Prom royalty: Fun tradition or just a popularity contest?

 

Red Lion Area High School has already held prom this year. (File)

Red Lion Area High School has already held prom this year. (File)

Ah, springtime is in the air. The birds are chirping and flowers are blooming. But what else does the season of spring hold? Well, prom is one event that is held throughout high schools all over the country. With that being said,

This time of year, there is chatter all over classrooms. Everyone wonders, “who will it be?” Even underclassmen find themselves wondering which junior or senior will be wearing the crown.

It’s time to pick prom king and queen.

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Susquehannock High School Forms Creative Writing Club

A new club is offering students a creative outlet for their writing.

This year, Susquehannock High School began offering the Creative Writing Club as an option for an after-school activity. Susquehannock had a similar club in the past that was disbanded, however, due to an interest in the subject, the club was brought back this year.

The club meets every other Monday from 3 to about 3:45 and about 15 people attend each meeting. Each meeting the members are given a new prompt, which they respond to between sessions. During the meeting, each member edits the work of a peer and gives constructive criticism. The club is run by English teacher Timothy Groth, who supervises the group and assigns prompts.

Member Camryn Brakmann, freshman at Susquehannock, describes why she joined the club, “I joined Creative Writing Club mainly because I am enthralled by the power of written word, and this club gives me a chance to work on my writing skills. In high school, it can be incredibly difficult to find free time to dedicate to my own, personal writing. Creative Writing Club gives members time to set aside for writing, and it also lets us show our works to other people for helpful criticism. We help each other grow, which I find beautiful.”

Brakmann also expressed her belief that other schools should create similar programs.

I would suggest as many schools as possible form similar programs to Creative Writing Club. Class curriculums often do not help students develop their abilities in this style of writing, which I honestly find disappointing, and this club works to fill that hole,” said Brakmann. 

Megan Watkins is a freshman at Susquehannock High School. She is a member of the Teen Takeover program.

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Are Teens Too Pressured to Love?

It seems like romance is everywhere today. It’s in movies, television shows, books, the media, the news, and everyday life. But does this constant bombardment of love make teens feel forced to be in a relationship? Several teens from Susquehannock High School weighed in on this issue:

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Freshman, Bryanna Stimmel: “Yes I think teens look around and see all the couples and think ‘I want to have that’ but don’t think they can be in a relationship unless they change themselves to [fit] what is desired or ideal by the media or the other people [that] they think are prettier.”

 

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Freshman, Mia Kobylski: “I think that the teens who aren’t in a relationship view themselves as ‘forever alone.’”

 

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Freshman, Camryn Brakmann: “I would definitely say there is too much pressure put onto teens to be in relationships. Society and media both paint an image where love is required in order to be happy. On top of this pressure, typically only heterosexual relationships are represented, which blatantly leaves out countless LGBT+ groups.”

 

 

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Freshman, Maddie Geiple: “I think that most want to [be in a relationship] because they think it would be cool to be with a boy/girlfriend. … [It feels like] if all your friends get in relationships then you have to as well. But teens feel as if relationships are easy and ‘oh I’ll love this person forever’ when in reality they face problems, heartbreak, and drama at some point. Some feel that if they don’t have a girl/boyfriend then they won’t be happy in life.”

 

Freshman, Michael Boampong: “Yes, I think that teens walk around the school seeing everyone around them in love with someone and they think something is wrong with them because they are not in a relationship. Also, friends will try to push you to date someone you have nothing in common with.”

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Freshman, Julia Kelbaugh: “Yes, because… you see all these people in the hallway so happy because of relationship but at the same time, there isn’t a lot of pressure if you don’t make it seem like [they’re happy because of their relationships].”

 

 

FullSizeRender (4)Freshman, Mei Tomko: “Yes, teens seem to influence other teens by making them feel they need a significant other, even if it’s simply to say they are in a relationship. There are kids in middle school who are ‘dating’ simply to be [in a relationship]. This whole situation has caused many to get involved in pointless relationships. The general idea of a relationship has begun to lose its seriousness and concept of commitment.”

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Want to be on the Teen Takeover staff?

Calling all teenagers in York County! Interested in getting your work professionally edited, and published online and in print? Having an impact on York County and beyond? Talking with other teens about issues at school and in your neighborhoods?

State Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, speaks with members of the York Daily Record's Teen Takeover staff Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in the newspaper's conference room. (Chris Dunn - Daily Record/Sunday News)

State Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, speaks with members of the York Daily Record’s Teen Takeover staff Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in the newspaper’s conference room. (Chris Dunn – Daily Record/Sunday News)

Consider joining the York Daily Record/Sunday News Teen Takeover staff. Members will interview sources, write one story a month, post to the Teen Takeover blog and attend a monthly meeting.

Interested applicants between the ages of 14 and 17 should send the following information:

– A cover letter stating why you are applying for the program and why you should be chosen. In addition, pitch a story idea to us: Summarize what a specific story might be about.

– Be sure to include your full name, grade and school with the letter. Also include your phone number and email address. If you’d like to include social media information such as your Twitter handle, please do so.

– Two samples of your writing (articles, essays, term papers or short stories)

– Two letters of recommendation from references such as a teacher, guidance counselor, coach or neighbor (not your parents).

Send your applications to York Daily Record, Teen Takeover c/o Ed Mahon, 1891 Loucks Road, York, PA 17408 or email emahon@ydr.com. Applications are accepted on a rolling admission.

What kind of stories do Teen Takeover staffers write?

Explore the blog! Here are a few links.

How teens can get involved at the York County SPCA

In the presidential primaries, who’s the jock and who’s the prep?

YCP Rhapsody: A weird, dysfunctional family

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In the presidential primaries, who’s the jock and who’s the prep?

By Sophie Barnes

Are politicians real people? It may be hard to believe, but these debating, campaigning, and perhaps scheming individuals were once simple students involved in sports and after school activities. They had their awkward school dances. They had their all-nighters to finish an essay (which they should have started a month ago). They also had, and still have, career goals to complete in their adult life. The question is, which one is about to achieve that aspiration? Before deciding that, take a look at these candidates and their pre-political lives.

Ted Cruz: The Prep

Ted Cruz (Jenna Watson/IndyStar)

Ted Cruz (Jenna Watson/IndyStar)

By Sophie Barnes

Canadian born Ted Cruz became interested in public speaking at a very young age, according to bio.com. Cruz joined a program run by the Free Enterprise Institute while attending a Baptist high school. Here, the group studied the Constitution. Cruz and the others made speeches all over the state of Texas. Once it came time for graduation, Cruz was first in his class. He went on to attend Princeton University, where he became an award-winning debater. Whether he is still an award-winning debater, that’s up to you, but some could consider Ted Cruz the preppy student, having attended private schools all his life. From Princeton, he went to Harvard, one of the most prestigious schools in the country. A preppy student is basically a pupil that comes from a family with deep pockets.  Further proof for his family’s wealth is through the traveling that he would have done through the Free Enterprise program.  Traveling all through Texas is not cheap, and as a student, he most likely wouldn’t have been paid for his speeches and speaking engagements. Oh, and not to mention the clothing Cruz is wearing in his high school yearbook photo — plaid cuffs and collars peeking out from the sweater along with the prominently displayed class ring.

 

Hillary Clinton (Jessica Hill/AP)

Hillary Clinton (Jessica Hill/AP)

Hillary Clinton: Teacher’s Pet

By Sophie Barnes

Hillary Clinton has always been willing to do what it takes to get her to the top. Clinton attended Wellesley College and graduated in 1969. Wellesley College is and was an all-girls college located in Massachusetts. The college’s website states that the school is known for “women who are committed to making a difference.” This might as well be her campaign slogan. While a student, she was very involved in student politics and was elected the senior class president. This would have made for a very busy Miss Hillary Rodham. After this, Clinton went on to Yale University (yet another top school in the country), where she met Bill Clinton. She graduated with honors in 1973 and she then took courses on children and medicine through the Yale Child Study Center. She also completed one year of study as a postgraduate student. Looking at it all, she was actively involved in politics in her teen years, involved in student politics, senior class president, a student at Yale University, graduated with honors at Yale University, and she is still continuing to expand her career. All of this adds up to make Hillary Clinton the overachieving student who would be disappointed with anything less than 110 percent. She will not take “no” for an answer. Only time will tell if this is the proper strategy to become the first female president in our nation’s history.


Donald Trump: The Jock

Donald Trump (File)

Donald Trump (File)

By Sarah Crawford

In 80s classics and early 2000s teen romcoms alike, there’s always a big, tough jock that creates conflict for the protagonist. In this election, Donald Trump is that jock. He’s well known and is often the talk of the school, or the country in this case. Trump says what he wants without giving too much thought about it and has trouble relating to people who are different than him. While he may not be beating some nerd up for dissing sports, Trump shares many other characteristics that are similar to a stereotypical high school jock. He’s loud, rich and quite egotistical. He’s even got the same blonde hair and fake tan. Much like the movie jocks, Trump’s college plans were also centered on attending an ivy league school from which he graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics. He even got one of his first jobs working for his father’s company, Elizabeth Trump & Son.

What are the odds that Trump ends up taking the prize and winning the big game, the election? Well, with all of the plot twists that accompany a good high school flick, it’s still anyone’s game.

Bernie Sanders: Cool Kid

By Sarah Crawford

Bernie Sanders (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

Bernie Sanders (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

He’s the guy everyone wants to be friends with. Bernie Sanders, a class A cool kid. He does things his way, defies the status quo and wins the admiration of all the young kids in the school. It’s like he’s not even trying. Even the birds love him. Sanders has always been around in the halls, but it hasn’t been until recently that all attention has turned towards him as he challenges the big guys. He’s an underdog that’s gained a lot of support as he works towards his goals. He’s not afraid to speak his mind and no matter what he does, he seems to be praised by the underclassmen.

In 1959, Sanders attended Brooklyn College and later transferred to the University of Chicago to major in Political Science. He’s quoted as saying that he was an average college student because the “classroom was boring and irrelevant.” Sanders preferred learning things from his community on his own time.

Sanders’ persona is one of no stress, a cool front and an ability to connect with people. He doesn’t try to be cool, it just happens.

Want to know which of these candidates you would be? Take our quiz below!

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YCP Rhapsody: A tune of success

In the spring of 2001, way before the premiere of “Pitch Perfect” or the spread of the infectious, catchy cup song, there was an a cappella group formed at York College named YCP Rhapsody. It was a group of eight students who wanted to sing together for fun. They never imagined the group they started would grow to a size of 18 members, become widely known or even advance to the International Collegiate of A Cappella (ICCA) competition.

YCP Rhapsody is York College's a capella group. (Submitted)

YCP Rhapsody is York College’s a capella group. (Submitted)

Nearly 15 years after its founding, YCP Rhapsody is experiencing more success than they ever dreamed of.

Senior Moe Devlin, the group’s music director,  and fifth year senior Chris Betzler, the group’s president, explained in a recent interview that their accomplishments are thanks to a lot of hard work and talent.

“We arrange most of our own pieces now which is a lot of work,” Devlin said. “It takes four rehearsals, or four hours, for our group to learn the song with the person who arranged it.”

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York College a cappella singer: ‘accidents led to my passion’

By Kirsten Nicholl
In elementary school, Akiva Harker was part of the choir. Harker was like every other kid and wanted to join the choir to skip class with his friends. Now, he is a member of YCP Rhapsody, York College’s a cappella group.
 “A lot of accidents led to my passion in life,” said Harker.

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York College a cappella rapper’s advice: ‘Perfect your craft’

DeJour Hood, a fifth­-year senior at York College, is the rapper and vocal percussionist for YCP Rhapsody, the college’s a cappella group and has been in the group for two years.  A key that he says will help you if you plan to become involved in an a capella group, or a club in general is, “Perfect your craft. I practice the verses and beats by myself. The key is to be diligent.”

Members of YCP Rhapsody came to the York Daily Record/Sunday News office on  April 7 for interviews with members of Teen Takeover.

YCP practices on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. This year is YCP’s ten year anniversary since the group was created. It originated with only ten original members, and membership increased as the years came and they became more popular. For the current members, as tradition, every one of their concerts end with the songs “Build Me Up Buttercup” and “It’s Raining Men” because they were the group’s first arrangements when they started.

YCP Rhapsody has won the 2014 Carlisle Glee Competition and competed in the International Collegiate Championship of A cappella (ICCA) twice. One of the group’s most important assets is their thriving alumni support, who come out to visit them and join them in their concerts whenever they can, according to Hood.

Shaniece Holmes-Brown, a junior at William Penn Senior High School, is a member of the YDR’s Teen Takeover program.

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YCP Rhapsody: ‘A weird dysfunctional family with great singing abilities’

DeJour Hood of Atlantic City, N.J., takes a solo while performing with members of student a cappella group YCP Rhapsody at York College in Spring Garden Township. Kate Penn, York Daily Record

DeJour Hood of Atlantic City, N.J., takes a solo while performing with members of student a cappella group YCP Rhapsody at York College in Spring Garden Township. Kate Penn, York Daily Record

As many students are preparing for college in the fall, emotions are running wild. Questions of friends, activities, classes, finances, and much more swamp a new student. However, there is peace among this storm.

Adam Gagnon, a junior at York College found his home at college, through music. Gagnon is a member of YCP Rhapsody, York College’s a cappella group.  Originally from Maryland, Gagnon fell in love with “small but nice and beautiful” campus.

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More than just an a cappella group

Just like any group that shares similar passions and spends a great deal of time together, York college’s a cappella group functions just like a family.

They do it all together- from celebrating a performance well done, grabbing a bite at Denny’s. They say goodbye to those graduating  and welcome the new members.  No one remembers a petty argument, but everyone will remember performing together and working towards a goal.

IMG_7485Terry Young, a senior and psychology major at York College, has been a part of YCP Rhapsody since his freshman year.

An a cappella group that averages a little less than 20 members with four to five people per voice part, Rhapsody has a family vibe to it. The group practices three times a week and members see each other throughout the day. Young says being part of the group is definitely different than when he was in band in high school. “I don’t play trumpet, and I sing. I see them (the members of YCP) more often than just at practice. In band I wouldn’t go over to talk to a flute, but now I will talk to a soprano,” he said.

Young says that he could say that he’s friends with everyone in the group, “When I first started it was really cliquey, but now I am sure everyone could say that we’re all friends,” he said. 

However, it can be awkward when someone new joins Rhapsody. “Personally, I thought it was awkward when I joined. It is awkward for everyoIMG_7480ne until we get to know them and their personality  and they come out of their shell,” he said. When a new member joins the group sings to them to both welcome the newcomer and make them feel ‘at home’, Young says.

But, just like any group of friends or a family, Rhapsody can have their disagreements. “We’re a large group so we have issues tuning sometimes,” Young said. “Dynamics can also be an issue due to the amount of people because we tend to just sing loud, until we adjust…  Also, when we put away the sheet music and something isn’t right it usually goes like: you’re doing it wrong- no you’re doing it wrong!”

Young says a great thing about YCP Rhapsody is that it is unique. Everyone seems to have their place in Rhapsody. Two individuals seem to stick out as the ‘mom and dad’ of the group due to their leadership positions. 

“In my psych groups I take leadership, but in Rhapsody I am a bystander… It is relaxing and I’m not held to anything anything,” he said.

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