THE SPOTLIGHT December 2019
Southern Lehigh High School 5800 Main Street Center Valley, PA 18034
Volume 63 Issue 2
Students Prepare for the Holidays with Excitement Learn about some holidays from near and far on page 8 and 9. Photo credit: Kennah Salvo
Issue: Find out how Senior Asha Bhatt spent her summer volunteering in Gujarat, India on page 4.
They may not practice together, but the SL ice hockey team is commited to bringing home some medals. Read more on page 7.
Are seniors prepared to make life changing decisions? Read about some thoughts on page 12.
Southern Lehigh High School 5800 Main Street Center Valley, PA 18034 (610) 282-1421 x7122 email@example.com Twitter: @SLSDspotlight Instagram: @slsdspotlight Facebook: Southern Lehigh Spotlight
FSA Officers Campaign for Updated Comprehensive Sex Ed Curriculum by Emily Mackin
Mrs. Marlo Spritzer
Editor-in-Chief Saskia Van’t Hof
Opinion Editor Saskia Van’t Hof
Features Editor Kennah Salvo
News Editor Alex Kane
Our World Editor Lucas Zhang
Entertainment Editor Noelle Nelson
Sports Editor Kate Miller
Aisha Durrani Nolan Sargent Amy Schwartz Gillian Wellington Owen Bishop Emily Mackin Evelyn Wang Lauren McCormick Lucas Werbisky Pennsylvania School Press Association 2019 Silver Rating 2018 Gold Rating 2017 Gold Rating 2016 Gold Rating 2015 Gold Rating 2014 Gold Rating 2013 Silver Rating National School Press Association 2016 First Class Rating 2015 First Class Rating
The Feminist Student Association at Southern Lehigh has been working to encourage the school district to offer comprehensive sex education over the current abstinence only curriculum. Photo credit: The People Speak! via Flickr
Young, maturing people all across the world face a similar predicament as they reach a level of higher education, and that is a lack of knowledge when it comes to sex education. Without proper knowledge, high school students then are inclined to approach their adult lives with a negative, limited perception of sexual health and relations. For over a decade, the U.S. government has limited funding to abstinence-only sex education, including some sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs) that can put one can at risk. In evaluating the limited knowledge they receive from this unrefined curriculum, students have begun to raise the question: How can students become more knowledgeable in the classroom about their sexual health and rights? The answer lies in a curriculum approach known as Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), defined by the Guttmacher Institute as education that “seeks to equip young people with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values they need to determine and enjoy their sexuality—physically and emotionally, individually and in relationships.” The goal of this diverse curriculum, designed to encourage a transition away from abstinence-only education, is to promote lessons that engage teenagers in understanding how to make appropriate decisions
when it comes to sexual relationships, as well as their rights concerning their sexual health. “I think it all comes down to providing our students with the best possible education in order for them to live healthy, productive lives,” health teacher Mrs. Megan Kane said. “Students make decisions every day that will impact their lives forever. We need to prepare and educate them to make the best possible decisions for them to be successful.” The Feminist Student Association (FSA) at Southern Lehigh High School is currently making efforts to change the district’s current abstinence-only education policy to align more directly with the CSE curriculum. Lessons would include a range of topics including decision making, understanding dating violence and relationships, gender and orientation, sexual/ reproductive health, enjoyment and consent, and the diversity of sexuality. “Our school is one of the only ones in the area that teaches abstinence still, and that is such a problem,” junior FSA officer Brianna West said. “You can’t just tell kids not to have sex, because they’re gonna do it anyway, and then if they don’t know what the proper precautions are, or consequences, something bad is going to happen, and they’re going to feel isolated and be in danger.”
Implementation of this more diversified curriculum would help engage young people in learning about sex in a more open forum and result in a deeper, more thorough understanding around certain topics. The stigma surrounding the education aspect, and sex itself, has the potential of being broken with this more effective, explanatory curriculum. “I think people are aware [of the flaws of sex ed curriculum], but it’s an awkward subject, so a lot of people are not like, ‘Oh, I want this now, I want to learn about, you know, condoms,’” junior co-president of FSA Ava Lang said. “It’s awkward, but I think people are like, ‘Well, why don’t we talk about that, where was that in my life?’ Some people don’t learn about it.” Although CSE may not be implemented into health classes in our school tomorrow, the fight for more than an abstinence only education is one that members of FSA are making a priority and hope to see bring up in more conversations. Young people deserve a healthy lifestyle when it comes to sex and the prevention of other harmful STIs. A comprehensive sex education would provide answers to the questions that students may hesitate to ask or would not learn within the limits of an abstinence-only education.
The Spotlight is published six times annually by the student members of its staff. Its purpose is to present news concerning Southern Lehigh High School and the Southern Lehigh School District, as well as to provide a forum for student opinion. Editorial content of The Spotlight expresses the view of the paper and not necessarily that of the Board of Education, Administration, or faculty of the Southern Lehigh School District. Bylined editorial content and letters to the editor represent the opinion of the writer only. All contents are copyrighted by The Spotlight. Advertising and subscription rates are furnished upon request.
Southern Lehigh District Administration Introduces New Mental Health Support Groups by Kennah Salvo
High school is a turbulent time. Teenagers have to juggle grades, friends, family, jobs, and extracurricular activities, all while trying to develop a sense of identity. With that on their shoulders, it’s no wonder that one in five teens suffers from at least one mental health disorder. This year, members of the Southern Lehigh High School administration are taking steps to help students with their mental health journeys. “We have a lot of roles in our students’ lives that are not purely academic,” Southern Lehigh High School assistant principal Mr. Thomas Ruhf said. “The national mental health statistics are very clear; we need to do more.” Mr. Ruhf is spearheading an initiative to provide students with various support groups to help them cope with everything from stress, to grief and loss, to nicotine cessation. They are run by the Caron Foundation, an agency that provides treatment for mental health as well as substance abuse issues. In late October, Mr. Ruhf sent a survey to students via district email, offering the support group services to anyone who was interested. Roughly 10% of the student body -- 125 students -- responded that they would like to participate. Caron liaison Mr. TJ McDowell, from the company’s student assistance department, facilitates these groups at Southern Lehigh. He leads each group, ensuring that no one member is dominating, that there is no “competing” between group members, and that the conversation is productive as well as therapeutic, rather than harmful. “Caron has a bunch of services we can offer to schools in order to help the students to get the services and help that they need to remove any barriers to education,” Mr. McDowell said. “As a professional, I believe in the services we provide; high schools are learning that not only does this stuff work, but it’s also incredibly important.” These groups are intended to be a first level of support to help students with their mental health, before undergoing more intensive help, such as behavioral health assessment and individual counseling. “You all are living in a very tough time to
Vice Principal Thomas Ruhf has been spearheading the efforts to establish student support groups. Photo credit: Kennah Salvo.
grow up; everybody is kind of wearing a mask,” Mr. Ruhf said. “The group setting potentially allows people to strip that off and see that they have more in common with their peers than they think.” The high school guidance department has lent their full support to this initiative as well. Guidance counselor Mrs. Tamme Westbrooks is excited about how support groups will bring ease to her students. “It’s much easier when students come to us to say ‘oh this [particular group] would be good for this student,’” Mrs. Westbrooks said. “I think if the groups were open ended then it would be harder for us, but because [they are] so specific to [each issue] -- for example, anger management, or grief and loss -- it’s very easy to gear
students towards [the right group].” With a guidance office that carries a large number of cases and plays such diverse roles, Mrs. Westbrooks is pleased to have outside assistance. “It helps us provide things for our students we just cannot give them ourselves,” Mrs. Westbrooks said. “Anything that helps students we are in full support of and it absolutely helps us.” Since the programs are just starting up, it is too soon to tell how the program is working, but it will become more clear in the weeks and months to come. “If one person gets help, it’s worth the process,” Mr. Ruhf said. “From students who’ve sought me out and told me it’s going well, that’s worth its weight in gold.”
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Senior Asha Bhatt Gives Back by Voluntering by Saskia Van’t Hof
Asha loved spending time with the children and learning their dialect, Gujarti. Photo credit: Asha Bhatt.
from around the country. While the atmosphere buzzed with excitement, Bhatt also felt a twinge of nervousness as she traveled across the Atlantic Ocean. Even though Bhatt is fluent in Hindi and had visited India many times with family, it was the first time she would experience the country alone. In many ways, her version of India was the one from her parents’ stories. Her mother lived in a one-bedroom flat with her six other family members, all sharing one motorcycle. Her paternal grandfather was the founder of a small village. “Since all of our parents [were] immigrants, we already kind of knew what life in India was like,” Bhatt said. “And most of us had all visited India before on family trips and seen our parents’ villages, so we all thought we had a pretty good idea [of what to expect]. But we didn’t know how bad it was.” When Bhatt first arrived at the school, she was disheartened, but not surprised. In India, 90 percent of children from poor families remain illiterate despite completing four years of education. At the school where Bhatt volunteered, the kids ranged from 8 to 11 years old. While she did not work with “juvenile delinquents” like the ones who live in other Uplift Humanity locations, Children enjoy learning at school. Photo credit: Asha Bhatt. she did work with those who were well below the poverty line. “I think the most memorable moment was orphans and imprisoned youth in India with edmeeting the kids for the first time,” Bhatt said. ucation and life lessons by connecting them with peer mentors. Through the summer volunteer program, high school and college aged Indian-Americans travel to one of the nonprofit’s four locations in India: Gujarat, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. Volunteers in some locations focus on teaching English to children from impoverished areas, while others focus on teaching life skills, such as anger management and self-confidence. Bhatt first learned about the program through her cousin, who had done it the year before. Excited by the prospect of volunteering and connecting with her parents’ homeland, Bhatt immediately applied. “When I first heard about it, I thought it was a really cool opportunity,” Bhatt said. “I felt like it was a good way for me to connect more to India but also spend my summer in a meaningful way.” After months of patient waiting, Bhatt received her acceptance into the program. On July 1st, she departed New York in an airplane filled with other high school and college aged students Everyone knows that community service can be a satisfying way to spend one’s summer. For senior Asha Bhatt, volunteering internationally was an eye-opening experience that she will never forget. A little over a year ago, just before her junior year, Bhatt traveled to India with Uplift Humanity, a nonprofit organization based in New Jersey. The nonprofit, founded in 2010, focuses on providing
“We were all nervous. We didn’t know what to expect. But they were all super excited. And they were looking at us like we’re the most exotic.” A typical day volunteering consisted of preparing the day’s lesson plans before lunch, and working at the school from about 1:00 in the afternoon to 6:00 in the evening. The kids were taught their regular school curriculum in the morning. “We would have a group of six or seven kids for each person and we would do whatever the day’s lesson was,” Bhatt said. “I think one of them was leadership. And that was a good one, because a lot of them haven’t seen what it’s like to have a good role model.” Through interacting with these students, Bhatt directly confronted the complicated system of injustice and poverty in India. For many kids, the school was the only place to escape from the cycle of poverty and violence they faced in their everyday lives. “One of the boys I had, he was ten at the time,” Bhatt said. “We would watch him go across the street to the bank and smoke weed or drink or whatever. And then there was this other girl. She wasn’t in my group, but she would stay at school every day. Just for no reason at all. Except we realized she didn’t want to go home because she would be abused by her dad every night. And she was only eight.” For many of the young students, connecting with the teenage Uplift Humanity volunteers was a chance to see a whole new world of possibilities. For Bhatt, getting to hang out with the kids between lessons was the most exciting part of the program. “It wasn’t uncomfortable because we all knew and we were all comfortable speaking the language,” Bhatt said. “We could joke around with them. We could have fun, too. It wasn’t just, ‘we’re here to teach you.’” Aside from valuable life experience, Bhatt also learned an entirely new dialect thanks to the program. In a span of a month, she was fully immersed and learned the local dialect, Gujarati. By the end of the summer, Bhatt returned home to the United States empowered and full of hope. She hopes to do the program again in the near future. “I think the experience really made me realize that we need to bring this back to America, especially to places like Southern Lehigh,” Bhatt said. “I think a lot of us are in a bubble here, so people need to be exposed to what goes on in the rest of the world. I count myself very lucky that I got to do my part.”
Children often go through school without learning to read or write. Photo credit: Asha Bhatt.
Ms. Stepanczuk Interns With SLHS Guidance
by Saskia Van’t Hof
Ms. Kristin Stepanczuk can’t wait to help the students of Southern Lehigh High school realize their potential. Photo credit: Saskia Van’t Hof.
Away from the bustling hallways and loud classrooms, the guidance office is a safe haven for many high schoolers. Students this year may have noticed that there is a new counselor in the office: guidance intern Mrs. Kristin Stepanczuk. “I really like being in high school,” Mrs. Stepanczuk said. “It’s really energizing. Everyone’s been really nice and welcoming, and I’m working really hard to get to know as many students and as many teachers as I can.” In many ways, Mrs. Stepanczuk’s new position brings her career full circle. She was first inspired to study psychology by her own high school guidance counselor. “She was my school counselor but also my high school softball coach,” Mrs. Stepanczuk said. “I really consider her to be my mentor because I felt the effects of her impact in my adolescence. I still stay in touch with her, and I try when I come back home visiting family to meet up with her. I consider her to be a really important person in
my life.” After deciding to pursue counseling, Mrs. Stepanczuk received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bloomsburg University and her masters degree in counseling with a minor in sports psychology from West Virginia University. People might be surprised to know that during her time as an undergraduate student at Bloomsburg, Mrs. Stepanczuk was the school mascot, Roongo the Husky. “I even got an opportunity to introduce the new husky mascot uniform!” Mrs. Stepanzcuk said. “They put me in a helicopter and we landed on the fifty yard line on the football field, so I could give the game ball right before the game.” For the past nine years, Mrs. Stepanczuk has been working as a licensed professional counselor. With a focus on counseling young adults, she is also the founder of Lehigh Valley Premier Counseling. Her business aims to help college students, recent graduates, and young professionals navigate stress, anxiety, and life changes.
Mrs. Stepanzcuk is currently in the process of getting a school counseling certification, so that she can work directly with students in public schools. “My strengths have always lent themselves really well in the counseling field,” Mrs. Stepanczuk said. “It’s something I think I do really well. For a while I’ve wanted to go back and get my school counseling certification because I just feel like the work that I do in the community side of things this will also enhance that work.” Last year, Mrs. Stepanczuk worked in the Southern Lehigh Middle School guidance office. This year is the first time that she is working with high school students. “She is very capable of doing the job, very confident, and super compassionate with the kids,” Ms. Mandi Mowrey said. “She has a lot of experience with managing stress in students and helping them through the process. She’s doing a really good job.” Mrs. Stepanzcuk hopes to get to know more students in the high school. “She’s a really nice person,” junior Joy Fan said. “When I came in they were really kind and helped me a lot.” Outside of school, Mrs. Stepanczuk loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains and going on bike rides. She also loves spending time with her loved ones. ”It sounds like a cliche but I love connecting with people. Whether its spending time with my friends and going out to a restaurant or just being with my family, I love laughing with them.” Mrs. Stepanczuk also loves spending time with her wife and two young daughters, aged 5 and 2. Over the summer, the family also welcomed a new puppy, named by their children after Rocky from “Paw Patrol.” “We’re actually working to get him certified as a therapy dog,” Mrs. Stepanczuk said. “It’s a lot of classes, a lot of training, but I think it’s going to be a really good thing.” Currently, Mrs. Stepanczuk brings Rocky to Lehigh Valley Premier Counselling. One day she hopes to bring Rocky to Southern Lehigh as a therapy dog. Until then, she hopes to help as many students as possible.
Gingerbread House Contest Helps Habitat for Humanity by Kennah Salvo
On December 13, the Habitat for Humanity club hosted their 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Contest. Over the course of 45 minutes during a Spartan period, dozens of students worked together in small groups to put together decorated gingerbread houses. “I loved just seeing all the students work together and have fun!,” principal Mrs. Beth Guarriello said. After the students had finished decorating, three groups were crowned: Flaming Marshmallows placed first, Paw Patrol placed second, and The Good Boys placed third. “[My favorite part was] getting to decorate but with my friends!” said junior Aidan Silvestri, who placed first with her fellow members of Flaming Marshmallows. The Habitat for Humanity club raised over $400 through this event. They look forward to continuing this tradition next year and wish everyone a very happy holiday! The Flaming Marshmallows from left to right: Aidan Silvestri, Mia Ricci, Jamie Peterson, Tarin Johnson, Marissa Parr, and Ellie Silvestri. Photo Credit: Kennah Salvo
Ditchcreek Named New Head Wrestling Coach by Alex Kane
Head Wrestling Coach Brenton Ditchcreek poses by his desk. Photo Credit: Alex Kane Mr. Zimmerman also said Coach Ditchcreek’s This year, when Southern Lehigh wrestlers dedication to the program over the last eight hit the mat, they will be under the guidance of a years is a reason for his selection. new head coach, Mr. Brenton Ditchcreek. Coach Ditchcreek has already won the respect of Coach Ditchcreek has been coaching in the wrestling program for eight years. Until last year, his athletes. “Coach Ditchcreek is more of a familiar face he served as an assistant coach for the program. because he teaches at the school,” senior Nick De For athletic director Mr. Marc Zimmerman, nave said “We’re doing more during the offseason choosing a new head coach to lead the Spartans was an easy decision to make, since he’s a friend- and doing more to bond as a team.” Many of Denave’s teammates echoed the senly face around the school. timent. “Coach Ditchcreek is very familiar with our “[Coach Ditchcreek] is more involved in the student-athletes and has a great background in school and [is] trying to get more kids out to see the sport of wrestling,” Mr. Zimmerman said. wrestling matches,” sophomore Deacon Dickin-
son said. According to Coach Ditchcreek, the program’s number has almost doubled from the past season, with a number of new recruits joining the program. “We have a bunch of new guys, so I’m excited to see new faces in the room,” Denave said. “It should be a fun year.” Being head coach is different from the assistant coach position that Mr. Ditchcreek held previously. “There’s definitely a lot more to do as a head coach to do than an assistant,” he said. “There’s a lot more planning that goes into it; there’s a lot more hands on with the athletes.” Coach Ditchcreek is also planning some major changes to the program. “The room is going to be a bit different, we have new mats and records boards, we have almost double the kids,” he said. “I’m going to introduce a different type of style we haven’t done before.” In addition to increasing attendance at wrestling matches, Coach Ditchcreek wants to use the team as a force to do good in the community, which is why he is starting the tradition of a charity “takedown match.” This year, the match was held against Catasauqua High School on December 10. Coach Ditchcreek and the team sold t-shirts for $10, with all of the profits donated to Valley Youth House. “The idea for a competitive ‘take down match’ just came to me,” Coach Ditchcreek said. “We need to find a way to build up attendance at wrestling [matches], and I wanted to do something good for the community.” For the Spartans, the outlook is bright and the core of the team is there, let’s watch the wrestling team roll to success this year.
Check out the Spartans Athletics Teams in Action During Winter Break! Track and Field
Bob Burdette Meet @ Lehigh University December 28
JV Girls Basketball Southern Lehigh vs Allentown Central Catholic @ SLHS Gym December 27
Christmas City Classic @TBA December 27 & 28
Varsity Girls Basketball Southern Lehigh vs Allentown Central Catholic @ SLHS Gym December 27
Southern Lehigh Hockey Team Hits the Ice by Amy Schwartz
The Southern Lehigh ice hockey team in action as two players face off at the beginning of the game. Photo credit: Patrick Laughlin.
The Southern Lehigh varsity hockey team is already well into their season, having started back in early October. Each game is a potential victory, and the team is working hard to achieve a good place in the playoffs. Head Coach John Greco, Coach Tom Lamelza and captains Patrick Laughlin and Connor Sargent, both seniors, and sophomore Colton Balco are working hard to prepare for the games ahead. Unlike other sports at Southern Lehigh, ice hockey is not directly tied to the school. In recent years, the team has had to bring in extra players from other nearby schools to fill up the roster. “This is our first team in a long time to be made completely of in-district players,” junior Tyler Deblois said. “Hockey is such a cultural
thing to the people who play, and we are all really close with each other even before the start of the season. Now we operate as if the guy next to you, on your line, [is part of] your group of friends at school.” The team started the season with practices on what would become game nights, where players focused on building a lineup and team building. Most players practice with their club or travel teams several times a week, so once the regular season began, actual games replaced their weekly practices. On a game night they either play a home game at Bethlehem Steel Ice Rink, or an away game at a different rink. What used to be organized practice has now morphed into playing against another team, usually at least once a
week. “When we did have practice though, they were really productive and fast-paced, but always with an enthusiastic and positive feel,” Deblois said. “Every time we step on the ice we’re totally invested in the work ahead.” While each player’s practice time is individual, one thing they can all agree on is team spirit. Since the team members only play together during games, encouragement from the captains and coaches is vital to keep themselves sharp and prepared. “Everyone is so supportive and encourages each other no matter what, even when someone messes up,” junior Hunter Lamelza said. “We work, play, and thrive together as a team. Even though the team consist[s] mostly of underclassmen, I think we have made a name for ourselves.” The team belongs to the Lehigh Valley Scholastic League, and are ranked number four in their league. However, it seems to the players that the teamwork and community that is built between them is the most important thing. This community is formed through a sense of belonging. “We work on the ice as a team, always supporting each other and caring for one another on and off the ice,” Lamelza said. “Being a friendly face helps in today’s world.” The bond they’ve built is one of support and consideration, with all the players being kind to one another and lifting their teammates up when they need it. The coaches encourage the players to work as a team and give it their all. Hockey games are typically weeknights and will continue until at least late January. Playoffs would be some time later in the season. “Come playoffs,” Lamelza said. “We are going for gold!”
Five Spartan Athletes Sign on the Dotted Line by Kate Miller
Recently, five star Southern Lehigh athletes participated in a signing ceremony, solidifying their decisions to play at the next level. Taylor Moncman will play Women’s Lacrosse at Temple University. Nick Denave will play Men’s Lacrosse at Hartford University. Kyle Hoff will play Men’s Lacrosse at University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Faith Cameron will play Women’s Soccer at Mansfield University. Christopher Andrews will play Baseball at Monmouth University. Congratulations to the five seniors who announced that they will be continuing their academic and athletic careers in college.
5 spartans rep their future college as they sign their national letters of intent. Photo credit: Southern Lehigh School District Instagram.
How Do SLHS Students Celebrating the Holidays?
“On November 12th we celebrate Guru Nanak, which is the birthday of the founder of the Sikh religion. We usually just go to our temple like usual. The only small difference is in the prayer we do. On Guru Nanak we thank the guru and what he has done for us as a society. It’s a chance for my family to all reflect on ourselves too.” Junior Ruhbani Sidhu
Guru Nanak: November 12
Photo credit: Ruhbani Sidhu.
by Saskia Van’t Hof
Photo credit: Meghan Inglis.
“I really like the idea of Friends giving and celebrating it because Thanksgiving is all about being grateful. I get to spend the actual holiday with my family but I’m also incredibly grateful for my friends so it gives me the chance to spend a special day with them. It’s really fun to do something a little out of the ordinary once a year!” Junior Meghan Inglis
Thanksgiving: November 26
Photo credit: Samantha Mon
Christmas: December 2
“As Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights, we light a candle for each night. We light the Menorah with whole family. We also open presents and sing traditional Hanukkah songs. It’s important for my family to celebrate because it connects us to the Jewish community.” Senior Mariano San Clemente
“We always spend our Christmas away from home somewhere extraordinary because our mom ran out of gift ideas. I think we also do it because it’s important to see the world, learn new perspectives, and learn about new cultures. Not just at Christmas, but all the time. Christmas is just a convenient time to go for my family because we’re all together.” Junior Will Corvino
Photo credit: Saskia Van’t Hof.
Hanukkah: December 22-30
Sinterklaas: December 6 “It’s basically the Dutch version of Christmas that celebrates the birthday of Sinterclass, who is like a Santa guy that comes to the Netherlands from Spain. He comes on a steamship with a sack of presents with hs white horse. In the Netherland, my family and I would go out to the harbor and see the ship. We would sing Sinterklaas songs the night before with our shoe out, and in the morning we would get a chocolate that was shaped in the letter of our name. ” Freshman Thijs Immerzeel
Nochebuena: December 24
hoto credit: Will Corvino.
Photo credit: Thijs Immerzeel.
“La Befana is really similar to Santa Claus but instead she’s an old witch who gives presents on Epiphany. My family does a very simplified, watered down version, but we still celebrate it every year. When I wake up, that’s when my stockings are up because I don’t get presents on Christmas. So we just wake up and open gifts and talk about everything that’s happened throughout the year. It’s special because its kind of a day to debrief and appreciate everything we have. Sometimes when I come home from school, we have special Italian food. So my grandparents when they were in Italy they celebrated it, so when they came to [the] U.S. they did it with their kids, my dad and his brothers. And now my dad likes to keep it alive for me.” Junior Megan Albanese
La Befana: January 6
“We celebrated it more when I was younger, when we still lived in Japan. At Midnight on New Year’s Eve, everyone would go to the Bhuddist Temple and ring the bell 100 times. I think it’s supposed to cleanse you of your sins for the new year. But then in the morning, my mom would make a really elaborate traditional Japanese breakfast. We still try to make a simplified version, and we still eat the long noodles on New Year’s Eve that signify a long life.” Freshman Aidan Van’t Hof 17
Photo credit: Saskia Van’t Hof.
New Year’s Day: January 1
Photo credit: Saskia Van’t Hof.
“We celebrate Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve. Mexico is a Catholic country, so every 24th of December we celebrate the night of Jesus’s birth. You have to be with Him all night, you have to sing to Him and everything. We spend the whole day together with family and set up the manger with all the animals. Later my family cooks all night to celebrate.” Sophomore Samantha Mondragon-Jaimes
Page 10 Our World
Financial Aid Issues Plague College Applicants by Lucas Zhang
For perspective college freshman, the potential financial strain of paying for college is only complicated by flaws in programs designed to reduce this strain such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Photo credit: Lucas Zhang.
The beginning of winter brings with it many different things, such as the first snowfall, holidays, and winter break. But for seniors at Southern Lehigh and across the country, winter is also a reminder of another pressing event: the nearing deadlines for college applications. While the process is a draining one, applying and waiting for months on end is only half of the process. Once students are admitted, they are forced to face one of the great American pastimes -- figuring out how to pay for the hefty price tag of university. According to the College Board, the average annual cost of attendance for a public college is $26,590, while the average cost at a private college is even higher at $53,980 for 2019-2020 school year. Unfortunately, trends show that these costs will only continue to grow in the coming years. From the late 1980s to 2018, the cost of an undergraduate degree in a public school rose by 213%, and in private schools by 130%. From year to year, costs have continued to rise, with a 3% increase from 2016-17 to 2017-18, demonstrating the steadily growing price of education. “I’m concerned because college is expensive and hard to pay for,’’ senior Adam Noblit said. “If you play your cards right, I feel like it won’t be as bad. But at the same time, if you end up with a lot of debt, it’s really hard to pay it back.” “I’m pretty concerned,” senior Alex Wentling said on the topic of college tuition. While some scholarships and grants can eliminate tuition fees for select students, this type of financial aid can’t be earned by everyone, leaving the majority of students with the remaining options of federally subsidized or private student loans. The United States Federal Reserve reports that nationally, $1.56 trillion in student loan debt is owed by 44.7 million Americans. In turn, student loan debt can economically drag down borrowers, making taking out a private loan from a bank generally unattractive. So the only option
you really have left is applying for financial aid through FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Current or prospective college students must complete and submit the FAFSA to the Federal Student Aid office of the Department of Education, to determine their eligibility for financial aid including federally subsidized student loans, grants, and work study programs. While the FAFSA as a whole offers one of the best chances at managing the costs of college, it has its drawbacks. Chief among these issues are the overcomplicated application process and the disadvantages which befall students from the middle class. Consisting upwards of 145 questions, the FAFSA application is longer than a standard tax return form. Along with this, the University of Michigan estimates that it takes up to 10 hours to gather all the necessary documentation to fill out the application. The complexity of the application process can deter potential applicants, thereby preventing them from receiving aid, a situation that faces at least one million college students, as reported by the American Council on Education “[Completing the FAFSA] was slightly confusing, but not overly confusing,” senior Liam Fitting said. “The most stressful part is wondering how much [financial aid] you’re going to get.” For middle class students like the vast majority of Southern Lehigh’s students, one of the greatest issues with financial aid is actually qualifying for it -- being too “wealthy” to receive financial aid, but not wealthy enough to pay for college without it. Unfortunately, many middle class families discover that are not deemed by the college or the federal government to be in need of financial aid. Determined by a formula known as the Expected Family Contribution, this formula used in tandem with the FAFSA Application helps colleges to determine financial aid. Unfortunately however, this formula fails to take into account other factors besides income and assets such as familial expenses or funds saved for college. In
turn, this forces middle class families to foot the bill for sums which paying for may not be economically viable. “Something will have to be done so people will be able to afford college without being in debt for the rest of their lives,” Fitting said. With such monumental costs, coupled with the issues facing solution such as FAFSA, the unfortunate financial realities of attending college will be a continuing issue for those applying to college now, and in the future. Only by working to solve such issues can college become more accessible and less associated with great financial burdens.
The significant costs of college tuition can act as a financial drain on students and their families if they do not recieve adequate financial aid. Photo credit: Lucas Zhang.
Disney+ Launches New Streaming Service by Noelle Nelson
Disney joined the burgeoning competition within the streaming service industry with the launch of their own service, Disney +;which offers subscribers acess to Disney films, shows, and content from other franchises controlled by the company. Photo credit: Disney.
“Disney Plus makes me feel like I’m a fiveyear-old all over again sitting in front of the TV, making me laugh and smile with every cheesy comment the characters say,” junior Joyce Sundo said. Now, Disney Plus has created a way to do that by launching a new streaming service dedicated for streaming old and new Disney programs, including original content. The library of shows and movies extends from 1900’s Disney Classics to new movies that came out this month. It also includes Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and National Geographic productions. Children are able to watch their favorite Disney Princess movies while adults can indulge in watching the shows they grew up with, like the classic Mickey Mouse films starting as early as 1928. Needless to say, there is certainly a wide selection of movies and tv shows. On its launch day, users tweeted and filed sev-
eral complaints that the service crashed as soon as they tried to log into it. In addition, some say that the audio and video lags. “The consumer demand for Disney+ has exceeded our highest expectations,” Disney said in a statement, in which they also acknowledged the early technical issues and promised to resolve them. Disney took a huge gamble in creating the streaming service, and expected the first couple years to produce a deficit. However, Disney Plus received 10 million views on the first day and is expected to have 60-90 million subscribers by 2024. Its yearly earnings are expecting to reach just short of a billion by the year 2020. With the emergence of another new subscription streaming service, some question whether or not there is a need for cable television anymore, when you can find almost every show or movie online.
“Cable is something that should never be abandoned,” sophomore Olivia Harley said. “Cable will survive as long as I live.” These subscription services also have to compete with each other for viewership. With all the Disney shows now on Disney Plus, Netflix is teaming up with Nickelodeon. The combination of Netflix originals, Nickelodeon’s childhood classics, and independent films may give Netflix an edge on Disney as the reigning leader of the subscription streaming businesses. However, for most of us that grew up the Disney Channel, there is no doubt that we want to revisit shows like “Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” Netflix has a great library, but Disney holds a special spot in the hearts of our generation. Disney Plus is available on multiple platforms, but Verizon customers can receive its $69.99 yearly service for free.
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Class Officer Elections Are Important to All by Lucas Zhang
The democratic system of the United States is one of the greatest ideas to emerge from the founding of our nation. Our system, born from the foundation laid by Athens, allows for a people to be ultimately free through the vote, and the best way to appreciate this freedom is to vote, at any level, including at the level of our class officer elections. How exactly is voting for the students who organize prom an appreciation of our democracy? And to answer that question, we need to look at both the current system of class officer elections, as well as the idea of what democracy and the vote means in America. In September, candidates who gain enough signatures from their peers and teachers receive a set period of time to campaign for their desired position. “Running for a position starts with taking the initiative to see the class advisor for a packet, asking peers and teachers for signatures and writing a speech,” Class of 2021 advisor Mrs. Courtney Bathgate said. In an assembly held during Spartan Period, candidates address the peers with a pre-prepared speech on their goals and reasons why they should be elected. Students vote through a Google Form, and the results are announced by day’s end. The running of these elections at the beginning of the year makes these elections particularly distinct from other elections run by organizations at Southern Lehigh. Other student organizations have traditionally run their officer elections toward the end of the school year. However, the unique timing of the class officer elections has its own purpose. “A lot of those major events that the class officers are responsible for happen towards the end of the year. So to burden them with an election in addition to the other activities that they are still seeing through, I feel would be unfair,” Class of 2020 advisor Ms. Erin Laney said. “[The] summer allows the student body to really process what was accomplished during the previous academic year.” On a much grander scale, in its most basic terms, democracy in America is the system by which the nation is governed. Within this system, our power primarily takes form through the vote.
(from left to right) Junior president Cameron Hines, Vice President Jack Ziets, Secretary Erica Wang, and Treasurer Michael Woods posing for a picture after winning the class election in October. Photo credit: Kate Miller.
Our vote gives us the freedom to decide who represents us, as well as the freedom to help shape the direction this country takes. Our class elections have been modeled from the way our nation’s democracy is designed to function. In both cases, your vote is your power to decide how the future plays out. Whether that future is that of the country, or a high school prom, simply comes down to the election. Your vote is your power so why not use it? Apathy towards this freedom ultimately ignores a fundamental right enjoyed within a democratic system of government. Ignoring the power you hold within an election, ultimately surrenders your ability to voice your opinions. The organizers of elections cannot be solely relied on to increase turnout. “Because we do have pretty apathetic voter
turnout, to try to incentivise voter turnout, we wanted to binge everything in one week.” Ms. Laney said. “Freshman, sophomore, and junior class elections all occur within the same week, so that there’s more of a focus on it being an election. “ Change you wish to see does not come from standing idle; it comes from action. Whether it’s fundraising or foreign policy, the best way to make your voice heard is through the power of the vote. Engaging in the election process whenever you can and at every level you can is one of the best ways to appreciate our democracy. And, if you still haven’t been convinced to vote in the next class officer election, I’ll leave you with this: just do it. It’ll literally take you two minutes.
Afterall, there is no doubt that Millenials and Gen Zers are growing up in a different world that their Baby Boomer counterparts. Everything–from dating, education, career paths, even how people communicate– in the modern world resembles very little of the 60s and 70s era America that most Baby Boomers spent their teen years in. On one hand, it makes sense that Baby Boomers see Millennials as immature and lacking social abilities. Fifty years ago, the average American was married in their early twenties. Today, the average age for Millennials to get married is closer to 30. Furthermore, 2014 marked the first time in 130 years that adults aged 18 to 34 were more likely to be living in their parents’ homes than with a partner. However, these societal shifts are the culmination of decades of subtle changes, not the fault of one age group. It’s unfair to criticize an entire
generation of young people for variables outside of our control. Even many changes over the past 50 years occurred due to the development of technology. To Millienals and Gen Zers who only know life connected to the internet, it’s difficult to understand how websites, texting, and social media transformed every aspect of society. However, Just because the world changed, doesn’t mean that the Millenial and Gen Z lifestyles are any less valid than those of any other generations. Yes, Baby Boomers and younger generations are different. That said, it’s time for everyone to learn to move beyond it. “OK, Boomer” creates an invisible divide between generations that is both unnecessary and unproductive. Instead of trying to tear others down with “OK, Boomer,” we all should take the opportunity to examine our own shortcomings and work together.
Staff Editorial: Let’s Move Past ‘OK, Boomer’ Throughout the month of November, the phrase “OK, Boomer” was everywhere. A retort meant to dismiss biased remarks from older generations, these two words became a rallying cry for teens. Overnight, the phrase trended across social media platforms like TikTok and twitter, becoming an internet phenomenon. The New York Times called the phrase “the end of friendly generational relations.” Internet trolls called it a slur. Whatever “OK, Boomer” was, it was short lived. By the time the Fox network pitched a TV show with the same title in late November, the internet had already moved on. While the “OK, Boomer” trend may have died in a matter of weeks, it also brought up an interesting debate about the accuracy of those internet claims: Is it really true that disagreements between generations in 2019 have permanently ended any possibility of peaceful discourse?
Opinion Page 13
Are Seniors Ready for Life after Graduation? by Kate Miller
For Southern Lehigh students like Senior Marissa McCormick, the process of making post-graduation decisions can be very stressful. Photo credit: Saskia Van’t Hof.
For college-bound students, applying to college and choosing a major is one of the most important, exciting, and nerve-wracking moments in their lives, but there are so many questions. Where do you start? What do you look for? How do you decide what to pursue? How do you choose what college to attend? How do you know? There are numerous degree and career paths that students don’t know because they aren’t exposed to them yet they have to decide their future without much guidance. Truthfully, the only career path that students are exposed to in depth is teaching. Fortunately, Southern Lehigh has a course titled Career and Technical Applications (CTA) which helps students prepare to enter the workforce. The class teaches students how to write a resume and a cover letter as well as fill out a job application. There is where students complete their graduation project. In the project, students are required to go on two job shadows and complete a presentation on a career they wish to pursue. I completed the project my sophomore year, and completed two job shadows -- one with the executive Director of Public Affairs at Olympus Corporation of the Americas, and the second with an English teacher at Southern Lehigh Middle School. I chose to do my presentation on a career I knew thoroughly, a teacher. Career and Technical Applications introduces students to careers, but in order to enter the workforce, many jobs require college degrees. Besides taking a few surveys on Naviance to determine which career cluster a student might pursue, the class does little else to prepare students for the college application process. Another resource for students is the guidance department. Every guidance counselor does their absolute best to help each of their students thrive, but they see so many kids that they have
very little free time. Students who need extra help need to seek out their guidance counselor and make an appointment. But this all brings college-bound students back the question “where do I start?” The most logical conclusion is to think about what you’ve enjoyed studying in high school, but that really breaks it down to four core choices: math, English, science, and social studies. There are so many career paths that may be a combination of disciplines, and some that are completely new options unfamiliar to high school students. However, I have been told repeatedly by many adults that being able to write is the most important skill for any student. Fortunately, some teachers in the English department help take some of the stress off of students. Honors English 12 students are required to write and submit their college essay as their first assignment. In addition, many English teachers end up proofreading college application essays in their free time for students who ask. I had two of my English teachers read mine. One of the ways that the school can help college-bound students is to update the CTA curriculum to include more information about college admissions. For example, students would benefit from learning how to write a college essay, how the common application works, what colleges are looking for in a student, and how to fully use the Naviance college and career readiness software. Since the course already focuses on a student’s future, why not include those who plan on going to college? Another way the school could help would be to grow the guidance department. Currently, the guidance department is too understaffed to provide every student with the individualized help they deserve. According to College Board, the national average student-to-counselor ratio is 350:1. Southern Lehigh is not far off with each counselor seeing about 300 kids.
Other schools have addressed this problem by adding a special counselor who focuses solely on college and career. Earlier this year, Southern Lehigh’s guidance department hosted a college admissions counselor to speak with seniors about the college admissions process, and they have offered college application help to students during Spartan period. This is a good start, but this in addition to the one required fall meeting with their guidance counselors is not enough to help college-bound seniors. Students need someone permanent to help them navigate this confusing process. In the Lehigh Valley, Allentown Central Catholic High School has Director of College Admissions, and the Allentown School District has a college and career counselor in each of their two high schools, Allen and Dieruff. Southern Lehigh should follow this precedent and hire a counselor who specifically helps students with their future plans, allowing the existing guidance counselors to focus their attention on providing other emotional and academic support to students in need. If a student wishes to enter the workforce straight out of high school, the counselor can act as a recruiter and help the student apply for and find a suitable job. If a student wishes to pursue a college degree, the counselor could assist in the application process. They could help a student research and create a college list, get letters of recommendation from teachers, fill out college applications and find and apply for scholarships. The counselors could also complete the counselor letter of recommendation, send an official transcripts and teacher recommendation letters to colleges. College may be the next step for many students, but the whole process is incredibly daunting to face alone. Students need all the support they can get, especially from the place where they started their education.
Arts and Entertainment
‘Frozen 2’ Hits the Hearts of Disney Fans by Evelyn Wang and Lauren McCormick
“Frozen 2” follows the story of Elsa and Anna as they travel to the enchanted forest to find out the truth about their family and save Arendelle. Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios.
Following the unparalleled success of “Frozen,” Disney was certainly not ready to say “Let It Go” to the franchise. After the original movie grossed $1.27 billion, won numerous awards (including the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Original Song), and was hailed a cultural phenomenon, a sequel seemed inevitable. But does “Frozen 2” break the Hollywood trend of sequels being notoriously worse than their originals? It seems “Frozen 2” has certainly delivered financially, earning $127 million on opening weekend in the U.S. The animated feature quickly became the highest grossing film in the box office over Thanksgiving. However, “Frozen 2” ends up like most sequels: enjoyable, but not as good as its predecessor. While there was adventure, excitement, love, and humor, the film didn’t quite capture the same magic of “Frozen.” The plot opens up with the story of an enchanted forest in the north that has since been closed off after a conflict between the Northuldra tribe and the Arendellians, which angered elemental spirits of nature. Queen Iduna (Evan Rachel Wood) sings the lullaby “All Is Found,” about a magical river, Ahtohallan. In the present day, Elsa (Idina Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff, (Jonathan Groff), and Olaf (Josh Gad) live happily in Arendelle, but everything changes when a mysterious voice starts calling to Elsa. The group embarks on an adventure to save their kingdom
and to find out the truth about the enchanted forest. One of the goals of “Frozen 2” is to satisfy the questions left with viewers after the first film. For example, Elsa and Anna searched for answers about their parents’ pasts and the origin of Elsa’s powers, but in doing so, a complex and somewhat jumbled storyline was created. While intricate and adventurous, the story is also dense, exposition-heavy, and muddled at some points. In the end, it remains ambiguous, leaving a few answers up to the assumption of the viewers. Another question that was widely asked was if “Frozen 2” could deliver a song to match the globally acclaimed “Let It Go” from the original, a song known for its passion, and for being the obsession of numerous children around the country. While it’s yet to be seen if they can meet those expectations, the new songs “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself” are both definitely showstoppers on their own. It can even be argued that they hold more emotional value and are more open to audience interpretation. Additionally, “Frozen 2” comes through with stunning visuals. The entire movie consists of intricate animation, to the extent where viewers can see individual hairs on a character’s head, or the threads in their outfits. While “Frozen 2” has a considerably darker tone than its predecessor, no Disney movie would be complete without humor, and this movie is certainly no exception. Throughout the movie,
Olaf is a constant source of comedic relief. He continues to be his optimistic self, asking many philosophical questions and cracking jokes that bring the whole theatre to laughter. At the same time, his character also experiences a lot of growth. In the beginning of the movie, Olaf thinks about others growing up around him and the changes taking place, which is represented in his song, “When I Am Older.” For the first time, he experiences unfamiliar and new emotions, like anger. In “Frozen”, Olaf represents the love between Elsa and Anna and their childhood innocence, but I think this change in “Frozen 2” is representative of Elsa and Anna’s journey. He hopes he’ll know everything and that things will make sense when he’s older. This becomes true for Elsa and Anna, as they learn about their parents’ pasts and about themselves. When Olaf reveals his worries to Anna about people growing up around him, she reassures him that some things never change. Indeed, the strong theme of familial love and support so prominent in “Frozen” does not diminish in the sequel. Frozen 2” is an entertaining and charming film that leaves viewers amused, but not without questions. Its soundtrack and visuals alone are enough reason to see it. Though the movie is not without flaws, it still gives the viewer the same magical experience any other Disney film would, while venturing a little bit into the unknown.
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Arts and Entertainment
‘Moulin Rouge’ Can-Cans Into Popularity
by Kate Miller
“If they don’t perform Lady Marmalade, I will respectfully lose my mind,” I said to my mom as we made our way through through the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and up to our seats in the mezzanine. The scene that unfolded before will be in my memory forever: the historic theatre was transformed into a classy, French nightclub, every inch of space glowing in dazzling red light. Suddenly, the theatre went dark, four bedazzled dancers appeared on stage, and the guitar riff of “Lady Marmalade” tore through the theater. Immediately, I became lost in awe. The stage adaptation of the 2001 hit movie musical “Moulin Rouge!” opened this past summer on Broadway to mixed expectations. The plot is the same as Baz Luhrmann’s spectacular film. Christian (Aaron Tveit) plays Christian, a young Englishman in 1899 Paris, who falls in love with Satine (Karen Olivo), a singer at the Moulin Rouge. Unfortunately, a club manager has promised Satine to a Duke in return for money for his next production. The young lovers continue their affair in secret as Satine’s wedding day draws closer, but she hides a fatal secret from both Christian and the Duke. ‘Moulin Rouge’ is about a young man that falls in love with a singer, Satine at the Moulin Rouge in paris. Photo credit: “Moulin Rouge” is as flashy and bedazzled as any fantastical Gatsby party. The jukebox musical Broadway Productions. friend that I never thought I would hear Aaron Aaron Tveit’s and Karen Olivo’s voices, they had is packed with energy-filled, intense dance numTveit sing “Shut Up and Dance” live. And it only barely any chemistry and their relationship was bers and catchy pop songs. In the case of “Moulin got better. The best part of the musical was Aaron just awkward. During the scenes where their conRouge,” those acts include Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lorde, fun., Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Tveit’s performance of “Rolling in the Deep”, as he nection needed to be lovely and romantic, it was built up the song only for his voice to become soft as awkward as a middle school relationship. Talking Heads, and the Eurythmics. The highlight of the show was definitely the Think the sexy aspects of Chicago meets the song and beautiful. I could go on for days about how music, since it is already well known to the mashups of Pitch Perfect. The musical is as risqué much I love him. Unlike traditional broadway shows like “Les common listener. Every time a recognizable song as expected from a nightclub in early 20th centuMiserables” or “Phantom of the Opera,” “Moubegan, the audience would break out in giggles ry France but also includes today’s pop hits. because the timing was almost satirical. Even if you have never seen the movie, most of lin Rouge” doesn’t aim to be especially dark or sentimental. In fact, I can’t think of a more spine To the hard-edged Broadway critic, “Moulin the songs were easily recognizable even if the initingling adjective to describe the musical besides Rouge” is nothing more than a shameless glitter tial sound of the song was changed, the lyrics and “fun.” It was fun like prom, homecoming, or any bomb on stage, but to the younger generation basic melody stayed the same. There is a funky who loves the movie and the songs, it is enterdark twist to Sia’s “Chandelier.” P!nk’s “Raise Your other party with 2015 pop hits blaring through the speakers. taining experience that is bound to leave you with Glass” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance The only problem is that there wasn’t much of “Lady Marmalade” stuck in your head for days. With Somebody,” combined to set a party scene. a deep, heart wrenching story. As much as I love During intermission, I remember texting my
‘Last Christmas’ Spreads Holiday Cheer
by Gillian Wellington
The movie “Last Christmas” is one of the latest romance and drama movies that took over the theatres in early November. This film is filled with sarcasm, drama, and romance. In this newly released movie, a young woman named Kate (Emilia Clarke) has nothing going right for her as she works in a year-round Christmas store. However, things change when she meets a young man named Tom (Henry Golding) who seems to be too good to be true. During the most magical time of the year, their initial annoyance for each other turns into a budding romance. As the title suggests, the movie “Last Christmas” is inspired by the music of George Michael and Wham!. The soundtrack brings both familiar nostalgia and vibrant energy to the movie, intensifying the developing romance throughout the plot. One of my favorite parts of the film was watching how Kate’s interactions with Tom inspire her
to examine how she treats herself and everyone else around her. The character development is very believable and inspiring through all the characters. This movie shows the viewer that even though you may be dealing with a lot of issues, there are better ways of living life than isolating yourself and turning your back on people. Despite the obstacles she faces, Kate still finds a way to change herself and her perspective on life, all while experiencing a budding romance with Tom. Even though this movie executes many things very well, such as the romance and mystery of the characters, the ending is a bit rushed and lacks explanation, especially when it comes to the details of Tom’s backstory. During this movie the audience experiences a mixture of emotions from laughing to crying. It’s one of the more memorable Christmas romance movies, full of sarcasm, drama and a little bit of romance, so go out and see it.
“Last Christmas” tells the story of Kate, an girl that may have a change of luck when she meets Tom. Photo credit: Universal Pictures.
Odds and Ends
Looking Back on the 2010s: Viral Moments Artwork by Alyssa DeSimone
8. This actor finally received an Oscar for his role in the movie “The Revenant” in 2016.
1. The full name of this iconic lady known for saying “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” 2. This outfit, worn by Lady Gaga at the 2010 Video Music Awards (figure 1).
9. This upset feline (figure 3).
10. The name of this silverback gorilla that was killed in 2016.
3. This trend, described by Urban Dictionary as “the act of lying completely flat across pretty much anything”.
11. The song title of the 2011 hit song by 13 year old Rebecca Black.
4. The music video for this song was the first in Youtube history to ever reach 1 billion views.
12. The name of the social media app that was shut down at the end of 2016.
5. This dance move, created by Baauer, became internationally popular in 2013.
13. The name of the artist who made “What does the fox say?” in 2013.
6. In January of 2019, this song became the most viewed educational video of all time. 7. This undecided voter became a meme during the 2016 US presidential election (figure 2).
14. This movie actually won the Oscar for Best Picture instead of “La La Land” in 2017.
Check the answers on the Spotlight’s website (slspotlight.com) or by accessing this QR code on any device!
The Spotlight is the student news publication of Southern Lehigh High School in Center Valley PA.