Theater arts

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Theater arts is a very interesting concept. I mean, it tracks back hundreds and hundreds of years. You can learn so much about theater arts and you can have so many opportunities with it, like acting on television, being onstage, teaching, and so much more. 

Being in a production is so much fun if you like to act. You get to meet so many new people and do so many exciting new things that will make so many good memories. In certain productions you get to dance, sing, and play around. There are so many opportunities in the world of theater. You can learn to express yourself in so many new ways.

There are theaters all over the U.S. Some of the best theater programs can be found in New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and so many more places.

Theater arts isn’t just about being on stage it’s also about lights and sounds, it’s about the sets, the props, the scripts, and the dance moves. The possibilities are endless! 

Stage fright is a thing and it is really important to know that there are many professional actors, singers, and dancers that had stage fright when they began their careers and they decided that maybe it was time to overcome those fears. Mark Twain, Lorde, all the way up to Rihanna, and Adele had stage fright. 

Theater isn’t just dramatic shows like Shakespeare, no! There are so many new and interesting shows like the very popular Hamilton and Be More Chill. There are very modern shows that can be very relatable to many different people. There are some very old ones that can be fun to see or be in as well. 

Even if theater isn’t for you it’s always fun to support your community and your friends, seeing shows here at Highland or at the theaters near by. 


By: Vivian S

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Right beside the counselors office in our fair school lies the humble College and Career Resource Center. If you go to Highland, you may know of it, considering it sends out an email and updates Schoology every two weeks with its newsletter. But exactly what services does the CCRC offer?

The CCRC newsletter includes information about: summer camps and programs you can sign up for, ACT tests and resources to prepare for the test, and events hosted by colleges. The newsletter also has information about volunteer opportunities and job opportunities, with a few requirements and details for each. Finally, a list of scholarships, requirements, deadlines, and the amount of the scholarship can also be found in the newsletter. 

Walking into the CCRC, I could already see that it had many tables for students to work at. It had a few computers and a laptop cart, along with a printer that costs 5 cents per page. There was a small shelf with ACT prep books that could be checked out, and students were sitting, doing work, and talking to Ms. Baheriy about scholarships. I was honestly surprised by how busy the CCRC was, with people constantly handing papers in to Ms. Baheriy.

Ms. Baheriy graciously agreed to sit down and tell me what the CCRC does.

The CCRC is a place for students to prepare for colleges and careers, and get help planning those. Students come in to discuss and work on college and job applications, and career planning. Ms. Baheriy described her help as providing students with guidance and sharing all the options they have.

She also had some tips for students, saying that we should all start planning early instead of later. To start preparing for college, during the fall, there are many college visits, so researching colleges then would be helpful. She also encouraged students to look at the CCRC newsletter.

For applying to scholarships, she told me that most scholarships aren’t based off of what college you go to, but that many don’t open up until senior year.

The CCRC is open at any hour so students can have a place to work. If Ms. Baheriy isn’t available, students can make an appointment with her. But remember, the CCRC is not a place to hang out and eat lunch.

For more information, here is the CCRC’s website

Australian bushfires

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Australia is in a devastating position. Bushfire has been burning acres of land since October, 2019 and they have continued into January, 2020. Though lots of people are aware of the fires, here is some information to further educate you on the topic. 

One of the first bushfires started on November 11, 2019. It burned roughly 49,000 acres of land in an area known as Ravensbourne.

But it does not stop there, since then more fires have ravaged more of Australia leaving $4.4 billion damage. 

Why did the bushfires start? There are many different reasons for the fires that have overtaken parts of Australia. One of the biggest contributors is the extreme conditions. Australia is currently enduring its hottest, and driest, year recorded. Though the conditions do play a role, other components like humans actions and weather, such as lightning, have also started other fires. 

The effects of these fires have been unfortunate. Approximately 18 million acres of land have been burned, including about 200 homes. Unfortunately, 27 people have died, of which three were volunteering firefighters. And lastly, a lot of animals have been put in severe danger posed by the fires. Though it’s an estimation, it’s possible that half a billion animals have been killed; some being endangered species threatened by extinction. 

Recently, there was a project to help out the animals fleeing their natural habitats. They called it “Operation Rock Wallaby.” The Australian government of New South Wales dropped thousands of carrots and sweet potatoes, around 2,000 pounds in total, hoping to prevent the animals from starving to death. 

So, what can you do to help Australia? The best way you can help Australia is to donate. Some of the best charities include Mission Australia, Oxfam Australia, and Sacred Heart Mission.

In January, it was announced that 1.1 million people have donated to Australia and raised $30 million to help repair the damage caused by the bushfires. Some of the biggest contributions came from celebrities or businesses, including Kylie Jenner, Elton John, Pink, and many more. Their money helped volunteering firefighters and their families, to get more emergency resources, and families who are in need. 

‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’

The Star Wars sequel trilogy has concluded, and just like with the last movie, fans’ opinions are as mixed as ever. Some say the most recent movie, The Rise of Skywalker is terrible, and others are in the completely opposite field. I personally enjoyed it, but can’t overlook some really dumb stuff that the movie includes for no reason. This is as far as I can get into the movie without spoilers, so leave now if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

Right off the bat, The Rise of Skywalker is filled with problems. It deals with the return of Palpatine, the BBEG (big bad evil guy) of the first two trilogies. First of all, I don’t mind the fact that they brought him back, but because they didn’t set up this twist in either of the previous movies, it feels like a cheap reveal. If you didn’t watch the trailers, where it was revealed he would return, then seeing his name in the opening title crawl would feel so wrong without any set up.

On a first viewing, the plot of this movie is hard to follow. It involves Poe, Finn, and Rey tracking down a Sith way-finder that can lead them to where Palpatine is hiding. Palpatine’s endgame is that he’s building a fleet of star destroyers that can destroy planets, and has sent Kylo Ren to kill Rey. The first two-thirds of this movie are about the heroes going to different planets and following leads to find the way-finder.

But when I say it’s incoherent, I mean that literally. J.J. Abrams, the man who directed the movie, doesn’t waste a lot of screen time, so it often feels like things just happen way too quick. There’s no time for any of the themes to develop as the characters are moved from one planet to the next so quickly. 

There is one moment where the plot slows down for a second, which is when Rey is in the desert about to confront Kylo Ren, the shot that was in the trailer. It takes its time to build up the tension before the confrontation, and is honestly one of the best scenes in the movie. If more of the movie had been like this scene, I believe that it would be a lot better.

One thing I really don’t like about this movie is how Rey’s backstory is treated. For two years, her parentage was a mystery, and just about everyone thought she was a Skywalker, or a Kenobi, or a Jinn, or basically a descendant of any other major Star Wars character. In The Last Jedi, it was revealed that she was a nobody, and I particularly liked that reveal, because it made the Force seem special, like anyone could use it if they believed in it. 

The Rise of Skywalker mostly threw that assumption in the trash. Partway through the movie, it is revealed that Rey is Palpatine’s granddaughter, and the reason she is so good with the Force is because of her blood. I hate this so much. They ruined most of Rey’s development in the last film, and the theme that anyone can use the Force, even random loners, like the slave boy grabbing the broom with the Force at the end of The Last Jedi.

However, even though I don’t like that they make Rey a Palpatine, I absolutely love how it plays into her character development throughout the film. It all starts when Rey accidentally uses Force lightning, which is a power that only Sith have, which foreshadows her origin. Then, later in the movie, she decided to run away from the fight and hide on the old Jedi temple because she believed she couldn’t fight anymore because she was a Palpatine. Then, Luke appears as a Force ghost, and his conversation with Rey is one of the best pep talks/motivational speeches in the entire saga, talking about how it doesn’t matter who Rey shares blood with, it matters where her loyalties lie.

On the flip side, Kylo Ren goes through an emotional arc that completes his journey throughout the films. Even though his commanding officers want to join forces with him or want him dead, he is intent on ruling the galaxy side-by-side with Rey. He tries to get her to join him by destroying the way-finder, meaning that she can only go to the emperor if she joins forces with him.

Rey rejects his offer, and from across the galaxy, Leia uses the Force to distract Kylo Ren, giving Rey an opportunity to stab him. I will admit, this scene is kind of shot in a confusing way, but since Carrie Fisher died before this film started and they were using previous footage of her with CGI clothes, I’m willing to overlook it.

Meanwhile, the last of Leia’s force powers connects Kylo to an active memory of his dad, Han Solo, in another great scene. Han isn’t a Force ghost or anything, but instead is just an active memory type thing. Anyways, they have a conversation that mirrors the one they had in The Force Awakens, with Kylo saying that, “He knows what he needs to do, but doesn’t have the strength to do it.” Han comforts him, and this time, instead of stabbing his father, Kylo Ren throws his lightsaber away and leaves to face the emperor with Rey. I feel these were the strongest scenes in the entire movie, and because they happen right before the climax, it recenters the focus of the movie and gets rid of all of the chaos and side plots.

So while the first half of the movie is kind of a mess with some cool scenes and character development, the finale is awesome. It features a giant space battle with the resistance going up against the hundreds of star destroyers called the Final Order while Rey goes to fight Palpatine and Kylo trying to catch up with her. 

This climax continues the underlying theme of hope that is prevalent throughout all of Star Wars by having Lando and Chewie going around the galaxy to spread the word that there is going to be a final attack on the Sith, and it culminates in a scene where thousands of spaceships from around the galaxy attack the Final Order. However, even though the ship battle is awesome, it pales in comparison to how Rey and Kylo beat Palpatine.

Simplifying a lot, it ends with Rey using both lightsabers to deflect Force lightning into Palpatine, and Kylo defeating the Knights of Ren, his former allies. This ending is great for two reasons: One, it sticks with the theme that Rey’s family doesn’t define her, and two, it actually had tension, and I didn’t know how it was going to end. 

However, once again, the movie pulls a stupid, and resurrects Rey using the Force heal ability. It would have been so much better if she died right there. Once she’s resurrected, they kiss for no reason at all, a scene I actually cringed at in the theatre, and then Kylo dies. Yeah, that was the grand finale of the two best characters in the entire saga. Pathetic.

Rey then goes back to the resistance base, and after hanging out there, goes to Luke’s home on Tatooine and bury’s Luke and Leia’s lightsabers in sand. A random passerby asks who she is, and she responds, “Rey Skywalker.”

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I like this, because even though she’s a Palpatine, she can move on from her bloodline and decide who she is. It goes back to what Luke said in the film, about how your blood doesn’t define you, but your allegiances. It’s a good ending, and makes you feel like they name of the movie actually means something.

However, I think there would be a better way to end this film. Rey stays dead, and Kylo takes her place. Since he is a Skywalker, the ending still makes sense, and it doesn’t have to deal with the backlash of resurrection, which is kind of a stupid move to pull in any movie.

Anyways, those are my thoughts on The Rise of Skywalker. The ending would have been a lot better if Rey stayed dead, Poe and Finn were wasted throughout most of the film, and the entire first two thirds are kind of nonsensical, but if you can overlook that, the love is pretty fun. It’s just another Star Wars adventure about people tracking down a random object with a bunch of lightsaber fights. 

In that way, it’s a bit like Revenge of the Sith. A lot of people don’t like this movie, and some say the plot is stupid and confusing, but if you’re willing to overlook the stupid and just watch it because it’s Star Wars, it’s an enjoyable movie that any Star Wars fan can watch without feeling the need to watch the previous two movies.

My final rating for this movie is an 7.5/10

Sports schedule for: Jan 27-Feb 1

MONDAY DATE:   January 27th
6:00 p.m.   JV/Varsity Wrestling vs. Harding HOME  
TUESDAY DATE:  January 28th
4:15 p.m. 2:20 p.m. Boys & Girls Nordic Ski

JV Conference Meet

at Como Golf Course  
5:00 / 7:00 p.m. 3:45 / 9:00 p.m. Boys JV / Varsity Hockey vs.

Henry Sibley

at WSP Ice Arena  
5:30 / 7:00 p.m. 3:10 / 8:15 p.m. C-Squad / Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Harding at Harding High School  
5:30  / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.   C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Harding HOME  
WEDNESDAY DATE:   January 29th
5:00 p.m.   Boys Swimming

Conference Diving

at Humboldt High School  
5:30 / 6:00 p.m. 4:30 / 7:30 p.m. JV/Varsity Wrestling vs. Central at Central High School  
6:00 p.m. 4:00 / 8:00 p.m. JV/Varsity Gymnastics vs. Central at Johnson High School  
THURSDAY DATE:     January 30th
3:30 p.m.   JV / Varsity Girls Hockey vs. Mahtomedi at Lily Lake Park  
4:00 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m. 3:15 / 8:15 p.m. C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Central at Central High School  
5:30 / 7:00 p.m.   JV / Varsity Girls Basketball

vs. Central

5:30 p.m. 2:45 / 8:15 p.m. Boys Swimming

Conference Meet

at St. Catherine University  
5:30 / 7:30 p.m.   JV / Varsity Boys Hockey vs. Mora at Highland Ice Arena  
FRIDAY DATE:    January 31st
6:00 p.m. 4:00 / 8:00 p.m. Gymnastics JV Conference Meet at Johnson High School  
5:30 / 7:30 p.m.   JV / Varsity Boys Hockey vs.

St. Francis

at Highland Ice Arena  
SATURDAY DATE:    February 1st
8:30 / 9:00 a.m. 7:25 a.m. / 3:00 p.m. JV / Varsity Wrestling Conference Tournament at Johnson High School  
11:00 a.m. / 12:15 p.m.   C-Squad Boys Basketball DH vs. White Bear Lake HOME  
1:00 / 3:00 p.m.   JV / Varsity Girls Hockey vs. Armstrong at WSP Ice Arena  

My experience at a D1 recruitment camp

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A big aspect of being a part of competitive sports is hopefully playing at the next level after high school: college.

I am one of the many people that play sports that want to play in college, in particular the sport of lacrosse. I play on a club team whose purpose is to expose us to a higher level of play and to colleges. This summer I played lacrosse with my club team in Utah, Colorado, and Milwaukee. All of these trips were meant to expose us to college recruits. 

After this summer, I began to get many emails from colleges from all over the United States. Most of them are just advertising and nothing personal but I did get a few personal emails directly from coaches. They asked me to come visit their campus and participate in their recruitment camps.

The process of choosing which college to visit involves studying the level of play, coaching, academics, location, and interest. I narrowed down these emails to a college in North Carolina called High Point University. They were holding a recruitment camp at their campus, so my dad and I flew there to see what it was about.

This was my first time ever visiting a college for sports, so I was pretty anxious. When we arrived at the field for the first day out of the 3-day camp, there was upwards of 250 kids there, way way more than I expected. There where kids from all over the country and all levels of play. We all were spoken to by the coaches as a group and they explained their expectations of intensity, effort, and discipline. This is a Division 1 program so it was very serious. 

We got split up into 20 player teams and through the weekend we worked with each other and scrimmaged against other teams. All over the field there were coaches from other colleges watching us play. This can create a lot of pressure. 

After we’d play and practice, they gave us tours of the locker rooms, campus, and dorms. There were also motivational speakers that talked to us about staying healthy and being in good mental and physical shape in order to play at a Division 1 level. 

Overall, this was a very good experience and helped me know and understand what is expected in the next level of play and also exposed me to my competition to get there. I learned a lot about myself and what I need to do to get better and was also a great confidence booster knowing I could compete at the highest level of college sports. I plan on doing a few more of these with different colleges to help myself decide what I want to do and be ready to start my life as an adult. 

Gap year

By Charlotte Lane

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When people talk about the benefits of a gap year the obvious pros are mentioned: being able to work and save up money for college expenses, gain experience in the work world, independence, learning how to be self sufficient, determining what you want to pursue and overall mature more. 

There are four types of a gap year 

The first is a personal gap year. This is when individuals focus on hobbies and personal interests, allowing time to do something you have always wanted to do but “never had the time for.” 

The second is an academic gap year. This gap year involves exploring schooling and finding your specific major or school. It allows students to be enrolled in 1-2 college courses in order to determine if this subject is something they would be interested in pursuing. 

Third is an immersion gap year. This is when students can spend time abroad in an unfamiliar culture with an unfamiliar family. This time gives students opportunities to learn a new language, experience a different way of living, and push themselves out of their comfort zone. 

The last opportunity is a volunteer gap year. This is a time where students can focus on leaving a positive impact on people and places. Volunteer work allows students to learn new skills, experience diverse cultures, and create a community of their own. 


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So why should I take a gap year? 

Throughout high school, students spend the majority of time focusing on their education, and it can be extremely tiring. Even though students are burnt out so much pressure has been put on by peers, friends and parents to go to college. This glorified experience has been planted inside student’s brains since the start of middle school. So, students rush into college courses, sometimes not ready to do so, even though it is healthy to take a break from school and reconstruct yourself. 

Here are ten reasons I think gap years are worth it



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Stop asking yourself if you should take a gap year, and start asking yourself why not.

Visit this site to explore gap year resources:

Now go discover what’s right for you!

Women in the U.S. military

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When it comes to serving one’s country, it took a lot to get women to where they are today. Throughout the years, women have been fighting to move up the ranks in the military. It took a long time, but finally, women can now enroll and serve their country in any rank or position. 

Women have always held a role in the United States military, however for the majority of the time, the roles never involved combat. These women who wanted to serve were confined to jobs as washwoman, cooks, medical caregivers/nurses, seamstresses, and laudresses in the 18th and 19th century. These military roles were mainly taken part during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

Once World War l came around, women still were mainly just nurses. However, the women not already working medical positions were to enlist in the armed forces. During this time, most still served in a voluntary area. A select few ended up being hired by different branches of the military for work and aide in clerical positions. 35,000 women and counting served in the army during WW I. 

During WW ll, women were once again recruited for the army. This time not only to be a nurse, or work in a clerical position, but to be hired as a weather forecaster, telephone operator, or linguists.

As time went went on, some faced a lot of hardships while being a part of the army. Congress decided to allow women to legitimately enlist in the Army of the United States. Because of the Women’s Army Corps, in 1943, women could attain a military rank and serve overseas. 

Women served valiantly in WW ll. They were mocked, sexually harassed, and stigmatized. Through all that, they served bravely and some received medals and citations of their contributions. However, every woman who served was not considered a veteran or given benefits.

A few years later because of sexism in the military, in 1948, President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law. This meant letting women serve as full and permanent members in all branches of the U.S. military. However, women were still restricted. This act limited the number of women who could serve. This left only 2% to be women in the military. At this point, it would take years to get women to where they needed to be equally. 

Slowly but surely, Women’s roles did expand from where they were. By the time it was 1970, women in the military could rise to command roles in non-combat units. Along with this, women and men began to train together.

In the year of 2013, women finally achieved full status in the U.S. military. They could now serve in combat roles. However, this did raise a new global question; should women be required to register for the draft? 

Which streaming service is best for you?

As we progress into a more tech-filled world, the way we consume our media is changing as well. More and more entertainment companies are moving their movies and TV shows onto streaming services, rather than keeping them on cable TV.

However, with monthly fees for each service, it can stack up to be an expensive bill, leaving many to decide between services. It can  be difficult to decide which one to choose and which is best for you, so today we will take a look at 5 very popular streaming services to see which one suits you best. These 5 streaming services are: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, and Disney+.

Starting off with the service that popularized the streaming service craze, Netflix. Netflix offers a wider variety of content than competitors, making it an easy choice for those seeking an all-around great subscription service. While it may be more expensive than other services, they also offer a lot of original series’ that can’t be found anywhere else, such as Stranger Things.

The service that is seen as Netflix’s main competition is Hulu. Hulu is a streaming service that also has a variety of movies and TV shows, plus it also has Live TV options (note, Hulu is now owned by Disney). The primary issue is that, unless you are willing to pay extra for a premium account, the service won’t provide Live TV, and it runs ads. Hulu also has fewer original series’ than Netflix.

Similar to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video also has many high quality original movies and TV shows, as well as a lot of other content. One major benefit to using Amazon Prime Video is that you are able to rent or buy movies and TV shows that you otherwise would have to buy as a DVD (or use RedBox or a service similar to it).

YouTube TV is a great replacement to classic cable. While it is much more expensive than other streaming services, it is doing something different. It is replicating cable more than the others, and is mostly made up of live content. YouTube TV offers an excellent lineup of sports, news, and entertainment channels, and is a top choice for people who still want the cable TV experience but want to cut the cord and don’t want to spend as much money as cable.

Finally, the most recent addition to the lineup is Disney+. Disney+ is a service similar to Netflix and Hulu, but offers tons of Disney owned content all in one place. We all know how much of a juggernaut Disney is to the entertainment industry, so having a service of most of what Disney owns is a lot of content. However, many people are complaining that there isn’t a wide enough variety of content. Most of what is on Disney+ is movies, and there is barely anything new to watch on the service.

Overall, you can’t go wrong with any of these services. Whether you’re looking for a replacement to cable, a service that you can watch with your family, or just something to watch your favorite TV shows on, all of these have something for you.


PRIZM is a magazine that displays the artwork created by the students at Highland Park. The staff advisor of PRIZM is Nancy Michael. 

PRIZM has been a group that has been created and recreated many times by the students at our school. There have also been other groups created that are similar to PRIZM but were put under a different name.

What is the purpose of PRIZM?

PRIZM gives the students at Highland an opportunity to be creative and create something that they like. It also allows them to show off their own hard work with the people of the Highland Park High School community. 

What can you submit?

You can submit anything that you consider to be artwork!

Things such as:

  • Writing pieces
  • Drawings
  • Paintings 
  • Sculptures
  • Photography
  • Pottery

How can you submit your artwork?

You can submit your artwork by sending it to the PRIZM email. This year that email is: If you have any questions, or issues with your artwork, you can email PRIZM as well. 

You can submit your artwork with any name that you’d like. You can also submit it anonymously and your artwork will be the only thing presented in the PRIZM magazine. 

When can you submit?

Now! The PRIZM email is ready and open to accept the fresh new pieces of artwork from all the students at Highland!

Want to be a member of PRIZM?

If you would like to be a part of PRIZM you can simply email the advisor Nancy Michael at:

As a member of PRIZM you will be able to be considered a real publisher which sounds pretty cool on college resumes! 

PRIZM meetings usually occur in the auditorium or in the field house area. Meeting times vary, but there usually are at least two meetings a month. At meetings you help come up with ideas to promote PRIZM, ideas for fundraisers, and you get to decide what is accepted into the PRIZM magazine/book.