Senior reminders!

N-Senior reminders, AvangStaff writer
by ANN VANG

Oh how everyone hates high school but ends up missing it… welcome back miners, especially you seniors! Now that we are back to waking up at seven, and now that school is back in session, there are a couple of things that you seniors need to keep up with.

First, since you have or should have already applied for the colleges you are considering, it is now time to apply for financial aid which is now available at fafsa.gov. You must hurry and finish filling out the forms because the portal closes in early March, and If you need more information, attend FAFSA night which will be taking place on February 4th in the El diamante library. In addition, it is a good idea to send in a copy of your SAT and ACT scores to all of your selected colleges if you already have not. Also keep in mind that just because you have applied for college does not mean your job is complete. Constantly check your email because colleges may request for additional information. If you fail to keep track of deadlines, it may affect your admission badly.

Secondly, start applying for scholarships. You can visit the student service office for information on local scholarships or you may simply search nationwide scholarships on the internet. I know many of you guys will probably think it is a waste of time because your chances are slim. Nevertheless, do it anyways. You never know, you may win five hundred dollars or even five thousand just for writing a good essay. It is worth the hassle. So please take the time to consider signing up for scholarships because you need all the financial support you can possibly get.

Thirdly, we all know that the most important dance is coming up in May, so ladies and gentlemen, if you are planning to customize your selected garment, it is best to start sending in measurements and placing orders now. Not only does it usually take more than a month for designers to finish perfecting garments, but by now we should all learn that avoiding procrastination will avoid trouble.

Fourthly,  purchase your yearbooks! Yes, I say “your” because it is no one’s year more than it is yours. Like myself, many of us do not have brilliant memory, and that is okay because photos can be used as a secondary memory. A yearbook may not be as useful to have now, but ten to twenty years from now, you are going to open the thing and laugh tons, perhaps even cry. If you already have not, buy one as soon as possible, supremely because prices go up the more you postpone. So seniors, get to it! You will be glad you bought one.

Fifthly, realize that this is our last year of being treated like a kid, although senior year may be about relaxing, be aware that a portion of senior year is supposed to be about sorting out priorities. Even though some colleges do not review grades from twelfth grade for admission, there are other schools that will. Make sure that you are doing well in class because grades reflect character. Most importantly and unlike high school, college is not free. Begin adjusting study habits now because college most likely will not offer second chances on exams nor put up with excuses on why your paper is late. The stunts you have pulled on your high school teachers are not acceptable with college professors. It is best to start preparing yourself now.

And lastly, remember to enjoy! Get involved with several activities and attend school events. Senior year should be balanced between work and fun. Bring home good grades, but come home knowing you enjoyed the day as well. We do not get any younger and will not be getting younger; time cannot rewind itself. Graduation is less than five months away, make these last months count!

Zombie Apocalypse!

by MELISSA VANG
Staff Writer

 

You might think, what could take the place of vampires and werewolves after the whole Twilight craze? Vampires and werewolves were in for the last few years, now what is? The answer is, zombies. What better than a grueling living dead walking around mumbling and groaning nonsense? Actually that does not sound so appealing anymore, but yet to our bizarre tastes have taken a turn for another living dead population. Soon a wave of zombies will evade the year 2013.

On February 1st, 2013 a new movie called Warm Bodies will be released. The movie aims to be a romantic zombie movie based on the novel Warm Bodies written by Isaac Marion. R. The main character, is a zombie who does not have much to say verbally but has conscious thoughts about himself and the world around him. He questions his daily life and how things ended up the way it did, until one day he meets a girl named Julie Grigio, his love interest. Their meeting is not romantic in the slightest, it turns out to be a messy and gruesome “love at first sight”. He develops feelings for her in ways that changes the both of them and those around them. Watch the movie to see where their epic journey leads in theaters February 1st!

Another film you will hear about involving zombies stars Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane in the upcoming film World War Z. The trailer for the movies begins mysteriously in the streets of New York, but then there is a sudden outbreak, of course, a zombie outbreak. Gerry Lane is the main character who works for the United Nations. Throughout the movie Gerry Lane’s mission is to find the cure to the hectic zombie outbreak that has eaten up the countries around the world. The movie will come out later in the summer, on the 21st of June. It seems like a suspenseful movie for those who enjoy horror movies. I know I am not capable of holding my stomach so let’s just say I will watch the movie in third person.

I am positive there will be more movies to come featuring zombies, but these are just a couple of movies that will change the vampire/werewolf hype this year. The Walking Dead is another example of zombies invading our televisions and game consoles. This show has turned into a video game that has become famous for its RPG (role playing game). I believe Warm Bodies is targeted towards a younger audience like teenagers or young adults, but it can be enjoyable for all ages. Sure there are a few scary scenes but its all in the zombie package. World War Z is most likely for people who enjoy a thrilling horror movie, but this movie may not be suitable for everyone. So prepare yourselves for the zombie apocalypse of 2013, no more sparkling vampires or teenage werewolves, hello brain eating zombies!

Non-Procrastination Tips

by MIRIAM SANDERS and CHRIS TERCERO
Assistant Editor and Promotions Editor

 

Oh no! Last minute AP homework? Did also you wait to complete that humungous English project the night before it is due? You seem to be an AP student, which is this case does not mean advanced placement student; instead AP is standing for Advanced Procrastinator. That seems to put you in a predicament where the only way solving it is by pulling an all nighter to make sure you finish the project. When you finally finish the project, you promise yourself that you will never procrastinate again, and you will start it earlier next time. Are you lying to yourself? Yes, yes you are because we all know you are going to just wait until the night before for the next project and all projects after that. It is time to end this inevitable cycle you are living through. Just follow these few steps and you could be a recovered procrastinator and never leave anything to do last minute every again!
1. Pace Yourself. Set daily goals. Taking on a huge project all at once can be difficult, but there is a way to alleviate yourself from such pain. Set a daily goal of how much you are going to complete each day. Daily goals will help you because you feel successful if you complete the goals, and then in a short time, you will be completed with the entire project. It is better to take on little bits of the project at a time rather than do the entire project in one night.
2. Motivate yourself. Motivation can come from anywhere. If you would like to see your friends, then tell yourself you are going to complete some of your project before going out with your friends. The motivation depends on the person, so determine what makes you do your work, even if it means you have to ask your parents to help motivate you.
3. Punish yourself. If motivation does not work, then punish yourself. Tell your friends you are busy and cannot hangout. If that doesn’t work, then have your parent take your cell phone. This punishment will make you angry, but it will also motivate you to do more work.
4. Ask a friend or family member to help you keep on task. If you cannot motivate yourself, have a friend or family member help you stay on task. For instance, have your younger sibling hide your cell phone. Even though you will probably never see your cell phone again, at least your homework will be done.
5. Do not get side tracked. Getting side tracked is very dangerous. Distractions often come from the internet or your phone, so it is best to turn off all electronics if possible. Do not turn on the television. If you are working on the computer, do not go on any social network. It will only tempt you to browse the site and get sidetracked. Keep a clock near your work area to pace yourself. Just as you make daily goals, make hourly goals as well. Take a well deserved break every hour, but don’t stay on break forever. Listen to music if it is not distracting. It all depends on the person. If you work better in silence, find a quiet place to do your work.
6. Keep an agenda. Agendas are very helpful to keep on task.  Write down everything you have to do, and when  you are done, check it off. You will not only see the things you have to do, but the things you have completed. The agenda can be used for both school and outside of school. For example, you can remind yourself that you need to buy a gift for your friend’s birthday. Agendas save your grades and your friendships. Use agendas.
7. Do not live by the motto “I’ll do it tomorrow.” The biggest flaw of a procrastinator is putting it off until tomorrow. Imagine if there wasn’t a tomorrow.  If that were the case, your work would not be done, and your life would not be resolved.  Just act like there is no tomorrow. Finish your work with your head held high, so that you can do fun things the next day.
8. Work in daylight. Believe it or not, you work better when you are working in natural light rather than artificial light such as a light bulb, or if you’re very old-fashioned, a candle. It helps to have natural light. If it isn’t too cold or distracting for you, work outside in the fresh air. When you come from home, don’t promise yourself you will do your work later. Instead, do it very shortly after you get home from school so there is still daylight. In the winter it might be difficult since the sun goes down earlier, so just do the best you can. Doing your work earlier also helps because you are not exhausted.
9. Just sit down and do it. Right when you get home from school start your homework and finish it, that way you will not have to worry about it later in the day. If you get your homework out of the way at the very beginning, then you can move onto doing other things you enjoy.
10. Practice makes perfect. You are not going to be a diligent worker in a heartbeat. You must practice these habits to perfect your non procrastinating activities. With hard work and determination, you will get work finished faster, and you will not be waiting until the night before the project is due. These habits will reduce stress since you aren’t stressing about finishing the project in one night, and they will also allow you to have more rest, since you are not pulling an all nighter.
Don’t procrastinate, Miners. Don’t leave what could be done today for tomorrow. Keep up the good work!

The Hobbit trilogy

by JORDEN DUNGAN
Opinions Editor

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first installment of what will be a trilogy, photo courtesy of Jorden Dungan.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first installment of what will be a trilogy, photo courtesy of Jorden Dungan.

When J.R.R Tolkien published his second work of fiction, a children’s book titled The Hobbit, in 1937, and its sequel, The Lord of the Rings, published in its entirety in 1955, he created Middle Earth and subsequently unleashed a fanatical phenomena that is still unique to the modern age. In the last 56 years countless adaptations have been delivered to an ever-devout Tolkien fan base, the most recent and famous of which are Peter Jackson’s films. Upon concluding his Lord of Rings trilogy, director Jackson immediately expressed interest in adapting The Hobbit for the big screen – a prequel. The book itself does not reach even 300 pages, yet with a budget of five hundred million dollars, it has spawned three movies, each nearly three hours in length: An Unexpected Journey, released in December of 2012; The Desolation of Smaug to be released in 2013; and finally, There and Back Again in 2014.

The Hobbit films are set in Middle Earth, sixty years prior to the Fellowship, and follow the adventures, or misadventures, of young hobbit Bilbo Baggins as he is unexpectedly recruited to a company of dwarves seeking to reclaim their lost kingdom of Erebor, seized from them years earlier by the malicious dragon Smaug. It is on this quest that Bilbo comes across Gollum, obtains the Ring, and brings it back to the Shire, unbeknownst of its incredible power and importance.

The cast boasts many familiar faces from the preceding LoTR works, including Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Christopher Lee as Saruman the White, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Andy Serkis as Gollum, and Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey. In the leading role as young yet subtly courageous Bilbo Baggins is Martin Freeman, who is most known for his role as Tim on the UK version of The Office, and as John Watson in the BBC’s rendition of Sherlock Holmes. Richard Armitage, a vivacious fan of the children’s book, plays the dwarf’s company leader and rightful heir to what is now Smaug’s dominion, Thorin Oakenshield.

Huge technological advances have been made in the decade that separates the Return of the King, the final installment of LoTR, from The Hobbit, particularly in the realm of computer-generated imagery (CGI). Andy Serkis plays Gollum, the five century year old cave dwelling creature who was mutated physically and emotionally by the Ring, by acting out scenes inside of a motion capture suit. The camera is connected to a computer while filming and captures the suits movements, which are later reiterated digitally to overlap the suit and create Gollum. Which is nothing new; it was done for the previous films as well. But with the updated technology, new things suddenly come to life – Gollum can now wiggle his nose, perk his lips, and twitch all kinds of facial muscles that he never could before, which are exhibited proudly in close ups throughout. All three films were and are currently being shot in 48 frames-per-second, to be released in High Frame Rate 3D, which is all you could ask for in terms of high definition. The default rate of 24 frames-per-second came into play in the 1920’s, but in this digital age it is easier to increase the frame rate to create a clearer picture, and Jackson decided to innovate and take advantage of modern technology to give audiences the best picture possible.

Production for this latest trilogy took place mostly on location in New Zealand in various forestial places hardly ever touched by humans. The fictional village of Hobbiton was made real, and constructed in the rural town of Matamata, New Zealand for the filming of the Lord of the Rings. When the set is not being used by Peter Jackson and crew for filming, it serves as a casual farm where fans and tourists are welcome to look inside of the desolate hobbit holes.

But the prized location does not come without a price. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a statement alleging that the Hobbit crew were deliberately responsible for the deaths of at least 27 animals used in filming. Wranglers remarked that the farm on which the horses, sheep, goats, and chicken were kept was full of “death traps”, such as sinkholes and worn out fencing. At least two horses died as a result of the hazardous terrain, and afterwards the production team took steps to upgrade the fencing and build stables for the animals. It’s been proven that most of the animals a part of the high death toll passed due to natural causes. Zeppelin, a horse used on set, died due to a ruptured blood vessel, and two sheep died simply of old age. Although, at least a dozen chickens were mauled by unsupervised dogs, casualties which the producers attribute to “careless staff oversight”. The American Humane Association inspected the farm in Wellington and found that the housing and fencing facilities had already been upgraded to suit their safety standards.

Some fans, though enthusiastic as can be, cannot help but ask, “Why a trilogy? The book is so short and simple”. That is true. The Hobbit is, after all, a children’s book. A witty, whimsical, fantasy story that deals with the themes of friendship, loyalty, common sense, and personal growth. But, these films are prequels, a genre which serves to set the stage for the elaboration on events that, for the audience, have already taken place. This process consequently lengthens the journey by two more films. It won’t necessarily spoil anything by saying that the greater half of An Unexpected Journey is devoted to elements that were not present in Bilbo’s original journey whatsoever. There are creatures, characters, and events extracted from the Lord of the Rings and the History of Middle Earth. It’s expected that the next two films will share this characteristic, which is at its core, a way to be sure that this adaptation is thorough enough to appeal to a broader audience, satisfy the fan base, and continue the action-adventure trend that began with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

How to Ace the CAHSEE

by MIRIAM SANDERS and CHRIS TERCERO
Photography Editor and Promotions Editor

Sophomores! Your time has come to take the CAHSEE. First of all, what does CAHSEE even stand for? CAHSEE stands for California High School Exit Exam. It is a test that you must pass in order to graduate, so treat this test very seriously. Never fear, with these simple tips, you can ace the CAHSEE and be one step closer to graduation.
1. Get a good night’s sleep the night before. You will probably be trying to cram every last thing you can in the night before, but make sure you get to bed early and get a good nights sleep. Your body should be completely rested for the test so you won’t fall asleep during it. Getting 8 hours of sleep is the recommended amount to keep your body refreshed for the next day.
2. Eat a good breakfast the morning before. Eating a breakfast before a big test is always ideal. You do not want your stomach to be empty when you take a very important test. It is easier to concentrate when your tummy isn’t rumbling and your mind is focused on the task on hand.
3. Do the practice exercises in your homeroom. The practice exercises may seem dumb or pointless, but it is worth it to participate in them. Practice makes perfect. Studying is wonderful, and if you are having trouble in homeroom, then practice at home for at least an hour yourself. It feels so good to pass the CAHSEE, and studying will definitely help you pass.
4. Read and practice your basic math. Reading is very helpful to advance your vocabulary and writing. Just by reading a little each day, you can help improve your English, helping you be more likely to pass the CAHSEE. Even though math is a pain, practice your basic math. Memorize those multiplication charts and other algebraic formulas. Doing basic exercises in math can help you be more prepared for the test.
5. Take your time. The test has no time limit. Take your time; this test is not a race. If you finish early, you do not get to leave early, so you might as well take as much time as you need. There is no need to rush, because then you might not do the best that you can do.
6. Sharpen your pencils, and bring plenty of erasers. When preparing for class the day before, make sure you have at least two pencil and an eraser. It is better to have two pencils for the test because then if one breaks you have a back up. Hopefully you won’t be making too many mistakes, but if you do, you will have something to erase it with.
7. Put away all electronics. Electronics are not allowed to be out during the test, so turn them off and put them in your bag at the beginning of the class. It is not worth getting your test taken away and having to do it again the next year for being caught texting a friend or updating a status. The easiest thing to do is to just put all of your electronics in your bag in the off position.
8. Bring food and water. During the CAHSEE you will get parched and hungry, so bring food and water to keep your mind and body going while doing the test. There is no break while the test is going so have something to eat after the test to keep from getting hungry before lunch time.
9. Do your best. Bring your best to the table. Imagine you are presenting yourself through your work. You would want to present your best face, right? Doing your best is the best you can do. With all of the preparation you did before, walk into the test confident that you will do your best on the test. Do not blow off the test and say it is pointless. This test is the ticket to your diploma, along with passing all of your classes all four years.  Walk out of the test feeling great because you tried your hardest.
10. Relax. Take a deep breath. Just relax and feel calm. Do not constantly be worried and wound up before the test, during the test, and after the test waiting for the results. Stress is not good for you, in fact it causes health problems. Be less stressful, and just relax.
Let’s try to get everyone to pass the CAHSEE! Do your best! Good luck, Sophomores!

The Final Two

by AMANDA CRANSTON
Features Editor

The Super Bowl is arguably the most anticipated sporting event in America. Football is, after all, America’s sport, and while baseball may hold the title of “America’s Favorite Pastime”, football is undoubtedly second, if not truly first. The Super Bowl brings in the big bucks, for its commercials are those of legend. It is the finale of the football season, and February 3, 2013, will go down in history as the 47th Super Bowl, and the winner, whether the 49ers or the Ravens, will gain bragging rights and rings, and forever have those brutally beautiful memories.

 

While many rejoice at the pairing, Falcon and Patriot fans are still booing in their minds and hearts.  Both teams were so close, but victory slipped through their fingers.

 

The Patriots lost to the Ravens, in a much larger margin than the game they also lost in September. The score in September was 31-30, while the score on January 20 was 28-13. The recent game was especially disappointing because it was a home game for the Patriots at Gillette stadium. Tom Brady had 320 yards and a touchdown pass against the Ravens, which has made him the all-time leading playoff passer in the NFL with 5,949 passing yards. Brady also had his sixth career postseason 300-yard game, with 320 yards, tying him with Joe Montana and Kurt Warner for second most 300-yard games in the playoffs. The Ravens defense stepped it up though, and despite the monumental plays of the Patriots, the Ravens prevailed and will continue on to Super Bowl 47.

The Falcons lost to the 49ers 28-24. Perhaps what was more interesting than the game was a peculiar incident that occurred afterwards. A Falcons fan was stabbed by a 49ers fan. While the Falcons fan is now in stable condition, the 49ers fan remains on the loose. The game itself was a great show however. In the first quarter the Niners were down 17-0. By the end of the half the Falcons had scored all 24 of their points, but there would be no more. The 49ers slowly but surely came back to win the game and advance to Super Bowl 47, despite some very close calls on the part of the Falcons.

Super Bowl 47 will be, as all Super Bowls are, a thing of legend. This year it will be even more legendary because the head coach of the 49ers and the head coach of the Ravens are brothers, Jim and John Harbaugh, respectively. This is the first time the Super Bowl has ever been played between two coaching brothers.The winner and the loser in this now sibling rivalry will go down in history, the commercials will be full of laughs and intrigue, and the half-time show will be either amazing or the weirdest thing ever witnessed. The 49ers and the Ravens will face down February 3, and history will be written.

Obama’s 2nd Inauguration

The American flag has stood by Presidential inaugurations since the beginning, from Lincoln's to our 45th president, Barack Obama

The American flag has stood by Presidential inaugurations since the beginning, from Lincoln’s to our 45th president, Barack Obama

Noah Prill
Editor-in-chief

On January 21st, 2013, an ocean of American flags waved under overcast skies and hundreds of thousands of faces tilted up just before noon Monday as Obama stood on the Capitol’s West Front and repeated the oath of office in America’s 57th presidential inauguration. The atmosphere was festive, and an air of unity permeated through the massive crowds following Obama’s speech, despite a few calculated jabs at his opposition.

In an 18-minute speech, Obama paid tribute to the vast cultural, demographic and political changes that twice helped sweep him into office. In his address, Obama offered an ideological primer on Democrats’ beliefs, rather than specifics of the fights likely to dominate the upcoming session of Congress. Obama wove those specific policy pledges, along with brief reminders of his proposals for gun control and immigration reform, into a text that, overall, amounted to a strong reaffirmation of the core of liberal, Democratic politics and its belief in the positive role that government can play in the nation’s life.

He also became the first president to use an inaugural address to call for an end to discrimination against gays and lesbians, equating it with landmark movements for women’s suffrage and African American civil rights. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” Obama said as the crowd applauded. Speaking of the fight for civil rights on Martin Luther King Jr. day was no accident, with the President putting his hand on two Bibles — one owned by King, and the other used at the 1861 inauguration of Abraham Lincoln. The event not only fell on the King holiday and 50 years after King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but also came within days of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Without the revolutionary changes for which Lincoln and King were martyred, Barack Obama’s presidency would not be possible.

He went on to declare that the nation could not succeed “when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it,” the kind of language that sparked Republican complaints during the presidential race that he was engaging in class warfare. And while he emphasized the need to rise above “party or faction,” he aimed a series of barely concealed zingers at his opponents, including those who deny climate change. He said failure to respond to that threat “would betray our children and future generations,” but offered no clues of what he might do.

Whatever Obama’s plan may be, he is optimistic about the foreseeable future. “America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention,” Obama said. “My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it — so long as we seize it together.”

By renewing his lease on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for another four years, Obama opens the door to even further potential criticism and praise. He’s shown to have weathered the past four years fairly well, and only time will tell where the next four will lead our country.

 

Technology damage

by MIRIAM SANDERS

Assistant Editor

O-Technology Damage-Miriam SandersTechnology; the aspect of life that everyone seems to be dependent on in order to make their lives better. Whether it be with a computer, tablet, or cell phone, technology is seen everywhere. We are always striving to advance technology more and more, putting the latest model of gadget in the hands of many around the world. Teenagers are often seen with these advanced technology gadgets in front of their face, either texting or on some kind of social network. While technology is advertised to make our lives better, is it really making our lives better, or is it deteriorating our social connections and mental abilities?

Facebook and Twitter are the hot social networks of today. There are billions of posts on each site each and everyday. There is a picture, status update, or tweet to fill everyone in on your daily problems or accomplishments. While it seems great to be caught up on your friend’s life by liking a picture, why couldn’t you just have a personal conversation in real life? I’m not talking about Face Time here. Face to face connection seems to be a thing in the past, something only the cavemen did. Relationships, whether they are intimate or casual, start online, and sometimes, the two do not even meet. While this may sound incredible that you could be friends with someone across the world, it becomes less incredible if all of your friends are online instead of right beside you. When people are angry, instead of confronting each other face to face, they text each other and end up saying something they would never had said in real life. People have an overabundance of confidence when they don’t have to say it to the person’s face. As technology advances, the personal, real connections deteriorate.

Technology can hold positive and negative information. With a quick click of your mouse, the world can see whatever you type or post on your social network. This makes it easier for bullies to target someone. Rumors can be spread as quick as wild fire, with no way to stop it. High schoolers can be bullied both at school and at home now with cyber bullying. An inappropriate remark or picture can be quickly saved and spread to everyone in your school, ruining your reputation not only in your school, but also in your future life as you begin to search for a job.  Technology has made life for high schoolers even more difficult than previous generations.

As the Baby Boomers are coming to the age of retirement, they look at today’s generation and ask to themselves, “Are they really fit to be responsible for the future of the world?” This generation looks at the Baby Boomers and we often ask “How did they survive without all these cool gadgets when they were younger?” When some of the Baby Boomers were younger, they could not even use a calculator for difficult math.  Today’s generation uses a calculator to do simple Algebra or to figure out the tip for a waiter at a restaurant. With the click of a button, anything can be looked up on the internet. This can be both positive or negative. Do we want all this access to this information, even if it is dangerous? Also, with the internet, it is much easier for a student to simply copy and paste to plagiarize his or her entire English paper. We often think it is amazing to walk into a classroom full of iPads, laptops, and various other types of technology; however, it seems we forget to ask ourselves: What if the power went off? Previous generations used a fancy invention called a pencil and paper. So old fashioned, right? A pencils and paper should not be a thing of the past. Education shouldn’t have to pause if the electricity goes out. It should be able to continue, rain or shine. Our handwriting has also gone down the drain due to technology. Does anyone remember cursive? It isn’t even taught to students, for it is seen as a unnecessary skill to learn. Cursive is today’s Latin, as it is dead to everyone. How are we going sign our names? Technology has made us dumber and more dependent.

There are some great advances in technology, such in the medical field. I am very thankful doctors are not performing surgery while I am wide awake with a saw or that doctors do not reuse syringes. Medical advances make the hospital and doctor environment cleaner and safer. These advances have helped more people live a very long and prosperous life.

Technology is, for the most part, a deadly and evil creation. It sucks the users in like a black hole, with no mercy or going back to their old lives. The problem is how addictive it is.  Sure, it has made our lives easier, but technology has also made us lazier. As technology advances more and more each day, will these terrible effects of technology continue to get worse? Only time will tell, but I think it is safe to say, yes, we will eventually be fully dependent on technology, just like an addict to an addictive drug or substance.

Great Food for a Great Superbowl Party

by SHERI IRVIN and LEXI KLINE
Staff Writers

The Superbowl is a time to celebrate your favorite football team making it this far, well that is if they made it. For many families, the Superbowl is a big deal. It’s a time for families to come together and watch a football game and be able to cheer on their team as a family, or in some case have a sibling rivalry over which team will win. It is a tradition for many people to throw a Superbowl party to cheer on your favorite teams if they make it. Most Superbowl parties consist of watching the game, of course, and food to snack on. So, what are some good ideas for food at a Superbowl party?
Finger foods are probably the best idea for a football party, according to Sabrina Solis, Demaree Fernandez, and Jenn Amato. Miss Solis and Miss Fernandez say that their personal favorite thing to eat at a Superbowl party is “nachos.” Mr. Leal says that his favorite thing to eat is “guacamole and chips.” Therefore, chips and dip and nachos are a great idea for a delicious finger food to snack on while you cheer on your team. Another idea would be things such as “hot wings”, according to Samantha Rollins, “pizza”, according to Miss Fernandez and Mr. Leal, and “cocktail weenies”, according to Elizabeth DeGraw
A student poll was taken around campus. the question was: Do you prefer nachos, sliders, mini pizzas, or chips and dips. The results were that the majority of students prefer nachos. The next most prefered food was chips and dip. So as a result, the most prefered items for a Superbowl party are finger foods such as chips, dips, and nachos.
So, as you cheer on your football team, throw a nice party for you and your friends with your favorite finger foods. Pizza is always a nice main course to go with your favorite finger foods. Some good places to get pizza at are Me N’ Eds, Mountain Mikes, and Round Table. So while you and your friends are eating the food don’t forget to cheer on your team too!

Littering: how does it really affect us?

by RACHAEL FEIL

Staff Writer

Litter photoImagine you are eating lunch in the park on a beautiful day over the weekend. The sun is shining bright in the sky, the birds are chirping in the trees, and you just feel so peaceful, when suddenly BAM! you get an emergency text from your friend and you just HAVE to meet her at her house in five minutes. Your immediate reaction is to get rid of the food and zip right over to her house, but the trash can is far away and in the opposite direction. What do you do? Do you take the extra time to jog over to the trash can and dump all of your trash, then grab your stuff and head home? Or do you just nonchalantly walk away from your garbage that you left on the park bench and never look back? It’s quite tempting to pick the easy way and leave your garbage sitting there on the bench…

…but what does that do to our community? It makes it appear trashy and messy and unclean. That alone should motivate people to pick up after themselves. Litter deflects from the raw beauty of nature. It also attracts vermin and bacteria, which is hazardous to our health.

If that, however, isn’t enough, then consider the innocent lives of the animals inhabited in your community. Little birds and cute, fuzzy squirrels could choke on the trash left over from people’s meals and snacks when they mistake the wrappers for food. Small bits of plastic could accumulate in birds’ stomachs and never digest, decreasing their food capacity and gradually leading them to starve. As for little ocean critters, 9 billion tons of litter are dumped into their home every year. Litter is polluting their habitat and gradually ruining their home. How would you feel if someone defiled your home?

It is possible that every single person on this planet has been guilty of littering at some point in their lives. On a recent survey posted on statisticbrain.com, 75% of the people admitted to littering in the past five years. $11.5 billion has gone towards litter cleanup, a large compilation of our tax money.

Litter is something that can easily be prevented, if everyone is willing to do their part. Here at El Diamante, there are trash cans all over campus and recycle bins in every classroom. These means are graciously provided by our school to help keep it clean, but I couldn’t help but noticing that there is room for lots of improvement. Nadia Fahoum, a junior here at El Diamante, said, “We all need to take care of our environment. By littering, we are just ruining it.” There is NO excuse to not pick up your trash–plus, it might reduce the amount of seagulls that fly over us during lunch and threaten us with their “ammo.” Take an extra 10 seconds to properly throw it away. It benefits everyone, from the little critters down to us. It will also help preserve all the nature surrounding us, and who wouldn’t want that?

Littering may not seem like a huge deal, but it can greatly affect the environment. Be that person who takes the extra time to jog over to the trash can and dump all of your trash before heading off to your friend’s house. Encourage those around you to do the same. It will make you feel fantastic inside and, at the same time, protect our environment. What more could you ask for?