Category Archives: Opinion

Wordle: A New Way to Explore the English Language

By: Joseph Kilis

Now, if you have not heard of Worlde, the hit word-guessing puzzle game overcoming Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram feeds around the globe, I’m convinced that you live under a rock. Sorry if that was a little harsh, but I’m going to be seriously surprised if you say you’ve never heard of it, let alone have not seen those stacked green, yellow, and black squares. Go try it out for yourself, you might enjoy it. (Yes, I don’t mind if you stop reading this story, just come back once you’re done to realize how right I am.)

You see, I’m not one to fall through the rabbit hole of what’s trending or not, but this game (for some odd reason) has got me quite obsessed. I can’t go a day without playing it; but why? Why does almost every student and teacher need to play this game on the daily? I get that teachers probably think it’s cool their students are “into vocabulary words” all of a sudden, but why do we, as the human species (I know, very broad, but you get the gist) feel so drawn to play an online word game?

Competition. Competition, competition, competition. I am going to humble myself, and go on and say that I am an extremely competitive person. Sports aren’t up my alley, so I think I manage to use all that competitive energy within this game. In case you are not aware, Wordle functions kind of like Wheel of Fortune; except instead of guessing fun phrases its five-lettered words. Every twenty-four hours, you get only six chances to correctly guess one word by inputting in other words to find letters that are in said “word of the day.” (Sorry for saying the word “word” way too much, I’m starting to think that this Wordle story is getting a little wordy.) Anyway, when you get a correct letter in the correct spot, the square around it turns green. But, if you were to guess a letter that is in the incorrect spot in the word, it would turn yellow. Using the letters that you input, you need to find the correct word. (If this was confusing, just play it for yourself; it’s free!)

Anyway, back to competition. It’s always a great feeling to see that you correctly guessed a hard word in three tries when everyone else got it in four or more tries; and I think this is one of the reasons people are flocking back to Wordle day in and day out. This competitive aspect is what makes this game engaging for families and friends, as they all share their scores with others to brag about their score. Trust me, I have a whole group chat called “Wordle” on my phone, just for my family to go back and forth with their scores. The competitiveness of this game is very apparent, because if it wasn’t, I don’t think it would have been this popular.

On top of this competitive part of the game, another reason this game became such a hit (and so addicting) was because you could only play once a day. If there were unlimited words to guess, it would diminish the reason to post your score. You still could post your score, but it would mean a lot less since you are bound to have a good round every once in a while. The time limit makes it all the more competitive, and (in my opinion) that much more fun.

Simplicity and accessibility is also a very important thing to note when talking about Wordle’s success. It is probably one of the simplest games out there; just type in words and pray you do good. It is a simple premise, but also can be very challenging; I’ve had days that I have wanted to give up (but then I remembered that I needed to show off my score, so I continued). The challenging part of this is brought on by the player, since usually the word is painfully simple (with exceptions to the words “ulcer” and “cynic.” I HATED THOSE!) This game, in a way, shows the consequences of our own actions; if you put in a bad word, that’s on you.

Back to the point of accessibility, Literally just look up “wordle” in your browser. It literally is that simple. And also, to mention that this is free, also widens the population of people playing. For someone as broke as I am, it’s nice to be in on something that connects everyone without spending a dollar.

The collaborative aspect is also very special, as it brings many people together to talk about something harmless, such as a word that they guessed. In a world with such division, it is really nice to have a harmless puzzle game bring family and friends together. Heck, a woman was even saved from being held hostage because of Wordle. (Yes, it’s true. Look it up.) This game that unifies us all is really something special, and I think is one of the main reasons I enjoy the game so much. (Other than showing off, that’s fun too.)

On the surface, Wordle is just a simple daily puzzle game that challenges the mind. But it has grown to connect families and friends, build vocabularies–save lives, even–and provide some harmless competition for the competitive ones out there.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, go do that right now! Just don’t spoil the word for anyone. They won’t appreciate it.

(I feel the need to mention we aren’t sponsored or anything fancy like that. I just really enjoy this game.)

Valentine’s Day: The Hallmark Scam

Opinion Column by Jacob Miranda

So, Valentine’s Day has arrived, and everyone is ready. Students bought flowers from ASB to send to each other. Others are going on romantic dates. Maybe even a few are wondering why they are single and contemplating the choices in their life that led them to this moment.

Now, for context, I don’t care that much about love or Valentine’s Day or things like that. If someone likes me, cool; but I’m not going to seek out a significant other. As the headline suggests, yes, I think that Valentine’s Day is a scam. Yes, I have an actual reason for saying that. And no, I’m not upset over being alone.

In my opinion, one of the biggest markets available is for Valentine’s Day, and it’s clear to see why. Imagine walking into a Target, or a Walmart, or some sort of store in the past couple of weeks. Most likely, you saw big, overhanging signs with a big Valentine’s Day section being right at the entrance. All the employees’ uniforms changed, the whole store took on a more red and white look, even the music was changed to songs about romance (though that probably doesn’t change many of the songs). And what’s that to your side, you may ask? Hallmark. So. Much. Hallmark.

You’ve got cards, you’ve got toys; heck, sometimes you see toys BUNDLED with cards. And for one little card? Anywhere from $3-10. For a card. Toys usually go for around $15. And you’ve got the Hallmark channel as well.

Please, don’t get me started on the channel.

Point being, we need action. We need to start a Hallmark boycott or something. We don’t need a big mega corporation (about $3.5 BILLION/year. I checked.) to tell me to take care of my loved ones. It’s like if President Biden told everyone to make sure to breathe every so often.

We need commercials or something. Make it like those “vote for proposition” commercials that always have a woman saying something like, “Join us on February 14th as we express our rights, and vote YES on prop 496: ELIMINATE HALLMARK.”

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

Valentine’s Day Alone?

Follow These Self-Care Tips

By Daniela Galindo

1) Order food, don’t go to a restaurant.

If you want to go out and eat then McDonald’s may be an option.

2) Treat yourself to something nice–go shopping!

Buy something you’ve wanted for a long time. Or buy things online. You can even make your own basket with snacks or things.

3) Stay at home and watch movies/a series for the whole day while eating snacks.

But don’t watch too many romantic movies!

4) Have a Karaoke night.

5) Get ready for yourself, even if you’re going to be at home for the whole day.

6) Draw, paint, or do some art crafts.

Feel like a little kid again and be happy, forget about everything else. 

7) Go on a drive and just listen to music.

8) Do a skin care routine, they are really relaxing!

9) Stay in bed and just sleep, that is OK too!

10) Try to avoid going to public places, like the beach or parks.

We don’t want you to be sad seeing couples.

Opinion: Schools Should Close

By: Gabriela Munoz

With COVID-19 cases rising after many gathered for the holidays, many students and families question if it’s safe to be on campus. Although John Glenn is taking the safest precautions to keep Norwalk and the community safe, many question if this is still enough to keep the virus from spreading.

For many, the safest choice at the moment is to stay home and move to online education. There has even been a spike in online classes and independent study as parents want the safest option for their children and other household members.

Seeing how intense the spreading of the virus has become, maybe the safest option would be to stay home and do online courses for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year. This will not only help keep everyone safe and stop the virus from spreading, but students can go back to learning at their own pace with flexible school hours. Online classes have also been said to potentially help students with their mental health as they don’t seem to stress as much about classes or having to attend classes as it is all through a screen. COVID-19 has changed the education system forever, and online school may be even more beneficial for our own well being than in-person classes.

Opinion: Schools Should Not Close

By: April Zavala

Although returning home for a few weeks to let COVID-19 cases settle down ultimately sounds like a good idea, there are some major consequences in doing so. For example, last year’s quarantine proved that doing school from home made students see school as an option which resulted in low assignment turn-in rate and plummeting grades. We need to keep the school open.

It is important that we take everything into consideration. The nation already spent over a year staying at home, in complete isolation from their family and friends, so going home again may affect our student’s mental health. This year, teachers planned out their year without the intention of returning to online school, and doing so may cause teachers to fall behind on lessons.

Another consequence is the student’s limited access to a good WIFI connection. Over the quarantine period, having good connection was an inevitable obstacle that would stand between a student logging onto class on time and getting their assignments turned in on time. Ultimately, I believe that with time, cases will slowly start to plummet, and we should trust that John Glenn students and administration will continue to do an excellent job with staying safe and making sure they stay home if they have any symptoms.

The Situation in Ukraine 

By Political Correspondent Edmund Shryock 

In late 2021, Russia placed around 70,000 troops on the border with its neighbor Ukraine. This number would rise to about 127,000 troops by mid January 2022. Tensions between the U.S. and Russia are on the rise due to the border standoff.

The United States responded to Russia in regards to their massive troop buildup on the Ukrainian border, on Wednesday, January 6. As a method to deter Russia from invading Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, told reporters on Wednesday that the U.S. response “sets out a serious diplomatic path forward should Russia choose it.”

Reports from the Kremlin deny an attack on Ukraine, but blame NATO for expanding its influence in Ukraine posing a threat to the Russian Border. NATO, however, believes that Russia is in no place to invade Ukraine, and will face serious consequences and tough sanctions if they do.

The Escalation to the Ukrainian Crisis

The situation in Ukraine stems back to 2013, when Ukraine was working out a trade deal with the European Union (EU), but at the last minute suspended talks with the EU. This angered many Ukranians who were intent on having this deal with the EU, having them rise up in protest against this. 

Why did Ukraine suspend the trade deal in 2013?

Ukraine’s then-President Victor Yanukovych was an avid supporter of Russia. Reports of pressure from Moscow against Yanukovych making a deal with the EU was the reason Ukraine suspended the talks.

Ukrainians revolted against the government in anger against the influence that Russia had in their government. Eventually, they overthrew the government and removed Yanukovych from office, in which he fled in exile to Russia. He was replaced by Oleksandr Turchynov as “acting” Ukrainian President to Russia’s dismay. Russia came out in 2014 saying that they do not regard Turchynov as the legitimate Ukrainian President. He was succeeded by Petro Poroshenko in 2014, who was succeeded by Volodymyr Zelensky in 2019.

As Yanukovych fled Kiev, Russia set its sights on the autonomous peninsula south of Ukraine, Crimea. In March 2014, Russia invaded and eventually annexed Crimea (who had high loyalties to Russia) within a matter of days. Believing that it was acting in the best interest of Crimea’s Russian speaking citizens, Russia’s referendum “certifying” the annexation was not recognized by NATO or Ukraine. NATO placed economic sanctions on Russia as a response. 

Pro-Russian separatists declared their independence from Kyiv shortly after in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, prompting heavy fighting. This led to a cease fire agreement to be moderated by France and Germany in Minsk 2015. However, this ceasefire was violated numerous times until this day.

Why might Russia Possibly invade Ukraine?

Russia believes that Ukraine has broken the Minsk agreement and is stirring up tensions between the two countries. This was brought about as Ukraine has been receiving more support from NATO than it has in recent years. This is seen as a threat for Russian security as NATO support expands eastward.

This prompted Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to demand agreements from NATO that would keep them from expanding eastward towards Russia. Putin believes that if NATO does not agree to these terms and continues expanding the way they have been these last few years, and that Moscow would have the “right to choose ways to ensure its legitimate security interests,” stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in December 2021. 

Ukraine’s Reasons to be Prepared for a Russian Invasion

Ukraine believes that they have the right to join NATO if they want to and Russia can not prevent them from doing so.

Also, a recent coup plot was discovered to overthrow the current Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky which led many Ukranians believing that Russia is trying to undermine the Ukrainian Government and put in a pro-Russian President. 

Finally, Ukraine believes that the recent energy crisis that is within Ukraine has been sparked by the Russians, leading the Ukrainian military to prepare for an invasion with NATO support. There may be possible sanctions to be placed on Russia, and numerous battlegroups in the eastern part of NATO’s reach and the Black Sea. As the U.S. has evacuated families of U.S. ambassadors out of Ukraine, they have placed 8,500 U.S. troops on “high alert.”

The world watches and waits to see what will happen next, as leaders discuss and negotiate the potential fate of Ukraine, trying to avoid the largest conflict in Europe since WWII.

Food Review: Mochi + Donuts = Mochinut

By: Noelani Discipulo

Dessert – Mochinut

CHEWY GOODNESS. 

Mochinut is mainly known for their chewy mochi donuts, which are made from glutinous rice instead of regular flour. The glutinous rice adds to the sweetness of the donuts as well as their chewiness. Their donuts come in an assortment of flavors that are glazed, embedded, or topped onto them. Mochinut varies their flavors every day, however at this location they do announce their flavors in advance at @mochinut_cerritos on instagram.

There are multiple locations throughout the Southland, and each store offers different flavors and product offerings. At this location, they provide drinks and Korean-style hotdogs.

Their hours are from 11am – 10pm every day. The one downside is that they only provide half a dozen or one dozen donuts, and you can’t buy a single donut.

11312 South St, Cerritos, CA 90703 / IG: @mochinut_cerritos or @mochinut_official

Gubernatorial Races in NJ and VA

By Political Correspondent Edmund Shryock

Virginia and New Jersey’s Democratic Governors were up for reelection on November 2, 2021 after months of campaigning to gain support throughout their states. The results sent shockwaves through the political world as Republican candidates gained more support than expected. 

Virginia’s incumbent candidate Terry McAuliffe was supported by President Biden before the election, while his Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin, distanced himself from the support of former President Trump’s endorsement.

  In New Jersey, incumbent Governor Phil Murphy squared off against Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli. As the night progressed, Ciattarelli would take the lead. However, as the vote continued to pour in, Phil Murphy would manage to squeeze out a victory. This makes Murphy the first Governor to be reelected in New Jersey history in 44 years. 

The results of these Gubernatorial elections could provide insight into the type of election the country will see in the 2022 midterm elections. Also, it provided Republicans with momentum as the 2024 Presidential election looms over the nation. Democrats learned that they should not underestimate Republican votes in typically “Blue States” in future elections. So now the country looks forward as both sides prepare for critical elections in 2022 and 2024. 

Opinion on the Electronics Policy

By Daniela Galindo

It is no secret that students dislike the “new” phone policy even though it has always existed at John Glenn. Is it because there is a higher percentage of students failing this year that the phone policy is being strictly enforced? Maybe adults think phones prevent us from getting good grades.

What I’ve seen is that students use their phones for just a minute or so to answer a text. It’s not like students use them all the time in class. Our phones are not the reason why we don’t pass our classes. I was failing a class, but it wasn’t because I was on my phone. It was just because I needed a little help and to concentrate on class. But, it wasn’t the phone that was distracting–it was other classes, exams, and extracurricular activities that I had. Additionally, students dislike how parents need to communicate with us through the office. If there is an emergency, it takes the office some time to contact the student. Rather than that, we should tell the teacher that our parents are calling and maybe show them and allow the students to go out for a moment with the door open so they do not wander off, but still give them privacy.

It would have been great if this policy had been explained more clearly by the school from the beginning, like its consequences. We students need to understand why this is happening so suddenly. We don’t know why suddenly this has become something big, and it’s unfair. Students will feel as if they’re in prison. Rather than feeling forced to study, studying should be enjoyable. Rather than negative reinforcement, kids need motivation.

Opinion: Admin Zoom Wednesdays

By Jacob Miranda

Ever since the beginning of November, we have had a 10-minute Zoom meeting discussing different parts of the student handbook for JGHS during 4th period. The first one was about the phone policies, the second was about tardies, absences, and the procedures and consequences of both. The most recent ones were about dress code on November 17, and information about tutoring this past Wednesday, December 1.

The main point of these meetings is to make sure students stay informed and know what the rules are at school. Dr. Padilla also puts the slides for each meeting on her weekly newsletter, and then tells us the subject of the next meeting and the pages of the student handbook to look for.

In my opinion, we are actually better off without these meetings. When Dr. Padilla tells us what is going to be covered days beforehand, we don’t really need 10-15 minutes of class time to be lost just for the school to tell me not to flash people with inappropriate clothing. And that is assuming that students are actually paying attention to said meetings. If they aren’t, then it just seems to waste everybody’s time.

Instead, I propose that we should just have a friendly reminder whenever situations get too extreme (for example, if people are on their phones way too much during class, we should have an announcement saying that the next day, phones being used for unimportant reasons will be taken away).

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