During the week of Oct. 10, Apex High enjoyed our annual Spirit Week to create enthusiasm for our homecoming football game. Each year the crowning of homecoming king and queen occurs; the crowning of king happens during the pep rally and for the queen, at the football game. I had the honor to interview the 2016 homecoming king, Detrich Morrison-Jones, and the queen, Sadie Harden.
Homecoming King Interview
How did you feel when seeing your name on the ballot and then hearing that you were on the court over the announcements?
"I was excited at the opportunity to be on the homecoming court. It was even more exciting when I heard I was in the top ten.”
What inspired your dance for homecoming court?
“I knew I wanted the drumline to play, but Sadie Harden and Shelby Poliachik worked together to develop our dance.”
Why did you pick who you picked for your partner on the homecoming court?
“Well, Sadie actually picked me, and I knew it was going to be fun to share the experience with her.”
What was going through your head the first time it was your turn to perform in front of half the school? And was it different the second time around?
“I was just going to have fun. I didn’t get as nervous as I thought; the second time was much more fun because it was more interactive.”
What was going through your head when they were about to announce King?
“I was a little nervous about the announcement. I was thinking that I may have a chance.”
How did you feel when you heard your name announced that you won King?
“I was so excited. It is hard to explain. I was truly speechless when they announced me; I was so overwhelmed.”
What does the title of homecoming king and queen mean to you?
“It means that you are among the most respected students of the school, and the majority of the student body believes this.”
Did you go to the “last dance” at Apex High? If you did, did you enjoy it?
“I didn’t. I had marching band. I heard it was lit though.”
Apex High School has expressed nothing but hard work and spirit since 1907; the only obstacle from the students and teachers performing at their highest potential is the building itself. The students and teachers at Apex High are excited for the change. Everyone at Apex High have said that the move is much needed. Dr. Diann Kearney, principal, gives details regarding the move. She says, “One of the first things I was involved with when I got to Apex was the planning of the ‘New Apex’ and the move to Green Level High. We were projecting only a one year swing but then realized the condition of Apex High and decided it needed to be demolished, taking two years.”
The county’s new high school, Green Level High School, will be the staff and students of Apex High’s new home for the next two years. It is currently under construction but should be finished soon. “Green Level is definitely a facility that is more conducive to everybody being closer together. It is also a safer building,” states Kearney. “We are trying to build the enthusiasm from this campus and all the traditions and transferring them to the new building.” She says that she would love to keep most everything the way it is.
It is cloud nine at Apex High School’s media center. The school is the first to receive seven hundred (of the 52,000) laptops in Wake County as part of the Capital Improvement Project 2013 (CIP 2013). The media center is filled with Styrofoam and innumerous amount of black carts filled with fresh laptops which are part of the 3-to-1 initiative. This means that in every (core) class there will be a cart of laptops for the students for the means of collaboration. For every one laptop, there will be three students assigned to it. The reason this is a big deal is because it will offer a lot of flexibility in the classroom and curriculum. In order to be able to use computers, teachers have to make reservations at either the media center or computer labs. That being said, there are only a limited number of desktops in the media center and only a couple of computer labs in the school available for use. Considering the number of classes who need to use computers on a regular basis, it is both frustrating to teachers and students when they do not get access to a computer. Now, students have access to computers right in their class. Also, a lot of the work students do now is via Internet. Typing up papers, researching for projects, and accessing important information from teachers are all significantly computer-dependent. Now, students can access everything they need without having to scavenge the school for a free computer. Nevertheless, Ms. Munger still encourages students to come to the media center.
Jacob Hall was killed when a teenager started shooting at his South Carolina elementary school. A bullet hit an artery in his leg causing him to bleed out. Jacob was put on life support for three days but sadly passed away on Oct. 1. The shooter was fourteen. The teen had killed his father before heading to the school, injuring two people in addition to killing Jacob Hall.
According to Jacob's mom he would, “pretend he was a superhero. He imagined himself being the good guy and sure enough, it’s almost surreal to think what’s happened. This little boy has spoken to us and said, ‘I want you to love each other like Jesus loves us’.” The front of the funeral programs said “God’s Superhero”. Jacob’s casket was decorated with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stickers and a bright floral spray on top including large figurines of Ninja turtles and Captain America. Jacob’s family encouraged people to dress like superheroes to celebrate his life.
Over the summer, the new game Pokemon Go was released and has everyone catching Bulbasaurs and Charmanders. Originally, everyone thought this was just a normal iPhone game, but now it is starting to become a fitness app also. Statistics have shown that Pokemon Go could add on 2.83 years to user’s life. This app is making people move no matter their size, weight, or shape. Physical activity lowers the risk of mortality, therefore, expanding a user's life expectancy. Although the results may not immediate, Microsoft, after conducting a study, believes that in the long run the effects will be positive. Microsoft mentioned that games that promote public health are of importance to inactive Americans in our sedentary society. Pokemon Go usage has even surpassed Twitter. People are saying that this app is motivating people more than Fitbit.
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than three in ten high schoolers get at least sixty minutes of physical activity every day. As teenagers in the peak of growing, this really affects their well-being. For many years, technology has tried to get people moving with things like Fitbits and Wii Fit. Now, with this game, people have been moving more than ever, and they are doing so despite the doubts on how long it will last and whether or not it’s safe to use. Once the game became popular, there were many stories about careless players and crime investigations surrounding Pokemon Go. Users are recommended to play safely and not to drive and play. There is also the side effect of muscle soreness near the neck because of constantly looking down at phones. It is up to the users if they want to keep playing with these conflicts. There are pros and cons to everything after all.
The North Dakota Access Pipeline has been a heated subject of debate since its approval several months ago. The $3.8 billion pipeline traverses four states and passes under the Missouri River twice, inciting environmental concerns from people across the nation. In addition to the danger element in case of an oil spill, the pipeline cuts through Historical and Sacred ground belonging to the Native American Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Despite the thousands of protesters that have come together to rally against the pipeline, construction has continued and priceless history has been lost to the bulldozers.
However, the opposition has gained massive media attention resulting in none other than, the Divergent actress, Shailene Woodley’s support. The star was recently charged with criminal trespassing, and she livestreamed her arrest via Facebook.
Thirteen month old twins Anias and Jadon McDonald were successfully separated during a grueling twenty-hour surgery, starting on Oct. 13 and ending on Oct. 14. The twins were born on September 9, 2015 in Chicago, Ill., but their family moved to the Bronx in New York City, once the twins were stable in order to be closer to the hospital in which the separation surgery would be occurring. This surgery was only the fifty-ninth craniopagus separation surgery, or separation of twins conjoined at the head, since 1952.
Nicole and Christian McDonald, the twins’ parents, say that the main thing they look forward to is the boys finally being able to see each other. ‘I just cannot wait to see them look at each other with their big brown eyes.’ The twins’ parents are staying as positive as they can, due to the very high risks that run with these surgeries. They were forced to make the decision whether or not to operate, because when conjoined twins are not separated they are very unlikely to live past the age of two.
On Oct. 17, Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay returned to the field where he first made his mark on the athletic world but for a reason that his family, friends, and fans could have never imagined: a vigil held in memory of his child. Gay’s fifteen year-old daughter Trinity was shot and murdered in the midst of a shooting in their hometown of Lexington, KY on Oct. 16. Three suspects have been taken into custody so far. The news has hit the public hard, but no one is taking it harder than her family. “She didn’t make it. I’m so confused. She was just here last week for fall break. It’s so crazy,” Gay, who was very close with his daughter, told WLEX-18. “I have no idea what happened.”
A GOP office in Hillsborough, North Carolina was viciously firebombed over the past weekend. Swastikas and the words “Nazi Republicans get out of town or else” were displayed on adjacent buildings. Further investigation showed that the flammable substance was ignited inside the building after a bottle housing the substance was thrown through the front window. No arrests have been made so far in connection to the incident but there are still ongoing investigations. Speaking from the scene of the incident, Governor Pat McCrory called the incident “an assault on our democracy”. A 911 call was placed to alert the authorities about what they saw occurring. Police arrived to the scene after the assailants had already left. "The office itself is a total loss," Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the state Republican Party, told the Charlotte Observer. "The only thing important to us is that nobody was killed, and they very well could have been." Both presidential candidates were informed about the incident and tweeted out their regards about the situation.
This attack has sparked a debate on if people really are taking politics too seriously? If a person is willing to firebomb a Government facility then what’s stopping them from murdering someone over their political beliefs? Somehow the people of America have to find a balance on the intensity of their feelings toward this upcoming coming election before it becomes even greater. Political beliefs have always been strong and sometimes ugly but politics are what is supposed to band this country together through the hard times we face, instead it has created an unhealthy and unstable source of anger from either sides of the political world. From bombing a GOP office to other political related attacks, America clearly faces a problem ahead that must be solved.