The Paw Print

Novi Middle School's Student Newspaper

Volume 21 Issue 1 / October 27, 2020

NMS IN THE NEWS

Clipart of a book turning into a laptop

Students learn to live in virtual and hybrid worlds

By: Aahana Ashok, Lorelai Raudszus, & Samaara George


Virtual learning isn’t easy. Hybrid learning isn’t easy either. They both provide hardships for students and teachers alike. School has been crazy for everybody but we’re going to tell you the ups and downs of virtual learning as well as hybrid learning.


The wise and positive Mrs. Khalil embraces, “I try really hard to be positive because there’s so many things going on in the world that are really challenging and my biggest advice is just focus on the moment you’re in. If you focus on the moment you’re in you can tackle the problem that's right in front of you and you don't have your thinking clouded by other things that are in the future or have happened before.”


Virtual (Aahana A. & Lorelai R.)

Virtual learning is at-home learning. The Novi Wildcats do this on a device by attending zoom meetings. All of your schoolwork is accessible through a program called Schoology; in previous years Schoology was used for talking about and posting grades. However, currently, teachers use it for everything and rely heavily on it. Now that you know what virtual learning is, we can get into what it’s like for teachers and students. We interviewed a few teachers and students at Novi Middle School. Here’s what they said on the topic of virtual learning when we asked them a variety of questions.


We all know that virtual learning provides challenges. One teacher, Mr. Miller states that “Teaching virtually is a challenge because you can’t see what they are doing "on-the-spot.” He also says “Identifying students that are in need of extra help is sometimes delayed because of the technology barrier.” To elaborate on that, one challenge of virtual learning is that teachers can’t monitor what students are doing in the moment, this is what he means by “on-the-spot”. There is also a “barrier” meaning that technology is not the same as being in person. Another teacher, Mrs. Braun, reveals time and time again, “Technology can be your greatest friend and worst enemy.”


We also interviewed a student and found that they hate virtual learning with a fiery passion. They struggle a lot and we know they aren’t the only ones. They feel very isolated and super stressed when it comes to learning virtually. It’s difficult to focus, and technology raises many problems. The student claims “I dislike that everything is ten times more stressful and you are expected to understand everything and adjust easily.” While some may disagree with this statement and teachers try their best to make learning virtually as normal as possible; students still battle with it.


Virtual learning also has its perks. Ms. Khalil expresses “One of the things I like about our virtual setting is that I get to see everyone every day and we have this consistent schedule. I also love that we get to work with technology more; it’s not something I always did in the past but having to learn and do activities, figure out assignments all digitally, has really helped me learn a lot. And I like seeing what you guys come up with when you have to use a digital platform. You guys are really creative and it’s fun to watch.” This positive outlook is what we’re looking for when learning virtually.


Another great thing about virtual learning is that it’s much more personal. What we mean by that is kids can ask questions without being in the spotlight, students can connect with others via chat, and we can all do this from the comfort of our home, assuming that we don’t have annoying little distractions, and by that I mean siblings. We know when someone’s mom comes in to say bye or when a little sister begs for help. We know when Mr. Laney will eat his snacks and when the sun rises and shines on our cameras. It’s the little things that we notice that make us more connected even if we haven’t met each other. S’more (get it? hahaha) awesome things about virtual learning are that you can show up to school with your pajama pants or no pants (please wear pants though!), you can eat whenever you want, and you don’t have to sit in your seat bouncing your leg waiting for the right time to ask your teacher to go to the restroom. These things we learn to appreciate can really shine a light on virtual learning.


Virtual learning has both benefits and disadvantages. We told you some good and bad things about learning virtually. Now it’s up to you to decide whether or not to grab the opportunity to be as happy as possible as a virtual learner.


Hybrid (Samaara G.)

Hybrid learning is a combination of virtual and in-person school. On two days you go to school, two days you do assignments at home, and one day you zoom with your teacher at home. All work for hybrid is accessible by Schoology. The virtual learning part of hybrid brings many technology challenges to students and teachers. In-person might not be that great too because in band and choir you have to wear masks as you sing or play your instrument. Also you have to wear your mask in P.E class, which can get really uncomfortable.


But there are still some benefits of hybrid learning because you get the best of both worlds. For example, Mrs. Keimig, a math teacher, likes the online part of hybrid because there are fewer papers and it is more organized. Virtual learning is also great because everything is in one place and students can easily find their work. Also, when you are learning at home you are in your own comfort zone and some students may prefer that. It also might not be that great because when all our work is only in one place, if the site crashes like Schoology did for 2-3 weeks it makes everyones lives harder. There are also internet problems over zoom and it makes it harder to teach and learn. Also during virtual learning some students may feel alone.


The other part of hybrid is in-person learning. You go to school 2 days a week either on Monday and Thursday or on Tuesday and Friday. Our band teacher Mr. Ronning likes in-person school because he can correct students’ mistakes easily. Another great thing about in-person learning is that you can actually socialize with your friend instead of sitting in front of a screen. Many students can also learn new lessons easier and ask questions. Many people might say that in-person learning is not safe, but actually everybody wears a mask and is socially distanced. You sanitize the desks before you come into the classroom everyday.


There is also a cleaning day on Wednesday for janitorial staff to disinfect the school. One of the downsides of in-person learning is that wearing a mask can be annoying; especially in band, choir, or PE. Also, during lunch who you sit with is limited to one other person in your fourth hour class. Lastly, when in class the desks are distanced so it can be hard to talk or work on projects with other students.


Overall hybrid has an equal amount of good and bad things to it. But it is your decision whether or not to embrace hybrid.

Does turning off the screen turn off the learning?

By: Zan Malan


This past year due to Coronavirus we’ve had to modify our methods of learning, one of the changes made is using Zoom. A big issue among teachers and students is the matter of having your video on or off. Below are a few teachers and students' opinions on the matter of screens during Zoom classes.


Priscilla Lozano, an 8th grade virtual student says, “Most of the time I feel ok about it, but sometimes I turn it off because I’m going to eat, or if we are answering a assignment I like to turn it off so I can be more focused on what I’m doing.”


Having your video on while eating can be distracting to other students so that’s a good time for your video to be off. While doing an assignment it can be helpful to turn off the camera so it doesn’t take your focus away from the assignment.


Mrs. Kaschyk, a 7th grade hybrid teacher says, “Zoom meetings are an integral part of our learning framework this year, and we try to find a balance between staying safe and staying connected. As much as I am drawn to the principles of keeping students comfortable in their home space as they learn, I think it is essential that they stay engaged, and part of this engagement comes from being present in front of the camera. If a student reporting in person for school was allowed to play video games, use their phone to text friends, work on homework from another class, take a nap, watch television, etc., we could safely assume that the student was no longer engaged in the learning for that class. The same could be assumed for a student in a virtual setting who turns off their camera. Keeping one's camera turned on during Zoom calls holds the student accountable to their own engagement and helps them get the most out of their class time with the teacher.”


I think a lot of you can agree with me when I say that on Zoom days it is really hard to focus and listen as closely as we should. Mrs. Kaschyk’s words prove a good point, if we have our cameras on, we will be more likely to pay closer attention to our teachers. The fact is that we don’t see our teachers as much; that makes the time we have with them twice as precious. We need to have our cameras on so we can use that time to learn as much as we can.


Sadie Charles, a 7th grade hybrid student says, “I prefer to have it off, but I honestly don’t care.”


Some may not care too much about having their video on or off so what Ms. Flynn remarks below really is something to think about.


Ms. Flynn, a 7th and 8th grade science teacher says, “I think students should have their video on during a Zoom meeting unless they have approached me with a legitimate concern ahead of time for why this is something they are not comfortable with. Everyone has different circumstances and comes from a different home environment. However, I would argue that most of the time this is not a legitimate excuse that most of us can use for having our cameras off. I think that many students turn their cameras off for other reasons, such as because they simply just don't want to have them on! As a teacher, it is much easier (and more enjoyable) to interact with students when we can see their faces in a Zoom call. Who wants to stare at a bunch of black screens!? Also, being able to see each other's faces helps to strengthen our class community and feel more comfortable working together and having discussions. I would like to see more students turning their cameras on in the future so we can improve our online learning experience. You can see my face, and I want to see yours, too!”


There are a few specific times when having your camera on isn’t the best idea, such as eating, getting up for any reason, or being a distraction to someone but visualize how it must feel to teach a bunch of black screens. Teachers at Novi work so hard to teach students, so the most important thing students can do is put their cameras on. The teachers need to be able to do their jobs to the best of their abilities, which means they need us to be at our best and if that means turning our cameras on, then that’s what we should be doing.


So next time you log onto a Zoom call ask yourself, would it kill me to turn my video on?

BEYOND OUR BLUE ROOF

Woman holding a Black Lives Matter sign at a march

BLM continues to try to make a difference

By: Alyna Dohadwala


Many of us have probably heard of ‘Black Lives Matter’ (BLM) protests taking to the streets to fight for racial equality. However, there are questions like “How did it start?”, “What are the goals of the protesters?”, “What are going to be the present consequences of these protests?” All you need to do is to read this article to find out.

Why are they protesting?

To answer the question of why BLM protests are happening, we have to look at how police brutality affects black people. Police brutality is “the unwarranted or excessive and often illegal use of force against civilians by U.S. police officers,” according to Britannica. I bring this up because in the USA, police brutality is most often directed towards people of color, especially black men. After multiple instances of police brutality killing people, such as Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, it sparked these BLM protests.

The protests aim to dismantle systemic racism. In the USA, there is a particular bias against black people, which is what protesters are working to dismantle. Because as Angela Davis once said, “In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.”.

What will happen next?

The BLM protests are bound to affect the 2020 election. It is a large political topic, as can, and will, affect how black people of the USA are treated, socially and legally. Whichever president gets elected will inherit a large burden of deciding what to do with the BLM protests. The BLM protests will most likely go down in history, like Martin Luther King Jrs. peaceful protests. There will also be an effect on cities that have had a large amount of protests, like Portland, Oregon.

What can people do to help?

You can make a difference by talking about racial inequality, systemic racism, police brutality, and the recent protests. It may be difficult to speak about, but that is exactly why it must be brought up. You can also learn more about black history, and educate others. I urge you to make a difference. Because as Michelle Obama said, “It’s up to all of us — Black, white, everyone — no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out.” Be bold. Be brave. Be informed.


More Resources:

1. CNN: 18 ways to sustain the fight against racism

2. Amnesty International: Police Violence

3. History.com: Black History

Wildfires continue to rage in California

By: Apoorva Rai


Over the past decade we have seen California wildfires come and go, people are very casual because it has started every year. This year the wildfires have broken the records! The fires are on the brink of burning 4 million acres. Five of the six biggest fires in California's recent history (since 1932) have burned in 2020. The astonishing figure is more than double the 2018 record of 1.67 million burned acres in California (according to Cal Fire). All large fire years since Cal Fire (company) started recording figures in 1933 have remained well below the 4 million mark — “until now,” the agency said Sunday in a Tweet.


IMPACT ON COMMUNITY

PG&E has warned that it could cut power for 386,000 people to prevent its equipment from sparking further wildfires during high winds. Health officials have forecast an air-quality-index of 59 for Saturday in the Sacramento region, which is moderate. There have been thirty-one casualties, 9,247 buildings destroyed and the total cost of all the damage is about $2.013 billion.


POLITICAL RESPONSE

Several politicians are denying the severity of the California wildfires, one of the most important and powerful, Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America. Trump travelled to Northern California to be briefed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state and federal officials. At one point, the Natural Resources Agency Secretary urged the president to “recognize the changing climate and what it means to our forests.” To which President Trump responded with “It will start getting cooler, just you watch.”


Trump’s suggestion that the planet is going to start to unexpectedly cool is at odds with reality, experts say. “Maybe there is a parallel universe where a pot on the stove with the burner turned to high ‘starts getting cooler.’ But that is not our universe,” said Stanford University climate scientist Chris Field. One of our own experts, 8th grade science teacher, Ms.Morgan supports the fact about climate change being the reason for the california wildfires, because “we know that with a higher population, we are using more resources such as fossil fuels and the more we change the environment the more the weather and climate will change.” Politicians not recognizing or taking action to this catastrophe is incredibly concerning.

Disturbing plot emerges to kidnap Governor of Michigan, 14 charged

By: Raima Saha


2020. It can’t get much worse...can it? I mean with covid, quarantine, the election, the asteroid zooming towards us this very minute, wildfires, hurricanes, racial injustice, and the fact that it feels like March 28. If you name it, it most likely has happened this year. Well if you thought that 2020 couldn’t get worse, it has. A disturbing plot has emerged to kidnap and execute the Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer.


Here are the facts. An armed private militia group named the Wolverine Watchman were plotting to kidnap Whitmer, take her to Wisconsin, put her on trial, and execute her.


The reason for this chaos was because they thought that the lockdown that Whitmer put on Michigan was dictating. If you remember, sometime in April people stormed into the State House asking, well more of demanding that Whitmer lift the lockdown in Michigan and get rid of masks. Yes, these are the people who protested with signs that said “I want a massage, lift the lockdown.” Well the plan was to create a distraction (bombs) and then snatch and grab her. Next, they would take her to a secure location in Wisconsin and have a mock trial. The end result of this would most likely be that Whitmer would be executed.


When this plot came out there were many mixed emotions. Whitmer said “Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry, as a call to action,” But since Republicans and Democrats hate each other, our president, Donald Trump fired at Whitmer tweeting “Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job. She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband’s boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced... today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan. Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist. Governor Whitmer—open up your state, open up your schools, and open up your churches!” Quite a lengthy tweet with a bunch of retweets, and that’s not even the whole thing.


While Joe Biden said, “It's the sort of behavior you might expect from ISIS. It should shock the conscience of every American, every American, and the failure to condemn these folks is stunning from the outset. Words matter. And the words of a president particularly matter. When the president tweeted 'Liberate Michigan, Liberate Michigan,' that's the call that was heard. That was the dog whistle.”

Amy Coney Barrett replaces RBG as newest female Supreme Court Justice

By: Arvind Salem


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on September 18, 2020. Shortly after, President Trump announced that he would select judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy. The timing resembles that of Justice Scalia’s death and President Obama’s subsequent nomination of Merrick Garland. The Republicans at the time blocked the nomination citing the proximity to the election. Now Democrats are claiming that the Republicans are going back on what they said then. This is the culmination of decades fighting over the Supreme Court.


In 1987, to replace Justice Lewis Powell, President Reagan nominated Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. After intense questioning Robert Bork was rejected. A few years later Justice Clarence Thomas was nominated to replace Thurgood Marshall. There were allegations against Justice Thomas’s character, but his nomination eventually passed. Republicans vowed to question the next democratic nominee as intensely as they believed the Democrats question Robert Bork and Justice Clarence Thomas


However, the Republicans didn’t get the chance to question the next nominee as intensely as they would have liked. In 1993, in the confirmation hearings for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senator Joseph Biden established rules that should be used for questioning nominees.The Biden rules (also called the Ginsburg Rule) stipulated that she had no obligation to answer questions about her personal views or on issues that might come before the Court. The result of these rules was that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was confirmed 93-3.


Over the course of her four days of hearings, nominee Amy Coney Barrett used the Ginsburg Rule to great effect. Using the Ginsburg Rule she was able to avoid answering questions on things like the Affordable Care Act and abortion. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday despite a Democrat boycott. The Senate voted to confirm her despite objections from Democrats and she will take her place on the Supreme Court and cements a conservative majority.

Presidential Election reaches the final days

By: Samuel Xie


The 2020 United States presidential election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020. It will be the 59th presidential election. This time however, voters will select presidential electors by mail instead of going in person to either elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris or re-elect Donald Trump and Mike Pence. The question is, who will win and do we really want them?


Donald Trump & Mike Pence

Among Trump supporters, the rumor is that public polls systematically understate the millions of Americans who will vote for Trump on Nov. 3. If that's the case, then the probability President Trump will prevail should advance to 50-50, or even show him in the lead, if he's still trailing but pulls within a couple of points of Joe Biden. Currently, the percent gap is 50.3% to 43.5%. If Trump wins and defies the odds, the next four years will likely be more disruptive to the U.S.


Joe Biden & Kamala Harris

If everyone eligible is allowed to vote, if every vote legally cast is counted—then Trump is doomed. His only hope is to find some way to stop the voting, stop the count, and then rely on the weird mechanics of the U.S. Electoral College to save him, against the people’s vote. It’s a good estimate that somewhere close to 145 million Americans will vote in 2020, up from 133 million in 2016. The average of all the major national opinion polls suggests that this vote will break 50.3% for Biden, 43.5% for Trump; a margin of 10 million votes for Biden.


But in a presidential election, the crucial votes are cast not by the people, but by the states, through the Electoral College. In 2016, Trump won 2.9 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, yet he won 306 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232. If in 2020 Trump can limit his Electoral College losses to his very most threatened states—Michigan and Arizona—he can still clutch out a 279 to 259 win. However, if Biden can win Michigan or Arizona, then Trump’s campaign is doomed and he will probably never run for president ever again.


The Pandemic

If Biden wins the election on November 3, he will inherit not only a country in the middle of a pandemic that’s destroyed lives and livelihoods — but also inherit a country in which public opinion is deeply divided over the true extent of the coronavirus outbreak and the measures taken to abate it. Biden’s pandemic plans — which his team has been preparing since March, say sources close to the campaign — promise to ramp up the country’s test-and-trace programmes by addressing racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 infection rates and outcomes and rebuild pandemic-readiness programmes cut by the Trump administration.


Months of Trump politicizing the pandemic will be hard to undo. The president has repeatedly said that wearing masks is unnecessary, despite public-health researchers’ advice that they are among the most effective non-pharmaceutical interventions for preventing viral spread. Joe Biden will need to change the public-health messaging so that it supports science without driving sceptics even further away so scientists can figure out a bipartisan push and identify who are the right messengers. If he can do that, then people might have a chance to recover from the pandemic and get back to their daily lives.


Sources

--What A Joe Biden Presidency Would Mean For 5 Key Science Issues (nature.com)

--What If Donald Trump Wins Again? (macleans.ca)

--Can Donald Trump Close The Gap And Win In November? (fortune.com)

--What A Second Trump term Would Mean For The World (theatlantic.com)

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Eye of a hurricane hitting Florida

The chaotic 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is (almost) breaking records

By: Arianna Huyck


It’s not like people didn’t know this before, but 2020 hates us. And the hurricane season this year isn't saying any different. The season is on the verge of setting a record for the most named storms ever.


So far, there have been 26 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. As of October 21st, 2020, the most recent was Hurricane Epsilon, which strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane and is moving west-northwest towards Bermuda. Epsilon is the 26th named storm, and 2020 isn't done messing with us yet- the hurricane season still has 2 months to go!


It’s not like the first few months have been bad enough already, though. The first storm system formed in late May. Since then, there has been more than $27 billion dollars in damage (in USD) and 151 deaths. Hurricane Laura, a Category 4, caused at least 36 of them alone.


Oh, and 2020 isn't done yet! 2005 was, on record, the worst Atlantic hurricane season ever recorded. There were more hurricanes then there were hurricane names that year, (including the retired names Katrina, Rita and Wilma) so the hurricanes were named after letters of the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and so on). Well, 2020, the year that loves us all, is only the 2nd ever hurricane season to generate enough hurricanes that the original 21-name hurricane name list is exhausted. So far in 2020, there has been Tropical Storms Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, and Hurricanes Delta (which was a Category 4 and resulted in at least 4 deaths) and Epsilon (the current Category 1 hurricane heading towards the Bahamas).


Three more storms, and 2020 takes the prize for having the most named storms in a single hurricane season. It’s being fueled by warm weather and climate change. Let’s hope it doesn't get any worse before the end of hurricane season on November 30th.

Apple introduces latest, greatest in phone technology

By: Hansi Yarabarla


Have you heard of the newest Apple iPhone that has so many pre-orders that it has surpassed the iPhone 11? The new iPhone 12 has more new features and the best technology in a phone than any iPhone before it. The iPhone 12 also came out with a new design and has a more developed look to it.


The Brand New Features:

The new features of the iPhone are more advanced than ever. It has a new 5G network, making this iPhone a hundred times faster. The new phone also has a new built-in feature called the MagSafe, a ring of magnets on the back of the iPhone which lets accessories and charging the phone wirelessly connect more easily and effectively. The new MagSafe feature helps magnetically and wirelessly charge the phone, the wireless charger connects to the back of the phone magnetically and then charges the phone. It also lets more accessories be added to the back like magnetic wallets, and other magnetically attachable objects.


The Brand New Design:

To add to that, the new iPhone also came out with a new cutting-edge design. For example, the phone is more flat-edged, which gives the phones a new look. The phone also has a new ceramic shield and helps protect it from fall damage. It is not only water-resistant but it is resistant to other liquids, such as coffee, juice, etc. Apple also improved the cameras. The cameras have pretty much the same features as the iPhone 11, except the cameras have been upgraded to give higher quality pictures and videos.


There you have it, the new iPhone 12. Although the iPhone 12 is very similar to the iPhone 11, it has new features and designs which makes the iPhone 12 more unique than the previous models. The iPhone 12 is already officially in stores to buy. The iPhone 12 mini is available to preorder from November 6th and is in stores on November 13th.

Snipping tool is a game changer for virtual learning

By: Henry Yim


The snipping tool is a very useful resource when it comes to mastering virtual learning. It allows you take rectangular screenshots of the screen. You can quickly take a screenshot of an important chart or diagram and you can save images of in-class presentations. Every screenshot is automatically saved as an image file (PNG, JPG, or GIF) .


The snipping tool is available on all Windows computers. To access it just search “snipping tool “ in the search bar on the lower left hand corner of your computer and the app should appear. You have the ability to highlight an area for a screenshot.


Chromebook Users: Google has their own version of the snipping tool. Press the CTRL and then the F5 keys to take a screenshot of the whole entire screen. If you have a version of the chromebook, Press CTRL and then the key above the number 6. Press the CTRL, SHIFT, F keys if you only want to take a screenshot of a small area.


***Warning: Please do not try the methods in the above paragraph during a Zoom meeting or else it will kick you out of the meeting.


Mac Users: There is a keyboard shortcut for taking a screenshot on a Mac computer. Press the SHIFT, COMMAND , and the number 4 keys. Then. drag the crosshair to the area you want for your screenshot. To delete your screenshot press the ESC (escape) key.

Screen time becoming bigger issue as more people go virtual

By: Hitesh Tirumalasetti


As virtual or hybrid students, we spend most of the school day in front of a computer. This can be bad for our eyes. According to the article Does Staring at Screens Hurt Your eyes? A Look at Expert Opinion, the article states that “...staring at computers, tablets, and smartphone screens will not permanently damage your eyesight.


However, doing so can cause some bothersome side effects, most notably computer vision syndrome (also called digital eye strain). Computer vision syndrome also refers to digital eye strain, which describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader, and cell phone use. (https://www.aoa.org). This is just one of the effects of spending too much time in front of a screen.


According to The Effects Too Much Screen Time Has On Your Health, written by CareWell Urgent Care, “...spending more time in front of a screen can cause a person to gain weight, have vision issues, chronic neck and back pain, poor sleep, impaired cognitive function, and in extreme cases, one could die earlier than usual."


Other sources, like www.dfinow.org, say that teens are having anxiety, addiction to technology, lack of empathy, and other problems just because they are spending too much time in front of a screen.


Hearing this can be scary, but parents can help their children overcome this by:

1. Setting screen time limits: Both students can limit their/themselves to two hours of screen time per day. (letsmove.obamawhitehouse.archives.gov)

2. Parents can be a good role model to children by spending no more than two hours in front of a screen. This can instill your children to spend less time in front of a screen. (letsmove.obamawhitehouse.archives.gov):

3. Children can learn bad habits from screen time content and should know that these things might be bad for their health. (letsmove.obamawhitehouse.archives.gov)


Other sources, like 11 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Screen Time, by Jessica Miley, says that eating meals without a screen, limiting your non-work screen time, and not watching in bed are some ways to solve this problem.

Face shields provide extra protection

By: Abhi Gadde


Are face shields more protective than masks? A face shield is primarily used for eye protection for the person wearing it. Masks don’t cover your eyes. Face shields have other benefits than traditional masks. It is easier to clean them, you can clean them with soap and water. When you wear a face shield, it is easier to communicate with other people. There have been some cases where travelers contracted covid through their eyes. Doctors say face shields offer a bit more protection than a mask because it also covers your eyes, but masks are more protective of your nose and mouth. Scientists and doctors also say you shouldn’t just wear a face shield. If you wear a face shield you must wear a mask. Or you can just wear a traditional mask. In conclusion, masks are more protective of the nose and mouth, but both are recommended.

ENTERTAINMENT & OPINIONS

Big picture

So Many Homeless Animals! How Can I Help?

By: Phina Poinsett


When you went to the shelter to pick out your first dog or cat, did you notice how almost all of the kennels were full? Shelters are full to the brim with kittens and dogs all over the world. This is actually only a small fraction of the big issue. According to ASPCA, over 3 million dogs come into U.S shelters each year. Another 3 million are cats and kittens. And that's not to mention the rest of the world's shelters, illegal puppy mills, and strays. But you can help!


One of the easiest ways to help is to donate money to any of your local shelters. They use this money to pay for food, toys, vet bills, medications, beds, and lots more. You can even go above and beyond this and donate food and toys that you've already bought! Many shelters have wishlists, but any donations are welcome.


Another way you can help with the rapidly growing homeless population is by getting your pets spayed or neutered. Even getting your community cats neutered/spayed helps! This is because when those stray cats and/or dogs have puppies and kittens, they are born on the streets, leaving even more animals homeless and in bad conditions.


Volunteering is extremely helpful to shelters and any animal rescue! The majority of workers at shelters are volunteers, and they need all the help they can get! A volunteer job may include, but is not limited to; cleaning litter boxes, walking dogs, feeding animals, taking dogs to relieve themselves, getting animals for families to meet, replenishing water, and playing with the animals. Keep in mind, not all the pets in shelters are your typical cat and dog! There are birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, and one time I even saw a pigeon! There are so many animals in rescues and shelters, and only so many volunteers! So, all hands on deck!


This next thing is something I've actually done myself, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! If you like animals, but you or your parents aren't ready for the commitment, then this is definitely for you! Fostering is a great way to save lives and have cute pets in your house. When you foster, you are clearing out a kennel so the shelter can take in more animals and save more lives. Many puppies and kittens that come into shelters have medical problems, or need to be bottle fed every two hours. Very few shelters have enough resources and time to take care of these needy cases. But that's where you come in! All in all, I had an amazing experience fostering kittens, and I'm sure whether you foster puppies, kittens, or whatever else comes into the shelter, you will too.


If you are looking for a way to help out that doesn't cost much time or any money, then you can advertise an animal on social media. Do you have Instagram, Twitter or Facebook? Well, advertising an animal is super easy! All you have to do is choose an animal or two to post on your social media page- give credit to the photographers on the website of course- write a cute description about them, and tell people where they can find that animal. You might find yourself helping to get pets adopted, which is huge!


Lastly, you can definitely adopt! Adopting a dog or cat from a nearby shelter helps everyone out. The incoming animals get a spot, the shelter can focus their resources on more dire cases, the animal gets a new home, and you get a best friend! It's a win-win! Adopting any animal is a wonderful choice. However, I know some people might not have the resources, space, or time for a high maintenance pet. In that case, try adopting a kitten! They come litter trained from the shelter and don't need many things. They need food and water, a litter box, toys, a scratch pad, and your attention. That's pretty much it! Being extra and buying things like a cat tree, window seats, or cat shelves for your cats to climb on is completely optional. Take my cat for example, she has the basic things and a few extras such as a gravity bowl and a harness, and she's perfectly happy!

Quarantine brings more time for gaming in 2020

By: Aaradhya Shrivastava


2020 has been a “game” changing year, with many popular games bring released like Valorant and Among Us. Recently, these games have gotten very popular, almost to the point of seeming unrealistic. The biggest of them all in my opinion is Microsoft's new game, Flight Simulator.


Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator is the first-ever simulator that has used A.I.(Artificial Intelligence) to make its flight simulator world. But you might be thinking “what, other flight simulators do that too?” Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 has real-world scenery in shockingly high detail. So much in fact, to the point in which you could fly to your own house and see it as well as airplanes flying above it in real-time. Microsoft flight simulator is a video game that will go down in history.


Among Us

Among us is a game in which a group of players do tasks on a spaceship. 1-3 players can be imposters, depending on what option the game host chooses, meaning that they can sabotage and kill the other players during the game. The object of this game is to find out which players are imposters before the number of imposters is equal to the number of players. While playing the game you try to lie and figure out who is lying. The reason that Among Us has gotten so popular is likely because many popular influencers, like Pewdiepie and Disguised Toast, play the game on large video platforms like YouTube or Twitch.


Valorant

Valorant is a very different game from this bunch. In Valorant, you have to go on teams of five and try to stop the other team from planting a spike, which is like a bomb. If you are defending you have to stop the other team from planting the spike and if they do you must defuse in time. However, if you are attacking, you can either kill all the other players on the defending team or you can plant a spike and wait for it to detonate. In the game, each character has different abilities and the first team to 13 victories is the winner.

Dear Wildcat

By: Alexander Dyga


Dear Wildcat: I’m a hybrid student in the 8th grade, and I’m having lots of trouble keeping up with my schoolwork on at-home days. Sometimes the instructions my teachers leave aren’t super clear to me or I don’t understand the concepts being taught. My grades are starting to slip because of it, and I’m worried about what will happen when my parents get my first report card.

-A Stressed Student


Dear Stressed Student: Lots of students are having the same problems as you. If you’re having any trouble with your lessons, don’t hesitate to email your teachers for clarification; they are always happy to help. You could also try to set aside some time at the end of the day to study important concepts. As for your parents, honesty is the best policy. If your first report card comes and your grades are still low, tell them what you think happened and work with them to come up with a plan to do better in the future.

__________


Dear Wildcat: Since the pandemic hit, two of my friends have been strangely distant. Both of them are learning virtually and haven’t talked to me as much in the last 6 months. I’m starting to worry about them, but I'm nervous about reaching out. What if they don’t want to talk to me?

-A Frantic Friend


Dear Frantic Friend: Try to keep in mind that the pandemic has been very stressful for everyone. Some virtual students are still adapting to their new way of learning. It's not unusual for someone working through such large changes to seem distant and reserved. If I were in your situation, I would reach out to both friends. Chances are they’ll appreciate having someone to talk to. If the discussion takes a turn for the worse all you have to do is find a polite way to end the conversation and give them space for a few more weeks.

Will Halloween still be spooktacular this year?

By: Aditi Jethri Kompally


Halloween is a holiday where everyone gets to decorate their backyards, front lawns and even inside their homes. But what makes it really spooky is the costumes you can wear! Everyone buys, or makes, a costume to wear on this Halloween night and the decorations, ex: graveyard tombs, skeletons, scarecrows etc. What actually makes Halloween the best night ever is the candy you get from every doorstep.


Are we celebrating Halloween this year?

According to the City of Novi, there will be a drive-by-trick-or-treating, where kids would hangout in their yard and their parents drive slowly down their neighborhood and throw candy for the kids, so they will see kids' creative costumes while the kids score their favorite candy. They can get a clean area while kids take candy while everyone is at a safe distance. If you really don’t want to trick or treat, just watch Halloween movies while eating your favorite snacks. But let’s be real, who doesn't love going trick or treating?


Insight from NMS Students:

Isaiah Schroeder

Q: “Are you going trick or treating and why?”

A: “I am because I love trick-or-treating and I will be taking precautions.”

Camellia Amin

Q: “What kind of costume would you wear if you went trick or treating?”

A: “I actually wanted to always be a disco girl.”

Manasivini Bahl

Q: “What precautions would you take if you were to trick or treat?”

A: “I would wear gloves and a mask.”

Joleen Jordan

Q: “Who would you go with if you were going trick or treating?”

A: “I would go with my family and my neighbors.”

Srijan Agarwal

Q: “How do you feel about Halloween this year?”

A: “Strange because it is not that much fun this year.”

Liam Finley

Q: “What is your favorite decoration this year?”

A: “Spiderwebs, Skeletons and Halloween lights.”