Tuesday, March 31, 2020
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Viewpoints from the Poem Magician: No More Likes?!

Instagram hiding likes button from Tubefilter.com

How many of you use Instagram?

Those of you who answered “I do” probably already know that they’re getting rid of the Likes function. It’s for a good reason, however. In the article “An Instagram Without ‘Likes’? by Lucia De Stefani, she quotes from Jim Steyerchief executive of Common Sense Mediaa media watchdog group, “‘We know that kids seek validation via the Like buttonWe know that it can negatively affect kids’ and teenagers’ self-esteem.'”

This is true.

Having an outside perspective because I don’t use any social media apps, I’ve noticed my peers complaining about how few likes a recent post of theirs got, or bragging about how many likes a photo they posted got. My mother is a high school teacher, and she has told me that some of her students have low self-esteem and they lack self-confidence partly because of “likes.”

Here’s a question of mine: Do we really need likes? They have positive effects, yeah, but they also have many negative effects, like the self-esteem and self-worth problem. Teens have gotten depression partly from low likes. It’s a simple truth: Likes are good and mostly bad. Sure, Influencers use likes to get grips on important events, but do people our age really need them? You might be “TikTok famous.” My prediction is that TikTok is going to crash into the ground like Music.ly did. It might, it might not. But what’s the point of being famous on a platform that might not last?

These platforms are supposed to be used for personal pleasure. Not just for likes! Every human wants approval. That’s a fact. But we should seek approval from ourselves first, then look for approval from our friends (and that doesn’t mean doing drugs or smoking; please don’t do that). Once we have both of those and can fall back on them, that is when you look for approval on social media.

But don’t forget this: The most important approval to have is approval from yourself.

photo credit: Tubefilter.com

Poem Magician- Simple

1

Simple

 

This poem is simple

 

With one small message.

 

Don’t shove your way through when there’s clearly no passage.

Why Torture Animals When We Don’t Have To?

    2

    Imagine hearing that we should kill animals for no reason. Now imagine it was only to test for cancer research.  If we could put animal testing to only important research we can reduce the number of lives that we slaughter for beauty products and more.  Look at this picture. This animal could be outside living in its natural habitat. But instead, we take it for granted and abuse the power of nature. 

     Someday animals will be extinct and we WILL take that for granted.  So starting to reduce the number of lives now will save their future. “Animal testing dates back thousands of years. Evidence suggests that the ancient Greeks performed experiments on living animals as early as the third century BCE.” (Animal Testing: Is Animal Testing Morally Justified? Issues and Controversies, Infobase, 14 Jan. 2020, Accessed 28 Jan. 2020.) 

    This evidence proves that we have abused animals for years by testing them.  Why? We are tearing apart living nature to find out if one brand of makeup is better than another.  Why do we have to have animals hide in fear when they were here first? Animals were tested for hundreds of years, and have not been treated with the respect they should get.  Animals have no say, so they get pushed around and bullied by us. 

     Imagine yourself being tested on. Because of this, animals go blind, get diseases, and possibly DIE.  Now you might want to revise your thinking because if you think animal testing is okay, you must be heartless and cruel.  To think that murder and torture are okay to do to an animal is inhumane. What would happen if we tested on humans, would that be sick and messed up too? 

     

      

    How One May See This Global Pandemic…

    3
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    Note: I will not include the names of anyone I know personally in this article. I would like to keep these identities private and I hope you understand. Thank you.

    Currently, the world is engulfed in flames of anxiety and panic- all because of one thing.

    In December 2019, the coronavirus (COVID-19) became and still is a major outbreak in China. Since then, the virus has spread to every single continent except for Antarctica and is mainly in China, Italy, and South Korea. There have been several confirmed cases in the US; thus unleashing a wave of fear that is flooding the country.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. A pandemic is a disease that is spread globally. So many countries have been hit by this spell. But this case is more like a curse. “The novel coronavirus has infected over 115,800 people- including at least 1,000 people in the United States- and killed over 4,200 people worldwide,” CNN states. News about this medical crisis spreads quickly in my grade and I’d rather it not. One of my other friends and I are concerned due to our having relationships with people in countries that are severely affected by the coronavirus. And when people are treating this like this is a joke and it’s okay to say things about it- I get sensitive. So I ask for people to not treat this situation like that. There are people how are suffering from this and people should think about that.

    According to CNN, “Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City could take at least six months to get back to some sense of normalcy because of coronavirus.” Six months. That is how much this has affected us. We have become more self-conscious because of this. People now carry hand sanitizer in their pencil cases. We don’t share things. People are repeating the phrase “wash our hands often.” Considering that it’s flu season, we should be doing that. But now the sentence “don’t touch your face” has connected with washing hands. Honestly, it’s really hard not to touch your face. But I understand.

    As of March 11, 2020, at 4:41 p.m., New York currently has 53 confirmed coronavirus cases. New York officials have traced more than 50 coronavirus cases to one attorney. Everything is chaotic. There is so much news about this. And the news spreads quickly.

    I find that many people are concerned about this at North Shore Middle School (as a sixth-grader, I don’t have any evidence about what is happening at NSHS) and I would like to address that fact. There have been rumors about school shutting down due to other districts’ closings, lots of conversations about this, and most importantly, the tension that is unavoidable at every turn. People exaggerate new additions, such as the hand sanitizers in every classroom. My teachers have talked to us about this discovery and what to do in the event in which school is closed. They have told us not to worry, but it is hard not to.

    I take this situation differently. Unlike most people in NSMS, I take this matter very seriously. However, others do not see this in the same way that I do. Some of my friends make jokes about this when this is an affair of life and death. Events are being taken into consideration very thoughtfully. Field trips are being canceled and even the eighth grade trip to Washington D.C. has been postponed. When events are considered and put above other events and then that event is canceled, this can cause outrage and confusion. Districts in Nassau County such as Locust Valley and Glen Cove Schools have closed down. A student from NSMS even put a post on social media that the middle school was closing down. I don’t know who did it- I think this student’s identity should be kept secret- but I’d like to express my opinion on that. I think that was an unwise choice to make. There is no use to spread lies and create more pandemonium that there already is.

    Teachers have plans of what to do if North Shore Schools closes down. Notice I say if. One of my teachers has said that some people want school to be shut down. But think about it. If school closes, then that means someone- a teacher, a student, a custodian, a security guard, anyone- has been infected. So do you want that to happen? I should hope not.

    This is a serious case. (It’s not as bad as Earth on the Brink, but still bad.) And unfortunately, some people don’t realize that. People are suffering greatly because of this. The whole of China and Italy are on lockdown. No one is allowed to travel in and out of the country. According to CarbonaraDude781 on Reddit, “There is no space left in intensive care, so if I get really sick, they would have to remove someone else to save me since I have a better chance of surviving… I don’t want to be the reason for someone’s death.” This is from a person who lives in Italy and is experiencing a different kind of shock and anxiety than we are. Imagine hospital rooms filled to their maximum capacity. Doctors are risking getting the virus themselves to save other’s lives. This is a severe matter. This has turned the world upside down. The world is now in flames.

    But we have survived worse than this. We’ve survived Spanish flu, the plague, and more. So maybe we shouldn’t worry as much, but we should still care. Someone once told me, “Don’t worry until it happens. Then it’s okay.”

    So don’t freak out. And maybe you don’t want to pray for school to be canceled for the rest of the school year. One of my teachers said that we have to redo everything that we missed if that happens. I just don’t hope school closes down in general.

    So stay healthy. Don’t worry until it happens. Which, hopefully, will be later than sooner.

    Coronavirus Caution is Vital; Fearmongering is Not

    Wash your hands street sign

    In recent days, the specter of the coronavirus has been looming ever closer as governments across the world scramble to keep the virus contained, whether by quarantining entire countries, like China and Italy, or closing schools like Spain, Poland and even school districts nearby. All of this can feel rather frightening with daily reports of increasing infections, mounting deaths and precautions taken to limit one’s exposure to this new virus; however it is important to remind ourselves of the facts of this new disease and not let panic and hysteria control our actions.

    Many people in this school believe that a closure is likely, nay, imminent because of similar measures implemented by other districts nearby and it is natural to feel frightened of the unknown and to be anxious of a virus with no (as of the writing of this article) no known cure or vaccine. However, even worse than this new virus is the fearmongering that has accompanied it. While caution is vital, and it is critical not to be careless in this environment, what can really increase the severity of this situation tenfold is rumors of trips being cancelled, accusations of having the virus and voices exclaiming the exaggerated gravity of an already serious situation.

    I urge everyone who reads this and the entire school to remain vigilant against infection, but not overreact to this. The situation is already troubling as is without constant fear mongering among the citizens of the world. While it is true that this novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has claimed more than 4,000 lives, the World Health Organization estimates the death rate at around 3.4%. By contrast, the flu, whilst only having 0.1% death rate kills 291,000 to 646,000 worldwide. While older people, or people with weakened immune systems, are more susceptible to COVID-19, the majority of cases are mild and recover.

    It is important to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and to avoid close contact with people who are sick. And remember, there is a fine line between justified caution and panicked fearmongering, and we must be careful not to cross that line lest we create an environment worse than it needs to be.

     

    For more information, visit these sites

    Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

     

    World Health Organization:

    https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

     

    The Facts*:

     

    Disclaimer:

    ^Data is approximate to current amount

    *Data as of 3/10/2020 3;46

     

    Number of People Infected: 110,000^*

    Number of People recovered: 60,000^*

    Number of deaths: 4,000^*

     

    Locations with Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, by WHO Region

    Africa*

    • Algeria

    • Cameroon

    • Nigeria

    • Senegal

    • South Africa

    • Togo

    Americas

    • Argentina

    • Brazil

    • Canada

    • Chile

    • Colombia

    • Costa Rica

    • Dominican Republic

    • Ecuador

    • French Guiana

    • Guadalupe

    • Martinique

    • Mexico

    • Panama

    • Paraguay

    • Peru

    • United States

    Eastern Mediterranean

    • Afghanistan

    • Bahrain

    • Egypt

    • Iran

    • Iraq

    • Jordan

    • Kuwait

    • Lebanon

    • Morocco

    • Oman

    • Pakistan

    • Qatar

    • Saudi Arabia

    • Tunisia

    • United Arab Emirates

    Europe

    • Albania

    • Andorra

    • Armenia

    • Austria

    • Azerbaijan

    • Belarus

    • Belgium

    • Bosnia and Herzegovina

    • Bulgaria

    • Croatia

    • Cyprus

    • Czechia

    • Denmark

    • Estonia

    • Finland

    • France

    • Georgia

    • Germany

    • Gibraltar

    • Greece

    • Holy See (Vatican City)

    • Hungary

    • Iceland

    • Ireland

    • Israel

    • Italy

    • Latvia

    • Liechtenstein

    • Lithuania

    • Luxembourg

    • Malta

    • Moldova

    • Monaco

    • Netherlands

    • North Macedonia

    • Norway

    • Poland

    • Portugal

    • Romania

    • Russia

    • San Marino

    • Serbia

    • Slovakia

    • Slovenia

    • Spain

    • Sweden

    • Switzerland

    • Ukraine

    • United Kingdom

    South-East Asia

    • Bangladesh

    • Bhutan

    • India

    • Indonesia

    • Maldives

    • Nepal

    • Sri Lanka

    • Thailand

    Western Pacific

    • Australia

    • Brunei Darussalam

    • Cambodia

    • China

    • Hong Kong

    • Japan

    • Macau

    • Malaysia

    • New Zealand

    • Philippines

    • Republic of Korea

    • Singapore

    • Taiwan

    • Vietnam

     

    Cases Per Country*:

    China :80,924 cases

    Italy :9,172 cases

    Republic of Korea :7,513 cases

    Iran (Islamic Republic of) :7,161 cases

    France :1,402 cases

    Germany :1,139 cases

    Spain :1,024 cases

    International conveyance (Diamond Princess) :696 cases

    Japan :514 cases

    United States of America :472 cases

    United Kingdom :373 cases

    Switzerland :332 cases

    Netherlands :321 cases

    Sweden :248 cases

    Belgium :239 cases

    Norway :192 cases

    Singapore :160 cases

    Denmark :156 cases

    Austria :131 cases

    Malaysia :117 cases

    Bahrain :109 cases

    Australia :92 cases

    Greece :89 cases

    Canada :77 cases

    Kuwait :65 cases

    Iraq :61 cases

    Egypt :59 cases

    United Arab Emirates :59 cases

    Iceland :55 cases

    Thailand :53 cases

    San Marino :49 cases

    India :44 cases

    Lebanon :41 cases

    Finland :40 cases

    Israel :39 cases

    Czech Republic :38 cases

    Philippines :33 cases

    Viet Nam :31 cases

    Portugal :30 cases

    occupied Palestinian territory :26 cases

    Brazil :25 cases

    Ireland :24 cases

    Slovenia :23 cases

    Algeria :20 cases

    Indonesia :19 cases

    Oman :18 cases

    Qatar :18 cases

    Romania :17 cases

    Pakistan :16 cases

    Poland :16 cases

    Ecuador :15 cases

    Georgia :15 cases

    Saudi Arabia :15 cases

    Chile :13 cases

    Argentina :12 cases

    Croatia :12 cases

    Hungary :12 cases

    Estonia :10 cases

    Azerbaijan :9 cases

    Belarus :9 cases

    Costa Rica :9 cases

    Peru :9 cases

    Latvia :8 cases

    Mexico :7 cases

    North Macedonia :7 cases

    Russian Federation :7 cases

    Slovakia :7 cases

    South Africa :7 cases

    Albania :6 cases

    Maldives :6 cases

    Dominican Republic :5 cases

    French Guiana :5 cases

    Luxembourg :5 cases

    New Zealand :5 cases

    Afghanistan :4 cases

    Bulgaria :4 cases

    Malta :4 cases

    Senegal :4 cases

    Bangladesh :3 cases

    Cambodia :3 cases

    Colombia :3 cases

    Bosnia and Herzegovina :2 cases

    Cameroon :2 cases

    Faroe Islands :2 cases

    Martinique :2 cases

    Morocco :2 cases

    Nigeria :2 cases

    Saint Martin :2 cases

    Tunisia :2 cases

    Cyprus :2 cases

    Andorra :1 cases

    Armenia :1 cases

    Bhutan :1 cases

    Gibraltar :1 cases

    Holy See :1 cases

    Jordan :1 cases

    Liechtenstein :1 cases

    Lithuania :1 cases

    Monaco :1 cases

    Nepal :1 cases

    Paraguay :1 cases

    Republic of Moldova :1 cases

    Saint Barthelemy :1 cases

    Serbia :1 cases

    Sri Lanka :1 cases

    Togo :1 cases

    Ukraine :1 cases

    Guernsey :1 cases

    Panama :1 cases

    Mongolia :1 cases

    Brunei Darussalam :1 cases

    PHOTO CREDIT: NPR

    Earth on the Brink, Book One: Secrets- THE FINALE

    3

    Chapter 20: Sorcery (not really)

    A while later, Nyx asked herself, “Why did this work?”

    The four of them, breathless, had at least achieved something. They didn’t build a rocket, but they had made some interesting ice bubbles that allowed the person inside to breathe. Even more, the person inside could use their powers. And as a plus, Angelika had tracked down Sadie and turned her into an ice statue. “Now she’s stuck like that for a long time,” Angelika had grumbled. “And I put an even more powerful enchantment on her this time, so she can’t break out of it.”

    “Hopefully,” Jack had added.

    At that point, Angelika slapped him.

    Back to normal, he thought.

    Angelika had made the structure of the bubble and Nyx had done some weird magical stuff with the unlimited oxygen supply, the ability to communicate with the others, the power usage, and the endless snack supply complete with Doritos, Cheetos, and Tostitos. (Jason insisted that there had to be a snack supply.)

    Angelika wiped the sweat off her forehead. “God, that was exhausting.”

    “Exhausting?” Jack asked. “You honestly haven’t been working on this for that long.”

    “Feels long,” Angelika mumbled.

    “Time doesn’t matter,” said an optimistic Jason. “We did it, okay? Now let’s get into space-”

    “-and murder that satellite,” said Nyx darkly.

    ***

    “This is really weird,” Angelika admitted as they flew into space in ice bubbles.

    “Having your hair frozen is even weirder,” Jack mumbled.

    “Hey, you told me to do it,” Angelika protested.

    There was silence for a while.

    Then Nyx said, “The sky’s getting darker! So either time sped up and it’s 8:00 already or we’re heading into space!”

    “Let’s assume it’s the heading-into-space option,” yelled Jason.

    Going into space was a weird experience. Jack couldn’t find the right words to describe it. When it was finally over, Jack said, “Wow… that was weird.” 

    “Not weird,” Angelika said. “I just… I can’t find the mot juste.”

    Before either Jack or Jason could say anything, Nyx asked, “Guys? I think I found the satellite.”

    Chapter 21: Explosion

    The satellite looked nothing like a satellite. Jack couldn’t understand how people called it a satellite. It looked like a little green blob floating in space. 

    “How the heck is that a satellite?” Angelika asked as if reading Jack’s mind.

    “I know, right?” said Nyx and Jason at the same time.

    “Twin telepathy,” Jack muttered.

    Nyx started, “Yeah, Jason and I have this thing where we finish each other’s-”

    “-sentences,” Jason finished.

    Nyx glared at Jason. “Don’t interrupt me, nimrod.”

    “So how are we supposed to destroy the satellite?” Jack said quickly.

    “You freeze it,” replied Angelika immediately.

    “You chop it into billions of tiny pieces,” Nyx suggested.

    “You bounce on it with your bubble,” Jason advised.

    “I was thinking to electrocute.” Jack shrugged.

    Angelika sighed. “We all want to use our own powers.”

    “So just use ‘em all at the same time,” Jack, Jason, Nyx, and Angelika said at the same time.

    One second’s silence. 

    Jason laughed. “Wow. It’s like we all read each other’s minds.”

    “So it’s settled?” Nyx confirmed. “We’re all using our powers at the same time?” 

    “Yup,” Angelika said. 

    ***

    Random noises would’ve filled space if there were sound waves in space. But no matter what they did, nothing worked. For some reason, the blob kept changing shape. 

    Banana.

    Violin.

    iPhone. 

    Chromebook.

    Chicken nugget.

    Harry Potter.

    Carmen Sandiego. 

    The list was endless.

    Nyx stabbed the blob with her new-and-improved ice sword that Angelika had made for her. The sword was also supercharged with electricity, thanks to Jack. The blob changed into a bowl of potato soup. Yum, Jack thought.

    “Nothing’s working!” Jason yelled as he bounced on the blob. 

    “We know that!” Nyx shouted. 

    Jack’s eyes watered from the large amount of magic he was using. He sent a bolt of white-hot lightning at the blob. The blob changed into the Deathly Hallows symbol.

    After he saw that, he looked over at Angelika. A tear ran down her cheek. Well, at least it looked like it. What he knew for sure was that her ice bubble was slowly fogging up with frost- maybe because of all the energy she was using up. 

    Then, all at the same time, Angelika froze the blob. Jack sent another bolt of purple electricity at it. Nyx stabbed the blob as hard as she could. And Jason bounced off of the blob. 

    Good news: When Angelika unfroze the blob, it finally exploded. 

    Bad news: It exploded.

    The blob burst with a force so powerful that everyone’s ice bubble shattered. Jack’s eyesight went fuzzy. He saw some kind of translucent golden barrier protecting him, and then the world went dark. 

    Chapter 22: Back to Normal (hopefully)

    Jack woke to buzzing and someone yelling at him. “Wha-” he mumbled.

    “Kid!” a voice yelled. “Get off the jungle gym! You wanna be run over by a bulldozer?”

    Jack rubbed his eyes. “No,” he said. Then he saw Angelika sleeping next to him. “Angelika,” he whispered. “Get up, unless you want to be run over by a bulldozer.”

    Angelika’s eyes slowly opened. “What?” she murmured. “Jack, are you okay?”

    “I’m fine,” Jack said. “I think they’re repairing the jungle gym.”

    “Are you serious?” Angelika asked him. Her eyes shimmered brighter than a thousand stars.

    “Kid!” the voice yelled louder. “GET OFF THE JUNGLE GYM!”

    “Yeah, let’s get off now,” Angelika said quickly. The two of them hopped off the jungle gym and started walking away. 

    As soon as they were out of earshot from all the noise, Angelika said in a quiet voice, “Oh. My. God. We actually did it?” 

    “Yes we did,” said Jack, trying to keep the excitement out of his voice.

    Angelika screamed and threw her arms around Jack. “OH MY GOD!” she shrieked.

    “I know,” said Jack, gasping for breath. “I can’t believe we did it either.”

    Angelika looked around. “I feel like there should be a trophy or something.”

    “Eh,” said Jack. “Where’s Nyx and Jason?”

    “Hopefully, they’re where they want to be.” Angelika punched Jack’s arm. “And you promised me-”

    “The movie,” Jack said. “I know…”

    ***

    It was quiet in the theater, except for the speakers blasting the dialogue so that everyone could hear. Then Angelika covered her hand over Jack’s. “Let’s hope we have a normal life now,” she whispered softly.

    Jack squeezed her palm. “Yeah,” he replied quietly. “Let’s hope…”

    Epilogue

    A girl climbed out of the rubble of a castle. She had debris clinging to her dark brown hair. Two animals trotted up to her. A white tiger started nuzzling her. A wolf started licking the dust off her face. She stood up. Her silver glowing dress was no longer glowing, and it was in tatters. 

    “This isn’t over,” she said with a wicked smile as she gazed at Sanjay Middle School. “It has only begun.”

    THE END (for now)

     

    Author’s note:

    Like I said in the first article, this book was really fun to write. Publishing this took about four months, but I hope it was worth it. There are two more books in the series (book three is still in progress) and the second one: Earth on the Brink, Book Two: Danger Zone is finished. I personally think the first one is better than the second one, but it’s still good. Please comment below if you want Danger Zone published!

    THANK YOU!!!

    Should Professional Gamers Be Considered Athletes?

    1

    It was midnight and the harsh sunlight was lashing at the windows, but the lair’s shutters were drawn shut, leaving us gamers to focus on the darkness and intensity of our training. This means playing video games from dawn to dusk each day, or from dusk to dawn each night. Our physical needs have been pushed through the roof. Energy drink cans on the floor, sandwich foil on our desks. Our eyes, glued to our screens. As the match goes on, we learn more and more. Our fans watching us from behind, and so must keep up the grind. We must persevere through our struggles to do what we do, for us, for our fans, and for the people who care.

    Additionally, gamers are just as physically taxed, fit, prepared, and committed as any other professional athletes; because of this, gamers should be treated as equal and be considered professional athletes. Gamers are just as committed to their work as any other professional athlete is. Gaming has opened up a variety of opportunities over very few years; one being job opportunities. According to game designer Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broken, “roughly 183 million people play video games for a living” and the number keeps growing and growing by the day. This has changed people’s lives for the better and has opened up many opportunities for them to look forward to. For instance, many are getting paid for playing these games through streaming platforms, such as Twitch, Discord, and Youtube, as well as ads and sponsorships. This provides most gamers with a stable income and paycheck. This allows gamers to make a living off of their gaming careers, provide their families with a stable happy and healthy environment, and stay committed to what they are doing for a living. Much like any other sport, esports require committed teams in their leagues. The more committed members are in a team, the better they perform as a whole. “Group Dynamics plays a critical role in team performance for esports in a similar way it does for traditional sports.”  

    Nyffler 3

    Teamwork between the two types of sports aren’t much different in terms of commitment, and perseverance. In a team, each player has their own role; without one person, the team can’t function. With each member committed to the same common goal, they can do many things. In both sports and esports, members who are committed have a good self-concept, strong self-esteem, and a balance between what they want and what they’re capable of doing.  

    Gamers are just as physically taxed as any other professional athlete. Many pro gamers are already being required to train like other professional athletes. In Should Pro Gamers be considered athletes?, it states that “Many pro gamers in South Korea, for example, are required to run, swim, and lift weights as a part of training.” Professional athletes must work on making their muscles strong, so they can play more effectively. Just like professional athletes, gamers work on their reflexes and muscles, so they can be more useful in matches and competitions. When compared to professional sports, esports have many similarities to sports in terms of training, physical activity, motivation, and general preparedness. All of these things are what makes these two types of sports closer in comparison than most people think. Like most sports, professional gamers also require grueling training methods to keep up with the competition. CNN reported that, as a gamer, “It’s tough to keep up with the grueling training schedule and maintain the reflexes necessary to compete professionally.” Much like traditional sports, esports, require strict time scheduled training. The time and commitment professional gamers put into their work really shows in the skills that they show to the world! Their strenuous training and severe commitment are all a major part of maintaining staying on top. By continuously performing enervating training, both sports players and esports players become better from these experiences by maintaining the essential condition of a professional.

    Many say that handing out scholarships for gaming is overrated. On the contrary, this has helped gamers kick off their career just like any other profession. According to viewsonic.com, “15 million dollars in scholarships” have been passed out before August 24 of 2019. This money has helped gamers start their career and has made them feel appreciated for what they are doing. This has benefited so many people in such a short time. If even more scholarships were to be passed out, so many more people will benefit from this and this will change their lives for the better. If more people get gaming scholarships people would have more respect for gaming careers and more people would find it necessary to invest money into gaming applications.

    Much like traditional professional sports players, gamers require intense training, and training schedules to maintain their skills. Many people call this addiction which should only be targeted on gamers since both esports players and sports players do this. According to a CNN article titled, Should Pro Gamers be Considered Athletes?, most gamers, “practice for 20 hours a day.” They practice a lot to get good at what they do. If it wasn’t for their gruel training times they wouldn’t be where they are currently. This practice goes to good use and is necessary for optimal success because the training is what gets people to support them and donate to them so they can get money to live a happy, healthy life. This “addiction” is necessary for both gamers and traditional athletes because it is required for ideal performance in their careers.

    More and more universities are offering scholarships to gamers, and are continuing to invest their money into these young scholars. We need to continue promoting these gamers for their work ethic and perseverance. Like professional athletes, gamers go through continuous gruesome and intensified training to learn from their mistakes and benefit through their struggles. They use their commitment to present to their audience how far they have come. If this continues, it will only be a matter of time until everyone, no matter where you stand currently on this controversy, will consider gaming to be a sport.

    Rather than not supporting gaming careers, we should be helping funding gamers through colleges, universities, and high schools. By assisting the esports industry, more people will have a stronger understanding of the motivation and commitment these gamers put into their work. In addition to their hard work, they put up with severe training regiments just so they can prove to individuals that they have grown as a person and a gamer, like any athlete on a field. Whether it be competing online, or battling it out locally, gamers are fighting every day to prove to the world that they are athletes.

     

    America: Has it Lived Long Enough to Become the Villain?

    The United States of America; home of the brave, the land of the free, standing for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are all ideals that America stands for. But does it really?

    Life

    America is the capitalist capital of the world, meaning that nothing is free. Especially for those who need it to be. Every single western country in Europe has gained universal healthcare, along with free college, and civilized living standards. Here in America, that’s not the case. The average cost of a doctor’s visit would be $300-$600 without any healthcare, and even with private healthcare, out-of-pocket fees still have such a high cost in some larger procedures. Sometimes, medical procedures cost so much money that they will not pay for it, leaving the patient to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical fees, sometimes even being double the average wage of an American Working Class man makes in a year. The scarier fact is that these poor citizens can’t even make close to the max that they should because of such a high cost of tuition across America. Even when citizens can afford the tuition, they will have student loan debt for their entire lives, with about $382 dollars a month from their already low minimum wage paychecks, a measly $7.25 an hour, which totals up to about $1160 sounds like a lot of money, but it isn’t. Just for housing alone, a good chunk of that paycheck is torn away. With the student debt and insurance costs added in, the citizens have close to nothing for food and the bare necessities. The fact that if someone, especially the lower classes, gets something as much as a paper cut and it gets infected, can go broke for life is sad.

    Liberty

    During the course of human events in the United States of America, the prison population has grown and grown across the years, with the treatments getting less and less ethical. U.S. prisons house about 50% of the world’s inmates, which is about 2.3 million people inside these prisons. Inside prisons, prisoners are also executed with some very unethical ways. Inside American prisons, there exists “the hole”, or solitary confinement, which is where “Bad prisoners” are thrown in away from any other human contact for sometimes months on end. This simply is unethical as it destroys the mental state of prisoners. Even when people are released from prison, they can’t land a job and will likely land back into prison for about 76.6% of the time, which is scary.

    Happiness

    Most people in the U.S who are depressed can’t afford medication to stop depression, and will likely end up inside of “insane asylums”, where many will not come out forever because of chronic depression that couldn’t be treated because they don’t have free-health-care. It gets worse for them if they do get out, as they are even more depressed because they lost a home, and likely can’t land a job for being inside an “insane asylum”. Free health care, it’s a solution.

    Savior’s Wing

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    Savior’s Wing

    A dystopian short story

    By Ava Winter

    Dedicated to my favorite roleplay partner

     

    The robot drones circled all over the 30-mile radius of Unity. Scott Jackson stood just outside the edge of it, searching for a slave to free.

    Robots had taken over the entirety of Earth, enslaving humans with radio collars that shut down their ability to think for themselves. In their houses, humans were safe. But as soon as they walked through the front door, their minds went blank. Each slave camp had a 30-mile radius of control. If a slave stepped out of that radius, the radio collar stopped working. If a human without a radio collar stepped into the radius, drones and slaves would come after them to make them a slave.

    There were also Exterminators. Exterminators were gargantuan robots with weapons like laser eyes, super strength, giant swords, et cetera. Every Exterminator had a small black square in their chest that served as a heart.

    There were a few groups of humans that weren’t enslaved, and they called each other “Spy Organizations.” No organization had a name outside of its members. Scott and the other members of his organization called theirs “Savior’s Wing”. The other organizations all had names, but the names were never public to other organizations except for the largest organization, Danger’s Shield. No one knew why they chose that name, but they were the only ones to make their organization name public, so everyone paid attention.

    Scott was a recruiter. He hung out on the edge of Unity, waiting for a slave-drone pair. Then he battled the drone, subdued the slave, and took off the radio collar. He was the most successful recruiter in Savior’s Wing. 

    Truth

    Curse you! I don’t have time for you, Truthmind!

    Scott was a Truthteller, which made him very important. He was also a Healer and Shapeshifter. His sister and brother, Summer and Solar Jackson were Shapeshifters, but they didn’t know if either of them had any other powers. 

    Aha! There!

    About 20 feet into the radius. A slave-drone patrol. Or… wait…. Not a drone. An Exterminator?!

    But Exterminators never patrol with slaves! Does that mean that this one resists when she has her mind?

    Scott stepped into the radius.

    The Exterminator turned toward him, as did the slave.

    The slave had slightly tan skin; pretty, long sky-blue hair tipped with purple that ended at her ankles; cat ears and a tail. Her blank eyes were such a beautiful purple that he was momentarily disarmed.

    But he snapped and went for the Exterminator.

    A full-on one-on-one battle took place, and when he slashed the heart, the Exterminator collapsed. Then he turned to the slave, who immediately tried to grab him and knock him out. But Scott was much more skilled than that. He let her apprehend him, then reached up and pressed the hidden release button on the radio collar. The girl’s weight sharply lifted, and he rolled over to see her staring at the collar in her hands. She looked at him as he stood up.

    “Thank you,” she said. “I was worried I’d never escape.”

    “You haven’t escaped yet,” Scott told her. “We gotta get outta the radius. C’mon.”

    She nodded and followed him out.

    “What’s your name?” Scott asked her.

    “Sapphire.” She pulled out a hair tie and tied her hair into a long, swinging ponytail. She met his eyes. “Your name?”

    “I’m Scott,” he answered.

    “How long have you been free?”

    “My whole life. How long have you been a slave?”

    Sapphire didn’t reply for a few moments. Then, quietly, she said, “My whole life…”

    “Oh! I’m sorry, did I hit a nerve?”

    “No, it’s alright. I’m just worried about my brothers.” She looked behind her at the neighborhood surrounding the Factories, her ponytail swinging over her shoulder as she did so.

    “We can get them out next if you show us a picture of them.”

    Sapphire smiled at him. Then her eyes flashed white for a moment. For a moment, she was still, and Scott knew.

    Past-Seer.

    “Get…. me… out… of this….” She whispered.

    So he poked her eye.

    Her eyes returned to purple. “Okay, was that really necessary? You could’ve just smacked my shoulder.”

    Scott shrugged.

    “All I saw was fire,” Sapphire told him. “Nothing else. I’m not gonna look into it intentionally, I promise. It just happens when I first meet someone, and I don’t know how to stop it from happening.”

    “That’s okay. Here we are.”

    Sapphire looked up at Savior’s Wing’s large entrance.

    “Welcome to Savior’s Wing, Sapphire. Here, we strategize, train, recruit and send out spies to other organizations. We’ve only been spied on once, because we have ten Truthtellers, including me.”

    “Wow,” Sapphire’s purple eyes sparkled. “I think I’m gonna like it here.”

    Then they stepped in, and Sapphire clearly finally felt free as the door shut behind them.

    It was time to train. Time to recruit. Time to work towards freedom for all humans and a future where robots don’t dominate. Like before, how it was the first year of Scott’s life when all was well. Ish.

     

    Frozen Jr. Review!

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      As you probably know, the North Shore Masquers performed Frozen Jr on February 7 and 8. I saw it on Saturday night, and I was amazed at how mind-blowing the show was. During the play, the story and the relationship between Anna (Norah Davison)and Elsa (Grace Miller) was vividly illustrated.

      We all know the story- two sisters Anna and Elsa (Young Anna is played by Ava Maffei, Young Elsa is played by Giuliana Zaccagnino, Middle Anna is played by Violet Ganzekaufer, Middle Elsa is played by Alison Friedman)- Elsa born with magical ice powers- are separated early on in their lives. Throughout their childhood, Anna tries endlessly to get Elsa to come out of her room, but fails every time. Elsa and Anna’s parents pass away while on a journey at sea. Nevertheless, Anna is persistent. When they are adults, Elsa reveals her powers to the outside world and flees Arendelle, creating an eternal winter. Anna goes on a quest to find her, leaving Prince Hans of the Southern Isles (Henry Spina) in charge of the kingdom. Along the way, Anna meets Kristoff (Josef Winter), Sven (Rachel Ilberg) and Olaf (Mollie Regan) who become allies and help Anna on her journey. When the two sisters meet again, Elsa rages and freezes Anna’s heart. Elsa eventually gets captured by Hans, and as Hans is about to kill her, Anna sacrifices herself and freezes into an ice statue. Elsa brings Anna back to life in an act of true love and thaws the winter. Throughout the show, the Snow Chorus (Neda Fellows, Veronica Frank, Finn Gallagher, Julia Geraci, Marco Giannola, Samantha Glatt, Grace Harding, Ginger Sanborn, Claire Tao, and Sylvie Ward) tells the story with song and dance. And that’s only a brief summary.

      As I was watching the show, I thought about the amount of effort the cast put in to make this happen. I’ve heard my friends talk about giving up so many afternoons for rehearsal and practicing for hours. And Mr. Chillemi, the director of the play, had to juggle show work and teaching work (he’s also a sixth-grade science teacher).

      In conclusion, I loved the play and thought it was absolutely brilliant. I’d just like to congratulate the NSMS Masquers for putting on this AMAZING performance!!

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