The Advocate The Student News Site of Forest Grove High School Fri, 27 Nov 2020 01:03:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Letter From the Editor: A Not-So-Thankful Thanksgiving Thu, 26 Nov 2020 18:04:50 +0000 Dear Reader,

If this was a normal year, I’d be writing to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and remind you of everything that we have to be thankful for–but this is not a normal year. This year, many of us are forgoing gatherings with family or friends due to the ongoing pandemic. While that may mean less fighting about politics at the dinner table (possibly the only upside of this situation), it also means that we will be losing out on valuable time with loved ones that people cherish during this time of year. This year, there seems to be little to be thankful for, and as we celebrate, so many families across the country will be reminded of the empty seat at the table or the family member conspicuously absent from the Zoom call. For so many people, this will be the first major holiday without a sibling, parent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or grandparent. And for those of us who have been fortunate enough to not have lost someone, I hope that we can find love and compassion in our hearts for those who have. 

This is by no means a normal Thanksgiving, but I still am thankful for the good that is happening in our communities, good that is so much more powerful and important in these hard times. I am thankful for each and every person who has done their part to stop the spread of the virus, and every person who has sacrificed something in order to do so. 

As we look forward to 2021, the light at the end of the tunnel that we all are looking toward, I hope desperately that next Thanksgiving, the biggest problem we all will have is fighting about politics at the dinner table. 

Happy Thanksgiving. Stay safe. Stay home when you can and wear a mask when you can’t.


Lizzie Lohrer


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New York City Proposal Allows Mental Health Professionals to Respond to Some 911 Calls Thu, 26 Nov 2020 18:02:55 +0000     In February of 2021, mental health teams in New York will begin to respond to some 911 calls relating to mental health. The goal of this change is to de-escalate conflict and minimize the amount of police that address mental health related calls. According to NYLPI, first responders (that includes police) respond to almost all emergency calls,  “regardless of the severity of health needs, whether a crime is involved, or whether there is an imminent risk of violence.”  Linda Rosenburg, from the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, offers her insight in this matter. ¨Mental illness is not a crime,” she says, ¨but we call upon the police as first responders in a mental health crisis. Now, New York City is changing the outdated and dangerous use of police that too often has led to injury and even death.”

   Carla Rabinowitz, a mental health advocate, has spent the majority of her Mayor’s term attempting to get her city to amend the way it handles it’s numerous mental health emergency calls. For five years, NYPD officers were given a program that provided police with de-escalation techniques when responding to mental illness related calls. Unfortunately in those five years, 17 New Yorkers suffering from mental illness have been killed or gravely injured. After the police killing of George Floyd back in May, New York is following city demands of police reform and this proposal is one of the first steps. The emergency teams will consist of EMS health workers as well as mental health crisis workers with some police as a backup in situations where weapons or extreme violence is involved.

   This proposal, however, does draw mixed reactions from experts. Many believe that this proposal will put these new members at risk. Joseph L. Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant who now works as a professor believes that while it is a good idea to free up officers to do police work, hundreds of these calls over the course of his career quickly became violent. “Those situations are the scariest to deal with in policing,” he says, “because you never know what [they’re] going to do.” Matt Kudish, on the other hand, believes that while this program is “a step in the right direction,” he wants to see an option that doesn’t involve police at all. 

      New York’s program is modeled after the Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets (CAHOOTS), a program in Eugene, Oregon that has been operating for 31 years. CAHOOTS say that in 2019, it’s workers responded to over 24,000 calls in 2019 and only about 150 actually required police assistance. This long-awaited proposal’s goal is to improve New York’s first (and most important) response to people in crisis. Not every emergency can be solved with violence and, in many instances, are worsened by it. The new 988 number was also put in place to help people connect to resources for help. Hopefully, this program will be fully fleshed out and the risk of dangers due to mental health related emergencies will lessen.

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Governor Kate Brown Ordering Two Week Shutdown After Rise in COVID-19 Cases Thu, 26 Nov 2020 18:02:11 +0000 In response to a rise in Oregon COVID-19 cases, Governor Kate Brown has ordered a two-week “freeze” in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. The new shutdown comes in response to Oregon setting record high numbers for both the most hospitalizations and single-day infections of COVID-19 in Oregon so far. Due to the holidays, more people than ever have started gathering in person once more. With only 15 intensive care beds left, and upwards of 900 new infections per day, tensions are high as those seriously ill with COVID-19 worry about being able to find proper care.

Governor Kate Brown’s new restrictions state that dining in restaurants will be prohibited and restaurants will be limited to takeout or delivery only. Brown also ordered gyms, museums, The Oregon Zoo, aquariums, and other venues temporarily closed for the next two weeks. Faith groups and churches have been limited to gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 50 when outdoors. Additionally, indoor visits to long-term care facilities will no longer be allowed for the current time. However, barber shops, hair salons, homeless shelters, and outdoor recreational activities, including Pac-12 college football games, will remain open and will not face any new restrictions. The new limitations also call for businesses and stores to remain open, provided that all customers wear masks and stores have no more than 75% occupancy at any given time.

Included in the two-week “freeze” ordered by Kate Brown, families will be limited to having no more than six people in one house at any given time, including on Thanksgiving. Governor Kate Brown has also encouraged anyone who sees their neighbor violating the new restrictions to call the police. On the subject of reporting neighbors to police, Governor Kate Brown stated, “This is no different than what happens if there’s a party down the street and it’s keeping everyone awake. What do neighbors do? They call law enforcement because it’s too noisy. This is just like that. It’s a violation of a noise ordinance.” Those found violating the new restrictions could face 30 days in jail, fines of up to $1,250, or both.

The new restrictions have faced considerable criticism, with those who disagree with the order labeling it unconstitutional. Those who have criticized the new regulations include Clackamas County Chair-Elect Tootie Brown and the Marion County Sheriffs’ Office. Tootie Brown stated that the new freeze causes Oregonians to be “second-rate slaves” in their own homes, with the Marion County Sheriffs’ Office stating “We recognize that we cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic, and we believe both are counterproductive to public health goals.” When these criticisms were brought up to the governor, she stated “Look, all of this is irresponsible… These are politicians seeking headlines, not public servants, trying to save lives. My top priority as governor is to keep Oregonians healthy and safe. That’s where I’m focused.” Governor Kate Brown has also stated that she hopes that using law enforcement will not be necessary, however, she also stated that she is willing to utilize law enforcement to enforce the new limitations.

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Joy erupts into street celebrations across the world as election is declared Thu, 26 Nov 2020 18:02:08 +0000 On Saturday, November 7th, the historical election of 2020 was called in favor of Joe Biden. This particular election became a point of incredible stress across every nation for four days, with protests and attempts to storm voting centers becoming a near boiling point. States were rushing to count votes as fast as possible despite the distractions of reality, but after four days the election was finally called. At that very moment, the reactions began to pour in from celebrities, regular citizens, other counties, and even other world leaders themselves.

Since that day, celebrations have erupted in streets across the world, particularly in the city of Washington D.C. New York City, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Chicago followed mere minutes afterward, with the excitement spilling into parks and city monuments.  Many social media users from around the world began voicing their support of Joe Biden going forward, with people from across the world speaking of how the election day was “the beginning of a new era” for America. 

Recordings of street dances in Philadelphia went viral, depicting singing crowds making their way through the streets, along with multiple participants clapping and holding signs with joyful Black Lives Matter or LGBTQ slogans on them. A witness of the celebrations in Central Park told the Intelligencer, “On our way back to the subway down at Columbus Circle, a crowd gathered (masks on!) to cheer together with their friends, partners, and children, peacefully and joyously celebrating a new chapter for our country. It was the most beautiful day and a day I was most proud to be a New Yorker.” 

Other world nations appear to be proud of America as well, with the Canadian, Australian, and South Korean leaders congratulating Biden on the win and speaking of their excitement to work with him in the future. China, despite rising political tensions in the past, also congratulated Biden and Pamela Harris on their win. 

While most of the democratic population’s focus is on President Donald Trump losing the election, the excitement of having the first woman of color as VP is rising quickly. Educators in particular are thrilled, particularly for her plans to make college more accessible and her respect for the educators of America. Many minority citizens also believe that Pamela becoming VP is a historical event, and hope that her work with Joe Biden throughout the upcoming years will move the country forward with protections for people of color. 

While not all of America is joyful, there is no doubt that on Saturday, November 7th, many American citizens felt relief and happiness for the first time in years. Regardless of how the next few years go, the day the 2020 election was called is one that will go down in history.

For videos and photos of the celebration, tap these links:


TIME magazine

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A Letter to Eyeliner Thu, 26 Nov 2020 18:01:27 +0000 We need to talk.

There’s no beating around the bush with this one. I’ve already thought this through, my mind is made up. I know I’ve said this before, but believe me when I say that I mean it this time: we’re done. It’s over. We’re through. I’m tired of the games we play. I’m tired of erasing your mistakes. I’m tired of playing the fool. I’m not running back into your arms anymore. We’re over.

Let’s be honest with each other for once: you’re toxic. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finally see it. I’ve been in denial for so long. I’ve been infatuated with you since the moment I laid eyes on you. You’ve always made other people look beautiful and I loved that about you. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I could ever pull off someone like you. I tried us out with patience when I couldn’t resist any longer. You made me feel so pretty, almost like someone completely new. You were everything I needed, so after months and months of practice, we finally made it official. I felt safe with you. I felt beautiful around you. I thought I was loved by you.

I quickly became obsessed with you. I never wanted to be seen without you. You were the only thing that made me feel pretty, but even that came at a price. One mistake and I felt vulnerable. One uneven day and I suddenly felt like everyone could see it. Our mistakes were public, our misunderstandings obvious and I hated it. You always knew exactly what I wanted, yet you never made things easy. You never played nice. So I gave up on us. I realized that we were never made for each other. I should have listened to myself then, but I didn’t.

After our first break, I found myself constantly thinking about you every time I looked in the mirror. I thought about how you’d make things just that much better. When you were good, when we worked together and figured each other out, we were powerful. Some even called us ethereal. I couldn’t get you out of my head and I knew you wanted me back. You said that you didn’t have a purpose without me. I shouldn’t have done it and I knew that. I did it anyway. 

I gave us another chance, but nothing changed. I spent days trying to get to know you. I spent days trying to figure you out. Why you listen one day and not the next, why you insist on ruining or making my mornings. I could never come up with the answers I so desperately needed and you couldn’t provide me with them either. Always so stubborn. Never communicating. You’re the only thing that makes me feel complete in the morning. You’re the apple of my eye, but I just can’t deal with it anymore.

You’re too stubborn for me. You can never make up your mind. You’re always inconsistent. You make one mistake and suddenly you’ve ruined everything. You take up too much of my time, demanding more than I have to give. The joy you give me too easily turns into frustration. You’re just not meant for someone like me. So we’re done. No more off and on. This is it. We’re never getting back together.

At least until next week.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Pathway to Becoming a Congresswoman Thu, 26 Nov 2020 18:01:00 +0000 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, the youngest woman ever elected for congress. Born into a working-class Puerto-Rican family in the Bronx, New York. She attended Boston University where she majored in economics and international relations. During her time at Boston University, she worked for Ted Kennedy’s office where she focused on immigration issues. She had a passion to make a change in politics, but sadly those dreams were put on hold after the death of her father. 

After the loss of Sergio Oscaio-Roman (Alexandria’s dad) due to cancer, the Ocasio-Cortez family faced serious financial issues. When AOC graduated from university, she rushed home to help her family. She would work tons of shifts as a waitress and bartender to help her family financially. As she worked normal jobs she developed more of an understanding of how income inequality was affecting the people of America. She told INSIDER, I got really, really, really good at listening to people, and I got really good at understanding people’s needs, beyond just food and drink.” Her experiences encouraged her even more to pursue a career in politics. 

During the 2016 presidential election, Alexandria worked as a volunteer organizer for Bernie Sanders. AOC’s experience with the presidential candidate helped expand her skills in activism. She was highly encouraged by BNC cofounder Saikat Chakrabartito to run for congress as she was an “incredible candidate.” When she returned to New York, she launched her people-funded campaign for congress. On November 6, 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made history after she won and became the youngest woman in congress. It was her first time running for office as a Democratic Socialist. Overnight she became a sensation to the people of color living in the U.S. 

Alexandria has the highest social media following compared to any other house member. AOC’s Twitter started at 300 followers and now has increased to over 2 million followers. She feels as her social media platform allows her to directly address problematic issues with her supporters. She has expressed in many interviews that all of her tweets are written by her and no one else. Though her supporters not only love her political views but as well her way of sharing her emotions as a normal person. She appeared on Vogue’s youtube channel where she emphasizes the importance of self-care especially when you have a very draining job like politics. 

There has been a large debate since AOC’s first election on whether or not she is the most qualified candidate for congress. Though the younger generations such as Gen Z love the congresswomen, there is a lot that we don’t know about her. Some politicians in the Republican and even Democratic parties believe that her policy proposals are impracticable and too costly. Yes, she is promoting great improvements in the injustices in the world, but the way she wants to address it might not be the most effective. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is such a great inspiration and voice for the younger generations. We will continue to hear her name as she was just re-elected for Congress 2020. Although she does have some room for improvement, we should be lucky to be able to watch such an amazing woman grow into the world of politics.

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Deconstructing Rolling Stone’s “The 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time” Thu, 26 Nov 2020 18:00:58 +0000 Everyone has different opinions about music, whether it’s about a certain artist being better than another, or an album being better than another. There will always be a debate about music. Those debates can be found in the hip-hop community, especially when it comes to the best hip-hop songs. So why not deconstruct the source that usually gives pretty valid opinions about music, and see what they have to say about the best hip-hop songs of all time. Obviously, the music juggernaut I’m talking about is the Rolling Stones who, a couple of years ago, made a list compiling the 50 best hip-hop songs of all time. To deconstruct every single song in the list would take more than an excellent attention span to read through, so instead, I’m going to look at the top ten, and deconstruct any of those that stand out to anyone who listens to them. 

However, before that, we have to look at some of the songs that didn’t reach the top ten. A clear mention is number 40 on the list, Kurtis Blow’s ‘The Breaks’. Kurtis Blow was a hip-hop superstar in the 1980s because, well, there weren’t many hip-hop artists. As hip-hop was found in the late 70s, and became popular from a song that is in the top ten of this list. Blow took hip-hop to another level, from his complex (at the time) rhyme schemes and his revolutionary instrumentals, and the song definitely deserves a higher rank when you look into the context of when it was written. Another that isn’t in the top ten is Tupac Shakur’s ‘Dear Mama’. Rolling Stones placed this song number eighteen on the list, which it is believed to be a little bit too far from the top ten. The reason for this is the emotion the song can get out of anyone who listens to it, as it explains his rough childhood and briefly unstable relationship with his mother. He explains that he never meant to cause harm and he understands how much his mother was there for him even if at the time it wasn’t clear. This song touches the hearts of many, and on places like Youtube, you can see anyone of any age shed tears.

N.W.A is one of the most popular rap groups of all time, which consisted of very recognizable faces, like Dr. Dre, Eazy E., and Ice Cube. Their most popular song, ‘Straight Outta Compton’ is the title track for one of the most popular rap albums of all time, and for good reason. This song was written in the late 1980s, and rage can be clearly heard toward the police, their peers, and their situation in general. Anyone who says the song is violent doesn’t know the struggle they went through. Tupac explained this in an interview with E!, saying “What we’re doing is using our brain to get out of the ghetto, anyway we can, so we tell these stories that tend to be filled with violence because our world is filled with violence.”

Another group, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five earned the number one spot on the list with their title track song, ‘The Message’. ‘The Message’ talks about the struggles of the ghetto, and how it’s hard to get out of it. In the chorus, Grandmaster Flash says, “It’s like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under.” Songs talking about police brutality or anything negative in hip-hop was unheard of, and the group paved the way for groups like N.W.A to openly be able to express themselves through Grimm stories. Just like ‘The Breaks’, this song was absolutely revolutionary for hip-hop music, from the message behind the words to the delivery of the lyrics, this is a song that will never be forgotten. Songs have had deeper meanings, better instrumentals, and better rhyme schemes, but this song paved the way and is completely deserving of the number one spot.

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Pursuit of Happiness Thu, 26 Nov 2020 18:00:52 +0000 What does it mean to be happy? Well, according to the google dictionary, it means “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment,” but I disagree. Happiness is complicated and hard to understand. Some people convince themselves they are happy when they are not, so it can not be as simple as a feeling, and people pretend to be happy to fit in, so it does not always show. The world we live in seems to expect people to feel joy, and it can often make you feel like it is not okay to feel any different emotions.

To find happiness, you have to understand what it is, which can be difficult. In 2004 Harvard Psychologist Dan Gilbert talked about natural and relative happiness in his Ted Talk titled “The Surprising Science of Happiness”. The definition of natural happiness is to be happy because you got what you wanted, which is what people generally expect being happy as a whole to be. Relative happiness comes from being satisfied with what you did not want. The man who arguably explained it better than anyone else was Adam Smith, who said, “The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another. Avarice over-rates the difference between poverty and riches: ambition, that between a private and a public station: vain-glory, that between obscurity and extensive reputation. The person under the influence of any of those extravagant passions is not only miserable in his actual situation but is often disposed to disturb the peace of society, to arrive at that which he so foolishly admires. The slightest observation, however, might satisfy him, that, in all the ordinary situations of human life, a well-disposed mind may be equally calm, equally cheerful, and equally contented. Some of those situations may, no doubt, deserve to be preferred to others: but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardor. This drives us to violate the rules, either of prudence or justice, or to corrupt the future tranquillity of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of our folly or by remorse from the horror of our injustice.” in his book The Theory of Moral Sentiments.

So why can everyone not be happy with what they have? The answer is simple you are told not to. Society makes you believe you have to have what you want because that is what supports the economy. If everyone had content with what they had, nobody would make any money. 

The final answer is happiness is more of a state that could alter more than a feeling. You can choose to be content with what you have, or you can waste time wondering if it would have been better. People spend their entire lives pursuing more, but when they get more, how long will it last? You can not value what you need until you value what you have.

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Teen Stress Thu, 26 Nov 2020 18:00:43 +0000 Imagine this: you are a teenager in high school, and everything’s good- except one thing, you have assignments on assignments stacking up! Schoolwork on top of life itself can make you overwhelmed with stress. Teens all over the globe suffer from stress. Whether it is a lot or a little, stress will always be a major factor in life, especially when you are a teenager.  Stress is an emotional feeling that can leave you feeling angry, nervous, and frustrated. Understanding teen stress is easy if you break it down into three categories, the causes, management, and health effects.

Stress is a normal part of life, but some factors can dramatically increase stress levels in teenagers. One huge contributor is school. Balancing school work for 4-8 classes is very mentally challenging and time-consuming. Not only do teens have a lot of work to do, but they have to study and try to excel in their academics. Spending so much time on school takes time away from family and friends, which could help manage a student’s stress level. Another factor that contributes to stress in teens is family. Family problems and strict parents/guardians can be very hard on a teen. Family problems; such as fights, can stress a teen out immensely because it puts them in a very negative environment. When a teen gets involved in their families issues it makes it more difficult to cope with. Strict parents also cause stress by setting expectations too high. Some aspects of life can cause it to be more stressful.

Along with the causes, learning how to manage teen stress is very important, both for the parents and the teens themselves. A stressed-out teen can be a huge challenge for parents. Their child may seem more irritable or less like themselves. It’s important to know that it’s not necessarily their fault and they still love you! A good way to help a teen with stress is to just reassure them. Letting them know that they are doing great and they are doing all they can to succeed. The support will help them be calmer, help them take a breather, and realize that everything will be okay! As a teenager, managing stress is difficult because it is so overwhelming. The first thing is to try to keep a good attitude and think positively. Also, making time for hobbies and things you like will help you get away from what is stressing you out and will help open your mind. Another thing to try is to seek out support from friends and family. If you don’t have a close relationship with any family members or friends, phycological help is also an option that can help. There are many ways to manage teen stress in healthy ways.

Even though stress is a mental feeling, it can actually physically affect your body. Stress can cause teens to have headaches, rapid breathing, high blood pressure, and even stomach aches.  This happens because stress hormones can make your heart pump faster, so blood can reach the vital organs and limbs quickly.  Insomnia is also an effect of stress because it can make it harder to fall asleep. Long term stress also can weaken your immune system, which can make it easier for you to get infections.  Both men’s and women’s reproduction parts can also be affected by stress. It can cause women to have fertility problems and men to experience erectile dysfunction. It is crazy how much stress can physically affect our bodies.

For teenagers and their parents, stress is a difficult thing, not only to understand but to deal with. Between school and parents, it’s easy to understand why so many teens struggle with stress. It’s our job to educate ourselves about stress and how to deal with it and why it’s so important we don’t just ignore it. Today’s teens are the future, so knowing all we can about stress will truly help all teens and benefit the future.

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Age Doesn’t Define Maturity Thu, 26 Nov 2020 18:00:42 +0000 “Maturity is not measured by age. It’s an attitude built by experience.”- Unknown. I’m sure most people have been told the following on at least one occasion: “you’re too young to understand,” “you won’t understand until you’re older,” “the adults are talking.” Those words have a way of making people feel small and insignificant, especially when said by someone older and of higher authority. Often believing that just because someone is younger, they won’t be able to understand or handle adult situations. In reality, age doesn’t determine how mature a person is, it’s their personal experiences that determine their maturity level.

Younger people are often talked to and treated like children until they turn 18 because legally that’s when they become adults. What’s hard to believe is that people think that when someone turns 18, they will automatically gain some type of maturity and magically become a wise adult. Age doesn’t do that for a person. It’s the experience that matures a person and makes them wiser as a whole. You can compare a teenager and an adult, and you will find that sometimes the teenager is more mature than the adult is. However, that’s not always the case because sometimes you can find that adults are far more mature and wiser compared to a teenager. Just like you can probably find two people that are the same age, whether they be adults or not, and they will have drastically different levels of maturity. It all comes down to experience. Most people would assume that an adult would have more experience because they’ve been living on this earth longer, meaning that they would be more mature. But the number of years that you’ve been living on this earth has nothing to do with experience either, although it plays a small role. 

A teenager who’s been alive for 17 years could have been through so much more than an adult who’s been alive for 30. Most people would find that hard to believe, but it’s true. Some people say that a childhood is what sets up a person’s mindset when they grow up. Someone with a more traumatic childhood would be more likely to mature at a younger age. That could be because they lacked a decent childhood or maybe they didn’t even have a childhood to begin with. They have been through things, heard things, or seen things that most children wouldn’t see at such an early age. So because they lacked a childhood, they had to grow up while they were still children, which explains the maturity during their adolescence. Although in that case, I feel like it’s worse to have to grow up at such a young age.

In conclusion, adults need to stop talking to teenagers as if they know nothing about the real world, simply because they don’t think they are mature enough to handle it. Age has nothing to do with maturity because it’s all about what that person has been through and how they handle difficult situations. Maturity comes down to how you’ve lived in the past.

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