Author Archives: shawnwilson17

Community brings together athletes of typically solo sport

By Shawn Wilson

Staff Editor

When a typical Everest student thinks of their school, rows of students staring at computers probably comes to mind. However, sports are still an integral part of the school’s community, and students who participate enjoy the sense of community they feel from being a part of a team.

I interviewed three people at Everest, two students and a teacher, about their experience with running. The tight-knit community of runners was described as being so close that “even if you’re strangers, you’re able to connect because you have that bond of running.”

Cross Country is one of Everest’s newest sports, only having had a team for a single year. Coach Kelsey Boyle said that she “remembers the first day when not everybody knew each other … [but] by the end of the season everybody was cheering each other on.”

Running is a sport that is accessible to people all over the world. Since it doesn’t require a field or even a ball, running can be enjoyed anywhere. However, since it is so individualistic, motivation can be a struggle for some runners.

Being a part of a community can make it much easier to find the drive to continue improving. Everest Cross Country Captain Reed Smith stated that, “I realized that … running with other people motivated me to go harder and that never would have happened if I wasn’t running with other people.”

Apps can be integral in bringing communities together. They are used to communicate, share things, and, in the case of running, motivate. Strava is an app that allows athletes to connect with one another and compare things like mile times and overall improvement.

Everest senior Hannah Storms has participated in several races and said that she enjoys Strava since it allows her to “see my progress and follow my friends.” In a typically solo sport, this app is an important part of bringing together members of a community.

Reed Smith, who is applying for college ROTC, said that after achieving his desired mile time that would qualify him for the program, he “probably would have stopped there if I didn’t have the cross country team to motivate me.” This is an important aspect of the running community since members can both improve themselves while pushing others to do the same.

While sports often aren’t a priority in the Everest community, they certainly are extremely important in bringing students closer together, especially across grade levels. Even running, a sport that is typically thought of as very individualistic, can bring people together.

Here is a video which compiles the three interviews:

In order of appearance: Everest Cross Country Captain Reed Smith, Everest senior Hannah Storms and Everest Cross Country Coach Kelsey Boyle.

Students show creativity in Expeditions

By Shawn Wilson

Staff Writer

Art is all about expression and personality, something the students taking arts Expeditions courses at Everest Public High School showed during Everest’s Celebration of Learning.

Visual Arts

Students in the Visual Arts course were tasked with creating art pieces that represented themselves and their own interpretation of an image.

The students all created a picture of a unique eye, with various other elements such as the eye’s reflection showing an image or creative choices with its overall shape. Everest sophomore Samantha Suchite said her art teacher “told us to make it

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Everest sophomore Samantha Suchite PHOTO CREDIT: Cameron Eberle

what we perceive, what our interests are. For instance, mine is focused on nature – that’s what I like.” Her picture takes pieces of nature and incorporates them into an eye, such as the lacrimal caruncle (the small pink flesh close to the nose) being hooked to look like a bird’s beak and the eyebrow growing into trees.

 

 

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An eye, inspired by nature, drawn by Samantha Suchite PHOTO CREDIT: Shawn Wilson

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Students from the Arts Expeditions course showcased some of their drawings on the main Everest staircase. PHOTO CREDIT: Cameron Eberle

Rock Band

Rock Band is an Expeditions course at the Riekes Center. It educates students wanting to learn or improve their music skills through the help of musically skilled teachers. For Celebration of Learning, Rock Band instructors allowed students to practice their new found skills by performing in front of different-sized audiences. The students built their piece off a cover of a song and showcased their ability to have fun while performing.

Everest freshman Mako Oshiro said that students in the class “learn to play music and get to choose songs.” Students develop and practice their musical skills in this class and even reignite old passions. Everest sophomore Rojo Mendoza said, “I love Rock Band. I used to play drums, and then I stopped playing. Then, Rock Band helped me pick it up again, and that was such an awesome thing to do for me.”

Students who took the Rock Band Expeditions course performed in the main lobby at the start of the Celebration of Learning and then moved out back as the crowd got ready for Everest’s award ceremony. See below for clips of their performances. VIDEO CREDITS: Teresa Faasolo

 

 

Creative Writing

Creative Writing is offered at Everest Public High School as an Expeditions class in which students can express themselves through multiple ways, including poems. Students make poems using figurative language and then present those poems to an audience. It is a place where students can show off their writing capabilities.

For the Celebration of Learning, the class put on a Poetry Slam, which is a spoken word competition. Everest freshmen Kaitlyn Hutcheson (below left) and Carmela Bello (below right) won first place.

Hutcheson said that her poem is “based off of music and how it is connected to me – and how, even in hard times in my life, I can always go to music because I feel like it understands me.” Bello said her poem is about “forgiving people” and learning to “not let others bring you down.”

Everest senior Madilyn Middlebrooks performs during the Celebration of Learning Poetry Slam. VIDEO CREDIT: Jose Luiz Sarabia

Madilyn Middlebrooks, a graduating Everest senior, performed a piece about what it means to be beautiful in society today and what we can do to break the stereotype. She feels that “in American society there is only one beauty standard. I wanted to tell people there is so much more to being beautiful than our outward appearance.”

 

Everest senior Sierra Sholes performs during the Celebration of Learning Poetry Slam. VIDEO CREDIT: Jose Luiz Sarabia

Everest graduating senior Sierra Sholes wrote her poem about a giant, explaining that’s “what was in my head” at the time.

Staff Writers Cameron Eberle, Teresa Faasolo and Jose Luiz Sarabia contributed to this report.

Members give a look into an unknown but tight-knit community

By Shawn Wilson

Staff Writer

The crowd leans forward in their seats. Waiting in anticipation, with bated breath, as the game’s conclusion creeps closer. A final play is met with a chorus of cheers as the champion leaps into the air, the rush of exhilaration and adrenaline released as pure emotion.

Your thoughts might spring to basketball or football, perhaps even tennis or volleyball, although very few people (prior to reading this article’s title) would have thought the words above describe e-sports, specifically the Super Smash Brothers community. “Well,” your next thought may be, “What is the Smash community?”

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Smash club sweatshirt, referencing Smash 64’s release date. PHOTO CREDIT: Shawn Wilson

The very first Super Smash Bros game was released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64 console, and since then its community has drastically grown; large tournaments today boast upwards of 3,000 attendees. While only three subsequent games have been released since then, the Smash community’s longevity indicates a strong bond among fans of the game.

One chief cause of the Smash community’s lifespan is the people in the community itself, their determination has lifted up the community since its birth. Even in the face of animosity from the company that created the Smash Brothers series, the community has grown and thrived for over a decade.

Many other popular fighting games have support from the companies that made them; for example, the famous series Street Fighter has a professional tour put on by developer Capcom. However, Nintendo, publisher of the Super Smash Bros series, rarely if ever hosts or sponsors tournaments.

When it was created, Smash Brothers was intended to be a party game. Nintendo, in an attempt to preserve that intent, distances itself from the competitive aspect of the game even to the point where it is speculated that the popular fan mod Project M was shut down by Nintendo because it is geared toward competition.

Despite a lack of big support, the once grassroots Smash community has evolved into the e-sports powerhouse it is today. It is currently the only series to have two of its titles played at the esteemed tournament Evolution Championship Series (EVO)not only in 2015, but also in 2016 and 2017.

Even in an e-sports community where winning can seem the ultimate goal, it is important to understand how the relationships between players and the welcoming atmosphere helps the community thrive.

Kevin Kim

Kevin Kim, local Smash community member and club leader. PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Kim

When asked about the first Smash Brothers tournament he attended, Kevin Kim, a player in my local Smash community, replied that it was “a little intimidating at first, because there were so many people and it was very crowded. But once I ended up sitting down and playing, I was able to relax,” adding that he able to make a lot of friends. He also described how the Smash Club at his school provides a “chill environment” and “a place
of relaxation, a place to get away from stress.”

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Joshua Ching, local Smash community member. PHOTO CREDIT: Joshua Ching

Joshua Ching, another player from my local community, expressed that his first tournament experience was a positive one, saying, “It was great!” prior to recalling the “nice people” who attended and the enjoyable experience overall.

An environment where people feel accepted quickly and are even able to relax on the first day of joining is a hallmark of the Smash community. At the first tournament I attended, which had upwards of 150 entrants, I was encouraged that people I had never met before were friendly and even humble.

Although I was the youngest person in the whole venue (being only 14 at the time), I was praised by someone roughly 1.5 times my age for a combo I had discovered in the game, and even after suffering losses, my competitors commended my strengths while helpfully pointing out areas of growth. Smash tournaments commonly have an encouraging mood, and they are one of the few times I feel as if I have equal status with adults, as opposed to being viewed as subordinate.

Not only is the Smash community friendly and accepting, but the players who constitute it create strong bonds with each other, which largely contribute to its appeal. Members of my local community have created new friendships through tournaments and the game in general, and they enjoy the sense of community that Smash brings.

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Owen Kerr, local Smash community member, plays Super Smash Bros Melee. PHOTO CREDIT: Mason Chappelle

Owen Kerr, a member of my local community, said, “A lot of my friends and I have bonded and became closer through Smash; it’s a fun thing that we can all do together.” He added, “It’s really its own community that just love to have a great time together.”

Ching expressed that participating in tournaments “helps not only my gaming skill but also my people skills,” and Kim said that the Smash community has “without a doubt, helped me create new relationships and strengthen older ones.” He added that he’s met many friends in the Smash community. “They are undoubtedly some of the best people I know.”

Although video games are often seen as antisocial, the Smash community is the opposite of that; tournaments help develop social skills, as well as creating a very amiable and connected environment for people to enjoy with friends.

One of my favorite things about the community is how it manages to be competitive and low stress at the same time. I have enjoyed playing baseball since I was only four years old, although the older I get the more competitive it becomes, which has led me to enjoy it less and less over the years. However, after a Smash tournament, regardless of the result, I always feel as if I have enjoyed myself; I don’t feel a pressure to constantly improve in order to have a good time.

When asked to describe the Smash community in three words, interviewees responded by calling it “competitive,” but also “fun, easy going,” “collaborative” and welcoming.” It hits a magical sweet spot where it is fun for both casual and serious players, while also managing to be both competitive and low stress.

Additionally, the Smash community has given and continues to give back by supporting organizations such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

In 2013, the previously mentioned prestigious tournament EVO hosted a contest in which fans of several games, including Super Smash Brothers Melee, were challenged to raise money to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, with the group that raised the most money having their game featured at the tournament.

After fundraising ceased, Smash Brothers fans had raised the most of the $225,744 total, with $94,683 in donations, all of which went to support the fight against breast cancer. While this money was raised in order to achieve a goal as opposed to pure generosity, the Smash community still steps up and gives aid to important causes even without having an incentive.

St. Jude

One of many St. Jude buildings, the organization supported by Smash The Record. PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr

For the past three years, a tournament called Smash The Record has been run with giving back as its only goal. The tournament is very casual and fun, without any prize money for placing well. A donation drive is run for 72 straight hours during the tournament, and all money raised goes to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In the three years it has been run, the event has raised over $115,000 for St. Jude.

So what is the Smash community? It is a community that brings people together, develops bonds between friends while also creating new ones, fosters friendly competition and helps support important issues.

Kerr summed up the community artfully: “We are all there to bond over this game we love. We are all there to meet new people. We are all there to have fun and be a part of the community. Your Smash community knows who you are – you can make a name for yourself, you can make friends and build your connections. It isn’t about winning, or being the best, but to have fun. That’s why we spend weeks planning local tournaments and why we attend these events thrown together by fellow Smashers; it’s because we’re just friends.”

Featured image (at top of post): Everest Public High School hosted a Smash tournament, planned and run by the community. PHOTO CREDIT: Spencer Maples

DSLR cameras could disappear

By Cameron Eberle

Staff Writer

It happens a lot in history: A product comes out, gets old and outdated or a better product comes out, and everyone forgets about the original. Technology is always evolving and improving.

Think back to the last time you used a VHS tape. Some people don’t even know what that is. But what about a product that had been around for more than 200 years?

In 1814, Joseph Nicephore snapped the first photo, and ever since the camera has been constantly evolving into what we know it as today: Our phones.

The most common camera people own is right in their pocket. Just about everyone has a phone and just about every phone has a camera on it, making it easy to take pictures.

Every day we take Snapchats, pictures for Instagram and other social media platforms or just for our own personal collection. So what’s the effect of that?

If everyone can take pictures with their phone, then what’s the point of buying a professional camera unless you’re a professional photographer? People aren’t going to need DSLR cameras or want one when they can just easily take a picture with their phone.

Although there are some negative affects, cell phones having cameras has benefited the world in many ways. Smartphones make it easier to do things like taking pictures to share what’s going on in your life with other people and taking family photos.

Unfortunately though, there are also negative effects. As a result of more and more people using their phones to take pictures, the sales for DSLR cameras are falling rapidly.

Although sales are going down, for professional photographers cameras are here to stay. It is unlikely that people will be doing professional photography with an iPhone, but in the future many people will be doing photography with their phones just like how many people do that now.

Advancing camera technology has benefited photography and hurt it at the same time. For the most part though, smartphone cameras have helped the world today, and they are definitely changing the way people do photography.

Featured image (at top of post) shows how DSLR cameras may become faded like ghosts. PHOTO CREDIT: Cameron Eberle

Related:

The future of photography is unclear

Photography comparison shows a snapshot of the past

The future of photography is unclear

By Cameron Eberle and Shawn Wilson

Staff Writers

As 21st century technology continues advancing at an exponential rate, it brings into question whether or not older technology can keep up with the times. Cameras in particular are astronomically different than just a few decades ago.

While they have held up well so far, I, Everest junior Shawn Wilson, believe that cameras will become nearly extinct in the future as more and more people begin to use different devices for photography.

Many people today simply use their phones to take photos instead of using traditional cameras, making it so that fewer and fewer people feel the need to buy a camera to do something they can already do with their smartphone.

When cell phones first became widely used, no one would dream that they would one day be used to take pictures. However, today professional photographers are the majority of people who buy high tech cameras since the general population has no need for them.

I believe that in the future, technology will advance far enough that features that only expensive cameras have in today’s world, such as extensive zooming and the ability to change ISO, shutter speed and aperture, will become standard on basic cameras or even smartphones. I believe that in the future, even professional photographers will just whip out their phone like everyone else to take a picture instead of using a fancy camera.

I, Everest sophomore Cameron Eberle, believe that Wilson is partially right. Camera sales are going downhill, and smartphone cameras are getting better and better.

However, I believe that professional photographers will not start using smartphone cameras. Although the cameras on smartphones are getting better and better and coming with more and more features, so are DSLR cameras.

Smartphones are advancing quickly, and DSLR cameras are advancing as well. Nowadays many cameras come with Wi-Fi capability, tons of gadgets and of course growing quality. Many cameras have up to fifty megapixels, while the best iPhone camera has only twelve.

It is definitely a possibility that cameras will become extinct though, since camera technology is advancing slower than smartphone technology.

Although technology is advancing, I think even though DSLR cameras will lose popularity, they are here to stay for a while, at least for professional photographers.

Featured image (at top of post): DSLR cameras might go the way of the dinosaurs. PHOTO CREDIT: Cameron Eberle 

Related:

DSLR cameras could disappear

Photography comparison shows a snapshot of the past

 

Photography comparison shows a snapshot of the past

By Shawn Wilson
Staff Writer

The technology of today is vastly different from that of the previous century, and it is continually improving. In a world of constant growth and upgrades, people often forget how different things were even a short time ago.

Cameras in particular have changed so much that a camera from today and one from 50 years ago would look like completely different things. Roger Gambatese, a lawyer, provided information regarding how he has personally seen photography change drastically during his lifetime.

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Lawyer Roger Gambatese has seen photography radically change. PHOTO CREDIT: Roger Gambatese

“I started out with a little box camera, a brownie I guess it was called. You had to put in the film to take pictures and you had to have the film developed,” Mr. Gambatese said.

Most people today think the word “film” is just a fancy way of saying movie (even though film isn’t used to make movies anymore), but in just the past century it meant something much different. Cameras today are almost exclusively digital, although that wasn’t always the case.

“The big change is you don’t use film anymore, everything is digitized,” Mr. Gambatese said. “Before you had to be much, much more careful.”

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Older models of cameras were more basic in functionality than today’s cameras. PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

Millennials today don’t think twice to snapping tens or even hundreds of pictures since they can simply skim through them later, save the cream of the crop and delete the rest. Another difference between early cameras and cameras of today is that pictures from older cameras had to be developed.

Mr. Gambatese wasn’t able to see his pictures immediately after he took them while growing up; they had to be developed. “My father had a place in the basement … where he developed his own negatives. You develop them and then they come out with positive images.”

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Newer DSLR cameras are more complex and use digital technology. PHOTO CREDIT: Cameron Eberle

There has been an immense amount of growth in photography in the last few decades, and it’s interesting to look back to the past and notice the differences. In the near future, youth might be amazed that their parents and grandparents had to use cameras without unlimited storage or infinite zoom, and only time will tell how much photography will advance.

Related:

DSLR cameras could disappear

The future of photography is unclear