Feature

Happenstance Order Forms

If you would like to pre-order your copy of Happenstance, an student-created art an literary magazine, then make sure to fill out the form below and return it to room B-108 no later than May 3rd.  

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Senior Comparisons

Time Flies!-Baby to Senior Photos Fundraiser   High School is almost over, so take this opportunity to remember the good old days! Submit a picture of yourself in your early childhood and a current picture from your senior year along with the small fee of $5. Visit this link to pay and submit your photos to [email protected]   https://www.schoolpay.com/pay/for/The-Vertical-Senior-Comparisons-/SdlBeTD

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A Special Thank You to Our Sponsor: The Lash Lounge

Visit their website if you are interested for prom and beyond! https://www.thelashlounge.com/fl-ponte-vedra-nocatee-town-center/

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Why did I Miss a Whole Week of School? My Experience at Space Camp

By Maria Ribot (Managing Layout editor) I recently had the privilege to attend Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy-Space Camp at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This experience helped me strengthen my leadership skills as well as my ability to work in a team effectively. Not only this, but I was able to have clarity on other fields of study that I wasn’t interested in, such as space travel and exploration. However, the best part about this experience, was the people that I had the privilege to build amazing friendships with in such a short amount of time. The application process was so rigorous, that I almost backed out of applying for the program. I had to provide evidence of academic success and write three essays. Not knowing if they’ll ever choose me to attend the Academy was nerve-racking, as I thought that I couldn’t possibly compete with the applicant pool. Receiving the acceptance email evoked a feeling of such joy and honor that I wished I was there already. The attendance for the Leadership Challenge Academy consisted of people from 41 countries and 27 states. This was one of my favorite parts of the Academy because I got the opportunity to interact and form friendships with amazing students. For instance, in my team, there were 6 countries, which include, Belgium, South Korea, Argentina, France, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. There were also 5 states represented, which were Kentucky, Kansas, Missouri, Florida, and California. I got to spend time with people that had different hopes and dreams, and the fact that I had the chance to see my peers get closer to their goals was so amazing to witness. During the first days of the camp, everyone was so shy, including myself, because few teenagers in are exposed to an environment of differing cultures and stay calm. I was forced to step out of my comfort zone, and make the most of this opportunity. Doing this ended up being one the best decision of my life. I allowed myself to meet so many people from so many different parts of the world, which was a game-changer for me. As a part of the Academy, I went through a series of preparations for mock missions. For example, one of the missions was the Aviation Challenge, in which my team discussed budget planning and strategies to complete the mission effectively. The training consisted of flying an extensively accurate aviation simulator to perfect take-off and landing procedures for the given aircraft. It was a challenge for me to control my “aircraft”, but with the help of my team leader and my teammates, I ended up contributing positively to the mission. Another activity, which was one of my favorites, was Incident Command. In this simulation, we were given a scenario, such as a natural disaster. Then, we were assigned positions to fulfill the goal of that role. I received Deputy Incident Commander, which was one of the officials in the top tier of authority. My responsibility was to oversee the works of all departments and assist the Incident Commander in a game plan. Fortunately, my team pulled through, and we achieved more than most teams that day. Also, one of the last experiences I got to participate in was the Rocket Launch. I learned how to program, build, and launch a rocket, made out of cardboard and wood. This was such a huge accomplishment for our team, even though we had our doubts in the start. Our team especially bonded through common success, which was achieved on the second day of camp, when we were challenged to build, test and present a heat shield that ended up withstanding 3,500 degrees of pure fire out of a blowtorch. This experience was the one that really brought us closer together according to our strengths and weaknesses.   On graduation day, there were mixed emotions in the camp. It was sad that we wouldn’t see each other again, but we were happy to go home and see our families. As the director called the teams to the stage, I felt so accomplished and honored to be part of something so life-altering. Winning the Excellence in Leadership award was such an amazing accomplishment for me that I was so honored to receive. I have to admit, I was trying so hard to hold my tears back when I heard my team’s reaction when they called my name and as I received my award and shook hands with the Space Camp officials and other important figures that spoke and taught throughout the week.   My experience in this camp was life-changing. Not only did I receive clarity and insight on what I wanted to achieve in my life, but I met so many people that I am certain that will support me through my journey as I grow in intellect and character. I am beyond grateful to Honeywell, the US Space and Rocket Center, and all the people that make this camp accessible for so many students around the world. Providing them with this once in a lifetime experience will bring new faces and ideas to the real world over time.     For more content, check out Amber Lake’s story on the Ponte Vedra Recorder website: https://pontevedrarecorder.com   Cover Photo Credit: Reena Rose Photography

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Six Nease Seniors Offer Tips For Combatting Senioritis

Google defines senioritis as “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.” We asked five seniors from our staff about how they deal with their senioritis. Their answers are below. Bre Jarvis (Editor-in-Chief): Keep telling yourself that you can overcome this. Don’t. Repeat until you have a mental breakdown, fueled by caffeine the entire process. Matthew Fiedler (Opinion Editor): Don’t skip school! Tell a friend to give you a call and meet up at school. Set goals that involve coming to school. You can’t succeed if you don’t try! Denise Uy (Feature Editor): Your teachers have probably given up too by now, so think about how easy your classes are! Look forward to never coming back to Nease again (as a student) in a few short months. Fara Supre (Co-Publisher): Don’t think that you have all the time in the world to get yourself together; you have 10-ish months…that’s it. Focus on the all the things that you enjoy about school; they will probably outweigh all the negatives. Nevada Suckow (Staff Writer): Start a count down, but for every day get something productive done. Set goals with friends and hold each other to them. Hannah Favorite (Co-Publisher): Take a deep breath- know it’ll be over soon. Go to the beach before/after school to breath. Make a bullet journal.

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Linked up with Leadership

By Maria Ribot (Managing Layout Editor) We all know that the first day of high school is a very intimidating and scary experience for all students, especially the incoming freshmen. Link Crew’s mission is to help freshmen transition into high school smoothly and also provide them with a mentor, and even a friend, to help them adapt to high school. Link crew leaders are composed of Juniors and Seniors that have gone through the application process for the organization and have really wanted to participate in this program. If accepted into the program, Link Crew leaders attend the Link Crew retreat and orientation training process, which involves getting to know how freshman feel at orientation. They not only help freshmen, but they also help the new to Nease upperclassmen easily transition and adapt to a new school. Link Crew leaders also have the choice to take the Link Crew elective with Ms. Bowker. This is the second year that this course is being held. The Link crew class has also allowed her to start her day with good news and a weekly positivity circle. A positivity circle is composed of all class members and they have to say one positive characteristic to the person to their right. Positivity has everything to do with Link Crew. This statement was further explained by Ms. Bowker; “Putting over that trust [of positivity] into high school students to be that positive force for change has really helped to broaden my horizons as far as positivity is concerned “. She then added that “influencing positivity to anyone I interact with on a daily basis has really made that a priority in my life.” Part of Link Crew’s mission is not only to help freshmen transition to high school, but to be ambassadors of positivity and kindness on-campus and off-campus to other people. Due to the increased number of Link Crew members, the class had to be split into 2 class periods, 1st and 4th. Ms. Bowker was asked how Link Crew has impacted her life, she responded, “The Link Crew class has allowed the club an opportunity to become more active throughout the school year”.  With this comes events that will be available for the whole school to participate in because of the class. With organizing school-wide events, comes rigorous planning and approval. For example, on August 24th, students in both class periods were able to pitch and present ideas to Mrs. Kunze for events taking place in the fall.  This presentation allowed the Link Crew leaders to obtain feedback and suggestions about how they can make their events better and more efficient.  So, stay tuned for updates regarding these events!   Follow us on Instagram, for daily updates!   Make sure you stay tuned to social media updates coming your way as the first issue comes out with a brand-new design.     1st period Link Crew class stands still for a formal photo before they are told that they can be silly again. Cover Photo Credit: bhsguidance.com

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New to Nease: Exchange Students

Cover Photo Credit: Lily McKenna By: Lily McKenna (Social Media Manager) and Halie Childress (Layout Editor)   For the 2018-2019 school year, Nease has a few exchange students from around the world. They have experienced things differently than us Nease-natives; however, they’re also normal kids just like all of us.   We decided to interview one of these students to learn about their experiences when moving to a whole new country. In addition, we have some tips on how to better welcome an exchange student to our school.   Joris Louvier, a French exchange student who is currently attending Nease for his junior year, decided to share some thoughts about his experience with the Rotary exchange program. His family isn’t new to the exchange program, as his older brother spent a year in Texas through it. They come from a French state (or “department”) in the French Alps called Haute-Savoie that borders Italy and Switzerland. Due to the geography of Europe, it’s not uncommon for many countries to border one another, creating an interesting cultural mix. This particular area, though not full of palm trees and ninety-degree weather, has its fair share of unique traits. Since it is in the Alps, temperatures can get down to -15°F; of course, it can reach the 80s in the summer, but the Florida humidity is still suffocating in comparison. In France, the rooms are smaller and the language is only similar in terms of alphabet. Their traditions and values are decidedly much different than ours here in America. A greeting is a standard kiss on both cheeks, and food is a large part of the identity. After Joris expressed an extreme dismay for American cheese and bread, I asked him his reasons for making the very big trip to America. “There are many reasons,” he began, “but travel, meeting new people, and figuring out what I want to do in the future are the biggest ones.” Though the exchange presents an abundance of opportunity, it does have a learning curve. So far, I’ve had to explain what Build-A-Bear is to him. A large room of teddy bear corpses and Frankenstein stuffed animals must sound very strange to an outsider. Recently cast in the fall play, Joris has already integrated himself at his new school. His character, initially written as a British man, was completely re-done as French to fit his accent, and he brings an incredible talent to our school. After pursuing his hobbies in France for many years, he decided to engage in them here as well. Though they don’t grow up here, many exchange students can be easily compared to an average kid who has. Joris told me, “I’m just trying to live like a normal American,” and so far, he is doing a perfectly fine job. He likes memes, finds the fact that his host brother constantly flexes on Snapchat a bit odd, and really hates Minions. Unfortunately, the small yellow demons managed to invade Europe. And, even though the croissants we have here don’t compare to those in France, they aren’t so bad. The host family that has taken Joris in for the year, that of senior Jonah Paxton, has been wonderful in acclimating him to a whole new country. Though he misses his family and friends back home in France, it isn’t always easy to contact them due to time zone differences and schoolwork. “I can’t enjoy what I am doing here if I am always on my phone, talking to [family in France],” Joris says. “But they understand that. It cost a lot of money to make this exchange possible, so I’m gonna try my best to live it as much as I can.” For now, he’s focusing on taking as much of America in as he can for the short year he has here. He knows time will fly, but is extremely grateful to have the opportunity to have this experience at such a young age. After our lunch interview wrapped up and I was on my way to 5th period, my phone lit up. It was Joris. “I forgot…I really miss baguettes.” Joris is just one of the exchange students at Nease and as students of Nease High School it is our job to welcome them. They are new to the country and they probably don’t know anyone, which can be pretty daunting. Here are some tips on how to make an exchange student feel more welcome!      1.  Give them a warm welcome.   If they do not say “Hi” first, then introduce yourself. Break the barrier, and make sure  you smile so you seem welcoming. Ask for their name, and if it is hard to pronounce, ask politely how to say it and try repeating it until you understand. It’s important that they keep their culture with them!    2.  Find out about their interests.   Inquire about things such as their hobbies and what their favorite subjects in school are. Ask questions that you would anyone when trying to get to know them; who knows, maybe you will even find some common interests.    3.  Introduce the exchange student to you friends.   Tell the exchange student your friends’ names interests, etc. This will invite more possible friendships to the exchange student.     4.  Include the them in activities.   You can include them by inviting them to sit with you at lunch, to school games, or to other activities inside and outside of school. Hang out with them and show them around their new home for the year!    5.  Inform them on activities at the school.   Tell them about when games, theatre shows, and other cool events are. Tell them about sports and cool clubs they may be interested in, too. With over 50 clubs at Nease, they are bound to find something that piques their interest.    6.  Give them tips about the school.   Tell them about things only students, teachers, and faculty at Nease would know about. For example, if they are going to the portables, tell them about the “one way only” hall that is quicker to use. Even little tips that may not seem helpful to you could help them out tremendously.    7.  Be open and ready to help if needed.   Make sure that you are there for the exchange student if they need you, and make sure you make it clear that you are available to help them anytime. Remember: you may be a pro at being an American, but this is all new to them!   It is so much fun to learn about an exchange student and the country they come from. Remember, an exchange student is a high school student just like you. They may be different or have been born and raised in another country than ours, but that doesn’t mean that you have to treat them any differently than you would your friends that are from America. Meeting kids involved in the exchange program has been a wonderful experience. We can’t wait to see what this school year brings both us and our new Nease students from around the world!     Sources: “Student Tips:Going to High School” and Wikihow “How to Welcome a New Kid”  

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Self-Harm. Substance Abuse. Eating Disorders.

*Trigger warning* The following article covers serious topics that may be disturbing for some readers and could lead to relapse in those struggling with self-harm.

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Vegan or Vegetarian?

By Hannah Favorite (Editor-in-Chief of Happenstance) This post is an extension of Hannah Favorite’s article “Healthy Life, Happy Life”. If you haven’t read it yet, check out our February 2018 issue! Millennials are all about what’s in, and currently veganism and vegetarianism are in. But are these hot trends really good for you? Vegan vs. Vegetarian Vegans do not consume any animal products, including milk, eggs, fish, all meats, honey, and anything that animals may produce. Vegetarians are a little less strict, and have more wiggle room. Vegetarians traditionally do not eat meats, but will still eat fish and other animal products. There are many health benefits to both lifestyles, but also many side effects. Cons Not only is it difficult to shop for a plant based diet, but more expensive as well. Also, plant based eating can be nutritionally insufficient. Many people who pursue these lifestyles have to take vitamins in the form of pills on a regular basis to prevent their bodies from shutting down. Many vegans and vegetarians are also at risk of an insufficiency in vitamin D or vitamin K, which are both necessary for bone health. Protein is another macromolecule that composes body tissues including hair, muscle, and collagens, and it helps the body produce enzymes and antibodies. This important compound can be found in almonds, eggs, oats, cottage cheese, milk, Greek yogurt, and broccoli. Not all of these are consumed by vegans, but vegetarians will eat these particular foods. Pros The raising of cattle and other animals requires massive amounts of land, water, energy, and food. 1% of the world’s greenhouse gases are from agriculture, as well as extensive animal suffering — one of the main reasons many people decide to cut meats out of their diet. Environmentalism and animal cruelty are not the only reasons to change the way you eat. There are many benefits to cutting meat out of your life, such as lowering your blood pressure, reducing the risk of diabetes, and even losing weight. Vegetarians consume less calories and fat on a daily basis. Generally, this produces a loss in weight and lowers the risk of many heart diseases.

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Bullying in Today’s World

By Bella Ibrahim (News Editor) Bullying has been a problem across the United States for a long time.  While rates of physical bullying have gone down across the past seventy years, verbal rates have stayed around the same, and new technology causes a new problem: cyberbullying (ecommons.luc.edu).  Sixteen percent of high school students have experienced cyberbullying in just the past year (americanspcc.org), and this problem is not going away — it is only getting worse. Fifty-two percent of all LGBT students have been cyberbullied before graduating high school. The state of Florida has strict laws against bullying and harassment at school or on school property, including the bus, but there are no state-wide remote bullying laws. In St. Johns County, bullying is considered a level 3 infraction of the student code of conduct, which includes cyberbullying and cyberstalking. Of course, this policy cannot help students that refuse to talk about being bullied or harassed, so the best thing to do is to report anything that happens to you or anyone else. Cyberbullying is not the only type of bullying that students endure despite the school systems’ effort — bullying occurs right under their noses. Emily Kochanowski speaks up by saying, “I have never been bullied, but I witness different forms of bullying in my classes. It simply isn’t right to bully others — especially if they did nothing to hurt you and you just think it’s funny. There is nothing funny about making people feel badly.” It can be hard to believe that people would throw people down just to make themselves feel better or to make themselves laugh, but it does happen. Another student at Nease, Ally Lachina, says, “Bullying is unacceptable under any circumstances.” While most seem to be very against the idea of bullying, thirty percent still admit to bullying others in their lifetime. One student that wishes not to be named is tired of all the hypocrites: “I was bullied as an elementary and middle school student. I was really chubby and awkward as a child and they [the bullies] fed off of that. They would pretend they were my friend only to normalize the belittling and teasing. Then as I got older I matured into someone that I suppose the previous bullies would be alright associating themselves with, but I didn’t want to be with someone that made others feel the way I felt when I was young. They made me so miserable that I didn’t want to come to school at all. I once convinced my mom that I had the flu for a week just to escape them temporarily, but when I came back things started up again. It took me a while to figure out that I wasn’t bullied because there was something wrong with me; I was bullied because there was something wrong with them.”  This student understands that it isn’t the person being bullied’s fault for what’s happening to them, helping them not to become one of the two-thirds of people bullied that bully other people. Every single school day across the United States 160,000 students stay home for fear of being bullied. While physical bullying is less of a problem then it has been historically, it still is a problem. There have been a few fights at Nease and of course other high schools across the state and the country this year. Sometimes small fights between friends escalate into something that isn’t easily controlled and both of them get in trouble. There are ways to prevent harassment and bullying; In schools with an anti-bullying program there are fifty percent less bullying incidents reported. A way for other students to help prevent this is to notice the indications in someone if they refuse to tell anyone. Indicators that someone you care about could be being bullied include: A sudden change in their school attendance, having an apparent difficulty to concentrate on anything, having a low self-esteem, being passive, withdrawn, or overly sensitive, displaying signs of anxiety and/or depression, feeling they do not seem to fit in, and talking about running away or committing suicide (standforthesilent.org). All of these are signs that they may be being bullied and one way to help them is to try to talk things out with this person and make sure they feel comfortable with telling you if something is happening. If you are being bullied, some tips for coping are to: Try to understand the bully, confront the bully (if you feel safe enough), never suffer through it in silence, know that it is a criminal offense, do not see yourself as the problem, deal with the stress in a healthy way like exercising, do not isolate yourself as hard as it may seem, look after your health mentally and physically, seek role models, and always, always, always tell someone that can put it to an end. One thing someone can do if they are experiencing bullying is to tell a teacher, administrator, or guidance counselor you are comfortable with what is happening and take their advice as to what to do next.

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