President Trump Visiting Winston Salem
President Donald Trump will visit Winston Salem, NC, next Tuesday for a campaign stop. He will be speaking at 7 P.M. at the Smith Reynolds Airport. Tickets are required to enter, first come first serve, and doors will open at 4 P.M.
For more information, go to:
The NCLA Handles the Coronavirus
The NCLA has been working very diligently to keep the school safe. Going back to school during a pandemic is a very unique experience, but with this experience comes a lot of new regulations and procedures to keep everyone safe.
Before some schools went back this summer, there were jokes going around on TikTok about how younger kids were going to act having to wear masks during school, but there hasn’t been too much of a problem in the NCLA elementary school.
Elementary School Principal, Mrs. Guldberg, said, “Honestly, no. We had to talk to a few of the older students on the first day and occasionally we have to remind someone to pull their mask over their nose (it can slide down if it’s a little too big). But there really have not been any issues!”
The elementary school has been handling all of the new procedures extremely well and are having fun with it as well.
“The younger students have been handling all of the new safety measures way better than I expected,” said Guldberg. “The kinders walk with their arms straight out in front of them to keep some space, they have been troopers about wearing masks, and they are doing a fantastic job using sanitizer and washing hands! They also walk around the school in a one-way cycle, which gets a little extra movement in during the day.”
There have been a lot of changes to the school and how everything works because of regulations set in place by the North Carolina government.
“Having different processes for the students has been a big change. Everything from lunchroom protocols, to one way hallways, etc. Volunteer hour requirements are still the same and it’s awesome how many of our students have so many already,” said High School Principal Mrs. Wood.
“We will always be very cautious and err on the side of that caution every time we make a decision that involves the health and safety of students and faculty,” she continued.
One of the largest changes in procedures school wide is the sick policy. “The sick policy is another change that’s been necessary. Now when one person in the family is sick, we require everyone in the family to stay home to ensure school safety,” said Wood.
Because of these new procedures, the students haven’t been able to switch between buildings as much.
“It’s definitely weird not to see the hustle and bustle around the building. Kids generally stay in their classrooms and the teachers move between rooms to limit movement. This makes the halls seem very quiet and empty,” said Guldberg.
Remote learning for the students is difficult for students, but it’s also especially challenging for the teachers.
“Teachers have an incredibly hard job this year with all the changes and keeping up with all the students both here and remote. We need to make sure they know how much they are appreciated for the increased amount of work they are having to accomplish each day,” said Wood.
Guldberg continued on the challenges of remote learning for both students and teachers, saying, “I think having to do virtual learning is challenging for both the teachers and the students. We are thankful to have a few days with the students each week, but learning at home is stressful for everyone.”
Since the high school’s closing for the past two weeks, the school has been pretty empty. “For me, it’s not seeing the kids these two weeks. All of us work in schools because we like kids. When the halls are empty, it makes it harder to remember why we are putting in the countless hours of work. We can’t wait to have the high schoolers back,” said Wood.
Students Dealing With Virtual Learning
By: Alyssa Pickle
Are students truly learning online? And how does it affect their mental health? The Falcon asked two groups of students about their views on virtual learning, and this is what they had to say.
Because of the Coronavirus, schools shut down in early March and they continued classes partially virtual or full-time online learning.
The first group of students answered as such surrounding the new virtual learning environment:
Q: Do you like virtual learning?
A: Out of 91 people asked, 71% said “No” and the other 29% said “YES”.
Q: How has virtual learning been going?
A: Out of 94 people asked, 35% said, “Great,” and the other 65% said, “Could Be Better.”
On the topic of improving their online learning experience, some said:
“go back to how online classes used to be [in the spring] certain classes for certain days,”
“The workload,” and, “Too much work.”
There were also responses about the desire to go back to in-person classes. The second group of students seemed to not enjoy virtual learning either:
Q: How much are you learning through virtual learning?
A: Out of 34 people, on a scale of 1-5, the average answer was 3.
Q: Do you think there is more or less work than in school?
A: Out of 36 people, 25 voted more, and 11 voted for less.
Q: Would you prefer the schedule now or a block schedule?
A: Out of 32 people, 19 voted for now, and 13 voted for a block schedule.
Q: How enjoyable is remote learning?
A: Out of 35 people, on a scale of 1-5, the average answer was 2 and a half.
Overall, students don’t seem to be enjoying the online learning very much and find it more stressful than anything.
“̈Extremely stressful. I used to be so happy and now I’m crying myself to sleep every night.”
“I wish I could go back to school. I hate this so much.”
“So much work!!”
“Too much busy work.”
“It’s not as organized as I’d like it because I miss assignments I didn’t even know were there.”
Jacob Blake, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and Winston-Salem protests
Over the past 2-3 months, a lot has changed, including the lives of black people in the United States. The #BlackLivesMatter movement that started in 2013 recently blew up even more, gaining the support of multiple companies and celebrities, including Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, and Ariana Grande.
The movement gained a resurgence of popularity from the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. Floyd was a black man who was held down by an officer’s knee on his throat, causing him to lose his ability to breathe. This event sparked outrage all across the country and brought increased attention to matters like social injustice and systematic racism.
Since May, there have been multiple protests and riots demanding social justice for black people. In Winston Salem, locals marched for two days back in May in response to the death of George Floyd.
16-year-old activist Olivia Moore led these protests in Winston Salem. Ahead of the event, one of the demonstrators said, “It’s not a wrong versus right, it’s just right. That’s what we want to stand for. We’ve had police out here come walk with us, so everything has been pretty peaceful. It’s a very tragic time going on.”
More protests occurred later in July demanding social justice in Winston Salem. There was an incident at one of the protests where 15 protestors were arrested for violating the city’s laws. A local police officer explained that peaceful protests can occur, but protestors must abide by city laws.
On August 24, Jacob Blake was another important name circulating in the news. On Sunday, August 23, in Kenosha, WI, local officers responded to a call for a domestic incident. The officer in charge had an outstanding warrant for Blake’s arrest. After resisting arrest, the leading officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake in the back seven times. After he shot, the other officers rendered aid and Blake was flown to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, where medical professionals concluded he was paralyzed from the waist down.
Recent news in Blake’s case reported that there was a knife found in his car, causing him to be handcuffed to his hospital bed.
The shooting of Blake caused multiple protests in the Milwaukee area. Rioting and looting resulted in extensive property damage. In response to these damaging protests, Blake’s dad said, “Good people of this city understand. If we tear it up we have nothing,” he told the crowd. “Stop it. Show them for one night we don’t have to tear up nothing.”
President Donald Trump recently said he was visiting Kenosha on Tuesday to assess the damage of the riots and protests that took place. He said little about the shooting on Sunday, but when asked about if he thought the officer who shot Blake should be charged, he said, “Well, I’m looking into it very strongly. I’ll be getting reports,” adding that he “didn’t like the sight of it.” Damages appear to be storefronts and streets being destroyed, but we will know more when Trump visits.
This event, although tragic, brought upon even more support for the BLM movement. Specifically, the Milwaukee Bucks led an “NBA strike,” saying they were not going to play in support for Jacob Blake. Instead, they decided to postpone their games or cancel the season in solidarity with the movement. The Oklahoma City and Houston NBA teams followed their example, along with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers.
In support of the strike his team was participating in, Lebron James tweeted, “WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT.”
Former President Barack Obama took to twitter and said, “I commend the players on the @Bucks for standing up for what they believe in, coaches like @DocRivers, and the @NBA and @WNBA for setting an example,” Obama wrote on Twitter. “It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values.”
In trying times like these, it is important to stick together as a community and remember what is important to you. All the violence going on is a reminder to stay safe and be protective of yourself and your loved ones. If you are out protesting, stay safe and remember that the laws still apply to you.
UNC System has new requirements for applicants
According to The Daily Tarheel, loosened admission requirements are affecting future and current UNC applicants. The Daily Tarheel article by Emily Orland gives us a brief description on what’s going on in Chapel Hill.
Before the outbreak of Covid-19, UNC students were required to have “a weighted high school GPA of 2.5 and a combined SAT of 880 or ACT of 17.” Now, after their new policy has been set, students are expected to have “a minimum weighted high school GPA of 2.5, or an SAT of 1010 or ACT of 19.”
This new policy does not make submitting test scores optional, but it does loosen the requirements of what those scores are. Students are still required to apply with some form of standardized test score. Applying students who do not meet the GPA or standardized test requirements will still be eligible as long as they meet one of the original requirements.
According to Adam Schmidt, the president of the UNC Association of Student Governments, this policy has actually been planned for a while now. Originally, the policy was expected to go into effect in the fall of 2021, but due to the Coronavirus, dates were moved to the fall of 2020.
Schmidt says this new policy will benefit incoming fall applicants whose original testing plans have been altered due to the pandemic. The students who had fewer opportunities to raise their scores will now have another chance on their UNC Chapel Hill admissions.
Student Homework and Zoom Opinions
The biggest question surrounding schools nowadays is how do Zoom meetings and homework affect students’ everyday life? Zoom meetings seem to be one of the main ways for communication between teachers and students. As we all know, homework also has always been a big part of school. Let’s find out how the students of The NCLA are dealing with what appears to be the new normal.
Colby Brown and Ava Gonzalez are sophomores at the NCLA. Both Brown and Gonzalez attend Zoom meetings on a weekly basis and undertake daily homework.
“I don’t mind the homework, it just seems like extra work added on to our daily classes,” said Gonzalez.
It’s hard to manage both the responsibility of our everyday classwork and homework. Usually, we have our teachers at our fingertips for any questions or concerns. Now students are having to set up a Zoom meeting or send them an email in order to get answers or help, which sometimes can take a while for responses to come through.
“This also comes with the thought of being an inconvenience when the teachers are also doing the best they can to manage this crazy new way of life themselves,” Gonzalez stated.
Both Brown and Gonzalez find Zoom meetings very helpful. They’re an easy way to communicate with your teachers about any questions or concerns you’re having. They also help the teachers better understand your progress during this crazy time.
Most students preferred online learning because they can work at their own pace. “In Canvas, they have everything laid out so you can work as needed,” Brown stated.
Overall, Zoom and online conferencing is the new virtual classroom of today. All virtual resources help students develop time management skills, organizational skills, and manage homework assignments. Look at it this way,Zzoom allows you to attend class virtually anywhere! So where’s your favorite place to “ Zoom In”?
Conspiracies in the Age of the Coronavirus
In the age of the CoronaVirus, there are a lot of different theories floating around that have little to no facts to back them up. During times like a global pandemic, people will always ask questions on how something can start. If they do not like the real answer they will always come up with their own.
It’s said that the origin of the virus is from a wholesale market in Wuhan, China. In that market, people were selling and eating bats that carried the CoronaVirus. This explanation was not enough for some people, so they decided to come up with their own.
The first conspiracy theory is that Covid-19 was engineered in a laboratory in China. These conspirators say that it was made as a bioweapon to be used against the United States. In Wuhan, there is a maximum security bio lab that gained international attention after the outbreak.
After this theory emerged, scientists looked closely at the virus and found there was no genetic engineering done to the virus. This proved to be wrong, but it does not stop people from still believing in this bizarre theory.
Another widely accepted theory is that the virus was made by the world’s wealthy elites for the gain of wealth and power. The theory goes that people like billionaire Bill Gates and other global powers like himself intentionally spread the virus throughout the world.
They spread the virus to capitalize on the fall of the economy and also be the first ones to create the vaccine. The theory says that in this vaccine, there will supposedly be a tracking chip. This chip will be activated by the growing 5G network.
This theory has almost no credibility behind it and it started from a woman’s Facebook video that went viral.
A global Pandemic is a conspiracy theorist’s playground. Anytime the entire world is asking questions, there are going to be bizarre theories. There are many more theories out there that are even more outlandish than these.
The Wuhan Biolab Conspiracy and The Bill Gates Conspiracy are very interesting because of the number of people that believe them and the fact that some parts of these theories are believable.
Tiktok vs. US
Sept 4 – TikTok is firing back at the Trump administration by suing the U.S. government for its executive ban of the social media site.
TikTok, formally known as Musical.ly until 2018, took the world by storm when it began to really hit the trending scene back in August 2019. Known for its variety in content and algorithm, it tracks your likes and dislikes and creates the perfect homepage that keeps you scrolling for hours.
“I like TikTok because it gives me the freedom to express myself and it isn’t as suffocating as instagram,” said Maria Fleak.
President Trump has been very vocal on the notice of TikTok being a national security threat for lack of information privacy and on Aug. 6 an executive order went into effect regarding TikTok.
“Actions shall be prohibited beginning 45 days after the date of this order,… any transaction by any person,… subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd,” according to the Executive Order on Addressing the Threat Posed by TikTok.
TikTok responded to the executive order two days later with a lawsuit stating that the executive order was “unconstitutional” for not allowing them to make a proper response and the grounds that the app is a national security threat is “based on pure speculation and conjecture.”
President Trump’s 45 day time limit has extended recently to Nov. 12. Microsoft and Walmart have teamed together to make negotiations with ByteDance but are having complications with Chinese regulations.
“If China lets ByteDance see TikTok, I do think Microsoft and Walmart will buy its U.S., Canada, Australian and New Zealand business. I love TikTok but its national security concerts cannot be ignored,” said Etorman Agbemabiese.
BTS Detonates Youtube World Record
September 4 – Famous boy group BTS has broken the Youtube record for most viewed music video in 24 hours with their new song Dynamite. Dynamite was released on Aug. 20 and has sold over 265,000 copies and is BTS’ first english song.
“A reason why I got so into BTS so quick is because of such good people they are. A lot of western artists and artists in general take their fans and lifestyle for granted, but they are so, so humble. I am so proud of them for breaking the world record because of how deserving they are as artist and as people,” said Mckenna Porto.
In the first 20 minutes the music video had 10 million views and by the first hour they had already had 20 million. In 24 hours, they had 101.8 million views, making it the fastest music video to get that many views, previously held by kpop girl group BLACKPINK when they released their music video for their song How You Like That, released in June, with 86.3 million views.
“To be honest, I don’t really care. I never really cared when idols break records and this isn’t just for BTS, it’s for every group. Records and wins don’t matter to me, though I am happy that they archived that record,” said Kianna Satterwhite.
This is not the first time BTS has broken the record for fastest viewed music video. In 2019, they released a music video to their song Boy with Luv within 24 hours it had 74.3 million views.
Recently, Dynamite has earned their first No.1 on Billboard Hot 100’s. Their song is the 109th No.1 in the Hot 100’s 62 year history.
Cyd’s Thoughts on DC’s 2020 Trailers
Column by Cyd Leister
September 4 – DC has released multiple trailers for movies and video games in 2020. There are five movies consisting of Wonder Woman 1984, The Suicide Squad, The Batman, Black Adam, and Justice League: The Snyder Cut, as well as two video games Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Gotham Knights.
Wonder Woman 1984
This movie is supposed to release on Oct. 2, 2020 and is directed by Patty Jenkins. Wonder Woman will be played by Gal Gadot, who was first introduced as the superhero in Batman vs. Superman.
The trailer isn’t bad, but feels repetitive and not really unique. Personally, I was not super engaged by the trailer, but I am interested in seeing the movie regardless.
The Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad is a new interpretation of the antihero group that is different than the Suicide Squad from a few years back which disappointed many fans. It is supposed to release on Aug. 6, 2021 and was directed by James Gunn.
There are two trailers: one that is a behind the scenes setup and another that is all the characters. These trailers give little away about the movie and I love that. They left me wanting to know more and wanting to see the movie as soon as possible.
These were my favorites of the movie trailers due to them actually getting me excited for the movie.
The Batman is announced to release in the US on Oct. 1, 2021 and is directed by Matt Reeves. Robert Pattinson, often known from Twilight, has been casted to play this new Batman.
This trailer only furthered my concerns about this movie and hatred for casting Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne. Personally it was the most upsetting of the trailers for me to watch.
The color palette is dark, which is fine and fits with Gotham, the problem is that it was done poorly and makes it difficult to make out the scenes. It also appears that the main villain is the Riddler, which is one of my favorites, but they have no green in the trailer even though that is his staple color.
This appears to be very early Batman, which again I have no issue with, the problem is that Pattinson is very much fitting the emo boy vibes to a level that doesn’t fit Bruce Wayne. Early Batman is angry and violent and moody, but he is not a emo teenage boy, which is what Pattinson looks like with his dark sunken eyes and long hair that I have never seen with a depiction of Bruce Wayne.
There also was no appearance, at least that I could notice, of Alfred Pennyworth, the Wayne family butler, and staple of Batman and the franchise. He is extremely important to early Batman and Bruce and the fact he made no noticeable appearance in the trailer is extremely concerning.
I personally do not have high hopes for this movie as a Batman fan.
This movie is intended to release Dec. 22, 2021 and is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The film is meant to serve as a prequel to Shazam!.
Black Adam is a DC anti-hero, who will be played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He also narrators the trailer that mainly consists of comic style art.
I really enjoyed the way the trailer was done. It is different then a lot of trailers that are now made that are just clips and background music. I am not someone who is very invested in Shazam or Black Adam, but I am excited for this movie.
The Justice League: Snyder Cut
This is a new cut of The Justice League movie that is releasing Sep. 5, 2021 only on HBO max. Personally this just feels like a money grab.
The trailer is super confusing as it depicts random scenes with the song Hallelujah and nothing else.
I don’t think it is going to be worth getting HBO max simply for this.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
This is a DC video game announced to release in 2022 and will be a part of the Batman Arkham series. It is meant to be available on PlayStation, Xbox X, and Microsoft Windows.
The trailer introduced what I assume are the main characters, which consist of most notably Harley Quinn. I can not currently find any released gameplay yet and the exact concept of the game is unknown.
The animation looks amazing and I am personally excited for more information to be released.
Gotham Knights is a video game based in the Batman universe that is meant to release for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Microsoft Windows. There is a trailer and early gameplay released for the game.
The game is focused on Gotham after Batman’s death and the heroes he leaves behind. The main characters are Batman’s former proteges Nightwing(Dick Grayson), Batgirl(Barbara Gordon), Red Hood(Jason Todd), and Robin(Tim Drake).
This was my favorite trailer of all the ones I watched. I am a huge fan of Batman specifically all the heroes Batman raises either as his official or unofficial children. This being said this video game is beyond exciting as most of Batman’s proteges don’t get the attention they deserve so seeing a video game dedicated to four of them is thrilling.
I personally can’t wait to play this game.
Curly Girl Method (Quarantine)
September 4 –During quarantine, many people dyed their hair or cut bangs, while some people took a safer route and attempted to make their hair curly, using a method called the Curly Girl Routine.
The Curly Girl Routine is a routine that is supposed to perfect people’s curls, or for many people during quarantine, create them.
The routine took flight on Tik Tok, making it a trend, and making everyone with any wave or frizz to their hair want to try it.
The routine itself, more widely known as the Curly Girl Method, was created by Lorraine Massey. She first shared it with the world in her book titled “Curly Girl: The Handbook”.
There are quite a few steps in Massey’s Curly Girl Method, starting off with things you need to avoid to have healthy curls. This is because curly hair has a natural tendency towards breakage and frizz than any other hair type.
To try and tame that, things you need to avoid are sulfates in shampoo. Sulfates are harsh chemicals that can strip the natural moisture and oils out of your hair. You should also avoid conditioners with silicones, since the only way to completely remove them from your hair is with sulfates. Along with both of these, curly hair should not be washed as often, so washing your hair less often is a necessity.
The real work begins once the hair is washed. Depending on your personal curls, there are various ways to style the hair. It is recommended that you brush your hair while in the shower, so you don’t risk breaking the curl pattern once your hair is partially dry.
To style your hair, you begin with flipping your hair over your head and blotting it dry with a microfiber towel or a cotton tee-shirt. Once the hair is partially dry, you take hair gel, and start to scrunch your hair, starting with the bottom layers, and working up.
Lastly, if you want to lock in the curl, you can lightly diffuse your hair with your dryer to dry the gel. To avoid heat and frizz, turn your dryer onto the lowest and coldest setting.
An added step that was popular on Tik Tok was plopping your hair in an attempt to lock in the curl. You do this by flipping your hair over into a soft tee-shirt, and then tying it and leaving it for a few hours to overnight.
Of course, the Curly Girl Routine doesn’t work for everyone. But you can personalize it and add more steps, or subtract the ones that don’t work well with your hair type.
Fortnite Banned: Epic Game Sues
September 4 – Fortnite is a battle royale game, catered toward every type of video game player. There is building, fighting, and many other unique aspects. Fortnite came out Jul. 25, 2017, and blew up in September of 2017.
Fortnite is a free game, but makes money off of in-game purchases, such as V-Bucks, which is an in-game currency. Apple and Google both take a 30 percent cut from all of the developers profit, but Fortnite designed a way around it.
According to Cnet, they made purchasing V-Bucks cheaper through Epic, convincing many players to play the game on Epic rather than Apple or Google. 1,000 V-Bucks was priced at $9.99 in the App Store and Google Play, but they were $7.99 through Epic Games.
Fortnite was then taken off of both the App Store and Google Play store. If you have an iOS phone, and have already downloaded Fortnite, you still can play the game, but there will be no way to use the new updates or upcoming seasons.
According to BBC, Epic Games is now suing Apple for anti-competitive practices for app distribution and app-related payments. They are asking that Apple allow fair competition in their App Store.
“To reach iOS users, Apple forces developers to agree to Apple’s unlawful terms contained in its Developer Agreement and to comply with Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines, including the requirement iOS developers distribute their apps through the App Store. These contractual provisions unlawfully foreclose the iOS App Distribution Market to competitors and maintain Apple’s monopoly,” stated Epic’s case filing.
According to Cnet, on Aug. 24, there was a hearing for Epic’s request that Fortnite be put back on the App Store. The Judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, issued a temporary restraining order, not allowing Apple to block the developers who used Epic’s Unreal Engine tools.
Judge Rogers found it unreasonable that two companies, both with billions and trillions of dollars, were fighting over something that would cause each of them to lose a minimal amount of money. The restraining order will remain in effect until the court issues an order on the motion for preliminary injunction, which is currently scheduled for Sept. 28.
Life After The NCLA
Watching the class of 2020 excel and move up in their education has brought a lot of excitement to see what the future holds for current NCLA students.
While the circumstances are not the most ideal when it comes to new beginnings, class of 2020 graduates Brody Harrell and Beth Davis gave their take on how to make the best of moving forward during the pandemic.
Both students attend college, Brody at Campbell University, and Beth at UNC-Chapel Hill. Their social lives have increased due to the lack of time spent in class. Although social events are scarce, the schools pre-planned events to take proper precautions.
“Going to the activities they had pre-planned were really fun because you could meet a bunch of people at one time,”Davis said.
Students attending Campbell University and UNC-Chapel Hill have had to take precautions including mandatory mask-wearing while outside of your dorms, social distancing in the classrooms, occupancies reduced, limits on social gatherings, temperature checks, and more for COVID-19.
However, due to the amount of outbreaks on campus, UNC-Chapel Hill, and a few other North Carolina schools have had to send their kids home, Beth being a part of that. Brody and Beth agreed with the ways their campuses have handled the pandemic more can always be done.
Beth did not like how Chapel Hill’s Greek Life did not take any precautions, stating, “There should have been more strict guidelines for the gatherings off-campus.”
Classes at Campbell University are still half-and-half but classes at Chapel Hill are fully online. Virtual classes seem to be hit or miss depending on the student. On one hand, Beth does not mind the aspect of online school because it gives her more time in a day to balance life and school work. However, Brody feels as if he learns better while being in the classroom.
Although their experiences transitioning into college have gone pretty smooth, they both shared some issues they ran into along the way.
“I did not plan very well for college, make sure to keep a planner,” Brody said.
Beth also found it challenging to stay focused and organized: “It was hard for me to find a balance between work and fun. In high school, you work all day. Because all of your classes are online in college, it’s up to you to get your work done and not hang out with your friends all day.”
All challenges aside, both students admitted that the NCLA has set them up for future success when it comes to college.
Brody and Beth both mentioned that they have found it easy to retain information from high school. “The NCLA has taught me how to effectively work, good study habits, and how to retain necessary information. I also have learned throughout high school how to not waste my time when it comes to working,” Beth said.
Finally, Beth and Brody shared their biggest tips of advice for our NCLA Falcons:
“Make sure you know how to stay organized and manage your time well so you have time to work everything else out,” Beth stated.
“There will always be a bright side to what life brings you. Make sure you keep organized, stay in school, and don’t do drugs,” said Brody.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes: Are They Actually Good for You?
Pumpkin spice lattes, the infamous fall Starbucks drink that is known for its sweetness and calorie count could actually be good for you.
Technically, the drink isn’t exactly good for you. However, the actual pumpkin spice has some health benefits. Pumpkin spice can be sold in its own containers or homemade with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.
According to Food Network, nutmeg contains a little bit of fiber and Vitamin B. Cinnamon has lots of antioxidants in it, and there have been studies done that suggest that cinnamon can help diabetics to regulate their blood sugar.
There’s no real health benefit to allspice, but ginger has a ton of very nutritious minerals in it such as iron, zinc, and potassium, and has been proven to help with some digestive issues. So, does this mean that Starbucks’ pumpkin spice lattes are good for you?
If they use actual pumpkin spice in their drinks, then there’s a tiny bit of health benefits associated, but not enough to truly improve someone’s health.
A grande pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks has 370 calories, 15g of fat, 46g of sugar, and 11g of protein. Many health professionals suggest around 25g of sugar everyday, which a grande pumpkin spice latte nearly doubles. According to Healthline, experts also say that these drinks are more like a dessert, like a milkshake, rather than a coffee to drink before you start your day every morning.
According to Healthline, if you’re still craving that delicious pumpkin spice taste, using a pumpkin spice creamer allows you to control how much sugar and everything like that goes into your coffee while still giving you that satisfaction.
Quarantine has brought tears, stress, boredom, and fear. However, staying at home also comes with the freedom of eating whatever you want, whenever you want.
Snacks at the Ready
Quarantine has brought tears, stress, boredom, and fear. However, staying at home also comes with the freedom of eating whatever you want, whenever you want.
Many people have discovered their true food identity over the course of the last six months.
COVID pandemic survivalists find that packets of tuna and unsweetened applesauce aren’t all that bad, while others never gave up fast food.
When the pandemic first hit, certain foods like bread, cereal, and canned foods were nowhere to be found. Families couldn’t rely on cereal when no one felt like cooking supper, and this forced members of the household to step up and prepare meals for the family.
Some people learned that they could actually cook, but that only lasted for a while as many people gave up on the long process of cooking as the weeks went on.
“Go-to quarantine snacks” are nuts according to Google. Many people were interviewed for this story and not a single person said they enjoy nuts. [editors note: I do!]
This is just another reason why people can’t trust the internet.
Zoe Enscore a 5th grader at the NCLA stated: “I don’t have a go-to snack” and that is ok. Quarantine has encouraged people to learn more about themselves and discover their likes and dislikes.
Cheez-its (10 votes)
Chips and Salsa (8 votes)
Chex Mix (6 votes)
Popcorn (2 votes)
Honorable Mentions: Pirates Booty, Pretzels, Goldfish, Black Olives, Doritos
Seniors Predictions: “It is what it is”
This global pandemic has changed the perspective for a lot of teachers, students and others for this school year. Seniors have been the most impacted, for their traditional last year of high school has completely changed.
Not knowing if school could officially resume until a couple weeks before school started, Maura Perkins and Noah Richardson are two seniors giving their perspectives and outlooks for this year.
Richardson said he was upset not for the aspect of school but for the aspect of being with his friends and teammates for one last year.
Second semester rides on if there are any improvement of containing and stopping the spread of the virus. Richardson thinks that this year is going to be the same as it was at the end of last year.
“Even though it is what we might not want but not getting what we want is just another part of life,” Richardson said.
Maura said that she believes there will be a graduation but sports and non-school related activities will not happen or will be very different with strict regulations.
“The rule on having to wear a mask while we are at school will most likely not change this year,” Perkins said. “We will be remote for a good portion of the year.”
Noah said overall grades for people may fluctuate more than normal. He explained how it is alot harder online to simply ask a question if students don’t understand an assignment, they can’t just raise their hand like normal.
Teachers also have it hard because they will get so many emails for assignments, having to explain themselves in case s student needs clarification.
As seniors rap up the final year of high school, they have a lot of wisdom and experience under their belt and that’s beneficial on their next steps in life.
“We didn’t come this far to only come this far, we came this far to be strong enough to go farther,” said Richardson.
Food Review: Mama Mia’s
Review by Cameron Warren
Mamma Mia’s classic Italian menu has a variety of choices. From subs to stromboli, to pizza and calzones, it can be difficult on what to decide.
Skeptical on how the food might be, I went with the safe route and picked a pepperoni pizza which cost $12.
Surprisingly, it was a perfect pizza.
There was the right amount of crispness, not too much sauce, and the cheese didn’t slide off when I picked it up. The sauce on the pizza tasted authentic and made in house. The pepperoni was spicy and not bland, giving the pizza a kick.
I came here a couple years ago and the food was nothing compared to what it is now. There were some huge changes done over the years because this place has had a major upgrade.
I would definitely recommend it to others and I give it four out of five stars.
High School and Middle School Sports Pushed Back due to the Spreading Virus
On Aug. 12, 2020, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced the amended schedule due to the ongoing global pandemic. It pushed back the first days of practice back at least a month for each sport.
For example, cross country and volleyball start in November, and basketball’s first game is not until Jan. 4. Football and wrestling were pushed to the springtime.
“There has been no additional news put out other than what the NCHSAA had announced the other day when they released the schedule,” said Renee Faenza, Principal of The NCLA.
Before, the NCHSAA was waiting to see if Governor Roy Cooper was going to let the state into Phase three, but unfortunately he has not allowed that. So the Association had no other choice than to push back the seasons.
“We put the calendar together based on the guidelines from (N.C. Department of Health and Human Services) as it relates to how we could perhaps play sports. We know this is very fluid. It is our hope that as we move forward, and because the calendar doesn’t start until late end of fall, actually right around winter beginning, we hope that the conditions in our state as it relates to this pandemic will have gotten to that point that whenever we hear Dr. Cohen talk, she will be satisfied with those percentages and that the numbers are where they need to be in North Carolina,” said NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker in an interview with thetimesnews.
Although Middle School sports are following this same timeline, the types of schools that do not have to abide by this are Private Schools. The North Carolina Independent Schools Association gave the okay in August for their school to begin practices, but they did make an executive announcement that would allow for football games to start on Sept. 11. There are about 19 NCISA schools that play football in the state.
“I think there’s a level of optimism with our football coaches, and there’s a desire to play, but there is also caution and concern for the health and safety of student athletes. When you’re dealing with unknowns, it’s a reason for people to pause,” said Executive director Homer Ramirez to the Charlotte Observer.
Although there is still a lot of hope with sports playing at the proposed dates, it is not definite that those will be the definite start dates. With cases still rising across the United States, no one is sure if they will be able to play contact sports during this pandemic.
When asked if she thinks sports will return, Faenza replied with, “Who knows because High Schoolers don’t know how to social distance and wear masks. This virus is going to keep going like a roller coaster.”
A New Way to be a Sports Fan
As many sports began returning from coronavirus cancellations, the question arose about fans attending the games. Becoming a virtual fan surfaced and was first seen in UFC then the NBA, MLB, and WWE jumped on the bandwagon as well.
Becoming a virtual fan is easy and it is completely free! For the NBA, all you have to do is sign up through the team’s site and you will be considered to be invited to the zoom call where you might be featured on TV.
The downside to being a virtual fan for the NBA is that there are only 320 slots available so there is a possibility you will not be chosen to be featured in zoom chat as a virtual fan.
Just like being a fan in the stadium, you can be kicked out for inappropriate behavior. Other rules consist of only one person per virtual seat, no inappropriate messaging, and no distribution of game data.
The NCLA News instragram put a poll out and the results were very interesting to see. 62% of the followers who responded said they watch tv on sports while only 30% have actually been a virtual fan.
Virtual sports fans are a great way to keep fans in the stands while staying safe and following all the precautious necessary.
NBA Trading Card Boom
The Coronavirus has made many everyday objects become priceless. First, it was the toilet paper scare of Mar. and Apr. Then the meat shortage around the same time throughout early May. The next item, NBA trading cards.
And no, I’m not referring to the boxes of 1980’s Panini NBA cards you have stored in your dusty attic. There are certain brands of current NBA players that are worth up to thousands of dollars as of right now. The reason being two freak occurrences in nature. The first is the coronavirus, and the second… Zion Williamson.
I, like many others, have jumped on the Zion bandwagon and never looked back. The high demand for the rookie’s NBA card gave Panini and other card sellers a good business. However it hasn’t been until recently, that you cannot find them in stores.
The reason being that during the quarantine in March, brands that produced player basketball cards had to close due to the virus. Thus stocks of these cards began to go down, until early June. when workers returned. I
n the meantime the demand for these cards grew as players were entering the “Bubble”, the NBA’s season restart site in Orlando. The low supply and high demand created some outrages in resale value on otherwise ordinary pieces of paper. Zion Williamson and Ja Morant 2019 rookie cards can reach prices up to one thousand dollars.
My brother-in-law, Ryan Ward, is a sneaker reseller. This means that he buys shoes for a retail price, and resells them for however much people are willing to spend. This is a regular business for many people, and a hobby I am trying to get into.
The same principles apply to this NBA card market. Retail for some boxes containing up to 24 cards, is about $20. However once they sell out, you will have to pay a steep price of $300+ from a random user on the internet if you really want your hands on them.
Why? Well it’s pretty simple, no cards are available online, and cards are only restocked at certain stores on certain days. For example, my local Walmart restocks their cards on thursday and friday mornings. However, by the time they put out a fresh couple of boxes, they are all bought in less than an hour.
I know this because I have been on a personal mission to find these cards and make some extra cash.
I was told about this craze about a month ago by my brother-in-law, but not until recently have I started searching for them. He has been giving me tips about when I should go, what brands I should buy, etc.
He has been very successful in his local Walmarts buying up to a whole stock in one trip, and reselling most of it all the very next day.
“I just picked up a cartfull, of NBA cards,” he texted me one day, accompanied by a picture of his shopping cart.
By the next morning he had already made four times what he had spent. Personally I have not been as successful. As of right now I have ventured into the same two Walmart and Targets a total of 12 times.
Every time, the same result.
A lot of Pokemon and Magic the Gathering cards surrounding a barren section where the NBA cards should be.
“You just got to get lucky,” Ward told me.
Eventually I hope I will get lucky enough to find them, and when I do all the research and driving will be well worth it.
How to Play Football During a Global Pandemic
This year is going to be very different especially for returning sports such as football this being the biggest question this year. Many football teams have held training camps in the NFL. The NFL this year has continued the scheduled regular season games but they have cut the preseason games.
“The NFL in 2020 will not look like other years,” said Roger Goodell NFL commissioner to sportsbusiness.com.
Another reason this season will be very different from the past years is because some teams will not allow fans in their stadium at all, an example being the Washington football team. In fact, most of the teams in the NFL are not going to have fans in their stadiums for the first two home games that each team hosts.
One of the biggest shockers this offseason of football was when the Big Ten conference decided to cancel or “Opt out” of the season altogether. Other conferences have continued on with their games just with limited capacity.
The NBA has continued the playoffs but with no fans, recently they had just started allowing families to watch but most players haven’t allowed their family to watch due to safety concerns. The NCAA has continued pushing back their season now to November 25th and they will not allow fans in their stadiums either.
This year is going to be crazy for major sporting events but as the NBA comes to a late close and the NFL starts with a late opening we could possibly be allowed back into stadiums and games eventually.
AP College Football Poll
The Associated Press Poll, (AP Poll), provides weekly rankings of the top 25 NCAA teams in Division I college sports. Rankings are decided by votes from sportscasters and reports from across the country.
Pre-season AP Polls began Aug. 24. No surprise to see Clemson University in the hot seat for number one. Ending their last seasons with a record of 14-1, however they did lose the National Championship to the number six spot on the poll, LSU.
The top three picks for this year is Clemson, Ohio State coming in at second, then for third is Alabama. Both Ohio State and Clemson ended their season with only one loss, both of their losses being in the play-offs for the National Championship.
My top three picks for the 2020-21 college football season looks different than what others might have picked for themselves. Starting off with my first pick I have Louisiana State University whose 2019-20 season ended with them leading all the conferences for total yards.
Next my pick would be the Ohio State Buckeyes, at the end of their season last year the team had a total of fifty-one sacks. Lastly my third pick would be the Georgia Bulldogs, although they ended their 12-2 the bulldogs have a total of 2,591 rushing yards as a team, leading the SEC.
A Senior’s Story: From our Class of 2020
First and foremost, thank you. Thank you for pushing me every single day. Thank you for giving me the confidence I have today. Thank you for providing a safe place to learn and grow and ask questions. Thank you for giving me some of my best friends. The NCLA holds six of the best and most formidable years of my life. I went to the NCLA in seventh grade, the second year for the school, and while it took until my senior year, I grew into a different person. Through the NCLA I have the best of friends and the best teachers. Teachers that I will love and cherish forever, teachers who have allowed me to be myself and have helped me grow in my confidence in and out of school. While the NCLA has been tough, looking back on it now I realize there was not one day where I did not smile while I was there. The school opened up opportunities that led me to my major in elementary education. I have never been to a school that has openly cared as much as the NCLA does, without the faculty and atmosphere I would not be where I am today. Even though my six years of happiness were cut short, I will always remember the best times, times with sword fights in the hallways, or wearing a crazy wig to scream at fourth graders in the NCLA’s first production, or crying at every single chorus concert. I am truly blessed to have gotten the time that I did at the NCLA and while I am devastated that it is over, I will always cherish the time I had. Thank you.
Needless to say, my world was basically flipped upside down during the last few months of my eighth grade year. I had planned my whole life to go to Glenn High School and graduate as a Bobcat. I was so excited to continue learning about myself and making new friends and doing new things in high school. Instead, my family decided to take a leap of faith and move across the country to Dubuque, Iowa where my dad had a job offer. It was so hard. Eventually, I began to settle in, but at that point, my family had decided to uproot what little we had grown in Iowa and go back home. My mom had seen what my sister and I been through and wanted our adjustment to be easier this time. She put us in the raffle for the NCLA, a smaller school where a few friends of mine attended. And just like that, my life changed again. This charter school that took up a single hallway became a home. The Falcons took us in, even my mom. While not always perfect, I finally found a place where I could feel comfortable being myself. I had a voice here. Friendships were built, some fell apart. We complained, we laughed, we got in trouble, and we goofed off in the halls. My sports teams allowed me to meet with kids from every grade, all supporting and loving one another. As the school grew, I did too. I tried new things, like joining the student council, playing soccer, auditioning for the school play, and even asking a guy to be my prom date! Dances were nights for my girlfriends and me to let it all out. Games were where I played with my teammates or cheered from the bleachers. All of these things became my haven. It wasn’t always wonderful, I wasn’t always happy, and I received scars along the way. But joy could be found at the NCLA. Assignments I found I could like, creative opportunities where I could express myself. Inside jokes, accidents, and shared worries created friendships I’d cherish. Teachers that love us and have fun with us. These kids I see in the halls and on the field, or as my chemistry partners. The people I’ve grown to know deeply or just on the surface. They have become those I love and look forward to seeing. That is the best part of what NCLA has meant to me … an unplanned, imperfect, and unexpected joy.
The NCLA family has been a part of my life ever since I was accepted into the lottery of the school when I was in seventh grade. It was a different environment at first, but I grew to love the people that I got to call my classmates. Everyone has such different personalities and interests, but we all seem to be united like a family. We are all super close, and we all care for one another. NCLA has helped me find some of my closest friends that I hope to continue relationships with. The school has also prepared me for college with all of the teachers and administration helping me choose the most rigorous classes and expecting my 100 percent at all times. I am even thankful for the times where I was involved in such challenging classes, that I was overwhelmed with stress. This helped me grow into a stronger, smarter individual that has the ability to overcome any task coming my way. All of the AP classes and honors classes that I have taken during my time at the school have made me feel confident in my abilities coming into college next fall. I am extremely grateful for all of the teachers and administration that have helped me get through my six years at the NCLA. I am also thankful for all of the teachers that have had an impact on my life by just being themselves. An amazing thing that students at the NCLA get to experience at school is the student-teacher relationships. All of the teachers care about their students and try to build personal relationships with their students. I am so glad that I had the privilege to be a part of that with the teachers that are there now and were there in the past. The greatest thing about the NCLA is the people, and how everyone is always there for one another. Lastly, I am grateful for the administration. Everyone involved is super helpful, and always willing to help you out so that you feel like you are important. They help ensure that you are cared for, and they make sure you are showing your greatest potential. Overall, the NCLA has helped me grow into the person I am today, and I am glad to say that I am not only a part of a school but a community of people who care for one another. We all have each others’ backs and want what is best for each other. I hope that future generations can experience the connection between the students and staff because it brings a sense of community between everyone.
For me, the NCLA has played a huge part in the past six years of my life. Since I came to the school in seventh grade I have been able to find so many of the things and people that I love. The school has given me people that I can trust and count on, and people who truly believe in me. A lot of the students and teachers at the school have been like family to me and they all mean so much to me in so many different ways. I have made some of the strongest relationships and friendships with the people I have met at school, and I know that I can count on some of them even after we leave. I have never made friends as easily as I did at the NCLA. Being at this school has made it so easy to find people who I know really care about me, and I have been able to meet amazing people who want to be around me and who I want to be around as well. The school has shown me some of the most supportive teachers I have ever had, and I am very grateful to have had teachers who would stop at nothing to help their students succeed. They support us educationally but also personally, checking in on us when we need it and making sure that we know they care. They all truly believe in the students and it means the absolute world to me knowing that my teachers really want to help me succeed to the best of my abilities. So much has happened in the six years I have been at the NCLA, but with everything that has happened, I know that there were people there that truly believed in me and cared. Leaving this year is definitely scary, but not as much as I always thought it would be. Knowing that the NCLA has helped prepare me for the future in nearly every way possible, I am able to look forward to my future with high hopes.
I have been a part of The North Carolina Leadership Academy since its inception. Over this time, I have grown an appreciation for the school, and all it has to offer. Having small classroom instruction, providing an exceptional education for me. It is because of the NCLA that I have thrived during my middle school and high school years. Adding in the Civil Air Patrol program, in with the superior educational foundation, created what I needed to begin my educational journey. I am thankful for the NCLA for setting me up for success in my academic career.
When I first started at the NCLA in the seventh grade I was very shy and did not want to be there. As the years went on I started to become more outgoing and made many friends. Being at the NCLA I have been able to excel in academics as well as athletics. I am so thankful for all of my teachers and especially my coaches who were always there for me and pushed me to better myself. The NCLA has taught me how to be a leader and to stand up for what I believe in. I have made so many amazing friendships and have learned so much at the NCLA and I would not trade it for anything.
For me, I have been to a few schools throughout my education, and a few were not the best. They all taught me great lessons but none really felt how the NCLA has felt. To me, the NCLA is a place where the teachers feel like instructors but also friends, we can talk and even joke, some even feel like a second mother or father. They care so much about our education and our potential that it inspires us to do better. For me the people at the NCLA are some of the brightest people I know, they make it feel like a family. I know not everyone in my grade may feel like this but in truth, I feel like my teachers and all my classmates are a family. Even if I do not know many of them, I do still believe in them and hope that the future brings them happiness.
For the teachers, they have been a vital part of my growth and not just in academic fields. They have pushed me to grow my interest in things that I all but gave up on. And even more than that they have been some of my best friends. To talk and simply enjoy our own quirkiness. These teachers include Mrs. Kerr, Mrs.Weikert, Mr. Landphair, and even Mrs. Orenstien during D&D Club. They became our best friends and even our closest teammates. I know this paper was supposed to be about what the NCLA has meant to me, but to me, the NCLA is not a place but the people who each and every day strive to expand our learning and help us grow as people. Thank you for every moment, good and bad, we have been through. The NCLA has been one of, if not the best school and place I have been to. Thank you for everything The North Carolina Leadership Academy.
For me, the NCLA is like a second home. I have been going to the NCLA since the first year the school has opened. It has given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing people over the years who have become family. Sure, we all dislike the school at times because who likes school? But having my senior year cut short has definitely hit differently since I am not getting to say goodbye to some amazing people and the place that has felt like home for the last seven years. I am thankful to say that the NCLA has set me up for the next chapter of my life and I can confidently say that it has prepared me to start Western Carolina in the fall. I will definitely miss the NCLA and all of the people who I have met through it. I will definitely be back to support and watch the basketball teams win some more games though.
Since the very day I walked into this school I knew there was something different about it. What I did not realize was that I had found my new home and my new family. For the past four years, I have been living out the dream of what high school is supposed to be, a time in life where you are pushed to be your best and make lifelong memories that you will look back on with pure nostalgia. I had to work my hardest at the NCLA, but I would never give it up for how well it has prepared me for college. Along with this hard work were the memories made that I will look back on and reminisce with joy and fondness in my heart. The most important part of the NCLA, though, is the friends that I have made. The people you meet here are those you will never forget and will never lose contact with. They are life long friends and they are what define the NCLA. It is not the building that makes a school, it is the people in it. For me, these people are family. They will forever have a special place in my heart. It is because of these people that I am writing this. If it was not for the efforts of my teachers and my peers, I would definitely not be in the place I am today. It is for these that I also grow sad. For most, high school graduation is a time for celebration, and it is for me as well, but it is also a time for goodbyes. A time when I have to say goodbye to my closest friends and teachers and move into a new life without them. Of course, I will see them in the future, but this is the close of an amazing chapter of life with them all. So for this, I say a bittersweet goodbye…goodbye to the school that made my teenage years.
With the time allotted by this pandemic, I wonder how my fellow classmates are taking this departure from the traditional senior year. I’m sure most of them are absolutely crushed that they didn’t finish the year, they didn’t get their final prom, nor did the spring athletes get their highly anticipated senior night, and the mortifying fact that they might not physically be handed a diploma. These are disheartening thoughts, however, with introspection I see this being part of a larger pattern of unique and all be it memorable experiences within my time at the NCLA. Our school has been home to many of my greatest experiences and treasured moments. I have never been an outgoing kid and before going to NCLA, I was much more of a loner. However, the amazing friends I made, along with the exemplary teachers I met throughout my journey at NCLA, brought me out of my shell and made me the man I am today. I thank all of them for their help and support because NCLA is more than just a school; it is a close-knit community and I will miss every moment I spent there.
By far the greatest impact NCLA has had on me is definitely the friends and friendships that I have made over these last few years. Especially in the last year, I began to have a bad case of “Senioritis” and I was ready for school to be over with. It was the friends I have made at NCLA who kept me accountable and encouraged me to finish strong. The people around me made school enjoyable though we may have had many assignments and deadlines approaching, I could always count on that in the hallways, at the end of a class, or at lunch that there would be people around who would make me laugh and help me forget about the stressful things in life. I’m thankful to have made many memories at NCLA, but I couldn’t have made them without those around me.
NCLA has been a crucial piece of my life in the past many, many years. It’s a place where: I have made amazing academic and athletic success, a place where I have connected to the community, a place where I have grown, and most importantly, the place where unforgettable friendships and incredible bonds were formed. Because of the people, particularly my volleyball coaches, who truly invested their time in me at the NCLA, I was able to reach some of my biggest life goals. It will always have a special place in my heart, and I could not have been where I am today without the numerous lessons I have gained at the NCLA.
I’ve been at the NCLA for the past 5 years and Have met so many great people and made so many great friendships. The NCLA is a big family. I was always bad about saying I’m ready for school to be over but now that it actually is all I wanna do is just go back and finish out senior year. The one thing that made our school so great was our teachers and faculty. They made every day enjoyable and they also built relationships with every student. By going that extra mile to create friendships with us it made school ten times more enjoyable. I’m so thankful for all the opportunities that I’ve had at the NCLA and all the teachers pushing me to do my best.
NCLA has meant so much to me over the past 7 years. It has brought me my best friends, taught me so much, and pushed me to work hard. Every year has presented its own challenges, but our class always seems to find a way to overcome them by working together. I will miss my friends and teachers, but I know that they have helped make me who I am today.
While writing this paper about NCLA I have so many mixed emotions about it. I was at NCLA from day one, the days where we had classes at the bridge and our “gym” was a garage. The school gave me so many opportunities to be the best that I can be, help me build friendships, a family, and most importantly taught me leadership. I was kinda devastated when I realized that I will never have classes at NCLA anymore, and most importantly, that I lost my senior baseball season. I was looking forward to this season, but life happens. I’ve built friendships with kids that I never even thought I would even talk to. I have so many friends from the freshman class to even the senior class and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I can not wait to come back to the school to watch some of my friends grow up and accomplish the dreams they have. I would never have thought that NCLA would change me into someone that isn’t afraid to speak their mind, and someone who takes charge when it needs to be done. I used to be the shy kid but now I feel like I am a pretty talkative and outgoing person. I willI definitely miss my teachers, my friends, and most importantly I will miss NCLA. I’ve built a family at NCLA, and I can not believe that my high school years are over. I will truly miss NCLA and the memories I’ve built there. As a student of the Class of 2020, I can truly say, do not take anything for granted. Live your best life, do what makes you happy, and remember to have fun! School is important, but once high school is over you’ll regret the things you didn’t do during that time.
The NCLA was the perfect opportunity for me to get a fresh start. I came from a school where I had known everyone since I was five, I was ready to start over and meet new people. That was what made the NCLA special, we all got to start over and have a clean slate.
I have made incredible friends that have made a huge impact on my life and the way I see myself. My teachers challenged me, taught me the importance of determination, and were always available if I needed help. This was the perfect place for me, I grew up here. I am sure I would not be going to my dream school (ASU) without the help of my teachers and friends at the NCLA. I owe the NCLA everything and I will always cherish the relationships and friendships I made here.
Being at the school for just about six years makes it very hard to walk away from it. I am of course excited about what lies ahead, but in these past six years, I have made so many great memories and have grown alongside the most amazing peers. Without the NCLA, I know I wouldn’t have even met half of the kids in my class. This is very hard for me to think about as I would not like to imagine my life without many of my classmates. Watching friends who you have been with for years decide their next path and prepare for what has only been described to us as “the real world” is an emotion that is mixed with happiness, excitement, as well as heartache. At any school, watching those who you have gotten close with leave is heart-wrenching in itself, but because of our smaller class size, at the NCLA we have been able to connect more with our peers to the point where it almost feels as if we are all family. Of course, this atmosphere could not have been made without the help of the teachers and staff. For many, myself included, the teachers became more than just “my English teacher” or “my science teacher.” They became confidants and friends. Always willing to help and give up free time just to help one individual. Because of these reasons, I am very glad to be a part of the NCLA. I know many people complain and discredit the school’s stride, remarking that as students of the NCLA we don’t get the “real high school experience”. Though this may be true, we get something so much better: a community and relationships that I will remember for years to come.
The Return of Mr. Sparks
Our beloved history teacher Mr. Sparks has finally made his return after 8 long weeks. After 9 days in the hospital and 3 surgeries later, he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. (Stage 4 is the most advanced stage.)
He was actually sick a month before he left from December 2 to February 5. The cancer has been spreading through his body during that time.
“Basically, this is a cancer that directly affects your immune system. It spreads through your lymphatic system.” said Mr. Sparks
Because of this diagnosis , he will be taking chemotherapy every 3 weeks, causing him to miss a few days now and then. Sparks expressed how much he missed being in the classroom:
“It feels so great to be back. I was going crazy at home because I was so bored. I didn’t miss grading papers, but I really missed seeing everyone.”
Mr. Sparks has gotten so much better over the past couple weeks. He’s gaining back the weight he lost and is still in his normal high spirits.
He was overcome by the support and donations given by the students and their families:
“I personally want to thank everyone that donated during the Genes Day. It really meant a lot to me.”
New Backpack Rule Causes Debate in Middle School
Brooke Bandy / Ellison Schuman
There has recently been turmoil in the middle school over a rule stating that students are not allowed to carry their backpacks unless they are going to class in another building. The students are currently trying to overturn the rule by asking for support from administration and the high school student council.
“This is something they’ve been doing for the whole year, it started when some of them were in the other building about creating space and keeping space and not having things too crowded in the end and now I think with moving into the new building with everybody’s lockers here they’ve wanted to try and maintain that. Actually I’ll take that back it was this way because the lockers were so spread out earlier in the year they were allowed to have their backpacks and now they’ve come in here and the lockers are all close so they’ve wanted to keep backpacks in the lockers so that space is kind of saved and that makes it easier to walk around,” said Middle School Principal Mr. Lebrecht.
“I think some of the issues came up when some of the middle school students had classes out in the high school I’ve talked to several students who have classes out there, say they have first period out there and come back here for second period and then back out for third and back in for fourth, so it was becoming an issue of back and forth with that, so we’ve tried to work with those students to help with that and ease that,” said Lebrecht.
As a result of the back and forth, some students might have a harder time remembering everything they need for a certain class leaving them without their required materials.
“Some kids in middle school are not organized enough to know what they need for every class and then they find that they don’t have what they need, but the other side of that being that they [backpacks] don’t fit in the lockers and so you see the lockers have not been closing so that’s an issue as well,” said High School Principal Mrs. Wood.
This is a rule that has been put in place and enforced by middle school teachers, not by the school’s administration.
(“It is more of a teacher rule it’s definitely not a school rule … we’re going to give the students a chance to voice their opinions and see how that works,” said Lebrecht.)-Boxed Bolded
“I’ve always been one that never really worried about backpacks. When I taught, backpacks never bothered me. I just asked students to keep them under their desks and I think that if a student should want to carry their backpack they should, so we’ll see what happens,” Lebrecht continued.
According to students that The Falcon spoke with, most dislike the rule and want it to be overturned.
“The rule is so stupid because I am always forgetting things in my locker so I’m here without my laptop and notebooks sometimes,” said eighth grader Ariana Elliot.
The Falcon reached out to multiple middle school teachers, two of which had no comment, but Mrs. Kawalec went on record to discuss the issue.
“I can see both sides of the issue. On one hand, the bags clutter the classrooms and students have easy access to their phones and snacks. And on the other hand it would be more convenient for students to carry stuff from room to room,” said Mrs. Kawalec.
According to sources, there does seem to be a resolution on the way.
“I think there’s lots of solutions. I think if the teachers and the kids work together they’d probably be able to come up with one. Like I said, not everybody wants one, so if you only have some kids in the class with bookbags, the ones who don’t need one probably won’t have as much and if there are rules in place for no lunch bags and no string bags, I think that would work out,” said Wood.
“I think we should be able to come up with a solution, honestly, if the teachers and students work together they’ll come up with something that works.” <-I’m not sure who this quote is from? Likely Wood
What It’s Like To Be In The Coast Guard
The Coast Guard is a crucial branch to the U.S. Military. We’ve seen movies about it, seen them on the news, heard their stories, but what’s it really like being in the coast guard?
Matt Leggett joined the Coast Guard in 1994 and remained a part of it for eight years. “I joined in 1994. I was eighteen,” said Leggett, “I was in for eight years.”
Leggett was a boatswain during his time in the Coast Guard. “I was a boatswain, which is someone who captains smaller boats and is in charge of deck force and also can be incharge of small boat stations. I loved it.” Specifically, he was an E-4 Boatswain in the Coast Guard. “I was a E4 Boatswain, that was what I got out as, like a petty officer third class,” said Leggett.
Matt went into the Coast Guard thinking he would be a Boatswain, and he ended up also being a rescue swimmer.
“And being a rescue swimmer was a job of mine while I was on the ship. I didn’t have a choice, so when I first joined there was a huge Cuban Haitian migration happening at that time period and the ship that I was on, the swimmer transferred off to go to his next unit, so they basically pulled me out of the pool and said ‘Hey you’re going to be a rescue swimmer out of bootcamp.’ They knew what unit I was going to and they told me right out of bootcamp that I was going to rescue swimmer school.” said Leggett.
Though being a rescue swimmer seems like a scary job, it might not be as bad as we think.
“Looking back at it, it was probably one of the least scary things. You don’t really think about it when you’re in the moment because you’re too caught up in it that you don’t really think. You don’t have time to think whether or not you’re scared if that makes sense,” said Leggett.
Being in the Coast Guard doesn’t mean just lounging on a ship all day. It requires lots of hard work.
“You’re always training and you’re always getting ready for that next thing … there would be times when the Captain would come tap me and say, “Come grab your swim gear,” and we would do man overboard drills 200 miles out at sea and that would be testing the new people who had just gotten to the ship from the academy,” said Leggett.
Being in the Coast Guard involves many jobs, including marine law enforcement.
“You’re constantly doing different law enforcement activities whether it be like drug intervention or fisheries patrol. You know, everybody kind of understands the drug intervention because this always on the news, but for fisheries you may be going in and seeing if they are double lining fishing nets, which basically means they are taking everything out of the ocean you might be out on the fish holds of ships to estimate how many fish are in a hold of a fishing boat,” said Leggett.
During his time, Matt didn’t get deployed, but he had some friends who did.
“I have friends who went over there. Typically what happens with the Coast Guard is the folks that get deployed are what are called Port Security unit, so the Coast Guard has been in every major war. So if you talk to any Vietnam veteran, there’s a good chance they might have been deployed and been on a patrol boat. They’re patrolling over there and you know river patrol or offshore but today I think it’s mostly PSU and those are like reservists, so they can get deployed and there’s also some law enforcement teams that will go and man a Navy ship and what they do is they’ll actually do boarding in the Mediterranean, so the reason they do that is because of the Navy codes, it could be considered an act of war, but if the Coast Guard does it, it’s law enforcement. So when the Navy wants to board a ship, they’ll fly the Coast Guard flag to avoid any trouble and it’s kind of like a loophole,” said Leggett.
Being in the Coast Guard means that you have lots of once in a lifetime experiences, but it has its ups and downs.
“For me it was the missions of the Coast Guard. It changes. The Coast Guard does so many things, unlike the other services. Some of the other services don’t, like the Marines have a function, the Army has one function, the Navy has another function, where the Coast Guard has multiple missions that they do. It could be defense, it could be law enforcement, it could be humanitarian, like the migrations ops that we used to do, you get involved with marine protection. One minute you could be putting out a boat fire and rescuing somebody out at sea, then three hours later you could be cutting a dolphin or turtle out of a fishing net. Everything was different.”
One of these experiences for Matt was being able to cut a dolphin out of a fishing net.
“So one of the coolest things I got to do was actually cut a dolphin out of a fishing net. That was kind of fun, it was like a little spiritual connection between me and the dolphin,” said Leggett.
Just as there were some good times, there were some not so good times.
“Like everything else, you try to remember the good stuff, but there is some stuff. When you’re a junior, there’s some stuff that’s not fun, like the ships are constantly needing upkeep, so you’re constantly chasing rust and painting, so that needs to get done so the ships can keep going and function the way they’re supposed to, so that’s not always fun.” Leggett said.
One thing Matt pointed out was mess cooking.
“Mess cooking. everyone has to mess cook at some point or another so at some point you’re washing dishes or peeling potatoes, you know that kind of thing,” said Leggett.
Being in the military gives one lots of stories to tell, good and bad.
“I mean, we went to some neat places on port call when I was on the ship. A port call is when you pull into port, so we would go to places like Halifax, Canada, you get liberty for an hour or overnight and you have to be back at a certain time. So, you know, like Charleston and Key West and all these places I haven’t been to before, Puerto Rico, a lot of islands in the Caribbean, so that was always kind of fun,” said Legget. “Just the things that happen when you’re with a crew, and a crew you know really well, it becomes fun and funny too because people get this sense of humor they’ve developed under stress, so it’s fun and funny to see that stuff happen.”
Another former member of the Coast Guard is Jennifer O’Toole.
“I was a Marine Science Technician. So I responded to oil spills, hazmat spills, and I boarded foreign vessels that came in, looking at the overall structure of the ship, drug busts, fisheries, illegal immigrants, how their cargo is stored, stuff like that,” she said.
She joined after high school and stayed in service for 20 years.
“[I joined] right out of high school,” she said. “[I was in for] 20 years … I just got out when we moved here. That’s how long you need to get retirement, which is pretty cool because I get a paycheck for the rest of my life now until the day I die. At 38 years old, I mean, you don’t find other jobs where you get a paycheck, I mean some jobs you may work there 20 years but you don’t get a paycheck till you’re like 60 something. Not with the military, you stay in for 20 years, you get a paycheck when you get out, and health insurance which is pretty big,” said O’ Toole.
Her first experience getting out to her ship was quite an interesting one.
“ I got to San Francisco and my ship is underway. It’s up in the bering sea, it’s in Alaska, so what they did was they flew me to Anchorage, Alaska, and from Anchorage to Kodiak … there was nothing out there, and from there they put me on a C130 which is a military plane and I took that to this small island called Cold Bay, Alaska and this island only had 14 people that lived on it. When I landed, the pilot said, ‘The helicopter that’s supposed to come and take you to your ship is on another island putting out a fire, so go walk about half a mile up that hill and you’re gonna see a house. Go knock on the door, their names are Mary and Bill. They’re not in the Coast Guard but they’re expecting you,’ and it was just this small island and they just welcomed all coast guard people there … I was there for like 5 hours before the helicopter could come and then the lady was like, ‘Okay, it’s time,’ and … they picked up and they told me, ‘The weather is really bad out there. We cannot land this helicopter on the ship right now, so we’re just gonna lower you down in a basket,’ and … so we get there, in the middle of the Bering Sea, and they get the search and rescue basket that you see and they put me in that basket and they lowered me down, and then they lowered my green sea bag, which is basically my luggage everything i owned at the time and they lowered that down. That was my introduction to my first unit in the Coast Guard being dropped from a helicopter into the ship in the Bering Sea with 50 foot waves. I mean it was crazy weather. It was so cool because stuff like that just happens throughout my career and it’s stuff that I kinda took for granted as time went on because it just happened you know. I miss it more now because I know I wont find something like that again,” said O’ Toole.
Jennifer’s Experience at Deepwater Horizon
One of the cool things the Coast Guard does is assist with cleanup after environmental disasters. A major environmental disaster the Coast Guard was a part of was the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
“I was at the BP oil spill. I was in charge of the Skimming Department, so I was in a helicopter everyday flying over, training fishermen how to clean up oil using big skimming equipment. I’ve been to quite a few hurricanes like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, Florence, Irma … so you know, I was sent to those for response,” said O’ Toole.
During this event, the notice to leave was extremely late.
“I was stationed in Seattle and I wanna say Seamus was two or three years old at the time. I was given a twelve hour notice that I had to get out to Louisiana,” said O’ Toole.
The cleanup had three groups doing most of the work.
“Something kinda scary, there were three groups to the BP oil spill. You had the skimming group, which is what I was in charge of, you flew over and trained all the fishermen and guided them to where to go every day and stuff, and then you had in situ burn, which they would light the oil in the water on fire, so you had these big burns going on everyday all over the Gulf offshore, and then you had this dispersing group. So you had this nasty chemical that they were dropping from planes to break the oil up and sink it. The thing with the BP oil spill is that nobody was communicating. There were way too many organizations there,” said O’ Toole.
Due to the lack of communication, there were some occasional mishaps and mistakes.
“I was on one of their helicopters, it was just me and a pilot, and I got there around 5 in the morning and we flew out. There was no AC, it was summertime, the windows were open all around us, were hovering down low, looking at the oil, and there was a lot of oil that had surfaced there, but because of the lack of communication thing there was going on they didn’t tell me that there was already a scheduled dispersal drop happening right where we were. This plane flew over us and dropped just hundreds and hundreds of gallons of this dispersant and it covered our helicopter and it came in and it got all over me and it burned. I did get pretty sick after that, but we had to do an emergency landing because we almost crashed out in the Gulf. Fortunately, there was an offshore landing site that we made it to. They had to get another helo(helicopter) out to replace this one because the engines and everything were covered in dispersant, but that was very hectic,” said O’ Toole.
The Deepwater Horizon was a massive spill that needed months worth of cleanup and work from the Coast Guard.
“It was a crazy evolution because we had never seen oil like that, that much oil, like I’ve been to a lot of oil spills but nothing of that size, nothing that they couldn’t stop the flow. I was there for quite a while, from the very beginning, it happened, they told me I had 12 hours to get out there … you had offshore cleanup stuff that would get to the beaches and everything, and then there was offshore at the source, so where the accident happened was where I was everyday,” said O’Toole.
Every experience in the Coast Guard is different, and Jennifer really enjoyed hers.
“I mean I loved it, I miss it everyday. There were a lot of things I took for granted because I was so young. I think it’s the coolest job you could ever have, hands down. I mean your office is on the water, so it doesn’t get much cooler than that. I knew I was always going to be living somewhere near the water and the amount of travel that I did, places I got to see, places I got to live, I mean straight outta highschool I went to bootcamp and then from bootcamp I was stationed in San Francisco which was really really neat and I was on a ship out of San Francisco so we would go underway for two months at a time,” said O’ Toole.
On her ship in San Francisco, they would go on either northern or southern patrols.
“We would either do North Pacific patrols, where we’d go up to Alaska and Russia, or we’d do South Pacific patrols where we crossed the equator and went down by Colombia. So the south patrols were drug intervention and the north patrol were fishery and search and rescue. That was a really really neat time, I mean to be so young and to have seen all of that,” said O’ Toole.
A job in the Coast Guard involves something different everyday, which is what most people love about the job.
“When there wasn’t any kind of big disaster, my everyday job was I just boarded foreign vessels all day. It started out, there are big ships coming in, they’re big tank ships or freight ships that are carrying cargo to the U.S. or we’re shipping to other countries, and some vessels depending on what they are carrying or what they’re boarding, based off of what countries they came from or the conditions of the ship, we would have to board it before it entered U.S. waters, so that’s 12 miles out to sea. Usually we would board it and take a small boat out and I jumped from the small boat to the Jacob’s ladder that hangs off the side of the foreign vessel and you just kinda jump over onto that ladder and climb up to the top of the ship. When weather conditions are bad, which you would get up in Boston or Portland … it was safer for us to get trained up on vertical delivery, which meant we took helicopters and we would repel from the helicopters down to the ship, and that was like an everyday thing. I’d go into work and we’d take off and hop onto a helicopter and they’d lower us down and we’d hop on a ship. We boarded one or two ships a day depending on what we had going on. Some boardings would take four hours, some would take 12 hours. It just depended on what type of ship and the condition and if we found anything,” said O’ Toole.
Boarding these ships and looking for structure or anything illegal could end up in huge drug busts.
“I’ve done two different cocaine busts. The first one we did was not a cocaine bust, we simply boarded, but it was the mothership, which was basically just a fuel ship out there that was fueling up boats that were leaving from Colombia, up to either Mexico, drop it off in Mexico and then bring the rest up by land. That’s usually what happened or it would come in by the ports, but usually we would catch them before they got to Mexico, and then from Mexico they would take it over Thailand and into the States. So the first ship was a fuel ship and in the second two ships we boarded both had two tons of cocaine on them wrapped up in like 50 pound bricks of cocaine and so we take the brakes off and put it on our ship so that was a neat story,” said O’ Toole.
Moving around every few years is a guarantee with the Coast Guard, which can be tough.
“The unpredictability, I mean I loved moving around, but let me tell you transfer season is the most stressful thing when you’re waiting to hear where you’re going to go. So transfer season usually happens in June. That’s when most people will transfer. They wait till schools are out so that people with kids aren’t pulling their kids out midseason, but you don’t find out where you’re moving too until March or April, so just a couple months prior to, so having kids and doing that was a little stressful trying to figure out daycare and stuff like that when you don’t know the area. Sometimes there’s a little difficulty planning your own stuff. Our job was response, so we didn’t know when stuff was going to happen. So I had trips to fly back home and see family and next thing you know I’m getting sent somewhere for a cleanup response or some kind of disaster. So I loved that part of the job, but at the same time it got frustrating sometimes trying to plan your life outside the Coast Guard, if that makes sense,” said O’ Toole.
Though transfer season can be tough, everyone is in the same boat, and that helps people to quickly create bonds.
“The other thing is you always make friends easily, because even though you’re constantly moving every three to four years, you get somewhere and in the Coast Guard, everybody’s always moving, so each place you show up you’re just welcomed right away. People don’t wait a while to make friends and stuff because everything is so rushed. The friends that you meet, I’ve got friends all over the country from just the Coast Guard, and that’s some of the closest friendships I’ve ever had,” said O’ Toole.
Entering the Coast Guard does entail going to a bootcamp.
“Bootcamp was tough. Most people don’t realize that the Coast Guard has a tough bootcamp, but they do. It’s one of the harder ones in the military, so what I will say is that bootcamp is hard for two reasons; one is that it’s physically demanding, two is that it’s mentally demanding. So the purpose of that is to put you under a lot of pressure so you can function when you get out into your unit,” said Leggett.
“Physically, it was not tough at all, but it was a lot of yelling and a lot of structure. That part was hard. I didn’t have a miserable time there. It was funny, the stuff that when on, and you just can’t take anything personally because here’s the deal, everything is scripted. Everything the Company Commanders say is scripted, it’s all script. They have to memorize this huge manual of what they can say and what they’re gonna say at what week, but when you’re there you feel like they’re yelling at you personally, but no it’s all a game. It weaves out who should not be in, who’s gonna yell back and cuss out the Company Commander and it gets them out before they’re actually in the Coast Guard and you have to work with somebody like that,” said O’ Toole.
Food is something that’s always shown as grey sludge in movies, but it’s not as bad as it seems.
“Food at the Chow Hall is pretty interesting because all the Company Commanders are there watching you walk by and they’re watching you to see what you eat [and] to make sure if you took too much that you ate it all so it’s interesting. The food was okay, I mean, they feed you well because they want you to be able to do well,” said Leggett.
The bootcamp is nine weeks and involves lots of preplanned activities.
“It was only nine weeks i’ll say the days went by really slow but the weeks went by really fast if that makes sense its like you wake up in the morning and your whole day is completely planned and you’re totally exhausted and so tired and the day just drags on and you’re constantly doing something you’re constantly getting yelled at but next thing you know it’s Friday already and I’ve just got eight more fridays to go, seven more Friday … and you’re just counting down,” said O’ Toole.
Going into the Coast Guard may feel overwhelming, but the main advice from former members is to keep on a good track, get some college under your belt before joining, and make sure you’re comfortable on the ocean.
“From my own personal experience, if you could get a couple years of college under your belt before you go in, that’ll help you in the long run or it’ll help you finish college. Two is to talk to as many people as you can about the coast guard including recruiters. The recruiters are there to sell and get quotas, so they’re gonna make it sound like it’s all roses for the most part, but it’s not always. Three, you should know if you get sea sick or not because a boat on the lake is a lot different from a boat on the ocean. I grew up on the ocean and I was seasick everyday for the first two years,” said Leggett.
“I think the biggest thing I saw, it happened all the time, the Coast Guard doesn’t take just anybody. I mean, it’s hard to get into it, really is. A lot of people think ‘It’s the military I can just join it, they’ll take me.’ It’s not like that, like people who are in the Coast Guard usually stay in for quite a while anyway. So you have to finish school, get good grades, you need all that. The other thing is you can’t really get in trouble. If you get arrested for anything, your chances are done. Same with tattoos, because they have just lightened up on the policy, but they had a really strict tattoo policy, they’re strict on your medical physical coming in, your physical fitness coming in, your weight. There’s stuff like that that makes it so you have to get through all those hurdles first just to be qualified to come in so my best advice … you just can’t mess up, you just have to get good grades, go to school ,finish school, all those things that seem kind of common sense,” said O’ Toole.
Fertilizer in the Water?
The NCLA’s AP Environmental class recently ran tests on the school’s drinking water, and discovered elevated levels of chlorine, nitrate, and phosphate. The tests were performed by a non-professional kit, but could warrant a deeper look into the water staff and students are drinking.
Currently the students’ sentiments towards the water fountains are not positive.
“Personally the water is not bad. It is just the more and more we have rainstorms and stuff, you can tell the pipes are getting much and much worse, ” stated NCLA senior, Jaden Peters.
Others have completely sworn off drinking the water provided by the fountains, preferring to bring water bottles from home.
“The times I’ve drank school water it always tasted weird or funny, so after that I just stopped drinking fountain water from the school,” shared NCLA freshman, Rebecca Avila.
“I like to bring my own water. The water here doesn’t really taste that good,” said NCLA Senior, Maia Edwards.
Though it appears the vast majority of the student body are not fond of the provided water, some differ in opinion.
“I think the water is fine. It has a nice crisp taste to it,” commented NCLA junior, Lily Davenport.
Curious of possible reasons for the distaste for the school’s water the Ap Environmental classes decided to put the water through a few tests. They tested hardness, pH, alkalinity, as well as levels of bacteria, phosphate, iron, copper, nitrate, oxygen, chlorine, ammonia, chloride, and chromium.
These tests were intended for the use of classes and educational purpose so are not professional. This being stated it is likely a professional test would uncover far more than the one completed by the students.
Most of the tests, like the ones for heavy metals and bacteria, came up negative, which is good news for all NCLA students and staff.
“Well I think most of the results turned up as predicted. There was no bacterial growth, which is what we want to see. A lot of the heavy metals were negative, which is also what we want to see,” commented overseer and AP Environmental teacher, Mrs.Hartzell.
However, the data collected from the chlorine, phosphate, nitrate, and hardness tests gathered some curious attention.
“I think the tests that warrant some more looking into would be the elevated chlorine levels, and the nitrates and phosphate levels,” stated Mrs.Hartzell.
The water tested at 1ppm (parts per million) of chlorine, 2ppms of phosphate, 2ppms of nitrate, and tested as hard.
What does this mean for those drinking the water?
The chlorine is there to prevent the growth of bacteria and has succeeded at completing that goal, though it is a bit high as drinking water is recommended to be below 0.5 ppms. According to the 2018 Water Quality Report for Winston Salem and Forsyth county the levels are not outside the normal average, which is 1.01 to 1.88 ppms.
“The chlorine I am sure is to keep bacterial contamination down and we didn’t see any grow,” said Mrs. Hartzell.
The phosphate and nitrate are likely the result of fertilizer runoff, which is not entirely unexpected within the area the school is located. However, it is odd that the 2018 Water Quality Report recorded lower levels of phosphate, at only 0.87 ppms, and had no record of nitrate detection.
“I think it points to the fact we live in an agricultural community, nitrates and phosphates are prone to be found in agricultural runoff or fertilizer. The fact that we live in agricultural land it’s not really too far off the mark to see elevated levels of those,” commented Mrs.Hartzell.
The water being hard is an issue for the schools plumbing. It can put strain on the pipes and cause a build up of minerals, mainly calcium, that could cause problems in the long term life of the school.
“Although those nitrate and phosphate levels, I don’t think, are in the realm of being unhealthy for adults, but could potentially cause some issues with very young children. So it may be worth having it tested by a professional,” shared Mrs.Hartzell.
Overall the water is no imminent threat nor cause for hysteria, though it would likely not hurt for the school to have better filters. This
would not only insure the safety of the students and staff, but improve the water’s smell and taste, which at the moment is far from the best.
“I think just in terms of drinkability, I would not go so far to say the water is unhealthy for adults, but it might be worth having different filters to add alkalinity for smoothness and for taste. Also so the water smells a little bit less like chlorine, cause it is not really great for your apatite,” said Mrs. Hartzell on the matter.
NCLA’s Blood Drive Was a Huge Success!
On Thursday, Jan. 23, the NCLA’s National Honor Society hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross. 47 students, parents, and staff came to donate to the valuable cause.
By the end of the day, 37 pints of blood had been donated, which, according to givingblood.org, can roughly equal about 12 average whole blood and red blood cell transfusion.
“We had 36 new donors,” commented Mrs. Orenstein, the teacher in charge of the NHS.
The blood drive was a great success for the school and the NHS’ as this was their first event as an active chapter.
“I think it was awesome. The fact that we had 47 people sign up, some couldn’t give blood, but at least they were willing to help out with such a good cause,” stated Mrs. Orenstein.
The outcome of this event brings anticipation and hope of similar events in the future, as well as hopefully another blood drive next school year.
“I hope I can get more parents next year, just to get it out to the public earlier, so that we can get some parents to sign up. Other than that, I thought that everything was great. I had some seniors in charge of the whole thing while I was teaching. All of the National Honor Society helped and they ran it very smoothly. All the students that came and donated were very courteous and very kind, and waited patiently. Honestly, I think it was a success,” said Mrs. Orenstein.
The Great WiFi Scare of NCLA
Feb 1, 2020 – As of Friday, Jan. 17, many students at the NCLA grew aware of a problem with their Wi-Fi connection for both their computers and their smartphones. Since then, computers have connected without issue, but smartphones have remained offline.
With this phenomenon, rumors have begun to spread about what or who is the culprit. Fortunately, the real story behind this issue resembles none of these overblown assumptions.
Eric Gonzalez, Director of Technology for the NCLA, is the only one who actually knows what happened with the Wi-Fi network. He revealed the reason for the connection problems came from the state’s internet connection change.
“We do a lot of the work through the state because we use their firewall and their content filter, so when they implemented the change, they were a little overzealous and knocked off IOS devices as well as Mac and PC,” Gonzalez said.
Fortunately, Mr. Gonzalez was informed of this and took the proper actions to undo the cause of the issues.
“This was done on Friday and when we came back on Monday we were made aware and then we went into the system and made the necessary changes to roll back some of its restrictions. IOS devices, Android devices, and Chrome OS devices on the student network should be able to connect without a problem,” Gonzalez said.
Since Mr. Gonzalez made these changes, and with some cooperation with the state, students’ phones can now connect to the Wifi. He is also encouraging students to share with him if they are still dealing with Chromebook Wifi issues.
“For anybody having issues I would say come see me because I would like to identify their device on the network and see where it’s getting caught,” Gonzalez said.
As Mr. Gonzalez addresses the remaining issues, there is something quite evident amongst the student body that should not be overlooked. It is the fact that the majority of the student body is dependent on the school’s Wifi to enable their use of smartphones.
Following the disconnection from the Wi-Fi, many students were left frustrated and in many respects disconnected as a person. Sophomore Nicholas Hurst is one of those students who really felt the pain of not having NCLA’s Wifi for his smartphone.
“The school Wi-Fi allows for me to communicate with my parents and my peers when I don’t have cellular data. It also enables me to do school work if I leave my Chromebook at home or if the battery is dead,” said Hurst.
101 Dalmatians: Putting it Together
Post Malone: A Concert Experience
Column by Rebecca Avila
Mar. 9, 2020 – Post Malone held a concert at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 1. Tyla Yaweh and Swae Lee were Post Malone’s opening acts. The concert began at 7:45 p.m. and ended at 11:30.
I got mosh pit tickets that cost $409.57, but were totally worth it because I was the second/third row away from the railing. It was definitely very crowded which was expected and there was the occasional fight.
The concert began with Tyla Yahweh. He was so hyped and excited to be there. He threw some sweat towels out to the crowd and said that we were the best crowd on the Runaway Tour.
After Tyla Yahweh, Swae Lee was next and he was blinged out and ready to go. He was very hype and he said that he jumped on the tour a couple of days before and so far, Greensboro was the best crowd he had sung for. He threw some sweat towels, roses, his shirt, and some merch. He also brought people on stage to vibe with him.
Swae Lee paid tribute to XXXTentacion and Juice WRLD and played some of their songs.
About 45 minutes passed between Swae Lee and then the time came and Mr. Malone himself came on stage and the crowd went absolutely wild. He came in singing off the bat singing some of his top songs like Congratulations, I Fall Apart, Stay, Better Now, Rockstar, Hollywood’s Bleeding, Saint-Tropez, and more.
He threw out his cup and sweat towels and sunflowers with Swae Lee when they sang Sunflower from the movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.
By the end, Post Malone gave an inspirational speech about following your dreams and doing whatever you want to do because if you’re passionate, you do it to your fullest ability. He also began crying and saying that Greensboro was the absolute best crowd he’s had.
Post Malone is the absolute best guy that I have met and is the best guy in the world. I also did get my shoe signed by the legend himself.
NCLA Band Brings The Holiday Spirit
Dec 13, 2019 – On Dec. 11, the NCLA had a high school band concert that started at 6:00 p.m. The songs that they were going to be playing were Rough Riders March, Danny Boy, Cumberland Cross, and Sleigh Ride.
“We chose these songs because they wanted it to match with the holidays,” said Levi Antieau.
The first song they played was Rough Riders March by Karl L. King, arranged by James Swearingen. Karl L. King did not title his marches because there is no significance to it but the title was chosen to honor former President Theodore Roosevelt. The song started off somber and relaxing and then it was elevated into an upbeat tempo. The audience seemed to enjoy the performance a lot.
“My favorite song that we’ll be playing tonight would be Rough Riders,” said Ethan Kirkman.
The band then played Cumberland Cross by Carl Strommen, the publisher of the piece has said, “This original work explores the rich American folk style in two sections. The first has broad, moving harmonies under a Shenandoah-like melody, and the second a lively dance reminiscent of Copland.”
The song starts off sad and melancholy then the flutes come in making it happy and cheerful.
“Thank you again for coming, I’m so excited to be here and cannot wait to be here for a very long time,” said Mr. Gonzalez.
The NCLA Middle School 2019 Christmas Concert
Digital Concerts are the New Normal
April 24, 2020 – Due to the outbreaking pandemic, as many of you know, concerts have been cancelled all over the country.
Coachella, Dreamville and Rollingloud have been just some of the music festivals that have been postponed. Some concerts that have been postponed were Taylor Swift, Harry Styles’ European leg of the Love on Tour, Luke Bryan, and Justin Bieber.
Due to this, many artists have done digital concerts for fans. For example, ABC network did a Disney concert on TV, where many celebrities went on TV and sang many classic Disney songs.
This past Saturday, musicians took part in a “One World” concert where many singers such as Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Billie Ellish, and Keith Urban played some uplifting songs for the world.
The Grateful Dead is doing an online concert Apr. 24. Post Malone is also going live with a Nirvana tribute concert.
Experts are now saying that they think it is a good possibility that concerts will not be coming back until Spring 2021. They do not want to risk anything without a vaccine.
NCLA HS Choral Concert 2019
March 13, 2020 – Were you ever bored at school?
Do you want to own an empire?
I have the solution — a game called Generals.
Generals.io is a realtime multiplayer strategy game that is like the game named Risk,in the aspect that you raise armies, capture territories, and destroy the enemy by capturing their crown.
Winners of battles are determined by, if one number is bigger than the other, the bigger number will obviously win. The losing number would be subtracted from the winning number.
Everyone starts with one crown tile that generates 1 army unit per tick. Blank spaces require no battles to capture and will generate 1 army unit every 25 ticks. A steeple costs 40, but when you capture it, it generates an army as fast as the crown tile.
When you meet other players, strike fast and have a purpose because the more time you give your enemies, the more time they will have to strike back.
“Generals to me is more than just a game, Generals is an experience, it is a moment when you are at war with your friends, they are not your friends now, they are foes, and you must crush them into the ground, surround their home base, and make them beg for mercy as you amount thousands of troops around them, laughing and pitying them, until you can finally take their life force from them,” said Mason Harmon.
Generals is not just a game, it is a lifestyle.
I’m Joining the Army for Journalism
Recently, I decided to take the same route as my brother and join the Army. All my life I thought I had the perfect plan. I was going to college to get my bachelor’s degree in Journalism and be a writer in New York. That was until I became aware of all the advantages that came with being a journalist in the Army. I made a “Pro’s and Con’s” list to really understand what I would be getting into.
The Army pays for your college education if you choose to get a degree
Travel around the world
Retire by mid-40’s and still getting paid afterwards
Not having to worry about where your next meal is coming from or where you’re going to sleep
I get to do what I’ve always wanted to do
Going through basic training
Dangers of the job
Not being able to see family/friends as much as I would want to
A journalist in the army is classified as a “Public Affairs Mass Communication Specialist”. The responsibility of this career is to assist with the Army public affairs programs through news releases, newspaper articles, Web-based material and photographs for use in military and civilian news media.
In order to become a Communication Specialist, I have to go through 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 12 weeks of AIT (Advanced Individual Training). Basic Training is the recruit training program of mental and physical preparation for the US Army. AIT is where you will learn the skills to perform your Army job after Basic Training. This is where you’ll receive hands-on training and field instruction to make you an expert in that specific career field.
Before you go into Basic Training, it is required to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test. To enlist in the Army, you must get a minimum score of 31, where the maximum score is 99. This test measures your knowledge in 10 different areas, and will assess which jobs you are qualified for. For me I would have to get a 107 in the General Technical portion.
Overall, I think this is a good choice for me, and I recommend it for anyone who has had any interest in being in the Military. Most people are blind to the many jobs that the military has to offer. It’s not just fighting in wars and blowing stuff up.
Personally, I am very nervous/excited for the whole process, but it’s a great way to travel, write, and not have to worry about much.
Looking Back at Living 2019-2020
A Tribute to Mrs. Reaves
Sept. 25, 2019 – It was announced on September 17 that the beloved Latin teacher, Mrs. Reaves, was going to be resigning, effective at the end of the first quarter, after teaching at The NCLA for five years.
“She’s one of the best teachers here,” said Junior Wen-Shin Lee.
“Mrs. Reaves is like the mom at school I never had and she always takes time to talk about our personal problems,” said Junior Megan Queen.
“What I will miss the most is just having her there because she has always been someone that I know I can talk to about anything,” said Senior Ashlyn Rice.
During her five years at the school, she has made many memories. Some of this stick out above the rest.
“I love Saturnalias, graduations, and anytime I’ve had a new class. I love the beginning of the year because I love meeting my new students and seeing the people that I’ve had before and reconnecting. The Caesars and Senators were really fun, watching everybody get so competitive about it, even my earlier years when we would go around caroling in the school,” said Mrs. Reaves.
Her students have made some fun memories during her time here as well.
“It was when we were doing scansion,” said Lee.
“My favorite memory isn’t actually in her class, but a couple of years ago we went to the Festival of Lights at Tanglewood together and that’s probably my favorite memory,” said Rice.
One of her students’ favorite things about her is how supportive she is.
“She’s come to a lot of my volleyball games and I can hear her yelling even though she has no idea what she’s yelling about,” said Queen.
The reason she came here five years ago was because of her good friend, our own middle and high school technology and video production teacher, Eric Gonzalez.
“Eric Gonzalez was the one who talked to me about coming here. There was an opening and he had talked to me about how much his girls loved it and were excited about the NCLA from the time they started the NCLA,” said Reaves.
Her favorite thing about teaching at the school over the years has been her students, saying, “My babies, my kids, even the present company included.”
Her favorite thing about teaching here at The NCLA is also the thing she will miss the most. “The same thing… ” referring back to her favorite thing about teaching here,
“ … it’s the interactions, it’s the knowing what’s going on in everybody’s lives and being apart of that,” Reaves said.
Mrs. Reaves has made a huge impact on the school as a whole with her kind spirit and positivity, and she has even led some students to want to pursue teaching as a career.
“Mrs. Reaves is actually the person that made me decide that I wanted to be a teacher because of how she has always treated me and I want everyone to have someone in their life like her,” said Rice.
What the Quarantine is Like for Students
Apr. 3, 2020 – Quarantining and staying at home is hard enough, but learning from home is an added level of difficulty. Students at The NCLA began learning at home on March 18 and will be (at this time) continuing to do this until May 15.
Online learning has gone fairly well for most students, which is a very good sign. “Online school has made learning very easy and quick. Because we don’t have to listen to lectures, we just have assignments to work on, it makes learning a lot more effective,” said Sophomore Julianna Peters.
“I have been able to teach myself and go at my own pace which is nice, but it is hard to get motivated,” continued Junior Ally Mattingly. “Sometimes I just write stuff in my planner, but I’m pretty much winging it.”
NCLA Junior Christine Parker said, “I think the online school has impacted my learning in a couple of ways. First of all, not being in a classroom environment is hard for me personally because I get so distracted. This causes me to take so long to get my work done.
“I think another way it affects my learning is in the way that our learning is compromised,” Parker continued. “I think by being in school we are able to learn a lot more and it’s much easier to ask questions, turn things in, and to attend tutoring.
“The last way it impacts me is that it’s a little overwhelming at times. Every teacher teaches different online and everyone uses different websites. With all the assignments due it’s difficult to keep track of them, when they’re due, and where to submit them.”
Social lives are also being very strongly impacted by quarantine. “My friends and I still talk, but it’s hard for us to have free time at the same time,” said Mattingly.
“My social life has been pretty rough, I have used FaceTime to keep up with all my friends, which hasn’t been that bad. I miss them though, and sports,” said Peters.
“Quarantine has been both positive and negative for me. Personally, I am a very extroverted person so I thrive when I am around others,” said Parker. “I’ve been pretty lonely while in quarantine and I have been talking to my dogs a whole bunch. On the bright side, quarantine has allowed me to do activities I normally never have time for, such as cooking every day and drawing on my driveway with chalk.
“I think quarantine is a perfect opportunity for our world to just focus on ourselves and enjoy trying new things!”
Flamin’ Hot Fight
Feb. 28, 2020 – This past week Gideon Van Dyke and Nick Williford went on a journey to establish, once and for all, which Flamin’ Hot chip reigns supreme.
Our selection came down to 3 chips the Cheetos Flamin hot chips, the Cheetos Flamin’ hot puffs, and the new Doritos Flamin’ hot chips.
The O.G. Cheetos
These were the baseline for this Flamin’ hot journey. They are always perfect to snack on when you need a pick me up, but they are kind of mainstream and when you think of Flamin’ hot they are the chips you think of.
The Trash Triangles
The Doritos have a not very good initial taste they are completely different from any of the original chips, and they have a delayed burn. They are our least favorite out of the three.
The “Hit-Different” Puffs
The spicy puffs instantly give you a tingling and spicy sensation to the point where it is almost overwhelming. They have too much on too little.
The NCLA Falcons Wrestling Season Goes Out With a Bang
Gideon Van Dyke
January 31, 2020 – The NCLA falcons Wrestling Team wrestled their last official match before regionals this past Tuesday night at Wesleyan Christian Academy.
The match at Wesleyan was a quad match meaning there were four teams present and each team wrestled Middle and High School matches making the match go on for many hours. Some highlights of the night were Isaac Woodlief won most of his matches with a pin.
Before the match head coach Mat Tuddle stated, “Let’s wrestle just as hard as we did in our last match and as we did on our first match lets go make all the effort we have put in this season pay off let’s leave it all on the mat.”
The team only had five wrestlers and out of them, only two wrestled. The matches that were wrestled were only in the lighter weight classes. Isaac Woodlief, the teams 152, and Chris Hungerford, the teams 120, got some good mat time the teams 220 and heavyweight wrestles ended up with three forfeits that night.
The team has grown in many ways since the season has begun they started with almost 18 wrestlers and due to injuries and some people quitting the team was down to seven wrestlers.
When asked about his favorite memories of this past season, Sophomore Nick Hurst stated, “My favorite memory with the boys is when we were bumping to Sweet Home Alabama on the bus on the way to a match.”
Looking Back at Sports Throughout the 2019-2020 year!
Biggest Turnout for Golf in NCLA History
Gideon Van Dyke
February 28, 2020 – The Middle School and High School golf teams are coming back for their spring seasons.
“My expectations for this season are to gain everyone a lot of experience, to grow to get a little better, and have fun,” said Coach Christopher Walsh.
Last year the high school team made a major achievement last year by making it to the 1A regionals tournament.
The team has a lot of talent returning, “It looks like I am having a return of all my high school and middle school players from last year but we have a lot of new players we are having the largest tryouts for golf in this school’s history,” said Walsh
On the topic of the turnout for tryouts, the middle and high school teams combined have over 30 students trying out for the teams this week.
The High School team’s first match is on Mar. 4. and the Middle School has one next week. Both teams are using the Pine Knolls course in Kernersville as their home course for this season.
“My hope for the season is that I can hit the ball and not Clarice,” said junior, Annie Ellis.
Conference Championships Will set up BCS
December 5, 2020 – The College Football Conference Championships are about to start this week. It will be an exciting week with many teams looking to make it into the BCS playoffs.
On Friday in Santa Clara, California, the Pac-12 championship will take place between Oregon and Utah. Utah clinched the Pac-12 South Division with the win over Colorado. Oregon is 10th in the country in rushing defense, but allows 106.3 rushing yards in a game. Utah has the best rushing defense, 3rd best scoring defense, and then 14th ranked passing defense.
Jackson’s Pick: Utah
Then in Arlington, Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma faced off again, where Oklahoma beat Baylor 34-31 after a 23 point deficit on November 16. The Big 12 championship will be on December 7, Saturday, at AT&T. This will surely be another great game because these two teams match up great with each other. Baylor will sure be out for revenge from their last meeting!
Jackson’s Pick: Baylor
In Atlanta, Georgia and LSU will face off for the SEC on December 7 as well. This is sure to be a great game because both of these teams are both sitting in the recent AP Top 4 rankings. Georgia is currently an underdog to the LSU Tigers. LSU leads the SEC in scoring offense and has the quarterback that has the single-season passing yard record.
Jackson’s Pick: LSU
Down in Charlotte, North Carolina will be the ACC championship between Virginia and the reigning champs, Clemson. The Clemson Tigers have won 5 in the last 8 years and 4 of them being consecutive. Obviously Clemson is the considered favorite by a lot to win this game. The Tigers have only given up 121 points all season, while Virginia’s defense has given up 116 points in just its four November games. It is safe to say who will win the ACC.
Jackson’s Pick: Clemson
Finally in Indianapolis, Wisconsin and the #1 Ohio State will face off for the Big Ten championship. Ohio State is currently the favorite by 18. The two teams faced off earlier in the season with an Ohio State win 38-7. Everything about Ohio State is great at this moment, they are just coming off a 56-27 win over Michigan. This will be the third meeting between Ohio State and Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game.
Jackson’s Pick: Ohio State
No Summer Games This Year
April 1, 2020 – The Summer Olympic Games are held every four years. They bring all the countries of the world together. This year will be different because of a major issue that has risen. The US now has “more than 210,000 people in the United States have been infected.” said CNN.
“The pandemic is the ‘greatest test’ the world has faced since the end of World War II,” according to CNN and the secretary general of the United Nations.
With the pandemic becoming more and more of a problem, the biggest event in the world decided to postpone the games until 2021.
“The decision to postpone the Games, but no later than summer 2021…to have the Olympic flame staying in Japan until the opening of the Fames and to keep the name Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.” said the International olympic Committee President.
The postponement of the games also comes with a heavy price to pay.
“The Olympics would bring the total cost to about $15.3 billion…”said Forbes. Compared to “ the Rio Olympics cost $13 billion…” said businessinsider.com.
The Olympics set a new date for Jul. 23, 2021, through Aug. 8, 2021, and the Paralympics to be on Aug. 24 though Sept. 5,2021, but anything can happen at any time.
“The virus could last into next year’s fits with the predictions of some experts.” said statnews.com and Nancy Messonnier who works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.