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Published by The Chronicle, 2019-04-12 07:27:05

Edition 16.8

The Chronicle published on April 20, 2019.

Vol. 16, Issue 8 | William Mason High School | 6100 Mason Montgomery Road Mason, OH | 4.12.19


A Rock and a Hard Place

PG. 14

Senior Wayne Zhu, photo by Jacob Brase, Tanner Pearson

2 News April 12, 2019

Cooper proposes elimination of Valedictorian, change to GPA calculations

Henri Robbins | Staff Writer boost per one AP or Honors course
credit. AP courses would be on a 5.0
scale, while honors courses would be on
While students are focused on their a 4.5, and all others would be on a 4.0. Photo by Henri Robbins
grades, the school is focusing on the The change to class titles means that Superintendent Jonathan Cooper and fellow administration have altered the calculations of Grade
classes they take to get them. GPAs are now part of a laude system, Point Average (GPA), which he announced at the recent Community Conversation to the public.
where students with a 4.0 or above
In the most recent Community would receive Summa Cum Laude, that all of our kids are great,” Steel said. curricular activities and engaging with
Conversation on April 2, 2019, Superin- while 3.75 to 3.99 would receive Magna “If we take the high school and take the community.
tendent Jonathan Cooper announced his Cum Laude, and 3.51 to 3.74 would re- academic prowess of all of our students
proposed changes to how Grade Point ceive Cum Laude. and stack it up against any student, “We’re hearing from colleges that
Average (GPA) is calculated in Mason we’re going to compete pretty well. But they’re not just looking at GPA or
Schools along with eliminating the vale- When he began working with the are we creating competition amongst course selection,” Cooper said. “They’re
dictorian and salutatorian titles. During high school more closely, Cooper no- our students that is unfair to them? Are looking at what other things they’re
the meeting, he responded to concerns ticed inconsistencies with the GPA scal- we creating opportunities where kids doing, and how they’re giving back
within the community in regards to ing. There were commonly GPAs in the feel like they’re successful and growing, the community. They’re looking at the
these changes which are intended to 6.0 range and above, something which that takes advantage of our size, are we whole person more now than they ever
address the competitive atmosphere he said was greatly inflated. Around that doing that well enough?” have before.”
that he said is present in Mason in an time, Mason also began to receive letters
attempt to increase the overall mental from schools such as Vanderbilt which Cooper not only hopes that students When attending the conversation,
health of students. were questioning their grading scale. will focus on courses which they are Junior Shriya Penmetsa said that she
more interested in taking, but that they was initially wary of the change, but
“We’re looking at whether we’re cal- “Currently, the distribution suggests also will begin focusing on more extra- after hearing the reasoning behind it,
culating GPAs in a way that is actually that students with a 4.5 GPA or higher she sees how students focusing entirely
best practice, and whether we should are within the top 26 percent at Mason,”
look at rethinking our calculation for one letter from Vanderbilt said. “I think
GPAs in a way that is more accurate,” they are much higher in the class.”
Cooper said. “The way we’re doing it
now is creating a chase for the top GPA While such GPAs can make college
way out there, and if we go to the five- admissions more difficult, Cooper said
point system, we think that will begin to they also lead to students simply taking
slow down the big chase for a 6.0 or 7.0, classes because of the GPA boost rather
which is literally starting in fifth and than genuine interest.
sixth grade.”
“We want kids taking courses that
This change to GPA, alongside the help them follow their passion and that
proposal of eliminating class titles, are help them on their journey to what they
in conjunction with the changes to start want to do, not because they feel like
times and bell scheduling, which will be they have to or because they’re falling
put into place next year. In the meeting, behind,” Cooper said.
the impact of the current GPA and rank-
ing systems, along with the competitive In the face of these issues, Education
atmosphere that Cooper said it creates, Board president Matt Steele addressed
were discussed by administration and the hardships that he sees students face
attendees. and his belief that, although they are
still proposals, the changes that Cooper
With the proposal, GPA would be is offering could eliminate them.
limited to a 5.0 cap, removing the 0.06
“Sometimes we lose sight of the fact

on boosting their GPA can be damag-
ing, and hopes that students are open to
Proposed GPA Credit System accepting the changes.

“Students are always asking for
change, but the moment you introduce
it, people are against it,” Penmetsa said.
Grade AP/CCP Courses Honors Courses All Other Courses “I don’t think people understand that
the school isn’t doing this to penalize
us at all. They want to help us, and with
A 5.0 4.5 4.0 any change I think kids are going to be
negative about it, but as it falls into play
it will make more sense to them, and
eventually it will come around to where
kids like it.”
B 4.0 3.5 3.0 Cooper hopes that students will be

more inclined to take classes without
considering grades, and instead taking
courses which interest them and are
C 3.0 2.5 2.0 relevant to their future.

“We want your journey to be your
journey,” Cooper said. “What I’m try-
ing to do is transform our approach to
learning at Mason schools and influence
D 1.0 1.0 1.0 others to do the same, because person-
alized learning would allow you as a
student, with the teacher, to begin co-
creating your journey or your pathway,
F 0.0 0.0 0.0 so it’s a pathway you really want to be
on and not one that you feel pressured
to be on.”

April 12, 2019 News 3

Teacher teams up with student to solve cold case

Andrea Hefferan | Online Editor “We stayed for several weeks until five, Photo by Henri Robbins
six, seven o’clock at night, depending on
It’s been over 20 years since University when people could talk to us,” Hubbard Junior Evan Fletcher and Forensics teacher Randy Hubbard are working to solve a case which
of Cincinnati student Alana “Laney” said. “Sometimes we’re throwing ideas at
Gwinner disappeared. Forensics teacher each other and we look up and it’s 7:30. went cold over 20 years ago. Fletcher has compiled their clues into a timeline of events.
Randy Hubbard and junior Evan Fletch- We’ve probably spent a good hundred
er are determined to find out why. hours or so working on it.” around solving and working on cold students to start to get those ideas now.

Fletcher and Hubbard were investigat- For Hubbard, it was difficult to discern cases or missing persons,” Fletcher said. So when they go into the field now, they
ing unsolved crimes, or cold cases, when the relevant information from all the already have a background.”
they stumbled upon the case of Laney two found about the case. He said follow- “We’re going to use some of what
Gwinner, who was a 23-year-old account- ing through on every lead has proven to Despite putting so much time and ef-
ing student at the University of Cincin- be one of their biggest challenges. we’ve learned from doing this case for
nati. In 1997, Gwinner disappeared after fort into investigating the case, Hubbard
leaving a bowling alley. Her body was “The hardest part is the different leads this class: some of the techniques that
found in the Ohio River a month later. because you start to get an idea and have we’ve learned; contacts that we’ve made is unsure if the case will ever be solved.
things that go through your mind at dif- that are willing to help us with the class He hopes, however, that he and Fletcher
“On December 10, 1997, (Laney) was ferent times, but you have to try to fol- from different police departments, coro- will be able to add a new perspective to
at Gilmore Bowling Lanes in Fairfield, low them all,” Hubbard said. “That’s why the case.
Ohio, playing pool,” Fletcher said. “Then I think a lot of times police departments ners, and offices.”
she left to go to her boyfriend’s house, get a bad rap because cases go cold. The “When you go into things like this,
but she never showed up. Then it’s really problem is that leads sometimes go The people Hubbard and Fletcher
a mystery from there what happened to nowhere, and there’s so many of them. you really can’t say that you’re going
her. We don’t know who killed her, where They have to just keep starting over.” talked to with a connection to the case
she died. I mean, there’s not even really to find a conclusion because we’re not
a crime scene to go off of, so there’s re- Fletcher and Hubbard talked to a vari- were not only excited the story was
ally not much evidence. That’s why it’s ety of people to gain more information experts,” Hubbard said. “The police have
gone cold.” on the case, from police departments to resurfacing, but also that the pair were
water rescue teams to Gwinner’s family their own information that they’re not
Hubbard said he was first drawn to the and friends. Most people have been open going to use the case as an educational
case because of his connection to Fair- and willing to talk to the pair about the tool. going to give us because it’s an open
field. As time progressed, he also became case. Even those closest to Gwinner have “The interesting part is just being able case. We hope to find something that
dedicated to keeping it in the public eye. been surprisingly supportive of their somebody will remember or that the po-
investigation, Hubbard said. to talk to all those individuals and how
“I graduated from Fairfield, so I’m lice can check out that they didn’t know
from that area,” Hubbard said. “I’ve been “Family or family members and excited they were that we’re actually
to that bowling alley when I was a kid, so friends have been great,” Hubbard said. doing it as a class,” Hubbard said. “They back then. Will we resolve the case? I
I just got excited about it. I was thinking “They just want the story to keep going. don’t know. It’s been cold for 20 years for
that we would just use it to learn how to They want to keep it open so that some- were saying that that kind of education
talk to people that were involved with body may see or remember something is difficult to get and we don’t do it soon a reason. We hope so, but I don’t know if
the case, not realizing that we were go- or somebody told them something.” we can or not.”
ing to get brought in to the point where enough And they’re wanting kids and
now it’s become a mission. We want to Hubbard and Fletcher began inves-
make sure the story gets out.” tigating the case because of the new
Forensics: Cold Case class that will be
Both Hubbard and Fletcher have spent taught next year. The two hope to imple-
a lot of time on the case. They started ment what they have learned from the
investigating first semester and worked
for hours after school finding sources investigation into the class itself.
and leads. “The new class is going to be focused

4 Feature April 12, 2019

Student writers author their own novels

Jake Sapp | Staff Writer was told from the perspective of Ron.” Photo by Jake Sapp
Although he does not plan on mak- Senior Andrew Mckee is currently working on writing a fantasy novel after previously creating
Sometimes a simple English course other short stories in prior years and Mckee hopes to someday publish his writings.
isn’t enough. ing writing into a full-time career,
McKee still hopes that one day his
While there are a number of writ- works will be published for others to
ing programs for Mason High School enjoy while continuing his authorship
writers to find their footing in the world hobbies on the side.
of the English language, some students
have decided to take their skills into “I would absolutely love to one day
their own hands. A number of students have my writing published,” McKee
have been trying to bring their writing said. “In the future, I do plan on con-
prowess to the next level, whether it tinuing to hone my skills with English
be drafting a novel, writing poetry, or and writing. If my books eventually did
working to major in English in college. find some stardom or attention, I would
Senior Cydney Davidson said that her love to make my passion my career, but
love for writing stems from an early paying the bills is my first priority right
passion for the English language and now. In college, I’m going to be major-
literature. ing in Journalism, specifically with a
focus on advertising. I hope to be able
“I’ve always enjoyed creative pursuits to put my skills to the test while also
like writing and art, and for as long as making a buck or two.”
I can remember I’ve always had ideas
swirling around in my head,” Davidson McKee said that he draws much of
said. “I love to read as well, so writing his inspirations from the pastimes that
seemed like a natural bridge between he and his friends engage in and that
reading and art that I could explore. I’ve his parents have helped to foster his
been writing creatively since around creativity through encouragement and
third grade.” support.

During her writing process, David- “My friends and I have been fans
son said she likes to draw inspiration of tabletop roleplaying games for a
from the world and people around her. while now, most notably Dungeons and
People, places, and emotions all play a Dragons,” McKee said. “This love for
part in how she formulates a story. world-building and watching a cast of
characters play around in a world that
“I take a lot of inspiration from daily I created is extremely rewarding, and
life, and I love to people-watch to gain often is the main thing that drives me
insight into my characters,” Davidson to continue writing when I hit a wall.
said. “I like to write down little snippets My family never pressured me too hard
of inspiration whenever I can and some- to grow up, so my love for magic and
times those pieces stitch themselves fantasy has remained as strong as ever.”
into a story.”
Sophomore Ann Vettikkal, a self-
Davidson believes that writing is one published author, said her initial push
of the easiest and most fulfilling pas- to become a writer came from back in
times that one can engage in, and said elementary school. One of her teachers
that although not everyone may like it, noticed her abilities at an early age and
it can still offer a window into stories gave Vettikkal the courage to continue
and people like nothing else. on the path of writing.

“In my opinion, writing is one of the “My second-grade teacher, Mrs. Drod-
best ways to spend your time,” Davidson er, inspired me to write because she was
said. “It’s all about creativity, depth, and the first one to believe in my writing
skill. You can create worlds inside the and me as a writer,” Vettikkal said. “She
mind of your reader, breathe life into encouraged me to continue writing be-
characters that didn’t exist before you yond the assignments we were given in
dreamed them up. All you have to do is class. Writing, in general, has definitely
pick up a pencil or a laptop.” shaped who I am as a person because it
gives you the ability to observe yourself
Senior Andrew McKee is a student and your thoughts.”
who has been working on multiple cre-
ative works throughout his high school Although not everyone may be a
career, and wants to become a published writer, McKee still thinks that everyone
author in the future. should have a chance to make their
voices and passions heard, no matter
“Right now I’m working on a few who they are.
projects, but my main focus is on a
magic realism novel about a school for “I urge everyone: if you have a story
monster hunters,” McKee said. “The to tell, don’t be afraid to tell it,” McKee
shtick being that the main character is said. “Fictional or not, there is a space
not the chosen one, but rather his best for every voice in this massive world
friend is. Kind of like if Harry Potter that we live in.”

April 12, 2019 Feature 5

Mason student helping Christian Village resident write autobiography

Alex Lisa | Staff Writer years old, and they’ve been in the hos- to be helpful, and she said why don’t go deliver babies in the home if people
Though quite a distance away from pital a lot of their lives,” Colburn said. we come over to tea. But this was right couldn’t afford to go to the hospital,"
Mason High School students, old age “So I wanted to make sure they knew after the war, and despite everyone’s Colburn said. "I knew some other doc-
comes to us all, and along with it a that even with hardships that happen at hospitality, not everyone had food, so tors there, male doctors, whom I went
number of challenges. That does not such a young age, you can still have a we were worried it would be a lot of to dinner with, and I said ‘tell me about
mean, however, that no one can put up a wealthy and full life -- I myself lost my trouble. That family wouldn’t hear of Susan Kennedy,’ and they said ‘she’s
fight and, with a bit of creativity, turn it father to illness at age five, and that was it, so we stayed. We sat with them and the most skilled surgeon you’ll find,
into something to be appreciated. a lot to deal with. We don’t get to see we listened to Wagner on the radio, but she’s an idiot, because she goes out
The National Arts Honors Society has each other and I can’t talk to them and the whole family rode with us on and does things for free, in the home.’ I
been volunteering at the Christian Vil- think they were the idiots.”
lage to do art projects with the elderly “
for several years. It is through this Compared to what was available to
volunteering that Senior Taylor Kling Even with hardships that happen at such a young her in her time, Colburn said she is
became friends with 90-year-old Lois age, you can still have a wealthy and full life. excited for where young people today
Colburn, who uses every opportunity can go, and wishes she had those same
to express herself. As the two became -Lois Colburn burn chances growing up.
closer, Kling began helping Colburn
with one especially unique form of about this as much as I would like to, “ “I love speaking with young people,
expression: writing an autobiography. so that’s actually why I started thinking their bicycles down the road, and we it invigorates me and helps to keep me
Colburn said there are a number of about writing this.” stopped and shook hands and they thinking clearly, and I think about my
things which contributed to the start went back home and we went on... grandchildren and want them to know
of this project, including the desire to The autobiography itself recounts We came to a pub eventually and we about the opportunity in front of them,”
preserve her memories even after they a number of experiences Colburn has met yodlers there, and they had us feel Colburn said. “I think youngsters have
have begun to leave her. had, including stories about her trips to their throats while they yodeled and it so much more opportunity. I think it is
“There are a lot of people my age who Europe and reflections on the people was so bizarre and loud and good fun. a very hard time for young people and
don’t have the memory I have,” Colburn she has met. We biked through all of Europe, getting also a very exciting time.”
said. “I am 90 years old, and I hope to to know people and we have so many
have as clear a mind as I do now for a “My husband and I went to Europe stories that are just heartwarming like A message Colburn wants to extend
much longer time, but I also want to in 1953,” Colburn said. “We rented bikes that.” both in her autobiography and in person
make use of my memory while I still from England because that’s how you is the need for persistence because every
have it and get it down onto paper. Or got around back then. In Germany, we Beyond those she met in Europe, Col- hard moment in life becomes some-
a computer, actually, which I am not met a young woman who came over to burn said a woman who made a huge thing different down the road.
computer-literate. That’s why I need borrow our bicycle pump for her bike, impact on her life was the doctor who
young people like Taylor who’s been so but her German bike was large and helped her with medical issues when “When my father passed away, my
kind and helped me.” our pump didn’t work. We wanted to she attended the University of Michigan. mother said ‘we’re going to rear four
Another important reason that Col- make sure she understood, we wanted children,’” Colburn said. “She said that
burn wants to write her autobiography is “She was so good to people, she would to me, a five-year-old, and the way she
to get a lasting message out to her two spoke and carried on, she never let me
grandchildren. think we couldn’t succeed in anything.
“I have grandchildren who are four All you really need is brute determina-
tion; you never know the incredible
people you will meet in your life until
you have the chance to look back on it.
Many things that weren’t remarkable in
the moment became special over time.
Really, time just changes everything.”

Photo contributed by Nina Coyle
Senior Taylor Kling met 90-year-old Lois Colburn through volunteering with the National Arts Honors Society. Kling is helping Colburn write an autobiography to document her life experience.

April 12, 2019 Feature 6

Couples plan for college separation

Lily Geiser | Staff Writer

Nearly a third of college relationships are long Photos contributed by Caroline Curtain
distance. With graduation looming just around the Junior Caroline Curtain and college freshman Adam Johnson continued dating even after Johnson began attending the University of
corner, more college-bound couples will join those Cincinnati. Curtain believes they managed to stay together due to their personal independence and trust in each other.
distance.’ It wouldn’t particularly bother me, because ‘hey, when is a good time for you to talk,’ not ‘now
The transition from high school to college can be I have a lot of trust for him, and I think it goes both is the time for me to talk, let’s talk.’ Just having pa-
incredibly difficult -- moving away from your family ways.” tience with your relationship, don’t rush.”
for the first time, living in a completely different
environment, losing touch with friends. Some of the Curtain also finds that trusting her boyfriend, Many couples, like Curtain and her boyfriend, opt
most difficult decisions come from seniors in serious even when she can’t see him all the time, has helped to stay together despite the distance. Helm believes
relationships, who have to either let go or learn how them to sustain their relationship over the distance. that, even if he and Durham end up at different col-
to keep up a relationship from miles apart. Despite A relationship lasting as long as hers has, Curtain leges, the distance should not stand in the way.
the challenges a long distance relationship entails, believes, helped her to learn to have patience with
many students choose to take that chance, finding her partner. “There’s no reason we should stop dating because
ways to work through the hardships as they come. we’re going somewhere else,” Helm said. “We’re
“Your relationship, loving someone doesn’t have to pretty set. We’ve been together for a year, and I’m
Junior Caroline Curtain started dating her current be spending every hour with them or writing them not going to drop that because we’re 100 miles away.
boyfriend, a freshman at the University of Cincin- notes,” Curtain said. “You can love someone well by I mean, distance makes the heart grow fonder, so it
nati, the summer before her sophomore year. She distancing yourself or giving them grace and saying, should only make me love (her) more.”
said she believes their ability to live independently
of one another is one of the key reasons they were Photos by Lily Geiser
able to stay together. Senior couples Delaney Durham and Luke Helm (left) and Grace Koesters and Kevin Tull (right) both plan to stay together during
college, despite likely attending different schools.
“We met and knew each other for a week, and then
he went away for a month without his phone,” Cur-
tain said. “So I met him, and we began to talk in a
friendship, and he was gone. So I feel like that really
helped, just not becoming super dependent on him
super quickly. I feel like I don’t depend on him for
everything, we’re very independent, and when we do
things together, it’s just for fun, versus like, ‘I need
you for this or I need you for that.’”

In college, Curtain plans to study something re-
lated to early child education or social work. She said
dating someone attending the University of Cincin-
nati may have impacted her decision of whether to
apply there, but she believes it has more to do with
her familiarity with the campus than her relation-

“I think (visiting him) definitely opened my eyes
to UC a little bit more,” Curtain said. “Being on
campus at UC made me a lot more comfortable with
UC and more confident. But I don’t think I’m going
to go to UC because he’s there. That’s something
my mom always talks to me about, she’s always like,
‘you shouldn’t be making this decision because of
him,’ and that kind of thing, and I understand that.”

Although senior Grace Koesters will be attending
UC, her boyfriend of two years, Kevin Tull, will be
attending Ohio State University. She believes that the
distance will not be a significant problem, as they
can easily travel the 100 miles to see each other.

“There’s a bus system that connects OSU, Miami,
(and) UC,” Koesters said. “And I’m only twenty
minutes away from my house, so I can very easily go
home. We haven’t really planned anything, but we’re
also only an hour and a half away, so it’s pretty easy.”

Seniors Delaney Durham and Luke Helm, al-
though they plan to stay together when they go off
to college, don’t want their relationship to impact
the place they choose to attend. Although they ap-
plied to some of the same colleges, they are trying to
make their college decisions as impartial as possible.

“We’re actually not telling each other, until we’ve
paid our deposit, where we’ve decided to go so that
way we don’t sway each other,” Durham said. “The
first time we talked about it, there wasn’t much con-
versation to it. We were both like, ‘yeah, we’ll do long

April 12, 2019 7

8 Feature April 12, 2019

Trinidad sisters on target to become professional archers

Kaelyn Rodrigues | Staff Writer

Sophomores Jazmine and Josie Trini- Sophomores Jazmine and Josie Trinidad started archery when they were around eight years old: the sisters use local competitions, at which they
dad have their eye on the target. score among the highest, as practice for larger state and national tournaments.

The sisters have been archers since get to learn new things about people’s Photos by Tanner Pearson
they were in elementary school. They different methods of shooting and stuff While the Trinidad sisters do benefit from competing with each other and other archers, they
train in both indoor and outdoor ar- like that.” find that most of their motivation comes from trying to beat their own personal records and
chery and learn from several coaches, improve accuracy.
including 1976, 1984 and 1988 Olympic In the future, Jazmine said she would
gold and silver medalist Darrell Pace, a like to continue archery both in college
Cincinnati native. and professionally. Currently, she is
working towards getting a scholarship
“We started archery when we were as a student archer.
about eight,” Jazmine said. “We used to
be in a (shooting) club named 4H. They “There are a lot of scholarship
also had an archery program and we opportunities for children who do
really excelled into that. Then we got to archery,” Jazmine said. “I have coaches
the point where they didn’t have much that are looking at me and my scores
to teach us anymore because it was just to see if they’d be interested in giving
a beginner class, so they told us about a me a scholarship. I want to get up to a
competitive archery club named JOAD national level in competing, and in the
(Junior Olympic Archery Develop- future I think pro archery is something
ment), and they recommended us to go that I’d be very interested in.”
over there. We really wanted to learn
more about the sport.” While Josie said she also plans to
carry on with archery in college both
While some athletes feel pressure at competitively and recreationally, she
tournaments, Josie said she is not af- would like to teach the sport as well
fected much by the strain of competing. one day.

“I don’t find competitions very stress- “I would probably just go to college
ful at all,” Josie said. “The only excep- and shoot competitively, but also just
tion is when I’m actually neck to neck for fun, because that’s what archery is
with competitors and when I’m trying for me,” Josie said. “Maybe I will help
my best to beat my personal scores, people in the future and teach kids one
but it’s actually really fun to meet day. It’s something that’s been with me
new people and hang out with other for a long time, since I was a kid, and
archers.” it’s something that I enjoy.”

With local tournaments every week-
end acting as practice for the more
extensive national ones, the sisters
participate in a variety of competi-
tions. Jazmine said she doesn’t focus on
beating her competitors, but rather her
personal records.

“The NFAA (National Field Archery
Association) Indoor Nationals is pretty
much the biggest indoor tournament of
the season,” Jazmine said. “Everybody’s
competing in that one, it’s the one
you’re preparing for all year. There’s
so many competitors in my division,
well over 100 people who competed. Of
course I practice to beat the other com-
petitors, but the most important thing
for me is to make my personal best and
go up from there.”

One aspect of the sport that Jazmine
said she enjoys is getting to interact
with fellow archers and discuss their
different archery techniques.

“With archery, you really get to meet
a lot of new people,” Jazmine said. “A
lot of the competitors I shoot against
have been very nice and helpful. At
outdoor nationals, I was next to the
number one girl in the nation. You

February 22, 2019 9

10 Feature April 12, 2019

Graphic by Ryan D'Souza

Social media creates rise of conspiracists

Anusha Vadlamani | Staff Writer where from believing that the television would drop some of them on the board, “Science is never settled,” Sauer said.
show The Simpsons predicted Donald and then the entire class would start “It's always growing. It’s always look-
With every new conspiracy comes a Trump’s presidency to claiming that participating. We were like ‘this could be ing for new data either to back up the
new conspiracist. Walt Disney is going to come back to a really popular club.’” current theories or to refute them or ex-
life. Karani said that she wholeheart- pand upon them. That kind of question-
Conspiracy theories, dating back as edly believes some of the more modern Conspiracy theories have ranged from ing and critical judgment is how science
early as ancient Rome, have progressed conspiracy theories. anywhere from questioning whether the grows into itself. If everybody happens
through word of mouth. It wasn’t until earth is flat, to speculating the realness to believe it, then science is going to be
the introduction of modern technology “I believe that Walt Disney froze his of the moon landing. While every theory done. Science is about organic growth,
that conspiracy theories really began body so that he can be brought back to is not one that can be tested, sophomore so you don't want to stop.”
to flourish: John F Kennedy’s assassina- life,” Karani said. “He and his work- Rhea Bawa, an avid watcher of conspira-
tion, the realness of the moon landing ers didn’t want people to find out, but cy theories, has tried to test every theory Sauer has found himself in situa-
and Princess Diana’s death have all obviously there was information about that she possibly can. tions in the past where he has had to
remained as fan favorites. it online, so when anyone googled go against public opinion to conduct
‘Disney frozen body’ or anything like “I’ve tried the conspiracy theory of research to form his own opinion.
The last decade, however, has shown that they would get tons of images and Apple answering your phone call before
an increase in the popularity of con- links about it. Then Disney created the you’re able to answer it and the people “There was a swine flu a few years
spiracy theories, most of which can be hit movie ‘Frozen’ so now when you on the other line can hear you talk, and ago that everyone was like ‘Oh no, we’re
credited to various mass media outlets, google “Disney Frozen” or anything like it worked,” Bawa said. “I was shocked going to die from swine flu,’” Sauer
most notably YouTube. YouTubers, it, all you get are images and informa- because when other people make said. “I was like ‘seriously, stop trying
such as Shane Dawson, have published tion about the movie. This is definitely conspiracy videos and post them online to panic me, this isn’t going to happen.’
entire videos dedicated to exploring real because when you adjust the dates sometimes it looks fake but when I tried West Nile Virus is another one where I
mainstream conspiracy theories on their to only show websites from before 2012, it myself, it was a confirmation of the did the research and found that out of
channels. Junior Jinal Karani said she they all show things about his frozen theory.” mosquitoes, the estimate was that one
first became interested in conspiracy body.” out of every million mosquitoes actually
theories when watching Dawson’s vid- Dr. Johnothon Sauer, the adviser for carries the virus. And even if you get bit,
eos. Karani, one of the co-founders of the Conspiracy Theory Club, said that he you only have one in a million chance
Conspiracy Theory Club, said she and has never been able to believe a theory of catching it. Doing the math, the odds
“I went in pretty close-minded, think- her friends got their inspiration from right away due to the inability to check are so small.”
ing ‘conspiracy theories must be so seeing the number of people who got them.
stupid, obviously they can’t be true,’” involved in talking about the theories. Bawa ultimately believes that the
Karani said. “But as I was watching ‘I'm cynical, and I admit that much,” growth of conspiracy theories is depen-
his videos, I was so fascinated with the “Three of my friends and I were Sauer said. “I prefer to check data and dant on people, not new evidence.
reasoning behind all the theories and sitting in Dr. Sauer’s classroom and we check claims for myself rather than be-
I realized that there’s so much more to would often talk about if a straw has two lieving any group’s one side or anything “I have heard more people talking
everything we see.” holes and if the earth is flat and stuff like that.” about conspiracy theories,” Bawa said.
like that,” Karani said. “We would have “I think anyone can get interested in
The circulation of current theories is entire class discussions about it, after Sauer said that even the most outland- conspiracy theories. It has become more
a result of speculations about modern we finished our math problems. We ish of theories can be supported by popular as more people are discovering
events. The range of events spans any- science because he believes that science them.”
is an ever-changing thing.

April 12, 2019 Feature 11

Caffeine craving teenagers turn to new energy drink

Sophia Johnson | Staff Writer “

While caffeine has always kept students going, a I take them every day
new energy drink is making a name for itself in the in the morning because
fight to avoid sleep. I sometimes will have

Bang, from Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VPX Sports), trouble sleeping or I
is an energy drink that contains no calories, no sugar will just stay up late...
and no carbohydrates. Labeled as a pre-workout
supplement that contains 300mg of caffeine, Bang Lauren Miller, junior
contains about three times the amount of an average
cup of coffee according to “

Junior Lani Hensley said by having access to an Graphic by Ryan D'Souza
energy drink with super creatine, a supplement that
works to enhance the body’s muscles, she and other
athletes are able to take Bang in place of other pre-
workout drinks.

“So they’re not exactly only for athletes, it’s just
a super creatine drink,” Hensley said. “So there are
protein powders that athletes put in their water before
they work out that has creatine in them, but instead of
making a pre-workout drink we all just grab a Bang
and go to workout.”

While every Bang can is printed with a comment
suggesting consumers of the drink be at least 18 years
of age, the high levels of caffeine are reaching an
audience that takes the drink as more of a supplement
to boost energy. For junior Lauren Miller, Bang has
replaced her daily cups of coffee; she said she relies on
it to help her get through the day.

“I take them every day in the morning because I
sometimes will have trouble sleeping or I will just stay
up late, and if I don’t get enough sleep it’s the worst
and I can’t stay up for the life of me,” Miller said. “So it
helps to get that caffeine in me. I used to drink coffee
and then I just got kind of use to it. I could have like
five cups a day, and it wouldn’t do anything for me.”

While Sam Le Cras said he drinks energy drinks on
a regular basis, he no longer drinks Bang after experi-
encing some of the side effects.

“I have had it before, but I try not to drink it because
it has a lot of different effects than most energy drinks
do,” Le Cras said. “Usually I’ll have a Monster every
morning and it’s just kind of like drinking a coffee,
wakes you up a little bit and makes you feel more
alert. The first time I had a Bang, it was kind of crazy. I
was sweating a whole lot, and really hot, and every-
thing. I was freaking out a bit.”

The first time senior Anagh Kulkarni said he tried
a Bang energy drink was on a trip for Speech and
Debate: he said he continues to get the drink as a fun
inside joke with the team.

“The whole team went to a mall and we just saw it
in a little convenient store area in a fridge and we were
in that mode of ‘we don’t want Monster or Redbull,
we want something random,’” Kulkarni said. “So we
looked at Bang and saw it had 300mg of caffeine, so
it just started as a joke. It was pretty crazy, we started
bouncing around everywhere and couldn’t stop mov-

Even though Kulkarni said he does not drink Bang
consistently, he has found himself using it to get
through late nights of schoolwork.

“I’ve definitely stayed up later than usual; there was
one time I stayed up until like five A.M. after having
drank it,” Kulkarni said. “I took it knowing I had to
stay up because I had to do homework and stuff, but
then I finished my homework and I still was doing
random stuff because I couldn’t fall asleep.”

12 Feat

ga m e of t h e

Students provide theor
‘Game of Thrones’ where

Alex Lisa | Staff Writer the story ceded its plot to the reveal it, it’s so great at building
show’s production team in season suspense, and there are so many
Eight years since the television six. Sophomore at and long-time characters that everything impacts
debut. Twenty-two years since fan Katie Maier said that many more than one storyline. I actually
the books were published. 1,243 fans are spiteful towards the new haven’t been reading a lot lately,
character deaths over the course seasons. which isn’t a good thing, but if the
of the story. All of it has been for next book in the series were to
the throne. “I know a lot of people had an come out, I would have to get it
issue with the change of pace that and read it. The series is just so
The question is: Has it all been the season took, and it did, it felt addicting.”
worth it? like it was moving much faster,’
Maier said. “And this new sea- The final book in the series,
The Game of Thrones televi- son is only supposed to have six however, titled “Dance with
sion series, based off the book episodes, so the material could be Dragons,” was released in 2011.
series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by condensed even more, and I am a Rather than continue and finish
George RR Martin, is releasing its bit concerned about that.” this series, George RR Martin
eighth and final season on April published the first book in a pre-
14th. The show initially captured Senior Lisa Li said that one quel series, and with the author’s
and kept the attention of fans thing which she enjoyed about the old age many worry that the book
through its award-winning special books is the fact that the complex series will never be finished. Li,
effects, record-breaking television plots were so detailed and gradu- however, said she is still banking
battle scenes, and it’s dedica- ally explained or revealed. on a finale for the books.
tion to staying true to the literary
material. However, when Martin “I think what I love so much “I’m holding out hope,” Li said.
failed to keep up with the books, about the series is the plots and “George Martin is moving slowly,
subplots,” Li said. “They way they

ture 13

e u n k n ow n

ries for final season of
e anything could happen

but I think he has every intention with the producers of the show, grasping at straws. I think people
of finishing his series. If we didn’t even writing some episodes. get nitpicky when their favorites
get to see his ending, I would be Regardless, later seasons have don’t win.”
really disappointed.” received markedly worse reviews
from critics who claim, according Maier said that part of the
Maier said that many people to The Guardian, that the show beauty of having a final season
are upset about the fact that the has become “a dumbed-down, without any known ending is that
series has not stayed true to its shark-jumping mess.” Maier, how- everyone will be surprised.
content, and that she understands ever, argued that several people
why some fans feel that way, have skewed views because the “It’s going to be a shock, like it
but that she does not agree with show is not turning out the way always is, and there will probably
them. they want to. be people who aren’t happy,”
Maier said. “Personally, I think
“I’ve read the books (as well as “I was in line once and I heard a the Dragon Queen is going to die,
seen the television series) and I group of women claiming that the and that is not a pleasant thing
feel like it’s going in a direction show was misogynistic, which is a for me to think about. I don’t want
that George RR Martin intended,” completely wrong and one-sided her to, but I think she’s been too
Maier said. “Especially because view that ignores all of the strong, perfect of a character. But in the
he is still consulting with the mak- powerful women in the series,” end,everyone has their theories
ers of the series, he’s said in a ton Maier said. “And I’ve heard people because there’s no last book. And
of interviews, so I trust them.” turning on the show because what’s great is I think we’re all
they think Jon is undermining going to be wrong.”
In fact George RR Martin has Daenerys for the throne, and they
held multiple interviews with me- think that’s sexist, they’re just
dia networks such as Variety and
The Guardian that he has worked

Design By Ryan D’souza
Layout by Jacob Brase

14 Feature April 12, 2019

the climb
Students push themselves past
the impossible in Rock Climbing

Jacob Brase | Staff Writer thought of.”
Along with the mental skills rock climbing
Senior Wayne Zhu isn’t afraid to climb a 45
foot rock wall with no harness. brings, Kachur said he enjoys the thrill of
The senior and current rock wall employee
at Lifetime knows he’s capable of climbing the “I’m honestly kind of scared of heights,”
wall. He’s done it before. Zhu knows the only Kachur said. “Climbing outdoors is definitely
thing that could cause him harm is himself, very daunting. You definitely have a higher
there is no other opponent he’s competing chance of falling than indoors. But looking
against. It’s just him and the wall. down and seeing how high I am, it just gives
me a huge rush of adrenaline. I’ve always
Zhu is among the many students who see a found something fascinating about it.”
distinct benefit that can be gained from Rock
climbing, an activity that for most is nothing Senior Collin Hawkins, who will be a college
more than a carnival game. Zhu, who has athlete next year, is no stranger to adrenaline.
never really participated in mainstream sports, Hawkins finds that adrenaline is something he
said that climbing offers a different type of actively seeks. He said rock climbing is just
competition. another outlet for him to express his love for
adventure and thrills.
“It’s literally a competition against yourself,”
Zhu said. “If you don’t get to the top, you’re “I’ve always been the crazy one in my family
looking at the target saying ‘I wasn’t able to and friend group,” Hawkins said. “I tend to not
do that.’ You saw all the steps you needed think before I do things, which is sometimes
to go and all the moves you needed to make good and sometimes bad. If you’re crazy,
but you physically couldn’t, or you mentally you’ll get attracted to the more crazy sports,
couldn’t.” which is why I think I enjoy rock climbing so
much. When most people climb, they’ll get
Zhu began climbing three years ago with really freaked out just 15 feet up the wall, but I
minimal experience, climbing beginner walls just get extremely excited.”
at Lifetime fitness center and the Mason Com-
munity Center. Zhu said his positive attitude For Hawkins, the thrill is what keeps him
towards seemingly impossible climbs allowed coming back to the rock wall.
him to rapidly increase his skill.
“When I climbed on Chimney Rock [in North
“I could see where I wanted to be at but I Carolina], and I was a hundred feet up, it
couldn’t get there, and that brought me back brought me a little bit of excitement knowing
day after day.” Zhu said. “I don’t like seeing if I screw up, I could get hurt, so I tell myself
something in front of me and being told ‘you ‘just don’t screw up’,” Hawkins said. “You get
can’t do this.’ It drives me crazy.” a good rush of adrenaline when you get a new
route on a wall. Not knowing if you can get
Zhu doesn’t approach climbing a wall to the next rock without falling is extremely
without until he plans the specific moves it’ll exciting and pushes me to keep climbing.”
take to get to the top. He said he approaches
a wall just like any problem he would solve in Hawkins admits his personality makes him
school. naturally climb just for the thrill of it, but for
Zhu, on the other hand, it’s about accomplish-
“Basically you’re just looking at a problem, ing goals that seemed impossible to him at
analyzing it and breaking it down into parts,” one point. Zhu said to him it’s never been just
Zhu said. “There will be spots with no rocks about the addrenaline.
on the wall that seem impossible, but if you
break it down into parts, it starts to make more “I’m not always chasing it, but i definitely
sense.” appreciate it when it’s flowing through me,”
Zhu said. “For me, adrenaline means I’m
Senior Joe Kacur started climbing seriously about to fall, or I’m in a dangerous situation. It
after a backpacking trip in The Appalachian definitely helps me climb, but I don’t actively
Mountains where he would stop consistently chase after it.”
and attempt different outdoor routes. Similar
to Zhu, Kachur said his approach to climbing Zhu said he values the progress and
is primarily mental. accomplishments he has made through climb-
“I don’t really focus on building strength
when I climb,” Kachur said. “I look at each “It’s this incredible feeling of success,
wall and just think ‘how can I approach each this feeling that you’ve done something and
puzzle’. If there’s a certain hold I have an accomplished something,” Zhu said. “It’s com-
issue with, I’ll watch someone else do it, and pletely different than getting a good grade or
usually there’s a solution that I would’ve never finishing an assignment because hanging up
there it’s something tangible you can hold.”

Photo by Tanner Pearson
Senior Wayne Zhu boulders a route at Mosaic climbing gym.

April 12, 2018 Culture 15

BITE OF Junior
Garlyn Abba

Egusi soup & Plantain “Cameroonians are very
diverse in their diet: most of
our food comes from what we
grow, rear, catch and is cooked
over a three stone fireside,”
Abba said. “Every tribe in
Cameroon has their traditional
meal which is what they eat in
a particular tribe. Egusi soup
is a traditional meal eaten by a
good number of tribes.”

Compiled by Ryan D’Souza, Tanner Pearson, Luke Hutchinson
A tribal meal, Abba prepares her egusi soup with melon seeds, meat, pepper, dried fish and tomatoes. On the side, she peels plantain and mashes it into the soup.

16 Entertainment April 12, 2019


Shazam! MUSIC




Verdict LIL NAS X
DC has been on a roll lately, and Shazam is no exception in the slightest. After the thoroughly enjoyable
‘Aquaman’, David Sandberg has delivered an action comedy that feels as though it was ripped straight Lil Nas X, real name Montero Lamar
out of the early 2000s, and carries with it all of the same charm that made films of that era so great. Hill has burst onto the scene with a
Zachary Levi, playing the part of adult Billy Baxton, is able to give a performance that perfectly captures genre-bending style. His hit single
the attitude, mannerisms and emotions of a 14 year-old boy struggling with having to deal with family “Old Town Road” has dominated the
issues, school life and suddenly gaining superhuman abilities from a wizard. Despite it’s strange internet in the last month, inspiring
premise, the film is able to effectively balance both comedy and serious moral issues throughout its run- countless videos and dances to the
time, having one gut-wrenching scene in particular that stands out against the rest. Some of the CGI is song. Nas even was able to create a
weak at times, and the final fight lasts a bit longer than it should have, but otherwise these criticisms are remix to the hit single with famous
negligible because of how fun the film is overall. Early on, DC may have been struggling to find it’s way
but much like Billy Baxton, it has found its footing and has the capability to do great things. in the future. country artist Billy Ray Cyrus.


REVIEW BY Henri robbins 8.5/10 FREE SPIRIT
REVIEW BY Ryan D’Souza
After directing the wildly successful ‘Get Out’, Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ is a stunning thriller which paints a
portrait of haunting parallels. Establishing itself in dark symbolism and playing off of an overarching R&B has seen an uptick in popularity over these past
feeling of uncanny, ‘Us’ works to create not simply a suspenseful film, but one which raises ques- three years with artists such as ‘H.E.R’ and ‘ser-
tions about the world around us and how we perceive it. Rooting itself in the supernatural, and drawing
inspiration from both modern conspiracy and biblical verse, the film raises many more questions than it pentwithfeet’ being on the rise, but no artist has broken
answers, but draws to a close in a way that still feels complete. While there were some flaws in storytell- into the mainstream like Kentucky-born artist Khalid.
ing and writing, such as a lack of depth in the later (and for the most part, unnecessary) expositions, the Following his chart topping first album ‘American Teen’
overall stylistic choices, including stunning visuals and an intense focus on skewed parallels, created an Khalid’s sophomore attempt ‘Free Spirit’ just feels like
environment in which the story was still believable and gripping. Performances from actors felt genuine, more of the same. The seventeen track album doesn’t
and the unnatural movements and mannerisms of the shadows, especially Evan Alex’s character, who
seemed nearly inhuman at times . And while the fear factor of the movie was nothing to write home seem to have any standout songs comparable to
about, the film still held its own with a suspenseful, dark storyline and deeply unnerving visuals. ‘Location’ or ‘Young, Dumb, and Broke’ but the majority
of tracks are rather forgettable and seem to blend to-
COMING SOON gether. That’s not to say the album is entirely bad, Kha-
lid’s strong voice shines through the clean background
AVENGERS: WANT TO instrumentals and songs like ‘Talk’ and ‘Hundred’ are
ENDGAME SEE IT? very raw and emotive. Free Spirit isn’t a bad album by

In Theaters April 26th Via Instagram poll any means, but it definitely isn’t a great one either.
Is it even needed to Page compiled by Jacob Brase
explain how big this movie 79% 21%

is? Opening weekend is
already projected for $200-
250 million, which could be
the biggest box office open-
ing ever. Fans have been
waiting for this conclusion
for 11 years, so let’s hope
they’re not dissapointed.

Sports17 April 12, 2019

Where are the women?

Family responsibilities often limit pool of female coaches

Matthew Smith | Staff Writer overwhelming to not be at home or taking care of kids “You want to have a coach who you think can be a
a lot, they need to gravitate towards the mother, espe- great role model for their players,” Stemple said. “I
With coaches being an integral piece to any team’s cially when they’re younger. The mom tends to be the think it’s important for young females to have a ma-
success, there are plenty of sports with positive influ- one who is constantly at home, so they already have ture female to look up to in their sport, and same for
encers running the programs at Mason High School. plenty of pressure on them.” males. However, you first have to look at your pool of
candidates, and hire the most qualified person for the
But take another look. Facing the responsibility of raising a family and job, regardless of gender.”
Where are the women? coaching is a daunting challenge that can be a lot to
With an even distribution of male and female sports manage. Clark said that she thinks that even if some Having more women in coaching roles can be done,
at most high schools, men still dominate the coaching women can handle being a coach, they don’t go after but the player’s still need to respond to them. Being
ranks. Mason High School is a prime example. Out of the job. qualified is most important for a coach, and sopho-
24 head coaches, 21 of them are male. more basketball player Marilyn Popplewell said that
Assistant girls basketball coach Jere Clark said there “I’ve seen plenty of women who are qualified to she enjoys being coached by Clark, but it’s still more
are many reasons for the lack of female coaches, but get a coaching job, but don’t even apply,” Clark said. important that her coach is the right fit.
the biggest one is how much family responsibility “There isn’t a lack of opportunities. There are just
women have outside of sports to begin with, which not enough women out there who have the passion “I think it’s great to have a female coaching me
limits their ability to dedicate themselves to a team. to be a coach and are willing to sacrifice as much as because they can be a great mentor as the season goes
“It is much harder for women to have a family and they would have to. They face too much responsibility along,” Popplewell said. “I think that being qualified
also coach than it is for a male,” Clark said. “It can get outside of coaching.” is more important though, whether they are male or
female. I have Coach Matula and Coach Clark mak-
The responsibility is extreme, and running an entire ing a big impact everyday during basketball, and they
program is even tougher. Softball Head Coach Liann both are great coaches.”
Muff has found time to take on leading the softball
team, and manage everything on her plate.

Muff said that it has been a challenge to handle
coaching and her personal life, but she feels like it
is worth it to make an impact on lives of her female

“It has been difficult at times since I became the
head coach,” Muff said. “I’ve had to rely on my hus-
band, family, and friends to help me manage every-
thing I had going on in my life. Even with the sacri-
fices I’ve made I think it has definitely been worth it to
build a relationship with my players and be a positive
female influence in their lives.”

Unlike Muff and the softball team, very few sports,
even female sports, at the high school have a woman
as the head of the program. Even if a female isn’t run-
ning the show, head girls basketball coach Rob Matula
said that it goes a long way for his girls to have Clark
on staff as an assistant.

“I think it’s extremely important for young women
in our society and in athletics to have a female coach
that they can look up to,” Matula said. “If we have
more female coaches, it will encourage young women
even more to play a sport, knowing it can be done. The
players will see everything their coach has accom-
plished and that will be really encouraging.”

Having more women in coaching roles will un-
doubtedly be a huge step towards equality in the
coaching world. However, Matula said that despite the
importance of having female coaches, it is essential
that they are hired because they are qualified, not just
because of gender.

“I think if a woman is qualified, and they have the
desire to become a coach or head coach, they 100%
deserve an opportunity,” Matula said. “If there is an
opening, the most qualified person should always be
considered, regardless of male or female.”

Looking past gender and choosing a coach purely
based off of qualification can be difficult, but always
important. Mason Athletic director Scott Stemple said
that he thinks female coaches can be great mentors for
young women, but being the right fit is critical when

Graphic Methodology: The percentages in the above graphic were calculated by surveying the 24 traditional on-field/on-court category of sports at Mason High School
and determining the ratio of male to female head coaches in those sports.

18 Sports April 12, 2019

beast MODE

Katie DeBord






Joe Powell 04/12- Softball home Stats and ranks as of April 8, 2019
STATS - game vs Fairfield @5

4 Homeruns 04/12 - Volleyball match
GMC leader @MI45 building @5:45

Carsyn Snead 04/15- Baseball home
STATS - game vs Lakota East @5

8 Stolen Bases
2nd in GMC


4.0 goals per game by junior girls lacrosse
player Cate Millard

.462 batting average by senior Left Fielder
JP Sponseller
18 goals scored by senior lacrosse player
Xanders Wells

19 Sports April 12, 2019


Competing in gymnastics and

diving, Ashton twins prepare to

train on the world stage photo by Tanner Pearson

Rahul Parikh | Sports Editor respective Arthur. Sophomore Karina Ashton is a gymnast turned
The Ashton family is racking up sports, traveling around the world Arthur said while he is diver who has excelled at both. Ashton left gymnas-
the frequent flyer miles. has been - and will continue to be, tics due to injury, but not before she racked up 3
Competing in gymnastics and a benefit of their success. extremely happy to see Karina state championships. As a diver, Ashton will join the
diving have taken the athletic succeed in diving, it was tough Chinese National Team as well as the Olympic Team
sophomores all over the globe, Arthur said that his past experi- to see her let go of gymnastics training this summer.
and this summer Arthur will be ences in South America have because of the limitless potential
traveling to Italy while his twin made him realize what this sport she had. photo by Tanner Pearson
sister Karina will be training in could really do for him, and that
China. he and Karina both look forward “It was so hard seeing her leave Sophomore Arthur Ashton has been a gymnast for
Arthur has been competing in to the time they get to spend gymnastics because we had been the last 10 years, and has won the state champion-
gymnastics for ten years, and has traveling. doing it together for so long and ship every year since he was 7. Ashton will also
won the United States of America she had so much talent,” Ashton compete overseas this summer, competing with the
Gymnastics (USAG) State Tourna- “When I was in Columbia, I saw said. “She had many opportunities Region 5 team in Italy, in which they will train with
ment every single year since 2010, that kids my age and even young- for college scholarships, and there the Italian National Team.
recently qualifying for Junior er than me were at such a high were so many years and so much
Elite Nationals. level doing this so early,” Ashton money put into gymnastics, it’s
This past season Arthur also said. “It really motivated me and just really difficult to let that go.”
qualified for an Elite Team camp, helped me see what I wanted to
in which he and seven other achieve from the sport.” As far as Arthur’s future is
athletes traveled to Colombia, concerned, he said that he is
competing with the Junior Na- For Karina, the continuous in- looking forward to competing in
tional Team. Arthur will continue juries to her back and most of her gymnastics at a collegiate level,
traveling this summer. He is body from gymnastics caused her and already has certain schools in
going to Italy to train with the to switch over to diving. She said mind he wants to attend.
Italian National Team. she’s adapted well to diving as it’s
Karina was also a standout less stressful on her body, and she “I’d like to go to Stanford or
gymnast up until two years ago, doesn’t carry the same concern for OSU, any of the big ten schools
when she started diving com- injuries, although she’s still recov- would be great,” Ashton said.
petitively. As a three-time USAG ering from previous ones. “The schools that appeal to me
state champ and level 10 gymnast, are good for gymnastics but also
Karina saw success in gymnastics “I had so many casts and braces great academically, and I feel like
before injuries forced her to leave all the time from gymnastics, and that will benefit me as well.”
the sport and start diving. I even had a fractured back with
Karina has seen very quick suc- a bulged disk that hasn’t stopped Karina would also like to com-
cess in diving, already competing hurting for two years,” Ashton pete in college on a diving schol-
at Ohio High School Athletic As- said. “But I’ve always known that arship, and she knows that her
sociation (OHSAA) State Tourna- injuries don’t define who you are experiences on a global stage will
ment, and recently invited to train as an athlete ; I’ve always thought propel her to the level she needs
with the Chinese National Team to move on mentally and physi- to be on to achieve her goals.
this summer. cally from any setbacks. I still
With both athletes already com- have my fracture with diving, but “I’d love to dive in college,”
peting at a global level in their there’s less impact on my body Ashton said. “Going to China
and it’s allowed me to continue to compete and train with the
growing as an athlete.” world’s best will definitely help
me learn and adapt to diving at a
Seeing Karina leave gymnastics, higher level.
the sport they grew up compet-
ing in together, wasn’t easy for

20 Feature April 12, 2019

Tissue syndrome not deterrent for dedicated athletes

Ria Parikh | Staff Writer Photo by Riley Johansen
Despite being named “the most ne- Senior Kaitlyn Langbein (left) and Lakota West senior Gabby Eppinghoff (right) continue to engage in Ultimate Frisbee despite Langbein’s disease
called Ehlers Danlos Syndrom (EDS) which affects the connective tissues in her body, causing various surgeries and broken bones.
glected disorder in modern medicine”
by the Ehlers Danlos Society, Ehlers spine. namely in the development of body the more shadowing I did and the
Danlos syndrome (EDS) regains its “Every person has different types flexibility over time. more research I did, I realized it’s a
prominence through the heavy impact very physically demanding job even
it has on the lives of those inflicted of flares,” Zaleta said. “For me, I have “My sister has it too,” Malloy said. though you wouldn’t expect it: it’s a
with the disorder. back spasm flares. Because I have “In me, I used to be really flexible. As lot of time on your feet and carrying
EDS, that, for some reason makes me boys grow, they typically get super things. I don’t want to say that EDS
EDS is a genetic condition that weak- get spinal instability. When I over- stiff, like now I can’t touch my toes or made me change my career path, but
ens connective tissue all over the body, use muscles, especially those back anything. In girl’s, they’re the opposite. it definitely impacted my choice.”
manifesting into 13 different types that muscles, it pulls my spine to different They usually start off stiff, and now
affect people in differing ways. Senior spots because of the way the muscles my sister is super flexible; she can Even outside of school, Zaleta said
Kaitlyn Langbein has undergone pull.” touch her thumb to her wrist.” she is often physically unable to do
seven surgeries in her 18 years due to activities such as hiking, but her
EDS. After many years of breaking Like Langbein, Zaleta also dreamt of Throughout her life, Langbein has limitations have inspired her friends
bones, Langbein said she found out playing sports--volleyball and soccer- had to undergo multiple surgeries due to pursue new hobbies that align with
about her condition in third grade -for most of her life. When she realized to the fragility of her bones, but with her abilities.
when she went to a geneticist. It was that EDS took away that possibility, experience, she has been able to under-
during that same visit, she discovered Zaleta said she began to embrace the stand her limitations and still indulge ‘Instead of going hiking with my
her mother and grandmother also had aspects of her favorite sports that she in the sports she loves to play. friends, they’ve all pursued hammock-
EDS. missed out on as an athlete. ing and movie-watching,” Zaleta said.
“I got bodied by a guy, and it was “They understand that when I’m hav-
“I started breaking bones when I was “Now, instead of playing those supposed to be a non-contact sport, but ing EDS flares, we’re not going to go
two,” Langbein said. “I broke my wrist, sports, I get to watch them,” Zaleta he broke my collarbone,” Langbein out and do fun things and normally
and then I broke bones again when I said. “And when my friends go out and said. “It hurts my body, but I know my they’ll come to hang out with me. It
was four, five, and six. My parents were play, I’ll go cheer for them. It has its limits to a point where I don’t break, impacts every part of your life, but not
really worried about what was happen- pros and cons.” and most of the stuff that happens now as drastically as I thought it would.”
ing. We went to a bunch of doctors and are freak accidents that shouldn’t hap-
they never found anything until I was Senior Brenden Malloy plays La- pen. I just play to have fun, because I Langbein said that after having EDS
in third grade, and I went to a geneti- crosse despite his EDS and has broken don’t see a point in sitting inside and for such a long time, she has learned
cist, and he was like, ‘This is what you many bones. Malloy said he continues not enjoying life simply because of to embrace it and use it to learn more
have.’” to play because he does not want to this disease.” about herself.
stop doing what he loves, even though
Because of the physical limitations he suffers consequences after. Although Zaleta’s original choice to “At first I saw it, and it made me an-
of EDS, Langbein said that from the go into nursing was limited by EDS, gry,” Langbein said. “I was being told
age of nine, she was forced to rethink “As I’ve gotten older, I don’t break it has inspired her to pursue other by a doctor, ‘You can’t do the things
her future goals, depending on what stuff as often,” Malloy said. “I just avenues in the healthcare field, such as you love to do,’ and that just made me
her body could handle. break my fingers or something--not medicine and neuroscience, that would mad. Now, I look at it as a blessing: it’s
a big deal. Lacrosse is just fun, some- be less physical. helped me become stronger and know
“I was nine, and I had my mind set thing I love to do, so I’m not going to myself more. It’s part of my life, I can’t
on being a dancer,” Langbein said. stop.” “Through middle school and early get rid of it, so I might as well look on
“And I thought, ‘This isn’t going to high school, I thought I wanted to the bright side.”
work. My hips are going to give out on Malloy said certain types of EDS go into nursing,” Zaleta said. “But
me and I won’t be able to walk by the impacts boys and girls differently,
time I’m 20,’ which is what the doctor
told me. He said, ‘You can try, but it’s
not going to work.’ It really changed
my perspective at a young age.”

Senior Ale Zaleta also has EDS, and
said an indication of the syndrome for
her was the presence of subluxations,
which are similar to partial disloca-
tions. As time went on, those sublux-
ations became dislocations, and now
a common area for EDS flares is her

Photo contributed by Kaitlyn Langbein
Senior Kaitlyn Langbein’s struggle with Ehlers
Danlos Syndrom (EDS) has weakened the con-
nective tissues in her body.

April 12, 2018 Opinion 21

S EThe power

of perception
taff ditorial

Planned parenthood provides crucial healthcare

Anusha Vadlamani |
Staff Writer

I don’t really believe in superstitions. Seriously. I don’t Recently, the state of Ohio decided to make It’s a blatant demonstration of the lack of
believe that the reason my day is going awfully is a black some budget cuts. They cut out all the usual care towards the average person that is pres-
cat crossing my path, and I don’t believe it was more than stuff -- overpaid politicians, unused funding. ent in politics today - the people’s needs are
a mere coincidence that I fell down the stairs on Friday Normal, right? Well, not exactly. What hap- disregarded completely in favor of prevent-
the 13th. pened instead was that Planned Parenthood ing one perceived evil, which has no effective
was completely defunded. impact on half of the population, and can be a
And while I don’t believe in a lot of superstitions, I godsend to the other half.
guess I believe in the power of perception, which is a And if you’re opposed to abortion then that’s
superstition in and of itself. When I was growing up, my great, right? But of course, it’s hard to say what the truth
parents ingrained into my mind that hard work was the is these days, considering that science itself has
key to success. Most would say so, but that’s simply not the become no more valuable than the common
case: Planned Parenthood does more to prevent man’s opinion.
The amount of respect I have for my parents is abortions than provide them. They provide ed-
insurmountable by anything else, but sometimes I feel ucation, contraception, and counseling services With denial of climate change, of medical
like hard work isn’t all you need to reach success. Before to create (shockingly) a planned pregnancy. care, of anything that makes one’s life more
high school, hard work had always worked for me. If I inconvenient for a greater good, we remove
wanted a hundred percent on a math test, I would just Along with that, they provide a vast amount strong, solid evidence that can settle an argu-
study for a couple of hours, and that was that. But in high of open healthcare, not only for reproduc- ment, or at least reach a conclusion with a
school, I’ve had to accept that it doesn’t ensure that I’ll do tive health, but for general check-ups, cancer greater confidence than the flimsiness of
perfectly. screenings, and more. someone’s word.

I still work just as hard as I did in middle school, but Yet there are still the protests, still the signs The issue with Planned Parenthood empha-
now there’s a layer of understanding that no matter how waving outside of each building and the vitri- sizes the danger of a lack of hard evidence:
much effort I put forth, things still won’t go my way. olic, disregarding, demeaning insults slewn at due to the opinions of people emotionally or
Changing my perception is what helped me understand anyone who dares even approach that cursed religiously against abortion, an organization
that sometimes I’ve done what I can, and that is all I can place, where it’s insisted that nothing but pain that stands to assist women through one of
do. and suffering and death comes from. the most vulnerable times of their lives has
developed a reputation of inflicting nothing
I don’t mean that now I look at self-worth for less than The hatred that’s become so commonplace, but pain on our country.
it should be valued at. I don’t. I also don’t hold myself at so normalized, turns out to be completely
a lower standard. I know what I’m worth. baseless - the assumption that every woman These accusations are based on the blatant
who goes seeks to “end a life” is wildly miscon- ignorance of actual evidence that should have
Changing my perception meant realizing that hard strued for many reasons. a heavier impact than a passionate opinion.
work isn’t the only component to success. It also meant The problem is, it doesn’t.
realizing that success should be redefined by what you No matter the politics of it, out of the 2.4 mil-
want out of life. lion patients they saw in the last year and the The issue is not the fact that some people are
9.6 million treatments they provided, only 3.4% opposed to some things, or that their personal
For the longest time, success, to me, was defined by the of the services provided were for abortions, beliefs don’t align with something that doesn’t
college I would attend. That was it. I was forever going to with cancer screenings making up almost affect them at all - it’s that there aren’t facts
be labeled and branded by the college I was going to. Col- double that, and other health services -- STI anymore.
lege is still really important to me, but now other things testing and treatment, women’s healthcare,
hold value in my life. To my sixteen-year-old-self, success and contraception -- making up more than 60% Anyone can say anything, and so many
is defined by how happy I am (sorry for the cheesiness). of the provided services. people will confuse their uninformed, emo-
tionally-based opinion for the truth, no matter
Success, to me, will never again be determined by a To put it quite frankly, they do a lot, and how little proof or validity there is behind it.
brand or a title. It will be determined by me, my mental all of that was either overlooked or entirely
health, and how much I take advantage of what life has ignored when passing this bill.
to offer. Hard work is the foundation of personal growth,
but it’s still not enough to succeed if your perception of
the world isn’t aligned with you want.

My perception of the world is so much clearer now that
I know what I want out of life. Hard work has brought me
here, but my perception will take me farther.

The Chronicle’s Policy
The Chronicle is the official student The Chronicle is published monthly. The Chronicle is a member of The
newspaper of William Mason High Call 398-5025 ext. 33103 for infor- Columbia Scholastic Press Association, The Chronicle Staff Staff Writers
School. mation regarding advertising in The The National Scholastic Press Asso- Editor-in-Chief Visual Design Editor Evelina Gaivoronskaia Adviser
Chronicle. The Chronicle reserves the ciation, Quill and Scroll International Luke Hutchinson Ryan D’Souza Lily Geiser Dale Conner
The Chronicle promises to report the right to refuse advertising it deems in- Honorary Society for High School Jour- Managing Editor Riley Johansen
truth and adhere to the journalistic appropriate for a high school publica- nalists and the Ohio Scholastic Media Lauren Serge Online Editor Della Johnson Connect with
code of ethics through online and print tion. Association. Executive Editor Andrea Hefferan Sophia Johnson the Chronicle:
mediums. Jacob Brase Alexandra Lisa
As an open forum for students, let- Contact Information Sports Editor Business Manager Ria Parikh @mhschronicle
The Chronicle is produced by students ters to the editor are welcome, but are The Chronicle Rahul Parikh Nathalie Schickendantz Henri Robbins
enrolled in Journalism I, II and III. subject to be edited for length, libel, ob- William Mason High School Kaelyn Rodrigues mhschronicle
scenity, clarity and poor taste. Letters to 6100 S. Mason Montgomery Rd. Jake Sapp @mhschronicle
Editorials reflect the staff ’s opinion the editor may be dropped off in room Mason, Ohio 45040 Staff Photographer Matthew Smith
but do not necessarily reflect the opin- C103 and must be signed. (513) 398-5025 Tanner Pearson Anusha Vadlamani
ions of the school administration or the
Mason City School District.

22 Opinion April 12, 2018

It starts with Editorial Cartoon
our culture Chickening out

Jake Sapp | More shades to something that might make them feel beautiful-
Staff Writer to come -bronzer, foundation, concealer, or whatever else
anyone wants to wear. As Tang said in her video, it’s
Mason has a serious problem, and it isn’t the fault Ria Parikh | not that anyone needs to wear anything, but if some-
of the administration or our teachers. It’s a culture Staff Writer one wants to, the opportunity should be there.
A couple years ago, I was at the MAC store, and I Although there have been marked improvements
As I talk to people in grades both above and below asked the employee for a bronzer. She took a look at in the inclusion of all skin tones for foundation, with
me, I constantly hear things about how stressed they my face, paused, and said, “I’m not sure if we have recent makeup companies, there is a still a long way
are because their “parents are going to kill them if any that’ll work for you. Sorry.” On that particular to go. In February of last year, Tarte released the
they get a bad grade.” This is such a commonality, day, she happened to be right. I walked around the Shape Tape foundation, which was heavily criticized
that I have begun to ponder whether or not it’s truly store, tested every bronzer, and concluded that they for its very unequal shade range.
a good thing that we place such a heavy emphasis were too light for me.
on what our parents expect of us, instead of what we There were about 15 shades, but very few were ca-
expect from ourselves. Oftentimes it seems as though Although things have probably gotten better tered to people of color, making it very hard for a lot
we are unable to motivate ourselves to do anything if since then in terms of shade range, it was obvi- of us to find a shade that actually matched our skin
there isn’t a constant threat of parental disapproval or ously disheartening to see that there was nothing tone. Tarte eventually reclaunched the line with the
punishment. for my skin tone, and it was more disappointing to phrase “You asked, we listened”, referring to their
know that there was also nothing for the millions expansion of the shade range due to the criticism.
Because of this constant perceived threat, I see kids of people whose skin tones were much deeper than Therein lies the problem, though: we shouldn’t have
drive themselves to the point of near-insanity trying mine. to ask.
to reach the goals that their parents set for them. In
the end this turns out to be detrimental to students be- I didn’t really remember that this happened until In 2018-19, when we have made strides in so many
cause once they reach the heralded 4-year college and I watched a YouTube video the other day by Nyma other areas, it’s ridiculous to me that makeup com-
well-paying job that they have been told they need to Tang, someone who is known for falling within the panies as widely used as Tarte -- and they aren’t the
reach, they have no clue what to do with themselves. range of the two deepest shades of most founda- only ones -- still need to be asked to equally include
tions. In the video, she went to Sephora and bought foundation options for people of color.
I hear about people who stay up until 4 in the morn- the deepest shade of every single bronzer. None of
ing studying for a quiz that they absolutely cannot do them worked. Not one. Before I go on, I want to clarify that I do not think
badly on, or else they won’t get into the college that that any of this is intentional. I highly doubt that
they’re “supposed to go to,” and all it does is make me In fact, no bronzer was even close to working for makeup companies want to exclude a whole group
question the priorities we have more and more. her. People wear bronzer not to darken their skin, of people, and I am glad that they have acted on the
but to add dimension by creating a bigger contrast backlash they received.
For most of their lives, students have been guided between the high points and low points on their
along a path that they didn’t carve for themselves. face. Everyone deserves to have that opportunity, The more we bring to light these issues and
Because of this, they have no idea which way to go regardless of how dark their skin already is. the more conversations we have, the more we can
once they reach a fork in the road with nobody to revolutionize the makeup world, and give people an
guide them. Some would say that putting emphasis on make- equal access to what makes them feel beautiful.
up is silly, knowing that there much greater prob-
Last summer I attended a meeting that revolved lems in the world. To them I would say that they are I think that because of the biases and views of our
around both parental and student input on how the right, there are bigger problems than makeup, but society, something as seemingly trivial as makeup
school should improve for the 2018-2019 school year. our society has unfortunately equated makeup with has the opportunity to make a powerful statement.
While the parents seemed to be solely focused on col- beauty and beauty with self worth.
lege, AP courses, enrichment activities, service hours, Right now, it’s almost as if some companies view
etc., the students were mostly focused on the issues of Therefore, it is important to give everyone access inclusion as an afterthought, and if we have these
depression and anxiety that our school faces still to conversations to try and update what is normal,
this very day. we can make inclusion easier and more effortless,
within and outside of race, within and outside of
The meeting opened my eyes to how different makeup.
the parent and student mindset is when it comes to
education and the learning environment, and I feel as
though the parent mindset that was displayed to me
there has contributed immensely to the lack of self-
reliance that students have at MHS.

Over the last few years, as I have grown as both a
person and a student. While I still do hold what my
parents instruct me to do in a high regard (I wouldn’t
be the person I am today without them), the key differ-
ence is that I am not solely going off of the instruction
they give me. Rather, I take both my goals and their
advice into account and build from there in order to
become the person that I want to be.

Changing mindsets isn’t an easy thing to do, espe-
cially if you have been stuck with it for your entire
life. However, I do feel as though if students learned
how to live for themselves instead of their parents or
guardians, a lot of the issues we see in the halls would
die down, even if just a little bit.

April 12, 2019 23

24 April 12, 2019

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