The PLP course

By: Vivian S

Schoology screenshot

If you are anything like me, when you returned to Schoology for Quarter 4, you received a big unexplained surprise. All of a sudden there was a new course labeled “PLP” in my listing.

I was sent into a spiral of panic, wondering what new class had been thrust upon me, and it took a few weeks for me to read through all the schoology updates and find out what it is. So, if you were confused like me, hopefully this will help.

PLP is an extra course – not required. It was created to help students plan for their futures. There are assignments to help one consider possible careers, necessary education, and internships. 

The course may be extra, but that does not mean it doesn’t offer credit. If you complete the course, having all assignments finished and turned in, and all quizzes passed, you can apply for a Career Seminar elective credit. Your work would be looked over by Mr. McCann, who would decide whether or not to give you the credit.

Completing the PLP course opens up internship opportunities for when you reach 11th or 12th grade. 

To find out exactly what this course is, I decided to go try out one of the assignments.

The first assignment is a self-exploration one, which isn’t really an exploration of your self but rather your career opportunities. This is, and drumroll please, a career survey! To start this assignment, you take a career survey, and the rest of the assignment is reflecting on the results you receive. 

I was actually a bit surprised by the results I received, as most of them were jobs I’d never really thought about going into (and some I’d never even heard of). So, if you want to check out some different job opportunities that you might have never thought of, then this assignment is for you.

And if you are just here to figure out if this is something for you to do for the credit, this assignment did only take me a bit less than an hour, so it’s pretty doable. 

It does appear you need to do the assignments in order though. The Career Research Assignment requires information you get from the Self-Exploration assignment, so I’d advise you do them in order.

Remember to focus on your actual classes first though! Then you can do this for an extra credit!

Justice for Ahmaud

Ahmaud Marquez Arbery was gunned down on February 23, 2020, during one of his jogs. Ahmaud was a 25-year-old African American.

On February 23, Ahmaud Arbery was in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, GA when Gregory and Travis McMichael confronted him with two guns. Travis McMicheal then gunned down Ahmaud, not once, not twice, but five times.

Ahmaud Arbery is not the first African American killed or gunned down for no reason.

There have been plenty of cases and where young African Americans have been killed for the color of their skin. Such as: Trayvon Martin, age 17;  Jordan Edwards, age 15; Micheal Brown, age 18.

The racism needs to stop and sadly it hasn’t. As a black African American it makes me scared to go anywhere because it makes me feel like what if I’m next. We as people, as human beings, shouldn’t have to go through something like that. The African American community is constantly taking losses.

As a child, having to view these crimes, and seeing no justice being served, is stomach aching. It’s traumatizing really. Ahmaud Arbery was doing nothing but jogging, simply working out like any other person, and was targeted by people so hateful and sinful. They felt the need to hurt, and not only harm, but kill, Ahmaud Arbery.

And yet, they still aren’t sentenced to the death penalty. If it had been reversed, and Ahmaud had killed them, he would’ve been sentenced to the death penalty so quick. 

The justice system in America is sooo messed it literally makes no sense that someone loses their life and isn’t served the proper justice they deserve.

Everyone wants to scream Black Lives Matter but the question that should be asked is do they? Do black lives really matter? Cause at this point, we don’t know what to believe anymore.

The world is so messed up that we have to constantly relive the past. It’s sad that we can’t just live our lives and be free. 

So, I would like to end this article with saying long live Ahmaud Arbery and #justiceforAhmaud. 

Cast reunions in quarantine: How they are making an impact

There is no question that we are in unprecedented times. With the coronavirus taking the world by storm, who would have thought that reunions of our favorite TV shows and movies would be keeping us busy.

There is no question that the majority of the population has been spending a lot of time at home. Luckly, for most, streaming our favorite shows and movies has been keeping us relatively busy. 

Not only do we get to spend our days binge-watching all sorts of entertainment, but we also get to watch reunions of our favorite shows. Virtual reunions have brought together our favorite casts. All the way from Scandal, to The Office, to Austin & Ally, a variety of shows have reunited during these difficult times. Disney channel favorites, 90s dramas, classic comedies, and even recent shows (like Tiger King and Too Hot To Handle) all are reuniting virtually for fans.

As of April 30, TV Line reported that there have been more than 20 virtual cast reunions. 

Here are just a few of the reunions so far…

Chuck, 90210, Desperate Housewives, Difficult People, Entourage, Frasier, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Friday Night Lights, Glee, Grimm, Hannah Montana, Jessie, The Last Man on Earth, Melrose Place, The Nanny, The Office, Outsourced, Parks and Recreation, Scandal, SCTV, Sonny with a Chance/So Random, Taxi, Twin Peaks, and Victorious.  

So, why reunite now? And what are they doing to help?

Many shows are reuniting now because they have the time on their hands. Sometimes with a popular show, it is hard to get the whole cast together due to busy schedules. Now, people have the free time to connect again.

Another reason shows are reuniting is because of a rise in popularity. With more free time, old shows are gaining a newfound popularity. This encourages a cast reunion that maybe wouldn’t have been wanted before.

As for what the reunions are doing to help people, the Parks and Recreation reunion is a great example of what reunions should be doing. During the Parks and Recreation reunion on April 30, they encouraged viewers to donate money to Feeding America. They dedicated the entire reunion to Feeding America as well.

Although not every reunion is dedicated to charity, all of them have been spreading well needed positivity. Reunions are also putting smiles on people’s faces and encouraging them to stay positive.

These reunions are a great reminder that one day, our world will be back to normal. 

Shanghai Disneyland reopen

By La Dafia Dehaney

Disneyland, in Shanghai, reopened back to the public on May 11, 2020. The SVP of Operations for Shanghai Disney Resorts, Andrew Bilstein, reported that “We have a very dedicated team of custodial cleaners that we’ve increased the number of those throughout the park that are constantly wiping down all the surfaces.”

To stay open, Disneyland is required to have only 24,000 people daily, the visitors are required to wear face masks (only costumed workers are the only ones not required to wear masks), the visitors should also practice social distancing, have their temperatures taken and have disinfectants. The park is covered with garbage cans dedicated solely for used face masks. 

Shanghai Disneyland parades have been canceled due to people always crowded at the sidewalk to watch them. The theatres there have also remained close.

To go on rides at Disney, they have placed purple social-distancing mats on the ground. To practice more social distancing Disney has decided to leave rows of seats empty on the rides, and the employees have been instructed to constantly disinfect ride vehicles and lap bars.

People who attend so far have been very respectful about the social distancing rules.

Due to the travel restrictions, only Shanghai residents, and the surrounding provinces, were allowed to go, but guests must book entry tickets online to avoid a large crowd. Also, they must show a green QR Shanghai health code, this helps the government track them if they are exposed and who they have been in contact with.

Shanghai Disneyland is the only one of the company’s parks to reopen, Disney is uncertain when they will reopen the other theme parks. But, Disney has signaled that Disneyworld in Florida might reopen next. The mall there, Disney Springs, will begin phased reopening on May 20.

For more information please visit:

 

Asian Giant Hornets

The Asian Giant Hornet, also known as ‘murder hornets’, arrived in the U.S in late 2019 when the beekeeper, Custer Wash, found an entire hive of bees destroyed in Washington state.

These giant hornets can grow up to two inches long. Their diets consist of large insects, colonies of insects, tree sap, and honey from honeybee colonies. 

The Asian Giant Hornets can be hostile if aggravated. If irritated, its venom is injected by its 6.25 mm long stinger and it attacks the human body’s nervous system and breaks the tissue of its victims.

These hornets originated from Japan, China, and many more Asian countries. Their nests are mostly made in forests and low mountains. They avoid higher elevations and flatlands along with tropical environments. 

The way honey bees eliminate these much larger creatures is by attracting them into the honeybee hive. Once the giant hornet is inside the hive, it will strike one of the honeybees, this is a clue to the rest of the honeybees to charge at it. While the Asian Giant Hornets are bigger than honeybees, the honeybees outnumber the hornet by a large quantity. They will then start to vibrate and make heats of 114 F°. By doing this, they basically cook the hornet alive and kill it. 

As I mentioned before, these giant hornets can be harmful when provoked. The stings can be so bad they can cause kidney failure. In the year 2013, the Asian Giant Hornets killed 41 people and injured more than 1,600 people in China. The venom from these hornets can even cause anaphylactic shock or cardiac arrest.

As of right now, the Asian Giant Hornet is the most dangerous hornet that causes 30-50 human deaths annually in Japan. 

A quick list of how to stay positive during quarantine

Here are some suggestions on how to stay positive during quarantine:

  • Make sure to let sunlight in: Sunlight is shown to increase the brain’s release of serotonin a hormone. Serotonin can boost moods and helps a person feel calm and focused.
  • Listen to music: Music can cause your brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that makes you feel good and is often associated with why we use our phones so much. The dopamine is addicting and your brain gets used to it.
  • Talk to someone: We may be separated but we are not alone in these times. We all are going through the same thing so we all have something to talk to each other about. You should also ask your family how they are doing and how they are holding up, it could just make there day better.
  • Exercise: Exercise is good for your body and your mind. Some of us may being doing this already but I know a lot of us are just inside sitting around and that can’t be healthy. So get a move on and get some exercise even if it’s once a week
  • Eat healthy: Eating healthy has always been a good way to stay positive and it shown to have good effects in your life. Junk food can make you groggy and lazy if you eat it more then healthy food. So eat your greens and veggies, oh and don’t forget the fruits

Complaints sent to the FCC about ‘The Walking Dead’

Season 7’s villain, Negan, got many complaints. Image taken from: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-who-does-negan-940640

The Walking Dead has always been a show victim to jokes and complaints. Many people point out it’s many seasons, dumb characters, and awkward romance. The amount of people tuning in every week has been chopped by more than half.

Production of new episodes of The Walking Dead has been stopped due to the coronavirus, and recently the FCC decided to release its biggest complaints about the AMC show.

Almost all are about the violence, and many called for the show to be taken of the air. A few viewers even called it satanic.

Complaints about violence consisted of the idea that such gore does not belong on cable television. A Texas complaint said there is no need to show blood and cites Hitchcock’s Pyscho as a non-violent horror.

Lots of these violence complaints centered around season seven’s villain. He wields a baseball bat covered in barbed wire, and uses this as a weapon against people. One viewer had said the image of seeing the bat used had horrified them, and even days later they couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Another focus was a group of people in the show who wear zombie skin as a disguise. Ads were shown on different channels showing the people cutting and sewing the skin masks. The complaints had said that the ads were too graphic. One person had been “Watching Princess Diaries 2 for goodness sakes,” and couldn’t change the channel quick enough. Another was trying to watch the “wholesome, clean” Hallmark channel, but was subjected to the same commercial. Complaints like these span over many channels such as The Food Network and TV Land.

In the same vein as violence, people also said the show is satanic. This is due to the gore, language, and LGBTQ+ characters.

Complaints also centered around the swearing. One viewer didn’t understand why cuss words would be on a show for kids, despite the fact that it is a TV-14 rated show.

Another had said that the show pulled in people of all ages and should be more clean. Walking Dead’s rating has been under fire as well, due to people thinking the show is not age appropriate for teens, and it should be rated TV-MA instead.

It feels like most of the complaints are just due to personal taste. While you might think gore is horrible, another person enjoys the thrill and tension that it can come with.

At the end of the day, if you don’t like the show, you can always turn it off.

Good things happening in the world

Coronavirus came to the U.S. in late January. The first confirmed case in the U.S. was on January 21st. Ever since, the news has been filled with new information about the virus. How to stay safe, how to prevent it, etc.

Along with the negativity, there have been many more positive things happening in both the environment and the world. 

Disneyland is donating excess food to food banks. Even though Disneyland closed temporarily due to the safety concerns, their oversupply of snacks will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. The food donated was dairy, fruit, and vegetables.

Walt Disney, and Disneyland resorts, have a continuing commitment to reducing any food waste. Each year they donate over 1.2 meals to their local Second Harvest Food Bank. There are also cast members volunteering to collect, sort, and distribute food donations. 

Specialists say that there is still hope in conserving marine life. Although the process will take three decades; it’s all due to human activity. According to Mongabay, 8 million tons of plastic pollute the ocean every year. If humans can pollute less, then the ocean could be fully re-established by 2050.

Humans can strive to help by attempting to decrease carbon emissions that accelerate climate change. While some parts of the ocean are easy to restore, some aren’t. For example the coral reefs. Coral reefs are bleaching because of climate change.

If the ocean is going to be saved, action must be taken within a short amount of time.

Oil companies are collapsing during these times but the wind and solar energy are the opposite of collapsing, they are growing. Industry executives and analysts expect renewable businesses to grow in 2020, while oil, coal, and gas companies struggle.

In California and Texas, for example, solar panels and wind turbines now produce more electricity, in a more economical way, than coal and natural gas. The good thing about solar and wind energy is that it’s sustainable and clean for humankind. 

While the world has been having a problem with polluted air and non-clear skies, during the time of self-quarantining and not leaving the house, carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced. According to VICE, air travel has dropped by over half in late March. Which accounts for 2.5% global carbon dioxide emissions. This is a good thing because when we do need to go outside for some fresh air or take a walk, we will smell pure and clean air. 

Quarantine haircuts

By: Vivian S

About a week ago, at the time of writing this, as the sun set over the horizon and the day wound to a halt, I walked upstairs with my mother. We stood in front of a mirror and she handed me a pair of scissors. Reaching out, I grabbed her hair, and carefully, I hacked through the mounds of tangled hair she had grown during quarantine.

It was the best experience of my life.

Stuck at home during social distancing, one of the businesses that has been closed (at least here in Minnesota) are hairdressers.

Now, lost as we are without our stylists’ help, our hairs have begun to grow long and matted. Some have taken this tragedy into their own hands though, as my mother did, and cut their own hair at home.

Now is the time! That haircut you dream of yourself having in your nightmares? You can give yourself that! No one ever need know; it’s not like you shall be seeing anyone anyway.

Of course, I can make no promises as to how long social distancing shall last. Who knows? Perhaps you may be called back to work tomorrow, and all of your coworkers will see, and laugh, at the mohawk you gave yourself. It may be better to play it safe and give yourself a haircut you would be willing for others to see you with.

If you want ideas for your own haircut, you need only to search for “coronacut” on Twitter or Instagram to see all the photos of people trying to do their own.

Why, you could partially shave your head. That’s an idea, though whether your razor will die halfway through is out of my vision.

Regardless, corona haircuts seem like a great way to have fun during social distancing. I have not gotten mine yet, but it is only a matter of time.

‘The Midnight Gospel’ review

The Midnight Gospel is a Netflix show that came out on April 20th. The show was directed and produced by Duncan Trussel and Pendleton Ward, the creators of Adventure Time. The show follows the journey of a guy named Clancy who goes to different worlds and records podcasts interviewing people from those worlds. These interviews are based on real life conversations Pendleton Ward and Duncan Trussel had with philosophers around the world.

Each episode dives into different topics from the legalization of marijuana to the modern use of witchcraft. On top of the oftentimes bizarre topics, the animation that goes alongside it is very confusing, but interesting and fun to watch. The style of animation is very similar to Adventure Time in that it’s very colorful and there’s a lot of organic movement. 

The eighth and final episode was my favorite. This episode is based off a 2013 interview with Duncan Trussel’s mom. At the time, she had metastatic breast cancer that had spread to her bone marrow. She died three weeks after the interview. The episode dives into death and what happens after you die. They also talk about going with the flow of life rather than fighting against it.

The way they use metaphors and analogies makes it easy to understand the deep they’re talking about. I also really like this episode because it makes you feel so many emotions at once, there are times when your mind tells you you’re supposed to be sad and dark, but you can’t help but be happy at times, and there are times when it feels like you’re supposed to be happy but you feel sad.

Overall, this show was very good. I think that I will have to watch it a couple more times to fully understand everything because there is so much information, but the visuals make it interesting enough that it will still be fun to watch. I highly recommend watching it.