Negative effects of the school chairs

School may not be the most comfortable place on Earth in many ways, but does one contributing factor really have to be the back-aching chairs? Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the bus seats are more comfortable than what we are expected to sit in all day long. 

Rarely do people know the actual effects of these chairs, but I am about to inform you of a few of the real consequences they produce. 

It may be quite blunt to say that focus is interrupted by school chairs, so let me explain. School should be about learning, usually that requires you to pay attention to what your teacher is trying to communicate, but by the end of the day, I am usually more busy trying to get even the slightest bit comfortable.

In those minutes, or even seconds, that your focus has been modified, you can miss little notes or messages from the class itself. Some might think connecting those two things is a reach, but doesn’t it make sense?

Secondly, the chairs provide no support whatsoever. All the chair backs cut-off way too short to fit an average-sized teenager’s back. Eventually, throughout a class, this can cause your neck to bend forward, putting a strain on your lower back. 

These “small” problems can possibly even cause long term back and neck issues after hours, days, and years on end. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it also affects your posture in a negative way and potentially can give you frequent headaches. 

Unfortunately, budgets are fairly small to allow schools to be able to change the chair situation easily. That’s one of the two main reasons for these undersized, plastic chairs. The other being that they are pretty durable. They don’t need to replace them often and they fit the low budget. 

As schools try and adjust to become a more appealing place, by serving healthier lunches and adjusting to different techniques in the classroom for learning purposes, the school chairs should be a priority just as important to the school board. 

A limited number of bathroom passes

I’m sure every student has, or will at one point, encounter a teacher that will only give out a limited number of bathroom passes for the quarter or semester. They may give out so few bathroom passes that even with your best attempts to not use the bathroom during that class you would be unable to avoid running out.

But why do teachers choose to enact such regulations?

I spoke with two teachers on why they choose to give out limited bathroom passes and their answers were rather similar. They want students to remain in class and focus on the material.

One of the teachers, when she had not had this rule, had too many students missing too much class time and felt it was likely they were goofing off in the bathroom.

Both teachers believe the number of passes they give out is sufficient so if it actually is an emergency they’ll be able to go, and that passing time, or the amount of time they will give them at the beginning of class (one teacher gives their students an extra 5 minutes at the beginning of class to use the bathroom), is enough.

One of the teachers also made the point as due to the new cellphone policy it is more likely that students will go to the bathroom just to use their phone.

They say these regulations have been working to accomplish their goals. Students are spending much more time in class and without having to manage what kids are in the bathroom or who is going next, class seems to run much smoother.

They say that each teacher runs their class a certain way and knows what is best for it, but if they are having problems with students using the bathroom, this is a solution for them.

However, the students I interviewed seemed to have some different ideas than the teachers. 8 out of 9 of them said that they did not support teachers giving out a limited number of bathroom passes. A majority of them did say there might be ways for the policy to be changed enough for them to support it though. 

Most of them also said that while it depends on the class, passing time is not enough to use the bathroom, unlike what the teachers believe.

7 out of 9 of them said that it did not help students pay attention in class, as if they need to use the restroom, but are unable to, they would not be able to pay attention.

So, while teachers who implement this rule think it is good and helps students pay attention, students seem to be of the opposite opinion.

The official fast food tier list

Image via debatewise.org

As long as American’s have had a public health crisis, one thing’s been for sure: We do love our fast food. From Burger King to Dairy Queen (I’m too clever, I know), there’s plenty to chose from, and how would any reasonable person be able to pick the best option?

Well, since you’re desperate enough to click an internet article called “The official fast food tier list,” I’ll be kind enough to show you my official ranking system for every fast food place that matters, and I’ll also advise you to please consider immediate therapy.

The rules for the rankings below are simple: the higher tier on the list, the better, the furthest to the left on a tier, is the best place, and the furthest to the right is the worst. Now that you spent actual time in your life, that you could’ve used doing something productive, by making an attempt to sincerely understand how this works, I present to you, the official tier list (now if this isn’t the most exciting moment in your life, you’re an actual liar):

Now you may be looking at this image with shock, or be frighted in some way. But don’t worry, it’s just the truth you’re looking at. It’s glory is truly one to behold. Now, this is based off of taste, restaurant quality, and objective facts. I’m essentially coming down from fast food heaven giving the world its ten commandments on which paper bags filled with grease and meat, that we like to call food, is worth delightfully shortening your lifespan with the most.

First of all, Olive Garden is in fast food purgatory at the very bottom of the F tier, as even though it’s more of a restaurant than a fast food chain, it’s food is pretty much equal in quality to fast food, and it’s the worst at that even.

It’s sharing the room with Starbucks because, well… nobody really likes Starbucks, we just kinda…go there. I mean there’s frappachinos, aka milkshakes, that are placebo’d to make your mind trick you into thinking it tastes like coffee, but even then, you could just get the same quality at a coffee shop where you have to sacrifice the chance of possibly seeing a B-list celebrity in order to get slightly above decent food.

Also, KFC is there because the quality really speaks for itself over there. (It’s not like I wouldn’t eat at any of these places if given the chance, I mean hey if it’s deep fried, how bad could paper towels really taste?)

D tier really is nothing particularly interesting, as they are just equally abysmal restaurants, but their food isn’t as inedible. And as you know from reading this article, I definitely appreciate quality exquisite fine dining™ as I’ve been quoted by saying my favorite food is Pringles.

The pinnacle of capitalism known as the Double Down Dog via foodbeast.com

Coming in at C tier we have food that’s just starting to be palatable, and taking baby steps into my fast food hall of fame. Now, as a person who’s lived in the “Whole Foods” of countries, known as Canada, I’ve been to a place known as Tim Horton’s, and man it’s really…. average, I guess. It’s pretty much Dunkin’ Doughnuts, but with sandwiches, and less doughnuts. But it’s better in quality than all the other places I’ve named so far because, I said so, and most Americans who’ll read this probably don’t know this but, Justin Trudeau has an explosive microchip implanted in the brain of every Canadian citizen, and I can’t risk giving Tim Horton’s that bad of a score at this point.

Other than that, Subway is pretty much just a dream come true for 3rd graders who’ve always wondered what it would be like if they made the food from Lunchables mystery meat sandwich packs into a restaurant.

Also, Mac and Don’s, as your 46-year-old uncle calls it, is pretty much the same as Burger King food wise, except for the fact that you don’t have to hide your shame as much when eating at Burger King, so it’s slightly higher on the list.

Now, at number B (number B?) we have Wendy’s. Now, Wendy’s being the only corporation in human history to successfully appeal to teenagers using advertising, is pretty good. I mean, it’s a solid fast food place, that doesn’t make me have to use one of my sick days after eating it. But personally, I would put Jack in the Box above it, but I won’t because it kinda sorta um…gave near 750 people E. coli in the 90’s…sooo…it gets docked a point in my book.

But A&W is a better burger place than both (I’m pretty sure they aren’t in America, so just take my word for it), and Little Caeser’s is the best fast food pizza place by far. I am willing to fight you on this in a wild western style duel in which one of us shoots after walking ten paces in the opposing directions. I am 100% serious, this is completely not a joke, meet me during High Noon at Town Square you Pizza Hut lovin’ scoundrel.

Zupas logo, via cafezupas.com

Now we’re in the big leagues, the big zone, rookies keep out, this is professional football here. This article is getting too long for me to sound like a human being with sanity, so let’s keep the highlights brief. Jimmy Johns essentially succeeds everywhere that Subway fails. It’s like somebody tried Subway and was like “Hey, this would be pretty good if it were made out of actual ingredients instead of paper mache.”

And now for my most controversial opinion yet: Taco Bell is, and will always be, better than Chipotle. You heard it here first folks. Now, before you execute me like French Royalty in the 1700s, let me speak my piece: Taco Bell will always be there for you, Chipotle will not. At three in the morning, with only five bucks to spare, and your life is spiralling out of control, Taco Bell will embrace you with admittedly gross warm open arms. And unlike Chipotle, Taco Bell takes risks.

Chipotle is good for when you want actual cuisine which at least mildly resembles Mexican food. But Taco Bell is different. Taco Bell triumphs over all the rest and are like “Hey, what if instead of a taco shell, we use a waffle covered in maple syrup for a taco? Or what if we just use a breaded piece of Dorito crusted chicken for a taco shell, and call it a Chalupa?” They say this as every Mexican that ever died does an Olympic triathlon in their grave. Which is bold of Taco Bell, like you gotta just look at it from the angle of, not a Mexican place, but an American place which parodies Mexican food. And if you do, it gets a whole lot better.

Not like any of that matters, because Naf-Naf is like a pick your own ingredients thing, but it’s with really good Middle Eastern food, so it’s like infinitely better in every way.

Okay, so finally, this article is coming to a close, and you’ll be free from reading this excuse for journalism I call an article. But before that, we must discuss the top tiers. The alpha wolves of the pack, I’m talking – Five Guys, and Panda Express. First of all. Five guys is the Ace of the burger restaurants. It triumphs over every other one, in every argument, no matter what. It’s just too powerful…the Cajun style fries have a level of sodium that just can’t be beat. Five Guys is pretty much the fast food equivalent to the gates of heaven.

But heaven itself? Well young reader, that’s what we call the Holy Land: Panda Express (Pandrusalem). My young and naive reader, you’ve come so far, you’ve read this entire article for some reason, and finally, you’ve reached the truth; there is no other truth but Panda Express (yes this is a cult now just go with it). For those who’ve had the devastating misfortune of never attending one of the SACRED locations of the divine Panda, it is an American Chinese food restaurant which shall not be compared to a mere mortal such as Leean Chin. It had FOUNDED the very staple dish known as Orange Chicken. It has built its empire only upon the foundation of Honey Walnut Shrimp, and I PITY the mere fool who doubts the power of the Sweetfire Chicken, all delicately placed upon a bed of chow mien fit for an Emperor on thy throne. No other restaurants matter; it’s all Panda Express now. Panda Express is the Kendrick Lamar of restaurants; it is the GOAT of eatery. Need I say more?

And, I’d like to sincerely apologize for having anybody read this, as you can tell I have too much time on my hands to be healthy.

Autism. You’re perfect.

By:  Bao Nguyen

“Am I really autistic?” I asked in the kitchen.

“Yes.” My sister responded.

“Don’t worry too much about it, you only have little traits of Autism. You’re perfect.”

Months later, my mind came back to a conversation I used to have with my sister.

Autism.

You’re perfect.

At first, I was skeptical about that. But after a month of researching about Autism, I finally began to understand why I faced struggles in the past. Now, I’m ready to share my feelings about my experiences.

I was about to accept that I’m different, but that was until I came across some article that talked about the giftedness of Autism. I’ve heard a lot (or too much) of how autistic people have had shared their experiences; gifted with barely any social skills. I’m born with struggles. There are other autistic people that are not so gifted; yet they have decent social skills with at least some sensory issues. I’m born with no sensory problems. I wasn’t trying to compare myself to other autistic  people; I learned that Autism is a spectrum. I personally felt as If god accidentally gave me a wrong version of Autism; I knew god predicted that I’m too powerful to fit in this world, so god decided to create me with struggles instead.

It feels wrong for me to decide to write this. But let me tell you, these are all feelings I have right now;

Worthless. Hopeless. Hurtful. Jealous. Talent-less. Rejection. Excluded. Pity. Chafed. Huffed. Crippled. Anguish.

Not so much jolly myself.

Born with struggles.

God chose that because I’m too powerful to fit in this world.

Still feels sorrow for me to write this.

Autism.

You’re perfect.

Who am I? Do I have any purposes in life? Why do I feel as if I’m different from most people?

In this not-so-seamless world, most people I see are normal. Regardless, the struggles I’m born with have nearly obstructed me. I may have talents, but no matter how much talent I have, it never fulfills the talent itself. I am smart, but my learning difficulties have invalidated my intelligence. I’m gifted, or barely. I have good social skills, but a lot of anxiety brewing in my body every time I’m supposed to meet new people (even worse, meeting teenagers or at an age below what I’ve not met yet) and worry that they’ll exclude me for being different. I’m friendly, but my brain is sometimes vague on words, so that I might end up being rude for saying defective things by accident. I’m human after all, but why does my autistic brain think that all humans look like a pet sometimes?

That’s not to say that my autism defines me. All of my struggles in science, history, math, and health in classes I’ve taken. Now the only talent that I’m left with; Writing stories.

I remember my teacher gave an assignment to students to write our story for Halloween. I did, and my teacher enjoyed mine. If you want, I’ll write the same story that I’ve written in the past, although my original story has lost, I remember the story almost entirely.

Who knows what will I write after I die? Will I still write in somewhere that is beyond this world? I don’t know, and will never be able to.

As long as I keep expanding my English skills, and share my stories with my families and other people, maybe someday people will call me a gifted writer.

Autism.

You’re perfect.

 

Bao is a junior at HPSH. He likes to read books and do things on his computer (sometimes games). He is eager to gain knowledge and learn new skills. He likes to write stories, although he’s still on a journey of studying the structure of English. Favorite classes: piano and career classes.

Why my cat is better than yours

By: Vivian S.

Listen, many people have cats, as they are one of the most common pets; however, in this article, I will prove to you that my cat is better than yours.

First of all, I have three cats, so I will be combining them all into one, to talk about all their best qualities. And yes, I know that seems slightly unfair, but when you have multiple cats, they all feel just like one embodiment of the meaning of cat. And if you do not have more than one cat to spend all your time on, what are you doing with your life?

Smokey

To begin, my cat has the softest, best fur to pet. It’s short and slightly fluffy, and so, so soft. You could stand around petting any one of my cats for an hour and not even notice the time passing.

My cat also has the best purr, and we all know that cat purrs are essential to life. As you pet her, you can feel the vibration of the purr. In that moment, you truly understand peace, serenity, and paradise.

My cat has the fluffiest tail. I don’t know why I’m including the tail as a positive trait, considering the cat constantly knocks things over with her tail and seems to have no control over it, but it is also very fluffy. You wish your cat had as fluffy a tail as my cat.

Smokey

My cat also curls up on my bed under my blankets. She will curl up into a ball, sometimes with a paw covering her head, and sleep. You have never known true fear until you have begun getting into bed and realize that you almost sat on the cat hidden beneath the blankets. And you have never known the heights of adorableness until you realize how cute they look peeking out from the covers.

My cat also sits on my lap when I watch television, which is the best time to have a cat with you. We will stare at the TV together in silence and dream together of taking over the world.

There is also one big advantage to having multiple cats, and that is seeing them curled up together. While it is rare to see the cats near one another, occasionally you will find two of them curled up side by side on a bed, and it is a sight that can’t be explained in words.

Mio

In conclusion, my cat is the best cat, and you wish that you had her. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go clean up cat poop.

What’s going on in West Papua?

Image via theguardian.com

If you’ve been reading the news lately, you’ve probably seen an article or two about what’s going on in West Papua, Indonesia, but most articles don’t give you the full idea, and not many people know the intense situation which is going on. Anyway, let me give you some background here from indonesiamatters.com if you don’t already know.

So, in the 1800s, there was this island called “New Guinea.” The British took the East half, and the Dutch took the Western half, and then it became a part of the Dutch East Indies. Then, in the ’30s, the former colonies of the Dutch East Indies all became independent except for Western New Guinea. But, in 1952, the Dutch prepared the people, for independence, for this remaining colony, and by the ’60s, the parliament of that part of New Guinea (now called West Papua) was formed, and the country created a national anthem, flag, and national seal.

 

Flag of West Papua via freewestpapua.org

Everything seemed to be going well until in 1962 when the Indonesian government started invading West Papua, and tried to push out the Dutch who were staying in the country, taking care of it before its total independence. The Dutch forces successfully stopped the invasion, but then Indonesia went to the Soviet Union for support, and because of Cold War anxiety, the US government tried to help out the Dutch in West Papua.

In August, later that year, an agreement was reached, in New York, between the Netherlands and Indonesia, where the UN gains custody of West Papua until they hold a vote. But, when the vote actually happened in 1969, it was said to be heavily rigged by the Indonesian government, thus making West Papua a province of Indonesia (two provinces actually).

Via worldpoliticsreview.com

Now, according to a paper put out by the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the people, culture, language, and just overall heritage of West Papua is vastly different from the rest of Indonesia, as they are a Melanesian people, more similar to the many different groups within the bordering country of Papua New Guinea, which is VASTLY different culturally and linguistically from the South East Asian culture of Indonesia. The government is said to be trying to force Indonesian culture on the people of West Papua.

This, to some, would be a reason to secede already, but why should we care? The main reason is the deep seeded oppression which is going on within the West Papua region, as  it is one of the longest running modern day illegal annexations/occupations.

There are intense reports of brutal torture as described by a study in 2015: torture seems to be the unofficial form of governance. It is said that the Indonesian regime is not reluctant to use killing, surveillance, and arbitrary arrest to control the illegally occupied West Papua.

An example of this is when graphic footage was leaked to YouTube in October 2010. There are two separate occurring events which were captured in this footage. The beginning shows eight highlanders forcibly stripped naked in front of two Indonesian army soldiers. And while interrogating these terrified Papuans, and calling them “monyet,” “anjing,” or “bajingan” (monkey, dog, bastard), the soldiers kicked their heads with their edged boots, and hit their heads using their helmets.

The soldiers demanded that they would confess to being members of the OPM, which is an independence movement with the overall goal of freeing West Papua from Indonesian control. The latter half of the footage displays two people, with one having a knife to their throat, and another being burnt on his bare skin by Indonesian army men, as so the men would confess the location of OPM weaponry near their town. It was very public, and many people were forced to bear witness.

This is said to be a very frequent occurrence in West Papua, according to that study. Along with that, terrible Indonesian policies which cause environmental damage such deforestation, severely undermines the foundation for West Papuan society and culture.

Via freewestpapua.org

So, it would be evident to say that independence would be a fair option for these oppressed people of West Papua, and that’s what they are trying to achieve now more than ever. According to theguardian.com other Pacific Islander countries, such as Vanuatu, have shown support for the struggle against the oppression. And according to UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization) almost 2 million residents of West Papua have signed a petition (which could have had more signatures if it wasn’t heavily kept away by the Indonesian government), practically begging the UN for equal, and fair independence, and self determination for the West Papuan peoples.

Sadly, according to theguardian.com, the UN denied the petition after all that, and said that it damaged the territorial integrity of Indonesia. I believe this is a violation of equal rights, freedom, and the democracy on which the very principals the UN were supposedly founded on. Though maybe, in the future, brave governments such as Vanuatu may eventually speak out loud enough, and take action. I believe that it is the UN’s duty, as a global peacekeeper, to find, and create justice for the West Papuan peoples, as they deeply deserve it.

Should The National Animal change?

When you think America, one of the first images that pops into your head is a majestic bald eagle, as it is heavily advertised as the “all American bird,” and is seen on countless articles of patriotic merchandise. But, what if it changed? It would probably never happen, but here’s why it should.

Image taken from Smithsonian’s National Zoo

First off, how many countries already have an eagle as their national animal? Well, a lot more than you’d think. According to animalsake.com, here’s a list of every single other country that uses some kind of eagle as one of their national animals:

  • Zambia
  • Serbia
  • Russia (has a mythical two headed eagle, but still)
  • Poland
  • Nigeria
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Germany
  • Egypt
  • Austria
  • The Philippines
  • And most recently; South Sudan

I dunno, me personally, I think America could use something more unique, more unlike the rest, something that really encompasses what America is, and what it’s all about.

Well, Benjamin Franklin had a pretty good idea, according to history.com, Benjamin Franklin proposed that: as the turkey is a greater “bird of courage” and more “truly American” it should replace the current national animal. And frankly, I agree.

The bald eagle, also isn’t exactly native to America, as it can be seen soaring over many parts of Canada, and bits of Mexico, while the turkey almost exclusively resides within the U.S. of A.

Map of bald eagle distribution across North America, courtesy of Birdsnsa.com

And we don’t even celebrate the bald eagle! Now, if only there was a holiday where we celebrated the greatness of our national animal, or even had a tradition where the president pardons that said animal. Maybe we could call it “Thanksgiving!”

I mean, the pins are all already in a row here. It’s almost meant to be at this point. And I know what you might be thinking, what kind of country eats their national animal? Well, Australia eats kangaroo steaks, so it’s not that out of the ordinary.

So, anyway, that’s why I think we should ditch the eagle, and get with the turkey for our great national animal of the United States.

Swim team separation

Highland has many sports teams and well performing clubs and one of these is the highland swim team. They are a special group of people and one of the few teams that are joined by SPA (Saint Paul Academy) to create the Sparks swim team.

Recently, Dr. Tucker announced wishes to dissolve the relationship between Highland and SPA. Many athletes were displeased when hearing this and created a petition to collect signatures to keep their team together.

The reasons Dr. Tucker had to separate the teams was discussed with the swim team parents, and athletes, in a meeting that was held on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 in the Highland Park Senior High School auditorium.

Dr. Tucker prepared a document that explains his reasoning, and I have included a copy of it below. (Nothing has been edited these are all Dr. Tucker’s words)

SPARKS Swim/Dive Team students and parents:

Highland Park Senior High School is moving to dissolve the cooperative partnership for the Swimming/Dive program with SPA for next school year.

While we respect the partnership with SPA and recognize that students from both schools have formed important bonds over the years, there are a number of logistical reasons for dissolving the sharing of the two programs.

These reasons include but are not limited to the following:

  1.  Both schools have enough students to host their own teams.
  2. The current size of the team has resulted in many challenges, including having to turn away Highland Middle and Highland Senior students.
  3. The size of the team warrants multiple coaches, which is a financial problem to sustain.
  4. Continual turnover in coaching as a result of managing the two combined programs which has resulted in a lack of consistency.
  5. The logistical challenges in coordinating a team between two schools as well as the size of the team is very challenging and a deterrent for most prospective coaches.
  6. Saint Paul Public Schools has a practice of generally only having cooperative athletic partnerships with schools within the same district (there are a few necessary exceptions).
  7. The purpose of cooperative athletic partnerships is to be short term until both schools can build their programs. This goal has been accomplished.

    Please note that some have felt that this change was our athletic director’s decision. It is important to realize that as principal it was my decision to move forward with this change and as principal the responsibility rests on my shoulders.

    If you are interested in hearing more about this issue and would like share you thoughts on this matter there will be a meeting in the Highland Park Senior High School auditorium on Wednesday, December 12 at 5:30pm.

    Dr. Winston H. Tucker
    Principal

Though Dr. Tucker’s reasons are valid, the swim team had some reasons of their own. The following is from a petition created by SPARKS team members.

It has come our attention that the decision has been made to separate the Sparks and Trojans swim teams into two separate teams. For years, this co-op has flourished between Highland Park and SPA, both in and out of the pool. When we, the captains of both teams, were informed of this change, ‘cultural differences’ and limited pool space were cited as reasons for the split. These cultural differences are not a reason to divide the team—they are a key factor of what makes this team so special. The relationships and bonds formed between swimmers from both schools would never have been possible without the co-op. When it comes to the issue of pool space, we found a solution to the limited space during this past season, and believe that if the issue of space were to continue to be a problem, there are more viable solutions than to just separate the teams completely. This is not like the past where the teams were only separated while competing in conference meets (but could still compete in non-conference invites, dual meets, sections, and state together). The Athletic Department wants to separate us completely. We, the captains of both teams, and our fellow teammates believe that this is not in the best interest of either the Trojans or the Sparks in any way. While swimming together competitively the boys were able to come in 5th place in their 6AA sections and the girls were able to come in 7th place in their 6AA sections. If the teams were separated, like our schools intend to do, the boys team would have come in 7th place at their sections and the girls would have come in 8th place. The boys last year were able to get a new school record for their 400 free relay with two of those swimmers being from SPA and the girls were very close to breaking the 200 free relay record of which one person was from SPA. Additionally, a swimmer from SPA for the girls team broke a record that had stood for over 20 years in the 100 fly this past season. As mentioned previously, the teams as a co-op have been able to accomplish great things that they would not have and will not be able to achieve as two separate teams. We hope to have your support and for you to sign this petition in order to help us to keep our teams together.

If this article persuaded you believe that the swim team deserves to stay together, and to continue to develop the close bond they all cherish and want to continue, please click this link and help them by signing the petition: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/278/424/275/keep-our-teams-together/

 

The risks of vaping

According to theTruth.com, despite all the anti smoking campaigns used 20 years ago, in 1998, 23% of teens still smoked cigarettes. Skip ahead to 2005, and teen usage of E-cig vaping devices has increased to 16%.

Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances that is easily accessible. Nicotine mimics an acetylcholine receptor in the brain, but also reduces the number of receptors that the brain produces. The long-term brain changes caused by continued nicotine use can result in addiction.

E-cigs were originally intended for people who wanted to quit smoking cigarettes but weren’t ready to quit nicotine cold turkey. Vaping has been proven to be harmful to people in the same ways as smoking cigarettes. They might not contain the chemicals found in tobacco, but they still contain cancer causing chemicals that affect your respiratory and circulatory systems.

These 5 shocking facts about vaping might make you think twice about picking up one of these hand held smoking devices.

Nicotine from vaping can damage blood vessels. 

Vaping for even 30 minutes a day with an e-cig containing nicotine, was proven to increase stiffness in the arteries while also increasing blood pressure.

The primary ingredient in vape liquid turns into formaldehyde, a known cause of cancer, when it’s heated.

When you vape, or inhale this vapor, you are willingly exposing yourself to cancer causing chemicals.

E-cigarette companies target youth in their advertising

The companies will purposefully target youth by including themes like rebellion, independence, and sex in their advertisements. Another way they target youth is by making the vape liquid in sweet or fruity flavors.

Every month, in the U.S., more than 100 children, less than 6 years old are poisoned from ingesting vaping liquid

The colorful packaging and sweet flavors of these liquids make young children want to eat it.

E-cigs and vapes have gone unregulated by federal authorities since the ’60s. 

For more than 50 years, e-cig and vape companies didn’t have to register their products, disclose ingredients, or get approval from the FDA before selling them. They weren’t officially regulated until August 2016.

For more information, please visit: https://www.thetruth.com

The first senior class field trip of 2018

On November 2, the class of 2019 had their first senior class field trip. The senior class field trips are planned by the senior class counsel. Usually, there are about three trips a year, and they are used to promote bonding within the graduating class. This year’s first field trip was to Grand Slam.

The field trip sounded fun, a day full of mini gulf and lazer tag, but that wasn’t the part some people were upset about.

The field trip was announced just several days before the field trip was to take place. People were upset by the short notice of the trip, and some people felt that the trip wasn’t advertised enough. Some people didn’t even know the trip was happening.

I asked a senior, in my math class, if she was excited about our first senior field trip of the year, and she looked at me with a very confused look. She told me, “I didn’t even know we had a senior field trip planned. When is it?” When I told her it was the upcoming Friday (given I had this conversation on Tuesday, the 30th of October), her confusion turned to irritation. “How are we supposed to find out anything when it’s all last minute?”

She was not the only one feeling this way. When the whole field trip was announced, students only had a couple of days to get the slip and return it back to the counselor’s office before the deadline.

Even though I do see where all the frustration came from, I think we should’ve cut the council some slack. According to one of the council members, the trip was more difficult to plan than anticipated. They were trying to find other places to have the field trip, but all those places didn’t work out.

Our next field trip will be during the winter and is probably going to involve a lot of snow. With all the constructive critisism they recived, I believe the senior class council will try to communicate dates and events more efficiently.