The Final Presidential Debate sees a change in behavior between the candidates

By TATUM MAPES

The last presidential debate between incumbent President Donald J. Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden was held last night at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. The debate, moderated by NBC’s Kristen Welker, aired at 6 p.m. PST and concluded at 7:30 p.m. 

The candidates took the stage one last time under some new, agreed upon restrictions and regulations. For the duration of the 2 minutes given for a candidate to answer a question, the other candidate’s mic was muted to discourage interruptions like the ones seen in the first debate. Smaller increments of time were given for rebuttals and responses. 

These regulations, as well as Welker’s commanding moderation, proved to improve the quality of the debate and responses given. Dana Hattar, a junior at Redlands East Valley, said “I think the new rules improved greatly, since we can’t trust the two grown men.”

Ashlynn Meyer, a senior at REV, agrees with Hattar: “I think the new rules totally improved the quality of the debate because there were not as many interruptions, and you really got to hear what each candidate had to say.”

Arthur Meyers, another senior at REV, thinks that other variables likely influenced the candidates’ behaviors on top of the regulations. “I also think that both candidates were likely prompted by their respective teams to go out of their way to be more civil and respectful this time around.”

The new regulations provided each candidate the opportunity to answer the questions to almost completion, without the threat of interruption. “The debate was less hectic and more respectful, like a presidential debate should be,”  said Daniel Waters, a senior at Redlands East Valley.

“I think both candidates did a good job,” said Ashlynn Meyer, “there were a lot of accusations towards each other, but they each did a good job explaining the situation for the most part. There were many things that I hadn’t heard of before and legal occurrences that I didn’t even know had happened, so I’d say I learned a good bit from this debate.”

The question of who won this debate is still up in the air. Kyle Dennert, a senior at REV, said “I think both candidates did try to avoid the question, which is expected, but when something was brought up against the opposing candidate, Trump did a better job defending himself and was able to explain himself better.”

Joey Sousa, another senior at REV, offered a differing opinion: “Biden,” he said, “even though Trump may have seemed dominant, he spouted the same generic talking points and deflected constantly. Biden wasn’t much better though. He also deflected a bit, but not nearly as much as Trump.”

This final debate served as not just a last ditch effort to sway undecided voters, but also as the start of a new era in the conduct of presidential and other political debates.

Topics discussed at the debate included reopening plans, systemic racism, affordable healthcare and the candidate’s independent, foreign interests. Some of those topics and each candidate’s corresponding viewpoints will be briefly reviewed in this article.

Topic: COVID-19 Relief

In the midst of shutdowns and closings, the candidates were asked about their safe reopening plans. “What I would do is make sure we have everyone encouraged to wear a mask all the time,” responded Biden, “I would make sure we move in the direction of rapid testing and… set up national standards as to how to open up schools and… businesses, so they can be safe.” Trump said “We have no choice. We are not going to lock ourselves up in our basement. We have to open our schools, and we can’t close up our nation, or you are not going to have a nation.” The president also expressed his hopes that a vaccine will be ready “within a few weeks,” saying that he has been working with multiple companies, who he claims are very close to developing a vaccine to be distributed by the military.

Topic: Healthcare

Over 20 million people use the nickname “Obamacare” for their healthcare. Trump said “I would like to terminate Obamacare, come up with a brand new, beautiful health care.” If the Supreme Court denies this request, however, Trump promised that he would work to reform the healthcare system. Biden said “What I’m going to do is pass Obamacare with a public option — becomes ‘Bidencare.’” Both candidates promised to protect those with pre-existing conditions. Trump criticized Biden, claiming that he wants socialized medicine like former candidate Bernie Sanders. “He thinks he’s running against somebody else. He’s running against Joe Biden,” Biden said. “I beat all those other people because I disagreed with them.”

Topic: The Environment/Climate Change

The candidates had starkly different solutions for environmental waste and climate change. Biden shared his plan of building 50 thousand electric car charging stations across the country, rejoining the Paris Climate Accords and investing in renewable energy. While Trump said he supports the use of renewable energy sources, he claimed that they, particularly solar energy, are too expensive and inefficient to rely on at the moment. He also claimed that pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords was better for the country’s economy and a statement to persuade other countries to work to reduce their own emissions and waste. He took credit for carbon emissions being the lowest it’s ever been.

Topic: Minimum Wage

Biden said he wants to raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars on a national scale. Trump, on the other hand, advocated for the decision regarding minimum wage to be left to the states. “How are you helping small businesses when you’re forcing wages?” Trump asked, adding that raising the minimum wage would lead businesses to let go of more employees to meet that quota. He claimed that the decision should be left to the states because the economies of each state differ, citing New York vs Alabama specifically.

Election day is Nov. 3. Due to the time it takes to process mail-in ballots, official election results are expected to be revealed at a later date.

Students take action to help mental health on campus at Redlands East Valley

By MIRIAM YORDANOS

Every Thursday at lunch, a group of Redlands East Valley students meet virtually to discuss mental health issues and focus on personal wellbeing within adolescents. 

This year, the club is led by seniors Lizzy Wilson and Lauren Glaub, junior Joshua Masangcay, and sophomore Sabrina Schwendiman, along with Wendy McClung as the advisor. These cabinet members took an active role in the club due to their desire to spread awareness, increase involvement within our school and community for mental health, and promote change.

Wilson, the president of the club, stated “the Mental Health Club is a space to focus on how to better yourself and get through any struggles you may be having.”

The Mental Health Club meets weekly and touches on issues that students are currently facing and might impact students’ mental health such as distance learning. 

Learning online has been a new, different experience that may lead to an increase of stress and anxiety among students as they attempt to adjust to this new way of learning.

Masangcay, the secretary, offers some advice for students struggling with online learning.

Masangcay stated,  “It could help to set a schedule for a set timeframe that you work, so that you don’t feel a nagging sensation of not working when you’re supposed to, even if you don’t have work to do. And remember, we’re all going through the same thing right now! Reach out to others. It’s very comforting to talk to someone who can empathize with you, who knows how you feel.”

Along with offering advice to students struggling mentally, the Mental Health Club will be creating a website that would provide mental health support for REV and district students this year.

Glaub, the vice president, stated “The website is a place where students can come to find out what we are, resources, events coming up, where to find us, and all of our meeting information.”

Students interested in becoming a member of this club can join by joining the Google Classroom through the code K7W877T  in order to access the zoom link to the meetings on Thursdays.

 An infographic displaying statistics of adolescents and mental health.  (Miriam Yordanos / Ethic News)

Redlands Unified high schools transition to the norm of online communication for all their college events

By NOAH AMARO

With the constant adaptations faculty and students have made through this pandemic, the annual college activities hosted by Redlands Unified School District career centers have found a way. 

These events are all provided and curated by the RUSD career centers. The designated offices and administrators have strived to create a vast assortment of college aid even through these unforeseen times. And though there may not be the same face-to-face environment, this new online setting won’t interfere with career center coordinators and their mission to help their students get ready for college.

The Redlands East Valley career center during a normal school year, would have been filled with students listening to numerous college meetings and receiving guidance from Vanessa  Fairbanks and other staff. (Photo Credit ROP CRS Norma Nuno)

As a central hub for the arranged activities, the Google Doc constructed by the career centers gives vital information to students anywhere from freshmen to seniors. The access to students is divided upon different days and times where the links are accessible from the document. If you have joined your graduating class’s Google Classroom, there may also be alerts and reminders there. Some of the various happenings include online informational sessions with select colleges and universities, various workshops and events with the UC’s, and then there are the opportunities from the RUSD college partnerships which also offer on-the-spot-admissions. 

A portion of the 17 pages long document created by four teachers, Kari Hill Citrus Valley High School Career Center Teacher, Vanessa Fairbanks Redlands East Valley High School Career Center Teacher, Deborah Severo Orangewood High School Career Center Teacher, and Christa Padilla Redlands High School Career Center Teacher helps and directs students in the right direction when searching for college events.

As far as the informational meetings, most colleges and universities have chosen to use Zoom as their main platform.  An advantage to these meetings is whereas previously there would be one or two admission counselors as representatives leading the in-person meetings, many colleges have designated a majority of their admissions team to be on the Zoom at the same time. This allows for them to be answering questions in the designated Q and A section while the presentations are being conducted. These Zoom seminars allow for a different environment where one would usually have to miss a class period to attend the in-person versions, but are now offered after school in the comfort of your own home.

Friday Fight Night: Taskmaster vs. Batman

By AZRIEL OLMEDO

Photo made using FlamingText, a logo design and name generator (Azriel Olmedo / Ethic News).

Note: The Marvel Comics will be the main source of evidence for Taskmaster, and the DC Comics will be used for Batman.

When the word “superhero” comes to mind, one usually thinks of a caped-wonder with extraordinary abilities far from the norm. Individuals enhanced either by technology or some sort of accident seem to be the focus for fictional works involving heroes. On the other hand, there’s a small, gray area in between the spectrum filled by those without extraordinary abilities such as Batman, Green Arrow and Iron Man. A lack of representation for this small spectrum of heroes makes it harder for those without superpowers to be truly recognized.

In December of 2019, Marvel Studios gave an official teaser trailer for the Black Widow movie. Fans will finally get to explore the story of Natasha Romanoff, and perhaps learn how she came to become an Avenger. In the trailer, fans were also given a first look at what seems to be the main antagonist of the film: Taskmaster.

Taskmaster is described as a skilled tactician born with photographic memory and reflexes. In the comics, he works with underground terrorist organizations, and made a living working as a mercenary for hire. He is able to immediately replicate any technique or style by simply watching it once, from martial art masters to the Avengers themselves. This has made him a formidable foe that the Avengers have had to deal with since his official debut in the comics in May 1980.

Taskmaster watching Natasha's action scene from Iron Man 2 ...

Taskmaster carefully watches a video recording of Black Widow in Marvel’s “Iron Man 2.” He studies her techniques, and instantly learns them just by observing. (Marvel)

Taskmaster has gone through Marvel history as one of the most dangerous individuals on the planet, all without super-speed or the power of flight. This begs the question: would he be able to handle DC’s caped crusader, Batman? Batman is arguably the most well-known character in the DC Universe, showing great strength and courage while lacking any superhuman enhancements of his own. The two go toe-to-toe in this edition of Friday Fight Night.

Round #1: Training

When it comes to training, Bruce Wayne stands as one of the most skilled and prepared individuals in the history of fiction. According to the DC Universe website’s description of Batman, “using his family’s wealth, Bruce sought out the world’s greatest minds in criminology, martial arts, and the craft of detecting.”

A snippet from Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One,” showing Bruce Wayne’s outdoor training. He is capable of crushing oak and brick, showing the effectiveness of his training. (DC Universe)

Taskmaster is said to have truly mastered all forms of martial arts, boxing, archery, swordsmanship, gymnastics, acrobatics and sleight of hand. He has also learned various fighting styles from Black Widow, Captain America, Black Panther, Spiderman and Wolverine. This had led to him being known as one of the most dangerous men alive by Captain America.

Taskmaster initially spent his time “studying television footage of various superheroes and their techniques to expand his combat repertoire,” according to Marvel’s official website.

Not long after, Taskmaster began a school to teach aspiring criminals the ways of mercenary work and underground organizations.

Round #2: Arsenal

In the field of battle, it’s important to always be prepared. No one is more of a gadgeteer than Batman himself. Bruce Wayne has access to a wide variety of technology that he uses on a daily basis. His utility belt holds more than is perceived, from smoke capsules to small, explosive pellets.

An old and rather interesting design of Batman’s utility belt. This design dates back to May 1939, in Detective Comics #27. (DC Database)

Among some of Batman’s greatest inventions are the Batmobile, the Batcopter, Batarangs, Kryptonite-based weapons and a variety of different power suits to face off against bigger threats.

Taskmaster uses a number of different weapons, most of which are affiliated with the superhero he is mimicking at the time. He carries a steel shield, a broadsword, bow and arrows and, according to the Superhero Database, “energy claws (like Wolverine), energy webbing (like Spiderman), and shurikens.”

His arsenal also includes video recordings and tapes of various superheroes, as to mimic whichever techniques he wishes at any time. His choice in weapons closely relate to those of Marvel’s most prominent heroes, making him an overwhelming foe in the heat of battle.

Round #3: Achievements

Over the years, Taskmaster has been hired to eliminate some of Marvel’s biggest names. He was able to defeat Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye and Venom, using a flame sword. Furthermore, he helped take down Thor during a siege on Asgard in the “Avengers: The Initiative #32.”

Taskmaster vs Thor – DReager1.com

Taskmaster stares down Thor during a siege on Asgard. This image served as the cover photo for the “Avengers: The Initiative #32,” released in January 2010. (Marvel Comic Issues)

Bruce Wayne might have some of the greatest achievements considering where he stands in the superhero spectrum. Batman has single handedly defeated each member of the Justice League at least once. Additionally, he has also helped save the world from some of DC’s darkest villains such as Darkseid, Lex Luthor and Brainiac.

Another set of accomplishments from the caped crusader is his impressive arsenal of suits. Some of his best suits have granted him the power of flight, enhanced strength, invisibility, and destructive capabilities. Most notable is his Kryptonite Suit, which he used to defeat Superman so easily in “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

Now that the statistics have been given, the question can now be answered: Who would win in a fight between Taskmaster and Batman? Both have a considerable amount of training and skills in which they use in the field of battle. Both also have their reputation, which has aged well over the years of their existence in fiction. Let’s hope the new Black Widow movie, which was given a new release date for 2021, gives Taskmaster a warm welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Opinion: Why Digital Journalism?

Featured image is from the Digital Journalism Telepresence class in December 2019, celebrating Digital Journalism being approved as a course that fulfills the UC/Cal State A-G Fine Art requirement. (Ethic Photo)

“I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world” – Henry R. Luce

By ARIANA GHALAMBOR

For some, Digital Journalism was just a semester-long class that they could take to acquire their Fine Arts elective credits, but for me it’s much more than that.

Throughout my first semester in AP United States History, I overheard several students always talking about Digital Journalism and I had always wondered why. It wasn’t until later in the winter time it dawned on me when I was approached by Mrs. Aranda if I would be interested in writing for her journalism class and joining the crew.

I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. In order for me to join digital journalism, it meant that I had to drop my year-long elective for AP computer science. It took me a few weeks of pondering, but the day before going to Winter Break I decided to take a leap and trust journalism.

I had been interested in journalism for a number of reasons: I was a good writer, I needed a creative outlet, I enjoyed the teacher in her other classes and I needed friends at that time.

As soon as I walked into the classroom and saw a classroom filled with bright-eyed students that were just as excited to be there as I was, I knew I was in the right place. I walked into the room with no expectations or even second thoughts. I walked in crouched over, with an awkward smile on my face as I hadn’t known anyone in the classroom. I decided to sit down at whichever desk was closest to the teacher, out of fear I wouldn’t fit in.

As soon as I sat down I met with other people that were similar to me. They were good writers too, they had also enjoyed having the creative outlet to dump all of their thoughts and passions into an article, and they were absolutely welcoming to me.

Immediately, I was excited to get to writing. I had a list filled with ideas for articles to write. But in January 2020, there were tensions between Iran and America that filled me with worry as an Iranian-American, so I got to work. It did not take long for me to write this article. It was what I was most passionate about: my culture, politics, current events. I had felt so proud of that article; it was my pride and joy. When I saw my name on the Ethic and La Plaza websites with my masterpiece, I felt a rush of happiness and excitement.

“Journalism, like democracy, is not something that is achieved. It is a work in progress, and not every day is as good as the last.” – John Maxwell Hamilton

That excitement and feeling I had from my first published article had filled me with motivation to continue writing. That feeling makes me want to continue to write to my heart’s content. Today, digital journalism is one of the classes I am most passionate about. The students in this class are like-minded and all unique in their own way and provide different outlooks on events that I was equally as interested in.

“Digital Journalism allows for me to write anything I want, wherever I want. Even from the comfort of my own home.” – author unknown

The class makes me feel empowered and safe, I enjoy every moment of digital journalism. I enjoy the “fun Fridays,” the independent writing time, being able to share my work with my classmates, discussing different topics in a fun way where we are all open minded to one another’s ideas. Digital Journalism for me means to be myself and to share my thoughts, ideas, comments, and personality. 

With this school year coming to an end, I know in my heart that I will miss Digital Journalism more than anything else (especially those boring chemistry and math tests).

“Either write something worth reading- or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

News Brief: Redlands seniors to receive complimentary yearbooks

By AHLORA SMITH

Superintendent of the Redlands Unified School District, Mauricio Arellano, released a statement on the evening of April 27 that recounts the steps that the district has taken to adjust to quarantine life as well as some exciting news for Redlands seniors. 

In this letter, Arellano said, “we continue to keep our students of the Senior Class of 2020 at the forefront of every discussion we have” and, following the reassurance that a formal graduation will take place once laws permit, he announced that all RUSD seniors will receive yearbooks for free.

According to Citrus Valley High School’s yearbook advisor, Jennifer Moon, the organization had to ensure that the printers could print enough copies, and those are currently being worked on.

Refunds for pre-orders and other details regarding senior activities will be communicated with families in the near future. 

A two-day timeline: Coronavirus-related announcements increase locally and globally in the last 48 hours

By AZRIEL OLMEDO

The following timeline includes many, but not all, of the coronavirus-related announcements that took place between the evening of March 11 and March 13, 2020. Links may be included to provide additional details.

  • Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson test positive for Coronavirus in Australia

    March 11

  • Retirement homes in Redlands close

    March 12

  • World Ice Skating Championship cancelled

    https://www.usfigureskating.org/

    March 12

  • March 12

    Washington state reports 500 cases

  • NBA Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, tests positive for the novel coronavirus

    March 12

  • NBA season suspended

    https://cares.nba.com/coronavirus/

    March 12

  • March 12

    California Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health issue protocols and recommendations for the cancellation of non-essential large gatherings

    March 12 View full press release here https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/03/12/governor-newsom-issues-new-executive-order-further-enhancing-state-and-local-governments-ability-to-respond-to-covid-19-pandemic/

  • Redlands Unified Superintendent Mauricio Arellano announces cancelling of large group activities in the district

    March 12

  • Hamilton at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre cancels March shows

    https://www.broadwayinhollywood.com/coronavirusupdate

    March 12

  • USA Gymnastics competitions cancelled

    https://usagym.org/pages/post.html?PostID=25345

    March 12

  • Redlands Market Night cancelled for remainder of March

    March 12

  • President Donald Trump declares Coronavirus as a national emergency

    Redlands East Valley High School Advanced Placement Government and Microeconomics students watch President Donald Trump’s announcement during 5th period declaring the coronovirus a national emergency on March 13, 2020. (Ethic Photo)

    March 13

  • New York is in a statewide emergency

    March 13

  • California History Day competition switches to virtual competition in place of on-site competition

    Pictured above: The March 7 History Day awards ceremony program for San Bernardino County. This is the first year all three comprehensive high schools from the Redlands Unified School District will be advancing teams to the state competition near Sacramento, California. It was announced on March 13, 2020 that the competition will shift to a virtual format. (Ethic Photo)

    March 13

  • Concerts and artist tours cancelled

    March 13 View a list of recently cancelled concerts and musical events here: https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/touring/9323647/concerts-canceled-coronavirus-list

  • Citrus Belt League announces that high school athletic sporting events will take place with no spectators

    March 13

  • Corona-Norco School District announces school closure effective March 16

    March 13

  • Murrieta Valley Unified School District announces school closure until at least April 6, 2020

    https://www.murrieta.k12.ca.us/

    March 13

  • Los Angeles Unified School District announces school closure

    View LAUSD video announcement here: https://achieve.lausd.net/latestnews

    March 13

  • Long Beach Unified School District announces school closures that will begin Monday and stay in effect for at least five weeks

    http://www.lbusd.k12.ca.us/

    March 13

  • San Diego Unified School District announces school closures

    https://www.sandiegounified.org/

    March 13

  • San Bernardino City Unified to close all schools effective March 16

    https://www.sbcusd.com/

    March 13

Citrus Valley senior softball athletes sign with dream colleges

By SOFIA DICARLO

Graduation season is slowly approaching, and many seniors are finding the colleges of their dreams. On Wednesday, Feb. 5 in the Citrus Valley High School’s Hall of Fame, many senior athletes proudly signed with their respective colleges. Two of those athletes are from the CV Softball Program: Sophia Gil and Sarah Mosqueda. As they signed, both athletes beamed with excitement and optimism for their futures.

Sophia Gil started her recruitment process with Waldorf University at the Colorado Sparkler Tournament in the summer of 2019. Her old coach, Neil Price, provided her with a list of schools that were looking for high school students of the 2020 graduating class, and Gil emailed almost every single one. Many replied, but Waldorf gave her an invitation to tour the campus and get a feel for their program.

During her visit at Waldorf University, Gil felt an immediate connection to the school. When asked about her first impression of the school, she replied, “I don’t know…I just felt really happy there, and I kept thinking about [Waldorf] when I left.” Two months later in November of 2019, the head coach, Lexy Determan, asked for her to sign, and Gil happily agreed. Now, Sophia Gil’s future is laid out before her as she plans to major in English and Literature to become an English teacher and author.

Sophia Gil signs her athletic contract to Waldorf University, starting in the fall of 2020. (Sofia DiCarlo / Ethic Photo)

Another senior who signed on Feb. 5 was Sarah Mosqueda. Her recruitment story began at a Vegas Tournament with her travel team, Explosion, which is based out of Grand Terrace. In between games, the assistant coach of Concordia University, Dave Golitko, approached her and asked if she was committed. As she was not, Golitko continued to watch her games, and got the head coach, Sarah O’Malley-Fisher, to come out the next day and evaluate Mosqueda as well. After watching Mosqueda herself, O’Malley-Fisher invited Mosqueda to visit Concordia, and they exchanged contact information. 

When Mosqueda first visited Concordia University in Chicago, she really connected with Chicago’s environment and the coaching staff, and she knew immediately that it was the place for her. When asked what she planned to major in at Concordia, Mosqueda revealed that she plans to major in psychology and minor in criminal law. 

Sarah Mosqueda signs her athletic contract to Concordia University, starting in the fall of 2020 (Sophia DiCarlo / Ethic Photo)

Saugus High School shooting hits close to home for the Redlands community

By RICARDO RAMOS and JOSEPH QUESADA

Iris Ruelas (left) and Emily Castro, juniors at Redlands East Valley High School, sign their names to show support against school violence, Nov. 19, 2019 in the REV security office. The poster was laminated and mailed to Saugus High School. (Alyssa Ornelas / Ethic Photo)

A school shooting took place in the Santa Clarita area at Saugus High School on Thursday morning, Nov. 14. The Saugus High School Shooting hit particularly close to home for one of Citrus Valley High School’s staff members. 

Jennifer Vincent, digital art teacher and drama department costume designer, informed students that her home town of Santa Clarita was the location of America’s most recent high school tragedy. 

Vincent recounted her 10 years of employment as a substitute teacher at Saugus High School. Vincent not only has ties to the school and community through previous employment, but she also has a strong friendship with Saugus High’s current principal and many of its staff members. 

Vincent stated, “This tragedy was very personal to me. I grew up in the community and worked at [Saugus] for nearly a decade. I actually knew the current principal, Vince Ferry, very well and babysat his kids when they were younger.”

Vincent explained that her friend, Detective Daniel Finn, was one of the first responders on the scene that day. Finn, who was off duty at the time of the attack, was dropping off his son at Saugus High School when he saw hundreds of students fleeing the campus in a panic. 

“Finn ran straight into the danger, with no bulletproof vest or weapon of his own; he assessed the situation and began applying first aid to students after the threat was eliminated” Vincent said.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the alleged attacker was a 16-year-old Asian male who wore all black and shot two teenage students, who later died at a hospital, and left several victims injured. 

“I was so shocked because of how close and tight knit the community is. You just don’t expect things like this to happen, especially not in an environment you know so well,” said Vincent.

Liam Mapes, junior at Redlands East Valley, signs his name on the poster for Saugus High School in the REV security office on Nov. 19, 2019. “It was something small that we at REV could do for Saugus,” Mapes said. (Alyssa Ornelas / Ethic Photo)

One of the teens killed was a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadet and the other was a well-rounded cheerleader, according to Los Angeles Daily News. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department supplied the public with announcements through their Twitter account and various news services. 

Students of Saugus High School told KTLA that they had heard gunshots while walking to school, causing them to go to a park nearby the school to call their parents and alert authorities. 

Saugus High School will remain closed until Dec. 2 and the other schools in the William S. Hart Union District reopened on Monday, Nov. 18, according to Deputy Superintendent Mike Kuhlman. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is trying to track down more threats to schools by investigating numerous online threats that were later deemed non-credible.

Thousands came to honor the victims of the Santa Clarita shooting at a vigil that was held by the city in a local Santa Clarita park on Nov. 17 to mourn and remember the lives that were lost. 

The parents of both deceased teenagers attended to mourn with the thousands of friends and community members, according to the LA Times. Santa Clarita’s Central Park became a place for all to pay tribute and remember the victims by leaving balloons, candles, flowers and stuffed animals, all in the school colors.

Opinion: AVID program makes a positive impact on Orangewood students

By MECCAYDA GREGARY

At such a small school like Orangewood High School, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program has made a widespread, positive impact on students.

AVID is a college preparation program designed to provide students with the skills they need to be successful for college. AVID intends to support low-income, struggling students. The program teaches critical thinking, organization, teamwork, note-taking, and key writing skills.   

Orangewood High School AVID students play an interactive game that demonstrates the importance of teamwork and critical thinking in real-life settings. (Meccayda Gregary / Ethic News)

According to a statement released by AVID, 75 percent of participating students come from a low-economic status background while 80 percent are students from underrepresented demographics. Although students come increasingly varied backgrounds, they still outperform their peers across various subjects due to their AVID training.

Orangewood High School AVID students participate by learning about possible college opportunities at a college fair held in the Jerry Lewis Center. (Meccaryda Gregary/ Ethic News)

AVID helps struggling students by guiding them to a path to success with training in study and time management skills. According to an AVID statement, over 90 percent of participating student graduates attend college, and 89 percent of those students continue to attend college after two years. This goes to show the AVID program is effective in teaching students the skills they need to be successful in college and in daily life.  

The Orangewood High School AVID family poses for a photo together in front of their high school. (Meccadya Gregary / Ethic News)

Through the program, students are able to prepare for college, apply to the colleges that spark their interest, visit countless campuses, receive scholarships and engage with alumni. Otherwise, students may not have had similar opportunities or encouragement to even apply, much less pursue higher education. At Orangewood, involvement in AVID has had countless benefits. As a participating senior, I have applied to college, received acceptances from some universities and junior colleges, and obtained pending scholarships.

Students learn to appreciate and adapt to their AVID “family,” an experience that is helpful to those who need support from peers and teachers. In all, AVID is a beneficial program to struggling students and minorities with its high-preforming track record of leading students to success at Orangewood High School.


Citrus Valley Tedx Club holds its first event

By EMERSON SUTOW

Tedx Club Vice President Daniel Melero stands alongside invited speakers Caleb Rothe, Samir Chattergee and Michael Estrada as Tedx Club Co-Presidents William Zhao and Abhirim Balakrishnan stand to their left following the event. (Wei Zhao/ WZ Photo)

On August 16, a Tedx event—a showcase for speakers presenting well-formed ideas in under 18 minutes—was held at Citrus Valley High School and featured three speakers.

Dr. Michael Estrada, the program director for the University of La Verne, discussed the importance of drive and shared a personal success story on the matter.

Samir Chatterjee, a professor and Fletcher Jones Chair of Technology Management and Design at Claremont Graduate University, spoke about the significance of design and artificial intelligence and its projected impact on the future.

Caleb Rothe, an instructional technology coach for the Redlands Unified School District, touched on the shift of the future and new ways of teaching that will ease the change of the new society.  

Estrada shared the story of his upbringing, describing how he was raised by his mother, grandmother and aunt who all worked at hospitals and it gave him a positive view on health care professionals. But what really made him want to pursue medicine were the doctors who helped him when he needed surgery at a young age. The compassionate bedside manner of the doctors and nurses left such an impact on him that he wanted to become a doctor no matter what people told him. His success as a physician can be credited to his self-driven and hardworking personality.

Featured speaker Michael Estrada, the program director at the University of La Verne, poses after his discussion of the importance of tenacity and compassion. (Wei Zhao/ WZ Photo)

Chatterjee brought up the point that design and artificial intelligence are the path of the future. He gave examples of large companies and industries centered around design, such as Uber, which took over the taxi industry without owning a single car. Or Netflix, which put businesses like BlockBusters out of business since its online presence gives viewers access to hundreds of movies. Chatterjee posisted that A.I. is a step toward the future since scientists want to find ways for machines to be free-thinking and self-functioning, but this development will be at the cost of eliminating many labor intensive jobs.

Finally, Rothe discussed how the future is experiencing an “exponential change,” meaning that the future is changing faster than many people can understand. To combat this, some schools in the Redlands Unified School District have integrated more technology into teaching. This has sparked more interest in technology, which Rothe argued is the view of the future. Giving children the opportunity to pursue an interest in technology could not only benefit young students, but also drive the present towards the future. 

Together, the speakers covered many bases such as the future and the changing expectations for younger generations. The event was mostly science and technology based, but the speakers touched on business and future of the job market with the ongoing development of technology.

Redlands East Valley hosts its second annual PossAbilities prom

By LILIAN MOHR, MIA ARANDA, and MIRIAM YORDANOS

An amazing group of Redlands East Valley high school students gathered outside of the high school gymnasium Friday morning on May 3, as photographers captured the 2019 PossAbilities Prom.

The PossAbilities club is a program on the REV campus whose goal is to give special education students access to high school experiences that they deserve.

This year commemorated the second anniversary of the first possibilities prom on the Redlands East Valley campus. It was a daylong affair with lots of pampering, dancing and photos.

The week leading up to the prom was filled with students “prom-posing” to their dates, which helped to bond the general education students with their PossAbilties dates.

Sophomores Lilian Mohr, Sidney Boursaw, and Skylar Watson, asked senior Hiely Seghers to the REV PossAbilties Prom on May 2, 2019. (LILIAN MOHR/ Ethic Photo)

Around 8 a.m. on Friday, students left class and met up with their prom dates in the PossAbilities classrooms around campus. Students helped their dates get dressed, do their hair, paint their nails, do their makeup and any other pampering needed in order for them to feel great on their prom day.

Once all students were ready, outdoor photo shoots with friends and parents were taken outside the gymnasium. With the doors opening, the students were able to go inside and appreciate all the work that the PossAbilities club had put into this amazing day.

The theme was masquerade, and the PossAbilities Prom committee did not disappoint. From walls of streamers to beautifully decorated tables, the gymnasium was ready to make this prom the highlight of the students’ year.

After everyone fueled up on the Chick-fil-A catering, it was time to dance. Many of the students spent the majority of the day busting a move on the dance floor.

The PossAbilities club also made sure that the prom was welcoming to all students in which there were many activities catering to everyone’s interest. There was a photo booth and professional prom photos.

Erin Herbert, the teacher and advisor for the PossAbilities club, says she believes that events like the PossAbilities Prom are important to special education students because “when students are in high school, prom is one of their best memories” and “lot of [students in special ed classes] can’t go to regular prom because of sensory needs or accessibility” and the prom “creates a safe space for them to have those experiences.”

Herbert’s favorite moment of the 2019 prom was “the slow dance song when [I] saw a big, giant football player dancing with a tiny, little girl with Downs Syndrome, [her] heart just melted.”

She said that she thinks that in her 15 years of teaching “REV has been the most inclusive,” and she “has taught at a lot of different grade levels and a lot of different schools, but the students [at REV] are way more accepting and willing to go out of their way to include [special education] students.”

Junior Nick Millet went to the prom with freshman Alicia Gullon. Millet said, “My favorite thing about prom was the bringing together of Special Ed and General Ed kids in a way that made us all feel connected.”

Freshman Alicia Gullon and junior Nick Millet attended the Redlands East Valley PossAbilities Prom together on May 3, 2019. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic Photo)

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

Editor’s Column

Tatum is the Sports Editor of Ethic News.

By TATUM MAPES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Citrus Valley varsity cheer and stunt team soar to the top as national champions

By EMILY WALOS

What makes a champion? Is it the trophies or ribbons or medals? What about the teamwork or hours spent practicing? It’s a combination of everything and, when someone is being thrown several feet in the air, teamwork, and practice cannot be overlooked. On Feb. 22, Citrus Valley High School cheer, stunt, and song team arrived at the United Spirit Association national competition, and half of the teams left as champions on Feb. 24. This championship win meant that Varsity cheer were now back-to-back champions and that the Stunt team is now one of the best in the nation.

Varsity cheer final pyramid in their champion routine.
“We came as competitors went to sleep as finalists and left as National Champions.”, stated Alyssa Daniels, a varsity cheerleader. (Via AVALON SALVADORE)

On Friday, the first day of the competition, Varsity and Junior Varsity cheer performed hoping to make it to finals on Saturday. Varsity was able to pull through and make it to finals where they caught the eyes of the judges, allowing them to win nationals. Junior Varsity did not make it to Saturday’s finals; however, they got the closest they had ever been.

Stunt team also competed on Friday; however, cuts and finals were both on the same day, so at 10:30 a.m. the stunt team performed and learned that they would be performing in the finals, which were in the afternoon. After finals, the girls had their dream come true. That night they slept as 1st place titleholders.  

The varsity cheer team posing formation in front of a fountain outside of the Anaheim Convention Center. Coach Emily Fitts is holding the Champion banner, while captains Amia Ready and Hannah Hill are displaying the national trophy. (Via AVALON SALVADORE)

Finally, on the second day of the competition, the song team performed, making it to finals (which were on the third day). Their performance brought them all the way to 2nd overall.

This year Varsity cheer was presented with a change in coaches, allowing for new ideas, coaching styles and performing techniques to be explored. This led to the team being pushed to do their best, leading to their victory. New varsity Coach Emily Fitts has been a major part of the girls’ win, as it was her determination and faith in the team that allowed for the cheerleaders to be inspired and give a national winning show.    


Varsity cheer posing outside of the Anaheim Convention Center, showcasing their first place medals, champion backpack, national champion banner, and first place trophy.
(Via AVALON SALVADORE)

Through their pain, sweat and tears, Citrus Valley high school spirit leaders paved a path to victory, allowing the school to be recognized as having some of the most skillful and strong-willed teams in the nation.


Opinion: Redlands Unified School District needs to implement A/B Day schedule at high schools

By LILIAN MOHR


The photo was taken in a Redlands East Valley High School classroom. The image is of two of the three high schools in the Redlands School District and shows how the school week is scheduled at both Redlands East Valley and Citrus Valley. (LILIAN MOHR/ Ethic Photo)

With US News recording more than 20,500 public high schools in the United States, it’s no wonder that there are various ways to schedule the average school day. However, matters become complicated when other factors, such as graduation credit requirements, electives, and AP courses, begin to draw the line between the classes students want to take and the classes that their schedules allow them to take. These common issues have challenged guidance counselors across the country every school year, resulting in school schedules being constantly in flux or under revision in the hopes of maximizing the time of the students and staff alike.

From the perspective of a newcomer not yet fully accustomed to all the idiosyncrasies of the Redlands Unified School District system, there are major changes that need to be made to the Redlands East Valley High School scheduling system. More specifically, there needs to be a shift to 4×4 or A/B Day schedule. High schools within the RUSD would benefit enormously from switching to this schedule as it will open up students’ schedules, reduce the need for summer school, increase teachers’ planning time and encourage creative ways to educate.

Currently, REV is following a version of the block schedule, with Monday and Friday consisting of six classes and late-start day on Tuesday. On Wednesday, students experience periods one, three and five for two-hour blocks; on Thursday, students attend periods two, four and six in a similar fashion. On these block days, students with a C or higher and the teacher’s permission may leave at the end of a block period for “intervention,” a thirty-minute break at the end of class.

Meanwhile, the 4×4 or A/B Day schedule consists of a total of eight classes divided over two days. The “A-Day” is the first day of the rotation and includes four of the students’ classes with an hour break in the middle of the day that is then divided into two thirty-minute periods—one for eating and the other for meeting with teachers, socializing or participating in club activities. This lunch plan allows for fewer people to occupy the eating spaces on campus during lunch, thus giving more students an opportunity to sit and eat comfortably rather than balance on ledges or staircases. The group of students not eating will be assigned to a classroom that changes throughout the year which will give them a “unit-lunch” and a chance to catch up on homework or meet for extracurriculars without having to give up their lunch. The “B-day” rotation would entail the same routine except with the four other classes in a student’s schedule and the unit-lunch block occurring after the second class.

Although this idea may seem unnatural or inconvenient during the initial stages, it will ultimately serve to benefit the students and the school’s staff. The most important improvement that will be made is that students will be able to fit more classes in the year, reducing the need for summer school. In the absence of summer school, students are able to truly take a break and prepare for the year ahead without the stress of cramming a whole year’s worth of learning into a few weeks.

This new approach to the normal school day evidently will allow for longer classes. From a 57 minute class to an 84-minute class, this additional time enables students to fully immerse themselves in that specific class or subject. According to the National Education Association, the 4×4 scheduling allows “students [to] have more time for reflection and less information to process over the course of a school day” and “with the increased span of teaching time, longer cooperative learning activities can be completed in one class period.” Moreover, the American Association of School Administrators has asserted that “consistent evidence shows that students’ grades improve and the number of students on the honor roll increases” when the 4×4 schedule is implemented in a school.

In a survey done among REV and Citrus Valley High School students regarding their opinion on making the switch to this type, the students expressed mixed opinions. Although the majority of students, about 61.1%, said that they would vote in favor of this school day, the other 38.9% of students disagreed and brought up valid concerns. Maggie Snavely, a freshman at Citrus Valley, argued that “if a student takes several AP courses, they may still be overwhelmed with commitments and overlapping test dates, which would not allow for effective studying or being able to retain the information presented.”  Mia Delmonico, a junior at REVHS, expressed she does not believe that this schedule would work for her school. She believes that “many students do not need to be in class for an eighty minute period to fully engage in their learning environment,” adding that the extended class periods would be counterproductive as many feel that it is already difficult to stay focused with current class times. Delmonico also raises pressing concerns about the currently attending students. She points out that “most students already exceed the number of credits needed without even taking six classes a semester.”

Although these concerns are valid, there are ready solutions to most of them. Firstly, not all eight classes would have to be AP or honors level courses. There are a variety of electives that could be taken by current students, who have tried to jam as many AP courses into their schedules by taking summer courses and not concerning themselves with non-weighted classes that could lower their GPA. These open blocks in their schedules could be filled with life-skills classes, such as culinary, home EC or other courses that could really better prepare students for independent living and adult life.

For many students, grades control every aspect of their lives, and a switch to an A/B Day schedule might make some take classes that are not weighted, which would consequently lower their GPA. For a substantial number of students at REV and Citrus Valley, this could become a major concern. However, there is a possible solution to this weighted issue: limit the number of AP courses that can be taken in one school year. This limit could be placed reasonably, such as at six. A maximum of six AP classes in a schedule means that future students can take just as many AP’s as currently enrolled students, and an even playing field for GPAs can be reached. Then, with those two other open schedule slots, students may take life-skills classes or electives of their choice. To address the students who still feel that six AP classes are not enough, there still are programs, such as dual-enrollment, offered at nearby universities and community colleges. Thus, the shift to an A/B Day schedule can be modified to maintain students’ GPAs while still giving them the opportunity to pursue other interests or take even more rigorous courses should they wish to do so.  

In a few years, after the current students that have attended the school prior to the schedule shift have graduated, the issue of students have already completed their required credits will no longer exist. The new generations of students will receive a more balanced high school experience as they will finally have enough space in their schedules to take courses that encourage diverse, unconventional student interests and talents such as the arts, videography classes or creative writing. Furthermore, this scheduling could also be utilized for preparatory classes for the PSAT, SAT, ACT and all those other dreaded acronyms. In all, this new schedule will not overwhelm students with unbearable workloads or leave current classes with dead time as it may be initially perceived. On the contrary, it may just do the exact opposite.

Longer periods allow classes to be far more interactive as teachers will be given more time to work on creating engaging lesson plans that effectively convey curriculum material. In a New York Times article, Debra Nussbaum speaks with several principals from across the country and discovers that they have similar opinions on the implementation of longer classes. These principals all expressed hope that ”this schedule can empower teachers to do certain things that you cannot do in forty-three minutes” and ”it empowers teachers to be more innovative and creative.”

Although changing up an old routine can be stressful for everyone at first, no progress can ever be made if we allow ourselves to stagnate. A shift in the school day schedule at the high schools of the Redlands Unified School District could be the catalyst needed to improve the quality of education for both current students and the many graduating classes to come.

Blue Campaign spreads human trafficking awareness at Citrus Valley and across nation

By MELANIE URIBE

Poster put up around Citrus Valley campus for National Prevention Month of Human Trafficking.

Celebrated throughout January, Human Trafficking Awareness Month is associated with the “Blue Campaign,” which is a movement established by the United States Department of Homeland Security to combat human trafficking across the country. Word of the movement has spread to several high schools across the nation, including Citrus Valley High School.


A Citrus Valley High School student stands in the center of the quad with a blue balloon in support of Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Citrus Valley recognized Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Friday, Jan. 11 through a series of flyers, announcements, information, and the color blue. (BRANDON SAGLAM/ Ethic Photo)

Citrus Valley recognized Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Friday, Jan. 11 by encouraging students to wear blue. The principal of Citrus Valley, Rhonda Bruce, also officially announced and discussed human trafficking awareness over the bulletin through that week. Several posters against trafficking violence were hung around the school grounds to establish awareness of the issue.

Misconceptions and media sometimes paint human trafficking as an underage, foreign female being kidnapped by a stranger and forced into sexual exploitation. The Polaris Project, however, states that most cases of human trafficking involve coercion and emotional manipulation. Physical harm is rarely ever necessary. Fight the New Drug, an American anti-pornography organization, estimates that 45% of human trafficking victims are male. The percentages may even be higher, but the stigma against men results in under-reporting. A grievous yet undermined fact about human trafficking is that the assailant is not always a stranger – thousands of survivors are victimized by their romantic partner or parental figure.

Victims are often unable to escape from their assailant because of language barriers, monitored communication/travel or confiscation of phones. However, victims may also choose to stay on their own accord due to Stockholm syndrome. Runaway women victims, especially ones in their youth, choose to stay with their assailant because they are convinced that they are in love. The assailant is able to convince their victim that they would never inflict any intentional harm, and everything they do is out of care. Clinging onto that need to be loved and cared for, many young women fall victim to manipulation and deceit.

The physical effects of human trafficking vary depending on the age of the victim and where the crime occurred. The victim will commonly endure starvation, concussions, sexually transmitted diseases and, for women, irregular menstrual cycles. However, the physical consequences scarcely compare to the psychological. Survivors of human trafficking often endure post-traumatic stress, recurring panic attacks, suicidal ideation and/or substance abuse. The psychological damage can be devastating and even fatal in severe circumstances. Thus, it is essential to supply the survivor with support and professional care. When unattended, trauma may leave the survivor vulnerable to sexual revictimization.

The United States State Department approximates that up to 800,000 people are trafficked every year across international borders. However, human trafficking does not only impact the United States. The International Labour Organization reports that 40 million people are victims of human trafficking globally.

The USSD organizes the world’s 195 countries into four categories: tier 1, tier 2, tier 2 watch list and tier 3. Tier 1 includes countries who meet or exceed the trafficking victims protection act ’s minimum standards. Tier 2 includes countries who do not sufficiently meet the standards but are actively attempting to comply. Tier 2 watch list countries meet the same standards as Tier 2.  However, they, in addition, have a growing number of victims at a significant rate, fail to provide evidence of efforts to combat trafficking from the previous year and they are “making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with minimum standards … based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.” Tier 3 encompasses countries who do not meet the T.V.P.A. standards and are making little to no effort in changing that.

Wearing blue alone is not expected to put an immediate end to human trafficking, but rather spread awareness of its importance and the 40 million individuals directly impacted. For this reason, Citrus Valley wore blue.

Insight into mental illnesses through film photography

By Brandon Saglam

Foreword:

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

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

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

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

Depressive Disorders

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

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

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

Anxiety Disorders

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

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

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

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

Bipolar Disorders

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

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

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

Schizophrenia Spectrum

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

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

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

Personality Disorders

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

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

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

Ending Note:

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

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

Baby, it’s Cold Outside takes the world by a winter storm

By AHLORA SMITH

You know “White Christmas,” and “Blue Christmas,” and “Santa Baby,” and “Silver Bells,” “Rudolph,” and “Frosty,” and “Sleigh Ride” and “Drummer Boy,” but do you recall the objectively creepiest song of all? “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has been a seasonal favorite since its composition in 1944, but the song has been cast in a more scrutinizing light this year in particular. The controversy surrounding the piece has been debated for the past ten years, but it is hard to tell why exactly 2018 became the defining year for this swirling controversy.

Recently, a pressing issue regarding this song is whether radio stations have the freedom to broadcast it or not. For instance, certain radio stations in Canada were banned from playing it earlier this month, though the ban has since been lifted on some of these stations. On the other hand, the vast majority of radio stations have been exercising their right to dictate what is played and what is not. For example, according to Fox 4 Kansas City, a radio station in Kentucky marathoned “Baby It’s Cold Outside” for two hours straight, claiming “it’s a fun song.” Despite differing opinions on the song itself, radio stations heads on principle have the right to broadcast whatever song they please.

When looking at the lyrics as a whole, they can be interpreted in two ways: a young woman playing hard to get, or a man, quite creepily, leading said woman to act against her true desires. Now, the 21st century has been a time of great progression for various groups, cultures, and genders. A significant movement in this year is the #MeToo movement, which advocates for women who have been assaulted and protests overall gender inequality. The movement has ignited a desire for reform which most likely has been the catalyst for the sudden outbreak of protests against “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” However, the debate about whether the song should be played publically is mostly divided among the generations, each exposed to different levels of worldly progression.

The younger generation typically argues that lyrics such as “say, what’s in this drink?” and “the answer is no” does not reflect the current climate in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Older generations will say that the song is the innocent courtship of a young man and woman. During the postwar era, rules and laws on courtship etiquette became much stricter, and women typically experienced severe societal scorn for making their own romantic decisions, especially staying overnight at a man’s house out of wedlock. However, despite these societal expectations, the lyrics of the song still convey an expressed intent to keep a woman from leaving, contrary to her own wishes. Due to these nonconsensual connotations, radio stations in particular face ever-escalating backlash for broadcasting “Baby It’s Cold Outside” during the holiday season.

The point of this long, quite exhausting debate is this: should radio stations avoid playing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside?” Overall, the choice is and should always be with the head of each individual station. In 1964, a landmark Supreme Court case upheld the ability of the Federal Communications Commission to censor “obscene, indecent or profane” content from being broadcasted. In order to be legally forbidden from the airwaves, a song must “appeal to an average person’s prurient interest,” depict “sexual conduct in a ‘patently offensive’ way” and overall “lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” The song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” does not meet the Supreme Court’s three-prong test to be ruled as such; therefore, the decision whether or not to play this controversial Christmas classic must remain in the hands of individual radio stations.


The overall consensus of 74 followers and acquaintances of Ethic staff and social media. It displays that a majority in our community would not call for the song to be removed from the radio.


Wildcat wrestling team’s experience is source of strength in competitive league

By MIA ARANDA

The Redlands East Valley wrestling team huddles before the Yucaipa match on Dec. 5, in the Wildcat gymnasium. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic photo)

Winter season means that wrestling season is back, and Redlands East Valley has a winning combination of coaches, players and strategy. Unlike the WWE, these players are not acting but instead put a large amount of time into perfecting their skills with the help of all of their coaches.  REV science teacher Bryan Holcombe is beginning his second season as the head wrestling coach.

Holcombe began doing jiu-jitsu at a young age. By the time he reached high school, he wanted to play a school sport and jiu-jitsu was not an option so he chose wrestling, which is quite similar to jiu-jitsu. While attending REV, Holcombe competed as a part of the wrestling team for four years, from 2004 to 2008. From this, Holcombe has gained considerable experience, which he uses to better assist his team.

In wrestling, players can gain points through various different positions while on the mat. A takedown, as well as a reversal, is worth two points, and an escape is worth one point. A near fall, which takes places when a player exposes their opponent’s back towards the mat, can be worth between two and four points. If a player pins their opponent by holding their back to the mat for two seconds, the player will automatically win the match regardless of the score.

Holcombe is assisted in coaching by Joe Johnson, who has been working with the REV wrestling program for more than four years, and Zak Kear, who has much experience from wrestling previously at Cal Baptist University.

“Our goal is to always end the season better than we started,” said Holcombe. “Better wrestlers, better work ethics, better teammates, better students and overall better people.” Furthermore, he believes that their biggest strength this year is the team’s experience, considering only four seniors graduated last year from their program.


Bryan Holcombe, Redlands East Valley head wrestling coach, maintains a calm demeanor throughout the matches as he coaches from the sidelines on Dec. 5, in the Wildcat gymnasium. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic Photo)

The first practice took place on Oct. 29, following the first match of the season, which was against the San Andreas League Champions, Indian Springs High School on Nov. 13 in the REV gymnasium. Joseph Chavez, Kevin Jenson and Sebastian Gutierrez were chosen as co-captains for the varsity team. It was a close match, but REV’s varsity team lost 33-37 to Indian Springs.

REV senior Laila Contreras has been a part of the girl’s varsity wrestling team throughout all four years of high school. She joined the wrestling team with the idea of wanting to try something out of her comfort zone.

“My favorite thing about the sport is probably the toughness,” said Contreras. “Not only does it challenge you physically, but boy it also challenges you mentally.” Her coaches have supported Contreras by helping her gain confidence in a sport in which she was not familiar. Often times, she would doubt herself on a move or want to quit, but her coaches were always there to help her push through and show her that she is capable of doing anything that she puts her mind to.

So far, Contreras has placed in every tournament she has attended. Contreras hopes that she will place at state for her final year of high school.

REV senior Daniela Galvez has been wrestling since her sophomore year and is currently on the girl’s varsity wrestling team. She has always enjoyed doing any type of combat sport, so when she heard about the wrestling team she knew she had to join.

“My favorite thing about wrestling is the feeling I get as soon as the ref raises my hand [signifying a win] because it shows all the hard work I have put into it,” said Galvez. She is coached by Coach Joe and Coach Holcombe. “Coach Holcombe has helped me become a better wrestler by pushing me to my fullest potential because he knows what I am capable of accomplishing,” Galvez said. “Coach Joe has always been there for me and encourages me to just go out there on the mat and do what I love.”

Galvez has had numerous accomplishments including being ranked in the top 12 wrestlers in the state of California, a Masters Runner Up in which she got 2nd place and her forever title as a CBL and CIF champion. This season, Galvez hopes “to stay the CBL and CIF champion, become the Masters Champion, place no lower than 3rd place at State and go to Nationals and place there.”

James Alvarez is a REV senior who has been wrestling for four years as of this season and is currently a part of the boy’s varsity team. He first caught an interest in the sport when he realized it was “one of the two sports on a high school campus where you can compete physically.”

With Coach Holcombe there to guide him, Alvarez has been pushed harder and motivated by Holcombe in the wrestling room during conditioning drills, allowing him not to get as tired when wrestling someone on the mat.

In addition to practicing four days out of the week, Alvarez also works out in the weight room on his own time six days of the week. With a couple of tournament medals ranging from 1st to 3rd place, Alvarez has his mind set on a 182 league championship, and hopes to place in the top three in CIF and move on to Masters this year.


Senior co-captains Joseph Chavez and Kevin Jenson meet with Yucaipa captains prior to the match on Dec. 5, 2018, in the Wildcat gymnasium. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic Photo)

REV senior, Joseph Chavez has been wrestling for four years and is the co-captain of the boys varsity wrestling team. Like many others who started wrestling in high school, Chavez became interested in the sport when he decided he wanted to try something new.

Chavez says, “Holcombe is very organized and makes sure that we are always practicing everything we need to. His biggest strength as a coach is his organization skills. He always has a process that he wants us to follow.”

Chavez identifies some of his role models as his coach, Holcombe, and his past teammates who have already graduated, like Riley Emery and Jeremiah Cabrera. To keep improving his skills, Chavez practices seven days a week for two hours a day from 3 to 5 p.m., lifts weights on the weekends and runs every morning.

Chavez’s biggest accomplishment as a wrestler is being ranked in the top five in CIF. His favorite thing about wrestling is the fact that “it all depends on you. It’s not a team sport in the sense where you can rely on your teammates to win for you. It’s no one else’s fault but your own if you lose and if you win. Everything is relying on you.” Like every season, Chavez is motivated with the same goal of going as far as he can and improving as a wrestler and a person all around.

The Redlands East Valley wrestling team has had countless accomplishments over the last two decades. Holcombe states, “Over the past 20 years we have accomplished 71 individual CBL Champions, 51 individual CIF Placers, 19 time City Wrestling Champs (undefeated all-time vs RHS), 18 individual Masters Placers, 11 individual State Placers, 11 individual CIF Champions, 9 CBL Team Championships, 5 individual Masters Champions, 2 individual State Champions and 1 CIF team Championship.”

In addition, last year in the 2017-18 school year, Chris Albrecht placed fifth in CIF individuals, and Daniela Galvez was ranked in the top 12 wrestlers in California.

Rob Tompkins, Redlands East Valley boys athletic director, manages the scoreboard during the wrestling match on Dec. 5, in the Wildcat gymnasium. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic Photo)

Holcombe believes that the most competitive matches of the season were against 2018 CIF Champions Carter High School on November 28, 30, and December 1 and 2017 CIF Champions Yucaipa High School on December 5, 2018.

“We have a very talented league for wrestling,” he said,  “and often the CBL champs win or compete for a CIF title.”

The Wildcats lost to both teams but will have a chance to match up again against Carter on Dec. 12 at Carter High School.


What good snacks mean to science: an interview with Emil Radoi, Redlands East Valley Physics teacher

By ALEENA SIRITANAPIVAT

Redlands East Valley physics teacher writing formulas and graphing upon his whiteboard in preparation for class. (ALEENA SIRITANAPIVAT/ Ethic Photo)

“After a long day, it’s good to have a snack,” Emil Radoi told me as he opened his drawer. I watched while he pulled out two little packs of Hello Panda cookies. “A good snack,” he emphasized, his lips curling up slightly. I accepted them, opened it and popped one in my mouth, watching as he did the same.

After a brief moment of chewing, I heard him ask, “So what would you like to know?” The whole school knows of Radoi, his intelligence and his love for physics, but did he always know he wanted to be involved with STEM or physics? Was he like the wavering senior, still unsure of what to mark for their major?

“Ah…” he began, the sound of remembrance telling me that I was in for a story. He beckoned me to sit, and I obliged as he started to recount his backstory. “I always liked numbers, ever since I could count, really,” he told me. Mathematics was his passion. Although middle school, or gymnasium as they called it in Romania where he grew up, introduced him to various subjects, such as geometry and chemistry, when it came to choosing a subject-specific high school, the choice was clear. “Physical science in sixth grade…, ecology in seventh, anatomy in eighth…,” he listed with his hands folded under his chin. All of those subjects were available to him, but, for him, the choice was always going to be one of the four math-physics high schools in the county.

However, believe it or not, Radoi didn’t automatically start with physics. Yes, the high school had pushed him to a career path quickly, but that only led him to computer science programming as a freshman in college. At first, he began at the University of Illinois at Chicago but had to move to Southern California in the fall of 1989 as a transfer to California State University, San Bernardino. It was there that he met Dr. Javier Torner, then department chair of natural sciences. “He asked me, ‘Do you see yourself [computing numbers for something]? Do you see yourself in an office?’ I told him, ‘No, I don’t,’” he recalled. His professor served as the guiding force in changing his major, and, as a sophomore, he began applied mathematics in physics.

Now rumor has it that Radoi used to be a scientist for NASA, so I took it upon myself to confirm or deny this little speculation. He chuckled: an instant rejection of the theory. Before teaching, he actually worked for UPS (the third letter is an S just like NASA, so he guessed it’s still close) during the night shift in the flight operations department. He monitored loads, like fuel and freight, computing and balancing. “After all,” he stated, “we didn’t want any accidents like FedEx. We actually had a photo of the accident….” I figured that Radoi does not want FedEx handling his packages after that explanation.

In the end, why did Radoi decide to teach? He began to recount how his wife tutored at San Bernardino Valley College, and how he himself worked with them for three years. He tracked back to 1990 when he was in college and worked part-time at Redlands High School with the ESL department for about 20 hours a week. “I enjoyed tutoring since high school — just for fun,” he paused and thought for a moment. “Actually, I’ve been tutoring since the third or fourth grade. I would tutor my cousins in mathematics.” It turns out, Radoi has been a teacher since the very beginning, and it was the same professor that pushed him to change to applied mathematics that inspired him to teach as well.

What if Radoi wasn’t a physics teacher? What would he be? “Hm… Well, I like talking to people on a regular basis about anything, really, so if I had to be anything besides a teacher, I would work with people, helping and communicating,” he eventually told me, hesitant at first. He mentioned a coffee shop, most likely a promotion for the Meek House, which is owned by one of his daughters and can be found in Redlands’ Mountain Grove. I know from friends that he greets them warmly while they are visiting and even offers one-on-one help in physics if the person asks. However, I could tell from his answer that being a physics teacher is what he genuinely loves.

“Teach from the heart, and have a passion for the subject they want [to teach],” he said when I asked him for advice for future science teachers. “Physics is not something you teach, but something you let others discover.” It’s why “in [our AP Physics] class, we derive formulas,” he added. Apply this to your own subject aspiring teachers. Other advice included: like people, be prepared for challenges and anything students may throw at you and be okay with saying “I don’t know,” but bring students to the next level that they should be at or to the same level as you. “Oh, and make it ‘phun,’ with a P-H, of course,” he joked.

For those interested in pursuing engineering or STEM, Radoi encourages them to join Engineering Club. They meet every Tuesday during lunch in E-101. As the advisor, he oversees the many projects built by students and has done so for many years. Every year, they participate in the Science Olympiad and the boat building competition. With that, all of the mysteries about Radoi were resolved, and it dawned upon me that our interview had come to an end.

I thanked him for his time, and he smiled at me. We exchanged the usual departing pleasantries, and I walked out of his classroom, feeling refreshed. Clutching my heavy textbooks that felt lighter than normal, to my surprise, I realized I still had the cookies he had given me before the interview. I took one cookie out, admiring the faded panda figures depicted on the shell before popping one in my mouth, and savored the sweet chocolatey taste of a good snack after a long day.

Redlands East Valley’s Julia Richardson balances extracurriculars, political campaigns and more

By MIRIAM YORDANOS

At the age of 17, Julia Richardson, a senior at Redlands East Valley high school, has been involved in extracurricular activities and political campaigns and has achieved academic success.

Coming from a small private school, Richardson decided to join the Associated Student Body and cheerleading at REV to make new friends. “Both activities have been extremely fun to be a part of through the ups and downs,” Richardson said, “and I can truly say that they make my high school experience 10 times better. I am so grateful for the experiences I have had and the people I have met through both of them.”

Julia Richardson performing a gymnastics act for the YMCA Circus. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

Currently, Richardson is on the board for Assisteens, which is part of the Assistance League of Redlands, and has a job as a coach at Redlands Gymnastics Club.

Richardson has also been involved with the YMCA circus for 11 years. “I have made so many friends and memories and I really could not imagine my life without it,” Richardson said, “It has been the activity I have done the longest and it is crazy to think that I have literally grown up in it. It has not always been easy and I have learned to push through the challenges and setbacks, but I do not regret anything. It has taught and given me so much, and I am extremely grateful for that.”

On July 26, 2018, the executive cabinet of REV ASB (left to right: Austin Gaw, Julia Richardson, Amy Underwood, and Morgan Rapoza) takes a photo at Big Bear on day 3 of ASB Camp. ASB Camp is for current and new ASB members to bond and start brainstorming for the next upcoming year. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

Throughout high school, Richardson has also excelled in her academics. Because of this, Richardson was able to participate in the class of 2018 graduation ceremony by walking as a member of the honor court, which recognizes the top ten percent in the REV class of 2019.

Richardson performing a gymnastic act in the YMCA circus. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

During the 2018 midterm elections, Julia Richardson’s father, Joe Richardson, ran for Redlands City Council in District 3. During his campaign, Julia and her friends were involved and very excited for the upcoming election.

Richardson and her cheer team mates takes a photo with the Universal Cheerleaders Association Top Bannana. UCA top bannana is awarded to the most spirited cheerleading group during UCA Summer Camp. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

Richardson said, “He has been working so hard for so long, and it is amazing to see how it has all come together. He comes home from canvassing, a speech or another campaign event so excited and it is really the best thing to see. I have gotten to canvass for him and that was an interesting experience as well!”

Richardson and her cheer team mates works together to lift their cheer team mate. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

Richardson loves to travel and would love a job that would allow her to do so. She has visited Europe three times and looks forward to visiting again.  

“There are so many cool places I would love to visit that I haven’t been to yet,” Richardson said, “so I hope traveling is a big part of my future. I think it is one of the most eye-opening and enriching experiences!”

At the ASB banquet, Julia Richardson (far left) and the remaining Executive Cabinet of ASB (left to right: Amy Underwood, Morgan Rapoza, and Austin Gaw) takes a photo on May 23, 2018. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

In the future, Richardson plans to attend a four-year college. She is considering majoring in many different areas, including the liberal arts.

“I am very interested in social justice,” Richardson said, “but I am not sure where it will take me. Right now, I am really considering political science because it is so multi-faceted, and I would have opportunities to focus on social justice issues. I have also considered journalism because I love writing and I could express my opinions and ideas about different topics.”

Julia and her cheer team mates takes a photo with the smudgepot at the Dodge Stadium on October 26, 2018. On October 26, 2018, the annual Smudgepot game was held against REV and Redlands High  School. (Courtesy of Julia Richardson)

Top 5 Instagram worthy picture locations in downtown Redlands

By MIA ARANDA

From Orange Street alley to all of the other murals in Downtown Redlands, there certainly are plenty of aesthetically pleasing locations perfect for your Instagram feed.

The mural of the lion is the perfect mix of graffiti and art. Someone wrote their name on it, starting a trend that many have followed. This mural is located in Orange Street alley across from Cheesewalla.

These angel wings can be found in the Orange Street alley closer to Fifth Street. According to the Redlands Daily Facts, Hannah’s wings was painted in memory of Hannah Ahlers, a Redlands East Valley High School graduate and mother of three, who died at The Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 2, 2017. Ahlers’s family owns Redland’s Jewelers on North 5th Street in Redlands and had wanted to have a painting dedicated to Hannah, so they hired the mural artist, Christine Coates, to do the job. The combination of the painted rustic red brick wall, human-sized white wings and the sentiment behind it makes it a special spot for a photo.

The umbrellas in the Orange Street alley are one of the most popular picture locations in Downtown Redlands. The array of vivid bright umbrellas spans across Orange Street to Fifth Street through the alley. With approximately 420 pink, blue, yellow and green umbrellas in the alley, one will become obsessed with the Instagram photos to come.

A Shop Called Quest is located on East Citrus Avenue. This shop is a notable picture location because of its collage of various stickers on the door and its compilation of comic book character posters, such as Batman and Adventure Time.

The “Good Is The New Gangster” sign is located in the clothing shop For Good on East State Street. The blue neon sign is surrounded by dozens of potted plants beneath it. Having the sign there right as someone walks in makes it a nice picture spot.  

Honorable Mentions:

Located next to Furry Face on East State Street.

(MIA ARANDA/ Ethic Photo)


Located at Ed Hales Park.

Located in Orange Street alley.

(MIA ARANDA/ Ethic Photo)

Located on Sixth Street.

(MIA ARANDA/ Ethic Photo)

Located in Backstreet Alley with the cross streets of 5th Street and East State Street.

Opinion: Rising use of profanity lessens shock value

By HELEN POGGI

It only takes one stroll down a high school hallway to see—or, more accurately, hear—that swear words have become a large part of many teenagers’ lexicons.

Although this vulgarity is not totally pervasive, it is widespread enough to indicate that profanity is not as taboo as it once was, especially with the younger generations. This situation begs the question: have swear words lost their shock value?

The simple answer is yes. The more complicated answer is that swearing has become so commonplace that it has become normalized for most people. The linguistic phenomena can be attributed to rising individualism among America’s population and widespread online profanity.

But before one can understand why swearing is losing its shock value, one must understand why people swear in the first place. For many, swearing serves as a form of catharsis. When feeling anger, sadness or anxiety, cursing can help alleviate these emotions. According to psychologist Timothy Jay of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, swearing “allows us to vent or express” this negativity, much like the horn of a car. Furthermore, profanity can spark confidence or rebelliousness, which, according to psychologist Neel Burton, can lower anxiety and make one feel more in control.

This last benefit can begin to explain the normalization of profanity. The aforementioned rebellious spirit is a key part of the rise in American individualism. This phenomenon was studied by San Diego State University psychologist, Jean Twenge, and she concluded that “Millennials have a ‘come as you are’ philosophy.” This mentality breeds a disregard for social taboos, thus they often do not mind swearing as much as previous generations.

However, not only do people care increasingly less about swearing, but they also have become desensitized to it through frequent exposure. People primarily encounter obscenities on social media and the internet. For instance, Twitter’s guidelines allow for swearing under most circumstances. The exposure to profanity from regularly reading these tweets has made people more comfortable with swearing over time. A similar pattern occurs on YouTube, where many content creators either swear openly in their videos or censor their language by merely bleeping it. Thus, since the inception of these various social media platforms, users have had to develop a thicker skin when it comes to profanity simply due to how often they stumble across it online.

Similarly, books have experienced a rise in the prevalence of uncensored curses. A study by respected psychologists Jean Twenge, Hannah Van Landingham and W. Keith Campbell demonstrated, through examining the trends in the use of seven different swears, that books published in 2005-2008 are 28 times more likely to include swear words than books published in the early 1950s.

Television, on the other hand, has been one of the last bastions of censored profanity. The Federal Communications Commission imposes restrictions on obscene, indecent and profane language, and fines broadcasters if their regulations are not followed. However, this is an outlier in media, as the FCC cannot regulate other platforms as much as television.

Overall, the decline in the shock value of swear words does not necessarily have devastating implications. In reality, all words and phrases are merely just the combined movements of the vocal cords and mouth; any meaning they may carry has been given to them by people. Therefore, if the majority of the population adapts an interpretation of a certain swear word with a less harsh connotation, the word will lose what it once meant and will be accepted with the new meaning. Put simply, the issue with cursing is largely just all in our heads, and consequently—much to the dismay of the older demographic—the English language will only continue to adapt to match our more colorful vocabularies.

Trends show teens abandon Facebook, flock to instagram instead

By RICHARD BUNNER

Chances are you have Instagram downloaded on some device. Most people do as well, along with other social media such as Twitter and Facebook. However, most teenagers are completely ditching Facebook in favor of Instagram.

(BRANDON SAGLAM/ EThic Photo)

Although the Facebook Corporation owns Instagram, only about a third of teens report using Facebook at least once a month according to a study by Piper Jaffray, an investment bank and asset management firm. While Facebook is still one of the largest social media platforms in the world, the main target for the corporation would be to capture the attention of teenagers in order to have confirmed users in the future, and according to Jaffray’s study, that goal is failing.

Teens seem to be more drawn to the layout of Instagram and the “cool factor” of having a more modern, youth-oriented social media account.  Instagram also has a much more pleasing logo for phones’ home screens with a nice range of colors instead of the big “F” that Facebook uses.

The primary apps used by teens and young adults are shown in a table created by Piper Jaffray.  Many teens are using Instagram more frequently than they use Facebook.

This shows that more teens and young adults prefer using Instagram over Facebook. Instagram targets the young adult market, while Facebook is regularly used by the older generation . Facebook, aside from twitter, is also the home of lots of politics, which could largely be due to the age demographic of users.

This chart by Pew Research shows that the younger end of those surveyed mainly gravitate towards platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, while those towards the older end generally prefer Facebook.

The greatest reason for teenagers’ preference for Instagram is the amount of features and modern design that Instagram has over Facebook.  “Instagram is more accessible and appealing to youth,” said Citrus Valley senior Joseph Quesada. “It appeals more to the information and stuff I’d want to see.”

Instagram’s features allow users to reach out to a much wider audience with features such as IGTV and highlights, so it is no surprise that Instagram is turning out to being the king, or queen, of social media.

“It’s popularity allows for a large platform where your content is exposed to a large audience.” Citrus Valley High School senior Brandon Saglam says about Instagram. “Instagram is a continuously updating program in which it’s able to stay relevant continuously in that it will always be relevant to the public. With the new updates, Instagram has a lot of features such as instagram stories, IGTV and story highlights. Highlights allow you to post content in different ways and experiment in different creative disciplines.”  

Citrus Valley junior Ricardo Ramos said, “Facebook is more old but instagram is more modern.”

The majority of people who will be using social media in the future are essentially abandoning Facebook, which was once the largest mainstream social media platform in the world.