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Q&A with multi-culti club, GSA members

Junior Fiona Grannan – President of Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

Bagpiper: How does GSA affect your life?

Fiona Grannon: “GSA has been a really wonderful place to be able to express myself and build leadership skills with other people. It’s been an amazing outlet for support and understanding throughout the two years that it’s been ongoing. Being a leader now, for two years, has definitely impacted the way that I look at responsibility and even just, like, organization, it’s forced me to stay on track and focus.”

BP: What do you like about GSA?

FG: “I love that not only is it social, like there’s a social aspect to it, but there’s also an educational aspect to it. You get to learn a lot about queer history and the historical and modern day voices in representation. There’s also a community in it. It’s just really wonderful to see people who experience the same things as you and learn together.”

BP: Why did you join GSA?

FG: “I thought that it sounded like a really great place to be myself and be around other people who I also knew [understood] the things that I was going through and understand where I was coming from on a lot of stuff, and because it’s a fun little place.”

BP: How many clubs are you in, besides GSA?

FG: “I’m also in D&D, Environmental Sustainability, I was in Art Club, GSA, and I think that’s it. If Bee Club comes back, I’m getting into that.”

BP: What celebration or event is your favorite?

FG: “Every meeting is different, and we always come up with something different and creative, but I think our Valentine’s Day meeting, where we talked about the history of LGBT+ greeting cards and anniversary cards and how those have become more and more mainstream. We showed clips of different movies and just people out in the world. We made a little poster and put our handprints on the poster in the shape of a heart.”

BP: What does a typical meeting of GSA look like?

FG: “We show up, we take attendance, we run through a list of things that Ms. Shaffer, Mrs. Conway, [and I] have planned beforehand, ‘The Gay Agenda.’ We almost always put ‘Gay Agenda’ up there. We go through what we’re going to do that day and usually we have a central topic that we go over, like a specific icon or movement in history. We’ve done the Stonewall Riots…we did Josephine Baker. We haven’t done Frida Kahlo, but I’m going to make sure we do that next year. We make quizlets a lot, so it’s a lot of fun and interactive games. Often, we color our own posters, because we can. Sometimes we have snacks. We’re going to get better at that next year.”

BP: How does GSA help students feel more at home in a huge school like FC?

FG: “It just provides an area where you know you are safe. I try to enforce the ‘Don’t be mean, don’t be rude, don’t be disrespectful.’ [rule]. It’s supposed to be a safe place for everyone to come together and just be in the presence of like-minded people where you know you can be yourself. So, we try to make it very comfortable and very understanding.”

BP: What are your plans, as president, for next year in GSA?

FG: “I want to do a winter fundraiser, so badly, and I need to talk to Willman about it to make sure that it’s going to happen. I want to get involved in raising money for a charity, like the Trevor Project, to help LGBT youth in need. I really want to make sure that people know this is a call for everyone. [GSA] is a safe space, it’s for allies and identifiers alike. It just is a place to be safe and not have to worry about gender expectations, societal norms, questioning your sexuality, it’s just a place to be. So, I really want to get people who are allies to know about the club and to join the club because I don’t feel like they know what it is. I want to just listen to what people have to offer and see what we can do about it, because I don’t know how much we can do, but I want to do as much as we can. I know that Highland Hills has their own GSA and a bunch of people want to get in contact with them and make sure they’re doing alright and have open communication between the two.”

Junior Megan Biggerstaff – Member of Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

Bagpiper: How does GSA affect your life?

Megan Biggerstaff: “The GSA club affects my life by helping me better understand what my closest friends go through on a day to day basis. I like to think my support helps other members of GSA feel supported and safe while being themselves.”

BP: What do you like about GSA?

MB: “I like the club because it welcomes and supports everyone! Something I like about GSA club is being able to vote for a leader without discouraging others. I just love that there are students willing to step up to lead and support the entire group.”

BP: Why did you join GSA?

MB: “I joined the GSA club after my good friend Sam invited me. I enjoyed the meeting and was happy to be there to show my support. Everyone in GSA shares a common dream to be accepted for who they are what they believe. I think the club does an amazing job in bringing students who feel out of place into a comfortable environment that fulfills their need of acceptance.”

BP: How does GSA allow students to feel at home in such a large school like FC?

MB: “The clubs helps students feel more at home by giving them a safe place to be themselves while knowing there are other people just like them.”

BP: What is something everyone should know about GSA?

MB: “Something you should know about the club is that they truly accept everyone! So if you’re scared to participate in a meeting, don’t be. Everyone is there to show support and love and it’s a really great and positive environment. To me, GSA is a place I can support and show how much I love my friends for who they are. For others, this club can mean as much as a second family or even a home which all the more reason people should attend!”

Sophomore Wyatt Crain – Member of Multi-Culti Club

Bagpiper: How does Multi-Culti Club affect your life?

Wyatt Crain: “It’s a very interactive club that I’ve been a part of. I’ve learned a lot about the different cultures and languages being part of Multi-Culti Club. I’ve learned a lot of historical facts about different things, like Germany and things about Latin and French and Spanish.”

BP: What do you like about the club?

WC: “I like how during the meetings you can experience the culture based off of the different food they have there. So, in the Spanish meeting, you’d have Spanish [or Mexican] food, in the French meeting, you’d have French food, and you get to have a taste of each different culture. You get to goof around and do different art projects based off of what that culture is about.”

BP: Why did you join the club?

WC: “I originally joined because I was already in French Club, and all of my other friends that were in Spanish Club wanted to join Multi-Culti, so I decided to join.”

BP: How many clubs are you in, and which ones?

WC: “I’m in three clubs. I’m in French Club, Multi-Culti Club, and Science Olympiad.”

BP: Which celebration or event of Multi-Culti is your favorite?

WC: “My favorite was the Spanish one, because there was just a lot to do, and I enjoyed the food.”

Sophomore Gracie Leitner – Member of Multi-Culti Club

Bagpiper: How does Multi-Culti Club affect your life?

Gracie Leitner: “I think it’s a really good opportunity for everyone to get involved, because you can have an opportunity to see what other cultures are like in different countries. I think that’s something that’s really important and that we may not get a lot of living in southern Indiana. So, I just think it’s a great opportunity to really experience some of the things that other people do around the globe.”

BP: What do you like about the club?

GL: “Well, that kind of ties in with [the first question]. It’s just a really good opportunity, and we have an opportunity to really experience other cultures that we might not get the opportunity to in southern Indiana. Overall, it’s just a really good opportunity.”

BP: Why did you join the club?

GL: “I enjoy learning about other cultures, and I feel like, again, we don’t have many options to really learn about other cultures living in the middle of the United States. I think that this is a really good opportunity [to do that].

BP: How many clubs are you in, and which ones?

GL: “I am in French Club and Multi-Culti, and that’s pretty much it this year.”

BP: Which celebration or event of Multi-Culti is your favorite?

GL: “I enjoy the Multi-Culti Picnic at the end of the year, because everybody brings food, and it’s a really good time to expand your [horizons] and eat food that you may not eat on a daily basis.”

*Editor’s Note: Diversity Club interviews will be posted early next week.

 

Q&A with FC scoliosis patients

by Annalise Bassett

Anonymous Sophomore

How does scoliosis affect your life?

“Well scoliosis, for me, my curve isn’t extremely bad, so it doesn’t affect me too much on a day-to-day basis. However, I have to do Schroth therapy at home, so I try to do that a couple times a week. That kind of affects my nightly routine. Usually after I do my exercises, my back is really sore. Sometimes during class, my back will just be kind of sore from sitting awhile, [especially] during long tests, like ISTEP or something.”

How does Schroth therapy work?

“At first, I had to go, once a week, over to Louisville where they have specialized physical therapy. It’s just a bunch of exercises to try to strengthen the muscles along your back, I’m not for sure exactly what muscles they are, and try to get tension on the opposite side [of the curve] to try to correct the curve. My curve is to my right, so I try to get tension on my left to try to reverse it. At home, I just do the same exercises.”

 

Sophomore Reagan Schneidau

How does scoliosis affect your life?

“It made a lot of things really difficult. Like, hiking, that was really rough on me. There were a lot of things I couldn’t do because my back hurt so bad. It was kind of immobilizing, but not like, extremely.”

 

What kinds of things did you have to do to keep it from getting worse, or to correct it?

“I was in my brace for two-and-a-half years, I think. While I was in my brace, and even while I was out of my brace, I did a lot of physical therapy. I was supposed to do my physical therapy exercises. It kind of hurt for me to do them. Before freshman year, I had my surgery, and that kind of changed everything. I was really scared about it at first, but then it happened. Now, I’m flexible, and I can do things that I thought I wouldn’t be able to do. I think it was the right decision for me.

 

Sophomore Eric Haney

How does scoliosis affect your life?

“It’s mostly just mild pains, because of the spine being off it makes your back hurt from a lot of stuff.”

 

What kinds of things did you have to do to keep it from getting worse, or to correct it?

“I’m lucky to where mine’s not really that bad, so I don’t have to do much to [fix it]. Basically, whatever would damage your spine, [I] don’t do that.”

 

Childhood Poverty Goes Beyond Stereotypes

Photo by Christy Avery

Story  by Natalie Clare

Money being stretched so tight it feels as though it may rip. With the bank breaking, life feels like it is falling apart.

I have dealt with money issues my whole life. With my family just being my mom and I, we have learned to be resourceful and smart, and we are navigating through poverty.

Today is May 23rd, also known as Red Nose Day. In affiliation with Walgreens, MARS Wrigley Confectionery, NBC, and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, this holiday is meant to raise money for childhood poverty. Over the past four years, this organization has raised over 150 million dollars. This money has given 36 million meals, helped 77 thousand homeless children, and provided 146 thousand children with sanitation, hygiene, and water access.

According to RedNoseDay.org, over 700 thousand American teens are homeless, and one in six American children do not know where their next meal will come from. This is approximately 300 students at FC.

When you think of someone being poor, visions of normal American teens that you go to high school with do not come to mind.

When researching for this column, I had heard of Red Nose Day, and participated in it in the past. However, I did not realize the extreme need for it.

I am a part of those statistics, but I am not the stereotypical model for a teenager in poverty. When thinking of organizations like this, I often associate them with countries outside of the United States. Habitat Humanity building houses in Guatemala. Water Step setting up water pumps in Costa Rica. However, Red Nose Day donates half of the total proceeds to American and Puerto Rican citizens, and the other half to the poorest nations in the world.

“Kids in the U.S. experience higher poverty rates than most developed nations. Only Greece, Mexico, Israel, and Turkey have higher poverty rates than the U.S,”  according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in a 2017 report.

This is shocking, considering the photographs and videos that are associated with extreme poverty are never seem to be from the United States. However, the source of this problem is largely centered right in our home country.

This high rate of poverty is largely caused by the shrinking of the middle class. According to the Pew Research Center in a 2016 report, 61 percent of the United States population fell under the requirements for middle class in 1971. In 2016, the percentage fell to 52.

To a high school student, this may seem irrelevant and like a big jumble of numbers. However, the middle class is shrinking, the majority of citizens are falling into the lower income category, instead of the higher income. This drops the median income in America.

The Pew research report said, “present an adverse climate for economic growth. A relative decline in the incomes of lower- and middle-income families may create a drag on overall consumption in the economy, lead to excessive borrowing by these families or provide disincentives to invest in education.”

Why is this happening? Well, technology has been known to take over mundane tasks once done by a human. With factories using technology to increase efficiency of production, middle class jobs are replacing humans. According to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development in a 2019 report, 17 percent of middle-income jobs face a “high risk” of automation.

In the same report, the rising costs of education, health care, and house are hitting the middle class hard.

As a child, my mom went back to college to get her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing when I was five. She is now back in school again for her Master’s. Rising education costs make it hard for low-income families to ever rise in the ranks because they cannot afford to do so.

Growing up in a household where money was tight, my mom and I have learned how to live life without breaking the bank. We do not take large summer vacations every year. We do not go to the mall and shop at high end stores every weekend. We do not own big, fancy cars that can talk.

We live a comfortable lifestyle, under stricter restrictions than most households. However, you would not look at me and think of someone in poverty. I wear normal clothes. I eat normal foods at every meal. I participate in sports and have an active social life.

I am a normal teenager, but living in poverty.

Poverty has so many faces, mine being one. Today, drop a dollar at Walgreens and pick up your red nose in support of childhood poverty. Become a face in support of poverty.

 

Kaden Breger and Cassie Thomerson win homecoming king and queen on Feb. 5

By Grace Allen