Volume 16, Issue 4

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Fishers High School Volume XVI, Issue IV December 2021 www.fisherstigertimes.com

Table of Contents 05 06 08 10 11

Features Grant Winner Finals Course Recommendations Dietary Restrictions Snowflake Science

12 14 15 16 18

Arts & Culture Homemade Gifts Holiday Diversity Scale Modeling Candles MCU Phase 4

20 22 23 24 25

Sports Gym Culture Girls Basketball Boys Basketball Wrestling Sports Rankings

26 27 28 29 30

Opinion Student Broadcasters Separartion of Art and Artist Student Volunteering Metaverse Editorial

On the cover: A Greek chicken and quinoa bowl sits on the table outside of CoreLife Eatery in Indianpolis on Dec. 7. The restaurant is known for their nutrious green, grain and broth bowls. Photo by Emma Tomlinson.

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Check out fisherstigertimes.com for our latest stories!

Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown, Sierra Leone visits FHS by Online Editor Andrew Haughey

Check us out on social media!

@fhstigertimes December 2021

Tiger Times Staff Editorial Board

Nate Albin Editor-in-Chief

Andrew Haughey Online Editor

Lily Thomas Features Editor

Emma Tomlinson Arts & Culture Editor

Fletcher Haltom Malak Samara Opinion/Copy Editor Social Media Director

Nicholas Rasmusson Sports Editor

Kristen Rummel Design Editor


r Emerson Elledge

Ben Grantonic

Laura Masoni

Abby Miller

Katrell Readus

Ben Rosen

Sydney Territo

Veda Thangudu

Freelancers Emilia Citoler Staff Profile

Ava Hunt Tiger Times

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‘22 YEARBOOK This year, every moment together is worth celebrating and the Fishers <SCHOOL HighNAME> School yearbook captures them all. Don’t miss out - reserve your copy today!





CALL 1.877.767.5217 8AM - 5PM CST MONDAY-FRIDAY

OTHER HELPFUL INFO: <Editable Books are currently $55 until Dec.Field> 24. Contact yearbook adviser

Jordan MacMillan (jmacmillan@hse.k12.in.us) with questions.


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©2021 Jostens, Inc. 211839


Grants allows for innovation Teacher transforms mathematics classroom with new project Benjamin Grantonic



n 2001 the Hamilton Southeastern Education Foundation (HSEF) was started to “benefit every student, every grade, every school, within HSE Schools.” HSEF operates as a grant foundation, giving grants to students and staff, as well as giving out scholarships. Over its existence the HSEF has given out $1.5 million in grants and scholarships since it began. One of these recipients was math teacher Matthew Poisel, who was awarded it in November 2021. “It's kind of a project where students are going to sort of explore their passions or things they are interested in, and then make short little videos that sort of show off their passions, show off their interest but also focus on the math behind it.” Poisel said. HSEF grants are given to help improve or start new and innovative methods of teaching. The grant money goes to help purchase new equipment or tools to help in those classrooms. “The (HSEF) grant funded some audio visual technology, so we were able to buy a couple microphones, selfie lights or whatever you want to call it, and then a drone, and also a GoPro,” Poisel said. These new pieces of technology are to be used by students directly during the completion of this project, with students getting hands-on experience with them. “I think the grant allows students an innovative way


to show connections to math rather than just solving traditional story problems,” Poisel said. “I know most students have cell phones that can take pretty good video, but the addition of the drone or the GoPro footage can definitely allow students to produce something that is outside of what they have usually done.” Poisel’s new project is foremost for the students that he teaches. Already, the project is in its beginning stages so far this year. “Students have sort of thought about some ideas,” Poisel said. “We are going to break up into groups starting second semester and spend a whole lot more time exploring and putting together ideas for what those videos might look like and then making them and producing them second semester.” The inspiration for this new form of project came to Poisel after applying for and winning the Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship grant previously. The Lilly Endowment is one of the largest private philanthropic organizations. "I myself sort of wrote that grant and talked about trying to relate my interests and making some short videos to show to students to help relate math to some of the things I’m interested in,” Poisel said. “That's kind of what spring boarded this project.” The goal of both the short videos that Poisel has made and the videos that his students will be making is to work to help

Matt Poisel stands with his grant. Photo used with permission of Matt Poisel. engrain some mathematical ideas into them. "I hope it at least sticks in student’s minds, you know students have tons and tons of different interests but sometimes we don’t think of the math involved in it but I think it's cool to think of the interest we do have and realize there is math behind it and make that connection,” Poisel said. “It’s a really powerful tool.”

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T H E F I N A L C O U N T D OW N Students prepare for the return of exams Veda Thangudu



fter three semesters of not taking final exams, the administration has reinstated them this year. Currently, students and staff are preparing for the finals. “I expect [the exams] to be difficult with the AP classes I’m doing,” senior Lizabeth Cardona said. “Because of a long break, it’s going to feel longer and more stressful.” Though upperclassmen have taken finals previously, they have not taken them since 2019. For underclassmen, this year will be the first time taking final exams at the high school level. “I’m assuming it’s just going to be kind of a wrap up of the whole semester,” sophomore Kiley Fields said. The score for final exams accounts for 20% of the overall semester grade. “It is important for students to be able to demonstrate what they know, and the final exam is one of those ways we can do that,” Spanish teacher Sarah Druelinger said. “I think that students will perform as they have been performing all

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semester. Hopefully, some will do a little better.” Druelinger believes that it is important for teachers to know about how the student is feeling so they can help before the exam. “Always communicate with your teacher if you’re not sure what to expect,” Druelinger said. “I’ve been working with a lot of students in Targeted Instruction trying to bring up some of those grades.” During finals that take place on Dec. 15 to Dec.17, the schedule includes optional office hours in the morning for students to be assisted by teachers before the exam. After a year of hybrid learning, a lot of teaching methods have changed. “It’s been a little bit challenging,” Druelinger said. “Curriculums have changed, especially in my class. It’s a lot of work to put the final exams together. My exams are going to be a little shorter.” While everyone has different methods of preparing, Cardona has a few ways she studies for exams. “Sometimes making flash cards

helps,” Cardona said. “I go over the review guide.” Students take advantage of Targeted Instruction blocks before finals. “During Targeted Instruction, I study with a group of friends and we help each other out,” Fields said. “It’s incredibly helpful to have a study group.” Fields believes that not properly preparing for finals can be an issue for students. “You have to make time. You can’t just be going through your day and say, ‘Okay, I’ll do this’ and never get to it,” Fields said. Students will get feedback on the written responses part of the final exams. However, there is no date for when feedback should be shown to students. When it comes to preparing for final exams, Druelinger has advice. “I recommend first going through all of your notes, all of your files, every single thing you’ve done for the entire semester,” Druelinger said. “Especially with those things you did back in August and September, it’s been a long time. Good luck on the exams.”

December 2021


Create a study oriented place

Avoid the urge to procrastinate

Get plenty of sleep

FHS Final Exam Schedule Semester 1: 2021-2022 Tuesday, December 14 Period 1

8:30 - 9:00 (30)

Period 2

9:10 - 9:40 (30)

Period 3

9:50 - 10:20 (30)

Period 4

10:30 - 11:00 (30)

Period 6

11:10 - 11:40 (30)

Period 7 & Lunch

11:40 - 1:10 A Lunch 11:40 - 12:10 Class (50) 12:20 - 1:10 Class (20) 11:50 - 12:10 B Lunch 12:10 - 12:40 Class (20) 12:50 - 1:10

Wednesday, December 15 Teacher Office Hours

Lunch Block

8:30 - 10:40

Thursday, December 16 Teacher Office Hours


Period 2

Teacher Office Hours

8:30 - 10:40

Open Lunch for Students

Open Lunch for Students

10:10 - 11:10

10:10 - 11:10

Teacher Lunch

Lunch Block

10:40 - 11:10 FINAL EXAM

Friday, December 17

Open Lunch for Students

Lunch Block

Teacher Lunch

10:40 - 11:10

11:20 - 1:05 (105)


1:15 - 3:00 (105)


Period 3

Period 4

8:30 - 10:40

10:10 - 11:10 Teacher Lunch

10:40 - 11:10

11:20 - 1:05 (105)


1:15 - 3:00 (105)


Period 6

Period 7

11:20 - 1:05 (105)

1:15 - 3:00 (105)

Class (50) 11:50 - 12:40 C Lunch 12:40 - 1:10 FINAL EXAM

Period 8

1:20 - 3:00 (100)

Try sample tests

Stay away from disrtracting devices

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Students can use study tips to prepare for finals. Information from Post University. Graphic by Veda Thangudu.


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Staying on course Upperclassmen recommend classes from different departments Lily Thomas


W Scan the QR code to view the FHS course guide, which shows avaible course options and diploma pathways.

ith over 200 course offerings, underclassmen have an array of classes to choose from when they meet with their counselors to schedule their next academic year. According to counselor Matt Swaim, counselors consider several factors, such as the student’s grade, career interests, diploma type and academic abilities, when advising students on course requests. Swaim suggests that, to prepare for scheduling, students should take time to think about what interests and goals they have in mind and consider how they can challenge themselves next year. “FHS is a large high school that offers so many choices to students,” Swaim said. “Students should take advantage of these opportunities and select classes that fit their unique journey towards finding a career.” To learn about the courses available, Swaim encourages students to read through the course guide found on the school website. Teachers and fellow students can also be helpful sources.

Math For those pursuing the Core 40 diploma, the highest math class required is Algebra II. However, there are other math classes that upperclassmen can take such as AP Calculus, Precalculus/Trigonometry, AP Statistics and College Algebra. Junior Kennedy Terhune is currently taking Precalculus/Trigonometry. “I would suggest taking it if you’re pretty comfortable with Algebra and Algebra II because it’s very similar to those skills and adds a new element of skill sets to the foundation you set in those classes,” Terhune said.

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Science In addition to the required biology, chemistry or physics credits, students must also choose an additional science class to take. Science courses range from Zoology to AP Environmental Science, with options for all types of interests. Senior Peyton Rodgers has taken Horticulture, AP Environmental Science and Honors Geology. “All of those classes are really fun if you’re interested in those subjects,” Rodgers said. “Horticulture is one of my favorites because you deal with a lot of plants and I like plants. If anyone is wanting that, I highly recommend them.”

Business All diplomas require a business credit, which can be fulfilled by classes like Accounting I, Introduction to Computer Science, Introduction to Business or Digital Applications and Responsibility. During her freshman year, Rodgers took an Introduction to Computer Science class. “It was really easy to understand,” Rodgers said. “They break it down and give you actual building blocks in the coding simulator, and for the final project, you get to make a computer game.”

Social Studies Though there are required classes, there are still some other options to take in addition to the requirements. Social studies course options include Psychology, Ethnic Studies, AP Human Geography, Sociology and more. “My favorite class that I’ve had in my four years is Current Issues,” Rodgers said. “The reason why I loved it so much is because it gave me a lot of freedom with all the assignments and projects.”

December 2021

Electives Elective courses could be from either of these categories: world languages, fine arts or career and technical education. A few examples of elective classes are Intro to 2D Art, Theatre Arts, Orchestra, world languages and Welding. “One elective class I would recommend is theatre,” Rodgers said. “I took it freshman year, and it’s really fun because you just act with people that you get to know. Some of my closest friends are people who I met in that class. It does help with presentations in your other classes because you learn to just not care.”



Final Advice

Language Arts There are both full-year and one semester language arts courses offered, and Swaim pointed out that there are also opportunities for college credit. AP Seminar and AP Research are two fullyear classes offered to those who intend to pursue the AP Capstone diploma. Other full-year courses include English 12, AP Language and Composition, AP Literature and Composition and more. Some one semester options include Creative Writing, Debate and Film Literature. When deciding which language arts course to take, Terhune considered AP Language and Composition and AP Literature and Composition. Ultimately, she chose AP Language and Composition because she does not enjoy reading as much. “I’m involved with Debate and things of that sort and it definitely helps my skill set,” Terhune said. “To me, I kind of think of it as the idea of ethos, pathos and logos, but in an entire class. We learn a lot about rhetorical analysis, argumentative essays and delve into why a writer makes the choices they do to convey a certain argument. If you tend to like things like that, AP Language and Composition is definitely a class for you.”

When considering which courses to take, Swaim suggests taking four or more academic courses during all four years of high school. He also recommends considering the rigor and difficulty of each course, as these will be important to colleges. “I do believe that the classes I have taken have prepared me for higher education after high school because the classes have to be taken in levels and after you have achieved one, you can move to the next one,” Rodgers said. Some classes Rodgers wished she had taken are a cooking class and a natural resources class. For those who do not know what they want to do in the future, Swaim says that senior year can be a good time to explore different courses. “The last two years of high school are an exciting time,” Swaim said. “As you get closer to graduating from high school, it is important to select classes that fit your goals after high school.” During Terhune’s senior year, she wants to take ACP Government (We The People), Advanced Math/Finite ACP and IB World Religion. “I think taking a variety of classes helps you reflect on what your skill sets are,” Terhune said. “When you’re going into your upperclassmen years, that reflection is going to help you localize your focus to what’s going to benefit you most long-term.” Graphics by Lily Thomas


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Nutrition recognition Cafeteria struggles to keep up with dietary restrictions Kristen Rummel



unch accommodations and food shortages continue to challenge schools as they work to serve thousands of students within minutes. Since the start of COVID-19, those challenges have only been exacerbated, so it is no surprise that school cafeterias do not look like they used to. About 95% of public schools participate in the Nations School Lunch Program (NSLP). The program provides more than 30 million lunches each day, according to the School Nutrition Association. Out of that 30 million, 20 million of those lunches are free for qualifying students. Many students rely on school lunches for their everyday meals, but cafeteria food options make it difficult to find foods that are right for them. About 8% of children in the U.S. have some type of food allergy, not including other dietary restrictions like religious beliefs and diet preferences. This has caused problems for students like senior Hailey Ruiz and Stephanie Dixon, who have more severe allergies like Ruiz suffers from celiac disease. “When I tried to talk to the head of the cafeteria about my options, they were dismissive,”

senior Hailey Ruiz said. “Basically, they told me I wouldn’t have anything to eat and weren’t going to try to accommodate me safely. I’ve brought my lunch all four years because of it.” Federal laws and regulations require public schools to provide meal modifications through the cafeteria service, at no additional cost, to children whose disability restricts their diet. For a child to qualify for food accommodations, they must prove it is a disability. This includes any dietary restrictions due to sensory issues, food allergies, food sensitivities or any other medical issue constituting a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Mental health does qualify as a mental disability. “You send in a request for what you want and your allergy,” senior Stephanie Dixon said. “I have issues with food other than just my allergy so when they don't tell you when the food is changing, you end up getting something that you don’t know is safe or not. I wish they were more clear with what each food is and when it changes. A lot of the time, you would just end up not eating. It happens at least once a month, most of the time more than that.”

8 servings per container


Shipping backups, labor shortages and supply issues have also affected the variety and consistency of foods served in the cafeteria. “The director of food and services and the principal will let the parents of students know that there has been a change,” cafeteria worker Mary Persad said. “It is not what we want to do but it is all that we have right now. It is not in our hands.” The HSE district webpage has a document showing daily food options in the cafeteria and MealViewer, an online menu, offers a more in-depth description of the foods served specifically at FHS. The page includes caloric and nutritional information, common allergens and where it is being served in the school. The way that the system works right now, there is no way to update the online menu. The only way that students and faculty are aware of changes is through email. “Bear with us, there are a lot of calls and complaints from parents. We are human beings, it's not in our control. It is in our best interest to make the students happy and we're trying, really, I swear, we're trying the best we can,” Persad said.


Scan to see FHS Lunch Schedule and what line it is served in.

Total Fat 8g Trans Fat 0g Saturated Fat




Dietry Fiber


Vitamin D 2mcg


Total Sugars


Calcium 260mg


Iron 8mg




*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Graphic by Kristen Rummel

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December 2021

Let it snow

Students express their feelings about snowflakes

Sydney Territo



o two snowflakes are alike” is a common phrase heard during wintertime as it begins snowing. The lesser-known reason behind their difference is due to how they form as they fall. No two snowflakes fall and form their crystal structures in the exact same way, making each snowflake unique. Snow is formed when a cold droplet of water freezes onto a particle of dust or pollen as it falls from the sky, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Then, as the crystal falls further, water vapor freezes onto the original crystal, forming and building upon the six branching patterns of the snowflake. “The easiest way to understand precipitation is that, as an air parcel starts to move up in the atmosphere, it gets smaller, condenses until it reaches its dew point temperature, at which point the air parcel is saturated [with water],” meteorology teacher Marcy Clone said. “If it goes below that temperature, we have extra moisture that condenses on condensation nuclei. Depending upon the temperature, you get either water or you get ice crystals. They all start as ice crystals. If it stays in that [dew point] temperature, that’s when you get snow. If it goes below that point it can turn into [liquid] precipitation like rain.” Due to the nature of how snowflakes form, they can only fall in areas that reach certain low temperatures. For students who


moved to Indiana from a warmer climate, they were not accustomed to much snow until they moved here. Senior Olivia Young moved from Arizona to Indiana after growing up there as a young child. She experienced snow for the first time in the Grand Canyon but came across it more frequently when she moved to Indiana.

“I used was the to think snow most magical thing ever,” Young said. “Almost like a myth that everyone talks about, but you don’t know if it’s true because you haven’t seen it. Once I moved to Indiana, I hated the snow. One of my first winters here had a huge snowstorm, so I wasn’t really prepared for what it was actually like.” Now, Young tolerates the snow. She still appreciates it for its beauty but does not appreciate the inconvenience it brings. Alternatively, other students have a passion for snow and like to experience it in various ways such as skiing or snowboarding.

One of these students is senior Jack Douthit, who skis with his family when he can. “Snow is so much fun; I love it,” Douthit said. “It’s

really pretty, except for when it’s slush and then it sucks to drive in.” Douthit loves skiing for its location and the thrill that it brings. He has skied at Perfect North, but would love to go to Colorado and ski on mountains there. “I really like skiing [versus snowboarding] because you have a lot more control over what you’re doing,” Douthit said. “I have always liked snow, and I hadn’t gone skiing until freshman year, so I’m sure that snow boosted [my ski enthusiasm], but I don’t believe it was the baseline for it.” Much like snowflakes, no two students have the exact same experience with snow. As Clone says, there is a uniqueness to each and every experience, which can be mirrored by the avenue each flake takes as it forms. “As a snowflake falls, or as it forms as it’s coming down, there’s not one spot in the atmosphere that’s exactly the same,” Clone said. “Because it’s taking its own path, it’s going to form based on the condition of that path.”

Snowflakes, as seen in this image, have branches that form with a similar structure, but each branch has different features, shapes and sizes due to the conditions they are under as they form. Photo labeled for reuse under the Creative Commons license. Graphic by Sydney Territo.

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Gift guide for those on a budget Homemade gifts are found to be more cost-efficient, personal Emilia Citoler


he holiday season brings plenty of exciting opportunities to see family, connect with loved ones and also brings the season of giving. For many, gift-giving is a physical manifestation of their feelings towards whoever is receiving the gift. Some relish in the task of finding an object to give, while others find the task daunting. Not only is giftgiving time consuming, it can be considered pretty expensive. “I’ve definitely spent more than $200 on gifts before,” senior Grace Harley said. “I like finding really special gifts for my friends and family, which ends up being pretty expensive.” Especially for students who have limited incomes, the season of gift-giving can take a stressful turn. With gift exchanges for family, friends, and clubs, the total can easily rise over $100 dollars when purchasing each gift. This is where homemade gifts are found to be costeffective and a great alternative for those on a budget. “I may not be the most creative but I still like to make my gifts occasionally,” senior Jack Douthit said. “As cliche as it sounds, it is the thought that counts.” Homemade gifts are not only cost-effective, but can feel way more personal and meaningful than simply clicking “add to cart.” Homemade gifts are also a great way to practice sustainability and reduce waste produced from the holiday season. Plenty of store-bought gifts end up shoved in a closet or thrown away. “I love making my own

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gifts,” senior Hannah Kmetz said. “I find it so much easier to make something rather than try to find something that is everything that I want.” Making all your gifts by hand can be a daunting task, as it can be time-consuming and require a good amount of attention to detail. Kmetz advies to start early and keep focus on the end product. Ornaments If your recipient participates in Christmas, a homemade ornament may be the way to go. Craft stores, like Michaels or Hobby Lobby, have all the materials needed for under $15. Grab a wood ornament and picture of your choosing and you have a heartfelt gift within minutes.


Ornaments Materials Needed:

- Clear ornament

- Picture of choice - Glitter/stickers/ribbon - String - Mod Podge

Instructions: 1. Cover the front side of wood ornament with layer of mod podge. 2. Cover with glitter. 3. Once dry, flip the ornament and cover the other side with mod podge. 4. Cut picture to size and place onto ornament. 5. Cover picture in a layer of mod podge. 6. Thread ribbon through the hole at top and create a knot so that the ribbon forms a loop. 7. Done!

Cake Pops Ingredients:

- Packaged cake mix of your choice and respective ingredients - 1 bag of chocolate melts - Lollipop sticks - 1 tub of icing - Sprinkles of your choice


1. Prepare box cake mix according to the package.

2. Let cake cool for 5 minutes and then mash. v 3. Roll the mashed cake into balls and place lollipop stick into middle. 4. Melt the chocolate melts and dip the cake balls in, covering the entire surface. 5. Decorate to your liking. 6. Place in fridge to cool for 2-3 hours and enjoy!

Baked Goods Baked goods are perfect for the holiday season, whether the mix is store-bought or completely homemade, baked goods are almost always appreciated. Before baking, make sure to know if the recipient has any dietary restrictions. “Cakes are super easy to make and don’t take too long,” Kmetz said. “You can decorate them any way you want and create something beautiful and tasty.” Other treats that can be made include brownies or cake pops, adding fun sprinkles or colored icing can add a fun holiday twist.

December 2021

Scrubs Coffee Scrub Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup coffee grounds - 1/2 cup coconut oil - 1 tsp vanilla extract - 1 tbsp hot water

Instructions: 1. Combine all ingredients b in a bowl and transfer to a b b container. 2. Let sit for 1-2 hours. 3. Done!

Jewelry Jewelry is super easy and extremely customizable, perfect for moms, girlfriends, or teachers. Beads are relatively inexpensive and come in all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes. Depending on the recipient’s favorite type of jewelry, one can make a necklace, bracelet, anklet, or earrings. Other than the use of stretchy cord, one can up their jewelrymaking game by investing in jewerly pilers, which allows one to add clasps to their necklaces and bracelets. Craft stores like Michaels have all the neccessary supplies, even cheaper options can be found on Amazon.

Candles Ingredients:

- Wax - Wicks - Container - Fragrance - Color

Arts & Culture

Instructions: 1. Place wick in container of choice. 2. Heat wax on medium tempature, add fragrance and color if desired. 3. Pour wax into container. 4. Use two pencils or popsicle sticks to keep wick in place. 5. Trim wick to size and allow wax to harden.

Scrubs An easy and fun DIY gift is a homemade hand or body scrub. Scrubs are great for exfoliating the skin, leaving the user with soft and supple skin. With only a couple things needed from the store, this gift comes together in under 20 minutes. The only materials needed are a jar of some sort, sugar and oil of one’s choice. This can be coconut, almond, olive or jojoba oil. To personalize the scrub, find out what the recipients favorite scent or favorite oil is and incorporate that into the scrub. Another type of scrub that one can make is a coffee scrub; Coffee is a great exfoliante. For this scrub, one will need coffee grounds, hot water and coconut oil.

Jewelry Materials Needed: - Cord or elastic string - Beads of your choice


1. Adjust length of string to liking, depending on type of jewelry and size of wrist/neck/ankle. 2. Collect beads and organize into desired pattern. 3. String beads onto cord, leaving room at the end for knot. 4. Tie the cord in a double knot.

Candles Candles are surprisingly easy to DIY and, with the variety of scents and colors, it is the perfect gift to make on a budget. Candle-making soy wax and candle wicks are readily available at most craft stores. With a wide array of essential and fragrance oils, candles are customizable for any recipient. The wax can be poured into any heat-safe container, like a mason jar or an old candle jar. The outside of the jar can be decorted to add a personal touch.

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Page 13

A happy holiday for some Common focus on only one holiday leaves some feeling unincluded this season


Junior Ari Goldman and their family celebrate the last night of Hanukkah with a fully lit menorah on Dec. 6. Photo used with permission of Ari Goldman.

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ecember is the time of year to be jolly and joyful, at least that is what many department stores, TV commercials, school events and workplaces tell patrons. However, the traditional mentioning of mainly one commercially popularized holiday and its festivities can leave some feeling left out and unhappy. This is the annually occurring “December dilemma,” which takes place every year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day when several religious and secular holidays come around. Emotions can be elevated, tensions can rise and misunderstandings can transpire. Even those with good intentions make mistakes, and schools are no exception. Statistics say public schools are more diverse than ever, with the percentages of white students decreasing and the percentages of BIPOC students increasing from 2000 to 2019. U.S. public schools have an average diversity score of 0.68, and Indiana falls in line with other states in the country with a 0.51 percentage, according to public school reviews 2021-2022 data. Though most of that data focuses on racial backgrounds, the numbers show that diversity in schools is increasing as a whole; this diversity is seen and acknowledged at FHS by sophomore Talia Mahmoudd, specifically as it relates to cultural and religious backgrounds. “I absolutely feel like we have a diverse school environment,” Mahmoudd said. “From languages spoken to ethnicity to holidays and beliefs celebrated.” Junior Tina Atmani expressed a similar sentiment but believes that when it comes to representing

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Katrell Readus


students of different backgrounds are overlooked “Speaking as a Muslim, part of the minority at school, I feel we get no representation in any of the school media, specifically when it comes to religious holidays,” Atmani said. “Everything revolves around the majority.” While focusing on the majority may, to some, seem like the quickest and easiest thing to do, it can ultimately make students of marginalized groups feel uneasy, unsafe or unwelcome. It is made apparent by history teacher Michelle Greco that the dates of all religious holidays, even those

holidays, I definitely see teachers decorating their rooms and listening to music revolving around that holiday,” Atmani said. “When it comes to other people who might celebrate, I never hear a word.” Greco admits some teachers are better than others when it comes to following these rules and provides a suggestion on what students can do if one of their teachers is not abiding by these rules. “If you see a teacher who is having an issue, you can go to a trusted teacher,” Greco said.” That teacher can take it to the equity committee and the committee can then have a word with that teacher.” Greco believes these rules protecting and respecting the individuality of students, like all other rules, have a purpose. “The whole point of this is to make this an inclusive space and not to make students feel like they are entering a space where they don’t belong,” Greco said. “Unless you [teachers] do not want to other any student and make it feel like they don’t really belong there. Acknowledging holidays when they do come up is a nice way celebrated by less than the majority of of saying, ‘Hey, I see you and I’m students, are brought to teachers early aware this is going on in your life.’” on in the year but are often forgotten, according to students. In the past year, through various social media accounts and postings, “Teachers are informed [of the some students and staff have seen holidays] at the beginning of the that some in the community are year via a big calendar with all the quick to say that rules stressing religious holidays on it,” Greco said. “We are not supposed to put up holiday inclusivity and education around different belief systems and certain decorations for specific holidays. In this environment, it’s mostly Christmas social movements are disruptive to the school environment and decorations that are the big concern because the room should be inclusive to culture. However, Greco feels that if that is the case maybe the everybody.” distribution is needed. Despite teachers being aware of holidays throughout the year, Atmani “If a policy’s aim is to increase a says she does not see much, if anything, sense of belonging and inclusivity being done to respect or support those in education and that is disrupting celebrating the less publicized holidays school culture, then there is a when they come about. problem with the school culture,” “When it comes to well-known Greco said.

December 2021

Photo illustration by Andrew Haughey.

Model students

Replica kits provide students with outlet for creativity, relaxation Andrew Haughey



lthough miniature planes, trains and automobiles may not always operate in the same manner as their life-size counterparts, they can still provide the basis for a hobby enjoyed by many: model making. This activity can refer to the assembly of manufactured kits or self-produced dioramas and can be practiced in a variety of mediums. Additionally, many subjects can be reproduced as models regardless of their feasibility in real life. Because of the number of forms a modeling project can assume, it is an appealing pastime for many. Freshman Kaiden Jayamanne enjoys building models and his projects typically replicate subjects such as planes, tanks, boats and robots from the Japanese anime franchise “Gundam.” He often utilizes the hobby as a way to relax and believes that one of the best ways to enjoy model making is to be open-minded. “There’s different varieties of models and sometimes you can’t find the model you’d like,” Jayamanne said. “Sometimes you have to change the type of model you’re building, which requires you to stray from your comfort zone.” Furthermore, Jayamanne believes gifting models for the

Arts & Culture

holiday season is a good way to engage others in a pastime they may not otherwise choose to partake in and, as a result, broaden their horizons to new activities. “Most people I know don’t really like getting clothes for Christmas and stuff,” Jayamanne said. “I also know some people who used to do models at one point but stopped for sports, but I know they still like it.” As far as gifting models goes, LEGO is considered to be one of the more approachable brands due to its availability in many stores and expansive selection of kits for every age. Additionally, the brand has a wide variety of sets ranging from art pieces to buildings to recreations of plants. For senior Mitchel Giesting, architecture is what initially attracted him to the brand. “I first found interest in models when I was a young kid and saw a LEGO model of the Empire State Building in New York City,” Giesting said. “Building models allows you to be creative and it is always rewarding to complete a model.” Getting a model to stay together once you have assembled it can be tricky in some mediums, such as plastic and metal. This is why Giesting appreciates LEGO’s connection

system so much. “The benefit of LEGO models is that the bricks tend to stay together very well,” Giesting said. “Because of that, LEGO models do not fall apart very easily.” While Giesting and Jayamanne find enjoyment in building static models, sophomore Emma Riddle enjoys building wooden mechanisms. Riddle was first introduced to mechanical models as a child by her family. “We have lots of wooden models, which can be assemblies of simple machines such as Ugears or ROKR [two brands of models],” Riddle said. “Anything involving gears or mechanical function such as clocks or anything to do with gear safes is fun.” Although Riddle enjoys building mechanical models the most, she has also assembled a variety of models representing different subjects. “I have done a few with electrical stuff, but then I’ve also done a few with just basic modeling,” Riddle said. “You can do LEGO sets, where it’s less about function because they usually don’t have any kind of function, and it’s more about [making] something that looks cool. It’s kind of where the creative side of me comes out.”

Two LEGO skyscrapers from Giesting’s collection. These towers are from the LEGO Architecure Shanghai set. Photo provided by Mitchell Giesting.

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Following the light

Students look for candles that provide peace, tranquility


ating back to the Ancient Egyptians 5,000 years ago, candles have long been a source of light for people worldwide. While candles once served a utilitarian purpose, now they are not needed for visibility, but they still can light up a room. “They add something to the environment,” senior Natania Dominanni said. “You can always spice something up with candles. You got a boring room? Put a candle in there and it adds a little bit of chill to the environment. It brings up the morale.” Candles are readily available at superstores like Target and Walmart that have a limited selection, but some prefer more candle-centric stores with more variety in terms of scents, seasonal choices and shapes. “Yankee Candle is a great store,” Dominianni said. “They have a really nice standard size, about the size of a small pumpkin. And I really like the fruity ones, so, for example, the apple-scented ones. I also really like the Christmas-y

Nate Albin ones, so ones that smell like spices, because I think it makes everything smell warm.” While some like Dominianni have a favorite store, others like sophomore Emma Piccione do not. For her, it is about finding the candle that is just right for her. “I don’t shop for candles anywhere specifically,” Piccione said. “But when I’m looking for one, I only pay attention to the smells.” There is an alternative to buying candles from the store, as some have taken to making homemade candles. This has led to some mixed results. “I made candles one time in 7th grade for a science project,” Piccione said. “They were quite small and they didn’t smell nice.” Others have been more successful with homemade candles. Senior Spencer Smith’s mom makes candles and then he uses them in his room. “When my mom walks in, she won’t go, ‘Wow, your room smells bad’ but will go, ‘It smells good’ instead. It’s a good feeling

albinnat000hsestudents.org for your room to smell nice,” Smith said. Scents differentiate candles from each other. There is the difference between the type of scents as well as the fact that candles can vary in how strong the scent is. Smith does not care for floral candles but, overall, is not too picky. “If I’ve had the same scent for a while, I’ll look for something new and refreshing,” Smith said. “But if I’ve only had it for one cycle, I’ll get the same one until I’m tired of it.” For many unique reasons, people enjoy having a candle in their room. Whether finding a new scent at Yankee Candle like Dominianni, borrowing them from family members like Piccione or going downstairs and grabbing a fresh, homemade candle like Smith, a simple candle can do wonders. “If you have the willpower to get up and light a match and light the candle, you should do it because it smells good and is fun,” Smith said. “Life is temporary, candle is forever.”

Graphics by Nate Albin and Malak Samara.

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Arts & Culture

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Phase Four pans out Students, staff reflect on current and upcoming Marvel releases


Spider-Man: No Way Home is the next film set to be released in Phase Four. Photo used with permission of the Marvel Fan Database.

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or Marvel fans, 2019 marked the end of an era filled with iconic storylines, loveable characters and hit films. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe enters its fourth phase, the introduction of unfamiliar characters, storylines and production choices have longtime fans wondering “What now?” Marvel splits the release of its films into phases, with the end of a phase typically indicating the natural end of a story arc. Kevin Feige, President and primary producer of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) franchise, announced the production of Phase Four

Tiger Times

Emma Tomlinson


during a press conference in October 2014, but the release of “WandaVision” in January 2021 truly marked the beginning of the new era. Phase Four has a distinctly unique attribute: television shows. This is the first time that the MCU has seen television incorporated as canon storylines into the franchise. “I think, financially, Disney has evolved into this stuff,” English teacher Ben Beasley said. “It’s a lot safer to do television; you know people are going to be in their homes. I think that the evolution of people staying home versus going to films is a large part of that impact.” There are 16 television shows in the works for Phase Four, with many release dates still to be announced. Currently, Disney+ is streaming five of those shows, including the recent release of “Hawkeye.” The six episode season is set to conclude on Dec. 22, and stars Clint Barton, a familiar but relatively unpopular Avenger. “Marvel has done something very similarly effectively with Falcon and the Winter Soldier series [taking a less popular character and giving them a show], and from what I’ve seen so far, [Hawkeye] is a sort of foil for the newer young Avengers coming up,” Beasley said. Marvel plans to introduce the Young Avengers throughout several shows and films in this phase. The Young Avengers is a team of young superheroes, first introduced in the Marvel comics. Producers plan on the Young Avengers becoming the franchise’s newest superhero team. “In the new phase, I’m excited

to see how the Young Avengers are going to be characterized,” Beasley said. At the end of 2020, contracts of iconic MCU actors such as Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans came to an end. This has spurred the introduction of new characters and plots. Beasley says that he has already seen some of the new characters begin the process of replacing iconic characters. “It’s important to not just drop in these old characters just for fanfare,” Beasley said. “New characters need their chance to grow and develop.” One such new character is weaponry-based Kung Fu master Shang-Chi, whose debut origin film was released on Sept. 3. The film grossed $431 million in box-office sales, breaking the previous box-office record for a Labor Day release. The fan response on social media was overwhelmingly positive. “‘Shang-Chi’ is something I think fans of Marvel should watch because it will tie in to past and future movies as everything in the MCU does, but at the same time this movie would be just as good if I had never seen a single other Marvel movie because it doesn’t require knowledge of the MCU to enjoy,” senior Cora Thompson said. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is just one of many origin films being produced during Phase Four, with the introduction of several new characters. Origin films depict a character’s backstory and chronicle their development as a protagonist. However, Marvel origin stories have not always been a hit with fans. “The

December 2021

Currently released Phase Four projects

January 15, 2021

March 19, 2021

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Incredible Hulk” is one such origin film that fell flat with fans, and some are worried that Marvel may repeat their mistakes with upcoming films. “I think that how well they define these characters will be the deciding factor in how well all of these new movies are going to go,” senior Derek May said. May believes that there will be a mix of good and bad origin films in this upcoming phase due to Marvel’s previous history. “I mean, the Iron Man movies were so good and iconic, and they were origin films,” May said. “Of course, there’s always going to be bad ones like ‘The Hulk,’ but I don’t think that means the new ones will be bad.” Beasley argues that origin films cannot be truly judged for the first few years after their release because they often set up events to come in future films. “I mean, looking back even at Phase One, there were movies that weren’t huge hits, but the characters became integral to the franchise,” Beasley said. However, fans have been quick to criticize the recently released

Arts & Culture

August 11, 2021

June 9, 2021

September 3, 2021

“The Eternals” film. The film has received a 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the worst-rated film of the whole franchise. Many fans share a similar complaint, stating in their reviews that the plot was “convoluted” and the storyline was not “strong enough.” “I felt like there was a lot going on in the movie, and yet nothing at all,” Thompson said. With the flood of new characters and storylines being introduced, some fans are relieved to see familiar faces, such as Tom Holland’s SpiderMan, return to the big screen. The project that May is most excited about in Phase Four is Spider-Man: No Way Home. The movie will focus on something that no previous Spider-Man has dealt with: Peter Parker’s identity as Spider-Man being revealed. “It’s the third movie of the third version of Spider-Man, which is pretty cool,” May said. “I’m excited to see if all the fan theories about different versions of Spider-Man showing up in the movie.” “Spider-Man: No Way Home”

Graphics by Emma Tomlinson.

November 5, 2021

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Photos used with the will be released in theaters permission of Marvel Fan on Dec. 17, and tickets have already gone on sale for opening Database. night. Record-breaking presale Scan this QR numbers have even caused some mobile ticket apps to crash due code to see to high site traffic. upcoming “I was worried for a while that we wouldn’t get to see the projects in final Spider-Man movie because Phase Four. of the conflict between Disney and Sony over the rights, but knowing that they’re willing to cooperate and get this movie produced for the fans only makes it more exciting,” Thompson said. The incorporation of old characters and introduction of new ones into Phase Four sums up Kevin Feige’s goal of continuing in “new ways and new beginnings.” Fans hope that these new characters will become as iconic in their own rights as their old favorites. “I see them doing more projects that are reflective of older, popular comics,” Beasley said. “It will be interesting to see the creativity in this new era now that producers are not necessarily tied to the old storylines.”

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Toxic training Students experience popularization gym culture Malak Samara


oing to the gym can promote many improvements, such as losing weight and improving mental health. However, toxic gym culture has recently become a prominent problem and prevents participants from acquiring many of the benefits. A main part of gym culture is occasionally comparing yourself, or others, to unrealistic body and physical standards. According to a study conducted by Cambridge, gym motivation includes body shaming and dismissing other forms of exercise. “Don’t worry about what other people are lifting,” senior Michael Schnurr, who is a sprinter, said. “It’s not about how much you lift in total, it’s about what you can do and get yourself better.” Gym culture can also have its gains and disadvantages. Ensuring health and safety should be the top priority, according to Cambridge. Otherwise, exercising will not end up helping at all, and it will worsen mental health. “The most important part of going to the gym is self-care,’’

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JV soccer coach and health psychologist Allison Rodgers said. “I view my exercise routine as a gift I can give myself to improve my health and celebrate what my body can do.” Recently, gym culture has been popularized. This is mostly due to the fact that people had time to kill during quarantine and saw it as an opportunity to improve their physical and mental health. “I think there’s been a cultural shift toward recognizing different forms of beauty,” Rodgers said. “For example, it’s become more socially acceptable for women to have strong bodies.” According to a review published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science, going to the gym can improve the immune system. Exercising for an hour can enhance immune cells that helps defend the body against pathogens. “Physical activity is important for our bodies and minds,” Rodgers said. “Physical activity can improve cardiovascular health, flexibility, range of motion, agility, strength, endurance and athletic functionality.” The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) states that going to the gym can provide social support and a sense of

December 2021

camaraderie. This can improve social health while also adding encouragement to continue exercising. “There’s other people [at the gym], and it pushes me to not stop in the middle of the set,” sophomore track runner Alexis Burke said. Improvements on emotional response to issues or mishaps can be a result from spending time in the gym. In a survey conducted by Frontiers of America, 43% of people said exercise helps manage stress and 62% of the participants found improvements in their mental health through exercising. “The most important part about being in the gym, to me, is to get out some of my frustrations that I have,” Schnurr said. “Not everyone is perfect, and we all have a little bit of anger inside ourselves in it. And [going to the gym] lets us get that out in a good way.” Even with all the benefits gym culture provides, the environment can prove to be very toxic. Social media has created highly unrealistic beauty and weight standards which makes it hard for gym participants to reach an attainable goal. “I think there’s a misconception among women that weightlifting will make you


‘bulky’ or that women can only do high reps with low weights,” Rodgers said. “It’s my belief that any person can lift any amount they feel comfortable with.” There are also countless contradictions about what exercises are good, what should be avoided and how long someone should exercise for. This leaves participants confused and often causes them to do unhelpful exercises or burn themselves out. “Be consistent; it’s okay to fail,” Burke said. “Drop a weight just to make sure that you’re being safe about how you’re lifting. Don’t jump right into super hyper stuff.” While Burke views utilizing the gym as a benefit, she also emphasizes to ensure safety both physically and mentally. “Just be smart about [going to the gym],” Burke said. “Don’t push yourself too hard. If you do, you can end up really badly hurt. And that’s only going to make it harder to work out and keep your mental health where you want it to be.”

Participants train in the weight room to improve their performance in sports. Photo by Emerson. Design by Malak Samara.

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New leadership Girls basketball team turns to younger players for leadership


his year, the girls varsity basketball team lacks one thing: senior leadership. With only four returning varsity members, most players on the team are playing varsity for the first time. As a result, some of the returning varsity players are stepping in to fill that leadership role. “We don’t really have a lot of people that can lead,” junior Olivia Smith said. “So we have to step up as leaders, everyone on the team, and just fill in a role that we don’t have.” In the absence of seniors, many returning varsity players, including sophomore Joirdyn Smith, have filled that leadership role. “I would definitely say Karina Scott, she’s another varsity player from last year, she’s a junior, and then the twins [Hailey and Olivia Smith], have stepped up quite a bit,” Joirdyn Smith said. “I think those three specifically have stepped up in

Abby Miller


their leadership.” Being that they are a young team, the team has regularly faced competition that has more varsity playing experience. However, according to freshman Ava Carter, they still believe that they are building something very special. “We play a lot of teams who are mainly senior- and juniorled,” Carter said. “We have leaders on our team that aren’t seniors, and we have really young girls stepping up.” For many players, this year is a learning experience, and according to Joirdyn Smith, the team is “willing to learn.” “We’ve just been learning on the job, really,” Joirdyn Smith said. “Every game, we are getting better, we’re improving in practice, we’re listening and doing the little things. This year there has really been an emphasis on little things for us to be successful.” Since there are no seniors, it

means that the team will not lose any players to graduation at the end of the season. This provides the rare opportunity for the team to stay together for the next season. “I think our team will really have a chance to gel more,” Carter said. “We’ll have more team chemistry.” With the conference schedule approaching, the team will have to gain more experience while also developing their leadership skills. “I’m excited to see how far we get in our conference,” Carter said. “I think that we can go a really long way with the team that we have.” This season has provided a new experience for all members of the team, and has allowed players the chance to grow as a team. “I think it’s definitely created a bond for us,” Olivia Smith said. “We all have to hold each other accountable and play together as a team.”

The Lady Tigers drive towards the basket in hopes to score during the game against Zionsville. Fishers won 61-50. Photo by Abby Miller.

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December 2021

Last team standing

Seniors set goal to win a state championship during final season Laura Masoni


HS Boys Varsity basketball is aiming for top honors this season. With new freshman talent and a so far undefeated record, the varsity team is hoping their skills, passion and dedication will lead to a new dynasty for Fishers Boys Basketball. “We could be the best team to ever come through Fishers and we want to live up to that,” senior Josh Forbes said. Last season the boys finished with a loss to HSE in the Sectional playoff game 44-40. While not the outcome they had hoped for, their 14-7 record and improvement from the season prior left the Tigers with a hunger to take the team even further. “Our team goal is the same as it was last year and that is to win a state title,” said senior Matthew Brewer. “We have the talent and the pieces to make a state run but we need to put everything together in March to complete the run.” While many teams may have the talent to win a state championship, state rankings



masonlau000@hsestudents.org are a factor that occasionally influence a team’s mindset, consciously or not. The Tigers are currently ranked 6th in Indiana 4A basketball, and are very aware of the importance such a rank holds. “Coach Winegar is always telling us how we’ve turned from the hunters to being hunted, and state rankings play a big part in that,” Brewer said. “Every team wants to say they have beaten a top 10 or top 5 team in the state. So, we need to prepare to get everyone’s best game every night. We can’t just go out and overlook teams anymore because we are turning into the team to beat.” However, as a team they say the rankings do not play a role in the way that they prepare to take on a team. “We don’t change the way we prepare just because a team is ranked. Our coaches do a good job of preparing us no matter what team we are playing,” said senior Payton Weemer. This year the varsity team is composed of seven seniors. Leaving a legacy is often the

main sentiment for many graduating team members, but this year many are just hoping to enjoy the ride. “I feel like this is the team and the year to make a run, and it would be awesome to win it as a senior with all my best friends,” Brewer said. However, the team’s goals are not confined to titles and legacies. Bonding as teammates is one of the pillars of the program. “Off the court our guys are probably one of the closest teams out there. We are all good friends and hangout and dance together and sing in the locker room,” Forbes said. This tight-knit group has large goals, but is taking it with a steady pace. “We are focused on winning one game at a time and getting better every day,” Brewer said. The Tigers will continue their season this Friday Dec. 17 with an away game at HSE. Tickets can be purchased online at Ticket Spicket.

1. Senior Bryce Williams runs up the court. 2. Seniors Bryce Williams, Jeff Simmons, Payton Weemer and junior Myles Stringer walk up the court. Photos by Kailey Santiago.

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Weighing the options Wrestlers look to lose weight while maintaining mental health The wrestling team huddles up after practice on Dec. 6. Photo by Emerson Elledge.

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restling is a physically demanding sport, but the mental challenges that come along with the activity tend to be overlooked. While the athletes are conditioned to build their muscles and expertise in a match, they are also expected to lose drastic amounts of weight and maintain their weight loss. This abrupt weight loss is expected of most wrestlers, with the exceptions being heavyweight or lightweight wrestlers, who often maintain their weight naturally. In order to achieve this weight loss, wrestlers follow extreme diets and exercise in full sweatsuits with the goal of losing weight. Sophomore Tucker Arnold, who went from 200 pounds to 182 pounds in one month, views the expectation to lose weight as a sacrifice to improve his performance and his strength, as well as a way to improve his physical health. “I have more energy to do things like working out [after dieting],” Arnold said. However, the ends may not justify the means when it comes to the long term effects of weight loss. The habits used by many wrestlers to achieve weight loss

Tiger Times

Emerson Elledge


lines up with some of the criteria that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sets for disordered eating, namely chronic weight fluctuations, rigid rituals surrounding food consumption and exercise as well as preoccupation with dieting. Although often confused, eating disorders and disordered eating are very different. The American Psychiatric Association defines eating disorders as “behavioral conditions characterized by severe and persistent disturbance in eating behaviors and associated distressing thoughts and emotions,” and examples of such are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Whereas disordered eating is defined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as “a range of irregular eating behaviors that may or may not warrant a diagnosis of a specific eating disorder.” Essentially, anyone diagnosed with an eating disorder has disordered eating, but not everyone that has disordered eating patterns could be diagnosed with a specific eating disorder. Sophomore Sam Webb was a former member of the wrestling team, but left for concerns

for his health after receiving a concussion mid-season last year. Last year, he was expected to lose 20 pounds in three weeks. “I would wake up right before my first class to make eggs,” Webb said. “Then at lunch, I would have a couple of strips of turkey lunch meat. I would have something small for a snack in between, and then I just have regular dinner.” Although Webb was strict with his diet and his exercise, to the point where he lost 10 pounds in the first two days of his regiment, he was unable to lose all of the weight before certification. “I was sitting there at 163 [and I was told] to go run it off,” Webb said. “I went back to the locker room, put on full sweats. It was tucked into my socks, [I] put on a sweatshirt and got out there. I ran dead sprint for about an hour and a half. I lost maybe two pounds.” While losing weight is a struggle that some wrestlers have to deal with, it is not always necessary to be a successful member of the team. “I have never had to gain or lose weight,” sophomore Antón Menéndez said, “But a lot of other guys do lose weight.”

December 2021

Rating the rankings

Collegiate sports use unique criteria to generate more accurate rankings Nicholas Rasmusson



ith the College Football Playoff national championship game coming to Indianapolis in January, rankings have become a major topic of conversation. Each sport has its unique system to rate each team, but there are two systems that stand out from the rest: the collegiate ranking system, specifically the ones used for football and basketball. These rankings are put together using many factors that allow the rankings to be as accurate as possible despite having no perfect answer. One of the big contributors to the rankings are known as “ranking metrics.” Ranking metrics look deeper into the statistics and metrics of a team, including their strength of schedule and record, offensive and defensive efficiency, among other factors. The strength of a team’s schedule is determined by the performance of their opponents during the course of the entire season. If a team plays a schedule filled with ranked teams and Power 5 conference opponents, their strength of schedule will rank higher than one who faces mostly unranked foes and teams from non-Power 5 conferences. Strength of record indicates a team’s performance against the opponents on their schedule in relation to their strength of schedule. Offensive and defensive efficiency speak to a team’s ability to put points on the board and keep points from being scored on them. These factors provide major help for the football and basketball ranking committees, as it dives deeper into the statistics hidden behind a record.


Another key contributor is known as the “eye test.” While numbers provide rankers with a strong foundation to build off of, numbers cannot be the only thing factored into a ranking. Watching how a team performs against opponents can help rankers more accurately define how good a team is. Headto-head matchups are also a major portion when giving out rankings. Head-to-head matchups can help rankers give an edge to a team, especially in a situation where the teams in question look relatively even. This helps answer the question: Which sport has the best ranking system? The short answer is that the collegiate system does. College football and basketball have the best ranking system in all of sports. It is momentum-based and has facts and numbers to back up each ranking. While it is correct most of the time, it will, along with all other ranking systems, make a mistake every once in a while. This college football season, Michigan and Michigan State faced off, and Michigan State emerged victorious 3733, but the following week, Michigan State fell against Purdue, losing 40-29. In the rankings that were released later that week, Michigan State was ranked seventh, one spot behind Michigan. This was an inexcusable mistake because Michigan State had the headto-head win against Michigan. Similarly, in the 2017-18 college basketball season, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were shockingly left out of the Big Dance while the Oklahoma Sooners were selected as a 10 seed. Oklahoma State had been playing some of

their best basketball at that point during the season, and they had just knocked Oklahoma out of the Big 12 Tournament, in addition to having a better record than the Sooners. Nevertheless, those minor mistakes made by both committees should be completely overshadowed by their successes. In the Week 13 College Football Playoff rankings, the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) was ranked 22, despite having an 11-0 record. Even though they had a great record, looking deeper into UTSA as a whole, they were ranked properly. UTSA’s top win this season is most likely against a subpar Illinois team, and their schedule was weak throughout the year. Similarly, during the 2014-15 college basketball season, the Murray State Racers posted a strong 26-4 regular season record and finished ranked number 25, but they were left out of the NCAA tournament. While this might look controversial, the correct decision was made. Murray State did not have the resume of a tournament caliber team, and they crumbled when they played stronger competition. When it comes to ranking systems, the collegiate system takes the cake. The combination of factors makes them difficult to dispute, and they tend to give an accurate representation of the strength of each team. As a sports fan, I hope that other sports leagues adopt a similar system to collegiate athletics, including the IHSAA. This would help properly rate teams and athletes before postseason play begins.

The College Football Playoff national championship game will make a trip to Indianapolis in January of 2022, where the winner will be crowned national champion. The College Football Playoff committee will rank the top four teams to determine who gets to compete for the national crown. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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FSN broadcast many different sporting events, including football games. During the game on Sept. 24 against Avon, Fishers won 35-25. Photo by Kailey Santiago.

Support student broadcasters Local networks, athletic associations need to provide more assistance to students


he NFHS Network helps provide opportunities to student broadcasters through affiliations with high schools across the country. Many high school student broadcasting networks in different states are part of the NFHS Network. In a similar manner to the NFHS Network, local television networks and high school athletic associations need to give student broadcasters more opportunities to get on the air. This is especially important coming out of a pandemic that has led to student broadcasters having very limited opportunities and stalled growth. The IHSAA already has its own broadcasting network, IHSAAtv, which the Fishers Sports Network (FSN) at FHS is an affiliate of. This is a good way to get student-produced broadcasts to a larger audience, but more can be done to help high school student broadcasters. In Indiana, most of the state finals events are broadcast on Bally Sports Indiana meaning they can be viewed on television in most parts of the state. Those opportunities should be given to high school student broadcasters.

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Tiger Times

Ben Rosen


If networks are going to televise these games, meaning they are featuring the players and value showing them on television, then they should equally value student broadcasters and let them broadcast the games. Any high school state finals event in the state of Indiana, whether it be on IHSAAtv or Bally Sports Indiana, should be broadcast exclusively by high school student broadcasters. . These broadcasts could lead to someone in the broadcasting business hearing a student broadcaster, being impressed by their work and giving them more opportunities to broadcast to a larger audience. By giving deserving student broadcasters a chance on that kind of broadcast, it might lead them to other opportunities that they likely would not have gotten otherwise The opportunities that FSN presents are amazing and have given me valuable on air experience. However, for the most part, a large audience is not present to listen to those broadcasts, with the majority of the audience likely family members of the athletes. Viewership can be increased through more promotions on social media and at school. The

viewership matters because sponsors look at it to determine whether or not they want to sponsor FSN. Another thing that can be done to help improve high school student broadcasting is more information being made available. In high school sports, limited information about the teams and players is available, and some coaches do not bother to update MaxPreps, a useful resource for high school sports statistics. At the collegiate level, schools have Sports Information Directors who create game notes for the broadcasters. These provide valuable notes to broadcasters. In addition to game notes, major sports networks have large research teams and databases to give additional information. Student broadcasters need to be able to have access to these resources. It would be great to reach a point in which student broadcasters are calling state championship games on networks like IHSAAtv and Bally Sports Indiana. If these changes it would help support the future of sports broadcasting and set up students who have professional broadcasting aspirations up for success in the present and future.

December 2021

On the separation of art and artists The link between creator and creation is an existent, permanent one Fletcher Haltom



here is possibly no cliche more often depicted in popular culture than the troubled genius; the brilliant artist whose controversies have left a nagging, persistent stain on their legacy. Along the same lines, there is perhaps no debate more rampant among these circles than that of how to reconcile these creative contributions with the existence of such blatant missteps and wrongdoings. Take, for example, Ye (formerly Kanye West), a talented megastar who has encountered as much critical acclaim (“Rolling Stone” placed six of his albums in their “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”) as he has criticism. From minor feuds to divisive political messages, West has certainly made a wealth of questionable decisions, prompting some fans to consider whether enjoying his music is worth, at least indirectly, endorsing or validating these actions. Of course, listening to a Beatles hit does not mean you condone John Lennon’s adultery or abuse. Just as owning “Kind of Blue” is not a validation of Miles Davis’ horrendous treatment of women, hearing a song by The Smiths on the radio is not advocacy for Morrissey’s political views and learning an Eric Clapton riff is

not support of his xenophobia and racism. However, the sheer number of objectionable artists in mainstream culture, especially as of late, does force listeners to question whether the separation of art and artist is necessary in order to consume any form of media at all. The short answer is that no, this separation is not necessary. While it may seem easy to create a distinction between the creator and the vices (i.e. out of sight, out of mind), to do so is to favor complacency over culpability. If one artist is excused of their immorality because of the magnificence of their work, it becomes impossible and arbitrary to determine where the cutoff lies. The politically divisive artist is significantly less reprehensible than the abusive or bigoted variety, but condoning one on account of their creative genius opens the door to condoning the others. The foremost reason why the creation is impossible to separate from the creator is because art is so inherently and intrinsically personal. Not every work is deeply personal (J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” is hardly an autobiography, although it does still reflect her attitudes and perspectives), but art is, on the whole, a reflection of the artist and their views. It is paradoxical to create a product that is devoid

of influence from the creator, so when that influence is a morally destructive one, it becomes an undeniable blemish on the work. To endorse the art is to endorse the artist, at least to some degree. Clearly, the issue is ethically ambiguous, and a great degree of nuance must be added to the conversation. At the risk of catalyzing a philosophical debate over the subjectivity of morality, it must be stated that certain shortcomings are distinctly more permissible than others. It is up to the individual to determine if the character and actions of an artist warrant their support, but it is an indisputable truth that supporting the art is in itself supporting the artist. Furthering the career and earnings of the artist by listening to their music, watching their films or purchasing their products is incidental support of them as a person. In short, the art is always linked to the artist and cannot be separated, though there are certainly varying degrees of personality associated with the works. Ultimately, it is up to the consumer to decide whether or not the actions of an artist warrant their blacklisting, but it may be better to err on the side of caution - although it may be difficult, foregoing the creations of a troubled artist may be the more moral option.

Graphic by Fletcher Haltom.

Opinion Opinion

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Service not serving its purpose The ineffectiveness of current compulsory volunteering

T Scan this QR code to check out volunteer opportunities in the Fishers community.

Remember to choose volunteer opportunities that you feel personally invested in. This will allow you to reap the full benefits of community service and continue a spirit of volunteerism later into life.

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he phrase “I need more hours” is one I often hear uttered as the first semester comes to a close. In order to remain in good standing with the organization, students in National Honor Society are required to complete a minimum of six community service hours per semester. Similarly, each year, the graduating class is offered the opportunity to receive a graduation cord if 15 hours of community service are completed during the year. The idea behind community service requirements, instilling the idea of volunteerism, is not harmful in itself. However, the behavior that it creates when students do not take part in meaningful service is. I am all too familiar with the “all done with my community service for this semester” mentality, as I myself am a member of National Honor Society and have fallen victim to that mindset, along with many of my peers. This instills pressure to perform community service not because one wants to but because one has to, discouraging future volunteerism. This brings into question whether or not required service hours actually benefit an individual and their community in the long run. When it comes to effectiveness of service hour requirements, it all comes down to the type of motivation offered: intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is driven by what a person wants, while extrinsic motivation (e.g. receiving a good grade or earning a reward) can decrease intrinsic motivation. This phenomenon causes people to do the minimum to get the reward and feel no need to continue past the reward once it is received. This can be

Tiger Times

Emma Tomlinson


perfectly modeled by service requirements. People do the volunteering to get a service cord or fulfill requirements but do not continue their volunteerism into later life. Rather than arguing whether or not service requirements should be implemented at all, we need to take a deeper look into the effectiveness of the current community service requirements and the psychology of motivation in order to create a system that encourages continued service. There are four basic qualities that influence motivation. The foremost of these four qualities is activating, which means that the action that is being taken should stimulate a desire to do something. For many students, the volunteer opportunities advertised as viable projects often fall short of the activation needed to stimulate motivation. The harsh reality is that most students do not look forward to working in a soup kitchen for a school club requirement. If offered the chance to referee a kids soccer match or paint with residents of a nursing home, students would feel more inclined to serve because they have a personal connection to the action they are taking. This is a by-product of selfdetermination theory, which states that people are motivated by a desire to feel good about themselves, which inspires them to do their most creative and passionate work. Extrinsic rewards, such as receiving a cord, may reduce this feeling of needing to do something for oneself, therefore reducing the motivation to take the good action. Motivation should help one sustain positive behavior in

order to reach a goal. If properly motivated, students will be more likely to be successful in their volunteering and fundraising endeavors. There is no easy answer to creating an effective community service requirement because there is always the possibility that the offering of an external reward will decrease internal desire to do good in the long run. The temporary effects of community service can be incredibly beneficial. According to Harvard Health Publications, in many studies there has been a proven link between volunteering and measures of happiness. In one such study from the London School of Economics, the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults was analyzed by researchers, and the results found that, the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being “very happy” rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks. There are clear, demonstrated benefits of community service and required service can allow one to reap those benefits. However, systems that have compulsory service hours are inherently contradictory and cause students to lose their passion for volunteerism. Those who require volunteering must take a step back and ensure that they are implementing a system designed around effective qualities of motivation in order to encourage intentional and meaningful service that continues into adulthood.

December 2021

What’s the meta with reality? New virtual universe detrimental to society, drains people of humility Ava Hunt



ith CEO Mark Zuckerburg’s recent announcement of Facebook’s rebrand, the metaverse has transformed from a science-fiction fantasy to a real-life technological capability. The metaverse, a term coined by Neal Stephenson in his novel “Snow Crash,” encompasses a virtual universe where physical and virtual reality are seamlessly blended. In the metaverse, a user can create a digital version of themselves and experience a world as engaging as the physical one. The user has the ability to hang out with friends, buy property and go to work, all from the comfort of their virtual reality headset. The soon-to-beaccessible ingenuine reality has the potential to be a daily part of individuals’ lives, detaching people even further from each other. Meta Platforms, Inc. (“Meta”) recently rebranded itself by changing its name from Facebook to reflect what it foresees as the technological wave of the future. Meta Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg says that he sees metaverse as “the next frontier in technology – the place where people will live, work and play.” He believes it will be available for use in the next five to ten years. Since its announcement, the metaverse has been getting lots of attention despite the fact that it’s still under construction. Part of the reason it is receiving so much buzz is because companies have already started competing for recognition and space in the metaverse. The companies believe that this new universe is a colossal money-making opportunity for them and need


to claim their territory first. As if the overwhelming sphere of manipulating advertising people face was not enough in the real world, the metaverse, or at least Zuckerberg’s version, will now suffocate individuals with monopolizing brands and make them even more vulnerable to consumer manipulation. The launch of Zuckerberg’s metaverse plans to increase the power and control given technological giants, which is the last thing society needs. Apple Inc. is rumored to launch a mixed-reality headset in 2022, and Alphabet Inc. has already attempted its own called Google Glass. Microsoft has unveiled new features in businessoriented software, which allows businesses to create virtual spaces where workers can meet. With the emerging virtual universe industry, these megatech companies are ensuring, using the resources they already have, that they own a share-hold in the metaverse’s projected financial success. The money earned from the metaverse will contribute to these companies’ monopolies, allowing them to negatively shape the reality of the metaverse. The more immersive technology becomes, the more information individuals are required to share. Now, the metaverse’s goal is to allow for a greater overlap between the physical and digital elements in peoples’ lives. In order for that goal to be met, it demands individuals to disclose more details about themselves. The technology also requires that users are subject to surveillance and digital tracking, and usage is going to be frequent since

Zuckerberg plans on it being the “place where people will live.” The metaverse will be a privacy nightmare just waiting to be breached. The cyberattacks that will occur in the metaverse have the potential to be detrimental, considering the sheer amount of data that the metaverse stores. The metaverse could become the new battlefront for modern cyberwarfare. The timing of Zuckerberg’s rebrand was almost too perfect to be a mere coincidence. The world is phasing out of unprecedented times during which there was very limited physical contact. Now, Zuckerberg has created a place where individuals can have access to everything they need and can interact with people without ever having to come into physical proximity to anyone again. It seems as though he is preying upon individuals’ past year of experiences and fears from COVID-19 to make society’s transition into the metaverse more widely accepted. He launched it when society is more heavily dependent on technology than ever and is providing another dangerous route for individuals to escape reality. Society needs to realize that the metaverse will only continue to make people feel emotionally numb, distant and less human than they already do, given our current climate. The world needs society and public policy to favor reality, not the pockets of technology companies. Policymakers need to favor guardrails against these technologies to prevent us from becoming another episode of “Black Mirror.”

1. A picture of a multicolored tunnel. Photo courtesy of Google stock images. 2. A cut out of the new Meta logo. Photo courtesy of Meta Inc. 3. Mark Zuckerberg’s digital avatar in the metaverse. Photo courtesy of Meta Inc.

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Having brains about brawn Balance must be found over how much a person works out


ith the new year on the horizon, resolutions are about to be made. One of the most common goals will be to improve personal fitness and lose weight. According to Cooper Aerobics, 38% of all resolutions will be related to improving physical health. Of those, only 25% last more than one week. What is it about fitness that lends itself to failure? In a peerreviewed article from Very Well Fit, people set themselves up for failure. Some will mistakenly start out with workouts that are way too hard, causing them to lose interest when they do not succeed. Others fall victim to a workout they simply do not like, so they do not make time for it in their schedule. In the end, they give up. Then there are those who find success and meet their goals, but the success can become a slippery

slope. Healthline reported on exercise addiction and the drastic effects that can have on someone’s life. Dr. Charlie Seltzer fell into this trap. He described a life filled with anxiety and concern over missing a set or eating an unhealthy meal. Those are signs of an unhealthy reliance on going in for a workout. Some will try to “make up” for meals at the gym. Others begin to follow a “mandatory” schedule that they will not allow to be broken. Once someone gets hooked to the gym, they could begin to have a worse body image if they do not meet certain checkpoints. These issues are just the start; some gym addicts may end up with eating disorders or end up using enhancing supplements according to NPR. As with many things in life, there must be balance. We cannot quit on our personal fitness. There will be hard sets; there

will be days where the workout routine gets pushed out of the schedule because life gets in the way. Just because that happens once does not mean you have to quit on having a healthy lifestyle. In order to be healthy, you do not need to sell your soul fighting just to lose a couple pounds. On the other hand, having a passion for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is great, but overdoing it is not necessary. Letting one thing, such as time at the gym, dominate your time is never good. Missing a day or having to stop early in a tough workout is not the end of the world. Instead, take care of yourself, and try again later. In the end, the most important thing is that we accept ourselves. We are all works in progress and as long as we all make the effort to grow and put our best foot forward, we are doing alright.

FHS is home to two expansive weight rooms. While doing exercise activities is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, overworking yourself with two many workouts also has its own risks. Photo by Emerson Elledge.

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Tiger Times

December 2021



Editorial Policy Tiger Topics Tiger Times is the official monthly newsmagazine of Fishers High School. It is distributed free to approximately 3700 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 adviser 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. Editorial

Mission Statement As the student-run newsmagazine of FHS, Tiger Times is dedicated to providing the staff, students and community of FHS with a timely, entertaining and factual publication once a month by the 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 allow the students of FHS to have a better insight to the world around them Tiger Times

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1. A bear’s winter slumber 2. Reindeer who is named for a female fox 4. What you might add on top of hot chocolate 5. Ice’s adversary 6. Spinning top with letters of the Hebrew alphabet on it 8. Poet Frost 11. Bottle or head topper 12. Visions of these danced in children’s heads 14. Sport played with a puck on ice 15. Type of ice that is a driver’s enemy 18. Canine mode of transport 19. Santa’s point of entry 20. Coniferous seed

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Tiger Times


3. The length of Hanukkah, in days 7. A winter-themed cereal brand, say 9. 2013 animated film or a description of ice 10. “I gotcha,” or a description for a slick surface 12. Winter sliding sport that might be a better fit for Halloween 13. Word that precedes “bear” or “Express” 15. Layer of snow or a woolen covering 16. The personification of winter 17. Snow-relocating apparatus 21. A feeling of coldness or a command to relax 22. Type of lettuce that sunk the Titanic 23. Natural disaster that’s also a Dairy Queen treat 24. Santa’s walking stick

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