New iPads

For the next school year, teachers and students will be given new iPads to use for school. The new iPads will have a different case, along with a keyboard. The case and keyboard are navy blue. The keyboard can be attached and detached easily. The keyboard does not have touch pads, but has everything else on it.

The reasons why the school decided to get these new iPads is because they have a three year lease on them, and have been planning to get new iPads for a while now. Also, the new iPads have 128 gigabytes whereas the old ones had just 16. With more gigabytes, it will be easier for students to use the iPads, and make movies for school projects. Another reason for the change, is because the old iPads would eventually break down, so keeping the old iPads wouldn’t be worth it. Plus, the new iPads are more durable to use.

The school hopes to pass out the iPads sooner next year. The paper for getting an iPad will still be online, so students and parents can access it. The plan for passing out the new iPads is to maybe pass them out even before school starts, so students could possibly come pick up their iPad in late August or early September.

Things to do around St. Paul during summer

Summer is the time to go outside, go on the lake, soak in the sun, or just hang out with friends. Summers in Saint Paul seem endless; there’s just so much that is offered to do in Saint Paul, and around the state of Minnesota.

Throughout the Twin Cities the activities vary from fairs and festivals, to great dining, or even outside music; Saint Paul has it all. Here are just some of the options that are available for you to enjoy this summer.

First, dine outside. Most restaurants or cafes have an option to sit outside, in MN you really have to spend as much time in the sun as possible, since it is very limited.

Next you can go to a zoo, Minnesota Zoo or Como Zoo, or you can take time to enjoy the arts at such places as the Walker Art Center, or you can even go to a museum (Children’s Museum or Science Museum).

You could also go spend time on the river or lake. In Saint Paul, and all throughout Minnesota, you can find any water activity you think of. You could go take a cruise down the river on the Padelford riverboats at Harriet Island, or you could just go find a lake and spend some time on the beach. Most parks with a lake will offer a beach with a swimming area and an option to rent kayaks, canoes, and/or paddle boards.

Throughout the rest of Minnesota there are many key points of interests that include:

  • Mall of America: A huge shopping complex with a indoor amusement park
  • Como Zoo: Zoo, gardens, and an amusement park
  • Sea life at the Mall of America: Oceanic exhibits an play areas
  • Minnesota History Center: Interactive exhibits, artifacts, and shows
  • Science Museum: Educational and interactive exhibits
  • Mill City Museum: A look at the flour industry
  • Valleyfair: An amusement park with coasters and kiddie rides
  • Walker Art Center: Contemporary art museum
  • Minnehaha Park: Bike rentals, hiking, and waterfall
  • Cathedral of Saint Paul: Revered beaux art landmark from 1915
  • Minnesota State Capitol: Minnesota’s history
  • James J. Hill House: Former railway magnate
  • Ordway Center for Performing Arts: Concerts and theater  
  • Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: Monument
  • Gooseberry Falls: Waterfall, camping, and hiking/biking trails
  • Split Rock Lighthouse: Historic lighthouse and cliffs
  • First Avenue- Music venues
  • Regional parks- Beaches, trails, activities, rentals, and camping


The Billboard Music Awards is an award show that honors outstanding chart performances for the past year. The award is given on by Billboard Magazine. The first Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) were held in 1990, and was continued as an annual event until 2006. It was then restarted in 2011.

The 2017 Billboard Music Awards were held on May 21, 2017, for the 6th annual year. The award show took place in Las Vegas, at T-Mobile Arena, and was hosted by Vanessa Hudgens and Ludacris.

The list of nominees was announced on April 10, 2017. A few of the categories along with their nominees and winners were: 

Top Artist:

Drake — WINNER



Justin Bieber

The Chainsmokers

Ariana Grande

Shawn Mendes


Twenty One Pilots

The Weeknd

Top New Artist:


Alessia Cara


Lil Uzi Vert

Lukas Graham

Top Male Artist:

Drake — WINNER

Justin Bieber


Shawn Mendes

The Weeknd

Top Female Artist:

Beyonce — WINNER


Ariana Grande



Every year, Billboard has many artists, both old, new, and up and coming, preform at the event. This year’s show included 19 different performances from 19 different artists. Some of the acts that were included: Miley Cyrus – who performed her new single “Malibu,” Drake who performed “Gyalchester” from his album More Life, Halsey, Sam Hunt, Ed Sheeran, Julia Michaels, The Chainsmokers, Camila Cabello, and many more.

Billboard gave out a total of 42 wards at this year’s event, and rapper Drake claimed 13 of those, for his album More Life, breaking the previous record of 12 awards held by Adele for her album 21 in 2011. According to Billboard Magazine’s official website, winners are chosen on fan interactions, and the winning artist depends on many factors such as album and digital song sales, streaming, radio play, touring, and social engagement.


The week that the Seniors turned in our iPads was strife with technical difficulty. We were all short one more device, and on top of that, the Internet was acting all goofy. Sometimes it didn’t work, sometimes it did. Having no internet for even just an hour really set us back. All of this happening made me realize how dependant we are on technology.

I have always been extremely grateful for my iPad. I have terrible handwriting, and having the tablet really helped me take notes and write things. Having no smart phone until September last year, this also was just really great to have on hand. To look something up, I didn’t need to go on a computer, and for the longest time, it was against the rules in my house to use more than one electronic device at once.

And now, having it removed, it made me realize how much I relied on it. Every morning I would sit down and read about world news and other things. I also used it to write not just for school work, but on my novel. I’ve probably written well over 20,000 words of the book on the iPad alone. In a way, the device was an extension of my brain.

And that worries me.

200 years ago, local journalists just wrote things down. I at first thought I wouldn’t survive in that field with my bad handwriting, but I write far faster than I think. With all this information from the Internet, maybe that’s why I think so fast? I am writing this down on a piece of technology, and you will read it on that. Even if I printed this out, the text would have been made by computers, which is still technology. But then again, isn’t pen and paper technically a technology?

Are we already cyborgs?

Highland Park band: Recent events

The Highland Park Senior High band has had many exciting, recent events. One was the trip over spring break to San Francisco. The band traveled to California to participate in an event called “Music in the Parks,” which is a competition hosted at a school right outside of Santa Cruz. This trip was not only a band trip, but an opportunity to visit many different tourist destinations including: the Twin Peaks, Fisherman’s Wharf (Pier 39), Chinatown, California’s “Great America” Amusement Park, and even the Cable Car museum. The trip was definitely worth the money, and the Highland Park band also won 2nd place in the competition.

Another recent event of Highland’s band, was the experience of marching from Rice Park, down to the Saints stadium. Many different schools went back to back marching down the streets of downtown St. Paul including: Central, Humboldt, Washington, Murray, Randolph Heights, and many more. After the event, the students got to enjoy the Saints game at CHS field.

The last event that the band will take part of, is  on May 25th, when the spring concert will take place. The Scot’s band, Honors Band, Symphonic band, and Jazz band will all play. All these bands, and their teacher, Mr. Matuzak, have been working hard all year to have the best performance!

Tahji Brown – Watermelon

Senior student, Tahji Brown, recently made an album called: Watermelon – which is made up of all original songs he created and produced himself. He is an artist, and he likes to sing and make music, specifically rap/hip-hop songs. He also features other students on some of his songs as a way of having them express their creativity by singing.

FullSizeRenderTahji has a variety of songs on Watermelon that almost everyone can listen and dance to, because they’re fun. My two favorite songs from the album are “Bad Apologies” and “Fortune Cookie” (feat. Nehali Van Der Leeuw). Some of his songs have very peculiar names that I didn’t understand at first, but when I asked Tahji what is the inspiration behind each song he said: “Every song on this album has a different story and they all relate to me.” The songs of the album Watermelon is Tahji’s fun way of showing how much he loves watermelon.

I’m not a fan of hip-hop/rap music but Tahji Brown makes his music in a way that people of all ages could enjoy. Last year he made an album called: The New Cool – and he sold photo 1over 86 copies to students at Highland. He is still currently selling copies of Watermelon and everyone says they love to hear the music he creates. I always want to support any local artist in my community, especially in Highland Park.

Tahji Brown is a creative singer that produces fun music in hopes of making people feel happy and excited. If you’d like to hear a few of his songs, check out his YouTube channel:

The Marvel Cinematic Universe

With the American release of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, on May 6th, now seems to be a good time to talk about future movies from Marvel, and about the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.

Currently, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in Phase Three. Phase One consisted of introductory movies for the main Avengers characters (Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Iron Man 2) plus The Avengers. It was Phase One that started the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and first drew attention to it, with the release of Iron Man in 2008 and culminating in The Avengers in 2012.

Phase Two consisted largely of sequels to the Phase One movies, such as Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. These movies expanded on characters introduced in Phase One and tended to be rather darker and grittier than the “comic book” feel of their predecessors. Along with the sequels came two other movies, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, that introduced new characters and plotlines. Phase Two spanned from 2013 to 2015.

That brings us to Phase Three, which started last year, in 2016, with Captain America: Civil War, which functioned as a sequel to Age of Ultron. The other two Phase Three movies released thus far have been Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. 

There are seven movies planned for the future at the moment, which will continue the trend of some movies being sequels and others introducing new characters. Two of them (Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther) will serve to formally introduce characters who first appeared in Civil War, while four of them (Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Avengers 4) will be sequels. The last planned movie, Captain Marvel, will introduce an entirely new character.

Fyre Festival scam

Many millennials were excited a couple of weekends ago about the new music festival deemed the next Coachella or Lollapalooza. The first ever Fyre Festival had its kick off and went to absolute shambles.

The Fyre Festival was advertised as a “luxurious music event with many A-list artists” but none of those artists showed up. The festival organizers, Ja Rule and Billy McFarland, were trying their best to make this an amazing event, but things didn’t go to plan. Even the employees don’t know if they are going to get paid. Billy McFarland said, “Just keep working ’til Friday, and we’ll let you know Friday.”

This isn’t the first time one of Billy Mcfarland’s entrepreneurial ideas has gone bad. In August, of 2013, McFarland launched his new black card, Magnises. The black card was geared, and advertised, towards Millennials. It stated it could “unlock your city,” as it included many luxury benefits such as member only concerts from various artists and top seats for certain sport events. The black card was launched originally only in New York City, but then expanded to San Francisco and Washington D.C. Many customers started complaining about the card though. One customer, according to, stated that they would send the same exact email for every problem, but it was more like a fill in the blanks.

In the end, the Fyre Festival was supposed to be a luxury music event with the average ticket being $12,500. Ja Rule and Billy McFarland, the Fyre Festival founders, stated they will try again next year, offering free tickets for those who paid this year. For now though, they are facing up to 100 million dollars in lawsuits for false advertisement and not paying employees.

France and Spain trip: 2017

This past spring break, a group of 30 Highland Park students (myself included) participated in the France and Spain trip, of 2017, led by Mr. Currie and Ms. Boe. It was a very exciting opportunity for world travel, and for students to practice their knowledge of another language like French or Spanish.

We visited four locations in total: Paris and Provence in France, then Barcelona and Costa Dorada in Spain. The students had free time at some points to walk around, visit some shops, and try some of the local food.


Photo courtesy of Mr. Currie

Our first major city was Paris; we visited the Louvre Museum and saw the “Mona Lisa” painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. We also got to tour the city by bus, and see all its famous landmarks like: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysées, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Montmartre.

We then traveled to Provence where we visited the Palais de papes, Nimes Amphitheater, and the Pont du Gard.

Once we finished with France, it was on to Spain. Our first city was Barcelona, and there we saw Gaudi’s Sagrada Família, Montjuïc Hill, and the Columbus Monument. We then visited Park Güell, which is also land founded and made by Gaudi.


Photo courtesy of Ms. Boe

Our final destination was Costa Dorada. On the way, we visited a town called Sitges, and got our first glimpse of the coast of Spain. The next day, in Costa Dorada, we spent the whole day on the beach just relaxing after a lot of walking and sightseeing. This was my favorite day because it was nice to just sit on the beach, under the sun, and reflect on all that I had seen in the past week.

Wiki tribune

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales recently launched a new website that wants to stop the spread of fake news. He wanted a place were people could view real news and believable things that aren’t fake. Wales said, “The news is broken, but we’ve figured out how to fix it.”

On April 25 the the website, which is called Wikitribune, launched and is free to the plublic. He didn’t want Wikitribune to be complicated because he wants it to be easy to access. Wikitribune is similar to Wikipedia, but Wales wants professional journalists, reporters, and a crew, instead of random people who could just add random things to the website.

The website is having a co-founding campaign, which has over 1,000 supporters. The website might go live first in the U.K. Wales told the news that many of the news websites would twist the information so that the viewers might find it interesting, and that sometimes they do it for the views because they know what the views are looking for.