Scot Scoop News https://scotscoop.com The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California. Fri, 13 Dec 2019 02:12:29 -0800 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 Opinion: We need to slow down before finals https://scotscoop.com/opinion-we-need-to-slow-down-before-finals/ https://scotscoop.com/opinion-we-need-to-slow-down-before-finals/#respond Fri, 13 Dec 2019 00:33:08 +0000 https://scotscoop.com/?p=200906 For six semesters, I’ve found the first few days of break after finals incredibly difficult. It took me a while to figure out why, but I’ve finally got it: the way the week is structured makes it hard to relax after it’s all over. We’re so stressed and busy up until the last day, and...]]>

For six semesters, I’ve found the first few days of break after finals incredibly difficult. It took me a while to figure out why, but I’ve finally got it: the way the week is structured makes it hard to relax after it’s all over. We’re so stressed and busy up until the last day, and then suddenly we’ve got nothing to do.

I’ve found it challenging to adjust to this huge jump in energy, and I know I’m not alone. But I’ve realized how to fix this, at least a little bit; so I hope, if you have trouble managing your stress during finals season, I can help you out.

We can’t actually restructure finals week — or remove it, as much as we wish we could — so instead, we need to restructure how we think about these tests. The only way to make this transition easier is to better space out your time before the end of finals and give yourself time to rest.

Although we get a break for Thanksgiving, the three weeks after it are so jam-packed with reviews and tests that we don’t truly slow down until the semester officially ends. For chronic procrastinators, finals week is the last chance to turn everything in. Of course, saying “we shouldn’t procrastinate” is easier than actually managing time. But it is possible to get through this season without being exhausted by the end of it.

First, it’s important to know that getting enough rest and taking the time to relax is better for you than pulling all-nighters. This applies to both your grades and your mental health. Obviously, you can’t do well on a test if you don’t know the material, so you have to study. But you also can’t do well if you’re falling asleep during the time; sleep deprivation makes our brains slow down, and time can make a huge difference on a test.

Thinking straight also helps you maintain your mental health. If you feel tired, you’re more likely to get frustrated. This time of year is already stressful, and sleep deprivation will only make it worse. If you’re staying up late to study, try to sleep in as much as you can.

The best way to manage your sleep is to spread out your studying over a few days. This can also improve your recall. Distributed practice — the idea of doing a little bit every day — is a great way to reduce stress, get better sleep, and retain information. Like everything, it’s easier said than done, but it is possible.

I’ve found the best way to distribute studying is to make a day-by-day plan. The better you are at sticking to that plan, the better you’ll study. Cramming is a terrible idea, especially if you have up to seven tests in a four-day period. If you use review week as it’s intended to be used and study a little bit every night, you won’t be as stressed the day before the test, and you’re more likely to retain the information.

Third, it’s helpful to get some perspective about how meaningful a final actually is. Finals are often overhyped, and while they are important, they shouldn’t define your semester. Using Canvas to test grades or checking grade calculators can be reassuring. As much as teachers discourage these things, they can help students understand their grades and not over-stress on finals.

At the end of the day, whether you need a 2% or a 200% to get an A in a class, finals season can be stressful, and not rightfully so. Students need to take care of themselves and put their health above their grades. Grades matter, but we need to put ourselves first.

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‘Dangerous Alliance’ enthralls readers yet falls short of plausible https://scotscoop.com/dangerous-alliance-enthralls-readers-yet-falls-short-of-plausible/ https://scotscoop.com/dangerous-alliance-enthralls-readers-yet-falls-short-of-plausible/#respond Thu, 12 Dec 2019 19:41:24 +0000 https://scotscoop.com/?p=200900 A young girl in a historical setting who’s not like the girls around her. A love interest that she’ll turn away in favor of a childhood friend. And a constant reference to Jane Austen novels? Lady Victoria Aston has the characteristics of female YA protagonists, yet with her love of Jane Austen’s novels and characters,...]]>

A young girl in a historical setting who’s not like the girls around her. A love interest that she’ll turn away in favor of a childhood friend. And a constant reference to Jane Austen novels?

Lady Victoria Aston has the characteristics of female YA protagonists, yet with her love of Jane Austen’s novels and characters, she stands out from the literary crowd.

In Jennieke Cohen’s new book, “Dangerous Alliance,” Victoria, commonly referred to as Vicky, is the carefree second daughter of a decently prosperous aristocratic family. She lives as she likes, lamenting only the lost connection between her and her childhood friend until her sister suddenly shows up at their manor. Overnight, Vicky is forced to grow up and find a marriage partner to save her family’s estate from falling into her sister’s abusive husband’s hands, with only the wit and experience of author Jane Austen’s characters to guide her.

Through all of this, Vicky must also solve the mysterious pattern of malevolent people attacking her and her family before she is killed or worse. Along the way, she will discover what a relationship truly means for her, redefining what she wants in a marriage, and what she ultimately finds valuable to her.

First of all, the main character’s constant references to Jane Austen are very entertaining and also convey a lot of underlying aspects of her personality that otherwise would be very hidden. After all, any character who fancies themselves as a well-developed and acceptable fiction person has a long way to go, and it was entertaining to watch the main character realize that.

On that note, the author’s use of Austen for Vicky sometimes missed the mark of the main point of Austen’s literature. However, I feel we can’t hold this teenage character accountable for her interpretation of Austen’s novels in the past then, so I feel like the inaccuracies were more befitting of the time and personality than a blatant oversight.

The main problems I found with the novel were Vicky’s actions and decisions from cover to cover. For an educated young woman in that period, her actions seem much too spitfire and uncouth than I would expect for a book set in this period. That aspect does serve as a crux for characterization, so I understand why Vicky is portrayed like that, but it did take the shine off the immaculately crafted world she lives in.

One of the coolest aspects of the book was the careful attention paid to the laws and culture surrounding divorce at the time and how inherently unfair it was to women. I’ve read and learned a lot about this time period, and to be able to learn another factoid by reading this book is an excellent addition to the story.

Lastly, since the romance was affected by Vicky’s abnormal attitude, I felt it was a romance suitable for a YA novel, but less in the time period. It is adequate, but if you want a romance that tugs on your heartstrings, you’re not going to find it easily here.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading “Dangerous Alliance” despite the shortcomings in plausibility, and I recommend it especially if you are a fan of Jane Austen and YA novels in general.

 

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Eucalyptus Street tradition perseveres despite changes in policy enforcement https://scotscoop.com/eucalyptus-street-tradition-perseveres-despite-changes-in-policy-enforcement/ https://scotscoop.com/eucalyptus-street-tradition-perseveres-despite-changes-in-policy-enforcement/#respond Thu, 12 Dec 2019 05:59:58 +0000 https://scotscoop.com/?p=201477 The holiday lights tradition on Eucalyptus Street will continue to go undisturbed despite the confusion that arose around Halloween time. In October of this year, residents of the Eucalyptus neighborhood received a letter from the City of San Carlos informing them that an already existing policy about the noise level, significant attractions, and maintaining private property...]]>

The holiday lights tradition on Eucalyptus Street will continue to go undisturbed despite the confusion that arose around Halloween time.

In October of this year, residents of the Eucalyptus neighborhood received a letter from the City of San Carlos informing them that an already existing policy about the noise level, significant attractions, and maintaining private property would be enforced. This information confused some residents within the community. On NextDoor, many thought that the city was trying to restrict the neighboorhood’s traditions.

“These rules have been in place for a generation, but there has always been this unwritten exception for Eucalyptus Street. For multiple reasons, the city staff decided it was time to finally apply those rules,” said Mark Olbert, the San Carlos City mayor.

Over the years, complaints about the noise level and the commotion surrounding the area have increased. According to Olbert, after receiving many reasonable complaints, the city staff decided to announce that rules about the noise level and respecting private property would be enforced.

“We are now having a demonstratable series of negative effects on the residents. For example, a resident had just replanted her garden, and people were milling about her property, and they destroyed it. They were apologetic, but people don’t always think about that stuff. Effects like these have escalated in the past few years,” Olbert said.

Despite the challenges that come with living on a popular street, many members of the Eucalyptus community function on their own and work together to uphold the tradition.

“It tends to be a self-selecting group who wants to live there, but they are absolutely not required to participate. The truth is [that] people do it because they want to and because they want to support their neighbors, not because they are forced,” said Rachel de Brier, a former Eucalyptus Street resident.

De Brier described living there as a “magical place to be” but also mentioned that there was a significant amount of trash left behind, and dealing with the traffic was difficult as her kids got older.

Erika Nelson, a current resident of Eucalyptus, also had similar comments about the trash but also said that the residents have been working with the city to improve resources.

“The general principle of our legal system is that the Federal Constitution is subject to regulation. You don’t need to ask permission to do anything. That extends to how you choose to decorate your house or whether you decide to have a party. Roughly speaking, you get to do pretty much whatever you want unless you have a demonstrable negative effect on others,” Olbert said.

But confusion surrounding the lights and policies has settled down since Halloween, and residents nonetheless continue to hang extravagant Christmas lights.

“Now that it is Christmas, the lights are up. We have not had any issues with the city. Ideally, the city will continue to support the residents. The street continues to be fun, and I love our neighbors,” Nelson said.

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Soccer players’ calendars are booked for the holidays https://scotscoop.com/soccer-players-calendars-are-booked-for-the-holidays/ https://scotscoop.com/soccer-players-calendars-are-booked-for-the-holidays/#respond Thu, 12 Dec 2019 04:42:01 +0000 https://scotscoop.com/?p=200910 As students discuss their holiday vacations and plans, soccer players know precisely what theirs look like during the break: arriving at school almost every day for practice. Soccer, being a winter sport, practices during November through around the first half of February, and there are no hesitations to disrupt the practice schedule when school is...]]>

As students discuss their holiday vacations and plans, soccer players know precisely what theirs look like during the break: arriving at school almost every day for practice.

Soccer, being a winter sport, practices during November through around the first half of February, and there are no hesitations to disrupt the practice schedule when school is off. 

Depending on the player, practice over break might be an inconvenience for relaxation time or family plans. But, it can also be a beneficial way to stay in shape, continue a social life, and prepare the team for the rest of the season.

Katie Blondino, a junior on girls varsity soccer, said, “I think practice over break is a good thing. I don’t think it should be mandatory because high schoolers don’t usually control their family’s holiday vacation schedule, but it should be highly recommended because it is something that you signed up for and agreed to put your all into.”

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s “20 Hour Rule,” college student-athletes may not practice for more than 20 hours per week during the season. For Carlmont athletes, about 12 hours per week are dedicated to practicing or game time. 

“I love the sport, but sometimes it can be annoying to have the time commitment, where you want to do something else like hanging out with friends [or] family and grandparents,” said Gabriel Anson, a senior on boys varsity soccer. 

As it is common for families to go away over the holidays, students and their families stay in town because of their athletic commitments

“Say you really want to play a position and be a starter, you’re going to want to go to practice. So that could be frustrating if you have plans,” said Luca Byers-Mora, a freshman on the JV boys soccer team.

Although, generally, players see it as a way to stay well-conditioned and build team chemistry.

“It’s fun to see how friendships form over time and how we improve as a team on the field […] If I didn’t decide to join soccer, I’d probably be playing another sport. I love to be active,” said Alyssa Attard, a sophomore JV girls soccer player.

When signing up to play soccer, athletes must be aware of and accept their commitment to practice during school breaks. 

“For a school sport, there is a high expectation of commitment since you are a team, and you want to do your best to help the team […] but everyone accommodates well and understands the commitment levels. Also, people on the team enjoy soccer, so no one really minds having to go to practice every day,” Blondino said.

If players commit to the responsibility of practicing several hours a week, including winter break, they must enjoy the sport enough to not even to care.

“Having an occasional practice over break […] in a way is a break for me. While playing I am surrounded by friends and participating in a sport that I love. At that moment, I don’t need to worry,” Attard said. 

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Hometown Holidays celebration provides opportunities for all https://scotscoop.com/hometown-holidays-celebration-provides-opportunities-for-the-youth/ https://scotscoop.com/hometown-holidays-celebration-provides-opportunities-for-the-youth/#respond Thu, 12 Dec 2019 02:05:59 +0000 https://scotscoop.com/?p=201492 The sight of fake snow and the sounds of Christmas music were just two of the main features of the Hometown Holidays celebration. The annual Hometown Holidays celebration took place in Downtown Redwood City from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m on Dec. 7. Throughout the day, streets were lined with vendor booths, food trucks, fake snow,...]]>

The sight of fake snow and the sounds of Christmas music were just two of the main features of the Hometown Holidays celebration.

The annual Hometown Holidays celebration took place in Downtown Redwood City from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m on Dec. 7. Throughout the day, streets were lined with vendor booths, food trucks, fake snow, and games for children. The afternoon was packed with live performances by the youth.

“[It] is important for youth performers, especially on this stage, to have opportunities to showcase their talent,” said Mike Annuzzi, the entertainment chair for Hometown Holidays.

Performers from all around the Bay Area took the stage in the Courthouse Square, admired by spectators and passersby.

Some of the performers featured were Sequoia High School’s band, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Sergio Calderon, various dance groups, and Woodside High School’s musical groups.

From Sunnyvale, a group of youth dancers kicked off their performance with a jazz routine.

“When the audience smiles at us when we’re dancing, it helps because we are able to know they’re enjoying it, and it makes the performance more worth it for us,” said Jana Gaskin, one of the dancers. 

However, it wasn’t only a special day for performers, as the attendees had an equally exciting day. 

Bryan Ramirez has gone to this event for the past six years. He enjoys spending time with his family, participating in the holiday festivities, and seeing the youth at this event.

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[It] is important for youth performers, especially on this stage, to have opportunities to showcase their talent.”

— Mike Annnuzzi

“This event lets people know who they are, what they sell, and creates a positive impact on the youth in general,” Ramirez said.

Additionally, there were police all around the event area, which made the area safer for the children and allowed parents to feel more relaxed about bringing their kids to the event.

“The fact that I can see the police being here is very reassuring,” said Krysty Charles, a second-time attendee. 

Many people also took part in creating booths and promoting their products. Everyone selling at the event did, however, have to go through an application process months prior. 

Paul Asare was one of the vendors who sold crafts such as wooden animals, necklaces, and bracelets handmade by children.  

“Mainly, a group of teenage kids in Africa make these, and we travel around the country to sell their creations and support them,” Asare said.  

Despite some rain during the day, many still enjoyed the celebration and were able to connect with their community. 

Redwood City will continue to host yearly events similar to the Hometown Holidays celebrations. For more events, visit the Redwood City website

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Therapy dogs and bunnies bring dif-fur-ent relaxation methods before dead week https://scotscoop.com/therapy-dogs-and-bunnies-bring-dif-fur-ent-relaxation-methods-before-dead-week/ https://scotscoop.com/therapy-dogs-and-bunnies-bring-dif-fur-ent-relaxation-methods-before-dead-week/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 06:57:27 +0000 https://scotscoop.com/?p=200936 ASB’s Human Relations Commission hosted their biannual Dogs in the Quad event on Friday, Dec 6. to help students relax before the stress of dead week and finals. But this year there was an additional surprise for students: bunnies.]]>

ASB’s Human Relations Commission hosted their biannual Dogs in the Quad event on Friday, Dec 6. to help students relax before the stress of dead week and finals. But this year there was an additional surprise for students: bunnies.

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Scots Talk Episode 7: The fight against leukemia https://scotscoop.com/scots-talk-episode-7-the-fight-against-leukemia/ https://scotscoop.com/scots-talk-episode-7-the-fight-against-leukemia/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 05:23:55 +0000 https://scotscoop.com/?p=201075 In this episode, Nihal Karim sits down with Emily Kim, a junior, to talk about her role in a campaign with other high school students to raise funds towards curing leukemia lymphoma.]]>

In this episode, Nihal Karim sits down with Emily Kim, a junior, to talk about her role in a campaign with other high school students to raise funds towards curing leukemia lymphoma.

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Students hip-hop into the holiday season https://scotscoop.com/students-hip-hop-into-the-holiday-season/ https://scotscoop.com/students-hip-hop-into-the-holiday-season/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 04:47:54 +0000 https://scotscoop.com/?p=200908 With the first semester coming to an end, members of Carlmont’s hip-hop club took their first steps towards planning the Heritage Fair. A lively atmosphere filled the dance studio as the group gathered to learn their first section of choreography, build strong bonds, and socialize. Although the club experienced a late start due to changes...]]>

With the first semester coming to an end, members of Carlmont’s hip-hop club took their first steps towards planning the Heritage Fair.

A lively atmosphere filled the dance studio as the group gathered to learn their first section of choreography, build strong bonds, and socialize.

Although the club experienced a late start due to changes regarding their advisor and practice space, they jumped right into a vigorous portion of the dance.

“They were all very eager to get the club started up this year. I’m expecting that they will provide a safe space for students, and I want them to be able to have this creative outlet where they can continue to practice what they love,” said Matthew Lubesma, the club advisor.

The success of last year’s performance in the Heritage Fair attracted several new members. Among them is sophomore Riley Baum, who is unfamiliar to this style of dance but eager to learn.

“I saw them performing at the assembly last year, and I thought it was really cool because they brought in a huge group of people that were spread out across the entire gym,” Baum said. “It was great because there were people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Baum’s reasons for joining the club are aligned precisely with what President Carly Ramirez originally started the club for. According to Ramirez, expanding the club is the first hurdle to overcome. Once there are enough members participating, there is a higher potential for a successful performance at the Heritage Fair.

“This year, my goal is not only to expand but to also improve the dancing abilities of everyone here. I want to spread hip-hop to other people so that we can have fun together and dance,” Ramirez said.

Dancing may be fun, but it is also challenging. Starting so late in the school year presents a hefty challenge: remembering the choreography over the two and a half week break.

“I usually try to pay very close attention when the choreography is being taught. Then, I film it while I’m in the dance studio, so I know what it looks like. This way I can go home and practice it later,” Ramirez said.

Other members have similar ideas when asked about the different ways they remember choreography.

According to sophomore Catherine Chen, a regular member of the hip-hop club, it is vital to connect with the tone of the dance in order to practice it properly outside of the studio.

“I try to pick up on the little tips and tricks that the teacher tells us to do, and listen closely so that I know what the dance looks and feels like. That way, the mood of the dance is already in my head when I go to practice it at home,” Chen said.

Whether it’s taking videos or merely feeling the tone of the dance, members of the hip-hop club are ready to go into the winter break with their heads full of new rhythms and movements to practice.

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Opinion: Conan Gray is an artist to watch https://scotscoop.com/conan-gray-is-an-artist-to-watch/ https://scotscoop.com/conan-gray-is-an-artist-to-watch/#respond Tue, 10 Dec 2019 16:54:15 +0000 https://scotscoop.com/?p=200583 From a small town in Texas to playing in stages nationwide, Conan Gray has come a long way. In the past two years, Gray has skyrocketed to stardom. Gray started his music career innocuously, first posting covers on his YouTube channel in 2014. For the next three years, Gray would continue to grow his YouTube...]]>

From a small town in Texas to playing in stages nationwide, Conan Gray has come a long way.

In the past two years, Gray has skyrocketed to stardom. Gray started his music career innocuously, first posting covers on his YouTube channel in 2014. For the next three years, Gray would continue to grow his YouTube channel, talking about college life, vlogging, and amassing an army of subscribers in the process.

Then, it all changed in 2017 when Gray released “Idle Town.” It quickly became a hit and, later that year, Gray was accepted to the University of California Los Angeles and signed a record deal with Republic Records.

Part of the magic of Gray’s earlier works is the sense of coming-of-age nostalgia apparent in each song. His song “Generation Why,” serves as a plaintive rallying anthem for millennials and older Gen Z-ers who feel ignored and belittled in today’s political discussions. And “Crush Culture,” a pop, rebellious song, exposes America’s obsession with love — and Gray’s distaste for it. Gray has a special knack for capturing Gen Z’s frustration and disgust with the world today and turning it into a relatable narrative about breaking free from suburbia, representing the constricting confines of the status quo.

Every track of Gray’s debut EP, “Sunset Season,” speaks to a different part of adolescence. The EP opens with “Idle Town,” which perfectly captures the teenage desire to spread one’s wings and explore the outside world.

Another personal favorite of “Sunset Season” is the song “Lookalike,” a soulful ballad about lost, unrequited high school love. With minimal production, Gray’s vocals and lyricism truly shine through. “Lookalike” showcases Gray’s narrative skills reminiscent of Red-era Taylor Swift, and Gray does a stellar job of increasing the intensity of the lyrics with the swell of the melody, culminating in a classic heartbreak song for generations to come.

 

After the release of “Sunset Season,” Gray began to evolve his sound, pivoting from dream pop to pop-rock. The first of this transition was “Checkmate.” Gray’s signature style of genuineness tinged with rebelliousness remains apparent without his trademark suburban nostalgia, marking a new era of growth for the singer. “Checkmate” is a revenge-bop worthy of the most jilted lovers, and yet, it manages to do so without coming across as psychotic or, perhaps, too jilted.

I will admit, as a high school senior, the closer graduation gets, the more the old Conan Gray songs speak to me. I’m nearing the end of my childhood experience and will, at some point, have to leave the nest and tend to adult responsibilities like taxes, bills, and higher education. I will have to leave behind my friends, family, and all the physical reminders of the memories that we made. And that’s scary. But, these songs understand that fear and promise that there is a greater future on the horizon.

Gray’s power to understand and channel Gen Z’s frustrations, insecurities, and hopes into music is the main reason why he has skyrocketed to fame and will continue to rise. Keep an eye out for Gray in the future — he represents the next generation.

You can see Conan Gray live in the Oakland Fox Theatre on Dec. 10.

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Carlmont’s Holiday Sing-Along aims to engage the community https://scotscoop.com/carlmonts-holiday-sing-along-aimed-to-engage-the-community/ https://scotscoop.com/carlmonts-holiday-sing-along-aimed-to-engage-the-community/#respond Tue, 10 Dec 2019 06:18:29 +0000 https://scotscoop.com/?p=200871 Carlmont Choir held its seventh annual Holiday Sing-Along in an effort to promote holiday cheer with a free community event. The Carlmont auditorium was filled with students dressed as elves whose costumes and songs attracted hundreds of kids. Each year, choir students have the opportunity to try out for one of the coveted elves in...]]>

Carlmont Choir held its seventh annual Holiday Sing-Along in an effort to promote holiday cheer with a free community event. The Carlmont auditorium was filled with students dressed as elves whose costumes and songs attracted hundreds of kids.

Each year, choir students have the opportunity to try out for one of the coveted elves in the Sing-Along. Before auditions, many students came up with a festive name and story, all to make the afternoon as magical as possible. 

Mira Wakefield, a sophomore, auditioned for her role of Emmy The Elf, and after getting cast, she was excited for the event to start. A long-time choir singer herself, she loved the opportunity to sing something a little more light-hearted.

Students can interact with adults and kids to strengthen our relationships with the greater community.”

— Katie Mannion

“This is a wonderful event and a great way to give back to the community, get into that holiday spirit, and also have some fun with it,” Wakefield said.

The Sing-Along, known for being less conventional then other choral performances, allowed audience members to dance in the aisles to the music. Although the show was catering to young children, parents and adults found themselves dancing and singing along. 

Cindy Lynch, the mother to kindergartener Adrian Lynch, brought her son to the Sing-Along after having gone the year before. Lynch believed the show was influential for her son, with its ability to have him connect with older students.

“It’s cute to see the little ones interacting with the high school students. Having them all dressed up is just wonderful,” Lynch said. 

 

A comfortable environment was created for the children who came to the event.

“There were a bunch of children who arrived very shy and then really came out of their shells, which was fun to watch. The event has a noticeable impact on the kids who attend and how they speak with others,” said Katie Mannion, a senior and a choir president.

Wakefield knows that most high schoolers may be apprehensive about jumping on stage and making fun of themselves; however, she sees it as a learning experience.

“School can often be stressful, but seeing the faces of young children light up and be merry, it takes away any embarrassment in the job,” Wakefield said.

The event has inspired many to take on the role of elves and to create a community of holiday cheer. Choir students have taken pride in this afternoon event and encourage more to visit in the future. 

“At this event, students can interact with adults and kids to strengthen our relationships with the greater community, all while singing and starting off the Holiday season,” Mannion said.

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