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The Big College Decision

As the end of year approaches, seniors are heading off to college. They have made the final and life changing choice. Juniors are headed into their senior year, soon they’ll have to start thinking about their future. There should be several things that go into picking the perfect college, since you’re spending four more years living there and spending your money there; picking where you go to college is a big deal. There are several tips that you may want to remember when picking the perfect college for you. Start touring colleges depending where you plan to go to school so if you plan to stay in Colorado look instate but if not, take a trip out, take a tour and explore the surrounding area. Ask yourself if you can see yourself in that area for four years, do they have activities that you enjoy, and do you enjoy the community. Start the tours during summer so you have free time, taking a tour can help you pick out colleges depending on the campus and other determining factors. As well when you tour when it comes to applying to college, college admissions can see that you are very interested and have already taken a tour. When taking a tour, make sure you create questions to ask while on the tour. You can use the list of questions created by the National Survey for Student Engagement. After you have seen what the campus looks like as well as asking questions while touring, then you can factor in other elements. Asking yourself how close you want to be to family, can you survive if they’re 10 hours away or maybe they need to be closer. Then from there, look at extracurriculars activities at the school. If you want greek life, make sure you look where that will be provided. While deciding these factors, don’t rush to make a final decision. Since the decision is a very major choice with quite a large price tag, it should take some time. When picking a colleges, don’t eliminate any colleges from your list just because of its price tag. You can use a college’s net price calculator to get an estimate of it’s what it will cost you to go there. Also remember that there are many scholarships for each individual, loans and possible grants. The price tag should not be the reason, you did not attend your dream school. Finally, trust you gut when deciding on which college will be right for you. Don’t follow friends or significant others, just to stay close to them. Remember that college is supposed to push you of your box, creating new memories and meeting new people is all part of the experience. Don’t let your parents push you into a college unless you agree that it fits you, just because they attended there and loved it; doesn’t mean you will be in the best place for your education. Making the final decision is harder than you would expect, so take into account some tips that will help you to decide.

Story by Devon Williams

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The Most Anticipated Video Games of 2018

The year of 2017 had new consoles arrive that brought a lot of new territories for video games to explore.  The video game industry reached new heights with the Nintendo Switch dominating in sales. Virtual reality having a bigger impact than it did in 2016. But, 2018 is a new year for gaming and development. Towards the end of 2017, a lot of new games had been announced that sparked a lot of excitement. Rather that be through new trailers or just updates on previously announced games, it was a great way to end the year. We are already 2 months into the new year and have already been informed when some of these titles are going to make an appearance. E3, which is the biggest stage for developers to showcase their games, attracts millions of viewers around the world. Some of the most anticipated games plan to be in the spotlight on June 12th - June 14th, 2018. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a long awaited game made by Rockstar games. The game takes place in the year 1911, featuring the American frontier, the Cowboys and Outlaws who shaped the world. The game will be releasing on October 26, 2018. The Last of Us: Part ll is an upcoming sequel made by Naughty Dog, whom made the Uncharted franchise. The Last of Us had gained over 200 awards, being the most awarded game of all time. Continuing the story of survival in the eyes of Ellie in Seattle, trying to find a cure to the disease that caused many to be infected. The game is set to release in 2019 but new trailers will be released this year. Days Gone initial release is set sometime this year in 2018, set in an apocalyptic world. There isn’t too much information regarding the storyline but we have already had the opportunity to see some gameplay @E3 back in 2017. The game looks stunning and seems that the player will have multiple decisions to how they want to attack certain hoards of zombies. Far Cry 5 is the fifth edition to the series of Far Cry games. It is scheduled to be released on March 27th 2018. The game is based in Montana and is an open world game. In the game you are tasked with taking down a cult leader in Hope County. The beloved Final Fantasy VII has been under-development to get remade for quite some time. The game originally being released on the PlayStation 1 back in 1997, will not be remade in any similar form to the game we know now. This game follows a male named Cloud Strife whose goal is to stop the evil corporation (Electric Power Company) from draining all of the lifeblood that exists on the planet that will be used to increase their earnings. The game is rumored to be dropped towards the end of 2018. The new version of the game is to fit the expectations of video games that we know today. Call of Duty is one of the biggest franchises in the gaming industry. Each year between three video game companies Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer, get to have an opportunity to produce the best Call of Duty game ever. With it being Treyarch’s turn to create a game, rumors are circulating that they’ll continue their best series, Call of Duty: Black Ops. The upcoming game is expected to be named “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4,” set to release sometime in November 2018. Further detail will be obtained most likely at E3 2018. If everything falls through and works out, we are looking at having a very excited year ahead of us and a good year for the gaming industry to rack up big bucks.

Story by Zachary Curtis and Jeoy Freeburg

 


 

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Hidden Gems

 Photo by Maci Cameron

Photo by Maci Cameron

Strange, strange is a broad term, encompassing many different aspects that don't commonly pass through the brains of humanity, thus making one restless, perplexed, or even intimidated. Strange is a word that perfectly describes the recently surfaced show, Black Mirror. The dark, disturbing, interesting, and strange plot of this show has brought recently aired seasons one through four to the top of the Netflix food chain. Each episode forces the audience into a new twisted reality, with new characters, settings, and plotlines. Black Mirror has episodes that feature a dating program that gives an expiration date to each new partner, to a horror game simulation that takes a sharp turn, becoming all too powerful and real. Black Mirror excels in dark creativity. The creation of this show has spiked interest in many Netflix watchers because of its unique nature. Many shows today tend to mimic certain situations that happen in everyday society, grabbing the attention of people because of the easy relativity of the basic plots. Black Mirror, however, takes a risk, and branches out from the safe zone that other shows guarantee to viewers. Unless your brain has a security system that allows your parents to see what you see via a computer pad, sensor certain inappropriate things and make your vision blurry, or even check on your chemical balances at any given point (yes, that is an episode), relating to Black Mirror may be difficult. Entertaining the strangest situations, and diving into the formally untouched parts of the human brain, Black Mirror has managed to create quite possibly the most peculiar, yet unique show to ever surface on Netflix, as an original Netflix series. Next time you're scrolling through the black and red screen questioning what to watch, dare to click on Black Mirror, and introduce your brain to an alternate reality.

Story by Hannah Bancroft and Maci Cameron

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Celebrities Have Bad Habits Too

It’s a normal Sunday morning, and you’re scrolling through your Instagram timeline. You see photos of your friends and family, cute dogs, maybe a couple memes. You never thought you would scroll to see a photo of your role model taking some mysterious pills, loading up a needle, or bragging about diet pills, right? It’s nothing new to people online that celebs get major clout from social media and the paparazzi. Candid photos of Kylie Jenner walking out of a restaurant or other famous people on vacation strolling near the beach make up a majority of what many see online of their favorite celebrities. However, sometimes the internet can bring bad habits of superstars into the public’s eye. Hundreds of thousands of young people see their role models doing drugs online, so how do they internalize that information? It’s no secret the press follows celebrities, and sometimes they can throw dirt on the reputations of the most famous stars. Halsey, a singer whose real name is Ashley Frangipane, was caught allegedly sniffing a suspicious substance on a yacht in Miami back on New Years Day. Her boyfriend Gerald Gillum, better known as G-Eazy, pretty much confirmed what was going on when questioned about it on the radio show The Breakfast Club: “It’s New Years Day, It’s Miami, you know what I’m saying? I’m on a yacht, what do you think I’m doing?” Some shrugged the photos off and made jokes, and some others slammed the candidness of the act by pointing out Halsey’s struggles with mental health and her drug use. There are countless stories of people in the public eye getting grilled for unhealthy habits; Kylie Jenner is often criticized for promoting waist trainers to her younger fans through Instagram pictures, Lindsay Lohan was allegedly pictured shooting up hours after being released from jail (because she failed two drug tests on probation, according to Complex), endless amounts of rappers and other figures are known to smoke weed, and even the queen bee Beyoncé caught some gossip for being on sketchy fad diets. One in four teenagers reported that they are more influenced by celebrities than people they know personally, according to The Telegraph. Teenagers and young adults, especially those in middle school, are impressionable and aren’t known for making the best of choices. Seeing a role model promoting unhealthy habits like smoking, dieting to the extreme, or driving recklessly just to name a few can definitely can spark some monkey-see-monkey-do habits. Everyone has bad habits, and everyone makes bad choices at one point or another. Celebrities are not excluded from that statement, and so it’s pretty likely anyone on the Internet can expect to see some questionable actions being posted online. With that being said, it’s important to note that just because someone famous is doing it doesn’t mean you should be partaking in it too. People who use social media to follow their role models should take what they see with a grain of salt and keep in mind that seeing a famous person do it doesn’t justify what is being done.

Story by Katie Heffernan

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The Media is Not the Enemy

 Photo by Katie Heffernan

Photo by Katie Heffernan

“FAKE NEWS media knowingly doesn't tell the truth. A great danger to our country. The failing @nytimes has become a joke. Likewise @CNN. Sad!” President Donald Trump typed. On another occasion, another tweet about fake news appeared on the POTUS’s Twitter: “The FAKE NEWS media… is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Fake news is an increasing concern on the online world, and as of recent the media seems to be the center of attention in politics. The GOP even published an article dubbed the “The Highly-Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards.” News outlets like CNN, The New York Times, NBC, and many other popular outlets are being labeled as fake- but why, all of a sudden, do media outlets all fall under the category of fake news? People go after journalists like hunting dogs on an injured duck. First, the statistics on this phenomenon provide a good starting point to get an idea of what the people are thinking. According to a poll conducted via The Crier’s Twitter page, 65% of people do not trust the mainstream media, compared to the 31% of people that expressed they do. 4% reported not following any publications. On a global scale however the statistics on trust are much worse; one may see the change in how the people view the press over time. According to Gallup, in 1997 a majority of the public trusted news agencies. 53% of the public said they had a “fair amount” or “a great deal” of trust in the mass media. Almost two decades later in 2016, this percentage had plummeted to a sad 32%. This trend is troubling, especially in an age where online press as well as newspapers and news stations are critical in getting information around. A large majority of the population reads newspapers- 69% in 2016, according to a Nielsen Scarborough study. On top of that, 57% of people reported that they often get their news from nightly network, cable, or local television news. These two mediums can be considered the go-to for how people consume publications published by news outlets. It doesn’t make sense to spend so much of one’s time on these sources, and then deny them being credible. It can argued that the spread of false information is a problem, and that point would be correct to some degree. Fake news, such as what was spread on Facebook around the 2016 presidential election, can be an issue online. What many people miss though is that this information is usually spread about by individual users or small and unreliable news producers, and not mainstream press outlets. Journalists are sometimes fed false information from faulty sources; therefore it isn’t really their fault when something misleading slips, so long as they let their readers know. Similarly, the hysteria around fake news in the most popular press is different from other types of false news. Most of the time, claims about an article or outlet as a whole being fake are made by people who don’t agree with the information being presented. Usually, this information is political and can be biased one way or another. While fake news is on the rise, there is a way to stop this unfair treatment on all sides. When consuming media, keep in mind whether or not the information has sources and is published from a credible outlet. There still are some websites that will pose as real news sites to dupe readers. As for reading news one doesn’t necessarily agree with, keep in mind there are different sides to all things. Just because one doesn’t like what is being published, it doesn’t mean the information is faked. Above all, be mindful (and don’t blame the journalist).

Story by Katie Heffernan

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March For Our Lives

 Photo by Ava Houghton

Photo by Ava Houghton

The fear of school shootings is not unknown at Chaparral High School. The students here have gone through drills and occasionally times where there have been shooters near the school. After the mass killing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students are saying enough is enough. After the mass killing students are beginning to fight for their rights as future leaders of America, not teenagers who can be silenced by old white men in charge. After the mass killing things are changing, whether that be through mental health initiatives, being kind to one another, or gun control. After the mass killing the adults are learning from us for a change. After the mass killing students all across the country have taken matters into their own hands by leading walkouts and other efforts. Such as the national marches that took place in 843 cities around the world. The March for our Lives rally that happened Saturday March 24th at the Denver Capital was a success as it not only got people together, but it allowed for everyone’s voice to be heard. Every single person could voice their opinion, whether it was through signs or screaming at the top of their lungs. Either way everyone wanted to express their need for action and for change. The streets were crowded with children, five and six year olds, teenagers, teachers, parents, and people shouting for an act of congress. The March was organized largely by teens and young adults, in similarity to the sister marches everywhere else.The father of one of the fallen Columbine victims spoke in front of these thousands of people. He said, “This is your Vietnam.” This is our generation’s call for change and change that we want now. This is our call for action and safety for everyone who has to walk inside of a school and has to fear that they won’t see their loved ones again. The change that they asked for is that there is no fear in school, that there is no person who can target children and others  with weapons of war. And whether or not congress wants to listen, they will hear us roar until change is made and lives are safe.

Story by Ava Houghton

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Senioritis: Myth or Fact?

 Photo by Devon Williams.

Photo by Devon Williams.

As a senior, there are tons of responsibilities; keeping up with school, extracurriculars, possibly a job, applying to college, completing your hours, and so much more. But all this school, all this working, and all the activities have become tiring. Seniors have done this for almost four years, dedicating their lives to school; from completing the homework assignments, trying the best they could on the tests, completing the SAT or ACT, waking up when the sun hasn’t even gotten up yet, and coming home from the extracurriculars after the sun goes down. Spending more than 1,000 days as a high school student but it’s almost over. They can see the light at the end of the very very long tunnel, so what are the seniors starting to go through… From missing class, being tardy, never doing homework, and the constant desire to just drop out even though there are only two months left. The seniors of Chaparral are experiencing senioritis, as defined by Merriam Webster of an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades. If you’re not a senior, you can probably tell. They walk in the halls like zombies, teachers who have taught them for all four years can see that they went from a movatived and excited freshman to a senior who can’t even come to class. The kid that you knew four years ago? They don’t even seem to be there anymore, dozing off into thoughts that so very soon they may be in college. The environment for these seniors has shifted, they no longer need to fit in; they have found themselves, they have decided who they are and who they want to be. Everything about high school seems unnecessary to these seniors, feeling as they can just roll on through with a diploma. So is this senioritis an actual thing, hitting high school seniors all over the nation… From a 2010 survey in New York and New Jersey, 69.7% agree strongly that they believe their academics effort will mostly decline in the second semester of their senior year. If a large percent of students agree with this fact, Merriam Webster has a definition for it, multiple newspapers writing about the mass plague of senioritis; it must be real. Seniors have senioritis and although it won’t actually make them puke, cough or sneeze, it may make them late to first period but also skip second. If you are a senior and you’re experiencing senioritis or even if you’re only a freshman but feel like you can’t continue; there are a few things to remember. First of all, make memories every single day, you’re only with these people for four years and you may never see them again. You’ll look back on these days and wished you would’ve been there or done that. So, do it now and get all the memories you can! High school happens once, don’t let the light in the tunnel slow you do; continue to work hard and finish off strong.

Story by Devon Williams

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Model Influencing

 Photo by Thomas Toth Photography

Photo by Thomas Toth Photography

Teenagers have a lot of easy access to other outside of their own life where social media can allow them to see Instagram models, professional models, and influencers or YouTubers who sometimes don’t have a positive effect on teens. Stereotypes can be passive aggressive or sometimes degrading and can be taken in more personally than it should be. They can take an image and make everyone think they have to relate to it. So how easy are teenagers convinced or influenced by the things they read online? The so-called “phone addiction” can come into play with having the fear of missing out on the notifications and news reports. Our youth relies on social media to bring ideas and stay up to date with what's going on in the world and the internet allows it and becomes a convincing reliable source to believe everything they see. The many “Instagram models” and YouTubers that teenagers see everyday can put ideas into their heads. People on social media all around the world have the biggest influence on teenagers with just a push of a ‘Post’ button. It makes teenagers believe they can’t be themselves, or have the body they do. A recent trend or not a trend is becoming a model for local photographers in the community. Some things teenagers don't realize is how the model world can really affect them long-term. “They want you to have energy and be lively especially as a runway model and have a straight face, but have this kind of large demanding presence, but when you are going through eating disorders and you are being negatively impacted by the industry or the constraints of the industry all those other things that they want from you as far as emotional stability, kind of depletes so it's hard to have both.” said Michelle Marie King, former Miss Colorado and current owner of Positive Presence. The model “look” changes all around the world, but always stays with the single baseline of being tall and skinny. When something happens in Poland, where they are more open to having all types of models involving height, size, and look, but the US takes the idea and mutates it into something that can make them feel like being different isn't the best option. It becomes bigger and more determined to be the most important idea of the new “model look.” Of course, there are positive influences to young models like King’s Positive Presence. “When I had my daughter and she was one years old I looked in the mirror and I was adulting. I remember thinking about all the negative stuff that went through and trying to come up with a way that my daughter would avoid it not only as a model if she chooses to be, but also as a young woman in our society.” said King

Story by Aubrey Bowlus and Hailey Toth





 

 

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Bad Publicity on Police

Throughout history, the publicity on gun violence of citizens and police officers has increased on both sides. The Black Lives Matter movement is the most recent and prominent movement in America. The attention has slowed down, but the issues with the movement still shake people to their core. People have always had strong opinions of cops, calling them “pigs” (referring to how they are messing around in other people’s business). The term “pig” can also be used to express a person’s disliking of cops. Police officers are also called “the fuzz”. The origin of this term is unknown, but there are many different theories. Some think that it was misinterpreted from the word “fuss”. Either way, these terms are immediately connected with negative feelings and opinions on cops. It’s easy to tense up and become nervous when a police officer comes around, even there haven’t been any wrongdoings. It would be completely ignorant to say that the mistrust in police officers is unwarranted. There have been multiple cases where a cop has shot someone for almost no reason. This issue is the center of the Black Lives Matter movement. Police officers have shot African Americans, unprovoked, and with judgement due to the color of their skin. The color of someone’s skin does not make them dangerous, a threat, or anything above. African Americans are twice as likely to be incarcerated than white men. There was no reason for a 15 year old African American to be killed because he appeared to have aggressive behavior. The child didn’t have a gun. This is just one of many examples as to when police officers have been in the wrong. These police officers are the reason that cops have such bad publicity. However, just because there are a few bad police officers, it doesn’t mean that every police officer is bad. As wrong as these cops were, there are still cops who are not like this. There are cops that won’t judge someone by the color of their skin. There may not be a lot, but they exist. Just like everything else that’s happening in America today, there needs to be a balance. Today, more than ever, cops are being killed. As of February of 2018, there have been three police shootings in Colorado alone. The officers who completely misjudged the situation and jump to conclusions, they were in the wrong. However, the police officers who risk their lives and who don’t judge someone on the color of their skin, do not deserve to be treated as something they’re not. Yes, police officers can go into the force with wrong intentions. However, police officers can also want to make a difference, and put the right criminals in jail. People have become so uncomfortable with cops that they don’t want them to have guns in public places. Officer Andrew Ward stopped to have dinner at Outback Steakhouse with his wife in Tennessee, and was later asked to leave. A trained Wildlife Resource Officer, who was obviously qualified and stable enough to carry a gun, was asked to leave. A woman had claimed that she was scared for her life, and the manager asked the officer to leave as it was a “gun-free zone”.  A uniformed law enforcement officer was denied service because he carried a firearm. His job is to serve and protect the public, and he wouldn’t be able to do so without his weapon. Ward posed as no threat to this woman. Later on, the woman demanded to be escorted to her vehicle, because she feared for her life. Yes, some police officers have been killing people, but most police officers aren’t shooting citizens for no reason at all. The group of corrupt police officers have become a representation of police officers as a whole.The “bad apples” of the police force should be held responsible for their actions, but the police officer community as a whole shouldn’t be judged by the actions of a few people. It’s time for everybody to step back and assess the situation before any action can be taken.

Story by Abby Houghton

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Buying For Minors

 Photo by Lauren Haviland

Photo by Lauren Haviland

As teens become legal adults, finally reaching the age of eighteen, many responsibilities and opportunities come with completing another year of life. Being able to vote, get a tattoo, move out of your parent’s house and buy tobacco substances. Along with all these considerable positives there comes negatives that if you get in trouble with the legal system, it goes on your permanent record. Farther on in your years of life, another milestone is turning twenty one, reaching the legal age to buy and consume alcohol beverages. A new trend of juuling is on the rise and many students from middle school to high school take part in the latest craze. Juuls are a type of vaporizer designed so discreetly that most people don’t realize they are e-cigarettes. They’re small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and are charged in a USB slot, making it easy for students to pass them off as flash drives. Pods come in many flavors such as mango and cool cucumber. The only catch to juuling is you have to be of the legal adult age to buy these products. Minors ask their older friends to buy them these tobacco products. Although most 18 year olds don’t mind buying nicotine for their underage friends, if they were caught by venders or persons of authority, the penalties could affect someone’s record. Providing to minors is considered a class 2 petty offence and you receive a fine of two hundred dollars. Not just nicotine and tobacco products, but some twenty one year olds also provide alcohol for minors. Partying is very common among high school and college students and nine times out of ten there is alcohol at these “get togethers.” The consequences of buying this specific substance for the underage is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to four thousand dollars, confinement in jail for up to a year, or both. Not only is alcohol common but with weed being legalized in the state of Colorado for recreational use, buying marijuana for minor is common too. The penalties for buying weed for minors is also considered a class A misdemeanor and a fine anywhere from five hundred to five thousand dollar fine with jail time anywhere from six to eighteen months. Even if the people might just pay the fine and continue on with buying and providing for minors, it could affect someone’s future. If a college or future job was to see this on your record, you could be denied the opportunity that others would have. Having this offence on your record will stay with you for the rest of your life. Think before you act, especially when it’s breaking the law.

Story by Lauren Haviland

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Conspiracy Theories are Controlling Our Mind

 Graphic by Katie Baker

Graphic by Katie Baker

The moon landing was faked, Bush did 9/11, the Earth is flat, we live in a simulation, we keep switching timelines with alternate universes, Obama is a terrorist, airplane trails are controlling our minds and the weather, the Illuminati. Conspiracy theories are consistently being created, believed in, and then proved or disproved. If conspiracy theories are so prevalent, how does that affect the minds of people and the structure of our society? According to studies done by political scientists Eric Oliver and Thomas Wood from 2006 to 2015, at least 50% of Americans believe in at least one conspiracy every year. “People engage in conspiracy theories to deal with difficult emotions,” Oliver explained. “Usually this emotion is the apprehension that is triggered by an inexplicable or unusual event. In struggling to restore our emotional equilibrium, we search for patterns.” During the Watergate scandal, many people thought the claims about President Nixon’s involvement were outlandish, since they had trusted the President for years. After realizing Nelson Mandela didn’t die in the 90s, and actually died in 2013, people felt uneasy with the accuracy of their own memories, and found patterns, now known as the Mandela Effect. Although some conspiracy theories seem extremely unrealistic, like the flat Earth conspiracy and fluoride being used for mind control, which have both been apparently disproved, they can bring people together. There is a Flat Earth Society that was founded in 1956 and reportedly has over 3,500 members. Many social media sites have dedicated spaces to discuss conspiracy theories. TV shows about bigfoot, aliens, and the Illuminati are popular enough to get good enough ratings to go on for multiple seasons. However, it’s been claimed that conspiracy theories have a negative effect on the population. In a study by social psychology professors Karen Douglas and Daniel Jolley, people exposed to anti-government theories were less likely to vote, people exposed to anti-climate change theories were less likely to reduce the amount of pollution they produced, and people exposed to anti-vaccine theories decreased the likelihood that they would get vaccinated. Especially in a time where many people believe the first thing they read on Twitter, conspiracy theories can be dangerous. According to Douglas, conspiracy theories “appear to threaten the social systems that people rely upon and encourage inaction where it cannot be afforded,” since it can undermine people’s confidence in their already-established positions on issues like climate change and politics. Conspiracy theories have become an essential part of modern society, especially with theories being able to be shared instantly through the internet. The effect that this widespread exposure to conspiracy theories, whether dangerous to society’s structure or beneficial and eye-opening, has not yet been determined, but current studies suggest that we might not be able to safely handle it.

Story by Katie Baker

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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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