Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I don’t want your roses, Prestige Portraits

Anna Sirianni

Years from now, we will reflect on our time at New Hope-Solebury by looking back at senior pictures.
 On August 24, 25, and 26, rising twelfth graders were photographed by Prestige Portraits in the high school cafeteria and were sent proofs of the portraits several weeks later. Males were dressed with a tuxedo and females with a gown-like drape. The photographs vary, capturing different angles and poses.
 One pose struck a nerve with me.
 Towards the end of my photo shoot, the photographer handed me a fake red rose, wilted after years of senior portraits.
 He draped my unpainted fingernails across the rose in some sort of precise way. He told me not to grasp it too tightly or else it won’t look “nice.” But I didn’t care if it looked nice; I didn’t want to hold a flower at all.
 As if my blonde hair and bulging curves weren’t enough, my femininity had to be represented with a blooming red rose.
 Women are more than pretty flowers.
 Some women on television obsess over being awarded a rose on shows such as The Bachelor to know that a man thinks they’re worthy of love. When women get angry in movies, a handsome man tosses a flower her way to get her back. In our culture, women’s legitimate emotions are often too-soon dismissed by bouquets of roses.
 Girls should strive to get more out of life than a bunch of flowers.
 By my graduation, I will have endured one torn ACL, seven AP courses, four spirit weeks, three SAT tests, and (at least) one volleyball BAL title. But what better way to mark my accomplishments and fortitude than by planting a rose in my hand?
 Roses represent eternal, undying love, but that’s not what I got out of high school.
 I got maturity, talent, and peace of mind. I established solid relationships with teachers and proved myself through clubs and academics. I made friends that I am forever thankful for. But I did not get red, hot love. Nor did I attempt to.
 I am a woman, but I will not be represented by a flower. I am a tsunami. A rainstorm. A second-look-worthy not-to-be-forgotten human being. A flower can not dissolve my anger or ease my worries, nor can it win my heart.
As if Prestige Portraits were still not convinced that I’m a proper lady, they handed me a white rose too.  Maybe next year the graduating girls will get pink roses as well! I’m sure they’re excited.

Student suspect illnesses are spreading due to hall passes

Nina Coughlin and Katie Tangradi
Staff Writers

A plastic yellow rectangle is single -handedly infecting myriad students with common cold symptoms just months before the flu season arrives.
  Students walked in day one, expecting to receive the typical passport/planner. PLOT TWIST, students were introduced to the aforementioned slab of yellow plastic, also known as the new hall pass for the 2015-2016 school year.
  To exit the classroom, students fill out the hall pass with the time and destination. The hall pass accompanies the students to their destination and back. This process is not only unsanitary but vile. Students should not have to be concerned about the hall passes history prior to the student’s use.
  The hall pass is generally taken to the bathroom, which is the most germ-infested location in the school according to many students. If there are 20 students in every class, eight times a day, then there is a possibility of 160 students touching a single hall pass every single day. Some of those students may be sick, while others may fail to wash their hands after uses the lavatory. Either way the hall pass poses a health risk.
  Within the first three weeks of school about two-thirds of every class experienced cold symptoms. Our hypothesis leads to the hall passes being at fault for this school-wide illness. It is beyond disgusting that this piece of plastic goes everywhere with students, and is shared by the entire student body. Hygiene is a personal issue.
  “The new hall passes are bogus if you ask me,” Senior Dylan Waterman said. “I think it is super gross and unhygienic to be carrying the same hall pass that many others have just brought with them into the bathroom. Who knows what is on these disgusting passes, and I’m sure it is nothing I want on or near my body.”
  What was thought to be good idea is now causing illness throughout the high school. The majority of students are against it. This policy needs to change before flu season arrives.

New Keycards Throw Off Student Routines

Alec Coburn
Staff Writer

This school year NH-S students and staff arrived to school with a not-so nice-surprise: The keycard receptors on the doors of the school had been changed.
  Nobody could get in the building and many were late for their first period class. By homeroom the students discovered that these new receptors were linked to new key cards that also double as our school ID’s. Because we all use our school ID’s right? My old key-fob that I have used for the past three years is now obsolete. So, why the switch?
  Mr. Malone addressed the situation. “Because of the new construction we thought we should update the security system,” Malone said. “Having our name and photo on the keycard will make it more personalized.”
  There are many students, including myself, who are not fans of the new security initiative. I am all for updated security systems and keeping the student body safe. Let’s be honest here folks, we live in New Hope. What is going to happen? Either way, a little notification would have been nice. I was late to my first period class for the test. Also, the concept of a card is backtracking. The “fob” was compact, easy to have on your lanyard and put in your pocket. These new cards are cumbersome to have attached on your keys. There are those who just put it in their wallets, but does anyone really carry their wallet around school? I know I don’t.
  Senior Nic Patino said that he does not like the new key cards because they do not “fit on his keys.”
  If you like the new key cards then that is good for you. More power to you. I am just glad I do not have to deal with them after May 13 thanks to the APEX project.

Is Cheerleading A Sport?

Alexandra Mangano & Eliana Slater
Staff Writers

Whether cheerleading is a sport or not is a controversial topic. Most cheerleaders will immediately argue that it is a sport, which is understandable. Cheerleaders endure constant criticism and disapproval of their sport.
 “I do not understand how people can disrespect a sport they have never been a part of,” said Junior Brooke Black, a cheerleader.
  Cheerleading checks off every qualification that activities require to be considered a sport. The first requirement is that it must be a physical activity that involves propelling a mass through the air; stunting does exactly that! Cheerleaders lift and throw girls in the air frequently. Bodies weigh more than a typical sport’s equipment, and that shows how much strength it takes to be successful in this sport.
 The second qualification is contesting or competing against an opponent. Cheerleaders spend hours of practice running through routines, stunting, tumbling, and cheering. They do this because competitions are extremely difficult and require dedication. Just like football players create plays to run, cheerleaders create routines to perform.
 The last qualification is it must have rules that govern the activity, there must be a set time, space, purpose of the contest, and the conditions under which a winner is declared. There are different rules for each level of cheerleading and for school cheerleading. Points are taken off of the score sheet for each illegal stunt performed at each level.
 Cheerleaders are often considered weak athletes. As said previously, it requires a lot of muscle to stunt. Stunting also causes major injuries that are just as serious as any other sport.  After all, the injuries that cheerleaders endure are ranked second among all sports. Motions have to be sharp and voices have to be loud. 37,000 cheerleaders go to the emergency room every year. This statistic just goes to show that cheerleading should be weighed as heavily as other sports.
 Cheerleading is a sport because it meets all of the qualifications needed to be one. While doing cheerleading, every member is physically active whether they’re throwing girls in the air or doing backflips, but it’s fun too.

Losing Money Quickly? The Truth Behind The School Cafeteria Prices

Justin Fischetti
Staff Writer

If you have bought lunch from the school cafeteria, it is likely that at some point you thought that you were overpaying, especially over the past couple years. Maybe you saw your account money continue to tank quickly every school day. The truth is, you are right - partly. While indeed, the prices of the menu items from the cafeteria can get a bit pricey, there is a little trick that can help save you quite a bit of cash.
 The prices of lunch items vary from one another depending on their category. Side entrees, such as fries and rice, cost only 85 cents, but main entrees, such as pizza and chicken nuggets, cost $2.60. Many students in the past may have bought only a main entree and a side entree, but may have been surprised to see the price climb up to near $3.50.
 Since you will also will probably buy a drink to go along with the buy, you may be thinking that this is just unfair overpricing. Well, yes, you would be right. However, there is a trick not all students are aware of that can help you save money; the discounts. There is a very helpful discount within the school lunch system. In order to get this discount, you must buy a full meal at lunch. This meal consists of a main and side entree, a drink, and, what students typically miss, a ½ cup of a fruit or vegetable. If you buy these four items, you will need to pay only $3.10 for the meal, saving well over a dollar as a result.
 Some students seem unaware of this discount and assume a full meal will be too pricey, when, if you just a little bit of healthy fruits or vegetables on the side, you could be saving more money than you think. Even if you aren’t into that healthy stuff, you can easily ignore the fruits or vegetables and eat the rest of your meal.
 You may be wondering how the lunch management comes up with the lunch item prices and what is behind the reason for the discount. School District Food Service Director Kim Keller explains the reasoning in an interview:
 “School lunch prices are regulated through the state and federal government through something called school lunch equity. Prices are based on state averages and the economy's inflation”.
 This means that the school lunch prices are in a way controlled by the government, so not much can be done to change them. Only the snack items, such as cookies and ice cream, are determined by the school.
 Also mentioned in the interview is how the National School Lunch program offers a discount if students buy a full, healthy lunch with fruits or vegetables included, which explains the discount; the program wants to encourage students to eat healthy!