End of 2021-22 school year

Hello loyal readers!

We have come to the end of another school year!

We have seen much growth in readership this year and hope to continue to bring you interesting content next year, and years after.

Please feel free to search our back catalogue of articles, but know that we will be on hiatus until next September.

Thanks for all your support!

How does education affect the economy?

By: Caelyn Hippen

Does education affect the economy?

Does the amount of homework we get every night affect how well we do?

What determines the success of an education program?

These are questions you may ask yourself about your education, and the economy of the city, state, country, and world you live in.

Research states that education boosts and raises productivity. Education also stimulates productivity. I think that education can either make or break someone. It could impact an individual by making them more independent, help them have better time management, and help them have more drive and motivation towards their goals.

But, it could also break someone. Education, especially during a global pandemic, can cause anxiety, and lots of stress. The amount of concentration and focus class and homework combined require is already a lot, but then to have the social pressures of high school is insane.

In my head, the economy impacts education as much as education impacts the economy. If the economy is bad and there isn’t much money to spend on education, chances are the education system won’t be as good as a school in a city with a good economy and more money to spend on education.

An interesting thing I learned about education while researching is that levels of education vary around the world as a result of the countries varying development priorities. For example, if you lived in a country where farming is very important, chances are you will learn lots about agriculture and the environment. Whereas, if someone else lives in an industrialized city/state, they may learn more about large company things such as finance and building businesses.

I also learned that the culture and history of a country can play a huge part in what schooling means to them.

These are some of the ways that education can affect and impact the economy.

Senior Year

Image taken from: https://ahs.newtoncountyschools.org/

As we gear up for our final moments in high school, many of us are excited and nervous about the next chapters of our life whether we decide to go to college, take a gap year, or do other things. There is a lot to think about during your senior year in terms of classes, careers, and colleges. It’s also an important time to make memories and have fun. Here are some things to look forward to for your senior year.

  • Prom – Prom is the most exciting event that most high school seniors look forward to, after graduation. As prom comes around we are excited to show our friends what we are going to wear and the pictures we are excited to take with our friends. Prom allows us to celebrate and create memories with our friends.
  • Freedom – Senior year provides a lot of freedom, most seniors take easy classes during their final year and get the opportunity to leave early, or arrive at school late, if they are all caught up on their credits.
  • Senior skip day – Senior skip day is celebrated in most schools in America. It’s when seniors get to skip a day of school and do something with their friends.
  • Senior all night party – After graduation, and after you go out with your family to celebrate, you come back to school one last time and hang out with your friends all night at school.
  • Graduation day – Graduation day is what you have looked forward to since your freshman year. After working hard in your classes and applying to colleges, you’ll be able to graduate with a clear mind!

My senior year of high school was fun. It was great to make memories with my friends that may go their separate ways after graduation. I enjoyed all the fun things we did during the year and I look forward to walking across the stage to get my high school diploma and go on to the next chapter of my life. Congratulations class of 2022!

What are GMOs and how do they affect us?

By: Haroon Yonis

GMO is an acronym for “genetically modified organisms”, a term exclusively meant for foods that have been modified in some way, shape, or form genetically. GMOs were first introduced to the public in 1994, when a tomato was genetically modified so that it would become ripe quicker than its natural counterpart. Seeing this as a cost efficient way to “save” foods and crops, and as a result increase their profits, many companies began using GMOs.

Today, GMOs are used in practically every packaged food, whether it be cereal, fruits, or vegetables, GMOs are now so widespread that it is almost impossible to avoid the term on your favorite food/drink.

The main purpose of GMOs is that it makes it easier to deal with pesky things that would usually destroy an individual’s crops, such as the environment, insects/animals, and much more. You can liken GMOs to pesticides or herbicides, except much more effective on a larger scale. It is undeniable that GMOs have widened the farming industry and completely changed the way many grow their crops. 

But what do GMOs mean for the consumer, the individual actually consuming this product?

There is  an abundance of health related issues typically associated with GMOs, and this shouldn’t be surprising considering you’re modifying the crop from its original, natural state. Firstly, a chemical that is commonly found in GMOs, “glycophosphate ”, has been linked to a plethora of cancers, like prostrate, and other diseases. 

But, we must realize that GMOs are a relatively new thing in the food industry, and as the FDA continues to improve health regulations surrounding it, hopefully the chemicals used in these GMOs will no longer be harmful to the human body. Even WebMD states that the American Medical Association has stated that there have been no reports of GMOs negatively affecting the body.

Ultimately, it’s your choice whether or not you decide to consume GMOs, and as we continue to discover more about GMOs , keep in mind that even cigarettes were considered healthy at one point.

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Boat Dance

By: Carla Tizcareno

The Boat Dance this weekend wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. Last weekend, Highland Park Senior High hosted a Boat Dance for any high school student that had the chance to buy a ticket for $20-25 during either lunch.

That Friday, it was pretty chilly, but most of the students were wearing shorts or summer dresses. A lot of people didn’t dress very interestingly. It was mostly jean jackets and khakis. There were a few people that showed up in gorgeous dresses and dress shirts like it was prom.

It was made clear that the boat departed at 7pm but it didn’t end up leaving until about 7:30. By 6:50, the lines were super long so it took a while to board the boat.

After departing, the karaoke in the back of the boat began. People grabbed their friends and sang songs by Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and even some Disney songs came up. The karaoke side definitely wasn’t as popular as the front of the boat, where there was a DJ and tons of lights. People were jumping along to the music and shaking the whole boat.

There were some students on the top level of the boat that were throwing chairs overboard. Other than the chairs being thrown, the top level and middle of the boat was pretty calm.

There were two spots to buy snacks and drinks. There were candy bars, nachos and cheese, chips, and Pepsi products. Thank god the water was free because I wouldn’t have survived the night without it.

After a few hours of cold lake air, dancing, singing, and musty teenagers jumping around aimlessly we got back to shore. The DJ played some closing songs as we all got off the boat. People loved stopping at the middle of the sidewalk causing a lot of hold ups.

The parking situation was even worse. There were cars stopping randomly in the lot and in the street to pick up some other students. It took me 20 minutes to even get out of the parking lot. Everyone was pretty much gone by 11pm. Overall, the dance wasn’t all that great in my opinion, but a lot of the underclassmen really enjoyed it. I truly felt like the night was cut short. Was it worth $25? Meh, not really.

Why is soda so addicting?

By: Haroon Yonis

Soda is a common drink in America. It’s tasty, sweet, and most importantly it’s refreshing. You can’t go a day without seeing it, whether it’s in your household, on a commercial, or in the restaurant you’re having your meal in.

It’s undeniable that soda is involved in our lives, and especially plays a major role in American culture and cuisine. 

But what makes this drink so addicting and tasty? The answer may surprise you, and may finally make you realize how much of a danger it really is.

Firstly, soda contains a ton of sugar, and some brands may have upwards of 60 grams in their drink! This insane amount of sugar releases chemicals in your brain, chemicals that make you feel good, and makes the soda much more refreshing. One of these chemicals is known as dopamine, and it makes you feel pleasure, a common feeling associated with sugar and soda.

On top of that, many sodas contain ingredients such as artificial flavors, and additives such as caffeine, that make you crave it, and as a result sometimes causes one to create an unhealthy addiction and obsession with the drink. Diet sodas have further promoted this widespread addiction, as many view them as a healthier alternative to regular sodas, when in reality they may even be worse.

The availability and cheap price of soda also makes it appealing to many customers, especially those who cannot afford healthier sweeteners, and as a result opt out for soda instead. They are found in practically every restaurant, and the honest and rather harsh truth is that it is almost impossible to avoid soda. There are very limited options when it comes to alternatives, and the sweet tasting drink has become a staple in America.

Some advice would be just to cut out soda from your diet, and as your body slowly adjusts to the change, you’ll realize that you no longer crave or want the drink. Soda has many detrimental effects on your body, and it simply isn’t optimal for human digestion. Do yourself a favor and stay away from that can of poisonous sugar!

Why more people should go to therapy

By: Mila Hart

Image taken from:

Everyone in the world has troubles in their life. Some people’s troubles may be much more severe than others, but that doesn’t change the fact that pretty much everyone is struggling with some sort of conflict or unwanted feelings and emotions.

I know it might seem pretty weird, making appointments to dish your struggles to a stranger, but you may find that you will often leave your appointment feeling much better than you did when you came in and with some potential solutions to your problems.

Therapists are professionals that are trained to provide mental and emotional treatment and rehabilitation. They can help people through many many things. People go to therapy for guidance through some very personal and painful experiences. They can help people overcome depression, live with loss, guide them through grief, work through anxieties, and many other things.

But therapy isn’t just for dealing with some big painful thing that has happened to someone. It is also used to help people in their day to day lives. By helping and encouraging people to understand their thoughts, moods, and behaviors, therapy can make the biggest positive difference in how people live their day to day lives.

Seeking and going to therapy is not as taboo as it once was. The American Psychological Association collected data that showed that nearly half of American households have had someone seek mental health treatment this year. Russ Newman, PhD, JD, and the American Psychological Association’s executive director for professional practice said that “We’ve made progress in people’s attitudes toward getting mental health treatment or seeking it for their loved ones, but cost, lack of insurance and access still can be barriers for people in getting the help they need.”

Unfortunately, the cost of therapy stands in the way of many people getting the help they need. Many people believe that health insurance should cover mental health services and that access to mental health services is extremely important.

Distracted driving

By: Christina Cyrus

Distracted driving is any activity that distracts the driver’s attention from driving, which includes talking or texting on your phone, eating, drinking, or changing the radio station. These can all lead to unsafe driving.

Texting is the most common distraction. Sending texts makes you take your eyes off the road, and you cannot safely drive unless your vehicle has your full attention.

The consequences of texting and driving can be severely bad; it could lead to you killing someone which could then lead to 20 years in jail.

Everyone can be involved in a way to save life. Teens are the best way to get information out, because most of the time their lives involve texting or social media. Parents can also play a big role because they are the role models, and kids are going to do things that their parents do. They can also remind their kids to stay off their phones to help prevent anything bad happening/save their lives.

The law, in Minnesota, is that nobody under the age of 21 can be on their phones unless the phone has “hand free” mode. I think this is a good law because you shouldn’t be on your phone while driving, but you still have a phone there in case there is an emergency.

In my opinion, I think driving is a very good privilege and with driving it comes with you thinking and making the right choices; it comes with responsibility. This is why the law says you have to be 21, because it gives people more time to mature.

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The truth about Acesulfame Potassium 

By: Haroon Yonis

Acesulfame Potassium, also commonly referred to as Ace-K, is a artificial sweetener, used in drinks such as diet soda, and low calorie candies. For the average person, it may seem as the perfect sugar substitute, as it cuts your calories, while giving you the sweet taste you love. 

Many health agencies, such as the FDA, claim that Ace-K is perfectly safe, and may actually be beneficial to you if you swap it with sugar in many of your favorite foods.

But that is unfortunately not true, and it could be dangerous if you take their advice, and continue consuming Ace-K. Not only is it not natural, it also has been found, in multiple authentic studies, to increase your chances of getting cancer. According to Medpage, artificial sweeteners had an undeniable correlation to cancers such as breast, colon, and liver. 

What was most surprising was that even in low dosages, this particular substance was linked to a higher risk of cancer. Not only does it cause cancer, but it is also 200 times sweeter than sugar!

Our bodies are not built to consume such toxic and sweet things, and the studies prove that. Fortunately, there are many great natural alternatives to Ace-K. Some of these other alternatives include: nectar, honey, and maple syrup. These are tasty sweeteners that do not include the risks associated with Ace-K. 

Ace-K is found usually in desserts such as soda, ice cream, candies, and pastries. They are very common in other household brands such as Monster and Red Bull.

The most surprising thing about Ace-K is the FDA’s opinion on it. In 1980, the FDA banned an artificial sweetener that had very similar components to that of Ace-K, called cyclamate. 

It banned cyclamate over a study that associated it with cancer, yet despite Ace-K’s obvious association with a multitude of lethal cancers, the FDA continues to irresponsibly call it safe for human consumption.

The best advice is just to generally stay away from artificial sweeteners, and to replace them with safe, natural sweeteners that are commonly found in nature.

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Titanium dioxide and its concerning effects on the human body

By: Haroon Yonis

Titanium dioxide is used as food coloring for many foods, and items, such as paint, toothpaste, and many popular food products. It is used in paint, which in itself is concerning. Why are we humans consuming a substance that is present in paint, and plastic?

Titanium dioxide is a very harmful substance and can negatively affect your organs, and physiological state. It is currently banned by the European Commission, due to the lack of evidence proving that titanium dioxide is safe for human consumption.

What actually should concern you, is the fact that titanium dioxide negatively harms your gut, and could directly cause colon cancer. It is also typically associated with inflammation which is never a good sign in our bodies.

Titanium dioxide can irritate your eyes, nostrils, and actually has been linked to causing lung cancer in animals, which possibly warrants it as a carcinogenic.

Not only does it cause cancer, it can also damage your cells and your DNA!

Unsurprisingly, the FDA hasn’t banned this dangerous substance yet, and it is continued to be used in popular food products such as coffee, gum, chocolate, and sweets.

How can one feel safe knowing they are consuming something that is actively harming them?

There are many steps one can take to prevent themselves from consuming titanium dioxide. These include checking the ingredient label of foods you commonly buy/use. And making sure you avoid all foods that contain it.

There are also many safe alternatives to titanium dioxide; this includes calcium carbonate. Many countries have resorted to banning the substance due to the uncertainty surrounding it, and the possible harm that it may cause to humans.

The FDA must do their job and ban this ingredient once and for all. The FDA continues to allow ingredients that have been proven to cause cancer to roam in our grocery stores and supermarkets.

We must hold them accountable and demand they join the European Commission in banning titanium dioxide!