A Project for Better Journalism chapter
News, Student Activities

What is Friedreich’s Ataxia?

You may be wondering based on the title, “Yeah, what is Friedreich’s Ataxia?” Well, it is a simple answer about a very complex and difficult problem. Friedreich’s Ataxia (Well known as FA) is a genetic disorder that is very rare in many cases. It is an autosomal recessive gene, meaning that it is not visibly present in all carriers, but can be transferred to a person’s offspring. If two parents both have the recessive gene, they would have a 1 in 4 chance of passing it to their child. As a breakdown of the name, “Friedreich’s” is to credit the doctor that discovered the genetic disease, and “Ataxia” is of Latin origin meaning “without order.”

The symptoms vary based on the patient, but some symptoms are more rare than others. The most commonly seen symptoms include:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of balance
  • Weak or stiff muscles in arms and legs
  • Lack of coordination
  • Difficulty sensing vibrations on legs and feet
  • Heart problems (palpitations, larger muscle size, shortness of breath, etc.)
  • Eventual loss of mobility in legs and possibly arms (Paralysis)

There are other symptoms that can occur, but they are much more rare or only show in later adulthood. These rare symptoms include loss of hearing, slurred speech, diabetes, and heart murmurs. Most people who have FA see the first signs around puberty or before they turn eighteen. It can also, but very uncommonly, lie dormant until their thirties to forties.

Now, here is another question that you may have, “Why are you writing about this?” Well, if any of you know me, my girlfriend, who does not attend our school, actually has this disorder. Her symptoms began showing around two years ago. I met her over a year ago and fully got to know her in the past two months when we started dating. She began to tell me about her condition, so I have been learning more and more about it as well. I just wanted to get the word out to an audience of any magnitude, so thank you for your attention. If you feel that you can contribute to the cause, I will leave a link at the end of this article. The charity will aim to cure the disease, and so far it has been able to discover a way to delay the symptoms for up to a year at the most. The more they can be funded to research, the more they can cure this disease, along with fixing other muscular disorders. Thank you very much for reading and any help if you provide! Link: https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12621

Opinions, Poetry and Stories

Life Experiences: Part 1

This is a short series that I am writing about the things I notice in everyday life. The writing may seem kind of vague and may be hard to follow, but that is because it is open for interpretation and I will offer an explanation in the next part.

Red, green, and blue are the first colors to greet the moment I open my eyes. Everything begins to brighten the bleak world around me. I would much rather stay here with these lights much safer than my friends to keep me company. Before I know it the sun breaks away the haze I’ve fallen into. So I get up from my warm nest to fight the cold on the way to my next big challenge. I get in line behind all the others trudging along to beat our greatest trial of our lives we only think that because its all we know, have no idea what happens after, we don’t know the real struggle. Once again I follow the line of bodies through the door that has held us for our entire life, more than our parents have.



Opinions, Student Activities


This class is my absolute favorite class. Of course, there are mostly seniors in my class because Mythology accounts for your Hope GPA, and it looks really good. I didn’t actually know this when I was looking for classes last year. I really am interested in Mythology, and I really love this class. So far we have learned about Greek and Roman mythology. We watch a lot of movies, and sometimes we have questions. A lot of fun projects go along with being in this class. Students are allowed to help each other when they need it. This class is definitely my favorite. I always look forward to it every day.



Humans: Social Creatures

One of the worst situations for a human to be in is isolation. It is human nature to be social. Even if it is only a companionable silence. The way that the brain is hard wired makes it dangerous-almost futile- for someone to go so long alone. Short periods alone are alright- everyone needs a little quiet, but after a certain amount of time, our brains will begin to become weird, in the instance that we begin to think “weird.” This can be very dangerous, which is why you should never isolate someone just because you can. A simple interaction could stop someone from going too far down a road that they can’t come back from. After all “I walk the lonely road…and I walk alone” (Greenday).

News, Student Activities

Valentine’s Day Dance

On February the 9th, we had a Valentine’s Day Dance. It was nicely decorated and beautiful. They had a setup for pictures to be taken. All the tables and a glass bowl were full of little golden orbs and lots and lots of petals. They had balloons around, those were immediately popped within the first hour, very few survived the night. At 6, there were about 8 kids waiting to get in, and by the end of the night there were about 60 students. There was a dance off between two people, it was fierce. They were dancing like no tomorrow. It was an amazing sight to see. The Valentine’s Day Dance was a huge success!


Valentine’s Day

Comedic/ Emotional

Time to talk  about this lonely, lonely day. Except if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, if so, congrats to you. *cries in the corner* It’s hard for some people to live this day without being jealous of other couples.  If you are me, you care a little but live your best life at the same time. You know what they say, “if life gives you lemons, throw them away and find some oranges.” Also known as if life throws an obnoxious lovey dovey holiday your way and you are a lonely pickle, skip the day and find something sweeter to you.  To the people who have something, CONGRATS MY DUDE YOU ARE LOVED, just kidding. Being serious though, I am happy for you. If you are happy, I am too. I’ve seen so many people at the school who carry stuffed animals, candy, and/or flowers. Some people (like mwah) envy them and want a huge stuffed sloth. (Not even joking, I saw someone carry a stuffed sloth and I was in awwww.) Love is a joyful, amazing emotion and I truly hope everyone finds their true love some day. It may be hard but every outstanding person deserves an outstanding partner. Black, White, Asian, Latino. Tall, short, skinny, fun-sized. Girl, Boy, whatever you identify as. Straight, gay, bisexual, pansexual, and other forms of the LGBTQIA community. Every person with a beautiful personality deserves the world. Even if most of the world tries to bring you down, know at least there is one person out there who will love, care, and cherish you with all of their hearts.


Star Wars Civil War: Part 1

Star Wars is made by Lucasfilms. It is a fictional universe with a lot of lore. This is a fan made story of a soldier of Mandalore, a planet in Star Wars known for a group of ruthless mercenaries and the start of the clone army. This takes place after one of the duchess’s death. This will be parallel to a written story of a clone trooper in one of the last republic legions, it will not be put up unless it is wanted.


My Journal: Entry 1

It’s been six years since order sixty-six, and all the Jedi were killed. Four months after the duchess’s death, the planet and galaxy are still in sorrow. I am part of the Mandalorian royal guards, in service of Duchess Nova, a childhood friend and my crush. After Satine’s death, she was the only one who would rise up and take the throne. Nova is a strong leader and it is an honor to serve as her personal guard. She follows in the great Satine’s death, keeping the system neutral and peaceful. Since I’m the captain of the guard, I was chosen to carry the duchess’s body to its final resting place. It was Nova, 3 other royal guards, and I. As we were trekking, Deathwatch attacked us. We fended them off, but I lost Dena-Tu and Rona-Vizsla. It’s only me and Be-Ran. We kept going. When we reached the burial site, Be-Ran fell into a deathwatch trap, and he went missing. Hopefully, he is still alive. Luckily their deaths allowed us to make it to our destination. Duchess Nova told me she had something she needed to tell me, but as she was about to tell me we heard explosions. It was the separatists.


Net Neutrality: A Ticking Timebomb

Imagine that you’re about to go on YouTube to look and see if your favorite YouTuber has uploaded anything when you get a message along the lines of this: “We’re sorry this content isn’t available because you haven’t paid your entertainment pack fee. Once you pay, try again.” Imagine yourself trying to go through your social media and it taking forever to load on your wi-fi. Imagine trying to go to your favorite website, but finding out your cable company or service provider has blocked it because they don’t want you to see it. This may be the reality we would have to face in the near future if we don’t stand for net neutrality policies.

Net neutrality is a term that means all areas of the internet are equal, not one website or company is more advertised than the other. An example is when you go on Google to search something. You type it in the search bar, and most of the time, over a million different websites and articles pop up. If net neutrality were to be repealed, you would only see maybe a couple dozen links, depending on what you search and what your service provider wants you to see. It also applies to free speech and an open internet to go wherever you want, whenever you want.

This policy is in dangerous. Save the Internet writes “Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to destroy Net Neutrality. In May, the FCC voted to let Pai’s internet-killing plan move forward.” This article isn’t about politics, it’s about the resources we use everyday, for school, entertainment, interaction on social media, and everything that the internet is created for. These plans to destroy the open internet activate on December 14th of THIS year. If you want to learn more, go to https://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now . This was just a summary, but if this goes through, the thing that we have made a daily part of our lives would be gone in an instant. So please, help save the internet.


How to Make being Single Good?

Being single has disadvantages and advantages. First of all the disadvantages: are possibly being lonely, having a sad life, and possibly a life of crime. However being single comes with freedom, safety from stress, and ironically more MONEY. Instead of focusing on love, someone can focus on education. Having nobody to depend on you is cheaper in the long run. Someone could take trips all over the world being single, and some couples can do it too. They are irrelevant for this article. Life as a Solo is surprisingly easy. Helping other people is much easier when there is less baggage to carry. Having a relationship causes both people to be honest with each other, even if they don’t want to share their deepest, darkest secrets.


Poetry and Stories

Life of a Freshman: Hang with Aaron (Part 2)

I saw Aaron, so I went to him before I said anything. Aaron asked me “Hey do you want to come over later and have a movie night?” “Sure I would love too. Are the others coming this time?” every Friday night we have a movie night and sometimes the whole gang comes. “No they can’t” “Oh okay” “Great I can’t wait!” Aaron said. He told me to meet him outside the school. He walked up to me “Are you ready?” I said “Yes”. We walked to his house, his house is near mine so, we walked together after school everyday, we got to his house, we walked in, and started to get ready for the night. He started laughing at me out of no where “What’s  so funny?” I asked and he said “Oh nothing Sam” then he had a smirk on his face. “Okay whatever you say by the way you look really stupid right now” he looked at me and said “No I don’t you do!” “But you are the one who looks weird not me, I look beautiful”. In Aaron’s mind he said you do look beautiful-wait what are you thinking Aaron she’s your best friend she wouldn’t like you that way, he came back and said “No I don’t Sam!” “Okay sorry Aaron I was just playing with you” I said while giggling “I hate you” he said with a pouting face “Nah you love me”. That’s true I do love you but I know you don’t love me in the same way. In Sam’s mind I really do love you Aaron we’ve known each other since we were little and I know you don’t love me the same way I do so I can never tell you that I fell for you. Then we started the movie night, we watched scary movies. When a scary monster thing popped out I screamed “AHHH!” I went closer to Aaron and buried my face into his arm, he said “The jump scare is over Sam” I looked back and I screamed again “AHHH AARON DON’T DO THAT!”