All posts by thevikingtide

The Stress of Testing

Sophomore Staff Writer, Amith Jagannath

Every student looks for the opportunity to expand their knowledge with four new classes every semester at Voyager Academy. In the last few weeks of the semester, however, the tension begins. Finals, the word that every student despises; it’s the word that causes chills down people’s backs, even if they don’t feel that their classes are challenging. Some students only feel the fright of finals when they begin the test. The exams test the student’s ability to recollect lessons learned throughout the course of a class. While certain class’s content varies on the state-mandated requirements, content from other classes can go beyond to test a child’s long-term memory. More than this, the emotions during the week of finals can range from one being a nervous wreck to one being very confident.

Voyager Academy is different from other schools as its curriculum is based on Project Based Learning. In other words, teachers utilize projects, rather than tests for students to be able to express the knowledge they have gained over a specific period of time. When it comes to finals, however, the course determines the final product, whether it’s a state-mandated exam or a presentation. One student at Voyager with a wide variety of classes is Kiera Degroat. Kiera is a sophomore at Voyager Academy and when asked about how she feels about this week, she answered, “I’m not stressing about finals because my classes aren’t that stressful.” Kiera’s classes this semester are spread out through the various fields with Spanish Three Honors, Art I, Civics Honors, and Forensics. The testing schedule at Voyager does support a student’s stress by only administering one exam a day and giving the rest of the time as review sessions for other classes that the student has. She said that she was most scared for her Civics and Economics class, “because history and government have never really been my strong suit.” In general, students tend to be more scared for state-mandated exams because they are more strict than teacher-made exams. Additionally, taking tests made by teachers all semester allows students to get used to a teacher’s style. Kiera hopes that she can do well on her finals and says that she is excited for next semester so she can get a fresh perspective.

Students from all around Voyager face challenges when it comes to taking finals for classes, occasionally adding the extra stress of an Advanced Placement course (APs). Voyager’s AP course availability has a variety of options for students to carefully choose courses that they are passionate about. One student who has accepted this additional challenge is Will Johnson. Will is currently taking a class called AP Human Geography, which is a course that many students at Voyager have taken in the past. The class is known as one of the preliminary APs at Voyager, but students don’t take it lightly. Will is stressed about this week as he is currently taking the AP. He says, “A lot of teachers put a ton of work that they haven’t finished at the end of the quarter so while I’m finishing up my work in all my classes, I am also studying for my classes.” Will’s opinion addresses one of the issues of having semester long classes, but students get used to it as they mature in high school.

Voyager Academy is home to many gifted students as well, whether it be in art or academics. One of Voyager’s most artistic students is Ashley Harris. Ashley is part of Nina’s Dance Academy and is a stellar art student. Although Ashley feels her semester is relaxed, she has worked to make it so, already having finished her art final. When asked about how she feels other people are reacting to this week’s tension, she said, “I don’t think people are reacting that much. I know teachers are talking about it a lot, but I don’t think that people are too worried.” Finals always amounted to some tension, even if some students don’t feel it first. The idea of being tested on all the work one has completed over the course of 18 weeks causes some stress, but students at Voyager Academy are on top of it.

The Controversy of Banned Books

Staff Writer, Chris Bennett

For the past 25 years, the United States has exhibited an event known as Banned Book Week. Often held the last week of September, this event calls attention to the banning and challenging of books, books facing these circumstances, and helps raise awareness of the freedom to read. The event was started in 1982, following a spike in the challenging of various works of literature, and was founded in an attempt to stop the banning of books. So what does it mean to ban a book? And how is it different from challenging a book?

Banned books are novels which have been removed from a place for one or multiple reasons. The severity of a ban can range from the novel in question being banned from one school or library, to being banned completely in a state, or even nationwide. A challenged book is one that has not been banned, but has been labeled as offensive by a person or group and thus faces the threat of becoming banned. If a novel is or has been frequently challenged, or challenged in excess, the book may eventually be banned.

Why are certain books challenged and banned?

In many cases, banned and challenged books contain inappropriate content, discuss a controversial topic, or are highly offensive to a certain ethnicity, religion, or political group. In recent years, the most challenged books have been ones deemed “sexually explicit” or “racist”, books with excessive profanity, and books viewed as inappropriate for their target audience. For example, children’s books depicting homosexuality and/or transgenderism have recently come under fire, as it has been argued these issues are too advanced for the mind of a young child to grasp.

There are several opinions on the subject of banning controversial material, with different arguments for each. Several people interviewed, and presumably a majority of the population, argue against the censorship of books, claiming that censoring material of any kind is a violation of the First amendment right to free speech (especially for the author), and causes people to become ignorant of certain opinions and ideas. Presumably, others argue that schools, libraries, and governments should have the right to ban books, arguing that some material is just too extreme or inappropriate for the public to be exposed to, and can be harmful to society. A majority interviewed, and likely a high percentage of the general public, have an opinion somewhere in the middle, arguing that while most books shouldn’t be banned, there are several notable exceptions when it becomes necessary to censor material. An example of a middle opinion is that of sophomore Amani Abumais, who commented “I think banning books is wrong. The authors have the right of free expression. But if an author has bad intentions for a book, or is using it to promote hate towards a certain group, it should be banned.

What are the pros and cons of banning books?

While the censorship of specific literature has little benefit, there are a few prominent positives. The biggest positive of being able to ban questionable or offense books is that doing so can prevent children from discovering more adult issues before they are ready to handle and understand them. This pro-book banning argument was put into terms by freshman Liam Holder, who commented “Banning books shields kids from the the horror of reality.” Banning books that are racist or insulting can be a good thing too, as it can prevent the groups targeted from becoming offended, and helps keep community relations strong.

However, these few benefits are greatly outweighed by the many negative consequences this practice presents. The biggest con is that banning books, in many instances, is a direct violation of the First Amendment right to free speech and expression, and is the very definition of censorship. This especially impacts the authors of these books, as their stories and opinions can no longer be heard, and they can no longer profit from the particular book or books banned. Even worse, the author’s whole reputation, or even career, can be tarnished if one of their works is banned, as this causes people to view the author unfavorably. Also, the censoring of books also often means the loss of history and ideas. As Sophomore, Luke Thomasson, commented, “If people censor books, they risk forgetting history; or repeating it.” Many people also argue that if someone is offended by a book, they should just leave it on the shelf and not try to have it banned for everyone else. Teacher, Justin Ingram, summarized the argument stating, “Once you start to censor things, you have to draw the lines, which is confusing and difficult. If you’re offended by a book, just don’t read it.”

While the efforts of librarians, teachers, and students have prevented the banning of many books, hundreds of challenges are still issued every year by various groups against several novels, with 10% of all books challenged eventually becoming banned. Some books even face the possibility of becoming banned nearly every year, as they are challenged dozens, or even hundreds of times. Worst of all, it is no longer just controversial material being banned and challenged. Some of the greatest books and book series in literary history now face the threat of being banned, or experiencing a much greater ban. Books like Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and even the Holy Bible have come under fire in recent years. Even the series Captain Underpants has become targeted, being the most challenged book in both 2012 and 2013, and receiving even more challenges than books with profanity and sexual content like Fifty Shades of Grey.

What should be done about book banning and challenging?

Those interviewed suggested petitioning governments and other organizations to prevent the banning of books, or creating something that will cause people to reconsider their choice. The American Library Association (ALA) website also has a page where those wanting to “stand for the banned,” where people can submit videos of themselves talking about the issues of censorship, or arguing for the unbanning of specific books. If people want to stop book banning they have to take action. In order to prevent the silence of censorship, people will have to speak out.

Works Cited and Further Reading:

(1996). Banned Books. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks

Berry, S. (August 24, 2017) Parents Frightened: Kindergarteners ‘Crying, Shaking’ Over Transgender Book Teacher Read. Retrieved from http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/24/parents-frightened-kindergartners-crying-shaking-transgender-book-teacher-read/

Brady, A. (September 22, 2016) The History (and Present) of Banning Books in America. Retrieved from http://lithub.com/the-history-and-present-of-banning-books-in-america/

Banned Books That Shaped America. Retrieved from http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/bannedbooksthatshapedamerica

(2013) Bannings and Burnings in History. http://www.freedomtoread.ca/links-and-resources/bannings-and-burnings-in-history/#.WdA8oEuGPrf

Bull City Lights, Shine On

Staff Writer, Jules Woodward

Starting way back in the fall of 2010, Voyager Academy High School was born, and with it a chorus that would continue to amaze audiences now. Every year, they travel to different places and compete against other high schools. To compete, they have to start practices early in August. They began practice two days before school even started, to learn the choreography for their opener and closer for their competitions that would begin in the spring.

At the end of every school year, Ms. Deans and Mrs. Hobgood hold auditions for the placement classes for the upcoming year. Not only do they decide who gets into Bull City Lights, they also assemble classes to have a good balance of singing sections. The sections typically range from Soprano, Second Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Baritone/Bass. Soprano’s have the highest pitch out of the choral group. Alto’s tend to represent the females with a lower range and males are usually placed on the lower register of the scale.

Each day, they start with warm ups for their voice, just as someone would stretch before a marathon, people wouldn’t start singing without warming up. They then go through the solfege scale. The solfege is a singing exercise and can be used to practice sight reading vocal music. The solfege scale goes through an octave, and it goes like this: Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do. Every other Monday, they practice from two to five with choreography, not only that, but Friday and Saturday they have choreography offsite from nine to four.

What is all this for? Competitions; the choral group competes in Florida in March for Nationals and the go to Virginia in March. Not only do they compete outside of school, but they also have both a Spring Choral Show and a Fall Choral Show.

Leigha Hofmann, a Freshman, decided to audition for chorus because her older brothers have participated in chorus, and Leigha was an audience member of the past competitions. She told The Viking Tide, “it looked really fun, and chorus was able to bring a group of people together.”As this is her first year, she is likely to take chorus for all four years of high school. Everyone in chorus was completely open to having freshmen in their class, even the upperclassman, who naturally tend to bend away from freshmen.

Abel Holleman, a Sophomore, was telling The Viking Tide about why he decided to audition for chorus; he said that the chorus group has the opportunity to go on some “pretty awesome trips”, as well as the fact that he enjoyed singing and dancing. He plans on taking chorus all four years of high school. This year has differed from last year, in the sense that they have harder songs, and both different and harder choreography. If students want to participate in the competitions, Abel recommends putting away a thousand dollars each year. Not to worry, there are tons of fundraisers to help decrease the cost.

Chloe Dixon, a Senior, told me about how she has taken chorus all four years of high school and she really recommends taking chorus for everyone. Chorus brings individuals of all grade levels together. Chorus also brings a family relationship for everyone, in the halls of Voyager Academy, they always say “hey” and talk to one another. She also loves to perform and she has also performed in the school spring musical for the last two years. Even though the weekend practices are a hassle, it’s always worth it when it comes to be competition weekend.

Overall, many of the student who take chorus recommend that if  a student loves to perform, would like to travel and compete in new places, and would love an easy way to meet many people, they should audition for chorus next May. If students have a couple of spare weekends, they shouldn’t forget to go out and support VAHS chorus for their Spring and Fall choral show. F

inally, don’t forget to stop by Mrs. Hobgood or Ms. Dean’s rooms to get more information later in the year on auditioning and being a member of the Lights at Voyager.

Test Stress

Staff Writer, Chris Bennett

The stressful test. We’ve all been there. The teacher said there was going to be a test. A big test. That counts for 5% of the class grade. So you studied everyday, reviewed your notes, practiced problems. You’re ready. As you sit at your desk those tense few moments before the test begins, you feel like you’re in the zone. You know everything, nothing can stop you. The test starts, you look at the paper, and the panic begins. Sweat beads form as you think about the importance of the test and the possibility of failure. You obsess over the problems you can’t solve, second-guess yourself, forget some of what you’ve learned. The stress continues to amount as you check your answers. Are they right? Are they complete? Did I follow the instructions correctly? The test ends, it’s over. But did my hard work pay off? Did I get a good grade?

Welcome to the world of test anxiety, something many students here at Voyager Academy must often contend with. But what is test anxiety? Test anxiety is the fear of failure experienced before or during a test, and often prevents students from performing to the best of their ability by inducing panic and a wealth of other symptoms. Test anxiety can affect anyone, but how it does so largely depends on a person’s personality and mentality. Large tests, often those with a high degree of importance, can be especially taxing even for those who don’t experience test anxiety often. Unit tests, final exams, SATs, ACTs, and AP exams are some of the most stressing, as a good score can sometimes mean the difference between failing or passing, or whether or not a prestigious college will consider you as a potential student and/or offer a scholarship.

With tests, each student often has a time period or periods where the stress reaches an apex. For several students, the days leading to test day grow increasingly stressful, as they worry if they have studied enough, understand everything and attempt to balance test preparation with homework and extracurriculars. “With a big test, you know it’s coming, and the stress increases as it draws closer, ” stated freshman Daniel Bryant. “It’s a lot to manage.” added sophomore Noah Wells. Others don’t worry so much about the material on the test, but rather the impact on their class average. “Students find big tests stressful because they worry about the impact on their grade,” commented AP Human Geography and AP US History teacher James Mills. For some, the worry doesn’t begin until the test does. These individuals obsess over the actual test, rather than what is prior to or after the evaluation. Others still find the period after the test to be most stressful, as they worry about results and panic if they believe they missed a certain question or two.

In addition to experiencing stress during different time periods, many students experience different side effects from test anxiety. For some pupils, the struggle is heavily mental. They experience effects like loss of concentration, loss of memory, self-doubt, or compare themselves to others. They may also become easily agitated, emotional, or confused while they work. “Sometimes when I test, I panic. Other times, I feel self-doubt.” sophomore Kylie Cabrera commented. For others, the stress takes a more physical toll. These people may experience light-headedness, hyperventilation, or develop a rapid heartbeat. Many people react through movement, by doing things like pressing their hands to their temples, tapping their fingers or pencils, moving their legs, stroking their hair, biting their nails, or repeatedly shifting. “If I’m stressed when taking a test, I might bite my nails or shake my feet to deal with it.” commented sophomore Holden Buchanan. Christian Jimerson added “Under stress, I’ll fidget or tap my fingers on my desk to stay relaxed.”

It isn’t just the large exams that induce fear and apprehension either. Pop quizzes can often be just as excruciating. Since they are unpredictable in nature and focus on material students are just becoming familiar with, they often make pupils feel unprepared and constantly on edge about the possibility of one happening. Senior Ugonna Ezuma-igwe captured student’s feelings on the matter. “Pop quizzes are very stressful. I’m already stressed as it is, and now, I have to deal with a surprise quiz.” Pop quizzes rarely demonstrates a student’s full capabilities, as the influence of stress and the different learning pace among students often give inaccurate results. Due to this, many teachers have opted to only use them rarely, or not at all. “Pop quizzes are a poor assessment of a student’s knowledge.” stated MathⅠteacher Christian Gloade. “I don’t believe pop quizzes show what a student can really do.” added Microsoft teacher Charles Robinson.

Since tests can also be poor indicators of a student’s knowledge, especially for those that are heavily influenced by test anxiety, several teachers opt to perform testing rarely, or even decide not to give tests and quizzes. These teachers instead turn to a variety of other methods to convey information and assess knowledge, like projects, class games and activities, or group discussions. These different methods of information can help to assess students better by giving the opportunity to channel creativity and let students apply what they’ve learned, rather than simply use that knowledge to answer questions. One of the strongest supporters of this new method of academic assessment is Civics and Economics teacher Steven Gatlin, who has not given a test outside of the finals and midterms in six years. “I think tests are not the best way to assess knowledge. Projects are much more effective. They give students a chance to apply what they’ve learned in places outside of the classroom.”

While tests are now gradually losing popularity, they shall most likely remain a part of education forever, and will never vanish completely. So how should teachers test students? And how often should they do it? Many students reported most forms of testing beyond multiple choice are quite stressful for them, with the most troublesome being essay tests. While these types of tests are essential in English classes, and are sometimes used to measure how well a pupil can communicate knowledge, they often induce panic. It can be difficult to transfer one’s thoughts onto paper, and since answers must be designed, not chosen, leaving something out will often cost valuable points. The response of an anonymous student showed the reasoning behind the fear. “Essay tests are taxing. With multiple choice, there are options, while with essay tests, if the answer is even partially wrong, the teachers will subtract points.”

As for the subject of test frequency, opinions are widely varied among both teachers and students. Some believe testing should be used frequently, saying that it helps to keep material fresh, while others claim it should be used rarely, as a review of a unit or subject. Others even say it should never be used, since there are so many other assessment options and several issues with testing.

With testing forever remaining a part of education, test anxiety will also fail to vanish. With this in mind, it’s important to confront it and ensure the effects it causes remain minimal. But how should one do so? Naturally, studying is essential, since being unprepared or feeling so is the most likely the reason for both testing stress and lower scores. MathⅡteacher Yen Nguyen especially recommends studying, saying that a lack of preparation is the biggest stress inducer. “Lack of studying is the biggest contribution to test anxiety. In most cases, students don’t study until the last minute for a test. Then the test becomes stressful since they’re unprepared.” Also, don’t wait until the night before the test to study, but study several days in advance if you can.

When you study, don’t just look over notes and worksheets, but practice problems and/or have someone quiz you. If the test is on a topic that you struggle with, don’t wait until the day of the test or afterwards to get help. Go to tutoring or talk with a parent as soon as possible. The night before a test, go to bed somewhat early if you can, and eat a good, healthy breakfast the following morning. When you’re sleep deprived or hungry while taking a test, as it becomes challenging to concentrate and think clearly. For these same reasons, avoid all nighters or skipping breakfast before a test.

When you test, don’t linger over problems you don’t know. Do everything you’re comfortable with and then come back to the tough ones. If you keep trying to solve a hard problem, you could run out of time and miss the chance to answer easy questions that would have boosted your score. If you get really stressed in a test setting or are easily distracted by other students, consider asking the teacher to if you can test in another room or outside in the hall. After the test, don’t obsess over your score or what it is if you won’t find out until later. Try and remember that this test isn’t everything and instead of asking yourself “What’s my score?”, ask yourself “Do I know the material?”. Understanding what you’re learning matters more than what score you got on a test. However, if your score is really low, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t, when that material reappears, it could hurt you again on future tests and class assignments, and even things like the finals or the SAT.

Also, remember this is only a test. Be more concerned about understanding the material than the score on your sheet. An A means nothing if you don’t truly understand what you’re learning and forget about it shortly afterwards. A C means everything if you know what you’re doing and you worked hard for it. Just try hard and work hard. Then no test will stand in your way on the road to success.

Works Cited:

Test Anxiety. Retrieved from https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/children/test-anxiety

Lyness, D’Arcy. (2013, July). Test Anxiety. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/test-anxiety.html#

 

Tutti Frutti | Savory Frozen Yogurt

Staff Writer, Chris Bennett

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 7.58.44 AMAre you or your family looking for a new place to eat this evening? Do you enjoy variety, originality, or both? Is a welcoming, pleasant environment important to you when it comes to restaurants? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, visit Tutti Frutti.

Tutti Frutti is a self-serve, pay by weight frozen yogurt store, where customers create their own frozen delight. Clean and well maintained, the eatery offers a peaceful, casual dining experience. The inside is colorful and modern in appearance, and furnished with several tables and booths. For those who enjoy dining outside, there are benches lining the plaza and outdoor tables. Lastly, those who desire dinner before enjoying a savory frozen yogurt can do so, as there are several different restaurants beside Tutti Frutti, making dinner and dessert easy and convenient.

Tutti Frutti’s signature is their frozen yogurt, of which there are many flavors. Beyond classics like chocolate and vanilla, there are dozens of options to satisfy any type of customer. For those that desire something sugary, the chain offers a variety of flavors sweet flavors, including bubble gum, chocolate peanut butter cup, and cheesecake. For those that crave a healthy treat, the restaurant also hosts a wealth of fruit flavored creations. Some of these options include blueberry, strawberry, mango, and original tart, Tutti Frutti’s signature confection. For the adventurous eaters, there are several wild flavors offered, like pistachio, toasted marshmallow, and creamed corn, and the option to combine flavors through the swirl option, or just using multiple different flavors. For the consumer that wants something new, but doesn’t want to fill up a cup right away, sample cups are available upon request, ensuring customers find the right flavor every time. Best of all, flavors alternate daily, meaning there’s always new options at every visit.

The fun doesn’t end with the yogurt either. Tutti Frutti offers a wide variety of toppings to grace frozen treats as lightly or heavily as desired. And as with the yogurt, there’s a topping for everyone. Those who like a simple confection might enjoy whipped cream and hot fudge with a fruit like strawberries or blueberries, or a candy topping, like M&m’s, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or York Peppermint Patties. Customers can even savor baked goods like brownie pieces, cookie dough bites, or pound cake. Those who like it extravagant can enjoy crazy toppings like gummy bears, marshmallows, kiwi slices, or even Captain Crunch cereal on their sweet treat. For those who don’t like solid toppings, there are also several syrup flavors to utilize, including a variety of chocolate syrups and caramel syrup.

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 7.58.49 AM

But what if a customer doesn’t want frozen yogurt? Tutti-Frutti offers as many options for frosty beverages as they do for yogurt. There is a bountiful selection of frappes, lattes, and fruit smoothies on the menu, as well as a multitude of bubble teas, the signature drink at the establishment. There’s even the option of iced coffee or a frozen hot chocolate.

For those that can’t eat frozen yogurt, desire a healthier choice, or just want something different in general, Tutti Frutti also offers a selection of fruit flavored sorbets. These sorbets are both dairy free and a healthier alternative to the yogurt, making them ideal for the health conscious or the lactose intolerant. For those aiming to avoid gluten, the restaurant even has a few options for soy yogurt.

Directions to Tutti Frutti from Voyager Academy: Retrieved from https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Voyager+Academy+High+School,+Ben+Franklin+Boulevard,+Durham,+NC/Tutti+Frutti+Frozen+Yogurt,+3710+Shannon+Rd,+Durham,+NC+27707/

Reviews: Tutti Frutti. Retrieved from https://www.yelp.com/biz/tutti-frutti-durham-3

Photos: Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt. Retrieved from www.tuttifruttify.com

Jessica, M.M. Retrieved from http://www.foodfindsasia.com/tutti-frutti-perfect-for-everybody/

Inside Look:

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt of Durham NC. Retrieved from https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g49092-d4417562-Reviews-Tutti_Frutti_Frozen_Yogurt_of_NC-Durham_North_Carolina.html

Menu and Official Website of Tutti Frutti:

Frozen Yogurt Flavors. Retrieved from http://tfyogurt.com/mhome/flavors-creamy/

 

Why Do We Need Safe Spaces?

Staff Writer, Allie Akers

Ever since the Presidential election in 2016, “Safe Spaces” have been popping up all over the country, mostly on college campuses. Schools and students have felt they are now necessary due to fear, anxiety, and hate, and these rooms have been fiercely debated over the past couple of years. Many believe that safe spaces in schools are needed, due to the strong differences in opinions that divide many Americans. Others find them unnecessary, feeling that safe spaces coddle people instead of exposing them to other viewpoints and that they violate the First Amendment right of free speech. As many students at Voyager Academy High School have noticed, this year we have our own safe space room on campus, located in the English II / AP Lang classroom.

Ms. Barber, originally from Missouri, is a new teacher at Voyager Academy High School. Before she came here, she was teaching at a boarding school for kids with ADHD. The Viking Tide interviewed Ms. Barber, asking about the Safe Space sticker outside her classroom door. She said that at her former school, “There was a hate act by a staff member targeted towards the Q.S.A (Queer Straight Alliance). As the advisor of the club, I wanted to help educate people how to love others for who they are.” She then started training for safe schools in NC, specifically for the LGBTQ community, which is where she acquired the Safe Space sticker. When asked who was the safe space for, in which she responded, “It’s for anyone who feels different or threatened for who they are, whether they’re students or staff.” When asked how the students respond to the idea of a Safe Space, Ms. Barber said, “Some students don’t grasp the weight of it. They think it’s a joking term which tends to be a connotation with this generation. They’re just misinterpreting it. However, the students in my classroom are happy and participate, which is a positive effect of the Safe Space.”

The Viking Tide interviewed some students on safe spaces and whether they think we need one in Voyager or not. Sebastian Diaz is a sophomore who attends Voyager Academy High School. “I think safe spaces, theoretically, should not have to exist. People should be able to talk or practice whatever they want within reason without fear of persecution.” Austin Shepard is also a VAHS sophomore. He stated, “I don’t agree with them. They infringe on people’s right to the first amendment right to express how they feel and only let one group express their opinion. They only let people with the same idea express their opinion.” The Viking Tide then asked these two students if they could imagine using a safe space. Austin replied with; “No, I feel that everyone should be able to express how they feel openly. I enjoy open discussions and debates with opinions on either side.” Sebastian says, “I don’t feel like I’d personally need one. I mean I honestly don’t care what people think about me or what I say.” The final questions Viking Tide asked was do they think Voyager needs a safe place. Austin’s stance on this question is, “No, because students of Voyager should be allowed to have open debates between one another.”

I believe that we do need these safe spaces because they help people who may feel threatened and unsafe to be able to express themselves freely and without fear of repercussion. As a student at Voyager, I have not personally felt victimized. However, when our civics class has debates on current events, I get very worked up, passionate, and emotional, even when these issues don’t directly affect me. Conversely, students with opposing viewpoints also can get emotional as well, and often, the debate becomes very heated and can get intensely personal. I honestly can’t imagine what it would feel like to be someone who is affected by the subject of one of these debates and is debating or fighting just to be themselves. (Recent debates have included DACA and the meaning and use of the Confederate flag.) Because of this, I absolutely understand the usefulness of these rooms. There is a great diversity of people who attend this school and a safe space should always be available, so everyone can truly feel safe to be themselves and know that they are supported unconditionally, even when they feel targeted or victimized. Having a safe space harms no one, but it can benefit anyone.

APA Citations:

Furedi, F. (2017, January 05). Campuses are breaking apart into ‘safe spaces’. Retrieved September 26, 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-furedi-safe-space-20170105-story.html

SafeSpace. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2017, from https://www.safespace.org/

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2017, from http://ncsafespace.org/

Shulevitz, J. (2015, March 21). Opinion | In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas. Retrieved September 26, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/opinion/sunday/judith-shulevitz-hiding-from-scary-ideas.html?mcubz=0

Photo: 

Simo, O., & Simo, A. O. (2016, September 10). University Safe Spaces and Trigger Warnings:The Downfall of Higher Ed. Retrieved September 25, 2017, from http://oldsimo.com/education/univeristy-safe-spaces-trigger-warnings/

Lady Vikings defeat DSA on senior night

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Caitlin Leggett

Staff Writer, Tyler McLamb with Photos from Holli McLamb

The Lady Vikings came out strong with a blistering lead against the DSA Bulldogs. The lead only continued to get bigger, until the lady Vikings the end of the first set and had to hold their lead as DSA encroached. A timeout was called by head coach Steve DeLuca. Not long after the timeout was called the Vikings brought out the big guns going on a long unanswered run. The end of the first set was won by the Vikings with a final score of 25-19.

The second set didn’t go as planned. The DSA Bulldogs let the dogs out. The Bulldogs went on a tear with an unanswered run by the Vikings. With defeat staring the Vikings in the face they did all but give up. Pounding ball after ball into the Bulldogs faces. Still with defeat staring them down, they continued their comeback. With the score 23-24 the Vikings serving. The Vikings served it over, the Bulldogs dug it up, set it, and spiked and that was the end of the second set. The Bulldogs won the second set with a final score of 23-25.

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Teammates cheers | Stacey Oxendine and Katie McLamb
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Zarria Bratts 

Starting set 3 the lady Vikings were shaking the cobwebs out of their eyes the came out strong. Starting the set with four straight service points. The Bulldogs answered back tying the game up 4-4. The Bulldogs continued to ravage the Vikings. Head coach Steve DeLuca called a timeout. After the timeout, the Vikings came out roaring gaining point after point. It was all tied up at 20-20. Each team matching the other, the Vikings pulled away little by little and pulled out the win, with a final score of 27-25.

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Stacey Oxendine

The lady Vikings were feeling untouchable. Coming out with an unmatchable effort somehow the Bulldogs dug down within, and managed to match the Vikings effort. Trading points back and forth the Vikings pulled away. Ahead by four points the Vikings continued their charge to victory, but the Bulldogs didn’t give up yet. Pushing back, they tied the game up 23-23. The Bulldogs put their best server up to serve. The Vikings dug the serve up and pounded it right back into the Bulldogs faces. With the Vikings back to serve, they pushed back harder than ever before only to have the Bulldogs match their effort. The lady Vikings didn’t give up yet. With Junior setter Kaley Stone back to serve, the Vikings pulled out the win with two straight points. With a final score of 28-26.

 

Centerfest: From the tent

Staff Writer, Sean Sullivan

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 1.23.29 PMCenterfest is an event that takes place in downtown Durham. This year it was during the weekend of September 16th-17th. It is an art festival and is so big, that streets are closed in the city just to provide space for the event. Around 15,000 people walk through the streets of Centerfest each day, totalling up to about 30,000 people.

Over the past couple of years, History Teacher, Mr. Gatlin, the Civics and Economics teacher for the sophomores, got a tent there to spread awareness for Constitution day. The day that the Constitution was signed was September 17th, 1787. September 17th fell over the weekend of Centerfest so we partnered with the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), to celebrate this day of historic significance. The Civics class even sent a group of kids to present their projects to a group of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The Daughters of the American Revolution is an organization that recognizes and celebrates life how it was during the constitutional times. Every one of them is somehow related to someone part of the revolution. Whether they are related to a soldier that fought, or Ben Franklin or John Adams themselves, they can still be part of the organization. They came to Centerfest and worked out of our tent with us. We handed out over 1800 little american flags to people as they walked by, and gave the kids candy and USA stickers.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 1.23.42 PMThe civics class recently did a project to answer the driving question of, “what would the founding fathers want us to know about the framing of the constitution?” That question can be interpreted in many different ways and taken in many different directions. The students in the class showed how each of them pictured the question and created a visual representation to express their thoughts. Mr. Gatlin had many of the projects out on display for people walking through to see and learn from. This was appropriate due to the fact that it was constitution day.

Gatlin put out several projects that he thought were very well made and put together, the ones that had an excellent mindset put into it showed in their work. In total there was about ten to twelve projects out on display. Gatlin was asked what the main goal was for this event and what he wanted people to learn from it, he said “To recognize constitution day, since it fell during Centerfest we took an advantage of the opportunity to raise awareness for it.” Gatlin has done this event for around seven years, and the past two have fallen on the weekend of Centerfest so jumpin on that chance to set up shop there was a really smart move by him. The Viking Tide asked him which year so far has been his favorite, and he said “the past two have been great just because we’ve gotten to do it at Centerfest, but this year was even more special because we handed out over 1800 American flags, which broke our records from all the previous years.

Holden Buchanan, Sophomore, also worked in the tent on Sunday at 1:30-2:30. He described his experience as “It was a lot of fun, I got to meet a lot of new people and saw a lot of cool art.” Holden was one of the few kids that got to go present to the daughters, when he was asked what that was like he said, “It went really well, everyone seemed interested in what I was talking about which made it easier to present, instead of a bunch of students forced to listen to it.”

Ella Mrozkowski and Abdullah Abumuais are both seniors here at Voyager academy, and have worked with Gatlin for the past three years. Both of them shared their thought about this year versus previous years, and both had the same answer. “Last year was my favorite because we got to work with kids and got to make stuff for them and play with them.” Abdullah said. Ella also favored last year, “last year was fun because we had a lot more space, and we got to make hats for the kids and I was pretty good at making the hats.” They both said that they loved doing it all three years and it wasn’t a waste of volunteer hours.

My Point of View

I worked in the tent from 10:30 to 12:00 on Saturday and from what I saw there were a lot of people that enjoyed our projects and learning about the constitution. I noticed that there were a lot of people that weren’t even aware that it was constitution week, some people didn’t accept the flag which was kind of awkward but we just ignored them and kept greeting new people.

Be sure to sign up in the upcoming years to work with Mr. Gatlin and the Civics class to spread awareness for the constitution.

Road to Champions: Science Olympiad

Sophomore Staff Writer, Amith Jagannath

For years, Science has been developing and directing our society in ways that have made the world as advanced as it is. With small efforts originating from all across the world, an organization called Science Olympiad has provided children with a promising future by giving them ways to express their knowledge and various cognitive abilities. On a small scale, states across the U.S. have been competing for years to win the pride and infamous identity as the national Science Olympiad champions. Founded in 2007, Voyager Academy has been an active participant in the statewide Science Olympiad competition since 2009 throughout all three of the schools.

Voyager Academy High School has formed many rivalries since its preliminary stages in competing in both regionally and statewide. Ranging from recently founded home schools to well-established public schools, Voyager has always been put to the test when it comes to winning as a team. For those who don’t know about the fields that are covered in Science Olympiad, events are classified between hands-on, testing, and stations. Hands-on activities can include building a structure prior to the competition and impounding it on the day of. One of the most historic events that continues to give teams a run for their money is, “Bridges.” This event involves constructing a bridge that has a lightweight but can hoist a larger one. The organization ensures that they include specific restrictions to really challenge the event entrants.

In the past few years, Voyager Academy has been striving for excellence, hoping to one day make it to the revered state competition. Students even look forward to that as it is a prideful accomplishment and it looks excellent on college applications. Last year, Voyager made history by making to the state competition for the first time. Constructing a solid team requires a few key factors. Firstly, to even be able to start a team, a coach has to be involved. Voyager has been lucky to have Brandon Le in the past and his involvement has been essential. Mr. Le says that, “Being part of a greater cause has allowed me to turn my students into my friends. I love helping people with a field that I enjoy and am passionate about.” Unfortunately, Voyager lost such a great teacher as he left to pursue his degree in Biology. This year, the school will be in the hands of Amanda Honey, the Chemistry teacher at the Academy. The second most important factor in constructing a great team is the students. Usually, students who have the drive to succeed participate in Science Olympiad to sharpen their skills and broaden their horizons in the various fields of science.

In a grueling competition like this however, experience matters. From the get-go, Voyager has been efficiently grooming students from a young age, so that when it comes time to participate in high school, their skills are polished. One of Voyager’s most infamous students, Rosie Scott-Benson has been an active member in the Olympiad throughout her Voyager career. Starting from 4th grade itself, she has been involved and is a wonderful team player. When asked about her favorite kind of event to do, Rosie said, “I like the stations actually. I like that the stations give a variety of  questions and some are interactive.” Throughout Rosie’s schooling career at Voyager, she has been successful on all fronts. In Middle School, Rosie won the schoolwide spelling bee two years in row making Voyager Academy history. When it comes to athletics, Rosie takes part in cross-country, swimming, and track. She says that her versatility influences her focus when it comes to the academic portion of school. “I’ve been doing it for a long time, I know a lot of people who do it, and it’s fun! I like getting to compete at states,” she says in response to her liking of Science Olympiad. To motivate others to join, Rosie says, “I think it’s a good out of school activity, you learn a lot, and it’s a fun team competition.”

Voyager Academy is also home to students who are not as extracurricularly affiliated. But, as they get older and more mature, they realize that afterschool activities are imperative to having a good future. One student that is a recent participant in the Olympiad is Dillon Woodward. Dillon has only been in Science Olympiad for one year but his experience and teachers have had a lasting effect on his growing knowledge basis. Throughout Voyager, Dillon is known for his intelligence, so naturally, he likes testing events in Science Olympiad. “I prefer having a nice knowledge base and comparing that objectively against other students.” He says that his Biology teacher, Mr. Le provided Dillon with a few suitable events and that that has sparked his interest in Science Olympiad. His goals for the future in Science Olympiad are to, “Go to states on the varsity team.” He encourages people to join by saying, “Sometimes science class can be fairly boring by learning subject matter that is boring. Science Olympiad has such a broad spectrum of topics, that you can find one that appeals to you and fully delve into that.”

One of the ways that people can be affiliated with the Olympiad is to talk to Amanda Honey, the Chemistry teacher. The VAHS Science Olympiad is in dire need of more students and the people we have at this school are the right choice. So, who will be the next champion? The Viking Tide says Voyager Academy.

Viking Tide Student Council Endorsements

Staff Writer, Delina Berhane

This 2017-2018 school year elections are happening on Monday and The Viking Tide staff voted and have chosen who The Viking Tide believes would be the best candidate for the school.

President: Tie between Anna Teer Barringer and Jaclyn McVey
There is a tie on who we thought best would be the best president, Anna Teer Barringer and Jaclyn McVey, both Seniors.

 

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Anna Teer Barringer (left) promises, “To listen to every student and their opinions of what they think would be better for the school. I want to leave Voyager better than when it started.”

* Jaclyn McVey promises (right) , “ My big campaign goals are to create school events, make the school more involved, and allow people to have a voice–create an environment the students are proud of.”

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Vice President: Mary Bowen Barringer

Mary Bowen Barringer (left) promises, “ My campaign promises are to create more student-involved pep rallies, a more fun spirit week and homecoming, more activities for the students after school hours, and fundraising options (to help raise money for these activities).”

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 12.49.46 PMTreasurer: Katerina Lamm

 Katerina Lamm promises, “ My biggest campaign promise is to have more inclusion of student representatives, and to have more school-wide events and programs. My goal is to make VAHS a school where the students have a variety of events through which they can exhibit school spirit while having fun! Also, I would like to have more student recognition. Essentially, I would like to showcase the talented student at Voyager Academy.”

Parliamentarian: Caitlin Leggett

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 12.51.10 PMCaitlin promises, “My big campaign promises are to give helpful ideas to my other Student Council members, at the requests of the students and to help keep order among the meetings.”

Secretary: Ugonna Ezuma-Igwe

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 12.53.47 PMUgonna says, “I promise to make the students look forward to Voyager events and to make sure Voyager Academy is a place where everyone’s voice will be heard.”