Night Of Scares

The nights are longer, the skies- cloudier. You can almost hear the sound of witches laughing while flying on their brooms; This can only mean one thing, its Halloween!

With that comes Harvest Fest, the biggest, most popular event of the school year. It’s the time of year when everyone in school gathers and has a blast together.

There are plenty of fun things to do at Harvest fest, anything from a haunted house, to racing robots with the engineers. Make a mental list and try to do as much as possible.

Harvest Fest has a plethora of things that you can do. First off, there are all the clubs that are selling food and drinks and snacks. Then there are all the little events like Key Club doing henna and NHS piing people in the face.

“My favorite part of Harvest Fest has to be the amount of fun and different thing that the clubs offer,” said Nomar Marquez, a sophomore in the Entrepreneurship academy.

This is a school dance; so don’t act the way you wouldn’t act in school. Don’t dance in a way you wouldn’t want your family or teachers to see; If you are seen dancing like that, you will be kicked out of the dance. Just jump around and dance, have a blast!

Remember, if you don’t have a date to Harvest Fest, there’s no problem! Going with a group of friends is a blast and it’s just as fun as, or even better than, going with a date.

What you wear at harvest fest does NOT define who you are, wear whatever you want! You don’t have to over dress, its not formal. However, you also don’t want to under dress.

Okay, well maybe not WHATEVER you want. Make sure to wear something school appropriate, you are still at school around teachers. Regardless of the fact that there isn’t a specific dress code, you should still try to keep it classy.

Don’t forget to take a lot of pictures! This is not an event you want to forget, especially if it’s your freshman year. This is one of those events that you’ll compare every year to the last. It’s a great way to see how you evolve and grow as an individual.

“The best part of Harvest Fest has to be the Music, it’s always so great. I love the experience itself; I love being able to spend time with my friends and have an amazing time,” said Nathaly Santos a junior in the Health academy.

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The Dreadful Summer Work

Summer is a time for fun, relaxation, and what no one looks forward to, work. Even though everyone procrastinates work until two weeks before it’s due, some work has to be kept up with. Whether it is FLVS, blogs, or APUSH work, they all have one thing in common- constant deadlines.
Everyone dreads having to take an online summer class and having to force themselves out of bed to get it all done. “With two online classes and summer work for another, my summer is going to feel like an absolute hell” said Kimberly Jean, a Cambridge junior. However, it doesn’t have to be all that stressful.
“I just separate the work into three different days, one day I study AP chemistry, then Spanish, and then physics” said Jean, “Its three days of pure stress but then four days of relaxation.”  Not all people have the same approach though, some people just let it pile up and do it all the day its due and stress even worse.
FLVS isn’t the only work students deal with throughout the summer, there are AP and honors classes as well. Among the given, there are plenty of other ways to deal with it all. One of which is to do it after everyone is asleep, this helps prevent all the common distractions like texts and phone calls.
Setting short term goal is something useful in the long run. For example, if there are 5 assignments due by midnight, set 5 different deadlines up until then. Give each assignment an hour or so instead of trying to do it all at once.
Something everyone hates doing may just be the best way to get things done, turn off everything. Removing yourself from all social media and human contact is difficult but it gets things done. There isn’t the constant distraction of checking your phone and checking Twitter and Facebook, you just focus.
Push yourself. Don’t let laziness and distractions get the best of you. Fight through it and do it even when you least want to. It’s going to be beneficial in the long run instead of just letting it pile up.
“This work isn’t just to waste their time. The students are going to have to do it either during the summer or when they come back in August,” said John C. Moffi, a US history teacher. “I don’t give busy work. I give them work that’s going to help them succeed; Even if it is too much.”
Don’t make your summer all about the work. Take a break. Do constant work for a few weeks and then just take a week off. There is no reason to kill yourself over work that doesn’t have to be completed during the first week of summer. Enjoy the summer, relax and sleep but still keep up with your classes.

Beaches And Book Stores

beaches and booksWhen you think summer, what is the first thing that comes to mind: The beach, the pool, your bed? Books are typically the very last thing students think about during the summer, but there is such a vast difference between reading for school and reading for fun. There are so many enjoyable books on the shelves that you can pick to make you laugh, cry, giggle, chuckle, or even all of the above.

The first book on your list should certainly be The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Green has become a New York Times bestselling author and appeals to all types of teens. This book is coming to the theaters June 6, 2014, which kicks it up to the top of any book worms list.

The Fault in Our Stars isn’t the stereotypical “cancer book.” It is so much more than that. Hazel Grace Lancaster, who has suffered cancer all her life, gets won over by the “beautiful” Augustus Waters. Hazel tells the story of her little infinity.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is another tear jerking, forbidden love story. It’s that book that once you pick it up, you won’t know how to put it down. You’ll think you’ll never find a book that lives up to those expectations ever again.
Eleanor & Park shows both sides of a relationship with two completely opposite people. Eleanor, being the “fat, white trash girl from a messed up family,” falls in love with Park, who is the typical “rich kid” that gets anything he requests.
At least until you read DreamLand by Sarah Dessen. This novel is unlike most others, it shows the true color of common day relationships. It all feels like a dreamland until they start seeing who they really are.
An author that isn’t widely known is Sonya Sones; She has written novels like To Be Perfectly Honest, What My Mother Doesn’t Know, the sequel, What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know, among plenty others. These books all relate to teen life and love and changes, aimed at a female audience.
To be perfectly honest is a story of a high school student who knows nothing more than just lying. She tells lies to where she doesn’t know what reality is hers anymore. It’s a bit of a long book, but it is well worth looking at this girl’s life and seeing the life of a compulsive liar.
Now, although it is the same author, What My Mother Doesn’t Know is something somewhat different. This book is in the perspective of 15 year old Sophie and her life in her small little town. She goes over her whole school year and the guy that she met and fell in love with but it was almost forbidden.
What my girlfriend doesn’t know is a sequel to the previous book, What My Mother Doesn’t Know, and instead it is in the perspective on Robin, Sophie’s boyfriend. He goes in depth into the world of having a girlfriend in a world where he isn’t even accepted. It’s a twist on the common day, girls’ perspective- love story.
Books shouldn’t have to remain within school walls. Books are an escape from the perpetual boredom of your four walls. They let you step into a new world and fall in love with people who aren’t even real. Books are an alternate reality.

Video Game Consoles: Are They Dying?

Evolution of video game consoles

Evolution of video game consoles

Video game consoles have been around since the 1970’s, and despite the common belief stating that they would only be a fad, they were a great success. However, there has been speculation that the newest generation of home consoles could be the last.
“I think that game consoles can potentially evolve to mobile,” said Delvis Hidalgo, a sophomore in I.T. “I think there may be another generation, but with all the innovation, I highly doubt it’ll go very far.”
Gaming on smartphones (such as “Angry Birds”, “Temple Run” or “Words with Friends”) is growing exponentially. People no longer need to turn to home consoles to interact with people; they can simply look down to their phones and have the world at the palm of their hands. They have a whole network of people to talk to and interact with at the tips of their fingers.
We are in an age where everything has to be fast and immediate and going home, turning on your console and playing isn’t either of those things. We have complete access to everything on our phones, which leads to the question, why not full video games?
Felipe Torres, a junior in American Senior High School, said “Video games have always been something to sit down and do, not something to do on the run. Always having it there just ruins the excitement of opening a new toy, or removing a disk for the cartridge; it just wouldn’t be the same.”
According to the NPD group, a global market research company, 67% of households play video games. This shows that more than half of these people are willing to pay all this money to keep home consoles around.
Everyone has a different opinion; however, common video gamers say “No smartphone screen can match the immersive experience of gaming on a high-powered, dedicated device in front of a large-screen television.”
People are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to have the best quality game they can get. This, at the end of the day, is what they are looking for. According to the data compiled by the NPD group, the video game industry has $10.5 billion in revenue. This means that the video game industry is still making enough money to keep home video game consoles around for another few years.

The Secret Life Of A Band Kid

My small, disfunctional family.

My small, dysfunctional family.

Nerds, geeks, losers, weirdos- these are all names that have been assigned to band kids over the years. As a “band kid” I have heard all the stereotypes. I’ve been called a dork, a geek, and all of the above. But its nothing like that, band is this big pot of completely different people that came together and created this weird little dis-functional family.

I must admit that when I first joined band I underestimated it completely. I thought I would go in, play my instrument and leave. To this day I still fail to comprehend how such strangers could somehow become my best friends.

When I joined band I went in with the mentality that I would have to learn everything on my own, but I didn’t. Everyone was so incredibly kind and helpful. I joined with one friend, Caroline. She led me in and introduced me to everyone; I thought I would be rejected by everyone, shunned because I wasn’t “one of them.” I was still a part of the vast majority that stereotyped them. However, the minute I walked through the doors I was greeted so warmly and kindly. I made friends with them almost instantaneously.

Contrary to common belief, band kids aren’t perpetually condemned to solitude for the rest of their lives. Simply being in band vastly expands your horizons to meeting people. Through band, I met my some of my best friends, and the people I will want to be around for the rest of my life.

My band experience has been unlike any other; I have never met such an incredible group of people who care and love so much. Even through all the dumb stereotypes, I have never been happier.

FESTIVAL MADNESS 2014

bonnaroo-2014-lineup

Along with every other music junkie, I was ecstatic to see all the line ups for all the upcoming music festivals. But as all other music junkies, I wished I had sufficient money to pay for all of them. Music makes culture, whether jazz or hip-hop or indie and house they all are different, for different societies and cultures.
Every festival has people, music, and different energies that are transmitted throughout. They are an experience that for some only comes once a year. As of now, line ups have been release for festivals like Firefly, Bonnaroo, Suburbia and plenty more.
From June 19th to the 22nd, Dover, Delaware will be filled with bands anywhere from The Lumineers to Arctic Monkeys. The general admission four day passes are about $259. It is on the pricy side, but it is well worth it for four days of all your favorite artists.
The Governors Ball music festival is more of a house music/Indie music festival. The festival takes place at Randall’s Island, NYC. The tickets are priced within a range of $250 to $530 for three day general admission or three day VIP admission. The festival will be from June 6th-8th and it will feature artists like Skrillex and Phoenix.
The Suburbia music festival will be held in Plano, TX from May 3rd to the 4th. It will feature music from artists like Alabama Shakes to David Guetta, and Hoodie Allen. The two day general admission is $99.50, and if you ask me, that is a very fair price for two days and more than forty artists.
And last but certainly not least, Bonnarro. This is a four day music festival in Manchester, TN. The tickets are $249 for the four days, general admission. The lineup ranges anywhere from Lionel Richie to Vampire Weekend, and Zedd. I’d say that this festival is very much worth what it is priced and it is for people with almost all tastes in music. It is very diverse and it really is a great experience.
There are plenty of other music festivals and concerts this year but these are just the few that stood out to me the most. Many music festivals are once a year but many of them happen all throughout the year.

Dealing With Peer Pressure

K_peer_pressure1

Peer Pressure is possibly the toughest thing a teen can go through in high school. Although there is some good peer pressure, it normally doesn’t end well. The worst part being that sometimes, it’s our closest friend that pushes us to do these things that we know aren’t good. However, there are a bunch of ways to avoid peer pressure and not letting it get to you.
One way is to avoid hanging out with people who you know will get you into trouble. Like that one friend we all have that you know isn’t a good influence, but you still like to hang out with. So when you slowly start to distant yourself from them, you realize that your stress level and the amount of peer pressure you get decreases a lot. Also, ask yourself pretty common sense questions like, “is this legal?” “Could this harm me or anyone else?” and most importantly, “will this have an effect on my future?” These questions will be what determine what may or may not happen to you.
At some point, every person must stand alone, even when tempted by friends and other peers. You know what’s right. You know what’s wrong. And only you can decide which path to take. You can ask almost anyone that has done something not so good, they will tell you it was because of peer pressure.
A better way to get out of something is by lying, that is, if you just don’t want to lose a friend or make a bad impression. If you’re offered to smoke or anything along those lines, you can always say “no because I have asthma.” Or just be straight forward and say “no, because I don’t want to.”
Dealing with peer pressure may seem intimidating but it’s really not. You just have to know when to draw the line and stand for what you know is right. Plus, isn’t it better to go by in life worry free than to always be thinking about how that one night of “fun” may ruin your future? So live life with no regrets.