Ground Control: Grade problems and some complaints

Dear Ground Control,

All through my freshman year I knew that I was having a really hard time. My grades were slowly dropping and I was too terrified to tell anybody about it so I lied to my friends about my grades. The same thing is happening to me this sophomore year but this year I don’t feel like I have any friends to talk to. My depression and anxiety are getting worse and I don’t know how to deal with it. I know that my parents won’t take it seriously and I’m too scared to go see Ms. Carper. What should I do??

-Needing a Friend


Dear Friend,

There are more people than you think who are willing to help you. Pick a teacher you trust to talk to about your depression.They became teachers for a reason: they want to help you grow as a student and as a person. Ms. Carper is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and while it might be scary to approach her the first time, she’s here to help make your experience at school better. You can also reach out to Ms. Dyer, Ms. Jones, Mr. Kumakura, Mr. Storer, and Ms. Juarez. They are on the Prevention and Intervention team specifically designed to help struggling students with their problems.


As far as your grades go, I will tell you what I do. Set a bedtime and stick to it: you’ll feel better during the day, and you will be more fresh to do your homework. Sophomore year is the year to learn good habits like this, because things pick up your junior and senior year. Remember to ask your teacher for help if you’re struggling with a subject. It’s hard to do when you have anxiety, but remember that they’re there to help you. If you’re nervous about talking to them in person, send them an email. They’ll be happy to help you: they want you to do well.


I wish you the best of luck.



Ground Control


Hey Ground Control,

Your relationship advice sucks. You seem to just want to make fun of people’s problems (although I will agree, some of them are pretty stupid). By what authority do you give relationship advice anyway? I bet most of you don’t even have significant others. Give me some reason to trust you, ’cause I think you’re all fakes.

-Skeptic Pands


Dear Pands,

First off, I am just one person, thank you very much. You should go start a blog where you can complain about my relationship advice just as much as you’d like. Uninformed children such as yourself should get your mommy to proofread your emails and your awesome new blog, and for your information, I am more than qualified to be giving advice, by the power vested in me by my own self. I mean honestly, I’ve had so many significant others that now they’re just insignificant others. Who are you to have a chip the size of a 747 on your shoulder? You probably just blog about your significant other that you’ve been dating for the past four hours. Stop complaining about what I have to say, tear this page out of the newspaper, fold it into an itty bitty teeny weeny little baby tissue and use it to wipe those crocodile tears. So sad. I’ll make sure to bookmark so I can read about how sad you are when you blog about all of your sadness on your sad little blog. I don’t make fun of everyone’s problems, but if you tell me yours I’ll get right on it. Please link me to your next post on your awesome blog.


Goodbye, you bothersome little child (let’s face it you’re probably a sophomore who’s salty about last issue)



Ground Control


P.S. I bought the domain and now you owe me $12.


P.P.S. I know how to spell panda, which makes me a happy panda, and you a yappy little dog nipping at my ankles.

Homecoming and dealing with the introverts

With less than a week left until Homecoming, I’m too scared to ask someone and I don’t think anyone will ask me. What should I do?


  • Dateless and Desperate



Dear Dateless,


Man up: pick up the remote, turn off season 5, episode 3 of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood (I know you don’t want to miss the Trolley Song, but it’s Netflix, and it’ll be there when you get back), get up off the sofa, pull up your big boy pants, and just go and ask someone out for goodness’ sake. I mean seriously, how scary could it be? There are only 400 of your closest friends watching to see if you fail. Don’t worry about it. If it makes you feel any better, there’s like a 2% chance they’ll say yes. If you fail, you can always listen to some Coldplay. You know, “when you try your best but you don’t succeed…” It’s a real pick-me-up. On the off-chance that they do say yes, congratulations! You’ve earned a night of awkwardly standing there staring at each other, listening to bad music.


Good luck with your date, whether you get it or not,

Ground Control.


There’s this guy who I really like, and we’re going to Homecoming together, but I think I want a relationship. How do I get him to ask me out?


  • More than Dancing



Dear Dancing,


There are a couple good ways to get a guy to ask you out, and none of them include the stereotypical dating advice. The first thing someone would tell you is to be yourself. While in theory this is true, let’s take a moment to be honest. When you start dating someone, you put your best self forward. You don’t come right out and say “I’m going to stop showering and start wearing sweats three months into our relationship.” Reveal layers of yourself, like an onion. The second piece of stereotypical dating advice is “play hard to get.” This is a big no-no. People at this school suck at signals. They’ll probably think you hate them. You must openly flirt, and on many occasions actually tell them that you like them. Forcefully. Some of the best advice that I’ve ever heard is to do the classic dating move: the “bend and snap.” It has an 83% success rate.


If all else fails, I’m available 😉


All my love,

Ground Control


Sophomores are everywhere. The problem is, they are kind of odd and they’re really hard to talk to. They seem so disconnected with the world. Will freshman like me turn into these odd mutant animals? Has this weird stage once happened to the juniors and seniors? How can I talk to them without making it awkward?


  • Stunned by Sophomores



Dear Stunned,


You’re right. They are everywhere. But do you know where the freshman are? I’ll give you a hint. It’s in the way, and it’s right in the middle of the hall. Who are you guys to talk? You were in middle school less than 6 months ago. Sophomores, on the other hand, are in that weird in between phase. They’re not little caterpillars like you, but they aren’t quite glorious butterflies like the upperclassmen. They aren’t all robot, but they aren’t all cop. They aren’t lawful good, and they aren’t chaotic evil. They’re no longer a puppet, but they still aren’t a real boy. They’re neither here nor there. They’re somewhere in the middle.


By definition, sophomores are odd. The word is derived from the greek roots “soph” and “moros,” literally translating to “wise fools.” One thing that is for certain is that all the classes go through this phase. This year’s juniors and seniors went through it, and next year, you freshman will be just as awkward, odd, and mutant-y as this year’s sophomores. Y’all will think you’re all that because you won’t be freshman anymore. The thing you’ll have to remember though is that you’re still an underclassman, and three months made zero difference in your maturity. The only thing that will have changed is your class color. There’s no way to avoid being sophomoric, but there are effective ways to communicate with those who are going through the phase. They’ll understand you better if you talk really slowly and really loudly, with lots of pauses and hand gestures (all five fingers please). This technique won’t always be effective though. The most reliable way to get their attention is by posting a vague message on /r/aviation: they’ll get back to you within 5 minutes or so. The other option (my personal favorite) is to just wait to talk to them until they’re juniors.


You’ll go through your sophomoric phase, just as everyone else has. You must forgive the current sophomores. Someday, somehow, you’ll be as cool as the upperclassmen. Maybe.


Best of luck,

Ground Control


Snark Attack: Dress Code Enforcement

The dress code was instituted to “promote a professional culture at RAHS,” but the enforcement has become so unpredictable it might be safer to just wear no clothes at all.  I have seen students dress-coded by certain teachers when they don’t have the top button of their shirt clasped, but other kids who dress like they are headed to spring break in Cabo (or the strip club) are left completely alone by teachers.  Although your best friend may look “adorbs” in that crop top and booty shorts, and maybe even be able to get away with it, it makes the student who gets called on for not wearing khakis feel a wee bit jelly. By the way, more power to you if you are a high school boy that can pull off a crop top. I wish I could be that sexy.  By not enforcing the dress code, teachers are lulling students into a false sense of security. Let’s say someone wants to catch a few extra Z’s in Spanish by wearing something more comfortable, such as sweats, and doesn’t get caught for it. They think that they can do it again and again, without getting caught. This sets an example for their classmates, who think they can also not get caught. This finally draws attention from the teacher when half their class is wearing sweatpants, and they all get busted. Thus, it is the tragedy of the commons.  Sorry to get all intellectual, but this thing must be analyzed critically. There must be a scientific reason that Drippy Joe Johosophet can wear his sexy cat outfit and I end up spending an hour in the office calling my parents to ask for new clothes when I don’t wear a school approved t-shirt on a Friday.  It seems like some teachers prefer to have a biased opinion on what rules they uphold. Shopping preference? Maybe Forever 21 is paying our teachers to not enforce their brand of jeggings. If we were honest with ourselves, the dress code only presents another set of rules to be broken, not a “professional environment.” It creates Professional Dress Code Breakers, or the PDCB coalition.  Some of these highly skilled operatives are subtle about their sabotage, sneaking in a graphic tee or a sweatshirt once a week. Others take a more direct approach, blatantly breaking the dress code by selectively targeting rules each day. One day it may be the fingertip rule, next the collar rule, and then the cleavage rule.  Regardless of which teachers choose to take out their anger over teaching the next leaders of world, WE NEED EQUAL ENFORCEMENT OF THE DRESS CODE. We can petition to change it all we want, or come to school completely naked to protest, but if it is not enforced equally it loses its effect. Feel free to not enforce the booty shorts rule though. I rock those pale thighs.  –The Shark

Snark Attack Volume 7 Issue 1

Some aviation-related names along the way are an inevitable part of attending Raisbeck Aviation High School, but it’s time we talk about the aviation overkill. The abstract airfoil shape of the building and the matching light fixtures in the hall are stomachable, but there are some names that should have never seen the light of day.

FLIGHT DECKS? Really? They are balconies (which are always locked). Say, in theory, I need to go downstairs and pick up a flyer. I have to go to the FLIGHT DESK. Putting “flight” in front of something doesn’t make it anything remotely close to a plane on the genetic tree. Even though the BPC is actually more like a gladiator pit than anything else, I’ve even heard of it being called “The Hangar.” This is insane! It’s not like calling something that’s completely benign and normal a plane name is going to improve the content being taught! That’s where the aviation is, let’s stop looking for it everywhere it isn’t, and surely the school would be a much a better place.

That blazer you wear for presentations? IT’S A FLIGHT JACKET NOW. Your laptop? WHY DON’T WE JUST CALL IT A FANCY E6B FLIGHT COMPUTER INSTEAD.

Or, you know, at this point, why don’t we just make everything airplane related? Pencils shall forevermore be called Subsonic Lead Distributors. Lip balm is now a High Altitude Solid Hydration System. The sweet Ms. Hiranaka is Mission Control! You know what? Why do we even call the it lunch? We can just call it “Student Maintenance and Refueling,” which can be picked up at the “Fly By” and is totally “The Wright Stuff.” For it to be rightfully called the Fly By, we should at least be able to get food before lunch is over.

The airplane puns plague our school like an infectious disease. It will NEVER take off. See? It doesn’t sound cool, it just sounds stupid. Like how every time a plane takes off or lands everybody feels the need to run to the unopenable windows. I swear, if the school was a bus, we’d have tipped it over by now. It also doesn’t help that we’re right next to A FUNCTIONING AIRPORT. Maybe we could try and focus on class instead of acting like complete fools.

This is getting out of hand, it’s time I calm myself. I’m going to go stare at the gigantic full wall mural of a 787.

Ground Control Volume 7 Issue 2

There’s this girl I really like, but I don’t really understand the signals I’m getting. Is she flirting with me? Does she hate me? I don’t know. -Confused and Lonely

Dear Confused and Lonely,

Well, if this is an example of your communication skills it’s no wonder you’re confused. What kind of signals are you getting? Did she walk down the same hallway as you? Did she hug you for more than 1.5 seconds? Was it a side hug? Did she breathe the same air as you? Did you touch the same door handle? Take some time to think about your own signals. If you don’t give me examples, I can’t help you. So, in the words of the great Adam Lambert, “What do you want from me?”

-Yours truly, Ground Control

I’m a freshman here, and as a girl in a sea of guys, I want to know, what’s up with the dating scene? -Outnumbered and Available

Dear Outnumbered,

In the words of a wise, wise man, “the odds are good but the goods are odd.” It’s extremely likely that a girl can find SOMEONE, but the options may not be great. They aren’t the best looking, nor do they bathe often (or at all). They still think burping is cool, they probably smell like and are covered in cheeto dust, and some of them spend weeks on end in a dark corner with a flight simulator. But at least they have nice personalities? As for the dating here: they don’t have jobs, and they don’t like to go outside. So, if you’re into going to the Museum of Flight (for free, with ASB) and awkwardly standing on the flight deck, you’re going to love it here.

-May the odds and oddities be ever in your favor, Ground Control

I was originally really excited about my mentor, but I don’t think it’s working out. I don’t really want to go into the field she works in, and we have nothing to talk about. What should I do?

– Muddled Mentee

Dear Muddled,

Well, there are a few options for how you can handle this. The worst thing you can do is avoid all contact with your mentor until they eventually forget about you. As a representative of yourself and the school, you have an obligation to handle interactions with professionals in the proper way. One option, if you really don’t think you can fix it is reaching out to your mentor and telling them that you don’t think it’s going to work out, and that you appreciate their time. The other way is trying to make it work. Contact your mentor and communicate with them about the problems you’re having, and try to fix it. Neither option will be super easy, but they’ll definitely appreciate your professionalism and consideration of their time.

-Good luck, Ground Control.

Ground Control June 2015

Yo Ground Control!


I have a beef with someone at our school, and I want to know how I can get even with them without getting in trouble. Any advice?


From, Payback Patrick.


Payback Patrick!


I am pretty sure that I am supposed to tell you that you should forgive this person, but sometimes you gotta take some action first!


The thing is that you can’t hurt anyone emotionally, physically, mentally…you know the deal. You could, however, use it as a way to make your relationship with this person better.


Here’s how! All you’ve got to do is make this person laugh. Cheesy right? Sure, but pull a harmless prank to make them look “funny” and make people giggle a little bit without doing anything that could cause damage.


And if you can make your target laugh, all the power to you! After that, BAM, no more beefin’.


For example, print out their facebook statuses from 2009 or ugliest snapchats and tape them to the windshield of their car.


If that don’t float your boat, then you could take the more traditional route. JUST MOVE ON! Seriously! The more time you dwell on the problem, the more your feelings will fester inside you, and drive you crazy! It’s just not worth it!


Goodluck! Ground Control.


NOTICE TO ALL PAYBACKERS! Before carrying out any plans of the payback variety, consider looking up the definition of bullying, and adjusting your plan accordingly to avoid ruffian behavior!


Hey Ground Control!


Every time I use the bathroom on the third floor, it’s out of paper towels. Since the air dryers don’t work, how can I get my hands dry before going back to class without wiping my hands on my shirt?


Moist Molly


Hey Moist Molly!


The only way that you could possibly dry your damp hands is, obviously, to wipe them on someone else’s shirt. All you need to do is memorize the schedule of your best friend (or worst friend) and show up every so often to use them as a hand towel.


Also, you should probably change your name…you know, because you’ll be drying your hands on other RAHS children. Also because “Moist Molly” is just so gross.


Ground Control


Snark Attack June 2015

I think that every single person in this school has had a problem with people in the hallway. Every time there’s a passing period, it’s like the entire school decides to act like an urban thoroughfare for five minutes. Loud, crowded, sometimes stinky, people are not generally aware of what is right in front of their face.  There’s the first challenge after every class finishes, which is actually getting into the hall. Students cluster in front of the door, like they want to go to their next class, which last time I checked, is rarely ever true. On the other end of the spectrum you have kids who will do anything to prolong their time in the hall, be it not going in until five seconds before the start of class or leaving their previous class a minute early.  There is also a varying degree of people that walk at different speeds. And let me tell you, there is nothing more irritating than trying to book it to your next class, and the person walking in front of you is moving at a sloth’s pace. And I’m a shark, and I physically need to keep moving at all times to live. All these people walking so slow give me one fin in Davy Jones’ Locker.  Students of large quantities feel compelled to stand in the middle of the hallway and not budge, forcing other students to walk all the way around the massive clump. They may as well be random, pop-up construction, they’re so obstructively in the way. These elephants also like to congregate on the stairs, as well as in the doorways, making it far too difficult to do the everyday tasks of going up or down stairs, or walking through a door.

Summer Dare 2015

I DARE YOU TO… participate in Raisbeck Aviation High Schools 4th Annual SUMMER DARE CONTEST!


The group or individual who submits a photo album or video scrapbook winning the most points gets a pizza party for up to 6 people, including soda and cookies!


Dares are worth 2 points, double dog dares are worth 5 Points, and triple dares are worth 10 points. Points will only be award for dares completed starting the last day of the 2014-2015 school year, and ending on the first day of the 2015-2016 school year.


I dare you to…


  • Have a paint fight (Any kind!)
  • Visit the Seattle Gum Wall and write a message in gum.
  • Go night swimming–take some glow sticks!
  • Write a letter to an 8th grader who will be at RAHS next year. Give it to them on the first day of school.
  • Make a mixtape to commemorate your summer.
  • Make and model fashionable outfits at a second hand store.
  • Leave a small bouquet of flowers on the porch of all your neighbors.
  • Watch a sunset and sunrise on the same day.
  • Spend a whole day with grandma or grandpa (or another elderly relative.)
  • Learn to make one of your family’s traditional meals, and make it for your family.


I double dog dare you to…


  • Play hide and seek in Ikea. Photograph yourself or friends in the best hiding places.
  • Leave friendly notes on the windshield of every car in a busy parking lot.
  • Try out a new hair cut, color, or style.
  • Ask random people on the street to take selfies with you! Get 10 to agree!
  • Make a “Things RAHS Kids Say” video.. or the “Things RAHS kids NEVER Say”  version.


I triple dog dare you to…


  • Spend a few hours holding up a “free hug” sign downtown.
  • Make a family history video. Interview your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, or just as many relatives as you can.
  • See how many Chinese fire drills you and your friends can safely do on your way to a your local McDonald’s. (Judges reserve the right to subtract points for unsafe behavior.)
  • Make a rootbeer float (or soda float) with all 31 Baskin Robbins Flavors.


Items on the “Do it Before College” list on the centerfold pages, marked with a double asterisk (**) are fair game for triple dare points!


Ground Control April 2015

Dear Ground Control,

I have a problem. I have a friend, well I thought he was a friend, who is just becoming more a jerk. He is ignoring me more now, and I feel as if I am just there as a background person who he talks with as a last option. We have many things in common and I want to have a friendship, but it really makes me mad when he does these things to me. What should I do?


–Pondering Ponderer


Hey Pondering Ponderer!


In my opinion, one of the worst things about High School is the people who think they are SOOO cool because they are “being a jerk.” Usually, it’s just that they think that it is all hilarious, and they don’t even stop to consider how other people feel. It’s all about looking good to everyone else. Does that sound right?


You’ve seen Mean Girls, right? This kind of sounds like that kind of problem. In the movie there are two kinds of characters. You can choose which one you would rather be!


  1. The Plastics: If this guy is Regina George, then you get to be either Karen Smith or Gretchen Wieners, and follow around your “friends” being there anytime he needs someone to step on.
  2. The Coolest People You’ll Ever Meet: Choose to be friends with the people who do care about you, who treat you with respect, and who you have fun with. Just be careful that you don’t make them YOUR background person.


It will be hard to make that choice, but there are people out there that will actually contribute to your quality of life. Good luck with your quest!!


Much love,


Ground Control

Habit-forming drink captivates Noitaiva population


It’s 8:45 a.m. in the feeding chamber of the temple of learning. Crowds of tribesmen cluster around tables, shouting greetings to incoming compatriots, and laughing raucously. Low-fidelity mating chants are being blasted from memory boxes in several places around the feeding grounds. And with moments to spare before the daily sessions begin, many are rushing to consume their last few bites of morning sustenance.

While not displayed anywhere in the temple itself, an unfamiliar emblem is present. A circular green symbol is printed on identical white paper cups held by dozens of students in the room. Raisbeck Geographic reporters set out to find the meaning of this symbol and explore the nearby ritual grounds from which these holy chalices come.

After thorough searching within the temple of learning, no dispenser of these cups could be found. Researchers sought the source for these ubiquitous beverages, surveying the surrounding villages. It was at that point discovered that each day, droves of tribesmen voyage to a strange rectangular temple nearby that displays the green emblem on its outer walls. Before and after learning sessions, as well as during the sustenance break, they make this ritual pilgrimage.

With this temple being located just blocks away, tribesmen take every opportunity to make this voyage. In many cases, failure to make the pilgrimage once a day results in a temporary but severe mental and social handicap.

There is a correlation in trip regularity based on age. For instance, the youngest tribesmen, members of the yellow caste, make the trip infrequently and irregularly. These underlings treat trips to the rectangular temple as a very special occasion and honor. The older veterans are much more habitual in their visits, and often incredibly sensitive to having missed a trip.

There is also a bizarre seasonal effect of group-imitation. For the duration of autumn, the aforementioned social packs of young females all receive the exact same drink. During this period, nearly all of the drinks sold are flavored with the extract of an indigenous gourd. Each year, when the seasonal return of the squash-flavored beverage is announced, mass hysteria ensues.

For the specimens who consume the sacred drink daily, a trip missed has dire consequences. They are unable to complete the daily tasks as quickly as they usually can, or as quickly as those without the dependence. They typically walk around in a mindless, zombie-like state.

They can also be ostracized socially for it, as a withdrawal from the drink renders one completely incapable of any courtesy. It’s as if the drink, once built up in the body, is the only thing enabling the specimen to function in any capacity.

Based on this age pattern and the reactions to breaks in habit, it is apparent that the drinks contain a necessary, habit-forming mental stimulant. The theory is supported by the epidemic sleep deprivation in the older castes of tribesmen. As the species ages and nears the end of its education, it misses increasing amounts of sleep to a point that a daily dose of stimulant is required simply to survive.

In fact, the elders that make the pilgrimage most routinely are sometimes seen carrying a special golden card. This metallic-plated rectangle of plastic represents an elite commitment to the ritual of white cups. These tribespeople receive special privileges on their daily (sometimes multiple times per day) visits to the Temple.

There’s also a very strong social motivation behind these voyages. Female specimens always travel in packs. The trip is rarely made alone, and the median size for a caravan is at least three.

Ground Control April 2015


Dear Ground Control,

How do I balance spending time with my friends in the midst of the craziest time of year?

Sincerely, ”No Life Nerd”



Dear “No Life Nerd,”

As you know, life here is kind of terrifying. I mean, late-night studying and long days on campus lead to a pretty high stress level. When you get home, it can be pretty tempting to crawl into bed for a few minutes of Netflix-watching, and eat away your sad feelings from the day.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Everyone does it–just ask a senior. Chances are that your friends are also snuggled up in the dark alone after school. So why not do it together?

Ok, so maybe you don’t literally want to invite them into your bed…find a way to relax together. High school life can be tough, and everyone needs a break from it all, but that doesn’t mean you gotta do it alone!

If you honestly think about it, the things you are doing alone day after day (even during the craziest time of the year) are things that you and your friends can do together! If you don’t jump at any chance you get, all of you are gonna be more crazy than your homework schedule!

Good Luck! –Ground Control


Archaeologists studying the Noitaiva tribe have found this written document that appears to be some type of plea for help or public shaming.

These words of wisdom were found in a published form that have been seen in various places around the community. The tribe etched into these sheets of papyrus with the intent of sharing it with the public.

Those studying what is being called “The Ground Control Advisement Article,” are unsure of why it seems so important for the members of this society to be dependent on the opinions of others, but it appears true in many places throughout the culture.

It seems as though tribesmen with more authority than others, for whatever reason, make fun of those with less superiority for not being able to answer questions about their own life struggles, instead of taking the opportunity to support and connect to each other.

Although it seems that those of a higher class are the ones that reply to the question asked, it is unclear why are some people more qualified to answer questions that others.

Other than the possibility of it being simply a way to harass the lower classes, speculations on why this may be include it being a cultural right of passage to be “publicly shamed,” or a lame attempt to maintain control within the society.

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