Last week nearly ninety thousand residents of Alberta, Canada fled as a wildfire consumed their houses. It has destroyed over sixteen hundred buildings, and while it appears to be slowing down, it has already done a lot of damage. The fire began on May 1 and has been burning steadily since that time.
Fort McMurray lies about 270 miles northeast of Edmonton, one of the two large cities in Alberta. It is very close to the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The town has a population of about sixty thousand people and sits on the Athabasca oil sands, making it a large part of the energy industry in Canada.
North Carolina continues its dissent from the rest of the nation, regressing to days of old in its discriminatory ways. House Bill 2 got the ball rolling, inciting outrage across the nation. Millions of dollars in revenue for the state have been stalled, and hundreds of job opportunities have gone out the door. North Carolina continued to backtrack when their rebuttal involved suing the Department of Justice, and now a school system in-state has taken it a step further.
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education adopted a policy allowing high school students to carry pepper spray this fall. The purpose behind the rule: for self-defense against transgender classmates. “Depending on how the courts rule on the bathroom issues, it may be a pretty valuable tool to have on the female students if they go to the bathroom, not knowing who may come in,” board member Chuck Hughes said, according to the Salisbury Post. While it will not take effect until the upcoming school year, even more unbearable publicity is expected after this additional grotesque policy coming out of North Carolina. The district is home to over 19,000 students and eight high schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Drama, secrets, and revenge may sound like the base for a soap opera, but these were the ingredients that came together to create the masterpiece of the third addition to the story of Steve Rogers, Captain America: Civil War. This epic film had an epic opening weekend, raking in $181.8 million and becoming the fifth-largest opening ever. After such a huge amount of hype and buzz on social media before the film was even released, it was unsurprising that many were drawn to watch their favorite superheroes battle it out. A fair warning: spoilers lie ahead.
Last week in Detroit, many teachers arranged a “sickout” where they called off from work in protest or as a strike for higher pay, better facilities, and better educational tools. It is well known that Detroit is a struggling city and is trying to come back and find its new success. When the mills and factory jobs were sent overseas or consolidated to other parts of the country, the population was decreased to the few hard working people that were fortunate to have an industrial job and those who are not well off enough to leave the city. Although many of the less fortunate are good and hardworking citizens, there is always evident crime and struggle.
This Monday, the North Carolina Department of Justice deemed House Bill 2 unconstitutional and discriminatory. In response to the accusation, North Carolina has decided to sue the Department of Justice. Senator Richard Burr said, “When there’s a threat by the federal government over funding, it’s something that the General Assembly needs to take seriously.” Music artists and businesses have been boycotting travel and business to the entire state in protest, so North Carolina has lost some huge business opportunities and artist performances such as the construction of a PayPal headquarters and the performance of Bruce Springsteen. Both have decided to ditch in protest, leaving fans upset and potential job opportunities empty.
May has arrived, AP exams are nearly over, and summer is in the air. Everyone is excited to escape the grips of school for a little while, but a strange sickness is spreading through the senior class. Symptoms include laziness, a lack of motivation, constant groaning, over-wearing sweatpants, and overuse of the phrase “Whatever, I’m graduating soon.” This sometimes crippling disease is also known as “Senioritis” and is known to strike every graduating class near the end of the school year. With less than a month to go and postgraduate plans already set up, most don’t feel the need to put any more effort into high school.
Why would anyone ever feel this way? For one thing, senior exemptions exist. With no final exam for those with a good attendance record, there seems to be no reason to truly learn and study the material. Especially after AP exams, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to keep trying. Students only feel the need to do the bare minimum to pass the class and move on with life. If senior exemptions didn’t count on attendance, you can bet no seniors would show up at all in this last month.
Additionally, everything seems to finally be falling in place after four years of suffering. Most students know where they will be going after high school and have made most of the major decisions regarding college. It seems like things are definite, and they won’t rescind your acceptance unless you fail all your classes, right? Many feel like they deserve to finally relax after working so hard for so long.
Sadly, the truth is that this attitude can in fact have a negative impact on your future. Colleges do receive final transcripts, and significantly lower grades in your final semester make them question your work ethic. The more competitive schools especially watch out for this and won’t hesitate to revoke students falling behind. There are plenty of others on waitlists eager to take your place, so an acceptance to college shouldn’t be taken for granted! Even if your school of choice isn’t as competitive, final transcripts will be tainted by lower grades if you stop trying. Higher grades often lead to higher offers of financial aid, so keep working hard! It’s definitely worth a reduced tuition.
If you’ve been infected by Senioritis, what can you do? Is there a cure besides graduation? For now, the one thing you have to cling to is motivation. It’s never too late to build strong study habits again and keep up your grades for one more month. If you’re feeling a little lazy, remember the possibility of losing your offer of admission. Get your motivation from the idea of graduation, which isn’t far off at this point. If you made it through nearly four years, you can make it through one more month. It’s alright to relax a little because you have accomplished so much and come so far, whatever your postgraduation plans may be, but don’t let your Senioritis weigh you down. Stay strong and good luck! We’re almost done!
On Tuesday, May 3, former Texas senator Ted Cruz dropped out of the presidential race. This is a huge deal for America because this move has established a clear path for Donald Trump to win the GOP nomination. Speaker Paul Ryan has made it clear that he will not interfere with who the GOP collectively nominates despite Trump being the anti-establishment candidate and the only candidate left in the race.
What does this mean for Hillary Clinton and the GOP as a whole? Since Clinton has a clear and almost certain lead on Bernie Sanders, it is fair to assume that Clinton and Trump will be the only ones competing over the summer. It is expected that Trump will face the media with constant bad news and facts about Clinton in order to make her look bad. However, it will be necessary that Trump establishes policies and a positive platform for himself. He will have a hard time getting elected if he does not form policies by fall. There is only so much Trump will be able to attack Clinton on; they both have changed their views in the past two decades. They have both failed at certain aspects of their jobs, and the media has shed a lot of light on the negative things they are each responsible for.
It has been quite an interesting past few weeks for a league that has been out of action for the past three months, but the National Football League has been prominent in the news for good reason. The Deflategate hullabaloo will not leave the nation’s attention, and the NFL Draft was as unpredictable as expected. Ohio State led the college football universe with twelve picks in the draft, followed by Clemson (9) and UCLA (8). April, a month signaling the beginning of the baseball season, had the NFL entrenched in headlines daily.
On April, 25, the Second Circuit United States Court of Appeals (SCUSCA) reinstated the four-game ban on Tom Brady originally placed on him by commissioner Roger Goodell. While not all judges approve of Goodell’s role as judge, jury, and executioner, they collectively agreed that the collective bargaining agreement stated Goodell has the right to impose discipline for, “conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence, in the game of professional football.” The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and NFL mutually agreed on this, and action has been taken to enforce it. Brady is now left with three options: accept the ban (highly unlikely), petition for a rehearing by the SCUSCA, or take the matter to Supreme Court. Every time the fans think this issue will be resolved it, somehow thrusts itself back into the public eye; do not expect this fight to end anytime soon.
Comedian Will Ferrell is notorious for pushing comedic boundaries, but his latest project is blurring the lines between comedy and ableism. On April 27, 2016, it was announced that Will Ferrell is set to star as President Ronald Reagan in the new dramedy Reagan, a movie that surrounds Reagan’s second term as president as he begins to battle the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Throughout the movie, an intern takes on the task of convincing the suffering president that he is really just an actor playing the president in a movie. The film was written by screenwriter Mike Rosolio in 2015 and posted on Hollywood’s annual Black List, an unofficial outlet that publishes Hollywood’s best unproduced scripts. The script immediately blew up and flew to the top of the list, catching the eye of many Hollywood producers, including Ferrell himself. Millions of people, including the children of Ronald Reagan himself, have spoken up about their opposition to the movie treating a serious mental illness as something comedic.
There could be quite a few empty seats at the Olympic Games this summer. In January, the world was introduced to the newly spread disease known as the Zika virus, which is notoriously prominent in Brazil. The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease that is said to cause flu-like symptoms and rashes to those infected. Symptoms can last anywhere from two to seven days, but the major concern is the problems the disease can cause during a woman’s pregnancy. Pregnant women can pass the Zika virus to their offspring if she is bitten by an infected mosquito. This can cause serious birth defects to the brain called microcephaly. Zika is now considered “guilty until proven innocent” because studies have not yet proven that the virus is the absolute reason for microcephaly. Researchers are currently scrambling to figure out how much of a risk the Olympic Games pose in spreading the Zika virus around the world. This is currently raising the ultimate question: could the Rio Olympic Games be cancelled this summer?