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MV students participate in walkout the racial disparities in our community. I think that a lot of students feel the need to do something positive about this issue, and so I think when all students wore black was step one, and the walkout itself was step two.” Students who participated in the walkout wanted to send a powerful message to their community regarding Mounds View’s support for equality. “I am super proud of the Mounds View community for organizing this walkout,” said Riley Stern, 11. “In my opinion, with what is going on in our community right now, it was absolutely necessary. Many students, such as myself, were angry over the unjust murder of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center and the continuous systemic racism in Minnesota for supporting this.”

by Shivam Vashishtha staff reporter

On Monday, April 19, hundreds of teenagers marched in Minneapolis or participated in their schoolsanctioned walkout over the police killing of Daunte Wright. According to the Guardian, many students expressed their outrage over police brutality at the Minnesota capitol. The student protests were coordinated on Instagram by teen activists across the state. At Mounds View, students wore black and participated in a walkout at 1 p.m. to raise awareness in the community, with student leaders giving speeches on loudspeakers about the killing of Wright and how students can cause change. At 1:47 pm, the time Daunte Wright was shot, hundreds of teenagers across the state sat together on the ground to mark three minutes of silence. Four or five student leaders raised and implemented the idea of the walkout at Mounds View. “I myself was a student leader at the walkout,” said Destiny Beulangh, 10. “I think it was necessary at this point. This event really opened the administration’s eyes to a lot of racism that goes on in Mounds View.” Many teachers supported the cause of the walkout. “I support student’s right to protest and because it was a statewide organized event,” said Spanish teacher Laura Rivers. “I do agree that we have to do something about

“I am super proud of the Mounds View community for organizing this walkout.” -Riley Stern, 11

Some students, however, chose not to participate in the walkout. “I don’t think walkouts would do anything in favor of what happened to Daunte Wright,” said Sandesh Jha, 11. “In my opinion, the police are not going to care anyways. Also, during this pandemic, it is not safe at all to host such an event. There was hardly any social distancing.” Some believe, like Jha does, that spreading awareness via social media or online would have been a better approach. On the other hand, many thought that a walkout was the best option because it greatly impacted others in the school and community. “It was important for everyone to witness the walkout, and it was important for white and other minority students to show their support for the black community,” said Mayumi Morgan, 12. “It was also good for students to listen to the stories of our black peers because we aren’t exposed to [those stories] in the suburbs as much.” Students had different viewpoints on how best to address and support the issue of racial jus- t i c e . Many felt that the walkout was a much-needed symbolic gesture to show the school’s commitment to equality and gave students a chance to express their yearning for change in the community, while others believed that the walkout was not the most effective means to bring change in the community.

Chauvin trial impacts MV community by Maya Betti staff reporter

On Monday, March 29, the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin began. As he was charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter over his handling of George Floyd’s arrest in May, people all around the nation were tuned into the trial. The video of Floyd’s death flooded social media as

illustration by Sienna Wood

anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests ensued across the country. Then, on Tuesday, April 20, the final verdict was released and Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts. At Mounds View, it became more and more apparent that various students had strong opinions on the matter. Within the courtroom, the video of Floyd’s death was played repeatedly for the judge and jury to help them reach a verdict. However, many onlookers felt deeply emotionally impacted from repeatedly watching this traumatic video. “I know that the Derek Chauvin trial is impactful for all students at MVHS, as well as staff, but it is most traumatizing to those

Viewer Staff 2020-2021


that are BIPOC,” said Equity Specialist Heather Ward. “My biggest concern is the trauma that I believe is happening to young adults that have to be subjected to the image of Mr. Floyd dying on a continuous media loop. I believe that this is racial trauma.” Many students agree with this thought process and express their discontent with the nature of this case. “I feel like they should stop using that picture of him kneeling on George,” said Soror member Winston Gisemba, 10. “Every time I look at that picture I get so angry that he did that, and I can barely tell what he looks like. Whenever they speak of him, I want to see his face and how he looks, not the trauma he caused.” As the nation watched the trial progress, issues within the school environment arose. Something with as long-lasting of an impact as the death of Floyd proved to be tricky to bring up. “Teachers need to talk about these things with ALL of their students, not just pulling aside their one black student in class or singling them out,” said Destiny Beulangh, 10, a member of an Equity Champions group. “Along with that, ignorant and uneducated remarks need to stop as well. If Mounds View wants an inclusive environment for all students, it starts with the teachers.” Staff members also stress the importance of the job that they hold in supporting students through this difficult time. “Ultimately, it is our job as administrators and educators to provide a safe space to learn and grow in,” Ward said in an interview before the verdict was reached. “In keeping this in mind, we have a plan to help support and counsel our students and staff no matter what the trial outcome. It is something that we have been diligently preparing for in the past several weeks.” In response to the verdict, Mounds View Public Schools sent out an email to its students referenc-

Janae Lee Natalie Nemes Janae Lee Ellis Maloney, Yatharth Sharma Molly Shwiff, Savannah Guiang Elisa Guo, Johnny Yue Darah Ostrom, Madeline Edgar Zige Wang Madeline Jepko Sienna Wood Sienna Wood

ing guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Education encouraging schools to support students during this time and to continue to have important conversations on the topic. “Please know that we are committed to addressing the inequities that exist in our schools,” the email read. “We realize this work requires an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement and equity in education for all of our students. We look forward to partnering with parents, families and the community to continue this important and necessary work.”

“Ultimately, it is our job as administrators and educators to provide a safe space to learn and grow in.” -Heather Ward, equity specialist Though the Chauvin trial reached a verdict, students believe that this case is still a reminder that change is needed in the Mounds View community to create a more tolerant and welcoming environment. “As a community, we need to remember that if we want an anti-racist America, we have to stop generalizing groups,” Ward said. “Remember that words can be damaging. Learn to communicate with your peers, and try as much as you can to show empathy for one another.”



Alissa Zhao Angie Larson Hanzu Vu-Tran, Isabel Newhouse, Isabelle Schrab, Josie Mackenthun, Morgan Dalton, Sterling Hills Maya Betti, Marie Diffley, Joseph Hoffman, Namitha Narayan, Olivia Spearbeck, Shivam Vashishtha David Ostrom Sauk Centre Publishing

Josie Mackenthun

Mounds View High School ‌• 1900 Lake Valentine Rd. Arden Hills, MN 55112 • www.mvviewer.org‌ • @mvviewer • business@mvviewer.org



MV’s COVID coordinator

by Madeline Edgar editorials editor

Social studies teacher Alex Hinseth has spent the last nine months in a way he never expected to: as Mounds View’s COVID Coordinator. Hinseth acts as the touchpoint for anything and everything pandemicrelated in the school community, whether that is contact tracing or helping teachers and staff access testing. While the position has been crucial to maintaining safety at Mounds View through a year of changing situations and constantly fluctuating guidelines, he describes his entry to the position as rather abrupt, referencing a phone call from Principal Stephanie Bruggers in July that kickstarted his introduction to the new role. “I didn’t know what it would look like, but if the school needs it and that’s what I can do to help, then I will,” Hinseth said. This outlook seems to have followed Hinseth over the school year, even though his typically cheerful approach to teaching has been tested by a time of difficulty for everyone in the district. “In most situations, when there’s a big change, it tends to benefit some people and harm others,” Hinseth said. “But this one was negative for almost everyone.” Challenges such as abrupt learning model shifts, a decreasing level of caution among students and the logistical difficulty of tracking potential COVID-19 outbreaks have put a damper on what would have been another year of fun projects in history class and rigorous Advanced Placement Exam preparation. The constantly changing COVID-19 situation in Minnesota has been reflected in changing roles for Hinseth, with his focus shifting as cases rose and fell over the fall. September’s focus on preparation for hybrid learning and the more recent switch to in-person learning four days a week have been particular points of stress. Despite these toils, Hinseth pushes through his

photo courtesy of Alex Hinseth

day-to-day duties with a go-with-the-flow mindset, whether his greatest task is monitoring sanitization and mask-wearing in his own classroom or if his schedule is completely derailed by a call from the district regarding changing plans. While the COVID coordinators at the other schools in the district are administrators, Hinseth maintains his teaching schedule on top of his new duties. Hinseth does have several other staff members helping him, though — his backup coordinator Associate Principal Benjamin Chiri, school nurse Alana Schmiesing and staff volunteers have provided additional assistance over the last year.

An average day as COVID coordinator may consist of anything from helping a staff member access a rapid testing center to a late-night email from a student who has tested positive. The complicated process of contact tracing, which involves a student, their teachers, coaches and parents being interviewed for information on who exactly they have been in CDC-defined “close contact” with throughout their day, can occur at any moment. “My hours are weirder; I’m pretty much always ‘on,’” Hinseth said. Every confirmed case is tackled with the same regulations: For the 48 hours before the emergence of symptoms, or before a positive test if the case is asymptomatic, everyone reported to be within six feet of the student throughout the school day is potentially at risk for having contracted the virus. These regulations, along with the mandated two-week quarantine for every exposed student or staff member, have changed little since the onset of the pandemic. Once a positive case has been effectively contact traced comes the toughest part of Hinseth’s position: notifying students. “This year has been really tough on kids and I can tell that, for a lot of them, school is their lifeline, and so telling students that they can’t come to school or participate in an activity is hard,” Hinseth said. Hinseth’s role has come with positives, however. His knowledge of Mounds View’s approach to safety has resulted in meaningful conversations with students, parents and staff, and being able to help in any way possible is something Hinseth is grateful for. “When I look at my day, I love teaching my kids and helping teachers improve,” Hinseth said. “And while [being COVID coordinator] isn’t something I love to do, I’m appreciative that I’m in a position where I can do good at Mounds View.”

A yearbook to remember

by Molly Shwiff features editor

Each year, Mounds View students look forward to the school’s yearbook, which never seems to disappoint with its hundreds of school spirit-filled photos and interesting stories. And the Mounds View yearbook team works hard to make this all possible.

“This year’s yearbook is like no other.” -Brita Hagfors, 12 The process of putting together the yearbook is lengthy, and there are many pieces that need to come together. “We have a little routine,” said Editor-inChief Teala Matthews, 12. “We have a meeting, and we have to do page assignments. We come up with page ideas and then assign staffers, and then they put everything on the page. And then [the editors] edit it like four times until it is perfect, and then [Editor-in-Chief] Sophia [Becker] edits it until it is perfect.” This editing process ensures that few to no mistakes make it into the finalized yearbook. Yearbook team members have different jobs, but

one common goal they all share is to make the yearbook as special as possible. First, the yearbook team has to find people to be featured. “We go around and get pictures of people for different pages,” said Managing Editor Abigail Morphew, 12. The staff members then create the pages to fit under one cohesive theme for the entire yearbook. “I design the pages, so I make layouts for the staffers to put the material on,” Matthews said. There are also unique pages featured in the yearbook. “I am in charge of the senior section, so I help with the seniors superlatives and recognizing seniors,” said Brita Hagfors, 12. While the yearbook is extremely exciting when it first comes out, it is also something for graduates to look back on and re-experience their fond high school memories. “I think it is special because we are the people who get to pick what people will look back on for the year,” said Editing Manager Ellianna van Berggen, 12. Because the team puts in so much effort over several months, it is fulfilling for everyone to finally see the finished yearbook in May. “It is really rewarding to put a lot of work into something and then to see the final product at the end,” said Editor-in-Chief, Sophia Becker, 12. Due to COVID-19, many challenges arose while creating the yearbook this year. However, the team was able to overcome these challenges and is working to

make this edition the best one yet. “My favorite thing [about yearbook] is probably being with my fellow editors and being able to talk about everything that is going on,” Matthews said. “At the beginning of the year, since we were virtual, it was hard to make decisions without being in person. Everyone knows how that feels in a virtual setting.” Although the theme for the yearbook is top secret, it is sure to be a memorable edition. “This year’s yearbook is like no other,” Hagfors said.

The yearbook staff hard at work. photo courtesy of Amelia Sparks

Viewer Mission Statement 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 Viewer, our advertisers, Mounds View High School or its staff. The editors of the Viewer welcome and encourage the publication of all viewpoints.



An open letter to my AAPI siblings by Amber Zhao Mounds View alumna and former Viewer editor To my AAPI siblings: When was the first time a white person made you feel uncomfortable about yourself? Was it the first day of kindergarten when you opened your lunchbox and someone asked why your food smelled so bad, or was it the second when someone pulled their eyes back and asked why your eyes were so weird? Did you even know your eyes were different? And when was the last time a white person made you feel uncomfortable about yourself? Was it yesterday when you saw a girl trending on TikTok for drawing an epicanthic fold with her eyeliner, pulling her eye back and calling it a fox eye? Or was it earlier today when someone said, “Asian girls are hot?” And at what point did you start labeling these interactions as racist? Have you even labeled them yet? We’ve been dealing with these microaggressions for our entire lives, but if you’re like me, you’ve probably never even considered the racism behind these interactions until recently. If you did, you probably thought they weren’t a big deal. But brushing these things off is a big deal because it shows that racism against Asians is so deeply ingrained and normalized in our society that we can’t even recognize it when it’s right in front of us. Then again, how can we recognize these things when the community around us has consistently failed us time and time again? I entered kindergarten in 2004 at Turtle Lake Elementary and graduated from Mounds View in 2017. During my 13 years in the district, I’ve had over 60 teachers that I can list off the top of my head, and not one of them was a person of color. Our history in this country wasn’t mentioned in any

For far too long, the Asian community has been overlooked — invisible even, but somehow our invisibility has placed a target on our backs.”

of their classes except in an AP U.S. History textbook — one paragraph that briefly mentioned internment camps, hidden between 12 pages on the Gilded Age. How was I supposed to learn about our history in this country when the only Asian adults in my life were my immigrant parents who were also trying to find their own places in society? And while I’ve been able to form so many meaningful connections with my teachers, especially from high school, their whiteness has always prevented them from helping me navigate the struggles that come with being a person of color at a predominately white school. In high school, the microaggressions were different and more nuanced than the bluntness from younger children, but the effects were still there. I don’t think any of my high school teachers even saw the racism my friends and I dealt with from other students on a regular basis.

I think another reason why we as a community struggle with labeling these racist experiences is due to the intergenerational trauma from our parents and grandparents. A lot of our parents grew up during the Cultural Revolution. They lost friends at the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Keeping their heads down was the only way they knew how to survive. “Study hard, don’t offend anyone, and keep to yourself,” they say. 吃苦 (chī kǔ). Swallow your pain. Things will get better.” These values are so ingrained in us that I haven’t told my mom that a photo of me at a protest landed on CNN’s Instagram and in a Washington Post photo essay because I know instead of being proud of me, she’d instantly fear for my well-being. But staying quiet isn’t working for us anymore because while we are quiet, we are being attacked and murdered. I don’t know what it’s like to live in Minnesota after Trump’s presidency, but from what I do know, it’s unlikely that people in the Mounds View community would openly attack us. Not because they’re not racist, but because the Minnesota Nice culture of fake politeness runs too deep for someone to show their racism. In New York City, things are

image courtesy of stopaapihate.org

We need to speak up and call out the racism that we face. We are not pawns in a battle for the oppression of minorities. These conversations aren’t easy — having to explain to someone that they can be

I spent so long swallowing my pain and rejecting pieces of my culture in order to fit in. I was never fully accepted, and all I have now are scraps of the culture I gave up, watching society fetishize the languages and foods I was shamed for.”

racist without intending to can be frustrating beyond belief, and you might even feel gaslit into thinking you’re overreacting. You are not. Call out his yellow fever and her TikToks. To our allies, the best thing you can do for us is to amplify our voices and share our stories, especially with your non-Asian friends. I spent so long swallowing my pain and rejecting pieces of my culture in order to fit in. I was never fully accepted, and all I have now are scraps of the culture I gave up, watching society fetishize the languages and foods I was shamed for. I wish I knew back then that it wasn’t my fault, and I wish I had one person who fully saw what I was going through. So to my AAPI siblings, I see you. Stop swallowing your pain and speak.

The Viewer is an independent organization and unaffiliated with stopaapihate.org

different. On a good day, nothing happens to me. On a bad day, someone gives me a dirty look at the grocery store, spits at me on the street or calls me a racial slur in the park. Despite living in one of the most liberal cities in the country, the split is still about 60/40 of good days to bad days, which doesn’t even include the catcalling. But what am I supposed to do, stay in my dorm room forever? For far too long, the Asian community has been overlooked — invisible even, but somehow our invisibility has placed a target on our backs. Now, the attacks against us are also being used as excuses to justify the expansion of police. Let me make it very clear that the allies who use the attacks on our community as justification for the expansion of the police are not our true allies. The police that killed George Floyd and Daunte Wright are the same police that called Atlanta’s shooting a result of a “bad day” and the same police that shot Christian Hall during a mental health crisis. They will not protect our community nor the Black community.

Amber Zhao is a 2017 Mounds View graduate and former managing copy editor for the Viewer. Zhao is currently completeing her fourth year of college at Columbia University in New York where she is majoring in earth and environmental engineering.

Visit our online website for another editorial on the upcoming in-person graduation. www.mvviewer.org



Then vs. Now: Prom

2004: Prom in a new century by Lauren Tjernlund 2004 Viewer staff reporter Today’s prom means elaborate rhinestone dresses, fresh corsages, a clean new haircut for boys, a $60 updo for girls, and of course a big, flashy limo to ride in. Rewind about a thousand years ago, to our parents’ high school days, and you will find a very different high school prom. One of the most anticipated parts of the prom process is the way each girl gets asked. Today, high school girls expect to be asked to prom in over the top, original ways. Things like candles, flowers and balloons are commonly used by a boy to ask a girl. “I loved how my date asked me last year! He made a treasure hunt for me that led up to my room where there was three dozen roses and candles that spelled out ‘prom’,” said Andrea Beebe, 11. But when our parents were asked to prom, things were much more relaxed. “When I was a junior I asked my date at school during passing time. I just went up to her and was like,

illustration by Sienna Wood

‘Hey, do you want to go to prom with me?’ and that was it,” said 1978 MV graduate, Brian Pierce. What people used to wear to prom also demonstrates the differences. “My mom made her dress for prom. She spent about $30 on the fabric, and worked on it for a month by sewing,” said Mallory VaNess, 12. Today, girls will spend months before the dance looking for the perfect dress, priced from $100 to over $300. Once the dress is found, the must-have accessories including shoes, jewelry, and hairpins raise the price even more. For the boys of today, wearing a tuxedo to prom is as dreaded as waking up early to dress for church. MV males will rent a tux and usually spend 20 minutes getting dressed the day of prom. “I just don’t like to get dressed up, it takes so much time and the suits are uncomfortable,” said Jordan Moberg, 11. However, when our dads were hot and happening, getting dressed was half the fun. “When my parents went to prom, the boy would always match his tux with his date. Like my mom wore a light powder blue suit, so did her date with a matching flower tie,” said Katie Rusnacko, 11. Pre-dance rituals have also changed over the decades. “My dad’s parents took a couple pictures of him and his date in the backyard and then just, my dad and his date, went to dinner at a local restaurant,” said Kelsey Skildum, 10. At today’s prom there are groups as big as 20 couples, parents that snap more than six rolls of film, and boys that spend over $100 on dinner. “At prom last year I was in a huge group! It was kinda crazy at pictures with all the parents and at dinner with all the orders,” said Tina Jamnik, 12.

The only thing involving prom that has remained unchanged is the actual dance. For many years the dance has been held somewhere else besides Mounds View, usually a fancy hotel or club. “At our prom we had a DJ that played all the popular songs of the day on records. Disco was in so we did a lot of boogieing down,” said 1974 MV graduate, Walter Kresbach. Today, words like disco and record are ancient, but our prom, just like our parents’, has a DJ that plays the current popular songs. In the end, no matter what era you come from, prom night is all about

At our prom we had a DJ that played all the popular songs of the day on records. Disco was in so we did a lot of boogieing down.” -Walter Kresbach, 1974 MV graduate

having fun with your friends. Whether you do it by taking a more laidback approach or treating it like it’s the biggest party of your life, many memories will be made to compare with your kids 20 years down the road.

2021: Prom in a pandemic by Morgan Dalton online editor This school year has been full of surprises, and this year’s prom proves to be no exception. Instead of a traditional event held at one site, prom festivities will be split between Mounds View and the Mall of America. In order to maintain as much social distancing as possible and facilitate contact tracing, attending students and guests will be split into two cohorts that will attend the Mounds View portion of prom at two different times. Within those groups, students will be sectioned off into groups of 30. Within those groups of 30, students will be further split into groups of six to minimize the risk of potential spread in an environment where people are typically close to each other. All of this subdivision is a far cry from the traditional take on the event where everyone attend-

ed a single venue en masse. Even so, many hope the changes will not interfere with the traditional prom experience. For many students, this is their last chance to experience a high school dance. “I feel like I’ve always imagined prom being like an all-night thing

It was a bit less costly back then. It wasn’t such a big deal like it is now.”

illustration by Sienna Wood

illustration by Sienna Wood

that much,” said Amanda Holt, 12. Given the continued reality that dances are more of a social hour than a dance, Holt feels the split format “would be a fun thing to consider” for future years. But even with COVID-19 precautions aside, finding similarities between this year’s prom and that of a few decades ago would be difficult. In recent years, the price of prom as well as the elaborate planning that goes into it have made it seem like a much bigger deal. “Our prom was in the school gym, but we would all go out to eat before at a restaurant,” said math teacher Ev Bjork. “And then there would be the grand march

where you dance until you can’t stand anymore,” said Emma Houston, 12. “But I feel like cutting it in half makes the whole event sort of disjointed.” Although hesitancy to accept change is normal, some students find that this year’s new setup might better fit their preferences. “I think that having a section at Nickelodeon Universe will be fun, and I feel like I’d find that more fun than having just a dance all night, because in previous school dances I’ve been to I sit and talk the whole time and I don’t really dance

-Ev Bjork, math teacher

in the gym, so it was a bit less costly back then.” Bjork also stated that prom also “wasn’t such a big deal like it is now.” Despite these significant changes to the event, the cost is similar to years past, and many prom traditions will still be implemented for students to enjoy. For instance, photos, dancing and a grand march will all take place. Virtual viewing of the grand march will allow parents and family members a semblance of normality as they are allowed to observe in some capacity.

And the Mustan

by Maya Betti, Namitha Naray staff reporters

“Where are you going

102 students polled and informatio Narayan and Shivam Vashishtha

photo courtesy of Eric Feng

Eric Feng

Post-Secondary Plans? Attend either University of Notre Dame or Vanderbilt University Expected Major? Biology on a pre-med track Also looking into double majoring in economics or violin performance Advice for College Applications? “Start your essays early on in the summer and have close friends and family help you brainstorm and revise. You can demonstrate your interest in colleges by visiting the campus, attending information sessions and even signing up to be on the email list.” Has COVID-19 Affected Your College Decision? “COVID hasn’t really had an impact on where I am going in terms of decisions, but I do believe that it has been a lot more difficult to get into colleges this year. Especially with the new test-optional policies, the number of applicants have skyrocketed.” Biggest Factor in the Decision of Where You Are Going? “The biggest thing I am debating about right now between the two schools is the student life and culture. I do believe that college is much more about what you make out of it, and so the choice of college is really not all too impactful, but I am still weighing my options carefully. In the end, I think my decision will come down to which student body I more identify with.”

Ella Wiggenhorn What Are You Looking Forward to Most About Post-Graduation? Travelling and Studying Abroad Advice for College Applications? “Start working on essays early, and don’t be afraid to write multiple Common App essays in order to find the best one. Also apply to a large variety of places because you never know what you might find a priority later in the year.” Has COVID-19 Affected Your College Decision? “COVID has stopped a lot of campus visits and admitted student days. It feels impossible to make a decision when I can’t even step foot on the campuses. Also, if they really screwed up COVID protocols this year, they are off the list.” Biggest Factor in the Decision of Where You Are Going? Academics courtesy of Ella Wiggenhorn

ngs are off!

yan, Shivam Vashishtha

g to college?”

on compiled by Maya Betti, Namitha

Vibhaa Venkat Post-Secondary Plans? Attend University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Expected Major? Biology Advice for College Applications? “Start early, brainstorm ideas for your essay in the summer.” What Are You Looking Forward to Most About Post-Graduation? “Living with my friends in the dorms.” Has COVID-19 Affected Your College Decision? “It has made me want to stay close to home for my undergrad.” Biggest Factor in the Decision of Where You Are Going? Location

photo courtesy of Vibhaa Venkat

Giaochau Nguyen

image courtesy of pixabay

Sydney Dvorak Post-Secondary Plans? Attend Drake University Expected Major? Molecular biology and sociology Advice for College Applications? “Do them early! A lot of applications open as early as Aug. 1, so try to get writing supplements done over the summer.” Has COVID-19 Affected Your College Decision? “Not really, but it made it a lot harder to make decisions because I couldn’t visit many schools.” photo courtesy of Sydney Dvorak

photo courtesy of Giaochau Nguyen

Post-Secondary Plans? Attend Iowa State University Expected Major? Fashion merchandising and design How Has COVID-19 Affected Your College Decision? “I was planning to apply to universities in France, but my parents did not feel like it was safe for me to go in the fall considering how unpredictable everything was, so I stuck to applying to universities here.”



Cross-training the spring away by Marie Diffley staff reporter As warmer weather draws closer, the exciting transition to spring sports begins. Athletes of all talents and ages flock to the variety of unique sports Mounds View offers. Many athletes involved in sports during the winter and fall seasons look to the spring season to immerse themselves in further training and to stay fit. For some, participating in a sport that helps build endurance and strength is a necessity to prepare for other sports during the off-season. Track and field

is a popular sport, and all kinds of athletes participate in it to keep in shape. Many students find that track and field improves important skills such as agility, vertical reaches and speed. “I run crosscountry and I thought, ‘What a great way to stay in shape during the off season,’” said Lief Smith, 10. Smith participates in cross-country in the fall, making track the perfect opportunity to prepare for long races later in the year. Other multisport athletes agree. They find taking part in track complements their other athletics. “I do volleyball, track and hockey,” said Jessica Sprague, 10. “I think [participating

in track] helps me build strength and stay active.” In addition, many hockey athletes also participate in lacrosse as similar skills, like teamwork and muscle memory, are utilized while playing the two sports. “There are definitely team aspects in both hockey and lacrosse,” said Maddie Tinkle, 9. “As for athletics you’re working a lot of the same muscles.” Other students agree that lacrosse provides worthwhile training for the hockey season. The training from each prepares them for the next season’s sport. “Being fast, having leg muscles, having a good mindset, hand-eye coordi-

nation and a lot of strength are skills that correlate between hockey and lacrosse,” said Avelyn Anderson, 9. Though some student-athletes only participate in a spring sport, others also use spring sports as a cross-training opportunity for a different season. “Being a multisport athlete in both dance and golf helps me stay mentally sharp and keeps me active in a structured, organized environment,” said Ashley Truong, 11. For students like Truong, spring sports provide a great opportunity for cross-training and keep an athlete prepared for the next season in general.

However, Abigail Wick, 11, sees how social distancing guidelines could harm the player camaraderie facet of ultimate. “I think the community aspect is still there, but once games start, it will be less,” Wick said. “Since we don’t really have referees, we have a thing called Spirit of the Game along with Spirit Circles, where we go around and congratulate the other team. Usually we would give hugs or sometimes random items, but this year we can’t really because of COVID.” The pandemic has also delayed the season and decreased the number of tournaments and games. “All our games got pushed back until late April, and we -Sarah Helm, ultimate frisbee coach aren’t doing as many tournaments this year,” Johnson said. “Usually, we go to several tournaments including an out-of-

state one, but we can’t go this year.” In spite of the changes, team members and coaches still found a way to make sure that players had lots of opportunities to play this season and improve. “We did find alternatives, which includes having more hat tournaments, which is when all the [Mounds View] teams and coaches … are all split up and we create new teams with each other and then have a tournament with all those players,” Johnson said. Even though the season looks different, it is still progressing relatively well. “Our biggest strength so far is the engagement of the players,” said coach Sara Helm. “Their eagerness to learn new things, their focus and their positivity will get us far this season.”

Mounds View's ultimate sport by Hanzu Vu-Tran online editor Ultimate frisbee has grown rapidly since the sport’s creation in the late 1960s, so much so that it has reached Mounds View. Though the girls ultimate frisbee program is still not one of the most well-known athletic programs at school, it is a stellar one nonetheless. This year, COVID-19 has created challenges for all activities; ultimate frisbee is no exception. Community is a big part of any sport, and COVID-19 has changed how players interact. Some ultimate frisbee players, however, believe they have grown closer despite COVID-19. “I think that COVID actually grew the community aspect of ultimate because we are all in the game togeth-

er and we understand how hard certain things are for each other,” said Aine Johnson, 11. “Including juggling school, sports and accidental COVID exposures, we are all there to help and support each other.”

“Our biggest strength so far is the engagement of the players.”

The girls team gathers up for a masked-up practice.

The ultimate team pictured conversing after an intense game. Ultimate team members pictured at a pre-COVID practice at Island Lake.

photos courtesy of @mounds_view_ultimate


Golf with Ganske


by Isabel Newhouse online editor

Sports often run in families. It is not uncommon to be introduced to a sport because a family member participates in it, which is exactly how Erica Ganske, 10, became a golfer. “My whole family has been big on golf, so I’ve been around it a lot,” Ganske said. Surrounded by a family of golfers, Ganske has looked up to her two older sisters throughout her golfing career. Since she started playing with the Mounds View golf team in seventh grade, seeing her older sisters golf has motivated her to continue in the sport and strive to improve her skills. Coming from a family of golfers, her participation in golf was a predetermined path. “I don’t think I really had a choice to start golfing,” Ganske said. “It was kind of one of those expectations in my family.”

Despite her family directly fueling the beginning of her career, Ganske has developed her own form of motivation. After her eighth-grade season, her coach expressed that she has equal to or higher potential than her sisters in golf. Ganske’s drive to surpass her sisters’ skills is now one of her major motivators in golf. After practicing during the season and in the off-season, Ganske earned a spot on the varsity team for the first time this year. Since she has already made this notable achievement, Ganske’s main goal is to continue improving her skills and keep her spot on the team.

photos courtesy of Erica Ganske

The practice atmosphere on the team is one of her favorite aspects of golf. “[The team] practices hard, but they joke around which is always fun to not have to take everything so seriously,” Ganske said. Sometimes what makes starting a sport so hard is the learning curve that comes with it. Ganske says that golf is one of these sports that is difficult at the beginning, and the advice that she offers new golfers is this: “You have to push through [the first year] to get an understanding of what you’re doing before you can really have fun with the sport,” she said.

image courtesy of pixabay



Emily Bartz-Johnson, 9, and Aimee Tokheim, 9

Emma Houston, 12

Mask fashion by Josie Mackenthun photographer

Emilee Nelson, 12

Amanda Holt, 12

Brady Huesman, 11

photos by Morgan Dalton



Fat Nat’s: Top-tier comfort food

by Olivia Sperbeck staff reporter

Serving foods like huevos rancheros and omelettes, as well as sweet breakfast items like pancakes and French toast, Fat Nat’s Eggs is a breakfast restaurant located in Minneapolis. This place is great for feasting on great breakfast food on a lazy weekend morning. I would suggest this place because of its mouthwatering food, spectacular service and appropriate prices. A dish I especially recommend is one of their sweeter dishes, the blueberry French toast. It is exceptionally thick and soft, and the blueberries are stuffed inside the bread. This gives the French toast a nice pillow-like texture, as well as a fresh, fruity taste. The combination of blueberries and bread pairs well with maple syrup, a popular French toast topping. All in all, this dish is the perfect comfort food. Fat Nat’s Eggs also has amazing huevos rancheros. With fries, melted cheese, eggs and avocados, one can never go wrong. The fatty yet fresh flavors of the perfectly cooked over easy eggs and the salsa are delicious. Plus, the avocado verde on the side adds a nice cooling element to the otherwise spicy dish. The fattiness of the verde cut through the spice of the dish perfectly. I got mine with chorizo, a spicy Spanish sausage, that I found to be amazingly salty and delicious.

This savory dish melts in the mouth, making it a solid choice for anyone looking for something to devour. Additionally, the hot chocolate here is seriously awesome. When they brought out my cup, my eyes immediately gravitated toward all the whipped cream

photo by Olivia Sperbeck

piled high on top. In fact, I even had to eat it with a spoon before I could start drinking the beverage. The hot chocolate itself had a rich, chocolatey taste that everyone looks for in hot chocolate. It ended up being the perfect final touch to my already incredible meal. Food, however, is not the only thing that matters

in a restaurant. Great service can often elevate the appeal of a restaurant, and I have always gotten amazing service from this place. The waitstaff is always super friendly and attentive to its customers. They ask to refill drinks often, and they answer questions honestly. Fat Nat’s also has a diner-like atmosphere, reminding me of tucked-away diners in movies that are typically located in small towns, contributing to an overall cozy atmosphere. I like the character of this place because it feels warm and uplifting on a cold, weekend morning. Another thing I loved about this place is the pricing. Everything is relatively cheap and appropriately priced. The French toast is less than $10, and it comes with two strips of bacon. However, the eggs are a bit more expensive, priced at a little under $12. Even so, I think the cost of the eggs is appropriate, considering that they taste so incredible. Overall, I love everything about this restaurant. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to go out for breakfast because of the delicious and comforting food, as well as the fantastic drinks and service. Fat Nat’s can be found at 2700 39th Ave. NE in St. Paul.

The Verdict: 10/10

Brockhampton makes a comeback by Joseph Hoffman staff reporter On Friday, April 9, the acclaimed hip-hop boy band Brockhampton released its much anticipated new album “Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine.” The 13-member group made a name for itself by being unable and unwilling to be defined because of their mix of genres and sounds, leading to one of the most interesting discographies in the scene today. They burst onto the scene in 2017 with a threealbum series consisting of “Saturation I,” “Saturation II” and “Saturation III.” These albums introduced fans to their unique sound full of hard-hitting hip-hop interspersed with smoother R&B inspired tracks, as well as each member’s individual style and personality. After the sexual abuse scandal of one of its members following the release of the “Saturation” series and the fairly inconsistent album “Iridescence,” they released “Ginger,” a near-complete 180 from their usual style. Leaning into a melancholy and mournful sound, the album offered a completely new sound for the fans and showed off the band’s versatility. This leads into their newest album, “Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine.” This new album seems

like more of a spiritual successor to “Ginger” rather than the three-part “Saturation” series, as the suicide of beloved member Joba’s father was a major inspiration for the album. However, it will not be quite as alienating to Saturation-era Brockhampton fans as “Ginger” was. While “Ginger” saw an almost complete abandoning of their old upbeat and high-intensity style, this new album sees more of a blend between that sound and the more introspective and toned-down sound on “Ginger.” This album includes some intense songs like “The Light” and “The Light Pt. II” where Joba dives into his father’s suicide and how it has affected him, as well as “Don’t Shoot Up the Party,” a song that sounds straight from the nineties but is full of meditations on internalized racism. However, the album also has light and airy summer tracks like “Count on Me,” as well as in-your-face tracks that seem like modernized “Saturation”-era tracks like “Buzzcut” with Danny Brown and “Bankroll” featuring A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg. This album sees Brockhampton picking itself up from the previous downtrodden era of the band while keeping many of the best stylistic and content cues of the “Ginger” era. This is arguably one of their best al-

bums to date, and their seamlessly beautiful blend of genres and sounds as well as that refusal to be categorized as one thing make a return. However, it is not exactly a return to the “Saturation” era. With the highintensity tracks on the album being brought down a couple pegs, the signature abrasiveness of many of the tracks from the “Saturation” series makes less of an appearance. However, this leads to a much more cohesive album than something like “Iridescence” and even the “Saturation” trilogy without sacrificing much of their signature diverse blend of sounds. The flow of the album is incredibly consistent without ever shocking or catching the listener off guard. Despite this, the listener never loses interest either, as each song offers something new that keeps the listener engaged throughout the entire album. Overall, this album is their most consistent in terms of quality and is definitely one of their best albums so far. With a return to the melding of styles, distinct individual personalities and exciting listening experience of their older projects, as well as the cohesive introspection of their newer sounds, “Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine” is a great album that almost anyone would enjoy.

The Verdict: 8/10

illustration by Sienna Wood



Shaking up Shakespeare information compiled by Madeline Edgar

photos courtesy of Audrey DeGeest, Madeline Edgar

Shakespeare Artistic Team The student-run Shakespeare club adds an ‘80s flair to the classic play “Twelfth Night.”

Actors rehearse in costume for the first time.

(above) Caleb Gayner, 10, wears a patched vest as the Fool.

After a year of uncertainty about whether or not the annual Shakespeare production would be able to come to fruition, a student-designed and -directed variation of “Twelfth Night” is debuting on Friday, April 30. Even while operating under COVID-19 restrictions, the heads of the various theatre departments have been able to coordinate and balance creative decisions, leadership and safety. A unique aspect to Mounds View Shakespeare shows is the inclusion of dance, both incorporated into the show’s plot in the “middle dance” and just before the cast takes its bows. Choreographer Julia Cook, 12, employs her years of both dancing and acting experience to emulate ‘80s workout moves and dramatic music videos in the two pieces. “I would dance in front of my mirror for hours to see what looked good,” Cook said. Backstage, costuming directors Audrey DeGeest, 12, and Grace Pitsenbarger, 12, are finding and making character-suited outfits for every actor. “We drew inspiration mostly from classic ‘80s movies like ‘Dirty Dancing’ and ‘Heathers,’” DeGeest said. “We must consider the character and what they would wear so we can really embody who they are. Then we get to be creative.” Each Shakespeare production is also heavily shaped by the cast directors, set design, sound and lighting technicians and the props department. “Twelfth Night” will be offering live performances on Friday, April 30; Saturday, May 1; Friday, May 7 and Saturday, May 8 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium as well as a digital recording for those unable to attend. Social distancing will be enforced between attendee groups, and the audience will be capped at 250 to maintain COVID-19 regulations. Tickets will be available at the door starting at 6:30 p.m. For those interested in the recording, it can be accessed by emailing moundsviewshakespeare@gmail.com.

(right) A prop is finished by cast directors Addy Cota, 12, and Evan Leebans, 12.

More information about show dates and tickets can be found on Instagram at


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MV Viewer 2020-2021 Issue 8  

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