Author: mindy.haesemeyer

How to cure the winter blues

Story by Abby Langle- Assistant Junior Editor

 

As wintertime rolls around many people get what is known as the winter blues. There are some easy ways to ease these blues. You could go exercise, start new routines or organize. 

   It can be hard to motivate yourself to get up and do things when it is cold and sometimes even snowy outside. 

   “I try to make as many plans as I can so I have things to look forward to.  I used to play trivia with some friends every week; now we get on Zoom at the same time every week to catch up and play online games together.  I’m planning a couple of trips right now, even though I’m not sure when I’ll be able to take them.  I ask friends to go for walks outside since it’s good for us and it’s the safest way to see each other in-person right now.  I plan what restaurant takeout I’ll order in advance so I can look forward to it.  I think about what future me will be glad I did now while I have more time on my hands once COVID and/or winter are over and I get busier,” Paige Murray, guidance counselor, said.

   For some people to help cure their winter blues they will start a new hobby. 

   “One new hobby I’ve picked up over winter is cycling class. It’s been really fun to do with my friend and it’s been a great way to stay in shape and push myself,” Taralynn Bailey, senior, said.

   The winter blues can hit teenagers especially hard, but there are some ways that you can help cure them and make winter a little bit better.

   “I would suggest that anyone who is struggling with their mood first make sure they are taking care of their basic physical needs: exercising some every day (like going for a walk, doing workouts from YouTube, bodyweight exercises), eating (paying attention to things like added sugar, fiber, and protein), drinking lots of water, and sleeping a healthy amount (not too much or too little).  Making changes in these areas often helps more than you think it will.  In the winter particularly, people tend to get less vitamin D, so try to get outside as often as you can – good coats, hats, and boots really help.  Ask your friends if they want to meet you for a walk to talk and hang out instead of texting or sitting around inside. If you’re feeling sad or hopeless for multiple weeks, talk to your parents about talking to your doctor to see if anything else is going on.  If you’re thinking about dying, definitely talk to your parents and visit your doctor or a psychiatric emergency clinic or call a number like the Suicide Prevention Lifeline right away,” Murray, said.

   The winter blues can be hard on everyone, but if you surround yourself with good people, try new things, sticking to a schedule and make sure you are going outside every day then you might be able to cure your winter blues.

 

New year, new President: Along with the exciting new year, the US will welcome a new president

Story by Morgan Hubert – Staff Reporter

 

Many know about the upcoming inauguration of the new president. This year will look a lot different while the President is sworn into office. It will not look even close to the same as the previous years.

   “The primary way that it will differ will be in the optics on the street–the police/military presence will likely be palpable. Given the fact that the outgoing President will not attend, and refuses to admit that he lost, protesters will be present, and they may exercise more than just their first amendment right to assemble,” Ben Jewell, Social Studies teacher, said.

   In light of recent events at the Capitol, military and police presence has been increased. Preparations have been made to ensure a safe inauguration. Crowds will be limited. 

   “We are in the middle of a pandemic so a ton of people will not be able to attend and cause there will not be a peaceful transfer of power like there has been,” Malorie Hubert, junior, said.

  It is not only this year that has looked different from previous inaugurations. It has changed from the very beginning.

   Hopefully, assumptions are wrong about what will happen on inauguration day and there will have a peaceful transition from the outgoing president to the incoming one. 

   “It’s a time for celebration, but it’s not supposed to be about celebrating the person who is taking the oath of office, but rather a time for celebrating the peaceful transfer of power from one office holder to the next,” Jewell said. 

   Jan. 20th is the day to transfer power from one person to another. This inauguration ceremony may be one that stands out from all of the rest. 

 

   

Winter sports adapt to Covid changes

Story by Mia Gatti- Staff Reporter

 

As we all know this season for all winter athletes has been very different than in past years. From the games and the meets to practices and extra activities that everyone gets excited for in this season has changed a lot. 

Starting with the swim and dive team they have had many changes to their season resulting in the cancelation of big multi-team meets that they have not been able to compete in.

“Our team is just pushing through our season one day at a time. We are having both meets and practices, although many things look different this year. At practice, we are restricted in how many girls we can have in each lane, and lane assignments are necessary to avoid losing big chunks of the team to contact tracing. Meets have also looked different this year, the main change being the size of the meets. Most of our Multi team invites this year were canceled, leaving us with a schedule much more Dual meet and Tri meet heavy,” Thomas Faulkenberry, Swim and Dive Coach, said.

Even though the swim and dive team has had some unfortunate cancellations they still have been able to have a good season by practicing every day and preparing themselves for obstacles that can come their way that are out of their control. The girls basketball team has been also getting through their crazy season by practicing every day and staying flexible. They have had to have some games canceled due to quarantines but hopefully are rescheduled in the future. They can have people come to their games but very limited.

“We are able to have 2 spectators at our home games. It depends on the other school for away games on how many spectators we get, but usually, it is two. We have had many normal practices, and have had to reschedule a couple of games, but most have been normal,” Ellie Stafford, sophomore, said.

The adjustments made for all teams during this winter season have been crucial for the season to continue. 

“We continue to use masks and social distance when possible. Some of the coaches have started working with teams in small groups to limit quarantines for a large number of the teams,” Mike McGurk, Athletic Director, said.

All coaches and players and other staff have done a great job to keep all seasons sports in session this whole school year as long as they can and keeping everyone safe during this crazy time. The perseverance within all athletes has been amazing across all sports, and this is what is needed when getting through a time like now. 

 

Hybrid or virtual? A student’s opinion

 

Editorial by Kaia Monaco – Staff Reporter

 

I think we can all say this school year has been anything but normal. Switching from virtual to hybrid back to virtual has taken a toll on everyone, especially since the learning style is so different. However, I think both hybrid and virtual schedules have their pros and cons.

The hybrid schedule is nice because students and teachers can interact with each other in-person at least two days every week. On the other hand, I was a Thursday/Friday student, so I got used to being home all week, and then suddenly, I had to wake up at 6 a.m. again and go to school. 

Being full virtual is great because I can do school from my bed and I am never “in class” for more than two hours a day. Plus, I have a lot less homework than I did during hybrid. Unfortunately, with virtual, it is incredibly difficult to interact with teachers and other students. Plus, it can be very challenging to find the motivation to do schoolwork. 

I prefer virtual school over hybrid because I feel the constant switching between online and in-person days during hybrid was taking a toll on my mental health. I favor being full virtual or full in-person because, for me, the hybrid schedule was just not working. 

NHS service opportunities online and in person

Story by Prajukta Ghosh – Copy Editor

 

The virtual model of learning is back on schedule and things are steadily progressing.
However, finding a sense of normalcy has been challenging for both students and staff.

National Honors Society introduced a new way of tackling service opportunity hours this year
amidst the pandemic. The club has been really instrumental in sending out “Thank you” and
“Get well soon” holiday cards for doctors and patients respectively. Together the sponsors and
students have decided to conduct this activity both virtually and in person, keeping in mind
all the protocols implemented by the government.

Students signed up online to be a part of this project that would eventually count for their
service hours. Students had the option to choose between an online version of it or in person,
where they had to social distance.

The one that took place in the school building was set up in the Library Media Center, where
everyone had enough space to spread out and work on their own. All the materials required for
this task were provided from school and participants were free to bring stuff from home as well if
they wanted to. Everyone seemed to enjoy the moment of time and be back again in the
building with friends and acquaintances.

“My time making cards was great because I was able to see some classmates in person and
be in the building again,” Jackson Kemper, senior, said.

Part of this big activity also took place online with students working at their own speed from
home. They had a great time serving patients and doctors by investing some time in creating
innovative greeting cards for them that are sure to bring a smile to their face.

“It was really nice to make cards in my own home because I have a lot of materials and could spread everything out,” Annica Valmassei, senior, said.

People were able to use this time to visit and connect and talk to their friends as well, even if
that required them to see one another through the glow of the computer screens.

Student Council is not decking the halls this year

Story by Maria Smith – Co-Editor-in-Chief

 Student Council’s goal is to bring morale and a sense of community to the school. But with school being completely virtual for the rest of the semester they have been stripped of the majority of their duties. 

    Student Council (Stuco) has a hand in a lot of holiday activities in the month of December hoping to keep people infused with cheer during the terrible time known as finals week. 

   “We normally do activities to boost student and teacher morale during finals week (hot chocolate, candy canes, teacher appreciation gifts) as well as the senior class’s “Do Good December” project through Chick-Fil-A Leader Academy, which is a pretty big community outreach project, which varies from year to year based on what that year’s seniors decide. We also decorate the hallways for the holidays,” Hailie Donaldson, senior, said. 

   Although their interactions with students and staff are limited, Stuco still found a way to do something small yet meaningful for the community. 

   “We are asking our STUCO members to purchase one small item off of the Hope House wish list. Once they have their item, they are supposed to drop it off at school and our officers are going to set up a day to drop it all off for them,” Jennifer Mooney, Stuco sponsor, said. 

   So while there was no decking the halls this year, Student Council did their best to continue their tradition of spreading joy and hope even though it may look a little different. As Stuco welcomes in the new year they hope they continue to do their best to adapt and persevere to make the most out of this year.

Two Covid-19 vaccines now available for the public

Story by Tiyah Gipson – Co-Editor-in-Chief

 

   There are now two approved vaccines in the United States for Covid-19. As with any vaccination, people should check with their physician and educate themselves on the vaccine.

   Since Covid-19 started, a few vaccines have been in the works, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) wants people to know this information for when the vaccines are actually administered. 

   Last week, the first doses of the vaccine were administered all over the globe. Many health care professionals urge people to continue current safety practices as well.  

   “I think masks and social distancing are working well. I think the issue is that not everyone is following the safety guidelines,” Morgan McGurk, senior, said.

   While not everyone plans to get the vaccine,  health care workers are among the first to receive the vaccine.  Some are even volunteering to publicly take the vaccine, to make people feel safe. 

   Understanding the side effects is important, especially if you have current medical issues or have a history in your family of health concerns. 

   “I’m not sure how quickly I will get the vaccine, or if I will get the vaccine. The reason behind that is because we have significant heart issues in our family and we have been cautioned on taking any medications unless they have been on the market for many, many years,” Carla Borland, health clerk, said.

  Hospitals and medical facilities are going to continue to vaccinate as doses continue to come in.  Contact your local doctor, pharmacy or hospital if you have questions about the vaccine. 

The truth about Christmas in 2020

Editorial by Lily Temple – Staff Reporter

 

For many people, myself included, Christmas is their favorite time of year. When I was younger opening presents from “Santa” on Christmas morning always seemed like the best part. As I’ve gotten older it’s become less about the presents and more about spending time with my family. 

 

2020 has certainly been a year to remember. With the CDC guidelines due to Covid-19, families were forced to modify their plans for Thanksgiving. It is looking like everyone’s usual Christmas plans will also have to change. In my family, my grandparents come to my house on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas day the rest of my mom’s side of the family comes over. This year, it will just be my parents, my sister and I. This will be the smallest Christmas I’ll have ever had and I’m sure I’m not the only one. 

 

Everyone has had to make sacrifices this year but it is only for people’s safety. As hard as it is not being able to see my grandparents, I know that it is the best way to keep them safe. 

 

Even though there is now a vaccine being given to healthcare workers, this winter is expected to bring the worst of the Covid-19 virus. It is very important to listen to the CDC guidelines and wear a mask anytime you go out. Some people may believe that the virus can’t affect them but it most certainly can. No one is immune to this disease.

 

Christmas is a time for caring. Show you care by doing what you can to keep others safe. Usually spending time with your family is how you show them you care, this year, show them by staying apart or by seeing them safely. 

Lighting up the night and spreading holiday cheer

Story by Abby Langle – Assistant Junior Editor

 

 Many families around the holiday season love to go see Christmas lights. There are so many cool displays and lights on houses around the Kansas City area. 

   The most popular light display in Lee’s Summit is Christmas in the Park and The Magic Tree. There are also many houses around the Kansas City area that put up cool light displays. 

   “I have been to Christmas in the park, Christmas in the sky, Powell Gardens, and lots more in KC and Kansas… Every year my mom, my cousin, and I go drive around Ward Parkway and find lots of Christmas lights to look at, there’s a neighborhood we always go to and they call their street CandyCane Lane,” Kinsey Gilleland, senior, said. 

   Usually Christmas in The Park and other light displays there are long lines and a ton of traffic.

   “There was a lot of traffic on the Plaza, especially since it was a weekend. We also witnessed some crazy-long lines for Christmas in the Park – like out to the highway,” Stacy Collins, English teacher, said. 

   Whenever there is an outside light display many people wear masks since there are other people around. Wearing a mask is also really nice because it keeps a person warm whenever it is cold outside. 

   “Because of COVID we wore our masks anytime we were around people, so at Powell Gardens you walk around so we wore our masks,” Gilleland said. 

   Driving around to see Christmas lights is a tradition that many family and friends do. Many people leave their Christmas lights up till the new year. This also goes for Christmas in the Park, so there is still time to check them out.

Tips and tricks to surviving online school

Story by Katie Langle – Junior Editor

 

 As Lee’s Summit North shifts back to virtual schooling, students may be finding it hard to adjust. Finding the motivation to complete work efficiently may be tough right now. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you get through these next few weeks. 

   It is essential for students to create a routine and stick to it. This will ensure that assignments get turned in and google meets do not get skipped. Managing school, work and extracurriculars are hard already so keeping a routine will help make sure work is turned in on time. 

   “To stay on top of my classes, I finish work as soon as I get it, and try to work ahead on all my work. With six IB classes, there is a lot of work being put out and I also prioritize my classes each day. To manage between school and extracurriculars, I complete my school in the morning and at night, leaving time for clubs and time with friends each day,” Sarah Green, junior, said. 

   A very important tip is to not let work pile up until the night it is due. This will cause extra stress that could be avoided. Track assignments and create a plan on how and when these assignments can be completed. 

   Teachers are also experiencing a new style of teaching that they have to adapt to. They are responsible for keeping students involved and engaged in class. 

   “This year has definitely been challenging as far as keeping students engaged. I think in addition to what we would do in a normal year, which is to design lessons that are interesting as well as good learning experiences is to make sure you have required live Google Meets at least twice a week and reach out to students who are not participating and falling behind,” Ashley Baker, English teacher, said. 

   Online learning is difficult at times but taking the time to figure out what strategies work best for you can make it go a lot smoother.