The Galleon |Issue Two| 2020-2021

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THE GALLEON Spanish River’s Award Winning, Student-Run Newspaper


November 2020 - Issue 2

River Commences the Year with New Construction Louise Wyler Staff Reporter

Many construction projects on campus were started this past summer and are expected to beautify our campus. Principal Allison Castellano has been cooperating with construction

forming part of the Spanish River community. In addition, many small disrepairs around school such as chipped paint, tape marks, and cracks have been addressed, improving the physical appearance of our school. The refreshed surroundings of our campus instill a confidence and comfort to those returning to campus. The locker room

a clean and safe campus. Another change to be implemented is the design and flow of student and faculty movement throughout the school. There are plans to create a Single Point of Entry near the student lot. This single point of entry will decomplicate student traffic and afford the student population a more cohesive and safe means of navigating the

will accommodate and anticipate the changing times we face. “While on the campus during this pandemic, I have noticed many cool new renovations,” said sophomore Sam Budner. “The new dark blue doors and portables stand out to me. I’ve also noticed the new shark stickers and signs around the school.” Amidst the outbreak of a global

The new single point of entry for parents.

The new air conditioning units that have been installed above the 4000 building.

companies to make a multitude of improvements for students and staff, and for those at home to be welcomed next year by a polished seat-oflearning. It has become Castellano’s top priority to make Spanish River feel like a second home. One of the most prominent changes she has started is the implementation

school’s campus. pandemic, Principal Castellano is “This is a separate project for safety,” endeavoring to improve our campus said Castellano. in anticipation of a, hopefully quick, Mrs. Castellano meets with the normalization of school life. These construction team weekly and is renovations are sure to impress looking forward to the completion of future students and staff, as well as these projects. It is expected that these accommodate the growing need to projects will take an additional year develop a safe learning environment. and a half. “New windows are coming in every classroom along with some new doors and entrances in the interior courtyard,” said Castellano. “I’m excited to see the school transformed before our eyes and have students be proud and excited about the improvements to our campus.” Students that Constuction in process remodeling of the stadium restrooms. decided to continue the school year in person have begun to take notice of the improvements around campus. It should be a welcomed structure of changes that

bathrooms are also being refurbished, and the bathrooms at the football field and gym lobby have been gutted and are awaiting reconstruction. Another exciting improvement is new LED lighting which has been installed in buildings one,three, four, and seven. Similar installations are planned in building 8000 and other locations throughout campus. These lights are more energy efficient and motion censored. The school improvements are designed to not only be more e nv i r o n m e nt a l l y friendly, but they are also intended to enhance the environment of our school in general. New equipment such as water The new lights recently installed in the 8000 building classrooms. fountains, water bottle filling stations, and Air of Shark Culture which includes Handlers are also being positioned for our mascot, logo, and mottos. Shark Buildings one and two.This will allow culture is designed to inspire school students to feel more comfortable with involvement and excitement about


Percentage of Students Brick and Mortar As of 11/4... Number of Students Brick and Mortar: 455 Number of Students Online: 2,003



18.5% 18.5% of Spanish River Students are brick and mortar





River Welcomes New Guidance Counselor: Ms. Riddings


What is it you do for Spanish River as a guidance counselor? I do a variety of different things as a school counselor. I get to meet with all of my students to discuss academics and course selections, college and post secondary plans, and a variety of other topics. I also work with students regarding social and emotional issues, and help connect students and families with resources. I get to do something new every day as a school counselor! What made you want to become a guidance counselor? Being a teenager can be tough, and this was no different for me growing up before the days of Snapchat and Instagram. I had adults along the way though that made an impact on my life, and helped me through the ups and downs. This then motivated me to work with children and young adults to help them be the best versions of themselves. I have a poster in my office that says “Be who you needed when you were younger,” and this drives me each day when doing my job. Where did you go to school? I attended Indiana University for both my Bachelors and Masters Degrees. Go Hoosiers! Have you always lived in Florida? No, I actually moved to Florida in April during the middle of quarantine! I had previously lived in Indiana my entire life, but relocated due to my husband’s career. Why work at Spanish River and what do you think so far? There are so many schools in Palm Beach County, but I consistently heard wonderful things about Spanish River as we were getting ready to move to Florida. It has been great getting to know the awesome students and staff here at SRHS. The staff and families have been very welcoming, and I’m really enjoying getting to meet new people each day. What’s it like to be a new guidance counselor during the middle of a pandemic? Moving and starting at a new school during the middle of a pandemic has been an adventure to say the least. This year has been an adjustment for everyone, but is especially tough trying to get to know my students while many are virtual. Google Meets and phone calls have been a lifesaver, and I am looking forward to getting to know more of my students and the staff at SRHS as the year goes on. Lastly, is there anything you would like me to know that I didn’t ask? I’d been a school counselor in Indiana for 4 year prior to starting at Spanish River. Outside of school, I love baking, Crossfit, watching The Office, and going to football games. PHOTO COURTESY OF MS. RIDINGS AND INFO


Happy Thanksgiving FROM THE GALLEON

We are wishing everyone a happy and healthy fall break! ART COURTESY OF GOOGLE IMAGES




Should Supreme Court Appointments Be For Life?

Yes, To Maintain the Power of the Court Amelie La-Branche Guest Writer

The Supreme Court fulfills important duties to ensure the stability of American democracy. Since the birth of this nation, lifetime appointments for the Supreme Court have been the standard, but recently, opposing views have emerged as to whether term limits should be imposed on the Court. Supreme Court lifetime appointments are crucial to maintain the political neutrality and legitimacy of the judicial branch and of its solemn duty. Lifetime appointments serve as a means to preserve the independence of the judicial branch, as justices can interpret the Constitution, free from political pressures, future prospects, or repercussions. The exact reason that these appointments were put into place were to “secure a steady, upright, and impartial administration of the laws,” according to Alexander Hamilton in his writing in Federalist No. 78. Hamilton also writes that the judicial branch is in constant danger of being influenced or even overpowered by the other branches. To ensure that the Supreme Court can execute its duties independently, he advocates for lifetime appointments. Though the chief argument of imposing term limits is to depoliticize the Supreme Court, term limits have the exact opposite effect. The justices would be associated with presidential elections, which would cause the justices to function as an extension of the president. There is also the notion that adding term limits to the Supreme Court would set a dangerous precedent for further restrictions to be set on the judicial branch, a branch that requires independence. A loss of independence and legitimacy are not the only issues with a plan to impose term limits. With a continuous rotation of justices, landmark decisions can suffer “whiplash.” Instead of the gradual change to doctrines that lifetime appointments result in, sudden changes occur as the majority oscillates between maintaining and overruling decisions in the span of a few years. This fluctuation may result in the overruling of a landmark case such as Roe v. Wade (1973). Anthony Marcum, a resident fellow at R Street Institute, also attests to the doctrinal instability caused by the constant churning of justices, as he explains that the Supreme Court could very easily “go from eight Scalias to eight Ginsburgs in a relatively short period of time,” which refers to complete shifts in ideologies, which is “not the sort of back and forth people expect during these 18-year terms.” Though some may argue that Supreme Court term limits would avoid the chaos that vacant positions create, help put an end to judicial activism, and restore confidence in the Supreme Court, these claims do not stand well under scrutiny. Judicial activism is a serious problem facing courts

No, to Depoliticize The Court Nashki Joseph

today, but this issue can not be solved Associate Editor by imposing term limits on Supreme Courts. As Dr. John Eastman of The Supreme Court is one of the Chapman University states, “one most powerful political institutions activist judge passing the baton to in the United States and is able to another does not create a check against open the gateways for sweeping judicial activism.” societal changes in cases like Brown Another issue posed by critics is that v. Board of Education (1954) and these term limits can restore confidence Obergefell v. Hodges (2015). But the in the Supreme Court. However, based nomination process for succeeding on a recent Pew Research Poll, 70% of Americans have a favorable view of justices has become a political circus. the Supreme Court, and roughly two- The polarization of the national thirds of the American population see government is rarely more visible the Supreme Court as ideologically than during the Senate confirmation moderate, undermining the strength process for a prospective justice. And of this argument. The current system this all stems from one issue: the lack of lifetime appointments may leave of term limits for members of the uncertainty in terms of vacant Supreme Court. Article III of the Constitution states positions, demonstrated recently by that all federal judges “shall hold Ruth Bater Ginsburg’s death, but if their offices during good behavior.” term limits are applied, the infighting Although it does not explicitly state that surrounds vacant positions that they have lifetime appointments, will enter the Supreme Court itself, many legal scholars have interpreted exacerbating this struggle as the it as meaning so. Because of longer Supreme Court becomes increasingly lifespans, Supreme Court justices politically pressured and loses sight serve longer of its duty of now than at i nt e r pre t i ng any other point a n d in American applying the h i s t o r y Constitution. -Justice As the C l a r e nce str uggle Thomas is b e t w e e n c u r r e n t l y term limits serving his and lifetime 29th year on appointments the court. continues, it Justices are is important s o m e t i m es to remember inclined to one thing: wait until the Supreme a president Court’s duty to with whom the nation is to they agree understand the p o l i t i c ally Constitution, is elected. *Based on information from and to relate This leads every matter to justices staying on the court for of significance to this benchmark lengthy terms that extend far past their and the freedoms and ideals it stands for. Allowing political pressures to intellectual primes. There’s also the fact that lifetime influence and corrupt this precious appointments makes older justices duty is to allow the foundation of this more out-of-touch with the current nation to be corrupted. The Supreme state of America. The framers of the Court has a role to fulfill, and it is our Constitution purposefully created it duty as citizens of this country, to the so that it would be a living document best of our ability, to ensure that this role is fulfilled properly. The political -- meaning that it could be adapted independence and authority of the to fit the needs of a changing nation. Supreme Court is at stake in this great Lifetime appointments seem to be debate, and as it rages on, we should a departure from this principle, allow, not what is simple, but what is especially today. The court mostly reflects political opinions from right, to prevaill. decades ago, as opposed to what is current. It is difficult to predict when a s eas oned justice w i l l retire.

The average term length of a justice confirmed after 1900 is 17.6 years.


After Justice Antonin Scalia died in February of 2016, then-President Obama (D) nominated Merrick Garland for the open seat in March. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to allow the Senate to even take action on the nomination, citing that “it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on a president and withhold its consent.” According to McConnell and many other Republicans, the confirmation would have been too close to the election and undermined the democratic process. Of course, it was in his best interest to kill the nomination process until the election. With the vacancy left by nowdeceased Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, both McConnell and President Donald Trump steamrolled Senate Democrats so that Trump’s nominated replacement, Amy Coney Barrett, was confirmed to the Court just days before the election. This means that during Trump’s four years in office, he has nominated three Justices who will most likely serve upwards of 20 years before they retire. Even if the next five elected presidents were liberals, almost nothing could be done to reverse the conservative lean of the Supreme Court. Of course, this is not meant to be an indictment of the Republican Party. The issue of term limits is one whose scope extends far beyond simple partisan politics. In a parallel universe, the Democrats are apt to have done the same. The politicization of the nomination process is not one that is beneficial for the government or American citizens. One proposal by an advocacy group called Fix The Court calls for 18-year terms for Supreme Court justices. Each new justice would be added every two years, meaning that the Supreme Court would be completely renewed every 18 years. Chief Justice John Roberts once expressed support for a 15-year term, and Justice Stephen G. Breyer also supports an 18-year term limit. In 2015, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 66 percent of Americans supported a 10-year term; the approval rating was 66 percent among Democrats, 74 percent among Republicans, and 68 percent among independents. The poll discovered a rare instance of bipartisanship that could very well lead to the proposal’s success. If America is to stay on the path of progress as the world changes, the Supreme Court needs to change as well. Term limits would depolarize the court, shifting the justices’ attention to the people, rather than on politics. For a government that is by the people and for the people, term limits are a necessary change.




Let’s Talk About Cancel Culture Brayant Polonco Editor-in-Chief

Ever since the creation of the internet, people have used the power of animosity to spread any message they desire, be it negative or positive. Over the past few years, however, with the massive influx of people joining social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, there has been a surge in a practice known as Cancel Culture. Cancel Culture, according to popular definition, refers to the practice of withdrawing support from someone, usually celebrities, for having done something deemed offensive. For instance, one of the most famous examples of Cancel Culture in action occurred just within the last year with the cancellation of makeup guru James Charles. To those unaware, after Charles had a feud with one of his past friends, Tati Westbrook, over the promotion of a product, Westbrook published a video in which she negatively talked about James Charles and how he was a dangerous individual that took advantage of young boys. This led to James Charles’ loss of two million

subscribers a few days following the controversy. Many through Twitter and social media jumped on the hate bandwagon, accusing and spreading more rumors about James Charles to further damage his reputation and have him ‘canceled’. After this enormous loss of subscribers, James Charles published a new video in which he talked about ever ything surrounding t h e controversy, offering evidence for most of his talking points. Many of the fans who joined the hate circle surrounding James Charles jumped back to his defense after his video, with many others feeling sorry for having ever doubted him in the first place. Since then, Tati released a video apologizing to James and the entire debacle - along

with the hate James received - stopped. And that is what makes cancel culture so particularly scary. From one day to the next, a famous celebrity basically went from being hated by everyone to those same people apologizing for having almost ruined his entire life. This, of course, shined the spotlight on one of the most truly horrifying aspects of social media: the virtual m o b mentality. What has happened with social media is that individual growth is being negated, or rather, mitigated, as the minority now pushes a specific agenda regarding the celebrity they hate. Rather than pushing for conversation, it just addresses cancellation and negates any potential for someone to change. The matter of fact is humans

are ever-evolving beings, who learn and adapt from previous experiences. So for one tweet made during teenage years to ruin someone’s life today is extremely ridiculous. We are living in a time where socalled “wokeness” has become more important than truly learning or engaging from previous mistakes. If anything, Cancel Culture has become a hypocritical mob mentality that only cancels those who they deem to be unlikeable. Why was James Charles canceled over gummy bears when Kanye West literally said that slavery was “a choice”? While I am not saying that some people deserve to be forgiven for their heinous actions or words, I do emphasize the need for conversation and improvement rather than just all-out cancellation. That is the conversation we need to have moving forward: Will Cancel Culture truly lead us to improve society? Or will it just be a way of group shaming those who are not deemed “woke” enough?

this shows is that my generation is bursting with political participation and opinions, which most likely contributed to this year’s high voting rates. Alas, it is Saturday, November 7, the day that the final votes were countedthe day that Pennsylvania, Biden’s hometown, became a key state five days after the final ballots were cast. It had finally been announced that Biden is the new President-Elect of the United States. Conspiracies were overthrown, streets were filled with cheers (and masks), and homes were filled with relief. The people have spoken. At 9:00 pm on this rainy Saturday night, I sat on my c o u c h between my parents with tears swerving down the side of my face. This was the first time I cried tears of joy. The reason for this was that I saw an opportunity - an opportunity for women, an opportunity for minorities. “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Kamala stated in her Address the Nation speech. Kamala is not only a woman, she is also of South Asian and African American descent. This is history we are witnessing. This is a milestone for America. Barriers have

finally been cracked, and there is hope that they will soon be broken. A major takeaway from this election is Biden’s stance on unity. Throughout his speech, Biden tackled the idea that no matter what party Americans belong to, he will be a president for all. This closed a gap in the disunity of our nation and provided a sense of hope that equality can be achieved and division can be diminished. This is our fall of the Berlin Wall. It is astonishing that there is ongoing debate over voter fraud. It is almost as if a portion of the nation wants to reject unity. Amidst all of the requests to recount the ballots and pursue lawsuits, one thing that comes to mind is the 2000 election when there were accusations of voter suppression that led to the demand of recounting Florida ballots. In the end, it is important to look at what matters the most. Is it really the leader of our nation, or is it the relationships we have with those around us? Though both seem to have a great amount of influence on personal life, bonds override politics in the end. So remember, while it may be appealing to advocate your political opinion, is it more important than losing those who are valuable to you? Continue to do your part in the community, advocate for causes you believe in, and most importantly, keep your house standing.


A United Nation? Brianna Levine Editor-in-Chief

These past four years have been hectic. There have been clashes between family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances over political affiliations and beliefs. President Abraham Lincoln famously said “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” and this statement was proven in recent times. The protests, the name calling, the violence - it all has brought mayhem upon our nation. Here is the issue: disunity. This is the first election that I was able to indulge in. It was a matter of understanding major national issues and how candidates planned to counteract them. It was reassuring to witness the newly elected president, Joseph Biden, demonstrate concern over climate change and the lack of equal treatment of minorities. It was reassuring to see that he and his Vice Presidential running mate, Kamala Harris, put together a plan to combat the ongoing pandemic. It is these issues that were disregarded during President Donald Trump’s time (reign) in office. And it is these issues that encouraged record-breaking-numbers of voters to participate in this election. My generation is easily influenced by those around them. May it be their family, their friends, or social media, we are exposed to different opinions daily. I for one, grew up in a Democratic household, though I was not aware of it until 2016. I did not let this affect my political opinion. I decided to research

the political views of each side then chose the one I agreed with the most. This is something I encourage everyone to do. Even though I would come home and MSNBC would be on the TV, it was important to put Fox News on every now and then to see the other side of the story. Outside of my household, my other family members, including my sister, are Republican. The conflict that has arisen out of this is astronomical. I noticed my parents would refuse to attend a family dinner, and when I would attend, I would sit there in awkward silence when the political discussion came up. Scrolling through s o c i a l media, specifically Snapchat, I notice numerous posts claiming something along the lines of “If you are a Trump supporter, please un-add me” or “If you like Trump, then we are not friends”. To see this was unbelievable to me because I know a lot of bonds were broken due to one’s beliefs. It is important to note that when we grow up, we will encounter immense amounts of people with conflicting opinions, and we will often have to cooperate with them. Another thing




Senior Year? More Like Stressful Year Julia Horn

Editor-in-Chief While the start to my Senior year should be a time where I make new memories and hold onto old ones, unfortunately, the only thing that seems to consume my every waking thought is college. Will I finish my applications on time? Where will I get in? Where will I go? Will I earn any scholarship money? The questions I ask myself on a daily basis are endless. Now I know that this is an unhealthy way to start my Senior year. I don’t get much sleep, nor do I even think about getting more sleep until I realize I fell asleep the second school ended and took a 5-hour nap. Despite my unhealthy habits due to my overwhelming workload and poor time management, I still cannot seem to break my destructive patterns and actually get my college applications out of the way. It seems like this unbeatable obstacle towering over me. It is the idea of starting a new essay and applying to

another school that overwhelms me, and while I would usually never admit it, scares me too. My inability to stop overthinking about every detail regarding applications has been holding me back. How can I expect to complete 15 appl i c at i ons in addition to scholarships when I worry about every word I type into an essay? I am constantly d oubt i ng myself and getting lost in a single application essay. With so many essays on my plate, it is important to keep moving through them and worry about perfecting them through the editing process. These are not going to be what I remember in 10 years and slightly imperfect word

Pieces of Eight

choice is not what is going to keep me from getting into college and pursuing my career. In 10 years I am going to remember the times I spent with my friends and classmates in this critical year. It is important for me to remember that this is a critical year not only because I am applying to college, but also because it is my last year at home and my last year with my family and my high school friends. It is the events like prom and graduation that will stick with me. I certainly hope that when I look back upon my senior year that the only memory that comes to mind is not sitting in front of my computer typing

endless essays. However, it is up to me to ensure that does not become a reality. From the application experience so far, I have learned that focusing on essays is important, there is no doubting that. Although, it is the time that I spend outside of applying still thinking about college that is insignificant to my future. Thinking about the uncertainty of the future and asking myself questions that I do not have the answers to is not beneficial. I have absolutely no control over my acceptances. I only have control over how I get through the application process, and I plan to change my perspective and get through it with ease. My advice to anyone currently applying to college, or applying in the near future, is to make this time as a senior memorable, not miserable.


National Merit Semifinalists Congratulations! Alex R. Gaynor

Theme: Unmasked Send submissions to by January 1, 2021 Do you enjoy writing, drawing, art, or photography? Submit your pieces of work for a chance to be published in our schools literary magazine, Pieces of Eight. This year’s theme of “Unmasked” falls into the category of hidden aspects within one’s self. Submission subjects are not limited to secrets, so feel free to express yourself! Photos and artwork should be relevant to the theme and writing pieces can be fiction or nonfiction with a myriad of possible writing forms.


Katherine F. Heller Aditya Kumar Pierre A. Louis Mingni Qu


THE GALLEON November 2020

Arts and Entertainment

Seniors’ Crowns Showcase Their Creativity Brianna Levine

Editor-in-Chief and Arts and Entertainment Editor One event out of the many that were delayed or canceled due to the unfortunate circumstances of these past eight months was junior takeover week. This is the week that juniors flaunt their transition into their senior year, and the most notable way they do this is by wearing a decorated crown. On Thursday, November 5, seniors were informed that they could wear their Senior Crowns to both in-person school and virtual school. This became the designated day for the seniors who missed their junior takeover to obtain some of their belated recognition.

Senior Beatriz Castanho Wearing her Senior Crown during a Google Meet

“I am happy that even though there is a lot going on and many things are not possible right now, SGA [Student Government Association] is trying their best to do what they can so that seniors can still have some of the special senior year activities,” said senior Beatriz Castanho. “Decorating the crown was a lot of fun because I got to be creative”. Towards the end of junior year, students are typically urged to head over to Burger King and request one of their paper crowns. After this, they freely decorate the crown using a variety of styles, methods, and forms of art. The decoration process is memorable for numerous students as it can serve as a form of self-expression.

Seniors Alex Gaynor and Marc Van Buskirk Wearing their Senior Crowns at school

“I really enjoyed decorating my crown because many of the high school traditions have been put on hold due to the pandemic,” said senior Catherine Williams. “Doing anything close to normal senior activities has made me feel like a normal high school senior again, and I am excited for the rest of the senior traditions to come”. Though carrying out this tradition was not as simple as it was in past years due to the majority of seniors remaining virtual, many students took the chance to showcase their crowns both online and offline. “I am glad I was able to do this Spanish River tradition and decorate my crown with friends and proudly wear them to school,” said senior Alex

Senior Catherine Williams Wearing her Senior Crown at home

Gaynor. “I can’t wait for the rest of the year, and hopefully, we can do other events and traditions”. Although this school year is like no other, it is reassuring to see that many students are eager to participate in events and traditions such as decorating Senior Crowns. With about three quarters of the school year remaining, seniors hope to see more traditions take place. This includes decorating hallways, having Prom, holding athletic Senior Nights, participating in Grad Bash, and being part of multiple other events that would occur under normal circumstances.



Galleon Playlist Rock

• “Primadonna” • “Violet” by by Marina Hole • “Cities in • “So & So” by Dust” by SiouxHANA sie and the Ban• “Fineshrine” by Purity Ring shees • “Black Sheep” Rap/Hip Hop by Metric


• “Visto a las 00:00” by Cazzu • “Malamente” by Rosalía • “Peras Como Tú” by Farina • “LA CANCIÓN” by Bad K-pop Bunny and J • “Don’t Look Balvin • “In Dreams” by at Me” by Indie Sumin POORSTACY • “Wannabe” by • “Too Close” • “Find a Topic” by Sir Chloe Itzy by Isaiah • “DNA” by BTS • “Cinderella” Rashad by WENS • “As If It’s Your • “6 Feet” by Last” by Black • “Rhinestone Scarlxrd Eyes” by GoPink rillaz

R&B • “Honey” by Raveena • “Eternal Sunshine” by Jhené Aiko • “Stand Still” by Sabrina Claudio

Electronic • “Forgiveness” by Alice Glass • “Miss Negativity” by Night Club • “Akuma” by Alex

Arts and Entertainment


The Gaming Industry for the Win Elle Boerstler

Arts and Entertainment Editor While gaming has always been a popular pastime, there has been a noticeable influx in gamers that range from mobile players, PC players, and console players. In the early months of 2020, Nintendo Switches were sold out everywhere due to the release of Animal Crossing, which started off the year with a n incredible start for gaming. The video games market certainly rose in sales and is now worth 159.3 billion dollars, up from 152.1 billion dollars in 2019. New, exciting games such as Among Us and Genshin Impact have become a popular escape, as people distract themselves from reality and enter a new world full of entertainment. With the new Xbox and Playstation consoles on the brink of release as well, 2020 has been full of excitement for gamers. Among Us was released around 2018, and was practically unknown until August of 2020 when the game attracted the attention of Twitch streamers. It became a hit among gamers and can be played on either mobile or PC. TikTokers and YouTubers such as Pewdiepie and Corpse Husband brought even more attention by introducing people who did not regularly play games. The game has become so widely popular that even New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and beauty influencer James Charles picked it up. The multiplayer game allows up to 10 people per server and takes place on a spaceship in outer space. Among Us can be played with random people on a public server or with a group on a private one. Oftentimes, friends enjoy utilizing a voice chat, such as those on Discord, while playing, rather than in the games chat box, in order to communicate more easily. Among Us has proven to be an exhilarating game to play and bond with a group of friends. “The game is really fun to play with m y friends, we even have a

group chat for it,” said junior Elyssa Santana. “It’s even better when you’re all in one call and everyone is screaming at each other.” A great concept within the game is the ability for players or the game host to customize game settings such as how many imposters there are and how many tasks have to be completed. Players begin in a dropship lobby and can change their avatar’s appearance while they are waiting for the game to start. When the entrance to the map is released, players are able to explore the map and try to complete their tasks. When the game officially begins, players are divided into two categories: imposter and crewmate. The imposters are on a hunt to kill all the crewmates while trying to avoid getting caught.They have a special ability to “vent” in order to travel between rooms faster and sabotage specific areas in the ship to slow down crewmates from completing their tasks. Depending on if the group is large enough, up to three imposters can be allowed. Crewmates are assigned maintenance tasks and scour around the spaceship to complete them. The goal for a crewmate is to try to live until everyone can complete all of their tasks or until all of the imposters are caught. Players can call emergency meetings to discuss with other players about who they think is the imposter and can vote to eliminate a player. With everyone being a suspect, players must use deduction skills to eliminate suspicious people in hopes that the person they choose is an imposter. Genshin Impact is an animated game that has recently gained attention through TikTok and


PlayStation 5, are hitting the market on November 10, 2020 and November 12, 2020. Gamers are on the edge of their seats figuring out which console to choose. With only a twoday launch difference, the two most competitive consoles will be neck and neck as gamers debate which console is better. Both consoles come in two different varieties: one is slimmer and fully digital, which averages $300 for Xbox and 400$ for PS, and the other can use a physical disk and averages $500 for both brands. The PlayStation 5 will contain games like Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, NBA 2K21, Astro’s Playroom, Destruction A l l S t a r s , Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Demon Souls, and Fortnite. The Xbox Series X will contain titles including Gears Tactics, Dirt 5, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Tetris Effect: Connected, Watch Dogs: Legion and Yakuza: Like a Dragon. PlayStation and Xbox have been competing intensely for years, and gamers have been constantly debating which console is superior. Nearing the entertaining, release towards but can be the end of the difficult too.” year, the war between Genshin Impact i s more of a game for an individual both consoles will be a highly rather than a group but there is still debated topic in the gaming a way to play with friends. In order community. With the increased amount of to unlock multiplayer mode, players will need to play a fair amount of the time people are spending indoors, game. Co-op will be made available the rising popularity of gaming when they reach adventure rank 16 is one that grants access to an and the game will then allow them entertaining way to keep in touch and communicate with peers. to add friends and play with them. “It took me a little while but I The advancements that gaming unlocked multiplayer and me and companies have achieved only raise my friends spend time together expectations for what the gaming by playing,” said Uzan. “It’s a great community will have to offer in the way to have fun because we coming years. can talk and play the game at t h e same time.” The highly anticipated gaming consoles, Xbox Series X and S, and was released on mobile, PC, and PlayStation on September 20, 2020. It is an action role-playing game that features an open world map in which the player can freely roam and complete quests. The Chinese game was a hit in the United States due to its elegant animation and breathtaking visuals. The fact that the game was free was a major head turner and surprised people because of the detailed graphics and storyline. At the start of the game, a sorceress attacks the player’s avatar and their twin. The fight between the player and the sorceress ends up as a loss and their avatar’s twin is captured. After the prologue, Paimon, a funsized guide to the new virtual world the player arrives in, is introduced. The game then sends them on a journey to find their lost sibling and complete quests, fight deities, and interact with characters along the way. “It’s another world to get lost in.” said senior David Uzan. “Exploring the world, completing quests, and beating new levels is extremely





Brayant Polanco Co-Editor-in-Chief, Head Features &, Feature Focus Editor



People all across the world are now wearing facemasks to protect others from COVID-19.


Who would have thought, during Decem inating from China would spread acro of 2020, countries all across the globe banning travel, closing non-essential bus distancing. Our entire world was flipped ups Thousands of people all across the globe and those with preexisting conditions at that, even if small, the COVID-19 pande than one.

Following the spread of the virus throughout the entire world, leaders called for their respective citizens to follow self-isolation guidelines and social distancing until further research on COVID-19 developed. The clearest change has been the use of face masks to limit the transmission of the virus in public settings. With this new mandate, however, has also been the arrival of many anti-maskers who firmly believe that the face masks do not decrease the chance of transmission, even after numerous research studies by renowned institutions such as the Mayo Clinic have proven otherwise. This has gathered national attention as viral videos show those who refuse to wear masks in public settings often complaining, fighting, and arguing with others telling them to do so. This also started a new trend, where women, specifically those who do not wear masks and cause public outrage, are being nicknamed “Karen” for their selfish and outlandish behavior. With limited social gatherings, video conferencing applications such as Zoom and Google Meet have helped people connect even when miles apart. Games such as Pictionary and Codemasters also became fairly popular sources of entertainment in Zoom calls. Other extensions such as Netflix Watch Party, which allows friends to watch a Netflix series or film together, also gained traction. Although restaurants and bars have reopened, some still have social distancing guidelines in effect to protect customers and employees from contracting the disease. Wearing masks, following social distancing guidelines, and adhering to limited gatherings have become the new normal -- at least for now. With studies of a vaccine almost reaching their conclusion, according to the Trump administration, most people are hoping to put the pandemic behind them and move on.

CALIFORNIA 964K Cases 17K Deaths


Students, parents, and educators all across the world have certainly experienced one of the greatest changes brought by COVID-19. Almost all of the educational systems across the entire world have found themselves disrupted by this sudden change. Over March of last year, most students and educators across the United States had to begin learning, or teaching, virtually. This placed a strain on everyone involved. Educators found it difficult handling the new technology and meeting with students, while students were confused with their classwork and could not focus at home. Parents had to balance working and checking in on their children for virtual learning. The matter of virtual learning, however, then posed a new question for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year: Should schools reopen? While many advocated for schools to remain closed and virtual, many government officials such as President Trump pushed for schools to reopen as the virtual learning experience was ‘failing’. Of course, virtual learning experienced many changes throughout the summer. For instance, rather than just doing online assignments and attending Google Meets with their teachers once per week, students now must attend their classes daily with the same schedules as they would during a normal school year. This posed a challenge to many students, as they were not able to concentrate while learning from home eight hours a day. Many school districts, as is the case with the Palm Beach School District, then gave the options to students of either returning to school in-person with mandated social distancing policies or staying online and learning from home. This caused yet another controversy: Teachers with conditions that placed them at high risk were now forced to teach all students in their classrooms or they could face being fired during a global pandemic. Additionally, pictures of packed hallways in schools throughout the United States ignited even more controversies as it was clear that many students were not wearing masks and schools were not enforcing the social distancing mandates. Regardless of the controversies, however, educators and students alike experienced first-hand many of the changes and challenges in the education system brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it may have been having trouble setting up a Google Meet or having to change assignments that would normally be given in classrooms, there have been many changes that all of us are experiencing.

Many students are now learning virtually as platforms such as Zoom and Google Meets are used to give lessons.

14 million people have been unemployed or laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Although there have been many mysteries and cont mains clear is that it has affected the work-force globa rienced pay cuts, and many frontline workers were mo Various industries were affected differently, but the e While celebrities were fortunate to have income throug As a whole, they found themselves unemployed due t mances. Cinemas and movie theaters were also closed, mea Mulan, and a Quiet Place II were delayed until cinem Voice, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and Dancing w ences. The healthcare industry was also heavily impacted due to the pandemic, and many are currently working influx of new patients. Frontline workers and emergen to the strain it placed on many hospitals’ funds. Studie Mamidipalli Sai Spoorthy, Sree Karthik Pratapa, and S workers in China have experienced depression, 44.6% over the last few months. Many companies had massive layoffs as they could the arrival of COVID-19. This led to a gigantic surge i American workers unemployed. The entirety of the effects of the COVID-19 pande clear is that millions of American households are bein time will tell the full effects that the COVID-19 pand generations may be affected by the radical changes bro







mber of 2019, that the coronavirus origoss the entire world? In the beginning suddenly found themselves closed off, sinesses, and setting mandates for social

side down in a matter of two months. e contracted the disease, with the elderly the highest risk of death. It is safe to say emic has affected all of us in more ways More swans return to Venice, Italy due to clear waters after the COVID-19 pandemic.

NEW YORK 522K Cases 33.6K Deaths

FLORIDA 883K Cases 17.8K Deaths

The environment, ironically, has gotten better as the virus gets worse. With most following self-isolation guidelines throughout the entire world, pollution decreased and the environment in certain countries showed signs of improvements. In Venice, Italy, for instance, there was an influx of dolphins, fishes, and swans as the motorboats that usually pass through the Venice canals stopped. Venice is a heavily touristic area that uses thousands of motorboats to transport tourists within its canals, this often polluted the water with various sediments, making it impossible for any marine life to thrive. Other countries like China, who have constantly been known for its great amount of pollution from its various industrial factories, also experienced a decline in greenhouse emissions gases which led to a decrease in air pollution a the industrial regions. But not everything was positive. With most industries shutting down for prolonged amounts of time due to the arrival of the virus, many went into overdrive as they started to make up for the profits that were lost in the early months. Additionally, third-world countries such as India also experienced a lack of proper masks, resulting in the use of disposable surgical masks that have been thrown away through forests, beaches, oceans, natural trails, and more. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown us the effects of human action upon the environment. Although countries may likely return to their usual routines with the arrival of a vaccine for COVID-19, it is important to discuss these changes that have affected our environment positively and how we can make them the new normal.

Zoom experienced a 354% increase with over 265 thousand customers following the spread of the pandemic. - The Verge

China’s NO2 emissions decrease to 40% following the shutdown of factories.

Air quality in China improved by 21.5% in February following the spread of the COVID-19. Students from 2019-2020 year celebrating prom virtually through Zoom.



troversies surrounding COVID-19, one thing that really. Millions of people lost their jobs, thousands expeore overwhelmed than ever before. entertainment industry took one of the hardest blows. ghout the pandemic, entertainment workers were not. to the halt placed on many theatre and music perfor-

aning that long-awaited movies such as Black Widow, mas were allowed to reopen. Many shows such as The with the Stars were also not allowed to have live audi-

d. Healthcare workers are in more demand than ever g more hours and taking additional shifts to handle the ncy healthcare workers also experienced pay cuts due es by Indian researchers, Supriya Mahant, have shown that 50.4% of healthcare % exhibited anxiety, and 71.5% faced emotional distress

d not afford to keep up with all of their workers with in the unemployment rate as an estimate of 40 million

emic on the work-force are still unknown, but what is ng affected by the current unemployment crisis. Only demic has had on employment, as well as how future ought by it.

- China Ministry of Ecology and Environment

SOCIAL MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY TEXAS 977K Cases 19K Deaths The unemployment rate rose from 6.2 million (3.8%) to over 14 million (13%) over the course of the pandemic. - Pew Research Center 83% of all schools worldwide are using technology and virtual learning as the primary method for teaching students. - UNICEF PHOTO COURTESY OF GOOGLE IMAGES AND KATHERINE BURKMAN

One of the many ways people found themselves connected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic was with the use of social media and online video games. Social media applications such as Instagram and TikTok became popular sources of entertainment, but they also became essential tools to connect people who were following the self-isolation guidelines. People could post or share funny videos, talk through Instagram Lives with some of their friends, or even get an update on how their friends were doing through the pandemic. Although many concerts were canceled due to the pandemic, famous artists jumped on the social media bandwagon. Artists such as Billie Eilish and Shawn Mendes started offering virtual concerts where their fans could enjoy their incredible performances for non-profit causes from the comfort of their homes. Video games were also another means of connecting people during the pandemic. Games such as Call of Duty: Warzone and Fall Guys became increasingly popular. With people inside their homes, it was no surprise that many would turn to videogames or social media for entertainment. Recently, free mobile games such as Among Us has also become fairly popular for friends to play together. Overall, in spite of the trying times, people have remained connected more than ever with social media and online video games. They have both served as a form of consistency during turbulent times, allowing us to interact with friends and family even when thousands of miles apart.




Sharks Take a Bite Out of New Clubs Brooke Styka Features Editor

River students have seeked new approaches to lifting school spirit and spreading positivity during this conflicted time. This school year, River has welcomed numerous new clubs, including the Steminist Club, Fresh Threads Club, and the Stand Up For Human Rights, Peace, and Environment Club. The Steminist club, administered by junior Talya Givoni, focuses on empowering women pursuing a career within Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related fields. Through group activities and volunteer work, Givoni has created an atmosphere dedicated to learning what it means to be confident, while educating oneself on intriguing topics. Due to safety concerns, the Steminist Club holds virtual meetings via google classroom. The club serves as an outlet for like-minded students to socialize in a comfortable environment while sharing their own stories and opportunities. Givoni plans on having guest speakers as well as participating in related volunteer work and female empowerment activities. “One of my favorite activities is our STEMINIST empowerment playlist,” said junior Talya Givoni. “The songs truly bond us together, while hyping and empowering us at the same time.” The Steminist club has also teamed up with Students Speak Up For Kids, and is offering free classes to younger

girls who are a part of the foster care system in Palm Beach County. The free classes intend to educate young girls on the meaning of pride through STEMrelated lessons and projects. “Our first lesson included learning about the scientific method,” explained Givoni. “We worked through a senses lab, and engaged in the “I am Proud of My Name” activity.” The Fresh Threads Club, set in motion thanks to juniors Mackenzie Fenwick and Rylee Krinsky, aims at

Although Fresh Threads initially began last school year, the club was forced to adapt to circumstances in regards to the pandemic. Hence, donations are claimed through a series of “runs” carried out by Fenwick and Krinsky, in which items are picked up from the houses of donors. Fenwick and Krinsky conduct clothing drives, typically with a holiday theme. For instance, in the month of

bettering the community through donation drives of school related items. Fresh Threads strives to boost students’ selfconfidence and academic achievements by ensuring that children are provided with basic school necessities. “We started Fresh Threads because we were seeking a way to better the community,” explained Fenwick. “We decided that our main focus was boosting a child’s self esteem and in doing that, we figured that distributing new school clothes would mean that kids who cannot afford them have one less thing to worry about.”

October, the Fresh Threads club held a “Socktober” event that specifically collected socks. Eventually, the socks retrieved were dispersed to their partnered schools, including Freedom Shores Elementary in Boynton Beach. “I feel like our favorite part is the fact that we’ve found a way to give back to the community and impact a child’s life for the better,” said Krinsky. The Stand Up For Human Rights, Peace, and Environment Club, put into effect by junior Batya Sagotsky, aspires to highlight social issues relevant in today’s society. The club focuses on various topics, some including religion,

race, equality, and pollution. “We passionately speak about social topics that stick out to us, and encourage everyone to indulge in our captivating discussions,” said Sagotsky. Through the exchange of ideas, the club members seek to learn from past events and draw attention to them in today’s society. In doing this, the Stand Up For Human Rights, Peace, and Environment Club foresees having guest speakers that address crucial topics, such as genocide or pollution. The Stand Up For Human Rights, Peace, and Environment Club has done exceptionally well in effectively communicating via Google Meets that occur once a week. As the situation starts to take a turn for the better in regards to COVID-19, the club hopes to attend events and get involved in the community. “My favorite thing about this club is having a safe space to discuss my opinions about certain issues,” explained Sagotsky. “Hearing other’s opinions can really have an impact on the way we think, and it’s just amazing hearing everyone speak up about topics they’re passionate about.” These new clubs welcomed at River will not only better the community, but will boost positivity in our Shark environment as well.




Student Nails Business Success Features Editor

Creating a business is a great way for students to showcase creativity and proactivity, all while making money. Spanish River senior Giovana Marquez was one of these students that started a business. Specifically, Marquez started her own nail business during the first couple of weeks of quarantine, Nails by Gigi. Owning a small business can be challenging at first as one has to manage trying to find clients. However, once able to get a couple of clients for the business, the rest is a chain reaction. “It all started when I did my nails and my friends asked me if I could do their nails,” said Marquez. “Then, their friends and family liked their nails, and asked me if I could do theirs, and that is how I got started.” Marquez moved to the United States from Brazil at a very young age, and has always had a passion for nails which led her to have an interest in creating a business doing so. Since she started her business, Marquez has also faced various challenges through her journey. “The biggest issue with running a business I would say in the beginning is the inconsistency,” said Marquez.

“Since I did not have that many clients and not everybody comes back for refills, it was kind of like a week full of customers and then two weeks with nobody.” As trying to be recognized proved to be challenging, Marquez started to promote herself through her nail account on Instagram and Snapchat. Promoting a small business through social media, uez newspapers, or arq other people is a crucial part of gaining plenty of customers and getting

Nails are a great way to boost your confidence and raise your self-esteem. Nails, according to Marquez, are a way of expressing oneself. Nails by Gigi has a

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noticed. “I just remember a l w a y s loving nails,” said Marquez. “I remember when I was four, I would buy those little press-on nails from the store, and I would feel like a queen. I love how empowered I feel with nails.”

multitude of nails ranging from bright colors and glitter to black and white, each ready to fit any criteria her clients have in mind. “Nails can express who you are,” said Marquez. “My nails are always festive. I always have on some glitter or bright colors that show the outgoing person I am.” Clients can customize their nails by adding stickers and glitter to make it fit their personality. Someone’s nails can tell a lot about them. Marquez makes sure to sanitize

among the youth, is everywhere, it also takes place specifically in our community of Spanish River, where many students are not only politically involved, but also speak out for what they believe in. “As a Latina immigrant woman who is part of the LBTQ+ community, I know what it is like to be discriminated against,” said Senior Valeria Illan. “I do everything I can to educate those around me and on social media to create a better environment for minorities.” Illan is one of the many young activists on social media in our community. She believes in equality, gay rights, feminism, and human rights. Illan supports her causes by sharing her thoughts on social media such as Instagram. She believes that by spreading awareness, she can contribute to making necessary changes. Another very important way of supporting these causes is voting. Voting is beyond important, whether it’s for the President of The United States or a more local candidate, voting allows activists to choose the candidate whose

objectives most accurately match their own. Valeria just recently turned 18, and voted this past election. She believes that voting is the best way to make changes in our community. “The last few months have definitely been a wake up call,” said senior Baylee Materia. “There are so many injustices taking place in our country and Leah Davidowitz around the world of which I have been privileged enough to be unaware.” After discovering injustices all over the globe, Materia realized it was time to speak out. She now uses her social media accounts to speak out against injustice, most recently including Black Lives Matter. Recently, she has been finding ways to be heard in order to incite change. Materia has been signing many different online petitions, whether it’s to change a law, influence a politician, or give underrepresented groups a voice in potential legislation. She also makes sure to inform her friends, family, and social media followers on important matters going on in the world, and what makes them particularly important. She also believes that discussing topics related to these injustices is very important


her tools before she takes anyone in, and she follows the safety guidelines such as wearing facemasks and quarantining. “The positive stuff about running a small business is being your own boss and setting up your goals and achieving them,” said Marquez.. Marquez turned one of her hobbies into a successful small business displaying her talents and passion for doing nails.

SUPPORT & FOLLOW NAILS BY GIGI @_nailsby_gigi gigi_marques05 Marquez has a weekly schedule which can be Instagram - @_nailsby_gigi_ found on her Instragram. Snapchat - gigi_marques05 Contact her if you want awesome nail designs! ART COURTESY OF GOOGLE IMAGES, PHOTOS COURTESY OF GIOVANA MARQUEZ

Students Join Social Media Activism Aiden Rubenstein Staff Reporter

So far in the 21st century, activists have been able to help minorities tremendously, whether it’s by gaining rights, changing laws, and so on. With these changes, brave activists have stood up and voiced their concerns against injustice. Whether it’s injustice against blacks, gay rights, religious persecution, women’s rights, or any other global issue, being an activist means standing up for things that are politically incorrect, or needs readjustment. Regarding the youth, activism is now more Valeria Illan important than ever, and millions of young adults are currently fighting for black lives and injustices against them. With advancing technology and social media platforms, it has become a lot easier for everyone to advertise a cause they support. Millions of people, young and old, have begun to use platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Facebook to spread awareness for their causes. While activism, especially

to those who are not yet educated on the topic as it promotes discussion and awareness for causes that should be supported. Materia hopes that by educating others, as well as sharing her thoughts and opinion, she can make a change. Another young activist is Senior Leah Davidowitz. She supports Black Lives Matters as well as LGBTQ+ rights. Davidowitz is a strong advocate for human rights, no matter the race, gender, sexuality, or religion. She believes that everyone deserves to be loved and cared for regardless of skin color, religion, sexuality, or gender. Davidowitz believes that by supporting these causes she can contribute to making a change. “We all need more love and compassion and that’s what I’m an activist for,” said Davidowitz. While activists all over the world and in our community - have managed to achieve global change, they are not yet satisfied. Therefore, activists will continue to fight, share what they believe in, and take the necessary actions. PHOTOS COURTESY OF VALERIA ILLAN, AND LEAH DAVIDOWITZ




Joe Biden Wins Presidency In Historic Election Nashki Joseph

nicknamed the “blue wall” by political analysts. All three of these flipped states are ones that President Trump won in 2016. Biden has also seemingly flipped the reliably Republican states of Arizona and Georgia. Arizona has not voted Democrat since 1996, while Georgia has not voted Democrat since 1992. The Biden-Harris ticket proved to be a historic one, receiving over 76 million

Even on the low end, voter turnout will be the highest it has been since the 1908 election. President Donald Trump and his campaign shows no signs of conceding the race. He has accused Democrats of stealing the election, attacking mail-in ballots for making the projected results of the election, in his view, fraudulent. He has also attacked the ballot-counting process itself, accusing ballot counters

United States. In New York, Democrats Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones Associate Editor defeated their Republican opponents After a bitter, months-long race for to become the first openly gay black the presidency, Joe Biden has defeated men elected to the U.S. Congress. Donald Trump with a decisive win Sarah McBride, elected as the first in Pennsylvania, giving him the 270 openly transgender state senator in Electoral College votes necessary to Delaware, is now the highest-ranking claim victory. transgender official in the U.S. Mauree On Sunday, November 7, Biden Turner, elected to the Oklahoma addressed the nation as the state legislature, is the first openly President-elect for the very nonbinary state lawmaker in the first time. Realizing that he was U.S., as well as the first practicing speaking to a deeply divided Muslim in the Oklahoma state nation, he emphasized the need legislature. 135 women have for unity and pledged that he secured seats in the U.S. Congress, would be a president that “doesn’t an all-time high, and an increase see red and blue states, but a from 127 elected in the 2018 United States.” midterm election. “It’s time to put away the harsh The U.S. House of Representatives rhetoric,” he said. “To lower the remained in the control of the temperature. To see each other Democrats, but there was no “blue again. To listen to each other wave,” as some predicted there again. To make progress, we must would be. In fact, Democrats lost stop treating our opponents as seats, setting themselves up for a our enemy. We are not enemies. very thin majority. In the Senate, We are Americans.” some seats were flipped, but at the Kamala Harris will be the moment, there is no clear majority. first Vice-President of AfricanSeveral elections are still too close American descent, the first of to call, but it is fairly likely that the Indian descent, as well as the Senate majority will be decided by first woman to take the office. two runoff elections in Georgia Speaking before Biden on President and Vice President-elects Joe Biden and Kamala Harris delivered their victory speeches in Delaware. that will occur in January. November 7, she wore a white votes -- smashing the record for the in states where he lost of criminal The 2020 election was historic pantsuit, an homage to suffragettes. most cast for a presidential and vice- conduct. The Trump campaign has on several levels -- national, state, and “I reflect on their struggle, their presidential candidate. The previous begun legal proceedings in multiple local -- as minority groups continue determination and the strength of their record belonged to the Obama- states, but judges in Nevada, Georgia, to blaze trails in politics. The next four vision, to see what can be, unburdened Biden ticket in 2008, which received Pennsylvania and Michigan have years under a Biden presidency will by what has been,” she said. “I stand on approximately 69 million votes. dismissed its complaints, citing a lack most likely be a significant departure their shoulders.” Voter turnout reached historic of evidence of foul play. However, the from that of Donald Trump. Biden succeeded in flipping the levels. According to a model created campaign has made it very clear that it battleground state of Pennsylvania, by Bloomberg, voter turnout after the intends to keep fighting its legal battles. as well as Wisconsin and Michigan, remaining ballots are counted will be This election year was historic for PHOTO COURTESY OF THE STAR rebuilding a coalition of states somewhere between 68.6% and 72.1%. several marginalized groups in the

Violence Against Transgender People Becoming Epidemic Dominic D’Arelli Currents Editor

Over the past few years, violence against transgender people has skyrocketed. The Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and Equality Florida reported that in 2018 violence against trans individuals rose 41% from the previous year. More specifically, people of color are being targeted. Even though they are only about 16% of the trans community, 79% of transgender homicide victims are reportedly blackand the vast majority of trans people murdered this year were black trans women. Brooke Deshuna, a 20-year-old black trans woman was murdered on October 7 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Just a day before Deshuna was murdered, a 33-year-old black trans woman, Felycya Harris, was shot and killed in Augusta, Georgia. “It is ridiculous that we have to continue to hashtag out friends’ names and add them to a list of names to be memorialized every year, and that we expect it,” said Carter Brown, executive director of the National Black Trans Advocacy Coalition on USA TODAY.

As of October 19, there have already been 32 reported murders against trans individuals, and the list of names not only includes many transgender women, but also men and nonbinary individuals. It is not new for hate crimes to be committed against transgender people, but the difference this year is that the acts of hatred have become much more violent and many more have resulted in death. A former graduate of Spanish River anonymously shared her experience with us: “At the mall, I was spending time with my friend and for the first time ever I was in public with a dress on around other people, and I felt like myself and felt like a normal girl,” she said. “Outside the store, an older lady walked by, she must have known I was trans, she pulled my dress down -- I

guess to show that I didn’t have breasts and I fell to the ground with shock.” This occurred on Sunday, October 18, at the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton. “Being a trans girl makes me feel like myself,” said the anonymous source. “I feel relieved, calm, and natural, but when I’m not myself I feel anxious and jittery, and uncomfortable.” Events like this occur everywhere, and can never be predicted. Trans individuals are fearful that something like this will happen to them whenever they go out. To transgender people, being transgender is not a choice. The violence that occurs against transgender individuals is worrying to those in the community and has lead some to call it an epidemic of violence against them. The occurrence of trans

violence is rapidly getting worse and more people are being killed, attacked, or harassed. Spreading awareness, as well as helping transgender

individuals find the support and resources they need to be safe, will go a long way toward stopping this issue. Resources for Transgender people

Trans Lifeline: (877) - 565 - 8860 Trevor Project: 24-hour online support at or (866) - 488 - 7386 SRHS GSA Remind code: @srlovewins at 81010 ART COURTESY OF MARIA VILORIA GARCIA




Amy Coney Barrett Confirmed To Supreme Court Lyndsey Roth

In addition, abortion rights have been a major policy issue in recent times, and Barrett is personally proNewly sworn in Supreme Court life. Despite this, she claimed that her Justice, Amy Coney Barrett, was an religious beliefs will not be involved attorney and jurist, nominated in any Supreme Court rulings by President Donald Trump she would potentially be to take this position as a involved with. judge on the seventh circuit “Courts are not designed to for the U.S. Court of Appeals. solve every problem, or right Following the death of every wrong in our public Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, life,” said Barrett. “The policy President Trump nominated decisions and value judgments Barrett to take over. However, of government must be made Barrett’s nomination has by the political branches sparked controversy because elected by and accountable to Democrats and Republicans the people.” differ in their opinions as Democrats and Republicans to whether or not her views view her in contrasting ways regarding certain issues make considering it is unknown her suitable for the position what she will bring to the table on the Supreme Court. The or in this case, the chair. The process of swearing Barrett Senate Majority Leader, Mitch into the Supreme Court was McConnell, insisted that also argued as unreasonably Barretts appointment onto the rushed. Supreme Court continue to The Senate confirmation move forward. As a result. the was held to decide on Barrett’s final Senate vote occurred on nomination to the Supreme Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee at her confirmation hearing. Monday, October 26, and it voted 52Court, and she presented herself the path she marked and the life she was faced by the Supreme Court in led.” said Barrett. 2015, she signed an anti-marriage 48, in Barrett’s favor. Ultimately, she professionally. Not only did However, some of her views may be equality letter that strictly stated that was confirmed to the Supreme Court she commemorate the late Justice Ginsburg and her legacy, she also controversial to some. In regard to the gay marriage is wrong, and should not and filled the vacancy left by the late Justice Ginsburg. expressed that she wanted to fill her LGBTQ community, she opposes same be legalized throughout the country.

Currents Editor

position. “I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, but no one will ever take her place,” said Barrett during the hearing.” “I will be forever grateful for

sex marriage, and believes it is only right for a marriage to consist of a man and a women. Barrett has spoken out publicly on these values of hers, and when the issue of same-sex marriage


Climate Clock Counts Down to Environmental Doomsday Nashki Joseph Associate Editor

For years, environmental scientists have warned that the world is reaching a point of no return. There are varying opinions on how severe the consequences of reaching this point will be, but according to artists Gan Golan and Andrey Boyd, they will be apocalyptic. Known as “The Climate Clock,” the duo unveiled a digital clock in Manhattan’s Union Square that counted down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds, until the Earth depletes its carbon budget, or the upper limit of allowable carbon dioxide emissions. As of September 21 at 1:30 P.M., the clock counted down from seven years, 101 days, 17 hours, 29 minutes and 22 seconds in bold, red lettering. The attraction only lasted until September 27, but it was a grim reminder for a world that has focused its attention elsewhere. The artists hope to someday reinstate the clock as a permanent fixture in New York City, and have already created climate clocks in Oslo, Norway, and Berlin, Germany. The count is based on a hypothetical, although entirely realistic, situation where efforts are not made to prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels. A report by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

(NASA) describes that if warming exceeds 1.5 degrees celsius, the world will fall victim to temperature extremes on both the high and low ends, droughts, heat waves, a lack of water availability, and a severe blow to global biodiversity. The report also acknowledges that the people who will

Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). The MCC based their own design off of data from a report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an arm of the United Nations, in 2018. The report delivered a sobering review of climate change, calculating


“What we did in the next few years would determine the world my daughter would live in, that all of us would live in, and I felt that timeline needed to be understood by everyone, everywhere,” said Golan. Interestingly enough, the MCC’s climate clock assumes that emissions will be close to levels present in 2017. Global emissions are even rising, which means that the time displayed on the clock could actually be a generous estimate of how long it will take to deplete the Earth’s carbon budget. But the situation is not totally hopeless. The clock displays a second set of numbers in green lettering that tracks the percentage of available energy that is supplied from renewable sources. As of October 17th, this percentage is about 27.8. Golan and Boyle hope that this number will be close to 100 by the time the red countdown reaches zero. They labeled it as a “lifeline,” hoping for the clock to inspire hope as well as trepidation. When the clock was unveiled on September 19th, they A crowd gathers around the Climate Clock after its unveiling in Neew York City. encouraged onlookers to take personal be at the highest risk are “disadvantaged that the Earth had a 67% chance of responsibility to change the world for and vulnerable populations, some staying below 1.5 degrees of warming. the better and reduce their own carbon indigenous peoples and communities In an interview with The Washington footprint. with livelihoods based on agriculture Post, Golan explained that this report “The world is literally counting or coastal resources.” lit a fire under him. That, coupled with on us,” Golan said. “Every hour, every The artists based their own clock the birth of his first daughter, radically minute, every second, counts.” on one designed by the Mercator changed his perspective on the climate PHOTO COURTESY OF CLIMATECLOCK.WORLD



Fall Sports Respond to COVID-19 Restrictions Elijah Levine

Sports Reporter Friday Night Lights encompasses the passion, intensity, and excitement of high school football. Bleachers are packed with spirited students, proud parents, and fans from all over, ready to cheer for their high school’s football team. Unfortunately, however, as a consequence of the COVID-19 global pandemic, while student athletes are eager to play, school districts across the country are facing difficult challenges to safely resume competitive sports. In Palm Beach County, specifically, many schools are preparing for sports to re-open, but with strict rules and limitations. Palm Beach County has created a plan that will outline the rules athletic teams must follow in order to safely complete this season. Many teams and athletes must prepare for non-contact training until allowed by the district to fully implement full-contact practices. “Under the plan, outdoor conditioning only will start on Monday, September 21, followed by a gradual introduction


begins on October 26. Unfortunately, smaller sports, such as golf and swimming, will have a large portion of their seasons cut due to Covid-19, as scheduling becomes increasingly more difficult with the abundance of cases rising around the district. “The plan takes Palm Beach County fall sports teams out of the running for the typical state series with the Florida High School Athletic Association and instead groups them into a tri-county championship with Miami-Dade and Broward counties,” as stated in the reopening plan for Palm Beach County. The School District of Palm Beach also has opted out of fall sports’ playoffs run by the Florida Athletic Association. For Palm Beach County to successfully and adequately run sports programs, the county decided it was best to not compete in the playoffs, as this decision makes it easier to concentrate on the safety of its own 28 schools. “Being a senior on the cross country team, I am extremely disappointed that Palm Beach County cancelled all playoffs for sports,” said senior Sarah Phillips. “I am not getting the senior

Florida prepares to begin a football season with new precautions.

of the weight room, a non-contact period, and finally a contact period,” as stated in the school district’s athletic manager’s proposal. Football, in particular, will be impacted in terms of play itself along with fans attending and watching the games. Schools will provide each player with two tickets to give away, but otherwise, fans will have to be pre-approved and must purchase their tickets online and be subject to temperature checks before every game. The restrictions regarding a limited number of guests will be upheld until Thanksgiving break, after which there is the possibility that ticket sales can increase. In terms of the actual players, they must maintain social distancing when possible and bring their own water bottles, face coverings, and towels to the games and practices. Workouts will be limited to a total of 10 students at a time until October 5th, the point at which schools may permit up to 20 students. As far as other sports go, they will follow a similar timeline as football. Cross country begins on October 5, while bowling, swimming and diving start October 13, and girls’ volleyball

season I’ve been looking forward to having throughout all my years in high school. I’m never going to get that exciting feeling with my team when we find out we qualified for the state championships again.” From professional sports to high school athletics, COVID-19 has resulted in significant challenges for athletes, deprived of normal practices, as this in turn, could lead to an increased risk of injury. As a result of these abnormal practices and loss of conditioning programs, the professional sports world has seen tremendous spikes in injuries. For example, the MLB recorded 181 injuries over the course of its abbreviated 60 game season, a staggering 75.7 percent increase from 2015 and a 22.9 percent increase just from 2019 alone. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the sporting world and has affected all sports, including the way in which athletes prepare and perform in games. Precautions also have limited the amount of games played and the enjoyment of sporting events for fans all over the world. And high school sports, unfortunately, are not immune. PHOTO COURTESY OF FOX NEWS

Cross Country Runs Into the Season with Major Victories Murray Litman Sports Reporter

Around eight months ago, River’s sports seasons came to a halt and athletes had to miss some of the best experiences that high school sports have to offer. This included

restrictions we can only compete against South Florida teams and this year we are going to be the team to beat…,” says senior Greg Kovacs. “It means an incredible amount to me, being the captain of this team during these uncertain circumstances.” Kovacs will embrace the challenge of leading and bringing together a high

The Boys Cross Country team celebrates their victory at an invitational meet in Lakeland.

Senior Day, Conference and Regional Championships, and most recently, Homecoming. However, the River cross country team had other plans. “We have been training all summer long…,” said senior Joey Sheiner. “We have a rich running history at Spanish River, having four states titles between boys and girls and we have made state five years in a row.” Due to COVID-19, the team had to race separately from the school at the beginning of the year, wearing different uniforms. Beginning in October, the team once again began racing for River in a new division. Along with these changes, the team only has five to eight people attend each practice in order to

school cross country team in the midst of one of the most unprecedented events of the 21st century. The team started off the season in a dominant fashion. In late September, the boys team started their season with an epic victory, winning an invitational meet in Lakeland. Racing as a club against many different clubs across the state, the team won in a landslide victory, outrunning the second-place team by 22 points. They have big goals for the rest of the season, including winning the Tri-County Championship and performing well at Club Nationals in December in Tallahassee. Despite the unprecedented times, River students and staff have been

The Spanish River Boys Cross Country team takes a major win in one of the earlier races of the season.

keep the Spanish River community safe. This is hard for the team and would arguably be for any other due to the inability to connect with teammates. However, morale is very high for the cross country team. “This season I wholeheartedly believe that the team will be undefeated South Florida Champions, because of COVID

facing this year, the River Cross Country squad is on fire and had an incredible start to the season. Moving forward, the team is very eager and hungry for more success in the weeks to come.




The MLB World Series Concludes with the Dodger’s Victory The first game of the World Series was played on October 20, 2020. The Sports Editor Los Angeles Dodgers started Clayton Kershaw, who has a career earned runs The Tampa Bay Rays will be playing average (ERA) of 2.43 while the Tampa the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2020 Bay Rays started Tyler Glasnow, who World Series. The Rays defeated the has a career ERA of 4.43. Kershaw threw Houston Astros while the Dodgers five out of six scoreless innings. Even defeated the Atlanta Braves. Both the though Cody Bellinger had a shoulder American League division title and the injury from the game prior, he still hit National League division title went to a a two-run homer to give the Dodgers game seven. The Dodgers came back the lead in game one. Kevin Kiermaier to win the series and go to the World homered in response to Bellinger’s Series after being down 3-1 by game homer to cut the lead in half. Then, the four. The last time the Dodgers went to Dodgers rallied and scored four runs the World Series was 2018 when they in the bottom of the fifth. Mookie Betts lost to the Boston Red Sox. They also homered for the Dodgers. The Dodgers won the game, 8-3. In this game, Clayton Kershaw hit a major pitcher milestone by throwing 200 strikeouts in postseason games. The second game of the World Series was played the next day. The starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers was Tony Gonsolin with a career ERA of 2.6. The starting pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays was Blake Snell with a career ERA of 3.24. Brandon Lowe for the Rays hit two homeruns Randy Arozarena wins American League Championship Series MVP in this game. Chris as a rookie. Taylor hit a two-run were in the World Series in 2017 when homerun to put the Dodgers on the they lost to the Astros. The last time board. Before being relieved by Nick the Rays were in a World Series was in Anderson, Snell had nine strikeouts 2008 when they lost to the Philadelphia in a total of 14 outs. Will Smith hit his Phillies. The Rays, as a franchise, have first ever World Series homerun for the never won a World Series. Dodgers. Corey Seager hits a homerun

Kylie Brooks


in the bottom of the eight. Corey Seager had 206 strikeouts. Randy Arozarena set a record for most home runs by a for the Rays set a record for most hits shortstop in a single postseason with in a single postseason at 27 hits passing seven home runs. The Rays win 6-4 tying the series 1-1. The third game of the World Series was played on October 23, 2020. Walker Buehler had a phenomenal mound performance for the Dodgers giving up one run, and three hits while striking out batters. Game three was a pitching battle where Buehler from the Dodgers prevailed massively beating the Rays 6-2. The fourth game of the World Series was Corey Seager wins a World Series, National League Championship played on October 24, Series MVP and Willie Mays World Series MVP. 2020. In a thrilling game four, the Rays Pablo Sandoval with 26 hits in the 2014 won in walk out fashion with two outs postseason. Dodgers win 4-2 making and the last guy on the roster hitting them one game closer to the World a single which scored the tying run as Series Title. well as an awful throw which scored The sixth game of the World Series the winning run giving the Rays the was played on October 27, 2020. win. After this game, Corey Seager now The Rays scored early with Randy has the homerun record for any player Arozanrena’s homerun. The Dodgers at Globe Life Field which is the Texas scored two runs later in the game then Rangers’ Stadium and where the World Mookie Betts homered which extended Series was played. the Dodgers lead to make the score 3-1. “This is the most intense baseball The Dodgers win the World Series in game I have ever watched,” said senior six Games. The last time the Dodgers Shea Whitacre. won the World Series was 1988 when The fifth game of the World Series was they played the Oakland Athletics. played on October 25, 2020. Clayton Kershaw started this game pitching for the Dodgers. During this game, Kershaw topped his career postseason strikeouts passing Justin Verlander who PHOTOS COURTESY OF GOOGLE IMAGES

Boys and Girls Golf Play Successful Seasons Despite COVID-19

Elijah Levine

Sports Reporter Golf is an increasingly popular sport around the country and one that almost every generation enjoys playing. At Spanish River, while the golf teams are smaller in size, they have had tremendous success lately. In fact, in the past two years, Spanish River was 6-0 in matches and poised for a strong breakout season heading into the 2020 school year. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was much uncertainty around this season. Boys and girls, respectively, were left wondering if they were even going to be able to have a season. Boys high school golf encountered difficulties surrounding the ability to play a season this year because of golf course closures. As a result, the lost revenue at these courses made it hard for high school athletes to obtain tee times. Bocaire Country Club and the City of Boca municipal golf course worked with the school district and decided to open up their courses to allow high school players to commence a season. Although the season is limited to only 5 matches this year, players are appreciative for the opportunity to

compete regardless. Completing a season during these challenging times has required constant communication with players, coaches, and district officials. Teams this year have had the added responsibility to rely on others to ensure the season can be safely played.

to win a championship. Although the season is in progress, it will sadly end without the usual anticipation of playoffs. “It’s kinda unfortunate that we couldn’t play states, but we will get the most out of this season” Colaca added. While this season is shortened and

The Girls Golf team alongside Coach Heinrichs.

“We practice 3 to 4 times a week,” said senior Carlos Caloca. “ We do it safely, we social distance, and we get it done.” In efforts to sustain a season and ensure safety for all athletes, the playoffs have unfortunately been canceled; these cancellations have seriously impacted seniors who only had one more chance

there have been less practices, players still must maintain focus and play at a high level. Much of golf is a mental game and to be successful each player must be able to brush off a bad game and come back stronger the next time they step onto the course. One way these players gain confidence for their games is by encouragement from their

leader and athletic director, coach Kevin McEnroe. “Do not be afraid of failure, it happens in sports!” said McEnroe. “Be willing to realize why you failed and work hard to overcome those things.” As for girls golf, their season also hit a bump in the road with the ongoing pandemic. The season has been cut short and players have also missed out on the opportunity to compete in the state playoffs. “With COVID, it is hard to find courses that will give us tee times to practice and play,” said coach Robert Heinrichs. “In addition we have a greatly shortened season. Luckily we play an individual team sport outdoors so it is easier for us to socially distance.” The girls this year will strive to have a winning season and get the most out of this unfamiliar and shortened season. Players will also have a chip on their shoulder as they will look to make a name for themselves and become a prominent sports team at spanish river. Both golf teams, regardless of the new circumstances, are ecstatic to get on the courses and enjoy themselves while trying to win games and improve their scores. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROBERT HEINRICHS

The River Swim Team Dives Into a Victorious Season


November 2020 Volume XXXVII Issue II


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