REV WAY says stand up for yourself and others by being vocal

REV WAY

By MIA DELMONICO, Features Editor

Vocal: to express feelings freely or loudly. This word is very simple to say, yet extremely difficult to carry out in  everyday life. This difficulty is felt even more so in a high school setting. This is because it is hard for teenagers to go against what everyone else is saying because it would make them stand out.

It is hard because sometimes speaking up for someone else who is being bullied or picked on can result in the same behavior happening to the person who tried their best to help. Trying to help victims and becoming one after is a haunting vision to the average student. Most are concerned about fitting in and what other people think. This complex chain of reactions is an essential principle in the REV WAY.

Despite these difficulties, being vocal also has several advantages. One of these is the effect of gratitude that could be felt by someone who speaks up. It could be as simple as complimenting someone or as advanced as intervening in an argument between a group of students. In addition, being vocal can involve speaking out in another way–bringing in an adult to assist in a situation. This can be portrayed through an action of telling an adult, such as a counselor, if there have been rumors of someone trying to hurt others or themselves. It is better to be safe than sorry and speaking out and maybe being an outcast for a week could potentially save a life.

Social status can easily change and should not be the reason keeping students from seeking help or trying to help others around them. Being vocal is important and more often than not can make a tremendous difference in campus life. Moreover, it is up to students to choose to make this impact positive or negative. This importance is not meant to inspire a disrespectful attempt at being vocal. When students try to help by speaking up they should consider their tone and delivery so that their bravery and courage is not mistaken for rudeness and disrespect. Also, it is advantageous to both parties to not accidently ignite further conflict in an attempt to diffuse the situation. This is why it is always smart to take into account how the problem is playing out and if it would be better to advise someone part of staff to keep the situation safe for both parties.

In addition to being cautious, being an advocate for oneself is a part of being vocal. Students should feel comfortable talking with teachers and staff if there is an issue or if something is on their minds. For example, a student can talk to a teacher about receiving help in a class or can talk to a counselor if they have questions regarding future academic plans or obstacles they are facing. Lastly, it is necessary to understand that being vocal is important for staff as well. They also follow the REV WAY standards and have shown to be enthusiastic with carrying out the principles through their everyday actions.

In the REV WAY this idea of vocalism is included in hopes of establishing a firm understanding of the principles set by staff. They hope that all students try their best to make the right choice and be positive in all the aspects of their lives. Both in and out of school, the ideal result would be an improved group of teenagers that are willing to sacrifice their spot in the social hierarchy for even the smallest possibility of bettering someone else’s life.

Mental STEMulation 2

By WILLIE MALVEAUX, STEM Editor

Over the years, having grappled with a great number of different computer programs, and having used everything from Microsoft Paint to Unreal Engine 4, I have come to realize that computer programs at their root are simple. They all follow a pattern of learning, or how they were built, from the ground up. For example, anything with a graphic element is usually built around a scene or preview panel. The program’s main purpose tends to be the main panel. The menu bar, which exists in many programs, tends to hold options that manipulate the interface or final product in such a way that it can be configured by a button click or a bool, float or integer value. Graphical programs also tend to contain a type of hierarchy, or layer panel which is used to manipulate the order or organize numerous assets or layers. With those located, all that is left is to locate and find out the use of accessory windows and functions. With this, most programs can be learned relatively quickly. This, however does not serve as protection from complications.

Occasionally, frustration will seep through the cracks of doubt and overcome just about everyone. What is important is the perseverance at this point, following the patterns and using obtained knowledge to overcome doubt and traverse into confidence and complete mastery of the program. When frustration is greater than that confidence, there is always the option to seek help with the program. Resources like forums may seem daunting at first, but actually prove to be very useful in helping resolve problems. Of course, there is always YouTube if all else fails.

Another obstacle to mastery is that which is an obstacle to most everything: time. While there are those who are able to quickly and easily grasp and navigate interfaces, true mastery,  like any skill, comes with time and dedication. When time is applied to a program, a deep understanding of it is formed, and when administered to a multitude of programs, a pattern can be found.

Sometimes, looking for a pattern is the best way to prepare, like how knowing history helps society avoid future cataclysm. If possible, finding a pattern in something will help bring a goal of mastery or victory to fruition. Since true wisdom is the ability to make good judgement, finding patterns scientifically, historically, mathematically and socially, may improve one’s judgement greatly. As always, more research is needed, but you can thank me later.

PSAT woes? Look no further: tips from a National Merit Semifinalist

By MATTHEW KRISTOFFERSEN, Co-Editor-in-Chief

No matter what score you get, just remember: you are more than just a number. Unfortunately, according to most college testing corporations, that’s all you are. Here’s a guide to being the highest number you can be.

The PSAT is a test of how well one takes tests. That’s all it is.

By a certain time in studying, you should have at least some proficiency in every subject tested. At this point, practice tests are the most efficient way to improve. The more practice questions you look at, the more familiar you are with the test, the more potential you have to do well. Think about it: someone learning Italian solely via textbooks will fare far worse in Italy compared to someone who supplements his or her learning with constant conversation in said language.

When you take these practice tests, make the experience as similar as possible to the actual testing environment. Try to practice with paper tests  and time them according to actual regulations. Speed comes with experience and familiarity.


Miscellaneous Tips

Tip 1: Study using SAT preparation material. While more difficult, it will better prepare yourself for the PSAT in October. Plus, it saves you money once you start studying for the SAT. When you sign up for the PSAT, you will (hopefully) get a small study-guide with a practice test along with answer explanations. This is a great way to become as familiar with the test as possible before test day.

Tip 2: Grid-Ins are different from multiple-choice questions. You have to fill in the answer! Many people forget to answer these or are intimidated by them and as a result, their score goes down. Remember to answer them. They are the same format as those on the SAT and the AP Biology exam. However, if you are running out of time, do not answer these. Spend the remaining few seconds guessing on multiple choice questions. They are weighted the same!

Tip 3: As much as you would like to, do not engage with Twitter test memes. Why risk voiding your test? Whether or not College Board actually follows through with its threats, it is smart to keep your PSAT experience to yourself.

Tip 4: If you are unsure of an answer, plug the other answer choices into the question and see if any of them work. This is especially important in the calculator-permitted section of the math section. Try to obtain the best calculator you can, too–most graphing calculators are permitted on the exam. If you don’t have one, borrow from a friend. A calculator is better than no calculator!

Tip 5: There is always at least one wrong part of each incorrect answer choice, especially in the reading section. If a potential answer has even one word that is not fully consistent with the passage, it’s wrong. You will also be expected to choose correct supporting evidence for certain multiple choice answers, too. Practice with SAT reading sections.

Tip 6: Sit somewhere where you can easily see the clock. This is crucial for pacing yourself. Time yourself while practicing so you know approximately which question you should be on for any given section. A seat far away from potential cheaters and close to the clock is most optimal.

Take this test seriously. Seriously.

While the PSAT holds next to no weight towards your future, it is a bad idea to treat it as such. This test is the best analogue to an SAT administration date that you will probably ever be able to participate in. The stress, anxiety and fear that you may feel now will be easier to cope with later on. The PSAT is the SAT, only with slightly easier questions and a slightly different scoring system. However, unlike the SAT, doing well on the PSAT can directly lead to winning thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Thousands.

Whether or not you are satisfied with your score when you get the report in December, it does not define you. Some arbitrary number that some corporation has typed next to some arbitrary identification number means little in the marathon of life. Put it in perspective.

Websites: CrackSAT.net

    CollegeBoard

    REVHS PSAT info 

    CVHS PSAT info

 

 

Second standard in REV WAY focuses on doing the right thing

REV WAY

By MIA DELMONICO, Features Editor

Ethical: having moral values and being willing to accept a disadvantage in turn for being honest and choosing to do the right thing. This simple, yet complex word is the second standard set in the REV WAY and could potentially be one of the most difficult.

An example could be doing what is right even when others are not and living with the exclusion from peers that these actions could result in. As teenagers, this could be extremely hard, as most are in a place in life where they strive to be accepted by others and are willing to compromise their character to be liked and to fit in. Those who are ethical do what they feel the best thing is in a situation no matter what others think or how they are treated.

At Redlands East Valley, students once again have a difficult choice to make. They can do the right thing even though people might not approve or they can do the wrong thing, because “everyone is doing it”. As at any school, there are both types of people. The thing that makes being ethical so hard is that each and every situation is different and sometimes the right decision is unclear or other times they just simply fluctuate between choosing to be ethical one day and choosing not to the next day.

In addition,to this fluctuation some students are facing struggles at school and at home and are unsure of what choice to make. It is always important to remember that everyone is going through something in life, whether big or small,and it is always okay to ask for help from friends, family, counselors, and staff. These people can help remind kids of what it means to be ethical and that making the right choice is always best no matter the social results. They could also give insight on the importance of ethics in the real world and the advantages in the workplace could result due to having good, strong ethical values.

All in all, being ethical is one of the most difficult yet influential parts of the REV WAY. It is a key feature that both staff and students have accepted and work to improve on everyday. Though, as expected, there have been struggles, the standards that have been set are being shaped and formed to fit the newly-found needs and are being followed in order to make the everyday lives of students and staff better than ever before.

Introducing Mental STEMulation

Mental STEMulation

By WILLIE MALVEAUX, STEM Editor

Sir Francis Bacon once said, “Ipsa scientia potestas est,” or if you don’t speak Latin, “Knowledge itself is power.” Money is power, and time is money. Money, time, and knowledge are all the same, and linked by power.

Statistics show that there is a positive correlation between total schooling, and gross annual income. In addition, a study from the University of Edinburgh sampled a group of eleven year old students’ IQs and interviewed the same group after 60 years. The follow-up on these subjects showed that those with higher IQs tended to live longer. For example, the data shows that a 15-point IQ advantage yielded a 21 percent higher chance of survival at the age of 76. This shows that there is definitely a link between these idioms and real life scientific data.

With this established, can we definitely say that making more money will make one live longer? Can we say that over nine years, one will make more money than another who only has five years? Of course not. Surely these things are all linked, but ultimately in the end there will always be outliers, like. the man who is wealthy or who is extremely intelligent and dies young., yet has nothing to show for it. These cases do in fact exist, but are statistically not as likely to occur.

So what is the point of mental STEMulation? It is simple. This column intends to serve as a source of objective information on science, technology, engineering, and math. To expand the array of information accessible to the reader and thus allowing him or her to grow more intelligent. Knowledge is power, money is power and time is money.

Essentially, mental STEMulation is a giant experiment to see if my readers become rich and immortal. As always, more research is needed, but you can thank me later.

The REV WAY begins with respect

REV WAY

By MIA DELMONICO, Features Editor

Respect: A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. This simple word contains the power to change people’s lives. This word is the primary quality that the REV Way, the new set of standards to improve the school outer community, focuses on.

It is a defining word in the sense that it changes the way people look at each other. If respect is shown to others it is almost always given back. If people treat others the way they want to be treated there would be a mutual respect between everyone. People would feel accepted rather than judged by how they look or act. For example several freshmen from REV have spoken out anonymously that they feel they have been integrated into a true family.

In a perfect world, all of these things would happen automatically, without strain. Unfortunately, the life of a teenager is far from perfect. Our high school has some faults, though these are expected when attending any school.

When most people think of high school they think of jocks and geeks, or popular kids and the weird kids. REV does have some of this separation, but as a whole, there is a sense of school unity. There is a feeling of pride to be a part of something so important that it flows through almost every Wildcat, similar to other high schools. That is the difference between following the REV WAY and choosing to ignore its significance: students can be proud to follow the standards set by staff and be willing to try new things and be flexible about the outcomes or they can choose not to.

Respect also ties in not only outside the classroom, but inside as well. Respect should be shown to teachers and staff by students and each other and students should also be respected. Once again, if respect is shown by both parties it is easier to be positive, make progress, and be more of an advocate. It also makes people feel better about themselves and want to interact with the people around them. It lightens the tension and replaces it with positive effects that allow students as well as staff to excel and continue growing and learning each day.

Overall, Redlands East Valley high school is a place that is constantly trying to improve. With its staff and students uniting to face problems and exceed expectations, they are nearly unstoppable. Each and everyday they try to show respect and almost always, in turn, become respected.

Though everyone struggles sometimes and faces challenges, the REV family has learned to endure and succeed. The REV WAY is a creative set of standards that encourages students to do good deeds even when no one is looking. These standards are an excellent way for anyone to shape their lives in a positive way.

Dope. Concrete jungle steals hearts

By CAROLINA SANCHEZ, Sports Editor

Dope.

This is the word that describes my summer. While others spent the summer at home I was lucky enough to spend my July with New York City, the city that never sleeps.  I spent my summer in the freshman dorms of Barnard College with people from all over the world. My roommate was from Sydney, Australia, my classmate was from Istanbul, Turkey, and my best friend was from New Orleans, Louisiana. We were all there to study topics that interested us. While the topics ranged from physics to musical theater, I was able to study human rights and photography, two passions of mine. But the amazing classes were not the best part of being there. I was in the city.

Cookie dough, pizza, and pho were all around. Skateboards, bikes and taxis roamed the streets. Museums with contemporary art, museums with Van Gogh, and museums with greek statues were my classrooms. Spanish, French and English filled my ears. The city that never sleeps was my playground and I was a little kid in a candy store.

But now I’m home with all these hopes and dreams while my sister is in the place I was this summer. A sister that has always been my best friend. So, Maya, have fun, enjoy life, don’t spend an hour in line for cookie dough, it’s not worth it. Do all the things that will make you happy; in New York everything is at your fingertips.

And to anyone that is thinking about traveling to New York, please do. It’s a crazy city that is in need of every person that travels there.

The concrete jungle has stolen my heart and hopefully it can steal yours too.  

Column: Just speaking my truth, Lessons I’ve Learned in High School

Lessons I’ve Learned in High School

BY LAURYN BEST

As I approach what is commonly considered the end of childhood, it’s inevitable that I’ll  look back on my past four years at Citrus Valley. I’ve learned a lot, not just academically, but about myself. I realize I had a lot of misconceptions about a lot of different things. I’d like to take the time to explore and explain some of those things to my younger self in my last column as Editor in Chief of  Ethic News.

Procrastination: You’ll never quite get over this one. In fact, you’ll get worse. I’m not just talking about homework. Things get hard, and sometimes you’ll be in rough situations that you’d really feel better off ignoring for the time being. But some things can’t wait forever, and opportunities will pass you by time and time again if they’re not taken care of promptly.

Friendships: Truthfully the ones you make at this point in your life may not be the long lasting type, but that’s okay. What’s important is that you give your all in these friendships, but if the other person doesn’t want to do the same it’s okay to walk away. You’re worth a lot more than one sided relationships. And sometimes people may hurt you unintentionally or otherwise, but that has nothing to do with you. You’ll have no regrets if you know that you did all that you could.

Respect: Everyone is worthy of it, even if they don’t give it back to you. Your teacher’s deserve it, staff members deserve it, and your peers deserve it. This is not only with words, but also your actions: raising your hand in class, going to the attendance office when you’re late like security asks, or something simple like holding the door open for another student.
This is something you’ll fail at in many ways, but it is always something to strive for.

Compassion: Sometimes your teacher might be having a bad day and it can feel personal when they take it out on you, or a student may be having a hard time at home, and didn’t get their part of the assignment done and you didn’t know. A lot of the times there is no possible way that you could have known these things, but to at least imagine yourself in their situation is a good start.

Gratefulness: For your teachers, your friends, another day that you get to be alive. It’s easy to lose sight of all the things you have and focus on what you don’t. It’s really no way to live, and you could only end up hurting others and yourself if you don’t recognize this. Things may seem hard, but trust me when I say they get easier.

Self Love: This will be a constant battle for the rest of your life most likely. It’s no fun when you don’t exactly like what you see in the mirror, or you can’t stop thinking about that dumb joke you told that no one laughed at. But truly loving others comes from within. You are strong, intelligent, and capable. Another person’s version of success does not have to be yours and that’s perfectly okay. Comparing yourself to others is no use as we all created to be unique.

Highs school is an important time for everyone. I’ll always be thankful to Citrus Valley and Ethic News in particular for being the best place for me to spread my wings.

Editor-in-chiefs’ letter: Ethic unites schools

BY MAYA SANCHEZ & LAURYN BEST

Coming into the school year in August, I didn’t know how much time and energy that I would put into newspaper, into Ethic. I didn’t know how much it would mean to me nor did I know how much that it would shape who I am today. I say this as I am giving recruiting speeches to classrooms (If you are reading this and are eligible to be in the newspaper class next year, I strongly encourage you to do it.), but I really and truly believe it: newspaper is great.

Sure, not everything about it is the best and there are some bumps in the road that are bound to get in your way, but the experience of it all is above anything else. I got to be a part of a deeply creative and innovative part of my school and I’m proud of it. I’m proud of starting the year with one product and ending the year with an even better one. I’ll be proud of next year’s staff for doing the exact same thing.

But what’s the thing that really made newspaper so great? No, it wasn’t the freedom of being able to write what I want (Although, writing about the musicals I went to this year was phenomenal.) No, it wasn’t covering the major sporting events. (While I say that, every time that I see Seth’s video compilation of a game, I get a little wonderstruck.) No, it wasn’t introducing myself as ‘Maya Sanchez, Redlands East Valley Senior and Ethic’s Editor-in-Chief’. (Okay, I have to admit, it was a little bit of that.)

The best part was being a part of the community of not just my high school, but of Redlands as a whole. Before joining, the most interaction I got of the other high schools were the girls on my soccer team and the few times that our athletic teams played each other throughout the seasons. But beyond that, it was always REV centered. And while that isn’t a bad thing in the slightest, being able to see my high school experience as a Redlands experience and not just a REV experience has been for the better. I’ve gotten more involved in the happenings in my community, have met new people that I’m proud to call my friends, and most importantly I get to truly call myself a part of this Redlands Community.

I know our schools try to bring us all together under a common cause, and while I do not think in any way that they have failed, I think that Ethic has succeeded. By covering three schools in the Redlands Unified School District, Ethic has really embraced what it means to be inclusive and it’s that quality that has made newspaper outstanding for me.

I am beyond grateful to be able to serve as your Redlands East Valley Editor-In-Chief and I hope that next year will be just as prosperous as this year. Thank you reading and I hope you have enjoyed this year’s publications and that you will enjoy all the years that will follow.

Again, thank you. This year has really been a year to remember.

If someone were to tell the middle school me that high school senior me would write my innermost thoughts and publish them for the world to see, I’d think they were full of it. If someone told the middle school me that high school senior me would make friends with kids across the city, I’d brush it off. If someone told middle school me that high school senior me that I, with my sometimes crippling social anxiety, would be the Editor-in-Chief of a student run newspaper; I would have laughed in their face. But none of these situations are hypothetical.

Living in a city big enough that the school district has to dictate where you will go to school , thus dictating who you interact with, you can settle in your area of comfortability. The people you’ve known for 3 years are the ones you continue to see for another 4. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Of course there are opportunities to cross these invisible lines if you wished, but I didn’t really.

The summer before my senior year, I attended AAA summer school to get ahead before the school year began. There I met Ethic News’ very own founder: Mrs. Aranda. One thing led to another, and I soon found myself staring at kids across the city through a flat screen t.v. The experience was unsettling to say the least. I wondered if I had a hard enough time communicating with people face to face, how was I supposed to succeed in this way?

But in all honesty things kind of just fell into place. Soon enough we were sharing jokes through a camera, and texting each other about things unrelated to newspaper. Things were actually more weird on the rare occasion we got the chance to see each other in person (all of these of which I can count on one hand). After a few moments of awkwardness, we just picked up where we left off last. Soon, I was calling the students who went to our so called “rival school” my classmates and friends.

It’s so easy to hide behind invisible barriers and decide we’re too different to ever get along without actually attempting to bridge the gap. Victimizing ourselves instead of trying to be the solution to the factionalized world we live in is something we have to end- and it starts in our own backyard. There is more than enough room in Redlands for the diverse group of people we have. This is exactly what Ethic News accomplishes through its determination to cover all schools, and the community as a whole.

I have so much pride in what we Citrus Valley Blackhawks do, and I also have so much respect for REV and Orangewood for their efforts to become good students and community members. This is a respect I wouldn’t have gained without stepping out of my comfort zone and joining Ethic News.

It’s been a wild ride, and I’ve grown in a lot of ways along the journey. I hope next year’s team passes on the tradition of inclusivity through covering the great city we all call home.

Column: The sum of my experiences, I am a Global Citizen

I am a Global Citizen

BY CAMERON KROETZ

​Over the course of my life I have been fortunate enough to have been to 32 states, three provinces, two territories, 36 independent nations, four dependencies, and one principality. Each individual place has left a mark on my being and they have all contributed to the person I have become; we as humans are the products of our experiences and my travels are fundamental experiences in my life. Because of these experiences I am a proud citizen of the world and I have learned how to look at things through different eyes.

People often ask me why I care about what is going on in countries on the other side of the world. The simple answer I give them is that what happens in other places can affect us here at home. The truth is, if I were to give them the real answer it would take much longer. Since I have been exposed to a variety of different cultures starting at a young age, I do not really separate people based on their nationality or culture; I see humans as one people. Even though there are borders with fences and walls, our common sense of humanity should transcend division and I believe that most people would agree with that assessment. This viewpoint is fundamental to who I am and what I believe; it is the reason I take a compassionate and humanistic stance on most issues.

One major aspect of travel is keeping an open mind, and trying new things such as food or maybe even learning a new language. Before I go to a new country I try to familiarize myself with the regional customs and some basic linguistics to make my experience more enjoyable. Opening myself up to other cultures has allowed me to develop a very open mind, a characteristic that is a pillar of who I am as a person and who I strive to be. I believe that If you do not accept other cultures for what they are it will lead to xenophobia, the fear of other cultures and nationalities. I am not suggesting that one should forget their own cultural identity, but what I am saying is that keeping an open mind is very important to personal growth.

Connecting to other people is one of the traits that makes us human. I have spoken to people from the hills of Tennessee, the islands of the Bahamas, and the flatlands of Siberia, and they all have one thing in common: they were interested in how we liked their homelands and just how we were feeling that day. Compassion for other people is the most fundamental characteristic of humanity. I have learned that everyone I meet is human and for the most part they have good intentions. Some people would call my disposition naïve but I call it basic human decency.

My travels have defined who I am, both as a person and as a citizen of the world. They are also the main reason I have decided to major in Political Science with a focus in International Relations; my plan is to get my bachelors degree and then go on to law school to get my J.D. in Foreign Policy Law. It is my hope that I will be able to affect change in the world by sharing my compassion and problem solving ability in the world of diplomacy. The biggest thing I have taken away from traveling is that if one keeps an open mind and recognizes the common humanity that unites us all, the world does not seem such a dark and scary place, but rather a world of hope and potential.

Column: Through my eyes, An Open Letter to a Lost Friend

An Open Letter to a Lost Friend

BY SAVANNA PATINO

An Open Letter to a Lost Friend

Dear Friend,

I decided to write this because now it has been one year without you in my life. Here’s what you missed:

Denial
I still remember the moment I heard. I received a text saying you were in the hospital. My heart stopped. I felt sick for a completely different reason than why I had stayed home from school that day. After that moment, my life stood still and became a blur at the same time. The next few days were filled with hospital visits, memorials, prayers, crying, confusion, shock, and disbelief. School became less important and friendships took over. Everyone I knew put their lives on hold and banded together for comfort. You were in the hospital for two days and I still did not believe it. I did not understand how something like this could happen to us. We continued to say you would pull through and be okay, even though we did not quite believe it. And on that Monday, I could not accept the fact that you were gone. You weren’t gone, you couldn’t be gone. Nothing seemed right. My body had put my prior sickness on hold, but it came back stronger than before. I had to push myself to continue life without you.

Anger
I was furious. I was absolutely trembling with fury that this had to happen at this moment. Why did you have to leave like this? Why did you hurt us like this? I was mad at you for hurting everyone I cared about. I was mad at my family for trying to comfort me. I was mad at my friends for being mad at you, and I was mad at myself for being mad at you too. And, I was infuriated at everyone else. I was constantly told that everything would be okay. How could everything be okay when you were not here with us any longer? How can you expect me to continue on with my life when a piece of it has been ripped away from me?  How could my teachers ask me to keep my grades up? How could other students continue on planning for their futures when you couldn’t? And how the hell was I going to be okay? I was not okay. I would never be okay. I refused to be okay.

Bargaining
Days and weeks passed, and all I wanted was more time with you. I wished I had gone on that late night pizza run when you invited me that one time but I was too tired to go. I wished I had hugged you at that last practice we had together. I wished I had said I love you the last time I saw you. I wished you were still here with me. If only I had seen your hurting, if only I had seen your pain, maybe you would still be here. Maybe you wouldn’t be gone. I spoke at your memorial, and I recounted the good times and the bad. I spoke about our trip to Seaworld, the sleepovers, your love of One Direction, and the songs we used to sing. I told mostly about the song we sang with the orchestra at the homecoming pep rally our sophomore year, “For Good” from the famous musical Wicked. I talked about how this song truly resembles my feelings for you and that “because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

Depression
After eleven years of having you in my life, my daily routine was tainted without you. When we used to carpool to school, we walked together into the school daily; now I am forced to walk that same way alone. When we had practices, your optimism and enthusiasm lightened up everyone’s mood; now it all seems dull. When we would walk by eachother, you would smile and hug me; now all the hugs I get are meant to comfort me from losing you. I felt lost and extremely alone. But I finished my Junior year of high school, took my AP Exams, ran for leadership for the new year (I got colorguard captain, like you always said I would), toured colleges, took summer school, got ready for the new year, and continued missing you. All the while, I felt empty. I plastered a smile on my face for months and attempted to live my life as close to before as possible. But I was tired. I lost the desire to work as hard in school and in the extra-curricular activities I was in. Without you, everything seemed bleak and pointless.

Acceptance
This last year has been the hardest year of my life. I took my hardest classes, applied for colleges (been accepted and rejected), took on more leadership positions, filled my schedule to the brim, and had to do all of this without you. Now it has been a year, and I am still not okay. I don’t think I will ever be okay, but I think that is okay. My life will never be the same, and while I wish I had more time with you, I am grateful for the time I did have. I am truly honored to be able to say you were my best friend for eleven years- eleven whole years filled with laughter, joy, and love. I hate that it had to end, but I understand that we can do nothing but move on. I will continue missing you for the rest of my life. And, I will live my life continuing to keep you in my heart. I want to make you proud, because knowing you really has made me into the person I am. And of course, because I knew you, I really, really have been changed for good.

With love,
S

Column: Here’s the thing

Dear  Non-car Enthusiats’

​BY DAVID MIKHAILDear non-car enthusiasts,
I write to you as a huge petrol head and car enthusiast to enlighten you on why I, and many other people, like cars.
First let me address the reason why, in most cases, people don’t like cars. That is because they see cars simply as a means of transportation, as one and a half or two tons of metal, wire, rubber, and glass. That is all they see.
While that is true, cars are much more than that for me. To describe how I feel about cars, I can find no better statement than that of Jeremy Clarkson: “We have an unshakable belief that cars are living entities. You can develop a relationship with a car. And that’s just what non-car people don’t get.”
Cars come in many different shapes and forms, and each form is unique. Each form is as specialized as a surgeon’s tool. Let me demonstrate. Two of the major supercar manufacturers are Porsche and Ferrari. While both are very capable well engineered cars, the Porsche is more about clever engineering, and the Ferrari is more about passion and emotions. Some cars are made for racing, for example Formula 1 or Rally. Some cars are made for practicality and speed, such as the Audi RS7; some are built for speed and for the environment such as the BMW i8; some cars are made for offroading, such as the Range Rover; some cars are built for offroading and speed, such as the BMW MX5; some cars are muscle cars which are built for fun and the list continue on.
In addition to the different types and styles, cars have different personalities. Certain traits, that make each car distinctive from the others; they come in different flavors. Some of them produce all their power at a very early stage in the RPM (Revolution of Engine per Minute) range, while others produce the power at very high RPMs. Some have a very broad power band, while others have a very small one. To translate the gibberish into English, the engine produces its maximum power for a lot longer. In addition, cars exhaust notes vary from to the other. The difference extends to steering feel, transmission, and the tires. That means that every nut and bolt work together to create cars personalities that are unique to them. That then makes the tons of glass, metal, and rubber turn into a friend who serves you well when you need it.

Column: Learning to grow up, Teachers, I Wish You Knew…

Teachers, I Wish You Knew…

BY JASMYN GONZALEZ

There are many different types of teachers. There are the teachers that are easy to talk to; easy to be honest and real with. There are the teachers that want nothing to do with students after the bell rings; the ones that could care less about their students or their grades. Other teachers that do everything they can to make sure that every student passes but sadly are usually taken advantage of, and the teacher that doesn’t see you for who you are beyond your grade. I would like to point out a few things that teachers maybe never seem to really notice that is right in front of them.  

 To begin, I would like to touch up on the different students that roam around school everyday. There are many students who face different hardships everyday that both students and teachers don’t even know about. There are students who have it very very easy, such as having loving parents and a strong bond with their siblings; they are well off financially and emotionally and mentally stable as well. However, there are also students who don’t have it so well. It would take forever to give various examples as every student has a rare and unique situation.

 Any school year is a difficult challenge for both students and teachers to be consistently dedicated to learning or teaching something new everyday and to continue going at that pace even if they didn’t understand the last lesson. For teachers, learning different techniques and having patience with their students can at times be challenging and I’m sure also a bit discouraging. Although it is their job to educate students, I feel it is also their responsibility to realize changes within their students.

Teachers should understand that there are some students who struggle with school because of their circumstances, and they cannot always simply be resolved with a tutoring session or with extra time after class. There are students who don’t look forward to going home, who have to work and pay rent even though it may be illegal for parents to charge a minor for necessities. For these students, school and their school work is the last thing on their mind.

I wish teachers could see that, I wish teachers could empathize for that. I am not saying that these students deserve an easier road or an easy way out from all the school work and from all the tests and studying that school is going to command; I am saying that school involves so much more than academics. It is something that all try to conquer or at least dream of conquering, and if a student is blocked from that because of their personal circumstances, how is it fair that the teacher judges who that person is because of their grade? I am not saying that these students need pity, or that they need to be treated like they are handicapped. I am acknowledging that it is unfair, and that is just a fact. Grades show only the surface of a student’s integrity and commitment to life.  The devotion a student may have to working hard at their after school job or, volunteering at an organization can show more of what they are made of instead a letter grade that represents their academic abilities.

Going throughout this school year in itself, I have faced many challenges personally; physically, emotionally, and academically. If I looked back at what I learned, I know that I definitely learned how much grades truly matter and how important school is. Something else I also learned is that life is not at all like school; sometimes, even when you put work into something, it falls apart and that doesn’t mean that it is wrong; it is just the way of this world. From having two jobs, three AP classes, medical challenges, and obstacles outside of school, what really surprised me the most was that one of my teachers who definitely had multiple chances to see a change…had no clue. He didn’t even know that I had a job and I don’t mean to sound like teachers should remember everything but, I had invited him to have a free meal before. It was shocking that he didn’t know. I feel like that is where most teachers lack awareness; simply noticing changes. Because in my eyes, changes symbolize cries for help.

So, just as teachers have a life of their own and it’s weird to run into them at the local grocery store, there are students who have begun to feel the stress of the “real world”, there are students who face responsibilities most students don’t have to even think about until they are years into college.

As my final time writing to you, my readers, I would like to thank you for listening to what I have to say. I am a student who has changed so much over this year and being a part of the Ethic Newspaper staff not only gave me a reason to look forward to school, but allowed me to gladly and happily practice my first amendment rights as a journalist. I have made some of the closest friends within this group of strangely dedicated students with scattered and random personalities, and I am most grateful that I had the privilege to write a column. I have definitely learned to grow up in many things, and I hope you have enjoyed reading whatever it was that I might have felt like sharing; let’s hope this new chapter offers much more. Good bye my dear reader.

This column was written at the beginning of the week of publication. As a journalist, I felt it was my responsibility to inform the teacher I mentioned earlier in this passage that I was writing of him in my final column. So, I went to explain to him how I felt his awareness could have been helpful.

As can be expected, stepping into his room to tell him this was quite awkward; I was about to tell my teacher that I felt he wasn’t doing a good job watching out for his students. So, I approached him and explained what it was that I have experienced and why I changed so much and how it was probably the most evident in his class. I even asked him if he had noticed anything different about me and he admitted that he didn’t.

As I explained to him that I felt he could have helped if he acknowledged anything that had changed about me, he had me sit down and explained how his life was much similar to the events that had taken place in mine so far. He stated that he wonders at times, why he chose this career path if he doesn’t obtain the gift some teachers have of realizing when a student is changing or going through hard times in life.

He gave me so much insight on this whole issue that I realized this is a mutual issue. Teachers don’t know their students, and students don’t know their teachers outside of their performance at school. I don’t feel like pointing the finger at the teachers is the best thing to do; I think that students and teachers should both be aware of each other and consider that there is a lot more going on than we see.

After having this conversation with my teacher, I realized that we are all human beings; we all have it deep down within us to help others but are either too hesitant or embarrassed to say anything. I wish it wasn’t that way. Every teacher is a great teacher to try and educate children and every student is a person who has feelings and a life outside of homework. I would like to let him know, because I know that he’ll be reading this, that he
is not a bad person or a bad teacher for not being aware. I have also realized that there is so much I don’t know about all of my teachers, that I couldn’t possibly point the finger at him for something I myself am at fault for. It wouldn’t be right, or valid for that matter. This is an update on what I believed a few days ago. Now I say my final goodbye to my readers. This time I mean it; I have enjoyed this experience so much. Thank you and I wish you luck on your future journeys.

Column: Aspiring to reach positivity, A Year in Reflection

A Year in Reflection

By KAYLAN ENGE

I never would have guessed that I would end up writing publicly.

When I was a kid I hated being told what to write; I still do actually. I strongly dislike writing essays and answering homework questions that require me to explain how I got my answer. However, I do truly enjoy being able to freely write what I want. That’s something that joining this group has taught me.  

Occasionally when I was younger I would write stories that were for pure entertainment. But I used to get frustrated because I could never get them to go anywhere, which led to me throwing them aside and never getting back to them. But here’s why I decided that I would give it a shot.

I remember the second to last day of summer school in Mrs. Aranda’s government class. I was sitting in my spot scanning the room like I usually do when I space out. When she began to tell the class about Ethic and showing us the first two magazines I didn’t know what to expect. The way I saw it was “Hey! That class could give me an elective so I can fill up my schedule and still have no six period.” So I decided I would see what I would find.

I was uncertain of how I would be involved and what I would like to do. After already saying I would try it, it became official. I got into contact with my counselor and next thing I knew I found myself sitting in a telepresence class with people I don’t even know (from different schools?) doing something that was way out of my comfort zone.

After the first few articles and some good ideas, I became an editor for A&E. That gave me a reason to commit, along with getting closer to everyone in this group, and becoming comfortable writing about things that were important to me such as marching band and other things. I am grateful to Mrs. Aranda for getting me interested in this class.

What I want people to get from this story is that life has a funny way of bringing you to different paths and that you never know which path you’ll take. So if it’s a path that brings you back to a former interest or sparks a new interest just go for it, take a bit of a test run and see if you enjoy it. This is the final time I get to write something like this so I hope I had a worthwhile effect on all of you readers and that you enjoyed my articles.

Column: You and I, First and Lasts

Firsts and Lasts

BY MAYA SANCHEZ, Editor-in-Chief

This news publication is nearing its end: after this publication, there is the magazine, then it’s for next year’s team to start again. And as the year comes to a close, one of the things that’s most prevalent on seniors’ minds (not all seniors, of course, because each person is different) is college.

Some of you reading this already know where you are going, some are still deciding, and others have no clue. It’s stressful, to say the least, no matter what part of the college adventure that you are in. But it’s never just college, is it? It’s the programs that the college offers, it’s the city that it’s in, it’s the atmosphere of the college. It’s the parts that make the whole.

Out of my friend group, I’m the only one that’s going out of state. It’s not really a surprise, as I have only been looking at east coast schools, and they’ve been looking at solely Californian schools. It’s not unexpected but it still is a bit weird thinking about spending time away from them, meeting new people, and making new memories with new friends that aren’t them.

This isn’t supposed to be a sob story about me lamenting the woes of youth and about crumbling friendships, nor do I think of it as such. I think of it as another part of life that lies before me. I’m excited to take it, excited to leave high school behind and go onto the world full of bigger and better things. But change is always going to be faced with apprehension, and that’s okay.

Senior year has been filled with a lot of firsts. It was the first time I spent the entire school year driving myself to school. It was the first time I became involved in newspaper. It was the first time I went to prom! But in the same breath, it’s been filled with a lot of lasts. And as the days tick down, it is officially going to be our last.

For me, those lasts meaning enjoying the Californian sun as much as humanly possible because I know I will be missing it when I move out east. For you, it could be something completely different. Chances are, it is.

So whatever those lasts mean to you, whether it’s worry or joy or some odd combination of the two, make them yours. We’re only in high school once, after all. And even though these probably weren’t the best four years of our lives, they were four important ones.

Even writing this is a last– and a truly bittersweet one.

I truly hope that you make your lasts worthwhile.

Column: Just Speaking My Truth

Part Timer

By LAURYN BEST

​Being a student is a full time job in and of itself, but some students choose to take on the extra responsibility of working a part time job. I am one of those students. There are a multitude of reasons for why I felt the need to begin the job hunt, besides being able to buy whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. 

Being apart of a family of five in a middle class family means you quickly learn that your wants are not the only things that matter. If my older brother needed a tooth fixed; we didn’t go to the movie theaters for a while. If Mom needed to take her car to the shop; say goodbye to desert in my lunchboxes for a month. When I was younger this seemed like the end of the world, and I was subjected to countless lectures on the importance of “gratefulness” until maturity set in. As I got older the number on the cash register after a trip to the grocery store made me cringe, and I regretted asking for those fruit roll-ups. My parents joking refrain of “do you have *insert item I wanted at the time* money?” no longer went through one ear out the other. 

For a while I ignored their suggestion of getting an actual job. But after declining invitations to go out with friends and more anxious trips to the grocery store I did something out of character: I took my parents advice. 

Soon afterwards I began to regret this brief moment of insanity, but there was no going back. The process of looking for a job was…discouraging to say the least. As someone used to instant gratification the 4 month search for part time hours was less than desirable. I wanted to give up multiple times, and 50 applications later I began wondering what the heck was so wrong with me. My hopes of a summer job were crushed with school starting in just a week, until I got an email for a place I had been eyeing since my job search began. It had yet to be opened when I inquired about the restaurant, and my constant emails and phone calls must’ve either really annoyed or impressed the owner. I’d like to go with the first option. 

So I went to the interview and the rest is history. Happily ever after…right? 

Not exactly. I think after months of looking, I lost sight of what it was I was looking for- a job aka physical/mental labor. I was suddenly thrust into the service industry where the customer is king and if they want ketchup on their funnel cake, I have to give it to them gosh darn it. As an introvert scrubbing the toilet at 11pm on a Saturday night is nothing, but constantly interacting with sometimes rude, demanding people for 6 hours at a time is downright exhausting.

It is in this kind of environment where I really have to push myself to my limits. Yes, people are going to scream at me for forgetting to put extra ketchup on their hotdogs. Yes, my face hurts from smiling at people who refuse to smile back. Yes, it’s kind of impossible to listen to 3 managers tell me to do 3 different things in 3 different parts of the store at the same time. But I wouldn’t trade the feeling I get when an elderly lady thanks me for reading the menu aloud to her, when a little boys eyes light up at the sight of his food, or  when my boss thanks me for staying past my shift for anything. 
You know why?

 Because I worked hard for it, and that’s one of the most gratifying feelings in the world.

Column: Just Speaking My Truth

One a Day

By LAURYN BEST

​It is common for everyone to get self-conscious from time to time. Whether it’s because of an outfit they’re wearing for the first time, or a new haircut; we, as humans, can’t help but want to seek some form of validation from one another. While the phrase “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is common, it’s something that’s hard to actually put into practice in daily interaction. In the age of social media where only one side of a person is showcased either through a picture, a status, or through a six second clip, this principle is especially hard to live by. 
The internet allows people to live that fantasy of being a better version of themselves. They get the chance to photoshop themselves before anyone else can see them, they can say things they wouldn’t in real life, and get complimented by random strangers with a ‘like’ when they happened to scroll past. It’s everything a person could want, but in the end it lacks the sincerity of face to face interaction. 

I can’t count on my hand how many times I’ve wished I could re-invent myself to be more, something other than who I really was behind the screen. On the popular MTV show called Catfish, the hosts are tasked to find people who do just that. These people weave a tapestry of an alternate world where they are everything they wanted to be and more, dragging someone honest and hopeful into that other dimension with them. So when it all unravels they are left with nothing but string-tangled in knots both parties end up hurting. When most people reveal why they decided to catfish someone, it is almost always because they felt insecure with who they really were. Now the average person isn’t going around catfishing people to deal with their problems, but they could still be using the internet as a crutch. 

If you’ve ever volunteered in any way, you know the look on a person’s face as you give to them makes you feel good in turn. This can be applied to giving, as opposed to receiving, compliments. I realized when I would compliment on something about another person, it would makes me happier in turn. Last month, I decided to compliment one person a day which has not only improved the way I view others but the way I view myself. Seeing a person smile due to a little burst of confidence is priceless. 

Column: Here’s the thing 

How Synergy Changed Me
​By David Mikhail

For most students at REV Feb 15 was just another routine school day. However for a select few, which I was fortunate enough to be amongst, it was a life-changing event. That is because on Feb 15 REV’s Link Crew, led by Kurt Bruich, hosted REV’s 4th annual Synergy. I without a single shred of doubt, can claim that the Synergy was one of the most beneficial and unique experiences that I have had. The one thing I want you to keep in mind as you read this article is that nothing I can write will come close, or do justice to, how life changing the Synergy event was.  

Synergy kicked off with games to act as icebreakers, that were followed by pairing people up and having them answer questions set by the Link Crew which, as time moved on, got more personal. Following that, five people shared poignant stories that influenced their lives. Next we played a game called cross the line, in which the game members would say a statement and you would cross the line if the statement applies to you.

All of this may sound like a waste of time, but it wasn’t. It was an eye opener. It opened my eyes to a number of people who suffer in silence while I sit Idly by. I learned how to be a good listener, not through a powerpoint, but through experience. It was a wake-up call to show me how selfish I was, and a demonstration as to how little my knowledge stretched when it came to knowing those who make up my community, school, and classes.
To put it briefly, if I were to summarize the Synergy in one sentence it would be: “I have had more impactful experiences before, I just can’t remember when.”

Column: Aspire to Reach Positivity

By KAYLAN ENGE

Nowadays I feel like everyone is spending most of their time looking at what anybody and everybody else has that they don’t. For example say that you are an amazing actor and you’ve had a great performance. But you read in a review that your co-stars happened to have a better performance. In response you end up thinking to yourself that maybe you weren’t as good as you thought, or that they were better at it entirely. And that can be pretty problematic for most people, myself included.

While you are so busy thinking about the things others can do better that you can’t do then you are missing out on your opportunities. Because while you are so caught up on your co-star you would be missing out on talking to the audience that enjoyed your performance. Keep in mind that even when you do get caught up you shouldn’t be so quick to start putting others down. It’s ok to feel envious against others, but sometimes it doesn’t help you become a better person.

The thing is that while you are focused on what you don’t have or what you can’t do you are losing in your own battle with what’s going on. Surely that small problem isn’t the most of your worries, and if it is then I think you have it pretty good. You have to realize that everybody is at a different point and time in their lives and maybe you just aren’t there yet. So I think that we should all stop trying to be in constant competition and worry about ourselves and what we need / want to achieve in order to better ourselves.

Editors Letter: Hobbies 

By ALEXIS CHAVEZ

To me “hobbies” sounds like a homely way of doing something more out of boredom rather than enjoyment. “That’s just a hobby I picked up to keep myself busy” is a common phrase I hear a lot.

Hobbies should be entitled with more than just a belittlement toward what someone feels like they have to do in order to have a “healthy” lifestyle. It can be a challenge to find something you’re good at or aren’t, but nevertheless enjoy.

Personally, growing up I was never a wanderer or sports enthusiast. Quite frankly, I didn’t even play with the dolls my mother would buy me when I was little. I was and, somewhat I suppose, still am content with being alone for a good majority of the time and apparently that has become some sort of crime in the current propriety. So I suppose that might be how I even thought about getting into reading.

But I didn’t choose reading because I was bored, maybe initially, but even then I never belittled it. I always respected those that read for enjoyment. I mean if I didn’t I could have just sat on the couch all day and watched T.V.  

When I was little I hated reading because I would always try to read books that other people recommended, which I think is pretty normal, but I got tired of it because I never liked those books. Around the age of 10 I tried reading Pride and Prejudice. I had heard about it before through my aunt that’s an English teacher, but I never knew the plot or knew anyone else who had read it. After I read that book I really enjoyed it and stuck to what I now know as the “classics” genre.

If you try to find an enjoyable pastime through other people, going in with the thinking that what they do is right for you too, even when you don’t like it, or if you do it just to impress people, it  doesn’t just leave you at the same indifference as before, but has others thinking that you’re something that you aren’t.

Find something of your own and be proud of it…as long as you’re not going off and becoming some sort of Hannibal the Cannibal kind of thing.

Column: Just Speaking My Truth

Love Like A Child

BY LAURYN BEST

On Oct.15, 2015, a woman had seemingly witnessed a black male breaking into a car and stealing it. She called 911 and proceeded to follow the man so he wouldn’t get away with the crime. This man was Lawrence Crosby, a PhD student at Northwestern University, and he was actually fixing a loose part of his car when the witness spotted him and proceeded to call the police. Evanston police arrived on the scene and when Crosby stepped out of the car, four police officers tackled the student to the ground beating him mercilessly. On the recording of the 911 call made that night, the witness can be heard frantically telling the operator these chilling words: “I didn’t mean to like racially profile”.

Racial Profiling can be defined as “the use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed an offense.” Though these cases are mostly talked about in regards to African Americans, they are not exclusive to them. A Syrian friend of mine’s endless stories of being “randomly selected” every time her family goes to the airport is testament to this. In actuality, since 9/11 there have only been 2 muslim terrorists on American planes. According to Bruce Schneier, a contributor for Forbs, this means the chance of a Muslim flyer committing a terrorist attack is “one in 80 million”*. In a study conducted by Mother Jones magazine, “64% of mass shootings committed since 1982 have been conducted by white males”**. About 16% of the shootings were done by black males***.

Race is not the sole factor in crime. Mental illnesses, the way a person was raised, and media intake also has an integral part in it. Weather you mean to or not, making assumptions based on generalizations/stereotypes of a group of people is extremely harmful for both parties involved. The scary truth of the matter is that this witness knew exactly what she was doing, good intentions aside. It’s the job of this generation to make the world a better place for the next to live in. It takes self-examination, humility, and courage to move past prejudices and preconceived notions and see people through a different lens. 

As children the phrase “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is ingrained into our minds. Though humans have the tendency to get jaded by all the hardships in life, sometimes we have to revisit that time in our lives when we looked at a person’s character rather than their appearance.  

*http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceschneier/2012/05/09/the-trouble-with-airport-profiling/#5d68b6ed1ddf
**http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/27/us/mass-shootings/ 
*** “”

Column: Through My Eyes, Laughing at Death

Column: Through My Eyes

Laughing at Death

BY SAVANNA PATINO

It seems to be a trend on social media, especially among teenagers and young “adults,” to jokingly make comments regarding death. I get it- the concept of one day leaving this Earth and going who-knows-where is scary and something everyone has to deal with. Death is a commonality between all people on Earth, regardless of sex, race, religion, or anything else, and the funniest jokes arise from concepts everyone can understand. But, how funny is death?

It is true that there are a multitude of ways to cope with grief or deal with the unknown, one of these ways being humor. It is said that laughter is the best medicine, and whether you are dealing with the loss of a loved one or have never been that close to death, joking about the unknown may bring some peace.

But, there is a line that must be drawn.

The biggest trend is joking about suicide- specifically joking about someone killing themselves as a quick solution or as a casual statement in passing. For example, “We have school tomorrow; let me just go kill myself.” I am not sure when it happened or how it happened, but at some point it became okay, and even humorous, to post so casually about something so serious. Here are some statistics: “In the United States, the rate of suicide has continued to rise since the 1950s” (Brent). More people in the general population die from suicide than drunk driving in America. “There are over 30,000 suicides each year in the United States, or about 82 each day; and each day about 1,500 people attempt suicide” (Brent). According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. However, it is the second leading cause of death in adolescents (age 12-18).

Here’s the punch- every time you post, like, retweet, or even laugh at a post that casually suggests suicide, you are laughing right in the face of death. These blase posts belittle the problems many people face and cause them to feel even more isolated and alone than before. You may think that joking about it is bringing awareness, however it does just the opposite. Joking about a problem someone may be trying to fix is causing them to believe that their problem is smaller than everyone else’s. Joking about it may worsen the feelings of hopelessness and isolation. Joking about it may prevent people from seeking the help they need. Joking about it may lead to the pain and struggle of someone else that you do not see.

As someone who has lost someone very dear to them from suicide, I can genuinely say that the seriousness of suicide is underestimated until it hits so close to home. Like they say- “It’s all fun and games until someone actually kills himself.” How many people have to die before people start to actually talk about it? Merely posting a joke or two at someone else’s expense is not actually talking about it. Researching, providing information to others, and educating yourself are ways that can bring this serious topic into discussion. The more it is educationally discussed, the more awareness can be brought to this issue and the more we can do to help.

Suicide is a serious solution to life’s temporary problems, and it can be overcome. However, these social media posts are making it harder to bring real awareness and destroy the stigma of suicide.

Think before you post, and if you are seriously contemplating hurting yourself or someone else, seek help.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:
1-800-273-8255

Works Cited:

“Suicide Statistics — AFSP.” AFSP. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2017. Web. 03 Feb. 2017. https://afsp.org

David A. BrentEmily Jane Willingham and Rebecca J. Frey
The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Ed. Laurie J. Fundukian. Vol. 5. 4th ed. Detroit: Gale, 2011. p4203-4210.

Editor’s Letter

By Alexis Chavez

When most people think of Valentine’s Day they think of love and appreciation for one’s spouse, partner, boyfriend, or girlfriend. When I think of Valentine’s day, I think of love for humanity. Especially during 2017 and one of the first acts that the President has done is put a ban on citizens from 7 countries. The worst thing about this to me is that in almost 2 decades, terrorists that have put attacks out in the U.S. for the muslim religion are not from any of these countries. In school we learn history in hopes of not repeating it. It almost feels like it is human nature to .. as a species, not as individuals, to keep making the same mistakes. Fear tends to bring out the worst in people but isn’t it the fear that many terrorist groups use as propaganda to motivate their followers? And I respectfully acknowledge the reason behind why some people support Trump for this ban. But plucking specific countries from a flock of Muslim nations that appears to only due to religion hurts my heart and doesn’t feel like the spirit of love and compassion.
I remember reading in 8th grade ¨Under The Red-Blood Sun¨ in English and it described the story of a boy in Hawaii, who happened to be Japanese during the time of the Pearl Harbor bombings and his mother told him to go put on his boy scout uniform to prove they are citizens and he is a born-citizen in effort that they wouldn’t need to be taken away from their home and into a camp. But despite their efforts All Japanese were persecuted and sent to the camps. And it confuses me to why we read these in school but keep repeating prejudice mistakes. America itself was founded on as a safe haven from religious persecution in Europe. Europe even physically fought for 100 years over religion. We ourselves are a  nation of immigrants from every corner of the world. Maybe my view is too liberal for some, but as a Spanish, Mexican, Native-American female, I know what radical fear and anger does to the powerful.. and history has showed me the results of it.

Column: Through My Eyes

Laughing at Death

BY SAVANNA PATINO

It seems to be a trend on social media, especially among teenagers and young “adults,” to jokingly make comments regarding death. I get it- the concept of one day leaving this Earth and going who-knows-where is scary and something everyone has to deal with. Death is a commonality between all people on Earth, regardless of sex, race, religion, or anything else, and the funniest jokes arise from concepts everyone can understand. But, how funny is death?

It is true that there are a multitude of ways to cope with grief or deal with the unknown, one of these ways being humor. It is said that laughter is the best medicine, and whether you are dealing with the loss of a loved one or have never been that close to death, joking about the unknown may bring some peace.

But, there is a line that must be drawn.

The biggest trend is joking about suicide- specifically joking about someone killing themselves as a quick solution or as a casual statement in passing. For example, “We have school tomorrow; let me just go kill myself.” I am not sure when it happened or how it happened, but at some point it became okay, and even humorous, to post so casually about something so serious. Here are some statistics: “In the United States, the rate of suicide has continued to rise since the 1950s” (Brent). More people in the general population die from suicide than drunk driving in America. “There are over 30,000 suicides each year in the United States, or about 82 each day; and each day about 1,500 people attempt suicide” (Brent). According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. However, it is the second leading cause of death in adolescents (age 12-18).

Here’s the punch- every time you post, like, retweet, or even laugh at a post that casually suggests suicide, you are laughing right in the face of death. These blase posts belittle the problems many people face and cause them to feel even more isolated and alone than before. You may think that joking about it is bringing awareness, however it does just the opposite. Joking about a problem someone may be trying to fix is causing them to believe that their problem is smaller than everyone else’s. Joking about it may worsen the feelings of hopelessness and isolation. Joking about it may prevent people from seeking the help they need. Joking about it may lead to the pain and struggle of someone else that you do not see.

As someone who has lost someone very dear to them from suicide, I can genuinely say that the seriousness of suicide is underestimated until it hits so close to home. Like they say- “It’s all fun and games until someone actually kills himself.” How many people have to die before people start to actually talk about it? Merely posting a joke or two at someone else’s expense is not actually talking about it. Researching, providing information to others, and educating yourself are ways that can bring this serious topic into discussion. The more it is educationally discussed, the more awareness can be brought to this issue and the more we can do to help.

Suicide is a serious solution to life’s temporary problems, and it can be overcome. However, these social media posts are making it harder to bring real awareness and destroy the stigma of suicide.

Think before you post, and if you are seriously contemplating hurting yourself or someone else, seek help.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:
1-800-273-8255

Works Cited:

“Suicide Statistics — AFSP.” AFSP. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2017. Web. 03 Feb. 2017. https://afsp.org

David A. Brent, Emily Jane Willingham and Rebecca J. Frey
The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Ed. Laurie J. Fundukian. Vol. 5. 4th ed. Detroit: Gale, 2011. p4203-4210.

Editor’s Letter: 6 Tasks for the Homestretch

BY MAYA SANCHEZ and LAURYN BEST

This is it, seniors, the final stretch, the homestretch. (Almost, there are still scholarships and interviews to be done. Not to mention AP exams and finals and all the tests and projects due between then. Okay, so maybe it’s not quite the final stretch, but it’s almost there.) Four years of work have gathered to, what? Senioritis? 

Don’t let the laziness get to you. Here are six things to help you make the most of the last semester of high school. 

1. Getting enough sleep – It’s tough, everyone knows that. The amount of sleep that a growing teenager should be getting nears around nine hours, but there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all that needs to get done and be rested and fully prepared for the next day. However, instead of pulling an all-nighter trying to finish the essay that was assigned two weeks ago, go to sleep early and wake up early. Not only will your brain be rested, but you’ll start the day off with a type of energy that cannot be replicated through caffeine. But, just make sure you actually get up. 

2. Create a To-Do List- It sounds mundane and boring, but with college and the future looming ahead of us all, there are a lot of items that tend to stack up. Instead of trying to remember it all, right it down in a convenient spot (not your arm) and accomplish it! Try to do at least five items per day. They can be simple things such as remembering to give your dog a walk, but being able to see a completed to-do list is oddly rewarding. 

3. Plan it, Don’t Stress It – Sounds easier said than done and that’s because it is. Procrastination can hit hard; the assignment that is due next week doesn’t hold a candle of interest next to the debut of Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. However, it’s much better to spread out a task over multiple days instead of trying to do it all at once. Pair your work up with a reward as well. Do you have labs to complete? Do half your labs, watch an episode of your favorite TV show, go back to doing your labs. Not only will you feel accomplished, but you’ll also be taking a well-needed break. 

4. College tours- Seeing a place through pictures versus seeing it in real life is a completely different experience. People have the tendency to prematurely judge a school without actually taking a tour. So go to the campus, talk to students, and try to imagine yourself in that place for the next four years. High schooler students don’t have much of a choice on where they attend school, students are just filtered into the campus closest to their homes with a small chance to transfer with a legitimate reason. College is one of the first adult decisions most seniors will make, so make sure it’s a well informed one.

5. Try Something New- By now most seniors have found their niche on campus. They do the same activities and hang out with the same people. Now is the last time to mix things up a bit. Love to sing? Audition for the spring musical. Interested in improving the lives of children in third world countries? Join UNICEF Club. Never had time to play a sport? Go to a tryout! The possibilities are endless, so explore the interests you’ve always put on the backburner until now. You’ll make new friends, new memories, and have fun doing it.

6. Release Your Inhibitions – After three and a half years of struggling to find constant validation from other people, it’s time to realize that in just a few months you won’t ever see some of your schoolmates again. The choices you make, you have to live with for not just four years, but for the rest of your life. So let loose, laugh more, and live in the moment.

Column: Aspiring to Reach Positivity

Top 5 things I Learned From Marching Band

By KAYLAN ENGE

​As a senior, the season ending for your chosen sport can be a emotional rollercoaster. For me that comes in the form of marching band. Band is something I have done since 4th grade. (Besides the temporary period when I did online homeschooling from 5th-7th grade.) And since it has been such a big part of my high school year, it’s end saddens me a bit.  So here are the five most important things that I learned from marching band.

  1. Friendship/Family: In anything you do friendship is probably something that you would most likely want. I’ve met tons of great people because of my time in marching band. In the time that we have been together they have become my second family All the games we played while hanging out, long hours of practices, and jokes that we shared. But that’s not all even I’ve even gained teamwork through it.
  2. Teamwork and Cooperation: Following friendship will be teamwork since they go hand in hand. While you’re down there on the field practicing putting together a field show for hours you learn that it’s important to keep your feet in time. If you’re out of step it doesn’t only make you look bad it makes the group as a whole look bad resulting in lower scales during performances at competition.     
  3. Discipline: I’ve learned to discipline myself with certain situations. During the season there were so many times when me and others would be cracking jokes and we would get called to attention. This allowed me to learn to get into a serious attitude quickly.
  4. Sacrifice: Throughout the years there have been so many things that I sacrificed for the program. There were times when I had the chance to go to the movies or do something else that I wanted that I gave up just to go to a practice.
  5. THE TRUE VALUE OF WATER: As a marching band student who practiced in the blazing hot sun for hours on end; WATER IS ESSENTIAL. When you are tired and sweating you got get that energy back and cool off. It actually gave me a new value of water.

      
 These are all of the things that I learned in the program and I’m honestly sad to say that I have finished marching band.

Column: Just Speaking My Truth 

Scholarships Save Lives 

By LAURYN BEST 

As the deadline for applying for colleges draws nearer, a high school senior such as myself has to start thinking about something equally important: How in the world am I going to pay for this degree? Some people are fortunate enough to not have to worry about this as their family is well off enough to pay for tuition up front, while others have to get creative.


After having a conversation with one of my friends (who happens to be a part of the first group mentioned) in which they stated “scholarships were a waste of [their] time” since they didn’t need it, I was shocked to say the least. In all honesty they came off as a little haughty. Yes their parents have the means to pay for her higher education, but they don’t necessarily have to. The same goes for people who don’t have any funds to support them for four years, there is a way out of that tough position.

Scholarships are a magical thing really. Just for being the awesome person that you are, you can lighten the load that is college tuition. They come in many different forms, and can get pretty obscure. Are you a middle child? Left handed? Play a sport? You can get money. If you just write a few essays to some broad prompts and apply to a set number every week you will be surprised by the results.

Column: Through My Eyes

Netflix Binging

By SAVANNA PATINO

With Thanksgiving Break coming, ‘Netflix Binging’ season is in full swing. Thanks to the full week of free time a lot of students will have, the upcoming break is the perfect time to start a new TV show (or a couple new ones). As someone who loves to watch entire TV shows in one swift move (i.e. the infamous ‘Netflix Binge’), I have plenty of experience searching through the hundreds of options to find good ones.

Here are a few of my favorite shows to watch on Netflix:

  1. Friends

This one is a classic. This 90’s comedy sitcom is filled with six hilarious characters and their lives centering around one apartment in New York City. The ten seasons follow the lives of the three girls and three boys in their searches for love and preparations for their futures. If you are looking for a light show that will make you laugh, this is the one for you.

     2. Scrubs
This comedy-drama follows the lives of young doctors as they work their way through their residencies and become full-time physicians. The main character, John Dorian, is a sensitive guy with a running inner monologue of his thoughts and various daydreams that intrigue the audience. This show, while having a comedic undertone, paints a very real picture of the lives of doctors as they work long hours and sometimes fail to save people in the ICU. This show is perfect for anyone ready to laugh and cry, and it’s perfect for the ‘Netflix Binge.’

     3. Gilmore Girls
It is most fitting to mention this show now, because the new miniseries is scheduled to appear on Netflix on November 25. This family drama centers around Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter also Lorelai Gilmore (but goes by Rory) in the fictional small town of Stars Hollow. With the fast-paced dialogue and pop culture references, the audience watches as Rory grows up and attends the college of her dreams, and Lorelai builds a life for herself. You meet some colorful characters along the way, making this show a light-hearted classic. It is a must-watch.

    4. How I Met Your Mother
If you have not already seen this TV comedy, it is time you should. And Thanksgiving Break is the perfect time to finally find out how Ted, the main character, meets his wife. THe end of the series is a controversial topic for every watcher, but nonetheless, the show is a crazy journey of Ted’s search for love in New York City. He tells the story, speaking to his kids, in flashbacks, making for a hilarious spin on the story of how he met their mother.

These are four TV shows that I have personally seen and can recommend, however there are hundreds of options for your next ‘Netflix Binge.’ Some other shows with great reviews are Grey’s Anatomy, Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead, and the Office, but there are no limits to what your next favorite TV show might be. So, just choose a show that sounds interesting and go from there. I know I will be watching all week to find my next favorite show, and maybe I can add something new to this list of favorites. But as always, this is just through my eyes.

Column: You and I 

Whitewashing Is Not Just A Type of Paint

BY MAYA SANCHEZ

​Marvel’s newest movie soared into theaters on Nov. 4 and like other Marvel movies, has been a commercial success. This is to be expected. By now the Marvel Cinematic Universe, MCU for short, knows how to put the pieces together in order to make a blockbuster. 

What the MCU hasn’t figured out is their blatant colorism. 

Canonically, the character of Doctor Strange is racially ambiguous, meaning that he is not white, but there is also no ethnicity placed on him. He is one of the most powerful people in the Marvel Universe, rivaling even the Scarlet Witch and her son Wiccan. Doctor Strange, with all of his talents, eccentric nature, and tan skin, is supposed to be a character that inspires awe and wonder. 

Instead, looking at Benedict Cumberbatch, I can barely hide my disgust. This is the person they chose to play Doctor Strange? This person? When there are hoards of other high-profile actors of color to do the job instead? This is not to say that Cumberbatch ruins the movie, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

I’m not going to stand and pay for a movie where a character’s race is absurdly thrown out. 

But what about Zendaya being casted to play Mary Jane in the latest Spider Man installment? Isn’t that the same thing? They gave no care to race when casting her. 

There is a huge difference in casting a person of color into a ‘white’ role than casting a white person instead of a person of color. The difference comes from the fact that there are plenty of roles for white people in Hollywood; landing a role is difficult nonetheless, but people of color face a harder time because calling casts that specifically ask for caucasians are in a much higher number than those who specifically ask for people of color. 

And this colorism isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s happening in the Hollywood all the time. The Western adaptation of Death Note – a Japanese manga and anime- is having it’s lead played by Nat Wolff. The Ghost in the Shell live-action movie is being headed by Scarlett Johannson. Both of these stories involve strong elements of Japanese culture, and the newest trailer for Ghost in the Shell is so Japanese that it is jarring to see Johannson even trying to fill the role of Major Motoko Kusanagi. A recent article from the Verge is titled “The live-action Ghost in the Shell gets the look right.” 

It’s just that: other cultures are used as decorations, to get the perfect aesthetic and lighting. And that’s it. Its actual people are completely disregarded. 

Fortunately, the colorism in Hollywood is being brought in the spotlight. It is being looked down upon, but the only way that Hollywood is ever going to significantly change is if there is a financial motivation. 

Until enough people refuse to see whitewashed movies, whitewashed movies are still going to be made. 

Column: You and I

I am not a Costume 

​BY MAYA SANCHEZ

The weather is getting colder — at least colder by California terms–, the food is getting sweeter, the houses are getting decorated. All this combined is the start of the most beloved time of the year: holiday season! 

Halloween is the first holiday that’s marked on the calendar, and the air is alive with festiveness. From pumpkins to scary movies, Halloween is fun for all ages. It’s a chance to let loose, have some fun, and pretend to be someone that you’re not for a day. It’s the time to be scared at Universal’s Horror Nights and sit in suspense as you watch Silence of the Lambs. 

It’s not the chance to mock cultures. 

Political correctness is term that is often thrown around carelessly. It’s sometimes used as a derogatory term, or as a standard for behavior. Most of the time it’s used incorrectly. Political correctness is not about being sensitive or being ‘right’, it’s about being polite and being aware your position in the world. So when someone wears of costume of your culture, whether or not they mean harm by it, it’s just not okay. 

But it’s just a costume! It doesn’t mean much of anything! 

You’re right, it just a costume, and that’s exactly where the problem lies. To you, it’s just a costume, just something to put on a look cool with, to other people — to sometimes entire nations of people– it’s a way of life, it’s their customs and their traditions. 

It’s certainly not something to surmise in a quick costume that you picked up at Party Plus. There are a million other costumes that you can wear, so why choose a costume that mocks a culture? 

Be Superman or Wonder Woman. The only people you will be hurting are the people wearing Marvel costumes. 

Column: Aspiring to Reach Positivity

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

BY KAYLAN ENGE

Stepping out of your comfort zone is something that is hard to do when you have been doing things a certain way for as long as you can remember. 

If you are anything like me, then you may feel anxious in a social setting. You may feel awkward even around your friends. Going to social events with your friends may put you in a rough spot that forces you to expand your comfort zone. 

Recently Homecoming 2016 passed for REV. Usually I don’t like to go to dances, but hey, it’s senior year and I haven’t gone to any events like this before.  At first, I started off fine and was excited to hang out with my friends, but the closer the day came the more I began to feel anxious and uncomfortable. 

The thought of having to wear dress-up clothes upset me more than anything. Usually many people would enjoy dressing up and looking nice. But I’m the kind of person who would much rather wear jeans and a jacket instead of dress-up clothes. So I ended up shopping for clothes with my dad, who I see everyday, but never actually talk to because he has work and I have school and marching band. I don’t know if anyone else goes through this but for me it kind of made me happy.

We ended up finding nice clothes and I thought they looked weird. Stepping out of your comfort zone means that you have to understand that your opinion isn’t the only one that stands anymore. Now don’t get me wrong it felt weird but I was going to go and I wasn’t anything stop me from going.  

When I got there, it was awkward for me because I didn’t see anyone I knew at first and I was just wandering around looking for my friends (which was kinda hard to do with a huge crowd and loud music on a dance floor.)  Can you say awkward? Have you ever been to a huge crowded place where you couldn’t find anyone you knew?

Eventually I found them when I was getting punch and we ended up dancing and having a great time. As the night went on, I got more comfortable dancing and not worrying so much about how weird it was for me. 

When you want to experience something, you can’t let yourself be controlled by anxiety. Anxiety is just fear. We as people experience fear, but it’s our choice on whether we let it affect our decisions. 

After all, some good things came from deciding to go. I got to hang out with my dad, have fun with my friends, and grow out of my own comfort zone. I ended up enjoying homecoming when I never really expected to. 

So I believe that if I can do it so can anyone else. You just have to be willing to do it for yourself.

​A few ways to start that off would be taking small steps into doing things that would normally make you feel nervous. Go out with some friends to watch a movie or just go over to their house. Or if you want to try making new friends just start simple. Say hi and introduce yourself. Make conversation. For all you know you might find someone in the same situation as you and by stepping out of yours they just might do the same. Why not help others grow while growing yourself?

Column: Here’s the Thing

Rallies, Rules, and the Discrepancies Between Them

BY DAVID MIKHAIL​

At the beginning of the school year, students got a student agenda handbook. The agendas provided by the school come in handy during several occasions and contain all the rules and guidelines. Among these are dance rules, which are there to keep school dances appropriate, maintain order, and for, according to the agenda, ” __the safety of all REVHS students and staff.” 

The rules, previously mentioned, are found on page 9 of the student handbook given to us at the beginning of the school year. Rules such as “When dancing back to front, all dancers must remain upright- no sexual squatting or sexual bending is allowed.” 

It also contains general policies, which include “No students, regardless of his social status, race, creed, or color, shall receive preferential treatment in any matter outlined in this policy of discipline.” 

Both the rules and the guidelines have been broken time and time again by groups during pep rallies while teachers, security officers, and administrators stood idly by while it happened, although they are there to supervise the pep rallies. The groups mentioned have managed to get by performing dance moves, such as twerking and inappropriate squatting, for two years without getting any form of rebuking whatsoever. 

Whether or not, the rules are fair, rules should be enforced whenever students are on campus during school hours or at school-sanctioned events. This includes rallies.

Column: Just Speaking My Truth

I Am Not My Hair

By LAURYN BEST
                                                                                                                                        I am not my hair
                                                                                                                                       I am not this skin
                                                                                                                         I am not your expectations no no
                                                                                                                                       I am not this hair 
                                                                                                                                      I am not this skin
                                                                                                                             I am the soul that lives within

While ‘I Am Not My Hair’ by India Arie ft. Akon is a certified bop for anyone, it serves to spread awareness about an issue many people are not able to understand: having nappy hair in a country where straight hair is the ideal. I have a ridiculously large amount of hair and for most of my life I have kept my hair natural and only permed it once and straightened it two times. So when people expressed disbelief at the fact that my hair was “real” I felt offended. My mom went on to give me an explanation on hairpieces, relaxers, weaves, and the fact that many black women preferred not to wear their hair in its natural state. At first I couldn’t understand it. If that’s the way your hair grows out of your head, why would you want to put damaging chemicals in it or spend hours in a hair shop leaving with a throbbing scalp? 

The answer to this is not an easy one for everyone to hear, but it’s necessary. As many issues within the black community do, this problem finds its’ origins in slavery. When slave masters were deciding how to divvy up their “property”, they focused on the physical attributes of slaves. A rule of thumb was the more white they looked (light skin,straight hair etc.), the more attractive thus making them “better” and qualified to work in the house alongside the master. Those with more quintessential African features (kinky hair, dark skin, wide nose etc.) were exiled to the field and considered below their light-skinned brothers and sisters. In this day and age  black women aren’t straightening their hair or getting weaves because they want to look white, it is simply more “manageable” and more “professional.” Now at this point some may wonder why it’s still an issue. Get a weave if you want, or wear it natural if you wish right? With increasingly frequent of black men and women with natural hair in the workforce being told to “fix” their hair to fit a professional setting, the answer is no longer simple.

In the end a black woman or any woman, is the only one with the right to decide what she can and cannot do with her hair. My close friend chooses to relax and straighten hers. That’s her choice. I decided I don’t want to alter the natural composition of my hair. That is my choice. A woman deciding to style her hair naturally or with a weave doesn’t always have to be a political statement or mean she has an ulterior motive. It just means that her particular hairstyle makes her feel beautiful. She shouldn’t be mocked or made to feel that she is less than for her decision whatever it may be.

Column: You and I

Seasons Come and Go

By MAYA SANCHEZ 

People don’t like change; this is a sentence that we’ve been told time and time again, usually to explain cranky behavior or resistance. In physics, the resistance of change is called inertia. Newton’s first law directly addresses this phenomenon. Everything in the universe, it seems, wants to stick to their old ways.

But sometimes those old ways aren’t there anymore, and it’s only when things end do other things get a chance to begin.

But sometimes they just end, and that’s okay too.

Senior year is a story of endings. The last time you have a first day of high school, the last time you go to homecoming, the last time… you get my point. But while these lasts have come and gone, (there are still plenty where they came from) there’s a certain last — an ending, a goodbye, no see-you-later– that affects me in a way that the others didn’t.

Time flies when you’re having fun, and golf season always seems too short. It seems to finish just as it’s picking up. A lot of people at school don’t even know that the golf team exists (while we’re on that subject, a lot of people at this school don’t even know that this newspaper, let alone my column, exists), but it does and we’re a family.

Sure, golf is a sport where the only enemy is the one in your head. Sure, there are the players on the other team that you have to be aware of and your own players that are standing besides you, but the game comes down to you and your mind. It comes down to the confidence in your shot, the ability to tell yourself that you will make the shot and then actually make it.

But golf is a lot more than that too; at least to me it was. It was friendships and laughing and crying at the same time. It was badly rapping to Drake’s Motto on the car ride home. It was spending too much money on frozen yogurt. It was waking up before the sun and complaining about the heat one week and then the cold the next. It was three years that have been kind and sweet to me.

But as golf season officially winds down, and I say goodbye to what will probably be my last year of playing competitive golf, I’m happy.

It’s been a great season.

Column: Here’s the Thing

How GMOs Are Shaping the Future

​BY DAVID MIKHAIL

Today our supermarkets and food stores are mainly dominated by Genetically Modified Organisms. However, our society is nowhere near being dominated by people who understand GMOs or their potential. Genetically modified organisms are organisms whose genes have been manipulated 

Here is the thing: GMOs are, like it or not, a huge part of our daily lives.

Ever since GMOs have been introduced in 1982 in insulin and, into our food and grocery stores in 1994, they have grown slowly into our everyday life and economy. 

Today a whopping 92% of all corn is genetically modified. While it doesn’t grow faster, it is herbicide and disease resistant, which can save a lot of corn from going to waste due to disease.

More importantly, GMO corn is drought resistant, which is a major plus for us here in California. 

For those of you keen readers out there, you may be wondering: “Didn’t this dude rant about GMO’s last year?” 

My answer would be yes I did. At which point you may have the following question: “Well why on god’s green earth is he doing it again?”

The answer to that is as follows: last year I mainly focused on genetically modified food, however, this year GMO’s have made history. A baby, Abrahim Hassan, with DNA from 3 parents was born making headlines as a scientific first. Here is how: doctors at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York carried out a spindle nuclear transfer, in which the nucleus of the mother’s egg was removed and then placed in a donor’s egg which had no nucleus, as it was previously taken out.By doing that, scientists deterred Abrahim from getting leigh syndrome, which his mother carries genes for.

Here is why you should care: if this works, a myriad of genetic diseases such as Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s, down syndrome, and much more will be non-existent. In addition, we would be able to prevent people from being more susceptible to certain diseases due to family history. 

Column: Just Speaking My Truth

Figuring Out Friendship

By LAURYN BEST

Ever since I could remember I’ve always had a hard time making friends. I was awkward (I still am), chubby, quiet, and felt generally uncomfortable in my own skin. I had a hard time believing that people wanted to be my friend and agonized over the thought of having to make conversation with people I didn’t know. Sure, I had friends. One of them was my neighbor, and another was a girl who my mother believed was a bad influence, but I stayed with them because they were all I had. On the first day of fifth grade a new girl came to school. My neighbor and her immediately clicked, so of course we became friends too. New girl was mature. She wore bras, makeup, and always had bows in her hair. She was everything I wanted to be and she was nice to me. We had sleepovers, told each other secrets, and spent our birthdays together. To me it was obvious that we would stay friends in middle school (we did)…just not for long. A few weeks into school New Girl decided she didn’t want to be friends with me anymore, nor did any of the other people we associated with. So at lunch after I sat down at our table, they all ran away from me and into the bathroom. I was humiliated. We tried to talk it out, but that was the end of our friendship.

 I met my friend (let’s call her Jill) Jill in the sixth grade not long after New Girl dumped me. I, being the socially awkward child I was (and still am), stood next to her silently and waited for the teacher to open the door to let us in. She immediately turned to me and asked if I was on the Silver Bullets Winter ball team a few years back. That fateful day, I had found my first best friend. Jill was cool. She was funny, she was loud, and she didn’t take crap from anybody; she was the complete opposite of me but it worked out. She introduced me to two other girls whom I would come to call my best friends. At first I didn’t hang out with them much outside of class because I was still friends with New Girl. After “The Incident” I walked sadly to her table and asked if I could sit there from now on, she happily agreed and we became inseparable. Often times people would mix up our names even though we looked nothing alike. Of course I made another group of friends who she expressed her distaste for, but we still had the same bond we always had. She helped me to be more confident, she laughed at my jokes, and she didn’t care that I wasn’t stick thin because she wasn’t either. 

Maybe it’s my fault we aren’t good friends anymore. We say hi and comment on each others posts’ sometimes, but it’s sure not what it used to be. Nevertheless she showed me how to be a good friend, and to drop the ones that didn’t treat me how they should. I’ll always think of Jill fondly and forever be grateful for her part in shaping me into the person I am today. She’ll always be my very best friend. 

Column: Learning to Grow Up

Dear Reader

By JASMYN GONZALEZ

Throughout one’s life, there are many lessons learned such as: learning to tie your shoe, waiting in line, not staring, making eye contact when you talk, being patient. Almost all of these contribute to the person that one becomes in their future. As a child, your family is the main group you socialize with that teaches you the values of society. Once you become a teen, your peers are the ones that have the most influence on you, your behavior and your interests. So, as a teen, I am striving to impact and inspire you, my readers, to be the best person that you can be. I am trying to point out subjects and issues that can apply to one essentially “growing up”. This is the purpose of my column.

I am a big sister of three little brothers. I love them all very much. Throughout my time playing with them and enjoying their craziness, I realized that my little brothers were also learning day by day fascinatingly fast. It took me a while to realize that they were growing up as I was. Once I realized that they were becoming their own person, I started to think of how every little thing we learn everyday teaches us to become an older, more mature person. Through their millions of questions produced from their curiosity, I have noticed that they are no different than you and I. They are learning how to live in our society and go along with our culture’s ground rules, and getting a sense of understanding our daily interactions. We, teens, are learning how the “big world” so to speak functions and cooperates successfully. Therefore, this column will speak to the different issues faced by everyday people, and things that we can improve on. I have also decided to include any stories one might submit to me that can inspire people to become a better person. If you have a story you would like to submit, fill out the information below and please add at the bottom whether or not you would like it to be anonymous. Thank you my dear reader.

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Column: You and I

lmao ikr ???

​By MAYA SANCHEZ

The internet is twenty-five years old, and although it’s lifespan has been short, it has transformed an entire generation and all the generations to come. Some may say that the internet is something to be censored because of all the unregulated content, that it is dangerous because of the anonymity that it contains, that it is destroying the youth’s morals (But then again, when doesn’t the previous generation complain about the younger generation?), that it is making us lazy. 

But while the internet has it’s negative parts, as everything does, it is a wonderful thing. It connects people and information in ways that we once could not have dreamed of. The internet has shaped and changed the way that we look at the world, and change does not have to be a bad thing. Change is the only way to go forward, to advance, to become better than we were the day before. Society is no exception of this statement. Who wants their world to be the same it was twenty years ago? 

As I stated before, the internet has allowed information to be shared worldwide. An Encyclopedias worth of knowledge is only a few clicks away. How is that fact not amazing? How is the idea that humans have created something so powerful not put you in awe? And we are really only starting to scrape the surface on what the internet can really do. The internet has shaped marketing and media and therefore society in innumerable ways. 

The internet also brings people closer together. My grandmother loves going on Facebook because she is able to connect to her cousins and family that live on the other side of the country. She is able to see what they are up to, how their lives are going on, and be able to feel as if she is living only a few miles away from them, not thousands. I personally have met some of my best friends through the internet, and I don’t seem them any differently than my best friends that I see on a daily basis. Through the internet I have been able to find people that share similar interets and bond over them, the distance (thousands of miles and a 18-hour time difference in one case – Hi, Ella) between us unimportant because I can be laughing at a joke she just shared seconds ago. Friendships made of the internet are not any less real than those made in person. How many people have met their now-partner through online dating sites? The world has a population of over 7 billion people, and the internet brings use closer to every single one of them. How is that not fascinating? How is the ability to meet such unique and interesting and diverse people seen as something that hinders society?

Sure, maybe kids are spending more time watching television and playing on their phones than they used to. But when the television was first introduced, the older generation also voiced their complaints. People are always going to argue against change, but ironically their complaints are not going to to change anything. Children still play outside, we still have face-to-face interactions, but now we have another form of communication, another form of entertainment. And human ingenuity has responded to these new forms in multiple ways. (To go off on a tangent, the internet has created an entire new vernacular. One of the drawbacks of the internet is the screen in front of you, the inability to see and interpret a person’s body language. But because of the hurdle, language has evolved. There is a distinct difference from the use of you and u, hyperboles have become a way of expressing intense feelings, even memes hold emotional significance. These are just some examples of the flexibility of humans and how we are shaping the internet just as much as it is shaping us.)

And the internet has opened thousands of new jobs. From IT workers to bloggers to makers of webcomics, the internet is a plethora of creativity and success. The internet pushes for something new, helped by its ever changing platforms, and change is not something to be afraid of. Change is something to be embraced and accepted. 

The world is ever changing around us, and that change can be used for good things.

Column: Here’s the Thing

Dear Reader 

BY DAVID MIKHAIL

Last Publication I published an article in which I stated my opinion on some of the school’s actions regarding traffic safety. While some people may disagree with my opinion or misunderstand me for a negative person, they could not be more off. 
​  

Here is the thing: I don’t complain aimlessly for the sake of complaining; far from it. I complain because our system is, unfortunately, flawed and is in desperate need to be set right. As with anything that needs fixing, we must first know what is wrong with it. That, my dear reader, is why I must speak out.

Many people know that our system has many faults, however, there exist a myriad of flaws that are not addressed. Either because people are not aware of them, or because those who are in charge are not willing to do anything about it. Not only does this hold back our society and refrain it from improving, it is also unfair to everyone, especially those who are working towards a better society.

That is why I complain. I want nothing but to make our society better. In order to do that, we all need to make sure to inform everyone about the flaws and faults in our system, so that together we can move forward to the next step and take our society to a new level.

Unfortunately, one of the major flaws in our society, is people calling people, like myself, haters or pessimists even though we are only trying to help. That can make people live in a constant fear of stating the faults of our society, and effectively delaying its advancement.

Nevertheless, my dear readers and fellow students, we should never cover the truth in order to avoid judgment. In fact, we should do the exact opposite, and seek a better society regardless of the cost.  

Column: Learning to Grow Up

“The Maintenance Guy” Helps Improve Our School Experience

BY JASMYN GONZALEZ

Did the water turn off? Call the maintenance guy! Did the lights go out? Call the maintenance guy! Are the bells off schedule? Call the maintenance guy!

Our schools often run across problems like these. There are issues at every school regarding plumbing, electricity, etc. Whenever this happens, the first person we call is always “the maintenance guy.” Chris Kivett is the “maintenance guy” at Redlands East Valley. His duties include taking care of our students and teachers at REV and ensuring that the day goes by smoothly. Kivett demonstrated this daily goal when he stated that when the students and teachers “…are able to go about their day…” the custodians and staff are “doing pretty good.” He further went on to say that, “if the students don’t notice…” him or any of the custodians throughout the day, they must be efficiently “…doing [their] job.” This not only shows the humility that custodians and maintenance worker have, but also the usual under-appreciation that they experience. To further emphasize the point, Chris Kivett states that he arrives to work everyday, “at six until 2:30.” This shows his diligence in his effort and his dedication to each and every successful day at REV for the students and teachers.

Whether you attend REV, CVHS or OHS, try to notice the little things. These workers come day after day to make sure that we have a good learning environment and are comfortable at school. If we didn’t have these devoted workers committing themselves to our school, not only would we be swamped in trash, but we would also run across problems with the school functioning correctly. The air conditioning, the bell schedule, the refrigerators and plumbing, these are all things we rely on to go about our day smoothly. Without our custodians, maintenance guys and lunch servers, school would have a whole different culture. Chris Kivett is an example to show that the small jobs ultimately weigh so much in our daily routines and it takes much more dedication and effort than given credit for.

So, notice the little things. In the long run, they make a big difference in our lives.

Column: Just Speaking My Truth

Seeing Through Colors

BY LAURYN BEST

I’m not like your typical black girl.

At least that’s what I’ve been told by many people on multiple different occasions. The first few times I wasn’t sure what to make of the comment. So I would laugh and nod my head in agreement, even though it didn’t quite sit well with me. Redlands is diverse enough that I hadn’t been completely ostracized from the black community, but it did mean that most of my friends consisted of people with white or latino/latina backgrounds. This was not a problem per se, but it did feel weird being the only black person in some of my classes, which lead to awkward glances whenever slavery and segregation were discussed. At some points, I even forgot I was supposed to be different from everyone– until they would point out that I was.

I’m basically white on the inside.

Now that one stung a little. At that point in time 13 year old Lauryn wasn’t sure why, but 17 year old Lauryn does, mostly due to the mass amount of wisdom she has gained these past four years (please note the sarcasm). Back then I shrugged it off because being white was a good thing, right? At least that was what my blonde hair, blue eyed Barbie doll told me and what the popular, pale skinned girl on TV portrayed. Eventually this began to register in my mind as offensive, but I didn’t dare point it out since it wasn’t that big of a deal. Right?

I’m pretty for a black girl.

If you could see me right now, I am rolling my eyes. I had seen enough of  #teamlightskin that I recognized that dark did not equal beauty in the eyes of many. For a long time I didn’t either. My mother has such light skin that people had jokingly questioned if she was even my mother. A part of me resented her for it. Why was she light skinned and pretty, and her own children so, very dark? Eventually I learned that lots of black people with light skin, such as my mother, wished they had darker skin so they would be seen for who they were: black. Suddenly, I wondered why those last four words had to be added to the sentence.

By this time I had grown to be more comfortable with myself as the black woman I was becoming, but things didn’t really change for me until the shooting of Trayvon Martin: a young man killed before he really got to live. My brother was the same age as Trayvon when he was shot. Fear struck me. If a young black man could be killed for no reason in Florida, couldn’t one be shot in Redlands too? It stirred something deep inside me, and I began to open my eyes to the things that are, and had been happening to the black community for decades. It definitely wasn’t an overnight thing, but I started to realize that what I do in my everyday life represents a whole race of people. People who suddenly didn’t seem like strangers to me, but like my brothers and sisters.

The shooting of Terence Crutcher on September 19, 2016 only reinforces the beliefs I’ve come to develop. It took me a long time, but I am now able to say something I couldn’t when I was told I wasn’t a typical black girl, that I was basically white, and that I was pretty for someone with darker skin:

I am proud to be black.

To anyone shying away from who you are because you don’t want to play into the stereotypes, I encourage you to run full speed ahead instead. The black community needs strong, informed, and unashamed young people willing to step up and help change the world we live in for not only us, but future generations. I offer my thoughts, not to be provocative– but because it’s my truth. We need to have more open and healthy conversations about race and diversity to move forward in times like these. So I encourage you to, in the words of James Brown, do what I couldn’t for a long time:

“Say it loud. I’m black and I’m proud”.

Column: You and I

Cookie-Cutter Hollywood

BY MAYA SANCHEZ

​It’s paradoxical, almost, how America is praised for being the melting pot of the world, accepting all cultures and beliefs and embracing diversity, when most of the people in the American media portray the same type of character. Yup, you guessed it. White and Male and Straight.

While there is nothing bad about those characteristics, since you most certainly can’t help the way that you were born, it is not an accurate representation of the current America. Yet the media, Hollywood and television have not changed their presets.

For the past two years when the Grammys have aired, the hashtag #GrammysSoWhite would appear, showcasing how the nominees all happen to share one constant: the color of their skin tone.

One of the arguments that is made is that their nominations are given to people that earn it, so it can’t possibly be biased. But that argument itself holds fallacies. First of all, Hollywood doesn’t give many roles to minorities, and the roles that are given are often stereotyped into gross models of what that minority “should” be. How are we as actors and writers of color supposed to succeed in a creative world that doesn’t want to hear our stories? And even if they do want our story to be heard, it’s always their version of the story, not our own.

It’s no surprise that Hollywood is known for its whitewashing, consistently casting white actors in roles for people of color. The argument against race-bending is about the hypocrisy that occurs when white people are not “allowed” to take minority roles, but it is perfectly okay for minorities to “take” white roles. This however is flawed because Hollywood, in particular, caters to white roles, and therefore there is always going to be a role for a white person. On the other hand, the roles for minorities are far and few between (but are becoming more plentiful) and having a white actor take an already limited roll away from a minority should not be acceptable.

Yet it is. ‘Gods of Egypt’ (2016) has a majority white cast while, as the title says, it is about the gods of Egypt. Egypt. Located in Africa. Scarlett Johansson will star as Major Kusanagi in the Western retelling of ‘Ghost in the Shell’ (2017), a classic Japanese 1990s animation. Japan. In Asia. ‘Doctor Strange’ (2016) will have Tilda Swinton as a chinese character. Need I explain myself?

But while Hollywood still seems to be stuck in the past, television has taken gigantic leaps. Showrunners such as Shonda Rhimes have pushed their networks to carry a more diverse roundup of characters, therefore leading to more interesting stories and dynamic character relationships. With the new addition of streaming, shows have branched out in even more directions than ever before. For example, the Netflix show Sense8 includes a huge range of global characters, each well-rounded and with their own complex arc.

Shows like Sense8 demonstrate that not only does diversity work, but it thrives. Yet what makes diversity so important? It’s important to see yourself on the screen, to have the knowledge and reassurance that there are people out there that are like you too, people that have the same type of hair, the same shade of skin, people that go through the same problems that you are dealing with. Fiction is meant to be an explanation of the real world, a deeper look into the antics around us, but what does that say of the world around us when the characters lack diversity?

But one of the main problems with diversity is that it is only wished for, asked for, demanded sometimes, but it never is expected. Hollywood has created an industry where white characters are the usual, and this must change.

Column: Elementarys’ Mile-Loop Inspires Lifelong Love of Running

BY JESSICA LOPEZ

​I love to run.

I started running at seven years old at my elementary school’s morning run club. We would run the same one-mile loop around our grass field every morning.

I remember thinking to myself that it was the hardest thing in the world when, in reality, that one mile loop was nothing compared to what I do today. I am part of Citrus Valley’s cross country team and it would be a miracle if the team just had to run one mile and call it a day.

As a runner I have learned that running is not just about seeing how fast you can run a three-mile race, but to see how hard you are willing to work towards your goal as a runner.

I am no Olympic runner breaking world records, but I do know that no matter the time you get, all the hard work and dedication you put in will get you where you want to be as a runner. Though this is only my second year running cross country my love for this sport is bigger than I would have imagined. There have been personal records, injuries, highs and lows along the way but my love has stayed the same through it all.  

My coaches also play a big part in my running career, they encourage me everyday to work my hardest and I would never be able to repay them for all the hard work they put into the team.

Running has become a part of me, it keeps me sane and most importantly it gives me strength to keep going.

A quote that inspires me is by Steve Prefontaine, “Some people create with words,or with music,or with a brush and paints. I like to make people stop and say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’ It’s more than just a race, it’s style. It’s doing something better than everyone else. It’s being creative.”

It inspires me because it reminds me that everyone is different and unique in their own way; That everyone has their own way of doing things. No one is alike, just like no runner is the same.

Column: Welcome Back

By MAYA SANCHEZ and LAURYN BEST

Remember when school used to start the day after Labor Day? Sadly, no one does. School districts are pushing the start date early and early and while it can be seen as a negative things, it also has some positive spins to it: longer holidays, for example. Who doesn’t want a week long Thanksgiving Break?

Now that school has been in session for the better part of a month, it feels like life is just starting to settle into place. There are enough items in homework assignments in the grade book that the summer homework you turned in a week later is starting to even itself out. There are tests, the dreaded tests. There are school events advertised on every available surface. There are after school activities. There are all sorts of sporting events including Friday Night Lights.

Did you know that term came from the television series “Friday Night Lights” ?

As a senior, the start of school also brings the ends of things. This is the last time we will be in these halls, with these teachers, with these friends. And while it’s exciting that we are starting to move to the next stage of our lives, it is also scary; change is always met with some sort of resistance.

To the underclassmen I say this: Try to get into as many activities as you can. Never tried a sport before but have some sort of interest in it? Join it. See a club that catches your eye? Try it out for a meeting or two. Your grades do matter, but don’t stress yourself out over that A-. You’ll do plenty of that later.

To the juniors: your year is going to be stressful. This is the year that you ‘officially’ start thinking about college. The use of the word official is loose, since there are some of you who have started looking at colleges long before. And there are some of you who haven’t thought about college at all. Recall five sentences ago where I said that you’ll stress later? This is the start of later.

To my fellow seniors: They say that the four years of high school pass by you in a blur, and I have to agree with them even though we’ve only been in high school for three full years. I’m sure I’ll be saying this at the end of the year as well. You’re a senior! You have to do XXX because you’ll never been in high school again. As forced and as cliche as it sounds, I do actually believe this. Is not doing one high school activity going to be the end of the world? No. But is it probably going to be a lot of fun? And why let the opportunities for fun pass you up. They really are yours for the taking.

As we enter the sixth week of school, I hope everyone is ready to make this year theirs. 

A new year, a new you-but not really. You still look the same (except for newer clothes and a fresh haircut) you still act the same, and you still are the same. As a senior, I’ve gone through this process so many times that it’s become boring to say the least. Why try so hard to reinvent myself when in a few days I’ll be back to “normal”. I wasted a lot of time these past three years of my highschool career worried about what other people think of me, and how I can be remembered by the people that matter. But I had to ask myself the question: Who matters?

It used to be “the preps”. People who I “knew” but didn’t really know.

Then it was my teachers. I felt if I wasn’t their best student, It wasn’t good enough.

Lastly it was my friends. Sure, I love them. Yes, they mean the world to me, but they’re not me. They won’t have to look back at the decisions I made and regret them,  and they won’t have to live with the consequences.

When faced with the inevitable: college, moving out, bills and such I feel like I’m nowhere near ready. But when looking back on these past few years, I know I am.

I didn’t suffer through awkward situations with my peers, lose good friends, almost fail two different math classes, and tear my hair out stressing over AP classes for nothing. In the moment all I wanted for it was to be over, but now I want to breathe it all in. Laugh at myself, talk to people I haven’t before, and do things that make me uncomfortable.

If someone asked me what the most important thing I’ve learned in all my years of being a student I would tell them this: I’m human therefore I make mistakes;I’ll mess up really bad sometimes, and other times I’ll do well; some people will like me and others won’t, and it’s okay.

To anyone who feels like being themselves would produce less than desireable results: it won’t.

Be bold. Be brave. Don’t be ashamed to be unapologetically yourself.

Whether it’s your first year, last year, or somewhere inbetween make it unforgettable.