Progressing In Pride

By: Eileen Jaksik

Flag for Pride Month.

Pride Month is a month dedicated to those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. The month of June is completely dedicated to those who celebrate pride. There are many celebrations to show appreciation to pride, such as rallies, marches, commemorations, community days, dance parties, and festivals.Pride month is celebrated in the United states to remember the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall riots occurred at the end of June 1969. Many pride related parades and marches were created as a result of the Stonewall riots. June was declared Pride Month in 1999-2000 and has been celebrated every year since then. Since pride month became a national celebration more and more things became legalized and available to the LGBTQ+ community. Same sex marriage became legal in 2015 and same sex adoption became legal in 2016 in the United States.

As a result people started to become more comfortable with coming out with their sexuality. Large amounts of bullying are still seen, and there are still a lot of people being treated differently. An anonymous contributor said “I’ve definitely been treated differently in high school. There’s been times I’ve felt very uncomfortable by other students and teachers.”, but as time goes on, the amount of bullying for same sex relationships is decreasing.
If you would like to support the LGBTQ+ community there are many opportunities to do so, including events even here in San Antonio, Texas. Show support and show the community that it is okay to not be ashamed of your sexuality.

Transitioning from High School to the Real World

By: Wanish Tortes McGinnis

People of all kinds in the work force.

As one transitions from high school to “life after high school,” here are some recommendations that one can tweak to their own version of “Life 101”. Many high school students are used to being the “big fish in the little pond.” After graduation, and as they enter college or trade school, they find themselves the “little fish in the big ocean.” It’s important to make new acquaintances.  Don’t be afraid to get to know others; they may have the connections you need for the future. 

First, it’s probably best not to take a break after high school before attending college or a trade school. If you have been given advice from family and friends, take it with an open mind, say thank you, and consider all avenues for your success. Internships and volunteer service in the field in which you are interested can help to guide you in your decisions. When you enroll in classes, get your general education requirements done first. Go to EVERY class in your schedule, even on Fridays. Give it your best effort; strive to get an “A” in the course. If you are shy or don’t really know people in your class, ask to join a study group that meets your style of study; the best groups are the ones that meet at the library in a quiet study room. 

When you get your schedule, make sure you have enough funds to purchase your books. Most books will be anywhere from 100 dollars and up, depending on your course of study. You will also need notebooks, blue books for tests, binders, and notebook paper. Add to that list a calendar and organizer. If you are lucky, you will have received a laptop or computer somewhere in high school, or as late as graduation. 

Developing a good financial history with your bank and the people you do business with will give you financial freedom. Stay away from any junk mail that offers you credit cards. Get a debit card at the bank where you deposit any money from paychecks or gifts of money. Have a savings account, as well as a checking account. Use cash when you can, and keep to your budget that you will set up. If you have a part-time job, your paycheck needs to be divided up in the following ways: 10% of the total goes to savings. 15% of the total goes to your church or a charity of your choice. The rest will need to be budgeted for groceries for two weeks,  the laundromat (unless mom will let you use her washer/dryer!), which will cost about $20 per week, and extras (movie, occasional meal out). Don’t eat out too much; put money aside to treat yourself or yourself and a friend during the month. Buy what you need, not what you want. If you want a bigger TV, then put money aside to save up for the TV. Do not buy anything on “time”, unless it’s an appliance you need, and then pay it off early.

It’s okay to be unsure or nervous about the next steps- just keep moving forward. You may change your mind a hundred times before you land where you are meant to be, but when you get there your heart will tell you. If your choice of major is not what you had planned it to be, see if there is a similar type of job in the same area, or change your major. Many students will start out in their field of choice, and within a couple of years, change to a similar or different major. 

If you’re looking for an easy transition from school into the workforce, you likely already have a few job and career ideas in mind. However, not all careers are the same in terms of earning potential, entry-level position availability, and so on. If you’ve taken CTE (career technical education) courses or have significant work experience, you’re likely headed down a particular track already. If you have some hobbies or passions that you can make money from doing after high school, look into those options. There are several possibilities when it comes to transitioning from high school to a career, and here we look at some of the best options for students who wish to go this route. 

Some 30 percent of this year’s three million graduating seniors will not go straight to college or a trade school,  a number that is increasing as the economy becomes inflated. More graduates are finding that going to work out of high school may be financially more secure such as working retail, auto shops, restaurants, family businesses, or construction, so they can put money away since some of these graduates are on the less profitable side of the vast economic and cultural divide that is demarcated by a college degree. 

True Crime Vol. XXI: The Attic Man

By: Courtney Henson

Otto Sanhuber

During the 1920s, women were known for taking back their own love lives. When she was just 17, Dolly Korschel met Fred Oesterreich and they quickly got married. But for young Dolly, this did not get in her way of having a wildly active love life. The couple lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Fred worked very successfully at a local factory. This very factory is where Dolly and Otto Sanhuber first laid eyes on each other. When she saw that Sanhuber was fixing sewing machines at the factory, Dolly demanded that her husband send him to their house to fix her sewing machine. Dolly was 33 while Sanhuber was 17. When Sanhuber showed up, Dolly was wearing nothing but a silk robe and stockings. This was the beginning of an intense affair and the ultimate death of Fred Oesterreich.

After months of the affair between Dolly and Sanhuber, neighbors began to get suspicious of the unknown man showing up pretty often. The best solution Dolly could think of was to move Sanhuber into the couple’s attic. Sanhuber agreed and quit his job at the factory to devote all of his time to Dolly. This arrangement meant that Sanhuber couldn’t leave the house because it might result in him being seen. Sanhuber spent the days with Dolly and helping around the house, and the nights reading and writing fiction stories by candlelight. 

For 5 years the affair continued like this, until 1918 when Fred decided to move to Los Angeles. Although this could have caused complications, Dolly worked around it.  She found a house with an attic and sent Sanhuber to settle in before the Oesterreichs got there. For 4 more years, life continued for the group with the same routine as in Wisconsin..

On August 22, 1922, Sanhuber overheard Fred and Dolly fighting and emerged from the attic. He burst into the room where the Oesterreichs were fighting, and noticed that Fred was holding two pistols. Fred recognized Sanhuber from the factory and became very angry and the two began to physically fight. Fred was shot, Dolly and Sanhuber panicked. Sanhuber locked Dolly into the closet and retreated into the attic with the key and the guns, Dolly would have an alibi and Sanhuber would be invisible. Dolly told police it was a robbery gone wrong. 

After the ordeal died down, Dolly found and moved into a new house. One would assume that she and Otto could eventually bring their relationship into the open, allowing Otto to have a normal life. But instead, when Dolly moved, Sanhuber, once again, took up residence in her attic. While Sanhuber wrote more stories, Dolly got herself yet another lover. Local lawyer Herman S. Shapiro became Dolly’s fixations, but Shapiro worked long hours and this would not satisfy Dolly. Enter Roy Klumb, another lover to keep Dolly entertained, but Klumb might have been used simply to rid Dolly of the guns. Klumb ditched one gun in a tar pit, while a neighbor of Dollys buried the other. 

When Dolly broke up with Klumb, he recovered the guns and went to the police with the story. Neither gun could be tied to her because of corrosion. While Dolly was in jail, Shapiro discovered Sanhuber, but this was not a deal breaker for Shapiro. After many years of living in the attic Sanhuber was told to get lost, and Shapiro moved into the house. All charges against Dolly were dropped. Sanhuber finally escaped after living in Dolly’s attic for over 10 years.

Seven years later, Dolly and Shapiro broke up and Shapiro went to police with everything he knew. Warrants were put out for Dolly and Sanhuber. The jury found Sanhuber guilty of manslaughter. Nevertheless, the statute of limitations on the manslaughter had run out, and Sanhuber was released. Dolly died in 1961 at age 80, hopefully having learned a thing or two about relationships.

Dolly and Fred Oesterreich

Horoscopes

By: Ricky Fabrow

Aries: Taking care of people is hard work which is why this month you should try to take care of yourself instead of working yourself to the breaking point. Relax and be carefree just focus on yourself.

Taurus: You have a certain charm to you and that charm will shine this month. There will be many chances your charm will work on others and will allow you to get out of trouble.

Gemini: For the rest of June you should relax and be calm in order to let your creative and peaceful thoughts flow through your mind. You should let those creative thoughts roll wild and do what best artistic things you do best.

Cancer: You should trust your instincts and yourself as a whole because you will be making very important choices for yourself. Many people will question and test, but it is you who must stay true to yourself.

Leo: This month may make you feel more cool and relaxed. There won’t be much stress or sadness when it comes to what will happen these past many days.

Virgo: Job careers and opportunities will come soon and will allow you to follow what you want to do with your dreams.  

Libra: Your days will be peaceful and there will be no fighting or bad days. You will finally be able to relax and not stress over situations. 

Scorpio: This month, whatever project you’re working on will be finished or improved on greatly by the end or middle of the month.

Sagittarius: Teamwork will be the best choice for whatever you’ll be doing this month. From projects to jobs, being part of a team or getting help will help you succeed.

Capricorn: You will be called to use your imagination and creativity for work and your own enjoyment. There will be multiple opportunities that shall show up.

Aquarius: It’s time to forgive the people and forget the bad things that have happened, this month is all about making sure you have no enemies nor disliked people in your life so you can enjoy life without worrying about the bad people making it worse.

Pisces: You will get interested more in the history of how you became the person you are today and look back upon your greatest and worst moments to see if you’ve become a better person than you were years ago

The Final Poll of the Month… Until Next Year That Is…

What Are You Going to Do After High School?

By: Dillon Myers

There are many options as to what to do and be after high school. Leaving high school is the start of a new chapter, full of new beginnings and new friends. New beginnings usually involve new activities and/or jobs, such as working at Whataburger, joining the Air Force, or going to Baylor University. Of course, you can always just be a bum on the streets or in your parents’ basement, though we don’t recommend it. (Anyway) Here in journalism, we got curious as to what you were planning on doing after you leave PHS… The results are shown below.

Good choices!

My dear readers, dear Journalism class, and dear… anyone else who happens to be reading this, God bless you and have a great rest of your life.

Cake Pops

By: Ariana Johnson

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 eggs 
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) package prepared chocolate frosting
  • 18 lollipop sticks
  • 1 (14 ounce) bag chocolate candy melts
  • 1 (.75 ounce) tube decorating icing 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Beat cake mix, eggs, and oil in a bowl using an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat for an additional  2 minutes. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven, 28 to 33 minutes. Cool completely, at least 1 hour.
  4. Crumble cake into a large bowl. Stir frosting into cake crumbles until mixture is sticky but not too smooth. Chill in the refrigerator, at least 30 minutes.
  5. Roll cake mixture into 1 ½-inch balls and arrange on a baking sheet. Place 1 lollipop stick into each ball
  6. Melt about ¼ cup chocolate candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl for about 20 seconds in the microwave. Dip each cake pop in the melted chocolate. Repeat melting chocolate and dipping remaining cake pops. Decorate pops with decorating icing.

Riddles and Brain Teasers!

By: Dillon Myers

A red house is made from red bricks. A blue house is made from blue bricks. A yellow house is made from yellow bricks. What is a green house made from?

#27 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

Why is the letter F like death?

#28 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

A man describes his daughters, saying, “They are all blonde, but two; all brunette but two; and all redheaded but two.” How many daughters does he have?

#29 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

If you have a 7-minute hourglass and an 11-minute hourglass, how can you boil an egg in exactly 15 minutes?

#30 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

How far can a squirrel run into the woods?

#31 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

During which month do people sleep the least?

#37 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

Put a coin into an empty bottle and insert a cork into the neck. How can you remove the coin without removing the cork or breaking the bottle? 

#44 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

I have a large money box, 10 inches wide, and 5 inches tall.  Roughly how many coins can I place until my money box is no longer empty?

#46 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

What do an island and the letter “t” have in common?

#47 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

What is unusual about the following words: revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven?

#48 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

How can a man who shaves several times a day still sport a long beard?

#49 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

An elevator is on the ground floor. There are five people in the elevator including me. When the lift reaches the first floor, one person gets out and two people get in. The lift goes up to the second floor, three people get out, five people get in. It then goes up to the next floor up, no-one gets out but 12 people get in. Halfway up to the next floor up the elevator cable snaps, it crashes to the floor. Everyone else dies in the elevator except me. How did I survive?

#53 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

What 4-letter word can be written forward, backward or upside down, and can still be read from left to right?

#56 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

Bonus Riddles:

What is the question you can ask all day, get different answers for the same, and they would still be correct?

#4 in https://www.missmalini.com/2018/04/17/7-super-confusing-riddles-that-are-complete-head-scratchers/ 

Two fathers and two sons go fishing. Each of them catches one fish each. So, why do they bring home only three fish?

#5 in https://www.missmalini.com/2018/04/17/7-super-confusing-riddles-that-are-complete-head-scratchers/ 

Poem of the Month

Mom

¨It’s so amazing 

What a little word can do-

It fills the heart

With warmth and love

That lasts a lifetime through.

Happy Mother’s Day¨

By: Unknown

It’s the last poem of the 2021 school year and even though mother’s day passed, you should still say that you appreciate her and all of the things that she does for you. I hope y’all have a great summer and see y’all next year. Good luck out there seniors.

Sincerely,

The Passionate Poet

Prom

By: Adriana Clark

Saturday May 1st from 8pm-12am (midnight) is the junior/senior Great Gatsby themed prom. The colors are black and gold. Prom will be held at The Espee Sunset Room, formerly known as Sunset Station, downtown near the Riverwalk. The music and photo booth will be provided by Bring It! Productions and the appetizers will be provided by, Tim the Girl Catering. Friendly reminder to please read the dress code and contract before attending prom and do not forget to wear a mask. 

Restaurant recommendations:

Brooks City Base

Chaba Thai Restaurant

54th Street Restaurant & Drafthouse

Chili’s Grill & Bar

LA Crawfish

1917 Restaurant 

 Olive Garden Italian Restaurant

The Longhorn Cafe

McAlister’s Deli 

Armadillos Texas Style Burgers

Texas Roadhouse

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Bar-B-Q Republic

Las Palapas

Downtown/Riverwalk

Stella Public House 

Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia 

Rainforest Cafe 

Rita’s On the River 

The Original Mexican Restaurant

Casa Rio

Margaritaville Restaurant

The Republic of Texas Restaurant

Paesanos

Joe’s Crab Shack 

Rio RIo Cantina

Yard House

Biga on the Banks 

Boudro’s on the Riverwalk

Hard Rock Cafe

Acenar

Saltgrass Steak House

Cafe Ole

Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse 

The County Line 

Landry’s Seafood House

Sushi Zushi 

The Pearl District 

Down On Grayson 

Josephine Street

Earl Abel’s

La Gloria

Your Life, Your Responsibility

By: Kristina Mertz

Students who attend high school are under the direction and guidance of teachers along with parents. This means students haven’t really had time to grow, especially when teachers choose to provide every last chance in order for a student to complete their work. Everybody has heard the saying, “You Only Live Once,” but nobody has added the saying “Your life is your responsibility.” Yes you may only live once, but only you are responsible for your life. Students can’t rely on teachers and parents to guide them through everything in life, when the mistakes they make are going to give them experience and the courage to try new things. This also means teachers need to let students fail when they choose to not participate and do the work. When teachers allow students the room to fail, it gives students the feeling of what it really means to fail, that way they can take responsibility and say, “I failed and it’s on me.” It’s sometimes harder for students to accept failure later in life, because they never had the experience of actually failing. This allows students to enable themselves to try better and put in more effort for the next assignment and their future. Only you know what you want in life, and it’s only you that can get you to where you need to be in life. However, asking for help is never a weakness, accepting the help you need is one of the bravest things a person can do. This just means you can’t rely on people for the rest of your life to do the things you’re responsible for. Take this as an opportunity to take initiative and responsibility for your life. 

Horoscopes

By: Kristina Mertz and Courtney Henson

Aries (March 21-April 19)-

This month Aries, you must be completely unapologetic. Go about pursuing personal and productive initiatives as you would like, and bask in your power! This month you have to pursue and put into motion any and all dreams you have. And if the people around you are not supporting your dreams, think about your relationship with them. Find some time this month to meditate and find some self-care. Good luck Aries.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)-

The month of May is a resting month for you Taurus. You will feel not energized and depleted, so make sure not to push yourself into anything. Use this time to heal. Focus on self-care and tying up loose ends to help truly reach your work and relationship potential this month Taurus. It’s also important to remember that as the month gets close to an end, you must get back into the world. Find a few close friends to celebrate your birthday with you and enter the social world again!

Gemini (May 21- June 20)-

This month you will find yourself wanting to reconnect with a lost friend, try your best to find a positive spark out of this and rekindle your friendship. You might also find yourself to be very stressed after taking on too much this month, do not worry yourself Gemini, the stress will pass soon. As the month comes to a close tie up any loose ends and go about your time! 

Cancer (June 21- July 22)-

This month you must especially focus on what you want for your future. You will be in a very successful and positive head-space, perfect for working towards what you want. This month you will find that your close friends are longing to be with you more often, use this to your advantage and feed off of their energy!

Leo (July 23- August 22)-

This month Leo, you will be in an adventurous spirit! Make sure to explore this feeling and try new things. You are in a friendship period, try to meet new people this month Leo. Focus also on long-term goals and careers this month and might find great success and satisfaction in them. 

Virgo (August 23- September 22)-

This month you will want to surround yourself with people you trust and love. You will have lots of work to do this month, whether it is school or a job, make sure to pace yourself well. It will make you busy this month Virgo! Expect a new relationship this month, not romantic but platonic, you will have a strong connection and work well together. 

Libra (September 23- October 22)-

This month is very keen on relationships, but be careful and make sure the feeling is always mutual. You might potentially decide to take a step back and look at your relationship from a different perspective. But this doesn’t mean to be afraid of what could be, so always be honest and put yourself out there, because this could open up a new romantic relationship.

Scorpio (October 23- November 21)-

At the beginning of this month you are in major focus mode. All of the obligations that were piling up during the winter time are shouting your name. Be sure to delegate and outsource as much as possible. It’s worth it to trade a little bit of control for the satisfaction of completion.

Sagittarius (November 22- December 21)-

Expect to be vibrant this month, as your self expression and passion will come to life. Fun is your first priority this season and a spring awakening is underway for you. This may also open up opportunities for a love interest, but don’t let this blindside your creativity.

Capricorn (December 22- January 19)-

Spring may be in the air Capricorn, but this month you are going to tend to stay at home a little more. Take this opportunity to prioritize self care and manage your stress levels as best you can. Most importantly don’t forget to take a break and breathe every once in a while!

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)-

This month is your month to mingle! Start being social, hang out with friends, and exchange ideas. You may even have a “dynamic duo” moment this month that could potentially take a romantic twist.

Pisces (February 19- March 20)-

One step at a time will get you to your goals. Your month is off to a practical start, you had a busy birthday season last month, so you may now have a million ideas for what you want to do next. Take a few of those ideas and manifest them into something within reach and potentially even profitable.

April Monthly Poll

What Do You Go to a Fair For?

By: Dillon Myers

The Strawberry Festival came and went like a fart in the Sahara (as the Finns would say). There were many things to do, even with COVID-19 safety measures still in place. With tons of rides and food, along with shopping, games, and concerts from various bands, no one was left unoccupied. Here at PHS, we wanted to know, which of those commodities you went to the Strawberry Festival for. The results are depicted below…

Bonus option: German lullabies

Stay Tuned for the Last Poll of This School Year!

Surprise Cupcakes Sweet Treat

By: Ariana Johnson

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoons fine salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • A bag of any kind of M&Ms
  • Your favorite frosting and sprinkles, as topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Line one 12-cup standard muffin tin.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the melted butter and then the vanilla extract.
  4. While mixing slowly, add half of the flour mixture. Then add all the milk, followed by the remaining flour mixture; take care not to over-mix the batter. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared muffin tin.
  5. Bake until the cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean,rotating the tin about halfway through baking time, 18 to 20 minutes for standard cupcakes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove the tin and cool on the rack completely.
  6. To add the M&Ms to the cupcakes: Use a small paring knife to cut a circle in the top of each cupcake. Gently remove the section of each cupcake and reserve.
  7. Using a teaspoon, create a small cavity in the cupcake. Fill with 5 or 6 M&Ms. Then replace the cake circle to seal in the M&Ms. 
  8. Frost and decorate as desired.

Poem of the Month

April-

God’s garden is this dim old wood,

And hidden in its blossom

The bursting bud, the feathery leaf

And soft, sweet smelling blossoms.

 

Ho! May is fair, and glorious June, 

In rose leaves doth enfold her,

Their bloom is richer than my own,

But mine is sweeter, bolder.

 

God’s garden is this dim old wood, 

And, I, the pretty vagrant, 

I am the gardener He sends

To make it fair and fragrant.

 

By: Jean Blewett

 

The season where all the spring flowers come out and the weather is getting hotter than before so make sure to drink lots of water. We are getting closer to the end of the school year and summer break will be here. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

The Passionate Poet

 

 

Riddles and Brain Teasers

By: Dillon Myers

A man is looking at a photograph of someone. His friend asks who it is. The man replies, “Brothers and sisters, I have none. But that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who was in the photograph?

#4 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

“In 1990, a person is 15 years old. In 1995, that same person is 10 years old. How can this be?”

#8 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

“A sundial has the fewest moving parts of any timepiece. Which has the most?”

#9 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

What makes this number unique: 8,549,176,320?

#10 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

The person who makes it has no need for it. The person who purchases it does not use it. The person who does use it does not know he or she is. What is it?

#19 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

You’re escaping a maze, and there are three doors in front of you. The door on the left leads to a pit of lava. The door in the center leads to a room filled with deadly gas. The door on the right leads to a lion that hasn’t eaten in three months. Which door do you choose?

#20 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

What has cities, but no houses; forests, but no trees; and water, but no fish?

#21 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

How can 8 + 8 = 4?

#23 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

The water level in a reservoir is low but doubles every day. It takes 60 days to fill the reservoir. How long does it take for the reservoir to become half full?

#24 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

A farmer needs to take a fox, a chicken, and a sack of grain across a river. The only way across the river is by a small boat, which can only hold the farmer and one of the three items. Left unsupervised, the chicken will eat the grain, and the fox will eat the chicken. However, the fox won’t try to eat the grain, and neither the fox nor the chicken will wander off. How does the farmer get everything across the river?

#25 in https://www.rd.com/list/brain-teasers/ 

Balancing Extracurriculars and Academics

By: Jaelyn Morales

Academics and extracurricular activities are both beneficial for someone’s mental and physical health. They are also important for a student’s growth and development, but what happens if you can’t balance both? An imbalance can cause students to build anxiety, stress and could possibly affect the body, thoughts, feelings, and even behavior. The ongoing increase in heart rate can take a toll on your body and cause low energy, headaches, trouble sleeping, and much more, but with the right schedule and some tips you can be excelling in both academics and extracurriculars, plus have extra time for yourself.

Student-athletes should know that both sports and academics are important, but between the two, academics should always come first. Your first responsibility should be learning and turning in your assignments, so you can have good grades. Those good grades will give you a better chance at getting into college and finding a good and fitting career for you. Extracurriculars like sports, art, music, drama, and environmental education can help you with your teamwork skills, language skills, problem-solving skills, and can also encourage creativity, concentration, focus, and build self-esteem and confidence. A healthy and organized balance of both will not only make you a successful student, but will also help you in future years.

To balance both you will first need to know how to manage your time. Managing your time can be rather difficult, but after a while it will get easier and easier and your stress level will start to decrease. You should start by setting a small goal for yourself, make sure it is achievable and measurable. An example of a goal could be turning in all your work on time this week or even taking a break at a specific time so you don’t overwork yourself. After setting up your goals, you should start taking advantage of opportunities. Take advantage of free periods, extra time, school resources, and friends who are willing to help you out. Lastly, you should plan ahead and don’t let your week plan you. You can use a calendar, planner, or your phone to make reminders and note when you have games, practices, work due, or free time. This will help you plan your time wisely and make sure you complete all your tasks for the day. Remember these tips and you will succeed in both academics and extracurriculars while also having fun.

Willy’s Wonderland Review: Not Enough Nick Cage

By: Kori Miller

Slasher and goofier horrors have been lacking lately in recent media, with the primary focus being on psychological horror films (A path paved by directors like Ari Aster and Robert Eggers). It’s a genre that’s been dead since Friday The 13th, with an extended cult following that makes you wonder where this caliber of the movie went. Apparently, the answer is simply that these people have run out of ideas. This is evident in early 2021’s Five Nights at Freddy’s reminiscent film, Willy’s Wonderland. Yes, the title is that bad. 

The film follows Nicholas Cage, who I will be referring to as such because his actual character is unnamed. Nick finds himself stranded in a small town after all four of his tires are punctured by some poorly placed spike strips, and with no ATM in sight, he is offered to work off the repair costs by spending a night cleaning the abandoned children’s attraction, Willy’s Wonderland. He grabs a few sodas, throws on a complimentary Willy Weasel t-shirt, and gets to work. Assuming you don’t know where this is going, the animatronic characters come to life in the dead of the night and wreak havoc.

Nick, although a talented actor, has a bit of a track record of never declining a project as long as he’s paid fairly. If this film was nothing but him beating the spit out of a bunch of Chuck E. Cheese rejects, it’d be perfectly good fun without having to pull weight by making sense or being compelling. It’s Nicholas Cage gutting CGI animatronics, what more could you ask for? However, as I stated, he wishes to be paid fairly for his time. This film was a smidge over a microbudget, so paying Cage for the main character role was not gonna work without some adjustments. The result? His character has zero lines, no name or story, and simply shows up for twenty-minute intervals to throw down and then slunk off to the corner to play pinball. 

As a result of this limited screen time, we are presented with my worst nightmare; filler. A handful of teens (who cannot act to save their lives, mind you) show up to get picked off one by one in between Cage’s ultimate smackdowns. They distract from the sheer absurdity by being loud and obnoxious, when the movie is primarily dialogue-free when Cage is on screen; and thank god too, because the writing is awful. It’s a tonal shift that makes you scrunch up your nose and reach for the remote to fast forward. But as I said, you gotta do what you’ve gotta do to book Nicholas Cage as your cover image. 

In short, Willy’s Wonderland is a scrappy b movie that doesn’t overstay its welcome but doesn’t fulfill its space either. If you like nonsense and Nick Cage, congrats. You’ll love it. If your sort of thing isn’t 90 minutes of animatronic weasels getting gut-punched, however, you may want to skip over this one. Whatever the case may be, thanks for reading and I hope you understand what I subject myself to in order to entertain you guys.

Willy’s Wonderland currently has a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.6/10 on IMDB.

True Crime Vol. XX: The Soap-Maker of Correggio

By: Victoria Chavez

Mugshot of Leonarda Cinanciulli

Born in 1894 in Montella, Italy, Leonarda Cianciull lived as an only child to parents, Serafina Marano and Mariano Cinanciull. At the age of twenty-three she married a registry clerk in 1917, but her marriage was against her family’s wishes. Her family hated their relationship so much that her own mother cursed Leonarda and her husband. Some believed that the curse affected Leonarda’s pregnancies since it was reported that she had seventeen: three were miscarriages, while ten of her children died at a very young age. The surviving four were heavily protected by Leonarda. Leonarda said the reason for the over protection was that a gypsy fortune-teller, who many years earlier, had predicted a terrible fate for her: “You will marry and have children, but all your children will die.” Later she got her palm read by another gypsy, who told her, “In your right hand I see prison, in your left a criminal asylum.”

In 1939, Leonarda’s eldest, and most favorable, son was joining the Army. During this time Italy was entering World War II which scared Leonarda because she feared her son would die. So she decided to do the only thing she believed would help: she had to make human sacrifices to save her son’s life. Leonarda, at this time, had three, lonely, middle-aged friends that were in desperate need to get away from their current lives. Each friend asked Leonarda for her help to fix their living situations. They would have never thought a simple call for help would be the most dangerous thing to ask from Leonarda.

Leonarda Cianciulli’s first victim was a local spinster woman named Faustina Setti. Inviting Faustina to her home under the guise of setting her up with a husband in 1939, Cianciulli instructed her to write letters to her family members, telling them that she would be visiting a man she met. But Leonarda drugged Faustina with spiked wine before murdering her with an ax. Leonarda also stole Faustina’s life savings that she had brought along. She then cut Setti into nine pieces, drained all the blood, boiled her body, made it into a mush black mixture and poured the continents into a septic tank.  She then took the blood and made it into “crunchy tea cakes”, which she fed to visitors, her son, as well as herself. 

Leonarda’s third victim, Francesca Soavi was invited into her home on Sept. 5, 1940. Just like her first murder, Leonarda convinced Francesca that she had organized a teaching job for her up north of Italy and made her write letters to her friends detailing her trip. Leonarda followed her M.O. and drugged Francesca’s wine, killed her with an ax, baked her into teacakes, and stole her money.

Her last and final victim was a woman named Virginia Cacioppo. Virginia was a noted soprano who once sang at the famed La Scala opera house in Milan. Leonarda had promised her a job working with an impresario in Florence, which prompted Virginia to pay her a visit on Sept. 30, 1940. As with her previous two victims, Leonarda fed Virginia spiked wine and killed her with an ax. This time, however, she melted her flesh, made soap with it, and gave away her human tea cakes and human bars of soap to the unsuspecting neighbours. 

Although Leonarda Cianciulli thought she had committed the perfect murders, she could not have been more wrong. Her first two victims who had few concerned relatives, Virginia had a very worried sister-in-law. She didn’t believe Virginia’s letters detailing her quick departure, and had, in fact, seen her entering Leonarda’s home the night she had “left.” Almost immediately, she reported her sister’s disappearance to the Reggio Emilia police, who quickly investigated Leonarda.

At first, Leonarda Cianciulli defended herself. It was only when the police shifted the blame toward her beloved son Giuseppe that she finally broke down and admitted to everything. Leonarda’s trial lasted only a few days. She was found guilty of her crimes and granted a 33-year sentence that echoed the Romani woman’s prophecy with eerie accuracy: 30 years in a prison and three years in a criminal asylum.

On Oct. 15, 1970, Leonarda Cianciulli died of cerebral apoplexy, a type of hemorrhage, while she was still in the asylum. She was 79 years old.

Monthly Poll: March

Are We Bodies with Souls or Souls with Bodies?

By: Dillon Myers

Bodies, like souls, are essential components to us humans. Millenia of studies and research have taught us a ton about our bodies and how they function, but one thing that continues to baffle us is: What is a soul? This intangible, immaterial… thing has raised many questions over the years. Where is the soul located? Can humans live without it? Why do we have souls, and what is their purpose? Of the multitudes of questions asked, there is one here at PHS that we are curious as to what your replies will be, which is: Are We Bodies with Souls or Souls with Bodies? The results of the poll are displayed below…

Totally Unrelated Fun Fact: The Earth weighs around 13,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds!

Sweet Treat: Key Lime Cheesecake Bites

By: Ariana Johnson

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of raw almonds 
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained
  • ⅓ cup full-fat coconut milk (well shaken)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of raw honey
  • 4 limes, juices and zested

Instructions

  1. Line a muffin tin with 6 cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. Place the almonds and melted coconut in a blender or a food processor and blend until the mixture is crumbly and sticks together when pinched between your fingers.
  3. Place one heaping tablespoon in each lined muffin cavity, and press the mixture down using the back of a spoon to make a mini ¨crust¨.
  4. Place the muffin tin in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, while you prepare the filling.
  5. In the food processor add the drained cashews, coconut milk, honey, and lime juice. Puree until smooth and transfer to a measuring cup.
  6. Remove the muffin tin from the freezer when the crust hardens a bit and pour the filling mixture over the crusts. Top with lime zest and place back in the freezer for at least 4-6 hours to harden.

Store in the freezer until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Poem of the Month

March-

Racing clouds and whistling winds,

Coats flapping in the breeze,

Bright kites circling in the skies,

The dance of swaying trees,

The cheerful sight of crocuses,

Just first sweet breath of spring –

Just part of all the many moods

The month of March can bring.

Author: Unknown

March is here and we are almost done with the school year. All we have now is the STAAR testing and EOC testing, then summer will come by soon. The weather is getting better than it was during Snowvid and hopefully we will have more rain than we did last year. Also I’m happy all the spring flowers are blooming.

Sincerely,

Passionate Poet

Riddles / Brain Teasers

By Dillon Myers

Dil drank Dr. Pepper day after day, diving deeper and deeper into dental debt. 

They can be harbored, but few can hold water. 

#2 in https://bestlifeonline.com/riddles/ 

Has a tongue, but never talks. Has no legs, but sometimes walks. What is it?

#11 in https://bestlifeonline.com/riddles/ 

I am rarely touched, but often held, and if you are smart, you’ll use me well. What am I?

#12 in https://bestlifeonline.com/riddles/ 

What is it that no man ever saw, which never was, but will always be?

#17 in https://bestlifeonline.com/riddles/ 

A shimmering field that reaches far, yet it has no tracks, and is crossed without paths… What am I?

#19 in https://bestlifeonline.com/riddles/ 

You carry it everywhere you go, and it does not get heavy… What is it?

#24 in https://bestlifeonline.com/riddles/ 

You have me today, tomorrow you’ll have more…As your time passes, I’m not easy to store; I don’t take up space, but I’m only in one place; I am what you saw, but not what you see… What am I?

#28 in https://bestlifeonline.com/riddles/ 

I can be cracked, I can be made. I can be told, I can be played…What am I?

#29 in https://bestlifeonline.com/riddles/ 

Teacher Spotlight

By: Wanish Tortes- Mcginnis

    Mrs. Olavarri

From teaching classes like Audiovideo 1 and 2, Digital Media, and Business Professionals of America Mrs. Olavarri does it all. 

Mrs Olavarri was born in Jourdanton, Texas at Mercy Hospital in the 1970s. She graduated from the University of Incarnate Word in 1998 with a Bachelor Business Administration with a concontration in Marketing. Most of her work in college was Business and Marketing. In Mrs. Olavarri’s senior year she took an internship at a non profit and got to be a marketing coordinator for an organization.

Mrs. Olavarri has been teaching for 21 years at Pleasanton High School;it would be 22, but she took a year to sell yearbooks. Business has always been a subject she had taken a liking to. In her senior year of college, she had her first child. She thought she would be a stay at home mom, but soon got bored of being at home all the time. At the same time she was looking for a job, Pleasanton High School was looking for a business teacher. Mrs. Olavarri’s favorite part about being a business and technology teacher at PHS is sponsoring BPA (Business Professionals of America). Every year, kids who want to join this club are driven and goal oriented.“It is so much fun helping these students build projects that they can compete and win with!” BPA definitely makes her job valuable and rewarding. This year was Mrs. Olavarri”s first year teaching AV (Audiovideo) Program of Study along with Digital Media, in recent years she taught career preperation and PIT classes which was a part of the Business and Industry field.  

This year, Mrs.Olavarri came up with a podcast called the Big E Broodcast to show that Pleasanton is a great school by interviewing students of PHS and those who have already graduated from PHS.  

Don’t Tell a Soul (about this movie)

By: Kori Miller

Thrillers, albeit difficult to pull off, are probably one of the most diverse genres practiced in film. They’re usually pretty straightforward; keeping you on the edge of your seat down until the final seconds of the satisfying conclusion. They’re also probably the most popular genre to date. This month’s flavor of the week has been Don’t Tell a Soul, a film with an all-star cast that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Matt and Joey are brothers robbing a tented house, making out with over $12,000 in cash. Although they manage to escape, the only witness, a security guard that goes by Hamby, ends up falling into an abandoned well in the midst of chasing them. The pair of boys have to make an important decision; leave the man to die and keep the cash, or save the life of someone potentially innocent. 

It’s hard to find a place to begin with this dumpster fire of a “psychological” thriller. When you read the cast list, there’s a lot to expect considering it is composed exclusively of very capable actors. However, the writing and motivations for the characters are so skewed that even the best of the best would seem as bland as a bowl of chowder. It’s almost embarrassing. It’s the kind of film you have to completely turn your mind off to enjoy, as one split second of complex thought will have you second-guessing

what it is you’re even watching. We’re meant to believe not a single character in this film owns a cell phone, none of them consider the legal repercussions of a single decision they make, and most of all, no one has a brain in their skull. It’s intensely distracting for the kind of film you’re supposed to sit around and think about. The issue with this one is that the longer you think about it, it ages like a slab of ham left out in the sun.

If you couldn’t already tell, this film is a complete pass. Without a second of its runtime being even minorly worthwhile, you’d likely find more entertainment in watching paint dry. It falls into the same tropes we’ve all seen a million times, from the brother dynamic to the ‘x is actually a serial killer’. It’s a tired script that should have been recycled the second someone sat down to write it, and I pity the stain this will leave on the filmography of everyone involved.

Don’t Tell a Soul currently holds a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.9/10 on IMDB.