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Best Friend vs. Boyfriend

You probably know the feeling of having a best friend who suddenly got a new boyfriend or girlfriend, they suddenly forget that you exist. You may even want to plot how they will break up or bet on how long the relationship lasts. Don’t feel guilty, because not many things are harder than giving up your person to someone else. Everytime you want to plan something with them, the are with their significant other, but it seems they are ALWAYS with that person, always talking about them, and they can’t two hours without referencing them! You probably relate to these feelings and understand what I’m talking about, but the odds are we’re all guilty of this. Whether you have done it to someone else or it’s happened to you, you understand. It’s one of the worst feelings, losing someone is awful. They were a part of you and now it’s no longer there, but I have some good news. Although you feel like it’s the end of world, these friends who may leave you for a boyfriend aren’t aware of what you may feel is the end of your world. They don’t see that you miss them, they don’t know what you’re feeling and they can’t read your mind. So although it’s like you dropped off the side of the earth, there is more than one thing you can do to help yourself and your friendship. You can start with talking to the friend who seems to forget that you exist. If you pick a time where you can talk, a place where it’s not too busy so a car, house or a cafe then bring it up and state how you feel. If your friend becomes defensive, and argues that what you are feeling isn’t real. You may have to bring it up more than once, because they don’t want to admit that they’ve been leaving you behind. If bringing up multiple times doesn’t work, then you can try to talk to your other friends to see if they feel the same way. Then talking in a group, about what you all may feel may solve your problem. But if it doesn’t then you can try to set up plans with the friend, stating how important so called plan would be to you. If that doesn’t end up working out, then continue to ask for time with the friend and the last resort is to become friends with the significant other and start to do things with the couple. There is nothing wrong with third wheeling, if it means that you get to spend time with someone who means a lot to you. In the end, it’s all about communication and compromise.

Story by Devon Williams

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Eating Right in High School

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Throughout high school students are taught right from wrong, yet when it comes to their nutrition they lack knowledge of the danger that comes with eating certain foods. It’s one thing to read the label on the back of a soda, it is another thing to comprehend why and how drinking it can affect your body. Nutrition is a key factor in living a healthy lifestyle which is why students should be more educated on how to eat and plan healthier food alternatives. One reason as to why it is hard for most teens to maintain a healthy eating cycle is due to the options offered by the school. There are many students who don’t go outside of school for lunch making the food provided by the school their only options. The cafeteria is filled with greasy pizza and ice cream so while it is not difficult for many to bring your own lunch, the convenience of prepared food is appealing to many. For example, junior student Sarah Mueller explains that she eats “ whatever the lunch ladies are serving”. Packing your own lunch is also an option but with the rigorous amount of homework and after school activities, students might not have the time to prepare their lunches the night before. Studies have shown that a school lunch can be up to  50% of a students daily caloric intake. With that, there is a possibility that due to the common eating habit of most teens, a big portion of that meal can either be unhealthy due to the amount of artificial flavoring or the heavy amounts of added sugars. With that statistic it is no surprise that the obesity rate in teens is increasing by the minute. For many, healthy living is an important necessity in life. Sophomore athlete Jessie Elkins explains that it is important to eat healthy because, “ it doesn’t just keep your energy up it also makes you feel better as a whole, especially if you are athletic." Some tips for a healthy eating routine would be to cut down on saturated fats and sugars. These harmful ingredients are the main reason that a person could crave a donut more often than crave a bowl of broccoli. Another tip to creating a healthy diet would be to base meals solely around starchy carbohydrates. With these simple, and fairly easy tips, making a healthy diet should feel much easier and relaxing. It is important to eat healthy in high school because it teaches students how to make a healthy eating routine, that way in the future when choosing what to eat, picking the healthier option is much easier and feels more natural. Adapting to these healthy eating routines will be hard at the beginning because when students are put in an environment where sugary foods are   widely accessible there is a constant longing for junk food but with strength and self-reliance this routine will soon become easier.

Story by Jade Gurule

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47 Meters Down or Just the 47th Unrealistic Shark Movie

Humans love to entertain the feeling that is fear. Whether that is because of adrenaline, self torture, or just the pure excitement of being scared, humans love to entertain the darkest corners of their mind. It is because of that love that horror movies have become one of the most popular categories in the movie industry. Out of that category, one recurring theme seems to encompass what many Americans fear more than anything-- sharks. While that fear is ultimately unreasonable and irrelevant, it has managed to create blockbusters throughout every period. One of the more recent shark horror movies has been “47 Meters Down,” that after about a month of being out of theaters, has appeared on Netflix. This movie features two friends who in hopes of adventure on their tropical vacation, went shark cage diving with a hardly reliable cage and a group of instructors. The rope that stops the cage from plummeting to the bottom of the ocean broke, resulting in them sinking to the bottom of the ocean, with no one besides each other, dwindling levels of air, and Great White Sharks. The movie was well made, interesting, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. However, it was missing one little aspect that is lacking in nearly every shark movie, reality. The whole thing, in regards to the shark behavior, is extremely unrealistic, and the movie can only be enjoyable if you completely disregard the aspect of reality. However, I suppose that's the only way shark horror movies can be successful. If they included the actuality of shark behavior in certain situations, the behavior is unrealistic unless the shark is rogue, hurt and unable to leave the scene, feeding on seals or chum in the area, or just really bored. In real life, sharks are not going to stay around and stalk humans in a cage on the bottom of the ocean, because sharks to many peoples surprise, don’t like the taste of human, and the film would be very short. “47 Meters Down,” while well made and filled with stress that will keep you on the edge of your seat, joins the vast category of unrealistic shark movies. If you are looking for some thrasher animal film, with even a hint of reality, I suggest you go watch a National Geographic on hippopotamuses.

Story by Maci Cameron and Hannah Bancroft

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Evolution of Journalism

Photo by Carson Frost

Photo by Carson Frost

Just twenty years ago, news was consumed primarily through the local newspapers left on driveways and pre-scheduled broadcasts. Then along came the internet, giving citizens everywhere complete freedom in selecting their news sources. The evolution of journalism’s accessibility from controlled programming to the freedom of our fingertips has presented a vital issue: the young people of today will only take in the news they want to see and not necessarily what they need to see. As a generation given the opportunity to use our social platforms to have a political voice, we can’t allow the bias of news sources to take away our authenticity. As technology improves every year, there are more ways that kids and adults receive their news instead of the older traditional newspapers although they are still available today. With the rise of popularity of social media sites, there are many apps available on phones, tablets, computers, and other forms of media that people can easily see selective news. This creates a major problem in crafting their own opinions. A study done in August by the Pew Research Center reported that 67 percent of US adults get their news on social media, and it’s likely that even a larger portion of adolescents use their social apps as a primary resource. An even more frightening find was that 64 percent of these individuals got their news on only one site, not looking at the other sides to media. This means that bias can quickly consume their outlook on the many issues today. When looking at bias created in the political realm, social media has been in the forefront in shaping public opinion. Also shown in Pew’s study, 25 percent of people receive news from multiple social media sites, and there has been a concern of how this affects a younger audience. Snapchat is currently the most popular social media app for teens and young adults, as 86 percent of its 150 million users are under the age of 34. Of this demographic, 54 percent lean more liberal, while only 33 percent are on the ride side of the spectrum. Complex, Cosmopolitan, MTV, and Buzzfeed are among the most viewed networks on the app, which have all tended to cover news from a more liberal perspective. With more young Americans turning to their phones and less turning on cable news, the fear is that citizens will only be exposed to the networks they follow, add, or subscribe to on their media platforms. Social studies teacher Ryan Finnefrock could not stress enough the importance of viewing news from multiple perspectives. “What I try to do when taking in news is read or watch from some of one source, then move to another,” said Finnefrock.  “I think it’s extremely important to watch as much but also read as much as you can, because you need to be able to learn the facts before forming your opinion.” Considering that Finnefrock is not far removed from the younger generation of Americans today, he hasn’t seen news evolve like older citizens have, but still understands the role bias has on the coverage of the modern-day stories. “I’m not old enough to know how news was covered twenty or thirty years ago, but what I do know is that journalists today are pressured to get news out there quicker, which means that the bias probably comes quicker too. I can’t say for sure that the amount of bias has changed over time, but I can say that more bias can be seen in a quicker amount of time.” English teacher Mike McEwan is another educator at Chaparral who attempts to motivate his students to eliminate bias through the study of varying sources. McEwan assigns his students to come prepared each Monday with a relevant news story, which he then discusses, aiming to look at the world through an objective lense. He always warns his students to “question everything,” as this can be a healthy strategy in discovering truth. “We live in a so-called ‘soundbite’ culture today where news outlets have to catch our attention to stay in business,” observes McEwan. “A lot of times, they have to appeal to their audience and take extreme stances, so this definitely creates bias. It’s what they have to do to survive.” When talking about bias in news, not only does McEwan believe that politics plays a part to the division in the country, he looks at politics as the molding of an individual’s identity. “Politics is how we create our own belief system,” notes McEwan. “I’m not sure if political polarization creates bias in the news or if bias in the news creates polarization. They both feed off each other and it’s what keeps these news outlets running.” No matter what you believe in or where in the political spectrum you stand, it can be your own personal bias that contributes to our country’s divide. Some bias is obviously for the better, but some of it divides Americans to a far extreme each and every day to where we may no longer be able to reconnect as we once did again. As older generations will influence our generation to stick with their views on politics and news, always remember that you do have options. The even younger generations are bound to follow in our footsteps so it's only right we set good examples of diverse outlook on media. It is of great importance that you learn to take in as many diverse sources as you can, while also striving to learn the truth before making judgements. We are the future of this rapidly innovating and adapting country, so let’s not allow our prejudices tear it apart.  

Srory by Carson Frost and Erica Grotts

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Suicide Safe Talk

Life is hard. Life is so hard. But, there are so many other ways to deal with pain and the unhappy feelings that we go through in the difficult times. Suicide though, which people may see as an easy way out, is never the answer and unfortunately as much as we wish it weren’t true, suicide in Douglas County is a very real thing. Increasing 27% since 2012, Douglas County has seen 56 cases of suicide in the past four years. It happens to be one of the most high ranked counties for suicide in the nation. Safetalk was an event put together by adults in Douglas County hoping to see a difference in younger people's choices in ending their lives. Safetalk has free suicide alertness trainings allowing anyone over the age of 15 to learn about suicide alertness skills, as well as learning the four basic steps to make a life saving connection. There are many ways that the community can raise awareness about suicide and mental health in order to lower the amount of suicides that have occurred in the past, and to prevent suicide in the future. Starting with the way we look at mental health, mental health affects many students within Douglas County. Many students have to juggle 8 hours of school work, then several hours of an extracurricular or a job, then go home and do more work and there is not simply enough time in the day for students to take care of themselves. This schedule makes it extremely hard for some students who deal with mental health issues. Mental Health is something everyone handles differently and something everyone looks at differently. We have to start with the problems. The problems consist of how many students are committing suicide, how we are trying to prevent these suicides, and how we are reacting to the suicides. Sadly, since we were a young age we’ve been taught to look for the signs of people who may be suicidal. Constantly sleeping, not eating, not sleeping, over eating, giving away prized possessions, etc. But all of those things could fit into a normal teenagers personality so how does one really sense when someone is suicidal? There is no way to tell and there is no way to assume they are. When you see someone in need, help them. Don’t sit by and do nothing, the community has the impact to help someone who feels suicidal. It’s the peers, friends, family, teachers, and many other people who can make the help out. It’s important the community knows how to help these individuals, and that is what safeTALK is used for. So, go find a training near you because you could help someone who really needs it. As well as making sure they have a support system they could go to for anything and make sure if they mention suicide you get professional help right away, this may include calling the suicide hotline in order to get help (1-800-273-8255). There are many things we can do as a community to prevent this tragic event, but we have to start with learning about it and how we can address it.

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A Commitment to Service

Activities Director Trish Riddle working hard during lunch duty. Photo by Jaci Stickrod

Activities Director Trish Riddle working hard during lunch duty. Photo by Jaci Stickrod

Chaparral High School has hired a new lunch clean up crew to assist students with the task of cleaning up after themselves. The new staff, doubles as teachers. Their main objective, however is to maintain an unblemished lunchroom that is free of trash. It is their responsibility for the student’s trash, and they take pride in their work. Not one floor tile should be left flawed, and not one lunch table without disinfectant spray covering each square inch. They alleviate much of the stress that students are burdened with when facing the task of tidying up after themselves. The crew is the finest lunchtime clean up staff Chaparral High School has ever had, and they are definitely suited for their position. Some employees even have a Bachelor’s and even Master’s degree in the art. The team is polite and courteous, with an outstanding table-side manner, even surpassing some waitresses with their amazing service. When asked about his duties in the lunchroom, social studies teacher Steven Block said, “They are very hard and I don’t expect you to understand it, but a lot of times we have to sit next to a gate, and another which you have to be at a higher level for is pushing around a trash can.” The staff diligently reminds students to hand them their trash, even after several previous reminders. Whether in the lunchroom or the classroom, this group of individuals knows how to handle a cranky and lazy student. The professionals show a considerable amount of skill in customer service. Their life experience outside of Chaparral High School has really prepared them for this type of endeavor. However, if you ask them about it, they would reply fairly modestly. “I have held a lot of different jobs. I worked as a carpenter; I was a video editor; I worked as a valet; but I’ve never had any kind of trash pick up, bussing or waiter duties, so I don’t really know that I’m qualified in a lot of the stuff I’ve been asked to do in the lunchroom,” said art teacher Thomas Birtley. These professionals are extremely talented in their work, taking on a task unprepared and excelling in it. Out of the sheer Wolverine spirit, the lunch staff has taken on this role with no additional perks at all. They do not accept tips, but tell students that cleaning up is their pleasure. “What’s really nice is leftover food and kids that aren’t going to eat their desserts… there’s always extra food,” said Block. There really are perks for both sides. The clean up crew will do just about anything except refill your drink for you (unless you glance with a pair of puppy dog eyes). The service is impeccable, the staff makes a consistent effort to come pick up trash, sometimes arriving at your table three or four times to verify you have finished your meal and are ready to discard the remains. You can expect one of the crew members to greet you on your way out to your next class saying, “I hope you enjoyed your lunch; see you fifth period! Don’t forget your homework!” One thing is for sure, these individuals do not go unrecognized for their commitment to making Chaparral a beautiful environment for learning and their high salary shows it!

Story by Jaci Stickrod

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Hidden Gems

Hiding behind social media takes a deadly turn in #Horror.

Hiding behind social media takes a deadly turn in #Horror.

As October approaches, we are all cuddling up in the softest of blankets, drinking the warmest Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and most importantly, watching the scariest movies. There are the very popular horror films that everyone seems to know and love, and many that are overlooked because of a cheesy title, low ratings, or a lame description of the plot. But as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, don’t judge a movie by its title. #Horror is a Gas Light Films production that we found in the shadows of Netflix. As you may be able to tell from the title, this film has a relation to social media, which us teenagers know can be at times, the most frightening thing. Being an example of the bullying platforms that social media can become, this movie features a social media nightmare in its most horrific stages. Taking a unique spin on horror movies, and featuring social media to inspire fear in the viewer, this movie brings to light a terrifying concept that potentially is possible with the rising obsession in social media. Yet another movie showing how social media can bring out the worst in people, the movie features 6 teenage girls and a sleepover gone wrong. Turning on each other, and taking a social media app, “Slashtag,” too seriously, the film starts off as a normal sleepover, before turning into a typical slasher film. #Horror stood out to us because of the slight connection we all can make with it. Platforms like Instagram or Twitter are places some people seem to use as a place of expressing their harsh feelings of others, or opinions that they want to share. While, Slashtag and Instagram are not exactly the same, they still can be associated with each other because of the inappropriate uses that some people seem to benefit from. While the plot of this horror movie may lack in some aspects, the overall take-away was powerful. With the rising popularity in social media, and social media being used as a platform to bully others, or turned into a game, the scary part about this movie is the fact that it could become a reality.

Story by Maci Cameron and Hannah Bancroft

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Keyboard Warriors

In recent years, Twitter has increased the ability for students to negatively interact online. Photo by Avree Martinez

In recent years, Twitter has increased the ability for students to negatively interact online. Photo by Avree Martinez

As a society that is fundamentally molded by the ready availability of new and improving technology, we've become heavily reliant upon it, and because of the convenience of it, we might even perhaps walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. But, what becomes of us as a society when we use various social media platforms to confront our problems and fight our battles? Embarrassment. We've all seen it- the battle online over a social media platform discussing anything from a relationship gone bad, politics, to the way in which someone dresses or portrays themselves. It always ends in a life-altering way, like - gasp - blocking someone or - even worse - getting a group of friends to join in on this online action, because they couldn't possibly have anything better going on in their lives. Have we truly reached that point? Social Scientist at Oxford Amy Reichnard has been studying the effect of technology upon millennials since the creation of social media platforms. After many years of research, she remarks, “Our adolescence has used social media as a comfort zone to say whatever they want and however they want to anyone they want. It's gotten to the unfortunate point that some now lack essential social skills- such as directly confronting a problem head-on.” It is understandable that social media is an outlet to express yourself and release emotion, but what does that do to your reputation? Nick Grahamel, college student at Northern Arizona University, reflects on this. He says, “I see people all the time fighting over Twitter and I honestly cringe. It's sad, it's embarrassing, and it's not worth any time. I don't understand why they can't see that.” So, next time you're upset with someone, think before you post. Consider the true consequences and how it may portray you. What's more, it could cost you potential opportunities in the future, such as college offers or job opportunities. The solution is simple- when faced with an issue with someone, be an adult, look them in the eye, and tell them. Save yourself the embarrassment.

By Avree Martinez

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Diving Into Summer

Summer is right around the corner and you don’t want to be that one person who’s stuck in their basement with no tan to show for it. Here are some ways you can stay in heat this season:

MOVIES

‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’

On May 26, the 53-year-old Johnny Depp will once again be headlining the series known for its band of drunken, makeup-wearing pirates and its mostly CGI action. It’s just something about the oddities that fascinate you, and Depp is the perfect face to put on the cover, dreadlocks and all. It’s surely had a big budget in production, and will most likely make as much as any of the top movies once it hits the box office.

'Atomic Blonde’

Coming out on July 28, Charlize Theron will continue her amazing 2017 campaign with what could be another knockout. She’s the female protagonist everyone will want to see, the skilled agent that will literally beat everyone up. Something about bare hands being an action star’s murder weapon of choice makes it better, almost like a choreographed art. This should be one of those spy movies where all the suspense and action keeps you on the edge of your seat for the full two hours.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2’

It’s been in theaters since May 5, and just about everyone has high praises for it. These movies have almost gotten to a Fast and Furious or Star Wars status: that point where they become a widely-accepted franchise with many trilogies to come. They’re just aesthetically beautiful movies: beautiful set, perfect score and music, and the exceptional equilibrium of comedy, drama, and action.

MUSIC

The 1975

As their name suggests, The 1975 is a throwback band that mixes the electropop style of the 70s with the electricity found in modern rock. Not only does the group produce pure pop beats that seem to get anyone dancing, but they are also very particular and clever in how they create music, constantly citing other artists as inspiration, and playing with pitches in their music. For the young and the old, the band delivers in creating nostalgia of the days of classic rock.

Chance the Rapper

“Lil Chano from 79th” in Chicago has brought himself to the top on his own: one of the few top rappers who is not signed to a record label. Rather than the traditional trap style that molds most of the rap industry today, Chance’s upbeat and happy gospel tone is used to show his thanks for the “blessings [that] keep falling in my lap” despite his perilous upbringing in his dangerous neighborhood. The soul that energizes his music is one that has touched the entire globe.

Drake

His new playlist “More Life” has already been listened to millions of times. If you don’t know who this talented musician is by now, you’ve probably never surfed the internet. He raps. He sings. He autotunes. And he’s built himself up as a somewhat legitimate actor as well. Is he the most famous Canadian of all time? And by the way, his new album broke the single-day record on Spotify for listens. No matter what music is your type, there’s a decent chance Drake has a song out there for you.

EVENTS

JustServe

Do you need volunteer hours for graduation, or do you just want a chance to help out in the community? JustServe is an online organization that allows you to easily find charity opportunities by searching for projects in your area. Almost always will you feel better about yourself after you serve, and you can be someone who makes a difference in your town.

Parker Days

This festival has become an event of tradition in our town, and one of the largest tourist attractions in Parker. Food, music, and rides makes it a show that brings out thousands every year. It’s one of the things that define Parker, so you won’t want to miss it.

By: Carson Frost

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Time is Ticking

For some students, it is not until their second year of college that they realize the importance of school. For some, they pushed through four years of high school and figured, “why not? Might as well go to college.” These are the same people that never took a hold of their education. They just thought that all school was was just a long road of busy work. The ones who did the bare minimum. And sometimes, for these people, maybe school was never for them. At a certain point, though, despite the fact that some teachers give their students pointless worksheets and at the time school may seem pointless, it is important to realize the importance in learning and gaining knowledge. These two things are the reasons that many students need to take hold of their education, especially while it is free.

Throughout my entire education, I always knew my responsibility in school. To do my very best and try as hard as possible. And along with those qualities, succeeding in school followed. It was not until my sophomore year of high school that my thinking had quickly changed. I still wanted to succeed in school, but my motivation stemmed from the want to learn and grow in knowledge instead of the grade. This is the same thinking that all students should have. With this thinking, school does not have to be this never ending job of aimless assignments. Once this change in thinking begins, students will be able to clench onto all possible educational opportunities and advantages before possibly going to college and having to pay for the same opportunities.

Through this new thinking, students can find benefits in ‘busy work’, worksheets, group projects, and even tests. Along the way, students may even want to take more honors classes or AP classes, considering the learning benefits increase. Instead of rejecting teachers for what they are trying to get across and teach, students can take every opportunity to better themselves and gain knowledge. Because soon enough, this free, public education can soon turn into way more once high school is over.

By: Ayla Main

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Dos and Don'ts of Summer Vacation

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Dos and Don'ts of Summer Vacation

Dos:

Wear sunscreen.

Your skin is the largest organ on your body. Rightfully so, it deserves a thorough summer care regimen. Be sure to bring along the sunscreen when at the pool or hiking with friends to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays. Don’t limit it to just your body, though- moisturize your face twice a day with a facial lotion containing SPF.

Be social.

Summer break brings the wonderful opportunity to not only build on relationships from the school year, but meet new people and expand your social life. Meeting new people is one of the greatest parts of life, so this summer, try and maximize that.  

Travel short or far distances.

Summer adventures don’t have to be across the United States. Although summer is the prime time for a spectacular vacation, traveling a short distance can be just as fun and worthwhile- and much cheaper. Grab some friends, explore the beautiful state we live in, and let the adventure begin.

Take pictures.

Let’s face it, summer is much too short, but a camera and some awesome pictures can make it last much, much longer. A simple digital camera can capture the greatest moments of summer, so don’t miss out on stopping time with a picture.

Eat healthy and exercise.

Whether you’ve been sculpting your summer body for months, or haven’t ate healthy or exercised since Christmas, eating healthy and being active during the summer is imperative. Whether it’s a hike with friends, morning yoga at Red Rocks, or a simple walk with the dogs around the neighborhood, your mind and body will thank you.

Make lifelong memories.

High school should never be the best four years of your life. But, the summers you experience during high school can hold memories with them that last forever. With the tips above put to use, this summer will undoubtedly be your best one yet.


Dont’s:

Don’t put yourself in dangerous or uncomfortable situations.

When out and about looking for activities to do to keep you and your friends entertained make sure you stick with your gut feeling. Chances are if you’re feeling off about a party or kickback then you should listen to your gut and steer clear. We can’t say that your gut is always going to be right but at least you’ll feel a whole lot better at the end of the day.

Don’t bail on friends.

If you’ve got plans with friends, don’t bail on them. You’ve got all summer to make new plans and hang out with certain people. But plans are plans and you shouldn’t ruin their night or day because of new plans that came up unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Don’t take summer flings too seriously. (save yourself the heartbreak)

Most of us have been there, done that, but to save yourself the heartbreak remember that not everyone you meet over summer will be there for you next winter. Falling for your summer fling doesn’t always end up in a bath full of tears and 5 tubs of ice cream, but it’s better to keep your guard up for a little longer, because you never know who you might meet next.

Don’t be a couch potato.

There are so many places to go, so many beautiful people to see, get up and go out. Summer is the time of year to go out and hang with friends, get your flirt on, and have the time of your life. How are you going to meet your new best friend sitting on the couch playing X-box with 10 year olds or watching High School Musical Senior year on repeat for the 3rd time? Have some fun and make your summer one to remember.

Don’t put harmful things in your body.

Even though we all aren’t into going to parties you may find yourself in a situation where peer pressure could get you into a situation where you don’t feel comfortable. Make sure to stay true to yourself- it will happen this summer, it will be tempting, but don’t stray from your foundation. There is no other way to put this other than it COULD save your life. It’s okay to adventure and experiment but don’t make choices you’ll regret later.

Don’t forget all the lessons, academic and life, that you learned the previous year.

Summer is about getting a break from all the school related issues, but it might be a good idea to read a few books or look over a few things from the previous school year. Going into the next school year will be more positive and possibly even easier if you don’t forget all the things you learned from Spanish or math and history. It doesn’t sound like fun, we know, but there’s no harm in refreshing your memory. Have a wonderful and eventful summer.

By: Avree Martinez and Erica Grotts

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Save More, Explore More

Photo of Dr. Seuss Landing at Universal Studios. Photo by Matthew McCarthy.

Photo of Dr. Seuss Landing at Universal Studios. Photo by Matthew McCarthy.

Traveling is an expensive luxury people can only experience once or twice a year. Or is it? Is traveling really so expensive and  luxurious. There are many ways to save money for travel, and these tips can easily all be used at the same time. The best way to start saving for travel is to figure out how much money is being spent every month, and what the money is being spent on. Starting a dedicated travel fund easily allows one to move money every month towards travel, and see how much they have saved. This will allow an easy way to cut spending on unnecessary purchases and immediately start saving money.

A key part of saving money for travel is sticking to a budget. This will be hard at times, especially seeing friends hang out Friday nights and current financial troubles get in the way. An easy way to stop spending money is to not have time to spend it in the first place. Picking up extra hours at work, or finding a second part time job, will earn more money towards travel, and give less time to spend money. Getting rid of cable and stopping from eating out, can save hundreds of dollars alone. By not buying expensive food, over priced bills are no longer an issue. Cooking food at home is both a cheaper, and more healthy option to save money and stay healthy while planning travel.

When planning on traveling for a long time, one month or longer,  selling an apartment, house, and/ or car, can provide lots of extra money to spend. A great way to save money while planning a trip is to use a credit card that can earn miles for flights. This will help later on when miles can be used for free/discounted flights. But, the best way to start saving for travel is to start early, and stick to a set budget. Set yourself a goal and work towards it every day. Eventually, you'll have the money to make your dream trip become a reality.

By: Matthew McCarthy

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Money and Happiness: An Imperfect Formula

The topic isn't new and the cliché has been around for a very long time, but somehow it always finds its way back into conversation. “Money cannot buy happiness”, said and discussed about media frequently. Yet, the first person perspective is not a common approach to the topic.  But here I am to tell you my own experiences with those who have more money than they know what to deal with, and those just struggling to get by.

Being someone who has moved over six times in my life, bringing me across the country, I have the privilege to meet and befriend so many different people from so many different walks of life. And through those meetings, I've learned that there is no real connection between financial situation and happiness. Now that's not to say money doesn't affect things in some varying degree, but that is my overall consensus. For example, while living in Indiana, I had a friend named Collin. He and his families were going through extremely rough economic times, living in a trailer park and also facing the crisis of the 2008 recession. Yet, he and his family were extremely close. What they didn't have in finances, they made up by family bonding and always looking for bargains. I remembered him telling me that bargain hunting became a game for the family that helped to ease the tension of the hard times. Whenever I would be with him or his family, there was always a genuine smile on their faces. Their bond is what kept them happy and allowed them to keep pushing ahead.

On the other side, via close family members, I have seen, that money can be the very thing that keeps them from living a truly happy life. From having an uncle who owns a small business and another close family member who is an executive in a major business company. In order for either of them to make the money they currently make, they must both travel a lot, deal with managing people while also in some cases controlling states worth of territories. These factors combine into not only an extremely stressful environment, but also one that takes time away from their families. There have been points where one is so caught up in their businesses that they cannot show up to certain family gatherings such as Christmas or Thanksgiving. Because of the heightened responsibility, more money comes out of the deal, yet I've seen that more money has open the door for regret and pain via stress.

Throughout my experiences, it has lead me to find only one clear answer in my head. Money may bring forth with it it's own versions of happiness, yet with more money generally comes more responsibility and sacrifice. And to me, If money means sacrificing family and friends, it's benefits rarely outweigh its detrimental effects.

By Reagan Smith

By Reagan Smith

By Reagan Smith

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Goodnight, Sleep Tight, don’t let the Bad Grades and Unhealthy Side-Effects Bite

For almost everyone, classes at Chaparral start at 7:35 every morning, with the exception of Wednesdays. On the surface, 7:35 doesn’t seem too bad; it’s early enough to make you tired, but “late” enough for it to be light when you get to school. But, the amount of sleep the average teenager gets is hours less than the eight to ten hour recommendation by the National Sleep Foundation; getting the recommended amount of sleep is surprisingly difficult.

Most students at Chaparral get up as early as 5 in the morning to get ready and go to school, suggesting that the optimum time to go to sleep would be around 9PM, at the latest. But that’s unrealistic. With sports, jobs, activities, and plus any time it takes to eat dinner, do chores, or socialize at all, even thinking about going to sleep at 9 can be difficult. Also, according to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, students in high school have trouble falling asleep before 11PM due to the shift of the internal clock during adolescence.

If teens go to bed around 11PM, and get up at 5AM, they risk experiencing the common side-effects of not getting enough sleep.  A study at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University found that teens who get less than seven hours of sleep are more likely to use stimulants like caffeine or nicotine and self-medicate with alcohol. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 100,000 traffic accidents each year are caused by some form of drowsiness or fatigue. They also conducted a survey and found over half of teenagers feel stressed, anxious, and depressed after frequently not getting enough sleep. Doctors also speculate that the increase in mental illness diagnoses during teenage years might relate to sleep-deprivation. The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard says that the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease increases as one gets less sleep more often.

The factor that determines how much sleep students get is changeable, and could improve the health of teenagers: the start time of school in the morning. After a board meeting on March 13, Cherry Creek School District announced that the high school start time will be 8:20 as of the 2017-2018 school year. The main intent of the later start time was to grant teenagers with more sleep, based on the research that they gathered over many months. “I believe it is for the greater good of our students. We will do the things that are necessary to make the changes,” said Cherry Creek board member Janice McDonald after the change was finalized.

Changing the scheduled start time for all schools in Douglas County would be difficult and expensive. Like in Cherry Creek, it could take over a year to research studies and convince members of DCSD to approve of changing start times. If such a change was approved, it’s estimated that it would cost millions due to new bus schedules and other adjustments. But, like at Cherry Creek schools, shouldn’t students be the main priority of a district? If not the students themselves, what about the students’ grades? A study at UCLA in 2012 found that, after recording data from high schools in Los Angeles, students who get more sleep tend to do better on tests and understand material taught in class better.

The exhausted sighs in the morning, the yawning in class, the complaints of being tired; could all be significantly less frequent if students at Chaparral got more sleep. Teenagers here could get more sleep, if the start times were to change to a more reasonable hour that would allow teenagers to follow their internal clocks accurately and be as healthy and educationally efficient as they can.

By: Katie Baker

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What's the Point?

There is always that one kid in class, who deems it essential to ask the eminent question: When are we ever going to use this? It seems as if this question is perpetuated by the extensive amount of work teachers hand out. This makes kids weary, increasing the eternal languor that plagues students, and forces them to ask, is all this really necessary. The equations, the vocabulary, the correct grammar adds up resembling an equation that has no solution, or remains undefined. It is tiresome and the idea of only learning what is crucial for the future becomes attractive.

For those who know what their future looks like, the question might single out a single subject. Future engineers ask why they need to know the difference between a dependent and independent clause and future authors might question when they will ever have to understand the effects of radiation on the body. However, today’s engineers write papers and tomorrow’s authors will embed allusions to the cell cycle. Some subjects feel more applicable to you than others. However, math can be used daily, when trying to figure out how much to tip your waiter. It is used when Google Maps calculates how much time it will take for you to get to Denver while driving on the highway at seventy miles per hour. These examples are typical; the ones that teachers are quick to retort with. But these simpler math problems, are becoming eradicated with the advancement of technology. Technology can be helpful in everyday aspects, but there’s no more motivation to learn because technology has become exceedingly capable.

In proposing this question, students are referring to content, when half of the learning is the skills. Teachers tend to address the question as a matter of content, because it is specific to the lesson of the day. But how long would it take to learn these skills? Is the excess content of integrals and volume formulas necessary to learn these skills? What students don’t realize is while learning this content, they are doing other things, unnoticed. Students learn about managing their time or learning the consequences of not doing their homework that is due next class period. This leads to discovering more about themselves and how much practice they will need to learn the content. All of which is essential in college, when learning becomes more individual. Now students are making little mistakes in the process of engrossing themselves in content. All these mistakes are contributing to self improvement, and the creation of these skills.

There was an age in time when specialization was more prominent. The era of blacksmiths, whose formal education extended to apprenticeships limited studies to a particular field that students were planning on pursuing in the future. Excluding other subjects will revert us to this period of time where the Code of Hammurabi decreed that artisans pass down their skills to their youth. In this, there is obviously less freedom of choice, but today there is no lawful code requiring the passing down of skills. Only concentrating on a single subject can be dreadful if the so- called modern day apprentice does not agree with the subject. The exploration of this is crucial, but so is the intertwining of subjects. These types of isolations hinder people from larger abilities. Benjamin Franklin began training for a career in printing, but he severed his ties with printing and began to buy books, read books and fall in love with them. He quit and became a major influence in the foundations of American government.

Next time you hear a “When am I ever going to use this?” think of all opportunity and exploration that a combination of subjects provides you with. Knowledge is power and the more  you can get the more you have to gain. All of these subjects are leading to the culmination of a more aware you, not pertaining to a particular subject, but pertaining to everything that is out there readily available for you to discover.

By Jaci Stickrod

Photo by Jaci Stickrod

Photo by Jaci Stickrod

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How To: Save Money

 

The rapid consumerist teenager often ponders and even complains as to why they never have any money, as they spend exorbitant amounts of money on eating out and impulse buying.

Of course knowing how to spend your money is a new responsibility when one reaches high school that many don’t realize they have to balance.

A high-schooler sees those dollar bills in their wallet and their eyes glimmer with all of the things they could buy. Soon enough the money disappears and the student questions where all that money goes.

It’s time to learn how to properly conserve your money and consciously spend.

There’s no harm in packing a lunch for the day instead of worrying about going out to lunch, figuring out where you’re going, and then spending ten dollars on that meal. Why stress over going out when bringing food from your house can be so much more efficient? Don’t worry about the social implications of not going out to lunch with your friends. You can bring your packed lunch and eat along with them, at the restaurant or in the car.

Next time you take a trip to the mall or any store, don’t immediately jump to buy the first item that seems ‘appealing’. You don’t need those two hundred dollar shoes. Impulse buying can result in a loss of money and extreme guilt when you later realize that you didn’t actually want that item or over the ridiculous amount of money you spent on something you didn’t need. Instead, keep that item on a list or in your mind for a month or so, and when that month passes, determine if you really need that item or you really want it.

It’s important to know how to spend smartly and conserve your money at a young age, will overall benefit you when you have to pay bills and take care of yourself.

By Ayla Main

photo by Ayla Main 

photo by Ayla Main 

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Alternate Facts

As if the Election Cycle couldn’t become any more petty than it already was, both the media and the Trump Administration never fail to one up each other. The newest in a stream of conspiracies and scandals comes after White House Speaker Sean Spicer claimed that it was largest inauguration both viewed in person and online. Both were proven to be false. Yet, as if the blunder from Spicer wasn’t enough, in an interview, advisor Kellyanne Conway called his estimate of 1.5 million people as an example of “alternative facts”  But what are “alternative facts”?

Merriam Webster wasted little time to clarify that issue, calling alternate facts “falsities”. But why call them falsities and not a straight lie? Falsities are: the fact of being untrue or insincere. The usage of falsity in the definition gives the Trump Administration the benefit of the doubt and allows the Administration to both admit the lie, but also claim the info used was not knowingly used falsely. That in and of itself is a very slippery slope which could be used to lie, and then feign ignorance. Yet, at the end of the day, an alternate fact is nothing less than a blatant lie with a ribbon wrapped on it. Kudos to the media for playing a (for once) legitimate watchdog role and calling out the Administration.

By Reagan Smith

Graphic by Reagan Smith

Graphic by Reagan Smith

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Overlooked Options

Every year, the student body faces the daunting task of selecting their courses for the following year. But don’t fret, this year can be easy. Many students decide to take the easy route- sign up for the classes their friends are taking or whatever catches their eyes first. However, taking the easy route detracts from the opportunity to engage in many of Chaparral’s unique classes. Highlighted below are just a small sample of the amazing and unique classes that students should look into for the coming school year!

    Personal Finance- A great course for students who are interested in learning how to become fiscally responsible for themselves or may want to pursue a career in the field of marketing one day.

    Peer Intern- For students with large hearts and a passion for impacting others lives, this class may be perfect. Once selected after submitting an application and conducting an interview, peer interns get the opportunity to help and empower special needs students everyday. If interested stop by room 214 upper and grab an application.

    Graphic Design- Imagine having the opportunity to use programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign daily. Students enrolled in Graphic Design are granted the opportunity to do that and much and more everyday, while enhancing their technical capabilities and eye for design.

    Jewelry- Instead of buying your jewelry, you could make it by simply enrolling for Jewelry I. The class teaches students how to make great pieces of jewelry and express yourself.

by Megan Mondragon

Photo by Megan Mondagon

Photo by Megan Mondagon

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PSA

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: High School students across the nation are becoming increasingly ill with an extreme disease! Students are losing their passion and will to attend and participate in school. Students can be seen coming to school with uncompleted homework and unbrushed hair. Mostly seen in seniors, this disease is beginning to contaminate some students in their freshman year. The older a student becomes the more ill they seem to get. This disease is becoming out of hand and needs to be stopped... They call it “SENIORITIS!”

While senioritis isn't a real disease that students can get, it’s obvious to see that as the years of high school begin to dwindle away, students tend to become less inspired to learn and get involved with school activities.

Personally I know that it can be hard to push through to the end. After I got accepted into my dream college, I suddenly lost any last remaining effort I had to give. As I slowly watched all my grades begin to slip, I realized that this year still counts. The work, or lack of work, you do now still reflects on all the hard work you’ve done throughout high school.


If you feel as though you are contracting this disease, seek academic attention immediately! With hard work and dedication, together we can end senioritis.

by Emma Taylor

photo by Emma Taylor

photo by Emma Taylor

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New Year, Still You

As December, a month of holidays, eating, and overindulgence comes to an end, January 1st arrives and so does a “new year, new you” mindset. This brings a whole host of suddenly motivated individuals with resolutions. More often the aspiration is to lose weight or make adjustments to ourselves on one day- January 1st. Every 365th day, commemorates a fresh wave of people all looking to live a better life- whatever that may be. But why is January 1st the national day of motivation? Resolutions aren’t required for emerging into the new year. Time is independent. This should not be the only day we feel enough energy, enough inspiration, enough desire, to accomplish what is ours. This ritualistic tradition does have a curse, though. Forbes magazine calculates around 8 percent follow through on their resolutions. January 1st provides a harsh deadline of exactly 364 days; the date until the next tsunami sweeps up its victims into the recurring trap, this time for a new goal. Is the date the curse? Instead of setting goals for the sake of a tradition, goals should be made out of motivation which does not come annually. Sticking with a resolution takes persistence and determination. Making smaller goals within your resolution can increase progress by planning out deadlines that can hold yourself accountable. But you know yourself, if it is something you are passionate about then don’t hinder yourself or let others do that. Break the tradition, make your goal on January 2nd. If you have made a failed resolution before, break it up, make a smaller one, or make a more realistic one. In the diverse age of 2017, accepted standards and old customs are being pulverized and reconsidered and so can the New Year’s resolution. Today is a perfectly good day to make a resolution, and so is tomorrow, as is next week, as well as the day the revelation hits you.

by Jaci Stickrod

Photo by Jaci Stickrod

Photo by Jaci Stickrod

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