Pick Up the Pace

Three minutes. That’s all the time that Carrboro High School students have between each class. Three minutes may seem like a lot, but when you factor in using the restroom, grabbing a quick snack, dropping something off at the office and, of course, the slow walkers, the time you need increases.

Unfortunately, we cannot change the amount of time between classes. However, we can change how we walk in the hallways. School is stressful enough; walking through the halls between classes should not contribute to that stress.

The hallway between class periods is not the time or place to congregate with your friends. Although class time may not be important to everyone, please respect the time of the people who feel that it is. When you force people to walk around you, it holds up the tens of people behind you, causing a traffic jam! Social time is not in between classes; rather, socializing should be reserved for lunch and after or before school. Better yet, why don’t you walk and talk at the same time?

Another thing to consider is your pace while walking through the halls. We all have someplace to be, and wouldn’t you like to get to class on time, maybe even with a minute to spare? Take the people behind you into consideration and pick up the pace.

Next time you are walking in the hallways, please consider the time of other students around you.

A, B, C or D: A Choice I don’t Want to Make

Most people do not like taking tests. They’re stressful, a pain to thoroughly study for and can contain deadly pitfalls, like trick questions or “none of the above” answer choices; but the worst kind of test is actually the one most people seem to prefer. Multiple choice tests have the potential to hands down be the worst kind of test someone can be given, yet most students seem to prefer them over free-write tests.

Multiple choice tests are typically seen as being ‘easier,’ since you can just pick the answer choice that looks the better than the others and do well; however, if you’re taking a MC (multiple choice) test that has real effort put into it, the agonizing experience outdoes the pain of most free-response tests.

Multiple choice tests contain tricky psychological mind games, which spawn from a combination of the MC test structure, the teacher’s choices and the student’s thought process.

The first and most common one of these “mind games” is the tendency for students to feel insecure about certain answer choices, simply because they’ve already selected the same letter a few times in a row. For example, if the answers to questions one through three were ‘B’, and the student is stuck between answers ‘A’ and ‘B’ for question four, they’re much more likely to choose ‘A’, because it seems odd that four questions in a row would have the same letter choice. This can lead to students selecting incorrect answers for no other  reason than ‘it felt wrong.’

This ideology is especially destructive when paired with how teachers make MC tests. I made one myself for a homework assignment once, and discovered that I had a tendency to gravitate back to a certain letter to be the right answer, and found it hard to deviate — many teachers have this issue as well. A result of this phenomenon is the occasional string of same-letter answer choices, which results in students doubting and second-guessing their answers.

In many MC tests I’ve taken, there is usually one default ‘right’ answer choice; a letter that pops up frequently during the test as the right answer. This can be useful or harmful, depending on how this letter appears during the test. For this example, let’s say that the teacher has a tendency to choose B as the right answer choice.

If a string of Bs are presented as the right answer choice for several questions in a row, then a student might choose another answer out of fear that they’re wrong; but if the Bs occur more frequently than the other letter choices — but not necessarily in a row — the student can use this to their advantage. If a student is on the fence about an answer choice, and ‘B’ is a viable option, selecting it would give him/her a better chance of getting the answer right. Finding that equivalent of ‘B’ in other MC tests can lead to a failsafe answer choice: the one you select if it’s an option, but you’re not entirely sure is correct.

Another issue with MC tests is how some of them are created solely to be a major headache. Some teachers create questions with answers that are all slightly correct, but one is the right choice due to some small detail that makes it “the most correct.” Depending on the subject, the line between objective correctness and subjective correctness can be blurred, leading to post-test conflict between teacher and student. In a free response test, you can sometimes get partial points for a partially correct answer, but in a MC test, an answer choice that’s not perfect lands you with zero credit.

There are advantages and disadvantages to multiple choice tests, most of them psychological; in the end, taking the test itself becomes a large part of the actual testing process, rather than a pure gauge of knowledge. This applies to all tests, but is especially obvious and annoying in multiple choice tests.

Context is Everything

Gun control and the Yemen conflict; women’s abuses in America and women’s abuses in Iraq; food insecurity in the U.S. and famine in Venezuela. The contrast of these issues — of those that worry the everyday American and those that destroy the lives of people every day in countries across the world — can be a daunting one. However, comparing your life and your issues to those of other people in another country is a task fraught with risk.

We all heard the saying as kids when we wouldn’t finish our veggies: “There are starving kids in Africa who don’t get anything to eat — you should be grateful to even have this meal.” And while that might motivate you to choke down another asparagus stalk, that comparison is wholly unfair.

Comparing issues across national borders not only partakes in an irresponsible ignorance of the massive cultural and developmental differences between countries, but can also actually serve to worsen the disparity between peoples of different nationalities.

In his book The Broken Ladder, UNC professor Keith Payne spends hundreds of pages examining the overwhelming evidence that comparisons to people outside of one’s social and economic strata has adverse impacts on a person’s psyche and decision-making process. When we, as children, compare ourselves to those starving kids in Africa, it has two main outcomes. The first is that we come to understand that we have something, and those African children do not have that thing — in this case it’s food. Second, and more insidiously, we come to think of those African children as separate from us — as “the other.” And there lies the  true danger of cross border comparisons.

Too often, these comparisons are framed through the lens of difference — it’s easy to think, for example, that a Syrian refugee lives in a totally different world from us and is of an entirely different stock than us. They are, therefore, not one of us. This in turn makes it more and more difficult for us to empathize with their plight and fulfill our moral duty to help them.

While the differences among people of the world are undeniable, it’s also undeniable that we share one key feature: we are all humans. That’s what is important to remember when juggling with the issues that plague humans around the globe. Comparisons aren’t all bad, so long as they’re done in a manner that balances them with a consideration of the things that make us the same.

For each time that you fret over the political insecurity that’s displaced millions in the Middle East, remind yourself that those displaced humans have many of the same wants and needs that you do. They seek a roof over their head and a meal on their dinner table every night. And while most of us here at Carrboro are lucky enough to have those things, that doesn’t make us any better or any different than the people that don’t, especially as those who go without can be found in a tent camp in Turkey and in the seat next to us in chemistry.

Choosing to Walk or Not

#Enough is enough. On April 20, students in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools left class and marched to the Peace and Justice Plaza, on East Franklin Street, in protest of gun violence; however, debate over the walkout could be heard much earlier.

Carrboro High School was filled with voices advertising the walk out. Students said, “if you are physically able, you should be walking on Friday.” Or even, “would you rather be shot or risk detention?” as there were threats of detentions and notes in your file for walking out and skipping class.

The peer pressure that students felt is unnecessary. Each and every student should be able to show and express their beliefs and views in the way that they choose to do so. Choosing whether or not to walk out has been a challenging decision for some, and many have witnessed extreme amounts of peer pressure. They’ve been told that if they don’t walk out then they don’t care, or it isn’t important to them. Well, not necessarily. Some students don’t hold this cause near and dear to them. Some students don’t think that it is important. Everyone has their opinions that they are entitled to. They should not be asked to explain themselves, but if they would like to, they deserve the same respect and open ears that everyone else receives.

However, there are also students who really would have wanted to participate, but couldn’t for various reasons such as sports, absences, tests or even because their parents didn’t want them to. And some students don’t want to risk getting a detention or a note in their file.

After CHS sent out a message about treating the walkout like skipping class and giving out detentions and notes in files, many students didn’t mind risking those possible outcomes, but other students had pre-existing notes or detentions that they preferred not to add to. This doesn’t mean that they don’t care, and just because you didn’t walk out doesn’t mean that you didn’t show your support in other ways. For example, on that Friday,

Carrboro High School was a sea of orange. Many students showed their support by wearing the orange shirts whether or not they walked out. No one should be shamed or judged for their decision, but sadly this isn’t the case. Most students expect every other student to have the same opinion that they do and don’t understand when they don’t.

Some students think that the cause is important but don’t agree with the proposed solutions that are be- ing represented through the walkout. I’ve seen a lot of exclusivity in the various walkouts that I thought were supposed to bring people together through a common goal. There are only a few views and opinions being represented. If you have a different idea, you’re likely undergo scrutiny for your views. Seems a bit hypocritical if you ask me.

Speaking of hypocrisy… why is it that it takes students from an upper-middle class, majority white school to be shot and killed for everyone to be up in arms? There are kids, teens and adults alike killed in neighborhoods every day.

It’s That Time of Year: College Visit Time

Ah, the college visit. The hectic, iconic and overwhelming day and a half through which students are expected to make a decision about the next four years of their lives.

While college visiting is always in season (when in Rome, or, uh, Boston, right?), summer vacation is a popular time to load up the car and hit the road in hopes of finding your dream school.

As a self-proclaimed college application enthusiast, here are my tips to make the most out of your trips year round.

1. Beware of Summer

While June through August is a nice time to travel without missing school, remember that college students are also on vacation; it’s difficult to get the vibe of a desolate campus. Don’t cancel your plans just yet, but keep this missing piece in mind when comparing different schools.

Schedule permitting, you may be able to visit certain colleges during one of their first weeks of class and before you’ve gone back to school yet.

Also take note of weather traps: August in Vermont is beautiful, but you’ll likely spend that month next year at  home, not at college. This goes the opposite way (a word of encouragement, not warning!) for extremely warm weathered schools.

2. Observe

If school is in session, make like Inspector Gadget and spy. Do students use the school’s common spaces? Are they constantly on the go? Do they sit in groups or by themselves? Do they seem happy?

These things are sometimes difficult to assess from afar, but they can help differentiate schools with otherwise similar offerings on paper.

3. Blend in

Another way to get a picture of a college beyond a basic information session and campus tour is to pretend like you’re a student. Bring a book, find a crowded place like a library or coffee shop and just hang out.

Say hi and even make a friend or two, if you’re feeling bold. Again, it’s a small gesture, but it can help you get the feel of a place and figure out what students are like when they’re not trying to recruit you. Sneaky.

4. Find a friend

If possible, do an overnight visit. It’s not a perfect way to picture life as a student, but it’s probably as close as you’ll get. Oftentimes, colleges will set you up with an overnight host if you just email the admissions office (did someone say demonstrated interest?) Otherwise, ask around for a friend of a friend.

5. Discern

Let’s face it: it’s the college’s job to sell themself, so they’re going to be biased. To help make the best decision for you, go in knowing a few things that are important to you and a few that aren’t.

Brown University may be proud of their open curriculum, but if you like the structure that General Education Requirements provide, that’s great too! UNC Chapel Hill may love their sports teams, but if athletics aren’t your priority, that’s okay! Just bcause a college is excited about something doesn’t mean you have to be excited about it too.

Remember, every admissions officer will tell you that they love their college. Don’t judge how they present their information, but rather the things they choose to emphasize. That being said, don’t be afraid to change your mind about things you think wanted or didn’t.

Finally, the information session isn’t everything; some good old fashioned internet research at home will augment your information and prove just as helpful.

6. Don’t overthink it

Some places will just feel right. Some places won’t. But for a lot of schools, you may not feel strongly either way. That’s okay. Whether or not you leaving convinced you’ll apply Early Decision somewhere or your list of applications now numbers more schools than you have digits, you’ve gained valuable insight and are one step closer to dining hall food and doing your own laundry (hooray!)

200 Goals for Cox

On April 26, one of the best women’s lacrosse athletes Carrboro High has ever seen reached another milestone; senior Mackenzie Cox scored her 200th goal against Riverside, completing two centuries worth of goals over her four years playing for CHS. The goal came during this year’s senior night game, punctuating a 14-13 win for the Lady Jags.

Cox joined the women’s lacrosse team in 2015, her freshman year at CHS, and has started in each of her four years playing for the team. Over those four years, she’s accumulated 207 total goals, 220 overall points, and averaged 4.8 ground balls recovered per game. Those statistics have earned Cox three consecutive Carrboro Offensive Player of the year awards, with a fourth expected this year. Similarly, Cox’s on-field achievements have earned her a spot on the first All-Conference team for the past three years, with her spot on this year’s team pending confirmation.

“I was motivated by always wanting to play the best I could for my teammates and coach. I would also like to say thank you to all of the players and especially my dad that have helped me along the way because without them I never would have the amazing experience that I did on the Carrboro women’s lax team,” said Cox. Being the leader in all-time goals for Carrboro’s women’s lacrosse team is an enormous achieve- ment, and Cox credits hard work in getting her there.

“I never imagined being able to make a record like that,” Cox said.

In completing her two centuries of goals, Cox reaches a milestone that no other Carrboro student has before — Cox is the first and only Lady Jag to score over 200 career goals. Going forward, Cox looks to maintain involvement in lacrosse; she aims to play club la- crosse at UNC-Wilmington next year, and to coach and help out with youth teams in the area.

Cox credits those youth teams with giving her access to the sport early on, leading to her later success. For young players, she says, it’s vital to always give your full effort.

“Never let anyone tell you are not good enough to do anything,” Cox said, a fitting sentiment for someone who has accomplished so much.

eSports Aren’t Easy

Game day: fans flood arenas wearing team jerseys, searching for events to meet their dream players and gain an autograph. Those who don’t make it to the event itself sit impatiently by their laptops and T.V.s waiting for their streaming service to begin airing. All wait to watch those who’ve spent hours honing their skills. But these ‘athletes’ aren’t who you think they are. They aren’t big football or basketball players — they’re gamers.

Competitive video game playing, known as eSports, is on the rise. If you play video games — especially Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBA) — you are sure to know about eSports and how they work. However if you haven’t, here is some information on the sport that’s grabbing attention from gamers.

Any game can be made into an eSport when there’s a clear winner, but the game type that is most popular is MOBA. In MOBAs, players form teams and compete tournament-style in arenas and large game maps. Examples of such games are League of Legends (LoL), Dota 2 and Overwatch.

Each game has its own fan base and has companies like NHL who hold tournaments that gain more popularity over time. A lot of supporters of ‘real’ sports are supporters of eSports as well, like ESPN, which doesn’t only stream football, but also LoL and Dota 2. Most of these competitive games are also aired on streaming platforms such as Youtube and Twitch. Now, a big question to a new person may be, “what do these gamers gain by professionally competing?” The answer to that is simple. Most players come in to gain the cash prizes and glory like ordinary athletes would.

International competitions have especially big cash prizes that amount to millions of dollars and sponsorships to team involved. Many leagues now offer salaries along with that. Though this may seem like an easy job to handle, most players in eSports leagues don’t last long, and many of these players get looked down upon by those who don’t play video games. Not only that, but to get into these leagues a player must have a high rank or status in their game and must possess certain skills that most other gamers don’t have. They also need strategic minds and reflexes fast enough to outplay an enemy in the heat of the moment while millions of fans watch them.

eEports is steadily growing along with the amount of fans that keep up with it. If it continues at this rate, then people will learn more about competitive video games, and eSports could become closer to gaining mainstream acceptance.

CHS Jaguar Hall of Fame

David Veltri 

Veltri has been a wrestler on the Carrboro Wrestling team since 2014. During his time on the team he has collected numerous awards, He will be inducted for All-State Wrestling.

Quincy Monday

Monday has been a wrestler on the Carrboro Wrestling team since 2016. Of his time on the team he has one two state Championship titles. He will be inducted for All State Wrestling.

Destiny Cox

Cox has been an athlete on the Carrboro Varsity team since her Freshman year. Cox has contributed to the team in many ways, playing a role in their past two state championship titles. She will be inducted for All State Volleyball.

Niya Fearrington

Fearrington was a member of the Carrboro Varsity Cheerleading team for four years. Of her time at Carrboro she has served as captain and most valuable cheerleader. She will be inducted for All-American Cheerleading.

Frae Dae Moo

Moo is an AVID member of the Carrboro Varsity Men’s Soccer Team he has attributed to the teams dynamic, through skill, leadership and determination. He will be inducted into the Jaguar Hall of Fame for All State Soccer.

Paloma Baca, Eliot Hunsberger, Audrey Costley and Anneliese Merry were key swimmers on the 2018 Women’s Relay 400 team. Throughout the year they pushed their team to advance in to state meet. This year they will be inducted for swimming state champions.

Spring Sports in Review

As Spring sports at Carrboro begin to end, the JagWire interviewed some players about their season. Each player below was asked the following questions:

1: How do the goals that your team set before the season compare to the results of the season?

2: What’s been the highlight of the year with your teammates not on the court/field/track?

Here are some interview highlights from Carrboro’s spring athletes.

Elijah Jones, Track and Field

“I feel like we, as a sprint squad, set extremely high goals for ourselves at the beginning of the year because we know that we are all capable of racing with some of the fastest runners in the state. The one thing that impacts our achievement of these ambitious goals is injuries. Track season, being the longest of any sport, wears down your body so much which lead to common injuries. Being able to prepare for these injuries and limit them as possible, allows for our team to maintain our goals and achieve them throughout the year The sprint squad is a small group of runners; kind of like our own little family. With food being a big component for a successful athlete, we sometimes eat together before or after a big meet in order to either clear our minds before a race.”

Carter Macklin, Track and Field

“A lot of the goals that we set at the beginning of the year have been met. We placed top three in conference and we are taking a large team to the regional invitational. Many of us set personal goals like breaking personal records or beating specific teams and for many of us those goals have been met. We also set a goal to be a productive and organized team and for the most part, we have succeeded. Meets we have hosted have gone  well, invitationals have been well organized and practices have gone smoothly.”

Zach Anderson, Tennis

“My goals have been met so far as we have advanced to the state quarterfinals and we have five players still in the individual state tournament. And going to Sonic for dinner and bonding with my teammates was also [a highlight].”

Joseph Kelly, Lacrosse

“We set out to win the conference championship this year because our team hasn’t won a conference championship in its history. After going 4-0 in conference, we secured the conference champion- ship over Voyager Academy and J.F. Webb High School The highlight of the year off the field was celebrating after the big wins against Chapel Hill High and J.H. Rose.”

Shayma Ouazzani, Softball

“Our goal is always to improve on our individual goals that we have for ourselves. We reached that but some- thing we didn’t reach was winning states. However, our team has made great improvement from past years for softball.”

Thanks, Mom & Dad

Maxwell Luce (Freshman)

“My parents are very, I guess, ‘pro-education’ and ‘pro-knowledge’ and aren’t very indoctrinating. They don’t really care that I have radically different opinions about pretty much everything than them. Building off that, they don’t care too much when I disagree with them, as long as it’s reasonable. Like obviously, if they wanted me to clean my room and I was like ‘no’ they’d be upset, but when it comes to things like cultural values, religion, politics, philosophy, things like that, they don’t really mind that my opinion is different than theirs, which I think is rare among parents.”

James O’Brien (Junior)
“I appreciate my parents for a multitude of reasons, the most primary being that they provide for my most basic needs more than adequately; I think that’s the first thing to ask, and they do it quite well. The second thing, which many great parents do and my parents do, is that they provide multiple opportunities for my intellectual furtherment, whether it be through them or through find- ing someone else, and I’ve always appreciated their investments and care to my development as a person and an intellectual being.”

Thomas Soden (Junior)
“The thing I’m grateful for most about my parents is that they are always caring and supportive of anything I do. Even if they don’t approve of it, they’re still willing to give it a shot. Like, my first time playing la- crosse…they wanted me to play baseball, but they still helped me and supported me, and I’m still playing lacrosse to this day.”

Andrew Hoffman (Sophomore)
“I appreciate that my parents allow me to take opportunities; they’re very open to that, like if I want to try a new sport or a new thing or do a new camp or something, they’re very supportive and they’ll help me see it through. I’m very thankful that they allow me to take these opportunities and that they can give them to me. There’s this summer camp I went to called “Camp Carolina,” and it’s a pretty expensive camp to go to, but I think I learned a lot through it and grown, so I’m very thankful they allowed me to go there.”