Ms. Barlow: The Definition of a Golden Bear

As the 2021 Teacher of the Year prepares to retire, we look back on her 42 years teaching at Hammond.

By Marissa Yelenik and Sarah Meklir

Online Editor and Managing Editor

Pictured above: Seniors Georgia Briggs and Ama Stott surprise Ms. Barlow with Hammond’s 2021 Teacher of the Year award (left to right: Georgia Briggs, Ms. Barlow, Ama Stott).

A constant force for good at Hammond, Ms. Barlow has been teaching here for 42 years. This year, she was awarded “Teacher of the Year” by the 2021 senior class in honor of her immense impact on students and her love for teaching and Hammond. She will begin a well-deserved retirement at the end of this school year. 

The award itself was a surprise to Ms. Barlow, who didn’t expect the honor for herself. She reflected on the moment it was awarded to her, detailing the events as she sat in her classroom in the Villa, the new name for the set of portables the social studies department is in this year. “Mr. Dunlap was marching down the hall with the band playing Sweet Caroline and I thought “What’s he doing in the Villa?” I thought he had gotten lost for band practice and they were supposed to go to the field. I was just really surprised and really honored that I had gotten that award.”

With all of her years of teaching under her belt, Ms. Barlow is a wealth of knowledge regarding Hammond’s history and the changes that have taken place. She reflected on her years, saying “There have been lots of different experiences here, but it’s been great to be at one school and see what it’s been like for this long. I haven’t changed schools, it’s this school that’s changed while I’ve been here.”

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Immigration Justice and Advocacy: What You Need to Know to Get Involved

By Uma Ribeiro

Editor-in-Chief 

 

Image Source: ACLU of Maryland

What is happening locally?

Immigration coalitions and advocacy groups, their local efforts, and national impact

After vetoing Council Bill Number 51 which would have ended the contract Howard County had with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) back in October, and after ignoring the urges that followed from county residents to close the Howard County detention center, County Executive Calvin Ball finally decided to end the contract in late March of this year. 

However, it is important to note that this decision was not one Ball came to on his own, but was a result of years of pressure from Maryland immigrant advocacy groups, such as CASA and the Friends of Latin America coalition. With this decision, Ball has not yet proven himself an ally of the immigrant community, but rather the immigrant community and activists in Howard County have proven themselves effective. 

A member of Friends of Latin America (FoLA), an advocacy organization for immigration justice whose mission statement is to promote “…awareness, activism, and social responsibility in the United States for more just relationships with Latin America”, commented on the reasons behind why he thought Ball finally chose to end the contract after vetoing Council Bill 51 in October 2020 and being in favor of the detention center in the recent past. 

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FDA approves vaccines for ages 12-15

HCPSS has stated that school will be open for in-person learning next fall and the FDA has authorized vaccines to be distributed to adolescents 12-15 years old.

By: Ada Wang

Staff Writer

Jessica Hill / Associated Press

In late April, HCPSS released a statement informing parents and students about the decision of opening schools for online learning. Students are able to request to stay at home and learn virtually but if they choose to do so, they must stay virtual all year round. 

In early May, the FDA approved the use of Pfizer vaccines for adolescents ages 12 to 15. Currently, thousands, if not more, of people in this age group have already gotten their first dose of the vaccine. Some concerns about the vaccine for adolescents have been addressed by pediatricians and immunologists, saying that the immunology of adolescents is similar to those of adults which may help alleviate some worry of 12-15 year olds getting vaccinated.

This approval by the FDA has aided in the decision of many schools countrywide to reopen for this upcoming school year. In addition, Pfizer has also released data from their Phase 3 clinical trials that show that the vaccine is 100% effective in children ages 12 to 15. Vaccines will also be distributed to pediatric offices to allow more discussion between parent and their child’s primary care physician about the concerns they may have and the safety of the vaccine.

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Movie Review: Spenser Confidential

By Kevin Barry

Staff Writer

Spenser Confidential (based on the Ace Atkins novel “Wonderland”) came out on Netflix during the start of the lockdown (March 6th, 2020). Reaching 85 million households, Spenser Confidential was one of the biggest hits of early quarantine. Among many others, Mark Whalberg, Winston Duke, Iliza Shlesinger, and even Post Malone play key roles in the movie. The film revolves around Boston’s own Mark Whalberg who plays a Boston ex-police officer with a strong moral compass and a bad temper. The film’s an action movie that revolves around crime, but there’s a ton of funny moments in it (compliments to Mark Whalberg). 

In the beginning, Spenser has reason to believe his boss was a dirty cop, and when he went to his house early on a Sunday morning he found a drunk boss and a wife with bruises. With a strong moral sense and some unresolved anger issues, Spenser throws his boss on the ground, throwing punch after punch until his partner throws him off. 

That little act lands him 5 years in prison; it cuts to Spenser’s last day in Prison, when the other prisoners give him a goodbye present. By goodbye present I mean they jumped him, or tried to at least, as being a cop he got the jump on them and didn’t get badly hurt. Whalberg in this scene played himself, being cocky, funny, and the underdog all at once.

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Erased: A Town Without Me

By Joseph Gray IV

Staff Writer

Erased Is One of the BEST Live Action Manga Adaptations | CBR

Erased (Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi) is originally a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Kei Sonbe from 2012 to 2014. In 2016, Erased was given an anime adaption that only lasted 1 season that held 12 episodes, but was completely finished. Netflix released a live-action adaptation in 2017 that was screen written by Tonomi Okubo, but live-action adaptations have a horrible reputation for butchering the material. Erased is a mystery, Sci-Fi thriller that takes place in 2007 and 1988 in beautiful Industrial Hokkaido, Japan from the perspective of Satoru Fujinuma (Played by Yuki Furukawa).

Satoru Fujinuma is a 29-year-old failing manga artist who cannot seem to catch a break, his projects always being rejected all the while he works a dead-end job as a pizza delivery driver. Satoru is very reserved and almost complacent, having no real goals in life. An unwanted and uncontrollable ability suddenly comes into Satoru’s possession, time travel, or as it’s referred to as, “Revival.” Revival occurs whenever something bad happens around Satoru, sending him back randomly 1 to 5 minutes until he fixes it, usually with no benefit to him, and his possible injury. After an accident seen by his co-worker, Airi Katagiri (Played by Kasumi Arinuma), Satoru’s Mother visits Tokyo from Satoru’s home region of Hokkaido to take care of him.

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Movie Theater’s Reopening & Summer Movie Releases

By Bella Kaguyutan 

Staff Writer

Theaters and Covid-19: Safety tips and guidelines - CNN

Source: CNN

The past year has been a bit of a movie drought. There is typically nothing to watch with a few interesting releases here and there. But these releases are brought to us through a new method of initially releasing onto streaming services. Production companies have tested putting their movies out onto streaming services for their initial release. 

Movie theatres have begun to reopen as more and more of the population becomes vaccinated. With this is a program called Cinema Safe. This program promotes guidelines and precautions that are recommended to keep the movie theatre’s patrons and staff safe. These guidelines involve air filtration, reduced capacity, mobile ticketing, and the typical mask wearing and social distancing that we have come accustomed too. As restrictions have been lifted just in time for summer releases the following list contains movie releases spanning from June 15th to August 30th.

 Lakefront movie nights will begin at Lake Kittamaqundi June 21st. Visit the Columbia Association’s website for more information.

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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Movie Review

By Isabel Sinnott

A&E Editor

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a new TV series in the Marvel Universe, the second of a set of three TV shows to be released in 2021, with WandaVision premiering back in January and the Loki show coming on June 9. There will be mild spoilers for the beginning of the show present in this article.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier focuses on Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), the Falcon, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), the Winter Soldier, as they try to find their place as heroes in a post-Endgame world. With the death of Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, Sam was given the shield to become the new Captain America, but chose to give it back to the government. He didn’t feel like he should be the one to hold the shield and despite Steve’s belief in him, didn’t think that he could measure up to Steve’s legacy. However, even though the government seemed to respect Sam’s decision to leave the mantle of Captain America behind, they soon gave it to John Walker, a soldier who had fought in the army.

In the first episode, the situations of each of the main characters are introduced; Bucky is going to therapy to try to deal with his past as the Winter Soldier and make amends, while Sam is working missions and trying to help his sister with their family situation. The first episode sets up the foundation for the story and by the second episode, they reunite to work together when a violent organization called the Flag Smashers emerges.

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Zack Snyder’s Justice League: A Movie Review

By Halimah Kargbo

Features Editor

Zack Snyder's Justice League review: "A fascinating, flawed climax to  Snyder's grand DC experiment" | GamesRadar+

Image Source: gamesradar.com

Where to Watch: HBO Max

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a reimagining of the 2017 film Justice League. Back in 2017, Snyder had written the entire script and directed before stepping away due to personal reasons. Warner Bros. then hired a new director to take over, Joss Whedon, who ended up taking the film in a completely different direction and using little of Snyder’s original footage. The movie ended up being a major flop in the eyes of movie goers everywhere and earned around $657 million at the box office, which was pretty awful considering the fact that the movie cost more to produce. 

For years, the studio refused to admit that there even was a Snyder Cut while fans and cast members called for the version to be released. In March 2020, three years after the initial release of Justice League, Snyder was finally able to announce the release of his version of Justice League which would later arrive on HBO Max.

This movie is a follow- up to Snyder’s 2016 Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice film, which in short, includes Batman and Wonder Woman facing off with Superman. But in this sequel, Superman (Henry Cavill) is dead while Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) are looking for heroes to fight alongside them. Their team ends up including the Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher).

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Crumbling Corals

What is the state of our oceans’ coral reefs, and why are they dying out?

Why are coral reefs important?

Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. They are often called the “rainforests of the sea” because of the variety of species that use them as a habitat. They support more than 4,000 species of fish, 800 hard corals and so many other underwater plants and animals. About 25% of the ocean’s fish depend on coral reefs and use them as a place to find food, shelter, reproduce, and raise their young. They not only support the plants and animals that live there, but they also provide millions of jobs through fisheries, tourism, and recreation.

Economies receive billions of dollars each year from diving tours, businesses, hotels, and fishing trips near coral reefs. Tourism surrounding them can transform the region’s entire economy. Coral reef animals and plants are now being used in the development of new drugs and medications to treat arthritis, bacterial infections, viruses, and even cancer. They protect shorelines from waves, storms, and floods which help prevent erosion, property damages, and even loss of life.

Barriers reefs help stabilize mangroves which can easily be uprooted by large waves by absorbing the energy of the waves. About 1 billion people live within 100 kilometers of a reef and use its natural resources. Most of these people are from developing countries where reef animals such as fish, crustaceans, and muscles are an important source of protein. Coral reefs are some of the most valuable ecosystems in the world. Not only do they provide protection and habitat to thousands of underwater species, but they also support the coastal communities who live near them.

What happens if we lose coral reefs entirely?

The extinction of coral reefs on earth will cause a chain reaction of devastation for aquatic life and humans. Numerous aquatic animals will become extinct if their main primary supply of food is lost. Animals, such as pygmy seahorses, will be in danger from predators and there will be few places to hide from them. When the coral dies, the reefs die and erode, eliminating essential breeding and feeding grounds for aquatic life. Animals who depend on coral for safety and shelter, such as snapper, oyster, grouper, and clams, will suffer as well. And, since this aquatic life is an important part of many people’s diets, the loss of coral habitats will escalate the issue of feeding these populations.

Because coral is being utilized in many treatments, the wellness of people across the globe, not just those in coastal areas will suffer. The marine fishing sector, which recruits 38 million people globally, will be disrupted. Tourism revenues will be reduced for Caribbean islands that rely on them. Marine tourism will become unattractive or entirely absent as a result of the extinction of corals.

Coral reefs guard from floods and deterioration of coastlines. After they disappear, coastlines will rapidly erode, as well as certain small islands will also disappear. It’s about more than just coral reefs, it has the potential to cause major disruptions in the global food chain. We must take responsibility not only for having a sustainable world for humankind, but also for the aquatic life that lives in our home.

How can you help coral reefs?

Here are a few simple things you can do to help preserve our precious coral reefs:

  • Don’t dump household chemicals in storm drains
  • Eat sustainable seafood
  • Volunteer for beach and waterway cleanups
  • Reduce the use of lawn and garden chemicals
  • If you enjoy underwater activities like diving, refrain from touching the aquatic life you encounter, including corals

 

These 2 photos were taken on a dive trip to Aruba in which Mrs. Niland participated.  However, it was one of the divers from the dive company that took the photos.  She explained to us that divers learn to be very aware of their surroundings and swim carefully so that they preserve the reefs by not accidentally breaking anything off.  She took the following photos on a different trip to the Florida Keys. 


Barbie In The Twelve Dancing Princesses Movie Review

By Lydia Jensen

Co-Editorials Editor 

Image Source: Mattel & Mainframe Entertainment

Barbie in the Twelve Dancing Princesses, directed by Greg Richardson and with music performed by the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, is an animated movie that was released in 2006. Starring Barbie (voiced by Kelly Sheridan) as Genevieve, the story (based on “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” by The Brothers Grimm), follows the lives of twelve royal sisters, each of whom love to dance. Within the castle they live in, they are seen as very rambunctious, and as they get older, it begins to cause problems for their widowed father, King Randolph (voiced by Christopher Gaze). 

The princesses, keeping the memory of their mother, share a love of ballet shoes and music, while still retaining their individuality and unique senses of style. This begins to change, however, when they are met with their fathers cousin, Rowena (voiced by Catherine O’Hara), who seeks to destroy their individuality by turning them into what she believes are perfect princesses. 

Barbie movies are criminally underrated. The use of Barbie as a main character in each movie is certainly the main factor of this, but there’s also a general societal notion that shows and movies directed towards kids or with that demographic in mind are below criticism, or not to be taken seriously. But with the rise of Gen-Z nostalgia that can be seen on Tik-Tok, youtube, and in memes in general, people need to start realizing that even shows like The Backyardigans, (a toddler-children’s tv show that aired on Nickelodeon), can introduce kids to anything from different styles of music to interesting character archetypes each episode, and their exposure to meaningful plots and quality driven dialogue and music can impact the way those generations of kids approach not only culture and their own relationship to the world around them, but life in general. 

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