New Faces of SGA

Niya Fearrington – Student Body President

Carrboro’s first African-American Student Body President Niya Fearrington described her victory as “monumental.” She hopes her success will help others follow in her footsteps.

“I hope that I’ve set a precedent for other minorities to become more involved in student affairs and even run for student government, because that diversity was very much lacking,” said Fearrington.

Fearrington’s first priority next year will be making sure every student feels involved in the school. She plans on reducing language barriers by hiring students to translate student-government flyers.

Fearrington appreciates student government for giving her an opportunity to become more involved in the Carrboro community, something she felt she lacked her freshman year before joining.

 

Mackenzie Cox – Vice President

Mackenzie Cox, next year’s Vice President, is excited to be a part of a new phase of SGA. She has an optimistic message to students.

“Be ready for student government. Be ready because it’s not going to be a student government you’ve seen before,” said Cox.

Cox is ready to push for more SGA engagement with everyday students. She envisions a school where representatives regularly check in with students at their lunch tables and ask if there’s anything they need.

It was an example of this friendliness that inspired Cox to join SGA. When she came to Carrboro, Cox didn’t know many of her freshman classmates. Encouragement from an SGA member quelled her nerves and inspired her to try to make others feel the same sense of welcome she did.

Cameron Farrar – Treasurer

Cameron Farrar explained that though she was happy to win her race for Treasurer, she felt more excited at the time about Fearrington’s presidential victory.

“I think this is a really big turning point for Carrboro,” said Farrar.

Farrar chose to become involved in SGA because of its voice.

“When you bring together the class senators and the four elected officers you have a megaphone to tell students about what’s going on at Carrboro,” said Farrar.

One way Farrar plans to use SGA’s influence is to fundraise in conjunction with the Junior Class Council in order to offset the cost of prom tickets.

Currently a Junior Senator, next year will be Farrar’s second year in SGA. She wishes people knew that they don’t have to be in SGA all their life to run for an elected position.

 

Tommy Holt – Secretary

Tommy Holt, Carrboro’s 2017-18 Secretary, joined SGA because he had friends he looked up to in the program. He also recognizes the benefits SGA events bring to Carrboro and hopes to increase participation.

“If you go to the events there are the same students at every one and you want different people to go,” said Holt.

Holt’s message is that SGA should be a place where everyone feels included and welcome.

“Student government is for everyone,” said Holt.

Creating an environment where everyone feels included requires collaboration between student representatives and SGA advisor Jamie Schendt. Holt appreciates everything Schendt does for SGA. He described the advisor as some-
one who works tirelessly for the school but is also really approachable.

Feature Image: Niya Fearrington.  Photos by Levi Hencke and Mireille Leone

 

Where in the World?

A quick bit of advice; when one is looking for cheap flights, Google flights (https://www.google.com/flights/) is a very easy and quick way of checking out many destinations and dates of departures.  Many people also like to use Skyscanner (https://www.skyscanner.com/).

Interview with 2012 CHS Graduate Leah Berolzheimer

Q: What inspired you to take a GAP year?

A: A drive to better understand healthcare inequalities, a desire to learn more about the clinical aspects of healthcare delivery and a need for a break from formal education.

Who else (if anyone) do you know who has taken a GAP year?

I was one of seven fellows at UNC-Chapel Hill who took a gap year. So, I know those six others, plus a whole other network of those who took gap years at UNC called “Gappl.” However, graduating from Carrboro, I knew very few others who were also taking gap years.

Where did you go & what did you do while there?

A: Nairobi, Kenya (4 months); Accra, Ghana (2 weeks); Kara, Togo (3 months) and  Budapest, Hungary (1 month). In Nairobi I worked with a non-profit based in Chapel Hill called Carolina for Kibera (CFK). I had read the founder’s book, It Happened on The Way to War, and had begun interning regularly in their Chapel Hill office my senior year of high school. So, when offered the Global Gap Year Fellowship at UNC, I knew working in Kibera was on the top of my list. At CFK I spent one day per week at the Tabitha Medical Clinic assisting and observing in one of the nursing triages. The other days of the week I focused on community development work: I helped out with the girls soccer teams in the evenings, documented events on the weekends and helped out where I was needed during the other days of the week. Mid-December I traveled to Accra, Ghana to visit a dear high school friend, Vanessa. I spent two weeks of vacation, including Christmas and New Years with her family. Next, I crossed the border from Ghana to Togo and traveled to a small town in the far north called Kara. There I worked at an HIV/AIDS clinic and community center called Association Espoir pour Demain (translated to “hope for tomorrow”). I worked alongside the nurses there and also joined in on an IRB research project that was initiated by a local Peace Corps volunteer. We interviewed over 50 women about what their perceived (and actual) barriers to accessing health care were. Lastly, I spent one month in Budapest, Hungary working with a democratic youth organization. I visited public high schools all across Budapest and gave presentations on the benefits of public service and taking a gap year.

Kara, Togo, the rural village where Berolzheimer spent three months working at an HIV community center/clinic called Association Espoir Pour Demain

Where outside the U.S. have you visited, if anywhere, and for how long and in what context?

I traveled frequently as a child, but most recently, I have spent time in Israel on a Birthright trip (December ’15-January ’16), and in Myanmar and Thailand from May-July of 2016 completing my nursing practicum.

What was your budget?

I was awarded $7,500 by the Global Gap Year Fellowship at UNC-CH. I did my best to budget this as closely to that as possible, though traveling to several countries in Africa and Europe over the course of eight8 months made it difficult. I ended up spending only about $500 more than that amount, as I had a generous donor that gave me thousands of airlines miles which paid for two portions of my flights.

What did you hope to get out of the GAP year?

A: A break. Overcoming the challenge of living and traveling solo for eight months. French language immersion (Togo). Clarity on what I wanted to study once starting at UNC. A greater perspective. A chance to serve others, while also serving myself–validating my own needs to see new places, experience being a minority and learning how to live with and learn from people of backgrounds different than my own.

Did you get out of your GAP year what you hoped to and what did you gain, realize, etc that you did not anticipate?

Yes. I learned that you truly cannot plan or anticipate what will happen over the course of eight8 months. My gap year was really tough at times; it was in these moments though that I learned the most. I came back to UNC with a much wider perspective, a much greater appreciation for the salad bar at Rams Head Dining Hall, and a passion to study Nursing.  

What research or preparation did you do?

I had a weekend long orientation at UNC in which we had time to talk through our expectations and start searching for organizations. I did a lot of networking on my own and found that the best experiences were those that I had personal connections to, rather than ones I found through online research. I’d be happy to share my own connections that I have made with anyone interested!

What worries or concerns did you have about the GAP year?

Traveling as a solo female definitely made me cautious. I learned to take things day by day, or even minute by minute, and also learned to follow the advice of locals—–they truly were always right.

What advice would you give others who are contemplating taking a GAP year?

DO IT!

How did you integrate yourself into the local culture?

I think the first step to doing this was by traveling on my own, rather than in a group of other westerners. I stayed with host families in Kenya and rented out a small hut/house in a compound with other Togolese people while in Togo. I was open to eating almost any foods, tried tirelessly to learn the local languages and assumed the position as the learner, rather than the teacher, wherever I went.

What were your experiences of culture shock abroad?

My most extreme experiences were actually with reverse culture shock upon returning home! Though I was ready to come home when the time came, it was extremely difficult to pick back up with friends who had just completed their first year of college, to pick back up with my job as a summer camp counselor, and to move back in with my family after living on my own for so long.

Include anything I didn’t ask, but which you feel is important to know.

I continue to say that taking a gap year was the best decision I’ve made. This is a unique time in our lives—–taking a “gap year” after college is SO different. My gap year influenced what I study today at UNC, how I think about and approach each of my patients as a soon-to-be nurse, and how I consider the value of walking in someone else’s shoes before making assumptions. Thanks!

Feature image: The Fruitful Women cooperative (a makeshift school and foster center) in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya.  Photos courtesy John Hite.

Lunchtime Behind the Scenes

Cafeteria workers serve school lunches to over half of all schoolchildren in the U.S. Many students get their first and second meals of the day from the school cafeteria. But what goes on behind the scenes in the preparation of these lunches?

“Well first, we look at the production sheet,” said Carrboro cafeteria worker Misty Paisant. After noting the production sheet, the actual cooking process begins.

“If there’s any vegetables, wash the vegetables; after that, cut them up; then prepare them to go into the steamer,” said Paisant.

If necessary, whatever meat or entree is going with the vegetables is prepared in the pan.

“We either cook that ahead of time or cook it later on — it all depends on what it is; fish you cook later; lasagna or spaghetti, you bake it; chicken, you cook ahead of time — by the time lunchtime comes it’s coming out the oven,” said Paisant.

This process is completed in full everyday before serving the meals to much of the student population.

Paisant’s favorite part of the lunch preparation process is the cooking.

“I just love cooking — it’s just been a passion of mine since I was like six or seven years old,” said Paisant.

When she was younger she ate school lunches as well.

“They were great. The pizzas — flat, square pizzas — those were the best lunches,” said Paisant.

The pizza [we make] has actually gotten better — they look like Papa Johns pizzas, not just little square pizzas. So, they taste better and they look better,” said Paisant.

“My favorite lunch was the grilled cheese,” said Paisant’s cafeteria co-worker Cheryl Weaver. Now that she’s preparing them however, Weaver has a different favorite to make.

“Pizza. That’s what I do — I make pizza,” said Weaver.

Paisant’s favorite dish to prepare is Lasagna. “It’s complicated — there’s so many steps to it — but it comes out looking so pretty,” said Paisant.

These are the testimonies of just two of the many dedicated workers in CHS’ cafeteria.

Photo by Levi Hencke

Dear Jagwire Judy…

“How/why do you stay motivated senior year?” Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Honey, you deserve a congratulations. You’ve worked really hard over the last three and a half years; buy yourself a slice of cake and celebrate that.

Nevertheless, you are most certainly not allowed to give up. Keep your grades close to what they typically are. Even if you’re already accepted to college admissions committees CAN and WILL reconsider you if your grades drop significantly.

Make sure this doesn’t happen by setting clear goals. Tell yourself (or better, write down) the grade you need for each class this last quarter.

On a more positive note, try to find one thing each day to look forward to. Maybe it’s where you’re planning to go for lunch or the fact that you finally remembered to charge your phone. Similarly, you can end the day by listing the best two or three moments. This will boost your mood and give you reasons to keep showing up to school.

For the times you decide to do your homework, increase your productivity by keeping your study space clean. I know those piles of clothes are “part of your organization system,” but I find it impossible to concentrate if my room is a mess. At the very least clean your desk. You’ll be surprised at how less stressed and overwhelmed you feel.

Finally, instead of thinking about how long you’ve been here, think about how little time you have left. Not that there’s anything wrong with high school, but it’s a big world out there, and you’re so close to being a part of that!

Take care,

Jagwire Judy

“In class all anyone does is talk. It’s not actual conversations that bug me; it’s the little hum or murmur of all the small conversations that I cannot deal with. I can’t hear myself think or focus on anything, because the people around me won’t shut up. Help, please.” Can’t hear myself think

Dear Can’t,

The best thing to do is to eliminate unnecessary noise all together. If everyone is working on individual assignments your classroom should be very quiet. Sweetheart, it’s more than reasonable to nicely asking the people around you to quiet down if they are being too loud.

However, I can absolutely understand if this makes you uncomfortable. You can also talk to your teachers outside of class and tell them how this noise bothering you.

Unfortunately, sometimes there’s nothing we can do about those around us. Listening to music always helps me study in a noisy environment. Personally it’s easier to focus with classical music or jazz because I’m not distracted by the lyrics, but use whatever works for you. If this sounds helpful I recommend the Peaceful Piano playlist on Spotify. It’s gorgeous, dear.

Some people prefer white noise to music. If that’s you, Coffitivity is a fantastic site. There you can listen to background sounds from a variety coffee shops while you work.

Good luck, darling.

Take care,

Jagwire Judy

Candid Clubs: A Closer Look

Clubs represent an opportunity for students to meet with others who share common interests. CHS has an abundance of clubs for students to join, from service learning to other, more specific interests. Movie club is a new addition to the list this year.

Junior Max Smith is the president of the movie club. Smith has a strong interest for the process of filmmaking. Movie club mainly meets every Monday and Friday, to watch a movie, in Jeff Arthurs room (D115). Students create clubs to share their interests with others.

“I have always had a love for movies. It was always an idea to look at movies from a cultural part or analytical view of them,” Smith said.

Movie club offers students an opportunity to experience a variety of different films.

“It is a chance to take a break from the crazy school work and enjoy a good movie every once in awhile,” Smith said.

Students interested in taking a break from their busy days and wanting to watch a movie should drop by at any time.

Language for Youth is another club at CHS. This particular club works in collaboration with Culbreth Middle School. Students from CHS go to Culbreth Middle School on Tuesday mornings to work with their students interested in world languages. The club tutors students in four languages: Spanish, French, Latin and German.

Language for Youth offers middle school students an opportunity to explore languages they would not otherwise get exposure to. For example, German is not a language offered at the middle school.

Alexander Egersdoerfer is the primary German tutor, and he is a native German speaker.

German is a very personal language to me. When I hear it or speak it, I feel very much at home and certain words and phrases bring back memories from the times I am in Germany,” said Egersdoerfer.

“I am excited myself about sharing and communicating this language that is so important to me with others who it might be equally important to in the future.”

It is known speaking multiple languages allow people to more efficiently communicate with different people. Egersdoerfer attributes languages with a high level of importance in his life.

“It is said that learning, speaking, and thinking in different languages can “rewire” your brain and cause you to think differently and approach either social situations or conflicts differently,” said Egersdoerfer.

Clubs allow students to explore their many different interests with others. From movies to languages, there are choices for everyone. At the start of every year, students have the option to make their own club that is not yet a part of the choices.

Photo courtesy Max Smith

Better Prom, Bigger Prices

This year, prom tickets cost as much as $25 more individually and $45 for couples. The increase in price is meant to enable a better prom experience; however, it also raises a concern for some students about equity.

Prom, located at Chatham Mills — a rustic performing arts and event center in Pittsboro — will stand out from previous years. With hardwood floors, furniture from the 1920s and extravagant decorations, students will immerse themselves in the world of The Great Gatsby.

In response to complaints about raised prices, Junior Class Council, who is planning prom this year, emphasized that the problem exists beyond Carrboro. Tickets at Carrboro cost no more than those at other CHCCS high schools.

“We did the price based on other schools, and what we needed, plus all the recommendations from last year,” said Junior Class Council member Rachel McCown. “In order to make the improvements, it costs more money.”

CHS offers financial aid for students unable to afford a ticket. Additionally, April Crider, social worker at CHS, coordinates Cinderella’s Closet, which provides dresses, tuxes or shoes to students in need of financial assistance.

“I just feel like the prices this year are going to be really unaffordable for a lot of people,” said junior Niya Fearrington. “I think prom is a once in a lifetime type of experience that many people look forward to, and because of the raised ticket prices, many people won’t be able to have the opportunity.”

Despite this available aid, rising costs underline some of the bigger issues surrounding prom as a tradition.

“Equity has been, and will remain, a very large issue around a lot of societal institutions, school being one of those [institutions],” said Dr. Mattocks.

Moreover, she explained that the issues around inequity aren’t solely in ticket pricing.

“[Prom] really should cause us to question our values and what we believe it should be, and the pressure that we as a society put on parents and young people to expend those types of resources,” said Mattocks. “When in fact the things that really matter about prom are intangible.”

Some students have also voiced concerns over equity, saying that prom is not an event they feel welcome being a part of.

“There’s not a single student of color on the prom committee,” said junior Cameron Farrar. “And I’m not saying that’s anyone’s fault, but when that’s the culture that you see, you kind of fall in place and say ‘well obviously my voice does not matter and this event is not for me.’”

Farrar also worries about how equity concerns will affect the racial makeup of prom attendees.

“As a student of color, I will attend prom but under the notion knowing that I will be one of a few African American students there,”  said Farrar.

According to Junior Class Council President Mackenzie Cox,  the hardest part about planning prom is taking into account suggestions from the student body. “We have to think about everyone; you have to think about every single person and what they would want,” said Cox.

Fearrington agrees that planning prom is a complicated endeavor.

“I give kudos to the people planning prom because it is a hard process and you can’t please everyone, but I’m excited and I’m going,” said Fearrington.

Regardless of this year’s price difference, CHS hopes to move forward and make prom an accessible and fun experience for everyone.

Farrar took this idea further, offering concrete solutions to the equity issues surrounding prom. She suggested the SGA and Junior Class Council work together to raise money year-round to offset prom costs.

Mattocks is optimistic about prom, despite any unintended impacts of the price changes. “I think all is going to end well,” said Mattocks. “Maybe we come together and say ‘we want to have a prom where no one is excluded and no one has to ask anyone for anything.’”

Illustration by Katy Strong

Cleanup on aisle C-town

It’s 12:18. You’re rushing to the commons to be first in line to use the microwave, or to get your favorite high table for you and your friends. The commons begins to fill, and with it comes the inevitable trash, crumbs and spills associated with lunch.

While we as students try our best to clean up after ourselves, most of the time we rely on the custodial staff to help us out. Even though custodians like Clifton Copeland and Thweet Maung spend their days keeping our school clean, a lot of their hard work is taken for granted.

Thweet Maung is one of the head custodians at Carrboro High. Maung has worked here since February of 2009. His favorite part of his job is his daily routine.

“My favorite part is pulling up the flag in the morning, and walking around the building, opening up the building. I like everything,” said Maung.

Next month will mark Maung’s eighth year working at CHS. This is his first job since moving to the U.S.

Before coming to America, Maung worked as a professional photographer, shooting things like weddings and graduations. He said that one day he would like to continue with photography.

Maung’s favorite color is blue, and his food of choice is Thai, because of the various use of spices.

Clifton Copeland III is also one of the head custodians at Carrboro. Mr. Copeland has worked in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system for about 16 years. However, he has only worked at Carrboro for the past two years. Previously, Copeland worked at McDougle Middle School and Seawell Elementary. But, according to him, CHS is the best school at which he’s worked.

“Carrboro is my favorite; [there’s a] different environment,” said Copeland. “Everything is cool. Everybody is cool.”

Copeland isn’t just skilled as a janitor, however. He has myriad interesting jobs under his belt, including working as a pizza maker, a custodian at a women’s college in Connecticut, in a dishroom, and in the emergency rooms at a hospital.

Additionally, Mr. Copeland is a church deacon, and loves to eat Chinese food with his wife. His favorite color is blue. With years of experience in various places, Mr. Copeland has many interesting stories to tell.

His favorite part of working at CHS? Helping clean the school for the students. “I like to see everybody recognizing that the place is clean,” said Copeland. “I appreciate the place being clean, for the students.”

Native ads: presented by HBO

HBO did not pay for this piece to be written, but had they, it might have turned out something like this. Informative, but clearly pushing the reader towards a certain opinion.

Looking for a fun way to learn about the hot-button issues of today? Hoping to dazzle friends with topical and hilarious conversation?

Consider checking out the delightfully funny and insightfully witty show Last Week Tonight, hosted by comedian John Oliver.

John Oliver produces hilarious masterpieces every week, covering everything from net neutrality to televangelists. His content always finds the right balance between funny and informative, and discusses important issues many don’t stop to consider.

John Oliver discusses a native ad sponsored by GE Energy. Photo courtesy ScribbleLive

If this sounds of interest, make sure to log on to HBO Sunday nights at 11 o’clock to catch latest episode. Still not convinced? Here’s a short synopsis of a popular segment from last season on native advertisements, a topic to which Oliver’s clip is partly responsible for bringing the attention of a wider audience.

Native ads are increasingly relevant to anyone who reads news online, but they are especially present in the lives of young people (like the author) who spend a considerable (some may say worrying) amount of time on Buzzfeed.

Native ads, sometime considered branded or sponsored content, are essentially advertisements formatted to look like regular news or video content. Oftentimes, the only indicator that a piece is sponsored is a small phrase in the title or at the top of the article.

Truthfully, the different between full-on native ads and pieces that are considered “content marketing” is hard to distinguish, and it’s suggested that the reader research beyond what this article will cover.

In any case, it’s clear that the line between ads and news, a line that has been integral to free and fair journalism since the creation of the United States, is becoming increasingly blurred.

Some native ads are easy to recognize from their content or title, like an article published in The Atlantic in 2013 reflecting on the Church of Scientology’s “milestone year.”

However, many can almost pass as actual journalism, such as an article by The New York Times about women’s prisons, sponsored by the TV show Orange is the New Black.

In fact, some native ads may look just like this article.

Most Americans don’t regoznie native ads as advertisements. In a 2015 study at the University of Georgia, only seven percent of participants were able to recognize that a test piece was branded.

Moreover, this sponsored content is everywhere. Buzzfeed, one of the most popular sites on the internet, makes “100 percent of their revenue from branded content,” according to an interview with the company’s CEO.

News consumers may think they’re savvy enough to avoid native ads and keep their news unbiased. If you are one of those people, ask yourself: did this “Native Ad” feel much different from a typical news piece? Would you have been able to tell the difference?

Where in the word: travel tips

One helpful item for travelers to have is an International Student Identity Card (ISIC.) In many places around the world, it can get you about half off the costs of museums or movie tickets. It can also be instrumental for getting discounts on tickets for transportation, and acquiring accommodation at better rate. Currently, the cost of an ISIC card is $25. You can order one online through STA (Start The Adventure, formerly Student Travel Association.) For more information, go to their website: http://www.statravel. com/student-discount-card.htm/.

Below is an interview with 2013 Carrboro graduate, and former student body president, Kristen Lee. Lee took a gap year in 2013-2014 via Global Citizen Year (http://www.globalcitizenyear.org/.)

What inspired you to take a gap year?

I wanted to learn a new language, travel, explore and learn more about myself and others.

Where did you go, and what did you do there?

I went to Brazil, to Florianopolis and Curitiba. I lived with a host family, learned Portuguese and volunteered at farms and schools.

What was your budget?

I had a budget of $5000.

Where outside the US have you visited, if anywhere, and for how long did you stay?

I’ve been to Europe and the Caribbean for week-long trips. I also went to southern Africa (Zambia, Namibia and South Africa) for a total of six months, for research and to study abroad.

What did you hope to get out of the gap year?

I hoped to challenge myself, learn more about myself, explore and grow.

Did you get out of your gap year what you hoped?

Yes! I also gained so much more than I could have thought. To name a few things: the importance of patience, the ability to trust one’s self and how to be alone. I also realized that religion and language are life-long practices.

What research or preparation did you do before your trip?

I read books about Brazil, talked to people I knew who had gone there and researched on the internet.

What worries or concerns did you have about the gap year?

I worried about money primarily, and then safety.

What advice would you give to those considering a gap year?

You can make it work no matter your financial status; there are lots of resources, programs and information/support for students who want to take a gap year. Gap years can be used in many ways. Finally, if you think you’re interested in taking a gap year, ask yourself this question: What would I like to do with one year of my life?

How did you integrate yourself into the local culture?

I went to local parks and rode the buses. Living with a host family also helped a lot.

Did you have experiences with culture shock, and what were they?

My culture shock experiences were primarily experiences with the opposite sex. Also, not initially being able to speak Portuguese meant that it was extremely hard to make friends at first.