Spirit Week Day Two: Terror Tuesday

For the second day of this spirited week, the festive celebration of Halloween served as the theme for students and staff to follow. Inspired by their favorite cartoon or television characters, CHS brought an array of costumes to showcase for the occasion.

  

Photos by Cinthya Plazas

Spirit Week Day One: Matching Monday

The start of Spirit Week caught CHS seeing double. Students participated in matching Monday by coordinating their outfits to match those of their friends. The popular theme made a comeback this year, following a year hiatus.

 

 

 

    

Photos by Cinthya Plazas

Shop for schools

In today’s society, there are gift cards for almost everything: restaurants, movie theaters and online shopping. One newly-popular place to get a gift card in Carrboro is a grocery store. This is because of the Grocery Store Card Program, run by Christie Osborne and the Carrboro PTSA.

Osborne, a parent of three who currently attend Carrboro, has run the program since her kids were at Scroggs Elementary. She just recently started with the Carrboro program.

“When we did this at Scroggs, we tripled the amount of money [for the PTSA] in two years, and the person at Carrboro was awesome, so it is now the major PTSA fundraiser,” said Osborne. “We did it before and we were very successful, so we started at Carrboro.”

Funding for Carrboro was very low, and the program has been helping tremendously to reverse that. According to Osborne, the school budget was redone and the PTSA discovered that
over $10 thousand was raised from this program.

Lowes, Weaver Street, Whole Foods and Food Lion are four of the grocery stores involved in the gift card program.

“I’m not quite sure how it all started, but they offer this to any school,” said Osborne. “Not all schools do it, but most do. They have offered to almost all schools where the grocery stores are located.”

Even though the program has been so impactful, few families participate in it. According to Osborne, only around 3 percent of the families participated last year. Osborne and her colleagues—Snehal Patwardhan, Jean Huang, Stephanie Mosteller and Bethany Paine—are all working on increasing the number of families this year by advertising to the other 97 percent of families.

“We are really implementing a new way to change the credit card spending, and we’re still looking to do more,” said Osborne. “A very small percent of the school actually used this, and we still made over $10 thousand. So, we are really trying to reach people through different marketing, and once we are able to get people, we will have much more profit.”

The PTSA is currently working on making the 2017-2018 school year even more successful than the years before and making sure that Carrboro’s specific programs—STEM, Theatre, Student Government and more—get sufficient funding.

In Memory of Mrs. Montoya

Earlier this year, Carrboro High School lost Daphne Montoya, one of the school’s beloved math teachers. Her absence is felt throughout the halls by both the student body and faculty. Today, the JagWire shares a collection of quotes about Montoya.

Jamey Barkdolloni, Resource Teacher who worked with Montoya at Orange High School and CHS

“I was amazed by her abilities to break down complex math concepts into understandable parts for her students. She believed that all of her students could and would be successful if they were willing to put in the time and effort. She attempted to instill that belief in all of her students.”

Juanita Roncancio, a sophomore in Montoya’s class freshman year

“She always chose the students she knew had the right answer to come up and explain, so everybody could understand. As a person, she very strict, but she was also nice. She was the kind of strict that made you like her.”

John Hite, Resource Teacher

“She didn’t want an easy path. She wanted to teach specific classes with students she felt like she could connect with and encourage to reach their full potential. I found that to be very admirable”

Cameron Ferguson, CHS social studies teacher

“I’m a first year teacher here. I didn’t actually know Mrs. Montoya as an adult, but she was my sixth grade math teacher… I wish I could have had the chance to have worked with her.”

 

Al’s provides second helping

Al’s Burger Shack opened its new Southern Village location on September 18, National Cheeseburger Day, marking four years since the opening of its Franklin Street location.

Known for its juicy burgers and rosemary fries, Al’s has earned many awards and titles, such as Best Burger in the South and Top 5 Burgers of All Time. With all this success, owner Al Bowers felt it was time to expand and open up a new location.

“We’ve always liked the vibe in this community and how tightknit it is,” said Bowers about Southern Village. “About probably two years in, we decided if the opportunity came up [to open a new location], we would do it.”

Bowers admits that the process of opening the second restaurant was much easier than the first due to his connections and large fan-base of loyal customers.

“They all have their challenges and it’s not an easy proposition for anybody, but we have more people in our corner now,” said Bowers. “So that transition should be a lot easier.”

Along with the new restaurant comes new perks including new additions to the menu, more parking, seating and a bigger space to cook a wider range of foods. The Caroline Burger as well as the new Shack Salad will become permanent additions.

With the opening of the new location, Al’s is also creating the Al’s Pals card, a gift card exclusive to Southern Village where parents can add money for their kids to buy food at the restaurant.

Besides all the excitement and fun, Bowers expressed the challenges of opening a small business stating, “a lot of times when a small business is trying to open, the municipalities involved can be a little difficult to work with. It’s unfortunate for small businesses because a lot of what we do takes time and more time means more money, so you’re not really able to concentrate on exactly what you want to do, which is for us is to sell hamburgers.”

Bowers is ecstatic about the opening, but he doesn’t want to stop here. His dreams and goals reach beyond Chapel Hill.

“The plan is to try to expand and replicate it because I feel like we have a concept that we can replicate,” said Bowers.

Even though there were struggles, Bowers was excited to meet any challenge head on. With all the hype and expectations that circled around the time of the opening, he tied up his shoelaces and got to work dealing out his second serving of the best burger in the South.

True opinions on trivial matters

Free period: first or seventh?

Hope Anderson and Gaby Alfieri. Photo by Mireille Leone

Gaby Alfieri: Seventh

Free-first fanatics present two arguments: extra time in the morning means more time to sleep, or it provides the chance to “start your day off productively.” But let’s be real, y’all—an extra 51 minutes won’t make us any less sleepy, and only a rare and lucky few can function in the morning. Maybe I’d reconsider if a free first meant sleeping until 11:00am.

Hope Anderson: First

Ah, how mornings fill me with joy. Except when they don’t. With a free first, I can have it both ways! The choice is mine every day: wake up early and do whatever I want, or sleep till 9 am. I’d rather lie in bed, sip my coffee, and start my morning relaxed and refreshed than limp through the day, tired and disheveled, until I can finally go home a period early.

Rom-coms: yay or nay?

Anderson: Yay

I like sappy movies: so what? At least I’m not a heartless robot, unlike some people… Movies, TV shows and books all represent escapes into alternate worlds. I’m sorry your escape is into a tragic cerebral tale about the complexities of human sorrow, or whatever. Mine is into a semi-believable land where true love is real and every ending is happy, and that’s fine by me. We all need a little idealism in our lives sometimes.

Alfieri: 74% nay, 26% yay

You want an escape? Go kayaking. Don’t kill brain cells watching Love Actually or Bridget Jones’s Diary. I can admit that, when done right, rom-coms are equally pleasurable and poignant. But beware: excessive sentiment can, and usually does, characterize this genre. There’s a fine line, folks, between sweet and stupid.

Birkenstocks: yay or nay?

Alfieri: Heck nay

Save yourself the $90—buy two of the ugliest belts you can find and wrap them around a bulky slab of rubber. I guarantee it will look exactly the same.

Anderson: Heck yay

Let’s cut to the chase: Birkenstocks are comfortable. Good arch support is hard to come by, and I’ll choose my “Jesus sandals” over a twisted ankle any day.

E-wing or D-wing?

Anderson: This is a stupid question.

Alfieri: D-wing, obviously

What a great question! The D-wing is a truly majestic place. Southern exposure and classrooms filled with novels—what more could you need? You can curl up with a good book and enjoy the natural light pouring through the windows. Not to mention, Ms. Rubenstein is in the D-wing. ‘Nuff said.

Fall or spring?

Alfieri: Spring

Fall itself is great, but the inevitable doom of winter looms ahead. The temperatures drop with every passing day, and the chill to our bones reminds us that, much like the leaves on trees, we too shall fall. Never forget that. In spring, flowers blossom and strawberries grow, and you can rest easy knowing you have many months before winter steals your soul.

Anderson: Fall

Fall is like Spring but with Halloween and prettier trees. Every November, I look forward to breathing in that cool, crisp, pollen-free air once again. In the Fall months, I enjoy a respite from the humid, muggy heat of Spring and Summer, without the ice and arctic temperatures of Winter. What’s more, as the weather cools down, the bugs go into hiding. What more can you ask for from a season?

Background checks don’t solve

With the October 1 tragedy in Las Vegas, which took 58 lives and injured almost 500, the question of whether to restrict civilians’ constitutional right to bear arms has become a hot button topic. Should the government create stricter gun laws or gun registries? Is it the gun that is the problem, or is it the person pulling the trigger? This topic has long been relevant with last year’s elections and continuing discussions and events.

Some identify the culprit of violence around America as the gun and push for tighter gun control or even complete confiscation. No guns, no crime. Others disagree and feel that criminals will always find a way to get a hold of guns and that law abiding citizens should not be penalized and prevented from legally owning guns.

In order to effectively address this crisis, it is important to look at the facts and statistics. According to Gary Kleck, a Florida State University criminologist, guns serve defensive purposes at least 760,000 times a year. Furthermore, 60 percent of felons say that they would not commit a crime if they were aware of a victim carrying a gun. Therefore, carrying a gun can both protect you and prevent a crime from taking place. I find it interesting that the President and celebrities have armed bodyguards to protect them, but some feel that ordinary people shouldn’t have that right. What makes their safety more important than ours? Law abiding citizens are not the problem; criminals are.

Background checks are ineffective in weeding out criminals since five out of six felons who possess guns obtained their guns from theft or a secondary market. Background checks can be inaccurate as well: according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, since the passing of the 1994 Brady Act, more than 118 million National Instant Criminal Background Check System applications for firearm transfers or permits were checked and 2.1 million were denied, but about 95 percent of these denials were false positives.

While some, including former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, push for bans on certain firearms, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) expressed that no law could have prevented the Las Vegas shooter from committing a terrible mass murder. He had passed background checks and registered his guns.

While we debate over what the right answer is, consider that 42.5 million adults live with some form of mental illness. Although they may have insurance coverage, oftentimes they cannot find therapists that accept insurance or are accessible. Many on both sides of this issue think that the answer to preventing terrible tragedies, such as the one that took place this past month, is providing better mental health care to those who need it.

Donut dilemma

Krispy Kreme, in my personal opinion, is the reigning champion and best donut chain is home to America’s favorite donuts. Established in 1937, in Winston Salem, North Carolina, Krispy Kreme’s delicious donuts are at the heart of every American. It’s “rival,” Dunkin Donuts, is the home of stale donuts that taste like bread. And, unlike Krispy Kreme, their donuts do not melt in your mouth.

Not to mention, Krispy Kreme donuts are made right in front of you along a chain that children and families can watch while they eat. Dunkin Donuts are shipped from factories and then put in shelves just to sit and wait a while before anyone actually wants them.

A fond memory I have is going to Krispy Kreme early in the morning before school with my sister and father. When we walked in, delicious smells wafted from the kitchen.

Families like mine have been going to Krispy Kreme for generations. From birthday parties to silly occasions, you can even wear Krispy Kreme paper hats.

Krispy Kreme is also a part of American culture. Their boxes and special occasion donuts symbolize what America is about. For every holiday, Krispy Kreme releases colorful themed donuts. But where are the black and orange sprinkled Dunkin Donuts? The holiday boxes? The truth is, Dunkin Donuts needs to get its act together if they even want to compare to Krispy Kreme.

Krispy Kreme also cares about students and wants them to do well. For every A a student earns, they can get a free donut!

Carrboro and Chapel Hill citizens need to bring back Krispy Kreme to our triangle. Krispy Kreme is more than a donut shop; they care about you, they bring together communities, and most importantly, they satisfy your tastebuds.

Students have to fight to stay awake in class

On a normal high school day, “I’m tired” is constantly repeated throughout the halls. This is because the recommended nine to nine-and-a-half hours of sleep is practically impossible for busy high school students to achieve.

Illustration by Ruby Handa

The National Health Institute found that only nine percent of high school students get the recommended nine hours of sleep each night and that 20 percent of students get five hours or less of sleep each night. With school taking up about seven hours a day and the many commitments and extracurriculars high schoolers participate in, students have no free time, let alone time to sleep.

High schoolers are expected to participate in clubs and sports, earn service hours and study for standardized tests. With all this to do, in addition to the large homework load from classes, there is just not enough time in the day.

“I’m involved in a lot of things like theatre, sports and stuff outside of school that prevent me from getting enough sleep,” said Kimeran Kimbel, sophomore.

When students get less sleep each night, they don’t perform as well in the classroom and in sports. Science in Our World found that there is a positive correlation between less sleep and lower GPAs. When students are getting less sleep, they are less motivated and more likely to drop things they are passionate about.

Paw La La, sophomore, shared in an email interview that sleep is very important to her performance in the classroom.

“I wish I could get more sleep because having a good night’s sleep really impacts my day. For example, with more sleep I talk more and am more productive,” said La.

Not getting an adequate amount of sleep each night increases depression and anxiety.

“I think sleep deprivation in high school students is a scary thing because without enough sleep we lack motivation,” said La.

Once students get into the cycle of sleep deprivation and overworking themselves, it is hard to get out.

“I feel like I have to do homework, but if I do my homework I won’t get sleep. If I don’t get sleep, I’ll be tired and won’t do as well in class. If I can’t pay attention in class, I can’t do as well on my homework or my projects,” said Kimbel.

To improve amount and quality of sleep, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital recommends students have a regular pattern of going to bed and waking up around the same time every day.

They also warn that oversleeping on weekends can make it hard to fall asleep later and messes with your sleeping pattern. However, with important tests to cram for or late night sporting events, high school students’ lives are anything but regular, and it is hard to create a regular sleeping schedule.

Another suggestion from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital is to take afternoon naps. Who doesn’t miss nap time? The only downside to this is that our school days are long, especially with extracurriculars tacked on to the end of a school day. Most students are lucky to finish their homework, let alone squeeze in a nap.

High school students are sleep deprived because of the pressure to take many AP classes in order to get into a good college and the high homework load associated with these challenging classes, and extracurriculars. Getting little sleep each night and the stress associated with high school causes many students to wear out.

School is supposed to be a fun, social place to learn new things and discover what you’re interested in, but when students are fighting to stay awake in class it takes away the value and purpose of school.

ACT/SAT scores should be optional

Most students have spent countless hours, mental space and money—for registration and sometimes a tutor—preparing for the ACT/SAT just to get back a score that doesn’t reflect what we know. Sure, there are hundreds of people who do well on the ACT, but what does a single score say about what a student will bring to a college? The answer: absolutely nothing.

A test score shows how well a student can take a test, not who they are as a person (or even their intelligence). The truth is, some of us are just bad test takers. We’ve all studied for months, gone to tutoring, taken practice exams every week and learned every shortcut and technique. All to do well on an exam we’re told will determine our future school.

In my practice exams for the ACT reading section, I scored very well—only missing a question or two—but when I was testing, my nerves got in the way, and I started to panic in the middle of the exam.

Another time, I got a nosebleed and started to bleed all over my test while simultaneously trying to convince the proctor not to take my test away and to let me finish. Sure, I did have the chance to retake the exam, and in turn hope for a better score, but every time I retook the ACT, the pressure of doing better kept building up until the word “ACT” filled me with dread.

I spent countless nights over the past year stressing over the ACT while balancing an already-stressful school workload. In turn, I wasn’t able to spend as much time on the things that really define who I am, like journalism and Model UN.

Having spent several months doing ACT tutoring, there is one message I’ve learned: the ACT and SAT are designed to trick you. For example, the science portion of the ACT requires no knowledge of any science—even though it has the word “science” in the title—but instead tests your ability to read a passage and pick out valuable information. So, how does a 36 on the science section relate to a student’s knowledge about science and whether or not they’d succeed in a science field? It doesn’t.

I’m not proposing that we get rid of the ACT/SAT, but it should hold less importance in the college application process. I get that colleges need to have some way to compare students equally because some schools have different GPA scales, and some don’t have AP courses, but I wish test scores didn’t carry as much weight as they do. Schools claim that they don’t have a cut off test score, but it’s obvious that it’s hard to get into a school if you’re below a certain score.

I suggest schools join the 850—and growing—test-optional colleges in the U.S, and let students choose if they want to submit their ACT/ SAT scores. Schools should focus more on a student’s essays, GPA and extracurriculars because they are better indicators if a student is right for a school, not one number from one day.