What it Takes to Keep School open and safe: Please Wear Your Masks
A Falcon Newspaper Editorial
As the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States continues to skyrocket, the number of people who care about the pandemic seems to decline every day. Back in March, when everything hit the gas, people took social distancing guidelines seriously, and businesses were barely open to the public, which further promoted little to no human interaction. Now that we have reached the epicenter, people are living their lives like it is still 2019.
COVID-19 has gotten to the point that if you do not know someone who has caught the virus yet, you probably live under a rock. The CDC has reported more than 24.1 million cases of COVID-19 and 399k deaths in the United States alone. While going anywhere puts you and others at risk for exposure and the further spread of the virus, seriously taking COVID-19 guidelines will save you, someone in your family, or even a stranger.
Many of our own NCLA Falcons have struggled with the continuation of (correctly) wearing masks and making efforts to socially distance. Whether students post themselves at parties, major events, or any other social gatherings, they’re still opting not to wear masks. We have even seen some posts that encourage those who are still concerned about the pandemic to stay home while other people continue to live the way they want. The pandemic may never end if we are unable to recognize areas that need improvement.
While we all know the basic COVID-19 protocols that need to be followed: wearing masks in public settings, frequent hand washing and sanitizing, practicing social distancing, and staying home when feeling sick. Knowing what to do if you or someone around you gets sick is an entirely different ballgame. When it comes to letting the school know if you or someone around you has been exposed, honesty becomes the best policy. Steps that need to be taken after addressing our admin about your symptoms/exposure include: getting tested, continuing to socially distance yourself from others, and letting the school know immediately what your test results are. Our main goal is to make sure that no one is showing up to school sick.
While it is understandable that getting sick during a global pandemic is not the easiest thing to avoid, following these precautions and protocols is the only way to keep our school safely operating with students on campus. These areas that we struggle with as a whole have a direct affect on our students when it comes to keeping a sense of normalcy throughout the school year.
The pandemic has had a major impact on everyone throughout this year, especially students. High school students are put through online learning which creates a barrier between students and teachers due to not seeing each other in person. Students have a harder time learning online and that discourages them into giving up or just not completing assignments. The effects of Covid are drastically impacting students’ mental health. Many students feel more anxious and depressed than ever before.
Many students find school as a positive environment where they are able to attend clubs, extracurricular activities, and play sports. Although sports are still happening with a shortened season, those who don’t participate in sports instead miss out on clubs.
The Class of 2021 is the most impacted student group of all. Seniors this year were looking forward to senior prom, drape pictures, getting yearbooks, and creating senior quotes. Although they are missing out on prom, it is not the only event they won’t be able to experience their last year of high school. Events that have been canceled this school year have been homecoming, powder puff, and the senior trip. A lot of seniors feel frustrated that they have worked hard in school for 12 years just to end their senior year Covid style.
Everyone is sick of this pandemic. It is understandable. However, to get out of this hole that we have dug for ourselves, we need to continue to work hard on taking further precaution to not only keep the school open, but to keep it safe. This being said, we urge you to continue wearing your masks regularly and responsibly, sanitizing yourself often, letting our administrators know about exposures, and not coming to school if you aren’t feeling well.
For more from the world of News, Sports, Living and Arts, visit the school newspaper’s website, thefalcon.live.
End of year testing at the NCLA
State testing is currently planned to take place at the end of this year for all students in third grade or up.
The school is expected to give these tests in the last 10 days of school just like it’s done in previous years.
With that said, the school will have to work around hybrid, and virtual learning so that every student can be fairly tested. Students that are in hybrid learning will take their tests on the days that they are present in school. Virtual learners will have to physically come to school on specific days to take their end of the year tests.
On February 23, there is a state mandated Pre-ACT for 10th graders, and the ACT for 11th graders. Students in lower grades have also been participating in map testing this past week.
Faculty and staff are working hard to make end of the year testing as normal as possible but little changes may need to be made by the state due to circumstances of this year. This year, testing will be online for all students, but it isn’t guaranteed to happen for students in NC.
Some students would prefer to do testing on paper. Peyton Wingate, a sophomore at the NCLA said, “I would much rather do testing on paper because I’m sick of doing everything else on a computer.”
“It would be a good idea for high schoolers to study for tests like the ACT, and SAT using Khan Academy. They offer great practice problems and are worded similarly to these tests. You can even plug your practice ACT scores up with this website and it will give you problems similar to the ones you missed,” Mrs. Wood said.
Students Cheating on Tests
Cheating on tests and classwork during online school has become a pandemic of its own.
Instead of doing their own work, students are looking to things like quizlet, google, or even their notes for extra assistance during important grades. Though this is a problem occurring every year, remote learning has made the process even easier than ever.
“I used to be a student that would never even think about cheating, but now I find myself looking almost anywhere for help on a lot of tests or quizzes,” said a high school student.
For those who have to take assessments in person, cheating would be a brave move. However, anyone who is at home gains an obvious advantage as they are able to use certain resources to their advantage without the teacher suspecting a thing.
For example, if half a class is taking a vocabulary quiz in school then it becomes a huge disadvantage. This is because the other class can use things like, “Hey Siri” text to speech, another computer/monitor, or even their own vocabulary books. Each of which can be done while they are being watched on a zoom call.
“Taking tests on zooms should prevent more kids from cheating, however there are still many ways around it,” said another high schooler. “For the most part, being on camera would intimidate me not to cheat more than anything.”
Truly, there is no way teachers will be able to stop cheating until we are all going to school in person. It is just way too easy for kids at home to access answers without teachers knowing. This is why all formal assessments should be open notes, as it allows kids taking tests in the classroom the same resources as those at home. Not to mention kids are having a harder time learning curriculum, therefore having notes they created themselves will aid test scores.
“I think that we should be allowed to take tests with our notes at hand because students are already having a tough time learning this year,” said Maria Fleak. “I also think that most kids are using their notes on almost every test anyways, so not much would change.”
Teachers are also feeling the consequences of students using outside sources. Students who don’t know the information are setting themselves up for failure later in the future, and it’s not the teacher’s fault.
“I worry highschool students are trying to keep a 4.0 gpa by cheating,” said Mrs. Orenstein. “You’re only lying to yourself and others… I advise students, “Do not make a habit of cheating!”
Students’ Screen Time
Teenagers in this generation have grown up with technology, from computers, tablets, and phones but ever since quarantine and hybrid/online school started students have been spending a significantly higher amount of time on their phones.
Screen-time is a feature in iPhones that let their user know how much time they have spent on an app, website, etc. When you go to settings and then click on screen time it gives a thorough report of the amount of time you’ve used your phones, website, or app. From there you can also set limits on how much time you won’t spend on an app.
“Last week, I spent about 11 hours and 44 minutes on my phone, and 30 of those hours were spent on TikTok,” Kayla Satterwhite said.
On the NCLA Instagram, we put up a poll and asked students about how much time they’ve spent on their phone this past week. A large number of students have said that they spend about 8+ hours on their phones. The largest amount of time a student replied was 10 hours and 9 minutes and the shortest amount of hours was 3-4 hrs excluding online school.
Groundhogs Day: Punxsutawney Phil
Groundhog Day takes place on February 2. It is a holiday that symbolizes and predicts the arrival of spring.
Every year, a groundhog that lives in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania emerges from his burrow on Gobblers Knob.
Punxsutawney Phil is the official groundhog, and has been for 134 years. When he is not taking part in the festivities, he lives in the Punxsutawney Library with his wife Phyllis. There is a special group called the Inner Circle that takes care of him year round and is in charge of planning his events.
On the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club website (https://www.groundhog.org/), you can get a personal message from Phil, find a cookie recipe, and learn about his town and its history.
As the story goes, if he can see his shadow, meaning its a clear day, he will go back into his burrow for six more weeks of winter. If he cannot see his shadow, meaning it is a cloudy day, Spring will arrive early.
“No I don’t believe in it, it’s a groundhog,” High School Basketball Coach/Teacher Mr. Shoemaker said. “Yes, I think he will see his shadow.”
It is said that Punxsutawney Phil is only 39% accurate. The Inner Circle demands that he is 100% accurate.
Groundhog Day stems from the Christian holiday, Candlemas. On Candlemas (February 2) Christians would take their candles to church to have them blessed, so that their houses would be blessed with light for the remainder of winter.
Over time the story transitioned into more of a weather prediction. There is an Old English folk song that goes:
If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.
In an Instagram poll where 37 people voted, 19 voted that they do believe in Groundhogs Day while 18 voted that they do not.
Changes in the SAT
The SAT has been a standardized test for almost 100 years but this year it is having a major change. Starting this year, the SAT will no longer have Subject Tests or SATs with an essay at the end. But what does all this mean?
The SAT Subject Tests are tests made by the College Board. The SAT is a focus on general knowledge and critical thinking while the subject tests were more focused tests on certain subjects like math or science. For example, if you are not as good at math you can take an English Subject test to boost the score.
Many people felt that the SAT essay was only there to mess up the test takers. People felt that the essay was outdated and not a true scale of knowledge. When taking the essay portion of the tes, you are given 30 minutes per essay. This is the perfect recipe to write a bad paper.
In a poll on the NCLA News Instagram account when asked if students were taking the SAT this year, 50% of the students said they were not going to take the SAT. The other half of the students said they were going to take it.
The SAT has the students in mind with these changes. These parts of the SAT did not help the students do better on the tests. Many believe that the SAT decides your future or what college you can or cannot get accepted into with this change it may take lots of stress off of students’ backs.
NCLA Cross Country Ends With Bang
The North Carolina Leadership Academy’s cross country team’s season came to an end after their recent finals. This team found out how to use Covid-19 to their advantage as they fully took advantage of their time.
“Starting officially in November and ending in January, with workouts starting in October so it was freezing! But, also partly because of covid we got to spend more time practicing and I think that really helped us in our meets.” Kamree Anderson, a student and runner at NCLA said.
The team performed very well this season, making it to regionals is a huge accomplishment to be proud of and many of the runner’s broke their personal records this year.
“I think the team performed very well, making it to the regionals itself is a challenge when you consider the other teams involved and their skill levels as well.” Will Swisher, a student and runner at NCLA said.
Even the cold weather this season also allowed the runners to perform better in their races, as they would not overheat as much. “The cold temps helped them to be able to run faster and we had a longer training time because of COVID and they were all in great shape for all of our meets.” the Cross-country teams coach, Mrs.Rickert said.
Sports this year have been difficult for all athletes due to Covid-19 and it is incredible to see the cross country runners have such a good season.
“Overall this season was very fun and even with covid we were still able to perform well and train to run well. It was like a second family and it was a lot of fun, I can’t wait for next season!” Will Swisher, an athlete and student at NCLA said.
Boys Soccer Eager to get Started
On Wednesday, the North Carolina Leadership Academy’s Boys soccer team was supposed to play their first game against Millennium Charter Academy, but it was unfortunately cancelled.
“I am very excited for this season and for things to get back to normal,” junior Karston Keomalaythong said.
This season will consist of about 14 games this year, which means the season was basically cut in half. The season will last until the beginning of March, which is different from the typical season beginning in August and lasting until October. All these changes were due to the ongoing global pandemic where teams have had to better adapt to play their sports safely.
“It has not been easy. Playing sports with a mask on is really tough and outside in the cold makes it even tougher. We have to adjust in other areas as well with being more aware of contact and cleaning. Game protocol will be an adjustment as well,” said Head Coach Shoemaker.
There will be many different opponents this year including Ben L. Smith High School, Cornerstone Charter Academy, Bishop McGuinness, Reidsville High School, South Stokes, Providence Grove, and then multiple games against Millennium Charter Academy. There are 19 players this season and two of them being seniors, Michael Ceoedes and Jackson Shaw both being veterans of the team. The team is very young, with there being three freshman and eight sophomores.
“I think we have a shot to win every game we play this season but if we can win around 11 games minimum out of our 14 games that would be a good season. I think this team should also score 50 plus goals if we can get our 14 games in,” said Shoemaker.
The team is looking to have another great season, hoping to have a winning season two years in a row. Last season, the team averaged about four goals a match with their team leading scorer being sophomore Zach Donath with 15 goals last season. The team also had about two assists a game with Troy Shoemaker with seven assists all season.
In all this uncertainty, the team is looking forward to playing the most games they will be able to and improving while at it. “If we can finish around the goal offensively this team could be really fun to coach and watch. The lack of actual field time has hurt us being able to play together to understand how to play as a team in big spaces,” said Shoemaker.
College Athlete: Lydia Saunders
Competing as an athlete at the collegiate level is no easy feat, especially during an international pandemic. NCLA graduate, Lydia Saunders, currently plays volleyball at Guilford College.
She wanted to continue her volleyball career because of the community and commitment to the game.
“I absolutely love volleyball and once I realized I was good enough to play in college, I worked hard to make it happen,” said Saunders. “I wanted to keep playing, I wanted the automatic friends, and I wanted to stay fit. I also wanted to make my parents proud because of all the time and money they have put into me.”
When she was little, Lydia knew she wanted to play sports in college, but she didn’t think it would be for volleyball.
“When I was little, I did dream of playing in college, but it wasn’t for volleyball. It wasn’t until I was older and played a couple years that I thought about playing in college and pushed to make my dream come true,” said Saunders.
Despite wanting to further her career in volleyball to the collegiate level, she doesn’t think she’ll go pro. “I think I’ll stop after college. However, I may help coach in the future because I love the game and I love the athleticism,” said Saunders.
Playing sports has changed dramatically since the pandemic began due to certain Covid restrictions and precautions.
“I have taken more Covid tests than most. You have to wear a mask all of the time which kills your breathing. My school has to go through phases before we’re even allowed to practice as a team. Unfortunately, I had to quarantine this semester and missed two weeks of practice which can really set you back,” said Saunders.
Aside from the struggles with Covid, playing on a college sports team gives you an immediate family and support system.
“You have automatic friends and a great support system. There’s always someone there to make you laugh or push you to be better,” said Saunders.
Mayweather V. Paul
On Feb. 20 Logan Paul and Floyd Mayweather will face each other in the boxing ring.
The time for the fight to start has not been confirmed yet but they will fight with no headgear and with ten ounce gloves. Floyd Mayweather is 50-0 in his professional boxing career while Logan Paul is 0-1 after his defeat in 2019 to KSI.
The last fight that Floyd Mayweather had was against Conor Mcgregor and he had won the fight in a split decision. Logan Paul however had fought KSI and had lost by split decision. Both fighters varie in both size and fighting style. One fighter is more heavyweight while the other is very lightweight.
Floyd Mayweather is known for his lightweight and fast boxing style. He is 5’’8 and weighs 150 pounds and he is a fast hitter. He has shaky defence but is able to take a hit and is very nimble and can dodge punches thrown his way. Based off of size Floyd Mayweather may be in trouble but Floyd Mayweather has many years of experience in professional boxing.
When Will Blake was asked about how Floyd Mayweather could win the fight he said, “Use his height as an advantage he could win the fight.”
Logan Paul is more based around a heavyweight fighter. Logan Paul is 6’’2 and weighs 200 pound he has the size advantage, but he doesn’t have the speed and agility that Floyd Mayweather has. Logan Paul can hit hard and take a hard hit and he has a good boxing IQ but he is very sloppy with where he hits. Based off of size Logan Paul has the advantage in the fight but he doesn’t have the type of experience Floyd Mayweather has.
When Will Blake was asked how Logan Paul could win he said ,“Use his weight and youth to his advantage.”
There are many ways Floyd Mayweather can win this fight. The most realistic way he wins is he outlasts Logan Paul, meaning that he keeps his stamina and makes sure he doesn’t get hit by Logan Paul’s right hook. But Floyd Mayweather will have to move and hit very smart in order to win against Logan Paul.
When asked about who will win the fight Will Blake said ,”Floyd Mayweather all around but Logan Paul and size and youth” and Will Blake also said, “But I still think Floyd Mayweather is still going to win.”
Logan Paul could possibly win this fight but he would have to do many strategies. Logan Paul would have to keep his stamina in check and try to fight smart and not just punch randomly. He will have to keep Floyd Mayweather contained and will have to try to avoid his fast and plentiful hits to win the fight.
A common boxing trend is betting on a fighter that has been a tradition for many years. The betting odds however are very “one sided” for the Logan vs. Floyd Mayweather match. The odds are -5000 in favor of Floyd Mayweather and -150 for a knockdown, Logan Paul is going into the match with the odds of +1500.
Mahomes Faces Brady in Championship
In this year’s Super Bowl LV, Kansas City Chiefs will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Florida, home to the Buccaneers.
After the win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night Tampa Bay is making Super Bowl history being the first team in NFL history to play in a Super Bowl held at their own stadium.
“This job is not finished. When we went into the season we weren’t talking about going to the Super Bowl, we were talking about winning it,” Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes said to reporters.
Patrick Mahomes who won his first ring at the age of 24 and is now trying to win his second consecutive superbowl ring. As six-time winning quarterback, Tom Brady is facing him trying to win his seventh ring throughout his career.
This year’s Super Bowl will be different due to the Global Pandemic. There will only be 22,000 fans let into the stadium, with the requirement that all coaches, staff, fans, players, and anyone else there must wear a face mask.
Three-time Grammy Award winner, five-time American Music Award winner, and nine-time billboard music award winner, The Weekend is performing the 2021 Super Bowl LV halftime show. This game is going to be “Something special” as spectators announce, it’s going to be one for the books.
Middle School Boys Basketball:
Feb 2 against Cornerstone
Feb 4 against Clover Garden
Feb 8 @ High Point Home Educators
Middle School Girls Basketball:
Feb 2 against Cornerstone
Feb 4 against Clover Garden
Feb 8 @ High Point Home Educators
HS Boys Basketball:
Jan 29 against High Point Home Educators
Feb 1 against Triad Math and Science
Feb 4 @ Vandalia Christian
HS Girls Basketball:
Jan 29 against High Point Home Educators
Feb 1 against Triad Math and Science
Feb 4 @ Vandalia Christian
HS Boys Soccer:
Feb 3 @ Ben L. Smith
Feb 8 against South Stokes
Feb 11 against Providence Grove
NCLA Student’s Small Businesses
In 2020, many people began their own businesses while being in quarantine. Some students even started selling artwork, jewelry, nails, clothes, shoes, and sports cards.
Opening a business at a young age can be an eye-opening experience where learning more about finance, product production, marketing, and management.
Abby Brannan is a junior at NCLA who started her business at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The name of her business is called Abigailrhealin. “It is my first and middle name,” Brannan said.
“I sell crafts and jewelry, maybe art soon,” Brannan said. Her products range from $5 to $200.
Originally she started her business as a fundraiser for a mission trip but, “It was put off until covid ends,” Brannan said.
Abby intends on continuing to invest in her small business. “Eventually I want to own my own boutique cafe selling my crafts as well as others,” Brannan said.
Through her production, she dropships as well as hand makes items. “I promote it on social media and fulfill orders in a timely manner,” Brannan said.
Celeste Paradis is a sophomore who sells her art on Etsy. The name of her business is ArtwParadis. Her products range from $7 to $20. Celeste’s products consist of wounds, custom press-on nails, and art.
“I hope to be able to invest more into my business by being able to do custom art pieces on clothing and be able to buy more canvases to paint on,” Paradis said.
The reason why Celeste created her own business is that “I want to share my art with people and it gives me something to do so all of my art pieces have a chance to see the light and make someone happy,” Paradis said.
Troy and Cade Shoemaker both run a shoe selling business where they resell shoes such as Jordans or Yeezys, and sports cards.
“We started getting into it as a hobby probably a year or a year and a half ago, but only recently have we been able to get more shoes and make more of a profit margin,” Cade said.
They will get their shoes off of websites such as Nike or Yeezy Supply that drop releases at certain times. “If we are able to buy the release before they sell out then they ship to our house where we take pictures of them and list them on eBay,” Cade said.
The prices of the shoes fluctuate depending on the shoe as well as “what the current resale price is, but most are over $250,” Cade said. “Troy recently sold a pair for over $800.”
Opening a business allows you to learn many helpful skills. “It has really helped me to understand finance and managing money. As well as making smart investments, being very organized, and overall smarter with my money,” Troy said.
“I will definitely continue to do this through high school and probably into college as it isn’t hard work and is something I enjoy doing,” Cade said.
“In an ideal world, I would love to take this business of selling shoes and make it into a full-time job. The only thing is I don’t know if it will be stable enough for me to make a full-time deal and make a living off of it. I will definitely do it as a part-time or side job even if it doesn’t grow into a full-time business in the future,” Troy said.
Emerald Hollow Gem Mine Review
To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, my family and I took a trip to the Emerald Hollow Gem Mine in Statesville, North Carolina.
We had to call in advance and make a reservation in order to mine there. We called in the morning the day we went and were able to get in, it isn’t super busy.
The drive to get to the mine was only about an hour long, and it went quickly since there was a lot of scenery to look at. Upon entry, the mine doesn’t look like much, and it’s a little difficult to figure out where you need to go to actually start mining.
When we arrived, we found out it was a lot colder than we were expecting and we almost decided to go home. However, the mine was set up in an outdoor shelter with heaters so that guests didn’t have to find rocks in the cold.
The way this particular mine works is that you can buy buckets of dirt for a set price. There are about 11 buckets to choose from, all ranging from $5 to $1000. The more you pay, the better rocks you get.
We got about five $15 buckets, and we splurged a little bit on one $75 bucket. The $75 bucket obviously had better gems, but the cheaper ones were still pretty good.
There are three different ways guests can sift through their dirt and find precious stones at this mine. The first way is to take their bucket in the river, squat above the water, and wash dirt away from the rocks. The second way is to sluice, which is where you pour some dirt into a pan with little holes on the bottom while water runs through the pan. The last way is to go digging where you go out into the woods and dig dirt yourself, which you can later sift through.
Since we were beginners, my family and I decided to go with sluicing. This was the most recommended method for beginners, and it seemed like it would keep us out of the cold.
The tent was set up to where there were two different paths of water running on each side, with benches on one side for miners to sit. The middle of the two water paths was where all the buckets of dirt were stored. The workers who went around helping people determine what rocks they found.
One worker named Daniel was a huge help. He continuously came over to my family and I and told us about the rocks we got. My sister, Lily, actually found a moonstone that he helped crack open! He told her that she was the first person in 150-200 million years to see that rock which is crazy!
The regular COVID restrictions were still in place, most notably social distancing and required face coverings. We actually preferred to be socially distanced because it gave us more space and water to use. The masks helped to keep dirt off of our face as well.
It took us about an hour and a half to get through all of our buckets of dirt. The mine provided ziploc bags to put rocks you found in, and we ended up leaving with eight to nine bags full of rocks.
Some of the rocks we found were amethyst, obsidian, green apple opal, aventurine, rose quartz, crystals, and jasper.
We have a rock tumbler at our house, which we used to smooth down the rocks we found and make them prettier. I used a few of the rocks to make some jewelry, and my mom put some in a zen fountain that we have in our kitchen.
We did wish that we had worn rain boots and rubber gloves since it got a bit messy. Our hands were pretty numb by the end of it due to the cold water, but we didn’t notice we couldn’t feel our hands until after we were done. Finding precious stones from a bucket of dirt was quite captivating.
Going gem mining at the Emerald Hollow Gem Mine is an activity for all ages. The mine provides buckets and supplies for little kids, which makes the experience very family-friendly. The adults and teenagers still have fun, since the types of rocks vary from bucket to bucket.
Overall, the entire experience was fantastic. We didn’t expect to find so many rocks, so coming home with many bags was a pleasant surprise. After seeing the winter setup the mine had in place, I think going during any season would be okay. However, you’d want to wear rain boots if you go in rainy weather, since the entire grounds are composed of red clay. I’d give this experience a 10/10!
Big Hearts Little Gifts
Valentine’s day is right around the corner. For some people, this holiday has great historical meaning and for others, it is a time for you to express your love for your significant other through gifts and words of affirmation.
Love can come at a low cost. Getting the perfect gift for under $20 that still is packed with a lot of thought and care. There is no need to break the bank in order to exhibit love.
The most traditional gift on Valentine’s day is either chocolate or flowers, both are great gift ideas that come with a low price tag.
Chocolate can range in price, it just depends on how much people are willing to spend. The most affordable chocolate can range from $2 to $15 and can be found at a local covenant or grocery store. It can vary in all different shapes, sizes, and flavors to best fit anyone’s needs.
Flowers are always a sweet but simple gesture that will melt anyone’s heart. Flowers can also come at a low price and can be found at community florists or grocery stores as well. Flowers can be very colorful and the different types of flowers can represent different meanings.
A unique and more heartfelt gift can be something homemade whether that is a card or a craft. Homemade gifts always have been and always will be the best gifts. You can put your love and creativity into the gift personally and makes it more special for the receiver. The best part about this gift is that it can be free most of the time you can use materials you already have laying around your house.
Jewelry is another favorite gift that can include a cute necklace, ring, earrings and bracelets. Jewelry can be a fun way to spice up a gift in an elegant way. Jewelry also can be very inexpensive; it can depend on what brand and where it’s purchased but the cheaper option ranges from $10 to 20 dollars.
These are just a few inexpensive Valentine’s day gift ideas as the season approaches.
Fixing 2020 Hair Mistakes
Last year was challenging to say the very least, with quarantine many were stuck at home unable to go to places like the salon. Do it yourself hair trends thrived and so did the hair mistakes.
Hair is a form of expression and can also be a way to cope for some individuals. Being stuck at home last year ended leaving many to have to do their own hair, but some people may have just had hair breakdowns.
The internet was flooded with people cutting or dying their own hair. Personally, I attempted to bleach my hair three times and dyed it twice.
With the new year comes the time to remedy past mistakes, which includes 2020 hair disasters. One of the new looks is even just shaving all the hair off to start with a new slate.
A few methods of hair care are..
- Don’t wash your hair every day. This can cause your hair to be dry or overly oily.
- Pay attention to the ingredients in the products you use. Things like sulfates and sulfides can be damaging.
- The shampoo is for your roots unless you put product in your hair.
- Don’t fold your hair over onto your head when shampooing.
- Over shampooing your ends can cause damage like split ends.
NCLA students shared their advice for repairing or improving the health of your hair on Instagram.
“Heat protectant and any olaplex products.”
“CONDITIONERS, also just don’t ruin it by dying too much. Stay natural. Stay groovy.”
“A good hair mask and using heat protection always helps.”
“Brush it in the shower with conditioner still in.”
“If you are using heat – use heat protectant spray!”
“I use l’oréal paris elvive dream lengths! It has shampoo, conditioner, and a cream!”
“Don’t use heat! Air drying is so much better for it.”
KFC vs McDonalds
KFC versus McDonalds. Some would say that the two restaurants are on two complete opposite sides of the spectrum. Today I tried both of these restaurants chicken sandwiches.
KFC, who is known for their chicken and southern sides, has two different chicken sandwiches. One is called the Chicken Little, and the other is the Crispy Colonel Sandwich. McDonalds, who is known for their spicy sprite and salty fries, has a McChicken buttermilk sandwich.
First up we have the KFC chicken sandwich. I decided to get the Crispy Colonel box, which came with the sandwich, fries and cheese sticks.
When I first bit into the sandwich, I was very pleased. It was the perfect balance of crunch and flavor, with just the right amount of spice. The chicken itself was full, and was separated into individual tenders. It all tasted so fresh and homemade.
Then I disappointedly went to McDonalds. Now, I will admit I am a little biased towards McDonalds because of a food poisoning incident in the past, but when I opened the box it was a sad sight. The chicken was flat and I could almost see it as the shape of North America.
When I bit into it it was tough and hard to chew. The chicken… didn’t taste like chicken. It was not a complete fail, seeing as there was a hint of spice I could taste, and the buns were well toasted. Then again, being put against KFC, there was never really a fair battle to begin with.
KFC won my heart, but McDonalds did put up a fair fight. These results were not a surprise to me, and both sandwiches lived up to the restaurant’s reputations. While McDonalds may not thrive in their chicken area, they do make some delicious breakfast biscuits.
New Sports at The NCLA
Athletics are one of the most important high school experiences to many students. Making sure that students who want to participate in athletics have a sport to play is crucial to having a successful athletics program.
Adding new sports to the athletic program is something that students have tossed around and asked the school about for years. Coach Mac, the Athletic Director, believes that the sports at The NCLA need to grow before adding in new teams.
“A lot of time, the situation becomes sports in the same season and with a limited number of students to draw from, you start taking away from other sports with your students,” Coach Mac said. “So, I mean we’ve got plenty of sports. Even track and field would have to go off campus to practice right now until we get those facilities built. So that’s a possibility and as we grow and as athletics grows we hope to maybe start adding some of those that we haven’t had in the past.”
The most difficult part of school sports right now is Covid rules and regulations regarding the student athletes and how sports will work.
“The only thing right now is the Covid situation causing full remote kids to not come out for athletics. Than there’s academics and making sure that you keep your grades up, but otherwise we open it up to all the students, so I think everyone has a familiarity with the sports that we have,” Coach Mac said.
The biggest struggle with adding in new sports is making sure that the sports added will be sports the school can be proud of.
“As far as adding sports goes, no one’s closed off to it. You know, we’d have to make sure that it was something that would be beneficial for the school overall and something we could support and support to the level where we could be proud of it, not just sticking something out there, we want to be able to do something the right way,” said Coach Mac.
The reason that there haven’t been many new sports teams added is because of the limited number of students and participation in sports.
“I’d like to see a greater participation although, for the sports that we’ve been able to put on here, which I can only speak about this year, it’s been phenomenal and I think the interest, especially in light of the situation that we’re in and with the restrictions with full remote kids not being able to come out, so I think it’s been really good,” said Coach Mac. “I guess it would just be the students wanting to do it, it’s the wanting aspect. It would probably be students joining because of interest, getting your friends, your friends’ friends and their friends to go out for sports.”
Something that could help increase participation in sports could be The NCLA joining a conference, which will happen next year.
“I think that not only does it give you more recognition across the board in that it’s not just myself and Mrs. Faenza and Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Guldberg fighting for you as an athlete now. You’re representing a conference so now the whole conference is fighting for you, all the coaches in the conference are fighting for your recognition, to see you do well, obviously not against them particularly, but you want your conference to do well. You want to get those player of the week honors in the NCHSAA, you want those things, and those people will put in your name if you have an incredible performance against a conference school,” said Coach Mac.
“I think things like that will help you guys, the student athletes, individually as much as everything else and then to have a platform to be able to have a conference championship would be awesome and then that conference champion being able to go on to represent the conference in the state playoffs and the sky’s the limit from that point on it’s the third season at that point … you’re actually playing for something and you’re seeing where you stand against other teams in your conference,” she continued.
Looking ahead at the coming years, Coach Mac has lots of goals and a strong vision for the athletics program.
“I said at the beginning of the year my goal was to get all sports going and through a full season and it still is,” Coach Mac said. “The participation numbers, as I said, to get our participation numbers up to where you can visually tell the interest is here in the athletics here. 500 seasons or better across the board is what I’d love to do. I think that’s a great start, and then when we get into a conference that gives us a good start to be able to start competing for playoffs and championships and things like that. We’ll be in a conference next year so we’ll have those opportunities and the foundation to take that step to the next level.”
A Day in the Life of a Politician
Kernersville has grown quite a bit in the past couple of years, which has led to more developments and shops coming to town. A lot of the policies and help developing the town comes from the Mayor of Kernersville, Dawn Morgan.
Throughout college, she did not have any plans to be in politics. “I graduated from the University of Virginia, with a Bachelor of Arts, and was an English major, but I also took many business classes. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an MBA; I graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law with a Law degree, at WFU I graduated 2nd in my class,” Morgan said. “I did not have any plans to go into politics when I was in college. After I graduated from college and was working full time, I became involved in the community in Kernersville, and that is how I became interested in running for public office.”
When she decided to pursue a career in politics, she was practicing law for a firm. “In 1997 I was practicing law at Womble Carlyle and I decided I wanted to be more involved in the community. I applied to serve on a Board or Commission and was appointed by the Board of Aldermen to serve on the Kernersville Planning Board,” Morgan said.
The Planning Board is the committee that looks over zoning proposals and land usage in the town. They also hold public hearings surrounding potential land use, as well as voting on the proposals.
In 2001, she made the decision to run for the Board of Alderman and ended up getting elected. “While I was on the Board of Aldermen, I served with Curtis Swisher. In 2008 he was serving as Mayor, but the town needed to hire a town manager and Curtis was interested in becoming the town manager, and so he applied for the position and was hired,” Morgan said.
The Board of Aldermen have some difficult responsibilities, including deciding on town projects.
“Some of the decisions that the Board of Aldermen have to make are very difficult, such as deciding the best place to build a new road and how to fund all of the projects that citizens in the town would like the town to accomplish. We have built a new fire station, a new public services building and renovated our police department, and have some great programs for parks and recreation. I would also like to build more sidewalks, develop some of our parks, and build a new recreation center. These projects cost more to do than the funds we have available. So, we are trying to find a way with grant funding and donations and careful planning to build these projects in the future without raising taxes,” Morgan said.
“The Board of Aldermen appointed me as Mayor to serve the rest of his [Curtis Swisher] term. In 2009 I ran for Mayor and was elected by the citizens, and have served as Mayor ever since. When I was elected I was the first female to ever be elected as Mayor of Kernersville.”
In a typical day of Mayor Morgan, she works on setting town policies, making decisions about the town, and sometimes participating in special events, such as a ribbon cutting ceremony. “I represent the Town of Kernersville to the media, I work with the town manager to set the agenda and on town policies, I preside over the meetings, I represent the town at special events and for special occasions such as ground breakings and ribbon cuttings and special anniversaries of town organizations. I also have the authority to declare a State of Emergency, which I have done for extreme weather events and also for the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Morgan.
Along with town policies comes the development proposals. Due to the pandemic, many of these proposals and developments have changed or been pushed back.
“There are many proposals for new developments. The Covid-19 pandemic has delayed some business developments, but it seems to have increased the number of plans for new houses,” Morgan said.
“This past year, I think the most exciting business to open is an Amazon Fulfillment Center that is 1 million square feet in size, and an Amazon Delivery Station, with 100 employees in addition to the employees that work in the Fulfillment Center. Both new buildings are in Triad Business Park in Kernersville.”
One of the most enjoyable things for the Mayor is being able to interact with the schools in town.
“I enjoy visiting schools and talking with students about local government. I also really enjoy celebrating ribbon cuttings, ground breakings, and special events in the community,” she said. “I like working to make Kernersville a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Being a local politician is a very rewarding job and being able to watch your community grow and expand is an amazing experience.
“One of the most rewarding things that I have done was being involved in the community effort to bring a hospital to Kernersville. The State of North Carolina has to issue a Certificate of Need before a hospital can be built and I was one of the speakers at the public hearing. One of my first public speeches after becoming Mayor was at the ground breaking for construction of the new hospital,” Morgan said.
“I also was a speaker at and helped cut the ribbon for the opening of the new hospital. I enjoyed touring the operating rooms before the hospital opened and I even got to see the air handling system! It was such an honor to participate because some of the surgeons and doctors that helped my mom and other family members were at the ceremonies and the public hearing, and I had a chance to thank them in the speech for all they had done for my family and others in the community,” she continued.
The Town of Kernersville recently added a new library near downtown and it was a project Morgan closely supported.
“Another very rewarding effort was being involved in bringing the new library to Kernersville. I worked very closely with the Forsyth County Commissioners and with the architects and the builders on the design. The project was paid for with bonds, and the bonds were approved by the voters. I helped in the effort to let voters know that this was on the ballot and that it was an important initiative to support,” Morgan said.
Kernersville’s growth over the past few years has been amazing to watch and Mayor Morgan is excited to see it grow even more.
“Our town is growing, with more houses being built and more new businesses, like Amazon. With growth there is traffic. There are also new people moving to town. I think there are two important challenges; making sure that our roads can handle the traffic so that people do not get frustrated when driving around town and helping people that are new to Kernersville feel like they can be involved in the community and that there are organizations that they can participate in,” Morgan said.
Covid Testing at The NCLA
This past week there was a form sent to all students regarding the decision of getting tested for the Covid-19 at school. Parents can either select yes or no to the option of getting this done.
If parents consent to the testing, students and staff can get a test done if they demonstrate symptoms of covid or had exposure to someone who tested positive for it.
In order to have a test done a request must be sent to Mrs. Faenza or Mrs. Harrell and they will schedule the test. Either Mrs. Faenza or Mrs. Harrell will shadow the tests being done.
After a Covid test has been scheduled. The person in need will drive up to the school in their car. Mrs. Faenza and Mrs. Harrell will be fully dressed in their personal protective equipment. This consists of a gown, mask, face shield, gloves, and a healthy distance.
One of the two administrators will then show the symptomatic person how to perform the test. If it is a child who is symptomatic, their parent or guardian will carry out the test. An adult can do the test on themselves.
Mrs. Faenza or Mrs. Harrell will discuss how far up the Q-tip must go into the nose of whoever is in need.
The NCLA has rapid testing. This means that results will come back within 15 minutes. If the card comes back with two lines, the client has tested positive for Covid-19. If there is one line, it was a negative test result.
Rapid testing at the NCLA is for the purpose of convenience. “It’s hard to find a place to get tested right now. The school can get it done really fast. It’s also free!” Mrs. Wood said.
“The NCLA is one of the only two schools in North Carolina that got certified for Covid-19 testing. Mrs. Faenza and Mrs. Harrell both took a course on the procedure so rest assured that the NCLA staff and students are in good hands. Testing could also keep people at our school safe. “If a covid test is easier to get done, more people might get tested when they feel symptomatic. This could keep everyone at the NCLA healthy and happy” Mrs. Wood said.
An instagram poll determined that 62% of people said they would get a Covid test at the NCLA while 38% of people argued that they wouldn’t.
Some people like Sydney Lohr said “ I probably wouldnt get a test done at the NCLA because my parents might not feel comfortable with it.”
“Whether you would get the test done or not, the school will fit the agenda of the faculty, and students around them. We want to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and safe here at the NCLA” Mrs. wood said.
Recent Accidents in the Car Line
Before winter break, the NCLA had witnessed several car crashes on the road where you turn into the school.
“There is a time in fall and spring when the sun is really bright in the horizon at drop off time and can be blinding if you are approaching the school from the west on Union Cross Rd.,” the principal Mrs. Faenza said. “The car crashes at the front of the school do not have anything to do with the school itself. When this happens, if cars are blinded by the sun, they should continue straight past the school until they can turn around to enter the school from the opposite direction.”
Hunter Wilfong was a student who experienced the aftermath of on of the wrecks and said, “So we got off the highway at the exit right below the fire station and traffic was backed up to the exit. We sat there for about 15 min and they were not letting people into the school.”
“When we got up [to the intersection] there was a truck had turned too soon and another car smashed right into the front left side of the truck. Both cars were totaled and I don’t think anyone was seriously injured because they were all up and walking around.” Wilfong said.
“There is nothing the school can do to prevent future accidents. Also, parents and student drivers should avoid using cell phones while driving. “ said Mrs. Faenza.
Please keep safety in mind when driving into and by the school to help keep students and parents safe and to prevent further accidents.
Science Class Safety Nets
With the second semester starting, students are facing a new row of changes and challenges. Between returning to school, maintaining grades, schoolwork, and many other things, it is possible that slip-ups may happen.
Biology and Earth Environmental science classes have built a sort of net that can help catch students from falling too far behind.
Students must score an 80% or higher on every quiz they take. They are allotted 3 tries on every quiz, and if the score can not be achieved, the next week’s assignments will not be given.
High School Science teacher, Mrs. Hartzell has implemented this in her classrooms.
“One of the things that a lot of the teachers have noticed, especially during this time of hybrid and remote learning, is that overall grades for students are much lower. I think that is something that we need to address head on,” Hartzell said.
“I’ve noticed a trend among some students that the students would actually not attempt a lot of the classwork and not have passing scores on quizzes and so come time for the test they wouldn’t really do so well.”
Along with the test scores, it is now required that you finish the previous week’s assignments before you can move on to the next week’s module. Hartzell says this is supposed to help students stay engaged and see the areas they need to improve in.
“I am trying to put a few stop signs, just to help students see what is missing or lacking,” Hartzell said. “I felt like if they had had more exposure to activities and had multiple tries on quizzes until they could find out what was wrong this could possibly increase understanding.”
Students have mixed emotions about this.
“It is stressful that we have to make a certain score, but it’s nice that we have three tries,” Freshman Caitlyn Hanna, who is in Mrs. Roberts’ Environmental Science, said. “When you’re done with the test and you’re given your score, it doesn’t even tell you the ones you got wrong, which can make it a little frustrating to have to retake.”
Sophomore Camryn Earnhardt, who is in Mrs. Hartzell’s Honors Biology, added “I think it will actually end up helping me, because I can’t get below an 80, so it won’t drop my grade that low. It allows me to retake the quiz if I get a bad grade so that I can make it better and get the best grade I am capable of.”
The end goal is to have higher exam grades.
“Already having that higher percent going into an exam can better prepare you, which would ultimately make exam grades go up as well,” Hartzell said.
“It looks like the state will try to do an EOC. That is 20 percent of a students final grade, and its a test that I don’t write and that I don’t grade, I have a responsibility to make sure that students are prepared so that they can pass this class and move on.”
Some students like this new method so much, that they wish it could be implemented into other classes such as math. If students were able to take a test and see how they do on material without help and then see where their strengths and weaknesses lie. It could help them reach out for help in certain areas and gain overall knowledge and become more confident on the material.
“Teachers always offer tutoring, and students rarely take advantage of that. I think that if there is something that they must do to move forward, students are more likely to reach out for help rather than skipping over that assignment or willingly failing that quiz,” Hartzell said.
COVID-19 Vaccination, First Hand Look and What to Expect.
By Cameron Warren
The COVID-19 vaccine is the most recent permanent protection against the widely known virus. With more than 70,000 people volunteered to test the vaccine they have been proven to be 95% effective according to the NC DHHS.
“Yes I felt relief to get the vaccine because I am anxious to get back to normal. I also work in healthcare so I am concerned about exposure to covid positive patients and I wouldn’t want to get sick or bring it home to my family,” Jennifer Warren, a nurse practitioner, said.
There are four phases of who the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to. From health workers and elderly in phase 1 to students and the general public in phase 3 and 4. The vaccine will be completely free and easy to get “whether or not you have insurance” according to the NC DHHS.
“I had to complete the CVS vaccine consent paperwork and have a negative COVID test before I received the vaccine,” said Donnie Warren, the vice president of sales at Healthcare Services Group.
With phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine plan going into place recently phase 3 is not too far away. This means that students and teachers could be receiving the vaccine sometime in the near future.
“I will be getting the COVID-19 vaccine so I can finally eliminate the fear of getting it and spreading it to loved ones.” Ryan Shapiro, a student at NCLA said.
In a poll of 72 people on the NCLA News Instagram page, 60% of people said they would get the vaccine when it becomes available and 40% said they wouldn’t.
“I will probably get it because I can help stop COVID-19 and things can go back to normal.” Calvin Zoellinger, a student at NCLA said.
HS Volleyball Ends With Winning Record
On Jan. 4, the High School Volleyball season ended with a final 7-4 record. The team had a tremendous season playing during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, the season was delayed until early November and consisted of 11 games. The Falcons were able to play all 11 games. The season consisted of normal opponents such as Cornerstone Academy, South Stokes, Millennium Charter Academy, and then Chatham Charter. This season also consisted of playing at two 4a schools, Grimsley High School and then Ragsdale High School.
“Some great highlights of this season were winning on Senior Night (December 9th) vs. a strong Chatham Central team, beating two 4A schools (Ragsdale and Grimsley) back to back in December, and watching all our players improve throughout the season,” Head Coach Hilliard said.
This year, the team had three seniors this year playing on the team. Selah Smith, Maura Perkins, and Megan Queen have all played volleyball for NCLA since middle school. Perkins led the team in kills this year with 81 and Smith coming in second with 78. Smith also led the team in attack attempts with 299 this season.
“I am really going to miss having such dynamic players on the team. I have been playing with these girls since middle school. Each senior had many strengths that are going to be hard to imagine next season without. I am very thankful I got to play with such amazing people,” junior Nora Wood said.
This season the teams seven wins came from playing two 4A schools and then from playing very skilled other skills but in our conference. The team had a combined total of 265 kills and had 1027 attack attempts. The teams also had 476 digs and had a total of 26 blocks this year.
Despite so much uncertainty, the team was able to have a great season, “Even though the COVID restrictions took some getting used to, I think it was a great season overall. I told the girls many times to not take anything for granted, because we never knew if it would all end. We are so thankful we were able to play our full season and I’m proud of the girls for pushing through the strange new realities that COVID has brought and making it a great season,” said Head Coach Hilliard.
The team is looking forward to next season because especially that will be schools in a conference in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
“I think the biggest thing I am going to miss is playing games with my friends and just being on the court,” senior Selah Smith said.
NCLA Varsity Cheer
Cheerleaders are pumped about the basketball games starting. Thursday Jan. 7 was the first game of the season.
Cheerleading has been a program at the North Carolina Leadership Academy that started seven years ago. This year, the cheer team has 14 members and is coached by Coach Manuel.
“We’ve been there with each other from the ugly red Sophie shorts to the new uniforms and flips and it’s just been really awesome to see how far we’ve grown both as a team but as individuals and friends,” senior Annie Ellis said.
Cheerleading has been an outlet that helps build an individual’s character. “Cheering has strengthened my confidence and encouraged me to be outgoing more than anything else in my life. I have learned significant ways to work together with people my age physically and mentally,” junior Mckenna Porto said.
Cheerleading has taught valuable lessons that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. “Cheerleading has made me realize the importance of communication within a team sport. Not only is it important to communicate with each other, but there must be a bond between the team to create a system of trust,” senior Mercy Newnum said.
The relationship between teammates requires trust when performing as a team. “There is a huge amount of trust you have to have with your teammates that is hard to reach, without that trust people could get hurt or the performance could fail. A lot of physical strength has to be present as well,” Porto said.
Cheerleading creates unbreakable bonds and opens an opportunity for new friendships. “Cheer has been a part of my life since 9th grade and some of my best friends are on the cheer squad,” Ellis said.
Not only has cheerleading made an impact on the teammates but it has also made a positive impact on their coach, Mrs. Manuel. “The relationships that I create with my team members are ones that I will carry with me forever and ones that will help me grow into a better person and coach,” Coach Manuel said.
New members of the team are welcomed and are able to connect with their teammates. “Cheerleading so far has been so fun and such a great way to get to know girls that are older than you,” freshman Allie Hodges said.
Due to the Covid safety precautions, cheering is a little bit different this season. “I am still very excited to cheer, but the crowd has to be smaller for COVID regulations. Even though the crowd is smaller, it is our job to encourage the team and get the crowd involved,” Newnum said.
Not only is the amount of fans restricted but cheerleaders cannot stunt this year. Stunting is when there are bases and a back spot on the ground holding the flyer up in the air.
“We have many restrictions such as no stunting which I know the squad and I strived off of,” Porto said.
The amount of games cheerleaders are attending this year has been limited to home games only. “We are not able to attend away games. Although this year is different I am so happy to be on the team with all of my girls,” junior Elle Guer said.
Even though cheering is different this year the team is making the most of it. “We still have tons of fun with it and just being able to see each other and cheer makes it exciting,” Ellis said.
Coach Manuel helps encourage her cheerleaders to look on the bright side. “We are super thankful and grateful to be able to have some type of season,” Coach Manuel said.
Cheerleaders are the spirit of the school and they have an important job of encouraging players and students.
“The best part about being an NCLA cheerleader is encouraging athletes during the game. In addition to being alongside my best friends, it is a great feeling to hype up the players and celebrate their accomplishments,” Newnum said.
The character traits that make a good cheerleader are “dedication and commitment, being enthusiastic, hard-working, confident,” Coach Manuel said.
Cheerleaders are representing the school so it is important for them to always put their best foot forward.
“Being a cheerleader takes a great attitude and a certain technique. As a cheerleader, it’s very important to represent the school in the best way possible,” Newnum said.
Cheerleading is a sport that requires a sense of flexibility. Sometimes a routine will need to be changed and you must be able to jump in and fill the position. “You will get asked to do things that you might not be 100% confident or comfortable with but you just have to go with it and keep a smile on your face,” Guer said.
Cheerleading requires a lot of mental and physical strength. “A lot of time has to be dedicated to being a cheerleader whether it be to memorize cheers, to push ourselves to learn new stunts and skills, or to learn new dances,” Porto said.
This year the cheerleading team has seven seniors on the team which is half of the team. Although they will miss cheering next year, they are grateful for the season they have been given.
“I’m going to miss being able to see everyone all the time. The seniors especially, I’ve known since the school started in 5th grade and we’ve been to every single basketball game together,” Ellis said.
Falcon XC Makes it to Regionals
As the NCLA Cross Country team’s season comes to an end, they have had a successful and short season. To finish the season strong the entire girl’s team has qualified to run in regionals and on our boy’s team Freshmen, Will Swisher has qualified as an individual to compete in regionals this saturday, Jan. 15 at Ivey Redmond in Kernersville.
“We had a great season, winning several meets. Also having a good chance to win regionals,” Coach Rickert said.
Competing in 2021 Regionals for the NCLA is:
- Mary DeHart (senior)
- Emily Vroom (senior)
- Brooke Bandy (senior)
- Jayden Dewald (junior)
- Kamree Anderson (Freshmen)
- Will Swisher (Freshmen)
Coach Rickert explained that Emily Vroom, Kamree Anderson and Jayden Dewald have all been around the same time, but Jayden was the fastest at the Conference meet. She does say she’s not sure who all will have a chance of winning at the meet because they have never run against these schools.
In order for the runners to qualify for Regionals, it was the first overall individual that was not on a team that qualified, meaning that during the conference meet our boy’s team did not qualify and Will came in first. Our girl’s team ended up winning as a team scoring more points because they came in first, second, and third place.
“I am excited about regionals and I have enjoyed the Cross Country season so far, especially getting to spend time with my teammates, but with the season being pushed back it has introduced new challenges with running in the cold. I wish there were more meets this season, but I’m glad we got to participate in regionals, even if we freeze a little bit in the process,” Emily Vroom said.
Bama is Back With a Ring
Last monday, The Alabama Crimson Tide once again won another NCAA Football title. They faced The Ohio State University in the College Football Playoff National Championship game beating them 52-24.
With a season that was uncertain to even happen in the summer of 2020 due to the pandemic and multiple Covid scares, Alabama still found a way to be dominant.
Coming into this game both teams were undefeated. Both teams won easily through the first round of the College Football Playoff. It seemed the Championship Game would be a terrific matchup between two historic football programs.
During the first quarter of the game, the teams traded scores ending it tied at seven. But then Alabama seemed to wake up in the second quarter.
Heisman Trophy Winner, DeVonta Smith came to play in the second quarter. Smith had three touchdowns and 215 receiving yards before halftime. Smith is the first wide receiver to win the Heisman since 1991. Smith winning the most prestigious award in college football was no fluke. He currently holds the record for all-time receiving yards and touchdowns out of any power 5 receiver ever.
The Crimson Tide ran away with the game after the second quarter with a total of 35 unanswered points in the last three quarters.
The Heisman winner went out after halftime with a hand injury but this still could not stop the offense.
“Heaven knows what he would have done if he played the whole game, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said to ESPN when asked about Smith going out at halftime.
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and the rest of the dominant Alabama offense lead them to victory. Jones ended the game with 5 touchdowns and 464 passing yards.
Nick Saban and Alabama have won six of the last 12 National Championship Games. This is a very historic team in Saban’s eyes.
“To me, this is the ultimate team,” Saban said to ESPN. “There is more togetherness on this team than on almost any team we’ve ever had. They’ve had to overcome and to persevere so much through this season, and they have done it magnificently.”
This Bama team was faced with the Coronavirus head-on like every other team. But they also played with a large chip on their shoulder. In last year’s loss to Clemson in the National Championship many critics said that the Alabama Football Dynasty was over. This was a large working point for the team. The team came back and is now in the conversation for one of the best college football seasons to be played.
“We all had a mission trying to end things the right way,” Smith said to ESPN. “We all went to work and it ended the way we wanted.”
2021 NBA Season
Like all professional sports, this year’s NBA season will be a lot different than those of the past. For starters, teams will be expected to play 72 games instead of the usual 82. This however, is highly unlikely as most teams will experience some cancellations and postponements due to Covid-19 protocol. Along with there be no NBA “bubble” this season the chance of contracting the virus is much higher.
Teams are tested regularly, and play in empty stadiums each night. Travel days are limited, and players/staff are expected to wear a mask when they are not on the court.
The NBA has locked down on Covid-19 protocol, even dishing out fines to players who don’t social distance or wear masks outside of team facilities.
Recently, Kyrie Irving has been under fire for not wearing a mask while at a family birthday party. He has missed a few games for the Brooklyn Nets because of, “Personal reasons” he told reporters. However his actions will set precedent for the rest of the league as he could face up to $460,000 in fines.
As for the play early on in the season, a lot of young teams are making a name for themselves. The Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and Charlotte Hornets, all seem to have a bright future led by young draft picks.
All top seeds from last year’s playoffs seem to be making another run, as the Lakers have an early two to three game lead on the top teams. Surprisingly however, the Eastern conference is shaping up to be a very competitive year. There is a three team tie for first between the Bucks, Celtics and 76ers.
Players to watch for this season will be a lot of young stars trying to prove themselves fresh out of the draft class.
Lamelo Ball has had a nice transition into the NBA, as well as the number one pick Anthony Edwards. Zion is also shaping up to have an All-Star year, so there will be plenty of talent to last into the future.
Finally, lookout for the Nets. With the acquisition of James Harden on Wednesday night, the Brooklyn Nets will have the best offense in the NBA. James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving leading the front court will be unguardable. The only problem being, there’s one ball.
Middle School Boys Basketball:
Jan 15 @ Cornerstone
Jan 21 @ Caldwell
Jan 22 @ Clover Garden
Middle School Girls Basketball:
Jan 15 @ Cornerstone
Jan 21 @ Caldwell
Jan 22 @ Clover Garden
HS Boys Basketball:
Jan 18 against Union Grove
Jan 19 @ Millenium Charter
Jan 28 against Millers Creek
HS Girls Basketball:
Jan 18 against Union Grove
Jan 19 @ Millenium
Jan 26 against Surry Home Educators
Spotify “Wrapped” up the Year: An Annual Evaluation
January 15 – Although 2020 was far from being normal, the digital music streaming service, Spotify, still delivered its annual listening report to each individual for the year with no end.
Spotify has many streaming possibilities that are endless when it comes to music, podcasts, and even videos. Its growing popularity seems to be more apparent when everyone begins posting their end-of-year listening stats. In a recent Instagram poll, we asked: “Do you use Spotify?” with 68% (156 people) of participants saying yes and 32% (76 people) saying no.
Spotify Wrapped began in 2015, where it gave the minimal details of an individual’s listening habits. It listed the biggest songs of the year and a user’s top 100 songs. Now, Spotify Wrapped tells a user their top artists, songs, genres, minutes listened in total, top podcasts, and more. Not only does Spotify personalize a playlist of an individual’s top songs, but they also create playlists of missed hits and other weekly recommendation playlists for each user. You do not have to be a member of Spotify Premium to receive your Spotify Wrapped.
On their website regarding 2020 Spotify Wrapped, it says, “Find out the artists, songs, and podcasts that got you through the longest year ever.”
While the full accuracy of Spotify Wrapped is still questionable, it allows for a fun experience for users to reflect on their year. Many of The NCLA students who got to see their Spotify Wrapped stats were surprised with what they noticed:
“My number one most played song was not right,” freshman Ariana Elliot said.
“How many minutes I had listened. It was way less than I expected,” sophomore Lindsey Allen said.
“Ed Sheeran was one of my top artists,” sophomore Ella Durr said.
“The ungodly amount of time I spent listening to podcasts,” junior Callie Foust said.
“All my top 5 songs were Frank Ocean,” junior Karston Keomalaythong said.
“A song that I didn’t even listen to the whole way through was one of my top songs,” junior Abigail Brannan said.
“All of my top 5 songs were by the same artist,” junior Jackson Faenza said.
“Morgan Wallen wasn’t my #1listened to artists,” senior Emily Baker said.
“I was in the top 0.5% of The Kid Laroi’s listeners,” senior Becca Nordstrom said.
“My top song was one I hadn’t listened to in months,” senior Brook Bandy said.
“Drake was in my top five,” senior Mercy Newnum said.
Pixar’s Soul: A Review
January 15 – Pixar’s new movie “Soul” has everyone talking – but not in the way you would think.
The movie is about finding who you are as a human being, what your purpose is, and how you should live in order to pursue that purpose. Obviously, these three topics aren’t the typical topics portrayed in Pixar films. “Soul” is notorious for discussing deeper meanings to life than that of the traditional Pixar movie.
In the movie, the main character Joe Gardener, played by Jamie Foxx, has a near-death experience that puts his soul into The Great Beyond. Here, he begins to contemplate his life choices and he starts to regret his existence that he ultimately took for granted.
But, Joe gets stuck between The Great Beyond and The Great Before once his soul is out of his body. Once he “dies”, his soul is transported to a staircase with a big, white light at the end of it, known as The Great Beyond. But, he doesn’t want to die yet. So he escapes the staircase and ends up in The Great Before, which is where souls’ personalities are determined before they go to Earth.
In The Great Before, Gardener meets a soul named 22 that hasn’t been developed yet and they go on a wide variety of adventures. After a strange turn of events, Joe’s soul ends up in a cat, and 22’s soul ends up in Joe’s body. It is during this part of the movie that Joe starts to realize what he needs to change in his life.
Similar to Pixar’s “Inside Out”, “Soul” is a movie that takes on portraying greater human conditions, such as death and deeper emotions. They usually portray these conditions in a bright/fun light, but this movie portrayed them in a way that made viewers really think about their lives. Was this a flaw for “Soul”? Absolutely not.
With the use of absolutely stunning animations, the creators of “Soul” made this movie both for children and adults. The Great Before is animated with such beautiful colors and gives off such a lively vibe, which helps portray a child soul’s innocence. The style of animation used in “Soul” is not like traditional Pixar animation, but it still is fascinating and jam-packed with detail.
This movie made me contemplate my life for days. It made me think hard on who I am and what my soul’s purpose is meant to be. I enjoyed watching this movie for many reasons, but the fact that it taught me a lesson about life that I will carry with me into my future was one of my favorites.
I think if I were to watch this movie as an adult, I would have an identity crisis. The movie illustrates Joe Gardener as a man who thought he knew his purpose, but was wrong and realized he was taking it for granted. When he has to take a look at what his life looks like in others’ eyes, he sees nothing but failure and setbacks. If I were older, I would be asking myself “Am I really doing what my soul is meant for?” after watching this movie.
One of my favorite parts of “Soul” was when Joe got a second chance at his life and became so much more passionate about the things that he loves. It gave me a sense of hope and assurance that life will occasionally give you second chances, but you shouldn’t count on them. Second chances are rare, but they always come at the best times.
The part of the movie that touched me the most was when the characters were introduced to the “lost souls.” These were souls that became so obsessed with something that they let it take over their lives, leaving their soul empty and unfulfilled. This touched me because I have let that happen to me once or twice, and after watching that scene, I realized I wasn’t alone.
Pixar’s “Soul” is such a whimsical yet down-to-earth perception of a human life. It teaches the viewer a variety of lessons, such as pursue what you love to keep your soul alive. Though it is unlike any other Pixar movie in terms of deep content, “Soul” makes the viewer want to go out and live their life to the fullest. I’d rate this movie a 10/10!
New Movies in 2021
January 15 – With the new year comes the release of new movies, but how will this year differ with the lasting effects of the pandemic? This year’s movies will consist of new releases and postponed releases from last year that will be showing not only in theaters, but also multiple streaming services.
Last year was a difficult year in many rights – especially for cinemas. Many theaters and cinemas had to close as a result of quarantine and Covid-19 safety guidelines. This led some theaters to close permanently.
People being unable to visit theaters led many movies to shift their release dates to this year, while a few, such as Pixar’s Soul, were released directly to streaming services.
This year movies will continue to show in theaters, but some will also release directly to streaming services like HBO Max. There also will be a greater release of streaming service original movies as Netflix claims to be releasing a new movie every week of 2021.
A few of the movies to look forward to in 2021..
A Quiet Place II
This is a sequel to the 2018 film A Quiet Place and takes place in a world full of violent monsters. These monsters can not see and as a result rely on their sense of hearing to track down their prey. Survival in this world can only be achieved through silence.
April 23, 2021
Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff, is a character most popularly known from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. After standing along with the Avengers she tragically died in Avengers: Endgame in order to help save the day. This film takes place in the past following the events of Captain America: Civil War and gives a deeper look into Black Widow’s background as a character.
May 7, 2021
Fast & Furious 9
The Fast and the Furious franchise is a popular series that already consists of 9 films. The franchise focuses on a street racer group. This instalment will focus on the character Dominic and his family.
May 28, 2021
Space Jam: New Legacy
This movie will be a sequel to the classic 90s film, Space Jams. There will be multiple cameos by NBA and WNBA players. Space Jams: New Legacy will have a new storyline that will have the Looney Toons gang go through other works by Warner Brothers, but it is not entirely clear what possible crossovers will take place.
July 16, 2021
The Suicide Squad
This film will serve as a sequel/reboot to the Suicide Squad that was released in 2016. Its predecessor didn’t perform well so there is hope that this film will be a redemption for DC films.
August 6, 2021
Wonder Woman Flop
January 15 – The DC universe is full of heroes and villains like The Joker, Aquaman, Batman, Lex Luthor and of course Wonder Woman who is the popular hero of the DC comics. The newest movie, Wonder Woman 1984 released on December 25, 2020 on HBO Max and is only streaming until January 24. Diana (Gal Gadot) is living her life in 1984 DC, after she left the Amazon during the time of World War I.
Diana must deal with the destruction caused by her work colleague, Barbra Minerva (Kristen Wigg) and a broke businessman, Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) because of an ancient artifact that grants wishes mysteriously disappears.
Diana lives her life in DC and always has Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), her dead lover who died back in WWI. When a strange artifact arrives at the Smithsonian Museum, her and her coworker Barbra make a wish, but what they do not expect is for their wishes to come true.
Steve comes back from the dead while Barbra inherits new strength as well as more attention. Maxlord who is also searching for the wishing stone steals it from the museum and then becomes the wishing stone.
Maxlord and Barbra begin to change and keep granting themselves more wishes which comes at the cost of losing some part of themselves. The influence that they both carry eventually gets them to the feet of the President of the United States and from there, a secret broadcasting place which connects to every television, radio, phone, etc. on the planet. Many people all across the world begin to make wishes and because every wish comes with a price, havoc all over the world begins to happen and the only way to stop the damage is for everyone to revoke their wish.
The beginning scene is the only good scene in the whole movie, besides of course Diana fighting in the White House and at the secret satellite location. The fighting is always the best part, the little details in between were not as intriguing or engaging as they were in the first movie.
“Selflessness” was the theme of the movie but it’s not as outspoken and impressive of a theme compared to other movies. I understand that the theme was also a bit cheesy in the first movie as well but the way they portrayed it and showed it made it more embarrassing in a way.
In my personal opinion, the first movie is way better. The action and plot all together make it more emotional and enjoyable rather than this movie. This movie was more comical and upbeat rather than the first. Maybe it’s a personal preference but it seemed to be a bit childish at some points. In the first movie, there was a deeper connection that could be drawn. Also, the fact that Steve died in the first movie and left me heartbroken just to come back in this newer movie, I was not happy because of the emotional rollercoaster that I endured just to see him leave again.
According to a poll made by the Falcon News on Instagram, 76% of people said the first Wonder Woman was better compared to 24% who said the second movie was better. I would give it a five out of ten.
Safety : A Review
January 15 – Did you know that the newest Disney + movie “Safety” is based on a true story?
The movie shows the weight and pressure put onto the 19 year old Ray Elrathbey who was faced with having to give his 11 year old brother Fahmarr a place to learn, live, and sleep while having to keep up with school and football. During the stressful times Ray had fought for his brother to stay with him especially, with the rules and violations that the NCAA has.
Throughout the movie Ray continues to struggle with keeping his brother with him. There are many times where Fahmarr has to return home and has to go into child care then they have to go live on their own. But through the whole time they had people fighting for them every step of the way through.
Eventually Ray has to force his mother to sign custody to him for Fahmarr because they don’t know if she can stay drug free when she gets out of her rehabilitation. This scene was very impactful and showed that Ray knew he had to step up as a fatherly figure towards Fahmarr. Once Ray had figured out Fahmarr’s living situation he finally had time for football and school.
He continues with his hard studies that the professors are surprised that he is doing. In football he is playing great and a consistent level where he starts to play with the starters. Then the NCAA says that Ray can’t have money being made from other people, because during that time the community and his friends had helped Ray pay for his place to live.
After the community found out about this they became very upset and Ray did as well, he goes to the NCAA offices and waives for the right to make the exception of having the support due to his situation he is in. They hear his speech and allow the waiver to pass through. Then Ray is finally able to play football and pursue his education.
Ray later on quits football and has now devoted his life to helping kids form their future and is helping children that live in the same situation that Fahmarr had grown up in. Fahmarr has pursued an education at Clemson and likes to make and mix beats in his free time. Their Mother has now stayed drug-free for over 12 years now and is very supportive of both of her sons.
After I had watched the movie I felt like the production value was low and sometimes the acting had fallen off and some scenes in the movie felt repeated. Some scenes felt unnecessary, for example, they were painting a building five different colors in one spot, then Ray looks behind them and sees a bunch of kids playing with a football then tells his brother to “Go show them how it’s done”, I felt the movie could have gone without many scenes.
For the movie “Safety” if rated out of ten it would be a 5 out of 10.
Although there were many flaws in the movie and the production seemed low sometimes I felt like the movie had a very good message to give. I felt the message was to be almost universal to everyone and that no matter how bad your life or situation is, always keep fighting.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Importance and History
Martin Luther King Jr. day is a day that everyone in this country has acknowledged whether it be in school, at work or just a regular day. Martin Luther King Jr. has been one of America’s important figures for many people.
King was born in Georgia on January 15,1929 to Michael King Sr. and Alberta King. The first time King had saw someone stand up to discrimination was when he was a little kid.
His father had taken him shoe shopping and one of the employees had told them they needed to sit in the back, his father then took Martin’s hand and left the store. He then told his son after the incident happened, “I don’t care how long I have to live with this system, I will never accept it.”
Later on, in March 1955, a 15 year old girl, named Claudette Calvin had refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, violating the Jim Crow Laws. King, who was on the Birmingham African-American committee heard about the case and the leaders of the committee decided to have minimal involvement in the case and hold out to pursue another case.
Nine months later something similar had occurred with a woman named Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat on the bus and was arrested. This event led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott lasting 385 days.
The involvement of King in the boycott led to his house getting bombed as well as getting arrested. This resulted in a U.S district ruling that ended all segregation on Montgomery buses.
King’s leadership and activism involvements such as the Birmingham campaign and the Selma Voting Rights Movement are important but one of his greatest moments was the march on Washington in 1963.
In August 1963, about 250,000 people were gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. demanding the end to racial discrimination, segregation in schools, protection of civil right workers from police brutality, etc.; The Lincoln Memorial is where King gave a famous 17 minute “I Have A Dream” speech.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” King said.
Unfortunately, Mr. King Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4,1968 as he stood on the second floor balcony of his motel. Despite having emergency chest surgery, he died an hour after he was shot.
In 1971, cities like St. Louis, Missouri created holidays to honor MLKJr. and what he had done for the black community. On Nov. 2, 1984, President Ronald Regan signed a federal bill to honor King on January 20,1986. During George H. W. Bush presidency, the holiday was to be every third monday in January each year near his birthday.
Cold Days, Warm Hearts
Every kid dreams of waking up in the morning as they rush out of bed hoping to see the ground will be covered in snow, and to hear parents saying that school has been cancelled. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has changed that for a lot of families due to the new online learning system.
“I used to be excited to have a day off, I looked forward to the relaxation ahead of me, as I would go to shuffle around in the snow and spend family time building snowmen,” Ava Gonzalez said.
For some individuals, things will be different this winter but the NCLA is doing its best to ensure students and staff’s safety and well-being.
The pandemic has brought a lot of questions and concerns to NCLA families as they are having to adjust to the online learning system. The most important question being “Will snow days be adjusted to fit our hybrid schedule?”
“It will depend, most of the time it will be made to fit our hybrid schedule, the good thing about that is it won’t extend our school year. The teachers have the option to lighten the workload that day depending on the class schedule,” Ms.Wood said.
Virtual learning snow days could be the new normal but there is some slight convenience to it. For students, this could mean no more extended summers and no more rescheduling important tests or classwork.
“For me, virtual learning snow days has its ups and downs because you don’t have an extended year and you need to attend school. School is a very important thing but once again I feel as if we should also have a snow day off to relax,” Mackenzie Green said.
The NCLA Family
The NCLA is a charter school unlike other types of schools. The school is built on the support from families and staff. Many staff members have even brought their own children to NCLA because of its promising potential.
“My mom was excited about applying for my sister and I to get into NCLA,” Nora Wood said, referring to her mom, Mrs. Wood.
Nora Wood came about one year after her mom began working at the school. Her sister Layla started the year before that. The Wood family always had big ideas and expectations on where the school was heading and NCLA has not disappointed them.
Some NCLA families discovered the school from friends who sent their kids there. After families heard great reviews from staff, students, and families, many wanted to see the infamous school for themselves.
Gabriella Durr has a little sister, Adaline Pallaci in second grade at NCLA. Adaline came a year before Gabriella did, allowing their family to have a first hand experience about what the NCLA really was about. After loving the falcon experience, the family decided to have Gabriella apply as a rising sophomore.
“My mom saw how great Adaline was doing there, we decided that applying to NCLA this year would be a better fit for all of us,” Gabriella Durr said.
Being in a smaller school gives more opportunities to have closer relations to teachers and fellow students. The teachers give students the attention they need in order to academically succeed as well as giving opportunities in athletics.
After being homeschooled till sixth grade, Cade and Troy Shoemaker researched charter schools and found The NCLA. Once they started attending, their mom began subbing, eventually working in the front office. A few semesters later their dad left Ragsdale High School and now teaches at the NCLA and is the basketball coach as well. .
“I like our school because it is smaller and you are able to get to know everyone,” Cade Shoemaker said.
During this time of online school, it’s important to have a designated area to work on assignments. Students’ grades, productivity and overall health improve with a clear workplace.
“I think grades are influenced by your work space because a designated place allows people to be more organized and focused on school, whereas if it’s a different space everyday or it’s chaotic then they cannot focus,” high school english teacher Mrs. Birchenough said.
Studies have shown that working at a flat surface, such as a desk or table makes it easier to concentrate on the task at hand. A work place other than your bed forces the brain into work mode.
“I have only worked in my bed a few times but when I do I’m more distracted than I am anywhere else. I’ll just start trying to do things that aren’t school which I won’t do when I’m at other places in the house,” seventh grader Alora Crayton said.
According to Business News Daily, having a plant, opportunities for movement, and cleanliness are three essential things you should have in your workplace. All of these things allow for more creativity and energy to do work and provide motivation to accomplish things.
“I think the workplace should be quiet if possible, and free of personal devices such as cell phones,” Mrs. Birchenough said.
It is also important to have good lighting and a routine before school starts. Lighting will help your eyes focus, and will force you to stay awake instead of going back to bed. Having a routine such as a skincare routine or walking your dog, will wake you up and tell your brain it’s time to work.
“Since your bed is designated as relax space, it tells your body that that’s where you relax whereas a workplace tells your body ‘this is where it’s time to go to work,’” Mrs. Birchenough said.
Being in a designated workplace also allows for a broader attention span to the work that is being done rather than being comfortable in bed.
“Now that we have google meets it takes me from 8am to about 3:50pm to be done with all my work. I think when I’m more comfortable I work slower or get more distracted than I do when I’m not,” Alora Crayton said.
Even so, many kids still work in their beds even because of a clear lack of motivation as well as the clear difference in grades. Working in disorganization and chaos should not happen when it should be orderly and calm.
“Probably about 10% of my kids work in their beds.” Mrs. Birchenough said. “I require my cameras to be on so I can tell. They do it because it’s comfortable and they don’t want to move. It’s laziness.”
2021 Goals and Plans for Students
Going into 2021, students have many new plans and goals for the year. From spring break to college tours, NCLA students are looking forward to everything that the new year will bring.
“I think planning events can encourage the seniors and give us something to look forward to! 12 of us senior girls plan on going to the beach right after graduation! I am super excited! Also I am looking forward to attending Appalachian State this fall! I look forward to meeting new people and living on my own,” Christine Parker said.
Seniors look forward to graduating and spending the summer with friends. Staying busy during these times can help encourage everyone to do their best while finishing out the 2020-2021 school year.
“I met some potential roommates yesterday and we might be touring Wilmington and looking at dorms together soon so that’s exciting!! Also beach week and I’m going to the mountains for my birthday,” Madison Jennings said.
As rules start to change regarding travelling, several students look forward to vacations this year.
“I’m going to the Outer Banks and Canada,” Celeste Paradis said.
Travelling across the country is another big plan for some of our students this year.
“I am flying to Oregon for a week and a half for my brother’s wedding and to see sights and family,” Abigail Brannan said.
Planning a trip to the beach is always one of the best things to do in the summer.
“I plan to go on vacation this summer to Kiawah Island in hopes that things will be better by then. With the vaccine, I believe things will only get better,” Maria Fleak said.
Myles Pugh added, “I also plan to spend my summer at the beach.”
Spring break this year is going to be March 29th through April 2nd.
“Over spring break every year my family and I drive down to Florida to go visit my dad’s side of the family,” Brooke Planes said.
Despite summer and spring break plans, right now is still a great time to go skiing.
“I am going skiing next weekend. We are also thinking about going to Canada if Covid gets better,” Nora Wood said.
Sports are another thing to look forward to this year, since some restrictions are starting to be lifted. Whether it’s games to play or goals to focus on, students are excited about playing again.
“For basketball this year I am focusing on limiting my turnovers,” Cade Shoemaker said.
“This summer I plan to be traveling all over from Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee for softball tournaments,” Laura Ritchie said.
By: Elaina Pascavage
With the Coronavirus still looming, daily activities like work and school have become even more stressful than ever. Having to adapt to things like working from home and having to learn new material, can feel like you are having to do it all on your own. It can be stressful. Everyone has stress in their life, but thanks to technology there are now new ways to help relieve you from the unwanted stress.
Technology has advanced, giving us more ways to help relieve and unwind our minds during this hectic time. Recently a new website known as PixelThoughts has become all the rage for all ages. This is a website where you can write what is making you feel stressed into a star, then slowly watch it turn into nothing but a small thing in a big universe. As you are watching your star become smaller and smaller, the website gives you breathing exercises to help relax your mind during a one-minute meditation.
The founder of this, Marc Balaban, created this specifically for students. His design purpose is to allow users to put one’s problem into perspective. This website has been used by many students this year in order to relieve their stress caused by requirements to meet deadlines, pressure to make good grades, and feeling as if they are not understood by teachers or parents when they say they are overwhelmed.
“Teachers are overestimating how much time we have, they don’t understand that none of us are motivated to even get out of bed anymore. Not to mention some of us have had to act like parents to our little siblings making sure they wake up and finish all of their work.”
A recent poll shows that out of 116 students, 78% of them have felt that the 2020 school year is more stressful than any other school year. Most of the responses saying it was the most stressful school year, was the class of 2022. It is well known that junior year is the one that counts; the grades at the end of your junior year are the ones used to apply to college.
Asking why this year has felt more stressful, many people believed that since it is online they are struggling with keeping up with classwork; many are unmotivated due to location. Students have begun to feel as if they are self-teaching or that they as students are not understood by their teachers.
“It’s my junior year and it’s harder online,” NCLA’s Julianna Peters said.
What will second semester look like at the NCLA
With one semester down and one to go for the 2020 school year, questions are starting to pop up about what this second semester may look like for students.
“I’m surprised we made it through first semester with the hybrid schedule,” Nora Wood said.
For the upcoming second semester, our school has to go by what the governor says.
According to Mrs. Wood, “Right now, our only options are hybrid or full remote. Should he [Roy Cooper] permit us to return full time with everyone, we would evaluate what that would look like for us and let families know. So for now, we are figuring things should look the same.”
To sum it up, as of right now there won’t be any drastic changes to next semester regarding the in school and fully remote schedules.
“Students can choose either full remote, and be committed to that until further notice, or the end of the school year, or hybrid,” Mrs. Wood said.
There was a poll posted on Instagram asking NCLA students, “What are you planning on doing next semester: hybrid or fully remote learning?” There was also an option along with the poll to leave any other comments regarding our second semester.
The popular choice of the poll ended up being the hybrid schedule. Many comments were left as well, from multiple students on their perspectives and expectations for next semester.
76% of students responded saying they were going to be doing hybrid, and the other 24% responded saying they were going to be doing fully remote.
“I think that for the benefit of our education and mental health we really need to be in schools. There is less and less motivation, as all the work we get seems to be the same thing each day. Kids are losing out on social benefits of being in high school and it shows,” Cade Shoemaker said.
A large majority of students agree, saying that they have struggled with remote learning and keeping up with classes.
“We are all trying our best, but mentally we are struggling,” Lindsey Allen said.
It has been hard at times to get used to the remote routine, just to switch it up and go to school in person for two days a week.
“I can’t stand hybrid, it’s too much going on at once. In a way it’s like going to two schools,” Laith Trabelsi said.
Students are eager to get back to a time where we can all be together.
“I want to go back with everyone badly,” Abigail Brannan said.
Even though schedules may not change in the second semester, we can expect testing to be different this year.
“As far as testing, right now, the state is indicating that all EOC testing will continue like normal and they have currently said that online testing for remote students will not be possible. There is a lot of time though between now and the end of the year, so what will happen by then is unknown,” Wood said.
Regarding end of year testing, there is not a definite answer yet as to how it will go. However, it is likely that we can expect to have testing.
“My guess is there will be testing. We may have to work with remote families to have those students come in for testing here,” Wood said.
Further updates will be provided as we get more information on the topic.
Despite all of the struggles of 2020 and experimenting with different school schedules, we are halfway done and working to see the changes in 2021.
Giving Back During this Holiday Season
The holiday season is a time to give gifts to those you love, but it is also a time to give back to your community.
One of the biggest impacts of COVID on the holiday season is that it caused more people to order their Christmas presents online. Though this method does work well time and efficiency wise, many delivery workers are now loaded up with more work to do everyday.
So how can we show delivery workers that we care? Give them a gift!
A simple, easy way to give back to delivery workers is to make a basket of food/drinks for them to take from. These snacks can be anything you want; I did some Pop Tarts and little bags of chips that they can choose from. For drinks, I put a few sodas and waters in the basket, but that decision is entirely up to you.
A very important element of this basket is the sign that says they can take from it. If there is no sign indicating that the workers can take something from the basket, chances are they won’t. On the sign, it is important to note how much of the contents they can take, if that sort of thing matters to you. For me, I said each worker could take a snack and a drink.
I also made it my goal to tell them how much my family appreciates them, so I took it a step further and thanked them for all of their hard work. A little extra touch I added was to sign my family’s name, but that’s completely optional.
Obviously, this is not the kind of gift you have to give your delivery workers. Instead, you could give them a gift card or a little bonus if that’s how you give back. You could even go so far as to get them a personalized gift. Try to do whatever you can to make this holiday season memorable for delivery workers.
The gift giving doesn’t have to stop at package delivery workers though. Go give your mailman a snack and a drink, or make your neighbors some Christmas cookies. Even a small gesture such as a sincere thank you will do. Make it a goal to do whatever you have to do in order to give back to those who you appreciate most.
Amazon workers especially are working day and night to bring Christmas presents to our doorsteps. The students and staff at the NCLA greatly appreciate all that Amazon workers do for us during this holiday season.
“Without Amazon deliverers there would be no deliveries. They’re doing the best they can. I am very much appreciative of them,” NCLA junior Nora Wood said.
On a scale of one to ten about how much students appreciate Amazon workers this season, one being the worst and ten being the best, the average answer was at about 9.5!
65% of NCLA students said that their online deliveries have been super fast this year, and 35% said they were slow.
“They have been very good, slow, but I know they are very busy, so we don’t mind,” NCLA sophomore Rylee Pratt said when expressing her thoughts on Amazon deliveries.
“I actually ordered something the other day and it came in three days!” junior Julianna Peters said when talking about how fast her deliveries have been.
No matter what, we should all try a little harder to give back to those we may take for granted. Delivery workers all around us are working their absolute hardest to get presents in on time, and for that we should all show a little more gratitude.
Predicting Weather For Generations
For thousands of years, people have been trying to predict the weather. Old wives tales have been passed down for generations, and were told even before there was pen and paper. They were told for both entertainment and understanding.
A popular old wives tale known by many, is the Woolly Worm tale. It is said that if a Woolly Bear Worm has more black than red fur, that the winter will be harsher. There are festivals held each year, where people bring their own woolly worm to race and examine. It is often argued if there could possibly be environmental factors that could prove this theory.
“Weather can certainly affect the phenotype of populations over time but there would have to be a specific environmental variable that would cause the upregulation in different genes,” science teacher Mrs. Hartzell said.
Another old wives tale that is a little less innocent is one where they examine pig spleens. They say that they can predict the next six month forecast all from one pig’s spleen. They divide the spleen into six sections, one for each month they are predicting. They examine how thick each section is, and the thickness of the spleen determines the weather for that month.
“Animals tend to have more sensory cues to environmental change in general. It’s not that pigs can tell the future, but animals pick up on changes in plant behavior, and humans mostly just watch the morning news to decide whether or not to bring an umbrella,” Hartzell said.
Along with the more magical folklore, there are also a few more scientifically accurate tales. One of which is the observation of oak trees. If the oak trees seem to have an abundance of acorns in the fall, it is said that the winter will be harsher.
Another more scientific tale is that when squirrels, skunks and birds start to get fat during the fall months, it usually means that it is going to snow in the winter time. This could be in preparation for the colder months, packing up fat to stay warm.
“Many animals have more olfactory receptors than humans, so their ability to detect scent stimulus is superior to humans. Birds are also more sensitive to fields of magnetism,” Hartzell said.
Predicting weather is a pretty difficult process for scientists. It is pretty much impossible to tell if it is going to snow more than a couple hours beforehand. Scientists have measuring systems set up, seven to eight miles apart from each other. They use high tech computers to examine the systems and determine the weather like that.
“Weather prediction is more like chaos theory.” Hartzell said. “It’s always colder higher in the atmosphere. Really, it’s almost always snowing, but the water melts as it travels through the atmosphere on hotter days.”
The Christmas Star will be seen on December 21st, the winter solstice, for the first time in almost eight-hundred years. The Christmas star title is often deceiving to people because it is not actually a star, it is a conjunction between the two planets of Jupiter and Saturn.
The alignment between these two planets is a very uncommon occurrence and happens about every 20 years. Although this year is a very special year because this is a conjunction of the two planets Jupiter and Saturn that has not transpired since March 4, 1226.
The conjunction will bring into effect and closer alignment within the two planets and will produce a bright reflection otherwise known as the star.
“As a science teacher I am very interested to see it, it is where Saturn and Venus are aligning, so cool and exciting,” Mrs. Roberts said.
The Star is no ordinary star it brings great meaning behind it. To Christians, the star is identified as the star of Bethlehem.
The star of Bethlehem symbolizes the birth of the messiah Jesus Christ or the Christmas story. It is also believed that the Christmas star is what led the wisemen to Jesus as they worshiped him and came surrendering and bearing gifts.
“I am definitely excited to go see it, The Christmas Star reminds me of the day Jesus was born. I even have an app download to use to better view and understand the meaning behind it,” Candace Weigel stated.
Mark your calendar for a 2020 Christmas Miracle. Don’t forget to look at your window or step out into your backyard for a once in a lifetime experience.
Giving Back During The Holidays
This Christmas is different from any Christmas we have ever seen, but things such as Toys for Tots and USPS Operation Santa are helping to keep the spirit alive.
USPS Operation Santa was started in 1912, when the Postal Service started receiving an abundance of letters addressed to Santa Claus. Operation Santa allows postal workers and citizens to write back to the children who are longing to talk to Santa.
In the 40s, the program saw so many letters that corporations volunteered to send gifts back to the kids, along with their letters.
Today, the program is seeing more life than ever before. Anyone can go online and browse through the thousands of letters that are sent to Santa. If there is one in particular that touches your heart, you can “adopt” that child and write back, or even send back something that was on their list.
The United States Postal Service sent out a message stating that Santa Claus’s official address is 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888, and that is where they prefer letters to be sent to.
If you ask Santa for clothes or shoes, sizes and specific colors must be included. If you ask for toys, books, or games, specific titles and authors or brands should be included.
The letter adoption process started on December 4, and letters stopped being accepted on December 15. Letters are still open for adoption.
You can adopt a letter at https://www.uspsoperationsanta.com/. The option of adopting a single child, or a family is given.
Another, more widely known, way to spread cheer to children during the holiday season is through Toys for Tots.
Toys for Tots is a program that gives gifts to children whose parents can not afford much during this season.
Toys for Tots is run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, and was founded in 1947 by Major Bill Hendricks.
To donate toys, you find donation centers, which are in most toy stores this time of year, and bring unwrapped toys.
You can also donate money on your cities Toys for Tots website. And if you are a family looking for help this christmas season, you can apply for toys on the same website. https://winston-salem-nc.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx?nPageID=100&nPreviewInd=200&nRedirectInd=3
Since it was founded in 1947, over 584 million toys have been distributed. In 2019, Forsyth County, Winston Salem alone distributed 15,076 toys.
XC Hoping for Regional Meet
The North Carolina Leadership Academy Cross Country season has been very different from years past. With limited spectators, masks on before runners start the race, and staggered race start times. This has been a very different season for sure.
The Cross Country team is hoping to have a regional meet later in January so they can have a chance at competing for a chance for a spot in the state championship.
“They are planning on a regional meet mid January. If there are more runners then at usual meets they will stagger start times,” Mrs. Rickert, head basketball coach, said.
On Jan. 5, the conference meet will be at Ivey Redmon park and if runners qualify, they will be able to make a regional meet later in January.
The regional meet would be held at Salisbury Community Park. It would be against the other schools in the independent conference. The date is set currently for Jan. 16. The same covid guidelines from the regular season would be set for the regional meet.
”I am hoping for a regional meet. we weren’t able to race the other day at our last meet because they didn’t bring any girls for us to run against, so I hope we have regionals so we can have one last run,” senior runner Brooke Bandy said.
The falcons do have a little bit of an advantage for the conference meet with it being held at Ivey Redmon. This is where the team practices and has run all but one of their meets at this course. This will help because the team will be more used to this course than the other teams and will know what to expect. This may also improve the chances of different runners qualifying for Regionals.
“The team is running extra miles on the weekend to prepare for the conference meet so that hopefully we will qualify for regionals. This team has put in lots of extra work this season and of course that makes me happy,” said Rickert.
Veteran NCLA Team Ready
This season of The North Carolina Leadership Academy’s high school basketball will be like no other. With a few new rules and Covid mandates, the season will be very interesting. All sports, including basketball, have a mask mandate.
Due to the covid guidelines, they have changed how tip-off and jump balls work. There actually is no tip-off at the start of the game, the away team automatically starts with the ball. When there is a jump ball it is settled with a coin flip instead.
The season is also shorter than it was in years before. This year’s season is only 14 games long, last year’s season was 32 games long.
“I expect a good run even with the shortened season. We hope to go out there and get some wins for the school,” said Jonathan Floyd, a junior on the basketball team.
There are four seniors on this year’s team Michael Cespedes, Noah Richardson, Jackson Shaw, and Nick Williford. These three players have made big impacts on the team in the last couple of seasons. The eyes will be on them this season because it is their final season of high school basketball.
Some up and coming players to keep your eyes on would be the Shoemaker twins and Jonathan Floyd. Troy and Cade Shoemaker joined the team last year as freshman and had a big impact on the season, as these two grow older and gain more experience they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Jonathan Floyd is a Junior at NCLA, this is his first season of playing basketball. Floyd is an all-around athlete who wrestled and played baseball for the school. Floyd is set to start against Chattam in Friday’s Scrimmage.
The team’s first game is Jan. 5. against Union Grove Christian. Even with all these changes, thankfully basketball will still be played.
Girls Hoping for a Winning Season
As Winter is upon us the basketball season is here. The High School girls Basketball team will attend their first game on Jan. 5. at Union Grove Christian Academy.
“This season will be fun for me to see how this younger group will learn and grow. We lost three starters so it will be a rebuilding year but these young girls bring some great potential,” said Head Coach Rickert.
This year’s Rosters for the HS Girls Basketball team is:
- Addy Guldberg (freshmen)
- Emmy Guldberg (freshmen)
- Brooke Taylor (freshmen)
- Skylar Maness (sophomore)
- Ava Gonzalez (sophomore)
- Camryn Earnhardt (sophomore)
- Elissia Segers (junior)
- Jaiden Truhe (junior)
- Jaydn Dewald (junior)
- Maura Perkins (senior)
- Emily Vroom (senior)
- Mary Dehart (senior)
Coach Rickert has decided that her head captain will be Maura Perkins, following behind as CO-Captains is Emily Vroom and Elissa Segers.
This years Starting 5:
- Maura Perkins
- Emily Vroom
- Mary Dehart
- Addy Guldberg
- Elissa Segers
Due to Covid the season has been cut short being only allowed to play 14 games when usually playing 20.
“This does allow more time for practice which is great for coaches,” says Rickert.
Conditions we are living in today also mean a little bit different ruling which the basketball team will have to get used to but they are just excited to be playing.
Some home games this year include Millennium Charter, Bethany Community School, Union Grove Christian Academy, and Surry Homeschool. These home games will stretch throughout January and February.
Maura Perkins, a Senior who has played basketball each year since attending the NCLA, says that, “It sucks that it is getting cut short, but I am happy that we at least get to play.”
Bowl Games Fast Approaching
The normal college football season ending begins the many college football bowls. This season has been very different for everyone but college sports has been changed the most with cancelled games and rescheduled games.
One of the most important games being the Frisco Bowl, which has now been cancelled. The game was supposed to be played Dec. 19th. This now prevents SMU and UTSA from finishing their season. SMU was drawn from the bowl due to COVID-19 but UTSA accepted the invite to play in the SERVPRO First Responder Bow. UTSA’s opponent still is to be determined.
But the Famous Idaho Bowl, Myrtle Beach Bowl, Boca Raton Bowl, R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Montgomery Bowl, and the New Mexico Bowl are still scheduled to happen.
The Myrtle Beach Bowl, Dec. 21. features Appalachian State vs. North Texas. Appalachian is coming off a 34-26 win against Georgia Southern meaning they have the momentum of a hard fought win, they also are undefeated in the Bowls they have participated in being 5-0. North Texas also came off a win of 45-43 against UTEP but they have a bowl record of 2-8.
Graysons Pick: Appalachian wins this game to keep their undefeated streak in their Bowl appearances.
Famous Idaho Bowl, Dec. 22. shows a match up between Nevada vs.Tulane. Tulane is coming off a 35-21 win against the third standing Memphis while Nevada is coming off a 30-20 loss against San José State.
Graysons Pick: Tulane is going to have the momentum coming into the bowl and take the win over the defeated Nevada.
Boca Raton Bowl, Dec. 22. has UCF vs. BYU , both teams coming off a confident win. BYU stood at 10-1 and won over San Diego State 28-14 while their only loss only being against undefeated Coastal, which the final score was 17-22. UCF also came off a high scoring game of 58-46 and beat South Florida, their notable loss being against Cincinnati the final score being 36-33.
Graysons Pick: The Zack Wilson lead BYU will barely win over the 6-3 UCF in a high scoring game.
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Dec. 23. hosts Louisiana Tech vs. Georgia Southern, both teams coming off of tough losses. Louisiana Tech is coming off of a blowout loss against TCU and the final score was 52-10. Georgia Southern also goes into the New Orleans bowl with a tough loss against Appalachian State the final score was 34-26.
Graysons Pick: Louisiana Tech is going to redeem itself to the school and fans with a hard fought win against Georgia Southern.
The Montgomery Bowl, Dec 23. will have Memphis face FAU. Florida Atlantic is coming into the Bowl with a two game losing streak but holds a 4-0 bowl record. Memphis is coming off of a 30-27 win over Houston.
Graysons Pick: FAU will pull off an upset win over Memphis and keep their undefeated Bowl record moving bringing up to 5-0.
New Mexico Bowl, Dec, 24. will hold the match-up between Hawaii and Houston. Hawaii getting a win over UNLV, the final score being 38-21. They have been to 13 bowls and won only seven of them. Houston is going into the Bowl with a close loss against Memphis with the final score being 30-27, but this will be the first bowl that the team has been in.
Graysons Pick: Houston will come into this game motivated not only because they lost their last game but to also win their first bowl they have appeared in.
Mon 12/21: Home against RJ Reynolds
Mon 1/4: @ Providence Grove
Wed 1/6: Home against Millenium Charter
HS Boys Basketball:
Tue 1/05: @ Union Grove
Fri 1/08: Home against Millennium Charter
Mon 1/11: @ Millers Creek
HS Girls Basketball:
Tue 1/05: @ Union Grove
Fri 1/08: @ Home against Millenium Charter
Mon 1/11: @ High Point Home Educators
MS Boys Basketball:
Tue 1/05: @Triad Baptist
Fri 1/08: Home against Millenium Charter
Tue 1/12: Home against Wesleyan Christian Academy
Girls MS Basketball:
Tue 1/05: @Triad Baptist
Tue 1/12: Home against Wesleyan Christian
Friday 1/15: @ Cornerstone
NCLA’s Student Actors
December 18 – Here at NCLA there are two theatre actors, Kylie Coster and Peyton Wingate, who are sharing how theatre has been this year.
“Things haven’t been the same since COVID but we are making the best of what we can do,” NCLA freshman Kylie Coster said.
With COVID shutting down many activities, the theatre class has been very different from the usual. With masks and social distancing, things are not the same.
“The rehearsal process is still the same except we wear masks which makes it hard to sing and dance at the same time and we try to social distance for the most part,” Peyton Wingate said.
Productions have even been entirely online at points in this year. With COVID precautions this was done a lot this year. One example: a group of famous actors came together on Zoom to read To Kill a Mockingbird.
“We still do productions but in zooms with masks,”Coster said.
The actresses were in quite a few plays this year despite being restricted by COVID. Peyton Wingate said she was in plays like Legally Blonde, Mamma Mia, and High School Musical.
“This year I have helped with 10 musical theatre productions,” Wingate said.
Taylor Swift vs. Shawn Mendes
December 18 – Plenty of congratulations are in order to Taylor Swift and Shawn Mendes, two of the top pop artists in the world right now, as both of them have dropped albums in the past month. While Shawn’s latest album, Wonder, was highly anticipated and paired with a documentary, Taylor surprise dropped her ninth studio album, Evermore.
Swift’s newest album is the sister album to her July 2020 record, Folklore. She put out an announcement on social media to reveal the record.
“I’m elated to tell you that my 9th studio album, and folklore’s sister record, will be put out tonight at midnight eastern. It’s called evermore,” Swift stated. “To put it plainly, we just couldn’t stop writing songs.”
Evermore is currently sitting at #1 on the iTunes album charts with 15 songs and an hour long runtime.
Mendes dropped Wonder back on December 4 and achieved his fourth number one album, making all of his albums reach that same milestone. Standing at 14 songs and about 40 minutes long, Mendes’ fourth studio album currently is sitting at #100 on the iTunes album charts.
While both albums are fantastic, here’s how they add up in my opinion:
“Evermore” Song Breakdown
willow: This song has a woodsy and free spirit kind of vibe. The chorus is so good and I feel like I would sing this song in the car while driving through the mountains. It’s a classic Taylor Swift bop.
champagne problems (E): This is a classic Taylor Swift slow, sad ballad. It has All Too Well vibes and makes me wanna go 80 down the interstate listening to this song. It has really sad lyrics, but the bridge is amazing and the harmonies throughout it are really powerful.
gold rush (E): The beginning of this song sounds angelic and the lyrics are so good. It’s a really good song and the way the song builds is really cool.
‘tis the d— season: This song is 100% one that’s supposed to make people want to text their ex over Christmas break. It’s a pretty groovy song and I loved the guitars and drums.
tolerate it (E): This song is one of, if not the saddest song on the album. It’s about someone just tolerating the relationship and love. Some of the lyrics are “I know my love should be celebrated but you tolerate it,” and “begging for footnotes in the story of your life.” It’s definitely a good one to cry to.
no body, no crime (feat. HAIM): This one is an entire movie in one song. It’s in my top two favorites on the album. There’s also theories about this song being about Taylor Swift and Harry Styles committing a crime, there’s playlists with both of their music telling the story and everything. I think it’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s interesting to listen to the theories. But the old country guitar sound creates such a cinematic feeling in this song.
happiness (E): I picked up on a couple Great Gatsby references in this one, about a beautiful fool and the green light of forgiveness. It’s definitely a healing song and is super pretty.
dorothea: The piano in this song is really good and kind of mellow. Taylor did it again with the amazing bridge and it made me sway to the beat the entire time.
coney island (feta. The National): I’ve seen a few things that she references all of her exes in this song, but I think most of it went over my head. Aside from that, putting The National on this song was the best choice Taylor Swift has ever made. His country accent complimented the song so well and gave me literal chills. The beat builds and creates a tension as it goes on which is pretty cool. The beginning also sounds almost identical to “Little Things” by One Direction.
ivy (E): This is the other song in my top two favorites on this album. It sounds super folky, like sitting by the campfire and driving with the windows down when it’s cold outside. It also sounds like it could be in a Disney movie if Disney movies had curse words.
cowboy like me (E): The guitar riffs in the background really resemble her old song “Tim McGraw” which blew my mind. It’s a pretty good song and I really liked the harmonies.
long story short: This song has a lot of little bits of advice sprinkled throughout it. It’s like life lessons with Taylor Swift. It was a pretty good song but it wasn’t my favorite on the album.
marjorie: She said in an interview that this song is about her grandmother and that they have recordings of her grandmother’s voice on the track, which is mind boggling to think about them adding in that little detail. This song is another story in a song kind of thing, which is so fun and a little twist on regular songs.
closure: This song is such a good moving on song. The drums are awesome and the song as a whole is super chill. The lyric “I don’t need your closure,” really hits and is super powerful.
evermore (fet. Bon Iver): Bringing back the popular indie singer Bon Iver for Folklore’s sister album was an amazing move on Swift’s part. Their voices sound great together and make for such a great ending song. Just like exile, pretty much the same song, really good closing song, mellow and kind of ties it all together in a little bow
“Wonder” Song Breakdown
Intro: This started off so smooth and then definitely picked up. The beat build up gave me whole chills.
Wonder: The title track of the album goes from the Into into Wonder so well. It sounds like angels singing and has a cool beat at the beginning. The choir he brought in at the end gave me chills. It sounds like a song that needs to be in Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Higher: You can’t not bop your head to this song. The bridge reminded me of a Cheetah Girls song but I can’t pin which one. This is one of the most danceable songs on the album.
24 Hours: This one’s about buying a house together. There’s a choir at the end again and once again, it gave me full body chills. It’s a really sweet song and it makes me believe in love.
Teach Me How To Love: This one feels like it has an 80s type of feel with the instruments in the back but the words are much more modern. The only thing was that it never picked up at the end, so it was kind of repetitive the whole time.
Call My Friends: Mendes said it’s about being 17 and skateboarding and missing home. It’s a bit of a sad nostalgic song. The way the chorus picked up gave me chills, same with the second pre chorus. The beat buildup throughout the song is absolutely amazing and it makes me want to call my friends to drive around at night.
Dream: The beginning is super dreamy and it has a good melody. It feels like I’m listening to this in a cloud and I think it’ll be a good one to listen to in the car. I absolutely loved how it went acoustic at the end and it feels like an entire story.
Song For No One: This song sounds like a Jack Johnson song. There are lots of layered harmonies but it’s really sad (from what I gathered). The drums coming in was a nice little surprise as well. Mendes said he sang the song all the way through and that’s the take they used, which makes it really raw and more emotional.
Monster (Shawn Mendes & Justin Bieber): This one is very different from the other songs on the album, it’s about society’s pressure. It’s cool that Shawn brought Justin on because they both got so big so fast so young and the lyrics are pretty deep. It was written with Daniel Caesar, which I found really interesting.
305: The first thing that came to mind when I saw this title was 505 by Arctic Monkeys. It definitely was not 505, and Mendes said it was inspired by Rex Orange County. It felt like summer and it was super light hearted. The tempo sped up at the end and was my favorite part of the song. It’s super danceable.
Always Been You: This song is my absolute favorite on the album. It had my jaw on the floor the entire time. It was inspired by “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” by Frankie Valli and 60s style drums. The beat came in so strong and out of nowhere and caught me so off guard. The way his voice was isolated towards the end was so beautiful.
Piece Of You: The bass is awesome and it sounds like it should be in a movie. The key changes between the chorus and the verses created a cool effect and I really liked it.
Look Up At The Stars: Mendes said this song was about the fans. It’s super super sweet and the way the beat changes is so fun. It’s probably the most danceable song on the album and it makes me wanna jump around. I loved how it broke everything down and then brought the instruments back in super strong.
Can’t Imagine: This was the best song to close out the album. It’s so cute and sweet. It has a little bit of a beachy feel to it and it’s mellow and laid back. It’s definitely in my top three songs on Wonder.
The one thing I picked up on is that Taylor never misses with the bridges of her songs. They almost always pick up and change after the bridge. December was the perfect time to drop this album, the mellowness of the songs definitely matches the season.
Shawn consistently shocked me with the beat changes. My jaw was on the floor half the time because I wasn’t expecting the tempo change or the instruments to come in all at once. I wasn’t expecting a lot of the songs on this album to be as good as they are, but it was a nice little surprise.
Overall, Taylor wins this one in slow ballads and breakup songs to sing on the highway with “Champagne Problems” and “Ivy.”
Shawn definitely gets the award for the most danceable album with songs like “Piece Of You” and “Always Been You.”
10/10 for both albums.
Christmas Traditions Around the World
December 18 – It’s the best time of the year again and that means so many different things for so many different people. Take a look at how different cultures and countries around the world celebrate Christmas continent by continent.
– Crackers are a popular tradition in England and work by pulling the ends of each side to break it open to find a little gift inside.
– In Finland they call Santa Joulupukki and believe he lives in the northern part of the country, it is also a tradition to drink glögi which is mulled wine.
– In Iceland, they give warm clothing as gifts and if you are not equipped for the cold weather a Christmas cat will gobble you up. The thirteen Yule lads also visit the children in Iceland leaving little gifts in their shoes for the thirteen days before Christmas.
– In France children set their shoes out by the fireplace for Père Noël (Santa Clause) to fill with gifts. There has also been a law since 1962 that states any letter to Santa must be responded to in the form of a postcard.
– Christmas markets are an essential part of the German Christmas season and open in nearly all towns, many of the Christmas traditions we use today, such as Christmas trees, originated in Germany.
– In Greece creatures called kallikántzari that usually live in the center of the Earth come out during Christmas time to play tricks on people.
– In Lithuania traditional Christmas Ornaments are made out of straw or hay which is woven into stars, snowflakes, or bells.
– The origins of the upside-down Christmas tree came from Latvia where it was used to symbolizes the holy trinity.
– In Kyrgyzstan Grandfather Frost comes at Midnight on New Year’s Eve to leave presents under the New Year tree, this is the same way in Russia where it is rumored that Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter live deep in the Veliky Ustyug woods in northern Russia.
– The Philippines has the longest Christma season lasting throughout September, October, November, and December.
– In Indonesia Christmas is known as Natal and Christmas trees are made out of chicken feathers. Decorations made from yellow coconut leaves, called Penjor, dot the roadsides during this time of year. Bamboo cannons and fireworks are also fired in celebration.
– Since Australia is in the southern hemisphere Christmas falls during the summer so families often head to the beach, hold barbeques or picnics, play cricket, and it’s not uncommon to see a surfing Santa hanging loose as well.
– In New Zealand Christmas meals include a hangi which is roasted lamb cooked in an underground pit and for dessert they eat pavlova which is meringue covered in fresh fruit.
– In Mexico, the Christmas season is called Las Posadas which last nine nights ending on Christmas eve which is when the children lead a nativity parade to the church where midnight mass is held. Pinatas filled with candy and gifts are also part of the festivities.
– In the US and Canada children hang up their stockings and set out cookies for Santa Clause on Christmas Eve in hopes he will bring them presents if they have been good.
– Americans spend more than $465 billion dollars on Christmas each year as it has become a widely commercialized holiday.
– In Argentina celebrations begin at midnight on Christmas which includes setting off fireworks and opening gifts.
– This is similar in Brazil as well where celebrations start near midnight and a church service called Missa do Galo (the rooster’s mass) is held.
– In Guatemala, Christmas is celebrated by dancing the night away, along with wearing traditional hats called Puritina.
– In Ghana adults dress up and hand candy out in neighborhoods, traditional Christmas foods include stew, rice, meat, and fufu.
– Egypt and Ethiopia follow the Julian calendar so instead of celebrating Christmas on the 25th they celebrate it on January 7th.
– In South Africa, many families go camping in massive tents and make their Christmas dinners on traditional barbecues called braai.
Two NCLA students Shared their Christmas Traditions as well.
“We open our gifts one at a time from youngest to oldest,” Abigail Brannan said.
“We do soups for Christmas so everyone brings a crockpot to dinner,” Nora Bell said.
Attack on Titan: Preview
December 18 – The fourth season of Attack on Titan was recently released on Dec. 7, many fans of the series are very excited since this will be the final season of the show.
Eren Yeager, who is the protagonist of the show, is known for being stubborn and rough and lives in a district called Shiganshina in Wall Maria. He wants to join the scout regime (people who risk their lives to kill titans) when he gets older, but his mother finds out and tells him that he can’t because it’s too dangerous, he then gets upset and leaves. He runs out of his house where his adopted (not really) sister, Mikasa, chases after him and promises Eren’s mother that she will protect him.
A few scenes later, Mikasa, Armin, and Eren are near the lake chatting about life outside the walls, when a huge titan, that is as tall as the wall appears out of nowhere and smashes it, letting other titans in and killing many people in the process. Eren and Mikasa are saved by a person from the Garrison Regiment and were sent to Trost district in Wall Rose and with their friend Armin, they promise each other that all three of them will join the scout regiment.
This season will be focusing on the war that has broken out between Elida, a place on Paradis Island, and Marley.
A Lot more characters will be introduced such as Gabi and Falco who are Marleyian citizens who are participating in the war and are trying to see which one of them can become the successor for the Armored Titan.
One of the characters, Zeke Yegear, who is a titan shifter, only has one year left to live and needs to make the most of it by helping Marley win the war and taking down the scout regime and Eren.
Another character, Reiner Braun, who is another titan shifter is looking for a suitable successor, between Falco or Gabi, to inherit his titan form since he only has 2 years left to live and is also trying to stop the scout regime and Eren.
Reiner and Zeke were known as villains in season 3 but in the past 2 episodes, we got to see their POV view of things as well as Gabi and Falco’s personalities and POV to everything.
Many plots have happened in Attack On Titan from betrayals to character deaths and plot twists this season will most likely go down in history as one of the greatest animes.
Since there are only two episodes of the season that have been released so far, I can’t really reveal too much but the manga goes into so much more detail about the story and the characters. This season will be made by Mappa Studio instead of WIT studio, it will be very interesting to see their adaptation of how the story will go and will possibly have a part two, to season 4 since the manga of Attack On Titan is ending pretty soon. Episodes release every Sunday on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu at around 3:45 pm EST.
Man on the Moon III: The Chosen Album Review
December 18 – 36 year old rapper, Kid Cudi, released his sixth studio album Man on the Moon 3: The Chosen, Friday Dec. 11. The third installment of the Man on the Moon series has 18 songs on the playlist.
The album did really well on it’s weekend release, with a projected 175,000 album sales in the first week. It was also the second most streamed album of the weekend, just behind Taylor Swift’s Evermore which dropped on the same night.
As for the content, the album was received well by the general public, and even better by die hard Kid Cudi fans. It seems as if most people are chalking this up as another Kid Cudi classic.
“I have listened to it so many times,” Etornam Agbemabiese said. “I’d give it a seven out of ten, but I especially like the second half of the album”.
“The first half of the album felt like a new type of Kid Cudi. He was experimenting with some new beats, and may be setting the tone for his future work.” Etornam continued. “However I really enjoyed the second half of the album. My favorite song was The Void.”
The most streamed songs so far include: Rockstar Knights ft. Trippie Redd, Show Out ft. Pop Smoke and Skepta, Tequila Shots, and The Void.
These seem to be popular because of the high profile names that jumped on the track along with Kid Cudi. Trippie Redd has a large following and seemed to fit really well with Kid Cudi, making arguably the best song on the whole project. The feature by Pop Smoke also made a big splash, since it happened to be recorded before his death nearly a year ago.
“I think both artists played their parts on Rockstar Knights, however it felt a little empty, and never reached a climax,” Jackson Gillespie said.
Man on the Moon III had a space theme, with a lot of synthesizer creating an astro-type feeling. The main lyrical focus was on “the soldier within” as Cudi told reporters, which can also be heard in most of the songs.
“I’ve been here before… Can’t stop this war in me… This fight, this war in me…” – From Tequila Shots
The Good in 2020
Although 2020 feels so overwhelming in every way possible, believe it or not, there is still good left in the world. Whether it was the big or little victories, learning new things about yourself, or finding new creative ways to pass the time, 2020 brought a new way of thinking.
“I found something that I am interested in for my own reasons. It has been a while,” junior Mckenna Porto said.
Getting close and personal, The NCLA students shared some victories they experienced in this crazy year.
2020 Victories for NCLA Students:
“I got to spend more time with my family,” senior Megan Queen said.
“All of the new music. Folklore. Evermore. It’s amazingness,” junior Kathryn Meehan said.
“I’ve become more grateful for my family and realized how fast time goes,” junior Katie Carpenter said.
“I met an amazing friend. That definitely makes up for everything this year,” freshman Hailey Fox said.
“I got a new kitten,” NCLA graduate Riley Green said.
“I’ve still been able to play volleyball and hang out with my best friend,” junior Julianna Peters said.
“I’ve grown so much in my talents,” junior Abigail Brannan said.
“I started dating the boy I am hopefully going to marry one day,” senior Keely Hargan said.
“I got a job and now make money,” junior Jackson Faenza said.
No matter how big or small the achievement, reflecting on what went right is a great way to start looking forward to the New Year.
In recent Instagram poll conducted by NCLA journalism student, Nora Wood, asked “If you could go back and relive 2020, would you change anything that you did?” with 58% (83 people) of the participants saying yes and 42% (61 people) saying no.
By taking these last few days of December to think about how the year has gone, it is easy to see the victories that have happened. For example, The NCLA reached a huge milestone by staying open running a hybrid schedule for the entirety of the first semester. Of course, there were a few bumps in the road, but with everyone willing to help and follow the direction of where these trials lead, anything can be achieved.
“Despite all of the difficult things we’ve had to go through in 2020, I think it’s definitely been a learning experience for all of us,” sophomore Elizabeth Gibhardt shared. “It has definitely made me more grateful for all of my old memories at school. All of the impacts from coronavirus have inspired us to do better and work harder to get back to where we used to be. ”
Hot Chocolate Wars
Hot Chocolate is a staple drink during the holidays. Many winter nights are spent drinking hot chocolate and watching movies. Many chains bring back hot chocolate for the holidays but which is preferable.
The overall rating was a six out of 10. The hot chocolate itself was good and it had a very good consistency. The whip cream that was added made the whole drink taste off. The whip cream was too sweet and it overpowered the chocolate flavor. For some odd reason, it did have the type of taste that makes one go back for another sip.
The overall rating was five out of 10. The sweetness that was added with the chocolate was too much and it gave the hot chocolate altogether a weird taste. The consistency was extremely thick which also made it unpleasant to drink.
The overall rating was a six out of 10. Dunkin’s hot chocolate is almost identical to the hot chocolate of Sheetz. The sweetness overpowered the taste of the chocolate and it had a really thick consistency but it had a silky texture. The hot chocolate at Sheetz on the other hand had a mild grain type texture.
The overall rating was a two out of ten. The hot chocolate was not good. They used dark chocolate which has a very bitter but rich taste. There was actually no sweetness but the consistency was not overly thick. In the drink, the graininess of the dark chocolate can be tasted and it was extremely unpleasant.
I personally would buy McDonald’s hot chocolate again because it just had a taste that made you want to go back for more. The hot chocolate that I will never buy again is Starbucks’ because it was just completely awful and the bitter taste was so strong that I could not enjoy it.
The Falcons’ New Years Resolutions
2021 is just around the corner and the new year is finally upon us. A tradition of the new year is to form new year’s resolutions to live by in the upcoming year.
Around the NCLA, students and staff alike have been thinking about their new year’s resolutions.
“I hope to go camping more frequently in 2021. Now that I have a truck that can pull my camper in the mountains, I want to go to the mountains to camp,” Mr. Sparks said. “The benefit I get from camping is that it relieves stress. There is a lot of work involved in getting ready, setting up the camper, cooking, building a fire, and making sure you have everything that you need, but when that is done and you’re sitting by a fire at night, it’s all worth it.”
Resolutions of many people revolve around limiting toxic things from the previous year.
“Next year I want to limit my screen time on Tik Tok,” Ashiya Cantrell said. “I think this will help me to focus on other important things like school. I think that this could also help me to build better relationships with those that I care about.”
Many people are looking forward to 2021 so they can get 2020 behind them.
“As it becomes more possible to do things in 2021 I hope to take advantage of it and try new things,” Mrs. Hilliard, the high school counselor said. “Next year I also want to prioritize my family, friends, and relationships with people who mean a lot to me. It would also be fun to try and pick up more hobbies.”
Some of the more popular resolutions have to do with losing weight, however, sophomore Cade Shoemaker has other things in mind.
“Next year I want to gain muscle weight and turn my B’s into A’s,” Shoemaker said. “Good grades can get me into UNC, and maybe I could pursue a career there. Gaining muscle weight will help me to be stronger for sports and help in a lot of other athletic categories.”
Many people make new year’s resolutions but the amount of people that follow through with them is shocking. The University of Scranton found that only 8% of those who make a new year resolution actually keep them.
Colby Brown, a sophomore that the NCLA plans to be a part of that 8% who follows through with their resolutions.
“I want to get to Second Lieutenant in Civil Air Patrol in 2021,” Brown said. “I’m preparing to do this by studying, taking the drill test, and writing an essay.”
2020 has definitely been a very stressful, and fast-paced year and many are searching for the need of balance and just slowing things down. . For some people like PE teacher, Mr. Weigel, a year of slowing down and finding balance is needed.
“A big health resolution of mine is changing the way I eat and slowing my lifestyle down so I can enjoy my family more. I want to do this in hopes of staying healthy longer,” PE teacher, Mr. Weigel said.
Mini Apple Pies
As the Holiday Season settles in so does the holiday cravings. Things like cinnamon, gingerbread, and peppermint fill the mind and ignite the taste buds. Luckily for you I am here to share my simple recipe for mini apple pies, that will satisfy your holiday cravings.
Ingredients (Makes roughly 12 mini-cupcake size)
2 Apples (Cut and skinned)
⅓ cup Sugar
⅛ tbs Ground Nutmeg
¾ tbs Cinnamon
2 tbs Water
1 tbs Butter
1 roll of Pillsbury Pie Crusts (The pie crust should be set out inorder to reach room temperature before use.)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees while skinning and cutting the apples. Once the apples are ready place them in a plastic bag. Add the sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon to the bag. Move the bag around until all the apple pieces are well covered.
Place a saucepan on the stove at low to medium heat. Add water and butter to the pan. Once the butter is mostly melted add the apples from the bag.
The mixture should cook for around 10 to 15 minutes or until the apples are soft. Don’t forget to stir occasionally. You are welcome to adjust heat as needed.
While the apples are cooking prepare a cupcake pan. Spray some form of nonstick spray on the pan. Cut pieces of the pie crust dough and place them within the cups making the bottom of the pie.
Once the apples are ready fill the pie crust cups. Using the leftover dough, make some sort of design or top pie crust. After they are ready, place them in the oven for 15 minutes or until the crust begins to brown.
After they are ready remove from the oven and allow them to cool before eating. The result should be bite sized pies full of warm cinnamon goodness. I love them and they are one of my gifts I’ll be giving to my family this holiday.
Holiday Coffee Face Off
Column: Christine Parker
The countdown for Christmas has officially begun! Starbucks and Dunkin’ released their exciting new holiday drinks and they have not been disappointing.
A few holiday hits Starbucks is featuring consist of the Peppermint Mocha, the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, and the Caramel Brulee Latte. A grande size of these holiday drinks cost between $5.25 and $5.65.
Dunkin’’s most popular drinks are the Peppermint Mocha Latte, the Gingerbread Latte, and the Holiday Eggnog Signature Latte. These drinks range from $3.09 to $3.79.
I put Dunkin’ and Starbucks up to the test this year to see who has the best holiday drink.
When I went to Starbucks I ordered the Grande Iced Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with skim milk and no whip cream. This drink cost $6.30 which I think is very expensive.
Then I went to Dunkin’ to compare it to the Starbucks drink. I ordered a medium Iced Cocoa Peppermint Mocha with no whipped cream and skim milk. This ended up costing $5.06 with tax.
Dunkin dropped the ball with their service because they gave me a large and included the whipped cream. Considering that Dunkin gave the large and it cost less than Starbucks medium was shocking.
I thought I was essentially ordering relatively similar drinks but they did not taste alike at all. The Starbucks drink was sweet and I could taste more of the coffee flavor but I could barely taste the peppermint.
On the other hand in Dunkin’s drink, I could really taste the peppermint but it didn’t have a coffee flavor at all. The chocolate was so overpowering that it just tasted like chocolate milk.
Personally, when I am ordering coffee I would rather taste the coffee than the sugary chocolate flavor. I would rate the flavor of Dunkin’ drink a 7.5/10 and the Starbucks flavor for the holiday drink a 9.5/10.
Packaging wise, I think Dunkin has a unique Holiday cup while Starbucks has had the same one for years. Dunkin’s would receive a 10 for their presentation while Starbucks would get a 5 for being basic.
Based on their service, Starbucks is a clear winner. They had a long line but I was able to order, pay, and get my drink quickly. When I got to Dunkin’ there was a small line but it took a long time to get my drink that they messed up.
I personally think Starbucks continues to hold the crown for Holiday Drinks. Although they have basic cups, their service is wonderful and their coffee tastes outstanding.
A poll on Instagram revealed that out of 53 people 68% said Starbucks was better than the 32% that said Dunkin’ was better.
The Class of 2021’s Senior Year
NCLA’s class of 2021 has gotten the short end of the stick this year in terms of the senior year experience with hybrid learning and only being in school part time.
“Our school has been able, to this point, remain open in a hybrid model to seniors who want to attend,” High School Principal Mrs. Wood said. “Our teachers are still engaging seniors through academically rigorous lessons designed for them. Our seniors will be prepared for college and beyond because of the hard work that they are putting in and the incredible work that their teachers are putting in.
“While other students across the state may not have had much accountability since March, that will not be the case for our class of 2021. I know that they will be able to succeed after high school and that is the ultimate goal of high school.”
Last year, NCLA’s seniors had their senior year cut short due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Despite having the last semester at home, they had plenty of support from the school and its families.
The school set up a way for families to adopt a senior, which meant getting them small gifts to help show support and make the end of the year feel a little more special.
“While we had families adopt seniors last year, not all seniors signed up to be adopted, some signed up late which made it tricky finding a family willing to adopt them, so this year we will collect everything for everyone and make it more equitable,” High School Principal Mrs. Wood said.
They were also given the ability to have their grades for the times they were remote learning to be pass/fail rather than to have letter grades impacting their GPA on their report cards for the second semester. Along with this, their last day of school was allowed a few weeks before the rest of the school was let out.
There was also a Senior Award Ceremony held for the 2020 seniors on May 28. This was when the seniors took their walk through the school and received awards for their achievements throughout their high school career.
So far, for the Class of ‘21, this past week has been a spirit week in honor of the seniors; it included a pajama day, a day to write kind notes to teachers or friends, bring a snack to zoom classes day, and a day to dress up as your favorite character from a holiday movie.
The school has also been requesting pictures of the seniors that should be turned in to Mr. Gonzalez.
“We have started so far by requesting photos from families to be turned into Mr. Gonzalez. We are still missing several. He does a great job of putting together slide shows using the photos,” Wood said.
There is also a campaign going on currently to write notes to the seniors for encouragement, as well as bringing by little treats and gifts to brighten up their year.
“We also have put a call out to all families to drop off gifts for seniors in the High School front office,” Wood said.
As for the rest of the year, the school isn’t quite ready to share what all they have planned for the seniors yet, but they’re planning and working with the guidelines to try and make the most of this year.
“We will do our very best this year based on what we learned last year. We have to wait until it gets closer to the end of the year to know what guidelines will be in place at the time, but we will certainly make every effort to give seniors as special a senior year as we can,” Wood said.
For the seniors, this year has been one that won’t be forgotten.
“My senior year has been special because I’ve gotten to spend more time with my family,” senior Kylie Tucker said.
The hope of many of the seniors is to be able to have the big milestone experiences, like a senior prom and graduation.
“I really hope to get prom, senior soccer season, graduation in person, senior awards, and to get to go back full time,” Tucker said.
The most important thing for the seniors to keep in mind throughout the rest of this year is to keep your perspective.
“I have one word for the seniors to keep in mind as they go through this year and that’s PERSPECTIVE. We can all get bogged down with the losses of traditions and experiences missed and lose sight of the good. There are so many lessons that our seniors are learning this year that they would not have learned in a traditional year … I hope our seniors will look back on this year in the future with a different perspective than just counting losses, and look at everything that has taken place that will help them succeed,” Wood said.
Senior Year Column
I personally don’t know what exactly I expected when it came to my senior year, but this is definitely not it. 2021 Seniors really have gotten the worst of the worst this year and many of them, like myself, are feeling frustrated and let down by the people around them.
Senior year is a big milestone in American culture. It is the year many start their trek into adulthood and is made up of several events, such as prom, graduation, college applications, and more.
In the case of 2021 Seniors, a lot of these events won’t happen, or will be very different from how they were in the past. This is understandable when you take the current world situation into account, but doesn’t make these losses any less painful for those affected.
“Senior year has been a train wreck so far, first you are told one thing but have to do another, and there’s so much work on top of home life that I just feel swamped. Trapped, even,” Lily Davenport.
Not only have Seniors this year lost a lot when it comes to the fun milestones of the year but we are being put under added stress and work. Some adults have informed me that it may just feel like there is more work because there are less good and fun things to balance it out. That may be true on some level but as an individual, who has been up till midnight doing school work every night this week, I believe there is an excessive amount of work.
“It has been terrible, adding different or some new stresses to the point of mental exhaustion and created new obstructions and diversities for me to overcome,” Caleb Alston said.
Myself and other students I’ve talked to feel like we have never had this much work to do before.
“I feel that as a senior I should be more excited to almost be done with school or to be a senior but I can’t with everything I am going through,” Alston said.
It is undeniable that Seniors are struggling this year, but it seems as though nobody is willing to truly acknowledge or care about this. Looking at last year’s Seniors it seems they got much more sympathy and compassion then the current class.
“As a senior, I truthfully feel like I’m being casted aside. It feels like no one is listening and everytime I get on top of work and it doesn’t feel like a chore, I’m thrown again. More projects for each class, more work, I just feel like I can’t keep up with it,” Davenport said.
They were let free of many if not all their responsibilities soon after quarantine began, when they only had the last fourth of their Senior year affected. Comparing that to Seniors now it is personally heartbreaking. Seniors now are still expected to complete all 25 service hours and the Community Action Project, as well as keep up all responsibilities like this was any normal year.
“I feel like seniors now are just expected to go into school happy go lucky like everything is fine,” Davenport said. “The seniors last year got their entire second half of the year to slide by, and while I’m not saying that should happen to us currently, I am saying that I would like understanding to our predicaments. It feels as though no one is listening to us.”
The class of 2021 feels cheated and unheard. We did not receive the assistance that past classes have when it comes to college applications adding to our feelings of loneliness. It seems as though we are abandoned by the staff at the NCLA. I don’t believe this was anyones intention, but the actions so far give off the impression that the Seniors this year aren’t worth much effort or are to blame for the issues that are occurring.
“I feel seniors now are treated more strictly and in some causes like mine, unfairly,” said Alston.
The term “senioritis” keeps being thrown around and personally I think it needs to stop. That is only blaming the students when most of the time there is much more going on. This term I believe is simply an excuse for people to not acknowledge there is something deeper wrong.
It is a scary year and this is a scary time to be a senior. We are going into a world that is now much scarier than the year before. It is a hard time in most people’s lives so only imagine how scary and stressful the transition into adulthood is when the world is in a pandemic that has killed so many and changed the entire world.
“Terms like ‘Senioritis’ hurt, especially to people like me who are going through intense mental health struggles and saying “its ok” and that I am ‘just going through senioritis’ only makes people like me feel worse and unvalidated, like our struggles “don’t matter” or “aren’t real struggles”. It is one of the most annoying and harmful things to hear,” Alston said.
“Using “senioritis” as an excuse to call us lazy is for one, just mean, and two, closed minded,” Davenport said. “We are all trying our best right now, trying to balance classes and work at home. For not only are we expected to do our school work, since many of us are home our parents expect us to do work around the house, which we cannot do because of school, and then we hear it from both sides that we’re “lazy”. Some of us as well have more important matters than joining let’s say Zoom or turning an assignment in on time. For example I have a friend who’s mom was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer recently, and is undergoing treatment. Yet she is still expected to attend zoom on the hour and do work on time when she is having to tend to her mom. It isn’t fair to just deem someone lazy when you don’t know their story; their side of things.
The Seniors aren’t expecting the world to magically change or to be let off of all our work. What we want is help and compassion. We want to feel heard.
“In the future I would like teachers to be more understanding. I know some students may try to abuse that but many of us really need these teachers to understand. We can’t do two hours of work meant for each class everyday, because then we can’t move on to the next class to get anything done. It’s a constant back and forth,” said Davenport.
We aren’t asking for a lot just to be listened to and understood.
“I want there to be help offered instead of people assuming they know what is going on. I don’t want people to be openly called out in the hallways, more pulled to the side in a room with people to talk about what is going on and how to fix it. I want less assumptions about people’s lives and more help to get them back on track,” said Alston.
The Billy Mitchell CAP Award Recipients
by: Lexi Antieau
NCLA students Abigail Brannan, Kylie Tucker, and Dallin Tucker received the Billy Mitchell Civil Air Patrol Award this past week, making the school overwhelmingly proud.
The Billy Mitchell Civil Air Patrol Award marks the completion of Phase II of the CAP Cadet program, which recognizes students’ excellence in all four aspects of cadet life: leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character.
“It was really cool to be able to receive this award,” Kylie Tucker, a senior at the NCLA, said. “I was very proud of myself and everybody else who earned it because I know how much work we put into this accomplishment.”
The CAP program at the NCLA has been around since the school started, which in total is about seven years. Kylie Tucker has been in the program for four years, Dallin Tucker for two years, and Brannan for five years.
To win this award, CAP students must go through countless obstacles, challenges, and steps. These include tasks in categories such as leadership, aerospace, physical fitness, and drills and ceremonies.
“Earning this award required me to take 6 tests about aerospace, 8 tests about leadership, 8 tests on drill and ceremonies, going to a week-long encampment (the CAP version of boot camp), mentor newer cadets, pass a physical fitness test every few months, and hold a position in the squadron,” Dallin Tucker, a freshman at the NCLA, said.
In the leadership category, students must participate in passing a closed book comprehensive exam on “Learn to Lead” with a score of 80% or higher.
In aerospace, students must pass a closed book comprehensive exam on aerospace dimensions with a score of 80% or higher.
“Those were some of the hardest tests I have taken in my life,” Brannan said about her time working in the field of aerospace.
In the physical fitness category, a student must attain the “Healthy Fitness Zone” in the cadet physical fitness test. This test includes a 1-mile run, curl ups, push ups, and the sit and reach.
Lastly, to be fully eligible for the Billy Mitchell award, cadets have to have graduated from an encampment in the Civil Air Patrol, along with having passed all of the character requirements.
“My favorite thing about life is meeting people and touching their lives, but I can honestly say I have a handful of friends from the cadet program that have touched mine,” Brannan said. “Being able to grow with these friends and leadership and character, is something I would never trade.”
Once a CAP member achieves the Billy Mitchell award, they can sometimes get booted up to a higher rank. Kylie Tucker said that she earned the rank of officer after having achieved this award.
“This award distinguishes me from a large majority of cadets in CAP. I outrank 85% of other cadets,” Dallin Tucker said. “This award is difficult enough to achieve that the United States Air Force recognizes this award as official.”
However, before the Billy Mitchell award can be won by a cadet, they must receive a few other achievements, including the Wright Brothers Achievement and a Marksman Badge from the National Rifle Association.
“The award comes directly from the Billy Mitchell’s achievement,” Brannan said. “Each time you promote to the next rank, you get an award, but these are milestone promotions in CAP and encompass all of the achievements prior to it. So yes, it does improve my ranking in CAP, I’m one step higher than I was.”
Brannan also shared that CAP students have a higher chance of getting into colleges based off of their experience in the program alone. Many colleges offer scholarships after a member of the Civil Air Patrol has won an achievement award, especially the Billy Mitchell.
“I love Civil Air Patrol and I really want to show girls that we can do anything!” Kylie Tucker said for her reason why she wanted to win this award. “I am currently the Cadet Commander and I think that CAP is a really great place for girls to show their leadership.”
The Billy Mitchell award recipients all worked incredibly hard and put countless hours into this passion of theirs, making them the most suitable candidates. Brannan explained how this award itself is only a symbol of her achievements, and that the friendships she made and the work ethic she achieved from her time in the CAP program are the parts of this award that are truly important.
“Earning this award isn’t something to do if you are bored or want to have the power to tell others what to do,” Dallin Tucker said as his advice to future CAP students who want to achieve this award. “Earning it requires character and diligence. You need to desire to help others grow, not help yourself. You need to keep in mind that this award needs you to be selfless and not selfish.”
Synchronous Learning Switch
It is safe to say that even though 2020 is coming to an end, the fun has only just begun. NCLA is now doing synchronous learning, where students are required to log onto a Zoom or Google meet during their scheduled class times.
Assistant principal Mrs. Wood stated that this switch has been in progress for a while now. With the previous schedule, kids were completely individual at home and had to log in by 8 a.m. Teachers were available by email and occasional conference calls.
“We found that students who were in communication with their teachers more often were having more success. We also found that students who stayed on their regular school day schedule were finding more success as well,” Wood said.
Teachers have a choice of how long they keep their students on the conferences, and are given their usual 50 minute class time. Some teachers have decided to use this time as a simple attendance, questions and go. Others have taken this time to teach more difficult subjects and to explain assignments.
“I thought that this would be an overwhelming change for students to take on, but it appears as though the consensus is that it hasn’t ‘been that bad’ when I’ve asked students how things have gone so far. Knowing that students are feeling more at ease about the change and seeing how much more beneficial it is academically, makes adapting to the change much easier,” math teacher Mrs. Landphair said.
Education, in my opinion, should not be a mindset where we are ‘checking boxes’ to get our work accomplished each day. There’s a curiosity factor that should play a role in understanding the concepts being taught, and seeing all of the connections being made.“
This switch is said to be staying in place until the hybrid remote schedule is no longer needed. Some students who were already accustomed to the individual remote learning were not too happy with this new Zoom switch.
“I personally liked being independently virtual better,” sophomore Sylvia Sellmer said. “The switch has messed up my usual routine that I had going. I can’t do my school work at my own pace anymore, or skip around when i have issues with one class.”
NCLA decided to go full remote for the week after Thanksgiving, which is when this switch began. When school returns to a hybrid schedule on the week of December 7, teachers will have to continue doing Zoom and Google meet conferences. During blue group days, red group learners will have to log in to a meeting while the blue group students are in class, and vice versa for red group days.
“On hybrid days, I plan on doing exactly what I’m doing now,” Mrs. Landphair said “Once I release the remote students I’ll give them the chance to stay on Google Meet if they want to stay with the class to ask more questions. I think this is the closest way to having a normal classroom setting as I can get.”
With the more strict schedule, it makes getting work done a little harder. Classes can be as little as five minutes apart from each other, which gives very little time to do homework and assignments in between classes. This can make the workload seem overwhelming.
“I don’t even know what the normal workload is supposed to be anymore to be honest,” Sellmer said “It feels like more because now we not only have to worry about getting our assignments done on time, but we also have to make sure we get on the Zoom or Google meet on time.”
The school is asking that students and parents stay patient with the teachers and admin, because they are doing the best they can. It is very difficult to figure out how to make the situation best for everyone, because everyone is different.
Ms. Wood’s advice for students is to “wake up early, log into your classes and engage with your teachers and classmates. Make the best of this strange situation we are in.”
What NCLA is building Next
Since the NCLA finished building the middle school and high school building in 2019, there was no longer a need for the 5th and 6th-grade pods.
“The pods were sold and moved this summer,” Assistant Principal Mrs. Wood said.
The school sold the structure of the two pods to a different charter school.
Now with the extra land where the pods were previously, people have been curious as to if NCLA will place anything there.
“A garden in dedication to Mrs. Fisher would be perfect for the empty spot,” Senior Megan Queen said.
“I think a petting zoo should be put in place there,” Senior Amber Matias said.
There are many possibilities as to what could go there and it is an ideal spot since it is conveniently in the middle of the campus.
“We are hoping to have a covered shelter built on that spot,” Wood said.
This shelter can be used in a variety of ways such as outdoor eating, learning, or just a shelter for rainy days while students are waiting to be picked up.
“I feel like we don’t have outside class enough for two outdoor classes,” Queen said.
Wood is unsure how long it will take to build a shelter but the school is in the beginning process of building it.
A poll on Instagram reported that out of 81 people, 73% of people want NCLA to build a pool while 27% of people want tennis courts.
NCLA’s Holiday Jams
December 4 – Every year, people look forward to getting in the christmas spirit by listening to some christmas songs. Then every year, people are looking forward to listening to their favorite songs too. A survey was conducted to find out what song NCLA students are listening to.
Of course, coming in with the most votes, All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey is at the top of the NCLA list. Every year, this song makes to to the top of the music charts around the holidays because this song just makes everyone so happy.
“All I Want for Christmas is just so good because it is very upbeat and its like a sign of the holidays,” said Senior Megan Queen.
There were some other honorable mentions such as Marshmallow World by Franseca Battistelli, Last Christmas by Wham!, and Christmas Baby (Please come home) by Darlene Love. These are all classic songs and make so many people happy around the christmas season.
“Marshmallow World is my favorite christmas song because i think it is so cheery. Everytime I listen to it the song makes me want to dance. Also I think it’s not such a basic christmas song it is different from the other ones,” senior Christine Parker said.
The Christmas season is a time where people feel happy and just have a homey feeling. To some people, Christmas songs fulfill that for some people and makes them think of happier things.
“I like Oh Come Emmanuel because it is about the true meaning of christmas. I love to sing it too because it is a song that is rich in tone and I can have controlled vocal breaks, which are so fun to do. We sang this song in chorus two years ago. It gives me such a homey feeling,” junior Abigail Brannan said.
The Holiday Hallmark Season
December 4 – It’s that time of year where we snuggle down and watch all of our favorite Christmas movies and for most of us Hallmark Christmas fanatics that includes the Hallmark Channel. The Hallmark Christmas season is what many Christmas lovers wait for years round, as it is known as the “Heart of Christmas.” We countdown the days until we can grab the remote and put on the newest or our favorite hallmark movie of the season.
The 2020 Holiday season presents 23 movies on the Hallmark channel and an additional 17 on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel. A Hallmark tradition is to premiere a new hallmark movie every night at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving week. Here is an inside look at seven newly released Hallmark movies for the Thanksgiving marathon.
New Holiday Hallmark movies:
The Christmas House
Stars: Jonathan Bennet, Robert Buckley, Treat Williams, and Ana Ayora.
The Hallmark Channel premiered their first LGBTQ movie The Christmas House. A family filled with Chaos comes together to celebrate Christmas. It features an LGBTQ couple trying to adopt a son as their Christmas wish. It represents that in the midst of Christmas there is always room to fill your Christmas wishes with a little bit of holiday magic.
A Christmas tree grows in Brooklyn
Stars: Rochelle Aytes and Mark Taylor
The Hallmark Channel Premiers A Christmas Tree grows in Brooklyn. A woman planning a festive Christmas event for her town must persuade a firefighter into letting her borrow a spruce tree needed for the event.
Good Morning Christmas!
Stars: Alison Sweeny and Marc Blucus
The Hallmark Channel Premiers Good morning Christmas. Two TV hosts are expected to report to the same small town to cover the latest holiday news. They were once enemies but soon became lovers.
Five Star Christmas
Stars: Bethany Joy Lenz and Victor Webster
The Hallmark Channel presents A woman who is trying to persuade a critic to write a good review for her family bed and break but she ends up accidentally falling in love.
Christmas by Starlight
Stars: Kimberly Sustad and Paul Campbell
The Hallmark Channel Presents Christmas by Starlight. A woman in a small town is trying to save her family restaurant when she comes across an offer from a development firm wanting to tear it down. She then comes up with a mischievous plan as she hides behind a mask as a legal counsel to save her business.
Stars: Lacey Chabert, Will Kempt, and JT Church
The Hallmark Channel presents Christmas Waltz. A woman is upset due to the cancellation of her Christmas dream wedding and her dance teacher helps her pick up the pieces as they fall in love.
If Only I had Christmas
Stars: Candance Cameron Bure and Warren Christie
The Hallmark Channel presents If Only I had a Christmas. A publicist and a business owner work together for a charity and end up falling in love.
The Next-Gen Console is Here
December 4 – The long awaited Playstation 5 (PS5) is now here. With updated graphics, load times, refresh rate and resolutions, this console is very powerful.
After a lot of trial and error I finally managed to get my hands on one. After having mine for a few days I can now say it did not just meet my expectations, but went beyond them.
There are a lot of things that make this console feel like it is next-gen other than just the statistics and hardware. The controller, which is arguably what makes the PS5 better than any other console out there, is my favorite part. The controller has very advanced haptic feedback on nearly every inch of it, even the triggers.
For example, in Call of Duty: Cold War each gun has a different trigger weight to it simulating the actual trigger pull. This feature gives games the opportunity to become so much more immersive.
The quality of the console and attention to detail in the design also amazes me. On the controller and the inner lip of the console there are X, O, triangles and squares all around that are so tiny that you can barely see them.
The design of the console itself is also very unique, which I really like. The console is shaped in a futuristic way and is far from boring.
Besides the design and controller, one thing that I notice the most about the new console is how fast it loads. This console loads arounds 4 times faster than the PS4, which is a huge leap forward.
Before I bought this I questioned myself whether or not it was worth $500. But now after using it for a few days I definitely think it was worth it as it will last me for years to come.
Astro’s Playroom: Game Review
December 4 – Astro’s Playroom is a game that comes with the Playstation 5. The small robot named Astro has been a Playstation icon in other games like Astro Bot Rescue Mission for the Playstation VR but this is his biggest game yet. On the surface, this game seems like just a small technology demo that comes free on the PS5- but it is much more.
You play as Astro and explore the six different worlds of the game. The game takes place inside a Playstation 5. Each world is a different part of the console, for example, the processor or hard drive. A large part of the game is showing off the Playstation 5’s new Duelsense controller.
Sony’s new Duelsense controller is a major selling point of the Playstation 5. The controller has many new features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Haptic feedback is very precise vibrations in the controller.
Astro’s Playroom shows the haptic feedback incredibly, and really shows what the controller is capable of. In the game when you do things like walk through water, grass, or mud there is a certain amount of feedback the controller gives you.
It is very hard to explain how it feels but it feels almost as close as it can through vibrations to walking through grass, water, or mud.
Sony also added something called adaptive triggers. This means that the triggers can have resistance and can be harder to push down sometimes depending on what you were doing in a game.
Astro’s Playroom does a phenomenal job of showing the new features of the controller but is still a fun game beyond that.
The six worlds of the game are vast worlds to explore. There are many things to do in them other than the main objective. Some of the things to do are find the many easter eggs or in other words hidden features.
There are many references to the most popular Playstation games like God Of War or even popular PlayStation history like the original Playstation.
This game was very fun to play through and was a much larger game than I thought. It has more than a few hours of fun in it. Sony really went above and beyond to make this game, considering it was a free game. I give it a rating of 7 out of 10.
Wonder Woman 1984: Preview
December 4 – It was recently announced that the follow-up to the smash hit Wonder Woman, will release on the streaming network HBO Max this Christmas!
In the first Wonder Woman, we met Diana Prince who had been raised on an island hidden away from the world and was filled with only women, named the amazons. One day, an American rescue pilot named Steve Trevor, plane crashes off the coast of the island because he was being chased by German soldiers. The Amazons manage to kill the soldiers and take Steve hostage to question him with the Lasso of Hestia which helps them find out that in the outside world there is a war going on and that he was spying on the Germans and had stolen a notebook from a German chemist who wants to create a deadly gas and release it on America.
Diana believes Ares (the god of war), is responsible for the war and wants to slay him. After going through many obstacles, they find Ares and have discovered that even though he has been giving humans subtle ideas and innovations, they decide to utilize those ideas for violence and destruction. Diana and Ares begin to fight and Ares tries to persuade her to be on his side but she denies him.
Steve manages to seize a plan filled with the bombs carrying the poisonous gas and blows up the plane along with himself in it. Ares tries to tempt Diana to kill the chemist since she is in rage and grief of Steve’s death but she realizes that humans have good in them. She spares the chemist and ends up killing Ares instead. At the end of the movie, which takes place during the present day, she continues to fighting evil in the world acknowledging that love and compassion are the only you can keep the world safe.
Now in the Wonder Woman 1984 trailer, Diana is living her life in America and fighting crime, and hiding her identity. In the trailer, she is seen fighting crimes in the mall and chasing down bad guys. One of the two protagonists named Maxwell Lord is seen talking building a better world, a utopia of some sort.
In the trailer, we also see Steve Trevor who apparently isn’t dead, there were many theories as to why he is still alive. One of the theories is that Steve was resurrected, in the trailer he says “Dianna look at you, it’s like not one day has passed”, proving that it really might be him.
There were many moments in the trailer where he it could be possible he hasn’t been alive for long since his fashion sense is a bit odd and he doesn’t really know how to work modern technology. Another theory is that Steve is a doppelganger from another universe and lost Dianna in his universe and is trying to get her to fall back in love with him.
“Wonder Woman 1984 is a special one for me and I can only hope it’ll be as special to you too. We’ve put our hearts and souls into it,” Gal Gadot wrote on twitter.
The movie will be releasing on December 25 in movie theaters and HBOMAX because of COVID-19. From the trailer alone, I think this movie will be good. I don’t think it will live up to the first movie’s expectation but it will still be fun to watch and see the many plots and solutions Wonder Woman will bring.
“Even though I’m not really into DC movies, I think this movie would be worth watching,” Shaniya Myles said.
The Holidays in Kernersville
The town of Kernersville has held many events during this time of year to be more interactive with the community. The annual Christmas Parade, the new ice rink, the tree lighting and the movie in the park to name a few were the events that many people in Kernersville looked forward too.
This year, however, will be completely different because of COVID-19 and new restrictions that have been added back because of the increase in cases due to holiday travels.
The annual Kernersville Christmas Parade was the main event of the holiday season and everyone looked forward to it. The classic cars, the floats, the dances and of course Santa are some of the main attractions.
“Unfortunately with the current executive order, Order 169 in Section 5 we are not able to hold the parade,” the Kernersville Chamber of Commerce said in a press release.
The Tree Lighting is also a very important Kernersville event because of the carols sung, the hot chocolate, the tree lighting of course but most of all, Santa.
The Tree Lighting is still on schedule for Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. at Harmon Park, with the proper precautions to be everyone safe and social distanced.
Christmas Around Downtown Kernersville event is another fun event to get the Kernersville community together during these trying times. At the historic train depot is where the fun can begin with getting a boutique passport that takes you through the stores in downtown Kernersville.
Your passport can be turned in at the Kernersville Museum which has been turned into Santa’s House. The ice rink will also be open for fun and cheer during this holiday season.
Christmas around Downtown Kernersville will be on Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. -7 p.m.with tickets that cost $20.
Storytime with Santa will bring some holiday joy and will be at the Kernersville Museum’s Historic Village with the reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas.
There will be two story-time times, one from 3-3:30 p.m. and on at 4-4:30 pm on Dec.5 with a max capacity of 20 with masks and temperature checks that will be made.
This year will be the first ever Boutique Craw. This event is similar to Christmas Around Downtown Kernersville. Passport will be given as well as a shopping bag and a wristband which give you access to great discounts at the Kernersville Chamber of Commerce with locations listed in downtown Kernersville to do some holiday shoppings.
The Boutique Crawl will be on Dec. 12 from 11:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. with tickets that cost $20.
The Jingle Mingle is the last event held at the Kernersville Brewing Company that is a networking event that has embraced the holiday spirit. Business leaders will be there and if a $5 “gag gift” is brought, then there is a chance to play dirty Santa.
The Jingle Mingle will be held on Dec. 15 from 5:30-7:30 pm.
To register and get tickets for the town events, visit https://www.kernersvillenc.com .
Skating Through The Virus
‘Tis the season! Ice Skating locally is now available at the Kernersville Museum. Young or old, ice skating is a great way to get into the holiday spirit!
The Coronavirus is still present but The Kernersville Museum Ice Skating Rink staff thoroughly follows the state mandated COVID-19 guidelines in order to ensure the safety of all skaters and guests.
Skaters must be prepared before even stepping onto the rink. Ice skaters must be wearing their masks as well as continuing to social distance while on the property. Before stepping foot on the ice, a waiver must be signed either at home, online, or at the rink using a smartphone or tablet provided. If under the age of 18, a legal guardian needs to sign and submit the waiver on your behalf.
The cost to skate is $5 for all ages. This will pay for the skate rental as well as your 30 minutes of skate time. Either going with your family or a group of friends, this activity is fun for everyone.
Hours of Operation:
*The Rink will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day*
Hot Chocolate Bombs
A current trend going around on social media is “DIY Hot Chocolate Bombs.” These chocolate bombs are filled with hot cocoa mix, marshmallows, and other ingredients which are then added to milk. When mixed together and heated up, they make hot chocolate!
- 1 to 2 bags of melting chocolate
- 1 cup of cocoa mix/powder
- Half circle mold (a cake pop mold works)
- Icing, sprinkles, and candy canes (optional)
- Heat your chocolate (I used the Ghirardelli milk chocolate) in the microwave until it is melted enough so you can pour it.
- Grease your molds with cooking spray so the chocolate doesn’t stick.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the molds and place them in the freezer for about five minutes giving them time to set.
- Once they have set, you can take them out of the freezer and fill half of the circles with the hot chocolate mix and any other ingredients you chose.
- The other halves not filled up will be used to seal the chocolate bombs. Put a pan on low heat and wait until it warms up.
- Place the chocolate half open-side down onto the pan for 5-10 seconds. Its edges should start to melt so that you can seal it to the other half.
- Right after, place this half onto one of your other half filled with ingredients. You may have to hold them together for a few seconds until they are set together.
- Repeat this process until you have created as many as you like. Leave them in the freezer until you use them so that they do not melt.
- When you are ready to use them, you can fill up a mug with milk. Heat it for about 1 minute in the microwave so the milk is hot enough to melt the chocolate.
- Top with extra marshmallows and you’re done!
There aren’t too many steps to make these, so I thought it was pretty easy. The hardest part is probably waiting to decorate them while the chocolate sets in the freezer. My sister and I really liked them so I would for sure recommend trying them out.
Most Wanted Christmas Gifts
Getting clothes for Christmas is dreadful for younger kids, however these days that is all high school students wish for.
Popular requests for Christmas are commonly a new pair of shoes. This ranges from formal dress shoes and high heels, to comfy running shoes. For this year’s Christmas the most popular shoe kids want are Air force 1’s and other Nikes.
“I want shoes for Christmas because they have become a hobby of mine,” Ethan Baker said.
Another piece of clothing on most kids’ wish list, is a new sweatshirt. These are mostly contributed to artists like Travis Scott and others who have sweatshirts in high demand.
“I want a hoodie because I really like the design and concept behind Travis Scott’s album ASTROWORLD,” Eliana Pascavage said
Not all high school students want clothes however, some are asking for tech. Such as a new Iphone or the brand new PS5 and Xbox series X gaming consoles.
“A lot of people are wanting to get a PS5 because they are really good for gaming and it would be fun to play games with my little brother,” Maria Fleak said.
The most popular christmas gift each year is also a must for students. Gift cards to department stores, fast food places and even amazon.
“I prefer to get food cards because I eat food more than I do anything else,” Brooke Planes said.
NCLA’s instagram took to the polls to decide what students prefer to see under the tree on christmas morning. The results are as follows:
What Christmas gift would you rather have?
(70%) Sweatshirt vs. Sweatpants (30%)
(41%) Skateboard vs. Bicycle (59%)
(35%) Gas station gift card vs. Amazon gift card (65%)
(23%) Socks vs. T-Shirt (77%)
(88%) New Shoes vs. New Sunglasses (12%)
(71%) $100 gift card vs. $75 cash (29%)
(60%) Apple Watch vs. Airpod Pros (40%)
(25%) PS5 vs. Iphone 12 (75%)
Winter Hat Ornaments
Homemade ornaments add simple touches to one’s christmas and bring joy to the season. Every Christmas season, memories will be brought back to life with the ornament hanging on the tree.
- Toilet paper/paper towel rolls
- Cotton balls
Step One: Cutting Strings of Yarn
- Cut about forty 12 inch long pieces of yarn
Step Two: Cutting Toilet Paper Rolls
- Cut a toilet paper roll into 4 equal sections
Step Three: Putting the Yarn on The Roll
- Take one piece of yarn and line the ends up together
- Put the loop side through the roll
- Thread the ends through the loop, pull tight
- Repeat this until you fill the entire roll with string
Step Four: Feed the Yarn Through the Hole
- Twist the ends of the yarn together, then push the twist backwards through the hole
- Untwist and untangle the yarn
- Retighten the strands if needed
Step Five: Tie off the top
- In the bottom of the hat, right above where the toilet paper roll ends, place a cotton ball to form shape
- At the top of the cotton ball, take an extra piece of yarn and tie it off the ends to form a pompom
Step Six: Trim the Pompom
- Take scissors and trim the pompom into a semicircle shape
Step Seven: Add the Hanger
- Use an extra piece of string and tie it to the bottom of the pompom, and then tie the ends together to create a loop
I made a few of these and put them on my tree, around my house, and even made some into a garland for my fireplace. It is simple and quick, yet cute and fun.
Honoring Coach Fisher
This past Tuesday, the high school girls volleyball team had a game dedicated to Ms. Fisher, who passed away earlier this year. The NCLA Falcons played Cornerstone Charter.
“I admired how selfless and passionate Ms. Fisher was and how she was always willing to go out of her way to do anything she could to help you. She was always so happy and encouraged through everything. Ms. Fisher made me be more grateful for what was happening in the moment and for everything I have. She made me realize that if things are tough in your life, you can still be positive and thankful for what you have” Kyley Perkins, a former student and player at the NCLA, said.
Whitney Fisher was a fourth-grade teacher and a volleyball coach here at the NCLA. Ms. Fisher not only helped students to grow in knowledge but also in character. Kindness radiated through Fisher and left a lasting impression on anyone who knew her.
”Ms. Fisher was one of the kindest and most gentle people I have ever come in contact with. Whether we were on or off the court, she always had something nice and helpful to say. Ms. Fisher was never quick to anger. Yes, we get competitive in volleyball, but she was really good at finding a balance between competitiveness and kindness. Her words to us were never mean spirited and always helpful,” Nora Wood, a junior on the high school girls volleyball team, said.
The Falcons fought hard, but ended the game losing 3-0.
“One of my favorite moments was when we all started dancing to the YMCA before and the games last year and she was laughing so much at us! I also loved every bus ride with her and on the way back home, me, Lydia, and Coach Fisher would talk about so many random things, I loved it!!” Megan Queen, a senior at the NCLA, said.
“Ms. Fisher was very nice and encouraging. She always kept the class smiling, I have a lot of friends who miss her as well and we talk about her all the time. I know she is in heaven and proud of the girls volleyball team tonight. She will be smiling down on them (win or lose,)” Zoe Enscore, a former student of Ms. Fisher, said.
The NCLA will never forget about Ms. Fisher. Her teachings of kindness and humbleness live on and shine through many of the students she has taught, both on the court, and in the classroom.
“I learned just about everything I know about volleyball from her and play every game for her,” junior Julianna Peters said.
High School Sports Mask Policy
As the number of cases begin to skyrocket, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association makes appropriate adjustments to the sports seasons that follow strict COVID-19 guidelines. The newest adjustment being the requirement of face coverings at all times.
All of The NCLA’s student athletes have been directly affected by the rules and regulations put in place by the NCHSAA.
On Nov. 16, the NCHSAA put forth a requirement of face coverings of student athletes at all times,“Cloth face coverings are permitted during competition and must be worn when not actively competing,” said the NCHSAA in a list of modifications sent to schools in North Carolina.
Before this rule was put in place, practices would take place without face coverings, but athletes still followed proper social distancing and sanitizing guidelines. While some student athletes do not mind the mask rule, others find it to be a bother.
“I find that with the masks I run out of energy quickly and it’s hard to catch your breath sometimes. They constantly are falling down past my nose, which is not allowed, and I find myself always having to fix it in-game,” junior Emma Ware said.
The lack of clear communication can be another issue that comes up with everyone wearing masks. Ware mentions that communication is a huge part of volleyball and that sometimes points may be lost due to the miscommunications that occur. However, everything new takes time to fully adjust to.
Regarding the pandemic, the NCHSAA has made sure to stay updated with rules and regulations that keep safety a priority for student athletes.
“Under the circumstances, I think that overall the NCHSAA is handling the pandemic to the best of their ability. It’s a learning process for everyone at this point, and we all just need to be patient,” Ware said.
See more information about the NCHSAA guidelines regarding COVID-19 here: https://www.nchsaa.org/2020-2021-covid-19-modified-guidelines-and-resources
Volleypalooza Wraps Up
The middle school volleyball season ended before it began, but the players and coaches were able to get in one final hurrah, taking part in a scrimmage dubbed Volleypalooza.
“On Tuesday we played a game between the players at Volleypalooza. One side was called the NCLA and the others were called the Falcons,” player Cate Selmer said. “The Falcons won one game and the NCLA won two. The match on Tuesday really felt like a real game. I thought it was cool to see all the people that were new to playing volleyball actually play in a game and get that experience,”
Overall the players were glad that the school and their coach had come up with volleypalooza after the disappointment of not being able to have a real season.
“Volleypalooza and volleyball may have been different, but what is not different is the concept of volleyball,” Jacelyn Mitchell said. “I got bruises from Volleypalooza and I got bruises from volleyball; what’s the difference?”
Coach Richardson sent out a statement about the end of the season in a reminder saying, “Volleypalooza was a success! Thank you to the players for participating! Just a reminder that our normal season would look very different. A normal season is longer with official tryouts, more practices, and games. So until then, keep practicing and learning!”
You can see the stream from the Volleypalooza match on the NCLA’s Facebook page.
MS Boys/ Girls Basketball Preview
The 2020 volleyball season has been cancelled but basketball still continues with the right precautions. Both boys and girls middle school basketball continue with Covid-19 precautions by wearing masks at all times during practice and only allowing up to 25 spectators at home games.
Teams will carry an increased amount of players just in case of injury or sickness.
“The team is carrying 13 in case of sickness and injury,” David Sellers, boys MS basketball coach, said.
This is also the same for the girls basketball team. For away games only home spectators can be there, there will be no away spectators for all schools.
The girls team first game will be Dec. 10 and the Boys team first game will be Dec. 4 at Oak Level Baptist. But a basketball tournament will begin Dec. 10 for the Boys team.
“We start this Friday and Saturday in a middle school tournament so we will see then how we stack up,” Sellers said.
The roster for the boys basketball team is Adam Konna, Donovan Smith, Caden Rayker, Will Bovender, Walt Martin, Lukas Blakey, Michael Hudson, Clay Smith, Hank Gaston, Elijah Martin, Sam Phillips, Andrew Kivett, Ethan Lain. The managers are Nate Pizarro, and Kenna Truhe.
When asked about the play style for the first game Sellers said, “All the kids are very receptive to our style and doing a lot of hard work as we will be a very aggressive team.”
The roster for the girls basketball team is Naomi Brannon, Natalie Castillo, Ali Faenza, Marley Hill, Jayda Larson, Maria Page, Shelby Phillips, Maria Pizarro, Irelynn Price, Emma Segers, Frankie Seiferth, Brooke Swigert, and Linnea West.
”The girls basketball team has been practicing and we have several games scheduled,” girls Head Coach Richardson said.
With the limited number of spectators at home games, this year will be very unconventional with the temperature checks and constant mask wearing, but most of the players are looking forward to their schedule up ahead.
2020 Sports in Review
As most people could say the year 2020 has been a year that won’t be forgotten, especially when it comes to sports. Even though this year may have been a tough year, there were still some amazing games played throughout the year.
In College Football, LSU and Clemson played in the NCAA football playoff championship game on Jan.13. LSU started off their year 2020 on a high note taking the title home, with the final score being 42-25. Heisman trophy winner, and QB for LSU tigers Joe Burrow threw five touchdown passes, ran for another touchdown, and ended one of the greatest seasons of football history by leading his team to victory.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron said,”He’s one of the greatest players in LSU history, He’s done so much for the state of Louisiana and LSU. We are so grateful to Joe Burrow.”
In Super Bowl LIV, San Francisco 49ers played the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb 2 in the Hard Rock Stadium, in Florida. As QB Patrick Mahomes leads the Chiefs to victory of the 2020 Super Bowl, with a final score of 31-20. Mahomes threw two touchdown passes, one rushing touchdown, and threw 286 yards overall.
The NBA Championship was played on Oct. 11 ,the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat, conquering the champion title once again.
Leading the team to victory with the most points in the final game of the championship was Lebron James, being in the game for 41 minutes, having 14 rebounds, 10 assists and 28 points.
Also leading the team to victory was Anthony Davis with a game time of 35 minutes, having 15 rebounds, 3 assists, and 19 points.
The Lakers pull out the 17th NBA Championship win this year, with a final score of 106-93.
“One thing I can do is commit to the game. I put myself, my body and my mind in position to be available to my team-mates, I’ve never missed a playoff game in my career and the best thing you can do for your teammates is be available,” James said.
March Madness was scheduled to be on Mar. 17, but due to the global pandemic it was the first tournament that had been cancelled since the creation of March Madness in 1939.
On Oct 20, the Los Angeles Dodgers played the Tampa Bay Rays starting the final championship series, then ending the series on Oct. 27, ending game six.
Winning the 2020 world series are the Los Angeles Dodgers with a series score of 4-2 and a final game score of 3-1.
It was the Dodgers first time winning a World Series Championship since 1988.
Wed 12/9: Home against Chatham Central
Thu 12/10: Home against Ragsdale
Wed 12/16: @Cornerstone Charter Academy
MS Boys Basketball:
Fri/Sat 12/4-12/5: @Oak Level Baptist
Thu 12/10: Home against Triad Baptist
Fri 12/11: @Millenium Charter Academy
Girls MS Basketball:
Tue 12/10: Home against Triad Baptist
Mon 12/14: Home against High Point Home Educators
Tue 1/05: @Triad Baptist
Coronavirus: Stories & Experiences
During the Global Covid-19 pandemic millions of people worldwide have gotten Covid. A few people at the NCLA have gotten it as well, including myself. Here are their stories.
“Almost my whole family got it and it was a different experience for all of us. Some of us had no symptoms and others could barely get out of bed. Covid is a very scary thing,” Lauren Maness, a student at NCLA said.
This virus is very difficult to go through. Isolation allows the infected time to think alone, which can be scary, causing fear and some anxiety in certain cases. Being isolated from the ones you love and the thought of spreading the virus is also scary.
“My ten day isolation period after my diagnosis was difficult because it is hard to be separated from loved ones and just the fear of making anyone else sick. I am so thankful that my illness was mild and no one else became ill,” Jennifer Warren said.
Covid-19 is a very peculiar virus, the symptoms can vary from extremely ill to just a little tired. But one symptom everyone interviewed reported was loss of taste and smell.
“Covid did not affect me that much other than my taste and smell … I couldn’t taste Captain Crunch for two weeks,” Hunter Fox, a junior at NCLA said.
While staying inside in one room quarantining for two weeks, some even reported learning and realizing new things throughout their Covid experience.
“My experience with Covid was one to remember. I’ve never experienced being forced to stay inside one area for that long of a time and it made me realize you can always come up with something to do if you try hard enough,” Dylan Coltrane said.
Although some people’s experiences were very mild, conditions can be different for everybody. Coronavirus is very serious and has the ability to be deadly. Coronavirus along with pre-existing conditions can make some feel worse, it is important to stay careful.
“Some resources say symptoms can worsen on days 6-10 and some covid patients have what they call ‘silent hypoxia’ meaning they do not even realize that their oxygen levels are critically low until they are in danger of respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation,” Mrs.Warren, a Nurse Practitioner said.
NCLA’s Fundraising Program: SOAR
SOAR is a fundraising system our school uses to provide quality education since our school does not receive the same amount of funding that public schools do.
“SOAR allows us to make up some of the funding discrepancies with state funds,” the Principal of the NCLA, Mrs. Faenza said. “For example, charter schools do not receive any capital building or improvement funds or lottery proceeds as do all other public school districts in NC. Without capital building and improvement funds, the school has to pay for building upkeep and repairs out of our general operating budget and this is very costly.”
Donations to SOAR may be made by cash, checks made payable to the NCLA, online payments, and recurring monthly payments. The donations are tax-deductible and there is no limit for how much you can contribute. The NCLA
hopes to have 100% participation from faculty and student’s families with a goal of raising $75,000.
Red envelopes have recently been sent home with students for cash and check donations, while online donations can be made on the school’s website, http://thencla.org/soar.html.
Funding through SOAR has allowed our school to expand including the new middle and high school building recently added to the campus along with improvement of our outdoor athletic facilities.
Levels of Donation Honor
Falcon Glider: Families who raise or donate $100 – $499
- 2 dress down passes per child
- Family Name on gym banner
Innovator’s Nest: Families who raise or donate more than $500 will receive:
- 3 dress down passes per child
- Family Name listed on gym banner
- Family Name on a separate banner
Innovator’s Circle: Families raising or donating over $1000 will receive:
- 4 dress down passes per child
- Family Name on a separate banner
- Family Name on gym banner
- Specially designed t-shirt
Flooding Around Kernersville
Cover the City Project
The NCLA has been involved with a local nonprofit organization called the Cover the City Project since 2018. This organization collects blankets to provide to homeless shelters.
“This project started in 2013 when I noticed a homeless man sleeping behind the High Point Krispy Kreme,” Executive Director Amanda Anderson said. “Our family felt like we were called to help him in some way. There is a really long drawn out story here but to make a long story short, we gathered blankets, coats, socks etc to be able to give to him and help keep him warm.”
After this I found out that homeless shelters rarely had enough blankets to help when it got really cold, so thus started the Cover the City Project. Our mission is to cover cities literally and physically with warmth and love and we do that by showing others that we care.”
The organization collects blankets that are new or gently used to donate to surrounding homeless shelters.
“We collect and donate new and gently used blankets of all different sizes to area homeless shelters and encampments,” Anderson said.
Being a part of this project means being able to touch and impact many lives across the area.
“The most rewarding part of CTC is that we have helped over 50,000 people since we started this in 2013. Our efforts are small but our impact is huge,” Anderson said.
“Many people take for granted that they have a warm home, a bed, and blankets to sleep under and this is our small way of helping those who just need a hand up in life. It brings a smile to my face every time I deliver blankets to a place in need and the people who need it most are so appreciative.”
The project receives thousands of blanket donations each year, though Covid-19 has had an impact.
“Pre-Covid we would collect anywhere from 5,000-8,000 blankets each year. This year we will be very lucky if we hit even 3,000 blankets due to all the precauctions everyone is taking. Things have changed this year due to that but we are still making an impact every day, especially with the cold weather coming in,” Anderson said.
The NCLA decided to get involved because of its location surrounded by three cities.
“Our school is in a unique location and it was the best way to make an impact in several cities throughout the Triad,” Elementary Principal Mrs. Guldberg said. “We hope to be able to support them in some way each winter.”
Families can donate any kind of blanket to this organization.
“They can donate any size blankets, throws, comforters, sleeping bags etc.” Guldberg said.
You can drop off donations at the NCLA front office or at A Cleaner World locations. The closest A Cleaner World location to the school is five minutes away, and is at 1545 Union Cross Road, Kernersville, NC.
“If you’d like to donate blankets they can be dropped off in our front lobby or at any A Cleaner World location or if someone would like to donate financially then they can visit their website at www.coverthecityproject.org,” Guldberg said.
You could also donate financially through the Cover the City Project website.
“If people would like to donate financially they can visit our website at http://www.coverthecityproject.org to donate there or send checks to our office!” Anderson said.
If you would like to get involved directly with the organization, they have an annual fundraiser every October and are having a fundraiser on December 1.
“Every year we do a $5k in 30 days campaign in October which we just wrapped up! It was fabulous and we exceeded our goal. We will also do a Giving Tuesday campaign on December 1st, which we do every year where we try and raise $1,000 to purchase blankets for those in need,” Anderson said.
The NCLA’s Senior Class and College Acceptances
The NCLA’s senior class has definitely had a strange beginning with the dynamic that the pandemic has brought. Although finding the motivation to stay ahead of deadlines and applications may feel impossible, seniors Maura Perkins, Selah Smith, and Megan Queen help remind us that the outcome of all of the hard work is so important for their promising futures in college.
“Definitely do not think that senior year is going to be a breeze,” Megan Queen advises. “It is hard and it’s a lot to juggle. You don’t want to spend all of your time on one part of school, like social life, grades, or sports. Make sure you are balancing every aspect.”
Due to the pandemic, The NCLA’s ‘21 seniors have missed out on a lot of what senior year typically brings. Where having fun and being overwhelmed typically balance each other out, this year has definitely been more overwhelming. Queen even mentioned that it is often hard to find ways to stay positive.
“Honestly senior year has been very disappointing,” Selah Smith said. “However, I’m thankful for how the school is handling it. I’m glad that I even have a senior year but I am really hoping that the second half is more normal.”
However, being under a lot of pressure has not stopped the senior class from wanting to achieve a college education and setting up goals for themselves.
COLLEGE ACCEPTANCES – CLASS OF 2021
Emily Baker – East Carolina University
Lily Davenport – Mary Baldwin University
Mary DeHart – Gardner-Webb University
Annie Ellis – Liberty University
Cydney Leister – UNC-Greensboro
Mollie Lomax – Western Carolina, Coastal Carolina University
Amber Matias – Enlistment US National Guard
Allyson Mattingly – Brevard College
Emma Moser – East Carolina University
Megan Queen – Wingate University, Gardner-Webb University, Catawba College, UNC-Greensboro
Selah Smith – East Carolina University
Kylie Tucker – Utah Valley University, Brigham Young University – Idaho
The college application processes are not easy. They’re long, tedious, and not fun. However, setting aside the time to thoroughly go through the application process is something that some of these seniors would advise the future NCLA graduates.
“With applications, I procrastinated a lot so if I could go back and do it again, I would tell myself not to procrastinate. It was hard to thoroughly do them by the November deadline because I was so swamped with schoolwork from the teachers,” Smith said.
“Make sure you start early with your applications. Look into scholarships and anything that will help you out. It gets overwhelming with everything that comes along in senior year. If I would have started earlier and come up with a plan, I wouldn’t have been so overwhelmed with my applications,” Maura Perkins said.
While Perkins and Smith both struggled with the time management aspect of their college applications, Queen utilized her free time from the summer to knock out her applications.
“I did my applications before school started which I would 11/10 recommend doing. When everyone else was stressed about the deadline, mine was done before I had any school work. Make sure you take your time on the essays. Don’t rush it. Make sure you apply for a broad range of schools if you don’t know. Make sure you apply early to get crazy scholarships for private schools,” Queen said.
Although getting through the application process was almost a chore for the seniors, Smith, Perkins, and Queen all shared that they feel as if The NCLA has set them up for success.
“I feel like compared to other schools our school really pushes us harder which can only help us. I’ve had different mentors that are older than me that have helped me realize what the work ethic will be. At first, [college] will be weird but I feel like I’ve been given enough tools to be successful,” Queen said.
Not only are these seniors academically ready for college, but they’re ready to take on a way of living. Although there’s no telling what will happen in the foreseeable future with regards to the pandemic, these falcons are ready to get their taste of the real world.
“I’m excited to get away and get the ‘college experience’ and meet new people and be my own person. I’m not excited about the cost. It’s a lot. If COVID-19 continues, I’m not excited about online classes. I’d rather be in person,” Perkins said.
“I used to think that I would be the type of person that wanted to be in high school forever. With the pandemic, I’ve realized that I’m ready for the next chapter of my life,” Queen said.
North Carolina Cases Continue to Rise
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Since then, everyone has been in quarantine, wearing masks, and social distancing. The United States is the country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases (11,439,011).
There has been discussion of a vaccine being worked on. President Donald Trump said during an interview, “As soon as April, the vaccine will be available to the entire general population with the exception of New York State”.
According to Google News, North Carolina has a total number of cases of 318,537 and 4,881 deaths, and in Forsyth County, there are 11,366 cases and 151 deaths. Governor Roy Cooper has announced a new COVID-19 County Alert System.
This system will help find counties with the highest amount of the virus spreading and recommend specific ways to help the cases go down. This will help other leaders in other counties reduce the spread and risk of getting the CoronaVirus. This map will be updated every four weeks.
“It can help bring their case rates [down], keep their communities safer, save lives, and keep their hospital systems working,” Governor Roy Cooper said.
Many states have begun to shut down again, such as Michigan, New York, California, Oregon, and many more. A countless amount of health officials are saying since there are more new cases and more people being hospitalized, and a lot more people can be affected by this virus if action is not taken.
Ways that you can protect yourself and others from being infected is wearing a mask whenever you are in public. You should also maintain social distancing meaning, not go to parties or crowded places, staying at least 6 feet apart from each other, and washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Black Friday: Bringing Deals During a Pandemic
November 20 – Black Friday is the time of the year when many shop for good deals at their favorite stores. Whether it’s to get a head start on Christmas presents or to get something that may be a necessity or just to indulge oneself, Black Friday is the time to get it.
This year will be different though due to COVID because stores are trying to contain the spread and keep everyone at safe distances while shopping.
Black Friday usually begins on Nov. 26, when stores begin to open around 5 p.m. and lasts throughout the weekend. The following Monday is Cyber Monday which adds on to the Thanksgiving deals.
“I love going Black Friday shopping at Costco and Target. I always find great deals on tech that I’ve waited all year to get like monitors and iPads. I hate the lines though, it is way too chaotic in the stores,” Etornam Agbemabiese said.
Normally, lines begin to form one minute and the next minute, the line is wrapped around the building. Sometimes people will stay overnight to make sure that they are one of the first to get into stores and see the deals.
Stores become overcrowded and everyone aligns shoulder to shoulder grabbing everything in sight to take advantage of the sales. That cannot be the case this year due to the ongoing pandemic.
In an Instagram poll done by the Falcon News, out of 49 participants, 53% of people said that in a normal year, they would shop in stores while 47% said they shopped online. In another poll made with 46 participants, 74% of people said that this year they will be shopping online while 26% said they will be shopping in-store.
Many stores this year have decided to start Black Friday deals as early as late October.
“I think it’s cool that some stores have started early so you don’t have to rush to by things whiles stuff is on sale for one day,” Troy Shoemaker said.
Target announced that their Black Friday is “all month with new deals each week.” They decided this to control the amount of people entering the store. Many other stores like Walmart, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco, and JCPenney are also trying the staggering approach of different deals weekly to control customer flow.
“I think it’s smart, but there are definitely going to be people who will take advantage of it,” Maria Fleak said. “Maybe if stores did Black Friday like normal but instead of waiting in line to get in, people could be allowed to wait in their cars to avoid coming in contact while still holding their position in line.”
Store hours are not as flexible as previous years because of the restrictions implanted to try to keep everyone at a safe distance.
“I think that it is a good idea because people can stay safe. The workers at the stores will also be able to be around family and celebrate Thanksgiving as well,” Camyrn Earnhart said.
The Tanglewood Lights Shine Bright Another Year
November 20 – Despite the pandemic, the Tanglewood Festival of Lights in Clemmons, North Carolina continues to spread its holiday cheer as the holidays rapidly approach.
These lights have always been a staple in North Carolina Christmas celebrations
for many years. They display thousands of twinkling lights all around visitors as they walk through the park.
However, all extra activities for the park are closed due to COVID restrictions. This mainly means that visitors can no longer walk through the park to see the lights. Instead, visitors are required to drive through the park in order to see the lights.
The opening date was pushed from Nov. 13 to Nov. 16 due to the extreme flooding caused by massive tropical storm Eta that affected North Carolina after touching down in Florida. This year, the festival will be held from Nov. 16 until Jan. 1.
The festival starts at 6 p.m. and goes until 11 p.m. The park itself is open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. each night, however this does not mean visitors can get into the festival grounds until the actual festival opens. Visitors for the festival will not be allowed to enter past 11 p.m.
The cost to get in is around $15 per family vehicle. Commercial vehicles are required to pay $35, and motorcoaches/buses are required to pay $100 upon entry. Discount nights are on November 16, 17, 23, and 24, where family vehicles pay $5, commercial vehicles pay $15, and motorcoaches/buses pay $65.
The park has stated that it is prohibited for visitors to ride through the Festival on the back of a pickup truck or in a trailer connected to a vehicle.
In the past couple of years, many sports events have taken place here, including bike races and 5Ks. The park has a trail of 1.3 miles that families of all sizes and ages can walk through. This is usually the trail used for the festival, however COVID restrictions don’t allow anyone to walk around outside of their vehicle.
Maria Fleak, a sophomore at the NCLA, said, “I like to sit in the car so I don’t get cold and I can listen to my own Christmas music.”
The gift village is also closed due to COVID restrictions, meaning visitors can’t do any holiday shopping at the park. Inside the gift village, there is normally a gift shop, S’moresville, and Santa.
“Sadly, the little store with the cute little gifts is closed this tear, but my family typically enjoys that,” Jenna Clayton, a member of the varsity volleyball team at the NCLA, said.
Horse drawn carriages and tractor-pulled hayrides are still available, however they are only accommodating individual family groups. A horse-drawn carriage is $80 plus a Festival of Lights admission, and the tractor-pulled hayrides are $150 plus a Festival of Lights admission.
The Tanglewood dog park is going to continue to stay open, however this could change depending on the state regulations.
The Tanglewood Park website is offering virtual tours of the Festival of Lights for guests who cannot make it in their cars this year. Though this experience isn’t the same as seeing the lights in person, it comes pretty close.
The Festival of Lights is very popular on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. During these nights, long lines and wait times should be expected. Weekends are the most busy and 4 hour wait times should be expected.
Many NCLA students are familiar with the Festival of Lights. The majority of the students who visited the festival this year had only positive things to say about it!
“I really like the environment and the warm feeling I get when I see all the lights. They really put me in the holiday spirit,” Fleak said.
The festival is an experience that usually involves the whole family, which makes the holiday spirit even more present!
“I really like being able to go through the lights with my whole family in the warm car with Christmas music playing,” Clayton said. “We always stop for hot chocolate before and it’s a really good time.”
2020’s Small Business Saturday
November 20 – Like Black Friday, much of the country participates in Small Business Saturday.
The eleventh anniversary of Small Business Saturday is approaching. It will be celebrated on Nov. 28.
Small Business Saturday is a day to shop at your local small businesses to show support and help keep these vital businesses up and running.
Small Business Saturday takes place on the Saturday between Black Friday and
Cyber Monday. While it is the one that is most forgotten, it is the one that needs to be remembered most. Small businesses are needed to keep your communities thriving.
In Kernersville, there are many small businesses to go out and support on this day, such as Savage Roasters, Junktique Alleyway, Pawlees, and many more.
“Small Business Saturday tends to bring more people downtown that look into business they normally would just walk by,” Linda Nugent, the owner of Junktique Alleyway, said.
“It’s a big day that we can give out samples and really show people what all we have to offer,” Nugent said.
This Small Business Saturday is especially important this year. Because of Covid, small businesses have been facing smaller crowds and less sales which makes it harder to stay open and running.
“This year is different because with all of the shutdowns, more people are looking for places to get out. People that normally wouldn’t come to see small businesses are coming and giving us the recognition we need,” Nugent said.
Christmas Time at the Greensboro Science Center!
November 20 – There is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than walking around looking at lights while holiday music plays in the background.
The Greensboro Science Center has set up twelve different themed areas to walk
around. The order of the houses is Wishes for the World, Wintry Welcome, Dancing Fountains, Festive Fun Zone, Forest of Light, Woodland Wonders, Snowball Surprise, Peppermint Path, Gingerbread Barn, Snow Globe Theater, The North Pole, and lastly ending the night at Carousel Dreams.
Most of the zones are outside, but you still need to wear your mask. Halfway through the walk-around you go back inside and straight into the gift shop.
Before you go, you will need to buy your tickets online. Tickets for children over 13 are priced at $24 per person. Unless you are in a group of 10 people or more, then tickets per person are $16. On the website you are able to pick a time that offers a meeting with Santa Claus.
Going last Saturday in a group of four, our experience was not the best. The layout was not well organized and we were unable to see the arrows directing us through the exhibit. Also, on the website it said that Santa visiting hours were from 5:30-9pm, when we got there at 8:30 and he had already left, the overall experience was ruined.
The lights were great to look at and the bubbles being used to create a snowy wonderland made the scenery great for pictures. My favorite part of the whole night was the carousel ride at the very end.
“Overall I enjoyed my experience there, I just was hoping for more since it was priced high for a high school student,” Rachel Eskew said.
Although the quality of the walk through was not the best, if you go with a good group of friends or just your family, the overall experience will be fun.
Call of Duty Cold War: Game Review
November 20 – On Nov. 13 Call of Duty Cold War was released as the newest edition to the Call of Duty Black Ops series. There are four game modes, the newest game mode being a battle royale called “Warzone”. The other three game modes being Campaign, Multiplayer, and my personal favorite Zombies.
During my time with the game I have found the Campaign to be one of the best out of the Call of Duty Black Ops Series, in a way the campaign mixes in nostalgia and new graphics and characters, while reintroducing some older characters from Call of Duty Black Ops. With a solid storyline the campaign also references certain songs such as Blue Monday by New Order in certain missions.
But as Treyarch always does in Call of Duty they also like to reference their older games in some missions one of the games being Pitfall! which was made in 1982.
Another Game mode that I found to be similar yet different was multiplayer. Multiplayer has introduced new weapons, characters, and gamemodes. But the actual gameplay felt sluggish and almost the same as Call of Duty Modern Warfare which was the game released before Call of Duty Cold War, alongside the sluggish controls there are certain game modes that seem too repetitive and boring.
But despite the sluggish gameplay there were some redeeming features such as the Snipers, it feels as if they are the same from Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and they also add some new and interesting “Score streaks”.
The Zombies gamemode I feel like has had the most and drastic changes. To returning Zombies players it will be confusing because of all the new cast and storyline.
While you get deeper into the rounds the more you see more changes. The first changes you see are a minimap that marks where the zombies and the new perks that they have added. But as I played on the one map more I found that they paid lots of homage to the older Zombies that have been made such as redone perks from past games and the map itself being from the first game with zombies.
Warzone I had the least interest in. Because the gamemode is pretty much identical to the one in modern warfare. All they changed were some of the guns, but not much has changed in that gamemode.
Middle School Volleypalooza
The North Carolina Leadership Academy Volleyball team was preparing for a great season, but unfortunately it was cancelled.
“Coach Mac worked very hard to schedule games for us and did, but the closer we got to the season, other schools/teams cancelled on us. So we had to cancel our regular season as well,” said Head Coach Richardson.
The middle school volleyball team was scheduled to have games beginning in Nov. and that would have lasted till the end of Dec. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, teams have cancelled their seasons leaving NCLA no teams to play.
In response to the middle school season being cancelled, the Volleypalooza was created so the players can have a chance to play this year. The big match, which will be two teams divided amongst the players who participated in Volleypalooza, will be held on Dec. 1, in the middle school gym.
The Volleypalooza featured four days of practicing of specific skill and then four days getting ready for the “big match.”
“The goal of Volleypalooza is to still allow the MS girls that were interested in playing this season the opportunity to learn, play, and have fun,” said Richardson.
Falcons run Hard to Open Season
The HS cross country team officially started their season on Nov. 5, 2020 with their first official practice of the season, preparing themselves for their first meet on Nov. 17, 2020.
This years HS Cross Country Roaster concludes of:
- Will Swisher (9th grade)
- Andrew Ellis (9th grade)
- Delaney Georgeff (9th grade)
- Will Martin (9th grade)
- Brandon Mendoza (10th grade)
- Will Kauffman ( 10th grade)
- Chris Hungerford (10th grade)
- Kamree Anderson (9th grade)
- Jaydn dewald (11th grade)
- Emily Vroom (12th grade)
- Brooke Bandy (12th grade)
- Mary Dehart (12th grade)
Captains: Emily Vroom, Brooke Bandy, and Mary Dehart
Due to the pandemic, the season will be cut short with only six meets scheduled. Some of the teams that NCLA will be running against will be Millenium, Bishop McGuinness, Northwest Guilford, North Stokes, and the Ragsdale. Hopefully in Jan. there will a regional conference meet.
As we move forward into this year, Coach Rickert says, “I expect Will Swisher and Will Kauffman to do very well this season”, as they are our strongest runners on the team, as well as Jaydn dewald.
On Tuesday November 17, 2020 NCLA competed in their first meet of the season against Northwest Guilford High School.
Amongst the boys, Will Kaufman, sophomore, came in second place overall with a time of 20:44, with Will Swisher, freshman, coming in at fourth place with a time of 21:01. The girls race, Jaydn
Dewald, junior, came in third place overall with a time of 24:40 and Kamree Anderson, freshman, coming in at fifth place with a time of 25:25.
Coach Rickert says,”As always I feel like we will have fun this year, we always do. Hopefully we will be faster because of our extra time to train and the cooler weather this season should help.”
High School Volleyball Wins First Game
On Tuesday Nov. 17, our high school volleyball team won their first game against South Stokes. They won three to one and did a great job, despite all of the new rules that come with sports this season.
“Selah Smith had six kills and Maura Perkins added five. Jenna Clayton had 17 assists and Emma Ware added 16 digs. The main thing that is different about playing right now is that everyone is wearing masks at all times. The girls are doing a great job adjusting to playing with a mask on,” said Coach Hilliard.
Players agree that one of the biggest adjustments so far this season has been wearing masks. They are required to wear them at all times.
“When we got there and started moving it started to get really warm and the mask made it a lot harder to catch our breath,” Jenna Clayton said. “We have been practicing with our masks on, but the added adrenaline made it worse. When we got into the game and started playing, I honestly forgot I had it on (except for having to constantly pull it up) and it ended up being fine.”
One of the freshmen on the team, Ariana Elliott, also made a statement about what it’s like wearing masks while playing.
“During volleyball we have to wear masks in games and in practice. It’s not as bad as you think it is. It just gets really damp in the masks from breathing hard and it’s very unpleasant,” Elliott said.
The coaches this year are Mrs. Hilliard and Mrs. Orenstein. Their support and encouragement has made games and practices easier, according to junior Nora Wood.
“It’s hard to see what’s coming or how the competition will be, but Coach O and Coach Hilliard are the best. They’re constantly reminding us to play our game and encouraging us to do our best. I think that is very important,” Wood said.
Lastly, another thing different this year is how teams end the game. Handshakes are no longer the norm.
“At the end of the game when both teams usually gather at the net and give each other a hand shake, we couldn’t do that this year. So what we did is we lined up on the ten foot line and we waved at the other team. It was kind of funny,” Wood said.
Overall, players enjoyed getting back into the game and are excited for the season to come.
“We were a little bit intimidated by the other team during warm ups, but we got out there and killed it,” Clayton said. “We played four matches, winning the first two and the fourth. It was a really good game, and lots of fun. Everyone played really well, including our new freshman players.”
You can rewatch the game at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yISaR2uBnnc&t=4016s
Gyms Might Close Again
COVID-19 is a worldwide virus that has made a huge impact on America. This has affected many big corporations and numerous small businesses. This has left people still trying to figure out is it safe to go to gyms.
Gyms had been closed for more than five months due to the pandemic. Governor Roy Cooper announced that on Sept. 4, phase three would take place.
This allowed gyms to reopen safely so many could get back to doing what they love. Gyms are proceeding to take extra precautions and modify the regulations for the wellbeing of all concerned.
“The gyms require masks when not doing a workout and everyone must wipe down all equipment after using it along with social distancing when possible,” said Jaydn Dewald, junior.
Some precautions being taken by gyms include required masks, social distancing, disinfecting all equipment after use, the limit of specific equipment, and temperature checking at the door.
The main way the virus spreads is through the respiratory system whether it is coughing, sneezing, or even talking. This has left some gyms at a standstill, they are also having to close down some cardio machines to help prevent the occurrence.
There are many alternatives that can take the place of going to the gym if necessary. This can include fun at-home workouts, yoga, and maybe even taking a quick stroll or bike ride around the neighborhood.
The Gym is a safe place or a much needed stress reliever for some people. It leaves people feeling better and stronger at the end of the day. So it is important to have that option available if at all possible.
“If you do not have any underlying conditions I do suggest going to the gym. It helps me to feel accomplished even though other things such as school may not be going well. It takes my mind off of things,” Dewald stated.
Is it safe to go to gyms? It’s all up to you, they are doing their best to help ensure the protection and safety of each and every individual that walks in their door. As we know if you do not feel comfortable there are many alternatives at your fingertips.
College Basketball is Back
NCAA Basketball is coming back next week for the first time since the abrupt cancellation of the season due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, and here is what to expect.
The season kicks off on Wednesday, Nov. 25 with many big matchups.
NCAA Basketball Notable Games
- 1 Gonzaga @ 6 Kansas 11/26
- 2 Baylor @ 18 Arizona State 11/25
- Charleston @ 16 UNC 11/25
- Maine @ 4 Virginia 11/25
- Gardner Webb @ 9 Duke 11/25
- 15 West Virginia @ Texas A&M 11/25
- Morehead State @ 10 Kentucky 11/25
- 3 Villanova @ Boston College 11/25
These teams have been waiting to play for almost nine months to play basketball again. The energy in these games will be unmatched.
Gonzaga will be a force to be reckoned with, with their season being cut short in the 19-20 season, they have an even better roster this year. Led by Jalen Suggs at point guard. Suggs is the highest star recruit to play for Gonzaga and all eyes will be on him this season.
Another team to watch will be UNC. After having a rough season last year, this year they are looking to bounce back with a much stronger roster. Their uptempo offense plays very well off fast breaks even with the two big man setups, they will be a team to keep an eye on this season.
“I can’t wait to have college basketball back. We are slowly getting back to normal can’t wait to see the rivalry game between UNC and Duke,” junior Nick Hurst said.
The last team to watch is Kentucky, in the offseason Kentucky had the number one recruiting class. They gained two new five star recruits that are going to make a difference in Lexington.
Due to Covid, the NCAA said that many games will be played on a Neutral Court and depending on the league there will be fewer games played in their seasons, for example, some conferences are only playing 18 games compared to the normal 30 to 32 game schedule which could be more depending on if the team makes the NCAA tournament.
“I think it will be interesting about how they will deal with fans and if they are going to regulate that or if each university will be able to control if fans come or not and how many,” sophomore Troy Shoemaker said.
March Madness may change too. The tournament games would be played all over one state, it was even talked about playing in the large high school gyms of Indiana.
There is talk of the players using the NBA model and having all the teams in a “Bubble” or a place where the players will Quarantine before entering and after being cleared for Coronavirus. Teams would not be able to leave “the bubble” until their team loses or is out of the tournament.
This model worked very well for the NBA to finish their season after being canceled. Other sports have not done this and are paying the price, many cancellations in College and professional football are happening due to Covid-19.
“The sport known as basketball has many different sections, but the one that I am currently focusing on is college basketball because of how it helps train the athletes involved to better themselves at basketball and prepare themselves for a professional level while still being very competitive, which also means that the students have to be good at their school subjects to be able to maintain their sport with a healthy balance,” junior Calvin Zoelinger said.
Bishop McGuinness vs. NCLA game score:
Senior Feature: Kylie Tucker
Kylie Tucker is a senior who has been a student at the NCLA for five years, eagerly waiting for her graduation. She is a very involved student who is a Cadet Commander for the schools Civil Air Patrol program. She also participates in both soccer and swimming, making her a very busy person.
Out of the colleges you have been accepted into, which are you most excited about?
“I have been accepted into Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University- Idaho. Those are rolling enrollment and are my ‘safe schools’ so I actually don’t plan on attending them,” Kylie Tucker said, “I am most excited to hear back from BYU- Provo(Brigham Young University- Utah) because that is my number one school or Utah State which is my number two, and I applied to Harvard just for fun,” Kylie Tucker.
What would you say was the most difficult part of high school?
“The most difficult part of high school for me was balancing my schedule. I keep high grades but I also participate in Civil Air Patrol, Church, soccer and swimming. I have had to work hard and balance my life,” Kylie Tucker said.
What do you plan on majoring in when you go to college?
“I am planning to major in nursing and would love to join the US Air Force as a nurse or doctor. I am not 100% committed to that though,” Kylie Tucker said.
What has been your favorite part about coming to The NCLA?
Kylie Tucker said, “My favorite part about NCLA is the atmosphere. NCLA has a lot of great people and I have made so many great friends here. I love the positive attitude of the staff and students”
Any advice for younger students?
“I would advise younger students to not wait to go after what they want. Do it now. I have missed too many opportunities because I overthought them or was waiting for the perfect moment,” Kylie Tucker said, “COVID has really made me realize how much I wished I had made the most of every year instead of waiting until my senior year to do fun things.”
What is one thing you wish you could do this year but cannot?
“I wish that I could see everybody in person. I am the Cadet Commander for our CAP Squadron and I wish I could see the cadets in person. I wish that I could see all my friends and that I could go do fun things on the weekends,” Kylie Tucker said.
A Laugh on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is where many Americans get together with their families to enjoy a large meal and reminisce on things they are thankful for. It seems as the day gets closer, something is bound to go wrong.
Thanksgiving meals can be overwhelming when a lot of food is put in front of you, especially when there may be a stomach bug flying around.
“One Thanksgiving, my family celebrated Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and many other distant relatives. Just as the food was being served, I looked over at my mom. She was looking pale and uneasy. The next thing I know, she’s running to the toilet. The rest of us were holding our breath hoping she could get there in time. My mom took the rest of the day easy, not eating anything, and resting away from other people. That night my siblings and I were also not feeling well. At that point, we realized we probably had the stomach bug and instantly regretted that big meal we just had. The next day, everyone headed home when we started receiving calls. My aunts had to drive home with the stomach bug while their two boys were throwing up in the back seat every time they hit the brakes too hard. I’m sure that the four-hour trip felt like it would never end. That was the last time we all had a big Thanksgiving feast at my grandma’s house,” fifth grader, Zoe Enscore said.
Anything can happen on Thanksgiving and can cause a stinky situation.
“My cousin’s family from Charleston came to stay at my old house for a few days. It was Thanksgiving night, and we had eaten a couple of hours earlier. We were sitting around watching a Christmas movie or something. My dad went downstairs to get the dogs in for the night, and after a few minutes, he asked Beth to come down to help him with something. All of a sudden it smelled really bad, and we knew that a skunk had gotten them. My uncle and dad filled up a baby pool with all sorts of different stuff that was supposed to get the smell out, but none of it was working. Also, it was really cold outside, and they were sitting there with that nasty smell and the freezing cold water trying to wash the dogs. Meanwhile, my little brother, two older cousins, and I ran up to my room with some board game and shut the door. We probably used a full can of Febreze, and we took turns running out of the room holding our breath to go get board games and stuff to keep us busy. Anyway, my mom, sister, and aunt were helping with the dogs too, but they decided they needed to try tomato sauce to get the smell out. So it’s now about 1 am on Black Friday, and my dad and uncle go walking into the Kernersville Walmart to buy tomato sauce. They finally got the dogs in, but they couldn’t get the smell completely out, and the house smelled terrible for the next couple of weeks,” sophomore, Julie Davis said.
Being put in front of a camera and reporters can be intimatinding, especially being a young kindergarten.
“One time when I was little, the local news station came to our school and interviewed some of the kindergarteners. They picked me as one of two kids to interview and I was excited but really nervous. When they started asking me questions I started freaking out, and they asked stuff like ‘What does thanksgiving mean to you?’ or ‘Are you excited to get together with your loved ones?’ and I answered those questions like a cute kindergartener. Then they asked ‘What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving?’ and I replied, ‘I really like the eggs with the yellow stuff in the middle, referring to deviled eggs. I had no clue what they were called but my family always had those so apparently that was my favorite part. Then we watched my interview on the news on Thanksgiving when all of my family was here, and everyone laughed really hard. Sometimes we still bring that up, or try and find the video,” sophomore, Jenna Clayton said.
Thanksgiving is a time for family games but it can get competitive very quickly.
According to junior, Abigail Brannon, “Everyone in my family is very competitive. We don’t like to lose. It was my cousin’s girlfriend’s first time playing with us. Even though I didn’t know her, I wasn’t going to go easy. I wanted to win. Well, I ended up tackling her for the spoon. So this stranger and I wrestled for the spoon on Thanksgiving,”
Deserts are also a main part of the holiday, having to like the desert is a different story.
“Aas when dad spent his first Thanksgiving with my mom’s family. Everyone was hyping up my great grandma’s pumpkin pie, telling him ‘You have to try it, it’s amazing!’ Keep in mind that my dad likes pumpkin pie. Little did he know that my great-grandma forgot to put sugar in it! My dad took a huge bite and tried to be nice and not let his face show how bad it was, but it was very hard. He just said ‘mmm’ and smiled,” said Abigail Brannon.
What Are We Thankful For?
Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what you have and what you have experienced. Although it has been a rocky year there are always things to be thankful for.
“Without my friends and family I wouldn’t be the person I am today, and they are so supportive and amazing,” Senior Madison Jennings said.
On an Instagram poll when asked, “What are you more thankful for?”
90% of people said family while the other 10% said their health.
“Family with all of me. And though this year has been different, my family Dynamic isn’t,” Junior Abigail Brannan said.
Although Covid has put a damper on people’s plans, students have used their extra time to get jobs and start new hobbies they would’ve never had time to do before.
“I’m thankful for my church family and that I can work right now! My job helps me to be able to do fun things and get things I love,” Senior Amber Matias said.
“Covid made me realize how thankful I am for tools and my ability with my hands to work on things,” Senior Noah Richardson said. “They allow me to accomplish things I wouldn’t be able to do without them.”
The ongoing pandemic has been traumatic for many families but it makes many value time spent with family and friends since everything is uncertain.
“I realize that I am thankful that my family is healthy and has not been drastically affected due to our health. I am also thankful that my friends and I have been able to stay connected during these times,” Senior Emily Vroom said.
Many students are also thankful for the fact that the school is still open even when it is a hybrid schedule.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to go to school during Covid-19 even if it may not be as much as we would all like,” Senior Macey Green said.
A Thanksgiving Feast
While the Turkey Bowl is kicking off in the backyard, most families have a giant turkey slowly cooking in the oven. Alongside the big bird, stuffing, mashed potatoes, casseroles and other sides are being prepared.
Some other household dishes being served on the holiday includes mayonnaise ice cream, spam, deviled eggs, sweet potato casserole and more.
“For Thanksgiving I like to have Cranberry Jello Salad,” NCLA receptionist Mrs. Shoemaker said.
Most families make the Turkey the main meal, while a few don’t even cook the bird for the holiday feast.
“Our family eats turkey necks, which are smack,” Wen-Shin Lee said.
“We eat ham, no turkey! Turkey is gross,” said an instagram account that responded to the schools poll.
But is ham a true replacement for the age old turkey? The school instagram account took to the polls to see if people really do prefer pig over foul.
Turkey 58% (33 votes)
Ham 42% (24 Votes)
The results… pretty shocking. Instead of the turkey landslide that could be expected, most people choose ham.
“Ham can be good for leftovers,” Ellie Gibhardt said. “Especially when there are extra rolls to make ham sandwiches with.”
The last ingredient to make the holiday taste perfect is a good dessert. By far the most popular among staff and students was pie. More specifically pumpkin pie.
“Only thing better than a pumpkin pie is mama’s cornbread,” Floyd said.
Hair is one of the most common forms of expression and one of the least harmful to others, yet it seems to be one of the most censored forms of self expression. Worst of all it seems to be heavily rooted in racist and sexist ideologies.
Tashara Parker is a journalist and a woman of color. She has featured many hairstyles that suit her natural hair type throughout her career.
This past October she featured a hairstyle that consisted of multiple buns and this resulted in mixed reaction. According to her Twitter account, @TasharaParker most of the responses were supporting, but multiple called it unprofessional.
There is an issue with this claim of professionalism, because it is very much up to personal perspective.
Parker claimed on Twitter. “Who determines what’s professional these days?”
This has not been the first incident on the subject of hair. According to CNN last year, a 4-year-old was told by his school that he had to change his hair.
The boy, referred to as “Tink” had shoulder length hair and supposedly the Principal at his school informed his family that it was too long. They were given the options of cutting it off, pinning it up, or braiding it.
These are only two examples of hair censorship and a simple google search can bring up many more. This is clearly a prominent issue in the modern world.
The NCLA has had its own run-ins with hair regulations throughout the years. Having had strict bans on colored hair and length limits on male student’s hair at times throughout its history.
Allegedly also having prohibited male student athletes from wearing headbands to keep hair out of their faces during games.
Hair is an outlet for many to express themselves, especially at an institution like the NCLA that has a uniform. It also has little to no effect on others so it is not as though it is harming anyone by allowing an individual to wear their hair as they please. There should be an embracement of hairstyles in all hair types, because not all hair is the same, and genders as hairstyles don’t truly belong to any gender.
How has Online School Impacted Students’ Mental Health?
Online school is something that has been a struggle for many students across the world. It’s hard for students to do their work alone without getting distracted, or missing their friends.
According to USA Today, around 3 out of 10 parents reported that their student began struggling with their emotional and mental state due to schools moving to fully remote classes.
Students are losing motivation to do their homework, finish college applications, get up for their conference calls, and more (USA Today).
In some cities around the country, schools are working with support services to help students and their families cope with the trauma brought on by the pandemic. Teachers in El Paso, TX are working on having times set up for their students to work on emotional and social skills every week.
For NCLA senior Mary Dehart, online school has made her feel a little lonelier than usual.
“Online school has honestly made me feel a little more lonely and less comfortable. I have felt more stressed lately trying to get assignments turned in and also not knowing what the rest of my senior year holds or my life after high school with Covid still around,” Dehart said.
For extroverted students, having to learn on their own and not being able to see people has been a real struggle, but it’s a little better being able to go into school part time.
“I am an extrovert so I typically like being in a setting where I can talk to friends face to face. However, I’ve been getting used to online school and I’ve noticed it impacting my mental health less this year than the end of junior year,” said NCLA senior Megan Queen.
I think getting to see people in settings such as sports and the couple of days at school makes it easier to handle sitting in a room by myself doing school hours a day. I still notice myself getting lonely and distracted though with online school.”
Making sure to include breaks for some social interaction is a great way to keep a level head when doing schoolwork at home.
“I also allow myself brain breaks whenever I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I don’t get anything done when I’m panicking because I feel like there’s too much to do … I also make sure to talk to friends often. It always makes me lose the lonely feeling afterwards,” Queen said.
“Mental health is equally as important as physical health you know.”
Taking up new hobbies is a great way to destress and take care of yourself.
“I have recently gotten into cross stitching, I know that’s such an old lady thing but it’s relaxing,” Queen said.
Senior Feature: Levi Antieau
Levi Antieau has been a student at The NCLA for seven year starting in sixth grade and is graduating this spring.
How would you rate your senior experience on a scale of one to 10 and why?
“I’d say like a six. I’d much rather be in school all year, instead of having the hybrid schedule thing. Senior year is supposed to be about socializing and all that stuff and I haven’t really had the chance to do that yet,” Antieau said.
What has been the best part of your high school experience?
“There are so many, but the best part was probably leaving for lunches last year. We made a ton of memories just going places and doing stuff,” Antieau said.
Has there been any hobbies/people/things that have been getting you through the highs and lows of this year?
Levi said, “I’ve been learning how to paint, which has been fun. It has helped me kind of forget about the stuff going on this year.”
What are your plans for after graduation?
“Probably four year college. I have a choice between three colleges, which are N.C. State, Virginia Tech, or the University of Minnesota. I plan on going for mechanical engineering,” said Levi.
How Students Show Their Style
At the NCLA, students are expected to follow a strict dress code. As a result, there are only a few ways students can express their personal style.
Students are only allowed to wear collared shirts of either red or light blue, sweatshirts with the school logo or colors, and khakis or navy pants which seems harsh for some.
“I think teachers and staff can get too caught up in the little things like how big the logo on our jackets are, or why our shirts are not tucked in.” Said Junior Elle Gruer. “Also I don’t understand what the purpose of a belt is if my clothes already fit. ”
Yet other students disagree, and think that the rules are not too controlling.
“I don’t think our dress code is that strict, because we are given the choice to wear any type of shoes we want,” Said another Junior Karston Keomaylathong. “We are also given the freedom to wear any outerwear we desire as long as it abides by the logo sizing rule.”
“Most importantly, wearing a polo shirt and khakis all day is not uncomfortable.” He said.
Due to the limitations of the dress code, students really only have one way to express their individuality. This comes out through their shoe game.
Though some students just prefer basic footwear like running shoes, most people decide to wear shoes that fall under a few categories.
The first category of shoes is the comfy, lifestyle shoes. Crocs, the Adidas Boost line, and MND’s are very popular.
“I like to wear Crocs to school when I’m running late because I can just slip them on.” Said Sophomore Rebecca Avila. “Also I wear them because I just want to feel comfortable.”
The next category would describe the “seasonal” footwear. This is like wearing Birkenstocks during the first quarter and into the fall, Ugg boots during the winter, and low top Vans for the spring.
“The reason I wear Birkenstocks is because they are comfy and trendy.” Said Abigail Brannan
For the final two categories there are hype shoes. First is the mid-high tier hype which are shoes that have high popularity and year round wearability. The shoes that fit this category the best are: Air Force 1’s, Air Max’s, and Chuck Taylor Converses.
Each shoe is worn on a daily basis by a ton of students, with the Air Force 1 being the most popular shoe at the NCLA, right now.
High Schooler Maria Fleak, explains why she thinks the Air Force 1 has become so popular. “They are super versatile, and are relatively cheap at only $100. Also, their all white color makes it easy to wear with our school’s dress code.”
Lastly, the really hype tier. These shoes are hard for students to get their hands on. The shoes or colorways of the shoes sell out in minutes which makes them extremely valuable, like Jordans or the infamous YEEZY’s. Students either got lucky enough to buy them when they drop, or spend a lot of money on resale prices.
“The cleanest shoe I have seen people wear at our school is a Jordan.” Continued Fleak. “I believe if you wear them right they can really bring out your entire outfit.”
Make sure to check out the official dress code and student resources.
Thanksgiving: COVID Style
The pandemic will continue through the holiday season and make Thanksgiving look a little different for many this year.Families are taking extra precautions such as wearing a mask, limiting the number of relatives, hosting thanksgiving outside, and not giving hugs.
“I am upset about Thanksgiving this year since it is one of my favorite holidays,” Senior Megan Queen said.
Although families want to be together during the holiday’s, many people value their relatives who are at risk rather than having big gatherings.
“My mom didn’t want to have a Thanksgiving because my nanny is 80 years old and we do not want to subject her potentially to COVID,” high school English teacher Mrs. Kerr said.
A poll on Instagram asked: How will your thanksgiving be this year?
29% Covid Thanksgiving
71% Pretty normal Thanksgiving
Many people were looking forward to the holiday season with hopes of this year returning normally.
“It’s really upsetting honestly. I look forward to that all year. I love seeing my dad’s side of the family,” Senior Becca Nordstrom said.
Compared to a normal year of traveling for the holidays, Queen said, “It is recommended that you do not travel this year. Depending on the year, we would go up to New York where we have 20 family members and we have thanksgiving with them,”
Since families are gathering in smaller groups the grocery stores will be demanding smaller turkeys and a lot more of them. The problem with a high demand for small turkeys is that the birds are engineered to reach a specific size by Thanksgiving. Famers do not have the ability to cut off the switch for turkey size production.
“I can’t cook so it won’t be the same as the good cooking my mom makes,” Mrs. Kerr said.
Smaller turkeys may run out quickly but some restaurants will still be open on Thanksgiving as a plan B.Golden Corral, Cracker Barrel, and Buffalo Wild Wings are a few that will be open.
Zoom is another way that can bring the whole family together during the harsh times going on.
“We usually do open house all-day but this year we’re planning to leave a zoom open all day,” sophomore Lindsey Allen said.
Is it Too Early For Christmas Decorations?
It’s finally the time of year where we can ask the question: “Is it too early to start decorating for Christmas?” with less than 50 days until Christmas. Some might argue it is too early, but there are also many NCLA students whose families are already starting to put up their trees.
“Me and my family actually decorated for Christmas before Halloween! We enjoy being able to look at the Christmas trees and lights for a long time. In a way it makes all of the work we do for Christmas worthwhile,” said Skylar Maness.
Halloween may seem too early to put up a tree, it definitely begins to get everyone excited for the holiday season as December approaches.
“My mom and I agreed that with all of the stress and negativity from this year it would be a good idea to start embracing the Christmas spirit a little early,” said Maria Fleak.
Deciding when to start decorating may bring up an argument or two, as some people want to celebrate Thanksgiving first, while others can’t wait to get into the Christmas environment.
“We had a few arguments in the house about when the decorations should be put up, but we decided the sooner the better. If we waited until the day after thanksgiving the tree wouldn’t even be up for a full month leading up to Christmas,” said Lindsey Allen.
Hanging ornaments on a tree, hanging colorful lights, wrapping presents and making holiday themed treats is something that many can agree and look forward to even during a pandemic.
“I do like the warmth that Christmas lights bring… but I do not like setting up Christmas trees and cleaning up after them,” said Abby Brannan.
News: Nov. 7, 2020
Veteran’s Day Plans
The Drive of Honor has been an event held by the school since 2013. This year, COVID has put a damper on any events the school holds throughout the year.
The Drive of Honor is held in remembrance and celebration of veterans who have fought in the name of the U.S.A.
Each year, a guest speaker is appointed and talks about their time in combat and
their journey throughout their time in the military. Last year, the speaker was Sgt. Ray Lambert, a medic that served in Normandy during World War II.
With a Pandemic still going on, large group events are still advised against. “Large gatherings of people are not wise”, said Mrs. Faenza, as it has been decided that there will not be a Drive of Honor this year.
Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is also a major incorporation during the Drive of Honor. Everyone in CAP takes the event seriously and prepares weeks in advance so that during the day of the event, everything runs smoothly.
Civil Air Patrol’s role in the event has been canceled as well because “due to the precautions that the State of North Carolina, the NCLA, and Civil Air Patrol all have in place for everyone’s health”, said Capt. Hathaway.
When the veterans who attend make their way to the gym, cadets line the hallways as a sign of respect. Cadets stand “At Ease” throughout the entire duration of the event to really show the discipline that had been engraved into them.
“I felt honored to be around such honorable men and women. They inspire me to strive and achieve my goals and be the best person I can be”, said Etornam Agbemabiese.
The school has also encouraged students to run in Kernersville’s 5K Race for Heroes that is done every year on Veterans Day to remind and commemorate what they have sacrificed. There has been no word if the event will still continue this year.
“Although I was pretty young at the time, it felt good that I was participating in something that would honor those who had fought bravely”, said Maria Fleak.
The NCLA’s First Time Voters
With the election being kicked into gear, a few of The NCLA’s Alumni and Seniors were able to vote for the first time in their lives. Seniors Emma Moser, Mollie Lomax, Emily Vroom, and NCLA Class of 2019 Alumni, Layla Wood, all shared their experiences and excitement about voting.
“I was super excited to vote this year because it was my first time and this election is a pretty big deal,” Layla Wood shared.
Overall, each individual pointed out how unexpectedly fast their voting experience went by.
“My voting experience was great! Although I went early voting, I thought there was going to be a really long wait. Surprisingly, my family was one of the only people there. I walked in and out,” Mollie Lomax said.
“I did early voting so the line wasn’t really long at all. I didn’t know what to expect but overall it was good,” Emma Moser said.
“I went today [November 3]. The overall experience was good but I would say that it was a little different than i had expected because the voting process was so quick. There were no lines,” Emily Vroom said.
Although there wasn’t much excitement happening around these voting cites, Wood encountered live entertainment in a slightly longer line. She said that she had to wait for about 20 minutes before she could vote. However, that is still not that long.
“My voting experience was great. There was live entertainment, kind people, and all around a safe environment. This is kind of how I expected it to be. The voting part in itself went as planned but the other interactions surprised me,” Layla Wood said.
Voicing an opinion in government is a huge deal, especially for the younger
generations who are really getting into politics.
“I think it’s very important to vote. By voting, you are able to express your opinions and have a voice about the country you live in,” Lomax stated.
The importance of voting was reiterated by all four individuals who believe that there is value in voicing their opinions in a civil way.
“I encourage every person who has the privilege to vote to do so. Let your voice be heard,” Wood added.
The NCLA’s Defense Against the Pandemic
This past week all of NCLA, High School, Middle School, and Elementary, went remote as a precautionary measure against the Covid-19 pandemic. The school is doing everything possible to keep students and staff safe during these concerning times.
On Oct. 23 the elementary portion of the school decided to enter remote learning until Nov. 4, as a result of a possible Covid-19 case. This was only a few days into the elementary students returning full time.
A few days later, on Oct. 28, the middle school was instructed to go remote for two weeks, as a response to a staff member being diagnosed with Covid-19. The red students are scheduled to return on Nov. 12 and the blue students will return Nov.16.
The high school was shifted to remote this past week from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6 and are supposed to return to the regular blue and red schedule starting Monday. This was simply a precautionary measure as Halloween was occurring and many students had plans to go out.
The school has changed many aspects of the school day this year to ensure everyone’s safety.
Plexiglass barriers have been put in place in the office areas and student gatherings, such as field trips and assemblies, will not be occurring this year. There are daily Covid-19 screening questionnaires and temperature checks before entering the buildings and hand sanitizer is made available throughout the buildings.
There is a one way walk pattern in the schools with entrances and exits clearly labeled. Water fountains are turned off and there are daily cleanings throughout the school.
Staff and students alike are required to wear masks throughout the school day, with the exception of being seated during lunch. Seating is socially distanced and desks are cleaned at the end of every class period. The sharing of any items is limited as much as possible.
Anyone feeling sick or unwell is strongly encouraged to remain home.
This pandemic is a serious issue and it is being handled as such. These are only a portion of the measures being taken by the NCLA to ensure the safest possible environment for everyone.
Presidential Election Results
With new election details coming in by the minute, both sides are anxiously waiting to see who will win this close presidential race.
The battleground state of North Carolina had a record-breaking voter turnout this election.
About 75% of registered voters showed up to vote in NC.
Ballots are still being counted, but voting turnout for 2020 is likely to surpass the records set in 1960 when John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon were both running for president.
This year, there was a total of 64 million mail-in ballots turned in. This is twice the amount from the 2016 election.
These ballots are causing a slight delay as counting continues into Friday, November 6th.
Most are saying that all of these mail-in ballots should be tallied up by Friday.
Around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump said, “As far as I’m concerned, we already have won it,” referring to the 2020 presidential election.
These words led to an outrage of both democrat and republican people. Many news organizations such as AXOIS, Forbes, CNN, and The New York Times have published this saying “ The Trump campaign has falsely declared victory!”
It seems like the results from Nevada will be the deciding factor of the whole election. Nevada is definitely taking its time counting up the ballots. Nevada still currently has 12% of ballots to count.
Bidens lead over Trump in Nevada has been widening as he is now 12,000 votes ahead.
In North Carolina, Trump currently has a lead over Biden by about 76,000 votes. Yesterday, NC reported to still have 170,000 ballots left to count.
Georgia is now leaning left after thousands of ballots were tallied since tuesday. Atlanta news said “Biden won 87% of ballots tabulated between late Thursday night and Friday morning.”
Biden is also projected to win Pennsylvania, he now has over 5,000 votes and the gap between Biden and Trump is expected to grow exceedingly by the end of today.
If Biden ends up winning Pennsylvania, then he will have won the election. If he wins Georgia, he will be one electoral vote away from winning.
Trump continues to hold onto hope. Early this morning President Trump said, “So now the Democrats are working to gain control of the U.S. Senate through their actions on John James, David Perdue, and more. Would End the Filibuster, “Life”, 2A, and would Pack and Rotate the Court. Presidency becomes even more important. We will win!”
During these stressful times, many people are still choosing to spread positivity instead of division on social media.
This message was put on social media:
“After the elections are over, your neighbors will still be your neighbors. Trump won’t be there to ring up your groceries; your neighbors will. Biden won’t be there to fix your car or help you out with yard work; your neighbors will. Trump and Biden will still be in their wealthy political world, and the rest of us will be in ours. They’ll both be doing their thing, while you and I live together, work together, learn together, shop together, eat together, worship together, and pump our gas next to one another. We the people are what make a country great. We are the ones who choose to be decent, loving, caring, and compassionate human beings. Vote for whomever, BUT ALWAYS CHOOSE KINDNESS.” – source unknown.
North Carolina Election Results
2020 has been one of the craziest years in history, and this election does not make it any less insane. National elections this year include the Presidential election, and the United States House of Representatives. State Wide elections for North Carolina include the Governor, state senator, and the NC Superintendent of Public Instruction. There is also a Mayoral run for Winston Salem.
With the spread of the Corona-virus, mail in votes have become very popular in the voting community. More than half of voters have used mail- in ballots this year, which has definitely caused a delay in the final results.
The only elections that have been decided is the Governor, which Democratic candidate Roy Cooper won, and the Mayor of Winston Salem, which Democratic candidate Allen Joines won. The NC Superintendent of Public Instruction was also decided, and Republican Catherine Truitt won. These elections were completed earlier than the national elections because there were not as many votes to count, and not as many mail-in ballots to wait on.
North Carolina’s senator is yet to be decided. Republican candidate Thom Tillis is currently in the lead, with Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham as a close second.
As of right now, Joe Biden is in the lead with electoral college votes, with Donald Trump not far behind. In order to win, the candidates must have more than 270 electoral college votes. Most states’ votes have been counted, but Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina have not finished counting all of the votes. This is a result of the increased number of absentee ballots.
There have been protests happening from both Democratic and Republican parties due to accusations of unfairness and “cheating” because of mail-in votes. Some protestors have even taken camp outside of the White House. Nevertheless, votes are slowly but surely coming in and being counted.
Arts: Nov 7 2020
Capping Out on Service Hours!
November 7 – Coca-Cola Rewards is allowing students and members of schools to enter codes from their Coca-Cola bottle caps to earn their school money during each quarter. Each bottle cap earns the school at least 5 cents and can range up to 38 cents. The company intends for this money to be used for extracurricular activities such as, sports, technology, art, and school supplies at schools.
“This is a simple and easy way that our school earns money every quarter from Coca Cola,” the Falcon Community Supporters said in a release.
The NCLA is participating in this event and is allowing students to earn service hours by entering codes into the website. Students at the school are required to have 25 service hours by the end of the year.
So far the NCLA has made $80 from these bottle caps. The schools bottle cap donation page can be found at this link.
Clouds Movie Review: The heartbreaking story of singer-songwriter Zach Sobiech
November 7 – A couple of weeks ago, the movie Clouds was released on Disney+ and received quite a bit of attention. Focusing on an 18-year-old boy diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, this movie brings to light another heart-wrenching story of a child fighting their battle with cancer.
Based off of the memoir Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way by Laura Sobiech, the movie’s storyline consists of a young teenage boy ridden with bone cancer who goes from a regular high school boy to a big time internet star.
Movie Preview- SPOILERS AHEAD
In this story, the main character Zach Sobiech, played by Fin Argus, has terminal cancer that will eventually kill him at the end of the movie. Despite the fact that he goes through several rounds of chemotherapy and has a low quality of life, he remains positive and enthusiastic. Arguably, this is the Zach that the viewers connect with the most.
The movie starts out in 2011 where you’re introduced to Zach and his best friend, Sammy Brown, who is played by Sabrina Carpenter. They both make up the band A Firm Handshake and they post videos of the songs they’ve written and recorded on YouTube.
About halfway through the movie, Zach finds out Sammy has a crush on him by reading her diary, which she told him not to do. Though Zach doesn’t feel the same way, they continue to write and sing songs together. Eventually, they release a song called Clouds which blows up all over the internet and exposes Zach and Sammy to the biggest producers in the music industry.
This is when the movie really kicks into high gear. The two teens are successful in gaining interest from big time producers, specifically one who wants to officially release their song. Clouds eventually becomes number 1 on the top charts, shedding even more light on Zach’s tragic condition.
The song itself is Zach’s way of saying goodbye to everyone he loves since he knows he won’t be able to defeat his cancer. One of the lines of the song is “We’ll go up, up, up, but I’ll fly a little higher,” which is Zach’s way of explaining to his listeners that he will eventually leave them and go up to Heaven.
Before Zach died, he went through 20 rounds of chemotherapy up until May 2012, when doctors told Zach he had up to one year to live.
Not only did Zach release a song that was trending for months, but he also did a great deal on raising funds for childhood cancer with his new publicity. He started the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, which focuses on raising funds for the kind of bone cancer that Zach had. Osteosarcoma is a common type of bone cancer found predominantly in children that is usually terminal.
At the end of the movie, Zach dies shortly after having performed his song live for hundreds of people. The movie ends with Sammy and her friends taking a picture on the beach, and in the back of the picture there is a “Z” written in the clouds.
Throughout the entire movie I was a mess. Normally I’m not affected by movies like this, but this one got to me for some reason.
First off, the fact that this was a true story and that the characters actually exist in real life made it so much more believable. At the end of the movie while the credits were rolling, the directors put in real-life videos of Zach and Sammy, which made me tear up a bit. Knowing that Zach Sobiech was a real person and had to go through everything the movie illustrated made it very hard to keep my cool.
Secondly, the song Zach wrote makes your heart ache for the people he had to let go of. Not only are the lyrics incredibly touching, but they make the watcher realize that this wasn’t as easy for Zach as he made it look. Though he was full of life and joy, he was suffering under all that happiness, which makes the viewer long for the chance to console him and tell him everything will be okay. Though he didn’t say it in the song outright, listeners can tell he was trying to express the fact that he was hurting, despite his outward appearance.
Lastly, the directing of the movie was beyond my expectations. The directors used both clever and strategic ideas when filming the movie, which helped portray an emotion that otherwise can’t simply be portrayed through words. Director Justin Baldoni used his ideas to create a mix between the typical Disney ooey-gooey movie and the sentimental/emotional movie that comes with the story of a terminal illness. He achieved this flawlessly by entangling both scenes of joy and despair throughout the movie.
The part of the movie that touched my heart the most was whenever Zach and his mom were talking about his funeral. Zach mentioned that he wanted bagpipes played. Throughout the rest of the movie, the watcher can see Zach deteriorating, until eventually the screen goes black and all you can hear is bagpipes. This is where I really fell apart.
The movie sheds light on every aspect of the lives of not only the terminally ill patient, but also their loved ones who take care of them. Zach’s parents went through lots of struggles financially and emotionally, Zach himself had fits where he didn’t want to suffer anymore, and everyone around Zach kept trying to help but didn’t exactly know how. Zach’s story shows everyone how the ups and downs of a terminal illness can affect everyone imaginable.
Overall, I would definitely recommend that everybody watches this movie. It sheds light on the fact that terminal illnesses do exist, and they affect people of all variations.
It helped broaden my perspective on what an illness can do to a person, along with how an illness can both positively and negatively affect surrounding loved ones. It’s a 5 star rating from me!
The “Among Us” Take Over
November 7 – The new video game Among Us has jumped to popularity in recent weeks addicting students and teachers.
The game consists of little astronauts called crewmates on a spaceship or a space base where they run around trying to complete tasks. However, there are one to three imposters who kill the other astronauts while trying not to get caught. If the crewmates catch all of the imposters or complete all of their tasks they win, but if they do not catch the imposters before too many people die or get voted off the imposters win.
“I love Among Us because it is so addicting and when you play it you go crazy. I like the suspense of being the imposter, and when I am a crewmate I like getting to figuring out who it is, it ́s like being a detective,” Sydney Lohr said.
Recently, the game was attacked by hackers who turned the lobby where you wait
to enter the game dark and flooded the chat with the hacker’s youtube channel name and pro-Trump spam. The game’s creators have worked to remove all hacks that have affected the game since this occurred in late October.
“My friends introduced me to it and I have been playing it with them ever since,” Hunter Wilfong said.
Many students and even some teachers play Among Us at home, even at school when they have free time.
“It’s fun because it brings people together through the game because I can play with friends I have not seen in a while,” Ms.Kerr said.
The game can be downloaded for free at the APP store.
“I like it because it’s fun to play with friends and I get to kill people and let out my inner rage,” Mya Massood said.
Countryside Cinema Shutdown
November 7 – In Kernersville there are many attractions, one of the most popular was the Countryside Cinema. It was most well known for its more affordable movie ticket prices that started at three dollars. Due to the Covid-19 outbreaks movie theaters were forced to shut down temporarily. However, for the Countryside Cinema it has shut down for good.
During the Covid-19 outbreak many places had to close and people were told to stay put at home. This included movie theaters and they still had to pay rent and other taxes. The Countryside Cinema had run out of funds to keep the movie theater open.
The Countryside Cinema had opened in the early 1990’s with only three screens available at the time. But as the movie theater grew older they had given renovations to tattered seats and upgraded screens and projectors. Then a fourth screen was added later on in the mid 2000’s. But now Kernersville locals will have to say goodbye to cinema after almost 20 years of being open.
When long-time Kernersville local Hailie Perez asked about the shutdown she said, “Literally a childhood hang out gone just like that,”
“It’s sad for real because that was such a place of nostalgia for me,” said Ivor Tamindzija, a Kernersville local.
Corporate Companies such as AMC had a very difficult time trying to keep all locations open. They have been having such a difficult time that they have predicted they will be out of money by the end of 2020 and the whole company would have to shut down.
AMC’s chief financial officer, Sean Goodman said, “Our ability to be predictive is uncertain due to the unknown magnitude and duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.”.
AMC had an offer for people to rent whole theaters out for just only 99 dollars. Whoever rented the movie theater could play any movie they had wanted. But the customer had to bring their own movie, snacks, and clean after they were done with the theater.
The future for movie theaters is starting to look more and more cloudy as more of them just keep shutting down. But there may be a brighter future for movie theaters once they open back up. But only time can tell what will happen to the theaters.
Ariana Grande: Album Review
November 7 – Ariana Grande is known to be one of this generation’s greatest singers. She has made many hit songs such as Thank U, Next, Danger Woman, 7 rings, etc. On Oct. 30, she released her sixth album titled Positions, the album has 14 songs in total. Her album is on Billboard #1 with 98.4 million streams and has over 44,000 downloads globally. According to Billboard, Ariana is the first female artist to top the Global 200 on her own.
One of the songs on the album is titled Motive featuring Doja cat, the song has a strong funky type beat but it also has a little bit of a trap beat as well which gives it an energizing vibe. Her background vocals,like usual, compliment her voice very well.
In the song she says “You want me if you can keep comin’ back for me. Might have to curve you if you can’t talk straight (Just say)”, what I think she’s saying is if the person whom she’s in a relationship with or a person who she likes can’t be genuine and honest with her then she’ll curve (dodge) or ignore them. Doja then comes into the song, her raspy voice contrasting Ariana’s nicely.
The next song on the album is Just like Magic. This song is a song where Ariana brags about the accomplishments in her life such as her success,money, career etc. In this song Ariana Grande sings in the pre-chorus “Good karma, my aesthetic. Keep my consensus clear, that’s why I’m so magnetic. Manifest it, I finished it”.
In these lines, Ariana ist walking about manifestation techniques and keeping her mind and body positive so that she can get what she wants, if she doesn’t think positively or has a bad attitude towards certain things then she’ll probably have bad things happen to her in the near future.
The last song on the album POV, Grande has a somber and relaxing instrumental that brings out her equally soft and gentle voice. This song builds up with percussion and string instruments.
In this song, she talks about how her significant other loves her for her despite her many flaws, she would love to see herself through her partners eyes and see a reason as to why they love her.
Ariana sings in the chorus “I wanna love me. The way you love me. Ooh, for all of my pretty and all my ugly too. I’d love to see me from your point of view,” she would love to see herself from the person she loves point of view so that she can love herself even with her flaws but it would also help reassure her about the relationship and how she wouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Personally I don’t think this is Ariana’s greatest album she’s released but it is still up there. It sounds like some of the sounds from the previous album’s like Thank U, Next and Sweetener.
I would personally like to see Ariana do something more out of the box such as jazz, rock or maybe even country, I just don’t want to listen to something I have listened to before. I would give this album a 7/10. My favorite songs on the album would have to be “Just like Magic”, “POV” and “West Side”
HS Sports Almost in Full Swing
High School sports are almost here and teams are preparing for the mid- Nov. start. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, seasons were delayed this year and shortened. So right now, the two teams that are getting ready to play are volleyball and cross country. Along with a shortened season, there will be a limited number of spectators. According to the new guidelines set out by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, there can only be 25 spectators in attendance at games.
Right now volleyball is underway with workouts with their first tryouts being on Nov. 4. The team has been hosting workouts in October, but with a limited number of people.
“We’ve had open gyms twice a week for the past month. These have been well attended and the girls seem excited to be playing again. We are gearing up for our season starting with tryouts on November 4th and 5th and then getting ready for our first game on November 17th,” said Coach Hilliard.
They will play a 12 game season with their first game being on Nov. 17. Against South Stokes High School. Their season will last into the beginning of January 2021.
“Due to COVID, the number of games we are allowed to play is limited. Compared to 20 games last year, our schedule this year will be 12 games. In addition, there are numerous safety precautions taken to ensure that athletes and coaches are staying safe. We take everyone’s temperature before they enter the gym and ask them COVID screening questions. We also take frequent breaks for players to use hand sanitizer,” replied Coach Hilliard.
Cross Country’s official season will start on Nov. 5. They have been holding practices since the end of september and have been strengthening and conditioning for the season ever since.
“We are getting ready for our season as we usually do. Getting our mileage up and running hills and sprints,” said Coach Rickert.
The teams first meet will be on Nov. 17. At Ivey Redmon Park in Kernersville, North Carolina. The number of spectators should be no more than 100 people in an outdoor facility. The season will consist of about 5 meets and should last into January 2021.
“This season will not be too different for us. Of course, we will be running in colder weather, which is a good thing as we usually run in very hot weather. The one goal that I hope to achieve is to see all athletes get faster with each race.”
Kauffman Just Keeps Running
On Oct. 24, a sophomore at the NCLA, Will Kaufmann, smashed his seven-mile personal record at the Salem Lake Seven Mile Trail runs. Kauffman ran seven miles around Salem Lake in 49 minutes and 11 seconds.His time was 7.02 minutes per mile.
Kauffman says “It went really well for me cause I’ve improved from last year.”
Kauffman’s 7-mile time last year was 52 minutes and 47 seconds. This may not sound like a lot of time but shaving 3 almost 4 minutes off of your time while running is very hard to do.
“I honestly enjoyed running the course cause it’s right by Salem Lake”
Salem Lake is a popular running and biking spot in Kernersville. Kauffman said he had practiced there a little bit.
Falcons Serve up a new Season
As the month of November is starting, the NCLA HS volleyball team will officially start their first practice Friday Nov. 6. after having tryouts on Nov 4 and 5.
Throughout the month of October open gyms were held two times a week for an hour and a half.
As there were about 14 players showing up to every workout, says the head coach Mrs.Hilliard.
In order to continue having open gyms and now move into having practices the following guidelines must be followed:
- Masks must be worn entering the gym and exiting the gym.
- Temp. must be taken before entering the gym.
- Screening questions must be asked and answered before entering the gym.
- After every workout balls and any other equipment used must be disinfected.
- Social distancing is a requirement.
- Coaches must wear masks at all times.
During a volleyball game the following guidelines must be followed:
- Balls will be frequently disinfected throughout a game.
- Masks must be worn by anybody not on the court.
- Coaches and players will sit socially distanced on the bench.
Starting Friday Nov. 6. practices will be held monday through fridays for two hours everyday.
Our HS volleyball team’s first scheduled game is Tuesday Nov. 17. at South Stokes High School.
“As we start to play against other schools there is definitely a possibility that there would be an increase in cases, but I hope that following the NCHSAA guidelines and making sure we are doing what we need to do to contain the spread of the virus will allow us to play our season uninterrupted”, Mrs. Hilliard said.
This years roster includes:
- Ariana Elliott- 9th grade
- Emmy Guldberg- 9th grade
- Jordan Moore- 9th grade
- Kimberly Wyramon- 9th grade
- Jenna Clayton- 10th grade
- Julianna Peters- 11th grade
- Emma Ware- 11th grade
- Nora Wood- 11th grade
- Maura Perkins- Senior
- Megan Queen- Senior
- Selah Smith- Senior
“I really don’t have a solid answer about how the season is gonna work. I know there will be fewer games than usual and more hand sanitizer breaks throughout practice, but I don’t know what precautions will be taken once other teams arrive,” junior Nora Wood said.
Coastal is the team of the Carolina’s
The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers have made history this season. In the 2020 college football season. Coastal has made it into the AP Top 25 for the first time in the school’s history.
This football team has continued to make history ever since they made it to the Top 25, they have only gone up from there. This past weekend the Chanticleers played Georgia State. The final score was 51-0, allowing Coastal to not only keep their undefeated record but move to spot number 15 in the Top 25.
With Coastal now being ranked 15th, they surpass the previous Sun Belt record of 19th, which was set last season by Appalachian State.
High Point native, Mason Bowers, plays offensive line for Coastal. “I think it’s great being a top 25 team in the country,” said Bowers.
“It really shows all the hard work and preparation the team has put for this season to be successful,”
Some may say that Coastal’s come up has brought them to be the best team in the Carolina’s. “I believe we are top 4 in the Carolina’s including all the ACC schools,” said Bowers.
With The Chanticleers becoming one of the best football teams in the Carolina’s, the players, the coaches, and the fans have all helped them in order to be the best they can be.
HS Sports Almost in Full Swing
High School sports are almost here and teams are preparing for the mid- Nov. start. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, seasons were delayed this year and shortened. So right now, the two teams that are getting ready to play are volleyball and cross country. Along with a shortened season, there will be a limited number of spectators. According to the new guidelines set out by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, there can only be 25 spectators in attendance at games.
High School sports are almost here and teams are preparing for the mid- Nov. start. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, seasons were delayed this year and shortened. So right now, the two teams that are getting ready to play are volleyball and cross country. Along with a shortened season, there will be a limited number of spectators. According to the new guidelines set out by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, there can only be 25 spectators in attendance at games.
Thoughts on Returning to High School
The return to high school has been on many minds with the recent news of the state allowing kindergarten through fifth grade to return to school. There are still many concerns because the fact of the matter is, COVID cases are beginning to rise again which puts a damper on any possible thoughts of moving forward.
Kindergarten through fifth grade has just returned to school full time on Oct. 19. Many have seen that move as “ A test, and if we’re able to handle it there, we’ll be able to handle it in the high school,” Mr. Sparks said.
Others believe that it is just safer to not allow high school students come back at the moment because many drive, go to friends houses and do small social activities. There is always a concern because anyone that students may encounter could possibly be a carrier or have been in contact with people of COVID- 19.
“The data from the (younger) people was showing that transmission rates from children to adults were lower than teenagers which are more at the adult height,” Mrs. Hartzell said. “They were maybe thinking that was one of the factors that was contributing.”
The rumored time frame among some for a possible high school return is sometime after the second semester. Many factors would have to be taken into consideration, like the fact that the second semester will begin, flu season will still be at its strongest.
“We have to take into account the comfort level of students, I think that decision is best left to probably how comfortable students feel in the environment and the parents, as well, I don’t think that it will be a mandate”, said Mrs. Hartzell.
The desire of having everyone back in the classroom is present. Being able to keep everyone socially distanced and safe is still the main concern.
“I absolutely would love, and I think it’s the best for us all to be in a classroom from an educational standpoint. It’s just not the healthiest option right now,” Mr. Landphair said.
Gym class, being located in a larger experience than a classroom has made it one of the top reasons many would like to return.
“We have the facilities and the cleaning products and brainstorming specific games to play,” Ms. Richardson said.
Many students do agree in the matter of allowing all of high school to come back. According to an NCLA Instagram poll with 35 participants, 67% of students want to come back full time in person while 37% said no.
Juliana Peters believes, “Online school is detrimental to my mental health.”
Maria Fleak said, “High schoolers aren’t struggling with online school like some of the younger kids are, like my younger brother.”
All Remote Students: Point of View
By Elizabeth Gibhardt
At the start of this school year, families were given the choice of whether or not they wanted to send their students to school. Due to the pandemic, the two options were either to go to school two days a week (the days depending on which group you were assigned) or do all of your school work at home virtually.
There are several challenges introduced when doing work fully remote without any face to face interaction. Some students find it to be more difficult and some students find it to be very simple.
“It’s a little easier because you can focus better without as many distractions. You get one on one help from a teacher instead of the teacher helping the whole class at once,” said Dana Spivey.
You have to be good with time management, as well as communicating and reaching out to your teachers for successful online learning. Sometimes, you may even need to reach out to another student in order to get help with work.
“So far online has been good, my classes aren’t hard at all. I like that I don’t have to get up at 6 and get ready for school, I can go straight from my bed to my desk or just stay in bed to do my work,” said Rylee Pratt.
It is also good to have a routine, not just for fully virtual students, but for everyone.
“What I usually do is wake up at 8 a.m. and log into Canvas because that’s how teachers take attendance for us, then I’ll just sit at my desk and do homework until I’m done,” said Pratt.
Virtual students explain how difficult school can be trying to constantly communicate with teachers, despite how great it is to be able to work in bed all day.
“What I don’t like about online is that if I have a question with the homework or class work, I will email my teachers and then some of my teachers won’t email me back. Also I don’t like that I can’t see my friends and I haven’t seen them since quarantine happened in March,” Pratt said.
Other students agree making similar comments on how it is difficult communicating and emailing teachers every day.
“It’s good because there isn’t much work but it’s also bad because it’s hard to communicate with the teachers,” Pierce Lewis said.
Another downside of doing all of your school at home is not being able to see close friends. Friends make the school day go by faster, so without them work can be a little harder.
“On the down side, not as many social interactions, more of a work load, and a little more stressful but it’s not too bad,” Spivey said.
Regardless of the pros, students look forward to going back to school like normal and having a routine again.
“I think it will be easier when we go back to school like normal again,” Lewis said.
Meet a Few New students!
As a growing school, the NCLA is excited to welcome all new students! This year in high school there are 32 new students and 20 of them are freshmen.
According to Mrs. Stanley, NCLA accepted more this year than ever, well accepted for the first year.
Monica Truhe is a freshman this year who was previously at Phoenix Academy, where she had been going to since kindergarten.
“NCLA has been a nice change of pace and it has been easy to adapt,” Truhe said.
High school has a total of 251 students, the largest class being the freshmen.
Megan Saxon is a freshman who came from Southwest Guilford. Megan plans on being involved in girls soccer this upcoming spring.
“I like the smaller class sizes,” Saxon said. “I really love NCLA. It’s really cool!”
This year, the NCLA accepted over 200 hundred students due to the expansion of the new high school and middle school buildings.
New upperclassman, Elaina Pascavage left her previous school, High Point Central, due to the “bad area and the good teachers that left.”
NCLA accepted more 8th graders this year than ever before. The total number of middle school students is 287.
Freshman Shelby Rutledge says she likes NCLA. She came from a Christian school, Wesleyan Christian Academy.
“It is different from what I am used to,” Rutledge said.
Another freshman, Brecklyn Wison, came from Summerfield Charter Academy. She switched schools because her previous school only went to 8th grade. Wilson says she is unsure if she will participate in any clubs or activities.
“We will have to see. It depends on if they start to reopen sports,” Wilson said.
Elementary has a total of 480 students, Kindergarten is the biggest with 88 students.
Senate and House Elections 2020
As the election is around the corner, candidates are doing as much as possible to get themselves nominated for the position they are running in.
The ballot for 2020 comes to be two pages long, consisting of a variety of positions from the biggest being federal, to state, to the smaller, but still important position, being local.
Some of the bigger roles that control a larger portion of an area being in the category of federal positions are NC Senate, US Senate, and the 6th and 10th district NC House of Representatives, and US House of Representatives.
NC State Senate
- Isaiah Johnson (Democratic Party) In 2018 Isaiah Johnson ran for District 14, North Carolina State House of Representatives. Isaiah Johnson was also a candidate for the United States House of Representatives, District 3 in 2019. He is also a candidate for this year’s 2020 election running for North Carolina State Senate, District 6.
- Michael Lazzara (Republican Party) In 2005 Michael Lazzara became the Mayor of the city of Jacksonville, North Carolina. He is now running for the North Carolina State Senate, District 6.
- Vernon Moore (Democratic Party) It is Vernon Moore’s first time running in a political party as a candidate, he is running for the North Carolina State Senate, District 10.
- Brent Jackson (Republican Party) Brent Jackson was the North Carolina State Senator in 2010.He was also a member of the South River Electric Co-Op Board. He is now running for the North Carolina State Senate, District 10.
Thom Tillis is running for the position of the US Senator for the Republican party, as he was the Senator in 2014. From 2003 to 2005, Thom was a Commissioner for the Cornelius Board of Commissioners. He was a Representative in the NC House of Representatives, District 98, from 2006 to 2014. Tillis became the speaker of the NC House of Representatives from 2011 to 2014. He was also a former minority whip for the North Carolina State House of Representatives.
Shannon W. Bray is running for the role of US Senator on behalf of the Libertarian party. As he has not had much background information, being a candidate for the US House of Representatives, district 3 in 2019.
Cal Cunningham is a 2020 candidate for the US Senator position. Cunningham, in 1996, was a consultant in the Democratic National Committee. In 1998, he was a part of the steering committee in the DG Martin for the United States Senate. Cal Cunningham was also the Senator of the North Carolina General Assembly from 2000 to 2002.
Kevin E. Hayes is the last candidate running for the role of the US Senator for this year, In 2014 and 2018, he ran for the North Carolina House of Representatives.
NC House of Representatives
- Tommy Fulcher is a Candidate running for the NC House of Representatives, District 6 representing the Democratic party. He has no other previous Political experience.
- Representing the Republican party, Bobby Hanig will be running for this year’s 2020 NC House of Representatives, District 6. As Bobby Hanig is the former representative for the NC state House of Representatives, district 6 from 2019.
- Carl Martin is running for the NC State House of Representatives, District 10 on behalf of the Republican party. As he has no other Political information.
- John Bell is running against Carl Martin, for the position of the NC State House of Representatives, District 10 as he was also a Candidate for the same position in 2018. In 2012 Bell became a Representative in the NC State House, District 10. John Bell was also the Majority Leader of the NC State House of Representatives in 2016.
US House of Representatives:
- Running for District 6, of the US House of Representatives is Lee Haywood representing the Republican party, as he has had no other political experience.
- Kathy Manning running for the US House of Representatives, District 6 was a former candidate for the US House of Representatives, District 13 in 2018.
- Patrick Mchenryis running for the District 10, US House of Representatives on behalf of the Republican party. Mchenry was a Candidate for the NC State House of Representatives, District 109 in 2002 as he then became the Representative of District 109 from 2002- 2014. Patrick Mchenry has been the Representative for District 10, in the years: 2004,2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 as he is now trying for the year 2020.
- Representing the Democratic party in this running of the 10th District of The US House of Representatives is David Brown, who ran in 2018 for District 10.
Meet The NCLA’s New Yoga Teacher
Meet Ms. Lawson, the new yoga teacher at the NCLA, who is teaching Spanish, movement, and yoga classes to mainly middle and high school students.
“We start off with intention setting,” Lawson said about the yoga class she teaches, which is a new elective to high schoolers this year. “Then we do a short meditation and focus before we begin our warm-up with a practice called sun salutations. After that, we continue with a set of standing poses and finish with seated poses, such as a corkscrew pose for relaxation. We finish and close the class with a short meditation and a bow.”
Lawson said there are several exercises and studies that she teaches to her students.
“We focus on things such as physical practice, learning poses, certain techniques, meditation, history of yoga, a little bit of anatomy for injury prevention purposes, and the history of yoga,” Lawson said.
There are many benefits from learning yoga. “We learn about controlling our breathing and heart rate to relieve stress that school can cause, and it can additionally benefit our posture and help athletes with their alignment. It is also great exercise.”
Ms. Lawson began teaching dance when she was 19 and was a professional tutor,
but this is her first time teaching at a public school.
“I am very much enjoying it, the students here are highly motivated to learn and all the other teachers here are very friendly and nice,” Lawson said. “I love teaching to share my passion and knowledge about dance, movement, and the Spanish culture. I enjoy seeing students develop a love for what they’re learning.”
Aside from teaching, Lawson has a lot of other interests.
“When I’m not teaching I love dancing, working on a new project of mine, reading detective novels, and hiking,” she said.
Are you Scared of the Dark? NCLA Student’s Scary Stories
October 23 – As the spooky season finally makes its comeback, NCLA students have graciously shared their experiences with paranormal activity.
Rebecca Nordstrom, Senior
“I was at the neighborhood market Walmart in High Point with my family, or as we call it, the small mart. This [paranormal activity] was right when it opened so the store was brand new. We were walking around the store and stuff just randomly started falling off of the shelves, like boxes of noodles and salad dressing. I first thought that maybe the shelves were not level until I watched a bag of rice lift up and fall to the ground. I really have no explanation for that. To this day, I do not go into that Walmart unless I have to because it still gives me a weird feeling.”
Mckenna Porto, Junior
“There is this hallway in my house that goes into the basement. When my brother and I were little, my mom used to open it thinking we got locked down there because she would hear noises coming from it. However, there was no one there. One time, she even pulled it shut and then immediately heard knocking on the door only to find nothing behind it. On Christmas Eve around 5 years ago, we were telling my grandpa about the knocking that we always heard. It was kind of freaky because it wasn’t just the house settling. It was a very human-like knock. When we told him, he said he did not believe it. Right when he said that, something knocked so loud on the door that it sounded like something was pounding on it. We were all in the living room.”
Ian Arnold, Junior
“I was in my room one night and out of nowhere, my lamp fell off of the table.
I went to pick it up and then go to the bathroom. I then heard a thud and my bible was laying on the floor exactly where the lamp had fallen. This was around a year or two ago. Nothing else has happened other than this. However, I will sometimes find my stuff moved around when I wake up in the morning. I now sleep with my door locked.”
Dylan Coltrane, Junior
“One day, I was at my house when I was 7 years old right after my grandpa had just died. It was one of my first times staying home alone since my mom was just going around the corner. I was already kind of paranoid. Then I heard ‘Dylan?!’ from upstairs but it was in a man’s voice. I was very confused so I went upstairs to check, but nothing was there. When I went back downstairs, all of my dogs were in the room that my grandpa had stayed in before he died.”
Riley Green, NCLA Graduate ‘19
“I moved into college last year and one of my suitemates was a witch. She grew up as a Christian but decided she didn’t like it, so she became a Wiccan. She liked crystals and rocks and did tarot card readings. She also liked to do spells. I don’t remember a lot of what they were, but I know she wrote on bay leaves a lot and did some things with them. One night, there was a full moon and she and my other suitemate, and my roommate had to go outside and do something with them (I still do not know what, though). She also made a sweet jar once and it had some sort of herbs, sugar, and honey in it. She made it because she and the other suitemate and roommate wanted the RA to date one of them (and therefore be sweet to them). The girl who was a Wiccan decided she wanted to convert back to Christianity and joined a Christain sorority. I moved out shortly after that so I do not know if she is still practicing or not. The Wiccan’s roommate was the one who brought a demon with her.
She told us out of the blue one night and said ‘guys, I think I brought a demon to college with me’.
She further explained that an old lady would appear over her bed at night and act as if she was going to strangle her. They did research and figured out it was a sleep paralysis demon that she was seeing called the Night Hag. However, nothing exciting really happened with this. Occasionally our doors would close but I am 99% sure that was because of the air. Our string lights would also occasionally turn on and off sometimes but that is most likely because they were $3.00 from Target.”
Hailey Fox, Freshman
One night, I woke up around 3:00-4:00 am. I turned over and saw something that looked like a person. It was not a coat hanging or anything else. Just an empty corner with a figure. I went under the covers to hide and waited there until I built up the courage to sprint out of my room into my kitchen. However, as I was laying there, I heard breathing noises. I now leave my TV on throughout the night.
Halle Jenkins, Junior
“I just KNOW that my old house was haunted. One night, I did all of the dishes but an Italian dressing glass jar was still dirty so I put it in the sink. This dressing jar was put into the bottom of the sink since it was the only thing in there. Around 2:00 am, I heard a very loud noise so I texted my dad. He was in my parent’s bedroom and my brother was in his room while my mom was out of town. He said ‘Was that you?’ to which I said ‘No, I thought it was you’. We both went out to investigate the kitchen and somehow the dressing jar was shattered on the far left side of my kitchen. There was absolutely no way it could have gotten out of the sink. It almost looked like someone had thrown it. But, no one was on the side of my house that this happened in. Even my dogs were with my dad. My dad also swears up and down that he would see an old, creepy man standing on our fireplace on multiple occasions.”
Allee Davis. 8th Grade
“When I was little, my mom would hear little footsteps in the attic. She told me that once the creaking of the wood stopped, I would wake up, go get my toys, and proceed to play with an imaginary friend. His name was Johnny and no one else could see him. The scary part is that you could see the toys being moved around when I was probably a foot away from them. I basically had a ghost friend when I was 3.”
The Life of a Journalist
October 23 – Journalism is one of the most crucial and widely known fields in the world. Journalists have to get important, accurate information out to the general public in a timely manner to keep them in the know.
Brent Campbell worked for WGHP Fox 8 and WPDE-ABC 15 in Myrtle Beach as a reporter and anchor.
“I liked to write. I’ve always been a writer and a reader and I think the ability to convey a message through words was really what drew me to it [journalism] and I like to tell stories. I like the power of a good story, so that’s what a journalist does ultimately is tell someone or something’s story in hopes that they tell it in a way that the outcome is changed for the greater good, or can draw highlights to or help the person by telling their stories. So telling stories is what drew me and I still enjoy that,” he said.
“I got my degree in communications with a concentration in broadcast journalism from Appalachian State. From there, I got my first job in television news at WPDE-ABC 15 in Myrtle Beach, SC and I worked there for four years. I ended there as a morning anchor, and from there I came back to North Carolina and worked for WGHP Fox 8 as a reporter and an anchor for 15 years,” said Campbell.
He covered pretty much everything, from local news to disasters to national events.
“You name it I probably covered it. I probably covered everything from horrible car wrecks to major hurricanes to two presidents to local news and school boards and county commissioners to city councils and crime sprees,” Campbell said.
“I actually did enjoy covering education and showing how education was changing, and I won a couple awards for education reporting. I also enjoyed consumer reporting and working with folks to figure out why maybe they didn’t get the rebate or the refund, or something along those lines, where they deserved it., so I enjoyed stuff like that. Crime stories, accident stories and stories about death were not something I enjoyed,” said Campbell.
Journalism has changed a lot in the past decade with the advancements of technology and people’s constantly decreasing attention span.
“It’s changed a lot in the past several years. Today it’s much more competitive in terms of finding the right audience. Journalists today have to tell stories very differently than they did 15 to 20 years ago. There’s less time to tell stories and today’s journalists have to be able to capture a reader or a viewer very quickly, within the first few seconds, or they move on,” said Campbell.
A very recent struggle for newspapers has been the movement from print journalism to online media.
“It varies from place to place, but right now, most newspapers are struggling. More than half of the cost of a newspaper is traditionally paid for by advertising rather than subscriptions, but as the internet has grown, advertising dollars have moved from newspapers to the internet,” said Winston Salem Journal Editorial Editor Michael Scott.
Scott began in journalism in a bit of an unconventional way.
“I have a Master’s degree in Library Science and had worked in libraries for a couple of decades when I took a part-time weekend job on the Winston-Salem Journal’s obituary desk, just for fun and to make a few extra dollars,” Scott said. “After about a year of doing that, the full-time position, during the week, opened up and I was invited to take it. I accepted, thinking it would be an interesting change of pace.”
Almost three years ago, the position of editorial page editor came open and I was invited to take it. I’ve been very fortunate; I had a lot of on-the-job training and opportunities became available to me based on the quality of my work. It’s almost unheard of for a journalist’s career to go this way.”
Another big struggle with journalism and the media is getting accurate information out to the public quick enough.
“Today’s journalists have to be someone that’s able to get quick information out fast,” Campbell said. “Information, and accurate information, and sometimes they’re dealing with inaccuracies that are reported, so a journalist has to be able to set their stories apart from other stories that may not be as accurate or as factual,”
As the press continues to move towards online sources, print newspapers have taken hits, but organizations that have moved online are beginning to thrive.
“The industry is in decline and practically every newspaper has experienced downsizing of personnel and content. Nobody seems to know how to stop it,” Scott said. “At the same time, news is still essential and valued. The Journal has more readers than ever, about half of them online rather than print.”
People will always need news, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they need newspapers.”
Journalism is a field where every minute matters. There are deadlines everyday and you have to get your work done by the end of the day. The best thing about this is that there’s no homework or due date hanging over your head.
“That’s one thing about TV news. Every day is a deadline, every moment is a deadline,” Campbell said. “Now the nice part about that, or the part that I liked, was that when your day was finished, you were finished. You didn’t go home with homework or with projects hanging over your head or things to do down the road each day. You kind of got to start fresh work on something and finish it.”
Anyone looking to be a future journalist should be someone who is dedicated to their craft and knowing exactly what you want to do and who you want to work for.
“Take a long hard look at the world today and make sure that’s the path that you want to get into in terms of being entrenched and how it all works today … be careful about where you work or where you want to start your path and figure out where you want to start your craft and what kind of stories you want to tell,”Campbell said.
Scott added, “Tomorrow’s journalists will need to have a background in a lot of different topics and they will need to be flexible, able to work with language and with technology. They will need to be dedicated. It’s a demanding industry that is not always financially rewarding.”
NCLA Elementary Library is Open!
October 23 – For the first time in NCLA history, we have a library on campus.
The NCLA elementary school library has been in the works since fall of 2019, with the big motivator being Ms. Turner, a first grade teacher.
“I started thinking about it at the beginning of the last school year, and then we did the fundraiser in the fall,” said Turner. “It has taken us until this year to get everything rolling.”
“Last year I came up with the Read-A-Thon Fundraiser, where all the kids got donations for reading,” said Turner.
With the money raised, she bought books, bookshelves, and even a computer system to scan and keep track of the books. About half of the books they have in the library were bought, and the others were donated by families in the school.
They are still taking book donations in the front office.
One of her goals for this year within the library is to do more fundraisers.
“We will have to update some books each year for wear and tear purposes, and then we will get new things just to add to our collection,” said Turner.
Mr. Whitmore, who has high functioning autism, is the new Librarian. He is excited to share his love for books with the elementary students during the new library special, every morning.
He has planned different lessons and books to read based on the months and the seasons.
“For the month of November we will be studying books with a food theme, so we will be reading Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food, The Old Man Who Loved Cheese by Garrison Keillor, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Blueberries for Sal, will be read in that period of time, DW the Picky Eater,” said Whitmore.
“For the older grades during that period of time I will be reading for 3rd graders I will probably be reading with them Cupid Doesn’t Flip Hamburgers, one of the Bailey School Kids books for 4th grade I will be reading them Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and then for 5th grade I will probably read them James and the Giant Peach kind of to tie it all together because there’s so many picture books and food related books.”
He has packed his lessons for this year to the brim, as he is also hoping to teach about award winning books, short book series, and legends and tall tales.
“Some of the other themes I’m looking forward to doing this year are Arthur, Amelia Bedelia, Berenstain Bears, for sure Curious George, some of the Stephen Kellogg books,” said Whitmore. “I’m hoping to be able to do a legends and tall tales kind of theme, and do some of those, but probably my favorite one I’m looking forward to doing is the award winners, the Caldecott Award winners, and also the Tommy de Paula because he’s always one of my favorites.”
Some of the benefits of having a library on campus are that Mr. Whitmore can help them learn how to search for books in a library and how the books are categorized.
“A lot of the kids haven’t ever been to the public library, and so this can help them get that important experience and just learn about libraries.”
What’s New on Disney+
October 23 –Recently Disney has released new trailers for their original series, The Mandalorian. The trailer shows scenes between baby Yoda and the Mandalorian being chased by enemies, who want to take baby Yoda away and return him back to his own kind.
In 2019 the show beat Stranger Things, in streams during the weeks between Nov 17 and Nov 23 with 100 million streams. The Mandalorian will be releasing on October 30 on Disney+.
Disney has also released trailers for their other shows such as Clouds that was recently released on October 16. Based on a true story, the trailer shows a seventeen-year-old boy named Zach, starting his senior year, who has recently asked out his crush and is having the time of his life until it all comes crashing down on him when he finds out that he has cancer and has six months to live.
With him having a little amount of time left, Zach and his best friend Sammy decide to write an album, which Sammy posts on social media and goes viral. As his cancer gets worse, he is then faced with the realization that when he dies he will be leaving everyone he loves behind including his girlfriend. After some thought, he opts to make a goodbye song titled “Clouds” which is also a hit song.
Lastly, Disney released a trailer for their short film, Once Upon a Snow Man, which is the untold origins of Olaf from Frozen. The film shows Olaf’s sweet and funny personality as he has just been created, it also follows with him having a problem with self-identity and trying to discover who he really is just outside the snowy mountains of Arendalle. This film is set to be released on Today.
Best of Halloween Movies
October 23 –
New Halloween movies:
Hubie Halloween– Hubie Halloween was released to Netflix on October 7. Since then, it has had more views than any other show or movie for the past few weeks.
Hubie Halloween is rated PG-13 and described as a comedy-horror film.
In the movie Hubie Halloween, the main character Hubie faces mockery from people in his town who he is devoted to. However, Hubie will turn into a hero and save his town and Halloween.
“I think that this was a great movie, it was pretty funny,” Ava Gonzalez, a sophomore at the NCLA said.
A Babysitters Guide to Monster Hunting– A Babysitters Guide to Monster Hunting was released on October 15. This movie can be found on Netflix as well.
In A Babysitters Guide to Monster Hunting, a brave babysitter is on a mission to save the child she is watching who was taken by monsters.
Although this movie was rated TV-PG, the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board rating indicates that “this program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children.”
“This movie was kind of slow and the plot was strange, but the movie overall was okay.” Zoe Encore, who is a fifth-grader here at the NCLA said
Ghostbusters: The original Ghostbusters movie came out on June 7, 1984.
Since the original Ghostbusters movie, there has been a Ghostbusters 2, and another Ghostbusters movie that came out in 2016. There will be another Ghostbusters movie called Ghostbusters Afterlife that will come out on March 5, 2021.
The Ghostbusters theme song alone has around 210,225,200 views on youtube.
Ghostbusters show the journey of three kooky scientists who lose their jobs and follow their passion for ghost extermination.
“Ghostbusters is a classic that me and my family enjoy together about every year. It never fails to make me laugh!” Abigail Brannon said
The Haunted Mansion is a 17-year-old Halloween classic starring Eddie Murphy.
In this movie, a realtor and his family are summoned to a mansion that they find out is haunted. This teaches Jim (the father, husband, and main character of this movie) the importance of family and reveals how he has neglected them in the past.
Celeste Paradis, a 10th grader at the NCLA said “ My favorite Halloween movie would probably have to be Coraline because I love the creepy but childish dream factor of the story.”
Kylee Coster, a freshman at the NCLA said “My favorite Halloween movies include Hocus Pocus and Nightmare Before Christmas because they remind me of the excitement of Halloween when I was little.
Colby brown, a sophomore at the NCLA said “My favorite Halloween movie is Hubie Halloween because it’s hilarious.”
What are Your Halloween Plans?
Due to the pandemic this year, most Halloween plans are looking a little different than normal; as it can be tricky to use the necessary precautions for the safety and health for all concerned. Don’t forget to wear your mask, social distance, make sure to wash your hands often, but most of all have fun! Hope you receive more treats than tricks.
“I am going to have some friends over for a sleepover and a small bonfire. It is a little sad not having the average Halloween but we’ll make it work.”
“I am going to hang out with friends and watch scary movies.”
“Due to the conditions of the crazy world we are living in right now, I have not made plans for Halloween. I personally dislike Halloween. I get excited about Halloween because it means we are getting closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I like to see my little sister get all excited to dress up, but I am not even sure they will be able to do anything this year. I might even have to go into work on Halloween, time will tell.”
“I haven’t made definite plans for Halloween yet but I’m hopefully going trick or treating with a bunch of friends and then hang out after. Obviously, we would be corona safe due to unfortunate conditions.”
“I haven’t made plans but I really want to trick or treat for a little bit and then go to a party with my friends.”
COVID Halloween Costumes
With Halloween less than two weeks away, students are picking out costumes and making plans for the big holiday.
This year’s halloween will occur during a national pandemic, which means many people across the country are drawing inspiration from the time they spent in quarantine.
Yet, the classics may also be returning. The simplistic ghost, using a white bed sheet, has made a popular resurgence, becoming a viral trend among teens on TikTok and Instagram. The ghost trend has been brought back as a photoshoot where kids are dressing in bed sheets and taking photos doing everyday things.
These ideas include some costumes like dressing up as Joe exotic, or Carol Baskin from the show, “Tiger King”. People are also making costumes that reflect life during quarantine. Whether it is dressing up as a roll of toilet paper, or becoming the modern businessman, who wears no pants for his ZOOM meeting.
Julianna Peters, a student at the NCLA has tried the ghost trend for herself.
“I figured it would be a fun way to get into the season, and it was trendy and easy,” she said.
Of course Covid-19 will still be out on the streets, areas may be requiring kids to wear masks while they are trick or treating. This idea has prompted some creative costume designs that incorporate the mask.
Among these, is actually the game “Among Us”. A recent, and super popular video game that has also been trending lately. The game has characters who are little astronauts. Each astronaut has a specific color, and the simple design of the game has made for an easy costume.
To recreate this people are using a solid color hoodie of their choice, but are putting it on backwards. Then taking the hoodie, they cover their face and place a surgical mask over the hood. This creates a pretty easy Among Us costume in a matter of seconds, as seen in the video below.
Still, most people see dressing up for halloween as a must. However as students get older they start to age out of the lore of dressing up for the holiday. On the Falcon News Instagram, we ran a poll asking students if they are planning on wearing a costume for halloween. Out of the 36 participants the results are as follows:
Are you planning on dressing up for Halloween?
Yes: 22 (61%)
No: 14 (39%)
Not only will halloween occur on a Saturday this year, but it will also have a full moon, and even more importantly an extra hour of sleep. November 1st is daylight savings time, so kids and parents will have even more time to sleep off the sugar rush from the trick-or-treating candy.
The Halloween Candy Chute Craze
Families all over North Carolina are figuring out ways to give their children a normal trick-or-treating experience amidst COVID-19 restrictions.
One popular idea that arose was to make a homemade candy chute rather than trick-or-treaters ringing doorbells asking for candy. With this chute, parents can easily slide candy down to their visitors while maintaining social distancing regulations.
Though this seems like a great idea, building it is an entirely different story. But nonetheless, here is everything you need to know about making your very own Halloween candy chute.
- two 10 ft. PVC pipes of any color
- four tee PVC pipe fittings that match the thickness of the pipes
- PVC primer
- PVC glue
- Black duct tape
- Orange duct tape
- Tape Measure
- Measure from your front door to see how long your pipes will need to be.
- Cut your 10-foot-pipes into smaller pipes.
- Using your hacksaw, take the first pipe, cut it into two sections, one 6 feet long and one 4 feet long. One of these pipes will be the chute and the other will be one of the legs. With the second pipe, cut it into a 3-foot-section and four 1-foot-sections. The 3-foot-pipe will act as the other leg, while the remaining four pipes will act as supports for the bottom of the legs. Measurements may vary, depending on your front porch size.
- Taking one pipe fitting, put one 1 foot PVC pipe into one hole of the fitting.
- Repeat this same step on the opposite side of the fitting.
- Put your 3-foot-pipe into the remaining hole of the fitting (the leg should now be able to stand up on its own).
- Repeat steps 3-5 with the other fitting and pipes (two 1-foot-pipes and one 4-foot-pipe).
- Now, you should have two legs that can stand up on their own. Make sure to face them towards one another before moving on.
- Next, make sure you have a 6-foot-pipe and two fittings remaining. Attach these fittings to the tops of the legs created in steps 3-6, then fit the 6-foot-pipe into one side of the fitting so that the legs are facing each other.
Now, you should have a general idea of what your chute will look like.
Photo by Lexi Antieau
- Cover any holes that may steal your candy (see picture for reference)
- With this design, one hole in the fittings will lead to the bottom of a chute leg, which will end up stealing your candy forever. I chose to duct tape the hole to make sure my candy wasn’t stolen by the legs, but I would not recommend this method. I went through five stripes of duct tape trying to get my hand inside the pipe. Try at your own risk.
- Test this design out!
- Though it may fall apart multiple times while you are trying to see whether your chute works or not, it’s important to make sure candy can get down the chute properly. The chute must be long enough to maintain social distancing. If you find a pipe is too long or too short, you should have extra pipe to solve this problem. Hopefully, it doesn’t fall apart 11 times like mine did.
- Once you’re happy with how your candy chute looks and performs, it’s time to put everything together… permanently.
- Using your PVC primer and glue, follow the instructions on the cans to make sure everything stays connected the way you would like it to. Directions may vary between certain PVC primers and glues, so follow the instructions provided for your supplies.
- Time to decorate!
- This is where you get to express your creativity during this project. Decorate this chute as much as you want, and don’t be shy! I used black and orange duct tape to give it a more Halloween feel, but I would not recommend doing this since it took me 2 hours of pain and suffering. All I’m gonna say is this: duct tape really does stick to everything.
- Put it at your door and watch the kids’ faces light up!
- To deliver candy down the chute, simply push a piece of candy into the tube and let it slide down. If you have trouble delivering the candy down the chute, you probably did it wrong – no offense.
Photo by Lexi Antieau
Overall, making a candy chute is a lot more work than you might initially think. It isn’t just putting PVC pipes together and calling it a day. Make sure you set aside lots of time and patience for this project, but have fun with it!
Jack Skellington Oreo Pops
Halloween is about the costumes, the candy and spider webs, but what about the food? Unlike Christmas and Thanksgiving, Halloween doesn’t have a signature dish to serve at your Halloween dinner party. Here is a yummy and easy treat to serve to all of your friends.
- 12 Halloween oreos (I would get double stuffed)
- Two cups white chocolate, melted (melt by putting in the microwave in 15-30 second increments, then stir and repeat until melted)
- Two teaspoons coconut oil
- Black icing (best if it is made for decorating and lettering)
- Line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. I used no stick cooking spray.
- Mix coconut oil into white chocolate and dip Oreos into chocolate until completely coated. I put a fork in the cream of the oreo, and it helped me dip more easily.
- Place onto the baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to harden, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Using the black icing, draw Jack’s face on the Oreos and let it cool slightly. Jack’s face is basically two rounded triangles for eyes, small thin lines for nostrils, and a smile with some thin lines.
I had a fun time cooking these, and they were surprisingly easy. They only took about 30 minutes, and all of the steps were very easy to understand and accomplish. My family loved them, and they tasted delicious. I definitely recommend making these yummy treats for you and your family!
Recipe from: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a55618/jack-skellington-oreo-pops-recipe/
Fall Break at the Beach!
2020’s Rare All Hallow’s Eve Moon
Halloween this year holds a remarkable feat: a full Moon, and not just any full Moon but a Blue Moon. This event is quite a rare occurrence.
Full moons occur on Halloween roughly every 19 years in a pattern referred to as the Metonic Cycle. This pattern was believed to be discovered in 432 BC in Greece.
The pattern dictates that a phase of the moon will occur on the same date every 19 years, however; it isn’t entirely accurate due to variations in the Moon’s orbit. The cycle is only accurate within a day, according to farmersalmanac.com.
All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween is originally a Pagan holiday and is believed to be the time of year that the barrier between the world of the living and dead are the thinnest. The full Moon is believed to be a strong source of power and magic, which leads many to believe that a full Moon on Halloween is a very magical and powerful moment.
A Blue Moon is a second full Moon within the same month. This year will consist of 13 full Moons, with two falling in the month of October.
The Blue Moon is considered to be a very rare and folklore heavy event. However, this is actually false as the term “Blue Moon” referring to a second full Moon that appeared in 1988.
According to skyandtelescope.org the current use of the term is a modern item of lore that has been masked as something much older, as a result there is little true significance of the term in older history and culture. The event is also not very rare as it normally occurs within every 2 to 3 years.
Neither of these events are actually the rarest portion of this full Moon. The Moon will also be the Hunter’s Moon in all time zones. The last time a Halloween full Moon appeared in all time zones was 1944.
Regardless of one’s belief in the spiritual or mythical aspects of the event, it will be a rare event to be witness to and experience this coming Halloween.
Where has Dr. Pepper Gone?
This year has gone through its ups and downs. The most recent struggle is that there is a highly significant reduction of Dr.Pepper
According to a Falcon Staffer’s Instagram poll, 35% of responses said they would drink Dr. Pepper for the rest of their life over any other drink.
Many began questioning why the product is becoming more difficult to find in stores.
The company responded on Twitter, “We know it’s harder to find Dr. Pepper these days. We’re working on it – hang tight!.”
The soda is in high demand and production is not able to catch up. Dr. Peppers second quarter sales in 2019 was $2.81 billion while this year, the second quarter reports $2.86 billion.The company also stated new flavors like Dr Pepper Cream Soda, increased the overall sale of packaged beverage sales by 6.2 percent due to the high demand during the pandemic.
Many canned drink companies have not been able to produce as much either. The ongoing aluminum can shortage began before the pandemic but the demand has increased tremendously during the shutdown. This soda shortage is not as severe as the toilet paper shortage earlier in the year.
“Welcome to the club” “We feel your pain”, said the Charmin Twitter account in response to Dr. Pepper.
Middle School Season During a Pandemic
With a High School sport season being confirmed and currently getting prepared for the season in some parts of the state, there were still many speculations around a Middle School season. There were even more quotations around our middle school sport team because we are not even in a conference either.
“There will be middle school sports, we will not host all of them, and right now the ones that we know are not going to be playing cross country for one. But for sure we are working on schedules for volleyball, basketball, baseball, and soccer. Wrestling is the other sport that is still in the air due to it being such a high contact sport,” said NCLA athletic director Coach Mac.
With the North Carolina Athletic Association making guidelines on how to play safety during the pandemic, no guidelines have been set for middle school. Coach Mac clarified that the middle school teams will follow the NCHSAA guidelines put out.
“A few teams are getting ready for the November start of the season, in fact volleyball was having their first workouts this week actually,” said Coach Mac.
The Middle School season will be delayed and shortened, just like high school and will be following the same guidelines set for the high school. Another detail is that NCLA will not be hosting many games for the various sport seasons.
“For middle school, there will most likely not be any championships or postseason games due to the way things have had to be adjusted. We are still not in a conference, we’re hoping that we are getting in a conference for next school year. It is looking pretty good that we will be in a conference next school year,” stated Coach Mac.
Coach Mac explained how they have to be flexible with the trend of what is going on with Covid-19 currently. She also explained how the coaches and players will be under the same guidelines that the high school is under to keep families and everyone safe.
“We are going to be monitoring and sanitizing everything just like the high school is doing under the NCHSAA guidelines. The only difference is that the calendar does not have to completely match up with the high school, so some of it is going to look a little strange.
Coach Mac is working hard everyday to get some of these seasons finalized and working on a schedule. Although there is not a finalized, ready to publish schedule, there will most likely be more games in the middle school season, than in high school.
“Our main focus was to give the middle school to play and compete, and it’s our feeder school. So we want these kids to have a season and get them prepared for coming into the high school season. Hopefully we will not have to sacrifice any more sports, because losing one is too many.
NBA Bubble is a Success
Due to the Coronavirus shutting the country down, it also meant many professional sports seasons were cut short and postponed. Leagues scrambled to come up with ways to continue their seasons during the midst of a global pandemic.
The solution that some professional sports leagues came up with was the idea of creating a “bubble”. The bubble would house all the players and coaches in it for the time that the rest of the canceled season would take to finish it.
In the bubble, players were not allowed to leave until their season is over. They were apart from their family and friends for all of the time needed to finish their seasons. Some players opted out from playing in their sports respective bubbles because of the separation from their families or fear of the virus.
In the bubbles, all their necessary precautions were taken to keep the players and coaches safe. When outside of their rooms the players wore masks and also had meals delivered to their rooms daily.
But life in the bubble was not just playing basketball or hockey. In the NBA bubble, there were many things to do for the players. The NBA bubble was in the Wide World of Sports in Disney World in Orlando. In the NBA bubble players could Swim in the many pools in the complex, along with fishing and other activities. There were even places like barbershops made just for the bubble.
Did the Bubble work? The NBA bubble had zero cases throughout the rest of the NBA season and playoffs. This was a success. In the playoffs, players were allowed to bring their families in to watch their games and still ended with no cases of covid known to the public. Considering other sports like the MLB and NFL coming back and each week having another team shut down for 2 weeks due to Covid it just further proves the success of the bubble in sports.
What is Going on in the NFL
The year 2020 has been very interesting for everyone, but with sports coming back there comes complications. Games have been moved, cancelled, or postponed, what does this mean for the future of the 2020 football season?
During week four of the NFL season, two games were postponed and 20 cases of Covid-19 and 13 of the cases coming from the Tennessee Titans. Cam Newton was one of the victims of the outbreak. Most players later on had continued to play after being cleared to play.
During the post season of the NBA season had seen the use of the “play-season bubble”, the bubble being an area where players can’t leave and have to stay in the area. The NFL is considering this postseason bubble.
”As long as I can keep watching or if they still happen,” said Zach Donath, sophomore at the NCLA. But the concerns over the mental health of the players has the NFL most likely to rule out the idea.
With the return of the NFL also has the return of the football season. During the return of college football there have already been 33 games cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19 outbreaks in certain cities or teams. Throughout the college football return there have been many cases of Covid-19 in the Big 12 conference Kansas’s rates had grown from 57% -75.2 per 100,000 residents.
“Kinda sucks, college ball is still happening, that’s what really matters,” said Donath.
Even though there are college teams having games cancelled, colleges top prospects are still projected to declare for the 2021 draft. But there are questions still wondering around Trevor Lawrence whether he will declare for the 2021 NFL draft, not due to Covid-19 concerns but due to the team with the first overall pick.
”It wouldn’t be smart because he would still get paid NFL money,” said Donath.
Over this season there have also been many season ending injuries for star players. Most injuries happening between week three or four most happening during games. These players are out for the rest of the season being Nick Bosa, Saquon Barkley, and Matt Ioannidis. Other players such as Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb, and Austin Ekeler were given weeks before returning. But luckily for Panthers fans and fantasy football owners Christian McCaffrey is expected to return in week eight. During week five of the 2020 NFL season Dak Prescott had suffered a season ending injury, this being his last year on his contract will his contract be extended or will he be a free agent this offseason?
Upcoming High School Sports update:
Nov. 2: First of day of practice
Nov. 19: @ Bishop-McGuinness
Nov. 23: @ Reidsville
Nov. 4: First Day of Practice
Whitmore Key to New Library
October 2 – Ricky Whitmore, 32, is the brains behind the new elementary school library at the NCLA.
He started the library over the summer and is continuing to build its inventory.
“The library isn’t finished yet, books are getting donated everyday,” said Whitmore. “I started scanning in the books with the help of Mrs. Shoemaker and my mom starting this summer actually and then we’ve been going at it ever since.”
His inspiration for starting an elementary library at the school came from a former teacher of his.
“What inspired me to make a library here is, actually, I’ve always had a dream of running a library, but the person who really gave me the inspiration to organize the library the way I did was a former staff member from a school I went to back when I was a junior in high school. Her name was Mary Autry, she was the elementary school library assistant,” Whitmore said.
“She taught me, along with my mom, all the different types of series books, honor books, how to break open a book, like how to bend it to crack open a new book, and also different ideas for themes and sections of the library.”
The kickoff lesson at the new library is a study of Tommy de Paulo.
“To start off the year we’re going to be studying the works of Tommy de Paulo because he’s a very well known author and illustrator and he’s absolutely one of my favorites and I thought it would be a great way to honor his memory,” said Ricky.
His favorite part about working in the library is being able to share his love of books and reading with the students.
“I always have, ever since I was a child and when I used to work at an inner city daycare in Minnesota a long time ago,” he said.
“The kids favorite part of the day was when I read stories to them and one of the reasons I love working in the library is so I can show kids the many different adventures that can be found in a book. I’m going to do that by sharing with them some children’s books that they might not have heard of from my childhood and other classic children’s books.”
Whitmore is able to use his life experiences and knowledge to help drive what the students learn throughout the year. He’s especially looking forward to this spring.
“The theme I’m really looking forward to is, in April, I’m gonna share with the students a little bit about autism and my experience with autism because I have autism myself. I’m also going to use April to read books about differences,” said Whitmore.
“I’m going to use the book, It’s Not Easy Being Big by Sesame Street. For the older kids, I’m going to be reading to them Who is Temple Grandin because it’s Autism Awareness Month. I will be reading to the elementary students We’re All Wonders, the Wonder book. I’m also going to be reading them I Am Helen Keller to kind of tie it all together. I’m also hoping to read them Beethoven Lives Upstairs because I thought that would be a kind of a neat tie in with being different.”
The Dixie Classic Drive Thru
October 2 – With the fall season approaching fast, many North Carolinians think of the Carolina Classic Fair, well known as the Dixie Classic Fair. In previous years, the event has been packed full with fun rides, games and food. This year should be no different all while trying to keep everyone safe.
The Carolina Classic will be celebrating 138 years this year and it’s the second largest fair in North Carolina. The animals, the music, the rides, the games and the food of all things always kept many coming back every year to experience the family fun.
The fair will be hosting a Drive Thru Fair from Oct. 1 to Oct. 4 from 11a.m.-7p..m. This year’s fair will be far from normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic but they are doing what they can. A virtual tour has been posted on their website for many who would like to view the outline of the fair.
There will be no parking and everyone who plans to attend shall enter the fairground through 27th Street and enter through gate nine.
Tickets will be free this year with the suggestion of bringing 5 canned items to support Crisis Control Ministries who have been hit hard this year.
According to Executive Director Margaret Elliot in an interview with WXII she said, “ we will not get approximately 70,000 pounds of food that we use every year…during the heavy months, you know the fall and winter months”, she also said if “the organization were to buy the food, it would cost then about $90,000 and would be a huge financial burden.”
The fantastic food will be at the Drive Thru with 12 venders who will be serving fair favorites that will be delivered to your car.
The Drive Thru will be hosting a “Loose Change” game sponsored by the Salvation Army where many are able to give any loose change and all proceeds will be donated directly to charity. Upon exit there will be the “Road Bump” ride to comenerate people’s time at the Drive Thru.
On Friday and Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. movie screening at The Drive will be happening with tickets for kids at $8.50 and adult tickets at $10.50 as well as the addition of fireworks.
Upcoming Fall Activities in North Carolina
October 2 – Although pumpkin spice lattes, perfect chilly weather, and trick-or-treating are all defining aspects of the Fall season, the annual festivals and other fun activities are what makes Fall feel complete.
While festivals such as the NC State Fair, Autumn at Oz, the Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival, Wilmington Riverfest, and many others, are canceled, there are many other fun fall activities taking place with special restrictions due to COVID-19.
If you can’t go without your favorite Lexington BBQ, the Annual Tour de Pig Bike ride will still be taking place on October 1-10 for a virtual bike ride through Lexington. While the BBQ festival itself cannot happen due to COVID-19 restrictions, the website encourages participants to share their experiences on social media: “Participants may ride along any route they choose. Share your enthusiasm by sharing photos and videos from your Tour de Pig adventure with us!”
If bike riding is not your ideal weekend fun, other fall attractions such as the Carolina Classic Fair and Kersey Valley remain open.
The Carolina Classic Fair is going to look quite different this year due to the pandemic. With virtual and drive-through components, the fair will limit as much physical contact as possible. The drive-through will go from October 1 to October 4 and will include games, 12 food stations, and other fun vendors typically seen throughout the event.
“I don’t know what to expect. I just hope it’s not boring,” said sophomore Rebecca Avila who is planning on going to the Carolina Classic Fair this weekend.
As the spooky season begins to creep up, attractions such as Kersey Valley and Woods of Terror are also opening. Kersey Valley’s Spookywoods attraction and Woods of Terror are both great ways to get into the fall spirit. By limiting the interactions between participants and scarers, requiring masks, and limiting group sizes, both attractions are focused on the safety and health of each participant. They are ready to go for the season.
“I am so excited for Woods of Terror! I can’t wait to sing my Christmas songs at the evil people,” said junior, Katie Carpenter, who plans on going back to Woods of Terror this fall.
If none of these options spark your interest, do not worry. There are still plenty of other ways to get into the fall spirit.
Gathering in groups of people may feel uncomfortable due to the rising numbers of the pandemic. So, activities like hiking in new destinations, pumpkin carving with your closest friends and family, and getting lost in a corn maze are all great ways to avoid crowded areas.
“During fall I like to go to the spirit halloween stores with my family,” said sophomore Ellie Gibhart, who shared how she gets into the fall spirit.
Netflix’s Age Rating System Raises Questions
October 2 – Many avid Netflix watchers have likely noticed a change in the streaming service’s age ratings and warnings. These changes sound great in theory as trigger warnings are now being considered, but there are a lot of problems with this new system.
It appears that the criteria for the age rating system, PG, TV-14, etc, has changed. Some of the most notable changes can be found in the True Crime and Anime categories. Most if not all True Crime content is now considered TV-MA and many animes have had their ratings upped to TV-MA as well.
It is unclear what exactly is the criteria for this new age rating system. One would think that looking at the warnings would indicate some form of a pattern. However, no such thing can be found and considering the warnings the age ratings make even less sense.
Forensic Files is a true crime series about forensic science and released episodes starting in 1996 up to 2011. The show was previously rated TV-14, but is now considered TV-MA. The warnings mention smoking and language.
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann is a documentary series released by Netflix in 2019 about the disappearance of a young girl. It is rated TV-14 and has a warning for language.
Comparing these two titles it appears that smoking is enough to put a show into the TV-MA category, which is mostly true since most titles with the warning of smoking are now in TV-MA. That alone makes little sense as smoking should not be that vital of a decider for if it is eligible for 14 year olds vs 18 year olds and the aforementioned smoking is often minor.
Forensic Files discusses some adult themes as it is about crimes; however it is never explicit. If that was the deciding factor for the show being now classified in TV-MA then it likely should have been mentioned in the warnings. Also, discussion of death, violence, and crime should be warnings for both shows even if that may appear as common sense.
Kakegurui is an anime released by Netflix in 2018 and is about a school built around gambling. The show has an age rating of TV-14 and warnings of sex and language.
Fairy Tail is anime about a world full of magic and wizards and was released in 2009. It has recently had its rating changed from TV-14 to TV-MA with warnings of nudity and smoking.
This is confusing as Fairy Tail is an anime targeted towards teenagers and does consist of fan service, but is mostly focused on action and comedy. The warning makes it appear as if nudity is a common thing, while at most the show has the occasional partial nudity.
Kakegurui on the other hand consists of heavy amounts of sexual themes and gore. A warning of sex would make one assume it should be automatically upped to TV-MA. It is also concerning that there are no warnings about the violence and gambling in the show.
These are only a few examples of this new age rating and warning system. The main issues are the lack of continuity of this system and incomplete warnings.
Parents and even individual viewers often have topics they wish to avoid in the items they watch. For whatever reason it may be Netflix is performing an injustice by putting out these false and incomplete warnings, as well as not making these new age ratings consistent.
“I think that Netflix should do better with ratings and warnings, in case something unexpected comes up and scares someone or causes them to freak out,” shared NCLA Senior, Lily Davenport.
Xbox X vs PS 5
October 2 – About every 7 years Sony and Microsoft release their new game consoles, it is that time again. With the PS4 and Xbox One becoming old and outdated, the 9th generation of consoles is on their way. The Sony Playstation 5 and the Mircosoft Xbox Series X are set to come out in November of this year.
What is the difference between the PS5 and Xbox Series X?
- What is the Price?
The PS5 and Xbox Series X both start at 499$. Both consoles also offer cheaper versions with fewer features.
The PS5’s cheaper counterpart is a digital-only version meaning you cannot use disks and have to download your games. This version will be 399$, this is a great deal because many people have not bought disks for years.
Microsoft’s cheaper version is called the Xbox Series S. This version is a lot less powerful than The Series X and retails for 299$. This seems like a no-brainer to buy at first, but looking into it more it is about as powerful as the last generation console The Xbox One. So basically it would be the same as playing the new console’s games on the last generation’s hardware which is not how they are meant to be played.
- Which is More Powerful?
This question is asked with every new console release but the answer is always similar. Every time a new console releases everyone is quick to compare the specs that are inside. In this generation of consoles, both are very powerful and pretty close to each other in power. One Console is better than the other in some areas and vice versa. With all of the technology and development, they put into these consoles the games will look and play the same on each one.
- Which will have better games?
This is another question that comes up every year. Microsoft and Sony both made games that will only be available for their console as a selling point.
The PS5s exclusive games consist of a new addition in the God of War franchise, which has not yet been named, Horizon Forbidden West, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Gran Turismo 7, and a few new series of games that do not have much known about them.
The Xbox Series X exclusives are, Halo Infinite, State of Decay 3, and Forza Motor Sport. There is also a few new franchises of games that do not have much information known about them.
Xbox Series X
399$ (Digital Edition)
299$ (Series S)
825 Gigabyte SSD
16 Gigabytes of RAM
8x Zen Core 2 Processor
1 terabyte SSD
16 Gigabytes of RAM
8x Zen Core 2 Processor
When asking students which they were going to buy, 70% said they were going to purchase the PS5. This is not a surprising number because the PS4 was much more popular than the Xbox One so many people would want to stick to the brand that they already know and have not to mention they can still play their PS4 games on their PS5.
IOS14: Show Off Your Inner Aesthetic!
October 2 – Recently, Apple came out with their new update to their Phone IOS14. Over the years Apple has had many software updates to their phones, each one helping the phone improve and each update being better than the last, but recently Apple has come out with their latest update, I OS14. Many people were anticipating this update, but no one thought about customizing their home screen.
“I love my home-screen now, it looks very cool and cute,” said Kayla Satterwhite.
The IOS14 update allows Apple users to personally customize their homescreen by allowing them to change the icons of their apps using an App called “Shortcuts”.
People would go to the Shortcut app, click on the plus button where it takes them to this screen that says “New Shortcut”, then they would press add action and type into the search, “open app”. From there they would chose the app of their choice, it will then take them back to the screen that says “New Shortcut” then they click on the three button in the corner and name their shortcut, add it to home-screen, name the shortcut again (to the app that it is) and click on the little icon in the corner to select whatever photo they want the icon to be and then press add.
This feature has boosted Apple’s sales and popularity and has gotten the attention of many people. Countless people have bought iPhones because of this trend since their phone couldn’t personally change the icons to their apps.
Numerous people have made their iPhones icons for the apps into things they like, some have made their icons their favorite color,some have set their icons to anime’s etc.
“I wouldn’t change my wallpaper and icons to my apps because that’s a lot of work and it seems stressful, but the idea of it sounds cool,” said Shaniya Myles.
This update also has many cool features such as an apple library, where you can find all your apps, a new siri interface where instead of siri taking up the whole screen, it only pops up at the bottom while still being able to see your screen and a message thread where you can long press the message and reply to it, making there be a bracket connected to the original message and list of how many replies to the thread.
Start Getting Excited for These Movies
October 2 –
The Croods 2: A New Age
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Croods find themselves in need of a new place to live, after surviving many beasts and disasters. They stumble upon a paradise populated by people they did not know existed, the Bettermans. The tensions grow as the families spend more time together and the two daughters, Eep and Dawn, decide to travel beyond the walls, forcing the two families to join forces to find them.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, it is set to come out in theaters on Nov. 25.
I am personally excited for this new movie. It looks very fun and energetic, and I am looking forward to watching it.
According to the Marvel website: Forced to look back on her past when a dangerous conspiracy arises, Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) is pursued by a force whose only goal is to bring her down. She must come face to face with her broken relationships and upbringing as a spy.
According to The Cinema Blend, the movie was originally set to release on May 1, 2020, but was then moved to Nov. of 2020 due to COVID-19. As conditions of COVID-19 got worse, the release date was moved to May 7, 2021.
I am excited for this movie, and am glad that she finally got her movie after all these years.
No Time To Die
According to IMDb, James Bond’s peace from retiring is short-lived when an old friend from the CIA asks for help, leading Bond to the trail of a villain armed with dangerous technology.
The movie is said to be released on Nov. 20, 2020 for the US, and Nov. 12, 2020 for the UK.
According to cheatsheet.com Daniel Craig, the current actor for James Bond, is tired of being in the movies and says this movie will be his last.
“If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money”, said Craig in an interview with TimeOut.
I personally do not really have an opinion on this movie, because I have not watched any of the other James Bond movies, but I will probably end up watching it anyway.
A Quiet Place Part II
According to IMDb, the Abbott family is forced to venture into the unknown, where they realize the monsters that hunt by sound are not the only dangers beyond the sand path.
According to Variety, the movie was originally set to release on Sep. 6, 2020 but due to COVID-19 restrictions it was pushed to April 23, 2021.
A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II were both written and directed by John Krasinski, who also starred in both movies. His wife, Emily Blunt, also stars in the movies.
I am looking forward to watching A Quiet Place Part II, because I loved the first one, and i’m excited to see how this movie will compare to the first movie.
Breaking: NCLA Virtual Appalachian Tour
The NCLA is having a virtual private college visit for Appalachian State University on Wednesday, October 7 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. It will be held by an Appalachian State admissions officer who will be able to answer questions about App State and it’s a great opportunity for any high school student interested.
If you’re a red group student and would like to attend the event, go to the big classroom next to Mrs. Wood’s office at 12:30 and log onto the virtual visit.
NCLA Elementary Moves to Plan A
For the first time since March 13, the elementary students at the NCLA are returning to classrooms full time.
On Sept. 17, Governor Roy Cooper announced that elementary schools would be able to move forward into Plan A as of Monday, October 5.
This means that North Carolina students that are in grades kindergarten through fifth will be in full capacity classrooms. Governor Cooper left the option to continue with Plan B or C, if that was best fit for a certain schools’ situation.
“We are able to open this option because most North Carolinians have doubled down on our safety and prevention measures and stabilized our numbers,” said Gov. Cooper in a Sept. 17 press release. “North Carolinians are doing the hard work to improve our numbers and trends. Many people are wearing masks, keeping social distance and being careful to protect others as well as themselves. We have shown that listening to the science works.”
What exactly does this mean for NCLA?
“Plan A means all students K-5 have two choices. They can virtually learn five days a week at home, or they can come to school five days a week,” said Mrs. Guldberg, Elementary Vice Principal. “We’re not going to do the hybrid option anymore, because that is just too much to keep organized, but the majority of our students are planning on coming back”.
In reference to precautions the NCLA will be taking, Guldberg said, “They will still have to wear masks and we will still have some social distancing guidelines in place.”
“They have little spots on the floor in the hallways and they have little dividers in the classrooms between the desks to help them.”
The major concerns that have been brought up regarding the introduction of Plan A at NCLA are: how the elementary students will handle wearing masks all day, the transition to going to school five days a week, and the new routines for the students dealing with bigger classes.
“Our elementary students have done so good, way better than I thought they would do,” said Guldberg in regards to elementary school students with masks.
“They remind each other to pull their masks up, they’ve just done really good with the masks, and are trying to keep their distance in the hall.”
Full capacity classrooms bring problems of their own. How will lunch be handled? Will all of the students still get recess on the same playground?
“Recess already looks a little different in that we spread out over other areas than just the playground,” Guldberg said “Lunch for right now we’re going to keep in the classrooms, and maybe slowly start to transition one or two grades into the cafeteria.”
“I really feel confident that if we wear our masks and keep washing our hands that we’ll be okay,” said Guldberg about potentially moving backwards into Plan B because of an outbreak.
“One good thing that has come out of Covid is that the kids realize that they do like being in school.”
The NCLA Loves its Custodians
Friday, October 2 is National Custodians Appreciation Day. Many times, the hard work of custodians can go unnoticed.
It is certain that our school would not be able to function during this COVID-19 pandemic without the hard work of custodians. “Our custodians have gone above and beyond with the new safety guidelines to make our school a safe place,” Mrs. Wood remarked.
Wood also said, “NCLA’s custodians are super honest. They have found money, and jewelry then they take it to the front office. The custodians at this school are detail oriented, and take their job seriously. I take pride in having them here!”
Members of the NCLA’s custodian team include Mrs. Patricia, Mrs. Sarah, and Mrs. Zoe.
Mrs. Patricia has worked at the school for about 5 years. “Recently, we have been working longer hours to keep the school clean, but I don’t mind it one bit,” she said. Mrs. Patricia is proudly a mom to two girls. She added, “My favorite thing about being a custodian at this school is the smiles I receive from the little kids. Even though you can’t see the smiles right now with the masks, you can still tell.”
“I love this school, and I plan on staying as long as they want to keep me,” she continued.
Mrs. Sarah is a mom to three kids at home. She has been working as a custodian for the North Carolina Leadership Academy s for over two years. She said, “The coronavirus has changed everything,” and “I have been working longer hours than usual.” Just like Mrs. Patricia, it does not bother Sarah one bit because she loves working at the NCLA. Mrs. Sarah stated, “I don’t have a favorite part about working here, I enjoy every day.”
When the topic of NCLA custodians was brought up, Emily Viers, a sophomore at the NCLA, said ,“I remember a Cinco de Mayo event that was hosted a couple of years ago. The night before the party, my family, and some family friends were decorating. We didn’t finish the decorations until about 1 am the next morning. As we were leaving, I went to the bathroom and noticed that the custodians were still cleaning the classrooms. Our school definitely has some hard-working caretakers to keep everything clean for us.”
Many times while students are in class, school custodians can be found cleaning things like stair rails, doorknobs, toilet seats, and pretty much anything else people have contact with that can be found inside the school. To eliminate exposure to COVID-19, custodians now clean every chair that someone has sat in after lunch.
The CDC recommends that schools “frequently disinfect objects that could encounter contamination.” The CDC also states that “cleaning and disinfecting all areas” must occur.
There were many NCLA students that had positive things to say about the school’s custodians:
“I love our custodians! They are always happy and smiling.”- Zoe Encore
“I can tell that custodians at the NCLA are very hardworking”-Layla Gonzalez
“I love that they’re so committed to their jobs even during difficult times such as COVID-19, and how happy to help they are”- Sydney Lohr
On Friday, some of the school’s students and staff plan to show the custodians of NCLA some love for everything they do to make our school a better, and safer place.
“To any custodian or caretaker of our school who is reading this… Thank you for all that you do, you are greatly appreciated!” said sophomore Ava Gonzalez.
Election 2020: The Local Races
The election season is in full swing and many have a ballot that comes to be two pages long.
As this year’s 2020 ballot consists of Federal Office positions, such as the presidential preference, U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives District 6. There are also state and local races, such as Mayor, Governor, Lt. Governor, and School Superintendent.
Allen Joines is running for re-election for the mayor of Winston Salem NC, as his term from 2001 has ended (Democratic Party)
Running against Allen Joines for the Mayor position of Winston Salem NC is, Kris McCann (Repulican Party)
As Mayor of Winston Salem, you have certain duties that must be taken care of such as, carrying out special responsibilities during emergency situations, being present at all meetings of the council, providing leadership on policy problems, recommending meetings to the city boards and commissioners, vote in case of a tie, and representing your city at official functions.
Al Pisano is running for NC governor (Constitution)
Roy Cooper will be running for re-election as the NC Governor position (Democratic Party)
Steven J. DiFiore is also running for the NC Governor Position (Libertarian)
Lastly Dan Forest Is running For the NC Governor Position (Republican)
As Governor of North Carolina, there are a good amount of duties and responsibilities that are mandated by the States Constitution, which include: The State’s budget, serving as Commander and Chief, running special legislative sessions, put into effect the laws of the state, granting pardons, reducing prison sentences, issuing warrants,etc.
Running for Lieutenant Governor for the Republican Party we have Mark Robinson.
For the Democratic Party we have Yvonne Lewis Holley running for the Lieutenant Governor position.
People may think the Lt. Governor position isn’t as important because it has less responsibilities, but this position is very important.
As the Lieutenant Governor, some of the duties are, that you serve as the President of the State Senate, and you have the ability to cast tie-breaking votes, you serve as a member of the Governor’s Council of State, you have unique role between Education and Economic Development, you serve on the State Board of Educations, the NC Board of Community Colleges, The Board for State Economic Development, and lastly, the Lt. Governor is the only elected official to serve at both the executive and legislative level.
NC Superintendent of Public Instruction:
This year’s ballet running for the position of the NC Superintendent of Public Instruction for the Republican Party is Catherine Truitt.
Running for the Democratic Party for the position of the NC Superintendent of Public Instruction is Jen Mangrum.
In the position of the NC Superintendent Of Public Instruction, there are duties and responsibilities that come with this position. These duties are: they have the power to regulate grades,the salary, and the qualifications of a teacher, and they also have power to supervise and administer the Public School System.
At the end of the 2020 election ballot, there are two Referenda’s that minted two very big decisions.
The first one states (Guilford County School Bond Referendum): “SHALL the order authorizing $300,000,000 of bonds secured by a pledge of the faith and credit of the County of Guilford to pay capital costs of providing school facilities, including the acquisition and construction of new school facilities, the improvement and expansion of existing school facilities and the acquisition and installation of furnishings and equipment and the acquisition of interests in real property required therefor, and a tax to be levied for the payment thereof, be approved?”
The Second one states (Guilford County Local Sales and Use Tax):”Local sales and use tax at the rate of one-quarter percent (0.25%) in addition to all other State and local sales and use taxes.”
Voters must answer these Referendum’s with a simple yes or no.
Meet a Pair of new NCLA Teachers
By Elizabeth Gibhardt
This year at the NCLA, we have several new teachers and staff members. It has been harder to get to know each other this year, especially with a split schedule and alternating days, but now new teachers are starting to warm up and feel comfortable with all of their classes.
With the help of students and staff, they have felt more welcomed despite the abnormal school routine. We are thankful for all of our teachers and how they have adapted this year to help us learn like normal.
Mrs. Hall, one of our new middle school teachers, said, “The staff is great and the students are amazing. They work hard and are very respectful. I am very happy to be here at NCLA and am looking forward to having all my students back in the classroom.”
Mrs. Evans, another new teacher, was asked the same questions. She said, “I absolutely love working at the NCLA! My students are amazing. They are well-mannered and hard working. The staff was so welcoming, too. I am so happy to be here!”
During the pandemic, teachers have been working with half of their students at school and the other half at home online.
“Teaching during Corona is challenging. I do feel fortunate that we have half our students here at a time. It makes it feel more normal,” said Mrs. Hall.
Teaching this year has been more difficult than others, as many activities and interactive materials have not been allowed. But with these limitations, teachers have been able to learn new technology and find new activities to help us learn.
“I did learn some new things about teaching during COVID that have improved my practice. If COVID did not happen, I would not have had the opportunity to learn new technology and some new ways of teaching!” said Evans.
Student Council, Will It Return?
Student council represents the students of the NCLA and they plan activities and fundraisers for the school, but sadly, with this year’s Covid restrictions, that will not be possible as of this fall.
“At this point, student council is not a possibility,” says high school English teacher, Kelly Kerr, the advisor of the student council. With the Covid restrictions, student council will not be possible until social distancing restrictions have been lifted.
Some of the students here at NCLA have different opinions on whether or not having a student council is a good idea. “I don’t think student council is a good idea for this year at least because we are barely even in school,” said junior Lauren Manness.
“I think having a student council is a good idea because it allows students to be involved,” said Dylan Coltrane.
However it is still possible for student council to return in the spring, if Covid becomes better. But as Mrs. Kerr said, “I remain hopeful that we will be able to resume in the spring”.
There are Still Plenty of Ways to get Hours
The pandemic has affected both the student body and the staff, as well as the community. At the NCLA, leadership is a core value. The mission statement is,“Developing tomorrow’s leaders today.”
Volunteer hours are one of the ways the high school student body can represent and implement their leadership skills. The NCLA requires high school students to have 25 community service hours each year. “Last spring, we changed the requirement from 25 to 15 this year. We are going back up to 25, but we are aware of the circumstances and we can meet with the students to help find opportunities. We are trying to help get it out early and hoping to keep it to 25,” stated high school counselor Mrs. Hilliard.
25 community service hours offers the opportunity for students of the NCLA to influence the surrounding community about our school.
Each student has had different opportunities to serve during the pandemic some more than others.
“So far, I have not had trouble getting service hours during the pandemic. If I’m being honest, service hours have not been the first thing on my mind. With all of the school work we are given it is hard to find time to get those service hours,” said sophomore Jenna Clayton.
“This year, it hasn’t been easy to find service opportunities, but at the same time, I feel like the school is doing a good job of providing them. At first, I didn’t know how I was going to get 25 hours with so many things being closed, but I think the school had this in mind and have therefore been offering opportunities. I’m actually more ahead on my hours this year than I was last year. It’s pretty easy to just sign up for things that pop up on your remind” stated Julie Davis.
On the student services website along with the Remind app, you can find updated opportunities such as campus cleanup days.
Everyone has a different definition of service. Here are some of the NCLA students and staff definitions. “I think simply services are helping others. I think it’s important to have that requirement to help students look outside themselves and step out of their comfort zone. That way students can be well-rounded citizens and I think service helps students find that,” Hilliard said.
“My definition of service is sacrificing your time to do something that will help make someone’s day a little better. These acts of kindness don’t have to be huge, but they impact people a lot more than it would seem. Even if it’s going out of your way for five minutes to make someone a card or buy them a cupcake or something, when you choose to think selflessly with your time, it can mean a lot,” said Julie Davis.
“Service is a selfless act of helping others. By this I mean that you are not paid for helping someone else or doing it for the benefit of yourself,” said Jenna Clayton.
Service hours provide students with the opportunity to perform selfless acts of kindness. During this pandemic, you may have to be creative and research opportunities and you may never know when someone is in need to reach out and give a helping hand to our community. So step up and serve your community. The smallest act of kindness can transform the world.
Flu Season Adds to Covid Concerns
“Getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever,” said the CDC as the flu virus and Covid virus spread at the same time.
As we approach this year’s flu season, many concerns arise about quarantine and shutdowns. As of now, there are no shut-downs and everything is continuing like normal. Many professionals hope that because of the precautions everyone has been taking, there won’t be as bad of a flu season this year.
“It is possible to have the flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time,” the CDC reported.
In a poll, 59% of the people said they were planning on getting their flu shots, while the other 41% said they weren’t. Conducted among 34 people, most believe that it is important to get their flu shot this year.
“The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated every year,” said the Indian Health Service.
Falcon Garden Remodel
The NCLA began remodeling the Falcon Garden as part of the September campus beautification initiative.
Amanda Anderson, person running point of the remodeling project, “The garden was in need of some fixing up after it had been neglected for a while,” she shared, “The goal is to make the garden a space for outdoor learning and break periods. It will also become a teachable garden where students can learn about the value of growing and sourcing their own foods and eventually take responsibility in the garden.”
Anderson stated, “The renovation process started early in September and will hopefully be finished by winter break. However, the maintaining and nurturing of the garden will continue until the end of the year”.
I talked to Julie Davis, a volunteer at the last clean-up session about her experience.
What did the garden look like before you started to clean up?
“Before we started to clean the garden, it was definitely really messy and disorganized. All of the plant beds had a ton of weeds in them, and most of the bushes and things that had been planted were dead. Also, in a couple places there were too many plants growing in one spot, so it just looked like a jumbled mess.”
What type of work did you do to clean up and fix the garden?
“To clean up, we did a lot of weeding, spread fresh dirt in the places where plants will go, covered all the beds up with new mulch, trimmed back most of the bushes, and ripped out anything that didn’t look good anymore.”
How much progress did you make in the garden?
“I think that we made a lot of progress. After just three hours, it was surprising how much we got done, but I guess that’s because we had about 50 people there. The NCLA had rented a huge dumpster for all of the trash and weeds, and by the time everyone went home, it was overflowing a little bit.”
What was your experience volunteering?
“I had a pretty good experience volunteering. It was very organized, it was nice to always know what I was supposed to be doing, and the people in charge were very helpful. It was good to be helping the school and getting a bunch of volunteer hours in too.”
Are you excited about the new garden?
“I am, It will be really nice when the elementary classes will be able to go out and have class there sometimes, and they wouldn’t have to be inside all day. I think it’s going to look amazing once they are finished with it, and will be the perfect place for gatherings and events.”
Donations are accepted to help obtain the proper resources that the garden is in need of. There will be many opportunities to help with the garden as the years goes on and starts to come to an end.The next available time to volunteer is Oct. 3.
What the Class of 2021 is Missing Out On
The class of 2021 is facing non-traditional yearbooks, limited sports seasons, and a strictly regulated final year of high school.
NCLA Principal Mrs. Faenza explained that there will not be yearbook photos or class pictures taken this year. Nor will there be the traditional classroom photos.
“I am disappointed that we aren’t going to receive a yearbook,” senior Mollie Lomax stated. “Since Kindergarten I have been looking forward to having my family make me a senior recognition ad. I had already been picking out pictures I wanted to use for it. The yearbook was one last hope that we would get something “senior” like.”
The class of 2021 will miss out on many typical senior activities, including senior quotes, drape pictures, and a tangible memory of their last year at the NCLA.
“I think the seniors should still get one,” senior Macey Green said. “We will be missing out on the typical senior year experiences such as drape pictures, senior quotes, and a yearbook to remember our senior year. I think a small yearbook with the typical senior inclusions is better than no yearbook at all.”
NCLA administrators are having some difficulty figuring out how a traditional yearbook could be done. With only elementary school returning to full in-school learning after fall break, there’s difficulty in trying to highlight the middle and high school experiences through yearbook this year.
When asked about implementing a more traditional format for a yearbook, Wood said,“… only half the kids are here each day, it would be difficult if not impossible to get everyone’s picture. We have many full remote students.”
Some NCLA families have discussed making a virtual yearbook for seniors so that they don’t miss out on these experiences altogether. The virtual yearbook may include pictures of seniors taken during the school year and portraits they have had done outside of school. The format of the yearbook could be a collage of special pictures, a book format similar to traditional yearbooks, or a fully online yearbook.
“I would rather have a physical yearbook because it’s one of those things that in 20 years you can show your kids your senior yearbook,” senior and former student council president Annie Ellis said.
The school decided that seniors this year will not have their pictures taken in a tuxedo or drape due to sanitation restrictions. However, they may take pictures on their own outside of school to remember their senior year.
With the exclusion of senior drape pictures, Ellis said, “That’s probably what I’m most disappointed in so far because that’s something that literally every senior has had for who knows how long. When people talk about high school when they’re older they always talk about that senior drape picture and I just feel like it’s a let down for our class to not be able to get them.”
Seniors are also looking at the exclusion of senior quotes, quotes typically found next to a portrait of a senior taken outside of school.
“I think it takes away from our senior experience and expressing ourselves. Senior quotes are a way to either say something meaningful, funny, or important to you and I believe seniors should be able to display them in the yearbook,” said Green.
Many seniors had quotes already picked out for the yearbook, including Senior Emily Greene who was going to say “daddy I made it.” in remembrance of her father, who died in 2016.
Besides yearbooks and senior activities, school activities in general have been greatly affected by COVID. NCLA sports have been affected in many ways, including the fact that they are starting their seasons much later than normal.
“Sports are currently looking like they will happen. Our new athletic director started today and several of our teams have started workouts and practices,” said Mrs. Wood.
The sports setbacks still have a great effect on the senior class because it will be their last high school sport season and now, some sports are still undecided if they will return at all this year.
Senior volleyball player Megan Queen shared, “I’ve played since my 6th-grade year and I feel like I need one last season for closure on that chapter of my life!”
Missing sports and social events during their last year of high school are the seniors main concern. The school administration has said sports and social events may be able to happen in the future depending on the state regulations.
“I’m afraid of missing out on the social aspect like being in school full time, sports, and the school events,” said Macey Green. “We also won’t have sports seasons this year with fans. I think it would be nice if the seniors would be allowed to come to the games while socially distancing themselves.”
Sports, social events, and yearbooks aside, the senior class is facing the inability to say one last goodbye to their peers and teachers throughout their last year of high school.
Senior Levi Antieau described how he wishes seniors were able to go to school every day rather than only two days out of the week, since the class only consists of 44 members.
Mrs. Faenza stated, “We are going to try to do everything we can to make this year as special as possible for seniors.”
Tale of the 40 Year-Old Donut
In the basement of the UNCG library there’s a glass case lined in black velvet. The case holds part of the most memorable story on the UNCG campus, the 40-year-old donut.
According to UNCG employee, Audrey Sage, “The story goes like this. A staff meeting in 1980 saw a plate of donuts being devoured. But being a civilized lot and folks who appreciated manners, no one wanted to be the one to take the last donut, so, it sat.
“Until one night when two gentlemen were trying to tune a radio to the campus radio station but were having no luck. One of them said get that donut and stick it on one of the antennas. He did and the radio station came in clear as a bell. It stayed there for a few years but by then the donut became a legend. And every 5 years we celebrate its anniversary.”
Going to visit the donut for myself was a much more difficult task.
After 30 minutes of looking for the library, I discovered that I needed permission from the board of directors. The donut is kept in a room in the basement of the library only brought out on its anniversary.
The next time this donut will see the light of day is in 2025.
Kernersville Museum Adds Village
A Very Covid Halloween
Halloween is the one day of the year when many kids dress up and go around neighborhoods and towns trick-or-treating while others attend parties or go to haunted attractions enjoying the spooky night.
Halloween is approaching fast and many are questioning if the spooky holiday is possible due to the pandemic.
Halloween attractions such as, Spooky Woods, Woods of Terror, and Scarowinds have mixed feelings on when they plan to open. Scarowindswill remained closed till Oct. of 2021. Spooky Woods and Woods of Terrorplan to open Friday, Oct. 2.
Emily Viers said,“I feel as if they could make it work. You can be social distance and wear a mask like anywhere else!”
Spooky Woods has established a new system with time slots that allows every group to be separated as well as reducing the capacity to 50%. Guests will have to be with friends or family, with the option of wear protective gear.
Woods of Terror is also using a technological system of separating guests by designated time slots. Guests will be required to wear protective gear throughout the trail with hand sanitizer available at 15 different locations throughout the trail.
Trick or Treating for many communities will be completely different than previous years. Los Angeles county has already banned trick-or-treating, haunted houses and large social gatherings. Other states have decided to continue with the holiday.
“Honestly that stinks! I could see why they could be concerned but you can always take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy,” said Emily Viers.
If going out and celebrating the holiday, health officials have advised many to wear their masks, keep groups small and maintain a 6 foot distance.
The leaves are starting to change, the air is beginning to cool, and the sight of pumpkins are all around. We know that fall has begun.
Although this year has been a little different due to the global pandemic the flavored pumpkin items have not failed to make an appearance.
Grocery store are filled with pumpkin flavored ice cream, cereal, cinnamon rolls, yogurt, truffles, cookies, hot chocolate, grounded coffee, marshmallows, Jell-o, poptarts, protein shakes, bread, almond milk, popcorn, protein bars, mac and cheese, and even pumpkin spice SPAM.
A Instagram poll showed that out of 46 people, only 41% said they liked pumpkin flavored things while the remaining 59% said they didn’t like it.
Here’s what a few students said about pumpkin flavored things.
“I like pumpkin flavored things and the Little Debbie pumpkin delights are my favorite pumpkin flavored item,” said 11th grader Mckenna Porto
Late September, Kraft mac and cheese held a sweepstake with the chance to win one of 1,000 limited-edition Pumpkin Spice Kraft Mac & Cheese products.
“I do like pumpkin spice flavored things. It reminds me of fall which is my favorite time of the year,” Freshman Allie Hodges said.
One item that was released this year was Boar’s Head Pumpkin Pie Dessert Hummus. Some ways you can eat this hummus is topped on graham crackers or on top of cupcakes.
Sophomore Myles Pugh said, “I like some pumpkin things but I do not think that brands are taking it too far with all the pumpkin spice flavors.”
NCLA Welcomes new Athletic Director
Stephanie McCormick has been named the new athletic director for the NCLA the school was announced this past weekend.
She is very excited to get started this school year and is ready for sports to start to play again.
“What drew me towards the NCLA was really the small atmosphere, I’m actually from North Carolina. It’s good to be back and be back with my family. Then to get that family atmosphere here, then probably one of the greatest things would be the potential for growth and the potential for change,” said McCormick.
McCormick is not new to the sporting world, she has been coaching basketball for 27 years, and some of those schools include Coastal Carolina, UNC- Wilmington, UNC- Charlotte, and NC State. She was even head coach of Western Carolina for four years.
When asked about what she is most excited about the school year, ecstatically she replied, “There are so many things, but probably it is getting to be around and getting to know the students and coaches and being able to mentor them. Also to watch young people succeed in their craft and watching kids participate and play, and i’m really excited to see the kids play!”
Throughout the interview, McCormick exemplified that her main passion is sports and helping kids achieve their goals. Her favorite sport is football, but her favorite sport to watch is basketball.
“I haven’t played anything but golf in awhile. I am not very good at it, but I do like it when I can just play and relax. But I’m a sports fanatic,” said McCormick.
The one big important goal for her is to make NCLA known and she wants to start a legacy here.
“I want to be put on the map, and when you say I graduated from the North Carolina Leadership Academy, I want that to mean something. A Lot of that recognition can come from sports, and that’s a big thing I would like to achieve this season,” said McCormick regarding her long term goals.
Coach Mac cannot wait to get the sport season started and for kids to be playing again. With everything going on this school year, she is hoping that everything will work out this year. She also mentioned how she is very appreciative of the teacher and administrators working so hard this school year.
“I just feel like the sky’s the limit here, the ceiling has not even been close to being set. So it’s pretty exciting to be on the grassroot level of that and be the start of something.”
High School Workouts are Back
By Cade Shoemaker
After a long period of absence, sports have returned to the NCLA. Workouts began for the cross country and basketball teams this past week.
Cross country, coached by Mrs. Rickert, has been working out Monday through Thursday for an hour each day. Their main concern right now is getting back in shape after the long quarantine period.
“Students are very out of shape,” Rickert said. “To build up stamina we are trying to do conditioning drills like hills and intervals, so we can eventually build up to 6 miles.”
The workouts are open to all high school runners who are interested in competing this year, with Rickert highly encouraging anyone who wants to come out to try.
“There have been about 10 people coming out each day, majority being lower classmen,” Rickert added.
As for the restrictions for COVID-19, students will still have to wear a mask and social distance while they are at practice. However when they are running they are far enough away from people that there is no need to wear a mask. Coaches, on the other hand, are required to wear a mask at all times.
“Kids only have to wear masks while we are in a huddle, or while we are closer than six feet,” Rickert said.
There is a question of weather affecting runners’ performance during the winter. “The runners should do better because of the colder weather,” Rickert said.
“Running in the cold is a lot better than running in the 90* heat we usually have during August. A good temperature for running is between 40 and 50 degrees.”
The workouts from the past weeks have gone very well with no problems occurring from covid or anything else. As for basketball, the men’s team has been having workouts twice a week with the option of doing workouts Monday through Thursday.
Just like the cross country workouts, basketball players are required to wear masks when they enter the building, but not while they are playing. However these workouts are not full contact yet, meaning that players still have to stay 6 feet apart and cannot compete in offense vs defense drills.
“We are now able to pass the ball to each other, which is an improvement from the summer workouts,” said Coach Shoemaker, the head coach of the men’s basketball team.
Also like the cross country workouts, these basketball practices are focused on getting players back in shape, along with knocking the rust off of anyone who has taken some time off during quarantine.
“We are trying to get players back to game speed, while also focusing on their shooting form,” Shoemaker said.
Cross country and volleyball are the first sports set to start for the school year. Both projected to begin on Nov. 16. As for basketball, official practices do not begin until Jan. 4.
Football Back on for the West Coast
This past week, the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences have reversed their plans on sitting this football season out due to the global pandemic. The Big Ten will