How to Find the Right Activity for YOU

Are you chafing to become more active? Sitting around the house, bored out of your mind? Working on a tough assignment and yearning for a break that doesn’t involve snacking? This article is all about finding temporary refuge from the strain of rigorous school pressures. Working out is an amazing way to loosen up, become more flexible, reflect, calm down, clear your head, and stay happy. As Reese Witherspoon, from the ever popular Legally Blonde, puts it: “Exercise give you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Sometimes, all it takes is a little happiness and a mental break to put your all into the finishing touches of that pesky essay. Working out, however, is such a broad term that it could mean virtually anything. Someone doing a home dance video? That’s working out. Someone lifting weights at the gym? That’s also working out. Someone doing yoga on a stand up paddle board? That’s also working out. Sometimes it may seem difficult to discern which type is best for you. Each gym, class, and product will attempt to convince you that their service alone will make you happy and fit, but that only adds to the confusion. The most foolproof way to find out what you like is to try as many activities as you can. Some variables to consider include budget, distance, equipment, and time. If you only have about thirty minutes a day to dedicate to working out, chances are a gym fifteen minutes away from your home simply isn’t for you. Just because the gym isn’t an option, however, does not mean that you can’t get that thirty minute stress reliever. Searching workout videos online will give you thousands of free videos, with fifteen minute to hour long workouts. The method is irrelevant. Get up from your desk and free your eyes from the blank white screen, in whatever way you can! Short on time? Stressed out about an exam? If your younger sibling has a jump rope, you’ve just found the perfect outlet. Take a fifteen minute break and jump rope outside. I can guarantee that your studying will be waiting for you inside, and that a little break can help your mind reflect what it has learned and start making the transition from short term memory to long term memory. If you prefer to workout on weekends, or have a lot of time to burn, head to the gym nearest you! They offer classes like yoga, MMA, boxing, TRX, hot yoga, Crossfit training, and private instruction. If the gym has a variety of weight lifting instruments, be sure to use the right technique to avoid injury, and don’t lift past what you’re comfortable with. Lifting that 200 pound weight on your first try may seem attractive, but injuring yourself, when it’s entirely avoidable, isn’t. Despite the convenience and numerous locations of gyms, some people simply don’t enjoy the gym. For whatever reason, it’s totally okay! Gyms are not the only way to stay active and clear your head. Running is a great mental workout. Many runners believe that running is 90% a mental game. Also, running exempts you from gym membership fees, finding a class that aligns with your schedule, and transportation. You can literally run wherever and whenever. However, running, especially alone, has its own dangers as well. Always be sure to tell a parent or guardian when you will start running, the exact route you are taking, and when you expect to be home. If you have a phone, take it with you. That way an adult will know if you decide to deviate your course or the length of your run. Running in pairs or groups is also a great way to push yourself and stay safe. Whether it’s running, jumping rope, weight lifting, yoga, or doing a workout video in the living room, working out is an incredible way to give your body and mind a healthy respite from the social and academic pressures of middle school and high school. Find what’s right for you, make a plan, and do your best. As a wise woman once said: “Do your best. No one can expect any more from you than your best.” 

-Morgan McHose

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Plankton (Small Oxygen Tanks)

Many people in modern society inhale and exhale without a thought. We do not know where the oxygen comes from. Many people also kill the life that provide us the oxygen for food, medicine, and money. We might not be the only things who kill the life that provide oxygen. One very small organism, yet helpful are plankton. Plankton is a type of organism that is nearly microscopic and lives in the ocean. Surprisingly, the word plankton is a Greek word that means “wanderer”. Plankton may seem useless if all they do is wander around. Plankton are one of the reasons why we are still alive. They provide oxygen through photosynthesis. Plankton with the help of other marine animals produce 70% of the world’s oxygen. About 28% of the world’s oxygen is produced by plants. Unfortunately, since 1950, the population of plankton has dropped by 40%. Yet, people do not notice that when we lose plankton, we soon lose oxygen. When people think about pollution, they think of “smoke” or “trash”, yet both may harm marine life. However, the sound of ships may cause harm to Marine life by messing up migration and hunting. Stop polluting, save the Earth, save the Plankton!

-Diego Sanchez

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Not 100% Black

Recently, I was asked to look at a real world problem that served as an inequality. An example given was the glass ceiling effect. Whether or not you agree, you have probably heard of it. However, I don’t plan to talk about the glass ceiling effect. There’s yet another inequality in this world, one that may not be as familiar: the amount of African Americans in prison and on death row in the United States. I happen to be African American as well as White, or Anglo-American–hence the title. Of course, to avoid bias, I’ll attempt to stick to the facts, and let you decide whether or not a growing inequality emerges. These facts are from naacp.org, aatp.org, and deathpenaltyinfo.org. Keep in mind that the White population in the United States is far larger than the Black population. Out of the 2.3 million Americans in jail, 1 million are Black. Someone could easily say that it’s not an inequality at all if Blacks are simply involved in more illegal activity than Whites. However, “Five times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at ten times the rate of Whites.” If there is no inequality at all, from a mathematical perspective, then shouldn’t common sense indicate that more Whites than Blacks should reside in prison for illegal drug use? African Americans also only “represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38% of those arrested for drug offenses.” As of April 1, 2015, 1,250 Blacks are on death row. Blacks make up a whopping 41.67% of the people on death row. The population of Blacks in the entire U.S. is a mere 12.3%, according to the U.S. government census. It is sad that almost all of the few roles Blacks find themselves stepping into as a majority are shameful and morbid. Studies have also shown that the race of the defendant and the victim have a lot to do with how the case will be decided. 31 times a Black victim accuses a White person since 1976, the White person has been sent to death row. 295 times a White victim accuses a Black person since 1976, the Black person has been sent to death row. Out of the 326 times a Black and White person went head-to-head in court seeking the death penalty, Whites have won all but 31 times. Florida has 154 Blacks on death row, the second state with the most Blacks on death row. Florida also has one of the largest concentrations of KKK organizations in the United States. The link between racial hatred and Blacks on death row cannot be written off as coincidence. Courts, especially courts in the United States, frequently boast of their lack of bias, of their impassivity, of their pursuit of justice. When it comes to justice, however, why is it that Whites seem to have an easier time in pointing out the path? Why is it that Blacks seem to have the difficult task of proving their innocence? Inequalities, no matter how they range in severity, are the same in one awful way: no one can see them unless they’re actually looking.

-Morgan McHose

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KPOP

Many American students, as well as most people abroad, tend to listen to pop music and rap from America, Canada, and Britain. Or classical music. Or Christian music. But music from Asia seems to be largely unexplored. Korean pop (Kpop) dominates the region. Much like Western music, there are a large number of artists, and a fewer amount of solo artists. But the way Kpop artists come into being is vastly different from how Americans are used to.

OneRepublic, Fall Out Boy, even Justin Beiber and One Direction, made their way to popularity via record companies, playing instruments, and their ability to sing. The majority of Kpop groups (as they are called, they are not bands,) do not make their own way into the music industry. They are recruited by or try out for a position at a company. There are three major music companies: SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment.

Once accepted, if accepted, one becomes a trainee, where they learn how to dance and sing better. Some trainees are as young as 12-years-old. The companies attract not only aspiring artists from Korea, but from other Asian countries and occasionally America, Canada, and Britain. There is no set length one trains for before being assigned a group, although it’s usually more than 2 years. Before debuting, each member is introduced one a time. When the group debuts, the members are referred to as idols. The groups contain between 5 and 13 members.

While most people are accustomed to waiting long periods of time for their favorite artists to record and release a new album, the release of an album in the Kpop realm is also different. Mini albums are often released within a year or two, with a full-length album coming out a little less often.

But don’t worry, there are similarities. Ships, fandoms, and obsessed international fans are all apart of Kpop, just like with Western music.

If you are interested in listening to Kpop, here are just a few suggestions!

Girl Groups: 4minute, Girl’s Generation, 2NE1 (pronounced 21 or to anyone)

Boy Groups: Exo, BTS, Block B, Big Bang, Shinee

-Hannah McCormick

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World Animals

    There are many different animals in this world. There are some animals that we don’t even know exist yet.

Many popular animals are endangered today. However, I’m going to talk about some of the most odd animals on this planet. First, the sea pig, the sea pig lives either at the bottom of the seafloor, or just underneath it. The sea pigs eat on mud on the seafloor. To scientist they are a mystery. Next, now is very common the Blobfish. The Blobfish is very endangered, there are only about 400 left in the world!

    Also, the yeti-crab or yeti-lobster. The Yeti-crab was discovered in 2005 in the South Pacific ocean. Based on the sighting the crab was found in a hydrothermal vent. Another amazing animal is the long-eared Jerboa. This amazing creature looks like a cross between a rabbit and a mouse. This amazing creature is extremely rare and is close to extinction.

-Diego Sanchez

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Fantasy

Terry Pratchett once said that “fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.” I agree that fantasy is great exercise for the mind, but perhaps it truly can take you places. Writing and reading fantasy has helped me escape reality and journey to places I’d never thought possible. So, please, enjoy this poem I have written, and consider the true extent of your imagination. Is imagining that you are visiting a faraway land truly that different from actually being there?

You close your eyes, and suddenly find
The world you once knew is far behind.
The tether of reality no longer holds tight
You are free to explore this blissful night.
The sky is dark, the many moons aglow
The clouds gather; it begins to snow.
The snowflakes entrance as they twirl around
They make not a whisper, not a single sound.
You dance with the flakes, in the air you reside
Never have you been on such an exhilarating ride.
The flurry of snowflakes begins to slowly cease
Though in your heart lingers that feeling of quiet peace.
Down to the grassy floor you slowly sink down
And with a contented sigh, you look around
This is not a goodbye, that you know well
Soon you will revisit, again your heart will swell.
But back to reality, joyfully and willfully you shall return
You have soothed the itch of imagination that had begun to burn.
No one notices your absence, as your mind settles in
The roar of reality is a familiar, comforting din.
Finally you have returned; you are still safe, healthy, and whole
The trip may not have been for your body, but for your soul.

-Morgan McHose

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LEGALLY BLONDE

Hello wonderful students of CCPS! Recently within the month of October leading into November The Albuquerque Little Theatre put on the musical Legally Blonde that had our very own Sage Herrick and Ariana Gant; although they were not the main characters, they owned their parts and shined on stage, exposing their raw talent. This musical was one of the most impressive performances I have witnessed in sometime. For those who have seen the movie, there is a comedic yet meaningfulness to Legally Blonde, this production reflected that just as profound if not better. The casting was on “fleek”. Elle, played by Virginia Asbury, sang and danced with enthusiasm, energy, passion and perfection the entire performance. Her voice was clear, pronounced, and moved you with every note. This was also true for everyone else. What made it all the better, was flow between each scene. All put together, the message couldn’t be clearer: don’t judge a person by what they appear, and most of all don’t give up on yourself. The performance reflected that in every aspect, from the musical itself and the dedication the actors, director, producer, and crew. This production expresses the true talent of not only our students at CCPS but what our community offers. WondefELLE job thespians, you are and inspiration.

-Maya Lopez

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