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the standard blue valley southwest | volume 11 | issue 5

A Blow to The Budget District implements drastic budget changes for next year to combat $4 million deficit pages 8-9

2 | contents / the standard /may 2021

Contents news

8 | A Blow to the Budget


4 | Two Worlds Collide 12 | Building a Business 15 | Turn It Up


14 | Cancel Craze 10 | Digital Limitation


6 | A Promising Prospect

volume 11 / issue 5 bvswnews.com @bvswnews on Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat

6 a promising prospect on the cover

An aerial outline of Blue Valley Southwest is placed above dollar bills, symbolizing next year’s budget cuts. pages 8-9 photo and photo illustration by Siri Chevuru

editor’s note / the standard / may 2021 | 3

Editor’s Note T

hink about how far we’ve come. It may seem like we’ve all been living in a never-ending cycle, but really, we’ve come a very long way from this time just one year ago. This time last year, we were beginning to grasp how much the virus may disrupt daily life for the foreseeable future. We had given up on any semblance of normal school, and summer was on everyone’s mind. Fast forward to this year, about 13 months after the world shut down, and the progress is incredible. We are all in school five days a week, with regular after-school activities and a planned graduation with no limit on guests. Johnson County recently revoked its mask mandate, signaling light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are no longer a far-off desire; they are accessible and appointments are a coveted chance to step back into the active world. Sports teams across the country are playing again, and fans are slowly returning to the fields. Kauffman Stadium is allowing 17,400 fans per game, which is a vast step forward from the cardboard cutouts we had to watch last year, and the NFL is expecting full stadiums in the fall. Our very own school district is planning for next year, too. In this issue, you will read about how the district is dealing with $4 million in budget cuts for next year and how students across the district will be affected. Even with all of the change, some things are the same this time of year, just as they always have been and always will be. Summer is coming, and when we walk out of school the weather is a little bit nicer each day. AP tests are fast-approaching, and classes around the building are wrapping up new content to shift focus toward the looming exams. If the stress is getting to you, open up this issue and read about students’ music preferences or about the negative effects of cancel culture. If it seems like the end of school just can’t come fast enough, remember where we were last year at this time, and be thankful for the progress we’ve made. If we keep it up, we can put this pandemic behind us once and for all.

| editor-in-chief

The Standard editor-in-chief keithan sharp online editor karley kent design editor siri chevuru social media manager sahar baha business manager rebecca suku staff writers ellie phillips erica peterson logan brucker macy kennedy adviser rachel chushuk

The Southwest Standard is published seven times a year for students, faculty, and surrounding community of Blue Valley Southwest. It is an open forum for student expression. Therefore, the opinions expressed within this paper do not necessarily reflect the views of the administration of Blue Valley Unified School District #229. Letters to the editor and reader responses are encouraged for publication. The Southwest Standard reserves the right to edit all submissions for both language and content and encourages letters to be no more than 350 words. All letters must be signed and names will be published. The Standard 17600 Quivira Road Overland Park, KS 66221 Website: bvswnews.com Email: bvswnews@gmail.com

4 | feature / the standard / may 2021

TWOCollide worlds Immigrants and first-generation Americans shed light on their experiences and living in the United States

he definition of being American encompasses a diverse population and the colorful blend of cultures the country is built upon. People immigrate to the United States for a wide variety of reasons and begin a new chapter of their lives. Spanish teacher Alejandra Alana said she first arrived in Ohio when she was around 27 years old, with the intent of completing her higher education. “I had graduated from college and had some work experience, but I decided I wanted to go back to school to get my Master’s and I got accepted into a program at Miami University of Ohio,” Alana said. “I was supposed to [return home] after three years but that is exactly when the whole political situation in Venezuela erupted, and I decided it would be best for me if I stayed. I didn’t think there would be a future for me in Venezuela if things continued to go south, like they did, so I stayed ever since.” A portion of the population identifies as first-generation American because they were born after their parents immigrated to the United States. Many first-generation Americans grow up embracing their parents’ customs and ideals, as well as adapting to the American lifestyle. Senior Sean Khan said his household


functions differently from others' because his parents come from different backgrounds, influencing their parenting styles and values. “My father immigrated from India and my mother, Pakistan,” Khan said. “Of course my parents are bringing with them their culture and traditional teachings. Our family dynamic is much less Americanized in the sense that there is a difference between the two cultures and it is more like integrating cultures than just having one existing.” Senior Sarah Lee said she had to discover and adopt aspects of American culture on her own as a result of being a first-generation American. “My dad immigrated from Malaysia and my mom immigrated from Taiwan,” Lee said. “Obviously, my parents haven’t lived in America for their whole lives, so in terms of culture, I’ve just had to pick up on stuff myself instead of being raised that way and having my parents teach me.” First-generation Americans are often linked both with their parents’ native countries, as well as the United States, creating a sense of confusion. Lee said she has struggled to be comfortable in her own skin and come to terms with her cultural identity. “Both my sisters grew up speaking

photo courtesy of Spanish teacher Alejandra Alana

Chinese as their first language, but by the time I was born, we had been living in America for a while so I was raised speaking English,” Lee said. “I feel a little bit disconnected in both aspects in that I am not completely connected with my Asian culture but I’m really not American either.” Sophomore Kanika Radadiya said both her parents came to the United States from India and despite preserving a strong connection with her heritage, she still questions how to behave depending on the social environment she is in. “Being Indian comes first, so sometimes it’s kind of like, do I act a certain way to fit in here or do I act another way?” Radadiya said. “It’s a seesaw type of situation a lot of the time. There are certain struggles of trying to fit into the culture and also see my points of view as well as my parents’ views.” However, cultural identity is highly impacted by how people are raised and what beliefs they personally hold and wish to carry forward with them. Khan said he solely identifies with being an American because it is all he has ever known. “I am 100% American even if my cultural heritage is of a different country,” Khan said. “I was born and raised here and I learned everything about here.


photo courtesy of sophomore Kanika Radadiya I can obviously see the problems that originate from my roots and the countries there, but they have no bearing on how I’m living today or what I’m going to be doing because I am in America.“ Lee said visiting Taiwan and Malaysia often has always been enjoyable, but comes with some challenges. “It has been hard to communicate with my extended family just because of the language barrier since I’m not completely fluent in Chinese,” Lee said. “We don’t see them very often so I don’t know them very well.” On the flip side, Alana said she feels completely at home when she visits Venezuela because she has a strong foundation there and lived there from birth throughout her young adulthood. “The last time I was there, in 2015, it was just like usual: hanging out with friends, seeing family and going to places I used to visit like my favorite coffee shop,” Alana said. “I didn’t notice anything relevant or worth remembering; it was just I’m going back home and seeing my friends and my family.” First-generation Americans often face additional hurdles primarily because of their differences and the pressure to assimilate to American standards. Lee said she has been treated with indifference because of her race but feels

thankful for not having to deal with as extreme situations as other individuals in the minority community. “In school, the people I surround myself with are all very compassionate and loving and they have a lot of respect for everybody despite their differences. I am very grateful that being a firstgeneration American hasn’t stopped me from achieving what I want to do,” Lee said. “As far as specific experiences, mainly just microaggressions here and there where people make small remarks they think are funny, but it is really just racist. Usually, I just try not to be affected by ignorance.” Radadiya said she started to face uncomfortable situations pertaining to her racial background when she first entered the district in sixth grade. “Every time there was an Indian holiday, the teacher expected me to fill in or give information about it,” Radadiya said. “There are also those little funny moments because my name is a little different than normal, so sometimes during attendance, teachers just won’t say my name because they don’t want to attempt it.” Family members play a prominent role in fostering a child’s connection with their heritage. Alana said she has made it a priority to preserve the Venezuelan

culture in her household to raise her son with an attachment to his roots. “My husband and I would like to pass on to our son as much as we can in terms of our culture which starts with only speaking Spanish at home so he can grow up to be bilingual,” Alana said. “We also plan to keep our customs and try to emulate life in Venezuela to the best of our abilities since traveling there will probably be restricted for the foreseeable future. We plan to cook dishes that we ate at home and also eat here quite frequently and celebrate holidays that are specific to Venezuela as we would back home.” Lee said she has gained a unique outlook on life as a result of being a firstgeneration American and her exposure to all types of people and lifestyles. “Being a first-generation American has allowed me to really appreciate the hard work my parents have put into providing for me and everything they went through when moving here,” Lee said. “My cultural background has helped me be more open-minded and understanding of other immigrants who might be going through similar experiences and allowed me to advocate for celebrating our differences and building each other up.” | rebeccasuku

photo courtesy of senior Sarah Lee

6 | feature / the standard / may 2021

A Promising Prospect Senior Ben Kudrna scouted by college and professional baseball teams

Senior Ben Kudrna throws a pitch on March 24. Photo courtesy of Sophia Rose.



hat a student accomplishes during their high school career has the potential to determine their future. Activities done during someone’s time in high school, such as a sport, can get them noticed by colleges and even into the professional world. Senior Ben Kudrna is one of those students, and has talked to 40-50 colleges about playing baseball at the next level. Ben is currently a pitcher for the varsity baseball team under head coach Tyler Kincaid. “Ben is an extremely talented player,” Kincaid said in an email interview. Prior to his high school career with baseball, Ben’s mother, Wendy Kudrna, said he always had a passion for sports and a drive for success. “As a little kid, [Ben was] just like a go-getter,” Wendy said. “He always had the ball in his hand, [and was] just the kind of typical boy that would just love to play ball and take any risk.” Within recent years, Ben has caught the attention of not only college teams, but also the professional and major leagues and has begun getting in contact with them. “I talked to all 30 [MLB] teams this offseason via Zoom; [I’ve] just kind of been introduced to their staff,” Ben said. “There have been a lot of [scouts] at our games this season.” At times, Ben said the process of staying in contact with all that are interested can be a tedious process. “For the professional side, it’s been a lot of Zoom calls and phone calls,” Ben said. When looking for promising baseball players, scouts have their own criteria when looking for someone to come play for their organization. “Each organization values players differently based on their own teams’ player development systems,” Kincaid said. However, there are some rules for players once they have been scouted to play for a college before they are able to go play in a major league. “A prospect that starts their college career at 4-year, cannot be drafted [into the MLB] until they turn 21 or have been in college for 3 years ­— whichever comes first,” Kincaid said. Prior to this process beginning,

coaches between organizations tend to stay in contact over the prospect. “I send weekly emails to the Midwest Scouting community outlining each of Ben’s expected start dates and game times,” Kincaid said. “Hopefully this will alleviate some of the texts and phone calls that Ben would endure if I didn’t keep the scouts informed.” The balance of being in constant communication while being scouted and still being able to be practicing and playing high school baseball can put a player under a lot of pressure. “I try to take pressure off of Ben during the season,” Kincaid said. “He is constantly being asked to have meetings

“I have to say with all honesty, never in a million years that I [thought he] would ever be at this point and not because I didn’t think he was a great kid and a great athlete, I just think there’s a lot of them out there.” | parentwendykudrna with the various organizations interested in taking him. Despite the pressures and since the beginning of his high school career, Kincaid said Kudrna has continued to improve. “Seeing what he has done to make him the pitcher he is today has been very impressive,” Kincaid said. As an exceptional athlete, Kincaid expects Ben’s transition from high school baseball into college baseball to be similar gameplay. “The game is the same,” Kincaid said. “The level of ability in the players, the amount of games, and the amount of time spent on your development is the biggest difference.” While the gameplay is similar, the transition from high school into college and possibly later into professional leagues all depends on the player and their individual set of skills. “The ease of the transition from high school to college depends on the individual player, their development, their physicality and ability in the weight room, and their social maturity,” Kincaid said.

The game from growing up to now is vastly different and there tends to be a lot of all around development since the time most athletes first start playing their sport. “It was neat to kind of see him actually be a player versus just a little kid on the field just learning the game,” Wendy said. Overall, Wendy believes her personal perspective of baseball has changed since the beginning of Ben’s career. “There’s so much more to baseball than even me as a parent thought that I knew and a lot of other people know,” Wendy said. “I think just opening your eyes up and realizing the entirety of this sport of baseball has been very interesting to learn.” Even toward the beginning of his career, Ben showed promising potential. “At that age you just thought your kid was a pretty good baseball player like a lot of other kids,” Wendy said. “And you were out there just playing because he loved it.” Within Ben’s family, Wendy said she always tries to keep things in perspective for Ben. “We kind of tried to keep him on the straight and narrow and still keep life in perspective and not go too overboard one way or the other,” Wendy said. Despite showing amazing potential from a very young age, Wendy said it’s still hard to believe Ben is where he is within athletics. “I have to say with all honesty, never in a million years that I [thought he] would ever be at this point and not because I didn’t think he was a great kid and a great athlete, I just think there’s a lot of them out there,” Wendy said. Even though it is still hard to believe Ben is where he is, Wendy said she believes attitude is still everything. “I think that comes from still having fun with the game and not always being so serious,” Wendy said. Now that things are coming to a close for high school baseball, a lot of emotions are starting to be felt in the Kudrna house. “It’s quite a ride,” Wendy said. “I never would have imagined it.”

| loganbrucker

8 | news / the standard / may 2021

A blow to the

Budg District implements drastic budget changes for next year to combat $4 million deficit


he district will begin next school year with a $4 million budget shortfall. In order to resolve the budget deficit, the district asked families and staff for their opinions on what they value most versus what could be cut from next year’s budget. After many Board of Education meetings, district chief communications officer Kristi McNerlin said the district outlined a plan to save $4,237,000 next year, but it did not come without real consequences. “We knew that with $4 million we needed to go to the people and ask for ideas, and we went to our staff and we went to our community and we said, ‘we need your help problem solving,’” McNerlin said. “We were looking for budget reductions to try to avoid anything that would impact [the students’] learning and [the students’] experience.” The most noticeable difference will be a cut to the district’s non special-education paras, which includes library paras and inschool suspension coordinators. Assistant principal and director of curriculum and instruction Jason Peres said the budget put everyone in a difficult position, but the cuts were necessary. “I would like to think that we’ve had a choice [on budget changes],” Peres said.

“But it may just be to the point where we have to make some cuts on something that nobody wants to, but if we don’t do it, as a school district we can’t operate without the funding, so the funding necessitates that we make some tough decisions.” McNerlin said the $4 million deficit is a result of many issues, including COVID-19 expenses and enrollment declines. “There were less students, food service made less money, ticket sales [declined] because we didn’t have people at the events to get into football games and things like that ... so we lost some revenue that way,” McNerlin said. “There were a variety of things that also added to a loss in revenue, facilities not being rented because we had facilities closed for a while, and that kind of added up and that was another component.” The district did receive $1.4 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding from the federal government, but McNerlin said that funding wasn’t near enough to cover any real budget shortfalls. “We did not receive as much [federal relief] as many of our other districts because they based the distribution of those funds on the number of students who are in Title schools, which means they are more free and reduced, and we don’t have many

schools that receive those funds,” McNerlin said. “There are some districts who got 10 and 15 times that amount just because they have more students on free and reduced. We would argue that COVID does not discriminate; it doesn’t matter what your income would be, COVID is still something that could impact students and the school district.” Peres said when it comes to Southwest, the budget deficit really didn’t cause as much of an impact as in other schools and at the district level. “We may not have some improvements that we wanted to have, you may not be able to upgrade certain areas of your school, things of that nature,” Peres said. “We have some positions where we didn’t fill them, like some people are retiring and we’re just not going to fill that, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a budget issue, that’s an enrollment issue.” McNerlin said another hit to the budget came when the district decided to create a virtual education program for students in response to the pandemic. “Even though part of our strategic plan was to work on some type of virtual offering for students, COVID happened and that accelerated that,” McNerlin said. “We literally had to build what would normally

|9 take at least a year to build, [it] had to be built very quickly, so that took paying staff, our teachers to build those courses ... and then a lot of the other costs that go along with building a virtual program, so there was some significant cost.” Senior Jordan Schneider said the school district did not handle the deficit in the correct manner, and said he would have preferred to see cuts to other parts of the school besides the library and other paras. Former library para Julie Hill became the school registrar this year, while current library para Teresa Haney’s position will not be filled next year. This leaves the library with two library media specialists to handle all responsibilities. “I think there are better areas to cut than the library because it’s not just for books, it’s for all kinds of things that students need,” Schneider said. “It’s going to be harder for students to get assistance in there. It’s like a universal study hall for anyone and not just people who have free time to kill.” There are many opinions on what should have been cut, and no budget reduction will please everyone, but Schnieder said he doesn’t think the library receives the recognition or resources it deserves. “I think it’s honestly an overlooked department,” Schneider said. “Timber Time has always been hectic with four or with three [staff members]. You have 15 students needing help, and each one of them has a unique problem, [and if] you only have two staff members, only one of those is going to be available because one has to man the checkout.” Even if the cuts don’t please everybody, Peres said the district will continue to give all stakeholders a voice and err on the side of students. “Knowing what we value most, that will make their decision a little easier, but in the end, they’re going to have to make tough decisions,” Peres said. “They’re going to tell us what to do and we’re just going to have to do it.” Peres said the budget cuts may or may not be permanent, but in order to ensure the district doesn’t find itself in this situation again, it will take more than the school district to change education funding. “Once we’re through this — these budgetary constraints — I think things are going to get better,” Peres said. “Hopefully our state will fund education at the level where we won’t have to make these tough decisions going forward.”

| keithansharp

District Budget Cuts


Reductions and reallocation


Non special-education paras


Cash fallout from shifts to capital outlay


Staff shifts to federal funds


Certified staff from Attrition


Other cuts at Elementary and Middle school levels Information according to bluevalleyk12.org/budget

10 | opinion / the standard / may 2021


Social media's influence, especially on the spread and knowledge of news, should be reexamined

ocial media has expanded its reach over time and has now become a prominent factor within everyone’s lives. Whether it be keeping in touch with friends, following the latest trends or discovering a new recipe, social media has a category for everything. However, most distinguishably is its influence on the spread and knowledge of information. People are more informed than ever due to easy access to information and constant bombardment of it, however the quality of what is presented is questionable. Take Snapchat for example. Most stories are tabloids of people who hardly anyone knows nor cares much about, but then some stories bring awareness or contain factual information

about things in the world. Junior Sydney Gilman said there are two major categories: one important and another not so much. “There's categories of Youtuber or like social media drama that doesn't really matter and it's going to go away in a month,” Gilman said. “And then there's the categories of national news that's really important and people should know.” Many people understand that the influencer drama is not important and they say they don’t care, but they still are curious about what's happening. Gilman said the influencer news is a nuisance at most. “Most of [the news online] is [important] but then some of the stuff is

just kind of like 'why am I reading this, why am I taking time out of my day?'” Gilman said. At the same time, these types of attention grabbing headlines rake up views and earn the title of trending alongside more important and influential information. AP U.S. history and world geography teacher Mike Hardin said he strongly believes that some things shouldn’t be a part of the news and don't deserve as much attention as they receive. “No one should care what Kim Kardashian had for lunch,” Hardin said. “No one should even care any more about her being a person than you or I … It's more newsworthy because it's trendy and she gets people's attention.”

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The lack of quality goes hand in hand with the increased quantity. It feels as though something new is being uploaded every minute and the never ending flow of information quickly becomes challenging to navigate. Moreover, the competition between sites and pages contribute massively to the decrease in quality and the increase in quantity. Gilman said the sheer amount of news she encounters is a lot to take in. “It's just so hard to keep up with. There are just so many things happening online, and you just never know what's going to be next,” Gilman said. “It gets overwhelming with everything you have to do … And you don't really get a chance to even process all that information.” These sites not only release massive waves of news, but also reflect the viewer in some ways. As technology and screens have become increasingly accessible, people look for distractions every second of their lives. Hardin compared it to how people turn on the TV but then scroll through their phones. “I think that that's got to be part of why news doesn't stay in the headlines as long because people are now, because of social media, ready for what's next, and then what's next, and then what's next. And don't focus on an issue for a sustained period of time,” Hardin said. But, the most dangerous thing about having knowledge of topics influenced by social media is especially how it’s difficult to know the whole story from a single post or tweet. It’s easy to block oneself into a group or an echo-chamber where the same ideas and information will be refracted back. Hardin said being secluded into a safe corner does not develop oneself at all. “A real problem is that we have allowed ourselves to select what we hear. And things that we don't hear ­— things that disagree with our established knowledge — causes us cognitive dissonance,” Hardin said. “We are really good at rejecting. And we're really good at eliminating our audio network from our hearing network.” To prevent such biases to impose on someone, Hardin suggested keeping an open mind and finding further information on a topic.

“You need to make sure that you hear from people who disagree with you. You need to make sure that you hear from things that aren't just one singular subject,” Hardin said. “Those are probably the two most important things.” Being properly informed is something that equips one with the tools of understanding their surroundings as well as contributing to meaningful conversation. Sophomore Nathan Perdieu said being informed is a key aspect that everyone should implement.

''A real problem is that we have allowed ourselves to select what we hear. And things that we don't hear ­— things that disagree with our established knowledge — causes us cognitive dissonance. We are really good at rejecting. And we're really good at eliminating our audio network from our hearing network.'' |socialstudiesteachermikehardin

“If you're not informed about anything that's happening outside, then you won't know what's going on,” Perdieu said. “You can't really help yourself with lack of knowledge.” It’s common knowledge that news in this fast moving age becomes irrelevant within a few weeks. Consequently, important national or global issues go in waves of being everywhere on social media to being hardly seen. Gilman said the resurgence of information is good in a way because it signals more and more people knowing about a topic. “Of course, it's disappointing that it would go away at first, but it's important that it does come back, especially if more people realize what's going on if and when it does come back,” Gilman said. A few issues have the fortune of remaining a topic of discussion throughout the entire time of their relevance. Hardin said the dependence of the resurgence or

continuous relevance of an issue is directly correlated to the extent of an issue. “I think the relevancy and staying power of an issue, or of information in the digital media sphere, is really largely dependent upon the magnitude of the issue. You have things like what Kim Kardashian ate for lunch [that] no one's going to care about tomorrow. And they're doing that to mindlessly scroll,” Hardin said. “The issue of migrant children at the border and Donald Trump's administration's treatment of that stayed relevant for the entirety of his presidency, because the magnitude was so much greater.” Unfortunately, some major issues become a trend. This ends up disguising the significance of an issue and the true goal is overshadowed. Gilman said that the Black Lives Matter movement had some aspects problematically transform into a trend. “One example of that is people posting the black squares on Instagram. That's not anything important; if you just put the black square, you're literally just following the trend,” Gilman said. “You need to provide information about what is going on. There's definitely a difference.” And sometimes, news that has the potential to create an impact on society gets labeled as trendy and gets passed on. Hardin used Kanye West being open about his mental health as an example. “I think that part of what you get out of that is stories, like the Kanye West story, could be used as a focal point to try and help make society more inclusive, and try to help make society more responsive and less judgmental. And it doesn't, because it ends up just being a celebrity issue.” The ways social media is used and depended on, especially in the course of obtaining information, needs to be reassessed. “The longer this kind of stuff goes on without any sort of rethinking [about] how we engage with information, the more it can be damaging to the fabric of our culture,” Hardin said. | sirichevuru

12 20 || feature feature // the the standard standard // may may 2021 2021

Building a Business Three students share how they started their own businesses during high school


Sophomore Adam Stone began his lawn care business at 10 years old. Photo courtesy of Stone.

MS Lawn Service is a profitable lawn care business started by sophomore Adam Stone at a young age. “I started [my lawn care] business when I was 10 years old,” Stone said. After being a business owner for nearly six years, Stone said he considers himself to be a professional at this point, with all of the right qualifications, equipment and experience. “I am professional,” Stone said. “I have invested in state of the art equipment as well as always learning new ways to provide the best lawn services in the area.” While his business growth has been exponential, Stone said some of his business successes have far surpassed the rest. One of these being the purchase of his very own truck. “Making enough money last year to get a truck, trailer and fleet of equipment [have

been my greatest business successes],” Stone said. There are many positive aspects to owning a business, but Stone said there are a few that are more impactful than others. “My favorite aspect is definitely that I’m my own boss and I can choose what I want to do and how to do it,” Stone said. Stone said while his business is very successful, he has encountered challenges along the way as well. “The biggest challenge for me has been finding good help that will be reliable but also put in effort,” Stone said. When going into the business world it is important to understand the value of the company from the get go. “Know what you are worth,” Stone said. “Don’t be cheap, go in confident and you will be paid what you are worth.”

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ophomore Rhett Krewson started his own auto detailing business amidst a pandemic, a time where cleaning cars was necessary. “I started my business in October 2020,” Krewson said. “I saw the need to create a better and cheaper service in my community.” Auto detailing may not be the most common of hobbies, but for students like Krewson, whose hobbies include detailing his own car, turning it into a successful business was simply a part of the process. “I like my job a lot,” Krewson said. “I get to go all around the KC area and work outside and do something that I am really passionate about.” While Rhett’s Auto Detailing (the name of Krewson’s business) is gaining

credibility, Krewson said spreading the word about his business has been very difficult for him. “Getting the word out has been difficult for me when starting my business,” Krewson said. “Moms or adults that primarily use Facebook that like my service will share on their social media, which spreads to other people that are more likely to be interested in my service.” For anyone else looking to start their own business, Krewson said it is important to set one’s aspirations ahead of time in order to ensure a smooth start to the business. “[It is important to] make goals and plans to help guide you through the beginning of your business,” Krewson Sophomore Rhett Krewson turned his hobby of detailing cars into a successful business. Photo said. “Friends and family are a great courtesy of Krewson. tool and help.”


enior Lianna Shoikhet turned her hobby into a popular business amongst all generations. During a global pandemic, Shoikhet began doing photo shoots for her friends and family whenever she got the chance. “It started with me and my friend just going and taking some photos in the park, and then went to families, seniors, graduates and sports teams contacting me asking me to take photos for their team or for their event,” Shoikhet said. Turning an idea into a reality was an accomplishment for Shoikhet, but she said advertising has been one of the most difficult parts of running her business. “I would say the main challenge for me has been outreach,” Shoikhet said. “I Senior Lianna Shoikhet started a photography manage my Instagram account in order business to take pictures for all kinds of events. to gain clients from that.” When looking to start a business, Photo by Shoikhet

Shoikhet said it is a good idea to plan logistics beforehand. If general thoughts are organized and gathered, the business is bound to have less issues in the long run. “For me, it was just really fun to plan out the little things,” Shoikhet said. “I like being able to figure those things out, so for me it was helpful to plan everything ahead of the time I officially started my business.” Throughout the past year of her business, Shoikhet said she has experienced a lot of success and considers her business to be very successful. “I’ve been really surprised at the amount of clients that I’ve been able to serve and the amount of outreach that my photos have gotten,” Shoikhet said. “So yes, I would consider my business successful.”

| macykennedy

E l n c A

14 | opinion / the standard / april 2021


c R a Z E

cancel culture adds unnecessary toxicity to social media


ith the implementation of social media into daily life, there are many positive things that have changed our worldview as a generation. This convenient access to information has given us the power to become educated and more conscientious of our privilege. It now acts as a mouthpiece for political and social conversations on apps like TikTok or Twitter. However, along with this power to hold one another accountable for our actions via the internet, a community of people has surfaced who refuse to support certain influencers or brands simply because they have made mistakes in their past. Junior Hannah Glynn said this mindset is toxic and does the opposite of creating accountability, but rather creates unnecessary drama. “There are so many things that are worth the attention on TikTok or other apps, but there is also a lot of fake petty drama that is broadcasted for no reason and people have become overly sensitive,” Glynn said. Being canceled online normally requires an apology video or response in order to satisfy those whom the influencer had allegedly disrespected. This typically does the opposite of what is intended, however, and even further fuels the dramatic exchange that comes along with cancel culture. On the contrary, junior Lauren Kight said she believes that to a certain point, this culture is necessary to maintain responsibility online.

“Sometimes people don’t deserve the amount of hate they get online, but they need to understand as someone who has a significant following that their behavior is being watched by millions of people,” Kight said. “As consumers of their content, we reserve the right to criticize their behavior, especially if it is offensive or disrespectful to any group of people.” Consider Chick-fil-a for instance: it is a fan-favorite restaurant, but because of their alleged donations to homophobic organizations, people get shamed for supporting the business. This puts the focus on negativity rather than the food itself. Choosing to or not to support a business is entirely based on the opinion of the individual. However, cancel culture directly promotes animosity between people who disagree rather than trying to respectfully resolve the initial problem. “Cancel culture thrives off of people who make simple human mistakes,” Glynn said. “I guarantee you way more girls than just Nessa Barrett have ‘homie hopped’ before, and I don’t see them getting any death threats.” Freshman Tyler Wilcox said he considers himself detached from most social media platforms and all of the drama that comes along with them. “If I ever hear people talking about TikTok drama, I always just have a good laugh,” Wilcox said. “It honestly amazes me that people my age actually care so much about celebrities’ personal lives. It really has nothing to do with them and

it’s always taken so seriously.” There is no way to say exactly how deeply the stigma of cancel culture has affected our generation, but it goes without saying that the entire premise is based on highlighting what people are most insecure about. In this day and age, everyone is encouraged to embrace their most authentic selves, but this does not seem so valid when the only thing that gains attention on the internet is drama, hate and what people are doing wrong. “It’s hard to even know if the things people say online are true or not,” Wilcox said. “Half the time I bet YouTubers or famous people on TikTok fight and make accusations on purpose because they know how much they can profit from it.” It is important to expose youth to legitimate problems because they need to be aware of the world that surrounds them, but it is even more important to recognize that even the people we are watching through our tiny screens are subject to making mistakes and having the capability to learn from them. “No matter what happens online, I think our school and all of the students need to accept the good and bad parts of life,” Glynn said. “Living in such a fortunate place like Johnson County can sometimes get to your head, and canceling people will only further the entitlement that much of our generation suffers from. We need to learn how to hold people accountable without being so destructive.” | karleykent

feature / the standard / may 2021 | 15

turn it up 50 students surveyed about their music tastes

Favorite music


Favorite song


16% 18% 22% 14%

6% 12% 6%

4% 2% reasons for listening to music

41.7% 27.1%

It is an escape from stress It makes me happy

“I mostly listen to rap and pop music and I like it because it’s catchy and fun to listen to with your friends.” | juniormatthewstine

5 students said-“3005”by Childish Gambino

R&B Indie

2 students said-“Fairy of Shampoo” by Tomorrow X Together

Rock Broadway

2 students said-“Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo

Soul Rap Pop

do friends and family have an influence on music taste? yes no

24% 76%

16 |

Has the pandemic changed your music taste?

Current jams “Peaches” (feat. Daniel Caesar & Giveon) by Justin Bieber

42.4 million streams

“drivers license” Olivia Rodrigo

29.33 million streams

“Astronaut In The Ocean” Masked Wolf

28.31 million streams



From statistica.com Most streamed weekly tracks on Spotify worldwide as of March 25, 2021


Are concerts a big loss throughout the pandemic?

NO 56%



Some underground artists Child Riley

yes 44% 0

Cults 30





“I don’t really know if I would put a specific genre on my music taste, but I usually just listen to what makes me happy and songs that will boosts my mood.” | sophomorekatiepittman


Evann Mclntosh Phoebe Bridges UMI

Neil Young

| ericapeterson

Profile for The Standard

BVSW The Standard - Volume 11 - Issue 5 - May 2021  


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