Sun Glare, Don’t Care

By Karley Hecht, junior

EXCELLENCE INSPIRES US.

There is nothing better than an unexpected sunny day in Oregon. Especially in February.

Sunny Day
It was an average morning at my house, my alarm went off at 6:20, and I didn’t get out of bed until about 7. Keep in mind, I have to leave my house at 7:15 in order to make it to school on time. I thought I was starting off the day on a bad note (by being late), but I put on a dress and felt great. You know what they say, “Look good, feel good, do good”.
Not knowing what the temperature was gonna be was a little bit scary. Putting on a risky outfit and not knowing if you made the wrong or right choice makes your stomach very uneasy. When you arrive at school and realize that you made the wrong outfit choice many thoughts roll through my head, but the one that stays in my head all day is… “Wow, this was NOT the right outfit….” It just puts you in a bad mood for the rest of the day. I’m telling you, it’s the worst feeling ever!!! But the best feeling is when you realize that it was actually a super cute outfit, and then you’re on top of the world for the whole day! Sometimes, you even look back on that day and reminisce.
When I say this, I think everyone in school can agree. Waking up early and going to school for hours and hours on end, sucks. What sucks even more is looking outside and seeing it is a GORGEOUS day. Now that, that right there is very depressing. It’s a tease. While we’re doing work and getting our “education,” we could be having fun outside with our friends and soaking up the sun (with sunscreen on of course).
Dear parents and school, next time there is a nice day coming up…don’t be surprised if I’m sick, or not present at school. On the other hand, my mom will most likely make me go. With that being said, you can catch me in the halls rockin’ a dress and sandals because that is the second best thing to do besides playing hooky.

Adventures in Costa Rica

By Gordon House, junior

LEARNING TRANSFORMS US.

The wonderful country of Costa Rica harbors beautiful cloud rain forests and animal life like that of none other. For many years, I had been interested in traveling to this country, hearing from friends and relatives about how great their travel experiences were.

As someone who had previously never been to a country in Central or South America, my interests were peaked last school year when my mom brought news of a vacation to Costa Rica during the 2015 holiday break. I was excited, giddy if you will, and come the school year, I was also in dire need of a tan. My expectations were high, but I didn’t know what to expect. Something like Hawaii, but a little more exciting… I had no idea.

Costa Rica map

Suddenly, it’s early December, I’m a fresh 17-year-old who cannot comprehend how his junior year is flying by so quickly and how there is only one more year until he can be apprehended for his actions (lol). It’s the week leading up to my family vacation, and I’m lacking melanin like I live is some sorta cave. So, basically I’m excited for sunburns and aloe vera.

Landing in Costa Rica the hot and humid climate hit me like a bag of bricks as soon as I stepped off of the plane. The bustling city life of San Jose was too much. But it kept any driving we had on our schedule all that more exciting. With our sketch rental car, my parents and brother and I made our way towards our first destination, The Arenal Volcano. My god was it nice there. Higher elevation is a must for anyone who is traveling there. Remember that. The Volcano resort at which we spent our first 3 nights was beautiful, full of the colorful birds and reptiles and natural hot springs. The night life in the city of La Fortuna was just as beautiful with the culture of Costa Rica shining and the delicious food on display for my stomach. We ended our stay in La Fortuna with a kick-ass zip lining excursion through the friendly people at Sky-Trek zip lining.

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Traveling down south to Ojochal, I found the heat and humidity to be undeniably unnoticeable. And if you think staying at the beach helps, you’re so so so wrong. I was ignorant enough to believe that approximately five minutes before jumping into the salt bath known as the Pacific Ocean down there. Hoping to escape the sweaty and muggy weather the ocean was no such escape and after getting stung on the foot by a fat jellyfish, I grew to hate the ocean there. My escapes were the beautiful hikes and waterfall basins full of cool fresh water. And Ice cream. My self admitted addiction of Ice cream was seemingly enhanced in the tropical climate and my parents acting as the ultimate enablers did not help. I’m not mad tho. So if you’re wondering, don’t stay on the beach for too long, and if you do, get a house with full air conditioning.

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Finally making it up the coastal mountains and surviving the extreme highways, we made it to Hotel Mango Valley, near Grecia. The beautiful hills and valleys of this coffee plantation land was jaw dropping. Being higher elevation, we switched the 90 degree 90% humidity with beautiful days of 75 degrees and relatively no humidity. The cloud rain forests and natural parks were inspiring and the way this country takes care of their ecosystem and wildlife is absolutely inspiring. Spending our last three nights visiting all the rain forests, waterfalls and zoos we could, I was exhausted but fulfilled.

hotel mango valley

At the end of my trip, I was feeling homesick; I wanted nothing more than to feel the cold on my face and bundle up in sweaters and sweatpants near a fire. I had missed the holiday season and spirit but I wasn’t mad. I missed my friends and family and my girlfriend for two weeks. I was ready to come home. All the food and hikes and waterfalls and animals and landscapes were utterly beautiful. I had even added some tone to my skin! ​​I had made the most of my trip to this foreign country and was impressed with the beauty of their people and their landscapes. Above all, the people of Costa Rica take such good care of what makes them special, and I appreciate that so much.

Thanks for listening to my travel journal blog or whatever you would call it.

Until next time,

Gordon House

What It Takes to be a Student-Athlete

By Marilyn Navarro, senior

TRADITION UNITES US.

As a high school senior, it’s an incredible accomplishment to complete 4 long years in an athletic sport. That labels out the dedication a person has plus the responsibility that it comes with. What many people don’t know is how much students have to juggle to make this possible.

The years all break down to this:
Freshman year comes with managing full school schedules, adapting to the “new social thing”, and completing homework on time (or at least try to) . Sophomore year is similar to freshman year, but you start to balance more social activities. Junior year includes AP classes, testing, stress, work and everything mentioned above. Senior year is everything mentioned before plus adding the pressure of picking the right college and applying for scholarships.
Last Friday, February 12, 2016, to be exact, I as well as a couple of other seniors, completed their high school swim team participation experience.
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On this evening, every team member from the swim team swam their hearts out at the Metro League district meet. New personal records were achieved, and the emotions developed as the competition reached its end. I, personally wanted to capture every moment of this event because I knew that it was going to be the last one I would attend.

Alumni Spotlight: Chuck Meadows

By Anaya Sergeant, junior

TRADITION UNITES US.

In Digital Marketing, students are assigned different content to create each week for Beaverton’s social media accounts. One of the types of posts BHS makes is “Spotlights,” and one week, I volunteered to make content for the Alumni Spotlight on Col. Charles “Chuck” Meadows. I was excited because I had never been given the chance to interview someone, and it was somewhat of a challenge because I wasn’t sure exactly how to find this person.

After going to the office multiple times in attempt to find some sort of way to contact Chuck, I finally got his email. I wasn’t sure what to say at first; I didn’t want to be annoying and bother him with unwanted attention. I knew he had walked in the assembly honoring alumni, but I wasn’t sure if he would want to take the time to go over his high school experience from so long ago. I was definitely wrong.

In my initial email to him I offered to simply email him the questions and he could reply with his responses, but instead he offered to meet me in person. I wasn’t expecting that, and although I had a due date for my week’s content looming near, I agreed. We were set to meet Monday morning at 10 AM in the Student Center.

I had my questions prepped and was ready to leave forecasting early to meet him, which was great since forecasting wasn’t really the highlight of my day. I went to the office and found a man sitting and waiting, which I assumed was my guy. I asked and he said yes, and told me to call him Chuck. We sat on chairs in the student center, I started recording so I could look back at it, and we began.

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I started with asking him about his experiences at BHS. He was class of 1957; seems like forever ago. I can’t even imagine this school back then. He explained how he went to Sylvan Elementary, which was a tiny school. He only had 6 other boys in his class one year. That made his jump upward seem huge, and when he finally ended up at BHS years later, the difference was massive. They had around 2,000 kids in school, including him and his twin brother. Chuck didn’t plan on being involved in the school as much as he was, but “it kinda evolves and grows on you” he said. “I enjoyed talking to people and communicating and learning from them.” He was the first Freshman Class President, and got started with football and baseball. His years grew better and better until he was Student Body President his senior year. “Being involved made my years here very helpful, making a lot of friends. That includes the teachers and staff, I was very close to them.”

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When I asked him why it was so important to him to be involved with his school, he was persistent with his belief that student activity and athletics kept him busy and taught him to make connections and build communication skills with people. His memories that stood out the most to him all evolve around the student body and the activities BHS would put on.

On the other hand, Chuck acknowledges how hard it is for students to balance everything on their plates. “How do you make arrangements to do that?!’ he asks with a smile on how kids are expected to be at so many places and figure out how to get there. With games and clubs and practices and meetings on top of everyday homework, it’s tough, even back then.

“That activity of going place to place is what really helped. Getting in the groove of things, you had to learn to just do it.”

In his experience, he is grateful for his teachers and coaches. They made a world of a difference in pushing him to do his absolute best. “There were coaches, who I very much respect, who acted almost as surrogates for my brother and I to assist us in academics and pushing forward. We did not come from a wealthy family, and they’re assistance in helping us brought up college and career opportunities that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.” He explained how easy it was to find a teacher or staff member who was willing to help him. “There was a sense that they all had the goal to assist us. Really help assist us do what we had to do.”

After the initial questions about BHS, I asked him about the Marines. “Did you plan on going into the Marines while you were in high school?” I asked.

“The honest answer is no,” he told me. “I got a scholarship to go to Oregon State, and without that I know I couldn’t have gone. The NROTC scholarship has an option to go into the Marines or the Navy, and maybe around my sophomore year, I decided on the Marines. I didn’t go the same route as others, being left with no other options for a career and falling back on the Army. I chose this route; it was a better route.”

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“I was commissioned on active duty for 26 years and raised up to be Colonel. Being a part of that brought me almost all around the world, really.” Starting in Virginia, Chuck later gave me a packet of around 70 countries, including all the 50 states, he had been to in his lifetime. My jaw literally dropped, that was unbelievable to me. I still have never been out of the U.S., and this man had seen so many things I had no idea about.

I asked him about the awards he had been given while in combat, and he shyly smiled and explained. I could tell he was proud of those achievements, and the things he had done to get them. “Those are awards that were combat awards from Vietnam, and I was fortunate enough to be able to step up as a leader. I learned to have empathy for people, and to be able to sit down and chat with people. In the Marines, it wasn’t a nice and pleasant chat everyday, as you can imagine, but I could do that because I was comfortable enough to do so.”

“I had a wonderful bunch of men that taught humility, and as a commander, I lost 29 men and almost 200 wounded, which indicated our actual involvement in the war. But that set a huge, huge tone for me, even afterwards. I still wanted to understand these men for all that I could, on another level. Most people think of the Marines as big strong men with guns and tattoos fighting, and at that time in my case it basically was. That’s true, but having empathy and also seeing those horrible situations and so much loss and suffering created a bigger purpose for all of us.”

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Finally after retiring, Chuck returned to living in Oregon along with having a beach house at Cannon. If you asked me, he definitely deserves a vacation. He’s now married with three daughters and four grandchildren.

When he came back to Beaverton after all these years, he was somewhat sentimental, reflecting back on things that have changed. New buildings, parking lots turned into buildings, more clubs than ever, revamped gym… I can imagine it felt like a completely new place. But he did tell me that the gym was basically the same, with new bleachers. The trophy case, location of office, theatre, and football field all were in the same places but were “all spruced up.” BHS has physically grown in size, but still felt like the same school he had gone to so many years ago.  “The physical part of it has improved, and is much nicer I think. Another thing I’d notice is just from chatting with people. The mix of people is so different and bigger, the breakdown is very positive. I still come back. I walk the same halls. I probably could even show you where my locker is. Might be new, but same kind, same place. That’s special.”

When I decided to wrap up our talk, I planned on asking him what piece of advice he would tell to students today. “I would tell them that your high school years are significantly formative for you guys. You mature in these short four years and turn into young adults. My advice is to be involved, and study. And really, really study. I know kids don’t like to and it may be long and seems to be pointless, but you don’t have the big picture yet. I emphasize academics, and giving thought to what you wanna do. It’s kinda scary, there’s so many opportunities. But you won’t get them unless you do something to show for yourself. How you approach people and the attitude you have to communicate with people is huge. To be able to put your phone aside and have a conversation, I find that a lot of young kids can’t do it. And if they do, they can’t even look at you! How do you hold a conversation if you’re looking all around? You can’t. Some of those skills can be learned in high school and create a good base for yourself.”

Almost 45 minutes later, we were all finished. We shook hands goodbye, and I thanked him for meeting with me. It had gone longer and better than I expected. I had a long recording to go through and type out. But Chuck was such a nice person, and he had values that teachers and parents and adults always shove onto kids. But hearing from him, that he’s glad he actually worked hard during high school, was nice to hear, and it was nice to hear about his stories and how everything turned out. If anything, I’m glad I took the chance to step out of my comfort zone and talk to a stranger who now feels like a friend.

 

Once a Duck…

By Emma Egan, senior

EXCELLENCE INSPIRES US.

Next year, I am attending The University of Oregon . I am extremely excited for the new experiences and starting the new chapter in my life. Growing up visiting Eugene and attending football games has been a huge part of my life. I am a huge Duck fan and will continue to be.
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I am super excited to go down there in September and be with my friends who are already down there. Also, my brother is currently attending it, and I couldn’t be more excited to be with him. I plan on majoring in business and/or marketing.
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I am so excited to attend the sporting events as a student and be able to cheer on my favorite sports team all throughout college! The football games are super fun to attend you can always count on a good time. As a freshman, I hope to find a social media internship as I really enjoy doing social media/digital marketing especially for sports teams!
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Go Ducks!

 

The Woes of Senioritis

By Cortlandt Nelsen, senior

LEARNING TRANSFORMS US.

As for me (a senior) and many others, we are starting to get a case of “Senioritis,” which is a supposed affliction of students during their final year of high school, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.

Why does this happen? Being a senior in high school is an exciting time for many students, but being aware of the countdown to graduation can cause “Senioritis.” Stereotypically, this can include wearing sweatpants and athletic clothing in excess which is just another way of laziness. This laziness can include a loss in studying habits, bad attitude, or a majority of absences.

How do you prevent this? Many teachers will often try to encourage the student or child to finish the semester strong by telling them that if they don’t finish strong, they might have to take summer school. No one likes summer school. Everyone wants to be able to enjoy the sunny days and have freedom. Another way to prevent “Senioritis” is to realize that how you finish your high school years will be how you approach your future whether it’s taking your next step in education at college or starting your first job. What you do today will affect your outcomes later. Keep up the hard work and it will pay off. You want to end senior year on a high note without any regrets. So go out there and finish strong!

Me Time

By Peter Vos, senior

EXCELLENCE INSPIRES US.

A normal high school students day is around 7 hours. That’s a lot of time for a person, let alone a teenager with all their hormones and what not, to be sitting still and learning a plethora of new information. I am a firm believer that everybody needs a break once in awhile to be truly effective in their learning. Some people call this procrastination but I’m not “some people”; I call these breaks throughout the day “me time”. This can include any type of activity that deviates from what you’re expected to be doing, which usually, is learning.

Now, there are the normal activities that most people do to get a break from the constant learning that happens during school, like going to the bathroom or getting water and taking the long way back to class so that you can waste some more time. But I’ve been doing this for a couple years now and through all my experiences of trying to deviate from what I’m supposed to be doing I have learned a thing or two.

This year, one of my main “me time” activities has been agar.io. It first started out in AP Psych, when we would get ChromeBooks to study, but obviously we can’t study the whole time; we lose our effectiveness if we don’t have a break so some of us started playing this game in order to optimize the time when we actually were studying. It started on the computer but now there’s an app for it, and it’s a fun game that kills time and also you can collaborate with friends, so it’s really the perfect activity.

Now this next “me time” activity isn’t much of an activity at all, to be honest, but there’s no doubt about it’s effectiveness in giving me the break I search for while at School. I’m sure a good amount of the viewership on this blog thinks the artist I’m about to mention is a conceded *insert bad word here*, and you probably aren’t wrong but I, and many others still love his music. Kanye West came out with an album last week and I have essentially listened to it non stop. The album is called The Life of Pablo, Pablo being Pablo Escobar and/or Pablo Picasso, Kanye refers to himself as a genius and whether you personally classify him or the two Pablo’s geniuses, it’s pretty hard to deny that they’ve had a big impact on society. Anyways, the album has definitely helped me deviate from the things I’m supposed to do at School, which is the point.

This whole week I’ve had the job of writing this blog and since I’ve known the topic of “Procrastination,” I have done everything I can to not be on task so that I can fully practice what I’m preaching. So I am finishing up this blog at 2:30 PM on the day it’s due, and I fully believe that because of all the “me time” I took this week, avoiding writing this, the blog and probably the universe is better for it.

Middle School Woes

By Hazel Reynolds, sophomore

LEARNING TRANSFORMS US.

Yes, the rumors are true, middle school is the absolute worst. I can definitely testify to that; I attended that terrible place in between elementary and high school. Now, I’m not saying the school itself is bad, just the overall attitude of my peers is what made me want to stay in bed all day. I cringed every time I heard a fart joke or something regarding gross bodily functions; I spent about half my day cringing. 
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Also, the extremely awkward “couples” are the worst thing that has ever happened to the American school system. I can admit that I, too, have fallen into a the stereotype as half of one of those awkward middle school couples. It was a whole lot of texting and no eye contact. You might be asking yourself how did I survive a place full of potty humor and just overall uncomfortableness? The answer: hope. Hope of high school. As a middle schooler, all I ever wanted to be was older and in high school. It was the light at the end of an extremely long, three-year tunnel.
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A lot of people told me that high school isn’t that much better than what comes before it. But, that is false, and question those people’s sanity. Middle school doesn’t allow you to be different; there is no “discovering who you are”; everyone is a follower; and everyone has the same fear, standing out from the crowd. High school promotes diversity – well, maybe not all high schools – but Beaverton definitely does, and that is something I have appreciated about BHS since my first day. It’s fun to be different; it’s fun to dye your hair purple or wear a fuzzy animal tail; it’s fun realizing who you are and who you want to be. It’s important. The people that choose to show who they are regardless of what that may be is what makes high school so much better than middle school. If you’re in middle, be yourself, and know that high school is much better. And if you’re not in middle school, just unhappy about your current state, understand that, even though I’m only a high schooler, I know it will get better.

Stellar Sunday Snowshoe

By Oliver Brown, junior

LEARNING TRANSFORMS US.

Title: Stellar Sunday Snowshoe

Location: Tom Dick and Harry Mountain

Author/Adventurer: Oliver Brown

Co-Adventurer: Nolan Byrd (my friend)

A typical Sunday morning for me doesn’t really exist. This is because I’ve never experienced one, Sundays for myself only include the Post Meridian time. So when I tell you in my next paragraph I was up at 5:15AM on Sunday, it’s a big deal.

Sunday morning for myself started at 5:15 after four cycles of my blood curdling iPhone alarm. With breakfast, clothes and the all-important electronics laid out in an organized fashion, we were out of the cabin in a semi-orderly manner.

The twenty two minute drive was filled with a nervous but rather exciting vibe. Arriving at the trail head, the world still cloaked in darkness, we suited up in our warmest gear, figured out our snowshoes and disembarked.

It wasn’t any more than a half mile that my biggest fears were confirmed. I was absolutely, completely, extraordinary too warm. The worst part about this predicament is that we were just barely too far from the car for me to justify going back and dumping layers off. Proceeding roughly 2 miles, we came to mirror lake. This was just in time to witness the pre-sunrise colors.

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Rounding Mirror Lake in a counter clockwise manner we came to an opening and our first view of Mt. Hood. The soft morning glow shining on the east side of the mountain.

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Embracing the spectacle of a sunrise on Hood gives me that feeling of a kid in a candy store. Sure other things really get me excited but the sensation of hard work paying off with stunning views and the collective satisfaction of being so small in the shadow of a mountain like hood is an unmatched feeling.

Continuing on, we took countless wrong paths before find the right one that led us up the mountain. If you do this trail in the snow follow the directions on oregonhikerguide.org but know that once you reach the opening past Mirror Lake the website directions don’t really work, so follow the snow shoe tracks leading directly up the mountain. It’s steep at first but eventually the gradient lessens as you will reach and then follow the ridgeline. (You will be fine, promise)

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Climbing the mountain there are an endless amount of spectacular views of hood and the surrounding wilderness.

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After and decent climb (roughly 1.5 miles) we reached the summit of Tom Dick and Harry Mountain. Gob-smacked by the expansive views, we pulled the camera back out and snapped a myriad of bangers (Bangers: a word used to describe quality images). From the summit, we could spot five mountain peaks; Helens, Rainier, Adams, Hood and Jefferson. As well as a view of the PDX cityscape and Government Camp. DSC_0601

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Embracing the summit for just over an hour, we had refueled and were on our way down. Filled with adrenaline and anxious to reach the car we decided to take a more direct root down the mountain. Tightening our snow shoes we plunged directly down the mountain and went for it; carving our trail was fun at first but I’m not sure if I would suggest it. Lots more work and a bit nerve-wracking at times.

Reaching the real trail once more we headed back down towards the car. By this time it was 11:30 and the mirror lake trail had filled up and became quite busy. The three-ish miles back down to the car was time to reflect on our productive day. Reaching the car by 12:40, Nolan and I both turned to each other and embraced the fact that we would both still be in bed on our typical Sunday.

P.S. ***Multiple websites we checked reported the Mirror lake Trail head parking lot was closed on in the winter due to snow accumulation. Because of this we parked in the Ski Bowl West parking lot and trekked a mile down the highway before reaching the trail head. When we came past the trail head on our way back there were multiple cars parked along the road right next to the trail head. This caused major annoyance to an already fractious and tired mind. I wouldn’t advise you do to park on the side of the road next to the “No Parking Signs” but it seems to be a commonly accepted practice and cuts off two miles off the round tip.***

By Max Murai, senior

EXCELLENCE INSPIRES US.

When I stepped into Cascade Athletic Club (CAC for short). I felt nervous, tired, and carsick. But I had to fight through it. Racquetball is the most underrated sport, you got kids hitting the ball 125 mph. Half the time, I can’t even see the ball; I just start swinging with my eyes closed and hope I make contact with something, with all luck the ball.

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Racquetball matches start with both players warming up by hitting the ball and practicing shots. I have a special skiIl; what I do is I try to hit the ball as hard as I can to intimidate my opponent, of course. I’m not aiming at anything, just trying to wow him with my impressive strength and shot-making abilities. If he only knew… Then, when both players are ready, the match begins. Once the first ball is served, all technique goes out the window. It’s survival mode. Some skilled racquetball players have a game plan that they play by; I am not one of those players so it’s all based on instinct.
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