All posts by thefcbagpiper

The mission of the Bagpiper is to provide an open forum for the unrestricted exchange of ideas and opinions and to ethically report factual school, local, and world news to the high school community while objectively explaining the meaning and significance of the news to better educate the reader, and entertain the readers using acceptable journalistic devices.

Column: more than a word and more than a number

By Christy Avery

A couple of years ago, yours truly sat on the crinkly paper atop her ex-doctor’s table, going through what she thought was a routine checkup until he took a detour… to my weight.

Ever been told to “lay off the Twinkies” by your doctor and went home crying? I did. But I shouldn’t have.

Almost every moment of that appointment from a year or so ago is ingrained in my mind. Stepping on the scale and feeling the sting of the self-imposed and societal shame I had grown up with led to developing a complicated and often unhealthy relationship with my body that is still a part of me today.
These struggles I and so many others share do not come from within— they are branded upon us over time. The stigma and stereotypes surrounding health, weight, and body image is one of the most harmful matters that society increasingly gives a voice to.

Two particularly threatening demons right now: concern trolling and unconscious bias.
Concern trolling is the circuitous judging of one’s life, choices, or body. This most often manifests as rude, unnecessary comments or “tips,” sugarcoated with a smile and an “I’m just worried.” It is like a family member asking if you really need that second plate at Thanksgiving with that unsettling glint in the eye. Unconscious bias is essentially the same thing, only without the realization or intent of judging.
Growing up, I experienced both so many times without realizing it. That is one of the worst parts— body-shaming is such a common part of our culture that it is almost abnormal to not be affected by it. These issues may seem prevalent right now in today’s social climate, but the damage begins and spreads with people of all ages and genders.

We were born in a body that was ours, a body that should not be scrutinized or discussed as we grow, but so often are until we feel as if our body isn’t ours anymore. We spend most of our lives desperate to reclaim ourselves, but why do we have to?
That is a question I have been asking myself for nearly ten years and have just recently come to terms with. Elementary school was the first time I experienced body-shaming, when the kid ahead of me in line turned around and asked, “are you pregnant?” Although probably a case of unconscious bias, that was when the seeds of self-hatred were planted, and it still pops into my mind every time I hear unfiltered comments about looks, said just because they can be.

People are led to this point of insecurity because of what others want. Shame is not intrinsic; no one feels they are wrong until others tell them they are. Concern trolling and other biased behaviors, needless to say, fix nothing. If you are so concerned about someone’s body that you shame them in order to “help,” you are doing the exact opposite. No one needs to be fixed, and weight discrimination is an attempt that only makes eating disorders and mental health problems worse.

Unfortunately, many people do not seek help because they are afraid or have had past unpleasant experiences with doctors. Although the typical suggestions by doctors such as healthy eating, exercise, and sleep may help, the way these are delivered by healthcare professionals is a problem. Trying to get help with a serious disorder is hard enough— no one needs to hear that every problem in the world can be magically fixed by losing weight. That is utterly false; anyone can have problems at any size. Dismissing one problem with another is detrimental to the bigger patients that doctors claim to care so much about. A mental health problem cannot be fixed by weight loss if the problem goes beyond skin-deep— as it usually does. Our brain spends enough time criticizing ourselves; do not tell those of us who struggle with mental illness and body issues that we are less worthy of treatment or that it is our fault. Respect should be given to everyone, regardless of size.

Within weight discrimination, the underlying issue is usually something called thin privilege. This is exactly what it sounds like: having the ability to be seen as typically “thin” and/or not fat, and receiving less hate and discrimination because of it. Besides the obvious larger chance of social acceptance, are things in life that people with thin privilege get to have or have easier than those without, such as being able to try on anything in most stores, or even having lower health insurance rates. Marilyn Wann, author and activist in the “fat acceptance” movement, was once denied insurance due to her size. She also made a point that should be, but unfortunately is not, axiomatic: “The only thing anyone can accurately diagnose when looking at a fat person is their own level of weight prejudice.”

In today’s world, people have a tendency to surmise other’s level of health without stopping to think about the fact that, newsflash, no one is perfect, and thin people can be just as unhealthy as bigger people. I’m not here to shame anyone for what they do because we’re all human, but those bags of chips and candy sitting in the cabinet? Bad for everyone. Having a smaller frame does not make one immune to consequences or health concerns. That’s one privilege no one has. So before opening your mouth to judge, think about the fact that you can’t tell what other people put into theirs based off their appearance. I eat pretty healthy most of the time. I exercise a few days a week. I make a conscious effort to take care of myself, yet I’m still not tiny (which is fine.) And I’m not the only one. Weight and size are complex, and there are factors that play into it other than diet and exercise, such as genetics and body composition.

The math is simple, guys: Physical appearance does not equal health, health does not equal superiority, and neither correlate with the worth someone holds.

Looking back, there was a lot more wrong with what that doctor and boy said than my younger mind was educated on or could process. Although a doctor being concerned about a patient’s health is perfectly normal, what is not normal is stating it in an scathing, unprofessional way. Not to mention the scare he gave me about diseases I probably had that later looked to be false– when we called back, there were no signs of any complications. Uncalled-for “warnings” and comments are extremely effective, right?

So if physical appearance must be talked about… I am fat. I know. Whatever way you want to twist it, I get that my body in not the conventionally attractive one. I’m not a size 0 and I don’t have Victoria’s-Secret-Model legs. But you know what? The very fact that there are standards for what a conventionally attractive body looks like is dehumanizing and ridiculous.

And I know, you might be objecting: “No one is fat, everyone is beautiful.”

But why can’t we be both? Humans are multidimensional; we are a kaleidoscope of things, most of which we should not deny. So I feel like I’m doing myself and all the other fat people out there a disservice by following the myth that there is only one type of beautiful body. To me, the word “fat” is just a word, one I want to reclaim. It is not a synonym with “ugly,” “worthless,” or “wrong.” It is an adjective that holds no meaning about who I really am, which spans far beyond what I look like.

Although I wrestle with my demons every day and they sometimes get the best of me, it is incredibly freeing to take a shot at self-love. Because struggle doesn’t mean failure, and we should shut down the doctors, kids, or voices inside us that say anything different. No one should apologize for simply taking up space in the world.


FC win against New Albany captured old Indiana Basketball emotions

By J.D. McKay

Friday night’s game against New Albany was what Indiana high school basketball is supposed to be. A gym that holds 2,500 fans had about 2,600 fans from rival schools, with an atmosphere that reminded long time Highlander fans, including my mom, of past games between Pat Graham and Damon Bailey. Bobby Knight attended the Graham vs Bailey games. Last Friday, it was current Indiana head coach Archie Miller watching New Albany senior Romeo Langford. The Highlanders came out on top by two back then, just as they did Friday, mainly because of an average performance from Langford and an above average performance from senior Luke Gohmann.

Last Wednesday I predicted that to win, we would need to shut Langford down, rebound, and hit three pointers. Langford was stopped. Holding the fifth best player in his class to 15 points is basically shutting him down, and he travel on two of those. Rebounds weren’t much of a problem, and while we hit five threes, the lack of points didn’t seem to matter.

The Bulldogs main threat was senior Sean East. East was hitting shots from all over the court, including hitting a buzzer beater from the volleyball line to end the first half. East had 19 points.

Defense was really the key to success Friday. Only scoring 12 points in the second half obviously makes that important. With junior Cobie Barnes being out in the second half, that task came down to senior Matt Weimer, Gohmann, and senior Evan Nichols. Barnes missing most of the second half probably wasn’t in Coach Todd Sturgeon’s game plan, so those three stepped up well.

Final, in overtime, two guys that hadn’t scored yet, senior Gabe Shireman, and Weimer, stepped up. Shireman went straight to the hole twice to take a 43-47 lead. Then, after four New Albany points, Weimer made a backdoor cut and hit a layup to go up 49-47. After Langford missed a three and the officials called a questionable travel, New Albany had one last chance. Sophomore big man Trey Hourigan missed a three, and time expired.

After a quick handshake line that seemed to take two hours, we stormed the court. After 21 tries, the Highlanders finally beat the Bulldogs. So, I guess you could call that game an Indiana high school basketball classic.  

FC beats New Albany 49-47 in overtime last night












Ladybird Produces New Reliability on the Big Screen

By Abby Chovan

Art by Victoria Roberts

Though a film without much buzz, Ladybird is a tale of the 21st century about a mother and daughter and how they thrive and flounder from the toils of life at the same time. It is a story that anyone could relate back to their own lives.

The actors who began the on-screen journey were Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. In the opening scene they both cry over an audio recording of their favorite book, one that holds many memories between the two. Though this sweet moment captures the room, an argument erupts that is recognizable to most family fights that many people face. As the movie progresses, it centers around these two women and their stubborn personalities that cause them to make life a little more dramatic than it has to be. Christine, known by her self given nickname Ladybird, is played by Ronan herself. The girl goes through teenage troubles of dating and wanting to go to her dream colleges in New York, but her lower-middle class society standing and home life has her in fear of forever living in her hometown of Sacramento.

One specific struggle Christine has is wanting to be seen as a popular girl, but seeing as she’s friends with the less popular crowd, it is hard to do so. She struggles with wanting to remain friends with her “oddball” group of theatre kids and wanting to experience living a wild life as a smoking, partying, and all around fashionable 2002 teen.

This movie strikes a cord with many teens today, dreaming of an opportunity to get away from their normal lives. There seems to be a character for every person to relate to in this movie, with its wide range of lovable and relatable people to choose from. It especially shines on mother-daughter relationships and how they aren’t all clean and perfect.

Media has often portrayed these family relationships, but never have they escalated to this level. It seems as if most movies try to hide the problems instead of address them, leaving them in the dark and instead creating a satirical escape for upset people around the world to turn to for a good laugh. However, the film Ladybird addresses the real ugly truth and left some audience members in tears, feeling so much meaning behind the screaming matches and contrasting gentle lectures that Christine and her mother share.

Among teens now is the debate over sexual relationships and when it is acceptable to begin one. The film address many different viewpoints on the subject, ranging from views on abstinence to a seemingly care-free opinion that one of Christine’s boyfriends had.

While this movie has many reasons to bare its R rating, it is one that teens and adults alike can appreciate and relate to. It’s a tale of first loves, chasing dreams, and utter ambition that we cannot find easily anywhere else. It left many of viewers in awe at the end, a few sitting in an almost comical thinking position. As a couple of sobbing and hugging mothers and daughters filtered out, a few sat with hands on their knees, pondering. As Christine had just finished a heartfelt apologetic call to her mother and the movie ended with a shaky inhale, viewers left in provoked thought that the beginning had brought, bringing everyone involved full circle.

Column: Highlanders face toughest task this Friday

Photo by Tori Roberts

By JD McKay

This Friday the Highlanders will face their toughest task of the season, and his name is Romeo Langford. As well as Langford, New Albany boasts two other Division I recruits, senior Sean East and sophomore Julien Hunter.

The Highlanders come into the game ranked 15, and New Albany is ranked number one. Floyd comes in having won its first three games. New Albany has also won its first three games.  

The Highlanders have three keys to success to dethrone the Bulldogs.

The first will be rebound. Rebounding is every team’s key to success but particularly against New Albany. Langford will be getting a lot of attention, I expect him to be double teamed most of the night. Having two guys on one leaves one of New Albany’s other four to get rebounds. Rebounds will be difficult to come by, but second chance points will kill the Highlanders.

The next key is three pointers. Against Christian Academy and Clarksville, the Highlanders shot a combined 1 for 21 from the three-point line. However, last Friday against Castle they shot a respectable 5 for 12 from beyond the arc. To win, that mark will need to hit a season high.

The last key to success is Langford. Langford is the best senior basketball player in Indiana, and averaging just under 40 points per game. Langford dropping 40 Friday night will make Floyd winning nearly impossible. But, keeping Langford under 20 points should make a difference. In last season’s sectional championship game Langford had 16 points and entered the fourth quarter in a tied game (New Albany won by 16). Another effective strategy is to get Langford in foul trouble. Langford in early foul trouble could give the Highlanders the chance they need to take an early lead.

Bottom Line- The Highlanders have already had one tough game against Castle, which should prepare them for another tough game against New Albany. Floyd’s seniors will be seeking revenge following last season’s loss in sectionals and at New Albany. Langford playing like he has earlier this season will result in a blow out. Friday’s game will either end in a buzzer beater as it did two years ago or a blowout like last season. Score- 51-50 Highlanders

To get tickets, visit athletic director Jeff Cerqueira’s office on Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are five dollars with a limit of five tickets.

Expected Starting Five

Floyd Central New Albany
Matt Wiemer Sean East
Gabe Shireman Romeo Langford
Cobie Barnes Julien Hunter
Luke Gohmann Derrick Stevenson
Brendon Hobson Trey Hourigan