Page 1

[r&b] october 2016

the issue

CULTURAL 5 8 9 10 11

Life in the Heights Which lives matter? Taking a stand by sitting down Es una celebración Trying on a new world

ARTS 12 13 14 16 17

Dancing in the streets of New York Hype for ‘Hamilton’ Riding the Korean Wave Going viral High school hesitation


18 COLUMN: Now we’re stressed out 19 Finding their way

PHYSICAL 22 Roaring at Lion’s Pride 24 What moves us 26 Back on the field 27 COLUMN: An open letter to students refusing to walk in the hallway

POLITICAL 28 29 30 30 31 32 33 34 35

36 37 38 40 41 42 43 2 | r&b | table of contents

Meet the candidates and their supporters What else is on the ballot? Oh, really? Election in lessons Florida matters POINT/COUNTERPOINT: Does voting matter? Voiceless voters Drew Fonda wants to Make America Great Again Whitaker is with her


On the Hunt for a new home Making the move Living up to the Wilson standard The pursuit of knowledge Love art and let go There’s no place like campus COLUMN: Curtain call


Check out pages 28-35 for our


to meet the candidates, see the issues, read why Florida matters and more

19 36 10


TOP TRUMP PHOTO COURTESY CREATIVE COMMONS, CLINTON PHOTO BY CASSIDY BULL 10 During the Hispanic Heritage Celebration, students placed flags of each Spanish-speaking country on the stage | PHOTO BY MAKAYLA BROWN 13 Senior Sami Majchrzak dressed as Alexander Hamilton for the hit Broadway musical named after him now showing in New York City.| PHOTO COURTESY OF SAMI MAJCHRZAK 19 Like many churches, the Auditorium holds intricately designed stained glass windows.| PHOTO BY KATIE DELK 24 Sophomore Victoria Badia performs cheerleading stunts in the gym | PHOTO BY ANNIE AGUIAR 36 Former media secretary Susan Hunt | PHOTO COURTESY SUSAN HUNT

table of contents | r&b | 3

[r&b] editors-in-chief Annie Aguiar Bianca Cegatte spread editors Katie Delk Madison Forbis Jorge Garcia Lauren Komar Juliana Lechner Matt Lutton Alyssa Ierna Varun Puri Amber Shemesh Yesha Shukla Atiya Simmons Tegan Smith Michael Strobl Anthony Suarez contributors Makayla Brown Cassidy Bull Marin Fehl Cameron Fishback Jubilee Gonzalez Carolin Hearne Jaylene Hernandez Harmony Tarpein Denzel Pierre Jayla Rogers Fernando Rosas Mercy Tsay Moryah Wells advisers Joe Humphrey, MJE Jill Burns, MJE

READERS, Sometimes, it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. The sun hasn’t risen and your covers are beckoning you. It’s almost as if your eyelids have been sewn shut – they’re not budging. But, then you get up anyway. Smacking the alarm clock, pulling yourself to your feet, throwing on whatever clothes are closest to you, as if there was never a hesitation to begin with. In the end, that’s all it takes. Before we know it, we’re thriving. Every day’s preparation is like heading into battle, gearing up for a war in high school, in the hallowed halls of the acne-marred and the battle-scarred. Our brains are speeding down the track and we’re keeping up with every drop of energy and motivation we have left. There’s no looking back. This is the time to move, and move we do; in hallways, on fields and in classrooms. Being young is fleeting; the high school experience is a smattering of years thrown together under the same umbrella that shields us from the world, allowing us to deal with it in tolerable bits. All while we squirm to discover who we are and what we’re bringing to the table — what we’re bringing to the threatening yet awe-inspiring ‘Adult World’. And that takes work — a hell of a lot of work. It’s not until we reach a wall, forcing us to stop and take a break, that we realize all of the progress we’ve made and how powerful our generation truly is.

4 | r&b | editor’s letter

We’d be remiss if we didn’t thank the members of our own little merry movement of workaholics. After all, making a magazine is not an instantaneous task; it’s not a moment, it’s a movement. The buzzing that overwhelms Room 506 is more than impressive and we are both so incredibly grateful to our staff for their determination and our advisers for their inspiration. You keep us moving. And we’d like to thank you, reader, for taking the time to pick up this magazine. In its pages, you’ll find a neighborhood in resurgence, a nation divided, protest, dabbing and more. We hope that once you finish flipping through the pages, you’ll find that our work has impacted you. Maybe it will even move you. Happy reading.


principal Gary Brady [r&b] a supplement of Red & Black Hillsborough High School 5000 N. Central Avenue Tampa, Florida 33603 hhstoday.com

But, while it is important to take time and appreciate things, it’s also important to not lose our momentum. If we have the ability to move, it is almost a crime to not. At the end of the day, all of our actions, activities and extracurriculars are means to the same end: we have to keep going forward, marching to the sound of our own drum and towards the world in front of us.

In positon to catch the ball, Corrneilous Hall prepares to travel down the field during the JV football game on Oct. 13. | PHOTO BY MAKAYLA BROWN

[r&b] october 2016

the issue

Annie and Bianca

Outside the walls of our school, the Seminole Heights neighborhood has grown and changed alongside Hillsborough High for over a century. Now, the neighborhood is in the middle of a movement that’s causing a re-evaluation of what “The Heights” is, what it’s becoming and, for some, how to keep it “dirty” amongst yoga studios and microbreweries. Turn the page and take a look into the community outside the classroom.


cultural | r&b | 5

Bottles of kombucha, gourmet coffee, craft beer and aged wine line the shelves on the wall of Jug & Bottle Dept., one of many Seminole Heights locations with names glued together by way of an ampersand. On the wall by the door, T-shirts hang as the music playing over the speaker softly informs visitors “the revolution will not be televised.” The shirts, which go for $20, read “Keep the Heights Dirty.” Seminole Heights is a neighborhood in the transitory phase of its own revolution, one where you can get small-plate dining and illegal drugs only blocks apart. But don’t try to clean the Heights up. Some residents, like Jen Montgomery, like it dirty. Montgomery is the one behind the shirts and the “Keep the Heights Dirty” movement at; she made a few of them for close friends as a joke at first, but after demand increased, they started going for sale at Jug & Bottle. “They are a little too popular for me though,” she said. “I think it’s maybe time to stop production.” “Keep The Heights Dirty was a collective thought that came up on my back porch. The phrase started to stick among my group of friends around the time the neighborhood was angry about the Family Dollar going in next to the Independent Bar and Cafe,” she said. “We like to say, to people who ask what Keep The Heights Dirty means, that if you have to ask, you don’t get it.”


The historic area of the Heights is a rectangle, boxed in by Hannah and Osborne and Florida and Cherokee avenues. The history of this rectangle has its origins in the early 1900s after landowner T. Roy Young declared his 40 acres north of downtown Tampa “Seminole

6 | r&b | cultural

Heights” in 1911. High crime and an economic downturn before the turn of the century seem like they happened in another area, one with significantly less available craft beer. But the hallmarks of the downturn during the later parts of the 20th Century are still evident if you look in between the artisanal goods; according to data collected by real estate website Trulia, there have been 408 counts of theft, 201 counts of assault and 134 counts of burglary in the last year in Seminole Heights. But since 2000, a new kind of establishment have become part of the landscape. Trendy eateries like The Independent, an 11-year old café near Hillsborough High, have started to redefine the area. Popular restaurant The Refinery has been the darling of critics for five years. Then there’s ramen restaurant Ichicoro, only a year old and already looking into opening up new locations in other areas. In April 2016, after Boston Globe writer Christopher Muther visited Seminole Heights, he proclaimed the area “a neighborhood brought to life through its stomach” by way of its burgeoning restaurant scene. A “part of Tampa once known for its ruffians, strumpets and nonstop transgressions, (Seminole Heights) has become the epicenter of a movement that’s spread across the city,” Muther wrote.


In areas like Brooklyn, newly hipster-infused locales that used to be rougher around the edges, the cry du jour is “gentrification!”, a process wherein formerly poor, usually black neighborhoods are transformed by an influx of high income, usually white, people. Unsurprisingly, writers have likened Seminole Heights to as a fledgling Brooklyn to Tampa’s Manhattan. With the shift in culture comes

LEFT The “Welcome to Seminole Heights” sign greets drivers on Florida Avenue as they drive past Nicko’s Diner, a staple of the area. CENTER TOP A Seminole Heights-style bungalow. CENTER BOTTOM The Warehouse Lofts are a new development, old warehouse space transformed into $1,600-a-month apartments. RIGHT Inside Jug & Bottle Dept., a craft beer, wine and specialty coffee store, onesies reading “Keep the Heights Dirty” are for sale. | PHOTOS BY ANNIE AGUIAR a shift in price as well; today, a house on Central Avenue will run a prospective buyer $200,000 or more. The comparison begs the question: is Seminole Heights gentrified? A discussion on the Tampa section of Reddit with the same title garnered different answers. “No, not even close,” thethinktank wrote. “Yeah, it’s mostly hipsters,” another added. A recent hoax that a World of Beer franchise location would be coming to the neighborhood inspired ire from residents, as the Tampa Bay Times reported in September. “The news shook the hipsters out of their apathy and gave rise to a short but frenetic rush of NIMBY [Not In My Back Yard],” the article read. Ten years ago, the same conversation about gentrification in Tampa was happening not too far away; instead, Tampa Heights was the subject of debate. A 2004 article from the Tampa Bay Times, “The price for the Heights,” tackled this issue; “When urban pioneers swept in 20 years ago to take advantage of depressed land values,” the article reads, “the homes of former black residents were replaced by upscale offices, apartments and townhomes.”


As for developing Seminole Heights in the future, the plan has been in place for the last 11 years. The 2005 Seminole Heights Business District Strategic Plan, the result of a year and a half of meetings with residents, property owners and business owners, is a blueprint to improve the area on criteria of aesthetics, marketing, regulations and incentives. Over a decade into the plan, the neighborhood has undeniably transformed. But no matter what happens in the future of the Heights there will always be residents like Montgomery, wanting to keep it dirty. “We aren’t bothered by the car lots and the gas stations. We aren’t bothered by the diversity,” she said. “People coming in who see this neighborhood as the next frontier is what is threatening.” STORY BY ANNIE AGUIAR

Seminole Heights is a historic district, but what is considered historic varies on local and national levels. According to the Historic Preservation Commision, The area outlined in RED is considered historically significant on the local level while the area outlined in BLUE is deemed historic on a national level, excluding everything east of I-275.



cultural| r&b | 7

WHICH LIVES MATTER Students weigh in on the Black Lives Matter movement, its effectiveness and its impact Twitter. Ferguson. Instagram. Chicago. Facebook. Washington, D.C. It’s everywhere. Black Lives Matter, an omnipresent organization dedicated to solving anti-black racism in the U.S., was founded in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager in Sanford, near Orlando. Senior Kaylee Simon, president of the Black Alliance Movement club and supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, said Black Lives Matter has raised national awareness about racial inequality. “I feel like it has a significant impact on the way we discuss black politics and the criminalization of black people,” Simon said. Simon started the Black Alliance Movement to spread information about black oppression. “The most important thing about having a successful movement is making sure all of your participants are informed,” Simon said. “If you’re creating a more informed public about these social issues and stuff like that, then it makes it a lot easier to work on breaking the gap.”

HURTING OR HELPING? Although Black Lives Matter has some students’ support, not everyone agrees with its goal. Some even think that saying “Black Live Matters” is racist in itself and creates a racial divide, which

8 | r&b | cultural

has spurred the formation of different groups, such as the All Lives Matter organization. Senior Medina Howard said All Lives Matter hurts equality instead of helping it. “It’s just a creation to demean Black Lives Matter,” Howard said. “[Black people are] not superior over everyone else, but cops are killing specifically black people and, like, no one’s getting repercussions for it.” Although some students don’t support All Lives Matter, it doesn’t mean that they agree with every tactic of the Black Lives Matter movement. Simon even said that at times, the movement can be reduced to a hashtag for social media. “[Black Lives Matter] doesn’t get its point across as well as it should,” she said. Other students don’t agree with some of the protest’s violence. “The Black Lives Matter movement is a good movement, but how they’re portraying what they’re trying to seek is too violent,” sophomore Wiley Walker Allen said. However, even with Black Lives Matter’s faults, some still think racism in the U.S. is an issue. “Racism isn’t just violence. You can say racist things, [but] that’s still a racist action,” Magalys Oro-Fernandez, vice president of the Black Alliance Movement, said. Although she realizes segregation no longer exists and there have been improvements for people of color, Oro-Fernandez still thinks that the public needs to address and act on issues concrning race.


Oro-Fernandez said that people may be willing to accept the ideas of Black Lives Matter if they simply listened to them. “They don’t want to know all the details or know the whole situation. A lot of times, it’s just people who don’t want to know the whole story, honestly,” she said. According to Oro-Fernandez, getting these people to acknowledge nation-wide racial inequality is a step towards solving the problem that Black Lives Matter has been addressing. In Simon’s opinion, one of the most beneficial factors of the Black Lives Matter movement is that it gives a voice to the black community. “It helps bridge those racial inequalities and gaps,” said Simon. “It puts the marginalized groups, the black community, in charge of their own movement.” STORY BY DENZEL PIERRE


In Psychology class, Kambra McDaniel sits while the rest of her class stands and recites the pledge. She said she will not stand for the pledge until she believes black people get justice.| PHOTO BY AMBER SHEMESH In the morning, students file into class, prepared for lessons, tests and classwork. They wait for the intercom’s habitual command: “Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.” Students across campus rise and recite the words of the pledge with their hands on their heart. But junior Kambra McDaniel is not among those students. She is sitting. To McDaniel, the Pledge of Alliegance only represents injustice. “In the Pledge of Allegiance, it says [that] we are supposed to be one nation under God, but we’re not,” McDaniel said. “Black people are being treated unfairly: they’re being shot, they’re being killed and the police aren’t suffering the consequences.” She refuses to stand up for something that she doesn’t believe in until she sees a change. She’s taking a stand by taking a seat. Protesting the pledge comes with criticism, including strange looks from teachers. “A certain teacher just gives me a stank look whenever I’m sitting,” McDaniel said, “And I smile right back at her.” McDaniel has been told that it is un-American to not say the pledge, and that the only reason policemen have shot black people is because

they’re scared. “Apparently, according to some people, the police only shoot at the unknown,” she said. “So they’re calling black people ‘the unknown,’ which makes no sense to me.” Fortunately for McDaniel, she doesn’t sit alone. Two of her friends, juniors Verline Noel and Diamonde Mccollum have decided to sit down during the pledge as well. “They think the same thing[s] as I do,” McDaniel said. “We all sit; we all think its unfair treatment.” McDaniel has been sitting during the pledge for quite some time now. “I’ve been protesting way before Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel for the anthem,” she said. It was in the ninth grade when she realized just how much injustice existed. Ever since, she’s been sitting during the pledge, hoping for change. Hoping for justice for the victims of police brutality. For the victims from Ferguson to Baton Rouge. McDaniel said that she won’t be standing for the pledge anytime soon. “Maybe I’ll stand in the far far future if black people get some justice,” she said. “But until then, I’m sitting.” STORY BY JORGE GARCIA


cultural | r&b | 9

ES UNA CELEBRACIÓN On Oct. 15, classes gathered in the Auditorium to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

TOP A small model of Hillsborough covered in flags from Hispanic countries built by senior Daniela Garcia-Ducosquier. |PHOTO BY HARMONY TARPEIN MIDDLE LEFT Students wave flags from Hispanic nations on the auditorium stage.| PHOTO BY MAKAYLA BROWN MIDDLE RIGHT Two members of the Big Red Band, junior Albert Perez and senior Dimitri Brunelle play “La Cucaracha” on the saxophone. | PHOTO BY HARMONY TARPEIN BOTTOM Led by Elizabeth Galan-Vega, a procession of people at the celebration dance through the aisles. | PHOTO BY JAYLENE HERNANDEZ

10 | r&b | cultural

Junior Erik Fylling is spending a year in the United States, leaving behind his home in Norway to live in Florida After packing his bags, eating Sosekjeott— an ox meat stew, one of his favorite meals— and heading out for the airport, junior Erik Fylling flew 4,000 miles away from home to live with people he’d never met and go to a school he’d never even seen. No big deal. He landed at La Guardia Airport with a few of his friends. They were all a part of Education First (EF), an exchange program that places students with families and schools in other countries for a year. They were all fluent in English already since it’s a common language in Norway.

THE ROAD TO TAMPA The first surprise of America came while he was still in the airport. “The security was very strict, like we couldn’t mess around at the airport,” Fylling said. “In Norway, we like to mess around.” After leaving New York, Fylling went to Pennsylvania for a camp to meet fellow exchange students and to adjust to America. “We had like four classes a day,” Fylling said. “They were teaching us how to talk to your family, how to integrate, everything.” Fylling then came to Tampa, a city he chose because of his mother. “My mom and my grandma were both exchange students,” he said. “My mom was an exchange student here in Florida; in Pensacola in the ‘80s. She motivated me to come here.” And he’d already been to Florida on trips with his family, so he knew that he could handle Florida weather. “It’s hotter I guess, more humid. I’m a little

more sweaty now than in Norway but it’s good,” Fylling said. “I hate the bugs though. Bugs and snakes … hate that.”

PROBLEMS HE’S FACED But bugs and snakes aren’t exactly his least favorite part of the trip. While his mother kept in touch with her host family throughout the years, Fylling says his host family hasn’t been quite ideal; this might be because this is the family’s first time with EF. “They’ve had three exchange students before me, and they all went to Hillsborough,” Fylling said. “But it’s their first year with EF so they haven’t gotten any feedback from the students.” As of now, Fylling is in Cape Coral in a temporary home waiting to be transferred to a new host family.

HIS DAILY LIFE When he’s not at home, Fylling plays soccer, runs cross country and goes to the gym. This may seem like no small feat, but to him? “You gotta have something to do,” he said. When he’s at school, Fylling notices American education is completely different from Norwegian education. He says that in Norway, school is more laid back. “The teachers usually just let you sit on your computer- because you have a computer, everybody in the school does—and browse, do Facebook, whatever,” Fylling said. “Of course, not in every class you can use a computer like in math and stuff, but mostly every class.” And in America, Fylling says the classes are more focused, but are easier in terms of grades. “But here, it’s more focused, you have to put away your phones,” he said. “I get A’s here without doing anything. But in Norway, you have to do something, and it’s like B’s and C’s.”

the possible benefits of studying abroad. “I think it’s helping me make it somewhat on my own, being alone in a country, meeting other people, learning new things,” he said. But Fylling can’t stay in the U.S. to learn forever. His Visa expires July 20 and then he heads back to Norway. He says he’ll be most glad to see his girlfriend. As it is, time zones and distance make it more difficult to communicate. “Norway is six hours ahead,” Fylling said. “I call her usually after practice, after I eat, whenever I can.” As for his plans when he gets back, Fylling isn’t completely sure what he’ll do. “I’ll start school in the 13th grade, so that’s my last Erik Fylling year at talks school,” to ahefriend said. “Then in front I go ofoff a

dock back in Norway, before his year in the United States |PHOTO COURTESY OF ERIK FYLLING

to college or the military, I don’t know. Probably college.” STORY BY MADISON FORBIS

LESSONS HE’S LEARNED Fylling hasn’t gotten to see much of Tampa. So, his favorite sights include the school, the local Walmart and tourist musts such as Honeymoon Beach. Despite not getting to see a lot, Fylling sees

cultural| r&b | 11

LEFT The Dancerettes perform at halftime.|PHOTO BY MAKAYLA BROWN TOP Odessa Churchill salutes the crowd. |PHOTO BY ANNIE AGUIAR BOTTOM Liz Linton walks across the field with her parents on Senior Night.| PHOTO BY MAKAYLA BROWN


The email she had been waiting for popped up in her inbox. Her heart jumped and she immediately opened it. “I was so excited I started jumping all over the place and showing the message to my family,” Odessa Churchill said. After four years of waiting, senior Dancerettes got their opportunity to try out for a spot in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Five girls who tried out made the cut and four of them will be dancing in the parade. Aside from the parade, the Dancerettes will be attending various attractions in New York, including a Broadway show, a tour of the Empire State Building and the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. However, for Churchill the most appealing part of New York is Pace University, the school she plans to attend next fall. Churchill hopes that dancing in the parade is something unique she can add to her resume that will set her apart from other applicants. “I started dancing when I was 4,” Churchill said. “It’s been the one thing I’ve always truly been passionate about.”


The Dancerettes have a full schedule planned with practice, learning the routines and exploring New York. There are approximately 1,000 participants who have less than a week to learn the routines and prepare to perform in front of the 3.5 million people who

12 | r&b | arts

go to watch the parade every year and the millions more watching on television. However, the Dancerettes are used to performing under pressure. Their summer dance camp and last-minute pep rallies force them to learn quickly. “It’s a little bit nerve-wracking since we are going to be on TV,” Olivia Lane said, “but I’m not too nervous especially since we will all be learning it together.”

EXPENSIVE EXCURSION Cost was an issue that each of the Dancerettes had to face. They created GoFundMe accounts to compensate for the steep price of $2,225 each plus airfare. “I had to pay for it all myself,” Liz Linton said, “so I had to find a way to ask all my family and friends that don’t live near me.” She received 10 donations totaling $2,000. Sonya Veerjee was also unwilling to let the price deter her. “It was quite expensive, but I was still really hoping to be able to experience it,” Veerjee said. She raised around $1,000 to help her pay for a trip she said would be a great experience and an “opportunity to do something I love in a city that I love.” There are two girls who will not be attending, but they are not sad about passing up the opportunity. Julia Slater decided not to go due to a mission trip she plans on attending in Guatemala. “The mission trip is more import-

ant to me since I will be able to help people and explore a different country,” Slater said.

STAYING BEHIND Lastly, Nicole Hernandez is glad to celebrate Thanksgiving at home, especially since her parents are moving to Panama. This is the last year she will spend in her childhood home so she wants to make it special. On top of that, Thanksgiving Day is also her 18th birthday. “I wanted to spend it with my family rather than at the parade,” Hernandez said. It has been six years since the Hernandez family moved, but that’s unusual because, due to her dad’s job, they’ve been used to moving every three years. Even more unusual to their routine, this is the first time Nicole is staying behind, but she thinks the family is ready for a change. “I have always known that they would be moving once I got to college so it’s not a new idea to me,” Hernandez said. Her parents are moving out of the country, but she is glad to stay in the U.S. to attend college next year. This will not be the last opportunity for the senior Dancerettes to perform together. They have several more opportunities before they graduate such as Solo and Ensemble, pep rallies and the marching and auxiliary competition. STORY BY TEGAN SMITH

LEFT After a waterside photoshoot, Majchrzak reenacts Hamilton by the Tampa Riverwalk. ABOVE Majchrzak reclines by the water in a Hamilton costume.| PHOTOS COURTESY SAMI MAJCHRZAK

‘HAMILTON’ HYPE Hip hop and history may seem like an odd combination, but it has proven to be a successful pairing for lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda. His Broadway musical “Hamilton” has won 11 Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy award. It has received worldwide appreciation with a constantly expanding fan base. And when senior Sami Majchrzak saw “Hamilton” live in New York, like most people, they only learned to love it even more. Before they listened to the album, Majchrzak thought of Alexander Hamilton as “that unfortunate guy that got shot.” After constantly hearing their friends raving about the soundtrack, Majchrzak finally listened to it. From then on, they became a fan and even saw the musical on Broadway last summer. Fortunately for Majchrzak, they were able to go before the tickets cost today’s minimum of $250 each. The rise in popularity has driven up the prices and sold out every show until May 24 (yes, the same week current seniors graduate high school.) Majchrzak listened to the cast album constantly, but said seeing the songs come to life was better than they dreamed it would be. “I found myself really appreciating the ensemble in a way I couldn’t have imagined I would,” they said. “The choreography was absolutely phenomenal.” “Hamilton” tells the story of Alexander Hamilton in a new way that has appealed to people all over the world. The musical opens the parts of whites to

A ‘Hamilton’ aficiado has brought the show to life in their costumes

people of any ethnicity. Hamilton’s cast is composed predominantly of performers of black and Latino descent, notable for a musical starring white historical figures. Hamilton himself is played by Javier Muñoz, a man of Puerto Rican descent. With “Hamilton,” Miranda offers an alternative to the way Founding Fathers are typically portrayed. And now, they can rap. Miranda tells the story of Hamilton in a unique way that has never been done before. “It revolutionized musicals as an art form. It revolutionized how many people look at history. In many ways it is a product and advocate of implementing equality,” Majchrzak said. “Hamilton” has also influenced Majchrzak’s intended career. They focus on game design and illustration, but “Hamilton” has heightened their passion for costume design. One of their main hobbies is cosplay, a type of performance art when people wear costumes and different accessories to represent a specific character from video games, books, anime or television shows. “It was pretty much inevitable that I would make a Hamilton costume,” said Majchrzak, who even dressed up as Hamilton for Heritage Day. Majchrak also performed one of the songs from the musical with their friends at the Hillsborough Esthetic Literary Magazine coffeehouse last year. For Majchrzak and many others, “Hamilton” is more than its lyrics and high praise from critics. It has taken the art community by storm. It offers equal opportunities for actors looking for a role of historic importance. “It’s hard,” Majchrzak said, “to condense such an immaculate work of genius into only a couple sentences.” STORY BY TEGAN SMITH

arts | r&b | 13

RIDING THE Recently, Korean pop culture has become more and more popular in overseas markets; for K-Pop fans, their favorite bands and idols are everything Splashes of color, multi-million video production and fast paced dancers: on the surface, Korean pop music, or “K-Pop,” is all about the look, the fashion, the moment. But for senior Hanna Seligiman, it has become something more. Seligiman began to listen to K-Pop out of pure enjoyment, but she soon discovered that there was a deeper meaning to the fast-paced music that sparked her interest. “[It] got me into Korean language and [now] I want to be a translator,” said Seligiman. She now studies Hangul, the Korean alphabet, in her free time and has even considered studying Japanese in the future. This style of music has opened the door to diffusion of Korean culture around the world. K-Pop’s global influence was first seen when solo singer Rain performed two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in 2006. From there, K-Pop only grew larger with several different groups making it onto Billboard Magazine’s Top 100. According to Billboard, “[Up] to date, only “K-Pop got me into Korean seven K-Pop acts have hit language and [now] I want the top spot on World Digito be a translator.” tal Songs with two No. 1s to HANNAH SELIGIMAN, 12 their name.” One of which was PSY’s “Gangnam Style” that debuted in 2012 and went on to become the most viewed video on YouTube, an international sensation that dominated the cultural conversation for the better part of a year. The movement of K-Pop culture beyond South Korea has allowed a large portion of today’s youth to explore cultures vastly different from their own. Such is the case of junior Nadiya Merced, who had discovered K-Pop when she was in middle school. “It made me want to study culture more, so I wanted to go into anthropology” said Merced. “K-Pop helped me expand my music”- she now listens to Japanese, Chinese and even Spanish music. Social media is an integral part of the spread of K-Pop. People everywhere take advantage of the internet to interact with people all around the world. With a single keyword, you could find several different people scattered across the world who like K-Pop just like you, or simply share an interest a specific band. Sophomore Camille Somchith utilized social media to joined the community of K-Pop dancers. “During my free time I learn K-Pop dances and during homeroom I often dance for my friends,” Somchith said. “It takes a lot of time, but it’s a lot of fun once I get it right.” Although dancing isn’t Somchith’s passion, it has allowed her to meet new people and develop new talents. “I’ve even gotten some of my friends to dance with me,” Somchith said, “and it’s a fun way to bond with them.”

14 | r&b | arts


outh in 1953, S n ar ended sio W n a n p a x e re o ic K After the enced large econom iver.” R eri the Han Korea exp iracle on M “ s a n know om movies fr s against llyn o o ti H c ri d n st re lifted a re e In 1986, w la u ts pop r. marke creasingly in American e m a c e vies b wood mo of CulMinistr y n a re o dia K e South nd its me In 1995, th ed a plan to expa ia. lop ture deve ially film and med c e sp e r, secto


A look into how Korean pop culture developed over time

film, et Korean ial g d u b ig b merc the first me a com In 1999, d to beco .” se a ic le n a re it s an “ T “Shiri” wa g more th in ss ro g , success egan n media b 0s, Korea in’9 p te u la k e o th s to Starting in ss Asia. K-drama er th o e in acro of airtim ts n to spread u o . m a re mo large utan and creasingly Nepal, Bh e k li s ie tr coun mmunierican co nited m A n a re the U with Ko n cities Starting populatio stern media. h ig h ties in d to we Pop sprea States, K-


Recently on YouTube trying out odd Korean beauty products has been trending. Michelle Phan, known as The YouTube Beauty Guru, had an entire video dedicated to Korean products. This popularity has shown in drugstore, with a subtle influx of new Korean or Korean influenced, products reaching shelves.


Not-so-new BB-cream has reached American shelves, offering a sheer glow and high SPF. While the Korean brands are harder to find in a Walmart, Garnier, Maybelline and MAC have all made their own lines of BB creams. BB Cream fits perfectly into Korean makeup trends which revolve around clear, dewy skin and a no-makeup makeup look.


Sheet masks have gotten huge this past year boasting the benefits of hydrated skin, detoxifying properties and anti-aging formulas. The brand Tony Moly and its “I’m Real” face masks can be found in Sephora and Ulta. In fact, Sephora’s website has a whole section under skin care for “k-beauty” featuring a whole slew of Korean products.

PORE PRODUCTS TOP Wearing a shirt with the name of a member of the Korean boy band EXO, sophomore Camille Somchith says that K-Pop has introduced her to dance. BOTTOM Clad in a hoodie with the boy band Bangtan Boys’ logo, senior Hannah Seligiman has been inspired by K-Pop to study the Korean language.| PHOTOS BY CAROLIN HEARNE

WAIT, WHAT’S A HALLYU? K-POP GLOSSARY Hallyu: Literally “the flow of Korea,” ‘hallyu’ refers to the Korean wave, the phenomenon of Korean entertainment and popular culture rolling over the world with pop music, TV dramas and movies. Hangul: The written Korean alphabet. Comeback: When a group or soloist releases a new song or album. Idol: A K-Pop entertainer, trained in singing, acting, dancing, modeling and more.


These products lessen the appearance of pores by tightening skin, removing excess oils and dirt and can be used as a primer to fill pores before foundation. The pore product from Tony Moly Egg line is dedicated only to pores, there’s the Egg Pore Cooling Mask, the Pore Blackout Oil Gel and the Pore Silky Smooth Balm.

PEEL OFF MAKEUP Michelle Phan, BuzzFeed and Refinery29 have all tried out these stain-type makeups. It’s fun to peel and watch but thes products seem to stay on the Internet and not become a regular part in the American makeup routine. COMPILED BY ALYSSA IERNA GRAPHICS BY ANNIE AGUIAR

arts | r&b | 15

Junior Christian Alfano in one of the videos on his YouTube channel, Mender of Roads.


Christian Alfano starred in and directed ‘The Hash Slinging Slasher,’ one of his many videos that he conceptualizes, directs and edits himself, be they Ted Cruz memes or more It’s Hour 4 of video editing, but junior Christian Alfano still has a few left before he’ll be ready to upload his latest video. It’s been a long day of filming, but the video editing has been even more grueling. Editing, background music and special effects dominate Alfano’s mind as he works. Alfano has been at the YouTube game for almost four years now and his channel, Mender of Roads, currently sits at 70 subscribers. Although he’s passionate about what he does, he looks back on his beginnings with anything but fondness. “I think when I was in eighth grade … I just started to get into video editing and started making really dumb game videos because that’s what everyone else did,” Alfano recalled. “But those are deleted by now!”

HIS VIDEO EVOLUTION Soon though, his videos began to evolve into short films. “They’re more challenging to make because I don’t really have a proper studio to film it in, and my two actors are my neighbors,” he said. “They’re definitely more fun. They’re more intricate to make.” Although he may enjoy more dramatic vid-

16 | r&b | arts

eos the most, Alfano’s most viewed videos are based around memes. One video, entitled “The Delegates, Donald,” has accumulated over 4,000 views in three months. It parodies the controversy between Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and now-presidential candidate Donald Trump as they competed to become the Republican nominee. “The meme videos are a little bit easier to edit, and they get more views,” Alfano explained. As his school workload increased over the years, Alfano has struggled to keep his channel alive. “I don’t do [the videos] as much anymore,” he noted. “I just do it when I have free time and I feel like doing something creative. Something pops up into my head.” He also acknowledges that his videos have changed over the years. “They’ve evolved into other humor. Before I had the gaming stuff. I guess I wasn’t happy with that, so I did the dramatic stuff,” he said. His sources of inspiration have changed as well. “Before, I would just try to think of a really dramatic movie, and I tried to kind of parody that, and do like a really dramatic twist at the end where you’re not expecting it. And then, I just switched over into memes,” he recounted.


Time is of the essence; for a dramatic video, the whole process can take up to nine hours. “We have to film it first and set up all the camera angles and have actors act it out. Then, if you don’t like it, you have to do another cut. Then I have to do the whole edits, find the right music, maybe add some extra effects, sound effects, whatever you feel like. It’s pretty time consuming, video editing.” Alfano uses Sony Vegas Pro 13 for editing. Meme videos, however, are much quicker. “They’re not that difficult. You have to find the stuff that you want to make first, like the meme,” Alfano said. “I get the audio portion and then link it with the video and then synchronize the video and do any kind of editing. It’s easier. It’s probably like two or three hours, I guess. And they’re really short. You just gotta think of something that’s funny or something that’s trendy. Trending memes.” The editing is finished. The video is uploaded. All that’s left now is to wait and hope that the video will become the next internet sensation. With any luck, it will. STORY BY MICHAEL STROBL


Freshman Stephanie Martin was forced to find her place in unfamiliar terrain after making the transition from middle school to high school; luckily, she had her sister, Brandi

LEFT At the Thespians’ Coffee House in early September, sisters Stephanie (left) and Brandi Martin perform a scene from the television show American Horror Story. “In middle school, we didn’t have anything to appreciate theater,” Stephanie said. RIGHT On the H Patio, Martin and her friend junior Karleigh Marshall eat lunch.| PHOTOS BY JUBILEE GONZALEZ

Stephanie Martin had an idea of what high school was going to be like, but she was far from sure. She had prior knowledge about it from her mother and sister, but she still couldn’t help being anxious about starting her freshman year. “In the summer, I was super nervous but it gradually got worse when school got closer,” she said. Senior Brandi Martin, Stephanie’s sister, gave Stephanie advice and tips on how to survive high school. “I told her that freshman year is the most important,” Brandi said, “[and] to not mess it up.” Brandi’s advice included keeping a good group of friends and not trying to be cool. She told Stephanie she would be faced with many opportunities, clubs, footballs games and meeting new people.

THE FIRST DAY On her first day she woke up and dreaded the thought of going to school. “I sat on the edge of the bed contemplating my life,” she said. It took her 10 minutes of her reassuring herself that she would be OK before leaving her bed to get ready. After doing her makeup, getting dressed and eating breakfast she left

with her sister at around 7 a.m. for school. As Stephanie arrived at school, she slowly became tenser. “I was so scared,” she said. “When I first got here I was shaking and didn’t want to be looked at.” Stephanie and Brandi approached Alumni Hall to meet up with a few friends before the school day started. When they all met up the group of friends repeatedly asked if she was OK and if she was ready for her first day. Her friends constant questioning made her more anxious about going to class. Once the bell rang, Brandi walked Stephanie to her homeroom to assist in calming her. “I was shaking the entire time and had my head down to not make eye contact,” Stephanie said. When Stephanie got home, she cried to her mother. But now, she says, she’s fine with it. Soon after, high school eventually grew on her. After a few days of stress, Stephanie got used to the new school feeling and learned to love and appreciate it. “In middle school they were so on top of you but in high school they let you do more things,” she said.

AT HOME IN DRAMA She has even discovered ways to appreciate and learn more about the things she loves like theater. “I was always interested in theater but now that I’m in it I truly do love it,” she said, “In middle school we didn’t have anything to appreciate theater.” Stephanie is in musical theater and is determined to be a dedicated thespian and take part in any theater activities. On Sept. 8, Stephanie performed in the annual Thespians Coffee House. She performed a scene from American Horror Story with Brandi and sang “You Know I’m No Good,” by Amy Winehouse. Stephanie feels like she is less held back and has more opportunities and freedom in high school than when she was in middle school. “Brandi and our mom actually told me that it was going to be so much better than middle school. They said we were going to be more free and not like a jail. They were 100 percent right,” she said, “I feel like I can actually breathe in this school.” STORY BY JUBILEE GONZALEZ

arts | r&b | 17

NOW WE’RE STRESSED OUT We keep ourselves so busy, we sometimes forget to take a breather; in this generation, we’re told to keep moving and working. This is what leads to stress and it’s time to put a stop to it Wake up. Turn off the alarm, put those shoes on your feet, stuff that bagel in your mouth and down that coffee. You’re running out of time. Here we go. Shut the door behind you, turn the key, speed through every red light - all while your mind tries to run through the notes for that psychology test you’re taking in an hour. You’re running out of time. It’s ridiculous because at this point in my day, I’ve hardly woken up and my heart is already racing. I don’t remember what shirt I put on and if I’m even wearing matching socks. The sun’s coming up and I’m not admiring it. In fact, I’m furious because – guess what? You’re running out of time. We all have years and years of life to live and we find ourselves counting the minutes like it’s some sort of ticking time bomb. And if we’re not freaking out, we’re wasting our time by sitting mindlessly in front of computers or that curly-haired kid in the front desk. My question is what am I rushing towards? What was so dire that I couldn’t wait for my eyes to open before snapping upwards in my bed and smashing my phone with my hand? What is it that I just HAVE to do that’s making me glance at the sky outside every few minutes - not because it’s a beautiful October day, but because the sun’s finding its way downward and I still have a four-hour shift and three papers to complete? They keep telling us that we’re young and we should be wild. That we have fresh eyes and free spirits. Yet, those same people also tell us that it’s time to buckle down and decide. What are we doing with our lives? Who are we going to become? Everything that we do in this moment will change our lives forever. Stop sleeping in on the weekends and pick up a sport. Be involved in your community. You’re naïve, but you should still make this life-altering decision. I believe in you, but you’re doing it all wrong. It’s no longer a matter of being busy. It’s not like I’ve forgotten to stop and smell the flowers. I’ve forgotten that flowers exist altogether. We all need a big, fat pause button. I know I sound like your grandfather


74% of students said they typically feel stressed

18 | r&b | personal

telling you to get some fresh air because “back in my day life was easier and we all played baseball until the streetlights turned off.” But can your grandfather please let me know what happened to those days? Let me give you a breakdown of this generation’s youth: We have our depressed “addicts”. Also known as the teenagers taking drugs or doused in booze to stay happy and alert; to feel as if there’s meaning to life. Our exhausted “quitters” and our robotic “overachievers”; both types of kids who have been pushed too far and, either they broke down and do nothing, or they got trapped into an endless pattern of obligated tasks and chores. And everybody knows, my favorite, the terrified “well-rounded student”. The kid who’s had so much pressure placed upon them by society – and in most cases, their family - that they live for everyone but themselves. And out of fear too. We’ve got a lot of those and you all just eat that up. It’s sad. It’s heartbreaking. The way this society is built is sort of like a machine created to shape us all into a powerful group of mindless worker ants. But the world is a beautiful place and humans are meant to enjoy it. We cannot all fall into place like little gears. Someone needs to remind us that there’s a beautiful full moon tonight. Someone’s gotta figure out which colors will perfect a painting of the sunrise. And we all have to wake up, hear the dang birds and stretch our arms and legs slowly, but in pure bliss. I understand that everything counts. It’s all a chain reaction and you have to work hard now if you want to reach your dreams. However, you only have today. If you spend 100 percent of today working on tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes, then what? Take some time for today. Give your undivided attention when your favorite song plays. Close your eyes when you place that piece of chocolate in your mouth. Take a deep breath when you wake up. Eventually, you’ll be forced to sit and watch. You’ll have no choice anymore – no more opportunities to live because one day it’ll end and that voice in your head will have changed. One day, you will run out of time. COLUMN BY BIANCA CEGATTE

35% Teachers 21% Work 23% Self 9% Friends 12% Family



35 percent of students say the cause of most of their stress are TEACHERS.


High school is a time when students look in their hearts for who they are and desire to become. Students search within their families, friends and themselves to move towards who they are as people. Often, this is through the lens of religion. At Hillsborough, students possess diverse religions. [r&b] wanted to know what these were and how they reached them. The answers from the 200+ survey varied from Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and more. Turn the page to read about how students found their way.


personal | r&b | 19

Every first Sunday, sophomore Tiquan Walker’s grandfather woke up him up and told him to get ready for church so he could see God. Walker’s grandfather passed two years ago but he said that he is in a better place now. “Since he went to a better place and he actually understood God and who God is,” Walker said, “I feel like he’s happier there than down here.” Through the years that Walker came to know him, he saw his grandfather as a loving and hardworking man who may have not reached all of his goals in life, but had friendship and family instead. Walker became Christian because when he asked his grandfather about God, he responded with, “God is a spirit that is always around you, watching over you.” Once Walker came to realize that God loved him, he desired to understand and grow closer to God. Walker said that in his daily life, he serves others and does his best to show God’s love. “The impact on my daily life is to just get out there and do the best that you can no matter what and just don’t let people bring you down and tell you what you can and can’t do,” he said. “I don’t let that harm me, I know my family does it they’ll wake up in the morning feeling sad but as soon as I get home, I feel like they’ll have that light in their eyes that they actually did something good today.” Through miracles in Walker’s life he said he knows God is there. “Like somebody will drop $20 on the floor and I’ll kindly return it and they’ll just say I can keep it,” he said. “That’s a miracle, that’s God working.” He advises those searching for their beliefs to “find a god you can relate to and just try to understand and connect to what that god is.”

JEREMY MONGE With his mother’s permission, sophomore Jeremy Monge converted to Buddhism after researching a multitude of religions and beliefs. Monge’s mother said her son can find his religion, whatever it is, despite the fact that Monge was baptized Catholic. As he looked online, Monge read quotes and stories. “I really liked the fact that Buddha [himself claimed] not to be a God, but

22 | r&b | personal 20

he’s a normal person but he still reveres to the kingdom of God just because of his beliefs,” he said. “That to me was astounding.” Throughout the day, Monge finds time to set aside to think. He said Zen Buddhists, a variation of Buddhism, meditate in order to have a collection of peace within themselves. “I don’t really meditate per se, but I do think that if you kind of go blank and just sit down, not do anything,” he said. “Sometimes that can be very relaxing.” According to Monge, Buddhism has enabled him to become calmer and to gain more self-control.

“Find a God you can relate to and just try to understand and connect to what that God is.” TIQUAN WALKER, 12 “I tend not to get as angry with things because of the whole thought process behind it,” he said. “Things don’t affect me as much.” Also, he says that he may discuss his beliefs with friends and family. Like Walker said, Monge believes everyone can find their own faith. “I would tell somebody to not jump on something just because it’s a trend or it’s a norm of people around you, because at the end of the day, there is always going to be something out there even if you’re not religious or not,” he said. “I still don’t really consider myself religious; I just think it as a thought process. But there is something out there for everyone.”

DHRUV PATEL Senior Dhruv Patel has grown up within a Hindu family and holds onto its beliefs and practices through the support of his family and friends. Something important to him within Hinduism, are the festivals which all have their own meanings and worships gods. He does this with his family, whom he shares numerous traditions with and who has bonded through sharing common beliefs and encouraging one another. “The daily impact is usually I pray three

times a day, before I eat, in the morning and at night and religion allows us to set moral and ethical boundaries for ourselves,” he said. “Not all Hindus pray three times a day, but it’s become almost a family tradition that we do. My family I feel as through the religion, my family is closely bonded together. Not just my family, but my extended family including my cousins and my aunts and uncles: we’re all bonded together through the medium of religion.” Whether in India or the United States, he says that Hinduism binds his family together. During these prayers Patel translates it from the original language and in so doing, he reflects on the day and asks for forgiveness for any acts of wrong he has committed. “I ask for forgiveness for whatever bad or immoral deeds committed throughout the day and I’m Hindu in that I’m a vegetarian so I believe in preserving animal life, so at the end of the day if I’ve harmed animals or killed any, I’ll ask for forgiveness,” he said. In order for his friends to understand his beliefs and who he is, Patel also shares his faith with his friends around him. “I teach my friends about Hinduism because a lot of people in the U.S. misinterpret the religion and they often know very little about it,” he said. Patel believes God is always around him and within him. “In the holy texts of the Bhagavad Gita it says ‘sarvasya chaham radi sanni vistho,’ which means God resides in every human being, so essentially it’s a brotherhood under God of all humans and being bonded together,” he said. “So it also means that God is essentially everywhere, so I don’t have to go to a temple to pray to God, I can pray home, God is within me and within every human.” According to Patel, growing up in a Hindu family you are most likely to follow these beliefs; however, a Hindu must read the sacred writings to understand what they must do as a Hindu. For those who do not possess spiritual beliefs, Patel says “I would tell them to get advice from primarily their parents on what they would prefer, also it’s basically what your heart believes in.” STORY BY KATIE DELK

TOP Tiquan Walker prays and thanks God for his daily blessings. | PHOTO BY KATIE DELK LEFT Jeremy Monge spends time thinking; while he doesn’t ‘meditate,’ he takes time to contemplate life. | PHOTO BY KATIE DELK RIGHT Dhruv Patel (far left, standing) and his friends attend an Indian culture-themed festival. | PHOTO COURTESY DHRUV PATEL

According to a [r&b] survey of 200 students, in a class of 20 kids... 2.9 are Roman Catholic

7.2 are Christian/Protestant (Methodist/Lutheran/Baptist)

1.1 are other

2.4 are “nothing in particular”

2.4 are atheist or agnostic

1.6 are Hindu

0.8 are Muslim

0.8 are Jewish

0.5 are Buddhist


personal | r&b | 21

The Big Red Band earned one Superior in Auxiliary for its Les Miserables show at Lion’s Pride, an annual competition at King High before their Music Performance Assessments From early morning, students gather in the band room, preparing for the long day ahead. It’s Lion’s Pride. A band competition where bands have the opportunity to be judged before the Florida Bandmasters Association Marching Festival. The Big Red Band took to the stage hoping to bring home a Superior on the football field at King High School. The band arrived at school early morning and rehearsed until breaking for lunch. Yet although on break, the students still discussed the routines, positions and music. By the end of lunch, they were ready to load up their instruments and prepare their uniforms.

‘SCREAM A LOT FOR US’ Although quite a chaotic process, drum majors junior Mica Jadick and senior Diego Suazo keep the rest of the band in line and on track. They get the students in arches and check that they have all the pieces of their uniforms. While waiting for the buses to arrive, drum line members taught the rest of the band a chant to go along with the drum line’s performance in the drum battle. Junior Alex Lankford had run through their drum performance

22 | r&b | physical

many times before teaching the rest of the band the cheers. “We just need you to be loud, and scream a lot for us,” he said. “Don’t cheer for the other school please.” On the bus they rerun through the schedule and surprisingly, most students weren’t nervous for the competition — rather, they enjoyed the event, talking to their friends and joking about the other schools and playing silly games. “I don’t really get nervous. I just think if we do good, we win,” sophomore Nicole Barta said, then quickly added, “I am a bit scared that I’ll trip.” Once they arrived at King, the excitement is still at an all time high. The students take their place in the bleachers to observe the other bands, going to the concession stands to get food and eat under shaded tents between performances. While they were eating, the drum line told the band that they had dropped out of the drum battle and made many of the kids disappointed. Students argued with the drum line’s explanation for dropping out. The atmosphere was tense, however, when revealed that it was a prank, many of the students laughed it off. “I can’t believe I fell for it,” said sophomore Issac Nelson. In reality, the drum battle

had been moved to 8 in the evening. Due to the schedule change, the band kids had several extra hours to spare. When it came time for the Big Red Band to take the stage, they changed into their uniforms and headed to the baseball field to rehearse and tune. At the end of rehearsal, band director Michael Lebrias gave a speech in hopes of motivating and encouraging the band prior to their big competition. “I know that you’ve worked hard. I know you can do it,” he said. “You got this. Go out there and give me 150 percent.”

PROUD AT PRIDE During the performance, the band began by singing “Do You Hear the People Sing” whether it was in tune is up to each individual. In their performance, the Dancerettes incorporated Chinese-style fans and ribbon wands which would compliment the each of the different songs. The finale would have the students marching in circles and then lining up in formation and having the Dancerettes wow the crowd with a row of splits. Shortly after the performance, while in the

LEFT Freshman David Ma marches with his flute during the Big Red Band’s performance of its Les Miserables-themed show. CENTER TOP Freshman Olivia Sewell is the third Dancerette sister in her family. CENTER BOTTOM Junior Mica Jadick does a secret handshake with freshman Riwk Sen shortly after rehearsal at King’s baseball field, preparing for their upcoming performance RIGHT Senior band member Vincent del Castillo hugs fellow senior band member Logan Martinez before their last Lion’s Pride performance. | PHOTOS BY MERCY TSAY

midst of changing, rain came pouring down and everyone rushed back on to the buses. Despite the weather, Lebrias ran between the buses, letting each group know how proud he was. “I’m so proud of the work you’ve done,” he said. “That was the best run I’ve seen out of this band ever. No matter what, I don’t care what we get. I could literally care less because of this performance.” He then added some feedback, motivating the band to continue to improve. “All we have to do is clean,” he said. “Be proud of the work you’ve done. I’m so proud of you guys and the dedication you have to this program.” For first-time performers, this was an exciting experience and left them feeling proud. “I think we did well,” freshman Jai Patel said. “It was one of our best performances. We had the right tone, right notes and musical quality.” When asked what they could’ve improved on, various opinions arose. “During the last section and the last song, we were getting into a square or block formation,” said sophomore Michelle Frost. She explains that they kept hitting their “shakos or hats” and that it’s something they could’ve practiced more. With the unbalanced movement came more subtle mistakes. “We could improve in keeping our shoulders parallel to the side line,” junior Javonte Riley said. “I got smacked three times.

We’re going to try to work together as one.” However, for many, this wasn’t just another band competition. Some seniors felt bittersweet as they approached the end of their last Lion’s Pride. “We went and performed and we did as great as we could, but it’s also really sad because it’s my last time being here and I’ll never be able to do it again,” Logan Martinez said.

‘WE WILL GET BETTER’ Although sad that it was ending, both Martinez and Suazo agree that it was “one of the best performances [they’ve] ever had.” “They did great. I saw them,” Suazo said. “I felt great, I don’t have any regrets. We got third, but we played our hearts out. I am going to miss [the Big Red Band]. It’s a fun time, I’m definitely going to come back to visit, but it’s going to leave a dent.” Band performances are scored based off of five categories: Music Performance, Marching, General Effect, Auxiliary and Percussion. In the previous year, the Big Red Band has taken home a Superior with an overall score of 82. This year, however. they received a lesser score of Excellent with an overall score of 79. Many students were disappointed, since they thought this was one of their best performances, but Lebrias reminded them that his opin-

ion is the only one that matters. “If I’m happy about it, you guys can be happy about it because that was a great run,” he said. “The show sounded great. There’s no reason to hang your head. You guys are the Hillsborough High School Big Red Band —not anyone else. Hold your heads up high. Be proud of yourself. I’m so proud of you guys.” By the end of the day, the Dancerettes had taken a Superior in Auxiliary and the band placed an overall rank of third out of fifth in their division. Inspired by Lebrias, drum line sophomore Hanuar Medina made a speech himself. “I’m proud of this band. Even though we didn’t get the best award, we put out the best show we could and we will get better.” STORY BY MERCY TSAY

Visit HHSTODAY.COM to read a profile on Nick Gonzalez, the senior band member who writes music for the Big Red Band by ear.

physical | r&b | 23


Leaping into the air, sophomore cheerleader Victoria Badia demonstrates a toe-touch in the gym during practice before the Homecoming game. “It’s good exercise and it’s fun,” Badia said of the sport. | PHOTO BY ANNIE AGUIAR

After the bell rings, students all around Hillsborough participate in sports of all kinds. Even outside of school, students stay active. Here’s a peek at what drives students to keep moving The relentless squeak of sneakers-to-floor, replaced by the sound of drums: the marchthe pounding smack of ball-to-court and ing band is practicing now, too. The rain the near-deafening yells of player-to-player has forced them into a covered hall outside, dominated the gym as both basketball teams clumped together like brass-wielding sarHere’s a guide to choosing the practiced on a rainy Thursday after school. dines. How well do right sport for the winter season you run? Freshman Javier Jimenez isn’t playing. It is one week away from the HomecomHe’s off to the side, watching the team prac- ing football game, so it’s crunch time as they Like How much tice. Jimenez has been playing for years, since prepare to take the field and show off the Like a How well do Usain money do you elementary school, and wants to make it to work of the last few months for the school. Sloth you run? Bolt How well do have? the NBA one day. The next day, the football team runs drills, run?and simply runs in preparation after Jimenez isn’t alone on the side of the you practice Do How much Likeyou get Like a court. In the corner of the gym, away from school for the game; they’ve been undefeated I’m Stacks money do particularly youtrying Sloth Usain Bolt to pay for the world of sneaker squeaks and NBA this year, and intend to stay that way. on stacks have? mad in March? college dreams, only one sound drove people to get Earlier in the week, the field they pracHow much Like a Like moving: the gentle doo-doo-doo slipping from tice on was covered in amateur yogis as the Do you get particularly on feel I’m trying to the lips of senior Pearl Obioha. YogaBolt Club met on their you mad Slothmonthly club day,money doNo Yesin Usain HowStacks do you pay for March? stacks The rain interrupted the planned practice, stretching and meditating to try and catch have? about practicing college 5 times a week? one of three a week; what is usually a full some zen outside of class. team on the field has been whittled down The same day, the front lawn of the school Soccer No Yes How do you feel to a few in the gym. Now only four remain, became a danger zone as Frisbees soared about practicing 5How do you dancing in unison to the pretend-music from through Do youthegetair, passed between members of times a week? feel about I’m trying to Obioha; the doo-doo-doos competing with particularly the Ultimate Frisbee Basketball unitards? mad in club. Stacks on Soccer the screams from both basketball teams. Some students in the Ultimate Frisbee pay for March? stacks Sophomore Victoria Badia is one of the club tossed the Frisbees around to one day Let’s college How do you feel go Crew four, a varsity cheerleader after doing All- be handed a diploma. about unitards? Basketball Star cheer (non-scholastic club teams) since For students in the International BacHow she was 8 years old. “It’s good practice and calaureate program, the desire to graduate No Sport about no Let’s go it’s fun,” she said of cheerleading. “You get drives exercise: documented physical activity Crew No Yes a lot of bonding with kids from the higher is required as part for of the How program’s Sure, do youCAS feel Wrestling why not? grades.” (Creative, Action, Service) requirement. How about practicing 5 No Sport about no Junior Dioscar Montesino is another Be it in one of the many sports teams on times a week? cheerleader in the gym, the first male cheer- campus or something else, Hillsborough’s Sure, why leader on the team in two years. In between students find ways to stay fit. Wrestling not? practicing routines, he and Obioha laugh as STORY BY ANNIE AGUIAR they tango down the side of the court. Right outside the gym, the doo-doo-doo is GRAPHIC BY VARUN PURI AND ANNIE AGUIAR





24 | r&b | physical


How do you feel about unitards?

of students of students EXERCISE

exercise for

DABBING 101 Here’s your guide to a less athletic way to move. Dab responsibly, kids.



1.) To begin your dab, extend both arms fully.

30% - Walk / Run 13% - Swim 28% - Play a Sport




28% - Other

Data taken from a Twitter poll @HHSTodayOnline, with a total of 219 responses

2.) While leaving one arm extended, bend the other elbow so that your hand touches your chest. 3.) As you bring your hand in, turn your face inward, so that your nose touches your inner elbow. PHOTOS BY VARUN PURI COMPILED BY CAMERON FISHBACK

physical| r&b | 25

BACK ON THE FIELD Senior Drequan McCullough celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Jefferson. McCullough has received college scholarship offers from schools like Buffalo and FAMU at safety after returning to football in his junior year. | PHOTO BY MORYAH WELLS Drequan McCullough was forced to walk away from the game he loved in seventh grade. After five years of playing football, he was told it was too much. “It was family problems to where I couldn’t play,” McCullough said. “But God worked everything out so I’m able to play.” It’s an ability McCullough hasn’t wasted. McCullough returned to the game as a junior, and now, after only two years of high school football, the running back turned safety starts at the core of a strong defense. He has fielded offers from Buffalo and Florida A&M, and he says he has recently received attention from even bigger schools like USF and UCF. The road back, however, wasn’t easy. “I found myself uncoordinated a lot, trying to come back from four years off,” McCullough said. “It was actually very difficult. I didn’t really get back into the flow of things until a couple months ago.” In the spring, McCullough ran track to build his speed and endurance. “He’s worked

26 | r&b | physical

real hard,” track coach Joe Sipp said. “Once he started getting in some shape, he came every week and was very competitive. His times started dropping in every event. He put a lot of time and a lot of work and a lot of effort in.” Track season is also when he saw his college recruiting pick up. After a busy spring, McCullough received his first offer from Florida A&M in mid-June, and his second from Buffalo came days later. McCullough jokes that his family didn’t believe him when the first offer came in. “Everybody thought I was lying,” McCullough said. “They were very surprised, but when they found out everybody was excited.” During the track season, McCullough grew close to running back and track star Duran Bell. Bell, a USF commit himself, helped McCullough work on getting back into shape and form. “He listened to me and took my advice because he knew I was a little more experienced,” Bell said. “Since then we take each other’s advice and we have been a powerful duo in the

backfield.” Bell and McCullough have combined for almost 70 percent of Hillsborough’s total rushing yards and touchdowns this season. McCullough has four rushing and one receiving touchdown so far. This season, McCullough has become a large part of the success of Hillsborough’s defense, which is giving up fewer than eight points per game. “I like to come downfield full speed and hit something,” McCullough said of his playing style at safety. “When the ball’s in the air I’m a ball hawk.” STORY BY MATT LUTTON

Follow the Terriers’ playoff run at HHSTODAY.COM or on Twitter @HHSTodayOnline @HHSTodaySports


REFUSING TO WALK IN THE HALLWAY Hey, you. Yes, you. You know who you are. It might even be a whole group of you that makes up the you I’m talking about, congregating in a sophomoric gaggle outside of teacher’s classrooms, lumping together like cancerous cells in the student body and clogging the path to my next class. Keep it moving. I was once like you, the center of my own universe, perfectly content with finding my friends outside of their class and asking in hushed tones “how was the test?” or “did the teacher actually check the homework?”, terrified at the prospect of anything less than a 96 percent class average. But things have changed. I’m a senior, preoccupied with college applications and grades and extra-curricular activities and God knows what else. I’m just trying to get out of here unscathed. I’m also trying to get to class, and you are in my way. You’ve doubtlessly experienced a traffic jam; they’re not pleasant. Now imagine that traffic jam every day of your life, multiple times a day, and all of the cars in front of you are stone-still not because of a crash or any other unforeseen accident. No. They’re catching each other up on “The Bachelor.” Life moves fast sometimes, so it’s natural to want to stop and look around once in a while, Ferris Bueller. But I implore you to not take that advice when you’re standing directly in front of people trying to get to a test they studied all night for. Especially not when you’re standing directly in front of me. High school is kind of like a practice run of reality, a microcosm of a not-so-micro world that we will one day be thrown into. If you one day find yourself living in a busy city and you decide that the middle of a crowded sidewalk is the perfect place to hunker down and set up shop chatting

about whatever inane nonsense you find yourself so enamored with, someone is going to punch you in the face. I’m performing a kindness by writing this; I am not going to punch you in the face. I will stare scimitars (a Middle Eastern sword with a slight curve) at the back of your skull, I will find any way to duck and weave around you in the crowd. I might even let out an exasperated “come on” if I’m feeling particularly antsy, but I’m not going to punch you in the face. If you’re reading this and you have no idea what I’m talking about, congratulations, you’re the problem. But don’t worry, the solution is simple. Being more cognizant of your surroundings is simple: pay attention to where you’re going, think a little about the people you are

walking amongst. Another solution: the walk-and-talk. That way you can talk to your friends, get to class sooner and not be a nuisance. One day, you’ll be a senior. You’ll have the same frustration that I do; life approaching the end of high school is difficult enough without the constant Jansport-wearing-roadblocks. Honestly, in the future I wish you the best as you continue here and I have gone off to some university. But right now? All I want for you is to stop being the worst part of my day. Keep it moving. COLUMN BY ANNIE AGUIAR





physical| r&b | 27

their MEET THE CANDIDATES and supporters In all the noise of the election, sometimes you can lose sight of the things, like who’s actually running. Don’t worry; here’s your guide to who’s who. (Kanye is waiting until 2020, sorry)

Jill Stein: Nominee for the Green party and former candidate for governor of Massachusetts. An activist and physician, Stein believes in transitioning to totally green energy by 2030 and is generally progressive.

Gary Johnson: Nominee for the Libertarian Party, Johnson is socially liberal but economically conservative. He favors minority rights and is prochoice. He wants to cut institutions such as the IRS and the Department of Education.

Hillary Clinton: Former Secretary of State and New York senator as well as First Lady with the presidency of her husband, Bill Clinton. Clinton supports increases in taxes on the rich, stricter gun control prevention and is prochoice.

Mike Pence: The current governor of Indiana, as well as a member of the House of Representatives. Pro-life and in agreement with Trump’s immigration policies, Pence believes Trumps economic and political reform will improve America.

Ajamu Baraka: A human rights activists, Baraka has worked with groups that aim to eliminate all racial discrimination. He follows Stein’s in her reforms, like wanting free education for college students.

William Weld: Former governor of Massachusetts, Weld works to stop American debt and help Johnson promote smaller government. He agrees the size of the U.S. government needs to be reduced.

Tim Kaine: The running mate of Clinton, Kaine is currently senator and was the governor of Virginia. Kaine is pro-choice and thinks Clinton’s experience makes her the right person to lead the country.

Sophomore Jesse Long supports Trump’s immigration policies. “He wants to interview the people that come in, figure out their backgrounds just to make it safer,” he said.

Junior Jenna Callison supports Stein because of her environmental activism. “Hillary Clinton is extremely qualified but unconcerned about the environment,” she said.

Senior Allie Snow supports Johnson, but only because she’s a libertarian and so is he. “I think he’s the best of the four main candidates,” she said. “He’s just not a good [libertarian].”

If sophomore Britney Santiago could vote, she says she’d vote for Clinton. “I support her because she’s all for women’s rights, education and doesn’t want to build a wall,” she said.

Donald Trump: The Republican nominee for president, he aims to Make America Great Again. He is a businessman and television personality. His policies include tax cuts for all Americans, extensive immigration reform and drastically changing healthcare.


28 | r&b | political

WHAT ELSE IS ON THE BALLOT? These are some of the other major decisions Florida voters will have to make come Nov. 8. Democratic candidates are pictured on the left; Republicans are on the right. U.S. Senate: The leading candidates for senator are incumbent and former presidential candidate Marco Rubio (R) and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D). Murphy emphasizes protecting and fostering a strong middle class and environmental protection. Rubio has served in the Senate since 2009 and hopes to emphasize conservative values if reelected to a second term.

District 14 U.S. Representative: Incumbent Kathy Castor (D) has served in Congress since 2006 and emphasizes strengthening the economy through job creation. Opponent Christine Quinn (R) hopes to create state control over education, restructure “Obamacare” and ensure fair veteran compensation.

State Attorney, 13th Judicial Circuit: Incumbent Mark Ober (R) is well-known for his accomplishments in the criminal law field, personally chairing over 200 trials. Andrew Warren (D), his opponent, has served with the U.S. Department of Justice for over 10 years and is known for his prosecution of Stanford Financial Group executives. State Senator, District 18: Dana Young (R) previously served in the Florida House of Representatives as Majority Leader. Her opponent, Bob Buesing (D), has worked for 30 years as a lawyer at Trenam Law. He emphasizes education for children at an early age. In addition to Young and Buesing, Joe Redner and Sheldon Upthegrove are running with no party affiliation.

Voting isn’t limited to candidates. Florida voters will also have to vote yes or no on four different amendments. (Note: Amendment 4 passed in the Aug. 31 primary.)

Amendment 2: Permits the use of medical marijuana for those with extreme medical conditions. Their caregivers would be allowed to assist them in using it, and the Department of Health would be responsible for its production and distribution. This amendment would not permit its use for recreational purposes.

Amendment 5: Provides senior citizens who have lived in their homes for a minimum of 25 years a tax break assuming their home is worth less than $250,000. If the value of their home increases to above $250,000 over time, they will still remain eligible for the tax break. COMPILED BY MICHAEL STROBL, GRAPHICS BY MICHAEL STROBL, PHOTOS COURTESY CAMPAIGN WEBSITES

political | r&b | 29

Politifact, the Tampa Bay Times’ fact checking project, is having fun this election cycle Flocked by a bevy of American flags, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stood before an audience as he prepared to give his remarks. Cameras flashed as news outlets vied for a picture of the 2016 election’s most polarizing candidate to be posted across the internet. What Trump is about to say will be livestreamed, livetweeted, broadcast on CNN, analyzed, turned into memes and more. He knows words, Trump said of himself on the campaign trail. He has the best words. But when he opens his mouth, according to fact-checking project PolitiFact, there’s almost a three in four chance those words are lies. PolitiFact, a Pulitzer-Prize winning project by the Tampa Bay Times, aims to test statements given by political figures for accuracy. Statements are rated by the website’s Truth-O-Meter, which ranges from “True” to “Pants on Fire.” Each rating comes with a documented list of sources ranging from interviews with the politicians themselves to information given by experts in relevant fields. With chapters in 18 different states, claims from presidential campaigns, state Senate runs, and everything in between are evaluated. “A lack of substance in political campaigns is nothing new,” PolitiFact staff writer Joshua Gillin said. “There’s that old adage, don’t believe everything that you read.” While 72 percent of 306 statements from Trump have been ruled Mostly False, False, or Pants on Fire, 27 percent of statements from Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton have been similarly rated. In December of last year, PolitiFact awarded Trump the 2015 Lie of the

Year award, writing Trump “doesn’t let facts slow him down.” “If the man ever said anything obviously true, we would certainly want to write about it,” Gillin said. Unsurprisingly, fact-checking organizations don’t come with a fan club. Websites and organizations like PolitiFact Bias, Fox News, Breitbart and more claim the website leans dangerously left, over-reporting on the lies of Republican figures. While it is worth noting that PolitiFact’s parent publication, the Tampa Bay Times, endorsed Clinton for president, members of PolitiFact are separate from the paper’s editorial board besides working in the same location. Gillin denies any bias in the website’s work: “The only intent I have ever seen from anyone I work with is to find out if what someone said is right or wrong,” he said. Despite the clarification, criticisms still flow freely. Gillin says he hopes initial vitriol turns to a thoughtful discussion of current events. “When you disagree with someone and someone jumps down your throat and gets really mad, start a discussion with them,” Gillin said. “Treat people like they’re people. You may not agree when you’re done, but you won’t want to crucify each other.” As candidates continue upon the campaign trail making stops and speeches, they should know one thing before saying a word even the slightest bit inaccurate into a microphone: PolitiFact is there, armed with research and ratings, ready to call them out. STORY BY ANNIE AGUIAR

This election is sure to impact history, the government, the economy and more. So how are teachers using it in their classes?

John Jackson uses the election in discussions for his AP Government, AP U.S. History and U.S. History Honors classes. But he uses it solely for educational purposes. “I don’t get into the policies or personalities of the election,” Jackson said. “I’d rather talk about how it applies to things in class, and use it for specific purposes.” Amanda Moonitz uses the election in her U.S. Government and Law Studies classes. Her government class talks about the “primaries, debates and Hillary and Trump’s stances.” Her Law Studies class discusses whether the actions the candidates are legal. Those of her students who are curious as to who she’s voting for will find out “if the person [she] chose won… maybe.”

Tom Paloumpis had his IB Economics class do an analysis of the economic programs of four candidates. The students “did it to try and figure out exactly what the [candidates] are going to do” and the impact of all their programs. They would’ve been learning about this subject anyways, but Paloumpis said the election “made it juicy.”

30 | r&b | political


LEFT Donald Trump gives a speech at a rally at USF, early in his run for presidency| PHOTO BY MICHAEL STROBL RIGHT Hillary Clinton waves to the crowd at her rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds|PHOTO BY CASSIDY BULL


Many have described the 2016 election as one of the most unpredictable in history. But if there’s one thing that mirrors previous elections, it’s the fact that Florida is one of the most important – and indecisive – states. In 2000, Florida had the deciding vote in choosing George Bush over Al Gore. In 2012, President Barack Obama won against Republican nominee Mitt Romney by just under 1 percent of the vote. Because of its high number of electoral votes, Florida offers an opportunity for candidates score big in the general election.

WHY FLORIDA? A swing state is a state where both parties have almost the same amount of support from voters. Candidates try to “swing” the state in their favor to win votes in the electoral college. Florida offers 29 electoral votes, making it the third biggest state in the country tied with New York. But among swing states, Florida is the largest, presenting a trophy for the candidate who wins. One of the major reasons Florida remains a swing state is because of the large amount of undecided voters. According to the Florida Department of State, there are about 4.4 million registered Republicans and about 4.7 million registered Democrats, but also over 2.9 million voters without party affiliations. Among these unaffiliated voters include the state’s large growing Hispanic population, who have shifted away from traditional right-wing politics in recent years. Also, an influx of young, independent voters interested in jobs and the environment has morphed the political arena.

BATTLE FOR THE BATTLEGROUND With so much opportunity, front-running presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump continue to fight for influence in the battleground state. However, despite Clinton heavily outspending Trump in television advertisements and campaign offices, the race still remains tight. A recent Florida poll by NBC News put Clinton just 2 percentage points ahead of Trump, meaning that both candidates desperately need traction. Clinton has not received the same support from young and Hispanic voters as Barack Obama did in the 2008 election. A September poll of Florida by Univision shows that among Hispanics, Clinton leads at 53 percent compared to Obama’s massive 60 percent. This may be due to her

campaign strategy which focuses on the state as a whole rather than starting with grassroots politics like Trump.

HERE IN HILLSBOROUGH However, as the candidates barter for voters all across the state, the biggest fight over Florida is happening right here in Hillsborough County. CNN calls the I-4 Corridor, which runs from Tampa, through Orlando and up to Daytona Beach, the “hottest battleground” in the state. Because of the county’s demographic similarity to the state, candidates have often used it to calculate their chances at a victory in Florida. As Susan MacManus, a professor and political scientist at the University of South Florida said in an interview with The New York Times, “The old saying is: ‘As goes Hillsborough County, so goes Florida.’” Clinton and Trump will continue to fight for ground until election day in November, so next time a candidate mentions a swing state like Florida or Ohio on television, remember that they’re trying to get one step closer to The White House. STORY BY VARUN PURI

So, what are the battleground states? Colorado: 9 electoral votes

Iowa : 6 electoral votes

Michigan: 16 electoral votes

Current national polls: Johnson: 7%

Current polls in Florida: Other: 5%

Other: 9%

Clinton: 39%

Clinton: 45%

Florida: 29 electoral votes

Johnson: Trump: 3% Trump: 42%43%

Clinton: 46%


political| r&b | 31

More than choosing who to vote for, many teens aren’t sure if they should vote in the first place

DON’T THROW YOUR VOTE AWAY Although assertions against the necessity of voting are often legitimate, voting remains a necessary part of the democratic process. Voting may sometimes feel pointless, but to not vote is to sacrifice any chance you have of affecting the political system of this country in a positive way. Political progress is achieved through a combination of protest, appealing to those in power, and voting, with voting being the most direct method of contributing to change. Voting gives you voice in the political void. For all you know, your vote could be the deciding one, the one that places the better candidate in office or, in some cases, the vote that prevents the human embodiment of chaos from gaining power. If you refuse to vote at the national level, at least consider voting at the local and state level. Voting is important because of people other than the president. Those elected to your city council, your state House and

32 | r&b | political

Senate, and other offices make decisions that will affect your livelihood. From city ordinances to state laws, legislation can have serious effects. Take, for example, Amendment 2, which is set to be voted on Nov. 8. This Florida amendment would allow state-approved doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients who have been diagnosed with life-threatening and/or painful diseases. Those in favor of this amendment argue that it could counteract the debilitating pain which prevents many patients from leading normal lives. Its opponents assert that the allowance of medical marijuana in the state could lead to greater marijuana access for children and teenagers. Whatever your opinion on the matter, the outcome of this vote is undeniably important, and goes to show that decisions made at the state and local levels could affect your daily life. Whether you demonstrate your political views in a passionate or indifferent manner, the importance of voting remains. COLUMN BY ANTHONY SUAREZ

VOTING DOESN’T DO ANYTHING If you’re 18, you’ve probably heard the same message repeated by your parents, peers, administrators and even strangers; namely, that you need to vote for the next president. Voting supposedly gives individuals the right to “determine the future of their country.” Ultimately, however, your vote doesn’t matter very much. In America, there isn’t a direct democracy — votes are cast by individuals, but it’s the Electoral College that is actually responsible for choosing the candidate who will take office in January. Aside from swing states, most states have already decided to vote Republican or Democrat. For instance, New York’s electoral votes are secured for the Democratic nominee, while Texas’ are secured for the Republican nominee. In these states, individual votes have little impact on the course of the election. Moreover, it is possible that a candidate will have the popular vote, but won’t win if they don’t receive at least 270 electoral votes. One case is the 2000 election, in which Al Gore had the popular vote but George W. Bush ended up win-

ning the election. The idea that we are able to vote for whatever we believe in is also not necessarily true. Votes cast for third parties are essentially votes wasted, considering that these candidates will have little to no electoral votes. Voting in the presidential election gives us an illusion of choice. Sure, the president can take action that will affect the state of the country. However, the president is mostly a figurehead who promises change which often does not happen. This is due to the system of checks and balances which ensures that the president does not control all of the country’s affairs. Most of the change we seek comes from Congress, as they are responsible for making laws. If citizens truly want political reform, scrambling to elect the perfect candidate every four years will not accomplish that. Instead, voting for Congressmen and local representatives that could make your voice heard will supply the change that directly impacts you. COLUMN BY YESHA SHUKLA GRAPHICS BY ANNIE AGUIAR


Voter disenfranchisement has been an issue for several decades in the United States, and it prevents millions of Americans from having their voices heard

After the Voting Rights Act was passed, many believed that it would put an end to voter discrimination in the United States. Unfortunately, this is still far from the case. Voter suppression is used to alter the outcome of elections by preventing people from exercising their right to vote, and it is manifested in voter laws, which vary by state. Voter ID laws, which have been implemented in 30 states, are the most discussed form of voter suppression; they require people to bring IDs to polling locations in order to prevent fraud.

Furthermore, many Americans do not have the time, transportation or legal documents required to obtain a photo ID. Some argue that voter fraud is a disproportionately small problem compared to the amount of Americans without government-issued photo identification, which, according to NPR, is about 3.2 million. Opponents of voter ID laws claim that these laws are designed to suppress low-income people, minorities and the elderly. People of a low socioeconomic class or those who are physically unable often face obstacles that prevent them from obtaining the proper photo identification, since this process involves fees that not everyone can afford to pay.

YOU SAID IT Why or why not should certain people’s voting rights be restricted?

Former attorney general Eric Holder even referred to the cost of obtaining an ID to vote as a “poll tax.” Furthermore, many Americans do not have the time, transportation, and legal documents required to obtain a photo ID. Another demographic that faces the effects of voter suppression, though often overlooked, is felons. Felons frequently face restrictions on how they can vote and in some states, those with a criminal record cannot vote at all. The enfranchisement of people with a criminal record varies; while some legislature allows people to vote during their sentence, more rigid laws revoke ex-felons’ right to vote. Felony disenfranchisement implies that people who have committed crimes are below everyone else and do not deserve to exercise one of their most basic rights. Revoking one’s right to vote dehumanizes those who have already faced the consequences of their actions. The consequences of voter laws can significantly impact the course of the election, as over 6.1 million felons are deprived of the right to vote. The majority of those suppressed are among the lower class, leading the results of elections to reflect the views of the upper and middle classes, as opposed to the entirety of America. If such people were enfranchised, the political leanings of the electorate would be vastly different. Voting is a right protected by constitutional amendments, but it is still not available to every U.S citizen because of voter suppression.

“It’s like we’re going backwards on the timeline like back when certain people weren’t allowed to vote and had to fight for their right to vote.” Desmond Roman, 12

In Florida alone, 1 in 10 people cannot vote, which is the highest rate within the country. Gov. Rick Scott changed Florida’s election laws after taking office in 2011, preventing ex-felons from voting, cutting back early voting dates, and restricting registration drives. COLUMN BY YESHA SHUKLA ILLUSTRATION BY SAMI MAJCHRZAK

“Restricting anyone’s right to vote is unconstitutional.” Isabel Hall, 11 political | r&b | 33



He has two Donald Trump T-shirts, a “Make America Great Again” hat and a Trump flag that he proudly flies on the side of his car. Most importantly, he has no apologies. Junior Drew Fonda isn’t afraid to wear his political views on his sleeve. Fonda has been a self-proclaimed Republican his whole life. “I would say that I’m a traditional conservative,” he said. “I think on some certain social issues I tend to lean a little bit left, but fiscally, most of the time I lean towards the right.” When Trump first announced his candidacy, Fonda wasn’t immediately on board. However, after watching his debates and attending some rallies, Fonda said he “saw skills that made [Trump] look like the clear-cut candidate for presidential nominee.”

Drew Fonda (right) poses with a Donald Trump impersonator at a Trump rally. | PHOTO COURTESY DREW FONDA cafeteria,” Fonda said. “I was screamed at by four girls to take that shirt off, with lots of expletives mixed in.” But, Fonda is undeterred by these opinions.

“All I did was turn around and look at them. I mean I’m not going to recognize that,” Fonda said. “There’s always BACKING IT UP going to be people who don’t know enough and “I love having sophisticated As Fonda began to take Trump’s candidacy just like to scream about things like a T-shirt, but political conversations with seriously, he began to see that he agreed with it’s always going to be that way.” other people who can back Trump on many of the issues closest to him. In fact, Fonda will often wear his Trump up their claims.” “Donald Trump wants to restore integrimerchandise to start a political conversation. “I ty to our immigration system by prioritizing DREW FONDA, 11 love having sophisticated political conversations Americans,” Fonda said. “Probably the most with other people who can back up their claims, controversial thing he’s said is ‘build the wall’. that’s what interests me,” Fonda said. Whether he can do that or not, he’s going to put orders in place to reJUST A BAD REP store our immigration system.” And despite all the controversy surrounding this policy, Fonda sees Fonda also acknowledges that there are plenty of people who hate the reasoning behind it. Donald Trump. “There’s a large amount of illegal immigrants coming into our coun“Obviously, there are people who are very well versed in politics who try that are criminals and have a very negative impact on us, and that hate him,” Fonda said. “But a large amount of people just join in and needs to be changed,” Fonda said. “Donald is a candidate who is actually read Twitter. They don’t really know enough about Donald Trump or pursuing a solution to that.” Now, Fonda accepts Trump as a nominee Hillary Clinton to form a respectable opinion.” fully. He also accepts the flaws that come with him. This includes the And he knows there are stigmas that come with being a Trump supmany controversial things Trump has said. porter. “People sometimes think that every single Trump supporter is a “Donald Trump has said a lot of things that he should regret,” Fonda racist and every single Trump supporter is full of hatred,” Fonda said. said. “At the same time though, so has Hillary Clinton.” “Some people began to point out some of Trump’s comments and just draw conclusions that every single person who supports Trump is terBUT HE’S NOT ALONE rible.” Fonda also recognizes there are plenty who support Trump with Going to rallies and other Trump events has shown Fonda that he’s him. Being a Trump supporter isn’t always easy for him. But to Fonda, not alone in his opinions. the controversies that arise surrounding him are essential to America’s “Donald presents a lot of policies that speak to a group of people identity. who are tired of career politicians who just are all talk,” Fonda said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen something to make a very seri“There’s a lot of fiery debates, some people agree with me, some ous change, and that’s what makes a lot of people love Donald Trump.” don’t,” Fonda said. “But that’s what’s so great about our country, is we Despite some sharing Fonda’s beliefs, there are plenty of people not can freely talk about it and not have to worry about being penalized afraid to voice their opposing opinions. because of it.” “During spirit week, I wore a Trump shirt and I was walking by the STORY BY MADISON FORBIS

34 | r&b | political



She watches Hillary Clinton take the stage to accept her nomination for president with a feeling of excitement. Smiling, she poses for the camera, proudly displaying her "feminist" shirt. For junior Audrey Whitaker, this election has been about more than just the next president of the United States, it's about equality. Whitaker has characterized herself as a progressive for her whole life. "I lean left on political issues and identify as a Democrat," she said. Despite much criticism of Clinton, Whitaker has determinedly shown her support for this 2016 presidential candidate. She hasn't always been so enthusiastic about Clinton's candidacy. Like many progressives, Clinton wasn't her first choice, but she eventually warmed up to the idea. "I wish Bernie had won the nomination, but it definitely wasn't a question of whether or not I supported her," she said. "She's been with the Senate and her husband has been in office, so I think she has a lot of political experience. I was just happy that there was an experienced nominee to represent the Democratic party."

Despite how inspiring Clinton has been to Whitaker, she acknowledges that she's not the most popular candidate. "More people focus on viewing her as more of a criminal as opposed to an educated politician," she said. Controversial statements made by Clinton have done nothing to deter Whitaker's supports. "I believe that each candidate has their controversies and while they shouldn't be overlooked, I think the issues they fight for are more important." However, Whitaker sympathizes with those who still feel uncertainty about Clinton. "I think their stance is understandable to an extent but her successes and platform should not be overlooked because of it." Whitaker has even come to terms with the stigmas surrounding being a Clinton supporter. "People think her supporters only vote for her because she's a woman," she explained. "I support Hillary because I think she fights for equality and she is educated with experience." Clinton's unpopularity has made it difficult for Whitaker to be such a vocal supporter. "People have tried to sway me and other supporters I know to support Trump," she said. "I won't go out of my way to talk about my support for her around people I know don't support her."



She began to dedicate herself to the idea of a Hillary Clinton presidency. She had experience, but it meant more than that to Whitaker. To her, Clinton represented something new and valuable. "I think her nomination is empowering to women, and it's a surprise that a woman being nominated hasn't happened until now," said Whitaker. Her optimism about Clinton's candidacy and the positive future it could bring grew with each public appearance. "She has a plan for the middle class and knows what will benefit the middle class." After observing what issues Clinton held dear, she found that those same issues were of grave importance to her. "I agree with her stance on closing the gap of inequality between men and women and all people of different races." Equality has always been something that Whitaker found important. "No one should be treated as lesser of a person because of their race or who they identify as," she said. "Everyone should be treated equally whether it's from the police enforcement, employers, or the government."

That doesn't mean she isn't willing to debate. "In economics we talk about the election and sometimes we take polls about who we side with on certain policies, who we think won the debates, etc.," said Whitaker. "My best friend is a Trump supporter so we talk about that sometimes." Even though those who don't support Clinton surround her, she has still been able to have discussions with those who do. "Their support has made me more aware of her views have been influenced by the Trump campaign too.� His policies have made Whitaker realize how important equality is to her, and have shown her why she should support Clinton. "I don't think that you need to have a personal experience with inequality to advocate for equality," said Whitaker. These drastically different candidates have shown Whitaker the importance of being able to choose her own leader. "There's a clear difference between candidates' policies and what they advocate for but I think our democracy is what allows us to support what we think is right." STORY BY MARIN FEHL


political | r&b | 35

After 17 years in the Media Center, secretary Susan Hunt chose to leave her job to save secretary and NonInstructional Support Employee of the Year Lindsey Fugate’s position Seventeen years of service came to an end when Media Secretary Susan Hunt left Hillsborough to save secretary Lindsey Fugate’s job. Hunt’s position as the support unit for the media specialist was terminated, and as a result, Hunt was offered Fugate’s position as secretary to assistant principal Philip Morris. Hunt, however, chose to let Fugate keep the job. Before Hunt left, she gave a card describing Fugate as an angel. Fugate, meanwhile, said that’s exactly how she feels about Hunt. “When she took [me] on the spot to swap with me in the pool, I felt very blessed, I felt like she was my angel on earth [and] that she saved me,” said Fugate. “That if it were not for her willing to do that, who knows where I would be and she made it possible for me to stay here because I have established many relationships with people, I have built the rapport with people here already, I feel like if I would have left, that would have been ripped away from me.” When employees in the district are unemployed are displaced from their position, they enter what’s called “the pool” where they wait for a position to open. To save Fugate’s position, Hunt dove in.


For the two years Fugate has been a part of the Hillsborough family, she said she has come to know Hunt who has a warm soul and was always able to make her days brighter. Now that Hunt is gone, it’s just Fugate. “I miss seeing her pop in in the morning and just asking how I’m

36 | r&b | educational

doing, that means a lot just to have someone to ask how are you doing because we can get so caught up in our daily duties and jobs that it can be forgotten and she never forgot to just take the time,” Fugate said. “She cares, she truly cares and that means the world to me and I’ll miss her terribly.”

“She cares, she truly cares and that means the world to me and I’ll miss her terribly.” SECRETARY LINDSEY FUGATE Media Specialist Barbara Magee has worked with Hunt for five years in the media center and could not talk about her without tearing up. “Susan is an amazing woman,” Magee said. “She has helped many students and faculty almost for the last 18 years. Because of her, every media specialist was able to teach, conduct lessons with students and help a lot more students because she was also helping other students.” Junior Destiny Earle, past library assistant for Hunt, describes Hunt as a caring person who was proud to work at Hillsborough and always strived for the best. “[It’s] like having your best friend leave” said Earle.


Hunt wanted her room to be a place where students could escape their troubles and be able to confide in her. Due to this, she has developed a community with alumni of Hillsborough and many who have

MAKING THE MOVE IB isn’t for everyone. These four switched to traditional — with no regrets

KASEY PRIEDE, 10 Sophomore Kasey Priede faced the obstacle of memory problems and other health issues that she’s been dealing with since seventh grade. It affected her grades, which stood in the way of her success, she said. “No matter how hard I studied, I still couldn’t remember what I learned.”

MAYLA PURPURA, 12 LEFT Sitting at her desk for one of the last times, former Media Secretary Susan Hunt works in the Media Center before her last day on Sept. 2.| PHOTO BY KATIE DELK ABOVE Smiling with the Hillsborough Terrier, Hunt worked in the Media Center for 17 years before leaving on secretary Lindsey Fugate’s behalf. | PHOTO COURTESY SUSAN HUNT passed through its halls. “I’ve been here so long that I have seen so many students come and go and graduate and so many of them have come back and have brought their babies back to say hello and meet you and their teachers have had that too,” Hunt said. “It’s been a joy to be able to be there for students and teachers alike who need to talk, who need someone to care, who need someone to listen, who needs a hug.” These students and faculty within the school also have left a tangible impression on Hunt. “I just want to stress how grateful I am for the support from my administration: Mr. Brady, Ms. Bonilla in helping me and being supportive of me,” she said.


During Hunt’s journey to Lake Magdalene Elementary and Fugate’s uncertainty with where she would be, both learned to trust in God and his plan for them. “I am a spiritual person and I prayed a lot and I knew that [God] knew there was a plan even though I may not have understood what the plan was, but he knows that I could count on him and that he would be my strength,” Fugate said. According to Hunt, she wants to be remembered for uplifting people when they needed it. “I just want to be remembered as someone that was always willing to help out with a smile on her face and that I’ve helped students and teachers and administrators whenever I’m able to,” she said. STORY BY KATIE DELK

Senior Mayla Purpura dropped out of IB after her sophomore year because she lost interest and became tired of it. After her transition, she has “less stress, less homework and [more appreciation] for the teachers.”

CAROLINE MORENO, 10 Sophomore Caroline Moreno failed three classes at the end of her first semester and had to take remediation courses for each of the them, which she found to be “too much” leading her to drop out. Despite this change, she still keeps in touch with her friends who are still in IB.

MADDY MORGAN, 12 Senior Madeline Morgan left the IB program because she failed a class her freshmen year and had mixed feelings. “I didn’t feel it worked in my favor.” Since being in the traditional program, she has seen a lack of respect and opportunity for traditional students compared to IB. COMPILED BY CAROLIN HEARNE

educational educational|| r&b r&b | 39 37

English teacher, National Honor Society and Dancerettes sponsor Linda Wilson is known for being notoriously hard on her students, but says she’s doing it for their own good The students scramble to take out their materials, and immediately their pens hit the paper. They work furiously, and carefully, they’re trying to do their work right. The room is silent, save for the desperate scratching of pens. The only person answering questions is the unimpressed teacher. It’s English class, and it’s every man for himself. “This isn’t high quality. Now you guys haven’t seen me really beat some freshmen down, but you’re gonna make me go there,” IB English teacher Linda Wilson warned. Wilson has been teaching for over 30 years, so she is hard to please, and her freshmen class isn’t spared from her high expectations. “You’re just being lazy readers. Reading is hard work; you can’t just stare at the page. That’s not studying, that’s not reading,” Wilson said to a room full of anxious ninth graders. Her classroom is tense, the anxiety is palpable, the desire to impress is great. The students have to live up to the “Wilson standard” and they aren’t quite there yet. Wilson continuously warns her students that turning in sub par work has grave consequences in her classroom, “Every error, I’m taking points off,” said Wilson emphatically. Despite her tough love attitude, the students have garnered respect for this take no prisoner English teacher.

“Looking back, she made me a better student.” MCKENZIE GRACYALNY, 12 She isn’t known for her hand-holding approach to teaching, but the students appreciate that about her. “She’s very helpful when it comes to work, helping you understand it, maybe not helping you do it, but she helps you understand it,” freshman Anthony Jackson explained.

38 | r&b | educational


Wilson motivates her students, she pressures them to work hard and do their best, and it’s not coming from a place of ill-will. “She prepares you for life and college,” freshman Natalia Artz said. Wilson has been teaching students and preparing them for their future for longer than she’s had a teaching job. “I’ve been teaching all my life. I’ve taught brothers, sisters, dogs, cats, neighbors. I always had school, I always played school,” Wilson

“I’ve been teaching all my life. I’ve taught brothers, sisters, dogs, cats, neighbors.” ENGLISH TEACHER LINDA WILSON said. She grew up with a twin and a household full of older siblings. Despite being the youngest, she was always trying to learn, and always trying to make sure her siblings learned with her. She was inspired by her parents, “They did railroad work and domestic work, but they still respected education,” Wilson explained. The work ethic her parents possessed was something she always had to look up to. As the years have gone by, Wilson has felt even more motivated to see her students have the same respect for school herself and her parents had. Wilson branched out when she was younger, she didn’t just spread her knowledge to those in her household. “I taught old people when I was a kid. I taught them how to read, all kind of things,” Wilson recalled. She was never afraid to educate those around her, and never afraid to educate herself in the process.


Wilson expects a lot, and high praise from

her is few and far between, but she isn’t heartless. Teaching is her passion, but it was never just about making sure her students passed a test, or performed well on a writing assignment. Wilson’s career has been about seeing her students succeed. “That’s one of the best parts, seeing a kid do well that you knew. That’s one of the best parts about teaching. That’s one of the best, best, best parts,” Wilson said. And she’s seen plenty of success in her time as a teacher, she’s watched her students become doctors, lawyers, teachers, and movie stars. The list is endless, and Wilson keeps in touch with many of her graduates.


She has changed many of her students’ lives, her rough teaching style prepared them for the future, and taught them a lesson more valuable than grammar: to always persevere. However, she hasn’t only helped her students, in many cases her students have helped her. “Some of them have even saved my own life, my own students. They told me what to do if I got sick again, and I just followed their directions,” Wilson said. Her relationship with her students is one of devotion and affection. Although she’s a whirlwind of activity, she’s not the “tornado” that some perceive her to be. Wilson was told by her parents to always respect education, and it is this idea that keeps her standards so high and her drive for student success so strong. She can be strict, but she wants only the best for those who walk through her classroom door. According to Jackson, “She’s not as mean as a lot of people think.” Added senior McKenzie Gracyalny: “Looking back, she made me a better student.” STORY BY MARIN FEHL

TOP Linda Wilson checks freshman William Thomsen’s notebook. She is known for her harsh teaching method and her unforgiving grading style by students. “She expects us to be responsible to go and do things by ourselves,” Dalia Sanchez-Castellanos said. LEFT Wilson squats all the way down to the floor to grade a student’s notebook. She requires all of her students to maintain a neat and organized notebook throughout the year. RIGHT Backed by her senior officers, Wilson speaks to a group of new National Honor Society inductees at a practice before the induction ceremony. She is the sponsor of the NHS club. | PHOTOS BY MARIN FEHL

YOU SAID IT How has Mrs. Wilson’s teaching style impacted you?

“In freshman year, she scared the bejesus out of me, which was good so it didn’t slow me down later.” Hussain Jhaveri , 11

“I think she pushes us to work harder and actually study.” Dalia SanchezCastellanos, 9 educational| r&b | 39

THE PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE History, economics and now Theory of Knowledge teacher Tom Paloumpis speaks to senior Angela Yen, who was in his study hall-turned-TOK class. Paloumpis is one of five teachers who temporarily took on TOK classes.| PHOTO BY JAYLA ROGERS

Teachers give up their study halls in order to take over a teacherless class and lead seniors through the Theory of Knowledge curriculum as they write papers for their IB diplomas With the sudden and unexpected depar- pass the paper, you don’t get your diploma, so ture of the Theory of Knowledge teacher Ash- it’s really important that we have someone to lee Palmer, the IB faculty scrambled to make read our essays.”  sure all 98 seniors are prepared to succeed in While the paper is one of the large rethe class. quirements for the TOK course, teachers acTOK is a course knowledge that time taken by IB students will need to be spent on “I know they’re going to do the second semester everything they can to help moving forward with of their junior year and the  general content of these kids, and so am I.” the first of their  senior the course as well.  HISTORY TEACHER year. Passing the course “It’ll be a combinaTOM PALOUMPIS tion of some content is mandatory in order to receive IB diplomas. material being covered Government and world history teacher as well as time built in for the development Zaan Gast, who taught TOK in the past, has of their TOK  paper,”  Gast  said. “[The whole taken over. course] is a diploma requirement.” However, for a few weeks before the Gast shift, seniors were dispersed to other instruc‘WE CAN’T ALLOW ANY tors — social studies teachers Mike Mikulec, Tom  Paloumpis  and Lisa  Sigmon  as well as TIME TO GO BY’ English teacher Linda Wilson. As  seniors move towards graduation  and Each of them gave up study hall time to the prospect of their IB diplomas,  teachteach TOK. Before senior graduation, the stu- ers are recognizing the stress being put upon dents need to cover the entire rest of the cur- the issue. “A good score ensures that they get riculum, along with writing an extensive The- their diploma, so I’m going to take it seriousory of Knowledge paper. ly,” Wilson said. “We want the students to do “The really big thing is the TOK essay,” said well because this is part of their diploma.”  Cameron Fishback, an IB senior. “If you don’t “We can’t allow any time to go

40 | r&b | educational

by,” Gast said. “That just starts a whole snowball that we don’t want to get out of hand. Gast taught Theory of Knowledge six years ago, unlike the other teachers who stepped in to assist. “It’s been a long time, so I’m very rusty,” he said. “Plus a few things have changed in the curriculum.” However, the teachers had strategies to run  efficient classes  and make sure the students learn just as much as they would with anybody who primarily teaches TOK. “I had to sit down [and] I went through the textbook,” Paloumpis said on preparing for his new classes. “I went through the IB guide on Theory of Knowledge and took a look at how they’re supposed to write their paper and how the paper is supposed to be graded.”  The teachers are also planning to continue to move along the path laid by Hillsborough’s previous TOK teacher, Sandra Grudic, who left at the end of last year. “Ms. Grudic established a very great process and it was extremely successful, so we’re trying to maintain that,”  Gast  said.  “We’re looking at the things that she did, how she did them, and proceeding that way.”  STORY BY JULIANA LECHNER

LOVE ART AND LET GO Senior Jose Rosario is forced to move out of his beloved 2-D art class, despite his newfound love for the subject With the thought of him switching into fifth-period reading class just a few weeks into the school year, senior Jose Rosario throws away his first, and last completed art project. The completed Bad Hair Day project sat in the recycling bin, marking the conclusion of Rosario’s time in art class. Before going into the class, Rosario was not involved in art at all. “I was horrible at art,” he said, “and I just never had the talent to actually do it.” But after just the short four weeks he spent in art, he was really impacted by the way Clay taught, and this made him want to focus, and get involved in his art class. Art teacher Caitlin Clay said that Rosario was “at first timid and nervous about the class because he doesn’t think he’s very artistic, but I don’t grade based on natural art ability and its about trying, and effort.”  Rosario credits his progression in art to Clay’s teaching style. “I liked the way [she] was teaching, she would make people feel like they were important,” Rosario said. “The way she would define art. It wasn’t about how nice your art was, it was about how


much you tried and how much effort you put towards it, and I realized I was getting better by how she was teaching me.”   Rosario’s only major project he completed before he left was the Bad Hair Day project. This is where the student cuts out an image of a person (and also cuts off their hair), and

“I think art is a beautiful thing, I just never had the talent to actually do it.” JOSE ROSARIO, 12 draws the ‘hair’ by using different geometric, and organic shapes and lines.   However, Rosario accepted the fact that he was moved from art. “I wasn’t mad because I knew I needed that reading class, but I would’ve loved for [art] to be my performing arts credit,” Rosario said. He is especially disappointed because he now has to take an online performing arts class

for his credit, instead of being able to take the class he was starting to love, in an actual classroom setting. After watching Rosario really start to grow artistically, Clay was also disappointed to see him move out of her class. “I enjoyed working with him and trying to teach him new things,” said Clay. “[I was] able to see him enjoy a topic that he hadn’t even thought about before and he didn’t think he would like, and seeing him blossom.” When Rosario began art class, it was just for the credit, but in a short month his outlook on art changed completely. He now he has to resort to doodling in his notebook, and taking art online in order to get the credit he needs to graduate. “I think art is a beautiful thing, I just never had the talent to actually do it,” Rosario said, “but now I sometimes will just [doodle], but she got me started because I used to hate doing art until I was with her.”   STORY BY LAUREN KOMAR

hilsborean 2017 VOLUME 101

DON’T WANT YOU TO MISS YOUR SHOT Order a yearbook before they’re all gone $70 | at hhstoday.com or in Room 506

educational | r&b| 41



Florida colleges are now embracing the idea that freshmen must live on campus by creating their own policies, leading to cost concerns for students and parents across the state Students going to an in-state university may be surprised to hear about the new housing requirements. Most Florida public universities, including the University of Florida, University of South Florida and Florida State University, require freshmen students to live on campus for their first year at school. After that, students have the choice of residing either on or off campus. Some exemptions are available for students living near the universities or those who require other accommodations.

THE REASON This transition towards freshmen housing requirements is gaining popularity around the country. It has been presented as a way to increase grade-point averages, social and academic interaction and morale while reducing dropout rates and making the transition from high school to college smoother. Unfortunate-

YOU SAID IT How do seniors feel about this policy?

42 | r&b | educational

ly, it has made a rocky road for students applying to colleges. The Washington Post reports that room and board costs and meal plans are more expensive than tuition itself, creating a dilemma for low-income students who may not be able to afford housing. “Room and board at private four-year universities costs an average of $9,678, an expense that has gone up 47 percent in the past decade, according to the College Board. At public four-year colleges, the average price is $9,130 and has increased 58 percent in the past 10 years,” Danielle Douglas-Gabriel reports for the Post. “In a nine-month academic year, that works out to $1,014.44 a month for what is in many cases a shared room and communal dining, well above the median asking rent of $803 a month recorded by the Census Bureau.” On-campus residency is often costlier than options outside of the school.

“I’ll probably be staying on campus because it’s a little more convenient to be where my classes are.” Tyler Smith, 12

Take the University for North Florida, for example. In 2012, the university introduced a policy that had freshmen live on campus. This was created in response to data which showed that students who lived in residency halls in their first year had a better overall college experience. In addition to the fact that two-thirds of UNF students already lived on campus, UNF implemented its program known as “The Freshman Experience.” In response to criticism of creating a financial burden, the university introduced exemptions. As this movement continues to spread across the nation, it could be polarizing to prospective university students who want to keep their postsecondary education costs low. STORY BY VARUN PURI

“Students can live on campus or not and they can still do the same amount of work and learn the same things.” Giovanni Lazo, 12

The author, junior-turned-senior Atiya Simmons, walks onto the field during the band’s Senior Night with her sisters Erika and Paola Delgado. | PHOTO BY MORYAH WELLS

CURTAIN CALL These red brick walls have sheltered me for the past two years. As my junior year approaches, I know what’s expected of me. This is crunch time, right? SATs and ACTs and overall college readiness. Well, I’m already ready. I’m still grateful for the teachers and counselors who have guided me through rough times (emotionally and academically), but I’ve reached a point where there’s just nothing left for me here. It is only right for me to leave — goodbye Big Red. Now, how many students wish they could say that? I’m definitely on that boat: I can’t wait to leave high school. I know what I want to do and how I want to do it; staying a full four years will only push my plan behind. Graduating high school a year early may be one of the most beneficial decisions of my life. Most people say that high school was the best four years of their lives, but for me, this was just a transition period. A time to figure out who I was, and who I wanted to be. Yeah, we have to pass classes and obtain a good GPA to get into a good college or university, but all of that means absolutely nothing unless we know what we want from it and where we want to go with it. That was the real purpose of high school — and I just happened to figure it all out one year early. I’ll be honest. I’ve made some mistakes, skipped some classes and even got an F because of it. But, I had some fun while doing it. I learned the basic education, but there was nothing that made me want to put my heart into it. The moment I realized I wanted to be a trauma surgeon, I knew I couldn’t waste any more of my time. I couldn’t waste any more of my life. The next eight to 12 years will be pure hard work and dedication. I’m

Atiya Simmons says goodbye to high school as she enters the adult world a year early ready to pour all of me into a degree that will allow me to save people’s lives. I’m ready to tell someone’s child that they will not be spending the rest of their life with a broken heart and a missing parent. Graduating without my original Class of 2018 only tugs at my heart a bit. These are the people I have grown up and faced the same struggles with, but those who I care for will remain in my life. Although I’m beginning this new chapter, I know better than to drop all of the good that life has given me thus far. An important thing I will take with me and cherish for a lifetime are the memories I have made and the lessons I have learned being with the Big Red Band. From eight-hour practices with no pants on to inspirational speeches that build character from our band director, Michael Lebrias. Being in this band has improved my work ethic, confidence and selfawareness. If I had gone without it, I don’t know if I would be who I am today. Going into the world prematurely doesn’t scare me. I’ve been doing things independently since an early age, so I am ready to face whatever is put in front of me and I am ready to solve any issues that arise. I know college is more complex than high school, but knowing that I am choosing my studies, that I am one year closer to my career choice and I have a world of opportunities ahead of me motivates me more than ever. This early transition into the next stage of my life could be smooth or rocky; but, no matter what, I’m more than happy to step out into the world and show everyone what I have to give. I can only hope that the world is just as happy to see me. COLUMN BY ATIYA SIMMONS

educational| r&b | 43


Profile for HHS Today

r&b magazine, October 2016  

r&b magazine, Hillsborough High School (October 2016)

r&b magazine, October 2016  

r&b magazine, Hillsborough High School (October 2016)