Tag Archives: featured

The ‘Double Whammy’ that is holding our Economy by the Throat

By: Zach Betzing, Leo Mathis-McKee

As the U.S. economy has started to open up through the past few months, businesses all around the country have been opening, and customers are back in the brick and mortar stores. This spike in demand throughout businesses worldwide has put a lot of stress on manufacturers and shipping companies, all frantically trying to meet these expectations and satisfy their customers with needed goods and supplies.

Through all of these factors, a bottleneck occurred. This influx of shipments into ports and spike in demand for materials created a new supply chain shortage, which has been torturing businesses for months now. Prices on common goods have spiked, and stock has been extremely limited. Grocery stores and supermarkets like Walmart, HEB, and Whole Foods have been heavily affected by this large shortage, along with the enormous amount of loyal customers, who are now struggling to find necessities.

This is not the only shortage occurring, though. As the pandemic continues, not all of America has been able to get out of the house and back into the workforce. To put this issue into perspective, a survey conducted in mid-2021 by SHRM shows that 9 in 10 surveyed organizations are having difficulty filling certain open positions. This shows really bad news for business owners, as they have to limit hours or close altogether due to a low amount of employees. Most importantly, SHRM also reported that 93% of these unfilled positions are manufacturing jobs, which can partially explain the supply chain shortage previously mentioned. Countless businesses around the country, including restaurants that can’t serve tables/certain food, or supermarkets that cannot stock shelves are struggling from the  combination of these shortages. This has ultimately left employers scrambling for employees, doing anything they can to fill positions, like raising wages, increasing benefits, and less restrictive application requirements or job experience. This leaves great incentives for people to get back into the workforce, get some extra money, and help get us out of this widespread shortage.

As seen above, however, there is a silver lining: this shortage won’t last forever. As USA TODAY said, the “…worker shortage should ease in 2022, as COVID wanes…” (Davidson 1). This gives us hope, as there could be an end in the near future to this issue. For now though, we’ll have to power through these shortages, and get more people back in the workforce.

Covid-19 Article

Covid-19 has brought a lot of hardships to the world over the past year. It was an unexpected bump in the road that resulted in a lot of crashes. One thing covid majorly affected all over the world is school. Most all schools shut down, and had all online learning. Remote learning caused teachers, and districts to find new ways to provide kids with information. It was a struggle for some teachers, but not all about it was bad. 

Within the tornado of having to learn how to give kids new information over a computer, some teachers found things that still work for them. I wanted to find some positives in all of this, so I asked some teachers at Dripping Springs High School what those things were for them. 

First off we have Ms. Batson, an English teacher, “One of the things that was most important to me was classroom community and culture. One of the ways I bridged the gap between in-person and remote students was the use of journal warm ups and class discussions at the beginning of every class period.. they span from emotional intelligence questions and reflections, to content-related ideas.” She goes on to talk about how it helped students connect, when they shared their opinion. 

Obviously with the two different sets of students for one class period, it can be hard to find a way for them to work together. Batson was able to find a way that worked for her, and even still uses it now. Another problem teachers faced with remote learning was not being able to connect with their students. You may never realize how much a teacher tries to connect and build a relationship with you. 

Ms. Riddlebarger stated, “Last year I took the time to talk to each one individually on a regular basis both about their classwork, but also about what was going on outside of class, whether that be extra-curricular activities or their jobs, or even something as simple as a new pet. I found that it helped build a mutual trust between me and my students and also showed them that I care more about them as people, not just as students in my classes.” She also said how it’s harder now that classes are full, but she’s putting in more of an effort to make students feel seen. 

Finally I talked to Mr. Mcclafferty. He was able to list off many positives he found, and I chose some of my favorites to share. Firstly, “Many things that I was “forced” to learn by necessity that I would probably not have bothered with during a normal school year. Like deadlines can be a little fluid… Not everything needs a hard deadline. It is good to be flexible.” He took notice that times were hard, and everyone was struggling. It allowed him to learn that sometimes students need a little extra time. He also touched on the subject that Ms. Riddelbarger did, connecting with students. He said, “ I got a glimpse into your daily life through Zoom. It was nice to get to see bedrooms and homes (or even what fake background people would choose) in zoom because it gave me a little glimpse into people’s personal life in a way that talking to them could never quite relay.”

He was able to use zoom as a way to connect with his students, and see more of their personality. Overall, a lot of bad things happened last year. With schools going back to normal now, and everyone taking time to focus on the bad that covid brought, I wanted to take my own view. Even though this is only three teachers’ opinions I was able to get a lot of good things from them.

How Spanish Class Celebrates Day of the Dead

What does Dia de los Muertos mean to you and your class?

Yvette- It means a lot to us since we’re learning about it. It’s a really meaningful date for hispanic culture.

How did you and your class celebrate this special day?

Yvette- We watched the movie Coco and ate some candy and snacks. The movie really represents the whole meaning of  Day of The Dead, it’s really beautiful.

What are some of the traditions people do during Day of The Dead?

Yvette- I actually learned about this in geography. So you can set up some ofrendas for your loved ones and decorate them with sugar skulls, marigolds and just do some of the activities that they enjoyed.

Will you be celebrating this again?

Yvette- Absolutely! I love the idea of it and just having some time to remember those loved ones is really meaningful and enjoyable.

“In Five Years” Book Review

Review by: Katelyn Wells

“Where do you see yourself in five years”? Is a question that I found asking myself after I read this story. This is an emotional story, and is meant to move you, but I wouldn’t categorize it as a “romance novel” if that is what you’re looking for. For a short overview, this is a story about a young entrepreneur lawyer who has everything specifically planned out for the next five years, and she plans to stick to them. Things obviously don’t go as planned, and her friendships, engagement, and home-life suddenly get flipped upside down. I highly recommend the book “In Five Years”.

Dazzlers and High Steppers

Our two dance teams at school are the High steppers and Dazzlers. But what is the difference between the two? High steppers are a higher level Varsity dance team where the Dazzlers are the JV version of the team. High steppers perform at the Varsity Sports game and the Dazzlers do the JV and Freshman ones. With a more extensive try-out process, the High steppers also compete in higher level competitions. But in order to be a high stepper, you have to be a Dazzler first meaning no Freshman are allowed on High steppers. Then after a year of dazzlers, they can audition for High steppers. And then the Coach will decide if she thinks that they are skilled enough to be on High steppers. High steppers is also more of a time commitment. They have more practices after school along with practice during the class period. Dazzlers will have less of a commitment and practice less. They also dance many different forms such as Hip-hop, Contemporary, and Jazz!