The Paw Print

Novi Middle School's Student Newspaper

Volume 20 Issue 5 / January 29, 2020

NMS IN THE NEWS

Students compete to Bee the best


By Sanjana Lanka and Alexander Dyga

Chanson. Before you read that word, did you even know it existed? Milan Thurman did, and he even knew how to spell it. It won him the 2019-2020 NMS spelling bee. However he was not without competition. Pranav Kadhirselvan, the second place competitor, and over 30 other students, were right on his heels and almost took home the win for themselves.


The spelling bee began on January 15 and concluded during A20 on Tuesday the 21st. This year there were many talented students that participated, resulting in an extremely drawn out competition with no breaks on the first day. Due to the length of the competition on January 15, kids were sent home on the late bus, and the competition was completed the next week.


Every student who participated did a great job. It was a fun, educational, and competitive experience for everyone involved. All of the students tried their hardest and did amazing, but there are some who deserve special recognition. Tied for 3rd were Sahasha Gangireddy, Nihita Ahand, Aaron Zhao, Saketh Sheshem, and Shashank Madhu.


Many challenging words were included such as helicline, plumbeous, lagniappe, and factotum. While the students prepared quite a bit for this event, nothing could have prepared them for these words. They were part of an additional list of words that were used after all the words competitors studied had been spelled correctly.


The spelling bee is a NMS tradition and Mrs. Henderson, the lead organizer of the spelling bee, has made clear the event will return to our school next year. Once again congratulations to every student who took part in the competition. You made Novi proud!

Milan Thurman spells a word on stage at the spelling bee

Friday A20 meetings meet mixed reviews

By Mandira Sardar

Everyone knows about the A20 meetings on Fridays that discuss Novi Power and anti-bullying. But what are these meetings accomplishing? Is bullying actually a major problem at NMS?


“The purpose of class meetings that focus on anti-bullying is to provide students with a better understanding of what bullying looks like (and how it is different from horseplay), the different roles in a bullying situation, and to encourage them to take action to prevent bullying. We also hope that students understand how hurtful and long lasting the effects of bullying are. We want to equip students with strategies so they know what to do when they see bullying,” says Mrs. David, a maker of the powerpoints.


When asked about seeing any signs of bullying during their time here at NMS, 23 out of 25 students said no, but the other two have seen/known of bullying happening.


However, Mrs. David explains that, “Data shows that, unfortunately, bullying does occur at NMS. Even though it is a small number of students who report being bullied, that number is too high. We want every student to feel safe when they are at school.” She also said that around 5% of NMS students report being bullied over twice a week. Of course, the number could be higher because some students may be fearful of reporting the incident.


Of the students who said that they did not see bullying, about 5-7 said they would rather be able to do their homework than sit through the meeting since they think there is no need for the meetings at all. However, just because the bullying is not involving you personally, it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. That is why the idea of being a bystander is sometimes discussed. Even if bullying does not happen often, students need to consider what they can do to help when it is witnessed.


“The bottom line is that we must set aside time to have these specific conversations,” according to Mrs. David, “A20 is a perfect time and place because it doesn't take away time from academic classes. Also, you are with a smaller group of students so hopefully it feels more comfortable talking about potentially sensitive issues in a smaller setting.”

What does it take to get a snow day?


By Rida Salim

Who doesn’t love a snow day--hot cocoa in hand, sitting by the fireplace, playing in the snow-- but do you ever wonder what does it take to get a snow day?


According to an article in The Atlantic by Eleanor Barkhorn, former senior editor, states in most of the Midwest and Great Plains, such as Michigan, Wisconsin, etc., having a snow day or not usually depends more on wind chill and temperature than on snow accumulation. These are called “cold days.” On the other hand, western states have varied levels of snowfall. Depending on their average snowfall, they may be more or less prepared, changing standards of when to have a snow day. More urban areas like Chicago and New York have more resources to clear snow and often need more snow in order for schools to close.


Based on an article by the Michigan Department of Education, the state of Michigan allows districts to give up to 6 school days off for students, whenever the need may arise. These days can be used for reasons such as bad weather, sickness outbreaks, and infrastructure problems, etc. Usually, however, these days are reserved for snow says.


There are various reasons for weather-related cancellations; schools may close due to reasons such as icy streets, dangerous quantities of snow, etc. Schools close in order to prevent accidents and other conflicts caused by harsh weather in order to keep students safe. A map from weather.com illustrates the amount of snow needed for a snow day in each state.


The reasons these numbers vary is due to some states rarely getting snow and therefore being unprepared to help schools run. For example, a little snow in a warmer state like Virginia can be more hazardous for drivers than that same amount would be in Michigan. Other states that get snow regularly are ready to take action when snow strikes, so more snow is needed in order for unpreparedness and in effect, schools to be shut down.

United States map from Fatherly.com showing the amount of snowfall it typically takes to cancel school

BEYOND OUR BLUE ROOF

Cyberbullying: Is it happening to you?

By Sudeshna Phanindra Kumar

Did you know that, according to Dosomething.org, about 37% of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have been bullied online, and 30% have had it happen more than once? If you have an electronic device, you probably visit various social media sites on a daily basis. You could be just browsing Snapchat, making videos on TikTok, or tweeting about something on Twitter. Most people visit these sites for fun, but they may not realize how dangerous it can be.


Cyberbullying is when a person uses the advantages of electronic communication to bully a person. It happens when someone sends messages or pictures in a threatening way.


Cyberbullying happens because, for example, one person doesn’t like another person, or when someone just wants to play a joke on a person! It can include sharing the victim’s personal information, as well as humiliating and embarrassing someone. Cyberbullying can be as harmless as just a joke, and as harmful as being considered as a criminal act. Some teens have been cyberbullied so much and for so long that they decided to end their lives. The cause was: continuous, distressing comments from cyberbullies. However, clearly ending one’s life should never be the solution.


According to the website Stopbullying.gov, cyberbullying has unique ways that it can be harmful:

  1. Persistent – Digital devices offer an ability to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day, so it can be difficult for children experiencing cyberbullying to find relief.

  2. Permanent – Most information communicated electronically is permanent and public, if not reported and removed. A negative online reputation, including for those who bully, can impact college admissions, employment, and other areas of life.

  3. Hard to Notice – Because teachers and parents may not overhear or see cyberbullying taking place, it is harder to recognize.


Everyday, people are being cyberbullied! You can escape this horror by using less social media and making sure that the “friends” you have on social media are people whom you know and trust. You can also spread the word to friends, family, and neighbors about the dangers of social media and cyberbullying. Help stop cyberbullying today!

Attempting to foretell the future

By Thea Fortin


Artificial intelligence advancement: Will technological advancements slow down?

2020 opens a lot of possibilities for more artificial intelligence use in our economy. Already, many car companies are switching to electric cars. This is a great step forward into saving our planet and cutting down fossil fuel emissions from non-electric cars. To go along with that, I predict there to be more robotic advancement taking place in many businesses. For example, Tesla, an automotive company, is set to be 100% automated in their factories in the future. In addition, there is always the yearly new versions of phones, laptops, etc. as well as more reliable versions of inventions like Alexa, Google home, etc.


More store closures: Will Amazon take over?

As a person who loves shopping, this next prediction is unfortunate, but not too much of a shock. There seems to be a general trend of more and more stores closing down. Stores such as Sears and Macy’s are perfect examples. These stores carry a wide variety of items such as at home needs, clothing items, furniture, and more. The problem with this is that there’s online competition now. Amazon, for example, is now the world's largest online retailer, selling just about everything, and it’s right at the tip of your fingers. With just one click of your laptop or one tap of your phone, you could buy a TV, a new table for your living room, etc. People are also developing a lazy habit of not wanting to go to the store anymore. Think about it though, why would you want to drive in your car all the way to the store while you can just grab your computer, sit on your couch at home and buy whatever you’d like? It’s a more simple option and is becoming the simplest choice for the majority of people.


Super Bowl prediction: Who’s to win the Superbowl? The Chiefs or 49ers?

The Super Bowl! Always a topic of discussion. This year the Kansas City Chiefs are going head-to-head against the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs carry a strong offensive game with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and more, while the San Francisco 49ers have a better defensive game with players such as Nick Bosa and Richard Sherman. According to CBS Sports, “San Francisco's greatest strength is its defense, which ranked first in the playoffs and second in the regular season, as well as first in total pass defense. Overseen by Robert Saleh, they've allowed just 15 points per game in the postseason after surrendering just over 19 per game in the regular season. The Chiefs are best known for their offense...they've eclipsed 35 points in both of their playoff games and have three different players among the best at their position: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, and tight end Travis Kelce.” With this said, it’s difficult to determine who has the better shot at winning the 2020 Super Bowl.


Impeachment prediction: Will Donald Trump actually get impeached?

There’s a lot going on with the impeachment-or-not of President Donald J. Trump. According to the MSN (Microsoft Network), daily tracking poll, “Those who favor the president’s removal from office have grown since the Dec. 18 impeachment to 55 percent; those opposed have fallen, to 40 percent.” They also add, “If there are compelling witnesses at the Senate trial, the polls might move toward 60 percent for removal.” With this being said, President Donald Trump seems unlikely to be removed from office, but anything can happen, even though the Senate is Republican- controlled.


Space predictions: Could Mars be a possibility in this new year?

2020 will be a great year in the space world. On January 10th, 2020, NASA already welcomed 11 new astronauts to the agency, who’s missions will be involved with further lunar exploration, Mars missions, and more. Not to mention, according to The Washington Post, “This year could herald significant moments in space exploration: NASA astronauts flying from United States soil for the first time since 2011, the first paying tourists traveling to the edge of space, rockets sending hundreds of satellites into Earth orbit to beam the Internet to remote parts of the globe, and the first serious steps toward returning a human being to the surface of the moon.” I believe more steps will be taken by NASA into the whole idea of Mars and all its possibilities, as of 2020, and the years beyond.

SPORTS, CLUBS, & ACTIVITIES

Battling obesity isn’t just counting calories

By Aaron Zhao

When many people hear the word “fitness”, they think of exercising. Fitness isn’t just based on exercising. It is the condition of being fit and healthy. That includes exercising, but it also includes eating healthy and drinking a lot of water.


These days, many people aren’t staying as healthy as they should. You can be a couch potato and sit around playing video games all day. You can have a major sweet tooth and consume tons of sugar everyday. Fitness is important because it can keep our body healthy and bring in many other benefits too. For example, it helps you become awake and energized. One simple, good workout can make you feel energized throughout the rest of the day.


Believe it or not, it can also help your mental strength as well. A routine that includes exercise and a good diet can elevate blood flow to the brain and enhances brain function.


Current guidelines say that we need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week or 75 minutes of intense exercise a week. According to “Harvard Health,” only 18% of all Americans meet these weekly recommendations. A good diet is also important to being healthy. The recommended daily intake of calories is 2000 to 2500. But the average American consumes more than 3000 calories each day says Businessinsider.com. This is contributing to the obesity problem in the United States. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) says that 39.6% of American adults were obese in 2016.


Fitness is something everyone should consider. Exercising every once in a while and eating fewer and fewer sweets each day is a good way to become healthier.

Graph by Business Insider shows the increase in calories consumed by Americans between 1961 and 2013

TECHNOLOGY TODAY

10 years later...

By Nandita Talluri

It has been a decade since the year 2010. It has been a decade since iPads first came out and since the well known social media app Snapchat was invented. These are only two technological advances that were open to the public in 2010. Down below are some other developments over the decade.


Siri - 2010

The original Siri was released as an application for the iOS operating system. Around the same time, developers were planning to release Siri on Android and Blackberry devices. About two months later, Apple introduced Siri.


Siri - 2020

Apple plans to release the SiriOS to further the use of Siri in households. Many predictions have been made that with the release of SiriOS and other technology of that sort, it will get rid of the use of keyboards and replace it with voice typing.


Ipad - 2010

The first model of the iPad came out on April 3, 2010. Later another model came out on April 30, 2010. Though neither of these models have all the features of the latest ones, they were both huge successes.


Ipad - 2020

In 2020, Apple plans to release the Ipad pro 12.9. The iPad has thinner, lighter screens, and experts say that it is better for the eyes. In addition, a pen and keyboard will also be available.


Google’s Driverless Car - 2010

Google’s first driverless car made a 140,000-mile journey with only a slight human intervention. This was a major milestone for the company. Since then, Google and other companies have been trying to make them more safe and open for the public to buy and use.


Driverless Cars - 2020

Tesla, Google, and other companies have made goals and promises to see driverless cars out on the road by 2020. However, considering that many earlier promises regarding these cars were not met, most people predict that driverless cars won’t be open to the public in 2020.


As you can see, many significant inventions were made in the year 2010, a decade ago. Will 2020 be remembered the same way?

Innovations continue to move us forward in 2020

By Divya Nelluri

New gadgets and inventions are being made all the time and it can be difficult to keep up-to-date with all of the greatest technology. Some of the most interesting inventions being made in the coming year are the electronic sensor pen, the AirBar, and the Norm Glasses.


Electronic Sensor Pen

Digital pens have many advantages over traditional pens such as allowing users to easily record their drawings, diagrams, quick notes and transfer them to a computer, where they can help simplify work procedures. One of the digital pens that are about to be invented is the Livescribe 3. It is a highly-versatile digital pen that can work with any paper. It has distinguishable features such as recording sound while scribbling. This can make it incredibly useful during your school lessons or drawing sessions.


AirBar

Apple’s steadfast refusal to outfit its MacBook line with a touchscreen option is a well-known fact. Now, there is a simple solution for this: the AirBar. Airbar is a magnetic sensor that sits below the bottom edge of a laptop’s display. This gadget emits an invisible light field that allows standard screens to receive input from hand gestures. The Airbar is compatible with Windows laptops and most of Apple’s products.


Norm Glasses

Texting while walking has become a large problem because you are more prone to accidents with cars and other objects. Norm Glasses are a sleek pair of eyewear fully loaded with patented features that make you forget you are wearing glasses with a powerful built-in microcomputer. Norm Glasses has all the apps on your phone and can allow you to see a virtual image of a screen in front of you. By tapping the side of the glasses you are able to make phone calls, take photos and videos, use visual navigation, and listen to music—all with one pair of glasses


In conclusion, 2020 has various new inventions that will put us on a whole new level technologically.

ENTERTAINMENT & OPINIONS

Dear Wildcat

By Nandita Talluri


Dear Wildcat: My parents check my grades every month, and when they checked recently, they found out that I only have B’s and C’s. They said that if they did not see an improvement in my grades by the end of February, I can’t continue to swim. I have swim practice almost every day, and I love to swim! I am trying to work harder to get better grades but every time I have a test I flunk it. Please help!

- Sinking Swimmer


Dear Sinking Swimmer: Getting better grades can be difficult, but I have a few ideas for you. One, try to spend more time studying in and out of school; the more practice you get the better you will remember topics. Two, try to develop better test-taking strategies. The problem may not be studying but instead your ability to take tests. You can improve by taking practice tests at home so you are prepared. As for the deal with your parents, I suggest that you talk to them and ask them to wait until March. You have made a commitment to the team, and it wouldn’t be fair to your teammates. Perhaps a different consequence would be more appropriate.


-----


Dear Wildcat: I am juggling many activities right now. I am in seven extracurricular activities, and I also dance. All these things take up so much time, and I don’t have enough time to do my school homework or study for tests. The worst part is that I don’t know which activity to drop. My parents keep telling me that I am making it too hard for myself, and I should cut something. But I enjoy all the extracurricular things that I do.

- Distressed Dancer


Dear Distressed Dancer: Seven extracurriculars! Wow, that is a lot. I see two solutions to your problem. One is to drop some of your activities, and this will help you with your time management. First, you should take your parents’ advice and cut down on the workload. I know that sometimes this can be hard, but prioritize and decide which ones you really want to continue. If that doesn’t work.\, then I suggest you work on planning your time better. Maybe instead of watching TV for an hour in the night, you only watch for 15 minutes and then work on homework. Or, you could try to finish your lunch early and go to the library to work on homework. I hope that helps!

The world of Harry Potter inspired by author’s personal struggle

By Zan Malan

Have you ever wondered how J.K. Rowling came up with Harry Potter? Harry Potter is the well-known story of a young boy with magical talents. This is how J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, came up the series that shaped many of our childhoods.


According to Bloomsbury.com, “J.K. Rowling first had the idea for Harry Potter while delayed on a train travelling from Manchester to London King’s Cross in 1990. Over the next five years, she began to plan out the seven books of the series. She wrote mostly in longhand, and amassed a mountain of notes, many of which were on scraps of paper.”


During this period of time, J.K. Rowling also was a single mother and dealing with depression. As the next quote shows us, money wasn’t a luxury J.K. Rowling had at that time either.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Rowling says, "I couldn’t have written this book if I hadn’t had a few years where I’d been really as poor as it’s possible to go in the UK without being homeless," Rowling said in 2012. "We were on welfare, what we call welfare, I would call benefits, for a couple years."


If you’ve read the third book in the series, then you’ll know what Rowling is talking about. According to an interview in 2008 with The Sunday Times, “Elsewhere, Rowling said that she used her experience of depression to describe the Dementors in her "Harry Potter" books.” If you are unaware, Dementors are ghost-like figures that suck the joy and happiness out of a person.


Have you ever wondered how J.K. Rowling got her name? Well, that also happened when Rowling went to get her book published. When she finally was able to get her book published the publisher told her the following, “The publisher anticipated that boys may not want to read books written by a woman, so it suggested she pick a pen name with two initials. The "J" stands for Joanne, her real name. She has no middle name, so she picked "K" for "Kathleen," which was the name of her paternal grandmother.”


Harry Potter was the center of many childhoods across the world, and J.K. Rowling is who we have to thank. Through her trials and tribulations, she stayed strong and determined. J.K. Rowling said, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Though we may have hard times during our lives, we can always choose to be happy. Through the dementors, bullies, and rough times, we can always find the light.

New year brings new Star Wars rides to Disney parks

By Prannav Kadhirselvan


Disney has just released a new theme park area at both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This theme is about Star Wars, and it is called the “Galaxy’s Edge." It was released on December 9 in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and January, 2020, in Disneyland.


There is a lot in the theme park, Galaxy’s Edge, including statues, too! There are activities in this theme park, including very new ones in 2020. There are two rides in Galaxy’s Edge. These rides are so big and immersive that when you go on the rides, you have to say 'WOW." Rise of Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run are the only two rides there.


Rise of Resistance

In this ride, you will get to know what a fight between the Light Side and the Dark Side is going to be like. This ride is 18 minutes long and one scene you will see there is a bunch of stormtroopers standing by each other. (They are not humans.)


Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

This ride is about 4 minutes and 30 seconds long. There is a 100 foot replica of the Millennium Falcon, too. In this ride, you go into the Falcon and go in one of the seven pods that each hold six people. There are a lot of bumpy movements and sharp turns on this ride.