A Summer Bucket List for When You Get Bored

By: Lelani Williamson and Regan Sumy

Summer break is right around the corner (only 10 more school days!), and I’m sure everyone is ready to have an eventful summer so as to make up for last year. Here’s some ideas of things to do if you get bored over break:

Go to an amusement park:

At places like Adventure Landing and Frankie’s you’ll have a variety of activities like go-karting, mini golf, and arcade games to keep you entertained. With some friends, you could spend hours having fun at these nearby places. Not too far out (in Charlotte) is Carowinds, where you can ride large roller coasters and get the full amusement park experience.  

Take a beach trip

The beach is one of the best parts of summer. The cool water and sand make it the ideal summer destination. With all the beaches in North Carolina — such as Carolina Beach, Emerald Isle, Wilmington Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Sunset Beach, Myrtle Beach, and more — taking a day or even week trip to the beach could be a lively experience. 

Go to a water park

Hot summer days will leave you wanting nothing more than to get soaked in some cool water. As the pool once again begins to become a routine destination, try out places like Wet ‘n Wild Water Park at Emerald Pointe, White Lake Water Park, Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park, or Murrow Waves Water Park for a more exciting water experience. These water parks have large slides, lazy pools, and normal pools for you to swim in. If you want to take an overnight trip try out Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte or Concord, you can enjoy a water park that comes with many other great amenities. 

Camp in your backyard

If you don’t want to go far from your house but still want to get outside, try camping in your backyard with some friends. You can set up tents, have a campfire, and make s’mores while telling creepy stories — just like they do in the movies! I would definitely recommend bug spray, but it could be an eventful and memorable activity to do with some friends or family. 

Have a picnic

 With all the nice parks in the area, making a meal and having a picnic could be an easy and relaxing thing to do over summer. You could try making a new recipe, creating a cool refreshing drink, or even put together a tasty charcuterie board. 

Read a book!

Now I know this may sound boring like summer homework, but finding a good book to read can be super relaxing and fun pastime for all the free time you’ll have over summer break. There are so many genres and writing styles to choose from, so there is surely a book for everyone! I’m sure if you try, you could begin to love books this summer. 

Watch a outdoor movie

Since the weather is so good over the summer, why not go outside to watch a movie to get a change of scenery? At the Raleigh Road Outdoor Theater you can drive up and watch whatever movie they have playing that night. Bring snacks, a blanket, and your friends to make this an enjoyable experience. Another option would just be to set up a movie in your backyard. Invite your friends or family and it might feel just like a movie theater at home. 

Pick strawberries

Once it’s the season, places like Hunt’s Strawberries and Page Farms become an activity worth your while. At these strawberry farms, you can go around and pick your own fresh strawberries to wash and eat later. It’s super fun and the strawberries are like none you’ve ever had before!

Other ideas include: 

  • Go for a hike/walk
  • Go thrifting
  • Have (or visit) a yard sale
  • Visit a cat cafe. These are literally the best ever! If you like cats, of course. My favorite local cat cafe is Purr Cup Cafe — they have some amazingly cute cats and brilliant coffee.
  • Go to the farmer’s market or support local shops 
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Stargaze
  • Have a mini-photoshoot 
  • Have a game night 
  • Volunteer somewhere (Foodbank, ASPCA, etc.)
  • Go downtown
  • Adopt a plant or start a garden
  • Catch (and then release!!) fireflies 
  • Make the ultimate summer playlist 
  • Watch the sunset or sunrise
  • Do a spa day 
  • Go shopping (or window shopping if you don’t want to spend money!)
  • Write a story 
  • Go to the library 
  • Have a water balloon fight or do something outside with water
  • Build a fort
  • Go swimming 
  • Write and send a letter to someone

Have a wonderful summer everyone!

My Favorite Healthy Ways to Get Your Starbucks Fix

By: Kiera Kofkin-Hansen

I grew up hating being basic, but then I moved to America and discovered Starbucks! Junior year taught me that coffee is an essential, but I sadly learned that some of the best Starbucks has to offer comes at a high price–both figuratively and literally. Over the past few months, I’ve been researching–and taste-testing of course–the healthiest ways to satisfy my ever-lasting Starbucks cravings, and I’m here to share. 

Nutella Iced Coffee

I love chocolate, but I love Nutella most of all; I started drinking a Nutella Iced Coffee at Starbucks, and it instantly rose to the top of my list of favorite food/drinks. It’s not overwhelmingly sweet, yet definitely has that nutella flavor I long for on a daily basis. Here’s how to order it: 

  • Grande Shaken Espresso 
  • No Classic Syrup
  • 1 Pump Mocha
  • 1 Pump Hazelnut Syrup (Toffeenut works as well!) 
  • 2 Pumps of Sugar Free Vanilla
  • 1 Stevia

Almond Cinnamon Iced Coffee

I must confess, I didn’t love this drink. However, that is probably due to my overbearing sweet-tooth; this coffee is sweet enough, yet far from overwhelming, and is surprisingly refreshing (if coffee can be described that way). 

  • Venti Iced Coffee with Milk
  • No Classic Syrup
  • Almond Milk
  • 1 Pump Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
  • 3 Stevia

Egg White and Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bites

These snack-sized egg bites are on the menu as they come, and I LOVE them. Gluten free, vegetarian and full of nutrients, the Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bites are my favorite food item on the Starbucks menu. They’re available all day, but I prefer to get them at lunch, as they are bigger than expected and will keep you very full.

How to Crush the College Board (Academically Speaking!)

By: Kiera Kofkin-Hansen

Administration of this year’s AP Exams went underway this week, with Tuesday kicking off the next two weeks of stress students have been dreading since they decided on their classes last spring. The recently implemented digital format of these exams can be a blessing or a curse, depending on personal preference. However, I’m here to tell you the tricks I’ve learnt after three years of attempting to please the College Board on their wicked tests.

  1. DO NOT CHEAT

I don’t know if I’m just sensitive because I’m still scarred from sophomore year when tests were in person and HANDWRITTEN, but cheating is a no go. I have complete faith in the College Board that they can and will detect plagiarism, not to mention that they sinfully design their tests in order to allow for zero time to think, let alone look something up “real quick”. I promise you, you will score significantly better if you put your faith in yourself rather than the internet this one time. 

  1. Notes are okay (but you didn’t hear it from me)

As I mentioned, there is little time to do anything other than select the first answer that came to you whilst taking these tests, but having a few notes of important concepts next to your device is always a little helpful, even if just as a crutch. I wouldn’t consider this cheating as much as a memory boost, and I speak from experience when I say whatever you feel is important enough to have on close call will more than likely only be useful when it comes to FRQ’s and written responses (so don’t waste what precious time you have on multiple choice!) 

  1. Study, study, and study!!!

My last but certainly most important trick for these digital exams is to study. I know: boring. The worst part of homework ever. “I can’t do it because someone actually TOLD me to”. It’s cliche, yet astronomically helpful in regards to your performance, and you’ll be glad you did on the day. A trick I learned from AP Psychology this year (shout out Mrs. Richards!) is that studying a little bit consistently over a long period of time quite literally melts the information into your brain more effectively than a night-before-cram-session, and I highly recommend it. As someone who detests sitting and studying and would much rather fill out a one hundred question study guide, I’m forever grateful that I decided to actually put the work into studying this year for exams because I felt so much more confident and it made my exams less like a chore and more like another super fun activity! 

AP exams, like any other exams, are highly stressful, yet there are ways to ease the pressure on exam day in order to boost your serotonin and scores all at once! I hope my tricks help you future test-takers take on the College Board with your heads held high!

From Cary High… to the United Nations?

By: Jack Morgenstein

In a lot of ways, high school defines the trajectory most people find themselves on for the remainder of their lives. The people you meet, classes you take, and extracurriculars you participate in often shape who you are. From telling freshmen about the pool on the 2000 roof to hoping our football team wins a single game during the season, Cary High alumni share certain collective experiences from our time here. As I finish my fourth year with you all and start looking towards college next fall, I realize now more than ever how important it is to seek guidance from those that come before you. Through the process of applying to and deciding on a college, I ended up speaking to Cary High alumni from the past 10+ years spanning all phases of their lives. It was inspiring to look at where alumni are now and hear how they worked to get there from standing in my position today. And thus, I decided to start what I hope will be an ongoing series of alumni showcases. The goal of these is to help give current Cary High students a picture of what life and hard work look like after graduating. The subject of this inaugural composition (who also happens to be my older brother) is Kyle Morgenstein.

Kyle graduated from Cary High School in 2016. While here, he led the Cary High Lincoln-Douglas team all the way to nationals as well as played on the varsity tennis team. He also was an active member in his local and national youth group for all four years. After graduating, he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology for four years for his undergraduate education. While there, he studied engineering with a focus on aerospace, as well as planetary science. At MIT, he participated in a number of activities ranging from MIT’s D1 rowing team to hackathons to becoming president of MIT’s AE𝚷 chapter. He also participated in research resulting in two theses: one into telescopic interferometry and the other into Earth’s early atmospheric composition. He now is attending graduate school at UT Austin in robotics and currently has a job working for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He participates in a lot of outreach, including the speech alluded to in the title of this piece: speaking for the United Nations. More specifically, on April 29th, 2021, Kyle gave a speech for the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs into his work in using biosignatures to identify certain astrologic and biologic conditions which millions and billions of years ago have led to the Earth we now live on. If you’d like to see this speech, it can be found on the following link at the 2:14:15 mark: Speech.

Even if you have no interest in any of the work Kyle is doing, throughout Cary High’s history, alumni success has been a constant in nearly every field. In speaking to Kyle, he revealed to me that hard work and ambition are the best methods to achieving any goal, whether it be passing a class or searching for life on other planets. High school is a time to experience life, but it also is a time to prepare for the future. Reaching out to those that came before me has been an invaluable experience that has shaped who I am. Whether it be reaching out to a teacher, guidance counselor, or alumni, I urge each of you to take advantage of every opportunity to speak with those who have stood in your shoes. As I look towards my own future, I wish you all the best of luck; I know each of you can succeed!

Ryan Rodgers Takes Over as Cary High’s Athletic Director

By: Lindsay Gorman

Coach Dunphy, Cary High’s women’s and men’s soccer coach, will be leaving this year to become the first athletic director at the new Willow Springs High School. 

 Ryan Rodgers, a Cary High alum, will take his place as the new Athletic Director in the fall. Coach Rodgers is no stranger to Cary athletics; he previously served as the JV men’s coach from 2002-2003 and assistant varsity men’s basketball coach from 2018-2019. He also boasts over 22 years of both teaching and coaching at other schools in the district, including Lufkin Road, Apex Middle, and Apex High. 

The Rodgers family has many ties to Cary High; Rodgers’ daughter, Ryleigh, is currently a senior at the school. She told The Page, “When I first heard my dad got the Athletic Director job at Cary, I was so excited for him because he’s always wanted to be a part of Cary High! He was so happy and was so excited to be able to teach at the high school that he went to when he was younger. I’m a little sad that I’m a senior and I won’t be able to be at Cary while he’s there, but my brother, an incoming freshman, will have my dad there for his four years of high school!!” 

Cary is excited for the vision Coach Rodgers will bring to the athletics program, and to see how he will take our teams to the next level. We look forward to welcoming Coach Rodgers in the fall!
For more information on Coach Rodgers, click here.

New Mural Appears On One of Cary’s Beloved Greenways

By: Alexis Cope

A new mural celebrating the natural habitats of Cary has appeared on a tunnel in Davis Drive Park’s White Oak greenway. 

Created by mural artist Lisa Gaither, the painting features depictions of wildlife native to North Carolina. The flowering dogwood, North Carolina’s state flower, is visible to the right and is joined by yellow and red honeysuckles, which adorn the archway. The tiger swallowtail, the state butterfly, and a gray squirrel, the state mammal, are also depicted.

The other side of the bridge is yet to be completed but will feature images of residents biking, jogging, and enjoying all that the greenway has to offer. This side will also be painted in a different art style so those passing under the bridge may experience two distinct works.

Gaither has painted many murals all throughout the Triangle, and even has one in Charleston, South Carolina. Self-taught, Gaither specializes in interactive artwork and “believes that art not only belongs in a gallery or museum but that it can and should be enjoyed by everyone.” This mural certainly is being enjoyed; when I visited, many who passed by were awed by this new addition on the greenway.

Cary is known to have many art installations within its borders, which often feature local artists. The Black Creek Greenway features brick sculptures created by artist Brad Spencer, and Rachel Herrick’s pooch-themed fire hydrants can be found all over town. Downtown Cary often plays host to a number of temporary installations, as well as permanent ones. Recently, in celebration of the Chinese Lantern Festival, a series of six groups of glowing, lantern animals took up residence along Academy Street, only to be replaced by another illuminating work: a metal bonsai tree with a single cardinal upon its branches. 

Cary’s care for beautification, attention to local artists, and desires to provide residents with new, lovely additions to their town, is clear with Gaither’s new project. When finished, the murals are sure to be wonderful, representative works which those using the greenway will surely enjoy.

If you would like to view Gaither’s latest mural, visit Davis Drive Park at 1610 Davis Drive.

For more information about Gaither, visit her website: https://www.lisagaitherart.comFor more information about more art installations around Cary, visit: https://www.townofcary.org/recreation-enjoyment/arts-culture/public-art/all

Oscars 2021: Analysis and Predictions for the Top Categories

By: Ruby Schweitzer

Faced with the choice of either releasing their movies straight to streaming or letting them struggle in theaters filled only to 30% capacity, many production companies decided to delay their most awaited films in order to maximize their popularity and box office profits. The films that were released and earned Oscar nominations tended to be lower-budget, indie movies that normally would not have received many awards or much recognition. Nomadland and Minari, the two most awarded movies of the year, have a combined budget of $7 million, and were directed by filmmakers who had received little mainstream attention previously. The only two movies in the Best Picture category that might be considered typical nominees are Mank and The Trial of the Chicago 7, which were both Netflix originals. 

The interruption of normal releases also allowed more diverse stories to see the spotlight. Almost half of the 20 actors nominated this year are people of color, and two women have been nominated in the directing category for the first time. While this year meant a departure from regular moviegoing, it also presented a welcome change from the standard types of movies we’re used to seeing receive nominations each year. Perhaps in the future, we will be seeing more movies about Black Panther leaders and deaf heavy metal drummers alongside the old Hollywood period pieces and courtroom dramas.

BEST PICTURE

-“The Father”

-“Judas and the Black Messiah”

-“Mank”

-“Minari”

-“Nomadland” – Predicted Winner

-“Promising Young Woman”

-“Sound of Metal”

-“The Trial of the Chicago 7″

Chloe Zhao’s depiction of a woman living in her van after losing her home in the Great Recession is the frontrunner for this year’s Best Picture Race. It has received praise for its inclusion of non-actors to realistically portray the nomadic life, and backlash for what critics consider a soft portrayal of the working conditions in Amazon factories. It’s odds of winning are so high that some of a contrarian tendency have gone the other way and predicted that another film will have a surprising upset. If you find yourself leaning similarly, consider predicting The Trial of the Chicago 7 or Minari instead, but prepare yourself to be disappointed.

BEST DIRECTOR

-Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

-David Fincher, “Mank”

-Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

-Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland” – Predicted Winner

-Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”

As the writer and director of the frontrunner for Best Picture, Chloe Zhao has received near universal acclaim for her work. It doesn’t hurt that she’s set a record this year for being the most awarded filmmaker in a single season. At this point, it would be historic both if she did win and if she didn’t because of her status as an Asian American woman and the amount of precursor awards she’s racked up.

BEST ACTRESS

-Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

-Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”

-Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”

-Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”

-Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman” – Predicted Winner

This race has been unpredictable all season, with Vanessa Kirby beginning the year as a possible frontrunner only to end up receiving no prior awards. Andra Day only entered the conversation after her surprise win at the Golden Globes. But Carey Mulligan just might be the one to win, having won at both the Critics’ Choice Awards and Independent Spirit Awards, and because the widely talked about Promising Young Woman relied so heavily on her performance. 

BEST ACTOR

-Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”

-Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” – Predicted Winner

-Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”

-Gary Oldman, “Mank”

-Steven Yeun, “Minari”

The late Chadwick Boseman gives an incredible performance as Levee Green in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, though his position as a frontrunner would likely be less solid if not for voters wanting to honor the actor in his final performance. If anyone else has a chance of taking the award, expect it to be Anthony Hopkins. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

-Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

-Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”

-Olivia Colman, “The Father”

-Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”

-Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari” – Predicted Winner

Like the Best Actress race, the Supporting Actress race has been unpredictable this year, but Yuh-jung Youn seems to have emerged as a frontrunner with her SAG and BAFTA wins. The only other actress in the category that rivals her in terms of nominations is Maria Bakalova, but her comedic performance in Borat 2 seems an unlikely pick for the Oscars.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

-Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

-Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah” – Predicted Winner

-Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”

-Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”

-Lakeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Daniel Kaluuya is the clear favorite to win in this category for his portrayal of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. This is second Oscar nomination after his first for his breakout performance in Get Out four years ago.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

-“Judas and the Black Messiah”

-“Minari”

-“Promising Young Woman” – Predicted Winner

-“Sound of Metal”

-“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Emerald Fennell’s #MeToo inspired story, with its plot twists and love-it-or-hate-it ending, seems to be the most likely choice for Best Original Screenplay.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

-“Borat Subsequent MovieFilm”

-“The Father”

-“Nomadland” – Predicted Winner

-“One Night in Miami”

-“The White Tiger”Nomadland has an edge in this category because voters are likely to give it Best Picture and Director, but The Father’s BAFTA win for Best Screenplay makes it the runner-up.

What Cary High Students Are Saying About School

By: Students of Cary High with the help of Regan Sumy

A big thanks to all the Cary High students who participated in this survey; this piece would not be successful without you all. I know this year has been extremely different from any other school year…ever! Keep persevering your way through, and keep your eyes on the prize–you got this! Let’s look into what students have expressed about this school year including: their cohort, grade, favorite and least favorite memory, any hopes, and recognizing a teacher. 

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Waking up later, since I don’t have a first period.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Having to pay attention harder during class because everything was more hands-on during in-person school.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I hope I finish the school year with good grades.”

Emerson Phillips

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Junior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “The best thing about school this year has been being able to take tests in my pajamas!”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “My least favorite aspect of this school year has been not being able to connect as well with my classmates.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Before this school year ends I hope that most of us get vaccinated!!”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “To Frau Reher: Thank you for teaching us German this year even though it’s been super difficult online!!”

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Junior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Sleeping through the first period every day has done wonders for my mental and physical health. I love how my first periods have been really easy so I still have an A in first.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “I really miss the camaraderie of hustling through hard assignments together. I miss my friends.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “UNC becomes test optional.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Shoutout Stephanie Jessee for being the kindest and most patient AP Lang teacher. She is so patient, and she makes her students feel like she cares because she does.”

Sarah Cain

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Freshman 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “I think the best thing for me this year in terms of being off-site would have to be not having an overloading amount of work to do and being able to be more relaxed when I am working on assignments.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “My least favorite thing about being off-site all year is not being about to go to clubs as we normally could on-site, and not being able to go to classes with my friends like I normally would on site.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I have nothing really that I am really hoping for by the time school ends this year right now.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “I just want to say a big thank you to all of my teachers and all the teachers of Cary High School. You all are doing so much to make sure we are able to get anything done this year and trying to keep things as together as possible for all the students of the school so that we all have the possibility to learn this school year! I appreciate the time you all the time and work you put into making this bad situation as productive and worth it as possible. Thank you!”

Noah Tomczak

  • Cohort?
    • 2B
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Probably having the opportunity to go back into campus to see a few familiar faces, as that was not possible online.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Not having the true face-to-face experience with the teachers.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I’m hoping that more of us will be able to go back to campus safely, as being on campus with only 200 students doesn’t feel like school, if you know what I mean.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “I just want to say a huge thank you to all my teachers, including Mrs. Whitley, Mr. Kinsey, Mr. Mann, and Commander Erickson, for making this semester easy going and not stressing considering this semester has mostly been online. Don’t give up on all that you do!”

Benjamin Passiglia 

  • Cohort?
    • 3C
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Definitely JROTC. We started doing practices in person before school even opened up in person.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Math. I dislike math so having to do it online made it worse.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Getting to school in person with a full classroom.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Mrs. Culbreth, thank you for pushing the school to do orchestra in person. Meeting up has really helped me and I appreciate it. It’s important to play music in person, so with that possibility open to people, it’s amazing.” 

Jessica Paredes 

  • Cohort?
    • 3C
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Getting more free time to study and staying home.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “The fact that if I needed help for any class, I couldn’t just call my teacher. Appointments needed to be made and it was a slower process.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “We can all be in school and see all of our friends again.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Mr. Bryant, although I am not very excited or good at math, you make it my favorite class to be in :).” 

Johanna Ramirez-Perez

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Junior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “The best thing this school year has been joining the lacrosse team, I made many new friends and I got to spend some time outdoors. We only had two games this season but it was a blast just being apart from the team.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “My least favorite aspect of this school year was not being able to see my friends and living my junior year in person with them.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I’m hoping that we can go back to campus for some small events.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “I appreciate Mrs. Kimberly for always being understanding and giving us days to catch up on work. You really make me want to be in class, and you keep the lessons straightforward. I really appreciate all your hard work towards helping us. Thank you!”

Naila Din 

  • Cohort?
    • 2B
  • Grade?
    • Junior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Being able to go back to school in some way and being able to participate in sports. To be able to go back to school has been very helpful for me when asking questions to teachers and seeing my friends that are in my cohort—things I couldn’t necessarily do in online school. Also, playing volleyball, despite the pandemic, has been a great way for me to still stay active, and I am very grateful that our season wasn’t canceled and instead postponed.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “This school year, I struggled a lot with time management and motivation for my school work. In previous years, I’ve kept up with my homework and my grades, but this year it’s been a struggle for me and a lot of people, and it sucks that I’m not like how I used to be with school.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I’m hoping that we will be able to go off campus for lunch, which would make school a little bit more normal.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “All counselors: I want to thank you all for all you have done this year for the students to continue to be involved within the community—most notably, the class Google Classrooms that provide information with summer programs and new opportunities for students to check out. I have been able to apply to many programs and be aware of events that I would have certainly not known about without your guys’ help. Thank you!”

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Although senior year was definitely different than other senior years, the drive-thru thrown by the school has definitely been something small to look forward to.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Having to go online and less personal interaction.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Prom but maybe in-person graduation.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Love you Ms. Keller! Your class is so much fun and your spirits and positivity is always radiating. You’re the best!” -Z 

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • 2B
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Not having to wake up as early.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “It’s a lot harder to focus because there are more distractions at home, and it feels like there’s more work.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I hope we will at least be reduced to 2 cohorts instead of 3.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “I appreciate all my teachers because I know it’s harder to teach right now with less student interaction :).” 

Nihar Godthi

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “I think that online school has allowed us to move at a more personalized pace and it gives us time to do more things outside of school.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “It’s been difficult to learn over video calls, and I hate that I’m missing out on my last actual year of school.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I’m hoping that we get an in-person graduation.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Hey Mr. Jessee, thank you so much for leading the Speech and Debate team through a very difficult year. You’ve worked way harder to make this work for all of us, and everyone on the team appreciates what you do for us.”

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “I’m able to do work in my sweat pants and in bed.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “It’s harder to focus since I’m in my own house.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “My grades becoming all A’s.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Mrs. Duncan English 2 Honors – you were the first person I saw in the morning and you were never in a bad mood, so thanks for letting my day have a good start.”

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • 1A
  • Grade?
    • Freshman
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Playing on the lacrosse team because it gave me the chance to meet people from school without being in school and because it was something relatively “normal” to do to get myself out of bed every day.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Online learning 100%. My grades are dropping because it’s harder to pay attention in online class than an in-person class, and it’s not fun, as you don’t get to work with/be with other people.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I hope I can go to a sports game at some point before the end of the year!”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Ms. Brown- it’s been great to be in your class this year, and it was nice to talk to you at lunch in person the other week!”

Isabella Rivera

  • Cohort?
    • 3C
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Finally going back and seeing some of my favorite people.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Online school :/ There are so many distractions at home like my phone or my loud, constantly barking dog. I’m also not the greatest at time management.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “The decision of a traditional graduation (very doubtful but a senior can hope).”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Mr. Yasick, thank you for creating an environment in your classroom that has made me feel so safe and welcome. I’m truly honored that I could spend the last four years as a part of your chorus.”

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Freshman 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “A few good teachers who put effort into our learning.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Not seeing friends, having teachers who don’t try very hard for us, and overall just having a tough time understanding everything and not getting stressed out about it.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “My family will get vaccinated and hopefully I’ll be able to see not only them but also my friends.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Thank you Ms. Davies for putting in the effort and helping us learn even though it’s not ideal.”

Lily Goodman 

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Freshman 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “The freedom to use my own learning strategies and flexibility.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “The isolation from teachers and other students.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Everything goes to plan, and things slowly get better.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Dear Ms. Blackburn, I enjoy learning math in your class, and you always make it worthwhile.”

Anonymous

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Being able to have more flexibility with school work, and being able to do school from wherever.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Not being able to learn a single thing and having a huge amount of assignments that I learn nothing from.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Some semblance of a fun graduation.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Shoutout to Coach Ro for being super helpful and really listening to his students.”

Avery Phillips

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “The best thing about this school year has been the ability to work on whatever work I needed to finish if I had free time in any other class.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “My least favorite aspect of this school year has been not being able to see my friends as often.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I’m hoping that everyone can be safely vaccinated and that school for next year can be confirmed.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Thank you to Mr. Bryant for making math fun and more understandable than it ever has been for me, which is a hard thing to do virtually!”

Dae Williams

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Being able to get out of school earlier.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Online school.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Senior prom :(.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Mr.Nantz, thanks for being the bomb.com. Your class is the besttttt!!”

Thomas Fisher

  • Cohort?
    • 2B
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Actually talking to the teachers-they’re all really nice!”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Online.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “A decision or plan to go back full time.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Kimbo (Mr. Kimberly) is by far the best teacher I have ever had! He’s funny, nice, and also mean in a toned-down way. I love his class because it’s always fun and we really get to know him and he really gets to know us throughout his class. Kimbo’s class is full of energy and I wish we had more teachers like Kimbo!”

Ria Devgon 

  • Cohort?
    • 2B
  • Grade?
    • Senior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “The best thing is coming back on campus to see my teachers and actually feel like we’re having a kinda normal school year. I’m glad to come back to campus for my last year of high school.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “My least favorite is not being able to have the teacher-student time in person because I like to learn with the teacher with me so that I can see how it’s done and ask questions to them at that time.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “I hope to continue to go in person and have a normal graduation.”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Dear Mr. Banyas, although I haven’t been the best student in Calculus, I’m glad I decided to take Calculus. I’ve seen a whole new world of math which I’ve never seen before, and it’s made me much more interested in the aspect of math and the applications! This class has also shown me that I have a lot of work to do in my skills as a mathematician and having you as a teacher who is willing to be tough in order to make them succeed is a teacher I’ve always loved having! In the future, I hope to be a better mathematician and I’ll always remember this class as a moment I saw that I needed growth. Thank you for showing me this new world of math and making me fall in love with math again! I appreciate all your hard work to teach all of us!” -Ria Devgon

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • 3c
  • Grade?
    • Junior
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Nothing.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Everything.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “That I don’t get held back.”

Seth

  • Cohort?
    • Virtual
  • Grade?
    • Freshman
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Being able to stay home and not have to wake up super early to get to class on time.”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “The amount of stress and lack of motivation to actually do my school work.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Corona basically goes away and we can finally do stuff normally (hopefully without masks).”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Ms. Richards: Thank you for being the best and most understanding teacher I have had in a long time. You helped me learn and understand the information without drowning me in school work.”

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • 3c
  • Grade?
    • Senior 
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “Not having to deal with anybody in person.” 
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Everything else. I usually hate school but this time I hate it x100.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “Not sure, maybe a prom would be nice.” 

Anonymous 

  • Cohort?
    • 3C
  • Grade?
    • Sophomore
  • Best thing about this school year?
    • “I really like how the teachers have taken extra steps and worked hard to engage their students, even in a virtual learning environment!”
  • Least favorite thing about this school year?
    • “Being online and missing out on typical social interactions has been hard.”
  • Any hopes for the remainder of the school year?
    • “4s and 5s on AP tests!”
  • Teacher Appreciation
    • “Mrs. K Duncan, thank you for all your hard work! You go the extra mile to help us learn in English 2 Honors :).” 

26 students. 26 backgrounds. 26 opinions. Thank you to the 26 of you who took the time to help me create this article. Remember to look on the bright side and smile. I hope you all have a good rest of your school year!

The Underrated & Underrepresented: Women in Sports

By: Amarah Din

The month of March is dedicated to the recognition and appreciation of the woman’s experience, past and present. Women have been put in positions of struggle in numerous areas ranging from politics to the media, from the workplace to sports. And there is still much more. Yet, it isn’t often that we see praise for resilience of women.

Today, March 8th, is the official International Women’s Day. Cary High School has a strong student body, and it would be a disservice not to recognize the accomplishments of our female students on this day. So, to celebrate them, let’s take a look at what six female athletes at Cary High have overcome in the world of sports.

Abigail Harris

What sport(s) do you play?

  • I’ve been a cheerleader since I was 7 years old and enjoyed every moment of it!

Do you play for school, a recreational team, or club/travel?

  • I am on the school cheer team, but when I was younger I cheered for a recreational team called the Wake County Cowboys.

What’s something you love about your sport?

  • I love the fact I get to put on a performance! I enjoy putting on a huge smile and pumping up the energy at games with cheers and jumps. I love competing too, being the center of attention and getting to show off your skills in hopes to beat out other squads.

How have you seen yourself grow as you have played in your sport? 

  • I think I learned how to be a team member by being a cheerleader. In cheer, you can’t just rely on yourself to be good, you have to think of the team as a whole because if one person is missing a move, the whole team looks off; I learned to sync with others because of cheer.

What barriers are there for women in your sport? 

  • Despite cheer being a female dominated sport, it was originally a man’s sport, and some of that influence can be seen in the cheer world today. Many think to be a strong stunter you have to be a man, but I push to break that stereotype by showing my strength when stunting.

How have you or your teammates overcome these barriers?

  • At Cary, the cheer team is all female, which breaks the stereotype that men might have stronger stunts because we are able to hit a lot of the same stunts other schools might do with men. As a team, we push to improve our stunting skills and I think it shows in our skills today!

If you could give a message to a young female athlete, what would you tell her?

  • I would tell her to not be timid when thinking about standing apart from those in your sport; women are capable of so much so don’t be afraid to do what you love, even when others think you shouldn’t be doing it!

Margot Langenbach

What sport(s) do you play?

  • Volleyball, used to swim.

Do you play for school, a recreational team, or club/travel?

  • Volleyball – Cary High V Defensive Specialist; Sand/Beach Volleyball – Club, Southern Sands

What’s something you love about your sport?

  • I love how it allows people to take their mind off of other pressing issues in their lives for an hour or two. The way sports offer another area of achievement is special, especially when school or life as a whole feels quite stagnant.  While I am absolutely left in the dust by the 15 year-olds during conditioning, which is super embarrassing, exercising is good for lifting spirits. Practice is also another social environment, and it is excellent to meet new people!

How have you seen yourself grow as you have played in your sport?

  • As I grew older, it became clear I was not genetically blessed to succeed in higher levels of athletics. Nor did I have the dedication and competitive attitude, but I have become better at creating a nice team dynamic. It is strange to adapt to how your team or partner manages defeat or mistakes.

What barriers are there for women in your sport?

  • Especially in younger age groups, volleyball is a sport dominated by women.  There are rarely any discrepancies between the caliber of male and female practices at Southern Sands, but as in all sports, coaches will seek out those with ‘potential’ and funnel attention toward them.

How have you or your teammates overcome these barriers?

  • Charisma is an important skill. While I would not consider a lack of attention at practice a barrier for myself, (I just go to practice for fun honestly) those who strive to play in college or at a national level benefit enormously from being optimistic, open, and engaging those around them.

If you could give a message to a young female athlete, what would you tell her?

  • GO TO PRACTICE! I sometimes dread going then end up leaving having had fun.

Teonni Key

What sport(s) do you play?

  • I play basketball.

Do you play for school, a recreational team, or club/travel?

  • I played varsity basketball for Cary all 4 years & travel basketball since I was 9.

What’s something you love about your sport?

  • I love basketball’s competition level and that it brings people together. 

How have you seen yourself grow as you have played in your sport?

  • I have seen myself develop a great work ethic and become more confident.

What barriers are there for women in your sport?

  • Women in sports do not get as much recognition as men’s teams.

How have you or your teammates overcome these barriers?

  • My teammates and I have worked hard regardless and didn’t worry about getting recognition for it.

If you could give a message to a young female athlete, what would you tell her?

  • Success does not come with a lot of sacrifices. If you work hard, stay focused, and love what you do, there are no limits to what you can achieve.

Jacquelyn Pham

What sport(s) do you play?

  • I’m a swimmer!

Do you play for school, a recreational team, or club/travel?

  • I swim for Cary High’s swim team.

What’s something you love about your sport?

  • I love the uplifting, team atmosphere of the sport of swimming and the serenity that comes after crushing a difficult practice or performing well at a meet.

How have you seen yourself grow as you have played in your sport?

  • Over my swimming career, I’ve learned that swimming is more of a mental sport than it is a physical sport. By eliminating self-doubt and having a positive mindset, I’ve been able to accomplish many of my athletic goals. I’ve taken this shift in mindset to my everyday life and education, which has led me to become more optimistic about the goals I hope to achieve in the future.

What barriers are there for women in your sport?

  • One of the biggest barriers for women in the sport of swimming is body image. With the immense amount of training swimmers do, both in and out of the water, our physique can drastically change. With these changes comes the challenge of accepting our new body image and maintaining healthy eating habits, all while still being able to enjoy our sport.

How have you or your teammates overcome these barriers?

  • Having conversations with others and following social media accounts that promote body positivity, especially for female athletes, has been a large learning outlet when it comes to overcoming these struggles. I’ve learned the significance of properly fueling our bodies with the right foods and learned to be kind with the words we use to describe our body.

If you could give a message to a young female athlete, what would you tell her?

  • To all the young female athletes out there, work hard and never discredit any of your accomplishments, even if they seem small.

Colleen Quinlivan 

What sport(s) do you play?

  • Softball, cheer, and dive.

Do you play for school, a recreational team, or club/travel?

  • I am on the school team for all 3 sports, club for diving, and I did 5 years of rec softball. 

What’s something you love about your sport?

  • I love the team dynamic in softball. You really become as close as family throughout the season and every person is always lifting you up even when you make a mistake. It’s a great learning environment!

How have you seen yourself grow as you have played in your sport?

  • I think I have seen myself turn into a leader over the years. I always played with girls that were older than me so I was never able to take up those responsibilities until high school softball. I loved learning from the upperclassmen when I was a freshman and now I love being a positive role model for the younger girls.

What barriers are there for women in your sport?

  • I think in any women’s sport there is a stereotype that we are not as competitive or strong as a male sport so it is a constant challenge to ignore those who doubt you and push yourself to prove them wrong. 

How have you or your teammates overcome these barriers?

  • My team has played so competitively in the past 4 years. We constantly push ourselves in practice so that when we show up to games we are as prepared as we can be. While working hard together, we win together.

If you could give a message to a young female athlete, what would you tell her?

  • I would tell her that she is not limited by anybody else’s opinions of her or what she loves to do. I would want her to use the challenges that she faces to push herself to reach her goals.

Ella Vitaglione

What sport(s) do you play?

  • I play women’s lacrosse.

Do you play for school, a recreational team, or club/travel?

  • I used to play for a rec team up until high school when I joined the women’s varsity lacrosse team at Cary High.

What’s something you love about your sport?

  • Lacrosse is a great stress reliever for me. It takes all my attention away from my problems and helps me calm down. 

How have you seen yourself grow as you have played in your sport?

  • I feel like when I first started lacrosse, I was very shy but as the years went on, I learned to be more confident in my abilities in lacrosse and socializing. It has taught me to be riskier and assertive. Especially when I started playing high school lacrosse, it helped push me to be more confident in myself and not letting small mishaps bring me down.

What barriers are there for women in your sport?

  • One of the “dress codes” for games for women in lacrosse is wearing a skirt. This has been in place for years, but many people see us wearing skirts and sort of think less of the sport and think of it as girly when in some situations it can be dangerous. It’s not that I don’t like skirts, which show a bit of femininity, but it can be frustrating sometimes when people judge our sport or think less of it because we wear skirts instead of shorts. I also feel that lacrosse doesn’t get a lot of media. There are successful lacrosse teams, but I’ve never seen them on a news channel or anything. It’s always soccer, basketball, and football. So, I feel like that can be a barrier to getting people interested in lacrosse because we never hear about it.

How have you or your teammates overcome these barriers?

  • Throughout the years I’ve played, everyone always hears comments about how we wear skirts and how it’s weird, but I’ve learned that brushing it and just saying yeah so what is the route usually taken. There isn’t much to retaliate with, but it can get annoying.

If you could give a message to a young female athlete, what would you tell her?

  • My message to a young female athlete would be that don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try a new sport or position. If you want to try something, do it, don’t listen or think about what other people might think.

While men and women may run the same marathon, their paths will undoubtedly look different. Being a female athlete is not easy, but these six girls—and many more—have worked hard to get where they are now and deserve the same love and recognition as any male athlete does.

Movies to Look Out For in 2021

By: Alexis Cope

The Golden Globes have passed. The Oscars aren’t for another two months. What’s next?

In this realm of skewed normality we call the 2020s, I, for one, have found comfort in many movies and TV shows, have explored many movies and TV shows, and have begun keeping tabs on several new titles coming soon. 

In keeping with the theme of the upcoming Academy Awards, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most anticipated films to look forward to as the year goes on. 

In order of release date:

Raya and the Last Dragon

The newest animated feature film from Disney’s studios, Raya and the Last Dragon follows Raya through her life and she embarks on a quest to find the one thing that can unite the divided people of her land.

Starring: Kelly Marie-Tran, Awkwafina, Sandra Oh

When: March 5

Where to watch: Theaters and Disney+

Black Widow

Only the second film centered around a female lead in the Marvel Universe, Black Widow follows the hero’s adventures with both evil forces and her own family in the bleak winterscape of Russia.

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour

When: May 7

Where to watch: Disney+

Cruella

Disney’s latest live-action reboot of an animated classic, Cruella looks at the story from the villain’s point of view, weaving a visionary, slightly manic new tale.

Starring: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Kirby Howell-Baptiste

When: May 28

Where to watch: Theaters and Disney+

In the Heights

The movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first hit musical, In the Heights will be a vibrant and rhythmic exploration of the highs and lows of the human experience in New York’s Washington Heights.

Starring: Anthony Ramos, Melissa Barrera, Stephanie Beatriz

When: June 18

Where to watch: Theaters and HBO Max

Old

M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller, Old tells the story of a family’s beach vacation that turns horrifying as each of them suddenly grow years older within the space of the day.  

Starring: Alex Wolff, Eliza Scanlen, Thomasin McKenzie

When: July 13

Where to watch: To be announced

Dune

A reboot of the book and subsequent 1984 film, Dune follows Paul Atreides as he steps into his destiny and leads a group of nomadic tribes into battle for control of their desert planet, Arrakis. 

Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa

When: October 1st

Where to watch: HBO Max

West Side Story

From Steven Speilberg comes a colorful reimagining of the classic musical tale of the rivalry and forbidden love between the street gangs the Jets and the Sharks in 1950s New York City.

Starring: Ansel Engort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose

When: December 10

Where to watch: To be announced