get to know about the activities and clubs available at the school. There are a variety of programs to join, and there is something for everyone with 42 different clubs which include:

      • Archery Club
      • Animae Club
      • African Student Association
      • Asian Cultural Club
      • Black Student Union
      • Book Club
      • Chess Club
      • Chinese Club
      • Choir/Vocal Music
      • Debate Team
      • Environmental Club
      • FFA Club
      • Film Club
      • Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
      • Genius Squad
      • Girl Unity
      • High School Democrats of American
      • Highland Park Senior High activities
      • Highland Passports Student Travel Opportunities
      • Instrumental Music
      • Junior Class
      • Knitting Club
      • Kpop Club
      • Link Crew
      • Math Team
      • Model United Nation
      • Mountain Biking
      • National Honor Society
      • Plaid Line School Newspaper
      • Prizm Literary Magazine
      • Robotics Team
      • Science Club
      • Senior Class
      • Spanish Speaking Debate
      • Speech Team
      • Student Council
      • The Conspiracy Theory CluB
      • Thespian Society
      • Union Latina
      • Yearbook
      • Youth Alive
      • Youth in Government.

Highland Park does an amazing job of including everyone one; no one is left out or discriminated against. Clubs promoted at our school promote more students to become involved in their school community and to enjoy their high school experience.

Highland Park’s Showcase this year had a turn out of about 70 different families, a little less than what Highland has had in the past.

I talked to Mr. O’Connell, a math teacher, as well as math coach on the Highland Park math team about this year’s Showcase. I asked him how he felt about this years turn out, and he responded, “I expected more students, there was about 60 families that showed up.” I further asked him if he thought the low turn out would mean fewer freshmen next year. Mr. O’Connell’s response was, “Of course I have no doubt that we won’t have a lot of kids, but we are just going to have to see what next year brings.”

The death of the mayors

Alejandro Aparicio, a newly sworn in mayor, of the Mexican town of Tlaxiaco, was killed on Tuesday, January 8, 2 hours after taking position as Mayor of Tlaxiaco. Two people died, and 3 other people were wounded. The death of Alejandro is being taken seriously, and a thorough investigation, for the man behind the murder of this horrific crime.

On Tuesday afternoon, Alejandro was on his way to City Hall, for a meeting with some of his colleagues after being declared mayor, when a man came and opened fire. Five people, including Alejandro, we’re rushed to the hospital, but by the time they arrived, Alejandro was pronounced dead. He suffered internal bleeding and a punctured right lung.

Tlaxiaco has been dealing with a serious problem of mayors being killed, for many years, and is becoming difficult for people to want to take a political position. At least 175 mayors or mayor elects have been killed between September 2017 and August 2018 . 

Aparicio was the first mayor to be elected from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador party. Oaxaca governor Alejandro Murat expressed his condolences on Twitter for the unjust murder, “I express my condolences to the family and the people of Tlaxiaco.” This is just a tragic event and the government is not taking it lightly.

Kerala protests

In Kerala, a state in southern India, a ban was put in place on women entering the Sabarimala temple for prayers last September. On January 1st, 2 women were the first to enter the temple in centuries, and as a result, it caused many violent protests.

The Supreme Court lifted the ban because they believed it discriminated against women, and they should be able to worship in the temple.  A spokesman said that the 2 women tried to enter the temple in December, but violent mobs blocked the temple doors. The names of the 2 women are, Bindu Ammini and Kankadurga, and they’re currently hiding from the mobs and are staying with their relatives.

The mobs got so bad that cops had to bring water cannons and tear gas to break it up. One of the protesters was a man that was in the BJP ( Bharatiya Janata Party). According to CNN, The BJP are trying to keep the ban, but the man was killed by protesters who threw stones at his head.

The 2 women got help from police to enter the temple, which may have also caused the violent riots. So far, the police have arrested 2 people, and 4 people were injured.

As many as five million women protesters took part in a peaceful protest. They created a “women wall” and extended their arms to show they’re support of gender equality. The women wall was 385 miles long and a civil servant said, “There were so many women and there wasn’t even space for women to extend arms. If they had extended their arms, the length of the wall would have increased so much that women would be falling in the Arabian Sea.”

According to CNN, the police have said they will continue to provide protection for women that want to enter the temple, and people that oppose their decision will have to go the Supreme Court later in the month.

Top five books to read in the library

Looking for something to read in the HPSH library? Here are the top five books (in my opinion) that you should read:

1. Crossover

This book was published on March 18, 2104, and the author is Kwame Alexander. The entire book is a novel in verse, which means each of the pages are short. This book is about two twin boys, Josh and Jordan Bell, who are the sons of a big time star basketball player Chuck Bell. Josh and Jordan love basketball like their father, and the boys experience normal life, relationships, and family time dealing with difficult moments. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves sports, especially basketball.

2. Rebound

This book has the same author as Crossover, but this one is about the father, Chuck Bell, and what he went through when he was his sons’ ages. After the death of his father, he skipped school, and didn’t do his schoolwork. Instead, he read comic books. He spends the summer at his grandparents home, and things start to get better as he begins to heal and explore new things.

3. Booked

This book is also written by Kwame Alexander, and he won the Goodreads Choice Award for best poetry for it. This book is the story of Nick, who loves soccer but hates to read books. He is  forced by his father to read dictionaries daily. Things take an unexpected turn when his parents announce that they are getting a divorce. I recommend this book to anyone who likes soccer and is into children’s fiction.

4. Long Way Down

Long Way Down is written by Jason Reynolds, and is a novel told in verse. This book has great reviews, and has won many awards. This book takes place in an elevator, and it focuses on Will, who is seeking to get revenge for the murder of his brother. As he travels down the elevator, the doors open on different  floors. Will is confronted by different figures from his past, each a victim of gun voilence, and each important to his life. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fiction and who likes novels in verse books.

5. The Hate U Give

This book is written by Angie Thomas, has won many awards, and has great reviews. This book is about a 16-year-old black girl named Starr, who witnesses her friend getting shot by a white police officer. The story goes on with her finding justice for her friend by protesting, and testifying in court, about what she witnessed, with the help of her friends, family members. I recommend this book to anyone who is into young adult fiction.

Climate change is real?

How many times have you walked outside this winter with only a sweatshirt and jeans on? No winter jacket or coat. Or still have those new pair of Sorel boots in your closet that you were so sure you we’re going to have to wear this winter? If this sounds like you, you are not alone. Temperatures this Minnesota winter have been so mild it almost seems unreal. The snowfalls have been mild, the temperatures have been mild, and the snow seems to barely stay on the ground. Believe it or not, Minnesota is facing the disastrous climate change going on in our world, and the direct effects are becoming prevalent.

Since the 1980’s, scientists have warned us about the disasters our earth was up against if we didn’t start taking better care of it. Big companies like Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, and Gazprom, as well as chemical manufactures, industrial dumpsites, tanneries, and product manufactures are all environmental hazards that are destroying our earth. These companies continue to produce pollutants into our environment, creating oil spills, and putting Co2 emissions into our air. Due to these pollutants, more cases of illnesses, like cancer, are rising and they are causing our earth to heat up.

Antarctica is a continent covered by a of majority of ice, and it is starting to be affected by the heating of our earth. Major ice glaciers are starting to break and melt.

Animals like penguins and polar bears are having a habitat crisis because it’s harder to catch fish. Polar bears are falling into the water and drowning due to thin ice, and fish are starting to migrate.

On top of the effects of animals, the effects on our lakes and oceans are also a risk. As ice glaciers melt, water levels continue to rise. The mixture of saltwater and freshwater is creating a higher buoyancy which is causing floods, hurricanes, and water levels to rise at extreme rates.

Minnesota has been affected by climate change, our lakes are starting to rise and there have been a lot of rainy days this winter season. Just this past month, we have had one of the warmest Minnesota winter days ever, with a record breaking 42 degrees in the beginning of January.

Where do people originate from

Humans, or by their scientific name homo sapiens, belong to a group called hominids. Creatures in part of the hominids group, are the earliest known human like creatures. A trait that is commonly shared among hominids is the ability to walk on two legs or bipedalism. According to Khanacademy.org, it’s believed that hominids started to separate from other primates between 2.5 and 4 million years ago, around eastern and southern Africa.

There are many theories to why the early hominids begun to evolve. One theory was that with the expansion of the savannah, it slowly forced their homes in the forest to shrink. Because of this, it may be one of the reasons we started to rely on walking upright, on the ground, rather than continuing to climb trees.

As hominids continued to evolve, they gained more unique traits and characteristics. One of these characteristics was that their brain capacity was increasing, and then a species of hominid, homo habilis, began using tools around 2.3 million years ago.

Then, around 1 million years ago, some species of hominids, such as homo erectus, began leaving Africa and moving towards Europe and Asia. And when they arrived, they began making important advances like being able to use fire.

The first modern humans happened around 200,000 and 300,000 years ago. And the ability to use language happened around 50,000 year ago.

Later, between 70,000 and 100,000 years ago, modern humans began leaving Africa to ocupate Europe and Asia. The first humans reached Australia by around 35,000 and 65,000 years ago.

According to scientists, during the Pleistocene Ice Age, a land bridge was created, connecting Asia and North America around 13,000 years ago. It is believed that people came to America from Asia by this land bridge.

Union Latina: Fiesta Latina

Union Latina is a Latino culture club here at Highland. The group’s goal is to create a community at Highland where people can feel comfortable learning about the Latino culture and can celebrate it. Two of their main presentations are: “Dia De Los Muertos” (Late October- Early November) and “The Cinco de Mayo Performance.” Practice for the performance, at the beginning of May, started the second week of January.

This year, Union Latina made a change to their annual performance. The performance was previously referred to as “The Cinco de Mayo Performance,” but the club decided to change the name. The decision was made after the club had received feedback that the name didn’t fully capture what it was trying to portray. “Cinco de Mayo” refers to the Mexican holiday, but not all the dances and acts originated in Mexico, so it was decided that the name no longer fit the occasion. The club had a vote and the new name for the performance is “Fiesta Latina.” It will still take place in the beginning of May. The performance is used as a day to celebrate Latino culture and heritage while involving the whole school.

Another change made to the performance is that one of Ms. Boe’s classes will be performing a dance, along with Ms. Nelson’s classes. This gave students, outside of the immersion program, an opportunity to be able to participate in the cultural event. When I went in to visit Ms. Boe’s class on Friday, a few of the students didn’t seem too excited to be there, but others were very enthusiastic and excited about the whole situation.

All of the classes that are participating in the performance have practice every Friday in their classrooms. The other groups have practice for 1 hour on Wednesday’s during the ULA meetings. With only three and a half months left before may, we should wish them good luck!

ACT preparation/tips

By: Maggie Alarcon

The ACT test is a standardized test used for college admissions. The ACT is required to be taken your Junior year of high school. Your ACT score is a key component of your college applications.

The purpose of the ACT test is to measure your high school readiness for college. College admissions officers will review your test scores, alongside with your high school GPA, the classes you took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers, extracurricular activities and personal essays.

The higher you score on the ACT, the more options for attending, and paying for, college will be available to you.

There are four sections on the ACT that you have to complete: English, Reading, Math, Science and an optional 40 minute writing test. The ACT takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, and if you do the writing test it’s about 4 hours.

I hope these tips below are helpful!

1. Get an ACT book
Having resources where you can study from is really helpful. Having the book to take places to study is helpful as well, and helps you work efficiently. Spending time reviewing and answering answers from the book helps you understand the format of the test. Also, it gives you a better understanding of what type of problems there will be on the test for each section.

2. Plan a reasonable study schedule
Set aside time for ACT practice and study.
Study for at least 3 hours a week or more. If it’s getting closer to your test day, then I recommend reviewing more. Get in the habit of studying too, so you can get used to the test and work on your test taking speed.

3. Do some timed practice to check in on your pacing
It is important that you have enough time to complete all the questions. I recommend you use a timer to time yourself in each section. Also, practice what was more challenging and took more time.

4. Take a couple of practice tests before the real one
It helps give you an idea of what the real test will look like. Taking a practice test gives you an idea of how well you would do, and the results will let you know what to work on more. Taking a practice test also helps you improve on your speed when taking the real test and the more practice the better.

5. Practice on the subjects that you struggle the most with and you know you’re not that good at
If you know you are not good at math or English, study more on those sections. Getting better before the test will help you improve on your worst subject and knowledge, but also your grade on the test. Look into more resources for those subjects as well.

6. Tutoring
Find options that work for you like tutoring. Getting help from someone else helps so much, having a one-on-one session is a good way to study, especially if you don’t understand something you can talk to them and ask them to clarify. It’s a more efficient way to get your studying done without getting stuck and not knowing what to do or study. You will be prepared for when the test starts and understand what you have to do.

Basics about the FAFSA

Need help with your FAFSA and don’t know where to start? You can complete your FAFSA by printing out the PDF version, or do it directly online with their website: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa

With filling out your FAFSA, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Social Security number
  • Tax information from 2-3 years ago
  • Records of all income
  • Records of any untaxed income (child support, interest incomes, pensions)
  • Records of your checking and savings account balances, or other assets
  • Your drivers license if you own one
  • List of each school you did or are going to apply to

If you are a student being claimed as a dependent, your parent’s information will also be needed, even if they aren’t assisting you in paying. To be considered a dependent, you must be under 24 years of age, attending an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program, unmarried with no children or dependents of your own.

For being considered an independent, you must be 24 years of age or older, attending a masters or doctorate degree program, married or separated but not divorced, if you have children or dependents of your own, if you’re a veteran in the US army or is currently serving, and if you’re an emancipated minor.

For online applications, you’ll just enter your basic information that they ask of you. Have all of the files you need with you so you can just quickly look at them and not have to waste time searching for them. After you fill in what they ask you to, your parents will also have to fill in their information if/as needed.

After filling out all the required information, you can then put in the list of schools you are applying to, or are interested in. Each school has a code, and you can find the code for the school online.

If you don’t plan to finish your FAFSA in one go, you can make a temporary password to log in later when continuing the application.

FAFSA deadline for this year will be on June 30th, if your lastest academic year is 2018-2019.

For more information, you can visit: https://www.moneyunder30.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-fafsa-but-were-too-afraid-to-ask

The first foldable smartphone coming in 2019

Next month, Samsung is expected to release two new phones: the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy F. The F is the first foldable smartphone that will be on the market. Samsung is currently working on the physical and UI features at the Samsung Design Innovation Center (SDIC). The SDIC is responsible for the design of Samsung’s new products, services, and the report notes for new devices.

Just like many new smartphones these days, this one will be just as expensive, if not more, because of its new, unique design. The phone will have three screens when unfolded, including the primary panel that’s placed on the inside of the phone, as well as a smaller display on the outer shell.

“Our group here is working to reinvent and reimagine how we can create new experiences based on this new platform,” the Samsung executive said. “And of course we are very well situated here because the Android system has not been designed for that (foldable). We need to explore new ways to do so.”

Since Google is helping Samsung with the Android powered software for this new foldable phone, customers will probably see foldable Android phones from various companies in the not too distant future. This includes Huawei, Microsoft, LG, Xiaomi, and Oppo.

Apple is also rumored to be trying out some new design ideas for foldable smartphones, but there will for sure not be an Apple foldable phone in 2019.