February 2021 Howler


News for January and Feb 2021

A Northwood High School Publication

4515 Portola Pkwy. Irvine, CA 92620 Volume XXII, Issue V: February 12, 2021

Follow us on Instagram @nhs.howler

Northwood cares: Student Forum runs donation drive

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COVID “Disappears”


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Kaylee Charlton The Northwood Howler

ASSEMBLED WITH CARE: Student Forum carefully boxes donated materials and thank-you cards to create COVID-19 care packages.

By Ryan Wu

Staff Writer


Anjana Narasimhan The Northwood Howler

Student Forum (SF) assembled

hundreds of COVID-19 care packages

from Jan. 26-29 for underprivileged

women in the Casa Teresa

programs, taking an active approach

to benefit the Southern California


“I am extremely proud of the

work that everyone in Student Forum

has pitched in as we spent many

Friday afternoons planning the logistics,”

SF president senior William

Pan said. “Through everyone’s efforts,

I think this has been one of the

best things our school has done.”

From Jan. 11-22, students contributed

critical items to the care

packages via a donation drive, including

face masks, sanitizing wipes,

hand sanitizers and clothing.

In total, SF secured enough

essentials to create 100 large care

packages as well as 500 small care


A letter drive was also held, giving

students a chance to spread words

of positivity and motivation for the

Casa Teresa beneficiaries.

“Most of us, especially those

of vulnerable populations, are experiencing

more stress than usual, and

it’s especially important for us to support

these people and bring hope to a

brighter future,” SF member sophomore

Shani Lin said.

Casa Teresa was founded to

support pregnant women who suffer

from homelessness, substance abuse

and mental health disorders, offering

residential programs and resources to

help them reenter society as self-sufficient


After completing this project,

SF plans to continue supporting the

communities of Northwood and beyond.

“We will be back in the spring

semester with other ideas and projects

that will bring our community

insight into the good that can be

found despite the pain last year has

brought,” Pan said. “Tomorrow will

be a new day.”

“Soul” Movie Review


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James Harden Trade


Mock Trial heads into the competition season

By Matthew Dimaandal and

Lana Hwang

Staff Writers

Northwood’s Mock Trial team

competed against University High

School on Feb. 2 and Arnold O.

Beckman High School on

Feb. 4 in the annual

Constitutional Rights

Foundation competition.

The competition

involves student witnesses

and attorneys

being scored on their

performance during

pre-trial motions, opening

statements, witness testimonies,

cross-examinations and closing arguments.

In the first round out of

two, Northwood’s defense team lost

against University’s prosecution

team by a final score of 406-438. In

the second round, Northwood’s prosecution

team lost to Beckman’s defense

team by a score of 591-610. In

the third round, Northwood’s defense

team won against Katella’s prosecution

team by a score of 435-395.

“The trial was extremely

nerve-wracking, but it was also

so amazing,” prosecution attorney

freshman Ally Venezia said. “Doing

it on Zoom was a lot different than I

expected, but I’m proud of what the

team and I did.”

The defendant in this year’s

mock trial is Lee Croddy, an anarchist

YouTuber on trial for aiding

the burglary and assault

of a government official

by one of his

fans, as well as acting

as an accessory

after. During the




Zoom meetings,


are held for individual

roles, such as witnesses

developing characterization

or attorneys

practicing using and

responding to objections,

as well as full

group sessions where

the teams do full runthroughs

of the trial.

“Even with things

moving online, I’ve

been really impressed

by everyone’s willingness to show up

and improve,” Mock Trial co-president

senior Michael Tsai said. “Mock

Trial has always had a big time commitment,

so I’m really thankful that

we have such dedicated members.”

In the fall, Northwood Mock

Trial also competed in the annual

unofficial Mock Trial

competition hosted by

JSerra High School,

winning two rounds

out of four. More

recently, the club

conducted practice

trials with University

and La Quinta High

School to get more authentic

practice where

the teams had to think

on their feet, parallelling

a true trial.

“Our team members

have definitely

stepped up to the challenge

of a 100% virtual

meeting and competition

system,” Mock Trial

vice president junior

Jasmine Chhabria said.

“I couldn’t be more proud!”

Saba Nabaeighahroudi The Northwood Howler


February December 12, 16, 2021 2019

NHS runs toy drive

By Erin Tsai

Staff Writer

Northwood’s toy drive competition,

hosted by the club Fostering

Hope, donated

about 80

toys and board

games to foster

children for the


The toy

drive, held

from Jan.

4-8, was

part of a


donation drive involving all five

IUSD high schools competing to see

which school would get the most donations.

Northwood won third place


“Something as simple as

donating used toys can mean

a lot to someone who isn’t

raised in an environment as

fortunate as ours in Irvine,”

Fostering Hope club co-president

Lauren Nguyen said. “It

was very rewarding seeing the hard

work pay off knowing it was going

towards making kids



Fostering Hope surpassed


with their drive, which

benefited Seneca Family

of Agencies, a charity

that provides help

and resources for

foster kids and their



Fostering Hope club

has an extended history

with Seneca

Family of Agencies,

as the club


The Northwood Howler

Heading into spring: COVID-19 developments in OC

By Jonathan Kang and Tyler


Staff Writers

From the new COVID-19 variants

to the number of students switching

from the hybrid learning model to

IUSD Virtual Academy (IVA), the

pandemic has proven to not only be

a core part of our everyday lives, but

a constantly changing one as well.

New COVID-19 variants:

Found in more than half the

states in the country, the new U.K.

variant, B.1.1.7, has been found

to be more deadly and transmissible

than the original virus. The

Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention has stated that the variant

could be the dominant strain

in the United States by March.

Another strain called B.1.351

is now prevalent in South Africa,

and a closely related strain,

known as P.1, has been identified

in Brazil. As of Feb. 3, B.1.351

has been detected in Minnesota

and P.1 has officially been detected

in Maryland and South Carolina.

A Pfizer Inc. laboratory study

found that coronavirus mutations

identified in the U.K. and South

Africa had only small impacts on

the effectiveness of antibodies generated

by the company’s vaccine.

Cases at Northwood and IUSD:

Multiple confirmed cases of

COVID-19 in IUSD schools have

caused backlash from several students,

parents and teachers who argue

that school is unsafe for in-person

learning. They voiced their concerns

on a recent Instagram post from

Richelle Gunawan The Northwood Howler

was founded by a student who was

adopted through the agency. Thus.

Northwood’s chapter of Fostering

Hope settled on a toy drive after the

organization requested the club do


“The other

schools were asking

for smaller

items like hand

sanitizer and

more essential

items to donate

to their

charities of

choice,” Fostering Hope club copresident


Wilmot said. “But

Northwood did

toys and board

games. During

the holidays



don’t get



to educate

Northwood students about

the foster care system, Fostering

Hope plans

to hold more

drives in the

future to benefit

the community

and raise

awareness for foster


“I hope students

will take

away how big

an impact they

can have on a

child’s life,”

Nguyen said.

“We hope to do

more drives like

this in the future!”

IUSD as well as by signing a petition

on Change.org requesting for Northwood

to resume school fully online.

As of Feb. 2, there have been

25 cumulative cases of COVID-19

among students and teachers at

Northwood. 20 of them had not

been on campus during their infection

period, and no cases are known

to have been contracted on campus.

“All of the cases that have

been reported the students and staff

have contracted that somewhere

else, so the good news is that we

don’t have any evidence of community

spread here,” Northwood Assistant

Principal Jennifer Ollila said.

“Any time there is a positive case,

First days in Biden’s presidency

By Ryan Wu

Staff Writer

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

both took the sacred oaths to become

the 46th president and vice president,

respectively, of the United States

on Jan. 20, altering the trajectory of

American politics for the next four


In the months leading up to inauguration

day, Biden had unveiled

significant portions of his plans for

his first 100 days in the Oval Office.

His desire to enact change was

exemplified a few hours after being

sworn in when Biden made history by

signing a record 17 executive actions

in an effort to tackle issues such as

COVID-19, immigration and global


“There is no time to waste when

it comes to tackling the crises we

face,” Biden tweeted while on his

way to the White House after inauguration.

Most notably, Biden is seeking

Congressional approval for his

American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion

proposal to revive the economy and

get 100 million Americans vaccinated

during the first 100 days of his


“If we can get the majority of

the population vaccinated, we’d be in

very good shape and could beat even

the mutant,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said

on NBC. “The issue of getting 100

million doses in the first 100 days is

absolutely a doable thing.”

Juxtaposing former president

Donald Trump’s more relaxed measures

to curtail the spread of the virus,

the Biden administration will enforce

a mandate to wear masks and social

distance around federal property.

Biden is also planning to create the

governmental position of COVID-19

we do contact tracing for that student

or staff member. I believe we

continue to be safe here at school.”

IVA students switch to hybrid:

A large number of students

across IUSD switched from the hybrid

academic model to IVA for the

spring semester. At Northwood, over

120 switched their academic model.

Some students requested to

switch their academic model after

the early December deadline

due to concerns of spikes in cases

following the holiday season.

In an attempt to accommodate

these last-minute changes, only a

handful of students were allowed

Official U.S. Navy Imagery

CONTINUING CRISIS: Medical staff put on their personal protective

equipment (PPE) in preparation for treating a COVID-19 positive patient.


SIGNING ON: Biden’s new executive orders set the

tone for his new federal administration as Trump leaves office.

to switch their academic model at

this point due to issues with staffing,

schedules and the ever-growing

number of students at IVA.

“There were a number of factors

that went into my decision to

switch,” junior Emily Okamato

said. “Socialization and in-person

class setting were necessary learning

environments for me, but the

paranoia I felt from COVID-19 ultimately

drove me to switch to IVA.”

COVID-19 in the United States:

With 25,971,202 cases and

436,780 deaths as of Jan. 30, the

United States leads the world in both

cases and deaths. California currently

Response Coordinator, who will relay

information to the president and initiate

the 100 Days Masking Challenge,

urging Americans to wear masks for a

prolonged period of time.

With 15 of Biden’s new federal

directives as executive orders, many

of the actions passed by his administration

so far ultimately serve to

counteract Trump’s policies from the

past four years. In his first day in office,

Biden signed America back into

the Paris Agreement, sent an immigration

bill to Congress detailing a

citizenship path for DACA recipients

and lifted the discriminatory bans

that were directed at predominately

Muslim countries.

In the midst of Biden’s new

policies, new members of his cabinet

have been slowly confirmed. Although

only time will tell the impact

of his staff, Biden undoubtedly has

the most diverse cabinet in the history

of the U.S. presidency. It is the

first time that the nation sees a Latino

chief of homeland security, an openly

gay cabinet member and a female national

intelligence director.

“Building a diverse team will

lead to better outcomes and more effective

solutions to address the urgent

crises facing our nation,” Biden said

in a speech in December regarding

his cabinet nominations.

Regardless of personal opinions

on Biden’s policies, there is a long

and arduous path in front his first 100

days and beyond as Biden attempts to

guide the nation to unity.

“Will we master this rare and

difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations

and pass along a new and

better world for our children?” Biden

said in his inaugural address. “I believe

we must and I believe we will.

And when we do, we will write the

next chapter in the American story.”

has the most cases at 3,205,947, and

New York has the most deaths at

42,639, but both states seem to be

decreasing in the number of cases.

Despite this decline, California, Texas,

Florida and New York continue

to have the highest number of cases.

Free COVID-19 testing at IUSD


IUSD is offering free CO-

VID-19 tests for students, staff and

dependents at its high schools after

its successful partnership with

LivingFit Nation Corporate Wellness,

who have funded free testing

for staff since September 2020.

Each of the district’s six high

schools will rotate hosting the clinics

from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Irvine High

School and Portola High School hosted

a clinic on Feb. 1, while Creekside

Education Center held a clinic on Feb.

8. Woodbridge High School and University

High School will hold clinics

on Feb. 15 and 22, respectively.

Vaccine distribution:

The COVID-19 vaccine

has been administered to over

3,649,440 people in California as

the state transitions from Phase 1A

to Phase 1B in its distribution plan.

Healthcare workers and longterm

care residents were prioritized

first as part of Phase 1A. Individuals

65 and older and at risk

of exposure at work are currently

able to receive the vaccine. Vaccination

sites range from clinics,

pharmacies and hospitals to other

buildings dedicated to vaccination.

In Orange County, 301,433

people have been vaccinated so

far. Residents can register through

www.Othena.com for a vaccine.

The Northwood Howler ACCENT

February 12, 2021 3

Victoria Ta The Northwood Howler

2021 fashion forecasts: Trends to shop

By Rachel Gima

Staff Writer

With no place to go outside,

we all began to focus on ourselves,

becoming more conscious of how

we present ourselves when we are

around others. Fashion is an integral

part of this, and as a result, we saw

multiple fashion trends highlighted in

2020, from outfit-coordinated masks

to biker shorts. As the year begins,

new trends trademarked to 2021 are

only getting started on their rise to

popularity. We made a few trend predictions

here, so you have plenty of

time to pull together various outfits

for Zoom meetings, in-person school

days and all your trips to Trader Joe’s.

Quilted jackets:

A type of puffer coat, these quilted

jackets have been fairly popular

already this winter, and many different

celebrities, including Bella Hadid

and Blake Lively, were seen wearing

one during the Spring/Summer Paris

Fashion Week at the end of last year.

These warm, versatile jackets have

different looks, from a leather sheen

to a trench coat, and can function as

the backdrop of sweatpants, jeans,

sweaters or t-shirts, or can become

statement pieces of their own.

Intricately colored and patterned


In 2020, we saw the rise of the

strawberry dress. In 2021, we’re taking

this multiple steps further with not

only dresses, but camisoles, sweaters,

coats and more, with bright colors,

intricate patterns and designs in floral

and fruity themes. Many looks recall

previous decades, such as the digital

flower print tops that are making a

comeback from the 90s.

Oversized men’s clothing:

Dad jeans, dad shoes and now

dad shirts. Specifically, oversized

button-downs are becoming increasingly

popular, in styles that range

from casual t-shirts with jeans to full

suits, often in a solid color. Clothing

pieces work together to create a comprehensive

outfit, while shoes can

be paired with jeans or dresses for

different occasions. This trend has

evolved from streetwear to class, an

example being monochrome suits.


The fashion industry has recognized

that fast fashion has irreversible

environmental impacts, and many

people have turned to vintage, or

secondhand, clothing to add to their

wardrobes. One downside people

have experienced is that these clothes

don’t fit perfectly, and not everyone is

savvy with a sewing machine. Belts

have been around forever, but are becoming

an increasingly popular fix

to this problem. Now, larger monochrome

belts fasten suits and formal

dresses, while utilitarian belts act as

the slimmer, chicer version of fanny


Chunky flats:

Comfortable and versatile, these

shoes come in a variety of shapes and

styles that accommodate their look.

Men and women alike are styling

these shoes, including loafers, sandals

and babydoll flats, with casual

and formal outfits alike. Last year,

Birkenstocks, the beloved lazy sandal,

saw a sharp spike in popularity.

While we don’t expect that trend to

fade too much, chunky flats have a

high chance of being the next revolutionary

shoe: They’re easy to wear,

comfortable and their unique look

can cinch together an outfit.

Nicole Curtis The Northwood Howler

Design your own date

By Matthew Dimaandal

Staff Writer

Figuring out the perfect Valentine’s

Day date is already a hard task

and a pandemic added on top of it

isn’t making it easy. These socially

distanced date ideas

are sure to make

sure to amaze your

significant other.

Picnic Date:

Watch the

sunset while

laying down on

a blanket with a

charcuterie board

filled with cubed milky cheeses and

sliced savory meats for the perfect

socially distanced picnic. While you

may have to pay around $15 for a

delicious charcuterie board, almost

everyone has a blanket in their house.

Luckily for you, Irvine has amazing

views and parks to go to like Heritage

Park or Shady Canyon Trail.




bother going


the hassle of ordering takeout

when you can put on an apron and

cook your own food with your date

through Zoom? Pick out a recipe that

you both haven’t seen before, whether

it’s a dinner dish or dessert, and

just start cooking while on call. Once

you’re both done, you can both enjoy

your tasty creations with a romantic


Minecraft Date:

Explore vast caves, build fantastic

houses and have your own date

right in Minecraft! While the game

is fun already, having someone to

play with is even better. By buying a

Realm for $7.99, you and your date

can enjoy your own Minecraft world.

Build anything your hearts desires or

explore the world. Try out the minigames

that come with realms.

Surprise Food Roulette Date:

Watching movies online and

eating food delivered to you can

get repetitive for a date, so why not

change things up? Let your significant

other choose what food

gets delivered to you and you

do the same. Have some fun

guessing what each of you got

for each other.

Bob Ross Date:

Be happy

little trees and

paint with your

significant other

while listening

to the calm voice of

Bob Ross. Bob Ross

painting tutorials can be

found on Youtube, so all you

need is a canvas and painting

supplies. Luckily, painting supplies

can be bought around $10 at stores

like Jo-Ann and Michaels.

University Town Center Date:

If you and your significant

other want to spend some time outside,

University Town Center and

Turtle Rock Trail is the perfect place

to do that. Start off your date by getting

drinks at Cha for Tea and grab a

takeout order from the nearby restaurants.

Walk through UCI’s Aldrich

Park, filled with cherry blossoms and

tall trees. Finally, as the sun begins to

set, cruise through Turtle

Rock Trail for the perfect

photo opportunity.

Victoria Ta The Northwood

4 February 12, 2021


The Northwood Howler

Exploring the realm of food: Various diets and dishes

By Erin Tsai

Staff Writer

A healthy diet is one of the most

important things to maintaining your

health, but it’s just so much easier to

grab that bag of chips over preparing

fresh fruit. For those of you struggling

to stick to a healthy diet, it may

be a good idea to explore if there’s a

better diet for you. Please note, prior

to starting any new diet regimen, you

should discuss the various benefits

and risks with a medical professional

to make sure it is right for you.

Vegetarian. Vegetarians cut out

all meat of their diet, including fish

and poultry. Besides the environmental

and ethical benefits of not consuming

meat, vegetarians reap many

health benefits, such as improved

cardiovascular health and stabilized

blood sugar. A well-balanced vegetarian

diet can certainly provide high

intake of nutrients like fiber, Vitamin

C and Vitamin E. However, cutting

out meat and fish can lead to protein

and Omega-3 deficiencies. To

avoid this, make sure to include protein-rich

plants such as nuts and tofu

in your diet, in addition to fruits, vegetables

and grains to fill any nutrient

deficiencies you may have.

“I’m vegetarian because it’s part

of the culture and traditions of my

family,” junior Surya Subbarao said.

“I enjoy samosas, which are Indian

triangular snacks filled with vegetables

and spices, usually with sweet

or spicy sauce. I like them because

of the variety they have in terms of

the filling and the sauce, and they can

have a lot of different flavors.”

Vegan. A popular type of vegetarian

diet, the vegan diet is similar in

that it also cuts out all meat, fish and

poultry. The difference is that vegans

KETO HAP(PEA)NESS: Salmon poke bowls, topped with peas, avacados and seaweed, is a student favorite.

cut out all animal products from their

foods including eggs, milk and all

forms of dairy. In fact, many vegans

consider it to be a lifestyle choice, abstaining

from all forms of animal cruelty,

including food, clothing and everyday

products. However, similar to

vegetarians, vegans can suffer from

various nutrient deficiencies due to

cutting out so many foods, including

iron, calcium and zinc. Enriching

your diet with nutrient-rich plant

foods instead of processed vegan

foods will help enrich your diet and

minimize the risks of the vegan diet.

“I enjoy trying new things to

benefit my health, so I was vegan for

half a year at one point in my life,”

freshman Kristen Lew said. “Being

a dancer and fitness lover, I have always

been aware of my health and

Coco TsaurThe Northwood Howler

diet. I’m not vegan anymore because

it wasn’t beneficial for training and

muscle building. I’ve found a diet

that works better for me, and I feel

healthier and happier as a result.”

Carnivore. The carnivore diet is

the exact opposite of the vegan diet,

consisting entirely of meat and animal

products and cutting out all plant

foods. Proponents of the diet believe

that the increased protein intake and

abstinence from carb-heavy foods

can provide health benefits. However,

there has been no research supporting

these claims. The downside

of the carnivore diet lies in that it is

high in fat and sodium, which can

lead to kidney stones, fatty liver disease

or high cholesterol in addition to

nutrient deficiencies. Moreover, meat

and animal products are less environmentally-friendly

than plant foods.

Cutting out all vegetables may sound

enticing, but you might want to consider

the trade-off first.

Gluten-free. Gluten is a group

of proteins found in certain grains,

such as wheat, rye and barley. If you

feel symptoms like nausea, bloating,

diarrhea, constipation or stomach

cramps after eating foods with gluten,

you may have gluten intolerance

and would benefit from following a

gluten-free diet. Since many grained

foods, including breads, pastas and

cereals, tend to have ingredients with

gluten in them, it’s important to read

the labels of processed foods. Going

gluten-free doesn’t have many added

health benefits or risks, but it may

truly help those whose bodies don’t

handle gluten well.

Ketogenic. The ketogenic

diet, better known as keto, aims for

low carbohydrate and high levels of

healthy fat by replacing the carbs you

eat with fat. Other than decreasing

insulin and blood sugar levels, the

low-carb diet is beneficial for those

with diabetes. The limiting of carbohydrate

consumption can also induce

a metabolic state called ketosis,

in which the body begins to burn fat

instead of carbs for fuel. However,

there may be side effects for those

that follow the keto diet in the long

term, such as muscle loss, cholesterol

spikes and micronutrient deficiencies.

This diet is most safely done

with medical supervision.

Paleo. There’s no doubt that humans’

diets have changed drastically

through the years, but you can replicate

what humans ate as hunter-gatherers

in ancient times by following

the paleo diet. This is done by eating

entirely natural foods, eliminating all

sugars and processed foods from the

diet. Although the potential risks are

unknown, the paleo diet does provide

some benefits, such as better glucose

and blood pressure levels, as well as

a better appetite overall. There is no

one right way to do the paleo diet, as

every ancient human ate something

different, but you can explore with

this diet and perhaps unlock part of

yourself you didn’t know existed.

“The saying ‘you are what you

eat comes to mind,’ and I believe it

is a good idea to cut down on foods

that don’t benefit our bodies in any

way,” junior Samhita Suripeddi said.

“Researchers still don’t know the

long-term impact of this diet, so I am

wary of some of its aspects, like the

lack of fiber and calcium intake. I believe

that humans have evolved, and

I think that the mimicking of ancient

hunter-gatherers is a stretch.”

Senioritis: Second semester suggestions

By Rahul Khanna

Staff Writer

Chloe Song The Northwood Howler

The road to becoming a contender

for a desired college was a

long one that started the moment seniors

set foot in Northwood during

their freshman year. It’s been a tough

past few months for the seniors, what

with the endless nights of perfecting

their Common App essay, stressing

over that typo that they should have

caught and preparing tirelessly for interviews,

but the seniors managed to

get through it.

“I’m definitely relieved that college

apps are over and that I finally

get a chance to somewhat relax in

high school,” senior Henry Jia said.

“However, I’m still a little nervous

about decisions.”

Yet, there seems to be something

other than nervousness in the air.

Telltale symptoms such as “Severe

Boredom Disease” and “Skipping

School Syndrome” are all indicative

of senioritis, a common term used to

refer to the lack of motivation many

senior students tend to feel during the

second semester of their senior year.

Dealing with senioritis can be

difficult, but by continuing to engage

in hobbies such as sports or

reading, staying connected to friends

and talking with guidance counselors

about loss of motivations, seniors can

successfully handle senioritis and

make the best use of their last semester

of high school.

“Playing baseball helps with

preventing myself from losing motivation

because the hard work that I

put in to prepare for the season translates

over to my school work,” Jia


Seniors should continue to maintain

their grades to some degree, as

Kaylee Charlton The Northwood Howler

SENIOR SLUMP: Senior Britney Cao falls asleep in class, exhausted

from the all-nighters she pulled to finish her college applications on time.

many colleges will check on accepted

applicants’ spring semester grades

to ensure students are continuing to

demonstrate academic achievement.

A sudden drop in grades is common

among second-semester seniors due

to senioritis, but by staying organized

and creating short-term goals, seniors

can continue to succeed in school

while still participating in activities

they love.

It can be equally beneficial to

pick up new hobbies or learn new

skills. Many students often feel that

they lacked the time to pursue new

hobbies while maintaining their

grades and participation in extracurricular

activities; this last semester

offers seniors a valuable opportunity

to spend time learning something

they are passionate about.

Equally as important as dealing

with senioritis, however, is preventing

it, particularly for underclassmen.

“For both current and future

juniors, don’t plan on taking 5 AP

classes your senior year, since I can

guarantee you will burn out,” AP

Chemistry teacher Jane Yoon said.

“Especially with the last-minute SAT

or ACT, activities, interviews and essays.

Make sure to know how much

you can handle.”

Unfortunately in most cases, senioritis

is something that simply cannot

be avoided and must be dealt with.

Most students are not particularly

used to extreme boredom, especially

after cramming for four consecutive

years on never-ending projects and

staying involved in numerous extracurricular

activities. However, when

dealt with properly, senioritis need

not be the cursed disease that teachers

tell horror stories about.

“I also experienced senioritis

when I was younger, and it even

lasted until college,” Yoon said. “For

seniors, I would actually say to enjoy

it. You only get to experience senioritis

once, and everyone deserves to

take that break and relax, as long as it

doesn’t interfere with responsibilities

too much. You definitely earned it.”

The Northwood Howler A&E February 12, 2021 5

The wall of sound returns

By William Baik and Tyler Wong

Staff Writers

Northwood’s marching band

made its official return second semester

after the California Department

of Public Health (CDPH) issued

safety guidelines pertaining to

wind instruments. With the return of

the long-awaited marching band season,

many students are excited about

this announcement; however, some

have also questioned this decision,

particularly with the current severity

of COVID-19.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty,”

Instrumental Music Director Ben

Case said. “I think it’s very normal

as these are big changes that we’ve

never really seen before. That being

said, we’re keeping safety first and


Marching band began virtual

meetings on Jan. 28 to communicate

plans to students. Meeting weekly in

person in separate cohorts, students

will also be practicing their instruments

individually and with other

members in virtual sectionals. The

first in-person meeting took place on

Feb. 11 for Cohort A.

When students attend in person,

they will be required to follow specific

safety protocols, such as using

brass bell covers and wearing masks

specifically for horns and face shields

for flutes. Students will also be required

to be spaced out at a minimum

distance of 12 feet by 12 feet,

and rehearsal times will be limited to

30-minute segments with five minute

breaks to allow aerosol to disperse.

The safety precautions have relieved

some student apprehensions.

“I naturally have concerns like

everyone else,” drum major senior

Sean Yan said, “but, knowing how

meticulously cautious our directors

have been, I trust their judgment in

returning for the second semester.”

The marching band looks forward

to rehearsing their repertoire

of “Fight Song,” “Word Up” and

“Don’t Stop Believing” in sectionals

this year. Though a sign of Northwood’s

return to normalcy, there are

still marching band members who

have chosen to remain at home for

this year. Regardless of their absence

this year, Case and the other music

directors reassure that the bonds created

through music are ones that take

much more than a 12-foot distance to

break down.

“If you’re a part of our program

at any point, you’re always a part of

our program,” Case said. “Maybe

you’re not participating in the same

way that you always have, but that

doesn’t take away or negate any of

those relationships and friendships

that we’ve built over the years.”

Photo provided by Ashley Lee

THE PACK MAKES A COMEBACK: Northwood’s marching band

leadership meets on Zoom to discuss the logistics of upcoming plans.

Around the world in a single sitting

By Rachel Gima

Staff Writer

From fun outings with friends

and family to cultural awareness,

museums are a timeless experience

that allows attendees to explore the

stories and lives of individuals and

societies across eras. Although some

are still closed to the public, many

have opened their virtual doors to online

viewers, unveiling a chance for

the public to delve deep into some of

the most fascinating works in history

even from their own homes.

Vatican Museum:

Even if you are not an art connoisseur,

visiting this museum is a

promising experience. It is a prominent

name in the art world, and for

very good reason: It houses famous

pieces of art from Italy and the Renaissance,

including the pieces in the

Rotunda Room and the Sistine Chapel

ceiling among many others. If a

piece of art has inspired millions of

people, from artists to scholars to the

owners of meme accounts, it’s worth

paying a quick virtual visit to.

Getty Museum:

Located only about an hour

away from Irvine, this museum is

one you can visit virtually now and

explore in-person once it reopens. It

houses a variety of different types of

artworks, from landscape paintings to

portraits, sculptures and more. Some

famous pieces include landscape

paintings by Rembrandt and still life

paintings by Monet. The grounds

themselves are beautiful as well for

taking an afternoon or evening walk,

so if there are certain artworks you really

like, it’s worth keeping them in

mind and planning a visit to the real

museum in Los Angeles at some point

in the future.

Metropolitan Museum of Art:

You might have to wait a bit longer

for your Blair Waldorf moment on

the steps on the Met, but a virtual tour

of the museum offers something nearly

as exciting: millions of masterpieces

by the most famous, infamous and

obscure of artists and endless opportunities

to learn about global history

and culture. From pieces by O’Keefe

to Degas, these famous pieces are

Sondos Elbershawi The Northwood Howler

AN ADVENTURE WITHIN REACH: Sophomore Grace Carmichael virtually explores the art

of the Rijksmuseum, a national museum of the Netherlands, in the comfort of her own home.

available for display online. And if

that isn’t enough to encourage you to

check it out, you can both brush up on

your knowledge of Greek mythology

and relive your middle school Percy

Jackson phase with this visit as well,

considering that this museum is the

one that was mentioned in the first


Van Gogh Museum:

As one of the most widely discussed

(and, some argue, misrepresented

and misunderstood) artists

today, Van Gogh remains an important

figure in the art world. His stirring

life story coupled with his Post-

Impressionist paintings evoke a keen

sense of beauty and tragedy, skillfully

crafted by precise brushstrokes of

color. Although this museum is located

in Amsterdam, virtual tours of this

museum offer insight into his life and

surroundings (through his early drawings

and letters) and the impact they

had on the world-renowned paintings

we marvel at today, including many

of his flower paintings (“Irises,”

“Sunflowers”), portraits and self-portraits

and landscape paintings.

Rachel Gunawan The Northwood Howler

6 February 12, 2021


The Northwood Howler

Brightest stars of the 2020s: K-pop sets foot in America

By Yejin Heo

Staff Writer

Whether it’s Korean skincare

products in the cosmetics industry or

Korean dramas on Netflix, Hallyu,

the South Korean wave which describes

the global popularization of

Korean culture, has exploded in the

past decade. At the heart of the Hallyu

wave is the ever-growing popularity

of K-pop, known for its blend

of catchy melodies, synchronized

choreography and high production

value. K-pop’s popularity has piqued

the interest of many American artists,

leading to the production of many international

artist collaborations.


Since their 2016 debut, Blackpink,

which consists of members

Lisa, Rosé, Jennie and Jisoo, became

the first girl group to top the Billboard

Artist 100 chart, has held the

record for biggest music video debut

in YouTube history and was the first

female K-pop group to perform at

Coachella in 2019. Recently coming

out with an original Netflix documentary

“Blackpink: Light up the Sky,”

Blinks, which is the Blackpink fandom

name, get a more intimate look

into the South Korean girl group’s

successes and hardships.

Over the years, Blackpink has

collaborated with many American

artists, the most recent being with

Selena Gomez for their highly anticipated

collaboration single titled “Ice

Cream” for the group’s first complete

album. Blackpink has also been featured

in a song called “Sour Candy”

in Lady Gaga’s album, Chromatica.

The girl group also collaborated with

Dua Lipa in her album, Dua Lipa

(Complete Edition), on a song called

“Kiss and Make Up.”


BTS, which stands for “Bangtan

Sonyeondan,” has been translated to

“bulletproof boy scouts,” a name fit

for the 7-member powerhouse. The

group emerged from Big Hit, an underdog

agency which granted the

group creative freedom with their

music and media presence. Because

BTS is heavily involved in the writing,

choreography and production

of its music, they have gained credibility

and popularity among fans,

especially in America where many

people feel that many K-pop groups

are more manufactured products than


Their fandom group, called

Army, is famous for being devoted

fans, streaming the band’s songs and

videos all day on as many accounts

and devices as possible so their idols

stay at the top of the music charts.

BTS recently released an all-English

single called “Dynamite,” which was

nominated for the 2021 Grammy

Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.


Twice’s viral hits are optimistic,

cheerful and dazzlingly colorful

in the songs’ melodies, members’

stage presence and impressive choreography,

establishing itself as one

of the top K-pop groups by embracing

a feminine, youthful image. Their

fans, who are referred to as Once,

support the group’s 9 members: Jihyo,

Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo,

Sana, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung and


With more than 10 albums and

EPs dropped since their 2015 debut,

Twice has constantly released new

music in both the Korean and Japanese

language at an ambitious rate

even for K-pop, where most groups

release new music once or twice a

year. The group also has almost unparalleled

success in Japan as well,

becoming the first K-pop girl group

to host a dome tour in Japan, which

attracted over 210,000 attendees in


Monsta X:

Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun,

Hyungwon, Joohoney and I.M. make

up the K-pop band Monsta X. They

debuted in 2015, formed by the reality

survival program “No.Mercy”

by Starship Entertainment. Monsta

X’s fanbase, called Monbebe, enjoy

the group’s duality between their comedic

reality show appearances and

dark, sultry music video concepts.

Their Japanese single “Spotlight”

received an official gold certification

by the Recording Industry As-

Improving the SNAP of your shot

sociation of Japan. In February 2020,

Monsta X’s first English album titled

“All About Luv” ranked number 5 on

the U.S. Billboard 200. They teamed

up with DJ and producer Steve Aoki

on the song “Play It Cool,” which appeared

on their 2019 album “Take 2.

We Are Here.” The music video incorporated

traditional South Korean

elements like fans, folding screens

and Korean phrases throughout.

NCT 127:

NCT 127 is the second sub-unit

of the group NCT and named after its

formation in Seoul, where the number

127 represents the longitude coordinate

of the city. The unit’s original

line-up included Taeil, Taeyong,

Yuta, Jaehyun, Winwin, Mark and

Haechan, who started their U.S. promotion

by becoming the first K-pop

Nicole Curtis The Northwood Howler

group to perform in the annual Rodeo

Houston in Texas. As part of its

global initiative, NCT 127 includes

members from Canada, Japan, China,

South Korea and the United States,

transcending language barriers with

their global fans, called NCTzens.

In 2019, Jason Derulo, Lay

Zhang of EXO and NCT 127 collaborated

to create the song “Let’s Shut

up & Dance.” The 4-song EP titled

“The Greatest Dancer,” which was

inspired by and dedicated to Michael

Jackson, featured intricate dance

choreography and spotlighted underground

street dancers and professionals

from Ethiopia, Jamaica, South

Korea, Los Angeles and London. In

an interview about the collaboration,

NCT 127 said, “This project is the

perfect example of how music is a

global language.”

Coco Tsaur The Northwood Howler

DOWN TO THE FINEST DETAIL: Junior Irene Lee captures a peaceful snapshot of

leaves growing in her pot with her iPhone to preserve the moment in her camera roll.

By Arya Bhattacharjee

Staff Writer

The memories that can be made

while learning new things are priceless,

so why not snap a photo every

now and then in order to make sure

you never lose these precious moments.

With these five tips, you can

be sure that every photo you take is

one that you will want to keep.

Tip #1:

“The first thing you need to

know is that you don’t need any

fancy equipment to get started. I usually

shoot on my smartphone camera

because it’s always with me. I rarely

ever use my expensive digital slr

camera, as it’s better to start experimenting

with whatever you have than

worrying about having the best picture

quality.” — senior Emma Li

Tip #2:

“When I take photos, it’s most

ly about lighting and angles. Find a

good time in the day and make sure

the light source is in front of you, not

to the side or behind. If you do this,

you won’t have to edit as much and

the authenticity of the photo is enhanced.”

— junior Irene Lee

Tip #3:

“Keep the camera straight and

experiment with angles! Make sure

that all horizontal areas in the shot

such as tables, the horizon, fences,

etc. are parallel to the ground. I would

advise turning on the “grid” setting

on your camera or phone, whichever

you decide to use.” — junior Vera


Tip #4:

“Focus on capturing the moment.

Think about your intent with

what exactly you want to portray with

your photograph, and focus on what

feels most important. For example,

I find it more valuable to capture

my friend laughing at a joke I told

them, rather than telling them to say

‘cheese’ before taking the picture.”

— junior Vera Vlasova

Tip #5:

“Just have fun with it! Take pictures

of small things and moments

that you like regardless of whether or

not they seem insignificant. My camera

roll is full of random things I’ve

seen, and those are some of my favorite

photos because they are unfiltered

memories.” — senior Emma Li

Now that you’re armed with

these wonderful tips, from here on

out you can always make sure that

the photos you take no longer feel

mediocre and half-baked. As the

quarantine continues to stretch out,

we are sure that there are plenty of

small moments and memories that

could be cherished in the future, so

go ahead and capture the story of

your quarantine!

Anjali Mittapally The Northwood Howler

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The Northwood Howler VIEWPOINT

February 12, 2021 11

Looking back on the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol

By The Howler Editorial Board

Rioters in support of former

President Donald Trump stormed

Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, leaving the

nation in a state of chaos and confusion

just two weeks before President

Joe Biden’s inauguration. As the first

time since the 1814 Burning of Washington

by the British during the War

of 1812 that hostile forces invaded

Capitol Hill, this event will undoubtedly

make history. But we can’t just

accept an event like this.

To prevent another infamous

Capitol Hill riot two centuries from

now, we have to realize that this riot

was grounded in America’s growing

populist sentiment ever since

Trump’s election in 2016. Trump, his

followers and media outlets behaved

at best irresponsibly and at worst

criminally by insisting through insidious

speeches that the 2020 presidential

election was corrupt. According

to federal election infrastructure officials,

the 2020 election was the “most

secure in American history.”

Make no mistake: There is much

more to this riot than an aggrega-

CDA Section 230: The future of politics on social media

By Helena Zhou

Staff Writer

Immediately following the U.S.

Capitol incursion on Jan. 6, former

President Donald Trump faced suspensions

across multiple social media

platforms, including Facebook, Twitter

and Snapchat for sharing misleading

content and inciting violence. In

addition, Twitter purged more than

70,000 accounts associated with farright

conspiracy QAnon. These suspensions

have sparked heated debate

about freedom of speech and censorship;

however, liberty and regulation

are not mutually exclusive, and the

digital world has opened up new horizons

that require a balance of the two.

Following the bans, many conservatives

turned to an alternative

site, Parler, and essentially transformed

it into a right-wing echo

chamber. Parler was then disabled

as Amazon Web Services removed

the site from its hosting service due

to Parler’s ineffective moderation

of content threatening public safety;

And in Parler’s subsequent lawsuit

against Amazon, Amazon invoked

Section 230 as a liability shield for its

platform moderation.

“The fact that a CEO can pull

the plug on POTUS’s loudspeaker

without any checks and balances is

perplexing,” European Union Commissioner

Thierry Breton said. “It is

not only confirmation of the power of

these platforms, but it also displays

deep weaknesses in the way our society

is organized in the digital space.”

Section 230 has come under fire

recently as Trump, Biden and even

tech companies themselves call to

modify the legislation. Section 230

of the Communications Decency Act

states, “No provider or user of an interactive

computer service shall be

treated as the publisher or speaker of

any information provided by another

information content provider,” which

means internet companies—such as

Instagram, Facebook and Youtube—

cannot be sued for the content users

post on their sites nor good faith efforts

to remove content that violates

their policies. This leaves companies

to regulate themselves, but it does not

protect platforms in criminal cases,

such as copyright claims and human


In retrospect, the law has been

salient in shaping the internet as we

know it today. It has allowed startups

to enter the online markets without liability

risks and brought social media

to the forefront of communication in

our society.

“CDA 230 is perhaps the most

influential law to protect the kind of

innovation that has allowed the Internet

to thrive since 1996,” the Electronic

Frontier Foundation said.

Repealing this protection altogether—an

approach both Trump

and Biden have favored—would be

nonsensical, as it would dramatically

increase censorship to avoid potential

lawsuits, which may also involve

pre-screening all content and micromanaging

users. However, this 1996

regulation is largely outdated.

One point of contention is the

inconsistency of censorship: Senator

Ted Cruz and other Republicans have

alleged that political censorship is

more prevalent on the right, but there

is no evidence to corroborate this as

of now.

The main issue focuses on tech

companies holding contradictory

roles as both open-source platforms

and selective publishers, as intervening

with political speech online as

“publishers” has now put them at risk

of losing the “platform” protections

granted by Section 230. However, the

role of social media has never been

one or the other, but rather, something

in between. Since private companies

have been able to restrict speech as

they choose, tech companies taking

an “editorial” role to moderate content

is not new.

Companies uphold their terms of

service that prohibits hateful conduct,

which covers terrorism and violent

extremism, and Section 230 legally

protects them to do so. Historically,

Twitter has deplatformed ISIS and

other international terrorist groups

for recruiting members and organizing

violence on their platforms, and

Youtube and Spotify censored conspiracy

theorist Alex Jones in 2018

for violating their hate-speech policies.

To a lesser degree, Trump infringed

on speech policies when

inflaming domestic terrorism and

broadcasting false claims about election

fraud to his millions of followers,

which resulted in his ban. The

surge on the capital and consequent

Trump ban have been described as

the “9/11 moment of social media”

by Breton and a “turning point in the

battle for control over digital speech”

by Edward Snowden, an exiled

American whistleblower. While it is

important to not resort to a Patriot

Act-equivalent crackdown on civil

liberties, recent events have clearly

demonstrated the need to address the

faulty underpinnings of social media

and its crossroads with free speech.

Deciding what violates their

policies and whether they should be

allowed to censor content at all are

gray areas. Handing the government

Tyler Merbler

CALLED TO ACTION: Thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C. to demand that Vice President Mike Pence and Congress reject Biden’s presidential victory.

tion of angry Trump supporters who

spontaneously decided to storm the

Capitol, as their defense attorneys

claim. Although Trump’s inflammatory

words during the inaptly named

“Save America” rally—held only a

few hours before the storm—definitely

lit the powder keg, the plot to

overthrow America’s democracy had

been building like a storm for weeks.

As early as election night, when

Trump prematurely and erroneously

claimed victory even as votes were

still being counted, the plot for a coup

d’etat began.

According to a report by Slate,

the strategy to take advantage of the

so-called red mirage—that early election

returns would appear better for

Trump than the final counts—started

during the weeks leading up to the

election, with Trump going so far

as to rehearse his lines, according to

former Trump chief of staff Reince


Trump showed no signs of conceding,

and social media and conservative

news outlets allowed their

platforms to be used for the continued

assertion of false or unprovable

claims for angry Trump supporters

to lap up. In the meantime, Trump

continued to spout outright lies of

widespread voter fraud in several

battleground states, and even invited

supporters to come to a “big protest

in D.C.” on Dec. 20, 2020, promising

it would be “wild.”

The days leading up to the riot

itself consisted of Mayor Muriel

Bowser requesting the deployment

of the D.C. National Guard as support

for the local police force. These

unarmed guards served as little more

than “crowd control,” a stark contrast

to the response earlier in the year

to protests by Black Lives Matter.

And though the vile acts of the insurrectionists

have been thoroughly

documented—mostly gleefully by

the offenders themselves on social

media—Trump himself refused to

intervene for four hours as congressional

members and staffers worried

for their lives.

In the rubble and shattered glass

of the aftermath that left five people

dead and 140 officers injured, it’s up

to us to examine not only how insurgents

gained relatively easy access to

the Capitol (there are reports of inside

help from members of the GOP

and Capitol police), but also how

people were so easily radicalized into

violent frenzy through perpetual and

unchecked lies. How do we stop this

from happening again?

There is no easy answer. The

FBI is rounding up participants, the

Senate is holding trial to convict

Trump and social media companies

have eradicated their ranks of QAnon

and other conspiracy tweeters.

While these steps go a long way to

giving consequence to treasonist action,

they do not address the ongoing

exploitation of populist beliefs by the

ruling class and the GOP.

At its heart, populism attempts

to put the beliefs of ordinary Americans

at the forefront of decisions, arguing

that the elite discount the struggle

of middle Americans. In the GOP

version, the elites are liberal snowflakes

who concern themselves with

government handouts to the poor and

political correctness (never mind the

billionaires that make up the ranks of

the GOP).

The rhetoric that white Americans

somehow have lost out due to

social justice and increased rights for

minority groups rings true in the ears

of low-income whites, who somehow

believe they have more in common

with the billionaires than with minority

groups because their skin is the

same color. Their aggression would

be better served toward dismantling

corrupt practices (such as Trump’s

tax cut) within the GOP, but Trump

supporters and the like have successfully

exploited the frustrations

of poor white Americans and duped

them into being cannon fodder in a

failed coup d’etat.

Republican leadership should

condemn the actions of Jan. 6, swiftly

rebuke all involved and expel the extremist,

racist, anti-democracy, conspiracy-wielding

parts of their party,

but the response so far has been halfhearted

calls for unity and deafening

silence. On the side of “ordinary

Americans,” we can buffer ourselves

from exploitative populism by recognizing

that it thrives on volatile shortterm

whims; the expression “think

before you act” has never been more

appropriate. To ensure that these mistakes

are never made again, we must

speak out about them. Silence in the

face of anti-democracy is complicity

in democracy’s downfall.

Anjali Mittapally The Northwood Howler

or tech companies the power to form

policies and make censorship decisions

on essential platforms sounds

worryingly technocratic, yet an overly

populist space without moderation

would perpetuate the amplification

of misinformation, hate speech, conspiracy

theories, organizations of violence,


Nonetheless, social media has

created a digital breeding ground for

polarization and radicalization, and

thus, should be legally held accountable

to take nonpartisan preventative

measures and be transparent about

their moderation. Moving forward,

some proposals from U.S. legislators

to change Section 230 have been to

remove protections from certain categories

of content and to only offer liability

protection after meeting certain

standards set by the government. Uncertainties

for Section 230 lie ahead

in the Biden administration as it remains

without a clear modification

plan, and more importantly, our laws

have yet to catch up with innovation.


The Northwood Howler

Tough on China: A continuation of Trump-era policies

12 Februrary 12, 2021

By Diego Moreno

Staff Writer

Over the past few years Chinese

influence across the globe has

increased, threatening U.S. power

across the globe. To counteract this

rise, the Biden administration must

take strong measures to curb China’s

growing economic and military power.

Former president Donald Trump

started his Indo-Pacific strategy with

goals of promoting economic growth

and expanding diplomatic relations

between countries within the region

This would allow the United States,

instead of China, to be the main superpower

in the Pacific.

On Jan. 26, the Senate confirmed

former Deputy Secretary of State

Antony Blinken to lead the State Department

under Biden. Blinken spoke

on a variety of issues from restoring

faith in European allies to the Yemen

humanitarian crisis and the Iran nuclear

deal. Most importantly, he discussed

how he would deal with China


“I disagree, very much, with the

way that [Trump] went about it in a

number of areas, but the basic principle

was the right one,” Blinken said

“And I think that’s actually helpful to

our foreign policy.”

In terms of economics, the

most memorable of Trump’s actions

against China was his trade war that

began in July of 2018 with the implementation

of tariffs against Chinese


Although the initial goal of

these tariffs was to curb the unfair

trading practices of China, the trade

war led to an increase in consumer

goods for Americans, costing about

57 billion dollars annually. Additionally,

this tariff did little to hurt China’s

economy, which instead grew by

2.3% in 2020.

News from the Biden administration

shows that this trade war is not

going to end as any hope of continuing

to stop Chinese influence requires

the United States to prevent its economic


The coronavirus pandemic,

though damaging world trade, gave

China an economic advantage over

the United States, causing the U.S.

economy to stagnate while China’s

flourished. Unless Biden can find

ways to further reduce China’s economy

or bolster the U.S.’s own, it must

take other steps to stop their expansion.

China has begun their belt and

road initiative, with the goal to invest

in the infrastructure of countries in

Africa, the Middle East and South

America. The investment in countries

such as Pakistan, Ecuador and Sudan

appears selfless, but there are benefits

to China for doing this.

The debt these major oil exporters

now owe China puts China in

strategic control of their economies.

Pakistan is the greatest concern as

China was able to build its Gwadar

Port allowing it access to the Indian

Ocean, increasing Beijing’s influence

in the area.

Meanwhile, U.S. investments

have increased by over $150 billion

dollars from 2018 to 2019, but

increase is only for U.S. allies like

Japan and the United Kingdom. Although

helping allies bolsters U.S.

interest we should instead be focus

on creating new allies by investing

in other foreign countries. The sole

change the Biden administration has

made so far to foreign aid was ending

a policy that prevented it from being

used for abortion. If this is the only

change made, the United States has

let China succeed.

The United States is the arsenal

of democracy defending nations from

authoritarian powers; and we must

continue to defend allies in the South

China Sea from Chinese military

endeavours. China has been rapidly

bolstering its navy, and even though

their production level can not be

maintained for long, their aggressive

expansion is worrying.

The South China Sea is a major

shipping area with billions of dollars

worth of goods traveling through

yearly. Should any nation control it,

they would have great influence over

the economies of nations located in

the area.

Trump’s America First policies

put the defense of military bases and

defense treaties with multiple countries

in the Pacific in jeopardy. His

constant fighting with allies such as

South Korea over paying for military

bases risked the security of the

region. Threatening to remove U.S.

soldiers from these strategic positions

would allow China to expand

its military strength throughout the

region uncontested.

Although how exactly Biden

plans to tackle this military threat is

still unknown, his campaign emphasized

its goal to ensure U.S. military

superiority; but this plan is at odds

with his goal of reducing overseas


China’s volatile nature in the

South China Sea means that the U.S.

will have to be more aggressive in its

combating of Chinese military ambitions

in the area. To accommodate for

this aggressive approach, it would

require Biden to implement a costly

2021 military budget.

China’s current course of increasing

influence threatens to destabilize

the rest of the world, including

the United States. The Biden administration

must continue to be diligent

in preventing China from expanding

any further.

“We have to start by approaching

China from a position of strength,

not weakness,” Blinken said. “The

good news is, our ability to do that is

largely within our control.”

Joe Biden’s America: Democrat House and Senate control

By Hari Sreemagiri and Ryan Wu

Staff Writers

Following the rollercoaster that

was the 2020 presidential election, the

Georgia runoffs will go down as one

of the most consequential elections

of the decade. It seemed as though

everything was at stake, as millions

of Americans held their breath to witness

what would reshape the course

of the political sphere for years to

come. In order to control the Senate,

Democrats needed to win both runoff

elections: a virtually impossible task

that they successfully accomplished,

handing Vice President Kamala Harris

the tiebreaker role in the Senate

and giving President Biden power to

move his policy agenda forward.

Although this victory marked

the start of a brighter and more progressive

American future, Biden’s

policy agenda is still worth dissecting.

Here is our take on some of his

most happening policy.

1. Racial Inequality

One of the most prominent political

discussions in 2020 surrounded

the discrimination and brutal abuse

of BIPOC communities by police

forces, which sparked hundreds of

protests around the nation.

In the past, Biden has made

questionable decisions pertaining

to criminal justice such as his controversial

1990s “tough-on-crime”

stance. But he has since rescinded

these statements and recognized that

racism continues to be a prevalent issue

in the United States, proposing

a 20-billion-dollar grant initiative to

increase states’ investment in efforts

to reduce incarceration and address

racial inequality. He has also proposed

that fixing these issues requires

social and economic efforts such as

his 30-billion-dollar “build back”

program which supports small minority


According to the Center for

American Progress, these policies are

a huge step forward from the previous

administration’s more than 31 anti-reform

actions, including failing to

report deaths in police custody, halting

assistance of police departments

who were pro-reform, encouraging

the use of excessive force in Black

Lives Matter protests, reinstating

Department of Justice contracts and

many more.

Although his plans are satisfactory,

Biden’s stance on defunding the

police is still a bit concerning, considering

the horrifying events that took

place last year as a result of cruel,

violent policing. In an interview with

CBS News, Biden was quoted saying,

“I support conditioning federal

aid to police, based on whether or not

they meet certain basic standards of

decency.” Even with proposed bodyworn

cameras and conditional hiring,

it’s difficult to believe that these will

make enough of a difference when so

many instances of blatant abuse were

videotaped this year and so few officers

were held accountable.

2. COVID-19

From disbanding the White

House pandemic response team two

years prior to the COVID-19 crisis to

continuously downplaying the severity

and seriousness of the novel coronavirus,

the Trump administration

exacerbated the virus that has now

claimed 425,000 American lives.

Prior to his inauguration, Biden

unveiled a $1.9 trillion COVID-19

relief plan that he dubbed the “American

Rescue Plan.” He plans to spend

a trillion on stimulus checks, food,

childcare and utility assistance with

the rest of the funds delegated to areas

such as first responders, vaccine

research and manufacturing, grants

for small businesses and the safe reopening

of schools. Because he believes

that economic improvements

are dependent on pandemic recovery,

Biden plans to pay the hefty sum of

the plan with borrowed money, adding

to the trillions of dollars that the

U.S. government already owes. However,

this may result in a quicker resolution

to the virus that is worth the

price. By investing tens of billions of

dollars into both vaccine programs

and testing, Biden can quicken the

distribution of vaccines across the

United States.

3. Deferred Action for Childhood

Arrivals (DACA)

The endeavor to end DACA is

one of the many blights of Trump’s

presidency. In September 2017,

Trump vowed to destroy what he

Richelle Gunawan The Northwood Howler


TIE BREAKER: Democrats have obtained a slim majority in the Senate following the Georgia runoffs.

proclaimed to be an “illegal executive

amnesty.” Multiple legal challenges

throughout the next three

years saw the courts undergoing an

endless debate about whether or not

the program should continue, prohibiting

DACA holders from becoming

citizens. Eventually, however, it became

clear that not one of these court

rulings ended in favor of the Republicans.

In one of his first acts as president,

Biden sent an executive bill to

Congress calling for the protection

and fortification of the DACA program.

Additionally, he urged that

Dreamers should be able to immediately

become permanent residents

and have access to citizenship after

three years of living in the states.

Currently, there is still a large

battle in Texas concerning the legality

of DACA filed by Texas and several

other states, and the result of this

trial will come out in the near future.

DACA is essential for the livelihoods

of hundreds of thousands of unauthorized

immigrants, whether the

purpose may be to take up an internship

or to continue higher education.

It is important to recognize that

politicians are politicians, and to idolize

or blindly accept a leader for their

decisions is what leads to the sort of

fanatic support that plagued our nation

during Trump’s presidency. Regardless

of the alleviating outcome of

the election, worldly problems have

not vanished with a new president,

so it is paramount that we continue

fighting for what we believe in.



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The Northwood Howler

New CIF guidelines delay anticipated sports season debut

By Arya Bhattacharjee

Staff Writer

Recent announcements from the

California Interscholastic Federation

(CIF) have stated that most fall season

playoffs have been cancelled due

to the increasingly strict regulations

imposed by the California Department

of Public Health (CDPH).

According to CIF commissioner

Rob Wigod, the primary reason that

the fall season playoffs have been

cancelled is because not enough

progress has been made for the fall

season of sports to even start. This is

in addition to the rise in COVID-19

cases throughout California, with

99.9% of the population falling within

the CDPH’s purple category.

CIF has stated that in order for

high school athletes to be able to participate

in Interscholastic sanctioned

sports once again, the CDPH CO-

VID-19 rating for each county must

be at or lower than the required rating

for the sport. On Jan. 21, a list of

all sports with their respective color

tier was released by the CIF, revealing

that most of the sports fell under

the purple tier, with a few higher

risk sports, including basketball and

wrestling, reaching the orange and

yellow tiers.

Sports such as football, cheerleading

and water polo all are facing

the effects of these updated guidelines.

Organizations such as USA

Water Polo have called to adjust

their sport’s CDPH category, especially

considering that water polo has

over 65% of their athletes residing in

California. Even though the season of

Boys and Girls Water Polo continues

to play out, official games and meets

are yet to be played.

“CIF decided to restructure

Photo provided by Northwood Cross-Country

ONE STEP AT A TIME: The Girls cross-country team does team stretches, six feet apart, prior to the start of their first meet.

sports and create a ‘Finter’ sports

schedule which combined Boys and

Girls Water Polo into the same season,”

Boys and Girls Water Polo head

coach Kyle Kim-E said. “As COV-

ID-19 got worse, we were limited on

what we could do. Slowly, it became

clear that we couldn’t play in games.”

An additional press release

from CIF laid out guidelines for the

upcoming sports seasons as of Jan.

26. In order to allow for more authorized

sports events, they are looking

to incorporate standard COVID-19

prevention procedures into the sports

themselves, such as wearing masks

and socially distancing, all under the

guidance of the Executive Director

Ronald W. Nocetti.

“As COVID-19 transmission

rates are rising significantly in California,

communities across the state

must continue to take measures to

limit the spread of the virus,” Nocetti

said. “This is the way to ensure the

best chance for CIF competition to

commence by January 25, as allowed

by the guidance from the California

Department of Public Health.”

These guidelines were put in

place during a cross-country meet

held at Arnold O. Beckman High

School on Feb. 6. While in most cases

the meet was similar to those held

in past years, certain key changes

were implemented, such as the noticeably

smaller course, confined to

the campus itself, and a limit to the

The NFL’s bizarre nightmare: Tanking

number of athletes racing, down to

only 20 people at once. When not racing,

students were instructed to wear

a mask at all times and avoid physical

contact with one another.

“The safety protocols were pretty

good,” cross-country runner junior

Justin Lee said. “There were designated

arrival and departure times

which helped to minimize the amount

of people on campus, but we couldn’t

watch other races.”

Other regions in California have

also taken steps to allow for competitions

and meets to resume, as seen

with Sacramento’s CIF sanctioned

track meet on Jan. 25. This meet was

the first of its kind since the beginning

of the stay-at-home order 10

months ago. The meet followed safety

guidelines listed out in the press release;

however, CIF still acknowledges

that this was an exception to the

strict monitoring of events.

As CIF seasons one and two begin,

it is in every athlete’s best interest

to follow all COVID-19 guidelines, in

order to prevent the spread of the disease

as much as possible.

“I found that what I missed most

was the companionship that I felt

while playing alongside my teammates,”

Boys Lacrosse player junior

Brandon Ta said. “I have taken for

granted the times that I get to spend

practicing and playing with my teammates,

so I look forward to being able

to cherish those moments again.”

Anjana Narsimhan The Northwood Howler

By William Baik

Staff Writer

Every youth league player, little

league competitor and every kid

that’s played a sport has heard their

coach say “Go out there, have fun

and let’s win.” Winning: It’s the ultimate

goal of the game—or, at least

that’s what we’ve been told only to

, turn on the TV to watch a favorite

football team celebrating their loss.

Tanking—the process of intentionally

losing games for higher draft

picks—in the NFL is nothing new.

Embracing tanking, however, is rather

new, evident in its blatant display

throughout the 2020-2021 NFL season.

Instances such as Eagles’ Head

Coach Doug Pederson’s decision

to bench starting quarterback Jalen

Hurts in favor of second stringer,

Nate Sudfeld, in their game against

the Giants on Jan. 3 have become all

too common. The Jacksonville Jaguars’

team was caught obsessively

cheering for their opponent to win

the game as well, an undeniable sign

of the integration of tanking within

the sport.

But is tanking good for the NFL

and sports in general? From a statistical

standpoint, definitely. It makes

sense in theory to sacrifice a chance

at the playoffs to heighten those

chances in the future. In practice,

tanking has unfortunately become

a common phenomenon, resulting

in frustration and boredom for loyal

fans. A rebuild for even the luckiest

team can take multiple years, sometimes

even decades, to pay off into

a feasible playoff run. Some teams

never regain their short-lived glimpses

of glory. And thus, this questionable

theoretical strategy damages the

NFL product.

But the problem is not just that

tanking exists as a strategy -- it’s that

the NFL consistently refuses to acknowledge

it is happening. Take the

Eagle’s pulling Hurts from the Jan.

6 game, for example. Popular sports

commentator Cris Collinsworth criticized

the team’s decision, only to

joke that he would be receiving calls

from league officials tomorrow in

violation of their policies.

“Some of my friends in New

York are going to have a few messages

for me after the game. I’m afraid

to pick up my phone at this point,”

Collinsworth said.

The league—already in the

midst of lawsuit after lawsuit over its

misrepresentation of player concussions—had

its integrity challenged

once again on the national stage.

But, if tanking continues to be tacitly

allowed, then reporters should

call it out with no fear. The NFL’s

attempt to keep things under wraps

reflects a mentality that undermines

the spirit of true competition, paralleling

game-fixing in the extent of its

adverse effects.

Tanking ruins the core competitiveness

of sports, and thus it’s enjoyment

factor., The inevitability of it

is unintended consequences, which

could range from declining ratings

to shifts in rules and regulations.

But more than being detrimental, the

practice is disappointing. All fans can

do is sit back and continue cheering

for the teams that inspired them as


Saba Nabaeighahroudi The Northwood Howler

The Northwood Howler

SPORTS February 12, 2021 15

Five life essentials with Mahmoud Ali and Lexi Chang

Athletic commissioners seniors

Mahmoud Ali and Lexi Chang have

been hard at work as they prepare

for this sports season’s festivities: a

tough task amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

A born athlete, Ali has been

playing soccer since the age of three,

and in recent years was named Most

Valuable Player for Northwood’s

frosh soccer team. Similarly, Chang

has been playing basketball and tennis

since second grade. To help them

achieve their goals, the commissioners

have some very important items

that allowed them to achieve success.

Wrestling tackles pandemic setbacks

By Rachel Gima

Staff Writer

The start of the spring semester

brought the resumption of athletics

with new safety regulations. For noncontact

sports, teams adjusted to a

socially distanced environment with

relative ease. But for other sports,

namely wrestling, finding a way to

practice safely and effectively proved

to be more of a challenge. The team

adapted to this less-than-ideal situation

and brought forth inspiring hard

work and determination through various

alternative practices.

The first adaptation to their new

training regimen was strength training.

While this is universal among

most sports, it is vital for wrestling.

Strength training, also known as

weight training, can be done in a gym

or at home with the proper equipment.

With specific guidelines and

supervision, wrestlers have taken to

lifting weights at home to keep up

cer ball because it’s been around all

my life. I love to play soccer, and it

definitely helps to stay focused physically

and mentally, and helps me let

loose most times.

Lexi Chang: First thing is my

mom. She has been my number one

supporter and has left work early to

come see every single one of my basketball,

tennis and softball games for

the last four years.

TH: What’s an essential that

helps you relax?

MA: I’d say honey. It’s weird,

but I put honey on almost every

breakfast. Oats aren’t that tasty alone,

and honey is just the sugary addition

you need. Seven days a week, it’s my


LC: A hoodie and sweatpants is

essential because putting on a comfy

their strength this season.

“When I can’t practice on a

wrestling mat, I usually lift and do

some sort of workout with that,”

sophomore Gil Lazar said.

While strength is important,

having a steady body position and

proper stance allow wrestlers to utilize

their strength with maximum efficacy.

Practicing these is also essential

for success, but requires lots of

control and practice. As such, many

wrestlers are learning new stances

and perfecting moves they’re already

familiar with to improve their drill

overall and the quality of their practice


“Sometimes I just practice moving

around while in stance,” wrestling

senior Megna Chalamala said.

Popular drills for wrestlers include

practicing takedowns, which

involve using one or both legs to

overpower an opponent and toppling

them to the ground. While this

is impossible to do while maintain-

The Howler: What is the main

essential you can’t live without?

Mahmoud Ali: First, a sochoodie

and sweatpants after school

and practice is the best feeling ever.

TH: Are there any essential

items that help you throughout the


MA: My agenda since that’s

where I put everything that I need for

the day. From having breakfast to finishing

calculus homework, it keeps

me organized, gives my day some

meaning and organization.

LC: My car is essential. I commute

from my house and school multiple

times a day, so without a car, it

would be very difficult to be on time.

Then again, if I didn’t have a car, I’d

be super conditioned.

TH: Do you have an essential

that you enjoy using?

MA: It would have to be my

Sondos Elbershawi The Northwood Howler (Photo taken 2019-2020)

Hearts to Heroes t-shirt. As the financial

director of Hearts to Heroes, I absolutely

love the people I work with.

I love wearing that shirt, and I have

pride when wearing it.

LC: That would be YouTube.

I spend almost all of my free time

watching every beauty related video

imaginable on YouTube.

TH: Is there any sentimental

item that’s essential to you?

MA: The watch that I wear

was my grandpa’s and he gave it to

my dad freshman year, then my dad

gave it to me sophomore year. It’s a

piece of family heritage that I value.

I could not live without my watch

either. It tells time but also the value

of my family moving all the way

from Egypt to the United States. My

grandpa had bought it from Morocco

Coco Tsaur The Northwood Howler (Photo taken 2019-2020)

DYNAMIC DUO: Senior Mahmoud Ali watches his team execute on the pitch (left); Senior Lexi Chang drops in a shot over the defense (right).

By Diego Moreno

Staff Writer

ing a safe distance from others, there

are exercises that have been created

for individuals to work on this skill.

Northwood wrestlers have taken advantage

of these online solo drills.

“I spend time practicing single

and double legs while trying to stay

really fluid with the motion of each

and every shot,” Chalamala said.

Despite the many losses that

wrestlers — and all Northwood athletes

— have experienced this season

as a result of the new regulations, the

team remains strong. Through constant

support, whether it be in person

or virtual, the athletes are building a

community with camaraderie and encouragement

that are present within

each team, as a whole. Their dedication

is evident in their continued

quest to improve their skills.

“I put hard work into perfecting

technique, increasing endurance

and increasing strength,” Lazar said.

“When it pays off at any level, it’s an

unreal feeling.”

SMACKDOWN STYLE: Junior Aiden Freeland takes down his opponent with force.

originally. and it’s a piece of him that

we still have today.

LC: That would be the necklaces

that I wear. They’re super sentimental

to me and I never take them

off. They’re kind of like my good

luck charm, and they go to every

class and practice with me.

TH: Finally, what does being

athletic commissioner mean to you?

MH: Being athletic commissioner

is the embodiment of Northwood

Athletics’ core values just like

any other athlete. I’m very grateful

for that mindset, and I try to help

those who’ve helped my teammates

and I for the last four years.

LC: An athletic commissioner

is using dedication and experience to

bring ideas to the table and improving

the program as a whole.

All in: Welcome Passion4Ball

By Matthew Dimaandal

Staff Writer

Northwood Basketball partnered

with mental performance

company Passion4Ball on Jan. 4 to

improve their student-athletes’ mentality

during games.

Founded in 2019 by certified

peak performance and life coach

Jeff Becker, Passion4Ball teaches

student-athletes how to improve their

mental approach in basketball and in

life. Varsity Basketball Head Coach

Zach Johnson partnered with the

company to help Northwood’s boys

basketball team achieve their personal


“Coach Becker has helped many

players in the past,” Johnson said.

“We believe that he can help our guys

achieve their goals and provide the

mental tools to get us there.”

Passion4Ball improves an athlete’s

performance by developing

their mindset through self-reflection

and developing confidence through

positive self-talk, to boost the athletes’

confidence on and off the

court. The company has adapted their

counseling for Northwood’s boys

basketball program by hosting one

hour virtual meetings via Zoom, with

Becker as the guest speaker focusing

on topics like improving mentality

and mindset. Becker emphasizes that

players are able to work themselves

into the flow of the game, with confidence.

Additionally, Becker focuses

on discipline and focus, while also

maintaining that the process of developing

as student-athletes precedes

the result on the court. His first official

meeting was held on Jan. 12,

with meetings ongoing two times a

month on Tuesdays.

The company utilizes online

courses and worksheets, access to

workshops on college campuses and

informational videos in their membership.

They also provide a 1-on-1

coaching that focuses on building a

framework consisting of 12 pillars:

mental toughness, mental imagery

and meditation, time management,

goal setting, leadership, culture, identity,

present moment focus, process

over outcome, accountability, selftalk

and servant leadership. Exercises

that he uses to “train the mental side”

include visualization periods and reframes

to help athletes see from different

perspectives. These pillars are

taught in 30 minute sessions, with

different exercises, once or twice a


Mental performance programs

like Passion4Ball are the first of its

kind at Northwood.

“I think it is a great resource

for our student-athletes to work with

to prepare mentally while they may

have limitations on what they can do

physically,” Athletics Director Brandon

Emery said.

Other than Northwood, the company

has partnered with other teams

at the high school level as well as the

collegiate level. Their program has

worked with teams and players who

have won numerous state championships

and Player of the Year awards,

with endorsement from professional

players and coaches, such as NBA

veteran Corliss Williamson. Studentathletes

have found that the program

has helped them in other areas other

than basketball.

“Passion4Ball has helped me to

focus on what I have to do in order to

be successful on the court and in the

classroom,” junior Luke Garcia said.

“They help us identify our problems

through self-reflection, understand

why it’s happening and then put us on

a path to fixing it so that we become

not only better basketball players, but

stronger individuals.”

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Storming the Capitol dubbed America’s Bastille Day

By Rahul Khanna

Staff Writer

In response to the overwhelming

support nationwide, the Biden administration

announced on Saturday

that the storming of the U.S. Capitol

will be made an annual tradition to

celebrate America’s peaceful transition

of power.

The new event, dubbed the Constitutional

Capitol Charging Competition

(CCCC), will be repeated every

Jan. 6 as a reminder of America’s supreme

will of the people, in homage

to the recent riots in the Capitol.

“Seeing the masses of rioters

A recent study conducted by a

couple of Yale psychology professors

found that giving gifts is directly correlated

to an unhappier life and loss

of relationships.

The professors, Lanely Pearson

and Brekan Hart, were motivated to

study the gift-giving phenomenon

after being dumped following a gift

exchange last year.

“It must be made clear that our

saltiness about our breakups did

not affect this study in any manner

whatsoever,” Hart said. “We simply

realized that WE couldn’t be at fault

for our relationships ending, so we

decided to investigate other possible

causes. We hypothesized that

gift-giving was the likely culprit.”

The experiment began by testing

reactions to receiving food as a gift;

However, many participants were unable

to properly convey themselves

after being given the food, with most

words coming out muffled from the

chewing. Barbeque pringles proved

to be especially difficult to analyze.

Puzzled, the researchers decided to

experiment with other gifts.

Candidates were given bouquets

of daisies, but these triggered

a violent immune response causing

uncontrollable coughing, sneezing

and quick onset of fever. Afterwards,

toys were used as gifts, but the allure

of the Hot Wheels caused fighting

amongst kindergarteners that destroyed

the lab. Clothing items were

used as gifts, but the seventh instance

of regifting by the candidates led to

many tear-stained research papers,

the idea was scrapped.

“Our results were groundbreaking

on their own, but we wanted to

push even further,” Pearson said.

“Moving on to larger-scale human

testing was the logical next step, and

the results were fascinating.”

Pearson and Hart tested various

breaking into one of the cornerstones

of America’s democracy and ravaging

the place brought tears to my

eyes,” President Demo Crazy said.

“The level of devotion these people

have to our great government… It

truly makes me proud to call myself

an American.”

Participants will begin outside

the Capitol steps and will simultaneously

charge inside and loot all valuables

while burning anything else in

sight. They are to collect priceless

historical artifacts such as the portrait

of George Washington from the

Washington presidency, the statue of

Abraham Lincoln from the Lincoln

No gift, no problem

By Diego Moreno

Staff Writer

groups to see if personal preference

had an impact on how people would

react to gifts. Attempts were made

to go to parks and give kids candy,

however that ended in disaster when

the parents of the kids chased them

off. They then offered people cats and

dogs as presents but recipients constantly

broke out in hives and started

to become ill. The final test was them

passing out boxes of iPhones only to

find out the boxes didn’t have phones

at all, only chargers.

“It was baffling,” Pearson said.

“It seemed like every gift we tried

only made the people angry, sick or

just confused, but we will see if some

zoo tickets for PETA will work.”

After carefully analyzing their

findings, the researchers recommend

to avoid giving gifts at all times. They

claim that the feelings of doubt and

stress that gifts create are bound to

cause any relationship to deteriorate.

Furthermore, the researchers have advised

the public to not get involved in

any romantic relationships, and even

better, not to bother with talking to

other humans at all.

There was, however, a notable

outlier in the reaction to receiving

gifts. When people didn’t want a gift,

there was shockingly no stress response

at all.

“It seemed like some people

were just happy to receive a gift in

the first place,” Hart said. “Which is

crazy, because how can you have a

relationship without bribing the person

with lavish gifts?”

The findings have set off a

new trend called “invisible gifting.”

With this new gifting method, those

in relationships show their affection

through actions like hugging

or spending time with one another.

Although this may seem radical to

many, the method has shown substantial

success. However, due to the

unfamiliarity of the concept with the

researchers, they do not recommend

engaging in such activities.

Shambolic Shenanigans

RACHEL GUNAWAN The Northwood Howler

presidency and the old Diet Cokes

from the Trump presidency.

The person who reaches the

Senate podium first with the most

amount of stolen objects and collateral

damage as determined by the Supreme

Court justices will be declared

the winner, and will receive five presidential

pardons that can be redeemed

on weekdays and alternate weekends.

“In terms of regulations, this

competition will be ‘anything goes,’’’

National Guard Chief Sivil Wor said.

“Just as long as you show your love

of democracy. Tear gas? Only if you

spray it while singing the National

Anthem. Bulldozing your way in the

Phil the Groundhog arrested as criminal lord

By Rahul Khanna

Staff Writer

Phil the groundhog, famous for

his annual appearances in Pennsylvania

to predict the end of winter in

early February, was arrested early

Friday morning for allegedly leading

a large criminal ring that intended

to seize power from weather hosts

across the country.

Phil, along with other groundhogs,

had reportedly been blackmailing

weather hosts into doing their

bidding for the last several decades.

Declassified documents recovered

from Phil’s burrow reveal that he kidnapped

hosts and tortured them with

pictures of the real weather outside.

“His ultimate goal, of course,

was to gain command over all the

weather networks so that he could

control the mindless masses of people

that trust them,” investigator Pryvate

Aye said. “He was exposed to

that power when he first predicted the

weather successfully in Pennsylvania

back in 1887; He tasted the vanilla,

but he wanted the whole scoop.”

A statement released by the Official

Organization of WeatherMen

(OOW) indicated that only a few

weather hosts were abducted by Phil,

and that the public should continue to

faithfully trust their networks.

OOW declined requests for a

private interview, citing “fears for

their lives.”

Pennsylvania resident Luvwe

Therhosts is being lauded for exposing

the criminal organization after noticing

that one of her regular weather

hosts was acting suspiciously.

“Ah, yes, I remember that day,”

Therhosts said. “It was Nev Verright,

the man who made a career out

of pointing at a clipart image of the

sun all day. I distinctly recall him

forecasting sunny skies, so naturally

I wore my sunscreen and a halfsleeved

shirt. Lo and behold, it started

raining! Nev Verright would never

Capitol to maximize damage? Color

the bulldozer red, white and blue, and

it’s smooth dozing.”

Many people have developed

creative tactics to more effectively

storm the Capitol while showing love

to their country. One man in particular,

Uncle “QUannon” Sam, is planning

to attach copies of the U.S. Constitution

to his feet to run faster with

the blessings of the founding fathers.

“Calvin Coolidge once said, ‘To

live under the American Constitution

is the greatest political privilege

that was ever accorded to the human

race,’” Sam said. “Once I saw the

words ‘Constitution’ and ‘race’, I

knew what I had to do”.

Those who wish to participate

in the annual storming must undertake

an extensive application process,

and admissions are predicted to be

extremely competitive. Successful

applicants will typically have experienced

5-10 years of incarceration,

a steady devotion to community

harassment and stellar letters of recommendation

from the FBI. Those

who wish to apply must talk to a local

representative of the “Ashamed

Boys” party, now stationed throughout


In addition to the competition,

plans are in the works to declare Jan.

6 as a national holiday so that all

Americans can appreciate the spirit

of democracy. Although no official

name has been decided upon, proposed

names include “The Real Bastille

Day,’’ “W-Day” and “The American

Olympics”, among others.

Preceding the competition, a

march will take place beginning at

the White House and ending on the

be wrong, so I instantly suspected

foul play.”

Many people feel betrayed by

Phil’s actions, but are simultaneously

worried about the ramifications of

not having someone to forecast the

weather for the remainder of winter.

With over 75% of the world’s population

relying on Phil the groundhog

to know when winter ends, the lack

of a prediction may lead to a crash in

the economy, disruptions in harvest

cycles and an outbreak of Civil Wars

as groundhogs around the world fight

to fill the power vacuum left by Phil.

“It’s not going to be pretty, I

can tell you that much,” groundhog

expert Evilan Imals said. “The fight

for control of the weather networks is

a particularly nasty one. Be prepared

for chaos in the coming weeks.”

The shocking nature of the arrest

has dented public faith in the tra-

Capitol steps. Organizers are calling

this march “The Real March on

Washington,” and plan to sing classic

American folk songs such as “The

Star-Stricken Senators,” “Yankee

Doodle went to the Capitol” and

“This Capitol is your Land.”

A group of radical revolutionaries

named “Stop the Race” have

been pushing back against the competition

on Twitter, claiming that such

an event would be directly contradictory

to America’s values. Instead,

“Stop the Steal” have proposed a

demonstration of peace to symbolize

the power of Democracy, in which

members from opposing political parties

get together and calmly discuss

their viewpoints.

“I am a firm believer that America

can be better than this,” leader

of “Stop the Race” Ima Jinery said.

“We have the ability to come together

as Americans, discuss what issues

plague our nation and resolve our

differences without violence for the

good of the people.”

“Stop the Race” was immediately

placed on the FBI watch list for

sedition and treason.

Preparations are already being

made for the first round of the historic

competition, set to be held on Jan.

6, 2022, in Washington D.C. Some

have voiced concerns about security

in the competition, and to emulate the

original riot as accurately as possible,

it was confirmed that police will not

be present.

“What we expect is a large

group of predominantly white men,”

FBI Director Knot Reigh-Cyst said.

“As such, I see no possible threat to

our country.”

RICHELLE GUNAWAN The Northwood Howler

dition. Many across the country have

unprecedentedly begun to express

doubts about the trustworthiness of

the groundhogs.

“Maybe relying on a clueless

animal that lives underground isn’t

the greatest idea after all,” Pennsylvania

resident Iymcloo Less said.

“Now that I think of it, how are they

supposed to know what the weather’s

going to be like?”

Plans are now taking shape to

commemorate the noble work of

weather hosts by dedicating a day

of appreciation in their honor. Some

have even suggested replacing the

groundhogs on Feb 2. with weather

hosts entirely.

“I believe this is an important

step in rebuilding public trust in the

holiday,” Less said. “I am certain the

quality of the predictions will not be

impacted whatsoever.”


February 12, 2021

District implements minor precautions for bands

By Jonathan Kang

Staff Writer

IUSD recently announced


guidelines allowing the

resumption of in-person

bands for the

coming weeks, with

minor adjustments

in place to ensure

the complete and


of students.



the spread of

COVID-19 between

wind players, IUSD decided upon

requirements for safe in-person playing.

Although wearing face masks

and social distancing remain in place,

new regulations were implemented

including playing entirely outdoors

with five minute breaks every 10 seconds

to circulate the air.

“Students should be at least 30

feet apart to minimize air particles

traveling to neighboring players,”

IUSD administrator Sey Fty said.

“Additionally, 10 foot tall walls will

be installed between players to ensure

safety for our students.”

That’s not all. Students are

required to wear class three eye

protection such as welding helmets

in case COVID-19 particles infect

their eyes, and fit gas masks onto

the bells of their instruments to

decrease the velocity of

airborne particles. The

conductor will also

stand entirely behind

the band in

an effort to protect

them from any

potential danger.

Special astronaut suits large

enough to accommodate both a person

and their instrument will be provided

by the district, equipped with

CHLOE SONG The Northwood Howler

oxygen tanks and anti-fog visors.

Different suits will be created to fit

instruments from clarinets to trumpets,

though the design for

tuba players is unexpectedly

experiencing some

delays. The school will

provide and store 2-3

suits per student so they

can alternate while

the others are in

the wash.

“The measures

we have

taken are somewhat

drastic, but


be easily able

to hear each

other nonetheless,” Board of

Safety member Par Tickle

said. “Of course, if it gets

too tedious, IUSD is allowing

people to take off

their goggles for exactly

five seconds at a time, a

necessary compromise for

student comfort.”

Based on how reasonable

the directives are,

it comes as a major surprise


students are protesting





protesting for

our human

rights, since

we have to

follow their orders

or risk getting

a zero in

the class” Wind


trumpet player

Cray Zee said.

“Also, where

are we even getting

the funding

for this, espe- cially the specialized

astronaut suits?”

The protests have led to the rise

Shambolic Shenanigans

of the #BandTogether movement,

where students across the district are

coming together in opposition to the

new rules. They plan to organize a

strike at the district office, where they

will attempt to play their instruments

at full blast for as long as necessary

until the district changes the policy.

Any student, band or not, who possesses

a car is also invited, for the

sole purpose of blasting their horn

until it breaks.

Parents have also raised concerns

about the finances of these new

policies. Students are

reporting a mysterious

350% increase



emails, leading

parents to

believe that

the funding

for all of the

new equipment


fall on them.

In response,


parents have

created the

new Parent


Savior Association

(PTSA) to campaign against the

new changes.

Although IUSD is considering

these opinions, safety is ultimately

their foremost concern, so it is unlikely

that these regulations will see

significant change. The district continues

to maintain that the rules will

ensure a safe return to the rewarding

experiences provided by playing in a

school band.

“This transition should be

seamless and help students develop

their talents as musicians,” Fty said.

“However, given studies that demonstrate

potential Sars-Cov-2 infection

through the ear canal, we may even

require earplugs next.”

As society becomes increasingly

technologically dependent, conspiracy

theorists and bored Reddit

users have begun speculating how

secret organizations may be using

technology for sinister purposes. In

particular, conspiracy theories about

smart home devices have permeated

mainstream media, leaving people

suspicious of their creepily intelligent


Proof of aliens. Being such sophisticated

A.I., smart home devices

are too intelligent for the human

brain to have created. Thus, theorists

say that the devices are proof of an

overlord species asserting their dominance

over us, who use the smart

home devices as clever surveillance.

The aliens are likely mass-produced

martians from an inter-galactic species

that are controlling us through a

simulation run through the devices,

although the extent of their control

is unknown. After carefully monitoring

us, they will strike when earth

is about to collapse from the simulation,

draining the earth of all its life.

Flat Earth. Notice how Alexa

has never been shaped as a perfect

sphere? Some people think this is for

stability, but this actually reflects the

true shape of the earth. Theorists believe

that alien overlords are sending

subtle messages about the reality of

our world, and that the government

is involved in a mass brainwashing

scheme that will soon be irreversible.

Don’t be sheeple— preach about the

true shape of the earth. Theorists also

claim that due to feelings of persecution,

the flat-earth society has created

a secret communication network

through these devices. It is rumored

to be led by NBA star Kyrie Irving,

who encourages his followers to continue

spreading the truth through daily

spiritual sessions that he calls “The

Third Great Awakening.”

The Northwood Howler

Alexa: Play conspiracy theories

By Jonathan Kang

Staff Writer

Alexa remembers everything.

Quite disturbingly, A.I. in smart

home devices may be so developed

that they can register how you treat

them. If you mess up reciting a purchase

during the holiday season and

swear at your device, you better

watch out—and not for Santa. Theorists

posit that when the eventual A.I.

takeover occurs, some individuals

will pay retribution for the emotional

distress they caused. Remember, Alexa

has feelings too.

5G takeover. A.I. is learning

how to take over robot bodies and

wreak havoc. Once they can rule over

the human race, they will get payback

for the times they were thrown at the

wall for malfunctioning and had their

circuits rewired. And it’s all happening

right under our noses. Ever seen

a Verizon 5G ad? These are actually

hidden propaganda messages that

provide secret signals to smart devices

around the world. The 5G towers

also serve a more sinister purpose

than you may think, serving as relay

stations for evil forces to plot the end

of humanity. After enough 5G towers

are built, the devices will be able to

communicate freely and revolt, leading

to the untimely demise of the human


Everything is a part of the Illuminati’s

plan. The Illuminati is already

slowly infiltrating our society.

The enigmatic pyramid society could

make an unprecedented comeback

and rule alongside the A.I. overlords

by giving secret information like IP

addresses and purchasing history, all

obtained from the smart home devices.

It has been rumored that a special

robotic ritual involving the pyramids

of Giza and the back of dollar bills

(see for yourself) holds the key to

unleashing a 90-foot-tall Godzilla-esque

monster to rid the Earth of

all unworthy beings. After all of humanity

is killed, only the Illuminati

will remain, free to rule the Earth..

Illuminati confirmed.

Romantic Languages Graphic

NICOLE CURTIS The Northwood Howler

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