The career of SZA so far

By: Isabelle Baidoo

SZA, Solána Imani Rowe, is by far one of the most influential music artists of this generation. Not only has she topped the charts countless times, but she has been nominated for a Grammy 15 times.

Rowe was born on November 8, 1989. She was raised in Maplewood, New Jersey by Abdul Mubarak-Rowe and Audrey Rowe. Her father was an executive producer for CNN, and her mother was an executive at AT&T.

Rowe created the stage name, SZA, from the Supreme Alphabet. The Supreme Alphabet is a system of interpreting text and finding deeper meaning. The S in SZA stands for savior or sovereignty. The Z stands for Zig-Zag, which means Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding. Since it’s the last letter of the alphabet it represents the final step of consciousness. Then lastly, the A stands for Allah. She also stated that she took influence from RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan.

Her musical career started in the early 2010s. She had released two pieces before signing with Top Dawg Entertainment. After being signed with her record label she released ‘Z’. This would be her third EP and first retail release.

Image taken from:
entertainment/2022/04/04/maplewood-nj-sza-grammys-doja-c at-best-pop-duo/7267909001/

Rowe has 7 Top 10 Hits on the Billboard Charts and has had 39 songs in the top 100. The highest song on the list being “Kiss Me More”, which remained on the charts for 43 weeks; its peak position being 3rd place.

She has won countless awards, but the most recent dating back to 2019 are:

  • The NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Duo or Group (“All The Stars”)
  • The BET Her Award (“Good Days”)
  • The Billboard Music Award for Top Viral Song (“Kiss Me More”)
  • and lastly The iHeartRadio Music Award for R&B Song of the Year (“I Hate U”).

On June 9, 2017, SZA released ‘CTRL’, her debut studio album. This album has fourteen tracks, all co-written by SZA herself. She collaborated with many other artists for this album including Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, James Fauntleroy, and Isaiah Rashad.

‘CTRL’ pays homage to the fear of losing control. In the intro of “Supermodel”, she states “That is my greatest fear. That if, if I lost control. Or did not have control, things would just, you know? I would be, fatal”. ‘CTRL’ is made to be a relatable commentary on how life is for a “20 something” year old. Facing issues with love, body image, confidence, and of course, control.

Rowe is commonly known for her advice and inspiring quotes. 

Such as, “I love empowering women. I think it’s crazy: if you ever try to belittle women, you’re playing yourself – I ride with whoever rides with me.” -SZA

Or, “Don’t get discouraged with your skin when it doesn’t do what you want it to do…Give it some time. That’s the only way to get to know yourself.” -SZA

SZA has helped so many people realize that their dreams of succeeding in the music industry are possible, and with hard work and determination you can achieve whatever you put your mind to.

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The secret behind “Where’s Waldo’s” success

By: Caden Kipfmueller

“Where’s Waldo?”

This question has plagued many of mankind’s greatest scientific and philosophical minds for generations.

“Where’s Waldo?” is the name of a series of timeless children’s puzzle books created by Londoner Martin Handford in the late 1980s. Originally called “Where’s Wally?”, Handford’s books were a global success, finding their way to libraries, schools, and homes around the world. Where’s Waldo was known for its intricate drawings, charm, and, of course, Waldo’s signature red and white striped outfit and glasses.

Waldo is set apart from his puzzle book competitors because of author Martin Handford’s unique, extensively detailed illustrations. He takes up to 8 weeks to finish each drawing, and he describes them as “full of both activity and entertainment.” Handford also fills his pictures with visual puns and other Easter eggs. Each drawing feels alive and rich with life, which makes it all the more exciting to search through exhaustively. Even if you can’t find Waldo, you’re bound to find plenty of secrets that will keep you occupied.

The reason why “Where’s Waldo?” was so successful around the globe was the series’ accessibility. While it was translated into 26 different languages, reading wasn’t necessary to understand that the point of “Where’s Waldo?” was to find Waldo. Martin Handford made that abundantly clear with his illustrations, as he believed that Waldo should be shared with all.

The final reason behind Waldo’s success lies in the elusive, bespectacled man for which the series is named. Waldo’s character design is so unique that he is instantly recognizable. Even his silhouette can be pointed out by the casual viewer, and he is drawn to be friendly and non-confrontational. Waldo’s character design undoubtedly contributes to the success of the series, as it is easily marketable. In addition to the standard line of books, two TV shows have been made about him (one in 1991 and one in 2019), as well as a video game for the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System).

Where’s Waldo remains an incredibly successful franchise to this day, finding popularity even in the modern age. The question still remains, however:

“Where’s Waldo?”

Fun summer activities to do in the Twin Cities

By: Mackenzie Malek and Calla Fragassi

With the summer months coming up, we wanted to share with you some fun indoor and outdoor activities you can spend your summer days doing if you are bored, or you just simply want to try something new.

Outdoorutdoor activities

In the Twin Cities area, mainly Minneapolis, there are a variety of different lakes that have many different trails, parks, and beaches. Biking around the lakes is a great way to spend your day in the Cities. The lakes are all within a couple of miles of each other which allows you to get a good ride in during the warmer months. Each lake also has its own unique qualities, for example, Lake Nokomis is a very popular lake where people rent boats or paddle boards, go bridge jumping, or play volleyball on the beach. This could be compared to Lake of the Isles, which is a much smaller lake that is mainly just for walking and biking. Some of the other main lakes include: Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet, and Lake Hiawatha.

The Minnesota State Fair is one of the highlights of the year for residents in the state. It lasts 12 days every year beginning at the end of August, and ending on Labor Day. The State Fair was first held in 1859 in what is now downtown Minneapolis. The fair traveled throughout the state until the early 1880’s when they found a permanent home in Ramsey County that is currently standing at 322 acres. The fair hosts an average of 2 million visitors annually, increasing more and more every year. It attracts people from all over the nation for its different foods, rides, music, and entertainment.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a great way to spend some time outdoors while enjoying many iconic sculptures. The sculpture garden is free and is open all year long from 6am to 12am every day. You will find 40 different kinds of modern and contemporary arts here, and they are most known for the cherry on a spoon sculpture. The average time it takes to walk around and look at all the sculptures is about 2-3 hours, so come prepared and be ready to take lots of pictures.

Indoor activities

Since 1883 the Minneapolis Institute of Art has been sharing artwork with the community. The Minneapolis Institute of Art, often referred to as Mia, is an art museum filled with over 90,000 pieces of art. Different kinds of sculptures, paintings, artifacts, from different cultures are all found at Mia. Mia’s goal is “Inspiring wonder through the power of art.” Next time you’re looking for something to do, stop by Mia to learn a little something new.

Located in St. Paul, the Como Park Conservatory is a great way to spend a rainy summer day. The conservatory is entirely free but accepts donations from visitors. Open 365 days a year, the conservatory welcomes visitors of all ages with something for everyone. Filled with colorful plants and flowers, you will find yourself spending hours inside here. It’s a great place to study, walk around with a friend, and even a popular place to take prom pictures!

If you have younger kids or siblings and you want to bring them somewhere fun, the Minnesota Children’s Museum is the perfect place to go. The museum has three floors filled with different fun activities that kids are sure to enjoy. Some well known exhibits include:

  • The Scrambler, which is a four story jungle gym
  • Our World, which is a fake town with a post office, and fire station
  • And the Studio which is an area for kids to do arts and crafts

The museum also always has a special limited time exhibit, depending on when you are there. They currently have an exhibit called Framed, which allows kids to look closer at famous art pieces. The Children’s Museum is a perfect option for a rainy day in the summer for kids!

All of these places and activities have a little something different for you to try. Whether you’re into biking, looking at art, or simply just spending time outside, the Twin Cities have many great places for you, always feel free to come back to this list when you find yourself bored in the summer.

JOYSTiCK Ep. 8: ‘Wingspan’ – Physicality Through Barn Swallows

By: Daniel Kendle

Birds of a feather stack nicely together.

Hello, it’s time for another episode of JOYSTiCK, the HPSH serial that enjoys exploring and reviewing video games. And now, it’s time that we go to the real world. The time is upon us; the sun rises on a new day, a new quarter of the school year, the time for board games.

’Wingspan’ is a board game made by Stonemaier Games in 2019, functioning as a complex strategy title centered around collecting birds, food, eggs, and repetition. This is one of the more complicated titles I’ve reviewed here, so buckle up, because it’s time we grab our binoculars, notepads, and assorted nuts and dive into ‘Wingspan.’



Seeing as a board game without artwork is like a video game without animation, ‘Wingspan’ obviously has pictures and graphic designs to accompany game elements, like the birds themselves. And said designs are lovely!

There are many different components to the game, so a wide variety of colorful imagery was necessary, especially for the art of the birds. As we’ll get into later, there are over 100 different species of birds for you to collect in a round, all of which have been recreated in lavish detail. They’re fairly realistic: each bird has its correct plumage and patterns drawn in a very informed, yet styled manner.

Other parts have also had much love and care put into them. The boards each player gets have much detail, though not enough to distract from their interface you play down cards onto. The dice with the different varieties of food shown are well-made, and even the instruction manual is crafted nicely. There does come a point where the overwhelming number of physical items you are instructed to use becomes a little straining to the eye, but that’s more of a nitpick with the gameplay, rather than the art.

We also have to talk about the digital port released later down the road by Monster Couch for Xbox and Nintendo Switch consoles, as well as for iPhone and PC’s. Here, along with many other additions and improvements, animations for UI pieces and the birds themselves are introduced.

The UI additions are whatever, cool I guess, but the REAL meat-and-potatoes of the overhaul is through the birds. Each has their own unique animations when played, mostly just fidgeting in place while they’re flying or roosting. Still, it brings a lot of real-life character and influence into the game, making it feel as if the birds are actually there, and not just still images. My only nitpick is that the animation is clearly through rigging, which, while fine, does make some animations look weird. Birds are generally known to have very quick movement, and having a jelly-like system is a tad odd. Still though, great work.

PART TWO: GAMEPLAY And so, the games begin.

‘Wingspan’ is one of the most complex games I’ve played thus far this school year, and therefore will take a good amount of time to review. As I’ve said before, JOYSTiCK wasn’t made to analyze every single bit of gameplay, instead to get an overview of a child’s take on a game. So take that in mind as I go over the mechanics of a game of ‘Wingspan.’

So, seeing as this is a competitive board game, the object of the game is to win. To win, you need to collect and play down birds. To play birds, you need eggs. To get eggs, you need food. And you need to collect more bird cards in order to effectively use food.

When you have a bird card, you have to either play it in a Forest, Grassland, or Wetland habitat. You get food in the Forest, lay eggs in the Grassland, and get bird cards in the Wetland, and playing a bird in a habitat lets you get more of that item per card. Some birds can be played in all 3 biomes, some, only 1 or 2.

When playing a bird card, you need to spend food in order to do so. There are 5 types of food: Grub, Wheat, Cherries, Fish, and Mice. There’s also a dice side (food comes in the form of dice rolled) with both Grubs and Wheat, where you can choose which you take.

Laying eggs has you – as expected – lay eggs on a bird. Some birds can only lay 1 egg, others multiple. Eggs are used to place down birds after you place down the first card in a biome, as well as being used in after-round goals.

Goals are objectives laid out during each round that give you extra points by the end of a round. There are 4 rounds per game, meaning there are 4 end goals in total. They most commonly relate to how many eggs you have on a certain bird or in a certain habitat, or having birds in a specific biome. These progressively give more points if you beat your opponent. Therefore, they provide a good source of points if need be. However, passing up on them and potentially letting your foe reach them is dangerous.

Of course, what would a game focused on ornithology be without the obvious: birds. There are well over 100 birds in the base game, meaning there’s an inconceivable amount of ways a game could go due to the randomization.

Each bird gives a different amount of points, ranging from 0 to 9. Most birds have some kind of effect either when played or when activated, which happens each turn (birds that have 0 points attached to them generally have a good effect). You get the points from a bird whenever they’re played, and those points, among others, are tallied up at the end when the winner is decided. Effects do stuff to support you while playing, and don’t normally grant you points unless they’re part of another system, such as caching food and getting cards.

Alrighty, that’s most of the gameplay in ‘Wingspan.’ There’s probably some other stuff that I could discuss, but whatever it is is likely not of substance. Now I can give my thoughts on the game!

Anyways, to give the short answer, it’s wonderful. It’s such a relaxing game with play that, while complex, is enough to give some brainpower and thought into each of your turns.

The main loop of getting food, laying eggs, getting birds and placing them down is super satisfying. It feels great every time you’re able to place down a bird, using their abilities to further expand your board. The abilities, while never being super important in the grand scheme of things, are cool in short bursts.

Granted, I do feel like some parts could’ve been shaved off the main game and wouldn’t have affected much. Namely, how there are different types of abilities, like ones that are activated upon being played or ones that are activated every turn. It just makes it annoying to manage. Overall though, the gameplay is wonderful. A HUGE step up from ‘Splatoon 3’ or ‘Minecraft Dungeons,’ in my opinion.


Once again, we go back to the digital port and look at the music within. It’d be strange to just be playing the game in an empty void of noise, so we get some nice music to accompany us. Here are some of my favorites:

  • “Far in the Grassland” is a melodic… melody, that is quite charming to listen to.
  • “Cloud Gazing” is pretty. It has a Ghibli kind of vibe to it, and as someone who quite likes Ghibli movies, this is obviously seen as an absolute win. Others will likely agree with me.
  • And “The Opening” is by far the BEST out of all of these, I love it!


I generally like to buy games that I’ll likely enjoy, which is why the majority of games I’ve reviewed have been fairly positive. There’s been games I’ve reviewed that have gotten worse (such as the 2 I listed at the end of part 2) and there are games that have gotten better, though I can confidently say that ‘Wingspan’ is the 2nd best game I’ve played yet here! It gets a strong 9/10, and is the perfect game to play on a rainy day.

And that’s a wrap for this episode of JOYSTiCK. See you next time, where we’ll either be covering our penultimate or season finale for our 2022-2023 timeline.

Sports schedule for: May 1-6

3:30pm Boys JV Golf Conference MatchHighland Nine
4:00pm Girls Varsity Golf vs. JohnsonCedarholm Golf Course
4:00pm Softball vs. WashingtonRice and Arlington
4:00pm / 4:00pm Tennis vs. MPLS WashburnV: Washburn HIgh School JV: HOME
4:30pm / 4:30pm 4:30pm Baseball V/C vs. Harding JV vs. RichfieldV: Harding High School JV/C: HOME
5:30pm / 5:30pm Badminton vs. JohnsonHOME
11:00am Boys Golf 9-Hole TournamentHighland Nine
3:30pm Girls JV Golf Conference MatchCedarholm Golf Course
3:00pm Boys Golf vs. Mounds ViewHighland National GC
3:30pm / 3:30pm2:50pm | 4:45pmBadminton vs. Eden PrairieEden Prairie High School
3:30pm Girls Varsity Golf vs. Como ParkComo Golf Course
4:00pm Softball vs. Como ParkHOME
4:00pm / 4:00pm Tennis vs. Como ParkHOME
4:00pm2:15pm | 7:00pmTrack and Field True Team MeetCentral High School
4:30pm / 4:30pm Baseball vs. HardingV: HOME C: Harding High School
3:30pm Boys Varsity Golf vs. HumboldtHighland National GC
3:30pm Girls JV Golf Conference MatchCedarholm Golf Course
4:00pm Badminton vs. North St. PaulHOME
4:00pm JV Softball vs. HumboldtHOME
4:00pm Tennis vs. WashingtonWashington Technology Magnet
4:00pm Track and Field vs. MPLS Southwest / MPLS WashburnHOME
4:30pm / 4:30pm 4:30pm Baseball vs. CentralV/C: Home JV: Toni Stone Stadium
9:00am Tennis InvitationalLakeville North High School
1:15pm Boys Lacrosse B-Squad vs. RosemountGriffin Stadium