MOURNING JUICE WLRD: Looking back
When Juice WRLD released ‘Death Race for Love’ earlier this year, I wrote a review for Pridetime, but it never made the blog. When considering his way-too-early death a couple weeks back, it becomes even more upset, but necessary, to read. Here’s a snippet
“Last week, 22 year old Jared Higgins from Chicago, Illinois delivered the game a message - he, better known around the globe as Juice WRLD - isn’t going anywhere. With a name that both confuses and bothers parents, and lyrics that worry them, Juice has enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom in the last year.
His first smash hit, Lucid Dreams, was the tip of the iceberg of well-deserved recognition. However, while the album it appeared on, Goodbye and Good Riddance, sat at the top of the Billboard charts through the dog days of summer, Higgins has been at this since high school - sampling the likes of everything from DMX to Marilyn Manson to find a unique, hauntingly melodic sound.
On his latest album, Death Race for Love, Juice proclaims “I was put here to lead lost souls”. The 21 tracks that follow, in all their nihilistic despair, show that mournful confession to be true. But make no mistake about it, Juice is the best rapper on the planet as of today - because there isn’t another one out there . When he is gone, which ominously seems will be due to himself, he will be remembered as a transcendent legend who changed the very essence of modern rap and re-defined it so listeners of pop music could once again feel something. Of course, as opposed to the instagram-caption-shopping stupidity that has become of the Drake and Cardi B scene.
Some opinionated statements there. Sadly the most reasonable thing I argued there might have been that Juice’s death would be by his own hand. Surely enough it was. A little over two weeks ago, 21 year-old Jarad Anthony Higgins dropped dead of a seizure after disembarking from a private jet at Chicago’s midway airport. A percocet overdose is believed to be the culprit.
When Juice's fans experienced his music, especially upon its release, there was a sense of fleetingness and inevitably, that this might be the last song, the last album he’d put out, that it might be his last live performance. Everyone was a Juice Fan, though. His music was really, really good, and frankly can’t be imitated-- his lyrics were so specifically dark, and we knew he was so real that everyone was a little worried for him. It can not be underscored how popular he was among people my age, how his music did in fact bring people together. It felt like literally every high schooler in Fairfield County was in the audience when he played the Xfinity in Hartford last may. These were people of all walks of life, all music tastes, mind you. Frankly, this is a far more significant musical death to my generation than anything we’ve seen besides Mac Miller in a long time. He was the first real ‘emo-rap’ titan to come out of Soundcloud to make it big time; and his chart topping success inspired likely thousands of aspiring garage band, beat stealing, link-in-bio musicians to do the same.
Like Kyle Root (‘21), better referred to as KiddoDust - who tweeted upon learning of Juice’s passing that morning “stop idolizing these serious drugs. Taking perc(ocet), lean, xans isn’t cool. They kill people that have bright lives to live. ``
As Rolling Stone wrote in Juice’s obituary, “he was the voice for these high school kids”. Hopefully in his loss others are deterred from drugs and seek help when they need it.
December 2, 1998 – December 8, 2019
What is the first thing you think of when you hear best buddies? You think of anything, right? Well here at Brien Mcmahon High School, it’s a club for students with and without (IDD) intellectual disabilities. Whoever signs up gets paired up with a “buddy”; they get to do activities, sports, and get extra help. This club does a lot for the students with IDD and we need to get more people involved with this club. Clubs like these show the amount of diversity there is in this school and the way our school interacts with students in a fun, productive way.
They meet at least one time a month for their monthly celebration of friendship, each month they have an event going on, like in December they have a Christmas event right before vacation. Each meeting from 2:30 to 3:30, which gives the students time to do their activities and receive extra help they need with school work or any problems they may have. “Best Buddies promotes acceptance and appreciation for others in our school community. I support everything they do because they see all students as equal and they strive to spread love, connections, and positivity.” says Natalie Kulis(2020), secretary of the organization. I agree with her because this program does a great job at embracing the school community.
Best buddies is a great club if you want to strengthen your interpersonality skills, social skills, and build a good reputation with school activities. This club is the definition of school diversity; it connects students of different backgrounds and ethnicities. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join this club; it’s something that you can find very enjoyable and be able to attend all the time. Stephanie aristizabal, secretary of best buddies 2020 informs, “The message it brings to the school needs to be spread more. It’s to spread awareness, love, and friendship.” I strongly agree with her opinion because this club shows a lot of awareness and friendship that should be noticed more.
Overall Best buddies is a club that deserves to be noticed more and have people participate. It’s a safe environment that these students can go to, have fun, and do work. It gives the school a good reputation showing people the diversity we have and giving good examples to other students. Best Buddies is an excellent club in Brien Mcmahon High School.
How Do You Handle Fear?
The question, “How do you handle fear,” is answered differently by everyone. In order to try and answer it, you must first acknowledge what your fear is. Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous and likely to cause pain. If your fear is too great, it can then be called a phobia. People of different ages or backgrounds usually give different answers as to what their fears are. Ahmad Hariri, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, explains, “Change has occurred so rapidly for our species that now we are equipped with brains that are super sensitive to threat but also super capable of planning, thinking, forecasting and looking ahead.”
For example, when asked what her biggest fear was, Katherine, a 5th grader at Marvin Elementary School, explained, “My biggest fear is clowns. I don’t like clowns because they are really scary and bad like in that movie that came out.” She said she first knew of that fear because when she goes out on Halloween, she sees people dressed in clown costumes and scaring people. She handles it by trying to avoid clowns during halloween and not seeing any of the movies. “So we essentially drive ourselves nuts worrying about things because we have too much time and don’t have many real threats on our survival, so fear gets expressed in these really strange, maladaptive ways” Hariri explains.
Another example is Mr. Wrinn, a teacher at Brien McMahon High School and adviser to PrideTime. “My fear is of not reaching my potential. I was given things that helped me to be where I am today and being a teacher, you always see students not having that and they have to work harder so I feel like I need to be better” Mr. Wrinn remarked. “I found out that I had this fear when I started teaching and getting outside of the life I had really known. Once I got out of the perspective I already had, I saw the kids and I really understood it.” People can also benefit from having fears, as Mr. Wrinn explains, “It goes both ways because I know that I can do better but I am keenly aware that I am not where I could be. I want to balance where I want to be, and where I’m at.” He handles this fear by using it as a motivation to be better.
Another person interviewed was a senior citizen and grandmother living in Mexico. She answered, “My fear is not being able to see all of my kids again and seeing them separated. I want to be able to see all 12 of my kids and their children. I also am scared that they will have problems within each other and that I won’t be able to do anything about it ” She realized that she had this fear when all of her kids left to live on their own and went in their own directions. She said, “Although some of them stayed together, some of them have internal problems and I wish that they solved them.” She handles this fear by hoping and trusting that they do the right thing. She is also hopeful that everyone will get together one day.
Everyone handles their fear in their own way and this is because everyone has different fears. Some are fears of physical things or objects and others can be aspects in your mind.
The JUUL Epidemic
Since its release in 2015, the electronic cigarette, JUUL, has taken the world by a storm for it’s sleek, high-tech, easy-to-hide build. It’s addicting chemical, nicotine, coupled with the variety of flavors the pods come in, is creating a vaping epidemic in youth culture. According to the FDA, 3.6 million middle school and high school students are addicted to e-cigarettes, primarily JUUL. In Brien McMahon High School, “JUULing” is a big problem that needs to be addressed more by families and staff.
“I don’t think students really know what’s going into their bodies. Everybody thinks vaping is cool in the moment but they won’t truly realize that JUULing is bad for their health until the damage is already done” explains Daniela Contreras, a senior at BMHS. Research has shown that 1 JUUL pod contains about 30 packs of cigarettes worth of nicotine. Many students at BMHS have been caught with JUUL devices, and many more are able to hide their JUULing habits from the public. Although the small device can be easily concealed, it’s harmful effects are still huge for teens at McMahon.
“I wanted to start JUULing at one point during my sophomore year because it was becoming so popular, but I stopped myself after doing research on the harmful effects” remarks Aldo Salazar, a senior at BMHS. Aldo made a smart choice that many students overlook when vaping, “I also think students should look into researching what long-term effects JUULing can do to their health so that they might change their mind.”
In conclusion, vaping in general is a serious problem that is an epidemic amongst teens in modern society, especially in BMHS where many students are caught JUULing almost everyday.
Do You Have a Best Friend?
Every student or teacher at Brien Mcmahon has friends or a group of people they hang around 24/7. But not every student or teacher has a best friend in their life. What “Best Friend” means to me is someone who you can trust and someone who is always there when you need them. It doesn’t matter how long you have known that person, if that person is showing trust and loyalty then it is your choice if you want to give them the title of being your best friend.
Wynter Nance, a junior at Brien Mcmahon High School, said, “It is okay to not have a best friend, having a best friend is something that comes naturally, not something that is forced otherwise the friendship might not be ginuwine.” You’re best friend might not be someone who you hang out with everyday. The person you hang out with everyday could just be someone in your class, someone you have lunch with, or just a teammate. You don’t have to call them your best friend if they do not reach your requirements. According to research, the benefit of having a good friend or best friend is the same amount to $150,000.
Every best friend shares a bond or some kind of connection with each other. My best friend and I share a strong bond, the bond is so strong she has become family to me. Wynter added, “The relationship between my best friend and I is great. We talk every day, we know how to communicate and trust each other with everything. When one of us is going through something the other one is always there to listen and be a shoulder to cry on.” In any kind of friendship or relationship, communication is always the most important. If you feel like you can not communicate with your best friend then you should not call that person your best friend, you should be comfortable with having a normal conversation with your best friend.
To add, people argue all the time. If you have fallen out with someone and do not communicate with them about how you feel or about the situation itself then you have risked your relationship with that person. “Yes my best friend and I had an argument before but we had gotten over it after we realized how dumb it was. But what friendship doesn’t fall off? That’s a test to see how strong the friendship is. If you can’t argue with your best friend and bounce back then I don’t know what y’all got going on.” Responded but Wynter when asked Did you and your best friend have an argument.
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