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volume 39

LeJOURNAL Notre Dame de Sion High School | February 2021







what’s inside news and sports


The Theory of Relativity


Interfaith Prayer Service

Teenage Party Culture


Inauguration and Election

The New Tech Team

Improvements and More


Spring Sports and Tryouts

Basketball Managers

Mason, Sophie and Sharon


Freshman Gracie Orf

Her Mask Making Skills



Missouri Scholastic Press Association National Scholastic Press Association International Quill and Scroll Journalism Educators of Metropoliton Kansas City Missouri Journalism Education Association


Le Journal accepts letters to the editors in response to published articles. Letters must be signed, verifie, and no longer than 200 words. Letters may be edited for length, grammar, spelling and content. Letters will not be printed if content is obscene, invasive, ecouraging disruption of school and/or is libelous.


Neal/Settle Printing, Grandview MO

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Media’s Manipulation

Kansas City’s Homeless


End the Pandemic

COVID-19 and Consumerism



Karlin’s 1000 Points

And Its Dangers



COVID-19 Vaccinations


cover story

PRINT CO-EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Madeline Hammett Avery Brundige




Liv Zender

A&E EDITOR Ella Rogge


Ava Albracht


Kate Conway & Keely Schieffer


video content editor Catherine Crayon



Sofia Aguayo

REPORTERS Brianna Legette Lauren Shaw Callie Cameron


Wonder Woman

Instagram Casual?


Goodbye 2020

Welcome 2021

Student Food For Thought Part 2 FOOD FOR THOUGHT PART 1





ey everyone! How is second semester going? With quarter three approaching its end, stress levels are increasing. We, as a Le Journal staff, are here to help you remember the good and the bad moments as this year flies by. Remember to work hard as this quarter finishes out and keep your grades strong. Summer will be here before we know it. This issue discusses underage party culture and the risks that come with it. Pages 16 and 17 detail your statistics and give an in depth dive into what party culture looks like - especially during a pandemic. Flip to page 10 to read about the way social media has the potential to manipulate your mind. Finally, turn to page 26 to see a final tribute to the bad things 2020 brought us and what we are looking forward to in 2021. This issue highlights some unique members of our school. Read about freshman Gracie

Orf’s mask making talents on page 24 and flip to page 20 to meet the three senior basketball managers. We are thrilled to give you the first issue of Le Journal for 2021. We are back and ready to work hard to produce two more issues for you before this school year comes to a close. We hope you enjoy turning the pages of this issue of Le Journal as much as we enjoyed creating them for you. Remember to give us your feedback by emailing abrundige@ndsion. edu or madeline.hammett@ndsion. edu. We look forward to your feedback in our next issue! During this winter slump, remember to keep your head held high. Hard work and a positive mind set will pay off in your life and the lives of those around you. Good luck on 3rd quarter and go Chiefs! Run it back, Madeline & Avery


Photo of the Issue

Baller In Her Blood

Senior Katelyn Brinkman eyes the score board in the Sion versus STA game Jan. 5. “The STA game was so much fun because it was probably our most competitive game so far,” Brinkman said. “We always want to win, but when it comes to STA, there is always a stronger desire to come out on top.” (Photo by Avery Brundige)

keep up with us: @lejournalsion



Use camera to visit lejournallive.com!

February 2021 // 03


Students performed “The Theory of Relativity” for the winter musical from Jan. 15 to Jan. 17. BY MAGGIE MCKINNEY WEB EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


his year’s winter musical, “The Theory of Relativity,” was performed in the gym from Jan. 15 to Jan. 17. The production looked different than musicals in years past, particularly regarding the primarily virtual Zoom audience. “I did enjoy performing for a virtual audience. We got to have a live audience of about 50 people, along with the live streamers which was also very nice,” senior Mattie Mills said. “I think the combination of both a live and virtual audience was perfect, as it allowed a lot of people to see the show in a lot of different ways.”

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Cast and crew members were allowed four family members to see the show in person, while regular audience members viewed the show via a Zoom. Tickets were priced at $10 per household in order to encourage entire families to watch the performance at home, according to Performing Arts Director Elizabeth Mulkey. “I was so worried that some or all of us would be quarantined and not able to participate,” Mulkey said. “I was relieved each day that we all made it. I was also prepared for not being allowed to have an audience, so having an audience of about 50 people exceeded my expectations. The cast members blew my expectations out of the water. They were able to express and articulate each song and did a phenomenal job of acting within their spaces, but continue to engage with others.” The cast performed in galaxy-patterned masks that

matched the theme of the show. They stood on individual stages ten feet away from each other in order to ensure the safety of actors and crew during rehearsals, according to Mills. “The musical was very different this year due to it being a concert style musical, meaning we never really left our spots,” Mills said. “It was also very different to perform in masks, and ten feet away from all other performers. It was challenging at first, but made for a very fun and unique show.” The cast found creative ways to maintain distance while still carrying out scenes effectively. During the song “Lipstick,” Jenny, played by freshman Gioia Serra, drops lipstick that Anthony, played by Shawnee Mission East junior Toby Rodriguez, is intended to pick up for her. In order to maintain distance, both actors had their own set of lipstick on their stages to drop and then pick up. “This year’s musical was very different from the ones I’ve done in the past,” Serra said. “We couldn’t be near or touch anyone you acted or sang with, we had to be masked 24/7, and we couldn’t move down from our platforms. We also had to wear little plastic cuffs under our masks so you could hear us.” “The Theory of Relativity” consists of a series of seemingly unrelated scenes and songs from characters that are intertwined by various triumphs and hardships. The focus of the musical is to show that although all people are

different, the common human experience unites everyone. “I loved ‘The Theory of Relativity’,” Serra said. “ When Mrs. Mulkey first announced the musical, I was a little on the fence. I went ahead and tried out and I ended up absolutely loving it. This musical is very special because, as a cast, we really bonded even when we were so far apart. This show is a perfect COVID-19 show.”


Freshmen Suzanne Sade and Lucy Shively, senior Kathryn Sade, and Barstow freshman Dylan Markey perform the song “You Will Never Know” during the second act of the musical on Jan. 15 in the gym.


Rockhurst senior Toby Rodriguez gasps in exasperation while performing as Adam in “The Theory of Relativity” on Jan. 15 in the gym. (Photos By Sofia Aguayo)


Praying Hand-In-Hand The Interfaith Club hosted an interactive prayer service during the activity period Jan. 21. BY MAGGIE MCKINNEY WEB EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


ontinuing with tradition, the Interfaith Club held their annual prayer service in the gym Jan. 21. In order to follow social distancing guidelines, they broadcasted the service to Maisons during activity period and prepared for students to do a craft within their groups. “It was definitely challenging this year because a big part of the prayer service is everyone being together in the gym,” senior Rajitha Velakaturi said, “but I like that we were able to ask each Maison to turn the lights off in their room, light a candle and still feel present for it.” Speakers and musicians presented in the gym in front of cameras and tech equipment that the AV Club provided to broadcast the prayer service to all the Maisons. Accompanied by a slideshow and added videos, each speaker had the opportunity to speak directly to students all around the school. “We are usually allowed to join together with our friends on the floor, but COVID-19 was quick to decline that, unfortunately,” senior Violet Tumlin said. “However, the prayer service is something I look forward to each year, so I was thankful to even have it. The tech team was really helpful, and Pino really helped everything come together perfectly.” Tumlin presented about how she interprets Christianity and how she has incorporated it into her everyday life and thoughts. Tumlin, who is also a senior prayer leader, focused on how Christianity helps her be positive and reflect on her life and its meaning.” “This prayer service allows me to reflect on my own faith while learning about my classmates’ experiences,” Tumlin said. “I can compare and contrast our faiths and ultimately grow from there.” The prompt for the presenters was “What legacy are we building for future generations by our words and actions and how does religion inspire us to be great ancestors?,” according to Velakaturi. Cohen practices Judaism and spoke about her connection to her faith and how it impacts her everyday life.

Judaism inspires her to care for her planet and her community, as well as how she has begun to explore her faith and other faiths as she’s gotten older. “The prayer service helped me connect to my faith because I got to learn so much more about other traditions and faiths,” Cohen said. “I got to learn so much more about other religions and faith traditions.” Velakaturi has been a member of the Interfaith Club all four years of high school and has presented at the prayer service since freshman year. She participates in order to present an accurate representation of Hinduism and to offer new perspectives to her peers in regards to her faith. “It’s important to me that our prayer service be as comprehensive as possible,” Velakaturi said. “If we have a point of view or perspective that can be shared, I want to share it or open the door for someone else to. I’ve also learned so much about my peers’ faith and their kindness.” As a part of the prayer service, students made bracelets with colored beads that represented different faith values including respect and kindness. They were invited to reflect on their own faith and what it means to them, according to Tumlin. “I love hearing everyone’s different points of view and experiences in their own religions, so I was excited to share my own,” Tumlin said. “I love that Sion encourages girls to share their different walks in faith because it’s so important to learn and grow from others’ experiences.”


Senior Rajitha Velakaturi speaks about her experience with Hinduism and how her faith impacts her life and the way she sees the world during the Interfaith Club prayer service in the gym on Jan. 21. The prayer service was broadcasted live to Maisons during activity period.


Seniors Olivia Valles and Bernice Mendoza help each other with the bead bracelet-making activity in the art room during the Interfaith Club prayer service during activity period of Jan. 21. Students made bracelets with colored beads symbolizing tenants of faith. (All photos by Maggie McKinney)

February 2021 // 05

news Photo by Linda M. Gonzalez/MCT Campus

Vaccination Nation With the release of COVID-19 vaccines, the world began to see the light at the end of the tunnel; however a newly discovered, extremely contagious genetic variant of the virus threatens upheaval once more. BY LIV ZENDER EDITORIAL EDITOR



he state of Kansas received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in early December and immediately began distributing them to hospitals throughout the state. In the past month, Kansas developed the reputation as the slowest state to vaccinate frontline workers. The problem is not in administering the vaccines, but rather the lack of documentation of administered COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the Kansas City Star. Hospital members have struggled to log into the computer system and enter important data, such as how many vaccines have been distributed and at what hospitals, while still placing emphasis on physically administering the vaccines. However, many hospitals, such as The University of Kansas Health System, announced that they have administered the entirety of their first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. Now they are focusing on administering the Moderna vaccine. This means that many health care workers will have already received their first and second doses before the end of January.

A new strain


new strain of the COVID-19 virus was discovered in Britain in early December. Within the past month this virus, called B.1.1.7, has already spread to several different countries. Denmark, South Africa, the Netherlands, Japan and Australia have all been affected. Within the US, a total of 63 cases have been detected thus far. According to an article by NPR regarding the new variant of the virus, there is no evidence that the virus is not anymore deadly, however it is 50% more contagious and children are just as susceptible as adults. The level of contagiousness relates back to the genetics of the virus itself. According to a diagram by the New York Times, B.1.1.7 has the spike protein gene, which allows it to latch onto and enter human cells, an ability that is non-existent for the original strain. As of now, scientists believe that B.1.1.7 does not take away from the effectiveness of the vaccine, but it could be too early to tell for sure. Experiments are currently underway to gain more necessary information. It is important to note that while original strain of COVID-19) is the most common strain, the development of new strains of COVID-19 will continue to form. As of now, the CDC advises to continue following precautions and regulations that apply to the original COVID-19 virus. If handled correctly, current and future COVID-19 variants should not overly affect the outcome of the pandemic.



he state of Missouri also received a shipment of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and began vaccinating health care workers, specifically patient-facing workers, long-term care facility residents and staff. The next phase in this long endeavor will be vaccinating first responders and essential care workers such as teachers, childcare workers and agricultural workers, according to the Washington Post. High-risk populations are also included in this phase, such as those with chronic conditions or citizens over the age of 65. The second phase will prioritize populations that are also at risk populations. For example, vaccines will be administered to inmates and people experiencing homelessness. Finally, the third phase includes all Missouri residents.

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doses per capita




President Joe Biden and National Youth Poet Laureate inspire America to achieve the greatness which they believe it to be capable of.



resident Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn into office with an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Later that day, Biden gave a speech in which he outlined his goals for the next four years in office: rebuilding the nation in light of COVID-19 and uniting over polarizing politics. While many students were not able to view the Inauguration due to it occurring during class time, English teacher Casey Engel was eager to share Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem with her classes because she believes all students need a positive role model that is their own age. “Amanda Gormon is the essence of such a role model; she is powerful beyond measure,” Engel said. “She reminds us that moving words and poise and righteousness are the ultimate antidotes to toxicity.” Students from Engel’s class were moved by Gorman’s powerful tone and eloquent word choice that sought to unify a polarized nation, especially since she is so young. Junior Lizzy Hoffman was moved that someone so young was able to make such a difference and open minds of not only Americans, but viewers from all nations too. “I think that it’s important for students to view this because it’s extremely relevant to us, as we are the next generation of leaders, laureates, and learners that will be able to shape the future that Gorman imagined,” Hoffman said. Gorman inspires a generation that all jobs can have an impact on society even if society does not view them as “valuable” as traditional jobs. It can be hard for some students to break the mold of the traditional career path options. Former students like Katie Kentfield, who is now a legislative correspondent for Senator Jerry Moran did not even realize the full scope of career options until she took a class with history teacher Mary Murphy. “I’m working on Capitol Hill right now because Ms. Murphy showed me a whole different perspective as to what my career options actually look like and what I could go for,” said Kentfield. “She changed my life.” Whether it is Gorman, an inaugural speech or a teacher who inspires you, inspiration has the potential to change lives and people’s relationships with different minded people. Biden reminds us that we are not unable to grow from the politically, socially and economically fragmented state we are currently in in America, and as a matter of fact we already have made changes that will help our nation to move on. “We met the moment that democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrived,” Biden said. “. That our America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world.”

VIEWS ON THE OPPOSITE PARTY: 38% Democrats that view Republicans as “very unfavorable”

43% Republicans that view Democrats as “very unfavorable”

(according to Pew Research Center) (photo by MCT Campus)

February 2021 // 07

team tech feature

Get to know the four new tech help staff members that are carrying us through this tech-heavy year. BY SOFIA AGUAYO COPY EDITOR


emember when there were strangers in every classroom, standing on chairs and installing the new bells? And how the bells sounds cahnged daily? Or what about how at first some of the teachers thought they were the Rockhurst actors for the musical? Well that’s the new IT support for the high school and grade school. In this unusual school year filled with Zoom calls and remote learning, administration decided it was time to take on redesigning and modernizing both schools through SmartPro Technology, a company that helps implement the latest technologies to both commercial and residential owners. After the company redid the entire network, the switch to new tech help when Jason Ketter resigned was simple due to the already existing contract through SmartPro Technology. “When Jason announced that he was leaving, they reached out and asked us if we would be willing to take on the full time IT support throughout the school,” Eric Delacruz said. Delacruz and his coworker, Tyler Freeman, come to the high school from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and spend the other days at the grade school. Delacruz is mainly at the campuses to help with students’ and faculty’s personal computers, Apple TV connection problems and making sure everyone is able to teach and learn remotely. “Typically the teachers have more simple issues than the kids because when you guys run into an issue it’s usually a little bit more complicated to work out,” Delacruz said, “because you’re just younger and a little bit more used to the computers and you want to figure things out on your own.” The IT support staff are employed through SmartPro Technologies and report to the new director of facilities and operations, Daniel Stapf. Stapf manages all the maintenance and housekeeping for both campuses. Recently, he has also been taking on the job of managing all the changes in technology. Along with making sure teachers can connect with remote learners during this interesting time, live streaming events is becoming a necessary way to broadcast events that would normally have a large audience. With the playl season in full swing this month the new head of the AV Club,

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Computer Complications

After finding her in the commons, the new IT support staffer Eric Delacruz helps Junior Kate Lovick solve a problem she was having with her laptop. (Photos by Sofia Aguayo)

Maddie Helm, has taken over managing the tech aspect of the shows, which is much more work than previous years considering the shows is being live-streamed for all three showings. “The main difficulty is it’s a lot of setup in terms of video and especially sound,” Helm said. “Honestly I think it really benefits AV Club because it creates a need for streaming and then it allows us to have the experience of streaming.” To get in contact with the new IT staff for tech help, there is a ticket line to email which they then find you when they’re on campus and help you with whatever the problem is. The number of tickets they get ranges a lot but can be up to 20 on a busy day. During their first few months working, they have had several funny interactions with students, especially at the grade school. “There was one teacher who dressed up her hand sanitizer like Patrick Mahomes,” Delacruz said, “I was standing next to the hand sanitizer and a bunch of young kids were saying ‘he looks like the hand sanitizer,’ I get called Patrick by the kids a lot.”

Gadget Gurus

Director of Facilities and Operations Daniel Stapf and AV Club leader Maddie Helm are both new additions to the tech help team this year.


February 2021 // 09


MANIPULATED by the media Pop culture creates an illusion of perfection and dissatisfaction in the lives of teenagers.


eenage lives revolve around technology, social media and pop culture. Constantly surrounded by information and opinions, adolescents cannot help but be influenced by standards set by digital society. Manipulated by the media, teens try to keep up with trends, fight the FOMO and live up to perfect pictures depicted in movies and celebrities’ Instagram feeds. This is especially true during a stay-at-home order involving a great deal of extra time. 70% of teenagers use social media multiple times a day and 38% describe it as having a negative impact on their opinion of themselves, according to Outback Therapeutic Expeditions. This is especially prominent in keeping up with unachievable standards, with adolescents following the ever changing social media trends, such as Chloe Ting’s workouts and a goal of achieving the perfect body. In search of validation, teens base their self-worth on the amount of likes and comments they may receive on a certain post. This is established by the addictive dopamine released when using “persuasive technology” that social media sites designed specifically to utilize human psychology and to get teenagers to spend more time on their platforms. In search for views, likes, and comments, some find themselves acting impulsively, following trends and even going as far as eating a tide pod. Because of teens’ underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain classified for good judgement, it is easier for them to be persuaded to follow these social media trends. Teenagers who spend more than five hours on social media are two times more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms. Social media trends influence teens into constantly comparing themselves to the seemingly perfect and exciting lives of those around them, causing them to view their own lives as boring and unhappy as according to OTE. As teens are constantly broadcasting their lives and viewing the altered perceptions of others, they are reminded of what they were not invited to and what they may have missed out on. This obsession can lead to loss of self identity and focus on their own lives, according to Very Well family. 60% of young adults feel anxious after finding out their friends were hanging out without them and 51% worry when they do not know what their friends are doing. This is especially true during the times of COVID-19 where some may not be allowed out of the house while others still manage to go out and socialize. FOMO directly

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shapes teens’ perspective of what their life should look like causing them to have “lower levels of satisfaction with their lives” if their’s does not look like the ones they see on social media, according to Very Well family. This idealism can go as far as teens not wanting to be seen if they are not wearing the right clothes, driving the right cars or associating with the right people. Surrounded by skewed idealism and the illusion of perfection, teenagers and people in general often find themselves dissatisfied by the realities of their own lives, hyper focused on a “bad” picture, an off day, or the idea of being ordinary, according to Advanced Psychology. The aim for idealism has been around much longer than social media, as seen in old ads and tv shows focused on being the “perfect” housewife or having the “white fence” family, but this pressure has only been expanded with the development and widening of social media and television. This idealism is prominent in all parts of life causing teens to seek success exuded by their favorite celebrities whether it’s from beauty, body image, or general happiness. This perception also extends into relationships, as influencers often keep their “sad, hard, and heartbreaking moments” to themselves while only revealing posts that hightlight their happiness. Teenagers then seek that “perfect” relationship without knowledge of any hardships faced by those in relationships. Another prominent influence in the lives of adolescents is that of “glow-up culture” or the idea that one needs to transform their appearance in order to be celebrated, according to The Teeming Mass. Teenagers romanticize the idea of having a “perfect life’, no matter how that may affect their mental health or self image, only focusing on changing themselves to fit in. As teenagers scroll through social media feeds, they indirectly introduce themselves to a world of constant comparing and seeking the unachievable. Their dependence on platforms for validation and attention only pinpoints what they do not have and what they do not look like. Social media and pop culture can be dangerous to young adults that push themselves to achieve the perfect life, body, love, outfit, family. Idealistic expectations such as glow-up culture and FOMO leave blemishes on teenagers’ self image and quality of life, causing pop culture, which was originally used for entertainment, to negatively impact teens globally. This editorial reflects the views of the Le Journal staff. Eleven out of sixteen staffers voted in favor of this editorial.


HOMELESS, NOT HOPELESS Photo by Harrison Haines/Pexels

As temperatures drop this time of year, the local homeless encampments become a prominent moral issue. STORY BY REPORTER LAUREN SHAW DESIGN BY A&E EDITOR ELLA ROGGE


he winter season brings the excitement of the holidays, ice skating and cookie baking. It also brings sickness, hypothermia and death, an unfortunate reality for many living on the streets. 2,381 Kansans and 6,179 Missourians are experiencing homelessness as of 2018, according to The United States Interagency on Homelessness. As a number of these numbers are in the Kansas City metro area, I think the city’s leaders should make more of an effort to solve this ongoing problem. Although the outcome of this dilemma mainly in the hands of the city council, there are some things the youth can do to help. A great way to give back to the community is through volunteering. At least 700 people experiencing homelessness are killed from hypothermia annually in the United States, as stated by the National Coalition for the Homeless. With COVID-19 overshadowing the other dangers that have been around longer, it can be easy to look past people constantly out in


Kansasans are currently homeless


Missourians are currently homeless

temperatures below freezing this year. Some charities you can offer your time to are ScrapsKC and Uplift. Scraps KC is a store that supplies donated craft supplies and other office items where people of lower income can work in exchange for a meal. This organization also prepares kits and meals for the homeless that don’t work at their resale shop. If you have commitments that keep you from volunteering, you could donate to organizations such as Micah Ministries that collect clothes and other hygienic necessities to distribute to the homeless. As seen on their website, they have handed out about 1,500 items of clothing, and served 50,000 plates of warm supper in 2019. Another way to help the city come closer to a solution is by sending a letter to your local politician, addressing your concerns for lives outside of a home. Discussing the topic with your friends and family is another ideal way for spreading awareness and recruiting other potential volunteers. As of now, the government is not doing enough to formulate a solution to these unnecessary deaths. Although the virus is playing a much larger part in total deaths at the time, this reoccurring issue that the city has not yet solved should be made a priority. As of now, multiple charities do the most they can to provide for the less fortunate in these harsh winters. Even if you think that one simple act made by you couldn’t possibly make much of a difference, one person is all it could take to leave a positive impact on the community.


plates served by MICAH MINISTERIES

February 2021 // 11


NO CURE FOR COVIDITIS Seniors are navigating uncharted territory as they are cheated from the typical high school senior year experience amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. BY MORGAN HERRIOTT PRINT MANAGING EDITOR


or almost a year now, high school students have been told that although things may be different now, they should trust the process and remember that teens across the nation are in the same boat as them. For the high school classes of 2020 and 2021, navigating a path for college and their future became much more difficult than expected. Between limited campus visits, cancelled standardized testing dates, changes in financial stability, adapting to online learning and more, senioritis has been coming in full force. Although for the most part it isn’t their fault, high school seniors are just not prepared for many of the responsibilities they have to face in the upcoming months. In general, COVID-19 has made it extremely difficult to stay motivated and persistent in school efforts. Now add the stress of trying to decide where you’ll spend the next four years of your life on top of this. The process leading up to making a college decision has many different complexities and factors, and is becoming even more complicated now that the pandemic is forcing the world to adapt to new normalities. Typically, a student would begin their process researching schools online. Sprinkle in a

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few campus visits to get an understanding of the atmosphere they desire for their college experience. Work on college resumes, financial aid and scholarship applications, keeping up your grades and GPA and excelling in standardized tests. Get admitted to the school that feels like home. This process has been essentially destroyed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, there is essentially no good way for students to know what they’re looking for in a college when they aren’t allowed to visit and get a feel for the community and campus atmosphere. Placing yourself in different college environments is crucial to determining what kind of school is best for a specific student, according to IvyWise. By being on campus, meeting with current university students and consulting with admissions counselors, seniors are able to get a feel for what they’re looking for. Now that this has been stripped away and almost all visits have been switched to virtual or flat-out cancelled, seniors are just left to assume what they want and hope for the best. Standardized testing scores have also been a hot topic of discussion since the beginning of the pandemic. Since 2020, a multitude of testing dates for the ACT and SAT were cancelled and left many students without having a standardized test score under their belt. For the Class of 2021, over 1450 colleges and universities have moved to a test-optional policy due to the cancellation of test dates nationwide, according to the National Association for College Admission Testing. While this has lifted a huge weight off of many students’ shoulders, it doesn’t relieve all of the pressure. The test-optional policy puts added

emphasis on other areas of a students academic capabilities, which isn’t ideal since many students’ college readiness has gone down since the beginning of the pandemic. Even though colleges and universities have begun to relax deadlines and some certain expectations, high school seniors are still struggling to navigate the college admissions process. The steps that these schools have taken to try and make the process easier does not change the fact that these seniors have gone a year without their typical education and preparation for college. The way our education system runs has been completely altered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now students are left in the dark to figure out how to plan for their future.


Contrary to popular belief, Consumerism and the pandemic fit hand-in-hand. BY MADELINE HAMMETT PRINT CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


uffering amidst a pandemic that just can’t seem to run its course is inevitable for a consumerist society. Local retail, restaurants and small businesses are all struggling to make it through COVID-19 times alive. Consumerism, on the other hand, is thriving. While this is something that is easily questioned considering a large part of consumerism depends on the very businesses that are failing left and right, it is true. Consumerism is alive and well - now more than ever. Death to local American shops may be a dangerous sign of the times, but consumerism is proving to be one of the only constants in this ever changing world. The unavoidable human nature to “want more” doesn’t decrease just because a pandemic is surging in and out of countries across the seas. In fact, stay-athome orders and quarantines have likely only increased consumerism. The industry saw flat growth, not an uncommon pattern at the beginning of the year, in January to the end of February 2020, according to JP Morgan. Beginning in March, the industry began to spike into the double digits; this is very rare for the industry and completely unexpected in the middle of a lockdown. This spike only began to switch from a constant increase to a constant decrease in July of 2020, according to JP Morgan. When consumers are stuck at home with nothing to do other than stare at what they don’t have in their living spaces - they convince themselves that the ring light from Tik Tok, the almond milk on Instagram or the bluetooth speaker that keeps popping up on Facebook is just what they need to get them through this neverending homebound spell. Consumerism is thriving specifically for products that the world seems to be unable to live without. Lysol, Dettol and Aerosol are just a few of

the companies that surpassed 100% sales in 2020 because of the world’s new found obsession with cleanliness, according to JP Morgan. This is no surprise, considering current circumstances. A few other things that saw surges in sales are vitamin and supplement companies as well as hair coloring companies, according to JP Morgan. Clearly a sign that beginning to live a healthy lifestyle at home and avoiding grey hair on zoom calls is a priority for many consumers. Forbes took the liberty of dividing the surge in consumerism seen during and after the initial effects of the pandemic into three clear categories: survival, embracing quarantine and making the most out of a crisis. The survival category demanded cleaning products and a huge stock up on paper goods and canned food items, according to Forbes. Embracing quarantine is the category that gave consumers a bit more liberty. This category satisfied consumers “wants” while at home. Things such as desktop computers, headsets, board games, air fryers and pizza ovens were purchased to help make home bound life a bit more enjoyable, according to Forbes. The last category, making the most out of a crisis, included ways to make quarantine efficient. Common purchases were paint, storage tubs and fitness equipment, according to Forbes. No better time to get on the workout grind or purge closets of ten-year-old items than when going out is out of the question. Consumerism may be 30, flirty and thriving, but society is forcing it to go from 13 to 30 in the snap of two fingers. Consumerism is changing right before the eyes of the consumers - faster than they can say “I want that.” In-person grocery shopping is becoming a past norm and E-commerce trends are swooping in to likely take up permanent residence in the lives of online grocery buyers, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The only question left to ask is are these changes permanent, or will our dear friend consumerism be back to her innocent 13-year-old pre-pandemic self before we know it?


aerosol disinfectant sales grew 385.3% in 2020

toilet paper sales grew 60% in 2020

multipurpose cleaner sales grew 148.2% in 2020

bath and shower wipe sales grew 180% in 2020

paper towel sales grew 40.8% in 2020 (all statistics according to Statista) (all illustrations by Morgan Herriott)

February 2021 // 13

cover story

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Cover story


Party Party CULTURE

Teenagers are experiencing an epidemic of the normalization of drinking, vaping, and partying that has grasped Generation Z. STORY & DESIGN BY CO PHOTO EDITORS KATE CONWAY & KEELY SCHIEFFER


t’s a Friday night. Cars line the streets. SoundCloud remixes blare from the basement. Red solo cups litter the sticky floor and a fruity smelling fog wafts through the air. A steady stream of people fill the already crowded basement. The drinking games, endless chattering and never-ending supply of alcohol make for a typical night out. Party culture has become prevalent in the lives of highschool teens. Out of 139 high school girls polled, 60% said they go out up to once a month, whether this is triggered by peer pressure or by a phantom expectation as teens teeter between childhood and adulthood. Social media is a growing factor, as its influence in teen lives has increased in prominence and addictiveness. Party culture has followed close behind. Teenagers have latched onto partying in a way that has become extremely normalized as society progresses; it is so documented, making it seem “normal”, as if “everyone is doing it”.

This “normalization” must be addressed and stopped. “I think partying has become more normalized because it seems like it is the only way for large groups to get together,” junior Abby Thornhill said.

behind the scenes Platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and VSCO are apps targeted for a teen audience, and users post and view party scenes and underage drinking on each feed. TikTok boosts videos that feature new drinking games and cocktail recipes. Scrolling the “For You” pages exposes teens to partying and drinking on a daily basis. Eighty-seven percent of 139 polled students believe that drinking and partying have become normalized. “I think that most teenagers you see become involved in the party culture. If you were to trace it down to the core belief driving

February 2021 // 15

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behavior, it’s some kind of insecurity or some kind of desire to escape the realities of our daily life,” pastor and former D.A.R.E. officer Jeremy Brownlee said. “I think social media is a thing that has driven not just teenagers, but all people’s insecurities to levels that we just haven’t seen before.” Of the students polled in January, 41% feel as if they are pressured to fit into the party scene. “When I was in high school, you couldn’t see on Snapchat where everyone was or even use social media at all,” Counselor Erica Ellwanger said. “So I definitely think that piece of belonging - to want to be on social media doing something ‘cool’ - contributes to the normalization.” Big streaming companies also contribute to the popularization and glamorization of party culture. Shows like “Euphoria” streamed on HBO Max targets younger audiences and promotes what it is like to party. The plot includes underaged teens using explicit substances and minors participating in dodgey antics. It glorifies illegal behavior by leaving out the obvious dangers and modeling partyheavy fictional characters as “real” role models. Although promotion of underage partying may not have been the goal, influencers, celebrities, movies and TV shows aid in the rise of adolescent partying, whether we like it or not. “Pop culture 100% supports party culture,” senior Anna McQueeny said. “We have been given access to see how celebrities party and that has influenced anyone who has the ability to see how they live. The music we listen to is filled with the idea that going out and partying is how we are to have a good time. It has has become normal to get wild every weekend, and I see it progressively influencing the younger generations earlier in their lives.”

the partying pandemic Generation Z formed during the rise of tech companies, big businesses and now - a pandemic. Party participation has always been around, and exposure to the lifestyle at

83% of students know someone who vapes

(Polled out of 139 students)

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n o i l l .2 Mi


ing at

rink inge d rted b onth o p e r am gers Teena least once

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism earlier ages has increased steadily over time, but the current generation experiences skyrocketing coverage of the culture. Alcohol manufacturers don’t help. Makers of hard seltzers and lemonades attempt to target younger millennials with these new products, but the youthful marketing ideas and internet memes seep into feeds of younger generations. Drinking, vaping and other “party” activities have become eerily common in younger generations leading to the illusion that it is acceptable and advisable to post illegal substances to hundreds of followers despite the dangers; 33.8% of students said they feel the need to post to fit in. Posting clearly illegal activities as a minor is not only dangerous in the moment, but it also affects potential college acceptances and job opportunities. “With everything that is posted on Snapchat or Instagram now, I think people feel the need to party and post it so that they can fit into certain stereotypes,” senior Ruby Wright said. Drinking games have come to be considered an aesthetic. Trends like painting custom beer pong tables, drink making and partying envelop all social media platforms, and make each event appear increasingly appealing with the right filter or epic editing from the poster. But drinking games allow for rapid consumption of alcohol due to the competitive nature of some of the games. While they may seem harmless and fun to naive teens, it is dangerous to consume alcohol so quickly and uncontrolled - not to mention for teens, it’s completely illegal. “I think the factors of partying and underage drinking are multifaceted,” Ellwanger said. “There are teenagers who

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might feel excluded if they don’t, some people might do it because it is how they deal with stress, for pictures for Instagram, or the mentality that if everyone else is doing it then I need to.” The pull of party culture among teens overcomes even the fear of COVID-19 as friend groups continue to gather. During the start of quarantine, a dramatic drop in party participation occurred, but as time has gone on parties have begun to pick up again, according to the Kansas City Star. Underage partying in a pandemic adds another level as blatantly illegal activity mingles with a significant public health threat. “The pandemic has definitely slowed down people going out,”McQueeny said. “But on the other hand, it hasn’t. I think that a lot of people have just learned to keep it quiet and go out on their own risk, which they are willing to take.”

17% 6% No


(Polled out of 139 students)

Kids as young as twelve might see or experience party culture in the media. Older teens face real decisions or pressures facing them to choose whether or not they should participate. These decisions are accompanied by a plethora of danger, as party culture has an addictive nature. “Once you are in the cycle of party culture, it is hard to get out,” First Call Director of Prevention Services




after the party


Has the pandemic slowed down how often you go out?





Do you think that partying has become normalized? (Polled out of 139 students)

Margaux Guignon said. “Alcohol is an addictive substance, but so is that lifestyle because when we see teens party they tend to think that if they make a choice and it turns out okay, the next time will be less risky, but really the risk doesn’t change. We end up taking larger risks due to this which unfortunately leads to taking even larger and more dangerous risks down the road.” The side effects of underage drinking and nicotine usage are no small detail. “Adolescent alcohol abuse and dependence may prove to be more damaging than alcoholism in adulthood by killing brain cells in the hippocampus, blocking brain receptors that form memories and causing protracted neurological impairments,” according to a study conducted by J. Chamberlin via the American Psychological Association. Underage drinking is not only linked to physical consequences but creates impulsive behavior which have been linked to self harm and a multitude of mental health issues, according to an APA study done by T. DeAngelus. “To me, the greatest threat is the longer term effects on health. For any kind of risk-taking behavior, the shorter the duration, the less likelihood of danger. There’s a much greater risk of alcoholism in people who start drinking in their teenage years,” Brownlee said. “To me, it just becomes a compounding or multiplying effect; the earlier you start drinking, the more likely you are to one day become an alcoholic. The documented negative effects of that are everywhere.”

February 2021 // 17


THE PRINCESS OF THEMYSCIRA As superhero sequels go, especially DC superhero sequels, Wonder Woman 1984 is pretty top-shelf. BY CALLIE CAMERON REPORTER


our favorite baddie Amazonian princess is back in action for a mustwatch sequel. Once again directed by female director Patty Jenkins and starring supermodel Gal Gadot as the infamous wonder woman in this 80’s throwback immersion. After the events of World War I depicted in the original film, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) lives quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s, an era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all. Though she’s come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile by curating ancient artifacts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and only performing heroic acts incognito. But soon, Diana will have to muster all of her strength, wisdom and courage as she finds herself squaring off against Maxwell Lord and the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility. She collaborates with a new colleague, shy gemologist Barbara Minerva, played by the comical SNL star Kristen Wiig to consult a recovered stolen artifact: a citrine rock embedded in a base engraved with Latin words asking those who hold it to make a wish. However, before they can really analyze it, oil entrepreneur Max Lord (Pedro Pascal), wants it for his own


personal gain and desires to be the most powerful person in the world. Will each of their desires outweigh the lives of the world? Diana soon finds herself up against two new villains (Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal), who are motivated by envy and greed. With the return of her long-lost love, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), the pair teams up with the fate of the world in their hands, again. There is more romance in Wonder Woman than most other superhero films, and watching the gorgeous dreamy blue eyed makes the complex plot easier to digest. During the action and adventure fantasy, expect battle scenes, car chases, heavy artillery, gun use, nuclear weapons, fierce hand-to-hand combat, and the occasional steamy Chris Pine with a fanny pack. This sequel isn’t quite as diverse as the original but does feature female leads, a woman writerdirector, and Pascal, who’s Latino, as the villain. That said, it also has stereotypical representations of Middle Eastern people and problematic messages around the idea of returning colonized land, the impact of domestic abuse. With a two hour and 31 min running time on HBO Max, “Wonder Woman 1984” accomplishes what we look at Hollywood producers to do: whisks us away from our worries, and erase them with pure escapism. Photos used with permission from MCT CAMPUS.


BRIDGERTON During the Regency era in England, eight close-knit siblings of the powerful Bridgerton family attempt to find love.

18 // LeJournal



Excuse Me, I love you

Fairies attend a magical boarding school in the Otherworld, where they must learn to master their magical powers while navigating love, rivalries and monsters.

The new Netflix documentary series Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer goes in-depth on the rampage, interviewing police, victims, and reporters about the search and capture of Richard Ramirez.

This stands apart from other recent music documentaries of singers of her generation by sticking almost solely to concert performances.


Can Instagram Ever be


The movement to “Make Instagram Casual Again” sparks conversation on social media platforms. BY GRACE HILLS SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR


nstagram is past its fixing point. What once was “casual” postings in the early stages has evolved into a personal advertisement. The informality of posting has become indistinguishable among the promotions and filters. That’s where the movement to “Make Instagram Casual Again” comes in - users are going back to the roots of the app in an attempt to dump the highlight reels. Out of 251 teenagers polled, 61% said they do not believe Instagram can ever truly be casual, according to an Instagram poll. That’s where an attempted solution was created; “Herd”, an app created by two women who noticed that the toxicity of comparison on social media flows from high school straight into the workplace, is a true oasis for all things casual. The creators concluded that the root of issues on social media all has to do with the likes and followers system, so their app is launching without a public display of either. It also promotes a sense of community by creating

“community pages” or, in their idea, herds to flock to. “The likes and comment system makes Instagram inherently competitive,” Hope Locke ‘19 said. “Everyone who has ‘casual’ Instagrams puts 2,000 times more effort into it.” Instagram is not oblivious to the fact that its content has become a catalyst for comparison. CEO Adam Mosseri stated that the app would begin testing a platform with likes hidden from the general public, so that only the creator could see the official count according to his Twitter. Though the concept hasn’t been fully enacted throughout the United States, a few randomized accounts have been selected for a testing trial. It was employed to depressurize the weight that comes from every like, according to Mosseri. There’s been a segment of Instagram free from public likes or comments that has gone right under our noses; Instagram stories. Though in the beginning it was just seen as another emulation of Snapchat, stories have started to boom, especially for promotional products. Debatably, having an advertisement for a company up for only 24 hours instead of plastered and glued to a personal page is significantly more casual. Brands usually search for the number of likes tacked to the bottom of the post as an indication of how their

product would do on a certain influencer’s feed. Now, with the slow movement to a like-free Instagram, brands would have to seek out content creators who have a more authentic relationship with their followers and a booming comment section. The process will not happen overnight, the evolution to make Instagram “casual again” is slowly happening.

What the people say: Senior Dillan Elmquist “Unless celeberities or those with large followings start making it ‘casual’, no one else is going to.”

Senior Violet Tumlin

“There is a constant sense of pressure on teenagers to post pictures that ‘flatter’ them.”

Senior Riley Weaver

“I’m scared to put something casual out for that many people.”

February 2021 // 19





As their senior year comes to a close, meet the behind-thescenes basketball managers who helped the season happen.

Throughout the season, the managers have attended almost every practice and every game - home or away. Their work on the team surpassed the stereotypical water-bottle filling, according to Pilgreen. “They’re at everything,” Pilgreen said. “They’re at every single game. I think their BY AVERY BRUNDIGE work ethic is above anybody that I’ve ever CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF seen. I can’t say enough good stuff about them.” oices hoarse and tensions high, Varsity Head Coach Chad Lynn has seniors Sophie Henkle, Mason Lewis and Sharon Kramschuster watch from assigned the crew a few odd jobs, including unboxing and assembling the new score the sidelines as senior co-captain table and carrying the cardboard remnants Shannon Karlin sinks the buzzer beater to the recycling bin outside. As COVID-19 shot, winning the varsity game against St. led to an influx of online spectators, the Teresa’s Academy on Jan. 5. Cheers burst from the managers’ mouths as the triumph managers have assumed a part-time film and broadcast position. sets in. The Storm has won again. “Some of our duties are working the This year’s managerial team is unique, clock, videotaping games, working on music according to Athletic Director Kate playlists, gathering balls after warmups and Pilgreen. Although past managers have other favors that the coaches or players stuck to taking stats, this year’s squad has ask us to do,” Lewis said. gone above and beyond; they are often Kramschuster encourages rising involved in drills, put in charge of creating seniors to seriously consider taking their pre-game mixtapes and much more. position next year. Although it’s a lot of work, the job has its perks; friendships forged during practices have spilled over into fourth hour study halls and pre-game taco nights. “I didn’t know Sophie as well before we became managers together,” Kramschuster said. “But now she is one of my closest friends. It just goes to show that you never know who you’re going to meet when you put yourself out there and try new things.” “Besides the ordinary managerial This fearsome threesome has a strong duties like taking stats, videotaping or bond not only with the team, but amongst running the clock, I feel like we are a themselves, according to Henkle. The group mini fan club of the basketball team,” formed in their government class following Kramschuster said. “We truly want a conversation with Lynn. everyone to succeed and we feel that our “Since becoming a manager, I have presence shows our support.”

spent so much time with the other managers that I am happy to call them some of my best friends,” Henkle said. “It’s so fun being able to hang out after school everyday and just mess around on the basketball court.” This incredible work ethic, paired


20 // LeJournal

with the group’s positive attitude, led them to become part of the team. They have set a new standard for managerial duties, according to senior co-captain Olivia Shively. “The basketball managers are extremely dedicated this year which helps run practice smoothly and I don’t think we could do it without them,” Shively said. “I am so thankful to have such a dedicated managerial squad.”


February 2021 // 21



enior Shannon Karlin made her basketball debut at just five years old. She began playing club basketball in fourth grade and continued to improve her skills and game play as she aged. Additionally, her Sion entrance exam letter stated Karlin “wanted to win a basketball state title at Sion high school.” Now, Karlin and her team are celebrating her 1 thousandth shot made during the St. Teresa’s game at Sion on Jan. 5. “I honestly didn’t realize it was my 1 thousandth point shot,” Karlin said. “It was a very rewarding experience because it was one of my high school goals.” Judy Karlin, Shannon’s mom, has been consistently supportive of Karlin’s endeavors and says Karlin’s work ethic is unparalleled. “Whether it’s in the classroom or on the court,” Judy said, “she puts many hours into being prepared and becoming the best student and player out there.” Training takes up between 25 to 30 hours a week, according to Karlin. Most days, Karlin trains with her skills coach Jonathon Anaekwe. Anaekwe has worked with Karlin for the past four years throughout her basketball season and commitment process. He described Karlin as passionate, determined, and humble. Karlin began her recruitment process in seventh grade. “Over the summer and mostly in June, you spend the whole month just touring different colleges,” Karlin said. “Then, in July you play in a ton of tournaments where they come to watch you.” Karlin committed to play basketball at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo on Nov. 11, 2020. Committing to play at the division 1 level is a testament to her hard work on and off the court, according to Judy Karlin. “She’s going to run her tank until empty, doing anything she puts her mind to.” Anawke said. “She gives it her all.”

Shannon Karlin




fourth QUARTER quarter THOUGHTS thoughts FOURTH Notre Dame de Sion basketball seniors share some last words as their season comes to a close. BY CATHERINE CRAYON VIDEO CONTENT EDITOR


atelyn Brinkman, Sion’s very own point guard, has been playing basketball since fifth grade and has played every year while at Sion. Her favorite memory from this season was taking a timer picture before or after each game and practice. She also loves when everyone would stay after practice to try and make five free throws in a row. Although she’s not continuing her basketball career in college, Brinkman is going to miss the close knit community of the team next year. Olivia Shively has been playing since fifth grade and has played every Sion

22// LeJournal

basketball season. “My favorite memory so far is winning against STA with a buzzerbeater,” Shively said. Although she’s indecisive on continuing her basketball career, Shively is going to miss joking around with Coach Chad and her teammates pushing one another to be better players. Shannon Karlin has been playing basketball since kindergarten. Her favorite memory from this season was beating St. Teresa’s at home. “It was really sentimental to me,” Karlin said, “my first game at Sion was against STA at home and I also achieved one of my high school goals by getting my 1000 point ball at that game.” Karlin especially loves the little moments at practices that show how close they are and competing everyday with some of her favorite people. “I’m going to definitely miss Shive’s stanky leg and Coach Chad’s roasts,” Karlin plans to play basketball at California

Polytechnic State University next year for college. Hannah Borgmeyer has been playing basketball since kindergarten and has played on Sion’s team for every year in high school. Her favorite memory this year was “singing Shallow [by Lady Gaga] on the bus at the top of our lungs.” Although Borgmeyer will not continue playing while in college, she will miss the sense of family the team has made and joking around with one another during practice. Olivia Pope has been playing since 4th grade and has played for three years on Sion’s team. Her favorite memories from her highschool career were belting out songs during the bus rides after winning a game and scrimmaging as a team. Pope is interested in playing intramural in college and says she will miss her team and the competition dearly.


SPRING INTO SPORTS Student Advice “If you go out for the team do it for yourself, its supposed to be fun. You go out for this sport because you genuinely enjoy it. Don’t lose that.” - Freshman Maya Hernandez “For track, the coaches will have you take some intro tests to help them figure out where you’d fit best, but they’re also flexible and understanding. So, if you get put in an event you don’t like, they’ll work with you.” - Senior Olivia Overlease


Make sure to bring proper equipment

Make sure to wear supportive tennis shoes


Bring extra hair ties

Make a good first impression (don’t be shy)



Bring lots of water and drink plenty of water

Hustle! Hustle! Hustle!




Dress appropriate for the weather

Get in shape before you attend tryouts. The first week is always the worst so keep going. Don’t stress about tryouts because the teams are not set in stone. It’s a lot of fun! - Senior Averi Myrick

While spring sports are aproaching quickly, each team prepares for the upcoming season ahead. BY KATE MCCARTHY NEWS & SPORTS EDITOR




Tryouts for soccer are set to begin on March 1, marking the beginning of spring sports. Currently, Head Coach Doug McLagan is holding workouts after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays in order to get a head start on the season. These workouts allow the team to build on their potential for a successful year as they face a more difficult schedule with more challenging schools. There are a large number of girls in the senior class this year, so there is plenty of experience in the throughout the roster as a whole, according to McLagan. “Leave the field knowing that you gave it 100% every time,” McLagan said, “The results will take care of themselves.”

The 2021 track and field season will begin on March 1 along with the start of the spring sports season. Track and field does not host tryouts, so those who come out and commit to the sport are on the team. Head coach and hurdles coach Cody Buhrmeister has hopes for the season to come even in the midst of COVID-19. Buhrmeister encourages all who plan to try out to have a passion for running, because they do a lot of it. “I have always had one motto since taking over as the head coach,” Buhrmeister said, “Do your best and make sure to have fun.”

The lacrosse season is expected to begin on a date that is still being worked out by the athletic department. The head coach of the lacrosse program this year is Molly Munninghoff and the team is excited for the upcoming season and has been training in an off season league this winter. In addition to this, seniors have been leading off season workouts in order to get in peak shape for the up coming season. “Stretch out your legs especially your calves, try to run or condition before the season starts to get into shape, and don’t be afraid if you haven’t played before” Senior Kate Vankeirsbilck said. “It is easy to pick up.”

February 2021 // 23


MaskingYour Mark Freshman Gracie Orf explores her interest and love for making masks.



s she left the Joann’s craft store, carrying two yards each of new patterned fabric, freshman Gracie Orf was ready to get to work. She took out the scissors, the thread, all of her fabric, and the sewing machine. The creating had begun. The beads were sewed and the embroidery was thred. Orf was creating mask after mask after mask, and she loved it. “It’s something that I don’t really have to think about. I like to do tasks that take my mind off of everything that goes on and relax,” Orf said, expressing her passion for mask making. Since Orf was seven years old, she has been sewing on her aunt’s sewing machine. She started by making blankets and is now making masks, thanks to her mother, Diane Orf’s, suggestion. “We heard other people making them,” Diane said. “That’s where we came up with the idea.” Once Orf realized that mask making wasn’t hard, she just didn’t stop. Her masks include thick fabrics, embroidery, beading, and other detailing all bought at Joann’s and hand-stitched by Orf. The masks take from several minutes to a few hours to complete. Orf thinks that if she spends more time on the masks they will be prettier and more people will want them. “The more interesting you can make them, the more likely people will wear them,” Orf said. “You have [fabrics] to swap around.” Diane helps Orf pick out the different fabrics and since Orf is the only one who can work her aunt’s sewing machine, she makes the masks as well. She also sells the masks to her friends and family, from five dollars to 10 dollars depending on how long it took her to make that mask and how detailed it is. Sometimes, Orf gives her masks away as birthday presents. When her friends like freshman Lexi Huston ask for a mask, Orf will give her one. “I’ve gotten a lot of masks from her already,” Huston said. “I keep misplacing them so whenever I need a new one I can go to her and ask if she can help me out.” Orf makes these masks because it is something everyone needs to have. She tries to make the masks breathable and effective. She fits the mask to the customer’s face by taking a jaw measurement. Orf tries to make the mask good for the skin by using thicker fabrics and lining fabric. “It’s really comfortable and it’s easier to breathe,” Huston said. “I’ve been wearing it to school for a while now and it’s pretty nice.” Orf loves making masks because it relaxes her and takes her mind off of everything. She describes it as a habit, something she doesn’t have to think about and can do while listening to music. “You might as well do something with your time while you’re doing nothing else,” Orf said. “I think it’s fun.” Orf believes that making these masks benefits her community and Huston agrees. “She’s a very creative person and she likes to express herself,” Huston said. “She’s really good at what she does so she’s probably just trying to get better.”

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BLUE MIDNIGHT Freshman Gracie Orf created this dark blue mask with a light blue and white flower design. “The patterns are nice and the fabric is soft, but that’s not what I look for.” Orf said. “I strive for only the best quality in the items that I put out into the world.”(Photo submitted by Gracie Orf and illustrated by Brianna Legette).

PURPLE GALAXY Freshman Gracie Orf created this purple mask with a white sparkly or galaxy design. “Seeing people wear something that I spent so much time and energy crafting piece by piece, stitch by stitch, and hearing how much they like it,” Orf said. “Nothing could make me happier because I know that I did my best work and that it will last a long time, as any customizable object should.”(Photo submitted by Gracie Orf and illustrated by Brianna Legette).

The Girl Made of Fabric And Beads Freshman Gracie Orf is shown wearing a purple mask with pearls that she created. “You could say I’m inspired to make these myself, instead of buying them from somewhere else, by the fact that I can add my own personal touches, make my own designs, and choose my own fabrics to show little bits of my personality.” Orf said (Photo by Brianna Legette).

Creative Colors Freshman Gracie Orf created a variety of different masks. She creates masks for her friends, family and herself. She has created rose masks complete with rose textures and elastic string. She has also been creative with her choice in fabric, choosing fabrics anywhere from red and white with hearts to Minnie Mouse from the childhood TV show. Texture is one of the elements that Orf adds to her masks that make her creations so unique (Photo by Brianna Legette).

February 2021 // 25

A&E design by print-coeditor-in-chief madeline hammett according to the washington post

2 0 2 0

devastation due to wildfires in Australia and U.S.A West Coast Locusts

Deadly explosion in beruit, lebanon killed


Airplane crashes in iran and pakistan

Murder Hornets Arrived Protests swarms in Kobe & due to africa The United States Gianna police became the Bryant killings of President most politically Trump died in a unarmed Contracted polarized it has Helicopter black crash ever been americans COVID-19 President Trump lost the election occured Alex that he disputed the results of throughout Trebek the U.S.A. Died The Royal Family was broken up by Prince Harry and his wife, Megan, Duchess of Sussex

337,000 million

U.S. President challenged Proven to be a valid and peaceful election election results dead in the u.s.a


26 // LeJournal

1.7 million

dead worldwide

A&E according to the new york times and cnn

2 0 2 1

Presidential inauguration of joe biden UEFA

the queen of england turns


Widespread COVID-19 Immunity

Euro T20 Cricket World Cup progress Championship New Climate on the Nasa’s Traveling policies climate perserverance and front and and Large rover will touch action a decrease Gatherings down on mars in from in global Expected to february governments Resume carbon A spirit of global cooperation emmissions Tokyo on a large global challenge due to the June pandemic Olympics china is expected to investigate alibaba and crack down on their technology freedoms

#redefine Gifting

Success with Moderna Fight against philanthropic and Pfizer vaccines

efforts like mackenzie scott’s

$4.2 billion



February 2021 // 27

Rooted In Sion

Distant But Social

Sophomore Amelia Maguire talks with her group as they make jewelry out of colored string and beads together. “I learned that we all go through ups and downs and being negative isn’t the way to handle our problems,” Maguire said. “I think the retreat helped the class bond because we discussed how Sion has brought us closer and how welcoming we are to new students.”

Heart to Heart

Seniors Mary Hudak (left) and Grace Steyer (right) open up to the class of 2023 about mental health, social media and the challenges of navigating high school. “I think one main idea for my takeaway is that you deserve the same amount of love that you give to your friends and family,” Steyer said. “The most important thing in life is taking care of yourself.”

Breaking the Ice (right) Sophomore Anna Golian (pictured) makes necklaces with sophomore Annie Stevens while taking part in a small group activity. “I feel like still finding a way to have the sophomore retreat while obliging the the covid rules is great,” Stevens said. Branching Out (left)

Director of High School Campus Ministry Stephanie Pino-Dressman led the students in prayer and song to begin the retreat. “The goal of our Sion retreats is to make stronger connections with our peers and to grow in awareness of God,” Pino-Dressman said.

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February 2021 Issue  

February 2021 Issue  

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