The Current The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School Tue, 17 Mar 2020 05:07:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Whisky Business “shakes it up” with Shamrock Shakes Mon, 16 Mar 2020 19:28:51 +0000 0 Coronavirus concern: what to know about COVID-19 Fri, 13 Mar 2020 14:13:46 +0000 School closures, toilet paper scarcities, and event cancellations pepper the air as worries about the novel coronavirus increase. After the first two cases were confirmed in Virginia Beach, many have questions about what this new virus is, how it is going to impact them, and what they can do to prevent it. 

The term “coronavirus” actually refers to a more general group of viruses, rather than one in particular. This term includes many variations, ranging from common colds to serious diseases such as SARS and MERS. They are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted from animals to people.

According to MIT Medical, COVID-19 originated in bats and was passed to humans in a seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, China. 

This virus is particularly dangerous due to its exponential spread rate and its risk factors for older adults – not for its symptoms. As a respiratory virus, COVID-19 causes high fever, cough, sore throat, and trouble breathing in severe cases.

While some scoff at the symptoms as little more than a bad case of the flu, they may forget to note the dangerous impacts it has for at-risk populations. The elderly and those with current underlying medical conditions face a much higher fatality rate than younger, healthier individuals. In Italy, for example, the average age of those who have passed away from COVID-19 was 81, which is 20 years older than the average age of those who have tested positive. 

Additionally, the exponential spread of the disease is able to quickly overwhelm communities, causing a lack of the necessary medical care. A positive feedback loop can form as areas lack adequate resources to prevent an outbreak, and then the outbreak causes a further shortage of supplies. To prevent this, cities are exercising preventative closures of schools and facilities.

As COVID-19 reaches Virginia with its first confirmed cases, 30 tested “presumptive positive,” according to WHSV ABC online news, VBCPS issued forewarnings to students and teachers to prepare for virtual learning should school close.

On Fri., March 13, Gov. Ralph Northam ordered all schools to shut down for the next two weeks, March 16-27.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, “he didn’t make the decision lightly, but the state must do everything we can to keep people healthy,” said local reporter Sara Gregory.

To avoid getting sick, the best strategy is frequent, thorough handwashing with soap and warm water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer can work in a pinch but should not be solely relied upon. Individuals should also pay mind to cover any cough or sneeze, avoid touching the face, and stay home if they believe they are sick.

While closures and cancellations are frustrating at best, they serve as preventative measures that could stop COVID-19 from devastating our area. This pandemic is a national health crisis that requires total participation from citizens.

“I recognize this will pose a hardship on many families, but closing our schools for two weeks will not only give our staff time to clean and disinfect school facilities, but it will also help slow the spread of the virus,” said Northam.

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Art classes visit Big Apple for annual field trip Thu, 12 Mar 2020 13:48:19 +0000 Art teachers Lindsey Roberts and Abbigail Sullivan’s Sculpture, Drawing Painting Printmaking, and AP Art History classes visited New York City March 4 through March 6.

“Students will have the opportunity to see artworks from 15 to 20 thousand years ago that they’ve studied throughout the year, in real life,” said Abbigail Sullivan.

The first day, students went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, followed by a showing of Frozen on Broadway that evening. On the second day, they went to the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Chelsea Market, and saw the building that the popular television show, Friends, was inspired by. On the final day of the trip, they went to the Color Factory in Soho. 

“We went to the Color Factory which is a pop-up art installation created by young artists,” said Sullivan.

The field trip was a fun and unique experience for those who attended.

“My favorite part was definitely the dinner cruise because the food was really good,” said sophomore Elisabeth Flora. “The dancing and music were really good too.”

New York City has been chosen as the location for the field trip due to its diverse setting and a wide variety of opportunities for activities.

“There’s a lot of culture, a lot of museums, and real-world art experiences,” said Sullivan.

The field trip allows students to not only see and interact with art that they are familiar with but learn about how the art influences the world around them.

“They see art, like the famous paintings that they’ve studied, in real life, and how art influences city culture,” said Lindsey Roberts.

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Afro Mania! Wed, 11 Mar 2020 22:17:51 +0000 Brightly-colored Dashikis and upbeat African music were on full display in MacArthur Mall’s center court on the last day of February. Presented by Virginia’s Tidewater African Cultural Alliance, Afro Mania’s celebrations fostered a lively experience as an end to Black History Month. 

Held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., the program was packed with performances from high school groups, African fashion shows, and Kenyan dances.

The organization was founded in 2017 and since then has held a handful of events to bring members of the African and African American community together.

“Africa has a rich and varied history, with beautiful cultures that represent our beauty, brilliance, and power,” said TACA President Rita Cohen.

Rita organized Afro Mania alongside her vice-president, Natasha Busari Ewa, to offer a free event to represent African culture with dance, music, fashion, and food.

Representatives from Ocean Lakes’ Black Student Union were invited to give a short exhibition on two prominent figures from the African diaspora.  

“I was overwhelmed at first seeing all the diversity in the crowd, but once it was my turn to speak, the nerves went away,” said presenter Angelina Delese. 

Students from Salem, Tallwood, Cox High Schools, along with Governor’s School for the Arts, gave the audience a show with various step routines and song renditions.  

A featured clothing company, Aronse-Amade, spread a positive message about fighting sex trafficking through their fashion. 

“Aronsé-Amadé main focus is to fund Ronse Foundation, solely focused on prevention and deterrence of sexual trafficking of young teenage girls and young adults at their most vulnerable and impressionable age,” said Bertha Lawani.

So with the partnering of positive organizations and African culture, the audience left with a lot to digest.

After the first two years of success, Afro Mania is set to come back next year on a tentative date: Feb. 28, 2021.

“I wanted to see something in our area that would not only strive to bring us together but would also work on educating us in the process,” said Rita. “I specifically want to involve our youth because they are our future and our biggest hope of bringing those of African descent together.”

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Boys Lacrosse defends home field against First Colonial Wed, 11 Mar 2020 22:12:25 +0000 Boys Lacrosse defeated rival Fist Colonial 7-3 in the second game of their season, home, on March 10. The boys entered into the third quarter, down 2-3, but secured their third goal shortly into the third quarter. The Dolphins had a great fourth-quarter scoring an additional four goals and shut down the Patriots’ offense. Notably, goalie Max Keller had 10 saves.

“We got off to a slow start, but in the second half we started converting on the opportunities we got to shoot, and that’s when we started picking up speed,” said senior Ben Schroeder.

Ally Hudome
Gavin Murphy and Kaden Beatty embrace after Murphy’s goal in the second half.

Ally Hudome
Ben Schroeder carries ball up the field on March 10.


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Junior jumps at Lexington Spring Open Tue, 10 Mar 2020 17:18:54 +0000 The Lexington Spring Open, held in Northern Virginia, runs through the end of February for several days. Junior Skylar Fulcher competed in the Children’s Hunter and Children’s Medal classes, jumping at three feet on her six-year-old mare, Lina.

Skylar, a dedicated equestrian, began the sport 11 years ago. She currently boards and rides her mare, Lina, at Princess Anne Farms. 

“Hard work six days a week and determination is how I got here,” said Skylar. 

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Students tour New York City on field trip Tue, 10 Mar 2020 11:52:44 +0000 Over 100 students attended the field trip to New York City from March 4 to March 6, and many of those study marketing with economics and marketing teacher James Cartwright.

He has planned this field trip for 15 years now.

“This has been the most kids. Previously, the most were 96, and now it’s 101,” said Cartwright.

This year’s field trip was host to art, economics, and marketing students, along with DECA club members. 

“Touring Droga5 was my favorite part of the trip because we were able to see how young people were able to create things,” said DECA student Taylor Hettinger.

Cartwright plans this trip every year with hopes to bring more students than the previous year.

“I’d love to take half of the school… it’s manageable,” said Cartwright.


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Ocean Lakes juniors grace television screens at Sanders campaign rally Mon, 09 Mar 2020 11:54:07 +0000 On Feb. 29, Bernie Sanders hosted a campaign rally at Virginia Wesleyan University in preparation for Super Tuesday primary voting in Virginia. It was his first Hampton Roads rally of this election cycle.

Juniors Reena Assassa and Basma Bedawi appeared on live television as audience members selected to stand directly behind Sanders.

“We were asked if we wanted to go on stage…of course we accepted. We were asked to be very pumped and then were escorted on stage,” said Reena. “The experience was beyond surreal and truly once in a lifetime. I was so happy to get to listen to his ideas while watching the roaring crowd unite together to support him.”

For Reena, a supporter of Sanders since his 2016 presidential campaign, the rally was the first she had attended.

“Sanders encompasses just about every change I want to see in America in the future,” said Reena. “I was behind him since 2016 and still feel sad when thinking about the possibilities that we could’ve seen if he was elected.”

On Super Tuesday, Sanders came in second in Virginia after former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders looks to come back this week after voting for six more states concludes on March 10.

“Let us go forward together. Let’s win the democratic nomination. Let us defeat Trump. Let us transform this country,” said Sanders.

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Class debuts Alice in Wonderland performance Fri, 06 Mar 2020 12:30:03 +0000 4B Theatre performed the play, Alice in Wonderland, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium, and junior Britanie Rivera took on the lead role as Alice. 

“It was one of the more stressful productions I’ve done, but it was incredibly fun,” said Britanie. 

Britanie began to practice and memorize her lines at the beginning of October to prepare for this performance.  

“My favorite part was putting on our costumes for the first time,” said Britanie.

The next big show, The Pirates of Penzance, will premiere this coming April. 

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Teens feen for media, neglect schoolwork Thu, 05 Mar 2020 17:58:55 +0000 Beloved apps such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram have allowed teens to become fixated with their technology while in class. Despite the growth of their social networks, students should put aside cell phones and show some respect for their schoolwork and teachers. 

The use of social media interferes with one’s work ethic, as witnessed in a typical classroom. Students are caught daily while they check their platforms.

In a recent school survey, 76 out of 152 students voted that social media made it more difficult to complete assignments.

“Social media apps can cause students to lose a lot of valuable work time. Many students spend time in class to browse social media instead of completing classwork or starting their homework. They seem to value keeping up with their streaks more than keeping up with their classes,” said chemistry teacher Madison Davis, who switched from magnet chemistry to regular chemistry two years ago.

Davis explains that magnet chemistry students have recently transitioned from middle school with a similar no cell phone rule within their classes.

Davis allows students to retake tests and quizzes, which shows respect for her students; surely she deserves it in return.

However, at least once or twice a class, Davis has to stop instruction time to ask students to put away devices. 

Not only do students disrespect their teachers, but they also fail to complete their work because of the lack of concentration in class.

Professionals offer evidence as to why it is important not to multitask with devices in the classroom.

A study by Common Sense Media found that half of the teens in the study say they often use social media while they do work.

If it is scientifically proven that too many devices cause distractions, students should not use their phones in class. In fact, sophomore Kayla Higgs claims it does not help with her ADHD.

“The second my brain gets bored, I tend to pick up my phone right away knowing the consequences that follow. As soon as I can pick up my phone, the chances of me doing my work completely get slimmer and slimmer,” said Kayla.

Other students believe it does not affect their school work.

“I can handle my social media ‘fame’ and complete assignments for many reasons. Since cheer is so time-consuming, along with school, I typically do not have much time to spend on social media. I also do not pay attention to social media, I will post a birthday post and an occasional selfie here and there, but I mainly stay off social media,” said senior Courtney Abston, who has 5,713 Instagram followers.

A break from the fixation of media is needed to ensure student success, as students shift their obsessive focus from their phones to value time in class, care for their future, and show respect to the effort that educators put into their classes.

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