Golden Lines The Student News Site of St. Pius X Catholic High School Tue, 14 Dec 2021 17:40:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Students make predictions for 2022 Tue, 14 Dec 2021 17:38:57 +0000 The year 2022 is almost here, and that means we start with a brand new clean slate for 12 months and 365 days. While no one knows for sure what will happen in the future, a few students made their predictions in a variety of areas, such as sports, celebrities, and school.

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The library offers students a holly jolly Christmas! Tue, 14 Dec 2021 17:37:21 +0000

Do you need a place to study while accompanied by the cracking noises of a Christmas fire? Want to participate in holiday games? Desire to learn how to wrap a present while listening to classic Christmas tunes? If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, come to St. Pius X’s Flannery O’Connor Library this holiday season!

The library is the perfect atmosphere to escape from stressful exams. Walking in, students are met with an array of decorations from Christmas trees made of green-wrapped books and Advent-themed activities. Close to the librarian’s hearts are the paper Christmas light strands that hang from all corners of the library. The decorations were made by senior Sully Wooton during his freshman year as part of a work study project. 

“How many decorations do we have around here that are [so] good that you could use them year after year?” librarian Mrs. Megan Wilkauskas said about Wooten’s creation. 

Since the students often do not check out Christmas-themed books, the library keeps few holiday reads. Instead, Mrs. Wilcauskas and librarian Mrs. LeyAnna Messick set up a shelf of books categorized by genre. For example, a category called “Wishing You a Killer Christmas” Features books like “The Final Girl Support Group” by Grady Hendrix and Killer of Enemies” by Joseph Bruchac, as well as “Wishing You a Mysterious Christmas,” which includes Caleb Roehrig’s book “Death Prefers Blondes.”

“Many of the fictional Christmas books are romantics, or something you would see on the Hallmark channel,” said Mrs. Messick jokingly. 

As Mrs. Wilcauskas explained, “We were trying to come up with [with an idea] by genre that had a Christmas theme.” 

To celebrate Advent, each year the staff sets up a display at the front of the library including educational aspects of the Christmas season.  

“This year our focus was on the history of the Nativity scene, how it got started and what are different traditions in different countries [for the holiday],” explained Mrs. Messick.

Mrs. Messick also asked the St. Pius teachers for their special holiday traditions in their households. Students can observe the unique Christmas traditions from Executive Assistant to the Principal Ms. Marsha Free, English teacher Mr. Spencer Brown, and Mrs. Messick. 

Students can also participate in holiday activities that give them practical skills for the Christmas season, such as how to wrap a present and ornament decorating, while decompressing in a relaxing atmosphere. The librarians are dedicated to making this Christmas a joyful time for both students and teachers. Their effort is apparent in the carefully placed decorations, soothing Christmas music, and timeless holiday movie showings. Noel is a time of great delight, but this year, also give thanks to the library staff who make this holiday so great! 

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Students and faculty share their Christmas traditions Tue, 14 Dec 2021 15:15:01 +0000 Each member of the St. Pius X faculty and student body celebrates the Christmas season in their own traditional way. Whether it is making cookies, watching movies, or setting up decorations, the holiday creates a magical feeling for all and brings everyone closer together. 

Math Teacher Mrs. Cary Blackburn

In celebrating Christmas, Mrs. Blackburn incorporates her Polish traditions with her family. They specifically exchange Oplatek, which is a pressed wafer with a Last Supper image. 

“We would eat a meal that’s fish on Christmas Eve and then we go to Mass. During the meal, we get this Oplatek, which is a blessed wafer,” Mrs. Blackburn said. “You go around to everyone like a toast. You break off a piece of there’s and they break off a piece of yours. You exchange them and say ‘for health and happiness in the new year.’”

To emphasize Jesus’ birth, her family makes a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas Day. 

“We always have birthday cake for breakfast. With our breakfast, we sing happy birthday to Jesus before we have our presents,” she said.

Mrs. Blackburn’s favorite Christmas movie to kick off the Holiday season is “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

“It’s so uplifting and redeeming. It’s just a great story,” she said. 

Mrs. Blackburn also enjoys decorating her house both inside and outside for Christmas. 

“We do a Christmas tree. My favorite decoration is these big Christmas ornaments that we used to hang from the picture window in my old house and now hang from the loft. It’s lighted with really big ornaments hanging down,” she said. “I like my lit nativity scene outside, and of course, there’s a nativity scene inside. I put the Wiseman far off because they don’t come until Epiphany and I hide Jesus.”  

Mrs. Blackburn likes to get all her Christmas shopping done early and avoids shopping on Black Friday if possible. 

“I start usually before Black Friday. I am not a big Black Friday shopper. I’m done at this point. Sometimes I start too early and buy people too much. I have to stay out of the stores now that I am done,” she said.

Social Studies Teacher Mr. Ellis Thomas

For the past 10 years, Mr. Thomas has gone to a jazz concert to spend time with his family over Christmas break. 

“My wife and I and her parents like to go to a Christmas concert by a famous jazz saxophone player Dave Koz that is in Marietta each year,” he said.

Mr. Thomas is from Alabama where his family still lives, but after he moved to Georgia a few years ago, his tradition of seeing them on Christmas has changed. His wife has also worked on Christmas Eve for the past three or four years, so he does his own special Christmas morning with her and their cats. 

“We had to switch traditions from something we had grown used to. I’ve been going to my grandparents’ Christmas Eve for the last 30 years of my life,” he said. “Kind of just some ending of old traditions and starting of new traditions.”

Mr. Thomas starts off the Christmas holidays with a new movie each year. He also has certain favorites that he shares from his childhood and with his wife.  

“We actually watched ‘Home Alone’ first this year. We always watch ‘Jingle All the Way’ on Christmas Day,” he said. “‘The Santa Clause’ is my favorite with my wife because that’s probably one of the first movies that I have recognition of. I watched it over and over again. That was the same case for both of us.” 

This is the first year Mr. Thomas has put up lights on the outside of his house since he has been in Atlanta. He has an 8 foot gingerbread man, a polar bear with some penguins on it, and a light up Christmas tree. He likes to do these lights to have some Christmas spirit and share it with others. 

“I remember Christmas lights being a big deal to me when I was a kid,” he explained. “It’s hard to have the same spirit about Christmas commercially speaking as you did when you were a kid. Trying to have some of the fun stuff is important for me to feel in the Christmas spirit.” 

Science Teacher Mr. Robert Hunter

Two of Mr. Hunter’s traditions are never opening gifts until Christmas Day and making sure to rotate who gets to host Christmas each year. 

“It goes all the way back to when I was a child and my parents would make us wait. My brother had Thanksgiving this year, so I get to have Christmas at my home this year,” he said.

When Mr. Hunter decorates his house and shrubbery, it makes him think about the Christmas spirit and how he can bring the same magic to other people. After reaching adulthood, he no longer thinks about what he wants for himself. 

“As you get older and you have your families, your perspective of Christmas changes,” he explained. “It’s more about what I can do for other people. I love watching someone else’s reaction to a gift I went and got for them.” 

Mr. Hunter got his Christmas shopping done early this year, but usually he waits until the last minute. 

“I like to do my Christmas shopping the last three or four days of Christmas. I’ll spend a good two or three days going to the stores and looking around,” he said. 

Mr. Hunter listens to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving because it puts him in the holiday spirit. 

“I started the Christmas music in the house the day after Thanksgiving because that’s when we get the tree put up. It gets you in the mood for decorating and getting things ready [for Christmas],” he said. 

Senior Ella Beck 

Beck has three main Christmas traditions that she does with her family every year 

“First, we always see Santa at Phipps Mall and go to dinner afterwards. Also, my mom gives my siblings and I matching pajamas on Christmas Eve so that we can wear them on Christmas day,” she said. “We always watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation as a family either on Christmas Eve or the day before.” 

Beck’s traditional Christmas involves both spending time with her immediate and extended family. 

“My typical Christmas Day begins with my mom and dad making their coffee,” she said. Then, they meet us on the stairs and we take a picture. After that, we go into the living room and open all of our gifts. We later see our extended family and have dinner with them.” 

Beck’s family makes sure to put up Christmas decorations on both the inside and outside of their house. They also include the Elf on the Shelf tradition as part of their decorations. 

“Outside, we have a mini Christmas tree with lights on it. Inside, we have a much larger tree with ornaments, we have stockings, and then of course, the Elf on the Shelf. We always place the elf in one of the stockings and leave it there until we take down our decorations,” she explained. 

Junior Quinn Voss

Voss’ typical Christmas Day involves both his family and enjoying the food that they make.

Lots of yelling, Mass, LOTS of food, and most importantly, my grandmother lecturing us about some random conspiracy,” he said.

Voss also makes a Christmas drink every year, a cold brew that he makes by himself. 

“I love making this cup of coffee I make every year. It’s basically taking candy canes and melting them and adding some spices, then mixing it with coffee, and mixing it with milk that I frothed. Legit heavenly,” he said.

Voss does not go all out with Christmas decorations, but he still puts out all the elves he got when he was little. 

“As a child, I loved collecting elves, so we have a bunch of those little guys, but not much other than a tree and some lights,” Voss said. “But in terms of elves I have like 20 or something, it’s ridiculous.”

As for shopping, Voss and his siblings always wake up at 5:00 a.m to camp outside Walmart, Best Buy, and Target on Black Friday. 

“We spend the entire day shopping. None of us like it except my oldest brother, but we always do it,” he said. 

Sophomore Marlowe McIntyre

McIntyre’s typical Christmas involves lying around with her family, watching Christmas movies, and calling friends or her family. She specifically has a favorite Christmas movie that she watches with her family. 

“My favorite Christmas movie to watch is ‘A Christmas Story.’ I watch it every year with my family and I have fun memories of watching it as a kid,” she said. 

In comparison to most of her peers, McIntyre listens to Christmas music all year round because it puts her in that great holiday mood.

McIntyre loves to get into the holiday spirit and dress according to the season outside of school. 

“My favorite way to show holiday spirit would be dressing in crazy sweaters and wearing festive clothes,” she said.

McIntyre’s favorite treat during Christmas is anything that her grandmother makes. With her coming over, it helps establish the holiday season and feel like Christmas. 

“My grandma comes over every year and makes a bunch of Christmas cookies and sweets. They are all gone within a week,” she said. 

McIntyre does her shopping last minute, but she always enjoys looking for others and finding something that they would like. 

“I’m kind of a procrastinator and I end up doing my shopping right before Christmas, but I love shopping for friends and family,” she said. 

Freshman Sophia Nieto 

Nieto lives up both Christmas Eve and day with her family in spending time with each other. 

“For us, we usually invite the family on Christmas Eve and wait until midnight to open our gifts,” Nieto said. “After we open all of the gifts, we usually party until the sun comes out again.”

Nieto makes sure to specifically shop for others every year and usually does it in the middle of December. 

“I absolutely love Christmas shopping for friends and family,” she said. “I like giving people stuff that they want.” 

Each year, Nieto also makes sure to have a festive treat or drink to feel in the Christmas spirit and adjust to the cold weather. 

“I love making chocolate chip cookies and watching Christmas movies with a big blanket. I also like doing hot chocolate with marshmallows to keep me warm,” she said.

Now you have an inside look at how a few families at St. Pius celebrate Christmas. Maybe you’ll add something to your own traditions this year!

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Upperclassmen offer helpful tips for final exams Fri, 10 Dec 2021 15:52:30 +0000 Stressed about final exams next week? Yep, we all are. Not only are high school exams a brand new process for the freshman class, but the sophomore class didn’t take exams last year either due to the Covid. This means that half the school has no idea what it’s like to cram for a final or what the schedule is like on the day of exams. Check out the video above for some helpful advice from upperclassmen, and below are some basic reminders about next week. Good luck!

Tuesday, December 14

Last day of classes

Wednesday, December 15

English: 8:00-9:30

Science: 10:15-11:45

Thursday, December 16

Theology: 8:00-9:30

Social Studies: 10:15-11:45

Friday, December 17

Math: 8:00-9:30

World Languages: 10:15-11:45

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Practice makes perfect: Competition cheer earns region title and an armful of trophies this season Wed, 08 Dec 2021 01:14:42 +0000 The competition cheer team wrapped up another successful season this fall. In addition to a region championship title, the group of 18 girls also finished with a first, second, third, and fourth place trophy at various competitions throughout the year.

Competition cheer is judged by a point system, based on several required components in the routine such as stunting, tumbling, cheer, and dance. Most agreed that stunting is the most crucial aspect of their performance. 

“Making sure your routine is very clean also plays a big role because a space on the score sheet is routine composition and if the routine looks messy overall, then the judges will base their entire perspective off that and score you low,” senior backspot and team captain Lea Costas said. 

And like most sports,  a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to ready to compete.

“Cheering is way more than the two minutes we are out performing,” Costas said about the energy, effort, and attention to detail needed to succeed

To prepare for their competitions, the girls learned their routine over the summer and practiced almost every day throughout the fall.

The girls are used to countless hours of practice because many of them have been cheering for almost half their lives. For example, Costas and sophomore and flyer Cassidy Payne have each been cheering for nine years, while freshman base Emerson Lowe has been cheering for eight.

All the girls started cheering for different reasons. Payne said she began cheering after she saw her sister doing the sport, Costas made the transition from gymnastics to cheer, and Lowe when her best friend joined. 

They each also have different opinions about their favorite aspects of the sport.  Costas enjoys tumbling “because it gives an opportunity to show individual talents,” she said.  Payne prefers dance, and Lowe favors the sassiness displayed throughout the routine.

The girls will be back in action next season as they showcase the true spirit and athleticism at St. Pius X.

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The NBA is back! Here’s our predictions for the season Tue, 07 Dec 2021 15:34:12 +0000 The NBA began its 75th season on October 19, and some teams like the Suns and Warriors have gotten off to fast starts while others like the Magic and Rockets are struggling early. Regardless of the standings now, though, there’s still plenty of teams out there who have their hat in the ring for a chance at the playoffs in April, especially with the Play-In-Tournament.

The league introduced the Play-In-Tournament last season, which features the 7th-10th seeds competing for a spot in the first round of the playoffs. The two winners of the tournament earn the 7 and 8 seeds while the two losers head home.

Here are some of our predictions for the upcoming season.

Eastern Conference 

Last Year’s Standings

2022 Play-in Tournament Prediction

7: New York Knicks

8: Washington Wizards

9: Indiana Pacers

10: Charlotte Hornets 

The Knicks entered the playoffs last year as the 4th seed, but the other three teams will all be brand new to the field. The Knicks and Celtics will battle all season for the coveted 6th seed, but we think Boston squeaks by and avoids the Play-In Tournament. 

Watch out for the Hornets, who have a reloaded, young, and energetic roster. We wouldn’t be surprised to see them advance to the first round of the playoffs as the 8th seed and the Kicks as the 7th seed.

2022 Playoff Prediction

1: Milwaukee Bucks

2: Brooklyn Nets

3: Philadelphia 76ers

4: Atlanta Hawks

5: Miami Heat

6: Boston Celtics

As Atlanta fans know after watching last year’s semifinals, the 76ers are a mess. The 5th-seeded Hawks upset them when they were the 1 seed last season, and since that final game, the controversy with Ben Simmons has gotten even worse. He’s not currently playing with the team and is in a feud with their front office. As a result of the turmoil, we think they slip to the 3rd seed this season.

It should be no surprise that we project the 2021 Champion Milwaukee Bucks to earn the 1st seed this season. As long as their starters stay healthy, they’ll lead the way with the 2nd-seeded Nets.  

The Hawks shocked the world last year as the 5th seed when they upset both the Knicks and 76ers on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals. Their talented roster isn’t a surprise anymore, and now expectations are higher. We think they’ll earn the 4th seed, followed by the Heat and Celtics.

2022 Eastern Conference Finals Prediction 

Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets

We think the Hawk will make a return to the finals. They’ve proven they’re a threat with Trae Young, Clint Capella, and Danilo Gallinari, but will that be enough to knock off the Nets with their perennial all-stars like Kevin Durant and James Harden?  

Western Conference

Last Year’s Standings

2022 Play-in Tournament Prediction

7: Memphis Grizzlies

8: Portland Trail Blazers

9: Los Angeles Clippers

10: New Orleans Pelicans

The play-in tournament opened up a lot of doors in the West last season. Teams on the edge of the playoffs last year like the Grizzlies and Lakers will get their shot, while teams who didn’t make it like the Pelicans, Warriors, and the Timberwolves will have theirs too. 

The Pelicans did not do much to get better this offseason. The only reason they have a chance at making the play-in spot is the development of their young core built around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

The TrailBlazers have the most clutch basketball player in the world: Damian Lillard. He’s made game-winner after game-winner, and if he can shoot any shot on the court on the biggest stages, who says he can’t will a Blazers team to the 8th seed in a Western Conference that looks stronger than ever.

Explosive point guard Ja Morant led the Memphis Grizzlies to an 8th seed spot last year. They kept the same young core, and with a healthy Jaren Jackson Jr. the Grizzlies look scary. One of the sleeper teams in the West, watch out for this young Memphis squad.

2022 Playoff Prediction

1: Los Angeles Lakers

2: Golden State Warriors

3: Phoenix Suns

4: Utah Jazz

5: Denver Nuggets

6: Dallas Mavericks

Luka Dončić has carried this Mavericks team to the playoffs two years in a row now, and since he’s done it before, he can do it again. We fully expect Luka to have an MVP-level season.

The Nuggets have reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, and the only way they don’t make the playoffs is a freak accident. They might have lost star guard Jamal Murray, but with scoring talent Michael Porter Jr. on the wing, the Nuggets remain a serious threat.

The Jazz crumbled in the playoffs last season, and now questions arise if they are just a regular season team. They have a lot of promise with standout talent Donovan Mitchell and reigning defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert. The Suns hope to return to the finals this year. Led by the scoring talent Devin Booker, and the “Point God” Chris Paul, the two guards have one of the best supporting cast in DeAndre Ayton, and Mikal Bridges.

The Splash Brothers are back, or at least they will be soon. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will finally share the court after two years of injuries. Thompson tore his right achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals against the Raptors. A year later he couldn’t even get minutes in an NBA game before tearing his ACL. The Warriors were on the brink of the playoffs last season, and with Thompson and the addition of 7th overall draft pick Johnathon Kuminga, they’re back in the title race.

Over the offseason, the Lakers created one of the most polarizing big 3’s in the league with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. They also picked up veteran Carmelo Anthony, and they made a reunion with several players including Trevor Ariza, Rajon Rondo, Kent Bazemore, and Dwight Howard (who’s on his third stint with the Lakers). The Lakers made a lot of moves, and expect them to pay off. This revamped roster will shake up the West this year.

2022 Eastern Conference Finals Prediction 

Last year the Suns and Clippers faced off with Phoenix winning in six games, but this year the competition is a little deeper. We expect the top two seeded teams to play in the Conference Finals: the Warriors and Lakers. This series is a bit of a call back to when Steph Curry. with the help of Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, faced off in the finals against Lebron in 2016. Lebron and the Warriors have a deep history and we expect a series as exciting as the legendary 3-1 comeback from Lebron with the Cavs to take the Lakers to the championship.

Top 5 Title Contenders

1: Lakers

2: Nets

3: Bucks

4: Warriors

5: Suns

Award Races

Most Valuable Player: With Nugget’s center Nikola Jokic winning the MVP last year, it is apparent that point guards aren’t the only players who can do it all. The league is changing and the role of the center is evolving. For the 2021 season The Goat himself LeBron James is going to show the world why he is The Goat, and he will regain his NBA title and win MVP, with Damian Lillard trailing behind followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Dončić.   

Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert won the award for the third time last year, but after he got exposed in the playoffs last season, people are not so sure he will get it again. This season, look to 2021 Finals MVP Giannis Antetoukoumpo. The Greek Freak got both MVP and DPOY in 2020, and he sets the bar for himself higher every year, and he’s the obvious front runner for this award.

Rookie of the Year: The big question is Cade Cunningham or Jalen Green. These two were the top two picks in the draft, and there is already some competitive heat between the two. It will be fun to see where this rivalry goes.

Trade Rumors

Ben Simmons: The 76ers have a mess on their hands. Ben Simmons was crucified by the media after he passed the ball when he had a wide open dunk, one that could have won them the game, in a crucial game seven against the Hawks. Simmons says he will refuse to play for the 76ers, and hasn’t shown up for training camps. The 76ers plan to fine him for not showing up (and if he continues the fines could reach into the millions). Simmons cut off communication with teammates, staff, and ownership, but recently tried to reconnect with the team to no avail as he was kicked out of practice and has yet to play a game for the Sixers.

The only question that lingers, what team will he go to? There are many potential suitors for the 6’11” 240 lb point forward due to his defensive versatility, but the teams in the front running for the disgruntled star are the Portland Trail-Blazers and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

John Wall: Houston’s John Wall is set to make $41.25 million over the next season. The salary cap is 112.4 million, meaning Wall takes up a third of the Rocket’s salary. Wall and the Rockets have agreed to part ways, the only question left is where will he go.

Not a lot of teams can take on that big of a salary. Two of the teams that can, the Pistons and Thunder, are in the middle of a rebuild. Wall would be of no value to them, so there is a huge question mark on where he will end up at the end of this season.

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How the resellers stole Christmas Tue, 07 Dec 2021 15:28:33 +0000 Every year, parents across the world scramble to get their kids the latest and greatest presents for Christmas. Frantic Black Friday shopping has always led to empty shelves nationwide, but this issue of sold out items has gotten much worse within the past year. 

With the rise of online shopping, the ease of accessibility to products has revolutionized the way that people shop. However, the downside to this is the ability for individuals to buy out an item’s stock with the intention of reselling the item. One of the most prominent examples of this issue is the release of the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. These consoles were released online for the public in November and were sold out within seconds. 

Although this is to be expected from the release of a hot new toy, every single time that these toys are restocked online, they get sold out instantly time and time again. They are being bought by resellers who are reselling the $500 consoles for upwards of $750. This forces parents attempting to purchase these new consoles to have to pay 1.5 times the MSRP.

One of the main causes for the instant buyouts of these items such as new toys, sneakers, clothes, and more is reselling bots. According to Business Insider, “In the sneaker resale world, a ‘bot’ refers to a software application that expedites the online checkout process and helps resellers nab hyped pairs in seconds…Bots are specifically designed to make this process instantaneous, offering users a leg-up over other buyers looking to complete transactions manually.” These applications allow resellers to purchase multiple of an item instantly when it releases, before a regular buyer could even purchase one. 

The largest market for reselling currently is through sneakers. Due to the popularity of their shoes, Nike has created an app that allows users to enter to get their newest pair of shoes for the retail price when they release. As expected, these releases are flooded with resellers and their 

‘bots,’ ready to steal all of the new sneakers away to resell. Some notable shoes that underwent massive price hikes due to resellers are the Jordan 1 Off-White Chicagos, which retailed for $190 and are currently reselling for around $9,000; the Jordan 1 Dior reselling for around $10,000; and the Nike Air Yeezy Red October for around $20,000. 

This creates a big problem for everyone trying to purchase items, and even specifically as presents in the holiday season. To combat this, Congress rolled out legislation called the Stopping Grinch Bots Act, which if passed would dish out serious punishments for anyone using bots to buy out items. This would be a massive step in combating the issue of these resellers buying out and increasing the price on goods.

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Students take field trips to Washington D.C. and New York City Thu, 02 Dec 2021 03:11:52 +0000 Last month, students in Mrs. Tracey Buot’s Theatre Program and Mr. Dennis Ruggiero’s Genocide and the Holocaust class took field trips to New York City and Washington D.C. respectively. 

The Theatre Program attended three Broadway shows, “Chicago,” “Hadestown,” and “Six,” along with two Broadway workshops, one for specific choreography for a Broadway show and one for general acting. 

“The Broadway workshops were a lot of fun because in one of the workshops we were led by one of the people who were in the show we were going see (“Chicago”), so one of the dancers showed us the dance she was going to perform that night,” senior Bianca Cardona said.

Junior Chloe Burgoon was one of 25 students who went on the trip, the first time the group has ever been to New York City.

“It’s cool because it’s an experience I would never get if I didn’t go with my school,” she said. “It’s a whole new experience, and we’ve all gotten really close.”

Cardona agreed, saying, “When you wake and you see your cast members and you go to bed seeing your cast members, you end up talking more and sharing more.”  

The same weekend seniors in the Genocide and Holocaust class took their annual trip to Washington D.C. to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The graphic pictures, videos, artifacts, and other displays in the museum left a lasting impression on the students. They also each received a passport with the identity of a real person who experienced the Holocaust, allowing them to read their personal story throughout the museum and ultimately learn their fate.

“I got to experience interactive things and learn things I didn’t know,” senior Maddox Smith said. 

Speaking about the class in general, senior Zach Consolazio said, “It’s depressing material, but it’s more learning about the history of it,” adding that “it’s probably my favorite class I have ever taken.”

Students also visited monuments and memorials in Washington D.C., including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and Jefferson Memorial as well as the Smithsonaian museums.

They went to a hockey game as well, where the hometown Capitals took on the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

“It was kind of funny because Mr. Ruggiero is a really big Penguins fan and they got demolished,” senior Abby Russo said.

And like the Theater Program, students said the trip helped them bond with their classmates. 

“I feel like we definitely got closer. It was a good mix of people,” said Smith. 

Both groups were grateful for the opportunity to expand their knowledge outside the classroom and enjoy several days away from home with their classmates.

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AP course limits provide a step in the right direction for students’ mental health Wed, 01 Dec 2021 13:35:24 +0000 Many students can relate to the stress of homework overload after school. Having difficulty managing time can affect students negatively, physically, and mentally. As a result, St. Pius X is taking a step in the right direction to help limit students’ stress. Stress is an issue for everyone, and many students need help to deal with it properly. It can be caused by being put under pressure, facing big changes, or having overwhelming responsibilities. But for most students the main cause of stress is school. 

Dean of Academics, who is also the father of three St. Pius graduates and a current student, said that one change the school is making is to help students manage their workload and stress levels by limiting the number of AP classes they can take. Beginning with the current freshman class, students are only able to take one AP as a freshman, two AP as a sophomore, three as juniors, and four as seniors. 

 “Colleges will know that we have that limit, so there is no incentive for anyone to go to five, six, or even seven AP’s,” Mr. Eaglen said.

One reason why the school decided to make this change was to benefit the students’ mental health.

“After much discussion and analysis, AP limits will help include the quality of life for students, without hurting them in college admissions. Colleges will have reasonable expectations for our students,” counselor Mrs. Jennifer Gibbs said.

In addition to limiting AP classes, Mr. Eaglen also said there are specific things students can do in their own lives to help manage stress. For example, he recommends getting involved in extracurricular activities. While this may seem unusual advice for students who already feel overworked, he thinks this will help students remain on a schedule and improve time management skills. 

“If you survey any athlete after their season, they will tell you that they waste more time when they are out of season. Later never comes,” Mr. Eaglen said in regards to students mistakenly thinking they have extra time after school so they procrastinate doing their schoolwork.

He added, “Students are missing out on some of the really great things that St. Pius offers from the weight room to the art classes that round us out and make us whole people.”  

St. Pius offers many extracurriculars that are seen to help students grow as people. Mr. Eaglen agrees that if you are not involved in any of these activities, get involved. They will help you get on a schedule to help better your mental health and time management.

Mrs. Gibbs also offered some advice to help students manage their stress levels. 

 “Reach out to teachers,” Mrs. Gibbs said. “Teachers can offer guidance, suggestions, or even flexibility. This creates students to practice working with teachers and problem-solving.” 

She also said, “By having better time management, it will limit stress. It’s a skill that takes time, and will be used the rest of your life.” 

St. Pius is taking steps to help limit stress, but there are several areas that students can help themselves as well. Stress is not something that goes away when you end your high school years, so make sure to take time to fix it.

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OPINION: The best snacks for your holiday road trip Wed, 01 Dec 2021 01:50:19 +0000 During the holidays many people are taking road trips to see family and friends or go on vacation. While you may be lucky enough to fly, others will be stuck in the car. On painful road trips with your family, buying the right snack could make a big difference, so I’ve ranked the best ones for your next adventure.

I used my own ranking system that is based on five factors. First is taste, which has the biggest impact on my ratings. The second is quantity because when you get snacks on a road trip, you want your candy to last. Third is the texture: it needs to be unique so you do not get bored with it during the trip. Fourth is longevity, which measures how long each individual piece lasts in your mouth. Last but not least is variety because no one wants to get tired of the same flavors on repeat. 

Here are my official rankings of the top five candies and snacks.


In first place are the well-rounded Gobstoppers as they earn almost a perfect rating with 9.5/10. Their long-lasting flavor and durability are key for long road trips. The five flavors, (watermelon, cherry, lemon, grape, and orange,) encompass a perfectly-sized bite after it has been in your mouth for a few minutes. There’s also flavor layers below the top on, so the longer you enjoy the treat, the more flavors you can enjoy. 

Jolly Ranchers

Jolly Ranchers get an overall rating of 9.2/10 and are similar to Starbursts in that they last a long time. Jolly Ranchers, though, are a hard candy, so a single piece can stay in your mouth for quite a while. Jolly Ranchers come in packs of 24, so you’ve got plenty to last you as you listen to music and stare out the window on a long car ride. Jolly Rancher Chews are also an alternative if you’re looking for the same great candy with a different texture. 


Coming in at #3 and earning an impressive 9/10 are Starbursts. One of the most common candies on this list. Starbursts offer bright colors with their four iconic flavors (red, pink, orange, and yellow). They come in packs of 12, and it’s very difficult to eat all of them in one sitting. At times they can also be very annoying to chew, which holds them back from being higher on the list. Starbursts also knows that orange and yellow are most people’s least favorite flavors, so they even sell packages with just the reds  and pinks. For those looking for a twist on the original flavors, they also offer flavor themes such as Tropical, FaveREDS, and Duos.


Yoo-hoo is the only drink in this list, but it definitely earns its spot with a rating of 8.5/10. The classic chocolate milk never fails to quench your thirst while satisfying your taste buds. It is the perfect amount of chocolate because some of the chocolate milks are too rich, but Yoo-hoo has mastered the right balance. 

Sour Patch Kids

Number 5 on the list with a score of 8/10 is Sour Patch Kids. These sour gummies hit the spot every time and are the best bite-sized snack on the list. Offering flavors such as lemon, lime, blue raspberry, strawberry, and orange, they are unlike other candies because each and every flavor is enjoyable. They also offer just the right amount of sourness so your taste buds don’t get overwhelmed. 

Beef Jerky

Last on my list of road trip snacks is beef jerky. At its best, I give it a rating of 7.5/10, but it’s also known to be very hit-or-miss.  If the jerky is cooked correctly then it’s got the proper amount of toughness and chewiness, making it the perfect snack for a long drive. If it’s not, though, you may as well toss it out the window. Jerky has a very unique peppery flavor unlike the sweetness of the candies on this list, so it’s a nice option if you’re looking for something salty. It also comes in a wide variety of flavors, such as my all-time favorite teriyaki. One of the best-selling brands, Jack Link’s, just recently joined forces with Sweet Baby Ray’s to make a BBQ flavored beef jerky. Look for it the next time you’re at a gas station. 

No matter where you’re headed this holiday break, make sure to pack these road trip snacks to help you pass the time and keep you sane with you family.

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