The BluePrint - Volume 16, Issue 4

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blueprint Hagerty High School

Vol. 16, Issue 4

Feb. 22, 2021

Oviedo, Florida

PAWS ON THE WALL Senior Grace Truong writes her name beside her handprint. On Jan. 27, seniors were allowed to leave their mark on Hagerty by painting their blue and black handprints on a Cafeteria wall. photo by Maggie Taylor


Club Comeback

“Fake” News

break barriers

After a two-year hiatus, the Environmental Club returns with the goal of keeping the school green. The club will be educating students on climate change, pollution and how to help.

Recently, journalistic integrity has been called into question, and massive news sources like CNN and Fox News are under intense scrutiny for their part in dividing the country.

Junior Jada Llamido finds passion in wrestling, breaking records across the globe, while overcoming the challenges of moving from Colorado to Germany to Florida.

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Powderpuff sweetens homecoming Matthew Dearolph


Staff Reporter

n a final flurry for homecoming week, Powderpuff took place Saturday, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. The seniors beat the juniors 366, becoming the only class powderpuff team to win back to back games in school history. “After realizing how many sports these girls played, from weightlifting to soccer to softball, etc. I knew these girls were athletic,” senior coach Curtis Duren said. “What surprised me was how competitive these girls were.” Practices were strategically organized because of the busy sports season, so the senior team felt even more pressure to focus on running plays. In the opening series, senior quarterback Emma Canty ran the ball for a 30yard touchdown, the first of many. “We didn’t know what the other team had, so we came out ready to fight for the win,” senior Siara Youngblood said. “So when we got the first touchdown we were surprised. We never thought we would win by so much.” The juniors were unprepared for such a competitive senior team, even more so with just three scheduled practices. “With so little practices when the team got on the field, we didn’t know where people should play, so we had to figure out what was most effective as we were playing,” junior Carly Bitner said. The Powderpuff game, as expected, was one of the highest-attended events of the year, with the long-awaited male cheerleader performance in the third-quarter. While both the juniors and seniors performed, the junior cheerleaders had two weeks to learn basic cheerleading moves whereas the seniors were able to build upon experiences from the previous year. “It was fun doing powderpuff, even though it did take up a lot of time and it was very physically taxing,” cheerleader and senior Andres Montes said. The third-quarter show displayed moves such as the backflip basket, pike jump, bridge flip, and a human pyramid. Senior cheerleaders Andres Montes, Lukas Schoenfield, and

Nathan Gilman all had solos that got the crowd up on their feet. “The best part of the week by far was the cheerleading performance. The seniors killed it out there, and honestly I wish they were at every football game,” Bitner said. The coronation of the homecoming king and queen took place during halftime. The court first lined up to walk down the 50-yard line, where their interests and career goals were announced. Seniors Mckenna Flatten and Dylan Clem won King and Queen. After being crowned the couple was taken around the field in a convertible to symbolize the end of the official coronation. “I’m glad they still had coronation this year. I had a great time on court and it would

have been weird to have a homecoming week without it,” senior Kevin Cosio said. Powderpuff was not the only event to take place during homecoming week. Paws on the Wall also took place Jan. 27 after school. The Senior Activities Committee ran the event, serving free pizza, candy and drinks. Seniors got to paint their hands and leave their paw print on the wall. “I loved the event because I finally got to do a senior thing this year since we’ve missed out on so many others,” senior Jacob Smith said. Every day of the week was also accompanied by a dress up day starting with the Three Musketeers, Rollo(ut) of bed, Jolly Ranchers, Milky Way, Warheads. “The dress up days were cool. I liked

coming to school in my pajamas,” freshman Sahil Ravanni said. Leadership attempted to host other school-wide events such as the student/ faculty basketball game and a hypnotist show instead of hosting their usual events such as the dodgeball tournament and Flick on the Fifty. Due to lack of participation, both events resulted in cancellations. Still, by the end of the week, leadership students accomplished their biggest goal: to bring some form of homecoming to Hagerty. “We wanted to give the students some sense of normalcy and school spirit and to have them look forward to something fun, not just the same day to day routine,” leadership teacher Kari Miller said.

THIRD QUARTER FINALE Senior cheerleaders perform their final act in their annual cheer routine during Powderpuff. Both juniors and seniors performed after the third quarter. The seniors won the powderpuff game 36-6. photo by Faith Marino

Environmental Club makes a clean return

UPCYCLING Junior Edward Colado-Borgez mixes paint at the upcycling workshop to renovate glass bottles. photo by Sarah Hinnant

Sophia Canabal


Staff Reporter

wo years after the Environmental Club’s hiatus, five students decided to restart it, an effort that had ended after its previous sponsor, Marc Pooler, moved out of state. The club plans to promote sustainability on campus by helping students learn about the climate and how to help the environment. They also plan to partner with local organizations and participate in community events. The group hit the ground running, holding

its first meeting on Dec. 8. The club’s most recent event was a beach cleanup held on Jan. 30 at Daytona Beach, and their last meeting was held on Feb. 9 in Room 6-109. The club’s leaders have made an effort to incorporate both face-to-face and Seminole Connect students in their meetings, providing a Webex link on their Instagram page for students who cannot attend meetings in person. “I think it’s great; I do Seminole Connect and I think it’s really awesome that I get to be in the club, even if I can’t make it to school or if I’m quarantined,” sophomore Kimbyrlee Clark said. Excited to make more change in the community, Clark and other members attended the first non-virtual club event, an upcycling workshop held on Jan 21. The event was hosted by Ideas For Us, an organization that promotes domestic gardening, recycling, and pollution reduction, and took place at their headquarters. “[We used] t-shirts, toilet paper rolls, and glass bottles to make something new,” junior Edward Colado-Borgez said. Borges, the vice president of the club, participated in reinventing old t-shirts into functional tote bags during the workshop.

Partnering with Ideas For Us again, the club also hosted a beach cleanup on Jan 30 at Daytona Beach. “I’m excited because I love the beach and it really is an area that gets a lot of trash. I think it’s great we’re going to go there and clean up,” Clark said. Considering that schools produce an average of 4.7 pounds of waste per student, according to the American Federation of Teachers, the club is advocating for changes on campus as well. “We should make a good compost or recycling program where we can compost our cafeteria food, recycle our plastic water bottles, and recycle masks that aren’t reusable,” said Colado-Borgez. The Environmental Club intends to continue previous efforts and bring back recycling on campus. Their first recycling pickup is scheduled to take place on Feb 23 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Each member will be assigned a building to pick up recycling at prior to the event in room 6-109. “Hopefully in the future, you’ll see boxes that have places for students to recycle their paper and their plastics,” sponsor Janessa

Hartman said. “We also had ideas of posters to spread awareness on how to be more environmentally friendly on campus.” Each poster would contain tips on composting, reusing, recycling, and limiting waste that would spread awareness about living sustainability, establishing eco-friendly habits that could be regularly used on campus. In the future, the club also wants to use the currently unmaintained garden between buildings 6 and 7. “Our big fundraising project is currently to work with an organization that helps to create gardens and also helps to create irrigation systems to reduce water waste, help us grow vegetables, or help us grow plants that are friendly for pollinators,” Hartman said. Although the project is expected to require an extensive amount of funding, the club sees the garden as an area with great potential and looks forward to renovating it. “I think it’s important to get students started early with thinking about…how they can reduce their carbon emissions,” Hartman said, “and I think that the students who are involved in this club really understand the importance of [sustainability].”





From Feb. 22- Feb. 24, retakes for the FSA Reading and Writing exam are being offered for students who have not met their requirements. Each day, students will take a different portion of the exam and will be grouped into an a.m. or p.m. session. Test tickets will be emailed to students on Feb. 18.


On Friday, Feb. 26, the band will be holding a concert in the auditorium. The Jazz I and II classes will be performing several pieces. The show starts at 6 p.m. Viewers can enjoy it by watching the live stream of the performance on the Woof TV YouTube Channel.


The debate team will be competing in the Grand Finals tournament from Feb. 26-27. Each member will compete in different categories through a virtual platform to qualify for the national competition. Nine spots will be allocated for advancement to nationals in June.


On Thursday, March 11, registration cards for the upcoming school year will be collected. Students should have their classes listed with teacher signatures, and will turn in the cards to their English teachers. Seminole Connect and Save-My-Seat students should email their cards to


- substitute Todd Dixon

to remain on Seminole Connect. She and her family fear getting COVID-19 because of her at-risk family members. “I have had COVID-19 and suffered; it was very painful. I have no underlying conditions on top of that so it’s not ‘just a cold’ like some say,” Bunn said. “I would definitely take the vaccine if it was available [to me]. It should be mandatory if we want life to go back to normal.” On the chance that vaccines are not available in the fall, students feel conflicted about whether going back to school would be the right choice. Junior Krithika Subramanian feels like it depends on the number of cases; if high, she would want to stay home, but if low, she would be willing to come back. “Personally, it would take me a while to come back to school if there were no vaccines,” Subramanian said. “I don’t want to be in an environment where there is a high chance of catching COVID-19 and spreading it to my family.” Burrell feels everyone should be vaccinated, even if there are side effects. The most common reactions after vaccine administration are pain and swelling at the shot site, fever, chills, tiredness and headaches. These are all similar to the typical symptoms of the average flu vaccine. After getting their first dose, Todd experienced slight arm pain for several hours, while Burell ran a fever for a couple of days. “The reaction is far less than the disease. I have had several surgeries and the flu multiple times. Getting COVID was worse than any of those,” Burrell said. If Florida residents want to get the vaccine in Seminole County, for now they will have to get it administered at the empty Sears located in the Oviedo Mall. Appointments are required before arrival and have to be booked online at y Ba

people would take the advice of the experts and wear their mask, have hand sanitizer around and take care of themselves.”

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“I just wish 100% of

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s substitute teacher Todd Dixon turned on the 6 a.m. news on Jan. 9, something piqued his interest: for veterans over 65, walk-ins for the COVID-19 vaccine administration were being accepted at the VA Hospital in Lake Nona. After spending weeks trying to book an appointment, he quickly got dressed and ran out the door. “When I walked in, they took me right away. It was the most professional and personal operation I’ve ever seen,” Dixon said. “It was just like clockwork, it was beautiful. They even gave me a personalized pound of coffee, which I thought was nice.” The vaccination process is currently in phase one: only individuals over 65 and healthcare workers are able to receive it. Administering the vaccine takes five minutes, with a 15-30 minute observation period to ensure there is no initial reaction. While the administration itself runs smoothly, the issue lies in getting an appointment. Often, as soon as the form to schedule an appointment is released, all slots become booked, making it a long and painful process for many to get the vaccine. Dixon and his wife, substitute teacher Mary Dixon, spent three weeks trying to book an appointment before finally finding one. “It was tiring and confusing for us. Luckily, there was an opening at the Oviedo Mall, and my daughter happened to be with me,” Mary said. “She got me in.” According to the Florida Department of Health, 1.84 million individuals have been vaccinated as of Feb. 4. In Seminole County, 39,000 have been vaccinated.

Developing a vaccine from scratch usually takes around 10-15 years. However, the COVID-19 vaccine was developed within a year because of existing research from similar viruses like SARS and MERS. Although there were a lot of test trials, some were concerned about the validity of the vaccine because of its quick turnaround time. Early childhood teacher Jenny Burrell was nervous before getting her first dose of the vaccine, but her fears dissipated once the doctors explained it to her. The mRNA vaccines Pfizer and Moderna have relatively high success rates. Pfizer has an efficacy rate of 95%, which is recommended for individuals over 16, and it entails two doses 21 days apart. Moderna has an efficacy rate of 94.1%, and is recommended to individuals 18+, with two doses 28 days apart. “I feel the benefits far outweigh the negative. I know a lot of people had their concerns but I feel very comfortable that it was thoroughly tested,” Burrell said. Burrell had the opportunity to get the vaccine because her daughter works as a nurse at the Orlando Regional Medical Center. Contracting COVID-19 back in November, Burnell never once second-guessed her choice to get the vaccine. She completed her series on Feb. 4. “I was in school for only two days that month [after getting COVID-19] and I feel very lucky to have gotten through it,” Burrell said. “I would not want to go through that again.” Todd also completed his vaccine series on Feb. 4, and the Dixons, the school’s best known and longest-tenured substitutes, hope to return in March after Mary completes hers on Feb. 11. “We have been subbing for 15 years at Hagerty and had to take this year off because of our age,” Mary said. “We really miss all the kids and the teachers, and can’t wait to get back.” Teachers are among the several groups of people in line for the vaccine during phase two of the rollout. According to the CDC, phase two includes K-12 teachers, essential workers, people with underlying conditions, and a few other demographics. Phase three includes young adults, children, and the general population. However, distribution to the general population could take months depending on the volume of vaccines. Though the majority of students have come back to school face-to-face despite COVID-19 concerns, some students on Seminole Connect have decided to stay home instead because vaccines are not available. Sophomore Catherine Bunn is part of the many students

on b

News Editor


Sharika Khondaker


A shot at normalcy


New superintendent announced

In a meeting Feb. 9, school board members voted to elect the next superintendent of Seminole County. Finalists for this position were current assistant superintendent for Lake County Schools Chad Farnsworth and SCPS attorney Serita Beamon. After a 3-2 vote, Farnsworth was selected. Farnsworth spent most of his career as a teacher and administrator in a four-year term as the elected superintendent in Bradford County, then moved into Lake County. Current superintendent Walt Griffin will retire in the spring after Farnsworth takes office in July.

Senior spring event update

After many changes to traditional school events throughout the year, senior activities will also experience changes. While prom has been canceled, plans to hold the Sammy’s at the Hard Rock in Universal Citywalk on April 17 are in progress. Only seniors can attend, and several guidelines for safety are being implemented, including temperature checks, mandatory masks, social distancing during dinner and no dancing. Grad Bash will still be held at Universal Studios on April 24 as normal with limited capacity and safety protocols. However, graduation, originally scheduled for May 18 at the Addition Financial Arena, has been moved to May 27 in the auditorium. Each student will graduate individually, but can bring up to 10 additional guests with them as they walk the stage.


opinions DRAWN OUT


Senior graduation planning be like:

Make small sacrifices for the greater good


erhaps one of the most iconic moments in pop culture was when Kim Kardashian lost her diamond earring in the ocean. We all can quote verbatim what Kourtney, her sister, said. “Kim, there’s people that are dying.” This moment translates to the current COVID-19 situation; everyday, we are reminded of the death toll and the hospitalization numbers, but it seems that we have become desensitized to it. So when the senior activities announcement was released on Feb. 8, Snapchat and Facebook became flooded with screenshots and angry comments of disbelief. Despite a clear, sensible reason for the alteration of certain events, many dismissed the idea as ridiculous and unnecessary. Parents were upset at the change in graduation venues, and students were disappointed with the changes made to senior prom. Admittedly, it is a huge deal and people have every right to be upset. Graduation and prom have been up in the air since last March, but with the emergence of multiple vaccines, there was some hope that they would still continue as planned. However, there are only two months left until graduation, and the vaccination process has barely started moving on to Phase 2. Last week, the Miami Herald reported that Florida was the leading state in terms of UK-variant COVID cases, and the CDC also released a study last week, writing that double masking is more effective. There is progress, and it is up to us to make sure such progress continues. Yes, we have to make sacrifices, and some of them, like prom, are bigger than others. In the interest of keeping ourselves, our loved ones and our community safe, sacrifices are necessary. Again, it is completely acceptable to feel angry. There are entire Pinterest boards dedicated to finding the perfect shade of lipstick for prom, while others have practiced the graduation walk that will receive the most laughs while they are on stage. Yet, students have launched petitions and even started planning for a non-school affiliated, makeshift prom. Looking at the numbers, is it really worth it? The New York Times counted at least 118 COVID deaths in Florida on Feb. 13, with 7,000 cases daily. We have missed the point entirely: people are (still) dying. There will be other dances and parties that require expensive gowns and tuxedos, and the mere fact that seniors are graduating is enough of a celebration. But you can’t bring people back from the dead, and you can’t gain back the weeks spent in a hospital bed. Making sacrifices is not a new concept. We do it daily. It includes driving our younger siblings home and settling for leftover casserole instead of pizza. People work extra jobs to put food on the table and spend hours cleaning up litter on the side of the road. Prom will still be a night of beautiful dresses, fancy food and good company. Graduation will happen, and family members will be able to see you on one of the proudest days of your life. We need to look past what we lose, and focus on what we stand to gain. It has been more than a year — and it is about time we come together to finally end COVID.


blueprint Hagerty High School 3225 Lockwood Blvd. Oviedo, FL 32765 Phone: (407) 871-0750 Fax: (407) 871-0817

Tougher standards and lower scores

by Alexis Madlang

Sophie Woodburn


Opinions Editor

fter paying for an expensive and inconveniently large SAT textbook, plus a $600 class from Princeton Review, you would expect to get a great score on test day. In actuality, the hundreds spent on study materials only amounted to a 20 point improvement. If “eliminate the incorrect answers” and “read carefully” are the best tips teachers in an SAT class can give for $600, students would be better off stashing the cash and investing in GameStop for more productive results. The pressure to do well on standardized tests like the ACT or SAT are a major concern in the American education system, as college acceptance weighs on a good score. Many of the math and reading skills that are tested are either not taught to students or left unreviewed in upperclassmen classes. The ACT and SAT do not provide an accurate picture of a student’s ability, and a pressure to “teach the test” without learning the concepts in full puts students at a disadvantage right off the bat. A decision or characterization that will have a major impact on a student should absolutely not be made on the basis of a single test score, and finally, colleges are starting to agree. According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, more than half of colleges have gone test-optional in 2021, as they recognize that standardized exam requirements undermine academic diversity without improving educational quality. There has been an increase in the number of colleges who do not require a standardized test score as a prerequisite over the years, especially in the state of California or New York. And, notso-coincidentally, they experience fewer testing related dropouts than Southern states like Alabama or Florida. Denying students with promising talents and dreams of an opportunity at a future on the “basis of test scores” is unacceptable, and, in comparison to other countries, America is nothing special. In almost every country’s education system, studies and standardized tests are too focused on math and science, and altogether exclude areas of education that stimulate personal growth, morality and creativity. In the latest Program

Editor-in-Chief Zoey Young The BluePrint is a student-produced newspaper in Print Editor which the student editors make allLukas content decisions. Goodwin The newspaper belongs to the Columbia Scholastic Online EditorPress Association, the National Scholastic Press Association Charlotte Mansur and the Florida Scholastic Press Association. Opinions expressed within the newspaper do not represent the staff’s views as a whole (except for Our Take), the views of Seminole County Public Schools or Hagerty High’s administration and staff. For information about advertising in the paper, please contact us via e-mail or phone. We reserve the right to reject any advertisement.

for International Student Assessment measuring math literacy in 2015, U.S. students ranked 40th in the world. On a world stage, U.S. students fall behind. In schools in Finland, however, students are offered a specialized curriculum designed to ensure individual needs and interests are met. It came second in science, third in reading, and sixth in math in a 2009 international study, according to Smithsonian Magazine. With no national standardized tests and great academic success, the American education system should take notes. Relying on a standardized test score or grades, no matter the country, is an empty way of analyzing student potential. These days it is hard to find a worthwhile college willing to accept someone with a low score or something not in an “acceptable” range, and the continuous raising of standards over the years makes things worse for students who struggle with financial, familial or mental constraints. There is no limit to SAT or ACT tips out there, but the late nights spent mastering how to take a three hour test will not help those who suffer from test anxiety or confidence issues. Also, the months of dedication and studying generally required to get a good score put those with learning disabilities at a huge disadvantage. The American Test Anxiety Association reported about 16 to 20% of students have high test anxiety — “the most prevalent scholastic impairment of our schools today.” Testing unprepared students will not yield any productive results nor will it be any help to students’ mental health. Personal issues aside, the needlessness of the ACT or SAT has become especially apparent in the current college application cycle. With the unprecedented arrival of COVID-19, colleges made providing a SAT or ACT optional, which led to an increase in undergraduate acceptances. Test scores do not define you as a person, and should not limit the range of colleges you apply to. With the continuous raising of standards, where is the line drawn? Every day, promising students are grasping at straws to get a good education with limited resources or opportunities, and leaving their futures in the hands of a simple test is unacceptable. Colleges should focus on interviewing a candidate to get a better grasp on their intelligence rather than relying on a test.

Editor-in-Chief Zoey Young Print Editor Lukas Goodwin

Sports Editor Hayden Turner

Online Editor Charlotte Mansur News Editor Sharika Khondaker

Photo Editor Peyton Sutch

Politics Editor Laura Shaw

Lifestyles Editor Alexis Madlang

Social Media Editor Andrea Izaguirre Adviser Brit Taylor

Opinions Editor Sophie Woodburn

Principal Robert Frasca

Staff Reporters Skyler Glenn Bethany Barker Chanson Cadet Karson Cuozzo Matthew Dearolph Skyler Glenn Gabriella Herrera Julia Sumpter



“Fake news” has soiled the real news Lukas Goodwin


Print Editor

e all know one of our 45th president’s favorite phrases to insert into every press conference and interview: “fake news.” And whether you backed Donald Trump in his hatred for the press or laughed at how he discredits facts as opinions, his words have left an undeniable impact. Political polarization is nothing new, but the scars that Trump’s presidency left behind run deep. Democrats hate Republicans, just as Republicans hate Democrats, and it is starting to feel increasingly impossible to have a civil discussion with anyone. There is a plague of mistrust and hate running rampant across the country that has affected everyone — especially the integrity of journalists. Above all, it is a journalist’s responsibility to provide “the truth,” as the American Press Institute puts it. Open dialogue is certainly welcome, and anyone can point out that the First Amendment enables anybody to give any opinion they want. But the tether between journalism and the truth has become worn down, and now it feels like news outlets are just catering to their audiences to avoid outrage. The worst part is how audiences go along with this pandering, unknowingly driving a deeper wedge between the left and right. CNN and Fox News are some of the best known examples when it comes to political bias in the news, and yet their viewership hinges on their every word. You will not find a single article on CNN’s website discussing Kamala Harris’ messy history as a criminal prosecutor, because CNN wants you to focus on how she is the first female VP. And Fox News is hardly known for its Trump-bashing — but they will stress how

Joe Biden has already failed as president. CNN and Fox are not exclusively guilty of these biases. There are countless news outlets that do the same, these two are just easy pickings. However, there is a very obvious connection between these examples to a vocabulary term from the U.S. History class I took last year: yellow journalism. In layman’s terms, it is a form of journalism that prioritizes reactive news over factual news. Newspapers would write exaggerated articles brimming with misinformation to gain more public support for something they otherwise would not. We learned about yellow journalism as though it were a thing of the past. It would be willfully ignorant to think such a thing, though. Take a look around. Editorials are one thing — in fact, they are an excellent way to ignite discussion, but the title of “editorial” prefaces an article with the word opinion. The real issues arise when outlets publish things that are not just opinionated, but outright false, and pass them off as facts. Take the up-and-running ‘journalists’ of TikTok and Reddit. While most larger organizations at least try to fact-check their reports, it is becoming more commonplace for your aunt to brag about how she does not watch cable anymore because Facebook tells her everything she needs to know. In reality, these social media groups are not obliged to truthfulness, and often spread lies. The fact that extremist conspiracies like “Pizzagate” get as out of hand as they have, goes to show the depth of America’s trust issues between what is real and fake. These sorts of dramatized stories have beaten the reputation of journalism into the ground, and gruesomely so. Any individual with a basic education on how our country’s election system works can see that Biden

fake news!

fact check!

genuinely won the 2020 election. But once you turn on the TV to Fox, you will be met with Tucker Carlson’s insistence that the entire process was rigged. What is scary is not that Tucker Carlson is allowed to spew out his right-wing propaganda all day long, it is that Fox’s audience of millions take that propaganda as fact. People would rather believe the twisted, mainstream news than gather a balanced viewpoint from their own research. “Fake news” has driven fear and mistrust into information that would otherwise be indisputably true, which just restricts everyone to Democratic and Republican agendas. This is terrifying, and it is not true journalism. It is not about informing people anymore, it is about how to make people feel better about their opinions. We have forgotten what it means to be a journalist. More than delivering the truth, journalism provides a platform for discussion. There is a reason “freedom of the press” is one of our First Amendment rights. Without it, how could we ever know what is happening in our country? In a country so divided that we might as well brace ourselves for another civil war, feeding into your preferred news channel’s profits does little to help. Your nightly reportings of ‘why Ted Cruz is despicable’ may give you reason to complain amongst like-minded friends, but that cannot facilitate compromise when the other half of the country is being told that Ted Cruz will save our democracy. All that does is worsen the polarization. I am not asking the left to start watching Fox News, or the right to start watching CNN, because that will only get people more angry. The takeaway needs to be this: listen to real journalists who prioritize educating and informing people, and check your sources.



graphic by Emily Patterson and Lukas Goodwin

Barking Mad Barking Mad is a collection of short submissions about things that tick students off around school. If something at school makes you mad, e-mail us at and it may be featured here.

“The security here leaves us open and there’s no point in IDs if they forget about them halfway through the year.” -Daniel Hernquist, 10 “I hate how everything is online. I get that it’s because of COVID-19 and all that but it makes the assignments weird and I’m really forgetful.” -Justin St. John, 9 “They didn’t count my credits and I’m stuck doing classes my senior year that I did in like 7th grade.” -Jordan Weiland, 12

CHAR-CASM Some dogs are better than others


rom protecting your backyard against pesky squirrels to providing moral support with lots of licks when your calculus quiz shows up in the gradebook, it is no wonder why dogs are considered man’s best friend. However, while owning a dog can come with lots of benefits, be wary of the breed you choose–some are more burdensome than comforting. For starters, society needs to rethink its opinion on golden retrievers. For a dog that can be found in most suburbs, you would think that they would be a little less annoying. They are incredibly needy and will jump all over anyone that comes through your front door. People become so hypnotized by their long golden manes that they forget they will be dumping that very same fur from their vacuums at least twice a day. Ultimately, they are just a basic breed that require way too much attention. However, golden retrievers are at least somewhat intelligent, which can not be said for the beagle. All beagles care about is what they smell, and if they smell something, they will walk into traffic just to track a piece of garbage. I have met rocks with more brain cells than beagles. Heaven forbid they see something worth hunting, because they will be up at 3a.m. howling and whining about it. Beagles need a purpose, and if you bought one without the intention of using them as a full-time fox hunter, good luck. Another dog that brings little value is the Maltese, or any other toy breed for that matter. These dogs look like walking tissues. I am convinced that Malteses are just rats that have mutated, clumpy white fur just so humans would accept them in their homes. They bite, scratch and will yap until you are convinced a fire alarm has gone off and you have to evacuate the building. Plus, they get gross brown spots around their eyes and mouth that never seem to go away no matter how clean they are. Jack Russell terriers also make for crappy dogs. If you gave a dog 10 pixie sticks, it would be a Jack Russell terrier. These dogs are super hyper throughout the day, and will take that out on every shoe, purse or piece of furniture you leave around the house. If you are in need of a dozen new holes scattered around your backyard, terriers are perfect. I realize a mob of golden retriever groupies may be preparing to come for me after reading this column, and that my opinion of dog breeds is not the end all be all, but at least I don’t spend half my day vacuuming dog hair.

“It’s unfair that Seminole Connect kids get it easier, you can literally just cheat on every single thing.” -Caden Chapman, 9

“People speeding in the school zone and at the crosswalks are super annoying.” -Andres Montes, 12

“I don’t like the school food.” -Seth Ellis, 11

“I hate that we only get three tardies before a detention.” -Gwen Shaw, 10

“So many reasons, but mostly because most of the teachers don’t understand half of us have jobs so we stay up till 1 a.m. doing homework and get no sleep.” -Helen Hansom, 11 “[My complaint] would be the weird schedules that they made.” -Verona Hall, 10

Charlotte Mansur

“I don’t like that there’s hair in my pizza at school, and it ruined my appetite and was a waste of a piece of pizza I could’ve eaten.” -Karson Baker, 11 “I’d change the bus schedules, it’s really annoying to get up so early.” -Lexi Cunningham, 10

“I don’t really like how some of the teachers don’t accept late work. They don’t understand that we have a lot of classes.” -Malou Andersen, 9 “The teachers don’t get the appreciation that they deserve, they work a lot of hours and they need the money.” -Stone Patterson, 11 “I hate the dividers. They keep falling on me and I really hate them. We could socially distance our desks or something.” -Abby Miller, 10

Changing the narrative of women’s reproductive health Zoey Young



“Being on my period is honestly exhausting.” along with naproxen (or the name-brand Aleve). While popular, one should make sure they are using them correctly. They should not be taken long term and one should take them after eating to avoid irritating the stomach and potentially causing an ulcer, as recommended by Harvard Health and Healthine respectively. Yet, ibuprofen is not always enough. With more pronounced conditions, further treatment such as birth control is necessary. Except, with little knowledge of what is normal and what is not, it can be hard to identify a real problem. Cramping is a regular side effect of menstruating, but irregular and/or perpetually heavy periods and extensive cramping are not. After noticing that her period lasted much longer than a week, sophomore Jane Doe* realized something was not right. “Before birth control, my period would last more than a week, which left very little of the month where I felt normal. I would get extremely fatigued, emotional, and my flow was heavy,” Jane said. Jane had to consult a gynecologist, whose office is a mystery for many; talking about a doctor’s visit with a coworker or acquaintances is acceptable,

“[It is] not embarrassing at all.” to go to the dentist or a regular doctor at times.” Jane said. Senior Izzy Pacheco adds that gynecologist appointments are “not embarrassing at all.” She had sought out different methods to regulate her polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that causes hormonal imbalance in women and can cause formation of cysts in the ovaries. Her gynecologist helped both Pacheco and her mother understand how and why birth control was the right option. “I first went on birth control because I have PCOS and it has caused my testosterone to increase and birth control pills were supposed to lower it,” Pacheco said. “I have known since I was 10; it runs in my family.” The name makes birth control’s original intent obvious, but it is used for much more. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2019 lists migraine management, acne control, menstrual cramping alleviation, endometriosis and PCOS treatments as uses for hormonal contraceptives. Pacheco had to convince her mother, who had been hesitant, thinking it would look as if she was encouraging sexual activity. Pacheco admits she still does not completely know what exactly PCOS does. When relatives are unable or unwilling to help, many rely on accounts from close friends, however others did not have that option. Junior Jessica Doe* was 10 when she entered puberty; her peers had not, and there was not much support at school. “It was very difficult to have a period in elementary school, as they didn’t even keep trash cans in the bathroom to dispose of menstrual products; I was embarrassed,” Jessica said. “YouTube was very helpful to me as a young girl and I learned how to put tampons in when I was in sixth grade from [them].” YouTube was not the only place she could go to at the time, she calls the school’s curriculum “riddled with misinformation.” She remembers waking up to bloody sheets after being taught that her period stops when sleeping. An episode of Netflix cartoon “Big Mouth” follows Jessi, who goes through a similar experience, when her first period came while she was wearing white shorts. This episode and the show itself has garnered praise for its handling of puberty, including positive reviews from Pacheco. “ I wish it existed when I was going through the beginnings of puberty,” Pacheco said. It is a stark contrast to Jessica’s school education, which she believes “was intended to shame us for even having periods.” Browning takes it further and researches beyond local schools, finding information on the role of the government and the economy in women’s lives. In debate class, she introduced a bill to eliminate the “tampon tax,” a real life Congress bill announced by Ohio representative Brigid Kelly. The “tampon tax” is a phrase used to describe the premium women pay on feminine products which some states justify because they are considered a luxury. “I was basically like: that’s messed up, what are we doing about that?” Browning said. “[S]ome of the guys took a lot of convincing that bleeding for a week straight every month isn’t a luxury.” Florida banned the tax in 2018 after former Governor Rick Scott’s tax cut plan in 2017, however, women’s lifestyle magazine InStyle in 2018 calculated the cost of the tampon tax that it would be around $200 in one lifetime for an individual person buying the average box of tampons. Desroches doesn’t think that it should be such a complicated ordeal for women to just find a simple, good product. “I find it hard to find healthy products to use in today’s society,” Desroches said. “A period is something every woman gets and can’t control it at all. Some women suffer with not being able to afford feminine products to take care of themselves with. The situation in itself sucks, but that’s how society is these days.” *Names have been changed



“I first got my period when I was 13...I was convinced I was dying.”

Art by Bethany Barker, Photo by Zoey Young

ducated with American Girl books and a vague definition from her mother on what the menstrual cycle was, senior Chloe Browning felt vastly unprepared for what she was faced with. When she got her first period, Browning equated the experience with death. “I first got my period when I was 13, during the summer. I had the stomach flu, so my cramps were twice as bad and I was vomiting so much,” Browning said. “I was convinced I was dying.” The lack of education can result in panic like Browning’s; students don’t know how to stop the bleeding or the cramps, much less, spot the signs of something much more serious. It is a taboo subject; the word “period” is seemingly too much for some, disguised within phrases like “that time of the month,” which supports the stigma behind the discussion of women’s health. “My father shuts down any conversation dealing with menstruation and women’s health in general,” junior Emma Haddad said. “ [He] wanted nothing to do with it.” Haddad’s mom educated her on what a period was and what to do, but Haddad believes that most girls are still “left in the dark.” Beyond fifth grade, she never had the opportunity to learn more about sex education and the changes that would happen during puberty. Haddad remembers feeling “grossed out” with her body when her period first started at age 14. The Florida Department of Education does not require sex education, giving each district school board the responsibility on how to handle the topic. Seminole County allows for educational videos for both sexes in elementary and middle school, and an STI and STD unit in Biology classes. Freshman Amy Desroches remembers the videos, but does not think they made a noticeable impact. She did not realize what her symptoms meant, even when her mom suggested it could be the start of her menstrual cycle. “Those videos just told you what would happen to you eventually without another word of why, when, or how it would happen. When I did hit puberty, th[ey] weren’t in my mind at all,” Desroches said. “I was in horrible pain; I thought at the time it was a bad stomach ache. But now I know that they were cramps. [My mom] even told me, but I didn’t believe her. That was until I used the restroom and saw for myself.” Self-diagnosing symptoms as something entirely different or dismissing them can prolong the time it takes to find long-term solutions. Women’s health issues are not always taken seriously, a problem Haddad finds to be especially frustrating. “Period pain and just the entire cycle in general is definitely underestimated, especially by those who don’t even experience one themselves. Girls deal with pain and nausea and are just expected to smile through the pain,” Haddad said. “I can barely walk when I’m on my period and dealing with cramps.” No preparation or understanding makes for a difficult week. For Desroches, it took years to know what works best for her. Her severe cramps sometimes cause her to miss school, so she knows that taking medication on a specific schedule is crucial for a normal day during her period. She also uses the restroom more frequently throughout the day, especially at school, to prevent leakage. Being on the constant lookout is tiresome and puts a strain on daily activities. “The time that passes in between periods seems to be getting faster and faster. Being on my period is honestly exhausting.” Desroches said. Her go-to remedies are a heating pad and planned doses of ibuprofen (also known as Midol or Advil), which is a common solution for cramps

but the same cannot be said for reproductive health visits. Jane agrees that it can be awkward, but is ultimately necessary to remain healthy. “I think that gynecologist visits are necessary like it is important


Maintaining good hygiene is important to avoid infections. You should not be using any kind of perfumed or moisturing soap (anything from Bath & Body Works). Soap should only be used on the exterior (the vulva). Products from Summer’s Eve and things marketed as “feminine washes” are unnecessary. You can also use baby wipes to freshen up during the day if you are on your period. If you feel itching, burning, or see thicker or yellower discharge, talk to a doctor. Slight odor is natural, but anything too strong is cause for concern. Breast health is nothing to ignore, in all genders. Breast cancer can affect anyone, so it is important to know the signs. Any irregularities in nipple size or color, lumps, or extreme tenderness should be reported to a doctor or a trusted adult. Conduct self-breast exams frequently: when you take a shower or when you get dressed. For everyday breast health, make sure you have the right bra for the right occasions. For those who bind, do not substitute a chest binder with athletic bandages or duct tape, as it is dangerous. If you do not have a binder, try a sports bra.

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Re(a)dy or Not - Let’s talk


Every person will face unique changes with their body. There are important signs to look out for. Certain conditions can compromise your health and you should be alert. Some of the most telling signs include extremely painful or irregular periods, and painful intercourse.

“For society to be less shaming on women sexually and reproductively, we need to talk about reproductive health more.” - Senior Izzy Pacheco





entertainment “Bridgerton” (Netflix)

The novel-inspired series “Bridgerton” follows the beautiful, young aristocrat Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) as she makes her social debut with the goal of marrying her true love. Chances are, you have never seen a period piece quite like “Bridgerton.” This show explores complex themes such as challenging the female ‘condition,’ raw truth, trauma, judgement, true love and social status that is unlike anything released thus far. The pairing of impeccable character and costume design leaves the only thing to complain about the sheer lack of more episodes. - Sophie Woodburn


“OK Human” Weezer

To the excitement of indie fans everywhere, beloved alternative rock band Weezer released their first album of the decade, “OK Human.” The soundtrack, while certainly good, does not hit the level of greatness previous albums “Pinkerton” or “Weezer.” Unfortunately, most songs are skippable, and “All My Favorite Songs,” “Grapes of Wrath” and “Screens” are the only songs that are notable on this album. “OK Human” feels more like a disappointing imitation of their previous music and is best to play in the background only. - Gabriella Herrera

“To All The Boys: Always and Forever”

One cheesy love movie was fine, even a disappointing sequel was acceptable, but three is too many. The most recent edition to the “To All the Boys” collection is “To All the Boys: Always and Forever,” dropping to Netflix just in time for Valentine’s day. The film is mildly heart-warming and comedic, but in a very cheesy way. The comedy and relationships seem forced and unnatural. Although, watching Lara (Lana Condor) navigating college life while maintaining her relationships is admittedly entertaining for die-hard romance fans.

- Sophie Woodburn

“Medicine At Midnight” Foo Fighters

No rock playlist is complete without the popular hits of rock band Foo Fighters. Songs like “Best of You” just scratch the surface of what they have to offer, and they keep their good momentum going with the new album “Medicine at Midnight.” The album weaves an interesting sort of storyline, with the first half being largely full of songs about experiencing life, and the latter half is full of songs focused on mortality. There is not a single song in the soundtrack listeners will be tempted to skip and many will become fan-favorites alongside “My Hero” and “All My Life.” - Gabriella Herrera

“Fate: The Winx Saga” (Netflix)

A twisted take on an old favorite, “Fate: The Winx Saga” follows Bloom and her friends as they attend a magical boarding school in the Otherworld, where they must learn to master their magical powers while navigating love, rivalries and monsters. Even six episodes is too much of this show. The writing is the epitome of cliche, and the acting is on par with the disaster of a show “Riverdale.” The only redeeming quality is the nostalgia you get from the 2004 animated series “Winx Club.” If you are looking for a mindless show, this is for you.

- Sophie Woodburn

“WandaVision” (Disney+)

Marvel fans are not let down by the release of “WandaVision” on Disney+. This TV series follows the two Marvel superheroes, Wanda Maximoff and Vision, living their “life” while being watched by outsiders in their own TV show. Episodes of “WandaVision” are released every Friday, forcing fans to wait for new episodes to see what happens to continue the story line. This show is full of excitement and mystery with suspense in every episode. Even if you are not a Marvel fan, “WandaVision” is a binge-worthy show.

- Julia Sumpter

Why you missed ‘Wolfwalkers,’ one of the best movies of 2020 Bethany Barker


Staff Reporter

fantastical film of wolves, magic, freedom and repression and yet very few eyes to lay upon its glory. With its folktale-like style and indulgence into wildness, “Wolfwalkers” is a movie made for kids but can be enjoyed by all. However, it is not on the big screen, and many people have let this movie slip under their radar, which is a tragedy for both the movie and viewers missing out on such a visual delight. Original movies are made for exclusive streaming services to attract viewers to pay that hefty subscription fee just to see that movie, hoping it will hook them in to continue subscribing. The tragedy is that movies like “Wolfwalkers’’ will suffer the undeserving fate of obscurity; no matter how good a film may be, people, for good reason, refuse to pay $84 a year for one movie. “Wolfwalkers’’ was created by Cartoon Saloon, a studio known for similarly stylized movies like “Song of the Sea’’ and “The Breadwinner”, and was released Nov. 13 exclusively on Apple TV+. It follows the daughter of a hunter, Robynn (Honor Knefsey),

as her father attempts to wipe out a pack of wolves terrorizing the nearby town. In an attempt to follow in her father’s footsteps, Robynn befriends a mythical Wolfwalker, a person that becomes a wolf when they sleep, named Mebh (Eva Whittaker) and realizes that the wolf pack may not be as bad as she thinks. From the first look, the storybook-esque animation is what differentiates this film from other animated features of its kind. Cartoon Saloon continues with its style of smooth and fun animation that encapsulates everything that 2-D animation stands for: believable movement, unique characters, and a fun escape from reality. The wolves in the film are animated in a furry stream that moved across the screen as a pack, portraying the feeling of closeness the wolf pack was meant to represent. The animation of the constrained Robyn juxtaposed the freeflowing wildness of her canine counterpart Mebh. Though the animation alone makes the film nice to watch, the true magic comes from how it combines with the themes of the story. To portray its message of freeing oneself from their restraints, “Wolfwalkers” follows two settings: the town and the woods. At first, the audience is meant to view the forest as scary and the town as safe. As the movie progresses,

it becomes more evident that the town was more of a cage and the forest was freedom. This symbolism is carried throughout the film, and though at times it is as obvious as a character trapped in a cage, at others it is as metaphorical as a character trapped in their own fear. Though it’s not a new message, it is one that is worth being told. Even with a movie this good, it suffered due to its platform. As the number of streaming services increase, so do exclusive movie releases. Seven dollars for Netflix here, six dollars for Hulu there. It becomes too much to keep track, and most people don’t want to have to pay for every streaming service out there. As a result, a lot of exclusive movies on less popular streaming services like “Wolfwalkers” aren’t seen by a large amount of viewers. Good movies aren’t getting the viewers they deserve because those viewers are not willing to subscribe to so many streaming services. If this trend continues, movie lovers can only hope that new streaming services will prove themselves worth the price they ask. As it is now, they are stuck in a tug-of-war between streaming services vying for their attention with lackluster lineups of one or two good movies and hundreds of below average ones.

art by Bethany Barker

Anime is characterized by big shiny eyes, detailed hair, black outlines, and cell shading. The animation ranges but many anime-styled shows have stiffer animation. Modern cartoons are characterized with simple shapes that come together to make caricatured characters. It emphazises features to create characters. Claymation is a unique form of animation where clay models are moved very slowly, with photos being taken as they move. Like claymation, paper cutout animation is unique in that it uses individual pieces of paper to build characters.

Old animation is characterized by often black-and-white or muted color palettes and eyes with slitted pupils.

Disney has developed its own notable style that remains within the realm of reality. It often has a semi-realistic style.




Gabriella Herrera

Staff Reporter

Ten-year-old makes $3200” “Meme cryptocurrency worth millions” “Young investor pays off student loans at just 20 years old” These headlines have become familiar as the success stories featuring regular people, have incentivized many to take the plunge and begin investing. Due to the pandemic causing record lows for some high-value stocks and the ease of stock trading thanks to the free or low-cost apps, people like senior Steven Shu have started investing in the stock market game. For the past year, Shu has kept an eye out for opportunities like the low-price turned highvalue tech stocks he acquired last March. “It was mostly learning on the go, an accumulation of experiences,” Shu said. “If I saw something that I didn’t understand, I would just Google that term.” Websites like Investopedia, The Balance and NerdWallet are all places beginners use to acquire more information on the basics of the stock market. Still, investing brings financial risk. Even for the experienced, there is no guarantee that a decision will be the correct one. Predictions about the changing market are just that — predictions. Stock values can change any time, for any reason, making it a risky situation for. For Shu, making some mistakes was part of the process. “When I first tried to transfer the money from my bank to my stock account, I put the wrong account number which had $0 and my bank charged me $75 for insufficient funds,” Shu said. “It delayed me a couple of days from buying the shares I was looking at, and by the

time I got it sorted the stock price had gone up over $100. I bought it anyway.” This setback serves as a testament to how careful new investors have to be. Shu is far from the only student to have recently taken up investing. Junior Olivia Martin is also a beginner in the stock market, but her motivations were more family-motivated. “ My grandma put some in for me,” Martin said. “I’m only starting out in the stock market. It’s definitely fascinating.” Family-encouraged investment is a trend becoming increasingly more common. While in the past children received gift cards to purchase what they wish on their birthdays, now they might get $100 to play the stock market game. While technically financial accounts have to be run by adults age 18 and over, giving youth hands-on experience might help this generation come to a more complex understanding of economics . Despite the stock market’s increasing accessibility, many criticize its fundamental flaws that prevent billion dollar success for the lower classes. Senior Alex Tao knows the system is discriminatory, making it more difficult for regular people to invest. “The stock market is a system set up by the upper class to keep the middle and lower classes in their ‘proper’ places. I have a problem with that,” Tao said. While there are a variety of systems in place to ensure the success of the wealthy, perhaps none are so obvious as hedge funds, investment pools for well-off investors run by a professional manager, working to minimize risk while maximizing reward. The existence of these funds in itself is controversial, perhaps even more so in the way they bet against the success of businesses. As part of the way wealthy investors secure maximized profits in hedge funds involves

betting against the success of companies, generally struggling ones like GameStop, which had been declining in value for the later part of the decade. GameStop’s wild stock fluctuation epitomized the trend of young stock investors when, at the end of January, in direct opposition to the hedge fund managers, investors following the subreddit r/WallStreetBets grouped together to purchase cheap GameStop stock as a way to “get back” at the hedge funds betting against it. Within hours, hedge fund millionaires went from preying on GameStop’s downfall to desperately scrambling to stop Reddit investors from driving its price up further. Economics teacher Adam Stansbury understands the often unfair effects of the stock market. Twenty years ago, he was drawn in after an economic catastrophe. “A lot of people lost a lot of money. They were doing day trading back then and when the dot-com crisis happened and all of a sudden all these people were losing money like crazy. I lost $3000 in one day on Microsoft stock,” Stansbury said. Stansbury references the dot-com crisis, when Internet-based companies blew up in the late ‘90s before eventually failing with the turn of the century. Everyone who had been invested had a significant portion of their investment, impacting the entire country. Stansbury became more committed to his stock market investments. Now, he urges students to understand the complexity of the stock market so they can best avoid the more unfair practices. “For years I have wanted to do the stock market game,” Stansbury said. “People end up making their own money and putting in their real money, and then they lose money and they get all upset... it’s a gamble. They have to be careful.”

THE GAMESTOCK BOOM WHEN: Stocks began to rise Jan. 13 before taking off into national prominance Jan. 22.

WHERE: The primary discourse took place

on the r/WallStreetBets subreddit. People invested in and traded stocks using platforms like Robinhood and TD Ameritrade.

WHY: While there are a variety of reasons

this “boom” occured, many used it as a way to prevent wealthy hedge funds from betting against the success of GameStop.

st a er ju ll v o as e / Wa n c r e o r s o n r e nt i a l i e v st si flu mas o inve om in a w a e d u e t m e nt f r s s a r e of t i m u r a g e s k . u o d E sh G M l l p e r i o n d e n c El o n M sma tBets a CEO e St re

ck e sto 9, th ly eve2 . an ar g e l ar k . ike J r sp since, $50 m e h t ano n’t risen und the o wa s s e r e a n d h a . 4 at a r h t ugh ll af ter g Feb o h T e fe ow i n va l u o u t f o l l g n i n


You aren’t like other girls? Skyler Glenn


Assistant News Editor

fter a shopping spree at American Eagle, sophomore Tiffany Odimegwu’s excitement was cut short when her friends told her that the new clothes she bought were basic and boring. Odimegwu expected to be complimented, rather than berated for her popular fashion sense. “Fitting into a beauty standard used to be really important to me,” Odimegwu said. “Being called ‘basic’ made me feel ugly and unoriginal.” The vulgar phrase “basic b*tch” has been watered down to “basic” in recent years. Although it sounds less harmful, the negative connotation has remained, according to freshman Lauren Verstrate. “Most people use ‘basic’ as an insult,” she said. “It’s like they’re saying that you have no complexity just because of the way you look or speak.” Social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, tend to romanticize certain styles, only to insult them weeks later. “VSCO girls” gained traction on TikTok during the summer of 2019. This inevitably turned into a large trend that people — specifically, teen girls who were not VSCO — began to hate.

Parody and diss videos surfaced, and with that, the trend died. “We’ve all been on TikTok for a long time, and it’s really hostile towards different types of styles and lingo,” Odimegwu said. After summer 2019, a new type of “basic” surfaced: “alt girls.” Alt girls emerged in early 2020, known for their indie music taste and dark clothing. Suddenly, the Birkenstock and Hydroflask grass was greener, and many pleaded for the VSCO era to come back. “I’ve had enough of alt people. Never thought I’d miss the VSCO girls, but I do,” one TikTok user commented on a resurfacing VSCO video. “Can we please be VSCO girls again? That was so fun,” another said. This trend might be the most basic of them all. Once a style becomes popular, it only has a short period of time before it is rejected. “I don’t like to follow trends anymore because of how much they’re criticized,” Odimegwu said. However, being basic goes beyond clothing. Countless numbers of women have been criticized for the music they listen to, the way they speak, and even things out of their control. “I have been called basic and annoying because of my name,” sophomore Emily Poulin said. “What am I supposed to do about that?” But why is being basic so heavily attacked?

It’s a loaded question with many potential answers. Some feel that the grim stigma around being basic comes from casual and insinuated misogyny. “Nobody has the right to be rude to women just because of the way they present themself,” Verstrate said. Misogyny is not the only possible explanation for the hatred of basicness. Odimegwu has dealt with racism, being told that she was whitewashing herself for wearing popular items such as skinny jeans and crop tops. Colored women also face racism for things like straightening their hair and listening to mainstream pop — both “basic.” “Pushing the narrative that you have to act a certain way to fit your race is completely wrong and hurtful,” Odimegwu said. “Style and behavior have no correlation to race.” Practicing self-love amidst society’s brutality has become essential for the mental health of teen girls. Beauty standards say that girls should be skinny and curvy, have straight teeth and clear skin, and look ethereal. But even when someone does meet these standards, they are naturally called basic. “Following trends is a part of growing up and figuring out who you are,” Odimegwu said. “I am now learning to be who I am and express myself freely.”

art by Bethany Barker



There is more to a southerner than stereotypes


and friends. She loves the feeling country music southern culture, the stereotypes still creates its gives off and the meaning behind the lyrics of fair share of misconceptions. When people think Staff Reporter the songs, which is what makes this genre so of rednecks, they usually think of trailer parks and low class, even though most southerners do oing maintenance on an old 1968 special for her. “You may not be affiliated with anything not necessarily fit this description. Chevrolet C10 pickup in the garage “I think ‘redneck’ is just an adjective used on a Sunday morning, going hunting country but for me personally, I like listening to describe someone who’s not afraid of getting with the whole family, and doing it all dressed to lyrics more than just the song,” Miller said. While southerners share some traits, not all dirty. It’s not necessarily an offensive word, but in cowboy boots; city-folk assume this is every rednecks dress in redneck’s typical weekend. “The best thing about living I feel there’s a limited group of people that Junior Blake Grose considers himself cowboy boots, a fit into the redneck a southerner, the more acceptable term for flannel and drive a in the country is doing your own thing.” lifestyle,” Miller said. redneck. His decked out Ford-150 with a lift huge truck either. Even through a redneck’s thick southern and blacked out rims is twice the size of most Heckle wears camo when she goes hunting but finds herself in a pair of leggings and a hoodie accent, someone can hear how they care about cars in the parking lot. Since he was 10, Grose has been driving on a normal day. Miller owns a pair of cowboy their family and friends. No matter how bad combines on his grandparents’ property in boots and has some camo clothing but, like a stereotype may bash a southerner, those Oklahoma. His whole family drives trucks to Heckle, does not wear them regularly. The girls words may not always be true. There’s more haul equipment and boats, especially diesel have their own southern qualities but choose to to a redneck than just a “yeehaw” or a sweet trucks. Grose grew up driving trucks and likes dress more like the other people at school. Their tea drinker driving down a dirt road blasting the height of his truck, which is why he chooses love for their lifestyle may not be shown by the country music. that vehicle over a standard car, and trucks are way they dress but Miller and Heckle love the much more useful for people who live in rural redneck life that they would not change or swap for another. areas, or the “country.” One piece of common ground for “The best thing about living in the country is doing your own thing with no annoying southerners, however, is a dedication to family. neighbor telling you what you can and cannot Their traditions hinge on it, whether it is going on family hunting trips or sharing dinners do,” Grose said. Not every southerner does everything together. “Redneck culture is very family oriented associated with the stereotype — seniors Alyssa because we love our Bradley and “I think ‘redneck’ is just culture and want our Savannah Miller have never been an adjective used to describe kids [and] family to feel hunting before someone who’s not afraid of that same love,” Heckle said. but Miller hopes getting dirty.” The redneck culture to go with her boyfriend soon. Usually when people go involves everyone in their family and usually, hunting, they go together in large groups with these families live close to each other — sometimes even on the same property. family members. “Family is very important to me because we Besides hunting, another southern essential is country music. Sophomore Brandi Heckle go through everything. I have learned so much can say she is an avid fan of country music — from them,” Grose said. Miller and Bradley are also very involved another southern essential. Country music is stereotypically associated with their family because they serve as a with beer, mud, hunting and fishing, things that leading example of right from wrong, proving the importance of relationships and personal tend to be popular amongst rednecks. “Country music is part of my upbringing connections. “Redneck culture is surrounded by family and is something that I love to listen to,” Heckle because that is a very important ideal in most said. Having been to multiple country concerts, southern families. Family is the most important such as Dan+Shay and Miranda Lambert, Miller thing we have,” Bradley said. Despite the positive aspects of has created significant memories with family

Corsets: though constricting, not restricting

Julia Sumpter

illustration by Emily Patterson


' ' n i r ' e ' Hootin holl

A little



Chanson Cadet

he Regency Period is arguably the most romantic period in the history of Great Britain. It was a second Renaissance, as art and luxury flourished with the grand balls and high-society depicted in infamous Jane Austen novels like “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility.” With the influx in popularity of new media depicting this era through the Netflix series “Bridgerton,” fans have grasped at anything that would put the magnificence of the period in reach and have mutually landed on one accessory: corsets. Since their emergence in 16th century France, corsets have been customarily regarded as lingerie. As corsets have regained their popularity, the line between what is appropriate to be worn in public has been blurred. It is rather apparent that, as a society, our standard of modesty has drastically changed since the Regency era, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Participants of the trend have placed a modern twist on the traditional piece, pairing corsets with jeans and t-shirts. Honestly, it works. Fashion is a cycle that constantly repeats itself with time, but it is not often something from hundreds of years ago makes an appearance. Being a fan of classic couture without the classic physique made me apprehensive about participating in this trend. I expected a full corset to cost an arm and a leg, so when I found underbust corsets on Amazon for only $13, I was intrigued. Ordering a waist-constricting torture device for less than the price of a tube of mascara does not typically go over well, but I was pleasantly surprised. The corsets combine classic and modern styles featuring the typical lacing and boning with a unique satin fabric that can make anyone feel like the belle of the ball. They are marketed as waist trainers and perform as such, but have an apparent lack of structure and are less expensive than a traditional corset. The structure and natural elegance of corsets encourage proper behavior. Even without the extreme lengths that noblewomen would take their lacing to, corsets still give an amazing waist-enhancing effect while also straightening out your posture. However, in their traditional form, corsets were impractical for everyday wear; causing women’s backs to bleed and ribs to be misplaced if not treated with proper care, so this trend is one where it may actually benefit you to go the cheap route when purchasing one of your own. Sites like Amazon and Shein are the best places to buy corsets for under $25, but if you are looking for something with a bit more class, House of CB offers a wide array of options. The most unexpected consequence of this trend is the spotlight it is placing over period fashion. For those desiring a more fanciful wardrobe than just jeans and t-shirts, now is the time to spring into action.


View this Pinterest board with different styles of corsets.



STARS SHOW OUT for jersey retirement Pro alumni Jeff Driskel, Ryan Mountcastle, Zack Eflin have jerseys retired at baseball field Hayden Turner


Ryan Mountcastle

• Under Armour All American • 1st Round pick to Baltimore Orioles

Sports Editor

he level of talent on the baseball field hit an all-time high on Feb. 6, with Baltimore Orioles third baseman Ryan Mountcastle and Denver Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel in attendance for a first-ever event. Both athletes, along with Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Eflin, got their Hagerty baseball jerseys retired to commemorate their athletic success after high school. Eflin could not attend, but Mountcastle and Driskel arrived with family members and significant others. Each was presented with a framed Hagerty baseball jersey, while a permanent jersey windscreen was attached to the left-field wall for each of the three players. “It is an unbelievable honor to hear some of the nice things that people say about you and know that I had a little part to do what Hagerty baseball is doing now,” Driskel said. After the jersey retirement ceremony, Driskel and Mountcastle participated in the alumni home run derby with other former players to take swings on their old home field. Mountcastle took home the crown, but Detroit Tigers outfielder Riley Greene gave him a run for his money. “It’s just a lot of fun to see them perform even in a practice setting because they are freak athletes,” pitcher Caleb Rodriguez said.

Jeff Driskel STAR POWER Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel (left) and Orioles third baseman Ryan Mountcastle (right) accept their retired jerseys at home plate. Zack Eflin’s jersey was also retired, but he was unable to attend the Feb. 6 ceremony. photo by Faith Marino

In Eflin’s senior season at Hagerty, he threw for 59 strikeouts with a 0.51 earned run average, earning many honors such as first-team allconference, first-team all-central Florida. Driskel was a part of two playoff games including the 2010 district championship, where he stole home. On the gridiron, he was the number one quarterback prospect in the class of 2011, and during his career he threw for 4,844 yards and 36 touchdowns, awarding him the Gatorade Florida Player of the Year and three-time all-conference selection. Mountcastle was a part of two district championships, a three-time all-conference selection, and was named the most valuable player of the 2015 Under Armour All-American Game. Head coach Mike Sindone has only been with Hagerty for two years, but appreciates the program’s impact on the three players; he


Jah Nze




Feb. 4


Put up 42 points


Wekiva High School

2020 SAC Player of the Year Jah Nze put up 42 points against Wekiva High School on Thursday, Feb. 4. Nze surpassed the 1,000 point mark as a sophomore, and is keeping that momentum his junior year. “My teammates got me the ball and I was able to deliver,” Nze said. “I was just the benefactor of my teammates’ great play.”

believes their success speaks volumes. “Our program was just their foundation for getting them started,” Sindone said. “They were coached hard when they needed it and had a mentor there for them when they needed that.” Prior to Sindone, former head coach Jered Goodwin coached all three players during their time at Hagerty and believes their success mirrors the expectation that has been set throughout the school’s history. “The expectation is that you’re coming here to play at the next level and win championships,” Goodwin said. “That’s the type of atmosphere and type of chemistry we wanted.” Scan the QR Code to see their paths to the professional level!

• #1 ranked QB Prospect in 2011 Class by ESPN • 2 yr/$5 million deal with Denver Broncos

Zack Eflin • 2012 Rawlings & Baseball America AllAmerican • 1st Round pick to the San Diego Padres



Llamido taking down expectations Karson Cuozzo


Staff Reporter

or years, junior Jada Llamido watched as her older brother won multiple trophies and medals for wrestling. Wanting to win herself, Llamido was motivated to start her own wrestling career. “My dad told me that I should check out wrestling since I always watched my brother’s matches,” Llamido said. Before wrestling, Llamido gained experience in close-contact sports through Judo, a sport focusing on precise footwork and throws. Llamido and her older brother, Tony grew up doing Judo. Ever since she was little, she would watch her brother compete in Judo and wrestling at the same time. Llamido’s skill in Judo led her to a secondplace finish at the Junior Olympics. She has been involved in Judo for many years, until she was 12. The Junior Olympics was the last Judo tournament she competed in due to indifferences with her coach and herself, causing her to fall out of love with the sport and ultimately returning to wrestling. When she began wrestling again, she picked up where she left off. She was the second female at Jenkins Middle School in Denver, Colorado to win districts against the boys. “It felt good to win, and good to know that all my hard work paid off,” Llamido said. After establishing momentum as a wrestler against boys, it was stripped away due to her stepfather’s reassignment to Germany while serving in the Army, causing the entire family to move. This presented many challenges like a slight language barrier and cultural changes. “While traveling, language wasn’t a big issue, as most people on the wrestling team spoke English and German, and when they traveled away to tournaments the same thing. However, this did not bring her wrestling achievements to a halt. During her freshman year in Germany, she was the first girl at her high school to win southern sectionals in her region of Europe.

Llamido was also the only girl on varsity her freshman year in Germany, wrestling in the 126-lbs weight class. “It was a great feeling, and I wrestled really well against the boys,” Llamido said. She was the first and only girl at that school to win sectionals in her region, let alone the only girl to do so. Wrestling boys was something that Llamido was foreign to, but the more comfortable she became, it was obvious it didn’t matter who her opponent is, wrestling is wrestling. “It was hard and different at first with wrestling guys because they try to use their strength against a girl, but I have somewhat gotten used to wrestling with them,” Llamido said. During her time in G e r m a ny, she did a lot of traveling, as many of her meets were far away from her school, even in other countries. “We got to travel all around Italy and Germany for wrestling. It was awesome,” Llamido said. After spending a year in Germany, Jada and her family moved back to the states in summer of 2019. After getting a job on a navy base in Florida, she moved to Oviedo. “I was excited about the move, a lot of my friends in Germany were moving away also, so I was glad that I was moving too because I wouldn’t be alone.” Llamido said. “But I was also a little sad, because I wanted to move back to Colorado because that is where all of my family is.” With a new town, came new wrestling

SPORT SHORTS Girls weightlifting at FHSAA States

On Feb. 13, the girls weightlifting team placed seventh overall at the FHSAA state 3A class championship. Senior Emma Ducharme placed sixth in the 110-lbs weight class, with a 250-lbs total. Senior Olivia Lipari led the team, placing second in her 129-lbs weight class with a 335-lbs total. “I’m really happy with how I placed and how the season went. It is higher than I placed sophomore and junior year,” Lipari said. Head coach David Attaway believes the tournament was a success and is proud of the team. “It was fantastic. We had a great time, everybody lived up to their expectations,” Attaway said.

Girls soccer ends with loss

The girls soccer season came to a close on Feb. 9, with a 5-1 loss for the girls soccer team against Winter Park. After a 14-3-1 regular season record, one of the best in school history, there were high hopes heading into the postseason. Left wing Addison Smith scored the only goal during the second half. “Winter Park was a very hard team, so scoring the only goal was very rewarding,” Smith said. Despite a disappointing game, attacking midfielder Regan Fitzgerald remains optimistic. “It sucks that it wasn’t as close as we would like it to have been, but we know we just need to learn from it.”

teams and clubs. Without much knowledge, it was a challenge to find places to wrestle. Without her family and any friends, she had to start from the bottom for the second time in a one-year span. Eventually, she joined the Florida Jets Wrestling Club. “My coach made me practice with begin ners,” Llamido said.

Llamido also faced bullying and abuse at the club; male teammates would purposely harm her and break the rules. On the bright side, she met her future national coach Kirwyn

Adderley. Adderley is the head coach for the Dr. Phillips girls wrestling team, and he had a big impact on Llamido when she first moved here. “He was really nice when we first met. He told me he wanted to become my coach and help me get better at wrestling, and he has,” Llamido said. “He has helped me grow so much as a wrestler.” Jada wrestled in national tournaments this summer with Adderley and Steve Hall. Both tournaments were held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. One of the tournaments, Super 32 was a tough tournament, according to Llamido. National ranked wrestlers from all over the country wrestled in the tournament and placed fourth in the all-girls tournament. “I wasn’t happy with how I performed because I really wanted to take first but looking back, I am proud of myself,” Llamido said. “There were a lot of great wrestlers at that tournament and I placed high for my weight class.” At the Grappler Tournament, she took first place in freestyle and second place in folkstyle. In freestyle more points are counted and there are some different moves wrestlers can use. Folkstyle wrestling is what is most common in high schools, and headgear is required, but is optional in freestyle. When wrestling folkstyle, wrestlers can use some moves from freestyle, but they will not be counted for points, and tougher referees will call penalties on the moves. After the summer season was over, high school season arrived. Llamido has been spending extra time after practice to prepare for the state tournament on Feb. 19-20. Last year her record was 26-1, with 26 pins. Her only loss last year was in the state final match. She has been practicing her shots [attacking the opponent’s leg] and technique and going on mile runs to build up her stamina. “Last year I was state runner up. I got in my head before my match and I didn’t wrestle as good as I could have. This year, I am determined to be a state champ,” Llamido said.

High expectations for softball Laura Shaw


Politics Editor

nticipation for the softball season was high after the near complete cut of last year’s season. Saturday morning in the preseason classic, the girls put up a good effort against East Ridge staying 0-0 for 5 innings, before getting rained out. Tuesday evening they fell to Oviedo 3-1 in the first official game in the season. Despite this initial loss and preseason cancellation, girls softball remains hopeful of a successful season. COVID-19 shortened the 2020 season, providing a lot of off time to condition, look forward and work towards the following season. Most girls have continued to play travel games and further their skills in the off season. Catcher Savannah Miller has “been working out three times a week with a strength coach.” Due to hard, instead of lacking momentum, girls softball has picked up the 2021 season as almost a continuation of last year and are looking forward to a successful season. “Our overall goal is to win states,” outfielder Lauren Tulp said, “we’re just going to look at it as one game at a time.”

Tulp is committed to Palm Beach Atlantic University, along with all four other seniors committed to play in college. The guarantee of a college career is not stopping the girls from reaching for the overall goal of the state championship, hoping to repeat their freshman year. “A lot of us are going to look at every game like it may be our last,” says infielder Daryn Miller, committed to the University of South Carolina Beaufort. With such accomplishments from seniors and high expectations overall, pressure on lower classmen can be very hard. But even with the talent from upperclassmen, the skills from lowerclassmen are not limited. Freshman pitcher Rachel Matthiesen pitched all five innings on Saturday, holding East Ridge scoreless Seniors are “pushing the younger girls to be the best they can possibly be,” Miller said. “We’re always there for them if they’re having any issues.” Even if the season doesn’t go as expected, the girls are still incredibly proud of even making it this far. “We are all happy for each other and what we’ve encourages us to push each other and work harder,” Tulp said.

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