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l et t er from t h e EDITOR

elcome to The Chariot’s first issue of 2020! Before looking forward to what is in store for us in the coming decade, we want to look back at the amazing memories and events from the last one. The 2010s were years of innovation, discovery and growth. News of consistent technological invention flooded the media, entertainment platforms released binge-worthy originals and sequels and the world continued to expand like never before. In honor of this chapter that will soon be written into our history books, The Chariot decided to dive into several influential aspects of the decade. Staff writer Aaron Bashuk documents the importance of social media as a means not only of communication but also entertainment by creating a “meme timeline;” Editor-in-Chief Maren Stephens evaluates the ever-evolving fashion trends that dominated magazines and stores over the last 10 years; Opinion Editor Alec Grosswald covers the most noteworthy TV shows and movies; staff writer Harrison Blank dissects the decade’s most prominent sports victories, events and athletes; and finally, Managing Editor Sam Beagle concludes our review of the decade by reflecting on Johns Creek High School’s very own maturation since its establishment in 2008.

While commemorating and honoring our past, this issue of The Chariot also continues to stay relevant by featuring today’s predominant news stories and applicable opinions. Features Editor Carly Blank details a report on gun rights debates and protests within the U.S., while Editor-in-Chief Brooke Halak examines the disappearance of Uighur Muslims who are being discreetly silenced in China’s hidden internment camps. This issue’s face-off focuses on another modern and controversial topic: a tracking application called Life360. Staff writer Annabelle Buchanan argues in favor of the app, contending that its safety benefits outweigh other concerns. Editor-in-Chief Dani Blank contradicts Buchanan and asserts her opinion against the app, claiming that its invasion of privacy and destruction of familial trust are far too harmful. The Chariot staff does its best to represent a wide variety of backgrounds and opinions, and hopes that you each found something exciting and special to relate to in our issue. We hope that our “Decade in Review” brought joy and nostalgia to the Johns Creek community. As always, we welcome feedback and comments and are especially eager to hear your thoughts on our first issue of the new decade. Enjoy!


Edit or-in-Chief



Business Manager Drew Peljovich outlines the future of cars and how they’ve changed over the past decade. Page 8

08. news


13. feature s

News Editor Jeffery Shen reviews Armando’s Taqueria, a new restaurant in the Johns Creek area. Page 20



Copy Editor Ethan Mingoia analyzes the world of art education and its impacts on students. Page 12




Swim: Six Varsity Seniors


he gladiators swim team aimed to add to their trophy case yet again this season. They first acquired some hardware at the Fulton County Championships on January 9, 2020. The boys won first place and the girls captured the second spot tallying up to an overall first place for the Johns Creek swim team. The boys aspired to repeat as state champions and the girls targeted to come back stronger and more determined to improve from their state finish last year. The gladiator swim team as a whole looks stronger than ever with senior captains Chris Bodea, Garrett Halak and Jason Steel leading the boys, and Zoe Oliphant, Amy Hitzel and Charlotte Lowe leading the girls. Senior captain Chris Bodea said that swimming is not only physically demanding but mentally as well. “To have a successful meet we need to have an amazing week of practice. We need to get in the right amount of yards, focus on our technique, and mentally prepare ourselves. Swimming is a physical sport but for most of us it comes down to our mentality at the meet. We need to prove to ourselves that we are ready,” said Bodea expressing the team’s emphasis on preparation. When asked about the key to being successful at a meet Bodea said, “We practice for each other. We cheer for each other. We race for each other. It might come down to one swim or one dive but in the end we are one team.” One thing is for certain, the Johns Creek swim team always makes a splash.

Wrestling: Joseph Hunter


he Johns Creek wrestling team after last year’s exceptional season aspired to carry the momentum into this year. Junior wrestler Joseph Hunter accentuated the importance of a positive attitude when wrestling. “The key to having success in a match is all mental, a positive attitude and remembering the moves will bring you success. Even the best wrestlers can lose if they aren’t thinking positive,” said Hunter in regard to a crucial part of wrestling. Led by Coach Richau and Coach Sweatt they partake in strenuous conditioning during practice to prepare for their matches. “A typical day of practice is usually started off with a run around the school and a couple stadiums, and then we go directly to drilling different moves to see how we can improve” said Hunter. The Johns Creek wrestling team works hard every practice to make sure they leave it all out on the floor when the match starts.


: Winter Sports I

t is a new year and the Johns Creek winter sports looked to bring home some new hardware for the trophy case. Johns Creek had a great winter season consisting of hard-earned victories, learning from the tough losses and growing as individuals and as a team through every practice and game. Some winter sports include both boys and girls basketball, coed swimming, and boys wrestling.

Boys’ Basketball: Chase McKey and Nick Willis


he Johns Creek Varsity boys basketball team looked to improve from an underperforming season last year finishing 12-15 overall. Led by senior captains Chase McKey and Nick Willis, Johns Creek earned wins against some of our stronger adversaries including Northview and Alpharetta. After losing some notable seniors from last year they aimed to lead Johns Creek up the rankings and prove that the gladiators will not be defined by one disappointing season. The boys managed to make it to the first round of state playoffs, and despite losing by two points against Tri-Cities High School, they had a successful season altogether. Head Varsity basketball coach, Coach Temple said that the team’s length and scoring proficiency led them to be one of the region’s best teams. “Our success this year is based off of our ability to score and our length. We are one of the highest scoring teams in the region. We have five guys that can score twenty points on any given night. We are the longest team in this area. Our length causes other teams problems,” said Temple regarding the team’s strengths. When asked about their practice, Coach Temple said that they prioritize basic fundamentals along with intensity on both the offensive and defensive ends. “We start with stretching then work on basic basketball fundamentals. We will finish practice with offensive and defensive sessions. Practices are very competitive” said Temple concerning the team’s practice routine.

Girls’ Basketball: Ahmia Childs


he girls’ varsity basketball team attempted to use the momentum from last year’s trip to the state tournament to have a great start to the 2019-2020 season. And indeed they did, winning four of their first six games including a blowout win against Lambert and an overtime thriller beating Oconee County over thanksgiving break. Later on in the season they hit a small rough patch losing three straight but combating that with a strong stretch at the end of the season winning their last three conference games in a row heading into the region playoffs, and eventually into the Elite 8. The girls had a strong season, and most definitely a memorable one. Both the girls and boys team aim to start a perennial powerhouse not only in their region but the state as a whole as well. THE CHARIOT | 5



he Ballon D ‘Or, is an award that highlights the best player in soccer. The ceremony, which is held annually, also features awards such as the Kopa Trophy (given to the best young player), the Yashin trophy (awarded to the best goalkeeper) and the Ballon d’ Or Féminin (awarded to the best female player). The main award, the Ballon D ‘Or is known to be the most prestigious award in soccer and has been won in the past by legends such as George Weah, Johan Cruyff and Kaká. In December of 2019, the annual ceremony for crowning the best player in soccer occurred. The Ballon D’ Or has largely been a competition between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi since 2008. In the 2019 Ballon D’ Or race, Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona beat out several strong competitors such as Virgil Van Dijk of Liverpool, Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus, Sadio Mane of Liverpool and Heung-Min Son from Tottenham. This historic victory makes Messi the first person to ever reach six Ballon D’ Or awards, compared to Ronaldo, who only has received five in his life. Messi has, over the

duration of 2018-2019 and what has been played of this current campaign, scored no less than forty seven goals while also providing nineteen assists in fifty five matches. In terms of silverware, he also won La Liga, the Spanish SuperCopa, the Pichichi for Spain’s top scorer, the golden boot for being Europe’s leading marksman and was the Champions League’s most successful scorer with twelve in total last term. This historic win of a 6th Ballon D‘ Or is the latest edition of Messi’s extensive list of awards and honors. It also helps prove the point that Messi may be in contention for the greatest player of all time, only lacking the World Cup victory in his trophy case. After the ceremony he reminisced about his time. “A few years ago, I received my first Ballon d’Or here in Paris,” he said. “I was 22 years old. It was something unthinkable at the time. Today is my sixth Ballon d’Or. As my wife used to say, you should never stop dreaming but always work to improve and continue to enjoy yourself.”


Johns Creek Fall Signings MATT PRESS, sports editor


ncreasingly evident with the vast exposure on social media, high school athletes signing with their college of choice is a big deal. Through all the famous (and sometimes infamous) parental reactions to their sons/daughters sporting their university hat for the first time, it is clear that the value of signing to play collegiate athletics delves way beyond merely performance in one’s respective sport. Signing a national letter of intent symbolizes the journey the athlete has taken, the unforgettable and irreplaceable bonds they have forged, and the next chapter in their lives, both academically and athletically. Johns Creek has seemingly grown into a breeding ground for collegiate athletes, churning out myriad division one and power five athletes in the short decade the school has been open. The ensuing decade has already seen twelve players across various sports sign for their future school, including five division one signees, three of which being in a power five conference. In boys baseball, the signees included catcher Will Ferguson, who signed to continue his career at Roane State University; infielder Charlie Morgan, who signed for Berry College and outfielder Dalton Pearson, who, being named the number four player in the state of Georgia, will attend Georgia State University. Pitcher Austin Wainer, who pitched the first no hitter in school history, signed for Furman University; pitcher Tyler Watson, will continue his playing

career at Georgia Tech University and Denmark High School transfer Jack Whitlock, signed for Eastern Kentucky University. As of now, Johns Creek’s sole boys lacrosse signee was Max Citrano, who, after playing lacrosse for eleven years and four of which at Johns Creek High School, will attend North Greenville University. Girls lacrosse saw three signees in the early period, including Avery Mcllwaine, who signed to continue her career at Division One Furman University, Sandy Salit, who will continue her career in Georgia’s own Mercer University, and Mary Jenell (MJ) Tredway, who signed for North Greenville University. Swimming saw one commit during the early period. Adeline Farrington, who, being a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American and owning a multitude of variouas records, will continue her academic and swimming career at Division One University of Louisville in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Girls soccer’s sole signee was Malena Dickson, who has been a part of a multitude of top tier teams in her career, and she signed to Fordham University. As these student athletes set their path for the future and move on from high school, their moments with teammates, from defeat to triumph, will undoubtedly be missed. Congratulations to the aforementioned signees, and best of luck from Gladiator Nation. (Athlete information provided by athletic director Jason Holcombe)






elf-driving cars have long been regarded as the technology of the future. From KITT to Batman to even The Incredibles, autonomous vehicles (AVs) have appeared in pop culture for decades. Thanks to new advancements in technology, self-driving cars are closer than ever to becoming a reality. The world with self-driving cars would be safer, faster and cleaner. Researchers predict that self-driving cars will function similarly to driveshare services such as Uber and Lyft. These autonomous vehicles will drive around cities until a human, through an app or by other means, signals a robo-taxi to pick them up. Once the passenger is inside, they can input the address into the central computer and sit back while the car drives them to their destination. AVs are much safer than human-driven cars because they can compute information in milliseconds, beating the slower reaction time of humans. Additionally, these innovations will lead to a better way to travel long distances. Imagine getting into a car at midnight, going to sleep on a lounge-like sofa, and waking up in the morning in another city ready to start the day. Self-driving cars could produce a drastic decrease in short-haul flights because of their added comfort and privacy. All in all, the future is promising for self-driving cars to revolutionize our society. As one of the engineers who is actively involved in the future of self-driving cars, Mobileye’s Mois Navon is hopeful for the future. He envisions a future in which autonomous vehicles which “reduce car accidents, traffic, car ownership, [and] cost of goods [while] improving city infrastructure.” AVs have the potential to save lives. Currently, 94 percent of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by human error. However, engineers are working towards a “Vision Zero,” a future in which there are “ no more traffic deaths and serious injuries.” AVs will not only protect human lives but also protect the environment.

Running on all-electric engines, AVs will greatly cut down carbon emissions, leading to cleaner air quality. On top of the environmental benefits, self-driving cars will change the infrastructure of cities. Instead of parking lots, cars will be stored in centralized locations, away from the public eye. Without the need for parking lots, officials can transform these spaces into mini-parks, event venues, or even new buildings, while in the suburbs, garages can be transformed into extra space for the home. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to transform the daily lives of people around the world. While the future for AVs is promising, there are still plenty of roadblocks in the way. Thousands of researchers across the globe are working on improving the technology we use in self-driving cars. Mois Navon estimates that “initial deployment of robotaxis will start happening within 2 years,” and Wired Magazine claims that “you won’t need a driver’s license in 2040.” However, there are still several challenges researchers must overcome in order to release this technology to the public. The MIT Technology Review breaks these challenges into three parts. First, make self-driving cars safe. This can be done through improved camera optics and more detailed maps of the environment. Second, make self-driving cars useful by regulating how fast cars need to go and drafting laws surrounding accidents in self-driving cars. The last challenge is to make AVs affordable. These AVs need to be a fraction of the expense of vehicles today if they are to replace the current system. Despite the challenges, researchers are hopeful that we could see self-driving cars within our lifetime. Self-driving cars are arriving. They will change our world for the better, leading to fewer accidents and less greenhouse gas emissions. Mois believes “that science and technology are the spearheads of this effort to make the world a better place.”

Boeing 737 Airplanes:



oeing, the worldwide aircraft supplier, created “the next workhorse in aviation” in 2017. The Boeing Max 737, fitted with more fuel-efficient engines and updated equipment and cabins, would have a longer range, a lower operating cost and would be reciprocal enough with previous models so pilots could adapt with ease. However, shortly after the release, there were several major plane crashes involving the Boeing 737 Max. In the first reported crash on October 29, 2018, Lionair flight 610 plummeted into the Java Sea just 13 minutes after the three months old plane took air. The flight, originating from Indonesia, took the lives of 189 people. Just months after, another four months old 737 Max crashed just 14 minutes after takeoff on its way to Kenya, killing 157 passengers. To make it worse, on January 7, 2020, a Ukranian Boeing 737800 plane crashed in Iran killing roughly 170 people. Facing intense backlash, Boeing needed to take immediate and effective action in response to the woes of the “workhorse of aviation.” Initial crash reports

portrayed that both of the late 2018 crashes happened as a result of poor design on Boeing’s part and issues in the MCAS software. The MCAS, or Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, was new software equipped in all the new 737 Maxes to make the plane fly and feel like other 737 models. While Boeing did establish a waterfall in their museum to commemorate the loss of the victims of the Lion Air crash, they have not publicly denied the initial crash reports. Historically, Boeing has been known for placing blame on pilots rather than the planes themselves. However, the tide has changed as a result of the recent crashes. In early March 2019, all 737 Max Boeing planes were grounded, and on December 23, 2019, the CEO of Boeing, Dennis Muilenburg, was fired. Recently, Dave Calhoun was hired as the new CEO for Boeing and caught a big break when Iran admitted that they shot down the plane unintentionally as it was flying over a warzone. Although this does give hope for Boeing’s future, Calhoun faces a tough task to bring the world aircraft carrier out of adversity and public distrust. THE CHARIOT | 9



he Second Amendment may be one of the most controversially interpreted parts of the Constitution. In exact words, it reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Some believe this right to be in reference to the state, while others see it to be protecting the individual citizen’s ability to possess firearms. Across the United States from Virginia to Colorado, this debate has been intensifying with members of the government and the people both for and against guns. On December 9th at the Virginia state capitol, hundreds attended the “God, Family, Guns” rally in opposition to Governor Ralph Northam and lawmakers who are proposing gun control legislation in the upcoming assembly session. Senate Bill 16, if passed, will make certain guns illegal and prohibit anyone under 18 from using a gun without an adult present. In defense of the bill, Northam said “[Gun owners] don’t want unconstitutional laws. Well, we’re not going to pass any unconstitutional laws. At the end of the day, this is about keeping guns out of the hands of prohibited individuals.” Many disagree, however. “The right to self-defense is not a right that is given by [the] government, it is a right that comes with you in the package when you are born,” said gun rights advocate Jackee Gonzales. In response to Northam’s threats and the new Democratic control of the legislature, the Culpepper County Board and dozens of others across the state have agreed that they would declare their counties ‘Second Amendment Constitutional Counties’, and Sheriff Scott Jenkins announced that he would deputize masses of Culpepper residents to protect their



Second Amendment rights and refuse to give up their guns -- some have even threatened to go to court if the pro-gun control bills are passed in the new year. A similar debate is taking place in Colorado, where Democrats are poised to make a bid for stricter gun policies in 2020. This move follows the passage of a ‘red flag’ gun law going into effect January 1 that allows a court to temporarily remove firearms from someone that may be at risk of harming themselves or others. At least a dozen Colorado counties have designated themselves as “Second Amendment sanctuaries,” believing the red flag law and others bills to come, violate the Constitution. “Just like red flag, these bills sound good on the surface but underneath there could be an extraordinary abuse of gun rights with no increase of public safety,” said Dick Wadhams, a former GOP state party chair. Representative Tom Sullivan of Centennial, who is entering his second year at the capitol, got into politics after his son Alex was killed in the Aurora theater shooting. He believes there is still much work to do in the fight for better gun control. Sullivan asked the legislature on December 1 in reference to the 385 mass shootings that had occurred so far in 2019, “We need to decide, are we OK with that or do we want to do something?” These debates are taking place in legislatures in almost every state including Congress. With such a complex and controversial issue, it is difficult to find a strictly black and white solution. However, it is clear that the Second Amendment will be a major topic of discussion at all levels of government in 2020, especially with the upcoming presidential election.

CARLY BLANK, features editor



eople often argue that history undeniably reportionate amount of Uighur men are taken from peats itself; that every mistake, every disrethe comforts of their homes and locked away, pungard for human life comes full cycle. China, ished for their religious practices. This is Chiwho is silencing the masses, imprisoning the innona’s way of forcing homogeneity and erasing the cent and denying allegations, has become a source culture of these Turkish muslims in Xinjiang. of evidence for these believers. This treatment reThis initiative is said to be the largest network of sembles the deplorable attitudes which were held internment camps since WWII, for ten to twenty peragainst the Japanese people in the U.S. during WWII. cent of Uighur Muslims in XinJiang are imprisoned In the Xinjiang province of China, Uighur muslims, within these camps. Millions of Uighurs have disapa minority Turkic ethnic group, are being persecutpeared with no trace or reason. There is no due proed without trial and taken from their homes. China’s cess of law that protects them -- China uses their rehidden internment camps lie in Dabancheng, where ligion and culture as a crime. These changes come as they’ve become enormous facilities imprisoning Uiramifications of Xi Jinping’s tightening grip on socighurs. Authorities are desperate to keep this a secret, ety. Uighurs do not maintain his idealistic loyalty to dismissing these massive camps as “re-education” sites the Communist Party because they put their faith and where Uighurs are placed in classes designed to edufamily above the party. This coincides with the prejucate them on correct behavior. The term “re-educadice Uighurs have faced outside of these internment tion” is a euphemism for the sinister treatment against camps, inhibiting the freedoms of daily life and submuslims within these internment camps. State-run jecting them to discriminatory practices. Ethnic promedia has created propaganda showing “students” filing has incurred numerous travelling restrictions gratefully accepting clean classroom environments for the Uighurs, who are stopped at vehicle checkand coursework, despite the gruelling circumstances points and forced to give up their passports, however, Uighurs are truly under. This facade has supported the the Han Chinese do not face these travel limitations. Chinese government’s activities of criminalising Islam The term “re-education” is a euphemism for the sinand stripping away the religion from its inhabitants. ister treatment against muslims within these internOverpopulated and horrifying, these camps function ment camps. Fear infiltrates all areas of life for Uias a tool for erasure towards Islam. Uighurs are forced ghurs, where missing family members, imprisonment to eat pork and drink alcohol, which is prohibited by and restrictions on religious practices are commonIslam. Furthermore, they must perform tasks unwillplace for them. There is no telling when prisoners will ingly, such as learning Mandarin, singing Communist be released or for how long Uighurs will be mistreated. Party songs and participating in training programs that There is not much their society can do but wait for the attempt to assimilate them into Han Chinese culture. world to understand their struggle and to speak up for Women can no longer wear headscarves or name their them. Uighurs need people to see how China is children Islamic names. All freedoms have vanished trying to erase their identity and punish and fear has taken its place. And what are the circumthem for expressing themselves. stances if they refuse; torture, starvation or even death. Will history repeat itself, Children between the ages of six months to twelve or will people listen years old are brainwashed into turning against their and change it? families and assimilating into Han Chinese culture. The children are locked up and separated from their family, taught to forget their heritage, culture and family, thus annihilating the future of the Uighur population within China. ief Uighur women are forced h c n to marry Han men, or-i t i while a disprod e

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Importance of the Arts ETHAN MINGOIA, copy editor


he United States is currently in alleged educational stagnation. Concerns mount that by withholding from dramatic reforms to the educational system, our economy is destined to fall behind in the international community. Various State Departments of Education controversially decided to increase standardized testing, therefore, emphasizing the misinterpreted shortsightedness of tests like the SAT and ACT. Consequently, these reforms down-play the expression that art education provides and threaten the quiddity of creativity for future generations. Art education is reinforced by years of research linking it to almost everything that our nation says we covet for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement and equitable opportunity. Involvement in the arts is analogous with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking and verbal skills. Arts erudition can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence and teamwork. A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasures of the artistic experience “can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing,” laying the foundation to


forge social bonds and community cohesion. From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. “Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences,’’ said Eric Cooper, president and founder of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education. Engaging with art is essential to the human experience. Almost as soon as motor skills are developed, children communicate through artistic expression. The arts challenge us with different points of view, compel us to empathize with “others” and give us the opportunity to reflect on the human condition. Empirical evidence supports these claims: Among adults, arts participation is related to behaviors that contribute to the health of civil society, such as increased civic engagement, greater social tolerance and reductions in other-regarding behavior. Clearly, art has remained a transformative and impactful part of people’s lives and is a vital factor in K-12 curriculum.



A decade in:


AARON BASHUK, staff writer

Troll Face: Stemming from the action of trolling, this meme was made to characterize someone who intentionally pranks or comments on the ironies on a post. Trolling started during the rise of social media and can most literally represents a person who intentionally antagonizes people on the internet. Coming from the term troll to describe someone who is intentionally rude or offensive online, this meme was made to show that someone has been pranked or “trolled” or that a post is ironic.


2011: Nyan Cat: This meme originated as a YouTube video and blended a popular Japanese pop song with a pixelated pop-tart cat flying through space while leaving a rainbow trail close behind. To no surprise, the meme became very popular with several parodies taking shape and even video-games being made with the Nyan Cat as a character.

Doge/ Gangnam Style: Gangnam Style was the most popular YouTube video for about five years, and was an extremely big influence on pop culture. The video entailed a hilarious music video that was accompanied by a well-known dance. The Doge meme consists of a Shiba Inu dog with colorful text in the background.


2013: 2014: Harlem Shake: Originally made by YouTuber “TVFilthyFrank” became a viral trend that took over the internet in 2013.


Apparently Kid/Mom’s Spaghetti: This meme originated from an interview where a kid says the word “apparently”several times which ultimately entitled the child to internet fame.

2015: Pepe the Frog: This was the start of the current meme culture and was very big in 2015, as well as still having relevance today on twitch.tv.

2016: Harambe: This was a viral video of a gorilla abducting a kid that falls into a gorilla pit at a zoo, which then turned into a meme when the gorilla was killed and the gorilla named Harambe was seen as a martyr.

2017: Hey Beter/B emoji: Stemming from the popular show “Family Guy” this meme took a soundbite of Joe Swanson saying “Hey Peter” and turned it into a extremely popular meme. With this came the use of the B emoji which helped extend the lifespan of “Hey Beter”.

2018: Smash Bros Intros/ Despacito: With the announcement and release of Smash Bros. Ultimate, many memes were created to introduce fake characters such as Danny Devito. Despacito was turned into a meme long after it became popular with fake announcements of Despacito 2 and other fake renditions of Despacito.

2019: Big Chungus/ They tryna be crate/Craig/cray: Big Chungus was massive going into 2019 and saw more popularity towards the end of 2019. They tryna be crate/Craig/cray was the meme of the summer and stemmed from the popular song “Kid Cudi” by Playboi Carti and Young Nudy.



A decade in:

FAS H I O N O MAREN STEPHENS, editor-in-chief

ver the last decade, the fashion industry, from its trends to its houses to its creative processes have undergone a world of change. Consumers have seen a shift from 80’s influence and tribal inspired pieces to 2000’s and 1990’s revival, complete with grunge and a revamping of companies like Von Dutch and Juicy Couture. But along with the coming and going of fashion fads, the industry as a whole has seen major changes. Fashion has sped up, and alongside the overproduction of companies like Forever 21 and Zara, “Hypebeast” aesthetics are in and for so many, the classic silhouettes of department stores and high end, slow fashion retailers are out. Sears, Macy’s and Barney’s are just three of the many stores impacted by the transition away from traditional fashion retail. In the past ten years, hundreds of stores have been closed by just these companies, leaving behind empty storefronts as a chilling reminder of what t h i s decade has meant for slow retail. Though the constant cycling and recycling of various trends and stores weighs permanently over the entire industry, the 2010’s have placed unprecedented emphasis on this struggle. One stressor of this issue has been the rise of social media, a phenomenon which changed fashion forever. Now, rather than wait for trends to be determined by stores or designers, fashion influencers like the Kardashian-Jenners, Alexa Chung and Harry Styles are providing inspiration for fans and companies. Lines like Fashion Nova are able to turn around imitations in as little as a day, leaving behind the fashion seasons of yesterday and ushering in new expectations. The world and its top-grossing brands have been influenced at a level never seen before. Between Instagram and YouTube, companies have become pawns for influencers. From promo codes to brand deals, brands are now at the


liberty of the fans of teenagers and their followings. Seemingly hand in hand with the immediacy of social media, trend cycles have become exaggerated over the decade. “In the 2010’s, there have been so many different trends, from

the revival of the nineties’ to bright neons and latex, and yet, it’s all just repeats of things that have been done before,” said junior Olivia Hayes. Although the new trend pattern has moved so fast, changing almost daily, when was the last time something truly new has been released? Brands are recycling styles, colors, and materials from the eighties to the aughties, forcing consumers to ask: what’s next? Just another revamp? Or something finally different? This cycle is beginning to be upset, primarily due to the influx of new designers encouraged by social media, but the last decade remained predictable in terms of trend patterns. Over the decade, fashion has also remained a political expression for many. Sustainable lines like Reformation have risen to prominence in protest of the cruel practices of mainstream fashion. Other notable protests include the iconic “Meat Dress” from 2010, in protest of homophobic military policies, the Burkini, initially outlawed by France in 2017, only to have the ruling overturned for its perception as islamophobic and sexist and finally, the sea of pink cat ear adorned hats at the women’s marches in 2017. The 2010’s represented an ushering in for many new faces and methods in the fashion industry, but maintained the expression clothing can provide for so many. One can only speculate how the world of fashion will change in the 2020’s, but after this decade, the future looks bright in terms of a whole new world for fashion creators, influencers and consumers.


ovies and TV often provide a source of entertainment to the public as well as something to look forward to after a long day of work. A select few movies -whether people like them o r not- shape the industry, ref lect the times or change the terms of cultural discourse, for better or worse. In the polarized environment we live in, these movies even produce arguments within people that will be remembered for years to come. One movie series that remained at the center of many conversations through the decade was the “Avengers” series, which concluded last year. It represented the ideal movie series, with each movie in the saga gaining an increasing amount of revenue and attention. Conversely, this series revolutionized the movie industry by developing a cinematic universe. “The ‘Avengers’ movies cemented the idea of creating a cinematic universe with overlaying movies and ideas, which allowed many different tones but kept a consistent idea at heart,” said Manuel Matteo, president of Film Club at Johns Creek. Looking back on the decade, the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) transformed from lesser-known movies that several comic fanatics knew about in detail, into the well-known movie titan it is today. Another movie that sparked conversation during the decade was “American Sniper,” a biographical movie that centers on Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL fighting in the Iraq war. This movie’s controversy stems from its portrayal of the Iraq war and the war on terrorism, which was and still is a delicate subject among many. The movie altered elements of

real events to create a very black and white scene where America is good and Al-Qaeda and the Iraqi citizens are evil. In addition to bringing controversy among the public, “American Sniper” shocked the relatively nonpartisan movie industry with its pro-military and pro-gun ideals. Despite all this, the movie still serves as a household classic and sets a benchmark as a well-directed war movie that will last for decades to come. Many documentaries over the last decade raised awareness of problems otherwise hidden to the public, causing much discussion and controversy. The most famous from the past ten years was “Blackfish,” a documentary that tells the story of Tilikum, the orca who killed three individuals while in captivity. In the documentary, director Gabriela Cowperthwaite investigates the reasons for the attack, and she eventually exposes the unethical practices of several aquariums, specifically SeaWorld. Cowperthwaite’s exposé of the abuse of orca whales at SeaWorld caused what many call “the Blackfish effect.” This led to the public’s realization of the unethical practices occurring in businesses and the types of changes it resulted for the legal system and corporate policies. SeaWorld’s stock is still experiencing a decline, and California passed the “Blackfish Bill” prohibiting killer whale captivity, breeding and trade in California. The documentary “Blackfish” created a ripple effect among the population by redefining people’s attitudes towards large business practices and even affecting the legal system. Overall, the media from the past decade shaped public opinion and introduced new ideas both to the people and the movie industry, leaving consumers excited for the years to come.

A decade in:

E N T E RTA I N M E N T ALEC GROSSWALD, opinion editor THE CHARIOT | 17 3


A decade in:

S P O R TS O HARRISON BLANK, staff writer

ver the last decade, sports fans have witnessed the biggest upsets, the most dominant dynasties, the most exhilarating moments and the craziest records broken. From the best teams of all time to the biggest underdogs, from football to fútbol, from the smallest town to the biggest city, sports has affected all of us at some point during the past decade. Let’s take a look at some highlights. In sports, a dynasty is a team that dominates their sport or league for an extended length of time. Over the last decade, these two dynasties were at the forefront of their respective sports. The University of Alabama’s football team ruled the college football landscape for the entire decade. They amassed five national championships, three BCS championships and two College Football Playoff championships, under the command of legendary coach Nick Saban. Alabama has had 5 Heisman trophy winners, 5 SEC championships, and won 6 bowl games. Alabama reigned supreme in a sport where consistency is extremely rare. The Golden State Warriors were the NBA’s latest dynasty, winning 3 NBA titles in five Finals appearances. Golden State succeeded through the superstar power of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant and the excellent coaching of Steve Kerr. The Warriors brought to the NBA a level of dominance not seen since the star Los Angeles Lakers duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Certain moments define sports as we know it, the famous “Helmet Catch,” Michael Jordan’s famed “The Shot”, Babe Ruth calling his own home run, and more. These iconic events are ingrained in the minds of millions of sports fans across the world. In 2014, Auburn and Alabama were fighting it out in the Iron Bowl, their annual rivalry game. With the score tied at 28-28, Nick Saban, Alabama’s legendary coach, made the fatal decision to attempt a 57-yard field goal with only one second remaining. The result was one of the rarest plays in football, Auburn’s Chris Davis caught the kick in the back of the endzone and then returned it 109 yards for a touchdown to win the game. This incredible ending is widely accepted as one of the most memorable moments in college football history.


In the 2016 NCAA championship, Villanova and North Carolina were battling for the right to cut down the nets. With under ten seconds left, UNC’s star point guard Marcus Paige hit a circus shot three-pointer in order to tie the game at 74 apiece. Then, Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova’s point guard, brought the ball up the court and passed to Kris Jenkins, who nailed a three-pointer as the clock ran out to win the national championship. This game winning shot cemented Kris Jenkins legacy in Villanova history and is remembered as one of the best endings to a national championship game in recent history. Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players to ever play in the NBA, winning five NBA titles and countless more accolades with the Los Angeles Lakers. In Kobe’s last year, the 20152016 season, the Lakers struggled, only winning 17 games out of 82. However, in the last game of his career, Bryant delivered an iconic moment, scoring 60 points and single-handingly leading the Lakers back for a win. Even though the game had no impact whatsoever, Kobe’s superhuman effort will forever be remembered by all sports fans. Upsets in sports happen every day, but some last forever in sports history. Over the last decade especially, we experienced some unreal, jaw-dropping, historic upsets. The English Premier League is the highest level of professional soccer in England, and during the 2015-2016 season it had one of the largest upsets in sports history. Leicester City, who had finished 14th out of 20 in the previous season, entered the season with 5000-1 odds to win the league. Leicester City ended up winning the league by a decent margin, completing one of the most unexpected seasons in soccer history. The 16th seeded University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers faced off against the one-seeded University of Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Prior to this game, a one-seed had never lost to a 16-seed in the first round, but UMBC managed to beat UVA, who had only lost two games the entire year, 74-54. This win for UMBC shocked the world, as it was one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history.

A decade of: SAM BEAGLE, managing editor


n ten years time, our school has gone through immense transformation, but the building is still what it was then: Johns Creek High School. Fading names and memories from our youth comprise the knowledge for the beginning of our school, however, the students and faculty from this era are simply gone. These individuals also attended Johns Creek for four years (as most of us will) or taught for longer, but their comprehension of Johns Creek was much different than ours. Dissecting this early stage in our school is by no means necessary, but it provides a “throwback” many of you will find compelling. Zack Beagle, part of the John’s Creek first sophomore class and eventually first full senior class, had unique insight on some unfamiliar territory for today’s students. First, he touched on the “emptiness” (or more optimistically “room for growth”) that he could feel day in and day out. He described football games that couldn’t garner more than fifty fans, classrooms left empty all year and trophy cabinets waiting to be packed with medals simply because of a lack of students. “There weren’t even parking passes!” exclaimed Zack. Nonetheless, he did mention a few off campus factors prevalent in the students’ lives. Menchi’s (now replaced by a student favorite UFO Hibachi) was “the spot,” and Zack affirmed that male students only wore “Polos and Sperrys,” as the original Veni Vidi Vici chants. This song, written by some of Johns Creek’s first students as a Chattahoochee “diss track,” is one of the tangible pieces of our school’s past, and its revival in 2017 provides an updated look on the rivalry. Another Johns Creek attendant who has been present since the start is Physics teacher Jordan Smith who moved from North Springs to teach during Johns Creek’s inaugural year. Smith outlined the early days of the Creek in terms of athlet-

ics and technology. Being one of the first coaches, Smith claimed that no one attended games because “No one could drive, most of the kids were sophomores and freshmen!” He dissected the importance of the Gladiator Army (the original sports booster club) to inspire school spirit into a group of kids whose mascots had only ever been titans or cougars. The lack of athletes made football awkward to watch, many players were forced to play both offense and defense, but Smith thought the courage of these ‘two-way players’ was incredible. Playing ascending from 3A to 6A in just a few years made rivalries hard to establish, yet they are quite prevalent today. Aside from athletics, the school’s technological landscape originally consisted of “strict cell phone policies and heavy computer lab use.” These characteristics have obviously been phased out (to an extent), but the teachers who implemented the policies butted heads with one another much more than the current teachers do. Coming from two nearby schools, Chattahoochee teachers were “much chiller” while Northview teachers were the polar opposite. This problem naturally resolved itself, but Smith recalled students “either being asked what they were playing on their phones or being sent to detention for using the device.” When Johns Creek first opened, the senior class welcomed less than 100 new student transfers from Northview and Chatahoochee, but some things never changed. Lifted trucks have always lined the back of the parking lot, students have always packed Waffle House after football games and athletes have always made Sara’s a haven after morning workouts. With few remnants of our school’s first few years, it’s important to remember the impact and sacrifice that the faculty and student body made to pave future success for Johns Creek High School.



Armando’s Taqueria “A delicious, fast and fresh take on Mexican street cuisine” Three Chariot staff members took on the tasty new “Armando’s Taqueria,” located in Duluth.

RATING: 9/10 Armando’s Taqueria 4190 Abbotts Bridge Road Duluth, GA 30096 (470) 403 - 4738


ocated on Abbotts Bridge Road, Armando’s Taqueria is a newly opened Mexican street foodstyle restaurant in Duluth. The Chariot brought along three members to see if the Taqueria really lives up to the hype surrounding this new restaurant. While the Taqueria’s building pays homage to the Sonic it used to be, the environment certainly did not have the same style as a fast-food establishment. The only indication of the building’s past use were the newly painted, bright yellow drive-in spots repurposed as parking spaces. The building has been completely reworked from the inside out: on the outside, bright strings of lights and colorful bar-style seating is available; inside, murals and paintings line the walls beside four-top seating. Food-wise, this restaurant has a wide variety of Mexican street-food all for low, but fair prices. Street tacos are offered for $2.69 with over 9 choices of meat, drinks like horchata and Jarritos (a bottled soda) and other fare such as burritos and elote all have costs compared to chains such as Chipotle, but with more of a home-made vibe. The Chariot sampled from a range of small plates. First, the elote: this was a cob of corn on a stick, perfectly flame-charred, topped with mayonnaise, par-


JEFFERY SHEN, news editor mesan cheese and a dash of chili powder. Anyone who is a fan of corn-on-the-cob would love this dish. With our food, we ordered a Jarritos Pineapple, a soda-like bottled drink in a glass container. Finally, the main items - street tacos. We ordered five tacos with barbacoa (similar to barbeque beef), chorizo, chicken, pastor (marinated pork) and a sausage and beef combination. All tacos came on two soft corn tortilla shells fresh off the stovetop, a sizable portion of cilantro, a few radish slices and sauteed onions. Just from the presentation, it is clear that these tacos wouldn’t be anything like the traditional Americanized tacos of fast-food chains - each corn tortilla was piled high with homemade sauces and fresh greens. The meat in each taco was flavorful and seasoned well, especially the chorizo. For the short wait time of only a few minutes, the quality of all of our food certainly exceeded any previous expectations. Overall, Armando’s Taqueria is a well priced fast-casual restaurant perfect for picking up authentic Mexican street food. The decor, along with the high quality food, make the Taqueria a must try location. Especially in the cold Winter months, Armando’s offers hearty food that will fill you up without breaking the bank.


2020 Horoscopes

CLAIRE FEDERICO, staff writer

r i e s (March 21-April 19): For an Aries, 2020 is

your year to broaden your horizons by means of travel and personal relationships. Your constant enthusiasm and energy will assist you in achieving your goals, but be careful not to let it overwhelm you. With the New Year will come a newfound determination to reach enlightenment.

Ta u r u s (April 20-May 20): Your flexibility will be a gift

during the constant challenges in 2020- with that being saidbe sure not to bottle up your stress in an attempt to stay calm. Enjoy the finer things in life. This will drive you to success in the new year; however, don’t let your stubborn nature put a mental block on your persistent mindset… keep an open mind!

Ge m i n i

(May 21-June 20): Unfortunately, confusing times lie ahead, but your adaptable nature will help you combat them. Your natural intelligence will guide you to block out distractions this year, and your curious spirit will be free. Don’t be reckless with relationships in 2020, rather, focus your attention on people who hold your interest. Ca n c e r (June 21-July 22): 2019 was no doubt an emotional rollercoaster; nevertheless, 2020 is your chance to begin again. It’s a year of new adventures and new risks you must take. Follow your gut when it comes to making decisions out of your comfort zone because your intuition is your strongest source. Mental health should be a focal point this year, and you should strive to cultivate a deeper relationship with yourself.

Le o (July 23-August 22): You love lots of attention, and

in 2020 you will be the spark that keeps things interesting in your social circle. Even at your peak, be sure to stay humble and generous in your relationships. Soon, you will learn to navigate the sensitivity that plagued last year. Don’t allow yourself to get hung up on minor inconveniences, and instead let your confidence steer you.

Vi r g o (August 23-September 22): 2020 is the year to struc-

ture your life around your own happiness, and this means letting go of stressors that trap you. The fear of losing control is all too familiar to you; it is important to live in the moment this year. You are a perfectionist at your core, but keep in mind it is normal to make mistakes. Your friendships will thrive, especially if you take care of the ones you love.

Li b r a

(September 23-October 22): In spite of your natural instinct to conceal emotions, 2020 should be a year to maintain transparency. Along with your feel-

ings, let your imagination run wild. At the same time, use your charming ideas to keep yourself in check throughout 2020. Never settle for less than extraordinary, but don’t let your stubbornness get the best of you.

Sc o r p i o (October 23- November 21): For Scorpio’s, 2020

brings a new you- an opportunity to reinvent yourself. You radiate charisma, which draws people closer to you. It’s important to establish loyal friends, which comes naturally due to your trustworthy persona. With that in mind, don’t let your secretive nature drive your temper in the new year.

Sa g i t t a r i u s (November 22-December 21): For a Sag-

gitarius, it may have felt like 2019 was plagued with bad luck, but 2020 will bring fortune if you learn to shed old habits. This means learning to take control of your impulses, while still allowing your spontaneity to soar. It may seem easier to jump right into things, but patience will remind you that everything happens for a reason. Use this year as an opportunity to explore different horizons- whether it’s venturing to new places or simply making a new friend.

Ca p r i c o r n (December 22-January 19): 2020 is all about

opening up and accepting for Capricorns. Your surprising self-discipline should be channeled towards broadening your social circle. This year will push you to come alive. The stress that your routine carries will soon disappear and be replaced by more exciting events in the new year. Embrace these changes and stand by your values.

Aq u a r i u s

(January 20-February 18): This year, you may have a growing desire for security and stability within your relationships. Self-care should be a priority in order for you to become more grounded through all the obstacles this year. The individuality of an Aquarius makes it hard to set boundaries but having certain limits will foster happiness. Try to find a balance between being observant and overthinking your surroundings in this new year.

Pi s c e s (February 19-March 20): 2020 is a straightforward

road to success for every Pisces. Your charming characteristics will help you gain new relationships, and you will need all the support from these relationships as you can get. Let your creativity flow, but don’t let your dreamy mindset cloud your reality. This new year holds chaos and success, but stay focused on your friendships and mental health even throughout your highs and lows.






very year on January 1st, millions of people around the world embrace the “new year, new me” mentality and attempt to commence a year of healthy habits. Often, this means dieting, focusing on nutritional foods, cutting out carbs, or tracking calories. This year, The Chariot decided to take an unconventional route to the New Years “calorie count” and compete to see who could rack up the most calories in 24 hours.

COLN RAAD, staff writer

DANI BLANK, editor-in-chief Before school, I needed a breakfast that required minimal effort to prepare but contained maximum calories. I reached for the Eggo french toast sticks (440) and drizzled on some syrup (100). After getting ready for school and scrambling to finish a packet that was due first period, I had already worked up an appetite for a second breakfast — a bagel (330). Throughout the morning, I continued my strong start to the day with half of my friend’s red velvet donut from Sara’s (215) and two granola bars (100 and 150). During newspaper, I made sure Coln knew how serious I was by flaunting my goldfish (200) and Ritz crackers (150). At lunch, I had leftover pasta with chicken (450) and some blueberries (80). However, I decided that one lunch wasn’t going to cut it for the competition, so I miraculously acquired Chick-fil-A (620), through methods that remain confidential, for my second lunch of the day. After getting home that afternoon, I discovered a secret weapon sitting on the counter: my sister’s homemade rice krispy treats. I managed to hold back and only have four of them as an after-school snack (480) before sitting down to a pasta dinner (700). Later that night as I studied for my math test, I had some Cheez-Its (150) and 5 more rice krispy treats (600). Before the 24 hours were up, I decided to make the most of the little time left and enjoy a midnight snack of cookie dough (200) and ice cream (200) as well as top off my calorie count with another bagel (330).

My calorie-rich day started with a trip to Brooklyn Bagel, where I got a bacon egg and cheese on a plain bagel (650) with a YooHoo strawberry milk (220) to kickstart my calorie count. Throughout the early morning, I grew a distinct drive to make sure I consumed enough food to beat Dani in our challenge. When lunch time came around, I rushed to the lunchline and convinced my friends to buy me lunch. I decided on the cafeteria’s buffalo wings (610), along with a chocolate chip cookie (78) and a double order of curly fries (600). The clock had barely reached 1:30, but I already wasn’t sure if my body could even manage to consume anything else without my breakfast and lunch coming up. I took a break from stuffing my face in fifth period and watched Tik Toks to take my mind off the dreaded calories I was going to have to force myself to eat for the rest of the night. During my sixth and final period, Dani decided to up our challenge by getting us Chick-Fil-A. With the challenge intensifying by the meal, I forced myself to eat a Spicy Chicken Sandwich (460), a medium fry (420) and a medium Dr. Pepper (180). I was able to finish most of the food along with the help of my classmates fiending for some french fries. Later that day, I went to Cook Out and ordered a Cook Out tray, consisting of a Big Double Burger (310), a chicken quesadilla (440), hushpuppies (300) and chicken nuggets (140). At this point I wasn’t sure if I could truly eat another thing for the next three days. I decided to end my night and my obscene binge with a simple bowl of Captain Crunch (330).


= 5495 22 | EMILY MILLER




MUSIC Best Songs of the Decade 2010 : California Gurls - Katy Perry Rolling in the Deep - Adele Love the Way You Lie - Eminem and Rihanna Just a Dream - Nelly 2011 : The Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga Stereo Hearts - Gym Class Heroes We Found Love - Rihanna Look At Me Now - Chris Brown 2012 : We Are Young - Fun. Gangnam Style - Psy We Are Never Getting Back Together - Taylor Swift Payphone - Maroon 5 2013 : Wake Me Up - Avicci Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus Roar - Katy Perry Royals - Lorde 2014 : Blank Space - Taylor Swift All About That Base - Meghan Trainor Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran Chandelier - Sam Smith 24 | THE CHARIOT

2015 : The Hills - The Weeknd 679 - Fetty Wap See You Again - Wiz Khalifa Watch Me - Silento 2016 : One Dance - Drake Closer - The Chainsmokers Can’t Stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake Black Beatles - Rae Sremmurd 2017Rockstar - Post Malone Thunder - Imagine Dragons Bodak Yellow - Cardi B Chanel - Frank Ocean 2018 : In My Feelings - Drake Havana - Camila Cabello Happier - Marshmello Sicko Mode - Travis Scott 2019 : Old Town Road - Lil Nas X Sucker - Jonas Brothers Bad Guy - Billie Eilish Senorita - Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello

& entertainment EMILY MILLER, design editor

Best Movies of The Decade



2010. The Social Network 2011- The Tree of Life 2012. Life of Pi 2013- The Wolf of Wall Street 2014- Boyhood 2015- The Revenant 2016- Moonlight 2017- Get Out 2018- Black Panther / Bohemian Rhapsody 2019- 1917 / Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood

Star Wars: a decades review EMMA BUONI, staff writer


n the short version, the Rise of Skywalker was not good, but the long version is more complicated. It is difficult to describe exactly why the Rise of Skywalker went so wrong. There’s a lot of things wrong, but the base problem is this; the lore is now driving the story, and the characters are only incidental to it. In the original trilogy, the problem-defeating an evil Empire-was realistic. We all know that evil empires can and will rise, and we root for the people who fight against them. The Jedi, the Force, all that magic, happens in conjunction and works with that base storyline. Now, everything is happening because of that magic, and it takes so much out of the story itself. There’s so much introduced, and not much explained. There’s real triumph occasionally, such as the rip-off Avengers portal scene when all the ships from other planets appear, and start helping the Resistance beat up the First Order. And then that high point is immediately thrown away so Palpatine (who’s somehow alive) can do some Force lightning and Rey (who’s somehow his granddaughter) can defeat him. In its attempts to make a flashy show and draw crowds, Disney forgot to add humanity and relatability to their movies. It’s like a cake with too much icing: it tastes pretty sweet, and looks pretty, but once you realize there’s not much cake, it loses a lot of appeal.

We can only hope that Star Wars will rise back to their glory in the 2020s with the new projects coming soon, and that Disney will allow new creative ideas to come to life and give this timeless franchise the justice it deserves.




Should parents use


Life360 to track their kids?




ith Atlanta being one of the sex trafficking capitals of the world, safety is a huge concern and a primary reason for parents to track their children. In today's dangerous world, it is crucial that someone knows where you are, whether it be friends or parents. Recently, a seventeen-year-old girl was driving when her car rolled three times down a woody embankment, hidden from people passing by. She was pinned under her car for seven hours with her phone out of reach. Thankfully she had her location shared with her parents and friends, and they were able to track her and save her life. Similarly, tracking apps can prevent kidnapping, rape or even murder; parents can use Life360 to help save teens lives. For example, a young woman who was kidnapped and gagged against her will was able to contact her mom who then used the tracking app to find and

save her. The current perils of kidnapping and rape pose a serious threat for teens, so it is crucial for someone to have access to your location at all times. Also, apps like Life 360 have crash detection technology and can alert families and roadside assistance for drivers in accidents. It is not just parents that use tracking apps, friends also use them to form Life360 ‘circles’ or share locations through ‘Find My Friends.’ You can obtain directions to your friends, help with carpooling and build relationships. Tracking apps are tremendously helpful for finding your lost iPhone, and can even make a noise even if your phone is shut off. For phones that cost over a thousand dollars, it seems obviously necessary to track it in some fashion. Continuously, there is the issue of theft. Cars get stolen with phones inside and can be easily tracked by a loved one. That's thousands of dollars protected by sharing

location with parents. Nevertheless, many parents like to text their kids if they are ‘on the way’ but with shared locations, the parent could know that information without the danger of texting while driving, which kills thousands of teens each year. Essentially, sharing locations between parents and teens saves lives — and money. Teens argue that it hinders their ‘freedom,’ but just because their location is shared does not mean that they cannot do anything. What is the worst that can happen if parents know their child's battery? There's no video camera watching teens every move. It’s like a lifeline for teens and their phones. Parents are not watching exactly what they are doing on their phones, or even who they are with. But at least they know their baby is safe and sound, not kidnapped in some pedophiles basement, hours away.

move may induce punishment. However, when given leeway to go about their day without worrying about being tracked, teenagers are more willing to share their intentions with their parents. “WIRED” interviewed several teens with Life360 who explained their desire to rebel was strictly a result of the harsh rules set in place for them. The application clearly fosters an unhealthy and often “sneaky” relationship between parents and kids, but the practicality is not the only issue. The application also introduces a moral dilemma. Is closely monitoring a high school student’s life acceptable? Many of the people tracked on Life360 are over the age of sixteen. They can drive. They are two years away from being eligible to vote. They are getting ready to move out, attend college and start a life of their own. Should these mature, almost-adults relinquish their freedom to an app? No. Teenagers in today’s generation are already un-

der enough stress with college applications, school classes, extracurriculars and social media. Their personal life should remain just that: personal. Life360’s extensive features are far too invasive. If teenagers need to stop and get gas on the way home, they should feel comfortable doing so and explaining their late arrival to their parents after the fact. They should not worry about the notice sent to their entire family, notifying their “circle” that they took an unusual detour and are running late. The incessant need to track a child’s every move is validated through Life360. Parents claim that Life360 is crucial for safety, but their argument is invalid. Location tracking apps or even location sharing through Apple is more than sufficient. Users of Life360 must step back and evaluate the situation they are creating; would you want someone else to have access to every move you make? Until recently, the only people monitored this way were those who were incarcerated.


DANI BLANK, editor-in-chief


lthough location sharing can be beneficial for easing parental concerns about teenagers’ safety, Life360 is not a viable solution to the problem. The application allows parents to track location, current battery percentage, the speed at which their teenagers are driving and more. Users can even pay for a premium version with extra features including phone protection and “expanded circles.” The company claims to bring families closer together and ensure security, but the invasive app does the exact opposite; it causes unnecessary stress and eliminates independence. High school students are inherently supposed to make mistakes. It’s how they grow. But when parents watch and control their kids’ every move like hawks, they take away their kids’ ability to practice independence. Studies show that when parents have direct access to their child’s life, the child is more likely to rebel because they fear any wrong




t’s always a hassle trying to find the right pie to serve at a holiday event. Therefore, I relieved the stress of finding the perfect pie to offer to guests. 5. PUMPKIN: Here’s a good riddle: What’s a food that is as hard as cement and has absolutely no flavor? Wow, Exactly! Pumpkin pie! Pumpkin pie is by far one of the worst pies known to mankind. Aesthetics are typically the deciding factor when choosing to take a bite of food, and it is safe to say pumpkin pie lacks in that category. It looked like Gerber Baby Food sitting on a piece of crust. Though it’s hard to say whether the appearance matched its taste, the pie was completely inedible and firm. I felt sympathy for the pumpkin pie, after all, it is a classic Thanksgiving dessert. I continued to eat it hoping that I would eventually have some inexplicable flavor hit my tongue. Unfortunately, it proved to be consistently disgusting and displeasing. 4. BLUEBERRY: I finally understand why blueberry pie is not special enough to be considered a holiday flavor. The appearance of the slice of pie reminded me of the frozen yogurt juice poppers scattered in a clumpy filling. Biting into the pie was like eating out of a jelly jar which triggered an utterly repulsive reaction from my taste buds, leaving them irritated and begging for water. Once I was done with my slice, I looked into the mirror horrified by the multiple blueberry shells stuck between my teeth. It took an unfathomable amount of flossing to finally remove the blue specks covering my mouth. 3. CHERRY: Cherry pie is like a middle child, typically going unnoticed. Although the cherries were the size of a ping pong ball, the filling as a whole was full of flavor and complimented the crust perfectly. Unlike the blueberry pie, the sauce wasn’t the star of the show and allowed the

cherries to be the dominating factor in the pie. The cherry pie is definitely a tasty treat, however, it lacked a specific “wow factor” that I was looking for. 2. APPLE: Apple pie was a pie that actually surprised me. Before taking the first bite, my gag reflexes had immediately kicked in due to my disgust for the chunky pieces of apple. I thought it would taste like applesauce on crust, to my astonishment, the pie tasted exquisite. The flavors of apple and cinnamon blended perfectly to create a delicious flavor. As much as I would love to criticize this pie due to my hatred of apples, I actually found it more than tolerable. It had a sweet flavoring which paired well with the crisp apple slices, creating an unstoppable duo. Due to the mouthwatering flavors, the pie goes great with any occasion. 1. KEY LIME: As for the top spot on the pie list, I’d have to give that honor to key lime pie. Unlike all the other basic pies with the crust and the fruit filling, key lime pie consisted of creamy texture with multiple layers of flavor. The taste was indescribable with hints of both sweet and tart found within the slice. Since the texture was creamy, the pie did not sit heavily in my stomach, instead, it left me energized after finishing the slice.



V alentine’s Day GRACIE KWON, staff writer


ebruary 14th widely brings joy, love and even stress. As an annual romantic holiday, Valentine’s Day is traditionally celebrated between couples with the typical exchange of gifts: including flowers, chocolates, cards, stuffed animals and even jewelry. When this holiday approaches, people tend to struggle to find the “perfect” present for their significant other that includes sentimental value in addition to the wow-factor. The yearly pressure for partners to come up with a gift that is not too cliché adds on to the stressful search. However, this struggle seems amplified among high school couples as they try to find a gift within their limited price range. In addition to a majority of students not having a source of income, Valentine’s Day products also tend to be overpriced but not worth the cost. Something cute and valuable yet sentimentally significant proves to be difficult to find for Valentine’s Day gift-givers. Combined with the busy day-to-day life of a high school student, it is a struggle for teens to find the perfect gift for their partner . In addition to that, competing over whose present is better poses another problem to Valentine’s Day participants. Competition between different couples and agitation amongst partners distorts the meaning behind the gift and the entire holiday itself. Rather than giving gifts out of love and affection, these exchanges become all about proving one’s self. Valentine’s Day or even dating, in general, is now more influenced by social media and less by genuine interest and affection. Whether it is a small gesture that is made or just a cute picture together, teens tend to show off their marvelous relationship. Although there

is nothing wrong with showing off, excessive access to a couple’s relationship is not only tiring to see but also unhealthy for the couple themselves. Especially around Valentine’s Day, societal pressures and expectations for teens to be in a relationship significantly heightens. As couples exchange cute gifts and signs of their love and care, people who are not taken may feel jealous or even lonely. Whether it is through social media or in person, individuals may feel pressured into participating in the holiday or dating in general. Posting on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Tik Tok further magnifies expectations and standards based on its easier accessibility. While relationships may gift emotional support, dating in high school requires a lot of time and effort. On top of schoolwork, sports, clubs or even part-time jobs, making a commitment to another person may further take away time from students busy schedules. Although dating in high school is viewed as a positive experience, for seniors, long-term relationships may affect college decisions. Even for those who choose a long-distance relationship, the extended detachment easily becomes an obstacle as they continue their lives separately yet loosely connected. The meaning of Valentine’s Day and dating has significantly changed and become increasingly more complicated. Especially for students, putting in time and effort into a relationship or a romantic holiday may not be a wise decision as it is expensive, competitive and more for show. However, for those who choose to commit, high school romance is great for experience and companionship.


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masthead PUBLICATION The Chariot is a student-run publication for and distributed to the Johns Creek community. The statements and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the entire staff or those of Johns Creek High School, its students, faculty, staff, or administration. Content is edited and controlled by staff editors, in collaboration with the staff adviser and the administration. The staff will publish only legally protected speech, adhering to the legal definitions of libel, obscenity, and the invasion of privacy. ADVERTISING The Chariot publishes ads with signed contracts provided that they are deemed appropriate by the staff for the intended audience. For more information about advertising with The Chariot, please contact the staff e-mail. CONTACT US jchschariotmagazine@gmail.com 5575 State Bridge Road Johns Creek, GA 30022


Annabelle Buchanan Ben Gonzalez Claire Federico Coln Raad Emma Buoni Gracie Kwon Hannah Rose Frazer Harrison Blank Justin Vexler Kolin Brandeis

PHOTO EDITORS Adam Klafter Dani Blank Deborah Yoon Emily Miller BUSINESS MANAGER Drew Peljovich

DESIGNERS Adam Klafter Brooke Halak Dani Blank Emily Miller Maren Stephens Sam Beagle Ethan Mingoia


ADVISER Gillian Alred

COVER DESIGN Brooke Halak Jeffery Shen EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Dani Blank Brooke Halak Maren Stephens MANAGING EDITOR Sam Beagle COPY EDITOR Ethan Mingoia DESIGN EDITOR Emily Miller


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