Tired Of Being Tired

Why we need a later start time
By Ronak Dsouza

Aren’t you tired of feeling exhausted in the morning everyday, because you were up all night doing homework? Well how you would you feel if you we had a later start to school?

As a high school student, I know that we are often extremely busy with extracurricular activities, which we enjoy, but take time away from completing homework, which results in not having enough sleep or time in the morning to even eat breakfast. This is why we need to implement a later start for school, so students are no longer stressed out or slumped when they come to school.

“Teens from thirteen to eighteen years old need nine and a half hours of sleep, but the average teenager gets seven hours of sleep,” A spokesperson for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital said.

This is only one of the many reasons of why we should have a later start time. Another factor for sleep deprivation in teens is the heavy high school homework load which causes numerous kids to stay up late, further preventing them from getting the nine and a half hours that they need, settling for mere six or seven hours.

The most tragic part is those who are active members of our Legend community are the ones who are hit the hardest by sleep deprivation. These are students who willingly want to partake in before school and after school activities, in spite of all of the homework, and are, essentially, being punished by the school for participating in out-of-school activities, because of the early school start times. Students shouldn’t have to choose between partaking in a hobby and not being exhausted everyday. A later time would relieve active students from the stressful act of balancing their hectic schedule.

What we should push for is having something similar to a block day, everyday. While it seems like a foreign concept, this was actually what the schedule was like at Legend only five years ago! Block days not only allow more time to sleep but also more time for homework to be completed, getting rid of stress and other emotional or behavioral problems.

With a block day schedule, you are no longer going to be constantly tired when you come to school and with more time in the morning, you will start to enjoy coming to school more.

Affirmative Action

Is practicing really helping in the way it was intending?
By Henley Holland

For as long as I can remember, I have been told that your gender or your race are aspects of your life you have no control over, therefore they cannot define you. Yet, as the deadline for college admissions looms closer, I cannot help but feel the irony of these teachings.

As a female, I have a far higher chance of being admitted into a STEM program. Not because of my qualifications, but because of my gender. They cite the skewed gender ratio in the profession as the reasoning behind this, but if I have not put in the same dedication as my male counterpart, why should I be favored because of my gender? I don’t see that as equal opportunity for me and the other members of the female sex. In fact, if I want a slot in a competitive STEM program, I should have to put in the same, if not more, work as the other applicants and not fear I earned my place because of affirmative action, but instead because I was qualified.

Since the implementation of affirmative action, there have been many cases brought to the Supreme court to challenge this agenda. Perhaps one of the most talked about cases involving affirmative action and college admissions was Fisher v. University of Texas. Fisher, a young white prospective student, was rejected and proceeded to take up legal arms against the university due to the fact she believed she was a victim of “reverse discrimination.” She claims her academic credentials, while not up to par with the averages of the white students, exceeded the averages of the minority students. Fisher claims that her race was the deciding factor in her acceptance, which she found was discriminatory and racist towards her white ethnicity.

Now, the court sided with the University of Texas, stating their policies upheld the values of affirmative action fairly. While this benchmark allowed the legality of race as an admissions factor, there have been statistics stating that minority enrollment at top colleges has declined over the past few decades. So how effective is this program truly if there has been no tangible improvement in these conditions?

As I continue to apply to college, why should I be worrying whether or not I will get into more prestigious colleges not because of my grades or test scores, but because of my ethnicity? I might be a woman going into a STEM field, but I am still white and from the affluent community of Parker, Colorado, which puts me at a huge disadvantage when it comes to admissions. Now, while I understand minorities often come from disadvantaged backgrounds, I still put in countless hours of work into my academic career, and why are my achievements not just as important because I am of the caucasian ethnicity?

Race should not be a factor in college admissions, in fact, it really shouldn’t be included in the application at all. In my opinion, leaving off names, race, gender, and income for applications would produce the most well rounded and fair estimate of the potential of a student for colleges. The factors I have no control over should not define me as a candidate, after all, what does my heritage have to do with my potential for success?

School Start Times

Do you get enough sleep on school nights?
By Kyra Klay

There has always been a debate on how early school start times can affect students and their learning. The human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25, and is very rapidly developing during the teenage years. Teenagers live extremely busy lives, going from a full day of school to sports or other extracurriculars, and then home to hours of homework which is followed by late nights and early mornings. At the minimum, teenagers should be getting at least nine hours of sleep each night, and starting school at a later time would help achieve that tremendously for students.

As a teenager myself, I  have an incredibly busy schedule as most kids my age do. I go to a full day of school five days a week, five hour shifts at work three nights a week, along with two hour soccer training three nights a week followed by games on the weekends. With an already packed schedule, I also have to keep up with school and homework just as all other high schoolers do. I can personally say that I am lucky to get nine hours of sleep at night, and on average I would say I only get about six or seven hours of sleep each night which really affects me school wise. According to the National Sleep Foundation, not getting enough sleep limits your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems. You may even forget important information like names, numbers, your homework or a date with a special person in your life.

As for most teenagers, focusing at school is already a difficult task but when you are sleep deprived it makes you much less motivated and focused as you would be after running on a full night of sleep. Starting school even an hour later would benefit me personally and many other high school students.

Another study done by the National Sleep Foundation said that teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. Most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights. As for many other studies done about the effects of sleep on teenagers, they all prove how pushing school start times later would majorly benefit students. I personally am affected by starting school at an early time every morning, and I can confidently say that it would not only benefit myself, but all of my classmates as well. School districts around the world should take this into consideration for the well being of their students and their academic performance.

AP Calculus BC vs Calculus 3

Which class is more challenging?
By Caleb Stuart

AP Calculus BC is the most challenging math class offered to students when they are in high school. Some may think that Calculus 3 is more challenging but Calculus 3 does not involve the AP test at the end of the year. AP Calculus BC involves the college test at the end of the year which means that students will have less stress when it comes to studying for finals.

The AP test that takes place at the end of the year is perhaps one of the hardest tests that a student can take.  It is a combination of a Calculus 2 and a Calculus 3 test. Students that take the test are given a subscore for both classes.

Generally, in class Mrs. Cynthia Henderson teaches one section of the book per day.  On top of this, students are given about thirty questions from the book as homework, every night.  If students fall behind on the homework, it will be a challenge to catch up, as new problems are assigned.

Calculus is a combo of everything that students have learned in math.  Students need to know the formulas for the area and volume of different shapes and objects from Geometry.  Also, students need to have an in depth knowledge of how to solve for variables when given an equation which they have learned in Algebra.  All of these things come together to create real world problems like “A rectangular swimming pool 16 m by 12 m is being filled at a rate of 0.9 m3/min.  How fast is the height h rising?”

AP Calculus BC is the most challenging math class a student can take as a high schooler.  It is remarkable for high school students to be in Calculus 3 but the fact that AP Calculus BC is a combination of two levels of math and it has the extremely challenging AP test at the end of the year.  These couple of things make AP Calculus BC more challenging that Calculus 3, even if Calculus 3 is considered to be the more advanced math class.

Social Anxiety and the Absurdness of Oral Presentations

Why teens should not be required to speak in class
By Lauren Penington

Heart racing, head pounding, face flushing. Social anxiety is a legitimate issue and concern in this modern day society and should be treated as such, as it is a crippling fear that controls our life and cannot be put off to the side when convenient, such as for a speech assignment.
Jenny Bristol, an online author, released an article in 2014 titled “Students Shouldn’t Have to Speak in Front of the Class” and this is an excerpt from that article:
“I hated speaking in front of people then, and I hate doing it now. In between, I hated being called on when my hand wasn’t raised, which some teachers did to try to encourage more participation. But all it succeeded in doing was to make me fear those classes and to be so busy worrying that I wasn’t learning. I hated oral presentations. I hated having to be the spokesperson for group work. I hated anything that caused me to be the center of attention for more than a couple of people at a time.”
Many people dismiss complaints such as these when they are brought up by teenagers, saying “Oh! You’re just shy!” And maybe some people are. I’m not. I am not a shy person. I don’t mind one-on-one conversations, in fact I relish them. It’s when that one person turns into ten, or twenty, or thirty, that I flounder, that I flush and stammer, that my chest clenches, my breath quickens, and my heart pounds. It’s when I stand in front of people that I want to find the nearest hole and crawl into it, merely to escape the hundreds of eyes I can feel boring into me, as I stand in front of the crowd, open and vulnerable to their scrutiny, their judgement. I find myself becoming paranoid, over-analyzing my words, hesitating before I speak, worried that I’ll make a wrong step and everyone will judge me. But with my friends, I’m the opposite, completely outgoing. Let me clear this up. I am not shy, I flourish in small groups, but when the number grows, my confidence and ability to function shrinks until it ceases to exist. I am not shy, I am afraid. I am not shy, I have social anxiety.
And I am not the only one, not by a long shot. One in four teens have social anxiety. One in four. Twenty five percent of teens will at one point develop social anxiety, whether because of their circumstances or experiences, because of their families, or because of the stress in school.
“[Anxiety is caused by a] combination of genetic, environmental, psychological, and developmental factors,” a spokesperson for Psychology Today said.
There is no one answer and no solution that simply “fixes” it for everyone. Whatever the cause may be, the fact still stands that there are many kids, in this school alone, with this same problem. Perhaps problem isn’t the right word. It may be more accurate to use injury. Because that’s what it is. The brain is an organ like any other. It can be damaged, it can contract diseases. We don’t tell someone with asthma that they need to overcome their lungs, they can breathe just fine. We don’t tell an athlete with a broken ankle to work harder and overcome the weakness of their ankle, because they can play just fine already. Like this, we shouldn’t tell someone with social anxiety that they need to overcome the anxiety in their brain to succeed, but by playing it off as shyness, this is exactly what happens.
Social anxiety is not shyness. It’s simply not that easy to brush off, not that simple to overcome. You can’t turn off the pain, you can’t turn off the fear, you can’t turn off the panic, and you shouldn’t be forced to try for the sake of speaking in front of a group of peers who will forget what you say as soon as you walk out the door. Heart is racing, head is pounding, and face flushing. I can feel myself on the verge of a breakdown, teetering on the edge of a cliff. A cliff built on the lie of communication, built the truth of short-term memorization and panic attacks.
So let’s give a shout out. A shout out to the kids who struggle to convey their thoughts because they’re so worried what people will think. A shout out to the kids who can barely roll out of bed in the morning, for fear of what’s coming during the day paralyzes them. And a shout out to the kids having panic attacks in the bathroom because they have to give an oral presentation. Public speaking requirements set forth by the school unnecessarily aggravate the woes of social anxiety in teens and set a precedent of constant anxiety in those teens. People shouldn’t be forced to speak in front of people — if it isn’t something we are truly passionate about and something that will last beyond the classroom walls, it isn’t worth the repercussions forced oral presentations bring with them.

Got Gym?

PE Classes at Legend

By Joe Ciardullo and Kyra Klay

As we get closer to the end of the school year, we also get closer to class registration for next year. There are many important aspects to think about when choosing classes for the year.

At Legend, it is required to take at least a full credit (year) of a gym class. When it comes to Physical Education, Legend has many options to fit your athletic needs.

The classes offered are: Team Sports, Individual Sports, Strength and Conditioning, Power Weights, and Shape Up. If these are not for you, there are two other classes offered that do not require running, lifting, stretching orother exercises. A student can also take either Healthy Decisions or Athletic Training.

“I really recommend joining team sports because it is very fun and it is not very hard,” sophomore Ben Kriech said.

In PE classes you are graded on attendance, dressing out, and, occasionally, small assignments. These classes are a very easy and fun way to get your credits.

Take Two!

The second Wish Week assembly

By Shaylee King, Henley Holland, and Lauren Penington


What a week! From the spirit days, to the game stalls, to the after school activities, we’ve made a good Wish Week.

Kicking off Wish Week with a killer assembly, we dived headfirst into raising money for our amazing wish kid- Legend’s own Rebecca Tuska.

Monday had a mind of its own with crazy talent in the teacher talent show- with Yergert taking the win with his rocking guitar battle.

“It was so cool,” sophomore Ronak D’Souza said. “He definitely deserved to win.”

Others disagree. “I don’t think he deserved to win,” sophomore Jackie Martin said. “It definitely should have gone to Thornton- he was super creative and it was a lot cooler than Yergert’s act. He still did good, but Thornton should have won.”

Tuesday brought just as much excitement with the dodgeball tournament. “We lost every game” Martin said, “but it was still a cool experience and I’m glad we competed.”

Wednesday was a day full of love with Valentine’s day and the release of our school newspaper.

Thursday was the day- our second wish week assembly where we found we had raised almost $53,000, not quite what we raised last year, and the girls took the spirit point win.

Friday was a fun day for Wish Week. There was no school and we had a fundraiser going with SkyZone. “I went almost all day,” freshman Liz Reifsteck said.

Saturday was the final day for wish week, going out with a bang with the Wish Dance. “I’m so glad I went,” Reifsteck said. “It was really fun to go with my friends, even without a date.”

What a fun, action-packed week. Give it up for the Make a Wish Foundation.


Wish Week Wrap Up

Legend wraps up Wish Week at the final assembly

By  Emily Byrd, Shaylee King, Henley Holland, and Lauren Penington


As Wish Week wrapped up at the second assembly, we took to the time to go over all that had happened over the week.

Congrats to the ladies for having the most spirit points and winning the famous Spirit Bear.  At the beginning of the assembly, according to Tina Stroman, boys got 2,385 spirit points while girls got 2,376, beating them by only nine points. However, girls won more points in the assembly, beating the boys and resuming their winning streak.

At the assembly, students got crazy as they found out how much they raised for our wish kid, Becca Tusca. In total, we had raised almost $53,000 and were able to grant her wish and possibly a few others. Teachers, students, and athletes came out to give speeches and perform dances in honor of Becca. Sports wrestling, girls swim and dive, girls and guys basketball, and unified all came out to show off their dance moves with several teachers and Becca as the judges.

Anatomy teacher Nick Miles gave a heart warming presentation during the assembly.

“[She is] an amazing young woman who I have had the pleasure of knowing. Legend’s heart beats for you Becca,” Miles said.


Travel Trials and Tribulations

Tips for planning an international trip

By Emily Byrd and Lauren Penington


Traveling out of the country can be both exciting and worrying. Exhilarating because you get the opportunity to experience a new culture and some of the world’s wonders, but also nail-biting as you face the inescapable stress of planning.

After you’ve booked your flight and hotel room, it’s time to consider what you’re going to pack.

“When traveling to another country, you have to pack your whole life into two bags. So, you’re going to have to think about what you’re going to need and what’s available in the country you’re going to,” said English teacher Rebecca Chapman. In-state traveling is a less daunting task as you are already familiar with the state and know what to expect as well as what you’ll find. However, when traveling to a different country, some people seem to find themselves lost in the cultural differences and find they’ve packed the wrong things for the wrong place. According to USA Today, you should pack an adaptor, comfortable walking shoes, and plan your outfits according to the climate it will be when you arrive.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned and people are forced to work around it.

“We thought that we were going to a national park, but ended up changing because we only had a certain amount of time there and wanted to get as much in as we could,” said senior Alexa Benglen. When traveling, one important skill to have is flexibility. Things may not go as planned. The lines may be long and take up valuable time or flights may be delayed. It’s important to be able to make quick decisions and to always have a plan B.

Always make sure to keep an open mind when going to another country as you will see many differences, but also some similarities.

“My advice for people who are traveling for the first time [would be to] keep an open mind. Things will be different and you will experience culture shock,” said Chapman. “I think the most annoying thing that people can do is say ‘It’s not like this in America.’ Nobody wants to hear that. They just want to see you enjoying another culture.”

The world is full of different people, cultures, and customs. Traveling allows you to both see and immerse yourself in both of these and also learn how to appreciate a culture that isn’t your own. Planning is crucial to any trip and becomes of chief importance when traveling abroad. It’s important to not only plan well, but also to keep an open mind and be flexible to ensure that all your moo-la doesn’t go to waste.

It’s Snow Joke

The science behind the snow (or lack thereof)

By Larissa Geilen, Grace Miller, and Hannah Schlote


Many people are wondering where the snow is this year, and rightfully so. In a state that is known for things like the Steamboat Springs champagne powder, it can be baffling to have a dry ski season. Many people have been pointing to La Niña as the culprit.

La Niña is a natural phenomenon caused by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the pacific. Typically colder ocean temperatures lead to colder conditions in the northern United States. The northernmost areas of the Rockies can usually see more snow in a La Niña year and most of the northern and midwestern United States are often slammed with snow because of this.

AP environmental science teacher Elizabeth Kirkpatrick has noticed the recent La Niña conditions as well.

“When we look at La Niña events recorded this year, weather in the western US is drier and warmer than usual due to the jet stream being altered slightly from its typical path,” Kirkpatrick said. “According to the NOAA website, meteorologists have recorded warmer temperatures and below average snowfall in Denver during 79% of the La Nina events since 1950.”

Colorado’s front range doesn’t receive much snow when La Niña is a factor, and this year many of Colorado’s mountain resorts have been faced with a lack of snowfall as well. Since states like Colorado and Utah aren’t specifically north or south, but in the middle, it can be hard to foresee the effects of La Niña on snowfall. However, it’s important to remember that La Niña isn’t the only factor influencing weather conditions in the United States. Routine changes in temperature and air pressure, wind direction, and humidity can also lead to significantly drier winter conditions.

The lack of snowfall is certainly disappointing for avid skiers and snowboarders, but it also affects daily life in the Denver-metro area as well. Kids haven’t been going sledding as often and, as far as Douglas County is concerned, there haven’t been any snow days. On the flip-side, though, we haven’t had to shovel our driveways as much as usual. Perhaps going forward we need to improve our snow day rituals in an effort to save this snowless season.

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