What happened to the school lunches for SPPS?

By: Elsie Olive

Most students have already noticed, but if you hadn’t already, the lunches served at St. Paul Public Schools have severely gone downhill between the 2018-2019 school year and this one.

In the years prior to the 2019-2020 school year, SPPS had provided a variety of nutritional foods. In fact, in 2013, TwinCities.com said SPPS lunches had gotten national attention for the incredible and healthy foods the schools were providing.

However if you look at the lunches served now, almost always the options are either some variant of chicken, hamburgers, gyros, or Italian dunkers, and every lunch is served with a side of fries.

So, what changed in the few months between these two school years?

Unfortunately, there is hardly any information that explains exactly what happened, but, by checking some of the links on the SPPS lunch menus page, there is one that takes us to Nutrislice.com. Here, at spps.nutrislice.com, it gives us a message which suggests that SPPS no longer uses Nutrislice as a means of supplying their lunches. The newest and working links on the SPPS page take us to SchoolCafé.com, where you can view current school lunch menus.

It could be that this is the only reason school lunches have decreased in value this much, but it is hard to believe that such a small change could completely offset the school’s menu. It is likely that there were some staff changes in the Nutritional Services and Wellness department of SPPS.

At this point, there isn’t much other information available, and the lack of information provided on the SPPS website about it’s staff members or exactly what changed between this school year and the last one doesn’t help with that.

However, it probably has much more to do with the relaxing of regulations for school-provided meals by the Trump Administration according to BusinessInsider.com. This particular article also mentions that the billions of dollars cut from the education budget has deeply affected the ability for schools to provide enough nutritional food for all of their students.

‘Persona 5 Royal’ Review

Persona 5 Royal is an Japanese role playing game (JRPG). Persona 5 Royal is basically a remastered, and rethought with more extra plot, version of the original game Persona 5. This fixes a lot of the problems in Persona 5 making Persona 5 Royal a great JRPG. Even though Person 5 Royal is taken from the original game, it did not just address its flaws; it develops more plot and flows very smoothly.

When I first got this game I thought it would be ok, but I was mistaken and it’s now one of my favorite video games I have played.

In Persona 5 Royal, you play as a teenage boy in Japan who is falsely accused of a crime and ends up with a criminal record. You make friends with other kids who have been screwed over by evil adults, and they discover the power to make those evil adults feel remorse and confess their crimes.

They can do this by stealing their heart’s desire, or also known as a treasure. They use a place called Mementos to find where the evil adults are, but Mementos is the public’s overall heart.

Palaces are the evil adults’ distorted hearts that have been corrupted by their selfish actions. You fight monsters through these palaces to get to their treasure and steal it to make them confess their crimes. Also, there are hidden ‘will seeds’ through palaces and if you find all three they turn into a help tool you can use. 

While you are going through palaces you have a normal life as a student. Meaning you have to manage your time to study, interact, have a job, and more.

The time span of Persona 5 Royal is one year that you have to manage your time correctly, so it is easier to complete the game. While you go about your daily life you can interact with the world around you, talk to people and buy items to help you in your battles.

Overall this is one of the best games that you can find and play, from its art styles to its music, and even its unique combat style. If you are looking for a new game to play on your PS4, this is the game I would recommend.

Things to do this summer 

By: La Dafia Dehaney

Summer is here and we have spent almost four months locked up inside the house. If you are looking for something to do, here are a few ideas: 

1. Go to a lake – Minnesota has the most lakes of any state. Some lakes you can visit are: Lake of the Isles (in Minneapolis), Mille Lacs Lake, Lake Minnetonka, Lake of the Woods, Leech Lake, Gull Lake, Rainy Lake, and Lake Vermilion (in Saint Louis County).

Lake of the Isles, in Minneapolis, is the quietest of all of the Minneapolis lakes, and also the most beautiful. Lake Vermilion, in Saint Louis County, is the fifth largest lake in northeastern Minnesota.

2. Take a road trip – Choose some states that are close to each other and tour them. Visit museums, tour buildings, and find good food to eat.

3. Get a job – You can always get a job to make some money to buy new things.

4. Try new foods – To make the best of the summer, you can drive around to new restaurants and try the food and write about them.

5. Volunteer work – Minnesota has a lot of volunteer work. You can volunteer at: the Lead Global Affairs discussions, drive cancer patients to treatment, serve meals, become a JA volunteer, or volunteer for Music Teachers for Underprivileged Children.

6. Watch movies – Netflix and Disney+ have a lot of great new movies coming this summer so you can binge watch a couple of them.

7. Re-Decorate your room – Keep yourself busy by redecorating your room by adding new furniture, re-painting it, organizing your closet, or adding new carpets.

8. Have a sleepover – Nothing better than having friends by your side, so invite friends over, watch a couple of movies, eat snacks, and gossip a little.

Review of ‘Outer Banks’

As Netflix releases new shows and movies to watch regularly, one that has gained lots of attention since its release in April is Outer Banks. If you haven’t already watched it, or don’t really know if you should, this article will go into what it’s about and my personal review of the show along with its possible renewal for season two.

Outer Banks is a ten episode show released to Netflix on April 15, 2020. The show is based around four sixteen-year-olds that live in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

John B, who is the protagonist among them, is looking for his father, who went missing nine months ago, and embarks on a whole new challenge of finding $400 million worth of missing gold. In this, he faces challenges with the rules of the island and the major separation between two different types of people, the rich group known as the “kooks” and the working class known as the “pogues.”

It mainly fits under the genres: action, drama, adventure, mystery, and I’d say a little comedy to lighten the mood.

This show has many aspects that contribute to my overall review. Production, storyline, characters, and overall execution are some of the main factors that make this show what it is.

Firstly, the production of the show is probably one of my favorite aspects of the entire series. After looking into the production and how they filmed it, almost all of the scenes that have natural elements were actually filmed outside utilizing the natural beauty of sunsets and the bodies of water in Charleston, South Carolina. This is really a game changer for the show and has been recognized by many people for the summer vibe that it gives off, something that would not have been captured if the scenes were filmed in front of a green screen and reliant on heavily edited clips. Of course, this made it harder for producers to have to consider the weather and conditions, but it paid off in the end.

What the whole show is based around, the storyline, was also very important for the show to be successful and get a bigger audience. As it turned out, the somewhat questionable plot had a lot of good points that may be unrealistic to expect in your own life but seemed to suit the imaginary lifestyle created in the show. It was also a fresh path that lots of shows may be hesitant to cover because it could easily turn out childish when involving a hunt for lost treasure, but this was not the case for this series. Because the plot was rather broad, it left lots of room for creative twists in this season and plenty more for a possible next season.

An aspect probably just as important as the actual storyline itself is the characters and actors that are involved with the show. Personally, I believe that the group of people they choose for all the different roles were pretty much perfect. All the actors seem to have no problem performing their designated role, which comes as a shock to some of the parts that may be harder to sell. The development of the characters is also something to note. Just after a couple of episodes, opinions of certain characters can shift and change very easily which leaves lots of questions at the end of the first season.

Lastly, the overall execution of the show. You can definitely tell that this has been thought out and put together very well by the producers, actors, cameramen, and editors. There are lots of details that make a big difference in the show, but one being all the thought put into it. In addition to that, this show was no do-it-yourself series filmed in someone’s backyard, as it seems they spared no expense to produce it with $50 million dollars invested only in season one.

Another positive thing about the show was some of the work done before it. In an article, it was said that the producers considered filming in Wilmington, North Carolina but chose not to after learning of the anti-LGBTQ bill that required people in the state to only use the public restroom that was consistent with their birth certificate. In disagreement with this bill, they decided to shoot outside of North Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina.

A couple of things I would say I disagree with includes its rating and description on the Netflix streaming service.

Firstly, I don’t think this show should be rated TV-MA because it never gets to be overly inappropriate or graphic. Besides some occasional swearing or kissing scenes, it never really escalates past that. Despite the mature language and actions within the show that are used for effect, this show’s rating should at least be TV-14.

Secondly, I would not recommend deciding to watch the show based on the description Netflix provides. Personally, I don’t believe it does it justice and I think that you should determine if the show is for you based on a review or just watching it.

So, the question is, would I recommend that you watch this show? Although I have lots of positive thoughts about it, I don’t think this is for everyone, as no show really is. If you like the idea of almost hour long episodes involving a good deal of action, mystery, and some romance then this show would be a good option for you. In the end, I would say that if you have any interest in watching it, just go for it and if it is not your cup of tea you don’t have to finish it, even though the ending has some of the best parts.

And for those of you who have already watched it, will there be a season two? As of now, there is no definite answer. Even though Netflix usually lets us know about a show renewing for another season about a month after it’s premiere, they have yet to make the call about Outer Banks. Even though it may be concerning to know there is no for sure answer, there is room to assume this beloved show will be back.

The fact that the show was successful would be one major reason they would renew it. Also, the producers of the show, Josh Pate, Jonas Pate, and Shannon Burke have said to multiple different sources that they planned for Outer Banks to be a four, or even five season show, which makes lots of sense after the season finale cliffhanger that left lots of questions unanswered. Not only that, but Netflix had told them to work on scripts before season one was even released, giving them a few months now. In addition to that, Chase Stokes, the actor of John B., posted a picture to his Instagram of his character’s signature button-up shirt and bandana around his neck with the caption saying “JB’s back.”

So, as we not-so-patiently wait for some clarification, remember that Netflix also may be holding off to confirm a season two to keep the audience interested. If they release a statement that they will be back for a season two when production is on its way, and they are closer to being able to release it, the second season will likely get more attention when it does release and more of the audience will still be around.