Jesuit Chronicle

Opinion: Too much screen time hinders mental health and students’ ability to learn

A+girl+stares+at+her+screen+in+the+dark%2C+straining+her+eyes+as+she+types.

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A girl stares at her screen in the dark, straining her eyes as she types.

From 8 a.m. to roughly 3 p.m.—almost 7 hours—students stare mindlessly at a screen while teachers attempt desperately to connect with them through bluelight pixels, instructing and making jokes in hopes of distracting kids from the mundanity of learning from home.

For the first few weeks of school, I listened to students give feedback to teachers on how they were faring during digital learning. The responses were not varied; most students confided that their eyes and heads hurt after looking at their iPad all day.

Even teachers were struggling to adjust. One of my own teachers shared that she began having migraines during class, and was requested by her doctor not to look at screens in a dark room, which causes her to strain her eyes.

A recent poll on jesuitnews.com.com showed that in a group of 132 people, 39 percent of voters spend between eight and 10 hours a day looking at a screen, including their phone. Even more shocking, 33 percent of voters spend more than 10 hours a day on a screen. Twenty percent of voters spend between five and seven hours onscreen, and only eight percent spend two to four hours onscreen.

According to May Recreation, too much screen time can have adverse effects on students’ academic performance.

“Too much screen time can impair brain structure and function,” the May Recreation team said. “Because children’s brains undergo so much change during their formative years, this excess screen time can be even more damaging. Academic success, social skills, even career success can all be negatively affected by excessive screen time.”

Additionally, Harvard University said “the growing human brain is constantly building neural connections while pruning away less-used ones, and digital media use plays an active role in that process. Much of what happens on screen provides “impoverished” stimulation of the developing brain compared to reality. Children need a diverse menu of online and offline experiences, including the chance to let their minds wander.”

Last school year, I wrote an article about living a week without using my phone. In the article, there was a brief overview of each day. The days shared a similar theme: I had more time to do other things because of decreased phone use.

Cutting down the time one spends on their phone will benefit academic performance, as well as better sleep and less mood swings, to which teenagers are already prone. However, even if one were to give up their phone entirely, there is still the obvious question of how to cut down on screen use when it is required for school.

School screen time, whether it be for actual classes or just for homework, is approaching eight hours. Half of my teachers are now going asynchronous on Mondays, and Tuesday through Friday, many of my teachers are not filling up the entire 80-minute class period, as they recognize most students are unable to focus for that long. For teachers that like to fill the almost-hour-and-a-half of class, it is still quite a bit of screen time for teens.

Advocating for more asynchronous classes is one option, though kids lose time to connect with classmates, and they will still need to complete the required classwork online.

Taking into account Harvard University’s research that students need a “diverse menu of online and offline experiences,” one idea would be to listen to a recording of the teacher’s voice with a few activities for them to complete.

In certain classes, such as environmental science, english, and art electives, a screen is not typically needed for activities.

For classes that would need a screen for research and further learning, such as history, core science, and math classes, short, 15-minute activities could be intermixed with 10-minute breaks, so students can rest their eyes, reducing their chance of contracting migraines.

There are ways in which teachers can adjust their curriculum to fit the needs of their students. There are also ways students can advocate for less screen time, as most teachers are open to suggestions and care about their students’ health.

About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Crusader Comics: Giving Thanks

Charlie+Crusader+gives+thanks+for+the+year%2C+recounting+all+the+new+skills+he+has+picked+up+during+quarantine.

Steele

Charlie Crusader gives thanks for the year, recounting all the new skills he has picked up during quarantine.

Charlie Crusader gives thanks for the year, recounting all the new skills he has picked up during quarantine. (Steele Clevenger)
About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Administrators update parents on COVID-19

Administrators+update+parents+on+COVID-19

Parents were invited to attend an online webinar, during which Jesuit Principal Paul Hogan and President Tom Arndorfer discussed updates on the coronavirus pandemic, and how it affects the Jesuit High School community.

Hogan and Arndorfer began with a prayer for veterans, thanking them for their service. Following the prayer, Hogan and Arndorfer discussed the school’s plans regarding the coronavirus.

Arndorfer said he wishes that students were back on campus, as he feels that the social, academic, and emotional aspects Jesuit provides are best served in person. However, he said that the school will continue to make appropriate accommodations for those who wish to stay home or come to campus for extracurriculars.

For students to return to school, two measures, put in place by Oregon Governor Kate Brown, must be met. The first measure states that in Washington County there must only be 50 or less new COVID cases per day per 100,000 people in a two week period for students to return to school. Currently, that number is 190 new COVID cases per day per 100,000 people.

The second measure is the test positivity rate. Currently, in Washington County, the test positivity rate is 10.2 percent more than twice as high as the necessary percentage to return to school, which is five percent over a 14-day period.

According to Arndorfer, students and most teachers will be staying at home through semester one. Hogan reminded parents to keep their teens at home to protect those with underlying conditions.

Hogan and Arndorfer encouraged parents to ask questions during the webinar. One parent asked if there were any creative ways to bring the students back to campus.

Hogan said that although students will need to stay home for the next few weeks by order of the Governor, he says he hopes to move into a hybrid schedule later in the school year. As part of a hybrid schedule, half of the student body would attend school in person on certain days, and the other portion of the student body would attend school alternate days.

One parent asked: what is the administration planning for the senior class? The administration plans to offer the PSAT, ACT, and SAT tests for current juniors in semester two. Additionally, Hogan announced that seniors were working with Jesuit’s college advisors, and that those advisors would reach out to juniors beginning January 2021.

Semester exams, which are usually given in the final week of each semester, will occur during regular 80-minute class meetings. Teachers have been encouraged to develop a range of cumulative semester assessments that students can take remotely.

If students were to come back to campus, one parent asked, what would lunchtime look like? Hogan says that because students will need to remove their masks to eat, they may be spread out into large areas, such as Gedrose Center, and locations outside.

“We hope to face the problem of finding places for students to eat, as that would mean our students are back on campus where they belong,” Hogan said.

Regarding the Food Drive, the annual holiday event where the Jesuit community collects food for underprivileged families, faculty, staff, and students plan to meet on December 7 to drop off food. This will be one of a few drop-off dates, as the number of people on campus will be limited. The alumni food drive will also proceed this year, though food drop-off dates are still pending.

Sports are still taking place on the Jesuit campus, though Hogan and Arndorfer both believe academics are a higher priority. They hope that events, including sports, will take place in large-open spaces off campus or through a virtual setting.

To be on campus, students have their temperatures taken upon arrival to ensure that they are not sick. A new piece of technology called Capscann will assess the health of each student, evaluating any symptoms they may have, replacing the thermometer that is placed in front of a person’s forehead to gauge their temperature.

Sports allow for students to connect with one another without looking at a screen, but parents are still hoping to have their children back on campus. Some parents are signing a petition to bring kids back to school. They plan to send the petition to Governor Kate Brown. Hogan and Arndorfer encouraged parents to continue to try to influence politics, contact representatives, and let their voices be heard.

The two administrators recognize that keeping students out of school affects their mental health, and advocate for bringing students back to school as soon as it is safe. Administrators will continue to send out surveys to parents regarding concerns they have about school policies and what they would like to see in the coming months.

Both Hogan and Arndorfer stressed throughout their presentation the importance of following Centers for Disease Control and a Prevention guidelines, spending time connecting with those around them, and giving thanks for the teachers, faculty, and staff of Jesuit for their hard work during these difficult times.

For more information on COVID metrics, visit https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Pages/COVID19.aspx.

 

About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Senior Tanner Olson is the November Artist of the Month

This+colored+pencil+self-portrait+was+created+Olson%E2%80%99s+junior+year.

Tanner Olson

This colored pencil self-portrait was created Olson’s junior year.

When you look at senior Tanner Olson’s artwork, you might surmise that he has been drawing since he learned how to hold a pencil. Unbelievably, Olson only started experimenting with art in sixth grade.

“It was eighth grade when I started taking art seriously,” Olson said. It was just fun to me, and what kicked it off was finding out about the Jesuit art program, and then having the opportunity to go meet with [art teacher] Miss Manning [to review my portfolio].”

Upon entering Jesuit’s art program, Olson learned to work with many new and different media and techniques, including linoleum block printing, clay, and pastels. Even now as an Art IV student, however, Olson contests that his favorite medium is still pencil.

“I think I’m best at realistic drawing in pencil because it was the first thing I was exposed to,” Olson said. “It’s the thing I enjoy doing the most.”

Olson describes his art style as “realistic,” drawing or painting portraits, random household items, or things he finds in nature. His next project, illustrating a series of nine different works, involves painting flowers.

“They’re all different types of flowers,” Olson said. “You can make a connection to people because we all look different, and have different things about us, but we also have similarities [like flowers].”

Open to experimenting with different media, Olson decided to use gouache, which he describes as a mixture of watercolor and acrylic paint, to create his flower series.

“I have been enjoying gouache recently. It’s just fun to play around with because it’s just water and acrylic paint,” Olson said.

When asked what the most challenging part of the Jesuit art program has been, Olson says that it has been difficult to try not to compare himself to other artists.

“I don’t want to feel like I’m making art for competition,” Olson said. “It doesn’t really feel great. I’d rather do art for fun or to express a deeper meaning.”

Like many artists, Olson is inspired by the work of fellow artists. Using social media, he browses through different works, combining some of the ideas he sees with his unique art style.

“Seeing other pieces on like Instagram and seeing other people’s art really inspires me,” Olson said. “A good portion of my art has a deeper meaning, like self-reflection or self-expression. I make a lot of self portrait pieces.”

So where did he get his artistic talent from?

“My grandma is a really good artist. She hasn’t taught me much, but maybe there’s something genetic,” Olson said.

Additionally, Olson offers sage advice on what it takes to be a great artist.

“I think a lot of people may not realize this, but I’d say art takes more time than it does skill. If you want something to look good, you’re gonna have to invest a lot of time into it,” Olson said.

Tanner Olson’s twin brother, senior Tyler Olson, describes his brother as artistic, quiet, and respectful.

“We can’t stay mad at each other,” Tyler Olson said. “If we ever fight, it never lasts more than an hour. He’s very understanding.”

Senior Samantha Le met Tanner Olson at Holy Trinity Elementary School, and have known each other since kindergarten. Le agrees that he has always been quiet, and, like Tyler Olson, knows he is respectful.

“I have known Tanner since kindergarten, but we didn’t become good friends until eighth grade,” Le said. “I would describe Tanner as kind, reserved, and selfless.”

Friend and Art IV peer senior Tori Nguyen met Tanner through close friends and through the Jesuit art program. Nguyen praises Tanner Olson’s work, highlighting his meaningful and thoughtful art process.

“Tanner draws very meticulous things or small things that draw your eye, or things that you wouldn’t maybe notice at first,” Nguyen said. “It’s all well thought out and deliberate.”

Does Tanner Olson see art in his future?

“I might minor in art. Maybe drawing and illustration. I also really do enjoy painting.”

Created his senior year, Olson was tasked with drawing a shoe in pencil as realistically as possible. (Tanner Olson)

 

Olson created this as a senior for the first art project of the year. (Tanner Olson)

 

This pencil drawing created by Olson was done not for an art project but for fun. (Tanner Olson)

 

Olson created this gouache piece for an art project junior year. (Tanner Olson)
About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Interview: Mr. Hahn on Running for Tigard City Council

History+teacher+Jerry+Hahn+is+pictured+next+to+his+opponents+who+ran+for+Tigard+City+Council+this+year.

tigardlife.com

History teacher Jerry Hahn is pictured next to his opponents who ran for Tigard City Council this year.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I had the chance to interview history teacher and former veteran Jerry Hahn, who shared with me his experience of running for Tigard City Council this year. Even though the election is over and he did not receive a seat on the council, Hahn is positive that his involvement in the process is full of learning opportunities. Here was his interview:
Clevenger: Why did you decide to run?
Hahn: I saw the opening this summer, and there were two Tigard City Council seats open this year. I thought about ways in which I could be more civically engaged. I also thought I could learn a lot about the process of local government and how local governments function. Lastly, I wanted something I could model for my students [to show them ways to] be engaged, be community oriented, and be part of the solution.
Clevenger: Can you describe part of that process? What was the first step?
Hahn: The first step is getting on the ballot, and receiving at least 20 signatures from citizens who are registered to vote, mostly neighbors. I had to get enough signatures from people who live in Tigard, and then those signatures had to be validated. I went down to the Washington County Courthouse and paid a filing fee, which was $50. After getting signatures and filing, I was officially on the ballot.
Clevenger: What was the next step after getting on the ballot?
Hahn: People and institutions in the community want to know who’s out there, so my first invitation was from the Tigard Police Union. I got a tour of their station and talked to their union leaders. They asked me a lot of questions about my stance on different [issues]. As a union and an institution, they were trying to find the candidates that were the best suited for them. I didn’t get their endorsement, and I was a little surprised, but they wanted more experience. I was also granted an invitation to be interviewed by the League of Women Voters. The interview was on one of those back cable channels. I was also interviewed by the Tigard Times, which is the local paper.
Clevenger: If you were to be elected, what would your role be in the community?
Hahn: The Tigard City Council has a mayor, who runs the political nature of the city, and four city council members. One is the president, and the other three are council members. I would have been making pretty important decisions that affect the community. One of the bigger decisions for Tigard right now is the light rail system. The question is, ‘Does Tigard seek to have the light rail line extended to Tigard?’ I’m a big supporter [of the light rail]. There’s so much traffic, and I think the light rail helps with congestion.
Clevenger: Would you consider this process was more of a learning venture as opposed to a job application?
Hahn: I did do it to learn about the process, but I was serious: I wanted to be on the council. I’m not disappointed or crushed or sad [that I wasn’t elected], but I thought I could do something for this community.
Clevenger: What was the hardest part of the process?
Hahn: Nothing about it was hard. I thought it was very simple. I got a great deal of help from a woman named Carol Krager from City Hall who helped me through the process. The secretary for the councils, once I was an official candidate, shared with me the minutes of past meetings, and I was invited to get up to speed.
Clevenger: If somebody told you that they were going to run for city council what advice would you give them?
Hahn: Get yourself up to speed on some of the current issues in Tigard so you don’t get caught off guard in a discussion. Also, it costs $100 to put your information in the voter’s pamphlet, and wish I had done that.
Clevenger: What sort of restrictions did you have due to COVID-19?
Hahn: When I was out and about, or if I was going to have somebody sign a petition, I needed multiple pens and cleaning devices. Certainly, I was masked and socially distanced.
Clevenger: Did you receive any endorsements?
Hahn: Yes, from local businesses, but not from any institutions that I’m aware of.
Clevenger: What were the results of the election?
Hahn: Seven people ran for Tigard City, most of whom were from the business world. There was one incumbent (a person who currently holds an office but can run again), who received the most votes. There was also one non-incumbent (a person who does not currently hold office and is eligible to run) who won a seat. I received 1111 votes.
Clevenger: So the big question is, would you run again?

Hahn: I don’t know where I will be in a couple of years in terms of health, interest, etc. There are people I know who said that the next time, if or when I run, they will put up lawn signs or give me money.
Clevenger: What would you do differently next time?
Hahn: I would campaign, and spend some money. I would have lawn signs and make posters, and have businesses put up signs as well because name recognition in small areas is huge. A lot of people vote based on familiarity with a name.
Clevenger: Thank you so much.
Hahn: Thank you.

 

About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

What’s Happening to Charlie Crusader?

Jesuit+students+pose+with+an+early+rendition+of+Charlie+Crusader.

Jesuit High School

Jesuit students pose with an early rendition of Charlie Crusader.

In light of recent racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter Movement, sports teams and schools have been more receptive to changing offensive, racially insensitive team mascots to ones less inflammatory. Jesuit High School released an email at the end of July stating their intentions to not only discuss the appropriateness versus inappropriateness of Jesuit’s mascot, Charlie Crusader.

Charlie Crusader was chosen as the school’s mascot in Jesuit High School’s first year by students and administration. Possible mascots could have been the Voyagers, the Knights, or the Pilgrims, among others. On October 11, 1956, the student body voted, and the name Crusaders was chosen.

Vice Principal of Academics and Student Life Khalid Maxie said, “Jesuit’s Board of Trustees has appointed a Mascot Working Group comprised of 14 members of our community to begin seeking feedback from our various constituencies like students, faculty, staff, parents and parents of alums on the appropriateness [and inappropriateness] of the Crusader name and mascot in light of the mission, values, and identity of Jesuit High School.”

Maxie is a member of the Mascot Working Group (MWG), and meets with his team weekly. He says the group means to have open conversations with the Jesuit community and create opportunities for various constituency groups to participate in positive and constructive dialogue on the following question: In what ways do you think that the Crusader name and mascot are appropriate or inappropriate representations of Jesuit High School given our mission, values, and Ignatian principles?

“We plan to facilitate conversation with the Jesuit community about the Crusader name and mascot in a few ways: one would be the release of an online survey, and the other way will be through a series of live online community forums that will more than likely occur via Zoom,” Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs and member of the MWG Erika Tuenge said. “We are in the process, as a working group, of developing what those forums will look like.”

Maxie stated that the group’s role is to educate the Jesuit community about the Crusades and acknowledge their history. The goal, however, is not to redefine the Crusader to fit the values of the school.

“Our role is not to make a decision or push this process in any way,” Maxie said. “It is our job to make sure that we’re reaching out to all those [constituency] groups, and part of that requires the responsible thing that we’re currently working on: how do we educate our community about the history of Charlie the Crusader and the Crusades, as well as his cultural responsive implications?” Maxie said.

The MWG will gather information from constituency groups and provide the Board of Trustees with this information. Based on what they gather, the Board of Trustees will come to a decision as to what will happen to the Crusader name and mascot. Tuenge believes the Board of Trustees will make their final decision before mid-June.

In addition, members of the MWG must keep their biases to themselves when coming up with educational resources, while still keeping inclusivity in mind. To do this, the MWG will look to experts on the Crusades for facts and information.

“We hope to lean on scholars, professors who teach about the Crusades, to provide us with facts, leaning on the work of Holy Cross University who went through the same process” Maxie said. “They are a Jesuit Institution. The Crusader was and is their mascot. They decided to get rid of all the imagery but kept the Crusader name and redefined what it means to be a Crusader in this day and age.”

Tuenge commented that the diversity of the MWG will help the voices of the community feel heard.

“[The MWG represents] members of our community as far as alums, parents, past parents, faculty, staff, and students [who have a wide array of roles]. Because we are planning, strategizing, and collaborating together as a group, our hope is that we are coming up with a process that we’ll be proud of and that our community will be proud of, and they will want to share their opinions with us” Tuenge said.

Although members of the MWG cannot share their biases, the students of Jesuit High School are not without their own opinions.

For senior Naviya Venkitesh, the Crusader holds many fond memories of a school with an open community and racially diverse student population, however it is also a symbol of pain for her and her family.

“I think that the best option is that we should look into changing [the Crusader name and mascot],” Venkitesh said. “Obviously, that takes years and years. Right now, given our society’s climate around Islamophobia, I think it is necessary, especially for Catholics and Christians and Jesuit as a Catholic School, that we acknowledge the systemic racism and the Islamophobia that comes with having a mascot like Charlie Crusader.”

Venkitesh also believes that Jesuit students come from a place of not only socioeconomic privilege and cultural privilege, but racial privilege, and that our privilege needs to be checked because it is easy to become ignorant of discrimination felt by people of color all over the world.

“If a person is BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and they come from financial privilege, it does not necessarily mean they struggle with the same things [people who are] BIPOC who do not come from financial privilege struggle with,” Venkitesh said. “As a BIPOC woman, I feel safe in society, and that is not the case for a lot of BIPOC women across the globe. That is not the same for a lot of queer people or people in lower income housing.”

In contrast, senior Katya Kurkoski said she represents the population of students who have not been educated about the Crusades and the implications the Crusader name and mascot might give. She says that when the name Crusaders was first chosen to represent the school, it might have been a reflection of the work ethic and competitiveness Jesuit displayed.

“I can’t think of Jesuit as anything other than the Crusaders. It represents something I’ve known for years and years,” Kurkoski said. “I know the Crusades were wars, but when Jesuit was looking for a mascot a long time ago, I think they saw Crusaders as a positive thing, as people who fought for what they believed in.”

Unlike Venkitesh, Kurkoski is unsure as to whether the mascot should be changed or not.

“I don’t know what they would change the mascot to,” Kurkoski said. “The Crusader mascot has been around for years. Most of the student body hasn’t thought much into [the positives and negatives of the Crusader], and I am part of that population of students. I don’t think Jesuit should change the mascot.”

About the Contributor
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Take Part in Jesuit’s 21 Day Racial Awareness Challenge

Take+Part+in+Jesuit%E2%80%99s+21+Day+Racial+Awareness+Challenge

Beginning November 2nd, the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Office will challenge the Jesuit community to engage in a 21 day event in an effort to become a more culturally aware and Anti-racist community.

The Ignatian Racial Equity Challenge will give students the opportunity to understand the realities of racial injustice endured by people of color throughout the nation. This challenge will provide a unique look into the lives of individuals facing racial injustice, and will help participants explore racial equity in light of the Jesuit faith and Ignatian Spirituality.

Participants will receive daily emails with a challenge beginning November 2nd and ending November 22nd. Sign up by October 30th by clicking this link.

About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Crusader Comics: Halloween Horrors

A Comic

Charlie+Crusader+is+not+phased+by+the+geese%E2%80%99s+attempt+to+frighten+him.

Steele Clevenger

Charlie Crusader is not phased by the geese’s attempt to frighten him.

Charlie Crusader is not phased by the geese’s attempt to frighten him. (Steele Clevenger)
About the Contributor
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Junior Sophia Gard is October’s Artist of the Month

This+acrylic+painting+is+a+self-portrait+by+October+Artist+of+the+Month%2C+junior+Sophia+Gard

Sophia Gard

This acrylic painting is a self-portrait by October Artist of the Month, junior Sophia Gard

As a preschooler, junior Sophia Gard experienced her first memory of art.

“My mom used to go to Costco and buy those thin-line notebooks, and I would just fill those up,” said Gard.

In elementary and middle school, Gard tried to find inspiration in art, however her art class was less than encouraging.

Said Gard, “It would just be like gluing paper to paper—that kind of thing. I wasn’t that excited by it, but we got a better art teacher, and [otherwise] I’ve kind of taught myself using the internet and reading books.”

Gard entered Jesuit High School in 2018, and finally felt motivated to focus on her artistic talents in Danielle Chi’s Art I class. There, she honed her portraiture skills, and rekindled her love for the pencil sketches she would create in the lined notebooks she had as a little kid.

When asked what her favorite medium was, Gard said, “I love using pencil. Graphite is nice, and I love using colored pencils, too, but they’re a lot harder. When I want to go for something quick, I go straight to my mechanical pencil.”

As an artist, Gard mentioned that she won a Silver Key her freshman year in the Scholastic Art Contest, and illustrated this year’s planner cover. But Gard says her greatest art achievement is not a piece of artwork at all. 

“My mindset has gotten a lot more positive recently, and I’m really proud of that. I still compare myself, but when I do, I’ll tell myself, “I’m doing so good right now,” and, “I think I can push myself,” rather than, “I suck.”” said Gard.

Art I and II teacher Danielle Chi said of Gard, “She came into Art I with a good deal of skills and experience, and has continued to seek feedback, experiment, and grow as an artist. When challenges come up in life and in an art piece, Sophia does not give up.”

Juniors Cayte Worthington and Theron Abel, both members of the Art III class this year, describe Gard as innovative and undaunted, but sweet.

“I remember in freshman year when we were decorating our portfolios, I drew a couple things relating to Vine references and a few TV shows we liked, and she got so excited that it made me want to draw even more.” said Worthington. “She’s always happy to give me tips and insights when I’m having trouble finding what I need to add or how to start my drawings.” 

Both Worthington and Abel are also aware of how friendly and welcoming Gard is towards her peers.

“She’s very humble, and I really respect that. I think as a person her greatest strength is just being there for her friends,” said Worthington. “She’s always willing to be a friend, and is always making sure that you’re alright.” 

Abel also says that Gard is everybody’s friend, conversing with students in art class and making them feel comfortable.

Said Abel, “Sophia inspires me to trust the process and always be open-minded. Things might not always be going the way you want them to, but she is always there to help you keep going.”

About the Contributor
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

Mental health challenges among students during quarantine

Charlie+Crusader+says+hello+to+his+geese+friends+over+Zoom.

Steele Clevenger

Charlie Crusader says hello to his geese friends over Zoom.

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Mental health decreases amongst high school students during quarantine

By Steele Clevenger


Editor and Creative DIrector

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has hindered people—with no exception for age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, or location in the world—from day to day interaction with one another. For students at Jesuit High School, they are spending some of the most formative years of their lives cooped up in their homes, missing out on the social connection required for the mental well-being of teenagers.

“Kids are struggling a lot more not being able to hang out with their friends, not being able to be on campus, not being able to go outside the house. It didn’t have as much to do with school. It more so had to do with the social aspect [of their day],” said Jesuit High School counselor Jason Barry.

Additionally, Barry noticed that social distancing is difficult, since teens are at an emotionally-driven stage in their lives.

Said Barry, “Teenagers struggle with [social distancing] because their first instinct is to hug and to touch. Look how many kids are shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, in the hallways or at Mass. They want physical contact with their friends. When you put five kids next to each other and tell them “don’t touch,” it’s hard.”

Teenagers aren’t the only ones having a hard time adjusting to the all-virtual school setting. For health teacher and Mental Health Awareness Club moderator Liz Kaempf, “For the first week, I went into school because I thought it would make the kids feel more like they were at school, but it just made me sad because I missed the students.”

Kaempf pointed out that while it is difficult for her to have relationships with the students, it is even more difficult for the students to have relationships with one another.

“The hardest part is not being able to interact in person with students and with colleagues. The kids give me energy, but I miss that face-to-face interaction with them because they get me excited for the day. Now, trying to develop relationships with students that you are just meeting for the first time on a screen is super hard,” said Kaempf.

Amidst the decrease in mental health, one Jesuit student not only noticed the disconnection and loneliness the Jesuit community is facing, but created a solution to ease those feelings.

Junior Jenny Duan, leader and creator of Jesuit’s Mental Health Awareness Club, recognized anxiety and stress amongst her peers, and has come up with effective ways to correspond with club members and focus on improving their mental well-being.

Duan said, “We try to facilitate conversations in our club and through social media. The other part of our club is focused on self-care. We play games together, we do short meditations, and we provide ideas for practicing self-care at home.”

What are some ways students can improve their mental health right now? Duan suggests focusing on what is most meaningful.

“Take a larger outlook on things. It’s easy to focus on a test or something, but we need to remember there’s more to life than that,” said Duan.

Kaempf encourages students to set a schedule.“Establish some type of normalcy in your day. Get outside, even if you just sit outside. Reach out to people. I challenged some of my students to text some of their friends and meet for a Zoom lunch,” said Kaempf.

Both Barry and Kaempf suggest ways to physically distance safely. They propose teenagers get outside and meet up with friends while wearing masks and remaining six feet apart.

“We want kids to be interacting. We had a lot of kids playing video games where you put on a headset and talk to your friends.” Barry said. “Some kids talk back and forth through social media—anything that we can encourage kids to do in a safe social distancing manner.”

About the Contributor
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Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

What is Social Distancing?

Social+Distancing

Steele Clevenger

Social Distancing

NEWS

What is Social Distancing?

By Steele Clevenger

With the coronavirus now forcing people to stay quarantined in their homes, the practice of social distancing is essential to stopping its spread.

Social distancing is a practice recommended by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of contagious diseases,” says The California Department of Public Health (CDPH). “It requires the creation of physical space between individuals who may spread certain infectious diseases.”

There is a difference between social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. Quarantine refers to the isolation of people who may have been exposed to the disease but aren’t sick. Isolation refers to people who are sick being kept away from others to ensure no one else becomes sick.

Given the order from President Donald Trump to avoid groups of more than 10, as well as Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s requirement that students stay out of school for two weeks, it is safe to say that social distancing is an important step in hindering the coronavirus spread.

If one does not feel vulnerable to the rampant outbreak, which by now has closed schools, events, and office buildings around the world, Principal Paul Hogan said to remember those of us who are exposed.

“Some students may not understand why we are moving to online learning, since young people seem relatively unaffected by the coronavirus,” said Hogan. “With the other Catholic high schools in Portland, we are trying to stem the spread of the virus to vulnerable members of our community and prevent health care centers from being overwhelmed.”

Vox’s Kelsey Piper makes a strong argument for choosing to stay home as much as possible, inconvenient as it may seem, to help your fellow humans. “If you are healthy, you ought to take precautions because doing so can end up saving someone’s life,” she writes.

Here are some tips on social distancing:

One: Don’t feel forced to stay inside. It’s one thing to go to the mall with a group of friends. It’s another to go outside and get some fresh air. 

Two: Find something to do. If one is going to be trapped in the house for two weeks, one might as well have something to do. Read a book, knit a sweater, or even go for a walk.

Three: use things in moderation. The Newport Oregon Police Department has asked people not to call 9-1-1 in case they run out of toilet paper, so unless you have a year’s supply hidden in your basement, be conscious about how much to use.

Four: take care of yourself. Use proper hygiene. Eat well. Get exercise. The healthier one is, the better chance there is of stopping the spread of the virus.

Experts like Tara Smith, an epidemiologist at Kent State University, said the goal is to “[flatten] the epidemic curve’ — so that it’s not a big, sudden peak in cases, but it’s a more moderate plateau over time.”

With aggressive preventative measures, such as social distancing, the coronavirus can be stopped, and cases will very slowly begin to disappear.

Jesuit administrators have created videos for Jesuit students and staff informing them on some tips about social distancing, and reminding them that in these troubled times they are loved. 

About the Contributor
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

The Coronavirus is Here

The+Coronavirus+is+Here

The Coronavirus is Here

BY STEELE CLEVENGER

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For anyone not yet up on the latest coronavirus, it is within a large family of common viruses first discovered in the Hubei region of Wuhan province of China, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other coronaviruses include SARS-Cov and MERS-Cov, both of which were previously seen in animals and humans.

The difference between a standard coronavirus and this novel COVID-19: a standard coronavirus does not involve a fever. A person may just come down with a cold or have a runny nose. COVID-19, however, can include a fever, and in some severe cases, pneumonia.

The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated “COVID-19)” (CDC). The Latin root corona, meaning “wreath” or “crown,” relates to the crown-shaped appearance of the viruses (Miriam Webster).

But what can be done? Mark Slifka, P.h.D., who developed a hydrogen peroxide-based vaccine technology at OHSU, is a professor at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Slifka said the coronavirus has the potential to become more widespread.

“COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus only seen before in animals, and can be spread through respiratory contact,” he said. “Symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to those of the flu: fever, achiness, difficulty breathing, bad cold, and pneumonia.”

Slifka also says the fatality rate is fairly low, at 0.7 percent to 3 percent. “For people over the age of 80, however, there is a 14-15 percent fatality rate. For anyone under the age of 50, there is a very small chance of fatality, and no one under ten years old has died,” says Slifka.

Junior Grace Taylor, who has dealt with Crohn’s, a chronic autoimmune disease, since sixth grade, says that she must be extra cautious about sanitation.

“I heard about the coronavirus through the media. My first reaction was, ‘It doesn’t matter. It’s not going to affect me because it’s basically just the flu’,” says Taylor. “I’m a little more concerned now, because, with Crohn’s, if I get sick, it lasts much longer than if I didn’t have an autoimmune disease.”

Is there a vaccine for this rampant outbreak of coronavirus?

Slifka says that it usually takes 15-18 years to develop a vaccine due to the requirements of multiple clinical trials, manufacturing, testing, and revising phases of a vaccine… and that’s if everything goes right the first time around.

Luckily, with the help of modern science, Slifka and his team can use existing strands of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) to manufacture a vaccine, which could be ready in as little as two years, with a clinical trial in full swing within the next few months.

Slifka and his team at OHSU are preparing for the outbreak by setting up teams of experts to do research, preventative, and supportive care. Slifka himself is leading a team in a study about the virus, learning what measures might be taken in the event of multiple cases.

In the meantime, we can help prevent coronavirus from spreading by reading those pink signs pasted on the walls of Jesuit classrooms, which read, “wash your hands,” and “avoid handshaking.”

If you feel sick, stay home. You may not feel vulnerable to the disease, but people with compromised immune systems have a higher chance of contracting the virus, and keeping it longer, so think of them before you act in an unsanitary manner.

The Jesuit administration has decided to cancel all summer service and immersion trips. Principal Paul Hogan said he is constantly communicating with people in the community, including airport staff members, directors of projects outside of school, and the Oregon Health Authorities. Hogan also said he will keep the community up to date as often as possible.

“A new page on the Jesuit school website will serve as a central location for information about the virus and our plans for responding. Here you will find electronic archives of the communications sent to our families, health and wellness information, resources for digital learning, and more,” wrote Hogan in an email to students, parents, and staff on the afternoon of March 10.

On March 12, Hogan and Jesuit President Thomas Arndorfer announced that Jesuit would close its doors beginning Monday, March 16, and go to a remote learning model. Oregon Governor Kate Brown ordered all public schools to be closed until April 28.

When will we see the end of what the World Health Organization calls “a global pandemic?” Slifka says if this virus is anything like the SARS outbreak in 2003, it will continue to rage for four to five months before things go back to normal. 

About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

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