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COVER | 18



NOVEMBER 2019 | VOL. 59

| NO. 01

TABLE OF CONTENTS POLICIES MISSION STATEMENT The Eyrie strives to be an accurate, informative and entertaining publication for the students and faculty of Eden Prairie High School, Eden Prairie MN. LETTERS The Eyrie encourages all students and faculty to share their views with the school. All letters must be signed, however, names may be withheld in certain situations. Once recieved, the Eyrie reserves the right to edit letters for length and content. EDITORIALS Staff editorials are staff-written and approved by a two-thirds majority of the staff. All other opinion pieces reflect the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publication, student body, faculty or administration.


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Welcome to Issue 1 of Volume 59 of The Eyrie, Eden Prairie High School’s Student News Magazine. In this issue, you will find news, opinions, entertainment and sports. We interviewed Akram Osman, the new associate arincipal and learned about his role, background and hopes for EPHS. We have opinions on the American education system, sexism in music, and others. If you’re looking for a new movie, new phone, or new ice cream place, you can find reviews by our staff members. Our columnists are covering things like festive foods, taboo topics, and music. And finally, our cover story dives into school spirit. We looked at student definitions of school spirit, how students show school spirit, and what EPHS can do to make school spirit more inclusive. We are always working to make the Eyrie representative of the entire student body. If you have a story idea for something we should be covering, email me at We would love to cover your event, club, organization, team or talent. Sydney Lewis DESIGN BY KATHERINE KREGNESS

INSTAGRAM @theeyriemag

TWITTER @the_eyrie

STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sydney Lewis WEBSITE EDITOR Katherine Kregness PR MANAGERS Srihita Raju Nikko Phillips COLUMNISTS Mikaylie Sosnowski Sharon Michael Shanna Sivakumar

STAFF Jadan Fix Grace Peterson Danielle Johnson Sharon Michael Katherine Sun Mikaylee Sosnowski Nikko Phillips Srihita Raju Maneeya Leung Shanna Sivakumar Adam Khelah Katherine Kregness Malik Mitchell Sydney Lewis Vishalli Alagappan




WRITE FOR THE EYRIE The Eyrie is looking for contributing writers for our print issues and website! If you are interested in journalism, but aren’t able to commit to joining the staff, we would love for you to join as a contributing writer. As a part of our contributing staff, you will have the opportunity to write opinions, conduct interviews, write stories, and take pictures.







The Eyrie is also always accepting op-eds and letters to the editor. These can include your opinion on a relevant topic, commentary on an issue you care about, or a piece that sheds light on an issue not many know about.


If any of these appeal to you, email us at





ANNA TOSSA | 16-17



BY SYDNEY LEWIS EDITED BY KARIN SEAVER Eden Prairie High school performance team and student section cheer on the Eagles at the homecoming football game.







Photo by Malik Mitchell

Who is the new associate principal? BY VISHALLI ALAGAPPAN “I see myself as that courageous leader who can really impact and support students and also be able to identify areas of growth.”Akram Osman was hired this past July as the school’s third associate principal. He started his career as a special education teacher in the Mankato public school system. Osman was inspired to apply for the EPHS position by the “district’s mission and core beliefs,” including reaching and inspiring each student. The core belief that each individual has intrinsic value precisely aligns with Osman’s primary educational philosophy. Combined with the district’s core values and with Principal Robb Virgin’s work this past academic year, Osman deemed EPHS the “place he wanted to be.” Virgin explains that Mr. Osman was hired to allow better support for the staff, and ultimately, the students. Virgin has observed that Osman is a “student-centered leader” who places student success as the “driver of his thinking and decision-making.” As for the responsibilities that accompany his new role, Osman manages strategy teams for the continuous improvement of the student experience at EPHS, oversees testing and functions as a “super-counselor.” The strategy teams exist to help all three associate principals and Virgin identify areas of improvement at the school and address these arising concerns by engaging staff in a constructive way to better the student outcomes. Osman emphasizes that he is currently working with his strategy team on improving attendance and CORE. As DESIGN BY GRACE PETERSON

for being a “super-counselor,” Osman is busy managing a team to supervise students with last names H through N. He works with the dean of students, counselors and social workers to monitor the progress of a part of the student population and to deal with any academic and/ or behavioral concerns involving the assigned students. Osman has adopted Virgin’s catch-all goal: EPHS is to be the best high school in the world. Osman describes his work on getting EPHS closer to be the best high school in the world in practical ways. He describes how the simple cycle of looking at the data, identifying the problem and rectifying the problem by engaging with the staff and students, and collecting more data will eventually lead to this goal. “For instance,” Osman said, “if we have data that tells us that students are not attending class, then we pay attention to that to really do something about it.” Osman describes himself as courageous, humble and approachable. “I address a lot of topics, thoughts, feelings, experiences that the population might not be in touch with or see on a daily basis,” he said. “And that takes courage.” Osman says that he likes to be visible and make himself accessible to the students and staff. He is in the commons before school and in the hallways and lunchrooms during school, and his door is open any time after school. He takes comfort in knowing that he works to serve the students: “It’s not about me, it’s about them.”


Quick look into the South Commons Collab STORIES AND PHOTOS BY GRACE PETERSON


he media center and lakeside was getting too loud and distracting so the school decided it was time to open a place where students can collaborate and talk amongst each other without having to worry about being quiet. They put together a team of students that started working in the summer and into the fall on the name, the layout of the space, and the kinds of seating people want. Senior Mataly Claon was a part of this team and he said, “We spent an hour combing through various designs, different color schemes, quotes, and different designs inspired by libraries and cafes.” Throughout the process, new freshmen and returning students were always in the back of their minds. The location gives a feeling of automatic familiarity because of how close it is to the South Commons. Principal Robb Virgin said, “They wanted the name to indicate to people how it should be used, where it is, and also be consistent with other naming conventions throughout the school.” This is how South Commons Collab came to be. They also had the brilliant idea of adding, “a place to connect, work together, and belong” next to it, as if it was out of a dictionary. It was finished October 1 and open to students on October 8. It’s open during school hours and anyone is able to attend during an open or lunch. This space will even be very beneficial to teachers since students will be more focused in class after being able talk amongst each other and get assignments done. Spanish teacher Jenna Gasner said, “I think it is really cool to have a space anyone can use and students are most likely to get their work done when they’re comfortable instead of sitting in rows staring off into nowhere.” “After performing DDT, I learned that I really love seeing a project come together: watching it evolve from a rough idea to the complete product was the absolute best,” said Claon. Students joining together and being able to communicate and collaborate in a positive environment really shows what South Commons Collab is all about.

Maya Shakya, Katelyn Thompson, Megan Timmerman

New furniture coming to a classroom near you Last spring, ten teachers kindergarten through 12th grade got the opportunity to get new furniture, most of which will be installed over Winter Break. There is now a budget for furniture since the referendum passed last Spring. District trainers had their first meeting with all of the teachers selected to learn about the process. Then, teachers took a summer course to get information about the environment in the classrooms and how students function best when in class. Spanish teacher Jenna Gasner said, “I used a teacher Instagram page to create polls asking what they prefer when it comes to having desks or tables in class.” She received a lot of feedback from this. It seemed to be about half-and-half. so she ended up buying both. Gasner also asked a few students in the summer about what they really liked to sit in; she got ideas to add bouncy balls, rolling chairs, tables, and more. This fall teachers again had an opportunity to apply for new furniture for their classrooms. Those selected will undergo similar training.







How the change in season affects students



ith the winter months approaching and the long sunny days fading away, the pre- holiday jitters may be setting in for some. However, for many people, instead of contracting the holiday jitters, they develop the winter blues. The winter blues is a phrase used to describe a phenomenon in which a person’s mood is negatively affected by the change in weather, specifically the lack of sunlight associated with the winter months. It may seem like the winter blues is just a phrase used to describe feelings of gloominess and unproductivity and although this remains true, there is also a scientific reason as to why so many people experience the winter blues. Psychotherapist, Allison Abrams explains how the early dawn light sets off a chain of events that tells our internal body clock to send signals to the pineal gland, which inhibits the secretion of


melatonin. However, in the winter, as such light cues become weaker, our body clock becomes misaligned and melatonin secretion continues, tricking our bodies into thinking it’s still night time. Since our brain’s serotonin levels are largely affected by the amount of exposure you get to daylight, the drop in serotonin levels may be what’s causing you to feel a little moody and melancholy during the winter months. The phrase “winter blues” can be very hard to describe as it isn’t something you can be medically diagnosed with, however many students can describe how it makes them feel, including sophomore Keerthanan Ramanathan who says that the winter blues makes her feel like she has “No motivation. It’s like procrastination on steroids.” For freshman Andrew Toppings, he describes how “The snow, when it decides to cave down on the world, somehow seems to influence how I feel for the worse. In the mornings,

I’m much more gloomy and sloppy; and in the afternoons, I tend to always be more groggy and irritable. I mean, except for my birthday, the 19th of December, that specific day is pretty good.” For some, the winter blues hits harder than others. Junior Josie Axelson says “That moment when you leave school and it’s pitch black. You feel all your insides are tightening up, your stomach and heart are filling with air, and you can’t breath. But it’s so cold and you feel so empty.” For junior Nidhi Kamath, when asked how the winter blues made her feel she said, “Winter always makes me feel sad, but I think it’s mainly becasue of the school season. The feeling of having fun at school for the first few months wears off and you’re stuck struggling with classes. The sun is not visible for long and makes everything feel dark. I always feel like I’m running out of time when it’s winter because the day ends so fast. The combination of difficulty in education and bad weather makes it hard to be happy.”


Aarav Subbaiah Alexa Johnson Grade 11 Grade 12 “Playing the guitar and listeing “There’s no dealing with it” to music”

Anisha Signhatwadia Grade 11 “I usually try to get some vitamin D on sunny days or just go outside and be more active.”

How students deal with the winter blues

Miski Jama Grade 12 “ I go out with my friends and force myself to do activites.”

Hady Katifani Grade 11 “I binge comedy movies and exercise”

Ava Grell Grade 12“ I listen to hype music and take Vitamin D pills. Hype music equals hype beast.” NOVEMBER 2019 |



FRESHMEN Marta Smith

Keegan Orth

High: “Getting to know all the upperclassmen on dance team and being a part of something with the school.” Low: “Not knowing what I was doing and being new to everything at the school”

High: “The grades I got, the environment of the school and the people I was with in my classes.” Low: “The amount of homework I had and how much stress it put on me.”

Jack Fox

High: “All of my teachers. They all wanted me to be successful and did everything possible for me to succeed.” Low: “Having the pepfest be rescheduled a couple times which made the anticipation for it higher.”

Maddie Peyer

High: “Meeting new people in different grades, making new friends in classes and having more freedom in which classes I’m taking.” Low: “Having a really challenging math class and my end of year finals.”

The highs and lows of high school BY DANIELLE JOHNSON AND JADAN FIX Each year of high school has its highs and lows. We asked a few students to reflect on their 2018-2019 school year and give us some of their highlights and some of their negatives. We got a wide variety of responces and here is what we heard.

Lo Kolenberger

Abby Lawerence

High: “Finally getting to be on the other side of the gym with the seniors during pepfests.” Low: “The stress of school in general since it is the last year to keep your GPA up before college applications.”

High: “The pepfests and being able to perform in front of the school with EPPT. Also choreographing and watching Dudes Dance Team.” Low: “Having everything be a last; classes, football games, pepfests. Also separating from all my friends.”

Corey Byrnes

High: “Going to prom, watching the hockey state tournament and going on college tours.”


Low: “Having a lot of school work, the ACT and saying goodbye to the seniors.”

Jacob Rhee

High: “Being a part of Dudes Dance Team and doing everything for the last time. I also really bonded with my grade.” Low: “Saying goodbye to all of my friends and getting ready for college which was very stressful.”




Learning about culture through movies



hether it’s for the dancing or the dramatic camera angles, people tend to enjoy Bollywood movies. But no one really knows much beyond that. For Indians, Bollywood is nostalgic. We can always be reminded of our childhood through the films we watched as a kid and the songs our families played for us. Whether they’re filled with choreography and flashy costumes or story-telling and calm, Bollywood songs and movies are a staple of India and its diverse cultures. However, there’s only a small minority of other non-Indian cultures that actually watch and enjoy Bollywood movies. It could be because of the language barrier. If that’s the case, there’s always subtitles. Living in the 21st century, language oftentimes isn’t a problem. They release hundreds of movies every year in different languages. If you like music, action, or romance in movies, then you can definitely find a Bollywood movie that you won’t regret watching (as long as you have subtitles). The Bollywood industry is enormous, generating over 1 billion U.S. dollars every year. This comes from movie sales but also music sales. The music industry is a subset of the film industry. About 80% of the music in India comes from Bollywood films, the other 20% is from the rare album from a record company. Bollywood music is unique due to the instruments in India that are not known globally. It’s important to experience different cultures and learn from them. Bollywood movies and music are a great way to experience the culture and entertainment of the over one billion people that reside in India and other countries.

Three Recommendations: 1. “3 Idiots” (2009)

A comedy about three young men going through college.

2. “Dangal” (2016)

Based off a true story of a father and his two daughters whom he trains to become pro wrestlers.

3. “Laagan” (2001) A historical film based in British-ruled India.




My story: closing the gender STORY AND PHOTOS BY KATHERINE SUN “Scratch paper is for women.” That’s what a male peer retorted when I offered him scratch paper. In angered disbelief, I considered firing a blunt comeback or maybe a piercing glare? But before I knew it, my male-dominated math team had moved onto the next geometry problem. Yet, I was hooked on one problem: how to defeat the increasingly severe gender gap in STEM in spite of the pessimistic environment. In the following weeks, I gaped at the issue’s true magnitude. I thought back to my AP Computer Science class; it only had 3 girls. And AP Physics? Even less. This disparity starts in childhood, and worsens throughout high school. Whether it be a result of gender stereotypes or a lack of female role models, girls lose confidence in their potential to succeed in STEM. Solving this issues begins within our community. So with senior Helen Nguyen, a close friend who shares similar goals of addressing the gender gap, I took action. We envisioned a free, week-long program that prioritized developing young girls’ confidence in their STEM potential. We called it stEMPOWER.

Group picture

Senior Helen Nguyen and myself

Forensics challenge


stEMPOWER offered local middle school girls hands-on problem solving experience in an encouraging environment with female STEM role models. To alleviate financial barriers, we secured sponsorships from Target and community organizations. The funding also allowed us to actualize our ideas for activities where girls could just try. We wanted them to embrace their quirkiest ideas in engineering indestructible paper


gap in STEM

DNA Models

Cryptography challenge

Presenting capstone research projects

bridges, building heart models, investigating forensic crime scenes and presenting short research projects. With peers and mentors from 3M, Target and universities, we wanted them to shine in a community of unapologetically nerdy females. During our cryptography challenge, I saw my hopes come to life. Cryptography is difficult. It provides few initial clues and instead relies on strategic attempts with different approaches. This was daunting for one seventh grader. Tears collected in her eyes as she became increasingly frustrated with a problem. Having felt those same emotions in my own tumultuous athletic and academic journeys, I snatched a stack of scratch paper and sat down with her. The

sheets soon became our drawing board for endless ideas. We scribbled together, attempting different strategies and ciphers, crossing out ones that failed and expanding on the others. Soon, she was scribbling in fervent independence. She learned that just because one approach leads to a dead end, doesn’t mean the problem itself is one. She found the solution to obstacles: the courage to try and try again. stEMPOWER has given me the opportunity to witness similar growth in all eighteen of the participating girls. From muttering “I’m just not a math person,” to exclaiming “Katherine! Look at what I coded last night!”, they’ve found enthusiasm in their bravery. Their growing resilience truly inspires me.

The gender gap will only close once all girls acknowledge and embrace their prowess. Every girl needs to understand that they are more than capable in STEM. They need to believe that not only can they follow in the footsteps of Katherine Jonson and Rosalind Franklin, but that they can create their own. stEMPOWER is the momentum for such ambitions I have yet to address. However, there are always more solutions to test, more girls to engage with, and more considerations to research. So whose scratch paper can I use next? This first person column rotates between Eyrie staff members.

Guest Speaker Jana Ninkovic, 3M

Science Pictionary

Guest Speaker Sailaja Chandrapati, 3M

Gummy bear wave machine





onders Ice Cream is a Minnesota-based ice cream chain that just opened a location in Eden Prairie right next to Punch Pizza. I previously have gone to their Minneapolis and Burnsville locations and was a big fan of the ice cream they offered, so I was super excited that there was a location that would be much more convenient. Wonders is different than a regular ice cream shop because of the way their ice cream is made. They have what is called “rolled” ice cream. The ice cream starts with a liquid base which is poured onto a frozen sheet of metal. Then it is spread thinly until it is completely frozen and made into little rolls which are placed in a cup with the desired toppings added. Depending on how big the location is, they offer anywhere from 20-40 flavor combinations as well as build-your-own options. These flavors are different from

regular ice cream shop flavors because their signatures such as “Strawberry Cheesecake” or “A$AP Rocky” come with different toppings that work best with the type of ice cream. The Eden Prairie location has modern decor including a large wall with an abstract black and white drawings, with their mascot of a panda and many other cool looking doodles. There are also many windows to give the shop an open and spacious feeling. The service was relatively fast although I do think they could have a couple more workers since they seemed slightly

overwhelmed, possibly because they had just opened. They have a glass panel right in front of where they are making the ice cream, so you can watch your ice cream being made, which is really interesting. I ordered the Sour Tang flavor, which is mango and strawberry ice cream with sour gummy worms, mango, strawberries and sour candy as toppings. It was really sour which I loved and the toppings added a good touch to the ice cream. I was very happy with the flavor and quality of it. It was one of my favorite ice cream flavors I have had, and I loved it. I will definitely be going back soon.

Mindless Music

Are manufactured bands fake? BY SHANNA SIVAKUMAR

I used to love One Direction. My 13-year-old heart melted when Niall Horan smiled and it soared when I saw the group’s live performances. However, I wasn’t the only one. One Direction was massive, with millions of fans worldwide as they revived the popularity of boy bands after N*SYNC and Backstreet Boys disappeared from the music industry. The young boy band from Europe has sold over 50 million records worldwide, won approximately 200 awards and each of their five albums have charted at #1 on most major music charts. However, boy bands such as One Direction have faced backlash even in the face of their success. They’re seen as shallow singers with no real artistry. This is because of the formation of the group. One Direction is one of the many bands that were put together by a record company. Groups such as CNCO, Fifth Harmony, *NSYNC, and Little Mix are all results of this technique, where the most talented people are put together in order to form a group. Is this just a marketing technique or does this actually work? DESIGN BY SHANNA SIVAKUMAR

Both Fifth Harmony and One Direction have broken apart. After members Camila Cabello of Fifth Harmony and Zayn Malik of One Direction left their groups, it was only a matter of time before the other called a hiatus or embarked on their solo careers instead. Despite members leaving, these bands that are created through variety shows have been successful. All the groups mentioned earlier have had numerous singles that charted in the Billboard Hot 100. So they’re successful, but are they genuine? Both Zayn Malik and Liam Payne (former members of One Direction) have said the band was just five guys who made music. After their break-up, there was no reason to really hang out with each other. The concept of starting a band with strangers is something that has been catching people’s eyes recently. Hip-hop boy group Brockhampton was formed after their lead member--Kevin Abstract--asked people online if they wanted to be in a band. Brockhampton now has 13 members and a solid fanbase. The concept of a manufactured band is successful, but it truly depends on the people that are in it. Shanna Sivakumar writes a monthly column about music. If you have a topic around music that you think should be covered, contact Shanna at




The new IPhone 11, IPhone 11 Pro and IPhone 11 Pro Max came out on September 20th, 2019. The IPhone 11 comes in slightly different colors compared to last year. There is purple, yellow, green, black, white, and red. It comes with a new dual camera to achieve high-quality photos and videos. They provide a charger that charges 55% in 30 minutes for all-day battery life. This is very useful for how much we use technology in our generation. It includes face ID instead of the finger ID on the lock screen, which in my opinion is easier. Something that I really love is the slow-motion front camera, this was not included on my iPhone before. The IPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max comes in four different matte colors which are gold, midnight green, silver, and space gray. These two phones contain a triple-camera system

that’s very high quality compared to all other Apple products. There is the ultra wide camera, wide camera, and telephoto camera. The IPhone Pro Max is very similar but in a bigger size. Apple also has a new night mode which produces amazing results in very low light. It’s an excellent phone, with one of the best cameras and terrific battery life. I went from an Iphone 8 to an Iphone 11 Pro and found it to be a big switch over. I thought it was hard to get used to the no home button, which ways to slide, and getting to the camera app from the home screen. Once I got the hang of it, the phone is easy to handle and function. . The best part of it is Apple’s phones also got less expensive. If you’re still trying to decide whether to get the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max, they all have some amazing features to choose from.

“Cold Weather” is a movie that really stands out from the mainstream movies we watch on the big screen. The writer and director of the 2010 film, Aaron Katz, has had a major influence on the genre mumblecore. A genre, most popular with independent filmmakers, in which dialogue and character interaction is placed over the story itself. “Cold Weather” takes that genre and fuses it with a mystery film. The movie relishes in the mundane. We watch the characters work their regular day-to-day job, go to a Star Trek convention, and talk about dates they went on while eating Swedish Fish. The mystery doesn’t really start until halfway through the film. The movie uses everyday events to flesh out our characters. Some will find this boring, but I think it actually works for the most part. The characters feel like real people instead of pawns being driven forward for an artificial plot. They feel real and relatable. This is in most part due to the naturalistic performances given by mostly no-name actors. The film feels very grungy and unpolished with long takes and handheld camerawork, but it really adds to the real world feeling. The movie is far from perfect. It com-

mits one gargantuan crime that drags it down from the greatness it could’ve had: the ending. Without spoiling anything, the ending is simply unsatisfying. The mystery is never truly solved. We never get the answer to the audience’s most pertinent question. Instead, the film jarringly ends on a subplot. The director has defended this ending stating that it draws emphasis on the heart of the story. The relationship between the main character, Doug, played by Cris Lankenau, and his sister. He has even gone as far as calling it an “anti twist.” The problem is that this relationship, while vital to the movie, just wasn’t in line with the audience’s main focus which was the mystery. Mumblecore is about the relationships between characters, but this movie was clearly trying to do something more. Using the mystery as a backdrop is an interesting and original choice, but refusing to give us any conclusion is merely infuriating. The film is still worth watching, and the ride up to ending makes it well worth your time. “Cold Weather” is not for everyone. There is a reason this is an independent film. A film like this would be nearly impossible to get made in Hollywood. But if you are looking for something different, it is certainly worth checking out. NOVEMBER 2019 |


Festive Foods



all in Minnesota can be associated with many things: the changing colors of the trees, carving pumpkins, apple picking, visiting family or even (heaven forbid) drinking a hot pumpkin spice latte. There are also many exciting holidays to look forward to, but not just the ones we see most commonly advertised three months in advance (did someone say Halloween and Thanksgiving?). Diwali is an Indian festival celebrating the triumph of light over darkness that was celebrated this year on October 27th. It is typically observed over the course of four to five days. Celebrants - including many students here - took part in many wonderful traditions and activities during Diwali, such as spending time with loved ones, setting off fireworks and making vibrant, detailed designs out of colorful powder. The special decoration is called rangoli, and it helps welcome the gods into the homes of those who pray to them. “It’s kind of like a coarse powdery colored substance which you use to deco-

After rolling the dough out, cut it into diamond shapes. DESIGN BY MIKAYLIE SOSNOWSKI

On low heat, fry until golden brown.

rate,” said senior Stuti Thakkar. “You can draw any design with it and some talented people draw the god’s faces in them. It’s very impressive!” Most wonderful of all is the food. Many hours of preparation go into making the various dishes, which are eaten in the company of family and close friends. “After we pray, we go to our dinner course which can vary, but usually people make a lot of food,” said Thakkar. “What my family will usually do is we’ll have puri, a fried snack, curry, lentils and the god’s prasad in our plate.” Sweets are also customary during Diwali as what better way to celebrate the victory of good over evil than with a delicious, sugary treat? “My favorite food that we make at home is shankar pada,” said Thakkar. “I love it because it’s so rare in our house. It only

Remove from fryer and place aside. Let cool for a while before eating.

Enjoy your shankar pada!


comes once a year and so its the only time we get to have it [which makes] it very special.” A crispy, sugar-coated diamond shaped biscuit, Shankar pada (also known as shankarpali or shakkar para) is quite simple to make, and it tastes great too! “Shankar pada is made with a different type of flour called maida and a coarse wheat called suji [...] and mix in the sugar, ghee and salt,” said Thakkar. “Separately, combine water and sugar and let it sit for two hours so that it becomes a paste. You combine those two until you create a dough, which is the hardest part. After that, you roll the dough out very thick, cut small diamond shapes into it and fry it.” I’m obviously no expert, but after making it myself, I can definitely attest to the subtle, sweet taste of shankar pada. The biscuits were sugary and crispy, and I loved the complex, earthy flavor of cardamom mixed throughout. You can make this sweet treat for yourself. Who knows: maybe one day, we’ll find ourselves in a world where shankar pada has risen up to replace pumpkin spice as the new supreme autumnal snack! Mikaylie Sosnowski writes a regular column for the Eyrie magazine. If you have any recipes you’d like to see featured, you can contact her at

WHERE TO BUY INGREDIENTS: India Spice House Restaurant and Grocery Poornanand Foods India Market Cub Foods

INGREDIENTS 4 cups maida (flour) ½ cup rava 1 cup sugar ¾ cup oil DIRECTIONS Soak sugar in water and keep aside for 2 hours to allow sugar to dissolve. Make a dough with all ingredients and keep it aside for ½ hour. Take a part of the dough and roll it (not too thin). Cut the rolled dough into diamond pieces and fry on simmering gas until golden brown (do not fry on high flame). Enjoy your delicious shankar pada!



Photos Submitted

Anna Tossa: not just a twin T


he dough slowly blankets the countertop as her mother guides her in rolling it. Warm with the sweet smell of apples and cinnamon, the kitchen bursts with the flavors of her culture. She’s making Pierogi, her favorite Russian dish, with her mother, and the moment encapsulates the core of her identity. Senior Anna Tossa carries a uniquely complex background. Although some immediately recognize Tossa for being a twin, she’s also an immigrant, leader, varsity athlete, and an active member in her community. Above all, she’s an ambitious young woman with focused aspirations. After moving from Russia to the United States at 2 years old, Tossa straddled the boundaries of multiple cultures. People often make incorrect assumptions about her race, some believing that she’s African American, and some that she’s fully black. “They don’t know that I’m Russian. They don’t know that I’m actually biracial, and I consider them [my races] equal,” Tossa said. Because of these assumptions, she feels that her peers and teachers often predetermine her academic abilities. “It’s weird to feel like you have all this pressure to prove that just because some statistics say that doesn’t mean all of us are like that,” she said. Having worked hard to


maintain academic success despite rigorous classes and pressure, Tossa feels strongly that first impressions in the classroom shouldn’t define subsequent interactions. “Every kid should feel like they’re helped to achieve success,” she said. To help foster an on-going conversation of such issues, Tossa leads Dare 2 Be Real. The club aims to change culture. It empowers students to become leaders of change by teaching them “how to guide and direct conversations about topics that are uncomfortable to talk about.” Tossa and her fellow student leaders want to encourage their community to view disagreements as

learning moments, rather than dividing moments. The club’s advisor, Kelsey Snyder, believes Tossa “adds enormous insight and wisdom to our conversations about race at our school.” Tossa’s initiative in leading staff tours that show our school through the lens of minorities and a privilege walk exemplify just a few of her contributions. During the spring season, Tossa dedicates much of her time to track and field. She approaches training and competing with the mentality that “what you get out of it, is what you put in to it.” She believes in “running the extra lap,” holding herself to a standard that’s not only


Walker Art Center

challenging, but also creates growth. “There’s always more you can do to attain the goal you have,” Tossa said. Head girls’ track coach, Jummy Barlass, praises Tossa for her “tremendous work ethic, her incredible talent, and her uplifting spirit.” Tossa overcomes adversity to excel on the track and in school, all the while “[giving] thanks in every circumstance.” “She treats people with kindness and respect, and recognizes the value in other people. She is also a great teammate, leader, friend, and carries herself with class. I truly believe she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to,” Barlass said. The skills that Tossa’s learned from Dare 2 Be Real and track translate into all other areas of her life. Tossa connects with people through her leadership in volunteering at Fairview Southdale Hospital and in her church youth group. She applies her resolve to her academics and part-time job. Every activity reflects the person she is and the values she stands for. Tossa wants to make an impact amongst people. Whether that means working for Doctors without Borders or being an immigration lawyer, Tossa will contribute the diverse challenges and experiences of her youth to the world.

Walker Art Center







What is school spirit ? his year, senior Cecilia Casper went all out on homecoming week. Many of her friends asked her the same question: why? In response, she said,“Why would I not? It’s so much fun.” Casper recalled seniors throughout her previous years turning homecoming week into cause for celebration and fun, such as dressing up every day for spirit week or cheering wildly at pep fests. She remembered wishing she could be like them, then realized nothing was stopping her. Showing school spirit during this week “provides joy for other people,” she said. Casper sees not being afraid to have fun as genuine and passionate. “Being passionate is something that I think school spirit is about,” she said. Plus, she believes it builds community and brings the school together. For something meant to unite the school, however, school spirit holds many different meanings. To some students, it has no meaning. “I could go to any school. I don’t really care,” said sophomore Lucy Jiang who doesn’t find the school unique. Many students who didn’t attend the first pep rally shared this sentiment, associating school spirit with more energetic people and its events as outdated or boring. To others, school spirit felt important for a high school to have. “I think school spirit is just being proud of different communities and different areas of diversity, especially different cultures,” said senior Irene Cho, who is a leader of the Korean club. She said EPHS is a diverse school, and school spirit helps represent all people. For senior Jasmine Carter, school spirit is having gratitude for the school and its opportunities, even if the feeling isn’t pride. She knows high-quality education isn’t guaranteed everywhere, so it’s important to acknowledge and appreciate the resources that come with EPHS. “School spirit means that every person that walks through this building belongs here,” said Student Council advisor Taylor Bothun. “This is your home, this is your house, your place to defend, and to love, and to invest in.” Bothun thinks students should actively be a part of what’s going on around them, and school spirit encourages that. “If we don’t invest in the places around us, then we’re only going to get out of it what we put into it,” he added. Traditions and inclusivity Most already know going into the pep rally that they’re going to watch eight fellow students stuff themselves for the cookie eating contest. They’re going to watch cheerleaders

chant, “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!” They’re going to watch students get called for homecoming king or queen after being voted on homecoming court . We’re going to watch the Dude’s Dance Team dance to a mash-up of songs, because all these events are tradition. Traditions have been embedded into the school spirit experience, but, recently, they’ve been subject to change, or at the very least, discussion, for the sake of inclusivity. In the last couple years of working with Student Council, Bothun saw the group’s priorities shift towards inclusivity. When he started as an advisor four years ago, actively trying to represent every group of students was always wanted, but not the primary focus. Today, Student Council challenges and questions the traditions. They ask why. “Why do we do it this way? Why can’t we do it another way?” said Bothun. “Just because we’ve done it for thirty years doesn’t mean it has to be this way. So we’re trying to push the envelope as much as we can.” Selected teachers this fall had discussions with their Connections classes about homecoming. Many students favored the traditions of Dude’s Dance Team and school dances but were conflicted on homecoming court, according to teacher Kjersten Welter, advisor of Class Council. Some students saw homecoming courts as an important tradition while others found the system to be a divisive popularity contest. Class Council, a group of student representatives from each grade who plan events such as homecoming and graduation, have also been talking about inclusion, according to Welter. The group discussed what homecoming courts looked like. They sent out a student survey with more specific question. This year, Class Council organized the Parade of Activities, featured in the first pepfest. Groups from different clubs, such as the Korean club and Young Filmmaker club, made signs and T-shirts to show during the pep fest. Cho saw the parade as a good idea that could be repeated in the future. “I think the goal of starting something like the Parade of Activities is to get more groups seen that normally wouldn’t be down on the floor,” said Welter. Welter pointed out the major obstacle to representing all students: not everyone wants to be included. A lot of students don’t fill out surveys, a tool Welter and Class Council believes is important to hearing student voices. “Sometimes you attempt to make changes but students still have to want to come be part of a group, want to be represented by a group,” Welter said. Bothun also noticed the uncertain balance between who’s responsible for including all students: “I think that it’s our responsibility SPIRIT continued on pg. 20 >> NOVEMBER 2019 |


<< SPIRIT from pg. 19 to create spaces where everybody has a chance to come to the table and be part of what’s happening here, but we can’t force anybody to do it.” To senior Jasmine Carter, the best solution to include students is to create their own space to be included. She pointed to the Shades Dance Team for inspiration. Other groups could form based on dances from a specific culture. “I always love the idea of Eden Prairie High School having a steps team, because I know that’s deeply rooted in black culture,” she said. New groups can grow to become school traditions. Her final advice is to “bring a piece of you to pep fests if you don’t see it there yet and want to see it there.” Does student involvement lead to school spirit? There are so many ways to be involved in EPHS. In fact, the school offers more than xxx activities and sports. Students can be involved by taking part in an organization or celebrating.. In each activity, students have the chance to meet new people. They have the chance to be part of something bigger, whether a concert, community service or team. But do they have the chance to have school spirit, essentially a connection towards the whole school? Each activity has its own limits. For senior Cecelia Casper, school spirit and participating in activities come hand in hand. She’s in school’s Chamber Choir, Girls’s Ultimate Frisbee Varsity team, the Fall Musical, and the National Honors Society, to name a few. She found it difficult to not have school spirit after being involved in so many different activities. “With each activity that you do, you see so many different types of people. I feel like that really pulls us together as a school,” she said. Casper and senior Lindsay James extend involvement in school activities to celebrating other activities, like going to football games. Games are another way for Casper and James to involve themselves in school activities, furthering their sense of unity with other students and the school. James said games made the school smaller and easier for her to get out of her comfort zone to bond with other people. Said senior Shane Mosley, “It’s not like you get to celebrate


everything with your classmates.” Mosley sees celebrating all these different events, like the hockey team or the football team, as an opportunity to be part of something bigger. However, senior Eliza Nebeker’s school pride doesn’t extend equally to all activities, and she thinks other student’s school spirit doesn’t either. She’s not invested in school rivalries between sports teams, but thinks that’s what school spirit ends up being about a lot of the time. She pointed out that activities like joining the student section at football games is where students tend to be the most excited for school spirit, when in reality she thinks “school pride should be about celebrating the people and the great things we’re doing and the shared values, and less about sports.” Nebeker feels a separation between how important different activities are to the school. Working on tech for theatre, she said, “I’d feel more motivated to go see a football game if I saw people that go to football games come to our stuff too.” Sophomore Sam Zwiefelhofer, who also participates in theatre, disassociates theatre from school completely. “I have pride for the show, but I never really feel pride for the school.” This is partially because he feels like the school is very much not centralized around the theatre department. Nebeker acknowledged that there was no immediate solution to making all activities feel equally important. Football, for example, will most likely remain a central sport for the school. Senior Carmela Pittaluga, captain of Girl’s Varsity Tennis, wishes more people would come to tennis games, but knows this isn’t all too realistic because it doesn’t have the right setting for students to enjoy. Football games are more hype to watch, whereas in a tennis match, said Pittaluga, “you have to be really polite when you’re watching tennis. Otherwise the moms get really angry.” Regardless, she agrees that if more students came, it would show more school spirit. Students do agree that involving themselves in activities leads to a growing sense of community, just not necessarily school spirit. For the future of what defines school spirit, Nebeker has hope that “everybody can feel that they can claim pride of being an Eagle without needing to be involved in things they don’t care about.”



of the




e all saw glimpses of it on Instagram stories over the summer. We heard the whispers from staff outside of our classrooms the first week of school. Many students came back to find their locker ripped out. After months of construction, Eden Prairie High School has had its face lifted, and like most plastic surgery, everyone has something to say about it. “It looks more modern and fits the new generation coming in,” said freshman Chloe Russo, who thinks the renovations were a positive addition to our school. Freshman Anthony Petrscu said he appreciates all the renovations because it shows the effort the school is putting towards creating a fun and comfortable environment. Most seemed to enjoy the renovations, but not everyone was satisfied. English teacher, Linda Wallenberg has classroom next the the English Resource Center overlooking the South Commons. Wallenberg explained that she doesn’t mind the new look outside of her classroom, but would have appreciated student art instead. Orchestra teacher, Karin Dye, said that although she likes the new décor, it would have been nice utilize that money for the orchestra department’s budget. Currently, students are required to pay for expenses, such as the Orchestra tour, on their own. This means that students unable to pay this fee will not be able to participate.

“We would love to not charge uniform or materials fees for orchestra and cello/bass rental fees. We would love to be able to send students on tour even if they couldn’t afford it,” Dye said. When asked if she thinks that the money for the new look in the hallway should have been used for her department, Dye replied, “I am not sure how much money was used on the décor or if it affects our chances of getting more money for our department. But I can say that there are things we do need and there are probably other departments who need items as well.” Principal Robb Virgin says that the new renovations, which are part of a rebranding initiative for the entire district, were made by taking a lot of student opinions and suggestions. Students who had their locker there felt uncomfortable being there during passing time if they didn’t feel welcomed, so they suggested the solution of removing those lockers from the area. Since the school already had about 400 extra lockers, it made sense to take about 200 of them out above the south commons to widen the hallways. The lockers being removed, the new signs, and the new logo are all a part of a rebranding plan that has been in the works for several years The goal behind all the changes is to create a school where students feel comfortable, safe and proud to be an Eagle. There are students and faculty who believe that this goal was accomplished, and others who are left desiring more. School budgets are complicated, and it seems students are starting to pay attention now that we know our school has the capacity to make new additions.



Staff Editorial

School spirit has no one definition. Sure, our school has cheerleaders and football players and we wear red and black on the last day or spirit week, but does that mean we have school spirit? When someone says they aren’t attending the pep fest or the football game, does that mean they don’t have school spirit or does it simply mean that they choose to show theirs in a different way? Maybe your school spirit comes from playing an instrument or competing in a non-sport. Maybe you aren’t proud of your school and how it operates and who runs it. Maybe you love everything about your school. Maybe you are working on making it a school you can be proud of. School spirit at Eden Prairie hasn’t always had a history to be proud of when it comes to inclusivity and diversity. We see our spirit leaders, the epitome of EPHS school spirit, made up of heterosexual, cisgender, white students. How are they supposed to encourage school spirit when the only people they cater to are the people that look like them? We also see our spirit leaders only leading chants and posting on twitter about sporting events. Where are the leaders who go support quiz bowl when they com-

pete? Where are the spirit leaders who encourage students to see theatre performances? When we look at homecoming court, we see people of similar identities. Aside from the black, transgender Homeoming King last year (which may have prompted a conversation to change the titles to “Homecoming Ambassadors” which seems questionable since he is male) there is little representation of various identities on the court. Of course, homecoming court is voted on by students, but why are they always the same groups of people represented? It doesn’t matter if they changed the title to “homecoming ambassadors” if the voting ballot still says king and queen, continuing to push heteronormative and cisgender norms. There is no one way to make our schools activities and representation more inclusive and diversity for the sake of diversity is not the goal, but right now our school’s spirit is monopolized and categorized by a very small, select, exclusive group of people.

Editorial Cartoon SUPERFAN!!

17-7 Not #1? Unaccaptable!! SENIORS, SENIORS!!

Student council


Quiz bowl What about an instrument? I love EP BAND!

Athlete AND an Academic


23 Dear privileged students of EPHS, Many of you may have taken the SAT recently. And some may even have their scores back. But wait. What was that out-of-place bar graph on the bottom with a gray number assigned to “overall disadvantage level”? That’s what the college board calls an adversity score. It was initially designed to save the College Board’s tail because critics claimed that the SAT favors wealthy students who attend some of the best public school systems in the country as opposed to students from lower-income families who do not have such access. The socioeconomic disadvantages scale measures merely that, not race or ethnicity. When it comes to wealthier cities like Eden Prairie, both the high school and neighborhood plunge below the 25th percentile. But these readings are only accurate for the rich, “bearpath,” or “bearpath-adjacent” kids of Eden Prairie. Even though most children from lower-income families will eventually attend the same high school, they are all thrown into the turbulent washing machine that is high school. However, defying the laws of color bleeding, the whites, here representing the rich, and the color and underwear, here representing the poor, separate in the washer, in regards to scores. Keeping with the EPHS fashion of solely paying attention to scores and college admission, there occurs a discrepancy between the rich and the poor. “But,” you may ponder, “we all go to the SAME high school, how in the world is such a thing possible?” Even though we all end up at the same high school for four ardous years of torture, we enjoy our childhoods in diferent elementary schools. We have six elementary schools here at Eden Prairie. The resourceful being Cedar Ridge Elementary School and the least resourceful being Forest Hills Elementary School. Each elementary school uses its resources differently , resulting in a discrepancy in the quality of education. This discrepancy can be clearly identified by comparing test scores. When students with elementary educations of differing qualities are put into the same high school, it is unfair to say that all students face the same “adversities” academically, regardless of what each student endures in their personal lives. Since, at Eden Prairie, we care so much about the quality of education, we created a whole ruckus that led to the departure of then superintendent Melissa Krull, over the supposed gerrymandering of bus routes in 2012. Krull changed the bus routes to ensure that some students from lower-income families would attend “more resourceful” schools, and in turn the rich kids would attend the “less resourceful” schools. Krull believed it would improve education for all EPHS students. The bus routes reverted back and here we are left with our adversity and opportunity gaps and the failed attempts at resolving them swept under the rug of “yay, diversity” and “yay, 90% college admissions” and “yay, tacky decor and varnish-smelling gym.” So, the next time you take the SAT, because you have the money to, privileged students of EPHS, take a long hard stare at the adversity score and ask yourself if it truly reflects “your disadvantages.” Or, keeping with the EPHS tradition, you should just take the ACT. Sincerely, Vishalli Alagappan Dear priviledged students of EPHS is an upcoming regular column written by Vishalli Alagappan on the Eyrie website, NOVEMBER 2019 |



Erasing the past is a waste of time BY ADAM KHELAH

that’s it. Buyers are paying for the music. Regardless of the crime, artists still have the right to make money off of their work. If you n this day and age, we are very motivated to bury the past of have a problem with it, don’t pay for it. That’s your right. It’s also anything we deem unacceptable. Whether it be a celebrity, pub- your right to pay for it if you want to. lic figure, monument, or name. But I ask you: What’s the point? We cannot rewrite history every time someone commits an To bring justice? To help those harmed? To make the world offense. Because they are in fact a part of history. a better place? Yet, does it really do any of these things? We haven’t simply limited this to celebrities and public figures. Now let’s be clear. People like Kevin Spacey and Harvey Wein- No. We’re also ripping down history. stein deserve to be punished for their crimes. There’s no question The United States government is tearing down monuments. about that. But erasing these people off the face of the Earth is The confederate statue of Robert E Lee in New Orleans was torn absolutely pointless. down and the city of Charlottesville has fought to remove confedLet’s take Kevin Spacey for example. Some people want to erate statues on Market Street Park. figuratively wipe his movies from existence. To remove films like Some are even campaigning for the removal of Mount Rush“American Beauty,” “The Usual Suspects” and “Seven” from their more because they now view the founding fathers as white rightful place in American movie history trivializes the importance supremacists. Seriously!? We can’t rip down history just because of everyone else involved. What about the director, the writer, the our values today don’t line up with values from hundreds of rest of the cast and crew? Don’t they matter? If we erase these mov- years ago. ies, we’re throwing away all these people’s accomplishments. And I understand that these monuments are hurtful to some, but we it’s just because of one person! can’t erase all our past mistakes. We should keep them there as a We have a similar situation with Michael Jackson. Since the re- reminder of the mistakes we’ve made. A reminder of our history. lease of “Leaving Neverland” people no longer view him with the Erasing the past is simply a waste of time and resources. Are fondness they once did. There’s no problem there. The problem is we helping the victims of abuse by erasing Kevin Spacey’s past? when people take offense of others who still enjoy his music. Are we improving the lives of people who are facing real world But what’s wrong with that? Can people not separate the artist oppression by ripping down some confederate statue Who are we from the art? Add the issue of money to the controversy. Some peo- really doing this for? Instead of spending so much time trying tp rewrite the past, we should be wprking to write a better future. ple condemn others for paying musicians to buy their music. But

American education is a


BY KATHERINE KREGNESS The American Education system is broken. That is the bottom line. Schools are drastically underfunded, providing little incentive for teaching as a career path. Administrations can’t afford to hire new teachers and don’t have a clear example of what a good teacher is, creating an environment full of double-standards and unfit educators. The achievement gap is it’s very own monstrosity. College is so financially crippling that students are faced with the struggle of earning a 4.0 or a life of poverty. More so, the culture surrounding students who don’t go to college is so toxic and fueled by failure that students who can’t afford to consider it are viewed wasteful when they put in the effort but shunned and deemed stupid when they give up. School shootings and gun violence riddle the country leaving thousands of trauma ridden teenagers in their wake and a whole generation too scared to go to school each morning. Technology fixes everything unless, of course, it’s a poor or majority POC community, in which case technology is unnecessary for development. So, in summary, the American Education System is as broken as anything has ever been. And what does society do with broken things? Fix them. The current standing of the US Education system is that of an archer being handed a bow without an arrow and then being disgraced for not hitting the target.


Taboo Topics The first time



irginity. You may have spent your formative years being told to wait for sex. Maybe you were even told that your first time was supposed to be special. That you should wait for someone who loves you or even to wait for marriage. You were told that losing your virginity was a big deal. And in some ways it is: But why? Virginity. It’s something we, as a culture, obsess over. Although the term itself refers to someone who has never had sexual intercourse, virginity and its importance is a social construct that came about because of the commodification of women. Simply put, when women were passed on to their husbands from their fathers, they were considered property and a woman’s sexual purity became very important because of this. It is one of the reasons why so many people signify their first time. Because society has made people internalize the idea that losing your virginity is an extremely big deal. Take for example, the TV show “Jane the Virgin.” In the very first episode, the scene opens with Jane holding a pretty white flower in hand while her grandmother is standing beside her explaining how pure and perfect the flower is. Alba, Jane’s grandmother, then tells her to crumple the flower. Confused, Jane does as her grandmother tells her. When she opens her hand, the flow-

er is crushed and bruised. Alba tells Jane to try to make it look new again. Jane desperately tries and realizes it’s impossible. Alba then tells Jane, in Spanish, “You can never go back. And that’s what happens when you lose your virginity.” Although this may seem like a pretty amusing and messed up way to teach a child about sex, the underlying message remains true to this day. The juvenile rhetoric associated with one’s first time continues to plague our culture and fuel our obsession with virginity. Phrases like “popping your cherry” and“losing your v-card” connotes the idea that virginity is something to disinherit. It implies that there is nothing to be gained by your first time, but rather you should mourn the loss of purity associated with virginity. In “Jane the Virgin,” Alba makes virginity synonymous with morality and character. Everyone’s a virgin at one point and most people aren’t at another. So, why does virginity need to remain a taboo topic? The truth is, it doesn’t. The idea that virginity is something that is lost is pretty absurd. When we say that someone “lost” their virginity, what exactly do we think they are now missing? When people conflate virginity with innocence and purity, they simultaneously paint the “loss” of virginity as something dirty, dangerous, and impure. Instead, we should approach a person’s first time having sex for exactly what it is and not act like it’s a delicate flower waiting to be crushed. Sharon Michael writes a regular column for the Eyrie Magazine on controversial topics that explore topics that people are not comfortable discussing.

The achievement gap is something so regularly referenced and discussed without actual solutions, the term has lost meaning. Racism and classism are so fundamentally ingrained into the fabric of our schooling system that it’s no wonder they command our social system. Anyone who has walked into honors or AP classes knows how it goes. The class is majority upper-middle-class white and Asian kids. There are almost always one or two black kids who are considered exceptional. Students are expected to fail because they are poor and stay poor because they are expected to fail. Good teachers recognize this and do their best to interrupt the cycle, but educators can only do so much when they are placed in charge of a class of 35 kids, all of whom have their own struggles, with no resources and a non-flexible curriculum. For one, the fact that some kids feel so uncomfortable about going to school each day that they get depressed and sick is an obvious sign that something is wrong. The concept of a balanced life is discussed enough to induce eye rolls, but this “balance” is simply not achievable for many students. The factors vary from lecture to lecture, but mental health never seems to fit into the equation. Family first, then school, then sports. School, then activities, then friends. Work, then grades, then family. No matter how this unsolvable math problem is configured, teenagers are expected to put just about everything before their health. Missing

meals because studying for this history test comes first. Pulling two all-nighters in a row in order to avoid drowning in school work. These are incredibly common occurrences with the system in place. Even with the advancement of research in the area proving the downsides of practices such as these, nothing changes. Finland is known for its cutting edge education system including a ban on standardized testing, teacher accountability, minimal homework, and shorter days. An environment where students are encouraged to learn for the sake of learning, rather than learning for the sake of outrunning failure, has proven incredibly successful. The reality of the American Education System is simply that it has failed its purpose of preparing youth for adult life. This system is a factory dedicated to creating the most important product of any: the next generation. However, this broken system is a factory rolling out disassembled products. It does not do its job and expects the world to keep functioning as normal with an Ikea scale mess of nuts and bolts. Students must be taught to take care of themselves, not to ignore their basic needs in favor of overworking. Education must be prioritized to, at a minimum, the point of being able to afford to fire bad teachers and hire better ones. College must become an incentive for students to thrive, not a threat to prevent them from falling. American education is a disaster, and it’s long past time that students call for reform. NOVEMBER 2019 |


Senior quotes

Over reactions to requried

should be in the yearbook BY MIKAYLIE SOSNOWSKI

After receiving my first yearbook freshman year, I was excited to read some senior quotes, only to realize that EPHS doesn’t do them. The yearbook would be way more fun if seniors had the opportunity to send in a quote to accompany their portraits! Sure, senior photos are a classy and timeless yearbook feature, and I would never pass up the opportunity to have a decent school photo for once in my life. But let’s be honest: we’re not going to take the time to look through the entire yearbook just because people look slightly more airbrushed than in real life. However, if I knew that everyone's high school experience would be immortalized with one comedic or meaningful statement, I’d definitely be more inclined to read through the yearbook.

Switch up the lunch menu already!



I don’t think required reading is as harmful as students make it out to be. Sure, some books might be boring for the majority of students, but not everyone is going to like everything. Every required book we have may not be a favorite for students. Most are likely just Sparknotes-ing their way through English anyway. But there’s a reason those books were chosen. Whether they are written about an important time in history or a place far away from where we live, there is a reason the book is chosen. Plus, half (if not more) of students aren’t going to read it anyway, so why complain so much?


Pharmacists have no taste buds nor childhoods

Since freshman year there has been little changes, if any, to the school lunch. I think school lunch is very important and it plays a big part on how you perform in school. On Monday’s we have spaghetti, on Tuesday’s crispy chicken drumstick, on Wednesday’s cinnamon French toast, on Thursday’s lasagna and on Friday’s mandarin orange chicken. Every year is the same lunch choice. The same school lunch gets boring, imagination becomes nonexistent because it’s the same food every week. Even breakfast switches it up every week, so why can’t lunch do the same? The school has made numerous upgrades, but lunch always seems to get ignored. Switch it up!

Cough syrup tastes like food dye and spoilt, bitter fruit. If pharmacists actually had taste buds or childhoods, they’d have known that kids don’t want to drink that. They’re already frustrated and irritable from the cold and fever. Once they drink the Dayquil, they are going to be even more annoyed and crabby. Do tired, going-through-a-midlife-crisis parents who regret having children really need to put up with that? I can speak for myself when I say that cough syrups work wonders. I’m not dissing pharmacists for their intelligence, just their lack of a taste buds and childhoods.


Start high school at 9 AM


High schools should start at 9 a.m. It is very difficult for lots of people to get up in the morning after a long day and night. The majority of students do after school activities. Usually activities begin right after school then go later into the night. This means that students are up late doing homework, showering, eating dinner or whatever else they have to get done. This is not how it should be. It causes lots of stress and gives you way less time to sleep. It is proven that students are not fully awake and engaged until at least 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Teenagers focus better when they are awake. It is not possible to feel awake when you have to be up by 6 a.m. to get to school on time. Having a later start time will motivate students, especially myself to be on time for school and have enough sleep to focus in class. DESIGN BY ADAM KHELAH





Staying healthy in high school At home fitness tips for students BY NIKKO PHILLIPS

Do you ever find yourself in a time crunch? During the school year, it may be hard to find time if you’re busy with homework, work and balancing your social life. A lot of us forget about staying healthy, whether that be the meals we eat, or staying active. Here are some quick and simple at-home workouts and tips that can make you feel better both physically and mentally. Using circuits is really helpful with at-home workouts. Circuits are having multiple short workouts and alternating between them. For instance, you could start with doing sit ups, and next do jump roping, and then move onto bicep curls, and so on. By using circuits, you are alternating between all of your muscles and working more than just one area or body part at a time. Depending on your endurance, you can have one circuit last for only 30 seconds or even up to a few minutes. It is very easy with circuits and stations to personalize your workout and discover what works best for you.

Check out For beginner poses, look at “Yoga for Everyone” on Watch “Yoga with Adriene” on YouTube for tutorials DESIGN BY SRIHITA RAJU


Something else that is easy to do at home is yoga. Yoga doesn’t require much equipment and has many benefits. It is easy to start as a beginner in yoga, for it doesn’t require very much, just practice. It can increase flexibility, increase muscle strength, relieve stress, and more. Yoga can be done easily at home, and as a beginner, the only thing that might be needed would be a mat to help your grip, and a video or some sort of visual to help you with the poses and flows. Along with yoga can come meditation. Meditation isn’t considered a physical workout, but I would consider it a mental exercise. It is used for relaxation, stress relief, a positive mindset and mindfulness. Taking just five minutes out of your day to meditate and reflect on how you are as a person can make a huge difference. Taking time out of your day to get exercise and a proper workout can benefit your mental and physical health, and is strongly encouraged. You can get exercise and stay healthy from the comfort of your own home.


Core For working your core, a station could be holding a plank. For this, you only need an area on the floor to hold a plank for as long as you would like, a mat on the floor could be more comfortable and would be recommended, but it is not necessary.


For your back, a simple and easy workout could be T-Raises. Take a weighted object and stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees bent, and torso forward. While keeping your arms straight, raise your arms up into a T position, and then bring the weights down and back together.

Glutes Lunges work your glutes, not just your legs, along with squats. Depending on how comfortable you are with weights, you can add weights along with the squats and lunges to challenge yourself.

Create your own circuit

Arms For working your arms, bicep curls are simple and effective. You can use a type of weighted object that fits in your hands and hold it while doing bicep curls.

Legs For your legs, lunges and side lunges work your quads and hamstrings very well. Seated and standing calf raises can stretch and exercise your calves and lower legs, along with your hamstrings.



Spotlight on Liesl Paulsen BY MIKAYLIE SOSNOWSKI Q: When did you start running? Did you always want to be a runner? A: “I started running when I was in 7th grade. I used to play soccer and basketball, but my older siblings did cross country so I knew I would have to do it eventually but I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I do.” Q: What are your goals for yourself and the team this season? A: “For the team [and myself], the goal is always to make it to state. Another personal goal is to be top ten in state.” Q: How do you keep yourself mentally motivated, especially when things aren’t going as you expected them to - either in races or practice? A: “One of the things that’s really tough about running is mentality. My coach says it’s 90% mental and 10% physical, so I guess I’d say just knowing it will pay off in the end even if I’m struggling right now.” Q: Do you have any pre race rituals that you do before every race? A: “I eat a fried egg on toast in the morning for breakfast before every meet, and then me and Abby Jirele do a handshake. [T]he team does a little meeting and then we pray before the race.” Q: What advice would you give to aspiring runners? A: “Even on days where you hate running and you don’t want to go to practice, try to still enjoy it and push yourself, and know that it will pay off in the end. Try to be positive, because if you’re positive then the people around will be, too!”

Spotlight on Ben Sather BY JADAN FIX Q: What's your role as a captain? A: “Creating the right atmosphere and building a culture leading to a successful season” Q: How long have you been playing football? A: “9th year playing” Q: How much do you guys practice? A: “5 days a week, three hours a day but games on friday” Q: Do you have any rituals before games? A: “Stretch in weight room, jog around school, drink a lot of water” Q: What is your best memory of high school football? A: “Winning state sophomore year, or first interception junior year”


14 31

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Expires 1/31/20 EPHS

NOVEMBER 2019 | MAY 2019 |



Se as

Sound designer Sailer checks microphones

Senior Maggie Heil and Adam B

Lexi Little paints a subway sign Sophomore Kenzie Meadows mics Maggie Heil

Freshman Brady Stevens paints the hotbox set piece

A “Now Playing” signn designed, built, and painted by tech



enior Matthew Blaschko and Junior Madi Mitchelle hang sign



By Sydney Lewis

nstead of looking at the cast or pit orchestra this issue, we decided to look at a lesser known part of the Fall Musical: Tech. Tech is comprised of set building, sound design, lighting design, rigging, props, costuming, spotlight, and shift. The technicians for Guys and Dolls have been working to prepare for the show for months. In this photo essay, you can see the progression of set pieces, each crew within tech, and get a sneak peak of the set pieces for the show. You can see (or hopefully not see) the techies in action at the Guys and Dolls shows on November 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 at 7:30pm and 1:30pm on November 16. All shows are in the PAC and cost $10 for adults and $6 for students. Staff gets in for free with 1 guest if they show their staff ID. Sophomore Cardine Browning mics senior Jasmine Carter

Bickler get distracted during mic checks

Senior Eliza Nebeker plans the set designs

Sophomore Ellie Greisling repairs ramps




Featuring: Pete Fogarty, Linda Wallenberg, Ellen Meier and Jon Pogotchnik

Wait a _______! Spooky Scary _______ Send Shivers Down Your _____ Martha dumptruck in the flesh, here comes the cootie squad We should… _____ __, Heather Sorry, Heather Look who’s with her -- Oh, my god Dang! Dang! ________! and i ___ S-K-S-K, ____ Girl

Oop Spine Minute Shut up Girls Skeleton Diggety dang a dang VSCO DESIGN BY GRACE PETERSON AND KATHERINE KREGNESS

What’s your plan for a perfect day off? A. Bike ride outdoors B. City walk, museum, and dinner out C. Long hike in the state park D. Lazy day with family

What’s the first thing you order at a restaurant? A. Guacamole B. Anything Carribean C. Lobster D. Steak

What is your pet peeve?

Which movie could you watch a thousand times?

A. Messy people B. Texting and Driving C. Rudeness D. Wanting something for nothing

A. Hidden Figures B. The Godfather C. Dead Poets Society D. Harry Potter

What is your dream job?

What is your favorite animal?

A. Philanthropist B. Journalist C. Anything that takes traveling D. Coaching

A. Monkey B. Dog C. Deer D. Tiger

Find answers at




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November 2019  

Eden Prairie High School Eyrie

November 2019  

Eden Prairie High School Eyrie

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