Page 1

SPECTRUM January 15, 2021 Vol. 34 Issue 2

INSIDE... How to Save The World Climate Change Working with the Public During a Pandemic

Winter Sports, Making a Comeback





“Code White” - Evacuate 10

4 How to Save the World

6 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 7 Student Government Online 8 Applying for College During a Pandemic 9 Studying for Finals


Sports Winter Sports, Making a Comeback 17 Student Feature: Sydney Vagg 18 Student Feature: Immanuel Mitchell 19



11 Being in the Frontline Mental Health During Online School


13 The Loses of 2020 14 Resolution Solution 15 Events to Look Forward to in 2021 16 Healthy Snack Recipes





wbspectrum.com Writers: Ava Bell Kylie Harmala London Outlaw Brandon Poplar Alyssa Snead Jack Turpen Adviser: Jennifer Williamson Staff Policy: The purpose of Spectrum is to serve as an open forum for the entire school community. News, Feature, and Sports articles will be written ethically and responsibly. All Editorials will express and represent the views of the columnist, not the faculty or administration of West Bloomfield High School or the West Bloomfield School District. Letters to the Editor Policy: Spectrum encourages letters to the editors. They can be emailed to wbhsspectrum2@gmail.com, dropped off in room 511, or given to staff members of Spectrum. Letters may be edited for length and unprotected speech. Requests to withhold a writer’s name will be considered by the editorial board. Letters should be 300 words or fewer. Mailing Address: Spectrum Newsmagazine 4925 Orchard Lake Rd. West Bloomfield, MI 48323 (248) 865-6766


(248) 865-6766



JANUARY 15, 2021


Climate change is becoming an increasing threat but we have the power to switch the narrative Writer & Photographer

Kylie Harmala

These Solar Panels sit outside West Bloomfield High School helping promote cleaner energy

On November 4th, 2020 the United States officially left the Paris Accord; the Paris Accord is a worldwide agreement to stay active against the fight for reducing the effect of climate change. With the United States dismissing the growing threat of climate change on a worldwide level, what does that mean for the State of Michigan and how can West Bloomfield students do their part in protecting our environment? Michigan is home to over 3.5 million acres of state forest, 350,000 acres of state parks and home to thousands of inland lakes alongside the infamous Great Lakes. Unfortunately, Fossil fuels and carbon emissions continue to threaten these natural resources. Professor Janice Means, an expert in sustainability and alternative energy spoke about her opinions on the climate change crisis, “I believe it is most important to make people aware that climate change really is happening,” she said, “that it has been caused for the most part by our use of fossil fuels.” The first step to taking action to protect our state’s en-

vironment is by becoming aware of how our state is currently protecting our natural resources and what we can do better. Professor Janice Means wrote about a few state laws and regulations and those in charge of them such as the “Michigan Public Service Commission”. This commission is in charge of regulating public utilities throughout Michigan. Janice hopes this commission can become, “...more in favor of supporting alternative energy in Michigan and pay less attention to the large utility companies.” Finding alternative, cleaner energy sources could have numerous benefits to our environment over time. Prof. Means hopes that eventually more cities will be leaning towards a “zero energy” lifestyle. Aside from trying to change the focus of the pre-existing committees of Michigan, it’s also important to look at new ideas to help grow and preserve our state’s ecosystems and resources. Promoting the installation of more alternative energy sites and advocating for “solar photovoltaics” and “wind generators” are great steps in the right direction. Prof. Means believes that “expanding and improving mass transit” is also important to consider. Ideas such as adding lanes on highways/expressways for people traveling with more passengers and creating incentives for cities to provide cleaner energy to its citizens. The Great Lakes are also an invaluable resource to Michigan and taking action to maintain clean water and a boosting ecosystem is key. Asked about how to preserve the Great Lakes Prof. Means said, “Creating legislation to protect Michigan’s waterways and lakes (including the Great Lakes) as well as making our air less polluted; and creating incentives for cities to become zero energy.”


The impact we have as individuals on the environment adds up over time. Becoming aware of how our actions affect others and our surroundings is the second step to becoming an environmental activist. Fossil fuels and carbon emissions that are put into the atmosphere are the single biggest cause of pollution and climate change. Unknowingly, some of our everyday actions are contributing to the growing amount of carbon emissions/greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere. Actions such as driving a car to consuming large amounts of meat and contributing to a growing demand for meat is affecting our environment. Amid a long list of ideas from Prof. Janice Means for what you can do to participate in protecting the environment, a few stood out, “Reducing the amount of meat eaten since it takes so much more energy to raise animals--especially cattle; using mass transit, bicycles or walking whenever possible and, if driving, carpooling and planning your route to drive the fewest miles,” she said. Being aware of your carbon footprint (how your choices affect the environment and influence the number of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere) is a great way to stay conscious of your choices and making sure you’re vowing to do your part to protect the State of Michigan. In your home, you can get a free or inexpensive “energy audit” from a local/nearby utility company to see what you can do to reduce the energy you are using in your home. You’ll receive a list of not only options to reduce energy use but areas where energy use is excessively high. Prof. Means listed a few specific ways you and your family can decrease your carbon footprint in your home. “Recommendations for thermostat set points, adding

insulation, improving windows, decreasing infiltration through cracks around doors and windows, changing all light bulbs to LEDs (this action will significantly decrease electricity costs too), and more; and running heat-producing appliances after dark on hot summer days.” Climate change has become an increasing threat with growing irreversible damage to the environment in the Earth, Michigan, and even in West Bloomfield. Professor Means ended saying that we can still save our home, “IF we act quickly.” Fighting climate change won’t be easy, but it is necessary to keep our planet alive. For more information on the effect, climate change can and will have on our planet visit: https://climate.nasa.gov/.


A West Bloomfield park and nature walk have signs telling guest to respect the environment


JANUARY 15, 2021

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY The day we honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Writer

Alyssa Snead

is still viewed as a role model. During these times especially, with the protests and people expressing their injustices, it is important to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. To embrace his ways of remaining peaceful while fighting for what is right. Every state and community commends the day differently. The city of West Bloomfield celebrates in a few ways. First of all, the school district has the holiday off. Not only that, but West Bloomfield partakes in United We Walk. United We Walk is an annual celebration that includes a march, a ceremony, guest speakers, and much more. This year due to COVID precautions, the event is still taking place but it will be virtual. MLK at Washington March Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

The third Monday of January is known as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The day has been an annual federal holiday since 1983. We celebrate this day to honor and show appreciation for all that Dr. Martin Luther King stood for and accomplished in his life. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a minister and a significant leader in the Civil Rights Movement. King was known for his peaceful methods while protesting and his wise spoken speeches. His speech ‘I Have A Dream’ is one of the most impactful and well known


King was born January 15th


King became pastor at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

speeches to be made. King lived for only 39 years before he was assassinated in 1968. Even though his life was not long, he made many essential advances. These advancements in integration and equality helped shape how the world is today. “Martin Luther King Day is important to celebrate,” said Peyton Long, junior at WBHS. “It is a day to acknowledge and reflect on our history so the past doesn’t repeat itself.” To this day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



King was a leader in the Montgomery Bus Boycott

King won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work


King gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech


King was assassinated April 4th


King was a leader in the Selma Marches



STUDENT GOVERNMENT IN AN ONLINE WORLD Navigating event planning and fundraising in an online world Writer

Student Government members at the annual Park Party in August. This year the event was held virtually through Zoom. Photo courtesy of WBHS Student Leadership Twitter.

With COVID-19 restrictions preventing high schoolers from receiving an in person education, clubs and programs have had to become virtual as well. An active and large club, Student Government has needed to adjust and adapt to online meetings. When school was proceeding as normal, Student Government meetings were held bi-monthly on Wednesdays in the leadership classroom at 6:30am. Students would gather and bond with each other through ice breaker games and activities. The meetings would then continue with students meeting in committees. The Community Service Committee was responsible for planning volunteering activities, such as partnering with the organization Meals On Wheels to deliver meals on Thanksgiving morning to those in need in Pontiac. The School Spirit Committee came up with ways for Student Government to show appreciation to students and clubs/teams. They created a list of sports events in which Student Government members were required to attend as a way to show support for sports which don’t usually get the

Ava Bell

spotlight at WBHS. Members of the School Spirit Committee also made care packages for athletes before their games, usually consisting of Gatorade and a snack item. The final committee was the Fundraising Committee. This committee planned fundraisers for Student Government, such as Chipotle, bagels, or selling items to students. With the changes implemented due to COVID-19, Student Government had to change their meeting schedule and what they planned to accomplish this school year. Meetings moved to bi-monthly Thursday morning Zoom meetings at 8:30am. A new committee was also created to accommodate for the new times, the Elementary and Middle School Connections Committee. This committee has worked on speaking to middle school Student Government members and planning virtual activities elementary schoolers can participate in. There have been many challenges with having Student Government meetings online, as with getting students to learn online. Student Government Vice President Alisha Sanghvi comments, “It was a struggle to get participation at meetings in the beginning of the semester. People just weren’t comfortable yet and didn’t really know what to expect.” Students weren’t used to being fully online and having four Zoom classes a day, which made participation in online clubs and activities more difficult. They were able to sit in Student Government meetings silently with cameras off. COVID-19 has also made it difficult for Student Government to hold events and community service activities. “There were a lot of projects we wanted to do this year that we couldn’t because of COVID, like Meals on Wheels, Movie Night, and school spirit things,” Sanghvi stated. Student Government is still doing virtual programs and events that the student body can participate in. The Elementary Connections Committee is working on having high schoolers record themselves reading children’s books for elementary schoolers. The Community Service Committee is planning a sock drive for the homeless population of Detroit. Information for these events and others will be emailed to students through PowerSchool when the events are set to take place.


JANUARY 15, 2021

APPLYING FOR COLLEGE DURING A PANDEMIC Unforeseen challenges facing high school Seniors as they try to obtain a higher education Writer

Ava Bell

Applying to college in a COVID-19 world has been a unique experience for the class of 2021. Many colleges have changed their policies and allowed for flexible submissions. Navigating all of these changes have been hard for the seniors at WBHS. Sending transcripts, completing the Common App, and sending AP/SAT/ACT scores by yourself at home can be quite challenging. To aid in this process, the counseling staff at WBHS held their annual Common App Boot Camp in August. In this virtual program, Seniors joined a Zoom meeting with Ms. Wegrzynowicz and Mrs. Essig. The counselors went over all aspects of the Common App, including adding counselors and teacher recommendations, filling out general information, finding colleges, and answering college specific questions. Seniors were able to ask Ms. Wegrzynowicz and Mrs. Essig questions to ensure they knew what to expect on the Common App. The class of 2021 were nearing the largest testing period of their lives before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Since the pandemic, the College Board and ACT reduced the size of testing groups, sat students a safe distance from one another, and required masks to be worn when testing to help ensure that all test takers were safe. Even with these precautions, many standardized tests were postponed or even cancelled (sometimes multiple times). These changes in testing schedules were very trying for students who wanted to take the standardized tests, as many of them prepared for months before. There was also a lack of communication between testing centers and students which made the process even more difficult. “One of the tests I went to take was cancelled and I didn’t know until I got to the testing center,” Senior Ava Schulz recalls. “Everyone was pretty upset that morning. I was too, it was my fourth test to be cancelled. After that I decided not to try to take the ACT again.” Ava was able to choose not to take standardized tests because many colleges and universities became test optional for 2020 appli-

cants. Even the big schools in Michigan chose to be test optional: Grand Valley State University, Oakland University, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, and Michigan State University among some of the schools. The University of Michigan also became “test flexible”, meaning that students could submit test scores after they had already submitted their application. Universities making standardized tests scores optional has been a topic of discussion much before the COVID-19 pandemic. Educators and professionals across the country argued that big schools put too much weight on having a high score. The pandemic has paved the way for a discussion of whether to keep standardized test scores as part of the college application process.

The Common App is the resource many colleges use to accept applications from students. It combines the information needed from all colleges and has individual questions for specific schools.



STUDYING FOR FINALS Tips for preparing and succeeding on exams Writer

Ava Bell

stress and worsen their ability to focus. Studying in pods with friends can also be a helpful tool for students. Peers are able to help students focus their attention on material. They also add an accountability factor when studying together, as peers will know if you spend the time meant for studying scrolling on a device. Whether you choose to study or not, final exam scores are only numbers on a screen. Be compassionate towards yourself when studying and after receiving scores. Scores do not define you or the work you have put into each class. Alana Quirindongo’s desk setup for test studying. Her favorite ways to study are through Quizziz and using notecards.

As West Bloomfield High School’s include making notecards, taking Cornell first all online semester comes to an end, notes, and rewriting concepts until they students are beginning to prepare for finals are memorized. A more modern study tool week. This year’s finals week will be held is Quizlet: a free website and app where on Tuesday, January 19th and Thursday, students can make flashcards and use the January 21st. Second semester will begin many features to learn the terms. Many stuMonday, January 25th. dents have been using Quizlet since middle Finals will look different than school and are familiar with its features and other years at WBHS because the school know how useful it can be. Another useful is fully virtual. Instead of the classic pencil free online study tool is Quizizz. Quizizz and paper bubble sheet, students will be has many lessons found on the website and having interventions with their app for students to view. It also teachers on January 19th and “...students will has many quizzes written by 21st. These interventions will be having inter- teachers and students available serve as a way for students who with answer keys. ventions with are struggling with the workload “Quizizz really helped me of their classes to speak to teach- their teachers study for AP Chem last year. ers about what they can do to on January 19th Using all the tests they had improve their grade. available definitely helped me and 21st.” For future finals weeks prepare for the exam,” Senior or exams, there are many differAlana Quirindongo reflects on ent methods to use when preparing. One using Quizizz to study for her AP Chemisthat will work for everyone is getting a full try exam. 8 hours of sleep the night before exams. Creating a study schedule can All students know that sleep is important also help students prepare for final exams. for doing schoolwork, but it is especially Laying out which topics you want to cover important for testing. Another key factor is each day helps to make studying seem less eating a nutritious breakfast the morning of daunting. Specifying how long you want to exams. This will not only give students the study each subject can also make the task energy to continue during the long exam of studying more manageable. The key times, but it will also help them to wake up thing for each of these tips is to start early! in the morning! Waiting until the last minute to begin study A few classic study tips for finals ing for a final exam can add to student’s

Finals Morning Checklist: - 8 hours of sleep - Breakfast - Pencils - Calculator - Notecards - Water bottle - Erasers - Extra snacks

10 JANUARY 15, 2021

“CODE WHITE”-EVACUATE How the American Dream Became a Nightmare Writer

Brandon Poplar

Washington DC - Capitol Hill: United States Capitol” by wallyg is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

It’s a sunny beginning to the day on the eastern end of Washington D.C. as Congressmen and women march up the grand steps of The United States Capitol unbeknown that every step led them into ground zero of a political insurrection. Tensions high, the political landscape for the 2020 presidential election was one painted with dark clouds and no sun, soiled by baseless claims and radical movements. It would be January 6, 2021, that the tension snapped like a rubber band and the clouds poured, the United States Capitol was under attack. Many of the United States congressmen were already were up to speed on the serious threats being called towards the historical building that day. A denied request from the United States National guard and lack of an FBI intelligence briefing left many of the protective barriers down and left Congress(wo)men exposed to the potentially lethal aftermath of an insurrection. Viewed by millions from home and work, American Citizens watched as the backbone of their democracy was torn from the ceiling to the floor. It would seem like a folk tale of the sort to see a building that stands for the strength of the American Democracy be a pit party to political extremists. Although it’s never a journalist’s place to agree nor disagree with the morality of action people commit, I can attest to the horror and

cowards witness by our fellow citizens. As stated by Democratic Ohio Representative Marci Fudge, “This is a day that will live in infamy. The very people who believe they are protecting our democracy have succeeded in destroying it.” American Democracy has become less than human rights, less than basic rights, it has become less than the radically motivated motives of politicians. Former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan stated, “in our country, the condition of your birth does not determine the outcome of your life.” Yet the dream for equality has become a false narrative told to distract from the growing wealth gap occurring on American soil. The country where it should be spared no slack for its inability to care for the people who run it. When I mention the events that took place at 2:36 pm on January 6th, 2021, I mention them as they are a physical metaphor of America in its current state. A historically sacred building covered in the rubble caused by a mob and it’s an influencer. In this modern-day where we have mitigated some of the scariest issues of our past, how are we still standing in a state uprising? How has this dream that is supposed to carry us into freedom and equality led us down a path of destruction and decay? We chip away at the feet of America in

hope that it’ll catch itself when it falls. To summarize my indictments towards the United States I would like to state that the American Dream has become a nightmare for the people who survive in it.

Key Facts About The Insurrection that took place on Jan 6th. • 5 People were Killed • The Tragic vent occurred during the count of Electoral college votes. • Congressmen and women were forced to shelter in place in corridors under the United States Capitol. • Damage consisted of broken furniture, broken glass, and arson • 70 people have been charged, with 20 of those becoming public. • Over 10,000 people were in attendance at the insurrection.

wbspectrum.com 11

BEING IN THE FRONTLINE Starting my job during the pandemic Writer

Brandon Poplar

Pictured above is my work lanyard. Photo courtesy, Brandon J. Poplar

Unlike everything that came to be at the time, early 2020 was a journey of confusion and no clarity that strung everyone along to the beat of its unfolding chaotic nature. Being said a million times over again, the age of high political tension, the death of many beloved stars, and of course Covid-19, set a quiet tone to a year that would throw every idea of normality through the roof. Where will I be and how will I get there? Although different in nature, those two very distinct questions led me to wonder if this year counted towards my journey to attain the social quota that is being a teenager. Being the year of my sixteenth birthday, I had every reason to feel as though I was entitled to a dream, a dream that neither I nor my friends were certain of in the face of a global pandemic. It’s the part of the cycle that fits in between freshman year and graduation, it’s the missing puzzle piece that makes every teenager feel as though they are becoming a young adult, it’s the first job. After trying to find ways to make money for yourself beyond the lemonade stand you had in elementary school, you became certain about your prospects of getting your first part-time job. Going on to fulfill your monetary desires, you fill out applications everywhere you can and lurk around for the best pay. Interview after interview you search, until you finally accept the job that gave you that gut feeling where you would become an employed teenager with a new outlook on life, and money finally to call your

own. It was a dream that I fathomed about in correlation to that of my first car and graduation, except I hadn’t factored in the added fact that this wasn’t normal times. So, there I was up all throughout the nights after my sixteenth birthday scouring the Internet for possible jobs that would hire during a pandemic. Days on end, it seemed as though my efforts would find me no luck. From budget cuts, and major layoff, to the ongoing fear of a virus that lurked prevalent in our community, no job seemed to need help. Amid my dissatisfaction and disdain towards the complexities of finding a job, I decided to try and cheer up by partaking in retail therapy. On my journey to my local mall, it felt as though I had given up on the dream that I had for so long waited for the chance of experiencing. Waltzing through the mall it would catch my eye that one of my favorite stores was open after having to shutter its doors because of the pandemic. Strolling in out of pure curiosity it would strike my attention that a seemingly stressed lady would be there running about within the store to take care of customer’s needs. The sheer feeling of defeat that swept across her face seemed to become even more clear when I approached her to inquire about the lack of workers on the sales floor. After sparking a conversation, I had been informed that over half of their team at the store had been out sick with Covid-19. I replied with deep con-

dolences to her unfortunate situation for her to ask me the question of the century. “Sir, do you need a job, we could really use your help?” Unbeknown to me, the dream I had so long for would come of me standing in-store with sweatpants and messy hair, a hired employee with the ability to say I did it when the world said I couldn’t.

12 JANUARY 15, 2021

MENTAL HEALTH DURING ONLINE SCHOOL The mental struggles students are facing while balancing online schooling. Writer

Jack Turpen

Mental health is an issue that plagues the human spirit at some point in everyone’s life. It’s unfortunate that during these times, students are suffering in every direction it seems. To stay strong, students can find different ways to keep it together. But, the most important thing is to be understanding and allow those students to breath. Making sure those students know that having a hard time isn’t the same thing as being a lazy person. Mental health is important and hopefully the students of West Bloomfield High School have everything they need.

All Photo Credit to Creative Commons

Mental Health is something that is consistently not discussed enough. Even in a state with which everyone is stuck at home to fend for themselves, some could say it’s still not discussed enough. With students at home, forced to do school online, their mental health, as a majority, has sadly gotten much worse. Depression numbers have spiked, anxiety has risen, and pre-existing disorders that might have gotten better have come back and gotten worse. According to the CDC, during late June, 40% of adults have reported struggling with depression and/or substance abuse. What has caused such a major spike? Is it the fact that everyone is stuck at home? Could it be that online school is too hard to stay motivated for? At the end of the 2020 school year, this issue was definitely prevalent. It went away quickly once summer came around and it was safer for people to go back to normal. But, now that school is back, the issue has resurfaced again, and worse. It’s a unique issue that affects everyone differently. It comes from a different place for each individual, and some people haven’t been as affected as the rest. Senior Abby Rose has been dealing with her mental health during these times. “My mental health has not been the greatest during online schooling. Classes being all online has made it difficult for me to find motivation to do all of my work and stay

on time with all of my assignments.” Rose discussed how staying inside and not being able to see people has been a main cause of the mental health issues. But, Rose said she wasn’t going to allow this to bring her down any further. She talked a lot about different things she has been doing to not only better herself in a more personal way but in a positive way. She discussed how extracurriculars, though they look different this year, have helped her in many different ways. Rose is Vice President of WB Dems and MIFA Company Manager. Everybody needs a helping hand during these tough times and that is completely normal. A lot of people feel embarrassed to reach out and get help. But, it’s truly the only way to get through. Therapy, though unavailable in person, is extremely beneficial. Being able to talk to an impartial 3rd-party during these times has shown to be super helpful. Another helpful tip, as far as motivation goes, is setting daily goals. Setting little goals and creating a routine, even though there isn’t a physical building to go to, is super helpful to get out of a funk. This could include waking up, putting an outfit on and being excited about the outfit while still being comfortable. That’s a perfect example of finding motivation, creating a small goal to achieve, and still reaping the benefits of being home and comfy.

Tips for better mental health during online schooling: • Talk to friends about it • Get a therapist if available and comfortable • Balance and plan the day out • Communicate with parent/guardian • Don’t ashamed of needing help Helpful Resources: https://www.samhsa.gov/findhelp/national-helpline https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid. org/mental-health-resources/ https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/ find-help/index.shtml https://socialworklicensemap. com/social-work-resources/mental-health-resources-list/

wbspectrum.com 13

THE LOSSES OF 2020 Writer

Photos courtesy of Creative Commons

The year 2020, for most, if not all, has been a horrible year. It’s been a very difficult time for everyone dealing with the circumstances that continue to arise from the pandemic. Many people have lost someone very close to them. Almost every family has lost a member, many from the virus. These are very troubling times for everybody and grieving has become more and more common. Not only have families lost people, but many celebrities have sadly passed away this year. A lot of pioneers in their fields, heroes and icons are gone. Some of the most shocking and heartbreaking losses have happened this year in the mainstream media. One of the most being Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. Kobe and Gianna died in a very tragic helicopter accident that had no survivors. Chadwick Boseman passed away of colon cancer in August. The Black Panther star was 43, he was diagnosed in 2016 and was surrounded by his family when he passed. Naya Rivera passed away in a chilling accident that is still somewhat unknown about. She went boating with her 4 year-old son, her son was later found alone on the boat with her missing. The former Glee star’s body was found a few days later, she apparently had drowned and saved her son before she died. There have been too many losses to list them all here. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Alex Trebeck, Jeopardy Host. Chi Chi DeVayne, Rupaul’s Drag Race star. The list goes on for-

ever. Many deaths have touched the students of WB in different ways. Everyone has faced their own personal loss, but when someone they look up to passes away it can be very difficult. Senior Abby Rose was impacted by the surmounting loss of 2020. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg was definitely one of the most heartbreaking for me. She has always been such a huge inspiration to me so it was really difficult for me to process.” Rose discussed how Ginsburg was a very important role model in her life. She really looked up to the work she did in the Supreme Court. “Naya Rivera was also a very hard one for me just because I grew up watching Glee all the time. It was my favorite show as a middle schooler and she was always one of my favorite female characters in the show. It was very sad how she passed away and it was really tough considering the other losses the cast has had in the past,” Rose said. The year has been a difficult one to say the least. The losses that everyone has faced have been horrible and very tragic. We remember the legacies of those who left too soon. The year 2020 has stolen many bright lights from the world. Though the year has done a lot of damage, people can still look forward and bring with them the memories and legacies of those they have lost.

Jack Turpen

14 JANUARY 15, 2021

RESOLUTION SOLUTION Keep your New Years Resolution this year by trying these tips Writers

Alyssa Snead and Jack Turpen

STUDENTS and RESOLUTIONS “Some things on my list are to take care of my mental health, prioritize doing what makes me happy, and drink more water,” stated WBHS Senior, Chloe Bowyer. “I find that resolutions I set become unrealistic,” said Latrell Massey, junior at WBHS. “Then eventually I do not care enough to stick with them.”

Calendar tracking New Year Resolution progress

Photo courtesy of Alyssa Snead

New Year, New You? Every New Year people aspire to be the best they can be. This for most means exercising, trying out a new style, dieting, or any other self-improvement idea. Though these resolutions seem simple to attain, they can be far from it. Sticking with the resolution can be the hardest part. Studies have shown that only eight percent of people who set resolutions, actually finish them. People don’t follow through for many reasons, some of which include procrastinating, setting an unrealistic goal or simply just giving up. If you need help maintaining your resolution this year, try out these helpful tips. Set within reason for yourself and be realistic. If your goal is unrealistic or out of reach, it will never get done. If you start to notice that you are struggling, it is okay to adjust your goal. Whether that means taking a few exercises out of a workout or allowing yourself to take a cheat day. It is better to modify the resolution than to quit completely. Remember that even if you do adjust, you can always build back up to the original. Find an accountability partner. Having someone to check in with will help you stick to your goal. By having a partner for the resolution or someone to hold you accountable, will help because you will not want to let that person down. You do not have to be alone while trying to achieve your goal. By having a partner or someone who shows support, will help with your confidence.

Have a good mind set and a positive attitude. If you have a mindset of knowing that progress will be made and knowing that there will be a positive end result, mentally you will want to keep pushing. Mindset helps with motivation, and that motivation will help you stay with your resolution. Having a negative view towards the goals will make a negative impact. Instead of making progress you will only delay the process. To stick with the resolution, you need to believe that what you do is working, and that all comes from the mindset. Write down and track your goal. By tracking your goal you will be able to see all of the progress that has been made. Once you see the first week done, then second, then third and so on, you see how far you have come. Seeing how far you have come, pushes you to want to go further. Not only that, but by tracking you are able to focus more. It will be easy to see your progress if you write it down. This will motivate you to keep working on your resolution. Throughout the rest of this year be the best you can be. If you feel yourself losing motivation, try these tips to help you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions!

“I try to imagine what my product will be after the resolution is achieved,” said Kyle Kamposh, junior at WBHS. “I use the image of my end product as motivation.”

Easy ways to maintain New Year’s Resolutions • Set reasonable goals • Take it one day at a time • Add resolutions throughout the year • Change the goal to fit all of the changes that happen in a year • Do goals with friends, makes it more fun! • It’s ok to fail some, it’s all about what is best for the individual person

wbspectrum.com 15 The year 2020 will infamously go down in history as one of the most consequential starts to a decade. The tragic year that of which was comparable to a dystopian nightmare filled with devastating surprises that sent our society into a downward spiral away from normality has come to a well needed end. Although our well missed social events we took for granted have now been replaced with glitchy Zoom calls and the occasional google meets, there’s still room for everyone to find enjoyment from this year’s plethora of upcoming events.

In Person Learning This school year has been one told of many trials and tribulations, with all students having to celebrate their last years of schooling behind computer screens with no in-person classes and events. After receiving 50 Google Survey responses from WB students, 56 percent of students stated they would prefer having in-person classes as opposed to all virtual schooling in affect currently. With high hopes and a steady supply of vaccines, students can look forward to returning to school after Michigan’s Governor, Gretchen Whitmer stated: she wanted “(By March) districts to provide as much face-to-face learning as possible.”

Vaccine Rollout

By far and wide, one of the most look forwarded to events of this year will be the widespread vaccination of atrisk populations. With the clocks ticking and Covid-19 cases constantly on the rise, Moderna and Pfizer have been ambitious in their plans to have vaccines ready for the general public by the mid-summer or early fall of the 2021 year. This rollout of vaccines will be the first groundbreaking step in returning our society back to a mask-less place of normality and longevity.

E v e n t s To L o o k

Forward to In

2 0 2 1 Writer

Brandon Poplar

Sporting Events Although the National Football League’s (NFL) 2020 Super Bowl boasted a crowd of over sixty-five thousand fans, this year’s Super Bowl held at Raymond James Stadium will look completely different with only sixteen thousand fans being in attendance. According the NFL’s Commissioner during a press conference with ESPN, “(We’re) going to try to bring as many fans as we can safely do into Raymond James Stadium, but we’ll be working with the local officials on that.” Because of social distancing and lack of in-person attendance, the NFL has stated they’re going “to make the people at home feel like they’re front row”. This shift in routine could bring on an innovating and exciting new way people experience sports from now on.

Being Covid-19 Free Unexpected, relentless, and daunting, the year 2020 introduced our population to a never seen before experience that proved how fragile our society is. Through hope, love, research, and the countless hours of work provided by our scientists, the biggest event we’ll experience this year is the day we can only look back and remember when Covid-19 was.

16 JANUARY 15, 2021


After almost a year of quarantine snacking and a season of holiday eating, it is time for a fresh start. Try out these healthy and tasty snacks this winter Writer

Peanut Butter Protein Scoops Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Snead

RATING 5/5 snowflakes The Peanut Butter Protein Scoops were healthy and delicious. I ate one after a workout and got a burst of energy. The scoop reminded me of cookie dough and they were very filling.

Trail Mix Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Snead

RATING 5/5 snowflakes The Trail Mix was tasty and very easy to make. When the nuts were roasting in the oven it made my kitchen smell great. The mix is good to eat by the handful or added to something such as oatmeal.

Alyssa Snead

Peanut Butter Protein Scoops Ingredients 1 ¼ cups old fashioned oats ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut ¼ cup mini chocolate chips 2 tbsp. chia seeds 2 tbsp. flax seeds ½ tsp. ground cinnamon ¼ tsp. kosher salt ¾ cup natural peanut butter ¼ cup honey ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract 2 tbsp. milk Directions 1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, stir oats, chocolate chips, coconut, chia, flax, cinnamon and salt. 3. Now mix in peanut butter, honey and vanilla. 4. The mixture should be slightly crumbly, if it is too dry stir in milk. 5. Scoop the mixture onto the parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 6. Enjoy!

Trail Mix Ingredients 1 cup raw and unsalted walnut halves 1 cup raw and unsalted almonds 1 cup raw and unsalted cashews ½ cup dark chocolate chips ½ cup dried cranberries, or any other dried fruit 1 pinch salt Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 2. Place walnuts, almonds and cashews on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes. 3. In a large bowl combine the walnuts, almonds, cashews, chocolate chips, dried cranberries and salt. 4. Enjoy!

wbspectrum.com 17

WINTER SPORTS, MAKING A COMEBACK COVID-19 has shut down high school sports for months but finally athletes may finally be able to jump right back into season Writer

COVID-19 has shut down schools, businesses, and workplaces but on January 16th high school sports may begin to make their comeback. Winter sports such as boys swimming and diving, girls and boys basketball, skiing, snowboarding, gymnastics, figure skating, and wrestling were all postponed from their normal schedule that usually began around mid-November to early December. Although, with most of these activities being contact and indoor sports it adds another layer of complexity to keeping everyone safe and healthy all season. In late October and early November indoor sports were required to wear masks entering the building and while participating in their team practice. Hand sanitizer was put in various places among the school’s athletic hallway and a QR code was hung at all entrances. In order to join their team’s practice they had to fill out a COVID-19 health form. As of currently those standards are to be held up when the winter sports team return indoors. For games and races masks are expected to be worn by all players, coaches, refs, and any spectators. Social distancing is also expected to be implemented as much as possible. As of now it is unclear if spectators will be allowed at games. In the fall, each athlete could have 1-2 people watch them play or participate in their sport excluding football who allowed student spectators. So, it is possible that this guideline would still continue for indoor sports such as basketball, gymnastics, figure skating, swimming and diving, and wrestling. The snowboard and ski team have already begun adapting to these new rules with social distancing at the bottom of the hills and no tents are set up for athletes and parents to congregate. Ski hills are also open which has allowed for individual practice time. Some of the JV and varsity basketball teams have been conditioning outside of a gym together and working out over zoom to be prepared for an aggressive schedule ahead that allows for less than a week before their first game. For many West Bloomfield students the thought of waiting another minute to get back in the gym is unbearable. Luckily, Michigan’s COVID-19 cases have been trending in a better direction and with vaccines being distributed, the chances of having a winter season are looking good. Although, the uncertainty of this sports season has left an impact on the motivation of many athletes. Team captain of the JV girls basketball team, Jada Vaughn spoke about the importance of staying in the right mindset despite being at home. Attempting to mo-

Kylie Harmala

Some of West Bloomfield’s girls basketball team workout together over zoom to prepare for the upcoming season

tivate the team to participate in virtual workouts and focus on being ready to be back in the gym she said, “When we get back we’re gonna be super tired while the ones who’ve been working are going to push through.” The past year was a time of ups and downs but there is hope for 2021 to be turned around and for many high school athletes this can light the pathway for a better year. Through social distancing, wearing masks, washing your hands, and being conscious of limiting contact with others, maybe the spring sports season will follow with more certainty. To stay updated on the West Bloomfield High School athletics check out https://westbloomfieldathletics.com/ .

Although many games are cancelled right now, there is a return to play beginning in late January.

18 JANUARY 15, 2021

STUDENT FEATURE: SYDNEY VAGG Snowboarding right into first place she might just win it all Writer

Kylie Harmala

West Bloomfield Sophomore Sydney Vagg spends her days snowboarding alongside the school’s team and an outside organization traveling for races all over and beating the competition. Sydney started snowboarding at just three years old inspired by her dad and brother who were both heavily involved in the snowboard racing community. Her dad and brother have both helped her train for competitions since the beginning and now has raced hundreds of times and won plenty, not including school races. “My dad who is the snowboard coach at St.Mary’s has been my coach my whole life and continues to coach me now through high school. My brother has also helped me improve mentally in the sport as well as helped my abilities physically on the hill.” She races with USASA Snowboarding, an organization for highly competitive snowboarders and the organization she raced for when competing at nationals for the first time in Colorado at just eight years old. Throughout her time racing she has traveled to numerous snowboard hills all through Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula and flown as far as Colorado. Aside from her 10 year competing list Sydney Vagg also raced for West Bloomfield’s snowboarding team last year as a freshman where they practiced at Alpine Valley. Consistently through the season she dominated every course and won almost all of her races despite being told and viewed as the “underdog” as a Freshman of the team. By the end of the snowboarding season she had become the highest ever ranking snowboarder from West Bloomfield high school and the youngest member of the varsity team. “My top or most notable wins are getting 3rd place for half-pipe at nationals back in 2013 and winning 6th at states for high school as a freshman this past season.” Unfortunately, this year has left Sydney Vagg wondering if there will even be a season at all this year and another chance to compete for first place at states. With COVID-19 precautions in place the lodges at ski/ snowboarding resorts are closed and team sanctioned practices are still on hold but that isn’t going to keep her from keeping her eye on the goal. She says that she “still plans to go snowboarding no matter what” and is hoping to hit the slopes as soon as she can. “We don’t have everything set in stone and no one for sure knows if we will have a season but they are thinking of not allowing tents or food with limited guests at races…”

At just eight years old Sydney traveled all the way to Colorado to compete at Nationals for Snowboarding

Sydney also talked about where she sees herself in the future with snowboarding but as of currently she doesn’t plan to continue racing at high level past high school but will continue to always snowboard for fun. Although, she still has big goals for the next few years and is hoping to get another chance at ranking high at Nationals. Sydney really wants to work on “improving technique” and essentially ranking better in every competition. Snowboarding, she says, has helped her in many ways on and off the course. Sydney has learned about what it truly means to become good at something and strives to get better everyday. Alongside her teammates and memorable trips across the country there is one thing that she says has really motivated her and kept her focused on being the best. “I’ve learned over the years that there are a lot of people who want you to fail just so they are able to succeed. You just have to keep going, work hard, and let it motivate you to beat them.”

wbspectrum.com 19

STUDENT FEATURE: IMMANUEL MITCHELL Bringing passion to the field Writer

Immanuel Mitchell is a seventeen year old wide receiver for the West Bloomfield Lakers. Mitchell has been playing football for a whole decade! Starting off playing for the West Bloomfield Panthers, in the second grade. “When I first started playing, I loved building those bonds. I have teammates I will forever remember and I couldn’t be happier.” Mitchell says. His passion came from watching the NFL as a young kid, his favorite team being the Atlanta Falcons. Quarterback Matt Ryan was the reason Immanuel’s first jersey number was a two. Mitchell loved having a team he could reply on, knowing they’ll always back him, on and off the field. “The team aspect of the game is what I like the most. Without working together and building bonds on trust the team would not succeed.” Mitchell also went on to say, “Football has been such a great outlet in my life and it’s strengthened the person I am today” With football, school and family being most important to him, he’s able to balance it all out never getting distracted. Throughout the years of playing, not once did Mitchell’s love for football fade! Though, he doesn’t plan to play football all his life! In the future he plans to enter the real estate or marketing field.

London Outlaw

40 Fun Facts about Immanuel Mitchell 1. Works at Jersey Mikes 2. Favorite color is red 3. Zodiac sign is Aries 4. Seventeen years old 5. Is 6’ 6. Favorite season is fall 7. Loves Christmas 8. Right handed 9. Four siblings 10. Favorite rapper NBA youngboy 11. Favorite food is chicken wings 12. Favorite dessert is ice cream 13. Favorite board game is checkers 14. Favorite movie is rush hour 15. Favorite show everybody hates Chris 16. Favorite candy trollies sour gummy worms 17. Prefers the lake over the sea 18. Love shopping at Sam’s Club 19. Likes giraffes 20. Also played baseball and soccer 21. Loves watching Netflix 22. Hates sushi 23. Loves waffles 24. Has his name on his license plate 25. Has two dogs 26. Family is important to him 27. Born in Oak park Michigan 28. Has family from down south 29. Favorite song is ‘Stay Down’ by Lil Baby 30. Likes to hang with friends 31. Enjoys working out 32. Enjoys long drives 33. Middle name is Eugene 34. Loves Italian food 35. Favorite sport is football 36. Psychology was his favorite subject 37. Scared of spiders 38. Scared of the ocean 39. Traveled to New York, Alabama, Florida, Chicago and more! 40. Has never been out of the country

Ski Club is back practicing and competing. The league meets at Alpine Valley on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through January. Championship tournaments begin in February.

“With the stutter start of high school sports this year due to Covid, we were pleased that the State and MHSAA allowed Ski racing to start in person practice and competitions prior to the Christmas break. Though the teams are much smaller this year, everyone is putting in full effort,� said Coach Dan Gidcumb

Profile for WBSpectrum

Spectrum Vol 34 Issue 2