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The 21st century has brought upon mass innovation and progression towards a modern society. One of the most prominent advancements in communications is social media. The internet has come a long way since the first recognizable form of social media in 1997. Now, central apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat have consumed the lives of millennials and middle-aged people alike. The lives of today’s youth have been transformed by the exciting technology they were born with— however, it is doing them a great disservice. By contributing to an already low self-esteem and insecurity, the excessive and dependent use of social media negatively affects the mental health of children and teenagers.

To take a break from their busy lives, most teens turn to this rapidly-growing form of communication. As Bailey Parnell (2017) reported, the average time spent on social media is 2 hours a day. However, this so-called “stress reliever” is actually harming today’s youth more than it is helping. There has been a link between “social media and depression, anxiety, sleep problems, eating issues, and increased suicide risk” (Fact Check: How does social media affect your mental health?, 2019). The dependency on social media has a profound effect on the mindset of teenagers, and has created a widespread amount of issues when it comes to identity and self-esteem (Ehmek, Social Media Effects on Teens). Social apps like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat make it unbearably easy to compare one’s life to that of another. Most teenagers are one scroll away from discovering something that damages their self-esteem, asking questions such as “Why don’t I look like them?” or “Why don’t I have that many followers?” Social media is the pinnacle of self-evaluation– and the results aren’t typically in good favor. Teenagers rely on what the Child Mind Institute (Ehmke, Social Media Effects on Teens) dubs “peer acceptance.” “Kids today are getting actual polling data on how much people like them or their appearance” CMI explains. All of these modes of comparison attribute to low self-esteem, which is proven to develop into illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

Social media has become a substitution for interaction. This furthers the isolation and anxiety that teenagers feel and are desperately trying to escape. The emotions and state of mind emerged from the constant use of social media is all part of a cascading problem. “[Teenagers] will grow up to be adults who are anxious about our species’ primary means of communication—talking” says Ehmke of Child Mind Institute. By focusing on indirect and implied means of communication, teenagers are sacrificing social skill. Hiding behind a phone or computer increases the anxiety of dealing with real life situations where public speaking is required (Ehmke, Social Media Effects on Teens). Social media can sometimes seem like a full-time job, filled with status updates and and specifics on everybody’s daily life. “Kids feel hyper connected to each other” explains Ehmke. Waiting for responses and not getting them can greatly harm your self esteem, and add to that feeling of rejection or abandonment.

Next time you spend hours and hours on your cellphone watching videos or tweeting, ask yourself if it is positively helping your mood. I encourage you to get out there and do some socializing, as we could all use a break from our online lives.

            Five days a week, students across the nation promise their unity and support for the country we live in. For us, it’s at the beginning of second period when announcement starts. The beep from the overhead speakers signals students to stand up from their desks, place their right hand over their heart, and recite the words they’ve known since kindergarten. For most students, this has become part of our daily school routine. We’ve pledged the flag since we were five years old and grew up thinking it was an obligation. But what does it mean to pledge the flag?

             Let’s break it down. A pledge is “a solemn promise or agreement to do or refrain from doing something” and allegiance is “loyalty of a citizen to his or her government” according to Dictionary.com. Students from a very young age have promised their loyalty to the flag, which symbolizes our country. Boys and girls have started to pledge themselves to a government that they don’t know or understand at that age. Why has this action become a tradition for over a century and used by schools across the nation?

            Many sources claim that the Pledge of Allegiance engrains patriotism in children from a young age, so it can be carried throughout adulthood. Pledging can also act as a remainder of the country’s winning fight for independence and of the freedom and independence America have. Not only this, but the pledge has been used for generations, therefore people mainly leave the tradition of pledging the flag.

            But this tradition has had some controversy over the years. In the 1954, the words “under God” was added to the pledge, causing many to disagree and call for a secular pledge, which could be used by anyone of any religion. Also, recently, many people have taken the pledge and its meaning into consideration and deciding to stop pledging due to disagreement with our country, thus ending their allegiance. For some, it’s an act of disobedience and dissent for our country, a call for reform and change. For others, they simply don’t understand the meaning of the pledge or don’t care enough to do it.

            There has never been a law stating that students are obligated to rise and pledge allegiance. It is solely up to the student and no one, even staff and teachers, can stop them. From here on now, be conscious of your actions and who you give your word to. You can view this daily act as a tribute to your country’s history, or as a deliberate choice of whether to pledge or not. Either way, you have the power to choose. You don’t have to stick to the agenda of the announcements. Decide for yourself what the pledge of allegiance means to you and whether you stand for it or not.

On February 4, 2018, Super Bowl LII was played in US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the teams who were playing was the NFC champions Philadelphia Eagles, and the AFC  champions New England Patriots. The Eagles were hoping to get their first Super Bowl title, while the Patriots planning to get their sixth title. QBs for the game was Nick Foles for the Eagles, and Tom Brady for the Patriots. During the first quarter of the game, the Eagles were up 9-3. Both Eagles and Patriots scored field goals in the first half, then later Alshon Jeffery scored the touchdown for the Philadelphia, but then missing the extra point. When the second half began, again the Eagles scored a touchdown by LeGarrette Blount, but on the 7th minute, the Patriots took a 45 yard punt that made the game 15-6. Almost hitting the 2 minute warning, the Patriots had a bit of confidence and James White score their first touchdown of the quarter. By missing the extra point, the score was at 15-12 . But with the game neck and neck before halftime, Eagles QB Nick Foles scored the last touchdown of the quarter making it 22-12. During halftime, Justin Timberlake sang 11 of his famous and hit songs at the Super Bowl LII Pepsi Halftime show. During the halftime show when Timberlake was singing, started a viral meme of a kid taking a selfie with Timberlake. 3 minutes after the start of the third quarter, Patriots Tight end Rob Gronkowski scored a touchdown making the game 22-19. Then nearing the end of the 3rd quarter, both the Patriots and the Eagles scored a touchdown. At the end of the third quarter the Patriots still trail by 3. The score was 29-26. During the beginning of the last quarter, Philly scored a field goal making the game 32-26. On the 9th minute Gronkowski scored his second touchdown of the game, making it 32-33 which the Patriots lead by 1. Almost reaching the end of the game Eagles wanted to take the score back, scoring a touchdown (missing the 2 point conversion) and a field goal. At the last remaining minutes of the game, Brady had the ball to throw then got it fumbled making the Eagles have the ball back. About 6 seconds left Tom Brady did a Hail Mary but missed the opportunity, making the Philadelphia Eagles win their very first Super Bowl. Final score was Eagles 41-33 Patriots. The MVP of the game was QB Nick Foles, and the attendance if the game was about 67,600 people. Until next year when Super Bowl LIII is in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Match.com owns several dating sites, including the popular Tinder, and makes close to a billion dollars… in one business quarter.
Millions use Match.com (and the company’s child companies) to find the love of their lives.
`I’m here to officially announce that there’s a new, unofficial dating site to find the love of your life: KIK.
I found my new best-friend by posting a selfie one lonely night, in the cold months of January-February, and ever since then I’ve had someone to love (thank you, Justin Bieber, for your inspiration).
Upon telling people that I have a girlfriend that lives more towards the east coast than the central U.S., people always want to repeat the obvious: Online relationships don’t work; they would be correct: they don’t. However, there’s one fatal flaw that everyone misses.
We are not in an online relationship. We never have been.
We live, day by day, in each other’s lives. We likely talk more than couples who are never apart from each other.
We don’t know the definition of ‘hurt,’ and therefore it doesn’t define us. We’re not in pain from the distance, because we think it makes us strong.
In Febuarary, it will be our twelfth month, and this will only make our rebellion against the failure of “online relationships” stronger .
To accomplish such a feat of time, we’ve set up rules (she needs to be reminded of them the most). Consider the following promises to her, and to each other.

Rule 1: Never, ever, under any circumstances, say “nevermind” (or any flavor of it); if you do, the receiving person can only think the worst.
Rule 2: I am going to call you exactly what you are to me, nothing more or less.
Rule 3: I am going to call you beautiful (see rule two).
Rule 4: I will always do what you ask me to with minimal questioning; I expect the same as well.
Rule 5: Let me ask whatever I want, because you can always say no.
Rule 6: You must have listened to John Legand’s “All of me,” thinking of it through my voice.
Rule 7: On the day where you don’t believe in us, should that day come, you will tell me because it is my right to know.
Rule 8: I will try not to be jealous. I understand that this is our relationship, and the people around us are not threats but just people. You have chosen me, and based on rule seven, I trust you.
Rule 9: Never, ever, try to cut me off and say we won’t work. I honestly believe I care for her more than any other guy would.

The dark side of Valentine’s Day is just how many people think they’re in love but are really abused… There are millions who don’t know how to tell their “significant other” how they really feel. Maybe they never would have got into the mess in the first place if they knew that there was an infinite pool of people who will care about you more than someone would when they actually have you in their arms.
I was lucky to find one of those girls. I have the honor of telling her everything will be all right in the situations she’s in, just because she lives where she does. I have promised her everything I can give her, and I’ve earned her trust.
This Valentines day, can you say the same about your sweetheart?
My girl might be on the other side of the country, but I’d rather be madly in love with her than lie to a girl who’s in my arms just to make sure she never hates me.

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“Project Lead the Way” is a 4 year program that pushes incoming freshmen to commit to the future and make innovative decisions and encourages students to advance in technology and free-thinking. About 75% of all projects are cooperative, and the majority is computer based leaving the design challenges to be 3 dimensional (such as working on a fling machine where students are given random materials such as a deflated balloon, rubber bands, paper, and a straw so as to fling an object the furthest when an arm is let go).
Stand-by computers allow students to render out and cerate 3D designs on projects like CAD and CAM. There is a 3-week safety course that focuses on technology and how to teach them problem-solving skills.

This program takes their design with tool paths in Mastercam and to machine the part on a router and mill. Students have created door lock knobs, gearshift knobs, and racing petals with the machines provided. The finished products from the students often look professional and give a “fresh off the shelf” feeling such as one student who made a 34” long-board that was shaped and accented to look like a fish skeleton. Such projects have been designed in AutoCAD and brought into Mastercam where it can be looked at with combined 2D and 3D operations.

The first year of the program for freshmen is “Introduction to Engineering” where they are introduced to what engineering is and what fields are available in careers. It also is a way for them to learn the basic math, physics, and chemistry of manufacturing as well as instant design challenges coupled with research and principles of engineering.

The sophomores of the program get to enroll in a program called the “Principles of Engineering” in where they learn more about physically building contraptions for a purpose (ex. Marble solder, stoplights and trigger). This class will also teach them an introduction to robotics and electronics.

Juniors get to enroll into “Computer Integrated Manufacturing” where they take their newfound skills and learn how to design and manufacture products using CNC, Lathes, Routers, and 3D printers as well as Laser Engravers.

The seniors then get to enter “Engineering Design and Development.” The senior project given is of a real-world problem to solve and create a working physical model of the product that is then judged by a panel of engineers from an industry.

Already over 200 patents have come from the “Project Lead the Way” program.

Next year, corona High will be among several schools in CA to receive an i3 (Investing in Innovation Fund) grant to provide more companies and machinery needed to create an expanded engineering program. Students in the class(es) can explore a career in manufacturing quickly even in Norco Community College. On that note, Mr. Lee’s Design Manufacturing Technology Course can give up to 3 college credits.

 

"Nominees, please open your envelopes..."
“Nominees, please open your envelopes…”

Homecoming week came to a climactic conclusion on September 19, with an entire week’s worth of spirit and anticipation culminating at the Friday night football game, during which the Corona Panthers played La Sierra High School and the Homecoming King and Queen were crowned.

A tradition that is observed by many high schools throughout America, Corona High School kicked off the celebrations with it’s annual dance, promoted and carefully constructed by the Associated Student Body into a “Moonlight Masquerade”, based on the chosen theme of Mardi Gras.

“Being in ASB, we had a committee, so there was a specific dance committee that planned how everything was gonna work, and we came on Friday and Saturday and we helped set up the dance,” stated senior Amelia Zabala at the beginning of the dance.  I think the turnout is gonna be really good because it’s really early and I feel like there’s already a lot of people inside.”

Lasting from 7 PM to 11 PM on September 13th, the Homecoming Dance was declared by many students to be a spectacular success, though some did state that there seemed to be a problem with the air conditioner on the dance floor. According to senior Celine Doan, “[The dance] was good! The AC sucked, but other than that, I enjoyed it much more than prom.”

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Homecoming Dance, “Moonlight Masquerade 2014”

 

Underclassmen also revealed that they, too, enjoyed the dance. Sophomore Jasmine Garcia said that she attended homecoming “because I went last year and it was fun. You see people dressed differently than they ever would at school.”

Fellow sophomore Gabby Enriquez, who attended the dance with Garcia, also added, “It’s really cool seeing everyone, but I don’t like going really early because it’s like…”

“Nobody’s here!” Garcia interjected as Enriquez nodded in agreement. “They should make it earlier, like say it starts at five and then everyone will actually show up at seven.”

More students did eventually show up as the night wore on, and began dancing to the music chosen by ASB. Senior John Quinn Noreyko commented that he “enjoyed the dance. The music selection was in great taste for dancing, ranging in genres. The addictive quality of an outside area was also a great idea. Although,” he added. “This is only because of the fact that the dance floor was extremely hot.”

At approximately 10 PM, the Homecoming Court was announced, a list of nominees chosen from various seniors nominated by various clubs and sports who were then voted for by the student body prior to the dance. These students would then have the privilege of walking onto the field at halftime during the homecoming game the next week, and two of them would be crowned Homecoming King and Queen.

While being overall a tremendous success, the Homecoming Dance was also the subject of a curious incident involving an ASB promotional video that surfaced on September 11. The video featured two members of ASB imitating a homecoming proposal. When turned down by the girl of their choice (which included the following dialogue of “No way José.” “..my name is Juan!”), the two boys then decide to go to homecoming with their “squad”, followed by a promotional shot of a “Moonlight Masquerade” poster.

The video, which garnered almost 700 views in less than 24 hours before it was asked to be removed by the school administration, was seen by some as satire. Others, however, saw it as offensive and slightly racist.

When asked about his reasoning behind the video being taken down, Corona High Principal Dr. Danny Kim explained, “It didn’t represent, I think, Corona High School, it wasn’t really an ASB authorized video…I think it was well-intentioned in that ASB students individually were trying to come up with a way of really promoting the dance, but altogether I think there were better ways we could do it.”

However, students who had seen the video, such as sophomore Jasmine Garcia, had a different view. “I liked the video, you know, it was funny. I don’t see myself as a person who would probably be like that, so I don’t see why it would be offending anyone.” she said with a shrug, before going on to enjoy the rest of what many others described as an overall spectacular dance.


Later on in the week, any casual visitor to Corona High School on Thursday, September 18, would have witnessed a strange sight.

“Generation Day”, where students dressed up as a certain generation based on grade (freshmen as babies, sophomores as toddlers, juniors as adults and seniors as senior citizens) was just one of five school spirit days chosen by Corona’s Associated Student Body to help celebrate and raise school spirit for the homecoming game on Friday.

Students were encouraged to show up to school in their pajamas on Monday, while others sported handmade and bought tie-dye shirts for Tie-Dye Tuesday. Wednesday was then Mix Match Day, with students finally being encouraged to wear as much red on Friday to show support for the football team.

“I would say about 70% of our students are wearing red today, so that speaks volumes. But I think our goal is 100%, until we get 100% of our students to feel excited about being at Corona High School.” Dr. Kim stated Friday, looking around at the campus as students displayed their Panther pride. When asked what he thought made spirit week so successful, he replied, “I think it really starts with the leadership, so I give a lot of props to our ASB. I think they’re very conscientious.  I know I’ve been in some of their meetings, they’re really thinking about, ‘how do we really make students, our classmates, get really connected with the school’?”

ASB certainly put in quite a bit of effort into this year’s spirit week, promoting it through posters, lunchtime demonstrations (featuring the Homecoming Court nominees, who also sported the various spirit day attire), and various social medias such as Twitter. Their efforts clearly paid off, as many students could be seen throughout the week showing off their school spirit.

When asked what he thought the best dress-up day was, Dr. Kim stated, “You know, I like the Tie-Dye Day, that’s kinda going retro, I haven’t seen tie-dye shirts in a long time. I was scrambling to find a tie-dye shirt, I couldn’t find one, so I looked like the only person without a tie-dye shirt on Tuesday. But I thought that was pretty neat to see.”


Members of Make a Wish promote their club by donning morph suits
Members of Make a Wish promote their club by donning morphsuits

All the school spirit finally culminated Friday night, kicking off with the homecoming carnival that lasted from 5 to 7. Various campus clubs and sports set up booths and sold items such as donuts (Drama Club), soda (Community Service Club), chips, (MECHA), baked goods (water polo) and others. Other groups decided to take a more creative approach, setting up booths with activities for passerby to try, such as Key Club hosting a booth of free games such as a penny drop and throwing cards into a hat, and ASB hosting a free obstacle course by the pool.

See footage from the 2014 Corona Homecoming Carnival here

Throughout the afternoon, students wandered from booth to booth, buying pizza (Relay for Life), root beer floats (Madrigals), and listening to the music being played through the loudspeakers. Members of various clubs could be seen dancing outside of their booth, or carrying signs through the carnival advertising their wares. ASB also advertised a face-painting booth, and many students could be seen walking around with their faces colorfully decorated in the school colors.

Relay for Life's booth, selling pizza for $2 a slice
Relay for Life’s booth, selling pizza for $2 a slice

At 7 PM, the crowd shifted over towards the Panther Stadium, as the carnival was hastily cleaned up and the Corona football team prepared to play La Sierra in the traditional homecoming game.

“I’m not a predictor of final scores; I can only say that we are well prepared.” Dr. Kim had stated when asked his opinion of the game only a few hours prior that afternoon. “I talked with the coach, I’m talking with the players, they’re well prepared, so we’re just hoping for a good outcome, so. Victory is what we’re hoping for.”

By halftime, however, things did not look quite so good for the Panthers, as La Sierra led by one touchdown with a score of 21-26. As the players rushed off of the field, however, ASB ran onto it, carrying with them several props to be used in the Homecoming Halftime Show, during which the annual Homecoming King and Queen would be crowned.

With AP U.S. History teacher Paul Schroeder as ringmaster, assisted by senior Hannah Sullivan, the entire Panther stadium enjoyed performances by the school marching band, the girls’ dance team, and FPK (Funk Phresh Krew). Finally, the Homecoming Court was announced, and the nominees took their places on the field.

See the full 2014 Homecoming Halftime Show here

Once all the nominees had been announced, last year’s King and Queen, Jimmy Hernandez and Nicole Blanchette, stepped forward to crown the new King and Queen amid cheers from the crowd, as Schroeder told the nominees to look in the envelopes that they carried with them onto the field and that the “Mardi Gras King and Queen will have a gold necklace”.

homecoming king
Homecoming King Malique Deshaun Berry

All eyes were then on Malique Deshaun Berry and Jessica Dubowski, who pulled out their gold necklaces to roaring applause, screams, whistles, cheers, and hundreds of purple and gold streamers were shot into the air. As Blanchette and Hernandez crowned their successors Dubowski and Berry, respectively, students flocked down to the fence separating the stands from the field to congratulate the King and Queen.

“I don’t know if anyone saw my face, but I looked down and I had a good couple seconds trying to figure out in my head, ‘is this necklace like literally gold? This necklace is really gold!’ It was a really big moment of disbelief.” Berry stated once he had left the field, accepting congratulations and taking pictures with scores of well-wishers.”I feel on Cloud Nine right now, it feels honestly so amazing, so amazing.”

homecoming queen
Homecoming Queen Jessica Dubowski

Dubowski, too, had an enormous smile on her face as she accepted congratulations. She admitted that she had been “nervous and excited” while opening her envelope, but her happiness was evident as she wore her crown like the Queen she is.

Dubowski and Berry were not the only winners that night, however. Once halftime had ended, the Corona Panthers took to the field once again, this time determined to defeat La Sierra and win the Homecoming Game.

It appeared to be a very close match – with 7 1/2 minutes to go in the third quarter, the Panthers had managed to pull ahead, bringing the score to 28-27. However, La Sierra still managed to score again, bringing the score to 35-35 with a minute and a half left in the quarter. It wasn’t until the final quarter that Corona got it’s chance. A touchdown by the Panthers finally brought the score up to 42; another touchdown secured Corona’s win at 49-35 in a play that made the crowd go wild.

The Red C erupted into a cacophony of screaming, cheering, waving signs, and overall enthusiasm. Several people had brought baby powder, which they happily pelted the crowd with, covering mostly everyone in the student section in white powder (also causing the football commentator to announce over the loudspeaker, “Baby powder? Really?“) .

As the final seconds counted down and Corona High celebrated its homecoming win, the stands erupted into a loud cheer one last time – everyone, from the freshmen to the football players to the teachers to the graduated students who were back home to visit their old high school, felt it. That undeniable school spirit, that Panther pride.

“It’s important to students, but not just to students, but our whole community.” Dr. Kim had explained that afternoon when asked why he thought homecoming was so important to people. “As you know, this school’s been around since 1896, right, so when we say a ‘tradition of excellence’, it really brings out tradition, it brings out people coming back to their home. I saw some staff members that graduated here, they brought their letterman’s jacket from the class of 1978, 1979.”

"Fire it up, fire it up, fire it up fire it up fire it up!"
“Fire it up, fire it up, fire it up fire it up fire it up!”

 

Homecoming, is, in essence, a celebration of school spirit. The entire week had been a celebration of what it means to be a Panther, and Corona High School did not disappoint at all.

“You have people that are excited, and we’re expecting people to come to this game that have graduated here throughout the years. There’s a sense of nostalgia, there’s a sense of tradition, there’s a sense of coming back home to root on the old team.” Dr. Kim stated, watching students decked out in the school colors walk past; red, gold, and white. “That’s the purpose of homecoming, for current students and alumni to celebrate Corona High School.”

 

 

Ko-Hi-Nur’s staff editor Nicholas Sanchez also contributed to this report.