Category Archives: Opinion

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#

 

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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.

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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/

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.”

Should Apple’s new iphone cost one thousand dollars?

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 2.44.02 PMSenior and Staff Writer, Ugonna Ezuma-Igwe

Apple released a new iPhone on September 13, 2017: The iPhone X. Before the release, the cost was rumored to be around thousand dollars. This would have been an significant increase in price compared to the average cost of previous iPhone. The average selling price of an iPhone is $605. The Viking Tide wanted to know about how the students and administrators of Voyager Academy felt about the new iPhone. We asked them if they would buy it, if Apple’s demographic of buyer change due to the significant price increase, and if the modifications of the iPhone is worth the price increase?

The significant price increase is due to the new features added to the iPhone. The major hardware changes are an edge-to-edge OLED screen, glass front and back and stainless steel frame. This is the first time Apple has put glass on the front and back. The OLED screen improves color accuracy, high contrast ratio, and true blacks. The major software changes are facial recognition, higher iPhone display resolution and wireless charging. The facial recognition allows you to simply raise the device, look at it, and swipe up on the screen to unlock the device and use Apple Pay. The iPhone X has the highest iPhone resolution ever with 458 pixels per inch. The X can now charge by being placed on an inductive charging pad.

We asked Ms.Wolfe, the English teacher for juniors and sophomores, if she would she buy the new iPhone. She said, “No, I don’t even have the new 7 and the reviews from the 7 don’t sound that great.” She went on to criticize the changes that were made to the iPhone 7 which lead to the next question; are the modifications of the phone worth the price increase? Her response was, “No, they are not they are just trying to get the money from people who are addicted to their phone.” She even went on to say that some of the new modifications, “sounded kind of creepy.” The idea that Apple is continuously trying to find new way to take people’s money was a common opinion among the people that were interviewed. Ms.Wolfe said, “it’s good to have the idea of buying quality and quantity but there is a point where that line is crossed,” and students agreed. She also believes, “There will be people that will buy it but there will also be a lot more people going another direction.”; this means that some people will have no problem buying the phone while a lot more will find an alternative option.

Seniors, Camryn Dunn and Caitlin Leggett, both said no to buying the phone, but for very different reasons. Camryn’s main problem is that, “they add things that are stupid.” She felt that the previous changes that have been made were unnecessary. For example, she felt that removing the headphone jack was useless because now people can not charge their phone and use their headphones. Referring back to what Ms.Wolfe said about Apple trying to get people’s money, Apple took away the headphone jack to give incentive to buyers to buy their new bluetooth earphones that did not require a jack. Unlike Camryn, Caitlin’s main problem was the price. She said, “No, that is .1 of my yearly college tuition.” She is currently working on college applications and the last thing she is ready to do is spend a thousand dollars on a phone.

We asked Mr. Ingram, the APES & Earth and Environmental teacher, if he would buy the new iPhone. He said, “I’m not paying a one thousand dollars for a phone,” and went to say even if he got a raise he still would not. He believes that Apple is heading in the wrong direction by following the competition. To elaborate he said, “their business model is based off innovation and giving the consumer what they want before they know what they want but instead they are following what the competition has already done.” He was saying that the new features on the IPhone X have already been on android phones. For example, in 2009 Palm released their smartphone, “Pre” that came with optional wireless charging. Phones with wireless charging are not new at all; they have been around for eight years. We then asked him, “would Apple’s demographic of buyer change,” and his response was, “Overall less people will change but at the end of the day if someone wants an iPhone then they’ll buy an iPhone.”

Overall, teachers and students were not willing to spend thousand dollars on the new iPhone, but they all had different rationale on why they would not. Many people really love Apple’s device, but do not love the price especially the fact that they keep increasing.

Plummer, L. (2017, September 19). Apple has unveiled its 10th anniversary iPhone X – here’s what you need to know. Retrieved September 19, 2017, from http://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/iphone-x-release-date-specs-10669502?service=responsive

The iPhone X (or whatever the new iPhone will be called) is expected to come with all the bells, & Screen, W. A. (2017, September 11). Is anyone really going to spend $1,000 on the iPhone X? Retrieved September 19, 2017, from http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/11/technology/gadgets/iphone-x-1000-dollars/index.html

Thursday September 14, 2017 6:00 AM PDT by Joe Rossignol, 1 hour ago on Front Page, 4 hours ago on Front Page, 15 hours ago on Front Page, 19 hours ago on Front Page, 20 hours ago on Front Page, . . . 1 day ago on Front Page. (2017, September 14). 50 New Features in iPhone X. Retrieved September 19, 2017, from https://www.macrumors.com/2017/09/14/50-new-features-in-iphone-x/

Palm Pre. (2017, September 17). Retrieved September 19, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Pre

Climate Change: A Man-Made Hurricane

Staff Writer, Maryn Leonard

Climate change is a problem that is often overlooked by our society. When thinking about pressing political issues climate change isn’t always the first thing to come to mind. The changing climate impacts our lives every day. Recently two giant Hurricanes slammed into the continental United States. It is because of climate change that these big storms are becoming more frequent causing more death and destruction across the globe.

In late August 2017, 33 trillion gallons of water were unloaded by Hurricane Harvey onto the United States. There have been 68 confirmed deaths after the thunderous Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean and Southeast United States. The two storms have caused an estimated $290 billion in damages in the United States alone. Millions are left homeless after the two relentless storms hit less than two weeks apart. So what does this have to do with climate change?

In 2011 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide were pumped into the air across the globe. This air pollution traps the sun’s heat inside our atmosphere which leads to global warming. Over the past century the temperature of the Earth has increased by 1.4° Fahrenheit. This may not seem like a lot but it is a dramatic increase than the natural heating of the Earth after an ice age period. This heating has been enough to melt ice caps in the arctic which has lead to the ocean rising 8 inches in the past 100 years. Much of the heat is absorbed into the oceans which has caused the water to be warmer than ever before in recorded history. “The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year,” says C. L. Sabine in his book The Oceanic Sink for Anthropogenic CO2. This has lead to the acidification of our oceans which is disastrous for marine habitats.

The warmth of the water is one of the key factors in the new found intensity of storms forming over the oceans. Hurricanes and Typhoons get stronger over warm water. Storms that were already big have become even bigger. With the rise in sea level, storm surge and flooding have gotten worse and worse. Hurricane Harvey dumped an estimated 15 trillion gallons of rainwater on one city: Houston Texas. It is because of the warming temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico that Harvey caused so much freshwater flooding. Large quantities of water was evaporated from the warm ocean which increased the amount of rainfall the storm had.

In other parts of the world the problem is a complete lack of rainfall. With the earth getting warmer, water has evaporated from the soil creating droughts. Droughts have become a significant issue in the Middle East, Africa, and even in the Western United States. Due to lack of rain it has become impossible for farmers to adequately grow their crops in parts of the world. This has led to people fleeing their countries to escape the extreme heat and famine that kills millions each year. If nothing is done to help change the climate these extreme weather patterns will only become more frequent and devastating.

The United States hasn’t done much to combat climate change. This past June, President Donald Trump removed the United States from the Paris Climate Accord that was agreed on at a climate convention in late 2015. One hundred and ninety five countries came together with plans to reduce the global input of fossil fuels and to keep the planet from increasing in temperature. The United States pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord is just another step backwards in the global attempt to reduce fossil fuel emissions. “I don’t think global warming is a problem but we should worry about the pollution we make.” Sophomore, Chris Bennett, commented on his views of climate change. It is true that many people around the world don’t believe in climate change. “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” President Trump stated back in 2012. It is clear that the president does not think climate change is a relevant issue.  despite 97% of scientist stating that humans are responsible for the changing climate. This could be disastrous if we continue to deny the facts that are right in front of us.

If we continue to deny the fact that climate change is a relevant problem, there will be more and more devastating weather related events. The future of the Earth is in our hands and we can work together to stop climate change. If we switch to renewable sources such as solar or wind power than we can cut down on global emissions and help save the environment. “We need to all work on this together, it’s our planet. We breath the same air. It’s all of us as human beings and we need to care for eachother. We need to care for the future,” Sophomore, Allie Akers comments on climate change. Climate change is real and relevant and Iif we work to reduce our carbon footprints, than we can halt climate changet it and save the planet from a potentially disastrous future.

Climate change evidence: How do we know? (2017, August 10). Retrieved September 15, 2017, from https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

Climate Change Indicators: Greenhouse Gases. (2017, February 22). Retrieved September 15, 2017, from https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/greenhouse-gases

Andrews, R. (2017, September 13). This Is How Much Water Hurricane Harvey Is Dumping On Houston. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from http://www.iflscience.com/environment/how-much-water-hurricane-harvey-dumping-houston/

Homecoming King, Laughter and Cries

Staff Writer, Amith Jagannath

Imagine this: There’s an Indian biking as fast as he can to a his prom date’s house on his blue BMX bike. He stumbles up to the doorstep to find his date with another boy and they’ve already exchanged corsages! In general, comedy shows appeal to their audience by relating real-life experiences that they have gone through, to other instances where the audience can relate. When it comes to the demographics of the audience, it really depends on the race and religion of the comedian, because the viewers most often relate to comedians that share the same obstacles and/or advantages.

Being an Indian American, social interactions between me and my peers are still a little awkward because there’s always a constant stigma I can sense in even the closest friends. The film “Homecoming King,” a Netflix special of “Daily Show” starring Hasan Minhaj, discusses one man’s journey during a decade of interracial conflicts. Minhaj addresses his struggles to fit in as a resident of Davis, California, as well as his efforts to develop a stronger relationship with his father. There’s always this problem in Indian relationships where the father struggles to understand the son’s issues or fitting in at school, and normally, one would think that the father would take time to understand the son, but instead, he just moves on with his life.

Now, I am not going to say that I can relate to that because thank all the gods in my religion, my father is so down to earth. Typically, when I watch comedy shows, I don’t understand all the references made, because half of them are about ancient crap that I don’t really care about. For example, while Gabriel Iglesias is a great comedian, most of his jokes are directed to either white people or Mexicans because he can relate to those people the most. However, watching this specific comedian make such relatable jokes, as an Indian, made the entire experience so positively and negatively emotional.

Throughout the show, Minhaj addressed specific instances throughout his life, where he felt that he was living vicariously through his father, rather than himself. Spoiler Alert: He explains that his mother is in India working towards her medical degree, while he and his father are trying to get by in America. His entire world turns around when he realizes that he has a younger sister that was five years old that he had no idea about. It is only when his mother walks in the door that he understands that his father had impregnated his mother in his frequent trips to India.

Moreover, Minhaj describes how there exists this norm of “conditional love,” where the kids have to work their butts off to get the parents’ love. To describe this, Minhaj shows a clip of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee where Arvind Mahankali won. His parents are shown towards the end of the clip emotionless, which explains itself.

While this may be the comical side to living in America as an Indian, even the American Dream is not as easily achievable as it is described. Minhaj touched many people in one of his areas of discussion, where he talked about the emotional environment post 9/11. Many of us out there are privy to racial discrimination and unfortunately the more we hear it, the more it becomes a part of us. He told his audience that the night of the event, his family had gotten a call from a group of teenagers calling his family racial slurs. Minhaj went on to explain that he had “the audacity of equality,” after this event. He uses this event as a mode of explaining his righteousness and freedom during such a difficult time for the United States.

In the entirety of Minhaj’s comedy special, he talks about one high school experience that changed his life. So, I’m in highschool and I’m Indian and after watching this, it made me realize that this could happen to me. Spoiler Alert: Bethany Reid, Minhaj’s high school sweetheart is what this is about.  They get to know each other in their Calculus class as Bethany finds herself being the new girl. After a process of studying together, going to each other’s houses, and a class bracket to decide prom dates, Bethany and Hasan see that they’re meant to be. Minhaj goes to the extent of climbing out of his window on the second floor, to racing on his Blue BMX bike to fulfill his and Bethany’s dreams. But, it all changes when he is welcomed to a puzzled mother who tells him that he wouldn’t fit into the family pictures. Their connection resumes a couple years later over Facebook where he finds her profile to see that she’s with an INDIAN! Minhaj even relates this instance to greater social problems such as the Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray issues to portray that prejudice against brown people is prevalent each and every day.

From those moments onward, Minhaj depicts more of his father’s worldly views and his own. He tells the story as it is, without seeking the reaction in laughter or gasps that other comedians seek. “Homecoming King,” still but a few weeks old, casts its banner as an interracial comedy like no other.