Mighty Maroon Competition!

On Wednesday, October 25th the Mighty Maroon Band, led by Lance Flisowski, had their final competition of the year, the UIL Region Marching Contest at Memorial Stadium.

They performed their show “Feng Shui Elements That Bind The Universe,” and got a 1st division. The show consists of 5 songs and props which represent five elements; Fire (represented by “Finale” from Symphony No. 9), Water (represented by “Claire de Lune”), Metal (represented by “Foundry”), Wood (represented by “Into the Village”), and Earth (represented by “What Are You Going to do When You Aren’t Saving the World” from Man of Steel).

John Horn and North Mesquite also performed and received a 1st division. Congratulations to all of the schools that were involved, especially to our hard-working Mighty Maroon Band! Skeeter Pride!

From a Sophomore to a Freshman

This is it. The beginning of the year. This being some people’s first year in high school, and for others, their last. Summer seemed to have flown by and everything is getting back into the swing of things. Everyone is counting down the days until we get to leave for summer break. But that’s the thing. The majority of us will come back in the fall, while others might not show their face at Mesquite ever again. But in light of everything, I wanted to give incoming freshmen an insight of what I’ve learned as a freshman:

1. Stay involved. But not too involved.

Being involved with extra curricular activities is what makes high school fun. You don’t really get the full high school experience without them. Now, don’t go signing up for anything and everything. No matter how tempting is, doing too many things can stress you out. Your grades come first. Start slow, find out how well you work with a short amount of time, then you can start doing extra things.

2. Don’t procrastinate. Do things when you get them.

If you do the work you get as soon as you can, you’ll have more time later to do whatever you like. It also helps you not stress about how much work you have to get done. Procrastination brings so much stress that it’s not even worth it. Netflix can wait, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

3. Make friends with almost everyone.

Did you know, that you could make a friend with literally anyone? Everyone has at least one thing in common, you just have to try hard enough to find it. I’ve become so close with the most unexpected people, but they’re also some of the people I laugh the hardest with. Making friends in high school is so important and there’s so many great people in high school, you just have to find them.

4. You are amazing.

You know that guy or girl (I don’t judge) that you’re still hung up on? They’re not worth it if they can’t seem to see everything you have to offer. Don’t chase someone who is chasing someone else. Devote your time to getting an education, not a relationship. You. Are. Amazing. You don’t need a significant other to be complete, if you’ve gotten this far without that person, imagine how far you can go without them holding you back. Relationships aren’t that important so don’t rush into one with the wrong person.

5. S L E E P.

As much as you can. There’s going to be nights where you pushed your project until the last-minute (although I already told you not to) and you’re going to get little to none sleep. You don’t fully function without it so make sure you get enough every night. Staying up past midnight is cool and all until you start falling asleep in class and miss the whole lesson. Some nights you’ll get more sleep than others. But trust me, weekends are a blessing, use them wisely.

6. Be organized. It helps. A lot.

If you’re like me and need things in a certain order, then I seriously suggest getting a planner. If you’re not like me and aren’t forgetful then you can just kind of skip over this and continue to the rest. It helps you remember what deadlines you have and when you have certain events. I tend to forget a lot of things so having something written out helps me see what I have time for. It also helps me not stress about everything I do (I should’ve listened to the advice I gave in #1 but I didn’t and I honestly regret it).

7. It’s not cute.

For some odd reason, some students at this school think it’s okay to talk back to adults. Please don’t be one of those students. Yes, I understand that they’re not your parents but your parents left them in charge of you. It’s not funny, cute, and the only place it’s going to get you is ISS. There’s a thing called having mannersplease use them. I don’t know why kids think it’s okay to be completely disrespectful to the teachers and staff at our school, especially if they didn’t do anything to you. Being purposely rude is 100% not okay and I 100% don’t recommend it.

8. Block away.

Don’t be afraid to block someone’s number or on social media. It’s your life and you get to decide who you want to have in it. If someone is toxic to your mental health or growth as a human being, then just block them. You’re not entitled to being friends with everyone, and it’s completely okay to cut them out of your life. It can be refreshing and can lift a weight off of your shoulders that the person had on you.

9. Not gonna lie.

As much as I hate to admit it, I have to tell the truth. There will be people who judge you. That’s just the kind of terrible society we live in today. I’m not saying everyone will judge you, but there will be a few mean ones. You just have to find those nice ones who will accept you for who you are no matter what clothes you wear or music you listen to.

10. Confrontation.

Scary, I know, but it is honestly the best way to solve problems. Not by fighting or being petty on social media but texting, calling, or talking to the person you are having problems with in person. It’s a healthier, more mature way of fixing things instead of “throwing slugs” on social media platforms. It took me awhile to learn that this way is way better, especially when I had people telling me to be mean and petty. Drama causes lots of stress so confronting the problem, and the person, can save you from all of that.


Social Media and the Effect Todays Youth

Our individual judgement on our own self-image becomes increasingly relevant in our lives as we age. When progressing through our development we try to achieve the goal of Self-Actualization. Once achieving this mentality a person realizes that they are satisfied completely with their current physical being or the environment that surrounds them. In the book The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf, the idea of creating an image for oneself and ignoring stereotypes that may challenge a person later on in their life is discussed. Self-Actualization helps us form a person that not only the public can be proud to be seen with but also a person that we as individuals can be proud of being.

With the increase of the use of social media in the youth of the world today, many under-developed young adults find themselves losing grasp on who they see themselves as. This is due to the pressure to maintain a certain “social image” in front of friends and peers. As mass media increases these trends begin to spread throughout social media and television leading to the kids of today being exposed to peer pressure and other trends that are spread peer to peer. This causes children to lose the ability to form their own “Self-Actualization” to help find who they are to themselves. This is due to many people worrying more about who others see them as instead of who they see themselves as. This begins the destruction of self-actualization from one generation to another, continuing the deterioration of not only, security in oneself, but also the ability to find who one wants to be in their own mind. This decides how future generations not only present themselves in public but also see themselves in their private lives. This problem in itself due to the social disorders that can stem from “fixing” one’s image to be more accepted in the eyes of society. When constantly changing who people see themselves as they cannot only deteriorate the number of friendships they have but also decline the number of new friends they can make.

In an article on the APP Gateway website from the American Academy of Pediatrics about pediatric social-media use states “According to a recent poll, 22% of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day. Seventy-five percent of teenagers now own cell phones, and 25% use them for social media, 54% use them for texting, and 24% use them for instant messaging. Thus, a large part of this generation’s social and emotional development is occurring while on the Internet and on cell phones.”(Source B), This statement shows the disturbing statistics of the relevance of social media in the lives of the youth. The large amount of time that kids and young adults spend on their devices allows the input of others and of social trends around the world to interact with the individual viewing them on a more personal level. This personal interaction allows the opinions of others the effect a person tenfold, leading to the increasing likelihood that a person will conform to please the opinions of others. In source B when speaking of children and their use of social media it is also stated “Because of their limited capacity for self-regulation and susceptibility to peer pressure, children and adolescents are at some risk as they navigate and experiment with social media.”, This shows the increased likelihood for kids to alter their personas and attitudes depending on the opinions of others.

Public shaming and stereotypes are a consistent problem for that many people face in today’s society and that others have faced for centuries. This issue, which often leads to the mental and emotional break down of an individual, is an ongoing problem among young adults today. These stereotypes stem from the image myths that surround men and women today. In The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf, it states “The model fantasy is probably the most widespread contemporary dream shared by young women from all backgrounds…”, This is due to the increasing pressure on young women by one another to “be flawless” like celebrities they see on mass media. This leads to an extensive increase in the bullying of those who don’t change their style to match the images they see on social media. As it is seen more and more regular to conform with the “trends of today” many people feel the pressure to keep up with others; leading to the fear of failure. This leaves many people struggling to find their public image because the hesitation that comes along with the fear of making the wrong social choices.

Many people lose the ability to see who they are in reality due to their constant forming of their “image”. In source C it states “Some believe that a person’s self-image is defined by events that affect him or her (doing well or not in school, work, or relationships.)”, This shows how not only social media but also social interaction in general can harm a person. With the increase in the spread of social media among today’s teens and young adults many people fear that their insecurities will be more visible to outsiders. Source D states “The effects of low self-esteem can leave you feeling pretty down.”, this shows how a person without strong self-actualization is missing the necessary protection from the grasp of social judgement.

In the image shown in source E it is shown that self-actualization is the biggest requirement for a “successful being”. Actualizing the self is the greatest way to find who one is and who one is meant to be. Source F shows the lack of self-actualization in teens by showing the most common body image perceptions that teens have about themselves. These things include things as 81% of 10 year olds being scared of being considered overweight. This shows the disturbing reality that surrounds our youth of today.

Without self-actualization teens and young adults today are missing a critical strategy when it comes to maintaining their self-esteem in the face of constant external pressure. The need for a strong self-actualization is even more relevant in today’s social media based generation. With the constant pressure to maintain trends being crammed down the throats of the kids in today’s society, it is crucial that the desire for self-acceptance be entwined in the generations to come. Without self-actualization the problem of conforming will increase to grow in the youth of the world, ultimately, leading to the destruction of individualism in society.

Rally The Students: Students Participate in Rally Day at Texas Capitol

In a bold move by the district, four buses packed with high school students made their way down to the capitol to learn and discuss political processes and concerns on Monday, February 28. Students woke up at the crack of dawn (4’o’clock to be exact) and loaded up for the for hour bus trip.

Upon arriving, students seemed partly mystified in what was many of the students’ first time being the Texas capitol. Although there wasn’t much time for sight-seeing, as students were immediately directed to the St. David’s Episcopal Church in order to meet with judges who were currently reviewing bills that would directly affect students. Due to traffic, we arrived slightly late while Mina Injarez was in the midst of explaining her current reviewing of an anti-cyberbullying bill that is currently cycling through the legislature. From what we heard, Bill HB no. 305 seeks to crack down on cyberbullying by allowing police departments state-wide to more thoroughly investigate claims of cyberbullying. This bill boasts that it will equalize the playing field against all forms of cyberbullying, even when the aggressor may attend a different school than the victim or may be home schooled.

One of the key points of bill seems to revolve around making parents more liable in cases where they are aware that an incident is taking place. An especially interesting point to make considering most of the society blames the bully more than anything, now the parents may also face consequences.

“I definitely think [the parents] should be more involved. I feel like [parents] aren’t up to date on the latest technologies; especially things like Snapchat.” said Principal Kevin Samples.

Ways to counter cyberbullying have been subject to review over the past 10 years or so as the internet has become more prevalent in society.

“Just blocking someone doesn’t solve the problem,” said Minjarez in response to a students question about what more advice could you give students about cyberbullying. “We want to stop the problem, not just ignore it.”

The next major bill that was brought before the students was HB no. 676, which seeks to raise the legal age of prosecution as an adult to 18, a raise from the current age which is 17.

“What difference does one year make in the justice system?” asked one student.

Alexander Hammond, Chief of Staff to Carol Alvarado, said, “A lot of thought goes into setting age limits. Your brain is still growing at 17, so how can you be tried as an adult while your still developing?”

Hammond was presenting two bills, the second one being HB no. 1018, seeks to set the legal limit to consume powdered alcohol to 21 years old, like all other forms of alcohol.

This bill seems pretty “no-brainer” to me and much of the other students, so there wasn’t much questioning regarding it’s passage. Although this was a good opportunity to inform students of this recently developed drug. Prior to this conference, I personally had no idea powdered alcohol existed.

The last part of this conference consisted of a panel of former students who currently occupied positions in Austin coming and explaining the best avenues to take to find success in government processes. Most of them spoke on internships and how social media plays a huge role in keeping in contact with constituents.

We departed the church with a minor taste of how government actually worked, and more was to come later. In the meantime, it was time to head down to the capitol building and meet on the front steps where a PTA rally was being led by the PTA president Lisa Holbrook.

Many of her remarks regarded what the PTA seeks to achieve this year, and recognizing the issues currently faced with the coming proposal of the system, which would allow students and parents to select what school in their district they’d like to attend.

“It all comes down to funding” said Samples. “The voucher system would allow schools to get more money per student than we currently get at the public education level.”

Many of the lead adversaries to this bill spoke up at this rally, namely among them being Representative Donna Howard.

“We don’t want the private schools getting all the funding” exclaimed a passionate Howard. “Do not doubt what your efforts here can achieve.”

Howard also went on to appeal to the masses of students present at the rally by announcing the upcoming bill XJR21, which would allow 17 year olds to vote in the primaries to select representatives.

Spirits ran high among the adults, but the students seemed to feel oddly out of place amongst all the commotion.

“They’re proposing stuff that wouldn’t affect them. They’re too old.” said Andres Garza, senior.

This narrative seemingly was playing out in the minds of all the students as they wondered around in the crowds filled with cheers and snare drums.

Tony Cervantes, senior, was skeptical, especially in regards to people in Austin passing laws over bullying. “They don’t know exactly how to handle [bullying]. [The students] should overcome the obstacle and move on.”

After the rally, students toured the capitol building and saw the hall where representatives convene in order to vote on bills just minutes before a session was about to take place.

“It’s so cool here!” exclaimed one student as they gazed up at the star on the roof of the main hall in the capitol.

Indeed, this was an excellent event for students to peer into the looking glass of government, but oddly enough, many felt as though they had no real voice while they were out there, only further reinforcing the notion that students really have no say in what happens to them.

The one opportunity students were given the opportunity to talk to a real representative, Cindy Burkett, seemed to be stripped away all to quickly, as students only got to ask about 3 questions, and seemingly got more answers from the MHS staff than the actual government official.

“Take part in your community. Allow yourself to be more involved in your community.” said Burkett

I’m sure students would have loved to been more active in their community and legislation, if only they were given a true opportunity to do so.

Prior to the event, many students were asked to research important topics regarding education to ask informed and meaningful questions in a meeting representatives that never happened.

Golf Update

On February 17 & 18 at Sulphur Springs Country Club in the District Preview Golf Tournament Liesia found herself out of the top 10 shooting an 85 on Friday. However, on Saturday Liesia came back with an even par 72 to finish 4th. That same day she had two coaches from Drury University there watching her and immediately after the round they verbally offered her a full golf scholarship.

On February 24 & 25 at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course in Waco at the Regional Preview Tournament Liesia fired a 79 Friday on a cold windy day. Saturday with the temperature in the high 30’s and low 40’s most of the morning Liesia struggled the front nine shooting 43 holding only a 2 shot lead over a girl from Wylie. Holes 16, 17 and 18 Liesia went birdie, birdie and par while the Wylie girl had bogeys on all three holes. Liesia shot 37 on the back nine and won the tournament. Liesia’s next tournament is Monday, March 6th at Dallas Athletic Club.

Students Lead Demonstration On Campus Against Immigration Policies

The climate in the country has officially hit campus, as students walked out of class en masse to challenge the recent hardening of immigration laws in the U.S., which many of them feel will affect their families.

The walk out was expected to happen yesterday, but much to the relief of the administration it did not.

“We are [advocating] for the Mexican and proud,” said Kimberly, a student at MHS. “Thanks to two immigrants, I’m legal here… so I’m out here thanking my parents. I’m proud that I’m a legal immigrant.”

Kimberly was incredibly passionate about her cause, and the atmosphere of the crowd echoed her voice.

50+ students sat on the side of East Davis Street with signs that were aimed directly at President Trump. These scenes are incredibly familiar, as they are going on all around the nation as Trump’s campaign promises start to form into reality.

“All the kids here are helping spread the message.” said Kimberly.

Officers were on the scene as well in order to make sure that the students didn’t come into to harms way, or cause a disturbance on private property.

A police officer said, “I absolutely agree with what they’re doing, they have every right to do this as long as they obey laws and do not interrupt traffic.”

Students and parents alike are hugely impacted by the decisions made in this historic period in our lives. This demonstration seems to just be an embodiment of the concerns immigrant children and parents alike feel at home and in their daily lives.

There was also a demonstration going on at Skyline High School.

It All Comes to a Close

To put it plainly, in eighteen years of life, I’ve noticed that many of my peers are largely unaware of the reality that faces them on May 27th. In my mind, this is the date that things are finally turned loose, and all of my efforts for the past 13 years culminate to. To others, it is simply another stepping stone in the educational hierarchy – and this is where many people fail to ascertain the true nature and gravity of graduating. After receiving a diploma and after walking off stage, that’s when we as students get to decide what’s next – and that will be the hardest thing. Up until this point, we’ve been directed in our decisions. Since we’ve been five years old, we were told to go to school and make good grades. Since twelve, we were told that we had to start thinking about our futures that were fast approaching. Since sixteen, many students were told to go get their drivers license. In our eighteenth year of life, the decision is suddenly left up to us. “What colleges are you going to apply for?” they ask. “Are you going to take out student loans?” they question. The life of unquestioning faithfulness to the words of adults is quickly coming to a close as we become the adults.

I only recently came to grips with this idea, and I find myself in a state of disbelief. Of course I do not doubt that some of my classmates won’t go on to hit the ground sprinting following the graduation ceremony, and will fully assimilate into the strange new land across the horizon; but what of those who remain sheltered and remain oblivious to the true nature of the world outside of high school – unforgiving, cold and larger than any other. Up until this point, we’ve only received a small slice of life where our portions have been facilitated and reviewed as to not overwhelm anybody. This is not how it really works.

Life begins to rush at us at unprecedented speeds following graduation. There is no one here to tell us how much of life’s experiences we can intake at one time – it’s a free-for-all. I will take a larger portion than some, and many will likely take an even larger portion than I.

All things considered, I am bewildered by the fact that this is what 13 years amounts to. Walking across a stage into a dead-sprint through a strange wood; leaving the comfort of home for the chaos of apartment leases, car payments, copious amounts of bills and crippling college debt. To me it seems that a high school diploma buys us debt and confusion, and in turn, confusion about that debt.

Perhaps this is the world we live in.

We can only prepare so much for such a life-changing moment, and perhaps it’s unfair to expect anyone to live for that moment. My parents, especially, are constantly telling me to enjoy my final moths, because after this, that’s it. No more cradling. No more people telling me how to live. No more guidance. As I said before, life as we know it is coming to a close. No one would willingly run to

ward the apocalypse, so really, may

be we young adults are just utilizing what little time we have before the end. Maybe, it is imperative for us to continue being young until May, before we are denied that right.

I know my mom (bless her soul for raising such an inwardly reflective child with bad temperament) has always reminded how great it would be to be young again. Honestly, being young really is great. I am free to do as I please and basically excuse it as “trying to partake in new experiences.” I am free to voice my opinions and claim it in pursuit of “seeking intellectual verification.” Ina a time so full of change, I long for consistency and the perseverance of young ideals. Largely, I rebuke the storm of change.

In the coming months of college acceptance letters and copious senior events, I hope I can eek out some semblance of who I am, before I must become something else entirely.

Skeeters back in action

Varsity Boys Basketball
The varsity team lost to the Lakeview squad 62-55 in a game that was a lot closer than the score indicated. It was a great game from the start and the team showed true grit and toughness throughout. The Varsity was led in scoring by John Milton with 19 points followed by 12 points apiece from Aaron Sanders and Anthony McGee. Coach Curts is proud of the way the varsity went out and battled and played as a team.

JV Boys Basketball

The JV Skeeters beat a tough Lakeview Patriots basketball team on Saturday evening 46-44. The Skeeters were up 27-20 when the Patriots in the third quarter went on a 19-0 run the take a 39-27 lead and was up 43-28 with 5:05seconds left in the ball game. The JV team stayed the course and believed in each other and ended the game on a 18-1 run to come away victorious. I am extremely proud of these young men and the way they did not give up. The JV Skeeters were led by Jordan Stenson with 15 points, 4 steals, LT Tuner with 10 points, 4 offensive rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assist, and Kevon Cooper with 5 points and game high 12 rebounds. The JV squad had won the last 5 of 6 games.
Freshman Basketball

The freshman A team lost to an undefeated Lakeview A team 69-59 in a hard fought game. The freshman team was led in scoring by Charles Jordan with 17 points, 3 assist on 5-12 from three-point range, Diandre Heath 12 points, 6 steals, 4 rebounds, 4 assist and Charles Washington with 6 rebounds and 4 assist. The B team beat the Patriots B team 59-35. The Skeeters will be in action tomorrow night vs. the Duncanville Panthers @ Duncanville High School.

Basketball Update

Varsity Boys Basketball
The varsity boys’ basketball team are off to fast start with a 6-3 overall record this season. Over the Thanksgiving break the varsity boys team went 3-1 in the Frisco Lone Star Shootout beating the host team Frisco Lone Star, Oklahoma City Storm, the Desoto Eagles for the second year in a row and losing the final game to Frisco Heritage. Over the weekend the varsity participated in the Bob Stras Jesuit Tournament @ Jesuit High School. On last Thursday the varsity Skeeters beat Frisco Lone Star 54-51 in overtime led by 23 points from Anthony McGee, beat Irving MacArthur 68- 56 led by 29 points from Anthony McGee with 19 points coming in the second quarter and 12 points from Felix Benson. The Skeeters played a tough Waco Midway Team in the Championship game and played well throughout but came up short a little short in a 55-50 loss. McGee once again the led the team in scoring pacing the Skeeters with 18 points followed by 13 from John Milton. Aaron Sanders and Anthony McGee were named to the All-tournament team. Please congratulate these two young men if you have them in class. Coach Curts is proud of the way the varsity went out and battled and played hard throughout this entire tournament.

JV Boys Basketball

The JV Skeeters beat Plano Vines last Monday 64-50 @ Vines High School. The Skeeters were led by Cody Leblanc with 23 points, 5 assist, Maurice Stallworth with 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assist, and 2 steals, and Shawn Suberu with 7 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Over the weekend the JV Skeeters played in their annual tournament @ MHS. In the first game the Skeeters beat a pesky St. Marks team 60-51 and were led 18 points, 3 assist, 2 steals from Cody Leblanc, followed by Jonathan Lott with 15 points on 5-11 from 3-point range and Shawn Suberu with 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks. In Friday night’s game the JV Skeeters shot a blistering 15-23 from behind the arch to beat the Lincoln Tigers JV 69-37. It was a total team effort. In this game the Skeeters were led by Jonathan Lott with 18 points on 6-9 from three-point range, 11 points, 8 assist, 2 steals from Cody Leblanc, 9 points, 4 steals, 3 assist from Jordan Stenson, Shawn Suberu with 9 rebounds, 6 blocked shots and 9 points on 3-4 three pointers from Athian Woul. In the Championship game the Skeeters lost a heart breaker to the Rockwall Heath Hawks 53-51. It was back and forth the entire game. The Skeeters were led by 25 points on 7-11 threes from Cody LeBlanc to go along with 8 assist, and 6 turnovers. Kevon Cooper had 8 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals, followed by 7 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks from Shawn Suberu.

Freshman Basketball

The freshman A team played in the Championship game as well over at West Mesquite High School. They beat St. Marks 66-45, beat JJ Pearce 48-39 and lost in the Championship game to Dallas Lincoln 36-30. Coach Irvin was very pleased with his team’s effort throughout the tourney. All four teams will be back in action this Saturday vs. the state ranked Lakeview Patriots at Lakeview High School. Game times are Freshman A 12:00 B 1:45 JV 12:30 Varsity 2:00. I would like to send a special shout out to Robert Howig, Todd Ritter, Genny Sales, Lynda Ritter for making the JV tournament a success once again.

Skeeters Take On Rockwall

The Mesquite Skeeters Varsity Football team took on the Rockwall Yellowjackets in last Friday’s game at Hanby Stadium.

The Skeeter’s came into their senior night desperate for a win to send their graduating off on the right note.

As the 1st quarter kicked off the game began in a very competitive fashion with the Skeeters and the Yellowjackets going back and forth on the scoreboard. The 1st quarter ended with the game in Rockwall’s favor 10 to 7.

The 2nd quarter was completely one sided with Rockwall putting up 13 unanswered points on the board and taking a 23-7 lead.

As halftime came and went the Skeeters turned up for the 3rd quarter and put 14 points compared to the Yellowjackets 7.

The 4th quarter was a less exciting experience with the Skeeters only being able to put up 6 points. The Yellowjackets lit up the Skeeter defense and were able to put up 17 points on them.

The final score was 47-27 with the Yellowjackets winning dominantly.