The Science of Morning Routines

In Rebecca Black’s notorious song “Friday”, Black sings in a monotonic voice that at 7 a.m. she wakes up. She must freshen up and then go downstairs to have a bowl of cereal. After rushing around while time passes quickly, she gets to the bus stop. There, she sees her friends and must then make the hard decision of which seat she can take in the car.

Black’s song describes her morning routine in severe detail. Everything, it seems, is down to a science. In order to make it to school on time, everything must be performed to a certain degree of efficiency, just as is the case in scientific experiments.

Black isn’t the only one who has boiled down her mornings to a science. Several Northeastern high schoolers have done just the same.

Laney Seifert, freshman:

“I get up at 5:30 every morning. Well, that’s when my alarm goes off. I sleep for 15 more minutes and then I actually get up. I shower for about 30 minutes; it takes me so long because I normally get on my phone and goof off. Then, I brush my teeth and go downstairs to eat breakfast. This entire time, my hair is in a towel. When I go back upstairs, I do my makeup. Then, I take my hair out of the towel and do my hair. After that, I get dressed. That takes about 30 minutes. After all that, I’m ready.”

Martha Carroll, senior:

“I set my alarm for six in the morning, but after I wake up, I normally just sit on my bed for five minutes to prepare myself and get my mind together. After that, I go to the bathroom and brush my teeth. Then, I put on makeup and get dressed. I then get something to eat before school and make sure my bags are ready.”

Hailey Reifsnyder, freshman:

“Whenever my alarm goes off, I always set fifteen more minutes before I actually get up. I normally put on a sweatshirt in the mornings too or else I get cold. I then go to the bathroom and brush my teeth and hair. Then, I put on mascara. After that, I grab my field hockey bag and bookbag. I usually also get a waffle to eat on the way to the bus.”

Unfortunately, the science of morning routines is not often credited as real science to the school administration. It can’t help you to exempt from taking a yearly science class and it can’t help with gaining some extra credit for any of your science classes. However, it can help you get to school on time where you can blow up a few chemicals in chemistry or dissect some frogs in biology and that seems like a pretty cool trade-off.



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The Cilantro Divide

Imagine a world in which a single herb is so hated, the faults of the world are blamed on its existence. In this world, people would form coalitions against the herb itself, denouncing it to be an abomination to society.

This world doesn’t need to be imagined, however. We’re living in it.

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Junior Year

I am almost a month into my junior year of high school. I feel both estatic and terrified to type that. It makes me realize that I only have two more years before I go off to college. I don’t even know if I’m prepared for reality, and I think that is what scares me the most. I am estatic because that means I am one step closer to becoming a book publisher.

The pressure of succeeding is already setting in. I’ve taken multiple quizzes, and notes that my head is swimming with words! The first round of ACTs and SATs are right around the corner, and colleges are beginning to scout for potential scholarship recipients. Woah! All of this is happening, and it hasn’t even been a full month! My teachers are also starting to hold higher expectations for everyone, but then again, I am taking all Honors/AP classes. I should expect the high expectations. I’m glad they push me to work to their standards. It allows me to prove myself.

Another thought that scares me is, what will my friends and I do at the end of high school? Will I even remeber them in ten years? Thank goodness for Facebook, without that I’m sure half of us would lose contact with eachother! These questions though push me to make the most of these next two years. I will work hard, and make tons of memories along the way. Now is the time to do that because high school will be over in the blink of an eye.

My junior year might just be getting started, but I know this year will be awesome! I will admit, I am worried. I know my year all depends on what I do, and how I control it. This year, I planned on joining Student Council, and becoming president. I didn’t win, but that’s okay, at least I have next year. I also plan on getting Distinguished Honor Roll all year, and later in the year, I plan on taking my ACTs and SATs. It will take a lot of hard work to complete my goals, but I know I have teachers and friends who are more than willing to help me!

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So what is this York Fair thing all about, anyway?

I moved here from Maryland, as did a lot of people. I wasn’t ahead of that trend but I was totally with it. I’ve lived in York for 12 years now and yet never felt even the slightest itch to go watch the spectacle at the York Fair.

I knew it existed, sure, and I knew people went to it… but those people weren’t me. Ever. I realize it’s a little like blasphemy to miss such a ubiquitous social event that many times in a row, but you’ve got to understand that I move slowly. By the time I get into the car with my ticket and my keys and everything else I’ve missed the two-week window.

But all that changed this year, as I headed up on a borrowed ticket yesterday to see the great yearly aggregation of York County culture.

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Seniors sound off on their legacies and goals for senior year

From left to right: Katie Haskell, Catie Putnam, Danielle Weichert, Emily Gruszczynski, Katie Siple, Alexa Draganosky, and Alex Johnson.

From left to right: Katie Haskell, Catie Putnam, Danielle Weichert, Emily Gruszczynski, Katie Siple, Alexa Draganosky, and Alex Johnson.

It is the beginning of the end for most seniors at York Catholic High School. Many classmates have realized that this is their last year together. For those of us who have attended private schools their entire life, many classmates have been in the same class together since preschool and have been best friends for just as long. It is a sentimental time to say the least. Although our futures may be leading us in different directions, there is one idea we all agree on: we want to make a lasting impact at York Catholic. A legacy that will be remembered long after we have graduated. Goals that will help change our school and ourselves for the better. Here are a few quotes from fellow classmates on how they wish to be remembered and goals that they aspire to complete their senior year:

“We want to continue our dynasty of YC girl’s basketball with the integrity and perseverance of the girls who came before us while staying on top of our school work.” – Anne Lehr and Megan Salter

“To be remembered as a leader that made a positive change within school and inspired others to do the same.” -Thomas Thole

“Make it out of here with minimal casualties and my friends by my side.” -Katie Haskell Continue reading “Seniors sound off on their legacies and goals for senior year” »

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Homecoming Dress Trends for 2014

Homecoming 2014 is rapidly approaching and finding the perfect dress is critical to make the night perfect. Pick a dress that makes you stand out from the crowd. Here are some hot trends for homecoming 2014: Continue reading “Homecoming Dress Trends for 2014” »

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17 things I’ve learned in 17 years

Two years ago, for my 15 birthday, I wrote a blog post about 15 things I had learned in 15 years. Today, on my 17 birthday, I found myself revisiting that old list and particularly enjoying some of the things I had deemed ‘mature thoughts’ at the time (especially the part in which I compared waiting for food to arrive as harder than trying to win the Hunger Games). Seeing as how I have, hopefully, grown as a person since I eagerly typed that up in a manner that only an innocent high school freshmen could achieve, I thought it was due time I updated the list with 17 new things I have learned in 17 years.

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Conquering the court: An introduction to high school sports

This is the time of the year when stairs are some students’ worst enemy and all of their time is spent willingly exercising. This is the beginning of the wonderful months when everyone is extremely tired and sore, but they have never felt so alive– the start of high school sport season.

According to the 2012-2013 High School Athletics Participation Survey , around 7.7 million high school students participated in high school sports last year.

Most high schools revolve around sports. High school football games are pretty much mandatory events. The realm of high school sports is very intimidating, especially to first-time high school athletes.

Katie Jacques, a freshman at Red Lion Area Senior High School, recently started her first year on the high school tennis team.

Jacques has played many sports before, including soccer, volleyball, and field hockey, but she finally settled on tennis as her sport for this school year.

“I chose tennis because one of my old teachers was a coach and she would practice with me in the school gym. She convinced me to try out for the team. I also played tennis at camps over the summers.” said Jacques.

Destiny Mann, a freshman at Red Lion Area Senior High School, is also starting her first year of tennis. Unlike Jacques, this is Mann’s first experience playing an organized sport.

“I am both excited and nervous.” said Mann.  “I play because it is fun, but I have never done anything like this before.”

Playing recreationally is different from playing on the high school level.

“High school sports are more intense. There is more pressure to win and represent the school.” said Jacques.

However, the elevated stakes come with higher rewards.

“I love my coach and my other teammates. Playing tennis is pushing me to be more involved in my school and to get on top of my schoolwork.” said Jacques.

Tennis has also helped Jacques meet new people. Friends can be an important resource, especially to freshman who are trying to find their way through the maze that is high school.

“Getting to know the upperclassmen has really helped me with my first year of high school. I know seniors and juniors from the team who are always willing to help me.” said Jacques.

Jacques and Mann have gotten to know each other well on the small tennis team. They have bonded and are trying to navigate through their first year of tennis together.

But Jacques knows that she still has work to do.

“I definitely need to improve,” said Jacques, “I need to work on control and other things, but I know I will get there in time.”



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Tailgating: Why’s it so great?

Looking ahead at the upcoming NFL season has many excited and presents the opportunity to tailgate on each and every Sunday before your favorite team kicks off. Once Sunday rolls around it’s time to break out the coolers, grills and team jerseys. If you have attended a football game whether it’s at the high school, college or professional level, you know that tailgating is a large part of pre-game.
Although nobody really knows where tailgating originated from, it has evolved over the years. The past few years, tailgating has consisted of going to the game, setting up your grills, filling coolers with cold drinks and wearing your favorite team apparel. Some activities you can do before the game are a game of catch and bean bag toss.

To some, tailgating is the most fun part of going to the game. This may be because you can hang out, drink your favorite soda and eat your favorite junk foods. Not only before the game can you eat, drink and hang out but at the same time you can support your favorite team.

Food is the aspect of tailgating people usually enjoy the most. Some of the most common foods consumed while tailgating include barbecue, buffalo wings, Cincinnati chili, New England clam chowder and Philly cheesesteaks. These delicious meals originate from cities and regions and are not limited to just those areas.

Even though you may not fit into all of these statistics they are certainly eye-opening. The most common age of tailgaters is ages 25-44. Two out of every five fans spends greater than $500 over the course of the season tailgating. Some fans go so far as to customize their cars and other vehicles to their team colors with logos, flags, and stickers.

Some argue whether they prefer tailgating at an NFL game of at a college football game. It all depends on age because NFL fans are generally older than college fans because their usually more restricted in what they can participate in.

Not only does tailgating vary from level to level but it varies from sport to sport. A popular sport for tailgating other than football is NASCAR. According to, the most common age for NASCAR is 25-54 years old. This is greater than 60 percent of all NASCAR tailgaters. The top five tailgating spots for NASCAR across the country include Pocono Raceway, Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Motor Speedway.

Some negative aspects of tailgating are that it can get out of hand due to the fans anxious or fans having too much to drink. This can lead to vandalism and other types of damage. Usually stadium officials and workers can control the environment and keep it safe for all members.

Tailgating is one of the best ways to spend your time before you watch your favorite team battle against their opponent. You get to eat, drink and play games with fellow fans. Tailgating creates an atmosphere like no other and will continue to evolve as the needs of fans does as well.

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Rachael Blaine

Hello everyone! My name is Rachael Blaine, and I’m a sophomore at Northeastern High School. I’m so excited to be able to write for the Teen Takeover program!

Being able to work with the awesome people at YDR is such an honor to me. Most of my life consists of writing – along with the occasional band practice – so I’m thrilled to be able to share some of it with other writers/those who read this blog. I would love nothing more than to be able to sit at home all day and write, but between school, band, and having the attention span of a fish, that’s not always possible. Despite that, I’ve managed to write a few stories myself, as my dream would to one day become a published author.

I have a slight addiction to music; you’ll almost never see me without my iPod. I’m in my school’s special chorus group. Outside of school, my other hobbies are collecting pens, crocheting/knitting, and aimlessly wasting any free time I have on the internet.

Well, that’s a short summary of myself; I’m much better at writing about things other than myself. I can’t wait to get some of my other writings out there!

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