Category: Features

Out of School, But Not Forgotten

By: Chris Parris

Staff Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has been responsible for shutting down many locations within the past two months; malls, restaurants, businesses, and schools. For Hammond High School and other schools in Maryland, the last time we had regular classes was on March 13th. Everybody left school that day with the mindset that life was going to resume within a few weeks. But that wasn’t the case. School has been canceled for the rest of the academic year and all classes are now virtual.


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How Hammond High School Students Aren’t Going Crazy During Quarantine

By Emma Terry 

Co-Features Editor

Being stuck at home during the COVID-19 outbreak has brought a lot of stress upon our whole country for a various number of reasons. Although this is a hard time for everyone, it is important to stay productive and occupied. Many Hammond High School students have found different activities, other than watching Netflix or playing video games, that have made their quarantine more enjoyable. If fighting the urge to stay in bed and binge-watch a show has been hard, try a few of these fun activities to make quarantine less overwhelming and bothersome.

Other than making sure schoolwork is finished, staying active is a top priority. For example, taking a walk along local trails is an easy and fun way to stay in shape along with getting fresh air. Additionally, with sports programs being canceled, many travel and club teams have sent out at-home workouts. Even Hammond High School coaches have been ensuring that their teams are just as ready as they would be for their next season. Anne Corey, the Hammond High School varsity volleyball coach, has been emailing at-home conditioning routines weekly for all three of the volleyball teams to use to stay in shape. Brenna Reilly, who is a part of the Hammond volleyball team, has used the workouts to continue to be prepared for their fall season. Brenna states that “they are really helpful and some of them are things that we have done in practice.” Other than what coaches are sending out, YouTube has a wide variety of at-home workout videos ranging in skill level. It is highly encouraged to keep your body moving and healthy at this time, so find something active to keep yourself busy!

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From Class to Club: American Sign Language Taught by Students

By: Jenna Kreh and Emma Terry

Features Editors

This 2019-2020 school year, two Hammond students have taken the initiative to start a new club. The goal of this club is for students to learn American Sign Language, a program that had the potential to become a class, but failed to find a teacher and therefore is not offered here at Hammond. This group meets every Wednesday after school in room 517, currently Mrs. Jones’ room, to go over the basics of sign language. It is a great opportunity to meet people with similar interests and learn something new!

This club was created by Sarah England, who is not fluent in ASL, but expressed an interest in it and wanted to make it more accessible to others. “I learned over the summer that they weren’t offering an ASL class at the school- they couldn’t get a teacher- and I knew a lot of people were interested in it,” Sarah explained. “They had enough people to start a class, so I wanted to start a club.” Sarah’s interest in the subject stemmed from the large differences between ASL and other languages. “You don’t realize how different American Sign Language is- it’s completely different from English- and it interested me so much and I wanted to kind of share that.”

While Sarah took an interest in the subject without a specific connection to the language, another student, Ayo Aina, did have a connection. Ayo has deaf or hard of hearing parents, leading to him learning the language and becoming fluent. Because of this, Ayo teaches the club at Hammond, and he and Sarah work together to coordinate the class.

This club is open to all students at Hammond who are interested. One student, Joseph Lee, currently has a job as a cashier and realized that learning sign language would help to improve his work experience when communicating with those that cannot speak. For these reasons, Joseph thought he would give the ASL club a try. “I decided to join because I thought it would be cool to learn about what to do in a situation where deaf or hard of hearing people can’t speak and come into a place like Starbucks,” he said. “It makes their day if the cashier knows how to sign back to them.” He also added that the club is relaxed and fun, without the stress of the class. He encouraged others to join, saying, “It’s a cool way to meet new people, and to be able to learn together when it is something that you have an interest in rather than it being mandatory like how Spanish and French are in school.”

The club is fairly new to Hammond, so there have not been many meetings so far, but Joseph has already had a very positive experience. “The two meetings so far have been where we all come in and sit down while Sarah and Ayo lead the class and go over what we learned last class and then start teaching basic ASL words and terms.” It is very low-key and fun, and there is no pressure to learn at a certain pace, creating a welcoming working environment for all students.

Hammond loves to see students taking their own initiative to start something they are passionate about, and Sarah and Ayo have done just that. It is amazing to see such passion in our students, and Hammond encourages you to find your passion and pursue it. And who knows- maybe its sign language! So come check out the ASL club next Wednesday in room 517!

Food Fight! What’s Your Favorite?

By: Sydney Phillips

Staff Writer

The topic of food controversies has been a very present topic in our society today. With the rise of social media, these conversations about food have become headlines, and we are seeing more and more of them everyday. There are many people who form strong arguments about these food controversies, and it can cause a lot of turmoil on the Internet. 


One of the most popular food controversies, pineapple on pizza, has been addressed everywhere we go. When we asked whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza, 61% of those who voted on our Instagram page said that pineapple does not belong on pizza. When on the Internet, you can see all sorts of articles and heated debates about why pineapple belongs on pizza, or vice versa. I believe that pineapple does belong on pizza, because of the savory taste of the pizza alone, and the sweet taste of the pineapple on top. When you combine sweet and savory, you get an explosion of flavor in your mouth, therefore making pineapple on pizza a delicious concept. 

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Green Team Creates A More Eco-Friendly Hammond

By: Isabel Berry

Staff Writer

At Hammond, there are many students that work hard to clean up our school and our environment. Hammond’s Green Team is composed of students from all grades, and they strive to educate people in the community on how to be environmentally friendly. 

Green Team is led by Ms. Niland and Ms. Cotton, as well as senior Katie Marshall. Green Team is one of Hammond’s lesser known clubs, so when asked to describe it, senior Olivia Reed stated, “It’s a fun way to make friends and help the environment.” Green Team, like many Hammond clubs, seems like a great place to meet new people and do something productive in the process.

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Photo Credits: Ms. Du Puis

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“Where People are Important”: Bringing Our Motto to Life

By: Julia Moyer

Staff Writer

Living Our Motto (LOM)  is a new initiative at Hammond that started at the end of last school year by students and staff. Our school’s motto is “Where People are Important.” Recognizing that Hammond is a very diverse school in not only race and ethnicity but also belief systems, abilities, and more, LOM’s goal is, “ to move Hammond as close as we can to a place where that motto actually is a reality for every person who walks through our doors,” said Danielle Dunn, a staff advisor of LOM. 


Photo Credit Julia Moyer

LOM was created after student discussions occurred both within and outside of Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) about targeted bullying and judgement that has been going on within the school.  “I think overall Hammond is pretty good but there is still a little bit that is happening for certain groups. Recognizing that, we wanted to do something about it, we needed to make some changes,” Dunn said.

LOM had two work group sessions over the summer to conduct the starting steps. The first step was to create and mission statement and identify what the goals of the team were. Living Our Motto’s mission statement is 

To make everyone of how they identify themselves along with their abilities and disabilities, so that everyone feels equal and safe in order to create a diverse and welcoming community.  

Student member Sydney Finger, a current junior says,” we are still developing it so over the next couple of years it’s going to get better and better. This is the first year doing it so it’s about getting our ideas together.”

LOM has many ideas for activities to bring people together as a Hammond community and potentially reduce bullying. First are acceptance days, “a day one per month about embracing different cultures and groups,” Finger said. Some examples of acceptance days include pride day, religion day, autism awareness day, and language day. On these days, “we are going to work with teachers and just have different things going on that builds some awareness around [the focus]…so in class you might talk about different religions,” Dunn says. The ultimate goal “is to celebrate some of the richness and diversity that is here,” she adds.  

In addition to cultural awareness on acceptance days, LOM will host games at lunch. “We are all very excited about game day!,” Finger says, “different tables will have different games so people can come together and play together and that will help them bond and get to know each other.”

A student member, junior Rachel Osei says the goal of LOM is to “open more opportunities for students, grow stronger connections with teachers and students and increase the love and value for the school by students.” 

The Living Our Motto team hopes to make its goals a reality at Hammond in the coming years. More information about their initiatives will be forthcoming during Beartime on September 25th. If anyone is interested in joining, contact Ms. Dunn. LOM welcomes new members or anyone that would like to provide information and opinions to them. 

We Remember the Fallen

By: Ekene Ezeh

Staff Writer

On September 25th, students in Ms. DuPuis Video Production class, Ms. Lovaas’ AP US History class and Mr Livieratos’ AP Government class, are going to the Flight 93 memorial in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. On September 11th, 2001 the passengers on Flight 93 crashed the plane in a field in Pennsylvania. The terrorists hijacked the plane with the intention of crashing the flight into building. The target of the plane was unknown. To honor the bravery of the passengers, a memorial was built on the sight of crash. On September 24th, 2002, congress passed the Flight 93 National Memorial Act. To ensure that the Flight 93 memorial would be built Congress passed this act.


Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The memorial is very important for students to go see. Many students today grow up in a post 9/11 world and they don’t know what happened. Ms. Lovass agreed with this point saying, “At this point, my students were either newborns or not alive during September 11, 2001. When we discuss 9/11 in class, to many, it is a historical event.”

Many students today don’t have a personal connection to 9/11. Most students were not born when the attacks took place. So when 9/11 comes up in class many people just look at it like date on a timeline. But 9/11 is bigger than just a date. But what is even bigger are the passengers on Flight 93. It is a story of heroism that many people don’t get to hear. “Many students have had the ability to visit the New York memorials,” Ms. Lovaas said, “but not this memorial, even though it’s closer.” Students don’t truly hear the story of Flight 93 the way they hear the other stories about 9/11. Because of this students tend to not understand courage that these passengers had during the attacks. They don’t seem to have a full understanding of the bravery and the impact Flight 93 has on them today. But this field trip can give students a greater appreciation for the passengers and how they have affected their lives today.

9/11 may have happened eighteen years ago, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t remember those who have fallen in during 9/11. There are many ways that we as community can honor those who died during 9/11. The Flight 93 memorial field trip is one way that the men and women who died in the terrorist attacks can be honored. When asked how the victims can be honored Ms. Lovaas suggested,  “I think all people can look at what happened on Flight 93 and be inspired to make small changes in their everyday life:” She said, “small acts of kindness can go a long way to honor those who gave their lives to ensure other people were saved.” Treating others with kindness will go a long way to making our world better. If we treat people around us with respect and dignity we can not only honor the people who died in 9/11 but, prevent another attack of that magnitude from happening again.