MV Viewer 2022-23 Issue 1

Page 1

The Gap: the problem with academic inequity in America

Rob Reetz ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ review Girls soccer
The Viewer Volume 70 Issue 1 September 30, 2022 Website: Instagram: @mvviewer News 02 News 02 Features 03 Arts & Entertainment 06 Sports 07 Parking predicament Digital hall passes Principal

Digital hall passes

Last year, Mounds View’s administration imple mented hall passes, which were orange cards that students brought with them whenever they left class, whether it was for the bathroom or for meeting peers. This year, there are many new staff members in the ad ministration, including Principal Robert Reetz and Ad min Intern Matthew Scardigili, who helped develop the new policy of digital hall passes.

These hall passes, powered by Student Support Time, require students to fill out an online form each time they want to leave class to use the restroom or get a drink of water. Although this new system is intro duced with the intent to digitize and ease the use of hall passes at Mounds View, many students have stated that there is a catch - only 20 hall passes can be used per se mester for using the bathroom, and passes for Mustang Mocha have been restricted to one per day.

happen,” said senior Jessica Sprague.

Except for freshmen, every class has gone through a lot of changes in the past years. During the 2021-22 academic year, orange paper passes were introduced for the first time, and with the new pass system this year, many students are becoming irritated with all the changes. “It’s a little frustrating. I’m kinda tired of all these restrictions, and we should have more freedom being seniors. I don’t like the pass system at all; we should switch back to the thing we did last year, or completely get rid of them,” Sprague said.

Many freshmen, who did not experience last year’s pass systems, had contrasting views on this topic. Hav ing never been introduced to any previous system, they found it relatively easy to adjust. “It makes sure that the adults know where people are. You can always have a paper pass with all the information, but with an online pass, you can’t really fake information,” said freshman Suraj Pattanaik. Students with special conditions might have an issue with the limited number of hall passes available. “I would recommend the school admin to give more bathroom passes because some people might have a faster metabolism, and they might need to use the restroom after breakfast or lunch, or whenever. So, I would make it more flexible,” said Pattanaik.

ing the new pass is to improve the flow of students dur ing ReFlect. Initially, ReFlect was introduced to allow students to meet with teachers to ask them questions. In regards to this Scardigli stated, “It’s a big change. I think that idea with Reflect is that we’re making sure that we meet both the academic and mental needs of our students. It’s hard for us to know that we’re meeting student needs, so it really helps us. We want students to have a positive relationship with each of their teach ers.”

With the school administration bringing about this change in hall passes, most students and staff have var ied outlooks. This new technology poses both advan tages and disadvantages to stepping out of the class room. This big change at the beginning of the school year has impacted many. Despite that, everyone is try ing their best to adjust in the best way possible.

As a result, many students had contrasting opin ions on this new initiative. “It’s limited, and you can only go to the bathroom only twenty times.- I just feel that it’s overbearing. The main reason to use it is to stop fights in the hallways, but I don’t think it’s going to

Aside from the views of both upper and lower classmen, the administration is observing more pros than cons about this recent implementation. “With these digital passes, it’s a lot easier for us to get kids in the hallways when they need to use it, just by scanning the code as opposed to the paper pass - the teachers don’t have to write it,” said Scardigli.

In addition to just monitoring the activity of stu dents on regular school days, another reason for enforc

Parking predicament

This past summer, Mounds View began renovat ing the school’s north parking lot. The project to re pave, remove gas pumps and add streetlights to the space once used as a bus lot, was delayed multiple times due to weather and supply chain delays. The completion timeline is currently projected to be around late October to early November. As the school year be gan, the ongoing construction created challenges for students and staff who drive to school.

To adjust to the limited parking spaces without the north lot, Associate Principals Benjamin Chiri and Gretchen Zahn created a plan to have staff double-park with another staff member, and allot space around the building, such as on the grass, as parking spots. This ended on Sept. 14 with the completion of phase one of the north lot’s construction, which allowed staff to park in the newly finished front half.

Although 432 students requested parking permits, only 248 were provided with one by the first day of school. The majority of students who received a pass got priority because they are seniors, commute to other campuses or carpool with other students. Some students who were not issued permits, but still wished to drive to school, have found they can park in nearby areas, such as neighborhood streets or St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, and walk to Mounds View from there.

Junior Jacob O’Brien is one of the students who did not receive a pass. He lives outside of the school district for half of the week, meaning he usually does

not have the option to take the bus. “I was a little stressed out because I didn’t know where I was going to park,” O’Brien said about not receiving a pass, “but then I saw a parking spot, and I’m like, I’m going to take that.” The spot he found happens to be half a mile away from school which is equivalent to an eight- to ten-minute walk. Even though he hopes to eventually get a parking permit, he is finding some advantages to not having one. “I actually like the walk. It’s not that bad. It’s an enjoyable end to my day,” he added. He is prepared to adjust accordingly as the weather gets colder.

walk over half a mile to school if they are parking at St. John’s, which most students are.” She looks forward to the completion, saying, “I’m sure that the parking lot project will be a positive in the long run, but right now it is a source of aggravation for most students.” How ever, until the lot is completed, Nick must take the bus when she can’t drive herself or carpool.

The completion of the construction will come with fewer parking spaces than previous years due to the new layout of the lot, explains Dan Engebretson, parking lot supervisor. “Because the way it’s designed with the median and the one ways, it actually took away some spots, about 100 less spots,” he said. Due to this and the number of students who have requested permits, not every student who requested a parking pass will be given one this year. “Last year we gave out just under 500 [parking permits], about 492. Some were never claimed, and we oversold a bit as we did not know how many total spots we really had (you know how creative some students got when parking in the lot last year with no lines, etc. It was a bit of a free for all),” said Gary Swanson, administrative assistant, who helped facilitate parking permits last year.

Junior Jamie Nick finds the construction and lack of parking as a bothersome start to the school year. “The parking project is a great inconvenience to those who have after school sports or morning lifting and didn’t get permits,” she said. “Students are having to

Mission Statement

As construction continues, most Mounds View students and staff eagerly await its completion. Prin cipal Robert Reetz acknowledges the effect it has, “I don’t love that any student is inconvenienced by tech nical things like parking or access to permits. I wish we had a parking spot for every student that had a car, I do. I want kids to have that flexibility, but we don’t,” he said. “I appreciate students’ patience. I appreciate them giving us grace.”

“I’m kinda tired of all these re strictions, and we should have more freedom being seniors.”
Jessica Sprague, ‘23
photo by Maya Betti photo by Tyler Quattrin
02 News Friday, September 30, 2022
The Viewer
1. To publish news, information and opinion articles for and about student, faculty and administration activities, interests and policies. 2. To maintain high ethical standards with regard to fairness, personal and legal rights, responsibilities and accuracy. 3. To provide a forum for free and responsible expression of student opinion and present well-balanced, locally researched coverage of issues of broader student interest. 4. To strive for a high level of competency in the technical aspect of writing, including grammar, spelling, clarity, and precision. 5. To welcome diversity and increase the scope and depth of our coverage in order to heighten mutual understanding and awareness throughout our entire school community. Articles and letters to the editor appearing on the editorials pages represent solely the opinions of the writers and do not represent in any way the viewpoint of The Viewer, our advertisers, Mounds View High School or its staff. The editors of The Viewer welcome and encourage the publication of all viewpoints.

Mounds View greets Reetz

Rob Reetz, Mounds View’s new principal, began his position keeping in mind three distinctive ques tions he wants all students to say yes to: “Do I belong here, can I do this and is this meaningful?” These core ideas influence the changes he has brought until now and also his future plans for the school.

Reetz has worked in the Mounds View district for nearly 15 years. His positions include teaching and coaching at Irondale, district level professional learning specialist and principal at both Chippewa Middle School and Edgewood Middle School. His experiences at the middle schools have made him value partnering with teachers, students and families to make school a better experience for everyone. Now, as the principal of Mounds View, Reetz plans to use his experience and skills to improve Mounds View.

Reetz shares his main motivation in wanting to be a principal at Mounds View. “The reason I wanted to be at Mounds View high school is because this is an elite school. I think there are things we can improve, and I’m definitely trying to pursue those improve ments, but what drove me here is a tradition of excellence and I want to definitely maintain that,” said Reetz. To him, maintaining a tradition of excellence requires changes to be made.

Such changes consist of increasing the inclusion

of neurodivergent students in core classes. “One of my major initiatives is to increase inclusion for students here, but that also would include students who speak English as a second language. So right now, the two departments that I’m overseeing [is] our special edu cation and English language learners,” he said.

“One of my major initiatives is to increase inclu sion for students here, but that also would include students who speak English as a second language”

Rob Reetz, principal

An additional change Reetz has implemented is the Morning Herd, Mounds View’s morning an nouncements. “We did that as part of our unified club with students that are neurotypical and neurodivergent coming together to produce something every day, and then to place their relationships at the center of what the school sees each morning,” said Reetz. These morning announcements cover a wide range of topics including sports, what’s for lunch, different upcoming and past events and other topics relevant to the student body.

As Reetz continues at Mounds View, he hopes to bring more changes while furthering Mounds View’s legacy. He strives to ensure that students can reach their full potential by making sure they feel respected in their classroom environment. Most importantly, he wants his students to enjoy their youth.

Senior Stable stampedes into the season

Senior Stable is a small group of seniors who run the student section and create themes for Mounds View’s games. The members stand in front of the student section to lead the crowd and ensure they are energetic as well as respectful.

Students join Senior Stable for a number of reasons. “I joined the Senior Stable because I wanted a way to become even more involved in school spirit,” said senior Bergen Leafblad. Inspiring school spirit is a staple of the group’s cause and in Mounds View as a whole.

Additionally, members join Senior Stable to meet new people and make memories. “I knew that if I joined Senior Stable with a few friends, it would make senior year more memorable,” said Leafblad.

The importance of Senior Stable is often over looked, but the student section would not function as well without their consistent guidance. Students won’t cheer as loudly and coordinate other students to have themes to follow which makes the games more fun.

Senior Stable brings the school together by giving stu dents more reason to look forward to games and cheer together creating a bond, says senior Emily Aman.

Sometimes, Seniors Stable has responsibilities that are hard to keep up with. “Our responsibilities as senior stable are to be respectful and positive, while still getting everyone pumped for games,” said Aman. Balancing these two elements requires time and thought in each cheer.

Along with keeping the student section positive at football games, the Senior Stable has to keep up a supportive mentality in the community at large. “Our responsibility is to make sure the students are giving a positive representation and reputation of Mounds View,” said senior Tia Saxton.

Notably, themes play a big factor in games, but sometimes students disagree with the decisions made by the Senior Stable, and because of that, the team has to take student input seriously. For example, the “Hippie” theme this year was shown to be un wanted and the students made that clear. “After getting feedback that the students wanted a change, we posted a voting poll on the senior stable Instagram account,” said Aman. Given the results, they decided to change the original theme to a more popular one amongst the student body.

Another example of the Senior Stable taking feedback is seen in the changes to the cheers. Cheering is valued because it not only supports the athletes on the field but also boosts morale in the student section as well. So when the stable heard of the new changes proposed by students, they knew they had to listen. This year, they began to incorporate new cheers for the

last two quarters of the football games and informed the student body through their social media, explained Saxton. Using social media platforms such as Insta gram is how the senior stable announces all the game times, locations and themes. Through social media, they gain more student interaction and input on the decisions for themes.

Senior Stable knows how vital school pride is to parts of the Mounds View community. Making new and exciting ways to include every student in the stands is a passion they all share. And while keeping the student section can sometimes be proven to be a difficult task, they strive to maintain as optimistic and assured in their actions.

Maya Betti

Tyler Quattrin

Maya Betti, Tyler Quattrin

Sarafina Dillon Michael Wang

Ariana Eschenbacher, Rachel Zou

Maya Gjelhaug, Rachel Zou

Morghan Larson

Sarafina Dillon

Iris Ren

images couresty of Lauren Isabel image couresty of moundsviewschools org Shivam Vashishtha Michael Wang Sarafina Dillon, Ariana Eschenbacher, Morghan Larson
features 03Friday, September 30, 2022
Mounds View High School • 1900 Lake Valentine Rd. Arden Hills, MN 55112 • • @mvviewer •

The issue

Take two students: One is determined and driven to succeed, ahead of graduation requirements and dreams of pursuing biomedical engineering in college. This student comes from a loving, twoparent home, drives to school and chooses to focus on their studies instead of getting a job. The other student is just as determined and just as driven to succeed and hopes to attend trade school, but is slightly behind graduation requirements. They come from a single-parent home, don’t have a reliable source of transportation and work 30 hours per week. Currently, at least in most school districts, these students are treated equally: placed in the same classes, receive the same instruction from their teachers and are graded the same, even though they do not share the same circumstances.


Some say that this one-size-fits-all system is the only realistic method to ensure consistency and fairness throughout the education system. After all, it is difficult to quantify privilege and subsequently develop a curriculum that can meet the needs of in dividual students. Yet, others argue that this current system only perpetuates the differences between students and ignores the struggles that make it dif ficult for many students to achieve the same level as their peers. The history of the “achievement gap” in the U.S. education system is long and complex, and

depends upon a number of factors, such as socio economic status, race and gender.

While funding for public education has remained an important value in American society since the American Revolution, access to this educa tion has not always been equal. The availability of well-funded public education has varied by region, being more apparent in cities than in rural areas. These disparities still continue to this day. Accord ing to the Harvard Institute of Politics, rural school districts in some states receive 50% less funding per poor student than urban districts. Furthermore, rural school students face many other educational chal lenges, such as limited access to transportation and technology.

It is no secret that students of color have, and continue to be, discriminated against in access to education. Even after non-white students stopped being entirely excluded from public education, they were often placed in segregated and underfunded schools. Girls were excluded from the full benefits of public education as well, and were often taught a different curriculum in addition to their already limited secondary and post-secondary opportunities.

As Civil Rights activists began to point out inequalities in public education, discussions about academic equity were brought to the fore front of the political sphere. In the 1950s, schools began providing other programs for impoverished children, such as free breakfast and lunch, on-staff nurses, before and after-school care and counsel ing. Beginning in 1954, with the Brown v. Board of

Education decision that outlawed racial segregation, academic equity was continually prioritized by U.S. lawmakers. Following Brown v. Board, the Elemen tary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 allocated over $1 billion in federal funding for professional development, curriculum materials, resources for other educational programs and promoting parental involvement. The act was designed to help close the achievement gap by uplifting disadvantaged students.

The No Child Left Behind Act, signed into law in 2001 by President George W. Bush, expand ed the role of the federal government in ensuring

“If the schools didn’t meet a certain standard, then they would lose a lot of their funding. And it made no sense.”

that every child had access to a high-quality educa tion. The priority of this policy was to incentivize districts to promote quality in schools, but many, including social studies teacher Kristin Heinz, assert that this policy had a near opposite effect. “It was an awful educational policy,” she said. According to Heinz, the policy rewarded districts with high standardized test scores with more funding.

However, this policy ignored the fact that chil


An investigation of past and on-going disparities

The solution

With many barriers to equitable access to educa tion, many are left to wonder: Is it even possible to bridge the achievement gap? While it may seem like a daunting task, with school districts across the country beginning to experiment with various equity plans, some feel that a solution to this long-standing issue may be on the horizon.

Mounds View has already made progress in promoting equity throughout the district. For example, every student at Mounds View is given a chromebook for high school. This benefits students who wouldn’t otherwise have access to technology to complete assignments. During distance learning, parents were able to pick up prepackaged food from

school to bring home to students. This helped to combat food insecurity during the pandemic.

With the dozens of clubs available at Mounds View, students have a wide variety to choose from, allowing students to pursue what they want to learn outside of school. “There’s generally something for everyone, and if there isn’t you can just start it yourself with some friends,” said senior Kati Belina. Another prominent example is the free lunch and breakfast that was implemented last year. While this wasn’t offered this year, the school still of fers reduced lunch prices for low-income students. Finally, the National Honors Society offers a tutoring program that is available to struggling students.

Mounds View has also made strides towards academic equity by hiring two full-time equity staff. “What we’re here to do is to increase capacity for racially, culturally and socially-just learning and making sure that our environment nurtures that and validates the spirit of each individual learner, their families [and] community staff,” said Heather Ward, Equity Specialist. The end goal ultimately is to make sure that everyone has the same opportunities while feeling validated and represented.

Soror and STRIPES, two diversity clubs offered at Mounds View, are another advancement in bridg ing the gap. Ward attests to the welcoming environ ment of Soror. “We meet twice a month. It’s for all girls, any age, and it’s to help them feel prepared

whether it’s career, college or to know what’s going on in the building,” she said. “And with that, there’s always going to be an achievement because when you feel like you belong and you fit in somewhere, you’re going to want to succeed.”

With the recent alteration of certain advanced classes, such as the Honors English classes, some believe that this will only hold students back. “I per sonally think it’s a really bad idea because the point of those classes is to be able to excel so you can do the most that you can and they’re always optional,”

said Belina. “So it’s not like you have to do this and there’s no pressure. It’s just you can do something more if you want to.” Other students also agree with this statement as changes in some classes may mean that students receive less preparation for more dif ficult classes.

However, Rob Reetz, principal, has a different interpretation of the alteration of these advanced

“...when you feel like you belong and you fit in somewhere, you’re going to want to succeed..”
Heather Ward, Equity Specialist
“There’s generally something for ev eryone, and if there isn’t you can just start it yourself with some friends.”
Kati Belina, ‘23
At Mounds view

dren from already wealthy families tend to receive higher standardized test scores. “If the schools didn’t meet a certain standard, then they would lose a lot of their funding. And it made no sense,” Heinz said. Because of this policy, schools that were already thriving were able to further advance their educational programs, while schools that were already struggling continued to struggle.

While some would say that past legislation has been effective in promoting academic equity, large disparities between students continue to exist. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 16% of all children nationwide were living in poverty in 2020. This was a nearly two percentage point increase from 2019, and an even greater increase for children of color.


Research has shown that family economic status plays a huge role in educational outcomes from children, as greater familial wealth gives children more access to academic resources and opportunities. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, children from lower income homes score significantly lower in many school readiness categories, including measures of vocabulary and communication skills, knowledge of numbers, measures of concentration and coopera tion with peers, showing that students who come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds arrive at

school at a disadvantage. In addition, students who come from poorer families have other commitments that can keep them from completing schoolwork. “If they need money to support their family, the kids have to work,” said junior Selina Wang. She, along with many others, acknowledges that this prevents certain students from achieving at a higher level.

The division of funds between school districts has been a highly debated topic since the beginning

access to the same resources, and, therefore, all schools should receive equal funding.

Moreover, “school zoning,” or the process of admitting students to a certain school depend ing on where they live in a district, inhibits kids who live in poorer neighborhoods from attending schools in wealthier neighborhoods. To combat the inequities that come from this, Mounds View offers limited open enrollment, allowing some students to attend Mounds View schools even if they do not reside in the district. Yet, some remain concerned about the zoning system. “The way that the district drew the borders between who goes to Mounds View and who goes to Irondale needs to be looked at,” said Heinz. “It seems like it was intentional, the way those boundaries were drawn to include certain neighborhoods and to go to certain schools.”

of the Civil Rights movement, yet funding dispari ties persist. Because most schools rely on property taxes for a significant portion of their funding, this leads to disproportionate funding between schools in wealthier districts and schools in poorer dis tricts. Because the property tax provides stability for public education funding, especially in times of economic distress, it has been widely implemented in districts for decades. More recently, however, it has come under scrutiny for perpetuating divisions between rich and poor students. “Not all schools have access to the kinds of resources that we have because we live in a wealthier school district,” said Heinz. Heinz argues that all schools should have

As the recent pandemic highlighted the growing disparities throughout the public education system, many have started to realize that histori cally, the current system seems to favor certain stu dents over others. As academic equity receives more attention nationwide, administrations are beginning to look for solutions to the issue of inequitable ac cess to education.


classes. “People are viewing this as we took away courses but what I view it as [is] we took away the lower level course, that we’re trying to get more rigorous, not less,” he said. “And so what you view as maybe going down from three levels, I view as leveling up to two different levels.” By blending the Advanced and Honors English courses, administra tion hopes that this move will encourage students to challenge themselves in more rigorous courses.

Other ideas

The Mounds View Equity Council, introduced to the district as a part of the 2012 Equity Promise, serves as a forum for discussions about academic equity among community members. “Our job as an institution is to focus on unlocking the potential of each student,” said head of the Equity Council, Jason Knighton-Johnson. “The goal is to create sustain able change, to where our equity promise is valid for each student.” He expresses the importance of creating a setting where every student is given the opportunity to succeed, and acknowledges the need for support systems that continue to encourage and uplift students. He believes that the Equity Council has been a success, and cites the PSEO program as one example of how Mounds View has fulfilled the Equity Promise.

As Mounds View continues to expand the equity-ensuring policy, ideas from other orga nizations showcase the future of academic equity. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the key to promoting equity in schools is to ensure that stu dents are given the provisions to succeed. Instead of making students repeat a grade, which is costly and ineffective, schools can individualize their sup

performance and support. Schools can also achieve this by creating an environment that is conducive to learning both in the home and at school. Hav ing affordable, early childhood education is an other method of “leveling the playing field” as this provides children with early enrichment and parents with more time to focus on their careers.

Some even have ideas for solutions to academic inequity at Mounds View. Heinz acknowl edges the lack of teachers of color at Mounds View, asserting that this could be damaging to students of color. “I think that there needs to be more teachers of color, so that students can see themselves in their teachers […] and they can relate to their teachers,” said Heinz.

port systems through formative assessment—where struggling students can be provided with an adapted learning experience based on their performance. This would require teachers to recognize when students are struggling and help these students develop study strategies or connect them with a tutor.

According to the OECD, to address the dif ficulties that students face in their homelife, districts should encourage parental involvement by providing parents with continuous feedback of their child’s

As Mounds View continues to prioritize eq uitable access to high-quality education, the district has seen progress in promoting student engagement and achievement, while also bringing in community opinions. Mounds View community members are hopeful that the district will continue to work with the community in ensuring that every student has the chance to succeed.

throughout the public education system.
photo courtesy of
“If they need money to support their family, the kids have to work.”
Selina Wang, ‘24
“The goal is to create sustainable change, to where our equity promise is valid for each student.”
Jason Knighton-Johnson, Equity Council

eM que viet: fair to table

eM Que Viet Restaurant and Bar is a new estab lishment that popped up in Saint Paul this summer. However, this isn’t the first time most have come into contact with their recipes. The sister restaurant, Que Viet, is located in Northeast Minneapolis and gained quite the reputation for its astonishing flavor during the Minnesota State Fair for its massive egg roll on a stick.

As I walked down Grand Avenue, I could easily tell when I neared the restaurant by the scent alone.

The air was filled with that warm, fried-dough scent that quickly made my stomach grumble and my pace quicken. Even the facade of the building itself was en ticing, with long hanging flowers beckoning customers through the doors as the wind blew. Yet, however cin ematic this was, the aura was interrupted by a 15-per son line stretching out the door and onto the street. Ac cording to one waiting customer, this was typical for a Friday afternoon.

After a difficult 35-minute wait for a seat for two, the text came that notified us our spot awaited us. Entering through the tight entrance way into the full span of the restaurant, the whimsical ambiance was hard to miss. Delicate pink flowers and succulents gar nished the walls of the restaurant and from the ceilings hung chandeliers decorated with carefully curated gar lands. Needless to say, the decor made it easy to brush off the rather cramped seating.

After drinks were served, I admittedly had my eyes set on one sole appetizer: the egg roll. Promptly, not even ten minutes after the initial order, they arrived in all their golden glory. Biting into them, I was greeted with what I have deemed the perfect crunch-to-meat ratio. The first layer was flaky, yet flavorful, and was utterly satisfying to bite into. Next, before I could be gin to process what was about to happen, the juicy in side hit my taste buds. Sweetly yet savory and packed generously for only $10, the meat and vegetables with in the roll were simply divine.

And even though the egg rolls were quite large, the wait to get into the restaurant prepared me to con sume more. The main course, a simple pork and fried tofu combo for $15, was served. With my expectations miles high, I stuck my fork in… and was slightly un derwhelmed. While the pork was that iconic juicy sa voriness I had become accustomed to, the fried tofu left me wanting more. Biting into that brown square felt burdensome, as the tofu had become tough and rubbery in its fried status. As someone who has tried many forms of tofu before and enjoyed it thoroughly, I felt this tofu was lacking.

However, my palate was saved by a certain $9 dessert. Bánh Bông Lan, also named Chiffon Cake on their menu, piqued my interest as it described a vanilla cake covered in sweetened condensed milk, which was a combination I had never tried before. And sure enough, it did not disappoint. The sponge-like texture of the cake naturally soaked up the sweetness of the milk perfectly, making it an almost amplified version of a Très Leches cake. Mixed with the sour of an un named berry sauce, my palate was immensely satisfied.

The combination of the distinctly Vietnamese aesthetic and the wonderful flower motif made sitting down in this busy restaurant all the better. Paired with a rich flavor variety and authentic cuisine and the inex pensive menu items, Em Que Viet restaurant is a place I can easily see myself returning to.


“Don’t Worry Darling’’ is a psychological thriller directed by Olivia Wilde, with a screenplay written by Katie Silberman. It takes place in the 1950s and entails Alice Chambers uncovering a sinister plot within the

fictional town of Victory, California. The film made its debut at the Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 5 and opened in theaters nationwide on Sept. 23.

This feature is a follow up to Wilde’s critically acclaimed debut feature “Booksmart.” “Don’t Worry Darling” stars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde, with an ensemble cast that includes Nick Kroll, Gemma Chan and Chris Pine. “Don’t Worry Darling” provides an occasionally shocking narrative of control with a touch of psychosis. Alice Chambers, played by Florence Pugh, is the protagonist of a story that is told in the first person but still leaves me feeling discon nected, with few unique qualities I can attribute to her character. She’s resourceful and perceptive, but that does not make her different from any other lead in your typical thriller. It’s not enough to stop Pugh from giv ing a performance that successfully produces a sympa thetic, if slightly underwritten, character that feels very lived in, seemingly out of thin air. U Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Pugh’s counterpart Harry Styles, who vocalizes his lines in a very sporadic and unconvincing way. Styles and Pugh succeed at selling their relationship as an authentic connection. Merci fully, the primary focus is on Pugh and her character for the better part of the movie.

Chris Pine delivers on his role and gives a perfor mance that is at times greater than the writing of his character, Frank. Pine’s sinister delivery makes Frank’s dialogue come to life with exceptional style. Frank is an enigma, but he remains an unsolved puzzle by the end of the film. In fact, it is the conclusion of Pine’s charac ter arc that contributes to an absurdly unsatisfying end ing. Multiple elements of the story are kept ambiguous for no discernable reason, which is a very irritating way to conclude a film that was already hanging on by a thread for me thanks to its repetitive story beats and

derivative narrative structure.

The film wears its influences on its sleeve, from the utopianism of “The Truman Show” to the nightmar ish intensity of “Get Out” and including similar social commentary to “The Stepford Wives.” The film even borrows the red jumpsuits from the main antagonists of Jordan Peele’s “Us,” which has its own references to life under the surface. One of the many things that sets these films apart from “Don’t Worry Darling” are the endings that will be remembered for the right reasons, not the wrong ones.

The monotonous backing score accompanying each “intense” or “thrilling” scene got exasperating af ter only the second time Wilde included it. Imagine my annoyance when the mind-numbing arrangement com posed by John Powell continued to find its way on the screen nearly two hours in.

“Don’t Worry Darling” is a psychological thriller that isn’t particularly thrilling aside from a couple of unsettling visuals. These images are reused multiple times, and by the end of the film, they had completely lost their effect on me. Despite all of the inconsisten cies, it’s not completely the creative black hole the negative reviews have led you to believe, and I can see a lot of people enjoying themselves with this film. Un fortunately, for me, it didn’t click.

photos by Maya Betti courtesy
06 Arts & Entertainment Friday, September 30, 2022
Verdict 4/5 ‘Don’t Worry Darling’: ambitious, but flawed
Final Verdict 2/5 photo

Athlete of the Issue

The trail to success

Mounds View high school’s boys cross country team has won sections the past five years in a row, in addition to winning the state meet in 2019 and being on the podium (winning either second or third) in 2018, 2019 and 2021. With this being said, the team has high expectations for their teammates and their performance this season.

The practices for the boys team start in the summer, where they prepare for their rigorous fall season. “We start with captains practices, which are the captains of the team leading workouts,” said senior Victor Lelinga.

cises to build team chemistry. The trip is physically and mentally challenging for everyone who attends. “We do long, chal lenging runs that challenge you to push your limits,” said Hammerback. The in tensity of the practices betters the abilities of each athlete.

The athletes have high expectations for themselves and their teammates this season “The goal of the team this year is to get into the top three for the state meet,” said Lelinga. This will take a great deal of determination and hard work but Ham merback says they have what it takes.

How and when did your pas sion start?

My passion started when I was little. My parents got me a table tennis table for Christ mas. Since then, I really enjoy playing with my family and friends because I could have fun. But also, I could learn more about the person I am playing with and just talk.

What is your favorite thing about Ping-Pong?

My favorite thing about PingPong is [that] it’s a competi tive game. I love games that are close with a little bit of trash talk. It causes a lot of build up and suspense, which makes the game even more enjoyable.

What is the most difficult part of this sport?

The most difficult part of this sport for me is understanding the spin of the ball on serves.

Do you have any pre-game “rituals?”

I sleep with my paddle.

Do you do anything after the game, win or lose?

After the game, if I lost, I would be very disappointed because I know I could be better. When I win, I don’t cel ebrate too much. I try to keep it nice and sportsmanlike and shake my opponent’s hand.

What does your season look like?

I usually play recreationally for the most part. School table tennis starts in October and sometime in January there is a state tournament where we spend a day playing against other schools in Minnesota.

Lelinga adds his thoughts on being a captain. “It’s such an amazing experience that I love being a part of. I, as well as the other captains, work a lot together to make captains practices and workouts for the team.” For Legina, becoming a role model for the younger teammates, while difficult, is fulfilling.

In addition to captains practice, the most dedicated athletes get to go on a trip to Whitewater State Park at the end of the summer. In order to travel there, each person is required to have run at least 350 miles by the end of the summer. “White water prepares the teammates for an amaz ing season,” said junior Levi Hammer beck. Team-bonding experiences such as this is what makes the team closer for their upcoming season.

Whitewater is more than just exer

The boys team also has high expecta tions for the Nike Cross Regionals (NXR). The NXR is a regional meet held by Nike that takes place in South Dakota after the state meet. Athletes can compete against teams from states like Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The team is excited to make it to state this November by continuing to push each other and run to the best of their abilities.

Girls soccer shoots for

a great season

Through injuries and defeats, the Mounds View girls soccer team shoots for success this season. As the state meet approaches, the girls are prepared for any challenge they may face.

Many players have soccer experience going back as far as kindergarten. “I’ve been playing since I was three to four,” said senior Celine Klum. Initially, she got into the sport because her sister motivated her, but as soon as she started playing, she fell in love. “I stayed with the sport because I love playing with my friends and doing fun trips as a team,” Klum said.

Senior Emily Johnson shares her team mate’s enthusiasm. “I also love the sport and it’s so fun for me,” said Johnson. She, like Klum, started playing when she was three years old. The passion they share with their teammates motivates them to continue playing.

Their commitment to the game and the team helps them overcome any obstacles they may face. “One of the biggest setbacks is all of the injuries we are having this year, including myself,” Klum said.

Another setback they have experi enced involves the previously graduated players and their missed contribution to the team. “We had a lot of seniors graduate last year, so we have a pretty new team,” said

Johnson. The girls plan to use the things they have learned from previous seasons to help them improve. “I was a sophomore on varsity and remembering how nervewracking that was for me helps the other new girls with their transition to varsity as underclassmen,” said Klum. Klum also expressed how this also makes her a better leader as she has a deeper understanding of how new team members might feel.

The team as a whole has put in many hours to achieve their goals. “We put in a lot of work when it comes to practicing,” said Klum. Many soccer players also par ticipate in club soccer over the summer, which helps them improve during the offseason.

However, they certainly don’t slack during the season. “We train with high in tensity as we would play in games and we also have started going to Laurus, which is

a strength-building program,” said John son.

“These intense practices and training have created some big expectations. The state meet is our biggest goal this year and we are all eager to make it,” said Johnson. “This is my last season of high school soc cer and I want to make it the best one yet.”

Many of the teammates agree with Johnson. “We put a lot of effort and prepa ration throughout the year to achieve this goal,” stated Klum. One of the things that the team does to achieve its goals is team bonding. “We’ve done a team sleepover this year and I think it helped us all bond as a team and get to know each other better,” said Klum.

The team is excited to see what they can do this year together by constantly pushing each other to do the best they can.

“I love playing with my friends and doing fun trips as a team.”
Celine Klum, ‘24
“I love playing with my friends and doing fun trips as a team.”
Emily Johnson, ‘24
photos by Bill Prat
Friday, september 30, 2022 Sports 07






puzzle courtesy of courtesy of thewordsearch.

First five students to finish both puzzles and DM @mvviewer on Instagram with a picture of completion, win free coffee from Mustang Mocha.

Student Submission

“The Fairest of Times”

Shaun Canas runs Mounds View’s Longfellow Poetry Club.

Goodbye State Fair, hello high school which fills my head with knowledge

Goodbye totally grease laden food as I zealously prepare for co llege

No more frying in the sun as I take a rough felt pad and climb up

Too many miniature steps to reach the highest level of the Giant Slide, hup hup

It’s my turn calls the worker as I dutifully sit on my all too scratchy rug

Waiting, peering down the yellow and green undulating waves, hoping for a tug

To initially start me flying like a human rocket back to earth and falling into turf

Which ends my not altogether acrimonious very brief pulley to e arth

Really back to the dirt, sweat and crowds that all teeter on yo ur frequent senses

Of weirdly fun while at the same time deleterious and create a quite pensive

Assault of borderline titillating versus noxious input of smell , sight and sound

That ends the summer days of more carefree time also too dull a t times that abound

Their phase as all time must do as we adopt patiently our more studious habits of old Thereby holding all fair and not so fair times close to our hea rt awaiting the cold

image courtesy of Pixaby
08 Puzzles
Friday, September 30, 2022