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Sandia Prep Times Newspaper

 

 

 

 

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Online Instruction: Students Sound Off

 

Compiled by Santiago Cooper

and Destiny Archibald

Staff Writers

 

The Sandia Prep Times checked in with a few students and teachers to see how they feel about online learning. Here are their responses.

 

Sixth Grade

Finnian Forsyth:

It is definitely a harder task as far as homework goes, and I usually have a bigger workload because I don't get class time to work on it. I use both (the Zoom video and audio) when I'm at my mom’s, and when I am at my dad’s I stay muted for as much of class as possible, because my little brother is here and he is very noisy.

Addyson Combs:

I think that since I'm home and can't really go anywhere, I can work on homework and classwork during the day at whatever time I need. The hardest thing was probably getting used to the schedule and planning out my time and making sure I had breaks and had time to finish the things that had to get done. I use the audio and video on Zoom because I feel more interacted, and when it's interactive I feel like I learn better. 

 

Seventh Grade

 

Liam Bazan:

I prefer classes in person. I avoid using the video feature because it makes my computer glitchy. We do get a lot of homework, in my opinion. I find it way easier to work at school instead.

 

Josephine Bemish:

I don't really like them compared to regular classes, but it is better than just email. I feel like I need to be in the same room as everyone else, but it works.

 

Eighth Grade

 

Kaden Epstein:

Switching to online classes has definitely been going at a slower pace than regular school, and to me the work load seems to be about the same to our regular workload. The hardest thing about online school is probably just having to pay attention for an hour. 

 

Benna Rael:

It’s definitely made me less focused because of all my distractions in my house.

 

 

Freshmen

 

Mika Juan:

I find myself being more focused in later classes rather than the morning ones because I just woke up and I’m still tired. My attention span is pretty good as long as I put my phone down somewhere and don’t mess with it until the end of class, and I think the homework load feels like a lot, but I don’t think it really is.

 

Tenzin Malaika Huisman:

I feel there is too much homework because we also have families and stuff to do outside of class, and I get bored easily because I would rather be doing something else or be with my friends.

 

Sophomores

 

Nahom Zerai: 

Being online definitely makes it harder to focus in class in comparison to regular class; however, if I put away my phone I become very focused on the class, meaning the time of day of the class doesn’t really matter for me. I use the video feature because it makes it feel more like a regular class. The homework load has definitely increased since classes have gone online, but if you delegate your time the homework is manageable. Overall, I feel like online classes can’t be compared to regular classes. However, with the current condition of the world, online classes are the best option.

 

Kaitlyn Gabaldon: 

I don’t find myself getting distracted during class if we are learning something important, but sometimes it’s hard to pay attention when everyone is talking at once. I don’t have a hard time, but I do know that a lot of my friends have that problem, especially if it’s a boring topic they aren’t interested in. The homework is okay as long as you do it right away. It can build up fast and sneak up on you. Recently I’ve noticed some of my teachers have been giving more homework now then they originally have at school, which I find interesting. 

I used video features when I first started online school, but now I only use it if my teacher requires me to. I don’t see much of a point in using it. I think as long as you’re present and paying attention in the class, then  it’s okay. I wish the majority of my teachers would just give us the homework/lessons and not force us to come to every Zoom meeting every day. Sometimes it seems pointless to go everyday.

 

Juniors

 

Lily King:

I find it more formal to be on the video feature and to show I’m ready for class. I am fortunate to be able to have a good attention span, but it’s incredibly hard to focus at home so it makes it hard to put effort in homework, especially in the afternoon because my bed is beckoning me for naptime. I think class should be longer and more engaging with less homework.

 

Ajmain Ashraf:

I focus throughout the class, but if there are notes or if we are going over something my mind tends to wander off, and I focus more during the beginning of the day rather than at the end of the day. 

 

Seniors

 

Joseph Romero:

Switching to online school has definitely been a huge change for everyone, but I have been enjoying it. It is a lot less stressful, but I have to make sure to stay productive, which is the only challenge. My attention span is a challenge because being at home makes it difficult to be productive, but I have been managing to stay in tune. I feel like some teachers are assigning too much work in order to make online school feel like real school. It was overwhelming the first few days, but now they are starting to lighten up on work load.

 

Halle Gentry-Funk:

I use the video feature sometimes. It really depends how I feel when I get up in the morning. During the morning when we have classes, it at times can get exhausting, but for the most part it’s laid back so after class I usually try and get my homework done so I have the rest of the day to do whatever. However, I feel like my attention span can get very short at times, especially if I’m just sitting staring at a screen, but it honestly just depends on what the Zoom class is doing. But, I do feel like the homework load is okay. I don’t think anyone wants to do homework, but the amount isn’t too much because you have the free time to do it.

 

Teachers: 

 

Shanna Croney (math):

I would much rather be at school with everyone, but I think that it is a great way to stay connected and to continue with classes during this time. I think I am adjusting to it pretty well, but it is hard to be on the computer for so many hours every day. I really like having the time to see students and interact with other people. The technology has been an issue at times (slow internet or tricky websites), but I think that it's working well. 

My attention seems to be the same during the day, although by the evening I feel like I am not as focused. I'm not used to sitting in front of a computer for so long, and that has been a big adjustment. I also find that my animals can be a distraction during class, especially my cat who always wants to be on my lap or on the computer. 

I think that all the teachers are doing their best to assign meaningful work while also understanding that these are strange times and people may be handling the stress differently.  One of the biggest adjustments for students seems to be that they are doing all of their work at home, as opposed to being able to finish it during their free periods during a regular school day.  

 

Rob Minear (Spanish):

While it’s reassuring to be able to see everyone in a time of crisis and social isolation, distance learning has some limitations when compared to classes in person. It can be frustrating when problems with technology slow the progress of the class. … It’s harder to get as much repetition and reinforcement of grammatical concepts through communicative activities with distance learning. 

Most of my students have been great in adjusting to distance learning. It requires intrinsic motivation and discipline and maturity to ask questions in or outside of class, and to find alternative resources to help explain concepts introduced in class. We have less class time, so students need to compensate by referencing their texts and doing more independent preparation. 

Learning new technology has been a challenge for me. I appreciate the work that the IT Department has been doing to familiarize teachers with the Zoom platform and help them transition from what they are used to doing in the classroom. I think both students and teachers have been learning a lot in the process, and as long as we are committed to working together and supporting each other, good things will happen through distance learning even if we aren’t able to get back to the physical classroom before the end of the school year.

 

Joelle Shaw (science):   

Like many of us, COVID-19 has dramatically changed everything, including my daily schedule. Currently, with our 8 a.m. class start time, I sleep in a little later, but I still get up, make coffee and breakfast, and get ready to teach for the day.  I teach all morning. Rather than spending my afternoons teaching, I now spend significant time on various Google applications and Veracross, to make items accessible to my students, and answer emails with questions students have. 

The biggest change to my schedule is, in quarter four, I normally spend most of my time preparing for various OLP trips. It is weird to not be organizing these trips, and interacting so closely with our Prep community.  One benefit to working remotely is the flexibility of the schedule. I try to make a point every day to take Sadie for a walk, and get up and do various physical activities: workout, run, clean my house. These breaks from a screen are a nice mental break.

I do not think students are gaining their same level of understanding for many reasons. First is that it is much easier to get distracted at home during lessons. Every time our attention gets pulled away from a lesson, we miss a little bit of the information, and we change our thought process, which diminishes our comprehension. Second, while I can demonstrate various concepts, it is a different experience watching someone, versus actually getting to participate in the demonstration. Third, many of my eighth-grade students ask for follow up explanations and are comfortable doing so in the classroom setting; less students are asking questions now. Fourth, while I have changed up labs, and students are still able to do labs at home, they are not in a controlled setting, which diminishes seeing the direct cause and effect normally seen. And last, I often have students come in to get help or look over their work before they turn it in to make sure they are understanding the concepts. This is not happening now. 

The most difficult thing to adapt to online school is the connection with my students. I love teaching and working with students to help them learn. That connection is not the same when interacting through a screen. None of this change has been easy per se. I will say that I was able to wrap my brain around online teaching more easily because I have done some simple online teaching to my nieces for sixth-grade science. 

 

The following newspaper staff members compiled interviews for this story: Santiago Cooper, Tyya Caldwell, Ryan Hughes, Sam Mason, Isabela Baca, Chris Blewett, Hayden Bollinger and Destiny Archibald.

 

Three Veteran Faculty Members Bid Farewell

 

By Grace Walker 

Staff Writer

 

Three longtime faculty members are saying goodbye to Prep at the end of this school year.

Art teacher Lynn McColl; drama teacher Debi Kierst, who also is the Director of Special Academic Programs; and counselor Karen Lyall all said they will greatly miss the Prep community but feel it’s time for new pursuits.

McColl, who has worked at Prep for 20 years, said she wants to explore new opportunities and challenges. 

“I am starting a business in my home—Treetop Studio—where I will teach private and group lessons in both English and art,” she said.

 McColl has spent 32 years inspiring and guiding high school students through the worlds of literature and visual arts, and now she is “coming full-circle,” putting her creative energy into her business and passions. 

Kierst, who is also the twelfth-grade sponsor, is leaving the school after 17 years to pursue her interests in the acting arena.

“I’m going to be doing my own personal film, TV, and theater projects,” she said. “I’ll have the time to be a full-time actor and director.”

   Kierst said her students fill her with “such creative energy and enthusiasm,” and she will miss the supportive faculty and staff as well. 

Lyall, who will retire from her position as Coordinator of Health and Counseling, said Prep has helped shape many aspects of her life.

My years at Prep have been formative to my identity as a person, a professional and a mother,” she said. “I have grown and learned so much through the variety of positions and work/life experiences I have enjoyed at Prep.” 

Lyall has worked at Sandia Prep for 30 “joyful and dedicated” years, and she appreciates the Prep community but is excited for a slower pace.  

McColl, while also happy with her decision to leave Prep, is suffering the hardships that come with saying goodbye to the students and faculty who have been in her life for so long. 

“I will miss the funny, sweet, honest interchanges with students, and saying hello to people while walking across the Quad, feeling cherished and appreciating students, faculty and staff members I care for,” she said.

Lyall is ready to spend her days pursuing her hobbies like gardening and cooking. As for work, she said she is “exploring opportunities to work or volunteer for populations who are marginalized and in need of support in our community.”

 McColl described her time at Prep as “predominantly full of good, hard work, some zany fun, and tremendous love and happiness. Those are the things I take with me, for the rest of my life.”

 

Student with food.

‘Andrew Eats’ Takes on Burritos in the 505

 

By Andrew Shoaff

Staff Writer

 

Strange times we’re living in, huh? But if you ever need a good recommendation for food, you can still find it here on “Andrew Eats.” 

For this issue, I covered the most popular breakfast burritos around Albuquerque. At one time or another, the places I tried were each voted best breakfast burrito in the 505: Golden Pride, Twisters, Blake’s, and, of course, the Sandia Prep cafeteria.

First up, Golden Pride, founded in 1973 by Larry and Dorothy Rainosek, who also founded the Frontier Restaurant in the university area. Golden Pride is a popular spot among New Mexicans and tourists alike due to its famous breakfast burritos. On average, the restaurant makes 50% of their sales before 11 a.m. Their burritos are well backed up by the numbers, with Golden Pride selling around 200,000 burritos each month

Of course, this place had to be on my list. I got the number 2 breakfast burrito, with carne adovada (pork marinated in red chile), hash browns, eggs, and cheese. The most important part of this type of burrito is the shredded carne, which was so tender it almost melted in my mouth. It also was spicy with good flavors. As for the rest of the internals, the hash browns were good but the eggs had a weird texture. The burrito held together well, but both ends were open so a few little things fell out. 

Next on the list, Twisters. Twisters, was founded in 1998 and serves fast food New Mexican cuisine such as breakfast burritos, green chile cheeseburgers, and other New Mexico favorites. I had the Rio Grande burrito, handheld. I specify “handheld” because Twisters offers an option of ordering a burrito over a bed of its signature curly fries and drenched in red chile. 

The burrito had great flavor, with carne that was juicy but did not have a lot of spice. The potatoes were seasoned, which added a lot to the burrito, and the eggs were nice and fluffy and had that home-cooked taste. The burrito held up well and nothing spilled except the juice from the carne. Overall, it was a good burrito, and I would order it again.

The Sandia Prep cafeteria served as mostly a control group, and it gave me the criteria on which to judge the rest. I could not get my regular carne burrito, so I ordered the closest thing to it--a bacon and red chile burrito with all the fixings. Overall it was a good burrito, with a nice size and satisfying flavor. However, I’m not going to include it in my final ranking because I couldn’t order the same ingredients as I did at the other restaurants. 

The final place I tried was featured in my last column, Blake’s. The fast-food joint is relatively new to the breakfast burrito scene, but they adapted by putting together a pretty well-rounded burrito. They make their burritos like they make their burgers, big and freshly made to order. The eggs were nice and fluffy, the hash browns were crispy and browned, and the tortilla was warm but not crunchy. The carne was tender, though a little unusual because it came in chunks. The meat was a bit dry and salty, but I think it worked well with the burrito. The well-composed burrito held together nicely and was filled almost to the max.

In the end, I had a hard time picking a single favorite. I enjoy a good breakfast burrito; that's why this was so hard. My favorite, though, was Golden Pride, the burrito I grew up with. It is my mother’s favorite and her parents’ favorite, and it will remain my favorite as well.

Nerf Wars Brings Lively Rivalry Among Students

 

By Destiny Archibald

Staff Writer

 

            Junior Cooper McWilliams said he hopes the popular Nerf Wars competition will become a tradition among Prep students.

McWilliams, a member of Team Epstein, is one of a few students who decided to participate in a Nerf Wars tournament, which was organized by a group of seniors who wanted to bring something to the Prep campus that would mix fun and interactive competition.

Senior Michael Martinez, who is a part of Team Longball, was one of the seniors who helped bring the Nerf Wars to Prep students. 

“We started the Nerf War just as something fun to do, especially as a senior,” Martinez said. “We thought it would be fun to just bring people together.”

            The competition was open to sophomores, juniors and seniors, and each team consisted of a captain and four other players. The teams paid a fee to join, and at the end of the bracket-style tournament the winning team would receive the grand prize. Competitors had from Monday to Saturday to use their Nerf guns to get as many people out from the opposing team. 

            “Once you get shot you are out, and you can basically shoot anyone anywhere, except at school and school-related events, work and their house,” Martinez said. 

Most students said they joined because it sounded fun. 

Sophomore Nahom Zerai said he’s “on Team CRF and some of our senior friends told us about it and we wanted to join because we thought it would be fun.”

Junior Christine Hermina and her team decided to join after they saw the videos posted on social media.

 “I was on the team Squirlsz and we honestly did horrid,” she said. “We joined late and got out the second week, but at least we tried.”

Although the only two teams that remained were Longball and Team Epstein competing for the championship, the players have made memories throughout the tournament.

Martinez has waited outside of someone's work for four hours, while sophomore Jordan Schierloh said “my favorite memory is from the first round when we were being followed home and then got chased, and I ended up having to jump my backyard wall.”

McWilliams recalled the time he had to save his teammate.

“Austin (Epstein, a junior) went to go get food with the team we were competing against, and I had to show up and help him,” he said. 

The Nerf Wars were also entertaining for the individuals who weren’t actually competing. Whenever someone would be eliminated, a video would be posted on social media for others to watch. 

“My favorite part was watching videos of shooting people and getting shot because they are really funny and entertaining,” said Hermina. 

For the most part, the competitors just enjoyed spending time with their friends.

“I definitely want this to become a tradition because it is really fun to compete against each other outside of school,” said McWilliams.

 

 

Chris Blewitt

Chris Blewett

            Although I am a senior on the newspaper team, this was my first year being a part of all this. I was super nervous about writing my first story, but learning the writing and editing process made it easy to be proud and happy with what I wrote. I was lucky enough to always have a story that I was interested in, which made all the work behind it a whole lot easier.

            One of the fun, unexpected things about newspaper is you end up meeting a lot of people you would have otherwise never talked to. Some of that comes from interviewing people, but it mostly comes from working with other people on the paper. Although there’s a lot of work involved in writing a story, I always looked at the class as more of a relaxing part of my day, where I could have a laugh with some of my friends.

            Everything has changed up quite a bit from the beginning of the year, but I still look forward to those newspaper Zoom meetings because I get to see everybody's faces, and it still carries some of that same energy from the classroom.

            Thanks to everybody on the team for a great year. 

 


 

Hayden Bollinger

Hayden Bollinger

            When I look back at my years at Prep, I see a lot of ups and downs. Mentally, I was all over the place. Over seven years of being at one place, it’s only natural for a person to experience the whole lot of emotions. Although I’m ending with a lot of regret, I'm also leaving with great memories. Growing up with some of the best friends I could ask for and the most supportive family, I was able to survive and laugh along the way.

            Some of my more favorite memories come from sitting in the gazebo and seeing where the lunch period took my friends and me. Among my saddest memories, seeing the last year class of 2019 on senior day was hard to witness. I watched my best friends count down their year and I realized that things change. My best friends aren’t always going to be there for me and that day made me see that.

            My senior year is ending in a funny and bizarre way. It's hard to be sad about it coming to a close. Not being able to see my friends as we follow this through is difficult. I would only wish to see us have a graduation, as I always dreamed of, and end this chapter of our lives.  

 


 

Tyya Caldwell

Tyya Caldwell

            Everything seemed to come to an end so fast, especially in my senior year. I feel like I have come so far and it had to end so abruptly. I came to Prep in my freshman year, and I am so grateful for my four years here as a student and for all of the amazing friends I have made here.

 I joined the Newspaper staff as a sophomore, and I was so nervous to start because I just needed it for a digital media course and the class was filled with all juniors. I am so glad I decided to stay because Newspaper became such a big part of my life. I have worked my way up to co-editor-in-chief, and I am so thankful to have worked so closely with Ms. Goessl this year. 

In addition to Newspaper, I am sad to say goodbye to the amazing teachers I have had throughout the years. It is sad to have my senior year taken away so early, but I am still so grateful for my health and family during these times. 

I know the class of 2020 is so special and that we will all go far in life. Thank you, Sandia Prep, for so many memories over the years and especially this year.

 


 

Grant Fritschy

Grant Fritschy

          When I first arrived in Newspaper as a junior, I was nervous of the learning curve ahead of me. Conducting interviews and writing informative stories was something unfamiliar to me, and I was unsure if I was willing to step up to the challenge. At the time I did not know anyone at Prep, which added to my initial anxiety. 

Thankfully, with the support of Ms. Goessl and my classmates, I quickly learned the ropes and was writing coherent stories in no time. The skills I have learned in Newspaper will follow me not only into college but will serve me in the workforce as well. 

I am beyond blessed to work with a group of such capable, intelligent students and am so grateful for the love and mentorship Ms. Goessl has provided. Thank you!

 

 


 

Sam Mason

Sam Mason

         Throughout my time at Prep I’ve experienced the highest and lowest points of my life. It wasn’t always easy, but then again nobody said that high school would be. I’ve met my best friends here and it has become my home away from home. 

            When I first started at Prep, I didn’t have many friends. I came from a large public school with only three of my classmates joining me at the new school. Everyone seemed to know someone, except for me. I used to eat lunch alone on the terrace in the 700 building and run laps in P.E. by myself. But eventually I found my people, and I’m so grateful that I did. These people are my family and I love them with my whole heart. I can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done for me.

            I’ve learned so many valuable lessons while attending Prep that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. I’d like to thank the wonderful faculty and staff for making every day at Prep a good one. Steve Ausherman has taught me that the world isn’t always kind, but it can always be beautiful. Ernest Polansky has taught me that even though learning can be hard, and I mean really hard, it’s always worth it in the end. Amanda Parker has shown me that my voice isn’t small and that I can make a difference. And last but certainly not least, Joan Goessl. She has taught me to always search for the facts and to always keep going, no matter how tough the present may be. Thank you for everything you’ve done, Mother Goessl. I could write a whole paper on how grateful I am for so many of the faculty and staff. 

            Thinking of graduating is truly bittersweet, but I can confidently say that I am prepared for the future and whatever it may hold thanks to my time at Prep. 

 

 


 

 

Prep Adopts Later Start Time on Thursdays

 

By Santiago Cooper

Staff Writer      

 

Next year, Prep plans to implement a schedule change that will push back its start time by an hour every Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Cheryl McMillan, the Head of Upper School, said  the new start time “will give the students just a brief time to catch up a little bit, whether they feel they need that time for additional sleep and rest or if they feel like they are going to get up early and use that time to catch up maybe on homework or something else.” 

Not only does the new change help students, but McMillan said the faculty will benefit as well. A later start time will give teachers time to meet with their departments and other committees, and provide extra time for planning lectures, presentations and trips without having to stay late. 

“I think they (students) will experience stronger learning experiences because their teachers now have a little more time to plan,” McMillan said. 

            She said the faculty took into account parents of middle schoolers as well as high school students who don’t drive. Accommodations for students who must arrive before 8 a.m. will be available in the form of study halls, which will be held around campus. 

“The students can go there and do homework and study and will have a place to go,” McMillan said.      

 

 

 

Russell FriedmanFriedman: Outdoor Enthusiast and Traveler

 

By Isabela Baca

Staff Writer

 

Spanish teacher Russell Friedman, who has been teaching at Prep for three years, also plays a role in the school’s Outdoor Leadership Program. Friedman has been chosen at random as April’s Faculty Member of the Month.

 

What is your favorite thing about Prep?

“My favorite thing is the variety of interests that the students have. It helps make it a well-rounded campus environment. It’s not just solely focused on academics or athletics; people wear a lot of hats. People are involved in plenty of different pursuits, and I think that it’s nice to see students embracing that well-rounded approach.”

 

What is the reason you came to work here?

“I missed teaching. I wasn’t teaching for a while and I wanted to get back into it. I realized that it was where I was happiest and where I could have an impact. To be honest, it was more challenging than what I was doing. I wasn’t nearly challenged enough at my old job. I wanted to take on something I felt would be very rewarding and push me.”

 

What are your hobbies?

“Well, since I’m in the OLP (Outdoor Leadership Program), I like everything outdoors. Beyond that, I love reading fiction. I enjoy being active here in New Mexico: running, biking, swimming.”

 

What’s your favorite thing to do outdoors?

“Backpacking. It’s different from the other trips we do. You have to bring everything with you. It takes more consideration than other trips. I like being able to have everything I brought in one spot and just head out into the wilderness.”

 

Where is your favorite place to travel?

“For sheer striking beauty, Bolivia. The landscape is just staggering, and a place unlike any other I’ve been. In terms of the best experience and adventure going abroad, when I was in high school my brother and I did a biking trip around Scotland.

 

What did you want to be when you grew up?

“When I was a kid I wanted to be a stuntman, which is funny because I’m terrified of heights and I’m not the sort of person who likes to take risks, so it was kind of a silly thing. But I’ve wanted to be a teacher for a long time.”

 

Who is your idol?

“My wife. She and I compliment each other well, and I feel like I’ve become a much better person since I met her. She has a lot of admirable qualities that I strive to be like.”

 

What inspires you?

“I am inspired by new challenges. Really, anything new. I like the idea of pushing myself to try things I’ve never done before, and that's what I encourage my students to do.”

 

 

Popular eSports Is on a Roll

 

By Rowan McJimsey

Staff Writer

 

After a few minutes of setting up and getting ready for the game, the players in the League of Legends eSports match against Saint Teresa are off to a good start. 

Players appear to be focused on their screens as they keep track of where their teammates and opponents are in the game, communicating via their headsets. As the game starts, they begin to “pick and ban,” choosing who they want to play and who the other players are not allowed to compete against.

            Sandia Prep has two eSports teams: League of Legends and Rocket League. Both have varsity teams, while Rocket League also features gamers who compete at the junior varsity level. 

“eSports is a big deal because it gives the people that do not actually want to play a physical sport to pursue something that they are actually good at,” said senior Sarah Maurice, a League of Legends team member. 

            Maurice and her teammates have been competing successfully against other teams from around New Mexico since last school year. They took third place overall, with League of Legends taking second place in the state tournament. 

            eSports has gained popularity at both the high school and college levels. 

Allen Arsenault, the eSports coach and Prep’s database administrator, said the games, which are broadcast on Twitch, give students another way to connect with their school and their classmates.

“Colleges are starting to have university teams, so they can draw more students that are going to study engineering (and) computer science into their schools,” he said. “Because the colleges are starting to have teams, it makes sense that the high schoolers would as well.”

Arsenault noted that because kids play video games and gaming is a multi-billion-dollar industry, “colleges are looking for ways of tapping into that.”



 

 

For Seniors, Sports’ Seasons Come to Abrupt End

 

By Gus Walker

and Sam Henderson

Staff Writers

 

With the coronavirus pandemic putting an abrupt end to all sporting events, many high school seniors played their last games without knowing it at the time.

“It's super sad to not be able to do my last high school season of track,” said senior Skylar Gee. “My team and I were hoping to win state again and break some state records, and now we don’t even have the opportunity to compete and it’s super disheartening.”

For seniors across the country, this is a common feeling. Sports have given student-athletes more than just the game, providing them with experiences and memories as well. 

“They have given me a lot of friendships and have taught me many life lessons,” said senior DJ Roberts, who ran track. 

Student-athletes not only miss their sports, but their teammates, too,

 “I’m going to miss the team the most,” said senior baseball player Shaw Jaramillo. “I saw those guys every day. We all had so many good times and memories together.” 

Roberts agreed, saying “it’s not competing I’ll miss most, it's the fun I had with my team.” 

With time on their hands, Prep athletes are now finding other ways to get their activity in. 

“I run a lot and I have a home gym so that keeps me sane and in shape,” said senior Luke Wilkerson, who plays lacrosse.  

Most seniors’ athletic careers are over, but a few of Prep’s top athletes plan to continue playing their sport in college. Jaramillo said he plans to play baseball after high school, and Wilkerson also is fulfilling his dream of taking his sport to the next level.

“If I could play even just a little bit after high school, that would be awesome,” he said.

Those who know they will not play an organized sport after high school are even more devastated. 

Gee expressed her heartbreak over the season being canceled.

“As cool as it would be to be a college athlete, I have decided I want to focus on school and other parts of my life, and that’s what makes this end to track so sad, because I never got to say goodbye,” she said.

 

 

Dog-Walking to Videogames: Students Find Ways to Fight Boredom 

 

By Nathaniel Parks

Staff Writer

 

The stay-at-home order has left bored students trying to find activities to keep themselves entertained. 

Seventh-grader Isabel Fernandez has spent her time finding some new things to do while also coming back to some things she previously enjoyed. 

“I exercise by playing with my dog, walking/running a couple of miles, and doing cardio workouts,” she said. “I have tried to do a lot of cooking also. My new hobbies are cooking and talking to friends on the phone.” 

Freshman Alex Mason has been “doing stuff like cleaning my room and painting.” 

Another Prep freshman, Jaxon Feit, said “for me, this has been a good time to grind out my video games, and, you know when they get boring, a nice nap is good.” 

A junior, Gillian Hoffman, has kept herself occupied in different ways. 

“I've been drawing a lot and working on a big project for my art class,” she said. “I've also been trying to work-out more and go for runs every day. I've been just spending more time with my family, and of course doing a lot of homework, because junior year is still really hard online, too.”

Junior Kirschtin Kinberger said she’s “been walking my dogs a lot and spending time with my family outdoors.” 

Senior Halle Gentry-Funk said she tries to, “do new things even if I have zero motivation, like going for a run or doing something with art. I try to think of things I don’t normally do, but at a point, there’s only so much you can do it gets old.”

Senior Sarah Carrizales said she’s been spending her time, “watching a lot of Netflix and procrastinating a lot lately.” 

Senior Isabella Gilbert said she’s “been sleeping a lot and playing some video games. I have been going to the park every day and playing tennis and soccer. I also have been running a lot more than I ever have.”

 

 

Editorial: State Foster Care System in Need of Repair

 

By Shy Shipley

Staff Writer

 

 New Mexico took a big step forward when it agreed to make a series of concrete child welfare changes by 2023.

The changes, detailed in a timeline that allows the state to fund the reforms and revamp its entire foster care system, were the result of a class action lawsuit filed in 2018.  The 95-page lawsuit against the state Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), which runs foster care, and the state Human Services Department (HSD), which oversees Medicaid treatment for children in state custody, was filed on behalf of abused or neglected children in state custody.  

This lawsuit never once asked for more than what these children deserve. The goal of any state, of any country, should always be to protect and serve the next generation to ensure children aren’t suffering at the hands of the ignorant.

In New Mexico, there were 4,737 children in foster care in 2017. 

Sadly, it takes a child dying while in state custody for people to pay attention to the child protective system. Foster care is beneficial only for a short time; it isn't designed for children to be stuck in for years. It should be a place full of nurturing, a better place for the vulnerable to feel safe and content, and those children should stay only until their home situations are better or until they can be adopted.  

In New Mexico, children spend an average of a year and a half in the foster care system.  In 2014, 415,000 children spent time in foster care, with 64,300 in the system for more than three years and 28,000 for five or more years. 

New Mexico has the highest rate of childhood exposure in the country, with 18 percent of all children having experienced three or more significant traumatic experiences. Under the current system, New Mexico’s child welfare practices are systematically re-traumatizing vulnerable children. 

According to the lawsuit, New Mexico lacks proper placement, staff and training, and it lacks a functioning system to meet the medical, mental and behavioral health needs of children in state custody. Children are also denied access to the federally mandated medical, mental and behavioral health screenings and services provided by New Mexico’s Medicaid program, to which virtually all such children are entitled. CYFD and HSD must evaluate a child’s health within 30 days of entering state custody and ensure a coordinated and integrated system of care in the least restrictive environment. 

Without using the children’s real names, the lawsuit brought up actual cases to support its allegations. 

In one, it said, “Chris W. did not receive any individual therapy until he had been in CYFD custody for nearly four months. Two years into custody, Chris W. has still not been provided with grief counseling” after (his mother's death).

The lawsuit also accused CYFD and HSD of operating systems that fail to reasonably accommodate the impact of complex trauma, and even re-traumatize children and inflict further harm.

Citing another case, the lawsuit said Kevin S. experienced multiple forms of trauma, including repeated childhood sexual abuse by his mother’s partners, physical abuse, exposure to domestic violence and neglect. Kevin has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar I, insomnia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, reactive attachment disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, borderline intellectual functioning and learning disorders.

 The lawsuit pointed out federal laws regarding “children who have experienced complex trauma that substantially limits major life activities.” It said both CYFD and HSD must ensure meaningful access to the public benefits, including child welfare and medical benefits, to which these children are entitled. 

The settlement also requires screening of all children and that their trauma be assessed and treated immediately. This one step could ultimately change everything for these children.

“Kids told us over and over that ‘things got done to me and nobody asked me what I needed,’” said Nancy Koenigsberg, a lawyer with Disability Rights New Mexico. “The new system will ensure that all kids are heard, as opposed to having things done to them.”

It’s movement in the right direction for New Mexico and, most importantly, its children.

 

 

Healthcare Professionals on the Frontlines

 

By Sam Mason         

Staff Writer 

 

Newspaper staff members interviewed their parents and relatives for this story on the pandemic’s effect on healthcare professionals. In addition to senior Sam Mason, who wrote the piece, the following students contributed interviews: freshman Abigail Hanosh, junior Shy Shipley and senior Chris Blewett.

 

While the Covid-19 outbreak has changed the everyday lives of many, medical professionals and others in the healthcare field not only report to their regular jobs but must also protect themselves and the people around them while working.

Dr. Elizabeth Henderson, a newborn specialist at Presbyterian Hospital, explained how the atmosphere has changed due to the pandemic. 

            “The staff has an entrance and they're all screened,” said Henderson. “They get asked questions: Do you have a cough? Fever? Sore throat? Shortness of breath? You have to have your temperature taken. There's a certain level of seriousness. Hardly anybody has their TV on, and if they do it’s not on the news.”

            Dr. Melissa Mason, a pediatrician at Journey Pediatrics, said her office has changed “almost entirely” since the pandemic began. 

            “Now we only see well kids in the morning, and the families check-in, and then they go wait in their cars,” she said. “And then, when we’re ready to get them into a room, we call them.”

A typical pre-pandemic morning would find people in a waiting room where toys and children’s books were available. Patients would get checked in and taken to a room when one became available.

“Now there’s nobody in the lobby,” Dr. Mason said. “There are no books. There are no toys. They wait in their cars.” 

            Rochelle Lee, a first-year nurse at Lovelace Medical Center, explained how she and her fellow staff members are protecting themselves as well as their patients. 

“Hand hygiene is very big,” Lee said. “We wash our hands, put on gloves, sanitize those gloves, put on a gown, wash our hands again, sanitize the gloves again and put new gloves on top of the first pair. Then goggles and a face shield, and we finally go into the patient's room.”

            Dr. Christopher Hanosh, an orthopedic surgeon for Lovelace Medical, said his job has also changed dramatically since the spread of the virus. 

“I do primarily elective surgeries, so 95 percent of what I do is scheduled surgery, and we’re not doing any of those things,” Dr. Hanosh said, adding that the decision has had a large impact on his patients. 

Instead of conducting a physical exam, he interacts with patients through a computer screen, asking them questions to determine the severity of their cases and then deciding whether to bring them into the hospital. 

Dr. Hanosh said he worries about putting a patient at risk if he brings them to the hospital for a physical exam. 

“It’s been difficult to know (when to bring a patient in and when not to),” he said. “There’s not a clear right and a wrong thing to do.”

DeAnna Hanosh, a registered nurse for the TSG group that is associated with Presbyterian, said her job performing health screenings for insurance companies has been canceled through June. 

“I have to be touching these people and be in close contact with them,” said Hanosh, who is married to Dr. Hanosh. “I have not been able to go to my job since this started.”

Many hospitals and medical centers have implemented a “no visitors policy” in an attempt to keep their staff and patients from being exposed to the virus. Unless there is a special circumstance--if patients are minors, for example, or unable to speak for themselves--no outside visitors are allowed. 

Dr. Henderson said many people are frustrated with this precaution. 

“At first when we started restricting visitors, there was a lot of anger,” she said. “How do you deal with people being angry or frustrated? How do you deal with families that can't properly mourn someone who's passed away?” 

An unexpected challenge for healthcare workers was the fear and frustration of the general public. 

“We hope that people will work together rather than sort of anarchy where it’s everyone for themselves,” Dr. Henderson said. 

Although the safety and health of patients remains a priority, it is difficult to keep adequate supplies during this time. Many clinics only recently were able to get N-95 respirator masks, which filter out 95 percent of the particles in the air. 

Lee said low supply levels are affecting healthcare workers’ routines.

 “We take off the face masks and sanitize the masks and keep them for the next patient,” she said. “There's not enough stuff to go around.” 

Journey Pediatrics, as well as many other clinics, is experiencing financial difficulty due to the drop in daily patients. 

“We’re having to take out small business loans to pay the employees because we’re hardly seeing the number of patients we were seeing before,” Dr. Mason said. 

            Dr. John Blewett, Director of Pulmonary Services at UNMH, said he is hopeful despite the current circumstances. 

            “We're going to learn a lot from this,” he said. “I think it's going to make us more efficient; I think it'll make us better prepared for any kind of disaster in the future. I don’t think we’ll ever get caught this unprepared ever again.

“I think it’s also going to have a whole generation of people who are in the process of setting their career path, the people that have been migrating to medicine for the wrong reasons, are not going to follow through. This will have a lasting effect on them,” he said. 

Despite the stressful situation, Dr. Blewett, like many healthcare professionals, is keeping calm and pushing forward for his patients. 

“People are not fearful, they're just being very careful,” he said. “Everybody is trying to do the best they can to keep themselves and everybody else safe while trying to provide the best care they can.” 

 

 

COVID-19 Touching Teens’ Lives Around the World

 

By Hayden Bollinger

Staff Writer

 

            It is easy for New Mexicans to view the effects of COVID-19 through our own eyes, yet areas throughout the world are feeling the impact. With people in more than 180 countries infected with the virus, everyone has a story to tell. We made contact with young people around the United States and around the globe to see what they have to say.

 

Des Moines, Iowa

            Allie Arnz, a senior at Des Moines High School, has found herself missing many activities from her senior year. 

“I’m missing school and the musical,” Arnz said. “We aren't sure if it’ll get cancelled/or change time yet or not, and a show choir performance already got cancelled, too, so I’m super upset about it and sad. I miss my friends, honestly, and just being able to spend time with them and my other family members.”

            Arnz said that despite the stay at home order, she’s “enjoying being able to go through all of my stuff and clean before I leave for college.” 

            Arnz said she believes “the media was over exaggerating everything and was putting out ‘facts’ that simply weren’t true in the beginning, but now that our country and the world is becoming more familiar with the virus, things will be getting better and people have started to better understand what’s going on and how to handle the situation.” 

            Arnz added that “doctors and those that are working in hospitals and medical centers are doing an incredible job … and same with those who are still working,” noting that they “are such a blessing to our country and throughout the world.”

 

Brasilla, Brazil

            Priscyla Macedo, a resident of Brasilla, the capital city of Brazil, was stuck in lockdown for the good part of last month. 

            Macedo, who will graduate in a year, has been impacted in more ways than not being able to see her friends. 

“Since everything changed, I feel a lot of things,” she said. “I miss my friends, I miss going out with them, I miss my school, my family, walking with my dog. At the same time, this break for me, it’s like a time to think. Time to get to know my parents, my sister, and me better. I'm looking at everything in a different way and connecting myself with God.” 

            Her theological reaction is common in places like Brazil, she explained. People around the world are looking beyond the medical field for answers and comfort in this time of crisis. 

            She ended her response with this message: “I think that people went through a denial process at the beginning. It’s a moment of reflection, reviewing your concepts about what really matters at the end of the day. That a hug is more needed than a new episode in a series. It comes to a point that the internet doesn’t take away your boredom, but the smile, the voice, the hug of someone is everything you really want now.” 

 

Gatesville, Texas

Senior Katrina Thoms, a senior at Gatesville High School, is frustrated with the whole outbreak. 

As a senior, she’s been looking forward to running her last track and field season before college, and all she wants to do is to run. 

“I can't go practice soccer or race in meets even though I'm super fit,” she said. “I am waiting for prom, graduations and other things to be cancelled.”

As days draw out, Thoms spends time on her family’s ranch. 

“I do work weekends and ride (horses) and help my mom with vet stuff during the week as well as homework, so it's enjoyable,” she said.

            Thoms voiced the opinion of many others: “Everyone is treating it like a zombie apocalypse. The food situation for all hasn't changed because of the virus, and the toilet paper shouldn’t be disappearing. Only thing good is the social distancing to flatten the bell curve.”

 

Bonn, Germany

            Former Prep exchange student and now senior Annika Thiele is also feeling the impact of the virus. Thiele lives in Bonn, Germany, a country that has been greatly affected by the virus. 

Thiele said Bonn is being treated like most cities across Europe. 

“Here in Nordrhein-Westfalen, the schools are all closed. Only food stores, hardware stores and apothecaries are open,” she said. “In Bonn, you are only allowed to go out with your family or meet one person with distance between you and the person. I work in a cafe/bakery, and we had to close the cafe part and are only allowed to sell the cake and bread to go.” 

Thiele said she’ll miss activities marking the end of her high school career.

“As this is my last year of school, we would have had a sort of spirit week as our last week of school and a lot of different parties to celebrate,” she said. “Instead, we found out about schools closing in the last period, so we weren’t prepared that it would be our last day in school.

Thiele went on to mention that all twelfth-graders need to take exams at the end of their year. With the complications of the virus, she said “two students from Hamburg started a petition to cancel the exams in all of Germany.”

Thiele said she’s not sure how to cope with the outbreak.

“I guess we will find out when it is all over,” she said. “Hearing about what is happening in Italy, it is definitely a good idea to flatten the curve; however, a lot of businesses and the economy in general are suffering due to the measures. It is a horrible situation, and I would not know how to react. In the end, I think trying our best to save as many lives as possible is the goal.”

 

Upland, California

            Angelina Tetrault, a sophomore, is weathering the outbreak in the midst of the shutdown and, like most teenagers, misses spending time with her friends.

“It's pretty hard not being able to go out and just hang with people,” she said. “It’s affected my friendships because I’m not as close to some now because of it, and I miss just talking to them.” 

But she said she also enjoys the break “because I like teaching myself and working at my own pace.”

Tetrault said she sees an overreaction in the response to the virus.

            “In the stores and stuff like that, they didn’t need to take all of that stuff and there's been an under-reaction to staying inside-- people are still going out,” she said. “It’s just kind of dumb in that aspect.”

 

 

Food Industry Adapts to New Environment

 

By Tyya Caldwell 

Staff Writer      

 

Everyone has had to adjust to these new, self-isolating times, including those who work in the food industry. A few owners of local food businesses, all with ties to the Prep community, said they’re finding new ways of reaching their customers now that restaurants, bars, and stores have been closed.

Billy Baldwin, the owner of Billy’s Long Bar, Stoneface Tavern and Horse, and Angel Tavern, said his businesses are open for certain hours of the day. 

            “We strictly do carryout, so people will call in and we will bring the food to their car,” said Baldwin, who is senior Ally Baldwin’s father. “We are still utilizing half of the menu.”      

Some local business owners have had to take more drastic measures.

Michael Silva, who owns Rude Boy Cookies, has “adjusted our hours, and we have had to reduce and lay off staff,” he said. “We have had to shut down two of our three locations, so now we only have one. The plan is to reopen after this is all over.” 

Silva, who is senior Tyya Caldwell’s uncle, has come up with entertaining ways for families to stay busy during the quarantine, joining forces with Explora to create and sell take-and-bake cookie kits as well as decorating kits.

“It is an activity for the family, an activity for the kids, it’s just fun,” he said. “We partnered up with Explora, and every kit has an Explora fun fact sheet which has been very well received.” 

            Baldwin said he has “re-created some of our meals so that it works better for the customer,” so a commute back home won’t hurt the meal’s quality.

            Jim Walker, the owner of Walker’s Popcorn Company, said the pandemic has forced his store to close but that the company is continuing to deliver to its distributors.

            “Nobody knows what’s going to happen,” said Walker, the father of junior Gus Walker.

            During this adjustment, many stores are taking safety precautions for their staff, customers, and restaurants. 

            Silva and Baldwin have the same approach when following the CDC guidelines. 

“Everything is wiped down as soon as we get there,” Baldwin said. “We only have two people in the kitchen at a time and they have the gloves on and everything.”

Silva said his staff is reduced to around four people, 

“It is pretty easy to make sure the staff knows exactly what they should be doing,” he said, adding that Rude Boy is open only on Wednesdays and Saturdays and that the only interaction occurs at the shop’s walk-up window. 

With sanitation crucial, Silva said “their (customers’) credit cards and cash are handled with us wearing the gloves and then we give it back to them and offer them a Clorox wipe for their card.”

Social media is playing an even bigger role in how companies conduct business.

 Both Baldwin and Silva said they use social media to stay relevant and to let their customers know about new events, specials, and activities.

“For the last three weeks, our followers have blown up,” Silva said. “Because we launched this ‘re-engineered’ way we do business and the kits we have made, our business has blown up a lot.”

Baldwin uses social media to let people know about the day’s specials and other events, adding “people are excited about that.”

Rude Boy Cookies is also making non-contact deliveries. 

“Last week a physical fitness trainer ordered about 20 boxes of cookies for his customers to say ‘keep your head up, everything is going to be fine,’” Silva said. 

 

Junior Gus Walker contributed to this story.

 

           

 

Advice for Teens: Social Distance and Be Careful

 

By Abigail Hanosh

Staff Writer

 

For this story, freshman Abigail Hanosh interviewed her parents, both healthcare professionals.

 

            Healthcare professionals are urging young people to take social distancing seriously, noting that people of any age can contract the highly contagious coronavirus.

“Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you can’t get harmed by the virus,” said Dr. Christopher Hanosh, an orthopedic surgeon for Lovelace Medical Center. “You could still get pretty sick.” 

DeAnna Hanosh, a registered nurse for the TSG group that is associated with Presbyterian Hospital, advised young people to think of a loved one who could be harmed by the virus. 

“This is the time where they need to think about their loved ones and sacrifice a little bit of time to keep that generation and that population safe,” she said. “If we lose a significant amount of those people, that is a lot of wisdom that we will have lost, that is a lot of talent that we will have lost, and we need those people to learn from and to be guided by from their experiences.” 

Dr. Hanosh stated that while the desire to get together with friends is understandable, ignoring social distancing is a completely selfish move.

“This is an example of doing something for others,” he said. “So, if people can’t suck it up and do something for the good of society and for the good of people who would be at risk, then I think it marks them out as pretty thoughtless people.”

Yet, despite the intimidating downsides to the pandemic, many positive scenarios have occured. Dr. Hanosh believes that one positive aspect involves people having the time to reflect on themselves. 

“I think that people have gotten to adapt to quiet time,” he said. “They’ve gotten to learn to be with themselves and see that as a valuable thing. We are such a goal-oriented society that we get our sense of self-worth from what we’ve accomplished or what people tell us.” 

He said the circumstances are forcing people to rethink where their self-worth comes from. 

“It’s not what we do for a living or what we wear or how we dress,” Dr. Hanosh said. “That’s not important.” 

DeAnna Hanosh said she’s also noticed some positives in a sea of negatives, including quality family time.

 “I spend more time outside than I did before,” she said. “I have more time to read and appreciate the little things in life.” 

She has also noticed large-scale impacts, such as less pollution and crime and fewer motor-vehicle accidents. 

“Everybody is staying home,” she said.

 

Grubesic Stresses Safety First

 

By Grant Fritschy

Staff Writer

 

Special Assistant Bernalillo County Attorney John Grubesic, who is serving on a committee studying aspects of the coronavirus, advises young people to “listen to your parents, wash your hands and do not gather in groups.” 

Grubesic, the father of Prep senior Mason Grubesic, said that “with these precautions in place, we can return to normal sooner rather than later.”

Noting that medical professionals are working tirelessly to return the county, the state and the nation back to normal, he said “proposals are under development to see how businesses can be reopened safely.” 

Grubesic is a member of the Bernalillo County Covid-19 Response Group, which he said helps “inform residents on the best practices to help stop the spread of the virus and help maintain government services.”

 With the question of economic fallout raised, Grubesic said that even though no one enjoys quarantining and isolation, the shutdown orders implemented by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham are important for everyone’s safety.

 

 

 

Concerns over a Recession Loom Large

 

By Grace Walker 

Staff Writer

 

A weakening economy due to the coronavirus pandemic has left people wondering about both the short-term and long-term effects.

According to New York Times writer Nelson D. Schwartz, one reason why America’s economic decline is happening so rapidly is because economic weakness feeds on itself. “Adding demand for products is falling as more businesses shut their doors and layoffs spread,” he wrote.

Small businesses are getting hit harder than larger ones, according to Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley. Zentner emphasized that because small business owners have limited access to credit, they “simply won’t be able to survive this.”

But, because America’s capitalist economy has been consumer driven since the end of World War II, large manufacturing companies are also a target.  

General Motors, an American-based car company that manufactures and distributes vehicles and parts, recently “suspended production in most of our North American manufacturing operations,” according to its website.  

Forbes writer Lisette Voytko wrote that 6,500 salaried employees were indefinitely furloughed from General Motors and will receive 75 percent of their original pay if they are allowed to return to work.  

According to the New York Times, more than 26 million Americans claimed unemployment by late April, and that number is rapidly increasing day by day. 

Some jobless Americans will get compensation for losing their income. President Trump signed a bipartisan $2 trillion relief plan that will provide stimulus checks to the newly unemployed millions. 

According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the majority of adults will receive one $1,200 check by mid-April. The amount will vary depending on annual salary, marital status and whether they have children. People considered “dependent” on a tax return, which basically means they don’t pay their own taxes, will not receive a check. 

It is safe to say the stimulus plan had to accommodate for a lot, and, according to Zentner, the check may help many people, “but it would probably only blunt the pandemic’s impact, not stave it off.”

 

 

Stuck at Home, but Forging New Paths

 

For their final stories of the school year, staff members on the Sandia Prep Times wrote about trying out a new activity. Here, they describe their experiences.

 

 

A Dive into Sign Language 

By Destiny Archibald

 

            Did you know that over 70 million people use sign language as a way to communicate worldwide? Although very similar, different countries have different types of signs, such as American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL). 

            To help cure my boredom and spark some motivation, I spent time over the last couple of weeks learning ASL. I’ve wanted to learn it for a while now, especially since I have family members who, although unable to use words, use hand motions as a way to communicate.

I began by learning the alphabet, since for many sentences, finger-spelling words is most useful if you don’t know the correct sign for what you want to say. The alphabet is also used when introducing yourself to someone else. Using the alphabet, I learned to sign “My name is Destiny” and “I am learning sign language.” I then focused on learning conversation starters and questions that could be used while communicating.  

The hardest part for me is focusing on where my fingers should be placed, especially with letters, because the signs are very similar. It took quite a bit of repetition and practice to learn the different sayings. I ended up watching the video tutorials once just to learn what I would be attempting to say, followed by re-watching multiple times to try and get the signs down.

Although I have only been practicing sign for a little over two weeks, I would like to continue. I think ASL would be useful not only when it comes to job opportunities, such as being a translator, but also in communicating with people who mainly use sign as a way of interacting.

 

 

This Bruschetta Is No Easy Task    

By Andrew Shoaff

            As these weird times continue, as we progress and adapt to this new way of life, we entertain ourselves. With restaurants closed, I took matters into my own hands.

I wanted to make something special, something unique, something so advanced that it would be funny to watch me try and make it. I searched and searched until I finally came to a realization. On a recent trip to Maui, my parents and I tried many great foods, most of them new to me. One of these dishes really stood out: Ahi Tuna Bruschetta from Māla Ocean Tavern, located in Lahaina, Maui. 

At the restaurant, it seemed a simple dish made with bread, ahi and greens. In reality, it was a masterpiece of craftsmanship and one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to make. 

For those who don’t know, a classic Italian bruschetta is usually an Italian bread soaked in olive oil, then topped with tomato and cheese and served cold. This ahi bruschetta involved a twist on the original recipe and was created by chef Mark Ellman of Māla Ocean Tavern. 

His recipe, with its many layers, is way harder than it sounds.

First off, we have the bread. At Māla they use specially made, very dense flaxseed bread from Lahaina Bakery. Now, because I did not have access to this particular variety, I got the closest thing to it, a whole grain rye bread from Whole Foods. The bread had to be soaked in butter and then grilled to get a ridged, crispy structure. 

Next came an edamame puree, which was difficult because I have never made a puree before. I cooked the edamame and began to blend it, mixing in some lemon juice and garlic powder for an extra flavor boost. Then I spread a thin layer on top of the bread that is already toasted. 

The next step was one of the hardest--cooking the ahi to perfection. Now, I’m no master chef, so this was really difficult. The fish didn’t turn out perfectly, but it was good enough for me. I cut the ahi into strips and placed them on the bruschetta. I then topped it with a few greens and balsamic vinegar. 

Overall, this was not an easy dish to make, but it came out pretty well. It was not as tasty as the original at Māla, but it was a good try. I recommend trying this dish at Māla if you ever find yourself on Maui, but if you're up for a cooking challenge, this is a good one to try. 

 

 

Ahi Tuna Bruschetta

Ingredients:

  • 1 raw sashimi-grade ahi block, approximately 4 ounces
  • 1/2 cup edamame puree
  • 1 yellow and 1 red ripe tomato, each sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 8 1/4″ slices very dense flaxseed or whole-grain bread*
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon microgreens
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Villa Mondori balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Method: Coat the ahi block with freshly ground pepper, then sear on all sides over high heat. Let cool, then cut into the 1/4″ slices. Brush two slices of bread with clarified butter and grill on both sides. Spread edamame puree on the grilled bread. Top with a slice each of yellow and red tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with two slices of seared ahi, then basil.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic. Plate, then sprinkle with microgreens and a bit more basil. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

      

 

A Bored Girl’s Guide to Rosewater

By Grace Walker

 

Anytime I get flowers, whether as gifts or finding them for myself, I save them by letting them dry out on newspaper or on paper bags. Roses are especially beautiful dried out. I take my dried flowers and I hang them from my ceiling, staple them to my walls, use them to fill holes or let them sit pretty in a vase. But I’ve never utilized my collection of dying flora for anything other than decoration--until now. 

Flowers don’t lose their beauty once they wilt, not even a little bit. But that’s all I’ve ever thought they were good for--their looks! Ugh! 

Dried out flowers are so much more than their petals: you can press them in books for arts and crafts, make potpourri, sprinkle the petals into your dresser to make your clothes smell fresh, or use them to make potions and cast spells. I’m interested in using dead roses for my skincare routine because if there’s anything I’m passionate about other than decorating, it’s my skin.

I started my rosewater-making process by asking my friend, Pandora, for advice. Along with having a trusted companion help me craft the perfect rosewater, I also looked at a video tutorial. I went on YouTube after going to three different stores to collect the ingredients Pandora told me I needed.

 I stumbled upon a holistic health channel called “Herbal Spirits.” I was beautifully greeted by Heather, the co-founder of Herbal Spirits, with imagery of crushed herbs gingerly sprinkled into aesthetically pleasing mason jars. All I had to do to successfully change my life with the perfect rosewater concoction was simmer until my rose petals lost their color and strain them into a jar. 

My pale, dry, yellow rose petals simmered in my pot for almost an hour, creating a dark, rich liquid smelling of sweet dirt. I’m unsure if my rosewater was supposed to be as dark and as pungent as it was, but nevertheless I felt successful. 

Now, I have a little mason jar filled to the brim with my first batch of homemade rosewater, and even though it wasn’t hard or time-consuming, I’m really proud of what my petals could do after death. 

 

 

Tomato-Basil Soup a Success Story

By Abigail Hanosh

 

            I have found myself on a level of boredom previously incomprehensible. With my normal school-filled days and volleyball afternoons slammed to a halt, I have tried so many new things. 

Recently, seeing as I am one of the clumsiest and worst cooks on the planet, I decided to learn how to cook things properly, if not to create a delicious meal then at least to prevent myself from burning the house down. Scrolling through the internet, an instructional video caught my eye, detailing how to make fresh tomato basil soup. 

Tomato soup has been a favorite of my family’s for a while, and I thought I would give it a go. The video, titled “Perfect Tomato Basil Soup,” was created by a man named Dennis who runs the “Mobile Home Gourmet” website. Dennis, evidently, has lived in a trailer park for over 30 years and has been cooking for over 40. His website, videos and recipes are simple and easy to follow. In fact, much of the “Mobile Home Gourmet'' idea centers around not needing a fancy kitchen or being a professional cook to make a good meal. 

Excited, I clicked the video, in hopes of it not being too complicated. I watched the video all the way through before doing anything, just to get an idea of what I was getting myself into. The recipe was not complicated, and he continued to remark how the soup was easy to make and did not take long to cook. 

As soon as the video ended, I organized a time to get ingredients and make the soup. I found the recipe that goes with the video on his website and used it to make a list of ingredients.

 On my first outing, unfortunately, I did not get the right kind of shallot (needed to create the savory flavor), so I had to wait a few days before I could go back and get it. 

Once I did, I began my soup-making journey. The whole process of preparing the soup, cooking it, and blending it took about two hours. However, this is the first time I attempted to cook anything other than Kraft mac and cheese and basted eggs. I’m sure someone with slightly more cooking experience could have easily cut that time in half.

The process was not difficult so much as it was time-consuming for me. When I finished preparing the soup, which took the most time, all I had to do was put it in a pot to simmer for half an hour. That part was not hard. I watched TV with my family as I waited for the timer to go off. When it did, I allowed the soup some time to cool before placing it in a blender.  After some blending and grilled-cheese making, it was ready for eating. 

The soup was delicious. We could taste subtle hints of the shallot and basil that were blended into a creamy mix with the tomatoes. The soup offered a sweet and salty blend of flavor, practically exploding in my mouth. Mixed with the grilled cheese, it was unmatched to any tomato basil soup I had previously encountered. 

I have always been a little skeptical of online classes and videos. After all, how good could free videos to make food be? However, I thoroughly enjoyed both watching Dennis make a perfect tomato basil soup and making it myself. My favorite part, however, was eating it. I plan to watch more of Dennis’s videos and explore more recipes. 

 

Here is the link for the “Mobile Home Gourmet” website along with the link to the “Perfect Tomato Basil Soup” video. The recipe for the soup can be found on the website.

http://www.white-trash-cooking.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVqM5Q83zm4&feature=youtu.be

 

 

Forks on the Left

By Rowan McJimsey

 

I have never been able to set a table properly, so I looked for a video and learned several things, including where the salad fork and spoon are placed.

The instructions were clear enough to teach an average person how to properly set a table. 

My experience included not only the instructional video on the topic but also a small amount of practical work to ensure true knowledge of the topic.

 Family members already understood that I was doing this as this activity, so it came as no surprise to them. Overall, the video was thorough enough to instruct students and adults how to set a table for a formal event.

After watching the video, I set the table for dinner with the supplies we had, and I did it with the appropriate supplies we needed, such as the forks and knives, and plates. Of course, not all the items were placed on the table because we did not need those miscellaneous items.

The experience was enough for the average person to be able to properly set a table for a formal event, and I learned many things that I never knew before.

 

Steps to follow when setting a table:

 

  1. Start by placing the main plate in the center, the dinner fork on the left, and the dinner knife on the right.
  2. The salad fork goes on the outside of the dinner fork.
  3. The salad knife goes on the outside of the dinner knife.
  4. The soup spoon (optional) goes on the outside of the knives.
  5. The dessert spoon goes on the top.
  6. The dessert fork goes on the top in the opposite direction of the spoon.
  7. The bread plate goes in the top left corner.
  8. The butter knife goes at an angle on the bread plate.
  9. Glasses are placed in the top right corner.
  10. The napkin goes to the left of the forks.

           

A Guide to One Million

By Nathaniel Parks

 

Like most students, I have become exceptionally bored and have been finding ways to keep busy. 

During week number who knows of quarantine, I have played Madden Ultimate Team online. I set myself a challenge to make a million MUT Coins in a week. (MUT Coins, also called Madden Coins, are a virtual currency that allow players to build their roster of football players.) I first decided to make a decent amount of coins so that I could use methods that were more profitable.

Every player starts off with a base team, and the goal is to make the best team with coins. I had already made 200,000 coins and used them to buy training points (another virtual currency that can be used to upgrade a team). Specifically, I bought 110,000 training points. 

To find the cheapest training points, I logged into my account through the Madden Companion app on my phone, which allowed me to play anytime, regardless of my location. I could see the live price of any player in the entire game whenever I wanted. 

Then I opened what I thought were 560 packs that took forever, but because of quarantine, it doesn’t matter. There are hours in the day that I never knew existed before this, so I used them to open packs. 

Following this task, I threw God knows how many players into sets for hours on end; then, once finally completed, I had to sit through the pain of waiting for the master card I made from sets to sell so that I can repeat it. At least I made 50,000 coins. Woo-hoo! 

Now I had to repeat it again. I spent more hours, if not days, repeating this thing. I also recorded every little piece of data, which required some math, so I did something productive for parts of some week during quarantine.

 I don’t know what week of quarantine this was, but if you have extra time and want to try something new or different, try playing this game. Set a challenge, make it fun. Do something.

 

 

One Stitch at a Time

By Ryan Hughes

and Isabela Baca

 

            We have not seen each other for over a month and we wanted to learn how to do something together so we could feel connected. We both really like clothes, but we both have a tendency to rip them. Also, we sometimes buy clothes at Savers that end up having holes or rips in them. We were both inspired to learn how to sew. It seemed like a practical skill for us to have under our belts, plus, what else is there to do when you’re isolated?!

           

Ryan: I have always wanted to learn how to sew, but I got very determined after ripping a huge hole in my pants while biking. After watching a tutorial, I was able to stitch up my pants. At first, I had trouble tying the knot in the thread, but after a while I got the hang of it. I think it was a valuable skill for me to learn.

           

Isabela: Since I was a little girl, I’ve always watched my mom sew. It’s one of her passions, so naturally I wanted to learn how. We watched a tutorial on how to repair a hole using only a needle and thread. I found it very natural to repair the hole in a shirt, and it felt great to learn something new. I definitely plan on watching more sewing tutorials while in quarantine. It was super fun to learn when I was Facetiming my best friend, and we could talk to each other through any issues we faced.

 

 

Work Those Muscles!

By Santiago Cooper

 

I’ve always enjoyed working out, and during quarantine I've been creating workouts and sending them to people who’ve asked for them. 

The exercises range from arm, leg and ab workouts to cardio and conditioning ones. My friends tell me they enjoy them and that I should definitely make more. 

This activity has been especially fun for me because I want to become a personal trainer for athletes, actors and other celebrities who are trying to get in shape. Being able to get a small taste of what I want to do when I grow up made it the perfect activity for me.

 I plan on creating new workouts every week and giving them out (for free) to anyone who wants them. I’ve mainly been sending them out by iMessage and Snapchat, but in the future I plan on having my own Instagram page and other social media accounts dedicated to different types of workouts.  

 

 

Changing Tires, Adding Fluids

By Shy Shipley

 

Learning car maintenance, to me, is the most essential life skill for anyone who wants to own a car--unless, like me, you have mechanics in your family who are only a phone call away. 

Learning how to change a tire or add fluids seemed useless to me because help from my aunt or uncle was readily available. Recently, though, my mom decided to give me her old car, the car my sisters and I constantly spilled stuff in, and my uncle has been fixing it for me. But nothing comes without a catch, and to quote my mother, “you can't drive that car until you know how to change the fluids and change a tire.”

“Manual labor” is not a phrase that exists in my vocabulary, so you can imagine how upset I was.

            Here’s how it started: my sister Ty and I went outside to work on the car, and she was able to do a lot of the fluid jobs, unlike me with zero arm strength. We learned where the spare tire, jack and tire iron were kept. I had to go first, which was kind of scary for me, but I learned what to do pretty fast, and my uncle constantly taught us little tricks to make the process faster. One of the easiest ways to take off the bolts is to put the tire iron on the bolt at a 90-degree angle and stomp down on it to get it to loosen once, then screw it off by hand. We also learned to park the car all the way on the driveway or the jack will fall out, since the car isn't leveled. 

Another trick involved always screwing on the bolts across and not in a circle so the tire goes on correctly and evenly. The final trick we learned was never to put the spare tire on the front; always put it on the back. 

According to my uncle, “The back tire might not be the one that’s flat, but you always should put it there. If you put the spare in the front, the car isn't leveled and the two front tires are where all the fluid is, and all the fluid will end up going to one side and blowing out that tire again and now you are in even bigger trouble.”

            Safe to say that by the end of the training session, I had working man hands and I loved it. It was really cool to know how to fix my car and not have to rely on anyone else to help me. 

 

 

If You Like Baseball, ‘The Show’ is Your Game

By Gus Walker

and Sam Henderson

 

Given our interest in baseball, we naturally gravitated toward “MLB The Show,” a multiplayer video game where users can play with Major League Baseball teams. 

“The Show” is a great game to play with friends. From talking to our teammates to hearing the umpire, and with its crystal-clear graphics, the game made us feel like we were on major league fields. Believe us, the game is both exciting and entertaining. 

Among the many fun options, users build their own roster of baseball superstars and create a custom player who tries to fulfill the journey of making the big leagues. 

            Our favorite mode of the game is called Diamond Dynasty. In this mode, users can build their own dream team along with customizing the team’s name, logo and uniforms. Players are ranked as common, bronze, silver, gold or diamond, with diamond connoting the best and the rarest players to add to your team. 

To build a high-level team, users have to complete missions and challenges in order to collect gold and diamond players. Overall, our squads were similar in levels of play, both averaging a gold rating. 

While building a team, users have to be highly strategic. Different players have different attributes. Some hit more homeruns and some have more speed; some hit for contact and some hit more for power. For example, Gus built his team around players who hit more for contact and are faster, whereas Sam built his around power hitters. 

            Due to our boredom, we decided to play a five-game series to find out who has the better team and who is better at the video game. Sam’s team, the Toronto Goats, pulled off the victory and won the series.