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MHS Today February 2021

Love is in the Air

Don't forget to spread the love and good vibes as Cupid's holiday creeps around the corner.

Kylie Green, Senior

Although February may drag on and just feel like another month getting in the way of the warm sunny summer, it does feature one popular holiday amongst people around the world, Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day was named after St. Valentine, who was known for illegally marrying couples when it was banned by Emperor Claudis II. St. Valentine so strongly believed in the idea of love that he continued to do this until he was caught and sentenced to death.

In the 5th century February 14th became “St. Valentine’s Day,” and it wasn’t until the Middle Century that the holiday became truly associated with love.

Now, Valentine’s Day is celebrated all around the world and used as a day for couples to go the extra mile to show that special person just how much they love them.

Some people however, do not vibe with the idea of Valentine’s Day, and would much rather celebrate by themselves or not at all. Freshman, Peyton Brink falls right into this category.

“I don’t really like Valentine’s Day because people always make a big deal out of it and I don’t get it.” Brink said. “I would much rather spend time with my friends.”

Now although Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone, there are still lots of people across the globe that enjoy sending out their love to others.

Personally, I really enjoy Valentine’s Day and think it’s a great way for me to express my love for everyone in my life. Sophomore Ayana Guillen agrees with me as well!

“I really like Valentine’s Day because of the colors; pink and red are really fun to create outfits with.” Guillen said.

“I feel that it isn’t just about couples either, it can also just be about loving yourself and showing love for your family and friends too.”

Many other American’s feel like Valentine’s Day isn’t just centered around couples too, as millions of dollars are not only spent on flowers and chocolates, but also presents for pets as well!

I suppose we owe St. Valentine a thank you, for dying for love and keeping it alive for thousands of years to come. Make sure you hug your loved ones and significant other and spread the love and positivity!

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day Muskies!

Random Acts of Kindness

Small things can make a difference.

Sophie Wagner, Senior

If you did not know, Random Acts of Kindness week is February 14th through February 20th and February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. Although this special week is not very well known or recognized, I think it is very important. In addition to this I believe that random acts of kindness do not need to be limited to one specific week, but all the time. I think it is a great goal to try and do something random and kind for somebody everyday. Everyone could definitely use a little more kindness in their lives.

Scientific evidence shows us so many positive effects of doing kind acts for others as well as receiving random acts of kindness or even witnessing a kindness act. On the website, randomactsofkindness.org, their motto for 2021 is “Make Kindness the Norm.”

So, here is a list of random acts of kindness that I hope will encourage you to do something nice today:

  • Be extra kind to your server
  • Pay for the person behind you at the drive-thru
  • Write a 'thinking of you' letter and mail it to someone you miss
  • Text someone good morning or good night
  • Leave your friend or teacher a nice note about anything
  • Give someone a thoughtful compliment
  • Leave a generous tip
  • Drop off some groceries to the food pantry
  • Drop off supplies to the Humane Society (blankets, towels, toys)
  • Donate flowers to a nursing home

Leave someone with a smile on their face, knowing you just made their day at least a little bit better.

National Random Acts of Kindness Day is important.

Black History Month

Celebrating and honoring a rich history!

Leah Frantz, Junior

Black History Month is an annual celebration of the role African Americans played in United States history. It celebrates their accomplishments. Black History month was officially recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976. The month of February is designated to Black History because it also is the birth month of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Since its creation many public schools and organizations have taken part in the celebration.

Each annual celebration has a theme, the 2021 theme being “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.” Other themes that have been used throughout the years have been: 2020’s “African American’s and the Vote,” 2019’s “Black Migration,” and 2018’s “African Americans in Times of War.” These themes help to commemorate specific events and people who were important in Black history.

Black History Month is important because of the lack of knowledge many people have about how African Americans contributed to history. It’s a time to remember their accomplishments in the fight for racial equality and it helps us to understand our nation's history on a deeper level.

Here’s some ways we can celebrate safely during the pandemic:

Educate yourself

  • Take some time and do research on how African American played into American History

Tune into online events

  • The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is doing virtual events and conversations centered around this important history. These events will cover African Americans 400 year long history, highlighting time frames like slavery, Jim Crow segregation and their fight for civil rights.
  • The Smithsonian also will hold a virtual event that talks about how the pandemic has economically affected African Americans, along with the history of their public health.
  • You can also take virtual trips through many Black History museums to see different aspects of their art, culture and history.

Support Black owned businesses or organizations

Promote black art, film and literature

Take some time to learn more about our nation's history and culture that surrounds African Americans this month!

Check out more inspirational quotes for Black History Month at fashionwithaconsience.org

Dress out or leave

Is dress code still a big deal or has it relaxed?

Keaira Lick, Junior

For many years teen women have been battling what they view as unfair dress code regulations targeted at them, but has the school given in and become lenient with their policies? How does the student body feel about the current dress code rules? Is it time to make a change or has it already changed? Where should the school draw the line?

Here are five of the current dress code rules displayed on the Muscatine High School

website:

Rule #1: “No midriffs exposed. The student’s hem of the upper garment must touch the waistband of their pants/shorts/skirt while the student is standing.”

Rule #2: “Shorts/skirts must be no shorter than a student’s arm length to their side as determined by school officials.”

Rule #6: “Spaghetti straps, tube tops, halter tops, backless tops, off-the-shoulder tops, and one shoulder tops are acceptable only if they are worn underneath another upper garment.”

Rule #7: “Upper garments must expose no cleavage.”

Rule #10: “No clothing or apparel is to promote products that are illegal for minors, display obscene material, profanity, be associated with gang related activity, or make reference to prohibited content”

When Muscatine High School Sophomore Alanna Vigil was asked about her initial feelings toward these rules this is what she said,

“I understand most of these rules, I mean we can’t show up to school wearing nothing, but the rules like no off the shoulder tops or spaghetti straps feel very targeted at women which is unfair because we can’t control our anatomy and schools are bringing more attention to women's bodies by creating these rules,” said Vigil.

Alanna is one of many students who feel like these rules are not fair. While interviewing Alanna she remembered a story that more specifically helps people understand her feelings about the rules.

“I once had a teacher in middle school tell our entire class that when women wear spaghetti straps it distracts him from his teaching and all of the boys in our class from being able to learn,” said Vigil.

To get some more perspective on the dress code policies, I interviewed Jay Botello. His feelings about the dress code rules were very similar to Vigils.

“I think these rules do seem to be more targeted at women than men, but I think this could also be because typically men don’t wear clothing like spaghetti straps to school, with that being said however, I still feel like the school is teaching women that they are making themselves vulnerable because of what they wear when really it shouldn't matter,” said Botello.

While the dress code might be meant as an innocent way to help students learn to properly dress for their future careers, it seems that it has caused some disagreements. Creating a dress code that satisfies everyone while still finding some form of restriction for students is a battle for schools. Is there such a thing as a perfect dress code?

Check out more on dress codes here! 

Super bowl

How people's super bowl party plans turned out because of Covid.

Haylee Diercks, Sophomore

The superbowl game is something a lot of people look forward to during the year and have the most fun watching and partying. Unfortunately, some of the super bowl plans have changed because of covid.

Sophomore Brody Toborg sadly had to watch the super bowl game at home instead of having a party or going to a party because of COVID-19, he usually goes to his aunt's house every year to eat and watch the game. “My favorite thing about the super bowl is getting together with my family and watching the game and cheering on the teams.”

Some people’s plans have changed but some of people’s plans were able to follow through. Another thing that people look forward to is the food they enjoy eating while watching the game and betting for the team they think will win.

Freshman Katelyn Franks says, “A tradition that I love is eating chips and cheese dip while watching the game and betting for the team I think will win.” Unfortunately COVID-19 affected Katelyn’s plans as well, she had to have less people than usual which was upsetting but she still had loads of fun.

A lot of people enjoy watching the super bowl game on television but a lot of people also enjoy going to the games, they think it’s a lot more fun but then again, there are a lot of factors, like COVID-19, hanging out with friends, partying, etc.

Junior Lenny Fortenbacher has not been to a superbowl game live but thinks he would really enjoy it. “No, I didn’t go watch the game live, I've never been to a superbowl game, but I really want to go to one someday maybe with my kids, I think we’d enjoy it.”

This year's superbowl was definitely different than other years in the past, but a lot of people had fun despite everything that was going on, I hope you had fun as well, stay safe!

Super bowl sunday during the pandemic

How both this Super bowl and the fans were affected by the coronavirus.

Ella Kuhn, Senior

For many years, the Super Bowl has been one of the most anticipated events of the year by hundreds of thousands of football fans. Even people who don’t care about football tend to tune in, out of the million viewers many choose to watch simply for the commercials, trailers, or half-time show! Although this year’s Super Bowl has obviously been affected by the pandemic and it has been different compared to previous games in the past.

James Raymond Stadium where the 2021 Super Bowl was held.

One prominent change noticed by fans was the loss of popular commercials. Some fan favourite Super Bowl commercials such as Pepsi, Coke, and Budweiser were absent this year, to the disappointment of many fans. Instead, these brands chose to donate their funds towards vaccination efforts and have opted out of putting in a 30-second Super Bowl ad.

Of course, other popular commercials still made an appearance this year. State Farm, Bud Light, DoorDash, General Motors, Doritos 3D, and more were present during this Super Bowl.

While the commercials may have changed, one thing that remained the same this year, was the fan favourite Super Bowl snacks. Some of the most popular ones such as chicken wings, pizza, nachos, burgers, and various sliders! Even if you’re not the biggest football fan, the game certainly provides a good excuse to indulge in many delicious recipes and snacks!

Another important and one of the most exciting parts of the Super Bowl is the halftime show! The Weeknd made a phenomenal and unique performance that has been one of the most talked about events from the show! He performed nine songs including some of his biggest hits such as “Blinding Lights” and “The Hills.” After the success of his performance, his streams increased by 41 percent!

The Weeknd’s iconic half-time performance.

Other companies use the Super Bowl as an opportunity to release new trailers. Despite most of the 2020 Super Bowl films having been delayed and there being less trailers this year due to COVID-19, there are still a few good ones to look forward to! One of these trailers is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series which is set to debut on Disney+ in March and highly anticipated after the incredible success of the other Disney hit series, Wandavision. Another new Disney project is the animated film, Raya and the Last Dragon, which many fans have expressed their excitement over.

Even with all these changes, there has been a lot of controversy circulating on the fact that 20,000 people still attended the event at Raymond James Stadium despite concerns regarding the coronavirus. Bars and restaurants remained open as well, which just speculates more concern about a rise in cases.

Regardless, a lot of people still found a way to safely enjoy the Super Bowl at home while upholding social distancing rules to keep both themselves and others safe!

Prom

For seniors it will be their last dance for high schoolers but the first dance of this school year.

Alivea Vigil, Junior

May first lands on a Saturday and is the set day for an outdoor prom at MHS. Student Council really wanted to encourage administration to have a prom this year, but couldn't hold the dance at the Merrell like past years. Instead they are having it here at Muscatine High School, but outside in front of the concession stands. This compromise allows for a welcomed high school tradition to continue and provide more safety for students as they attend.

With the COVID 19 restrictions, masks will be required to wear at the dance - just like at school. Because of the logistics of the dance, there will not be a policy that enforces all individuals to be six feet apart at all times, but for your safety Student Council and Administrations is asking you to do your best to distance yourself as you feel is needed.

The theme of this year's prom will be enchanted forest, based off of the theme that was planned for the 2020 prom.

Student guests at this point is a no for all students. However, with a lot of other schools not having a prom, the Administration is willing to talk to students about it. A possibility may be limiting how many outsiders students can be allowed. One number that was discussed can have roughly around 30 non-MHS students, but just for the senior guests.

To attend prom students will need to bring a school ID like in past years and tickets will be sold for around $20. There will be no snacks present like in past years, but there will be bottled water.

Kenedy Heimerdinger, one of the adult supervisors of student council said, “Having it outside is not the student body’s first choice, but it's better than having a prom than not having one at all.”

Wanting fairness

Transgender athletes wanting to compete

Abbie Yerington, Junior

The Olympics is the biggest sporting event in the world. The talk of trans athletes being in the Olympics causes a lot of disagreements. In 2016 athletes who transferred from female to male were allowed to compete. No openly trans athlete did though.

For the 2020 Tokyo Olympics there was a lot of talk about letting trans athletes compete. ABC News wrote that there were 3 trans women athletes who were allowed to compete in the 2020 olympics, BMX freestyle rider Chelsea Wolfe, volleyball player Tiffany Abreu, and weightlifter Laurel Hubbard. The problem that doctors ran into is some could have too much natural high testosterone.

“Previous guidelines from 2015 set a permitted level of testosterone level in serum at below 10 nanomoles per liter for one year. That had seemed likely be halved”, said ABC News

Recently, the talk of trans athletes in highschool has been brought up. A lot of different voices have spoken up and talked about their thoughts on this via social media. People say it is not fair they do the same with trans athletes in the Olympics. Specifically female transferring over to male, people will say its not fair, that they don't have a fair chance. It can go the other way though, if trans athletes aren't allowed to perform then they will also say it isn't fair.

A question people have is, should the government or the school district be in charge of trans in sports? Senior Jiselle Martinez, who has participated in high school soccer said “I would say it’s up to the schools because it could make for a smaller dispute. If it were up to the school they would probably get the opinions of the community that school is in and probably take the majority opinion so if it was on a government issue I think it would just cause more dispute in the end.”

On my Instagram I posted a poll asking “Should trans athletes be allowed in the Olympics?" I did this so that peoples opinions could be a help. The ending result was 52% said yes and 48% said no.

The poll that was posted on Instagram.

Music and your mood

How music can play a part in your everyday mood.

Catherine Arellano, Senior

Whether you realize it or not, music plays a large role in affecting our emotions. With easy access to technology, music is a part of most people’s daily life. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that listening to Mood Swings by Pop Smoke will make you have mood swings, it does mean that if you often find yourself feeling down, you might have to rethink what kind of music you listen to.

Although listening to sad music isn’t necessarily the reason for your sadness. Oftentimes, people listen to sad music while in an upset mood because they feel they can relate to the music better. Music often helps people destress and take some time for themselves. It also helps people connect with others or even themselves.

Junior Consuelo Casillas says “Everyone has different music tastes, sometimes it’s even unexpected what someone listens to.”

While this is true, I have conducted an experiment where I surveyed various students at MHS about their favorite music based on a mood. The moods listed were joyful, upset, angry, bored, hyped and focused. Based on the minimal amount of students surveyed, I found that most students listen to rap music to feel hyped up. The other results mostly varied.

Olga Colmenero says “What I listen to usually changes as time goes by as well, for example I listen to happier music during the summer.”

Students are usually less stressed as they have more free time during the summer so it makes sense that people play more feel-good music. Kylie Green thinks back to the summer and recalls that her favorite summer song is Santeria by Sublime. Nowadays there are so many distinct genres of music so there is a song for basically any type of mood. Whether you’re into rap, rock, pop, country or anything other genre, as long as you enjoy it, that's all that matters.

Kylie Green reminiscing on great summer memories while listening to Santeria by Sublime

Horoscopes: Are they accurate?

Does the date and time of someone's birth really contribute to their personality?

Taylor Lewandowski, Junior

The zodiac monitors the positions of the Sun, Moon, and the planets at any given time, in the past, present, and future. Ancient Babylonians were the first to create the zodiac signs more than 3,000 years ago. They claimed that these positions shifted throughout the year, and each zodiac represents the traits that would be given to those born between the shifts. There are 12 zodiac signs, equally split throughout the year. The signs are Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius. To find out your sign and its traits, click here!

But, does your birthday really impact your personality? Can the Sun, Moon, and planets determine traits that you carry? Horoscopes are a much debated topic as to whether or not they’re accurate. Many believe that they’re a farce, and have nothing to do with the attributes a person has. But, some do find truth to their zodiac.

Leah Frantz, a junior, said, “For the most part my zodiac traits are accurate, but I think they’re self-fulfilling.”

Certain attributes may be deemed as accurate due to the knowledge that your sign exhibits the trait, or that knowledge impacts behavior in a way that eventually makes it true. And some may already be traits you have. But, plenty of people believe that the zodiac is superfluous, and that one’s birthday does not determine their personality.

Ethan Cantrell said, “I don’t believe in it, none of the traits for my sign are accurate.”

Scientists and astrologists have argued about whether or not zodiac signs and horoscopes are scientifically provable, some against, and some for. There are ways to prove that it is scientifically accurate, and ways to prove that it’s not. Horoscopes are a debatable topic, with much evidence for either side of an argument. What do you think? Are zodiacs accurate, or are they a myth?

Data collected after polling students about their zodiac sign.

Credits:

Created with an image by JillWellington - "valentine's day candy heart"