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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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How To Build A Snowman

A stack of three round piles of snow found in a yard in Parker last week had neighbors concerned. According to sources, the snow had a carrot and multiple buttons on the top ball, almost resembling the face of a man. There have been reports of similar situations in multiple yards since the first sighting from our first snow in early November. These snowmen had the neighborhood watches patrolling the local streets worried that Frosty the Snowman was now a reality...Traumatized by the occurrence, many locals have been on social media expressing their feelings on this ‘trend’. “He showed up in my neighbor's yard after I witnessed their kids playing in the snow, I was too afraid to confront them. I just hope everything is safe and well,” said a resident of Stonegate, on Facebook. If you are a part of this trend, we know you have been victimized and have lines lined up for you to call if in need of emotional support.

Local grocery stores have petitioned against this trend by threatening to get rid of their carrot stock and sewing kits. Over 200 people have signed a petition against the “snow men” saying, “They’re disrupting the beauty of the neighborhood and threatening the mental health of the kids.”

    An anonymous caller hopes that “this trend will fade away and die down just like the white/gold or black/blue dress”. Law enforcement has announced in a press conference earlier this week that if there are any tips on the culprit, to report it immediately. There will be a reward. A recent investigation has labeled 3 kids as possible suspects.

By: Aubrey Bowlus 

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Supermoon

On the nights of November 13th and 14th, a new kind of history was made. Since 1948, the moon was closest to the Earth not only making it a noticable 7% bigger, but immensely brighter. This “supermoon,” was nothing to get “super-hyped” about, unless you are a photographer, sky gazer, or if you live along the coast. The moon has always been a great opportunity for photographers to practice their astrophotography skills, but the brighter sky made these nights a special time to get a tremendous shot. Lunar trackers also may appreciate this extraordinary event. The only people who may not be able to enjoy the beauty of the supermoon would be people who live close to the ocean, due to the detrimental outcomes of high tides in the water.

Even though some people may have had a negative experience through this extravaganza, the beauty and history left an impact on all to see.

By Lexys Yocom

Photo by Lexys Yocom

Photo by Lexys Yocom

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A Skeptic and a Dreamer

 

     Call me skeptical or bitter, I just don’t believe true love in high school is always healthy. There are the outliers, don’t get me wrong. Some people are able to maintain a positive relationship while still holding onto who they are. However, some people’s growth and sense of self can be disrupted by a relationship.

    When you bind yourself to loving (or thinking you’re loving) someone at such a critical point in your life, you miss out on opportunities. You begin to make decisions that should be yours only, while taking the other person into consideration. You begin to grow with someone else when this is a time you should be growing on your own. Think about a relationship as two trees. If you can maintain a relationship growing next to each other, that is healthy. You grow from the same light and the same water. If your branches begin to intertwine, that is when it starts to get dangerous. If the trees decide it is time to stop growing together and separate, they both face damage that may never be repaired.

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t date anyone or swear to be single the rest of your life. By dating in high school you allow yourself to figure out what you like and what you don’t. You should just learn when you are getting too attached to a person. No one person (besides yourself) should be your number one priority. If you can’t imagine your life without someone, you may need to reevaluate your views on love. People are unreliable and inherently selfish. They change and they leave without taking anyone else into consideration. The only person you can truly trust completely is yourself. For this reason, putting too much stake into people can hurt you. Don’t swear off relationships due to this, just stay realistic. Make sure the love you have for yourself, outweighs the love you have for the other person. You can be with people, just don’t make them your everything.

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    Call me blinded by love or a dreamer, but I believe that love is love, no matter the age. Even though not every relationship follows through graduation to move towards greater things, I still have faith in the idea of potential. Each person has every reason to love, no matter the situation. Getting caught up in feelings isn’t a bad thing, but rather a way to grow with somebody else.

People argue that high school relationships are just the beginning, and that eventually there will be bigger and better things. Who is to say that changing and moving forward with one person isn’t the bigger and better thing to have, though? The shrouded idea of these feelings having insignificant value, puts pressure on lovers who believe they can make it. The term “Oh, they’re just in high school,” is thrown around endlessly, when in my reality, falling in love with somebody vulnerably makes it more true. Loving somebody with everything makes the meaning of selfless come to life, and that is one of the most important traits somebody can have. Think again about a relationship as two trees. They don’t have the same roots, but growing and intertwining can make the sight more beautiful and the bond stronger.

I do not believe that every person will be the one and only, I think that we are destine to have more than one love of our lives. If we don’t reach out to every opportunity of love with our whole hearts, though, then how will we know if any relationship we share is real? High school is hard, and many students don’t know exactly who they are. Growing with somebody loving can open our eyes to who we aspire to be in the future, and having the thought of creating a future with somebody else should not be an idea that is shot down, but rather admired. Trust should be held onto and kept with one close to heart. We are placed on this Earth to connect emotionally and physically with a person. I think of it as a scale. The love we have with ourselves shouldn’t outway the love we have for other people, whether they are significant others or not, it should be equal. The good intentions of people surrounding us will hold a lot of the love that brings us towards the end of each day, week, month, year. Who’s to say that we can’t be spending all of that time with somebody who balances those emotions and makes us know the real definition of love itself.

Story by Nira Avari and Lexys Yocom

photography by Nira Avari

photography by Nira Avari

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Is Sugar Worth the Sacrifice?

It takes one and a half cans of Coca-Cola, or half of a Starbucks Venti white chocolate mocha, or three slices of an Anthony’s cheese pizza. It takes 12.5 teaspoons of added sugar to reach the maximum amount recommended a day by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

But based on an Euromonitor study, Americans consume more than 32 teaspoons per day, almost three times as much as the recommended amount. So what? It’s just a recommendation, right? According to Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, the body can safely metabolize six teaspoons of added sugar. While this number can fluctuate between individuals, eating more sugar than the body can handle can cause the body to metabolize the excess sugar into body fat, as well as damage other organs.

The body reacts to too much added sugar like it reacts to alcohol. Both alcohol and added sugar are metabolized as substrates for converting carbohydrates into fat, which in turn causes abnormal fat levels in the blood, weight gain, and increased insulin resistance. As well as metabolic dysfunction and obesity, excessive added sugar has been known to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. A study done in 2016 also found that added sugars support cell division and growth of breast, esophagus, lung, and small intestine cancer cells.

To avoid these consequences, added sugars should be avoided. On ingredient labels, sugars that have been added into processed or prepared foods can be called anhydrous dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, maltose, lactose, or sucrose.

Replacing added sugars in your diet with healthier natural sugars can drastically cut down your intake of harmful sugars. When cooking, replace sugars with almond, vanilla, lemon, or orange extract, and instead of enhancing flavors with sugar, use spices like ginger, cinnamon, or nutmeg. In place of extra sugar on cereal, oatmeal, or in sweetened yogurt, add fresh or dried fruits to get the same sweetening effect, but in a more natural and healthier way.

As is the case with all foods, natural sugars are better for you, but eating too much can have the same effect on the body as added sugars. In the end, it’s best to just have a balanced diet that’s healthy for your age, gender, weight, and activity level that includes sugars from all food groups: fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, and grains.

Story by Katie Baker

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The Music Debate: Cords vs. Chords

A song is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a short musical composition of words and music.” Words and music are the two parts of a song everyone hears, but depending on who they are, they choose different parts to listen to. This has been a prominent debate for a long time.

There are the people who listen to the lyrics, and they memorize every word. These people usually choose the songs they like by the meaning the artist is trying to convey to them. Then there are the people who listen to the music, and they choose the songs they like by the beat and arrangement of the noises. But why?

There’s a famous line used on the internet saying that those who are happy listen to the music, while those who are sad listen to the lyrics, but scientists and researchers have noticed different patterns. They have observed that people with aphasia, a disorder that affects language processing and communication, can still hum the tune of a song, despite being unable to speak, which lead them to think that music could be processed within two different regions of the brain.

Daniela Sammer of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science in Leipzig, Germany conducted research using functional MRI brain scans of people listening to music to see what parts of the brain are activated while listening to songs. She and her team had volunteers listen to songs they created, and found that the part of the brain that responded to songs was the superior temporal sulcus (SRS). Once the song was processed through the SRS, the brain only processed the lyrics.

Based on this, people who only hear and like the music don't usually process songs as much as someone who listens to the lyrics. So the debate between lyrics verses music can be over now, only if a group of people are willing to admit that their brains are just slightly lazier than the rest of humanity for ignoring the lyrics.

By Katie Baker

Graphic by Laney Finn

Graphic by Laney Finn

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Matcha: The Next Big Superfood

Photo by Sydney Mullen

Photo by Sydney Mullen

Calling all health fanatics and coffee lovers! There is a new superfood on the rise, and it’s matcha green tea. The tea so many have come to know and love has moved from a tea bag to a bright green powder, causing a serious shift in what people turn to in order to get caffeine and antioxidants in their system.

In effort to clear the air in distinguishing a difference between the two, here is some background information. Regular green tea and matcha differ in that while they are both made from Camellia Sinensis plants, matcha is grown in the shade in order to improve caffeine growth. Because matcha is made into a powder form as opposed to being steeped out with hot water, the whole leaf is consumed and nutrient intake is therefore maximized.

Matcha has health benefits that top the charts, making it the newest and most beneficial superfood around today. It’s packed full of antioxidants, which can help reduce aging and prevent disease. The powder is also rich in EGCGs, which is a well known antioxidant that boosts heart health. As an aid to metabolism, it burns calories and naturally detoxifies the body. While doing all of these things, matcha also provides the body with vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium. The knowledge of these health benefits alone have allowed for matcha to skyrocket to the top of the superfood charts, topping goji berries, dark chocolate, blueberries, and even spinach.

Matcha is also a possible alternative to the coffee addiction that is prevalent in the majority of people's lives around the world. Considering that one cup of matcha has about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of brewed coffee, it’s easy to see why espresso loving foodies are shifting their sights to bigger and better things. This being said, it’s essential to understand that matcha contains a different kind of caffeine than regular old coffee, one that sustains energy levels, and bypasses the spike in adrenaline, glucose, and insulin levels that follows the consumption of coffee. It also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that produces alpha waves in the brain, which leads to relaxation and a clear mind. That’s right- matcha will boost energy levels, clear the head, and can help keep concentration without the crash of coffee and espresso. Luckily, matcha is also as convenient and practical as any other quick source of energy out there. Commonly, it is consumed after being dissolved and whisked in water, and then being added to non dairy milk. Matcha can be found at most local grocery stores, and may come in different forms, some completely raw and some with added sugar. Don’t be afraid to take a look at the label before purchasing.

Knowing what is being put into your body is inherently important. It’s likely that even after reading this, many will probably still be the habit of making a good cup of jo in the morning, but at least it’s with knowledge of a healthy alternative. Take it as you will.

 

For more information regarding matcha, visit http://matchasource.com/

References:

 

RD, By Cynthia Sass MPH. "7 Things You Should Know About Matcha." Health News / Tips & Trends / Celebrity Health. N.p., 26 Feb. 2016. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.

"Health Benefits of Matcha Tea - Matcha Source." Matcha Source Health Benefits of Matcha Tea Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.

@OF_OrganicFacts. "Health Benefits of Matcha Tea | Organic Facts." Organic Facts. N.p., 12 Aug. 2016. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.

Gower, Eric. "5 Reasons to Drink Matcha Instead of Coffee." Matcha Green Tea Expert Eric Gowers Breakaway Matcha Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.

 By Sydney Mullen

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Freshmen Now vs. Then

Believe it or not, some things have changed around Chaparral in the past 4 years. The seniors were once freshman, but their freshman year was different.  

With all the young freshman walking around the halls now, no one really thinks of when the seniors were freshman. 2013 was a new year for the incoming freshman: the start of the best or worst 4 years of their life. “I didn’t feel prepared going into high school but I quickly figured it out and feel a lot different about it now,” said freshman Courtney Hull. 

Chaparral Family wasn’t as ‘advertised’ as it is now and upper and underclassman weren’t as mixed. Chaparral has also continuously been doing various activities such as sources of strength to help. Now, the freshman agree on one thing, that they still don’t feel prepared coming out of middle school. However, they get involved in sports and clubs then warm up to the school. “I think more freshman have been getting involved in things and I think the idea of ‘Chap Fam’ has been expanded a lot more which is really cool,” said senior Aleah Hyvonen.

    Overall, Chaparral and its students are turning into something more than just a school, we are turning into a family. We can all agree that the school has changed quite a bit over the past years but it is for the better of the students and school.

By: Aubrey Bowlus

Photo by Aubrey Bowlus

Photo by Aubrey Bowlus

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