Should you make a New Year’s resolution?

By Maddie Baggenstoss, Claire Ramadan, and Daniela Fernandez 

The New Year, a time for resolutions that will swirl down the drain by late February. What was once sparked by confetti and noisemakers is most likely destined to later crumble under cheesecake and binge watching. Whether it’s to workout, to eat healthy, or be a kinder person, the fun ends by January 3rd when we begin to miss our old vices. Will the destructive cycle of forgotten New Year’s Resolutions ever end?

Although New Year’s Resolutions can seem like a productive and achievable idea, many don’t often realize the cons that come with it.

One thing that many people don’t realize is that they will most likely end up quitting something cold turkey; sugar, smoking, drinking, etc. It takes about 21 days to start a new habit, which by then, most people stop their New Year’s resolutions.

Although ceasing bad habits abruptly is a method of improving, lots of people struggle with it. This is because many have the possibility to experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can affect mood, productivity, and energy levels among other things.

When trying something new, or quitting something old, it is almost always best to ease into new habits slowly; or at least not that quickly. Choosing to make a huge change in your life can be very overwhelming, and huge changes don’t happen overnight.

Many people will attempt to stick to their New Year’s resolutions, but the truth is that they are often way too much way to fast. For example, you may decide you will workout everyday beginning on January first. That’s a big goal, and we’re sure you could do it. Or you could start by working out a few times a week, and build up to it everyday. You may be more likely to reach your goal if you start small and stick with it rather than diving right in, and then quitting after a week.

The real question is: Should I make a New Year’s resolution? Ultimately, whether or not you want to make a New Year’s resolution is completely up to you. If you are able to set goals and stick with them, no problem, then this may be just another excuse for you to make a positive change to your life.

Even if you’re not so sure you can give up that amazing slice of pie that easily, we still encourage you to try. You don’t have to eat a perfect diet of fruits and vegetables right away. No step towards your goal is too small.

Whatever your goal is, do your best to get to achieve it. Get there at your own pace. What do you have to lose?

Ice skating in the Twin Cities

Winter break has started! If you’re looking for something to do with family and friends, we recommend ice skating. Here are some great places to go ice skating this winter!

A great place to ice skating is at the Wells Fargo WinterSkate. This is at Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul. It’s open every day, and Monday through Thursday from 11am until 4:50 pm. Friday through Saturday it’s open from 11 am to 10 pm, and on Sundays it is open from 11 am until 4:50 pm. Skate rentals cost $4 per person, and if you have a Wells Fargo credit or debit card it’s free. Read more about Wells Fargo WinterSkate here.

If you wish to skate au naturel, we suggest Centennial Lakes Park. The Park features a large lake that is as smooth as any indoor rink. Admission is free, and renting skates costs $6. However, be sure to check out the Centennial Lakes website to make sure the lake is frozen. Centennial Lakes usually opens up around mid-December. The hours change day to day, but the skate rental opens several hours after the park opens for guests with their own skates.

Another great place to skate is The Oval in Rosedale. It is located close to the Rosedale mall. Admission costs $6, and skate rental costs $4. This is a very good option if you want to skate outside, but would still like to have a wall to lean on. To check open skate hours in December, check the December schedule.

If you want to visit a skating rink in the Highland Park area, then you can try the Charles M. Schulz Arena. Admission is free, and skate rentals are $5. This is a good option for you if you would prefer to stay indoors. To check open skate hours visit Ramsey County’s website.  

Our final recommendation is Skate the Star at the Mall of America. It is located outside of the north entrance to the mall, and will be open until January 27th. The rink is a circle around the giant star sculpture. Admission is free, and skate rental costs $5. The mall also provides lockers next to the rink that you can rent. You must have a waiver, and it must be signed by a parent if you’re 18 or under. The hours change from day to day, but to check out the times and learn more about Skate the Star, go here.

Decorative plants

Want to add a touch of green to a room? Here are some plants that you can easily grow indoors.

Air Plants-

Air plants are cute, simple, and mess free! Air plants are not grown in soil, and can be placed in any open container. That means that they can easily decorate any surface in any container! They are most commonly kept in glass terrariums. An air lantern can be placed directly on the container, or you can add rocks on the bottom of the container.

Your air plant should be watered every two weeks, and lightly misted one week after watering. Water your air plant by placing it in room temperature water. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes, then allow it to sit upside down to get rid of excess water. It should be dry in less than three hours. Never skip this step! Allowing your plant to air out after watering prevents rot.

Pineapple Plants-

Pineapple plants require a bit more work at first, but once you plant them they are very easy to care for. And if you like eating pineapple, you’re in luck! To get this plant, twist the top leaves off of a pineapple and peel back some of the fruit from the bottom to reveal some of the tiny roots.

Soak your little plant in a shallow bowl of water until you begin to see the roots develop. When soaking your pineapple plant, try to keep the water shallow so that the leaves do not get soaked. Just like with the air plants, soaking the leaves can cause them to rot.

Once the roots have developed, plant your pineapple plant in a pot. Water your plant whenever the soil dries. Your pineapple plant can be kept outside during the summer, but should be kept inside for the rest of the year.

 

Succulents and Cacti-

Succulents and cacti are beautiful plants that have many subspecies. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Succulents either come planted in a disposable plastic pot or already planted in a permanent pot. If they come in a plastic pot, replant it into a cute pot of your choice, making sure to add any extra solid you may need to fill the space.

Your succulents should be kept in a sunny place, and watered when the soil is dry. Be extra careful not to overwater your succulent- they are quite sensitive and adapted to live in environments with little water.

 

Holiday life hacks

The holidays can be crazy- but don’t worry! These life hacks will help your holidays go right, and add some extra pizzazz!

#1- Holiday light storage

Sick of tangled lights? All you need to store them right is some clothing hangers. When you’re done with your lights for the season, simply wrap them on the hanger and hang them in the closet until next year.

#2- Tree sap remover

When handling a real tree, things can get pretty sticky. If you get tree sap on your hands, you can actually use toothpaste to remove it. Minty!

#3- Fluff up your fake tree

Alternatively, you can also use green tinsel to fill out your fake tree. If live greenery isn’t your thing, and your fake tree isn’t up to par, grab some green tinsel and wrap it around the inside of your artificial tree to make it a little more bushy.

#4- Gift card balance

If you’ve ever received a gift card as a present, you know that it can be a struggle trying to keep track of how much money is left on it. To fix this problem, just put a file label sticker on the gift card (not over the barcode!) and write the amount left on the card in pencil. That way, you can erase the pencil whenever you use the gift card.

#5- Wrapping paper scraps

Got small wrapping paper pieces? Instead of trying to wrap them all back on the big roll, store small bits of wrapping paper on an old toilet paper roll to keep them organized.

#6- Gift wrapping pro

This last hack is super easy, but will make your gifts look professionally wrapped. Instead of using normal tape to wrap your gifts, use double-sided tape. It will make the presents look seamless!

The locker room problem

If you’ve ever been in, or better yet, used, the girl’s locker room in the basement of our beloved high school you have probably noticed some flaws in the design. The showers are never used and constantly drip, creating weird and suspicious looking patches around the drains. Because of their condition, and a lack of time, girls never use the showers.

Also, for whatever reason only 3 of the 11 showers still have curtains. The curtains that are there are falling off of their hooks. I talked to my classmates and almost all of them agreed that there is a problem with the bathrooms.

Annika Stall said that:

“The shower curtains are broken giving no privacy.”

Because no one showers, missing curtains shouldn’t matter. However, many girls prefer to get ready for class there rather than out in the main area.

But by far the biggest flaw of this decently spacious locker room is its bathroom.

When asked if she thought there were any problems with the bathroom, another student (who wishes to remain anonymous)said:

“Yeah – it’s one stall!”

The bathroom consists of only one stall; in the corner of the locker room. Outside are two sinks and two hand dryers. Because many girls find that going to the bathroom during other classes or during the short passing times is difficult, they instead wait until right before P.E., when they know they will have time to access a bathroom. They wait in a line that on some days has been six or seven girls long, making them late to class. A girl in the locker room told me during her interview that:

“Girls are waiting in line and they’re being late for class sometimes – because there’s not enough stalls.”

Now that you have read about the problems with the locker room, you are probably wondering what can be done to fix it. The easiest fix is the showers. With some new curtains and some clean up they would be as good as new, and they would provide plenty of private changing spaces.

The bathroom is less simple. I know that this one article can not magically redo the bathroom, but I hope it has shined some light on an issue that could be fixed.

Inktober 2018

No, I did not misspell October.

Inktober is a month long drawing challenge that takes place during October. The challenge is to fully complete one ink drawing every day from October 1st through the 31st. The challenge was created by Jake Parker back in 2009 to help artists develop their skills and get in the habit of drawing every day. There aren’t many rules, just draw and complete a full piece every day, and upload it onto Instagram or any social media platform.

Some people wonder why Inktober is a challenge. Why not just draw every day? What makes Inktober more challenging than “drawing every day” is that you must fully complete the drawing. Personally I draw every day, but most commonly the drawings are just sketches, and not inked and completed pieces.

How do you come up with an idea every day? On the official Inktober website there is a prompt list. The first prompt list was created in 2016. Each year the prompts change, although I have noticed many of the prompts tend to be fall/Halloween themed. There is a different prompt for every day, and although most people follow these prompts it is never required. Some groups also make alternative prompt lists. Feel free to come up with your own ideas, or only follow your favorite prompts!

Now, you’re probably thinking I’m crazy right now. Thirty one days of drawing? If a whole month is too much for you, people also do a “half-marathon” (One drawing every other day) or a “5k” (One drawing a week). There is also some confusion about which art supplies to use. Originally, the challenge was to do just black and white ink. Now, people do color as well, but the official rules suggest limiting the amount of color that you use to one or a few colors. People have also done calligraphy, lettering, watercolors, and more. If you do decide to participate this year (It’s not to late!) or in the future, just remember that you are the artist – do this challenge to help yourself and have fun!

For more information on Inktober, or to see what other people are drawing, check out Inktober.com, @inktober, #inktober, and #inktober2018.

Meet the new staff at Highland Park

By: Claire Ramadan, Maddie Baggenstoss, and Daniela Fernandez

This year at Highland Park Senior High we are welcoming many new staff members! In this article we have included interviews from some of the new staff so we can get to know them better.

Image courtesy of Ms. Baheiry

Ms. Baheiry is a new counselor here at HPSH. For her undergrad she went to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. For her masters degree she went to the University of Wisconsin. Fun Fact – Ms. Baheiry is from right here in Saint Paul, Minnesota! She loves being a school counselor because she gets to help students overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. “[It’s] been really exciting to see what aspirations they have for the future, and just how driven they are, and just how focused they are in school.” Her favorite part of her job is the relationships she builds with the students; getting to meet them freshman year and seeing all that they accomplish in their four years of high school. In her spare time, Ms. Baheiry enjoys playing volleyball, traveling, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her family.

Image courtesy of Ms. Collins-Renaulus

Ms. Collins-Renaulus works in special education at HPSH. She attended Xavier College as well as the University of Saint Thomas, deciding to become a teacher because she wanted to have a rewarding profession. She has three children, enjoys traveling, dancing, working out, and reading in her free time. “There’s a lot of strong school spirit (at HPSH) which is really cool, and they connect the teachers in that school spirit.” Ms. Collins-Renaulus says, “People are really connected here.”

Image courtesy of Daniela Fernandez

Ms. Chan is a Chinese teacher here at HPSH. She went to Pennsylvania State University, and got her masters and PhD in Language and Literacy Education Program in Curriculum and Instructions. She decided to become a teacher because “My parents were both teachers. I see their devotion to the students and would like to follow their steps! I love teaching Chinese. I teach not only Chinese language, but also share Chinese cultures and Chinese history. It is always great to see students being motivated to continue learn in the college!” When asked what her favorite part about teaching was “The best parts of teaching a foreign language is to see students enjoy learning and getting motivated to see another world,” Ms. Chan replied. Lastly, we asked her about how HPSH is different from other schools she’s previously worked at, and this is what she had to say, “I feel HPSH school students are fortunate in a positive learning, loving and caring school environment. Teachers work very hard as a team providing students not only academic knowledge, but also to the connection to the real lives.”