Friday, November 18, 2016

November Edition Additional Features

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King honored to represent MHS in Washington D.C.

Juliana Discher | Staff Writer
Instead of teaching kids to fly fish and identify bird calls, Language Arts and Words from the Wild teacher Tim King was exploring monuments in the nation’s capital after being selected by his colleagues to represent Mason High School in accepting one of the country’s most prestigious academic honors.
MHS was one of the 279 public schools deemed a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School. This award is based on overall academic excellence or a school’s progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. With the honor, MHS staff were able to vote for a teacher to represent them during the award ceremony in Washington D.C. and teacher Tim King was their nominee.
King has been a teacher at MHS for 33 years. He said he was humbled by the nomination to visit D.C. from November 6-8.
“It felt like a great honor,” King said. “I really admire the teachers that I work with and I feel like there are other people that are more qualified than I am, but they apparently chose me. I wanted to do a good job representing them.”
This was King’s first time in Washington D.C., which made the experience more memorable, King said.
“It was emotional and educational,” King said. “We first went to the Jefferson Memorial and the things written on the walls moved me a lot. One thing was about the importance of public education in a democracy. It reminded me how essential my job is as a teacher.”
King went on the trip with Public Information Officer Tracey Carson, Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline, Principal Dave Hyatt and his wife MMS athletic director Stephanie Hyatt. King said he enjoyed the opportunity to bond with the school officials and share a couple of funny moments.
“One of the greatest things about it was getting to know everyone who I went with,” King said. “One funny incident happened when the woman in charge of the Blue Ribbon danced throughout the award ceremony. Almost everybody who came up to receive their award danced. I like to dance, but I’m not good at it, so I had to try to dance my way across the stage. Dr. Kist-Kline had us try to dab.”
King said the Blue Ribbon ceremony greatly impacted him.
“The ceremony was incredible,” King said. “Teachers talked about how rewarding teaching was which was great because sometimes we forget. My pride for being a Mason teacher and for the country has strengthened. Having people tell me I’m making a difference felt really good.”
King had nothing but gratitude for the staff who allowed him this opportunity.
“I want to thank the staff, not only the teachers but the people who work at the high school, for choosing me to represent them,” King said. “It was a great honor, and I hope I represented them well.”
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Breaking it Down: Fall Makeup Looks

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Hooked on Snapchat

Illustration by Alekya Raghavan

Juliana Discher | Staff Writer
For some Snapchat users, maintaining that 100 day Snapstreak is worth giving a friend your account sign-in or even paying a person to help keep the streak.
Since its release in September 2011, Snapchat has constantly been evolving to keep users engaged. The popular mobile app began with allowing users to send pictures and videos for a set period of time but now has a variety of additional features. The inclusion of filters and memories have allowed users to explore the app in new ways. But one addition to the app has inspired a dedication to sending snaps in a whole new way– Snapstreaks.
Senior Josephine Waller has maintained a 523 day Snapstreak. This means Waller has sent a Snap to somebody and they have sent one back for more than 500 days. Waller said that this continuous Snapping has allowed her to stay in closer contact with her friend.
“I would probably cry if we broke our streak,” Waller said. “I send them to my friend in college. It helps me to stay in contact with her. We celebrated our one year Snapstreak anniversary–we went and got ice cream.”
In an effort to preserve Snapstreaks, while users are unable to use their phones, some people give their Snapchat log-in information to a friend to Snap in their absence. Senior Mikey Loehr first performed this when he went to a summer camp where he was not allowed to have his phone.
“A lot of kids who went to summer camp with Young Life gave their friends their log-in to keep their streaks,” Loehr said. “Now that I have my phone back, it’s routine, you wake up and Snap.”
Senior Tyler Chumney said Snapstreaks are an unnecessary ploy by Snapchat.
“It’s stupid, because Snapchat just made that feature so users will use their service more,” Chumney said. “It’s a marketing feature. People are dumb that they think it matters. People need to chill and take it less seriously. ”
Some users put in work to maintain several Snapstreaks at one time; this is true for freshman Eileen Groene.
“I have streaks with fifty different people,” Groene said. “It’s kind of hard to keep up with them. In the morning in the car I snapchat everyone and say ‘Streak’ and then continue the conversation with a select few. ”
In an AP Psychology class, students were given the assignment to stay off their phone for a week, aside from calling. Senior Gabby Tysl said many students were concerned, because they would lose their Snapstreaks.
“The thought made me sad, because I work really hard to maintain them,” Tysl said. “I have 33 streaks and my highest is 231 days. So, I am keeping them throughout the assignment because losing a streak is a very hard thing to deal with.”
Tysl said losing a Snapstreak can be an emotional experience.
“I feel disappointed because keeping a streak is entertaining and funny, so when I lose a streak, it’s frustrating,” Tysl said. “But then I usually just start it over again.”
For senior Lorna Martin, the addictive quality of Snapstreaks makes the pain of losing a streak even worse.
“I feel stressed out because I see it as a way to stay in touch with my friends and if I don’t keep my streaks up I feel like I’m losing my friendship in some way,” Martin said. “If you go without Snapchat, you lose your streaks and a lot of people take pride in them and see that as a sign of strong friendship. Being out of touch with my friends makes me feel anxious.”
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Astrology or Absurdity?

Upon reading staff writer Jacob Fulton's Chronicle story on horoscopes, I decided to give my thoughts.

The whole concept of horoscopes has always seemed hokey to me. The idea of a birthday determining a person's personality or fate seems irrational. I don't think being a Capricorn is the reason why I am 'practical' or 'determined'. I am who I am.

Here are my biggest issues with astrology.

1. There are so many astrology sites, it's impossible to know which one is correct.

There are thousands of different predictions for what my day is going to be like. Here are three predictions of my day today, all different. How would I know which site to trust?

2. Astrology doesn't have actual scientific proof behind it.

This cartoon from NASA says it best!

3. They recently 'changed' the dates of the signs.

A few months ago, there was controversy over whether horoscope signs were changing. Apparently, NASA had added a new thirteenth sign and that shifted all of the other signs. NASA was quick to shut down these claims, and it seems as if most people have already forgotten about the shake-up.

4. Astrologists online and in newspapers make money off of these cheap 'predictions'.

The reason why we see horoscope predictions so often is because they're easy to write. Most of the time they don't really require actual research because actual research can't be done.

5. The information in your horoscope is sometimes so general, it can fit for anyone, no matter what sign they are.

I just read through a website with horoscope predictions for today's date, and I could apply about half of them to my life currently. Maybe I'm a Capricorn, Gemini, Sagittarius, and Taurus trapped in one body, or maybe life is complex. Seems a little fishy to me.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the sham, but if you believe in horoscopes or think they're a fun way to kill some time, go for it! I'm not shaming you for your personal beliefs. I hope the stars will forever be in your favor.