Love is in the Air

A posed data collection sheet and flowers.

This January and February, ASB has planned two fundraisers, DataMatch, where students get a chance to find out who shares similar interests as well as other things like birthdays, and the flower sale.

ASB is putting on these events to raise money for the school.  Also, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, which is coming up on the 14th of February, ASB wanted to plan an event where people could view their matches in different categories.

“The data match is more for building school spirit and just having a fun event where everyone in the school has something fun for Valentine’s Day, because data match not only gives you your matches for the other gender that you are compatible with, but also provides potential friends,” said ASB President Jenny Gao.  “And the other fundraiser with the roses, that one is more of a fundraiser for ASB, but another big part of it is that it is just providing students with an opportunity to buy [roses] for others.”

Data Collection has been going on for three years and the flowers for four or five.  Though this is not a long time, ASB is just trying to start new traditions for the school.

“We are just trying to establish traditions,”  Gao said. “So once February comes around they get excited for data match and people get excited for buying roses for their friends or significant others.”

Students have mixed feeling about the data collection.  Some think that it is fun and interesting.  Others, that it is helpful when trying to find friends.  Some think that it is a waste of time and money.  And others just find it all a bit strange.

“It seems kind of silly to do, but I think that a lot of people would participate. It does seem a little bit strange for teens to participate in, being that adults typically are the ones who sign up to eHarmony and whatnot for dates,” freshman Kira Walters said.  “I also think that once people find out who they share personalities with and then they may feel more pressured to interact with that person. Who knows, it might be awkward if the person selected for you is your best friend’s boyfriend or something.”

Although Data Collection gets mixed reviews, the flower sale is all positive!

“It seems like a cute way to compliment somebody,” said freshman Kirsten Noble.  “And it doesn’t have to be romantic,  plain old friends can send flowers to each other.”

Holidays End and Grief Follows

Sadness increases as the holiday ends.  After waiting for a year, people just want the holidays to last.

The holiday season is something to look forward to every fall and winter.  Presents, food and breaks, ideally the holidays are meant allow students to sit back relax and enjoy their temporary freedom from the stresses of school.  This is not always the case when recitals and homework fill out students schedules even during the holidays.  However, despite all of this students still find time to be with family and mess with all of the fun things they get over the season.

What places do you go (during the holidays) and what is good/ bad about them?

“During the Holiday break my family and I always go to Leavenworth the day after Christmas. We spend two over-nights there which is always really fun,” AHS freshman, Melissa Will said, “I like being able to spend time with my cousins and Aunts and Uncle since I don’t see them very often. I definitely enjoy being around my cousin’s two little kids who are 3 and 2 years old.”

What are your four top favorite music/songs that plays during the holidays?

“My top favorite songs played during the holiday season are ‘Frosty the snowman,’ ‘Where are you Christmas’ by Faith Hill, ‘Believe; by Josh Groban, and Rudolf the Red nose Reindeer,” said Will.  “These are my favorites because I have been listening to them since I was little and they bring back such wonderful memories. Also, I have danced to everyone of these songs which makes them twice as good!”

What are some of the best presents you have ever received?

“New Race Suit, phone, a trip to China, and really anything!” freshman Ronald said.

How do you hang out during the holidays?

“Do Homework, do more homework, do even more homework, open some pretty awesomely wrapped presents, eat food, eat even more food, go to Leavenworth,come back and do more homework. Oh wait I forgot some stuff. Go to Christmas parties, and hang out with friends! Plus eat food” said Will.

Are the holidays a lax period, or are you always rushing?

“The holidays are always busy!” Will explained.  “There is so much to do. Most of my time is spent preparing for my Christmas dance performance.”

Do you spend time with your family and what do you love about doing such?

“I love being with my family on the holidays,” said Kira Walters, an AHS freshman.“Especially when I see people I don’t usually get to see.”

How do you feel coming back from family events?

“I hate it!” said Will.  “It always a little saddening to know that you have to wait a while for another one to come!! I just can’t wait that long!”

How do you feel about Christmas music being played everywhere?

“You’ve never been fully alive until you start singing Christmas songs in the middle of the mall…You get some funny looks for sure, but it’s well worth it,” said Graves.

Do you have a story involving family during the holidays?

“Well since my family and I always go to Leavenworth each year, we always eat at this one restaurant that has an accordion player. The accordion player came over and played some song that was pretty awesome. My cousin’s daughter was 2 at the time loved it and started dancing in her high chair,” said Will.  “She started waving her hands except her middle finger was up while she was doing it. Then one guy came up to my cousin and said ‘excuse me but your daughter is flipping me off.’  Funniest thing ever.”

Is there someone who consistently gives you unusual presents?

“My grandparents always give me the strangest presents,” said Walters. “Golf balls to soap and gag gifts!”

Why do you like spending money on gifts for other people?

“It’s intriguing to see how far I can push the cash in my wallet,” Graves said.  “Then it’s also fun to collaborate with others to get those big gifts as well as finding those knick-knacks that cost nothing.”

What are some things you love about shopping during the holiday season?

“The clothes are cuter!” Ronald explained.  “The mall is decked out, Christmas music playing, and everyone is nice.”

How does spending money on presents/decorations/parties during the holidays affect your life?

“It means we get to bust out the family heirloom: Rock and Roll Snowman! Then we blast out the house speakers listening to Christmas music,” Graves said.  “At about that point, it really feels like Christmas.”

It's all over but the cleaning up, and the refunds, and the exchanges...

Do you have a great or terrible shopping story?

“Do you mean like that time I was caught singing in the restroom and security ended up throwing me in the brig? Nope, nothing like that,” said Graves.


Open post

Get Ready for the Snowpocalypse

Illustration by Madeline Warnes

Last year King and surrounding counties had many transportation issues caused by too much snow and too little preparation. This year county officials aim to prepare better.

According to the Seattle Government website, the area around Seattle normally does not get that much snow.  However, last year there was an abundance of snow, which threw off the plan of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

In the ‘Thanksgiving storm’ last year, the snow and ice hit earlier than predicted and was about 10 degrees colder than predicted,” WSDOT communications employee, Alice Fiman, stated.  “We hope with the new coastal radar there is more information on incoming storms. But, when snow and ice hit during heavy commute hours in urban areas, it’s always a challenge.”

The transportation system all over the Seattle area were delayed and cancelled for days after the initial snow.

“I have to take five buses to get from my home to the U-district,” said University of Washington student, Ira Chizhova.

Chizhova had trouble getting to and from school on the days that the snow was worst.

“The first day it snowed I could not get home by bus, so instead I had to take Light Rail,” said Chizhova.  “As the consequence of that I was stuck in huge traffic jam after leaving the station. It took about hour and a half to get home.”

Chizhova had signed up for the Metro Public Transport emergency alert system that was supposed to keep members aware of any bus cancellations.  The morning that she had to go to school, Chizhova checked her email for any alerts.  Finding none, she proceed to leaving her house and continuing on with her day as normal.  Unfortunately, there were still problems to come with the transportation that morning. 

I spent an hour waiting for my bus to show up, which was supposed to be, according to the schedule, at 7:50,” said Chizhova.  “I got on another bus and eventually after three hours of being freezing cold made it to Seattle.” 

Metro had many problems over the course of the snow.  Videos from last year show a Metro bus sliding down a hill because of the ice on the road. Also, as the snow started in the afternoon, Metro drivers were trapped on their routes, having to wait for hours until help could come.  Cars and buses were backed up, stuck and abandoned all over roads as the snow persisted.  The next day, there were delays in routes as the buses had to drive slower than usual.

“I was only affected slightly because I work in the mornings, so I wasn’t out when the snow hit,” explained Metro bus driver Ryan Warnes.  “But the day that the snow hit, the afternoon drivers were unprepared and got stuck and no one could come and help them because there were just too many people out.  So the drivers and passengers were stuck for hours in the buses.”

After the initial shock of the snow the mechanics at Metro had the buses chained up by the next route.  This did cause delays.  While driving with chains, buses can only travel at a maximum speed of 30 mph.  This is a problem as many freeways and other roads that buses drive on go much faster than that.  Also, after the snow was found to be a problem, Metro resorted routes made special in the case of a issue such as this.  These so-called snow routes take care to avoid large hills and other areas of potential incidents.

The snow affected people at AHS as well.  As the snow hit after students and staff were already at school, both had trouble getting home that afternoon.  It took some time for the district to decide when and how the students would get home.  Those with cars were allowed to leave early, but everyone else had to wait at school for the district to decide what to do.  Students were told that they would be let out at noon; however, AHS students were later told that they were going to have to wait until two.

“The snow day was horrible…it seemed to me was that the district was more concerned in how much time students spend at school rather than how safe they are in getting home,” said AHS senior, Jared Sharp.  “But in hindsight, the district had to stagger the schools because we just don’t have any extra buses to handle every student at once. 

As the staff have cars of their own, they too were allowed to leave early.  Unfortunately, roads around the school were blocked by stuck cars, as well as being covered in snow and ice.

Karen Wilson, an Algebra teacher at AHS, left later than than other staff.  She started heading home on 200th Street but was soon met with a problem on one of the hills.

It got really bad and a bunch of cars were starting to stop on the hill leading up the prison,” Wilson said.  “I knew if I stopped, I was doomed.”

After that Wilson turned around and drove toward the airport, hoping to make it over the hill by the golf course.  She made it and continued on in her journey.

“The snow was actually sparser as you went further south, so the driving got easier and I was able to get on I-5 and drive home safely,” Wilson said, “about 15 minutes after I got home, the big snow hit us.  So, I feel like I made it just in time!

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