The effects of the Covid vaccine

Opinion story by Mia Gatti – Staff Reporter

 

Now that the Covid-19 vaccine has been released, how is it actually affecting people from a variety of age groups? Coming from a family that has been vaccinated, this vaccine has affected every single one of my family members differently. As we know there are two different vaccines that you can receive if you choose to. My family started off very hesitant about getting the vaccine not knowing how it would affect them but knew in the long run that it could prevent them from being carriers of the virus and would allow us to not spread it more. My mom and my grandma both received the Pfizer vaccine a couple of weeks ago and had very similar reactions to it.

They both felt a little weak and tired with a mild headache not feeling their best and knowing the vaccine had an effect on these slim symptoms. On the other hand, my grandpa and dad had been set up to receive the Moderna vaccine, and this one had a little different outcome. The first shot for my grandpa had zero symptoms and felt fine but after having his second shot he did not feel very good at all. The chills and slight fever did not last long but they were definitely worse for him than his first shot. My dad ended up having chills and fever for his first shot and feeling fine for his second shot.

This Covid-19 vaccine will certainly not affect everyone that chooses to take it the same, but if it is chosen to receive then it could also help to keep our family and friends safe and healthy.

Sophomore earns prestigious scholarship

Story by Katie Langle – Junior Editor

 

   Blake Horner-Ogle has been working toward becoming a candidate for the United States Air Force Academy since the sixth grade. He joined JROTC his freshman year and has stood out since. His hard work has paid off as he is one of 230 cadets worldwide picked to receive a scholarship to the Flight Academy. 

   “I won a scholarship to the Flight Academy, which is a group of colleges being paid by the Air Force to teach students to fly. The scholarship gives me an opportunity to earn my private pilot license over the summer,” Blake Horner-Ogle, sophomore, said. 

   With 1,340 other applicants, Blake had to stand out from the rest. He worked to have a well-rounded resume. He has a commitment to not only his physical fitness but also his academics and community service. 

   “I have had many conversations outside of school hours with Blake. He is absolutely dedicated to the personal goals he’s set. His work ethic is beyond reproach! He participates in several co-curricular activities in the Corps, and has already begun preparing to apply for leadership positions in next year’s Corps,” Jim Woods, Aerospace Science Instructor, said.

   With this scholarship, Blake will earn his private pilot’s license, this is a major step in the right direction as he eventually applies to join the highly competitive Air Force Academy. 

Challenges of transferring to a new school

Story by Robert Hurst – Staff Reporter

 

Transferring to a different high school is a difficult experience for anyone. When a student is moving to a new school, they are leaving many cherishable people and places behind. They have to say goodbye to their school, their friends, and their favorite places. Joining a new school and environment creates a lot of pain for the student. The anxiety of starting a new school and seeing new faces while also being a teenager, which is already difficult enough, can be frightening. 

Finding new friends is by far the most difficult task. Regular students at the school have probably already found their group of friends which they are comfortable with. Talking to another student who has never seen your face before is tough, trying to joke around or talk about something takes time and effort, the other student already has other friends with their own inside jokes and experiences they have shared. It could be a lonely few months at the start. Patience is key and soon enough everything will return to normal. 

Ms. Durnell, the broadcasting teacher, moved three times during her high school career.

“It was a major cultural shift, I moved from small to big schools. Every time it brought a new experience with its struggles, but with patience, I found friends and made lifelong connections,” Durnell said. 

It took Ms. Durnell time to settle. “ It usually took two to three months until I could routinely talk to other students and have good laughs,” she said. 

 These experiences have a positive side as well. You learn to adapt to new environments and create connections faster. Having connections in many different places may be important in the future. A person who lived in the same city or town may feel comfortable and at ease, but they might find it more challenging to make new friends from different places simply because they had the same connections their whole lives. Transferring is difficult and is terrifying, but in due time it has its perks. A lesson to teach to veteran students is please be nice and talk to the new kid.

Coming new to Disney Plus

Story by Kaia Monac0- Staff Reporter

 

With everybody staying home a majority of 2020 and possibly 2021, it seems a lot of people have turned to watch Netflix, Disney Plus, or whatever streaming service they may have to pass the time. Since so many of us are spending our time watching tv, many streaming services are pushing out an extra amount of entertainment in 2021, especially Disney Plus.

Just this past month, Disney Plus released two new series: Marvel’s WandaVision on January 15 and Marvel’s Legends on January 8. Marvel’s WandaVision is about superheroes Wanda Maximoff and Vision living an idealized life that is not quite what it seems. Marvel’s Legends gives refreshers on each superhero, as more series are scheduled to come out later in the year.

Marvel’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is coming out March 19 and will feature the title superheroes going on a global adventure to test their skills and patience. Next up from Marvel is the series Loki, taking place after Avengers: Endgame and following Loki as he travels through time. This series is set to premiere in May. Additional series set to come out sometime this year include Monsters At Work, following the events of Monsters Inc., and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season two.

Disney Plus is set to release an array of movies over the next few months as well. First is Flora and Ulysses on February 19, a children’s comedy about a little girl named Flora who befriends a squirrel with superpowers. Next is Raya and the Last Dragon, an animated movie about a warrior princess named Raya from the land of Kumandra, where humans and dragons once coexisted. The movie is set to release March 5 on Disney Plus Premier Access, so it costs extra money to watch it. 

Disney is also releasing a number of movies about characters’ backstories this year, starting with Marvel’s Black Widow, about the superheroine’s backstory, on May 7. Then Cruella, about the infamous villain’s backstory, on May 28. 

Disney Plus has shown it is committed to keeping customers entertained. In a year where everything is so messed up, it is nice to have something as normal as a movie to look forward to. 

Celebrating the Super Bowl

Story by Abby Langle- Assistant Junior Editor

 

 Last Sunday Super Bowl 55 was played. For many football fans, the Super Bowl is the most important day of the year. For some local fans, this year it made it even more special because the Chiefs were playing in it. 

   Some people had big Super Bowl parties to watch and celebrate the big game.  With Covid, this could have changed many people’s plans.

   “I watched the game with friends, covid did not affect it at all really,” Cameron Lillard, senior, said.

   Snacks can also be more important than even watching a big football game. For the big game, people usually have a lot of food that they would not normally make for a regular-season football game.

   “When I was in college my little sister gave me a football crockpot. So I break that out every year with something in it. This year I did Pulled Pork Chili,” Chris Walker, science teacher, said

   For the Super Bowl, people make predictions about all parts of the game and the festivities surrounding it by what they think will happen and what the outcome will be.

   “I predict the Over on the National Anthem.  First score will be a TD, The Weekend will channel some inner Michael Jackson at halftime, If it storms like they say, take the under, and Chiefs win by 8,” Walker said.

   This Super Bowl was very special for people in Kansas City. Even though the outcome was not what a lot of people wanted, there is always next year. 

There is a first for everything

Story by Morgan Hubert – Staff Reporter

 

This year has gone down in history for so many reasons, one of the biggest, electing a new Vice President. Electing a new President and Vice President is always a big deal but this year is extra special.  We are bringing Kamala Harris into office as she is not only the first woman to serve as Vice President but also the first African American and South Asian to hold the office.

   “This is another opportunity to discuss matters of race and gender in the USA, and hopefully Kamala Harris is able to provide the voice of a woman and a person of color to the millions of Americans. It feels like we are living in different realities depending on our race, gender, economic status and I hope this is an opportunity to have conversations with people across these multiple groupings and focus on progress,” Josh Keeney, Geometry teacher, said.

   Kamala Harris is someone that can represent people in ways previous Vice Presidents could not. Harris can understand and fight for things that should change like racial equality and gender equality. She is also able to understand others because she can relate to their struggles. Harris is fighting to make these changes to make the future better for everyone. 

   “Even though Joe Biden’s cabinet and choices for the house have led this to the most diverse government yet, there are still lots of men and women who will treat Kamala with less respect because of her race,” Lucia Bresette, freshman, said. 

   Harris will be going through many obstacles to gain people’s respect that some are not giving her. She is not getting what she deserves because of her race and gender. 

   “Should it [gender] matter? No. Does it matter?… I would guess yes, unfortunately. I don’t think that we have the first VP of the USA in 2020 if it doesn’t matter. When you look at the history of Women’s Rights and Women’s Suffrage, you realize that it is still a pretty recent development in the history of our country. I believe that there are still barriers that women have to overcome that their male colleagues do not. I do not think this is unique to high institutions of government, and I think it’s something women have to deal with no matter the career/occupation,” Keeney said. 

   “I was very excited and happy for all of my female students and students of color. They now can look at the highest level of the US Government and feel represented,” Keeney said. 

   Kamala Harris is changing the future and creating history in the present. She is impacting so many people with what she is doing and inspiring so many people to follow their dreams no matter their race or gender. 

The loss of high school dances due to Covid

Story by Prajukta Ghosh – Copy Editor

 

We have yet again approached the school building with the masks on, maintaining a six feet gap with one another and following the directions of one-way hallways. The LSR-7 school district made a decision once more to bring everyone back in school for two weeks through a hybrid model of learning and then head back on track with being present in the classrooms full time for four days. However, there were no modifications made to the decision of having any school dances amidst the pandemic for students. After the cancellation of the homecoming dance, seniors now have to mourn the loss of the courtwarming dance too. Even though the decision was made keeping the safety of everyone in mind, it undoubtedly broke a few senior hearts.  

   “I am not surprised that the dances have been canceled, and I think it was a good decision, but it is a bummer that we don’t get to have a last hurrah as a senior class,” Sadie Creemer, senior said. 

   It has been a disappointing year in every aspect for the class of 2021 from the beginning of 2020. But it is important to remember whatever choices are being made by the district in terms of calling off senior activities/dances, are being done keeping the best interest of the student body in mind. It is truly unfortunate to not have a normal last year of high school this year and not able to enjoy the senior activities the way former senior classes have but it is also factual that situations are not really that favorable for us to experience that bit of normalcy. 

   “It is unfortunate that we haven’t gotten normal activities, but I would rather miss out on activities now for my senior year than activities and experiences my freshman year of college,” Grace Tohill, senior said.  

   The only hope now left in terms of attending a dance this year is probably prom, even though that was officially called off last year as well. But if things pan out once everyone gets back in the building full-time, there are still hopes for seniors to enjoy their last prom enthusiastically. 

   “I genuinely have no idea. I am not an epidemiologist, nor an event planner who has been planning events in the current situation. I will work closely with administrators, our health department, and our venue (John Knox) to provide whatever safety restrictions are possible and necessary,” Jessica Benus, FACS teacher, said. 

   The teachers have not heard anything of that sort that talks about taking prom into account this year so far, but fingers crossed and hope for the best that could happen. 

   

Second semester moves to in person learning February 8

Story by Mia Gatti – Staff Reporter

 

Starting the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year it will finally start to feel more normal. Students are starting off hybrid for two weeks and then straight to four days a week on February 8th. Mentoring will be during the four day weeks, but still no bronco time. There are some changes being made for this transition to work properly and hopefully stick for the rest of the semester.

Some changes to keep every student and staff member safe this semester start out with an extra lunch shift.

“We are going to spread our lunchroom availability out into the Events lobby (currently doing this in hybrid), multipurpose gym (plan to do this in 4 days/week), and outside is always available if it is a nice day in our picnic area.  We also do rolling dismissal to lunches that teachers manage and send their classrooms at different times to the lunchroom based on groupings within their specific lunch shift,” Tim Collins, Assistant Principal, said. 

In response to lunch shifts changing. Mentoring is coming back every Monday between 3rd and 4th hours. This will allow students to reconnect with their mentoring teacher and class. We will still stick to one-way hallways keeping students away from the face to face contact they can encounter in the halls. The biggest struggle for this new transition will be keeping everyone socially distanced especially with the larger sized classes.

I am going to do my best to keep my students and myself as safe as possible. I will distance the desks as much as I can, and make sure they are sanitized after each hour. Also, teachers and staff are very concerned with stuffing 1800 students in a building and possibly being exposed. I hope we are able to transition safely from Hybrid to all in-person without having to change our schedule back to Hybrid again after a month or so,” Ty Kohl, social studies teacher, said.

With the precautions being made to keep everyone safe during this transition, this will hopefully allow us to stay with an in-person schedule for the remainder of the school year.

KC Chiefs are AFC champions

By Robert Hurst – Staff Reporter

The Kansas City Chiefs have beaten the Buffalo Bills 38-24 during the AFC championship game. It was an all-around great game for the Chiefs offense and defense. They are going to back to back Superbowl appearances to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, Florida on February 7th. For the first time in NFL history, a team will be hosting the Superbowl on their home field.

When will we get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Story by Kaia Monaco – Staff Reporter

It seems ever since the Coronavirus pandemic began, the entire world has been asking for a vaccine. Now that the vaccine is here, there are even more questions to answer —  what is in it and when people can get it? 

The vaccine is made using the messenger RNA of a COVID cell, so the body can identify the cell and create antibodies to quickly destroy it. This is just how any other vaccine is made. The vaccine will be given in two doses, 21 days apart, in order to be fully efficient. So far, the only reported side effects are headache and fatigue.

“I believe the vaccine to be safe and intend to get it when it becomes more readily available to the public,” Syrena Saxon, school nurse, said. 

The plan to get the vaccine distributed in Jackson County has started with frontline healthcare workers, long-term care facilities, and EMS/EMT paramedics, according to the Jackson County Health Department website. 

As of right now, there is not much information on how the vaccine affects teenagers and children as the youngest test subjects for the vaccine trials were 16. Until there is more information on how the vaccine affects children, it is unclear whether they will need the vaccine or not. 

“When the vaccine has been approved for teens and children, I support students getting the vaccine with the goal of achieving community immunity,” Saxon said. 

Teenagers and children are currently included in the third and final phase of distribution labeled “All Missouri Residents”. Considering the state is still in the first phase, it will most likely be months until teenagers and children are receiving vaccines.