Accepting Yourself Is The Best Place To Start
Identity. As an LGBT youth, this is just one of the many things on the list of things to struggle with. However, although the journey may seem daunting, two students share how they were able to come to terms with their identity, and how the journey has really only just begun.
For the LGBT community, questions about identity are the beginning of a long- and sometimes harrowing- journey.
“I remember kissing a boy in pre-k,” sophomore Jamel Hairston said. “I guess that was when I started questioning myself. It’s like you do this thing that everyone else says is wrong or wierd, so you can’t help but start wondering if you’re doing something wrong.”
For some, the fact that people are always trying to call out others on something about them that is different doesn’t help much with trying to feel comfortable in your own skin.
“When I was in elementary school, people always asked me if I was gay,” Junior Danielle Lawson said. “I didn’t even know what the word meant. But once I did, it started answering a lot of questions that I had about myself.”
Actually coming to terms with yourself sometimes takes something big, or something small. For Jamel, it was a small realization in middle school.
“When I was in middle school, I was getting picked on a lot and it made me really upset,” Hairston said. “But then, one day I realized that I am who I am and that I can’t change.”
Having familial support for LGBT youth is an important part of the process, and is often a reason some are afraid to come out in the first place.
“My parents don’t really know, but my mom tries to low-key tries to bring it up sometimes,” Lawson said. “I guess I don’t want them to know-not because I think they’ll be mean about it, but because it makes things a lot easier for us all.”
Although coming out can sometimes seem like it might be the end of the world, sometimes it’s a lot easier than you think it is.
“I never really had to come out,” Hairston said. “People normally assume because of how high my voice is.”
For others, coming out isn’t even something on their to-do list.
“People normally assume, but I don’t even think it’s that big of a deal. It’s not something I have to announce to the world or tattoo across my forehead,” Lawson said. “Like, yeah this is who I am, but I’m not going to go around wearing rainbows all the time or whatever. I just don’t think it’s that serious.”
Knowing that there are so many other people out there struggling with their identity is something that keeps the LGBT community open to share their stories and to be able to inspire others.
“Just don’t care what other people think,” Lawson said as advice to struggling LGBT youth. “It’s who you are, and if other people don’t like it, that’s on them.”
Want to come out but need a little inspo? Try watching these videos:
Troye Sivan’s Coming Out video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoL-MnXvK80
Connor Franta’s Coming Out video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYodBfRxKWI
Keiynan Lonsdale’s Journey:
Ricky Martin About Coming Out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oBraB9goXI
Just because it's the end of the year doesn't mean your grades can slack
Do you ever find yourself stuck wondering what you should be doing when your not doing it? Or, doing something different then what you should be doing since finals, STARR and AP exams are coming up? That is… STUDYING! Studying really helps when tests, quizzes and other important things are coming up. The end of the year can be the most stressful time of the year for high school students. Ensure that you're prepared for these big exams with these study tips.
1. Create your own study guide
While teachers provide a study guide, creating your own cna help you understand the material better. Outlining the important information that you need to learn can be helpful, both in creation and to refer to during your studies.
2. Ask questions
Your teachers are there to help! Ask them questions regarding the material and the exam so that your prepared when exam time arrives.
3. Attend the reviews
Review sessions offer vital information on exam format, what will be on the exam and key concepts you should be focusing your studies on.
4. Start early
If you always start ahead of schedule, you'll never be cramming the night before an exam. You'll almost always perform better in doing so!
5. Organize a group study session
It can be helpful to study in groups – sometimes. Evaluate whether or not studying with others will be beneficial to the subject as well at your learning process.
6. Study things not on the study guide
Study guides aren’t always comprehensive – they’re just suggestions of the main concepts to learn. Use your study guide for its intended purpose: a guide. Be sure to fill in the blanks with related information.
7. Take breaks
You won’t be able to memorize or comprehend all the material at once. Balance is key – ensure that you reward learning with break times to recharge and relax.
8. Stay well rested
There’s a lot to be said about a good night’s sleep. Make sure you’re well rested so that you can be fully focused during your exams.
9. Create a study schedule and follow it
Splitting the material into chucks you can actually achieve can be very beneficial. That way, you can keep track of what you’ve accomplished instead of looking at the big picture and getting overwhelmed.
10. Prioritize your study time
Some exams will be more difficult than others, some you may find easier to study for. Some may be worth more of your grade than others. Make sure to evaluate all of your exams to consider and determine all of the involved factors so you can study accordingly.
11. Study for the style of the exam
If it’s multiple choice, you’ll need to know definitions and concepts. For essay exams, focus on your understanding of all the concepts presented, with examples in mind.
12. Quiz yourself
If you think about and create actual exam questions, you will likely become more familiar with what you need to study and, in the meantime, familiarize yourself with the type of language that will be on the exam. Draft potential exam questions and quiz yourself so that you can set expectations of what you need to focus on.
13. Meet with your teacher
Often times, meeting with a teacher can give you helpful hints for what to study and ways to prepare for the exam.
14. Recognize your notes
Evaluate and organize your notes into what’s important, outlining important concepts, formulas dates and definitions so they’re easy to understand.
15. Pace yourself
Make sure you stay focused and don’t burn yourself out. A great way to do so is to pace yourself rather than opting for the dreaded all-nighter. You can easily pace yourself by following tips like starting early, creating a study schedule and taking breaks when necessary!
16. Teach classmates
Learning by teaching is a method that really works! If you work with a study buddy and explain concepts to one another, you’re re-learning the material all over again. It’s a great way to reinforce what you’ve learned and help someone in the meantime!
17. Revolve your focus
Switching up your subjects is a helpful way to learn everything for your exams while preventing burnout on one topic. Make sure to switch it up before your eyes glaze over! That way, you can keep studying for longer periods of time while maintaining your focus.
18. Color code it
Create a system that allows you to color code material that’s going to be on the exam by what’s most important, less important, etc. This will help you focus on the most pertinent information and prioritize the material.
If you’re a visual learner, it can help to create mind maps or diagrams to visualize how the concepts you’re learning relate to one another. This is especially beneficial when learning concepts that build upon the understanding of one another, like in science courses.
20. Make it fun!
It’s easier to focus if you adapt to studying by quizzing yourself, creating acronyms or rewarding yourself for a job well done. Create a game plan – literally – that allows you to accomplish tasks and be rewarded for each.
Three weeks has passed now and I’ve finally got a lead that reveals on where my family's killer’s whereabouts are ,so now I’m traveling to where his/hers most recent activities are near; which are in the mountains of Masyaf, southern Israel, so my family’s killer has traveled a great deal just to harm them; but the location is where my order is, but it hasn’t been there for ages, not since the great battle were my brothers of the order were all killed by one of our own who till this day have not been found, so it might've been him, but that's impossible, he wouldn’t have survived out here ,because the land is barren and unforgiving filled with dangerous ,and poisonous animals that would’ve killed and mutilated him; but then again our brothers were skilled ,and highly trained killers ;and the killer went through them like a knife through fabric, so there’s still a chance that he survived, and was looking for me, because I’m the last of my order, but if he was still out there he better know that I’m ready for him and I’m coming for him. When I reached the castle on which served as my order’s headquarters was found badly weathered and reclaimed by the wilderness and the flags of the castle weir tattered by years of harsh weather, the fabric of everything else weir in the same condition as well.
But then I saw him the one that killed my family, the rogue hunter …. It was Nathan my brother; now I had put the pieces all together. He never approved of me quartering Claudia especially when I quit the order for her, and he was the one who knew all of the tactics and moves of our brothers in the order. Even if he is my brother by blood, his actions are still unforgivable especially when he butchered my family; all I can say is, He will die.
Even if it kills me, that I swear, “So Dante, how’s the family? “Said Nathan with a smirk. “You don’t have the right to speak you traitor!! You butchered my family, killed our brothers and for what? Jealousy?! “I said angrily “You're one to talk, you left our order for some peasant, you are the real traitor Dante I’m just serving the order like a good soldier, oh wait. They’re all dead! My bad.” said Nathan with a little giggle. “I’m going to butcher you Nathan, you’re just a sick demented piece of trash just like the scum we use to hunt, and you make me sick!!”I began to fill up with rage and then I made the first move, I threw four of my throwing blades two of them stuck him. One in his side, the other in the heart. He jerked back; then without any hesitation I drew my dagger and drug it deep into his throat. He gave me a look of pure evil, a bloody smile, before he struck the ground with hard thump. I didn’t bury him nor gave him his last rights because a man like that doesn’t deserve any of that, so I just left his corpse there and traveled back home knowing my family can now rest in peace, for I have avenged them; and I now can live in peace knowing that, but I returned to their graves, and replaced they’re old flowers with new ones; And told them silently, “My family is my life”.
What I’m about to tell you is a tale of love, tragedy, revenge, and a man. My name is Dante, and this is my story. Paris, 1823, It is a cold and snowy day; perhaps the coldest it has ever been in years, and I just got off the ship, the air was brisk and windy, the boat stopped in a port in Paris “home at last, and now I must take a carriage”. “Lovely”; I am returning from my travels of business for Christmas, so I can spend it with my beloved; and not a soul is seen roaming out and about I couldn’t blame them; but there is still some warmth here beauty that brings spring wherever she goes, but I will soon learn that, that beauty will soon haunt me till the end of my days .Her name was Claudia , a strong , beautiful , and intelligent woman, a beauty that is truly rare on this earth; but alas deceased taken by a soulless criminal, that has no heart. I found her laying on the ground in the entrance of our house as if she was trying to get away. I soon found out that she was bearing a child, my child; she was going to tell me when I got back from my travels but I was too late, if only I'd return sooner, I would’ve been able to prevent her murder, but now I have nothing .I remember the day when I was with my wife helping her cook dinner for us, we were discussing about if we had children. I remembered that I told her that “my family is my life”, but that was long ago. That Dante died the day she died no, I’m something different something no longer human but a shapeless being of pure evil and a Hate; They call me Warrior of Hell, I belong to the damned, for my world is fire, and blood, and I will bring hell with me and I will make them pay, and I will drag them to hell. I won't stop until they suffer, I will never stop, even if it kills me.
Long ago, some years ago; someone told me I should take caution when it comes to love ,but I didn't ,and now there is nothing left to say, only so many regrets, regrets that i want to take back ,to get rid of, but haunt me every time I close my eyes. And now I call out for vengeance, and for justice for the one who killed my true love .About 9 years ago, I was in a brotherhood called the order of the hunt, the people in the order weir called hunters. our task was to protect the innocent from evil, or as we call them “the predators” .we hunt the predators ,we are the apex predators ,and they are the hunt .But it all changed when I met Claudia .my brother did not want me to be with her ,so during one of our missions he tried to kill me, but he should have known better, I was always the better hunter than him; After that he was branded a traitor and was banished from our order later on I decided to settle down with Claudia and retire from my life as a hunter, but I think I broke the number one rule that you never do; I became civilized ,dulled my own edge. So now I have no choice, but to put my uniform on for one last time, and go hunting.
It's been almost a year since my beloved Claudia and our unborn child were butchered by an unknown assailant , and I haven't even made any headway on who, and where they’re killer is hold up at . It’s so nerve racking that I can’t find him/her, but when I find whoever killed them, I'm going to make them pay. I found a place to stay for the night and plan my next move, and kick start my training again, because it's been awhile since I was a hunter, so I’m a little rusty. The next day when I awoke, I thought It had all been a dream but I soon realized the ugly truth and soon the anger that was dormant, began to erupt within me all at once; And began to train, I trained for days, weeks, and months; until I was at my peak performance once again .Then it was finally time to find my family's killer, the killer who put me through hell, for those 8 long months. Now I’ll show them, that I am darkness, I am the night, and I am the one who will deliver justice to my family.
Richard Ocejo III
Photo Editor, Staff Writer
Friday the 13th is a well known day where terrors from the past arise in constant conversations on this spooky day. Many generations have experienced these past thrilling Friday the 13th’s and paranormal and traumatic things have happened on this day for those people who had to go through these events.
With this past Friday being the 13th, many students at Clemens had felt as if it would not end up being a good day. With terrified feelings in their minds, they still had to go to school whether they liked it or not. “Friday the 13th just gives me a scary vibe and gives me an unsettling feeling,” said Gabby Limon, (09). Like many others, this freshmen did not have a good feeling about Friday the 13th and what the day had in store for people all over. Although nothing bad happened throughout the day, other than it raining in the middle of the day when students had to walk outside to the portables, it was still a frightening day. Friday the 13th was originated in the 19th century, when ancestors believed that 13 was an unlucky number since most everything usually had 12 things in it. If you haven’t already noticed when you stay in hotels, most hotels don’t include the floor 13 because no guests would want to stay on that floor. The history of Friday the 13th is no doubt present, but it is your choice if you want to follow the facts or base it off of what you have visually seen.
Several traumatizing events have actually happened on Friday the 13th. But, that does not define Friday the 13th as a “bad” day for some students at Clemens. Some, believe that if nothing bad has happened to them directly, the day is perfectly fine, even if other bad things have happened to others. “I believe that Friday the 13th is just like any other day, people just think it’s bad because coincidences have happened in the past on this date,” said Michael Huff, (10). Throughout the night of Friday the 13th, it continuously stormed with lightning, thunder, and hail. This does not mean that the 13th has to be a down and dreadful day filled with the mysteries of what the day will hold. You are able to take control of your day and figure out what the day holds for you. Friday the 13th may not be an ideal Friday, but it only happens once or twice a year. Other students at Clemens don’t have much of an opinion on how they feel about the day. The day is what you make of it, whether it’s a “creepy” day or not, you have the control over your day.
This day may or may not scare you, but regardless of whether it does or not, there’s no doubt that people will still get frightened no matter what others say. This day falls into the “superstitions” category when it comes to defining whether it’s a holiday or just another day. Superstitions often happen when you look too far into coincidences, but people will continue to have their own opinions.
Ramen has been around since 1958, with it being the best college food and being so easy to make, it has became a big hit around the world. Ramen was originally from Japan, where men wanted to create an instant noodle, that still tasted good. The cup of noodles is less appealing than ramen that you would boil in water for a certain amount of time. The cup of noodles can be made by simply adding water and heating them up. Although some people may say they taste almost the exact same, I think they taste completely different. Ramen may take longer to cook, but the results are better than the cup of noodles. The cup of noodles are watered down, even when you drain the water. Ramen tastes like real noodles, while the cup of noKaylodles taste fake and water based. There are many different flavors of ramen and cup of noodles. My personal favorites are the “Oriental” flavor and the “Cheddar Cheese” flavor. I am a vegetarian, so the meat based flavors are not acceptable for my adjusted appetite. Overall, ramen tastes more noodle like than a cup of noodles. So, when shopping for food, I will always go for the packaged ramen over the cup of noodles.
Class Representatives Reveal Prom-Planning Process
The sun is setting. Students clad in tuxedos and dresses of all shapes, sizes, and colors pose for pictures, their eyes wrinkling at the corners from their wide smiles. Girls, in particular, make sure to focus on the corsages that cover their wrists, intent on not messing them up before the dance. After photos, they pile into their cars and head to a fancy dinner. They feel like royalty in their nice, formal wear. Then, they head to the dance. The night is perfect.
What the students fail to notice, though, are their peers who greeted them at the door, checking off their names before they entered the dance hall. The ones who, unbeknownst by their fellow classmates, showed up hours early to oversee final preparations. The ones who spent three years fundraising and planning for their peers’ “perfect night”. The class representatives of 2019.
The 2019 class reps is an organization that holds a very important task: to plan and fund their junior year prom. The process they go through in order to successfully organize a prom is extensive and tedious, giving the class officers and representatives a multitude of obstacles to overcome in order to follow through with their commitment. In addition to having to plan and raise thousands of dollars for prom, the representatives also face another burden: the approval of their classmates.
“To be truthfully honest, people are always going to find something wrong with any particular event,” said Meghan Hunt, Class President of 2019. “There’s always going to be flaws, but hopefully we are minimizing them.”
The stages to planning a successful prom have proven to be demanding to the class reps. They include: electing officers, finding and choosing fundraisers, raising money, and coming up with a theme. With the process taking almost three years, the representatives are almost able to breathe a sigh of relief after a long period of planning and fundraising.
“It has honestly been such a long process that I don’t remember half the steps we took!” Hunt said.
The 2019 class reps have been raising money to fund prom since 2015. The expenses expected to be covered with the money raised include: the venue (Alzafar Shrine), the decorator, security, a DJ, a photographer, food, etc. Together, these costs make up a sum of about $30,000. When Hunt and her fellow officers and reps first were told the amount of money they needed to raise, they were quite overwhelmed. However, they knew that in order to reach their goal, they needed to get started immediately.
“We’ve been fundraising since freshman year, so there’s been a lot of different events,” Hunt said. “We sold popcorn freshman and sophomore year, and then junior year we took over the class office store and sold candy, chips, and drinks. Also, the tickets for prom have brought in a lot of revenue.”
The prom-planning process has been made significantly easier with the help of faculty, staff, and other students. In addition to Hunt, other class reps members and officers also played major roles in executing the required steps needed in order to make this year’s prom worth-while.
“Many people have helped out!” Hunt said. “We have our officers: Madison Edwards, Catherine Gideon, Joey Guerra, and Joy Dyer. In addition to those officers, are officers from 2017 Madeline; Sturdivant and Julia Jachimowicz were super helpful. Also, one of our representatives named Zoë Hewitt has been a tremendous help! She’s always helping out whenever we need her! Also, none of this could have happened without the help of Ms. Sanchez and Mrs. Mumme.”
Ultimately, the class representatives of 2019 hope that they are able to give their fellow classmates a prom to be proud of. Despite the trials and tribulations they needed to overcome, they are excited to see the finished product, as well as witnessing the reactions of their peers.
“I really hope that everyone has a lot of fun, and enjoys themselves,” Hunt said. “I also want the officers and everyone else to see their hard work paid off!”
Students Benefit from Technology in Schools
In today’s world, it is impossible to go a day without the help of some form of technological advancement, and internet access has become a necessity to success. In a society with such fast-paced involvement, schools should keep up to speed and incorporate the use of technology into education to give students the best platform on which to prosper in the real world.
Technology is becoming more expected in the education system. Students are exposed to technology such as smartphones, computers, and televisions for a large part of their day outside of school. Keeping these components from being exploited in schools is a denial of the importance of technology in today’s world and would put students at a disadvantage when they eventually enter the workforce.
Today more than fifty percent of jobs require some degree of technology prowess. This statistic is expected to rise to around seventy-seven percent within the next decade. Our society is becoming more technology based, and America is sending its youth out into the workforce under-prepared.
In addition, the use of technology in schools helps improve the learning environment by connecting students with different learning styles. Students and teachers do not have to remain confined to the old teaching method of a lecture followed by a worksheet. Instead, they are able to branch out and explore new information through a more visual, hands on, and creative medium. Online reviews such as Kahoot are already being used to provide a more engaging way of refreshing material, and digital textbooks have become standard for certain classes with a larger course load. The transition into a more technology based education system has already begun and to stop the process now would be naive.
The use of technological devices during school is a win-win for teachers and students. Students are more engaged with the material and are given a greater chance for success, and teachers have more resources at their disposal to use in their lessons. The opportunities for learning multiply, and the classroom becomes more productive than it has ever been capable of.
Of course, not all students can afford the same technology. Some argue this as a reason to keep technology out of schools, to level the playing field. However, this notion is not beneficial. It keeps students from learning about technology and computer systems that they will be expected to work with after their education. Instead, schools should supply the needed technology and technology-based courses for their students to learn from. Just as many libraries now house computers as well as paper books, schools should evolve and supply the needed materials for their students’ success.
As society charges forward with more technological advancement than ever seen before, schools should keep up the pace. Integrating more technology into education would benefit all involved and would provide students the best foundation to start their future careers. Americans should support their students and push for the continued increase of technology use and education in schools.
March For Our Lives Protest Creates Impact Against Gun Violence
The bitter chill in the streets of Washington D.C. is no match to the heat of 800,000 protesters. Young and old alike carry the neon signs that will be brought forth to the capitol building; a statement too bold for the government to deny.
In light of the Parkland High School shooting, students took a stand across the nation to advocate for heavier gun restriction laws, creating a teenage-led “March For Our Lives” protest on March 24th. These rallies took place in over 800 different locations across the country, making quite an impact on lawmakers.
“I think this movement helped make people realize what violence is at stake in our country and that we need to change it,” sophomore Mazzy Wilcox said.
Organized by the surviving Parkland High School students, the march featured hundreds of thousands of citizens pleading for people to vote against unrestricted gun laws. The most prominent rally in Washington D.C. had students begging lawmakers to “protect our children,” one of these students being M.L.K.’s very own granddaughter.
“The kids at Parkland have finally created a face for this generation, and it will make a difference,” junior Katie Gambrel said.
With over 3,100 child deaths at the hands of firearms in 2016, this issue goes far beyond simple gun restriction. Students are calling for better mental health services, proper aid of abused and troubled youth, and more programs targeted at developing young minds.
“I am a full supporter for ‘March For Our Lives’, and I will continue to support it by donating my time to the cause,” Gambrel said.