Environmentalism in the Kitchen: How a Plant-Based Diet Can Reduce Emissions… and be Delicious

Ms. Sarah Clauss, CVC Environmental Correspondent

When they think of emissions, most people think of cars and trucks and things that go. But our diet can have a huge effect on our carbon footprint. Livestock and their byproducts account for 51 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Watch Institute. Essentially, the meat-lovers pizza you order might cost you more carbon than your ride home after.

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What can we do? I discussed environmental food choices with CVU student Ali Drew, who decided to cut all animal products out of her diet after watching a speech by vegan activist Gary Yourofsky. The main points addressed by Yourofsky included the environmental impacts and the ethics of consuming meat and other animal products. (His speech can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5hGQDLprA8&vl=en.) Drew says that it was difficult trying to replace foods, but she realized that it would be easier to find new vegan foods. A diet without animal products also reduces the amount of processed foods consumed, another benefit for environmentalists trying to change their habits. 

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Deviously Sweet Deception: Why Cereal Might Not be as Healthy as You Think

Ms. Elyse Martin-Smith, CVC Breakfast Correspondent

Don’t you just love the crunch of a fresh bowl of cereal in the morning? The milk, smooth and cold, acts as a wake-up call to get you ready for the day. However, while you were eating, have your eyes ever wandered to the nutrition facts on the box? Although some cereals are notoriously unhealthy, like Reese’s Puffs and Lucky Charms, many other unhealthy cereals are less obvious.

This leaves us asking the questions, “Which cereals are truly healthy?” and, “How do you decipher the healthy cereals from the bad?”According to the New York Times, “Honey Nut is America’s best-selling breakfast cereal, and by a comfortable margin.” Honey Nut Cheerios are believed to be healthy because of their high fiber and oats content. Also, the Original Cheerios have low amounts of sugar and are traditionally a healthy breakfast.

On the flip side, Cheerios’ sweeter relatives such as Honey Nut Cheerios and Frosted Cheerios conceal multiple unhealthy aspects. Honey Nut Cheerios actually have “about nine times as much sugar as plain Cheerios per serving,” says Danny Hakim, author of the aforementioned New York Times article.

Hakim goes on to say that, “an Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of a number of popular cereals — a report that linked sugary cereals to the ‘nation’s childhood obesity epidemic’put Honey Nut Cheerios’ sugar content second only to Fruity Pebbles.” Surprisingly, the sugar content of a seemingly harmless cereal is in reality very high! The EWG also claims that one cup of many cereals, including Honey Nut Cheerios, contains 12g of sugar which is more than three Chips Ahoy! cookies.

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13th Annual Cafe for a Cause Benefits Richmond Food Shelf

Sr. Enzo Delia

Each year in the heart of December, Cafe for a Cause takes place in the CVU Cafeteria.  Cafe for a Cause is CVU’s way of giving back to surrounding communities in a big way.

 “Cafe for a Cause is a fundraising event that was started about 12-13 years ago, just as a way of raising money for charities and giving back to the community,” says Leo LaForce, who started the event a year after becoming the CVU’s cafeteria owner/manager in 2004.

 “This year’s proceeds are going to a local food shelf; Student council specifically chose the Richmond Food Shelf as there is a tie in with the Richmond Food Shelf and CVU, and there was also an article that rose awareness of the fact that the Richmond Food Shelf is particularly struggling this year, so the money will go to the Richmond Food Shelf, but we’re also asking for food donations, and the food donations will go to the Hinesburg Food Shelf,” explains Leo.

The food options for this year were similar to last year, featuring many students’ favorite items, kicking off with waffles in the morning, made by your very own Student Council reps.

“Usually, every Cafe for a Cause we do one of the most favored items of the students which is the cheese tortellini in the pesto sauce, so we’ll be doing that, alongside another favorite, Pizza from Dominos, and this time in a complete white dough as opposed to the usual half-whole wheat dough, which students tend to prefer [the white dough], in addition, we’ll have all of the other normal items, the burrito bar, the salad bar, panini’s and things like that,” added Leo.

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Caroline Investigates the Importance of Sports

Ms. Caroline McNamara

 

I  like to dance, and my favorite food is pasta and meatballs. I have my parents. Their names are Joe, Sue, and Kim. My siblings are my sisters Mary and Laurel. I have brothers, too. Their names are Seth and Simon and Gostaf.  I also have pets. Daisy and Ruby are dogs, and I have a cat named Stella.  And I  run track in Special Olympics with my dad.

I do the Special Olympics games with the head coach, who is my dad, and two of my sisters are also helping. Special Olympics is a Unified Sports team consisting of young athletes with and without disabilities.  I think it is going to be great doing this with my friends, and we will have so much fun. I would like to win a gold medal and buy a big house with a hot tub. I would buy some food like pasta and meatballs, hamburger and some hot wings, and I would have big parties with my friends.

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APGOV Wire: Financial Help is Hope for Opioid Abusers

Ms. Lily Toensing, APGov Correspondent

On a summer Saturday morning, I was driving into Burlington. At a stop light, I looked over at a church to my right. A man, in his early twenties was sitting on the steps. He was shivering ferociously, yelling at god, and begging for help. His tremors were not from cold. He was shaking from withdrawal. Beads of sweat trickled down his forehead and soaked his shirt. His body was unable to handle the side effects of withdrawal. He was a heroin addict. This homeless man with torn clothing, could not access a treatment center. His last ditch effort was to sit on the steps of a church and pray, scream, for a miracle.

Image Courtesy of RehabNow247

Image Courtesy of RehabNow247

A miracle is “a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences”(Miracle). Miracles are meant for things we cannot control, not things we can control like making help available for drug addicts.

By funding public drug rehabilitation centers, we can help drug addicts to recover from their addictions. No addicts can do it alone and adequate support is the only way to help with these problems.  

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APGov Wire: We need a Multi-faceted Approach to Confront the Opiod Epidemic

Ms. Lilly Cazayoux, APGov Correspondent

There is no doubt in my mind that the biggest problem in the country, as well as in Vermont, is the opioid epidemic.  No matter where you go, it’s impossible to find any community that has not been affected by scourge of these drugs.  Whether it’s an addiction to prescription painkillers, or dangerous street drugs like heroin, we need to dedicate greater resources to fighting them.

Opioid death tolls have been on the rise over the past two decades and began to accelerate rapidly in 2011.  Opioid overdose deaths nearly doubled over the last five years, surpassing 42,200 nationwide in 2016.  In Vermont the death toll was 100.  Opioids don’t care where you come from, nor do they discriminate based on socioeconomic status. Twenty of the deaths in Vermont occurred with people who had no high school diploma, however, an equal number occurred with people who had a college degree. No matter who you are, you are just as susceptible to opioid addiction. It’s time as Vermonters, as Americans, as citizens who care for one another, that we take a stand.

There are two aspects to this problem that must be addressed and fixed; keeping addicts alive, as well as preventing more people from becoming addicted

The big dangers with these drugs, are how easy it is to overdose on them, and the diseases contracted by injecting with unsterile needles. The first thing we must do is preserve the lives at risk, by preventing fatal overdoses. I believe the best solution to that would be to open supervised injection sites. Popular in Europe, supervised injection sites allow addicts to use drugs with sanitary materials, provide treatment consultation, as well as medical help in the case of an overdose emergency. With newer, more potent drugs on the market such as fentanyl, it’s crucial we find a quick way to save these lives before thousands more are lost. These supervised injection sites would provide a chance to preserve lives until users can make the decision to begin the rehabilitation process. The main goal of implementing these sites would be to reduce the immediate health issues that opioid addiction presents, as well as attempting to refer the addicts into treatment.

The other preemptive part of this plan would be targeting doctors that over prescribe highly addictive opioids in unnecessary cases. I believe more stringent rules regulating these prescriptions could prevent many people from becoming addicted to these medicines in the first place, before they turn to the cheaper more dangerous cousin, heroin.

Attacking the epidemic from both sides of the problem could be the solution to saving lives from opioid addictions.

Ed Note: this essay was one of the finalists of Bernie Sanders’ State of the Union Essay Contest.

Penguin Plunge: A First-time Plunger Recounts her Frigid Flop

Ms. Joyce Ke, CVC Culture Correspondent

The new year has begun and to no surprise, there is a huge group of students who are plunging into the frigid waters of Lake Champlain for the annual Penguin Plunge. The Penguin Plunge is an annual fundraiser that is held by Special Olympics Vermont. All of the proceeds go towards allowing kids and adults with intellectual disabilities to have the chance to train and compete in competitions right here in Vermont. This year, the Penguin Plunge was held on Saturday, February 3rd at the Burlington Waterfront.

This will be CVU’s sixth year plunging. With 167 people in 2016 and 168 having signed up last year, this is a big year for the CVU Penguin Plunge because the goal of reaching 200 plungers was finally met. This year, 201 students signed up to plunge and the student body raised $50,000 for Special Olympics.

Image by Joyce Ke

Joyce charges the toward the frigid waters of Lake Champlain. Image by Gino Johnson

CVU participates in the “Cool Schools” Penguin Plunge and the process to plunge is all pretty simple. The first thing you need to do is sign up on the penguin plunge website and raise a minimum of $150. Afterward, you need to fill out a waiver and bring it to Peter Booth. Once  you have completed those steps, you can get yourself a t-shirt, hat, and inflatable penguin from Peter. The very last step in this process is to go plunge into the lake and have fun.

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CVC Video Feature: The Case of the Missing Strawberry Pop

Mr. Samuel Swavay Comai

The Redhawk Cafe is now the area of a case that has caught CVU students off guard. The Redhawk Cafe offers a wide variety of tasty snacks and treats. In the weeks proceeding Thanksgiving Break, the cafeteria lost one of its most well-liked treats. The Strawberry Shortcake Pops were not only good, but they sold like wildfire. Now the cafeteria is missing it’s most flavorful treat, and the culprit, health regulations.

The missing Strawberry Pops first came to the attention of students during the week of November 13th. As kids funneled through the cafe doors, something felt different. The usual crowd of students wasn’t by the cooler which contained the Pops. The corner of the freezer that normally held the pops was filled with a couple stacks of ice cream sandwiches.

“I was pretty taken back by the entire situation! Those pops are a great snack and treat,” comments strawberry pop enthusiast, Sam Weese.

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Lettuce Club Butts Head With Bureaucracy

Eric (left) and Phaedra (right) doing a test run

Eric (left) and Phaedra (right) doing a test run

Mr. Kai Reinsborough

Eric Couture, a 16 year old sophomore at Champlain Valley Union High School, has a love of lighthearted competition. He’s been involved in theater and music, and plays the tuba, but this is the first project he’s undertaken on his own. “It’s my sense of humor, I have a really terrible sense of humor,” Couture said, in reference to a club he’s proposed that “started off as a joke, and then we started talking to some people about it … so we thought we might as well make it a real club.”

Inspired by an internet post, he’s organizing what he calls “Lettuce Club World Championships 2017.” It’s a competition to see who can eat a head of lettuce the fastest. “It’s a free for all,” Couture explained, “Whoever finishes their lettuce first is president for the next year, and is in charge of organizing the next meeting.”

“Most likely we’ll start before school at 7:45, so less than a half an hour. Half an hour at max. We did a test run yesterday and it took us around 15 minutes, so we’re thinking half an hour should be long enough for most people.” I tuned in to the 9/18 test run on instagram live where Couture and his good friend/co-organizer, Phaedra Miller, each ate a head of lettuce, albeit at a more leisurely pace. “You have to eat the whole lettuce from top to bottom to be able to win. Even that gross part at the bottom.”

Other than organizing the next championship, “There’s no actual useful prize, just bragging rights,” said Couture. “We might get a plastic tiara.”

I asked Couture how he got his club approved by the school. “We haven’t yet …We already have a club advisor, so the last hurdle is getting it approved as a club, and we’re hoping that that happens. We should be hearing about that soon.” TJ Mead, the Chittenden Core health teacher, is lined up to be their advisor.

Dan “Shep” Shepardson, CVU administrator, was hesitant about the idea. “Seems like it’s trying to make a mockery of the co-curricular/club setup,” he said, when reached for comment, “I don’t support any kind of activity that encourages people to do anything to excess.” Though he did say he “[might] be willing to do it as a ‘one time’ thing for a cause/purpose or fun,” he said that he was “doubtful that anyone would actually join a club to do this.”

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Noah’s or Bust

Mr. Hank Caswell

 

Leo LaForce has been in the food industry for over 40 years and has been the manager of the CVU cafeteria for 14 years. Leo controls the ins and outs of the CVU cafeteria and decides what is available for students to purchase. According to LaForce, he works with his staff to meet regulations while providing quality food the students will buy.

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LaForce emailed CVU students and faculty on April 4th, 2017, explaining that the cafeteria would begin selling Noah’s Spring Water instead of Vermont Pure.

LaForce asserts that magnesium is a necessary mineral that should be incorporated into the body and Noah’s Spring Water carries 110 mg of magnesium per liter.

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Missing Cafeteria Plates Jeopardize Reuse Ethic

Mr. Colin Lach

HINESBURG – At CVU the school cafe plates and bowls have recently been disappearing becoming a costly commodity for the school to handle. CVU has reportedly lost 150 plates in one month. According to the CVU cafe this decrease in the reusable plates is due to students not returning them to the cafe after use or disposing of them in the garbage.

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At Champlain Valley High school the cafeteria is known as one of the best school cafes in the state. This reputation relies heavily on the work of the staff and how they respond to student feedback. When the CVU environmental club requested that CVU switch to plastic Reusable plates Food Service Manager Leo Laforce made the switch, even though it was a more costly option.

Before making the switch CVU used foam plates, According to Leo CVU could buy 140 foam plates for the price of 1 plastic reusable plate. At this price point losing an average of 6 plates a day this has become a large problem for The Redhawk Cafe, and they may make the decision to switch back to foam plates.

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Say No to Palm Oil

Mr. Zaq Urbaitel

palm

Courtesy of Wikimedia

Have you taken a shower and used shampoo or conditioner today? Have you washed your hands with soap or done a load of laundry with detergent? Maybe you had some margarine or Nutella on your toast. These are all normal things that all of us do, although, what you probably don’t know is that all of these commodities have palm oil in them.

Products possessing the substance include, ice cream, soup, lipstick, pizza, instant noodles, cookies, bio-diesel, and unfortunately chocolate. Actually, according to WWF (World Wildlife Foundation), in the US alone, palm oil is included in roughly 50 percent of all packaged food, cosmetics, and cleaning products. So, what’s the problem with that? Well, palm oil is one of the leading causes of deforestation in the world today, destroying life at an alarming rate.

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Youth Risk Behavior Survey: Are our Students Safe?

Ms. Sophie Boyer

CVUHS-On Thursday, March 23, 2017 all of CVU students took the Youth Risk Behavior Survey during advisory.  The Youth Risk Behavior survey is a survey designed to monitor major common health risk behaviors, and is beneficial as a public health tool to measure the health of the youth. All grades are able to take the survey from grades 6th-12th.

The questions asked fall under the following categories: smoking, physical activity, drug and alcohol use, parental expectations, public safety, and acceptance.  

Though these questions are important, the identity of the respondent is not a variable; the survey overall is completely anonymous. The survey is given every two years for schools to take. Not all school boards agree to give the survey, but most do. According to the Vermont Department of Health, on average about 35,000 take the survey each cycle.  In 2015, 99% of high schools participated, and more than 21,000 students completed the survey. Over 13,500 middle school students also participated. Also, nationwide, from 1991 through 2015, more than 3.8 million high school students have completed the survey.  

Image result for youth risk behavior survey

Once data collection is complete, the data is processed by the Center of Disease Control Prevention before becoming available for analysis by the state. This can take several months, so the Youth Risk Behavior Survey data is often not available until the following winter.

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CVU Reacts to New Lunch Regs

Ms. Jam Giubardo

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VIRGINIA–On Monday, May 5th, 2017  new Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the removal of the regulation of school lunch standards emitted by the former first lady, declaring at a Virginia school that the administration would “Make School Meals Great Again.”

The previous regulations placed on school lunches by Michelle Obama, The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, put regulations on the amount of sugar, dairy, and white flower in school lunches causing a lot of controversy in schools nationwide. The regulations made kids not want to eat the cafeteria food, which lead to a drop in the income of school cafeterias.

Mr. Perdue said, “”I applaud former First Lady Michelle Obama for addressing those obesity problems in the past,” But, “If kids aren’t eating the food, and it’s ending up in the trash, they aren’t getting any nutrition — thus undermining the intent of the program.”

The new regulation lift will not completely disturb Michelle’s efforts, just slow them down. The USDA will now let states grant exemptions regarding whole grain standards for the 2017-2018 school year if they’re having trouble meeting the requirements, and the agency said it will “take all necessary regulatory actions to implement a long-term solution.”

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The Apology Complex: Why It’s Time to Stop Saying “I’m Sorry”

Editor-in-Chief, Ms. Koko Vercessi

sorry

Courtesy of BBC

How many conversations have you had with your friends where you don’t say sorry at least once for something that didn’t require it? While many people believe that old school manners and the art of etiquette is dying, others are suffering from a very different kind of problem that doesn’t involve rudeness. All around the world, people are plagued by what has become known as the “Apology Complex”, or “Sorry Syndrome”.

“Sorry Syndrome” comes in the form of a type of constant verbal regurgitation of the words “I’m sorry” during situations that do not really call for this kind of proclamation of an apology. An apology can take the form of an admittance of guilt, a way of showing regret, or an attempt to show sympathy. The words once used to convey an apology are now being used in everyday conversations. I doubt that anyone has passed by or participated in a conversation in which they have not heard or uttered themselves the words “I’m sorry” when the situation did not really call for an apology.“Sorry Syndrome” has gotten so bad that people assume judgement and feel the need to apologize for simply just being, or just acting in a natural way. But because of a comment or funny look, many of us resort to simply apologizing to the people around us for being ourselves.

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ChittCore’s TJ Provides Important Addiction Education

Mr. Joshua Bliss & Mr. Cameron Longchamp

HINESBURG — CVU health teacher from Chittenden Core, T.J. Mead, spent this last Wednesday teaching his students about the painful realities of drug addiction. The students took action working on the simulator that T.J. designed to help students understand what addiction was and how it affects teens.

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T.J. started his class by asking the students to define what they thought addiction meant. The lesson T.J. was teaching was about the effects of drugs and how that applied to the teen brain because the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25.

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Chittenden Core Health: Students Learn about Addiction

Mssrs. Josh Bliss & Cameron Longchamp

HINESBURG – CVU health teacher from Chittenden Core, T.J. Mead, spent last Wednesday teaching his students about the painful realities of drug addiction. The students took action, working on the simulator that T.J. designed to help students understand what addiction was and how it affects teens.    

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Mead started his class by asking the students to define what they thought addiction meant. The lesson he was teaching was about the effects of drugs and the kind of effects they had on the underdeveloped teenage brain.

Mead stated, “the students wrote down on pieces of paper three people important to them, three passions they have, three attributes, and were given a scenario.  The students had to pick one card out of each category to lose as a consequence for their actions. After each scenario the next one would get more complicated.”

The class was very helpful, as many of the freshman were unaware of much of the information that he taught.  Freshman student, Stewart Robinson, commented on the new material, stating “It was very helpful. People may not know that if you do drugs it can cause addiction, which is why it’s a very important class to teach.”

Freshman student, Jordan Halverson, added “Most of it was new info. I only knew a little about addiction before the class but now I know a lot.”

Both students agreed that Mead should continue teaching the class in the future. He hopes that his class will help keep students on the right path moving forward, and that they will remember his class as a valuable lesson.

 

Why the Present Moment is a Gift

Ms. Koko Vercessi, Editor-in-Chief 

“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now” -Eckhart Tolle

Image Courtesy of ublicdomainpictures.net

Image Courtesy of Publicdomainpictures.net

It’s easy to get caught up in thoughts of the future and regrets or mistakes you made in the past, but why is it so important, and so much healthier to live in the present moment? The present moment is the place where we can live and think freely and become centered in ourselves. Worrying about the future and having regret the past makes us miserable and filled with anxiety and feelings of restlessness.

Many practices such as yoga and meditation promote mindfulness and centeredness in one’s self. These types of practices allow people to take time to become aware and mindful of the present moment and appreciate the beauty of the world around them that many tend to miss in the wild frenzy of the future-driven world that we live in. Humans are constantly driven to think about the future in order to have purpose and aspirations to reach. A future-driven mindset is healthy in some ways as it can help you maintain a strong focus on your goals. The problem with allowing yourself to be consumed with thoughts of the future is that you will be in a state of constant anxiety and dissatisfaction with your present state. Everything that you do will not be for your own fulfillment in the present moment, but for tomorrow’s goals and dreams, goals and dreams that may naturally change over time, making those moments of anxiety and worry obsolete and unnecessary.

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Will CVU Get Free Condoms?

Ms. Jam Giubardo

condoms

Courtesy of lifesitenews.com

HINESBURG, VT– On March 15th, 2017 a memo from the Vermont Health Department and Vermont Department of Education called upon the CVU administration and the student body to decide if CVU should make free condoms available to all students.

The VT Dept. of Health and VT Dept. of Education’s memo consisted of a list of facts regarding cases of STIs and STDs in recent years. The reports show that over 80% of the STI cases have been Vermonters 24 years of age or younger. This caused them to call upon Vermont schools to establish a free condom policy.

Freshman health teachers asked Freshmen to develop proposals about their thoughts on free condom availability and why. Students outside of the cores were also encouraged to state their position on the debate.

Freshman personal health teacher, Trevor Mead, was asked what he thought about the memo and he said, “I love that at CVU administration values student opinions so much, to basically place this in their hands. It is important that the students have a say on topics that most directly affect them.” He also added, “It is also great that Adam [CVU’s Principal] has left room for people who don’t think it’s a good idea to have a voice as well.”

Other teachers and administrators agree that the opportunity is an effective and progressive way to mitigate the presence of STI’s and STD’s among high schoolers and are ready to see what the school decides to do.

Mind Over Matter: Positive Thinking May Have Real Physical Effects

Ms. Koko Vercessi-Clarke, Editor-in-Chief 

Image Courtesy of Deviantart.net

Image Courtesy of Deviantart.net

So you’ve heard the saying, “think and it shall become” but what does this actually mean? Does the idea that your mind has the power to create and change your reality actually have any basis in fact and statistical evidence?

There have always been people who have told you that your brain has the amazing ability to create its own reality based on your thoughts and regular thinking habits and patterns, so how exactly does this work and how can we use it to our advantage? The definition of the statement “Mind Over Matter” is one that refers to the ability of thought processes to influence our physical reality.  UCLA scientists and colleagues from the California Institute of Technology have collaborated to complete studies that show humans can regulate the activity of specific neurons in the brain. According to the UCLA Newsroom our brain can “increase the firing rate of some [neurons] and decrease the rate of others”. If our brain has the ability to exert its control over which neurons fire and when, this means that it can choose what we focus on and “override the visual reality”.

Perhaps the best example of the power of the human brain to manipulate and create our own visual reality is what is known as the Placebo Effect. According to Dr. Mercola, “A placebo is an inactive treatment or substance, such as a sugar pill or sham procedure, that looks and feels just like a regular medical treatment. Patients receiving a placebo generally believe it is the same as the typical standard of care, and many experience what’s known as the “placebo effect” – an improvement in symptoms – even though they received no actual “active” treatment.” In patients with certain ailments or injuries, studies have shown that just the belief that a pill has the ability to heal and repair your body can have the same effects as if the patient actually had taken a pill with the ability to bring about this healing medically. This is because the brain is tricked into believing in this pill and its abilities and therefore it tricks your body into healing normally as if the pill’s effects were really at play.

ScienceDaily reported out about a study done at Baylor College involving patients with knee pain and osteoarthritis where 180 patients with knee pain were randomized into three groups. One group had torn or loose cartilage removed, the second group underwent arthroscopic lavage (the bad cartilage is flushed out), and the third group underwent simulated arthroscopic surgery where small incisions were made, however; no instruments were inserted and no cartilage was removed from these patients.

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Dawn of the zombies: sleep-deprived teens need to get off the screens

Mr. Nathaniel Mick

The recommended number of hours a teenager should sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation, is seven to nine; in reality, only fifteen percent of teens are getting that amount. Between blue light from screens, distractions from devices, homework, procrastination, and early school starts — teenagers have a lot to deal with. It’s no surprise that so little get sleep, but that’s no excuse for more than eighty percent of teenagers to lack sleep so often.

There’s a certain beauty to the irony that I am falling asleep at my keyboard as I write this.

The problem with sleep is that it is easy to go without it for a night, but that could mean up to a week of recovery. Many teenagers, and adults, haven’t felt what being truly rested feels like in a long time. With so much going on in life, it’s easy to put off sleeping for later. After all, sleeping takes up valuable working time, and seems so trivial. However, recovering a night of sleeplessness isn’t as simple as it seems. Sure, missing a few hours the night before a big test can be reversed with a few more hours of sleep the days after. Unfortunately, when you miss a few hours for a week or two, things start to get complicated.

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The footbag feud: fun or fitness?

Mr. George Lomas

Racing back from the Stone Age, Footbagging has made a drastic come-back among youth, and even adults. Footbagging is a sport and fun backyard activity that anybody can play. It requires no more than a simple round bag filled with sand or dirt and your feet. Many people who are completely uneducated and inexperienced in this activity are very easy to spot because of their use of the words, “Hacky Sack”. In this case, “Hacky Sack” is a direct meaning for, “I don’t know anything and am very stupid.” By using the word Footbag instead, you immediately give off the vibe of superior intelligence and skills. The rules to Footbagging are simple; you can use any part of your body other than your hands and arms to keep the bag in the air. Usually, people use their feet by kicking the bag straight up into the air at roughly eye level, over and over again and passing it to other players. It may not sound like much, but the second you make a successful kick, you’ll be hooked for life.

Courtesy of Pintrest

Many people believe footbagging to be a high-intensity requiring a lot of flexibility and strength, but not according to footbagging amateur Kaelan Murdock: “I find footbagging to be quite peaceful and calming. In fact, I can never footbag without doing some sort of meditation or mindful breathing techniques at the same time. It helps me focus on my foot-eye coordination and balance. I’m surprised that no one has come out declaring footbagging as a form of meditation.” According to Soren Kurth, a footbag specialist who shares a similar opinion to Murdock, “Whenever I footbag, I play music in the background, usually sounds of nature and chimes. It keeps you in the correct mindset which is having a calm and sturdy soul and empty mind. This makes it a lot easier to make your kicks and stalls much more natural and effortless. It’s almost a form of yoga in that you’re keeping an empty mind, but being be aware of your body and surroundings along with keeping a steady breathing pattern.” Very interesting perspective from Kurth and Murdock.

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Ravell on cereal: Lucky charms, neither charming nor lucky

Mr. Ravell, Food Criti  at Large

Lucky Charms are a classic cereal that are among the most popular. But should they be? To me, Lucky Charms are only half good, at best. Half of the cereal is tasteless and leaves a weird residue in your mouth, the other half is marshmallow that is more styrofoam than anything else. Every bowl of this cereal has left me feeling unsatisfied and sad. Lucky Charms are bad tasting, not very healthy, and, not even very lucky.

In my research, I have found that I am not alone in this feeling. CVU senior, and breakfast cereal enthusiast, Walker Storey, says that the marshmallows are “way too sweet” and that the other pieces are “too hard to wrangle.” Storey also describes them as “the grossest things of all time”. CVU senior Colin Monsey also agrees that the marshmallows are too sweet. On the other hand, CVU senior Natalie Gagnon says she would like the cereal if it was only the marshmallows, and it would be called “Lucky Marshmallows”. While people have different reasons, they agree that Lucky Charms are an overrated cereal.

Image via Deviantart, by RegularBrony54

Image via Deviantart, by RegularBrony54

 

People who disagree with me may say that the cereal has to balance healthy and unhealthy to be both good, and good for you. While the gross brown things may taste healthy, they aren’t as good for you as you’d think. Every cup of this cereal has 2.6 grams of fiber, which is only 0.1 grams more than Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a much better cereal.

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No, your body cannot function simply on Adrenalin, so change up your habits

Ms. Koko Vercessi

Image Courtesy of Pinterest

Image Courtesy of Pinterest

Adrenal fatigue just means you’re tired, right? Today, adrenal fatigue represents a bigger picture that encompasses more than “just being tired” and a solution that can’t always be found through just catching up on some lost sleep.

AdrenalFatigue.org states that adrenal fatigue is “a collection of signs and symptoms, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level.” So what are the adrenal glands, and what do they do exactly?

The adrenal glands are two glands located on top of your kidneys that produce both nonessential, and essential hormones in your body. The outer part of the adrenal gland is known as the Adrenal Cortex, and this is the area of adrenal glands that helps to produce hormones essential to the regulation and control of metabolism, stress, and blood pressure. The inner area within the adrenal gland is known as the Adrenal Medulla. This area oversees the production of hormones such as adrenaline in situations where a fight or flight response is triggered.

Adrenal fatigue is a result of long-term emotional or physical stress or chronic infections. Adrenal fatigue is not a condition that is obvious or easily identified because you may not exhibit any signs of physical illness, yet you are unable to relieve your fatigue by sleep. In general, it may be hard to spot someone suffering from true adrenal fatigue because their symptoms may simply come across as that of someone who is just worn out or tired.

The doctor who first coined the term “adrenal fatigue” warns that if someone were to continue to let this constant weariness and exhaustion go on, in serious cases they will experience difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours every day. Dr. James L. Wilson says that as your adrenal functioning reduces consistently, the various systems in your body become more heavily affected. This is because your body is attempting to find ways of compensating for the decrease in adrenal hormones; your body will alter your metabolism, the balance and levels of fluid in your body, and your cardiovascular system and heart rate.

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Sticking to The Vaccine Debate

Ms. Emma Lieberman

Image Courtesy of Everydayhealth.com

Image Courtesy of Everydayhealth.com

How many doorknobs do you touch in a day? How many other people have touched those doorknobs in a day? Paul Offit, MD, says that children are exposed to more bacteria, toxins, and viruses in one day than those that are found in vaccines. The spread of viruses is very real, especially in a public high school with 1,300 students. There is a simple way to prevent the widespread of viruses and diseases, though very controversial.

The world’s first vaccine was administered in 1796 in Berkeley, England. Now, vaccines are administered daily to people around the world. There are five shots in particular that are required during childhood for a student to attend Champlain Valley Union High School; these are Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), Tetanus, Hepatitis B, and Barasila. There used to be three ways in which a student could be exempt: philosophical beliefs, religious beliefs, or medical exemption. Philosophical beliefs have been recently taken out of the running, and religious beliefs are soon to follow.

A recent poll taken from 118 random CVU students showed that 5.1% have never received a vaccine in their life, and out of even those who have gotten shots, 10.6% are against. “Your body was made to be able to fight off diseases. You don’t actually need vaccines. It’s just putting crap into your body,” says CVU sophomore Isabella Durocha.

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Another intelligent insight as to why teenagers can’t get anything done…

 By Ms. Koko Vercessi

Image Courtesy of Addassets.com

Image Courtesy of Addassets.com

So why is it that you just can’t seem to manage your time, or you can’t organize your thoughts? All of these issues, from time management to making good choices, can be attributed to the inner workings of your executive function. According to WebMD.com, in its simplest form, your executive function is a collection of “mental skills” that helps you to get things done. These mental skills, including time management, attention, ability to focus, and memory, all are linked to an area of the brain known as the frontal lobe.

During your high school years, the frontal lobe is not fully evolved yet. In fact, this area of your brain continues to evolve until you reach the age of 25. Executive functioning during the adolescent years is particularly hard. This is because not only is your body going through a physical and emotional roller coaster ride, your mind is working to keep up with it all while it is still in the process of evolving towards adulthood. Dr. Lynn Margolies stated in an article that “Executive functioning is slow to fully develop. It emerges in late infancy, goes through marked changes during the ages of 2 through 6, and does not peak until around age 25. Adolescents’ limited executive functions are out of sync with their emerging freedom, sense of autonomy, and intense emotions, failing to equip them with the reins needed to for appropriate restraint and good judgment during this time of temptation.”

The development of executive functioning occurs in an area of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex, an area highly sensitive to stress. With this in mind, it’s not surprising to find out that there is a relationship between low levels of executive functioning during the teenage years and the stress many high school students face on a daily basis. Dr. Adele Diamond spoke on the subject saying, “Unlike anywhere else in the brain, even mild stress can flood the prefrontal cortex with the neurotransmitter dopamine, which causes executive functioning to shut down.”

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AED: Preparing for the unexpected

By Mr. Maxwell Akey

HINESBURG, Vermont– On March 2nd, 2015 at the semifinal Vermont division one girls basketball game between CVU and Rice, a traumatic event took place. Towards the end of the game Rice head coach. Tim Rice fell down unresponsive towards the end of the game. No one had any idea of what to do for a while, considering Time Rice was unresponsive on the ground, until an athletic trainer was able to get an AED and perform CPR until the ambulance came.

Since the Tim Rice episode occurred, a new addition to Vermont’s second largest high school Champlain Valley Unions sports teams includes the emergency CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) plan. This new regulation was mandated by the Vermont Principals Association (VPA).

Vermont high school sports are well underway. At Champlain Valley Union High School just 4 weeks in, this year’s fall sports teams are CPR trained and ready with an emergency plan in case of another sudden cardiac arrest scenario similar to Tim Rice’s. According to athletic director Dan Shepardson, “I hope we never have to use this plan. It’s not going to stop a broken leg or a torn ACL, but like the Tim Rice incident, it’s to know how to handle a situation like that.” Continue Reading

Grab and go grub for the CVU student that’s always on the move

By Mr. Will Ravell

We’ve all had days where we sleep in through our alarm and are running late. You don’t have time to eat breakfast, so you go through the day hungry because the cafeteria always has lines. That’s where the Redhawk Cafe Cart comes into play.

A few years ago, the CVU Cafeteria purchased a cart but didn’t really do anything with it. This year though, Leo Laforce decided to make it happen. It is widely known that students are often in a rush in the morning, meaning that they may not have time to eat. Many times the cafeteria will have lines, making it hard for students to grab some food. The idea of the Redhawk Cafe Cart is that it will be much faster, offering mostly “grab and go” type snacks, according to Laforce. This cart can be used with cash or with your school lunch account, optimizing the convenience. The hours of operation for the cart are from 7:30-10:10 every morning, to make sure that students are fed in the early part of the day.

Students and teachers aren’t sure what to think of the cart. Senior Colin Monsey says “It’s weird.” He also admits that it is a “good idea.” Senior Nate Shanks says that the cafeteria is closer and has a better variety. Business teacher Tamie-Jo Dickinson is a fan of the new cart, saying that one of her students returned to class much faster because the cart had no line. Out of a whole morning business class, only three had ever used the new cart. Senior Zach Toensing says that if the cart were to have iced coffee, he would be using it all the time.

There had been talk of the cart moving around the school, but Debbie Donahue says that the cart will not be moving from Four Corners, because Four Corners is the heart of the school that every student goes through every day.

So far, business has been slow, according to Leo Laforce and Debbie Donohue, but it is starting to be busier, especially during rushes between blocks. It seems that the only real problem for the cart at this point is awareness. Students are confused by it, and aren’t sure what to make of it. If you are a fan of the cart and want it to stay around, tell people about it.