Kicking senioritis to the curb

By Sydney Kightlinger, editor in chief and senioritis crusader  

Any senior who tells you that they aren’t suffering from a case of “senioritis” is lying to you and probably themselves. Even the most dedicated and driven students are susceptible to the virus. And it is understandable. Most seniors only have two or three credits keeping them from graduation, so electives are finally prevalent in their schedules.

In theory, senior year is a cakewalk, but in reality, it’s like trying to dance after you’ve been sitting on your legs for three hours. It’s hard because you were lazy.

However, there is a way to combat the sloth!

  1. Get a Job

It is always tempting to go home after school, curl up on the couch, and watch a little Netflix. But when one episode becomes a season, you are getting into murky territory. If you are watching multiple hours of Netflix without a qualm, you have a touch of senioritis. This is one of the first symptoms.  

A little structure to your afternoons makes a world of difference. It gives you a sense of purpose, and some spending money (and, something to add to your resume).

  1. Assign yourself assignments

Adults love harping on us to keep a planner because they work. “I don’t need to write that down. I will remember to do that tonight” are words frequently followed by missing assignments and dropping GPAs. When seniors utter this cursed phrase, they  are earnest, but at 6:30 p.m. they gravitate more towards Netflix than thirty-one calculus problems. Miraculously, the next day as we waltz into class, our memories are jogged, but it is too late. Our GPAs will rest in peace.

Now if we would just write down the assignments to begin with,  there is a better chance we won’t bury ourselves so deep in late work that we can’t see our goals anymore.

  1. Keep your goals in mind

Sports? Check. Community Service? Check. Good Grades? Check.

At times, high school feels like a four-year audition. But when  we have checked all the boxes on the college applications and can see the light at the end of the tunnel as the acceptance letters roll in, that is when we are most susceptible to the senioritis virus.

Colleges still care about what you are doing after they say yes. They don’t want bums. A lot of schools require you to send your transcripts every grading period to ensure you are still on track. And there can even be money awarded for not “burning it down” from the day after senior project night to graduation. So keep in mind that while we’ve finally made it to the end, it is really just the beginning of our real lives.

All in all, as seniors we have our entire lives ahead of us. High School is the shortest four years of our lives, even if it seems like the longest right now. We need to be examples for the underclassmen. Our legacy shouldn’t be that we “gave zero cares” as we burned it down. It should be that we worked diligently to the end. That doesn’t mean we can’t watch netflix. We just have to learn moderation because the countdown to adulting is on.

Cloverfield captivates audiences in terror

By Benjamin Haylett, broadcast team

“10 Cloverfield Lane” follows Michelle, a young woman who runs away from her husband,  gets into a car accident, and loses consciousness. When she comes to, Michelle finds herself trapped in an underground bunker with two men, Elliot and Howard. It is revealed to Michelle that Howard built the fallout shelter in preparation for the impending apocalypse, and Elliot fought his way into the shelter and broke his arm doing so. Michelle and Elliot hatch a plan to escape after a dark secret is discovered about Howard.

“10 Cloverfield Lane” is the sequel to the 2008 hit “Cloverfield,” but while the original was a “found footage film” where the camera is very shaky throughout, “10 Cloverfield unnamedLane” is a traditional motion picture. The camera work is beautifully done and artistic, and at some points is reminiscent of its predecessor, without inducing motion sickness.

The acting from the entire cast is excellent, but it is John Goodman who really takes the spotlight as the mentally deranged “doomsday prepper on steroids.” Goodman’s performance is on par with that of Kathy Bates in the movie adaptation of the Stephen King classic “Misery.” His creepy mannerisms and unfriendly demeanor are the backbone that supports the true terror the audience feels throughout the entirety of the film.

I would highly recommend “10 Cloverfield Lane” to anyone who enjoys plot and character-driven scares. It has very few cheap scares and none of the gratuitous gore that seem to pervade today’s horror movies. That being said, “10 Cloverfield Lane” contains intense scenes that display man’s inhumanity towards fellow man, violence, and brief language, that make it inappropriate for small children. If you want R quality scares in a PG-13 movie, then “10 Cloverfield Lane” is for you.

Avoid the scramble to spend on Valentine’s Day

By Caitlin Bieganski, opinion editor

Cheesy poetic cards, expensive rose bouquets, over-sized stuffed bears, and heart shaped boxes of chocolates; once devoted to love and fertility, St. Valentine’s Day is now defined by mass-produced, costly, material goods.

When February rolls around, couples worldwide begin scrambling to prove their love. Not with heartfelt sentiments and handwritten letters, but with overly priced products that corporations have brainwashed us to believe are the true symbols of devotion.

 

Cartoon

By: Caitlin Bieganski SHS

With an average annual cost of around $13 billion, the holiday has become one of the most emotionally driven marketing scams of all time. This year, spending is predicted to reach nearly $19 billion. Time and time again, guys and girls are duped into feeling obligated to spend money on their significant others.

 

“They [gifts] are not really a must, but I still think it’s pretty important,” said sophomore Quaid Ross, who plans on buying his girlfriend Julia Sada a gift for the holiday. “It’s usually just chocolate or something, but it makes her happy,” Ross said; however, the purchase of Valentine’s gifts certainly does not justify your love. If you know a Valentine’s gift will please your beloved don’t fall victim to the glamorized mercantile creation that has been set up by large card and candy companies. These businesses create clever ad campaigns designed to take advantage of and exploit your desire to make that special person happy.

For example, Hallmark’s “Put your heart on paper” campaign consists of seven YouTube videos featuring diverse couples and contains enough emotional appeal to make even the toughest guy go out and buy one of their cards. But if you really want to show you care, if you really want to surprise your significant other, break out a pack of colored pencils and some cardstock and make them something unique and special. Or, if you’re lacking in artistic ability, settle for a home cooked meal by candle light.

Furthermore, remember that you don’t need a specified day to tell you when and how to show your feelings for your partner. Love is something more than candy, cards, and flowers. It is a concept that should be felt and expressed all 365 days a year.

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?

By Paige Coon and Kassidy Trace, Staff Writers

Your first thoughts about Valentine’s Day probably involve love, nice dinners with your significant other and presents from the heart, but what do people really think about Valentine’s Day?

Some people say that Valentine’s Day is no different from any other day of the year. But, on the other hand, others believe that it is a day to look forward to all year long.

“I love Valentine’s Day. You get to see everyone portray their love for others. And it’s fun to see couples show their love towards each other,” said junior Alaina Budzbanowski.

Lovers of Valentine’s Day are known to go all out for their loved ones. “I like Valentine’s Day because I get to show my wife how much I appreciate her, even though I try to do that on a daily basis,” said math teacher Mr. Stephen Simcheck.

Valentine’s day is known to be a time for magical love and “butterflies” soaring throughout the stomach, yet others hate Valentine’s Day. To them, Valentine’s Day is just another way for businesses to make more money. “I feel that it is a stupid excuse to buy gifts,” said junior Tanna Walters. Many couples believe that you must treat your significant other with love and respect every day of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day.

“I think you should treat people nice all of the time. I don’t think there needs to be a special day to do that,” said history teacher Mr. Adam Horne. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, people will either love it or hate it, but in the end it is not going anywhere.

American Sniper stuns crowds

San Fransisco Public Library, sfplamr.blogspot.com

San Fransisco Public Library blogspot

By Lance Neuscheler, Staff Writer

As the credits roll and the packed crowd strolls out of the theater, the whole room is in complete silence. Sound familiar? Probably not, unless you’ve seen Clint Eastwood’s new film “American Sniper,” the film adaption of an autobiography written by Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in United States military history. Many Saegertown students have now seen the film and several were very impressed with how the movie turned out. “As the son of a military member, I can say that American Sniper was a very accurate depiction of what it’s like for a father in the armed forces” said senior Alex Barclay.

Considering that the crowds leaving the movie theater usually burst into conversation as soon as the movie ends, someone who hasn’t seen the movie may ask: what makes this movie so special? Maybe it’s the fact that the movie is a non-fiction biography of a man’s life, packed with mixed emotions and a constant debate over one man’s personal responsibilities. Maybe it’s also the reality that Chris Kyle died in 2013, murdered by one of the many veterans who he was trying to help. The movie’s final scenes, real footage of Chris Kyle’s funeral, certainly bring out emotion, along with respect from many of the audience members.

Amongst the movie’s supporters, however, there have been many critics, including some celebrities, taking shots at the now deceased SEAL. Many people feel not only that Chris Kyle was more of a murderer than hero, but also that the movie glorifies war and promotes racism. Critics back up these claims by highlighting many social media posts by moviegoers who claim that they “want to kill muslims” after watching the film. They also point out that in Kyle’s autobiography, he often refers to his enemies as savages and views them as evil.

In the face of the controversy, it is important to remember that American Sniper was developed as a biographical film to honor Chris Kyle and his family, and not as a war movie. Audience members expecting a hoorah war movie filled with non-stop action may be surprised to find that between the action, there’s a much more personal plot that is the focus of the movie. Regardless of whether or not the United States should have even been in the war in the first place, taking a side was not the film’s intended message. There is heavy emphasis on Kyle’s internal struggle to decide what he is more responsible for: his family or his country. The movie also delves into not only Kyle’s personal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but how it affects other veterans as well as their families and how Kyle adapts to life after being discharged. And it further includes his work with troubled and disabled veterans, which eventually led to his death.

As for Chris Kyle himself, he can hardly be seen as an evil man. Kyle was viewed as a good father, and a friend to many people. After his return to America, he worked with many veterans who were struggling, and brought some normality back to their lives. He was bravely willing to repeatedly risk his life to save United States troops and defend his country. While “savages” is not the most correct term for his enemy overseas, Kyle is a man who was trained to see no gray area, only black and white. Thrust into the situations that he was, Chris Kyle had no choice but to be desensitized to death and destruction and had to make the best out what happened in the war.  Kyle had to see the enemy as evil, and hesitation could result in his troops being wounded or killed.

“It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don’t regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn’t save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I’m not naive, and I don’t romanticize war. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job,” said Chris Kyle in his autobiography. Before you criticize Chris Kyle for valuing his soldiers above the enemy, ask yourself: if someone you know was unknowingly about to be killed, would you let it happen, or would you take the shot?