Yoga club is back

Students clear their minds and prepare for a half hour of yoga on the front lawn. OmZone meets every Thursday at 3:00.

Students clear their minds and prepare for a half hour of yoga on the front lawn. OmZone meets every Thursday at 3:00.

   After a couple months of hiatus, Heritage’s yoga club, named “OmZone” is meeting once again every Thursday in the wrestling room.

   Sponsored by Ms. Melissa Hall, who has been practicing yoga for thirteen years, OmZone gives students a chance to unwind every week through the ancient practice of yoga.

   “Students can expect to find a supportive environment, an opportunity to learn about their bodies, sense of peace and quiet,” says Hall.

   Students and teachers come to OmZone to find just these things. Jack Strauss ‘16 practices yoga every day and describes it as therapeutic.

   “It’s relaxing, fun, and it releases a lot of my stress,” says Strauss.

   OmZone is welcoming to all students and teachers, even if they can’t touch their toes. Despite the spiritual connotations with yoga, students of all religious backgrounds are welcome to participate.

   “Yoga can be spiritual if that’s what a student’s looking for, but it doesn’t have to be,” says Hall. “Yoga is equally important to a spiritual or a non-spiritual person because it’s about the relationship with oneself.”

  Ms. Kelli Glorso also attends the club not as a sponsor, but simply for the benefits yoga brings to her.

  “Yoga can be an amazing practice for human health and mind-body connection,” says Glorso. “It’s also really great to be able to practice with others.”

  Yoga club is non-commitment and there is no need to change clothing before the club, although some say it’s helpful to bring a mat. OmZone is open to all students and teachers.

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Bubba takes the win

Last years winner, Adam Scott, congratulates Bubba Watson on his victory after putting the jacket on Watson. He finished eight under par beating Jonas Blixt and Jason Spieth by 3 strokes.

Last year’s winner, Adam Scott, congratulates Bubba Watson on his victory after putting the jacket on Watson. He finished eight under par beating Jonas Blixt and Jason Spieth by three strokes. Photo courtesy of  The Masters tournament.

 

Another Masters golf tournament has come to a close, marking the 78th year of the famous tournament at Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia. Gerry Lestor Watson Jr., also known as Bubba Watson, was the one putting on the green jacket on Sunday afternoon.

This is Watson’s second time winning the Masters, including another win only two years ago. Watson started the week strong with a 69 and a 68, where it looked like he could take the weekend. After a tough third round where he shot a 74 he left 20-year old Jordan Spieth only one stroke behind him on the leader board. The pairing of Jordan Spieth and Watson led to a highly anticipated Sunday, where any win would be historic from the two leaders.

Spieth, only twenty years old, would be the youngest player to ever win the Masters, beating Tiger Woods who was 21 when he won. Spieth finished with a score of 283 leaving him five under par and tied for second place with Jonas Blixt of Sweden.

“I thought Watson played really well, but I wish Speith could have held on to be the youngest player to ever win. It’s always cool for there to be historic wins like it could have been with Speith,” says Heritage golfer Riggs Winz ’14.

Watson has now won two green jackets in only three years, making only 9 men to win 2 Masters out of 3 years, and being only the seventh golfer to have his first two major wins at the Masters and the first since 1999, according to ESPN.

“Bubba Watson is such an inspirational golfer. He always has a great attitude, and he always puts his family first. Many young golfers look up to him, and I can see why. He deserves the victory and hopefully he will be one of the best golfers of all time,” says Heritage golfer Peter Sullivan ’14.

The Masters is the first of the four major tournaments, preceding The Open championship, The US Open and then the PGA championship.

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‘Upbeats’ celebrates National Poetry Month

The halls of Heritage High School have gotten a little artsier this April, as the Upbeats Poetry Club works to help students celebrate National Poetry Month.

The club has selected a new poet each day to be featured on the Poetry Wall outside of the Second Floor Lecture Hall. On Monday, April 14, the club chose to feature member and poet Shannon Pansini ’15. She is passionate about the importance of poetry to society, and has been writing since her freshman year.

“Much like art, poetry expresses our emotions in a profound and meaningful way. It composes our words into a kaleidoscope of new and beautiful ideas that allow our voice to be heard and our imagination to be, well, put simply, imagined,” says Pansini.

Club co-sponsor Ms. Meagan Wilson has a love for poetry and looks at National Poetry Month as a way to expose the building to a unique art form.

“People are still writing poetry, and we want to make people aware of that. It isn’t just about reading the words of a bunch of dead Victorian men. It’s a living art,” says Wilson.

Upbeats set up this poetry wall outside of the Second Floor Lecture Hall. A new poet is featured each day.

Upbeats set up this poetry wall outside of the Second Floor Lecture Hall. A new poet is featured each day.

Pansini has written many poems since her freshman year, including “This is not what love is, this is why it exists,” which can be found below. She keeps a few goals in mind when creating a new piece.

“I’d like my poems to not only mean something to me but also to the people who read them. If I can get someone to really tap into their inner self just by reading my poems, I have done my job,” says Pansini.

Pansini has found fans of her writing in both the other members of Upbeats, as well as the sponsors.

“Shannon’s poetry is very emotional and personal. It’s important for people to be willing to be vulnerable. She’s really willing to put herself out there,” says Wilson.

Students interested in writing poetry are welcome to join Upbeats, which meets every Monday after school in room 206.

 

“This is not what love is, this is why it exists.”

By Shannon Pansini

Brothers, sisters…
The love we have for you is so strong,
The love we have is unstoppable it comes
From the heart.
Every pump of blood rushes through our
Body because our heart isn’t as strong
As people think, just know we are
Thinking of you.

I try to fake a smile, some days just
To make the world smile around me,
But what I now realize,
It’s ok to cry sometimes.

Pain gives us chills,
Our body wants to faint,
Our veins given way,
Our knees collapse to pay
A debt that we feel, we did something
Wrong today.

Tears held in children, their mom and dad gone,
An old man sits by his wife’s
Grave remembering her hugs, YES, even animals too
Have loss in their life, like the elephant and dog, like a horse
And its cat, there is something in their hearts that creates a bonding friendship
Like that.

LOVE. The moments together, the faces we see, the emotions handled like people,
Because WE are humanity.
Though days may seem hard and
Rough from the start, there isn’t a person out there that doesn’t feel your
Hurt.
People don’t like to be lonely, they
Feel sad and confused, when no one is
There for them, no one to amuse.
No one to love, share a warm embrace,
This is the face of loneliness and it
Happens every day.
I would cry a tear, day and night
For every single living thing who has dealt, is dealing and will deal with strife.
I would take a fall before I fell,
Give kindness when I could, help out all the people and
Animals just as well.

The world, there is pain, hate, misery, destruction,
We don’t even have good communication.
Tears fall from the eyes of children in fear,
A homeless man reaches his frozen hand out, but no one comes near.
An animal on the streets of hunger and thirst, it hasn’t any home because
No one will give it warmth.

I could speak all day of the bad in the world, like cows sent to the slaughter,
And poverty on earth…
But what about the good that we tend to ignore
Because we give life a price tag and make it a store.

We forget about the simple things like
Love and compassion
We are more engaged with the thoughts of
War and competition. Let’s all take a stand (literally if you will)
To be connected as one, become people with LOVE and FREEWILL.

 

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‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ a ‘Marvel’-ous hit

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The vintage-style movie poster for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is featured during mid-April at AMC Highlands Ranch 24. The latest Marvel flick opened on April 4.

You might want to bring a blanket with you to the theater because Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” will give you chills.

This latest installment from the Marvel Universe is yet another epic building block within the franchise ultimately setting the stage for “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which is set to be released in May 2015.

The action in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” follows the events depicted in “The Avengers.” It only seems fitting that Captain Steve Rogers has been residing in the nation’s capital ever since we last saw him. The movie picks up with Rogers, who is still attempting to adjust to life in the 21st Century, working as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (also known as the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division). When a new threat known as the Winter Soldier arises and one of Roger’s associates is placed in grave danger, he must dig deep, along with Black Widow (a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff), to discover where the source of the danger lies, which turns out to run deeper than ever imagined. Rogers’ and Romanoff’s quest for answers quickly turns into a manhunt in which no one can be trusted. No one.

Quite literally, there was action and suspense around every corner and never was there a dull moment. Poor Cap’ never caught a break and that Vibranium shield was put to the test in which it proved faithful time and time again. The special effects were superb to say the least and they certainly raised the bar for the next Marvel flick. This was one of the best scripted films I’d ever seen, as the events depicted were explained clearly and with much thought and consideration. Having seen it three times already, I can say that as a viewer, you grow to appreciate the film as a whole more and more with each viewing. Not only that, but it’s also easier to understand exactly what’s happening the third time around.

This movie is also more connected to the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization and its operations than any other Marvel movie, and it has been tied in greatly with the latest happenings on ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” so I highly recommend a weekly viewing of this show to help explain the often strange occurrences within the Marvel Universe.

In an ever-darkening world faced with new threats, Captain America has continued to serve as a testament to patriotism and has been a shining beacon of hope to the world. And his shield, though it has taken quite a beating, has proudly borne its glory until the bitter end, which, trust me, you won’t want to miss.

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Heritage places at the FCCLA State Leadership Conference

 Each spring, students in Colorado compete at the FCCLA State Leadership Conference. FCCLA stands for “Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America.” Members compete in various events including culinary skills, child development knowledge, fashion design, cake decorating, sports medicine and interior design projects.

 Two students from Heritage, Paulina Pollas and Paige Wall, competed in an event called “Chapter in Review.” Both girls teamed up and created an electronic presentation describing what Heritage FCCLA did this past year.

“As we left the conference we definitely left with closer friendships and got to learn more about each other” says Pollas.

Their sponsor guided them through the process.

“The presentation included information about events for which we prepared food, fundraising activities, and general membership functions,” says Dr. Mark McKenna, the Family and Consumer Science teacher at Heritage.

Other competitors included Hannah Deatherage (Secretary), Samantha Martinez, Ellisa Owens, Kiya Erickson, and Vlanca Jeannoutot. All were awarded bronze medals, making this the first time in over ten years that Heritage has placed at a FCCLA state conference.

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Horseflies spark evolutionary chain reaction

Why do zebras have stripes?

A University of California, Davis research team has solved the enigma that is the origins of a zebra’s stripes. This evolutionary problem has been debated for 120 years and some hypotheses include the stripes being a form of camouflage, a heat management system or a countermeasure to attack from biting flies. According to the University of California, Davis website, a zebra’s stripes are there to ward off biting flies.

zebras

Until recently, the origins of the iconic black and white stripes of zebras have mystified scientists and has been a subject of continuous debate. (photo by Emilee Hafler)

“I was amazed by our results,” says lead author Tim Caro, a University of California, Davis professor of wildlife biology on the website. “Again and again, there was greater striping on areas of the body in those parts of the world where there was more annoyance from biting flies.”

Yes, it seems as though the constant pestering of horseflies and tsetse flies is enough to start an evolutionary chain reaction and foster a wholly unique species. Prior to this finding, research has shown that such biting flies avoid surfaces that are striped black-and-white. As opposed to other hoofed mammals living alongside zebras, the latter has shorter hair than the mouthpart of biting flies, thus increasing their vulnerability to the flies’ annoyances.

“It’s fascinating how one gene could flip and create a whole new species just because of something as small as a fly,” says Erica Brooks ‘16.

According to the site, the research team mapped the geographic distributions of the different species of zebra and noted the thickness, intensity and locations of the zebras’ stripes on their bodies. They then compared this data with variables, like the ranges of large predators, the geographic distribution of the biting flies and temperature, and analyzed where the zebras and the variables overlapped. Their analysis revealed that striping in zebras is highly correspondent with several consecutive months of ideal biting fly reproductive conditions. The more the flies reproduce, the more stripes there are on a zebra.

As this century-old question is laid to rest, more questions are raised and the debate continues, only this time over the biting flies and not their victims.

“It’s like a new outlook on the world. Now that we have this answer, where do we go from there,” says Parker Malkoc ‘16.

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More lunch options needed

Heritage students peruse the lunch options. It is clear that Heritage needs more meal choices.

Heritage students peruse the lunch options. It is clear that Heritage needs more meal choices.

It is a well-known stereotype that many students think school lunches are gross and unhealthy. I completely disagree. The quality of the school lunches is not the problem; the problem is the variety of choices the lunch menu provides.

The school lunch menu provides burgers, fries, chicken, chips, pizza, salads and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which on the outside sounds great. However, it seems like the school lunch service is forgetting about all of the students and staff who are vegetarians, vegans, diabetic or students who have to eat gluten-free products. All of the above meal choices miss the mark for at least one of the listed conditions and/or lifestyle choices.

Take a student who is vegan by choice and can’t have gluten products, then it knocks off almost every meal unless the student wants fruit and a salad, but eating the same meal five days a week seems a little unsatisfying.

The common response would be “Why not just bring a lunch from home?” That is a valid response. But it could be possible that the student is on the free or reduced lunch program, which wipes the option of bringing a lunch off the table.

The cafeteria staff is comprised of fantastic workers who always treat students with respect and kindness, and I am in no way bashing them. With that being said, I would like to see someone with more power step up and do something about the fact that there is a limited amount of food choices for a wide variety of students.

If there is a way to rearrange the school lunch budget in order to provide funding for all students’ various diet restrictions, then this would put Heritage on the track to meeting every student’s individual needs.

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Learning to listen

   These days people are busy with their own lives and problems so it makes it hard for an individual person to stop, listen, and help another person with her problems.

   So what happens when you lose the ability to talk over others and are forced to focus on listening rather than talking? You learn the real value of being able to help others and put them before yourself.

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   Learning to listen was a lesson I never expected to learn, especially because I love to talk. Before I lost my ability to talk I thought that I was listening to others but when you can’t talk, all you can do is listen. It made me realize that I wasn’t really listening; I was just skimming over what everyone else had to say while my own thoughts on how to respond were dominating inside my head.

   My version of listening wasn’t listening at all, it was all thinking around myself. There’s no value in the conversation and there’s no helping the other person if you aren’t hearing what the other person has to say.

  In my own life, when friends approached me before I lost my voice I thought that I was helping them to my best ability, but after learning that I haven’t been listening I know now that I can help them to my true ability. When a friend approached me about one of her major problems I figured out the key to really listening.

 In order to really listen to the other person, the thoughts in your own head need to shut off. Once your own thoughts stop, you can focus outside yourself and on the other person and absorb what she is trying to communicate to you. If a friend is coming to me for help, she has respect for me and I owe her the same respect to really hear what she is saying.

  When you can go outside your own head to help others, that’s when you’re really listening.

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Hold On

Members of hardcore band, "Hold On" pose in the choir room. The band is looking forward to performing and writing music together.

Members of hardcore band, “Hold On” pose in the choir room. The band is looking forward to performing and writing music together.

   Starting a band takes a lot of initiative and cooperation, and it’s finally coming together for Parker Tinsley ’15, Owen Pishna ’17 and Sam Roll ’15 who just formed a new band named Hold On. Members of Hold On identify the genre as hardcore, which is similar to punk rock.

   “We’ve had the idea for like a year, but we never did anything until now,” says Roll.

   Hardcore has played a pivotal role in Roll’s childhood. He has always been a showgoer and has a developed appreciation for live performances.

   “Every time I see a band perform, it makes me want to be up on stage with them. Live music is one of my favorite things to watch,” he says.

   Tinsley, guitarist and backup singer in Hold On, has played guitar for ten years and has been into hardcore ever since he heard “We Came as Romans” at Warped Tour. His most notable influences include Of Mice and Men and Senses Fail.

   “I honestly just want to play music,” says Tinsley. “If we get enough notability to play Warped Tour then that would be my dream, but I mostly just want a chance to create something new.”

   Drawing from musical influences as diverse as Ghost Inside, Defector, Senses Fail, and even Lana Del Rey, Roll hopes to start performing within a month. The plans were put on hold for a while because of the musical, but the members hope to get to work shortly.

   Of course, there are some challenges involved with starting a band in any obscure genre such as hardcore.

   “There aren’t many people who like this type of music, so it’s hard to find people who are interested,” says Roll. “It’s been [especially] hard to find a drummer.”

   Among other things, members are looking forward to the group dynamics and spending time together through songwriting and performing.

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Gustafson gets a MAD idea

Ms. Gustafson stands with the donation bucket after a successful picnic. The group raised over $200.

Ms. Gustafson stands with the donation bucket after a successful picnic. The group raised over $200.

“Whoo-whoo,” Ms. Gustafson cheered while counting the money.

MAD week is in full swing, and teachers are doing their part. Gustafson decided to host a little “Brown Bag” picnic outside in the back of the school with students in order to raise more money for Heritage’s sister school in Kabala.

“I think we spend a lot of money on going out to eat, and yet they don’t even have enough money to buy food for their homes,” she says.

The group sat on blankets and brought their lunch from home, donating money into the bucket that was originally intended to purchase fast food. They were shooting to raise $100 from the picnic, and instead they doubled their goal with more than $200 and over 35 people in attendance.

Students and teachers met during fourth hour on Thursday in order to continue to raise money fro MAD Week.

Students and teachers met during fourth hour on Thursday in order to continue to raise money for MAD Week.

“We would meet our MAD Week goal if half the student body gave the amount that they spend on lunch, which is around $7,” Gustafson explains.

Board games broke out as students and teachers enjoyed the beautiful weather. Ms. De Vries sang segments from Pharrell’s song “Happy,” while eating with her colleagues as Mr. Ubowski jokingly assisted in the espionage of an intense game of Battleship.

The collection jar was filling up as students circulated back into the school from the scene. The hour ended and was quite a success, further helping Heritage meet their goal to build more classrooms for the sister school.

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