DHS Presents New Fall Dramas

By Alyssa Elmer
Staff Writer

The DHS Drama Club is starting off the fall season strong with two productions, “Musical Comedy Murders of 1940,” a murder-mystery comedy, and “The Velveteen Rabbit,” a touching children’s story.
“Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” is a “whodunit” mystery play about a group of 10 people trapped in a mansion with a killer amongst them. The old-fashioned play is set in 1940 in New York. They are being held in the mansion for auditions for a new musical. According to Steve Kachadorian, the director, “throughout the play the characters try to figure out who the killer is.” This play is a personal favorite of Kachadorian. He said, “I have a strong group in the Drama Club that can make this play durable.”
The classic story of “The Velveteen Rabbit” is about a stuffed rabbit who desires to become real through the heart of his owner. An actress in “The Velveteen Rabbit,” Suzannah Frady said, “The drama club decided to put on these smaller shows and create the children’s theater to get the younger kids in Damascus interested in theater. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Both plays are being produced this October. “The Velveteen Rabbit” is a one time show on Saturday October 21 at 10:00 a.m. with a run time of 30-40 minutes. Children ages 3-11 are $5 and adults are free. “Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” is on Thursday October 26, Friday the 27, and Saturday the 28, all at 7:00 p.m. with a run time of about an hour and a half. Tickets are $5 for everyone.
Grab some friends and be sure to see the newest DHS Drama Club productions, “Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” and “The Velveteen Rabbit” this fall.


Rihanna Releases Her Own Makeup Brand

By Hailey Marquez
Staff Writer

Two years ago Rihanna talked about creating a makeup line that was fit for everyone, in response to this she launched her makeup line at midnight on September 8 online on Sephora.com and Fentybeauty.com. It came out in over 1,600 stores in 17 different countries that same day.
On her website Rihanna states, “Makeup is there for you to have fun with, it should never feel like pressure. It should never feel like a uniform. Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different.” There are over 40 different shades for the foundation in the Fenty Beauty line, as well as many other makeup products and tools. Rihanna wanted to make her line fit and affordable for everyone. When the buyer goes onto the Sephora website they may notice that her liquid foundation is one of the lowest priced on there. All though her prices may not match drug store makeup prices, it is considered affordable for high end makeup.
The reaction to her makeup line was through the roof, most of her products have a four star rating and up. No one can stop talking about how good her foundation is, many beauty bloggers have been raging about her products and the quality of them in coverage and how light it feels on the face. Her line is one of the only makeup lines with that high of a variety for people of different skin tones, from her highlights to foundation. The one downside is the fact that it dries down quickly meaning it has to be quickly blended out so it won’t be patchy on the face.
Recently Rihanna has spoken out about a holiday collection that she will be releasing October 13. So far she’s released one lip gloss, but she will have more options in this new collection. She doesn’t have any products for eyes out at the moment, however in this new release there’s also a pop of color in her eye shadow pallet, liquid eyeliners and more. It’s been two weeks since she first released her makeup line and Rihanna is killing the game.

How to Handle AP/Challenging Classes

By Sarah Noland
Staff Writer

Advanced Placement classes can cause stress, frustration, and make the pile of homework on your desk seem never-ending. Do not get overwhelmed! As with anything, it is easier to work hard for something you’re passionate about, so take AP classes if you have interest in the area of study, are ready to invest into the subject, and have time to devote to mastering the material.

Time management. You can balance school, sports, working, and a social life if you stay on a schedule. Similar to setting a daily agenda, plan study sessions for learning certain subjects and practicing specific concepts to prevent procrastination and distraction. Most importantly, once you have been studying for a while, you cannot forget to go to bed. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Strategize studying. Study with a purpose and goal in mind. Have study breaks: for every 20 minutes of focus, take a 5 minute break to keep your brain attentive. Be flexible- your old study habits might fail you as you try to learn AP Level material. Study strategies you develop now will make adjusting to college courses not as difficult. Find the method that works best for you and the class.

Review…A lot. Study on the bus, for a minute at the start/end of class, and look at flashcards instead of checking your phone a few times a day. To learn large amounts of information, it must be practiced. Cramming does not work; especially around May when it’s time to take AP Exams.

Get motivated. AP Exam fees seem costly now, but passing your exams can earn you credits that can skip you through college classes, which cost up 5 times that price. Use the price of the tests to motivate you to make them worth it! Do your homework well– don’t just go through the motions. Go over wrong answers and figure out where, why, and how you went wrong to make your work efficient and ensure you will not repeat the same mistakes on test day.

Utilize resources. Find a study group, meet with an National Honor Society tutor, borrow practice exam textbooks from the library, and use the internet to your advantage. It’s going to be a challenge, but pushing yourself to challenging classes will help you learn a lot about yourself.

Halloween Movies to Get Your Spook-Fest On

By Business Manager
Peyton Husband

Nothing says classic Halloween-Movie like Hocus Pocus. We have all seen on Twitter how excited everyone is to watch this comedy and fantasy movie this year. It is finally Halloween, which means it is time to watch Hocus Pocus. After 300 years, three witch sisters are reincarnated and back to reign terror all over Salem on Halloween Night. Can two teenagers and a little girl save the day? This movie even has song! Who doesn’t love a good musical?

No one can go wrong with the Halloweentown movies, whether you pick I, II, III, or IV, you are sure to get your ghostly fix. A young witch named Marnie must go on many quests and adventures with the help of her friends and family to save Halloweentown. The town’s cab driver is a skeleton comedian, who tells jokes full of skeleton puns. Disney Channel did well in 1998 when they started this family series.
   Monster House is a movie about a house with a trippy backstory that comes alive, ready to devour any soul who steps on its lawn. When parents don’t believe him, DJ and his friends decide to go in and figure out why the house is eating people. For an animated kid’s movie, this was scary. This mystery movie teaches us that on any Halloween, when we are all out trick-or-treating, we should beware of which doors to knock on.

Because Halloween is a horrifying holiday, there must be a horror movie on this list. What better than the classic movie, Halloween and the mortifying Michael Myers himself. Because killing his sister at age six wasn’t enough, Michael Myers is back fifteen years later on Halloween night, ready to kill again. After escaping a mental institution, and with a William Shatner mask on, the murders commence. What makes Michael Myers so terrifying is the fact that he is always there in the shadows, watching without movement.

Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court

By Heather Bacon

Opinion Editor

President Donald Trump announced January 31 that he will be nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Gorsuch will replace the seat left vacant after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.

Gorsuch is 49 years old. He attended Harvard Law and has a Ph.D. from Oxford. Gorsuch has been a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006, when President George W. Bush nominated him. Like Justice Scalia, he is a conservative and a textualist meaning that he interprets the law based on its original meaning. He is a strong supporter of religious freedom rights,and is against legal euthanasia(assisted suicide). Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said, “Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing was a significant loss for the court and for our country. Gorsuch’s impressive background and long record of service, however, give me confidence he will carry forward Scalia’s legacy of faithfully applying the law and the Constitution.”

This election, many voters chose Trump over Clinton because they wanted another conservative justice, especially over the topic of abortion. When Trump nominated Gorsuch, he announced, “Today I am keeping another promise to the American people by nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.”

However, it may be difficult to get Democratic senators to confirm Trump’s nomination after Republican senators ignored Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland last year. Democratic Senators have not been clear if they show support for Gorsuch, however they all seem to be in agreement that he should be allowed a full hearing and vote process. Democratic senator Chris Coons said “I will push for a hearing and I will push for a vote.”

Neil Gorsuch ideals are conservative, but they are not too extreme. This, along with the fact that he has no set view on abortion, will aid him in getting American support.

Currently, on the Supreme Court there are four liberals, three conservatives, and one swing justice (Kennedy). If Gorsuch were to be appointed, there would be a balance of ideologies on the Supreme Court which I think makes him a good choice.

To Stress or Not To Stress

By Joy Petersen
Staff Writer

Were people really less stressed during Stress Less Week? It seemed like students were.

On Monday, music was played in between classes and SGA organizer, senior Christina Hernandez, received positive feedback from students, saying, “They want music all the time in between classes.” This would be especially nice for students like sophomore Gage North, who listens to music at home to relax.

Tuesday, dogs were brought in by a number of students. There was a mob to get in to see the dogs just for a few minutes. Many students got pushed around while waiting or decided to leave before seeing the dogs because the crowd was too much to handle. The situation was very stressful, I imagine for the dogs as well as us. But for the many students who did visit with the tail-wagging friends, they were ecstatic. Junior Drew Dunathan was very happy when I spoke to her. It was a good day for Dunathan because she got to play with puppies and wear pajamas to school for Tuck-In Tuesday. This made her “feel more comfortable” throughout the school day, in turn making her less stressed. But she wasn’t looking forward to anything else during the week because the puppies set the bar.

For that reason, Workout Wednesday wasn’t as big of a hit as the previous day. Only four people showed up in the small gym. One of our media specialists, Ms. Ward, was one of them. She felt nervous to join in because she wasn’t familiar with SoldierFit, a program that does boot camp workouts. Ward thought more people didn’t show up for the same reason. “I just think that people were afraid of the unknown. But I think if we maybe really tried to get more people to come, [Workout Wednesday] is a great idea,” Ward stated. She enjoys working out at home for the purpose of de-stressing and boosting her mood. After the workout at lunch Ward felt she was going to be more productive than usual because she was energized.

The rest of Stress Less Week seemed to fade out. Many students, including sophomore Jared Davis, whom I talked to early in the week on Tuesday, weren’t even aware of what the rest of the days were going to have in store for students.

While flowergrams were a nice idea, they didn’t seem to relax anyone. And as for the pep-rally on Funtastic Friday, students just wanted to go home. It looked like the seniors had taken the notion that pep rallies are overrated, and did go home, as about only a third of them showed up.

Stress Less Week wasn’t all fun and games for everyone. Mr. Bonfils, who works in the history department, felt stressed that week as always and for that reason assumed the students were too. When I asked if he had participated at all in the week’s festivities to help with that stress, he replied, “I kind of see them as something more for the students than the teachers.” And when I went to talk to Mrs. Voketitis, telling her we were doing an article on Stress Less Week, she joked, “To show how stressed we all are.” She said this while in a classroom full of students needing her help at lunch.

SGA has high hopes of Stress Less Week becoming a tradition for Damascus. Although there were high points, like the puppies, the other days fell through. Workout Wednesday would be great to have again for de-stressing, if the chosen workouts appealed to more students. And maybe next year we should think more about including our teachers. I’m sure when they’re happy, we’ll be happier, and vice versa.


Which Way Is Better To Announce Colleges’ Decisions

Punitha Weliwita

Staff Writer

Tis the season of college decisions. The time where seniors probably stress out the most while waiting for the decisions from their dream school.

When people imagine the moment they face the decision that their school has made it usually involves an envelope. Specifically a letter. More specifically a particularly important sentence in that letter that contains the decision (usually the very first sentence). That’s how it’s been for a very long time. Now that technology has developed, colleges have adopted more tech-saavy ways to inform the students on whether they got in or not. As a matter of fact, a lot colleges now don’t even send out letters, they just post the decision online.

It can be argued that finding out through mail is the better way. For one, technology can be unpredictable at times. The account that the student makes under that university can malfunction or the password or username could be forgotten. It can be a little on the tense side when it comes to being dependent with technology platforms. Especially if it’s for a huge decision that plays a big part in your future. Now with letters, the traditional way, there’s not as many possible issues. It’s a quicker way to find out. And there’s just something about having the actual acceptance, or rejection depending on your fate, letter in your hands that makes you feel so great about yourself. Senior Hannah Ward agrees that it’s better to find out through mail since it’s something that’s “more personal.”

Another senior, Alexis Rivera, also has the preference of decisions “coming in the mail due to them seeming more personal.”

In some cases though, the traditional way isn’t always the better way. Finding out college decisions through mail could be a headache as well. The student is already stressed out enough about whether or not they got in, but they also have to worry about whether the envelope went through the right shipment path. It can happen where mail gets misplaced or even somehow disappears. Although knowing that’s the method everyone’s used for so long, it can be assumed that this method can still be reliable. On the other hand, it can still be stressful for the student to keep track of the mail every day and go through that mini panic attack when they approach their mailbox. I’m sure parents are getting the benefit out of this since this’ll be the few months that their kids would actually be willing to go outside and get the mail for the household.

Knowing how fast technology is changing the world, it can easily be predicted that at some point all colleges will fully adopt the method of using technology for not only applications but for decisions as well. If you’re a person who likes the traditional way and prefers getting letters, all that can be said is that at some point you’ll get used to it.