UPBeat News- 2018 April & May

Covering the monthly UP Beat News of Upper Perkiomen HS

Greetings from Upper Perkiomen High School!

Thank you for taking a look at our monthly e-newsletter. We hope you will find this snapshot of news to be a useful tool for learning about what's happening in our High School. We will share information about school events, initiatives and happenings, as well as those events being organized by our clubs, teams and classes. If you are interested in promoting your event, or letting us know about a student or staff member whom we should spotlight via UP Beat News, please e-mail dthomas@upsd.org for more information.


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Carpenter's Corner

Happy spring or should I say happy summer. We went from winter right into summer. For this months corner, I wanted to share some important dates and the concerns of our young kids vaping.

We are preparing for the Spring Semester Final exams.

Seniors will be testing on the following dates and periods:

Thursday, May 31, 2018 Mods 1 & 2 EVEN

Friday, June 1, 2018 Mods 3 & 4 ODD

Monday, June 4, 2018 Mods 3 & 4 EVEN

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 Mods 1 & 2 ODD

Underclassmen will be testing on the following dates and periods:

Friday, June 8, 2018 Mod 1 & 2 EVEN

Monday, June 11, 2018 Mod 1 & 2 ODD

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 Mod 3 & 4 EVEN

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 Mod 3 & 4 ODD

In an effort to the keep the vaping/Juuling problem at the forefront, I wanted to share this

6abc.com juuling piece with you. Please take a few minutes to read the article and watch the video. The school district is currently planning educational programs for students and parents for the fall. Please keep your eyes and ears peeled. Thanks for your continued support of UPHS!

If you have any contributions related to the school, please contact me and I may include it in an upcoming newsletter. Feel free to contact me at 215-679-5935 or rcarpenter@upsd.org if you have questions or concerns. You can also follow us @upperperkhs and @UPnewsteam on Twitter.

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Fire at UPHS shuts school down for days- by UPN staff

Earlier this month, the UPHS and UPSD community had to deal with something that most schools never have to; a fire. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon and many people were both in the school and around the high school campus when flames and smoke started rising from the area of the school that houses the Technical Education classrooms also affectionately known as the "X-Lab."

As a result of the fire, the damage to the building and the necessary clean-up, the school was closed to staff and students for two consecutive days. Once students and staff returned, the X-Lab program and many parts of the school will never be the same, but as we found, may also be better than before.

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The Heroin Epidemic hits home by Luke Connelly

The Heroin epidemic has been called the worst crisis in American history. Everyday more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.

Not only has the heroin epidemic affected the entire country, It has blossomed right in our backyard. Since 2002, Montgomery County has seen a 351% increase in opioid related deaths.

Many people are directly impacted by this epidemic, through exposure from friends and family plagued. I personally experienced the tragedy of having my brother head down this deep dark path. The addiction of my brother led to a shipwreck of chaos in my household.

I was still at a young age during his addiction, but it took a large toll on my mother and sister. I remember lying awake at night and listening to the cries of my family. A mother not knowing where her son was located. A sister not knowing whether her brother was dead or alive. A father, holding back his feelings and trying to keep everyone at peace. My brother’s addiction lead to a fall off of communication for 5+ years.

Although communication was cut, It didn’t help the situation. It put more stress on my Mom, leading to a much higher tension in the household. Eventually, he made things right. He called my Mom and signed himself up for rehab. After 5 years of no communication, you could see the toll addiction took on my brother’s life. He was 30 pounds lighter, pinned eyes, needle marks. At this point he was no longer my brother, he acted like a completely different person. I felt as If I lost him, things were never gonna be the same.

A month had gone by and he was back at home. He looked clean, and for the first time I felt like my brother was back. We held a close relationship, I was the one he vented to. He would always talk about how uncomfortable he felt living at home, how the relationship between him and my parents was lost. A month of living at home went by until he relapsed. It was noticeable to everyone in the family, his eyes were pinned once again. Eventually, leading to him being kicked out of the house again. Although he relapsed I felt it wasn't necessary to kick him out, I thought a tight knit relationship between a family could help end his addiction. But, we were long past that point. He was already gone, he had moved in with his girlfriend down the street. About two weeks went by, until my Mom got a phone call at 1 AM. My brother had overdosed in front of the Redner’s down the street, luckily an employee spotted him and administered NARCAN.

My parents rushed to the hospital, but made me and my sister stay home. As the night went on, minutes turned to hours. I just wanted to know if he was alive. I remember cleaning the house at 2 AM just to distract my mind. A few more hours went by until my parents got home, my mother crying her eyes out. My brother refused to let my parents into his room, instead only allowing communication with his girlfriend. I felt broken, how could he ever do this to us?

At that moment in time we gave up on him, he had caused so much damage there was nothing else we could do. A couple months had gone by without any communication, but I had just heard he was clean. Honestly, I didn't believe it. I had seen him fall so many times I didn't have much confidence in him. He had spent 2 years living with his biological father, staying clean the entire time. My birthday was approaching, shockingly I got a call from him. I didn't want to answer, I felt as if the conversation would be awkward. In a voicemail he stated “Hey buddy, I miss you, can’t wait to see you at your party.

Call me when you get a chance.” He sounded like he was doing good, he wasn’t slurring his words and sounded fairly clean. The week had gone by and it was finally my birthday. I woke up and came downstairs, there was my brother making me pancakes. I didn’t know how to feel, whether to laugh or cry. I ended up just going with the flow, by the end of the night things finally felt normal for once. My Mom and Brother weren’t fighting, Ben was sober, and everyone was happy. That night my brother had asked my mother if he could move back home. Instead of giving him an answer she sat us down and asked what we thought.

I was very supportive of him coming home. He had been sober for 2 years, and he looked like he did during High School. We all agreed, we had the real Ben back. He had ended up moving home, and for the past year me and my brother have formed and unbreakable bond. Although he put are family through hell, he still deserves another chance. Forgive and forget. There is no other way to handle an addict.

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Nearly 20 years since Columbine- a flashback- by Carin Holmes

In April of 1999, a horrific shooting occurred in a small town in Colorado at Columbine High School killing 13 young students. This day would end up changing everything for the way society functioned for years to come.

At the time of this shooting, “it was hard to imagine things getting much worse” says AJ Willingham of CNN. But today, 19 years later, the shooting that occurred at Columbine High School is no longer on the top ten list.

To get more information on what it was like to be a high school student in the aftermath of this shooting, I talked to Danielle Hawthorne, an English teacher at Upper Perkiomen High School. At the time of the shooting Hawthorne was an eleventh grade student in Pottsgrove.

I started off by asking whether she felt any differently going to school after the shooting had occurred. She said, “A little. Definitely.” and that there were many incidents after the shooting happened. She described that there were ten occasions in which her school was evacuated due to bomb threats, and that it became more common because they were taken so seriously. After these bomb threats occurred and they were evacuated, they would not be able to have their belongings until the next day.

Hawthorne said that she did not fear that the same incident that occurred in Columbine would also happen at her school. But while she was not very anxious she said that she was, “very disturbed” and she was even more disturbed that people were making false threats after seeing what had happened to innocent children.

Along with the many bomb threats, Hawthorne described other things that she witnessed change in her school after the shooting. She says that her school implemented a “no bookbags” rule and due to the “zero tolerance” rules, students who were known to be good were expelled. She detailed a story of a girl who brought a razor to school with her because she was sleeping over at a friends house afterwards, and she was expelled due to the zero tolerance on items that included razors.

When asked if she believed that there would be more school shootings after Columbine, Hawthorne responded, “I did not predict what we’ve seen over the past decade and a half. I really thought that it was an isolated incident.” And when she was asked whether she ever thought she would see a day when Columbine was knocked off of the top ten list, she simply said “no.”

She feels that because of the emotional nature of these tragedies, “my generation and a lot of young people have become desensitized.” She says that today she avoids the stories and personal memorials for the victims, especially after Sandy Hook because, “it’s too much.”

Finally she discussed a book that she teaches, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. She says that when Bradbury wrote this book in the early 1950’s he predicted that in the future kids would kill each other. She says that, “it is always disturbing to read that part of the book” because, “he predicts that people in society will become desensitized to violence.”

Hopefully in the future, we can find a way to keep these tragedies from continuing to occur.

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Descendants of Immigrants by Magadaline Camaratta

In May of 1954, U.S. ambassador, John Peurifoy, and the CIA were used to support and direct certain Guatemalan military leaders to overthrow Jacobo Arbenz’s communist government that the USSR influenced. At the time the U.S. assumed their involvement will help end the spread of communism, but it only resulted in over 40 years of tiresome war between the people and the government. Throughout these 40 years, the Mayans were blamed accused of being guerillas and blamed for the spread of communism, this resulted in “The Silent Holocaust” which was the murder of over 40,000 Mayans. The Guatemalan government became more repressive and soon it was terribly corrupted. The new sense of mistrust among Guatemalans and lost of opportunities led to many immigrating to the U.S. for a better life, my family was among those who bravely came to America. I am the descendant of immigrants.

My grandparents came here in 1984 with my mother and uncle, they came here with only the clothes on their back and a little bit of money. After settling in a small home in North Philadelphia, my grandfather became a mechanical engineer and my grandmother worked as a maid. Both jobs did not pay them well but was enough to keep their head above water. My mother and uncle attended Catholic schools separated by gender, my mother described the classes as, “difficult to follow”. At the time, there were no classes specifically for those who struggled with speaking English, they went in the same classes as kids who spoke fluently with no extra help. My mother spent hours each day working on improving her English and keeping up with her classes while also taking care of the house. My mother recalls a story of when other kids in their school would take advantage of the fact that they did not understand a lot of English and would trick them into saying embarrassing or inappropriate things in front of the teacher or others. Regardless, later on my mom went on to attend college and graduated as a nurse.

Throughout the hardships of getting use to being in a new country and all life threw their way, my grandfather told me, “with the little time you have on Earth, you need to take time to understand one another and understand yourself”. If it were not for my grandparents, I would not be in America right now with the opportunities I have. In reality, everyone in America is descendants of immigrants, at one point or another our ancestors seeked a better future for themselves and their family, and eventually it will be our turn to provide an even better future for those after us. It is important to understand one another because it will allow us to all succeed with what we are given.

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2018 UPHS Prom- A Night to Remember

Time for Prom- By Taylor Sottung, Class of 2018

Prom season is upon us and the “big day” slowly approaching, but how much does it actually cost. Personally prom is the one night everyone can shine without a care in the world. So why would it be such a big expense, I will break it down expense by expense.

The first thing girls do to start out prom is the search for the perfect dress. Dresses can vary in prices, they can range from $100 - $500 and maybe even more depending upon where you go, the style, or even designer. Also the alterations cost money to have done too, this may vary with how much you have done to your dress, it can be anywhere from $20 - $75. Many girls I know are tanning for prom, so they can feel more confident, and not be a ghostly white for pictures. For tanning around this area there are different places to go but the average for all of the costs are around $50 - $55 and this is for unlimited usages for 1-2 months. Also shoes are an expense depending upon styles, and stores are $20 - $100.

Closer to the date of the prom girls get manicures and pedicures and these can be from around $ 50 - $65 plus a tip. Also depending upon if you have a date, going with friends the flowers you get may vary in costs. Boutonniere are usually $5 - $20 depending upon the flower, and corsages $35 - $40. A new trend that has been happening is a bouquet which can cost anywhere from $30 - $100 depending upon the flowers and the place you buy them from. Jewelry can also be an expense if you do not already have some. Jewelry depending upon where you get it from as well, if it’s designer it’s going to be more on the pricier side ranging anywhere from $60 - $150. The prom tickets are also an expense that has to be accounted for which if you’re going alone, in our school their $65 and then double if you’re going with a date. Lastly the makeup and hair, most places charge $55 and up for updos, and hairstyles. Then makeup can range from $35 and up. So in the end prom is expensive and can cost anywhere from $525 - $1,330 just for one night.

But some ways you can go around spending this much is borrowing, borrowing dresses, shoes, and jewelry. Doing your own makeup and hair, or maybe having a friend do it. There’s many other options than always needing, new things, or having the best. You can make the most of what you have and just have a great night making memories that will last forever.

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The Humanities Course- the best I've had.... by Noel Fresa

Noel Fresa

With the school year coming to a close, the new year — and the new classes — are on the horizon. It being the conclusion of my sophomore year, it truly breaks my heart to be leaving a course that has taught me more than I thought possible — and I would like to not only review my two years, but recommend Humanities.

Upper Perkiomen High School offers a plethora of useful courses for a future career, whether it be hopes for ivy league colleges or going straight into the workforce. However I have never experience a course that prepared me for college, honors classes, AP courses, or even the rest of my life so significantly. Humanities truly changed me not as only a student, but as a person.

Going into the course freshman year, current sophomore Emma Swift claimed that “it was frustrating to get so many critiques on [her] writing and work ethic, but as the year went on [she] realized that [her] writing was genuinely improving.” It would be nearly impossible to find a student in that class who did not agree with this view — and the improvement it causes to them as students. Not only this, but the information they teach is pertinent. It is not the useless skills some courses teach because it is on the curriculum, instead: it is the ability to write, the knowledge of the history of mankind and not just America, it is the ability to think philosophically, it is the ability to give a seminar to the class with similar confidence to the teachers, it is the ability to debate on what you believe, it is so much more. Previous student, Hannah Fresa, who is now a freshman in college, still claims it is “undeniably the most influential and useful course [she] has ever taken.”

Not only does this course improve your ability as a student notably, but it improves so much more as well. The class is taught in a seminar style, meaning at any point you can interject or talk about your opinion — this can lead to some really deep or heated discussions. These discussions question your opinions and make you really think into why you believe what you do. Swift insists that “the seminar style helps [her] grow as a person. It teaches [her] to think through and question [her] own beliefs, making them all the more valid.” Also, the recent trip to Gettysburg was, according to Fresa, “unforgettable and life-changing. It made war seem real rather than just an unreachable figment of my imagination.”

This course was, for me and for a lot of the students who have taken it, will agree that is changes you tremendously as a student and as a person. So if the opportunity arises that you are able to take this course, do it. People are scared away by stories of how mean and scary the teachers are, and how much work you have — but after taking this course, these stories are not even true. This course was a phenomenal opportunity and I highly recommend it for all students to take.

**(Picture of the board when learning about the Civil War)

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The Gettysburg Trip by Dillon Brendle

On April 24 the Gifted Humanities class along with a few others took a trip to our country's common ground, Gettysburg Pennsylvania. The class, led by Mr. Hontz and Mr. Leskusky started at the Herr’s Ridge where the first shots were fired by Buford's Cavalry (Union) and Henry Heath's infantry (CSA).

The class followed the retreat of the Union to Seminary Ridge and saw the final resting place of John Reynolds, who brought his Corps in at the last second to aid Buford for the Union.

Next the class traveled to the North Carolina and Tennessee monuments. The North Carolinians were famous for never turning back and always sticking there ground which is where The University of North Carolina (UNC) gets its nickname, the Tar Heels.

The class hopped back in the bus and traveled to a viewing tower which provides an amazing view of the battlefield. It allows you to see the entire land where Pickett's charge occurred as well as Little Round Top and of course, Big Round Top. The tower also provides an excellent view of President Eisenhower's estate that he owned near the battlefield.

After the tower the class ventured to Devil’s Den and Little Round Top. This is the most interesting topography on the battlefield. The massive boulders were a huge obstacle in the way of the Confederates trying to take Little Round Top. When the class got to Little Round Top they got to see where 20th Maine protected the very end of the Union line. The class got to see the place where Colonel Chamberlain ordered his bayonet charge (which were very rare in this period) that drove off the southerners trying to take the hill.

After lunch the group reenacted the process of loading and firing a cannon, which a good crew could do 3 times in 1 minute. The next reenactment was Pickett's Charge. The class hiked the undulating earth that thousands of confederates marched upon and ultimately met their demise on. The 3/4 of a mile journey would have been hell on earth for the confederate soldiers who would have had fire from Union cannons and eventually triangulated rifle fire upon them during their charge.

The class made their final destination Cemetery Hill where many soldiers are buried. This was a fitting ending to a trip that took students through the Battle of Gettysburg's most famous moments.

The trip was a blast for those who attended it. I would recommend visiting Gettysburg to anyone who is even slightly interested in the Civil War or that time period. My personal favorite part was Devil's Den. The rocks and hills create a unbelievable battlefield which (like the rest of Gettysburg) was a really cool sight to see.

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Why Fashion Matters...... by Madison Gochnauer

Fashion choice is one of the biggest aspects of teens’ lives -- it is one of the best ways for high school students to express their style and personality to their peers. In 2018 alone, teens have surprised adults by investing in streetwear labels and avoiding brands that have been less accepting of the trend. According to Business of Fashion, a survey conducted by Piper Jaffray determined that teens are putting their earnings towards brands with the street aesthetic popularized by social media and pop culture. Adidas, Supreme, and Vans are coming out on top, Supreme alone rising from tenth place last fall to just seventh place in the most recent survey. On the footwear scene, Vans have elevated from 9 percent of teens’ choice footwear to a surprising 16 percent in just one year.

This swing in popularity, however, has caused some suffering for some of the most popular brands. Nike, while remaining the overall most popular brand, dropped from being chosen by 31 percent to 23 percent in one year. How could such a shift happen so fast? Senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, Erinn Murphy, reasons that, “Having a very collaborative environment when it comes to the softer side of brands is very important. Both [Vans and Adidas] were open to that, whereas Nike has historically been a performance-led company”, according to Business of Fashion.

The new surge of streetwear popularity is not all as fabulous as it sounds. Many are worried about teenagers’ increased spending, especially with brands like Gucci peaking in popularity, which even entered the top 10 in the latest survey. From the words of Business of Fashion, the average 16 year old will spend $2,600 annually on apparel, which is up 6 percent from the fall.

Many teenagers argue that this is not the case. From the authors of Business of Fashion, lower-price labels like Tommy Hilfiger and Champion have tapped into their 90’s styles, including big logos and bright colors, to attract teenagers craving the streetwear style. Some students at Upper Perk High School gave their opinion on these trends. Surprisingly, most of the students admitted to somewhat giving into these trends. Skyler Gionfriddo, Madison Sanfelice, Chris Bahm, and James Patterson, all sophomores, named American Eagle as their main store, however, they also admit that they own quite a few pieces of Adidas and Vans items as well. Sophomore Kyleigh Duhaime and junior Gail Kooser said they both focused their spending at stores like Pacsun, Nike, and Zumiez, while Faith Bugman favored Forever 21, all of which sell mainly streetwear styles.

Even without asking students directly, it is obvious that these trendy stores are the main choice of many. Brands like Bape, Vans, Supreme, and Champion can be seen on many students in the halls on the daily. No matter what the students’ chose as their favorite store, there seemed to be a general consensus that teens spend entirely too much on their clothes. Duhaime and Kooser admit to spending “way too much”, while Bugman argues that she spends too much on “shoes rather than clothes”. It seems that students continue to embrace these streetwear brands even with their extreme price tags, which leads to an important question: will this affect teens’ spending into their adulthood?

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Our Technical Future- by Andrew Nizolek

In the last 100 years society has come a long way. From the beginning of the 20th century, the United States used its manufacturing prowess to sling itself in the modern world. The automobile followed by nuclear power and later the internet pushed the US to the cutting edge.

Since the internet became commonplace in the United States, what was once cardboard or plastic has become digital. LEGO's, board games, instruction manuals all became accessible on your computer. This accessibility as well as the introduction of computer games has changed the way people spend their extra time. Games and leisure, however, aren't the only focus of the internet. The internet gives access to many great learning tools and offers instructions from how to bake bread to how to build an engine.

Many believe that the replacement of physical toys by their digital counterparts is a hindrance to children. This in some aspects is true. Replacing things like LEGO's, which teach spatial relations and fine motor control with a game like Minecraft is not enough. Many of the small things that we as children are learning through toys are lost in their digital form.

But to say that without giving digital methods a chance would be unfair. Saying that all videos games are bad because they are useless games shows an incredible misunderstanding of what most really are. And to be fair, some are simply for entertainment. But that doesn't make them any less valid than watching a movie.

Previously, to learn anything people were restricted to reading or being taught by someone who already knew the trade. Since the advent of digital simulations and teaching, anyone can learn how to work on their car, or even build a house.

Games like those of the racing genre teach driving in its most basic form. Games like Forza Motorsport or Project Cars provide a semi-realistic representation of how a car operates. The games -- through penalty or simply crashes -- teach how a car reacts to your driving. Taking corners too fast, resulting in sliding off the track or a roll-over.

Professional drivers use games like iRacing to hone their skills and amateurs play the same in attempt to elevate their skill. So who's to say that the somewhat less realistic games don't have the same effect on players?

I do have to make note of how easily I drove for the first time when I got my permit. The general understanding of how to operate the car as well as how to drive safely and effectively enter corners. I attribute much of that early skill to my fascination with racing games. I don't think it will replace a true driving experience currently but the simulations get closer day by day.

On a creative front, not much has changed aside from the accessibility of tools. No longer are things like fully-featured painting canvases or tools locked in an art room at school or overly expensive for a young child to use.

Games like Minecraft offer the creativity of LEGOs to children at a far lower cost and provide more tools to create. On an even simpler level, free apps for your phone can let your kids draw at no cost to you. Of course pencil and paper are a different medium but it's the same expression regardless, however with less tools.

Our methods of learning and creating in our free-time have evolved greatly in just the last 10 years, let alone the last 100. Learning has evolved from something that people need libraries or classrooms to do, to something that can happen whenever.

From an educational standpoint, the way we spend our free time has become far more productive than it used to be. A young child today can learn to build small electronics and understand how they work far easier than a child could in the 1970's or even 90's.

The effects of the Information Age have truly come full circle and seeped into our free time and even our childhood.

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Invaluable Interviews- by Andrew Ortiz

On Monday, the 16th of April, all of tenth grade went to an assembly called ACE the Interview. The thirty-minute long presentation taught all of tenth grade the importance of dressing up for an interview, knowing the do’s and don'ts of shaking hands, being prepared to ask some basic questions and being honest to one’s soon-to-be employer.

To impress a future employer at an interview, you should wear a suit and tie or at least a nice dress shirt and some khakis. If your friend wears jeans, a tee-shirt and a hoodie, your friend is less likely to get hired than you, because you dressed appropriately.

Another thing that will help to impress that future employer is a nice handshake. You have no idea how many people give a “limp-fish” or crush someone’s hand with a “death grip”. It is important to have the ability to give a firm handshake. The reason behind it is to show to someone that you respect them enough that you are willing to give them a nice handshake.

While dressing up and knowing how to shake hands is important, your speaking skills are about as important or even more important than those other skills. An employer will ask questions so they can get to know you and they do it to decide if their personality is the right one for the job. They may ask you questions like, “How are you like in your everyday life?”, or “Why should we hire you?” (These are questions you can Google). You have to have answers for questions like these because they are really important. What you say in that interview could make or break you so be as honest as possible.

One last thing; employers, believe it or not, are masters at research. No matter if they seem inexperienced researching social media accounts, they know about everything you ever posted on every single media platform. They are paid to do nothing but interview employee’s and to do research on said employee’s. Even if you have two accounts, one being the “goody-two-shoes” account and the other one being the “real” account, they will find your second profile, and if you have bad stuff on that profile, it will not end up very well for you.

Hopefully you “ACE the Interview” by reading this. If not, try again later. Apply for another job and keep trying. You will find one eventually (hopefully one you like) and it will, literally, pay off in the end.

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Summer Blockbuster Season- by Austin Brindisi

2018 is shaping up to be a fun year for movies. Both new original movies and a fair share of sequels. Here are 5 movies that will be coming out between May 2018, and August 2018.

The first is a movie called Action Point. It is about an amusement park that is in danger of being shut down, because of a new amusement park that moved into town with better attractions ,and is safer by a wide margin. In an attempt to save their park they attempt to change it to attract more people. It seems to be a fun movie that will come out June 1st.

Second is a movie called Tag. It is about a group of friends that have been playing the same game of Tag for the past thirty years once a month. It has one character that has never been tagged and he wants to retire from the game so the other four players want to tag him before he does. Tag is going to release June 15th

Third is a sequel to Jurassic World, Jurassic World : Fallen Kingdom. The two main characters attempt to save some of the dinosaurs from a volcano on the island that they are on, but in the process uncover a conspiracy that that is far more dangerous than anything they had encountered before. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will release June 22nd.

The fourth movie is the highly anticipated movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story. It follows a younger Han Solo, and Chewbacca on a crew that are preparing to take part in a heist along with Lando Calrissian. This movie will come to theaters May 25th.

Lastly is a Skyscraper. A former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader, and has been hired to assess security for the tallest building in the world, that also has the best security in the world. During this the building catches fire with his family inside and he has to clear his name, and save his family all the while stopping the actual culprits to the fire. It is releasing July 13th.

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Music through the Generations- an interview with my Mommom; by Mickiah Johnson

Every decade, musical trends differ from each other. From Cher to Madonna, the Jackson five to New Edition, or Beyonce to Rihanna. There's always a new trend when it comes to the younger or newer generation. What stays the same though, is the older generation hating the new trend of the younger generations.

The younger generation is so used to the older generation complaining about music of today. Did you ever once wonder why they hate it? To find out why the older generation doesn’t like or mind today’s music, I’ve asked my two grandparents their opinions of the music today.

Do you feel music was better during your time then now?

Mommom: Yes yes yes. Way better. Music now makes people arrogant, judgmental, and crazy. Music back then made you fall in love. Plenty of love songs. Now it’s terrible.

What genre of music was the trend back then?

Grandpa: The music was soft rock.

Mommom: It wasn't Soft rock. Disco was the trend.

Grandpa: Yeah it was disco . Olivia Newton John

Artists you listened to back then when you were younger?

Grandpa: Temptations, Teddy Pendagrass, Intruders, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Diana ross and the Supremes, and Chubby Checker. The one who started all.

He will then proceed to to sing “Let's twist” and dance.


I liked Greys and the Grass. I don’t really remember the artist. I haven’t listened to secular music since 1980.

Thoughts on music of today? And why do you feel that way?

Mommom: It's horrible. Because it’s disrespectful and doesn't make sense to me. They don't sing with understanding, or compassion. There's no emotions in music today. Especially rap.

Pop Pop: It’s trash. You can't understand it, and it has no meaning. Because the kids think they can just rap and freestyle with no thought into it. They're just rhyming with no meanings.

Artist you don’t like?

Mommom: I don't like those gangsta rappers. I didn’t like Tupac or 50 cent.

Did you like any rappers before?

Mommom: I was never into rappers period, but the ones i could understand i didn't like. I couldn't stand Lil Kim either, she was gross. Her mouth is horrible. You know what, I actually liked Run DMC.

How do you feel on the way music is changing every decade?

Poppop: By the time they started to accept profanity into music it started to decline.

Mommom: All they do is promote immorality into music. Later into the future, I think the music will get even more worse.

Will this generation dislike the music that next decade generation will enjoy? The cycle may continue, depending on the trend.

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The Triple Threat of a Champion- by Alyssa Sullivan

Three of the Senior captains on the softball team, Taylor Lindsay, Karlee Fretz, and Alyssa Sullivan, started this season a few hits away from their 100th career hit.

Last week, both Taylor and Karlee accomplished their goal, which made them the first two in Upper Perk school history to earn this individual honor.

At the team’s game against Phoenixville, Taylor got her 100th hit on a three run home run that cleared the left field fence by at least 20 feet.

Before the game she said, “I’m super excited because it would be a huge milestone to accomplish and it's a good way to end my career at Upper Perk.”

She never believed that her 100th hit would be a home run, but that makes that moment more memorable.

She said, “I knew it was out right off the bat.”

Karlee got her 100th hit at the team’s night game against Upper Merion, where she hit a double off the left field fence.

“It felt really great to know that I had achieved such a great accomplishment.”

Both girls were met out on the field with the team cheering and hugging them with banners and balloons.

Karlee added, “The best part was that the team was super supportive and everyone was just as excited as I was.”

Alyssa Sullivan is the third member on the team to accomplish this goal.

This accomplishment is not very common in softball, which made those moments even more special for them and the team.

Head Coach Dean Sullivan commented, “It was a very big event for them and entire team. Having three players reaching this goal means a lot. You need to be a pretty good player to reach 100 hits. I'm sure it was very stressful but well worth it for Taylor and Karlee, hopefully Alyssa will also get to experience it.”

After graduation, Taylor plans on attending York College to major in English and play on the softball team there.

“I am super excited to be on a different team with new people and I think I can do really well and be beneficial to the team.”

Karlee plans on attending Virginia Wesleyan College where she will play on their softball team and major in either English or Pre law.

Karlee commented on her upcoming Freshman year, “I think I will do well, I’m very excited to be challenged more and pushed harder.”

Alyssa plans on attending Penn State Brandywine where she will go in undecided and plan on the softball team there as well.

The girls hope these milestones will hype the team up, as they travel farther into playoffs and hope to reach their bigger goal, the State Championship.

Girls Lacrosse is an UP and Coming Program- by Madison Gochnauer

Some call it “the fastest sport on two feet”, and reasonably so. Lacrosse, the quickest growing sport in America, has experienced a boom in popularity this year. With a team of almost fifty girls, Upper Perkiomen High School’s girls’ lacrosse team has had an extremely encouraging season. With only a few games left, the girls’ are still feeling the excitement from the beginning of the season.

For the first time in years, girls’ lacrosse had such a high demand that it seemed like there were just too many girls. With a surge in popularity between freshmen and first-year sophomores, the coaches were faced with a tough decision: should there be cuts? The coaches, however, believed that it would be wrong to discourage potential lacrosse players by cutting them from the team. Instead, an intense preseason of workouts and practicing were put in place to prepare every player for the tough season ahead -- and it most definitely worked. First-year player Madison Reger admitted that “it was frustrating and tough at first when [she] couldn’t catch the ball or anything”, but she “loved the junior varsity coaches and the other people [she’s] been playing with”. Liz Fox, one of the team’s senior captains, noticed the determination of these girls, noting that the team “[had] a lot of new girls that came out this season and have worked incredibly hard to learn the game and get a hang of the basic skills”.

The team had exhilarating highs and a few frustrating lows, but overall, the coaches and captains are overjoyed about the amount of positivity. Both varsity and junior varsity have been able to pick each other up in even the worst moments. The girls’ even organized a “buddy system”, which pairs up upperclassmen and lowerclassmen. This created many new friendships and allowed the team to build up an encouraging and supportive bond. Junior Mikayla Folk explained her love for the team’s determination, saying, “This lacrosse season has been awesome, the team has had a lot of ups and downs but we all are working together and working hard to make playoffs”. The sidelines are always loud and filled with enthusiasm, no matter if it is varsity or junior varsity playing. Even during practice you can see girls’ heartening each other, whether it be by complimenting a pass or running alongside someone during the mile. Fox spoke endearingly about the season, saying, “I am really proud of how hard our team has worked this season. We know how to work hard but have fun, which I think is essential in creating a closely bonded team. I love this team and all that we’ve accomplished this season, no matter the outcome”.

Although the season is coming to an end, everyone on the team has been able to play better and better every game. Even the coaches can sense this, reminding the team before every game that “the team that wants it more is the one that wins”. With only a few games left to play, the girls’ are looking back at some of their best memories they have made so far. Folk mentioned her favorite memory being “our old assistant coach [coming] to see us at our game”. Some girls shared even sillier memories, including when Fox looked back and laughed about “when Hope Flack and Courtney Bauer volunteered to play goalie when we were in need”. With all of the great games, entertaining bus rides, and high-intensity practices, the girls’ are thankful for such an amazing season.


The All New UPN Film Program makes Top State Honors!

In it's first year, the Film Production students in Mr. Thomas' UPN program at Upper Perkiomen High School are already making a name for themselves. More than 20 students in Thomas' UPN (Broadcast Communications) class took the opportunity at some extra credit by entering the very challenging Pennsylvania 10-Day Film Challenge.

In only 10 school days, and only during the school day, students collaborate and must write, film, act and edit a short film based on a genre not decided until the first day of the challenge. On the 10th day, four separate groups had made it all the way through by entering their final films. However, one group stood out and the panel of nation-wide film experts took notice.

The film "Best Bait" written and produced by Hannah Leight was filmed entirely on the banks of the Green Lane reservoir by Caelyn Diehl and many of the film's stars; Leight, Madysyn Heacock, Ryan Kendra, Charlie Haag, Morgan Fiorito, and Brianna McDermott as well as a cameo by Thomas. The film was chosen as one of the best 30 in the state to be screened at the United Artists Cinema in Philadelphia's Penn's Landing and at that screening, it also was awarded 8th best film in the state as well as best use of cinematic technique and use of dialogue.

Judges comments included, "excellent cinematography, good use of music to help build the suspense, good twist, great job" and "Point of View shot well integrated-- a very successful opening title sequence.There were several shots that had interesting composition-- and the use of dialogue didn't feel contrived. This was a difficult line to make work! A job well done from the lead actress--Congrats on a film that was executed quite well in such a short time!"


About the Upper Perkiomen Network

We are the Upper Perkiomen Network (UPN)! Students in Mr. Thomas' classes produce the UPTV daily news, The Indian Nation and Tribe Pride Shows as well as films in the UP Film Program. The UPbeat Newsletter & High School Website are also part of the Multimedia Storytelling taught in our classes.