Portrait of an Immigrant Issue explored through various journeys pages 9-12
theHAWK Hendrickson High School 19201 Colorado Sand Drive Pf lugerville, Texas 78660
Volume 12, Issue 4 December 14, 2018
INSIDE: Near-death experiences... page 13, Foreign films... page 16
News Volume 12, Issue 4
state of the
UNION The Facts
Megan Fletcher | Co-Editor Maya Lewis | Reporter
College-credit courses compared Your Turn
Ikram Mohamed | Reporter
Advanced Placement (AP) PfISD offers a wide variety of Advanced Placement courses for all grade levels during the school year. Each AP course is weighed on a 6.0 scale on students’ GPAs, giving them the advantage in class rank, making them more likely to be automatically accepted as top 10 percent into public in-state univesities. Colleges accept the credit as long as the exam score was passing. AP credits are accepted at all colleges in the United States, but all Texas colleges are required by the state of Texas to accept scores of at least 3, while out of state schools can accept minimum scores of 4 or 5. AP courses are free to take in high school, however, each final exam costs $80. Students who receive free or reduced lunch only have to pay $15 dollars per test. Those taking more than one AP exam can apply for an AP scholarship to help pay for the exams. To reward these students, the program offers multiple AP Scholar Awards to students who have scored 3 or above on at least three AP exams. Students receiving the award will have it recognized on their score reports, to be shown to colleges, as well as getting to attend the AP Scholar Appreciation Breakfast each spring.
Dual credit: ACC & Chembridge PfIugerville ISD offers a vast number of dual credit opportunities in addition to Advanced Placement. These courses, provided by local colleges, cost nothing and do not require additional testing other than the course final. They allow students to have a college transcript before graduating high school, and can use many of the university’s resources, although the courses are typically online. Through the University of Texas at Austin, the OnRamps program provides dual credit opportunities for those considering going to college outside of Texas, although those who plan to attend college in Texas are welcome to enroll. Because a public university provides the class, the credit is more transferable to out-of-state schools than Austin Community College credit. UT Austin provides access to OnRamps English and ChemBridge, a chemistry course designed for non-science majors. UT provides the college credit for free, assuming the student passes the course. ChemBridge is pass/fail on high school transcripts and therefore is excluded from GPAs, but OnRamps is weighted on a 4.0 scale, following a petition from students last year. As a bonus of enrolling in the university’s dual credit courses, UT Outreach automatically enrolls all OnRamps and ChemBridge students in their program, providing access to free SAT and ACT prep, in addition to campus visits and volunteer opportunities. Austin Community College offers dual credit courses to high school students, both during and outside of school. However, the credits are not always easily transferable and if they were to be accepted, they can only be transferred to universities in Texas. Hendrickson offers multiple ACC classes, though they need to be taken together. If a student decides to take ACC English III, they would have to take ACC US History as well. Along with this, ACC classes are not incorporated into students’ GPA, which could result in a student receiving a lower ranking than compared to students taking AP classes. Students who take an ACC course also have the ability to take Fridays off, as they would also be able to if they were to take it over the summer. Though, with the course being taken during school they are able to receive the credit for free rather than having to pay $150 for the course over the summer. A typical summer course at ACC ranges from six to 12 weeks, rather than the entire school year.
“I’m in AP Calculus, AP Government, AP English IV, and AP Physics II. You get the GPA boost and college credit, so it’s a good opportunity. I like the higher level thinking. These classes encourage you to have a curious mind and make you think beyond formed questions. You’re surrounded by other students like you as far as challenging yourselves. You may hear that AP classes are hard, but you won’t know if they’re hard for you unless you try them. “ - Jaden Custard, 12
“I’m in AP Physics II, AP Calculus BC, AP Physics C, and AP English. AP classes get easier as you take more of them because you get used to studying for an AP class rather than studying in general. Most of the AP teachers are pretty funny, so you learn how to have fun while you learn instead of just learning to learn. Take AP classes because if you hate it you can always drop, but you can’t catch up if you want to join later in the year.” - Madeline Lloyd, 12
“I am currently taking English through UT’s OnRamps course. It’ll show me how much hard work college requires so I can prepare myself for the future. I highly recommend taking advanced classes because they will definitely push you to work even harder so you can be successful for the future. It will give you a glimpse on how life is out of high school. Nothing gets handed to you, you have to work for what grade you want.” - Kelly Daoud, 11
“I’m in ACC English and History. I chose to be in ACC because I’ll be ahead of the game when I enter college, so you’d start as a sophomore rather than a freshman in college. It teaches us how the structure of college is and how they grade things. For example, you don’t do restests or corrections. You take the test and that’s it. The students I’m with now in ACC English I have in other ACC classes so we’re learning new things at the same time. It’s like our own little special group that you get to make new friends in because we’re all learning together. It may not seem like it at first because you’re doing all this work, but it pays off in the end.” - Tarik Bekka, 11
News December 14,, 2018
Which College Credit Course is Right for You? Megan Fletcher | Co-Editor Maya Lewis | Reporter
Ikram Mohamed | Reporter
In PfIugerville, the variety of college credit opportunities can confuse incoming students. Between AP, OnRamps, and ACC, there’s a lot to consider, like GPA, cost, and ease. Below is a tell-all comparison of the courses.
Do you care about a 6.0 GPA class to boost class rank? Yes, I want to be in the top 10 percent so I can get into public Texas colleges automatically
No, I want to go to college out-of-state or a private in-state school that doesn’t have the 10 percent rule
Do you mind having a heavy homework load?
Yes, I’m busy with other things right now and homework is the last thing I want to worry about
through the University of Texas At Tyler
No, I love learning and can make time for extended projects and assignments
through the College Board
No, I don’t mind not being in the top 10 percent and I’d like to have Fridays off for one or two classes
through the University of Texas At Austin
through Austin Community College *PLTW (Project Lead the Way) is a fouryear engineering education program through the University of Texas at Tyler. It does not provide college credit, although it is weighted on a 6.0 GPA scale. Many students in the program report it is challenging, but relatively light on homework, and students who complete four years can wear a stole at graduation.
News Volume 12, Issue 4
AVID teacher leaves legacy for program AVID teacher Koby Todd lost her hard fought battle with cancer on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2018. Todd requested that in lieu of fIowers, donations be made to the “Koby Todd Dream and Go Scholarship” at Wells Fargo. This scholarship will be awarded to a senior graduating AVID student to help provide funding for college.
The Locker collects donations for holidays Angelyna Rosales | Reporter In order to raise money and donations for kids in need, The Locker organization hosted several events over the past few weeks. The organization co-hosted the annual Reindeer Run on Dec. 9 with Georgetown High Schools Locker organization. The Reindeer Run is a 5K with different obstacle stations to run through. Organization members recieved best obstacle station overall.
“We were running so kids can have shoes over the cold break,” Locker president Aysha Ogden said. The Locker also hosted a dodgeball tournament last night. The tournament was used to raise money to buy donations for the locker. “Everything we collect including money, goes to kids who are not provided for or just need some help,” Ogden said. “All the donations go on a shelf and kids can come in whenever to grab anything they may need.”
2018 Mid-Term Schedule Time
Tuesday, Dec 18 (A)
Wednesday, Dec 19 (B)
10:40-12:55 A- Lunch 10:40-11:20
Thursday Dec 20 (A)
9:00-11:15 Adopt-AChild (1A)
Friday, Dec 21 (B) 7B Exam
A- Lunch 2A Class 11:20-12:00
A- Lunch 8B Exam 11:10-11:50
(Left to right) Freshman Bailee Green Halgh, senior Kimmy Ehler, junior Madison Kusano, senior Aysha Odgen, Naia Fulton, from the Locker organization pose with the obstacles used from the Reindeer Run. The organization helped raise pairs of shoes to give to kids Photo provided by Aysha Ogden during winter break.
*Monday, Dec. 17 is a regular B-day.
Theater department performs Hairspray revival Addison Hildebrandt | Reporter
For the second time since the school opened, the theatre department will produce the musical hairspray on January
17,18, and 19. Former cast members are now staff members. English teacher Mackenzie
Nora Groenvold | Photographer Musical theater students junior Francene Bayola, and seniors Lorena Fraga, Lauren Bishop and Kira Conally rehearse their jazz piece during class.
Guthrie graduated from Hendrickson in 2012 and played the lead in Hairspray her senior year “It was truly an amazing experience,” Guthrie said. “I had never been a lead in the musical and I was so very excited that this was the musical I got to be the lead part of because it was the lead in on of itself, but because the role of Tracy was a blast to play,” Guthrie has lots of experience on stage, being in all of her high school’s musicals. They have done “Fiddler on the Roof” her sophomore year, “Into the Woods” her junior year and “Hairspray” her senior year. “I love that they are doing Hairspray again. It gives me a chance to see how a different person portrays not only the role of Tracy, but all of the other roles as well.” Guthrie said. Theater teacher Courtney West, was also in Hairspray her sophomore year of high school as was her brother. “Hairspray was my first musical at Hendrickson, so everything was new and scary.West said
My brother was Seaweed and that gave me comfort, knowing some in the cast had my back at all times,” Now, as a theater teacher, she gets to see how the students portray the roles. “I screamed with joy when I found out that Hairspray was our musical this year because this first theatre experience made me the actress I am today,” West said. “It’s bittersweet because I get flashbacks of learning choreography and making the friends I still have today. Hairspray was the musical that made me feel a part of this department, which is why being a first year theatre teacher, I’m counting on Hairspray to do that again.” Abigail Terry is this year’s lead of Hairspray, which makes Abigail the third generation of Hairspray at Hendrickson. “There is a lot that goes into being the lead, you have lots of lines but I am always with my friends and we get to do what we love,” junior Abigail Terry, said. “Last year I was in Heathers and I was Martha, which I thought that was going to be the biggest role I would have gotten.”
Awards & Accolades
December 14, 2018
Debate Takes Overall Sweepstakes Maria Torres | Reporter On Nov. 3, the debate team took second place overall sweepstakes at the James Bowie/St. Michaels Swing and SFA Qualifying tournaments. Many students who competed received awards and placements for various topics. “I feel very happy about them,” senior Laruen Thompson said. “I worked very hard to do what I do and I felt ecstatic to be able to final in many events.” After competing both tournaments,
Thompson and other students who qualified in finals, are prepared for upcoming competitions throughout the season. “I hope to continue with what I do in the future,” Thompson said. In addition, Senior Rene Otero qualified for the 6A UIL State in Congressional Debate which will be his third trip to UIL State, with a prior UIL State Championship in Informative Speaking in 2017.
Journalism students place in first UIL meet Students from the Hawk newspaper competed in the statewide Cen-Tex UIL Invitational. The following students placed: Copy Editing Megan Fletcher, 3rd place Editorial Writing Megan Fletcher, 1st place Kaitlin Mackey, 6th place Bryan Ross, 10th place Feature Writing Megan Fletcher, 2nd place Bryan Ross, 5th place
McKenna Lucas, 10th place Headline Writing Megan Fletcher, 2nd place McKenna Lucas, 6th place News Writing Kaitlin Mackey, 7th place Megan Fletcher, 9th place McKenna Lucas, 10th place
Members of the UIL team compete virtually In a virtual meet, students competed in various categories with at least 50 other schools and 300 other students competing in each category. The following students placed: Accounting – Coach Sandra Wiles 3rd Place 6A Team – Jonathan Garcia, Tarron Adams, Favour Ajie 15th Place 6A – Jonathan Garcia 19th Place 6A – Tarron Adams 22nd Place 6A – Favour Ajie 25th Place 6A – Hunter Damstrom Current Events – Coaches Aly Mithani & Kirsten Nash 7th Place Overall Team (all divisions) – Faith D’Alfonso, Matt Raggio, Landon Self 3rd Place 6A Team – Faith D’Alfonso, Matt Raggio, Landon Self Faith D’Alfonso – 5th Place 6A, 1st Place 10th Grader, 13th Place Overall (All Divisions) Matt Raggio - 13th Place 6A, 4th Place 10th Grader, 31st Place Overall (All Divisions)
Landon Self – 25th Place 6A, 3rd Place 9th Grader Science – Coach Tim Bayliss Caiden Golder - 26th Place 6A Biology, 23rd Place 12th Grade Biology Allison Thompson – 23rd Place 10th Grade Physics Social Studies – Coach Jeffrey Martindale 3rd Place 6A Team – Lily Croix-Blust, Sebastian Carzola, Bryce Hann Lily Croix-Blust – 10th Place 6A, 11th Place 11th Grade Overall Sebastian Carzola – 15th Place 6A, 19th Place 10th Grade Overall Bryce Hann – 15th Place 6A McKenna Lucas – 17th Place 6A Ian Falkenbury – 21st Place 6A
Sophomore earns recognition in contest Ian Falkenbury received an Hhonorable Mention in the Photo Portfolio at National Scholastic Press Association Conference. This ranks Falkenbury in the top 10 of high school photographers in the nation.
Ana Medina earns the Impact scholarship to help cover her tuition at the University of Texas. She intends to use her scholarship to study to become an elementary school bilingual educator.
Senior earns scholarship to UT
Carolina Yanez | Asst. Editor
Ana Medina, a future first-generation student, was surprised in the CCC from representatives of University of Texas’ Office of Admissions with her acceptance letter and a scholarship totaling in $48,000 for four years – half tuition – at the university. “I was about to go home when Mrs. Jackson called me and told me to go to student services,” Medina said. “She started talking to me about school and how I was doing. She then took me to the CCC where my parents, Mr. Garcia, people from UT and a couple other people were waiting for me.” The Impact scholarship is a part of the Texas Advance Commitment which aims to make an education at UT affordable to low and middle income students. Medina was chosen for the scholarship based on her grades, involvement and dedication to school clubs, financial need, and community service. “I was seen by the school as a student who has made an impact on our community and has the potential to continue making an impact after graduation,” Medina said. “I always saw myself winning a big scholarship, but I didn’t really think it would come true.” About 30 students across Texas earn the prestigious scholarship each year. Medina’s parents and teachers found out before she did. However, her parents were unaware of how big the scholarship was. “My parents were expecting it to be like $2,000 or $5,000 at the most,” Medina said. “When they saw how much money it was, they were so taken aback. My dad thought I was so lucky that he bought a
lottery ticket and had me scratch it. My tia [aunt] even grabbed the cardboard check and started rubbing it for good luck.” The scholarship was unexpected for Medina and her family. “I actually thought I had done something wrong for Mrs. Jackson to call during my off period,” Medina said. “When I saw my parents I realized what was happening and I tried to look calm and collected. As soon as I saw how much money it was, I started crying. I hugged my mom and took some pictures with tearful eyes. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Afterwards, they took me to show my aunt and her family and we all went to eat. They started talking about how hardworking and lucky I was.” Medina submitted her application to UT in October to study to become an elementary school bilingual educator, but she has been planning her college career since she was a freshman. “I looked at the degree plans for my major and saw what classes I could knock out in high school through AP test or ACC Dual Credit classes,” Medina said. “Taking advantage of those classes has helped me with some of the core curriculum, so that hopefully I can get started on my major focused classes sooner.” Since she will be the first of her family to attend college, she feels accomplished she says. “My dad didn’t get to high school and my mom got married,” Medina said. “I feel more committed because of the scholarship. I need to make the money and my efforts worth it.”
Opinion Volume 12, Issue 4
United States, Mexico must act faster on migrant caravan Since October, a slowly gaining group made its way from Central America to Tijuana, Mexico to apply for asylum in the United States. Met with equal support and backlash, the caravan trekked through barricades in southern Mexico and walked and hitchhiked their way to the southern border. Now? They’re stuck. Some 5,000 migrants wait at the border in Tijuana to enter the U.S. asylum office in California. But with the office only taking 60-100 people a day for interviews and paperwork, it won’t be until mid-January—at the earliest—that the office finishes preliminary interviews for the entire caravan, and this estimate doesn’t include the hundreds more on their way. Meanwhile, the Tijuana baseball diamond tent city is running out of supplies, and the city’s mayor said the city’s taxpayers would not pay for their care, according to the Washington Post. This situation inevitably leads to illegal migration. According to Reuters, some two dozen migrants, tired of waiting, attempted to enter the United States illegally on Dec. 3, hoping to apply for asylum while on the northern side of the border. It’s true that undocumented immigrants can apply for asylum while living in the US, but they must undergo the defensive asylum process, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This entails a “court-like hearing” and a lengthier application process. Additionally, 80 percent of Central American asylum seekers, like the Hondurans who make up a majority of the caravan, pass the initial “credible fear” interview and are allowed to live in the U.S. However, less than
Adviser: Kari Riemer Principal: Daniel Garcia www.facebook.com/HawkNewspaper
What’s your opinion on the migrant caravan?
10 percent are granted asylum in these cases, but the backlog—about 750,000 cases, according to the Washington Post—allows those waiting for a judge to hear them to live and work in the U.S. for years, sometimes long enough to apply for naturalization. Only about eight percent are actually granted asylum, or 400 out of the 5,000 in the caravan, and those denied would remain in U.S. custody until they are deported to their home country directly. This is problematic for both the United States and Mexico. For the U.S., President Donald Trump has repeatedly said the migrants in the caravan must stay in Mexico. Mexican presidentelect Andres M a n u e l Lopez Obrador has had to send nine busloads of police officers to the caravan site in Tijuana and set up the tent city as a result of Trump’s o r d e r . Neither country wants to deal with the migrants, but there they remain, and they won’t just disappear. With a lack of resources, the caravan Vy Bui |Cartoonist is a human rights crisis. Neither the U.S. nor Mexico should stand by any longer and wait for these people to rot away, although it may seem like the easy way out. While the two nations convene, both the United States and Mexico cannot afford to wait any longer. The caravan is a time sensitive issue, and if they don’t act fast, the baseball field could turn into a grave. The solution could be as simple as bussing the migrants to other asylum offices along the border, or it could be as complex as temporarily revamping the asylum system. But whatever the agreement, the time is now.
The Hawk, the official student newspaper of Hendrickson High School, is an open forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions.
Hendrickson High School 19201 Colorado Sand Drive Pf lugerville, TX 78660 http://www.pfisd.net/HHS (512) 594-1100 Student Population: 2450 Staff: 230
Opinions expressed reflect the beliefs of the student author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the entire Hawk Staff, the Hawk Adviser, the Hendrickson Faculty and Staff, or the Principal. Letters to the editor are welcomed, and may be dropped off in E211. Corrections will be printed when brought to the attention of the staff.
The Hawk is printed monthly at Community Impact in Pflugerville, Texas. 1,000 copies are printed each run, and are distributed to the student body for free through an advisory period and on newsstands throughout the building.
Editorial Staff Co-Editors: Megan Fletcher & McKenna Lucas Assistant Editors: Brisa Espinoza, Abigail Hill, Kaitlin Mackey, McKenzie Quiroz, Anna Schulze, Carolina Yanez.
Seth Deaton Anabella Galan Taylor Hedlund Addison Hildebrandt Maya Lewis
Ikram Mohamed Angelyna Rosales Bryan Ross Camryn Sadlier Lauren Saenz
Maria Torres Zachary Valdez Kyla White
“The way they’re handling it is entirely too aggressive. It’s very difficult to legally migrate into the country with all the restrictions they’re putting on it, and illegal migration is actually at an all time low [since 2004]. So they’re basically just hurting people for trying to find a safe place to live.” Ezra Cazes, 10
“I say let them in. Their homes are dangerous and there are a lot of gangs where they live and it’s just not fair for them to live in such pain.” Daniella Vargas, 9
“I don’t think that we should be sending the Marines there, but we are overpopulated as it is. I think what we need to do is at the very least give them some help if we don’t let them into the country, not just send the Marines at them to shoot them if they throw a rock at them.” John Fortanely, 10
“I feel like the federal government should work to help as many people as fast as possible with the resources they have.” Elijah Williams, 11
Associations Interscholastic Press League Texas Association of Journalism Educators Journalism Educators Association National Scholastic Press Association Columbia Scholastic Press League
Portrait of an Immigrant
Iss u e e x p l o re d t h ro u g h va ri o u s j o u rn e y s p a g e s 9 12
Honors ILPC Bronze Star, 2014 & 2015, 2017 Columbia Scholastic Press League, Gold Medalist 2016, 2017 Silver Crown, 2017, 2018 Pacemaker Finalist, 2018
t h e HAWK H e n d ri c ks o n H i g h Sc h o o l Volume 12, Issue 4 19 2 0 1 C o l o ra d o Sa n d D ri ve December 14, 2018 P fl u g e rv i l l e , Te x a s 7 8 6 6 0
INSIDE: N e a rd e a t h e x p e ri e n c e s . . . p a g e 13 , F o re i g n fi l m s . . . p a g e 16
Design by McKenna Lucas
Hit or Miss New tardy policy increases available class time For the past few years the tardy policy remained the same: you get a tardy slip from student services and attend tutorials for one hour in order to fully resolve your tardy. However, recently if you’re late to class you don’t need to grab a slip, your teacher will simply mark you tardy. Students are still required to show up to tutorials, but the new policy states that they only have five days to attend or they may require detention or be forced to attend Saturday school, therefore pushing students to make up their tardies as soon as possible. The policy makes it easier for teachers to log how many tardies each student has, and saves class time because students don›t have to get a slip from student services. The new tardy policy is a hit.
Upgrading teachers’ computers causes irritation Recently, teachers have replaced their computers with nicer, lightweight computers from the district. While it is great to receive new computers with additional and possibly better features, the computer they received only has one USB port available compared to the old computers they had, which had more than one USB port. Having only one USB port makes it difficult for teachers to do multiple tasks at once due to the fact they aren’t able to plug in more than one type of USB which could be used for a hard drive, phone charger, and other cords. Multiple teachers have complained in class due to how much of a pain it could be. Therefore, the “upgraded” computers are a miss, due to the insufficient amount USB ports.
New hall pass system brings consistency, clarity This past month, administrators introduced a new hall pass system. Rather than having teachers come up with their own passes or not having passes at all, the administration issued specific clip-on passes that students would have to wear in the hallways. This system provides clarity to hall monitors on what is expected to be worn in the halls while making it more difficult to simply skip class, improving class attendance. The new hall pass system is a hit.
No lunch in library results in limited places to eat Due to the high population at the two lunches we have, there’s a limited amount of seats available in the cafeteria. Originally, this would leave students who aren’t able to have a seat, the choice to eat in the library, the POD, or outside the cafeteria (which also has limited seating available). However, as a result of students leaving trash and food residue in the library during lunch, the library has been closed off for students to eat. This leads to a decrease in places for students to eat lunch. Where are kids supposed to go? While it is a semi-reasonable consequence because students don’t respect the library when they leave a mess, this leaves students who actually pick up after themselves to find another place to eat, leaving this situation a miss.
Opinion December 14, 2018
Mi Casa es Su Casa Editor responds to privilege, immigrant stereotypes
Carolina Yanez | Asst. Editor Throughout my life, I always hated how light and pale my skin was for someone who was Mexican. Anytime I would tell people I’m Mexican, they’d stand there and say “You look white,” or “There’s no way you’re Mexican.” I never realized the extent of how far my “white passing privilege” extended; I just always loathed not looking like I come from the heritage of which I was more than proud to call mine. There has always been bids against immigrants, even dating back to the early 20th century, but it’s different now that it’s attached to the color of one’s skin. Viral videos of white people shouting at someone for speaking a different language now surfaces on social media. Even those who are citizens can sometimes be questioned their citizenship, just because of their color. My white-passing privilege made me realize I won’t ever experience this everyday racism other people of color do. No one will ever consider me dangerous, no one will ever question my citizenship status, no one will ever say to me those ugly words ‘Go back to your country,’ all because of my complexion. Although I know these racist remarks indirectly affect me, I now have faced the harsh truth that being privileged enough to look white is far better than looking straight in the eyes of racism, that the color of my skin won’t alter the opportunities given to me, that being light kept me safer than being dark. Stereotypes of immigrants being lazy fIood the media, but my idea of immigrants is the exact opposite. My family, made up of Mexican immigrants, showed me hard work and dedication. My great-grandfather came to Texas to work on a ranch. My grandparents, both immigrants, opened up and own a Harley Davidson shop in Texas. My parents, from the border, became first-generation college students and attended the University of Texas. My dad would tell me how much my mom would be studying and going to the library when they were in college. Her hard work allowed her to receive her Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master’s in Professional Accounting from the McCombs School of Business at UT in five years. She also became a Certified Public Accountant after taking a two-day state test necessary for the license. How does that sound lazy? What people fail to realize is immigrants wouldn’t come to the United States if their life at home was better. Some continuously criticize immigrants, unaware of the obstacles they have tried to escape.
This era feeds propaganda like Mexicans are “rapists” and “criminals,” but don’t believe they immigrated to escape it all. Meanwhile, the same people who discriminate against Mexicans in America, choose to travel to Mexico for a vacation. Strict, conservative, Evangelical congressmen, their supporters and those who believe the same stereotypical ideas of immigrants fail to realize they go against what’s written in their holy book. In the Bible, a verse from the book of Leviticus reads “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.” Now I also happen to come from a religious, Catholic background, however it irritates me whenever people like to pick and choose which parts of the Bible to follow, especially when it comes to the lives of other people. My religion has taught me to love and accept others, and to not discriminate against them. I believe other true followers of Christianity would attempt to do the same, to help those in need, to have open arms for those sacrificing their lives to enter a land completely foreign to them. That’s the whole point in being a Christian, to have the ability to welcome others. Many Americans refuse to admit the hypocrisy in calling immigrants dangerous criminals, blinded to the drug wars and massacres occurring in our own backyard. Not one country is perfect, but if someone believes they have a chance for a better, safer life here, who are we as Americans to call our land “the land of opportunity,” yet deny that opportunity? President Trump’s informal proposal to end birthright citizenship promised in the Fourteenth Amendment angers me. Hardworking immigrants who leave behind their lives to better their kids deserve to be protected since it’s guaranteed in the Constitution. There’s a myriad of reasons immigrants come to the U.S.: to fIee the harsh things that occur in their country, escaping war or searching for a better chance at life. My grandparents left their home country to provide better for my parents, and even now, my parents moved to PfIugerville to provide for me better. No one packs up their entire life and everything they’ve ever known, leaves their family with hardly any money in their pockets, is willing to cross borders and sail oceans for days to enter a country whose language is completely foreign, if they didn’t think they could have a better life in it.
Feature Volume 12, Issue 4
Santa’s Not So Little Helpers
Adopt-a-Child brings together, fosters relationships in PfISD community Anabella Galan | Reporter The time of year has come, and people all over the world are giving to others and showing their gratitude. PfISD high school students and staff spread these holiday feelings and spirit by participating in the annual Adopt-a-Child event. The idea was brought to the district in 1982 by HHS Student Council Sponsor Hellen Barczi’s parents, Pﬂugerville High School principal Larry Bradley, and Pﬂugerville High School Student Council Sponsor Cynthia Bradley. The event evolved into an annual tradition throughout the district’s four high schools, making this the 36th year of participation. Adopta-Child allows students and staff to throw parties and give gifts to Pﬂugerville ISD elementary school students that may not receive these gifts otherwise. “The best part of Adopt-a-Child for me is to see how quickly the child and the HHS students bond with each other and how for a time, even a brief time, the child feels super special and the HHS students feel the spirit of giving to someone else,” Barczi said. “The looks on everyone’s faces are so happy and [show] the true spirit and meaning of Christmas.” The school counselors of the elementary schools choose which students will be “adopted” based on different factors, such as their family’s financial situation. Permission slips and wish lists are sent to
the children’s parents by their school counselor. On the day of Adopt-a-Child, the children are bussed to the high schools to party with their assigned classes. “It is an opportunity for all of the students at HHS
During last year’s Adopt-a-Child, Juniors Kaitlin Mackey, Ellie Councilman, and Karina Villanueva eagerly gather around to see their adopted child open gifts from the tech theater class. “It was cool to see the kids happy because they may not have had the same opportunity at home,” Councilman said. “I’m excited to see how the kid reacts to our gifts [this year].” 84 classes have decided to bring joy to elementary students this season.
Former Adopt a Child RefIects on Experience
to make a difference for someone in need in the PfISD community,” Barczi said. “Hopefully, if just for a little while, they can make [the child’s life] better and have teenagers think about someone else for a while. Also, to bring the spirit of giving, community and love to HHS.” This year, Adopt-a-Child is being held on Dec. 20 during first period. Each class that chooses to participate is assigned a child along with a given “wishlist”. The students of each participating class then pitch in money for their child’s gifts and wrap them so the child can open them during the party. Classes are asked to raise between $100.00 to $150.00 through student donations. Students decorate their classrooms, bring food, play music and movies, and have a fun Christmas party with their child. “This has been a huge success at HHS,” said Barczi. “We have helped hundreds of children in the Pﬂugerville ISD community have a Christmas that they most likely wouldn’t have and it shows the students of HHS that there are people that are less fortunate than they are, and hopefully instill a spirit of giving and volunteering in them for their future lives.”
Lauren Saenz | Reporter Junior Dyderick Darden was 10 when he learned to appreciate Christmas for its true meaning: giving back. “The Adopt-a-Child program taught me how to give back to people because I didn’t really have anything when I first moved here,” Darden said. “My mother didn’t have a job when we moved here because she knew we couldn’t be home by ourselves, so she was barely making any money.” Darden recalled how helpful the program was to his single mother and three siblings and the way it changed the meaning of the holiday. “It changed everything, not just about Christmas, but in my life and how I actually look at things,” Darden said. “It touched me and made me want to give back all I can, and just show appreciation to what I received. It showed me that Christmas isn’t
just about presents and eating. After Adopt-a-Child, I told myself I was going to help out these kids when I got older. Just the excitement on the kid’s faces when they see their presents or just looking at them cry warms your heart and makes you feel appreciated.” Although Darden does not know if his teacher plans on being involved in the program this year, he always participates with the football team. “I’m grateful for how classrooms come together and make a list and just plan how were going to make this child’s Christmas,” Darden said. “We know it’s rough for them and we try to make it easier for them and give them as much joy as possible. We let them know we actually care, that we’re happy we got to help them, and that we got to be a part of making their Christmas.”
Portrait of an Immigrant
Feature December 14, 2018
Immigrant learns to embrace Indian roots after challenges Abigail Hill | Asst. Editor From her parents immigrating from India to the US, and the 16-year process of them becoming a citizen, senior Riya Patel* understands first-hand the struggles immigrants face, and the way they’re treated from a young age. “My parents made sure we were never in the country illegally, even if that meant losing money to fIy back to India,” Patel said. “We moved into this really small onebedroom apartment and all slept on the fIoor. We lived there for a year until our work visas ran out and then we had to moved back to India for two years, but then returned to America to get permanent visas.” Once Patel and her family settled down in Austin, Patel was placed in a private school, Brentwood, where she then noticed a difference in how she was treated. “It literally felt like I lived a double life because at school
I felt like I had to act a certain way to match everyone else, compared to when I was at home,” Patel said. “Every aspect of American culture I had to learn on my own, and educate my parents on it, because they just had to go to work, they didn’t hang out with anyone.” When middle school came around, it was the same deal, but worse she said. “Little comments like, ‘You were left in the oven too long,’ or, ‘You look like a twig because you’re skinny and brown,’” Patel said. “I could feel it, too. Certain moms would treat me differently than other friends, and my mom was always worried about sending me to sleepovers because of that. She was afraid something would happen to me because I wasn’t white.” Because of the comments made by peers, Patel kept her
Indian culture to herself, rather than expressing who she really was. “I felt like I wasn’t the standard of beauty, because all my friend looked a certain way and I didn’t,” Patel said. “Because of this I lost a lot of self-confidence when I should have been gaining it at that age.” Now, finally in high school, Patel says she feels accepted and is finally beginning to “fit in.” With the advancements of social media, and increase in diversity, Patel believes she is able to express herself, and culture fully. “I met people who embraced me for being Indian not just for being Riya,” Patel said. “It made me love my culture again and made me feel okay with loving my culture again.” *Pseudonym
Child of immigrant shares experiences as a first generation American Anna Schulze | Asst. Editor Traveling over 6,000 miles, senior Jennifer Sam’s parents left everything they knew in order to live in America and give their family a shot at a better life. “It’s weird because I see all this stuff about immigration, and it’s not the thing I immediately relate to me because sometimes I forget that it’s a part of me, my parents,” Sam said. “Both my parents are from Nigeria and I take that as such a thing of pride, just knowing where I come from, all the history and culture.” As a first generation American, Sam experienced what it means to be an American. “I feel so blessed because my mom tells me about my cousins in Africa and how if you’re born in America to them you’ve made it,” Sam said. “Sometimes I forget how privileged I am to be living in America and going to a nice school and living in a nice house.” Sam’s father first came to America on a work visa and later brought over her mom. It took both of Sam’s parents nine years to become citizens and complete the
naturalization process. “My parents sacrificed so much and both worked really hard to get to where we are today,” Sam said. “The things that they’ve dealt with while trying to live here and work are ridiculous. At work my mom has been called the “n word”, and people refused to let her take care of them because she’s African. They make fun of her laugh at her and mistreat her because she has an accent. She takes it all because she knows she provided a better life for my family by being here, and I never take that for granted because I know people all over are fighting for that.” As a child of Nigerian immigrants, Sam has been present for much of the debate on the issue and takes it very personally as it applies to her family. “It bafﬂes me that people can be so heartless and try to demonize these people for just wanting a better life for themselves, and have no experience with immigration themselves,” Sam said. “For the majority of immigrants, fighting so hard getting here, they’re not coming to mess
around they’re coming to build a life for their families, to build a life for themselves to have a chance for some sort of success. That’s exactly what my parents did and we were one of the lucky ones who made it.” Sam has often dealt with racism when some others find out where her parents and family are from. “Being African is different than being African-American if that makes sense,” Sam said. “I’ve had people click their tongues at me when they find out. Once my music teacher had me ask my mother to translate the opening of the Lion King, even though that’s a completely different African language. I remember what my parents went through to get here and I will never take that for granted. I think everybody she be afforded this chance, with some regulation of course but not as difficult of regulations as what are in place now. They should be able to have a shot at living this life and the ability to do the best they can to provide for their families like my family was able to.”
Feature Volume 12, Issue 4
Portrait of an Immigrant
Reporter looks back on mother’s naturalization process Kyla White | Reporter I was under whelmed. I couldn’t believe all those nights of studying just led to an old stuffy gym that left a strong metallic smell in my nose after the ceremony. I wanted something better for my mom, something that was worth all she worked for in the past years. Despite the dissatisfaction of the whole thing, what stood out about the ceremony was the people of different races all sitting next to each other, different people from different places, for one reason. I was still ecstatic to be there and witness my mom take the oath I helped her accomplish, no matter how little I contributed regardless of my efforts.
The thin books and pamphlets designed for my mother’s citizenship test were the same information I had barely learned throughout elementary school. She would ask me for help, and all the times I found myself staring at her book in confusion, desperately racking my brain for answers about who makes the federal laws is still clear in my head. Because my dad is an American-born citizen, my mother and I were able to enter the U.S from Mexico with no problem. We moved right above the border from Tijuana to San Diego, where my brother was born. We were in and out of the two countries to see family and still live on the
other side of the border because of how close they were to each other. But even with the negative connotation people associate the word immigrant with, I’m not embarrassed of my family’s background or my mom’s accomplishments. She did it all, from packing up and leaving her family to learning a language she knew nothing about, to passing her citizenship test and I’m proud to say I was there through it all.
Local lawyers evaluate current immigration issues McKenna Lucas | Co-Editor Lawyer to client. Mother to mother. Person to person. “Living in Texas, we encounter immigrants on a regular is more related to political posturing than securing our Former Pfisd student and lawyer Jerry Negrete counsels basis,” Negrete said. “I’ve always viewed immigrants nation.” migrant women seeking asylum in America. as those coming to another country to work hard and Both lawyers believe politicians negatively use the Negrete and immigration lawyer Lindsay Grey explain to create a better life for their families. Working with topic of immigration to launch political campaigns and how their experiences working with immigrants and immigrants in a legal way hasn’t changed my view of win elections. They throw words like ‘invasion’ around to asylum seekers have shaped their opinions on immigration immigrants at all. It has only solidified the fact that these describe immigrants and asylum seekers, they said. policy in America. Negrete specializes in construction law are strong, brave, hardworking people that are trying to “The number of immigrants crossing over our borders but volunteers through American Gateways, a program create a better life or their children. They are just like us, over the last couple of years is much less than the number that provides free services to immigrants who are seeking they just weren’t lucky enough to be born in this country. I that has crossed over our borders in the last couple of asylum in the U.S. decades, so calling it an invasion is factually incorrect,” “People don’t cross borders just because,” Negrete Negrete said. “It would be interesting to perform said. “People cross borders looking for a better life, an analysis over how many times Donald Trump better opportunities for themselves and their families. "Working with immigrants in a legal way mentioned immigrants before the election and after the Whenever you are working with an immigrant, you hasn't changed my view of [them] at all. It has election because what appears to me, is that he utilizes know the reason that they’re there and the reason that immigration as a fear tactic to get people to go to the you are providing them help is to help give them the only solidified the fact that these are strong, election and vote a certain way, and then once the opportunity for a better life. In my normal practice, brave, hardworking people that are trying to election was over he stopped discussing immigration. usually it involves a business dispute, and while create a better life or their children." I don’t know what’s in Donald Trump’s mind or heart, business disputes can absolutely intervene in your daily but from what he says, it seems to me that he doesn’t life and cause you to stress, it doesn’t mean that if the view immigrants as real people and simply uses them dispute goes one way or another, that your [client’s] to scare others into thinking that these people are family will go back to a place where you’ve experienced harmful, dangerous people in society.” extreme violence and other terrorizing events. It is Grey believes that bringing families together is one of much more emotional and frankly heartbreaking working wouldn’t say that my opinion of immigrants has changed, the best things about her job and Negrete said that she with immigration clients as opposed to the private clients it’s only been strengthened.” started volunteering for the Hutto Detention center after in the client sector.” Both Negrete and Grey have become critical of the hearing about family separations. Grey helps immigrants petition to bring their family current administration and immigration policies in place “I’m a mother of a young child and it broke my heart - it members to the U.S., obtain green cards, she helps after working with immigrants first hand. still breaks my heart - to think about families that are trying businesses apply for temporary or permanent resident “I am outraged by our current administration’s treatment to make a better life for themselves and having their kids status for their employees, and she defends individuals of foreign-born individuals,” Grey said. “I think that in ripped away and having no ability to find them and track against deportation. Negrete volunteers at the Hutto some ways, they are ‘effective’ in that immigration to the them down through the immigration process,” Negrete Detention facility, where she listens to immigrants’ stories U.S. has decreased recently, at least in some aspects. said. “We are a country of immigrants. We are founded and gives counsel on how to organize and explain their In most ways, however, I do not believe that the policies on immigrants. To remove all humanity from immigrants stories when they get interviewed by government officials currently in place are achieving the goals of the public. I was something that pushed me to learn the basics of on whether or not they are qualified to become an asylum believe policies could be improved by starting with a basis immigration policy so that I could start volunteering at the seeker. Negrete’s experiences at the Hutto Detention in fact and evidence and crafting regulations to achieve Hutto Detention center.” center only reinforced her stance on immigrants. desired outcomes. I think much of what is happening
Feature December 14, 2018
Iraqi immigrant recounts former life, heritage
Angelyna Rosales | Reporter Immigration to first world countries doesn’t only instability, the family moved to the U.S, where they separate families by distance, it also divides relatives could find jobs and acceptance. The U.S also offered by modern ideas. When freshman Catrina Amari* safety for her family from groups hunting down her moved to the U.S. she developed ideas about how father. women should be treated, the LGBTQ community “The worst thing was moving from Egypt to America and marriage rights. She struggled to embrace her because we were separated from my aunt and my heritage while accepting modern ideals. grandma, ” Amari said. “Although I don’t remember Amari was born in Iraq, where she lived every day in much from Iraq it’s still really hard, and leaving is fear that father may not return always the worst part, but after work. She was judged and I know that I had to leave unaccepted by others, afraid to in order to come back go out on the street alone. "I'm not afraid to go out on home [and visit my “In 2004, the year I was born, family in Iraq].” the street alone." my dad had to sell his pharmacy When Amari, after his dad [my grandfather] at five years old, and uncle were killed [by finally moved to outside political groups],” the U.S she learned Amari said. “They were hunting English and was offered him down and wanted to kill many opportunities such as him as well, so we packed up and we moved to Egypt. a proper education and freedom of speech. Living in In Egypt, my dad couldn’t find a job, and things were America has caused a cultural divide between Amari very unstable, so we ended up moving here. The only and her family. reason they let us in quicker was that my dad worked “There’s air conditioning, people are nicer, there are with the army in Iraq.” more job opportunities, there’s more diversity and The year Amari was born, two of her close family acceptance toward other people, and I’m not afraid members died due to political tensions, and her father to go out on the street alone. It’s surreal,” Amari said. was forced to sell his business. Her father was being “With my immediate family I feel like there’s a cultural targeted by outside political groups because he had distinction, there’s a lot of things I don’t agree on with previously worked for the Iraqi army. them, with my extended family there’s sometimes a “We left because of political tensions, we had lost a lot language barrier and sometimes we don’t understand of family members and my father was almost killed,” each other. Our culture is extremely different and Amari said. there’s a lot of things we will never agree on like While Egypt provided Amari’s family some safety marriage, dating and the LGBTQ community. The U.S it wasn’t much better. “We weren’t given economic is very different from Egypt and Iraq.” opportunities” Amari said. After two years of *Pseudonym
Catrina Amari, 9
Freshman refIects on journey from Brazil to the United States Anabella Galan | Reporter Leaving Brazil after 11 years of calling it home was a difficult, yet exciting process for freshman Laura Volpi. After visiting Texas multiple times to see her uncle and work with clients, her father suggested moving the family to Texas, considering the amount of opportunities their children would be given in the country. Three months after making the decision, the Volpi family moved to the United States. To make things less difficult on her family and friends, they spent a lot of time together and had send off parties for the family. Although, the partying made things easier for her, Volpi’s toughest goodbye was to her grandpa. “Then when I said goodbye it was really hard,”
Volpi said. “I even have a picture of all of us hugging and we’re all crying. My grandpa was the most difficult person to leave because I was really close to him. We cried a lot when we were leaving. It was really sad.” Volpi was looking forward to living the American
"I even have a picture of all of us hugging and we're crying. My grandpa was the most difficult to leave."
Laura Vopi, 9 life that she and her family had always imagined. Since she’d already visited Texas, Volpi knew that living in the U.S. wasn’t going to be difficult. She worried about learning a new language, but her ESL (English second language) teachers helped her throughout middle school.
“In the first two years of middle school, my ESL teachers used to go to classes with me and tried to explain everything in a slower and easier way,” Volpi said. “It helped a lot. I learned English kind of fast, but there’s still some stuff that I’m still learning. It’s really different from Portuguese. Even now, I’m scared of talking in front of people because of my English.” To Volpi, the most significant differences between Brazil and the U.S. are regarding the people in both countries. In Brazil, her parents wouldn’t let her leave the house without one of them by her side, but since she’s been here, she’s allowed to. Another difference between the people is how close they are. Brazilians have closer relationships with smaller groups of people rather than just knowing a large amount of people. “The people in Brazil are more like family,” Volpi said. “Everyone knows everyone and here it’s just different. I love it here and I love visiting Brazil. I like visiting mostly because of my family and friends, but I don’t think I’d go back to live there. Moving here was kind of like a dream for us because it was really different and we would have way more opportunities.”
Feature Volume 12, Issue 4
Portrait of an Immigrant
Junior explains how birthright citizenship impacts her life Camryn Sadlier | Reporter “I think that the current [political] climate in our country that brings about the discussion of a new birthright citizenship act, is one of fear and xenophobia. It stems at the issue that anyone suggesting a change to this act, is someone that doesn’t understand the makeup of our nation. It is unlikely that this would happen, although the current administration is in its position due to the way it appeals to natural born citizens and their fears. A change to this act would not be without major opposition and outcry from the millions of Americans who became citizens or know someone who became a citizen due to the current act. My grandparents came to the country in the early 70’s. My dad was born shortly after, making him the first American citizen in my family. My grandparents
later became citizens and returned to the g e n e r a t i o n s , where U.S. My dad is also a citizen of another forget country, Israel. This is due to that country’s they come from. birthright act that implies that any citizen And more importantly forget that bears children in another country is why people come here. On a long enough time line, not one automatically a citizen of Israel. This is the "We are a country that has “American” can claim that they are originally case in about 30 other built its success in the idea from here. Not even countries around the Americans. world, as it should be. I that we will take your hungry, Native think that the fact that poor, and desolate and turn Even if your ancestors my father’s parents them into proud, brave, and landed in Plymouth Rock, or if you have an were not born here, forward minded citizens. " ancestor that was sent makes him appreciate this country even more. here from the Church of England in the 1600s. Growing up, it seemed Now, while we restrict normal to him that he was ‘different’. Visas and immigrations I feel like many ‘Americans’ that can to this country, we are hurting. Immigrants trace lineage more than three or four are willing to do the work that Americans
Sole Oren, 11
will not or won’t do. Our student visa program brings the brightest minds to study here, and in turn help fill our industries with an amazing workforce that can propel and has in the past. We are a country that has built its success in the idea that we will take your hungry, poor, and desolate and turn them into proud, brave, and forward minded citizens. In our history there has always been a push back against new arrivals. And it is those people that make us move forward. To ignore that is to ignore history and make mistakes that would take generations to repair. To truly be American is to be open minded to change.”
Senior shares experiences of immigrating from Croatia Anna Schulze | Asst. Editor Originally born in Finland, senior Sandra Zurga moved to the United States when she was two years old. Her family, who are native to Croatia, came temporarily for work and ended up staying. “My dad came here for a better job opportunity and he ended up really liking America and decided our family would remain,” Zurga said. “We already had our work visas, but applied for green cards once we realized we would be staying.” Zurga and her family spoke Croatian in their household, and despite many other cultural adjustments that had to be made after coming from a different country, this was one of the most difficult. She struggled to learn English and was in English as a Second Language until the third grade. “Other kids at school thought I was weird and would
make fun of me, or have trouble understanding me because I would mix Croatian and English,” Zurga said. “I had an accent when I was younger but it’s worse for my parents because they still, and will always have theirs. My dad at work has been told to go back to his country after arguments with coworkers.” With the current political climate in America, Zurga is often uncomfortable around, or with the talk of immigration as most of it is negative. “It is not a bad discussion to have,” Zurga said. “But when people talk about immigration around me they never assume that I fit that category because I look like just another white American girl, and many people don’t know what immigration is like when they form opinions on it.”
Although Zurga and her family moved to America when she was two they did not receive citizenship until she was in the sixth grade. “I remember my parents studying very hard for the test,” Zurga said. “They had a C.D. that they would run every day in the car that would ask questions and quiz them. Luckily I received my citizenship through them, but the process was long and stressful for us all.” Though Zurga has faced many struggles being an immigrant she admits that it is nothing she cannot handle. “I know because of the way I look I have it easier than others, I blend in,” Zurga said. “ But the overall direction America is taking on immigration is wrong. The process should be more efficient and allow for more people to come. Everyone deserves a shot at living a better life.”
The Face of Death
Feature December 14, 2018
Teachers describe impact of dying, coming back to life Dr. Ortiz
Kaitlin Mackey | Asst. Editor Living like a normal grad school student – pulling long hours, not eating well, and adjusting to his new apartment. Physics teacher Joseph Ortiz woke up one day and felt a sort of pain in his abdomen. Naturally, he believed it was just a muscle pull. Until the pain got worse. Ortiz went to the hospital to see what was wrong, just to be told that he had diverticulitis, or an infected, infIamed intestine. They gave him medication and sent him home with hopes it would heal in time. However, three weeks later, Ortiz wound up back in the hospital for the same reason. “They said it normally didn’t happen to people under 60, much less under 40, and I was 24 at the time, so it was sort of a rare thing,” Ortiz said. “They didn’t really know what to do at the time, but they told me that if it happens a third time, they were going to have to do surgery. I just thought ‘Well, there’s not a whole lot that I can do.’” Ortiz made it through the rest of the semester with no problems. Until the end of July, when a third bout of infIammation appeared. The surgeon and Ortiz were all set to go for a procedure, but the hospital had discharged him by mistake. Because of that, his insurance refused to cover the cost because it was no longer considered an emergency surgery. Additionally, Ortiz had learned that the particular surgeon wasn’t covered by his insurance, so he had to find a new surgeon and he did. However, the earliest date that the surgeon could fit him in was in October. All Ortiz could do was wait. “In that time, maybe three days after I was released, I had to go back to the hospital because I had an allergic reaction to the medication and I had hiccups like nobody’s business,” Ortiz said. “It was one of those things where the hiccups would start in my toes and I would shudder all the way up through my body and it was endless. Endless for three days. It was three days of these core-shaking hiccups that I had no explanation for.” When Ortiz went to the hospital for the allergic reaction and intense hiccups, the hospital did not admit him. If the hospital would’ve done so, they could’ve moved forward and had the surgery right then and there. Instead, they kept Ortiz in the ER while they cleared up the allergic reaction,
Lauren Saenz | Reporter
but not the hiccups. They sent him home and he continued to wait until October. “I went into surgery and I remember being on the operating table and the anesthesiologist looked me dead in the eye and said, ‘Alright, I’m going to turn the anesthetic on now, go ahead and count back from 100 now.’ So I did,” Ortiz said. “A while later he looks down and he goes ‘Oh, what number are you on?’ And I said, ‘Negative 63.’ He said, ‘Let me take care of that.’ He pushes a button and by the time I got to negative 69 I was out. And then I didn’t wake up. They told me I was declared dead for two minutes and then I just came back.” What had felt like hiccups were actually a result of a hole in Ortiz’s intestine. The infection he was getting surgery on ruptured and was leaking stomach fIuid into his abdominal cavity. While having these hiccups, the hole had somehow aligned itself with the abdominal wall and for the most part, sealed itself, preventing Ortiz from dying while waiting for his surgery. After having his surgery, Ortiz went on the road to recovery for about four months. During those four months, he had to change his eating habits, but he also pulled back from the crazy hours he was pulling with studying and adjusting to his apartment switch. This experience did not only change what he could and couldn’t do anymore, but it also made him question what he should or shouldn’t do. Does he finish grad school? Or does he just walk away? “Eventually I came to the decision that I was going to finish grad school for me,” Ortiz said. “Not for my parents. Not for the title. Just to prove that I could. That I could still do it. And then when I finished, I didn’t want to anymore. That was just the end of it for me. I was done. Mentally, physically, I was done. And then I just wanted to do as much good as I could. But I don’t know if that necessarily came from the experience or if it was just something I always wanted to do. If anything, it kind of just magnified that feeling and made it more of a priority.”
The last thing physics teacher Matthew Carney remembers seeing before lightning struck him was a blinding, bright blue and white fIash of light. “I felt dazed,” Carney said. “My first thought was ‘Am I alive?’ I remember getting up and stretching and shaking myself off. My senses came back to me because I fell from a ladder about 12 feet tall and landed on the ground.” Carney was just 29 years old when he was struck by lightning. He was working on a roof and owned a commercial roofing business at the time. “We were on top of a really tall building out in a storm,” Carney said. “I had a whole crew but nobody else was out in the storm but me.”
Despite his co-workers wanting him to go see a doctor or to the hospital after being struck, Carney did not. The incident did not have any emotional or physical effects on him, but he went on to pursue a different career. “I went home that night and told my wife I was going to sell my roofing business and find an indoor job,” Carney said. “I became a school teacher about a year later.” Considering that the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are about 1 in 1,000,000, Carney doesn’t think he will ever be struck again. “The odds are against it,” Carney said. “I feel unlucky. Had I won the lottery, I would’ve felt lucky.”
Mr. Park Abigail Hill | Asst. Editor Drowning in a 12-foot deep pool at a friend’s party, math teacher David Park recalls seeing a bright light, more of a presence, when almost dying at 16 years old in Phoenix, Arizona. “This light was talking to me and I was actually communicating,” Park said. “I don’t remember all the questions that I asked, but I was asking a lot of questions, and as soon as I asked questions, the answers were already there, it was fascinating.” During the experience, Park claims he was home, a home where he belonged. “The feelings I had was a feeling of home. I had come home,” Park said. “Before I knew it, I was already talking back and forth with the light. I was just happy to stay, and I was thinking, ‘OK, good, I came home, so I think I’ll stay and join the light now.’” Park emphasized how he wasn’t a physical body, but rather a light particle. “When I died, without any question, it was not like a dream, I was very much conscious and aware that I had died. Except I didn’t know where I was,” Park said.
Once his friends realized something was wrong, Park was brought back to life through CPR. “I didn’t know what happened or what to think,” Park said. “Don’t forget, at the time, there was no YouTube or internet. I had never heard of a near death experience.” Twenty years later, after keeping the incident tucked away, Park decided to share his experience after hearing about a man almost having the same experience as he did. “I started sharing my story to my students to open up at Hendrickson, especially after seeing another article in the Statesman on someone else drowning in Lake Austin,” Park said. Ever since then, Park believes his near death experience was one he’ll never forget. “I saw light particles approaching the light, joining the light, and even other particles departing from the light,” Park said. “Then, I came back from some place I had never imagined I’d ever go.”
Feature Volume 12, Issue 4
All I Want For Christmas
Holidays go from traditions and joy to profits and presents Seth Deaton | Reporter The holiday season is marked by huge sales events and crazy shopping trips. For families it’s a time to be together and relax. However, the season means something very different for companies and businesses. Every holiday season, ads bombard Americans. The traditional values of the holidays are replaced by events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and companyspecific sales events such as “Happy Honda Days” and the Lexus “December to Remember sales event.” “They use the holiday advertisements as a way to take away from the real meaning of the winter holidays for business purposes,” freshman Emily Romero said. “They just use the holidays to make money.” According to studies reported by ABC News every year the holiday season becomes more and more about the gifts and less about the traditional values of the season. A total of $465 billion dollars will be spent on gifts this year, with the average American spending $700. “Holiday advertising is just one way companies can improve their bottom line, it’s kind of the American way, it’s the way of capitalism,” AP human geography teacher Bruce Johnson said. “I believe that we have gotten away from the true meaning behind the holiday season, it’d be nice to reboot back around 50 years.” It’s not trending that way, as according to statista.com, retail holiday profit has increased by 42 percent since 2000. A large portion of this increases can be associated with the holiday sales and advertising companies use. “I think holiday advertisements make sense because people are buying things for the holiday season so you want to get them at a better price,” freshman Ava Saad said. Stores’ holiday profits can make up to 30 percent of its annual profits and large portion of this is due to the ads and commercials companies make for the holiday season. According to marketingland.com the top ten retailers
spent a combined total of $1.2 billion dollars last year. The majority of these ads are centered around Christmas, but that’s not the only holiday celebrated during this time. “Holiday advertising can go both ways, they can get more profit, but not everyone celebrates every holiday
$ so they’re not going to be appealing to all customers,” freshman Brystal Flemming said. Nine out of ten Americans celebrate Christmas but there are several other holidays during the winter season. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, and New Years are a few of the other big holidays celebrated during December and January. Very few, if any, of the holiday advertisements are centered around holidays other than Christmas.
“Companies should include holidays other than Christmas in their advertisements because they surround the season around Christmas when there’s other holidays,” Saad said. Johnson says that the amount of amount of advertisements during the holidays needs to be cutback so that people can enjoy their holidays without the sales and shopping interrupting their holidays. “I would dial it back and stop setting up for Christmas as soon as Halloween is done,” Johnson said. “When I was a kid Christmas decorations didn’t really happen until after Thanksgiving, so I think we get fatigued by getting bombarded by all the holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.” Even occasions like Black Friday aren’t what they once were, stores open late on Thursday and the sales last long after the official holiday ends, and decorations for Christmas go up in stores at the beginning of November or late October instead of late November to early October like they used to. “I hate that companies advertise in October, they advertise it too soon, so it’s just annoying and overwhelming,” Saad said. “I feel like it gets you excited for the other holidays, but it also gets you tired of Christmas by the actual holiday.” Parents are now spending hundreds of dollars on gifts for their children. The Christmas holiday has become less about religion and more about Santa and his elves. A Pew Research Center survey shows that 56 percent of adults say that Christmas is not the religious holiday it once was. “For Christmas you shouldn’t be worried about the presents you should be kind and holy,” Flemming said. “A lot of children are now just saying ‘I want this for Christmas’ or I want that for Christmas,’ not ‘I want to see my family for Christmas.’”
Tales of Christmas
Junior portrays main character in the Nutcracker Carolina Yanez | Asst. Editor The Texas Nutcracker is a children’s story published in October depicting junior Briana Coleman as a character. Her mother, Murchison Elementary’s librarian, produced the story about her daughter after two years of enduring the process of illustrations and publication. “Literacy and the extension of its advocacy to children has always been a top priority to my mom,” Coleman said. “She has always wanted to write children’s books. She came up with the idea collectively with myself in a simple conversation we had together the Christmas of my fifth grade year.” The story is the classic tale of The Nutcracker with a Texan twist. Coleman is depicted in the book as the main character Centennia, who mimics the traditional character Clara. The illustrator made illustrations of Centennia that were made after viewing pictures of Coleman. “It is meaningful to me because I’ve been dancing and doing ballet since I was two years old and the
Nutcracker is one of the most widely known ballets,” Coleman said. “I’ve performed it, seen versions of it performed live across the country. When my mom began working on the book it just extended our family’s love for the story and its tradition.” In addition to being included in a Nutcracker story, Coleman always goes to watch a Nutcracker ballet from different ballet companies with her family. “These Christmas traditions have impacted my childhood in that I have a deeply developed love for the arts and history,” Coleman said. “The glamour and culture involved in a night ballet is something that has enchanted me since I was a little girl. The importance of Christmas to me is that it is a time of love and acceptance in which we share our gifts with others just as my mom has done with her book and the dancers on the stage with their audience. It’s all about contributing all you have to offer and fully receiving the offers of others.” Photo provided by Amazon
Under the Mistletoe
Feature December 14, 2018
Staff reviews places to get into holiday spirit, celebrate Christmas Abigail Hill | Asst. Editor
With the holidays approaching, it’s that time of the year to get out and experience the joy of Christmas. In Austin, there are plentiful options to do just that, and provided are in-depth activities to go to with family, friends, or a special other.
Brown Santa Kaitlin Mackey | Asst. Editor
Brown Santa has the slogan, “This is a community event for the community by the community,” showing that this organization is a way for the people of Travis County to come together to help everyone get the holiday that they’ve been wanting for years. It’s a heartwarming way for everyone to get in the Christmas spirit, ranging from volunteers to donators to families who get their Christmas wishes. People who would like to volunteer that help unload trailers, setup the warehouse, sort food, wrap presents, etc., can sign up on the Travis County Sheriff’s Office’s website. Volunteers only have two hour sessions of volunteering at a time, and have shifts daily starting, Nov. 12 and ending on Dec. 31. For 37 years, Travis County has participated in a tax-exempt organization known as Brown Santa. This organization is a community service program of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office providing aid to underprivileged families and senior residents in local retirement centers in Travis County. When Brown Santa first started in Travis County in 1981, it only consisted of a few deputies helping out 25 families. Now, Brown Santa has its own section on the Travis County Sheriff’s Office’s website where people can sign up to become an applicant, sponsor, or volunteer or even participate in donations and silent auctions, which provides a way for more people to participate in this community event. The program’s goal is to raise $50,000 in donations in order to cover the cost of both food and toys that families receive. The families receiving donations will be given a holiday meal (turkey and non-perishable foods) and a box full of two gifts, two books, one stuffed animal, one puzzle, and a family board game is given to each child (ages 0-14) in the household. When accepting donations, Brown Santa takes new, unwrapped toys and unopened, non-perishable food that can be dropped off at a warehouse in Austin. In order for a family to receive donations, one of the adult family members of the household must complete an application. However, there are some guidelines to apply which includes two pieces of paperwork proving that they live outside Austin city limits. People applying must apply at the Travis County Community Center closest to where they live. Some of the locations that recipients can apply at include Manor, PfIugerville, Jonestown, Oakhill/Lake Travis, and Del Valle.
Trail of Lights
McKenzie Quiroz | Asst. Editor
The Trail of Lights, a Christmas festival at Zilker Park, provides entertainment for friends and family during the holiday season. Members of the community are welcome to enjoy music and lights as they walk the trail, surrounded by two million lights and 40 displays. Tickets can be bought online or on the day of the event, but parking must be bought ahead of time. Spectators can come for free during Dec. 17-19, but any other day, general admission costs $4. The light displays allow people of all ages to come together and genuinely enjoy their time. One of the most famous attractions in Austin during the season, the Zilker Christmas tree, brings people from all around. No matter how old someone is, there’s a sense of joy that hits spectators when standing under the center of the tree, twirling around while letting the lights completely submerge them with the Christmas spirit. The Trail of Lights have been a monumental Christmas destination in Austin for years now, and it continues to remain on top. It provides an authentic getaway location, keeping tradition in tact, while creating new ways to do their show every year.
Camryn Sadlier | Reporter Austinites can hang out, drink beverages, and eat delicious baked goods year round at Austin’s original, Mozart’s Coffee. As the year comes to a close, the shop is transformed into a colorful winter wonderland. The shop’s free famous light show, The Joy of Light, contains more than one million lights and Christmas music, attracting thousands of people. Mozart’s Coffee is the place to be with family and friends during the holidays. The beautiful scenery and waterfront view of Lake Austin makes the atmosphere feel cozy, a perfect place to spend the afternoon. Available through Jan. 2, seven days a week, visit the coffee house off of Lake Austin Boulevard for a classic Austin tradition.
Ice Skating Abigail Hill | Asst. Editor
On the top of Whole Foods market on Lamar Bvd, people are welcome to go ice- skating any day of the week. They offer a coffee bar, tacos, and more. Although you can go anywhere to enjoy ice-skating, the rink at the top of Whole Foods is special because it’s outdoor, and seasonal, so people can get the full experience of Christmas and joy. To skate, it cost ten dollars, and hours may vary on the Holidays. Private events are also held at the plaza, and to contact the team, call (512) 476- 1206 for updated hours and questions. The rink on the roof of Whole Foods is a great way to spend time with loved ones, enjoy the art of skating, and celebrate the holidays.
And the List Continues... Johnson City Lights Cedar Tree Decorations on Loop 360 Zilker Holiday Tree Elgin Christmas Tree Farm Carol Down Congress Avenue
Entertainment Volume 12, Issue 4
Staff members review foreign films from around globe
Photo courtesy of Alex de la Iglesia
El Bar, a Spanish thriller directed by awardwinning film director Álex de la Iglesia
Photo courtesy of Quad PROD The Intouchables, a French comedy-drama film which portrays the life of two men, after being released from jail. Ex-con Driss (Omar Sy) needs a work paper signed to
Photo curtsey of Cinenomine The French film Blind Date warps the concept of online dating to a more unique setting that involves a thin apartment wall instead of a glowing screen. To keep the
McKenna Lucas | Co-Editor gives, viewers the gore and psychological suspense that can only parallel to Lord of the Flies. The movie begins with a group of strangers becoming trapped in a bar after a sniper begins shooting anyone who walks out into the street. After it becomes apparent that the sniper is specifically targeting people within the bar, the strangers begin to turn on each other as their suspicions heighten. Watching the Spanish film with English subtitles allows the viewer to catch inklings of dark humor they might not catch otherwise. Although El Bar is primarily a thriller, behind the jokes and the jumpscares the movie touches upon serious topics like terrorism, immunizations, stereotypes, and classism. Viewers can watch El Bar on Netflix. Spanish actors Blanca Suárez, Mario Casas and Carmen Machi star in the film and flawlessly depict the internal conflict between rationality and primal instincts.
Taylor Hedlund | Reporter
Photo courtesy of Barcelona Film Commissions
show he is trying to reconnect to society and change his life for the better. Philippe (François Cluzet), an aristocrat, is immobile due to a major accident, hires Driss as his live-in caretaker. This starts a cycle of Driss bringing laughter and fun to the strict and dull household. He helps Philippe become more adventurous and outgoing in his mysterious and long-distance relationship. And in turn, Philippe shows Driss he can rely on people and he can earn a living in a socially acceptable manner. The movie is good as it expresses true friendship that can transcend lifestyles and classes. The cinematography and acting holds a high standard showing taking time from the main plot to show what happens in both Driss and Philippe’s personal lives. It also shows the changes between their lives as they grow closer. The plot discusses the life that is brought out for both men and the differences in how they act or behave.
El Orfanato is a Spanish horror film about a woman named Laura (Belén Rueda) and her husband Carlos (Fernando Cayo) who buy a house once used as an orphanage, and convert it into a home for disabled children. Laura spent the early years of her childhood in an orphanage and she wants to give the same happiness that she
Kyla White | Reporter
Photo courtesy of Netflix In Netflix’s French film, I’m Not An Easy Man, Damien (Vincent Elbaz) gets a taste of his own medicine when he wakes up in a world dominated by women after taking a hit to the head. In this parallel universe, where gender roles are reversed, Damien experiences sexism first hand. In this world, women take traditionally male roles in fashion, employment positions, behavior and generally hold a higher status. Damien had to get used to regular grooming, wearing more revealing clothes and catcalls. After getting fired from his old job where he used to be an authority figure, he becomes a personal secretary for Alexandra Lamour (Marie-
anonymity for each other and the viewers, the two main characters give the names Machine (Mélanie Bernier) and Machin (Clovis Cornillac) for one another. Their romance started with a rocky start due to certain living circumstances; but with Machin’s misanthropic tendencies and machine’s fear of rejection, they embark in a relationship through the wall with no contact except their voices. Along the way they learn more about themselves and what they would do for each other, regardless of what their relationship consisted of. Despite the language barrier between the viewers and actors, the message that love is blind came across loud and clear.
Camryn Sadlier | Reporter received to her children in the same house. As the family settles in, the house becomes eerie and their adopted seven-year-old son, Simón (Roger Príncep) starts acting out as though he is possessed. His father, Carlos, assumes that he is simply seeking attention from his occupied parents. One day at a welcoming party for the disabled children, Simón vanishes, bringing out a different kind of afraid in the audience; the distress of a mother losing their child stands as one of the most powerful forms of fear. In a desperate attempt to find her impaired son, Laura starts to hear voices of spirits of children who lived in the orphanage decades before. Inside the now sinister walls of the family’s home, she struggles with the thought of something supernatural taking their son. The film pulls out kinds of emotions that are unexplainable with each scene pulling you every which way. Spain has released many other extraordinary horror films, but El Orfanato is by far one of the most complex and thrilling. Every scene brings another layer of suspense, keeping the audience on their toes. In an industry full of ghost stories and monsters, this film is out of the ordinary and leaves you stunned. The movie is available on Google Play, Amazon Prime, iTunes, and is aired on Encore Suspense on many cable networks.
I’m Not An Easy Man
Maya Lewis | Reporter
Sophie Ferdane), a bestselling author. It’s rare in media to see men playing feminine roles or doing it accurately, but the cast of I’m Not An Easy Man does it well. Actors aren’t offensive or overdramatize women’s behaviors, but get into the character just as much as they would a masculine one. I’m Not An Easy Man is mainly about Damien having to adjust to this alternate world and experience sexism. This really depicts what women have to go through everyday. Sexism in film is usually shown through a woman’s point of view, but this swapped perspective is eye-opening and necessary to spark change.
Games of the Era
Entertainment December 14, 2018
Staff reviews popular, most played video games of 2018
Photo provided by Rare.Wikia.com
Photo provided by Threadless.com
Zachary Valdez | Reporter
Seth Deaton | Reporter Fortnite, a free 100 player battle royale game, took the world by storm nine months ago. It came out in July of 2017 but its popularity skyrocketed last March after the mobile app was released. Players can compete in squads of three or four, with a partner, or by themselves. Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, comes out with weekly updates to keep players interested and to keep the game fresh. Winning a game of Fortnite is not as easy as it sounds. With the game’s high
popularity, players’ skills increase at a rapid pace, making it difficult for casual gamers to keep up with the competition. However, even without winning, the game is still entertaining and fun. The addition of Limited Time Modes (LTMs) makes it so you don’t have to be the best player to win, as many of them change the dynamic of the classic battle royal. All the weekly changes and additions, along with the LTMs make Fortnite an exciting and unique game for casual and hardcore players alike.
In a world where players are given a ship and few supplies, one could go pretty far. Players and their scurvy crew set out to find the lost riches in the Sea of Thieves, playable on the Xbox One or PC. With their trusty ships, the Sloop, Brigantine, or Galleon, they set out to find ancient skulls and treasure chests filled to the brink with booty. The game has a cartoon-like animation to it, and it’s geared towards people who are teens and older. Most of the non-player enemies are extremely easy to beat, as they have low health and move slower than the player. However, that’s not where the hard part of Sea of Thieves is, because there is no easy way around getting in the game. This is where most players struggle,
they must spend hours sailing back and forth across the ocean to achieve any sort of goal worth spending gold on. Another challenge a player can face is that all of the treasure they’ve stocked up could be stolen by another player, while looking for more treasure on an island. Most likely, they transfer all the first player’s treasure to their ship, sink the other ship, and sail away. Then after the player comes back from finding the treasure on the island, they’re happily greeted by their now sunken and useless ship. Because of which, they must restart. There is no real goal in Sea of Thieves. Players just explore, fight the occasional Kraken or Hungering One, and gain some bragging rights.
Photo provided by Pngimage.com
Maya Lewis | Reporter PlayersUnknown Battlegrounds, also known as PUBG, was initially released in March of 2017, but really became a favorite in 2018. Once Twitch streamers found the game and it became accessible for free on mobile, PUBG’s numbers shot up. The game is an online multiplayer lastman-standing battle royale comparable to Fortnite and Black Ops 4 Blackout. Whether playing on PC, mobile, Xbox One, or PS4, PUBG starts with 100 players in a cargo plane allowing players to choose where on the island they want to drop via parachute. Players start with nothing and collect survival supplies and armor as they venture through old buildings. As the game goes on, the red highlighted area on the map shrinks, warning players to move toward the center. Any players outside the red area die a slow death and the game
ends with a one-on-one battle between the last two survivors to determine the winner. For someone who doesn’t play video games often, this one was pretty entertaing. The beginning was fun and easy, but as the game progressed it got frustrating because lots of more experienced players had the advantage of knowing the map and where to find good weapons. For 100 players in one game, you expect the map to be huge, and it is. However, you can only run so fast in an empty field with an enemy in a car chasing you in the first ten minutes. PUBG has had 50 million copies sold and 400 million players total. As its most successful year comes to an end, PlayersUnknown Battlegrounds continues to thrive as new versions and updates are released.
Photo provided by NerdReactor.com
Zachary Valdez | Reporter Overcooked 2, a game available on consoles, Nintendo, and PC, involves chefs who travel around the world to get a taste of their food. They must work together to produce the most amount of food possible. They hop into a food truck, preparing meals for the hungry civilians. From cooking in a graveyard to preparing salad in an air balloon that crashes into a sushi restaurant, the game tests the chefs on their skills of fast reactions, time management, and cooperation. The games cartoon art gives it a fun and friendly vibe. It makes it a little less hurtful to players when they lose a match, as the game is relatively hard. With a teammate, players probably be trading ingredients
and plates as sometimes other people are closer to the place that you’re working towards. This game appeals to mostly the young ages, teens and below. However, that does not mean if you are older, you cannot play this game. The rush of the kitchen f l ows through its chefs as the time to cook is now. However, the Overcooked 2 is better than the first one. There are many more abilities that allow the speed of the game to be playable, along with being easier overall compared to the first. In addition, Overcooked 2 is online, allowing you to play with others across the world. It is an incredibly fun game to play with others or even by yourself.
Sports Volume 12, Issue 4
Wrap, Tape, Hydrate, Repeat
Athletic trainers detail experiences, insights of working with athletes Brisa Espinoza | Asst. Editor
Ian Falkenbury | Photographer
Kaitlin Mackey | Photographer
During the district varsity football game against Leander High School, freshman Kennedy Hushka runs off the field before the next play starts after offering water to the referees on the field. The varsity team was victorious against Leander with the final score being 45-0.
Q &A What’s sports do you train?
“I train football and boys’ soccer. My older brother was playing soccer at Hendrickson whenever I started to train boys soccer. Because of that I was able to have a strong bond with the players and think of them as if they were my brothers.”
Carsen Templeton, 10 “Football and boys’ basketball. When I first started to train boys’ basketball, they immediately accepted me and treated me as if I was their little sister. The boys are great people and I love training the sport.”
Monica Brewer, 11
Senior trainers Kaitlyn Scott (left) and Madelyn Sanchez (right) tape up senior linebacker Cliffton Styles after the play is over at the first district game of the season against Westwood High School. The varsity team ultimately beat the Warriors with the final score being 64-14.
What do you like about What’s it like being a trainer? training? “It’s a really unique experience because
“What I like about training is my team. My team members and I have a great bond; we work great together. Whenever we train varsity games, we all have the best time together, which is something I really value about the program. I was able to meet some of my closest friends since becoming a trainer.”
Alejandra Perez, 10 “With training, you get to help athletes continue to do what they love despite being injured. I find being able to do that is one of the best parts of being a trainer and it’s what I like the most.”
Sadé Franklin, 9
Why did you decide to be a trainer? “The decision to become a trainer was something that was an obvious choice to me. It gave me the chance to practice medicine and all its first-aid procedures for a job later in life.”
Hunter Zahradnik, 9 “When I was in eighth grade, I knew that when I grew up I wanted to do something either in the medical field or with sports and athletic training is the best of both worlds when it came down to it.”
Madelyn Sanchez, 12
you get to be a part of something that not a lot of people are already in. You get a chance to shadow the head athletic trainers and make friends with people you may not have known if you hadn’t become a trainer.”
Loren Matthews, 12
“The moment you join the program, you instantly feel like you’re a part of the team. You’re able to learn sports medicine and develop knowledge with real life experience but at the same time make lifelong memories.”
Hunter Zahradnik, 9
What’s a common misconception? “A common misconception is that we are just water girls, and although we do give out water, our main focus is taking care of the players’ health and making sure their ability to perform is at their highest potential.”
Alejandra Perez, 10
“A lot of people think we’re lazy and that we don’t put in any effort, but in reality we do a lot more than just stand around and give out water. We practice injury procedures and how to handle an injury of any measure.”
Carsen Templeton, 10
What’s the hardest part? “Whenever a serious injury takes place, you have to act immediately and know exactly what you’re doing so you won’t harm the athlete. Athletes depend on the trainers because in that moment we’re all they have.”
Sadé Franklin, 9 “The hardest part of training is taping, only because it’s hard to get the right angle while also trying not to make the tape too tight. It can be stressful on game days having to tape a bunch of people in a row and the atmosphere of all the athletes around you can get overwhelming.”
Loren Matthews, 12
Would you recommend others to join the program? “Being a trainer involves having to go to every practice for the sports and as well as going to their games and sometimes even doing more than that. I’d recommend the program to anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort.”
Monica Brewer, 11 “The program is pretty big right now but if you’re serious about it and not just doing it to be around the boys, I would recommend joining because there’s a lot of learning that comes from joining.”
Madelyn Sanchez, 12
Sports December 14, 2018
Getcha’ Head in the Game
Boys’ basketball gains hope for new season, playoff run Brisa Espinoza | Asst. Editor
Macy Burnham | Photographer
Running down the court, senior Isaac Bullard signals three during a non-district game against Manor High School. Bullard passes the ball to senior Christian Walker, who continues down the court looking for an open player to pass the ball to. As senior Dylan Disu opens up, Walker passes him the ball and Disu shoots a three pointer, putting the team in the lead against Manor. The boys’ basketball team is beginning their 2018-2019 season after the team had reached the area final in the 2018 State playoffs during last years’ season. The team has nine returning varsity players hoping to play the best they can for the upcoming season. “This season I’m hoping to get another district championship like we did last year,” Bullard said. “We all want to go deeper into the playoffs so we can be seen amongst everyone else.” As the team is preparing for the new season and having to adapt to new teams due to the district realignment in 2018, there are many factors that go into the teams’ preparation and routine. The team plans to set themselves apart from other schools with their practicing and overall attitude towards the game. “We’re having a lot of practices to prepare and make this season one of our better ones,” junior Bradley Rahn said. “The team has changed and improved compared to last year. We’re basing the game around our teamwork and work ethic. We can’t go far if we’re not all on the same page.” Despite the new teams being introduced to the district, the boys do not let them effect their mental game, it
Nora Gronvold | Photographer
motivates them to continue to do their best so they can prove that they’re not a team to be taken lightly. “My favorite part of basketball is the defensive game. I am the best defensive player in our district,” Walker said. “I read what our opponents can do and it’s a piece of cake compared to what we do. I take the rock away from them
"The intensity of the game and the energy throughout all my teammates is why I decided to play. Seeing all my brothers succeed and improve is the best feeling."
Christian Walker, 12
every time and get a bucket at the other end.” For some of the players, basketball has been a part of their lives from a young age. To them the game of basketball has been their way to express themselves and show their gratitude. “I started playing ‘ball because I felt like it could be my escape from everything else,” Bullard said. “Basketball takes me to a place I could never forget and I’m so grateful to know about it.”
Senior Isaac Bullard goes up for a lay up during a non district game against Manor High School. Hendrickson beat Manor 61-59. “My favorite part of basketball is most definitely the winning,” Bullard said. “No if, and, or buts about it. I love the energy the game brings to people, it’s something I love.”
Defending the ball, junior Bradley Rhan rebounds the ball from a Westwood player going up to score a point. Hendrickson won 70-52. “I expect us to do good this season and go far in playoffs,” Rhan said.
With football and basketball season at times overlapping, many of the dual sport athletes that play both sports have to transition. The moment that football season ends, the players trade their cleats in for basketball shoes and begin to start their new sport season. “Going from football to basketball in less than a week was really stressful,” junior Gabe Hunter said. “After a year of not playing and going straight in to playing in the games, it was a lot to handle to remember all the skills and get used to all the aspects and plays.” Starting their final season, the seniors are prepared to lead the team to the farthest they are able to reach. Seeing the team and its potential, the seniors hope to leave an impact on the returning players after they leave so they’re able to continue the traditions and prove their strength during games. “Being a senior, this is my last season playing high school basketball. I want to show the underclassmen the ways of the game so that when my class leaves they will still be a strong team,” senior Dylan Disu said. “I’ve improved since my first ever varsity game and it lhas ed me to where I am now. The rest of the team will continue to progress and be at their peak and hopefully stay that way.” The team has high hopes for the upcoming season as they begin their district games to eventually lead them deep into the state playoffs. “Basketball, to me, is where I can make other people happy as well as myself when I play,” sophomore Jaden Williams said. “I really do love the sport and I’m thankful for everything that has brought me to where I am today.”
Going up for a shot, senior Dylan Disu shoots the ball in a non-district game against Manor High school. “The moment I committed to play basketball in college was when I knew playing the game was a passion of mine,” Disu said. “I’m thankful for where the game has already taken me but I’m excited for what’s next.
People Volume 12, Issue 4
‘Tis the Season
Students explain their holiday traditions, plans
Brisa Espinoza | Asst. Editor
Maya Lewis | Reporter
Carolina Yanez | Asst. Editor
Lauren Lebakken | Photographer
Alejandra Renfro, 12 “During a Posada, you are re-enacting the pilgrimage that Mary and Joseph made when seeking refuge in Bethlehem from Nazareth. Posada in translation means “inn” or a form of housing, sort of like a hotel in simplification. The meaning of such a reenactment holds religious tribute to the birth of Jesus, as well as Mary and Joseph in their journey to ensure safety, and is held traditionally before Mass in Catholic communities. Specific events include walking throughout the streets, with children carrying candles, and certain houses selected to be “the inns”. The posada host, acting as an innkeeper, while the guest act as pilgrims holding as well lighted candles and singing verses that help explain and are part of the ritual. Throughout the ceremony they as well go through each instance in which they were denied and then finally accepted into a stable, as Mary and Joseph underwent. Finally, when ending the procession, children are able to break open piñatas in the shape of stars, representing the Star the three wise men followed, that reveal sweets,”
Petr Svoboda, 11 “In the Czech Republic, Christmas is celebrated on the 24 of December, which is Christmas Eve, unlike how in the U.S it is celebrated on the 25. All the kids open their presents after a very traditional dinner. We also don’t have a Santa; however, kids believe that baby Jesus delivers all the presents. In the four weeks before Christmas we have a special candle set with four candles and every Sunday we light one candle to celebrate that Christmas is approaching. I’m definitely excited about the American traditions that I’ve only known from movies. The only thing I’ve been missing from Czech is the snow. It’s a big part of Christmas back home. My parents are sending me homemade ginger bread since it’s something that I’ve always had for Christmas. I’m sad to not be home with my family this year but I’m excited to experience the United States’ way of Christmas and all its traditions. It’s going to be something different but I can’t wait to share these traditions with my family back home. “
Afsaneh Masoumi, 9 “We don’t celebrate Christmas, but we still do festive things and hang out with family. My baby cousins birthday is on Christmas Eve, so every year since she was born, we go over to their house to celebrate. My family goes over to watch movies together and eat Vietnamese food. Because it’s cold outside, we stay inside with the heaters on and blankets and snuggle up and eat junk food, so it’s super cozy and fun with everyone together. Other than that, my mom and I like to see the Christmas lights. For about seven years, we’ve been walking together around our neighborhood to see all the lights people put up. Even though we don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s a fun time of the year that I enjoy because we get to hang out with family and friends and eat good food.”
Alex Draguicevich, 10 “Christmas is a huge holiday in my family. It’s a time we all come together. Every year my whole family comes into town to celebrate Christmas. Our family is spread out across the U.S and other countries, so this is really the only time we get to see them. Regardless of how they’re directly related to us, we invite them to our dinner and party we host. We all sit down and spend time together since it’s the only time we’re all together in one place. It’s my favorite part about the holidays because spending time with family is what means the most to me. All the kids hang out and open presents and the adults catch up.”