by Hugo Gonzalez and Cassidy Lucas

[singlepic id=55 w=150 h=150 float=left]You’re sitting at home bored, watching TV, scrolling through the same channels over and over again in a desperate attempt to locate a show worth watching. You fail. What do you do with yourself now? Go in your room and organize your sock drawer by color? No, grab your laptop and see what’s going on in your friends’ life. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, MySpace; these are all great websites to keep up with friends. I for one am a proud promoter of these websites.

I find it to be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family whom you wouldn’t particularly keep in touch that easily with if it wasn’t for these social networking websites. On Facebook, you’re able to have up to 5,000 friends and the capability to create a positive self image of yourself. It gives you the ability to be able to post the things you’re passionate in video, audio, text, or in image form. You can create an anonymous page which allows you to build a group of people with similar passions and or interests and discuss that subject, it’s convenient and great.

I love having the ability to put in my email and chosen password and instantaneously be granted the power to view pictures, and text from my friends and family. I also enjoy being able to freely post whatever I want without having to worry about what someone will say about it. I think that by “friending” a person you may have only just met on Facebook, you get the opportunity to learn so much more about them. You get to pretty much walk through that person’s everyday life with them; it’s pretty great, and thoroughly interesting.

I am completely in favor of social networking websites. They give us an opportunity to have self expression, and make and build up friendships. I hope that they continue to be around, because I enjoy them immensely.

[singlepic id=41 w=150 h=150 float=left]Complain, waste of time, complain and complain some more. This is what social media is all about. I have noticed that in our time, social media is more common than going out to places. To meet people, you simply go online and add some random person you bumped into in the hallway as a “friend” who you will never speak to again.

A big concern I have is that social media has become a big unreliable and false source of information, social media pretty much made making a rumor more convenient and easier. This means, being part of a network you are exposed to the government and corporate companies who scan your Facebook and email to match advertisement and or possibly incriminate yourself; privacy on these sites is just a big joke. What you are really doing is leaving yourself open to identity theft, being hacked, and a plethora of viruses.

Above all it’s a waste of time, does spending several minutes throughout the day really add up, then before you know it, there goes an hour of your time. I don’t think a lot of people have noticed but social media can harm your job and employment and college possibilities; posting profanity, poor grammar, illegal drugs, and pictures with inappropriate content can damage your real life away from the internet! Being on a social site is making us less social our generation is becoming more isolated because it’s much easier to open your phone and “chat” with your friends then to hold a conversation. So let’s put away the profile and make some real friends.


by Jeremy Hess and Jay Ulrich

Who doesn’t love smart phones? They are so convenient! Let’s say you’re out and about and you get lost or want to check a price of something but don’t want drive home to your computer to find out. Well what do you do? You just pull out your smart phone, Google it, get directions from Google, or from the maps on your Smartphone. They are super convenient when you’re in a fight with a friend and want to know whose right quickly, BAM, pull out your Smartphone and you know whose right.

Also there is the aspect of Wi-Fi, calling, and texting. I was out in woodland with my family with no bars of service, most phones wouldn’t be able to connect to service but because of my Smartphone I was able to connect to Wi-Fi and still be able to use it, just as if I had full bars. Also if you try and go on the internet at a store with Wi-Fi but don’t have smart phone-you can get charged but not with the Smartphone! In most cases, new Smartphone’s the battery life is way better than most non Smartphone’s like my old phone. I got about 2 days for just minimal texting but with my new phone I can call, text and surf the internet and it lasts me two to three and half days.

My last aspect I will talk about is the aspect of being able to check your email on the go: let’s say later in life you’re on a business but your boss emailed you a change in venue but you can be there and on top of it with your Smartphone. You showed up while other non Smartphone users didn’t also it keeps you in better and faster touch with all of your groups of friends.

Okay, I will have you all know straight up that Smartphones are the a devilish device of people who like to complicate your life. Since 1994 ‘Simon’ the age’s first smart phone started the trend that your phone is not just for making a call or sending a text messages. It introduced the new wave of keeping memos, calendars, scheduling and altogether ‘more convenient’ life. Later on in the age came Blackberry’s and Android smart phones, revolutionizing the previous idea-phones are not only meant to organize your life but instead take over your life.

We have all become way too dependent on our little electronic buddies. We’ve created a new sense of alertness when we don’t have our phones in our pockets a wave of panic overcomes us. Everybody LISTEN UP. What will happen if we sudden are stricken from the convenience of our smart phones? Realize the idea of never again checking your Facebook on our I-phones, or never being able to keep appointments on your phone. You will be forced to learn organization and communication skills between actual people instead of sending an SMS message (texting). Why would we want to get used to the idea of verbal communication between others to be rare or non-existent?

I find it more professional and formal to call others instead of texting them. Texting is impersonal and it lacks authenticity. It’s very easy to lie and deceive over text message, because you have the time to think about what you are going to say, without the hint of pausing, stuttering or any indication that you are untruthful. Simplicity at its finest, a non-smart phone is the best way to be true to others, and uncomplicated. Simplistic phones should be the way of the future- a further complicating phone. It’s unnecessary and it will sooner or later control our lives through a tiny phone.


by Jay Ulrich

Being a senior in high school, can put a load of pressure on a person. It’s normal for a teen to have some stress every now and then. Some teens go out and find a part-time job to make some extra money to get that new car, or to get some new clothes, but something that’s apparent is that we’re trying to grow up too fast. Throughout high school, our teachers as well as our parents teach us how to center our actions on goals. Generally that starts off as earning their first car, or saving up for college, but what is an appropriate goal to aim for at a young age? I personally know what it is like to be a teen that grew up way to fast.
I surpassed appropriate goals at an early age and now I am living a more or less young adult life in a kid’s age. At just turning 18 last month, I should be at home with my parents, possibly working a part time job with my graduation the only goal I should be working toward. Instead, I sit in my house with my three roommates, working an almost full time job with the goal of maintaining work, school, and staying on top of bills. Social life is something hard to come by and enjoying the rest of my senior year isn’t looking to well. To see kids my age wanting to pursue the path that I live on worries me. Do they really understand what being independent truly is? Do they know what it feels like to take for granted the small things our parents do for us?

Until now I didn’t really realize it either. Some athletes or other students who have extracurricular activities know that dedicating yourself outside of school can really diminish your grades. With your mind focused more on social aspects rather than finishing your homework, you choose your fate. For some parents, they make it clear to their kids that school is their only job, grades come first. I didn’t’ respect that idea until now. To everyone my age, to the freshman this year; don’t worry about finding a job so soon in life. Don’t take for granted your parents and use them as a way to be successful in your high school career. The real world can wait for you, but graduating can’t. High school should be the best four years of your life.

Freshman year is a time where we try and discover who we are. Something we fail to see is, you will change your mind a million times before you even get to your last year of high school. Choices and ideas of colleges and career paths will come and go well into adulthood but getting a proper education in high school first will help you later on, even if you still think those three years of algebra won’t apply to life post-graduation. I still don’t. Sophomores, I urge you most to take your grades into consideration this year. Failing one class shouldn’t be considered as ‘no big deal’, it will add up at the end and you will have to pay for it. Skipping school and slacking off shouldn’t be praised in school like it is amongst students. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught people snoring, doodling, or even walking out of the class room.

As a senior, I am living what is known for a time where we become lazy, skip or figure we don’t need school anymore. If the millions of people who have graduated in our country knew that high school didn’t matter, would they have prepared us for it for eight years and suffer through it for four? Education and a diploma should be the only thing you’re focused on achieving right now. We have our lives to figure out who we are. Don’t be like me, too eager to grow up and overwhelming yourself. You can be who you want to be at any time, it doesn’t mean that time has to be right now. Now is the time to mold ourselves into who we can be or have the opportunity to be in the future. We’re all still kids, and we need to act like it.



by Hugo Gonzalez and Cassidy Lucas

[singlepic id=41 w=150 h=150 float=left]At a young age we are like sponges to everything our parents say and do. So should a parent LIE to their kid? Should we as a culture lie to our young? The biggest lie told around this time of year is SANTA. Telling kids Santa is real is a bad idea, that can lead to them becoming ungrateful, misunderstanding Christmas, and mistrusting adults.
I believe having an unseen force deliver gifts to kids can make them unappreciative. Instead of thanking their parents for the gifts they received they thank some lie their parents coaxed up! So instead of thinking how their parents worked hard to give the gift, they believe that some magic elf made it in somewhere on the North Pole. A lot of parents make sacrifices to have time for them and to get them things they want, and then they don’t even get a thank you.
Christmas is a fun time of year, I am in no way trying to ruin Christmas. Family should come first when Christmas rolls around, instead of shifting the focus to some overweight old man.
“I used to be a big believer in Santa and everything and I was devastated when I found out he wasn’t real” says HHS’s Brittany Tese-Moe. Someone at some point in a child’s life is going to let that cat out of the bag and tell them that Santa isn’t real, so why not save them the pain, disappointment, and mistrust? This is one of those cases where the TRUTH is worth a whole lot more than fiction.

Photo by Kyle Sager

[singlepic id=55 w=150 h=150 float=left] For many children, Santa will always be a cherished part of their holiday traditions. They will forever remember leaving out milk and cookies, writing letters and mailing them to the North Pole in hopes that Santa’s elves will relay what they want to the big man in charge. Folks will always remember trying to stay up all night in hopes that they’ll catch a glimpse of Santa coming down the chimney, and placing a bundle of presents under the tree, then the next morning running downstairs to see what Santa had left for them.
For myself, I’ve always adored the thought of Santa, even after I found out that he was an imaginary character, concocted from the minds of parents everywhere. But I’ve always thought of it as a beautiful dream that there is something out there bigger than us. Santa is far more than just a made up plump jolly white-bearded man. He represents Christmas and the true meaning of it. He represents selflessness and love. He shows compassion and fully spreads Christmas joy.
I think that by allowing your children to believe in Santa Claus is just showing them how to be selfless and giving. It shows them to be thankful for what they have and to be forever thankful of the things they are given. Even after children grow out of believing in Santa Claus, tiny worker elves, reindeer, Mrs. Claus, and the ridiculously magical North Pole, they still carry over the thoughts of their Santa-filled childhood with them to their adult life and in most cases into their children’s lives.
I think by telling your kids that Santa exists, you’re not lying; you’re simply giving them hope that there are great people out there. I’m almost eighteen and am still a true believer in the Christmas spirit and adore the thought of Santa Claus, so I say, let your kids believe. They may get a tad too hyped about Christmas, but what’s the worst that can happen?


by Hugo Gonzalez and Cassidy Lucas

[singlepic id=55 w=150 h=150 float=left]It’s eleven PM on a Sunday night and you just lay down to go to sleep. You realize you have a paper due at the beginning of class tomorrow in first period and you’ve yet to start it. Reality sets in and you realize you need a quick source of energy since you’ll be pulling an all-nighter, hopefully completing your non-existent paper in time. You rush to the kitchen, throw on a pot of coffee, grab some food and grab an energy drink to fill your need of caffeine.
There are quite a few reasons as to why I condone the consumption of energy drinks and coffee. First of all, consuming either one is an instantaneous energy boost. When you are in a rush, we can’t lose time on alternatives. Second, they taste fabulous, and third, they’re completely convenient.

In Vancouver, you can’t drive five miles down the road without passing at least two coffee shops or gas stations. As high-school students, we seem to procrastinate rather often. If there’s a way to obtain energy fast in order to complete a task at the last minute, then by all means, take advantage of it. As far as health concerns go, it is completely one-hundred percent safe to consume energy drinks and coffee if you drink them in moderation. Of course too much of anything can harm your body but if you’re not drinking eight cups of coffee within a 3 hour period, you’ll be fine.

Drinking an energy drink is equivalent to drinking about four cans of soda, but the difference is instead of filling a can with carbonated water, caffeine, and sugar like soda does, energy drinks contain a significant amount of vitamin B which is a natural source of energy.

According to WebMD; coffee drinkers are far less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, less of a chance to develop certain types of cancer, heart rhythm problems, and strokes. Coffee is full of antioxidants, all positive nutrients to your body.

Energy drinks and coffee are two amazing resources of energy and should completely be utilized by people. Not only do I completely love the taste of coffee and energy drinks, but I also love the energy jolt it gives me Instantly perking me up when I’m tired. They’re great in all ways and have far more benefits than people think.


Image by Elliot Taylor

[singlepic id=41 w=150 h=150 float=left]According to Dr. Joseph Mercola and Rachael Droege “American adult consumes over 10 pounds of coffee per year, which amounts to a total of 2.4 billion pounds a year in the United States alone.” I am not sure about everyone but I plan to live a long healthy life and at our age we shouldn’t needs stimulants to be energetic. “Most energy drinks contain at least as much caffeine as a standard eight-ounce cup of coffee” According to Dr. Edward group from global healing center; also that “caffeine can cause anxiety attacks, heart palpitations, and insomnia.” Its either you’re doing something you’re not supposed to be doing or you’re not prioritizing yourself and have to stay up, whatever way it may be I strongly disagree against these products.

I think the reason why most of our generation believes that we need energy drinks or coffee to stay up or accomplish anything, is because of the way it is sold to us in the media. For example look at the guy who jumped from the edge of space by slapping a giant red bull logo to the side of his helmet, it has given us the idea that we need more then ourselves to do something great and that is a lie. For example like Cassidy said “you can’t drive five miles down the road without passing at least two coffee shops or gas stations.” This is always giving us the option to go right ahead and use it as a reliable source of energy.

I believe then rather having a stimulant that gives you jitters to help you write that important paper that your grade relies on that a more in focus and clear head would prevail. Don’t quote me by it but I don’t believe Felix Baumgartner the guy from the space jump took a red bull before attempting his stunt, self motivation, determination and being organized is the best way to get things done Rather than waiting until half past midnight to remember an assignment. There are other things you can do to make sure your body is full of energy and ready for the day like consume more water or by getting more sleep!

“Although teenagers need an estimated nine to ten hours of sleep each night, many only get seven or eight hours of sleep on a regular basis” says Lily J. Tythan at live; I seriously believe the number one reason that these products are used is because of the lack of sleep. Difficulty waking in the morning, irritability during the afternoon, falling asleep during the day and having difficulty remembering or concentrating is the signs to sleep deprivation; oddly enough those signs are usual for the most of us aren’t they?

I am not saying that all people have time on their hands to waste but for the people who just take it for the taste and sheer rush and trend, learn to take care of your future self. All I am saying is that these products are damaging, not necessary and strongly disapprove of these products.



by Jay Ulrich and Kyle Sager

Halloween is a time for children and their parents going door to door knocking on neighbor’s doors for tricks and treats. Generally there are kids ranging from 2 – 12 dressed up to indulge in this activity, but some teenagers never stop…taking the idea of trick or treating from cute, to creepy.

As you grow up, you move on from childish tendencies and grow into your role as an adult. That means teenagers shouldn’t be showing up on stranger’s doors in costume holding a pillow case. You have the ability to use your own money, walk to the store, and buy your own candy. Stop exploiting your neighbors for the free candy they have bought for little kids!.

Think about if you were a young kid knocking on that door- If older kids have taken all of the best candy, and left you with fun-sized junk.

In a lot of ways, teens trick or treating isn’t only disturbing, but pathetic. You have more important things to do rather than worry about what street route you’ll be taking to hit all the best houses. If you’re really into the spirit of the holiday, then take your younger siblings or your neighborhood kids…and be cool enough to stand on the sidewalk and focus on their excitement instead of stealing their thunder.

Consider, for a second, the benefits:
1. You get candy.
2. You can hang with your friends
3. You can walk around at night scaring people!

I don’t see why it should matter if you’re 6 years old or 16 years old- Trick or Treating never gets old.  Would you rather pay a ton of your hard-earned money or go out for an hour and get three times as much junk and have it be free!  I’ve seen guys like 26 years old making use of their mustaches and dressing up as Mario to bring in the sweets. Also, what if your parents tell you to go out because you have a little brother or sister, why not dress up and get some candy for yourself? It’s a win-win.
I would be willing to bet all the candy I get tonight, and say that if you asked 90 percent of this school if they wanted to go trick or treating, they would say yes.
Personally trick or treating will never get old, and people say we need to grow up, but 16 is not very old at all.  And we’re still growing!

The Rant ::: YOLO!

by Hugo Gonzalez and Cassidy Lucas

[singlepic id=41 w=150 h=150 float=left]YOLO? Seriously? Our class of 2013 should not be remembered for this ignorant quote. YOLO has become an excuse to commit crimes, play pranks, and even ruin your own life because “you only live once.”

I first heard the expression in an offensive rap song by Drake. When I first listened to the song it made no sense. It was rambling profanity about smoking pot, and having one night stands with prostitutes. Is this reference even something that should be allowed at a school? I seriously do not think this has any relation to the class of 2013; I don’t know about you, but I don’t do those things.

Most of the YOLO posts on Twitter or Facebook are published by someone who has messed up their lives and are using the quote, YOLO as an escape to justify their mistakes. Why in the WORLD would we want to take THAT and turn it into a motto for kids that are moving onto the next chapter of their lives? When do you ever see the word YOLO associated with someone actually preparing their lives? We should know that having a good, prepared, long life is more important than screaming ‘YOLO’ at the top of our lungs while doing something we are going to regret.

If anything, YOLO should be a precautionary statement that means, ‘Hey, you only live once.’ You should be out there preparing to make that one chance you get the best it can possibly be. I’m not trying to be a party pooper, but there is a time and a place to risk it all and take a chance, but our entire senior year shouldn’t be summed up as a risk.

I fear for the future of our classmates and generation. What kind of future can we expect when we are supposed to look at people like Drake and lil Wayne and use their words as guide lines for our lives? I think Yolo was chosen for a motto because there wasn’t anything better suggested; I believe the vote should have been held at the beginning of our senior year in a class room with the opinion of our fellow students to support us. Our class of 2013 should not be remembered this way. -Hugo

Image by Jay Budd

[singlepic id=55 w=150 h=150 float=left]You only live once, that’s the motto. The phrase has been around for a long time. Just because some rapper abbreviated it to “YOLO,” doesn’t mean the original meaning has been eliminated. Anti-YOLO HHS Facebook pages have sprung up hating on the motto. Students have introduced petitions and attacked our senior class ASB over this. I am beyond proud that we have a class full of passion. But it’s time we take the passion and invest it into something useful, instead of bashing a motto full of truth. The passion our senior body is emitting is amazing, but I’d personally love to see that passion put to work on your senior project or post-high school goals.

YOLO isn’t an excuse to screw up your life. Instead, it should be a reminder that you only have one lifetime to make this world a better place. Leave behind a legacy of courage, strength, honor, love and service…not a rap sheet of stupidity, selfishness, cowardice, hurt and hate. When I take a look back at my high school years, I’ll be thinking about my successes in high school and the growth I made, the changes I’ve made as not only a person but as a student.

Yes, the term might be overused. And it can also be misused, as an excuse to do stupid stuff. You might not like the rapper, and it may have not been your first choice when choosing our senior motto. But I can guarantee that if the term “You only live once,” was chosen to be our motto instead of “YOLO,” the reaction from the senior class would be significantly different.

We should all be more focused on actually graduating rather than sitting around sulking over a motto we’ll more than likely laugh at in a few years. Take the saying “Carpe Diem!” for example; which means “seize the day.” The meaning of carpe diem is similar to many other proverbs used in the English language for pretty much just living your life to the fullest and to make worth of the time you have on earth because it’s short. You only live once, or YOLO, completely falls under this category.

YOLO is a great reminder to always live your life to the fullest because you’ve only got one life to live. Don’t take advantage of this life because at any time it could be ripped from your hands. Embrace YOLO; it shows not only our success as students but as people all together and I don’t think that by any means it should be changed. -Cassidy

The Rant: the battle is on

By: Erin Roetker

“Everything happens for a reason,” a common phrase used when something monumental happens. Whether the action is good or bad, it has happened for a reason. The dictionary definition of fate is, “the supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events.”

In this great world around us, we have little control. Not many can fathom how large the universe really is and how tiny we really are. Sure, we can control what we can eat for breakfast or what clothes to put on in the morning, whom we will spend our time with and what grade we will get in a class. When it comes to the more important life decisions we have a purpose and predetermined fate.

Another common phrase is “everyone has a purpose.” As teenagers, we are constantly searching for that defining moment when we find out why we are here. When that moment comes, we are suddenly in the happiest state of mind. The beautiful thing about it is we already have a path in front of us. We have to figure out how to walk down it and make the best decisions, have the best relationships, and be as positive as we can be in order to get to the end of the path.

That is not to say that we are all puppets and there is one entity, one person, one god, controlling every move we make. We have our own choices to make. The idea of our minds being controlled by someone other than ourselves is ridiculous. We obviously make personal judgments, form opinions, and make our own decisions. The difference between decision-making and fate is short-term vs. long term. The flow of the world and its energies will overpower any choice that we try and make.

No person was created the same as any other. It is possible that as humans we will have some of the same characteristics, or enjoy the same activities, but in no way is every aspect the same in two human beings. There is a purpose for each person being the way that they are. We were all made different for a reason, an important reason. There is a job for each person and something that every person has to accomplish in their lifetime. We were all meant to walk down different paths to different destinations by the power of fate.

By: Ashley Davis
Opinion Editor

Free will is the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion. Fate, on the other hand, is the development of events outside a person’s control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power. In the east, it is a common belief that life is guided by fate and if you come from the west, you likely believe that life is guided by your own free will.
The idea of fate seems to make sense in many situations. Sometimes people find themselves in situations that just can’t be explained in any other way besides fate. I believe that each individual has the power to make their own choices, and each one of these choices affects others.

The choices we make in this life are choices we decide to make, and are not necessarily part of a plan. Rather than “a plan,” I believe in patterns. Patterns occur in every aspect of life. In fact, life itself is a pattern. We make choices, often guided by emotions and sometimes guided by deep thought and analysis. As far as fate goes, I think it is just a word to explain the outcome or consequences of our choices. Fate is a word that I associate with the pattern that comes out of free will.

The ability to take responsibility for one’s own actions and not leave it up to some outside source is sometimes scary for individuals to comprehend, but life itself is scary. As human beings we are sometimes comforted by the idea that everything happens for a reason. This idea seems to make sense, but not by a force of spirit, rather, the events are a result of one of life’s many patterns. I think that without the idea of fate people would be lost.

Personally, the idea that life is all pre-determined for me is terrifying. I much rather prefer the thought of creating my life, rather than going through the motions only to end up where I’m ‘supposed to be’. That’s just the thing though, whether we believe in fate or free will, we will latch onto whatever makes us more comfortable. This is human nature.

In the end, you make your own decisions, and it creates an endless domino effect. This idea is more complex and not so compartmentalized as to say: “It’s fate. Everything happens for a reason”. I think living your life with this belief is certainly okay, as long as you acknowledge the fact that you need to be responsible for the decisions that you make in life, and you acknowledge the fact that everything you do affects others, whether that be by our fate or a pattern as a result of free will.

You have created yourself and all of your loveliness, and you deserve to take some credit for that.