>>  Inside Ecology Club

Interview with Mr. Smith and Mrs. Hruska

BY: Paola Arias

Are you looking for a new club to join? Well, Ecology Club is an important club at our school. This week I met with the club sponsors, Mrs. Hruska and Mr. Smith. I interviewed them on their experience running the club. I also interviewed a member of the club to get a student opinion. I asked the sponsors how this club was started; they told me that 15 years ago a group of six students came to them with the idea, together they go the club running and it's been going well ever since. I also asked them what their favorite part of ecology club is, they told me it was the student involvement. Since the club’s origin it's been heavily reliant on the student involvement and dedication. I went to their last meeting and I noticed that for important club positions they always elect at least one underclassman so that next year when all the seniors leave the club can keep running smoothly without having to wait till the next elections. In my opinion this is a great idea and goes to show how involved the members are.

Ecology club participates in and conducts a lot of activities. Smith and Hruska informed me that Ecology Club runs the school’s entire recycling program.

This important task is a huge help to the school. I myself have stayed after to help and I've seen how they manage to successfully keep the recycling program running by having two recycling coordinators who assign rooms to students to make sure every room gets their recycling taken out. Recycling takes place every Thursday right after school and everyone is welcome to come!

Another activity the Ecology Club conducts is hiking. The hikes take place on Saturdays and there is a $5 fee and you pack your own lunch. I went on a hike with the Ecology Club last year to the Shenandoah National Park. We hiked up Mary’s Rock and had lunch there. It is fun to go on a little trip with all your friends everyone is welcome as long as they turn in the permission form and pay the fee! They also participate in farm field days at the fairgrounds. This activity is fun because those going on the trip get out of class early and get divided into 2 groups of teachers and tour guides. The teacher groups teach elementary school kids about the different regions in Virginia. When I participated in this event, I was a teacher. It felt nice to help the little kids learn. The tour guides give the kids a tour around the fairgrounds including the super cute farm animals.

Ecology club has many more events and are hoping to be able to have more hikes, but these are the ones I can personally vouch for. Ecology club is open to anyone at any time, it helps our school, community and overall environment, it’s a fun club to be a part of.

>>  Saving Puppies in Times of Crisis

A woman brings dogs into her home during a hurricane

BY: Paola Arias

On Labor Day weekend a woman named Chella Phillips took 97 stray dogs into her home. Phillips lives in the Bahamas where the major hurricane Dorian was said to have hit the hardest. She runs a refuge for homeless and abandoned dogs, called The Voiceless Dogs of Nassau Bahamas, so it only makes sense that she would take all these dogs into her house to protect them from the storm. Phillips managed to keep almost 100 dogs safe this weekend through the help of friends and donations. People would donate dog cages to keep the scared and sick dogs safe. She had some troubles with flooding during the worst of the hurricane, but luckily managed to keep all the dogs safe from the brutal hurricane which they wouldn’t have been able to survive without her.

Philllips posted about her experience on Facebook where it soon went viral with about 67,000 likes. She updated her Facebook followers on the dogs and was met with a massive amount of support from people who believed in her cause. Due to Phillips’ viral post her refuge also gained a large sum of donations. Before the hurricane hit Phillips had created a GoFundMe to raise money for her refuge and since her viral post, it has surpassed the $20,000 goal and has raised $63,000 so far. 

It’s rare to hear of a person helping this many dogs during a natural disaster of this magnitude, it’s sweet that there was someone to keep these animals safe. It’s understandable that during disaster's like this the main priority is keeping people safe and that is how things should be, but people like Phillips who have the time and resources to help animals should step up and help make a difference. Its understandably not prioritized, but it is heartwarming to see a story like this when usually, you only find articles of how people have abandoned their pets during times of crisis.

This topic also relates to our government because even though animals should obviously not be prioritized during natural disasters, if we are able to, we should do what we can to help them. The animals that are kept in county animal shelters should also be evacuated from areas under a state of emergency. Technically those animals are property of the government they should be kept safe and moved to a safe shelter with enough extra room. Then hopefully all the animals can be happy and healthy!


>>  Black Friday VS Cyber Monday

Black Friday and cyber Monday are the biggest shopping events of the year.

BY: Paola Arias

Black Friday and cyber Monday are the biggest shopping events of the year and are basically considered holidays. Black Friday takes place the Friday after thanksgiving and is where stores have big sales and there are long lines with people fighting over products. Cyber Monday takes place the Monday after thanksgiving and is the online counterpart to Black Friday, stores have big discounts except, you don’t have to go through the hassle of leaving your house and potentially getting trampled by an angry mob. Black Friday began around the 1980s, this began due to the amount of people that were out and about for the Army national football game held on the Saturday after thanksgiving, retailers realized this is an opportunity they needed to capitalize on. Cyber Monday began much later in 2005, this event started before online shopping was considered normal and online retailers used it as a way to encourage people to shop, it is on a Monday because back then people didn’t have high speed internet and preferred to use their fast work computers to browse the internet.

The best stores to shop at for these events are the big retailers because they can afford to have bigger deals and have a wide variety of products. Small businesses also have good deals and maybe even better deals. Black Friday might have better in store deals because unlike cyber Monday their main goal is to get you into the store, now while Black Friday may have better deals you have to go through the whole ordeal of leaving the house and dealing with the hordes of people also looking for deals. Cyber Monday allows you the simple of pleasure of shopping from the comfort of your own home, even though you might spend a little bit more money than you would in a store on Black Friday its probably worth it. Even though on Black Friday stores want people to come in they know that to make the most revenue they have to include discounts in their online stores as well. While there are also online deals on Black Friday there are no in store deals on Cyber Monday, its reserved to online shopping only.

Which is better, well, deal wise Black Friday is better but overall Cyber Monday is better and it shows. Last year Cyber Monday made a total of $7.9 Billion in the us, while Black Friday made a total of $6.2 Billion. You can always do your research in the upcoming weeks to decide which has the better deals for anything you are specifically looking for. Have a fun and safe time while doing as little damage to your wallets as possible!

>>  Black Friday VS Cyber Monday

Christmas is the time for generosity, it’s the perfect time to show someone how much you care about them with a gift!

BY: Paola Arias

Christmas is the time for generosity, it’s the perfect time to show someone how much you care about them with a gift! The key to giving a good gift is not always in the price tag its more about knowing the person and knowing what they would want. Though Christmas is the best time for giving to loved ones, there may also be acquaintance or a distant relative that you are giving gifts to which makes it much more difficult to figure out a good gift. There also games of Secret Santa or white elephant which can be even harder. Regardless of how well you know the person sometimes we can get stumped with what to get someone.

To help remedy this issue here are some universally great gifts that anyone would love!
1. A portable projector- this allows you to have projector anywhere you go and make any movie night fun. You can get this from best buy or amazon and you could also buy a projector screen for bonus points.
2. A mobile mini printer- this portable printer allows you to print pictures directly from your phone using Bluetooth, basically an upgraded polaroid. You can get this from best buy or amazon, and make sure to buy film for the camera so you can start getting cute pictures right away!
3. A board game- you can get them their favorite game or a fun new game and you can start playing with it right away. You could get this gift just about anywhere online and in stores.
4. A weighted blanket- this gift is cuddly and can be helpful to people with anxiety as well. You could get this gift just about anywhere you looked it is available online and in stores.
5. A charging phone case- just about anyone would love this gifts its universal because who doesn’t have a phone? You can get this online or just about any store with a technology section.
6. Sephora Favorites- this gift has lots of variety and anyone who wears makeup will appreciate it. You can get this gift at Sephora online and in stores.
7. Plants- plants are really wholesome universal gift, you can get them cute easy plants to take care of like succulent or cacti. You can this from any home goods stores, as a bonus you could get them a cute pot.
8. Night light Bluetooth speaker- this is a cute gift any one would love because the lights are pretty and the music is litty. You can get tis online or from just about any store with a technology section.
9. The Comfy- its from shark tank and it’s a Sherpa blanket sweatshirt, Sherpa has been really popular recently and anyone would love this cozy gift. You can get this gift on amazon or any online shop.
10. Fairy Lights- lights jazz up any room and anyone would love these. They are available just about anywhere you can search for Christmas lights because they’re the same thing.
With this fun list maybe you’ll come up with some cool ideas of your own and give someone a really nice gifts.