FFA’s annual Ag Day

You know spring is here when FFA hosts their annual Ag Day. Ag day is a day for all students to go outside, see animals and learn about different aspects of agriculture. This year Ag Day was held in front of the school.

This year wasn’t too different from the previous years. When you walked out to the area in front of the School House, there were tables lining the walls with different organizations and students ready to inform and entertain. The animals were in one corner and the John Deer was in the other. The classic vanilla ice cream booth was very popular; the line didn’t die down until the last 10 minutes of the period.

This year though, they did have some different animals. Besides the adorable dogs roaming around, this year they brought in a calf and snakes, along with the sheep, the goats, chickens, and roosters. The snakes were in a different area than the other animals. Everyone took turns showing off their bravery by holding them.

Some people said they would like to see demonstrations or skits at next year’s Ag Day event. They felt that the event is more like a fair, and there wasn’t much to do after they made 2 laps around to see the booths. Others were happy that they could use this time to see what they want, and have time to relax and socialize after.

The event lasted 2nd through 6th period. Some students went almost every hour, while others didn’t even get a chance to participate. But anyone who wants seemed to have a good time, even the teachers. It was nice to see that the teachers got to use that time as a break from their stress and relax. Hopefully, next year everyone will get a chance to go.

The first Fiesta Latina

Union Latina’s Fiesta Latina was held on Wednesday, May 1st, this year. With Ms. Nelson’s three classes, and the addition of Ms. Boe’s Spanish ⅚ class, there were a lot more student performers than ever. This year they tried to include more diverse dances, that represented more Hispanic cultures. This year’s dances included: Cumbia, Bachata, Folklorico, Flamenco, Salsa, Baile de Los Chinelos, and Merengue.

The name change of the performance, from Cinco de Mayo to Fiesta Latina, wasn’t the only change to the show this year. The decorations around the auditorium and stage were changed to be more inclusive to other cultures. The red, white and green theme used in past years no longer fits the purpose of the show. This year, the stage was decorated with the annual murals made in past years, with the newest addition sitting front and center on stage. The paintings were surrounded by colorful balloons and paper crafts such as flowers and papel picado. The hope was to show how the Hispanic culture encompasses more than just dancing and singing; art is also an important and valued aspect.

The performance started off with the Jazz Band playing. The music filled the auditorium as all the students and teachers took their seats. After everyone was seated the show began. Cesar Degollado, the Vice President of ULA, sang an amazing rendition of “Probablamente” by Cristian Nodal. Dance after dance, the students continued to surprise everyone with their well rehearsed choreography.

At 6:00PM, the performers and their guests were invited back to enjoy a meal, donated by El Pariente, a Mexican restaurant. Even though the food was thirty minutes late, everyone seemed to enjoy the food and company. Around seven thirty, the second show began. Parents, teachers and even students returned to watch the show. The night show had 3 extra performances then the one during 7th hour; a group of Aztec dancers, a traditional Peruvian dance, and more Chinelo performers joined the students.

At the end of the night, all the student performers seemed happy to participate. Some of the club members had participated all four years of their time in high school and were sad that it would be their last. Overall, it was a great show to kick off new name.

Highland Park’s Scots’ Cafe

Recently, I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep at night. With all the homework and test prep, sometimes I just need something to help get through the day. And that’s how the Scots’ Cafe became a vital part of my daily routine.

The Scots’ Cafe started back in 2016. It all started because a group of students wanted to have a space where other students could get snacks and drinks before starting their school work. Since the group of students who wanted to get the cafe going graduated, Mr. McCann’s Work-Based Learning students now run the cafe.

The Scots’ Cafe had the help of Fuel Up To Play 60 and HiWay FCU to help with the funding. The students were also awarded grant money, through AD CAP, that went into the Scots’ Cafe for their ideas of making school more health and wellness minded.

The Scots’ Cafe sells smart snacks (school nutrition approved) like granola bars, baked chips, fruit snacks, bottles of juice and Naked Juice (smoothies). The Scots’ Cafe also sells coffee. The coffee is strong in the best way possible and they never get mad when you need 4 creamer cups. Not to mention how convenient it is that you can buy it at school. They have a coffee card available for purchase for $7.50 (6 coffees at the price of 5). Otherwise, it is $1.50 a cup.

Proceeds from the cafe go back into the cafe and also funds student field trips in the Work-Based Learning Program, as well as Special Education community trips.

In the mornings, Kayni Loyd or Jayden Bracy are usually the students collecting the money. Kayni said his favorite part of the Scots’ Cafe was that “People can get food. That’s what we’re here for.” When I asked Jayden what he wished the cafe sold he said “Cheezits” and I think we can all get on board with that.

The Scots’ Cafe is located on the 3rd floor, across from Ms. Headwall’s room. Stop in, show your support, and get your snacks before a long day of class work!

Students’ feelings towards snow tubing

The rescheduled snow tubing trip for March 14th was cancelled again. Due to the severe weather conditions and ice, Buck Hill was closed until the end of the week. Since we’re nearing the spring season, the organizers felt there wouldn’t be time to reschedule the field trip. When students asked about refunds, the counselors told them that refunds wouldn’t be given, but that the money paid for the trip would be credited to the Valleyfair trip, coming up.

Seeing as students were so upset about the previous cancellations, I decided I would be more interested to read about what people’s opinions were, instead of just mine.

I interviewed three different Highland Park seniors, and asked them a few questions about their feelings on the situation. And these were there responses:

What was your first thought after hearing the trip was going to be cancelled for the second time?

Student 1 (S1): “I was so mad. But I also kind of expected it.”

Student 2 (S2): “I didn’t really care to be honest. I was only going because my friends wanted me to go.”

Student 3 (S3): “I felt like the people organizing it didn’t care at all. Like they didn’t care that we were upset.”

Do you feel like the senior class council is to blame? If so, Why?

S1: “No, they can’t control the weather.”

S2: “No, because they wanted to go on the trip too.”

S3: “Sort of, they are supposed to fight for the seniors, and I just felt like they didn’t.”

What are you feelings towards the Valleyfair field trip coming up?

S1: “I think it will be a fun way to end the year.”

S2: “I’m excited, but I feel like it was weird how they assumed everyone wanted to go, so they just credited the money. I know people who were really mad about it.”

S3: “No, I’m not going. It’s going to get cancelled anyway.”

What are some field trips you guys think students would enjoy?

S1: “Snow tubing…”

S2: “I think we should all go bowling. Or swimming would be fun.”

S3: “We should all go to a group movie. That would be awesome.”

Everyone who wanted to go was a little upset by the cancellation, but graduation is coming up and seniors are most excited for that.

ACT rescheduled

On February 20, the Juniors expected to come to school to take their dredded ACT. Some students had been preparing all year, and were more than ready to take their test; others will never be ready. The day before the ACT, the SPPS school district declared a snow day, cancelling school and rescheduling the ACT.

Most students were overjoyed by the news of not having to sit through the four hour test just yet. While others felt that it just prolonged their anxiety about the whole testing situation.

The ACT was rescheduled for March 12, almost a month after the original date.

I asked three different Juniors how they were feeling about the ACT, and they all had different responses:

Liliana said she was “Ready for the test to be over with,” and “She just wanted to take it already.”

Cristina said she felt like “The rescheduling just extended peoples anxiety about the test.”

Brandon was the only one I asked who was “Relieved that we (Juniors) got the extra time to prepare.”

Even though they all had different opinions, they all shared one same comment, that they were nervous.

Before the ACT try to:

  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Get 8 hours of sleep
  • Look over practice problems
  • And relax

Hopefully, they will be able to calm their nerves before march 12, and do amazing on their ACT’s. Good luck juniors!

Snow tubing 2019 cancelled and rescheduled

Every winter, the senior class plans a field trip to go snow tubing. This year, it was planned for February 7th, but things didn’t go according to plan.

Seniors showed up on Thursday with all their layers of clothing ready to go. The field trip cancelation was announced to everybody half-way through first hour. Due to a snow storm, SPPS high schools got an early release at 1:30pm. Some people were worried that if the seniors went on the field trip, the road conditions would get bad on the way back and the busses wouldn’t make it back by 1:30pm for students to ride the bus home.

By that time, students had already found out about the cancellation and were very upset. I remember seeing a swarm of upperclassmen around the counseling office during passing time after first hour. Some seniors decided to leave after 1st hour. They were upset because most students didn’t bring their school work because they didn’t think they would need it.

The field trip has been rescheduled for March 14th and everyone seems excited to still be going…given that we don’t have ANOTHER snow storm.

Movies to see in 2019

2018 had some really good movies, but most of them weren’t worth the ten dollars it costs to go see them in the theaters. 2019 is sounding like it will be much more promising when it comes to movies worth seeing though. 2019 will bring movies of all genres: animated movies, comedies, super hero movies and even some good looking horror movies. There are also a lot of sequels coming out like Frozen 2 or Avengers: Endgame.

Before I go any further, this article is going to based completely off my own opinion. I’m not basing the movies mentioned off any criteria other than what I’m excited to watch.

So here are the top ** movies coming out this year:

Captain MarvelMarch 8, 2019

The movie takes place in the 1990s and introduces the world to Carol Danvers, the Air Force pilot who obtains superpowers.

Us – March 22, 2019

Jordan Peele is writting this movie as a follow-up to his previous movie, Get Out.

Dumbo – March 29, 2019

This movie is going to be a live action version of Disney’s animated movie by the same name. The movie is going to be directed by Tim Burton, so you know it will be good.

Shazam! – April 5, 2019

The DC movie is about a teen who receives the power to transform into an adult with the powers like strength, flight, and many others.

Pet Semetary – April 5, 2019

Another Stephen King story brought to life.

The Curse of La Llorona – April 19, 2019

This movie is based off the legend of La Llorona. I don’t think this movie will be done very well, but I’m excited to see what they do with the aspects of the legend.

Avengers: Endgame – April 26, 2019

The movie is going to continue on with the story told in Avengers: Infinity War. This movie will also kill off some main characters.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu – May 10, 2019

It looks like the story line for the movie isnt great, but Ryan Reynolds is always funny so I’m going to see it.

The Lion King – July 19, 2019

Another live action Disney remake. I’m excited though.

It: Chapter 2 – September 6, 2019

The story will take place when the children from the first movie are adults.

Aladdin – May 24, 2019

Again, another live action Disney remake. The actor for Aladdin, Mena Massoud, looks like a good fit to play the Arabian character but, in my opinion, the actor playing Jasmine doesn’t.

Men in Black International – June 14, 2019

It’s about time.

Childs Play – June 21, 2019

Another remake of the Chucky movie. The doll always scared me so I guess the movie serves its purpose.

Toy Story 4 – June 21

Apparently they are going to continue to make these without Andy.

Grudge – August 16, 2019

I never watched the old Grudge movie so I’m excited to watch this version of the Japanese remake.

Ford vs Ferarri – June 28. 2019

These kinds of movies always look boring but turn out to be good at the end. This movie is about the American car company Ford’s efforts to build a race worthy car to beat the Ferrari team at the 1966, 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The story is based off of true events.

Spiderman: Far From Home – July 5, 2019

Turns out Spiderman isn’t one the characters who die in Avengers: Endgame.

The Addams family – October 11, 2019

This is going to be animated.

Even though 2019 is apparently the year of the remakes and sequels, a couple of movies I don’t think needed to be done again were Hellboy, The Angry Birds Movie 2 and 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. The original Hellboy movie was great, the generation that liked the Angry Birds are too old to want to watch the new movie, and the first 47 Meters Down was not a good movie; I don’t think the second one will be any better.

2018-2019 U.S. Government shutdown: Things that are actually affected

A government shutdown happens when nonessential government offices can no longer remain open due to lack of funding. The lack of funding usually happens when there is a delay in the approval of the federal budget. The shutdown continues until parties can reach a compromise and a budget bill passes.

The last government shutdown, that began on December 22, 2018, is due to a disagreement, in the budget, for the President’s wall. Congress had offered President Trump $1.7 billion towards building his border wall, but he had a different amount in mind. He asked for $5.7 billion and when he was denied the money, he declared he’d be “proud to shutdown the government for border security.”

This will be the 21st government shut down since first one, after the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act was passed in 1976.

Even though some people probably didn’t even notice the inconvenience of the partial shut down, around 800,000 people lived without income.

When the shut down was announced, I expected to feel effects directly. Since I still saw police and got my mail everyday, I didn’t really think anything had actually changed because of it. But even though our mail still came, this didn’t mean that everything was just fine. Many things stopped running as usual, such as Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA.

Other things that had been affected by the government shut down were:

Airport security

During the shutdown, the airport workers who are responsible for screening passengers and their luggage, were out of work. The number of sick calls continuously rose, and more and more people quit their jobs all together given their lack of an income.

National parks

Some parks were shutdown, and others were still open. Some of the parks that remained open decided on a partial closure due to the fact that they were under staffed.

Public health and science

Inspections of chemical factories, power plants, water treatment plants and other industrial places stopped because the Environmental Protection Agency had to send home most of its employees in charge of inspecting pollution and making sure laws were followed.

Some government research labs had also been shut down, and its researchers were sent home. Funding for the research had been affected by the shut down as well.

Other services have been shut down, such as the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Food inspection and financial aid

The Food and Drug Administration stopped its normal inspections of foods with a high risk of contamination.

Food assistance programs for women, children and Native Americans were still operating on the state level until the funding provided by the federal government runs out. After funds run out it will shut down too until the shutdown is officially over.

The Internal Revenue Service

Most IRS operations stopped. Only 12% of the employees were still working. In an effort to not interfere with annual tax returns, the White House said it would bring back the other IRS employees, but it was unclear if they had the authority to make that happen.

Law enforcement and immigration courts

Many workers from the F.B.I., Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Prisons, Customs and Border Protection, Coast Guard, the Secret Service and others, were out of work because of the shut down.

Even though immigration court was backlogged before, after the government announced the shutdown, the courts also shut down. No cases were being moved forward and people will have to continue to wait for their hearing.

With all these services and citizens being affected by the shutdown, it’s sad to think our government let it go on as long as it did. It lasted over a month and people were ready for it to be over.

Union Latina: Fiesta Latina

Union Latina is a Latino culture club here at Highland. The group’s goal is to create a community at Highland where people can feel comfortable learning about the Latino culture and can celebrate it. Two of their main presentations are: “Dia De Los Muertos” (Late October- Early November) and “The Cinco de Mayo Performance.” Practice for the performance, at the beginning of May, started the second week of January.

This year, Union Latina made a change to their annual performance. The performance was previously referred to as “The Cinco de Mayo Performance,” but the club decided to change the name. The decision was made after the club had received feedback that the name didn’t fully capture what it was trying to portray. “Cinco de Mayo” refers to the Mexican holiday, but not all the dances and acts originated in Mexico, so it was decided that the name no longer fit the occasion. The club had a vote and the new name for the performance is “Fiesta Latina.” It will still take place in the beginning of May. The performance is used as a day to celebrate Latino culture and heritage while involving the whole school.

Another change made to the performance is that one of Ms. Boe’s classes will be performing a dance, along with Ms. Nelson’s classes. This gave students, outside of the immersion program, an opportunity to be able to participate in the cultural event. When I went in to visit Ms. Boe’s class on Friday, a few of the students didn’t seem too excited to be there, but others were very enthusiastic and excited about the whole situation.

All of the classes that are participating in the performance have practice every Friday in their classrooms. The other groups have practice for 1 hour on Wednesday’s during the ULA meetings. With only three and a half months left before may, we should wish them good luck!

Stan Lee: Creative legend

Last year, Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95. He died after suffering from a cardiac arrest brought on by respiratory heart failure. Many fans of the Marvel Universe were heartbroken when they heard the news. Many people loved and admired his work and were deeply saddened by his passing.

Stan Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28, 1922. He was born in New York, to immigrant parents, and was always a talented writer.

He graduated high school early at the age of 16 and went on to pursue his creative calling. He started out working in the comic book office, that would one day become Marvel comics, as an assistant. He kept with the job and ended up contributing to his first comic book, Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge, in 1941.

Aside from writing comics, Stan Lee created a fulfilling life with his wife Joan. Together they had their daughter Joan Celia Lee. Stan and Joan were happily married for 70 years before his wive’s passing in 2014.

Stan Lee has been involved with the creation of most of the Marvel movies. These movies from Marvel Studios have been some of the most profitable.

Lee created Black Panther in 1966 with artist Jack Kirby. When the film Black Panther was released in 2018, it made over 700 million at the box office.

Some of Lee’s most popular comics were the Spider Man series, Fantastic Four and The X-Men. When asked, Lee has always said his favorite comic creation of his was the Silver Surfer.

Throughout his life, Stan Lee was able to build himself a successful career while doing something he loved. This passion can be seen in everything he produced, and that’s probably why his work was so successful. Stan Lee, the superhero legend, will be missed by not only his family, but by all his fans, young and old.