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Own Your Weirdness, Ditch the Finsta

By Teagan Ladner, VI Form

Own Your Weirdness, Ditch the Finsta

Fake Instagram accounts, more commonly referred to as “Finstas,” have gained a tremendous amount of traction in the past three years. The creation of these additional Instagram accounts has allowed an opportunity for people to post funny or embarrassing photos of themselves and established a community where people can express their more ”unfiltered” self, which is ironic considering the name of this new phenomenon has the word fake in it. Although this mentality of being openly genuine on social media sounds ideal, there are enough flaws to make me anti-Finstas.

It is unfortunate that we feel this pressure from society to put on a mask so that our peers, friends, family, and even strangers do not judge us based on our social media aesthetic. I find it discomforting that this pressure is so powerful that it’s difficult for us to rise above these opinions and post what we want on our real Instagrams (or “Rinstas”). The invention of Finstas has created an escape to ignore the actual problem, not solve it. It gives users an alternate reality to express their true selves only to a small group of people, instead of most of their acquaintances. I agree that progress is better than nothing, but I don’t actually think it is long-term progress. (more…)

Competing in the FIRST Robotics Challenge

By Kate Sotir, VI Form

Competing in the FIRST Robotics Challenge

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Working in the basement level of the STEM building, using lots of power tools, and occasionally throwing out words like “kickoff,” “drivetrain,” or “STEAMworks,” we are FIRST team 3566, also known as Gone Fishin’.

Gone Fishin’ competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” The robotics competition, open to any high school student, was created in order to promote the STEM fields and offer a competitive yet collaborative atmosphere for robotics. In the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), teams are given a challenge, in the form of a game, and then have six weeks to build a 120 pound, $10,000 robot to meet this challenge. After those six weeks are up, teams compete in various regional events. The ultimate goal is to go to the world championship, held in St. Louis, where around 800 teams gather to play the game. (more…)

Global Connections of Media and Skin

By June Seong, IV Form

Global Connections of Media and Skin

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Amidst the chaos that is my life – including the future I must decide upon, the necessity to be “special,” and my attempt to make this post somewhat grammatically correct – I am struck by my simultaneous privilege and ignorance. This privilege and ignorance is exhibited through myriad ways at this very moment: 1) this dull MacBook Air that I am communicating through and that was probably configured by an underpaid or unpaid laborer; 2) the whizzing air conditioning that is breathing on my neck so that I might not die from heatstroke whilst the world scales up a few sweltering Centigrades; 3) the immensity of the world that is within computer click’s reach via Facebook. (more…)

Un jour typique

By Kitty Chen V Form, Stephanie Moon III Form, and Rosanna Zhao III Form

Un jour typique

French 2 assessments this year have been largely project-based, and following each project, students submit video reflections through Voicethread. After finishing a video project this fall, their reflections offered three pieces of feedback: 1 – “We’d like to do bigger projects over longer periods of time. Sometimes it feels like we just do one project after the next.” 2 – “Working with others is fun, but sometimes it would be nice to do our own projects.” 3 – “What if we had more choices in HOW we present what we know?” Armed with this information, all 16 students and Ms. McCulloch brainstormed. (more…)