Posts Tagged ‘Alissa Baker’

By Alissa Baker
Cougar News Blog

     Cactus Canyon’s choir spends most of their time behind closed doors, practicing for concerts, carnivals, and other special occasions.
     Many people outside of choir might see the group as just a school elective, but it is much more than that. All the students and instructors are connected through their love of music and shared frustration of hard work. The members of the club really do feel the connection they have with each other, and they are willing to support one another all the way.
     “Choir is like a family to me, so that means we work together through the hard times and protect each other afterwards – and we don’t leave each other out,” said Katriel Hamilton.
     Mrs. Chung had been preparing her students for their Dec. 20 and has been giving them various practice methods. Many of these practices include warm ups at the beginning of class. These seem to be helping the students with their singing and even with their natural speech. Some of the singers who want to continue singing in the future even find it helpful.
     “I’m planning on singing again in the future, so I think the warm ups Mrs. Chung has been giving us are helpful,” Alondra Urias said.
     A lot of the participants were very excited during the concert in December. There are also many people who were nervous, and didn’t know how to cope with it.
     “I’m a little bit nervous because of the solos that we are doing, since we do them by our selves, but I am also excited because we get to dance and stuff.”

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By Alissa Baker
Cougar News Blog

     You may have heard about this subject from your friends, the internet, or maybe you even have it yourself. Although there are many articles discussing teen depression, I feel like they are missing a few key features. I want to give people an insight into what depression feels like, what it is, and what it can do to an emotional teen.
     You know that feeling you get when you’re sad? Well, that’s what depression is, except you have it for a longer period of time. Many would describe it as a gloomy, mean, or frightening monster hanging on your back, or like a grey cloud always hanging over your head. The most disturbing and realistic description of it is it’s like you fall down this deep, dark hole, and a huge rock is crushing your leg. You try to yell out for help, only realising that nobody can hear you and you are probably going to die there alone without anyone ever noticing.
     When someone has depression, it is usually caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which may have been caused by genetics, early childhood trauma, or the brain’s biology. It is also documented that depression could be passed down by genetics. This mental disorder is not easily fixed; it has to slowly progress over time, and some people never escape it.
     Some states of depression only last a couple weeks, then it is all clear. Every now and then it can come back even harder than the first time. States of major depression, also known as manic depression, can be linked to anxiety, where you have stress and panic attacks. It is also linked to bipolar disorder, where the person can spend a period of time energetic and happy, but ending up burning themselves out and feeling majorly depressed afterwards with no signs of the sudden change. This can lead to abuse, self-harming, and suicide.
     Many people with depression try to make themselves feel better by going into the grey zone, which is a mental state where you can’t feel any emotions, including sadness, and happiness. It’s like if you walked up into your head and came back down but you forgot all you emotions.
     Depression mixed with an emotional teen can get very dire. Many adults may brush it off and say it’s just their hormones and that they should get over it because some people have it worse than them. But depression is a serious thing and negative comments they get from people on the subject can create a storm inside their heart. If they try to bottle the pain and rage up, they will soon explode.
     People may get depression mixed up with being “emo.” Although some may have depression, but others may just be trying to act “depressed” to get attention or show that they are different.
     If you have depression or someone you know of has depression, I recommend you or your friend talk to a therapist or doctor to help you find the best treatment. Having depression is nothing to be ashamed of and making the decision to get help can be the most difficult step in getting help.

Editor’s Note: This article is the opinion of the Cougar News Blog writer Alissa Baker. It is the fourth in a series of stories about serious issues such as depression, eating disorders, and women’s rights.

Alissa Baker and Savannah Barr read the announcements while Mya Palomino holds the teleprompter and Stanley Cook films. (Photo by Mr. Davis)

Alissa Baker and Savannah Barr read the announcements while Mya Palomino holds the teleprompter and Stanley Cook films. (Photo by Mr. Davis)

By Mya Palomino
Cougar News Blog

     A new addition has been added to the morning announcements – video. In order to help more students be engaged with the news, the Journalism 2 students are recording the segments each day for the following morning.
     The announcements are now online for teachers to play and for students to view. The Pledge of Allegiance and school pledge are still done at before the video, as are any announcements that were added after filming was completed during fourth hour.
     Although the announcements are student recorded, they are being edited by adviser Jason Davis for now, but they are aimed to be done by just the students soon. This project will hopefully help students in their speaking and presenting standards.
     “While there are no traditional English or math standards associated with this project,” said Davis, “Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards include speaking and presenting.”
     The production has also gotten better with a more efficient set and better, more professional graphics. There was also a teleprompter added to help students look at the camera more often. Mr. Davis said he expects the videos will get better throughout the year.
     “Our reporters have come a long way already,” said Marie-Wilbur, seventh grade teacher. “They are starting to look at the camera and we as an audience get to see their faces.”
     There are many benefits to the announcements now. Not only do students get to feel what journalism is about, this is a way for the world to know that our school has many great opportunities. It’s also a better way for students to pay attention to the announcements.
     “I feel like students pay attention a lot more now,” said eighth grader Hannah Molino. “Everyone is quiet since it’s a video and they pay attention more so it’s easier to get information to our students now.”