Volume 15, Issue 4

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Volume 15, Issue 4

Fishers High School

March 2021


EXPRESS YOURSELF Students find a creative outlet through bullet journals, writing, etc. www.fishersnthered.com


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Continuing the conversation February is over, Black history discussions are not Katrell Readus readukat000@hsestudents.org


hroughout the 28 days of February, social media feeds, billboards, television screens and classroom curriculums are full of content mentioning Black History Month. Black achievements are celebrated, but after the month is over, it is common for students to return to a traditional curriculum. Black History Month is an annual celebration of accomplishments made by African Americans and a time for acknowledging their part in history, initially evolving from “Negro History Week,” created in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Ever since 1976, every president of the United States has officially designated February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, have followed suit, with Canada allocating February and the UK allocating October as designated months to celebrate Black history. However, some students, such as freshman Isaiah Webb feel as though one month is not sufficient when it comes to learning about Black history. “I would like to see improvement in every category when it comes to the way in which students are taught Black history,” Webb said. “We talk about slavery, we talk about Martin Luther King, Madame C.J. Walker, Fredrick Douglas, and Harriet Tubman, but we don’t talk about people who are doing things now, Black people that are achieving things now.” Webb sees several positives in incorporating Black history into lessons year round. “I would have more knowledge about my people, more knowledge that I can teach,” Webb said. “Our greatest weapon is our minds. When you teach kids white supremacy, their weapon gets weaker and weaker.” Webb believes the opinion of an uninformed public “is affecting us, because they don’t know the truth. We are being

called names, we’re being lynched, killed and beaten because… they don’t know the truth, they only know what their forefathers told them.” In some states such as Utah, learning about Black history has become optional in some schools such as Maria Montessori Academy. Students there have the ability to opt out of Black History Month lessons in February. The academy refers to their decision saying they are “allowing students to exercise their civil rights.” Fishers does not have a policy similar to this one. Students here have the opportunity to learn about Black history and the Black experience through Black History Month lessons and courses such as history teacher Michael Harris’s Race In America, a semester-long class “It is super important that our students learn about, yes, African American History, Black History all year round, but a diverse collection of history all year round,” Harris said. “If you don’t, it’s easy for you to separate different peoples when you think about the American story. If you don’t weave in the perspective of everyone involved, then you fail to see everybody in that story together.” Point of view and perspective can help people to understand feelings and actions of individuals they are learning or hearing about, according to literaryterms.net. Each individual has their own perspective, so whoever is telling the story or whoever’s perspective the story is in will impact the consumers opinion of other people, characters and events. “Our history is taught from the white perspective, it is never taught from the perspective of a Black person,” senior Wodsander Maxime said. “Slavery is never taught form the perspective of the slave. It’s the perspective of the invader, the colonizer. What we have done for this country is not emphasized enough, we have carried it on our shoulders.”



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Infographic by Katrell Readus


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March 2021 1

Happy anniversary, COVID-19 Recurrences of the virus for over a year leads to developments to combatting it Malak Samara samarmal000@hsestudents.org


n March 13, 2020, students were sitting in their classes, listening to their teacher’s lecture and patiently waiting for the class to end. Throughout the school day, students continuously heard their teachers warn them to take everything in their lockers home. However, as was revealed later that day, the school was shutting down for 2 weeks in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Little did the students and staff know, this would grow to be much longer than an extra two weeks of spring break and would still be affecting the district a year later. “I did not know it [COVID-19] would be something that would change our practice for so many months,” Superintendent Dr. Allen Bourff said. “Because we then realized that this is real, it’s local, and we were going to be confronted with some new realities… But, yes, we anticipated that there would be some changes, just not to the extent that they were realized.” School shutting down: The schools within the HSE district were shut down to mitigate the fast spread of COVID-19 as per Governor Holcomb’s mandates, on March 13, 2020. At first, the school shut down for two weeks and after that the rest of the 2020 school year was canceled. “I remember early on, calling the mayor and letting him know we were about to make a decision that could disrupt the business Icon from Canva. community because if we were sending all of our students home for a period of time, it would impact our families who run businesses,” Bourff said. “And it was a heavy decision, to make that determination.” Because all of the HSE district students were sent home to quarantine and be kept safe from the pandemic due to the stay at home restrictions, the rest of the school year continued with e-Learning. “Well, it was inconvenient, and it caught us at a time when we were not prepared to use our online resources,” Bourff said. “I mean if you recall, before COVID, we were debating whether we could go three straight days with an e-Learning experience. We had to make it work.” Start of 2020-2021 School Year: The first day of the 2020-2021 school year on Aug. 6, 2020, was filled with Zoom calls and online classes. Students met their teachers over Zoom and had to continue their education through a screen. “I wasn’t learning as well as I should have over a computer screen,” sophomore Gabby Bradley said. Further into the school year, on Sep. 18, 2020, all HSE schools and grade levels were brought back to the schools in a

Graphic made by Malak Samara.


Features 50/50 manner. Feb. 17, 2021 was the first-day grades 9-12 in the HSE district were being brought back 100% in person. “We have chosen, in this district, to do much more synchronous instruction than some of the districts around us,” Bourff said. “We know it’s best for the students.”


Progression of Pandemic: Since the pandemic first started, the COVID-19 situation has been closely examined by the CDC and World Health Organization, and with each passing day, there are more ways to combat this virus, such as the vaccine. Bradley sees the recent vaccines and solutions as a light at the end of the tunnel. “We made such a big progress in one year,” Bradley said. “We’re getting there but there’s still such a large amount of people who pretend it’s a hoax that’s what’s really slowing us down.” Due to the implementation of virtual instruction in the pandemic, teachers have learned to use On Dec. 14, 2020 a hospital man is preparing a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine technology with a bit more knowledge through trial to distribute to patients. Photo used with and error. There have also permission of Wikimedia Commons. been newfound uses for the technology the district has been using for the past year. “I think it [further uses of technology] will change the way we react to student absences,” Bourff said. “It will change the way we react to teacher absences. It’s difficult, as a teacher, to prepare for a substitute teacher and expect everything to work the way we would want it to. So I think many many teachers will take advantage of that.” According to the CDC, there are still new COVID-19 cases every day. However, it has seemed to slow down a bit as of right now since, according to the CDC on Feb. 5, 2020, there were roughly around 1,500 cases in the United States whereas a month later, on March 5, 2020, there were roughly around 800 cases. “We’re recovering, slowly but surely,” freshman Thomas Mwambazi said. “I hope by at least, nearing before the end of this [school] year, around the fourth quarter, that would be great for things to go back to normal because it’s already been such a long time that I guess now it’s just a waiting game.” Year Anniversary of COVID-19: March 11, 2021, marks the first anniversary of when COVID-19 was deemed a global pandemic, and two days later marks the first anniversary of when HSE schools shut down due to the pandemic. “I think that we need to be proud of ourselves for doing what we’ve done at this trying time,” Bourff said. “So I would hope that we rise above COVID very quickly. I still think we’re going to be in it for a few months, but the end is in sight and we’re going to be better for it.”

1. The empty B hallway signifies the environment when students were sent home due to the pandemic. Photo by Malak Samara.

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The Pandemic's Timeline:

BEFORE THE UNITED STATES WAS AFFECTED: -COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan China in December of 2019. - WHO announced Coronavirus-related pneumonia in Wuhan, China on Jan. 9, 2020. - On Jan. 21, 2020, a Chinese Scientist confirmed COVID-19 human transmission and the CDC deployed a team to help with the investigation.

BEFORE FISHERS WAS AFFECTED: -The first-ever reported case of COVID-19 in the United States was announced on Jan. 21, 2020, by the CDC. -Indiana's first confirmed case of COVID-19 was more than a month later, on March 6, 2020, according to Governor Eric Holcomb. -On July 14, 2020, masks were deemed as a helpful item to combat COVID-19, according to CDC ran tests. Afterward, the use of masks became a mandate.

RECENT PROGRESSIONS: -Joe Biden presented a speech about the year anniversary of COVID-19 on March 11, 2020. -President Biden administered all states to lengthen eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccines to all American adults by May 1, 2020. -A 1.9 billion COVID-19 relief bill was passed and signed into law on March 11, 2020.

Information from CDC, WHO, President Joe oe Biden, Biden, and Governor Eric Holcomb

Infographic made by Malak Samara.



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March 2021

Shifting seasons

Changes in environment affect Indiana weather, climate Lily Thomas

T 1

2 1. Amidst dried leaves and ivy, daffodils begin to sprout from the ground, basking in the sun on March 12. The high temperature was 56 degrees. 2. About two weeks prior, on Feb. 22, twigs and dead shrubbery sit buried in the snow. The high temperature was 39 degrees. Photos by Lily Thomas


welve million Texans were affected by low water quality and around 3 million were without power after a cold freeze hit Texas, a usually warmer region, during mid February, according to the Texas Tribune. “It was only about a decade ago that Texas experienced a similar cold snap, so they knew the weather risk existed, but the energy system was not winterized to cope with such an event in the future,” Melissa Widhalm, Operations Manager at Purdue Climate Change Research Center said. “When it comes to severe weather events, there are steps we can take to better protect life and property, and those steps will help us withstand climate change impacts, too.” According to Widhalm, understanding the differences between climate and weather is critical. Weather pertains to daily conditions, while climate deals with the average of these conditions on a long-term scale. Research has shown that Indiana’s climate is, in fact, changing. “There’s a big misconception that we’re going to see just the temperatures go up year-round or see the temperatures go down yearround,” senior Rachel Ibey, former AP Environmental Science student who plans to major in environmental engineering, said. “What a lot of people don’t understand is that the biggest change that we’re seeing in pretty much every area around the state is that the seasons are becoming a lot more drastic.” Measurements of weather conditions in Indiana show an increase of more than six inches of rainfall and an increase in temperature of one degree compared to the amount measured 125 years ago. Indiana has also seen a change in the length of the growing season, which is when temperatures are above freezing. In terms of seasons, fall arrives around a week later than the start of the autumnal equinox, while spring arrives around a few weeks earlier than the spring equinox. Both humans and nature can be affected by these seasonal shifts. For example, plants may bloom too early, which could result in a food shortage for animals and insects that rely on previous climate conditions to base their migration patterns on. As for humans, longer growing seasons pose problems for those with seasonal allergies. “Right now, [the temperature] in the 40’s and it’s February, whereas just a couple of weeks ago, it was snowing and was super cold,” junior Grace Moriarty, the environmental club president, said. “It has an effect that you can see in your environment and around you. It’s easy to look back on even our past records in the last 20 years and see the impact that climate change has had.” The changes in Indiana’s climate has a particularly negative effect on crops, Widhalm said. Previously, Indiana’s climate of plentiful rainfall and warmer summers allowed the state to produce top corn and soybean crops, but as the planet gets warmer and temperature and rainfall patterns shift, the crops take a hit. For example, corn crops can get stressed in temperatures that are too warm, which in turn yields less grain. Furthermore, an abundance in rainfall, Widhalm said, increases the chances of flooding and leaves the state with a larger population of both ticks and mosquitoes. “We haven’t really cut down on the environmental impact that we have as a society,” Moriarty said. “It’s just built up and up and up as we’ve industrialized more, as technology has advanced, and as people have populated the world more. Honestly, in the last 40 years it’s been the

Features worst that it’s ever been.” According to the Purdue Climate Change Research Center website, humans impact the climate by burning fossil fuels, which in turn increases the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. By doing this, more heat gets trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere which can drive up temperatures and then disrupt the climate. Students such as Ibey seek to limit their impact where they can. “I run a business from my house, and so I made my business completely carbon neutral and I try to be as eco-friendly with packaging as I possibly can,” Ibey said. “When I go to college, I want to spread environmental insight to as many people as I can.” Similarly, the environmental club works to help impact the school environment. The club collects recycling a couple of times a week and encourages students to participate in recycling. The club also puts tips and tricks to reduce environmental impacts out on their Instagram: @fhsenvclub. “I think one of our things is really trying to make it so that kids feel like although climate change is a big issue, there are little things they can do to help,” Moriarty said.

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OUR INFLUENCE ON THE CLIMATE How to lower your impact on climate change and the evironment.




This is the amount of water per day used by the average American family. To conserve water, take shorter showers and only keep the facet on when necessary.



BILLIONS TONS This is the amount of food wasted every year. Using leftovers and being mindful of food waste can help.


This is the the average annual electricity consumption of Americans in 2019. To lower this amount, turn off lights in unoccupied rooms and unplug appliances not in use.

CARPOOL WITH FRIENDS To reduce energy consumption and emissions, carpool to places such as school.



Do research and get involved. Learn about your personal impact and how you can continue to reduce it. Urge your community to take action, too.



https://earth.org https://www.epa.gov https://escholarship.org

Infographic made by Lily Thomas 3. A graphic depicting Earth melting due to global warming in conjunction with trees representing clean energy and recycling. Graphic by Lily Thomas.


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Mood tracker art by Anna Mossing.

March 2021

Feeling creative Bullet journaling serves as a stress release Anna Mossing mossiann000@hsestudents.org



ife is known to get so cluttered by stress that it seems there is no way for the light of expressiveness to break through. The bullet journal method drives away the darkness of overwhelming anxiety with the light of organized creativity. In 2013, in an effort to tackle the way his mind worked, Ryder Carrol created a hybrid of a to-do list, diary, notebook and sketchbook that he coined with the term “bullet journal.” In an interview with Evernote, Carrol described his creation as, “Essentially the bullet journal is a framework for capturing your ideas. It allows you to keep track of what’s happened to you and allows you to organize what is currently going on and plan for the future.” Ultimately, bullet journaling is a mindful practice disguised as a productivity system. The versatility of bullet journals is what draws many people to them. These journals are used as planners, sketch notes, diaries or whatever the owner feels like putting in them. There is no specific format one has to follow. Some people, like sophomore Anna Pettit, keep their journals in a uniform manner. Pettit takes about two to three hours at the start of each month planning out a monthly spread. Along with that spread, she makes a planner for each week that matches the theme of the month. “Laying out each month in my journal and keeping a consistent theme makes me feel more in control of my schedule and priorities for that specific month,” Pettit said. Unlike Pettit, freshman Olivia Weyer who has been bullet journaling for about two years is more sporadic with her process and spends time on it every few days. Weyer’s journal is not thematic, but her spreads still serve as a source of organization and more importantly to her, spark joy onto a page. “Of course I look at other bullet journals online for inspiration, but honestly I find it more effective and satisfying when I come up with some of my own ideas and am able to create them on a page,” Weyer said. Since rising in popularity in 2013, bullet journaling has become a form of productivity and self-care. Efficiency rises when tasks are put down in an organized and interesting way. Additionally, as Carrol intended, bullet journalists like freshman Reagan McMullen think that the bullet journal method is much more adaptive to the way her brain works. Another positive trend McMullen has noticed since starting a bullet journal is that putting down thoughts, tasks and doodles on a page seems to

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relieve her stress. “Bullet journaling is a great way to destress for me because it forces me to spend time on myself for as long as I need each day while still feeling productive,” McMullen said. Pettit was hesitant to start a bullet journal because she fell for the common misconception that bullet journaling requires artistic talent. After starting, however, she’s realized being an artistic genius is not required. Pettit now sees creativity and inspiration as the leading factors in creating a bullet journal. “I love bullet journaling because I can get inspiration from anywhere and put it down on a page,” Pettit said. “And I have a full journal filled with all that inspiration.”




1. Joyful journal art by Olivia Weyer. Photo provided by Olivia Weyer. 2. August step tracker art by Reagan McMullen. Photo provided by Reagan McMullen. 3. August playlist art by Reagan McMullen. Photo provided by Reagan McMullen. 4. March and September cover art by Reagan McMullen. Photo by Reagan McMullen.




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March 2021

WandaVision wows fans New series introduces Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Emma Tomlinson tomliemm000@hsestudents.org


ith 6.5 million views in America on its premiere weekend the show “WandaVision’’ revolves around the characters Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, and Vision, played by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany. The Disney+ series introduced several new characters to the franchise while also including ones from past Marvel Films. “Wanda is my favorite character,” senior Jordan Bocot said. “You don’t see a lot of heroes prefer fake happiness, and it’s interesting to see from her perspective.” FBI agent Jimmy Woo, first pictured in Ant-Man and played by actor Randall Park, was trending on the social media app TikTok. After teens on the app realized that Park, who has over 153 acting credits, was in many of their favorite movies, he became a viral sensation. The hashtags #randallpark and #jimmywoo have over 40 and 180 million views. “I saw the trend on my for you page and thought it was super funny,” junior Lauren Bronson said. “I also never knew that Randall Park had acted in so many things.” Kat Jennings, known in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) for her role as Darcy Lewis, the former political science student turned astrophysicist from the Thor movies, returns for WandaVision as well. She is brought on by S.W.O.R.D., the Sentient World Observation and Response Department, along with other scientists, to investigate the anomaly occurring in the town of Westview. “My favorite part about this genre is all of these references from other movies and the comics,” English teacher Ben Beasley said. The first few episodes of the season were formatted as a sitcom, an homage to shows such as Dick Van Dyke. Although the sitcom-like style of the first few episodes was explained later in the season, many fans expressed their dislike for the format on social media. “[The sitcom style] was kind of funny but not good enough to really get me invested,” Bocot said. “I was hooked on Monica’s episode though.” Episode four centers around Captain Monica Rambeau and her return as an agent of S.W.O.R.D. after being away for five years during the Blip, which occurred when half of the universe’s population was ‘snapped away’ by the villain Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War.”Marvel fans may recognize her as the daughter of Maria Rambeau, best friend of Captain Marvel. When Monica returns after the Blip, she finds that her mother died of cancer three years ago, leaving her devastated. Three weeks later, she goes back to work at S.W.O.R.D. and is sent by Acting Director Tyler Hayward to assist FBI agent Jimmy Woo on a missing persons case. “I liked seeing Monica all grown up since we got to see her as a child in the Captain Marvel movie,” Bronson said. “The team-up between her, Darcy and Jimmy was cool because they seemed to be the only people that actually cared about Wanda and wanted to help her.” Wanda, in her grief after Vision’s death, created an anomaly

called the Hex, which lies in the town of Westview. Within the Hex, Wanda tried to live a normal life by having kids, participating in neighborhood events and even befriending her nosy neighbor Agnes. “Agnes is so funny in the first part of the season and definitely my favorite character,” Bronson said. Spoiler alert: In episode seven, Agnes reveals herself to be a witch named Agatha Harkness. She had been interfering with Wanda’s reality in order to discover the source of Wanda’s immense power and even sent an imposter Pietro, Wanda’ deceased brother, and killed Sparky the dog. “I really liked the theory that Agatha was going to eat the kids or take them away from Wanda,” Bocot said. A common occurrence throughout the show was little “Easter eggs,” also known as hidden references, clues or inside jokes. Fans shared Easter eggs they found on social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok. Every time the sitcom would have a “commercial break,” another Easter egg appeared. In one commercial, a person was starving to death on an island because they were unable to move or eat, a clue that reflects what was happening to the residents of Westview at the time. “To me it was immediately obvious that [the commercials] represented her internal conflict,” Beasley said. “The [Easter egg] I don’t know if people saw or appreciated was in the Halloween episode in the background in 10 or 15 cuts was the medicine man who is a minion of Mephisto.” The show ran for nine episodes which streamed on Disney+ every Friday, beginning Jan 15 and concluding on March 5. It is the first installment of Phase 4 in the MCU and fans do not have to wait too long for the next release in Phase 4. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” comes out March 19, 2021, “Black Widow” airs on May 7, and the Loki TV show is planned to be released sometime in May of 2021. Disney+ plans to release a combination of 10 Marvel movies and TV shows over the course of 2021. “The season finale of WandaVision was a bit over-hyped, but it was still a good ending,” Bocot said. “Next, I’m most excited for ‘Spider-Man 3: No Way Home.’” Wanda will return in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which airs March 25, 2022. Fans got a sneak peek in the post-credit scene of the season finale. Wanda is pictured sipping her coffee on the steps of a cabin, but the camera suddenly pans to Wanda in her Scarlet Witch outfit, flipping through a book. Observant fans noticed that she seems to be astral projecting, a skill learned by Doctor Strange, and looking through a book that belonged to Agatha. The book looks similar to the Ancient One’s collection pictured in the Doctor Strange movie, which leads fans to believe that it is a segue into Wanda’s involvement in the Multiverse of Madness. “I actually think there’s at least four different storylines that will merge back together stemming from this work,” Beasley said. “It’s one of the most re-watchable shows I’ve ever seen, there’s always something new in the details.”

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Series name;


directed by:

Matt Shakman

Run time: 29-49 minutes network: disney+ The CW Disney+ promotion poster: Genre:

drama, mystery, romance, sitcom, superhero

created by: Jac Schaeffer


Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany,

Debra Jo Rupp, Fred Melamed, Kathryn Hahn, Teyonah Parries, Randall Park, Kat Dennings, Evan Peters

Based on:

the Marvel comics ‘Scarlet Witch’ by Stan Lee

and Jack Kirby, ‘Vision’ by Roy Thomas and John Buscema

fun facts:

WandaVision was originally supposed to follow “The Falcon and the

Winter Soldier.” Disney+ was considering dropping all nine episodes at once. Episode one was taped in front of a live studio audience.



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March 2021

A picture of Bunratty Castle on a cloudy day. Photo provided by Grace Harley.

Shamrockin’ and rollin’ A break down of all things St. Patricks Day Ava Hunt



aint Patrick’s day: a holiday associated with luck, short old men wearing top hats and the fear of getting pinched. But where do these traditions stem from and how do they represent Irish culture? American pop culture has transformed the day notorious for small feasts into a full-blown celebration that even non-Irish descendants want to enjoy. The origins of St. Patrick’s day tend to get overshadowed by the commercialization of the holiday, but nonetheless, it has a rich and complex history. Its Origins Maewyn Succat, who would adopt the name Patrick later, was born in Britain around 386 A.D. but was kidnapped by pirates as a child. He was then brought to Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to its people. Due to his major contribution, Ireland decided to recognize him as the patron saint of Ireland and a national apostle. The Irish celebrated the anniversary of his death every succeeding March 17th by attending church in the morning and waiving lenten prohibitions of eating meat. The Irish have celebrated it as a religious feast holiday for more than 1,000 years. By the mid 19th century, the Great Potato Famine gave rise to a number of Irish immigrants hoping to escape to America. Once Irish immigrants arrived in America, bringing over the story of St. Patrick, he became a symbol of Irish heritage and culture within American society. Irish patriotism began to

flourish, so in 1848, several Irish aid societies decided to culminate their St. Patrick’s day parades to form one official New York City parade. NYC’s St. Patrick’s day parade is the largest parade in the United States and helped transform the holiday into what it is today. Where wearing green came from: Green was not originally the color of choice for celebrating. Early depictions of St. Patrick show him wearing blue, which was also the color of Ireland’s chivalry at the time. During the Irish rebellion, however, soldiers wore green as they fought off the British, who wore their signature red color. Soldiers sang “The Wearing of Green” during the war, which solidified the country’s shift from blue to green. Not to mention, Ireland’s nickname, “the Emerald Isle,” contributed to the justification of using the color green to represent Ireland. Junior Grace Harley visited Ireland and saw all of its vibrant green hues during her trip. “It was so nice visiting there because I was able to engulf myself in the culture and understand my heritage better,” Harley said. “One thing that really stood out to me on the trip was how green the landscape and land itself were, nothing like you see back home.” In American pop culture, more people started wearing and

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decorating with the color green when Chicago first dyed their river green in 1962 in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Meals associated with the Holiday During early celebrations of St Patrick’s day, the Irish would indulge in Irish bacon and cabbage for their main course. Once Irish immigrants started inhabiting America, their celebratory meal shifted to corned beef and cabbage. Since Irish immigrants were poor, they were not able to afford bacon and had to substitute corned beef instead. Now, corned beef and cabbage is seen as an Irish-American dish and a staple for the holiday. Harley said this was a common meal for her dad when he grew up. “I remember hearing stories from my grandma and my dad about how much my dad hated corned beef and cabbage growing up,” Harley said. “That probably explains why I have never had it myself because of his bias towards it. But maybe this St. Patrick’s day I’ll give it a try.” Why leprechauns? Leprechauns date back to Irish mythology and folklore. Per the legends, they are said to only reside in Ireland and are seen as Harley posing in front of Kilkuernney, a popular tourist site in Ireland. devious, highly intelligent characters. Leprechauns strengthened Photo provided by Grace Harley. the tradition of wearing green because the custom is tied to folklore that states that wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns, who like to pinch anyone they see. Disney’s 1959 movie “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” popularized leprechauns in American culture and reinforced their affiliation with St. Patrick’s day. Harley recalls leprechauns playing a crucial role in her celebrations growing up. “My mom used to go all out for St. Patrick’s day when me and my brother were little,” Harley said. “She would put glitter around the carpet and make it seem like the leprechaun came and took all of our coins.” Why shamrocks and four-leaf clovers? The shamrock was a native Irish clover that St. Patrick used to explain the holy trinity. He said that each leaf of the shamrock represented the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The four-leaf clover does not carry any religious affiliation, but is said to bring extreme luck if found. “My favorite symbol of St. Patrick’s day has to be the four-leaf clover,”Harley said. “I like it because I believe in luck. Always believe in luck, you have nothing to lose.”


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March 2021

Crumbl cookies stir up excitement A glimpse into the newly open bakery everyone is talking about Rebekah Shultz



sweet scent drifts around 8395 E 116 St in downtown Fishers from a new cookie bakery in town, Crumbl Cookies. The bakery opened earlier this year on Jan. 14 and comes out with different cookie flavors each week. When I went in on the week of March 1 to March 6, the flavors were Milk Chocolate Chip, Sugar, Birthday Cake featuring OREO, Chocolate Cupcake, Lemon Glaze, and Reese’s Pieces. Walking into Crumbl Cookies, the first thing I noticed was how trendy and cute they had decorated the store. The store had very bright white lighting, white walls and white counters with an accent of light pink all around the bakery. The second thing I noticed was how the bakery was very organized and tech savvy. When paying, no worker is needed. You place your order on an iPad, and the cookies come out pretty quickly with no stress. The first cookie I tried was the Birthday Cake featuring OREO. The flavor of an Oreo was accurately made. The cream cheese frosting that topped the cookie was not too sweet and had a delicious rich flavor that tasted just like the filling of an Oreo but much better and of higher quality. The cookie was gooey on the inside but also quite chewy. A strong flavor of chocolate added a lot of flavor to the cookie. The Oreo cookie dough bites on top were really fun to eat as they added texture and tasted exactly like the cookie. This dessert was a 5/5 due to the amazing flavor combination. The Reese’s Pieces cookie tasted like a classic peanut butter cookie. The peanut flavor is very muted within the actual cookie batter. There are also Reese’s Pieces inside the cookie. The pieces were a great addition to this cookie, adding a fun crunch into the sweet and adding a burst of peanut butter flavor. This flavored cookie was quite crumbly but still very moist. The flavor profile is very much sweet and salty. I would rate this baked treat a 4/5 because the salt, although not extreme, it was still a bit too salty for my liking in a cookie. The lemon glaze cookie has a tart flavor that never overpowered the cookie and still had sweetness. It tasted like a sugar cookie with a hint of lemon. The dessert is decorated with a dried or dehydrated lemon on top. The lemon was actually quite delicious with the sourness of a lemon but also quite sweet. The glaze was the tartness of the cookie, adding a hint of sour. I would rate this cookie a 3.5/5. The cookie had great qualities but it was also a bit basic. It had what a lemon glaze cookie would and should taste like, but without anything special. The chocolate chip cookie was my personal favorite.

The cookie is super moist and is thick and chewy due to perfectly cooked dough. The chocolate chips seem to be milk chocolate rather than semi-sweet which is the typical type of chocolate used in a chocolate chip cookie. The chocolate morsels in the cookie are also quite large which remind me more of a chocolate chunk cookie. I would describe this as the perfect chocolate chip cookie, with the flavors complementing each other beautifully. I would rate this cookie a 5/5. It is crispy on the outside and super moist on the inside. Immaculate, unique and gooey are the three words that senior Kaysey Castro would describe the cookies from Crumbl Cookies. Castro went on the week of Valentines Day, and her personal favorite cookie was the red velvet cookie. The cookie texture was the perfect consistency,” Castro said. “It came warm, and the white chocolate chips were half melted which I enjoyed.” The cookies also come at a price with one individual cookie costing $3.49 without tax and $27.58 for 12 cookies. “I personally don’t mind the paying price because I don’t think it’s that outrageous to begin with,” Castro said. “These cookies aren’t small. They are quite big and ordering one would fill you up so when ordering four cookies at that size for $12 it is not too much to ask.” This cookie shop is also not the first of its kind. Insomnia Cookies has been around since 2003 and has over 135 bakeries around the US. However, Crumbl Cookies have been around since 2017 and already has 77 locations around the US, making them a big competitor. “[Crumbl Cookies] differs because the cookies are a lot bigger and you have the option of getting a cooled cookie or a warm cookie,” senior Aaron Hernandez said. “They also have new flavors every week which is nice and a good mix-up.” The cookie flavors for the next week are decided by corporate in Utah each week. “Every week we change our specialty cookies,” Crumbl employee senior Natalie Kosegi said. “We have the chocolate chip and chilled sugar cookies that are always being sold, but then we have four specialty cookies that get changed every week.” A bite of the birthday cake featuring OREO cookies taken on March 3. Photo by Rebekah Shultz


Enemies to allies

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Hockey brings two rivaling school toegther Kristen Rummel



rom opposing sides of the district, HSE and FHS are rivals in the fall and spring, but for this particular winter sport, they are fighting together. Hockey is one of the only sports that requires the schools to come together to create a sports team, putting their differences aside to play against other schools. “There isn’t much tension between the players,” junior Bauer Rhodes said. “We all have one common interest that binds us, hockey. It’s fun because there are a lot of kids you wouldn’t meet or know if we didn’t play with them.” With obstacles like different schools, practice location and new COVID-19 policies, playing this year has been difficult. The team now practices twice a week and attends weekend games. The practices are held at the Indy Fuel Tank at 5 a.m. before school as opposed to their regular three practices a week before school practice at 5:15 a.m. last year. “Losing a day in practice has affected the crew a lot,” junior Cory Pruzin said. “We all need to be able to work together smoothly, and it’s really hard to do that when we are limited to a certain amount of practices.” Along with these changes, the players have also had to change their time in the locker rooms before and between games. Locker rooms have been restricted for many sports, and the hockey team was no exception. Instead of their usual hour of prep before games, the players now get around 30 minutes before or after games. “We are used to the routine and many of us have played since we were kids,” Rhodes said. “It’s been tough adjusting to the new regulations for everyone I think.” The audience has been limited to immediate family and other players, but this has been the procedure for most sports this year. Fortunately for the team, none of the players have had to quarantine for two weeks due to a COVID-19 exposure. Even with all the changes, the team came out winning 15 out of 36 games ending their season in early March. The team has plans for next season in hopes that the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, so their season can proceed without issues. The A team participated in the Hoosier League Championship and the State tournament in the final two weekends of the season. The team lost in the Hoosier League Championship to Carmel High School in overtime 4-2. The team eventually lost the third game of the State Tournament to Lake Central High School 5-2. “I think what really makes it difficult is skating, stick handling the puck, and dodging the guys left and right all the time, in a matter of seconds,” junior Luke Watson said. “And I think my favorite part of hockey is the rush I get from playing it.”



3 1. A team jumps at the puck against on HSE vs. Southstars on March 8 at the Indy Fuel tank. 2. Coach Adrien Rendertalks to A team during break. 3. Junior Liam Peters concentrates as teammates strive to the puck. Photos by Leen Mahmoud


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March 2021

Mastering the arts Martial arts improve mental, physical performance Andrew Haughey



riginating over four millennia ago in the first complex civilization to exist, Sumer, martial arts have stood the test of time and remain relevant today. As of 2017, 3.42 million people in the United States alone participate in martial arts of some sort. Karate, muay thai, taekwondo, krav maga and jiujitsu are just a few of the many different fighting styles practiced in the country. Many of the styles practiced in the United States come from East Asian countries such as Thailand, China, Japan and the Koreas.


2 1. Sophomore Santiago Mendoza and Senior Nick Simopoulos stand with teammate Jayden Stafford. The three train for muay thai together at KruFit Indy. Photo by Jamie Bradley. 2. Sophomore Jack Beck practices stances for taekwondo at Geist Martial Arts. The studio is owned by his uncle. Photo by Krista Beck.

Karate Invented in Okinawa, Japan in the 17th century, karate has its roots in a form of self-defense intended for those forbidden from carrying weapons. Karate is said to have been popularized in America by Robert Trias, one of the first known American black belts. Trias served in the Second World War, and while stationed in the Solomon Islands from 1944-45, he met a Chinese missionary named Tung Gee Hsiang. Hsiang is credited for teaching Trias a form of karate that has become the basis for karate in the United States today. Junior Tanisha Davidson, a second-degree black belt in karate, claims karate is different from other martial arts due to its competitive nature. “I do a lot of tournaments, so I have to practice by studying the rules and how to use my strategies in order to gain more points so I can win,” Davidson said. Achieving a black belt requires a significant amount of practice, as the belt signifies mastery of the sport. Davidson practices around seven to eight hours each week, filling the time with exercises that seek to improve her skills in three categories. “We have kata, which is a set of memorized moves; we have weapons, which is basically kata but with the use of weapons and we have sparring, which is basically one to one combat fighting,” Davidson said. The categories practiced are directly associated with what is tested during tournaments, according to Davidson. “With the different events [of tournaments], we have kata, weapons and sparring,” Davidson said. “With kata you are going against one other person, and there are judges who watch each person’s kata and vote on who did it better. It runs in a bracket system, as does sparring, which you gain points in by striking your opponent.” Davidson has been practicing karate for nearly 10 years and cites the individual aspect of the sport as one of the enticing factors that convinced her to join. “I thought that it was such a different sport from other sports,” Davidson said. “It’s not much of a team sport, it’s much more of an individual sport, which is something that I found really appealing because it’s something that I can work on by myself.”

Sports Davidson practices Karate at Adamson’s Karate Studio in Noblesville and Carmel.

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maintain self-control and to never give up,” Beck said. Beck has been training in taekwondo for 12 years and said that the sport has given him a strong community that he knows has his back. “I’ve known people for 11 years and we’re great friends, and I’ve also known people for a year and a half and we’re still great friends,” Beck said. “I know building that community is something my uncle has done a really good job with.”

Taekwondo Famous for its employment of kicking techniques, taekwondo originated in Korea in the middle of the 20th century. The sport was founded by South Korean general Choi Hong-Hi, who adopted techniques from traditional Korean, Chinese and Japanese fighting styles. During the Korean War, several Koreans introduced American soldiers Muay Thai to the art of taekwondo on American military bases. Master Referred to as “the art of eight limbs” due to its employment Jhoon Rhee is considered to be the first Korean to establish a of the full body as a weapon, muay thai is the national sport of training organization in the United States for the sport and is Thailand. The sport originated around 700 years ago, credited for much of the influence the sport although the exact timeframe is unknown. has had on the United States. The sport was created as a way for the Sophomore Jack Beck Siamese army in northern Thailand to defend practices at his uncle’s studio, themselves Geist Martial Arts. against He appreciates taekwondo neighboring tribes and kingdoms. because of the During World combination of art and War II, Thai combat soldiers would practice muay thai that the sport contains. among themselves. “At our American soldiers were so impressed with the sport classes one of that they asked the Thai soldiers the things we work on are forms, which are just to teach the fundamentals to them, kind of like a set of moves in ultimately bringing the sport to the United a specific order, which is more States. of the arts part of it. Forms Senior Nick Simopoulos, who regularly are used to teach focus and the competes in fights centered around muay thai, ability to use your whole body to said he appreciates the honesty the sport has do moves,” Beck said. “We also work to offer when compared to other martial arts. Infographic by Anrew Haughey on sparring, which is more of the fighting “I got into muay thai by starting as a aspect of the sport. Occasionally, we also boxer,” Simopoulos said. “When I decided like to do different things from different martial arts, like I wanted to compete in the MMA one day, I chose muay thai throws from jiujitsu, but forms and sparring are the main two since it’s a more rounded martial art and will transfer into things we practice.” MMA better.” In addition to practicing in order to improve his own skills, While other martial arts encourage the use of forms and Beck practices to prepare himself for tournaments and tests to sparring with protection to avoid injury, muay thai encourages improve his rank. combat in its training and competition. “For tournaments, you get put into a group of around “We train in many ways, from hitting pads to sparring,” eight to 12 people around your same age and rank, or as Simopoulos said. “If you are serious about competing you close as they can get,” Beck said. “First, you go up and you can sign up for numerous tournaments and fights all over the do your forms, and they [a panel of judges] give you a score country, which are all set up in different ways.” based on how good your forms were. You also do a sparring Although the community is small at KruFit Indy, where competition, which is a point-based competition on how many Simopoulos trains, he said he is very close with his team. times you can hit the other person.” Additionally, he said muay thai has helped him to find his true In addition to gaining physical training from his sport, Beck personality and taught him about diligence and honesty. has also learned lessons that are applicable to everyday life. “When it comes down to it, you can’t fake anything in a “The people who run the place do a great job of fight,” Simopoulos said. “It is the most honest sport, no doubt. incorporating life lessons in there. Some of the big things he When you compete, it’s just you versus the other person [Beck’s uncle] has are being nice to other people, to always standing across from you.”


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March 2021

Predicting the madness Certain trends can help to make guess about this year’s bracket Nate Albin albinnat000@hsestudents.org Nicholas Rasmusson rasmunic000@hsestudents.org


Pictured below is a regional semifinal in Phoenix during the 2008 NCAA tournament between the Xavier Musketeers and West Virginia Mountaineers. Xavier won 79-75. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

arch has arrived. The weather is turning, flowers are blooming and March Madness is coming. With March Madness comes bracketology. Bracketology is the science of picking and predicting brackets, specifically the NCAA Men’s and Women’s college basketball tournaments. The term, coined by ESPN college basketball analyst Joe Lunardi, was first used in March 1995. Since then, the term has been used across the college basketball scene. Various companies and sports networks hold contests to see who can predict the closest bracket, and it is a March tradition for many. As of 2020, there has never been a perfect bracket. If every game was a 50-50 coin flip, the odds of predicting the perfect bracket would be microscopic at 1 in 9.2 quintillion. While predicting a perfect bracket be nearly impossible, with a couple of statistics and a little bit of luck, picking brackets can make the NCAA tournament experience that much more exhilarating. A good rule of thumb is to always pick the number one seed in each region to win their first round matchup. Over the past 35 NCAA tournaments, the number one seeds boast a 139-1 first round record, a whopping 99.29% win percentage. The single loss occurred in 2018 when the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) defeated Virginia 74-54. While it did end up happening, UMBC’s 20 point blowout of Virginia was improbable. Picking the number one seeds in the first round is a fairly safe bet. Another safe bet is to pick the number two seeds in each region to win their first round matchup. The two seeds are in a similar boat as the one seeds, as in the last 35 tournaments, they own a 132-8 record, a firm 94.29% win percentage. The most recent 15 seed win happened in 2016, when Middle Tennessee State defeated Michigan State 90-81. Similar to the number one seeds, number two seeds have to be completely outperformed by their first round counterparts to lose. The two seeds should be locks in the first round of the bracket predictions, for the most part. A good bracket must include upsets. An upset is when a team of a lower seeding rank beats a team of a higher seed rank. Since its expansion to 64 main field teams, the NCAA tournament has always had at least one upset in the bracket. A safe pick for an upset would be a nine seed defeating an eight seed. These teams are almost identical in skill level and resume, so it is comparable to a coin toss. In the last 35 NCAA Tournaments, nine seeds hold a slight winning record over eight


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seeds, with an overall record of 71-69. Another common sight in the tournament is a 12 seed defeating a five seed. Since 2000, five seeds are only 48-32 against 12 seeds. It is important to note that a 12 seed has won a first round game in all but 4 NCAA Tournaments since 2000. While there are more games to pick early in the tournament, late-round games are where bracket competitions are won. Picking the correct champion is crucial, as that will net you 32 points in standard scoring that all major websites. Having the correct teams in rounds such as the Elite Eight and the Final Four is crucial for scoring points. Picking which teams go deep is a careful task. Going for only top seeds is risky, as 2008 was the only time all four one seeds made the Final Four. At the same time, no team seeded lower than 11 has made it to that round. One seeds and two seeds may seem similar, but picking a two to go deep is riskier. Since 1985, a one seed is twice as likely to make the Final Four, around three times as likely to make the title and a whopping five times more likely to cut down the nets at the end. In the end, going with a one seed to win it all is your safest bet, but do not be afraid to throw one or two nonones in the Final Four. If you are struggling to pick a champion from those top seeds, there are some stats that can help you out. First off, teams built with freshmen looking to leave college after one year traditionally struggle late, as the last “one and done” team to win was Duke in 2015. Relying on one player also is not the best method. The last team to win a title with a player averaging at least 20 points a game was the 2011 Connecticut Huskies with Kemba Walker. When in doubt, look for a balanced, experienced team to win it all. Smithsonian reports that 60 million people fill out brackets each March, so to get a cut above, you will need to be a smart picker. Balancing upsets with picking top teams is no easy task, but it can be done. And if you do not like that, you can pick based on coin flips or which mascot you believe is cooler. That works too.

Our Pick Our pick for the national champion is the Illinois Fighting Illini. Illinois is red hot going in to the tournament. They just won the Big Ten Conference Tournament, with a great win over a solid Ohio State team in the title game. Teams will have trouble defending Illinois, as their starting lineup boasts a national player of the year candidate in Ayo Dosunmu, and a constant force in the paint with center Kofi Cockburn. Illinois’ lineup has experience. Illinois’ three leading scorers all have at least one year of college basketball under their belt. The Fighting Illini have national championship written all over them. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Sleeper Pick A sleeper pick in the NCAA tournament is the Texas Longhorns. The Longhorns are coming off of a Big 12 Tournament championship, and they are looking like a team that could wax off six straight wins in the tournament. With their typical starting lineup containing nobody younger than a sophomore, they are a deep team. Texas is one that can score fast and build a lead instantly. One bonus is that head coach Shaka Smart has Final Four experience, as he took 11 seed Virginia Commonwealth to the Final Four in 2011. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Tournament Fast Facts The tournament lasts March 18 - April 5

68 Teams

Single Elimination

Final Four Host: Indianapolis

Defending Champion: Virginia Cavaliers

Midseason Number One: Gonzaga Bulldogs Odds-On Favorite: Gonzaga, +200 (via BetMGM)

TV Networks: CBS, TBS, TNT, TruTV


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March 2021

Impeachment is not political theater Proceedings have become based on partisan bias, not law Ben Rosen



he United States Senate has held impeachment trials for three U.S. presidents and a total of 20 federal officials, including two former federal officials. Of these, the presidents who have been impeached are Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Each trial has a unique set of rules. Even former President Trump’s two impeachment trials were extremely different. When a federal official is impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives by a majority vote, the Senate holds a trial according to Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution. To convict, two-thirds of the senators present, 67 out of 100 currently, must vote guilty on an article or articles of impeachment according to Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution. In the history of the U.S., only eight people have been convicted by the Senate. All were federal judges, with the most recent conviction being in 2010 in the trial of Thomas Porteous, a district court judge who served in Louisiana. When the sitting president is tried, the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court is required to preside over the trial. Because Trump was no longer president when his second impeachment trial took place, Chief Justice John Roberts was not required to and did not preside over the trial. According to the Burlington Free Press, citing a report from Vermont Public Radio, Roberts had no interest in presiding. Instead, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, who is the longest-serving senator from the majority party, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), presided over the trial. This can be a problematic conflict of interest when a former president or vice president is being tried because the person presiding over the trial also has a vote. The Chief Justice should be required to preside over the trial of a president or vice president, whether they are currently in office or not. The only requirement in the Constitution regarding who presides over an impeachment trial is that the Chief Justice presides when the sitting president is on trial. When it comes to deciding who should preside over an impeachment trial, three options exist. The first option is the Chief Justice, the second option is the Vice President, in their role as president of the Senate and would most likely not preside over their own trial, and the third option is the President Pro Tempore who historically has presided when a federal judge has been impeached. For example, during the Porteous trial, then-President Pro Tempore, former Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), presided. The role of the presiding officer on paper looks very simple; they maintain order and ensure all of the rules are followed. However, it is more complicated than that. They are also in charge of making rulings on parliamentary inquiries that come up during the trial. This can play a large role in the trial. Chief Justice Roberts made it very clear during the first Trump trial that he was not going to break any 50-50 ties. A 50-50 tie vote almost happened during the vote on whether or not to allow witnesses. During former President Trump’s first trial, the House

managers, who act as prosecutors, and the President’s defense team were given 24 hours over the course of three days to make their arguments. During Trump’s second trial, each side had 16 hours over the course of two days to make their arguments. One reason that could have resulted in the difference in time given was who was setting the rules. The majority party, more specifically the Senate majority leader, is in charge of setting the rules. During Trump’s first trial Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was the majority leader. During the second trial, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) set the rules. Once legal arguments are complete, the two sides are not required to use all of the time given, senators get an opportunity to ask questions. The presiding officer has to approve all questions. After questioning and final arguments, during which new evidence is not allowed to be shared, the vote takes place and the impeached official is either convicted and removed from office or acquitted of the charges. If the person is convicted another vote is held, a simple majority vote, to disqualify the person from holding federal office ever again. Since no president has been convicted, Johnson being the closest, only one more guilty vote was needed for him to be convicted, this vote has never taken place during the trial of a president. Impeachment is supposed to be a process of Constitutional law and not partisian politics. It should only be used if the person tuly violated their oath of office and the Consitution of the United States. The proceedings need to be serious legal proceedings instead of the political theater the last three trials of presidents have been.

The floor of the United States Senate. Photo courtesy of the Morningside Center.


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AP exams present new challenges College Board releases 2021 testing guidelines that fail to protect students Emilia Citoler



year ago the threat of AP exams was looming over the heads of high school students across the country. Then, COVID-19 went from a regular virus to a full-blown pandemic in less than a month. This caused last year’s exams to look completely different from the notoriously lengthy and demanding exams that occur every May. During the later half of March, when the entire world shut down, Advanced Placement (AP) exams were the last thing on anyone’s mind. But a month and a half later, students were hit with a shortened, online-only version of AP exams. The exams only covered what was taught in the class before March, cutting out a good chunk of material. The exams were also open-note, which meant students could have whatever material they wanted with them on test day. Although somewhat helpful because of the nature and format of AP tests having notes proved to be more of a distraction than a helpful aid for some test-takers. Students also encountered a multitude of technological issues when trying to submit their tests, forcing them to have to retake the exam at a later date. Many students called for a cancellation of the tests and refund of the fees, as many felt unprepared. The College Board ignored the backlash they faced and continued on with their plans. Taking an AP test in the midst of a raging pandemic is something I thought I would never be able to say, let alone do twice. The College Board, the company who created AP, just released what 2021 AP exams will look like, and as predicted, it is not good. In an effort to create an exam accessible to those immunocompromised or in high-risk households while also protecting the exams from cheating and plagiarism, compromises had to be made - ones that will hurt students no matter how one looks at it. For the 2021 exams, there will be three testing windows offered. There will be an in-school option as well as an online option available. These tests will cover the entire curriculum and will be the original length as previous years. If students choose to not take the exams, cancellation fees have been waived in an effort to offer students flexibility. Live review sessions and extra resources are also being offered, which is one of the things the College Board did right. College Board is also implementing several measures that are less than ideal. Because of the nature of online exams, the College Board has decided to enact a plethora of anti-cheating software. Plagiarism detection software that was used last year has been amped up, as well as new computer-camera monitoring and worst of all: students will not be able to move back and forth between questions. To understand how detrimental this is, the nature of AP exams has to be discussed. AP exams are built off of questions that are stimulus-based, which means the student has probably never encountered the material before. The whole idea is that the student must use their prior knowledge, apply it to the question and figure out the best answer to the question.

AP exams are also timed tests, with the allotted times being slightly different for each type of exam. Usually, it is somewhere around 40-55 minutes for about 40-55 questions, averaging out a minute per question. College Board also notoriously uses difficult language and wordy questions, which means students are strapped for time and need to move from question to question quickly. Adding up all of these factors means that students often mark questions they cannot produce an answer to quickly and move on, coming back later. Taking away the ability to move between questions will undoubtedly have a negative effect on student’s scores. The pandemic has created generational trauma, but students, such as myself, have little to no time to process this life-altering event. Not only are we faced with school, which has its own challenges, but we are also pounded with exams and an expectation to continue with life as if nothing has happened. The College Board’s idea of trying to modify their AP exams is less than impressive and frankly, overwhelming in every sense of the word.

Information from College Board. Infographic by Emi Citoler


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March 2021

Media activism informs, presents flaws Online advocacy proves useful but is not the only option Fletcher Haltom haltofle000@hsestudents.org


n the age of the internet, protesters and advocates for any number of causes have a virtually unlimited audience. Social media often serves as an effective medium for spreading information or engaging in activism, especially considering its ease of access and unique ability to publicize news and details on a far-reaching scale. Users are able to voice their opinions and stories in a format that is designed for participation. However, in spite of its appeal for some, social media activism is not the only practice that has the ability to constructively catalyze change. Furthermore, it necessitates coupling with supplemental forms of activism in order to have the greatest possible impact. Per the Pew Research Center in 2018, 53% of Americans reported having participated in some form of social media activism over the previous year. When considering the current political climate, it is incredibly likely that this figure has only increased. Additionally, the American public holds a generally favorable view of the impact that this sort of activism can have, with an average of 65% of respondents reporting that social media is “somewhat” or “very” effective at reaching elected officials, sustaining movements for social change and influencing policy changes. Clearly, social media serves an essential purpose as a venue for political expression and raising awareness. However, the ability of social media to create connectivity among large groups of people can be exploited for malignant purposes. For example, a 2020 Cornell University research report discusses the use of bots on sites such as Twitter to promote political conspiracy theories that are disguised as traditional social media activism. Additional grievances against social media activism are numerous, with an average of 74% of Pew Research Center respondents stating that they believe social media advocacy results in adverse effects such as distracting from more pertinent issues or causing users to overestimate the impact of their posts. While social media is

undoubtedly a beneficial tool for activism, there are a variety of other methods that can also increase awareness and attention for select issues and causes. Activism can take on a variety of different forms. In a legislative sense, activism can come through protests, boycotts or other related activities. Within a community, education and media campaigns can serve as effective forms of activism. As an individual, attending protests, staying up-to-date on important issues and making lifestyle changes are simply some of the forms of activism to participate in. The Anti-Defamation League cites educating others, advocating for legislation, writing letters or raising money as beneficial steps for youth activists to take. Nevertheless, to write off social media activism completely is to dismiss a crucial component for public awareness. To do so is also to dismiss the feelings and voices of underrepresented groups in America. When asked if social media was important for calling attention to unnoticed issues, 16% more Black adults agreed than white adults, per the Pew Research Center. When asked if social media helped to lend a voice to underrepresented groups, the same trend continued. Especially when considering the racial injustices that were and are the subject of numerous protests in America, it is clear that social media serves an important purpose for publicizing issues, especially within communities that may not receive the same attention otherwise. Although social media activism is unquestionably useful for raising public awareness and initiating the beginning steps of change, not every person, and especially not every teenager, needs to choose that specific method as their medium of activism. There are many different ways to initiate a change and there is no “proper” way to practice activism as long as it is practiced. No person should feel obligated or pressured to practice activism in a certain way. What matters is that people do their part to the best of their ability and make as much of a difference as possible.

Graphics courtesy of @impact on Instagram. Graphic by Fletcher Haltom.


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Killing conformity Students find balance in individuality, group identity Grace Mossing



hen was the last time someone told you were important or that your opinion mattered? America has run on the concept of individuality since its emergence, but somewhere along the way, that concept got deluded. America now only values your individuality if it is deemed correct. A fear of right and wrong has warped the concept of opinions. We are too scared of failure and ostracization, and it is not entirely our own fault. With the prevalence of social media and the internet, peer pressure follows people wherever they go. People are constantly watching and judging our every move and word. Not only that, but social media and the internet have started to dictate black and white thinking. This black and white thinking is rooted in the concept of conformity. Conformity tends to hold a negative connotation, and while I agree, it is not always the case. Conformity that encourages a moral standard within a school or community is seen as positive conformity. This can be seen through a school mission statement that students strive to uphold or the continuation of people holding doors for one another. This positive conformity, however helpful, can turn dark faster than people would like to think. A moral code can quickly turn into justification for unruly acts. In a tight-knit group, established members of the group can persuade others to conform to their actions through positive reinforcement such as praise or through peer pressure like criticism. Positive reinforcement occurs across social media platforms every day, whether people choose to recognize it or not. It is easy for a person to find themselves looking at the number of likes they received on a post, and what they could do to get the same amount of likes, or even better, more likes. This obsession spirals into finding accounts or posts of other people that receive more likes than their own and modeling a picture or pose off of them. While this seems like just a teenage internet obsession,

it influences so much more than that. According to Daily Record, teenagers are maturing at a younger age in a hope that they will begin to fit in. Because of this mentality, makeup usage in the past decade has shot up 90%. Another impact of conformity is diversity being lost. People are scared to find their own identity and instead act like other people. They are scared of being perceived differently or feeling powerless. This same type of conformity is present across our school systems. At some point, public schools decided to conform education to fit their vision of a perfect student. Schools are too focused on statistics and the success rate of their students to care about who students are as an individual. It has created a culture where success in the classroom is valued at the expense of students’ wellbeing. Grades are the end all be all of our lives. One bad grade and we believe our life to be over. Automatically, we are a failure to our families, teachers and selves. Schools do not value students for their individual talents. They found a box defined by memorization and grades to trap them in, especially with the required implementation of standardized tests. A kid who is good at art, speeches or coding is not praised for those abilities as much as being able to study and pass a test, even though those skills will lead to success in an individual’s future. Conformity discourages divergent thinking, the true key to success in our future. The world does not run on agreement; it runs on compromise. Nothing will change if people do not think differently. It takes the strong voices of opinionated people to evoke change, and the opinions of many more to put that change into effect. Individuality is important because individuals are important. We were not born to live the life of someone else. It is crucial to find your own purpose in life and not someone else’s. Find time to value your own opinion and in time, others will too.

Infographics by Grace Mossing.



March 2021

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Discovery of the self Writing, activities offer students an outlet

S By improving yourself, you, therefore, are pushing other people to be better versions of themselves.

elf-expression is a journey of self-discovery. It is how we embrace ourselves in all of the positive and all of the negative. Educators and researchers alike agree that self-expression is not only important for ourselves, but also with the people around us, according to research done by Jay M. Hanes & Eleanor Wiesman in 2016. We express ourselves everyday, sometimes without even being aware. Expression comes in small actions like sharing the details of our day or our feelings, styling our clothes, employing body language, and so much more. It is present in bigger parts of our lives like culture, religion and family values. How we practice these larger parts of life leads to the smaller parts of our life we identify ourselves with. Human expression makes us unique. Throughout this issue, there are countless examples of expression. Some people find identity in the teams they cheer for, giving them value within a group. Some people participate in sports, creating an outlet for energy and discipline. Others find identity in being activists, writers, politicians, dancers, etc. Studies have shown that one of the best ways to express yourself is through writing. In a study done by M. Cecil Smith, an Associate Dean for Research at Northern Illinois University, he found that writing holds many benefits. Writing helps people think. It allows a writer to connect abstract ideas and is beneficial to intelligence and creativity. Another benefit is that writing has the ability to heal emotional wounds. Studies done by cognitive specialist James Pennebaker at the University of Texas-Austin found that even just brief writing periods leave participants feeling happier and with less symptoms of depression and anxiety. Finding an outlet such as writing allows yourself to have time to be yourself. It gives you an outlet to express yourself with no expectations of the outside world. It is a time to write out your feelings and thoughts to organize your life and emotions. The best part about writing is that it can take any form. Writing can be poetry, creative stories, journaling, goals or just random thoughts. While writing, obviously a fan-favorite on the staff, is helpful, people also find themselves similar outlets through drawing, painting, dancing or other types of artistic expression. Allotting time for yourself is not selfish. In fact, it is the opposite. Discovering what makes you tick and learning more about yourself makes you a better person, and by improving yourself, you, therefore, are pushing other people to be better versions of themselves. Take time this week to learn more about yourself. Look for a new way to express yourself, whether it is journaling for a couple minutes, exercising, or trying something you have always wanted to do.



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Do you find that writing relieves your stress?


YES - 6 NO - 3

Bullet journals are used as a way to express oneself, as well as organize thoughts and feelings. Photo by Emma Tomlinson.


Tiger Topics N the Red is the official monthly newsmagazine of Fishers High School. It is distributed free to 3,500 students and over 300 student personnel. It is designed, written and edited by students. Opinions expressed in the newsmagazine do not necessarily represent those of the adviser, administration or staff. Letters to the editor may be submitted to A218, and must contain the writer’s phone number for verification. Letters to the editor will not be published anonymously. If there is any incorrect information, corrections will be made in the next issue.


As the student-run newsmagazine of FHS, N the Red is dedicated to providing the staff, students, and community of FHS with a timely, entertaining and factual publication once a month by means of public forum. In publishing articles that students enjoy reading, we are furthering both the educational experience and the expansion of FHS culture. The staff works to create a sense of unity and awareness and to allow the students of FHS to have a better insight to the world around them.


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March 2021

Issue Review

Down: 1. What Japanese city did karate originate in? 3. What was originally the color for Saint Patrick’s day? 4. What month did Crumbl cookies open? 5. How many times have all four one seeds made the Final Four? 6. How many inches has rainfall in Indiana increased from 125 years ago to now? 8. What caused the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill to be created? 11. Legislative forms of activism could potentially come in the form of boycotts or ________.

Across: 2. Who is Wanda’s neighbor in WandaVision? 7. What is the name of the Fishers-HSE A team hockey coach? 9. What will be required for online AP exams? 10. What month does the UK allocate for Black History Month? 12. Who was the closest president to being convicted? 13. What percent of students returned to school in-person on Sept. 18, 2020? 14. Usage of _______ has shot up by 90% in the past decade.

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