Starting Strong

With tennis season fast approaching, returning players reflect on the past years and their plan for the new season

By Lauren Penington

With last season welcoming a new coach for Legend’s tennis team, the girls had much to adjust to. As this season quickly approaches, returning players reflect on their past seasons to make plans to increase their success.

“Last year was my first ever season playing tennis, so I’ve made sure to immerse myself in practice a lot more. It’s no longer about showing up and hoping I do good, I’m putting in a lot more effort and working my way up,” sophomore Catie Mortimer said. “This season I really want to make one of the top JV teams and bond with my partner.” 

Although the season is short, many girls have spent the offseason preparing. 

“We have offseason practices and then we have practices from 5:30 to 7:30 am that I have been attending,” sophomore Alina Mali said. “I’ve definitely started practicing more on my own time versus only on official team practice times in order to improve a little bit more.”

The weather doesn’t hold these girls back at all. Many push through the winter season determined to come out on top in the season. 

“When the weather is bad we play at the Parker racquet club,” Mali said. “Otherwise if the weather is nice and we want to practice on our own time then we use the Legend courts here.” 

However, tennis itself isn’t the only thing the girls have been preparing. 

“I’ve been exercising a lot,” junior Emily Schultz said. “I do workouts that aim for speed and agility. When I do practice for tennis, I make sure to give my full effort. I am more prepared for the competition there is this season and I’m hoping to go to Varsity. 

Schultz isn’t the only athlete with competition in mind.

“Personally, I know that there is going to be a lot of competition,” Mali said. “I want to have more wins than losses so I can make it to Varsity. I’ve just been passionate for [tennis] since I was young and it’s really fun to participate in so I want to be able to go far this season.” 

All the girls have been preparing for their season and their efforts are about to come to fruition. During tryouts, Legend coaches Guinn and Siers will assemble their top team in hopes of advancing farther this year. The coaches’ goals are to increase the team’s competitiveness. They hope this will result in an increase in the team’s standing within the league. Let’s see how far these Lady titans go, as their season begins. 

Legend Breaks the Bank

The school once again beats own personal record in money raised for wish week

By Lauren Penington

Wish Week is a long-awaited tradition each year at Legend. Each Wish Week, the current classes take it upon themselves to beat the previous classes record. This is competition raises more and more money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 2019 was the first year that Legend broke the amount of $100,000. But 2020 rose even above that, raising a total of $115,628.80. 

This week holds a special place in the hearts of many students and teachers, but freshman will always remember their first. 

“I really enjoyed Wish Week. Even though I was busy with the play and couldn’t attend some of the events it was still really fun and I’m glad I got to participate,” freshman Thomas Mclaren said. “I really want to keep that tradition of raising more money because it’s really cool to see all these kids going on their wish trips.” 

Just as freshman are commemorating their first, seniors are basking in their final Wish Week they will be involved in at Legend. 

“I’ve really enjoyed watching the school come together for a good cause,” senior Ashlyn Smith said. “It’s always lots of fun, but of all the Wish Weeks I’ve been a part of at Legend I’m glad this was the last. It seems like a good high to end on, this Wish Week was definitely my favorite. I went to more events than in past years and participating more made me really enjoy the week.”

The seniors also enjoy raising more money than in previous years, happy to see their hard work paying off in meaningful ways. 

“There’s definitely a competitive aspect to Wish Week, more than the boys versus girls,” senior Madison Travis said. “As seniors, we want to raise more than the previous year. I didn’t think we’d be able to do that this year, but I was happy to see everyone come through.” 

Ultimately, this week is more than the rewards. While students enjoy class stalls for raising money, the real importance is in the meaning behind the donation. It’s about the kids Legend is able to help grant wishes for. It’s about the message behind Make-A-Wish as a whole, and, in the words of Jesse Van Diver, it’s about giving rather than donating.

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.

When Will Betelgeuse Explode?

Why it may not be as soon as you think

By Madison Schick

Betelgeuse is a star that sits on the shoulder of the Orion constellation. Since it is 1,000 times the size of our sun, we can see it shine from 640 light years away. Classified as a Red Supergiant, it’s one of the brightest stars in the sky, but concerns of it dimming are leading some to conclude it’s about to supernova.

High mass stars do tend to have shorter life-spans than small/medium sized stars like our sun, therefore stars like Betelgeuse only live for millions of years whilst our sun can live for billions. Scientists have started to talk about how Betelgeuse is nearing the end of its life, but in reality the end is still about a million years away. 

Betelgeuse is a variable star, meaning it dims and brightens in periods over the years.

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.

What’s Cooking!

With the weather cooling down, many people may see themselves holed up in their houses. While this might bring the satisfaction of staying in a warm, cozy house, it also means having to cook food at home. While some may be chefs in the kitchen, many high schoolers still struggle to cook for themselves. Not to fear, cooking club is here!

Starting back up on January 17th, Legend’s cooking club will help students learn how to cook different dishes. This year, the club founder and president, senior Veronica Knott, is looking to make cooking club more inviting and educational than ever.

From holiday classics to baking essentials, the club has covered some of the most common dishes. However, this year the club is looking to expand their efforts to brand new foods. 

“We are looking to create and cook new types of foods from different types of culture,” said senior Veronica Knott. “It is going to be very exciting.” 

She also wants to expand cooking club’s reach to include more people, returners and newbies alike.

“It’s a great time because you get to eat a lot of food,” said senior Veronica Knott. “You get to actually make some really interesting and delicious dishes with your friends.”