Your Voice, Your Vote: The 2020 Election
By Molly Hughes
Possibly the most important and antic- ipated event this year was the 2020 presidential election. We stand each morning and pledge to an indivisible country, but in these times more than ever, we are deeply and dangerously divided. Americans of every identity and background have categorized themselves under two main parties: Democrat or Republican. Each party associates with a candidate that has vast, di ff ering ideas for what this na- tion should be. Former Vice President, Joe Biden, ran against President Don- ald Trump. While the election is over and Biden has been projected as the winner, many in this nation are an- gered, frustrated, and upset. In hopes of getting a better understanding of how our student body felt about this election we interviewed Hononegah High School students for their com- ments on the upcoming election. The interviews were conducted before the results of the election were clear and the names of the interviewees are kept confidential in order to protect them from prejudice. President Trump is a businessman who ran for president in 2016 against for- mer Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The election was contentious: Donald Trump won the Electoral College with 306 votes, making him president de- spite Secretary Clinton winning the popular vote by 3 million votes. Being a Washington outsider is what boosted Mr. Trump's original campaign and with his bold promises he built a strong and loyal base rooted in a sense of American superiority, this can be illus- trated with one of his slogans being "America First." When it came to mak- ing policy decisions he displayed a fast, cut-throat approach which appealed to many voters. In his personal life, Presi- The Candidates Donald J. Trum p
BLM protestors march in Beloit, Wisconsin.
dent Trump is 74 years old and is mar- ried to his wife, Melania, he has five children including his daughter Ivanka. She and her husband, Jared Kushner, work closely beside him in the White House. To relax, President Trump en- joys playing golf at his private resort, Mar A Lago. The Trump family main- tains a close connection and many of his rallies are hosted by his children. Despite the outcome of the election, the Trump campaign has refused to co- incide a t er losing the projected elec- toral vote. President Trump served a one term presidency and it is up to him if this country can maintain a peaceful and civil transition of power.
former Vice President of the United States under the Barack Obama ad- ministration. Additionally, Biden is known across Washington for his em- pathy. Because of his ability to see across the partisan barrier, many vot- ers believe that he is the key to con- necting the divide between Democrats and Republicans. Vice President Biden is 77 years old and he has four children. Unfortunately, only two of those chil- dren are living; his first wife and his daughter passed away in a tragic car accident in 1972. Mr. Biden's son, Beau, passed away in 2015 from cancer. He has been married to his current wife, Jill, for over 30 years and she is one of his biggest supporters on the cam- paign trail. In his free time, Mr. Biden enjoys biking and spending time with family. He is deeply religious and con-
nected to his Catholic faith. On Satur- day, November 7th Joe Biden won Pennsylvania making him the Presi- dent-Elect. He will be inaugurated on January 20th, 2021 o ff icially making him the 46th President of the United States of America. His running mate, Kamala Harris will be making history as the first African American to woman to be Vice President.
Why should you care?
A question that seems to come across the minds of many teenagers this elec- tion is: Why should I care about this election if I can't vote?
Voting is only one part of democracy.
Joseph R. Biden
Joe Biden is a former U.S. Senator and
We can not simply ignore issues be-
cause we are young. That is unaccept- able. For hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, politics and elections decide between life and death. Our leaders are the ones who decide if underprivileged citizens have basic rights. The decisions politicians make a ff ect every aspect of our lives. In our democracy, citizens get to decide who those leaders are by the power of voting. Choosing to not care or ignor- ing the issues plaguing our society and government is the worst thing we can do. You don't have to scream your opinions from the roo t ops, but you do have to fight for those things that are worth fighting for, which means taking accountability for your own actions. If we all take the initiative to fix the small things in society, achieving the bigger picture is possible. Choosing when to care based on how it a ff ects you per- sonally is great disservice to our nation. We may be teenagers now but once we graduate high school, we will have the power to feel democracy first hand. Many of us will be able to partici- pate and vote in the next Presidential election, and now is the perfect time to prepare for 2024. Over the last three weeks, I conducted many surveys, interviews, and polls asking people's perspective on this election. My responses varied, but a common theme was the feeling of anxi- ety, stress, and anger. When I asked a sophomore about her thoughts about the upcoming election, she said, "Maybe instead of fighting with each other, we can sit down and find common ground. Because at the end of the day, I think we all just truly want what is best for America." A junior responded, "I am afraid to make political statements because of the anger revolving around each candi- date, but I would like to see a place where we can have a reasonable dis- cussion on our di ff erences so we can come together." The unrest over this election is over- whelming, but I promise you that you are not alone. It may be hard to remain calm, especially in this fast moving cli- mate of politics, but one message that we should be preaching is that al- though President Trump has lost the election and half of the country is up- set, we can spend our time focusing on what we lost or we can accept the out- come and come together. Unity is pos- The Student's Opinions
sible. America has been at a crossroads before, and it will come across another one in the future. But we are all citizens of the United States of America. Our ability to overcome adversity and our debates within our borders is what re- ally makes America great at the end of the day ∎
black life taken by the police. It be- came a matter of human rights rather than politically-motivated reforms. Today, the movement still remains vigi- lant and powerful with people of every race, ethnicity, religion, background, and sexual orientation fighting for equal rights for minority groups. Yet, with resistance comes opposition. The "All Lives Matter" campaign is a protest to our protest arguing all lives should matter, not only black lives. Of course every single life matters; however, for too long black lives have been under- valued. Claiming the protest consists of violent riots, they label the protesters as anar- chists. However, the movement is not anti-American; it's a challenge to a racist system America has disregarded and made normative. It's an enact- ment of our freedom of speech, not an attack. Yes, intense riots have occurred during the first few months of the movement; however, history has proven that quiet protests incite noth- ing. Starting in the 1950s, the Civil Rights movement struggled to obtain basic rights and representation for black people. For the next two decades, the
movement tirelessly fought to abolish segregation laws and obtain voting equality. But still, a t er sixty years, dis- crimination against black and brown people continues to pose a prevalent issue to the fairness of society. Despite numerous peaceful protests to chal- lenge the unjust treatment of minori- ties and systematic racism, inequality persists nationwide. A t er centuries of racial injustice, ignored by the Ameri- can aristocracy, outrage is an in- evitable outcome. But one cannot define an entire move- ment by its most violent participants if they will not define the police system by its violent o ff icers. It is a hypocritical statement used to ridicule and degrade the movement. If BLM protests are an excuse to "create violence", then every police o ff icer is a "racist cop with a preference to target minority groups''... Neither statement is true, but both statements serve to create divide. Even so, the vast majority of BLM demon- strations have been peaceful. Biased media prefers to depict a violent narra- tive of the movement when in reality, 93% of the protests were deemed non- confrontational. The essence of the movement is peace and equality. BLM is the fight to bring all minorities jus- tice.
No Justice, No Peace
By Jazmin Gomez and Maria Pulido
Eight minutes and forty-six seconds. For eight minutes forty-six seconds, white police o ff icer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of George Floyd. For eight minutes and forty-six seconds, aiding o ff icers Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng watched a murder in solidarity. And in eight minutes and forty-six seconds, a nationwide protest was sparked in honor of George Floyd, who was wrongly murdered in the streets for al- legedly counterfeiting a twenty-dollar bill. In justified outrage, Black Lives Matter protests erupted throughout the country challenging police brutality and systematic racism. George Floyd became the symbol of justice for every
Hononegah students and others hold signs saying "White Privilege Exists" during a demonstration. Students pictured, le t to right; top row, Ella Keener, Grace Stuckey, Alyssa Cote. Bottom row, Phairra Jones, Alina Yang, Straya Batten.
Hononegah senior, Phairra Jones, demonstrating at the "Artists for Change" event.
large toll mentality as a kid; however, growing up it was very easy to separate the right and wrong about myself. Q: Do you think the BLM movement is misinterpreted? A: Not at all… If people misinterpret it, then they are looking past the murders and immediately judging the reaction of the people. They choose to group the protesters with the rioters and loot- ers as if the names aren't signifying the di ff erence in the intent of the criminals from the ones grieving and asking for change. Q: What's your perspective on the movement? How has it a ff ected/in- fluenced you personally? A: I'm absolutely in awe with how strong my generation's numbers are in fighting for my people and others. I'm encouraged to keep fighting for what's right until justice is served to all the marginalized communities, including LGBTQ and POC, specifically the His- panic and Latino immigrants mistreat- ed at the border and the indigenous women and children going missing at the hands of our government. This movement has shown me the power of my voice, and I will not stop fighting for what's right as long as I have the voice to make a change. Savannah Moore, a sophomore, was our last interviewee. She describes how the movement enlightened her understanding on the ongoing racial injustice of the American system but is uncertain of the future progress of the movement.
Q: What is Artists for Change? A: Artist for Change is a pretty large group of singers, dancers, painters, and poets in the Rockton Rockford area who wanted to protest in the most peaceful way possible, and that's by showcasing our arts. Q: What was the overall feel of the rally? What were some of your high- lights? A: The rally was amazing. It was super powerful and peaceful. One big high- light to me was one of my good friends Terry's performance, which was a dance to "Alright" by Kendrick Lamar and one of my track sisters, Logan, song "A Change is Gonna Come". Q: How has being a person of color a ff ected you personally in America? A: Growing up in a majority white area, I have been given a lot more opportu- nities than the majority of other black people in America. But the di ff erences in treatment from my white superiors are absolutely noticeable. I have been bullied for my skin color and hair. I've been looked past for amazing opportu- nities simply because I was "too dark for the part". Even in educational set- tings, I've been given the lower hand when I needed extra help in middle school and elementary. Being excluded from basic representation and always discriminated and displayed as the evil one or the enemy definitely took a Q: What drove you to organize this demonstration? A: Definitely a t er I went to my third protest and saw the age of the man running it. I knew right then that it was possible for me to do the same.
Terry Williams, hip-hop dancer, brandishes the BLM fist at the "Artists for Change" event at River Chapel. Photography at the event provided by Kaitlyn Niedfeldt, 12.
Below we've asked some of our minori- ty students attending Hononegah High School their perspective on the BLM movement. We first interviewed Elisabeth Wells, a freshman student who participated in one of the BLM protests held in Beloit. In her interview, she explains her mo- tives for protesting and the events she witnessed while doing so. O ff ering her own stance, Elisabeth describes what the movement meant to her. A: I'm half-black and I've always been disgusted by the amount of racial in- justice in this country, so naturally, I wanted to attend a BLM protest. I've wanted to go to one for years, but I haven't had an opportunity to do so until recently. A: The protest was in Beloit and started with people speaking and sharing speeches about what the BLM move- ment meant to them personally. Every- body then marched four laps around Horace White Park, representing the four o ff icers involved in George Floyd's death. A t erward, we continued the Q: What made you want to attend a protest? Q: What did you see at the protest? What did it consist of?
protest at the police station until even- tually the Police Chief and Captain came out and took a knee as a symbol of solidarity with the movement. Q: What was the overall feel of the protest? How did you feel? A: I felt so many di ff erent things at the protest, but most of all, I definitely felt empowered. And I think everyone else there felt that way too. I felt so unified and strong with the other protestors knowing that we are all fighting for the same thing. Q: Did the protest/movement a ff ect you personally? How? A: I think the protest has a ff ected me by giving me courage to stand up for myself, my rights, and what I believe in. The BLM movement was probably one of the best things that's ever happened to me. Additionally, Phairra Jones, a student in the Senior Class, provides her per- spective on the movement as an orga- nizer for an Artist for Change Demon- stration held at River Chapel in Rock- ton. She advocates for the peaceful representation of the BLM movement. Empowered by her generation's in- volvement, she strives to use her voice for change.
Q: What's your perspective on the
not hide." Houghton's eyes began to stray, looking at the desk, currently six feet from her's. "I have to interact with them more." She explained that her reasoning behind this was to make sure that they couldn't hide away and su ff er alone, she wanted to break open their shell and make them rid of all the worries in their life. A t er meeting with Mrs. Houghton, I re- turned a day later to interview another former teacher of mine, Willowbrook's health and PE teacher, Mrs. Ball. Sitting in her white o ff ice, lined with various sports ball cutouts, various workouts, and a pile of gym clothes to borrow, I settle in and begin the interview. I asked her the same question as Houghton received, "what do you do when you see a kid struggling?" Ball looked at me and answered with no hesitation, "if a kid comes to me and we can't help, we will find or direct them to someone who can. Because kids come to us a lot, whether it be about something that happened be- fore class or something they heard in the halls." Mrs. Ball answered with no doubt and continued to talk about how kids shouldn't be afraid to "snitch" on one another, because in this instance, the snitch could become a savior. Barczuk was quick to answer this ques- tion as well. She is a strong advocate for mental health awareness and sui- cide prevention, stating that she tries to make it known to everyone that she is always willing to talk and be there for someone in need. She doesn't want kids to feel ashamed of how they feel, because it is natural and happens to everyone. Following in the wide variety of inter- views, my last interviewee was Hon- onegah Community High School princi- pal, Mr. Dougherty. I met Mr. Dougherty in his pale-yellow o ff ice. Papers clut- tered his desk, many tabs were open on his screen, and a multitude of acad- emic books lined his bookshelves. He started by stating that he believes all administrators and teachers at Hon- onegah "can see a student struggling in general appearance. Most generally when we see this, we go over, stop them, and give them a simple 'How are you doing today?' We like to stop and check on the students." All of these individuals were interested and passionate about this topic, and all were more than eager to answer my questions, even with how bizarre or deep they were. I asked all of the participants "what have you done to help a student or sta ff member in need?" All had very dif- ferent answers.
Mrs. Ball and her colleague Ms. Craig had created "WOW Days" at Willow- brook for students and sta ff to enjoy. These days happened every Friday, and contained stations that the stu- dents would move from place to place in. That day's activities contained bad- minton, soccer, four-square, jump rope, and a station on social-emotional wellness. This week's station about so- cial-emotional awareness was about gratitude, and every week contains a di ff erent topic. "[Willowbrook] put out a survey for students, teachers, and parents, and all said they wanted to see more social- emotional learning" in the school, Ball stated. Due to the CoronaVirus, Willow- brook no longer has gym classes, mak- ing Mrs. Ball and Ms. Craig long term subs, in case a teacher gets sick. With lots of open time on their hands, these ladies wanted to help out the school and environment to expand their knowledge on social and emo- tional wellness. "WOW puts it all to- gether; kids are getting endorphins, go- ing out into the fresh air, and getting vi- tamin D. We're all going outside, and the kids are having fun." Adding on to the addition of WOW days into the curriculum, Mrs. Ball and Ms. Craig created "The Breakroom," a web- site for the students to visit to take a break from schoolwork. It contains art games, typing games, social studies games, and allows students to make Kahoots to play with friends. The web- site has been a success and a great as- set this year, according to Ball. Mr. Dougherty's response to this ques- tion was similar to Mrs. Ball's; he too hoped to increase the amount of social-emotional learning in the class- room but was not quite there yet. A current group at Hononegah, the Pro- fessional Learning Community Guiding Coalition (PLCGC) was at work in Hon- onegah to meet with teachers and find the most e ff ective and e ff icient way to work this type of education into the everyday lives of students. While not in full motion yet, Mr. Dougherty said this was a snowball in motion, hoping to turn into something large soon. While these teachers had done great things, Mrs. Houghton's response was my favorite, and most heartwarming. She discusses a student who was strug- gling in her class last year. "I rang a doorbell. So I know not everybody does, but I can wholeheartedly tell you, that that moment was the game- changer for that student." Houghton had tried to catch this student o ff guard on purpose last year, "it was af- ter school one day, I could tell some- thing was dark… so once the day was
BLM movement? A: My perspective on the BLM move- ment is that it's a good thing, showing awareness for all people of color. A lot of people against the movement think it's to put black people on a higher pedestal, but it's really meant to show the indi ff erence we are facing and say- ing, "Hey, in case you forgot, we matter too so don't treat us like we don't." Q : How h a s i t a ff e c t e d y o u personally? A: Personally the BLM movement has honestly had non-colored people treat me so much nicer. I haven't had peers or really any people be so cautious with what they say to me nor been so careful with how they treat me. A: Honestly, before the BLM movement I didn't even know too much about the injustice black people were facing, es- pecially with being killed for no reason by cops, but I do remember seeing something about it a few years ago. I just never submerged myself with what was going on. A: I think the BLM movement is totally necessary. How long will people of dif- ferent genders, cultures, ethnicities, etc. have to go through pain until someone finally says, "Enough is enough?" 2020 is the year of change. It's so unfair how people of color are treated. Q: Has it brought anything to light for you? Q: Do you think the BLM movement is necessary? Q: Do you think the BLM movement is e ff ective? A: The BLM is being e ff ective in some ways, but it has not taken in its full ef- fect yet. It's going to take someone in a higher position to really set in action and fix this. A: I don't think anything has changed because if something did then we wouldn't even need this movement in the first place. As far as for the future, I think it will get better but racism doesn't really just "die out". People will have their opinions forever, but laws should be set to prevent those people from hurting others over things they cannot control. Source: Kaur, Harmeet. "About 93% of Racial Justice Protests in the US Have Been Peaceful, a New Report Finds." CNN, Ca- ble News Network, 4 Sept. 2020, www.c- nn.com/2020/09/04/us/blm-protests- peaceful-report-trnd/index.htm l ∎ Q: Do you think anything will change/has changed?
Advocating for Mental Health in Schools
By Lauren Billings
According to save.org, suicide is the second-highest cause of death in peo- ple fi t een to twenty-four years of age. 48,300 people committed suicide last year, and the numbers are only rising; an increase of twenty percent from 2000. Depression, stress, and family is- sues are common causes of suicide, which get magnified in the high school setting. Classes are stressful and take a signifi- cant amount of time. College prepara- tion and applications put stress on stu- dents, as well as the constant pressure from peers to fit in causes a great deal of stress on students. I decided to go around and ask two teachers, a principal, and a student about how they feel schools are advo- cating for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Leah Barczuk, a senior at Hononegah Community High School, faced me while I sat in my father's forest green o ff ice. Leah is someone who was af- fected by suicide in her life and is a great advocator for mental health awareness. Surrounded by tools of all kinds and hunting posters, I dive into this deep topic of mental health in teens. Shocked when I told her the sta- tistics from save.org, she sighed and responded that we, as a community, could do better in our e ff orts in aiding mental health awareness. Mrs. Houghton, a Willowbrook Middle School teacher, met me in her class- room, one that I had sat in day to day when I attended there. Mrs. Houghton is one of the most caring people I've ever met, and she is someone I wanted to interview because she cares about her students in a compassionate and unique way. Her room is lined with informational posters, pillows of all kinds, and her fa- vorite family pictures, her room is a room that makes you feel at home in a school. I began the questioning of how she knows when a kid is struggling. "There's a complete withdrawal from life, a glazed over look in their eyes," she began to tell me. She followed on with a tale of how she deals with kids who are struggling, or she knows need more attention. "I base my seating chart around them… I put them closer to me, and the placement makes them
over I grabbed my things and went over to this student's house and rang the doorbell." She goes on to tell of how she consoled the student, even bringing them Houghton's favorite things, Pepsi and chocolate. "Those forty-five minutes changed her life for the rest of the school year… I gave her a lifeboat." She believes she started a chain reaction of students being a little more cheery and looking out for each other to a greater extent. Following that question, and a little bit more discussion, I ended the interview with a final series of questions, all deal- ing with "what's next" for the future of these lives. Houghton figures the best she can do now is look out for students in need all the time, but also keep on going with the social-emotional learning put in place by the admin at Willowbrook. She tells of how once a week, all teach- ers are required to incorporate this top- ic into their everyday teaching plans. That week was The Tell-Tale Heart , by Edgar Allan Poe, and the social-emo- tional education was going to dive into educating the students about mental illnesses, such as the one seen in the story. She believes it helps quite a large amount of the kid's day to day lives and hopes that it'll continue. Barczuk responded with how she'd like to become a therapist in the future, specifically a horticultural therapist, someone who does therapy in a hands- on matter, dealing with plants and veg- etational growth. She also hopes to see more changes to Hononegah's learning in the future, advocating for more men- tal health awareness wherever she goes. We also discussed what Hononegah could do more to advocate on this top- ic. Barczuk suggested charity walks or weekly check-ins. We plan to recon- vene later on and further discuss these topics and ways to advocate. Mr. Dougherty hopes to see "social- emotional education come to Honone- gah, especially at the freshman level. An orientation type of course." He has been working on meeting with a few clubs and the board to get the ball rolling on more advocacy on this topic, including the start of a "Mental Health Po d c a s t C l u b " b a s e d o u t o f Hononegah. Enjoying the day she's started for stu- dents, Mrs. Ball hopes to continue with her WOW days, and hopes to further the social-emotional learning at Wil- lowbrook. "The parents love these days. Kids are excited to do them. It is
very positive, almost like you're getting PE, but without the main aspect of PE." I blurted out "No more gym clothes!" in excitement, which ended our interview with a round of laughs and reminiscing on the times I had there. Overall, despite the heaviness of the topic and what I discussed with these interviewees, I received more than what I was hoping to hear for schools and a very optimistic outlook on what's to come for the future of educa- tion and how these new generations will be suited to deal with this topic ∎
who played the White Rabbit, only used a bunny ears headpiece and her gray outfit-- although by Miranda's body language and facial expressions, the audience could understand the role she was trying to fill. Onstage, there was also little to no decorative scenery, which contributes to the idea of inter- pretation and gives the audience the ability to use their own imagination. As compared by Mr. Mazur, when some- one reads a book there are o t en no pictures; however, their imagination is able to create pictures, similar to a "pop-up storybook". Throughout the preparation prior to the production, both the actors and the directors have had to make adjust- ments to their previous plans due to the pandemic. There was the first thing t h a t h a d t o b e t a k e n i n t o consideration-- the hybrid schedule. Since there are both purple and gold days this year, students do not come to school on the same day. Because of this, on the days students don't go to school, there had to be extra health and temperature checks. To make the process more lighthearted, Mr. Mazur o ff ered prizes for those who got the "exact temperature of the day". For ex- ample, if the "temperature of the day" was 98.6 degrees, and a student got that temperature, they would get a package of popcorn or some sort of small reward. When asked about the challenges due to COVID-19, the general cast replied that "staying socially distant" was the hardest accommodation that had to be made. Whether on stage, in the dress- ing rooms or in the hallways, staying Challenges Down the Rabbit Hole
Outlooks on the Performance
"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" was an interesting approach into the original tale and wonderfully done by the cast and crew! I enjoyed how the various roles of the cast acted along- side the main characters on stage. I feel like it helped create visuals and give in- sight into the plot of the story. There were certain lines that the entire cast would vocalize either from the wings or from on stage that helped contribute to the main character's lines as well. I also appreciated being able to watch it live online regardless of the circum- stances. Even through video, you could tell who was speaking. Overall, con- gratulations to everyone who played a role in this production! When interviewing with the director of the play, Mr. Mazur mentioned that the idea originated from the Theater II class last spring-- until the pandemic struck. The class continued to develop the play during quarantine, and over time they had come across the idea of interpretation. Group interpretation is centered around the idea of o ff stage focus. Rather than more props and scenery, the audience has the ability to use their imagination. "We create Won- derland with our voices, with our facial expressions, with our body language, with our interpretation of the story in these characters," Mazur says. Another concept for interpretation was the costuming and the multiple roles. By wearing plain gray shirts/dresses, the cast members were able to switch their roles with a small array of cos- tumes. For instance, Miranda Fishe, How the Production Came to Be
Down the Rabbit Hole
By Annalise Schmidt and Olivia Gib- son
A Brief Overview
In the interpretation of the play, "Alice in Wonderland", the viewers saw the main character, Alice, fall down a rab- b i t h o l e i n t o a p l a c e c a l l e d Wonderland. There, she met many strange and fanciful characters, who add to the story in unique and original ways. She encounters well-known characters, such as the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, and Twee- dledee and Tweedledum. Hononegah performed their own version in the fall p l a y " A l i c e ' s A d v e n t u r e s i n Wonderland."Through this version, the audience has the ability to use their own imagination while diving into the original tale.
Alice, played by senior Jenna Koroll, lures the White Rabbit, played by freshman Miranda Fishe, with a carrot.
2. Wash hands for 20 seconds prior to entering the dance floor. 3. Stand inside and use provided hula-hoops to maintain a safe distance away from other stu- dents and sta ff . No student is al- lowed to misuse the hula-hoops, and those unwilling to follow this rule will be asked to leave. Can you even begin to imagine a Homecoming dance in an environment as such? English teacher, Mr. Reynolds would appreciate each person attend- ing homecoming to be placed in an acrylic, see-through, hermetically sealed bubble or pod that contains in- ternal oxygen. Then attendees can dance by bouncing o ff each other while still sustaining appropriate distance between their actual bodies. He also says that we can put snacks and so t drinks in the bubbles as well. What a considerate man Mr. Reynolds is. I would have no idea what I would do at homecoming without food or drinks. One year ago, we would have had a week of festivities: themes, dances, football games, and an overwhelming amount of Hononegah school spirit, but how does this treasured tradition look during a pandemic? Truth is: no one knows. When junior Addison Laumer was asked how she would want Homecoming during a pandemic to look, she replied with "If we had homecoming during the pandemic, I would want it to be safe and fun. I don't care if we have masks, I just real- ly want homecoming to happen! I think tables with other people would be fun instead of a dance floor too." Maybe in- stead of having a homecoming dance,
The cast of the fall play "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" socially distanced on stage.
six feet apart from one another can be challenging at times. Normally, the cast would interact with each other more on stage; however, since they could not do that this year they had to exaggerate their movements so the au- dience could understand what was go- ing on. Another struggle that had to be overcome was wearing masks onstage. Originally the directors considered us- ing checkered masks to go along with the theme of Alice in Wonderland. De- spite this original idea, they decided to use clear masks instead, so the audi- ence could see the actors' facial ex- pressions as well as who was talking. One of the biggest worries of the direc- tors concerned what would happen if one of the actors or members of the crew contracted the virus. For instance, if a student had tested positive or had to be quarantined due to being in close contact with one another; these people would not be able to come to school, or practice for two weeks. It was impor- tant that they took as many precau- tions as to not let this happen. "You just have to keep your hands clean, check your health, wear a mask the whole time, and keep distancing. But as long as you're within that, we can still function as a society. And that's part of it too, showing what could pos- sibly be done," Mazur comments. These precautions continued to last even a t er the show ended. During bows, hand sanitizer dispensers were brought up and placed on the ends of the stages, so the actors could safely take their bows without endangering anyone. Regardless of COVID, the directors and both cast and crew were very delighted to be able to take part in the play. "We took a moment to recognize that we're a part of history," said Mazur. "In a
weird way, and in the same way that the Dodgers won the world series dur- ing COVID, and that the class of 2021 produced a Fall play during COVID when very few theaters were even open or could even do a show. I think when we look back on this, it'll be well remembered, it'll be inspirational what they were able to do…" In similarity to looking back on the past, when asked what his favorite quote or line was, Mr. Mazur replied-- it is part of the story of the walrus and a carpenter who tricks some oysters into taking a walk with them. In the play, Tweedledee proclaims, "and then they eat the oysters!" The boys giggle. Alice then responds, "You shouldn't laugh, I feel bad for the little oysters" Tweedle- dum retaliates with "don't be, they weren't real" in Act One. Mr. Mazur mentions that the specific line "don't be, they weren't real" was most likely one of his favorite lines because he be- lieves it emphasizes the idea of fantasy contrasting to real life. The actors por- tray fictional characters, yet they still h a v e t h e i r o w n i n d i v i d u a l personalities. Take the caterpillar with the hookah pipe for instance. The audi- ence perceives the caterpillar character smoking a hookah pipe, yet they recog- nize the student isn't actually smoking. It's pretend. Other favorite lines from t h e p r o d u c t i o n w e r e , " T h e mayonnaise, the mustard, the dog bis- cuits!" which was a group line said al- together during a di ff erent scene. When asking the crew why other stu- dents should want to join the play, se- nior Jenna Koroll comments, It's good to be a part of people who have the same interests as you. As a group we overcame a lot of challenges," while se- Favorite Lines
nior Madison Gunderson says, "It was something to look forward to at the end of the day." ∎
Dancing Around the Pandemic
By Jocelyn Fetting
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Hon- onegah students who intend on at- tending the Homecoming dance in the year of 2020 must:
1. Wear a full-body hazmat suit over their attire.
Seniors (from le t to right) Marina Croasdale, Joseph Kline, Megan McDonald, Kaitlynn Carlson, and Ethan Larson pose for Hononegah's Halloween Spirit Week.
we can have a homecoming game night. Ooh, that sounds fun!
club meets every week on either Thurs- days or Fridays, depending on what day your group has school. Every week, a contest is held where you can submit your own makeup or outfit look to po- tentially win a prize! During meetings you'll sign in, hand in your pledge form --a form confirming your membership and understanding of the pandemic safety precautions-- find out the win- ner of the photo contest, and learn about upcoming events. Events could include videos about Fashion News Live, a movie such as the Devil Wears Prada, or just discussions about every- one's favorite makeup or outfit looks. If you're not convinced yet, then here's an interview of a freshman member of the club, Katherine Chambers: Q: Why did you join the Fashion and Cosmetology Club? A: I joined because I wanted to learn more about fashion and makeup. Q: What do you enjoy about this club? A: I enjoy learning about makeup and
all of the activities we do such as the weekly photo contest. It's fun to try out new looks and submit them for prizes. Q: Why do you enjoy these aspects or activities? A: It's just fun to meet new people and learn more about something I didn't know a lot about previously. I'd love for new members to join our club. The Fashion and Cosmetology club is a great outlet during this pandemic. If you want to try something new and meet people, then I know Mrs. Christo ff and the other members would love to have you ∎
Fashion and Cosmetology Club
However, with the football team begin- ning its season in February, the oppor- tunity to have a homecoming is slim to none. Still, to compensate for this lack of homecoming, Hononegah had a spooky themed spirit week in celebra- tion of Halloween! Some of Honone- gah's clubs, such as Student Council and Key Club, participated in a multi- tude of di ff erent activities. For example, the Student Council created themed dress-up days, Key Club host- ed a coin blitz, and there was a Trunk or Treat on Friday, October 30th that many clubs participated in. Even though a fall Homecoming was a bust, I say, lets look on the bright side: the year 2020 is rapidly coming to an end! And to this, I say, let's be optimistic and dance even if we don't have a Home- coming--- as the wise Friedrich Niet- zsche once said, "We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once." ∎
By Kelly Hernandez
Hononegah has been extremely di ff er- ent due to Covid-19 regulations this year, but we all have to keep our heads up and find something to keep our- selves busy. So, if you're considering joining a club, then Fashion and Cos- metology might be the club for you! Fashion and Cosmetology Club centers around makeup, but this fun and cre- ative club is also a great place to meet new friends, win prizes, and even occa- sionally watch a movie. Fashion and Cosmetology club is a low- key club that doesn't put attendance as a requirement. If you're interested in joining by the end of this article, then you can email Mrs. Christo ff for more information, or listen to the announce- ments about upcoming meetings. The
Hopes and Hoops
By Jocelyn Fetting
The Corona Virus has ruined many op- portunities in 2020; however, girls bas- ketball coach, Mr. Brunke, is desperate-
The Fashion and Cosmetology Club's purple group members with advisor Mrs. Christo ff .
Freshman members Kelly Hernandez and Katherine Chambers assist with the club's Harry Potter themed "Trunk or Treat."
The Fashion and Cosmetology Club's gold group members.
it for school activities, news, or even just for fun, it's no doubt that millions of adolescents are hooked. This isn't necessarily a negative phenomenon, especially when it may help them es- cape from reality for the time being. "I think it's fun to be able to meet and interact with new people and have a space to geek out about the things you enjoy with other people who enjoy it", said Laura, a 19 year-old from Seattle, "It's a safe place to have fun and ex- press your interests without feeling judged." Annie (name changed), 16, a fellow Hononegah student, also explained," There are so many incredible elements of Twitter, primarily the fact that it's a global community. It allows users to form friendships with or gain the per- spectives of individuals that they would never meet or interact with in real life." Twitter gives thousands of teenagers an outlet to convey them- selves in a way that no other social me- dia can. It brings people together and creates a secure and welcoming envi- ronment for those who need one. Not only does Twitter provide a safe haven, but it's a beneficial platform for teens to become educated and gain knowledge on topics that they wouldn't normally see or even care about, given that a lot of young people don't watch the televised news. Allie, a student at Savannah College of Art and Design, says, "I feel like I know a lot more about what's going on with the world, as well as more about the peo- ple in my age group and how the world has changed." An abundance of teens not only in America, but also around the world, may live in environments where they aren't allowed to speak their minds freely on certain issues happening in our society. Twitter and other platforms give them the chance to use their voice and establish individ- ualism. It's important for adolescents nowadays to understand that it's okay to not follow what others are doing, but to embrace who they are and what they believe in. Although Twitter can be a positive space, social media does have it's dark side. Laura stated,"I spent a lot of time on it, probably more than I reasonably should have. It's addicting, although you could say the same for any social media platform." This isn't exactly as dark as, say, cyber- bullying or harassment, but distrac- tions such as Twitter or any other plat- form can cause ri t s in a teens life and a ff ect aspects such as school or jobs. Not only can social media cause teens to lose track of important things, but as Annie puts it, "It's really easy to get too
caught up in the 'drama' on social me- dia, and it's important to know what matters and what doesn't in life. Social media should be a fun bonus to life, not the point of life which it has be- come for a lot of teens." Some kids get wholly consumed with what is happen- ing on their phone rather than what is happening in real life, and it can be- come a very dangerous problem, very quickly. Of course everyone's experience is dif- ferent, someone can't simply know whether or not they are going to have a positive or negative experience. "In my personal experience it's done more harm than good, I ended up falling in with the wrong group of people," Laura commented, "With Twitter, if a group decides they don't like you, you will be outcast and pushed o ff of your plat- form." Twitter isn't just a "good or bad" place, it has also helped teens explore their own interests and get to know themselves better the more they have used it, or in Annie's own words, "It's definitely helped me. Before being on twitter, I was more shy about my inter- ests since I didn't know many people in Rockton that shared them. Knowing that other people think about and en- joy the same things that I do has made my life more fun."
Current senior Alison Murdoch poses the girl's basketball 2018 Regional Champions award.
ly trying to make this season as posi- tive as possible. Due to the social dis- tancing order that was placed on Hon- onegah athletes, summer preparations for basketball were disrupted and de- layed fall contact. As the season will be shorter than usual, this year the Hon- onegah basketball team will be mainly playing conference teams only. Mr. Brunke is also making sure that all bas- ketball players are safe and protected by enforcing a mask rule to run drills and prohibiting scrimmaging to keep distance. Just like all previous years, Mr. Brunke's main goal for the season is for all players to enjoy their time on the court and give it their all. The pandem- ic definitely places restrictions on the comp e t i t i v e co n t a c t s p o r t o f basketball, but it is something the t e am i s d e a l i n g w i t h - - - a n d conquering---as a whole. More so than the rest of the team, the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on four-year varsity player, Alison Mur- doch. When asked what she is most ex- cited about in the 2020 season, Mur- doch states "being able to play" and "a season in general". This talented young woman was even recruited for college basketball and made her decision to attend University of Wisconsin-Stout in the fall of 2021. Coach Brunke had a couple of things he would like to thank Murdoch, the solo senior this year, for: her contributions to the team, the lead- ership she exhibited, being a tremen- dous asset to the Hononegah basket- ball team as a four-year varsity player, and most importantly, the growth that she displayed on and o ff the court. As I am someone who has gotten to know Murdoch over the course of these last couple of months, I would have to say
that tenacity is one of Murdoch's best qualities-- and not only in basketball-- but also in thriving in multiple AP classes, recovering from an injury over the summer, and just being one of the funniest and best people I know. The best thing about Alison is that she is not only a terrific player on the court, but she is also a spectacular person o ff the court, and those aren't qualities you find in everyone. At the end of the day, as we all know, COVID isn't anything to shoot baskets with, but with a positive attitude and determination it can be easier to bear. We do not know what the 2020 girls basketball season looks like, but I'll cross my fingers that it is a memorable one ∎
Since launching in 2006, Twitter has revolutionized how people talk and communicate with each other, making online connections easier than ever. Now in 2020, it's become one of the largest ways teenage fans communi- cate worldwide. Teens are a ff ected and influenced by many di ff erent aspects of their lives. Parents, friends, culture, and society all can have an everlasting imprint on who someone is as a person. Social media has expanded, if not completely changed, the informa- tion and knowledge that today's teenagers receive. Whether this is more positive or negative remains to be seen, but what should be known is that social media platforms have truly changed the way many young adults go about their day to day lives and how they perceive what is happening in the world around them ∎
Twitter and the Teenage Brain
By Hudsyn Garcia
Since launching in 2006, Twitter has ac- cumulated 330 million users, 32% of which are teenagers 13-17 years old-- possibly one of the largest stan demo- graphics ever. During these develop- mental years, exposure to such a wide- spread and user-heavy platform can have lasting e ff ects on minds that are easily influenced. I sat down with teens across the country to see what exactly goes on beyond the screen. As many parents, and fellow young people alike, know, social media has become a major part of many teenagers' daily lives. Whether they use
2. The toxic friend will constantly search for ways to put you or oth- ers down. If you notice that your friend is o t en undermining your accomplishments or never com- plimenting you, this is a red flag for a toxic friend. 3. They make everything about themselves. Toxic friends love to be the center of attention. They will o t en attract the subject of most conversations to something about them or their interests. They rarely will allow you to dis- cuss your interests and feelings. When you do, they will try to shi t the conversation away from it. 4. They will try to compete with you. Toxic friends love to be the best at everything and anything. They will try to make everything a competition, even if you don't intend for it to be one. 5. They are jealous of your other friends. If you notice them get- ting jealous every time you hang out with someone else, they are a toxic friend. They want to be with you and only you. They will o t en be clingy and sometimes obsessive. If you notice these signs in any of your friends, begin to note these incidents. When you see that these events are happening o t en, begin to think about ways that you can help yourself to es- cape this toxic situation. In my experi- ence, and in many others, this process is never easy. Because toxic friends are o t en manipulative, they will do every- thing in their power to keep you in their control. Dropping a toxic friend can be scary sometimes. They may threaten you or make you feel nervous about leaving. Luckily, because I have experienced these situations, I have
Letter to my Freshman Self
Arts & Entertainment
some tips to help you through this transition.
Toxic friends are di ff icult, especially during freshman year when it is tough to make new friends. But, no matter how tough it gets, remember to respect yourself. You are in control of your hap- piness. If there are people in the way of that, don't let them control you. In or- der to respect yourself, you need to find people who respect you as well. Stay strong, and remember that things will get better. No matter what, always be true to yourself.
By Kaitlyn Niedfeldt
Dear Freshman Year Kaitlyn,
Begin by talking directly to the toxic friend. Try to do this in a calm, safe, and controlled location. If you think that the situation is going to get out of hand or possibly violent, have a trust- ed adult nearby or in close contact. This is important to establish a sense of safety for both yourself and the oth- er person. Nobody wants to feel unsafe in this situation, especially since it is al- ready stressful from the start. Come into the conversation with a few talk- ing points. These can be behaviors that you've been noticing, situations with this person where you felt unsafe or in- valid, or even times when they've threatened you or made you feel un- comfortable. Pointing out these behav- iors is vital in these situations. Some- times toxic friends are unaware that their behavior is toxic or hurtful. During this conversation, speak clearly and calmly about what you've been notic- ing. If you notice them starting to get defensive or irrational, o ff er them a chance to take a break for them to cool o ff . Confronting someone is tough for both parties and the toxic friend can easily get overwhelmed. If you notice that the other person is veering o ff course, return to your talk- ing points and try to get back on track. The most important thing for both par- ties is to remain calm and collected. Whatever you do, don't try to argue with them. They may try to start drama with you or get you worked up. If you feel overwhelmed, do not force your- self to stay in the room. Remember that you are in control of the situation, not the toxic friend. As you get towards the end of your con- versation, try to talk about ways that you can work with the other person to fix the problems in your friendship. Ex- plain to them that you will not tolerate being manipulated. Tell them that they will not get multiple chances to contin- ue being toxic. Help them to under- stand that you see their toxic personal- ity and that you don't want to be con- trolled by it. A t er the conversation, things may fix themselves but unfortu- nately, a majority of the time toxic friends will go back to their old ways. If they go back to their old ways, it may be time to dump them. Don't feel oblig- ated to stay friends with them. Regard- less of how long you've known them or how close they are to you, remember that at the end of the day your mental health and self-respect come first.
Welcome to the maze that we call Hon- onegah Community High School! By this time, you have completed your first few weeks of high school. You've semi-learned where your classes are, what side of the hallway to walk on, and most importantly, that the passing period bell is NOT a fire alarm. You've also started to make new friends. Some of them will come and go; others will stick with you until senior year. Learning who these good-quality friends are will be di ff icult. You will make a lot of friends but also lose many. In this letter, you will learn how to identify what is known as a "toxic friendship." A toxic friend is someone who will of- ten put you down and immediately ex- pect you to pick them up. They will try to drain your energy from you for their own gain. As you read this, you may start to notice that you have a few peo- ple in your life who behave like this. If not, here are 5 more signs that your friend is toxic. 1. They o t en cause drama. Some p e o p l e m a y c a l l t h i s "gaslighting" which occurs when a person purposely manipulates you or your friend group in order to cause you to question your own reality, memory, or percep- tions. The result of gaslighting is o t en conflict or drama in a friend circle.
Love, Senior Year Kaitlyn ∎
Student Submitted Poetry
Hononegah Highlights requested poet- ry submissions from students. Below are some of the selected pieces. Thank you to Jocelyn Fetting for organizing the submission process.
Untitled Cole Gerhardt, 9th grad e
There's a storm coming, I feel my inner thunder rumbling, rain frommy brain dripping, ice in my heart forming, I'm running for shelter, seeking for something I can never find, gears going keeping me alive, tears flowing but I'm alright, and I'll be damned if there is time where I just give up on the night and refuse to fight, darkness taking over the light, my head's in the sky, about to crash this flight at any given second, this is the start of something bad yet I'm the pilot and I'm still in the sky, both wings are attached, so I have to pull up and aim for the stars, because there's no falling back, no plan-B or back up plan, I was dealt this one hand, but the cards were o t en bland, useless like a clear crayon, or the mirror man, or like six-hundred-grand when you feel like the fakest man, when nobody likes you and you're not even your own biggest fan, I got some views on the gram, but it makes no di ff erence when I just feel bad, you could see all my happiness in just one glance, That's why I told everyone I was going to make a di ff erence for myself,
Kaitlyn compares her freshman and senior portraits.
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