The LeSabre

Netflix’s Stargirl should be on your watchlist

The+movie+inspires+viewers+to+explore+the+world+around+them.+

Lauren Wensel

The movie inspires viewers to explore the world around them.

Based on the novel by Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl is a movie about a free-spirited girl who changes the life of a new friend, Leo. They develop a romantic relationship as they discover more about themselves and each other. 

Stargirl is funny, sweet, and suspenseful. It is a feel good movie, streamed on DisneyPlus, that will get you attached to the characters in a short hour and a half.  Best of all, it includes many life lessons, which makes me believe it is fantastic for high schoolers to watch. These are the main lessons I got out of the movie:

Stargirl expresses herself through unique outfits. (Lauren Wensel)

Individuality – Stargirl does not conform to the standards most high schoolers do. She is herself and does not care about being “weird.” She dresses the way she likes, not the way other kids do. Stargirl also does not let herself get soaked up in technology, like most kids today. To listen to music, she uses a record player; she has no interest in cell phones. I think when Stargirl tries to be “more normal” like Leo tells her to try, it shows how special she really is. It is obvious that when she is her unique self, that is the best version of herself. I think that goes for everyone in real life too, and it is an important lesson that teenagers need to see. 

Kindness – Stargirl brings a little boy’s bike back to his house after he is injured. She does not knock on his front door, or do anything to show that it was her. She does it out of the kindness of her heart, because she thinks the boy will love having the bike ready for him to ride when he is healed. She also holds a football player’s hand when he gets injured at a big game. She risks being called a traitor by her school by even going in the ambulance with him so he is not alone. She does all this when the rest of the fans just freeze. The fact that doing nice things for others makes her feel good shows how good Stargirl’s character is.

Supporting the dreams of people who you care about is important. (Lauren Wensel)

Young love – The innocence of Stargirl and Leo’s relationship in the movie is priceless. Stargirl does not have many friends, but Leo is there for her. He supports her even when she joins the school music group that is “a joke” to the rest of the school. The way Leo seems a little nervous when he meets Stargirl’s mom portrays high school relationships perfectly. Even though Stargirl and Leo are young, they fall hard for each other. They fall in love with each other’s personalities first, something the media is constantly portraying as rare these days. The relationship does not work out, but Leo shares that his memories of her continue to affect him when she is gone. This is like many high school relationships, because even when they do not work out, the individuals usually learn from them. Stargirl and Leo also prove that having one person who is really there for you is better than having a bunch of friends.

Stargirl is a wild child and is not afraid to try new things. (Lauren Wensel)

Don’t overthink – Stargirl is reckless in the best way possible. When she kisses Leo, it proves that she goes after what she wants, when she wants it. Not many high school girls would run up to the boy they like and make the first move, but she is bold enough to do exactly that. She lives simply, and says yes more often than she says no. Research shows that dwelling over past mistakes and problems increases mental health issues. Once your mental health starts to decline, it is easy to fall into a cycle of unhappiness. Stargirl avoids negative thoughts all together, and she is not hard on herself when she makes a mistake.

Exploration-  Stargirl shows Leo what it is like to try new things, such as meditation. She shows him how amazing it is to get outside and adventure, rather than pretending they are too cool for that like typical high schoolers. Stargirl has a sense of wonder in her that opens Leo’s eyes. He is inspired to explore not just the outdoors, but also the everyday mysteries he never used to think about. The movie brings mental exploration to light and encourages viewers to pay more attention to the world around them.

Stargirl says that like flowers, people are beautiful as they grow. (Lauren)

Growth- Stargirl gives a speech about how real things take time. In the speech, she refers to people as flowers. She says that it takes time to reach your full potential. Her speech indicates that you don’t have to know exactly who you are as you are growing up. Growing up can be hard sometimes, but Stargirl makes it sound beautiful. 

Being brave – Leo is the “typical high schooler” in the beginning of the movie. He cares about what people think of him, and he wants to fit in. Stargirl taught Leo to have courage. When he sees how much fun Stargirl has with life because of her bravery, Leo is freed of the pressure he once felt to fit in with his class. Leo even got up on stage at his school dance and sang in front of his whole school. The movie would be so boring if Stargirl and Leo tried to conform to the rest of the kids their age.

About the Contributor
Photo of Lauren Wensel
Lauren Wensel, Journalist

Lauren Wensel is a junior at Sartell High School. Her favorite subject is English, and she enjoys reading and playing sports in her free time. Her current...

13 Reasons Why has controversial history; newest season set for June 5th

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Screenshot from the Netflix website

This is a screenshot from Netflix.com of the show's description and tags.

13 Reasons Why is a Netflix original show based on the book of the same name by Jay Asher, with its fourth and final season being released on June 5th. When the show was first released, there was much controversy surrounding it and criticisms from the public.

The synopsis of the story is this: Clay Jensen receives a package from Hannah Baker, a classmate who killed herself two weeks earlier. The package contains seven cassette tapes with 13 stories, 13 reasons why she decided to commit suicide, and Clay is one of them. Tapes in hand, he traverses the town he lives in while listening to find out what part he played in her life and her death.

Many mental health professionals had problems with the representation of mental health in the show and the aftereffects it had for some teens who watched it. In the month after the show released, there was a rise of almost 30% in the suicide rates for youth aged 10-17 in the United States, which was deemed statistically significant. This could be attributed to the fact that producers of the show disregarded the advice of mental health professionals telling them not to release the first season and the fact that they described and showed the way in which Hannah committed suicide.

The three-minute segment in the first season that depicts Hannah’s suicide was removed over two years after the premiere of the first season after Netflix had conversations with more mental health professionals. The scene was a cause for controversy for the show from early on in its release, with mental health groups explaining that scenes like the one in question could put teens at risk for copycat actions and triggering experiences. Both these things were seen soon after the show’s release.

A 23-year-old from Peru tragically ended his life and left tapes behind, seemingly replicating the situation that occurs in the book and TV show. In another case, two teen girls from California committed suicide just days after completing the show, both of which were battling depression prior to watching the show.

This situation could also be aided by the fact that Hannah’s final tape is addressed to Mr. Porter, her school counselor. Hannah sought help from him after a traumatic event, but he dismissed her and told her to move on. This demonizes the idea that if someone is struggling with something, they should get help from a trusted adult, potentially preventing them from getting the help they may need.

Another controversial part of the show was the multiple scenes that depicted violent sexual assault. Though many labeled them disturbing and potentially triggering for sexual assault victims watching the show, the scenes were not removed or reedited. Creator Brian Yorkey defended the inclusion of the scenes in the name of showing realistic stories of what young people may be experiencing.

Not only did mental health professionals have critiques of the show, but so did a few friends of mine. I decided to interview them, and their reactions to the first season and subsequent seasons in later years were less than positive. 

I think it is important to talk about suicide and rape, but I don’t think they did it in the right way.”

— Junior, Lily Rasmussen

The first person interviewed was my good friend Lily. She said she decided to watch the show because she knew it was controversial, and she wanted to know why. Lily mentioned that Hannah’s suicide felt glorified, making people think that “if they did the same thing, they might get back at the people who hurt them and get the love they may not have gotten otherwise,” which is clearly shown by the copycat actions taken by some after finishing the series. Lily stopped watching after the second season because she felt that the show was being made just to be controversial.

The second person I interviewed was my close friend Maddy. Maddy decided to watch the show because she had just finished the book when the TV show aired its first season. “I was young enough that I didn’t really see the problems with the portrayal of mental illness and suicide.” She ended up finishing the first season without many problems with it but mentioned that the show had made her uncomfortable. As it is a show about deteriorating mental health, this is no surprise. “It was shortly after [the first season aired] when I realized  how hurtful it could actually be.”

Maddy then went into detail about her experience watching the second season. After reading about the controversy online and reforming her opinions on the show, she still decided to watch the subsequent season, if only for the fact that she is a completionist. “Season 2 took me around 6 months to finish, simply because it negatively affected me so much.” Maddy discussed how the show put her in a bad state of mind and left her feeling disturbed.

It was shortly after [the first season aired] when I realized  how hurtful it could actually be.”

— Junior, Maddy Loberg

At this point in time, Maddy has solidified her opinions on the show as something that should not have been produced. “I think it was a massive lapse in judgment that the creators and Netflix had.” She then went on to talk about the negative effects the show had on the mental health of teens around the globe and how she used this to justify her pessimistic view of the show.

Maddy, Lily, and many others were disappointed to find out that there was going to be another season produced, if only for the fact that there is no way to know how the show is going to affect young people who watch it until the damage has already been done.

About the Writer
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Emma LeMieur, Journalist

Emma LeMieur is a junior at Sartell High School. She is involved in band and morning drumline at the school and loves them both. In her free time, she...

Teachers have become the real heroes for students during distance learning

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Photo via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0 License

Teachers are being vastly under-appreciated by students and parents during this unprecedented and trying time in their careers.

The world has been forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic and education has been changed especially. Teachers are the building blocks for students to grow into better individuals and more educated students. With curriculums needing to be changed overnight and struggling with motivating kids to get work done, teachers are more heroic during this time than people might seem to realize.

While some colleges and universities nationwide are considering not resuming in-person classes until January 2021, social media conversations show that many students and professors across the country are still struggling to try to adapt to the recent, sudden transition to virtual learning due to the pandemic.

In one Twitter thread in April, Rose Casey, assistant professor of English at West Virginia University and a single parent of younger children who are now also learning at home, shared this: “Okay. I actually cannot do this. I simply cannot teach while parenting 24/7 entirely on my own. Genuine question: what should employers, specifically universities, be doing to mitigate these literally impossible demands?…Knowing that we’ll be evaluated for how we respond to a crisis certainly adds to the stress. (Like most people I know, my teaching remains student-centered and it involves even more time than if this hadn’t happened.)”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our teachers and professors should for one not be getting evaluated as harshly as they are. This pandemic has forced businesses to hunker down and mitigate, but nobody is harshly criticizing their livelihoods and making them out to be the bad guys. I really hope that if people receive anything out of this quarantine, it is how much we need to appreciate our teachers throughout America.

Media specialist Holly Wieber from Becker Middle School had this to say,

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I have worked harder in these eight weeks to keep my kids engaged than ever before and we are still being made criminals by some parents.”

— Holly Wieber (Becker Middle School)

Wieber teaches two classes at Becker Middle School and commented, “ I cannot imagine being a four or five-course teacher right now and how much of a toll that must be on them.”

She stated, “Managing only two classes has weighed on me a ton and is a media specialist with all of these teachers being thrown into a brand new pool of technology and education. These teachers deserve the most praise possible and a new appreciation for them.”

College students are uniquely vulnerable to stressors, according to Psychiatric Times, and the disruption of campus life due to COVID-19 has “increased anxiety and distress among many college students.”

“Naturally I’m not seeing the same energy with my students online,” says Bob Hutton, senior lecturer, history, and American studies at the University of Tennessee, who explains that natural conversations evolve easier in an in-person setting. “Students are not going to have the same ability to learn under these circumstances, especially when you have to suddenly shift gears,” he tells Changing America. Hutton says he is being very understanding of all that the students are going through and trying to keep everything as normal as possible. “Higher learning… is a dialogue, and I’m trying to preserve that.”

The teachers of America have been under-appreciated for years, and amidst this pandemic I hope they will come out the other side the appreciated and heroic people that they have been to all families and students.

About the Contributor
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Dylan Pringle, Journalist

Dylan Pringle is a senior this year at Sartell High School. He is adamant about his constant involvement in music both in and out of the school day. Dylan...

Opinion: Why fireworks should be legalized in Minnesota

The+legalization+of+fireworks+in+MN+would+boost+the+economy.+

Lauren Wensel

The legalization of fireworks in MN would boost the economy.

Most consumer fireworks are illegal in Minnesota. Ground based fireworks including sparklers, tubes that emit sparks, fountains, and ground spinners and wheels are all legal. However any fireworks that are aerial and explosive are illegal to buy or use throughout the state.

If local law enforcement catches someone setting off illegal fireworks, the citizen could have to pay up to $3,000 in fines. Laws are identical for nonresidents as well. The Minnesota Department of Safety enforces these rules, however, it can be hard for them to do so especially around July 4th. 

Citizens can receive their Fireworks Operator (Public Display) Certification if the state approves. Applicants must provide proof of experience in other states. There is a fee required in order to obtain the certification. The certifications allow for the firework shows that take place in Minnesota during the summer to happen.

I believe that big fireworks should be legalized in Minnesota. There would be several benefits for the economy, and citizens within the state would enjoy fireworks. I argue that since the laws against big fireworks are not being heavily enforced, and citizens simply travel out of state to buy fireworks, the government should remove the laws.

Many MN citizens travel just over the state border to buy big fireworks. (Photo via Tom Huesing under the CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.)

Senator Jason Rarick traveled to a firework shop in Wisconsin, right by the Minnesota border. The staff revealed that about 75 to 80% of their customers are from Minnesota. As Rarick states, “[Fireworks] are here and they’re being used… It’s not being enforced, so why not legalize it and let people enjoy it?”

Legalizing big fireworks would bring in a lot of revenue for the state. By banning big fireworks, the state is losing out on sales and tax money. Senator Rarick estimates that more than $6 million in tax money will be raised every year in Minnesota from fireworks if they are legalized.

The tax money would allow more money to go to schools, so the public education system would be improved. There could be smaller class sizes and more teachers. It would also fund healthcare and construction to fix roads.

Another reason it would make sense for Minnesota to legalize fireworks is that firework companies could make public safety announcements and education happen. Big fireworks are far more dangerous for citizens in Minnesota when they do not get the proper education on how to be safe with them. Accidents related to fireworks will be less likely to happen.

Legalizing fireworks in the state would also create job opportunities. Temporary and permanent structures selling fireworks would both open up across the state. 

Former Governor Mark Dayton was firmly opposed to the idea of legalizing fireworks. On the other hand, the current Governor, Tim Walz, is open to the idea. With the COVID-19 pandemic still being resolved, firework legalization is not likely on the top of Walz’s list, but there is hope for it in the next couple of years. 

About the Contributor
Photo of Lauren Wensel
Lauren Wensel, Journalist

Lauren Wensel is a junior at Sartell High School. Her favorite subject is English, and she enjoys reading and playing sports in her free time. Her current...

Treasure hunts, sun-kissed surfers, and murder mysteries? The Outer Banks has it all

%22We%27re+the+Pogues%2C+and+our+mission+this+summer+is+to+have+a+good+time%2C+all+the+time.%22+-+John+B

Charlie Monson

"We're the Pogues, and our mission this summer is to have a good time, all the time." - John B

The internet has been buzzing about Netflix’s new action-packed drama Outer Banks since it’s release on April 15th, 2020, and honestly, it’s well deserved. 

With summer just around the corner, Outer Banks makes me want nothing more than to be at the beach all day, every day; and I don’t think I’m alone on that. Many teens on social media are showing off their Outer Banks style and wanting to make the most of their summers just like the characters in the show.

@dollhandz

Outer banks kinda vibe🐥❤️ #fyp #foryoupage #johnb #outerbanks #duck #cute #viral #keepingactive #spacethings

♬ original sound – outerbanksnetflix

Speaking of the characters, the show focuses on four teenage friends: John B, JJ, Kiara, and Pope. They all live the island life most of us dream about, out on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. There are two sides to this island, the rich and privileged also known as the Kooks, and the hardworking impoverished known as the Pogues. It’s a classic tale of rich versus poor, and our main characters aren’t exactly living the high life.

John B has been left to his own devices for the summer. His mother left when he was young, and his dad has been missing since his disappearance at sea nine months ago. With no legal guardian around, the Department of Child Services has threatened his summer plans with foster care. Thankfully a visit from Hurricane Agatha keeps the DCS at bay for a little while. 

And this is where the adventure begins. 

Out fishing after the hurricane, the gang stumbles upon a sunken boat. Upon further diving inspection, they find a motel key and decide to find out who owns the boat. After searching the motel room and coming across an empty room with nothing but a safe full of money and a loaded gun, they start to question what to do next. That is until a lowlife marina known as Scooter Grubbs is found dead that same day. 

After investigating, they start to think Scooter was involved in the smuggling of some kind of illegal contraband, which leads them on a wild goose chase to cover their tracks from cops, the Kooks, and other unpleasant outsiders. 

Turns out this was a very small piece to a much larger puzzle, one John B was set on solving; a puzzle he couldn’t solve without the help of Kook princess Sarah Cameron. 

John B and Sarah Cameron become quite the treasure hunting team. (photo via Refinery29 with fair use permission)

You see, John B’s dad was set on finding an old sunken wreck known as the Royal Merchant that was known to have had four hundred million dollars worth of gold aboard. John B decides to continue his dad’s search for the gold with the help of his friends, but kids from the poor side of the island can only get so far. Maps and archives John B needed for his treasure hunt were located in places poor kids aren’t necessarily allowed. This is where rich kid Sarah Cameron comes into play. 

Turns out they have a lot more in common than just wanting to find hidden treasure.

This relationship, however, could have grave consequences considering where each of them comes from. The Kooks don’t like the Pogues and vice versa. While John B and Sarah were out gathering information, we learn that the rest of the Pogue gang isn’t well-liked among the elites.

After being attacked by Kooks Rafe and Topper, Pope has had enough with being treated poorly. With help from mischievous JJ, they decide to retaliate.  Not only adding to the already toxic relationship between the two sides but also creating one heck of a mess for themselves later down the road.

JJ, in my opinion, has the best and strongest story arc among all the other characters. (photo via Forbes with fair use permission)

Besides rivalries, treasure hunts, dramatic teen romance, and mysterious murders, Outer Banks has a huge message for what family means. While some families in the show turn out to be extremely toxic, notably the relationship between JJ and his abusive father, we also see that some families just want what’s best for their kids. And we even see how new families can be made just by the likes of friendship and how far that bond can stretch. Relationships between the characters are constantly being tested, turning best friends against each other at times.

This show starts off slow with just a few surfer friends trying to have a good summer and quickly takes a very serious turn. It’s addictive and fast-paced and gives us a healthy dosage of adventure, something a lot of us have been craving lately. It may be just another teen drama on Netflix, but definitely one you should check out. Trust me, once you start watching, the thrill this show delivers makes it hard to put on pause.

About the Contributor
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Charlie Monson, Journalist

Charlie Monson is a junior at Sartell High School. Her hobbies include watching movies, playing video games, painting and listening to music. She is currently...

The murder of Ahmaud Arbery: Profiling or Vigilantism?

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Photo via Twitter

Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed by two Georgia men.

The discussion of racial profiling and injustice in America is at an all-time high with police brutality, the black lives matter movement, and so many cases of black men being beaten or killed by police officers for the wrong reasons.

Ahmaud Arbery was a typical former high school football standout so he stayed fit. The 25-year-old never would expect to be stopped by two white men. That is what happened on February 23rd, 2020 in Brunswick, Georgia according to the New York Times. It was not uncommon to see Arbery running as his neighbors saw him routinely. These two men, Greg and Travis McMichael stopped Arbery and chased him in their truck with a loaded .357 Revolver and a Shotgun purely on suspicion of him breaking into a construction site.

This is a disgusting example of what a citizen’s arrest should and could look like. The problem with what the McMichael’s did was that they had zero evidence of Arbery ever committing this crime. The only credible source of evidence is a ten-second security camera tape of Arbery walking through the construction site, which might I add is not a crime in the slightest.

I think this case is not as based on profiling (although I think race is still a key factor) but rather I think it is about vigilantism at its core. Let this be a lesson to the public, if you did not witness the crime or have gathered exclusive evidence of someone committing a crime, you have zero reasons to demand answers from them, chase them, or shoot them period.

I am not blind to the fact that race could have also caused this issue. The reason I do not think it was the whole reason is because of the way the McMichaels approached the situation. If they would have gone directly to Arbery and shot him I would think one-hundred percent this is a case of racial profiling. They approached the scene in a concerned and analytical matter and stopped Arbery to try and talk with him to get information. Arbery, like any other person, ignored their “commands” to talk to him because of their suspicions. This is why I think the probability of vigilantism being the cause of Arbery’s death is far more possible.

This shooting, in my opinion, has also just been another avenue for the media to have a hay day and blame people that are in no way responsible. They do this all the time with most people who oppose their viewpoints. A newscast from CNN pictures the story and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms commenting, “The rhetoric that we hear coming out of the White House in many ways, I think many who are prone to being racist are given permission to do it.”

CNN

Do people realize how stupid they sound on the air? It is truly baffling to me and so many others. Our President had zero to do with these men being vigilantes and actually denounced what these men did to Arbery at a daily White House briefing.

The way that the media right now especially are trying to destroy President Trump’s reputability is truly disgusting. Instead of playing politics around this situation, how about we actually analyze this crime and do not politicize a man’s tragic passing just because you can. This whole situation has truly exemplified for me at least how toxic some people in the media have become.

The real tragedy that has happened here is how the crime was handled after the fact. With almost no evidence against Arbery, these men were allowed to roam free for two months until this was reinvestigated when new footage was released. This is a truly horrifying event, and my thoughts are with the family of Ahmaud Arbery.

I have a request for all sides of the media. When a man, a perfectly well-rounded man, dies, keep your politics out of it. There are a time and a place for political discussion. Discussing politics hovering over someone’s grave, is not acceptable.

About the Writer
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Dylan Pringle, Journalist

Dylan Pringle is a senior this year at Sartell High School. He is adamant about his constant involvement in music both in and out of the school day. Dylan...

Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone

iPhone+SE+2

Diego Melendez

The new iPhone SE 2nd Gen. has the body of an iPhone 8, a new camera system, and a new placement of the Apple logo (to match the new iPhone 11 and 11 Max).

First things first, this phone is not what you expect it to be. This phone isn’t some monster with all the high-end specs, parts, and features that you would normally find on a flagship phone (ie: the iPhone 11 Pro Max).

This phone is for the everyman.

This phone is for your relative that doesn’t really care about phones and just needs something cheap, easy to use, and has a good camera because let’s be honest, that’s what basically everyone in the world wants when they buy a new phone. Most people aren’t excited to dish out a thousand dollars for a phone when they’ll really only be using very few amounts of the high-end features that phones offer these days. So with that being said, I guess I should actually talk about the phone now. 

iPhone SE 2
The front side of the new iPhone SE 2nd Gen. has an all black face on all the models- red, black, and white. (Diego Melendez)

The specs-

The new iPhone SE 2nd generation is basically an iPhone 11 in an iPhone 8 body, with the addition of a new camera system and wireless charging. The phone comes in three colors, black, silver, and red (when you purchase the red model, the money goes to the global COVID-19 fund).   

test picture one
The camera on the new iPhone SE 2 is able to pick up small details in bright lighting (Diego Melendez)
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The camera on the new iPhone SE 2 also performs well with differing lighting on subjects. (Diego Melendez)

The price-

Inarguably the most important aspect of this new phone is its price. Apple has set this new phone to start at $399 dollars. Let that price point sink in for just a second. $399 dollars, for a brand new iPhone. Considering the prices that Apple has set for its products, this price point is mind-boggling to anyone who has followed the iPhone for a while.

Now, look at the price of this phone and look at Apple as a company. When you purchase a product from Apple, you usually expect to see great features from a product that costs a lot of money. For Apple to release a product that has the same internals as its flagship phone, but for less than half the cost, people will certainly purchase this product. To many people, it’s a no brainer to spend $400 on a phone that can almost do the same as $700 or $1,000 dollar phone.

But remember that this phone is not perfect.  For the price point and its features, Apple could’ve added more things to this phone. Maybe a new model, maybe new colors or even better, a battery that doesn’t last as long as the iPhone 8. By the way, the iPhone 8 came out in 2017, and we know Apple can do much better than this. But for a company like Apple to finally reach the market of “budget phones” is a big leap, and we can see that Apple is trying something new.

What else could we possibly ask for? 

About the Contributor
Photo of Diego Melendez
Diego Melendez, Journalist

Diego Melendez is a senior at Sartell High School. This is his second year being a journalist for the LeSabre.  Diego enjoys cooking, biking, listening...

Raycon Earbuds Review

On+the+top+are+the+Raycon+E25+ear+buds+and+on+the+bottom+are+the+Raycon+E55+ear+buds

On the top are the Raycon E25 ear buds and on the bottom are the Raycon E55 ear buds

I have a day off. I’m sitting at home with no work to go to and no school to worry about. I have a YouTube video playing on the TV and the video comes to an end, but before it does I see a sponsor. It’s Raycons. I watch another video, and the sponsor is Raycons. I go online, and I see ads for Raycons, I go to school and I see Raycons. Raycons were everywhere, and I couldn’t escape.

I decided to buy a pair of the Raycon E55 wireless ear buds. If you check the website it says that the original price is $120, but it seems they’re almost always on sale, or there is a discount code you can use to save money on them. Raycon makes three main products: the E25 earbuds, the E55 ear buds, and the H100 wireless over the ear headphones. 

The Raycon E55 earbuds case features wireless charging

My experience with Raycon has been mixed. I initially got a pair of the black E55 ear buds, and I really liked them. They sounded nice, they were comfortable, and they had a long battery life. After a little while of daily use, they started to sound weird. I thought it was a problem with my bluetooth settings, but it sounded really bad on all of my devices. I ended up talking to customer support, and after three days of back and forth with the company, I got a return label, and an offer for a new pair of headphones. I decided to get the E55 ones again. They didn’t have the black ones so I got the rose gold ones. I haven’t had a problem with them yet, and I hope I don’t.

Overall I’d give my total experience with Raycon a 7/10. Customer support took a long time, and both times I ordered my earbuds they took about a week to show up, which isn’t terrible, but when you go from having nice wireless ear buds to having none for a week just because you got a faulty product, that’s a problem. I will say that the ear buds work great. The product is great, it’s just a problem when they’re faulty.

About the Writer
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Raven Vastag, Journalist

Raven is a senior at Sartell High School. His favorite SZA song is "Doves In The Wind." His plans after high school are to be rich and famous for his music...

Disney animated goes up against Disney live action

Disney+live+action+and+animated+films+are+all+good.+

Sydni Scherr

Disney live action and animated films are all good.

Three Disney movies that are both animated and live action are Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Cinderella. I’d like to look at the difference between live action and animated, then I’ll decide which one is better.   

Animated: Who does not like the classics? This is where children can learn life lessons and escape reality into a world of imagination. Every kid knows when it is in cartoon form there is no such thing as bad endings, only happy endings. When it comes to the villains in Disney movies, it makes them not so scary to the kids because they are not put into real life scenarios. Everything is happy and there’s something to learn.

Belle, from Beauty and the Beast, learns to forgive and not judge a book by its cover along with the help of a talking teacup named Chip. Jasmine, from Aladdin, learns that there is more to life than being all pampered in riches and royalty with the help of a genie from a lamp. Then lastly, Cinderella learned that dreams do come true if you put your mind to it also with the help of talking mice Jaq, and Gus, and of course a fairy godmother. With this being said the animated version has more of a fairy-tail twist to the movie.  

Sydni Scherr   The Cartoon Beauty And  The Beast
Sydni Scherr The Cartoon Aladdin
Sydni Scherr The Cartoon Cinderella

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Action: Who does not like it when things are put into a little more real life perspective? This is where parents, guardians, and children can enjoy a Disney together. This isn’t always the most kid-friendly because the events are put into a real life world. The beast from Beauty and the Beast, looks more scary because of his sharp teeth and snarl. But this also carries a bigger message because it really puts a huge emphasis on the whole do not judge a book by its cover theme. Then in Aladdin, Jafar looks more like a normal person rather than a bad guy, and it shows kids that maybe you should not trust everyone you meet right away. But I do have to say Will Smith played an awesome genie maybe could not have anyone better. Then lastly, Cinderella shows that some stepmothers are awful and the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree when it comes to her daughters. With all of thatbeing said, live action has more elements of being realistic rather than the animated versions. 

Sydni Scherr Live action Beauty And The Beast
Sydni Scherr Live action Aladdin
Sydni Scherr Live action Cinderella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney movies, whether they are animated and or live action, are awesome movies. They both have a lot of differences but a lot of the same as well. In my opinion “May I get a drum roll please”……. Animated will always have my heart because that is what I grew up on and learned my morals. 

About the Contributor
Photo of Sydni Scherr
Sydni Scherr, Journalist

Sydni Scherr is a senior at Sartell High School, and she enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities from snowmobiling in the winter, to four-wheeling...

Eating disorders are exacerbated by pop culture, quarantine, and beyond

This+is+Wintergirls%2C+the+novel+I+read+that+inspired+the+topic+for+this+article.

Emma LeMieur

This is Wintergirls, the novel I read that inspired the topic for this article.

Disclaimer: This article discusses eating disorders and disordered eating habits.

I recently read the novel Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and rewatched the movie To The Bone on Netflix, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about either one since. These pieces of media cover people dealing with the most fatal mental illnesses there are: eating disorders.  While the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the world, mental illnesses like eating disorders are worsening. 

Wintergirls follows Lia, a girl with anorexia nervosa, dealing with the aftermath of her friend Cassie’s gruesome death. Cassie became part of the 3.9% mortality rate of people with bulimia nervosa, and this novel did not romanticize it.

Reading Wintergirls was like being trapped inside Lia’s head, listening to all her self destructive thoughts, and watching her fall into a spiral of disordered thinking. The book didn’t shy away from the horrifyingly fatal nature of these disorders, and while I adored this novel, it was dark and difficult to read because it didn’t shy away from reality. 

To The Bone follows a girl named Ellen who is entering a new treatment center with a new doctor and her overall experience in recovery. Now, overall I liked this movie because I felt Ellen and the other characters’ disorders were not romanticized or glorified, but there were some parts I had problems with.

Emma LeMieur
To The Bone is the movie that also helped inspire the topic for this article.

The mental health professionals in the movie were seemingly more detrimental than helpful to Ellen’s situation, and some of the humor was in bad taste, but the movie showed many things that aren’t shown in other books and movies.

Other people in the treatment center had a range of disorders and body types; for example, one of the characters was pregnant, showing the highly underrepresented demographic of women with eating disorders who are struggling with wanting to have their child and the difficulty of pushing themselves to recover so their child can live. (If you want to know more about To The Bone and its successes and problems, there is a review linked here from Emma Giordano, who is in college to get her master’s degree in mental health counseling and is in recovery for her own eating disorder.)

So many times in pop culture, eating disorders are portrayed as straight, white, middle-class teenage girls with low body weight; while that is the experience of some people, there are so many groups left out of that representation. People of color, queer people, men, and people with lower socioeconomic status are not going to have this same experience, and it’s important to show this side of the story as well. 

Along with that, not everyone with an eating disorder has low body weight. If that is never portrayed, someone with an undiagnosed or hidden eating disorder may think they aren’t “sick enough” to get help, which can lead to their disorder worsening.

Another thing that can lead to the worsening of eating disorders is the spread of pro-eating disorder content online. There are pro-eating disorder websites in which people with disordered eating can talk to each other about goal weights and techniques, share “thinspiration” (thin inspiration) pictures of emaciated figures they wish to look like, and even discourage recovery. A few years ago, I accidentally came across one of these websites when I was researching mental health. It’s been almost four years and I haven’t been able to forget some of the things I saw. 

Not only are there separate websites for the promotion of harmful habits, but there are subcultures on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and one of the most problematic ones at the moment: TikTok. While most of the other applications mentioned have policies against the publication of pro-eating disorder content and measures they take to remove the content from their platform, TikTok has let this subculture grow, even recommending pro-eating disorder content on the For You page. Even on platforms where there are restrictions against pro-eating disorder content, users have found ways around them like using misspellings of usual slang and codes for different content.

Screenshot from Tumblr website
This is a warning that pops up on Tumblr if you attempt to search certain pro-eating disorder keywords.

Studies have found the impact of these communities on people with disordered eating to be negative, and that users who frequented these sites were more prone to dissatisfaction with their own body image and had disturbances in normal eating habits. This just shows how there needs to be stricter guidelines and enforcement of said guidelines or people’s lives can be seriously affected, and even ended.

Now that the country is in quarantine with a stay at home orders extending every few weeks, eating disorders are in their perfect environment. They thrive off of social and emotional isolation and from the fear of food and health to isolation and seemingly endless free time, recovery is at a disadvantage. If someone is quarantined alone, they are at an even greater disadvantage because there is no one there to help them if they are relapsing into old habits. 

Those with low weight and anorexia nervosa may even be more at risk for complications if they contract COVID-19 because of their compromised physical health. For those with bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder, tensions can run high between them and family members if they are eating large amounts of food and purging afterward or secretly eating large amounts of food multiple times a day, therefore wasting food when there are shortages in stores. These increased tensions can also lead to increased depression and anxiety and an increased likelihood of suicide and self-harm.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the physical health of the world, but it is also heavily impacting people’s mental health, and if pre-existing or new mental health struggles are not properly dealt with, it can seriously harm someone’s quality of life in the present and the future.

 

If you are struggling with an eating disorder or other mental health issues, consider contacting a helpline: 

National Eating Disorder Association: 1-800-931-2237 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-4357

About the Contributor
Photo of Emma LeMieur
Emma LeMieur, Journalist

Emma LeMieur is a junior at Sartell High School. She is involved in band and morning drumline at the school and loves them both. In her free time, she...

Resident Evil 3 Review

As+we+return+to+Raccoon+City%2C+we+get+a+different+story+through+the+eyes+of+S.T.A.R.S+officer+Jill+Valentine.+

Charlie Monson

As we return to Raccoon City, we get a different story through the eyes of S.T.A.R.S officer Jill Valentine.

Capcom certainly hasn’t slowed down since the release of the reimagined Resident Evil 2, and won’t be slowing down for some time. Fans were surprised to hear that Resident Evil 3: Nemesis would also get a reimagining, but only a year after RE2’s remake. 

You wouldn’t be the only one to think this next remake is a little underdone, that, however, doesn’t make it any less awesome. 

Just like last time, let’s have a little history lesson. 

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis was released on September 22nd, 1999 for the PlayStation, GameCube, Windows, and Dreamcast. It followed in the footsteps of its famed predecessor Resident Evil 2, but the game actually takes place before, during, and after the events in RE2. The game follows S.T.A.R.S. officer and veteran zombie hunter, Jill Valentine as she struggles with the aftermath of the Spencer Mansion incident (Resident Evil) and the recent Raccoon City outbreak.

Photo via Capcom under the Creative Commons License
“She is an elite operative of R.P.D. Special Tactics and Rescue Service. Her name is …something… Valentine.” – Mikhail Victor

We are also introduced to UBCS (Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service) special-ops mercenary Carlos Oliveira. During the game, you switch between playing as either Jill or Carlos, different than RE2’s Leon or Claire campaign. RE3 also took a more action-oriented approach to the series and was a shorter game compared to the other games in the franchise. The game has sold around 3 million copies worldwide since release. 

Resident Evil 3 (remake) was released on April 3rd, 2020, and has kept most of the same aspects from the original. It stays true to the more action-oriented approach of the original and the shorter run time, but Capcom did leave important scenes like the Clocktower and others out of this remake, leaving some fans disappointed. Being that the remake has only been out for a month, it has shown pretty impressive sales, with 2 million copies being sold so far. It is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. 

Now, let’s return to the horrific zombie-filled world of Raccoon City.

Before the arrival of heroes Leon and Claire from Resident Evil 2, Jill Valentine was in the midst of a full-blown zombie apocalypse. 

The game opens in a first-person perspective similar to that of Resident Evil 7, and after a glimpse into Jill’s nightmares, we get to experience them for ourselves. Less than ten minutes into the game, we are introduced to the terrifying Nemesis creature who is sent into Raccoon City with one goal in mind; destroy all remaining S.T.A.R.S members. Our girl Jill along with fellow S.T.A.R.S officer Brad Vickers are the only members left in town, unfortunately for Brad, Nemesis isn’t the one who leads to his untimely demise. In a desperate attempt to save Jill, Brad sacrifices himself to a horde of zombies. Now alone, you help guide Jill through the infested city streets as she is relentlessly pursued by Nemesis. After the second encounter with Nemesis, and narrowly surviving a fall off a parking garage, Jill meets UBCS mercenary, Carlos.

Photo via Capcom under the Creative Commons License
“My guys have converted some subway cars into a shelter. It’s safe.” – Carlos Oliveira

Carlos informs Jill that his platoon is rounding up survivors and keeping them safe in the subway. With the power to the subways shut off, however, an escape plan is put on hold. Carlos’s platoon leader Mikhail Victor asks for Jill’s help in restoring power to the subway. Hesitant to trust them because they are working for Umbrella, Jill eventually agrees to help restore power to save the citizens. 

This leads Jill to venture back into the streets of Raccoon City and beyond. Unlike Resident Evil 2, in Resident Evil 3 you are not confined to the police station, sewers, or underground lab. Instead, you are forced to explore the many ins and outs of the city, circling back continuously to look for items and equipment. Some bigger locations throughout the city are the return of Kendo’s Gunshop (and Kendo himself), and as Carlos, we return to the RPD and explore a monster-infested hospital, eventually leading to a secret Umbrella lab underground. That freedom is a huge change in pace but is necessary for the more action-oriented game that RE3 is.

Photo via Capcom under the Creative Commons License
Welcome back to Raccoon City, we don’t have raccoons but we do have zombies.

The graphics for the game are breathtaking just like those of RE7 and RE2, showing once again how beautiful and realistic a horror game can be. One thing I love about this game is that it has a lot more color set into the dark atmosphere. The first time you walk out into the streets with Jill, you see bright neon street signs and billboards but take one wrong step and you could become zombie chow. The sound design is not as menacing and creepy as RE2 but is still enough to make you want to jump out of your skin, especially when Nemesis breaks through a wall unexpectedly. While working on this article, I got the chance to watch Nicole Tompkins, the voice and motion capture actor for Jill Valentine, play the game live on Twitch. While playing she answered questions from fans about her audition experience and what it was like to bring Jill to life, and got a surprise visit from fellow actor Nick Apostolides who plays Leon in RE2. It was fun watching her talk about different scenes, and how they were all constructed to form what you see in the game. 

Pullquote Photo

I went through a pretty standard audition process, I auditioned for the role and I was very lucky to hit it off with the creative team early on.”

— Nicole Tompkins

There are a lot of things to like about this remake, but nothing is ever perfect. This game is a lot more action-packed then it’s predecessors. Sometimes straying far from its survival horror roots. There are a lot of boss fights between Jill and Nemesis, and as I watched most of those fights unfold, I started to wonder how Jill was even still alive. She is constantly jumping, falling, or being thrown off buildings, even getting shot at by a rocket launcher and still coming out alive. One of my favorite mechanics from RE2 was the ragdoll effect on the zombies. For example, if you shot a zombie and they died, they would go limp and fall to the ground like a ragdoll, adding a cool human-esque element to the monsters. That mechanic is very toned down, and almost non-existent with the zombies in RE3 and makes them feel less threatening and scary. 

This game overall is a remake, it is not the same as the original version, and it isn’t supposed to be and should be treated as such. This game, despite it being fantastic, has gotten lots of criticism. People don’t like the short run time or the heavy action gameplay, but then again, those things were part of the original game. 

I for one think this is another great game in the Resident Evil franchise, and I think right now is a really exciting time to be a Resident Evil fan. With Capcoms next announcement of a Resident Evil 4 remake expected to be released sometime in 2022, and rumors of Ethan Winters from RE7 set to return for Resident Evil 8 in 2021, the horror isn’t stopping anytime soon.

 

About the Contributor
Photo of Charlie Monson
Charlie Monson, Journalist

Charlie Monson is a junior at Sartell High School. Her hobbies include watching movies, playing video games, painting and listening to music. She is currently...

How is an 8 year old game still $60?

Diablo+is+an+isometric+RPG+about+killing+demons+to+save+the+world%0A%0APhoto+via+Wikimedia+under+the+creative+commons+license

Diablo is an isometric RPG about killing demons to save the world Photo via Wikimedia under the creative commons license

The game company Blizzard released Diablo in 1996, Diablo II in 2000 and Diablo III in 2012. Diablo III still has a dedicated fan base to this day, with different releases on PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and Nintendo Switch spanning eight years, and this entire time, the game has cost $60. 

The game has consistently gone on sale for over half off, most recently on PS4 for $22, but the price stays at $60. They’ve released two expansion packs throughout its lifespan with one in 2014 titled “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls” and another in 2017 called “Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer.” Reaper of Souls comes with the console editions of the game, with the other DLC costing $15. The Reaper of Souls DLC helps keep the game at a higher price point. The base game comes packed with 20 different difficulty levels and over 500 possible hours of gameplay.

Diablo IV was announced in early 2019 with no release date set for the future. Usually, an announcement like this would drop the price and sales of the previous game, but for Diablo it had the opposite effect. Instead, people continue to buy the game and the price point has remained steady. It has now sold over 30 million copies and has become the 10th best selling game in history over the last eight years.

About the Writer
Photo of Raven Vastag
Raven Vastag, Journalist

Raven is a senior at Sartell High School. His favorite SZA song is "Doves In The Wind." His plans after high school are to be rich and famous for his music...

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