The Perks of Joining the Cross-Country Team 

By: Lionel W ('23)

Cross country is one of the most underrated sports a school could have, for a variety of reasons. Surprisingly, putting yourself through physical and mental torture isn’t that popular and interesting among schools. It’s as if this is one of the only times humans do not enjoy observing other humans suffer.  Although the mental and physical suffering are two main aspects of the sport, there is so much more to it.  For instance, the runners themselves. When it comes to cross country, your teammates are a whole different breed of people. You could meet the most peculiar, smartest, strangest, or artistic person who has ever walked the face of the earth and yet somehow they chose to become a runner. It’s like every social group from the school all in one. What a blast! You get smart people like William H, who knows basically everything about anything. Then you get artistic people like AJ (Armando C.) with good taste in literally anything involved in music, then the philosophical people like Jeffrey H who make you question humanity as a whole, and then the hilarious people who always find a way to make you laugh like Downie A. Each one of them is extremely unique in their own specific ways, but it all seems to come together and build a community of people who suffer together, similar to a family. Not only do you  meet a variety of personalities from the team, but you also get the unspoken opportunity to eat your entire refrigerator after a meet or workout. This is because you burn off so many calories a day that the only logical option is to eat as much as you can after because it’ll all be gone by that time tomorrow anyways. 

If you thought that was great, wait until you hear about the people who enjoy and encourage the suffering themselves, the coaches. Most of the time we see them as crazy or insane because they have all done things like run sub 4-minute mile, marathons and triathlons, or even just set running records: and they expect us to push ourselves like they once did. As if running is not enough, these coaches actually want us to become real runners who strive for success. They mask their sadism with motivational sayings like “whether you say you can or can’t do it, you’re right.” They do things like drive you home from practice and ask about your day to hide the obvious fact that they love tormenting children. 

Your initial thoughts now may be that this is a lot; but, just remember that if you run cross country, you are also subjected to being in probably the best shape you have ever been in or will ever be in. If you do not believe me just look at us, especially the freshman. We are the epitome of ‘big bods’ and should be acknowledged as nothing else. I hate to use a cliché, but our calves could cut diamonds.  

This sport, unlike all the others, actually is underrated when it comes to the simple fact that when you hear the coaches use sentences like “this will be a good workout” you should actually fear what coming next. This is probably one of the biggest lies that you will ever hear in your lifetime and should never, in a million years, no matter what, believe it. I am warning you now.  

But really, Cross country is clearly the best sport there is out there, and you can only truly know that if you experience the sport yourself.  Although I have exaggerated some things, cross country is actually a good way to build a community of diverse people and maybe even meet some of the closest friends that you will ever have. Not only that but you also feel uplifted by the great coaches who truly want to see you succeed.  Everyone on the team has one distinct quality that separates them from each other but that’s what makes our team so special. Cross country was difficult but giving High school cross country a try is one of the semi-decent choices that I have made so far, and I cannot wait to see what happens next with the team. Even if we suffer, we all suffer together.  

Playing for Others

By: Lauren W ('20)

Picture this; you’re a sophomore in high school and every person around you seems to have their “thing.” Everyone except you. That was me. I remember feeling like I wasn’t good at anything, just mediocre at a lot of different things. I was searching for something that made me feel as if I was a part of something bigger than myself. That’s when, through an Instagram story, Playing for Others fell into my lap. Not at all knowing what I was getting myself into, I filled out an application that was due that same day. All I knew about the program was that it was a space for teens to grow into themselves, do good for the community, and make friends. The main parts of the program are arts experiences, honoring nonprofits, the buddy program, and self-growth. What I didn’t know was that this program was about to become my family. At that time, I was dealing with a lot of mental health issues. To be perfectly candid, I had been recently diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. It was hard for me to get out of bed sometimes, so it was hard to imagine myself making connections with new people and stepping out of my comfort zone. As cheesy as this sounds, as soon as I stepped into the PFO space, I knew this was somewhere I wanted to be. Unless you’ve experienced it, being in a PFO space is something that isn’t easy to describe, but I’ll try. Have you ever been around someone who makes you feel unconditionally loved and supported? Imagine a room full of 80+ people who all make you feel that way. During this past year PFO has helped me grow into myself more than I could ever imagine. As I heard one of the adults in PFO says many times at new teen interviews, “We believe that every teen that comes to us is great, we just want to give them tools to step further into their greatness.” I’ve learned countless things about being the best version of myself, being a leader, and finding what I’m passionate about. This year I am in leadership, which means that I will be taking on more responsibility and being a leader for a group of 8 or so other teens. Last year PFO gave me so much. It pulled me out of a really dark place, gave me an unconditionally loving support system, and gave me endless opportunities to try new things. I decided to be in leadership so I could try and give back to PFO in the way that it gave to me. Playing for Others is a nonprofit that focuses on teens and the community around us, but it's so much more than that. I’m so lucky that my “thing” is also a place filled with my best friends, the best role models I could ever ask for, and endless space to grow. 


By: Jackson (Skin) K. ('20), Cooper (Toxic) B. ('20), and Chase (Chazy who only contributed a comma) R. ('20)

Pokémon is a multi-media franchise that has captured the attention of millions of children around the globe. Pronounced (Po-Kay-Mon), many have played the card games, video games, or even seen the wildly popular TV series-now in its 22nd season; now that is impressive. To each of us, Pokémon has been a fundamental part of our childhood, always waiting at home for us the minute we returned from school. Pokémon has helped make us into the men we are today, and that is saying something! We still can be found playing the card game in your local library located in the east corner of the FAC. We even downloaded a virus onto our surface just to play the game online, the consequences include low battery life and wifi speed, as well as suffering grades, but who cares about that stuff!!!!! Grades are only temporary but Pokémon? That is forever.  


Personally Pokémon has completely captured us and our wallets in the past few months. We are proud to say that we have become addicted to buying packs at your local drug stores. We usually travel as a herd to purchase about 4 packs, and if we don’t happen to get a rare card, you better believe we are right back in there spending 30 more of our parents hard earned dollars. It really is a deal though; you get a code for another pack in the online game each time, so it is really a two for one type thing; who doesn’t love that? Knowing us, you better believe we love a bargain. If Burke ever sees something on sale in the Rainbow Six Siege store, he is the first to purchase it! Hey, the more you spend, the more you save, can’t really blame the big man on that one.  

The objective of your classic Pokémon video game is simple, train and grow your own Pokémon to travel through the region and take down the 8 gym leaders who run the region, and eventually take down the Elite 4 and the dreaded Champion of the region. At the beginning of each game, you are sent away from your home by your loving mother to set on the journey of becoming the best trainer in the area. Your first task is to meet the local professor, who gives you a pokédex and a choice of 3 Pokémon, one of which is grass type, one fire, and one water. Each type of Pokémon has their own weaknesses and their own strengths. Throughout the game you run into Pokémon of various types, who each provide a different advantage to your party of 6 Pokémon. Most Pokémon have evolutions, or stages in which they grow, just as we do as humans! This means that as you train and grow your Pokémon, they will evolve and change into bigger, much stronger Pokémon. For example, one starter is the water type Squirtle, who evolves at level 16 to Wartortle, who then evolves to the big bad Blastoise at level 36. Pokémon max out at level 100, but to get there takes countless hours of dedication and hours to that Pokémon. The only level 100 I have seen is that of Andrew W., who has 232 recorded hours on his Pokémon game. His level 100 Pokémon is the water type Feraligatr, nicknamed Bob. Once you defeat the Champion of the region, the game is far from over. You then obtain the capability to catch the legendary Pokémon of the area and the entire region becomes a free roam world for you to train, catch, and simply enjoy your Pokémon. As well as the main game, one amazing feature of the game is you are able to trade and battle with your friends no matter what version of Pokémon they own!!! The video game began with the GameBoy, a small gaming device and eventually moved on the Nintendo DS, where it started to flourish in visual and sound effects.  

Now let’s focus on the card game for a moment. It is quite simple yet complex at the same time. You start by drawing seven cards out of a shuffled deck. Each deck can have a maximum of 60 cards in which you can put any combination of Pokémon cards, energy cards, or trainer cards. Each type is essential to victory so choose them wisely. Pokémon cards are the creatures you play to attack your opponent's Pokémon. Energy cards must be attached in order to use the Pokémon’s attack or ability. Each Pokémon has varying energy cost depending on the strength of the attack. Trainer cards give other advantages such as ability to draw and play more cards, or heal up your Pokémon. Once you have your seven cards, check to see that you have at least one basic Pokémon. You must play a basic one before you can evolve it into its upgraded form. Should you happen to not have a basic Pokémon, you must shuffle your hand back into your deck and re-draw seven new cards. Your opponent gets to draw a card because of your mulligan. Next, draw six more cards and make them your prize cards. Each time you defeat an opposing Pokémon you can draw a certain number of prize cards. The game ends when one person wins all of his or her prize cards, or one of the players have no basic Pokémon to play. Now, you may be wondering: “How the heck do I evolve my Pokémon?” Well, you have to have the basic card first, once you put that down the helpful card art will tell you if a Pokémon you have evolves from that basic Pokémon. If it does you can put down that new, better Pokémon and keep the energy attached to it.  


You may be wondering: “WhY DiD YoU WrItE An ArTiClE AbOuT StUpId Pokémon”. But boy do we have an explanation for you. Pokémon is what makes the world go round; well, that and churros. Pokémon rivals the likes of Scooby Doo and TOY STORY as some of childhood’s fondest series. As much as we like the mystery machine, we would take the Bike from the PokéMart any day! And don’t get me wrong, I love a good play with the old toys, but Pokémon brings adventure, friendship, and a special strive for greatness that cannot be matched.  


Official Charlotte Country Day School Data and Social Media Poll  

By: Emma T ('22)

Question: Do you care that social media has data on you that can be used for political purposes?  


Yes : 66%  

No : 34%  


Question: Do you care that the data on you could be sold to third party companies for advertising and/or political purposes?  

Yes:  88%  

No:  12%  


(50 people were polled in the data above. The polls show how students and faculty at Charlotte Country Day School feel about their data being on the internet for everyone to see.)  


The Great Hack documentary  tells, in depth, the timeline of the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data breaching.  After 270,000 people took an online quiz on Facebook,  87 million people had their data exposed.  By being associated  with the quiz takers  on Facebook, third party companies were able to take information from millions.  Facebook exposed  the raw data of  87 million  people to  Cambridge Analytica, who worked heavily on the Trump presidential campaign.  The  113-minute  movie profiles four different people involved with the case: David Carroll, an associate professor at Parsons School of Design (who teaches media design), Alexander Nix, the former Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Analytica, Brittany Kaiser, the former Director of Program Development of  Cambridge Analytica, and Carole  Cadwalladr, a journalist at The Guardian and The Observer.  All of  these people play an important role  in both the investigation and the film.   

After watching the documentary in Journalism class, my  classmates  wrote  down their thoughts about the film.   

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