How to Go to High School Written by John Preston Carr
High school is a weird thing. When you arrive here on the first day of freshman year, bright-eyed and clean-souled, no one really tells you how it’s supposed to be. I know no one told me. But I’m a senior now, and I think I’ve learned some things. Let me share them with you.
It’s really easy to just show up and float. Really easy. And it’s not necessarily a bad way to live. But, at least in my experience, it’s no way to go to high school. The most valuable thing high school offers you is a community. There is no other period in your life when you will be so surrounded by people who are in the same situation you are. Everyone here goes to the same building every day, follows the same rules, has access to the same experiences.
College is similar, sure, but it’s much too big and much too specific to be tight-knit, like a high school can be. Think about it - I’m willing to bet that, even if you won’t admit it, you recognize the faces of most of the people you see in the hallway every day. Those aren’t just faces - they’re people! They’re people who have a lot in common with you! Talk to them; get to know them. If I’ve learned anything in my almost four years of high school, you won’t regret it.
Make friends. Talk to people. Take advantage of your community. This will automatically make your high school experience more fulfilling, but it’s not an end in itself. In my opinion, the best thing you could possibly do in high school is find your tribe and commit. Once you get to know everybody, you’ll know who connects with you best. These people may be theater kids, they may be band nerds, they may be journalists (shoutout to the ol’ husky howlers!), whatever. Whoever they are, they will be vital to making your high school experience gratifying. They’ll understand you, and you’ll understand them. They’ll share in your struggles and your triumphs. Most important of all, you’ll make each other better. When you’re surrounded with people that are as passionate as you are about something, the only possible direction is up. They’ll want to be good, so you’ll want to be good. They’ll want to be better, so you’ll want to be better. It’s cliche, but satisfaction isn’t found in the payoff, but in the journey.
Believe it or not, I learned these lessons in 2018. I met someone who goes to a different school, a school where these mantras are expectations rather than exceptions. She does everything full-throttle, and accepts nothing less than the best. She gets up in the morning not so she can laze around and take whatever life throws at her, but so she can live her life how she wants to live it; so she can achieve her goals. This lifestyle may sound taxing and laborious at first glance, but I really wish I had known its benefits before I had to leave the place where it creates the most of them. When you live this way, and the people around you do too, life is simply more full. Everything is more rewarding, because you worked hard to get there. You’ll have better friendships (and more of them!), you’ll have better talents (and more of them!), you’ll have better experiences (and more of them!). Nothing’s stopping you but reluctance. I know you’re skeptical; I apologize for my off-putting steadfastness. I’m passionate about this stuff because I deeply wish I had known it when I started high school. You don’t have to do everything I mentioned (obviously). Take it with a grain of salt - it’s just my personal perspective. But at least do one thing for me: think about it. After all, that’s the first step.
Freshmen Participate in the Reagan Science Fair Written by Lisa Kvien
On Tuesday, January 15, the freshmen at Reagan had their Science Fair. These projects were due back in October. Attendance at the fair was optional, but many students decided to be risk-takers and participate in this activity. Projects ranged from how light affects goldfish to the danger of soda on your teeth.
During the fair, there were three rounds of judging. All of the students had to first be judged by two individuals. Students were graded on all aspects of their project and were asked many different questions. They had to meet requirements like having a research question, graphs, and a conclusion. Once every student was judged twice, they narrowed it down to the top ten projects by entering everyone's grades into the computer. After the top ten, they narrowed it down to five and picked one overall winner. That winner gets to miss school for a day and go to Discovery World to compete with other schools.
Some students who participated were Alaina Berlin, Emma Balistreri, and Leyri Ocasio. They all choose their topics for different reasons. Berlin feels she personally conforms to societal standards, making her curious as to which gender conforms more. Balistreri is interested in how plants grow and wanted to see the effect salt and sugar has on plant growth. Ocasio noticed her mom saves many vegetables in containers, and wanted to test how each container affects the freshness of the vegetables.
Throughout the project, they faced some difficulties. Berlin had the hardest time coming up with an idea. She said, “Turning it into a science fair project that would be creative and fun for not only myself, but for the people who would actually be interested in my project,” was a obstacle for her. Balistreri struggled with time management. She didn’t start her project right away, which didn't give her plants much time to grow and change. Ocasio felt collecting data was difficult. She had to create her own ratings of freshness for the vegetables (ex: 5/10 = 50% fresh).
Each student also had parts of the project which were easy to complete. Berlin felt that presenting was the easiest part. She was proud of her work and is very outgoing, so she was excited to show others her project. Putting together the board was the easiest part for Balistreri. She enjoys art, so decorating her board was fun. Ocasio was able to complete the research question and hypothesis with ease. It only took her a few minutes.
Some parts of this project were enjoyable. Berlin enjoyed designing her board. She loved the pastel vibe and adding her own style to her work. Balistreri enjoyed decorating her board too. It was the easiest and most enjoyable in her opinion. Ocasio found the most joy “being able to throw away the sort of smelly tomatoes. All three students were successful in their projects. Berlin’s hypothesis was correct and everyone who saw her work thoroughly enjoyed it. She was happy with the outcome as well. Balistreri felt that her results proved she was successful. The results made sense. She stated, “The salt water plant started to die, and the other two grew at least a little.” Ocasio was also successful because her hypothesis was valid.
If you are an incoming freshmen, there are some tips you can use to help with your project. Berlin suggested doing something that hasn't been done. She also feels you should do something you are interested in because it will be more enjoyable and it will show through your work. Balistreri’s advice is to brainstorm ideas and get input from classmates. She also suggested not procrastinating and starting as soon as you can. Ocasio agreed with this and said, “It sucks to have to do a month's worth of homework, in this case a project, in a week.” The Reagan 2018-2019 Science Fair was a success for many students. They worked hard to accomplish their goals, and biology teachers are excited to see what next year brings.
What’s Happening This Black History Month? All the details you need to know to get involved in Black History Month Written by Jay Chontal
With Martin Luther King Jr. day in the past, and February around the corner, so is Black History Month which is a month dedicated to the history and culture of the African American community. From renown civil rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr. to more locally situated influencers like Lloyd Barbee and Vel Phillips, their impacts are celebrated during the month of February.
So what exactly is there to do in the Milwaukee area that you can become involved with the celebration of African American history in the United States? During the month of February, Reagan BSU (Black Student Union) will put together a Black History Program for the entire school to view. Do not skip the program, as they will cover many different black histories, from authentic african culture, to black people from Central American countries. Through an immersive experience, and hardwork from the students of BSU, the Reagan Black History Program is a valuable way to start kickoff the start of the celebration of black culture.
Not only is Reagan hosting events, but so is the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. If watching films is more engaging, from February 2-February 27, UWM will be hosting the African American Film Series. It will be held at the UWM Union Cinema. This year marks the twelfth year in which many will be able to enjoy the various works of diversity based films; promoting the African American diversity within our city.
If visual art is an inspiration, be sure to check out the Urban Heroes, Urban Wood event from February 17-March 17. During this month long period, the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum will be showcasing various works, from photographs to artworks. All of these pieces will be displayed on wood from urban Ash trees. Through each piece, fourteen artists display the history of the black community in Milwaukee. In addition to events that include the artistic pieces from various African Americans in Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Black Arts Festival will be taking place from February 17- February 19, and be held at the African American Women’s Center. During these three exciting days, people will be able to enjoy the visual artist performances, movie screenings, and much more. Food and drinks will also be readily available, as you will be able to enjoy food from African American restaurants from the Milwaukee area. If you are ready to have a fun time at a dance, UWM will be hosting the annual Black History Ball. This event will take place on the evening of February 24 and include an enjoyable atmosphere of food, drinks, music, and dancing. In addition, there will be live performances taking place, and will end the night with the appearance of DJ Mr. New York.
From displaying the valuable artistic works of many African American locals, to enjoying food at ball, there are many opportunities to become aware of African American culture in the United States, while also celebrating the history that has enriched the overall culture of today’s black community.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Written by Zeno Wilson
MLK Jr. Day is known to most as a day off, but the true nature of this holiday is service towards the community. There are many ways to serve others who require it, but how do the students of Ronald Reagan serve, on this day dedicated to one of the most influential people behind the civil rights movement.
MLK Day is described as “a day on, not a day off” by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This appeals to what King would have wanted in memory of him and everything he accomplished. King often described his vision as communities living in peace and serving their neighbor. Service is, by definition, helping or assisting a person without any reward.
On this day “off” from school, many wondered what the Huskies of Ronald Reagan High School did to serve their fellow person. Many people told the intriguing tale of how they napped for the entire day. Or about their intense clutch moment in their favorite video game. Only a select few told of some valiant attempt to live up the King’s expectation. Two students excitedly mentioned how on the entire day, they got the distinct honour and pleasure to do chores around the house. This is a fine example of service, for several reasons, one of those being that each of these students did these chores as a courtesy to their parents, knowing that their only reward would be recognition.
Those are good examples of service, but the ones that stood out the most are not the good old soup kitchen or the park clean up type. What made these different and better, was thought, care, and love put into them. For the MLK day that MPS had off, one student spent their entire day, which they could have done anything with, attending and helping to run their sister’s high school graduation. Another wonderful example of high school students doing good for others is what one freshman student did for his brother. On the Monday off, a brother in need asked his sibling to help him with an essay, and by the end of the day a great essay was written. The most thoughtful dedicated to service, was the story of a Reagan teacher. On MLK day, he spent time and taught his daughter about King, what he stood for, and what he achieved for the Civil Rights Movement. The daughter, being four years old, didn’t comprehend everything about King, but thanks to her father she had learned that is is a day to work, not a day to rest.
The Showdown of the Government Shutdown Written by Rebeca Acosta
With people flooding stores for last minute shopping, families making too many cookies, and the only people not getting ready for the holidays were the government officials. On December 22nd of 2018 after Democrats opposed Trump’s request for 5.7 billion dollars for the US-Mexico Border wall, the christmas spirit was ruined; a partial government shutdown began. The impact of the partial government shutdown has put the well-being and safety of the American people at risk. About 800,00 federal workers were furloughed or working without pay.
According to The Independent, t has come to the extent that FBI investigations have come to a halt from investigations involving violent street gangs, international terrorism, and sex traffickers. The agency said that there is no money. One agent could not travel internationally for their investigation of sex trafficking. Another agent could not buy a calling card to communicate with someone who had information on terrorist. With the government being closed it has risked the security of the American people. The shutdown has even affected airports. According to the Balance, somme security screeners have called in sick, creating delays in some airports.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, The Food and Drug Administration’s commissioner said on Wednesday, it has stopped routine food safety inspections of seafood, fruits, vegetables and many other foods at high risk of contamination because of the federal government’s shutdown, the New York Times reported.
According to the New York Times, The shutdown forced scientists from the field, leaving some laboratories across the country without experimentation and jeopardizing the flow of grant money. Leland S. Stone, an area vice president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, said “We’re not collecting data,” which could affect time-sensitive research. She also said “And we’re not analyzing the data and we’re not able to make the advances that we’re paid to do.”
In Milwaukee, business have accommodated for the federal workers who are affected by the government. Skylight Music Theatre has offered two free tickets for the performance of Five Guys Named Moe. Casablanca, a restaurant on Brady Street is offering free lunch meals from Monday to Friday and from 11am to 3pm. In support of the federal officials, Milwaukee has united workers for support. On January 8, 2019, President Trump addressed the American people regarding the government shutdown. He stated that that the government is shutdown “because democrats will not fund border security”. Trump abruptly said that “the only solution is for democrats to pass a spending bill that defends our borders and reopen our government.” , meaning the only way for the government to reopen is by Democrats passing a bill that funds and protects the Southern border.
Trump was proven wrong otherwise when on January 25th, Trump signed a bill that would reopen the government until February 15th. Yet border security and funding for the wall has not come to a breakthrough for both parties.
With 35 days to debate upon the funding for the Wall, congressional democrats and President Trump have yet to set a compromise other than reopening the government for 3 weeks, leaving workers uneasy of the future. The three weeks of the partial government shutdown has cost the economy 11 billion dollars, outweighing the request for 5.7 billion dollars. The Government shutdown, the only goal being border security, has denied workers pay and have every reason to stop working. These federal officers who go to work show character and commitment. Federal workers deserve respect and admiration because of it. Everyday they wake up for work because they love their job, are committed to help others, and deserve respect from their peers. Now federal officials have returned to work and are agitated for the future of their jobs.
The Future of Our Kids Written by Rebeca Acosta
The future of our children is unknown but the present is inevitable. As children of the future, we have lived through gun violence, being seperated from families, and discriminational education. With now, what do we live by, what has affected us? Every day it is like something gets added on to the shoulders of children. In the last year, it seems like misfortune has continued to be on our shoulders. The world that young people have to withstand and face from devastating setbacks grows everyday.
Around this time last year, high school students were getting love notes from their secret admirers, buying teddy bears, and cheap chocolate. But on February, students were expecting their valentine’s day gifts. Rather, they got an experience that would forever changed their lives. On February 14, 2018, a gunman had intruded into the school and 17 Parkland High School students and staff died. Because of the incident, business spiked ideas to make bulletproof backpacks for students to take the following school year. A company named BULLETBLOCKER produces bullet proof backs for handgun and pistol bullets. In an interview with TIME Magazine, The CEO, Joe Curran stayed that there was a 200%-300% sales increase in backpacks. We as a nation expect gun violence and establish our environment based on what we know; one example being the BULLETBLOCKER. Again and again, we see that gun violence is becoming more tolerable rather than treating it. If something does not get treated it can cause greater damage.
From April 19 to May 31, more than 2,000 children were separated from their parents at the border. Trump made a “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Because the Justice Department can not prosecute children along with their parents, families are being separated. There have been nearly 300 undocumented immigrant parents may have been separated from their children due to the government shutdown. This is our future generation. Office of Refugee Resettlement, ORR, is straining an already overwhelmed system and it is unclear on whether ORR has adequate staff, resources or training to provide appropriate care, routine medical, dental,and mental health services to all children in its care. According to Family USA “In the short-term, children may exhibit loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, regressive behaviors, physical symptoms such as stomach aches and detachment -- all common signs of post-traumatic stress disorder in young children. In the longer term, family separation can have negative impacts on both the emotional and physical health and well-being of separated parents and children.” The wellbeing of our youth has declined and will continue because the government continues to lose sympathy as we conform to atrocities.
Not every student has the opportunity to go to school. Yet it controls the class and separates the high class from middle class. The education of a public school is not the same in a private school. With different resources, students from across the world do not receive education simply because they don’t have the means. Dropout rates of 16 to 24-years-old students who come from low income families are seven times more likely to drop out than those from families with higher incomes. The power lies to the student who does go to school rather than students who do not attend a school. Children living in poverty have a higher number of absenteeism or leave school all together because they are more likely to have to work or care for family members. Quality education is limited to only some students, leaving the education gap drastic and imparing the future of children.
The despicable weight that youth carry from fear and discrimination of going to school, uncertain if family will be there when they wake up, and the cumulative of all this pressure demonstrates how strong we are as youth. The future is filled with uncertainty. But we know we can be hopeful of our future generation. Only by taking care of our children now.