Freshman 15, More Like Freshman 50

Cookout- Here’s the thing, Cookout is possibly the best thing since sliced bread. If you are a broke college student, this is one of the best places for you. Why you ask? Because of the $5 Cookout Tray. This tray consists of one entrée aka burger, two sides, and your choice of drink. It’s an extra dollar for a fancy shake, but it’s well worth the splurge. The serving sizes are a bit on the smaller size, but whose complaining when it costs five dollars. Little suggestion on my end…get the cheer wine!

Wendy’s- Hold the phone because things just got interesting. Wendy’s changed the game a couple years ago by introducing college students to a little something called the 4 for $4 meal. What does this include you ask? Well this godly deal gives you a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, four all white-meat chicken nuggets, small fries and a drink. Ask any college student and I guarantee they are obsessed with this deal. Also if you want to mix it up a little I would highly suggest spending a little extra money on a frosty and dipping your fries. And for those of you who aren’t about to have such a plain meal, you can head to the Right Price Right Size Menu. There they have cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, nuggets, salads, chicken wraps, frosty’s, tea and lemonade. All-in-all no human college student can resist a Wendy’s.

Sonic- My last money saving fast food restaurant is none other than Sonic. During the afternoon Sonic has what they call “Happy Hour”. From 2:00pm-4:00pm enjoy half off drinks, teas and slushes. You can also grab your choice of corndogs, mozzarella sticks, onion rings and tots for just $0.99. Not to mention the Late Night Happy Hour that goes on after 8:00pm. This includes half off on all shakes at the Sonic Drive-In after eight. Sonic also constantly has new deals, the most current being Sonic Tuesday Special. Starting May 1, 2017 every Tuesday from 5:00pm-close all single-patty cheeseburgers are half price. My final deal that makes me fixated on Sonic is their $3 Breakfast Before 10am. You can get a breakfast burrito and a cup of Green Mountain Coffee or a fountain drink for $3. Not only that but it’s guaranteed to be ready for you in two minutes. What more could you ask for?

Buffalo Wild Wings- Let’s be real, I’m crazy about fast food. Sadly, I can’t write down every single restaurant that I would visit on the weekly. This is one of my favorites though. So why do I love Buffalo Wild Wings so much you ask? One thing…WINGS! Who doesn’t like some buffalo wings late at night? Plus, not trying to be the girl to tell you that cheap food is the best food, but ½ Price Wing Tuesday is an existing thing. For those wing haters, they also have salads, burgers, wraps and a little something called Buffalo Loaded Tots. They also have some of the most interesting drinks like any Red Bull you can think of, blueberry mint lemonade, black cherry limeade and something they call ginger lemonade. This place has it all and there isn’t a lot I need to tell you to convince you that this should be your new craving.

Panda Express- Buckle your seatbelts because you are about to be cultured. Sure, Panda Express isn’t exactly “real” Chinese food, but it’s as close to being Chinese as Taco Bell is to being Mexican. I’m not even in college yet and I already go to Panda Express on the weekly. They have plates and bowls for food. A plate consists of two entrees and your choice of side and a bowl has one entrée and one side. And let me tell you right now, just looking at the menu online makes me crave some orange chicken and tea. Panda Express literally goes all out with the Chinese theme. They have milk tea, fruit tea and lemonade tea (isn’t that just lemonade). I for one think it’s great to prep college students for what their twenties’ dinner will be like because I guarantee you’re going to want to get use to yummy take out now. Plus, this is like ramen that tastes good and you can never go wrong with that.

The Restorative Words of Kendrick Lamar

JourneySherman, Editor-in-Chief

Kendrick Lamar has been a voice for those that have been silenced by the silence in America. Frank and anecdotal details have had a major part in his music since day one.  Every album is synonymous with the diary of a black man in America, and Lamar’s lyrics come from a place of reflection and not racial partition. He advocates for Black Lives Matter without ever uttering those words.

There is a gap between his listeners though, some fans completely miss Lamar’s agenda. They only claim to admire “the beats and mixing,” but how can you only enjoy the sound behind a movement? They know all the words, but don’t understand the meaning behind them.  This is to say that you can’t discredit the Black Lives Matter movement and call Kendrick Lamar the best rapper of all time in the same breath. His racial struggles are not intersectional—so when I hear white boys chanting “N****, we gon’ be alright” I am left dumbfounded. He didn’t write those words for you. This is not to say that non-black people shouldn’t listen or even claim to be fans of him, but they should understand the weight behind his words. It carries the weight of over two-hundred years of racial dissension in America. Kendrick Lamar also speaks of the socio-economic problems he faced growing up in Compton, California, and bluntly explains this influence of  the environment he grew up. His newest album “DAMN.” does not disappoint and offers the same authenticity and genuineness.

In the first song off the album, “BLOOD.” Lamar includes Fox News excerpt,  “Lamar stated his views on police brutality with that line in the song/ Quote: “And we hate the popo, wanna kill us in the street fo’ sho'”/Oh please, ugh, I don’t like it.” The first track of the album advocates for the Black Lives Matter movement front and center as Lamar narrates himself being shot on the street as an innocent man. It changes the perspective on the loss of an innocent life. Whether he’s your favorite rapper or not, at the end of the day Lamar is a black man that is directly impacted by the slaying of black men in cold blood. Many want to remove the meaning behind his words and not think about his advocation for Black Lives Matter.

The tune “ELEMENT.” offers another blunt look of his home life growing up in Compton: “put the Bible down and go eye for an eye for this s***/D.O.T. my enemy, won’t catch a vibe for this s***, ayy/I been stomped out in front of my mama/My daddy commissary made it to commas”. This lyric speaks volumes about the struggles he faced in his tumultuous environment. To put this into perspective, the national average for violent crimes per 1000 people is 3.8 while Compton’s is 10.12. He has triumphed over so much chaos in his home life. This song is for those that ever doubted his love for rapping and why he writes what he does. He will go to great lengths to continue doing what he loves, and no one will ever come between him and his craft.

“PRIDE.” screams Lamar’s honest hopes for racial reconciliation and an overall peace between people with different cultural or socioeconomic backgrounds. “Promises are broken and more resentment come alive/Race barriers make inferior of you and I/See, in a perfect world, I’ll choose faith over riches/I’ll choose work over b******, I’ll make schools out of prison/I’ll take all the religions and put ’em all in one service.” These lyrics speak volumes and provide a theme to the album as a whole. His album comes from a place of reconciliation and advocacy for peace.

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.




Sports Editor

As senior year comes to an end and graduation draws near, students are invited to partake in baccalaureate. However, does anyone actually know what baccalaureate really is? Formally defined as a religious service to honor the graduating class, in many institutions of higher education the baccalaureate has evolved into a quieter, more reflective event that focuses on students’ personal growth and achievement.

Often held in a house of worship, the baccalaureate is a non-denominational spiritual service that allows for public school graduates to find spiritual meaning that aligns with their personal beliefs. In private and parochial schools, the baccalaureate ceremony will have a stronger religious tone in keeping with the school’s religious beliefs. By holding the ceremony in a house of worship, schools subtly encourage attendees and graduates to slow down, appreciate the moment and let emotions come and go as they will.

Other special events during baccalaureate often include performances by student choirs, vocalists and musicians, which allows for more introspection for both the graduates and the attendees. Many schools offer students who are not at the top of their classes the opportunity to submit to speak at baccalaureate, giving the general population of the graduating class the incentive to write something meaningful to share with their classmates.

Baccalaureate is often a moving and emotional experience for students and families, not to mention teachers and administrators. With the weight of worry about grades, college admissions, job searches and more lifted for most participants, relief and pride mix to create a lovely experience for everyone involved. Family and friends, as well as students, will dress up for this more restrained and heartfelt ceremony, where for graduation everyone is usually a bit more relaxed in their attire and boisterous in their enthusiasm. It is typical for the boys to wear white shirts and a tie and for the girls to wear white dresses and heels.

Chattahoochee High School’s baccalaureate is held at Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church and this year will take place on Sunday May 7th from 2-3pm.

Making the Most of Summer

     Summer is right around the corner and students are excited to have a break from early morning classes and late night studying, but often times summer can be too long and become boring after a week or two. Keeping yourself entertained throughout the summer is easy and can be cheap, too,  with a little planning.

     One easy way to fill your schedule is to get a summer job or find a non-profit organization that you want to volunteer with. Not only will you keep busy, but both these choices look great on a job resume and college applications. Taking a job during the summer doesn’t take away from your study time and also gives a little extra cash for fun summer activities or things later in the school year. Season-dependent organizations such as lifeguarding contractors, rely on high school kids to work the busy season and can oftentimes be a relatively simple source of income.  With a few connections, it is possible to get a paid summer internship in a field that you may want to pursue later in life. These are fantastic because it allows you to experience the career field of your choice without having to get a degree. If you aren’t into some extra cash, volunteering is a more flexible way to spend your time and can help hundreds of people who are in need of some assistance. The Children’s Restoration Network and The Drake House are two strong non-profit organizations in our area that will always accept volunteers.

     Another great thing to do during the summer is a to get into personal health and fitness. Take the first couple weeks of summer to sit around, do some research and recover from the school year then grab a mate and hit the gym for a couple hours a day. Summer fitness will keep you in shape for poolside lounging and make you look great for the fall semester. For people who don’t know where to start and are afraid that the gym is too complicated, the Stronglifts 5×5 Program is a great starter workout plan that I would recommend to both guys and girls. The program also has an easy-to-use app for iPhone and Android which outlines day-to-day schedules. Gym memberships can vary in price, but as a beginner you’ll be able to get into fitness with a $10 per month membership at a local gym.

     As hard-working students, semesters often fly past us and when senior year rolls around, we haven’t done all the things we wanted to do in our area. Take the summer to go see the things you want to see while you live here. Your situation could change any day and you’ll be left regretting all the things you missed out on. Go downtown and check out the Georgia Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the world with over 100,000 sea creatures. While downtown, don’t forget to check out Centennial Olympic Park, site of the 1996 Olympic Games, the Martin Luther King Jr. National memorial and the World of Coca-Cola museum. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens are worth checking out if you’re into nature because it has the largest collection of species orchids in the United States, but if cities aren’t to your fancy, you can hike Indian Seats or backpack some of the Appalachian Trail with some friends.   

     Summer only comes around once a year, so do something you love, take some adventures and make the most of the break.

The Immigration Courts



The topic of immigration is a rough subject with a long, terrible history that many don’t willingly talk about. Many people don’t think about how immigration takes place in the courts. The judges are some of the most underfunded in the country with one of the smallest total staff. Today there are only 277 immigration judges and 58 courts in the country that must deal with more than 1500 cases a year. Due to this extremely low number, most cases aren’t given the time of day and over half of all immigrants are instantly deported just do to a lack of time for a full out trial.

          As of today, there are over 4.3 million immigrants in the United States. One single judge must handle no more than 700 cases a year. Most of them push over that limit just to get through their cases. If not they would have to push back a trial months or years while the some of the immigrants in question would remain in a jail or just deported.Most immigration courts currently have an insane backlog of 489,000 cases. These immigration courts, unlike real courts, don’t even provide lawyers. Not even unaccompanied minors. In one case a man named Mark Lyttle, who was a US citizen with mental disabilities, was deported as a part of the ‘mass removal’ in which they’d ask if you object to being deported. These people barely spoke English and didn’t know what they were saying.

          With such an underfunded system in place to handle one of the most important issues, what can we do to fix it? For starters, we should allow those who cannot afford a lawyer and those too young for one to be allowed one. The government must acknowledge that this issue needs some assistance. Hundreds of US citizens are being deported without any consent. It continues to remain to be seen whether the United States Congress can muster the responsibility and will to do what is right and achieve the immigration reform this year. Republican leadership in the House of Representatives continues to hold immigration reform hostage, most recently justifying inaction by blaming President Obama’s alleged track record on failing to enforce our immigration laws. Now with our new president Trump, will we see a change in immigration courts, or will we see more of our own citizens being deported unjustly?

The Dissection Debate

LindseyAranson, Staff Reporter

One of the most interesting classes offered at Chattahoochee is one of the least popular. Despite its relevance to various scientific fields including biology and healthcare, only fifteen students take Human Anatomy and Physiology (HAP), which covers all the systems in the human body and how they work together. Because HAP will not be offered for the 2017-2018 school year, these fifteen students will likely be the last at Chattahoochee to participate in this honors class’s memorable end-of-year lab—a cat dissection.

After months of studying the inner workings of the body, the hands-on experience of dissection cements students’ understanding of not only where structures are located, but also how they function.   While animal rights organizations like PETA argue that virtual dissections “have proved to be as good as, and often superior to, [traditional] dissection as a learning tool,” the National Association of Biology Teachers “acknowledges that no alternative can substitute for the actual experience of dissection…and urges teachers to be aware of the limitations of [digital] alternatives.”

Mr. Leet, the HAP teacher, finds that students engage more with true dissections than virtual simulations. “There’s only so many times in a person’s life they can actually cut something open [to] see what’s on the inside,” says Leet, discussing why he teaches cat dissections. “I think that it gets students excited if they want to be doctors. Even if they didn’t think about being a doctor, it might give them the idea, ‘Hey, I might like doing this. I might want to work towards it.’”

For students who want to study healthcare or biology, the tactile experience of traditional dissection is far more informative than a computer simulation. “If you’re planning on going into a field in medicine…you’re not going to be able to see everything. A lot of what you’re going to find [will] be through touch rather than just seeing,” explains Katherine Dunn (SR). While examining the superficial muscles of their feline cadaver, Dunn and her lab partners Emily Macko (SR) and Rachel Thomas (SR) discovered that their cat’s ribs were broken just by feeling the bones through the tissue. The group contends that no virtual alternative can compare to this firsthand learning: “Holding it in your hand is a lot different than watching it on a screen,” Macko insists.  Where computer animations of muscle movements leave students confused and disengaged, manipulating muscles by hand and watching them move instills understanding and wonderment at the complexities of the body.

Because cats share many anatomical structures with humans, this firsthand knowledge is extremely valuable for aspiring healthcare professionals. However, not all students in the HAP class plan to attend medical school. “Dissection is important to know about animals and people when it’s for your job,” acknowledged Elizabeth Noble (SR), “but as a high schooler, I don’t think it’s necessary for my education because this is not what I’m pursuing.”  Noble, a proud cat owner, believes dissection is unethical if it is not absolutely necessary for a specific career path. “It’s not something that’s for my high school anatomy class. It’s not for my career, it’s not what I’m going to school for…I don’t think a bunch of high schoolers should just be able to cut up cats in school.”

Noble’s lab partner Selma Rafiq (SR) was also reluctant to participate in the lab. “[Dissection is] disrespecting the body because we’re taking it apart,” she says, “and I feel like [animals] should be buried.” Responding to the notion that animal dissection is disrespectful, Leet says respect is something he’s “strict” about in the lab. The science teacher demands that “there’s no joking around” in his classroom— “We’re [dissecting cats] to learn something. It’s different from just cutting them up to mutilate them for entertainment.” Although students take pictures of the cat for a muscle and organ identification project, Leet is adamant that pictures are not to be posted on social media. “[Dissection teachers] should do just what Mr. Leet is doing,” said student Celia Imhoff (SR). “[He] make[s] sure that everyone is doing things safely and respectfully.”

However, much of the concern with animal experimentation lies not with the actual act of dissection, but with the suffering the cats endure before they even reach the lab. According to PETA, cats used for dissection may be “stolen or abandoned companion animals” who are gassed and “injected with formaldehyde without first being checked for vital signs.” These claims are unsupported, but animal suppliers like Carolina do obtain euthanized cats from shelters. Carolina, Chattahoochee’s source for preserved cats, emphasizes that these cats “would be destined for the landfill” if they didn’t furnish them for dissection, yet animal rights activists maintain that the purchase of euthanized cats ignores and furthers the problem of kill shelters.

While the neglect faced by euthanized animals in shelters is certainly horrific, PETA’s extreme accusations of animal torture are not rooted by solid evidence. “Animal activists prey on the emotions of pet owners,” responds Carolina, who is “proud to have an outstanding USDA inspection and compliance record.” PETA’s emotional targeting can be most clearly seen on their page PETA Kids, aimed at elementary school children: “EVERY animal used for classroom dissection was once alive and didn’t want to die. I mean, come on!” the page asserts with forced childlike colloquialism. “Would you want to end up on a dissection tray for a classroom experiment? No way, José.”

Countering this argument, Rachel Thomas argues that dissection is “not a fate no human would choose. People donate their bodies…to be cadavers in medical schools.” In fact, Mr. Leet emphasizes that students who want to be doctors and surgeons “will be using human cadavers” in college. “A cat is slightly different [from a human], but it’s analogous with a lot of the same structures…I think [cat dissection] does inform [students] to build on that in college.”

Still, for students uncomfortable with dissection, Mr. Leet does offer an alternate assignment. “If [students] have any [reservations]  about doing this before we start, I’ll say, ‘it’s okay, there is an online thing we can do,’” he says. “However, I hope they would give it a shot because once they start, I think they would find it super interesting.” Seeing that no one opted for the virtual dissection, Mr. Leet was correct. “I hope the students…get something out of it. I hope they get a passion for the human body and how anatomy and physiology work.”

From my experience in Mr. Leet’s HAP class, I would definitely argue for the educational benefits of dissection. Before this lab, it was difficult for me to envision the textures, sizes and locations of anatomical structures—and while I don’t plan on entering a medical field, I feel that understanding the body is important for anyone who has one (that would be everyone). At the same time, however, it is important to consider whether these educational benefits outweigh the potential harm to animals. This is certainly a controversial issue, and it’s up to us to enforce proper regulations and respect for all life.

Chattahoochee's trusted source for all things news!