Thoughts on Personal Project

Personal Project was due just a week ago. Even though the project was a way for you to do something based on your interest, and it was supposed to be exciting, I think the Personal Project was just a waste of time. I don’t see the point of writing a paper and doing a process journal of what you accomplished. It just had a lot of stress, so there wasn’t really a point in doing it.  

Not everyone shared my opinion about Personal Project. Here are some opinions from others and why they thought it was a good thing:

“I think it’s really good for students to make a project about things they like versus being forced to do essays on certain topics in school. It gives us the opportunity to explore our own interests.”

“I think it’s a great way to explore things we like and a good way to be productive. I trained my dog which was helpful for him and my family. I do think the project felt more like a chore than being fun. This was mostly because of the paper which was really long and repetitive questions. But overall a good exploration of my teaching skills.”

“I got to spend time learning something new. Gain new skills. And also getting time to reflect on my process.”

“The Personal Project definitely helped me explore something I was interested in, it should be worth more. I didn’t feel motivated to do it.

“Well, I think the Personal Project is a great way to be creative. I think it’s great we can decide on what we want our project to be, I also think that it’s a great way to show others what we’re most interested in and show the process of it.”

“Although I have heard some of my peers say they feel that there is no purpose to the Personal Project, I disagree. I feel like the Personal Project can be used to enhance interests that we already have. For example, I have always been fascinated by pianists and how they are able to memorize so many keys. The Personal Project motivated me to make my first step to playing a song. Overall, I think the Personal Project had a purpose.”

“I think it was ok, not really exciting.”

While there were people who saw value in the Personal Project, others shared my thought on it being pointless. Some said the following:

 “I think it’s a waste of time.”

“I think it’s dumb.”

“It was a waste of time, to be honest.”

“I kinda don’t see the point. I didn’t think that it was needed and it doesn’t make a difference if a school makes you do it or not.”

“It’s a pass or fail. It’s not terrible because of how flexible it is but it is dumb.”

“I feel like it’s okay but useless at the same time because we as students express ourselves through our work already so we shouldn’t have to do a whole project to express ourselves.”

“It was a waste of time and there’s no point in doing it because it’s supposed to be something we enjoy doing but end up hating.”

“I think the Personal Project was a waste of time. There wasn’t really a point in doing it. I didn’t really see the purpose of writing a whole paper about it and explaining how it’s personal to me. I wish it was a different assignment than writing a whole essay about a dumb project.”

“I think it’s mostly unnecessary because it is worth no points so students don’t have a lot of motivation to do it unless it’s something they like. Even then though, most people don’t like to journal the whole process or write a paper and that ruins the motivation.”

So overall, there were mixed reviews and thoughts about the Personal Project. It’s done though now, and so we can move on.

States accepting the CROWN Act

In many places in the world, like America, Black women and men often face hair discrimination. On several occasions, they are denied work and opportunity because of their hairstyles and/or hair textures. Due to this, not only adults are facing mistreatment, but also children of African Descent. 

In a single week, three states around the United States introduced or advanced bills that would ban hair discrimination. Those three states are: Colorado, Minnesota, and Washington. All three states have a 3%+ population of African Americans and are becoming more open minded.

Colorado passed the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, or CROWN, Act and their senate introduced the new bill the next day. Minnesota is considering the bill and was introduced to the bill earlier in the week. Washington state passed a bill that would prohibit employers and schools from discriminating against people over hairstyles and textures including: afros, braids, locks and twists.

At school, many people experience hair discrimination, like Texas student DeAndre Arnold. He was told that he was unable to walk at his own graduation if he didn’t cut his dreadlocks. His school only allows short dreadlocks and because his are long, they violated the school dress code. As of January 24, 2020, Arnold had to face suspension.

The superintendent claims it to be legal, in which is it, but it’s not right. If Texas were to also pass the CROWN Act then teens and others of African Descent, like DeAndre Arnold, don’t have to go through this hair discrimination.

It’s not just Colorado, Minnesota, and Washington though. Other states like, California, New York, and New Jersey, were the first three states to pass the CROWN Act. As other states start to roll in and start accepting others, the CROWN Act is starting to thrive each and every day giving others the rights they deserve. 

‘Iron Blooded Orphans’

The Netflix show, Iron Blooded Orphans, also known as Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans, is a story set around 300 years after something called the Calamity War. The Calamity War refers to a great conflict between the Earth and Outer Spheres that lead to the establishment of the Post Disaster Timeline. 

The war put Mobile Suits in high demand, and the mass fighting caused a lot of destruction. Mobile Suits are humanoid combat vehicles, typically employing two arms to deploy weapons, two legs for propulsion, and a head that acts as a main camera. Generally, a mobile suit is approximately 60 feet in height, with the cockpit located in the Mobile Suit’s torso.

Mobile Suit Gundam also known as First Gundam, Gundam 0079, or simply Gundam ’79, is a televised anime series, produced and animated by Nippon Sunrise. Created and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, it premiered in Japan, on Nagoya Broadcasting Network, on different TV stations, on April 7, 1979, and lasted until January 26, 1980, spanning a total of 43 episodes. Iron Blooded Orphans is one of the many spin-offs based off of the Gundam franchise. 

In the story humanity has terraformed Mars. The Mars colony is still under an Earth-based rule and is effectively an economic slave state that now wants its independence. This creates child soldiers that make up the ranks of a civilian security company called Chryse Guard Security. This force is tasked with escorting a Martian noblewoman called Kudelia Aina Bernstein to Earth to go against Mars being under earth’s rule. The Earth military force of Gjallarhorn has plans to stop this escort to earth so that Mars can stay under Earth’s rule. 

All the complex machines they use something called the Alaya-Vijnana System, which is a cybernetic interface across the spine that directly connects the machine to the pilot. The children use the cybernetic interface, or the Alaya-Vijnana System, to create an army of child soldiers that are remarkably adept at handling complex machinery but are a cheap and expendable workforce from a business standpoint. The Alaya-Vijnana System process is a dangerous one to make and almost any adult would not survive the process if they tried to have it done. The group of child soldiers is called Tekkadan.

The main protagonist, Mikazuki Augus, is the mobile suit pilot of the Gundam Barbatos, which is a relic from the Calamity War. From the war, they created Gundam’s like Barbatos. Gundams are advanced, high performance mobile suits, often constructed to be much more powerful than the standard production mobile suits. They are generally equipped with the latest experimental technology available at the time of their construction. 

So, the Gundam series Iron-Blooded Orphans is without a doubt among the best the Gundam franchise has to offer, especially when it comes to the alternate series in the franchise. This is aimed at older audiences since it has a brutal, and very gritty story. I would recommend this to people who like a good story, like seeing big battles with mobile suits and Gundams, and like great character development. 

“Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.” IMDb, IMDb.com, 4 Oct. 2015 – Image taken from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5344382

Plastic in the ocean

Ever wonder how plastic gets in our ocean? Plastic makes its way into the ocean due to human activity. Instead of recycling plastic as we are supposed to, it ends up in the trash can. From the trash can, that plastic goes to a landfill. Because the plastic is so light, it will often fly off and that’s when it starts going into bodies of water and streets. 

Plastic affects the ocean because it can kill wildlife, fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. Because of the plastic floating in the ocean, often times animals tend to get tangled in it and die. They also mistake it for food. Sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and often end up choking on them and dying. 

Plastic in the ocean has a negative impact on the environment. According to the United Nations Environment, plastic can release toxic effects. Chlorinated plastic can release harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil, which can seep into groundwater or any other surrounding water sources, and also the ecosystem. This is dangerous because it can cause harmful effects to the species who drink water.

There are long term effects of having plastic in the ocean. Some of them can be toxic wastes. This can then affect marine wildlife along with the food chain and any reproductive system failures. It can interrupt the cycle of the coral reefs. And it can also affect human health. 

Some of the more short term effects of having plastic in the ocean. Plastic in the ocean can pollute the ocean and any waterways, which then has harmful impacts on the environment and the economy. Many sea life creatures eat plastic and die from choking, blockage in the intestines and starvation. 

There are many things the human species can do to help stop plastic from getting into the ocean, or any other body of water. We can reduce our use of Single-Use plastics (think like plastic straws, Saran Wrap, or plastic cups, etc.). We can start to recycle properly or participate in a beach or river cleanup. You can also support any organizations that address plastic pollution problems. 

High Kick and Jazz State 2020

On February 14th and 15th, at Target Center, the State Dance Competition for 2020 was held.

Many different teams competed to go to finals. The teams for class A Jazz were: Duluth Marshall, Frazee, Houston, Minnewaska, BOLD, and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton.

The teams for class AA Jazz were: Marshall, Totino-Grace, Rocori, Benlide-St. Margaret’s, Fairbault, and Simley.

The teams for class AAA Jazz were: Lakeville North, Blaine, Centennial, Brainerd, Anoka, and Edina.

To find more of the teams that competed go to: Jazz Preliminary. 

Every team did an excellent job but the teams that stood out the most to me were Simley and Edina.

Simley had a beautiful jazz dance. They had amazing spotting on their turns and many different types of leaps that were done well. Their song was upbeat and interesting for a jazz dance. Their costumes didn’t catch the eye, which made the dance a little less interesting. Overall, they did a wonderful job and the only thing I think they could have improved was better pointed toes and to incorporate more choreography compared to skills.

Edina had a very dramatic jazz dance. They also spotted very well on their turns. Their turns looked difficult. The whole dance was a bit chaotic. I think there was too much going on at once. Their music was quite lyrical for a jazz dance. Overall, they did a fantastic job, and the only thing I would suggest they work on is making it less chaotic and more put together. 

On February 15th, the high kick competition was also held at Target Center. The teams for class A Kick were: Frazee, Piez, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, St. Charles, Yellow Medicine East, and Cannon Falls.

The teams for class AA Kick were: Totino-Grace, Rocori, Zimmerman, Orono, St. Cloud Tech, and Simley.

The teams for class AAA Kick were: Centennial, Anoka, Chaska, Lakeville North, Spring Lake Park, and Eastview.

To find more of the teams that competed fo to: High Kick Preliminary. 

Once again every team did an excellent job but the teams that stood out the most to me were Austin and Simley.

Austin had a kick dance that I’ve never seen before. The dance was based off of the movie It. During their dance all of their kicks had pointed toes and they were all together. Their costumes were very interesting. Having 2 different colored pant legs are very hard in kick because if you don’t get your timing right on your kick you can tell exactly what person did it. They also had makeup on that made them look more like a clown. Overall, I didn’t find anything to critique their dance.

Simley had yet another beautiful kick dance. They had these amazing pink costumes. The mashup for their song was upbeat and catchy. Most of their kicks were together. One thing I would suggest to them is working on perfecting their skills more and kick height for some. Overall, they did a fabulous job. 

The Iowa caucus

By Jillian Armstrong

Most people have heard about the Iowa caucus, and even it’s results this year. Most people, however, don’t know why the caucuses are so important and the influence it has.

The Iowa caucuses are biennial electoral events for members of the Democratic and Republican parties in the state of Iowa. The Iowa caucus is regarded as an important indicator of a candidate’s likely success and it usually is the first among the nomination contests. 

You may be wondering why the Iowa caucuses are important and why they are in Iowa in the first place. Iowa is tiny, atypical to the rest of the United States, and provides about only 1% of the nation’s delegates. However, this doesn’t stop the state from being the first indicator of whether a presidential candidate’s support is holding up. The timing of the Iowa caucus provides candidates time to adjust their messages, which gives the state a large amount of power in elections. The Iowa caucuses give the media a tangible measure of candidates’ relative strength.

The Iowa caucuses’ importance can be seen in past electoral races. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, for example, the Iowa caucuses in 2000 played an important role in the ascendance of the Democratic nominee, Al Gore. It did the same thing for the election’s ultimate winner, George W. Bush. In 2008, former President Barack Obama took lead in the Iowa caucuses. This forged a path for his nomination and victory over his rivals. 

The Iowa caucuses are run differently from other primary elections. In primary elections, in other states, registered voters go to polling places to cast ballots. In Iowa, people gather at local caucus meetings to discuss and vote on the candidates.

The caucuses were run differently this year, a decision that may have backfired. Instead of local meetings, it was decided that an app would be used to make the experience “easier.” The apps showed irregularities and votes began to have to be counted manually. This led to a significant delay in determining the results. 

According to CNN, the eventual results of the Iowa caucuses showed Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders as front runners in the Presidential race, both carrying about 21% of the votes. Elizabeth Warren was not far behind in the race with about 18% of the votes. So, as the Presidential race continues, these three candidates should be paid close attention!

Youth Climate Justice Summit

By: Vivian S

If you are currently alive in the world, you have probably heard of climate change. One of the most discussed issues in this day and age, everyone seems to have an opinion about climate change. And youth are no exception, which is why they will be having a discussion about it.

On Wednesday, February 26th, which yes, is a school day, from 8:30am to 3pm, youth will be holding a summit to discuss climate change.

During the summit, youth will learn how to participate in government, specifically on the issue of climate change, and get a chance to speak with their representatives. Youth will also get to listen to youth activists, and learn how they are protesting climate change. While the summit may be about climate change, it also will be talking about how social justice relates to climate justice.

While posters around the school proclaim that the summit will be taking place at the MN State Capitol Building, the website says that it will be taking place in a multitude of buildings, mainly the Good Neighbor Center. The Good Neighbor Center is where the Highland group will be meeting first as well. If you are confused, like I was, you can find a map and instructions of where to go on the website.

To find that map and register, go to: https://www.climategen.org/our-core-programs/yea-mn/youth-climate-justice-summit-2020/.

They very strongly recommend and would like you to register.

If you are worried about transportation, the organizers also have options for that. You can fill out an application for transportation funding (though I’m unsure if they’re taking them anymore given applications were supposed to be turned in by January).

The Highland group is currently trying to work out transportation, but hasn’t yet got anything, if they do get transportation, they will be announcing it via announcements or their Instagram (@hpsavestheworld).

Also, if you are worried about food, there will be food there.

Last year, about 200 youth met with 50 senators at this summit. They participated in workshops, some of which discussed climate justice. Multiple organizations including Yea! MN, MN Can’t Wait, Women for Political Change, and MN350 participated in the event.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, whom I’m assuming is a Minnesota youth, you might want to register and plan to attend. 

Sports schedule for: Feb 24-29

MONDAY DATE:   February 24th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
4:00 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.   C-Squad / JV / Varsity

Boys Basketball vs Central

HOME  
TUESDAY DATE:  February 25th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
         
WEDNESDAY DATE:   February 26th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
5:30 p.m.   Adapted Hockey PI vs. Rochester at Rochester Friedell

Middle School

 
7:00 p.m.   Girls Basketball Section vs. Henry Sibley at Henry Sibley

High School

 
THURSDAY DATE:     February 27th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
5:30 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m.   C-Squad / JV / Varsity Boys Basketball vs. MPLS Roosevelt HOME  
6:00 p.m.   Class AA State Meet:

Boys Diving Prelims

at U of M Aquatic Center  
FRIDAY DATE:    February 28th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

4:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

  Wrestling Individual State Meet

Class AA:

First Round & Quarterfinals

 

at Xcel Energy Center

 
6:00 p.m.   Class AA State Meet:

Boys Swimming Prelims

at U of M Aquatic Center  
SATURDAY DATE:    February 29th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

4:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

  Wrestling Individual State Meet Class AA:

Semifinals & Championship

 

at Xcel Energy Center

 
6:00 p.m.   Class AA State Meet:

Boys Swimming & Diving Finals

at U of M Aquatic Center  
SUNDAY  

 

‘Super Smash Bros Ultimate’

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Review 

Super Smash Bros Ultimate is a fighting game, for the Nintendo Switch, based around popular and well known characters across Nintendo and other games.

Super Smash Bros was introduced on Jan 21, 1999, for the Nintendo 64 and was made by Masahiro Sakurai. It originally started as a side idea that Nintendo was testing and this proved to be lucky since Mortal Kombat caused a huge increase in fighting games. This helped Super Smash Bros to rise and sell billions of copies across Japan. Then the game went over to the U.S. and became very popular where it was the fifth best selling game on the Nintendo 64. 

Now, today, the game is even more popular than before with more characters added to it. At the start, it only had eight playable characters, but now has 72 playable characters and is still growing. Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the 5th title of the Smash series. 

The main game mode “Fight” is what most people play online where it is multiplayer with other people that also play Super Smash Bros Ultimate. In “Fight” game mode it can involve up to eight players, or computer programmed players (CP’s), to fight each other.

There are a variety of maps the game has to offer for design or competition. In addition to that, you can customize the game to what you would like to play. This could include stage hazards, stage morphing, handicaps, items, and many more. Also, there is story mode, spirits, and challenges to complete for people wanting to do something more than just play the “Fight” game mode. 

The fighters in Smash Bros Ultimate need to be balanced for competitive players and causal players. Nintendo has learned over time to make these fighters balanced so they won’t be unfair. Most characters are hard to master and takes time to learn how to play them effectively. This is very crucial for the game’s success.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate is a fantastic game that is very popular and very fun to play.

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Game Cover. Image taken from: Cutie Sunflower Wiki, cutie-sunflower.fandom.com/wiki/Super_Smash_Bros._Ultimate_Game_Cover.

For more information, please visit: www.denofgeek.com/us/games/super-smash-bros/241515/super-smash-bros-nintendo-history

Yoga for the young

Yoga is a physical activity that calms the body and the mind. Many people use it for different reasons like flexibility building, strength building, and anxiety reduction. Studies have shown that yoga is a great stress reliever. In 2012 a survey went out to a group of people that practiced yoga and 86% of the surveys said it helped reduce stress. 

Young people from ages as young as 5, all the way up to 18, in America, are required to go to school. As each year goes by it gets more and more stressful with classes getting harder and stricter. High schoolers are constantly complaining about stress and the workload piling up each day. Balancing home life, sports, clubs, programs, and homework is certainly hard on students. If young people started to take yoga how would the stress and anxiety levels decrease? 

In the article, “Yoga for the Young” by India Currents, a high school student started doing yoga at age 5. It taught her discipline, focus, and she lives almost stress and anxiety free as she breathes in and out calmly. It is stated that because she’s calmer and knows discipline, it helps her with getting good grades.

Many believe that yoga is only done by adults, but it can also have a great impact on teens and children if they learn to focus on focusing on their inhales and exhales. According to WebMD, studies show that yoga can work certain areas that will help students, and those areas are involved in thinking clearly, decision-making, memory enhancing, and regulating emotions. 

Schools don’t have many classes teaching yoga but at Highland Park Senior High, Kathleen Kramer teaches a class called Stress Management. In class they practice mindfulness, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, improving flexibility, and improving strength.

Ms. Kramer has seen many changes in her emotional, mental, and physical state before and after she started teaching the class. As a teacher, Ms. Kramer has seen improvements in her behavior at work saying, “I feel more calm after leaving this class. When I go to move on to teach my next class I feel that I am able to handle curveballs that are thrown at me daily.”

Many of her students also started seeing changes in themselves like Conor Gregg Escalante. Conor enjoys having this class in the middle of the day because it allows him to reset and regain his energy for the rest of the day. He has seen himself become more open minded after taking this class, improving his focus and engagement in class, and he’s been more open and flexible in his relationships.

From both the teacher and student perspective, there was great improvement in many areas. Yoga is a highly recommended activity that is proved to increase strength, flexibility, and decrease stress and anxiety. If youth all around the world were to practice this activity, it would impact them positively.