FOR:PHUONG ANH THUY TRAN
SOLO TO SYMPHONY
THE GREEN TEAM
THE EVOLUTION OF INDIE MUSIC
THE ART OF BREATHING
POWER OF POSITIVITY
IMPORTANCE OF CLOTHING
SHATTERING ROSE-TINTED GLASSES
OUR BEAUTIFUL WORLD
BLONDE SQUAD MEETS
ISABELLA STRENGTH FOREVER
21 DAY FITNESS CHALLENGE
BASEBALL IS BACK!
photography by: Dixie Chatt
Phuong Anh Thuy Tran By: Sarah Tran Let’s play a game. See if you can guess who this is about and the reward will be to learn more about being human than any psychology class can teach you. I’ll give some hints. Silence, complete and utter silence. That’s what happens when life changes in an instant; to make the choice to keep pain to yourself or to express it. Pain comes in all forms. The small twinge of response, a bit of soreness, the random pain, the normal pains that we live with everyday. Then there is the the kind of pain so great that it blocks out everything else; makes the rest of your world fade away until all we can think about is how much we hurt. How we manage our pain is up to us—pain—we anaesthetize it, ride it out, embrace it, ignore it; and for some of us, the best way to manage through pain is to push through it, but never overcome it. I think to myself everyday: when I’m reading, cooking, taking a shower, how did I deal with my pain? Did I ignore it? Did I slowly take it piece by piece as much as it took me brick by brick? Or, did I let it overcome me, in the best way or the worse way? My answer? I really don't know. And I don't know just as much as my family won’t know, just as my friends won't know. Because who really knows? God? Buddha? Any holy spirit that anyone sees fit? I don't want to ask anyone how they saw it because the one person I truly want to ask isn’t here with me.
What I do know is, what I did not do. I am aware that I didn't cry until after the ceremony, that I laughed instead of cried, that I knew my place, that I took that place of being a strong model for my siblings, that I had to greet everyone who walked through those ceremony doors, that I had to get on my knees and bow over one hundred times in two days and another 200 times in three months to a godly figure that I did not even believe in. But, that was then. But enough about me, I told myself. Let me focus on my older sister, I want to see how she was doing. And what about my little brother, JJ, how was he doing? And my Grandmother? My Grandfather? My Aunt? My Uncle? How are they all doing, because I want to make sure everything is fine. Have you guessed yet? Who I’m missing, because I think you know. I made sure that my whole family was doing fine, better than I could ever be. I made jokes, maybe to my benefit a smidge, but mainly to my family’s. The only thing I could think of doing for them was to make them laugh, make that pain go away for even the smallest second and we were okay at those times when it lasted a minute even.
photography by: Sarah Tran
What else could I do now at the same time? Cook? I really liked to cook, I could better my skills, so I did just that. I watched endless Buzzfeed videos and made the food they made; I watched Giada make her little Italian desserts, I told my Dad to get some more brownie supplies even to make them. My family loves it, I love it too; correction, loved it too. Because then, I ran out of food and desserts to make for my family. Questioning once again, now what could I do? What did I not do? I was lost and my fear of feeling was catching up on me. It was not much later that I allowed myself to feel, to let it succumb me and it was almost like I already knew it was coming; like it was bound to happen. I was ignorant towards the way I felt, yet thoughtful to everyone else. I ignored how I felt and by the time I enable my mind to access that pain center, I broke. Just as the same time I was reading, cooking, and taking a shower was when I did feel.
I think it was almost familiar to express myself to this imaginative figure that literally everyone opens up to. It was almost like I came up from the water made of my own sweat and tears and finally breathed in that fresh air, that was once so familiar, so foreign to me. To feel is to â€?experience an emotion or sensationâ€? but I believe it is so much more than that. I believe that to feel is to allow others feel what you kept holding on to in fear of being too selfish, it is the act of transferring whatever you could to your family, friends, whoever is there right next to you trying to break that barrier between yourself and them. Because I noticed, clearly noticed how when I opened my mind and eyes that I have a whole damn village waiting for me. People I was not even sure of, who I didn't know any bit, were there to listen whether it was just because it's their job or because they sincerely wanted to listen what I had to ramble about. I noticed how much people I pushed out, my two closest friends who tried to distract me, I finally opened up to them and it was ugly, but in a good way.
Beauty is often only viewed in the perspective of something pleasing to the eye; however, in these circumstances I genuinely learned what it meant to differentiate aspects that are beautiful and ugly. The thing is, nothing is actually ugly. Every single perspective that humans have of anything, is in its own: graceful, beautiful, undeniably its very own. And that is ultimately what I took away from my experience. In the end, pain is beautiful because pain is at least a feeling, even if it hurts. How I healed was how I believed it should have been handled, and it may not work for others and that is okay because I did heal, and that is all that matters. I was afraid of countless of obstacles that pushed me to my breaking point: crying, opening up to others, explaining how I felt inside, instead of only letting them see what was out. For others the healing happens gradually over time, and itâ€™s not until months or even years later that you realize, you donâ€™t hurt anymore. I learned what it meant to actually feel, to believe in a religion, to not be afraid, to know what matters and what does not matter, to be positive for myself and for others, and to finally see light in a matter so dark.
From: Anh Tu
photography by: Sarah Tran
photography by: Ally Brodmann
By: Izzy Agnello
Solo to Symphony Solo to Symphony
Our bodies have a natural rhythm. The heart is the bass line that drives our melodic organs. Each day is another song that we add to the personal playlist we call life. Some may have more melancholy days than others, but they will always have their happy days glued to their memory like that one hit constantly playing on the radio. Depending on the person, music can be a therapist, a friend, or the one thing they can confide in. They find sanctuary in the chords found in their favorite song. Perhaps, they express their emotions through music they play, hoping someone who feels the same way will hear their message and know that they are not alone. As a musician, I can explain the technicality behind the music and emotions, but as a person, I can explain the things I felt when listening to the words of artists that helped me through the times where I felt lost.
I find music with a soul can help unlock hidden ideas or emotions that do not appear in everyday life. Studies show music combined with guided imagery can create modified states of cognizance, help discover unknown emotional responses, as well as boosting creative opinions. For instance, music playing in the background of classrooms can benefit learning. Music has the ability to improve the students' learning capacity as well as their memory. From math and science to reading and writing, music has proven itself to be a valuable teaching tool to get students involved in lessons.
In everyday life, one's circumstances, mood, or relationships can affect their state of mind. This effect is also known as an emotion. Emotions and music correlate greatly with one another. Through certain brain circuits, music finds its way through the brain and stimulates your emotions. While some music raises your dopamine levels and makes you happy, others can tug at your heartstrings and illustrate the emotions you and others feel. One of those people is me, I am one of the thousands that music has saved. I lost myself in the intertwinement of harmonies and in the words that fueled my existence. I have been a musician for more than half of my young-adult life. However, it was not until I was lost that I found the meaning of the music and the reason why it’s important to so many. My room became my chapel that supported my faith. The lyrics became my scripture and the musicians became my preachers. I found myself wandering aimlessly in circles in the middle of my four walls; not knowing where I was going or what I was doing but, I was found. During the period of my life where I felt the most alone, I turned to the “emo” bands, alternative, and rock for guidance. Gerard Way, a man who I admire dearly, once expressed the message of his band’s music by saying, “We’re saying it’s okay to be messed up. There are other people just like you, and if we stick together we’ll get through this.”
Discovering musicians who did or do feel the same way I did was a god sent. They brought me up from the ashes of what I thought was going to be a broken life. I began to live the life I wanted. Middle school was a rough time, I felt alone, but the songs that filled my head filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t know was even there. Now that I am in high school, I realize that life is more complicated than any song I may play. Yet I cannot help thanking the musicians who made me the person I am today. If it was not for them, I probably would not be as content and as happy. Whenever you may feel insignificant or feel like giving up, there is always going to be a constant in your life. Music and its therapeutic abilities are very real, and in some cases can save lives. If you or a loved one feel hopeless and believe in the healing properties of music please go to http://musicsaveslives.org/. Music Saves Lives is an online resource that supports life-saving activities and discusses the power of music.
Looking into a mirror what you see is only skin deep, Looking at a stranger
but you know there is more to you.
what you see is only skin deep,
but you judge not knowing if there is more to them. Some fall victim to this.
We are all guilty of this. Looking into a mirror,
what they see is only skin deep
They believe all the lies they have been told. Thoughts going through their head
That looks are eve
â€œUgly! Too thin!
What do they do?
and they believe it.
Never good enough to fit standards. Overeat.
Hide behind layers of makeup or clothing. All because someone looked at them
Never feeling comfortable in their own skin.
and made an assumption based on something skin deep. There is more than just skin deep! Everyone has a story, a personality, a uniqueness. Their own little quirkiness.
I look at this stranger. What I see is more than skin deep. I see their pain.
Look into their eyes and you see more than just appearance. You see into their soul. Looking at a stranger,
You see more than just skin deep. what you see is only skin deep. Now go and say hi,
and discover what lies beneath.
skin deep By: Kat Beason
artwork by: Kat Beason
photography by: Sydnee Kim
Nine years ago, history teacher, Greg Goran and one of his students began a environmental club which would become the Green Team. Fast forward to today, the club now has a garden, a fish pond and works with Surfrider Foundation to clean up beaches. Next year, big projects and ideas are being planned, including Goran’s new Environmental Sustainability Class. Though Mr. Goran has had his hands full at the moment, Slick Magazine managed to get a few words with Goran about plans for the Green Team and his upcoming class. What are the main goals of the Green Team? “The main goal is to just raise environmental awareness to everyone on campus, as well as their families in the community. There are a lot of issues that people just don't know about, like the importance of recycling or how to reduce waste and conserve energy, save water, eat healthy and organically.”
By: Natalie Han
What are some ways that people can get involved with the club? “They can sign up in the beginning of the year at Club Rush Week or they can come in and sign up here in my room (A42) by giving us their contact information. They can also contact our club leaders. We also meet every Friday at the garden and people can just drop by and help us.” What are some upcoming events for the Green Team? “We are currently painting a mural on the storage container by the garden. We are also putting outdoor furniture in place and cleaning the place up. Not only that, we are going to be putting up a shade sail and setting up a vertical garden inside our greenhouse. A fish breeding facility is also going to be built there. We are going to try and finish those hopefully by the end of the year.” Concerning the ROP class, what would be covered in the course? “It would cover many different topics about sustainability and the environment. We will get into water conservation, growing food organically, eating healthy, but also basic life skills about business. If kids are interested in getting a career in agriculture, aquaculture, or any environmental field, we will give them some exposure to that. Not only that, we’ll teach them how to go into a job interview and fill out a resume. A lot of kids don’t really know any of these skills, but hopefully they will be able to learn.” If you are interested in learning more about the Green Team and future events, contact Mr. Goran in A42 and follow the Green Team on Instagram: @hb_green_team.
USE HEARING PROTECTION
How It Started & Where We Go From Here By: Jameson Jaksch In 1975, a group formed that would change the world of music forever. This group the Sex Pistols. Ditching the traditional rock sound and style, they went for a much harder and grimier sound that soon became known as punk. With their attitude, fashion, and music, they quickly became the poster band for how the youth of the 70s felt at the time; full of rage and emotion. They went against what was considered normal for bands of the time, with big statements that symbolized their attitude toward society such as cursing on popular TV programs or cutting themselves up on stage and yelling at the audience. Although they weren’t exactly indie at the time, they would soon perform at a gig that would everything and essentially start the indie scene. On June 4, 1976 they traveled from their local London punk scene down to the unfamiliar Manchester, which had not yet experienced the punk boom that southern England had. They played a gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall where not many people were in attendance (around 35-40), but the people who were there would go on to be some of the most influential musicians. People like Ian Curtis, Morrissey, Pete Shelley, Tony Wilson, Mark E Smith or just anyone who had happened to read the advert in the paper. The gig was loud and ferocious, with Peter Hook describing it sounding like, “A violent car crash.” To this small Manchester audience, this hadn’t been anything like they’d heard before; to them it almost felt alien. Yet, along with the loud crassness and vulgarity of the gig, came a sense of inspiration. With bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, or The Rolling Stones you don’t really feel like you can do what they do, you don’t feel like you could make a difference by yourself, but with this band you felt like you could actually do it. And there essentially marks the start of the indie movement.
After that historic gig, the people in attendance would be inspired to go out and achieve greatness. Either starting bands or some like Tony Wilson for instance, would go out and start their own record labels. A lot of the bands that did form out of the experience started out with a punk sound that was very much similar to the Sex Pistols. They would perform at venues around Northern England and would try to establish themselves in the process. A band that found the most success in the shortest amount of time was probably The Buzzcocks, “Manchester’s First Punk Band.” Not only were they Manchester’s first punk band, but they were also one of the first punk bands to establish an independent record label, New Hormones, which they released their first EP Spiral Scratch on. This was another huge moment for the world of indie music, as people saw this and realized they could start releasing music themselves, without a big commercial label. A lot of bands naturally followed suit, with one in particular being a band known as Joy Division. At the time their sound was very different from how it later became, with a very rough punk sound that was similar to that of The Clash or even the Sex Pistols themselves.
artwork by: Dixie Chatt
They released their first EP titled, An Ideal For Living which gained a lot of controversy for the cover which featured a Hitler youth banging on a drum. The EP also featured a vast amount of content pertaining to the Nazi’s and atrocities that they carried out, such as the track “No Love Lost” in which lead singer Ian Curtis recites a quote from the book House of Dolls (which is where Joy Division also got their name) that goes into detail about experiments that the Nazis did on a young girl during the Holocaust. Around the same time famed television personality Tony Wilson started a program called So It Goes, where up and coming New Wave bands could perform and get their music heard. The show became a huge hit in England with youth and music lovers in general, so it was a big deal for bands to actually get invited to play. This is where Joy Division got one of their big breaks and hurled them further into indie stardom. Around this time they also started changing their sound, keeping some of the power that the sound of punk had, but adding a heavier, deeper sound that had not been heard before. Even with the success of Tony Wilson’s program the show was eventually cancelled. Wilson wanted to find another way to give underground musicians more notoriety and support. He looked to a local indie label, Rabid Records, for ideas. He realized that there was a lot of money to be made from albums and had the idea to start his own record company. His label would go on to be one of the most iconic labels of the 80s, but when it first started the label was anything but iconic. Before scouting any bands to be on the label, he opened a club called The Factory. This is where he’d bring in some of his favorite new wave bands from around the Manchester area. The venue became an incubator for the bands that would eventually be featured on the label, including The Durutti Column, Cabaret Voltaire, and Joy Division. After a couple of months of success with these bands playing in the club, Factory decided their next best move would be to release an EP with music from all the bands in the club on it.
With the EP’s newly generated success, Wilson figured it would only be logical to do a full length album as their next big project. They looked no further than to Joy Division who they signed on to Factory and by then their sound was very developed and insanely different from anything going on at the time. Martin Hannett was brought on to produce the album, as he had previously done production on The Buzzcocks EP, Spiral Scratch. Hannett heard something within the band’s music, something that the band themselves probably hadn’t even recognized. From here he knew exactly how the album should sound and produced a masterpiece that would forever go on to change the sound of music. The masterpiece in question was Unknown Pleasures. In retrospect, Joy Division weren’t that huge at the time, even with the success of their debut album. In terms of popularity, they were just another new wave band from Manchester, but their sound was unlike anything anyone had ever heard and proved that even a young group from Manchester could change music forever. The indie music scene was beginning to diverge from being mainly centered in Europe and started to stretch out into America or more specifically, the East Coast. Bands such as The Talking Heads, Black Flag, Bad Brains, Minor Threat and many others all started sprouting up, and each had very unique sounds. Although as where in places like England, the sound was more new wave. The sound in the East Coast and the West Coast especially was very rough and punk. What should go without saying about the indie music scenes of the 70s and 80s is that everything was happening because people wanted to do things themselves. They didn’t need a major record label to tell them what they could or couldn’t do, they didn’t need a writer to write down what they were feeling. Whether it was punk, hardcore, new wave, or reggae, they all had one thing to say: “I don’t need you, society.” This was never more apparent than in the label I’ve previously mentioned and praised, Factory Records.
Factory went on to be one of the biggest indie labels of the 80’s, but it took a lot of time, respect, and reputation for them to get there. The way they earned this was by doing what they did, not because of profit but because they could do it. A lot of labels at the time were worried about losing money, giving too much power to certain groups, or doing things a lot more avant garde. For Tony Wilson and company, this was their goal. They approached managing the groups a lot differently as well, where a label like RCA might make their artists promote and do interviews, Factory did not and gave them full freedom to their work. One other tactic they took, was giving the groups as Tony Wilson put it, “The freedom to f**k off.” This meant that they would not be held down to four year contracts or even a one year contract. They could leave essentially whenever they wanted to. Of course this drew a lot of artists to the label, and is why they became as successful as they were. Fast forward a few years, to the early 1980s. Ian Curtis of Joy Division unfortunately kills himself, but leaves behind a chart topping single, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and a band that would soon after go on to form New Order. Both of these bands were staples of the 80s. At the same time, the indie scene was going through a rough patch, especially with the people at Factory and Rough Trade due to a lot of their artists either signing to the majors or just falling off the map. This is a period that would soon be reheated by New Order with their immensely popular single, “Blue Monday,” and a group that might perhaps be the most important of the indie scene, The Smiths. It all started when the fresh faced Smiths went to Factory looking to be signed, but to their surprise were rejected after getting word that their “Demos were rubbish,” even though Rob Gretton of Factory had given them a huge amount of praise in the past. Not knowing where else to go after being denied by many other labels, they turned to Rough Trade who they thought would take anyone with fresh new sound as they were then hemorrhaging money.
Surely enough they did and were then on their way to making some of the most beautiful music of the 80s. Don’t let me make you think that this was just a choice that would have had no repercussions on the indie scene though, this decision alone made by Rough Trade is perhaps the saving grace of indie music. In an interview shortly before Tony Wilson died referring to if Rough Trade hadn’t signed The Smiths, he said that they probably wouldn’t have survived and that this would have left Factory either giving up or moving on to the majors and as they were the two big indie labels of the time, this would have been devastating. After the huge success of The Smiths, both in the pop charts and indie charts, indie was now an alternative to pop and was what a lot of the youth of the 80s listened to. In the late 70s indie was a very underground thing, and you had to be in a scene to really get into it, but once the 80s came around anyone could get into it because of its availability. I’ve talked about indie’s history and how it became such a decade defining phenomenon, but I’ve yet to talk about where it sits now. In this decade, there’s been a clear revival of the indie scene and its future is a very promising one, but will it be as important to music now as it was to the 70s and 80s? In decades such as the 90s and the 2000s indie was very much a popular scene but it didn’t have the significance or iconic status that it did during the 80s and wasn’t very important to pop culture. In the 80s we got The Smiths, New Order, Happy Mondays, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Fall, Soft Cell, and plenty of other great bands that we still remember to this day. Yet in the 90s and 2000s there were very few bands that would achieve such iconic status.
Now in 2018, there are many indie musicians popping up that have the opportunity to become decade defining artists in their own right. With things like Youtube, Spotify, and Soundcloud there’s never been a better time for the revival of the indie scene. What if these outlets are the modern equivalent of Factory, the John Peel sessions, 4AD or Rough Trade? We already have artists who could technically be considered indie that have reached iconic status through these outlets, such as Lil Peep, XXXTentacion, Danny Brown, Mac Demarco, Death Grips and perhaps most notable Tyler, the Creator. What about bands and actual rock artists though? Well that’s where everything is fresh and new, and the people in this category are the ones who have more potential to become iconic. Go listen to people like Gus Dapperton, Steve Lacy, Clairo, or Boy Pablo and tell me that you could not see their music being released alongside groups like The Smiths or The Jesus and Mary Chain. There’s only one problem with this. Their music sounds much too similar to their 80s indie counterparts. Groups like The Smiths or The Jesus and Mary Chain had a very distinguished sound that set them apart from the other groups of the time, if all these new artists want to achieve such iconic status, they’ll need to redefine the sound of their music and make it their own.
As of right now it might be too early to tell whether or not the indie scene will thrive once again as it used to. There is undoubtedly a scene, but its not as defined as it could be. Indie scenes used to make up a community in a certain area, where all the people who lived there thrived and did their own thing to contribute to the scene itself. There hasn’t been a whole lot of this recently, it seems like all the artists coming out right now are out of different areas and scattered all over the place. Although it’s not completely necessary for scenes to take place in one specific area, it adds character and it’s essentially what the indie scene is all about. The groundwork is there in places such as Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Sacramento, London and where the scene pretty much started. Manchester. Today, the music scene in general isn’t as defined as it once was. In the 70s and 80s there were multiple genres and scenes that were scattered all over major cities and cultures. In recent years, indie music has blurred the lines between what’s mainstream and what’s celebrated underground. Popular rap artists and recent indie groups now take inspiration from the past to form their own sound.
artwork by: Dixie Chatt
The Art of Breathing By: Grace Galarraga
There’s a sense of calmness that comes along with breathing. Breathing of course, signifies life. Taking breaths means that you are alive. More many, this thought alone can drive them through a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad life. Breathing in the night air on a warm summer night, feeling your chest rise and fall with every breath you take, and focusing on nothing more than the amazing fact that you are alive at that very moment, is the very heart of meditation. Mediation couples the art of breathing and focus into a mind and body exercise that can both calm and clear one’s mind. This ancient art first started in ancient india and became a worldwide phenomenon in the 1960s and 70s. Today, there are countless of ways to meditate, which can be a bit overwhelming for a beginner. As for myself, I’m not much of a meditator. In fact, I can’t focus on anything for more than two seconds. Stress comes along with age, and these days, stress is all I have. For one school week I decided to set a goal for myself to meditate every day for ten minutes, and to record my emotions throughout the week. Each day I tried a different form of mediation as to get a taste for every aspect of the art.
Mondays normally makes me want to crawl back into bed and hope for the weekend again. This particular Monday, however, started off with “mindfulness meditation.” Mindfulness meditation, as described by Healthline.org, is when “You pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge the thoughts or become involved with them. You simply observe and take note of any patterns.” I typically find that closing my eyes is best for someone like me, who gets distracted by everything. Some may find it easier to keep their eyes focused on one object for the duration of their meditation. It is important to find a comfortable position to meditate in. I swear I changed positions around 10 times. I decided to settle with my back on the floor, facing the ceiling. I stared at my ceiling for a bit before actually setting the timer. While going through with it, I realized that this form of mediation is quite simple. It’s just keeping track of your thoughts as they cross through your mind. At first, it all seemed overwhelming. Some typical teenage thoughts flooded my mind as well as the thought of everything I had to do in that week coming up. In the final five minutes, I found myself making a checklist in my mind of things I needed to do. In the end, it actually cleared my mind since I listed everything I needed to do in the week. It certainly was better than going into the week not knowing what you have to do.
photography by: Dixie Chatt Ally Brodmann
do not fear the future.
Tuesday involved spirituality, which obviously isn’t the basis of your everyday tuesday morning (perhaps for some.) Spirituality meditation, as described by Healthline, “Is similar to prayer in that you reflect on the silence around you and seek a deeper connection with your God or Universe.” I won’t say I felt more connected to anything, but a sense of calmness seemed to follow. It is very important to note that all one needs to complete this type of mediation is to simply have faith in something. It can be something you believe in and it doesn’t need to be a god-like figure. It can be anything, as long as you believe in it. Once you have that something, capture it in your mind and try to connect to it. The connection, for some, can take years to happen, since it’s hard to connect with something that is not visible to the human eye. Find a quiet place to sit or lay, and talk to whatever entity you believe in. It starts off very much like a prayer, but becomes something more. It’s praying coupled with balanced breathing and relaxation. This one was by far, one of the hardest for me to do. Wednesday, on the other hand, was a bit easier. It began with focused meditation and gloomy skies. Focused meditation, according to VerywellMind.com, “Involves focusing on something intently as a way of staying in the present moment and turning off your internal dialogue.” It has been said that this type of meditation is easier than the classic meditation style, which is mainly just focusing on the quiet of your own mind. For many, this idea of thinking about nothing can be very difficult to grasp. Focused meditation typically involves one of the five senses. I decided to listen to a playlist recommended to me by spotify, entitled, “Deep Focus.” As described by spotify, it is a playlist made to “Help you relax and concentrate,” which is exactly what I needed. I assumed my typical position on the floor and let the atmospheric music flow.
Many are unaware that yoga is a form of meditation. Yoga was developed around the same time as classical meditation, and has been used for centuries for calming the mind while also keeping you physically fit. Finding different easy yoga moves for beginners isn’t difficult. Many of these moves can improve flexibility, remove stress, health, and of course physical fitness. The reason yoga is looked at as a form of meditation is due to the fact that yoga lets you self reflect. Self reflection is a big part of mediation overall, as it helps you see who you truly are and what you can change about yourself (or what you can learn to love.) According to the Huffington Post, “Two-thirds of yoga students and 85 percent of yoga teachers have a change of heart regarding why they do yoga,” and that reason has to do with a self realization of their full, potential. Yoga is something that is both physical and spiritual. While meditation is purely trying to clear one’s mind and connect to some higher power, yoga is both while also physically asserting yourself. Going into it, I was very familiar with yoga and had been involved in classes in my past. The difficult part that takes the most practice balancing the breathing and the movement. Breathing is something that cannot be forgotten when it comes to yoga. I brought Friday in with transcendental meditation. As Healthline describes it,“Transcendental meditation is the most popular type of meditation around the world, and it’s the most scientifically studied.” It involves creating a mantra. A mantra is typically defined as a word or sound to repeat during meditation.
However, when it comes to transcendental meditation, you can repeat a phrase that you’ve heard or created that you believe will help you in what’s happening in your life. For someone like me, young and mostly stressed out, I decided to go with the phrase, “do not fear the future.” For me, and more many young people, the future is something that can be both exhilarating and terrifying. Going off to college and moving on from this point in my life is something that I can’t stop. By repeating this phrase, I was able to put everything in perspective. While I couldn’t necessarily “connect” with anything or “become one with the universe,” I was able to see myself from a different view. This type of meditation lies amongst the ones I would do again in the future. Meditating for a week definitely made me think, above anything else. Pondering about things isn’t something I do often, so it was quite a change for me. The lack of thinking about anything else besides breathing and focusing on one particular thing left me with a lot of thoughts flooding my mind after the 10 minutes were over. On any normal week, a stressful day would begin with a stressful morning. During my week of meditation, amongst the uncertainty of the week to come, I had something to hold onto. At first, it was a bit overwhelming. After a few days, it became a good thing. To those with hectic mornings, sleepless nights or uncertainty in their lives, take a deep breath and feel the oxygen circulating through your lungs. Take up the art of breathing, and see how good it is to feel alive.
photography by: Grace Galarraga
constant reality By: Angie Martinez
I sit in the waiting room of the school counselor during my fourth- period class for I canâ€™t bear the grief that fills me. I could never begin to imagine the horrific emotions kids in Texas are feeling this very moment. This magazine has become a platform to share what I feel passionate about, and justice for those affected by school shootings is what I am passionate about. The fear of dying at the hands of an active school shooter should not be the price for education and freedom. Our nation has been plagued with events that only exist in nightmares. I fear coming to school, even though it is right across the street from a police station. The Parkland shooting was like a slap in the face to me. It was Valentineâ€™s Day and I lay on my desk during my fifth-period class, close to tears because the guy I liked gave a girl a rose and my heart was broken. To distract myself, I plunged into the depths of Twitter to look at photos of dogs. Instead, I was faced with the trending hashtag, ParklandShooting. I remember in the back of my head thinking, another one? This mentality is making us become accustomed to school shootings happening once or, God forbid, twice a month. We have become extremely oblivious to these events happening. We see on our Snapchats, people posting about their prayers being sent out. We see celebrities tweet about it, we hear people talk about it. Yet, today on Friday, the eighteenth of May, I had never seen a school act more normal. I feel as if my emotions toward the news were out of place. I saw kids laughing during our lunch and I thought about the children who died due to a school shooting. I thought about them laughing about stupid jokes.
artwork by: Grace Briquelet
It has been three mere months since the Parkland shooting in Florida. 17 students lost their lives, a cruel punishment for wanting to learn. In three months, nothing has happened. Are we really just going to sit and expect everything to be handed to us? At this point in time, we should realize that the government is not going to help us. We need to stand our ground. The Santa Fe shooting. Students say they weren’t surprised it happened. They were expecting a shooting to happen sooner or later. We shouldn’t have to “expect” a shooting to happen just because it’s been happening everywhere. As I previously stated, no one should fear going to school. Sabika Sheikh, a 17-year-old exchange student tragically lost her life in this incident. She was part of the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Programme and was studying in Texas. The Pakistani Embassy in Washington said in a statement to the CNN Network explaining that she came to America because she enjoyed learning about American history and wanted “To learn from the best.” Sabika was helping to build ties between the US and Pakistan.
This is something that should no longer be swept under the rug. This is something we disregard simply because Meghan Markle is joining the royal family by marrying Prince Harry. As the 22nd shooting in America alone, this has become a cycle. An incident happens, we discuss it, come up with different methods to help, but then we are told we are too young to know what’s right. We can no longer allow them to step over us. The amount of times I’ve heard, “We’re doing everything in our power” is remarkable. If you’re doing everything in your power, why is nothing changing? We said Parkland would be the last. We believed Parkland wouldn’t happen again. We believe what the government wants us to believe. When will we, as a generation, open our eyes and “Stay woke?” When will we do something about this? No one should have to fear anything. No one should just turn a blind eye. If you see something, do not stay quiet. Saying something could potentially save your life and others too.
e r w o o f P positivity
By: Ally Brodmann Happiness comes in many shapes and sizes, from petting a dog or beating someone at Mario Kart to waking up to a warm cup of tea in the morning. Happiness, to me, are all of these things combined into one. As an individual, you are continually faced with challenges, difficulties, and temporary setbacks. They are unavoidable and a part of being human. By learning how to manage stress and respond with a positive attitude to each struggle, you’ll grow as a person and feel better about yourself. Here are just a few tips on how you can stay positive through those stressful times: Lesson #1: Life is Tough. Deal with It.
Sometimes, things are difficult. We all have those moments. Your legs are tired and you still have to get through one more game. A long-term relationship could be falling out. It’s AP Testing week or finals week and you need to cram.
Plus, there are all the little struggles of everyday life. You’re in class and can't get wifi. You’re at home looking for the ice cream and your sibling ate the last of it. You’re talking to your friend and realize he or she isn’t really paying attention. Everyone understands what it is like to frustrated and upset. Noticing that life contains inevitable problems is is different from thinking that we should give up trying to make life better. Some people add a lot of unnecessary frustration, anxiety, and self-criticism by resisting the problem or avoiding it altogether. Instead of getting aggravated by it, try on this attitude: “I signed up for this.” It’s a lot less stressful. Don’t blame yourself for the things that you have no control over or have already happened.
photography by: Ally Brodmann
Lesson #2: There Are Good Deeds.
Lesson #3: With Positivity Comes Happiness.
Unfortunately, you will not find very many news stories about the nurse dedicated to helping patients, the emergency worker who made the decisive difference, or the officer trying to keep a person from committing a crime. Simply, the national section of news is far more concerned with other things. It is surprising how rarely positive events make the news when compared with another problem that is quick to fill the space. Like stated by Jonathan J. Doll in The Huffington Post, “When people do what is right, it is often expected of them.” Not many people go out of their way to congratulate others for doing something good. Imagine a completely different world. It is a place where we thank people frequently for doing good and simply focus on the positives and what is going right. We make an effort to recognize what is good and give it some importance compared to the problems that also exist. The negative examples of failure will always be there, but the positive habits that people are engaging in daily need to be encouraged if we want to see them increase.
We've all heard it before: "Stay positive… Look on the bright side… Don't let things get you down." The fact is it’s way easier said than done. The problem with negative thinking is that studies also show that this type of mindset can actually affect our health. According to the Public Library of Science, “Negative thinking can be the main predictor of many mental health problems.” Research stated in the Mental Health America comments that it can even have a negative impact on our lifespan in the long run. Basically, staying positive doesn't just make us happier, but it could be helping to keep us healthy. Trying things like getting rid of negative thinkers in your life or sharing positivity with other people can go a long way. I understand that looking on the bright side can be really, really hard in the moment, but the good news is that there are multiple strategies for staying positive, and feeling better overall. When focusing on the strengths in your life, you will find so much more joy in the things that surround you.
By: Natalie Han
feat. Jameson Jaksch
In today’s age, the internet is saturated in music stemming from countless online platforms. Everyday, artist are releasing their own self-produced beats and sound into the world. One of the definitive outlets for artists is Soundcloud which allows users to easily share their art. One emerging artist is Jameson Jaksch or Scott Clockwork. At only 15 years old, Clockwork has already released his debut rap album Beach Goth and a plethora of singles on his SoundCloud. Having grown up on The Smiths and Joy Division, Clockwork is able to cleverly combine their style with that of modern artists such as Tyler, the Creator, Frank Ocean, and Danny Brown to make his own unique beats. His lyrics reveal his vulnerable side and deals with loneliness, isolation, and fake friends that come with growing up. Currently, Clockwork is working on his upcoming album, but allowed Slick Magazine the pleasure of an exclusive interview.
How did you come up with your name, Scott Clockwork? For like three months, I couldn’t come up with a name that I stuck with. All of them were really stupid. So I was in my room and I looked at my library area and I had my Scott Pilgrim book right next to A Clockwork Orange and I thought, “Okay, well Scott Clockwork isn’t horrible.” What were some of your older names? They were really bad. One of them was Dante, the Poet. Did you release any music under that name? I did, but I deleted it all. It was so bad. It was more of an R&B style. What first inspired you to pursue music? I have always wanted to. It has always been my passion. I tried forming bands when I was 9. The closest I got to forming a punk band was when I was in eighth grade but it fell apart in the summer. That’s when I started getting into rap and R&B. That’s when I figured out that you can make music by yourself and that it’s easier than dealing with a band. photography by: Dixie Chatt
jameson jaksch alice
photography by: Dixie Chatt
What genre of music do you produce? Really just rap. I am trying to challenge myself by producing a lot of R&B-ish stuff that's more indie. What sort of equipment do you use? At the moment, I am using an Akai MIDI keyboard, and some microphone. I forget what exact type it is. I am also using the program FL Studios to produce my music for SoundCloud. Do you play any instruments? I can play the basics of a lot of things like guitar, bass, drums, and the keys. I am not that good though. Any upcoming projects? Yeah, I am working on an album right now called Malice. Currently, I have several songs and beats left to complete. I plan to release the album in late June. How is it gonna be different from Beach Goth? I think it’s going to be easier to take seriously than my first album because I’m not taking it as seriously. Does that make any sense? With Beach Goth, I think I got ahead of myself. The album I’m currently working on is dark, but it's fun. Are you helped by any other producers? Yeah, I have my friend named Colin who helps me produce most of my stuff. I have had different producers message me and help me with sounds and beats. Is there anything else you would like to say? For the people who listen to my upcoming album, you will either like it or you won't. It’s just something I have worked hard on. At the moment, Scott Clockwork is one of the most exciting acts in Huntington Beach at the moment. Having not even graduated high school, the young artist is still exploring his own style and constantly improving his craft. As for now, Jameson Jaksch or Scott Clockwork is one to look out for in the coming years.
By: Andrea Cervantes & Amber Zeng Fashion, one of the major topics seen throughout Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, has exploded throughout the years with new designs and fresh perspectives. Fashion has been influenced by many different countries across the globe as each country leaves their own impact on the new trends that we see today. Korea has especially gravitated towards the topic of fashion as many famous artists have been leaving their impact in the fashion community. Major artists such as BlackPink and Twice have left fans yearning for what their next outfit will be.
K-pop has brought new light to the fashion community, stressing the importance of the artist representing their personal brand through their looks. As K-pop paves the way for the future of music, they also begin to open the door for fashion to expand into something extraordinary. Fashion is well known for being expandable and with the help from the Korean community, it can be introduced to a new pavement in the world of fashion.
BlackPink is known for being one of the most fashionable groups out there. Their mixture of cozy and chic is seen throughout their everyday looks. One member in particular, Rose, has left an impact as her elegant, casual go-to look has given her the title of the fashionista of the group. As we know, being a fashionista doesnâ€™t always mean you have to rock bright colors and loud prints as the fashion word tends to portray. Rose seems to sidestep this label, her outfits mostly consisting of a big winter coat matched with a plain t-shirt. To complete her looks, she wears a pair of your run-of-the-mill jeans followed with a pair of sneakers. Major girl group, Twice, continues to hold the cozy, boyfriend look throughout their style. Jeongyeon is well known for conquering such style throughout her outfits as she is usually seen wearing baggy t-shirts and sweaters with either a comfy pair of sweats, or some casual denim shorts. Her everyday style isnâ€™t as flashy compared to her stage costumes seen on stage, she flaunts vibrant pieces relating to the overall concept for their album. After the lights dim, she returns to her casual trendy outfits.
photography by: Andrea Cervantes
Dear Diary... By: Angie Martinez
I don’t tend to talk about things like this. I don’t like sharing my emotions. Sure, I’ll cry in the middle of my P.E. class, but I still don’t talk about it. My friends stare at me as I begin to sob and other kids stare at me too. I try my absolute hardest to not make a huge scene, but the snickers of the kids on the other side of the room seem to get louder. My friends laugh it off because it isn’t my first time crying. They’ve become used to it. The teacher in one of my classes asks how their day is going. A chorus of “good,” “your mom,” and “okay” is all everyone hears. Under my breath, I say “I’m sad and I feel like I don’t belong here.” Obviously, no one says anything because I said it quietly and that’s my fault. If I want someone to notice me, I should’ve said it louder. To my fellow peers, I would be deemed as an attention whore. What’s the point of sharing my feelings, if someone is going to criticize me for it? One of my friends is talking with me and I bring something up. She scoffs at me, saying she doesn’t care. If she doesn’t care, then why would anyone else? Why is she still here talking to me? I know she’s just talking to me because she’s waiting for her better friends. I’m just not good enough for anyone. I can feel the drops of tears begin to well up in my eyes and her face scrunches up. “You really gonna cry again?” she says before I shake my head. She sighs and walks away. No one wants to be friends with me.
I’m not going through anything. I’m not sad. I’m not going to cry again because it’ll show how weak I am. That’s what I tell myself as my life falls apart and the emotional side of me begins to show itself. I know that this article is becoming personal. Now you, the reader, happen to know my inner thoughts. As titled, Dear Diary, these are my personal feelings. Like I said, I don’t tend to talk about my feelings. I don’t like telling people I’m sad. I don’t like having people know how I’m feeling and what’s going on. Nothing is going on. My parents aren’t divorced. They make a good source of income and we’re doing fine. My family loves me. I have friends who love me and support any decision I make. Then why, I continually ask myself, why do I feel so alone? Why do I feel so sad all the time? Why do I feel like there’s no one there for me? It sounds cliche because it is. Everything I’m feeling at this very moment, the kid next to me could be feeling too. Growing up, I’ve always spent my life alone. My mom never lets me go to parties or hang out with friends because her mind has been brainwashed by the amount of Investigation Discovery she watches. I would spend a majority of my time, locked in my room rewatching Star Wars movies. To this day, whenever my friends invite me to go places, my mom needs to know who the friend is, where we’re going, what we’re doing. Everything. I feel as if I’m trapped in a prison of a helicopter parent. I know it’s for my own good, but it feels as if she’s against me.
My dad used to yell at me a lot. He would teach me different things like how to hammer a nail properly and I just couldn’t do it. Being the emotional mess I am, tears began streaming down my face because I was frustrated. My dad hates it when I cry and he began to get really mad. Getting in my face, I could feel his hot breath as he yelled at me. This wasn’t the first or last time. At one point, all my self-esteem had dropped, and to be honest, I felt worthless and as though I couldn’t do anything. Looking back at these scenarios, I’ve realized that it was my dad who probably helped my self-esteem drop. There was a certain time period where my dad wouldn’t call me by my name. He called me, niña, which in Spanish means girl. During that time, I felt like my identity had been stripped away. It’s one thing if a stranger calls you girl. When your own father, who gave you your name, doesn't call you by your name, it's a whole different feeling. His temper growing up has become something I’ve inherited. I’ve tried controlling it and I do. I bottle it all up until someone says something, that's when the bottle breaks. I don’t like making a huge fuss and creating attention towards me. I had this friend who would call me horrible stuff or she would tease me. I couldn’t hold it in one day and I ended up yelling at her in Spanish. I don’t want to do this anymore. I hate yelling because it reminds me of my dad. “Believe in yourself.” “Just be yourself.” Those phrases, in particular, freak me out. I don’t even know who I am. How do I believe in myself when I can’t? I don’t know who I am. I don’t know if the “me” I’m putting out is the actual me. When I begin to act like myself, I’m told to stop and “be myself.” I may seem like a happy person who likes to write, but when I start acting like the sad person who is constantly feeling unhappy, it’s not okay. It’s not me. “Just be yourself.” Who is me? Who am I? Will I ever win? Do I even serve a purpose in this world?
I happen to know this is freakishly long. I know that no one cares about my personal anecdotes. I want to get my point across. Feeling sad isn’t just about making Simpsons edits about love or being alone. Having low self-esteem isn’t something you post on your Snapchat with a black screen and really small text. Depression is something, in my opinion, you keep to yourself. I understand that maybe you don't have anyone to talk to. Your only way of reaching for help is social media and that's okay. There are those who think it's cool to be sad and unmotivated to do anything. I’m not depressed. Or at least I don’t think I am. I just have really low self-esteem. I just don’t like myself, frankly. The question is, can low self-esteem lead to depression? If you don’t like yourself, you’re more likely to be depressed. It makes sense. Most people nowadays joke around about low self-esteem, but they don’t know the definition. As defined by Google, most people with low self-esteem feel unworthy, incapable, and incompetent. Having low self-esteem isn’t just about loving yourself. However, it does take an enormous part in forming the low self-esteem. But, I’m not one to talk. I’m no doctor. I wouldn’t know anything. I’m taking a majority of this information from PsychologyToday.com and different Google searches. I am not a professional. I wrote this in the hopes of having someone see a different perspective from what is usually seen. If anyone out there thinks that depression or any mental illness is a joke, funny, or they like to romanticize the truth behind it, they can use this to understand that isn’t what depression is. Being depressed, in my eyes, has nothing to do with where you grew up or your household. It doesn’t matter if your rich or poor. Depression can happen to anyone at any time. To the adults who try and tell those with mental illnesses, they should feel grateful for what they have or try to make them feel guilty for feeling a certain way: depression is a chemical unbalance in the brain. Ungratefulness has nothing to do with feeling depressed. Your home or money situation isn’t the reason behind depression. Those are just things that take part and form a depression.
The Importance of Clothing Within the LGBT+ Community By: Carter Bernard A common problem in today's society with the exploration of gender are older generations treating people within the LGBT+ community like they're going through a phase. Some of the new gender rules that have changed deal with clothing and how we dress. A transgender friend of mine had gotten ready for his day before his mother told him to wear a dress. He, however, identifies as a male. So he went to school that day wearing the dress that his mother had chosen and had people looking at him, complementing him and even getting catcalled. He didn't like being stared at or receiving compliments for something that he was not. Clothes are an important part of life and our identities. We express ourselves through what we choose to wear, and it reflects how we feel on the inside. So it is unfortunate when what we wear is dictated by others’ guidelines of gender. Clothing can be gender fluid. We shouldn’t be judged by what we wear. Clothing shows how we want to present ourselves, and for some of us, that presentation is everything.
People within the LGBT+ community can be subjected to rigid criticism from the rest of society. While acceptance has grown tremendously in the past few years, there are still many people who hold on to old prejudices. Everybody wants to be comfortable in their own skin and to be accepted for who they feel they are. There are many ways to show comfort and security and one of those ways is through clothing. That's why it's so important for us to let go of these pre-conceived ideas, and just let people be themselves. We all want to dress in a way that makes us feel confident. Especially when it comes to one's gender. Nothing is wrong with being adventurous through one’s clothes. As long as you have the confidence to go with it. After all, clothing is just material we wear on our bodies. Sadly, some people are still given problems for wearing clothing that they feel comfortable in. Our society needs to reflect upon itself and be much more accepting of gender clothing experimentation. To anyone who may question or subjugate people like my friend, please try to remember that clothes are only items people wear. You can try a new look, experiment, and if you dislike it, that is okay too. If you have any questions about differences concerning gender and sexuality, you should consult a trusted adult or friend. Our school, like others, has a GSA/LGBT+ club for those who want to make new friends and feel safe in a different environment.
artwork by: Grace Briquelet
* Trigger Warning: This article contains information about sexual assault which may be triggering to survivors.
Shattering The RoseTinted Glasses By: Grace Gillett
recently came upon an article about child marriage. I was expecting a discussion of parents selling their children to be wed in faraway places. Displayed on my laptop was an article by The Conversation. It read, “Child marriage has a long and vibrant history in the United States.” I was shocked. A thirteen-year-old in New Hampshire can legally get married with their parent’s consent. Believe it or not, statistics show Caucasian American girls with U.S. born parents have the highest chances of being married as a minor. According to Unchained, At Last, between the years 2000 and 2010, 167,000 minors were married in the United States. Who would have guessed that some of the things that people deem immoral could be legal in today’s society? What is keeping these young American brides out of the media circuit?
During the Colonial era, it was very common for a minor to get married. Most were female, but that does not mean that it was only girls. In 1686, scholar Henry Swinburne wrote that when a person hits puberty, (age 12 for girls, and age 14 for boys) they are adults and can make their own decisions. Many were silent on this issue until 1937 when a 22-year-old married his 6-year-old neighbor in Tennessee. The country blew up. Everyone was writing about the unprincipled union between Charlie Johns and Eunice Winstead. Legislators in Tennessee knew that something had to change. They passed a bill changing the legal age of marriage to 16-years- old. Other states would later continue to release more stories such as this one. Since there is nothing in The Constitution about child marriage and the legal age limits, it is one hundred percent up to the states to define what is an okay age for legal marriage. Some kids are getting married even before they can legally consent.
photography by: Dixie Chatt
artwork by: Grace Briquelet
One key reason for these unjust actions is the desire to exert power and harm others. Some religions do not oppose the act of child marriage. Polygamy is a practice that supports having more than one spouse at a time. Additionally, many of these marriages involve teenagers. Multiple child brides can live for a very long time and “carry on” the genes of the husband. In some situations, the girls are married against their will, but some girls like older men and having the responsibility of having children and doing housework. There are plenty of people who do not consider the risks of marrying the person who harmed them, so children are forced into marriage. A woman named Sherry Johnson was married at 11 years old. She was a conservative Pentecostal and was raped by the bishop and the church deacon. One day at school, Sherry Johnson was called to the nurse to get some vaccines and a check-up. After everyone was sent back to class, she was called back into the office and her mother was there. Sherry was seven months pregnant; she knew that it had to be the deacon. If a school ever finds out that a child is in danger, they have to report it, so they did. Because of the status of the deacon in the church, her mom covered her pregnancy with marriage. The church she attended did not let her take birth control, so she continued having children; everytime her husband, the Deacon, would leave her to fend for herself in her room alone. School, the only normal thing in her life, was taken away after having her sixth child by the time she would have been in ninth grade. She would never experience the feeling of going to prom or a pep rally or even playing a sport. Everything was torn from her life; she was an empty shell of a girl who had so much ahead of her. When a child is raped, it affects them massively on many levels. Victims can become dissociated from others, depressed, get PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). However, being married to an abuser is much worse. Having to see their face every day and being used and abused is beyond tragic. Often society believes that since someone is married they automatically give consent. They are not being allowed to live the normal life that they deserve. .
Currently, Sherry Johnson is fighting for change. When she was married, she felt that the whole system had failed her. For the past five years, she has been in Florida courtrooms trying to raise the age of legal marriage. This year she sponsored a bill to pass in Florida, banning all marriage before age 18. It passed with the exception of a pregnant 16 or 17-year-old to a person no more than three years older than the girl pregnant. This is a good start, but there is so much more that can be done. There are about 23 states that still have no legal floor establishing the youngest age for marriage. In Virginia, until 2016, laws made exceptions for girls as young as 13 to marry if they were pregnant and had parental consent. In 2017 a representative of New Hampshire drafted a bill to raise the age to 18. Another representative, David Bates, was against the bill. He claimed that “There is no way our legislature is going to tell [them] they’re old enough to risk their lives for our country but they’re too young to get married.” Which is an interesting take on why child marriage is allowed. Kids are being shattered by adulthood and forced to see the world as a dark and scary place. This is not something that is just going away. Some Americans throw issues to other countries and shame them and their cultures rather than looking inwards and trying to fix our own problems. We need to band together and make an active attempt to push for change. Unchained, At Last, is a foundation that is trying to combat girls forced into marriages whether it be a minor or a legal adult. They provide free legal and social services while giving emotional support along the way. They are the only organization in America that helps these girls who lack parental support. They suggest emailing your state legislatures. On their website, you can donate to the company to help the members continue the hard and thoughtful work they do. Or you can join their email list to be informed of their current fundraisers and protests. Visit their website www.unchainedatlast.org to learn more about child marriage and what you can do to stop it.
Our Beautiful World By: Christian Fukino
This is kinda vague, but… I’ve been thinking recently. Our world is really broken, isn’t it?
Where? … Ah, I see it. Let’s pull over… Good grief, how many have we found since our last stop? This is the twenty-fourth, I think. I didn’t mean—nevermind. Still, though, what’s with us finding so many pieces of trash? This isn’t a common highway. Dunno. Are we getting close to a city?
We must be. Anyway, let’s get moving. Night’s going to come soon.
Are you thinking about the pieces of trash we found? Yeah… I think so. I mean, there are so many problems around today. Think about it: the amount of trash we’ve picked up on this highway is almost nothing compared to what you might see on a major industrial freeway. Pieces of trash, debris, and plastic have gotten so problematic that recycling efforts have slowed to a crawl. We’re even running out of money and resources to ship the trash into the sun. True, and the amount of trash here on earth is growing to the point where many cities have been replaced with junkyards that only add to the pollution problem.
Pollution is most likely the most dangerous problem in the world, maybe along with global warming. Actually, global warming is probably the stereotypical one that everyone’s thinks about when world problems are discussed, right?
It’s not the only thing humanity screwed up.
Probably. I personally see global warming and pollution as the joint most powerful evils of humanity. The two are closely related, after all.
Remember Yosemite? That was one of my favorite spots of the ones we’ve visited.
I remember back in school when my teacher talked about the consequences of them. Honestly, she, along with all of the other environmentalists in that day, did everything they could. Apparently, earth’s temperature is still rising, too. You also have been commenting on how warm it’s been getting recently. Heh, it is June. Of course it’d be getting warmer. Oh, look.
That’s true. It really… annoys me how ignorant we can be at times.
Yeah, I remember. Now, though, it’s closed off for industry. It’s the same story around the world. Yellowstone, the Amazon, Glacier, Plitvice Lakes, Paklenica, and even the Grand Canyon are no longer protected. Pretty soon, we’ll be living on the moon.
They are building already, after all. I don’t think it’d be as enjoyable traveling on the moon as it is here on earth.
What convenient timing. When I was a kid, there was lots and lots of life in the ocean. Now…
I agree with that. Riding on the moonscape with low gravity… It’d be hard to get used to.
It’s desolate, huh?
… Hm? Oh, sorry. It’s just… gazing out into the open ocean like this is a bit nostalgic. I suppose we should hurry and find a city to settle down for the night.
It might be fun for a while, but I get your point. Plus, with all of the pollution and climate change, entire habitats and natural ecosystems are lost. The Great Barrier Reef, for example, is gone now. I remember when we were fighting and clinging to it, but it ended up fading away, just like the rest of the sea… I suppose global warming and pollution aren’t the only things accelerating our demise. Soren, do you remember when we visited that city last year when it was invaded?
There are probably tons of little pieces of trash floating out there. Looking at it now, it’s hard to imagine that animals used to live in there. Humanity really screwed up in that regard. Some places are so polluted that people can’t even live there anymore.
One of the things that stuck with me when I witnessed that was how destructive war truly is. Most of that city was leveled, and the trees surrounding it were nearly all burned down or annihilated.
Yeah. Save for some bacteria, plankton, and bottom dwellers, it’s completely empty. It’s still pretty to look at, occasionally. That is if we don’t see trash in the water… Ris?
It left most of the population in ruin—not to mention that they’re probably in poverty now, too. Exactly, and there are people all over the world with that problem. They’re too poor to afford anything, so they turn into scavengers—vagabonds forced to find precious little with hopes for a chance to survive. We’re lucky, Soren, that we can travel without those kinds of problems. You know what happens when people have to find whatever they can to survive.
I remember. People with different religions, ideologies, and ways of life are often viewed negatively by the majority. That’s another problem with humanity. We form pacts, and anyone who even briefly opposes that pact is looked down upon. Wait... Do you hear that?
Yeah. They start fighting all over again. People might even kill one another for anything in that state. What’s even worse is that people have done similar things in the past and even continue today in some ways. The minorities of the world are put down further just because of their unchangeable situation. When prejudice spreads, fear explodes.
Look over that hill. They’re cutting down the forest.
Back in the days when America was young, one of the most controversial topics was slavery. People didn’t see them as other people; they only saw them as property—things meant to work, serve, or die.
Oh! Look over there! A pack of wolves!
Fortunately, somehow, that problem was mostly solved. The minorities are still viewed negatively, though.
You think they were forced out by the loggers?
That gentleman we met last week, remember what he told us?
They can’t survive like that. They’ll die soon, probably. Hunger or disease… they might even be eaten by others being forced out, too.
Yeah. His family grew up in the poor part of that city because his ancestors were enslaved. Even now, he said it was hard for him to get a job. His children were bullied in school. You’d think more work would be done to help them, but…
Mm. It’s not only that kind of minority that is pushed around, either. People are shunned merely for their beliefs. A few months ago, we visited that modern city where those who weren’t straight were forced into harsh labor.
...Yeesh. After all of these years of deforestation, they’re still going? Hard to believe the Amazon was a lush jungle at one point. You’d be hard-pressed to find a wild, living tree anywhere there.
Ah, I see them. Look at that! They’re so… … so thin.
It… looks like it, huh?
What’s even worse is that there are people in that kind of situation all over the world. Kind of like what happens when a city is destroyed, some unfortunate individuals are born into that situation, despite being surrounded by unreachable happiness. It’s incredible to me that humanity is capable of causing such sorrow... C’mon, let’s move along.
Hey, Ris? While we’re on the subject, remember the first time we met in that industrial city? Uh… yeah. What about it? Well, I remember passing by so many homeless people with old bottles and cigars at their feet. Oh… yeah, I remember. That city is… a place I never want to return to, if I can help it. The entire location is probably one of the most polluted places in the world. Really, the only positive about that city is its production of technology, but even new inventions can cause unholy problems. Mhm. There’s probably a good amount of people who fear an artificial intelligence rebellion—and that’s nothing to ignore—but I think the more prominent issue is the loss of jobs. That in and of itself probably is the reason for all of the homeless people in that city. Most likely. You’d think that, with all of the problems, people would do more about it. I think that the root of most problems in the world is fear. When people are afraid, they do irrational things. If that fear spreads, it leads to mass chaos. Greed is another one like that. People fight each other for prestige, people like getting rich to be above others, and people will put others down just to feel better about themselves. Still, that’s what being human is partly about. You are born with the innate feeling that you are the center of the universe. Anyone who opposes you immediately spawns a negative connotation. That’s the reason people were so reluctant to act in saving the environment, too. What a strange concept. There are multiple things wrong with humanity, and there always has been. Societal pressure, greed, lust, fear, and even extreme emotion can lead to unimaginable consequences.
Ironically, places where humans don’t exist probably thrive more than places protected by humans. I mean, look at Chernobyl. The site is still under lockdown, even after the New Safe Confinement, and it has more vegetation and wildlife than all of America’s natural parks combined. Overall, humanity took some majorly wrong steps along the course of history. I’m entirely certain that we forgot to mention a plethora of faults. And here we are, doomed to forever roam beside the sins of aforetime. As difficult as it might be, I’d like to see the world pure again. That’d be nice, wouldn’t it? A lot of people don’t believe that resolution is possible at this point. They feel that, even though they want to fix the world, people aren’t motivated to act. It was like that not too long ago, before everything happened: back when there were fish in the ocean, back when rainforests were green and vibrant, back when national parks were left wild and free. Still… Still, we couldn’t stop the apocalypse. Our world is ending, Soren. We’re the survivors, but we might not be for long. It’s common knowledge that the world’s state is deteriorating even more. Most of the people that we’ve met over the last couple years have agreed on that. They believe that the world is no longer savable. Not all of them, though. Uh-huh. There’s always going to be those who cling on to the last string of hope, no matter how thin… The sun’s almost set. Yeah. I guess it’s nice that the sunsets are still beautiful, despite everything. Mhm. They are, aren’t they? C’mon, let’s find somewhere to camp out. Hopefully, we can find a city tomorrow.
Soren, are you awake? Yeah. What is it? Just curious. You can go to sleep if you want… The world really is broken, isn’t it?
If the problem isn’t blatantly clear, people won’t act on it. They adopt a “someone else will deal with it” mentality and move along. With all of that in mind, Ris, what do you think? I remember you said that some people are hopeful while others are pessimistic, but what about you?
It is. I thought so. Still… Still? I still think the world is kind of wonderful. You know, like when we visit a city where the citizens are friendly, the scenery is breathtaking, the food is delicious, the streets are clean, the culture is fascinating… it’s those types of experiences that make me think the world is truly incredible. It gives me hope for the future.
… That’s a hard question. Even so, with all of the pollution, climate change, war, prejudice, poverty, scarcity, disease, corruption, inequality, destruction, and abuse, I want to keep believing. “Want to”? Does that mean you do? I don’t know. Let’s just say that, despite my lack of belief in redemption, I’ll always keep a little bit of optimism. That make sense? Frankly, I don’t really get it. That’s fine, too.
So do you think there’s the possibility to change the world for the better? At this point… whatever possibility it is, it’s low, especially considering how ignorant humanity is.
Really? Is that why you enjoy traveling, then?
Ignorance was one of the major factors that caused all of this. People didn’t see the immediate threats when they were there. Most of the time, it takes calamity to force us to live in the present, you know? Now that everything’s over, people still don’t want to do anything to fix it.
That’s probably one of the reasons. Experiencing all of humanity’s sorrows rather than hearing about them is more immersive, and it lets me make my own opinions on it. Also, as dangerous as traveling in the world nowadays is— even if we end up sleeping in the forest under the stars like this, and even if I have to kill others for our protection—I do want to keep on traveling. Personally, I feel like people are too busy watching out for what’s ahead that they don’t take the time to enjoy the present. So, I try to make every moment count.
Even those who want to cause the change don’t speak up. Not only is there a lack of care, there’s a lack of motive.
Oh well. That’s how it is, then. For as long as we are here, our world will have its ups and down. Here, in our broken world... Yeah… here, in our beautiful world.
photography by: Christian Fukino
photography by: Candy Hart-Peratt
beauty By: Candy Hart-Peratt This world is filled with extravagant beauty The way in which a flower loosley sways in the wind, its petals flaking off ever so elegantly and the sun beats down on its fluorescent purple hues Or the way the flames of a forest fire dance so wickedly, spinning and leaping from branch to branch as rich reds and oranges flare across the sky and the crackling of wood swarms your ears as an ambient background noise. Even the soil that we crush beneath the bottom of our shoes is so beautiful as Mother Nature nurtures the ground nesting seeds and harvesting them until it births the most amazing creation of all; life. 49
! p i r T d a o R Summer By: Katy Houchen, Kenzie Jones, & Emma Ford
We are the Blonde Squad, almost like Buzzfeed’s the “Try Guys” and “Lunchy Break” combined. Summer is just around the corner and the countdown to the last day of school just keeps getting smaller and smaller. Vacations and fun things to do in the hot days are coming into view! So now is a great time to start planning a summer road trip! It’s incredibly necessary to be prepared to make sure you have the best time, so a checklist of all the necessities is the perfect way to be completely ready for your next road trip.
When you are getting ready to go on a road trip, you need to plan ahead. You have to put together the best playlist, and pack the right things. There is so much to do! We have that handled. With this Spotify link (https://spoti. fi/2jRGNBb) we have compiled a playlist to jam out to while you are out on the road.
When you are out on an adventure to somewhere, there is quite some planning involved so that you do not forget anything that you may need. With this list of items, we will make sure that you will have absolutely everything that you could possibly need when going on your road trip. The most important thing that everyone needs to bring is their phone and charger because wherever you go you will still need to remain in contact with those not with you. Next thing you should bring is water and snacks so that you do not starve while on the road. Bring a first aid kit as well so if there are any unexpected injuries on your trip, you have got it handled. Another necessity is a toolbox, not just with a screwdriver, and stuff like that, but jumper cables and flashlights, anything that can help in an unplanned event.
photography by: Rachel Houchen
There are other items that one may need that may not be completely vital, such as chapstick, gum, mints, and deodorant. One may also want to bring sunglasses, especially if you are the one driving because the sun can be a bother to the naked eye. Depending on the places that you may go, you might also need to bring an umbrella and a blanket. Also be sure to bring along some sunscreen and some extra cash in case you end up a little short of money. The main point of a road trip is to have somewhere to go. Without somewhere to go, there’s no point in leaving your home in the first place. Places like Monterey Bay and Doheny Beach offer great beaches and fun for people of all ages. Whether it’s laying in the sand or swimming in the cool blue waters of the California Coast, everyone can find their thing to do at these three coastal locations. Malibu and Santa Barbara also offer these beach destinations, but can also offer fun piers of games and attractions as well as great restaurants and shops. Not looking for a beach destination? Heading inland toward the hot deserts of Palm Springs, California offers Joshua Tree, a destination known for its beautiful mountain views and sand dunes of all shapes and sizes. As the school year ends, summer is kicking in, and plans are being made. You now know the things necessary to make one of the summer’s beloved pastimes a success. Whether you love the beach or adventuring in the deserts of eastern California, all road trips will need a steady list to ensure safety and fun on your travels. Now you should be set for your very own summer road trip!
photography by: Rachel Houchen
Isabella : Strength Forever By: Christian Fukino & Moses Sandoval Aeternum Fortitudo. Strength forever. My father’s personal sword was forged by one of his closest friends as a gift for my father’s achievements in the Dorago Clan. He used it in dozens and dozens of battles, fending off countless Krogon soldiers and armies for years. One of the most impactful losses he had in the past was when he lost its custom scabbard, named Vita, during a raid on the Dorago kingdom. The base of the scabbard was golden with deep blue filling in between the etchings. The entirety of the length was covered with black, and its tip held a similar design to the base. I remember seeing Vita once before it was lost. A few months after, he retired and returned to his home in the countryside. It was mere weeks later that the Krogon advanced towards his home. I can feel my horse’s breath. She’s strong— she’s unsure, but ready. “It’s okay,” I whisper, “it’ll be over soon.” Athalos and Arthur gather their weapons and mount their horses. I turn back at Athalos, and he nods at me. I turn to Arthur, and he smirks deviously at me. I crack a smile. No, you’re not stealing my thunder. “We should get going,” Athalos says. “Hopefully, we can get there before dark and finish this.” With the sky’s blue gradually fading to orange, we set off towards the Dorago Kingdom. “Iz,” Arthur calls to me, “what’s your plan when we get there?” I take a moment. “I’m going to avenge my father. If things go well, we can end the war, too.”
“That’s a big risk,” he says. “Even with the other Dorago knights there, we’re going to be facing a massive army.” “I know. That’s part of the plan.” “What? What do you—” “Nobody will notice us in all of the fighting,” I explain. “That’s not where we’re going anyway. I’m looking for their leader.” Athalos sighs, shaking his head. “Even with all of your training, the Krogon leader isn’t someone to underestimate, Isabella. He’s going to be heavily guarded, so getting to him won’t be easy.” I gulp and take a breath. “If we can’t sneak our way through, then we’ll fight our way through.” As we arrive at the forests outside of the kingdom’s walls, the sun’s light fades beyond the horizon. I can hear the clashing of metal against metal, the courageous cries of warriors, and the horrified screams of bystanders who are unable to flee. A black smoke rises from the other side of the city walls, along with the crackling of a fire. “Oh no... It’s already this bad,” Athalos whispers, looking up at the black clouds billowing from behind the wall. The sky is dark, but the clouds’ distinctive shapes are outlined in a soft orange from the flames below. Suddenly, the three of us jump when the echo of an explosion rips through the air. “If we’re going to do something,” Arthur says, “we’ve gotta do it now.”
“There’s no way we can go through the front gate without being detected,” Athalos emphasizes. “If we want to sneak past, we’ll have to go over the wall behind a building.” While studying the wall, I remember something from when I was last here. “Follow me,” I say, “we’ll go to the blacksmithery towards the south of the kingdom. There’s plenty of shops that way, so we’ll have cover.” The blacksmithery is located on a quieter side of the kingdom. Finding the back wall is the easy part; getting inside without detection is the hard part. I hop off my horse and look up at the wall. With the only sounds audible coming from the opposite side of the kingdom, I nod with confidence back at Arthur and Athalos. We climb the rough stone pilling of the looming wall, and I peer over when I reach the top. Nobody’s here, we’re good. I can see the castle from the beyond the corner of the dirt path. As Arthur and Athalos drop down, I turn back and nod. “Hopefully,” I whisper, looking at the alleyways to see if I missed somebody, “we can make it through a back entrance of the castle.” Sneaking in the shadows like this—with the echoes of swords clashing against swords, the oppressive aroma of smoke in the air, and the uncomfortable heat from the inferno just a few blocks away—is something I never thought I would do. In a way, it reminds me of how I felt when my father was killed. I pass by corpses and hear the cries of the terrified as I walk. Back then, I could barely move until I was forced to run towards the forest. Now… “Iz, you okay?” Arthur asks. I notice that I’ve stopped walking. After a second, I come back to myself. “Huh? O-oh, yeah. C’mon, let’s continue.”
We reach the back of the castle. Its massive stone walls tower before us, stagnant and impervious to time’s treacherous trials. For decades, the castle of the Dorago Clan has stood as head of the kingdom, home to royalty, and symbol of fortitude and hope. The castle withstood attacks from dozens of raids, but this one seemed to push its walls to their limit. There’s an exit close to us which would lead to the castle’s main hall. Athalos approaches it and grabs the handle. “Locked,” he sighs, then peers through a hole in the wood. “It’s barricaded, too. There’s no way for us to get in without drawing attention.” “We’ll have to go in the front, then,” Arthur says. “If we’re lucky, the Krogons will still be towards the front wall of the kingdom.” Carefully, we creep around the castle’s outer wall. With the shadow of night approaching, the blazing swirls scattered throughout the kingdom become our main source of light. Raising his fist before us, Althalos silently tells us to stop. The intimidating march of metal boots slamming against the ground gradually grows louder, until we hear sudden banging against the castle’s front gate. “They’re breaking in,” Althalos whispers. “Wait here…” After what felt like an hour of anxious waiting, we hear the gate to the castle crash onto the ground, followed by the return of hostile marching. Moments later, the stomping halts, and Althalos once again checks the corner. He turns back around, and states, “It’s clear, for now. We should take the opportunity.” Following his advice, as we have for years, Arthur and I let our mentor lead us to the entrance of the castle. There’s no one at the gate, so we advance into the greeting courtyard beyond the destroyed gate.
Splinters of wood and metal are peppered across the grass, with an occasional discarded sword or spear. As we approach the entrance to the castle interior, we hear the resonating cries of men from deeper in the halls. “Come on,” Althalos says, “let’s go before—” “Halt!” I whip my head around to see two enemy soldiers with their swords drawn. “By the command of Sir Fendrel of the Krogon Army, you are under arrest!” the guard yells. I begin to draw Aeternum Fortitudo, but Arthur stops me. “I got this, you two go ahead.” “Arthur… you can’t take them alone—” “I don’t need to take them,” he smirks, “I only need to buy time, right?” I scoff. “If you say so. Just don’t go and die, alright?” Althalos steps towards Arthur. “My son—Arthur Pendragon—I leave this to you.” The confident knight nods and smiles. “Isabella, let’s go.” Before I run into the castle’s main hall, I turn around and see Arthur raising his shield before the two soldiers, yelling Come on! Come on! Somewhat egotistical and awfully rude, he’s grown to be a promising warrior. I can see that he’s almost grown as strong as me. Almost. The interior of the castle is surprisingly untouched, excluding the carpets that once neatly aligned the floors, which were punctured and ruined by the army that trampled over it. Athalos stops me as we hear the booming roar of a man giving a triumphant speech. Quietly, Athalos says, “That’s Fendrel.” I gulp. “You mean..?” “Yes,” he turns to me, “the man who killed your father.” Fendrel and his army are celebrating a victory by the king’s throne, and we are standing on the opposite side of a broken down door. Through the fringe of crushed wood in the doorway, I can see a dozen men cheering along the carpet. From where I am, I can’t see Fendrel, but I know he’s at the throne. I’m getting pissed. The very thought that a man like that killed my father—the last piece of family I ever had—and now believes that he is someone who should rule a nation is infuriating. Such a person should never be allowed the chance to take the throne. A king should provide for his subjects, be fair for his loyal knights, and lead the kingdom to glory. Someone who seeks to kill only to kill does not deserve such power. I’ve had enough.
“Stop!” I shout, entering the throne room. Suddenly, all Krogon knights draw their blades and glare at me. I draw my sword, while Athalos stares at me in shock. “What is this? Do you dare to oppose me, mongrel?” Fendrel beckons. “Do you truly believe that a mere peasant can even attempt to challenge my throne?” I clench my teeth. “It’s not your throne! This castle belongs to the Dorago Clan!” I raise my sword and point it towards Kendral. He scoffs. “Do you see a king to claim this throne? No. Therefore, I claim it for myself.” A group of knights circles me, clearly preparing for execution. I take a breath and tighten my grip on Aeternum Fortitudo. “Wait,” Fendrel says, halting his men. “Is that..? I remember that sword. So you’re that old mongrel’s daughter, from when we raided that old farmhouse. You came all this way for what? To kill me? I recall you fleeing for the hills that time.” I don’t respond to him; rather, I drop my sword into an attacking stance. The egocentric warrior chuckles, then continues, “Or… is this what you came for?” Fendrel removes his sword from his side and throws its scabbard onto the ground in front of me. It’s Vita. “If you did, you truly are a foolish peasant. Of all the treasures I have found in my travels, this is one of the least valuable. Still, it works as a replacement for my old scabbard.” He walks forward and boasts, “I have felled over a thousand men with my blade and conquered dozens of villages, kingdoms, and castles. What makes you think you have a chance to stop me?” Once again, I stand my ground and remain silent. I’m trying to hide my uncertainty, but I can feel the nervousness inside. I take a deep breath in hopes that it will stop my heart from pounding so fast. Fendrel orders the guards surrounding me to restrain me. Suddenly, one of the guards falls to the ground, impaled.
Athalos steps to me with his sword, slightly covered in crimson blood, at his side. “We could’ve made this a lot easier, you know, but there’s no turning back now.” “A second mongrel? You can’t truly believe that raises your chances of victory whatsoever, do you?” Fendrel smirks. “Still… you have the audacity to spill the blood of my loyal knights? Step forth!” The other soldiers withdraw, and Athalos and I walk towards Fendel. Fendrel barks, “Old man, come closer.” Athalos hesitates and steps in front of the prideful leader. “What did you think would happen here?” “I didn’t come here for my own gain,” Athalos says, “I am here to fulfill a wish.” Fendrel looks over to me. “Oh, you’re here because of her? How pitiful. Even someone like you has more fighting potential than her, and yet you lower yourself to her level. You truly are beneath me. Therefore…” A silver blade is thrusted through Athalos’s chest. “... you deserve to die.” “ATHALOS!” I cry, with tears flooding my eyes. At that moment, all of the enemy soldiers look towards me, and I feel a rush of dread. I see the soldiers raise their swords towards me, and… I can’t run. If I back down now, all of what I’ve done for the past 4 years will be meaningless. Everything that I showed in my duels with Arthur, everything that Athalos taught me, everything that my father fought and died for: all of that will be meaningless. If I can fight and win today, we might be able to turn the tide in the war. Maybe—just maybe—if I fight here, I can return to the grassy hills that surround the place I once called home.
Athalos falls to the ground with a pool of dark red around him. Fendrel scoffs then steps over Athalos’s lifeless body towards me. I force myself to keep composure. “You, girl,” Fendrel says with a disappointed frown, “tell me. What is it that you truly seek? Not that it matters, but I hope to have some reason as to why you’d waste my time.” I lower my blade. The tyrant sighs, “Still, you remain silent, as though it would benefit you in any way. Such a stubborn personality will grant you no happiness in life. Allow me to end your suffering, pitiful mongrel.” No. Fendrel stops. “Hm?” “No,” I say, “I will not die here. Not to you.” “You speak!” Fendrel laughs. “So, you do fear death. If you—” “Enough. I have come to avenge my father, and the time is here,” I declare. “Not before, not later, the time is now. That’s why…” I raise Aeternum Fortitudo one last time, “... I won’t leave with a defeat.” A devious grin stretches across Fendrel’s face. “Alright then. I shall grant you one wish,” he says, drawing his sword, “because it will be the last one you shall ever receive.” I’ve felt this kind of excitement before. All of those times I sparred with Arthur in the temple, except… this is so much more. I begin a countdown in my head. No, this is nothing like those times. I’m going to finish this. My countdown runs down until… En garde! I get the first strike. Lunging forward, I align my sword for a straight shot towards Fendrel. He parries the blow, leading to a series of sword clashes back and forth. Our sword lock for a brief moment before I jump back to recompose myself. “At least you aren’t making this an easy fight,” Fendrel says, “but the outcome will not change. I know where you come from, mongrel. You can’t win.” “Hah, you jest!” I yell. “If there’s anyone who knows what I’m capable of, it isn’t you!” I raise my sword back up and rush towards Fendrel, following up with multiple strong slashes. Even though he manages to either avoid or block my strikes, I keep going. If I can get him to make one mistake…
For what seems like every second, the piercing echo of metal against metal rings out. Neither one of us is showing weakness, dancing to and fro across the throne room. I’m growing tired of this. As our blades lock, I take a risk. My goal in kicking his side is to throw him off-balance and long enough for me to strike. If I’m off in the slightest, I’ve just given up my balance and exposed myself. I raise my sword up… Off. I force the kick too early, and the delivery is off. Fendrel isn’t affected in any way. “You’re done, mongrel.” He swings his sword down to me. At that moment, I see that I’ve just lost. I hear the sound of metal meeting flesh, and then… something I didn’t expect: Fendrel screaming in pain. Behind Fendrel is Arthur, holding his sword towards the ground. Fendrel’s left leg starts slowly turns red, and blood puddles around his foot. “I told you that you couldn’t do this on your own,” Arthur says, walking over to me. “Still, though, I didn’t kill him. I figured I wouldn’t hear the end of it from you if I did.” “AAUUGGH!” Fendrel screams, “YOU FOOLS! You let another intruder inside?! Kill them! KILL THEM NOW!” “C’mon, Izzy,” Arthur says, “looks like we’re not done yet. Let’s finish this once and for all.” “Alright,” I nod, shaking his hand, “let’s finish this.” Arthur crouches down beside his father and picks up his sword. He rises up, one weapon in each hand, and we stand back to back. I hold my sword sternly in my hands and prepare to pounce. Fendrel’s eyes, now a furious red, meet mine. Time slows to a halt. This is where it ends. Fendrel takes a step forwards before cringing in pain. Arthur hit his tendon, effectively immobilizing him. I know that, even with this advantage, I shouldn’t underestimate him. He can still walk, fight, and kill me if I’m not careful. With all of that in mind, I rush him. Aeternum clashes against Fendrel’s blade; he blocks it, but I can tell that he’s weak and on the defensive.
With the sounds of Arthur’s blades resonating behind me, I push towards Fendrel. I don’t want to give him a chance to recover, so I swing repeatedly as fast as possible. He parries one of my strikes and lunges his sword towards me, scraping against my shoulder. Ignoring the spike of pain, I swing to throw his sword upwards. One more time, I take the risk. My kick lands, forcing him to turn sideways and launching his sword out of his hand. Exploiting the open window, I swing my sword upwards. Aeternum slices clean through Fendrel’s back, painting his clothes in a bright red as he falls to the ground. “You will not destroy my people,” I say, above Fendrel’s collapsed body. I’ve won. The clashing of Arthur’s swords stops as the tyrant drops. All of the enemy soldiers freeze at the sight of their fallen leader. Before walking towards Arthur, I know that there’s one last thing I want to do. In the middle of the throne room, I kneel downwards and pick up the scabbard that once belonged to my father. Vita, despite showing the scars of battle, still holds its familiar image. Finally, Aeternum Fortitudo is reunited with its Vita. “Krogon soldiers,” I say, “your leader has been defeated. Therefore, I take it upon myself to give you a command: leave this place. Those who defy me will answer to my blade.” The enemy soldiers stand in silence before they all drop their weapons to the floor. I look over to Arthur, and he nods at me as Fendrel’s guards begin walking to the castle’s exit. Finally, I can catch my breath. Slowly, I walk towards my former mentor’s lifeless body. “Dad…” Arthur sighs, kneeling down, “you foolish old man.” With tears in his eyes, he gently places Athalos’s sword on his father’s chest. I kneel down beside him and whisper, “I’m sorry.” I can understand what he’s feeling. When no one else would, Athalos took me in and cared for me. Despite going against his personal wishes, he trained me to become a knight. He guided me down the right path and offered advice when the road grew uncertain. After I lost my father, he and Arthur became my new family. I was happy with them. Now, I have to be happy without him.
photography by: Christian Fukino
artwork by: Grace Briquelet
B T S By: Andrea Cervantes & Amber Zeng
-pop is a modern music genre, originating from South Korea, that has recently gained traction on an international scale. K-pop is a melting pot of different genres from western pop to rock and even to classical. While fairly new, the development of this genre has come from different “waves” in South Korea that eventually shaped it into what it is today. Recently, a group called BTS has become a worldwide phenomenon, even gaining fans from english speaking countries, a market that has been virtually untouched. However, BTS’ success could not have been possible without the countless artists who came before them and the advancements they made in the industry.
In the mid 20th century, western culture was gradually introduced to South Korea and, over time, resulted in the popularization of western music. However, in the 1990s, everything changed when Seo Taiji & Boys debuted, marking the start of a new era in Korean pop music. Their success launched the development of other hip-hop and R&B groups which skyrocketed in popularity and became the first generation of what would soon be known as K-pop. After this initial wave in South Korea, the concept of Idol groups developed in order to cater towards younger audiences. The first commercially successful idol group H.O.T paved the way for second and third generation K-pop idols like TVXQ, Big Bang, and SNSD. Since the 1990s, the world has experienced the rise of the Korean Wave, a significant increase in the international popularity of South Korean culture.
[They] currently hold the record for the most watched K-pop group music video for “DNA” which has 349 million views.
K-pop is one aspect of this wave. It has had success in foreign markets like Japan and China with K-pop artists such as TVXQ and BoA. However, despite the success of K-pop in Asian countries, the genre has left little impact on English speaking countries like the US. However, that changed in 2012 when Psy’s “Gangnam Style” went viral and became an international sensation. However, his breakthrough did not last long. It wasn’t until after BTS released their second album, Wings, in 2016 that K-pop once again emerged in the US. The album peaked at 26 on the US Billboard 200 chart and marked the beginning of BTS’ success in America. Most people might recognize the name BTS, but may or may not know who they are. BTS, aka the Bangtan Boys or Beyond the Scene, is a seven-member K-pop group consisting of Rap Monster, Suga, Jin, J-hope, V, Jungkook, and Jimin. Their international success is unprecedented, but the same question remains: why are they so successful? The odds were clearly stacked against them, so after their debut, many thought they would soon disappear. BTS comes from a small company, known as BigHit studios, which makes it harder for them to gain popularity. Larger companies like JYP, YG, or SM are able to promote their artists by featuring them on radio shows, tv shows, music programs, etc. However, smaller companies face more difficulty as they don’t have the same funds or connections as larger companies. Most people, including the members, attribute the group’s success to their online presence.
BTS have stated that they try to connect with their fans on a personal level. They share things they do on a daily basis, such as music they like, selfies, daily activities, etc. Their constant posts, raw personalities, and fan interaction have allowed them to amass a large social following early on in their career. Another factor to their success are their music videos. Since Youtube’s popularity has skyrocketed, it has become a platform that allows any musician to share their content on a global scale. BTS’ music videos have earned them countless fans and, in many cases, became the place where many people discovered them. K-pop companies invest a lot of money into their music videos in order to make them shareable and eye catching. BTS music videos have broken countless records online in the few short years of their career. In 2017, BTS got a Guinness World Record for being the most tweeted about celebrity, and they currently hold the record for the most watched K-pop music video for “DNA” which currently has 349 million views. K-pop’s popularity has only been increasing, and BTS has only scratched the surface of their potential. They have paved the way for other Kpop idols to succeed abroad like in the US, and in the next couple of years, the US may also see the rise of other foreign Asian artists and Asian American artists in the music business. For now, BTS next album, Love Yourself: Tear, has been out since May 18, 2018, so give it a listen!
photography by: Dixie Chatt
21 Day Fitness Challenge By: Kelsey Fuller
Most teens may find it hard to work out or stay healthy, whether that be with sports, school, homework, or maybe home life. That’s where I come in and help you find ways you can. The 21 Day Challenge is a way you can have a healthier lifestyle in a time crunch with working out and meal planning. You may find yourself in better shape than ever before.
Over spring break, I tried this challenge myself. I found it easier to eat well and workout while on break. There was so much more time during the day and less tempting options you may find at school. When I came back to school… it was definitely more difficult. I wanted to have what all my friends brought, the junk food. My friends helped me though, they helped me control the urge to eat all the food that wasn’t in my fix. So I recommend if you want to give into sweets, have your friends help you stay in control. My friends certainly made this diet a lot easier and more fun.
They showed me how to control the temptations I had, but also taught me that talking was much more fun than eating the junk. Ultimately, I saw better results thanks to them, rather than doing the diet by myself. First, we need to start with meals. Other than exercise, you need to be watching what you eat. Here are my typical meals throughout the day: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, although a lot of us tend to forget about it. I tried to make them as simple as they come. You can prepare a fruit salad the night before. Include pineapple, peaches, kiwi, blueberries, and apple slices! There is a reason as to why I chose these fruits, they all have health benefits. Sweet and tangy pineapple has an enzyme that narrows your chances of heart attacks, strokes, and yet it improves fertility. The enzyme known as bromelain is found in the pineapple juice and also in the stem.
Also the enzyme is found in most anti-inflammatory medicine sold over the counter. What a peachy day, I would say. Two medium size peaches have more essential minerals than one medium banana. Peaches have proven to also boost your nerve and muscle health from the essential minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, and magnesium. The essential minerals are nutrients needed for an organism to perform. A furry kiwi will not only protect you from cancer but also improve your eyesight. This superfruit is loaded with vitamins C and E which also help prevent aging. The smaller the better, and blueberries seem to second that. The anthocyanin not only gives the blueberries their blue color but also help with your brain power. The more blueberries you eat may help you in the long run; you’ll be less likely to develop being muscular degeneration. The apples have powerful antioxidant quercetin. Adults who eat apples are less likely to get high blood pressure. Eating these fruits raw will give you a balanced breakfast. I also recommend my personal favorite go-to breakfast: peanut butter banana toast. Nut allergies do exist, so I have found everyone a nut-free version of my favorite breakfast. Simply replace peanut butter with sunflower seed butter. This is perfect on the go breakfast and very delicious! We get hungry in between meals. I’m always hungry around 10 A.M., so here’s what I snack on. A KIND bar, the best thing about a KIND Bar is how natural they are. When you read their ingredients you can pronounce them and actually know what’s going into your system.
If you ever find yourself craving candy, instead pick up a 150 calorie KIND Bar. A typical KIND bar has under 15 ingredients. Normally all natural, which includes nuts, sweeteners, and chocolate. Not only can you read these ingredients but you can taste them. If you’re looking for an energy boost midday, grab yourself a V8+Energy. I am a caffeine junkie, so when I’m doing homework I look for something to get me through the rest of the day. A V8+Energy has 80 mg of caffeine which can get you through so much homework. The difference between the caffeine you may find in this can is toned down from just drinking black coffee. A lot of the caffeine comes from the fruit making the drink a bit more natural tasting. The best meal of the day would have to be dinner, we can all agree. You want to make sure you have a lean protein, a green vegetable, and a starchy grain. I enjoy having a boneless skinless chicken breast with asparagus and a sweet potato. This meal will keep you full and make you happy. For meal planning, I recommend something easy, so you can eat at school without the mess of anything spilling. So what you need is a protein, like a chicken breast cut up into stripsThen make veggies, I love carrots boiled; they become sweet and soft then melt in your mouth. To complete this meal, cook some brown rice or quinoa so your veggie and protein have something to lay on. Then grab sides, and viola you have a meal planned!
photography by: Dixie Chatt
Not only do you have to eat well, you also must workout. You should always do cardio, which is what burns the most fat and helps create lean muscle. Nike Run Club - Free for download: No additional purchases This app offers guided runs, where you have a trainer who will help you keep a good pace and push you to gradually quicken your pace. I liked this when I was only doing short distances like a mile or so. When I just wanted to run, it was able to tell me my speed and track where I was going. For a beginning runner, I recommend this app. Running - Free for download: 7 Day free trial - $50/year This app is very similar to Nike Run Club, but instead of being able to play your own music, they have premade playlist. They also have meal plans. I really love this app, I love the runs and how challenging they are. Interval running is an amazing workout, I love that you have a minute to walk to catch your breath before you have to run again. I really like how this app promotes longer runs between the 3-4 mile range. I recommend this for more experienced runners.
Now to get the abs of your dreams, I have prepared a work out. You can do these at home with no equipment, which trust me is the best. So youâ€™ll start on the floor on your back and do in-outs. You tuck your knees into your chest then back out. You will be doing 20 in-outs. Then still on your back, lift your legs above your head and reach for your toes, letâ€™s call these toe touches. Now we move to laying on the stomach for mountain climbers. You will get into the push up position and bring your knees to elbows, do 15 per each leg. To finish up the abs, you will hold a plank for 1 minute. With cardio and eating well, your body will feel great! Throughout this journey, I was challenged myself. It is shocking when you realize all the food you thought was good for you turn out sugary, too salty, or just bad for you in general. This challenge was an eye-opener, and I recommend it not only for your figure but for yourself. You will feel so much better. Without consuming all those empty calories and instead focusing on healthy food and excercise you will feel more awake, and even more alive.
photography by: Matt Sargent
baseball is back ! By: Matt Sargent Baseball is back! For the majority of Americans, this means one of two things. Either you are excited to follow your team for the next 162 games, or you are annoyed because your family is obsessed with the sport and you have no idea what is going on. Regardless, this season is set to be the most examined one yet. Let’s take a look at the biggest storylines after the first month of play this season. Sophomore Sensations For starters, last year’s rookies are being held to some high expectations. New York Yankees outfielder, Aaron Judge, broke Mark McGwire’s rookie home run record after he clobbered 52 home runs. Certainly, Yankees fans are looking for lightning to strike twice. As of May 2nd, 2018 he has seven home runs. As Well as Judge, the Yankees are looking for power out of their latest acquisition Giancarlo Stanton. The man who lead the league with 59 Home Runs on the season last year. Another rookie in his sophomore season is Dodgers first baseman, Cody Bellinger. While he didn’t put up home run numbers like Judge, he certainly made a splash in the Postseason with the team. A batting average of .267 and 39 home runs made him a shoe in for the National League Rookie Of The Year award. The 2018 season hasn’t been so good for him however.
Bellinger was benched by manager Dave Roberts in the 5th inning of their match-up against the San Francisco Giants on 4/29. Roberts’ reasoning behind the benching was explained as a “lack of hustle” by Bellinger after he hit a ball into the deepest part of right field at Levi’s Stadium known as “Triples Alley” The Rookie This year’s rookie class is what everyone is talking about this season. While stars like Gleyber Torres of the Yankees and Ronald Acuna of the Braves are certainly garnering the attention of their respective cities, there is no rookie this season that is getting worldwide attention. The two way player, Shohei Ohtani, has sent baseball into a frenzy ever since he was signed over the offseason to the Los Angeles Angels. While his Spring Training was less than amazing, he has settled into the majors very nicely. What sets him apart from everyone else is the fact he can throw upwards of 100 miles an hour and crush home runs over 400 feet. The 23 year old from Japan currently has a record of two wins, one loss this season, and 4 home runs this season. If Ohtani can reach 10 wins and hit 10 home runs, he will be the second player in MLB history to do so. He would be sharing company with The Great Bambino himself, Babe Ruth. Because of his recent success, the value of his baseball card is also setting records. Blowoutcards.com released a statement on the 24th of April stating that they will award $60,000 to anyone who can pull the Ohtani autograph superfractor out of the 2018 Bowman product that released on the same day. The catch? There is only one in existence.
Ohtani is certainly a sensation that is stretching across the nation and the world. Can he achieve the success that is demanded of him? He has until the end of September to prove himself. What Have I Missed? If you haven’t been following closely this season, you have already missed a lot. The first home run of the season was hit by Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ on the very first pitch of the season, Shohei Ohtani took a perfect game into the 7th inning during his second start as an Angel, Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval pitched a perfect inning in their loss against the Dodgers, and a pitcher Sean Manaea from the Oakland Athletics pitched a no-hitter against the white hot Red Sox. Manaea’s no-hitter is significant because the A’s began their season with one of the worst records, Manaea had never recorded a full game pitching in his 3 years in the big league, and did it against the Red Sox who had the best start to a season in franchise history. Did I mention there are still 5 months of baseball left? Who’s Hot? The two hottest teams in baseball right now are the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Boston Red Sox. Mookie Betts set a record for the most 3 Home Run games before the age of 26. The last to do so was the legend Ted Williams. Betts is playing like an MVP again, and nobody would be surprised to see his name in the running at the end of the season. Reliever Craig Kimbrel is putting games out of reach for opponents and Andrew Benintendi is doing measurably better in the leadoff spot as long as there isn’t a leftie on the mound. Across the country, the Arizona Diamondbacks are also in contention for first place overall. Patrick Corbin is putting up numbers that Arizona hasn’t seen since Randy Johnson was on the bump, AJ Pollock is crushing the baseball at a better rate than ever before in his 7 year career, Robbie Ray remains unhittable in the late innings of the game, and the entire team is functioning like every game is a Game 7. It’s incredible how early it is in the season, but of the 30 teams playing for a title, keep an eye on these 2 for a deep playoff run.
Who’s Not? Face the facts Dodger fans, the start to this campaign has not been the best for the boys in blue. Justin Turner goes down in Spring Training with a broken wrist and he isn’t expected back for a few more weeks. Yasiel Puig, arguably the biggest part of the Dodgers World Series run, is out with a bruised hip, Rich Hill hit the DL with an infection in his finger, Corey Seager needs Tommy John surgery and is out for the remainder of the season, and the 2017 Rookie of The Year Cody Bellinger is on the bench. Without these key members, you wouldn’t know this team had played in the World Series just a few months ago. L.A. is only 8 games out of first place and there is more than enough baseball to play to take back the West, but it’s a matter of how small the lead will be by the time everyone is 100% again. Potentially being swept by the division leading Diamondbacks is not going to help their cause. The Dodgers have to stop the bleeding as soon as possible if they want to keep the margin where it is. Recap This season has the makings to be one of the best campaigns yet. No-names are throwing no hitters, the underrated stars are getting the recognition they deserve (just look at Albert Almora Jr. for the Cubs), and there is a possibility that we are in the midst of a record breaking sensation in Ohtani. Take a look at what has happened in the first month of play. Just wait for the news that will be breaking after the All-Star Game. Vin Scully described it best during the 1988 World Series when he said “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened”. The beauty of baseball is the possibility that anything can happen to anyone on any given day. By all means the Dodgers can make a blockbuster trade at the deadline to acquire a new shortstop (Manny Machado is a considerable option) and return to the World Series. At the same time, the Cincinnati Reds can run the table and shock the world. Only time will tell, and we’ve got nothing but time left this season.
How to Motivate Yourself After the School Year Starts By: Tegan Kennedy School is hard, and there are many times when I found myself losing all signs of hope. Over the past four years I have seen myself become unmotivated and stuck, but I have found ways to get myself back on track, and even make myself feel better than before! 1. ) USE YOUR PLANNER Use the planner the school gives you, buy your own (I have a band.o planner that I love with all my heart), or even use Excel or Spreadsheets to map out your days and weeks and months. When you put down everything you need to do, you’ll come to realize you don’t actually have as much as you thought. Organize your work by class, or by importance, or by time needed to accomplish, and pencil in days you can work on it. Also, pencil in time with your friends! It’s important to go out and have fun every so often, and when you have your work schedule mapped out in front of you, it’s easier to set up a plan to hang!
2. ) BREAK IT DOWN So, you were just assigned a huge project due next week, plus you have two tests coming up, AND you have to read that book! It’s stressful, overwhelming, and there is no possible way a human being could actually accomplish this. However, unbeknownst to you, there is a way. Break down every single assignment, and suddenly each task seems doable. Break down books into page numbers, and read maybe twenty pages a day for a week. Give yourself twenty-five minutes each day to study for each subject. Break down your project into tasks, and work on a couple tasks a day. Homework and studying are sure to come a lot easier to you if you can see all the steps. 3. ) BE KIND TO YOURSELF AND MAKE SACRIFICES There is not a single flower in nature that blooms all year long, so you shouldn’t be expected to either! You are going to have bad days and there are going to be days where you don’t have time to finish everything, and that’s perfectly okay! There are going to be times when it’s 11pm and you still have a math assignment to do, but what you need to do is sacrifice that math assignment and get some sleep. It is not a sign of failure, it’s just a choice that needed to be made that day, and it’s perfectly fine! Always be kind to yourself, and know that life is all about making sacrifices.
photography by: Katy Houchen
4. ) MOVIES Movies. Always. Help. I don’t know what it is about watching Elle Woods killing it at Harvard makes me want to suddenly do all my homework and go to the gym, but whenever I don’t feel like doing my homework, or anything really, I find myself watching Elle and following her lead. Some movies and TV shows that I like to watch personally to motivate myself are ~ Legally Blonde ~ Gilmore Girls ~ Pretty Little Liars ~ Teen Wolf ~ Lemonade Mouth I recommend any TV Show or movie set at a school, or trying to achieve a goal. You can watch it before you do your work to hype yourself up, or sometimes when it’s 10pm and I still have some more work to do I put one one of my go to movies and get to work.
5. ) SET AN ASPIRATION I find it very hard to accomplish tasks with no motivation, and so I set goals daily, weekly, and monthly. When I set goals I found that I was more distraught when I failed them, and eventually set less goals. Having a goal is a great way to incentivize yourself to work, but it’s also easier to find yourself not accomplishing them. Instead, I learned to set up aspirations. Instead of saying “I will read 70 pages” when you know you have a busy week, say, “My aim is to read around 70 pages by Friday”, that way if you only end up finding time to read 40 pages, you still accomplished something and put a dent in your work! 6. ) TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF You don’t always have to be all work! Sometimes you need a couple hours after school to recuperate, or even a whole day. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself, every so often that is. Use it as an incentive to get through a hard week, or even a hard month. Treating yourself doesn’t have to be big and time consuming, it can be taking a bath with soaks or seeing a movie. It can even be sleeping in and making a nice meal. Another thing to keep in mind is that the less often you treat yourself the more special it feels. Taking breaks is great, but make sure you treat yourself!
Thank you. Here we are. The final issue of the school year. To the underclassmen, this issue is just the start to something greater. To the seniors like myself, this is it. This is the last time we get to share our voices and opinions with the community. The inaugural year of Slick Magazine is finally over, and it has been a year to remember. Personally, I never thought we would make it this far. When we started the Digital Journalism club back in September of 2016, I don’t think any of the 12 or so members thought it would get to this point. By March of 2017, we were down to five members consistently contributing towards the magazine (four of which returned to the magazine the following Fall). When Ms. Trelease informed us that she was pitching the idea of a class, we were ecstatic. We knew we had something going here. The club had ambitions of creating a final issue to round off the year. We had hoped the issue would show the skills we could convey the following year through a curriculum based class taught to students, by students. This aforementioned issue is still on Lucidpress, unpublished. Due to how understaffed we were, we couldn’t pull it off. We were approved to be a class towards the end of the year, and then Candy and I began planning lessons and proposing activities to one another over the summer. I can still remember sitting on the beach with her talking about how the class was going to be. It was a normal day in class when there was a knock at the back door of the classroom that connects to the library. We look over and Mrs. Proctor held a box. She brought the box in and set it on the nearest desk. After she took the lid off, a hush fell over the room as the class looked through their hard work in a printed, tangible magazine. I remember the crowd that swarmed the box in mere moments. Students were taking pictures with it and flipping to their articles. I can still see Carter standing in the middle of the classroom holding the magazine above his head like he had just won the Super Bowl. This still happens every time the prints of our magazine come in. Maybe it’s just because it is our work, but I always feel like our entire school would be just as excited to read our magazine if it meant as much to them as it does to us.
The seniors leaving this school who were a part of our staff mean a lot to me. Grace Galarraga (I have to specify which Grace, we had 3 in the class!) is moving to Boston to attend Emerson College. Chris Fukino is going to attend Golden West College in the fall, and I will do the same. We only had one school year to make this magazine exactly what we wanted it to be. Who knows? Maybe these magazines will wind up in a box in some attic for 15 years that we only unearth by accident. Regardless, we can’t say we didn’t do anything to impact the school in one way or another. Hopefully, we seniors are leaving behind something that turns out to be much bigger than any of us could imagine. For the younger staff and the incoming freshman, I leave you with this: work hard, be passionate, and stay positive. This applies to all aspects of your high school experience. Write about what you love and don’t stop until you’re happy with it. You are the future of this magazine. Write every article like it will be your last. You have a voice and a platform to project it on. I hope you all get what you want out of this magazine. Finally a thank you to the readers of this publication. By no means are we perfect, but we have heart. Our staff was excited to come to class to be a part of this magazine. Thank you to Ms. Trelease for managing the class and keeping us focused. Thank you to all the teachers who took time out of their teaching to display this magazine for their classes to see. If you followed us from the beginning, you know that we have improved tremendously. We are only going to get better from here. Lastly, thank you to the staff and editors. I am so proud of everyone of you for pushing yourselves as far as you can go and then some. You all made it feel like this class was special and something people wanted to be a part of. We still had members joining the class and e-mailing us about joining up until the last few weeks of the year. Knowing how we began, it warms my heart to see what our magazine has become. No matter what happens, I will always be proud to say I was a member of Slick Magazine. It was an honor to be your editor-in-chief this year. Thank you so much for everything. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Matt Sargent editor-in-chief
Dixie Chatt design editor
Candy Hart-Peratt managing editor
Gracie Briquelet art director
Katy Houchen social media director
Kenzie Jones photography editor
Andrea Cervantes photography editor
Sheldon Stires staff writer
Sarah Tran staff writer
Grace Galarraga staff writer
Carter Bernard staff writer
Kelsey Fuller staff writer
Moses Sandoval staff writer
Christian Fukino staff writer
Grace Gillett staff writer
Natalie Han staff writer
Angie Martinez staff writer
Ally Brodmann staff writer
Jameson Jaksch staff writer
Amber Zeng staff writer
Kat Beason staff writer
Izzy Agnello staff writer
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