Cover Photo: Riley Burgoon
DECEMBER 18, 2018. VOLUME 10. ISSUE 3.
Drug abuse has become a part of today's society. Students use stimulants without a prescription. Is there any valid reasoning for it?
SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
PUBLIC AFFAIRS EDITOR
THE SCORE EDITOR
THE SCORE REPORTERS
MARCO RIVERO LUNA
SUCCESS CAN BE MORE THAN A WIN
IN THIS ISSUE
Choir director Mr. Bramstedt conducts the finale from the tech booth. Photo by Maddie Crabtree.
02 / THE STAMPEDE
Graphic by Kennedy Homan
STAMPEDE EDITORIAL BOARD
CELEBRATION BEYOND SPORTS 03
TURNABOUT CANCELLATION 04
GOVERNMENT DEBATE 04
NEW REPORT CARD 05
CHEER TEAM 06
IMPORTANCE OF ATHLETICS 07
BOYS' BOWLING ELIGIBILITY 08
MAGGIE OWENS 10
EXPERIENCE OF STUDENT DIRECTORS 11
ON THE COVER
THE PROBLEM WITH STIMULANTS 12
CLASS ENROLLMENT TESTS STEREOTYPES 16
EARLY GRADUATION FROM SCHOOL 17
CURRENT TRENDS 18
SENIORS' LAST COLLAGE 19
CHRISTMAS COMMERCIALIZATION 20
GOOD GRADES MATTER 21
THE REASON I JUMP 22
MONEY AND LIFESTYLE 23
When was the last time you went to a Metea sporting event to hang out with your friends and watch a good game? Now, recall the last time you went to something for the arts, music, or the theater department for the same reason. How recent are both of these events? Better yet, have they even happened?
As many students at Metea have observed, the athletics department has received much of the attention at our school. This includes a variety of talent and very packed student sections through the course of each season. The student sections are mostly packed at events for the varsity football games on Friday nights and post-season games for other well known sports.
However, these games and sports teams don't really need much promotion because they’re simply well known among the student body here. So, why is it that our other departments don't receive this same kind of treatment?
The arts department consistently has a variety of talent that is always putting events together in honor of the students who participate. And although the Collage concert that the music department puts together annually is one of the most favored concerts of the school year, much of its other events and news goes unappreciated as well. Events such as the Dark Horse Gallery and the Fine Arts Festival are two of the annual occurrences that show the least in student interest for those outside of the music and arts department.
Often times, the audiences of these two departments are the students that are required to be there due to them being involved in these two departments. Everyone else going to these events are family members and very close friends of these students that aren’t involved in music or arts.
This also goes for the theater department in the sense that most tickets that are sold go to friends and family that want to support those talented students, not to have a good time or a good laugh with their friends. One of the only ways that these tickets actually get sold are through the endless amounts of promoting and advertising these events.
Much of these outstanding events aren’t already well known to the student body without the promoting and advertising or members of our student body actually having friends in these three departments. These three departments also include the students who are persistently achieving the most amount of success that goes unnoticed because their peers and classmates are “too busy” spending their school nights and weekends at sporting events that they most likely won’t remember in 10 years from now.
Music and art students are putting the same amount of effort into their work as the athletes put into each practice and game, yet more attention is being given the athletic department.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having that high school fun and experience by going to these games. However, we need to start to celebrate successful and talented students outside of the athletics department.
There is so much more to Metea Valley than the athletics that we have here. Our whole lives we are told to go outside our comfort zone and explore new things, so don't be afraid to support the outstanding accomplishments and hard work that you wouldn’t typically bring your attention to.
WINTER DANCE CANCELLATION SPARKS CONVERSATIONS ABOUT ITS POPULARITY
Government and AP government students discussed bills in a simulation in the LMC on Nov. 27. The simulation was set up by government students in partnerships in advance. They thought of problems that they felt ought to be made into laws and proposed their ideas as bills to other groups of government students.“The simulation is for all government students, in which they would debate bills similarly to Washington DC,” social studies teacher Paul Slager said.
Students split into groups and discussed their bills. They were given the opportunity to debate each bill and why it should or should not pass to the next round. Students did a group vote to decide if the bill would pass or not. “They would debate the good and bad sides of the bill, and then show it to the president,” government student Conor Murphy said.
Bills that passed went onto an additional round about a week later. The process is similar to what happens in the actual government. “It’s like ‘I’m Just a Bill’ from Schoolhouse Rock, except students are doing it,” Murphy said.
The mock presidential election that took place in the commons earlier in the year resulted in the two candidates for president: Ben Weiss and Conor Murphy. Liam Duffy and Maggie Shaughnessy were candidates for Speaker of the House. In addition to their bill project, students had a second session to determine the final elect as well. All four candidates gave a small speech on why they would do the job the best. The results were Weiss as president and Duffy as Speaker of the House.
On Dec. 4, President Weiss reviewed the bills for approval or veto in the auditorium during sixth and seventh period in a final simulation for government students.
DECEMBER 18, 2018
04 / THE STAMPEDE
Graphic by Esther Whang
SIMULATION PROVIDES EXPERIENCE
TO GOVERNMENT STUDENTS
NEW REPORT CARDS BETTER REPRESENT STUDENTS
The Illinois School Board of Education released new school report cards at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. These report cards measure not only grades, but they also add in standardized test scores, graduation rate and the growth of the students. The results from these report cards helps compare schools across the state.
“Every school in Illinois is getting the new report card,” principal Dr. Darrell Echols said.
By implementing this type of report card across the state, it helps to rank schools against each other and see which schools are succeeding or which schools are lacking in education and productivity.
There are four levels at which a school is ranking through this new report card system. The exemplary category has performance within the top ten percent of schools statewide. They also have a graduation rate of 67 percent. The second category, commendable, has the same graduation rate but is not in the top ten percent of schools through scores and other educational factors.
The underperforming rank has schools with less than 67 percent graduation rate and is not in the top ten percent of schools. Low performance schools have a low graduation rate and are within the lowest five percent of schools.
“Metea has been ranked an exemplary school this year,” Echols said.
At the beginning of this year,ISBE put together a list of qualities that a school should have and decided to implement these ideas statewide.
The schools record their grade point average, test scores, graduation rates, academic growth, and types of classes that students are offered and are taking.
“They want to do a deeper study rather than just looking at demographics and test scores [and] get a better snapshot of what is going on at schools,” Echols said.
Looking at the types of courses students across Illinois are taking is important in determining the successes of schools as well.
It is easy to see whether the students are on track as freshmen or they need extra help in order to succeed. Students that are upperclassmen can be further evaluated since there are many more factors to determine their success in school. The report cards will help those students for college, since now they can be evaluated for many other factors.
The district’s and state’s hope for the report cards is that heads of schools will use this new type of evaluation to find better ways to improve the schools. The district will also use the information to make sure that students will be college and career ready.
School report cards are now available at www.illinoisreportcard.com.
The turnabout dance, traditionally held at the beginning of February, was canceled for a number of reasons. Student government sponsor Donald Pankuch mentioned financial issues as the most prominent factor. “Over the years attendance has gone way down, so we end up losing money on the dance. There was a slow drop, then a massive drop off, even though it was the exact same program. In 2015, we had 400 plus tickets sold. In 2016, 450 tickets [were sold], and in 2017, 430 [tickets were sold]. Last year, only 240 tickets were sold,” Pankuch said.
In the eyes of the administration,these numbers are not enough to warrant the cost of putting on the dance. “I think some of it has to do with seniors saving their money to get ready for prom. Additionally, we try not to market it as a ‘Turnabout’, we’ve always marketed it as a winter formal. I think there’s a perception that because it’s a ‘Turnabout’, girls have it in their mind that the only way to go to the dance is to ask someone, which they don’t want to do,” Pankuch said.
Pankuch cites dwindling interest as one of the leading causes of the dance’s cancellation, but seniors Rachel Statinover and Lauren Fitman are actively working to prove that theory wrong.
They are among a group of students who have created a petition for the reinstatement and reworking of the winter dance. They hope that if they gather enough signatures, it will encourage the dance committee to consider bringing back some kind of winter dance.
“We don’t want turnabout to stay. We want another winter dance. We believe it should be rebranded and called something else. It’s known for being lame. We feel we shouldn’t focus on spending money on decorations, but instead on a better DJ since that’s the most common complaint. We think we need a DJ that will know how to keep the crowd upbeat,” Fitman said.
Nonetheless, the petitioners are hopeful that, with enough interest, a new and improved winter dance could soon be in Metea Valley’s future.
MORE THAN A HOBBY: DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON ATHLETICS
A Chicago Cubs fan collection reflects their love for the team. Photo by Kennedy Homan
Athletes, parents, and coaches believe that athletics are perceived as beneficial to the mind and body. Whether an individual is a spectator or participant, one can contemplate modern day sports. With the growing number of young adults participating in athletics, sports can be physically and emotionally beneficial.
From the student section at the football games to the Major League Baseball World Series, social and emotional aspects of sports are nonetheless a new view of leadership and self-improvement to the modern world. Although competition can be mentally challenging, athletes also look into the factors of improving personal goals.
“One of the great things about swimming is that you can individually drop your time on your own. There is a lot of individual achievement within the sport. I find it beneficial to push myself harder,” sophomore swimmer Brian Edwards said.
Socially, athletes find ways to connect with people. Sports are ways for athletes to grow as an individual by connecting with others. For individuals who are especially quiet and reserved, they learn communication and qualities of being a vocal leader.
“A great skill to have is teamwork and cooperation. I do swim team and marching band, they do have a lot of similarities in a way that individual growth reflects on a team and the sense of improving in the swim and marching band. I can integrate those skills of perseverance and reviewing things over and over again,” Edwards said.
Despite the gain of leadership and social qualities of being a teammate, determination and the application of experience to daily life is vital for individuals to grow from.
“I feel like it helped me grow more socially. It has helped me have friendships that I know that I will have for a long time. Athletically, it really brings people who do a specific sport closer. I learned a lot in surrounded, grit and hard work, and stuff about their lives, you can see a new type of culture that you meet,” senior swimmer Jamey Hines said.
Spectators and community organizers who enhance sporting events are key for the athlete's adrenaline and school spirit. Take a look at the Major League Baseball or National Basketball Association, thousands of spectators show love supporting teams that bring together unity. Within the school stadium and gyms, there is the same goal.
“We help all of the spirit assemblies and pump up the crowd. We also announce for games and do themes. It really helps when it comes to the sporting events because it helps them play better because they are motivated in doing their work. And [specifically myself] I learned to talk in front of crowds more. I feel like doing more speeches has made me a better leader in life,” senior Black and Gold Stampede chair Ryah Walker said.
Community organizers also integrate promotions for individuals coming together for sporting and advocacy events.
“It’s [sporting events] really important to watch games that are specially raised awareness along with the event because you learn about it and participate in the cause.
It brings unity to our school and it allows people to come together and understand the sport that they may not know about,” senior representative Cayley Frolik said.
Senior Kayla Keyes pulling a heel stretch in a one man stunt during a Varsity practice for their upcoming competition season. Photo by Aimee Leal
Picture this: It is Friday night, which means it is time for football. Football season is the season that many students look forward to. It’s a great time to spend with friends and show off your school spirit as well as cheer on your school’s football team.
Not only do the people in the stands enjoy the football games, the people on the sidelines also enjoy the games just as much. This group of spirited students are cheerleaders.
Cheerleaders play an important role in each football game. They are the source of spirit. They are there to cheer on the crowd and the football team.
They also perform an outstanding routine during halftime. Their routines are a whole aspect of the game experience. The cheerleaders have to work diligently during practice to create a routine that’s well-prepared to perform. They practice hour after hour each day.
When it comes to competition season, it is even more important for them to have well-practiced routines. For that reason, the cheerleaders have to practice a few hours longer during their competition season than they did during the football season.
“The practices for competition season are much more intense. During football season, we don’t condition as much. For competition season, we have to buckle down and start conditioning because we have long routines that we have to do. We’re working on improving our endurance and stamina,” varsity cheerleader Annekah Connely said.
Going from the football season to competition season reveals a lot about how the teams practice. The transition also changes a lot about the team dynamic.
Whether you are on JV or varsity, there is a lot of hard work involved in each competition. Although it’s stressful, all of the cheerleader’s hard work pays off in the end.
The cheerleaders may be sad when the football season ends, but they still have competition season to look forward to. They still have the opportunity to work as a team and show off their skill.
“I personally like competition season more, despite all of the work. Competition season is much more fun and enjoyable because you get to create your own thing,” JV cheerleader Jordyn Brazier said.
This season, varsity and JV will focus more on their skills and team bonding. “When you place, it’s such an amazing feeling. It puts meaning behind why we do what we do,” Brazier said.
Although the cheerleaders have to take a lot of time out of their day to practice, they are willing to practice for hours a day because they are passionate about cheer. In the end, each competition reflects on their hard work, even if they don’t place.
It is their end goal to practice even more and come back stronger the next time they compete. “We all understand each other's struggles and pain. Many people don’t realize that cheer is a difficult sport,” Brazier said.
CHEER TRANSITIONS FROM FOOTBALL SEASON TO COMPETITION SEASON
06 / THE STAMPEDE
"Our main goal is trying to be recognized, and that we realize that boys bowling has enough potential to become an official team"
Boys' bowling in the waiting game for ihsa TEAM eligibility
The Bowling team practices daily at Fox Bowl in Wheaton, a 15 minute drive from Metea. Photo by Nate Burleyson
08 / THE STAMPEDE
Imagine if you practice, put in maximum effort, learn from the pros, get better every day, and bond as a team. The only catch being that you actually can’t compete as one, which can be tough.
It certainly is for the boy bowlers at Metea. They bus out to Fox Bowl in Wheaton every day to work on their game, with only one opportunity to showcase their skills: The IHSA State series tournament where they can play as individuals but not as a team.
“They can't compete as a team now until District 204 allows it,” athletic director Jason Ward said. The issue isn’t at the school or the state level, it’s at the district level. Which raises the golden question: If the bowlers pay an athletic fee to compete by themselves, then why can’t they all just play as a team?
That question probably won’t be resolved this season, but it won’t change anything about the team’s play.
There has been an established girls team for over five years now. But the boys team started with Ian Ridgeway (Class of 2018), who joined the girls as the manager three years back and ended up competing as an individual at the boys state tournament.
Soon after more players joined, and there were enough people to make a team. Why is playing as a team still an issue? That question lies on the district.
“The very first step was growing the interest, and the next step is checking in and getting Waubonsie and Neuqua on board,” head coach Kristen Mansmith said. “The district likes keeping it even.”
The numbers for Metea certainly meet the standards that the other schools are lacking on.
“I think we are getting there though, from what I’m hearing our numbers are pretty high,” Ward said.
And according to coach Mansmith, they are well-equipped for the prime time. Their team is growing in numbers every year.
It’s certain that players are passionate for bowling. When you’ve seen the team grow, it can be irritating to not get the opportunity that seems so close.
“I feel like we really have a chance to compete at a high level. We have a lot of great bowlers who have the potential to do well as a team rather than just as an individual,” senior Chris Mickolayck said.
Mickolayck has competed as a bowler for the past two years and is hoping to qualify for state this season. “I feel like we don’t get enough chances,” Mickolayck said.
It’s certainly frustrating, but making the team official is a process that goes beyond the current members of the team.
“We have to remember that we are three years ahead of [Neuqua and Waubonsie],” Mansmith said. When it comes down to it, the team is playing the waiting game.
“Our main goal is trying to be recognized, and that we realize that boys bowling has enough potential to become an official sport,” Mickolayck said. It is a hard pill to swallow, but the team practices on.
Each day the bowling team shows up to the alley, stretches, and warms up. Whether it’s learning from coach Mansmith or one of the pros at the alley, the team is continuously getting better.
The team is a diverse group of guys. All it takes is a willingness to learn and a dedication to your individual improvement.
Bowling is a lifetime sport where you can be big or small, and the sport doesn’t attract your “traditional” athletes.
“One of the things I love about bowling is that there is no prerequisite for height,” Mansmith said. “This is something that is so diverse and allows anyone to play it at any time.”
It's part of the reason why the bowlers who are on the team enjoy it so much. And they won't let the waiting game of IHSA team eligibility get in the way of their fun, practice, or competitive spirit.
Truman Mitchell, and other directors, oversee auditions for Winter Scenes. Photo by Riley Burgoon
Maggie participates within the show Ninja Warrior. Photo Courtesy of Maggie Owens
10 / THE STAMPEDE
Winter Scenes is a student-directed show that will take place on Feb. 7, 8, and 9, at 7 pm hosted by the theater department. The theme this year is 'Journeys' led by student-directors Ben Reed, Ben Weiss, Jaden Zayas, Truman Mitchell, and Thomas Reidy.
Reed’s play is an adaptation of William Shakespeare's play, Much Ado About Nothing. Zayas and Weiss are both co-directing Check Please, which is a series of dates that a couple goes on. Thomas is directing 'Thur' which is a parody of King Arthur's Legend. Mitchell is writing and directing a musical called 'Healed' which is about a kid with autism and his relationship with his family.
Being a student director includes being able to choose the show and do acting, casting, interpretation, script, blocking, and set.
“I am learning a lot about the organization of the cast, who you are picking, and reviewing the scripts. It takes a lot of looking over and double-checking to make sure things get done well,” junior Thomas Reid said.
The student-directors have learned a lot from this process. They learn responsibility, and their expertise from being in the show from years beforehand. Being a student-director, there is a lot that needs to be considered and learning how being a team player will benefit you in the long run.
“This is my second time directing. I have learned so much last year, about acting, and directing. Being able to do it a second time is an honor and, I love doing it. Communication is the number one rule of the game, and the number one thing the show runs on. Also, being able to make new friends, and making sure it is not so hierarchical. Overall, it has allowed me to become a better actor, a better teacher, and just a better person in general,” senior Ben Reed said.
Winter Scenes introduced new perspectives to students on different aspects of life, and the journeys one takes in life. “I think it will impact students because it has a big theme about journey and high school itself is a journey. You will see examples of your own life sometimes, so it’s really cool,” senior Jaden Zayas said.
MAGGIE OWEN BECOMES A NINJA WARRIOR
Welcome Maggie Owen to the stage. She’s less than five feet tall and she’s conquering 14 feet tall obstacles.
Maggie Owen is a freshman who has spent this past summer training. She sent her submission video in 2017. Videos are shown of her flying through the obstacle course effortlessly. She has taken part in the American Ninja Warrior Juniors, competing in the 13-14 category. “I went to LA this summer to film. I was nervous about doing headshots and B-roll, but it turned out to be so much fun,” Owen said.
Maggie started three years ago with gymnastics and eventually moved up to indoor rock climbing, allowing her to swiftly move through the air during practice and the competition.
She trains at the Ultimate Ninja Facility working with Jesse Labreck and Chris Digangi who competed in the adult competition in Las Vegas. Maggie came in second behind her mentor Jesse Labreck in the pro division. Maggie was the only female amateur that competed in the course. Owen finished fourth in last year’s National Ninja League in the girl 13-15 division. She was of 10,000 applicants to be on the TV show. Maggie was pulled out of school Friday, Nov. 9 to be filmed for WGN-TV.
Maggie Owen takes all opportunities to practice. Her family supports her when it comes to the Ninja Warriors, so her dad built her obstacles. There’s a ring hopper in her backyard, and she climbs all around the house when she has time. Even when she went to Los Angeles for the America Ninja Warrior Jr., she was practicing instead of having fun and relaxing. She climbs on walls. She’s determined, and she loves going through the course. Her favorite part is when she runs into a hard obstacle because it makes her try harder. Balance and concentration is the name of the game, and Maggie is definitely dominating it.
She also likes the obstacles that she very familiar with. Maggie's dream is to be on Adult Ninja Warrior.
STUDENT DIRECTORS LEAD WINTER SCENES PLAY
Photo by Riley Burgoon
STIMULANTS CAUSE MORE HARM THAN GOOD
MONTH #, 201#
12 / THE STAMPEDE
Graphic by Maddie Crabtree
You’ve heard the names: Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta. You know what they do: give a boost of energy, help you focus, and keep you awake. At least, that’s what they’re prescribed to do. They can be extremely helpful to those that need them, but to those who don’t, they can have devastating effects.
“I hated it,” senior Jane said. Jane's name has been changed for this article.
No drug has only one effect. Stimulants can have very powerful side effects, such as seizures, impaired judgment, decreased emotional capacity, and mood swings, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports.
NIDA also reports that prescription stimulants increase the activity of chemicals in the brain, including dopamine and norepinephrine. Drugs that change the brain's chemistry can have unexpected results, including psychosis, paranoia, and anger.
One of the worst potential consequences of taking prescription stimulants is an addiction. Stimulants, particularly Adderall, are habit-forming drugs. According to Rehabs.com, individuals that use Adderall without a prescription are eight times more likely to have used cocaine and five times more likely to have used painkillers without a prescription.
“Ninety percent of students using Adderall non-medically were reported binge-drinkers,” Rehabs.com reports. Stimulant abuse is a dark path because of how habit forming they can be. If excessive stimulant usage leads to binge-drinking or worse, the consequences could be fatal.
Some teens use Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) stimulent medicines, to enhance their focus and academic performance, and increase general motivation. In today’s school climate, it’s no surprise that students feel the need to resort to stimulants to improve their ability to do well by our system’s standards.
While some abuse stimulants, there are still those that need medication to compensate for ADHD.
Noelle Smagala is a junior at Metea Valley. She had a prescription for dextroamphetamine, or Adderall. She was diagnosed with ADHD in September of 2017 and was given a prescription for it in March of 2018.
Having struggled with the symptoms such as fidgeting too much, acting impulsively, struggling to manage time, and the obvious, not staying on task, Smagala decided to make the move towards stimulants for assistance.
Smagala described her experience as nowhere near easy. She describes having to gradually increase her dosage until it could finally help to curb her ADHD symptoms, although she did have to deal with some harsh side effects.
“I started at a low dosage and slowly went up to about 20 or 25 milligrams, a low dose. It’s crazy in the first place how it affected me so badly. My appetite was curbed, so I was barely eating anything. And if I didn’t have anything in my system, for example when I was taking it at the time, I was doing sophomore swim and I would throw up all the time because I wouldn’t have anything in my stomach,” Smagala said.
Smagala had a harsher reaction than most to her stimulant, which she attributed to her size. When she took Adderall on what was supposed to be a daily basis, the frequency at which she took it was quite variable.
“When I wasn’t consistent with it, it had been a couple of weeks when I had not been taking it, and I took it one day. I immediately had these thoughts that rushed to my head of suicide and self-harm, you know, when I had been doing a lot better for a long time,” Smagala said.
Even with all these negative side effects, she did recognize the benefits that her Adderall prescription had on combating her ADHD.
“For a while, I thought it [helped], but honestly it wasn’t worth it at all. The only thing I was thinking about was that I needed food, but I couldn’t eat it because I would throw it up. It worked for a while, but it got less and less effective because of my emotional reaction to it,” Smagala recounted.
Smagala says that both the physical and emotional toll of feeling a rush followed by a depression turned her away from the medication, even though she appreciated the ability to focus on school work.
She recognizes their use and says that they can be effective, but her experience was just too tolling.“My emotional reaction just became something I didn’t want to deal with,” Smagala said.
She stopped taking her prescription before the end of last school year and decided to focus on other methods of battling ADHD. She also acknowledges that she might end up trying either Adderall or another stimulant later on in her academic and professional careers.
Metea students are finding ways to take stimulants. Senior Lucy, whose name has been changed for this article, is one of the students who has used Adderall without a prescription.
“When you’re on it and you’re having a good time, your mood is amazing and you’re very motivated, but when you’re done, your mood tanks. It’s like depression,” Lucy said.
Students that take these drugs can possibly feel the need to do so simply to gain an edge over their self-control. They might feel like they lack motivation, or that they might actually have ADHD.
“I can’t focus on the work that I need to do, and I always end up doing something else. So I sort of just wanted to get my stuff done. Also, beyond just getting things done, it’s nice to feel very motivated and very energetic about doing the things you have to do,” Lucy said.
Lucy believed the effects were worth the consequences for her because of the importance that she felt their work had. Lucy understood that the long-term effects could be potentially very dangerous, but she still chose to prioritize her work in and out of school over her long-term health.
Individuals feel both short-term and long-term side effects differently. “The first time I [took Adderall], I didn’t feel anything for a few hours. I felt very normal like I wasn’t on anything. But after that, the side effects became more noticeable,” Lucy said.
She strongly discouraged others from experimenting with these prescription stimulants because of the varied consequences for each individual.
As every person has a different body and mind, drugs that can seriously alter their state of consciousness can cause problems for one person that do very little to another person.
That’s why one drug, like Adderall, works for someone like this student, but not for Noelle Smagala. She had a prescription, unlike Lucy.
With countless warnings against people taking prescription drugs not that aren’t intended for their usage, it makes sense that the laws back that up. For each side effect that someone with ADHD gets, it becomes worse for someone without ADHD, Livestrong.com reports.
Because there is no original condition that needs to be fixed, the primary effect is not as powerful. In place of that, the side effects seem to be more powerful because there is a smaller primary effect that the drug has. Lucy values that effect regardless.
“The only reason I use [Adderall] is so I can get stuff done. I don’t feel the need to be focused, it’s just the easiest way to get stuff done for me,” Lucy said.
Jane also has taken Adderall without a prescription. She said that both times were not for homework, but rather as a pick-me-up.
“The first time I took it was for an extra-curricular. [Me and my friends] had stayed up late the night before, and we just needed a little boost. A friend actually had ADHD and offered some to us, and we all took them,” Jane said.
While the first student has a relatively positive experience with Adderall and its effects, the second student found that its effects were both disappointing and overwhelming.
“I did not feel any boost at all. I know it’s a stimulant, but I didn’t feel it at all. A couple hours later, I actually started to not feel very well. I got really anxious, had heart palpitations, [and a] faster heart rate. It really just felt like I was having an anxiety attack like those were the symptoms. It was also my first time taking it, so I’m not sure if I just reacted badly,” Jane said.
Jane clearly recounted having to take excessive measures to calm down and find a way to stay relaxed because of the effect of Adderall.
Without the desired effect, the drug just makes reality worse. Because there is no condition to fix, the drug has no obvious purpose in the body and can wreak havoc by creating too many effects that are not the desired effect.
Notably, Jane has never felt the need to use stimulants for school-related purposes, such as standardized-testing or working on homework but is familiar with that usage.
“It was just because we were tired, we wanted to be alert. I do know people that take it for that without a prescription. Particularly, I had a friend that took it for the SAT. Ironically, that was the test they did the worst on. But [people using Adderall] really don’t do it as often as some people think, but it definitely exists,” Jane said.
She went on to elaborate that it isn’t a significant enough issue to drastically affect average scores for a school like Metea, but individuals are out there using stimulants to improve their academic performance. However, on her own experience with it, she was not pleased.
Jane says that she does not plan on taking it again in the near future with these consequences in mind. The effects were too much, unlike the other student’s experience.
When students decide to use stimulants to enhance their performance without a prescription, they knowingly, or unknowingly, agree to the contract that they are subject to punishment, both to their health and to their privileges. If used in school, students could be subject to even more trouble by jeopardizing of their graduation.
Dean of Students Jennifer Reyes explains her knowledge of stimulants based off of her experience dealing with kids that both distribute and abuse these drugs.
“These drugs are not meant for everybody’s body or brain. What’s happening is kids who have not had tests done on them are taking [these drugs] thinking they will have the textbook answer, solution, and effect on them that they want. And I’ve seen it have devastating effects on them because their bodies are not the same as their friends or family members that take them,” Reyes said.
Kids are selling stimulants that they either do or do not have a prescription for and that immediately makes them distributors which can result in serious trouble with the law.
The Student Metea Handbook indicates that “possession, intent to possess, use, or being under the influence of any drug” is automatically a Tier 4 violation. Tier 4 violations have consequences that include out-of-school suspensions and even recommendations for expulsion.
Those consequences come with an investigation by the student resource officer, potentially with legal action taken if the investigation finds evidence. After school, the consequences only get worse because the starting level could potentially be jail time.
There are also long-term consequences that do not always manifest physically.
Dr. Kyle Weber, a local Naperville-based therapist described what could be in store for those that abuse stimulants. “It would be like giving them cocaine,” Weber said. “They would be hyper, sleepless, [and] driven.”
Weber acknowledges that school could be and most likely is a very large source of stress for many young individuals. She recommends that sleep is important, and it is also important to recognize your own worth without the evaluation of a school. There is no true reason to have to take stimulants to improve academic performance.
“[Students] feel the need to use stimulants probably because they lack the confidence that they can do it without the drugs. They want to get it all done, get good grades. And all they have to do to get the drugs is simply ask someone that has a prescription. They can also be over prescribed,” she said.
Students are taking stimulants with and without prescriptions. Those without are going against their health and the rules, but sometimes it feels like it’s worth it.
The best thing to do is to avoid taking mind-altering chemicals unless a doctor instructs you to because chances are, it has a negative long-term effect.
Issues like seizures and heart problems later in life. Students that aren’t prescribed stimulants just don’t need them, and the best thing to do is work as hard as you can and keep your mind on the prize. Without ADHD, you’re only hurting yourself by abusing stimulants. Maybe it helps you get a project done, or finish a test faster, but that minuscule effect will never outweigh the consequence on your mental and physical health. The crash isn’t worth it. There’s no rainbow after this rain.
Continued from page 13
14 / THE STAMPEDE
The opportunity to complete your high school education earlier than the full four years most students go through is unique. A few students every year complete the majority of the credits required and decide to graduate early.
There are many reasons students may wish to leave earlier, but there is a specific process they have to follow.
One of the reasons why students may want to graduate early is because their families are very busy and/or they want to have more time to spend with their families in general. “My mom was deciding in between moving to another state or staying here. I wanted to finish school because it doesn't make sense to go to another school for half a year. If we stayed back, I wanted to spend more time with like my grandparents and go to more family events that I usually can’t go to because of school,” senior Emily Nelson said.
The time taken off school is also a great option for students who are looking to make money. The break would allow students to take up full-time jobs or part-time jobs that they might not have been able to do during the school year.
It could be a time to help students work towards what they want to do with their future or their major in college.
“I currently work at Amato’s pizza place, and I would like to pick up a second job that has to do with I want to go into later, interior design. I think a place I would be interested in for my second job is working at a place like Home Goods or the Crate and Barrel Outlet,” Nelson said.
The process for graduating early means the student needs to have all of their credits done for every required category, ranging from core to encore classes. They should meet and discuss with their counselor if this is the best choice for them and what this could mean for their future in terms of college.
“Students can graduate early if they have all twenty-four credits by graduation and that includes half credit government, the required four English credits for English, and the required number of credits for other classes,” guidance counselor Nicole Liska said.
The guidance counselors want to work with the students to best understand their overall situation whether that means what’s going in school or what’s going on at home.
“We want to know everything as far as the school environment and at home. Sometimes there’s a move or there are financial barriers. Every case is individualized, looked at, and discussed to make sure the student can graduate early,” Liska said.
There is an official process where paperwork has to be filled out and the students and their parents discuss. Afterward, parents and the guidance counselor will discuss if everything has been checked over and if the student is ready to graduate.
“To graduate early, there is an application to be filled out as well as the students needing to discuss their decision with their parents beforehand. After they have discussed, the parents should discuss with the student’s guidance counselor. A credit analysis is done and everything is looked at typically a year to six months in advance,” Liska said.
Overall, if any student has gone through the process of finishing all the classes they have wanted to and have gotten the allotted number of credits the school requires for graduation, graduating early is something to look into. It can open up the student to different opportunities and be a profitable experience.
METEA STUDENTS HAVE THE OPTION TO GRADUATE EARLY
Each year, there are typically a few seniors who end their high school journey after first semester. Photo by Riley Burgoon
AT METEA IGNORES TRADITIONAL GENDER EXPECTATIONS
16 / THE STAMPEDE
As we stray further and further from the “feminine” and “masculine” standards expected from us, we can see a great shift in the goals that we set out to achieve. Students at Metea don’t have to feel judged or excluded from joining certain clubs or taking certain classes. For decades there has been a lack of women in the STEM world. Fewer girls were aiming for STEM careers, and even less enrolling in STEM classes around Metea. This gap was evident primarily in engineering and technology classes around Metea.
According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, “While women receive over half of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the biological sciences, they receive far fewer in the computer sciences (17.9 percent), engineering (19.3 percent), physical sciences (39 percent) and mathematics (43.1 percent).” Appreciation and support for women in STEM have grown around Metea over the years through organizations and clubs like Girls Who Code.
“It can be frustrating to not be taken as seriously even if you are equally as qualified as your peers,” senior in AP Physics and Intro to Engineering, Emily Nagy said.
Frustrations like these aren’t only occurring engineering or Physics, but also in classes like Auto Mechanics and Power Mechanics. “At the start of the semester for each of these classes, a lot of the boys were not very nice to me. They could tell I didn’t know anything about cars and they often made fun of me for it. Eventually, though, I was able to prove myself and so they ended up respecting me. I think a big part of that was the fact that I was a girl,” senior Emaline Kerwin said.
Even with any lingering stigma, students like Nagy and Kerwin understand the benefits of such challenging courses. “I enrolled in these two courses in order to better prepare myself for college engineering, either mechanical or biomedical to be specific,” Nagy said.
A similar lack of balance in gender has been seen in Metea’s FACs and Child Development courses. Classes such as Child Development I, Child Development II (where students work with Metea’s preschoolers), and even Sewing seems to have little male enrollment. Enthusiasm for classes not traditionally taken by boys is growing at Metea, as stigma and prejudice dwindle.
Many students understand the long-term benefits of taking a class like Child Development and what such experience with preschoolers means on their college resume. “Besides the students that are undecided, I would say that around 40 percent of my students want to go into education of some sort, and another 40 percent want to go into the medical field,” Mini Mustang teacher Sally O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke went on to describe how many of her students that want to become therapists, nurses, or work in the pediatric field understand the benefits of early experience with kids. This doesn’t mean that all of the students taking these courses are only taking them for their careers, though.
“I took Child Development my junior year because I thought it would be fun to teach kids and learn to take care of them,” senior Jack Orta said. Orta describes how much he has learned from such a class, and how he got to take a fun class to learn something new.
“I didn’t take Power Mechanics and Auto Mechanics to prepare for a career, but I was interested in cars. I wanted to have a basic understanding of how cars work and I knew these classes would help me do that,” Kerwin said.
Metea students prove to defy stereotypes and take the courses that they find are enticing and important to them.
Julia Murray works on a project in Wood Fabrications. Photo by Riley Burgoon
Women of Varsity, Treble, and Chamber come together to sing 'Ad Amore' at Collage. Photo by Maddie Crabtree.
As a member of Metea Valley’s music department, I am constantly involved in several extracurricular activities. One of the most anticipated of these after-school music events is the annual Collage concert. This is going to be my last Collage concert, and it is something that I cannot fathom.
Currently, I’m involved in choir as a member of Varsity Singers, which is one of the advanced choirs that Metea has to offer. However, I started doing choir very late in my high school career, only joining for my junior year.
Before I even began my music experience, I heard many stories about what Collage was from my friends. Sometimes I would have events canceled because of Collage being a conflict. Even though I knew how important it was, I never understood why Collage was so special for some people.
I would see pictures of seniors crying in people's arms. With me not being involved with the program, I never thought those seniors would be me someday.
I started choir, and Collage was on the horizon. Everybody was hyping this up like it was the only important thing in their life. The song we were learning was one of the most complex and immersive musical pieces that we had ever learned. The teachers were excited. The students were both stressed and enthusiastic. Even students who were not in music were ready to see a fantastic showcase of our program.
When Collage actually started, I started to really bond with the people in my group. I talked with people who I previously never heard of or interacted with and had a closer connection with the people who were involved with music. For the first time in a while, I felt like I was a part of a family.
Then it was the final song of the night. Everybody from choir and band was there. The seniors were all in the front of the stage. Everybody was singing their hearts out and playing like their life depended on it. We hit our final notes and the artificial snow started to fall.
There was a sense of closure. A chapter of Metea Valley history was over. And all of the seniors had finished their last year of Collage.
It was an emotional experience to say goodbye to all of the people that inspired me and made the music department what it was. I even got to hug my choir teacher at the time. He said to me, “I am glad you are here,” which was the moment I broke down.
This was when I realized what Collage meant. It was something that brought everybody together. It made music more than just singing and more like a family experience. It is a reminder of how we are not alone in the world and how much people truly care.
And here we are now. My senior year of high school. Currently, we are preparing our next Collage. Even though it is the same old routine, there is kind of a sadness to it all because it may be the last time I see a lot of these people.
My last Collage is going to be an emotional experience, and you can catch me crying my eyes out in the front row. Now before I do anything, I just want to say: thank you Metea Music.
WEATHER SHIFT BRINGS NEW TRENDS FOR WINTER
COLLAGE: IT'S ABOUT MORE THAN THE MUSIC
With this cold weather, sweaters are the best way to stay comfy and warm. Photo by Noelle Pryor
While it is debatable of what season we are in at the moment, it is clear that the weather is currently embodying below freezing temperatures. As the temperature changes, clothing and a large segment of other trends begin to shift. Compared to last month’s trends, containing warm drinks and sweatshirts, this month we begin to dress more appropriate to the weather and begin to become recluses until the next season.
To begin, we must discuss what’s going to happen to our skin in this weather. Lips become chapped and skin starts to dry and peel. In this season specifically due to our lack of sleep, eyebags begin to form. In order to protect our skin and lips, lotion and chapstick become necessary. If you weren’t using these items during the other seasons, it’s a very essential time to break them out of your bathroom cabinet.
Lotion may not be a trend, but the point is that students are carrying their lotion with them wherever they go. Kids are even asking each other in class if they could borrow some lotion. Not carrying these items would be somewhat of a mistake. For the utility of these necessary items, I rate lotion and chapstick a solid 9/10 on the “hip” factor.
Up next, we have the battle of sweatshirts and coats. As a lover of sweatshirts, I personally always wear them even when it’s freezing outside. Attempting to push that aside, coats do look nice with beautiful springlike designs and synthetic fur.
The only problem is that it isn’t necessarily cold enough to wear them with the pain that comes with bringing a coat. Sure, it may look nice. However, what about when someone begins to feel all confident and leaves their $250 coat in their math class, who’s going to feel confident then? Coats at the moment are too much work. In the next few months, their rating will change, but it simply isn’t worth the effort at the moment. Coats receive a 4/10 on the “hip” factor.
On the other hand, we have my love of all sweatshirts. You can wear them indoors without looking drastically different from everyone and often look more attractive than a whole coat.
There’s this sort of energy that is exerted from a sweatshirt at the right moments that can really attract people. Valentine's Day is in two months, so this may be important to all you single folks. For the right time and the right place, sweatshirts receive a perfect 10/10 on the “hip” factor.
Following sweatshirts, we have to acquire some sort of drink this season. While not necessarily “hip,” coffee is always a bop. Constantly drinking Starbucks will eat at your savings, so homemade coffee can often do the trick. Put it in a to-go cup at your house and bring it to Metea. While everyone’s different for what they like in their coffee, most do like milk. Black coffee is disgusting, and anyone who drinks it is sinning. Put about ⅓ milk ⅔ coffee into a cup and then put in as much sugar as you please. Personally, I put in one tablespoon, but it doesn’t really matter. The trend is what you put the coffee in. Shiny cups will most likely be the place to be, more specifically shiny dark colors. No one wants to see a blank plain red coffee cup in December.
If you want to drink coffee, do it right. Put the coffee in the dark-colored shiny cup and you should be good to go. For coffee in a nice looking cup, I rate it a 7/10 on the “hip” scale.
Tying up this month’s trends, we have black jackets. These are vastly different than coats as they actually make people look appealing. Girls and guys alike are attracted to guys in black coats as they give off a “bad” vibe. This vibe, despite being unhealthy, can be extremely hot.
Anyone wearing a black leather jacket doubles in appeal. For these beautiful jackets, they get a 9/10 on the “hip” factor. Normally trends don’t change monthly, but with the drastic weather change, trends will alter as well.
18 / THE STAMPEDE
It is difficult to maintain A’s for a full semester, but what if you were able to get an award for it? If you were able to opt out of finals for getting a high enough grade, wouldn’t you?
Finals are important, but if you have a high A, don’t you think you know enough to not take finals? There are things you need to know and things you don’t, so some finals are definitely not necessary. When asked how students felt about this topic, there were a variety of responses.
Not only will it lower your grade depending on what you get, but it is also extra stress to keep the A all the way up to finals day. If you have an A all the way up to your last test and then you fail it, that can ruin everything.
Personally, I think teachers should determine whether or not you should take finals. They know you as a student, and they know if you need the final or not.
Finals are just a recap of what you learned that semester. When that semester is over you do not really use that information? A simple answer of why you would want A’s to get out of finals is because you want to get out early. Around winter finals, you can get out early and go somewhere warm, and during summer finals we’re ready to go home and rest for three months.
There are unit tests, and sometimes there are many different things into one test. If we really needed finals, we would only need one. Taking a final at the end of the year makes sense because it’s showing us what we have learned during the nine months we are here instead of messing up first semester and second-semester grades.
But when you’re able to use “cheat” sheets, how does that help you? We are allowed to use cheat sheets but are required to turn them in as a grade with the finals. Cheat sheets are often 20 points depending on the quality.
Which brings the question what is great quality. Especially when you know all of the material. If you do not feel like you need a cheat sheet, you should not feel pressured to create one.
As someone who hates finals, I agree that people with A’s should not be forced to take them, but I would because they help me boost my grades at the end. Finals preparation starts the first day of class, and do not end until the last day of school. We have finals packets two weeks before actual finals and have extra homework on top of it, which is not necessary.
The thought that the finals don’t change has crossed my mind too. There could be different versions, but how often are actual finals updated? This has been something that I have been thinking about for a while. Every year, if you create more than one cheat sheet, you can help an underclassman cheat.
I think finals should either be cut out and take only unit tests or we cut out unit tests and do finals only. Both are not necessary especially when your tests are worth more than a final anyway. The only way finals will make sense is if they were worth more than 20 percent. When your grade is ninety percent and you want a ninety-one percent, you have to get a ninety-five percent in an order to get it. Four percentage points that only bring your grade up one percent. It just does not make sense. I am not saying bump grades for the students that are on the edge of ninety-five to ninety-six percent. If they are worth more, it would make a greater impact on our overall grades.
20 / THE STAMPEDE
HOLIDAY COMMERCIALS RUIN THE TRUE MEANING OF THE CHRISTMAS SEASON
Christmas is traditionally a time of peace and love. This is where families from all over the world take time to share one special night with each other. You could say that the season is defined by Christmas with everyone feeling the holiday cheer. However, this holiday is being exploited. The spirit and joy of Christmas is increasingly being used by companies looking to make a quick buck off of this holiday meant for charity and humbleness.
With every year, the amount of commercials and time defined as the holiday season steadily grows. Nowadays seasonal music is being played directly after Halloween. Holistically, the commercialization of this holiday isn’t a huge problem. Every holiday has its own fair share of advertising. Some, like Halloween, left their origins long ago to become mostly commercial holidays. However, the problem with this commercialization is the fact that it misses the point of Christmas: to give and to love.
These commercials run rampant, advertising toys for kids, holiday deals, and everything in between. They do serve as a good selling point, but is it moral to treat this traditionally Christian holiday into an excuse to buy goods and toys cheaper? The answer is up for debate, yet the commercialization is steadily getting bigger and bigger. Stores now carry their Christmas merchandise extremely early and begin their holiday deals even earlier. Many others sell toys, clothes, and even cars at discounted prices, stealing any sense of charity and goodwill that Christmas is meant to promote.
Problems also arise from the fact that this rapid commercialization leaves out other religions celebrating holidays around this time. Hanukkah begins on Dec. 2 but will be largely overlooked during the post Thanksgiving "ad-storm" that December brings. It is not necessary for other religions to have their holidays treated just like Christmas. However, it definitely is not okay to completely forget these holidays just because Christmas is on the horizon.
Christmas to many is no longer seen as a purely Christian holiday, but this in no way excuses the fact that the commercialization of Christmas goes against the values that it represents. It creates an advertisement battleground where companies fight to produce the best deals under the pretext of the holiday season. This commercialization is a practice that needs to be controlled or at least slowed down as it is already taking over November. There is nothing wrong with using Christmas as a means of promoting a product or discounts. However, we must ask ourselves whether we want to define this sacred holiday by the money we spend or by the love we give.
GETTING GOOD GRADES SHOULD BE WORTH MORE
It is a common misconception at Metea that money solves everything. Metea contains a large amount of both well-off and struggling students. It is due to this polarized money situation that stereotypes and separation occur.
The theory that "money fixes everything" is powerful at Metea. Those that are struggling financially consistently shrug off the problems of the well-off. First-hand experience and anonymous characters confirm that this is true. Income is vital, although it will not solve every possible issue. In District 203, everyone possesses a lot of money. The income is high overall, but people still were depressed. When I was in middle school, people would leave lunch to go to support groups due to their mental health.
Trauma happens to everyone no matter the income. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, and many more mental illnesses can’t just disappear when someone possesses money. Medication helps, but it won’t fix the entire issue where it stemmed from. Poor grades cannot be fixed with money, despite the fact that those well-off may have more money accessible for tutors.
Anyone even trying to better themselves can’t fix it with a plethora of green paper. You can’t immediately fix every problem by paying for some sort of service. Every problem is valid. Each problem doesn’t have a set value. The value is set by the one receiving the problem. On the other hand, those that are well-off are often unaware of what it is like to struggle financially. Those that have money know what it’s like to have none, but they don’t know that many people surrounding them actually are struggling in the exact same way they learn about in books.
Personally, I am a student who is relatively well-off. From my time at Naperville Central, for the most part I have only been exposed to people who are privileged. The amount of struggling or average people at Metea is vast compared to my previous experience. They often have to work a lot themselves, and the money they earn is spent towards their parent’s bills. I knew that people struggle with finances, but I never knew they would ever be people I would ever meet in a school environment. Most of the time, you don’t even know if someone is having problems that way. They could be embarrassed that they might be called "poor" or not be considered as worthy. I adapted to the environment, and I’m not as biased as some well-off people I know and hear about at Metea. Everyone has a background. Each and everyone's past is meaningful and worthy of attention, no matter how rich they are.
People with large amounts of money often take for granted everything they own. Whether it be something simple and basic like food, or even their $100 a week they are paid by their parents for just existing. Those in poverty wonder if they will eat on occasion. While some people play on their switch in their home with a furnished heater, others need to put on multiple bundles of clothing in order to stay warm in the cold. The sense of security can be completely revoked when money is lacking. Each side seems to be sensical in their own retrospect. It is necessary to break these stereotypes and finally bridge together as a community.
MONEY MAY DETERMINE FINANCIAL WORTH, BUT NOT PERSONAL WORTH
22 / THE STAMPEDE
I have no shame in admitting that I have autism. While it holds me back in some areas, I have learned to live with it because I understand what it is like. My big issue with society is that while we are bringing more awareness to the disability, we are not really reaching a good understanding of what it is. We are still the subject of stereotypes and are often treated like an abnormal entity.
This is especially prevalent in our media, as many films and television shows written by neurotypical people fail to understand the mindset of someone with autism. This is one of the reasons why I find "The Reason I Jump," a book written by Naoki Higashida, is one of the most important and well crafted forms of literature about the topic of autism.
Naoki Higashida is a writer and novelist from Japan who was diagnosed with autism at the age of five. Despite his condition being severe, he was able to express himself through his writings and has created several works of short stories and poems.
"The Reason I Jump" is a novel that was written by him to help people understand what it is like living with autism and how his mind works for those who do not truly understand what he goes through.
The way the book is structured is through a series of questions that are commonly asked about autism. Some of these questions include “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” or “Do you prefer to be on your own?” In total, he answers about 58 questions in the book, some of which are answered with more complexity than others.
Higashida gives us a great level of honesty in his descriptions without making the reader pity him. It is fascinating to see somebody describe their thought process. One of the questions is about how some people with autism draw letters in the air, which he describes as “writing to confirm what I’ve seen-not as scenes, but as letters, signs and symbols. Letters, symbols and signs are my closest allies because they never change. They just stay as they are, fixed in my memory."
One of the responses that I related to the most was when he was questioned if he find childish language easier to understand. He replied, “Children with autism are also growing and developing every single day, yet we are forever being treated like babies. Whenever anybody treats me as if I’m still a toddler, it really hacks me off." This is something that is incredibly important for people to understand when discussing autism because despite seemingly acting like kids, they shouldn’t be treated like them.
Aside from these questions, the book also features short stories written by Higashida as a way of symbolically representing what it is like to have the disability. Each one, despite not seeming connected, has some sort of thematic relevance and helps people understand the mindset of the author.
A couple select favorites are "Earthling and Autisman" and "I’m Right Here." In "Earthling and Autisman," the later character travels to his “weighed down” home planet, and describes earth as “floating.” He finishes the story by wishing there was a planet where people with autism can fit in.
Meanwhile, “I’m Right Here” is a story of a kid named Shun, who has died and cannot communicate with his family. This is a story that is meant to represent autism and the inability to communicate, which is something that is both saddening and beautiful.
The book is a must read for anybody who wants a better understanding of autism and is the perfect representation of the disability.
PAINTS AN ACCURATE PICTURE OF AUTISM
'THE REASON I JUMP'