Author Archives: sophialim1

Intermediate art class allows students to draw outside the lines

By Mariam Feleyeh 

Staff Writers

Rules and restrictions are an important part of life. Everyone has to follow them. But sometimes rules can make you feel trapped. When you’re consistently told, “No, stop coloring outside the lines” and are handed a black-and-white book and told to bubble in the answers, you begin to feel trapped. This impacts students especially. Intermediate Visual Arts gives them a chance to break out of the box. 

In Intermediate Visual Arts students use their own methods and techniques to create abstract self-portraits. Meridith Burchiel, who teaches the class, encourages students to work freely and experiment with their own methods instead of having to follow a restricted set of rules. 

“Our intermediate art course is all about self-expression through the form of self-portraits. We really look at what does identity mean and how to use things that are important to us to create a picture or a thing that shows who we are,” Ms. Burchiel.

The students in Ms. Burchiel’s class are inspired by her positivity and feel that she brings out some of their best ideas. “Ms. B. inspires me with her energy and positivity making me try to be the same,” Shasta junior Joshua Munsayac said.

See below for a video about the Intermediate Visual Arts course:

Visual Arts class gives students confidence and sparks creativity

By Sophia Lim

Staff Writer

At Summit Shasta, the students in Meridith Burchiel’s Intro to Visual Arts class take their creativity to new levels as they learn the basic beginnings of art. Walking into the Intro to Visual Arts class might be overwhelming at first, but a closer glance shows the hard work and talent that students taking this course possess.

In the Intro to Visual Arts class, students have the opportunity to see and critique art from around the world, give presentations, create their own art and discover a greater appreciation for the arts.

Intro to Visual Arts also helps students gain skills that they can use to benefit in all areas of life. “When we have a better understanding of ourselves, it can help make our community more rich. You can show up as a better student for your other classes when you have a stronger sense of yourself,” Ms. Burchiel said.

Ms Burchiel’s passion for art and self-expression has sparked ideas in all of her students’ minds. “Ms. B inspires our class by showing us that we can do anything we want as long as we believe in ourselves because a lot of people in our class aren’t confident in their work,” Shasta junior Aneliese Tutasi said. “She believes in us more than we do ourselves, and she inspires us to be who we want to be.”

Summit Shasta’s Intro to Visual Art class has changed students’ perspective on art and opened their minds to new possibilities. “After taking this class I’ve learned that anything can be art. If you think it has meaning then it’s art. This class has helped me realize that and has really expanded my creativity,” Shasta junior Kyle Weber said.

See below for a video about the Intro to Visual Arts course:

Music influences today’s younger generation

By Mariam Feleyeh, Sophia Lim and Alana Tutasi

Staff Writers

A teen girl had lost herself in a dark time in her life. She turned to music, which brought her joy during that time, and found herself again. She used music as an outlet for her emotions and started a club at Summit Shasta, Music Club, for teens like her to do the same.

“I remember I was going through a really depressing, hard time,” recalls Chloe Abinanti, founder of Music Club at Summit Shasta. “The only thing that seemed to get me through at the moment was music.”

Music is used as a place of escape for many people. In fact, many people claim that music has saved their life. Several musical artists have recognized that and written songs about suicide prevention in order to help even more people through that time. Twenty One Pilots, Sia and Logic have all written songs to help people deal with depression and suicidal thoughts. If you or anyone you know has suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Music Saves Lives is an organization devoted to using music to educate people about suicide prevention. Music is an outlet for people suffering; it brings people together and helps people get through tough times in their life. Without music, how knows how many people would have died?

Many people are even able to make a living out of music therapy, which is an evidence-based use of music that helps improve people’s mental health. In her article “How Music Saved My Life,” a women depicts the time her brother committed suicide. She had been seeing how music helps her patients through traumatic experiences for years, so she turned to song writing to help herself do the same. “When all I felt was numb, rhythms and chords helped me feel something again.”

Not only can music help to brighten your life, but it can also help you to brighten others. According to, music can actually make you a better person. Listening to certain types of music can make you more generous and more cooperative. It can also change your attitude toward people who are different from you. “The love of music that I share with my friends is something that’s a big impact. The love of music and the same music brought us together,” Onosa’i Tafilele, a Shasta senior, said.

Many people have a similar experience to Tafilele. Music has created bonds of people who would’ve never expected to be friends. Music can also change people’s emotions. Just reading the lyrics of their favorite song can put people in a good mood. “Music has a really big influence on me, and it makes me feel really good,” Aaliyah Aumavae, a Shasta sophomore, said.

One of the main reasons why music can help so many people through awful times is that it changes people’s perspective on life. “I know a lot of artists have made music because of certain disasters in their lives, and something that is perceived as negative could also be seen as something positive and a place of development and growth,” Abinanti said.

Another positive effect of music is that it increases your productivity. According to, “In 1972, a study published in Applied Ergonomics suggested that people doing repetitive tasks worked more efficiently when background music was played.” There are several other instances where people have performed better when listening to music.

While music can and has changed many people’s lives for the better, it can have negative effects as well. “Music can make us do a lot of things. People hear stuff in songs, and they decided that they want to do it; for example, drugs, alcohol and things like that,” Tafilele said. Moana Mau, a sophomore at Summit Shasta, also believes that songs can make people feel the need for unhealthy things. “A lot of songs nowadays are talking about money, and people want to get their money, but they’re not really focusing on the true meaning of life, which is really just happiness,” Mau said.

Music has a powerful impact on everyone, especially today’s younger generation. It can bring out the worst or the best in people, but it is always a major part of our life.

See below for a video about music’s influence on today’s younger generation:

Women feel the effects of discrimination in the workforce

By Lyanna Cruzat, Mariam Feleyeh, Sophia Lim and Alana Tutasi

Staff Writers


Shasta history teacher Shanel Daines PHOTO CREDIT: Sophia Lim

A pregnancy, which is supposed to be filled with joy and happiness, turned into worry when a woman working in marketing software told her coworker she was terrified their company was going to fire her for going on maternity leave.

“I think the major men in the business were getting tired of the woman having to leave,” said Shanel Daines, a history teacher at Summit Shasta, as she depicted that incident with her former coworker. “She could have taken legal action for it.”

When women are pregnant, they have certain rights: one of those rights is maternity leave. That woman was given restrictions during her pregnancy. Because she was feeling ostracized by her company and her boss, that women spoke to the CEO of the company about her situation. She was able to keep her position and continued to work for the company for years afterward.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects the rights of pregnant employees. It is illegal not to hire or to fire a woman because she is pregnant. In fact, all forms of pregnancy discrimination are illegal. However, many companies refuse to acknowledge the rights of these women.

Stories like these are not uncommon in the workforce. Many women also face sexual harassment in the workforce simply because of their gender. According to NPR’s Two-way, an online survey launched in January by a nonprofit called Stop Street Harassment found that 38 percent of women reported being sexually harassed while at work. Ms. Daines, along with many others, believe that needs to be changed.

Another issue that women face is not being able to enter the workforce at all. For centuries, many women were not allowed to work outside of the home. They were forced to care for their families while men went out into the world. According to the National Women’s History Alliance, in 1920 the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor was established to protect women workers and to preserve their right to be able to work without the fear of abuse or unsafe situations. The department also helped them gain the right to work legally.

However, women didn’t start entering the workforce in large numbers until the 1960s. In 1963, the Equal Pay Act was signed by President Kennedy, which was an attempt to put an end to the wage gap between men and women. Nevertheless, women today are still on average paid about 20 percent less than men.

Shasta English teacher Laura Friday PHOTO CREDIT: Sophia Lim

That wage gap causes women to thoughtfully consider their family situation and being able to support themselves on one salary. “I do think it would be helpful to have the support of a man’s pay,” said Laura Friday, an English teacher at Summit Shasta.

While many women believe that living off of a man’s salary in addition to their own would be helpful, they do not feel that a man’s pay should be necessary in order to survive and flourish.

“I don’t think anyone needs a man’s help. I think that women don’t make as much because they don’t really get leadership roles. Most of the time men, primarily white men, dominate the leadership roles,” Ms. Friday said. 

Shasta science teacher Jaziel Salomon PHOTO CREDIT: Sophia Lim

Separations of men and women in the workforce are also a big concern. Jaziel Salomon, a science teacher at Summit Shasta, said he has noticed a substantial amount of segregation between men and women in the workforce. “Women are either pushed into not having a job at all or writing or working in English or history fields,” he said.

Today many women fight for equality and are voicing their opinions on what needs to be done. Teachers at Summit Shasta also have opinions on the change that needs to be made. Mr. Salomon said, “Women need to continue to take action when they are being harassed or assaulted, take legal action if necessary and being role models for other young women.”

Featured image (at the top of this post): This infographic provides some basic statistics on women’s positions in the workforce. GRAPHIC CREDIT: Mariam Feleyeh