Category Archives: News

Hope for the Democrats

MaddieYashinsky, Sports Editor

Jon Ossoff, who is currently running a firm specializing in anti-corruption investigations, was one of five Democrats running in a special election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district. On Jan. 5, 2017, Ossoff announced his candidacy for the special election after previous seat holder, Tom Price announced that he had been named Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary. Ossoff quickly became the most desirable democratic candidate in the race. He was endorsed by prominent figures such as congressman Hank Johnson and John Lewis as well as state House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams. Ossoff has raised over $8.3 million by early April of 2017.

Ossoff fell just short of capturing a House seat in a longtime conservative area of Georgia. Ossoff received 48.1% of the vote. He needed to get 50% in order to win outright. He and Republican candidate Karen Handel, who received 19.8% will now face off in a runoff election in June.

It wasn’t the election results however that made this special election such a popular topic of discussion. Rather, It was the statistics leading up to it that impacted the Republicans living in the area. The election is seen by many as an early test of how the first few months of Donald Trump’s presidency may have shifted the opinions or voter enthusiasm of educated suburban voters who live in swing districts. Trump under-performed in districts with demographics similar to the 6th during the 2016 election, having won the 6th District by only 1 percentage point. Fulton county Georgia has always been primarily Republican. In 2012 Mitt Romney won by 23 points in this district, and Republican Rep. Tom Price was re-elected with nearly 62% of the vote in 2016 here before being named Trump’s health and human services secretary.

“There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages,” Ossoff told supporters the night of the election. “That no matter what the outcome is tonight- whether we take it all or whether we fight on — we have survived the odds. We have shattered expectations. We are changing the world. Your voices are going to ring out across this state and across this country.” Many supporters of Ossoff and what the campaign stood for coined the phrase “Flip the 6th” as the election was being held.

High School v.s. College

MariaRuiz, Editor-in-Chief

Since we started high school we have been told that these would be the best years of our lives. Our parents reminisce on this time, describing these years as “the good old days” time and time again. Going into freshman year, I expected parties and football games and to create friendships better than I had ever had before. High school gave me all of that; it gave me some of the best friends I could ever ask for and memories that will last me my whole life. Sometimes I wish I could just go back to freshman year just so I could relive it all again. However, those moments are fleeting once I realize what is to come.

Yeah, I know I’m going to miss high school. I think back to certain moments that changed me and will stick with me forever and know I will miss them. But there’s even those moments that we take for granted that will stick with us forever. Coming home after school to your dog every day, getting food on a whim with your best friends, knowing everyone in your school despite whether or not you talk to them… it was all a part of the experience and it will stick with us forever. It’s these kinds of things that you won’t notice until you’re sitting on the floor of your empty dorm moments after you hugged your parents goodbye.

I’ve gone through high school with the greatest friends anyone could ever ask for. It took some time, but eventually everyone finds who they are supposed to be with. Even so, I know that college will hold even better years. In college, you make friends based off your interests whereas in high school, no matter how close you and your friends are, there are always those hobbies that you feel a little shy talking about or showing off. College is about surrounding yourself with people who inspire you– who will push you to accomplish all that you wish to do. You don’t have to be friends with anyone who holds you back just to maintain friendships that only ever started out of  convenience So, even though we’re leaving so much behind, there really is so much to look forward to.

Students Helping Break Barriers

Since the creation of standardized testing, debates over their inherent unfairness have followed. Those against the use of standardized tests have cited studies like that of the Washington Post which show that students who go to a school that could afford to administer the PSAT score on average 200 points better on their SATs than students who did not go to such a school. Even the systemic barriers of race are reflected in the test as the same study found White and Asian students scoring upwards of 400 points better than their Latino or African American peers. These hundred point differences in scores can have far-reaching implications. Students who do not have the resources to score well on the ACT or SAT may lose a shot at going to college and ending their families’ cycles of poverty. The students with graduate-degree-parents, on the other hand, will have a disproportionate score boost that allows them into better colleges and perpetuates the dominance and rigidity of the upper class. But students are slowly working to change this broken system.

Vikram Ruppa-Kasani and Niranjan Ramasekaran are two juniors at Chattahoochee High School. Vikram and Niranjan are no strangers to community service. Vikram’s Eagle Scout projects and weekly volunteering gained him the recognition to earn the 21st Century Leadership Award (awarded to one student in Georgia every year.) Meanwhile, Niranjan heads his MD Junior and Beta Club as an officer where he directs and encourages students towards community service. Their idea to do something about standardized testing’s inequality came from their own experiences with taking the ACT. “ I felt that the tutoring I got was really helping me get a good score” Niranjan reflects, “but I realized not everyone has access to those same resources.” At the moment, the duo is focusing on collecting prep books that they can redistribute to inner city charities. However, they have longer term goals to help a broad range of students with economic problems: “we hope that the revenue we gain from our charity work can help us set up tutoring days throughout the year where students can get free SAT and ACT prep over the summer.”

If you would like to help their cause, donate any of your old SAT, ACT or any other prep books to the collection bin in the auditorium. Their bin will be open until May 10.

 

The Problems With Campus Carry

 

“We should never allow overlapping boundaries to deny us of our constitutional rights” Casey Cagle, the Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, claims. His insistence on preserving constitutional rights is in reference to House Bill 280 which, for the fifth year in a row, has made headlines in Georgia newspapers. The bill argues that students with a concealed carry permit should be allowed to carry firearms on campuses. However, because of Governor Deal’s veto of the bill the year prior, legislators have added restrictions to the proposed law. For example, firearms under the policy would continue to be illegal on college dormitories, fraternities,  sororities, and child care centers on campus. Yet despite the changes, the bill has proved divisive for Georgians.

Supporters of the bill argue that concealed firearms allow students to protect themselves without interfering with other students’ learning. They cite stories of those like Alex Shannon, a student at a Georgia university who owns a concealed firearm. “But when I cross that imaginary line,” Shannon says (referencing his college’s boundaries), “I’m suddenly too dangerous to protect myself with a gun.” There is also the argument to be made about the rise in campus shootings. It seems reasonable to believe that the chances of a mass shooting occurring on campus would diminish with an increase of students with concealed firearms. After all, those who would have a right to carry a firearm on campus under the law would have to be at least 21, pass multiple background checks and be fingerprinted. But, these arguments begin to fray when the proposed policies are put into practical use.

Georgia is one of 17 states who still do not support firearms on campus. Thus, lawmakers have data from 33 other states to see what effects a campus carry policy has on the student body. A study at Johns Hopkins University, in particular, caught the eye of many. Released by the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the study found that increasing firearms on campus would likely lead to more shootings, killings and suicides. If college campuses lock the windows on high story buildings during finals week – a policy that has been used in recent years to prevent suicides- imagine what impact a surge in gun use could have on colleges. In fact, 64 percent of gun deaths in the United States have been the result of suicide alone. There is also the practical argument to be made about the bill. For example, if guns are not permitted inside school dormitories, but are allowed on campus, where are students like Alex Shannon supposed to store their firearms? Because of threats to student safety and impracticalities in the bill, a campus carry policy would cause more harm than what it could possibly prevent.

No More White Screens

LeahZarzour, News Editor

Music festivals have the stand out quality that has made it more popular than ever by promoting popular performers and drawing in people of different backgrounds. Festivals provide a plethora of new and exciting concerts at once—making it easier than ever to experience different genres of music.  However music may not always be the reason people attend these events.

Social media users, especially on Instagram, tend to use these festivals as the ideal photo-taking backdrop. Some festival-goers might even see “selfies” being taken during a show. People are concerned about whether or not they have the best photos to post to prove they really had the festival experience. However, this entirely contradicts to the real value of concerts—the music. Imagine standing front row screaming the lyrics in front of your favorite artist, but with your phone right in your face. With a sea of screens, artists cannot make that personal connection that they try to evoke with their audience

Social media is not the only reason why flashing phones are constantly in the air during a concert—it’s all about the moment—or at least taking the moment. People care more about the pictures and videos of their favorite performers that they miss the real-life moments. Why look through the tiny screens of your smartphone when you can look at what’s actually happening in front of your eyes. This argument can best be portrayed though performers: The Lumineers, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, and Jack White.

White is a passionate advocator of experiencing concerts first hand. As he once explained on an interview with Conan in 2014, during his previous tour, he asked the audience to put their phones and cameras away in order to truly immerse themselves into the music and enjoy the acoustics around them. In fact, White has tried to play with the reactiveness of his audience. Instead of using a set list during his concerts, he performed certain songs that matched the energy of the crowd. Though some well-known artists think this would hurt their fan base, this created a unique connection that has become difficult to experience during festivals or concerts today.

Constantly taking videos can take away the intimacy that live performances try to enhance. It loses the connection that many people crave yet dismiss because they are too busy trapping the moment on their devices.

Video Games

FernandaMorote, Staff Reporter

Whoever has said that they don’t like video games has been playing the wrong games. Video games are designed to attract certain audiences. For example, those who enjoy watching movies would tend to play games that follow a complicated storyline. For those who can’t sit still for too long, there are action games that throw you new challenges at every corner. Whatever your fancy, there’s a game out there for you, I guarantee it. Here’s a list to pique your interest, as it did mine. Continue reading Video Games

The Unusual Author Inside

By LavanyaChellam

Editorials Editor

Alarm first goes off. Oh man. That irritating buzzz. Jeez, my head is hurting. Just five minutes more…..back to the snoring. Swirling colors, then a welcoming darkness……bzzzzzzzzzzz!

Stupid alarm! Fingers, do the job and teach that tyrant a lesson. Reach…open eyes now……reach…buzzzzzzzzzzz…some fuzzy numbers……process them…send to memory……..AHHHHHHHHhh! 7:30! Screwed completely. Rub the eyes….legs, do the thing…..brain get the senses alerted. Lunch packing….tell mom only apples…..bio homework sitting on desk……..jeans missing from cupboard…..tell mom to pack Gatorade………bio homework sitting on desk………brush teeth nicely……….polo shirt in second cupboard…….bio homework incomplete….HAVE to FINISH…..bio homework sitting on desk…..mom was ziplocing oranges…..tell her only apples……it’s 7:45…..the bus was leaving in 5 min……..bio homework incomplete……..only the red shirt goes with this pair of jeans and looks classy…….by the way, yesterday there was those girls who had made fun of Robert for his dark clothes in math class……..oh no……math project due Friday and takes two hours because Jeannie told Hallie who was told by Sam. Sam was very rude yesterday…….clock is ticking…..two minutes till the bus came……mom is hugging….tell her you love her……oh no….bio homework still sitting on desk……..legs run up, lungs breathe harder…..run run run…..catch the bus……three girls smiling at you……..smile back………bio homework incomplete…….imagine sitting in detention room………make haste in getting the pencil and fill it up…….mom packed apples for lunch……..red shirt………Sam was still upset……………..deep breath………………………

My  dear readers, all of life you are all used to reading works of other humans. Literary analyses, books, novels, research papers, periodicals, etc. Now welcome to my story. I am no human……well, technically not..….and unlike you, I hardly write in complete sentences or follow grammatical rules. I just think and speak, or in this case, write. In fact, what I am writing right now was actually very hard and it took days for me to formulate this article. Because it’s so clear, concise to the point, making it easy for humans to follow.

So essentially, who am I? Essays and articles are inanimate; once you read, you are done. But I am real…….I am seeing you as you read this. And then I’m the voice in your head telling you “this article is crazy.” I know. Creepy.

So who am I? I could be your friend, but I could also be your enemy. Keep reading…..and if you can, see if you can unveil me. Realize that the speed of light has a stronger opponent. Me.

We’ll start with a simple example. Take the word blue. By just reading that word, what is your immediate thought? For some it might be “Oh…that’s my favorite color!” Or “I hate blue.” And perhaps it may trigger a memory of your favorite blue dress. And then an event for which you wore that favorite dress. And then the friends you had fun with at that event. Or you might think of the big, vast ocean. And imagine the waves. And perhaps sharks. And then probably JAWS. Then you might delve into your nightmares and remember that ghost story. And from ghosts, maybe you’ll transition to Azula and her blue lightning from Avatar:The Last Airbender.

One word. But infinite jumps. Some realistic, some imaginary, some crazy. One word. Random journeys across. That’s what I do to you. Or rather, that’s how I make you YOU.

So when it comes to school, and you’re told to write one paragraph and stick to one topic, you are flowing against your natural current. Because one word is a public key to many other thoughts and ideas and feelings. Routing those thoughts through one channel is therefore difficult to many, and sometimes it’s important for everyone to reflect upon how much they process every minute. Because what we speak or write is the result of thousands of neutrons and memory signals processed. Because I, the mind, am a library of interconnected thoughts of you.

Sometimes there are days. You feel like crying our heads out. Moments you can’t just accept. Worries you can’t express in sentences. But you just feel something….because of me. Yes, sometimes I can become your enemy. YOU might forget and accept, but I keep replaying memories back and forth. One friend might have hurt your feelings some seven years back. YOU may forget it, but I will hold it with me and pop it up to you every now and then, disturbing your friendship. YOU might have homework to do, but I want to watch some TV. and I could manipulate YOU to do what I want……and play memories of “funniness” to lure YOU to my commands. YOU know it yourself…….

So I’ll get to the point. Jumbledness is a part of everyone’s identity. I process and think faster than the speed of light; I led you to make decisions, etc. But I am still dangerous because I wield so much power over you. I may be the one who leads you to detention tomorrow or makes you make bad choices. As a world, and especially in America, people as individuals are encouraged to have their own views and individuality in doing what’s right.

I might be your enemy. I might be your friend. That depends on what stance you take. Who you want to be is up to you. Because life is essentially how YOU guide me. And how YOU make me work for you. For so many today, intelligence is perceived a great trait. Cohesiveness, lucidity, elucidation, theme, purpose, argument, etc, are all core ideals schools espouse in YOU–each of which YOU obtain through me. YOU decide whether to do homework or not. YOU decide when and how to use your time. I am just your helper, not master. Because by nature I am jumbled….I don’t think straight. I make YOU wander through random thoughts and memories and feelings…..but YOU overall have to control what YOU want from me.

Reading this, YOU may be confused. YOU may feel there is no theme in this essay. YOU are used to reading stories by so many authors…….sometimes it’s nice to read what the author inside your own self is thinking. If you’ve looked at this article for some symbolism, or themes, or grammatical rules….then you’ve completely missed the point.

Because in the end, it doesn’t matter what stance you take with me. No, what really matters is what you’ve become and what actions you’ve taken to get to that point. Don’t be the one to lead yourself to making the wrong decisions. Because I, the mind “am a beautiful servant, but dangerous master.” Which of the two I become, is a game laid at YOUR will. Just letting you know.