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Camryn Drummond Inspires Others

Camryn+Drummond

Camryn Drummond

Camryn Drummond is a senior at Durant who is not afraid to explore new activities. In her years attending Durant, Drummond has joined clubs close to her heart. Outside of school she participates in activities that support causes important to her.

Five years ago, when Drummond’s family lived in Hawaii, she suffered from a lack of self-confidence as a result of being one of two African American students, the other being her younger sister.

After realizing that she was not the only person feeling less than, Drummond founded Sisters Changing the World, an organization to build self-esteem and confidence in girls.

“I realized so many girls were going through the same thing, so why not create an environment where girls can feel like their authentic selves.”

Drummond has grown since starting this organization, stating, “I want people to know that I am constantly chasing happiness and I won’t stop expressing myself and searching for that.”

As a junior, Drummond competed in Miss Teenage Tampa for the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha and won the title. The opportunity was given to Drummond by Assistant Principal Culpepper, who informed Drummond about the competition.

“Growth is a choice.””

— Camryn Drummond

The goal of the pageant is to create a sense of proactivity and success in young African American women by building their self-esteem. The sorority also teaches tools to help these women become positive impacts on the community.

Both activities allow Drummond to spread a message of a positivity among the young women of her community. Helping others recognize their beauty and self-worth is an important part of who Drummond is, as helping others change the way they see themselves is a cause that Drummond deeply cares about.

Beyond sharing that message in her community, Drummond is able to spread that message to young African American students on Durant’s campus as the President of Junior Rattlers. The club is meant to prepare young African American students for the next step in furthering their education or their future. Drummond has been President of the club for two years.

Fellow senior Shamari Buckley is one of many Drummond has inspired during her time as President.

“She drives me to do things I am unsure about. She will tell people to do what they want to do and support them in their endeavors.”

As president of the Junior Rattlers, Drummond played a large role in planning the 2020 Black History Month activities alongside African American Durant faculty members and with help from members of Junior Rattlers and SGA.

Drummond created the event Coliloquy in Color, an event where African American students could perform a song, poem, short story or display artwork. The event was the grand finale to Durant’s Back History Month celebration.

In addition to Junior Rattlers, Drummond has also been a member of National English Honor Society for two years. She joined the club to improve her writing skills, which is one of her favorite hobbies. As a senior she won an honorable mention for her personal memoir “I Am Her.”

She is also a member of the Alpha Cougar Omega Step team; this is her first year on the team. She joined the team to get out of her comfort zone and to have fun.

For her future, Drummond plans to extend her motivational speaking to start her own platform where she can continue to inspire others.

Her advice to her fellow students is, “Do not close yourself off to avoid being hurt, be open to feeling the waves of life to make yourself a better person. Growth is a choice.”

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Emma Poole is in Top Ten

Emma+Poole

Durant Yearbook

Emma Poole

Emma Poole, a senior at Durant High School, is very involved in many activities on and off campus. Poole ranks in the top ten of her class, with an overall GPA of 7.02. Each of Poole’s involvements are near and dear to her heart.

Poole has competed in various pageants during her years at Durant. Poole’s first pageant was when she was in ninth grade, the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Sweetheart Pageant, where she won the title First Maid.

“After that, I just took a liking to pageants and decided to continue doing them,” Poole stated.

Unfortunately, Poole was unable to compete in the Calendar Girl Pageant her sophomore year due to her participation in a FFA pig show. However, she didn’t let her commitment to FFA deter her from future pageants. In the 2018 and 2019 Calendar Girl competitions, Poole won the honor of Miss February.

Poole is extremely competitive with Durant’s FFA program. She is the current student President of Durant’s FFA chapter. During competition as a junior, Poole won a Floriculture Award. Also in November of 2019, Poole was honored as the National Champion in Extemporaneous Public Speaking.

Poole is also very involved in her local community.During the summer, Poole is a summer intern at the East Hillsborough Historical Society. Plant City and the surrounding community have a rich history in agriculture and Poole believes that it is very important to educate the community about that history.

“Through the Historical Society, I’ve been able to put photographs in catalogs, bring in new items to the museum, and take people from all over the country on tours to tell them about Plant City and what a wonderful town it is to live in,” Poole said.

Alongside doing her summer internships and Calendar Girl, Poole is also part of the Durant football team. Poole enjoys her position as team water girl.

“Some of my very favorite Durant activities are the football games because of my role as the water girl. We’re one big family on the team,” Poole said.

“We’re one big family on the team.””

— Emma Poole

Poole also participates in Durant’s Got Talent. Poole sings and plays piano in the show. She discussed her love for playing the ukulele and how she is also trying to learn to play the mandolin. She also enjoys volunteering in her spare time. Poole has plans to attend Florida Southern College in Lakeland this fall.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

A CW Limited Series Reflects COVID-19 Conditions

Like many CW shows, this one captivates audiences from the start.

Courtesy of the CW

Like many CW shows, this one captivates audiences from the start.

In 2016 the CW aired a show called “Containment,” the show only had one season with 13, 42 minute episodes. The show is based on the Belgian show Cordon that aired in 2014. The show follows the outbreak of a deadly virus in Atlanta, and to limit the spread the CDC sets up a cordon sanitaire. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the series reflects the harsh realities society is dealing with. The show is more enjoyable as the audience can relate to being contained.

There are very few flaws within the show. My biggest grievance with the show is the lack of resolution at the end. Viewers of the show never receive closure for how the epidemic ends or what happens to the characters. While there is an inspirational speech that ends the season, it does not truly resolve anything for the remaining characters. 

My secondary grievance is that some of the science is a little messy. The virus mutates quicker than possible in real life. Within days of the outbreak there are multiple strands of the virus being transmitted. Also, when the show begins experimenting with a cure, the rules of blood transfusions went out the window. To receive a blood transfusion both the donor and the recipient must have the same blood type, otherwise the antibodies will attack the new blood, hurting the recipient rather than helping.

The show does a lot of things very well. The characters are one of the show’s best aspects. There is so much diversity, various races, ages and socio-economic classes represented within the show. The characters are easy to relate to and sympathize with. For example, one of the protagonists, Major Lex Carnahan, is just a police officer trying to do his duties, while dealing with the fact that the love of his life is stuck within the cordon. Many people during social distancing can relate to being separated from loved ones. 

The show also does a good job of showing how the government would handle an epidemic. The government takes the necessary action to prevent the spread of the virus. They kept the cordon up and encouraged isolation, despite the anger of those being quarantined, the government remained firm in their solutions, something our governments can learn from. 

The show also does a wonderful job of showing how dangerous a virus can be. The show takes the time to explain how the virus is spread so easily in an urban society, the show emphasizes the spread of the disease through all bodily fluids. A sneeze or a kiss would be enough to get infected. 

In addition to the transmission, the show explains the origins of the virus and how it was created, but that would be a major spoiler. The origins of the virus, the conspiracy and the truth are both real fears of the government and general public. The virus itself is not a major spoiler, so the virus is a manipulated strand of avian flu. This shows the dangers of manipulating diseases because it could escape and start an epidemic,

While the disease in the show is quite gruesome as the deaths involve blood and whole body tremors, it is still an interesting show that combines sci-fi, romance, action and drama. While not all characters receive happy endings, the show is worth the investment. If you are bored during social distancing, it is one of many CW shows that can be found on Netflix.

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

The Garden

The following is a work of fiction, all similarities between indviduals or corporations are all coincidents. This is not based on true events.


In Riverside, California the legacy of the Parker family has preserved since the founding of the city. The family is famous for providing the city with locally sourced produce. Beau Parker controls the family legacy.

Beau has a beautiful and kind wife, Molly. The two met 17 years ago at 18 years-old and married nine years ago at 26 years-old. Together they have a son and a daughter, who will be raised to care for the farm the way their ancestors had in the past.

Beau’s day begins at 6 a.m, as he begins tending to the animals. From the barn’s central control room Beau sets the feeders to release feed mixes for the chickens, pigs and goats. Then he makes sure the cattle and horses are grazing as he milks the three cows.

After completing his early morning chores, Beau checks the mail, then returns to the house to have breakfast with his family.

As Beau flips through the mail, he passes bills, advertisements and coupons but the final envelope is from Ellison Wood, a name Beau had grown to despise. For the last five years, Ellison has tried to buy the farm from Beau.

Ellison Wood is the CEO and majority shareholder in Wood Inc. and wants to buy the land the farm sits on. 

The farm rests at the center of the city, it is surrounded by sky-high buildings and highways that create a perpetual smog. The land is valuable but not worth selling in the eyes of the Parker family.

Despite the grey atmosphere of the urban city, the smog is unable to penetrate the farm. The air is always crisp, clean and fresh with the smell of soil, fruits and natural fertilizer. The smell reminds Beau of what the farm means to him: home. He grew up in the same house he is raising his children in.

Beau enters the house and walks to the kitchen where Molly sits feeding their daughter. He throws away the advertisements, puts the coupons on the counter, puts the bills where he will sit and hands the letter from Ellison Wood to Molly.

“When will this woman quit?” Beau asks his wife.

“Have you ever sent her a formal rejection?” She gives him a knowing look.

“I’ll read the offer and then respond, it would be rude not to address her offer in the rejection letter.”

Beau opens the letter and reads it to Molly:

To the Parker family,

I know I have contacted you about the acquisition of your land previously, but as those inquiries have not elicited a response, I feel inclined to contact you again.

I would like to buy the land the Parker Farm rests on, this includes the land the barn and home rest on. If this land is acquired it will be converted into a new headquarters in addition to a new parking garage

I would like to offer your family five million dollars for the land. It would cover the cost of your current land, a new home and proper transportation for the animals to a rural area.

As a member of this city, I appreciate the hard work the Parker family has put in to provide nourishment to the people of Riverside and I hope using new urban farming techniques your family will continue to do so from a new facility.

I would like to hear from your family soon in regards to my offer. I hope we can benefit each other.

Best wishes,

Ellison Wood

C.E.O. 

Woods Inc.

“Can you believe the nerve of that woman! How dare she insult the family legacy?!”

“I understand your frustration but not in front of the kids. Just reply with clear intent that you have no interest in selling your family legacy.”

“You’re right. I am sorry for yelling in front of you guys. I am going to take a walk around the field to clear my head.” 

He gives Molly a quick kiss, and kisses each child on the forehead. He exits the house to go to the fields. In the fields a variety of fruits and vegetables are growing. When he was a young boy his father always taught him that the field was the best place to clear your head.

His father would say, “The fields are the garden of the farm. God couldn’t take Eden from Adam and Eve and no one will ever take this from you.”

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Series Returning to Netflix in March

Greenhouse+Acaddemy+is+based+on+an+old+Israeli+television+show+called+%22The+Greenhouse.%22+The+show+is+also+filmed+in+Israel.

Netflix

Greenhouse Acaddemy is based on an old Israeli television show called “The Greenhouse.” The show is also filmed in Israel.

On February 18, Netflix announced the release of new seasons for some of their most popular Netflix originals. Each new season will be released in mid-March.

The first show Netflix announced was their international series, “Elite,” originating in Spain. The show follows the life of the students of an elite private school, where three poor students attend on scholarship as a result of a freak accident at their previous school.

The first season retraces the steps of all the main characters leading up to a murder, the second season retraces the students’ steps leading up to a missing person. This will be the show’s third season and based on the trailer, the season will follow the students’ lives leading up to another murder. 

Fans did not have to wait long for Netflix to bring this third season to the screen, as season two was released on September 6, 2019, only creating a six month wait. The third season will be on Netflix on March 13, in time for many students to binge while on Spring Break.

Based on teasers released on the show’s Instagram, there are at least two new characters, which seems to be consistent, as two more characters were added at the start of season two season which males sense as characters die or go missing during the season. As of yet the roles of the new characters is unknown. Fans can find their names and the trailer on the show’s Instagram page.

The second show Netflix announced a release date for is the popular show “On My Block.” Fans of this show have waited almost a year for the release date of the next season. Like “Elite,” the new season of “On My Block” will be its third. The third season will be available for viewers on March 11.

The show is about living in the “ghetto,” a neighborhood riddled with gangs and violence. The show pokes fun at the stereotypes but also shows both the good and awful parts of living in these kinds of neighborhoods by solving the riddles of the neighborhood. Based on the recently released trailer, the main charachters have been kidnapped and have to solve another riddle to save their lives.

The third show Netflix announced a release date for is the show “Greenhouse Academy.” Fans of the show had a shorter wait than “Elite” fans, as season three of “Greenhouse Academy” was released October 25, 2019. 

It seems Netflix did not want upset fans with a second extended wait, as there was a year and half wait between season two and three. The fourth season of “Greenhouse Academy” will be released on March 20.

The show centers around a competitive school for the intelligently and athletically gifted. There are  nefarious activities going on behind the scenes and the students will use their skills to uncover the truth. Not much is known about the fourth season as Netflix has not released a season trailer as of yet.

All of these shows center around the life of teenagers in a variety of situations and contexts. Fans are ecstatic for the upcoming seasons of these shows. These are among the top watched Netflix original series. March will be an excellent month for those who enjoy binge watching.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Climate Change Threatens the Monarch Butterflies’ Survival

Humans have to realisee that maltreatment on the environment affects every species on the planet. Endangering one, endangers them all.

Humans have to realisee that maltreatment on the environment affects every species on the planet. Endangering one, endangers them all.

Monarch butterflies are the first thing people imagine when picturing a butterfly. The number of monarch butterflies is dwindling rapidly. According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, “a decline of approximately 80 [percent]has been seen in central Mexico and a decline of approximately 99 [percent] has been seen in coastal California.”

The population of butterflies went from hundreds of millions to a few thousand in the last 20 years. This threatens to destroy the balance in the ecosystem as these butterflies pollinate numerous flowers around the world and act as food to several small animals.

The cause of the demise of the monarch butterflies is climate change, urbanization and their effects on the environment monarch butterflies depend on for survival. 

Urbanization has destroyed the majority of the milkweed plants that monarch butterflies lay their eggs on. Urbanization has taken over areas where this plant typically grows, posing a threat to the butterflies as it limits their reproductive capabilities. 

Urbanization has also limited the butterflies’ migration routes. This is especially true in Mexico, an increase in deforestation and development has limited available migration locations for the butterflies during the winter.

Climate change is also affecting the habitats of these animals. According to National Geographic, in addition to urbanization reducing the availability of milkweeds, the increased levels of carbon dioxide are making the plants too toxic for monarch consumption.

Additionally the rising temperatures caused as a result are also affecting the migration patterns of monarch butterflies. As the temperatures increase, the monarchs have to fly farther North during the summer months  otherwise they would molt and inevitably die.

Thus far, the conservation of National Parks has been a saving grace for these butterflies. These parks ensure the butterflies will have a habitat. Conservationists have tagged the monarchs spotted in these parks to allow further studies of the migration patterns. Monarchs have been tagged from a variety of national parks in a variety of parks to collect as much information as possible.

A primary agent in the monarch butterfly conservation movement has been Wildlife Without Borders, a grant program from Mexico which works to protect and replenish the habitats of the monarch butterflies. This program has existed since the mid-1990s, when the numbers of the monarch butterflies began to decline.

This was not Mexico’s first attempt to preserve the existence of monarch butterflies. In 1986, Mexicocreated the Mariposa Monarca, or in English the Monarch Butterfly, Biosphere Reserve. This protects forest land within four distinct butterfly sanctuaries.There are several agencies in Mexico and the U.S that contribute to the conservation effort, despite the public’s lack of knowledge on the subject.

Despite the drastic decrease in the monarch population, the butterflies are not officially listed on the endangered species list. Currently they do have the protection of the Endangered Species Act. This is the temporary status given to the butterflies, a permanent decision will be made by the end of the year.

The programs and agencies cannot save the butterflies on their own, the public needs to be aware that the environmental decisions of humanity, affect the the other animals in the ecosystem. Human perseverance should not be at the expense of the defenseless.

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

The Asylum

In the Year 2235, Joe Smith woke up, the same way he had every day before, exhausted and uninterested in the day to come. Joe got out of bed, wondering when Annabelle, the woman who loved him would visit. Joe follows his routines every day, he puts no effort into it, he doesn’t have an obsessive reason, it just happens.

On non-workdays Joe brushes his teeth, shaves, washes his face, puts on tan cotton pants and a white t shirt, then goes downstairs to eat oatmeal, then drinks orange juice. Once he is ready for the day Joe goes to his study. He spends five minutes meditating to improve his soul and to keep him calm. He gets up then enters his Memory Museum. In 2197, scientists discovered a way for humans to extract memories and keep them on disks to replay like movies. They had existed since before he was born.

Every morning, even before work Joe visits a specific memory.

On March 6, 2219 Joe was 18. It started the same as every other day. He followed his routine before school perfectly. When he got to school, he began walking to his locker as usual but upon arriving at his locker, standing there is a handsome boy trying to open it.

“I don’t know you and that’s my locker.”

“Oh sorry, I’m new. My name’s Hugh, Hugh Collins.” Something was going on with Joe, he felt warm, it was something he had never felt before.

“Well, I know you now, but that’s still my locker.”

“Oops, sorry. Mine is next to it, I didn’t read the numbers carefully. First day anxiety. It never goes away.” Hugh slides right to the next to Joe’s. Joe takes this as the end of their conversation, so he opens his locker. He exchanges for binders and books for his first two classes. “Most people would introduce themselves.” Hugh says from his locker.

“I’m Joe Smith.”

“That must be a common name.”

“I guess. See you around Hugh.” Joe had never felt many emotions around his family but in the brief interaction with Hugh he had wanted to crack a smile.

“Wait Joe! Could you show me around? No one offered to show me around in the office.”

“Figures, sure, I’ll give you the tour.” Joe takes Hugh around the school showing him the different buildings and where his classes were. Hugh managed to get a laugh from Joe as he made creative ways to remember unique things about each building.

“The Mystery Mischievous Masterpiece Building. Would be the art hallway where secretive, salacious activities occur.”

“Moving Along. You’re really passionate about your creativity huh?”

“They make life more interesting.” Joe just gave a small smile then walked back to the patio, where most students hung out before school.

“Well, this is where I leave you.”

“I’ll see you later.”

“If you can find me, you can sit with me at lunch.” To give Hugh’s creative mind a challenge, Joe neglected to mention that they had the same class for lunch.

Joe left for his first period which was on the opposite side of campus. He decided he would share Hugh’s way of going through life. Hugh seemed far happier than Joe, so Joe assumed whatever Hugh was doing was right. Throughout the first three periods there was a noticeable difference in Joe’s mood. Many of his assumed he was on something.

 In English he was thinking creatively for the first time. He smiled for the first time in History. In Spanish he spoke for the first time. This change delighted the teachers and confused the students. When it came time for fourth period Physics, Joe was exited, which confused him because it was the first time, he could remember, feeling this much in one day.

When Joe made it to Physics Hugh was sitting in the seat nest to his, where no one usually sat. Hugh was shocked to see Joe enter the room. Hugh smiled in greeting but did not say anything which was weird to Joe, but he was too introverted to start a conversation.

After giving the class their reading assignment for the day, their teacher called roll because he was terrible with learning names. He went through the entire roster but never called Hugh Collins. Joe looked over at Hugh with curiosity

“Don’t worry about it.” Hugh whispered so that only Joe could hear.

“Are you sure?”

“Of course.” Joe trusted Hugh’s nonchalant behavior. The girl sitting in front of Joe was very confused as to what was going on behind her. She went up to the teacher and told him what was going on. The teacher thanked her for the concern and dismissed her to complete her assignment. The teacher became serious, glanced at Joe who took no notice as he was whispering to Hugh. The teacher then began to write a note.

“John, could you deliver this note to the nurse. Wait there for a response.” Everyone knew who he meant.

“Okay sir, but what about the assignment?”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll have someone fill you in.” Joe glanced at Hugh, then walked up to the desk to get the note.

Joe quickly walked to the office to deliver the note. He went straight to the nurse’s office. No one was being treated so the nurse was just behind her computer.

“Hello Joe, what can I do for you?”

“I’m here to give you this note and wait for a response.” He placed the note on her desk. She picked up the note then glanced up at Joe.

“I’ll be right back with your response.” She walks out then the memory fades to black.

Joe has wondered for the last 16 years what that note said, what happened to him and most importantly what happened to Hugh. Every day this was replayed for Joe, yet he could not remember what happened after he blacked out that day.

“Joe!”

“In the museum Anna!”

“Of course, you are, I should have come here first. Are you ready?”

“I’m always ready.”

“So, did anything from that day comeback?” She rubs a wipe on his arm.

“No, still nothing.” She injects him with the same serum she has for the last sixteen years.

“It’ll all be okay.” He falls asleep forgetting about the last few hours.

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Sabina Khan increases diversity in teen literature

Khan modeled the story after her own culture.

Khan modeled the story after her own culture.

Literature over the last decade has become more diverse as the world becomes accepting. An increasing number of LGBTQ+ books have been published in the last decade; in a study by Marinda Lo, the number of LGBTQ+ young adult novels rose from 54 novels published in 2015, to 79 novels in 2016. While the increase may seem insignificant, but when compared to 2010 when less than 20 LGBTQ+ young adult novels were published, progress is evident.

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan is about teenage girl who is a Bengali lesbian. She struggles to gain the acceptance of her family as a result of their cultural beliefs. This book is more unique than others as the main character is a minority, as well as LGBTQ+, which is even rarer. Despite an interesting concept, there were also some things that made the book hard to get through.

There are unique aspects of this book that really serve to further the central ideas. In addition to having an LGBTQ+ focus, the novel is centered around a Bengali family. There are about 250 million Bengali citizens, but there are very few novels about Bengali people and their culture. The majority of books that portray Bengal’s culture are written in Bangla, the language of Bengal, limiting Western civilization’s exposure to these people.

In addition to portraying Bengali culture, the novel explains and shows the differences between Bengali, Urdu and Hindi. Bengali is a nationality, and is used to describe the language spoken and the culture in West Bengal. Hindi is a description of people and the culture  surrounding the religion Hinduism. Urdu is a language. It is the official language spoken in Pakistan but is also widely spoken in India.

These concepts are often times confused and interchanged within Western societies, as American students learn very little about geography and foreign governments so Pakistan, India and West Bengal are not clear and distinct. In addition to that, the majority of students in the U.S. are not taught in depth about Asian countries and their cultures, besides China, India and Japan. Thus Khan ensuring that readers understand the difference between the three concepts makes the book more powerful in regards to religious and ethnic representation as the main character is Hindi and Bengali.

Also making this book unique were all the real world scenarios that exist. Having a teenager who struggles with her family’s beliefs, some problems with the arranged marriage system often seen in Indian culture and interracial relationships. While arranged marriages impact less people, the other problems this book faces are universal, making it easier for more people beyond the LGBTQ+ and Eastern and South Asian audiences.

One of the things Khan does well is not overloading the novel with side-plots. While a lot of people are introduced, the majority of them are insignificant. There are three storylines which is a perfect number, one to deal with each problem the novel faces.

By organizing the plot structure this way, Khan ensures that the audience comprehends the purpose of the story. Plus the side-plots are not all happening simultaneously, making the story easy to follow and allows people to remain engaged with each side-plot.

Despite adoring what this book represents, there are some elements that if written differently would have made the plot more realistic, therefore more enjoyable. For example, throughout the book characters who have been best friends for years suddenly do not understand the situation she’s in with her family.

Truly good friends that have been around since elementary school would never suddenly think strict parents are going to change. These friends would be understanding and sympathetic. It is clear that Khan uses the characters’ shift to judgemental of her situation is to drive Rukhsana’s loneliness but this really does nothing for the novel, therefore making it seem unnecessary.

The novel also promotes unhealthy romantic behaviors. For example, Rukhsana and Ariana, her girlfriend, base their college plans off of their current relationship. This is not an idea Khan should portray to teenagers. Choosing a college should be for reasons beyond a current partner, the school has to be truly great because according to Brandon Gaille Marketing, only two percent of marriages are from a high school relationship, and the divorce rate during the first ten years for these couples is 54 percent.

The last major thing was that running from problems was a tragic flaw of Rukhsana’s. Khan established Rukhsana as a strong willed and passionate person who fights for what she believes in, but when it comes to dealing with familial issues, she runs away at the first sign of trouble.

There are other little things that are slightly irksome. I don’t regret reading the book, but I don’t think I would reread the book given the opportunity. I do think others should read this even if just to learn about another culture. The book is 326 pages, so it is not too long.

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Yearly debate on the shift from Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays

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Public Religion Research Institute

The 2013 survey identifies how particular groups align themselves.

As society becomes more accepting of diversity, it has adapted to acknowledging the different holidays celebrated by the myriad of religions and identities present in the U.S. In the past, the U.S., schools and department stores were allowed to tell people “Merry Christmas” without being certain that the individual celebrates Christmas.

Independent, an online news publisher, traces the acknowledgment of holidays beyond Christmas began in the 1930s and 1940s as advertisers wanted all readers to feel included. These ads began to say, “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings” to ensure inclusiveness, this also served as a way to please consumers to increase sales.

According to History.com, this terminology shifted to businesses in the mid-2000s as the term “War on Christmas” was coined by conservatives in response to ex-President George W. Bush leaving Christmas out of the White House holiday card. Businesses decided that it was more professional to make the holiday season secular.

This meme illustrates the negative view of some customers about the saying.

According to Education World, there are at least ten other major holidays celebrated in December. These include Three Kings Day, Saint Nicholas Day, Fiesta of Our Lady Guadalupe, Kwanzaa, Saint Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Omisoka, Yule, and Saturnalia, celebrated by identities all over the year. No matter what the majority celebrates, you cannot assume everyone celebrates the same holiday given all the options.

Many Christians believe that not saying Merry Christmas is personal, as if people not saying “Merry Christmas” shames the idea of the celebration. However, the intention is not to disrespect anyone with the shift in the language.

According to the Chicago Tribune, in 2016 as President Trump campaigned, he said, “If I’m president, you’re going to see ‘Merry Christmas’ in department stores, believe me, believe me.”

This insistence of “Merry Christmas,” used exclusively as a holiday greeting goes against the First Amendment right of freedom of religion. This element dictates that the U.S. cannot establish a national religion and therefore cannot enforce celebration. Therefore, despite the increased emphasis on consumerism as a part of Christmas, the holiday is Christian in origin, thus whether he likes it or not, President Trump cannot force businesses to shift their seasonal greeting back to only acknowledging Christmas.

As society becomes increasingly aware of labels, it is appropriate that seasonal greetings shift as well. It shows that Americans overall are not ignorant to the alternatives. This does not mean that people are never allowed to say, “Merry Christmas”, but it should be limited to situations where it is absolutely certain that the recipient celebrates Christmas.

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Durant awards Teacher of the Year

Congratulaions+to+beloved+Randy+Sawyer+for+winning+the+2019-2020+Teof+the+Years.

Christian Castro

Congratulaions to beloved Randy Sawyer for winning the 2019-2020 Teof the Years.

Randy Sawyer has been a teacher for 15 years, this year marking his fifth year teaching at Durant. He teaches AP Statistics, Algebra Readiness and is also the Math Coach for Durant. Sawyer was awarded the honor of Teacher of the Year for the 2019-2020 school year.

The entire administration visited Sawyer’s Algebra Readiness class with balloons. Sawyer was in disbelief as the entire Durant administration announced his win. Sawyer described the experience, “I was shocked because I just show up and do my job.”

Sawyer adapts his teaching style to benefit the students in his classes. This is one of the qualities that his fellow teachers and the Durant administration saw in Sawyer, leading to his nomination for Teacher of the Year. Sawyer changes his teaching style and gets to know the students in his class making the lessons personal, which facilitates learning.

The students in Sawyer’s classes agree that he is a unique teacher based on the way he structures his class. Senior Robert Malloy stated, “Sawyer’s a funny teacher and allows us to explore the concepts on our own. He relates his jokes to the lesson, making the lessons more memorable.”

Sawyer believes that by using this technique, students want to perform even harder, for him as well as for themselves. He also believes this would benefit all teachers, as it would help boost student learning across the board because it will create a willingness to learn.

While Sawyer’s mentality about teaching has not changed, he sees the benefit of administration awarding a Teacher of the Year. “As a teacher, the biggest thing we get out of is a way to move out of the classroom completely and into a position Downtown”

Sawyer’s ultimate goal is to leave students with more knowledge and understanding than they previously had. To Sawyer, passing is not always the most important part of teaching. “It’s about how is this going to affect them next year, and the years after.”

Overall, Sawyer appreciates the honor of Teacher of the Year, but will maintain his dedication to helping his students succeed. His attention to detail and his dedication to teaching are two of the things that helped Sawyer win this esteemed honor.

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

SpaceX creates first private shuttle to the International Station

The+Crew+Dragon+shuttle+is+a+private+venture%2C+not+a+public+venture%2C+although+given+major+funding+from+NASA.

Inverse

The Crew Dragon shuttle is a private venture, not a public venture, although given major funding from NASA.

As of 2011, NASA retired their line of space shuttles. This means that American astronauts rely on the Russian Soyuz to travel to space. In 2014 this caused NASA to give Boeing $4.2 billion to create the CST-100 Starling, they also gave Elon Musk’s company SpaceX $2.6 billion to develop the Crew Dragon because NASA did not want to continue relying on Russia to send American astronauts to the moon. The Crew Dragon is the solution to this problem, not the private shuttles to Mars, SpaceX’s other major project.

The Crew Dragon is the first of its kind to be developed. The shuttle is the first American space craft to automatically dock at the International Space Station, is the only commercial shuttle to deliver cargo to the International Space Station, and is the only space craft with the ability to return cargo to Earth. The shuttle will also be free flying, meaning it will be autonomous, but on-board astronauts have the ability to monitor and control the shuttle when necessary.

SpaceX
The sleek interior of the Crew Dragon has room for up to seven people.

When the shuttle launches for the International Space Station, it leaves from the Kennedy Space center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., the launch site for all of NASA’s missions to the moon as well as shuttles to the International Space Center.

The development of the shuttle has not been simple for SpaceX, but there have been more triumphs than challenges. The major challenge in the shuttle’s development occurred in April of 2019 when the shuttle exploded during a test. The shuttle failed the launch-abort engines test, which is designed to test a rocket’s system in response to an emergency during the launch or as the rocket is in flight. According to NBC, the failure caused a great concern for the human tests that had been scheduled for later in the year.

The astronaut trials have been pushed back due to the launch failure, as the company had to ensure the problem was solved. According to Musk and NASA officials at a headquarters vent October 10, astronaut tests, Demo 2, should be expected in the first quarter of next year, from January to March 2020.

On the other hand, recently many improvements have been made. The shuttle passed 13 Mark 3 parachute tests and the SuperDraco thrusters, which power the escape system, were successfully added October 29, as shown on the SpaceX official Twitter.

The technology to take humans to the International Space Station is becoming more complex. The continued developments are making the shuttle more complex and more efficient. Once the Crew Dragon is fully operational, the U.S. Space Program will be autonomous once again.

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Wattpad provides alternative to traditional reading materials

The+library+page+on+the+website+and+app.+It+looks+identical+no+matter+which+format+is+being+used.+These+are+examples+of+polular+works.

Wattpad

The library page on the website and app. It looks identical no matter which format is being used. These are examples of polular works.

Wattpad is a free website and app that allows readers to add books to their libraries with no limit as to how long it can be there, similar to the concept of Netflix. Users can also create different reading lists, post messages on their profile, vote on book chapters and comment throughout stories. Users may also upload their own works to the platform in hopes of gaining an audience.

Wattpad was officially launched in October of 2006. The website and app were launched by the co-founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. The idea was originally thought of by Lau but both believed that having an app where people had access to novels was key. The app is available for iOS devices as well as Androids.

The website began as a place for public domain novels like Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen but soon expanded to be much more. Users are allowed to publish almost anything in their books and this lead to a very popular genre: fanfiction.

Fanfiction caused Wattpad’s popularity to rise in teens and young adults because they could read romances about their favorite celebrities in a variety of circumstances. While fanfiction is still a popular genre on the site, other categories have risen to popularity. Most of the popular genres on Wattpad are a variations of romance. They range from high school romances to complex, middle age relationships.

The variety in the novels uploaded allows Wattpad to please a diverse of age groups and ethnicities. There are people as young as 10 years-old to about as old as 45 years-old on the website. Women are much more frequent users of the site but that does not mean there are no male users, they are just rare. When a male comments, the replies tend to emphasize how rare the occurance is.

The comments are truly what set Wattpad apart from some other reading services. The comments allow readers to become more engaged with a text because they can see how other people reacted or are reacting to the same passages. Readers can reply to comments to share their own opinion/experience or expand on what was stated. Comments allow readers to find people who are going through similar experiences in their real lives. They also allow people to make jokes or appreciate pop-culture references within stories.

Wattpad has a much wider impact on culture than many people realize. Many Wattpad books get published and put on bookstore shelves. Some books become so popular that even after publishing they can become movies. Popular examples are The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles and After by Anna Todd. Wattpad provides a starting place for young and aspiring authors.

Many of the novels that get published from Wattpad are altered from their original version in order for them to stay free on Wattpad. For example, Todd’s After series originated on Wattpad as a One Direction fanfiction in which the main love interest was Harry Styles. Once published the male main character’s name was changed to Hardin Scott. The additional members of the band, featured in the stories also received rewritten names, as well as a slightly altered text.

Stories on Wattpad may support serious issues or may be parts of sponsored contests to promote specific products. Specific tags and categories are attached to these stories. There are many novels that support the anti-bullying campaigns popularized during the Obama administration. One of the most popular books for this issue is The Good Girl’s Bad Boys: The Good, The Bad and The Bullied by user RibixCube89201. There are also suicide awareness as well as an entire genre for LGBTQ+ books.

While Wattpad did introduce paid stories in early 2019, users do not pay to create an account and many novels are still free. Some stories do contain ads about every 20 minutes after a chapter was completed.

Wattpad has expanded beyond the single app and website. In February of 2017 Wattpad sponsored their new app Tap. This app allows readers to read stories as though they were reading text chains. Unlike Wattpad, Tap is only available as an app.

Overall Wattpad is an easy alternative for people who do not have the time or ability to access a public library. This also aids individuals who cannot afford to buy books to keep long-term.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

In Pictures: A Day at the Florida State Fair

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Caraval sounds just as fun as Carnival

A book review by Angelique Robinson.

Garber provides a map to the “arena” where Caraval is played. All important places are labeled.

Angelique Robinson

Garber provides a map to the “arena” where Caraval is played. All important places are labeled.

Caraval is a novel by Stephanie Garber, it is the first novel in the trilogy. The book is a combination of romance, fantasy and mystery fiction. The story follows Scarlett as she journeys through the game of Caraval to unravel the year’s mystery, so she can find her sister.

Garber does an amazing job of describing events and details of the setting. The details of the mystery are so detailed and the reader gets an idea of what the characters involved are seeing. By describing everything vividly, this makes it harder for the reader to figure out what is important to solving the mystery, which makes it more exciting to read.

Garber’s choice for the structure of the story helped it flow much easier. Each part is a time stamp of how far into the game Scarlet is. The first part gives the reader context, the audience is clued in on the details going on behind the scenes of the game.

Much of the story takes place within the game itself. Each part has an equal amount of action, there is no one part that is more boring than the one before or after it. the part of the story after the game wraps up some of the problems as well as introduces the conflict of the next book, leaving the reader with a small cliffhanger.

The one thing that I wish Garber had gone into more detail about was the lore behind the game and the person running it. There is a small part about how the game started but a chapter or even an entire prequel novel based on the beginning of the game.

It is possible for the reader to stop at the end of the first book given that the last pages do not cause them to be overly curious. Based on my experience reading it I would not stop. The book best suits those who like puzzles, even though all the other genres are prevalent, puzzles and mysteries are the overarching focuses of the novel. The book is a great read if you have down time, the book is 407 pages.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Novemberfest 2018 in review

This is the popular Rock N' Roll ride.

Angelique Robinson

This is the popular Rock N’ Roll ride.

Brandon, Fla.- Nativity Catholic Church holds Novemberfest every year, approximately a week before Thanksgiving. This year’s event lasted from November 14-18. Each year the event attracts lots of people of all ages but especially high schoolers. At Novemberfest there are always rides, food, live concerts, raffles and games.

The event had rides that everyone can enjoy. There are two funhouses for kids to enjoy, one the one every fair has and then a Mario themed one with obstacles. Also available for kids were the rides with cars going in circles, they had the toddler version and the one for elementary school children, there was also a merry go round and the spinning dragons.

For teens and adults most of the rides involve spinning. Rides like Zero Gravity and Alien Abduction are two of the rides that spin quickly, the only difference being that one rotates as it spins. These types of rides are not for the light of heart.

Sadly, however many fan favorites were missing from this year’s event. The event lacked a Tilt-A-Whirl, Bumper Cars, and a few others. These being gone caused longer lines at other favorites like Typhoon and Rock’N’Roll to be longer than usual.

There were lots of classic carnival games and prizes to be won. All around the event people could be seen with the various prizes from all the games. The most frequent prize was goldfish, coincidently they were prizes at the fishbowl game, where you throw a ping-pong ball into the tiny fishbowls.

There were less food options than usual, especially when it came to desserts. Several teens complained that the stand that usually sold all the deep-fried candies and treats was not present this year, leaving desserts to cotton candy, caramel apples and funnel cakes. Aside from this there were still plenty of options for food. There were classic fair foods like corndogs, hotdogs, pizza or fries, but there were exotic things, like Polish and Indian food options.

Raffles and the live band performances occurred under a big white tent. There were lots of different artists that performed over the five days of the event. Genres for the performers vastly varied from a children’s chorus to a local rock band.

Overall people seemed to enjoy the event as there were still about a thousand people at the event. All around the site friends and families could be seen enjoying their time together.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Rachel Cohn’s Pop Princess makes super-stardom unappealing

The cover is slightly bland unlike the story.

Angelique Robinson

The cover is slightly bland unlike the story.

Rachel Cohn’s book Pop Princess is like no other book I have ever read. Sadly, I did not enjoy the book as much as I thought I would. The book follows the main character Wonder Blake and her journey to fame as a manufactured pop princess.

The sense of humor Cohn used appealed to me but might not to most people. She uses a mix of sarcasm, dark humor and a little sardonic humor. This humor doesn’t make people want to laugh out loud, but it does warrant a chuckle.

The structure of the book was also nice. The book is split into three parts, each part is based on her hair color symbolizing where she is on her pop princess journey. This was a nice touch, but it gets messy within each part. The worst past about this book is the sporadic bouts of information spread throughout. Even towards the end of the book new character information is gained. Some of this felt unnecessary, there were added character traits that felt forced.

One character’s development seemed to be added to include at least one member of a minority group. A lot of this had no warning, there were no hints throughout the book to even allude to the truths at the end.

The characters all also have few redeeming qualities. All of them were annoying, they make decisions that very few people in the real world would make. Her characterization makes me hope that this was a satire on the music industry.

This book was cringy but maybe it was me. Maybe aspiring artists may be able to relate to this or use this as an example of what they could do in their future. If there is still an interest in giving this book a try, it is 311 pages.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Literature can polarize politics

A book review by Angelique Robinson.

This is one of  three covers for the popular teen novel.

Goodreads

This is one of three covers for the popular teen novel.

The Wrong Side of Right was written by Jenn Marie Thorne. This book is about Kate Quinn whose mother passed away and a year later she finally learns the identity of her father. Her father is a famous politician running as the Republican candidate for President. The book follows Kate Quinn’s journey as she goes along the campaign trails with her father and her new family.

The plot of the book is excellent. There were only two major plot lines running at the same time. The first was Kate Quinn on the campaign trail with her family. I think the detail of the politics were brilliant. Lots of political books mainly focus on how the campaigns affect the teenage focus. While this book does that too, it also gives actual politics focus and addresses controversial topics. Another great thing is that the family does not have a smooth transition but not for cliché reasons.

The second major plot line was how Quinn dealt with her friends and love life. Naturally her new life clashes with her old one. This book shows the ideal friendship based on the characters action. Even though the book is not a romance, the romantic elements were one of my favorite parts. There is a gradual increase in the levels. There also is no cliché trouble figuring out what boy she wants, there is one clear crush.

Most of the characterization is brilliantly done. Each of the characters have flaws like all humans. Thorne makes sure that each character has flaws that shine through but also that they learn to live with or learn from their flaws. The best characterization is that Quinn learns things about herself and her beliefs in the political world as the book continues.

One improvement that could have made the book perfect would have been the addition of a chapter that took place before Quinn finds her father. The audience is given a brief description of the actions around her mother’s death. Due to her mother’s death being a part of the summary, the first chapter or two could have been about the death and the events following. This way those events didn’t have to be added throughout the book. On the other hand, describing the elements throughout the novel created bonding moments between her and other characters, however adding the chapters before would make those bonding scenes mean more as the audience would know how emotionally triggering telling others would be.

The book was an easy read. There is no complicated jargon involved in the politics. The book is best on a Sunday, it only takes a few hours to read. There is a total of 390 pages. The book is for people who are not easily offended by beliefs that do not align with theirs. This book may inspire people to continue regardless of tough family situations.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Extreme cold sweeps across United States

this+is+a+photo+of+the+frost+coming+off+Lake+Michigan++beside+the+city.

WTAJ Weather

this is a photo of the frost coming off Lake Michigan beside the city.

Cooler weather has graced Florida for the past few weeks. The weather in Florida is not the only weather being affected. Throughout the United States, there has been weather much colder than usual. The cold has become so extreme it has been labeled as an arctic freeze.

Global warming is part of the cause of the arctic, but because science is not advanced enough, it cannot be labeled as the generator of the arctic freeze. There is a common misconception surrounding the idea; generally, people believe that the only thing global warming affects is rising temperatures. However, as global warming affects extreme heat, the antithesis, extreme cold, is affected the same way. The misconception is that people believe that global warming should generally make winters warmers. According to Kerry Sheridan of phys.org a jet stream is what brought the extreme temperatures to the United States. A jet stream is a powerful band of air currents, the flow of these currents create wind. Sheridan explains that jet streams get more unstable as the contrast between the humid hot air of Central America and the dry icy air of the Arctic Circle.

This is where global warming plays a factor, because the tropics are warmer the contrast has increased, making the jet streams more unstable, causing them to flow quickly and bring freezing temperatures to the nation from the Arctic Circle.

The temperatures in the North were very extreme. The coldest states were Minnesota and North Dakota. According to the National Weather Service, areas in both states experienced temperature below negative 60 degrees.

Other states like Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa had similar temperatures that have been in the negative 40s and 50s. The National Weather Service released a chart showing that none of these states have experienced cold weather this severe since the mid-1990s.

Over the course of the arctic chill, there have been lots of effects. The most serious and lasting effects were all the people who have died due to the chill. The arctic chill has claimed at least 21 victims across the Midwest. According to SBS News, the ages of the victims ranged, university students and the elderly all fell victim to the cold.

Many schools across the Northern states have been closed for most of this past week. Even colleges put classes on pause due to the cold.

College freshman at Christopher Newport University, Sam Rzonca stated that “While it wasn’t too bad for me, one of my friend’s school had to close because it was so bad that pipes busted and the heating in the dorms was not strong enough.”

The U.S. Postal Service was severely affected. According to USA Today News, “The USPS announced that no mail will be delivered in parts of Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.”

Many people in these states would receive packages late as USPS also halted deliveries in these Northern states.

FedEx continued to deliver throughout the storm. According to People, one of their truck drivers was found dead Thursday, January 31. The driver was 69 years old.

For many people this was a dangerous life experience. Many had majority of the week off and were able to remain in their homes away from danger. Luckily for the nation this crisis only lasted a few days.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Marijuana legalization affects more than just smokers

New legislation in Canada may affect marijuana policy worldwide

Marijuana+supporters+changed+the+maple+leaf+to+a+cannabis+leaf+after+legalization.

BBC News

Marijuana supporters changed the maple leaf to a cannabis leaf after legalization.

Canada has had the same marijuana policy for 17 years, their policy allowed for the use of medicinal marijuana. Recently however, the nation legalized the use of recreational marijuana, meaning that anyone over 18 or 19 years old can smoke marijuana without risk of prosecution. Uruguay is the only other nation who shares the same policy as Canada. This policy does not solely affect Canada’s marijuana loving citizens but foreign citizens who are likely to visit in the future.

In contrast, the United States, with much protest, has failed to legalize recreational marijuana use on the federal level. Naturally, learning that Canada has nationally legalized the practice has sparked the interests of many American smokers. People started asking questions to see if anything would change in regard to the United States.

Many smokers wanted to know if their actions in Canada were punishable when they returned to their native countries. Different nations have come out with different statements on policy.

According to the Washington Post, the government is going to be stricter on border control, Americans may go to Canada and indulge in marijuana, but they may not return with any in their possession otherwise they may face criminal charges. Another change in border control will be that if a Canadian citizen admits to marijuana use then they will not be permitted to cross the border and may be banned for life.

Not every nation feels the same way about how to handle Canada’s recreational legalization. There are some nations that will have similar policy to the United States, they will allow their citizens to go to Canada and use marijuana if they do not try to return with any in their possession.

There are also countries who will have strict policy when it comes to this issue. According to Narcity and the New York Times, South Korea and Japan are two of these nations. Within each country marijuana use, possession and transportation is illegal. Their policies against marijuana will go with citizens who are visiting Canada, they can face substantial fines and even years in prison.

There is a large-scale debate on the fairness and seriousness of the issue. When asked if marijuana was worth going to Canada, one Durant stude

Ekos Politics
The graph shows that even in 2015, 67 percent of Canadians supported legalization, showing how long Canadians have longed for legalization

nt says “Of course it is, that would make for a fantastic eighteenth birthday.” While some smokers feel passionately about the issue, others feel less seriously. When a student in Illinois was asked the same question, they replied with, “No, smoking is never that serious.”

Geography is not a factor in this decision, both Florida and Illinois have laws to allow medicinal uses of marijuana. Even students at the same school have differing opinions on the matter. While still being asked the same question, another Durant student believes, “No, no one should even think about doing that.”

The second Illinoisan student was asked a slightly different question than the above students. The student was asked was asked if bringing back marijuana from Canada should be allowed. The student believes that “It should be brought, I don’t think it does much harm.” The government does not agree because it is not legal on a national level thus they would have n way of knowing if the drug is legal in the specific citizen’s state.

There also would be no way of proving a traveler is from a state where marijuana is legal. Changing border control to be able to do these this would require lots of money to provide all officials with the technology and trainings to run programs. This would also slow down border control drastically.

Alongside how to handle customs control, many nations will face increased pressures to legalize the practice. Swiftly after the legalization occurred and people learned of the policy’s success, many bloggers and activists began pressuring their governments to adapt the same policy as Canada. These bloggers exist all over the globe, hoping that their governments succumb to the pressure.

There are many arguments for nations to legalize the practice, one of them is to boost the economy. The second Illinois student believed that this was one of the best reasons to legalize the product. Canada’s legalization is going to drastically change their economy.

For Canada the implementation is going to boost their economy. According to PBS’ estimates, Canada could make $1 billion in tax revenues within a year and this number would continue to rise as years go on.

More people are going to invest in the business due to mass popularity as there has been a mass shortage shortly after legal stores opened. Companies dedicated to marijuana are gaining more stock, they are worth more as people continue to order in these heightened rates.

There are hidden consequences that people did not think about that have arisen. For one, no one expected there to be such a large demand for marijuana after the legalization. According to Vice, some suppliers did not receive enough product to offset the restless some suppliers did not receive enough product to offset the high demand of restless consumers.

Another result stems from the criminal aspect. The main concern is what happens to all the people in prison who are serving sentences for possession of marijuana, as it is now legal. According to Maclean’s, the government will have to pass policy that will allow those serving simple possession charges to apply for pardons without waiting lists or fees. This only partially reverses the problem; the charge will not be erased from permanent records regardless if the person gains the pardon. The Canadian government will have their hands full trying to pass this legislation and then issuing pardons.

The New York Times
This black market business owners makes no plans to legalize his business due to increase in profitability

This is one of the main arguments against legalization in the United States because of the nation’s incarceration system. There were 599,282 Americans charged with marijuana possession in 2017 alone.

This would mean the executive branch would have to go through at least 600,000 appeals for pardons if the nation were to legalize marijuana. There are so many other issues in the nation that this seems like a waste of the government’s time. On the other hand, these people could remain imprisoned because at the time of their arrests and convictions they did commit a crime.

The government would have to dedicate resources to this job because they would have to have someone take the time to separate those who had simple possession from those who were charged with possession and intent to sell.

Another part of the criminality of it is past offenders, these are the people who were convicted and have already served their time. The average punishment for possession is a $1,000 fine and about one year in prison. This would cause tension to be formed between the federal government and previous offenders.

Having to pay the fine and lose a year of freedom is not very bad as a legal punishment. This changes when other people will begin to get away with the same things that others were prosecuted for. People would begin to resent the government as well as the policy. Overall, this policy would reap havoc on the already chaotic justice system.

The legalization of marijuana seems to have ups and downs for Canada. While the growing cannabis market provides more jobs, the black-market sales are just as high as before the legalization in Canada. Based on everything going on around cannabis, the United States may not want to legalize on a national level.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

PRETTYMUCH brings their show to Tampa

Gunnar+has+fans+swaying+as+he+performs+his+song+Ocean+Blue.

Angelique Robinson

Gunnar has fans swaying as he performs his song Ocean Blue.

Ybor City, Fla.–PRETTYMUCH came to Tampa and performed their first ever show in Florida. The band performed at 7:30 at the Ritz in Ybor. This show was a part of their 2018 Funktion tour to perform a lot of their recently released music.

The band’s opener was a relatively new performer named Gunnar Gehl. He is a 17-year-old pop singer who performs covers and has recently begun to post his own music.

He started with his most widely known song Ocean Blue, the song catchy tune that people can sway to as they listen. He also performed one of his released songs that he wrote and produced with Edwin and Brandon from PRETTYMUCH.

He performed two more of his unreleased songs both having upbeat dance vibe. Gunnar ended his set with a medley of songs. He orchestrated the medley through a story of love and heartbreak, he used the songs Life of the Party by Shawn Mendes, Lucid Dreams by Juice Wrld and Lose Yourself by Justin Bieber.

Angelique Robinson
The boys are performing their fan favorite Healthy off of “A PRETTYMUCH EP” which was released earlier this year.

After a short intermission for people to use the restroom and to get drinks or to buy merch, PRETTYMUCH began their set. The boys performed all their released music making sure to keep the crowd moving and involved.

They also performed two unreleased songs that the fans know from pervious concerts. The two songs are called Jello and Mind of Poseidon both are songs that describe aspects of relationships, both getting the crowd to dance and bob along to. They also performed two of their new unreleased song deemed Sauce and Denim on Patrol these songs discuss the amazing qualities in the boys’ ideal girl.

The boys made little skits to transition into fan favorites like their song “Hello.” Each boy introduced themselves in the order of their fandom name with their nicknames and one thing about themselves. They also made a video skit about the power going out and correlated this to their song Open Arms.

Overall the concert was very enjoyable. The music was fun to move, jump and dance along to. Gunnar’s performance caused numerous PRETTYMUCH fans to want to further investigate Gunnar’s music and his life. This also left fans anticipating the band’s return to Tampa.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

PawPrint Reviews Howl-O-Scream

One of the female scarers scouting her next victim.

Angelique Robinson

One of the female scarers scouting her next victim.

Tampa, Fla.–October has arrived meaning Halloween has too. This month is all about fright and several places offer various levels of fright. Howl-O-Scream is Bush Garden’s annual fright fest. It is held only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night’s from 7:30pm-1:00am.  The event features six haunted houses and six scare zones.

The scare zones include dozens of scarers dressed in frightening costumes that correlate to the theme of the zone. For examples, one of the scare zones is Deadly Toys, one of the scarers in the zone dressed as a deranged toy rabbit as he wielded a chainsaw. Others dressed as dolls gone mad and vengeful teddy bears.

Another zone that was not as intense was the Día de los Muertos zone. The scarers in that zone were dressed in traditional Mexican garments and had skeletons painted on their faces as they just snuck up and stared at people. This was the least intense scare zone at the park for the event.

The most intense scare zone is the Hell on Wheels. This scare zone consisted of terrifying creatures as though a zombie apocalypse had arrived, the scarers acted passive-aggressive, slowly creeping up, acting as though they won’t scare you, giving people false senses of security before they finally strike. This zone had the most psychological scaring of thee scare zones.

The other three scare zones were also very intense. The Meat Market had a recommended age limit of 17 or older. This scare zone was all about cannibalism and butchers trying cut your body up to sell. Another was Maniac Midway, a zone of crazy circus people who want to terrify you enough to make you want to join their circus. There were lots of clowns which generally scared lots of people. The sixth scare zone was Camp DOA, which means camp death on arrival. There were several creepy swamp creatures lurking, seeking to terrify people.

Angelique Robinson
The entrance to the haunted house had a very long wait due to popularity.

The haunted houses took about five minutes to get through. The scarier the house was, the longer it felt like it took. There was much variance in how scary each house was.

One of the new and more intense haunted houses was Insomnia. This was an adventure through an insane asylum where patients are experimented on and are not allowed to go to sleep. The house preyed on common fears about insane asylums, psychiatric wards and doctors in general. The house combined jump scares with psychological fears to create this very intense environment that made hearts race, stomachs drop and shoulders tense.

A moderately scary house was the Death Water Bayou. This house was about a Voodoo Queen who wanted lure people into being subjects for her spells. The only thing that made the heart race was a bright pink and purple tunnel that makes it feel like you’re turning. The dizziness takes effect no matter how hard the body fights. This weakens alertness thus jump scares got people more often than usual.

The least scary house was Unearthed. This was an archaeology adventure, examining this recently dug up house that had been haunted. This one is only scary if the sight of blood, dismembered body parts and organs sickens you. One woman casually told her party that, “This would be a great anatomy demonstration. Maybe we should come back with the students.” While this house was not very scary, the fog became slightly overbearing making it difficult to breathe. This house also felt very short.

The other haunted houses include the new, Simon’s Slaughterhouse that was about Simon and how he likes to play twisted and disturbed games, which is said to be very intense as it is the only haunted house with a suggested age limit, which is 17 or older. This was made even more intense because to get in and out of Simon’s Slaughterhouse, you must travel through the Meat Market. Another was The Black Spot, which was about a pirate who wanted you dead. Lastly Motel Hell, where nightmares become realities.

Even if being scared is not an ideal way to celebrate Halloween there are other things available to do. They offer a show several times during the night, the show is called Fiends. The show is a musical featuring many classic creatures such as Frankenstein and werewolves. The six major thrill rides Bush Gardens has to offer are also open during Halloween. These rides are Cobra’s Curse, Falcon’s Fury, Cheetah Hunt, Montu, SheiKra & Kumba. Close to Sheikra, there is a DJ who plays music throughout the night, creating a massive dance circle. The music ranged from the 90’s until now, with various genres like Latin pop and hip-hop because they are easy to dance to even if they are unfamiliar.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Boy Band Releases Catchy New Song

Boy Band Releases Catchy New Song

Tampa Bay, Fla.–The boy band PRETTYMUCH, one of Simon Cowell’s boy bands released a new song on Friday. The title of the song is Solita, which means alone or lonely in Spanish. The song also featured rapper Rich the Kid.

The song has a nice tempo, making it easy to dance to. The song fits their style of including hip-hop and Latin pop into their music. The tempo also fits the message of dancing solving some of the hardships a person may be facing.

The drawback of the song is that one of the member’s goals is underused. Austin typically does raps and deeper parts of their songs. On this song he only sings in the intro and outro in the background of Rich the Kid. His deep voice would have been much use to the chorus, as it slows slightly and gets deeper.

I recommend the song to anyone who likes music that uplift their soul or that they can dance and sing along to. The song would bring a smile to the face and take the burden off any rough day. The band has other songs that capture a similar essence

 

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Teens in Politics Deserve Love Too

Tampa Bay, Fla–Red Girl, Blue Boy by Lauren Baratz-Logsted is a teen romance novel about two teens whose parents are the Democratic and Republican candidates for President and the two teens get close as they complete interviews for their parents’ campaign.

A good thing about this story I that there is a frame story[1], this way the romance is not coming out of nowhere. Without this element the romance feels forced because of the way their romance begins in the novel.

Alongside the beautiful romantic progression, the plot is very consistent by staying focused on the romance of the two central characters while leaving the political race in the background, coming into focus when adding to the romantic plot.

However, the story’s weakness is the character’s romantic conflict because it does not occur until the near end. The cliché is that something happens, one gets angry, then the other one gets upset and they give their relationship up only to get back together shortly after. This feels like lazy writing as both the main characters are determined fighters, so they never would let a small problem tear them completely apart.

This book is meant for people who like romance but do not want to become deeply emotionally invested. This also for people who may be experimenting with what genres they like, this is a calm romance novel, as opposed to something like John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. The book takes the time for developing romances and characters, therefore the book has 289 pages.

 

[1] Frame story: Context from a time before or a time after the story has taken place. Some others provide both.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Author David Klass Makes Losing Interesting

PawPrint writer Angelique Robinson reviews David Klass’ book “Losers Take All.”

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Angelique Robinson

The cover of the book makes people curious due to the sad foam finger. What tragedy lies within?

The book Losers Take All by David Klass is a great read for people who appreciate reading about a journey. The book is about a group of students who go to a school that has a new rule that says all seniors must join a sports team. This follows their journey while on their very bad soccer team.

Klass does a good job of not following cliché plot lines. For example, a predictable ending would be the team becoming state champions after being the underdogs. While this uplifts some people’s spirits, it does not represent reality. That is the best thing about this book, that the plot line could actually happen in the real world, even though a school forcing athletic participation seems crazy.

Another good thing that Klass does well is incorporating a few side stories without taking away from the central storyline. There are side plots about romance, family drama and deviance but despite them being very different, they all tie into the main idea.

One criticism I do have is that there is not much character development. None of the main characters go through something that changes who they are. If there are developments they were in side characters, whose changes have no major impact on the outcome of the story.

Overall, I think this book is very refreshing compared to most young adult fiction, which consists mostly of romance novels. This appeals to the non-athletic and the athletic alike. The book is slightly longer for those interested in reading the book, the page count is 306 pages.

 

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

African Fashion Comes to Tampa Bay

This is a couple’s outfit. Both incorporating floral patterns, his near his collar and hers around her hips.

Angelique Robinson

This is a couple’s outfit. Both incorporating floral patterns, his near his collar and hers around her hips.

Tampa, Fla.–On Saturday, Sept. 22, at the AC Marriott Hotel, an African Fashions pop-up show was held. There were also clothes, jewelry and handbags for sale before and after the fashion show.

There were eight models in total, seven women and one man. The women varied in height, shades and sizes. Each had multiple outfits all suited to their body shapes and skin tones.

The best piece in the line was one of the early pieces in the show. This was a one shoulder top made of carnation pink chiffon fabric. The bottom was a long, vibrant, yellow skirt that flowed instead of being skin tight. On the skirt were large pink and orange carnations. The way all the warm colors work together to make the eyes wander the outfit is what makes the outfit so brilliant.

While this piece was more sophisticated, another great piece was designed for a much more casual outing. The eye-catching part of the outfit was the cloak-like jacket, similar to what little red riding hood wore. The hooded cloak had wavy stripes in various shades of blue and aqua, orange and white. Underneath was a black hater top and a pair of black leggings, to make the cloak the center of the show.

There were some pieces that were not as strong. One of them was a knee length dress that had dark and light blue stripes contrasting each other with a shape resembling an over easy egg in two shades of pink scattered across the dress. The shades did not complement each other, and the pattern shape did not make the dress easy to look at.

I thought that the complete line looked beautiful. African fashions utilize colors and patterns which gives variety to an otherwise bland fashion world. The African fashion designers do things that many European and American designers are too afraid to; they use at least three different colors in every piece.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Shock After New Nike Ad Campaign

Colin Kaepernick during last year's NFL season. Photo from:

Colin Kaepernick during last year’s NFL season. Photo from: “USA Today.”

Tampa Bay, Fla.–Recently Nike released an advertisement featuring former NFL player Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel in protest for the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

The advertisement consisted of a photo of Kaepernick’s face with the quote: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” This advertisement has resulted in a whirlwind of discussion.

The effects of the ad on Nike wary. When comparing two polls, the number of people who claimed to have a desire to purchase a Nike product declined 10 percent (Forbes). On the other hand, the amount of coverage the ad is receiving has amounted to $163.4 million.

In addition to the economic side of things, the public has also started massive discussions over the topic. Many celebrities commended Nike for the ad. Lebron James took to Instagram, stating that he supports and stands with Nike (Associated Press). Others are against the advertisement. A mayor in Louisiana banned all schools from using any Nike merchandise.

Opinions on the subject are very strong. According to CBS News, Brian Moran, Virginian Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security-D, faced heavy back ash after accidently sharing a Facebook post that wanted to boycott Nike after the advertisement was released. The backlash did not end immediately after Moran posted an apology, stating that this was not his belief.

The 30th Anniversary advertisement for Nike sparked an enormous debate and gained lots of attention for the company, which will continue to help them down the line. The ad campaign might even help Kaepernick get a contract with a NFL team.

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Hurricane Florence Strikes Hard in the Carolinas

Hurricane+Florence+left+severe+damage+in+the+Carolinas.+Photo+from+%22The+Source.%22

Hurricane Florence left severe damage in the Carolinas. Photo from “The Source.”

Tampa Bay, Fla.–This year’s largest hurricane thus far is Hurricane Florence, which has mainly impacted North and South Carolina. The majority of both states were asked to evacuate in order for them to escape the brutality of the storm.

The hurricane has caused mass flooding in the Carolinas. According to the New York Times, there are several rivers that are already in “major flood,” and are continuing to rise even after the storm has passed. This is creating problems for many people in the Carolinas–as the floods continue, more roads are closed off, isolating some communities. According to the Washington Post, there is no way into Wilmington, N.C. due to the amount of flooding in the coastal area. The Post even referred to Wilmington as a new island.

The situation is becoming increasingly dangerous for residents in North and South Carolina. The death toll is up to 25, with 19 confirmed dead in North Carolina and six confirmed in South Carolina (BBC News).

While causing damage to people, property is also taking a massive hit due to this hurricane. Most people would assume that for homeowners in coral areas that flood insurance would be a necessity, but this is not the case. According to CNBC News, the property damage is estimated between $17-$22 billion dollars, if the flooding does not get much worse. Luckily for taxpayers and employees, the economy will not take a massive hit due to this.

Many officials fear possible future environmental dangers near the Carolina mountains, such as landslides, or flooding from full rivers.

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Alpha Omega Cougars Wow the Crowds

Plant City, Fla.–Every year Durant High School’s Alpha Cougar Omega Step Team puts on a Coming Out show as an induction of new members. This year’s show was hosted by co-captains Beneka Beauford and Kyra Scott.

The show started with all the girls marching out chanting about how good all the girls on the team look. After the chant, all the girls positioned themselves around the stumps in the courtyard.

To be inducted onto the team, each new member had to create their own step to perform. One-by-one, each girl was introduced in a creative way by one of the captains, using their given line name. For example, Beauford announced “Dauntless” using a Divergent faction reference and Scott introduced “Bold Beauty” using Disney princess references. Once the girl was announced, she did her step, then reintroduced herself in her own way.

In addition to each new girl performing her own step, to wrap up the performance all members of the team participated in a group step together. The ending step showed newcomers what to expect from the team in the future.

The team typically performs at Durant’s pep rallies, at Stomp the Yard for Black History Month, and at the annual spring Multicultural Show.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

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