Durant High School Journalism

Florida students try to petition school after Halloween

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Florida students try to petition school after Halloween

The petion ultimately gained about 70,000 signatures.

The petion ultimately gained about 70,000 signatures.

Change.org

The petion ultimately gained about 70,000 signatures.

Change.org

Change.org

The petion ultimately gained about 70,000 signatures.

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The Hillsborough County School Board has responded to a petition created online by students regarding school on the day after Halloween, November 1st

Students from Hillsborough, Polk, and Pasco county each began a petition on change.org proposing that students should not have to go to school after Halloween and a night of Trick-or-Treating. The Hillsborough county petition has nearly 60,000 signatures to, as the petition states, “Get no school after [H]alloween so we can turn up with our homies.”

The Polk County petition, begun by Moises Rodriguez, had more formal phrasing, explaining that holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving each have weeks off, and asking for one day off for Halloween isn’t too much to ask. 

Ja-Leo Boswell, a sophomore at Durant who signed the petition said, “Nobody’s gonna be feeling good cause they eat a lot of candy or are gonna get themselves sick or are gonna party and stay up late until like 3 o’clock in the morning.”

Many students agreed with Boswell explaining they can’t function at school if they are “hung over on candy.”  Another student signed the petition because the school board has already cancelled early release days for the rest of the first semester due to Hurricane Dorian. 

Emily Daugherty commented in favor of the petition saying, “I’m signing this petition because I believe that Halloween is a night to live it up! And how we gonna do that when we have school the next day and homework to do that night also[?] This petition is great [because] I really think that we should have the day after Halloween off!”

However, the school boards from each county have responded to the student led petitions.  

The post from the Polk County School Board reads “We respect the spirit of grassroots activism behind the petition…Unfortunately, our yearly school calendar is set well in advance, and barring an emergency, we cannot close schools on short notice.”  

Christine Lybbert, one of the Spanish teachers at Durant, says the school board’s response was “absolutely” appropriate because of the required time students need to come to school. 

The school board responded to another student comment claiming that students will be sick from eating candy saying, “Our school nurses will be ready to assist you with any candy-related ailments when you return… on Friday.”

Principle Gary Graham says he does not support the petition but says “I don’t think [the petition] was inappropriate. I think there is a form for student voice all the time.”

Mrs. Lybbert agreed with Mr. Graham, saying “We have a right to ask. I learned a long time ago that if you never ask the answer is always going to be no.”

The students’ efforts are applauded, however, some issues-such as school attendance-are not negotiable. But, echoing Mrs. Lybbert’s take on the matter, it never hurts to ask.

About the Writer
Lilyann Belcher, Staff Writer

Lily Belcher is a sophomore at Durant High School and she is a Staff Writer for the PawPrint newspaper. She is also part of Durant’s Flag Football team,...

Tampa Bay Lightning looks to make statements this upcoming season

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Tampa Bay Lightning looks to make statements this upcoming season

Fans rally behind the team, in hopes for victory in the 2020 Stanley Cup.

Fans rally behind the team, in hopes for victory in the 2020 Stanley Cup.

Luis Santana

Fans rally behind the team, in hopes for victory in the 2020 Stanley Cup.

Luis Santana

Luis Santana

Fans rally behind the team, in hopes for victory in the 2020 Stanley Cup.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning is looking to win its second Stanley Cup in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. The last time the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup was in the 2003-04 NHL season. The Lightning look to dominate and make a statement this upcoming season. 

With new additions for the Lightning for the 2019-20 season, the Tampa Bay Lightning look to add more physical players to the roster. The Tampa Bay Lightning added Stanley Cup Champion, Patrick Maroon, 31, for this season. Last season, Maroon played and won the Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues and is a hard working player who can score and can add depth to the Lightning. Maroon will not back down from a fight and had sixty-four penalty minutes during the regular season. This shows that Maroon will stick up for his teammates and will provide depth for the team.

 The Lightning also added Luke Witkowski, 29, a free agent who the Lightning inked for 2 years from the Detroit Red Wings can provide the team with his ability to hit and fight. Witkowski is not a big goal scorer, but can support his team with body checks and hits. 

The Lightning had to trade some of their stars this offseason and make some tough choices and decisions. Ryan Callahan, 34, who was traded to the Ottawa Senators, spent five seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning and will likely retire from playing hockey due to his severe back injury that doctors recommended he should stop playing hockey. In exchange for Callahan, the Lightning got goalie Mike Condon and a draft pick.

The Lightning also traded forward, J.T. Miller, 26, to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for two first round draft picks. The Lightning also gave up forward, Adam Erne, 24, to the Detroit Red Wings, in exchange for a 2020 fourth round draft pick. 

The biggest news is that the Lightning haven’t made a deal to extend one of their top stars, Brayden Point. Point, 23, is a restricted free agent who scored a total of 92 points in the 2018-19 NHL season. Point said in an interview “I would like to stay in Tampa,” but the season is very close to starting and he has yet to sign a contract with any team. This has made Lightning fans worry about a fan favorite player, not resigning with the Lightning. 

This year, Tampa Bay Lightning Captain, Steven Stamkos, 29, will play in his twelfth NHL season looking to win his first career Stanley Cup. Stamkos has led the team since 2014 since the departure of Martin St. Louis, who is now in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Stamkos also led the Lightning to a Stanley Cup Final in 2015, when the Lightning took on the Chicago Blackhawks. The Lightning lost the series, 4-2. After their historical season in the 2018-19 NHL season ending with the best record in the league, they lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, 4-0, to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Stamkos said “it was a fluke.” The Lightning plan to come out aggressive, strong, and end that way, but this time with a Stanley Cup. 

The Lightning have many star players such as Nikita Kucherov, 26, Victor Hedman, 28, Tyler Johnson, 29, Andrei Vasilevskiy, 25, and many more, as they have a stacked lineup filled with top scorers. Kucherov, is coming off a historical season ending with 128 points winning the Hart 

Memorial Trophy as NHL Most Valuable Player, Arts Ross Trophy for most points in the NHL, and Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player for the season. Kucherov set the NHL record for most points in a single season by a Russian-born player. Hedman, came off a season of injuries, but is ready to go for this upcoming season and is feels like he is healthier than ever. Johnson tied his own record for most goals in his career during a single season with 29. Vasilevskiy won the Vezina Trophy for the best NHL goaltender. 

This shows that the Lightning can be one of the greatest teams with their style of playing and having great coaches and players. The Lightning plan to win the Stanley Cup and they plan to be one of the greatest teams for a long time.

About the Writer
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Jordan Dabbour, Business Manager

Jordan Dabbour is a junior at Durant High School and is Advertising Business Manager for the PawPrint newspaper. He is an avid sports fan, and loves to...

Wattpad provides alternative to traditional reading materials

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Wattpad provides alternative to traditional reading materials

The library page on the website and app. It looks identical no matter which format is being used. These are examples of polular works.

The library page on the website and app. It looks identical no matter which format is being used. These are examples of polular works.

Wattpad

The library page on the website and app. It looks identical no matter which format is being used. These are examples of polular works.

Wattpad

Wattpad

The library page on the website and app. It looks identical no matter which format is being used. These are examples of polular works.

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Wattpad is a free website and app that allows readers to add books to their libraries with no limit as to how long it can be there, similar to the concept of Netflix. Users can also create different reading lists, post messages on their profile, vote on book chapters and comment throughout stories. Users may also upload their own works to the platform in hopes of gaining an audience.

Wattpad was officially launched in October of 2006. The website and app were launched by the co-founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. The idea was originally thought of by Lau but both believed that having an app where people had access to novels was key. The app is available for iOS devices as well as Androids.

The website began as a place for public domain novels like Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen but soon expanded to be much more. Users are allowed to publish almost anything in their books and this lead to a very popular genre: fanfiction.

Fanfiction caused Wattpad’s popularity to rise in teens and young adults because they could read romances about their favorite celebrities in a variety of circumstances. While fanfiction is still a popular genre on the site, other categories have risen to popularity. Most of the popular genres on Wattpad are a variations of romance. They range from high school romances to complex, middle age relationships.

The variety in the novels uploaded allows Wattpad to please a diverse of age groups and ethnicities. There are people as young as 10 years-old to about as old as 45 years-old on the website. Women are much more frequent users of the site but that does not mean there are no male users, they are just rare. When a male comments, the replies tend to emphasize how rare the occurance is.

The comments are truly what set Wattpad apart from some other reading services. The comments allow readers to become more engaged with a text because they can see how other people reacted or are reacting to the same passages. Readers can reply to comments to share their own opinion/experience or expand on what was stated. Comments allow readers to find people who are going through similar experiences in their real lives. They also allow people to make jokes or appreciate pop-culture references within stories.

Wattpad has a much wider impact on culture than many people realize. Many Wattpad books get published and put on bookstore shelves. Some books become so popular that even after publishing they can become movies. Popular examples are The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles and After by Anna Todd. Wattpad provides a starting place for young and aspiring authors.

Many of the novels that get published from Wattpad are altered from their original version in order for them to stay free on Wattpad. For example, Todd’s After series originated on Wattpad as a One Direction fanfiction in which the main love interest was Harry Styles. Once published the male main character’s name was changed to Hardin Scott. The additional members of the band, featured in the stories also received rewritten names, as well as a slightly altered text.

Stories on Wattpad may support serious issues or may be parts of sponsored contests to promote specific products. Specific tags and categories are attached to these stories. There are many novels that support the anti-bullying campaigns popularized during the Obama administration. One of the most popular books for this issue is The Good Girl’s Bad Boys: The Good, The Bad and The Bullied by user RibixCube89201. There are also suicide awareness as well as an entire genre for LGBTQ+ books.

While Wattpad did introduce paid stories in early 2019, users do not pay to create an account and many novels are still free. Some stories do contain ads about every 20 minutes after a chapter was completed.

Wattpad has expanded beyond the single app and website. In February of 2017 Wattpad sponsored their new app Tap. This app allows readers to read stories as though they were reading text chains. Unlike Wattpad, Tap is only available as an app.

Overall Wattpad is an easy alternative for people who do not have the time or ability to access a public library. This also aids individuals who cannot afford to buy books to keep long-term.

About the Writer
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Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

How Dress Codes affect students differently.

Rose Lynn, student at MacArthur High School in Oklahoma making a statement about her school's dress code.

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Rose Lynn, student at MacArthur High School in Oklahoma making a statement about her school's dress code.

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Dress code has been a long-term debate on whether it’s fair and unbiased, and students are beginning
to make their voices heard.Most school dress codes are the same, no tank tops, no shoulders, bottoms be fingertip length, and if you wear leggings, your shirt must cover your butt.

These policies are meant to ensure that there is no disruption to the learning environment, however, this does not seem to be the case for many schools nation-wide. Many students, especially females, are stepping out claiming that dress code policies are biased, sexist, and make them feel as though they are “distractions” instead of students.

This is shared by Oklahoma teen, Rose Lynn, pictured above, in 2015 as reported by Jordi Lippe-McGraw on TODAY. Lynn attends MacArthur High School in Oklahoma. One December morning she went and put on an outfit she believed to be appropriate based on the dress code. This outfit included a loose shirt, lengthy cardigan, and leggings. While at school that day she was sent home for said outfit and told that it was “deemed inappropriate and distracting” as reported by TODAY.

She did not let that stop her, she returned to the school wearing leggings and a lengthy white t-shirt that had stated in black marker ink “It doesn’t cover your crotch, you’ll distract the boys.”

This is what administration said to her before sending her home previously. She then later posted a picture of her outfit on social media along with a paragraph describing what happened and her opinion on the matter, and finished with a statement that read, “So once again, society has failed to advocate for young ladies, by confining them in a box, where they are stripped from their since of self-respect and self-expression.”

She also made claims on how her school is biased saying that is if she was “skin and bones or overweight” she would have been overlooked, but the fact that she is curvy is part of the reason she was singled out. And she isn’t the only teen to claim this.

A middle schooler in Maine has shown her determination in making her voice heard. At the time of the beginning of her movement, Molly Neuner, 11, of Portland, Maine, was sent home multiple times for the clothing she wore after
being told she would be a “distraction” towards males by at least two teachers, as reported by Danielle Waugh of NBC New York. After being told this, she claimed that “It just made [fellow students] feel uncomfortable”.

When she returned home, she discovered a hashtag that would not only inspire her, but many others. She returned to school the next day trying to make a statement. She did this by wearing a spaghetti strap tank top and wrote on her arm the hashtag “#iamnotadistraction.”

After seeing this, many students followed her lead by writing the same hashtags on their arms. After catching
the attention of multiple news outlets, schools began realizing that dress codes may be in need of reviewing.

When asked, Durant students did not hesitate to respond to the questions, “What is your opinion on school dress codes? Do you believe that they are biased or make females feel as they are a distraction?”

Senior Laura Bergman responded with the statement, “It’s stupid and teaches girls and boys to feel uncomfortable in their skin. It also teaches girls and boys what they should sexualize.”

Senior Gabbi Mora gave a similar response, “honestly, school dress code isn’t fair. Some girls show up breaking it every day and aren’t caught, but the second some innocent girl has her fingertips one inch past their shorts, it’s a problem, I don’t think it’s fair whatsoever.”

However, not all students agree with these statements. Emma Adcock, Junior, claims that “I believe if we didn’t have one then girls would be getting pregnant left and right. Dress codes protect both sexes.”

Students at Durant remain on both ends of the spectrum, and hopefully the new policies in place this school year are what we need. By updating the school dress code for the school year of 2019-2020, students can finally come to an agreement on what we need and what is to excessive, making guidelines that keep everyone happy, and no longer cause females to feel as if they are more of a distraction and less of a student.

About the Writer
Faith Miller, Staff Writer

Faith Miller is a senior at Durant High School and is a Staff Writer for the Durant PawPrint. This year will be her fourth season on the varsity Durant...

Disney Bans Smoking and Over-sized Strollers in its Theme Parks

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Disney Bans Smoking and Over-sized Strollers in its Theme Parks

Smoking regulations are now in affect at Disney theme parks.

Smoking regulations are now in affect at Disney theme parks.

Disney

Smoking regulations are now in affect at Disney theme parks.

Disney

Disney

Smoking regulations are now in affect at Disney theme parks.

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Earlier this year, Florida’s Disney theme parks concluded that the toleration of designated smoking and large strollers would be banned from their facilities. Claims state that the announced ban will allow for guests to have a more enjoyable time in each park. The removal of such will allow for guests to move along more freely without the feeling of being congested by others who are taking up too much space.

While the ban has set to be in effect as of May 1st, Disney has also reported that loose and dry ice, generally carried by a guest containing the ice in a cooler, to also be banned. The report states the the loose and dry ice ban is in effect immediately after announcement.

Various sources have expressed their views on the matter and while some believe that the new policy is a plausible decision, others have expressed their annoyance with the ban.

According to the New York Times, the President of the International Theme Park Service, Dennis Speigel, stated that the Disney theme parks chose the “right course.” He continued to explain that in a family-oriented setting, nobody wants to encounter a person smoking.

Alongside the distraction of a smoking individual in a family-crowded facility, smoking in general poses a health risk toward the other guests inside the Disney parks themselves.

At Durant High School, 12th grader, Kyle Harper, explained that those who are smoking in the theme park create a hazard toward guests who have a difficulty breathing or struggle with asthma-related symptoms.

“Including myself, it’s not fair for those who have to worry about other people spreading hazardous smoke in the air at a theme park like Disney, where they should be able to enjoy their visit without worrying about symptoms acting up,” Harper said.

Even though smoking may be an enjoyable way for people to relax at their favorite theme park, other guests are put at an unfair risk. With the new rule being put in place, Disney hopes  that their action will allow all of its guests to feel safe from hazardous chemicals that put their health at risk.

According to a New York-based study in 2007, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  scientists concluded that the implementation of laws prohibiting smoking in restaurants, bars and other indoor workplaces would reduce the amount of hospital admissions for myocardial infarction in 2004.

Disney’s new rules will completely reduce the number of guests who are victim to secondhand smoking on theme park property.

In addition to the composed health risks, guests who are victim to secondhand smoking would face congestion within the theme parks due to guests taking up space to smoke. Confirmed in an interview by the Tampa Bay Times, the communications manager at Walt Disney World Resort, Lisa Mendillo, stated that designated smoking areas will no longer be available to guests to clear space in the park.

Another ban taking place to clear up the congestion within the walkways of Disney parks is the prohibition of oversized strollers. Strollers that exceed a width of 31 inches or a length of 52 inches will now be prohibited nder Disney’s new restrictions.

Photo credit to FavoriteGrampy.com

Among the list of banned strollers, the infamous “wagon stroller” (pictured above) is no longer accepted into Disney theme parks. Photo by FavoriteGrampy.com

Similarly to the smoking ban, the banning of oversized strollers will allow Disney fans to walk more freely among the parks.

Durant High School seniors, Delton Newsome and Omar Gonzalez, shared their views on the current circumstance of oversized strollers in Disney parks.

“A larger stroller could be used to contain important supplies that a parent may need to provide aid to their kids,” Newsome stated.

While it is important for a parent to meet the needs of their children, Newsome agreed with the Disney’s restriction because certain strollers may be excessive. Restricted oversized strollers allow for guests to walk around the park with more ease.

“The rule is justified for those who want to walk around the parks more freely because too many families take advantage of the walking space that Disney provides for every guest,” Gonzalez added.

In order to make the parks safer and easier to maneuver to guests, Disney’s new restricts are now in affect until bigger issues arise. For more information regarding Disney’s park restrictions and policies, visit the official Walt Disney World website.

 

 

 

About the Writer
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Preston Jones, Business Manager

Preston Jones is a former Business Manager for PawPrint newspaper. Preston graduated from Durant in 2019.

Opinion: Animal testing is wrong

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Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet. I’d bet that everyone in this room with a pet probably loves it, and if anything were to happen to them you’d be heart broken. Why does this change when the poor, innocent animal is put in the hands of a merciless scientist.

The tradition of Animal testing is cruel and inhumane. According to Humane Society International, animals used in experiments are commonly subjected to force feeding, forced inhalation, food and water deprivation, prolonged periods of physical restraint, the infliction of burns and other wounds to study the healing process, the infliction of pain to study its effects and remedies, and “killing by carbon dioxide asphyxiation, neck-breaking, decapitation, or other means.” [47] The Draize eye test, used by cosmetics companies to evaluate irritation caused by shampoos and other products, involves rabbits being incapacitated in stocks with their eyelids held open by clips, sometimes for multiple days, so they cannot blink away the products being tested. It’s awful how these animals are treated and how the people who treat them this way get off harm free because it’s in the “name of science.

Even with all the cruel and inhumane testing, animals are very different from human beings and therefore make poor test subjects. The anatomic, metabolic, and cellular differences between animals and people make animals poor models for human beings. [52] Paul Furlong, Professor of Clinical Neuroimaging at Aston University (UK), states that “it’s very hard to create an animal model that even equates closely to what we’re trying to achieve in the human.” Alternative and more effective methods such as in vitro (or in glass) testing, such as studying cell cultures in a petri dish, can produce more relevant results than animal testing because human cells can be used.

To further show the irrelevance animals should have in drug testing, the 1950s sleeping pill thalidomide, which caused 10,000 babies to be born with severe deformities, was tested on animals prior to its commercial release. Later tests on pregnant mice, rats, guinea pigs, cats, and hamsters did not result in birth defects unless the drug was administered at extremely high doses. Also, 94% of drugs that pass animal tests fail in human clinical trials.According to neurologist Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH, over 100 stroke drugs that were effective when tested on animals have failed in humans, and over 85 HIV vaccines failed in humans after working well in non-human primates.

In conclusion, animals don’t deserve the cruel, unnecessary treatment that these drug testing labs put them through. All their suffering is put to waste in the need due to the lack or relation between humans and these lab animals.

About the Writer
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Alli Couture, Photo Editor

Alli Couture is a senior at Durant High School and is Photo Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves anything to do with animals - especially dogs!...

“Tetris 99” is a New Free Addition to the Nintendo Switch Software Library

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“Tetris 99” is a New Free Addition to the Nintendo Switch Software Library

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Following the likes of ‘battle royale’ styled games such as Fortnite and the Apex Legends, a brand new last-man-standing title is now available exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

After it’s surprise announcement and launch during Nintendo’s February presentation video featuring multiple announcements for future game releases for its platform, the popular puzzle block dropping game, Tetris 99, marked its way as a free addition to the Nintendo Switch lineup for members of Nintendo’s online subscription service, “Nintendo Online.” Consumers who are subscribed to the service are automatically qualified to download Tetris 99 as a part of the online package.

The long running Tetris series is a franchise beloved by many hardcore and casual fans of puzzle games around the world. Being the next entry to the game series, Tetris 99 offers a new sense of enjoyment to the classic game-play with a fresh new spin.

Tetris, similar to the likes of games such as Dr. Mario and Puyo Puyo, is a puzzle game that requires the player to rotate and move differently shaped blocks, otherwise known as “tetriminos,” which fall from the top of the playing field to the area the player wishes to place them. To continue forward, the player must clear lines at the bottom of the playing field by placing the tetriminos into the empty gaps. As the game progresses, the speed and intensity of the game continues to increase, requiring the player to make quick and purposeful decisions before the stack of tetriminos reach the very top of the matrix, ending in a K.O.

The big twist featured in Tetris 99 is the ability to challenge 98 other contestants in a single game. When a player first starts up a match, the player automatically matches up with 98 other opponents via a Wi-Fi connection.

At the end of the round, or once K.O.’d, players will see where they ranked with all 98 opponents combined.

Each player is given the ability to send “garbage lines” that stack on an opponents’ grid when the player completes a combo within the current game. In Tetris 99, players are given the option to target their garbage at an opponent in one of four groups.

  • The “Randoms” option allows the player to target garbage at random opponents across the range of remaining contestants.
  • The “Badges” option allows the player to target opponents who have an abundance of badges gained from K.O.’d opponents.
  • The “K.O.’s” option will allow the player to send garbage toward opponents who are near the edge of getting knocked out of their game.
  • Finally, the “Attackers” option will cause garbage to be sent toward opponents who have sent garbage to the player’s matrix.

In the light of a new genre being implemented into the battle royale format, fans are excited to see what the future of Tetris and other video-games has in-store for 2019. For more information regarding the famous line-clearing, T-spinning, block-rotating mind game of Tetris 99, visit nintendo.com or download the game off the Nintendo e-Shop on the Nintendo Switch.

About the Writer
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Preston Jones, Business Manager

Preston Jones is a former Business Manager for PawPrint newspaper. Preston graduated from Durant in 2019.

Reflecting on Self-Confidence

A commentary article by Marina Hawkins

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Astruggle throughout teenage hood is self-confidence. Self-confidence is someone’s thoughts and how they believe they are. Based on what we think of ourselves we can either push to succeed or hold back. Judging oneself can prevent taking chances and becoming shy around others in a work place, school or public place. Thinking too much on appearances in today’s world is hard to overcome. Most students in high school are putting too much pressure on themselves to be what people call “perfect.” This leads to an increase in lowered self-esteem and less motivation.

Shyness is what many people assume is going on with teenagers who have low self-confidence. When experiencing a doubt in self-confidence, many tend to put on a mask and hide it. With the doubt and judgement continuing inside, the one experiencing this is more likely to place themselves in the back of an environment, becoming unnoticed. Instead of seeking help or encouragement, choosing to never step out among a group to show who they are or what they are fully capable of performing. Their many skills or unique qualities that could benefit the community will go unknown with the doubt that occurs in them.

Self-image is the biggest question in confidence that people have, the question is, “do I fit in?” Concerns of  if they fit in with the “popular” crowd have people handling a heavy load of self-consciousness in how they act, what they wear, and the activities they take part in. Here is where peer pressure comes in: wanting to fit in is how many kids and adults get involved in dangerous or wrong situations.

Deciding what clothes to buy and what sports or extra activities to do is overwhelming, especially with the idea of wanting to fit in. How you dress is a big statement of who you are whether it is sporty or casual or anywhere in between. In today’s generation, people judge on how someone looks instead of taking the chance to get to know someone first before pushing them aside. That causes many issues, one being now kids and even adults make shopping for clothes a lot more stressful then it should be. Finding outfits they may not like but they think others will like more rather than getting clothes they are comfortable being themselves in and expressing their own style. With styles going in and out deciding what you like compared to what is “in” at the time is hard when their self-confidence is based on others.

High school being the biggest place where social status “matters,” kids are putting themselves down for not being something that they wish to be. Wishing to be like someone else however is caused by lack in self-confidence. Parents and friends may not always be able to see the doubt in their loved one, so encouragement is always important give off at any time. Hearing a few kind words from people around you even if you don’t know them can make their day just knowing someone appreciates them in some way. A simple compliment can make a smile appear over self-doubt to brighten someone’s day.

Being aware of a lack of self-confidence is just the beginning in this type of situation. Building up confidence is hard work but with help it can become easier. Staying with friends that you enjoy being around and that are appreciative and kind is great to be involved in. Talking to them about insecurities and issues that can occur can be a stress reliever knowing there are people there for you. It may not always be friends there for you but it could also be parents that you can discuss things with. If not, finding someone that you do feel comfortable enough to talk to and get help is an important step to take. Speaking with that someone will create a connection that will help confidence levels boost with love and support for the person by helping and giving encouragement.

Expressing your style is important to build self-confidence. When shopping they should get clothes they are comfortable in and that reflect their personality. Bringing out there expression of style can really say something about who they are. Showing off what you like can attract friends around you that enjoy some of the same things you do. Connecting over a way that you are yourself and having someone like you will boost your self-esteem knowing you are not alone. Being comfortable in who you are will show great improvement in gaining more confidence.

Working on your confidence is a hard task but doing all these things will help, stepping up to challenges and not hiding behind a wall built up by what you think people around you will think. Showing off what you like and who you are no matter what, stepping up to take a chance as well will all benefit and improve the lack of confidence. Proving who you are to people will show who you can become and could even help others around you that also struggle in self-confidence.

About the Writer
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Marina Hawkins, Social Media Coordinator, Photo Editor

Marina Hawkins is a junior at Durant and is the Photo Editor and the Social Media Coordinator for the PawPrint newspaper. She is also part of the Varsity...

How to prepare for senior year and college

Staff writer Meghan Dulay provides tips on how to maximize your high school experience.

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‘Tis the season of scheduling and programming for juniors and seniors. For many, this is among the most stressful part of the year; we are expected to know what classes we want, need and have to take. We are expected to plan out a whole school year of classes, and be prepared for the work load that comes along with that. Some know exactly what they are doing, which is great; it makes scheduling and planning a lot easier. Many, however, have no idea what they’re doing, which is okay too. Being a junior myself, I myself am experiencing all the same worries and fears everyone else might be too.

I’m sure the phrases “What’s the plan for college,” “What do you plan on majoring in,” “How are your grades,” “In order to even be considered by colleges you must have at least a 5000 SAT score,” and a plethora of others have been the topic of conversation of many family dinners and with guidance counselors. It’s scary and stressful, I know. Here is a little “how-to” guide with information and tips that may help you get through this stressful season, and help answer any lingering questions that may be hard to find answers to.

 

1. Continue to try your best in school.

As hard as it might be to stay focused and motivated to do well, try. School seems to get in the way of everything. Work, sports, hobbies, and of course our social lives are a huge part of our daily lives; often we put these things before trying to get an A on that pre-calculus test. If there’s one thing going to school has taught me most, is to develop self-discipline and the willing to persevere. Yes, it may seem pointless to learn about the Pythagorean Theorem, or “10-Steps to Tackling the Text,” or memorizing the periodic table of elements, or why the French and Indian war is important to American history, especially if you know you won’t be pursuing any career that involves those listed. However, it is important to learn as much as you can while education is FREE! Plus by taking as many classes as you can, you can figure out what you like and what you don’t. Just as someone once said: “Knowledge is power.”

 

2. Get involved in extracurricular activities at school.

I’m not just talking sports. There are about a hundred different clubs to get involved in, some you’ve probably never heard of. Juniors, before turning in programming sheets, look over all the clubs and electives available at Durant; you may be surprised at what you find. It’s also a good way to figure out where your interests lie.

 

3. Focus on self-care.

For many, this is among the most stressful season of the year. 8:30am-3:25pm is school, 3:45pm-5:30pm is soccer practice, 6pm-10pm, 10:30pm-1:00am is homework. Sound familiar? Whether or not you follow a routine similar to this or not, we all live busy lives; everything is go go GO! Remember that there a bigger purpose to everything you are doing. Remember your morals and what is important to you. On your way to school, listen to your favorite song. During lunch, eat a cookie. Before you go to bed, drink a glass of water. Live your best life, and never forget to take care of yourself.

 

4. College and scholarships.

For many, college is the next step- whether that’s next semester, or next year, or even years from now. College isn’t for everyone, but if it’s for you, and you could see it as a possibility for the future, the sky’s the limit. Starting in high school, there are many different things that can be done to get to college. Athletic scholarships aren’t the only scholarships out for grabs; there are many different academic scholarships available that you may consider looking into. The most popular of these is the Bright Future’s Scholarship. There are three categories that a student can achieve through the Bright Future’s scholarship: the 100 percent scholarship, the 75 percent scholarship, and the 50 percent scholarship. Each scholarship has different requirements, and depending on the requirements met depends on which scholarship a student qualifies for. Even if a student qualifies for only the 50 percent coverage of the scholarship, that would still make a big impact in the cost of college classes, covering a big portion of college tuition. For more information about the scholarship and requirements that need to be met to earn the scholarship, visit https://www.nationalmeritscholarships.com/florida-bright-futures-scholarship.html

 

5. Make the best of your situation.

Everyone has their fair share of problems, mistakes, and flaws. However, these things do not define who you are as a person. A little bit ago, I was at my brother’s basketball game, and after losing their championship game, his coach brought the team together for a talk to review the game they just played. The most impactful thing I heard him say to the team was: “Always put 100 percent in everything you’re doing. Not 60 percent, not 90 percent, but 100 percent.” Make 100 percent a habit, and never settle for less.

 

I sincerely hope everyone makes the best of their final years as a high school student. Eventually we will walk down the halls for the last time, close our lockers for the last time, have our last pep rally, and attend our last Friday night Football game. Everything is what you make it, so make it count!

About the Writer
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Meghan Dulay, Editor-in-Chief of Design

Meghan Dulay is a senior at Durant High School and she is Editor-in-Chief of Design for the PawPrint newspaper. Meghan is part of many other clubs at Durant,...

Rachel Cohn’s Pop Princess makes super-stardom unappealing

The cover is slightly bland unlike the story.

Angelique Robinson

The cover is slightly bland unlike the story.

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Rachel Cohn’s book Pop Princess is like no other book I have ever read. Sadly, I did not enjoy the book as much as I thought I would. The book follows the main character Wonder Blake and her journey to fame as a manufactured pop princess.

The sense of humor Cohn used appealed to me but might not to most people. She uses a mix of sarcasm, dark humor and a little sardonic humor. This humor doesn’t make people want to laugh out loud, but it does warrant a chuckle.

The structure of the book was also nice. The book is split into three parts, each part is based on her hair color symbolizing where she is on her pop princess journey. This was a nice touch, but it gets messy within each part. The worst past about this book is the sporadic bouts of information spread throughout. Even towards the end of the book new character information is gained. Some of this felt unnecessary, there were added character traits that felt forced.

One character’s development seemed to be added to include at least one member of a minority group. A lot of this had no warning, there were no hints throughout the book to even allude to the truths at the end.

The characters all also have few redeeming qualities. All of them were annoying, they make decisions that very few people in the real world would make. Her characterization makes me hope that this was a satire on the music industry.

This book was cringy but maybe it was me. Maybe aspiring artists may be able to relate to this or use this as an example of what they could do in their future. If there is still an interest in giving this book a try, it is 311 pages.

About the Contributor
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Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Literature can polarize politics

A book review by Angelique Robinson.

This is one of  three covers for the popular teen novel.

Goodreads

This is one of three covers for the popular teen novel.

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The Wrong Side of Right was written by Jenn Marie Thorne. This book is about Kate Quinn whose mother passed away and a year later she finally learns the identity of her father. Her father is a famous politician running as the Republican candidate for President. The book follows Kate Quinn’s journey as she goes along the campaign trails with her father and her new family.

The plot of the book is excellent. There were only two major plot lines running at the same time. The first was Kate Quinn on the campaign trail with her family. I think the detail of the politics were brilliant. Lots of political books mainly focus on how the campaigns affect the teenage focus. While this book does that too, it also gives actual politics focus and addresses controversial topics. Another great thing is that the family does not have a smooth transition but not for cliché reasons.

The second major plot line was how Quinn dealt with her friends and love life. Naturally her new life clashes with her old one. This book shows the ideal friendship based on the characters action. Even though the book is not a romance, the romantic elements were one of my favorite parts. There is a gradual increase in the levels. There also is no cliché trouble figuring out what boy she wants, there is one clear crush.

Most of the characterization is brilliantly done. Each of the characters have flaws like all humans. Thorne makes sure that each character has flaws that shine through but also that they learn to live with or learn from their flaws. The best characterization is that Quinn learns things about herself and her beliefs in the political world as the book continues.

One improvement that could have made the book perfect would have been the addition of a chapter that took place before Quinn finds her father. The audience is given a brief description of the actions around her mother’s death. Due to her mother’s death being a part of the summary, the first chapter or two could have been about the death and the events following. This way those events didn’t have to be added throughout the book. On the other hand, describing the elements throughout the novel created bonding moments between her and other characters, however adding the chapters before would make those bonding scenes mean more as the audience would know how emotionally triggering telling others would be.

The book was an easy read. There is no complicated jargon involved in the politics. The book is best on a Sunday, it only takes a few hours to read. There is a total of 390 pages. The book is for people who are not easily offended by beliefs that do not align with theirs. This book may inspire people to continue regardless of tough family situations.

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Food waste in America

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Back to Article

Food waste in America

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

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America is one of the world’s most economically thriving countries. Even so, many Americans are still food insecure.

According to FeedingAmerica.org, in America, one in eight people are food insecure. This equals almost 40 million adults and over 12 million children. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food to live a healthy happy life.

Recent data from the USDA indicates that about 264 million pounds of excess, edible, and nutritious food are thrown away in all sectors of the food industry every day. That is enough to provide nearly 1.5 tons of food during the year to every man, woman, and child who is hungry in the United States.

Charites such as Waste Not Want Not’s volunteer their time to not only educate the public on the food waste problem but working to fix it. Every day, 363 days a year, the volunteers drive their own cars to these businesses, pick up the donated food, and bring it to a Waste Not Want Not facility. Last year, Waste provided almost two million pounds of food to over 130 charities serving those in need in ten counties. The conservative cost avoidance (the amount they saved by not having to purchase that amount of food) enjoyed by these charities was close to $4,000,000. They rescue unmarketable, but still wholesome, food from supermarkets, restaurants, and other businesses daily. To learn more and see how you can help, visit their website at http://wastenotflorida.com/

Although these businesses play a large part in America’s food waste, we as citizens, are not scotch free. On average each American wastes one pound of food every day. If that doesn’t

make you think, remember that there are 325 million people in America. Now picture the amount of waste produced in a single week, let alone a month.

But even though you may not think so, you personally could make a world of difference. For example, only buy what you need at the store or after dinner at your favorite restaurant, take the left overs home instead of wasting your food and your money.

A small change may seem insignificant now, but just think about a world free of hunger, all because we thought before we threw our food away. You can help solve the problem of food insecurity and excessive food waste by contacting your local government to change waste policies or volunteering with the organizations that work to reduce the food waste and food insecurity.

About the Writer
Photo of Alli Couture
Alli Couture, Photo Editor

Alli Couture is a senior at Durant High School and is Photo Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves anything to do with animals - especially dogs!...

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