By Mekenzie Burse
A Ouija Board, is a board written with numbers, letters and other signs, and a movable indicator which answers the questions users ask at a seance. It has been a controversial board game for a very long time now, but the answer to the mystery of whether or not they work is still up for grabs.
When asked if they would play with a Ouija Board, the majority of students said they would. A High School student, who has personally played with the Ouija Board says, “When I played the board, me and my friend went to a nearby park and started asking it questions. We obviously said goodbye to it because that's what your supposed to do.” There are rules to playing with this kind of game. However, most people don't know if there is a right way or wrong way to play with it.
The five generally agreed on rules to the board are:
#1- never taunt a ghost or spirit into communicating with you, this can cause a disastrous consequence.
#2- Never ask a Ouija Board when you are going to die.
#3- Never use the board alone. More people means more energy is present with which you can contact a spirit. Always say goodbye to the board before ending your session.
#4- Do not use the board in your home. It will be harder to break contact and the bad energy will remain in your house.
#5- There should be one leader, one person who talks and asks the board the questions.
The students add, “Before I tried it, I didn't know what to believe, I wasn’t sure if it would work or not.” Everybody has different beliefs, so you cannot be persuaded on whether or not the board works until you try it yourself. But, there are contradicting arguments.”
“The Ouija Board is a way for people to get in contact with spirits. This doesn't always lead you to good spirits though. Taking part in playing with this board, is basically signing up for bad luck, I mean why would somebody want to mess with a Ouija Board knowing the consequences that follow,” says a junior here at Independence High.
Different people are going to believe different things, but the question on if the board really works or if it's all a myth still remains unanswered.
By Matthew Valenzuela-Serrano
Donald Trump is our Commander in Chief and our President. No matter your viewpoint on him, this is an undeniable fact. Though some of his policies and actions may be out of pocket, students may or may not have a clear understanding of politics and how they affect themselves and others.
The most common reason people despise Trump is due to their perception of his supporters as racist white people. However, this is far from the truth. One celebrity who is often talked about is Kanye West, who is a Trump supporter. Quite a few people at the school who dislike Trump do not dislike Kanye and even buy his music or his shoes. But why don’t we see him as a racist, even though he is outspoken in his support of Trump, the guy many people believe only racist white people flock to?
But more Importantly, how many students support him but are afraid of being outspoken about their support? Junior Christian Tabor says, ¨I'd rather have Trump than start a nuclear war. If Hillary got elected, I don’t want to be drafted and I do feel like I can’t be outspoken with my support.
Junior Ian Vanmiddendorp says, “I mean a man, who comes from a very rich family and who is a millionaire and owns many companies and is a man of business, is not fit to care for the people of America. Not everyone is a first class citizen. Rich people only care about money and will do anything for more money. So I feel he will and probably has screw over half of america just to do more or do what’s best for him and the rich class. He also comes from a family who is racist or hate specific races. He won’t relate to the struggles lower income people have.”
If you strongly believe that Trump can’t relate to us, think about our other presidents and politicians. Most politicians are upper class and can’t relate to us. Their ideas may line up with ours, but who’s to say that they don’t only want to do what benefits them. According to a 2015 study, 50.8 percent of members of congress are millionaires. To simplify this, one member of congress equals 18 average american households.
In the end, no one cares about that you have a distaste for the president, and in turn, no one cares if you support trump. We’re entitled to our own opinions. No one should be shamed from having a different opinion than yours. If you do shame someone for their opinion, then you are one of the many problems in our country.
By Pauline Phan
Many students, particularly high-schoolers, feel pressured to go to college. For many, college is essential part of a student’s success in their career. However, is the pressure of going to college worth the emotional stress?
“A college degree definitely offers students more options in the future: greater potential earning power, and a better understanding about the world and how students can participate in their community”, Mr.Shinn states.
Nevertheless, college is not the only way to success.To be successful, it is necessary understand the meaning of success. Is it gaining a high salary? To accomplish many things? Or is it also fulfillment? People are too focused on the idea of college itself, including SATS, affordability, and what college to go to, rather than the career itself and the student’s confidence in their career choice.
Some teachers say that pressure to go to college is not always bad, because it prompts students to think about their future, and leaves them open to careers that they may want to have.
“I believe many students are being pressured to attend college - though that is not a bad thing. Personally, I think many parents and teachers just want the best for their students, and without this information, many students would not know about or even consider college”, says Mr.Shinn.
Mr.Striplin says, “Should they be pressured? I think so, since a young person just may not see exactly what going to college can actually help him or her accomplish. To use a common cliche, they cannot always see the bigger picture. Not pressuring them could result in them NOT getting something they actually want.”
While this is true, it is also not a bad thing to be open to other ways of making a living as well.
“As much as I kind of agree with this I feel like there are other options too. You don’t just have to go to college, there are alternatives like junior college or trade school. College isn’t for everybody and there are other choices so it’s somewhat forced but only to a certain extent because the decision is the student’s”, says Nathalie Roque, a senior.
“There are many good schools and vocational training programs in our area that can get someone ready for a well-paying career, depending on what the student's interest may be”, Mr. Shinn suggests.”
Furthermore, do parents really know what is best for their children? Some students spend years in college without a direction, only to realize that it is not something they want to pursue. Usually, when parents or teachers pressure students to go to college they are disregarding the student’s desires, by assuming that they want to go to college without question.
“Yeah I think they’re really pressured, not by just their parents but people around them, like whether it’s their teachers, or other students, or family. I think they’re under immense pressure which is why some of them fail, because they feel they have to do one thing that doesn’t necessarily fit them”, says Alan Arap, a 12th grader”
Many parents and teachers want students to go to college to get a well-paying occupation, but what is the purpose of pursuing that type of success if it puts one into despair? Students are being pressured to go to college, while stressing on their high school work, yet they are expected to know what they want to do with their life in a few years.
Elijah Chew comments,“I just don’t think it’s fair to have like everyone competing you know? We get put under pressure by like our teachers and coaches and high school is stressful enough and then everyone starts talking about college too.”
“I do think some parents and others can at times put undue stress upon students in well-intentioned efforts to make students competitive when applying to top schools. Students taking multiple AP classes concurrently can often feel overwhelmed, which can impact other areas of their lives”, Mr.Shinn explains.
Moreover, they may find themselves not knowing what they truly want to do in college because they were pressured to come up with a major in high school, while they are still impressionable. This restricts them, because they have not had time and equanimity to contemplate other opportunities in and outside of school.
“Students should not be pressured to go to college. Students are made aware of their options and should carefully decide about the future”, says Mrs. Zausch.
Motivation is more effective than pressure; it is apparent that people perform better when they are motivated. When it comes to something they want they will have more of a resolve to achieve it. For some, it is better to make risks for the things you desire rather than having to live with something that you do not approve of.
Thus, students should be encouraged to go to college. In other words, it should be considered an option, and not something students should be pressured to do; While it is important to finding a good career, there are many more career options that pay just as well, and may even be more suitable towards a student’s preferences.
Mr.Shinn says, “ I would strongly encourage students to find out more about available options -- either related to college or career training -- by talking with their academic counselors. There's a wealth of information out there if students are willing to explore.”
By Mekenzie Burse
Having personal relationships with your teacher can help you to stay focused in class, turn work in on time and pay attention. Although, some say they don't think their teachers care about them and that they’re just here to work, students tend to improve more in school when they have somebody they can talk to especially to caring teachers.
Ms. Ramos, a Spanish teacher here at Independence says, “I think majority of teachers really care about their students, but we don't know how to project that sometimes because students may think a teacher caring about them is us being lenient, but in our perspective its teaching and making sure they understand what's going on.”
Students usually think a teacher cares about them when they let them go to the bathroom whenever they want or not marking them tardy when late, but there are different perspectives on caring about somebody.
Academic wise, teachers want to make sure all their students really understanding what's being taught to them. Teachers want to make it as easy as possible for students to get into good colleges. Socially, a lot of teachers don't know their students outside of school, that’s where advisors, counselors and the Dean of Students comes in.
Mr. Campbell, the Dean of Students at Independence High School says, “ I would say most teachers care about their students. In the experience I've had at any school that I've gone to, its hard to be in this position, in this field without caring about your students because it's just too difficult not to.”
As students, we all develop some sort of bond with our teachers. We feel safe in their class, confident to speak up even we are confused, or just plainly comfortable. It's important that teachers feel the same way towards us so that we continue feeling the reassurance that we have the resources we need in order to succeed.
Mr. Campbell also says, “In my ideal world, when a student comes to me with a problem, I try to solve that problem by working with everybody together.” Caring about your students as a Dean of Students requires a lot of compromise. Just like being a regular teacher, students won't get exactly what they want, so most teachers try their best to make their assignments shorter, but efficient, since they are aware of how much homework students get.
By John Pham and Steven Doan
The new Spiderman PS4 game has been released, though, many people are conflicted due to the graphics and storyline not reaching their standards. However, many argue otherwise. The game was open to the public on September 7, 2018. It is rated 8.7 out of 10 on IGN Entertainment and was developed by Insomniac Games, which is exclusive to the PS4, a gaming console created and produced by Sony. Spiderman is a fan and childhood favorite superhero character that many appreciate. Therefore, some feel left out since they have not obtained the game yet.
As junior Kenneth Salomon said, “I haven’t got the game yet, but I saw some walkthroughs on YouTube and it looks really good. I’m kinda sad I don’t have it yet, but I’m going to get it soon.”
According to the reviews of many students, they already admire the game as it is. Some students have finished the entire game and are still playing it for the free roam and to explore. Senior Sean Nguyen believes that Spiderman is revolutionary, since there are inspirations taken from other vastly known games.
Sean enthusiastically stated, “It’s more diverse than any other Spider-Man game, due to its wide concepts of moves and free roam. Although this game is so huge, Insomniac really stepped up their game, I couldn’t even cover the whole yet.”
Because superheroes like Spider-Man have become a major part of their childhoods, this game had quite a reputation to live up to. But games like these meet these tough goals, pleasing many who play them. “Gameplay is so damn smooth, I waited almost a year and a couple days for this game when I pre-ordered during December last year. I feel great for owning a PS4, since it’s exclusive.”
By Lilybeth Hernandez
“Kamikaze” is Eminem’s latest studio album, and is unlike anything else he has released throughout his career. Without any warning, he released 13 new songs on August 31st.
The surprise release shocked fans around the world and is the closest thing to Slim Shady, Eminem’s violent alter ego that hasn’t been heard in nearly a decade, the fans will get.
The album spans a total of 45 minutes with rhythmic beats and flowing lyrics from artists like Joyner Lucas, Royce Da 5’9 and Jessie Reyez. You can easily take away from the title Kamikaze, that he is referring to the deadly attack of the Japanese aircraft of World War II, were Japanese pilots made a deliberate suicidal crash on the enemy target, which in this case, he’s the pilot and the enemy target is his critics.
The album is more of an insult to a number of people, particularly rappers. The 45-year-old rapper makes clear in this 13 track album how unhappy he is with the path the rap genre is taking.
“ Do you have any idea how much I hate this choppy flow of everyone tho? Probably no,” Eminem raps in “The Ringer”.
Eminem targeted a number of mainstream hip-hop artists in “Kamikaze”. Some of the insults involve controversial topics. Most of “Kamikaze’s” biggest drama dates back years and decades. “Not Alike” antagonizes Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly for tweeting about Eminem daughter Hailie Jade in 2012. The single “Fall” snaps back at rapper Earl Sweatshirt after in an interview for Spin, he critiques Eminem’s fan base. “If you still follow Eminem, you drink way too much Mountain Dew and needs to, like, come home from the army”, in 2015. The single also gives a jab at rapper Tyler the Creator, by inserting a censored gay slur verse, aimed toward him, for insinuating that Eminem’s song collaboration with singer Beyonce “Walk On Water” which was mediocre last year. Machine Gun Kelly and Tyler the Creator were two names that had stood out from the list of the artist being dissed.
The album is filled with insults, but he does praise a select few from the current rap generation.
“ If you ain’t Joyner, if you ain’t Kendrick or Cole or Sean, you’re a goner” Eminem raps in “ The Ringer”.
Besides praising and acknowledging those three artists, he accused others of simply using ‘recycled material’ which he claims is today’s rap tone and music.
Eminem manages to create wild verses that shed light on his frustrations and puts out lyrics with heavy symbolic messages, proving why many have considered him one of the best rappers alive in the game today, and maybe possibly of all time.
“Kamikaze,” the song that is named after his album,has a recalcitrant vibe atop of an upbeat electronic dance partying feel. This song also features his well-known phrase word, “Fack”, in his chorus as he refers to himself as a kamikaze attacker who’s crashing into everyone.
In his “Normal” track, he states a common theme of the album, with the lyrics, “Let’s sleep on it like they did Revival.” Revival, his 2017 album that got plenty of backlash and criticism from a number of fans and artists. The phrase “sleep on it “ means to underestimate or underrate something. With this, he was trying to say that his Revival album should’ve been more appreciated, and in a sense, he’s trying to prove the critics wrong.
Some listeners on social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram, considered the album to be “trash” and “wack” while others said the album is “real rap coming back.”
While he may be older than your typical rap artist today, Eminem captures what those who have listened to rap music for over a decade feel in the songs “The Ringer” and “Not Alike.”
Eminem reckons in the album this all our fault; our voice of opinion for that matter. From the first verse of his opening single “ The Ringer”, the new album is an array of mass swirling daggers aimed at critics he swears don’t get it, fans he accuses of forsaking real talent for vacuous mumble rap, and young rappers he believes are selling content without the entertainment and substance. Eminem almost has a no sense of remorse or lacking consideration for the consequences “Kamikaze” could have started. And to some, that’s what makes him the best.
He’s consistent and precise. The rhymes are nevertheless mystifyingly perplexed. “Like a wedding band you gotta be a diamond to even climb in the ring” he raps in “The Greatest”, “An anomaly, I’m Muhammad Ali.”
“Kamikaze” is not for anyone. If a listener’s looking for an album filled with songs to party to or sleep to, this album isn’t it. If the listener cares about the content, lyric flow, meaning, and a storytelling; “Kamikaze” is the album to listen to.
For Eminem, his message of the album is to let us know to just be you yourself,and do you; do not care about what the rest of the societal system or world has to say.
The album may be focused on revenge and responding back to the hate he got from his last album,yet the album’s main goal like other albums is for fun.
Eminem tweeted on August 31st, 2018, “Try not to overthink this 1.”
By Jordan Atkinson
On September 21st, 2018 self proclaimed rap “boyband” Brockhampton dropped their new album Iridescence 5 months after announcing that they were working on a new project. It consists of 15 new songs/skits, and is their first album without ex vocalist Ameer Vann, who was kicked out of the group after some controversy involving sexual misconduct allegations that had been made against him. He was featured on a majority of tracks on their previous albums, so that in itself is a drastic change for a band. This is also the first album Brockhampton has done in collaboration with a major label, so that is also definitely a step in an entire new direction for them.
The first track on the album, “New Orleans” features vocals from Rapper Jaden Smith, who briefly has his own verse. His voice worked very with the rest of the band member’s and it was a good addition to the track. In other parts of the song though, the actual member’s vocals didn’t seem to work very well with the instrumental but not to the point where it was intolerable. Overall though, this song was decent.
J´ouvert was actually released the day before the album dropped, alongside with a music video in which they are lip syncing and dancing around with different filters applied. The simplicity of it went along very nicely with the song. Joba’s verse is what really steals the show, but like seriously...is he okay?
Weight is pretty good, especially Joba’s first verse. The song gives off Frank Ocean vibes in a way, and it sounds a lot like his track pretty sweet during certain parts. A decent track, but I don’t think I’d go as far to say that it’s one of their best.
San Marcos is easily one of the best tracks on the album. The London Community Gospel Choir is featured in on this track, and it is a great addition to the song. The transition into their verse from Joba’s worked very well too. Overall a really good song, and it’s worth the listen.
Tape is another track that stands out, it has really nice flow to it. They speak a lot about how their lives changed after their rise to fame and the struggles they endured during that time period. Arguably another one of the best tracks on the album.
Tonya is pretty good, it has more of a pop sound to it rather than their usual pop-rap mashup sound. I think that it’s my favorite tracks on the album. Bearface did an incredible job on his verse, they should feature him on more on tracks instead of giving him an occasional verse here and there.
Fabric is another good song, which is also happens to be the final track. It’s definitely different from the rest of the rest of the songs on the record, but more so in a way that it is unique. I think it was a very good way to end the album.
Now if I’m being completely honest, I have very mixed feelings on Iridescence as a whole. Saturation III left me with high expectations for this new album, but it just seems like some of it was too rushed, as they themselves stated that the album entire album was produced within the time span of 10 days(I guess you have to give them credit though, the album managed to reach #1 on billboard's top 200 album chart regardless) Also, regardless of what happened in Ameer Vann’s personal life (though I am not excusing his behavior), he added something very unique to the group and without him on any of the tracks, something feels like itś missing. There were some tracks on the album that were really mediocre that I would probably not bother listening to more than once(Honey, Berlin, Something About Him, and Vivid didn’t really impress me), but overall I think the best songs on the album are good enough to make up for that though. Iridescence is at least worth checking out, if not, they have a lot of good music on previous albums that definitely is. I definitely see the band continuing to grow in popularity, they have proven that have the potential to go very far.