Column: Polarized – Graduation banned the F word

Editor’s Column

Cyrus is the Multimedia editor and a translator for Ethic News.


Graduation has been a staple for many high school seniors as it is the last event they get to participate in before leaving high school.  The tradition of graduation has been celebrated for hundreds of years, dating back to the 12th century according to the University of Canterbury.

Though the tradition has changed drastically, it is still a day of importance for many high school seniors as they get to walk down the aisle and receive their diploma, or the case in which the diploma will be inside of.  

The Redlands Unified School District has been very clear on the rules that are ingrained into the graduation ceremonies they host yearly; however, students are not the happiest about certain rules in question.  

I have been told the phrase, “Graduation is a privilege, not a right” from many teachers saying that the rules are in place for a reason, and not to question them.  However, I believe that this kind of thinking is dangerous for the student mind. 

As a student I am always told not to question what teachers say, just take notes, learn and remember for the next test.  The same process can be applied for graduation, learn the rules, remember them and practice them during graduation.  

This is the last school event for seniors and I believe there should be more freedom for seniors to express themselves. The ban on choice of cap and gown color, customizing cap  and the ban on items allowed such as flowers, leis, beach balls and balloons create a stable environment at the expense of student creativity and voice of expression. 

Some students believe these rules are unfair as well. 

Sophia Feduska, Redlands High School senior, says, “The rules against personalized caps or decorative leis, I think it’s an unnecessary power trip for the school district.”  

Another complaint students have is the restraint of clothing regarding what they can wear underneath their cap and gowns. The only attire allowed without extra permission is collared shirt, tie, dress slacks and dress shoes for males, and dressy pants suit or dress, and dress shoes for females. This incredibly limited wardrobe gives seniors no opportunity to express themselves or give them a chance to show off their culture or religion.

This wardrobe set can be difficult to acquire for certain students who can not afford such clothing.  The specific wardrobe can also feel outdated to students and can be upsetting to people who do not associate with that gender’s clothing. This attire is unnecessarily specific for clothing that will barely be seen underneath seniors’ cap and gowns.  

The rules for the RUSD graduations are way too strict for the senior class and leads to no expression of character or individuality. Everyone wears the same cap and gown, they wear the same outfit underneath the cap and gown, they walk and have the same actions with the only differentiating feature being the stoles and cords.  

It is my belief that the school district strongly needs to rethink these rules and give the senior class more freedom to show that they are different from one another.  Students should be able to customize their caps, or wear cultural or religious attire without consulting the superintendent.  This is the last event for seniors before leaving high school, and should be treated more as a celebration of the class, and less of a formality.  These students have been working for twelve years to reach the point they have, therefore graduation should be a privilege and a right.  

Column: Cuisine with Aileen – Ube-king me crazy


Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Month. How are we already in the middle of the month about my culture and I still have not written an article about Asian American and Pacific Islander culture?

In that spirit and to make up for my shortcomings, I would like to address the purple yam that’s been rocking the world: ube (oo-bay). 

Commonly used in Filipino desserts, ube is a root vegetable with a distinct royal purple color once cut open. One can find ube used in cakes, ice cream, milk tea, and plenty of other desserts.

Ube is also the Tagalog word for “tuber” which is exactly what ube is: “a short fleshy usually underground stem bearing minute scale leaves each of which bears a bud in its axil and is potentially able to produce a new plant” according to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary.

The rise in popularity of this purple yam has brought it into boba shops, tv shows, and bakeries around the world. The time has finally come for this purple yam to shine its royal purple to the world.

When I was a kid, if I had asked my friends what ube is, they most likely would have not known what it was, but times have changed and if one does not recognize the name ube, then they would most likely recognize the description of the sweet and nutty flavor of the beautiful purple root in drinks or cakes.

Entire festivals have been made from this purple root including the Long Beach Ube Festival and a festival by the same name in San Francisco. The Long Beach Ube Festival took place Saturday, May 14, 2022 from 11am to 4pm. 

In the television series “Steven Universe,” the main characters have a Swiss rolled ube cake, and now, there are numerous YouTube videos on a recipe on how to create the same cake.

Similar to the yam and sweet potatoes, ube falls under this, but taro is often confused with ube. As seen in taro drinks at boba shops, the drink is purple, but it gets me thinking, “Taro is white on the inside while ube is purple. Why would the drink be purple?”

““[T] aro roots can be in different colors, such as pink, purple, and white. Depending on the region it is grown, the root color can change. However, mostly it has white flesh with small purple spots on it, which is not hard to notice,” according to BonTea Cafe’s , a tea and coffee shop in Los Angeles, “People who see the purple color of the taro bubble tea get confused. Sure, the plant is not purple, but the taro powder is. Manufacturers add food coloring to the powder while processing it. Therefore it has a catchy purple color.”

So that explains that mystery, and although it is a minor change in coloring that the food industry has done to numerous other foods, continuing to color taro powder as purple might mislead those who are unfamiliar with both starches that they are either the same color or are simply the same vegetable with a different name and/or color.

From its humble beginnings of being solely in Filipino dishes, ube has branched into the public eye. I am extremely proud of my heritage and culture, so the fact that a simple yet beautiful purple vegetable is becoming the center of attention truly brings a smile to my face.

I hope to see more lesser known produce and dishes become mainstream; representation means everything, but I’ll save that for another article.

Cuisine with Aileen: Offal is not awful

Editor’s Column

Aileen Janee is the sports editor for Ethic News.


Pig cheeks, oxtails, and chicken feet–all seen as disgusting pieces of the very animals we eat, but one man’s trash is another man’s treasure as they say.

Offal is all of these things. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, offal is “the waste or by-product of a process.” By associating the less used pieces of meat as waste, there is already a negative connotation to these other parts of livestock.

When I was in one of my classes, we were talking about Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” and the teacher branched off to talk about how pieces of meat including pig cheeks or tails are undesirable.

In most other countries outside of America, they use the “undesirable” and “unwanted” pieces of meat.

As a Filipino, there is a traditional dish called sisig and it is made up of the unwanted pieces of meat, pig cheeks, ears and more, and kare-kare which is another traditional dish usually made with peanut butter and oxtail. These are delicious dishes, and I pride myself on being a Filipino.

Other delicious dishes include chicken feet that one can find at Chinese dimsum restaurants, but when I was watching an old Disney show with my siblings, they used chicken feet and called them monkey knuckles in a sketch making fun of microwave dinners.

Although the conversation on chicken beaks making up chicken nuggets most likely only lasted a few minutes, a few confused minutes. I couldn’t help

Starting with “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair, a novel originally written to expose the exploitation of immigrants coming into America, Americans started to have a negative view on offal.

A part of the stigma can come from back in the day when good cuts of meat were associated with the rich and the unwanted parts with the poor. Logically, the impoverished would try to make their dish as delicious as possible with whatever they have.

Things have obviously changed from the Progressive Era: the food and drug act and necessary nutrition facts. The making and processing of our foods is now better.

Even the local Costco is starting to sell beef tripe and ox tails; near the meat section, I saw a few people piling up and looking at some large white meat, so when I went over to check it out, it was beef tripe, and right next to it was oxtail. I was filled with joy to see offal in a place more accessible to people.

Food culture is culture. Attacking someone’s food is attacking their identity and their culture, whether or not it is intentional, but that article is for another time.

For the time being, normalizing offal allows people from multitudes of countries to have pride in their cultures and not have to feel put down or what their eating is disgusting simply because it is not what the majority indulges in.

America is known as the big melting pot so it should be just that: a big melting pot with a variety of delicious cultures.

Column: Polarized – Face masks and the havoc they bring

Editor’s Column

Cyrus is the Multimedia editor and a translator for Ethic News.


Face masks have been a polarizing topic since they were mandated in early 2020.  The country as a whole has been divided on hating or loving these face masks, whether they are helpful or useless has been debated by many since their presence has been known to the public.  

Students at Redlands East Valley High School have been no different in this mindset, many argue over whether or not they should be enforced.  There have always been students who have tried to protest against these mandates, hiding their face masks and claiming to not wear it due to not having one, or outright not wearing them in a certain class because a teacher does not enforce the rule, and there are a group of students who refuse to remove their mask, going as far as not eating during lunch hours as to not remove their mask.  

Since February 16, the mask mandate has been lifted in most locations in California, however, a clear exception to this has been in schools.  This has caused tension amongst students and teachers alike.  

The day after the mandate was lifted was a tension filled day.  I remember a class that day vividly, a student was asked to put on a face mask as required per the mandate, and the student in question refused, claiming that if they did not have to in other locations, it would be the same for school.  Students who agreed took their masks off and joined the kid in their protest against the mandate, while other students were telling everyone to wear their masks and to continue the lesson for the day.  The students who protested against the mandate were removed from the classroom, but the damage was done, everyone was uncomfortable with the argument that had taken place.

This is just one example of the many arguments that have taken place because of these face masks.  Some teachers do not enforce the rule at all, while others insist on enforcing it.  When teachers ignore a rule like some do now, it adds to the tension and awkwardness some students face.  I feel it is dangerous when teachers do not enforce rules given to them by the state. A teacher would never let a student use drugs or alcohol in class because it is a law. Why should face masks be any different? What truly is the difference between a state law and a state rule?  

With the face mask mandate being removed on March 11, 2022, I fear the rest of the school year might face a larger conflict, with people who will choose and choose not to wear their face masks.  

That is not to say there is a sole group responsible for the arguments and discourse.  There are good people that are a part of both sides of the argument, both with valid beliefs and ideologies.  It is important to remember that, because a person is not in the same group as you, or not a part of the same beliefs, does not mean they are a bad person. 

Column: How to pass an Advanced Placement exam: United States history edition

Editor’s Column

Isaac is the Features editor for Ethic News.


Among high school students, Advanced Placement United States History is probably considered one of the easier AP classes. But, it is also one of the AP classes that requires students to learn and retain a large amount of content. With nine historical time periods being covered throughout the school year, it can be easy to get lost in the sea of dates and people. Here are four tips I followed to score a four on the exam. 

1) Videos

For APUSH, I recommend that you watch Jocz Productions Youtube channel. This channel is managed by a teacher who teaches APUSH and uploads videos that correlate with three popular high school history textbooks including American Pageant, American History brinkley edition and American History Henretty edition. If your teacher forces you to read the school textbook or teaches by chapters, these videos are perfect for you. He provides you with the most prominent people, places and events that you need for the AP Test. You can use these as evidence in short answer essays, document-based question essays and long answer question essays. However, his videos are fairly long (between 15-40 minutes), but you can always change the playback speed to your liking. Sometimes your teacher does not teach all the units you need for the exam or maybe you don’t like their teaching style. Whatever the case may be, these videos are a reliable source for you to turn to for content. 

2) Read and write to your advantage 

Every unit, my APUSH teacher handed me a list of what he called “identifications.” These identifications (Id’s for short) were the names of prominent people, events and items that influenced the historical time period that we were learning. Then for each identification, we were forced to write paragraphs addressing who it was, what they did, when they did it, and how it influenced them socially, economically, and politically.

My recommendation for you is to focus on the how. For every “identification” that you feel is important, write how it influenced the time period. By doing this, you are practicing writing analysis that is needed for your DBQ’s and LAE’s. Over time, this makes it easier for you to write essays because you have to remember and rewrite what you have already written before. It’s time consuming, but writing two to three sentences on a topic makes a big difference in the end. 

3) Flashcards

Simply put, APUSH is a memory game. You need to memorize everything. Make flashcards for every important person, place, event and more. I know I sound like a broken record, but making flashcards and reviewing them periodically is going to help you remember topics that can be used as evidence in your essays. You are expected to write three essays in a short amount of time; therefore, the ability to recall evidence off the top of your head is going to make your life easier. You can organize the flashcards, digital or handwritten, by units and go over them two days out of the week. 

4) Review book 

As always, I recommend buying a review book from Princeton Review—preferably the edition of the year you will be taking the exam. They will provide you with all the information you need to succeed and the amount of practice multiple choice and essay questions is invaluable. Remember to time yourself on every practice essay. Even though you might not finish an essay in time, it will help you keep track of how fast you are writing and how you can improve in the future. The more you practice, the better you will do on the actual AP Exam.

Column: 2022, the comeback year

Editor Column

Emily Walos is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Publisher at Citrus Valley High School for Ethic News.


These are the faces of the class of 2022. Each one of them with their own stories, their own personalities, their own perspectives. These Citrus Valley Seniors include: Sierra Alexi, Eric Mollenkopf, Maura Abulkheir, Aryannah Gonzalez, Steve Gutierrez, Austin Limon, Le Telier Phillips, Fatima Ortiz, Andrew Castillo, Emerson Sutow, Delilah Perez, Elena Ramirez, Jaylene Ramirez, Jocelyn Montiel, Kayla Sultan, Verites Miller, Jenna Negrete, Kiara Callender, Jeremy D’Ambra, Mia Hale, Kaley Jennings, Kalani Allen, Katelyn Mast, Itzel Zaragoza Gomez, Karissa McDonald.  (EMILY WALOS/Ethic News)

My Story:

I have only six more months before the supposed biggest shift of my life; however, my life already took this shift at 15-years-old, when my classmates and I thought we had scored an extra week of spring break. 

I was in my 2nd period honors math class when I first heard about this new highly contagious sickness that was dominating Asian countries and was slowly making its way to the United States. My friends were on the track team and they were hoping that, by some miracle, their coaches would cancel a practice or two. 

Spring break came, and in the second week, everyone in the Redlands School District received the emergency emails and phone calls, informing them of the school closure for the following week. When I first heard this news, I was selfishly ecstatic; at the time I did not fully understand the gravity that COVID-19 would hold on not only my life but the billions of the world. 

One extra week, turned to two, turned to three, turned what seemed like indefinitely. There was fear for the class of 2020 as their high school experience went from that of ordinary to that of historical. Their last months of high school, including some of the biggest moments of their lives such as graduation, were canceled.  

Now, I saw this a horrible chance of fate for the class of 2020, however I had hope for the class of 2021 and my junior year. That hope was crushed with the announcement of the 2020-2021 school year remaining in distance learning. Through my junior year I did not leave my house much, as my mom strictly followed quarantine and COVID guidelines, as I have elderly grandparents, young cousins, and a young niece who were all at high risk. My best friend and I would even quarantine two weeks before and after seeing each other. 

After Thanksgiving break I accepted that I would not be going back to school that year and had finally become comfortable with my distance learning routine; but, new hope came. The CDC announced that high school sports would be allowed to resume with proper regulation. For me a Varsity swimmer, this was an act of benediction, yet cause of dismay. However, my swim season went smoothly, and it seemed to be the only glimpse of normalcy I had the entire school year.

Then there was an unexpected announcement. All teachers, school staff, and some voluntary students were to return to in-person class, with only a few more weeks left in the school year.

At this point I was fully vaccinated and COVID numbers were dropping, however I was still not willing to take the risk. I chose not to opt-in to the return, as I had also finally become comfortable with my at home learning. 

The class of 2021 was going to recieve their graduation, of course with restrictions and a mask mandate. This was the only semi-ordinary senior experience that the class had.  

Summer went by and it was almost time to return to school for my senior year of high school. I was scared. Scared that my high school experience would be whittled down to that of a freshman year and partial sophomore year.  

We received the news about the upcoming school year, and the verdict was: school will reopen for all students for the 2021-2022 school year. My friends and I were ecstatic. 

Coming back it was almost weird, not because I was gone so long, but rather that the old faces I had come to learn and love vanished. Now there was a whole new crowd and me along with the rest of the class of 2022 were expected to be the leaders of campus and show an example of how to act as a student of Citrus Valley High School. 


Grow up, be strong, set an example, this should be normal. No, this is not normal. 

From the moment that 2022 stepped onto campus they were pledged into the role and expectations of a mature senior. 

Under normal circumstances the expectations fallen onto seniors is completely reasonable, however, for 2022 when they left they were sophomores, most of the age of 15. They were still learning what it meant to be a high schooler, observing what maturity looked like, seeing how to take pride in their school and make their own. 

They were stripped of that virtual year and a half to develop the proper mindset to age to that of a senior. 

When they all returned they were not the same students they had been when they left, like the rest of the school population they faced the tragedy and horror that COVID carried. 

However, it was the adults on campus who tried to act as if they were all only coming back from a longer break such as winter or summer. They tried to put on their happy faces through their masks and pretend this was any other normal year; but it’s not. 

This year is not normal. They (class of 2022) have all just faced one of the scariest things a child, or any adult for that matter, could go through. The fear of isolation, sickness, and death. To believe that they could all come back from this experience unchanged is hysterical. 

No pressure was lifted from the seniors. Colleges still expected their high grade point averages, volunteer hours, and extracurriculars.  High schools still expected all the responsibilities of a senior to be upheld. Adults expected hard working and maturing young adults, hoping to release them into society in a few months. 

Through just the process of time and experience, yes the seniors did mature. However, that maturity did not come from the experiences of past generations but rather that of a time of the unknown. In the way of coping with a constantly changing world and loss, seniors have built up a wall of strength. It is when it comes to maturity of social principles that they are lacking. This is not their fault in any form, it is simply the result of being separated from society for over a year and a half living in a world of dread. 

It is as though every teen of 2020-2022 is stuck in a time capsule, and when this time capsule was finally broken open, it was a whole new place of time. 

Becoming a senior comes with some of the most promising times of high school; and the adults of schools have been promising these legendary events to seniors getting their hopes up, however these promises are empty. All seniors still live in fear every moment that their year will be ripped away from them such as it was for the class of 2021. It is the fact that 2022 is receiving this false hope from the adults who they look up to and trust which is what makes this time truly terrible.

This raises the question, should adults be bluntly honest, that they are uncertain of the times ahead? Will the students appreciate this more or just create pessimism towards the days left for the class of 2022? This uncertainty speaks to the maturity of 22 and shows the vulnerability of the time; proving that normal has not yet come. 

Now, it is 2022 and graduation year for seniors; the pressure is on. It is the final stretch in adolescence. They have the pressures of the world on them as they are expected to uphold the responsibilities of adulthood no longer “one day in time” but exactly in six months.  This supposed time of prosperity and youthful ventures is being corrupted by fear and anguish as COVID cases are once again on the rise leaving the class of 2022 to wonder if their time is up.

Column: How to pass an Advanced Placement exam – chemistry edition

Editor’s Column

Isaac Mejia is the Features editor for Ethic News

Advanced Placement courses can be difficult and chemistry is infamous for being one of the harder AP classes that high schools have to offer. However, an effective strategy and early preparation can make passing the exam a lot more feasible. Here are some practical tips that actually helped me score a five on the AP Chemistry Exam.

1. Review Book

Purchasing a review book is essential to passing the exam. A review book includes multiple full-length practice exams, practice multiple-choice questions (MCQ) and practice free-response questions (FRQ) for each unit. 

In my opinion, The Princeton Review brand of books is a more reliable option than Barron’s. (ISAAC MEJIA/ Ethic News)

But which review book should I buy? I advise the Princeton Review brand of review books, preferably the issue of the year that you will be taking the exam. For example, I took the exam in 2021 so I got the 2021 review book. The multiple-choice and free-response questions are tailored specifically to the AP curriculum and provide almost the exact same questions that I received on the test. While some people might recommend Barron’s AP Chemistry Review book, I do not. I personally made the mistake of buying Barron’s review book first and ended up buying the Princeton Review anyways, because I felt Barron’s did not correlate with the curriculum as precisely as I would have liked. 

Review books are affordable and perfect to utilize right before chapter and unit tests in class. You can buy them on Amazon and should purchase one as soon as school starts: the sooner, the better.

2. AP Daily Video Notes

A screenshot from the College Board website that shows how the Daily Videos are organized chronologically within each unit. (ISAAC MEJIA/ Ethic News)

AP Daily Video notes are notes that the College Board provides for students. They provide a general overview of each concept within the nine units and tell you specifically what you need to know for the exam. They should not act as your only source of notes; they should be used in addition with your teacher’s notes. After you take notes on a specific topic, reinforce it by watching the videos either the same day or a couple days after. This forces you to look over the same material more than once. It keeps the concepts fresh in your mind and can provide you with important information that your teacher might not provide.

3. Flashcards

There is a lot of information that you are expected to learn throughout the course of the school year and remembering simple key terms can easily be cast aside. However, knowing these terms is helpful, because they are prevalent throughout the multiple-choice and free-response section of the test. Using flashcards and spaced repetition will help you learn definitions concretely and prevent you from confusing topics with one another. Flashcards should be made specific to your individual needs.

4. Spring Break

A major component that helped me get a high score on the exam was reviewing at the right time. While spring break is supposed to be a “break” from school, it is also the perfect time to start looking over covered material, because it provides you with the opportunity to focus solely on reviewing the units that your teacher has covered up to that point. By the time the test approaches next month, reviewing will be easier and less overwhelming. The topics will already be fresh in your mind and you will be ahead of the game.

5. Timing

This is a simple but underrated tip. Time yourself when you practice taking MCQ and FRQ, so that the time crunch of the real exam isn’t a problem.

6. Practice Tests

Practice MCQ and practice FRQ are needed to pass the test. While your review book should be able to supply you with some, the more the better. The College Board provides “progress check” practice tests which include both MCQ and FRQ for each unit.  I did all of them. Also, FRQ from previous years are available on Google to use if you want more.

The College Board’s updated 2021 layout has Progress Checks located at the end of each unit and requires teachers to unlock them for student use. Progress Checks can help students identify the concepts they are excelling and the concepts they need to improve. (ISAAC MEJIA/ Ethic News)

Finally, I recommend taking a full-length practice AP Exam before the actual test. This will help you gauge what you do know and what you need to study more. It will provide you with a sense of how long the test actually takes and make it less intimidating because you will already know what to expect. 

Everyone has their own strategy for conquering the AP Exam and everyone’s studying techniques are different. However, I believe that these six tips will help you pass the test with a five.

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A mental health moment: Alan Watts’ views give a new meaning to life

Editor’s column: A mental health moment

Emerson Sutow is the A&E Editor at Ethic News


Alan Watts was one of the first european philosophers to integrate buddhist and taoist beliefs into his teachings. He focused on the concepts of life and death, self worth and self image and a higher power not strictly related to any god. His teachings today are able to be applied to most beliefs as it allows for many perspectives to be taken and understood.

According to The Buddhist Centre, Buddhism is “a path of practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of reality. Buddhist practices like meditation are means of changing yourself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness and wisdom.”

On the other hand, according to National Geographic, Taoism is “a religion and a philosophy from ancient China that has influenced the belief that humans and animals should live in balance with the Tao, or the universe. Taoists believe in spiritual immortality, where the spirit of the body joins the universe after death.” 

Watts took these ideas to challenge the common beliefs of European culture and question what lies beyond Earth on a spiritual level. While searching for answers, he followed the “zen boom,” a period in which a new generation of Buddhists expanded their influence and beliefs, in the 1960s and 1970s in order to find like-minded people who also searched for enlightenment and liberation. 

Photo made using, an online word cloud art creator, focusing on key topics of Alan Watts beliefs and teachings. While Buddhism and Taoism have many differences, both ultimately believe in reincarnation (Emerson Sutow/ Ethic News Photo).

Watts has many notable quotes expressing his ideas, such as “If you awaken from this illusion and you understand that black implies life, self implies others, life implies death (or shall i say death implies life)” from his speech The Dream Of Life, which expresses his belief that there is always a good and an evil; a yin and a yang. 

Additionally, Watts challenges the idea of life and what happens after death, saying, “Try and imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… What was it like to wake up after having never gone to sleep?”

Watts lived from Jan 6, 1915 to Nov 16, 1973, but his speeches have been very well preserved and can be enjoyed by all on many platforms today. He began by writing and eventually publishing The Meaning of Happiness in 1940, later moving on to have a radio show called Way Beyond the West in 1956. 

He also wrote many more books, such as The Way of Zen and Tao: The Watercourse Way and had a documentary series about his ideology titled The Essential Lectures of Alan Watts, filmed from 1971 to 1972. The documentary includes 48 episodes, each covering a different topic equalling 21 hours of speeches. 

Other topics such as The Meditative Series, which included 12 lectures, and The Seminar Series with 16 lectures are very helpful for those searching for inner peace and those who enjoy questioning the world around them as well as how people fit into this big world. 

His teaching can commonly be seen in fields like meditation, addiction recovery and mental health care and can be heard in some of today’s music such as The Boom by Palaye Royale and in the albums Listen, Dream by Superposition and Boreta.

Although Alan Watts was from a very different time, his theories still hold strong and help many people today. Try to listen to at least one of his speeches and really sit and think, you may realize something you may have never thought possible before.

Column: Epiphanies in isolation-Relearning to love a hobby

Editor’s Column: Epiphanies in isolation

Tatum Mapes is the Editor-in-Chief at Redlands East Valley for Ethic.


Pretty much everyone has a hobby: some extracurricular that gets them excited to get up and go somewhere. It’s where they find colleagues and friends who share their interests. Hobbies are something we love to do. However, do we love them for the right reasons?

Music has been a part of my life since the beginning. My dad would play the guitar until toddler me went to sleep. My mom signed me up for piano lessons when I was five. My brothers and I still play and enjoy music together to this day. 

At school, I have been involved in choir, band and theatre. In ETHIC, I write often about movies, TV shows and music. I was constantly surrounded by music and the arts, until COVID-19 hit. It would be over a year until I stepped foot in the performing arts building again.

My experience is probably similar to many others like me. After the epic highs of a successful spring choir concert and school musical, I was suddenly deprived of the communities I loved. I was initially excited when, on March 13, 2020,  it was announced on the school loudspeaker that we would be leaving school for a “four week spring break.” If I knew what would happen next, I would not have been so excited.

Suddenly, the arts at school were ripped away from me. Spring concerts, tours and rehearsals were cancelled uneventfully. I had become so dependent on school for my daily dose of arts that I had no motivation to practice for the next few months. I had no desire to sing or play instruments. I would just lie in bed sulking over what I lost. 

Tatum Mapes, a REV senior, plays the piano without an audience due to the pandemic. (Ethic Photo/ Tatum Mapes)

For someone auditioning for college music programs in the fall, this was not the best way for me to deal with my music deprivation. I had to force myself out of bed to practice my audition pieces. Over time, practicing once again became habit, but the love was gone. 

I realize now that, prior to the pandemic, music had become a way for me to keep my ego intact. I did not love music: I loved the attention music brought me. My lack of motivation to practice stemmed from my lack of an audience. Obviously, there was very little I could do about this, so my only option was to relearn how to love music again. 

I talked to my piano teacher about what was happening and she advised that I stop practicing my audition pieces as much and start learning pieces that I wanted to play. I was hesitant to spend less time preparing for college auditions, but I decided to learn a Chopin Nocturne that was on my “music bucket list.” 

It was strange taking it upon myself to learn new music. My piano lessons were through Zoom and my choir and band classes were cancelled, so no one was going to teach me new music at this point but myself. There were no teachers, classmates, or audiences for me to flex my piano prowess: this would only be for me.

Because I learned the Nocturne out of self care (and the piece is absolutely beautiful), I learned to love music again. I was no longer practicing for other people: I was practicing for myself. When music program auditions and interviews rolled around, I was able to give sincere responses as to why I wanted to pursue music as a career. 

This last Monday, I was finally able to step into the choir room again after thirteen long months. While I was ecstatic to be back, I was also reminiscent about how I and my relationship to music has changed. The last time I was in that room, music was a selfish endeavor meant to bring me praise and accolades. It was not the actual music that made me happy, it was the attention. Now, I realize that I do not need a choir room, a sold out theater or even Instagram likes to prove to me why I do what I do. I just need myself, because personal enjoyment is enough of a reason to keep going.

I know my situation is not unique. All across the country, athletic, art and academic programs have been put on hold, leaving students to find other outlets to do what they love. Many failed to keep up with these hobbies. The ones that succeeded, however, were the ones that learned to find personal joy and self satisfaction in a job well done. The most successful softball player is not the one that loves the cheer of the crowd after she hits a home run. She is the one that loves the fact that her practice and hard work payed off. The most successful scientist is the one who loves the research, not the accolades. If you truly love something, train yourself to appreciate it when there is  no audience.

Column: How eating disorder culture might be impacting your life

Originally published in La Plaza Press

Column: Activism with Ari


Eating disorders are a spectrum of psychological conditions that cause unhealthy eating habits and relationships with food. Eating disorders can often cause serious health consequences that may be irreversible such as fatality. Fortunately, eating disorders are treatable and recovery is always possible with the right conditions and treatment plan. They can be caused by several different factors. New evidence suggests that eating disorders are often correlated in families and that heredity may play a role in eating habits and body image, but not every individual with an eating disorder has a family history. Common behaviors in eating disorders are limited food intake, binging, excessively exercising for the purpose of losing weight, excessive dieting, purging, fear of being “fat,” problems with body image and denial of having a bad relationship with food. Eating disorders can be caused by many different factors and each person’s eating disorder and habits are unique to the individual. Society and culture have been identified as one of the biggest factors leading to the development of eating disorders. Rates of these disorders appear to vary among different cultures and to change across time as cultures evolve. Additionally, eating disorders appear to be more widespread among contemporary cultural groups than was previously believed.

Eating Disorder Culture and College Life

Eating disorders are so often normalized in colleges and universities that seem to spark disordered eating patterns. Hazing rituals in sororities have been seen to spark “Some of the female pledges at Young Harris College, a small spot in rural Georgia, stepped forward when hazing got too disturbing to handle. Pledges were forced to run across campus in their underwear, stand in a pool of water with human waste in it, and perhaps worst for their self-esteem, they were forced to sit naked on a washing machine while their sorority sisters circled and marked any spots that jiggled. The physical abuses in hazing are terrible enough, but something like that could have severe repercussions for years to come, and even yield to serious issues like eating disorders. We cannot understand who would think that was a good idea — although, at least those particular pledges decided to join forces and come forward about what they were experiencing.

The “Freshman 15” is the belief that college students often gain 15 pounds in their first year. A Google search of the term in November 2006 yielded 203,000 links, and many online articles describe methods to avoid it. These kinds of terms can perpetuate a dissatisfaction with the idea of gaining weight when it is such a normal, natural phenomena to happen especially at a time when the body needs to grow. The ages 17 and 18 are an important time for the body to grow and finalize developments as an individual reaches adulthood. A negative outlook on growth can cause a number of psychological issues. According to Pubmed’s National Library of Medicine, “49 incoming freshmen at a small liberal arts college completed the study by filling out questionnaires and health data at the beginning and end of their 1st year on campus. The findings revealed no significant weight gain at the end of the year. The “Freshman 15” myth was found to play an important role in perpetuating negative attitudes toward weight. Freshmen who were concerned about gaining 15 pounds were more likely to think about their weight, have a poorer body image than others, and categorize themselves as being overweight.” This further expresses the concern psychologists have for incoming college students because of modern society further causing body image problems on young students, and more predominantly women. “College can be a time of a lot of excitement and stimulation and also a lot of stress,” explains Dr. Baker, a child and adolescent psychopharmacologist. “It asks young people who are not yet adults to act in a very adult way, especially if they’re contending with mental illness and suddenly have to begin managing it on their own.” The stress college can cause on an individual can be detrimental if not coped with properly: college students take on a new social context, deal with independent living, and manage a new college class schedule, which can trigger anxiety and new mental illnesses. Dr. Douglas Bunnell, clinical director of the Monte Nido treatment center in New York says that, “if you have a heavy dose of anxiety and you’re in a social environment, and you’re constantly exposed to the thin body ideal, that’s a perfect storm convergence of factors that can drive a vulnerable individual into an eating disorder.” Fully developed eating disorders will typically begin between 18 and 21 years of age, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). The association estimates that between 10% to 20% of women and 4% to 10% of men in college suffer from an eating disorder, and rates are on the rise.

Phrases that are harmful to individuals suffering from eating disorders:

“Why Don’t You Just Eat?”

Ahhh, the classic “Why don’t you just eat?” in response to someone describing/expressing their eating disorder…if only it were that simple. Eating disorders are serious, complex mental illnesses that should not be dismissed in this manner. The idea that someone struggles to nourish their bodies with food seems illogical and beyond understanding for many people because it seems like such a simple, primitive action. It is very confusing when your loved one will not eat. It might even be tempting to say, “Why don’t you just eat?”, but many people with eating disorders are struggling with body image and feel a genuine fear or discomfort when encountered with food. People may think that a logical argument can “fix” it, but this phrase can be blaming and shame-inducing. When you ask someone with an eating disorder why they will not eat, it is much deeper: you must consider that this illness goes beyond simply eating and that it is far more psychological than it is physical. 

“You Look Great/Healthy/Better Than Ever!”

Although it seems like the right thing to say because it is often viewed as a compliment, eating disorder patients report time and time again that this is an incredibly triggering comment. When you compliment their looks, you are also complimenting and encouraging their behaviors and the suffering that they go through to look that way. Ultimately, beauty should be left to the individual’s discretion and “healthiness” cannot be physically viewed. Even if a person physically looks healthy because they are “thin”, does not mean that they could be incurring serious, life-threatening damages to get to their desired weight. 

“What Diet Are You On?”

Does this one even need to be explained? Our society praises weight loss and people constantly want to know about the newest and best way to lose weight. However, if a person with an eating disorder is losing weight and gets positive feedback from other people about weight loss, this can encourage disordered eating behaviors. It is probably best not to compliment people based on their appearance at all- especially weight. Focus on non-appearance related qualities of the person. For example, one might be tempted to say “Ah you look so good, what diet are you on” (because the person might be interested in participating in whatever that other person did to achieve this physique) but the person being told this could be thinking a number of different things like “I should continue to partake in these behaviors because it is deemed desirable in my society” or “My weight is desirable at the expense of my physical and mental health and overall wellbeing”. Whereas if you opted for another compliment to the person, like “I’m so glad to see you, you’re always such a happy and calm presence” it does not inflict any pro-eating disorder behaviors onto them and make them feel valued as a human being.

“Does This Make Me Look Fat?”

Avoid “fat-talking” about yourself or others at all times. Many people with eating disorders are already hyper-aware of what people around them are eating, how much they weigh, and how they look in their clothing to begin with. By making these comments, you are further perpetuating the idea that being “fat” is a bad thing and warping their opinion on what “fat” really is because these are all personal interpretations and perspectives. Commenting negatively on your own body can make a person with anorexia or bulimia even more focused on weight and food issues. Instead, focus on accepting yourself as you are and promoting body positivity.

How you can promote body positivity and stop the spread of eating disorders: 

Promoting body positivity can be expressed in many different ways including positive self talk, normalizing things like stretch marks, hip dips, weight gain, and healthy relationships with food and exercise. These small comments or expressions can help validate people with and without eating disorders and make. The “body positivity movement” Body positivity challenges the unrealistic standards of beauty present in the media by encouraging the acceptance of diverse body sizes and appearances. The idea of body positivity promotes the idea that all bodies are good bodies and self-love. When people say negative things about their own appearance, it can create an awkward environment and remind those who are already self conscious to be wary of how they are perceived by others. One way people can express body positivity is through social media platforms which inspire those to stop self-judgement but it doesn’t have to be posted for everyone to see. Body positivity can be shown by self-affirmations such as: “My body allows me to see the world, to digest food that I enjoy eating, exercise, express myself” among many other different phrases. Ultimately, there is no way society can completely eliminate eating disorders because of the deeply engraved culture that has been brought to society for over a century now but having important discussions about eating disorders to help spread awareness and reduce the stigma could immensely help society come to the realization that eating disorders are serious illnesses that should not be romanticized nor glorified.

For more help, please visit website such as to get educational information on 6eating disorders (ex: warning signs, symptoms, causes) and access to therapists and mental-health professionals. You can also visit the National Eating Disorder Helpline by calling (800) 931 - 2237 Monday - Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. or texting this number Monday - Thursday 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. Eastern Time. For crisis-related situations, you can text “NEDA” to 741741 to be connected to a trained volunteer. 

A mental health moment: Depression and anxiety affects daily life

Editor’s column: A mental health moment

Emerson Sutow is the A&E Editor at Ethic News


Depression and anxiety are both common mental illnesses that can wildly change how people live their day to day lives. As a person who is diagnosed with both these mental illnesses, I know it can sometimes make life much more difficult and many people who don’t suffer from depression or anxiety never fully understand the everyday battle that some face.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) describes depression, often known as major depressive disorder, as a “common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel and the way you think and act.”

Although depression is very complex, it shares a few similarities with feelings of grief, loss and sadness, but ultimately takes those emotions to a total extreme. It can also cause other effects that can significantly impact a person and their mental health, such as losing interest in hobbies, changes in appetite, insomnia, sleeping too much and an overall loss of energy. 

Another aspect of depression that is often asociated is self-harm or feelings of death and sometimes suicide. This is described by the APA as “recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation or suicide plan or attempt.”

Photo made using Word It Out, a word cloud generator, demonstrating the different words and topics associated with mental health. (Emerson Sutow/ Ethic News Photo)

Luckily, depression is treatable, most commonly with a mix of therapy and sometimes anti-depression medications; although medication does not always help and can take a while to find the right medication that helps the individual.

Anxiety is considered to be the most common mental disorder, with over 25 million Americans reportedly diagnosed and, according to the APA, is a “normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in some situations.” Moments where anxiety can be beneficial allow the individual to feel an amplified awareness of danger, an intensified fight or flight response and a tendency to pay attention to their surroundings. 

On the other hand, the most common symptoms of anxiety include a constant fight, flight or freeze response, avoidance of situations and anxiety attacks, which can affect a person’s school and/or work life. However, many tend to mix and confuse anxiety attacks for panic attacks, which are both two different situations.

Although similar, there are a few major differences between panic attacks and anxiety attacks. 

According to Dr Wendy Boring-Bray, Doctor of Behavioral Health and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, the symptoms, risk factors and treatments of both anxiety attacks and panic attacks are similar. The major difference lies in the cause.

Panic attacks are typically very rapid and can include debilitating fear, losing control, a fear of dying or a feeling of detachment from reality or one’s self. The most common triggers for panic attacks are situational stress, a rising fear or a level of discomfort that can be completely unique to the individual. 

Alternatively, anxiety attacks are more of a gradual escalation, consisting of feelings of apprehension, worry, distress, restlessness or fear that persists before and long after. 

Although they do have their differences, they share many of the same symptoms, which prompts many to unintentionally confuse the two. These symptoms often include rapid heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, numbness, headache, nausea and dizziness. 

Learning about the basics of depression and anxiety better enables people who don’t suffer from these issues to try and understand and aid peers who might be struggling with them.

Column: A mental health moment- How chemicals control emotions

Editor’s column: A mental health moment

Emerson Sutow is the A&E Editor at Ethic News

By Emerson Sutow

Everyone experiences emotions. Maybe not in the same way, but feelings all have one element in common; the chemicals in the brain.

Depending on the balance, the chemicals can make you feel a large array of emotions. Some are commonly recognized, like serotonin and dopamine, but the functions of them are not as widely known. Lewis Wolpurt, a developmental biologist, author and broadcaster, said, “happiness is a fragile state,” and that the brain contains “more negative emotions than positive emotions.”

Serotonin is a “neurotransmitter that modulates neural activity” according to Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology Miles Berger at Duke University.

This leads serotonin to control “virtually all human behavioral processes” including mood, perception, reward, anger, aggression, appetite, memory and attention.

Dopamine is another neurotransmitter that concentrates on helping “strive, focus and finding things interesting” according to WebMD. The chemical also plays a role in how people feel and interpret pleasure.

The values of these chemicals in the brain often dictate mood and imbalances, which can cause more chronic issues like mental illness. Therefore, many antidepressants target the receptors in the brain to supplement for the irregularity. 

Many other factors in daily life can also dictate a person’s feelings. Dogs can be one example of something environmental that can change someone’s mood. Citrus Valley High School junior David Monterroso said that his black labrador retriever, “Blackie, makes me feel really happy when I have bad days, and is always happy to see me and cheer me up when I need it. He also makes me feel less alone, like he’s there no matter what.”

The use of emotional support or therapy dogs is proven to be very effective in lifting someone’s mood. Karen Allen, a research scientist in the division of clinical pharmacology in the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said it is the “social support and physical contact” that gives dogs beneficial qualities for mental health.”

Johannes Odendaal, a researcher at Life Sciences Research Institute in Pretoria, had found that dog owners have the benefit of “lower cardiovascular responses in college students” and “often have higher oxytocin,” a level of emotional attachment, “and dopamine.”

On the other side of the spectrum are the effects of negative reactions such as rejection. David Chester, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, said that people cope with rejection by using different parts of the brain to “suppress the pain caused by rejection.” Additionally, the pain can affect a person almost like physical pain and cause distress resulting in a chemical imbalance in the brain, according to Professor Emeritus Alan Fogel at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

These reactions to a stressful event like being rejected can be commonly seen in all people ranging from not getting a job to losing friends. Arvin Mann, a junior at CVHS, said, “I tend to be pretty saddened by [rejection], and in turn I talk with friends to relieve the emotional stress.”

This just goes to show how the brain can work in interesting ways with so many factors that can dictate a person’s mood or feelings. Depending on the balance in chemicals, it can affect a person’s entire demeanor.

Column: Exploring endangered species-polar bears are on the brink of extinction

Editor’s column: Exploring endangered species

Mia Delmonico is the REV Editor-In-Chief


When most people think of polar bears an image of a large pearl white creature usually appears. While some may find them adorable, others can easily find them frightening, as they share many of the same characteristics as a common black bear. However, what does not usually cross people’s minds is the fact that they are among the most vulnerable species in the entire world. The constantly changing environment that they call home provides for a difficult foreseeable future. 

Polar bears inhabit the Arctic Circle which includes countries such as Canada and Russia. Due to the harsh conditions that they encounter each and every day, they have developed certain adaptations that allow them to live more comfortably. For example, polar bear fur consists of multiple layers that allow for insulation and protection from their freezing environment. According to Polar Bears International, a non-profit polar bear conservation organization, this prevents extreme heat loss and, in some cases, can cause some adult bears to overheat after a hard run. In addition, polar bear paws function to not only “grip the ice to prevent them from slipping” but also to assist them while swimming, acting almost as “paddles” and “rudders” as stated in Polar Bears International. 

Though polar bears are similar to other bears in appearance, they do differ in certain ways apart from their habitats. One of the major differences is that polar bears are almost one hundred percent carnivorous. This essentially means that unlike common bears that eat meat in addition to plants and insects, polar bears’ diets consist of nearly all meat. Also, according to the National Wildlife Federation, polar bears differ from other bears in regard to their denning habits or hibernation methods. Common bears, such as brown bears, always den in the winter because all of their primary food sources have succumbed to snow coverage; this forces them to hibernate. In contrast, polar bears have access to their food source of seals almost all year round, allowing them to refrain from hibernation. However, there is an exception to this. The National Wildlife Federation details that pregnant female polar bears have to den in order to birth their cubs in a warmer environment.

Despite polar bears’ many adaptations to survive in the Arctic Circle, they are constantly facing new struggles as the planet changes. Climate change has led to “sea ice loss” which is the “single biggest threat to their survival,” according to Polar Bears International. If climate change continues to accelerate at its current pace, polar bear populations will continue to dwindle. While other threats factor into their survival, such as pollution, commercial activities and disease, changing temperatures as a result of climate change puts them at the most risk. 

However, there are ways to help polar bears. One way to help the effort to support polar bears and their habitats is to symbolically adopt one. This can be done through organizations like Polar Bears International. In addition, people can always donate to this and similar organizations as well. Also, people can educate themselves on polar bears and climate change. This may inspire them to lead a more environmentally conscious life. 

No matter how we choose to take action, it is important to know that every intention makes a difference.

Column: Nice is the new cool — Cooperation with others gets the job done

Editor’s Column: Nice is the new cool

Maggie Snavely is the Self and Style editor at Ethic News


Cooperation in various settings such as school, work and personal relationships is shown to improve teamwork relations, shared decision making and emotional maturity. (Ethan Dewri/Ethic Photos)

School campuses are filled with numerous individuals that all have different and unique personalities. In some cases, we don’t always get along with all these types of people. However, collaborating with people we didn’t necessarily choose to work with will follow us throughout our entire life. Though we may not befriend everyone we meet, it does not mean that we should default to rudeness. Behaving unnecessarily rude towards a person will only result in an unpleasant time for the both of you. Why not try to make the best of your time and make things a little less miserable? 

Consider this scenario: you get paired up with the last person you wanted to partner with for a class project. You find yourself already stressing about how you will not only complete the project, but also find a way to work with someone who has an incompatible work ethic or attitude. The best way to handle this situation would be starting to think the complete opposite. 

If you start anything by worrying about how terrible it’s going to be, it will most likely be awful. It’s hard to have a good time when you are stuck in this negative cloud of thinking. Start off by encouraging a positive mindset of how this may be better than expectation, and then perhaps it will.

Instead of letting our first reaction be rudeness or impatience, it is better to approach the situation with an open mind. Rather than feeling like you have to take the wheel all the time, maybe stop and listen to the other person and see what they have to say. 

Sometimes in life we have to take a step back and adapt to situations we would not normally put ourselves in. Let someone else take the lead and try to learn from the way they choose to conduct themselves. This mindset may prevent a serious clashing of ideas that both of you are trying to convey.

Of course when we don’t like somebody our first reaction is not to be super nice to them. But, this response usually encourages the person to be not so nice back. If all students on campus started behaving a little bit nicer towards others who they consider strangers, school would likely become a more tolerable place. 

Next time you think you won’t get along with someone, go in with an open mind and you may end up getting along a lot better than you thought you would.

Column: Exploring endangered species-sea turtles are on the brink of extinction

Editor’s column: Exploring endangered species

Mia Delmonico is the REV Editor-In-Chief


The Endangered Species Act, also known as the ESA, was passed in 1973 to provide programs for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. In addition to the protection of such species, the ESA was created to conserve the habitats in which these plants and animals live. Prior to the ESA, certain actions were taken to begin showing consideration toward species that were dwindling in numbers. For example, the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 was intended to list native animal species as endangered provide limited means of protection to them. This act also allowed the pursuit and gain of land to use as a habitat for a species on this list. In 1969 this same act was altered in attempt of stopping extinction worldwide and therefore prohibited importation and sale of these species in the United States. The ESA was able to take form and tend to the still lacking components of the altered Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1969. US Senator, Harrison A. Williams, introduced the ESA to the Senate on June 12, 1973. The act was unanimously approved and still in action to this day. Today the ESA is administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The main purpose of the ESA is to conserve endangered species. In all aspects, an endangered species is any plant or animal that is at serious risk of extinction. In order to be classified as endangered, a species must meet a series of qualifications prior to being added to the list of endangered wildlife. These qualifications include destruction and or modification to their habitat, overuse of their habitat for recreation, educational or other reasons, predation or disease, lack of necessary resources in their habitat, and other man made or natural factors affecting their survival. These requirements are detailed in the description of the ESA. 

One particular endangered species is the sea turtle. Six out of the seven different types of sea turtles are endangered and their risk is mainly contributed to by humans. One specific type of sea turtle is known as the Hawksbill Sea Turtle. They are classified in the kingdom animalia and are included in the phylum chordata. Their class is reptilia and their order is testudines which refers to their special bony shell. They are in the cheloniidae family and the genus of Eretmochelys. The Hawksbill Sea Turtle’s species  is classified as E. imbricata. In order for this sea turtle to survive in its niche is has developed some adaptations over time. One example apart from their universal flippers that allow for smooth movement and their hard shells that protect them from their harsh environment and predators, is their distinguishable beak in which the higher jaw overhangs the lower. This allows them to access crevices and small openings or holes to capture their prey. Sponges are the most dominant food source for Hawksbill Sea Turtles. They also splurge on mollusks, algae, sea urchins, very small fish, and jellyfish when available. In contrast,these sea turtles are themselves feasted upon by predators including very large fish, sharks, crocodiles, humans, and octopuses. 

This species is endangered for a variety of reasons. One of which is specifically because they were hunted for their shells. For several years, their shells were converted into extravagant jewelry and other small items. Today, the trade of turtle products in the international market is prohibited due to the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, also known as CITES. In addition, NOAA Fisheries is partnered to conserve and recover turtle populations around the globe. They are determined to establish regulations and make recovery plans to foster the conservation and recovery of Hawksbill Sea Turtle’s habitats. Their efforts include protecting turtles as they are nesting on beaches and reducing bycatch in recreational and commercial fisheries. Lastly, they are trying to reduce the amount of trash on our beaches and in the ocean itself. Hawksbill Sea Turtles are still critically endangered and unfortunately their populations have not bounced back even with the efforts of organizations such as these. 

I believe that the Endangered Species Act has not succeeded or failed thus far. In my opinion, the act is extremely important and has accomplished what it was created to. The act is meant to protect endangered species and to prevent them from going extinct. However, I do not believe that the act provides any resource or basis for recovering these populations or redeveloping them to a higher population as they once had before. Despite this, I still feel that the act is worthwhile and that it should remain in action because it does prevent most endangered species from going extinct at such a rapid rate as compared to the rate they would go extinct without the regulations the act enforces. I foresee that a great majority of the now endangered species will eventually go extinct if nothing changes. If people become more educated on the amount of endangered species around them and the importance they play in our daily lives and in the sustainability of earth as a whole, there could be hope for endangered species in the future. 

Column: Nice is the new cool —Campus stereotypes factor into student life

Editor’s Column: Nice is the new cool

Maggie Snavely is the Self and Style editor at Ethic News


Stereotypes are widely held, simplified beliefs about specific groups. School settings tend to be characterized by these social stratifications,  which are perpetuated by pop culture and highschool movies. (Angelita Hutabarat / Ethic Photo)

Nothing puts a label on school more than campus stereotypes. Asking any student about them results in nearly the same answers. They might all point to the “jocks,” the “nerds,” or the “popular kids.” Most students can find their place among one of these groups, but not all of us have a place to call home on campus. How do we get to the point where we know exactly whether we fit in? We must also consider the question of whether we need a place to belong to in the first place. 

Finding a group where you belong can have great benefits, but it also poses some potential dangers. It’s important to remember that the search for acceptance should not start to control you. Often we become so consumed with the idea that we absolutely must have a place to fit into that we forget who we actually are. If we cannot recognize who we are ourselves, then we certainly won’t find the right place to belong. 

Tristan Barlow, a sophomore at Citrus Valley High School and manger of the Varsity Girls Water Polo, participates in Varsity Boys Water Polo and Varsity Boys Swimming. Barlow believes campus stereotypes exist and thinks of himself as the “church boy.” (Maggie Snavely / Ethic Photo)

Being comfortable with the person you are will make you happier in the long run. You will always attract people who are similar to the way you portray yourself. If we morph into someone that we are not, we won’t feel as comfortable with the people we are with. This is what can make us forget who we truly are. It is easy to feel lonely when we are surrounded by strangers. 

Though there are many stereotypes and labels that many students identify with, you must consider whether you truly fit. Many might find that there isn’t a single label that is adequate to express their personality. 

Isabella Landeros, a Girls Varsity Water Polo player, agrees that stereotypes are real and believes that she is her own stereotype: a “trendy 12 year old boy.” (Maggie Snavely / Ethic Photo)

Now, ask yourself again: do you really need to fit in? Stereotypes develop naturally in school settings, so it’s easy for students to become convinced that stereotypes are a necessity, and maybe they are for some people. However, it’s important to remember that if you feel like there isn’t an adequate label for yourself, you should not get caught up in that thought. 

You are unique and so is everyone you meet. The next time you see a person and think of a label that suits them, consider that there’s more to them than meets the eye. Remember that everyone has a distinctive personality, history, or humor; try to get to know how someone really is before stamping on a label. Who knows, maybe we will find that stereotypes are not a necessity after all.

Column: Nice is the new cool —Overcoming insecurity begins with yourself

Editor’s Column: Nice is the new cool

Maggie Snavely is the Self and Style editor at Ethic News


Graphic design created using Autodesk software. (Angelita Hutabarat/ Ethic Media)


Insecurity, the thing that stops you from wearing what you want, or going to a party you want to attend. Insecurities can haunt you and constantly hover over your head. When your day is ruined by looking in the mirror and frowning at what you perceive as flaws, maybe it’s time to change your way of thinking. Most traits we see and realize about ourselves are features that only we notice. It is our choice on how we perceive ourselves. 

What does it mean to be insecure? Cambridge Dictionary defines being insecure as “lacking confidence” or “doubting one’s own abilities.” So the time you were presenting in front of the class and your palms became sweaty and the sense of restlessness was overwhelming, you were feeling insecure. Insecurities can hold you back in life. It is important to find ways to feel better about your insecurities and keep them from negatively affecting your life. Whether you feel uncomfortable speaking in front of a crowd or hate the color of your hair, there is certainly a way to feel better about these insecurities.

“A willingness to face what we usually don’t want to face” is the first step to getting over our insecurities, according to lifestyle blogger Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits. Having a bit of courage, even in small doses, is a great way to start.

The Obstacles

It is hard to start trying to move on when you still have wounds that never healed. We all have been criticized in our life. As much as we act like it didn’t leave us with any self doubts, those criticisms and comments linger. This usually creates a negative self-image. When you hear one criticism after another, you start to criticize yourself as well. This tends to leave us in need of approval or someone who accepts us and makes us feel worthy. The only problem with this is that it encourages the habit of no longer wanting, but needing approval. There is so much out there stopping us from being comfortable in our own skin. If we want to progress forward, we need to overcome these obstacles. 

Learning to Deal with Insecurities

We have to notice that the obstacles in our way actually show us the path to overcoming insecurities. The first step we need to take is to learn how to embrace these obstacles, and acknowledge our insecurities. This step is really just that simple; our insecurities give us a starting point on the path to better ourselves. Learn to pay attention and notice when insecurities start taking control of your life. You can then start trying the following steps. 

Forgive What has Happened to You in the Past.

If you were hurt in the past by either someone else or yourself, it’s time to start letting go. What happened in the past wasn’t right, but holding onto this hurt isn’t going to help you move forward.

Accept Everything About Yourself.

Stop what you’re doing and take a moment to acknowledge and notice everything about you. Notice all the small things, like how your hair moves or the creases in your palms. Now take a look at all the things about yourself that you don’t like. See if there is any way for you to share some love with them. Zen Habits stresses that seeing these imperfections as a friend can help you accept them. Zen Habits suggests to “think about how you would treat this imperfect friend, and be the same way towards yourself.” These parts of you are what make you who you are. As much as we hear this, really think about it. They are a part of you and deserve compassion and love, just like you would treat an insecure friend.

Getting Your Own Approval 

Many symptoms of insecurity result in constantly seeking the approval of others. If you realize that other people’s opinions don’t matter then you reclaim that power for yourself. What you feel insecure about is yourself, so why should anyone’s opinion matter besides your own? You have the power to decide what you think about yourself. Now, this doesn’t mean that you don’t want love from others. You can feel good getting compliments while also being content with yourself. The most important fact is that you love yourself, and the approval of others is not a necessity. Once you work towards self-approval, it’s easy to reflect on past hurts, and learn to let them go. Search for forgiveness within yourself and forgive yourself for the times that you have hurt yourself. 

Learn to Trust

The most important step is learning to trust yourself. Develop trust that demonstrates you will be okay. No matter what is currently happening, time will pass and you will feel okay. Times that you feel your most insecure will be over soon and you will move on. The same goes for people that make you feel bad about yourself or hurt you. Eventually, you will be moving forward in life not worrying about what others see in you. 

Column: My journey through Ethic News from a Trekkie’s perspective


“Space: the final frontier.  These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.  Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

These lines, read by a disembodied William Shatner voice, form the opening monologue of a science fiction show that has achieved legendary status: Star Trek.  This show has acquired its notoriety due to not only the show’s premise on space exploration but also its vision of the future of the human race – one that is markedly utopian in nature.  

In this future, mankind has overcome, with the help of a third world war, almost all of the problems that plagued its past; the Earth of this future has no wars, famine or poverty.  Everyone lives happily and in harmony with those around them. The Garden of Eden has been rediscovered.

In such a state of bliss and with such technology at their disposal, people are free to explore their own humanity, to explore what principles and values form the ideal person.  This sense of exploration – in the human sense – was an integral part of every episode; the different worlds and crises that appear are merely entertaining catalysts designed to push the characters to discover things beyond the physical realm, sometimes beyond the realm of anything conceivable to humankind.

This is what has ensured Star Trek’s place as a staple of science fiction: its ability to push the boundaries of what is thought acceptable and simultaneously advocate for change without explicitly doing so.  Here was a show that, despite the societal norms of the time, decided to give a lead role to Nichelle Nichols, an African American woman, as Lieutenant Uhura. On top of this, the first interracial kiss to ever take place on a televised show was between Lieutenant Uhura and Captain James T. Kirk.

These elements that appeared on the show forced audiences to explore their own humanity.  By directly confronting the audience with such moral dilemmas, it puts the audience in a position to really ponder those societal norms: ponder whether or not they should be maintained or thrown out.  Star Trek allows viewers to see what could be in the future, which serves to draw attention to our modern situation.

While pushing societal boundaries, it is also necessary, therefore, to explore what the ideal human looks like: cue Mr. Spock.  Spock, who is half-human and half-Vulcan, is a character bound by a strict adherence to logic, yet he sometimes allows his emotions – arising from his disliked human aspect – to dictate his course of action.  Although perceivably superior physically and mentally, Spock does not abuse his inherent traits; he is a benevolent friend to mankind, aiding humanity when it runs into problems it cannot overcome due to its limitations.

Spock, due to his very nature, is an exploration into the human character itself.  He represents the inner-turmoil that we, as humans, face as our emotional, impulsive nature fights with our higher reasoning: the logical side of the human spirit.  In Spock, it is seen that those two sides of our humanity have found peace with one another. Logic and emotion have found balance.

This is what the ideal human being looks like in the future according to Star Trek.  Humanity will learn how to view things pragmatically, yet they will allow emotions to dictate the course of their actions and thoughts when logic cannot provide a morally acceptable course of action.  In essence, the future of mankind looks a lot like Spock – someone who is an alien to those aboard the U.S.S Enterprise. However, as Captain Kirk said while giving Spock’s eulogy in “Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan,” “Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human.”

Pushing boundaries and embracing change is what has propelled Star Trek to its current status.  While giving an optimistic glimpse of the future, Star Trek also challenges its fans to really analyze contemporary society and determine if what they see around them conflicts with their morality.  Although Trekkies realize that they shall not, much to their disappointment, wake up in the world of tomorrow, they are pushed to become better humans so that dreams may be translated into reality. This is truly what Star Trek is about.

Over my last four years of high school, I have been a regular viewer of Star Trek.  Regular exposure to it has left me with many irreversible side effects: most noticeably, I have become a Trekkie.  Every night, after homework, school events and other activities, I looked forward to the latest installment to whatever Star Trek series I happened to be watching at the time.

As I watched these episodes, I increasingly yearned to explore my own human nature and realize my full potential.  The only way to do this, I knew, was to experience the multiple facets of life through studies and life experiences.  However, on my journey of self-discovery, there has been one experience that has helped me explore myself better than anything else: Ethic News.

When I first joined Ethic News in my junior year of high school, I immediately noticed something unique about the organization; they encouraged students to embrace their interests – whatever those interests may be –  by providing a platform through which students could explore and share their interests. I, like all normal journalists, decided that my first article for Ethic News should be on something new, something relevant, like Adam Smith’s “The Theory of Moral Sentiments.”  The fact that Ethic News allowed me to publish such a piece spoke volumes to me.

In Ethic News, I found the creative outlet from which I could launch my exploration of my humanity through embracing my interests.  The people I met at Ethic also pushed me greatly to explore things outside the realm of my normal interests as well. Every moment I spent writing for Ethic felt like it was worthwhile.

When I was offered the Copy Editor and Editor-in-Chief positions at the end of my junior year, I was elated.  I made one of the easiest – as well as probably the best – decisions of my life. However, I did not fully know what great experiences I would have by getting more deeply involved in the organization.  

Throughout the year, as Copy Editor, I corrected tons of articles.  I encountered many different writing styles and viewpoints, and I learned to appreciate them all for the unique articles they created.  Through these articles, I got to know the writers of Ethic News better; I saw their interests and their passion for them. I got to see, through their writing, how they changed as the year progressed.  It was truly an enlightening experience that allowed me to come into contact with the humanity of others in a completely unique way.

Not only did I discover more about myself through the continued pursuance of my own interests this year in Ethic News, but I also learned firsthand the uniqueness that every individual possesses.  Ethic News allowed me to step back and appreciate the scope of human individuality. Thus, Ethic News managed to turn my quest for self-discovery into a quest to discover the greatness of the human race through the individuality that everyone possesses.

For this, I am eternally grateful to Ethic News.  I could not have asked for a better experience. For both my years at Redlands East Valley High School, Ethic News gave me a sense of belonging in the school community; it gave me a place to surround myself with individuals who shared my passion for discovery.  It truly was one of the best experiences of my life, and I shall truly miss it as it is irreplaceable. Thank you Ethic News for allowing me to get to know myself better; to become a better leader; and to discover the amazing spark that every individual possesses.  And thank you Mrs. Aranda for being an amazing mentor these two years; I could not have asked for a better role model who exhibited the best qualities a person can strive to possess.

Goodbye Ethic News.  I will forever miss you.  As Spock would say, “Live long and prosper.”    

REV managing editor Lilian Mohr, REV editor-in-chief senior Christian Morrison, Citrus Valley editor-in-chief Brandon Saglam and Citrus Valley managing editor Ahlora Smith at the Ethic News banquet on Friday, May 24 at Citrus Valley High School. (Ethic Photo)

Column: A formal goodbye to Ethic News


Ethic News 2018-2019 banquet photo of Citrus Valley staff. (Courtesy of Tayfun Saglam)

I was never particularly fond of the idea of saying goodbye to the publication I had put so much time and love into. My time in Ethic may have been short, but it meant the world to me. Before joining this club, I lacked direction. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do and what I loved, but, much like me, my path seemed to be lacking a spark. Nothing seemed to click until I wrote my first article. The ability to weave words into a story that can captivate readers will forever be the most fascinating power one can wield. All of my lofty thoughts and arguments in my head had finally found a home. I had a platform that I could write in without judgment with the guidance of my friends and the editors before me.

On the topic of friends, I have met some of the most important people in my life within this family. Because at the end of the year that is what this publication has become to me: a family. A group of people that I can be with every day and still find them just as interesting and hilarious as the day I met them. I leave this publication with the knowledge that I have people I can rely on and trust, which means more to me than they could ever know. I will truly miss the daily conversations about the most obscure topics with Brandon, the shared laughs with Ahlora as someone does something foolish across the room and the endless waving contests with Gabe before someone’s arm gets too tired.

My fear for the coming years is beginning to settle in as I am leaving the comfort of a familiar system to be thrust into the unknowns of a new world. Despite that gnawing fear in the back of my mind, I can go into the rest of my life with the lessons and love that Ethic has given me. I can go forth like the dashing and courageous characters in the many books I have reviewed on this page. I leave this safe place to venture into the unknown, but never forgetting the love and happiness I found here. For that everlasting bright light in my history, I am eternally grateful.

Column: This is my Ethic photo book



I spent some time thinking about how I should say goodbye to this publication that means so much to me. I knew I had no perfect formula to senior year or even high school to share, nor do I believe I can write something so profound it would be meaningful to me. I am an individual who likes to share art and memories, something which evokes feelings from an individual and that is how I communicate.

I thought I would keep the same format I had on every editorial I have done this year. Having spent four years having participated in Ethic, I have memories I will treasure forever. As an avid photographer I document a large portion of my life through photos. So I thought given that I feel my largest contribution to the publication this year was through my photography I thought I would share some of my favorites from my time with Ethic.

This is my Ethic News photo book:

This was our 2017-2018 year banquet and I just remember how nice it was to see all the old and current editors together. (Courtesy Tayfun Saglam)

This was Ethic’s 2017 Christmas potluck and it was just very fun day share with some of my peers. That would be the first of some of the many photos of our unofficial mascot Bubby the peacock. (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)

This was the day our 2017-2018 management editor Jessica Lopez had been asked to Homecoming by her crush and it was one of the purest moments of happiness I have ever seen. (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)

This was taken during the Citrus Valley walkouts and it was nice to photograph in a way history and I felt like an actual photojournalist. I would also along with, one of my best friends and current arts and entertainment editor, Dorian Neighbors and current sports editor Tatum Mapes win a reader’s choice award.
That 2017-2018 year as it came to an end the current photo editor Gabriel Stanfield and I took a collection of photos with our unofficial mascot Bubby. I would later find out that humorously we were not supposed to be in that room. The photo album I would make would be titled “LIT=Bubby”. (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)

The Citrus Valley 2018 Homecoming game was my first football game I covered for Ethic and the feedback was amazing. That night was so fun as I had spent the day with my friends then went to the game and just had a great shoot. This would be one of the highlights of my senior year and would be the first time I fully comprehended being a senior. (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)


The Citrus Valley boys basketball senior night against Yucaipa would mean a lot to me as one of my close friends senior point guard Roman Jackson would play so I was happy to be also getting photos for him. It meant a lot that he had appreciated me coming, even though part of it was also for newspaper. I would also take one of best action shots of senior forward A.J. Burroughs going up for a basket, and I would post the article the next day. That was a long night. (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)


If you have heard about the class you might have heard about Citrus Valley’s classroom antics.

These would be last senior rallies and there is just so much emotion in these photos.

This is arguably my favorite photo of the year. We were closing on the film photography for mental health shoot and I wanted to take a group photo with the people who helped so i set a timer and we all crunched in. (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)


The original first editors and me (left side), and this years staff (right side). I will remember them all forever. (courtesy Tayfun Saglam)

In closing I would first like to thank Mrs. Aranda and Mrs. Snavely for their help they have provided that I find invaluable in the last four years.

I will miss my time with Ethic news from the daily high fives with Alyssa Martin, quotes from Richard Bunner such as “Drinking Caprisuns is honestly a religious experience”, and dancing throughout the classroom since day one.

I was inspired to do this by Kota the Friend’s album Foto so I will close with lyrics from his outro song “FOTO”:

“I left you with this photo,
And I kept the negative,
You can find out where you’re going,
If you know where you been,
I left you with this photo,
To be sure you don’t forget,
What mattered in a moment,
It mattered in a moment,”

Final farewell from the last of the first year students.

-Brandon Saglam a.k.a. “Happy Feet”

The immortal life of lobsters: A letter to the author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

Editor’s Column

Christina is the Opinion editor for Ethic News.


Should this ever reach Rebecca Skloot, award-winning author and renowned science journalist, know that I, creatively strung out high schooler, felt for the first time in perhaps a decade the unrelenting, childlike desire to really learn after reading “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” As I raced through my copy, the near-catatonic section of my brain assigned to learning jolted awake, like a student caught dozing off in class. I was the peacefully sleeping student and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” was the textbook passive-aggressively dropped onto my desk – the ear-splitting slap of hardcover hitting faux oak sent my mind frantically scrambling to comprehend all that I had allowed myself to miss.

Betrayed by many a textbook before, I must admit that when this novel was assigned as required reading I had already resigned myself to endure yet another acclaimed expert sit atop their untouchable mountain of expertise and fling incomprehensible jargon and abstract scientific concepts at the heads of all who made the mistake of opening the front cover. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here was the general sentiment. However, much to my surprise, this novel practically grabs the reader by the shoulders and shoves them headfirst into the dizzying world of Henrietta Lacks and her immortal cells.

First, I have to address the lobster in the room – and the myth of immortality that surrounds the crustacean. Contemporary research suggests that lobsters may not slow down or weaken with age because they continue to excrete telomerase, an enzyme that repairs the sections of DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes known as telomeres, throughout adulthood in most of their tissue. Telomeres are the biological equivalent of the plastic tips on shoelaces; they keep chromosome ends from fraying – thus protecting an organism’s DNA – and, just like shoes wear out with time, telomeres shorten with each cell division in a process associated with aging. Lobsters, however, seemed to possess the elusive elixir of immortality with their extended production of telomerase late into adulthood. Naturally, people eagerly leapt to fanciful conclusions, propagating the notion there are immortal lobsters scuttling around the ocean floor, untouchable by time and a non-fine-dining related death. And naturally, for most of my life, I believed it.

I kept believing this lobster longevity lie right up until I stumbled upon a Smithsonian article cruelly titled “Don’t Listen to the Buzz: Lobsters Aren’t Actually Immortal,” and the other shoe finally dropped.

Turns out, despite the telomerase, lobsters still only grow by moulting, and logically, the larger the lobster, the more metabolic energy is required to carry out the process. Hence why 10 to 15 percent of lobsters die of exhaustion during moulting, and older lobsters ultimately cease moulting, causing their exoskeletons to eventually collapse entirely as they all inescapably wind up sleeping with the fishes.

Thus, it was the myth of deathless lobsters that clamored for my attention as this novel described science’s inability to even properly report Henrietta Lacks’s name, much less honor her legacy. Henrietta Lacks, a poor black farmer, whose cancerous cells – obtained without her knowledge or consent in 1951 – became an unparalleled tool in medical research and the key to developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping and in vitro fertilization. I could not comprehend how the scientific community, so rooted in painstaking precision and sadistic thoroughness, could for so long overlook the real woman behind those immortals cells – until I remembered the only other immortal being to my knowledge, and the other incomplete picture I had so willingly accepted for so long.

This revelation was merely the beginning of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” making itself far too comfortable on my conscience, which, in retrospect, must be the entire point. The determination of this novel to discuss Henrietta Lacks as the real woman she was and follow the heartbreak of the Lacks family as they felt it humanizes the unfeeling, unfathomable science and history so that the clueless layman, like myself, stands a chance at comprehending it all. It was the irrepressible humanity of the Lackses that made the barrage of ceaseless information and sordid injustices bearable. It was Deborah Lacks, the daughter of Henrietta, who tore at the heartstrings the most for she could have easily been either my cookie-baking grandma or doe-eyed little sister, desperate for the most mundane scraps of information—not necessarily the precise mechanisms of Henrietta’s curious cells—but simply what was her mother’s favorite song or color. In all, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” to me was not only an invitation to embark on a crusade for the recognition of Henrietta Lacks’ innumerable contributions to science but also a reminder to pick at the threads of life’s inconsistencies and unexplained dead-ends, for who knows what long-hidden truths may unravel and present themselves—be it not-immortal lobsters or one woman’s immortal legacy.

Column: How a cartoon changed the way I saw my mother

Editor’s Column

Tatum is the Sports Editor of Ethic News.


Ever since I was little, I loved cartoons. Whether it was “Spongebob” or “Phineas and Ferb,” I had always found myself being drawn towards animated worlds where everything is possible. Even today, as a teenager, I still find myself watching cartoons on a regular basis, even more than live action shows. At first, I never thought much of it. The action on the screen was exaggerated and interesting to look at, but now, looking back, I realize that my preference for animation came from a desire to escape reality for 11 minutes. That is how it was for a long time until I came across Steven Universe.

For those who are unaware, Steven Universe is a show on Cartoon Network that just recently finished its fifth season. The show, created by Rebecca Sugar, centers around a young boy with inherited magical powers from his mother. He goes on adventures with other beings like his mother as he struggles to learn how to use his powers. Pretty simple, kids’ stuff, right? Think again.

A major theme in the series is Steven’s relationship with his deceased mother, Rose. He never knew her, but he constantly hears stories from his friends and father about how wonderful she was as she died as a result of his birth. Even though he never met her, Steven feels this spiritual connection with Rose.

I have an experience that is similar to Steven’s. While, unfortunately, I do not have any magical powers or go on adventures with ancient beings, I lost my birth mother before I ever got to know her. My father and mother were happily married for a few years and were shocked to discover they were pregnant with triplets. After 8 ½ months of carrying us, my parents happily welcomed my brothers and me into the world.

The strain of carrying three children at once, however, took its toll on my mother, and she developed the heart condition that eventually led to her passing in 2005. I was two years old when she died, and, as an act of betrayal by my toddler memory, I was robbed of the chance to ever develop a relationship with her. Like Steven, all of my “memories” of her are of friends and family telling me how beautiful, kind and compassionate she was. Whenever we talk about her in my family, we refer to her as “Angel Mommy.”

I realize now that I started developing a God-complex of my mother. I would hear things like “you look just like her” and “she liked the same things as you,” and I would feel proud of my connection to such a divine person, that I was the one to carry on her legacy as her only daughter. But how would I be able to live up to the legend?

When I was first watching Steven Universe, I instantly recognized that the situation he was in was similar to my own. Many lines of dialogue either started with “your mother used to” or ended with “just like your mother.” This was often followed by some blushing or happy crying on Steven’s part. He idolized Rose and was willing to do anything to be like her. Steven even revealed in a later episode that he considered dying his hair to look like her, but he was also insecure in the fact that he never felt like he could live up to her

However, the more information he learned about his mother’s life, the more this image of perfection faded away. He found out that Rose lied, kept secrets, betrayed and even killed (kind of, but not really). She was reckless and immature. She was FLAWED. I wrote in a previous article that the best characters are the ones that are flawed because that is what makes them human. Steven never saw his mom like a normal person with these flaws. He never saw her as human, and the realization that she was not the perfect being he thought she was shaking him to the core.

This got me thinking. My mom was not a giant woman from space. She was a regular person, just like me, and the more I try to learn about her, the closer this connection would be. While I did not stumble upon any earth-shattering evidence that my birth mother was a traitor to her homeworld, I did find that she was flawed, in the best way.

One of my best friends said that the best way to get to know someone is to learn what their quirks are, so I put that to the test. I asked my stepmother, who is as much my mother as she was if there were any quirks that my mom had, and she gave me a whole list of little blips and peculiarities of her personality. I learned that she would wear super high heels even when her feet got sore. I found pictures of her in ordinary situations, lounging on a couch with a t-shirt and messy hair. I talked with my dad about her life, and he gave me a lot of insight into how she acted and felt. He told me of her past mistakes as well as triumphs.

One little thought that came from watching a cartoon helped and encouraged me to understand who my mother really was before she died. I already knew that she was a good person, but now I know that she was human. While I do still believe I am responsible for carrying on her legacy, I also believe that I don’t need to become her in order to do that. What I need to do is continually striving to be the best possible version of myself, flaws and all. Through my religious beliefs, I believe I will see her again, and, when I do, she will be proud of me for just trying my best. In the words of Steven’s mother, “You are going to be something extraordinary. You are going to be a human being.”

Column: Exploring the Art of Polynesian Tattoos

Editors Column: Exploring the cultural and personal beauty of tattoos

Dorian Neighbors is the Arts & Entertainment editor for Ethic News.

April 2019



Ancient tribes in Polynesia did not have a written language, so their style of tattoos was symbolic of events or situations that defined a person. According to Roberto Gemori, nearly everyone was tattooed within this society, and it was used to represent things such as a person’s place in the hierarchy. The most elaborate style comes from the Marquesan tribes, which featured complex designs that embellished the entire body. Unfortunately, a glaring issue presents itself when researching the art of Polynesian tattoos. The majority of designs were lost when Captain James Cook discovered the art of tattooing. He penned the name “tattaw,” which is “derived from the Tahitian word ‘tatau’, meaning to mark.” Shortly after Cook returned with the reports of tattooed men and women, Missionaries descended upon the Pacific in 1797 and claimed tattooing was a “sinful process.” While the art form was completely destroyed within certain tribes, such as the Tongo, it was kept alive with the Samoan people. Tattoos were seen as a necessary process within the culture and often took days to complete. The process would last from dusk to dawn or until the one being tattooed could not take the pain anymore, in which case the process would begin the next day. If one could not finish the process due to the pain, they would be left to wear their unfinished work for the rest of their life as a mark of shame. According to Skin Stories, those who did not begin or finish the process of tattooing were ostracized by their tribe and were marked as a coward. The art of tattooing was passed down and was a lifelong commitment. In order to become a tattoo artist, an apprentice would be taken up at a very young age and trained by the master, called “tufuga.” Due to the rudimentary tools used, a deathly infection was a strong possibility and a great fear of many, but abandoning the process was a lifelong shameful act. The Samoan people used tools made of “sharpened boars teeth fastened together with a portion of the turtle shell and to a wooden handle.” The healing process was long and painful and often took over a year to heal entirely. The tattoo was washed with salt water, and members of the tribe would aid with the recovery; however, infections and permanent scarring were menacing threats to anyone partaking in their art. The tattoos for these Polynesian tribes were a unifying force among their people; it was a lifelong badge of honor that not only told a story but also the story of the tribe. An individual’s life and beliefs were forever etched into their skin, and, for the tribes, it was a vital part of being human. This art brought people who may have never met together through common practice, creating an unbreakable bond through both pain and art.

Column: Seeing junior year through the eyes of a “well-rounded” student

Editor’s Column

Ahlora is the Managing Editor of Ethic News.


Eleventh grade, junior year, the bane of most students’ existence.

Going into high school, I would imagine that most kids got the “join lots of clubs and get involved!” talk. Although following this advice made my freshman and sophomore year actually quite enjoyable, the havoc has come to a big, fat climax in the fourth quarter of my junior year. Before any conclusions get jumped to, I will just include my role as a student on the Citrus Valley campus; I have been involved in Ethic News, Thespian Society and Comedy Sportz since my freshman year, and I am manager for both Ethic and Comedy Sportz. This year, I joined Mock Trial, Junior Classical League and Link crew, two in which I hold a leadership position. Oh, and I have a 4.2 GPA and have been in honors and AP classes all three years of high school. I am also playing a supporting character in Romeo and Juliet, which we rehearse for every day after school. When I take a step back and look at my overall situation, it’s hit me that I just need a gosh darn break.

Now, don’t get me wrong! I get the biggest rush from having the occasional busy day, and high school has been a fantastic experience, but my specific class and activity load this year has me just plain tired. What, or who more precisely, prompted me to write this column in the first place was Mrs. Karen Alexander, my AP Language teacher. She recently announced that our mock exam for the class would take place on either April 23 or 24. Upon a glance at my calendar, I found that those dates land in tech week for Romeo and Juliet, a week during which we are not permitted to even think about missing any rehearsals. I then just casually scrolled through my calendar and promptly had a mental breakdown. Between the show, practice, homework, banquets, events and life-defining tests and exams, the first day that I can finally rest not thinking about the next stress-inducing task is June 6, the last day of school.

I live by the motto “do what you love and what you are passionate about” because what is life without doing what you love? All the activities that I am involved in do strike significant points in my interests, so it’s not like I am trying to drown myself in “meaningless” clubs simply to pad my resume. The passion and drive that it takes to be involved in these organizations would simply be a time and energy waster if this was my intention. It all boils down to one fact: I, like all students, have a very eclectic pool of interests that I want to further explore. My activities have helped shape me into the person that I am as I sit and write this column, tearing up at my plans for the rest of the year, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m not exactly sure what it is about Junior year specifically that has students like me reeling, but there are small supplements throughout the year that have lead up to the point at which we are. We start the year which the most advanced classes that the driven students have ever taken; then, we wade through the teenage hormones, drama and tears to get to SAT, AP and SBAC season. In the midst of all this, having a social life along with the activities have had me going through the most prolific highs and lows of my life. I’ve even been touring college campuses recently! Crazy, right? This collection of thoughts and events is honestly what I do believe makes junior year absolutely nuts, especially for those that dedicate their time to a myriad of interests.

This whole jumble of ideas brings me to my point: being a well-rounded and (not self proclaimed) “accomplished” student demands so much from meer sixteen-year-olds nationwide, and I believe that I speak on behalf of us all when I say that we just want to sleep until graduation! Yes, I acknowledge that I put all this upon myself, and, yes, I know that I am so insanely lucky to even have these opportunities, but this is still me speaking my truth as a beautifully stressed junior; take that as you will. All I, and everyone else in a situation similar to mine, can do is face this end of the year catastrophe head on and power through to senior year and the rest of life.

People of Redlands



So I was inspired by Brandon Stanton’s project “Humans of New York” to take portraits of people and get a glimpse into their life through a question. So on March 28, I thought it would be interesting to meet some of the people of Redlands during Market Night.

Here is my adventure:

“I believe my greatest achievement in life has been working on the Saturn V rocket which went to the moon. It was like any other job, but it was nice knowing I was apart of it. I worked on constructing both the interior and exterior of the rocket. I’m 92 now and us World War II veterans are being flown out to DC and will be touring the memorials” (BRANDON SAGLAM/Ethic Photo)
“I always find joy in making art, being tactile and making things out of nothing. I like making sculptures the most, working with wood palettes and weird junkyard stuff it’s really fun for me! I get most of my inspiration, well I don’t know, but I guess my family and the things I observe around me.”
“I feel I am at a point in my life where it seems like a dark tunnel meaning I am not sure where I am and where I am headed but there is a light at the end and I will get there eventually no matter the obstacles I face.”
“My greatest goal in life would be to strive to be the person I was created to become which is, first of all, a good human being, a great husband, and a great father.”
“I usually get inspiration for my fashion from Instagram. I love following style pages, especially around fashion from the early 2000s, 90s, 70s, anything that’s cute to me. I have probably touched a lot of sides fashion from different cultures and even anime.”
“The most influential person in my life is probably Jesus Christ I am quite a religious individual and its something I come back to when I feel I need help in life”
“It’s nice selling eggs and produce to the community at an event like this because people like them. Everything was picked up today the eggs were out in the sun and from legitimately free range chickens they were not cooped up inside in a four by four pen that is why the yoke is orange and not yellow and I am proud of that.”
“We’re close friends and we met at the bar he DJs, and we typically hangout and get food. The key to having a good friendship is having the same appetites and food likes also music, movies, and entertainment. Cause the way we dress that doesn’t matter you know but if you both love Beethoven you will both get along.” (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)
“I am inspired to play music by bands like Caged Elephant and the doors. The most enjoyable part of playing music for others is being out and playing I don’t really care about getting money it is just more about the experience.”
“My greatest fear is being alone” (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)

Column: Exploring the cultural and personal beauty of tattoos, part 1

Editors Column: Exploring the cultural and personal beauty of tattoos

Dorian Neighbors is the Arts & Entertainment editor for Ethic News.

March 2019


An innate desire lies within people to make themselves distinct from everyone else. Whether this is with a hairstyle or with any type of body modification, the process of changing one’s appearance has been ingrained in people’s desires since the start of mankind. This seemingly simple aspiration is what directly led to the process of not only body modifications but also the art of tattoos.

Different art styles have developed throughout history, including styles such as Native Indigenous tribes, Classic Japanese, and Traditional American. These styles developed into a variety of different expressions all with distinct meanings unique to each person.

The art of tattooing is so heavily ingrained into every single culture around the world that it becomes difficult to tell history without mentioning tattoos, or talk about tattoos without revealing some history.

Regardless of the art style or time period, the same idea remains: tattoos make a person whole. Tattoos do not always need to have a poetic meaning or a tragic backstory tied to them, simply admiring the art behind it is enough.

Regardless of backlash and hatred from those who do not understand the art, tattoos have withstood the test of time as it becomes more and more common to see people with tattoos. As a method of self-expression, the misfits of society band together through art in a unique sense of comradery that is entirely unparalleled.  

Column: Guess who? Highlighting kindness on campus, part 5

Editor’s Column: Guess who?

Mia Delmonico is the Features editor at Ethic News.


March 2019

Spring break is only two weeks away, and each and every student seems to be trying their best to make it through, as the workload seems to increasingly get more intense. Teachers try to cram in tests before the break, and the speed of the class seems to pick up because of this. Overall, it can be extremely overwhelming for some, or even most, students. Many have to manage time exceptionally well to complete all of the work, and several even have to balance this load with practices and multiple after-school activities. Through this struggle, many rely on their peers to make their days more enjoyable so that they can forget about the burden, even just for a little while. These students can make someone’s day in less than a minute with a friendly smile or even just a simple “hello” in the hall. Small gestures like these can have the greatest impact on other students on campus.

This certain student is particularly helpful and extremely thoughtful. He excels in all subject areas and is able to understand all of the information very clearly. Because of this, countless students are always asking this individual for help, whether it be in Spanish, math or physics. He could easily ignore their requests and continue to get ahead on his work, but he chooses not to. He makes the selfless choice to stop what he is doing and assist the other students in whatever it is that they need. Furthermore, he does all of this with a smile on his face and a patient attitude, which makes everyone he helps to feel as though they are not a burden.

Outside of class, this student’s kind personality is reflected upon anyone that crosses his path. Though he is quiet, he will always ask how someone’s day is going or how they are doing. He genuinely cares and always makes others feel included. He truly exhibits several qualities of not only a good friend and a good student, but also those of an all around good person.

Overall, this student is able to brighten other students’ days with his kindness, helpfulness, and patience. He truly depicts what it means to care about the people around him. Each and every student can help improve the lives of others, just like this individual. We just have to remember “no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted…”

Guess who? Highlighting kindness on campus part 4

Editor’s Column: Guess who?

Mia Delmonico is the Features editor at Ethic News.


January 2019

Upon returning from winter break, students have to get readjusted to the hecticness of school once again. After three weeks off, the task of going to six periods a day can be overwhelming for a lot of high school students. The stress may seem as though it all comes rushing back at once and that all of a sudden there is an exceedingly large amount of responsibilities on our plates once more. Though this is very true, there are some members of the high school community that simply improve the environment and the attitudes of those around them. Students such as this can do this through great acts of kindness and optimism or small gestures that make immense impacts.

This particular student, though, exceeds all expectations with her elevated levels of kindness to all. She constantly has a smile on her face and is always bubbly and outgoing with an unfaltering positive attitude that is truly contagious to everyone around her. This student is always extremely friendly to all of her fellow Wildcats, whether she knows them or is unfamiliar with them. This student is absolutely a highlight to several other high schoolers’ days.

Furthermore, no matter what may be happening in her own life, she seems to have made it her goal to make the lives of others even just a little bit better. She truly understands what it means to be a kind and respectful individual to all. Each and every student can learn from her actions so that we too can help to better our fellow Wildcats’ days.

Overall, this student improves the lives of other students through her kind gestures, positive attitude, and a generous and respectful personality.  Everyone can be a little more like her. Remember, “There is always a reason to smile … You just have to find it.“

Insight into mental illnesses through film photography

By Brandon Saglam


This is an attempt at allowing others to understand what it may be like to be afflicted by these mental illnesses. All interpretations are broad in specificity and relatively can be situational to an individuals experience and does not represent every experience an individual may have with the pertaining illness. These interpretations are based on DSM-5 descriptions, American Psychological Association, stories from individuals that shall remain anonymous, and personal experiences and observations.

The intention of this editorial is simply to allow others a glimpse into how it may be to be afflicted by these illnesses and to encourage the discussion of mental health issues among students and adults. The photographs represent how society can force those afflicted to hide their symptoms or turn a blind eye to their symptoms. This portrayed by the more clear straight face and the truth being the apparitions accompanying the individual as one cannot run from mental health issues but only treat them.

All photos were taken using a Canon 35 millimeter film camera and each of the images are either double or triple exposed. This means a segment of the strip of film was exposed to another image when it was taken. None of the images were edited in any way other than a black and white filter to remove the green tint which resulted from the film being 20 plus years old (possibly close to expiration).

Another thing important to note is that the models are simply posing for these illnesses and that these images do not mean that they suffer from these illnesses that information was never disclosed and they simply are modeling for each image.

Depressive Disorders

Representation of depressive disorders. (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)

Depressive disorders are numerous based on criteria of how long mood is impacted, the consistency of occurrence, the severity of irritation caused often by chemical imbalances of the brain, and how the chemical dis-regulation has occurred. Clinical manifestation often as seen a consistent change in mood impacted by a hormonal imbalance of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters typically associated with happiness and pleasure. Any cause of chemical imbalance can result in the occurrence of this disorder from genetic predispositions, pregnancy, medication/ drugs, trauma, and seasonal shifts which all can act upon hormone production.

The photograph is supposed to reveal how it is commonplace that individuals do not always express how they feel hiding the pain they are sometimes truly are feeling.

Anxiety Disorders

Representation of anxiety disorders. (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)

Anxiety disorders consist of disorders pertaining to excessive fear and anxiety which impact or impede behaviors needed in everyday life. Fear and anxiety are two separate conditions, fear an emotional response and anxiety is the anticipation of future events. Both can overlap and disorders appear when these normal conditions appear in extreme episodes in which an individual has no to little control over. Going deeper diagnosis would be based on the situation which triggers the conditions and how extreme the occurrence is.

The photograph depicts an extreme situation in which the individual is having a panic attack. Anxiety disorders are very situational and can be experienced and triggered by broad circumstances. This is a factor in why anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue among Americans according to the APA.

For more information on anxiety disorders read Melanie Uribe’s article “The scientific processes behind anxiety disorders”

Bipolar Disorders

Representation of bipolar disorders specifically cyclothymic disorder. (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)

Bipolar disorders are broadly broken down into bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymic disorder as far as specifiable disorders go. They bridge the gap of diagnosis between schizophrenic and depressive disorders based upon symptomology, family history, and genetics. Simply they all see an instability of mood specifically in bipolar I and II this refers to the occurrence of both manic and major depressive episodes for persisting periods of time (for a diagnosis of bipolar II disorder it would mean throughout one’s lifetime). Mania would be characterized as a period where one has abnormally high energy, very grandiose, and rash in decisive situations. In contrast to a depressive period in which one is depressed, fatigued, experiences diminished cognitive function, and plagued by recurrent thoughts of death.

The photography would express cyclothymic disorder specifically which is a form of borderline bipolar disorder in which an individual undergoes cycles of both hypomanic to depressive periods but never undergoes manic or major depressive episodes. The photograph is supposed to show left to right as one undergoes the following shift from a hypomanic episode into a depressive one.

Schizophrenia Spectrum

Representation of schizophrenia spectrum. (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)

Schizophrenia spectrum refers to difficulty in the ability to discriminate between reality and psychotic breaks(psychotic is very negatively connotative but it simply means a break from reality). Psychotic disorders on the spectrum consist of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, abnormal motor behavior, and negative symptoms (to expand on negative symptoms it refers to diminished emotional expression and avolition). An individual with schizophrenia can have one or a combination of these psychotic disorders given why it is a spectrum.

As Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders are breaks, in reality, this is difficult to depict, but what the photograph attempts to show is a lapse in reality that is why the individual’s apparition is shown upside down as to express this break.

Personality Disorders

Representation of personality disorders. (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)

Personality Disorders are marked by an enduring pattern of behavior and inner experience that deviate from the expectation of an individual’s society which they exist in. These behaviors and inner feelings may be pervasive and occur throughout one’s lifetime. The DSM-5 recognizes ten specific disorders all with this underlying trait.

The photograph is supposed to show the individual as internally uncomfortable with the physical contact and expression of condolence that is why their apparition stares blankly at the camera.

Ending Note:

It is important to recognize that while I have done a large amount of research these are only small descriptions of a couple of mental health issues. The purpose if this article is not to explain but only bring attention and aid one’s understanding of mental health and the experience those with mental health issues undergo. I hope this article only brings interest to the topic and readers simply enjoy the artistic expression I have attempted thank you.

For more information about mental health, I would recommend you look into the National Institute of Mental Health and the American Psychological Association.

Guess who? Highlighting kindness on campus part 3

Editor’s Column: Guess who?

Mia Delmonico is the Features editor at Ethic News.


January 2019

By this point in the year, it seems that almost every student is celebrating. We have made it through finals week and can, at last, take the much-needed break that we all have been desperately awaiting. Winter break is finally here and escape from the hectic everyday school-life is ultimately granted. With strenuous effort, along with hard work and dedication, students were able to power through the rough patch between Thanksgiving break and now, which is often considered one of the most difficult times of the school year. In many cases, students relied on their determination, along with the encouragement and kindness of their peers, to endure the struggles during that time.

There are many students who contribute to the kindness and encouragement that is spread around campus. This certain individual, though, has made an immensely positive impact on their fellow Wildcats. He always has a smile in his face no matter what the circumstances are. This student also shares great acts of kindness with everyone and is very friendly to those that he may not even know. For example, if someone is walking by he will always acknowledge them and smile. Sometimes he may even greet them with a friendly hello as well. Small acts such as these may help someone by just simply making them smile, maybe when they need it the most.

In addition to uplifting gestures such as these, this student also is never afraid to speak his mind. He expresses his ideas and views freely and most often makes a positive impact by sharing them. Also, he always seems to brighten others’ days by just simply being himself. He is always positive despite what is happening in his own life. He is extremely considerate and willing to put others before himself.

Overall, it is small acts such as these that can make the most impact on high schoolers’ lives. Sometimes all it takes to help someone make it through the week or even just the day is a simple smile, laugh or even acknowledgment. As Aesop would say, “no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Jersey Girl does Palm Springs

Editor’s Column: Jersey Girl

Lilian Mohr is the finance manager of Ethic News


Since moving 3000 miles across the country away from my small, New Jersey high school in the middle of what many may describe as “nowhere,” I am starting my journey through my first year as a Cali girl and guess what? I am taking you with me!

During my first Palm Springs experience, I decided to take part in one of my least favorite past times: hiking. I actually dread anything remotely resembling hiking. Between the heat, the boredom and my allergies, hiking is normally not my first choice when I have a free afternoon. But these beautiful and totally amateur-friendly hikes actually surprised me.

We started off the day with just an hour drive south from Redlands to downtown Palm Springs. For being a Saturday morning, there was surprisingly minimal traffic both ways, which eliminated the stress that usually comes with driving in Southern California.

Featured above is the Ace Hotel sign in Palm Springs California of on October 13, 2018. The Ace Hotel is a popular destination for travelers that want to experience the typical retro style of Palm Springs.  (LILIAN MOHR/ Ethic Photo)

Our first stop was a unique, retro diner called King’s Highway. It is a converted old Denny’s Diner and now is the restaurant for the Ace Hotel, a famous Palm Springs vacation spot.

Pictured is the Kings Highway dinner in Palm Springs California of on October 13, 2018. This retro-inspired dinner is the restaurant for the famous Ace Hotel. It’s unique decor and great food makes it a popular destination for many people wanting to experience Palm Springs.
(LILIAN MOHR/ Ethic Photo)

This place captures the essence of Palm Springs, joining a unique sense of architecture and style with amazingly modern food options. From the eyes of an East Coast girl with appreciation for a more classic sense of style, at a first glance, I’m not going to lie, this place worried me a little bit. But the second I stepped inside it was clear this place was something special. So don’t let the life-size macrame elephant’s head hanging on the wall above you turn you away. The King’s Highway Diner is truly a special experience, and it is not just due to the decor.

Let’s just say this place’s food lives up to the hype. I ordered what I thought was just a wedge salad, but this place was able to turn it into something amazing. With a great dressing and topped with maple bacon bits, it ended up being the best wedge salad I have ever had.

The rest of my family shared my enthusiasm for the quality of the food. We had also ordered the breakfast burrito, which received high praises. Our only regret in our orders actually came with the dessert. I can’t say for sure, but just by the look of them the Date Milkshakes being served looked amazing. I know that flavor might concern some people, but since Palm Springs is close to so many date farms this diner took advantage of their surroundings and, from the looks of it, created a masterpiece. So some advice for any future King’s Highway Diner goers, try the date milkshakes.

After we were literally filled to the brim and fueled for the rest of our day, we took off for our next destination, Indian Canyons.   

Pictured is the Andreas Canyon hike in Palm Springs California of on October 13, 2018. This hike is a one-mile loop that allows participants a chance to see some palm trees but also experience part of the Palm Springs desert including things like cati and wildlife.
(LILIAN MOHR/ Ethic Photo)

Indian Canyons, according to the guy hiking next to us, is the largest palm tree grove in the world, and I have to say even if he is wrong it is actually really impressive. For being a quick and easy hike for all skill levels, the Indian Canyon trail offers not only a moderate workout but a view many come a long way to see. Once you have descended onto the trail path, it is serene with only the sounds of nature surrounding you. For the most part, the palm trees provide enough shade where it isn’t too hot or too cold, and it sort of mutes the rest of the world, leaving its explorers in a true sense of relaxation. The hike is beautiful and provides great views of the grove. There are also picnic benches available, so it would make a great spot for an outdoor lunch.

Then once you have climbed back up to the main information center, there is a nice overview of the whole trail. Overall, this was a great way to experience a part of Palm Springs while also getting outside for a little while.

Pictured above is Lillian Mohr in the middle of Indian Canyon in Palm Springs California of on October 13, 2018. There is a hike in Indian Canyon that allows people a chance to walk inside the palm groves and experience the palm trees up close.
(LILIAN MOHR/ Ethic Photo) 

We ended the day with a walk around downtown Palm Springs. Although we didn’t spend too much time there, I could tell that there were some one-of-a-kind stores. A lot of it was retro-inspired, but there were also a variety of options: from mainstream chain stores all the way down to some really unique thrift shops.

Overall, my first Palm Springs experience was one to remember. The unique style and retro architecture of many destinations, like the renovated inns and diners, made it a cool spot to check out the amazing desert landscapes and allowed me to get to experience the real Palm Springs environment. On my next visit, I would love to go and find some crazier spots with even more unique aspects, but for now, I would totally suggest a day trip to Palms Springs.

Guess who? Highlighting kindness on campus, part 2

Editor’s Column: Guess who?

Mia Delmonico is the Features editor at Ethic News.


November 2018

At this point in the year, students are now accustomed to the hardships and the grueling intensity of the school year. Everyone seems to be anxiously awaiting Thanksgiving break and the much-needed change of pace that is offered. As the semester is quickly coming to a close, high schoolers are evidently more stressed than at the beginning of the year and most are still trying their best to earn the best grades possible in their classes. Many are counting down the days until the break and until they are finally given a week of a little less stress and a little more relaxation or adventure. As students endure that last days before break, some rely on their peers to make each day a just a bit better or to help them forget their worries, even if it’s just for a little while.

There are several students that contribute by being kind, generous and helpful to all. This particular person though has made a great impact on their fellow Wildcats. She has also shown them that, though change is very difficult, it is also possible and that one can always make the best out of a situation if a positive attitude is always held as the standard. She is always positive and bubbly, and her happiness is contagious to almost everyone around her. She seems to brighten everyone’s day and put a smile on her fellow student’s faces.

In addition to being outstandingly kind to those around her, this student also excels in the classroom. She is always willing to help the teacher and also her classmates in any way she can. This student also uses innovative ways to productively get her work done and stay on task. She is a hard-worker and never puts in less than her absolute best effort. In addition, she does her work with a smile on her face and has a positive outlook on the outcome of what she produces, despite how difficult the path to get there might have been. Overall, she is an excellent role model both in and out of the classroom.

Notable qualities and gestures like these can make a world of difference to the high schoolers around us that may be struggling with stress. To be more like this student and others who display amazing acts of kindness, just remember, as a someone once said: “kindness is a gift that everyone can afford to give.”

Thinking Deeply: Curse Tablets reveal aspects of Roman culture

Editor’s Column: Thinking Deeply

Christian Morrison is the co-editor in chief of Ethic News


Imagine this: you just got done swimming at your local public pool, but when you went to get out you find that your sandals are missing.  You have just been robbed!  This was a common occurrence for many Romans living throughout the empire.  However, where you might call the police to report the crime that just occurred, a Roman citizen would have no type of law enforcement to turn to.  Although law enforcement did exist in the Roman Empire, it was almost exclusively for the wealthy and powerful and mainly ignored lower class citizens affected by crime.  So what was a Roman to do?

Naturally, that citizen would turn to their patron.  In Roman society, those in the upper classes, such as the equestrian or senatorial classes, would hire people from the lower classes to perform jobs for them, such as attending political events with them, witnessing the signing of business documents, and following them through the forum.  In return, the patron would provide food and money to their followers.  A patron would be obliged to help out their clients and would aid them in seeking justice.  

However, not every Roman had a patron.  Without their backing, a Roman was left quite helpless in seeking retribution for any wrongdoing committed against them.  Instead of giving up their pursuit for vengeance, they would turn to the immortal gods for aid.  To do this, they reached out to the gods through lead tablets on which they would write their message.

They would typically start off by calling upon one of the gods to help them receive justice.  Then they would offer the god something, such as money or other material items, in return for their aid.  In some cases, the curse-maker would offer the health of the person who wronged them to the god.  

Often they would beseech the god to take away the mental capacities of the criminal and cause great physical suffering until they decided to return what they stole.  In rare instances, a picture representing something in the message would be drawn. In one such picture, Charon, the ferryman of the underworld, was drawn upon his vessel.  After writing the message out, the Roman would roll up the message and place it in a place associated with the gods.  For example, in Bath, Britain many curse tablets were found in a pool dedicated to the god Sulis Minerva.    

A drawing of a Roman curse tablet from

The illustration is an example of what a Roman curse tablet would look like.  According to a translation provided by Oxford, it reads, “Lord Neptune, I give you the man who has stolen the solidus and six argentioli of Muconius. So I give the names who took them away, whether male or female, whether boy or girl. So I give you, Niskus, and to Neptune the life, health, blood of him who has been privy to that taking-away. The mind which stole this and which has been privy to it, may you take it away. The thief who stole this, may you consume his blood and take it away, Lord Neptune.”              

 These tablets provide a key insight into the relationship shared between everyday Romans and their gods.  Based on the tablets’ inscriptions, many Romans viewed their relationship with the gods to be a business one.  In exchange for their help, they would give the god something that they valued.  The discovery of these tablets has been of great importance to the study of Greco-Roman culture as a whole and continues to provide important cultural information to this day as more are found.    


Thinking Deeply: Subjectivity can corrupt the truth


In today’s modern world, where information is transmitted rapidly through social media and online news sites, the concept of what truth is has a stable definition.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the truth is defined as “the body of real things, events, and facts.” In essence, the concept of truth is that it aligns with the reality and facts of a particular situation; if the facts accurately portray that situation, then it is true.

However, what if the facts are corrupted and the reality of the situation is not portrayed?  A simple answer to this quagmire would be that the truth is not being portrayed. Although that statement is true from an outside perspective, what if these corrupted facts and the twisted reality that is portrayed are the only things known about the situation?  If this is the case, then to that particular person the lie becomes the truth.

This is best modeled by Julius Caesar’s “The Gallic War,” in which Caesar details his conquest of what is now known as France, Switzerland, and Belgium.  In his accounts, Caesar details all the cultures he encounters in the region of Gaul and primarily portrays them as barbaric by Roman standards. Unfortunately, the Gallic tribes had no writing system and had their history memorized orally by their religious leaders known as the Druids.  Because of this, Caesar’s account, which displays heavy Roman bias, is the only recording of this war.

Today, many who study Caesar’s “The Gallic War” know that his accounts were designed to justify the many battles waged against the Gallic tribes and generate more popularity among the populace of Rome for himself.  However, to the Romans of Caesar’s day, the lies present in his accounts were completely true to them, as there were no other facts to refute his account. Thus, the lies were substituted for the truth and became the truth.

Picture was taken from

From this rather ancient example, one can gather how different versions of the truth can be created.  If all other facts about a particular situation are lost, then the ones remaining instantly become the truth, as they are the only reality that people have of what happened.  This idea is present in a variety of books of literary merit, including George Orwell’s “1984.”

In Orwell’s novel, the Ministry of Truth, a branch of the totalitarian government reigning at the time of the story, is dedicated to rewriting history to suit the political needs of the Party.  What’s more, the Ministry of Truth burns all accounts of any past facts that might portray a different reality than what they are putting out to the public. In this way, the Party hopes to re-shape reality, for if all the facts portraying one reality are destroyed then whatever replaces them becomes the new reality.

The ideas present in Orwell’s novel are a real danger.  If someone was able to destroy all accounts of the past and create a new one, they could shape reality to their purpose.  When no facts are available to refute the ones created, people will have no choice but to accept a false reality. For what is reality but what we perceive, and is not what we perceive information, and cannot information be made subjective at the will of a person?  It is of the utmost importance to remember that truth by its nature is subjective rather than objective, as the information that surrounds us is prone to be misrepresented out of accident or purpose.

Thinking deeply: The purpose behind the electoral college

Editor’s column: Thinking Deeply

Christian Morrison is the co-editor in chief of Ethic News.


The early years of the then newly formed United States of America were marked with a surprisingly large degree of disunity.  In an attempt to create a democratic society that worked off the will of the people solely, the 13 newly freed states adopted the Articles of Confederation.  This document, however, would fail to create a strong nation as the Congress put in charge of national affairs could not enforce its resolutions or even the collection of its tax revenue.  The state governments held great autonomy, but often times focused on benefitting their respective states solely without consideration of the national interest. In essence, the United States during this time period became a collection of 13 separate states that focused on their own agendas rather than a national one.  Although the people’s interest was well-represented in each state and the threat of a national government becoming tyrannical was minimized, the United States could not continue on in such a state of disarray.

To create a more cohesive nation, delegates selected from each state drafted and proposed our current Constitution.  This document created a strong national government to bind all the state governments together in one national agenda.  It also created the legislative, executive, and judicial branches to ensure a balance of powers that would prevent despotism from gaining a foothold in the government, and thus ensuring that it remained a government that represented the people.  This new governmental structure was what James Madison, a Founding Father and the fourth president of the United States, called an “extended republic.” Though not a full-fledged democracy, this government allowed for people to elect officials to represent their interests in the national government.  However, this representative system created a new host of serious problems.

The balance between majority and minority wants became one such problem.  In a representative government, the majority can quickly take over and push for their wants to be fulfilled.  This seems natural and just until one considers the minority group that is against the majority’s resolutions.  What benefits the majority of people from the different states might cause great harm to the people from the other states.  

The purpose of a representative government is to come to an agreement on issues that is in the national interest, which benefits people from all states represented mutually.  However, when a majority seizes control of the government it quickly promotes only the interests of those states which stand to benefit from a certain course of action, which can hurt the minority opposed to their resolutions.  Should the interests of a large group of people result in harm to a smaller group? The Founding Fathers did not think so and applied such a mentality when creating the voting system for the executive branch.

While the legislative branch was made up of representatives directly elected by the peoples of the different states, the executive branch had only one elected office that represented the interests of all the states.  Fearing that a majority could use its numbers to install an official into that office that only served the interests of those people, the Founding Fathers developed the electoral college system. Knowing that each state has a diverse population unique to that region, they created a system where each state is given a certain amount of electoral votes, determined by the population of that state, to a candidate based on how the people voted in that state.  In this way, states with a larger concentration could not use their population to influence the presidential election, while smaller states could still have a say in the election.

This system was made to directly combat Ochlocracy, or rule of the mob.  By making the vote dependent on how the peoples of certain regions vote, the presidential election is not controlled by a large population from a couple of states.  In this way, the electoral college system determines the right candidate for the presidency by the amount of states that want that candidate rather than the amount of people.  This ensures more fair representation of all people, as each state has different citizens, wants, and needs.

Image from

A most recent example of the electoral college in action would be in the 2016 presidential election that saw Republican candidate Donald Trump pitted against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.  In this heated race, Donald Trump, despite getting a lower popular vote count than Hillary Clinton, got the majority of the electoral college vote. Upon glance, one might conclude that the system is broken because it did not represent the will of a majority of Americans.  However, the system worked as designed. In the election, a majority of states voted for Donald Trump, while a significantly lower count voted for Hillary Clinton. This means that a higher proportion of the country’s regions voted that they wanted Donald Trump to represent them, while a smaller amount of regions said the same for Hillary Clinton.  

The electoral system disallows the state population to affect the outcome of the election.  Different states have different people with different beliefs and different needs. To ensure that all these different people have equal say as to who should become president the Founding Fathers implemented the electoral college system rather than a popular vote system.  They believed that it should be the largest quantity of the different peoples from different states that determined the outcome rather than simply the largest quantity of people. This system, as demonstrated by the 2016 presidential election, still works as the Founding Fathers intended it to over two centuries ago.  

Guess who? Highlighting kindness on campus

 Editor’s Column: Guess Who? Highlighting kindness on campus

Mia Delmonico is the Features editor of Ethic News


High school is a phase that, quite simply, brings us together and simultaneously divides us at the same time. Its meaning varies greatly just by who you ask. Some may say that they are sure it is to be some of the best years of their lives, while others will just as quickly answer with, “Is it summer yet?” Whether students are thrilled or struggling with the idea of returning to school, each and every one has to go through their year of high school. Though this idea may be difficult for certain students to grasp, there are some people and experiences that truly make it worth the while. Despite what people may be going through, there are always some people who seem to do everything they can to make each day better. Whether this is a simple smile, a short conversation, or maybe even a sincere note, all have the capacity to make a day a little bit better. Though some of these students might not even realize that they are helping, the positive impacts that they have truly make all the difference.


School is officially back in session and we all have to prepare for the immense amount of effort it really does involve. We quickly regain the recollection of little sleep and high stress within the first couple weeks of school. This transition can be extremely difficult for some or even most students. As for this, many rely on their peers for the simple and yet meaningful aspects of the day which allow us to forget the stress for a minute or two. Some may say that it is because of this that they made it through the rest of the day or even week with a positive attitude and a grasp of hope that things will improve.

There are many students that assist in being kind and helpful to all. This particular person, though, has made an immense impact on their fellow Wildcats. He truly exemplifies what it means to stay optimistic. He spreads positivity everywhere he goes and always has a smile on his face as well. He is sure to make anyone laugh and might even brighten outlooks on certain things. In addition, this person is truly a friend to all and displays qualities that are encouraged by leaders of the school. Whether it is a short conversation or a quick smile, his happiness is truly contagious. This student can make any day better in an instant without even realizing it. He always is willing to help other students if they need assistance in class. In addition, he is extremely honest in his work and will ask for help himself if necessary. Also, he is very respectful in class while asking certain questions. Outside of class, this person is always kind and welcoming to all as he hangs out with several groups of people. He also welcomes others into his friend groups as well. Thanks to people like him, many kids are able to escape the somewhat harsh reality of high school and go about their days with a positive attitude.

Simple acts or qualities such as these can make all the difference for the better. As Napolean Hill has said, “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” This shows that even the smallest things can have the biggest impact on others. What you may consider small, may be considered great by the person whose life you touched.  

Column: The truth about high school from a valedictorian’s perspective


My name is Victoria Chung and I am Redlands East Valley High School’s valedictorian of the class of 2018.  I’m writing this to tell you how much that doesn’t matter at all. 

Being rank one isn’t representative of how intelligent you are, and it definitely doesn’t mean that you are the smartest person in your class.  I could never tell you how to build an organ from scratch like Alex Kristoffersen could or how to analyze the emotions portrayed from Beethoven’s Große Fuge like Jace Elliot probably could. 

There are so many students who know more about certain subjects than I could ever understand.  And that’s okay. 

When I see my rank, I don’t see a number.  I see myself pulling all-nighters to make study guides for my upcoming tests and showing up to school resembling something similar to the undead.  I see myself writing the definition of a limit (L is equal to the limit of f(x) as x approaches c if and only if for any value epsilon is greater than 0, there is a value delta is greater than 0. Such that, if x is within delta units of c but x does not equal c, then f(x) is within epsilon units of L.) over and over again so I don’t forget it.  I see all of the hard work that I had invested into each and every one of my classes. 

When asked what I remember most fondly about my high school experience, I think of sitting in Coach Patalano’s golf cart with my teammates laughing about the mistakes we made after our matches.  I think about going crazy at prom with my friends to Dexys Midnight Runners’s Come on Eileen.  I think about sitting on the grass at lunch debating with my friends about which flavor of Jolly Ranchers is the best.  (The cherry one, if you’re wondering.) 

Don’t get me wrong; it’s important to have a good GPA if you’re looking to go to college, but it’s not the most important thing.  People say that high school is the worst four years of their life— yeah, it will be if you have that mentality. Surround yourself with good people who make you laugh and challenge you to be better.  Do what interests you and not what you think will look good on your college applications.  As cliche as it seems, you get what you put into it. 

Rank doesn’t mean anything, but the memories that you make and the lessons you learn will.

When I leave high school this coming summer, I DOUBT that I will recall my rank first.  What I will remember are my friends who I’ve seen grow and develop into the people they are today and the life lessons that I had to endure while learning to figure out how the real world works. 

Don’t waste your high school experience stressing about minuscule matters like failing that one test in that one class.  I am more than a number.  You are more than a number.    Make these four years count because you’ll never get them back. 

Column: Snowfall, Lil Uzi Vert and the internet: Why I will miss my time in Ethic News


Snow fell weekly on my middle school campus, but we never got a snow day. This, I reasoned, was a different kind of snow—not the icy, cold, fun-for-the-first-day-but-never-again kind of precipitation that Redlands never gets—but instead, it was something black, white and read all over: the school newspaper. This was a special snow, one that conveniently piled up next to trash cans both inside buildings and out. A snow that never melted, despite the lack of funding the program received through the school district. A snow I wished I was a part of.

However, cleanup was a huge problem for these sixth-period snowstorms. Printed on legal-sized sheets of printer paper, articles had easy-to-spot mistakes that only avid readers like me could find—those who lacked the enthusiasm to read would not even bother. Can anyone blame them? People—like electrons in a circuit—always gravitate towards a path of least resistance; when faced with the easily accessible internet, it is only natural that more will choose to use it.

With Ethic News, there is no snow. Our daily releases of student-written articles have no place in the dumpsters or recycling bins of Southern California. Unlike the newspapers of the last millennium, errors can be fixed in record time and articles can be posted in seconds without concern for printing costs. Because of the internet, school newspapers regularly impact real-world events at a real-time scale, and it’s this advantage that makes Ethic the poster-child of a technological revolution that will change student journalism forever. Our writers have proved and will prove that fully online news is an effective, significant way to educate and inform community members about issues that affect them—printers need not apply.

We are pioneers of this neo-digital age. I could not be prouder.

It’s obvious that Redlands is proud, too: our views have nearly quintupled in the past eight months and that number will only get bigger. Excellent reporting about Pharaoh’s Lost Kingdom’s renovation from freelancer Christina Andronescu, the Texas shooting by Alyssa Martin and Redlands East Valley’s new REVWAY initiative from Mia Delmonico made our organization a news source that people outside of the public school sphere rely on as well. Redlands eAcademy editor-in-chief Madison Isaeff even won a national Quill & Scroll award for her infographic that accompanied Martin’s article. Hundreds of hours of manpower have gone into making these articles (and every article, for that matter) sparkle as much as our editors do when they talk about Ethic. Once again, I could not be prouder.


To our readers, I hope you can appreciate our efforts in making this happen. Starting an online, student-run and financially stable (still working on this part) newspaper is hard work, and your support and views mean the world to us.

To students of the Redlands Unified School District, I strongly recommend that you consider joining Ethic. Aside from seeing Lil Uzi Vert in concert, being a part of this organization is the most rewarding thing that I have done in my high school career. While the only thing I have to show for my time seeing Uzi is a dozen pictures of myself sweating in the parking lot of the Angels Stadium, the effort that has gone into making Ethic amazing is immortalized in hundreds of quality examples of student journalism that will remain on the internet forever.

To myself, a year ago, you made the right decision, but please work on talking on the phone before you start calling what seems like every small business in the city. Savor the time you have. It goes so much faster than you think.

To Lil Uzi Vert, call me back. We (I) would love to interview you.

What the REV WAY means to you


Redlands East Valley High School campus banners displaying Wildcat pride. 

Respect – “Respect to me means treating others how you want to be treated.” Daniel Jimena, Grade 11

Ethical – “Being ethical means standing up for what you believe in.” Noah Hernandez, Grade 12

Vocal – “Being vocal means saying what you need to say and speaking out by using your voice.” Meagan Knox, Grade 11

Wildcat“Being a Wildcat means being productive and trying to graduate.” Hannah Ralph, Grade Nine

Accountable – ”Obviously means being there for someone or something, but it also means being there on time and being there willing to do what you need to do.” Jared Carlin, Grade 12

You – ”Being myself means to me to be unique and I have a different personality and it is part of who I am.”Alexander Mercado, Grade Nine

REV WAY can be found in timeless quotes


Respect – ”Show respect even to people who don’t deserve it; not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of yours.” – Dave Willis

This quote truly reflects the meaning of respect. It displays how difficult it could be to show respect to some people and how overcoming that challenge can define who you are. If you respect those who do not show it to others it makes the respect you give even more valuable.

Ethical“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” – Potter Stewert  

This quote is an excellent symbol of the meaning of ethics. It shows that even though you are able to do something, it does not make it right and it does not mean you should. It also touches upon the topic of doing the right thing even when others are not or are afraid to.

Vocal – “If you have the feeling that something is wrong, don’t be afraid to speak up.” – Fred Korematsu

This statement resembles the main reason behind why being vocal is a part of the REV WAY. It is up to you, the students of Redlands East Valley High School, to speak up and use your voice when you notice something is not right. Just because others are going along with something you know is wrong it does not mean you should do nothing because of what they might think.

Wildcats“Don’t be afraid to proudly show your claws Wildcats! Let your school spirit shine!”  – Fellow Wildcat

School Spirit and having pride in the school community are important features of the REV WAY. This quote calls each and every Wildcat to get involved in school activities and to not be afraid to be who you are at school and in other communities.

Accountable”If you want to take credit for your successes, you have to take responsibility for your mistakes too.” – Unknown

This is a connection to the importance of accountability in everyday life. It shows that if we want to be trusted and dependable we have to be honest when we are fault and take responsibility. Admitting honestly to a mistake will show how credible you are when success is reached.

You ”Be yourself because an original is worth more than a copy.” – Unknown

This quote is a truly honest reflection that states each person should be true to who they are because another copy of someone else is not worth as much as your true self. The original you is always better than a fake version of someone who people regard as “popular” or “cool.” Being yourself is very important and that real version should be how others think of you.


REV WAY encourages you to be yourself


You. There is no set definition of the word “you.” This is because it is a word completely unique to each individual person. Everyone has their own personality, style, hopes, dreams, interests and many more qualities. That is why “you” is such an important piece to the REV WAY. The students and staff are encouraged to embrace who they are and use their talents and qualities to positively impact their community and the people around them. They are also encouraged to do the things they love while still aligning their actions to the rest of the REV WAY principles.

There are many ways to exemplify who you are on campus. You can express your interests by getting involved in clubs and other organizations at school. You can also try out for sports on campus and attend school events. Through these activities you can become more aware of the people who are interested in the same things as you and be able to connect with people more easily through shared passions.

Another reason that “you” is so important is because it shapes the Redlands East Valley community’s identity. Each and every student contributes their unique qualities to the school. Without this there would not be much diversity present. It is encouraged to be who you are and to contribute to the good of the school community.

Overall, the REV WAY was created to get students excited about school. It has created a sense of pride by raising standards and creating goals that have been and will continue to be met. “You” is included in these standards because without each and every one of us, the goals set would not ever be met. It is because of the initiative of students and staff alike that have allowed the standards to be more than just another set of rules to follow. They have become the reference to which we look in times of crisis but also in times of happy reflection on what has been accomplished.

REV WAY inspires more accountable academic careers

Editor Column: REV WAY


Being accountable means that people are expected to justify actions or decisions. This situation comes about a lot in the average high school setting. An example is when someone makes a bad choice and tries to avoid consequences through lying or other means. This often happens, and as a result the guilty student ignores their responsibility of being accountable. In this instance the student resorts to scapegoating their peers or even simply denying any involvement in the act. These are common results when a teenager gets caught doing the wrong thing. This why accountability is so important and why it is the next principal portion of the REV WAY. It is an essential goal of Redlands East Valley High School to teach students the importance of being accountable so that they are ready for whatever life throws at them.

One of the most important reasons students should have accountability is because it can help them later on in life. The way they respond to situations and react to certain things is a great reflection on how accountable they are. Future college professors and employers will be looking for high accountability in all of their students and employees. This is why the REV WAY implements this standard in their set of expectations. The staff put these expectations together in hopes of improving the future success of each and every Wildcat.

Despite this, having accountability is often difficult as a teenager. Students desire to do what everyone else is doing and often find themselves in tough situations. It is up to them what they choose to do when they find themselves in these predicaments. If they choose to be accountable they will be honest and take responsibility for their actions. They will also try their best to resolve their mistake in any way possible and try to improve their future. They will learn from their mistakes and do what they can so that they do not make them again.

Though this is a major part of being accountable, there is also another important aspect. This is a crucial part of being responsible and dependable in everyday life. This is shown through school-life as well. If students are accountable they will do their work on time and to the best of their abilities. They will not think about whether it will be checked or graded beforehand–they just do as they are instructed. In addition, being accountable means that people can depend on each other. Whether they tell a secret or ask for advice on something, they are giving their trust and in return are hoping for loyalty. With this trust comes responsibility to be devout to the other students who have put trust in someone.

At Redlands East Valley, both students and staff alike work each and every day to improve their accountability. They have realized how important it is and have succeeded in the start of increasing it throughout the school’s population. Students are learning from their mistakes and are continuously evolving to become more accountable people.

Dope. Being sad is normal



It’s okay to be sad.

As the seasons change, emotions can change too. For some it is happiness that comes from California getting an escape from the heat, but for others it’s the beginning of their seasonal depression. Seasonal depression is clinically known as seasonal affective disorder which is defined as a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons—SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.

Depression can be all-encompassing and lonely. It can feel as if you’re stuck floating in space with no fuel to go anywhere. It can take form in not being able to get out of bed, feeling disconnected from friends and family, and constantly feeling nothing. But there are things that can lessen the symptoms of seasonal depression. Because depression can never be cured, it is just something that can be under control, almost like asthma.

Music, art, exercise and books are great escapes for some. Food and cooking can also help, but these are just used to numb the pain the same way a Tylenol numbs the pain of an injury. But just like the Tylenol, it can wear off and people are back where they started. When it gets so bad that nothing seems possible, maybe medicine can work. Antidepressants can help regulate mood and are a savior for many.

But suffering for depression does not just occur in small, California towns. Athletes like Landon Donovan, artists like Van Gogh, comics like Robin Williams, Jim Carrey and Peter Sagal and actors like Heath ledger and Winona Ryder all suffered with some form of depression. When you look up people with depression there is no definite pattern.

It is okay to be sad and depressed. You are not alone in your suffering and there will always be someone out there to help you. It’s okay to have bad and good days. It’s okay to seem lost, but the most important thing is that depression is recognized so that you can get the correct treatment. Take it from me, a person who suffered longer than she had to because she didn’t know what was happening.

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

REV WAY Wildcat standard unites school


By MIA DELMONICO, Features Editor

To be a Wildcat at Redlands East Valley High School means to be a part of something much more than just a school. It means to be a part of a family united with a common goal. This goal is to take part in the milestones of teenage years as students participate in school events and learn new things each week. While it is up to the student how much school spirit they have and how much they choose to be involved, the majority exhibits so much pride that there is no mistaking the fact that they are Wildcats. Each and every student who attends REV receives the honor of being named a Wildcat. With this name comes the responsibility of having fun throughout high school as well as following the REV WAY and its expectations.

There is a reason that Wildcat is a main part of the REV WAY. This letter signifies the importance of balancing the stress of classes and extracurricular activities with the fun school events and experiences offered on an almost-weekly basis. This is not to say that it is okay to drop everything just to have fun, but it does imply that balance is good and is almost always necessary to be truly well-rounded as a student. This provides a sort of escape from what could be overbearing during the school day for some students while still allowing a connection to the school and its community by attending sports games, theater productions, pep rallies and school dances along with anything else imaginable that unites REV students.

There are many ways to get involved and enhance school spirit. One of these ways is through attending sports games as well as participating in art and academic programs. Students display their pride by sitting in the student section, better known as the Litterbox, where they dress in school colors, paint their faces and cheer along with the school chants. Another way is by taking part in school spirit weeks and being enthusiastic during and throughout the school day. Having a positive attitude allows a more beneficial learning environment where students are engaged and interested in both the concepts and their peers.

Wildcat also means that all students are united. This union ensures that all students are equal and have the same opportunities to succeed, whether they take advantage of them or not. The unity at Redlands East Valley High School is unique and is part of the reason being given the title a Wildcat is so significant.  With this title, students should represent their school positively by exhibiting the qualities gained through the process of following the REV WAY.