Photographers: Mason, Ambrielle, Max, Dhruvi, and Ta’Mya
The arts are a vital element of a complete and competitive education. The PTA Reflections Contest is a National PTA art recognition program that encourages students of all ages and abilities to experience the benefits of creative expression to tell their unique story.The Theme for Reflections this year is I Matter Because… Thirty Eight of our own Bush students entered submissions in the following Arts Categories: Visual Arts, Photography, and Literature. Of these 38 talented Bush Bulldogs, 5 of them advanced on to the District-wide competition where they received awards. The students earning District-wide recognition are: Natalie Acosta, Hector Reyes-Ortiz, Zachary Hopkins, Alora Macias, and Francesca Mossom. One student, eighth grader Alora Macias, was awarded the top recognition possible with the Overall Award of Excellence in the Visual Arts category for her digital work of art titled, I Matter to Myself. Alora’s artwork then advanced on to the state level of competition. Out of all the entries received in Visual Arts for the state of Texas, Alora received the Award of Merit! Congratulations, Alora, for sharing your creative artistic interpretation of the theme I Matter Because…and for your Texas PTA Award of Merit!
The 2021-2022 PTA Reflections theme has already been announced – it is I Will Change the World By… so start thinking about your PTA Reflections entry for next year!
By: Madison Marshall
Maybe you’ve heard your mom or dad say that they have a few New Year Resolutions up their sleeves. Have you ever thought of trying out something new or different? Well, this student had a few ideas of her own. Although people’s New Year Resolutions can be the same boring old thing, this could be different, so let’s find out.
Everyone has ups and downs, you might even be having some right now. Well, Jolene, a seventh-grader, had some throughout her years, like when she “had friend issues with a bunch of girls, and I was friendless for the whole entire year until I met Alyssa and things just started going up from there.” As you can see, even though things might be taking a turn for the worst, miracles and blessings can prevail. Just like when Jolene met Alyssa, she was her miracle, her blessin
g. Things like that make everything that was going wrong worth it, so it is important to recognize how that can help with yearly goals or even goals for the future. Now, accomplishments kind of rule our lives in a way. We feel the need to finish something which makes us feel better about ourselves. Some accomplishments can be accomplished very quickly, as long as you put your heart and mind toward it. In fact, Jolene has some accomplishments and goals that she has set her heart to and some that have already been earned, “One of my goals was to get pointe shoes for my dance studio which I already got; my other goal is to hopefully pass the seventh grade. My New Year Resolution is to work on my anger issues, I cannot control them at all.”
What if you have set a goal before? However, you might have not completed them yet. Well “there was one, I was trying to get on the senior team but I was too chicken to do it last year, but now, I got it.” Goals and hopes may be difficult to obtain at first, but when you work for it, that hope can become a reality. Just like William Edward Hickson said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” Never let it go past you, fight for the accomplishment, be tenacious. Jolene got scared to become a part of the senior team at first, but the second time she didn’t get scared. She made it, and you can too with any goal or New Year Resolution you’ve set for completing.
Anybody can wish up a goal or resolution, but will you accomplish it? Along with these different points, in the end it will take your work and determination for the end result everybody hopes for. One-step at a time but stick with it. Goal setting can improve your image on life and help you become more successful and by keeping up with that mentality can bring you healthier and happier. Try setting a New Year Resolution for yourself and go on from there. Think it. Dream it. Work it. Complete it. Be it.
By: Vincent Wentink
Ever heard of Among Us? Of course, you have, this game racks up 68 million daily players, and has 100+ million downloads. Why is this game so popular you may ask? People find the gameplay very exciting; it gets lots of influence from celebrities and youtubers, and it’s available on different gaming platforms. One thing that can make a game popular is the type of gameplay infused within it. People love Among Us because it’s almost like a murder mystery, and there are different strategic ways to play the game. You’re either the Impostor or the crewmate depending on what the game gives you, and you work with it to pull off the victory. Not only that, but the game contains different accessories including pets, outfits, and hats that you can use for your avatar.
The game is so enjoyable, it even attracts celebrities such as our own US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who streamed herself playing. It gets even more hype from Youtube sensations such as PewdiePie, Mr.Beast, and Ninja. This attracts viewers on different streaming platforms like Twitch and Youtube. In fact, Among Us averages around 80 thousand viewers on Twitch a day.
The reason why the game has hit the number of players that it has is because of its availability. Among us is not only available on PC, but a platform also where millions of gamers play every day. But it’s available on IOS and Android which are owned by over 300 million people in the US today. This makes it much easier to get its hands on and the reason why we see so many people playing this game.
As the game has seen a slight decrease in popularity, there’s still a very good chance that it will flourish due to the exciting gameplay, celebrity influence and the availability. I feel Among Us will stay a popular game and continue to thrive as time goes on.
By: Silvia Parrales Vega
“Zoos are prisons for animals, camouflaging their cruelty with conservation claims.” These words are from Bindi Irwin, a woman that preserves a zoo at the young age of 22. The government should close zoos because the animals are on display to the public as if they are objects, they are not in their natural habitat, and lastly, a lot of people, mostly kids, disturb them.
The zoos should close because they have the animals on display like they are objects in a museum. They are behind bars like people in jail, as if they did something bad, but they did not. It’s true that the staff might try to help them when they are aggressive, but that does not truly benefit them. They deserve the ability to do their own thing. That is why they were born in the wild. They do not deserve to be locked up in a “jail” for being who they were born to be.
They are also not in their natural environments. They were born to get their own food by hunting, not for someone to give them the food like as if they are children. The zoos are not helping the animals, they are just hurting them. If zoos keep taking all of the animals from the wild, there will not be animals left that are free. There will no longer be animals to see when you are in the countryside.
They are also very disturbed. People think it is fun to make weird noises while they are sleeping or while they are resting, eating, or just walking around. The animals need their personal space and their time to do things. Just because you want to see an animal walk doesn’t mean you can disturb him. Imagine you were the animal. How would you like to be treated?
In conclusion, the zoos should close because the animals are on display as if they are inanimate objects, not living creatures. The zoos are keeping wild animals from being in their natural habitats. Lastly, people are treating them like they were their toys by disturbing them for their own enjoyment.
By: Karina Varela
On September 11, 2001, a plane crashed into the World Trade Center, causing more than 7,000 casualties overall. Officers, firefighters, and even strangers risked their lives to do whatever they could to save the lives of those lucky enough to vacate the area in which this devastating terrorist attack took place. Alfredo Varela was one of many to hear and be a part of this tragedy, and without a simple news broadcast, it is possible he would not be with us today.
“It was early morning and I was picking up a car to pick up some visitors,” said Alfredo Varela, a 56-year-old man, father to his four daughters. “I started listening to the news and they started reporting how the plane crashed into the World Trade Center.” He decided to turn back away from the city and returned to the office to watch the news. “It was very confusing and uncertain,” he stated. Unfortunately, many innocent civilians were caught in a situation they weren’t aware of at the time, and as a result, countless lives were lost. Alfredo was a lucky man.
He recalled that shortly after coming into his office he called his wife, Hiroko. “I remember telling her not to let [our daughters] watch TV or to put on something, like Nickelodeon.” Not only was he juggling the state of his situation but the weight of caring for his children. Parents, grandparents, relatives, were all dealing with the same question, do I want my child to be aware of this? For many, the answer was no. For others, it seemed crucial to permit a sense of this “confusing” and “terrifying” time. “I wanted to shield them, protect them from the news because there were a lot of horrible images on TV at the time,” Alfredo stated, “it was not the kind of thing you wanted your children to see.”
As a result of 9/11, people across the globe gained an awareness of the state of their country as well as the world. Alfredo now works with international students, part of the reason being the devastating event he had witnessed. “It made me question some of the policies that we had. It also, at the time, made me want to do more to create a better understanding of different parts of the world,” he conveyed. Although the origins of his occupation are indeed quite unfortunate, he works every day to create a bridge between different cultures despite the language barrier.
9/11 was an overwhelming time for many people of all kinds. It made us question the possibility that this could have been all prevented. It left us to decide what kind of life we wanted our children to remember. For some, this was the deciding factor for their future. Alfredo took this all into account when he realized just what kind of event he had witnessed. Not only did it change him, but it changed us all.
By: Katarina Rendon
January 28th, a day that may seem like any other, but in 1986 it was a day that marked tragedy for America. NASA, widely known for its greatest advancements in aerospace research and for being at the forefront of space exploration, is the company behind the Challenger mission. Anyone could have predicted the success NASA would accumulate, but no one could have predicted this failure that would shake the country.
Monica Rendon, now mother of two, recalls the event as it came undone right in front of her. The forty-nine-year-old recalls the event as devastating, “…I remember just feeling shocked about what I was seeing. I couldn’t believe that it was real…”, also mentioning the faculty at the time had wheeled in portable televisions tuned into the news channel. The scene could be described as unsettling and stomach wrenching. Other eye-witness accounts deemed the event truly heartbreaking.
Compared to teenagers then, teens today may not know what the Challenger Disaster was. The late Challenger was worked to fill in as a basic test article for the space shuttle program. A lighter orbiter was NASA’s main goal during the years in which it was being fabricated. Because of this, the guinea pig flight was expected to guarantee that a lighter airframe could deal with the pressure of space.
Although hopes were high, the seventeen percent of the population watching was ultimately crushed when, after seventy-three seconds, Challenger suddenly exploded. This was due to a malfunction of O-ring seals used in the shuttle. These seals were not designed to handle the unusual cold temperatures that existed during the launch. Thus, the Challenger broke apart midair and disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. With it, taking the lives of all seven crew members, including high school teacher Christa McAuliffe.
The effects of the explosion were different for many. However, for Monica Rendon, it changed her whole perspective about news TV. AT the time, she recalls how much of a bore it was to watch the news channel, but since the crash she has changed her mind stating, “It made me want to watch the news more often in the days after that because I wanted to know why and how it happened, and how the families were doing…”, from that day on, she has always been tuned in. Even though most Americans’ hearts were broken, they continued to beat, leaving the country to heal together as a community.
By: Rahul Ramadugu
We have many great presidents who have contributed to the United States. One that stands out is the 16th president. He made one of the greatest impacts on the country because he freed the slaves, put the country together after the Civil War, and signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Abraham Lincoln released the slaves around the country. Now it is illegal to own slaves. However, ending slavery was not what Lincoln intended to do at first. Eventually, Lincoln figured out that African Americans were equal to the White people.
During the Civil War, the United States split itself between the Confederate States and the Union. The Union didn’t allow slavery and was the northern part of the U.S.
On the other hand, the Confederate States of America went on a confederate government (a government where states made their own laws). They allowed slavery and was the southern states. Once the war was over, Lincoln just asked to apologize and stop slavery. He put the country together very well.
When battles were very frequent, Lincoln issued a document called the “Emancipation Proclamation.” This allowed slaves from the south to fight against the Confederates. However, the Emancipation Proclamation never stated that slavery was abolished.
Without Lincoln some of us would be slaves, the U.S. would be in war, and we wouldn’t be able to fight for our freedom. Unfortunately, Lincoln was assassinated soon after the Civil War. Newly elected president, Andrew Johnson, took the place of Lincoln. He had similar plans to putting the country back together as Lincoln thought. They were allowed back in the Union if they made slavery illegal, apologized, and made a state government good enough to pass for the federal government. The national government agreed to this and the Reconstruction era
By Karina Varela
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, better known as JFK, our 35th president, though unfortunately assassinated November 1963, managed to make some of the greatest contributions to American history. President Kennedy established the Peace Corps, averted nuclear war, and became responsible for the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
Peace Corps, established on March 1, 1961, by John F. Kennedy had the goal to “promote world peace and friendship.” Kennedy wanted to develop a better understanding of other peoples and have those reciprocate the same interest and understanding as well. The principle of having young Americans becoming involved in their community was one of many that Kennedy hoped for the American youth to acknowledge in their daily life. “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy
In October of 1962, the whole world was on the brink of nuclear war; this event is known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. At the time, Kennedy had already discovered the appearance of military supplies coming from the Soviets earlier on and called his advisors in hopes to devise a plan in order to solve the problem they were currently facing. President Kennedy had already made several efforts to remove any traces of Soviet military supplies being imported. But, realizing that this was only a temporary solution, Kennedy as Commander in Chief and the United States collectively made an agreement with the Soviet Union to stop these types of imports on both sides. In 1963 though, the Soviets armed forces were not retracted. There were definite signs of a lessening tension.
Signed by John. F Kennedy in 1963, the Equal Pay Act prohibited the act of gender-based wage discrimination in the United States. Due to Kennedy’s efforts, this law became recognized as one of the first laws in American history directed at reducing oppression amongst a gender-based society. Although many of these issues still remain in today’s world, Kennedy took great responsibility to alter our habitual ways. John F. Kennedy was president from January 1961 until his assassination in November of 1963. He was one of the youngest presidents in American history, but also one of the wisest. His morals were at a place of good intentions and more so, Kennedy was known for his dashing looks as a young man. However, Kennedy was more than just a good face, he was a peacemaker; he was a politician. President Kennedy was a good man, and that is what we should remember him as, not just our president, but a friend to all.
By: Dhruvi Desai
America has had a long history of cultural feuds, breakthroughs, and diversity that has earned it a memorable legacy that reaches world-wide. Throughout the almost 244 years of America’s existence, many presidents have successfully improved our country and enriched it with a strong sense of heritage, democratism, and justice, although one president can be recognized as the one who has made the most contributions to America: Abraham Lincoln (serving 1861-1865), a man whose reputation is still credible in classrooms today. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States and, although already well known, should be credited once more for 3 reasons: he brought America into a slavery-free era, was an ambitious leader and learner, and used peaceful resolves with the Southerners after the Civil War.
Although the first reason may be the most obvious, it actually vividly illustrates one of his greatest accomplishments to society. The Civil War began when Lincoln was elected president, in which the North and South were divided due to factors such as sectionalism, states’ rights, and their economies. Lincoln assisted the country into an era of equality where people had the same opportunities regardless of skin color.