It all started when I was born. I loved, loved, loved “boy clothes”. As soon as I could talk, I wanted to be a boy and wear boy clothes. I hated wearing dresses or anything girly. If I was going formal, I was going formal in style - meaning I was wearing a suit.
My mom was awesome on the first day of kindergarten, she let me wear bright yellow pants with a blue top! I felt like a king. My dad thought the other kids would laugh at me, but he was wrong. My mom didn't care; she thought I was gay, which was not completely wrong because I am pan which means I like people for their personality.
One day when I was 5, I had a babysitter and she was a photographer; she took pictures of us and it took 3 hours until she “convinced” me to wear a dress. It was terrible. I felt like something was choking my throat. It felt like I could not breathe, like I was in the wrong body. Which I am. I told my mom that my babysitter said my parents would be happy if I wore a dress. My mom said, ¨I don't care what you wear. You don't have to wear anything you don't want to.¨ I said "the babysitter made me wear those clothes". My mom said she understood, and that was not ok and that it should not have happened.
Back when I was little, every couple of years, and only for a few hours, I would try to wear more girl-like clothing. I called it "girl mode". I thought I was being me, but I was not. Once in 3rd grade, I walked into the girl's bathroom and we had a sub. The sub said in a mean voice, ¨Hey! Youŕe using the wrong bathroom.¨ I was not in the wrong bathroom. Back then, I still went by the name I was given at birth and I still used feminine pronouns. But, after that, I never used the bathroom ever again at school. I still don´t. I only go at my house or a restaurant. In general, the bathrooms are hard when you are transgender. Imagine always being worried that someone was going to tell you you are in the wrong bathroom. How would you feel?
The day I came out as transgender to my class, I was in 5th grade and I was so happy that day. I was also so very terrified. My mom told me to come outside with her for a moment, while Ms. Young was telling the class that I had something to share.
So when I walked out into the classroom, I saw all the support and love and kindness surrounding me. It was amazing. And Ms. Young said, ¨Are you ready?¨ I said yes. I walked to the front of the class, and all the people were following me like….my parents, my sister, my best friend Ella and my other best friend Gabi, their parents, and so many more. It felt like I was so important that people wanted to hear my voice.
I walked to the front of the room and said hi. My mom said he is transgender and going to explain. I shared about my new name, new pronouns, what transitioning would like for me, and my feelings. I explained that I would use puberty blockers and hormones to help my body develop in a way that matches my brain. And, I explained that it has felt like I have kept a lot bottled up, but that it was time to break the bottle and really be free. I also encouraged any of my friends who might feel like they are holding back parts of themselves to be brave and not to let anyone tell them not to be who they are. We should feel free to be free.
Now, if people didn´t know me before 5th grade, they don't know I am transgender. I am just a regular boy. And that is the story of
Spencer´s transgender journey.
Story by Spencer K.
1. Red dead redemption 2-October 26th, 2018
Red dead redemption 2 is the sequel of the first red dead redemption. It is available for Xbox one and PS4. It was released by Rockstar Games, which is the same company that made GTA. The features to this game are just unbelievable. Here are a few:
2. Fallout 76-November 14, 2018
Fallout 76 will be one the newest Fallout games. This video-game is made by Bethesda Games. It will be available for Xbox one, PS4 and PC. If you want to play this game right when it comes out, you can head to Amazon or Best Buy, where you can pre-order it for $59.99. It will be the first online Fallout, so you can team up with other players (Or, they can troll you with nukes). However, it will still give Fallout fans the classic Fallout experience while roaming the wasteland. Bethesda has made Fallouts in the past, but by far, Fallout 76 will be the best.
3. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!-November 16, 2018
This Pokémon game will be the first proper Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch, pricing at $60.00. It will have updated graphics and customizable characters, including having your little Pokémon run around the map side by side with you. The game will also give Pokémon go fans the catching mechanic based on motion, yet the way you will fight other Pokémon will be the classic old school combat. In this game, you will not have the choice of one out of three starter Pokémon. Instead, you will be given a Pikachu, and your rival will have an Eevee. Speaking of the starter Pokémon in this game, they will not evolve. They will just run around with you right by your side. You can also customize them. You can change their gender and hairstyle, and you can even do this stuff to the trainer you will be; even being able to change their whole outfit. This game will only be available for the Nintendo Switch when it comes out, so if you really want to play this game when it comes out, you should probably buy a Switch.
4. Battlefield v-November 20, 2018
This game is looking like it will be a hit. It will be available for Xbox one, PS4 and PC players. It will also have a battle royale mode, considering that that is the most popular type of game right now. This game will take the series from the first world war to the second. There will be huge multiplayer battles and a single-player campaign mode. This game will also include character customization and destructible environments. By that, we don't just mean throwing grenades and breaking one fence. We mean driving tanks straight through houses. And if you break something above an enemy, the falling object can even damage them. Now, breaking forts is cool, but what about building them? Yes, you can repair damaged structures, plus being able to put down sandbags and barbed wire, and even build trenches. Some of the vehicles you can ride will be planes, tanks, buggies and maybe even more. Some of the maps will be a snowy one, a field, a forest, and more. This game really looks amazing, and the graphics will be great. This game will be for $60.00, so you should probably save up if you're a Battlefield fan.
5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate-December 7, 2018
This super smash bros game will have every Nintendo character/crossover character in it; including Pokémon, Mario characters, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Splatoon characters and more. Nintendo said that this game will have a total of 69 characters when the game is officially launched. Nintendo also released an amiibo for every character in the game. Some of the classic characters, like Mario and Pac-Man, will have some in-game “boosts”, Like throwables and speed boosts. To use your smash, you will not only have to break open a ball called the smash ball, like normal, but players will have a bar that fills up the more you do. When that bar is full, you can use your smash.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will have the addition of an offline local multiplayer. For that, you can change the ruleset for the game, and the game will match you with players that have the same preferred rules, yet still matching you with other players in your region, so you won't get bad lag. All the characters in the game are:Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Dark Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, Pikachu, Luigi, Ness, Captain Falcon, Jigglypuff, Peach, Daisy, Bowser, Ice Climbers, Sheik, Zelda, Dr. Mario, Pichu, Falco, Marth, Lucina, Young Link, Ganondorf, Mewtwo, Roy, Chrom, Mr. Game and Watch, Meta Knight, Pit, Dark Pit, Zero Suit Samus, Wario, Ike, Diddy Kong, Lucas, Sonic, King Dedede, Olimar, Lucario, R.O.B., Toon Link, Wolf, Mega Man, Rosalina, Little Mac, Greninja, Palutena, PAC-MAN, Robin, Shulk, Bowser Jr., Ryu, Ken, Cloud, Corrin, Bayonetta, Inkling, Ridley, Simon, Richter, King K. Rool, Isabelle, Incineroar,Piranha Plant (pre-order bonus). This game will be the best super smash bros yet, considering how much characters it will have. Maybe more will come, too.
These video-games are ranging from all-out warfare games to classic Pokémon adventure games. While they weren't in a particular order, those were the top 5 Video-games to come out soon, and they are going to have a lot of players.
Story by Rowyn G. Esslinger
Summer is most kids favorite season, mostly because there is no school. Instead of school, most kids go to the pool, hang out with friends, chill at home, and go to summer camps. However, having a summer schedule opposed to year-round causes an educational gap over the long summer stretch. It also causes a food gap for lots of children in poverty. 22 million children in the US receive free or reduce breakfasts and lunches from school, and lunches and breakfasts aren't offered over summer vacation. So, why do we even have summer vacation? Is it in the children living in America's best interest to steal summer from them? These are some questions I asked myself, and I found some shocking answers.
Over summer vacation, most kids don't do any academics, and if they do, it is usually a small amount. Not learning for the 10-11 week summer vacation causes what a lot of people call “ the summer slump”. The summer slump is caused by not learning, and forgetting most of what you learned the year before, so academically it is harder to start off the school year. Basically, summer is making you dumber, but having a year round school schedule could help fix that. The traditional summer vacation calendar is unbalanced, unlike the balanced year round schooling calendar. You can see this on the graphs from The Wild Cat Times.
“Supporters of the idea say they can stop a loss of learning and boost achievement,” says PBS News Hour on the topic of year-round schooling. Also, in the video, The Real Reason Why Children Get the Summer Off of School, Simon Whistler, said that, “ (Year-round school) will help students perform at the same academic level as students from other countries by allowing more hours of instruction.” The US doesn’t compare well with the rest of the world academically; the PISA did a study in 2012, involving 15-year-olds around the world, and they found that “the US ranked 36 out of most countries around the world on math scores in 2012.” The study also found that “one of the highest scoring states (in the US), Massachusetts scores were so low, it seemed they had 2 fewer years of mathematical education than the students in Shanghai (one of the highest scoring countries).” This information was shocking to me. How could our country compare so poorly to the rest of the world? A year-round school schedule could help students achieve more, and help the US rank higher academically.
Aside from school achievement, the home lives of children in poverty over the summer is taken over by hunger. “1 in 6 children in the United States face hunger,” says nonprofit, No Kid Hungry. No Kid Hungry also says that “more than 13 million children in the United States live in ‘food insecure’ homes.” This means that over the summer, without school breakfast and lunch, children are going hungry! This made me wonder, why was the opportunity for hungry kid’s to become even more hungery over the summer even a thought? The video, The Real Reason Why Children Get the Summer Off of School had some answers. Simon Whistler said that “summer break was created because of the lack of AC in the 1800’s, so upper class and wealthy families could vacation to their summer homes.” Yes, the rich from the 1800’s decided our school scheduling. Times have changed, but our scheduling hasn't. To adapt to that, non- profits try getting food out to kid’s who need it like Feeding America. But these non-profits aren’t helping nearly enough children. “… 22 million children receive free or reduced-priced meals through the National School Lunch Program. When school is out during the summer months, however, only 3.9 million receive free or reduced-price meals… ,” says Feeding America. Having a year-round school schedule would help reduce childhood hunger, and it wouldn’t affect the upper middle class/ wealthy families from the 1800’s, because AC was created in 1902.
What do you think, should summer fun be stolen for better academic results, and less children hungry over the long break?
Story by Olivia Agan-Bedard
People have all different tastes. Have you ever had a meal with your friend? If you have, then you may have noticed that your friend did not like what you were eating. Let's say you are having soup with your friend, you had tomato soup with potatoes in it, and your friend has just potato soup. You offer your friend some of your soup and your friend says “no”. “You have to like tomatoes because I like tomatoes everyone does right?” You say. “But I really don't like tomatoes,” your friend says in a plain voice. You can't understand this; you love tomatoes and potatoes, why does your friend only like potatoes? The answer to your question is in your DNA.
When you are born, your feelings are born to. Your feelings and tastes are different from other peoples because you are different. DNA is in everyone, it makes up your genes. Not the common blue jean, but your genes in the body. Amino acids go together to make proteins, these all go together to make up the way we act and the reasons we like and dislike things.
So, in conclusion, the reasons for likes and dislikes go deep within your DNA. Just to go over a little bit more, there are many reasons to why you have different likes and dislikes. So many pieces go into making you and that is why you are different from other people. You are like a recipe for cake or pie and you need that recipe so that you can be different.
Story by Alana Bridger
Licking your Lips
Have you ever been outside on a cold, morning, and you notice your lips are dry, so you lick them? It turns out this only makes them worse! Here’s why: The saliva on your tongue and in your mouth evaporates really fast and when you lick your lips, that saliva evaporates, leaving your lips drier than they were before. Winds and harsh weather can also contribute to dry lips. Your lips have thinner skin than the rest of your body and they don’t have oil glands, both of which makes it easier to dry out.
Dos and Don'ts for dry lips
According to The Washington Post, don’t:
According to The Mayo Clinic, Do:
Biting Your Nails
Biting your nails is a common bad habit, and it can result in too-short nails that hurt. So why do we do it?
People bite their nails for a number of reasons, says WebMD. They could be stressed, worried, sad, insecure, or even just bored or hungry. A range of people bite nails too, such as little kids, teens, and adults, and studies show that if your parents bite their nails or if they did as a kid, their child will be likely to as well.
How do I stop?
Biting your nails doesn’t do anything good for you. According to WebMD, it can mess up the tissue around your nails and make them grow in with a weird shape. If you bite your nails a lot when you're not thinking about it, put socks over your hands whenever you're watching tv or reading. You can also get sick from biting your nails. Just imagine how many things your hands touch every day, and when you bite your nails, that bacteria has the chance to get into your mouth.
So next time you think about biting your nails or licking your lips, just think about what you’re really doing to yourself.
Story by Mattie-Clark Palme
Many of you have probably heard about the new iPhones and may think about getting one. In this article I will be sharing with you about all of the new phone features.
The iPhone Xs and Xs Max comes in silver, space grey, and gold. The iPhone Xr has a much more colorful range. It comes in white, black, blue, yellow, coral, and red! This is the first time other than the iPhone 5c that you are able to choose colors such as yellow, blue, and coral but these colors are only available for the iPhone Xr.
The price for the iPhone Xs Max varies from $1,099 to $1,449 depending on how many GBs you purchase. The iPhone Xs ranges $999 to $1,349. And last but not least, the iPhone Xr starts at $749 and goes up to $899, again, depending on the GBs you want.
GB of Storage:
If price is an issue, you’ll want to stick with a 64 GB iPhone. But you can also go with a 128 GBs, 256 GBs, or all the way up to 512 GB of storage!
The smallest of the three new iPhones is the iPhone Xs. It has a screen size of 5.8 inches. The iPhone Xr is 6.1 inches. And the iPhone Xs Max has a massive 6.5 inch display screen, which is the biggest display screen apple has come out with yet.
The iPhone Xr can be submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. But the iPhone Xs and Xs Max are slighty more waterproof because they can be submerged in 2 meters of water for 30 minutes!
The iPhone Xs and the Xs Max was released on September 21st. The iPhone Xr will be released next month on October 26th.
The iPhone Xs has 12 hours of battery life if you are on the internet. The iPhone Xs Max has 13 hours of battery life when you’re on the internet. But the iPhone Xr has an outstanding 15 hour battery life!
In all every new iPhone has about the same picture quality, but the only difference is that the Xs and Xs Max have another telephoto lens so you can zoom in more.
Fun Facts: Apple decided to make the iPhone X before they made an iPhone 9 because it was the 10th anniversary of iPhone. Also, the iPhone Xr and Xs has 25% louder of an external speaker than the iPhone X! According to The Huffngton Post, in all of the iPhone ads it is always 9:42am.
I think these phones are really cool and advanced, but I don’t think it is worth the extra money to buy the iPhone Xs instead of the Xr because they are so similar. I would pick the iPhone Xr because there are more color options and it is cheaper than the iPhone Xs. I hope this article helped you and thank you for reading!
Story by Tate Lloyd
Sustainable and green living has become more popular in the past few years. Many people are investing in greener homes and making smarter decisions on what they buy and how it can be disposed of after their use of the item. Many people who have invested in better quality items that last longer save lots of money each year because they don't have to buy items to replace cheaply made clothing, shoes, and other items we use everyday. There are many brands that have created clothing lines that are made out of old clothing that have been refurbished into new trendy pieces of clothing but how easy is it to get your hands on environmentally friendly clothing.
There are many well known clothing brands that not a lot of people realize they are made green and the company will fix or recycle old clothing. Some of those brands are Insecta shoes which is a vegan Brazilian brand that makes everything from shoes to perfume and they are all vegan and made out of old clothing scraps and plastic water bottles. Another very familiar brand that is eco friendly is Patagonia which make all of their polyester items out of plastic bottles and have recently expanded their use of the recycled polyester into other Patagonia products too. The popular brand has kept millions of plastic bottles out of the landfills. The last brand is not a clothing brand it's a cosmetic brand but is still well known, that brand is Dr. Bronner's and some of the first soaps were made over 150 years ago in Germany in jewish corners. The company was not given the Dr.Bronner's name until 1948 when it was founded. The company is all about reducing their footprint and make all of the soap bottles out of 100% post consumer recycled packaging making it even easier to dispose of for customers creating less waste.
Is it all really making a difference? The answer is yes but only if we continue to produce and create new products that are still post consumer friendly. There are so many more ways to go green besides just buying from eco friendly brands, some easy steps you can do everyday to create less waste is making a compost at your home. According to the U.S. Environmental protection agency in 2014 20% of landfill waste is food scraps that's over 35 million tons of food going to waste.By composting you reduce those numbers and the amount of methane going into the air and you can make rich and healthy soil to grow your own food with and finally it reduces your own carbon footprint. Few more easy ways to reduce waste is to stop using single use plastic bags, using a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one which can't be recycled, buying second hand and lastly turn down free samples of things you get offered at events, meetings, and even charities because if more people turn them down less of the items will be made.
After reading this hopefully you have been inspired to look at the amount of waste your producing and try to eliminate items you have in your life to only what you need, and to always try and buy things that are post consumer and eco friendly. This will not only decrease your carbon footprint, but to continue this huge environmental movement that could potentially save our planet.
Story by Barret Bryson
When people say they see their life flash before their eyes, they really do. Recently, I was involved in a car accident and it was the scariest experience of my life. From this I learned how many people are affected by reckless driving and really how important car safety is. It was a normal Tuesday morning and I was on my way to school. Everything seemed normal until it wasn't. All I can remember is a loud noise and a car filled with white smoke. It was terrifying.
Did you know nearly 1.25 million people die in car accidents each year, that's 3,287 deaths each day. North Carolina is responsible for 267,494 of those deaths. In 2016 Buncombe county had 23 deaths due to car accidents. Car accidents are the leading cause of death that occurred in 15-29 year olds. Apart from the deaths, another 20-50 million are injured or disabled each year from car wrecks. Worldwide car accident are the 9th most premature death. According to ASIRT, by 2030 car accidents will be in the top five of the most deaths worldwide.
In order for this issue to stop, or at least slow down we need to fix it. The most important thing to do is put your seatbelt on as soon as you get in the car so if anything were to happen you would be as safe as possible. The next thing is to always remain focused on the road. If you feel yourself dozing off, pull over and get some water to wake you up, get out and walk around, and if you really have to take a nap because it's always better to be safe than sorry. Don't ever look at your phone while you're driving, whatever is happening on your phone can wait. The most accidents occur during rainy or snowy weather. To stay safe listen to your local radio station to see if it's risky or not to be on the road. When you are driving try and stay mindful of all of these things and keep as safe as you can.
Story by Maya Fuchs
I have had dyed hair since the beginning of the summer, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what’s going to work for your hair, I am here to help you figure out what can help you keep your colored hair in tip top shape.
Story by William Euler
Sunburn - Have you ever been to a beach? Have you ever been forced by an adult to wear sunscreen? Do you think they are just putting it on you to be annoying? Well to answer your question, they're not. Sunburn and sun poisoning are very harmful and can cause severe skin burning and blistering, massive fluid loss and dehydration, loss of bodily fluids, and infection. Sometimes, too much exposure to the sun and severely untreated sunburn can cause shock or poor circulation to vital organs such as your brain, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs. Sometimes in rare cases, you can die from sunburn. The two most common types of burns are first and second, second degree burns result or end up in redness on your skin and even blistering. Extensive heat is also a very important but very harmful thing. Heat is one of the leading weather killer in the U.S . It causes more deaths than floods, hurricanes, lightning and tornadoes combined together!
Here are some things to look out for to know if your burn is severe or not: A headache, chills and a fever… if you have any or all of these symptoms that are accompanied by sunburn seek medical help right away!
Rip Currents - Rip currents are accounted for 80% of rescues usually done by surf beach lifeguards. What are rip currents? Rip currents are powerful channeled currents of water pulling away from shore that can easily pull swimmers out to the ocean. Rip currents can usually occur or extend from shoreline, through the breaking lines and the surf zone. Here are some tips to help you make sure to not get pulled out to sea: recognize the danger of them, don't fight it if you get caught, make sure you always swim at a beach with lifeguards or professionals around, swim parallel to shore, swim back to shore or land at an angle.
Lightning - It is never okay or safe to swim during lightning. Lightning regularly strikes water less than land, but when it does strike the ocean or water that you are in it conducts and spreads the electricity… it can even kill fish and hit boats nearby. Their is also no safe place in the water during any kind of storm! Here are some tips and ways to stay out of the storm: Go into substantial buildings, and hard topped cars or vehicles. Rain shelters, small sheds and open vehicles are not safe to be in, and at least wait 30 minutes till you hear the last crack of lightning.
Sharks - Shark attacks or getting bit by a shark are slim, especially when you're on shore. Some attacks or bites near shore can happen if a shark is in the sandbar or swimming in between the sandbars and can get trapped by low tide. According to ABC’s Amanda Onion, their were 91 incidents of shark encounters last summer. Also if you are near drop-offs that can also lead to one. The chances of getting bit by a shark are 1 in 3,748,067 in a lifetime. Here are some tips to help prevent attacks and to be safe: Don't wear bright or shiny jewelry because it can resemble fish scales, don't swim too far off from shore if alone, always swim in a group, don't go in the water if you have a cut or are bleeding, also avoid very neon or brightly colored bathing suits, don't swim at night or during twilight, and avoid to swim at dusk or dawn if swimming, surfing etc.
Falling Coconuts - Now this may sound like a joke to you, “falling coconuts she's gotta be kidding right?” That's probably what you are thinking right now… but think about it. 9 pound coconuts falling from nearly 100 feet off the ground, now that can hurt someone badly. Coconuts can even be more deadly than a shark attack. ABC says that people are more 15% more likely to get killed by a falling coconut than getting bit by a shark.
Story by Sydney Edwards