Volume 48:1 • June
Wilde Lake High School •Columbia, MD • 21044
News by students for students
50th Anniversary Edition (1972 - 2022)
Long Delayed Pep Rally Revives School BY ZOE MACDIARMID Editor-in-Chief ARIELLE LEVINE News Editor The band pounded drums and blared trumpets. The step team danced down the bleachers. Wildecat studentathletes ran across the field as their peers applauded them from the stands. On March 25, the last day of a spring spirit week, Wilde Lake came together under the sun in the first allschool pep rally since 2019. The pep rally’s main attraction was the class versus class competitions. Each class, decked out in green, gold, white, or black, competed in tug of war, musical chairs, and a relay race. The “unexpected winners” were the freshmen, according to Oliver Song, SGA President. One of the two freshmen musical chairs winners, Scarlett Lopez, said that she “[hadn’t] really experienced
anything like that before.” Scarlett said that the comradery between students was higher than usual that day. “When I was walking away, people were giving me high fives, and it felt really nice. Those five minutes of fame, you know,” she said. The class of 2023 won the first game: tug of war. The juniors, sporting yellow and gold clothes, screamed in excitement as their classmates yanked the win from the other classes. But it was the relay race that really riled the crowd. According to the President of the Student Advisory Council Michelle Enomanna, the seniors took home the win, after which lighthearted accusations of cheating sullied their victory. Junior Ezra Lynch says the experience made them feel like a teenager again. “It helped that my class won almost all the games, but I felt more like a high schooler because it was like ‘Yeah, this is something we do,’” said Ezra. “In pop culture and TV shows, one of the things I was shown were pep rallies and football games, very typical American things. And being
Freshmen Greg Whitfield and Terry Larose throw their hands up in celebration as the class of 2025 wins musical chairs. PHOTO BY ARIELLE LEVINE
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GSA Stages Walkout of Class in Protest of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill COVID Has Caused a Pandemic of Mental Health Students Report Abuse of Gender- Neutral Bathrooms
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Ms. Adler Retires After 32 Years of Theater Excellence Softball Clinches Historical Regional Championship The Spirit of Wilde Lake in a Statue
Juniors Henry Hilger (left) and Tele Abe (right) celebrate the class of 2023’s tug of war victory. PHOTO BY ARIELLE LEVINE
50 Years •
able to experience those things…it kind of lined up with what I was shown.” Accompanying the games that kept spectators on the edge of their seats was the Wilde Lake band, who had just finished their the biggest concert of the year, according to Drum Major Jocelyn Hibbard. This left the band with the two days leading up to the pep rally to dedicate their time to prepare for their performance, she said. ”The band was absolutely amazing in picking right back up with the music we play for marching band and easily got right back into the swing of it,” said Jocelyn. “They worked extremely hard all week, and we’re all so proud of them.” After getting a modified pep rally in the gym for Homecoming, and none the previous school year, Oliver says that the opportunity for the school to be together is significant. “Even though each class may have competed with each other, in the end, it doesn’t really matter which class won,” he said. “We are all stronger together, and we definitely felt that today as we closed out our last pep rally for the school year.”
50 Years Later, Current Staff Reflect: Is Wilde Lake Upholding the Rouse Vision? Old Wilde Lake as Remembered by Laura Lippman Then and Now
Opinion • • • •
We Are Not the Lost Generation Wilde Lake is Like an Onion Media is Harming Teens Creating a Better Wilde Lake Is Up to Us
Back Page • • •
We Should All Know How to Administer Narcan Wilde Lake Burned by Un-Social Media Editorial Cartoon: The Straw that Broke the Wildecat’s Back
GSA Stages Walkout of Class in Protest of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill lawmakers that this isn’t okay, and there is going to be backlash if you put these types of bills in place in the future.” For two days prior to the event, Instagram posts made by sophomore Al Norman advertising the walkout were widely shared around the Wilde Lake community
“[The walkout] gives me hope that this will be noticed in the world.”
Ms. Franckowiak (left) overlooks the crowd as Xavia Worsham speaks about increased depression and suicide rates among LGBTQ+ teenagers. PHOTO BY BLAIZ BLACKSTON
BY ZOE MACDIARMID Editor-in-Chief ARIELLE LEVINE News Editor On March 11, colorful flags swayed in the wind as GSA members led a fifth period walkout in protest of Florida’s Bill to ban classroom instruction
on sexual orientation and gender identity. Hundreds of students attended the walkout, which took place outside the Jim Rouse Theater. House Bill 1557, commonly referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by its opposers, was passed in the Florida Legislature and is expected to be signed by Governor Ron DeSantis. While the bill suggests changing
school counseling procedures to involve parents more, most public attention has been placed on the hard limits the bill puts on classroom instruction. “A lot of the people around me are LGBTQ+ identifying, and I am as well,” said junior Matthew Barnett. “Even if we don’t live in the states that are being affected by the laws being put in place, it’s still important to show solidarity for those being affected and show
Insight on the Best Jobs in Columbia
Sophomore Joey Facchiano (center) says one of the best places to work are the Columbia Association pools. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOEY FACCHIANO
BY CHARLOTTE FETTERS Staff Writer As teenagers near the age when they need to be at least somewhat financially independent, many start working in high school. But some are at a loss for where to work for their first job. We asked three teens who work for their advice about where to start. One of the most popular jobs is lifeguarding. The minimum age is 15-years-old, at which point people can take a lifeguard certification class. 2022 Wilde Lake graduate Kirby worked as a lifeguard during their freshman and sophomore year at American Pools. “The lifeguard job wasn’t my favorite,” they said. “It wasn’t horrible, but the company wasn’t very professional. The scheduling was weird, I didn’t get great pay, and it was under minimum wage.” Kirby said their day-to-day tasks were mostly watching the patrons and cleaning the pool.
Sophomore Joey Facchiano works at Columbia Association as a lifeguard. He says the appeal to it comes from the calm atmosphere. “I get to hang out with my friends. I get to work with people on a regular basis. I get to talk to people,” he said. “It’s a good time. I would recommend this job as a starting job for younger workers, just to get your feet in the water.” And though the work environment is more laid-back, the job itself is no walk in the park. “I’m required to know the proper techniques on saves, CPR, breath ratios, breath to compression ratios, and how to use the proper equipment to save someone in case of an emergency,” said Joey. “Other than that, I need to know how to operate the computer system and get along with people.” Another common workplace for teens is the mall, a convenient location relative to Wilde Lake. According to junior Colin Choi, some places will offer a high hourly rate but do not provide many hours. Colin says that Chick-Fil-A was a wonderful place to work
when he was employed there as a sophomore. “I definitely recommend Chick-Fil-A because everywhere else I’ve worked didn’t have that good work environment or good management.” Colin currently works at Jang’s TaeKwonDo in Ellicott City. He grew up around the business and was like family to them, so he said getting the job was practically destiny. “You have to have a set requirement in the field. Like, you can’t be a white belt teaching,” Colin explains. He has to teach three classes a day with 20 kids a class and perform administrative work, including scheduling, filing, and parent payments. Older students who have had some work experience come more mature and high-pressure jobs. Kirby currently works as a barista at the Starbucks next to the school. “The management at Starbucks is great, everything is pretty organized, and the environment is good,” they said. “The customers aren’t as horrible as people think they are.” Kirby points out that the continuous waves of customers mean employees have to be on the go a lot. “It’s a bit hectic and a bit busy, but it’s overall fun, and we have fun together,” they said. “We make it like an all going crazy together type of situation.” Kirby is required to make drinks, clean the store, do dishes, help with customer support — take payments and interact with people, and make home-brewed teas and cold brews. There are plenty of jobs available in Columbia, some of which are suited for new workers and others more equipped for experienced workers. Take advantage of your free time during the summer and get a job. You will make money and friends and learn lifelong skills.
“When I saw the posts going around, it was nice to know that so many people cared,” said freshman Erasmo Riggin. “I’ve been out as trans for a little over a year now, and it’s horrible to see anti-LGBTQ+ bills passed, especially ones targeting trans people. I was glad to see our school, not just students, support the walkout.” The walkout was organized in 36 hours by the GSA after a collective decision to organize, says sophomore Julianne RohnerPreston, a club member. According to the co-sponsor of GSA, Science teacher Ms.
Franckowiak, the students in the club were highly motivated to organize the walkout. “I told Ms. Leonard that [GSA] wanted to participate in the walkout, I got them a microphone, and that’s really all I did,” they said. “As a queer teacher myself, I am similarly stressed hearing about those situations,” said Ms. Franckowiak. “I think many of our students really depend on their networks at school and the support of adults at school to affirm their gender identities.” Matthew said that he believes Wilde Lake’s walkout contributed to the larger cause. “We may be one small school doing it, but many other schools were doing it as well, so we were just one voice adding onto the many more,” they said. To GSA member freshman Caleb McKenna, the people who chose to participate in the walkout represent hope. “I think the walkout shows me that when people want to support a cause, they will. It shows that the people have the power to support a cause,” he said, “It is possible. [The walkout] gives me hope that this will be noticed in the world.” Hannah Boyer, Charlotte Fetters, and Lauren Kelly contributed reporting
Students Report Abuse of Gender-Neutral Bathrooms BY LEE LEWIS and CAMERON FRANKS Staff Writers Since last spring, Wilde Lake has offered the use of gender-neutral bathrooms to all students as a more comfortable and safe option for bathroom usage. Recently, however, there have been some cases of misuse in genderneutral bathrooms. In November, Ms. Leonard made an announcement to the school, reinforcing the intent of the bathrooms, saying “Students should respect the space of gender-neutral bathrooms to keep them the safe environment they were made to be.” Senior Samuel Porter uses the gender-neutral bathrooms because they are more private than the other bathrooms. “They are more comfortable than other bathrooms,” he said. There have still been reports from students expressing the misuse of the space. “It is disappointing to know that students are using the bathrooms for the purpose they aren’t intended for,” Ms. Leonard said. Casper McDaniel, a sophomore, says he uses the gender-neutral bathrooms as regularly as he can, but some students’ poor behavior have discouraged them from using
it. “A lot of people use it to smoke, and the smell makes me dizzy,” he said. “They also use them to skip class.” Casper says it is “upsetting” to see how people “misuse the bathroom.” “I’m a transgender man myself, but the men’s bathrooms are socially unavailable, to the point of being dangerous to me,” said Casper, “But then people who make [men’s bathrooms] unsafe are making it so my only alternative option is taken away, and it hurts.” Samuel says that these misuses are, “just taking a good thing and making it a bad thing.” Assistant principal Ms. Riley says students share the responsibility of maintaining the bathroom’s intended safe environment. “It’s a matter of students actually using the bathrooms respectfully, rather than abusing the privacy of them,” she said. “If it were to continue, however, we would need to take action to punish the students who disobey the student code of conduct.” Casper says that he, along with other students, need the bathrooms. “All of the misuses have to stop. This accommodation is important to so many people who can’t afford to get it taken away for other people’s misconduct.”
“I’m a transgender man myself, but the men’s bathrooms are socially unavailable, to the point of being dangerous to me.” -Casper McDaniel, Sophomore
COVID Has Caused a “Rollercoaster” of Mental Health
30 37 44 50
PERCENT INCREASE IN EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS FOR MENTAL HEALTH IN TEENS AGE 12-17 IN 2020. (WHITE HOUSE) PERCENT OF STUDENTS REORTED EXERINCING POOR MENTAL HEALTH DURING THE PANDEMIC. (CDC) PERCENT OF STUDENTS EXPERINCED “PERSISTENT FEELINGS OF SADNESS OR HOPELESSNESS” DURING THE PANDEMIC. (CDC) PERCENT OF YOUTH WITH MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS REPORT A SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE IMPACT. (NAMI.ORG)
Ezra playing “Sims” on a Sunday afternoon. He says the reason he plays varies from “checking on [his] households” or as a form of escapism. PHOTO BY ZOE MACDIARMID
BY ZOE MACDIARMID Editor-in-Chief ARIELLE LEVINE News Editor Before March 13, 2020, then-freshman Ezra Lynch described their life as normal. Ezra had just finished his second show for Wilde Lake’s theater department. They had a good group of friends. And like everyone else, he went to class Monday through Friday where he sat at a desk, without the need to wear a mask. But life changed practically overnight. “The pandemic and online school were like a roller coaster, but one that just kept going up and up and you didn’t know when it was gonna stop because your eyes were closed and you were blindfolded,” said Ezra. In March 2020, Howard County Public Schools closed buildings. Students were told that they were being sent home for two weeks in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus. According to a CDC survey of ninth through tenth graders, 37.1% of students reported experiencing poor mental health during the pandemic. Another 44.2% experienced “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.” The CDC concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic “has negatively affected the mental health of many children and adolescents.” Anna Lefebvre, an eighth-grader at the time schools closed, recalls middle school as one of her lowest points. So when schools closed for those first two weeks, Anna says she accepted it and spent most days doing “nothing.” “I remember just sleeping a lot,” said Anna. “I laid on my phone and did nothing. I did not know how else to structure my time.” While some students were relieved for a break from school, Ezra says that going home meant losing part of their identity as a student. “A lot of my mental health and self-perception is very tied to school, and my school work and my grades sort of reflect that,” they said. Though school is important to them, Ezra says that the time off was helpful at first. “I was like, ‘Maybe I could use these two weeks to scrape myself together,’” he said. But as Ezra put it: two weeks turned into a month, a month turned into the remainder of the school year, and the rest is history. A widespread feeling of disbelief settled in as students grappled with what this would mean for their day-to-day lives. “I felt like it had to end by the end of summer and that there was no way they would keep us out of school for longer than they did,” said sophomore Avi Rhodes. Social interaction as the world knew it was gone. In its place was a screen of muted circles on Google Meet, which was an insufficient replacement, says sophomore Elise Varoli. Now, socializing meant going to your living room. “I rarely talked to anyone outside my family,
which made it hard,” said Avi. “I don’t think it was good for anyone.” Grassroots operations manager Ms. Katz said a source for a lot of tension came from the fact that families who saw each other just at breakfast and dinner were now spending all day together. “I love my family, but also, there’s obviously still that distance that you need because your friends are people you chose to be in your life,” said Ezra. “So not being able to see them in-person as consistently definitely took a major toll on my state of being during that period of time.” Isolation and loneliness were significant contributing factors to the decline in youth mental health, as reported by the CDC. “I was extremely lonely,” said Anna. “I would compare myself to people who did not have much trouble making friends even in virtual learning, and I would ask myself what I was doing wrong.” Dr. McKnight-Dean, Wilde Lake’s school psychologist, says social interactions are necessary for the development of young adults who will be expected to enter the workforce with mature social skills. “The things that I learned in high school that really helped me in college and my day-to-day job is the social stuff,” said Dr. McKnight-Dean. “How do I communicate with all different types of people? How do I learn to navigate uncomfortable social situations? How do I disagree and be respectful and learn to argue and debate more professionally?” Many students suffered greatly from these missed social experiences, and the question has been posed: What will this mean down the road? The answer is not clear. Since the start of the school year, a nationwide drop in attendance, behavior problems, and a general increase in late work “highlights the difficulty of getting back to the routine of things,” says Dr. McKnight-Dean. On the flip side, an increase in outreach for mental health support and education as well as prioritizing self-care has occurred. At elementary and middle school levels in particular, the county has incorporated social emotional learning into curriculums to compensate for time lost in quarantine. Still, uncertainty about the future remains. “We were so used to things being black and white and being able to figure out things based on previous experiences.’’ said Dr. McKnight-Dean “That is just not the case any longer.”
“I would compare myself to people who did not have much trouble making friends even in virtual learning, and I would ask myself what I was doing wrong.” - Anna Lefebvre, Sophomore
Students and Reading in the Digital Age
During lunch, students gather in the media center to read on a variety of platforms, from phones to Chromebooks, to print books. PHOTO BY BEN TOWNSEND that they try to “meet students BY YASMIN ROACH where they are in the digital age Staff Writer and…provide easier access to books and other materials, which When was the last time you they can access on phones or picked up a book? computers.” She added that there In 2016, only 16% of high are still “readers who come in for school seniors reported reading more conventional print titles to a book everyday compared to satisfy their love of reading.” 60% in the 1970s, according Despite the growing to the American Psychological availability of graphic novels, Association. Students say they e-books, and audiobooks, read less due to overwhelming teen reading is still decreasing responsibilities and distractors nationally. Psychology professor such as digital media. Jean M. Twenge says, “It’s so However, according to the convenient to read books and Wilde Lake Media Specialists, magazines on electronic devices students at Wilde Lake are like tablets...Yet reading has still checking out more books than declined.” ever. Except, they’re reading Sophomore Jamie Burris different formats of books. partially attributes the decrease Ms. Bailey says that the in reading to the rise in social addition of graphic novels and media use. “When you massmanga has drawn people in, consume media that doesn’t take citing a 300% higher checkout energy, you find that it’s hard to rate than other book formats. turn off that media,” he said. “I don’t think [the number of Teens spend about seven and checkouts] changed so much a half hours a day on social media, as what people read,” she said. according to a 2021 survey from “Interests have changed.” Common Sense Media. Carmen Jessop, who works The Bureau of Labor at the Howard County Library Statistics found that in 2020, System, has noticed an increase teens between 15 and 19 spent in teens using their phones at an average of only 8.4 minutes the library. However, she said reading every day. In contrast,
according to the American Psychological Association, the average high school senior spends at least six hours a day on screens. The changes in how society consumes entertainment over the past few decades have made reading a less common pastime, says English teacher Ms. Stoltz. “As a society, we no longer prioritize reading as a pleasure activity,” Ms. Stoltz said. “And we have a million other things to do instead, so it just gets pushed to the bottom of the totem pole.” The switch from books to phones has several implications. A study from the National Institutes of Health found that excessive time spent on the internet decreases the part of the brain that controls processing, memory, ability to control movement and emotions, and more. On the other hand, reading books has many mental benefits. According to another study done by the National Institutes of Health, reading can improve brain function and decrease stress. Sophomore Benita Besa says that she feels less productive when on social media in comparison to when she’s reading. “When I’m reading, there’s a part of my brain that’s growing and I feel like I’m learning,” she said. “But when I’m on social media, I feel like I’m losing brain cells and wasting my time.” Ms. Stoltz says she is saddened by the overall decrease in reading she has seen over the years. “There’s a lot of joy and knowledge that can be found in books,” she said, “and when we lose our connection to that intrinsic motivation I think we lose a lot of the benefits that reading provides.”
Enterprise plans on replacing the demolished housing next to Wilde Lake High School with modern apartments. PHOTO FROM ENTERPRISE
Demolished Housing To Be Rebuilt BY MARRAN FRIGO and ZOE MACDIARMID One day, students walking to school noticed a change nearby. First was a chain-link fence. Then, construction equipment. Finally, it all added up when the Section 8 housing in Roslyn Rise was demolished. Roslyn Rise, an affordable housing development dating back to the 1970s when Columbia was initially being built up, is undergoing the first stages of a complete redesign. The vision for the new development has four pillars: green, modern, mixed-income, and amenity-rich. Enterprise Community Development — the company that owns Roslyn Rose — describes the current buildings as “aging, small, and inefficient” in a January 2021 presentation at a Wilde Lake Village Board meeting. The new buildings will replace the “aging” buildings with modern infrastructure, says Ruchi Pokhreli, a financial analyst for Enterprise. “The new building is built to new national building standards, built with energy star appliances and high efficiency H-VAC,” said Ms. Pokhreli.
Regardless of the changes, the project will keep the lowincome housing goal of Roslyn Rise, adding 43 units at 80% Area Median Income and below. This keeps the core goal of Roslyn Rise — providing affordable housing — while adding more economic diversity to the area. Enterprise plans to finish Roslyn Rise and then go on to refurbish other locations. This type of project where a location is completely demolished is a new concept. “Since I’ve joined the company, this will be the first project where the building will be demolished and rebuilt,” said Ms. Pokhreli. “I think that this new building will be good for the community, especially to include a wider range of income levels.” The final pillar of the vision is the amenities. The company is aiming to add a gym, playground, and dog park, which will be free to any resident, according to Ms. Pokhreli. In the meantime, as units are being rebuilt and added, existing residents were offered temporary housing and money to cover moving costs, and the guarantee that their property will be held for them should they want to move back after an estimated construction period of 20 months, according to the company’s January 2021 report.
Marijuana Users May Unknowingly Be Taking Lethal Fentanyl
A penny next to a lethal dose of fentanyl. (PHOTO FROM DEA.GOV)
BY LAUREN KELLY Editor ZOE MACDIARMID Editor-in-Chief If you thought that marijuana was harmless, think again. According to the CDC, Marijuana is not only more potent than it ever was, but it is increasingly being found laced with the deadly opioid, Fentanyl. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the drug, introduced in the 1960s is used on its own as well as mixed with other substances.
Scott Shelden, a certified peer recovery specialist for the Howard County Health Department says that people using marijuana have no way of knowing whether the marijuana they buy is laced. According to Mr. Sheldon, there have been laced strains of marijuana identified nationwide. Lacing allows dealers to pay less and earn more. According to Mr. Sheldon, because fentanyl has a high potency, a short length of high, and is cheap to produce, it benefits the dealer to spray small amounts on their marijuana. The user gets more high than expected and remains high for a shorter amount of time, both of
which increase sales since “adding fentanyl to marijuana” is cheaper. Since adding fentanyl is considerably cheaper than operating a marijuna farm, some dealers will purchase marijuana at a low price and lace it with fentanyl, and market it as stronger, high-quality marijuana, says Mr. Sheldon. This has been common in recent years for substances such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, according to the CDC. One reason that laced marijuana is dangerous is because people using it will most likely be unaware of what they are taking. Mr. Sheldon, who has worked at a detention center for the past five and a half years, says every admitted person is given a urinalysis, a urine test which is used to detect disorders or drugs. According to Mr. Sheldon, many of those only consuming marijuana test positive for fentanyl, which shows how wide spread its use has become. “Some of those people are legitimately taken aback by being informed that they have fentanyl in their system when they have no knowledge of ever ingesting fentanyl,” said Mr. Sheldon.
Ms. Kirchner, Wilde Lake’s testing coordinator, has seen the dangers of this lethal substance. Five years ago, her 24-year-old son overdosed on heroin that was unknowingly laced with carfentanil, which is a hundred times stronger than fentanyl, commonly used to tranquilize large animals. “You’re not a pharmacist, and unless you mixed it or put it in there, you don’t know how much is in there,” said Ms. Kirchner. “You can’t regulate it.” But lacing isn’t the only problem that has made using marijuana more dangerous overtime. When people used marijuana in the 1970s, it contained less than 2% THC, the ingredient that makes the user feel “high.” Nowadays, according to the Journal of the Missouri Medical Association, marijuana commonly contains 20–25% THC. This has strengthened the high people feel, making it much easier to feel higher while using less. However, an increased high can be incredibly uncomfortable, and can even leave a person feeling like they are completely immobile.
“When I was a teenager, and into my twenties, even if it was good, I could generally smoke with a couple friends, and we would take a few hits, like three to five, and be pretty high for a few hours,” said Mr. Sheldon, who was involved in the buying and reselling of marijuana for over 20 years. “Now, you can take one or two hits and be almost incapacitated for an hour or two,” said Mr. Sheldon. He says that some users associated feeling “stuck” or “couch-lock” — feeling unable to move — with higher potency strains. “Here’s the deal; there’s always going to be the kid who just wants to know what it’s all about,” said Ms. Kirchner. “You have the kid who’s not gonna try it. Then you’re going to have the kid who wants to see what it’s all about.” As long as lacing remains profitable, it is safest to assume that any illegally obtained marijuna is laced. Without fentanyl test strips and having and knowing how to use Narcan — a nasal spray used to block opiates from going to the brain — people are in danger of overdosing.
50th Anniversary 1973
1975-1976 (Above) The old Wilde Lake used desks built for “Circle Time,” a time for open discussions. Former-student Maureen Robb said that “sitting in a circle whether it be on the floor or in an array of desks” will always be her fondest memory. (1975-76)
(Above) Students relaxing during the school day. (1973)
50 Years Later, Current Staff Reflect Is Wilde Lake Upholding the Rouse Vision? BY CAMERON FRANKS Staff Writer
(Above) On 50s day, era-appropriate music blasted over the loudspeaker as students gathered for an unplanned dance party in the media center. (1975-76)
In 1971, Wilde Lake High School was created under the forward-thinking vision of Jim Rouse’s Columbia. Now, half a century later, staff members with roots at Wilde Lake and Columbia reflect. Jim Rouse, a visionary developer of his time, was the father of the planned suburb, Columbia. Rouse did not go into the creation blindly. According to Smithsonian Magazine, Jim Rouse’s vision of Columbia was to create a community where all people could come together no matter race, socioeconomic class, ethnicity, or what would typically make a person “different.” English teacher Ms. Midgley began teaching at Wilde Lake 26 years ago in 1996. Ms. Midgely, who was once part of a Howard County Committee, says that “in some ways, we may have even gone beyond just upholding it.” Mr. Harrison, a Math teacher at Wilde Lake and a class of 1982 graduate, says that the Rouse vision has guided Wilde Lake through the years. “We have upheld his vision for him, and having that vision opens up many opportunities for people,” he said, “Some people actually forget about the vision so they have to work harder to remember it and keep in line with it.” This vision can be seen in classrooms, as observed by G/T Research Development teacher Ms. Dixon who started at Wilde
Lake in 1990 as a long-term substitute teacher. “I feel we did try to hold on to the ‘every kid moves on at a different pace,’” said Ms. Dixon. “We have to find what that pace is, and help that student work within that pace and give them the support that they need so they can get the most that they can out of their high school career.” Dixon notes that Wilde Lake, throughout the years, has removed previous implementations that spoke more to the Rouse vision, “ It was either 98, or 99 when we lost the privilege for students to finish early, and someone else had to run over, you had to sit and they would’ve had to take an E for a course.” Being a member of the Wilde Lake community has taught long-time members lessons and provided them with more than just a job or education. “We can live together as a community if we build our structures to get closer to each other and be who we are as a community,’ said Ms. Midgely. “I think that’s lovely.” A strong sense of community has been a constant over time. In recent years, with the arrival of Ms. Leonard as principal, the school is an “Ohana,” a Hawaiian word that refers to a person’s extended family, which can include friends and other important social groups. 50 Years continued on page 7
(Above) Pictured are students working on “The Paw Print.” Debbie Cohen, Wilde Lake class of 1986 graduate, and current Rabbi in Bethesda, MD, recalls the thrill and hard work that went into producing the school’s newspaper. “I remember laying out the articles and talking to everybody and all that stuff. We had to hand set everything in this workshop in Laurel,” she said. “We would even take a whole school day to put together a paper because it would take six to seven hours to lay out. It was like a field trip to this industrial workshop.” (1985-86)
(Left) Ms. Leonard pictured in a lawn chair on Main Street. In 2002, she returned as assistant principal. “It is hard to really just have one memorable moment because there are so many memories you can make,” said Ms. Leonard. “I am incredibly grateful for all the memories I have made with staff members who were once the students that I taught.” (2000)
(Above) October 29, 2021, the Wilde Lake cheer team ran out on the gym floor for their first performance in front of the school that year. Wilde Lake Cheer has been climbing the ranks of Maryland Cheer since 2018. This is the first time a Fall Varsity team has reached the State Semi-final competition and the program’s second appearance in the last three years. (2021-22)
Old Wilde Lake as Remembere
PHOTO FROM LAURALIPPMAN.NET
BY ARIELLE LEVINE News Editor ZOE MACDIARMID Editor-in-Chief Award-winning novelist Laura Lippman says that being a writer might be the closest thing she has to a destiny. Ms. Lippman’s destiny as a writer has led her to a 27 published novels and three short story collections, primarily of the mystery genre. Ms. Lippman has won or been nominated for 25 awards, four of which are Edgar Awards. Ms. Lippman has reached another milestone in her career: a screen adaption of “Lady in the Lake,” starring Natalie Portman and Lupita
Nyong’o. But before she was a successful author, she spent most of her high school years at Wilde Lake when the school was in its full experimental swing. In August 1974, a 15-year-old Ms. Lippman walked into Wilde Lake High School for the first time. She was met with the circular hallways, open space classrooms, and a media center that was the heart of the school. The building’s open floor plan allowed students to see their History classroom from Science. Physical appearances aside, academics at Wilde Lake were much different in the 70s. The majority of classes were selfpaced. Activity packets guided education. Students marched to the beat of their own drum, so to speak, and Ms. Lippman didn’t think twice about it. “I don’t remember ever walking into Wilde Lake and thinking ‘This is weird. This is strange. I want to be able to look out the window.’ It was where I went to school,” she said.
“Freewheeling and Much Less Traditional”
Ms. Lippman said she was an outsider at first. She grew up in Baltimore where she attended private school through ninth grade. Her first day at The Lake, she didn’t know anybody, so she poured all of her
time into her studies. “There was this perception that because I came from Baltimore city, I was probably not as smart as kids who had gone to Columbia schools their entire life,” she said. The self-paced style of some classes allowed students to work as fast — or as slow — as they wanted. “I did my first year of English composition at Wilde Lake in under four months because I didn’t know anybody,” Ms. Lippman said. “So I just sat there and worked through the learning activity package and was done by January.” Ms. Lippman says she was guided by her teachers who continued to honor the freedom that students had over their work. “I remember Bonnie Daniels, for a segment of my Advanced Composition credit, let me adapt a beloved novel into a musical writing the lyrics from the book,” she said. “It was an amazing experience. I mean, very few schools would have let me do that.” When she started, Ms. Lippman said the school was realizing that as classes changed, they could not keep the “pure experiments, open space, and independent” learning. Math and Science classes were starting to take on a more traditional approach with lessons, homework, and tests while Humanities classes such as HIstory and English, in which Ms. Lippman
thrived, remained self-paced.
“You Could Walk Around the Whole Place”
The unique atmosphere of the school was reflected in what would now be considered unique architectural elements. “I don’t think it was that unusual in terms of architecture at the time,” she said. “I don’t think it was a great time for architecture.” Ms. Lippman described the school as a “windowless octagon with the media center in the middle.” Yet, the lack of windows did not seem to bother Ms. Lippman or disrupt the culture of the school. Ms. Lippman, in her years at Wilde Lake, became observant of the patterns in which the Wildecats moved. “The one thing I found interesting about it was the fact that it was circular in a sense. You could walk around the whole place,” she said. “That felt very different from any school I’d been in. Every school I’d been in up until then had been a standard multi-level rectangular building with rectangular classrooms.”
“It’s a Super Nerdy Thing”
Ms. Lippman says that she knew she wanted a competitive nature at her high school. “My thought process was that in the world at large I will be competing with males, so I want to start competing with
IN 1971-72... BEST ACTOR George C. Scott BEST ACTRESS Glenda Jackson HIGHEST GROSSING MOVIE “Fiddler on the Roof”
MOST POPULAR SONG “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night POPULATION OF COLUMBIA 62,000 WILDE LAKE PRINCIPAL Bonnie Daniel U.S. PRESIDENT Richard Nixon TOP RATED TELEVISION SHOW “All in the Family” BEST SELLING ALBUM “Led Zeppelin IV” by Led Zeppelin
CURRENT EVENTS “The teachers all knew each other and were just as tight as students, and advisors were like second parents. It was very familial, open, and personal.”
“The curriculum was self-paced. It was very supportive for struggling students. Everybody knew everybody, and interacted in the central public space.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF MR. BERKOWITZ
PHOTO BY ARIELLE LEVINE
- Mr. Berkowitz, English and Journalism
- Ms. Dixon, G/T Research
• Nixon involved in Watergate Scandal • The U.S. voting age was lowered to 18 • Walt Dinsey World opened in Florida
ed by Novelist Laura Lippman them as soon as possible,” she said. She joined the “It’s Academic” team where students compete in a trivia stylegame, and rose to the Captain position. Ms. Lippman’s team took their game very seriously. “One of the team members from the year before me created a buzzer system and we practiced,” she said. “We would have these practices at least once a week when the competition was going on.” “We won three out of four matches. We did terribly in the fourth match, but I was really proud of that,” she said, “It is just such a badge of honor to have been on “Its Academic” and to have done as well as we did,” she said.
“People Did Not Feel Closed Off”
According to Ms. Lippman, Wilde Lake was unlike the dramatized Hollywood portrayals of high schools that show a hierarchy of students that places mean girls and jocks on the top of the totem pole, and nerds and geeks on the bottom. “There were some of the standard groups of cliques like jocks, but those groups were for the most part really loose,” she said “People moved among these groups pretty comfortably. Wilde Lake for the most part, for its time, was a very generous and kind place.”
“It Was Really Hard to Get in Trouble”
Once again going against the status quo, Wilde Lake teachers didn’t banish their students to detention for wrongdoing. Their disciplinary method was more fitting for the nontraditional school, known as Reality Planning (RP). Ms. Lippman cannot remember how one would end up in the RP room. She says those who went had to spend a week and “would have to make a plan to fix whatever got [them] into RP.” But the easy-going atmosphere of The Lake in the 70s meant that not many people were sentenced to time in the RP room, especially not Ms. Lippman, the selfproclaimed “goodie-goodie.” “I was never even close to getting in trouble at Wilde Lake,” she said. “It was a pretty mellow school. I don’t know how people got in RP, but it just makes me laugh now. It was such a 70s relic.”
“‘Oh, You’re All Just Hippies’”
Wilde Lake’s reputation of being an unconventional school is nothing new. The school has been subject to the judgment of other schools around the county for decades, says Ms. Lippman. Ms. Lippman witnessed these attitudes
& NOW IN 2021-22...
when she would interact with students from other schools. At an all-county literary magazine event, she was the sole representative of Wilde Lake. At the event, she said boys from Mt. Hebron were being “dismissive” of Wilde Lake and Columbia. Howard students had their own perceptions as well. “I met and became friends with a bunch of students from Howard and I remember their view of Wilde Lake: ‘Oh, you’re all just hippies,’ and I thought, ‘What! Have you met my mom and dad?’” And when Centennial was built, people furthered their negative perception of the Lake as their attention was captured by the new, shiny building erected on Centennial Lane. “I was graduating from Wilde Lake around the time Centennial was opening, and immediately there was the whole ‘Oh, this school is so much better,’” she said. Despite others’ opinions of her alma mater, Ms. Lippman is proud of where she went to school. “I just don’t have any patience for people who want to be disdainful about Wilde Lake,” she said. “I’m very proud of the fact that I went to public schools in Maryland.”
advised the “It’s Academic” team and left a significant mark on Ms. Lippman’s teenage years. “Lynn was like a den mother to some of us,” she said. “Her home was open to us, her interest and care were unrivaled. I’ve never had a teacher quite like Lynn.” Even after graduating from Wilde Lake, teachers connected with Ms. Lippman. “My Chemistry teacher came to one of my book signings and he brought my records and showed me what a good student I was,” she said. In terms of her writing, it was English teacher Ms. Lillian Martin who was “incredibly supportive” when Ms. Lippman was attempting to write a novel for the first time. With Ms. Martin, Ms. Collins, and the rest of her teachers at Wilde Lake by her side, she was put on the path to be a successful novelist. “I feel like without Wilde Lake, I would have been more easily discouraged, which is something you cannot really afford to do at any point in the publishing landscape,” she said. And though Ms. Lippman said she might have been born to write, Wilde Lake her. “I believe being a novelist “I Am Successful Because of nurtured was the closest thing I had to destiny, but Wilde Lake definitely made me successful,” Wilde Lake” Ms. Lippman also recalled the teachers she said. “I am successful because of Wilde at Wilde Lake, such as Lynn Collins who Lake.”
50 Years Later, Wilde Lake Stays True to Rouse’s Vision Continued from page 5
BEST ACTOR Anthony Hopkins BEST ACTRESS Frances McDormand HIGHEST GROSSING MOVIE “Spider-Man: Far From Home” MOST POPULAR SONG “Levitating” by Dua Lipa POPULATION OF COLUMBIA 104,000
PHOTO BY GRAYTON JOHNSON
WILDE LAKE PRINCIPAL Marcy Leonard U.S. PRESIDENT Joeseph Biden TOP RATED TELEVISION SHOW “Squid Game” BEST SELLING ALBUM “30” by Adele
“[Wilde Lake] has been a place where I found amazing colleagues, and out of that, developed great friendships,” said Ms. Dixon. Since 2009, Wilde Lake has been teaching Ms. Harrison valuable lessons. Ms. Harrison attended Wilde Lake as a student until she graduated in 2013 and has returned as a math teacher like her dad, Mr. Harrison. “I learned that acceptance and treating others with respect is the most important part of this community and that makes us one of the most diverse schools because of it,” said Ms. Harrison. Niche ranked Wilde Lake number three in “2022 Most Diverse High Schools in Howard County.” Mr. Harrison says that the school’s uniqueness and a nod to upholding the Rouse vision also lie in the diversity of the school. “[Rouse’s] vision is definitely a part of how Wilde Lake is diverse, and it is definitely more diverse than most other Columbia schools,” he said. Ms. Harrison believes that understanding Rouse’s vision and purpose for creating this community will help us to unite as a school. Jim Rouse’s vision has been a part of Wilde Lake since the very beginning, playing a role in the diversity of the school. “You get to go to school with kids who are unlike you and whose experiences are unlike yours,” said Ms. Midgely. “I see that as real strength.”
PHOTO BY ZOE MACDIARMID
CURRENT EVENTS • Russia invades Ukraine • World is changed by COVID pandemic • Kamala Harris becomes the first woman Vice President of the U.S.
“Wilde Lake is a place where there are so many unique differences, highlighted in many different ways, and there is a tangible energy you feel when you walk in.” - Ms. Keck, English PHOTO COURTESY OF MS. KECK
“Wilde Lake has a strong and vibrant community. The school spirit and the energy that everyone provides creates a warm and welcoming place.” -Ms. Stroup, Science PHOTO COURTESY OF MS. STROUP
Softball Clinches Historical Regional Championship
The team celebrates the 7-5 win against Reservoir. Nokomis Styers (right) leading the lineup with Brooke Webster, Veronica Goode, Coach Tee, and Bailey Hudgens. PHOTO COURTESY OF LAUREN JASCEWSKY
BY GRETA GIULIANO Editor BLAIZ BLACKSTON and LEE LEWIS Staff Writers After scoring three runs in the first inning and holding their ground against the undefeated Reservoir High School, Wilde Lake Varsity Softball secured a 7-5 win, crowning them as regional champions. According to senior second baseman Brooke Webster, the game was a “back and forth,” with the Wildecats scoring three runs
in the first inning and holding Reservoir back for the next couple of innings. Then, despite Reservoir scoring five runs in one inning, the Wildecats came back and scored four more runs to win the game. Justyce Richard, who threw the final strike-out pitch, secured the win for the wildcats. “That last pitch was magical,” said Brooke. “That game perfectly demonstrated who we are as a team.” The regional win was a special — and emotional — one for the cats as Wilde Lake softball has never held the title of regional champions in the 50 years of the
program. Moments after the final pitch, Brooke remembers the team running out onto the field. “We all threw our gloves into the air and ran into a big old circle,” she said. Junior right outfielder Bailey Hudgens says that excitement after the win was not short-lived. “We were all laughing, crying… we just couldn’t believe that it actually happened,” she said. The game on May 18th, 2022, was a high note of a successful season for Wilde Lake varsity softball. Senior Veronica Goode, starting pitcher and shortstop, credits the team’s 16-5-1 overall record to their pitching and
batting skills. “Our biggest strengths are pitching and batting,” she said. “We have one of the fastest teams and are the only team that has a full pitching staff.” Throughout the season, Brooke says, the team has shown that they know how to make a comeback during the course of a game. “There were games that we were losing, but as our coaches say, ‘We love the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings,’ and we were able to turn those games around in one inning,” she said. But the team’s success was not overnight. Like every other sports team, they lost two normal seasons because of COVID. Junior right fielder Lauren Jascewsky says getting back into the swing of things took hard work. “We’ve done so many great things this season that we knew we could do, but it just took a while to get there, and COVID kind of set us back.” And adjusting to life as student-athletes again posed another challenge, according to Brooke. “For us seniors, we’ve had no normal season since freshman year, and the juniors haven’t even had one,” she said. “It was hard readjusting to a normal season and remembering how to balance practice with school.” And though the team put the time in during practice, the players say that it was the bond of the team that carried them the extra mile to their victory. Bailey says the team was like a “family.” “I was able to step out of my comfort zone, and overall they just really made me feel welcome, especially when I was new,” said Bailey.
Lauren agrees, saying,” I felt included in something, and I’ve just made so many friends through softball, and it’s brought so much good into my life.” Brooke credits the Lake’s softball program with changing her relationship with the game. “I had developed a toxic relationship [with the game] because I felt like I had to be perfect, and it destroyed the love I had for the game originally,” said Webster. “Being a part of Wilde Lake’s softball has turned that around entirely for me. Partially because I’ve grown to be more mature, but also because of my coaches, Tee and Vo, they completely helped me shift my perspective of the game.” Although, according to Webster, the program has not always proved to be at today’s level, losing every game in 2015 and 2016. Now, however, the team is ready to prove their past and others wrong. “A lot of parents look down on us because we are Wilde Lake, and we showed them that we can be the best of the best,” said Bailey.
STOLEN BASES BY HEATHER MCQUEENY
STRIKEOUTS PITCHED BY VERONICA GOODE
HOME RUNS BY JUSTYCE RICHARD
The Spirit of Wilde Lake in a Statue
The wildecat statue, built out of paper-mache by then-senior Kurt Muller in 1998, sits outside of the media center. PHOTO COURTESY OF ABIGAIL YEAGER
BY LEE LEWIS Staff Writer ARIELLE LEVINE News Editor At the heart of the school, a ferocious wildecat is ready to pounce, bearing its teeth, waiting for students to pass it as they walk by the media center. Now, students are greeted by the cat
as they walk across the bridge connecting the second floor over Main Street. However, most of the current students do not know about the cat’s mysterious origins and significance. In the summer of 1998, Class President Kurt Muller worked to create the notorious wildecat statue in the media center, according to principal Ms. Leonard. The cat’s outward appearance is not the only
The wildecat statue, built out of paper-mache by then-senior Kurt Muller in 1998, sits outside of the media center. PHOTO BY ZOE MACDIARMID
thing special about it, with a rather interesting story about its contents. The statue holds a legacy inside — three socks that were worn by students who were never identified as they streaked through the halls for their senior prank. The unique texture of the cat leaves students, like sophomore Aniya Beauty, wondering how it was made. “He kinda looks like he was made out of clay, almost
like he was built up out of dirt and grain,” said Aniya. Media specialist Ms. Bailey provides some insight on the material of the statue. “I think students are always amazed that it’s paper mache,” she explains. “It’s well done enough that people think it’s really hard stuff.” Members of the Wilde Lake community not only find an artistic value in the statue, but also a historical significance.
Special educator Mr. Lienhard reminisces, “It’s been here as long as I can remember.” Having spent 19 years at Wilde Lake, Mr. Lienhard says the statue exudes a sense of “stability.” Mr. Holzman, a Social Studies teacher who grew up in Columbia and went to Centennial High School reflects on the significance of Wilde Lake’s location. “Wilde Lake has always kind of been the epicenter of Columbia.” Besides just being a physical representation of Wilde Lake’s mascot, the statue is also a representation of the spirit of the school. As Aniya put it, the statue “symbolizes Wilde Lake.” What that symbol means, according to English teacher Ms. Snowden is “a very supportive community that cares about all the people in it.” “Wilde Lake is different from other schools I’ve encountered because of the genuine care that I see staff having for students,” said Ms. Snowden. Former wildecat mascot and current Spanish teacher Ms. Sweitzer reflects on the symbolism of the statue. “A wildecat is independent. It knows what it wants for itself and it conquers any challenge, obstacle, prey in its way,” said Ms. Sweitzer. “There’s no one description of the students. I mean, we’re so different that different is normal.”
Ms. Adler Retires After 32 Years of Theater Excellence
Ms. Adler (center) poses with her former students and current Wilde Lake teachers Ms. Sweitzer (left) and Ms. Padgett (right). PHOTO COURTESY OF MS. SWEITZER Resource teacher, started teaching BY ZOE MACDIARMID at Wilde Lake in December 1990 Editor-in-Chief as a long-term substitute teacher. Ever since Ms. Adler was At that time, Wilde Lake still had a young girl, she was in the a daily Advisory. Traditionally, new teachers spotlight. would be assigned to an Since elementary school, her experienced teacher’s Advisory mom had her acting in community for one to two years before getting shows. By high school, she was doing shows all year. She majored their own group. But since the in Theater Education and English teacher Ms. Dixon would have at Sacramento State. Afterward, been paired with had an extended she met her husband, and the two leave of absence, she was assigned to Ms. Adler, who also started at moved to Maryland. Ms. Adler started teaching Wilde Lake that year. “I got to know her and see English and Drama at Wilde Lake her during advisory every day, at the start of the school year in 1990. Ms. Dixon, now the G/T and she kind of became my anchor person,” said Ms. Dixon.
“That’s how we became friends immediately. Both two brand new teachers trying to figure out how to make this thing work.” Ms. Adler built the theater department brick by brick. Spanish teacher Ms. Sweitzer participated in the shows in high school from 1991 to 1994. She says that “people were already talking about how good the shows were” shortly after Ms. Adler took over. Aside from theater, an important part of Ms. Adler’s identity is her being a mother. She had the first of three daughters, Em, in 1994, four years after she started teaching at Wilde Lake. Then, Caitlin in 1998, and Hayley in 2000. All three grew up on stage, like their mother. “I had a tub of toys that were in the mini-theater that she kept for when me and my sisters were there,” said Hayley Adler, who just graduated from Rutgers with degrees in Theater and English. Hayley and her sisters were performing in the ensemble for shows from a young age. In high school, they took on active roles in the department. As long as she can remember, Hayley has watched her mother work. “She wants the best out of
you, and you as an individual, and taking your strengths,” she said. “With that, and with her working with an individual student, and pulling out their strengths and isolating those, she’s teaching you at the same time.” Brooke Webster, a recent Wilde Lake graduate who will attend Boston Conservatory at Berklee School of Music in the fall, was in the tech crew for her freshman year and on stage for the remainder of high school. She says that a focal point of Ms. Adler’s directing is a collaboration with the actors. “Acting is making choices and trying different things,” said Brooke. “That’s where the collaboration comes in. The actor makes a choice, and the director is like, ‘Yes, I love that” or ‘Let’s try something different.’” One part of Ms. Adler’s process is helping the actors become their characters. Lulu Hassanien, a 2022 graduate, has had lead roles for all four years in high school. “Through my time in drama classes and especially in the shows, we were able to work at length on thoroughly analyzing a character and sort of built the story from the building blocks of
that process,” said Lulu. “I’ve felt like that has completely changed my outlook on performing and is one aspect of our rehearsal process that truly elevates our performances.” As seen by Ms. Dixon, Ms. Adler is able to bring out highquality performances from the shyest of students. “What she can get students to do, I have never seen in other high schools,” said Ms. Dixon. “Like, she had my teenage son all made up, dressed like a princess, with a push-up bra on, and he pulled off this role. How do you get a kid comfortable enough to go outside of themselves and be whatever role?” But when rehearsals are done, costumes are on, props are set, and the curtains are drawn to the community after weeks of hard work, Ms. Adler heads to sit in the mini-theater instead of the audience. “She liked to give the spotlight to the students,” said Hayley. “Being humble and having humility is something I respect so much from her. She doesn’t like the attention on her, but her craft and her artistry speak for itself.”
“She is very much the quintessential theater teacher.” - Ms. Padgett, Technical Director “She trusts responsibility and dedication as much as she does talent.” - Patrick Grey, Junior (Top left) Ms. Adler with the 1991 and 1999 casts of “Once Upon A Mattress” in the Jim Rouse Theater lobby. (Top right) Ms. Adler’s headshot from 1994. (Bottom left) Jim Page and Ms. Adler in 1990 at her first show at Wilde Lake, “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.” (Bottom right) Ms. Adler with students at a medieval feast event fundraiser in Baltimore where she was the “Lady of the Feast.” PHOTOS COURTESY OF MS. ADLER
Wilde Lake is Like an Onion
Media is Harming Teens
BY YASMIN ROACH Staff Writer
A teenage girl walks into a dark room. She grabs a red solo cup filled with beer and joins dancers in the center of the room. The others at the party are drinking beer, too, some probably taking drugs. This scene can be found in almost every mainstream movie or TV show about teens I can think of. And yet, most teens don’t have that experience, so it’s odd that the media portrays us that way. Mainstream television and movie depictions of us are inaccurate, and they seem to be getting more and more so every year. This impacts how other people see us and even how we see ourselves. An incredibly harmful glamorization is the unrealistic way “13 Reasons Why” depicts graphic self-harm and presents suicide. It made it seem as though bullying could be the sole reason for someone’s suicide, rather than mental illness, or that suicide could be used as a sort of “revenge.” A study done by the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found a 28.9% increase in teen suicide a month after the first season of the show. This is a terrifying example of how serious of an impact fictional media can have on real life. The inaccuracy in the media doesn’t stop at the setting. Teen bodies and lifestyles are also misrepresented. Most characters depicted in modern media don’t look or act like teenagers, which makes sense as lots of actors playing teens are adults. They have adult bodies and adult faces, and their characters are put into adult situations. Having all the teens we see on-screen look nothing like us can make us feel that we are somehow inadequate because we still look and act like teenagers. Almost every modern teen movie and television show I can think of has at least one scene where characters drink alcohol, take drugs, or have sex. But according to the CDC, only 38% of high schoolers reported having ever had sex in 2019, and alcohol and drug use are also down among them. So when most of what we watch makes it seem like teenagers are wild party animals, it’s unfair to those of us that don’t live that life. It can make us feel like we’re missing out on some mythical “teen experience” that doesn’t actually exist. But depictions have changed with the time. When I watch older movies and shows, I find them to be more relatable. For example, in the 1999 film “10 Things I Hate About You,” the characters are mainly pictured in school. This is realistic because teenagers spend most of their waking hours there. When looking at more modern shows such as “Riverdale” or “Euphoria,” it seems like the characters rarely go to class. The average American teenager spends one-third of their day on school and homework, not to mention extracurricular obligations. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to find time to solve every murder mystery in town with three hours of free time every day. I’m not suggesting that these shows and movies be exclusively doing homework. Instead, I want the creators to incorporate the reality of teenagers’ lives into the storyline, like in “10 Things I Hate About You” or the character Spiderman from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite being played by an actor seven years older than him, Spiderman is purposely portrayed as much younger and has relatable conflicts with the school throughout the series. Yes, teen shows and media are supposed to be fictional dramatizations of teen life, and that’s okay. The problem is when they aren’t showing the modern teen experience but rather something completely untrue. Fiction and reality do not exist separately. Reality inspires fiction, and fiction affects our view of reality, which is why fiction writers need to ensure that they are not presenting a distorted view of reality to the teenagers who watch their work. When I walk around Wilde Lake, I don’t see students who look like 30-year-olds who have had plastic surgery. My classmates spend their nights doing homework, not going to raves. My friends who suffer from mental illness need help, not glamorization. But so much of what we see on-screen does not show that and harms us by not doing so.
PHOTO BY ZOE MACDIARMID
BY LEE LEWIS Staff Writer “They judge me before they even know me,” said Shrek. This quote, from the movie Shrek, always reminds me of Wilde Lake High School. Wilde Lake has a reputation for things like low achieving students and rumors of violence and drugs. But those who go here know that those judgments don’t tell the full story, because like Shrek says, “Ogres are like onions.” Wilde Lake, too, is like an onion, and our reputation is only the outer layer. Shrek is an ogre who lives in a swamp, a long way from the beautiful Duloc, a kingdom that looks perfect but is far from it. Throughout the film, people from Duloc judge the swamp. They see it as dirty, ugly, even dangerous. But it turns out that Duloc, in the end, is not so perfect. And past its outer layer, the swamp is actually a friendly place. In one scene, Donkey was trailing Shrek, talking about what people say ogres do, like
eat people and terrorize villages. Shrek responds, “There’s a lot more to ogres than people think.” “Ogres are like onions,” Shrek says. “They stink?” Donkey asks. “No!” “They make you cry? Oh, you leave them out in the sun, they get all brown, start sprouting little white hairs?” “No! Layers! Onions have layers! Ogres have layers!” If Wilde Lake were an onion, its top layer would be what everyone sees: the fights, online gossip, low test scores. That is what most people hear about first, and is the basis of how our school is judged. However, people judge what they can’t see. I don’t blame people for seeing our school as a bad place. If I didn’t go to Wilde Lake, I might feel the same way. But hearing other people’s negative opinions about the school when they haven’t been here is disheartening. A year ago, I was at a summer camp, and in a few weeks I’m
about to start high school at Wilde Lake. I was talking with one of the other guys in my cabin. He asked, “What school do you go to?” I told him I go to Wilde Lake High School, and I still remember his response to this day. “That’s a bad school,” he said. “I heard kids protested because they didn’t want to go there. That school is ghetto.” That was not good to hear. And instead of feeling excited to go to a new school, I felt afraid of what it would be like. I thought, “How bad is this school? Am I going to get jumped as soon as I walk through the door?” But a week later, I talked to a recent graduate who said the opposite. He said the school is a great place and the staff are nice. This “great place” as he described Wilde Lake reminds me of Shrek’s swamp. The swamp is Shrek’s home, and he goes on a dangerous adventure to preserve it. It looks muddy and grimy but it’s a sanctuary for Shrek, a place where he can be free from the people who judge him. I feel like our school is just like Shrek’s swamp. The swamp is a place that isn’t perfect, but it’s one where you can be yourself. Some other schools are like Duloc, a place that looks perfect but the people are just as stressed out and worried as they are in the swamp. Just because your place looks perfect doesn’t mean it is. Now this doesn’t mean Wilde lake is a perfect school. We still have our flaws. But hey, every swamp has its leeches and parasites. And sometimes, you need to pull back a few layers to see the full story.
We Are Not the Lost Generation
BY ALAYNA ROVER Staff Writer HANNAH BOYER Managing Editor Those of us born in Generation Z — 1997-2012 — have faced a lifetime’s worth of problems in the few years we have been around. Despite facing many setbacks, we always find a way to persevere. Our generation has had to cope with the threat of school shootings, the pandemic, and toxic social media, to name a few. This stress has been shown to lead to higher depression and suicide rates. Although our generation has higher rates of mental illness than others, we have been part
of a nationwide movement to destigmatize mental health. We are advocating for better treatment for mental health in our schools and communities. Older generations say we are lazy and have no clear path in life. Although we can’t speak for this generation as a whole, many of us are more active than we are given credit for. But it’s hard when every step we take forward gets pushed back by negativity. Even if all of us are not on the picket lines, it doesn’t mean we are lazy. Most high schoolers start our days before the sun rises, eat breakfast if time allows, and then go off to school. After that there might be sports or extracurricular activities, then we go home and do homework for hours every night, then it happens all over again the next day.
But what is entirely new for our generation is technology. It’s said that we are digital natives. This label has some truth to it. We have grown up in the digital age where technology is constantly advancing. Our reliance on technology is frowned upon by some members of older generations. About 95% of teens have access to, or own a smartphone. However, having access to technology isn’t always bad. We can use it to stay informed. We are different from the other generations, but that’s not a bad thing, because if every generation followed the standards of the ones before there would be no change. We are the most diverse generation ever recorded and that’s a great thing, because we are better able to relate to and empathize with people different from us. We are young, and much like what has happened to every other generation when it was their turn to be the youngest, we have become the target of older generations’ disapproval. It’s up to us to prove the negative stereotypes wrong. It’s up to us to take away the negativity and create a platform for our children and their children to be able to build upon. So we are all able to work together to create a better world. We are not lost. We are evolving.
Opinions 11 Creating a Better Wilde Lake Is Up to Us BY GRETA GIULIANO Editor
Every day, I see kids breaking the rules. Whether it’s skipping class, leaving campus for lunch, or any of the other rules for our safety and education, people are breaking them every day. We are fortunate to use many innovative approaches to dealing with student behavior. These include the reintroduction of Advisory, the Peace, Green, and Gold rooms, and conflict resolution that seeks to build relationships between students and administration — restorative justice. However, I believe that students continue to abuse these systems by taking them for granted. There is always reasoning behind putting these things in place, and by abusing them, we are not helping them achieve their purpose, which is to create a peaceful atmosphere. Advisory, a 20-minute block between second and third period, was put in place to give us a break between classes and build better relationships with our teachers, according to Advisory board member and Social Studies teacher Ms. Pennington. She says that Advisory is a place where students will “be able to create relationships with their advisors so they can go to that adult before bad decisions are made.” Despite Advisory’s sound purpose, every day, students use this time to roam the halls, hang out with friends in the hallway, and in extreme cases, as seen throughout the year, physically fight with each other. This undermines the entire purpose of Advisory and lessens its intended effectiveness. During my Advisory, I have noticed that people not assigned to my group come in and out and stay there for multiple days. It seems like Advisory has practically become a free period. Granted, that is what it is to some extent, but the intent of Advisory is to create relationships with teachers. We cannot make meaningful relationships by roaming the halls and constantly switching advisories. Ms. Pennington hypothesizes that if students were held accountable for their attendance during Advisory, discipline problems would significantly decrease, and I would have to agree. Another system unique to Wilde Lake are the Peace, Green, and Gold rooms — specific rooms set aside for students to visit during the school day, and much like Advisory, people have been misusing these rooms. They have turned into hangout spots for them and their friends.
Ms. Wright, the teacher in charge of the Peace Room, describes it as “a space for creating community, fostering a sense of safety and belonging, and equipping students to succeed academically” and “essential to many students.” She explains that students will come to the Peace room for any number of reasons: students in crisis, working on school work, or just needing someone to talk to. When I went to the Peace Room, I noticed that there was quite a lot of talking for a space that is meant to be peaceful. I realize that some students come here with their friends to take a break together, but other students come to relax and recharge, which can be fairly difficult when other people are there to socialize. As a school, I feel like we are taking all these things being offered to us for granted. Things like Advisory and the Peace Room are here to help us, but they are still a privilege. We need to show our appreciation to the staff by acting maturely. We have already gotten a taste of what it feels like for these things to be taken away. A few weeks back, when Advisory got shut down because of fights, that was just a preview of what could happen if we do not respect these spaces for our benefit. To ensure this does not happen, we need to change our mindset. We need to be a part of the solution by helping to create an environment in which conflict is dealt with peacefully, and while that started with the teachers, it is our job now. It is time for us to start taking accountability for our actions. We need to start realizing that our teachers are not out to get us. One of the most effective ways to build a relationship with your teacher is simply talking to them. If you show your teacher that you are making an effort, they are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and can act as a mentor if you are having a hard time. I have experienced firsthand that students are more likely to listen to teachers with whom they have a good relationship, so if we focused a little more on building relationships with our teachers, like using the time in Advisory wisely, we might understand their point of view more. This school year has been hard enough on its own, and what we need right now is to unite and support each other. School is supposed to be a safe, supportive place that offers many opportunities, and if we do not use and respect them, we are just hurting ourselves. Everyone is having a hard time, so why make it harder for anyone else?
Love and Asexuality BY LAUREN KELLY Editor What does it mean to love someone? To many people, falling in love and getting a romantic relationship is seen as one of life’s ultimate goals. You get married, and that’s what makes you complete. The person you form that relationship with becomes your “other half.” In contrast, platonic relationships are often seen as less important. Friendships are nice, but romance is seen as a relationship upgrade. However, some people break this mold. Asexuality, or ace, is when someone does not feel sexual attraction. It is not the same thing as celibacy. Aromanticism is similar. However, it is a lack of romantic attraction. These two are distinct, and both are a spectrum, but the collective of everyone on the asexual and aromantic spectrum is commonly referred to as ace.
People don’t tend to think of love as something with a rigid set of rules, but certain things are generally understood to be the norm. People meet each other, fall in love, get married, move in together, have children. These things are considered to be normal. But those who fall on the asexual or aromantic spectrum may not want that. They might move in with friends, don’t seek out partners, and even actively dislike physical affections. Because of people’s preconceived notions about what love is, occasionally, non-asexuals will pity or dislike people who don’t want the traditional type of love. For example, one of the most common topics of conversation in asexual communities is the frustration of telling non-aces about it. Though most people seem to accept it, some can’t quite wrap their heads around it. People will ask if you’re a plant, say that being asexual means you must not be able to feel
love, and most commonly, they inform you that you just haven’t found the right person yet. They assume that if you don’t want romance or sex, you just need to find someone to “fix” you. Many people, from neartotal strangers to close family members, assume that they instantly know you better than you know yourself. You shouldn’t have to justify your orientation. A big part of this problem comes from media representation. The only people allowed to be asexual are evil, robots or aliens, or lying or repressed. Though there are exceptions, they are few and far between. This hurts not only asexuals but also non-asexuals. People tend to de-value platonic relationships because they feel that nothing can be more important than romance. However, platonic relationships don’t need to be less loving than romantic ones. If people can learn how to cultivate and value nonromantic relationships properly, then everyone can live happier, more fulfilling lives.
By 2024, the paper SAT booklet will be a thing of the past as College Board moves into digital tests. PHOTO BY ZOE MACDIARMID
Is the SAT Still Relevant? BY ZOE MACDIARMID Editor-in-Chief When PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores were released, my classmates and I compared our scores. As they shared their scores, I anxiously waited for mine to load. When I finally shared my score, my classmate’s response was, “Really? I always thought you were so smart.” According to the College Board, the company that owns the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the purpose of the SAT is to “measure a high school student’s readiness for college.” The company was founded at the beginning of the 20th century to formalize a college admissions process. In 1926, they introduced the SAT. Almost a hundred years later, students and colleges are split on the relevancy of the test. The SAT covers two subjects, English — reading and writing — and math and an optional essay. In total, it’s 180 minutes of testing time and 154 multiple-choice questions. Students are herded into a school bright and early on a weekend morning, many still in their pajamas. They walk out like zombies by the end of the test, blinded by the sunlight after three grueling hours of testing. In January, the College Board announced changes to the SAT to be fully integrated by 2024. The changes include making the test shorter and digital, allowing calculators on the entire math section, and a quicker turnaround time for getting scores. But the price will remain the same. Each SAT costs $55, and it’s common to retake the test if you’re unhappy with your score. College Board recommends taking the test “at least twice,” running students’ testing bills up to $110, not including the cost of test books, classes, practice tests, and time. College Board is a nonprofit company that monopolizes standardized testing worldwide. According to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse, in 2019, they raked in $58 million in profit of their $1.1 billion in revenue. Before test days, students are encouraged to spend two to three months preparing by doing at least three full-length practice tests, hundreds of practice problems, and learning vocabulary. However, test anxiety still looms over many test-takers despite hours of preparation. Junior Kaia Roberson took the SAT for the first time in December and said she felt the effect of test anxiety as soon as she opened the test booklet. “I could study for a month, but as soon as I start the test, I forget everything,” she said. “I’ve always excelled at math, but my SAT score doesn’t reflect that at all.” Some schools are adopting more progressive policies for accepting test scores, a direct response to COVID’s impact on scheduling and availability. For fall 2022 admissions, over 1,800 four-year colleges adopted “test-optional” policies, according to The National Center for Fair and Open Testing. “Test-optional” means the absence of an SAT or ACT (American College Testing) score won’t be considered in admitting a student. The SAT and ACT serve as a consistent measure of student performance as opposed to GPA. One student with a 4.0 could be in all on-grade level classes, whereas another 4.0 student could be in five APs. Standardized tests give admissions a benchmark piece of information to compare applicants. But what the scores will never reflect is a student’s individuality. Student A may have scored 1000 but had less time to study because they take care of their younger siblings every day. Student B may have got 1550 after months-long prep classes that cost hundreds of dollars. In the long term, Student A is learning life skills such as taking care of children, cleaning, cooking, and responsibility, whereas Student B will never pick up their SAT prep book again. Which of these points would the author of this passage most likely agree? A. Every college should be test-optional. B. Test scores don’t reflect a student’s potential. C. Practical life experiences are much more valuable than standardized tests. D. All of the above. Answer: D
We Should All Know How to Administer Narcan
“The Straw that Broke the Wildecat’s Back” by Trisha Rathee and Itzel Cilia
The key to saving someone’s life may lie in a little white bottle. The United States leads the world in opioid production, use, and deaths. In 2019, opioids were involved in 49,860 overdose deaths and 70.6% of all drug overdose deaths, according to the CDC. And yet, saving someone’s life if they are overdosing on opioids is now as simple as spraying a mist into their nose. Fentanyl, a deadly drug has been found in drugs from cocaine to marijuana. Ingesting the equivalent of a few sand grains could be a lethal dose. Overdoses can occur when users unknowingly use drugs, commonly marijuana for young people, laced with this deadly substance. When someone is overdosing on an opioid, it might look like they are sleeping. But an opioid overdose can slow a person’s breathing, make their pupils smaller, turn the skin blue because of poor circulation, or make them go into respiratory failure. Narcan Nasal Spray comes in a little white bottle. When you spray it into the nose of someone who is overdosing, opioid antagonists are released, which block the opioid receptors in the brain, which makes the drug’s effects kick in. To administer it, hold the bottle with your thumb on the bottom of the plunger and your first and middle fingers on either side of the nozzle. Then, tilt the person’s head back and wrap your hand behind their neck to provide support. Insert the tip of the nozzle into the nose until your fingers on either side of the nozzle are against the bottom of the person’s nose. Finally, press the plunger firmly to release the dose. (FROM NARCAN.ORG) If the person is not breathing because of a suspected overdose, immediately perform CPR. Narcan Nasal Spray is kept at every Howard County high school. It is also available upon request at most drug stores. It is simple to administer and does not require any special training. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that bystanders were present in more than one in three overdoses involving opioids. If everyone was equipped with Narcan, thousands of lives would be saved every year. One reason that bystanders are hesitant to act is the fear of getting into trouble. But as Wilde Lake testing coordinator Ms. Kirchner put it, you can get out of trouble; you can’t get out of death. America’s history with opioids is troubling. Before the 1990s, doctors prescribed opioids sparingly, according to Missouri Medicine, until the introduction of OxyContin in 1995. OxyContin was developed by Purdue Pharma and advertised as a non-addictive medication for “moderate to severe pain.” Sales rose by over 2,000% from 1996 to 2000, and the high availability of OxyContin led to increased abuse, illegal distribution, and addiction. Doctors were prescribing pills left and right and millions of Americans became addicted. But opioids are expensive, which has led some users to cheaper alternatives such as heroin and fentanyl. The long-term damage of opioids can not be overlooked. Ms. Kirchner shares her story with students often. Five years ago, Ms. Kirchner’s 24-year-old son died of an overdose after a years-long battle with addiction. “That’s the reality of opioids,” said Ms. Kirchner. “It tears families apart.” Taking the time to get a bottle of Narcan and learning how to administer it means taking a step in ending the opioid epidemic that has permanently damaged millions of families. And a little knowledge could save lives.
Wilde Lake Burned by Un-Social Media BY ZOE MACDIARMID Editor-in-Chief With at least ten new followers every hour and hundreds of likes, comments, and shares, Wilde Lake was buzzing this month with the spread of anonymous Instagram gossip accounts — shade rooms meant to humiliate their targets. And because the people posting were anonymous, the subjects of these posts could do nothing about it. Posts on these anonymous accounts ranged from innocent musings — who has a crush on whom — to malicious accusations. Some of these posts gained more traction than others, but they were all personal attacks meant to inflict harm or shame. Accounts like these are common at schools across the country but typically don’t last long. However, when they’re banned, new ones still pop up because some people need to gossip like they need to breathe. The act of gossiping, or the casual discussion of people not present, is something high schoolers have always done. But this is different. These were direct attacks on unsuspecting people, posted for the world to see. I imagine a big fire. And like fire, we can make it worse, do nothing, or put it out. This fire could have been put out quickly, but it wasn’t. We don’t know who ignited it, but somebody threw down the first match when they created the accounts. However, they couldn’t fuel it on their own. They needed help. Rushing to help fuel the fire were those with gasoline. They entertained themselves endlessly by
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throwing gas on the flames, watching as the fire ate up more and more land. People had to contribute, and as a result, dragged anyone they wanted down to their depths. Standing back watching the fire are the spectators, those who didn’t send in any responses but still stoked the flames by liking, sharing, or even just looking at the posts without reporting the accounts. They’re the oxygen that took a small campfire to a forest fire. They’re as bad as the gas throwers, but they didn’t have to take responsibility for their pitiful indifference. The fire grew rapidly, inspiring copycats and drawing in hundreds of gas throwers and spectators. As plenty stood and watched the fire, drooling over its easy entertainment, others took a creative approach to extinguish it. A person created the positivity account. This account controlled the fire, tamped it, and eventually passed the shade rooms in followers and support. The positivity account is still active and recognized among students as our saving grace from an uncontrolled fire of threats, accusations, violence, and indifference. But after the flames had been extinguished, our land was still burned. The subjects still have a cloud over their heads because of some people’s unfortunate immaturity and insecurities. I believe that people are capable of growth, but not if they get satisfaction from other people’s pain. So, I thank those who extinguished the fire and continue to heal our wounds with positivity. And to the gas throwers and spectators, I ask: Which side will you be on next time?
The Paw Print Staff 2021-2022
The views expressed in this issue are not necessarily those of the staff, the administration or the staff board. Letters to the editor are encouraged. The Paw Print reserves the right to edit any submissions. Adviser..................................................... Ben Townsend Editor-in-Chief................................... Zoe MacDiarmid
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News Editor.............................................. Arielle Levine Staff Editors.............. Greta Giuliano and Lauren Kelly Managing Editor......................................Hannah Boyer Staff Writers...................Blaiz Blackston, Itzel Cilia, Cameron Franks, Charlotte Fetters, Marran Frigo, William Kingue, Lee Lewis, Gabrielle Olibris, Trisha Rathee, Yasmin Roach, Alayna Rover Staff Reporters...............Sloan Applegate, Kassidy Cromwell, Nakyah Easton, Harris Mahmud, N’Dea Walters