The Swarm of Cicadas
Brood X is Almost Here
Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming swarm of cicadas.
As normalcy creeps its way back into our lives, nature reminds us not to get too comfortable just yet. Whether we like it or not, 2021 is a cicada year..
With their intricate lifespans, the Brood X periodical cicadas surface out of the ground every 17 years in states all over the East Coast- including North Carolina. Under ideal conditions, there can be millions of cicadas emerging per acre.
“I knew that cicadas take a long time to reach maturity but I did not know what the repercussions of that were or the specific time frame,” sophomore Callie Foust said. “It will be exciting to hear [the cicadas] for the first time because I am 17. I have always liked the sound of cicadas.”
While Foust shares her excitement about the cicadas and the ability to hear them, their screeching sounds may get old. Most NCLA students do not remember living during the year 2004, which was the last time this swarm of cicadas emerged.
Not only are these cicadas a lot bigger than the typical cicadas we hear, but they are much, much louder. At a range from about 80 to 110 decibels, the sounds of the swarm are equivalent to an alarm clock, a car radio fully turned up, or even a rock concert.
“I do not remember much about this [Brood X],” assistant principal Mrs. Wood said. “Just that I stayed inside. It was really loud outside so I did my best to avoid it.”
Although the noise of the cicadas will be annoying, our everyday life will not be affected. Other than their obnoxious noises and an excessive abundance, they are totally harmless. For those who are afraid of bugs, staying indoors may be the best option once the bugs emerge.
“I am not excited. I have a fear of cicadas,” senior Rebecca Nordstrom said. “I stepped on one at night, and it started moving under my foot. I thought I stepped on a rattlesnake because of the noise it made, and I cried.”
With the expressed lack of excitement, do not fear- Brood X. It will only hang around for around four to six weeks. Male cicadas will emerge before the female cicadas, but once they begin to procreate and die, their carcasses and offspring will make their way back into the soil.
Because the swarm does not surface until the ground reaches an internal temperature of about 64 ℉, their ETA falls around the end of April to early May.
“Other than the loud noise they make and the presence of bugs overall, I don’t mind it all that much,” sophomore Maria Fleak said. “However, I am more concerned because I know there will be more [cicadas] than usual this summer.”
Northern to midwestern areas of North Carolina are expected to experience higher numbers of cicadas. Make sure to keep an eye out for the swarms because the Brood X phenomenon will not appear again until 2038.
“I am nervous and excited about the cicadas,” sophomore Kathryn Meehan said.“I mostly do not know what to expect. I do not think it will affect me too much, but I am definitely worried about the noise at night when trying to sleep.”
Spring Break Plans
Spring break is a nationally loved school break. Many call it the “best break of the year”, due to the good weather and great vacation opportunities.
This school year has been pretty stressful, and many students are really looking forward to getting a nice long break to relax and go on fun trips.
Out of 44 voters in a poll on the NCLA Instagram, 52 percent of NCLA students have something planned for spring break.
Out of 12 responders, six students are going to the beach, and three are visiting family or traveling with friends. Others are traveling to exciting places such as Disney, or Biltmore.
One student, Celeste Paradis, is going to Atlantic Beach with her classmate Chelsea Littlefield.
“Me and Chelsea have been wanting to go on a beach vacation for a while and why not use our spring break,” Celeste said.
With COVID-19 still being a major issue in the world, there are some necessary precautions that families are taking while they travel.
The Mayo Clinic suggests that everyone should try to get fully vaccinated before traveling. They also recommend looking at your destination’s safety requirements because they may be different from where you live.
“My parents already have their vaccines and we are going to try to not touch our faces and stay as remote as possible while on the beach,” Celeste said.
Mayo Clinic also explained how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, so most viruses don’t spread easily on flights, but the crowded nature of most airplanes makes social distancing difficult. They suggest to steer clear of highly touched surfaces, and to avoid touching your face or removing your face mask.
“I am going to be wearing long sleeves and we will be social distancing on the plane and from people on the beach,” Leslie Blanco said. “I think it is important to stay safe on trips over the break so that everyone can have fun!”
New parent teachers at the NCLA
There are quite a few teachers at the NCLA who are working two very demanding jobs at the same time. A more demanding job than being a teacher is being a parent.
Parenting is arguably the hardest job someone can have and it comes with many responsibilities. Becoming a parent shifts ones focus off themselves and onto the little ones they’re raising.
Mrs. Roberts is a high school science teacher at the NCLA. She is also a first time mom who had a baby about a year ago.
¨We had to make some big adjustments when school started this year. Babies have a set schedule that you have to work around when it comes to grading, and planning assignments,¨ Roberts said.
There are many hard aspects of being both a parent and teacher.
Mrs. Landphair, a high school math teacher is the mom of a three year old and an infant who was born this past October.
“Time for planning and grading is very restricting with an infant. I’m also at a hard stage with both of my kids right now because of their age,” Landphair said. “An infant needs a lot of one-on-one attention. It is also important to keep a constant eye on my three year old so that he doesn’t get into any trouble.”
“The hardest part of my day is saying goodbye to my baby,” Roberts said.
Mrs. Hilliard is pregnant with her first child. She is going to have a baby girl who is due April 17.
“Recently, working has been a little bit more challenging because of the pregnancy. I’m extra tired, out of breath, and can be uncomfortable at times but the additional support from the school and staff is amazing. There are a lot of teachers here who have had kids and are able to give me some great advice,” Hilliard said.
All three teachers agree that your whole life changes after becoming a parent.
“I definitely have less free time now. After having a baby you can’t do a lot of things that seemed normal in the past like going out to dinner. I’ve also made the decision to start getting my groceries from online pick up. Another big aspect that changes is your sleep schedule.” Roberts said.
There are some great benefits of being a parent who is also a teacher.
“The schedule works out really great. I can be home at a decent time and I don’t have to work on the holidays or during the summer,” Landphair said. “I also have a partner in the same profession. This is really great because he is understanding of all that I have to do.”
Hilliard added, “I have been able to plan most of my doctors appointments for after school or on Wednesdays which has been really nice. Me and my husband are so excited for this baby to come.”
Mrs. Landphair, Mrs. Hilliard, and Mrs. Roberts all agreed that although parenting comes with its changes, and hardships, it’s worth it and they love their babies endlessly.
“Although each individual stage of parenting comes with different challenges, every second of it is enjoyable and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Landphair said.
Healthy Snack Attack
As summer is quickly approaching, many people are in a rush to get their summer bodies in check. That means no more junk food and all healthy snacks.
I have tried 2 healthy delicious snack recipes to keep you in check with your summer goals. The two snacks are Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Sandwiches and Frozen Yogurt Berry Bars.
The ingredients needed for the Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Sandwiches are:
- 3 bananas, ripe
- 1/3 cup peanut butter, natural
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Step 1: Slice your banana
Step 2: Cover over the slices of the banana with peanut butter and place another slice on top
Step 3: Melt your chocolate then cover the banana sandwich in chocolate
Step 4: Place in the freezer for 1-3 hours and enjoy!
The ingredients needed for Frozen Yogurt Berry Bars:
- A cup of yogurt (can be greek or plain yogurt)
- 1/3 cup blueberries, fresh
- 1/3 cup strawberries, fresh
- 2 tbsp Maple syrup or honey
- 2 tbsp Coconut flakes, unsweetened
- 2 tbsp Peanut butter
Step 1: Spread your yogurt out on a cookie tin with wax paper
Step 2: Sporadically place berries on top
Step 3: Put in the freezer for 3 hours
Step 4: Add extra toppings and enjoy!
These two snacks were super delicious and easy to make, they only require a few ingredients. 10/10 recommend trying these out!
Fashion Trends: What’s “In” and What’s “Out”
Fashion trends every year have shown that nothing is ever out of date.
Recent trends have shown inspiration from numerous decades, most notably the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. With hair scarves, halter tops, and mom jeans rising in popularity among the fashion industry, it can be hard to keep up. Here’s what’s in and what’s out this spring and summer.
Starting off, head scarves are a huge hair accessory for this spring and summer. Hair scarves have been used for a very long time, dating back to the 1940s. They serve as a hair protectant from wind, whether that be from riding in a convertible or taking a walk on a windy day. Nowadays, people are using them for similar purposes.
A recent TikTok trend involved people wearing headscarves while driving on the highway (following the speed limit of course). The video starts out where the passenger is holding the phone showing both themself and the driver, and then the video ends with them wearing head scarves while the windows are down and the wind is blowing in the car. Whether it be because of these TikToks or just simply because fashion has a way of going in a full circle, head scarves are totally “in” this season.
Taking a trip back to the 1970s, halter tops and knitwear are definitely rising in popularity this season. Halter tops are tank tops that stretch behind the neck and have been known to make a comeback once every few years. They come in all colors and patterns, but the most popular ones have funky prints that came straight out of the 1970s. Overall, halter tops are definitely “in” this year!
Knitwear is also a huge trend this year. Some halter tops are made to look like knitwear, but various other clothing items are being made to look like they’ve been knit. This includes crop tops, dresses, swimsuits, and shoulder bags. Though they may not actually be knit, these fashion items give off a nostalgic vibe and have even encouraged many fashionistas to knit their own clothes!
Crop tops have been known to form some pretty rad outfits. Cropped shirts/sweaters/cardigans have been gaining popularity ever since 2015, whether they’re paired with a pair of high rise mom jeans or a denim jacket.
This spring, cropped graphic tees/tanks/sweaters/cardigans are 100% “in.” If they are pastel colors or colors of spring flowers, your outfit will look totally bomb.
Flowy, patterned pants have been revived this year, taking fashion back to the 1970s once again. These types of pants are perfect for spring/summer because they allow for wind to cool you down and keep you from sweating.
These pants don’t have to be flowy; any style of patterned pants will get you in on the trend.
For example, workout leggings have begun to show up in more patterned prints than ever before. Also, yoga pants and flare pants have shown up more recently with funky patterns that give your outfit a colorful touch.
Mom-style jeans and shorts are extremely “in” this season. Dating back to the 1980s, mom-style pants have made a huge impact within the fashion industry.
They resurfaced back in 2019 and have stuck around ever since. However, mom shorts are a huge trend for this summer. They aren’t for everyone, but they give off a baggy look that can look good with pretty much anything.
Matched with the perfect shoes, mom shorts can make an outfit look like it’s straight out of a fashion magazine.
More on the summer side, button up shirts and have gotten very popular recently. Every year, fashionistas find more ways to style button up shirts. This summer, you’ll see people wearing them over their bathing suits and/or their summer outfits. The appeal seems to be that the outfit is more “complex” when it has more layers, and who wouldn’t want to impress others with their super cool summer outfits.
Sarongs are another huge summer trend that are taking the world by storm. These are skirts that serve as a bathing suit cover up for your lower half, which seems a little bit pointless in my opinion.
Usually they are taken off before getting in the pool, so what purpose do they serve? They’re super cute, but I don’t see why someone would want to spend the money on a skirt that they would only wear for a couple minutes at the pool.
“I’m excited for bathing suit weather! This year I kind of did a combo of trends and got some fun printed ones,” NCLA senior Megan Queen said.
Mini-dresses have gained extreme popularity over the winter and into the spring. Spring is usually chock full of floral prints and dainty dresses, but this year more than ever have dresses gotten so huge. Specifically, a style of dress called a “milkmaid dress” which is gaining rapid popularity.
These dresses include a tight bodice, a flowy above-knee length skirt, and puffy sleeves that make you look like you just spent hours picking a bouquet of flowers. These types of dresses were seen all the way back in sometime during the 1800s when women were required to wear dresses.
They vary in style, but the majority of them are either a pastel color or a dainty floral print. But overall, these dresses are a necessity for spring.
Lastly, zip up hoodies and oversized flannels have gotten huge these past few months. A light zip up hoodie or flannel can be worn with almost every spring outfit you could come up with.
It’s best to stick with the neutrals for these fashion items so that you can wear spring colors under them and they won’t clash. But, feel free to wear whatever you want!
NCLA students are certainly looking forward to spring/summer fashion trends.
“I’m excited for the return of chunky sunglasses and fun colors,” NCLA junior Nora Wood said.
NCLA senior Christine Parker said that she was most excited for cow print to come back into popularity.
Madison Jennings, a senior at the NCLA, said she was excited for neon-colored bathing suits.
NCLA sophomore Celeste Paradis said she’s excited to wear corsets and high cut bathing suits.
Fashion has certainly taken the world by storm during every decade. This year, however, fashion trends seem almost familiar, since recent trends have drawn inspiration from past decades.
Trends that are very “in” right now include halter tops, head scarves, knitwear, milkmaid dresses, and cropped shirts. However, a trend that might be best to stay away from is sarongs since they don’t seem to serve a purpose. But if they make you look good and you feel confident in them, go right ahead!
There’s nothing wrong with not following trends and doing your own thing. As long as you feel confident and love what you’re wearing, you’re a true fashionista.