Category Archives: Opinion

An Ocean Full of Plastic

How Trash Islands are Polluting our Oceans

By Madison Schick

Trash islands are a problem commonly looked over by the government and companies. Most people don’t even know they exist. With six in total, the biggest one stands at 600,000 square miles and growing. It sits between the coast of Hawaii and California, growing bigger everyday.

It will take millions of years to dissolve on its own. Nearly 3 times the size of Texas and over 30 feet deep in some parts, it’s polluting the ocean, causing some serious issues.

Recently the concerns regarding the bleaching of coral reefs worldwide have come to light. Although proposed solutions like wearing less damaging sunscreen and avoiding touching the coral, the trash islands play a huge part in the pollution of oceans. To put this into perspective, half the Great Barrier Reef is dead due to bleaching, according to National Geographic. Bleaching occurs when coral gets too warm, gets surrounded by chemicals, or is cut down. Coral is very sensitive, so chemicals in the water from plastic waste make the coral sick.

In addition, the pollution is also killing sea life when trash is mistaken for food. Animals can’t digest plastic, often it gets stuck in the animal’s system, or the animal physically gets trapped in an area of plastic. Even when fish do survive after eating plastic and we can end up eating that plastic, if the fish is caught and sold.

According to the 2012 U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimate, it would cost the United States at least $122 million. They estimated it would take $489 million just to hire enough boats to clean the Pacific garbage patch. It’s clear the government won’t pay for it, therefore leading to no one addressing the problem.

All in all, this problem is becoming irreversible. We need to find a way to fix this problem before it reaches the point where we can’t.

Jhene, Megan, Uzi, and More

New Music from the Week of March 6th

By Ronak Dsouza

It’s finally March which means it is one month closer to summer and festival season. In anticipation, many artists are releasing new content to perform live. Here are some of the best and biggest picks from this past week.

Kicking off the list is the surprise release of Eternal Atake, Lil Uzi Vert’s long awaited album. The tape is full of Uzi’s signature autotune and techno-heavy production. The album consists of 18 songs with only one feature: “Urgency” featuring Syd, The Internet band member. The standout track is “P2,” acting as a sequel Uzi’s smash hit “XO Tour Llif3.”

Next is Chilombo by Jhené Aiko, the other highly-anticipated album of the week. Aiko has been building up the release of Chilombo since 2019 with the release of “Triggered (Freestyle).” The album does not disappoint with Aiko’s soulful vocals perfectly syncing with Chilombo’s minimalistic acoustic production. The standout track is “B.S.” featuring H.E.R. with the two R&B singers giving one of the best R&B duets of the year.

Finally, arrives Megan Thee Stallion’s latest mixtape, Suga. The tape had been the topic of discussion for many due to Megan’s label, 1501, attempting to block Megan from releasing any new music. This was in result to Megan trying to renegotiate her contract. Thankfully after Megan sued her label, a judge ruled in favor of Megan, allowing her to release Suga. The mixtape once again shows her rapping ability is unmatched. The standout track is “Captain Hook,” featuring numerous flows and her signature bragadocious lyrics. 

Be sure to also check out Katy Perry’s new single “Never Worn White,” the remix to Brockhampton hit “SUGAR” featuring Dua Lipa, and Demi Lovato’s latest single “I Love Me.”

Bieber, Tame Impala, Billie

Best New Music of February 14th

By Ronak Dsouza

Whether you are boo’d up or single this Valentine’s Day, here is some new music to make Valentine’s more enjoyable.

The most anticipated album of the week comes from pop megastar Justin Bieber with his album Changes. The album is full of features from the likes of Travis Scott, Post Malone, and Kehlani. It also contains the already popular singles, “Yummy” and “Intentions” featuring Quavo. The standout track is, surprisingly, a remix–“Yummy [Remix]” featuring Summer Walker. While the original song, “Yummy,” got backlash for being bland, Summer Walker gives it a rebranding with her soulful vocals.

The Australian indie band Tame Impala also returns to the music scene with The Slow Rush. This is their first album in five years after the release of their critically acclaimed Currents. OnThe Slow Rush, the band continues their signature funky and trippy sound, making the listener feel as if they are floating through space. The standout track is “Breathe Deeper,” a six-minute-long track, constantly shifting to create new melodies.

Finally, Billie Eilish continues her dominance over pop music with her new song, “No Time To Die.” “No Time To Die” is actually the theme song for the upcoming eponymous James Bond movie, No Time To Die. With her whispery vocals, she is able to create the suspenseful tone of a Bond movie. It will definitely be interesting to see if the movie lives up to the song.

When to Take an AP Class

The pros and cons of taking an AP course

By Lauren Penington

PROS:

Academic Rigor

When enrolling for classes you need to not only consider what will be beneficial to your learning, but what will look good on a transcript. Colleges are more likely to be impressed by a student willing to push themselves in advanced classes. You will get a more in-depth understanding of the subject matter and be able to boost your GPA.

Scholarships

Because AP classes demonstrate academic rigor and can result in a higher GPA, they can give you an opportunity to qualify for grants and scholarships. If you score above a 3 on the end of year exam, many colleges and universities will accept the test as college credit. This allows you a head start on that area and getting a few credits out of the way. However, if the AP class pertains to your major, beware. Many schools recommend you do not skip classes dealing with your area of study lest you forget material, fall behind, or lack significant knowledge necessary for the higher level classes. 

Preparedness

Taking a more in-depth class, especially one relating to your potential career, will help you in the transition to college. You will be at an advantage by already having a background in the information. It will certainly make the transition easier and allow you time to gain stable footing in your new college life.

CONS:

Challenging Coursework

If you struggle in school, AP classes may not be the best choice. They require a significant amount of commitment — both in and out of school hours. Projects, tests, and lessons found in normal classes are mirrored in AP courses to a more advanced degree. Be prepared to dedicate hours to studying and homework for each course.

Challenging Areas

For example if you do not enjoy chemistry, it is for the best that you do not enroll in AP Chemistry. The subject matter may be more difficult or less interesting, hurting your performance in the class. Just because an AP class looks impressive does not mean that colleges will rank an C in one over an A in a regular course. 

Rubric Grading

The final exam is based on a rubric. This may be appealing to some, but for others, not so much. It can be difficult to showcase your ability while maintaining the guidelines set. Furthermore, the questions on the exam are randomized but can lean heavily toward one area of the subject. Even if you are solid on the rest of them test, if the test is centered around your weakest unit, it can deter your score.

Brent Faiyaz, Raveena, Green Day & More!

Best Music Releases of February 7th

By Ronak Dsouza

Many great new releases from new artists came out this week, adding to a great new year of music! Here are just some of the releases that you must listen to.

Three years after his last album, R&B singer Brent Faiyaz is finally back with his latest album F*** The World. He continues with the same format of his first album, Sonder Son, maintaining no features. However with F*** The World, it is apparent that he is more experimental. Faiyaz incorporates more samples and crisper vocals signifying his constant growth and maturity. The standout track is “Clouded,” which has Faiyaz singing alongside a gospel-like sample, making the listener feel amongst the clouds.

Another outstanding R&B project from a new artist arrived with Raveena’s latest EP, Moonstone. While the project only consists of four songs, each song is a great addition to the singer’s catalogue, leaving the listener eager for more. Raveena adopts a new sound on Moonstone: a mix of her signature acoustic sound and transcending, spacelike production to truly manifest what Moonstone is. The standout track is “Starflower,” a light song with entrancing guitar melodies, reminding you of a teenage coming-of-age movie.

Finally, the iconic punk band Green Day returns to the music scene with their latest album Father Of All…. They bring the same energy and style that they brought fifteen years during their prime promising no trap beats or new producers. The standout track is the title track, “Father Of All…,” starting the album out on a very high note.

Monopolized Movies

Disney is turning into a monopoly, decreasing the standard of entertainment and discouraging independent artists from entering the industry. 

By Lauren Penington

Disney’s control over the entertainment industry is growing daily. Here are the most important of Disney’s current assets. 

Companies: 

  1. ABC
  2. ESPN (Stake)
  3. Touchstone Pictures
  4. Marvel
  5. Lucasfilm
  6. A&E (Split equity with Hearst Corporation)
  7. The History Channel (Split equity with Hearst Corporation)
  8. Lifetime (Split equity with Hearst Corporation)
  9. Pixar
  10. Hollywood Records
  11. Vice Media (Stake)
  12. Core Publishing
  13. Fox

Brands: 

  1. The Star Wars Franchise
  2. The Muppets Franchise 
  3. The Marvel Cinematic Universe
  4. Disney Princesses/Princes
  5. The Chronicles of Narnia Franchise
  6. The Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise
  7. Pixar Films 
  8. The Winnie the Pooh Franchise
  9. The Indiana Jones Franchise
  10. Grey’s Anatomy (and other popular ABC shows)

In the midst of the popular brands that dominate the market, you’d be hard pressed to find ones not associated with Disney. Although, Disney creates a variety of content, their actions continue to narrow the industry as they acquire more companies. Even if Disney is not a monopoly at the moment, it is quickly approaching. 

What does this mean for the industry? A monopoly gives Disney control over many aspects of the industry as being the main supplier. This monopoly allows Disney to supply a line of inferior products that people will still buy into.

For instance, the latest string of live-action movies. Although they have changed a few things, the live-action movies are essentially the same as the originals. Normally, such obvious rip-offs would not succeed in Hollywood, but Disney’s standing has brought it clout.

Additionally, this ties in with another downside of monopolies: they lose the desire to innovate. Although Disney is still creating some new content at this point, we have already seen evidence of lost innovation in the previous examples of live action recreations. 

Due to the fact that Disney owns such a wide variety of companies and brands, they rake in a large profit. This increases their funds exponentially allowing them to take more companies under their wings, such as their recent takeover of 20th Century Fox. This increases the issue of monopoly, upsetting the balance of the economy by growing Disney’s share of the economy. 

As much as we enjoy Disney, we have to come to terms with the situation at hand. The entertainment industry will lose more variety and creativity. It will become a pit of repeated movies and plots, offering nothing original.

The Final Stretch

Ways to destress during finals week

By Lauren Penington

Finals can be a stressful time of year and many students find themselves in a downward spiral of procrastination, mental breakdowns, and increased stress and anxiety. While it can be easy to feel impossibly behind, sometimes it’s better to step away and take a moment to destress.

1. Exercise 

Even if it’s only for ten minutes, exercise is a great way to take your mind off of finals and give yourself a well needed break from studying. Getting out of the house allows you to clear your head and give yourself a fresh, energized start when you go back in. 

2. Reward yourself

Studying is hard work! Your brain deserves a reward and you can’t live off studying forever. This not only allows you a break from the hard work of studying but incentivizes you to continue your dedication.

3. Take a bath

As much as your brain needs a break, your body needs one just as badly. Taking a hot bath will allow you to relax, releasing the tension in your muscles. If you are especially stressed, it can help to add bubble bath or salts. There are some specially scented to relieve stress and increase productivity. 

4. Take a nap

Sleep seems to be a rare commodity during finals week. Take an hour or two to recuperate and rest. This will allow you to come back to studying with a clear, focused mind. 

5. Family time

Go spend much-needed time with your family or friends. Take that moment to go downstairs, pet your dog, or watch a movie with your close ones. Not everything in life is about grades, so don’t let them consume every minute of your time.

Where’s Your ID?

Lunch. One of the most awaited times of the school day. Upperclassmen rush out to their cars, eager to go off campus to go grab food. It is one of the most frenzied times of the day. This mad rush of students leaving is all hampered by the security guards checking IDs.

This year, the ID checks were escalated with the addition of trunk checks. This process is unnecessary and a complete waste of students’ time. Making every passenger in a car, including the driver, have to wait to show their ID is a hassle. This waiting can upwards of fifteen minutes of delay to get one’s lunch destination. 

Obviously, these stops are put in place to prevent freshmen from leaving campus. This is one of the biggest initiatives that the administration implemented to stop freshmen going off campus. The amount of freshmen going off campus has seemed to decrease as a result of these initiatives. However, one of these initiatives–the stopping of cars leaving lunch–is more of an inconvenience than a benefit.

It may seems like these painful initiatives will remain for the foreseeable future but a scaling back should soon occur. The administration has already achieved their goal of making it difficult for freshmen to leave campus. Having a different color for a freshman student ID is an effective enough measure. It should be experimented with to prove its effectiveness. Then, it can be fairly decided whether or not the cars should be constantly stopped.

The Forgotten Sports Teams of Legend: Hockey

Spencer Hughes | December 10th, 2019

Welcome to the Forgotten Sports Teams: Legend, an opinion column in the newspaper discussing some of the smaller sports teams and events in our great school and revealing highlights and accomplishments of each of the programs. In this edition, we will be covering the hockey team and the unique setup of our team.

Today, we’ve been joined by Joseph Holguin, a player for the combined Legend-Chaparral-Ponderosa team for years. Even though it’s a combined team from three different high schools, Joseph says it’s been a great sport and he’s gotten to know his teammates across schools over the years. “At first I thought it was going to be kind of weird since we all go to different schools, but it’s not that weird since we all grew up playing club hockey together.” Over the years, the difficulty and level of play have increased, as more students from these schools and other districts begin playing hockey for their high schools, not just club hockey. As students of Legend, we also were interested in how Joseph felt about school support and knowledge of the hockey team. To this, he said “The support could be better, we kind of get lost to the bigger sports. [I hope] more people come out to the games, they’re fast, they’re fun, lots of big hits and lots of goals.” Joseph also is excited for this year, as he says this is the best the team has been, “both on paper and in chemistry, we’re better than most teams in the state.” It’s an exciting year for hockey, and we hope to see more info on the hockey team’s wins and successes.