Holiday gift guide

By Charlotte Lane

Whether you are buying a gift for your brother, mom, sister, best friend, dad, or cousins, gift giving can always be a little challenging. 

Here are a few things that I think are great gifts for whoever during the holidays. 

1. Cool socks 

When you were little getting socks for Christmas almost felt like a punishment at the time, but honesty if you find the right ones socks can be a great present to receive. This is a great gift for anyone in your family or could even be great for a Secret Santa gift. 

2. Tickets to a game/concert 

You really can’t go wrong with this gift! If you know of any artist or team they like, look to see if any venues are holding shows or if a game is coming up. Getting two would be a hit because then they could bring along a friend. 

3. Bite Beauty products 

I don’t know if it’s just me but I love a good chapstick, and Bite Beauty has that. This is a great trendy yet realistic gift anyone will use over and over. 

4. Slip pillowcase and Slip scrunchie. 

Another great gift that will get amazing use out of, these silk items are reasonably priced and will wow anyone you give them too.

5. Priceless moments 

Always remember that the holiday aren’t only about presents, sometimes the best gift you can give someone is quality time together!

I hope these gift ideas help some creative juices get flowing in your brain so you can hopefully find the perfect (or almost perfect) gift for anyone. 

Enjoy the holidays and happy gift giving!

Girls fashion trends coming this Winter

By Charlotte Lane

Sweaters have always been a classic in my wardrobe, but this season beiges, whites, tans and cream sweaters are it.

These soft, warm tone colors are perfect to pair with any winter jacket. Thankfully, sweaters are a very versatile clothing item and are super easy to transition from fall to winter. They are also really easy to accessorize. So investing in one now would be in your best interest. 

Surprise surprise, the iconic 80’s plaid blazer look is back! 

Bet you never thought about wearing these anywhere except to an interview but look where we are now…

Plaid blazers are making a comeback and every boss woman should have one in her closet. They can dress up any outfit, and can be paired with jeans or trousers. Not to mention, they are extremely comfortable and forgiving.  

Whether you have a busy day ahead or just wanna look cute, try out wearing a blazer! I guarantee you’ll fall in love.  

This is no surprise but the “lazy look” is here for women. Personally, this is my go to style because it’s so comfortable. 

I’m happy to throw the skinny jean craze away in favor of loose fit, classic jeans. Jeans can be worn on any day of the week with a simple tee shirt or sweater. Definitely expect to get great wear out of these this winter.

Last year’s trend of the jogger is dead but it brought comfy sweats on to the racks. This winter bet on staying warm and comfy in school/the workplace, while still looking “acceptable”.

Chelsea boots have been in for some time now, but I truly think they are going to hit the spotlight this year. These boots are super practical but perfect for any winter outfit. The easy slip on boots will keep your feet warm on long walks and blend in well at school or the workplace.

If the typical Chelsea boot isn’t really your style, you can definitely bet your money on some snakeskin boots. 

Honestly, when the animal print style was booming I wasn’t really in love with it. But these subtle snakeskin boots will make you feel like a million bucks as well as keeping you warm throughout the cold months.

Now get out there! And use this as a foundation and have fun with your fashion.

How to speak gender neutral

By: Charlotte Lane

Have you ever been in a situation where you suddenly realized you may have used the incorrect pronoun to address someone? Well I have, and it made me feel awkward. I was working at a hardware store and addressed a customer assuming I knew their gender. I believe my gender identifying language made us both feel uncomfortable. This situation got me thinking “Why can’t we clean up the English language to be gender neutral?” 

Use Honorary Titles 

One way to avoid these uncomfortable mistakes is by having the English language use more honorary titles. Honorary titles are often used in professional settings.  Doctors, nurses, professors, and teachers are all titles that are used to identify people without revealing their gender.  

The English language could invent more titles to use to categorize people. For example, we currently use Ms. Mrs. Mr. as salutations for individuals where we could substitute new titles that are gender free.  

Pronoun Refresh

Last year, the Merriam dictionary updated the meaning of “they” to refer to a “single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.” How about using the option of Mx. (pronounced Mix) or RP. (respected person) to address your neighbor or business partner?

Another option is using neo pronouns (new) that some individuals have started using. Xir (him or her) or Xi (he or she) could be used to replace the use of of current gender identifying pronouns.  

Share Your Pronouns

When speaking with others, use the pronoun you prefer to be addressed by and don’t be afraid to ask others what pronouns they prefer to use. It can help avoid awkward situations by letting other people know what your pronouns are. 

An example of this is when a teacher is open about being called “they/them.” Knowing this helps foster a healthier relationship between student and teacher. 

Be Forgiving

Similar to learning any new language, it gets messy. In order to make this new language work, we need to remember that no one is perfect and people are going to make mistakes. 

If and when you do trip up, respectfully correct the misunderstanding in hopes of change. When it comes down to it, we all have our own pronouns, but regardless of these we are all biologically human.

Is school better designed for girls than boys?

By Charlotte Lane

There is no denying the current data reflects that girls are out-performing boys at all levels in school.  According to the New York Times, boys score equal to girls on standardized tests, however they are receiving lower grades and fewer boys are completing college than girls. 

Researchers involved with the New York Times believe the reason behind this is that boys have a harder time sitting still and following rules than girls, and teachers lower boys grades due to bad behavior.

Sit Still and Be Quiet

New York Times research shows that schools were not created for all different learning styles. Girls mature faster than boys, and this means they can consentrate longer and have better interpersonal skills. Schools are designed for one learner type, it’s not necessarily a boy verus girl issue, it’s a lack of learning style options for students.

The traditional learning style at schools is geared for someone who can sit and actively listen for long periods of time. Research proves that is exactly what girls can do.

What is the Differnce? 

Boys don’t fit in the box of sit, read, and listen to a leture. Boys need to be more physical and learn by hands on learning.

Schools are created for a learner profile that is easier for girls to follow.

According to the New York Times Magazine schools ultimatly demasculinze boys. An exapmle of this is how mucn more young men are yelled at then girls. Unlike boys, girls are much more likely to mimic each other and work as a team. Boys value compentency and group acceptance, and boys prove this by being the most physical, the funniest, or the most disruptive in a class setting.  

Solutions

Instead of focusing on the differences of genders in school, we should focus on a solution to help boys succeed.

One solution is designing curriculums for more than one learner type as well as allowing for more hands on, kinesthetic learners. Schools need to account for different learning styles and learning speeds.

Take the shot

By Charlotte Lane

Have you ever wondered why the flu shot is important? Or have you wondered if it even works? I sure have; why would I ever voluntarily get a SHOT!? 

My entire life I have gotten a flu shot but recently I have been curious as to why. 

The reasons I hear people say they don’t get the flu shot is because they don’t need it, they don’t believe it works, or they think it causes the flu. The truth is if you’re reading this article you should get a flu shot. 

Who me? I don’t need it. 

Actually, you probably do need it. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends everyone over the age of 6 months receive a flu shot annually.

If you get the flu, it’s a serious virus that could land you in the hospital, or even kill you. If you don’t care about yourself you might care about loved ones, when you don’t get the flu shot you put others at risk.

Every flu season strain is different, so you cannot be immune to the flu. Every year you need to get a new shot. Getting a flu shot is in your best interest. 

Flu schmoo 

The CDC estimates that the flu shot reduces your risk of getting the flu by 40-60%. Even is you do end up getting the flu, if you got the shot, your symptoms with be significantly less painful.

Statistics prove that the flu shot does work, it has been delivered for nearly 80 years, improving every year. While there is a low change that the flu shot isn’t paired with the flu strain making it less effective, it will still lessen your symptoms.

But…I’m Healthy 

The last excuse people use for not getting the flu shot is they believe it will give you the flu. This isn’t the true. Despite rumors the flu shot is not a live virus, it is made up of dead viruses and cannot give you the flu.

Your arm may be sore after receiving the shot, and you might feel a little achy, but you won’t feel like you just got hit by a truck and you want to die. You will probably feel fine within a few days, and forget it even happened. 

I recommend this flu season you do yourself and your loved ones a favor, and take the shot. 

The Central/Highland experience

By: Charlotte Lane grade 11

I attended Central High School the year of 2017-2018. Like all incoming high school freshman, I was confused and nervous. I attended Highland Park Middle School and really enjoyed it. There, I made a lot of friends and we were all planning on going to Highland Park High School together.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way I wanted and I ended up being placed at Central High School without my friends. This heart breaking change completely blind sided me, but through it I gained perspective on the differences of Central vs. Highland.  

Two different worlds

My first memorable experience as a new student was the Central vs. Highland football game. Being a Central student I sat at the Central student section at the game.

When entering the stadium I felt anxious because my old friends sat on the opposing side, and I found myself wishing to be with them. The Central side was nerve-racking and felt just like what you see in the movies. 

The students were screaming “go home freshman!” and “Highland Sucks!” After 20 minutes I took off my Central sweatshirt and snuck across to the Highland side.

Although I felt comfortable for a few minutes I quickly realized I didn’t belong there either. It is not an uncommon feeling for any new student to feel lost and alone.

Looking back on this time in my life, now being a junior at Highland Park High School, it now feels like a normal coming of age experience. 

So what’s the difference? 

Central is a French immersion school compared to Highland, which is a Spanish immersion school.

Central is also a bigger school with a graduating class of 400 students. The large size teaches you independence, shows you diversity as well as real world conflicts. 

Highland is a smaller school with a graduating class of 300. It is more sports focused and feels more like a neighborhood school.

Both high schools are International Baccalaureate (IB), however my experience has been that Highland integrates and focuses more on the IB program than at Central.

Families pain-stakingly choose their child’s high school for lots of different reasons. Some parents are looking for a challenging curriculum, others are interested in extracurricular activities.

What I learned from attending Central for one year was that both Highland and Central are good schools.

What school is best for you?