Category Archives: Features

2011 FC graduate speaks on her Peace Corps journey

Story by Wyatt Williams, Hallie Funk, Kaitlyn Winchester, Catherine Amos

Photo by Brooke Miller

When 2011 graduate Chelsey Carr joined the Peace Corps, she told them, “I will go anywhere in the world, and I will do anything.” 

Carr had wanted to join since elementary school. “I found out about the Peace Corps when I was eight years old. I knew I wanted to do something that mattered.” Her passion is helping young kids and learning different cultures. When she graduated from college, she resolved to apply.

The application process was long and arduous. Her first application was denied, but Carr didn’t give up hope. She applied again and was approved to go to Myanmar; however, soon after, she received an email asking how she felt about transferring to Moldova. 

When Carr talked about the moment she decided to go to Moldova, she said, “‘Where is Moldova? What is this country?’ I had never heard of it, and I paid attention in history class.” 

She was forced to talk herself out of her hesitation. “I was looking at it, kind of having a mental freak out- do I say yes, do I say no, what do I do?- and I was like, ‘This is so dumb. Obviously, I want to do this’.”

“This amazing, motivated young girl has grown into an outstanding socially conscious young woman. She is an inspiration and an excellent example of going out and getting the life you want,” said English teacher Karen Mayer-Sebastian, who taught Carr in high school.  

Determined, Carr waited months just to have her medical history cleared; then, she spent 10 weeks in a training program to prepare her for the years she would spend in Moldova. 

In addition, she had to learn how to speak Romanian- “one of the hardest, if not the hardest, romance language to learn,”- in order to communicate with the people she would meet. Her family supported her through the entire process, down to the day she left. “My brothers and sisters were extremely supportive,” said Carr. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”

In June of 2017, she arrived in a small Moldavian village, where she started her career teaching students the English language. During her visit, she made many relationships with the other members in her group. “Relationships are super important in Peace Corps. Everything is about relationships,” said Carr. “Without good relationships, it makes it hard to serve for two years.” 

She created meaningful bonds with the other members of her village and the surrounding community, and they accepted her as one of their own. 

Carr said, “They keep telling anyone who comes, ‘Ea este a noastră,’ which means, ‘she is ours.’ And it just shows how much I belong to the community now.”

Outside of teaching English, she also held a dance camp for kids and participated in many of the Moldovian holidays. These holidays included International Women’s Day and Paste Blajinilor, a day similar to Easter. “Every Saint day is a holiday, and you can’t do laundry on a Sunday.” 

Mărțișori, the first day of March, is also one of the most important days for Moldova. It signifies rebirth. They celebrate with food and wear red and white “mărțișor” pins on their shirts. 

Carr also noted that “food is a symbol of friendship.” “Masa,” meaning meal, is when friends and family get together and have a large meal. Foods include Sermale, which is pickled cabbage leaves, rice, wheat, and carrots. Another food they have is Plăcintă, like a pierogi, or a dumpling filled with cheese. Carr said that vegetables are very common because of how agricultural Moldova is. Her advice for anyone joining the Peace Corps is to “be open, be flexible, and try to expose yourself to as many cultures and opportunities as possible.”

The biggest lesson Carr has learned is to “be confident in who you are, but not arrogant.” Carr has been in the Peace Corps for two years and three months. As with any situation in which you are far away from home, there are some difficulties. Carr said the hardest part is being away from her nieces and nephews. She missed out on many of her family’s birthday parties and American holidays. “Not being able to go to their baseball games and ballet recitals, it’s difficult.” 

Carr said it was hard for her to come back to the U.S. and see how things have developed: America’s struggle with shootings, the changes in the government, and gender inequality. Beyond the Peace Corps, Carr plans on promoting gender equality, especially in Moldova. She said, “My end goal is to work for the United Nations.”

Carr’s journey isn’t over yet. She signed a one-year extension with Peace Corps, so she’ll be returning to Moldova to spend more time with what has become her community. Her opinion of Moldova has changed drastically since she first received the email about being transferred. The best part about it, she said, was “Embracing the unknown, because here I was really stressed about my future.” She hadn’t known what she was going to do with the rest of her life. 

“And so being able to embrace this kind of unknown, this thing, that I don’t know what my life’s going to look like in two years- and being okay with that- it was really easy to give in to that.”

 

Continued Q&A with Diversity club

By Annalise Bassett and Destiny Love

Senior Sydney Palmer – Member of Diversity Club

The Bagpiper: How does diversity club bring students together?

Sydney Palmer: Diversity brings students together because we are able to recognize our differences and how they make us ourselves.  

BP: What does a typical meeting of this club look like?

SP: We have meetings in Mrs. Waiz’s class during fourth period, and it includes the council talking about current issues in the school, reading survey responses, and discussing experiences that have occurred at FCHS involving discrimination.

BP: How does Diversity Club bring students together?

SP: This club brings minorities together so they have a place to talk about their concerns but also connect on another level. The diversity advisory council was not meant to exclude anyone, and we just want everyone to know that it was created to educate everyone on the importance of diversity!

BP: What is your favorite celebration/event?

SP: We don’t really have events.

BP: Why is this club important to you?

SP: This club is important to me because I want to show that our school is accepting of everyone and defeats the stereotypes.

BP: How does this club affect your life?

SP: It affects my life because I’m able to empathize with the struggles minorities have gone through and understand what I can do to help.

BP: What do you like about the club?

SP: I like that it’s a place for everyone to talk about anything they need to discuss.

BP: Why did you originally join the club?

SP: I joined the club because I wanted to promote diversity in our school

BP: What other clubs are you a member of?

SP: I am in Diversity advisory council, student council, renaissance club, and interact club.

 

Junior Nicole Holland- Member of Diversity Club

The Bagpiper: How does diversity club bring students together?

Nicole Holland: The Diversity Advisory Council brings people together by bringing in all kinds of people. we all have different hobbies but share one end goal and that’s spreading awareness of other cultures in our school, whether you’re white or colored.

BP: What does a typical meeting of diversity club look like?

NH: A typical meeting is us gathered in a classroom, typically ms. waiz’s room and we throw out ideas of how we can grow and improve. we discuss problems in our school and how we improve them.

BP: What do you like about this club?

NH: This club makes me feel like my opinion is heard and cared about, and i know a lot of the other members feel that way as well. there are many students who felt like they were different from everyone else and this is a place where we can all relate and understand we aren’t alone in our experiences.

BP: What are your goals for next year?

NH: The Diversity Advisory Council has already experienced a lot of backlash in it’s opening stages, but we’re all fully prepared to go through it and we’ll continue until our message is heard. we’ll be expanding our council and it’s influence as time continues.

BP: What does this club mean to you?

NH: To me this council means a chance for me to make an impact. it’s been too long that my voice and opinion has been shut down, and this is my chance to help someone else experiencing discrimination.

BP: How has the club affected your life?

NH: The Diversity Advisory Council has positively affected my life. it makes me really happy to see such a diverse group of people working together to make a change.

BP: What is your favorite thing about the club?

NH: My favorite thing about it is hearing everyone else’s opinions. meeting new people and being able to share experiences without being afraid of judgement feels really nice as well.

BP: What is your favorite event?

NH: My favorite event is in the esports club. next year we’re planning for a LAN party where people outside the esports club can come join us for games and win prizes. hopefully we’ll get more members that way as well.

 

Kaden Breger and Riley Woodruff win Prom King and Queen Saturday night

 

Q&A with School Nurse Melissa Eldridge

By Natalie Clare

  1. Why are vaccinations important?
    1. Vaccinations are important because they keep us from getting sick.  The diseases that we have vaccinations for can ultimately kill people. They’re deadly and fatal and very contagious. They can spread and wipe out certain groups of people. Vaccinations are important ultimately to keep our population going, to keep the human race going.
  2. Do you believe vaccinations are necessary? Why or why not?
    1. I do. I’m definitely for vaccinations. I understand that some people have allergies or medical conditions where it’s not supportive that they have vaccines. I understand religious objections, those are very personal and individualized. But, I think if you are physically able to get vaccinated and it doesn’t go strongly against your beliefs, then I believe everybody should get vaccinated. In the long run, that’s what is keeping people healthy and at their optimum level.
  3. Why are students required to get vaccinations in order to come to school?
    1. Currently, there is a mumps outbreak and meningitis is coming back. They said on the news this morning that Indiana University of Bloomington has a mumps outbreak. Because we are all in such close quarters, you have to think that they are almost 2000 people in this building that are coming in contact every single day. Things spread very easily in this environment because we are all very close. Same thing with colleges, you’ve got dorms and other close quarters. So, if one person were to get a contagious disease, it’s going to be no time at all and the majority of us are probably going to have because we come in contact one way or another. If it’s not direct contact, it’s airborne or continental contact, like touching the same desks and door knobs.
  4. Can parents request to not have their child vaccinated? How? Why?
    1. Absolutely. Parents can fill out regions objection forms or they can go to a doctor and get a medical objection form. If it is against their beliefs or they have some type of medical reason that they can’t get a vaccine. They always have the option to object. But, according to our school policy, if we were to have an outbreak of something and a student wasn’t vaccinated, we would have the right to exclude them. More than anything, for their safety. It’s kind of a risk if you choose to not be vaccinated. Be aware of the risks that your are putting yourself at a chance at getting a contagious disease. Although, chicken pox isn’t necessarily a deadly disease, but you have more serious diseases like polio or meningitis.
  5. Can you really become sick by getting vaccinated? Or is that just a myth?
    1. I think it depends. I know that there are a lot of people that are anti-vaccine and talk about how they increase your risk for autism or other things. There is a small chance. You occasionally hear of somebody having an adverse reaction to a vaccine, especially if it’s a live vaccine. Which is where they do inject a small amount of the virus in you. But again, they take precautions. They always take precautions when giving vaccines, like if you’ve been sick or have recently had the flu, you’re doctor should say that this is not the right time to get a vaccine because you might be putting yourself at risk for getting sick. It’s very rare for someone to get sick after having a vaccine or contracting autism. I’ve never seen a huge amount of evidence to say that vaccines cause this, this, and this. Vaccines are here to prevent, not to cause other things. People talk about getting sick after having a vaccine, or contracting something. This is rare, it’s the exception not the rule.
  6. Are there any vaccinations that aren’t required but recommended?
    1. Right now, the CDC has recommended meningitis B, which protects against another strand of meningitis. You’re required to have your two meningitis vaccines. Because you have all of these kids that are going off to college, their going to new environments, they’re living in dorm rooms, and in close contact, you’re putting yourself at a greater risk at picking up a communicable disease. So Men. B is recommended and HPV is recommended based on research.
  7. Will the school be having a vaccination clinic? When? Where?
    1. Our vaccination clinic is Tuesday, April 23rd. It’s offered to juniors becoming seniors. This gives them an opportunity to get up to date on the required vaccines for their senior year, like the second dose of meningitis and the two Hep. A vaccines.

Just because Twitter said it does not mean it is true

Art by Sam Haney

Story by Gracie Vanover

Social media can be both a blessing and a curse. However, for some male Marvel fans, it appears to be the latter. With the new movie Captain Marvel being released on March 8, many have something to say about the male opinion of this movie. Feminists across platforms like Twitter seem to have the strongest say in what they think about their male peers who dislike the new female lead superhero movie.

After the new movie was in theater for a few days, talk around our school and social media grew with likes and dislikes of the movie. The issue of “men being sexist” against the movie came to my attention one day at my lunch table as it was the discussion topic. One of my peers said he did not entirely care for the movie, as it just was not as good as others to him. His real issue with sharing his opinion, however, was the fact that many female friends took what he was trying to say the wrong way. They felt as if he was saying what he said due to the lack of “sexualizing” a woman hero. In his defense, that was not the cause for dislike, but many insisted on that as the base of his dislike.

With many women in the Marvel fandom adoring the movie and female lead Brie Larson, it is somewhat reasonable to see how they incorrectly interpreted what these men are saying. In the movie, Captain Marvel does not appear as the average woman hero, as her costume is more “bland” compared to others. I think with the change of her costume many assume the dislike is solely due to “non-sexualisation” of  Larson. Although many men have clearly stated this is not the case for their dislike, some women keep pushing to say it is when it truly is not.

When it comes down to the actual costuming of the women, Marvel is actually very respectful in making them feel comfortable. But in doing this they also are decently consistent with the comics and their design. To bring the original example back, Larson and her producers agreed on how the original comic book suit would not fit for the movie style but they did not completely obliterate any connection to the comics. When it boils down to the fans as well, no one is angry because she was not shown in sexy spandex. In specifics, not just male fans but many fans were displeased with mainly the plot, according to reviews from metacritic.com.

It seems like many are quick to attack male viewers when it comes to female superheroes and their opinions on them. However, as mentioned beforehand, the dislike is never due to the lack of sexualization. With the world we live in now, many ads in media are meant to sell as sex appeal. Of course with brands like Marvel, DC, or other productions, that is not the intended case. These brands are dedicated to the viewers and bringing them quality content over the basic and easy sex appeal that most everything is branded with.

The fanbase has no right to be mad at the lack of sex appeal because that style of branding is never the focus of the Marvel brand of movies. The idea of male viewers being angry at the lack of sexualization is a false accusation on other viewers’ parts. For other fans or outsiders to accuse the fanbase of that is unjust and a false accusation. Not only is it making that part of the fanbase look bad, but it makes the entire fanbase as a whole look worse as well.

Overall, people use media to claim statements that a lot of time are not true. Even though in this society sex appeal sells content, this is not always the case. Marvel fans were the most recent target of the “only care about sexualized content” facade but it will not be the last. So before people accuse others of this, they need to take a step back and look at the whole picture.