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Published by The Chronicle, 2019-05-10 07:03:23

Edition 16.9

The Chronicle published on May 10, 2019.

Vol. 16, Issue 9 | William Mason High School | 6100 Mason Montgomery Road Mason, OH | 5.10.19



PG. 8

Senior Sierra Miller, Photo by Tanner Pearson, Ryan D’Souza

2 News May 10, 2019

Robotics team advances to World Championship

Ria Parikh | Staff Writer

The current members on the FIRST Tech Chal- Photo by Rao Avanthsa
lenge (FTC) robotics team, the Powerstackers, have Mason freshman Neev Gupta (front row fourth from left) eighth grader Lakshmi Avanthasa (second row sixth from left), sophomore Vishnu Avanthsa
competed on the world stage for three years in a row. (second row seventh from left) combined with students from Sycamore, Dayton and Troy Christian Schools competed in a World Championship as
a collective Robotics team. The team presented their robot and was awarded an Inspire award, the highest recognition offered to the top five overall
From April 24 to April 27, the team was one of teams.
160--which also included Quantum Leap, another
Mason team-- to go to the FTC World Championship accuracy,” Young said. “Me, personally, I worked on and a lot better of problem solving. When I started, I
(Worlds), held in Detroit, Michigan. This is not their the programming of the robot. So I worked on the was not the best at building things.”
third appearance in the history of the team, but for code that went into having the robot’s location work
the most senior members, this is their third consecu- throughout the match.” After participating in robotics for multiple years,
tive World Championship. While not everyone was Young has gained a passion for computer program-
available to go, the entire team consists of junior This was Gupta’s first time at Worlds and he said ming and hopes to take it through college.
Rayhan Nazir, sophomore Vishnu Avanthsa, sopho- his role consisted of preparing the team’s engineer-
more Brandon Young, freshman Neev Gupta, eighth ing notebook, helping to build the robot, and driving “My entire passion for programming is robotics,”
grader Lakshmi Avanthasa, and senior Kaavya Ram- the robot at the actual competition. Gupta said it was Young said. “I started programming when I was real-
achandhran and many other students from Sycamore enriching to experience every aspect of robotics. ly young, like fourth grade. From that, once I started
and Dayton. At the competition, the Powerstackers doing this robotics program, I started learning Java,
won the Inspire award, which was the most presti- “As (it is) my first year, I got to look at every differ- which is what we use, and from it, I’ve learned the
gious award, given to the top five overall teams. ent aspect,” Gupta said. “Since there’s a lot of things whole understanding of that whole programming
that you can do on the robotic team, I got to experi- language.”
Ramachandhran said the journey to worlds has ence all the different parts, learn from that, and just
lasted since the summer, as the team spend time not learn from the veteran teammates.” Gupta said that besides the competition itself, his
only building the robot, but raising money through favorite part of Worlds was getting to meet people
sponsorships as well. Gupta said his passion for robots started with Lego around the world who share his passion for robotics.
robotics with a FIRST LEGO League robotics team,
“We’ve been preparing for this for a while, ever which is a step below the FTC level. “I think bonding as a team and just having fun,”
the since the summer,” Ramachandhran said. “We Gupta said. “You meet people from different coun-
built this robot completely on our own--it’s custom “People think of robotics as strictly working on the tries: there are people from South Korea, India,
manufactured almost from the ground up. We have robot,” Gupta said. “But it’s also about learning how Canada, Mexico, (to name a few). It was kind of in-
gathered all the money by ourselves too, by finding to work with other people: people in businesses to spiring to see the different ways that people in other
sponsorships and all of that. That seems to be my get sponsorships, learning how to communicate with countries see robotics, and bond with people through
biggest role of the team--I do some of the building your team members, documenting what you learned robotics.”
and things like that, but I mostly participated in the and growing off of that is also important too.”
whole design aspect and pitching our company to At the Worlds competition, Ramachandhran said
other people and getting their support.” After being on the team for three years, Ramach- that there are booths set up with representatives
andhran said that robotics has given her a strong from all over--from the Army to coveted colleges--to
Young has been to Worlds once before and he said sense of community. provide robotics students a pathway for success. The
the months leading up to the competition were spent grandeur of Worlds continues to inspire Ramach-
perfecting the performance of the robot. “It’s a really great community just in general,” andhran as they highlight the connections between
Ramachandhran said. “It could be really easy to students around the world who are all passionate
“The month up to Worlds, we worked on rebuild- think that robotics are for shut-ins and loners who about robotics.
ing some parts of our robot to improve its speed and don’t get out very much, but they’re really support-
ive, and there’s little to no trash talk that happenings. “When I went last year, it was one of the best times
Photo by Terence Chu Everybody’s really cooperative and it’s really great to of my high school career,” Ramachandhran said.
The Mason Robotics team, named the Powerstackers, built have been a part of it.” “There was this amount of people that all do the
their own robot which they entered in the Worlds Chapionship in same things we do and it was amazing. We all have
April. The team’s work won them an INSPIRE award, the highest Young said that through participating in robotics, the same drive, we all love to do the same thing; this
award to the top five teams at the competition. he realized that the majority of it is based on build- is such a big part of our lives. It’s like a sports team;
ing skills rather than simply having natural abilities. nobody makes movies about robotics teams, but they
honestly should, because the same amount of energy
“Not everyone in robotics is super smart,” Young and effort and time and dedication that goes into a
said. “It’s more about learning from your mistakes, sports team goes into this too.”
and being creative, and problem solving than just us-
ing what you already know. You get smarter from it,

May 10, 2019 News 3

Teachers advocate new positive-culture program

Jake Sapp | Staff Writer Little said. “I feel like our school has an fancy stages of how we want to roll this Graphic by Riley Johansen
issue in terms of the way that students whole thing out to students,” Lehman
Over the past few years students and approach their problems, and in the end said. “We are throwing a lot of ideas out something that will spread throughout
teachers alike have agreed that there are that results in all off the stress and anxi- there during our teacher meetings, such Mason, inside and outside of school.”
some problems at Mason High School. A ety that they find themselves experienc- as a summer workshop for student lead-
group of teachers think they might have ing on a daily basis.” ers to learn how everything works, and Over the years there have been many
found a solution. hopefully we can really hit the nail on other programs with similar goals to
The system revolves around a the head in terms of how we share this the R-Factor system to varied degrees
As the school year draws to a close, thought process called “E+R=O” with our students.” of success. However, Lehman believes
preparations are already being made which is an abbreviation for that the new culture initiative is unlike
for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year “Event+Response=Outcome”. The logic Another teacher who has been help- anything the school has tried before,
at MHS. One of such things is a new behind said thought process comes down ing with the development of the R-Fac- and has confidence that it will change
positive-culture program designed by to helping students better evaluate how tor system is Gina Fox, who says that the MHS for the better.
teachers in the building who are hoping they should react to the things that they ideas within it aren’t going to be things
to reinforce self-reliance and critical can and cannot control. that will solely apply to the High School, “In twenty years of teaching, I have
thinking in students’ everyday lives. This but rather the entire school district. been through initiative after initiative,
new program called the “R-Factor” has “We want for students to be able to and I’m tired of that,” Lehman said. “Ev-
been in the works behind the scenes, and feel like they are more in control of their “This isn’t something that we want ery two to three years we do something
is now ready to be rolled out to the en- own lives,” Little said. “Oftentimes we’ll to limit to just our building,” Fox said. else. But with culture and relationship
tire student body next school year. Darin see students that can’t seem to be able to “We have groups of teachers all the way building, that’s something that sticks. If
Little, a History teacher at MHS, was one take a step back and reassess how they down at the preschool level prepar- the R-Factor system is the key to doing
of the initial proponents for the system are approaching things and adapt. That’s ing to share this with their students than, then let’s go for it. We know that
being introduced to the school. what we as a staff want to change.” in different ways. We want this to be not everyone is going to buy into it, but
if it helps to save just one life, then it’s
“At the beginning of last school year Alongside Mr. Little, many other worth it.”
we had our fifth student in five years teachers have been a part of the devel-
commit suicide,” Little said. “So we had opment of the R-Factor system. Carol
a big staff meeting where a group of Lehman feels as though the simple
teachers and I started to brainstorm what nature of the new system will help it
can we do to try to help you foster those spread quickly throughout MHS.
ideas and to try to better and improve
the culture at our school. We can’t “Everybody has both predictable and
control how big we are, but we can try unpredictable events happen to them at
to work on improving student teacher some point in their lives,” Lehman said.
relationships. We think we’re a great “The key part of that is how we respond
academic institution but we’re concerned to said events and learn from them. Hav-
that maybe the relationship piece is a ing students be able to take a step back
little bit messy.” and say to themselves ‘what do I need to
do in order to optimize this situation’ is
After discussing with the other teach- really what’s important to us.”
ers about what the problems they see at
the school, Little says that they came to The teachers are still working on ways
the conclusion that the R-Factor system to present the new program to students,
was the right choice. with one of the main ideas being a day-
long summer educational program for a
“The R-Factor system is essentially a select number of student influencers so
way for students to be able to assess and that they will be able to teach their peers
respond to the world and around them,” as soon as the school year begins.

“We are (at the moment) in the in-

4 Feature May 10, 2019

Q&A with Principal Bobby Dodd

Henri Robbins | Staff Writer

Since taking on the role of principal at Mason High School in May of 2018, Bobby Dodd has been working to create a school environment which involves
students more. He’s supported initiatives such as the Ignite Your Vision project, creating a platform for students’ voices, and has made efforts to become more
involved with the students in the school. Now, as he winds up his first school year as Principal, The Chronicle sat down to talk with Dodd about the direction
he plans to take the school in the coming months, and to reflect on his experiences in the past year.

Q: You’ve been working at Mason for about been the first ones doing it instead of the eighth.
a year now, and you’ve been making a lot of
changes to benefit students. Looking back, Q: With what’s going into effect, what are your
how’s that been? primary goals going forward for the high school?

A: I think things are going well. As a prin- A: Primary goals would be our three rocks that
cipal, you don’t want to come in your first we focus on for the district: Improving culture,
semester and just say ‘we’re making all these looking at inclusive excellence, and personalized
changes,’ so it’s good to come in and get a feel learning. This year we’ve done a lot of focus on
for where you are with everyone, especially the our culture, and next year we’ll do the same along
kids, and then from there you start listening with inclusive excellence. We want to change the
to what people think we should do or where culture from being so competitive, and to maybe
we can go, and then processing it and working peel it back and find out why we’re so competi-
with others to get us to go there. tive. I think competition against other schools in
things such as athletics is healthy competition,
Q: How have your interactions with the stu- but we have to look at the unhealthy competition
dent body been? and start peeling back a bit. To me, that starts with
us, the administration and the staff, making the
A: I think they’ve been great. Now if I asked changes, and some of the things that we do are
students they may think differently, but I al- little changes, such as looking at homework. Is
ways try to interact with the students as much homework really important, are we assigning the
as I can. I think oftentimes we under-utilize right assignments, is it benefitting us the next day
student thought and student voice, because in class, are we using our class time the best way
traditionally in schools it was more of being as staff so we can reduce the amount of homework
compliant and doing what adults tell you to do. and get more out of our class? So when the goal is
That’s what your parents did when they were to look at competition, I think it starts with us.
in school, but it’s changed. We have to allow
student ideas because we work for the students. Q: There’s been a lot of talk about excessive
It’s not like you guys come to a school where homework and also of eliminating summer assign-
I’m principal, it’s the other way around. ments, where is that going at the moment?

Q: Can you think of a time that your inter- A: Right now I’m getting ready to meet with
actions with students changed either the way teachers about summer assignments, why we
you were running things or your plans to run assign them, what are we doing with them, and
things? where are we going with them. I meet with teach-
ers who used to give summer assignments but
A: It’s very important to change the way that don’t, I want to hear why they don’t give them
I think, or some of the things that we’re going anymore. I’m meeting with teachers that do give
to do in the building. Like looking at painting them and I’m asking why, and I want to know
parking lots. Other schools are doing that, and how it affects the class and the student’s grade at
we probably have one of the largest parking the start of the school year, because I just want to
lots in the state of Ohio, so why wouldn’t we learn more about it before I say we’re not having
do that? Because if you look at the asphalt out assignments anymore. As you know, our stu-
there, it’s not the prettiest stuff to begin with dents here are very busy, so if we’re going to give
anyway. So why not paint a parking space and homework then I want it to be meaningful, and I
show a little bit of originality, creativity, and a want to be sure that what we’re doing during the
little bit about each student? To me, I look at school day in the classroom is getting us the best
that, and the amount of bad things that could bang for our buck during that time to limit the
come, compared to the positives, I think the amount of homework after school. There’s tons of
positives outweigh it every time. If a student research out there about the amount of sleep that
wants to do that then I have a philosophy that students need to be successful, the time they need
we should try to say yes before we say no. They away from school to refresh mentally. There’s a lot
brought that up, I said “yeah, if other places of things out there that lead me to believe that we
are doing it, we might as well. We should have give too much homework right now.

May 10, 2019 Feature 5

Is there more to life than having an average ACT score of 28?
I think there is.

-Bobby Dodd burn

I’m willing to learn more about why we give ing to enter the space and a reason to enter the
homework, so we’re getting ready to have a discus- space. What he’ll do is write up a manifesto for us
sion today with the administrators to share with and show us where we could go. I think people will
the staff about looking more at homework and caught up in stuff like that, say “Well, he said we
the same things I mentioned: What are we doing need this amount of money and this type of furni-
with it, why are we giving homework out, could ture,” I look at things simply as “Well, if we need
homework be having students read a book that more space for students to write on, why don’t we
they’re interested in for thirty minutes every night go to Lowe’s and buy some whiteboard, big sheets
and then go on with their day after school? I think of it, bring it in and put it on one of the big walls
it can, but I want to make sure that the staff thinks in there, hook some markers up to it, and say that
the same way. if you want a place to share thoughts or write or
work with a group, go ahead and start.” That will
Q: What are the major challenges that you face cost a hundred dollars, I can pay for that out of my
while in the school? pocket.

A: The major challenge is always mindset. We’ve Q: What Ignite ideas are you excited about?
been doing something for so long, we have great A: I think we should have a coffee shop in the
ACT averages, we get a lot of our students into media center, that’s just me. If you go and ask
colleges, our students are very successful, we have students why they’re tardy a lot of the time, it’s
great facilities here, so why do we need to change? because they stopped to get coffee. When I was at
That’s what it is every single time. You have to Gahanna, we had two coffee shops in our build-
look at digging deeper, asking whether we’re as ing - two separate ones. Our cafeteria staff ran one,
great as we say we are. Is there more to life than and our Extended Support Services program ran
having an average ACT score of 28? I think there one, and they both were profitable. The key was
is. We’re great in sports, we’re great in theatre, we that they had good coffee, they had Seattle’s best
have great organizations and clubs, I think there coffee. If you’re serving iced coffee and different
is. While many people or organizations, schools, coffees that kids will drink, it has to be good cof-
students, and staff would love to be in our position, fee to get them to not go to Starbucks or Dunkin
we’re always trying to be better. I think the chal- Donuts or Panera. Are we close to making happen?
lenge is getting people to realize that we’re good, We’re not close right now, but I think we can do it.
but we can get better, and just because we’ve been We’ve been talking about parking and doing
doing something for fifteen, twenty years doesn’t some different things with that, one idea was
mean we can’t improve. about having students get a special spot if they
carpool. That would be if three people rode togeth-
Q: Mason High School has talked about changes er, while you would be giving up your pass, we
in the Learning Commons for a few years now, are would give you a better spot closer to the building.
we ever going to see those changes, and what do That whole process is really good, to be able to
you hope to do? let the kids submit then vote to narrow it down,
then let students use the design process to get
A: We had an individual named David Jakes through and make their vision come to reality, so
come in who specializes in transforming media I’m really excited about that. Other schools just
centers or libraries into spaces that come to life, don’t do that. It’s good to have something like that,
and while there’s still a focus on literature, there’s I think we may take it for granted.
a nice connection between community, student
groups, and teachers and students actually want-

6 May 10, 2019

May 10, 2019 Feature 7

Graphic by Ryan D'Souza

Sophomore Rudra Kamat and Jessie Kong utilize Uber for quick, convenient rides to and from school. Prices range from $7.99 to $19.11 per ride.

Uber users undeterred by age restriction

Kaelyn Rodrigues | Staff Writer ried after being assigned the same driver two Kong said that regardless of her positive experi-
days in a row. While there is no rule against hav- ences with Uber, she still feels apprehensive when
Most underclassmen are too young to drive, ing the same Uber driver twice, Kamat said she first getting into the drivers’ vehicles.
but some have found a way to bypass Uber's age was concerned because it had never happened to
restrictions to hitch a ride. her before. “I’m still always scared getting into and riding
Ubers because of the stories I’ve heard of people
When looking for other ways to get around, “One time I was with my friend and we actually getting murdered or injured by their drivers,”
they can’t always depend on Uber either. got the same (driver) twice,” Kamat said. “We had Kong said. “Being in the car though, I’ve always
taken him the day before so I tried to cancel the felt like my driver was genuine and trustworthy.”
Uber is a mobile ridesharing service which ride the second time, but then he came back. He
allows users to schedule rides with drivers on- recognized us so it was really awkward; we were Though not all of her Uber rides have been
demand. Sophomore Rudra Kamat turned to the hesitant about having to take the same (driver).” flawless, Boateng said using Uber is safe due to
transportation app when she was unable to drive all of the safety procedures put in place to protect
herself home from after-school activities. Kamat When the driver arrived to pick up Kamat and both riders and drivers.
said she took precautions because she wasn’t sure her friend, she said he confronted her and asked
how safe it was to take an Uber alone. why she attempted to cancel the ride. “I think it's safe to ride alone, especially since
Uber does like background checks and stuff
“I started using Uber my freshman year be- “He was like, ‘I saw that you canceled my ride,’ before they hire people,” Boateng said. “It’s very
cause that's when I started having a lot of after- and we were just like, ‘Oh, I think that was a convenient, it’s affordable, and it's a good way to
school activities,” Kamat said. “I couldn't drive, glitch in the app,’” Kamat said. “I didn’t want to get around if you don't have anyone else to drive
but I needed to get back home. I usually don't go with the same guy twice since that’s never you and you can't drive yourself.”
take Ubers by myself because it’s a security issue, (happened) to me before. I thought it was weird
so I go with my friends.” he was near the school around the same time he While Kong has used the app for over a year,
took me the day before.” she said her Uber drivers have never asked about
Uber requires all riders to be at least 18 years her age. In fact, she was unaware of the com-
old unless accompanied by an adult. Sophomore Sophomore Jessie Kong said she first used Uber pany’s policy regarding minors. Upon finding out
Ariana Boateng has used Uber for the past two when she was suddenly left without a ride to that minors are prohibited from riding without
years and despite this rule said she has only been school. Kong said the timeliness and user-friend- adult supervision, Kong said she would still use
questioned about her age once. liness of the transportation app are some of the Uber if necessary.
reasons why she continued to use Uber.
The (driver) actually asked, ‘are you 18?’ and “Now knowing that minors aren’t supposed to
I said no,” Boateng said. “She said most Ubers, “Ubers are pretty convenient because you can ride without an adult, I’d probably still use Uber
if I am under 18, (will) usually kick me out, so order a ride at any time and the Uber will be at if I needed to,” Kong said. “I’ve never had any
she told me from now on to just tell people I'm your house in 10 or fewer minutes, at least from problems before so don’t think I will in the fu-
18 because I look the part. That’s the policy but what I’ve experienced,” Kong said. ture, (but) I try to use Uber as little as possible.
nobody asked me except for that one time.” It might be convenient, but there’s still a cost.”
“If you realize you don’t have a way to get
Although Kamat said most of her Uber rides somewhere last minute, you can always rely on
have been uneventful, on one occasion she wor- Uber.”

8 Feature May 10, 2019


Photos by Tanner Pearson

Senior Sierra Miller has had an interest in whip cracking with influence from western enteratinment. Her and her father have begun selling bullwhips and have taught others how to properly use them.

Miller turns hobby into money-maker
we also went to these western fairs where they basically the same move, you’re just now doing it
Sophia Johnson | Staff Writer always had a person demonstrating,” Miller said. over your head.”
Senior Sierra Miller is taking a crack at the “It would be like ‘hey me and my dad make these,
western art of whip cracking. could you show us how to do one or two moves.’ Having experienced injury from sport cracking,
Over the last three years, Miller has continued They would always start off with a cattleman’s Miller said handling bullwhips can be challeng-
to develop her technique in sport cracking, the crack and an overhead cattleman’s crack.” ing and therefore requires control.
practice of cracking whips in a recurring pattern.
Miller said she first became aware of whip crack- By being in an environment where sport crack- “It’s definitely all about timing; the first day
ing through western entertainment. ing is a respected and encouraged activity, Miller I really started, I was trying to do a cattleman’s
“I used to watch Indiana Jones and MacGuyver said the fairs have enhanced her appreciation for crack and I had cracked it right on the tip of my
all the time on TV and be like ‘I want to do that,’” the sport. ear,” Miller said. “My dad was like, ‘hey you might
Miller said. “Then it wasn’t until Mythbusters did want to stop, you’re bleeding all over yourself.’ I
their Indiana Jones episode I realized you could “It was actually really interesting and fun reached over to my ear and said ‘huh, I think it’s
actually make whips yourself. So I saw Adam because the people are so enthusiastic and they time to stop for today.’”
braiding his and was like ‘shoot, I’m really crafty, want to get people interested in sport cracking, es-
I can do that as well.’ That’s when I made my first pecially kids my age,” Miller said. “It’s super fun, For Miller, whip cracking is more than a hobby.
bullwhip and then I started off from there. Me they’re willing to teach you anything they know, She said It’s a way to relax and manage her emo-
and my dad have kept braiding ever since.” they’re just like a fountain of knowledge.” tions.
Sharing an interest in sport cracking with her
dad, Miller said they spend a lot of their time After familiarizing herself with sport cracking, “I wait for doing the four or five-hour sessions
braiding paracord in the process of creating their Miller and her dad started selling a variety of for when I’m really angry,” Miller said. “I actu-
own bullwhips. bullwhips, making sure to emphasize the danger ally don’t know what I would do with myself if I
“He kind of went through the process with me. that they can cause if not properly handled. didn’t find sport cracking because it has been my
I picked it up and he was like ‘that’s just a bunch stress reliever for so long. I don’t care if it’s pour-
of paracord and BBs, we could totally do that,’” “We have been trying to sell them for a while. ing rain, If I’m pissed, I’d rather be drenched and
Miller said. “We would just be braiding at the We only really give them out to friends, then I cracking my whip then take it out on anybody I
table for hours.” teach people how to use them.” Miller said. “If I knew.”
Miller said along with watching videos online, give somebody a whip I always tell them it’s not
she and her dad would attend conventions where a toy, it’s a tool. It will hurt and it will make you Aware of its rarity, Miller said others her age
they interacted with others who were more expe- bleed.” should not let the danger of the bullwhips pre-
rienced in sport cracking. vent them from trying whip cracking.
“Me and my dad looked on YouTube and then To ensure that all bullwhips are handled cor-
rectly, Miller said she teaches the buyers different “I’m just happy I found it, I usually pick it
whip cracks for beginners. up right when I get home,” Miller said. “I think
people are way too scared and it is not all about
“I show them how to hold it and handle it, then that, it’s about having fun, just trying new things
I show them just a basic cattleman’s crack and and getting out there.”
an overhead cattleman’s crack,” Miller said. “It’s

May 10, 2019 9

10 Feature May 10, 2019

Punjabi Cultural Society prepares dancers for harvest festival

Evelina Gaivoronskaia | Staff Writer

The Punjabi Cultural Society (PCS) finds that Photo by Evelina Gaivoronskaia
dance, above all else, exposes children to Punjab
culture better than other traditional forms of study. With the Vaisakhi harvest festival coming up on May 28, dance instructors in the Punjabi Cultural Society, like senior Nikky
Soni, have been teaching young children the intricate steps of traditional styles like Bhangra.
A non-profit organization concentrating on pass-
ing the Punjabi culture to younger generations, “The hardest thing is just testing to see how far Photo by Tina Sandhu
PCS annually prepares for Vaisakhi, a Punjabi har- I can push them in terms of complexity of steps,”
vest festival, celebrated through traditional food Soni said. “It’s super trial and error because, in my According to senior Tina Sandhu, whose family started the
and dances. This year, Vaisakhi falls on May 28. mind, I think the kids would be able to do some Punjabi Cultural Society 19 years ago, children originally in the
steps, but then I try it out and they’re completely program have carried on their careers into college or brought
The dances are performed by teams made up lost so I have to go back and forth sometimes to their own kids back.
of children from ages of around six to nineteen. simplify and meet them where they are in terms of
Senior Nikky Soni is a member of Gajdi Jawani, skill.”
one of the ten dance teams inside PCS. While Gajdi
Jawani consists of high school students, some of Overall, Soni said she can not help but feel pride-
them also teach younger teams. Soni said she has ful when she sees the kids she instructs succeeding
been teaching children Bhangra, a traditional style, on stage or just in public.
for three years.
“I love when the kids I teach find me at random
“My first year I taught five to six year olds and places, like Kroger or Walmart, and get super
they were actually having a lot of fun with the excited,” Soni said. “Once, one of the six-year-olds
dances and getting control of their movements, but I was teaching saw me at Kroger and ran to get
also learning about their culture,” Soni said. “Later her mom and said ‘my teacher’s here!’ and she was
on I taught 10 to 12-year-olds and they were more super excited and gave me a hug. When I taught
advanced in their dancing, so I was able to teach my first year and watched the kids (4-6 year olds)
them harder skills and I grew as a dancer with dancing on stage, I felt like a proud mom.”
them. A lot of those children will probably go on
and take part in the high school team that I’m on Senior Rhea Khurana also teaches traditional
right now.” dance and has been working with the same group
of girls for several years. She said that the dancing
Soni said she combines contemporary dances goes beyond educating and into constructing these
with more traditional movements. The Punjabi girls’ identity.
music that Soni uses for her dances helps her stu-
dents become more familiar with the language and “A lot of Indians come to America and I feel like
expand their vocabulary. every generation loses a little bit of the culture, but
this organization is bringing it back,” Khurana said.
“I know a lot of people are losing touch with “It is nice to have a little bit of that culture and
their cultures, I feel it as well and I think dance uniqueness because it separates you from the per-
has really helped me connect back to it,” Soni said.” son next to you. Everyone has a little bit that adds
These dance techniques that we’re doing right now to their perspective and how they see the world.”
are very similar to the ones our ancestors did, or
our grandparents used to do, when they were back
in Punjab or India.”

Senior Tina Sandhu’s family started PCS 19 years
ago. During Vaisakhi, the Sandhu family is in
charge of organizing the dance teams, registering
and managing finances. Sandhu said by starting
PCS, her family also takes part in keeping past
traditions alive by making sure the children are
just having fun.

“Vaisakhi is a good tradition that we've done for
the past 19 years and it's something that we've kind
of stuck with,” Sandhu said. “I like that everyone
kind of looks forward to this. There's no competi-
tion or anything, it's just parents who come and see
their kids perform on stage. It’s very relaxed and
it's just a fun experience for everyone.”

The teachers start preparing their teams four
months prior to Vaisakhi. Sandhu said that al-
though it can be stressful, they know the children
come first. Being with PCS from the very begin-
ning, Sandhu has witnessed many kids grow up
and come back to teach or just kept up the culture
in their families.

“We have kids that have been performing with us
since they were four years old,” Sandhu said. “They
go on and they perform for colleges, and now we
even have their children coming and doing this.”

In her role as a dance instructor, Soni said the
most difficult thing to teach is simply the complex-
ity of the stepping.

May 10, 2019 Feature 11


Fast food employees choose convenience over nutrition

Della Johnson | Staff Writer It's supposed to just be for employees,” Telford Follmer also said that, since she doesn’t eat at her
Fast food restaurants are not just convenient for said. “But our family can get fifteen percent off. So job very often, she never gets sick of it, unlike others.
when my family eats there, I always throw in the
the customers. discount, but we never go there just because of my “I don’t eat there that often,” Follmer said. “So
Food industry jobs have been the main career discount.” I don’t get sick of it. I know some people that do
eat there a lot. They definitely get sick of it after a
choice of students for many years. For most estab- Though many food workers choose to avoid while.”
lishments, hiring starts at age 14, and many of them certain foods after seeing how they are made, Tel-
provide free meals or discounts. According to the ford said eating the food at his workplace helps him Another concern of workers is keeping their
Ohio Medical Group, this food tends to cause more to recommend food to customers from personal health up. Telford said he makes sure to still have
harm than good. The average fast food meal can experience. balanced meals and exercise regularly.
equal a full day’s worth of food (2000 calories).
“I like to try and sample almost every on the “I run cross country,” Telford said. “So I have to
Senior Taylor Ramsey has worked at Chipotle for menu,” Telford said. “I want to be able to say I've eat at least a little bit healthy. My mom is kind of
almost a year now. Though on the healthier end tried everything. That way, I can recommend stuff strict about that. I have to have a fruit and vegetable
of fast food, with numerous vegetable and protein to guests and tell them exactly how something with every meal. (Working in fast food) hasn't really
options, meals there can still be high in calories. tastes.” affected my lifestyle that much because I still exer-
Ramsey said she eats there quite often due to daily cise a decent amount, and I still eat other healthier
free employee meals. Junior Amanda Follmer, also a worker at Cul- foods when I have to or when given the option.”
ver’s, eats fast food regularly, but often it is not
“I probably eat there too much,” Ramsey said. where she works.
“I'm really cheap and I always will eat that in-
stead of going home and making my own dinner. “Once every other week, I actually ended up
I do that around six or five times a week. Before having to cut out fast food for lunch,” Follmer
I worked there, I only ate there once every two said. “I’ve been eating so much fast food. Just other
months.” places, though. I actually
haven’t had Culver’s in a
A team trainer at fast-food chain Culver’s, Junior while.”
Conner Telford has been working there for two
years. He said eating there during the day is easier
and allows him to get food quickly instead of mak-
ing it.

“It's convenient,” Telford said. “I'm already there.
Sometimes if I don't have a snack after school, I'll
stop before I have to clock in and get something.”

For some, the career choice makes no differ-
ence in how often they eat there. Telford said he
would eat the same amount of fast food whether he
worked in the industry or not.

“I've been eating there since I was a little kid,”
Telford said. “It’s one of the reasons I started
working there. I'm not eating there any more
than I probably would be eating at any other fast
food place, even if I didn't work in a fast food

Sophomore Cooper Schanne works at popular
fast-food chain Wendy’s. He said working there
has changed his diet a lot.

“I eat there maybe two, three times a week,”
Schanne said. “(Working there) definitely im-
pacted my diet. I would say that I probably eat a
lot more fast food and not as much healthy stuff
as I used to.”

Employee discounts are often utilized by e
ployers to entice workers. Telford uses them, but
he doesn’t simply eat there because of them.

Graphic by Riley Johansen
For fast food employees Connor Telford, Taylor Ramsey, and Amanda Follmer, it is easy and cheap to eat food from work. These foods, however, do not offer many health benefits.

12 Feat

Senior Dalton Craven has taken up the maintenence of his 1963 Mercury Comet as a hobby, and continues to work on the vehicle; he aims to get the car to run well enough at high speeds to take it to

Craven dedicates hours and elbow grease to maintain retro car

Alex Lisa | Staff Writer knows to complete strangers.
“When I drive it, sometimes people honk and give me a thumbs up, or wave,” Craven
While a love for the classics often brings vintage things back from the dead, few can
be driven down the road after they have been revived. said. “I’ve had people ask to take a picture with it before. And old people really like
it, because this is a really recognizable car to them, and there’s this juxtaposition to
Senior Dalton Craven bought his 1963 Mercury Comet the summer before his having me, a teenager, driving what they had as a family car. I know some people
freshman year, and though his family’s original plan was to sell it before he went to don’t like to talk about their old cars for some reason, but I’m happy to talk to
college, Craven said he wants to keep it. To do so, he has to get it functioning to its full people about it.”
potential. The Comet has already needed several modifications to make it safe to drive
and requires continual maintenance to keep it running. Craven said he does not understand why some people are hesitant to
talk about their cars, as he himself enjoys it. He has also met
“When we first got it, it was in rough shape,” Craven said. “It had no seatbelts, so we a number of people who have shared his enthusiasm when
had to put seat belts in. But they’re lap-belts, not the three-point seat belts. It also has he takes his Comet to car shows.
no airbags and the dashboard curves to point right at my forehead which is not a great
design. Because these old cars were built like little tanks, in a crash it won’t crumple, “I take it to car shows a lot, and most of them are just
it’ll just fling me into the dashboard.” cruise-ins,” Craven said. “Old people and I just show up
and bring our cars. I have a couple of lawn chairs in the
Craven said he wants to be able to drive it more often than he does now. At the mo- back of the Comet. You’ll just park your car and talk to peo-
ment, he is unable to take it on the highway, but more modifications could make it ple, walk around and look at their car and talk about it and
safe enough that he could drive farther than local Mason. the history of it. Sometimes there’s food. One that I like
going to is Fuel Coffee, it’s in downtown Cincinnati and it’s
“Anything over 35 (miles per hour), and the car starts screaming, and not the cool every Saturday. It’s in this tiny, sketchy kind of building,
hot-rod kind of screaming,” Craven said. “It’s built to go more than that, this model and they serve coffee and biscuits and gravy and stuff.”
and its cousin, the Ford Falcon, were family cars and they came out right around when
the highway was being introduced, so they were supposed to go faster. Right now I Many people who go to car shows take on “project” cars
can’t take it on the highway, but I can fix that. I’ll have to if I want to take it to col- to bring a vintage model back into working, appealing
lege.” order. While that was not what Craven set out to do, he
said the pride he feels from the work he has put into the
Part of why Craven originally got the car was because he was excited that it would be car is definitely similar.
a personal project for him. The idea of getting mechanical experience has interested
him for a while. “For me, it’s given me a chance to do mechanic stuff,”
Craven said. “Safety stuff, yeah, but we’ve also replaced the
“Not a lot of people in Mason really have the mechanic kind of background, because speakers and installed an aux cord, stuff that you normally just
people don’t deal with a lot of issues with their own cars,” Craven said. “This car had so pay other people to do. I can just take pride in that stuff that I’ve
many problems, and I wanted to learn to take care of it and get that experience in.” worked on.”

Craven also prefers the Comet because of the feel of the older car model, which he Beyond his own satisfaction, Craven said he enjoys the effect which the car has on
discovered when his mom suggested they get the car in the first place. other people as well and the fact that the car can help break the ice of social situa-
“My mom found it in a shady guy’s driveway, and texted to ask if anyone wanted it,” tions.
Craven said. “She drove us around in it because I couldn’t drive yet. The ride, espe-
cially before we replaced the seats, was really bouncy. The car just felt like it had a bit “I do really like all the reactions,” Craven said. “People will ask me questions when
more life to it, and I liked the feeling.” I’m parked, and I really like that connection between total strangers. It’s cool that we
can be connected through something just like a car. I don’t even have to say anything
While Craven enjoys the physicality of the car, many people also appreciate its aes- and we already have that interest in common.”
thetic. He said multiple people have expressed their fascination with it, from those he

ture 13

Photos by Tanner Pearson
o the highway. As Craven continues to work towards being able to use his car full-time while showing off his “project” car in local car shows that connect him to his community.

Illustration by Riley Johansen

14 May 10, 2019

May 10, 2018 Culture 15

BITE OF Senior
Alan Guo

Mapo Tofu “Mapo tofu is kind
of a whenever-kind-
of dish because it’s
simple to prepare and
you only need a few
ingredients,” Guo said.
“We eat it a lot during
Chinese New Year fes-
tivities as well because
it’s a pretty classic

Compiled by Ryan D’Souza, Tanner Pearson, Luke Hutchinson
Guo’s family commonly enjoyed mapo tofu and dishes similar to it in their home town in China, Hubei province in Wuhan. Many dishes use szechuan sauce to add flavor.

16 Entertainment May 10 , 2019


Avengers: MUSIC





Story/Characters BILLIE EILISH
It is almost impossible to talk about this movie without mentioning the absolutely immense cast that
it carries with it during its three hour runtime. Almost every character from past Marvel films is here, Billie Eilish has been dominating the
including some that you may not even remember existed until now. The original six avengers take the charts recently, with songs like ‘bury
spotlight here, unlike in ‘Infinity War’ where Thanos was arguably the main protagonist of the film. a friend’ and ‘bad guy’ both reaching
Almost everyone gives an absolutely stellar performance, especially Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, over 250 Million streams on Spotify.
who are able to both deliver some of the most heartfelt and emotional scenes in the entire Marvel Cin- Eilish’s grungy, almost gothic style
ematic Universe. Without devling into spoilers, the plot is far more reliant this time around on character has really connected with fans, and
moments rather than a constant barrage of action sequences, a filmmaking choice that pays off in the her album ‘WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP
end. Some people may be disappointed to hear that Thanos doesn’t have nearly as much of an influential
role in this film than he did in Infinity War, and is almost a shell of his former self in terms of how well WHERE DO WE GO?’ will likely be
his dialogue was written. Another character that wasn’t handled too well was Captain Marvel, who comes topping the charts for weeks to come.
across as far too arrogant in the scenes that she is in, and oftentimes talks down to the other characters.

In all, Avengers: Endgame is a near perfect conclusion to the last ten years of Marvel Studios’
cinematic universe, and a jumping off point for the years to come. Every character gets their own time
in the limelight, and each one gets a strong conclusion to their own individual plotlines. There are a
few hiccups along the way, but they don’t detract from the film in any significant way beyond minor
gripes or annoyances. For fans of the Marvel franchise, this film is incredibly satifying, and will surely
be talked about for years to come. The film is projected to be the highest grossing movie of all time,
and from what can be seen of it’s opening weekend, it will surely blow past that goal. If you aren’t
completely invested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you most likely won’t find much to enjoy during
this film, but for Marvel fans, it is completely fulfilling. There are moments within “Endgame” that feel
like pure fan service, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since they had almost everyone in the theater
cheering and crying. The film is more of an event than an actual movie, and is incredibly indicative of
how successful of a universe Marvel has built over the last 11 years. Some could say that these films
are artless, and are ultimatley dangerous to the film landscape as a whole, but it could also be argued
that the Marvel films have introduced an entire generation to the art of filmmaking, and will likely go
on to inspire the next generation of creators within the film landscape. With the endgame finally past
us, Marvel has yet another chance to show the world what they can do.

In Theaters May 31st ALBUM BY Kevin Abstract
Via Instagram poll REVIEW BY Henri Robbins
A sequel to the 2014 @mhschronicle
revival of the classic 8.5/10
cinematic beast, this film 64% 36%
aims to be even bigger After a successful four albums with boy band BROCKHAMP-
than the first one, literal- TON, Kevin Abstract has returned to his solo career to release
ly. With classic foes such
as King Ghidorah and a stellar second album. Following up his debut ‘American
Rodan returning from Boyfriend’, a concept album exploring issues of race, sexuality,
the original Toho series, and social standings, ARIZONA BABY goes even further in that
this is a must-see for all direction, abandoning the former’s storytelling in exchange for
Godzilla fans. Let’s hope a more focused sound. Each track focuses on a cardinal aspect
the franchise is able of Kevin’s personality or life, and reflects both upon his public
to capitalize on these
ginormous monsters image and his personal experiences. Tracks range in style
while still maintaining a greatly yet still hold their own, with the contrast against tracks
coherent story. like Corpus Christi and those like Baby Boy and Peach exem-

plifying both his diversity in style and vocals. Subtle use of
guitar combined with strong production lend to this, and make

the album’s sound that much more prominent. The album
serves its purpose in the best way possible both as a thought
reflection upon his own life, and as a captivating look inside.

Page compiled by Jake Sapp

Sports17 May 10, 2019

Swinging for the Fences

Harting’s bat comes alive for productive, dominant season

Rahul Parikh | Sports Editor success has been his cheering section in
the stands. Harting said not only his parents,
When Cole Harting stepped up to the plate but his grandparents have not missed one of
and launched a fastball over the left field his games in years which motivates him even
fence at the University of Cincinnati’s Marge more to play well in every game.
Schott baseball stadium on April 22nd in a 3-1
win over Fairfield, you couldn’t blame him as “My grandparents have been coming to
he rounded third and headed for home if he all my games since I was like nine and I can
was thinking that this was a little foreshad- always hear them cheering me on,” Hart-
owing of things to come. ing said. “I really appreciate them always
being there for me and getting to show out
The junior centerfielder and University for them every game. It’s been awesome to
of Cincinnati commit is currently having a have my family by my side throughout my
stand-out year. journey to what I am now.”

He is batting at .406 with a Greater Miami There’s been no shortage of electrifying
Conference (GMC) leading 7 home runs to moments for Harting this season, from his
go along with 24 Runs Batted In (R.B.I’s), a home run at UC to arguably the biggest mo-
walk off home run, and 12 stolen bases to ment of the Comet’s season -- a two run walk
propel the Comets to a league leading 18-3 - off home run against Lakota West to keep
record. Mason atop the GMC.

Harting attributes a majority of his of- Every young baseball player’s dream is to
fensive success so far to moving up to the hit that walk off home run, and Harting said
leadoff batting spot, from the middle of the that doing it in such a huge game made the
lineup. moment all the more special.

Harting said the switch in the lineup has “This was such a big game for us, we really
allowed him to hit with more confidence and wanted to come out and get it because we
yield better opportunities. knew Lakota West still had to play Lakota
East and anything could happen in that
“It feels great being able to produce for my game,” Harting said. “We worked our way out
team at this level right now ; With moving of a hole in the 7th inning through a nice job
to the leadoff spot, I’ve definitely seen a lot by Evan Kemp, and when I got up to bat with
more hittable pitches which has allowed me the game tied I knew I just had to put the
to drive the ball more,” Harting said. “I see ball in the gap and get on base. Fortunately,
a lot more first pitch fastballs now because I got a low fastball and put a great swing on
pitchers don’t want to make any big mistakes the ball, and it got up and over the fence.
early, and that’s allowed me to be more ag- It was such an incredible moment and I’ll
gressive.” never forget it.”

For Harting, the dominating production Being an upperclassmen this year and a re-
and home runs this season are no surprise. turning varsity member, Harting was elected
team captain this season. Harting was tasked
Harting said this offseason he worked hard with stepping into a bigger leadership role
with his coach on changing his swing in and preparing the younger players for the
order to utilize more power, and it’s paid off. future of the team.

“During the offseason, I changed my swing Harting said that with the heavy amount
because my coach saw I wasn’t using all my of seniors on this years team, the coming
potential power,” Harting said. “ We worked years team will be a lot younger and he’s
really hard on getting my back hip through prepared to mentor this year’s squad through
the ball which has been working well to help leading by example.
me drive them out of the park.”
“I knew I was going to have to step up as
Hitting the home run at UC this season a leader being team captain this season,”
was an experience Harting could definitely Harting said. “I’m not the most vocal guy
get used to. He said the emotions that came in the dugout, but I always lead by example
with sending one out of the park at his future and do what’s right on and around the field.
home were feelings he’ll never forget. Whether it be hustling down the baseline or
instilling confidence in your teammates, I
“That was such a cool moment for me, the always try and make the right decisions for
atmosphere was amazing, and hopefully it’s a the good of the team.”
foreshadow of what’s to come later on,” Hart-
ing said. “Getting a hit like that with all my
teammates there, and my mom and dad in
the stands, it was definitely a great moment.”

One of Harting’s biggest factors in his

Photo by Mia Sweitzer
Junior Cole Harting leads the GMC with 7 home runs this season.

18 Sports May 10, 2019

ESPY’s 2019

And ‘my’ winner is....

Graphic by Ryan D’Souza On Monday, May 13
the Mason High School
athletic department host
the popular ESPY’s event
that pays tribute to the
incredible performances

from Mason student
athletes during the 2018-

19 school year. This
program, modeled after
the popular ESPN show,
has become an event-
ful night celebrating the
year’s top athletic mo-
ments. Today, Chronicle
sportswriter Matt Smith
takes a shot at predicting

the winners and mak-
ing his choice for some
of the year’s top athletic


Sophomore Sports Writer Matt Smith took a shot at picking the winner’s of this year’s ESPY’s award

Game of the Year | Football vs. Fairfield

Many games this year were unbelievable, so this was a close race. At the end of the day though, I convinced our sports editor Rahul Parikh that
this was the best pick. A thrilling come-from-behind win over Fairfield by the football team had all the excitement anyone could ask for. Collin Brown was
huge in this game, and the Comets stole the #2 seed in the playoffs from the Indians. Clutch kicking by Charlie Sipe and overtime suspense on top of
that justifies this pick as the game of the year over a great field.

Other games I considered: Baseball vs Lakota East, Girls Tennis State Championship.

Male Athlete of the Year | Swimmer Adam Chaney

He’s new to Mason but not new to winning. Adam Chaney has been dominating the swimming field, and deserves this honor after winning two
state titles and setting multiple state records in the process. Rahul had a strong argument for Akari Porter considering his amazing season on the track,
but when you set two state-records, you win Male Athlete of the Year. Done deal.
Other Athlete’s I considered: Akari Porter, Niraj Komatenini, Ben Damge

Play of the Year | Bethany Moser’s game winning save

This award was tough to pick, and my partner Rahul and I argued for days about who should win. He claims that Charley Sipe’s game winning
field goal over Sycamore would win. It was a great play, but not the regional semifinal! Bethany Moser’s diving save earns play of the year after it clinched
a birth in the regional final for the girl’s soccer team over Loveland. Rahul, you’re wrong about this one buddy.
Other Plays I considered: Sipe’s GW field goal, Jack Coop’s dunk

Team of the Year | Girls Swimming

This award is a two-team race in my eyes. Girls swimming and Boys tennis. Rahul thought that the Boys tennis team will win after winning all of
their matches 5-0 except for one. Any other year Rahul, surprisingly, would be right. This year though, the Girls swim team snatches the award. They’ve
won back-to-back state championships, and are eyeing a third straight. Team of the Year will be an intriguing award to follow, but I think Rahul is wrong
on this one.
Other Teams I considered: Boy’s Tennis

Female Athlete of the Year | Basketball Player Sammie Puisis
There are a lot of good candidates, but at the end of the day it’s Sammie Puisis and everyone else. This McDonald’s All-American had another
dominate season on the court, and should add this award to her long list of achievements. Her stunning resume includes winning a third GMC player of
the year award and dropping a 40 piece on Colerain. No argument here, and for once Rahul and I can agree.
Other Athlete’s I considered: Maddie Ullom, Maggie King

19 Sports May 10, 2019

beast MODE

Akari Porter






Evan Kemp 05/10- Day 2 of GMC Track
Championships @home @4pm

7 wins and 65 strikeouts
GMC leader 05/11 - Volleyball match

Sydney Carter- @MI45 building @10am

STATS - 05/13- MHS ESPYs
@Crossroads @5:45pm
.672 batting average
1st in GMC


22 goals by the boys lacrosse team in a win Stats and ranks as of May 6, 2019
over Fairfield

8:07.08 3200 meter relay time by the boys track
and field team to lead the GMC
2.38 assists per game by senior lacrosse player
Ellie Lefton

20 Sports May 10, 2019

Senior leaders, talented newcomers have
Comet tennis riding undefeated hot streak

Matthew Smith | Staff Writer “It’s been im-

The boys tennis team is serv- portant that we all step into our

ing up a dominant season. roles, and as seniors, show the

The team is undefeated on younger guys what it takes to

the year, 12-0, and have won win,” Komatineni said. “We are

all but one match five courts trying to show the freshman and

to none. sophomores that this is a team

They have many experienced sport. We all pump each other

seniors leading the team, in- up, and at the end of the day we

cluding two-time Greater Mi- are always there for each other.”

ami Conference (GMC) player The underclassmen agree that

of the year Niraj Komatineni the team has grown together

at first singles. It’s not just with leadership from the seniors.

experience this year though, Gogineni said that the upper-

with two of their top singles classmen have included the

players being freshman, as younger guys in everything and

well as two sophomores on made them feel like an equal

varsity. part of the team.

The mix of old and young “We have a lot of team dinners

players has been a test for head and bonding experiences that

coach Mike Reid’s program, give (the underclassmen) an op-

but Reid said that he thinks portunity to become more apart

the team has handled it ex- of the team.” Gogineni said.

tremely well, with leadership “There is never a time when I

from the seniors. don’t feel a part left out. I just

“I think that everyone on the feel like I’m one of the guys.”

team has done exactly what With the increased role team

we’ve asked and played their chemistry has for these Mason

role really well,” Reid said. Comets, it has led to an unde-

“The seniors have been great feated record and put them at

mentors for the young guys the top of the GMC. Komatineni

throughout the season as they said that including everyone is

learn more and more about be- something he always strives for,

ing varsity tennis players.” but it all comes down to win-

Being new to a varsity set- ning and reaching the team’s

ting requires adjustments. goals.

For the freshman on varsity “(The seniors) always make

this year, it’s no longer middle sure that we pick up the fresh-

school, it’s the real deal. Fresh- man or drop them off if they

man Vignesh Gogineni, who need a ride somewhere, and
operates as the Comets 3rd
Photo by Tanner Pearson invite them to team bonding
singles player behind Kom- off the court,” Komatineni said.
atineni and fellow freshman Senior Niraj Komatineni has dominated the high school tennis scene all 4 years of high school, but this year he’s
Anish Gangavaram, said that had to not only win on his own, but help lead the youth of the varsity team, in order to reach the team’s full poten- “But at the end of the day if
tial and wwwdevelop the program for the future. you can play you can play. Our
biggest goal is to win state, and
it had been a big change to be
we need anyone that can help us
on varsity his first year, and it
requires a lot of focus and dedication. other freshman and sophomores trying to learn the accomplish that.”
intricacies of being a varsity player alongside him. After winning the Ohio Tennis Coaches Associa-
“There are really high expectations from the coach- tion (OTCA) state title last spring, Komatineni said
es and everyone else in the program. We practice for “The other freshman and sophomores on the team he believes the Comets are fully capable of going
around 3 hours a day, so we are expected to meet that are guys I already know,” Gogineni said. “To learn back to the tournament and winning as long as they
expectation,” Gogineni said. “At the matches as well with them and come to practice everyday and work pay attention to detail and continue to concentrate on
as practice it’s critical that we stay focused so that we with them helps us all out. Together we continue to improving at every position.
are able to play to the best of our ability and not get become more and more a part of the team.” “We need to stay focused,” Komatineni said. “Having
nervous or distracted.” as much talent as we have it’s about not getting car-
Leadership is always key to a team, but with half ried away. St. X has the best team they’ve had in over
Competing among the best in the city is a tough your team as underclassmen, it becomes much more 10 years and in order to get back to the state final four
adjustment for a 14 or 15 year old, but while playing critical to being successful. we are going to have to beat them on their courts. It’s
with others guys in the same spot, the learning curve a tall order but we’ve been training all year for it so I
becomes a little easier. Komatineni said that all the seniors have really tried think our guys are ready.”
to take on the role of being a leader and mentor to the
Gogineni said that it has been really helpful to have younger guys to get the most out of this team’s talent.

May 10, 2018 Opinion 21

Changing Staff Editorial
your goals is
okay A thank you to our lunch staff

Henri Robbins |
Staff Writer

Up until last year, I planned to be a STEM major. To Just one week ago was School Lunch Hero for a fourth lunch period. Mason is the largest
be exact, I wanted to study astrophysics. As a child, it day, a day to celebrate all the men and women high school in the state; our lunch staff has to
was my dream, my greatest pursuit, an aspiration that I who work so hard to get lunch ready for mil- feed more bodies than any other staff in Ohio,
simply couldn’t tie down. It amazed me to no end that lions of students across the country. We would and they have to do it quickly.
you could look up, see so much, and be able to answer so like to take this time to say thank you to our
little. Simply put, it was something I wanted to do all of own staff, right here at Mason. The food doesn’t only have to be plentiful,
my life, and that up until then I had been dead-set on. though; it has to be healthy. They make sure
We do a pretty good job at Mason of making that students get not only a good helping of
But then, I decided to load up on college-level math sure we thank each other for the good work we empty carbs, but of fruits and vegetables, of
and science courses, and I simply realized that I didn’t do. We have leadership awards for the students, iron, calcium, vitamins, everything. They make
really like math all that much. There was nothing and we have Teacher Appreciation Week for sure that we’re not only full, but that we have
against the teachers or the classes themselves, they just our teachers. We write articles where we inter- the energy to keep running for the rest of the
didn’t catch my attention as I had thought they would. view administration and school board mem- day, and that’s an even bigger deal than the
There was so much stress, so much abstract thinking, so bers. And every single one of these groups rest.
much of it that just felt absolutely banal. But I took the deserves the recognition they receive.
opportunity to explore what I really cared about, what I All of this happens on a daily basis, and we
loved to do, and I found that I absolutely adored writing. But our lunch staff doesn’t often get the don’t even think about the people behind it. Do
The intricacies, the boundaries, the endless potential, all recognition they deserve. you remember the name of the woman who
of it was so enthralling to me. I had found something checked you out of the lunch line? Chances
that I enjoyed not only the concepts of, but the creation Preparing food for over 3500 students every are, the answer is no, but these men and
of too. single day is no easy task. Think about the last women work every single day, relentlessly, to
time you tried to pack your own lunch, make keep us fed.
Of course, I didn’t stop loving space, it was just that I your own breakfast, or even cook dinner for
found that the technical end of it -- numbers, graphs, for- your family. How long did that take? Ten min- For us, lunch time is usually the destressing
mulas -- simply wasn’t for me. Earlier this year, I wrote utes? Fifteen? Half an hour? Imagine doing period of our day -- a chance to hang out with
something on the Opportunity rover, connecting what I that, not just for yourself, but for thousand of friends and take a break from our eight hours
had always followed with where I was going. other kids your age, every single day. of tests and lectures. For them, it’s the pinnacle
of all the day’s hard work, it’s the gratification
And that’s really what it comes down to: Even when It’s a daunting task. Everything has to be after hours of slaving away, and we completely
something doesn’t turn out, no matter how long it took ready, and ready on time. No one is going to overlook it. This isn’t a criticism of us, and it
to build up, that doesn’t make you any worse off for it -- wait patiently for their food to be delivered isn’t meant to bring down students, it’s simply
you made the journey that far, and if nothing else it got fifteen minutes into lunch, and teachers aren’t a reminder to look up from you fries and ap-
you to move forward. What people forget is that knowl- going to want their students coming back late preciate the hands that made them.
edge is compounding - just because it’s not in the exact and hungry. So there’s an incredible amount of
direction you wanted to go doesn’t mean it’s not helpful. pressure to get everything done in time. So we want to say thank you: Thank you for
Just because you don’t want to be an astrophysicist the pizza, the french toast, the peanut butter
doesn’t mean you can’t apply the knowledge elsewhere, The volume of food required to feed so and jelly sandwiches. Thank you for helping us
and the fact that you aren’t going to be the next Bolt or many students is immense. About 261,000 when we don’t have enough money left in our
Djokovic doesn’t mean you should give up completely. meals are prepared annually for the high account, and when we’re not quite sure what’s
school students -- that’s 180 pounds of french on the menu for today.
With all of that, it’s okay to not know where you’re fries, 375 chocolate milks, and 3500 fruits and
going. It’s still high school, you’re not dead set into any- vegetables every day. And all of this, without And we want to encourage the students as
thing. You’re still young, and you’re still learning. even factoring in the addition of the eighth well: The next time you’re grabbing your food,
graders this year. On top of an already over- or checking out, or waiting in line, remember
Be willing to make a change, to explore what makes whelming schedule, our staff had to account to thank the person that made it all possible.
you happy, and leave behind what you don’t love. In the
end, your life is to make your current self happy, not
your five-year-old self, not your parents, not your teach-
ers. It’s about doing what you love, and sometimes that
takes breaking everything down.

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

22 Opinion May 10, 2018

Senioritis Editorial Cartoon
has its perks

Ria Parikh | Goodbye, Saying goodbye is difficult, especially when you
Staff Writer Mason have no idea when your next hello will be. Goodbye to
friends, goodbye to places, and goodbye to family. All
I regret to inform you that I have been inflicted Jake Sapp | of it can make you feel like a piece of you is missing.
with Senioritis. Staff Writer But the important thing to remember is that those
people will always be with you, no matter how far
When I first heard of it in 8th grade, I turned my To say that my time at MHS has been a transforma- away you are from them.
nose up, smirked, and swore that that would never tional one would be an understatement.
happen to me. Well, here we are, four years later. But living in fear of the idea that you won’t be able
Over the course of two short years, I have had the to see them again will only prevent you from enjoying
Obviously, Senioritis has its negatives, which was chance to be able to do so many things that I would the time you still have to share your life with them.
the stuff I heard about all the time: the slight shifting never have thought possible even just two years ago,
of priorities, the conflicting dynamic of wanting to especially as a sophomore. I have laughed, cried, It’s very easy to lose yourself in the idea that you
maintain good grades but no longer wanting to do and everything in between, and I wouldn’t give up are leaving behind so many things you hold dear to
anything for them, the looser grip on grades and anything I have learned or experienced for the world. your heart, as I have learned over the course of the
all things school. These were the things that I was The people I have met, the friends I have made, and past year, but those emotions are what prevent you
worried about when I started to feel it, and for good the lessons I have learned are so integral to who I am from being able to look forward and see the eventual
reason. But I also learned through experiencing Se- today that I have no idea where I would be without bright side that comes with change.
nioritis, that, in my case, a lot of good came out of it. them, and I am eternally thankful for that fact.
It’s important to balance both the fear of change
My freshman, sophomore, and junior years, I was But pretty soon I’m going to have to pack my bags and the anticipation of it, because one can very easily
kind of grade-obsessed -- I would spend hours upon and leave it all behind, and that’s something that has blind the other.
hours working and studying, and put everything else been bothering me for quite a long while now.
behind school on my list of priorities. I would forgo Simply sulking about the fact that you are going to
time with friends and family, my health, dance, and At the end of the school year I will be moving to be going off to a totally new place will prevent you
every other aspect of my life. It was awful; my num- North Carolina, and at the same time away from the from enjoying what little precious time you still have
bers may have been shining, but I was miserable. place that I have lived for so many years, away from left with the people you love.
my friends, and away from the school that gave me so
Senioritis shocked me, but it gave me a chance to much. Being able to reflect on that fact, however, has Over the past few months, I have been trying to
breathe. Because I had less of a focus on grades, num- made me appreciate all of the things I have gained spend more and more time with my friends and peers,
bers, and all things college, I gave myself the time to from simply being able to grow up in a town like and trying things that I have never done before just
reconnect with friends, spend more time with family Mason. I took for granted all of the people I have in for the sake of doing them. I realized that I had to
and take care of myself. It’s not that I didn’t or don’t my life, all of my friends and peers, so in a way leav- make the most out of the limited time I have. Because
care about school and grades, but more so that I had ing has opened my eyes to things I was never aware of of that, the idea of saying goodbye to everything has
a chance to prioritize and realize for myself that my beforehand. become much easier, since I know I have lived my life
numbers aren’t everything. here to the absolute fullest.
Given the fact that the school year is ending, there
Rather than a disease, or something that needs to are going to also be a lot of seniors who will be expe- Nobody can ever predict what will happen to them
be cured, Senioritis has come to represent a sort of riencing the same emotions that I am as they head off tomorrow, especially if they will be somewhere com-
grounding that has benefited me holistically. Sure, at to college. Summer is the season of goodbyes and new pletely foreign to them, so the best thing you can do
times, it can absolutely pose as a distraction, but most beginnings as I have come to realize, and I think it’s is to not dwell in either the past nor future. In the end,
of the time, it reminds me that one bad test grade, important that as it grows closer, people focus on the the best thing you can do is live completely in the
or college rejection, as bad as they may seem, has a positives rather than the negatives. now, and enjoy every second of it while it lasts.
very little impact on who I am. By reading that and
writing that it may seem blatantly obvious, but you For what it is worth I would like to finish this
would be surprised at the all-encompassing, consum- column by thanking and saying goodbye to everyone
ing mindset school can create. who I have met during my time at Mason. I wouldn’t
be who I am today without you all. Thank you.
I’m not advocating for students not to care, I’m just
saying that we all need a reminder sometimes that
there is more to life. I still do my best on everything,
but I’m much less upset about an assignment or
test doesn’t go my way. Because of Senioritis, I gave
myself the opportunity to soar in other areas of my
life: I became a choreographer in my dance school; I
reconnected with friends with whom I had lost touch
over the years and spent much more time with the
friends I’ve had for a while; I spent my weekends at
the mall or at a play and not worried for three days
about Monday’s test.

By letting go a little, I got to experience more of
what I was missing the past couple years of my life.
Senioritis, in that aspect, actually made me kind of
sad. It gave me this sense that there was a giant hole
in my life, that should have been filled with getting
enough sleep and taking care of myself, or just going
out of my way to step away from school for some
time. Rather than a disease, Senioritis, for me, was a
wakeup call, and, I don’t know, I think we could all
use some of that sometimes -- it’s nice.

May 10, 2019 23

24 May 10, 2019

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