Bishop Kenny High School Volume 65 | Issue 3 Jacksonville, Fla. BKTODAY.ORG
Image in Perspective
Since You Asked Page 9
Standards of Beauty Page 10
Embracing Differences Page 14
Course Offerings Expanding Several new advanced classes are coming to Kenny next school year
P Computer Science A, AP Latin, AP Human Geography and Philosophy Honors have been added to the curriculum for the 2018-2019 school year after survey results indicated student interest. AP Computer Science A is an advanced placement course that focuses on a computer programming system dubbed Java. This course will come with some prerequisites, however, as students had to have taken Algebra 2. Also, they will be advised, but not mandated, to have taken Digital Information Technology and AP Computer Science Prin-
Max Montana | Sports Editor ciples courses. This creation of an AP Computer Science A class follows the trend of the rise of computer-based courses at Bishop Kenny. “We have added or modified STEM-related courses to ensure that we are preparing our students for the digital world in which we live,” Academic Dean Michael Broach said. “We know from research that STEM and computer science jobs are in very high demand, which is why we have chosen to add courses specifically targeted at these fields.” The other three courses be-
ing supplemented into the course catalog will, as with AP Computer Science A, cater to upperclassmen. AP Latin will serve as an alternative to Latin 4 Honors that will involve more of a focus on Latin prose and poetry. AP Human Geography necessitates BK honors criteria from the previous year in an honors or AP History or English course. Lastly, Philosophy Honors will be open to both juniors and seniors. Administration hopes these classes will offer suitable alternatives for students’ growing academic needs.
“Pieces” of Creativity Literary magazine provides outlet for writers, photographers Keith Stokes | Staff Reporter
ince the 70’s, Bishop Kenny students with an interest or talent in creative writing, photography and visual arts have submitted their art to be featured in the “Pieces” literary magazine. Creative Writing teacher Elena Forschino, editor-in-chief Marisa Garcia and the co-managing editors Victoria Reep and Emily Willis oversee the dayto-day operations of “Pieces.” Their roles consist of keeping the 21 members of the staff on task, choosing which submissions make it to the magazine, designing the layout of the magazine using Adobe InDesign and meeting the publication deadline. Although the publication is a BK
tradition, there is one noticeable difference to this year’s magazine. “The great thing about this year’s issue is that we have a theme, something we have never done in the past,” Forschino said. “The theme talks about finding hope in tragedy. We wanted to encompass what a hard year it’s been, but we didn’t want to leave out the positive.” Forschino went out on maternity leave earlier than expected, so Assistant Academic Dean Laura Yocum is helping the staff and substitute teacher, Jeanie Wilks. This year, there were 171 submissions, according to Garcia. Just over 50 percent of the submissions were po-
etry. There seemed to be more freshman participation this year, mostly within the writing categories rather than in the photography category. Submissions to the magazine are judged by BK teachers who volunteer their time to select winners from each category. The winners of this year’s competition included Sarah Ward for poetry, Victoria Reep for personal narrative, Velisa Pelkey for drawing, Cosette Steeves for painting, Vivian Tran for mixed media and Veronica Selden for digital. “Pieces” will go on sale in the spring for $10.
Detailing the process of pageant practice and prep Megan Yates | Staff Reporter
he Miss Bishop Kenny pageant is a contest among junior girls. Under the direction of English teacher Blake Bachara and guidance from past Miss BK contestants, this year’s contestants are preparing for the 25th annual pageant. Talent auditions took place on November 2, and 14 girls vied for the chance to become a contestant by singing, dancing, playing instruments, reciting monologues and performing to music. In the end, 11 girls made the final cut: Caroline Holloway, Grace Isaac, Lola Martin, Tiana Montinola, Tiara Porter, Lauren Ruen, Emily Skyles, Emma St. John, Ann Thornton, Nara-Lee Todd and Madison Wade. Contestants practice for almost 20 weeks between tryouts and the night of the pageant. Their practices include learning how to sell ads, learning and practicing how to do a proper runway walk and figuring out which clothes are appropriate for each event. They found out they would have to sacrifice some of their usual routine in order to stay committed to Miss BK. “We practice twice a week on
Tuesdays and Thursdays from now until March 21,” contestant Nara-Lee Todd explained. “I had to sacrifice my usual Thursday lab for AP chem and I had to rethink trying out for powder puff. Another downside is that I might be a bit late my tennis matches but I’m hoping I can make it work.” Each contestant is responsible for providing her own outfits for the photo shoot, interview, casual wear and formal wear portions of this pageant. Pageant coach Shirley DeBerry had three sessions with the contestants, helping to familiarize them with trends and advising them on public speaking basics. Additionally, these girls have to sell ads to cover the cost of printing the program booklet, an expense of more than $3000. Miss BK moves on to the Miss Senior High pageant, at which all high school titleholders compete. The winner will also open up many leadership opportunities for herself. “Oh and you get a crown of course,” Todd said. On the night of the pageant, the reigning Miss BK, Monet Waters, will hand off her crown to one of the 11 girls. Waters has watched the girls grow throughout their pageant etiquette practices. “I am honored to have been a role model for these girls and I cannot wait to see how all their hard work and dedication will play out in the final event,” Waters said. The show is on Wednesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. and tickets are $5.
Prepare to be Musical Inspired by Elvis and...Shakespeare?
or their spring play, Bishop Kenny’s theatre department will perform “All Shook Up!,” a musical inspired by the hits of Elvis Presley, and loosely based on William Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night.” Auditions for the musical took place in December, and both new and experienced thespians tried out. Each student had to sing a portion of a song between 16 to 32 bars, unlike to the fall play, when students auditioned with monologues. One week after the first auditions, director and theatre teacher Jeffrey Springmann and assistant director Mae Davis called back those who they needed to hear again to determine whether or not they would be assigned a role in “All Shook Up!” “We had quite a few students au-
Olivia Burch | News Editor dition, over 30,” Springmann said. “Those who didn’t get a lead, became part of the ensemble. It was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make of any of the the shows we’ve had here.” In the end, 36 students were selected. “All Shook Up!” centers around Natalie, played by senior Catherine Bouchereau, who falls in love with an excon biker named Chad, played by sophomore Aidan Jones. The plot follows a twisted love story: Natalie chases Chad, while Dennis, played by sophomore Tyler Thompson, chases Natalie. Meanwhile, Chad falls hard for Sandra, played by junior Haley Sweat, at the same time that Natalie’s father, Jim, played by junior James Deats, falls for Sandra. Fans of the 2006 movie “She’s the Man,” starring Amanda Bynes and Chan-
ning Tatum will recognize the storyline: a female character masquerading as a male and the ensuing chaotic and ironic love triangles it spawns. The cast includes an ensemble of 26 additional students, and seniors Patricia Salem, Alex Bennett, Brandy Camp, Michael Dunne, Catherine Bouchereau and Grace Nast perform in their last high school production. “We’re really excited because we have a lot of new actors that we haven’t performed with before,” cast member Haley Sweat said. “It’s fun watching new students make their debut on the Kenny stage for the first time.” The theatre department performs “All Shook Up!” on Thursday, March 1 and Friday, March 2. Tickets are $10 at the door and the production begins at seven p.m. on both nights.
Student undergoes numerous life-changing surgeries
Franchesca Peralta | Arts & Entertainment Editor
unior Caitlin Taylor is no stranger to the hospital. Taylor has had a total of five operations to help fix knee dislocation issues she has battled since preschool. “When I was about four years old, I was doing gymnastics and that’s when I experienced my first knee disloca-
feel stronger and my knee felt better but it only lasted a few months, maybe a year.” This process would continue for many years, resulting in Taylor undergoing Medial Patellofemoral Ligament (MPFL) Reconstruction four times. This past school year, Taylor felt the intense pain again. She is currently re-
for Taylor in the surgery process is not the pain; rather, the fact that she is limited in what she can do in the months following her surgery. “My knee has limited my abilities,” Taylor said. “I used to play a lot of sports and currently my surgeon will only allow me to swim since it’s not hard on my
tion,” Taylor said. “After a few more dislocations in the next months, we knew it wasn’t normal.” Taylor was taken into surgery for the first time in October 2009, at only eight years old. Although she was very nervous about her first surgery, she was also very hopeful. This surgery could stop her pain from returning. Taylor did not feel pain for the next three years. However, after her knee dislocated once again, Taylor realized that her surgery was not successful, and that she would likely have to undergo surgery once more. “My knee never felt stable or reliable in any way,” Taylor said. “It was always a constant concern that it might dislocate again. After the surgeries I would
covering from what is hopefully her final surgery. On December 5, while most students prepared for midterms, Taylor endured a five-hour full knee reconstruction by surgeons at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. After spending three days in recovery, she was released to go home, where she spent the next two weeks of bed rest by catching up on TV shows, drawing and hanging out with her two dogs, Boomer and Rosie, since she was incapable of most physical tasks. This time was not all that bad, however, as she had some company with her. “This past surgery, I was lucky enough to have a lot of friends visit me in the hospital and at home to keep me company,” Taylor said. Being an athlete, the hardest part
knee. It was really frustrating when I had to give up some of my favorite sports.” Although having to endure numerous surgeries may seem purely negative, through this process, Taylor has learned that not all “bad” things are actually bad. “When I was told I couldn’t play some of my favorite sports I was extremely upset, but I was determined to join a sport so I joined swimming,” Taylor said. “I’ve now met some of my closest friends.” Although her surgery day is long gone, Taylor will not be fully cleared until she completes months of weekly physical therapy, scheduled to end sometime in April.
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Dear Kenny Kupid,
Dear Stone-hearted Sophomore,
So imagine this: you start dating this guy on the first day of freshman year, so you have four years to spend every dying minute together. You wake up, text him, go to school and then text him, see another man breathe your way, and then mandatorily text him and this, of course, continues. The whole world revolves around this boy’s toenails. He’s your everything and will be the father of your children someday. The type of father that takes ballet with their daughter, goes fishing with his son and goes on date nights with you every Saturday. Then the worst thing happens that’ll make or break your relationship, and it did mine. My boyfriend was second on my compatibility test results. Yes; not first, but second. If you weren’t aware, second is the first loser. And I assure you that I always win. So my question is, should I dump him for cheating? Technically, he has other girls on his list, so that’s cheating. Kenny Kupid, please guide me.
Break up with him immediately. Delete him on every social media app, block his number, and then throw your phone at the wall. You might as well just hide in the wilderness, or ask your parents to move your whole family to another area code. I’m surprised you are still in contact with him; you are extremely bold. You are an icon and historic figure for still accepting him. However, we have to take extreme precautions.
Step 1: Expose him to the whole school
because he did you dirty. Burn all photographs and clothing that has memory of him. Maybe bang your head against the wall a couple of times until you start to forget. Remember, Stone Hearted, you two are obviously not meant to be. Step 2: Contact an attorney for a restraining order, so that he legally can’t come within 100 miles of you at all times. This is a necessity because you can expect him to come chasing you down, and he might find you.
Step 3: Order a private investigator to
watch him from afar because he will be plotting your downfall. Paranoia is the safety in freeing yourself from this parasite. Step 4: Once you relocate to another state, find the nearest computer and change your Facebook status, or try to get on Good Morning America. You have to tell every one of the male species possible that you are single. Step 5: If all else fails, join the Witness Protection Program, possibly in Europe. This is the best and last option. And if that doesn’t work just rent a private jet, fly overseas to an abandoned tribe, learn the culture, and cut yourself off from humanity.
Emily Willis | Opinion Editor
“As a girl, I have so many high standards to live up to and people to impress. I feel like I can’t please myself or anybody else. How am I supposed to make everyone around me happy?” - Woebegone Woman
Photo by Emily Willis
I could say a lot of things here: this taining and/or losing body weight. 10 Dopamine. When you reach a goal, hit a isn’t uncommon, you are beautiful, million American women suffer from target or accomplish a task, your brain love yourself. All of those affir- some type of eating disorder, according to receives dopamine. Research has shown mations are important and true, but you the National Eating Disorder Association, that acts of kindness and volunteering will hear them from Tumblr or any other and eating disorders have the highest also boost dopamine in your system. inspirational blog that you visit. You can mortality rate of any mental illness. Your Oxytocin. This “love hormone” is often read inspirational messages all day, but family loves you, no matter your size, and associated with relationships, so cuddle you’ll still wake the next mornwith a pet and oxytocin will be reing with the same gray cloud leased. hovering over you, telling you 4. Understand that every body is to make your stomach flatter, different. Women are born pale, pluck your eyebrows more, and tan, dark, tall, short, wide, skinwear contact lenses instead of ny, freckled, with crooked teeth, glasses. straight teeth, blue eyes, green The fact is, in our socieyes, brown eyes, blonde hair, bruety, girls can always be “better.” nette hair, black hair, high cheek Every single person on this cambones, a pronounced jawline, pus has at least one thing that bold eyebrows, or poor eyesight. they would like to change about Even thigh gaps have to do with his or her body. Humans have body structure, not your fitness an undeniable need to “fit in” level. You may never look like the with their peers. 98% of girls feel people you admire, because each pressure from external sources body is unique. to look a certain way, accord5. Know that progress takes time. Girls feel like they need to meet society’s standards by ing to the National Report on Insecurity will not just go away getting “dolled” up. Self Esteem. The stigma to have with a wish and a click of your toned arms, tan skin, and abs of steel is you should too. heels. You have to work on it, every seceverywhere: Instagram, magazines and 3. Listen to what your body needs. If you ond of every day. Set goals that are realiseven among your friends. It is, of course, are hungry, eat. If you are full, stop eat- tic and attainable. Healthy weight loss is important to stay healthy. However, when ing. If you are tired, rest (don’t push your- considered one pound per week. Acne is you start depending on this “bikini body” self, even God rested!). If you are running not going to go away overnight. You will goal to measure your self-worth, it is time and you begin wheezing, slow down. If not learn a new skill with a single practo re-evaluate your routine. your muscles feel tight, stretch. Your body tice. Everything takes time, even loving It is definitely not easy to over- wants to feel good. There are four main yourself. come poor body image, but there are “feel good” brain chemicals that you can 6. Find a role model. Men flaunt their small steps that you can take: activate to cause happiness to wash over hairy chests and oversized biceps. But, 1. Focus on the positive aspects of your you: in a world dominated by males, a lot of body. Instead of paying mind to the parts Endorphins. Released by the central ner- women have said, “No, I’M the strong of your body that you despise, spotlight vous system to help us deal with physical one.” Malala Yousafzai advocated for what you love about it. Look in the mir- pain, endorphins are also released after women’s rights in Pakistan. Extremists, ror and choose a positive feature to focus both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. As who abide by strict Islamic rules, shot on. Maybe you have beautiful watercolor little as 30 minutes of walking on a tread- Malala in the head after she spoke out eyes? Or an adorable button nose? If you mill for 10 days in a row caused a decrease in support of women’s rights. She suronly focus on what you hate, you fail to in depression among clinically depressed vived, and continues to inspire women all realize that the simple fact that you can students, according to a study by Nation- around the world: “A girl has the power breathe is cause for self-love. al Institutes of Health General Clinical Re- to go forward in her life and she is not 2. Do not get caught up in diet trends. I search Center. only a mother. She is not only a sister. She am not saying to throw away your salads Serotonin. This is a neurotransmitter trig- is not only a wife, but a girl who should and stock up on Lays Barbecue chips, but gered by exposure to sunshine, exercise have an identity.” do not put all of your energy into main- and even happy thoughts.
Standards of Beauty
A look at how what’s considered “beautiful” has changed throughout the ages Julia Rodriguez | Feature Editor
he standards of beauty are forever fluctuating. Beauty can be defined in many different ways. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines beauty as “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.” In today’s society, to be considered beautiful, one must meet certain standards: flawless makeup, gorgeous hair, being up-to-date with the latest fashion trends, and a fit body type with a filled-out hourglass figure. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez epitomize these standards. In considering what defines beauty, the expectations and standards have varied greatly throughout the past 100 years, and “Buzzfeed” recently outlined dif-
ferent body types and fashion styles that were en vogue. At the turn of the 20th century, the body type popularized and lusted after by women was changing from an hourglass figure that came from the era of the corset to the boyish figure of the twenties. The main style of clothes women wore were long ankle length dresses with tall stiff collars. They also had broad shoulders and wore large hats. This was a very conservative style of fashion which aided in the forming fashions of the twenties. The roaring twenties came in with a bang. Women valued a ‘boyish’ figure and would sometimes tape down their chest to try and appear more flat-chested. Hair was worn short and curled close to the head. Women wore slinky dresses with the hemline higher than previous eras. The roaring twenties was an era of lavish parties with the rich and women
wore long strands of pearls and jewels. This further accentuated the lanky body figure that was popular. The thirties brought the golden age of Hollywood. Fashion of the thirties was drastically different. Fabric rations brought thinner dresses that were more capable of flexible movement. The next decade brought forth the start of separates for women; they were able to wear skirts and shirts. With these, women were able to get more outfits out of fewer pieces of clothing. Fifties fashion brought a lowered hemline once again. Christian Dior’s ever popular “Haute Couture” came with a cinched in waistline and more diverse fabrics. Arguably the most iconic name in beauty to this day, Marilyn Monroe popularized a full-figure body type during the fifties. The sixties brought back a lankier body type once again. Long slim legs and a “willowy” figure were in at the time, thanks to British supermodel Twiggy. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy inspired fashion with geometric suits in vibrant colors. More options were available for
women including pencil skirts and shorter, knee-length dresses. Women paired these items with matching pillbox hats. The seventies brought the era of the hippie, and peace and love became popular themes brought out in fashion. Eclectic is one way to describe the popular fashion. Many women began to pair multiple colors together creating a psychedelic scheme. Women began to wear many different articles of clothing. Some women wore natural fabrics and long flowing skirts with sandals. Others wore jeans and T-shirts with bright accessories. The headscarf was also popular during this era. Farrah Fawcett was popular at the time and a major fashion icon. The eighties began the last supermodel era. Women favored an athletic, lean build with slight curves. The fashion of the eighties was all over the place. Bright colors with big curly hair was very popular. Brightly colored blue and pink makeup became popular. This was also the age of the exercise craze. Women became obsessed with being thin and fit. Exercise tapes on aerobics and step classes became a common household item. Cindy Crawford reigned over the fashion world during this era. The nineties swooped in with the beginning of grunge and androgyny. Supermodels like Kate Moss severely influenced a thin waifish body type as one to strive for. This era saw a drastic
rise in anorexia and other eating disorders as women tried to obtain the famed body type. Women wore more traditionally “male” clothing; fewer skirts and dresses, and more pants and shorts. Also high-waisted shorts and pants were popular with cropped shirts and tube tops. The early 2000s brought low-rise bootcut jeans, big statement belt buckles,
Women follow stars like Zendaya, the Kardashians, Beyoncé, and Instagram-famous fashion and beauty icons.
crop tops, drastic blonde highlights in brown hair, and more natural makeup. This was a period of diversity. Certain styles of garments never made it out of the early 2000s and some women want to forget that they ever wore cargo pants or platform flip flops. This decade, so far, has brought
about the rise of high-fashion streetwear. Women follow stars like Zendaya, the Kardashians, Beyoncé, and Instagram-famous fashion and beauty icons. Makeup is at an all-time high with women contouring their face to give a very structured look. Also, highlighting the face and dewy skin to create a natural glow has become popular. Defined, full natural brows have been on the rise thanks to stars like Cara Delevingne. Anastasia Beverly Hills launched a line of brow products that redefined the industry. The modern sentiment of what it means to be beautiful is the most diverse that has ever been popularized by the media. Hopefully, this means that society is becoming more open-minded about what it takes to be considered beautiful. Who knows if the industry will revisit some styles from the past? Cargo pants might make a return or low rise jeans and crop tops. Or maybe the standard of dress for women in the future will be skirts or dresses that are floor length and long sleeved. Fashion is fickle, and trends come and go, but someone who is confident will always stand out.
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The Shield is a member of FSPA and NSPA. It is published four times a year by journalism students at Bishop Kenny High School 1055 Kingman Ave., Jacksonville, Fla. 32207 phone: (904) 265-9390 fax: (904) 398-5728 The policy of The Shield is to provide a forum for student expression. If you are interested in advertising in The Shield email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Letters to the editor are encouraged. Please submit them to room 224. Letters must be signed; names can be withheld upon request. Editor-in-Chief Allison Weinbecker Copy & Design Editor James Ragonese Business Manager Maddie Dyro News Editor Olivia Burch Feature Editor Julia Rodriguez Opinion Editor Emily Willis Arts & Entertainment Editor Franchesca Peralta Sports Editor Max Montana
Staff Reporters Niah Aleger John Bogush Hailey Farah Keith Stokes Megan Yates Adviser Jessica Durbin
Follow The Shield on Twitter and Online: @bkhs_newspaper www.bktoday.org
Letter From the Editor Why to ignore the internet and listen to you
Allison Weinbecker | Editor-in-Chief
s teenagers in high school, we have people telling us exactly what we need to look like in order to be famous or wear a certain kind of clothing. Publications such as Buzzfeed, Seventeen and Teen Vogue, just to name a few, have pages and pages of how to’s explaining how to achieve this status and how, once achieved, your biggest and wildest dreams will come true. As it turns out, not eating for a few days in an attempt to gain that modelesque body will not only prevent you from getting your ‘perfect’ body, but will also make you irritable, sleep-deprived and, get this, hungry. Dieting can be an acceptable alternative, but if you do not do it in a reasonable manner, you could end up hurting yourself, resulting in further disappointment and lack of self-confidence. Smart dieting means eating enough and eating healthy foods. By not eating correctly, you are disrespecting yourself as well as ignoring your body’s signals. “Many teens turn to dieting to try to change their body and feel better about themselves,” according to an article published by the Canadian Pediatric Society. “Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t work. Dieting actually causes some people to gain weight.” If starving yourself or unhealthy dieting does not get you the results you are looking for, then what will? A physician from the show “The Biggest Loser,” Michael Dansinger, admits that “... if your weight loss plan is not sustainable for the long term, it’s not worth following.” Popular diets today, such as the nocarb diet, the Paleo diet or the Keto diet, will not be viable options when you are off of your parents’ paycheck and living on your own with a low budget. That is just the reality. What can be done is a change in lifestyle. Exercise, although commonly perceived as a weight loss tactic, will actually build muscle when aided by healthy eating. This could, in turn, help you feel
confident and strong enough to block out the haters. If you are eating as healthy as you can, then who is the internet to tell you that the “hourglass” or the “stick-thin” figure is what you should be striving for? It is just unrealistic for most of us. As someone who has struggled with body image since middle school, I can tell you that trying to fit into a body that is not meant for you has and never will do us justice. We are who we make ourselves out to be. Hurting our bodies as well as our self-esteem is not worth the extra effort. Eating enough and eating relatively healthy can boost morale and give you the body that was intended for you. These websites that try to persuade us that every body type except our own is what we should be seeking should be figuratively blocked out of our minds. However, doing the best we can to live our own insanely beautiful lives should be physically blocked in. No human, except Jesus because he is God, was made to live off of little to no nutrients and whatever or whoever put this idea in your head should be eliminated. Instead of trying to fit into supermodels’ skin, we should all be trying to mold our own.
Why our human differences should be embraced, not hidden Franchesca Peralta | Arts & Entertainment Editor
Photo by Max Montana
lthough it seems that what most people dislike about themselves is their weight, some dislike physical features of their body like their eyes, nose, ears or smile. However, as these are features that we were born with and cannot easily change, it’s important to accept these things about ourselves. Like all things in life, this is easier said than done. Being different from everyone else does not have to be a negative thing. Good can always come out of “bad” situations, it just depends on the perspective of the people involved. Principal Todd Orlando and English teacher Jennifer Whitford have learned to embrace their unique features, rather than hide them. Orlando has been different from other people for decades as he has been taller than most people he has met. Even though there were few people who were tall like him while he was growing up, he learned to be proud of his height, instead of cower behind it.
Principal Todd Orlando ducks out of the newspaper room.
“I’ve always been tall… so I’ve kinda [sic] been used to it,” Orlando said. Although he faced a period of awkwardness during high school when he suddenly grew four inches over summer break, he learned to harness his height and use it to his advantage. “It became the taller you are the more chances you have of a school picking you up… because they’re looking for the big guys,” Orlando said. “That became advantageous and it opened up a lot of doors for me, which I realized a lot of people don’t have.” Orlando played basketball during grade school, middle school and throughout high school, and was drafted by the Boston Celtics. Although it is unusual for someone to be taller than six feet, Orlando was surrounded with people who supported him and had a good foundation of people who influenced him positively. “My mom and dad were always very adamant about us being proud of how God made us,” Orlando said. “That was just what was ingrained in us; that we are who we are and we can’t change that.” Whitford was also never embarrassed about her unique feature. However, there were some times when she became frustrated with her curly hair while growing up. “There weren’t nearly as many hair products available when I was growing up as there are today, so taming the frizz was a challenge,” Whitford said. However, as Whitford grew up and matured, she realized that there were more important things in the world than appearances and how others thought of her. “I have come to accept that my hair is my hair and I’m lucky to have some,” Whitford said. “My curls are my curls and they decide what they want to look like each day. If no one likes my hair, oh well.” Although there were times in the past when Whitford struggled being in control of her hair, she did find many ad-
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Whitford
Standing Tall and Facing it All
English teacher Jennifer Whitford’s flowing locks blow in the wind while posing for this senior photo. vantages to having voluminous locks. “I ended up growing my hair pretty long in high school and I gained an advantage by being able to have some pretty big ‘80s hair,” Whitford said. “I also could sport a pretty high pony in the ‘90s.” As people who are all fighting the same type of internal struggle, we should be bringing up those around us, not tearing them down. However, before we can tell others that they should embrace their own unique features, we have to learn how to become proud of our own. “Be confident in who you are,” Whitford said. “Who cares what others think of your looks? Often teenagers lack self-confidence because they compare themselves to others, or even more so, by listening to the opinions of others about their looks.” Whether you are short or tall, blonde or brunette, with freckles or without; the features you have are unique and make you who you are. It may take time to finally see the beauty in yourself through your own eyes, but once you do, you will truly see how unique and special your features are. When you embrace the beauty in yourself, you then can help others look at things with a different perspective and possibly see good qualities that they never noticed about themselves.
Arts and Entertainment
Players find themselves spending more money after purchasing a game, but why?
en years ago, picking up a game and playing it was a lot simpler than it is today. When you bought a game, it was just assumed that you had the entire game in your hands, and nothing else was needed to have a complete and entertaining experience. Ten years ago, the majority of content you could purchase on the console itself had little to no effect on gameplay. Rather, they enhanced the game for your own benefit. Those were simpler times. Today, games have become less about the journey and more about the grind. They’re fast-paced, repetitive, and usually have an in-game currency that controls the player’s progression. It’s currency that controls the entire game and the experience which the player has. Players spend countless hours doing whatever they can to try and collect as much in-game currency as they can to progress through their game. The grind is fun at first, as the thought of being able to unlock powerful items and characters flows through one’s mind. However, motivation can wear off fast, and players grow tired of repeated-
James Ragonese | Copy & Design Editor ly playing the same game to receive what seems like a small amount of currency. Game companies are well aware that if an easy way out is presented to players, many of them take advantage of it. With this knowledge, companies began to sell the currency directly for real money. Players can now pay 20 dollars to receive a day’s worth of currency in a matter of seconds, giving them a competitive advantage over players who save their money and play the game. It’s a genius marketing tactic that generates a steady flow of revenue for major video game companies. There’s nothing wrong with companies wanting to make more money. It’s simple economics. However, it gives a complete advantage to players in seconds that would take months for normal players to achieve. Why play the same game for weeks on end when you could just buy it with real money and enjoy it now? Besides just simply wanting to enjoy the game, there’s no reason for a consumer to think it’s a bad idea besides it being a waste of money. Games like this
lack a sense of progression because there is an easy way to obtain everything desired in the game. Not all of this content is detrimental to players, however. Some games simply offer cosmetic designs usually unlocked in crates for players to design weapons or vehicles with. While it may sound like a less appealing way to spend your money on a video game, cosmetic upgrades bring in a solid amount of revenue. This creates a way for players to enhance their experience with the game while allowing other players to be on the same playing field. This is the way downloadable content should work, but as long as players choose to spend hundreds of dollars of in game currency, large companies will undoubtedly continue to offer it. In a world where companies will do everything they can to squeeze every last cent they can out of a video game, it’s scary to think about where video games may be headed in the future if this pay to win culture is allowed to grow.
Arts and Entertainment
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“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” brings delightful continuation of the franchise’s newest trilogy
tar Wars: The Last Jedi” is the latest episode and second movie of the third trilogy of the franchise that has maintained popularity since “A New Hope” debuted in 1977. This newest addition to the franchise is headed by Director Rian Johnson, as he takes the reins from J.J. Abrams. Although the First Order’s Starkiller Base has been destroyed in “The Force Awakens,” the First Order still has the Resistance struggling just to survive. Meanwhile, Pro-Resistance protagonist, Rey (Daisy Ridley), ventures to an obscure island to acquire the knowledge and possibly the Jedi warrior capabilities of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Skywalker, however, notices conflict in Rey’s allegiance to the Light side of The Force and thus hesitates to be of assistance. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren’s (Adam Driver) First Order drives out the Resistance from their base which almost
Max Montana | Sports Editor spells immediate disaster, if not for the quick-thinking of General Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Resistance Pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). However, with limited fuel, these heroes require the help of Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) and Finn (John Boyega) to save the Resistance from impending doom. “The Last Jedi” continues the task of delivering another stellar installment of this cinema giant. Building upon characters and their attributes, such as Rey and Kylo Ren’s, by means of their communication and inner conflict being exposed throughout the film, displays the humanity involved that consequently affects their decisions a great deal. Also, a recent but important cog in the Star Wars franchise remained a focus throughout Johnson’s film: humor. The added characters of the adorable ‘Porgs’ and witty comic relief of Sky-
walker and Dameron make this movie more enjoyable. Johnson’s ability to capture the various scenes and attitudes of the surroundings in the film truly set this movie apart from its’ counterparts. When Finn and Rose travel to an aristocratic city, the ostentatious nature of the people around them is obvious, yet the hope for change that lies in the cracks of that society is brought into the eye of the viewer effectively by Rose. Also, the ability of Star Wars flicks to depict beautiful space landscapes and action scenes in that environment creates an aura of captivation and excitement every time. Ultimately, the personalities and conflict between the characters is what leaves viewers, of a variety of generations, wishing they too were in a galaxy far, far away.
Arts and Entertainment
Franchesca Peralta | Arts & Entertainment Editor It is often hard to find a Japanese restaurant that serves up amazing sushi while also offering to-die-for Hibachi. To lessen the struggle for all Japanese cuisine lovers, a Shield staff reporter went on a food-venture to three local restaurants and taste-tested their Chicken Hibachi, as well as the sushi rolls, recommended by the waitstaff. Sushi House 2 - 10261 River Marsh Dr, 32246 Sushi House 2, also known as Sushi House, is a small restaurant located next to PetSmart at the St. John’s Town Center. Although it may look quiet among the busy shops, this stop is truly a hidden gem as it offered not only tasty sushi but also the best Chicken Hibachi. The server recommended the Salmon Katzu, Shrimp Tempura Roll and the Sushi Rock Roll. The Chicken Hibachi was served with a salad and clear soup. Unlike the other two restaurants, Sushi House served their Chicken Hibachi with a side of noodles in addition to the staple side dishes of fried rice and vegetables. The chicken was a personal favorite of mine among the three restaurants. It was tender when first bitten into and was anything but dry in the center. The sauce that the chicken was served in is not only amazing with that alone, but also with the provided vegetables and fried rice. The Shrimp Tempura Roll was my favorite at this stop. I mean, you can never go wrong with a classic. This, as usual, is best served with shrimp sauce on the side (or all over it, like how I prefer it).
Wasabi - 10206 Rivercoast Dr, 32246 This popular St. John’s Town Center restaurant gives guests the option of having an entertaining chef cook the meal at a grill table, or choose a traditional dinner table towards the front of the restaurant. Although it is a little pricier when compared to the other two restaurants, this stop fully delivers as their portions leave you full and content, plus a takeout box ready for tomorrow’s lunch. The Chicken Hibachi was served with a salad, clear soup, fried rice, and vegetables. The fried rice served here was the best overall, providing a moist and flavorful ensemble, not to mention, it was the biggest portion. The server at Wasabi recommended the Bamboo Roll and the Fried Dynamite Roll as sushi options. This Bamboo Roll was unlike anything I have ever tasted before; definitely my favorite of all the sushi I tasted for this review. It had salmon and avocado on the outside, rather than wrapped inside the roll. Like the Chicken Hibachi, the sushi servings were plentiful and could easily be shared.
Fuji Sushi - 660-155 Commerce Center Dr, 32225 This local Japanese stop, located in Regency, is a perfect place if you’re looking for a quick meal that is still a sit-down. The servers are always kind and quick to serve the delicious meals that the chefs have cooked up for you. At this first stop, I tried the Chicken Hibachi as well as the Alaska Roll and Crazy Roll. The Chicken Hibachi is served with both a salad and your choice of Miso or Clear Soup. The chicken was served with a side of fried rice and vegetables. The chicken was a little on the dry side but its flavor is enhanced when dipped in the shrimp sauce. The fried rice provided a good median between the amount of vegetables and eggs. The Alaska Roll was made with fresh salmon and avocado, while the Crazy Roll was made with fried shrimp, crab, avocado, cream cheese and eel sauce drizzled on the outside. These two sushi rolls are good for any sushi lover, or even for someone new to the sushi scene, as the ingredients are traditional and offer no surprises.
Jaguars come one touchdown away from Super Bowl in storybook season
James Ragonese | Copy & Design Editor
or the past few seasons, the Jacksonville Jaguars were seen as a team who had the talent to produce, but were a step away from a good product. With a new head coach and a recently-improved defense, the 2017-2018 season promised results. Before the season began, however, several questions swirled around the Jaguars locker room. The biggest question mark sat above the head of quarterback Blake Bortles. Bortles had a less-than-impressive training camp, and worry began to set in. However, with the quarterback situation in question, head coach Doug Marrone stuck with Blake. The season began with an emotional road game against the Houston Texans, who were considered as the favorite to win the AFC South division. With the city still feeling the effects of Hurricane Harvey, the Texans homecoming held a bigger meaning. The Jaguars, however, stole the storyline with a dominating 29-seven victory. A week later, reality set in. The Jaguars, who boasted a winning record for the first time since 2011, faced the Tennessee Titans in their home opener. After a tight first half, the team fell apart and were handed a 37-16 loss. The Jaguars needed a bounce back the following week against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens entered week three with a defense that was regarded as the best in football. The Jaguars quickly put an end to this idea with a 44-seven blowout of Baltimore. The future of the Jaguars started to look promising again, with the play of Bortles showing signs of confidence and mental toughness. However, a loss to the New York Jets in week four instilled more skepticism in the Jaguars camp. The Jets, who many had projected to finish the season winless, upset the Jags, who had yet to put a win streak together. Although the loss came in overtime, the team felt like they should have easily won and questions about the play of Bortles yet again arose in the building. The Jaguars needed another rebound
game, and this time they would have to do it against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were regarded as one of the best teams in the AFC. The Jaguars defense picked off Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger off five times, one of which went for a touchdown. The offense was able to move the ball well, and a game-sealing touchdown run came from running back Leonard Fournette. The young Jaguars team, who still had many naysayers and skeptics, took down one of the best offenses in the league. However, the opponents were not getting any easier for the Jaguars, as they came home to take on the up-and-coming Los Angeles Rams. Jared Goff and the Rams offense put 27 points on the scoreboard, which was enough to hand Jacksonville its third loss of the season. The Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals served as the next victims of the best defense in the league. The Jags gave up only seven points over these two weeks, including a shutout of the Colts. While no win in the NFL is easy, these two wins came with relative ease. Week 10 saw the Los Angeles Chargers attempt to pull off an upset in the River City. The defense was able to hold a hardcharging Philip Rivers to 17 points, and newly-acquired kicker Josh Lambo kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime. In one of the ugliest wins of the season, the questions yet again arose on the play of Bortles. He would have to prove the doubters wrong once again. One more win against the hapless Browns helped the Jaguars go from pretender to contender in the playoff hunt. The road to the playoffs continued through Arizona, where the Cardinals looked to beat the surging Jags. A back-and-forth game fell into the hands, or perhaps onto the foot, of Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson, who kicked a season-long 57-yard field goal to beat the Jaguars. A close game fell through the hands of the Jags, but not all was lost. After coming up just short of beating the Cardinals, the Jaguars put together
another win streak that would ultimately push them into the playoffs; home wins against the Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans. For the first time since 2007, the Jags were on their way to the playoffs. Four games separated the Jaguars form where they sat to a Lombardi trophy. The first team standing in their way was the Buffalo Bills. With the stadium filled with raucous fans waving white towels with a newly-instilled sense of pride, the Jaguars defeated the Bills and advanced to the divisional round with relative ease. The next opponent appeared to be much more daunting. The second seeded Pittsburgh Steelers presented the biggest challenge of the season to the young Jaguars team. Even with a week five victory in Heinz Field, the Steelers came into the game as the favorite. The Jaguars, however, had other plans. After a 45-42 shootout with one of the highest-ranked offenses in the league, the Jaguars pulled off a shocking upset that sent them to the AFC championship game. One team stood in their way before the team could reach the Super Bowl: the New England Patriots. The stage was set for what some considered to be the biggest game in franchise history for the Jags. The time finally came for the best defense in the league to face arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game: Tom Brady. The Jaguars were able to take a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter, but the Patriots came back to lead by four. With just over two minutes to go, Bortles needed to put together a game-winning drive to clinch a trip to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, the shaky offense was not able to put one more touchdown drive together, and the season ended just short of Super Bowl LII. The breakout year has finally come for the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is a team who is skilled now and who will continue to be a contender. After a storybook year comes one game short of the Super Bowl, the league will have the tall task of beating this talented team for the generation to come. Photo by Maddie Dyro
Graphic courtesy of jaguars.com
Lace Up and Let’s Go How running has benefited me
Maddie Dyro | Business Manager
unning is something that many regard with a dislike bordering on hatred. It is a chore that has to be done for the first three days of the new year, and a necessity before any vacation. What a lot of people do not know is that running has numerous health benefits beyond keeping you fit and trim for summer. There is no denying how hard it is to get started. We whine and complain, we take a week off to stretch, or we simply don’t make time. We come up with 100 excuses, and run unnecessary errands to avoid having time to run to the gym. Running is one of the easiest things to do simply because it does not require anything other than a strong will. Beyond keeping you active, running also has lots of overlooked benefits. For instance, it can be done anytime of year, anywhere. There are no supplies needed, and no special gear required. An professional pair of running shoes is a good idea, but if that is what’s stopping you, forget about it. With proper stretching and cool-down techniques, running
Photo by Maddie Dyro
can be a safe and easy way to burn off excess energy, get fit, or even just pass the time. I have a lot of energy so I find that running hard for three hours a day helps me focus at night to study and do my homework. Running can help with depression, plantar fasciitis, knee problems or even shin splints, according to “Runner’s World” magazine. Sometimes the best way to overcome an injury is to run through it. In some instances, injuries are a result of lousy stretching, improper running form, or old shoes. All of these are preventable, which makes injuries preventable. If you do have lingering pain, you should see a doctor so it does not escalate into something worse. Running can also help with ADHD, autism and bipolar disorder, just to name a few. It gives the mind one thing to focus on, which helps a person to escape their reality for a little while. The Washington Post reported in 2014 that people suffering from autism found that running gives them something to focus
A good pair of shoes can increase your running performance. on and that, while their attention is captivated, their energy is getting spent as well, which makes it easier to focus on the important things in life. Likewise, people with bipolar disorder are also encouraged by psychologists and physicians alike to go running, since running releases endorphins in the brain that act like dopamine, according to a study by bipolar-lives.com. So, running basically releases a drug that makes us happy. While running is a difficult sport widely regarded as one for the insane, it is not such a bad idea to lace up your shoes and take a jog. Half an hour to an hour is plenty, and there are thousands of programs out there like “Girls on the Run” or “Couch to 5K” to help guide you along your way. Running clubs, running teams, coaches and athletic staff will all help you as you set off on this journey. And who knows? Maybe you will end up falling in love with running, just like I did.
Taking the Hit Senior Caroline DePirro will take her last stand on the softball field this year Julia Rodriguez | Feature Editor
Photo by Julia Rodriguez
field. A:Each year an injury has kept me from playing. Freshman year I tore all the ligaments in my right ankle and I couldn’t play in the beginning of the season. Sophomore year I got a concussion and I was unable to play for the first part of the season. Junior year I got in a major car accident and I had nerve Senior Caroline DePirro, No. 18, takes a breather during damage in my leg and BK’s home softball game on February 16. I couldn’t throw for a while (also in the beginenior Caroline DePirro has been playning of the season). And this year I have ing softball almost her whole life. She to get back surgery and I am not sure practically lives on the field and one when I will be able to play again. can always catch her practicing. Between school and a social life, she has somehow Q:How has your injury from the car accibalanced the demands of the sport to bedent affected your softball career? come an accomplished player. With the A:My car accident impacted me in a lot of help of her parents and various coaches, ways. Not only did it affect me emotionshe continues to grow in her talent. The ally but also physically. I ended up havShield had the opportunity to interview ing permanent nerve damage on my right her for this piece.
leg. I also still have pain whenever I try to throw and I can’t move my arm like I used to. Q:Have your parents fully supported you? A:Yes, my parents have always supported me in my decisions. At first they were disappointed when I told them I didn’t want to play in college, but they accepted my decision because they knew it was what I really wanted. They’ve always been my number one supporters and I could never thank them enough for that. Q:Did you ever feel pressured because of your parents? A: At times I felt extremely pressured by my parents. They would push me to play travel, go to workouts and lessons and for a while I hated it but then I realized they pushed me to be the best that I could possibly be. Everything they did was because they loved me and they wanted the best for me. I wouldn’t be half the person or player I am today without them.
Q:Have you played both school softball and club softball your whole life? A:I started playing travel ball when I was 9 years old and I’ve been playing school softball since fifth grade. Q:Do you plan to play in college? A:No, I do not plan to play in college. Q:How long have you played softball? A:I began playing at age four, and I have been on varsity all four years at Kenny. Q:Tell me about a time when you sustained an injury that kept you off the
Photo by Julia Rodriguez
Q:What position do you play? A: I play first base.
DePirro dives for the ball at a home game on February 16.