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Decades Day Winner

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Hammond Renovations Get Pushed Back

By: Anna Afoakwa

Staff Writer

It has come to our attention that Hammond High School is the only school in Howard County, Maryland that has not been updated constructively since 1977, with our modern-day society and technology.     

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Photo Credit: The Baltimore Sun

There were set plans for us to finally get what our community was waiting for and deserved, but like past events, we are pushed to the side and overlooked. The school’s construction was pushed back and revised on September 5, 2019, because of the county’s funding level. There was a meeting held with the Board of Education of Howard County. High school 13 will have an additional 1,650 seats. The project is set to have a $130.7 million budget, that will be spent to build a 287,005-square-foot high school with 579 parking spaces and 34 school bus parking spaces. According to a report previously presented to the school board, It was announced that because of all their other projects, which include Talbott Springs Elementary School, Hammond High, and Middle School. Manor Woods Elementary School, Elkridge Landing Middle School, including High School #13. Hammond High School would have to wait for our renovation for an additional 3 years because the board is prioritizing the new High School that will be located in Jessup, MD and Hammond Middle School’s boiler construction it is not in the Board’s budget. 

The community is very upset about this announcement. “I feel frustrated because every other school has greater access to good quality air, to a cleaner facility, more resources, and an additional gym. I feel like we are gipping our students of doing that and by pushing it back yet again, devalues our students and their educational environment.” A teacher from Hammond High School expressed. “Students will rise to the occasion if the learning environment looks professional, clean, and demands a certain standard of work ethic. I believe students will perform, but if you work in an environment that is old and crumbling, and the carpets have Silverfish everywhere, does not promote a level of professionalism that is required for students and staff…it makes us feel like we do not matter.” With that being said, it is clear that a lot of people are not happy about this. 

Although, without renovations, Hammond is still an exceptional school, very diverse with lots of love to give. The teachers are also great. Despite the lack of resources, the students are still able to learn proficiently. As a school that encourages the saying “Where People Matter” It is expressed that in this situation they do not necessarily feel “mattered”. Hopefully, the outcome of things will turn around because this project is long overdue. It would mean the world to Hammond High School’s students, staff and community.

2019 Brings Positive Change and Student Collaboration to Hammond High School

By: Isabel Berry and Sarah Meklir

Staff Writers

The Student Government Association (SGA) and Student Leadership Cadre (SLC) will be collaborating this school year to improve student life at Hammond. The first joint Student Government Association and Student Leadership Cadre meeting took place during Beartime in the second week of school. At this meeting the two groups discussed their plans for the year. 

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Photo Credit: Avery Moe

When asked about the meeting, assistant principal, Mr. DiFato expressed his hopes for the two organizations. “I feel like it went well; we asked Dr. DiPaula to come in and speak to our student leaders about the importance of student voice. And he really reiterated that it’s their school, and we are here to help them do whatever they want to accomplish.” At the meeting, students shared their ideas for the upcoming school year with the intention of boosting spirit and encouraging communication between the students and staff.

Out of many proposed ideas, one involved implementing a new year-long extension of spirit week called “King of the Den.” Similar to the “House Cup” from the Harry Potter universe, each month there will be dress-up days and events to boost morale. Participating in these events will give each class the opportunity to earn points, which will be counted up at the end of the year. The winning class will receive a prize. 

One of the most important and well-known aspects of student life at Hammond is our Spirit Week. The President of Student Government, Malik Shuiab, expanded on a few ideas they had discussed, focusing on introducing the freshmen to Hammond’s famous Spirit Week and emphasizing its importance. “For spirit week this year, as I’m sure some of you guys have heard already, it’s going to be a bit different… SGA members are going to walk around to all of the 9th grade english classes and tell them what it means to be at Hammond, what it means to be in Hammond’s Spirit Week.” This approach would grant the underclassmen a smoother transition into all of Hammond’s traditions.

In addition to indoctrinating them into our culture, some feel Student Government and the Student Leadership Cadre should work towards improving programs that support both students’ voices and their mental health. Shuiab, a senior, supports this goal. “SGA means a lot to me because I care a lot about the school, and … I can [state] my opinion and have my voice be heard in decision making, in things that I wasn’t necessarily involved in freshman or sophomore year, and it’s really important to me. SLC is also really important as they give students a reason to believe their voice actually matters.” 

This new approach is also supported by junior Camryn Johnson. Johnson, who is both varsity soccer captain and 2021 Class President, is also involved with SGA and Tri-M Music Honor Society. Johnson spoke about the challenges that students face at the start of a new school year, “I think there’s a little bit of a mental health issue across the juniors and seniors. As it gets to be a little bit more difficult [workload-wise], as well as for the underclassmen because starting a new school is difficult.” She suggested involving students, administration, and student services in open meetings where students could share, “…the best ways that we can manage stress and how they could help us.” This could greatly assist students and could help take Hammond to the next level when it comes to mental health care for the student body. 

As classes ramp up and students adjust to new responsibilities, it is good to see groups like Student Government Association and the Student Leadership Cadre working together to provide a safe, supportive environment where students can learn to work positively and effectively with staff members. Dr. DiPaula, who presented at the first meeting, described his aspirations for the alliance between the two groups. “The premise behind this is for students to take the lead, and for the staff, adults, and principal to get them to do what it is that they want to do… The first meeting was good, but it was a lot of me talking, and I think in the future, it’s going to be more of the students talking.” They will be working together to create positive change. This year, their collaboration will benefit not only the student body, but the Hammond community as a whole.

“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. 

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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. 

Is Disney Making Too Many Remakes?

By: Chris Parris

Staff Writer

The year 2019 has been a major year for the Walt Disney Company. Among their releases are Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Frozen 2, Toy Story 4, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Also among Disney’s releases for this year are four remakes of their classic animated movies: Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Lady and the Tramp. Aladdin and The Lion King, in particular, have grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. As of July 2019, Disney has released ten live-action remakes of their classic animated movies, with twelve more slated to be released in the 2020’s. Disney has been making billions of dollars. However, is Disney making too many remakes?

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Image Source: E! News

In March of 2010, Disney released a live-action remake of Alice in Wonderland. Made on a budget of $200 million, the movie grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. Nine years later, we find ourselves surrounded by remakes that Disney has made and released, with many more to come in the next decade. Remaking their classic animated movies is a financial move due to the fact that it is less risky since audiences are familiar with the storylines and characters. Disney knows which movies were successful in the past and that they would be successful again as a remake. They also have a loyal, sentimental fan base of adults, parents, and teenagers who remember the classics fondly. There are also children who are ready to experience these stories for the first time in their lives.

The individual who has been leading the crusade to remake Disney’s classic animated movies is Sean Bailey, the president of the company’s motion picture productions. Bailey was appointed to the position in 2010 by Disney CEO Bob Iger. Also leading the crusade is Alan Horn, Disney’s chief creative officer and co-chairman. Bailey and Horn dig through Diseny’s animated archives for stories that are nostalgic and can resonate with modern-day audiences. In 2017, Bailey mentioned in an interview with Deadline that Disney is trying to mimic the success of Marvel. “Marvel has Iron Man, Captain America and Thor; we have Cinderella, Snow White and Belle. Pairing those characters with great live-action talent and technology, something that Walt [Disney] always aspired to do, just seemed a smart way to go.”  

Something else that is worth a mention is how Sean and Disney’s creative team look at the concept art and deleted scenes from the classic animated movies. They look for anything that could be added to the original story; in order to get new ideas. Another thing that Sean mentioned in his interview was asking questions about the original stories. For example: “What was Maleficent evil?”. Disney used that question alone to make a movie where Maleficent is the protagonist. 

One of the things that Disney takes advantage of with their remakes is nostalgia. They are very well aware that the children who grew up with these classics are adults now; adults with money.  Now that is not to say that Disney is not trying to aim for families. Families are their main demographic as a matter of fact. But if Disney could make and release remakes that appeal to the nostalgia of these now grown-up children, they could make some serious money.          

Now, is it a good thing or a bad thing that Disney is releasing so many remakes? From a financial standpoint, it is a good thing. Making live-action remakes is less of a risk even though they typically have a lower critical rating than the classics. But in regards to lacking original ideas, it is a bad thing. However, statistically, Disney films that are based on original ideas tend to bomb at the box office. Mars Needs Moms, Tomorrowland, A Wrinkle in Time, The Lone Ranger, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and John Carter either underperformed or made losses at the box office.  

In the next decade, several of Disney’s classic animated movies will get the live-action remake treatment. Remakes of Mulan, The Little Mermaid, The Sword in the Stone, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Lilo & Stitch, Pinnochio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Robin Hood, and Peter Pan are either in post-production, pre-production, or in development. Disney will continue to be the king at the box office as long as they release live-action remakes.

 

                                                                                                                                                    

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.

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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.  

 

Swinging into Tragedy? Reports and Reaction to Spider-Man’s Sticky Departure from the MCU

By: Sydney Phillips and Marissa Yelenik

Staff Writers

This year, there have been many surprises involving Marvel. With the announcement of Phase 4, many questions regarding Spider-Man and his future involvement in Marvel movies have surfaced. On August 20th, 2019, Sony announced that the character Spider-Man would be leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), causing an Internet uproar. 

In 1999, Marvel licensed the rights of Spider-Man to Sony Pictures Entertainment. Under Sony, three Spider-Man movies were made with actor Tobey McGuire, and two were made with actor Andrew Garfield. On May 6th, 2016, the Marvel movie Civil War was released, introducing Tom Holland to the world, playing the role of Spider-Man. This was Holland’s introduction to the MCU and its storyline. 

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Photo Credit Courtesy of The Wrap

The MCU is a deeply intertwined narrative. Its storylines all fit together in such a way that fans are able to watch and speculate for years, well into adulthood. People become extremely attached to each character, and become intensely argumentative when anything is said against their favorites. Ever since the news of Spider-Man leaving the MCU was released, this became especially apparent. Tons of people were shocked to find out that their favorite character would be leaving the MCU storyline, especially junior Kendal George who shared “I’m very sad. When I first figured out about it I was like, really shocked, because I just started following the MCU, and he started becoming my favorite character.” 

There have been many rumors regarding the deal between Marvel and Sony. In the beginning, it was reported that Disney asked for a 50/50 split in profits from Spider-Man. There were different responses to this news; some people believed that Disney was being unfair and that this new development was unnecessary, especially with all of the different networks that they own, and the fact that they receive the merchandise profits from the character. Others felt like Sony was not being fair with the negotiations, and thought that it was ridiculous for them to pull Spider-Man out of the MCU, like junior Katie Mason who said that “no matter what, Sony is going to keep making the same amount of money, and they would make more money together if Spider-Man is still in the MCU.”

Recently, however, it was announced that Disney did not ask for 50/50 in the negotiations, they had asked for 25/75, which is what freshman Ethan Feldsher suggested. “I think it would be worth it for Marvel to negotiate a 25/75 split, or something like that.” There is supposedly a new deal that is being discussed where Marvel will get 30 percent from movies, and Venom will also be introduced into the MCU, but as of right now, it is only a rumor.  

Many people are upset with the news of Spider-Man’s departure from the MCU mainly because of how it might affect his story. Before the announcement of Spider-Man’s departure, it was rumored that Marvel had plans to make him the face of the MCU, after the introduction of the Multiverse, and what its role would be playing in the upcoming movies. Fans feel that Sony will not do Spider-Man justice, especially since The Amazing Spider-Man movies with Andrew Garfield did not do too well in the box office, the first one earning $757 million, compared to Spider-Man: Homecoming’s $880.2 million. With the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home this summer, many things have been revealed for Holland’s character that may be difficult for Sony to reciprocate and continue the story. Junior Kendal George agreed that “it kind of messes up the timeline, especially with the last movie.” 

In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker struggles with how his life changed after the ‘blip’. From dealing with the loss of his father figure Tony Stark, to navigating his high school and superhero life, everyone was wondering who the next Iron Man would be. Conflict arises when Mysterio, who was someone Peter thought he could trust, is actually against him, and at the end, Peter’s identity is revealed as Spider-Man. This was a big revelation that shocked many fans, and now they are wondering if that story will continue with Sony’s Spider-Man movies. 

As of September 18th, 2019, the Spider-Man deal is reportedly on hold after a lot of back and forth, due to the rumor that the companies Apple and Amazon are interested in buying out Sony. The reason why the companies are interested in purchasing Sony is because of the streaming sites that they have been/are working on, and they do not have their own distribution model or theatrical production. It has been mentioned that if a company buys out Sony, then the rights to Spider-Man will go back to Marvel. For now, fans are awaiting an update on the deal, but all they are doing now is hoping that he will be placed back in the MCU.