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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Website Poll

     Every quarter, the B-UHS Journalism class publishes a newsletter that they pass out to students around the school. These newsletters consist of articles written by the student journalists, compiled to showcase the students’ work and provide information to the student body. However, since these only come out once every quarter, many might wonder where they can find the most recent and developing stories. This is where our website, Destination Information, comes in.

     The journalism website updates frequently, adding new pieces as they’re submitted, with the goal of satisfying the search for school and local news while waiting for the quarterly development. To keep things interesting, the website also features an information panel of upcoming events throughout the school year, links to school-related websites, and a poll, which is updated weekly.   

     This week, to get the ball rolling, a simple question was asked. “What is your favorite color?” It wasn’t a particularly interesting question, but was meant to serve as a base for the polls. This poll is important to the site and the school because it allows students to respond to various prompts throughout the year and see how they compare to other students. The responses were few, because not many know about the site yet, as it is in its infancy and was only recently put online. They were: 1 blue, 2 pinks, and 1 red. Other colors, which were not voted on, were yellow, purple, orange and green.

     Among some people asked their familiarity with the website were Lindsay Cutlip, Brittany Bonner, and Shayla Mackey. Lindsay replied, saying she’d heard of it before, and the other two didn’t know it existed. Because the site isn’t yet well-known, the same question was asked to students in person. These results: 7 blues, 3 greens, 1 pink, 3 purples, 2 reds, and 1 yellow. The only one not chosen in person was orange, which makes it the only unanimously least favorite color.

     Tallying the votes, there were 8 blues, 3 greens, 3 pinks, 3 purples, 3 reds, and 1 yellow. Other than the outliers, yellow and blue, the population seemed to be split of which color was the favorite. However, this is a small sample of the student population, and does not necessarily reflect the overall school’s opinion.

     Shayla wanted to share what she thought could make this new site and the poll feature better. She thought things that would help to provide for the school would be effective in gathering support, and as for questions to ask, “How do you learn best?”

     Especially in this early stage, it’s important everyone knows how to get to this website, because not many are informed on how to access it. Mrs. Miller, when asked, said she didn’t know how to find it or even what the name was. As part of the effort to reduce this lack of knowledge, student journalists are being asked to tell the students they interview about this site and its poll, and teachers are also being asked to have classroom-wide discussions about it. Hopefully, through this promotion, the poll will be littered with input and the students’ opinions heard.

Do teachers take part in bad study habits?

     What things do you think affect your study habits? Could it be your teachers? What about your parents? Is it everyday distractions? Studying is a very important part of school, used to further knowledge and prepare for tests. It is an invaluable resource in the education system, deepening the understanding of class content while away. However vital it is, most students don’t make it a priority, putting it aside for things they’d rather be doing. It seems like a student problem, but what if teachers have a part to play as well?

     School requires a lot of work; students must complete class assignments, finish projects, do homework, sports, and study. This last item can be hard with the sometimes-insane workload being carried around, and finding time to do it is increasingly rare when class difficulties increase. How is someone to study for their test in Math when they have a four-page essay to write, other homework, and softball practice lasting from after school until late evening? Staying up late and cramming seems to be the only viable option for most students. They must either do that or not get their work done, which could be detrimental to their grades.

     But aren’t the teachers the ones assigning all this? They’re the ones stacking work upon the student. Do teachers give time to study in their classes? If they do, are they letting their pupils get by with abusing that privilege? When packed with homework and sports/work, which forces someone to stay up late and cram, it’s impossible to succeed at studying. Even though teachers are doing their jobs by assigning this work, aimed to educate and refine cognition, could they be supporting bad habits without knowing? Could they be giving too much work for the students to handle and breaching their life outside of school?

     When asked if she thought too much work leads to bad study habits and what effect it might have, Mrs. Camenga replied, “Hopefully we foster good study habits by teaching them good study habits. I feel we have very little effect on students’ study habits until they are a junior or senior, when they realize I’m actually telling them the truth.”  Even when teachers say they see bad study habits such as procrastination, not studying, or trying to study while distracted, do they attempt to fix it, or do they just let it slide?

     Some students, among them Brittany Bonner, think teachers support bad study habits through their assigned work. “Some teachers tell you that you are supposed to be studying, but when they see students not studying or distracted on their phones, or doing something they are not supposed to be doing, they don’t do anything about it.”  

     Mrs. Miller, a teacher, also commented. She thinks parents have more effect on study habits.  “Parents’ attitudes about study habits affect students’ attitudes about study habits.

     Is it possible that teachers give out homework and tests not realizing that it is too much? Teachers, let’s assume you have a test and a homework assignment in your class, due soon. That’s not unreasonable. Now zone out and think about the other tests and other homework assignments your students have in their other classes, and they're all in one or two days of each other. Your students likely have sports practices and family events too. How do you expect them to finish all their schoolwork, study, and have a life outside of school? It is a hard situation to be in, and the time-strain can lead to bad study habits, and oftentimes this goes unnoticed as a culprit among the teachers.

Memorial service held for local marine KIA in Syria

     On August 12, 2017, the community of Buckhannon gathered with the family and friends of David Taylor, II, at Jawbone Park, for a memorial service to honor his heroic life. The young marine was just 25 years old and had already served four years in the US military, and he had joined the YPG, a Syrian-lead force in a fight against ISIS. David and three of his comrades were killed in a roadside attack on July 16, 2017.  The service lasted over three hours as several of David’s friends, fellow US Marines and fellow YPG members, stood to speak about the amazing life of David Taylor, II. He will be remembered for his bravery and his service to our great country.

2017 B-UHS girls' soccer team expectations

     The B-UHS girls' soccer team has had a lot of changes, from losing an assistant coach last year to having a very young team this year. There was some conversation with the players about their expectations for this season and what they hope to accomplish. Mckinley Gaudet said, "I feel like we are young but we have a lot of talent. I think that we can be successful this season."

     Another player, Lauren Bennett said, "My hope for this year is to get past sectionals."

     There are always challenges on every team. "I think our biggest challenge this year is that we have a smaller team than most other teams, but our speed makes up for it,” Mckinley Gaudet stated. Mckinley and Lauren both agreed that their main weakness is how young and sometimes inexperienced the team is at times, but their speed and their skill strength makes up for it.

     Aside from the sport itself, being on a team is supposed to be a fun experience. "Being with my friends is definitely the best part about being on this team,” Leighann Bennett claimed. Lauren and McKinley, seniors, also stated that they have played ever since their parents signed them up when they were four years old. They affirmed that they are very glad they’ve stuck with it until and throughout high school. 

B-U's marching band exceeds expectations in first performance

     On Friday, August 25th, the Buckhannon-Upshur band had their first performance during a football game against Princeton. They got to show off their skill with the field show, which they’d been preparing for over a month prior. The freshmen were having an especially tough time at first, but they pulled their weight and helped to make a pretty good performance. Sure, everyone had nerves, but once they got on the field, they realized there was nothing to be afraid of. Band director Mr. Friend says, “There were a lot of kinks, a lot of things to work on, but they have potential.” 

B-U’s football team wins first game

     On Friday, August 25th, Buckhannon-Upshur’s football team beat Princeton in their first game of the season. Quarterback Ryan Strader (#16) said the whole team worked together and showed good effort throughout the entire game. This was a tough game that required hard effort to come from the players, and they gave it their all. The team came out with a score of 20-19, with Strader scoring two touch-downs and Casey Hamner (#34) scoring one.

     "Yes, it was a great game, but the team needs to work on their tackling,” stated Jaryn Moore (#64). It seems like it wasn’t a very easy game and they did make a few mistakes, but the teammates tried their best and kept their heads in the game. It was only the first game, and there’s still lots of improvement to be made before the team reaches peak performance.

     Jordan Weston (#52) also commented, "We all played as a team, like the brothers we are, and came out with a win.” You’re off to a marvelous start B-U, keep it up!

Even 2017 can’t ruin the VMAs

     The Video Music Awards are an iconic event each year that many people look forward to. It’s a defining moment in pop culture and it’s a light-hearted wrap up to award show season. Some iconic moments have happened at the VMAs; from marriage to pregnancy, the VMAs has it all. The host this year was Katy Perry, which made some people a little less than excited. A lot of her monologue included attempting to use to teen slang and poking fun at the president, about how terribly the world’s going.

     When asked how she thought Katy Perry did as a host, Patty Miller had this to say: “Her monologue was very dry and boring. She tried to throw shade and it didn’t work in her favor. My grandmother could have hosted better than her. At least my grandmother can properly throw shade.”

     A famous pop icon, Taylor Swift, has a love-hate relationship with the VMAs. At the 2009 VMAs, Taylor was upstaged by Kanye West and it started a feud for the ages. Taylor premiered the video for her hit song Wildest Dreams at the 2015 VMAs. In 2016, she presented long time frenemy Kanye West with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Now in 2017, her rivalry with Kanye has left her exposed as a snake and a liar. The video for Swift’s new song Look What You Made Me Do premiered at the VMAs, which is where it all started. In the discussion of this video and who it was about, Patty said, “It was definitely about Kimye [Kanye and Taylor’s ship name]. There were a lot of snake references and she was kind of accepting the throne as snake queen.”  

     The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award is a very prestigious award that is awarded to a groundbreaking artist each year. Past recipients include: Rihanna, Kanye West, BeyoncĂ©, and Justin Timberlake. The 2017 Vanguard Award was given to the artist P!nk. She was presented the award by long-time friend Ellen DeGeneres. Before being given the award, P!nk performed a medley of songs from her 17-year-old career. She then gave her acceptance speech, which student Kristin Young found to be “really sweet.” P!nk dedicated the speech to her 6-year-old daughter, who had recently expressed to her mother that she thought she looked like a boy with long hair. P!nk was astounded that her child thought this, so she went home and made a PowerPoint full of androgynous rockstars.

     Along with the Vanguard, many other awards were given out. Some winners include: Kendrick Lamar, Fifth Harmony, Khalid, Alessia Cara and Zedd, Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Zayn, and many more. There were a lot of categories, including the award for best pop music video. Lexie Dalton believed that “Harry Styles deserved to win it over Fifth Harmony,” which was a very popular opinion among directioners, the fanbase.

     Another highlight of the VMAs are the performances. Featured performances include: Logic, Alessia Cara, Fifth Harmony, Lorde, and Ed Sheeran. Lexie said her favorite performance was Fifth Harmony’s because of how they shaded Camila. The 2017 VMAs ended with a spectacular Katy Perry performance of her hit song Swish Swish. Overall, the event was a success, as it is every year.

“Lord of the Flies” remake

     The Lord of the Flies is coming back, but this time it’s a little different. In the original book and movie, the humans stranded on the island are boys. The new remake of this movie will feature girls instead. Jacob Loudin, a student, says, “I read the book and enjoyed it, so I can't wait to watch the movie.”

     There have been two Lord of the Flies movies so far. The first was produced in 1963 and the second in 1990. Both movies were based on the book written by William Golding in 1954. “I think it is a great idea and will get a lot of views just because it changes the story a little. I read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I can't wait to watch the remake,” says Caroline Fluke.

     The new movie’s writer, David Siegel, says they are keeping the same idea and concept of the former movies, just with girls this time. Siegel also says this movie is still important today because of the amount of bullying that goes on between girls. “Now that it has girls, they will be able to show how girls treat each other. Hopefully the girls in the movie will be able to get over their differences and work together.”

     Siegel isn't sure when the movie will premiere, but he says he is excited to see how everything works out, and how the public reacts to it. 

Homecoming is coming near in West Virginia

     West Virginia has a lot of different festivals throughout the year, such as the Maple Syrup Festival during March, and the Strawberry Festival in May. On August 26th through the 27th, the annual Pop Culture Convention, or PopCon, took place in Morgantown, West Virginia. "You can find all kinds of things and people there," said Mrs. Groves. "There are board games, video games, cosplayers, and posters. People who genuinely want to be there."

     Also, in September, there are a few different things going on. Starting on the first are the Freefall Festival, Oak Leaf festival, and Jane Lew Firemen's Arts & Crafts festival. On September 13th, Buckhannon-Upshur High School will have their Homecoming Coronation and Parade. "I'm ecstatic," Alex Edwards said about being voted Homecoming Queen. "I'm usually with the band, so I wish I could be with them, but I'm excited to try new things," she said about the parade.
     "A few days before homecoming, all of the people on the Homecoming Court, including the king and queen, dress up and they have our homecoming parade. Then, the Friday before homecoming, we all gather in the gym and everyone comes through; we see their dresses and who's on the court again," Taylor Smith explained when asked how the Homecoming parade and coronation works.  On September 16th, Upshur County will have its annual Children's Festival. On the 21st of October, people will be able to jump off the New River Gorge Bridge into the gorge as a part of the holiday.  

Hurricane Irma is gaining catastrophic speeds

     Hurricane Irma reached Category Three strength on Thursday, August 31, and is predicted to reach Category 4 soon, says the National Hurricane Center. Starting out as a tropical wave off the coast of Africa, Irma reached the Central Atlantic the next day. Within 6 hours, she reached tropical storm status. At 4:00 Eastern Daylight Time, Irma reached Category 3 strength.

     On the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, Category Three and above has incredibly damaging winds, torrential rain, and high storm surge. Three, Four and Five cyclones are considered a major hurricane. It may be too soon to wonder, but will Irma make landfall as a major hurricane or will she never touch land? 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

New Elements

New elements have recently been discovered for the periodic table. Their names are Nihonium (Nh), Moscovium (Mc), Tenessine (Ts), and Oganesson (Og). Among the serious and potential candidates for these new elements, before they were officially named, there were lots of jokes submitted. "If I could name an element, I'd name it Memeite for obvious reasons," said jokester Dakota Beccara.

Scientists are extremely pleased with the sudden interest that people are having with the newly discovered materials. With the help of all participants, the 7th row of the periodic table has been completed. "With the new discoveries, I think that scientists have been reminded that there are still things out there that we have yet to find. Our knowledge will keep growing and we will keep discovering,” says Dakota Becarra.

Each name was chosen for either a scientist or a geographical area. Even after the official names were announced, people suggested more names for these elements, some even making petitions to change the original names. However, these suggestions could not be accepted, given the fact that under the current guidelines, only the discoverers have the right to propose names and symbols. Questions were also received about pronunciation of the names and their translation into other languages.

"This discovery is extraordinary. New medicines could be discovered, new materials made. There are so many possibilities. If I could create one element, I'd want it to be able to bring back the memories of those suffering from amnesia." said Mary Benson.

Nesselroade Returns

B-UHS’ Andrew Nesselroade returned to the track on April 4th, following a few weeks of recovery. Taking it lightly, he took part in one event during a 7-team meet at Buckhannon-Upshur. To no surprise, Andrew Nesselroade carried his 4x400m relay team to a swift first place finish in the meet.

Nesselroade, a senior, was disabled by a devastating back injury, forcing him to attend physical therapy and sit out of practice and track meets, causing chaos on his team. An all-time best athlete, Nesselroade is expected to put the team on his back during track meets. “There is no possible way we can be successful without the help of Andrew. He’s a complete animal on the track, and the only way to slow him down is through injury,” claims freshman Trenton Westfall of the Buckhannon-Upshur Track Team.

What makes Andrew so great? Andrew’s dedication to the track and his team enable him to train hard and prioritize his season. As the best 100m runner Buckhannon has ever had, boasting a personal record of 11.02 seconds, his work shows. If Andrew can dodge injury for the rest of this year, he is projected to win states in the 400m and in multiple relays.

B-UHS track team to hold first meet

On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, the B-UHS boys and girls track teams will be hosting their first meet of the season. This meet will be held at the Buckhannon Upshur High School track at 4 o'clock. Buckhannon Upshur High School, Lewis County High School, and Elkins High School will be the only three schools with teams competing in this meet.

The 4x400 boys team will be returning this year with two of their runners from last year; they are receiving two new runners this year. The team will most likely succeed this season due to last year’s performance. The boys 4x200 will also receive two new runners and keep two runners from last year. They are expected to do well in the upcoming 2016-2017 season.

Andrew Nessleroade, a senior at Buckhannon Upshur High School, carries the boys track team for the 2016-2017 season. He is predicted to win the 400-meter relay at states this year, which will be hosted in Charleston, WV. "I have been competing in the sport I love since the sixth grade. I have dreamt of being a state champion since I started running track," says Andrew.

The track teams are excited to see how their season will panel out throughout the rest of the year.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hawaii judge extends ruling that halts travel ban indefinitely

A Hawaiian federal judge granted the state’s request for a longer-term halt of the travel ban, an executive order, on Wednesday, March 30, 2017.

Judge Derrick Watson blocked the core provisions of the revised executive order made two weeks ago, concluding that the order is likely to violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution by disfavoring Muslims. However, Watson’s earlier decision was only a very limited freezing of the order; he used a temporary restraining order. Junior Ian Greenough stated, “If an executive order is issued, it was probably for a reason and should be followed. That’s just defiant towards your federal government.”

The plaintiffs asked the judge to change that decision into a longer-term preliminary injunction. Watson agreed on Wednesday night, which means that the President’s 90-day ban on foreign nationals from six countries, as well as the 120-day ban on all refugees entering the country, are now blocked indefinitely, unless a higher court changes his order or the state’s lawsuit is resolved.

The Justice Department said that it will continue to defend the executive order. Greenough commented, “He is the president who issued an executive order. That is in no way unconstitutional. Again, it was probably for a reason—like the safety of this country.”  

Critical Language Scholarships

Three West Virginia University students recently won Critical Language Scholarships from the US Department of State. The Critical Language Scholarship is a highly competitive and prestigious program that provides a fully funded summer overseas language and cultural immersion experience for American undergraduate and graduate students. With the goal of broadening the base of American students studying and mastering critical languages, as well as building relationships with people from other countries, the scholarships provide opportunities and access to a diverse range of students from across the United States at every level of language learning.

This is a huge accomplishment for these select students. With only twenty-eight scholarships having been handed out since 2008, they are of a select few to receive this honor. There are multiple scholarships throughout the world for students to receive, but this one is of a high importance in relation to them. This is one of WVU’s major accomplishments. To have students receive this prestigious award is a great success for the blue and gold.

Friday, April 21, 2017

When gambling goes gaming

When Counter-Strike: Global Offense released skins for their weapons, the gaming community turned to gambling as a way to obtain skins for in-game weapons and as a quick way to make some money. CSGO is a first-person shooter game similar to Call of Duty. Nearly 26 million copies of the game have been sold worldwide as the game rose to popularity when well-known gamers began streaming gameplay on Twitch. After the release of weapon skins in August of 2013, multiple websites have appeared online that allow gamers to gamble, trade, and sell the in-game skins.

A major issue that has been brought to the public eye is the gambling aspect involved with the game. As the gambling websites are online, anyone can gamble on the in-game skins, including children. The websites allow the children to link their parent’s credit cards and bank accounts to their online gaming accounts, which can leave parents in the hole when their child goes on a gambling spree. Many people have argued that the website can lead children to become addicted to gambling. The concerns about child gambling has even led to several lawsuits against Valve, the company that controls the skin market. While various people have issues with children being able to gamble on these websites, Senior Brandon Weaver is rather indifferent about children being able to gamble as he believes “It’s their choice. As someone who is underage, I don’t care.” 

These easily-accessible gambling websites come in many forms, which is one of the reasons why nearly $5 billion dollars were spent on the skin market in 2016 alone. Popular forms of gambling include coin flips in which users will bet money on a side and can win or lose money. Another form of this gambling includes betting money in a pot and a random user is selected to win the jackpot. Users can bet ten cents or even thousands of dollars on these games. If a user doesn’t want to gamble on these websites, they buy skin packs which guarantee the user skins.

The skin market saw an increase when YouTubers began uploading videos relating to skin betting. YouTubers will go on gambling websites and can lose or win thousands of dollars in a span of ten minutes. These YouTube videos attract large amounts of viewers which allow gamers to make thousands of dollars. Opening skin cases is another way YouTubers can attract viewers. Rather than gambling on the skins, packages guarantee specific areas of items can be purchased. Skins found on the market have different values based on the exclusivity of the skin. Sometimes millions of an item can be found on the market making the item less valuable. Common items like the MP7 weapon sell for about thirty-five cents while rare CSGO items can be sold at a price of up to $400.

As a way to expand the skin market other items including knives, in game weapons, and even skins for gloves were added to the market. The expansive market and the mass attention surrounding CSGO has made the game especially interesting to teen gamers and even younger children. With all the controversy surrounding the online gaming community’s gambling, many game streaming websites have banned users from streaming gambling activity. One of the most popular streaming websites, Twitch has even banned gambling following lawsuits claiming the streaming of CSGO gambling on the website promotes youth to gamble. Valve has even had to crack down on users as the agreements specifically state that these gamers should not promote gambling to underage individuals.