The Predator

Williamson High School March Edition

Chuck E. Cheese's: An Exposé

By Madison Weber

Recently, Kayley DeNagel, Grace Weber, and I ventured to a place that resides only in your deepest childhood memories… Chuck E. Cheese's. The giant indoor playground, gambling away your parents’ money, dancing shows from somewhat terrifying robot animals, and most importantly… the FRESH, delicious pizza.

Recently, internet-god Shane Dawson made a Chuck E. Cheese exposé which opened all of our eyes to the potential truth that lies in that cheesy crust. The basic idea behind the tea is that Chuck E. Cheese's essentially recycles their pizza. There was some fairly convincing evidence. It is a common phenomenon where customers will get odd looking pizza where the slices don’t seem to fit or match up. It is said that if you leave your pizza on a table nearby, employees will throw everything out except for the pizza, and you will never know what happens to the pizza. There's also the fact that Chuck E. Cheese's faced several other cleanliness-related lawsuits in the past.

In the Shane Dawson video, they order a pizza and “test” it out. One of the tests they do in the video is trying to line the pieces up with a meter stick. This was to see if the cut-lines matched up across the entire pizza. Long story short, they did not. Although Chuck E. Cheese denies it, this was enough evidence to convince many. On top of that, they try to ask why their pizza doesn’t look right and she responds “uh oh, that’s not good. You know, things get crazy in the kitchen”. The video was not addressed until later when corporate released a statement regarding the then-viral video. They claimed that the pizza is made fresh, but the “pizza cutter” used in Chuck E. Cheese kitchens is heavy and difficult to use, resulting in uneven slices. Many felt this statement was a cop out hiding the real situation happening behind the kitchen doors. Of course, I wanted to check everything out for myself so I got together a small group and headed into the city. Investigation time!

The first thing I noticed upon arrival was the fact that they did not have the iconic playground or the robotic animals. They just had a HUGE amount of little-kid gambling stations. We ordered an XL pizza, half cheese, and half pepperoni. Personally, I was hoping that this rumor would prove false so that I could be less disgusted with the fact that I ate Chuck E. Cheese's pizza for years as a child. As we sat and waited for our food we took some surveillance of the building itself. First things first, we arrived at about 8:30 pm and there was an old looking pizza sitting alone on a table. We thought little of it; figuring it’s purchasers had just left and it would be picked up promptly. Although it took a while, we eventually found a place to sit. As I sat down the cushion on the back of the booth literally fell off revealing the cheap, thin, wooden framework beneath. After the initial shock, we noticed that several other booths in the restaurant had also lost their cushions. Nonchalantly, we quickly found another booth and thankfully this one stayed in place.

While we waited I decided to do some serious investigation and try to get eyes inside the kitchen. I went and stood against the wall adjacent to the kitchen so that I could see inside. On the counter was a big empty orange tub, and one of the “chefs” was playing with a rubber Chuck E. Cheese kickball. Before I could gather any more intel they placed my pizza on the to-go rack so I had to take it.

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Looking at the pizza, it looked okay? It definitely did not look normal but it was not as bad as what I had seen online. Sure, the crust and pizza did not match up exactly but it wasn't horrific. The lines across the pizza did match up so that was a positive. My opinion had not been solidified either way. Taste-wise we were not impressed at all, but we weren’t really expecting much so it was not a shock. It was also fairly cheap. Only $20 for an XL pizza. The one odd thing we noticed was that in between the cut marks of the slices were ENTIRE pieces of pepperoni. I still cannot wrap my brain around this because when pepperoni is put on a pizza before it is cooked, they are laid flat on the surface, so when you cut it after cooking the pepperoni gets cut up. But no, not on this pizza. Literally, entire pieces of pepperoni were in between the cut marks on one side. I have included a picture so you know exactly what I’m talking about.

After we finished the little amount of pizza we were actually going to eat, we decided to try a little experiment. We took the leftover pizza, some napkins, and a dirty plate and placed it on another table near us. Essentially making it look like someone else had eaten it and left it there to be cleaned up. In Shane’s video, when they did this the busser threw out all of the trash but left the pizza on the table. This left everyone to wonder; why did they leave the pizza after throwing everything else out? Is it so they can reuse it? Honestly, when we started this I was expecting them to just throw it out and debunk the entire theory. Especially after all the bad publicity they have been receiving as of late. But as we watched, the busser came around and took the trash off the table. Shockingly, he left the pizza sitting there. He really had left just the pizza there and took the trash. I was dumbfounded, personally. Why would they not just throw the pizza out? The whole expedition had felt a bit like a joke until that moment. There was no reason that we could see for them to save the pizza.

So we waited. And waited. And waited some more. We wanted to see if maybe they would come to throw the pizza out separately. I don’t know why they would do that, but it seemed the only semi-logical reason for not throwing the pizza out with everything else. But alas, after 45 minutes we felt it was time to give up. So far no one had touched our pizza and the manager was sending us threatening glares. It was time to give up.

In summation, this experiment did not make up my mind either way. I felt that depending on how you looked at it, there was evidence either way. Feel free to let either me or the Predator know your opinions because I would love to hear them. Also, feel free to let me know if you would be interested in a part two of me going to the sketchier Chuck E. Cheese… The one that you probably went to as a kid. I would love to try and crack this conspiracy at another, older location. Let us know what you think!

Do promposals bring too much pressure?

By Sarah Goodenough

Prom is a huge part of the high school experience. One of the most exciting parts of prom season is the promposals. Prom season is an exciting time for many. Every year we want to see what creative ways we can ask someone to a dance. Sometimes they're funny or cute and then there are the really extravagant ones. It typically depends on the person being asked. What do they like? Attention? Or not? Food is always the way to someone's heart if you ask me (but who am I to say anything). However, the desire to make the promposal perfect could cause lots of pressure to be original and noteworthy. Prom season can already be very stressful: getting the perfect dress or tux, scheduling dates for alterations, hair, and nails, and arranging transportation for the big night. It all really adds up and there’s so much more I haven’t mentioned. Therefore, is the pressure put on promposals worth it? They could bring the additional pressure to be original. But in the end of it all, just make sure that you have a fun and memorable night, whether that means showing up with a date, friends, or solo. It’s up to you to not crack under the pressure.

Opening the Door to Endless Possibilities

By Rachel Ramsdell

As high schoolers, it is necessary that we plan our futures. The work that we put in now (getting good grades, applying to colleges, building up resumes, etc) will pay off in the future. There are so many steps in the process and so many possibilities that it becomes overwhelming. Deciding what to do with your life is a very stressful, exciting, and fundamental decision. Even though life typically doesn’t go as planned and career plans can change, it is still necessary to have a plan. An excellent way to get exposure in certain career clusters is to complete a career shadow.

I interviewed Abby Sheahen and Savannah Fisher, who both completed career shadows recently. Abby found out about career shadows when she talked to Mrs.O’Hara and Savannah learned about them when she talked to Ms.Schillaci. Then they filled out a career shadow application. That matched them with someone to shadow and from there they scheduled a date to do the shadow.

Abby shadowed the choir teacher at Penfield High School. During her career shadow, she sat in on the classes that the teacher taught and had the opportunity to chat with her, learning more about the profession. Abby learned what it’s like to be a high school choir teacher at a large school. She played the role of a student in the classes so she could observe the teacher. Penfield has an excellent music program, with multiple ensembles and lots of opportunities. In addition to getting a glimpse into the life of a high school choir teacher, Abby learned that she’s very fortunate to attend a small school. Through her experience, she learned that in Penfield, the music students must choose to perform in only one ensemble since the periods overlap. In Williamson, music students can be in concert choir, select choir, concert band, and jazz band. Abby’s career shadow experience reassured her that she wants to become a music teacher. Abby told me that she wants to be a music teacher because she is passionate about music and it’s all she’s ever known.

Savannah shadowed a second-grade teacher at the Wayne Primary School. During her career shadow experience, she played the role of a teacher's assistant in the classroom. She helped the students with their work, graded their math tests, and chatted with the teacher she shadowed. This gave her exposure to the field of elementary education. Like Abby, this experience solidified Savannah’s decision to become an elementary teacher.

Both Abby and Savannah recommend career shadows. They believe that they are a great way to get a glimpse of what it’s really like to work in their desired profession. Thanks to their career shadow experiences, they now know for sure that they want to be teachers. They recommend keeping an open mind because as for most jobs, the tasks may vary from day-to-day. Even though both Abby and Savannah shadowed people in the field of education, career shadows can be done for a variety of careers. If you’re interested in completing a career shadow, talk to Mrs.O’Hara or your guidance counselors. There is a wide world of opportunities out there waiting for you to make the most out of them!

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Should You Take Easy Classes and Get Straight A's or Hard Classes and Not Do as Well?

By Maddy Bortle

In the midst of course selections, many students are faced with the question: Should I take easy classes that I know I'll do well in or should I take challenging classes that could lower my GPA? Different people will have different opinions since their goals may be different. Our counselors recommend taking the challenging classes since colleges like to see an applicant who challenged themself. Most teachers will say that taking challenging classes is a great plan but if you can’t handle the workload or aren't good in the subject, then it's okay to not take the class. I believe that challenging yourself is important and that you need to seek help if you don’t end up understanding the material. Challenges are good for you even though they may be difficult to overcome. Growth actually happens when one perseveres through challenges! Getting A’s is excellent but if you are only getting good grades because your classes are too easy for you, then there's an issue. The purpose of high school is to learn so you can excel in college. We all have to take certain core classes every year and if those are easy that's great! You can get all of your work done with no problem. Then it might be a good idea to take some harder classes. On the other hand, if your classes are so hard that you’re doing bad or failing, then you need to get help or take a step back. Some students struggle with the basic grade level classes which is okay; everyone's brain learns differently.

I’m sure we have all heard about the scandal going on with the SAT and ACT tests. Rich and famous parents are paying for their kids to get high scores on these tests so they can get into a good college. However, their kids aren’t aware that their parents are doing this, making them super excited because their scores are really high when that's not the case. These parents are trying to help, but aren't they just making a bigger mess? The parents and possibly the kids could be put in jail for fraud, the kids are upset because of their lower scores revealed, and the kid's future is put in jeopardy. Would you risk another student taking the test for you or boosting your grade by paying your way? Any thoughts? Personally, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I cheated in that way. Yes, I could have had a better grade, but I’d rather be honest. If you want to get into a good college, you need to earn your spot there, not have your parents pay your way there.

The Odyssey of the Mind Team Slayed at Their Competition

By Ally Wieser

On March 2, 2019, the Odyssey of the Mind team went to their regional competition. For those of you who don't know, there are two main parts of an Odyssey competition: spontaneous and long term problems. The spontaneous problems can be either verbal, hands-on, or both. For a verbal problem, the judges could ask you, what don't you want to hear from your doctor? The more creative you are the better. For a hands-on example, they may tell you to build a structure as high as you can with only certain items. The team did really well on this part. For the long-term problem, you have an option of building something or creating a skit lasting eight minutes or less. Our team chose to do the skit. For their problem, they had to create a skit that has two rival gangs and an outside character that causes trouble between the two. They also had to incorporate an interview, a dance, and a poem. The team chose to have a vegan gang and a meat-eating gang and an outside character named Sneaky Boi. They scored high in this part as well. Their hard work and determination led them to place second which no Williamson team in the district has ever done. On Saturday, March 23, the team went to states at Binghamton University. They did great, placing twelfth in their division which had more than 20 teams! Congratulations to Lydia Wyble, Isaac Gasparri, Ally Wieser, Jack Wieser, Faylinn Tousey, Trey Brackman, and Sarah Hellmann for their amazing accomplishment and representing Williamson well!

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To the Man with the Opinion: We Never Asked for it to be Rude

By Irini Knostantinou

You would think that common sense would keep people from saying things that they know would be offensive. Accidents happen and we’re all human, but eventually, there’s a line between mistakenly saying something that comes off as rude and blatantly blurting out mean thoughts. Especially as an adult, one should know by that time what is and is not appropriate to share with others. If you have to question whether or not what you are about to say is offensive, then chances are it probably is. You can most likely bank on the fact that if you think your words will hurt, then they’ll probably sting.

Look, I’m all for freedom of speech. I get it!-- We all have a right to our own thoughts and opinions and we should be allowed to express them accordingly. It’s in our Constitution; it is a belief that embodies the integrity of our country. But just because you have an opinion, my friends, doesn’t mean you have to share it-- especially if you’re planning on being rude about it. Parents teach their kids all the time “if you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all…” Well let me tell you, I met a man who surely didn’t get a lesson like that from his mama.

It all started one night when I attended a planning board meeting in February. A requirement for public policy, I thought this would be an average, probably boring, hopefully short session. I was tired from track practice beforehand so I stopped at Rite Aid, grabbed some coffee and a snack, and trudged my way into the Town Hall. I signed in, sat in the back, and waited for the meeting to start.

When things began, nothing came off as alarming. Seemingly, it was a typical meeting and we were flying through the agenda fast. “Yep-- minutes approved, Sure-- budget is checked” and the whole nine-yards kind of stuff. It wasn’t until the movement for a land use permit came to the table that things began to stir.

A Williamson resident, whose name will be spared for his sake, came to the planning board with a request: he was looking to turn his house complex into rooming for migrant labor. He needed a permit to allow his workers to stay there, thus asking for permission from the board.

Once again, the process of running through his request seemed simple. Nonchalantly, they voted on whether or not the land surveyor typed his case correctly, if it was safe for the land, blah blah blah. As it had been the whole meeting, these items got passed--everything had-- and we moved on to the final motion.

One last step until this man could walk away with his permit had to be done: voting on the permit itself. Essentially, this was the closing case when the board could finalize his special use permit. “All in favor,” said the meeting coordinator. Two voices rang “I.” “Opposed,” she said, and one voice said “no.”

“The movement does not pass.”

Wait, hold on--WHAT? Weren’t we just doing great a second ago? Didn’t the last, like, twenty-four items get passed? Why not this one? What now?

The man (let’s call him Bob) who requested the permit looked stunned. Shock spread from his face to ours as we looked up at the one member of the board who declined his action. This board member he sat erect in his chair with a stoic look on his face. Numb to the confusion that we were feeling, his fellow board members looked at him with uncertainty. He decided that he now owed us an explanation.

This man, we’ll call him Bill, proceeded to then give us a dissertation about just why, exactly, he declined the special use permit. What followed was a speech of prejudice and racism, hate and grudge-- a mixture of enigmatic ego that let that man feel he had the right to put down a group of humans.

To spare you the rough stuff, here is a mixture of some of the things Bill chose to say to justify his decision to the board:

  • “I said no because this town is turning into a migrant town! You kids are the future of Williamson, you should be concerned about this and the state we’re in.”

  • “They’re going to cause trouble. We can’t spread them all over our town with the crime rates going on.”

  • “When I was in WWII, the Nazis put all the Jewish in camps and we put all the Japanese in prison camps in Marion and it worked. It worked because they were in a centralized location and not spread all over town.”

  • “These migrants are going to cause riff-raff! It’s going to hurt our economy having them come here.”

I’m going to stop there. Phew. Take a breath (I sure know I needed one). Personally, my favorite comment was the one on prison camps, because that’s exactly what these people are!! Yes, of course, let’s compare these HUMAN BEINGS to prisoners!!! And why not throw concentration camps into the mix!!!!

If you can’t tell by my sarcasm, I was absolutely stunned by what this man had to say. There was no logic, no reasoning behind his justification. Most importantly, there was no heart behind it either-- he had offended and put down a group of people based on stereotypes and precedented notions.

Now let me give you a little context, here: not only did Bill say this in front of the board members and Bob, he said it in front of a group of kids who were there, as I was, for our public policy assignment. He said this in front of a group of students. Young students. Young, impressionable students-- who were susceptible to influence as they learned about the ropes of government and community politics. What’s worse?-- There were three students sitting in the “audience” of Mexican heritage. Oh, and I’m Hispanic too. Unfortunately for Bill, he was preaching to an audience who had one stubborn girl in it.

After he said his excuses, he asked if anyone had questions. My hand shot up. I was in the back, so when he called on me, every head turned to me. My peers looked back at me, with my little hand up, eyes burning. What could I possibly say to this man to make him see reason?

I knew that it would be no use; I was preaching to an empty crowd. I couldn’t stay silent, though-- if he didn’t want to see reason, at least my peers would know that someone was sticking up for them.

“Wouldn’t providing these migrants with guaranteed housing give them the means to maintain a steady economic income? And contribute to Williamson’s economy? Therefore decreasing the crime rate since they’ll be off the streets?”

Bill blinked at me. “Next question?” I had been ignored. (--either that, or he didn’t hear me?)

The poor man who was just trying to get his special use permit was evidently offended. He expressed how his workers were good people and how he felt that they had been wronged. The rest of the planning board members were silent, however, I could tell that they were irritated with Bill.

Another thing to note: people like Bill normally don’t have that much power in the voting. In other words, his unfair and prejudiced opinion wouldn’t always make that much of an impact as to sway the vote so the motion would fail to pass. Only three of the five members were at the meeting that night, meaning that for a motion to pass, every member had to be in favor. Sadly, Bill was not, which is why his “no” overruled the other two yes votes.

When I got home, I was absolutely infuriated. I stormed to my room, shut my door, and sat on my bed. Maybe it was the caffeine I drank before the meeting, but I was now wide awake and livid. I took my feelings to paper, composing a letter to the planning board on the incident that had occurred. After half an hour, I had two pages of passion complete, which I then typed up and printed out.

The next morning, I invited the students that attended the meeting down front after forum. I told them that I wrote a letter to the planning board about the incident, and that if they wanted to read it and sign it, they could. Every student who attended signed it, which meant that all I had to do now was stick it in an envelope with a stamp, mail it off, and wait.

We never got a response from the planning board, but two days later, we got a call saying that Bill had resigned. He was no longer a member of the committee, which meant that his prejudice opinion could stay out of influencing the citizens of our town. The town supervisor did call us, asking what we wanted from the board as far as a response to the letter. Since we hadn’t heard anything from them yet, we were satisfied with them having read it to understand why and how the incident was inappropriate. We’re pretty sure they got the message.

Two weeks later, the town supervisor came in to talk to us students about what happened. It was obvious that he was tap-dancing around the incident, trying to lighten the situation, but I did appreciate him wanting to at least clear the air with us. He told us that when Bill read our letter, he was completely distraught. He said Bill had no intentions of offending anyone and did not realize the way his opinion came out. He said Bill seemed completely deflated and discouraged, sorry to have expressed his opinion that way. The supervisor did not want to speak for Bill, but he did defend him, saying that he was a veteran and had the most right out of any of us to have and express his opinion.

Which leads me to this: you can have your opinions. And yes, you can share them, too. Life would be hideously monotoned if everyone thought the same. You don’t have to like everyone, or even get along with them-- but you do have to be kind. There is never, ever justification for putting others down. I understand if there is a concern that’s pressing you, but there is a way to say it and an appropriate manner to handle it. Telling a group of high school students that migrants are “ruining” their town was not the way to handle the situation. His concerns could have been expressed in a less offensive way, or, (we all would have preferred this) he could have just stayed silent. There was no reason for him to justify his decision in a way that put down a specific group of people, let alone do this in front of a group of children learning about politics.

It’s important for us to understand that there is a fine line between expressing our opinions and just being plain rude. Go ahead, exercise your freedom of speech-- but don’t discriminate while you’re at it. Rather than putting negative thoughts and energy out into the world, use your breath for more constructive feedback and dialog.

I really do feel sorry for Bill, because we never wanted to disregard his opinion. Our hope was that by sharing the letter with him and the other members of the planning board, we could express how there are more appropriate ways to (and not to) share thoughts. As a country, our goal should be to uplift one another and reach compromise on a level of inclusivity. Nothing can be achieved if we act like crabs in a bucket, pushing one another down in hopes to make it to the top.

The world is in a place today where racial injustice will not be tolerated. Our societies rely on people of various backgrounds to come together for the synthesis of excellence. We grow as humans, as individuals, by using one another to learn and prosper. We are flavorless without the spices of life that each unique person brings to the table; nothing without the help we obtain by working together to create strong communities.

So express your opinion. Raise your voice. Listen to others-- and be open about what they have to say. There’s a way to communicate without offending someone or putting people down. Justice starts at the micro-level, and with a strong foundation there, we can work towards the macro-scale. With the establishment of this inclusive base, there is nothing that we, as a community, cannot achieve. Together, we can raise the bar and make amazing things happen for ourselves-- all while using the power of our voices responsibly. It starts here, in our small town, where a little bit of our justice goes a long way. It starts here, where the simple diminishment of prejudice makes us grow as a community, together.

Check Out these Pictures from the Madrid and Paris Trip!

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Our Music Program Hit a High Note

By Rachel Ramsdell

On Saturday, March 16th a select group of talented musicians performed in the Senior High Wayne All-County Band. They spent about 5 hours on Friday and 6 hours on Saturday rehearsing for the concert. It's exhausting to play four songs for that long! In February, many musicians from all over the county auditioned for a spot in the All-County Band. Competition was fierce! For each audition, the musician had to play 3 major scales, a sight-reading passage, and a challenging audition piece for a judge who would then score them. Months were spent preparing these audition pieces. Congratulations to Abby LaMark (flute), Thomas DeFisher (flute), Grace Wren (flute), Rachel Ramsdell (oboe), Gavin Buehler (alto saxophone), Isaac Gasparri (tenor saxophone), Citlali Alba (tenor saxophone), Max Farrington (bari saxophone),Taylor Williams (clarinet), Cadence Suwyn (euphonium), Faylinn Tousey (euphonium), Devon Harrison (trumpet), and Logan Hamm (percussion) for their hard work and dedication! Don't forget Mr.Tyler who worked tirelessly running the audition festival, preparing all of the Williamson musicians for their auditions and All-County, staying at the long festival, and making band fun!

Our Bowling Team Won the Section V Class C Title!

With all of the winter sports such as basketball, indoor track, swimming, and cheerleading, bowling tends to get overlooked. However, the bowling team did a great job this season. They took home the Section V Class C title! Jason Homman had the high series with a score of 1,377! The bowling team, comprised of Brandon LaGasse (Sodus), Zac Haase, Justin Datthyn (Sodus), Brendan Kephart (Sodus), Alan Bouwens, Logan Hamm, and Jason Homman had an outstanding score of 5,887. Congratulations!

Check out the full article in the Democrat and Chronicle here:

Blood Drive Results

By Ally Wieser

On January 29, 2019, the Williamson High Schools chapter of National Honor Society (NHS) hosted a blood drive. NHS would like to thank our 28 blood donors. Out of these 28 donors, 24 of them were first-time donors. The Red Cross was able to collect 24 units which, could potentially save 72 lives. The hospitals that received blood from our donors include ALBANY MEDICAL CENTER HOSPITAL,


Fun facts About St.Patrick's Day

By Gryphon Akridge

1. Shamrocks are the national emblem of Ireland.

2. .Wearing green has become a staple of St. Patrick’s Day, but the holiday was originally associated with the color blue. It’s thought that the shift to green happened because of Ireland’s nickname, “The Emerald Isle", the green in the Irish flag, and the shamrock. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn as early as the 17th century.

3. Legend says that each leaf of the clover has a meaning: Hope, Faith, Love, and Luck.

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