Category Archives: home slide

Baddude writes final column in high school career

Photo by Brock Kennedy

Story by J.D. McKay

It is crazy that after a little over two and a half years I’m writing my last column. Last week was my 100th column, and I think that this is the 120th story I published — that includes all columns and stories published in the paper. That could be a few higher, but I think that it is a pretty safe estimate. I am also going to declare myself the record holder for most stories published during anyone’s time on the Bagpiper staff, or at least while Mr. Lang has been in charge. 

The next thing I want to hit in this column is that I think it is time to retire the baddude mantra I have taken up throughout my high school career. The first simple reason is that at Wheaton the term used is dudes not baddudes. The idea kind of started as a joke because Coach Brian Glesing used that term a lot and I thought it was a funny nickname. But it kind of became a name you earned by your play on the field. If you made a pancake block, you are called a baddude. Had a big hit, baddude. Interception, baddude. Break a tackle, baddude. So it was kind of something you earned, and at Wheaton, I have not earned it yet. Might it come back late in my time at Wheaton? Maybe, but probably not.

Next, I thought I would hit a topic I wrote about a lot. My two and a half years I got to write about how FC dominated New Albany, as well as Jeff and Providence, a lot. So I thought I would just mention that the school year ended with FC as sectional champions over Jeff and New Albany. I also thought I would point out that we were undefeated against the three schools in football, tied the record for largest margin of victory against the Dogs after we scored 50 unanswered earlier this school year, and won sectionals for the first time in 10 years that included both Jeff and New Albany in it. 

I appreciate everyone who has read my column over the past couple of years, and I have enjoyed writing them. I really liked interviewing my fellow Highlander students and giving them credit for their athletic achievements. I am glad I decided to take Mr. Lang’s journalism class my freshman year so I got the chance to write for the paper while in high school. It has been a fun time and I am excited for my future as a Wheaton Thunder. 

J.D. McKay, signing off.

An unconventional but memorable senior year

Story by Gracie Vanover

Like every other senior at FC I never thought I would be finishing my senior year digitally. I expected to be leaning back in my special editor-in-chief swivel chair and counting down the days until I pass the torch. But I did not get to do that the normal way editors before me did. Although these last three months have made my senior year unconventional, to say the least, I would never trade this time for the world.

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Back in the summer of 2019 when I went to the High School Journalism Institute at Indiana University Bloomington. I made tons of friends and still keep in touch with them.

Senior year was not my “picture perfect” dream. I had dreamed of marching band state. I had dreamed of the tears of happiness after my final live show in radio and tv. I dreamed of all the crying and hugging as the bell rang during my last news period of high school. I dreamed of enjoying my last “eighth period” after school with my friends and radio and tv teacher Brian Shaw. Although my dreams did not or will not come true, I am still content with my senior year.

In my time as a senior and team leader I learned so many life lessons. I learned concepts that sometimes I still struggle with. Although I am a work driven person, I learned sometimes you just have to step back and examine life. Sometimes life gets in the way of writing and editing. And that is okay. I am human and not a robot, so I deserve a day or two of doing nothing. 

Not only did this year teach me lessons, but I accomplished so much, unlike any other

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My first year on staff during the 2018-19 school year where I served as the Assistant A&E Editor.

years of high school. If you would have told freshman me that I would be leading an award-winning staff or be a section leader in a band program I had been a part of for years, I would have said you were bluffing. I could have never imagined that I would be standing in front of a news staff every day yelling “Good morning!” and leading a team through our routine. I mean, last year as a junior I would have never imagined being the top dog. 

Normally I feel like people who are in my position would brag or be proud about their work, but that is not me. I never “flex” my awards or scholarships or tell people to read my work. Although I am not ashamed of my work, I have never felt it was anything special or award worthy. I have always been harsh on my writing and felt it was subpar at best. Luckily, I have had amazing advisors and peers to push me to appreciate my own work and see how extraordinary it could be. Without them I would not be in this position. I never even really considered it until my friends told me I would be perfect for the job. Although I was never perfect for this role, it was one I will never forget.

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One of my graduation medals was for completing the journalism path. I never intended on completing this path but now I am glad I did.

Of course, memories are a huge part of any experience. I will never forget laughs while helping during the fifth hour journalism class. I will never forget awarding the members of staff on our “Good Noodle” board. I will never forget comforting people who had outside the newsroom issues. I will never forget reading college admissions essays for people on my staff, and so much more. I will carry memories of every person on my two years of staff, especially ones with our amazing adviser, Jim Lang.

Lang has been through thick and thin with me in my time in this program. He helped me make some of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. He reassured me of the excellent work I was doing and made sure I did not undermine myself. He recommended me for countless scholarships and awards I would have never thought I deserved. He has not only been an adviser and role model but he has also been a true friend who I can never thank enough.

All I can say is, thank you FC. Your programs have pushed me to be the best I can be. Without the journalism programs led by two great men, I would not be where I am today. So, thank you FC. I will miss you more than you will ever know.

 

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.

Lost in the Archive – Football