Creatures of Carrboro

The JagWire traveled around the school asking different students these two questions: What is on your mind lately? What helps assuage your worries? These are their answers.

Jack Knowles, Freshman:

“Honestly, I’m mainly worried about school work and stuff; [there are a lot of] super tight deadlines because of snow days. What helps me is just relaxing or taking a quick nap, especially when my workload is excessive.”

Vilja Saether, Junior:

“Is it bad to say Trump? Him and the North Korean leader; we all die if they start a nuclear war, and if they want to start a war, they will also die themselves. Maybe it’s because the US is a main power country, so its actions affect the whole world, not just the US as a country. Maybe we have other, smarter leaders in the world that can help us and that now after all of history we know it won’t lead to anything. I could also say quizzes and tests, but I only have to pass so it’s OK, I don’t worry as much about them.”

Aadit Nerkar, Junior:

“Well I worry about work, and I worry about the big issues going around in the world; following the news and hearing all the big things. It’s like you’re [always] wondering, ‘What does this mean?’ and ‘Where are we gonna end up?’ and ‘Why is this happening?’”

Sophie Therber, Senior:

“I guess the biggest thing recently is the whole process of going to college because I’ve been accepted to a few places, but I still don’t know exactly where I’m going to go or what I’m going to do. If I spend too much time thinking about it, I’ll drive myself to the ground, so it’s good to focus on other things.”

Joe Zhang, Senior:

“I worry about Nebraska football; I don’t know.”

Photos by Chelsea Ramsey

Black Panther: A Look Back at the Year’s Impressive Movies

Black Panther breaks the boundaries of a typical comic book movie to become a seminal entry in the Marvel universe. The movie takes place in Wakanda, a country that brands itself as third world but is actually technologically advanced compared to other nations due to its possession of vibranium — the strongest metal on Earth — which helps to power their city and technology. After his father dies, his son, T’Challa, returns back to Wakanda to serve as the country’s new leader. However, two factions within the country challenge the throne and T’Challa must team up with some unlikely allies to save Wakanda from entering a world war.

Wakanda has survived all these years under the appearance of being a poor country, but many characters, such as Na- kia, believe the country “is strong enough to help others and protect itself.”

In fact, this viewpoint is one of the main arguments of the villain, Erik “Killmonger” Stevens, played by Michael B. Jordan. After a difficult childhood — one of the most heartbreaking moments in the movie — Killmonger believes Wakanda should share its weapons with those suffering in the world so they can overthrow their repressive governments and invert the existing racial order. Killmonger is one of my favorite villains in recent Marvel movies. His motives, while vicious, are understandable especially once you know his backstory.

Not only does Black Panther have a mostly Black cast, but most of the film’s central characters are female. T’Challa is surrounded by various women including  his mother, who’s a guiding presence; his ex-lover Nakia, who brings out his heart; his sister, who is a tech genius and adds to the comedy of the movie; and finally his bodyguard, a striking character with crazy fighting skills.

Lastly, Black Panther is thought-provoking. It questions what it means to have pride in one’s country, especially if it is being ruled by someone destructive. In addition, it addresses current foreign policy concerns as some countries shift toward isolationism rather than globalism. Black Panther, while still packed with traditional action scenes, places emphasis on Black freedom and creativity and helps breaks the absence of Black actors in American movies. It is a powerful, vibrant movie that shines not only as an action film but as a significant one.

Get Out: A Look Back at the Year’s Impressive Movies

Get Out by far deserves the Oscar for best picture and best original screenplay.

The depth of the content in the movie is unbelievable. Get Out conveys the roots and concepts behind slavery while incorporating modern technology as it relates to police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. The satirical film adds horror and comedy to a topic that many people are uncomfortable discussing: race.

In brief, Chris, the main character, and boyfriend of Rose, goes with her to her parents’ house for a weekend getaway. Coincidentally, it’s the same weekend that her family is hosting their annual get-together party with their closest friends. During this time, Chris begins to pick up on the personality and comments of her family and their friends that begin to make him question their intentions. He slowly discovers the “sunken place” and that his lovely girlfriend and his in-laws are not who he thought they were.

If you thought that synopsis was a cliffhanger, just watch the movie. You’ll be even more shook at the ending.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Pizza Places: Reviewed

IP3

by Niya Fearrington

As teenagers, we are always looking for something fun and cheap to do with friends. My personal favorite is getting pizza. The best pizza restaurant is the famous Italian Pizzeria III, otherwise known as IP3.

Location: The restaurant is located on the west side of Franklin Street, so it’s easily accessible to most CHS stu-
dents.

Price: Being highschool students, most of us don’t have a steady income, so price is very important when deciding where to hang out. The prices at IP3 are very affordable, with two slices of cheese pizza and a drink costing only$5. What a steal!

Value: You might think, just two slices? However, the size of each slice is out of this world! One slice of pizza is bigger than my entire hand. Imagine… two ginormous slices of pizza, not to mention the fifteen topping options. All with endless refills of your favorite Pepsi products, lemonade or homemade sweet tea, and the small ice cubes seem to make the drink taste better, especially for all the ice chewers.

Variety: Now, don’t get attached to the pizza because this Italian pizzeria  offers way more than just that. They serve everything from illustrious Italian pasta dishes like manicotti to more American cuisine like cheeseburgers. Other options include a variety of sandwiches and salads to hold you over if you’re not too hungry.

Time: You will never have to wait more than ten minutes for lunch or twenty minutes for dinner on a busy day. As a senior, one of my favorite things to do is to call ahead and request my order. By the time I arrive my food is being packaged up. With a 50 minute lunch period, this gives IP3 an advantage over other local lunch spots.

Vibe: Great pizza and great prices mean nothing if the vibe is off. The walls at IP3 are plastered with photos of UNC alumni, aerial looks of Franklin Street and images from one of the most important nights of the year: the UNC v. Duke basketball game. This lets you know that you’ve set foot in a Chapel Hill favorite.

On both sides of the entrance two TVs constantly air athletic games, making it a great place for you and your family to enjoy dinner while watching your favorite sports team. On top of all this, the employees complete the experience. Brothers Angelo and Vincenzo Marrone have run IP3 since 1980, making the atmosphere like that of a true family.

Overall: IP3 is a place for the people. Hot pizza, loaded with cheese to perfection, at a reasonable price sounds too good to be true. And if you’re not in the mood for pizza, there’s a plethora of other food options. If you haven’t had an opportunity to eat at this wonderful spot, you should really stop by.

Pizzeria Mercato

by Lily Ervin

Price: The price for each pizza varies, from $13 to $17 for a whole pizza: a bit pricier than IP3. But if you go out with your friends, obviously you could split the cost. For a whole pizza, the price is pretty good, especially after you’ve tasted it.

Variety: Mercato has a nice variety for a pizza place, from pizzas to their salads, and drinks to desserts. If you are not in the mood for pizza, there are other options too. There is antipasti (the first course in an Italian meal), including pork belly and sausage and piatti, which is like lasagne. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase by the slice like at IP3, but you can  split one pizza between two people, so one slice at IP3 is about two slices at Mercato.

Mercato’s desserts are all so delicious and fancy. My personal favorite is the bodino, which is caramel and chocolate Italian
custard.

Vibe: Whether you’re walking in on a busy night or a chill afternoon, the vibe at Mercato is always fun. Going with friends or family, you’ll always feel welcome. The wait staff is super nice and friendly, typically what you see in the town of Carrboro. If you sit at the bar, you can watch and listen to the chefs making the pizzas in the ovens behind the counter. Or, sit by the window to see the people of Carrboro while enjoying your meal.

Wait time: Overall, the wait time is fairly short. During the day, Mercato is not as busy as at night, and the wait time is very short. At night, the restaurant is more crowded; it’s the only specialty pizza place in Carrboro, and it’s really good. But for a busy place, you will not have to wait longer than 25 minutes in my expe rience. You can always get a drink while you wait and stand or sit outside on a nice night.

Overall presentation: At Mercato, everything’s meant to impress. Right away your table gets a large glass pitcher of water, which is something I have always liked because I like to serve myself water when I need to.

Their menu is easy to read and not too long, so you don’t have to decide between so many choices. They have roughly ten choices of pizzas, and you could always add on more toppings. I am always very content with how my pizza looks and tastes. All the pizzas are adorned with toppings to make them look like a masterpiece, and the flavors match the presentation.

 

Student Spotlight: Saige Elms and Jasmine Godfrey, Visual Artists

Q: How long have you been drawing?
Elms: “Well, in general, maybe since preschool.”

Godfrey: “I’ve been drawing since I was little. I was always the kid every teacher thought was special because I was the kid that would draw the fingers on the hands instead of just a stick. So they were like ‘wow she has potential; look at her, she’s drawing extra lines,’ and then I just kept drawing.”

Q: Describe your art style.

Elms: “It varies, depending on what I work on and the vision I have in my head, although usually it turns out really cartoony even if I try to make it realistic.”

Godfrey: “It’s sort of cartoon realism. It’s not really cartoony or anime but it’s not super hyper-realistic. It’s sort of somewhere in between, it’s my own little thing.”

Q: What’s your favorite medium?

Elms: “I mean, I usually just do sketches, so maybe pencil, but for Instagram digital. Doing an art piece that turns out decently is the most fun. I feel like that’s the thing with most artists.”

Godfrey: “Pencil.”

Q: Who inspires you?

Elms: “When I was younger, Cartoon Network, mostly The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. That turned into Tim Burton, and now I think it’s probably just creepy things in general, like old fairy tales.”

Godfrey: “I don’t have an answer to that…”

Q: Do you want to pursue a profession in artistry?

Elms: “I want to either get into video game character design or animation design, like working on storyboards and stuff, but either or.”

Godfrey: “I haven’t really decided yet, but I think the closest thing I have right now is a tattoo artist because I’ve been drawing on people a lot in class lately, and they’ll be like, ‘Wow, this is really cool! I want this as a tattoo,’ and I’m like yeah, I’d be a tattoo artist. It would be really fun to make art that will live on through someone else as long they’re
alive.

Jasmine Godfrey (left) and Saige Elms (right). Photos by Ryx Zan

Addams Family Fun

The spring musical, The Addams Family, will premiere April 12, 2018 in Carrboro High’s auditorium. The show features a gothic American family and their daughter’s attempts at love. The cast will feature Zachary Klenke as Gomez, Millie McGuire as Morticia, and Ally Millar as Wednesday, with Lilly Tipton as stage manager. The musical will also feature perfor- mances from the pit orchestra.

The choice of each year’s show is based on past and future shows, as well as student interests. Direc- tor Brett Stegall chose The Addams Family for its contemporary style and the challenge it poses to the actors, musicians and technicians.

The Addams Family fit our theme of ‘Monster of a Season’ and paired nicely with our fall show, She Kills Monsters,” said Stegall, who is also the theatre teacher at Carrboro High.

Led for the first time by Casey Spillman, the pit orchestra will perform songs from the pit under the stage. The musicians will rely on Spillman for cues so that the orchestra and actors are in sync. Kay Johnson, the chorus and orchestra teacher, will also aid the pit from the house, making sure that the orchestra complements the singers.

Johnson depicted the three different worlds a musical creates: the actors on stage, the tech crews behind the scenes and the musicians working in the pit. Although they operate separately, each world is equally important as the other two, and all three must come together in order to make sure the production happens.

The musical features a variety of jokes and songs ranging from goofy to sophisticated. A favorite song of Johnson’s, “Pulled,” offers a good example. To those unfamiliar with the story, it sounds like a traditional love song in which a girl is torn between two lovers. As it turns out, the girl is torturing her brother and, quite literally, pulling him in a new direction.

“It’s really a charming story about love of people and love of people who are different than you might be, and coming to value them for what’s good about them. It’s told in this crazy, outrageous story,” said Johnson about the musical.

The show will run from April 12 through 14 at 7:30 pm. Tickets go on sale for $5 for students, $10 for adults and are free for faculty and staff.

Backpacks weigh on CHS students

Let’s face it: most of us go through the school day with sore shoulders. Why? Well, students today bring many things to school daily: laptops, binders, notebooks, pencil cases and charging cables. All of these items are stored in the backpacks we carry every day.

Even in the modern day, where many schools are making their transition from paper to online assignments, the load that many students bear each day has not been lessened.

I personally struggle to haul my backpack around on a daily basis, and it seems that I’m not the only one.

In a Jagwire survey of 25 students, 92 percent said that they were weighed down daily by their heavy backpacks, and the majority of that 92 percent said that they carried a lot more than they thought was required.

Most of those surveyed carried a laptop, notebook or binder for each class and textbooks on occasion. I carry so much — including two binders, a three-subject notebook, a laptop, a regular notebook and separate textbook, a notebook for an online class, a pencil case, chargers, an umbrella and my wallet — that my backpack weighs more than 10 lbs.

This issue of backpack weight at Carrboro’s seems to be related to a lack of locker use, as 92 percent of those surveyed also said that they did not have a locker. Of the two people who said that they had a locker, only one of them said that they used it.

The reason for that is likely the same as it is for me; I don’t have the time to visit my locker between classes, and it’s much more convenient to carry all my things around with me.

It seems we care more about the convenience of having everything with us more than having less weighing down our shoulders. This is most likely a result of the amount of time students are given to travel between each of their classes, as three minutes is not enough time to visit a locker and make it to class.

There is also the option of storing your stuff for afternoon classes in lockers and visiting it at lunch to retrieve them while putting away morning class material. Yet there’s a problem in that too since you’d have to retrieve things at the end of the day as well.

If you’re like me and you have to catch a bus, then you too probably likely feel that it would be a pain to visit a locker and try to get all your things as quick as possible.

I’d say the best solution to avoiding the death of my shoulders is to get a lighter load, but how?

A good option is to buy lighter supplies. So ditch that fancy binder and opt for some expandable pocket files and notebooks with lighter paper. Choose only three to four pens to bring to school, and discard any documents you won’t need in the future.

Avoid bringing large chargers for laptops and such if your laptop can survive on low-battery mode, or don’t bring a laptop at all, since CHS often provides them in classes for students.

You should re-organize your backpack often as well, though being a little more minimalistic will also help save you time in that process of reorganization. It doesn’t seem like teachers will stop making you carry all those multi-subject notebooks and binders any time soon, so us students have to take action ourselves.

Illustration by Ryx Zan

Teenage tipping point

You and your friends are at a restaurant. You’ve finished eating and have gotten your bill. Ignoring the tip line completely, you pay only for the food itself — you’re on a tight budget as you use up the last of your birthday money or meager savings from your part-time job. After all, the tip is optional.

If what I just described rings a bell, we need to talk.

When I started working at a restaurant, I didn’t understand why my coworkers would covertly groan at the sight of, say, five teenagers entering the door. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m easily offended by teen stereotypes (no, we’re not all lazy, and yes, we can function without our phones.) But their vexation makes sense to me now. It isn’t uncommon for a table of teens to order $75 worth of food but leave only three or four bucks in tips (a five percent tip, in case you’re mathematically-challenged like I am). Teammates binging after a grueling practice, friends celebrating a sixteenth birthday, servers preparing for financial letdowns — it’s a disappointing pattern.

The truth is that most employers pay their servers just over $2 an hour. This low wage may shock people as most would assume everyone in food service makes at least the NC minimum wage of $7.25. But, as outlined by the US Department of Labor, there’s a caveat: if a server makes $30 in tips per month, his or her employer can opt to pay a so-called tipping wage of $2.13.

On a good night, when there is sufficient flow of customers who all tip fifteen or twenty percent, a tipping wage isn’t an issue. In fact, servers can make significantly more than they would under a $8 or $9 hourly wage. But on a bad night, when customers skimp on tips (yeah, I’m talking to you), an hour of work is barely enough to buy a Starbucks coffee.

There are various reasons why one might not tip. Sometimes you have to wait too long for food. Sometimes the food tastes bad. Granted, these problems are annoying, but they are no reason not to tip; you tip for the service, not the food. Did your server bring you your drink, take your order, answer your questions, and bring your check? Then tip them. (Keep in mind that they’ll also be cleaning your table after you leave.)

There are many questions about tipping that I’m unqualified to answer: for example, is a tipping wage really the best option? Would a fixed hourly wage be better? These questions are important ones, but in the meantime, we can all agree that $2.13 an hour just isn’t enough.

Illustration by Ruby Handa

Class rank: a broken system

For those who do not remember, or don’t know at all, CHCCS students take a math exam in the fifth grade that determines their eligibility for participation in an accelerated math track throughout middle and high school. Score in the 95th percentile or higher, and a student begins taking advanced math classes earlier than their peers, in turn allowing their high school GPA (and class rank) to rise.

Throughout CHCCS, this practice warps class ranks. As detailed
in a letter that the district has distributed — though not widely so — via email, CHCCS class rankings have an outsize dependence on a student’s math courses. This letter itself was written by former Carrboro Principal Dr. Laverne Mattocks.

In the letter, CHCCS’s class rank inadequacies are detailed: “By beginning high school courses in middle school, students on the accelerated pathways often complete additional advanced math classes in high school allowing them to potentially accumulate a higher weighted GPA than students who did [not] complete high school courses in middle school,” said Mattocks.

This system of sorting students into accelerated and non-accelerated math tracks splits them into two sections. One section is inherently restricted in their possible class rank and GPA achievements, while the other gets a head start on building a strong academic profile.

The manifestation of this effect is as follows: any student who did not gain admission to the accelerated math track in middle school is at an inherent disadvantage when it comes to their high school GPA and class rank.

How much of a disadvantage? Those students who did not take advanced courses in middle school and who continue on the standard math track in high school are unlikely, according to CHS parent Joy Diamond-Speer, to score a GPA high enough to put them in the top 30 percent of their class

Just let that sink in for a second.

The result of one math test, which students took in their final year of elementary school, is the determinant of whether or not they are easily able to achieve a class rank in the top 30 percent through all four years of their high school careers.

Not only does this class-ranking fallacy feed into the endemic achievement gap that CHCCS struggles with, it also disadvantages an even larger sect of students: those for whom math is not a strong subject.

This article is a challenging one for me to write, as I’m a student who has excelled at Carrboro High. I’m also seemingly anomalous when it comes to class rank; I was not a part of the accelerated math track, yet I have worked hard and achieved a top-tier rank.

The only way I was able to achieve that, though, was because I took advantage of something of a oddity in the math courses at CHS: Math III-PC. This means that I took Math III and Precalculus in a single course, which is something that currently entails a double period of math in a student’s schedule.

All of this is to say that achieving a top-tier class rank at CHCCS is already of outsize difficulty, yet it’s all but impossible if you are not a student who excels in their math courses as early as fifth grade.

The CHCCS district has met with CHS parents, including Joy Diamond-Speer, in regards to this issue, yet they “haven’t gotten clear information on a plan to change the system moving forward,” Diamond-Speer said in an email.

Furthermore, very little is being done to help current students understand the current state of class ranking at CHCCS.

There needs to be more transparency from the district when it comes to the system behind ranking students, as well as other metrics of student achievement in high school such as GPA. It benefits administrators, teachers and the student body alike for students to understand how these things work. We students are quite used to being compared, measured and scored, but we much prefer it when we know just how those things are being metered.

How much GPA really matters

With every day more letters in response to seniors’ college applications arrive in Carrboro students’ mailboxes. With each one, some students will be able to rejoice and relax, while others will not. Some seniors will find out that they didn’t quite make the cut, and will head back to the drawing board to reconfigure their dream to fit their second, third or even fourth choice school. Maybe their dream school was looking for someone more well rounded, maybe their essay should have been edited one more time or maybe their GPA just wasn’t good enough.

The thought of someone’s future riding on a cumulative grade point average, accrued over the course of four of the most vulnerable and formative years of someone’s personal life, is inconceivable — yet some admission counselors consider it indicative of an applicant’s worth, and GPA is used to argue for or against thousands of students’ acceptance every day.

GPA is only one component of the application process; however, it is often used by a student as the metric to decide if you could realistically get into a given school. For example, someone with a 2.1 GPA would most likely not apply to Harvard, where an admitted students average unweighted GPA is 3.95. (Unweighted GPA is calculated on a 4.0 scale.)

This conditioned way of assessing the likelihood of being accepted into a school can build a defeatist mentality in students, often causing them to avoid applying to schools that seem like too much of a reach. The definition of a “reach” school varies from person to person; to one person it may be a school with a marginal acceptance rate, and to yet another it could be a school with an average GPA one point higher than theirs.

Although GPA is beginning to carry less weight on an application, this three digit number can sometimes be the difference of getting in versus not getting into the school of one’s dreams.

Due to the GPA’s trivial importance, schools are beginning to institute what they call “holistic reviews,” meaning they will look at an applicant’s qualifications collectively, and make a decision based on all parts in conjunction with each other. These holistic reviews are being created to ensure no single metric serves a large role in deciding a student’s admission or denial. This millennial way of assessment has given students some leeway in certain areas of their applications — such as GPA — where there was none before.

While GPA is becoming less signifi- cant to applications on the whole, things like a student’s ACT score, how many extracurriculars a student partakes in or how many service-learning hours a student has accrued are becoming increasingly more important.

As you apply to college, take a deep breath and consider your chances from multiple angles – not just on whether or not your GPA is “good” enough.