The seniors of the Class of 2017 came together Tuesday morning, September 20th to officially welcome their final year of high school. Students met at 7:00 am on the football field that morning for a pancake breakfast and sat on the football field to watch the sunrise peek over the mountains. Everyone sat together on the football field, cuddled up in blankets and hoodies. Dance Company girls gave an impromptu routine and the seniors ended the morning with a chant circle.
What was your favorite part of the Senior Sunrise? The free food! - Kellyn Peterson Everything. It was a rather emotional experience that foreshadowed the saddening future of graduating this program at Alta High School. - Adam Teerlink
What was your favorite high school memory? The pep rally sophomore year! -Grant Adams It was an amazing experience working as a Senator to ensure a great start to this senior year and I'm proud of the senior class I get to represent. -Zach Memmott My first day of Junior year. -Thane Zeeh What are you looking forward to most senior year? Graduating. -Steve Bowers Having a great year with friends and graduation! -Ciaira Young Graduating! -Alexa Markosian
With college applications coming soon for high school seniors, the last opportunity to take the standard ACT test is October 22nd. The ACT is a test to evaluate strengths in four areas: English, Math, Reading, and Science. The test is a curriculum-based test to determine what you have learned in your core classes at school. Taking the ACT opens the door to a world of opportunities and helps students find colleges and prepares them for the future. This kind of pressure causes high school students, especially seniors, to stress over their results. However, there are simple things you can do in order to decrease stress and improve your score. Weeks Leading up to ACT:
Buy study materials
Set aside time to study
Find your weaknesses and work on them
Practice with the set times (English: 45 minutes, Math: 60 minutes, Reading: 35 minutes, Science: 35 minutes)
Night Before the ACT:
Do not study the night before
Get 9 - 9 1/2 hours of sleep
Turn off your electronics 15-30 minutes before you plan on going to bed
Drink tea without too much sugar
Morning of the ACT:
Eat breakfast. Breakfast will improve your concentration and your performance throughout the test
Protein! Breakfast with protein will increase your productivity and energy levels, so eat things like yogurt, eggs, smoothie, protein shakes, or toast with peanut butter.
Leave your house with enough time to get to your testing center, find your room, and take your test.
The SAT is a standard assessment that is required to get into many universities. The College Board created the Scholastic Aptitude Test in 1926. The test has gone through many name changes and modifications to the testing system. It is now simply known as the SAT and has two sections when it previously had three. The scoring system is being modified for a new version of the test. It has previously been a combination of all three testing section scores. Now it will only be based on the two sections, for 800 maximum each, with a total possible score in between 800-1600. The SAT has a bad history with scoring the tests. Just in 2008 there was a huge error in the machines scoring the tests. This made the test scores that students received inaccurate by an enormous margin. The two testing sections are the Mathematics and Reading/Writing sections. These are both scored on a scale in between 400 and 800. They are the sections that the College Board believes as the most important subjects that can be taught in preparation for college. The SAT has been going downhill in popularity. Numerous critics and researchers have attacked it, and major problems have been found with the test. The College Board has denied all of the claims made, but most refutations do not have evidence to back their claims. One thing found about the SAT is that there is a major discrepancy between the scores of wealthy students and those in poverty. This has both to do with the expensive prep classes provided by the College Board and the style of questions asked. Many questions are culturally biased, requiring background knowledge that is usually only available to those with a luxurious upbringing. It assumes that all test takers already have this knowledge, providing little to no information that would make the question easier for those who have a different upbringing. There is also a bias against diverse ethnicities. Most have contributed this to upbringing, which also causes the income bias. People with different ethnicities learn a different culture during their childhood, leaving them less than knowledgeable about how to solve certain questions on the test. The Writing section has had extreme cases of issues. A study done by the MIT writing director found that the length of the essay is extremely related to the score it receives. In fact, the study showed, if random people judge solely on the length of the essay without reading it at all, they will correctly guess the score it received 90% of the time, getting within 20 points of the actual score on a test section that has a range of 800 possible scores. Many high-scoring essays also have very obvious issues with the content, ranging from spelling and grammar errors to logic that doesn’t make sense. The College Board has refuted this by stating that they do not judge much on factual accuracy. The writing section has also been attacked for its 25-minute time. Both of these factors together have led to critics stating that the test is promoting teachers preparing students to take the SAT to teach quantity over quality. This is something that the College Board has responded to as having no responsibility over, but has not denied that this is occurring. While the SAT has major issues that the ACT does not have, it is still a necessary part of getting into many coastal universities. Most colleges on the coast will not even look at your admission sheet if you have not taken this test. This has been changing, but the progression away from the SAT is too slow to expect changes anytime soon. If you are planning to go to an Eastern college, you must still take this test, no matter what flaws it may have.
The battle between the Juggernaut of the tech industry and the FBI has just gotten bigger. The past head of Microsoft, Bill Gates, has denounced the company for their refusal to assist in the investigation of the IPhone 5c of a suspect in the San Bernardo attacks on a center for the disabled. This attack with assault weapons killed 14 people and injured 22 more on December 2nd, 2015. The FBI has asked the company for assistance to break into the apple device of one of the two married suspects, both of whom died later in a shootout with police. The FBI has court ordered Apple to disable the security feature that will erase all data on the phone after a certain number of failed attempts to access the device. They have not been able to open the phone, and now risk losing all information on it. The FBI claims that the deaths cause warrant for this access. Apple has refused to comply on the basis of privacy. Supporters of Apple say that what the FBI is asking for is a huge back door that would allow them remote access to any device they please and jeopardize security of their customers. This is a misconception that is extremely common. The FBI has not asked for a gigantic backdoor built into all devices for remote access. All they have asked for is software that would disable certain features that make it extremely hard to access the device in the event of a crime. It would only work on devices that have been physically confiscated by the police and only while the device is in the possession of the FBI for investigative purposes. To sum it up, there would be no remote access. However, clearing this misconception does not guarantee that this would be acceptable. This is a big issue that has many claims on both sides, neither able to tip the balance in a way that would guarantee victory in court. Both sides have their upsides, and their flaws. Current polls of the population done by USA Today suggest that the FBI has a very slight advantage of 51% of people questioned being in favor of their request, but this is so close that it could easily go either way. Most citizens conclude that a careful resolution must be created to specify what is to be done in specific situations. This is something that is a real issue. Most people feel the current representatives incapable of working together to come up with a solution, certain that there will only be polarized division that gets nothing done. On top of that, many believe that Apple and other large companies will resist whatever does get past, since it will likely be extremely weak and unenforceable due to constant protests by the other party. In the end, what is required will not be done no matter what we the people decide. The time is gone for stubborn, polarized sides to gridlock without consequences. As a people, we must turn towards what America was originally founded upon: Compromise. We must promote our representatives to find a middle ground that is the best for our nation. So choose whatever side you may feel is right, but make sure to work with the other side to find a middle ground.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away… Or maybe it’s not so far away. Disney has announced that production has started on the next chapter in our beloved American saga. Star Wars episode VIII’s first teaser trailer has been released and filming has started at Pinewood studios outside of London. The release date will be December 15th, 2017, in about two years. It will be directed by Rian Johnson, who has previously worked on a few episodes of Breaking Bad after his career was launched at Utah’s own Sundance Film Festival. While it pure tragedy that Harrison Ford will not play Han Solo in this sequel to The Force Awakens, a wide variety of actors will be joining the cast. It has been confirmed that Benicio del Toro, who many of us may know from Guardians of the Galaxy, will be in this next Star Wars. Actress Laura Dern, or ‘Dr. Ellie Sattler’ in the original Jurassic Park, will also play an unknown role in episode VIII. A talented newcomer to the film industry, Kelly Marie Tran, will also play a major part in this film. It is unknown about what content that this new Star Wars will contain, but it is promising to be epic beyond proportions. Maybe the master of Kylo Ren will show themself. Maybe Rey will become a master of the force. Maybe the storm trooper Finn will be healed, or maybe not. Whatever occurs, we can have some reassurance that it won’t disappoint.
The super bowl game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers is over. The game now has tons of news articles dedicated to it. Strangely, however, the thing that all of these articles focus on isn’t the super bowl itself. All of this publicity, all of this glory, is centered on the commercials that took place during it. Lets face it: The game is cool, but many of us focus on the Ads that are run in between. We look to these for some good laughs, and some good laughs there were. All of us chuckled when the dad flew in a helicopter to keep tabs on his daughter’s first date in the Hyundai commercial. We watched with glee as the three Dorito dogs snuck into the grocery store. We sat on the edge of our seats as Arnold Schwarzenegger reached for his phone to use Mobile Strike. These commercials lighten up our lives and put a smile on our face to watch. So, which one was the best? This should take a while to puzzle over. All of them were good; many of them were great, so which one is worthy enough to take this title of best super bowl commercial of the 50th super bowl? Everyone is asking the question, so what is the answer? It may be unbelievable, but there are a few who actually say none. There are people who have taken some of these commercials with rage. One of the fan-favorites, the Dorito baby commercial, received huge publicity when a group known as NARAL angrily attacked this commercial via Twitter. The instant these tweets were sent this group of abortion rights activists was viciously attacked for their blatant statement, which the majority of Americans see as a show of disregard for human life. This tweet went as far as Fox news, where they spent a portion of Monday night to laugh in disbelief that someone would see this commercial as offensive. Now, while it is quite debatable whether this infamous organization was or was not justified, the fact is that the world is filled with negative people. There are those who will find a problem with anything and anyone. They are also the ones who cause cyber bullying and the horrible tragedies that come with it. The challenge: Don’t be one of these people. If something really does offend you then speak up, but don’t offend someone else in the process. And, more importantly, don’t attack something simply because you can. In the end, almost everyone is at fault here. NARAL should not have made this horrible statement, and everyone else should not have struck back so rudely. These are the kinds of things that, while they are on a smaller scale, cause suicide. It is up to the individual to figure out which super bowl commercial was the best, but we must learn from the events that came as a result. Be careful about what you say online, because it can hurt other people, and come back to hurt you. Promote kindness and positive messages online. Live by the motto “Stop the bullying, speak up, save a life”, because it does not cost anything to make someone’s day.
It has happened, yet again. We have lost another legend. On January 28, 2016, Paul Kantner died at age 74. Paul was the founding member of Jefferson Airplane. He died from organ failures and had septic shock. These were a result of health problems he has had recently in the past few years, including a heart attack in 2015.
The band formed in 1965, and has had many members over the years, until the band broke up in 1996. The three that stayed the longest were Paul Kantner, Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen. Paul was also apart of a band called Jefferson Starship. The band was created with the same band members, along with others, and was around a lot longer.
Kantner decided to write a solo album when the thought of the break up of the band, Jefferson Airplane, was happening. The solo album was called “Blows Against The Empire.”
Kantner left the group in 1984 to start a new bad. He formed a legal agreement to not use the word “Jefferson” unless he had approval of the other members of “Jefferson Airplane”.
Every year down at Temple Square, a tradition occurs. You all know what it is, the Christmas lights! Months and months are put into stringing the millions of lights every year. This year marked the fifty -year anniversary of stringing the lights. Back fifty years ago, the President of the LDS church, President David O. McKay asked arborist J. Leland Behunin, to string lights on Temple Square. About 15,000 people attended the first night the lights on Temple Square were lit. Beginning in August, they start stringing the lights on all the trees. The arborists take great care while wrapping the trees, and some trees are only wrapped every other year, to protect them from as much damage as possible. The Cedar of Lebanon tree, which stands near the east gate to the Temple, is lit only every other year. This year is it lit in 75,000 red lights alone. There are not only just lights to see at Temple Square. You can see a white Nativity scene surrounded by floating lights in the reflecting pool, to the luminaria around the square-it is meant to draw attention to the story of Christ’s birth. In addition to the lights in the evenings, Temple Square hosts free concerts in various buildings. People from all over Utah take the drive to come and visit the beauty. The lights will be on nightly at Temple Square from dusk, until 10 p.m. through News Years Eve, when they will shine until 12:30 a.m.
Many are surprised at the contrast in records between Alta’s present and prior varsity football teams, from a three-win team last year, to a three-loss team this year. This change could be attributed to anew coaching staff, a matured team, and the drop to 4A athletic play this year. But after a confidence building season this year, and a tight win against Kearns High School last year, Alta may be headed to very challenging game against East High School this Saturday.
East High School, a team with an 8-2 record and number eight in the state may be the toughest game of the year. Only losing to the third-ranked team in the nation, Centennial, and a top five team out of Colorado, Valor Christian. Looking at their schedule, they have been very dominant in their eight wins against notables from around the state.
Our Hawks, with losses to Dixie, Provo and Timpview, have still shown talent with their 8-3 record. Including a win against rival Corner Canyon High School. But the student body is hoping to continue their playoff hopes after a winning their first match.
The matchup between East and Alta all goes down this Friday at East High School’s stadium, kickoff to be at 3:30 pm. All are encouraged to attend and show support in a tough battle between the two. The administration is even offering Alta students a ride on the spirit bus to downtown Salt Lake City, which should be packed with hawks. East is looking forward to hosting the game, with many expected attendees.