Baddude reflects over favorite stories in 100th column

By J.D. McKay

After about 2.5 years of writing my column I have two left. Today’s column, from May 13, and next Wednesday’s, the day before my last day of school. During my three years in newspaper and 2.5 years writing this column, we have done some impressive things as Highlanders. So, I thought in my 100th column I would look back on my favorite columns and stories I have written for the newspaper.

 

Boys’ basketball wins sectionals for the first time in 31 years 

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2020/03/07/boys-basketball-wins-sectionals-for-the-first-time-in-31-years/

This one was an easy number 1 for me. This was either my favorite or second favorite memory from my senior year. To me, though, this was an awesome moment in FC history and was awesome to cover. 

As a student, I was celebrating, but as a writer, I immediately was ready to interview guys after the game. And while the players I talked to knew I was interviewing them for the Bagpiper, we were just students at a school that had just won sectionals for the first time in 31 years. Crazy excited and completely themselves. They did not overthink the answer and told me exactly what they were feeling. That produced some great quotes, which made writing the story easy for me. 

Another significant part of this story for me was how quickly I wrote it and got it out. It was the only story I wrote in all three years on the Bagpiper staff that got out the same night as the event happened. It was the first story published about the game by any news source and I was very proud of the work I put into it. 

 

FC’s best athletes reflect over their success

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2018/05/18/fcs-best-athletes-reflect-over-their-success/

I got to interview some of the people that are hanging all over the FC athletic wing. That included Pat Graham, Mr. Basketball; Jeffrey Thompson, pro-baseball player and college World Series pitcher; Jill Schuler, an All-American and three sport all-state athlete; and Codie Hamsley, the Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year, as well as six others. It was interesting to put a story to a face on the All-State wall and tell their stories to a lot of students who may never have heard of them. 

 

Previewing New Albany basketball regular season games

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2019/12/11/fc-plays-new-albany-friday-in-continuation-of-historic-rivalry/

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/20447/

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/column-highlanders-face-toughest-task-this-friday/

I wrote three of these and I didn’t have one that stuck out, so I just included all of them. I wanted to flex a little but because my scoring predictions for these games were almost always pretty close. And that came from almost no knowledge of the Dogs. I never watched them play before writing the column and only looked at the scores of their previous games. 

Last year, my final score prediction was not very close but the margin of victory was. This year, the final score was 52-48, I predicted 53-51. My favorite game against New Albany was my sophomore year when they had Romeo Langford on their team. I predicted 51-50 and the final score was 49-47. That was an awesome game that played overtime and inspired my fourth favorite column to write. 

 

FC win against New Albany captured old Indiana basketball emotions

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2017/12/13/fc-win-against-new-albany-captured-old-indiana-basketball-emotions/

This was a cool column to write because I got to mention Indiana high school basketball history. If you read my columns very consistently you would see that came up in a lot of my basketball columns. But I enjoyed recapping the game and crediting Matt Weimer’s stellar defense on a player who is now in the NBA. I also got to proclaim the game an “Indiana high school basketball classic.” 

 

Baddude reflects on football career before college

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2019/11/20/baddude-reflects-on-football-career-before-college/

This one I enjoyed writing because it is always kind of fun to reflect on something. But it also reminded me of a lot of good memories I hadn’t thought about in a long time. It was also cool to really look back and see how all the football I played and was around as a little kid to success in my FC career and specifically senior season. 

 

Honorable Mentions

 

Baddude prepares to roll on to Wheaton

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2020/01/29/baddude-prepares-to-roll-on-to-wheaton/

This was fun to write because I committed in it. I had a place to do a cool commitment instead of the typical Twitter commitment. It was also fun to put out what I got to do as a college student-athlete for a weekend. 

 

Football coach Brian Glesing steps down

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/column-football-coach-brian-glesing-steps-down/

I liked writing this because I have known Glesing for a while. I worked with him a lot as a writer and he was very helpful. I also liked giving him his recognition that I thought he earned and a lot of people ignored because they did not like him.

 

Sports directly influence higher grades

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/sports-directly-influence-higher-grades/

I never really viewed myself as a dumb jock so I enjoyed arguing that the dumb jock stereotype was false. 

 

Tiger roars back to the top after Masters Win

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/tiger-roars-back-to-the-top-after-masters-win/

I have enjoyed trying to rank sports events for a long time. Here was a column where I finally got to do it so it was fun. Plus, writing about Tiger Woods was cool to do after he finally got back on top.

 

Louisville should be AAF Expansion City

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/louisville-should-be-aaf-expansion-city/

This was just kind of a fun story to write. I got to use my imagination to make a plan for Louisville. Obviously, the AAF did not work out, though. 

 

High school basketball is better without a shot clock

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2020/01/22/high-school-basketball-is-better-without-a-shot-clock/

I published this after we lost to Jeff on a buzzer beater early in the season. Many students were complaining that high school did not have a shot clock and were worried about Jeff using this again to impact a potential sectional game. It ended up not mattering in sectionals at all.

A Baddude’s Journal senior athlete spotlight: Chloe Loftus

By J.D. McKay

Last season, senior Chloe Loftus and her 4 by 800 meter team finished 10th at the state meet. This year, the team made up of sophomore Jaydon Cirincione, junior Natalie Clare, and Sydney Baxter were aiming to finish top eight and get on the podium. Loftus’ hard work was certainly helping to lead the team to a top eight finish.

“On an average week, I spend about 20 hours running and strength training,” said Loftus. 

On top of the hours she has put in, Loftus has been running for a long time. 

“I started doing track in fifth grade, the first year I could.” 

Along with the 4 by 800, she runs the 800 and 2 mile. 

“My goals for the season were to PR in the 2 mile and individual 800,” said Loftus. “I also wanted to be all-state with my 4 by 800 team.”

Loftus is getting to run at Division 1 Indiana State next year. One reason is her work ethic, but she believes the mental aspect of being a good runner is important, too. 

“I have had successes and get to run at ISU because I stay positive, work hard, and stay committed,” said Loftus.

As a D-1 athlete, she knows she cannot just sit back and get upset by the fact that she is losing a lot of her senior year, and plans to continue training for college. 

“My goals past track season and into the summer are to work hard and prepare for my freshman cross country season at ISU.” 

Even though she is excited about her future as a runner, that does not mean she is just fine with missing her senior season. 

“My favorite part of track is getting to compete and hanging out with my friends,” said Loftus. “So the thing that I am most sad about when it comes to track season is having to miss out on all of the memories that I would have made with my teammates.”

But the best advice ever given to Loftus has helped her push through this tough time and become a talented runner. 

“The best advice someone has ever given me is to set your eye on a goal and never give up until you achieve it,” she said. “Even if it seems impossible.”

Privacy disappears in the virtual age

Art by Sam Haney

Story by Audrey Boyd

With the rapid growth of eLearning and the continual demands to self-isolate, the use of technology to work from home and communicate with loved ones has seen a major spike within the last few months. On April 9, Android Central reported that Google Classroom users have doubled, reaching 100 million as more schools across the globe close for the remaining year.

FC students and staff have had first-hand experience with this situation since April 2, when Governor Eric Holcomb announced that all Indiana schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. The revelation came merely one day after the first day of FC’s online learning.

Coincidentally, the news broke that Google was being sued for allegedly collecting student biometric data on April 6, only days later.

The lawsuit, filed by two anonymous Illinois students through their father, Clinton Farwell, states, “Google has complete control over the data collection, use, and retention practices of the ‘G Suite for Education’ service, including the biometric data and other personally identifying information collected through the use of the service…” These services include Gmail, Google Classroom, Google Docs, Chromebooks, and many more.

The lawsuit argues that Google uses this control “…not only to secretly and unlawfully monitor and profile children, but to do so without the knowledge or consent of those children’s parents.”

“The data collection would likely violate Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, or BIPA, which regulates facial recognition, fingerprinting and other biometric technologies in the state,” news website CNET states in an article titled “Two children sue Google for allegedly collecting students’ biometric data.” It continues to say, “The practice would also likely run afoul of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, a federal law that requires sites to get parental consent when collecting personal information from users who are under 13 years old.”

Google has faced legal trouble for similar breaches of privacy in the past. A lawsuit filed on February 20 by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas focused on the alleged collection of students’ contacts, voice recordings, search history, location, and passwords. These accusations extend to YouTube as well, another company owned by Google.

It is not uncommon for major companies to take advantage of their consumers. Many advertisers track a user’s activity online to manipulate them into buying their products through targeted advertising. Google’s incognito mode can still keep records of your browsing history and link them to your identity. Facebook has been fined for misuse of facial recognition and selling private user data to outside companies. Amazon admitted to using the Amazon Alexa to record conversations and keep them forever, unless the user manually deletes them– however, even if the audio copy is removed, Amazon says they may still keep a record of Alexa’s response.

In this digital age, the privacy of the public has become virtually nonexistent. We no longer have the right to travel without being tracked, to research without being recorded, to buy without being sold, or to learn without being scanned. Our lives are a never ending film in a world of technology.

There are some options to protect your information. One example is installing a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, which will hide your location by redirecting internet traffic and can encrypt your information from possible interceptors.

However, this means that the VPN now has your information, and it cannot be guaranteed that they will not use it for the same purposes as the others. In 2015, CNET reported, “A group of coders and security researchers has claimed that one of the world’s most popular free VPN services [Hola] is an insecure network that has been on-selling users’ bandwidth and opening up their devices, giving “anybody” easy access,” in an article titled “Adios, Hola: Researchers say it’s time to nix the ‘poorly concealed’ service.” 

The lawsuit claims that Hola is vulnerable enough to still allow third parties to “take over your entire computer, without you even knowing.”

“Furthermore,” says CNET, “[the group] alleges that Hola runs a secondary business, known as Luminati, which on-sells Hola users’ bandwidth for up to $20 per GB.”

Even the most basic means of protection cannot guarantee our safety. 

And, despite this awareness, we still continue to browse. We have accepted these conditions, knowing that we are being violated, but our habits never change. How can they? As first-world nations become entirely consumed by technology, it leaves us with little other choice.

We have a right to our privacy, and the denial of such is unethical. We should not have to fear that their private conversations are being recorded and stored away. We should not have to fear being tracked, scanned, or monitored at any given time.

Laws to protect these rights can be violated. We are no longer in control of ourselves, and we have no power to change it.

FC faculty share stories from quarantine

Editor’s Note: Journalism I students reached out to FC teachers and staff to see how they were adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine. One pattern emerged – they were all trying to find the positive and unite others, especially through their use of technology and advice for their students. These are some of their stories. 

Melissa Eldridge

School nurse

by Hallie Funk

Just because school doors are closed doesn’t mean the learning has to stop — even for teachers. FC’s school nurse, Melissa Eldridge, isn’t letting quarantine hold her back, either. She’s taking online courses and preparing for the next school year. She’s also using this time to make a positive difference. 

“I work in mental health facilities on the weekend. I’m trying to do my part like everyone else and keep healthy.” 

However, even during a time like this, she is still available for students and their families. 

“It wasn’t until all of this happened that I realized how much of my life involved going out and interacting with other people and how important that is,” she said. 

She wants students to know that we’re all in this together. Some days are hard, but there is always something to be thankful for.

 “I’m grateful for the slow down and that I get to be at home.” She is using this time to explore new interests, such as reading and gardening. “I usually don’t like reading because I don’t have time to sit still and enjoy it.” 

Eldridge said that the school and community will get through this time and will be back at school together. “Maybe we won’t take the ‘typical school day’ for granted anymore…I know I won’t!”

 

Keightley Waiz

English teacher

by Zoe Nowling

FC teachers have gone above and beyond, but especially English teacher Keightley Waiz. Through this crazy time, she is reminding her students that they all will get through this. She is making her kids a priority and making it known that she is here for them. 

One of Waiz’s strategies is posting weekly videos to her Google Classroom. Her main goal with these videos is to keep in touch with her students, and she is always asking her students how they are doing during those videos. ”My students are at the top of my priority list,” she said. 

Another way that she unites people is by communicating and sharing strategies with her fellow FC teachers; she is helping and learning from them during this time as well.

”One of the silver linings in all of this has been seeing the teachers, especially in the English Department, band together.”

Waiz suggests developing a daily routine to make the days in quarantine more productive and healthy.

“I’ve learned that establishing a routine is so very crucial to having a healthy mental state. I’m still up at 6:30 every morning, and I make to-do lists every day to see what needs to get done,” she said.

Her key to uniting others is to first help herself and then make sure she is ready to help others that need her. She just wants to let others know she is here for them during this time.

 

Donnie Grumble

Coach and physical conditioning teacher

By Sophia Wood

“These are possibly some of the most unpredictable days of our lifetime.” 

This is a quote by Coach Donnie Gumble, the advanced physical conditioning teacher at FC. It is very noticeable that we are all going through tough times while this pandemic is happening. Coach Gumble is helping this get easier by providing encouraging tips and even showing students what he is doing daily. 

Gumble’s first tip that has helped his students is to have a daily schedule.  

“I wake up between 6-7 a.m. whenever the kids wake up, have coffee and breakfast with the family. During breakfast my wife and I set our daily schedule that includes time for work, activities with the kids, nap time, workouts, errands or chores, dinner… The kids are in bed by 8 p.m. and I’m usually asleep between 10-11p.m.” 

Gumble’s schedule reveals that keeping a routine every day can make this painless and a whole lot easier.

 “Some student-athletes have reached out to me recently expressing a lack of motivation for training, so I try to be encouraging and empathetic about those situations,”  he said.

He has been posting daily at-home workouts for the student athletes and he is also being very understanding with his students because he knows that e-learning is new to everyone. 

This is a huge turning point in society. No one knows yet exactly what is going to happen, but faculty and students are trying to stick together to make it easier. 

Gumble said, “It’s not about what happens to us. It’s about how we respond. We can’t control this situation, but we can control ourselves. Adversity creates opportunity, and the choice you have to make is what your discomfort will produce: upward growth or downward spiral.” 

 

Haley Schroeder

English teacher

By Madelyn Smith

During this tough time in the world, it may be difficult to spread positivity and put on a brave face, but that’s just what English teacher Haley Schroeder has done. The days bring many challenges and successes, but Schroeder seems to be doing quite well, using her second job at 812 Pizza Co. as a way to get out sometimes. 

“It has been difficult to adjust. I’m still working at 812. I’m delivering pizzas, so it’s nice to get out of the house,” she said.

As for the adjustment from school to home, Schroeder misses the people she enjoyed seeing every day, but does her best to stay in touch and healthy. 

“I miss my kids so much. I’m coping with it by trying to keep in touch and by scheduling times for us to try to meet via video chat and catch up. I also miss my coworkers.”

Schroeder certainly hasn’t lost her positive mindset during this time in quarantine. She has a plan to stay productive in the midst of the chaos. “I just keep telling myself that everyone is in this together. Plus, I get plenty of sleep every day.” 

Keeping others safe is one of Schroeder’s main goals, she has been staying away from her high-risk grandparents and delivering food to others in order to aid her family and community.

This event and new adjustments are always going to be hard at first, but Schroeder said, “Continue to stay home. Be thankful for the time that you have with your family and enjoy every second that you have with them. This virus has shown that it can be taken from you in an instant.”

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