Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Schab

By: Paige Smalley

On May 23, 1999, Jacob Schab was born and dead-set to be a teacher. “When I was in middle school I didn’t like math and I think it’s because I thought it was hard. When I got to high school, math began to make more sense because of the hard work and practice that I put in to learn it.”

Mr. Schab is a student teacher for the Legends team. He wanted to stay in Champaign so he could get a master’s degree. He wanted something different, and he was already looking for a job in the area so it worked out perfectly.

When he first got here he “was nervous but everyone was very welcoming. I was nervous but excited to get started.”

Mr. Schab grew up in Orland Park south of Chicago for most of his life until he began going to college. “I took advice from many people. I focused on those who supported me and didn’t listen to the ones who told me that I couldn’t achieve something.” 

 Mr. Schab got advice from all his teachers. “Stick with it and ask for help because if you put in the practice you will be able to do it, asking questions is the easiest.” He joined Mrs. Sondgeroth’s class and he felt that he could look up to her as a role model.

 If Schab wasn’t a Math teacher he would be doing writing because “I would like to think I have a creative mind and can write well.” 

He has made friendships and is closer with students along the way. “They can ask me questions, whether it’s related to math or not.” 

As a student I can proudly say he is one of my favorite teachers and learns how to make everything better.

Our Night

A Poem by Madyn Strauss

I remember the way the night filtered through the canopy above.
The yelping of the other kids shot through the speckled sky with every gust of wind.
The breeze carried our laughter through the air as we pranced our way through the undergrowth.
My heart was brimful and innocent as we chased our way through the woods.
A small game of chase, pure as the bright stars that rippled through the sky above.

Our night, our most wonderful, euphoric night was turned against us.
There were five of us.
Then four.
Then three.
Then two.
And then there were none.
No other children in the woods.

The laughter that carried our path through the night was hushed and small,
A faint memory of what once was.
They were taken.
Far from the woods and our happy little creek, away with their innocence and brimful hearts.
The creek was empty and our nights stayed forever silent.
Pardoned by the haunting cries from the ground beneath.

Our night,
Our most innocent, euphoric night was cut short.
The air was as still as my steps, walking back through those woods, well above the age I was,
Back in those days where we played and cheered, yelped and chased, my heart heavy.
The wind whirled its warning, pushing me back.
The woods were no longer welcoming, its arching trees bent, the leaves stared, watchful.
My ginger steps guided me.
The familiar shouts and mournful cries of parents.
My police badge twinkled under the morning light.
The payment to my friends-their crying parents too-
And maybe to me as well,
For my friends still exist,
But their presence has dwindled.

In our little woods,
The night their souls were taken,
A songlike sound of the emptiness that bound its way down the forest, weaving past the trees,
Sat a tiny little creek.
When our night was taken, so very long ago.

An Exquisitely Eloquent Account of Easter Eggs

By: Gracie Hanlon

Now that it’s April, Easter is coming up soon. The stores are already covered in bright spring colors and decked out with bunnies, chocolates, and eggs. Plastic eggs to fill with candy, and chocolate eggs too! But why eggs? Why do eggs symbolize Easter? 

Well, one source states that eggs are used during Easter because they represent rebirth or a new life. Which makes sense because it aligns with the religious part of Easter. But there is also another theory as to why eggs are associated with Easter. 

In medieval times, eggs were banned during lent. If you don’t know what lent is, it’s the 40 days before Easter and a common way to participate in lent is by giving up food that is bad for you or setting a goal to accomplish during that time. Eggs aren’t necessarily bad for you but back then they were not allowed. So eggs were used frequently on Easter to celebrate eating them again! So now that old tradition has been twisted into Easter egg hunts for kids and turned into candy as well. 

There are also some interesting theories or superstitions that some people believed in. Some believed that eggs laid on Good Friday would turn into diamonds if you kept them for 100 years. Others believed eggs cooked on Good Friday and consumed on Easter would prevent sudden death and bless them, so doing that became a tradition. 

Years later in 1873, eggs were made into chocolate candies first sold by Fry’s. Cadbury then started selling their eggs and introduced milk chocolate eggs. Many people loved the chocolate eggs and they are still around today! Many other brands and companies have joined in by making their own eggs throughout the years. 

Easter eggs have evolved and changed very much over the years. They went from being forbidden during lent, to superstitions, and now even to chocolate and egg hunts! I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about Easter eggs!

The Science Behind Lunch Food

By: Sloane Lindsay

You may remember mine and Alexa Lake’s article called Why is String Cheese Rubbery?. In the article, we discussed the change in cafeteria string cheese and what caused this. It has been a few months since it was posted and I have been wanting to continue writing about the matter. In this article, I will be diving into Unit 4’s carton milk, slushies/applesauces, and three favorite meals of sixth graders.

Ah, milk – you love it or you hate it. It’s been served in schools since 1954, always packaged in a miniature carton, because glass or plastic is too expensive. Unit 4’s milk comes from the well-known dairy company Prairie Farms. It’s necessary to address the issues, which are minimal, but impactful. The first issue is that sometimes the milk is frozen or has ice cubes in it. This may be due to the district aiming to preserve the milk longer by freezing it, or because it’s just too cold in their fridges. The second issue is that the milk can sometimes be near-expired when served. Are schools serving frozen, expired milk? These scenarios are uncommon, so don’t fret.

Slushies and applesauces are always baffling. Unit 4 has slushies called Smooth-Frozen SideKicks, which are cups of frozen, multi-flavored slushies, known to be a side for Bosco cheese sticks and soft pretzels. The slushies are claimed to “credit as a fruit,” meaning that they are able to be a substitution for real fruit, which is negotiable. The nutrition facts state that they have no added sugars. The ingredients list natural and artificial colors and flavors. Now, for applesauce, it’s very questionable why we only get strawberry-flavored applesauce, something (probably) unheard of outside of school; and seeing the provider’s website, they certainly do sell normal applesauce, along with cinnamon, peach, and mixed berry flavors, too. Applesauce is known to be a side for beef teriyaki dippers.

The three favorite meals suggested this time are the Bosco cheese sticks, tacos, and chicken and waffles. Why do people like these so much? In interviews with some sixth graders, they say that they love the cheese included in both Bosco cheese sticks and tacos. Cheese is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it definitely enhances a meal. With chicken and waffles, people seem to like the combo of sweet and savory. One said that they liked the fluffiness of the waffles. In conclusion, these three meals are delicious due to their carbohydrates and dairy, but they are not very nutritious. There have been many complaints about how the fruits and vegetables are unripe or overripe, and therefore, there is food waste and kids don’t get proper nutrition because they don’t want to eat the poorly-grown produce.

Aside from these points, school lunch is up to others’ judgment. What is your opinion on school lunch? Should it be changed? Is it delicious? I hope this evaluation proved to be helpful.

Fun Facts for Frog Fanatics

By: Izzy Rosa

Hi, everyone! In this article, I’m gonna be talking about frogs and some fun facts about them! This article will include 10 facts, but I will probably make this into a series. 

One fun fact about frogs is that, somehow, frogs may have been alive for 200 million years, about the time that dinosaurs were alive. 

#2: Frogs, that we know of, have been known to live as long as 20 years. 

#3: The smallest frog is the Cuban tree frog which only grows to about 1 inch. 

#4: Frogs usually shed their skin once a week, and then eat it. 

#5: Frogs blink when swallowing food to use its eyes to push food down its throat. 

#6: A group of frogs is actually called an army, isn’t that cute? I want a frog army. 

#7: There are like 6,000 species of frogs and scientists are STILL LOOKING FOR MORE! 

#8: FROGS HAVE NIGHT VISIONNNNNNNNN.

#9: Frogs typically live in freshwater but som can live in partially or even fully slat water areas. 

Finally, our last fact, number 10: Darwin frog dads swallow their tadpoles. 

The History of Mangoes

By: Sofia Marquez

I think we have all had, or at least heard of a mango. The tropical orange colored fruit, most commonly known to be used for smoothies and sorbets, has so much more to offer. Not only does the mango have a rich, colorful history, having travelled around the whole world by the 1600s, but according to worldatlas.com it is also one of the most popular fruits in the world.

According to mango.org, the mango is believed to be cultivated first in the Hindo-Berma region, an area in Southeast Asia extending from southern India to southern China. The seeds of the mango made its way from Asia to the Middle East, East Africa then to South America around 300/400 A.D. 

The cultivation of mango slowly started to become more popular, moving westward around the time of the spice trade. In 1492, the Portuguese, who had docked in Calcutta, India,  were the first known people to establish a mango trade.

As Spanish explorers invaded Mexico, they introduced mango to the people of Mexico and surrounding South American countries. Mango then flourished in that area, making Mexico and South America a hotspot for mango farms and growth.

With there being over 1,000 types of mango, it is found in cuisines in the tropics and subtropical regions spanning over Southeast Asia to South America. In 1833, the first attempt to introduce mango to the United States came, mostly being introduced to Florida. 

Mango has had a tumultuous history in Florida, mainly because of the climate. Due to the weather in Florida, mango production was minimal in the early 1900s. Fresh mangoes are not commercially available everywhere in the U.S, because American mango farms are mainly in Florida and Southern California.

War We Have All Lived

By: Olivia Todd

We have hoped and dreamed
That one day our only world
Could finally settle at peace
But still we must suffer

We must hide at the bottom
Of the hill gaining certainty
They don’t see us

We have donations and donations
Of food and water but somehow
For everyone it’s not enough

We have thousands of citizens
That have died due to the enemy’s
Self-centeredness

Do they see us that way?
We fight back just as they did
No weapon can build a wall
To protect them, defenseless

The crime goes both ways
Crossfire shouts its burst
The only question is
Is it a two-way fight
Or is it the first?

Can we be a threat to them
Just as they are to you and me
Would they stay in shooting range and stand up
Or leave and forget their country

We are all the same
We can all be scared
We can all feel the pain and
Grief of losing someone whom we have cared for, deeply

And when the cloud stops
The ticking of our lives
We know we were the ones
Who made the sacrifice

Should People Be Allowed To Have Big Dogs?

By: Karlee Montgomery

A question many people have is should people be able to have big dogs? I think people should be able to have big dogs. Because they can protect you and dogs are great pets to have. 

Let’s get one thing right: Big dogs aren’t for everyone. And people who do have big dogs or any size dog know they cost a lot. Everyday prices are skyrocketing, making it hard to take care of our pets’ vet bills, food, and toys. Big dogs especially have the worst reputation. 

Don’t let the size fool you, dogs are the most passionate and loyal pets ever. They are perfect to help with anything like depression, anxiety, and many more. If you train your dog in the right environment a dog will see that’s how they should act, but if you abuse your dog or they came from an abused family it’s harder to train them. When you train a dog in an aggressive home, their instinct will be to protect themselves by being aggressive back. 

There are many steps you can take to make sure your dog doesn’t turn out aggressive like: Making sure your dog is getting enough exercise and other canine enrichment activities, maintaining a calm demeanor around your pet, using positive reinforcement and reward-based training techniques, purchasing and use a muzzle if your dog bites or you suspect they might. 

If you also need help training your dog you can visit places or have a person come to you. But dogs are so sweet and really help people with their problems. It doesn’t matter the size of the dog, when a dog is aggressive it’s not their fault it’s yours. That’s why I say you should be able to have big dogs.

Delicious Dessert Recipes for Springtime

By: Gracie Hanlon and Sofia Marquez

Are you going to be stuck at home during spring break? Are you fatally bored? Well we have recipes for you! Follow these and you might have a full stomach over these next couple of days!

NOT FOR KETO PEOPLE, OR VEGANS! We have a cookie cake recipe, easy meringues and a “healthier alternative”, banana oatmeal cookies!

Easy Meringues:
Hello! Just in case you’re stuck at home during spring break, or a weekend or weekday and you’re bored, here is a quick recipe you can whip up in about 1 hour and 30 minutes!  (Warning: these are addictive, so eat with caution.)

Ingredients:
3 egg whites
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt

Recipe:
1)Preheat the oven to 200 degrees fahrenheit, and prepare 2 parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
2) In a stand mixer (or bowl and hand mixer) whip the egg whites until foamy. Add in the salt, and vanilla extract.
3) Whip the egg whites until medium stiff peaks form, then gradually add in the sugar. Whip again until stiff peaks form. If you want to take a huge risk, grab the bowl and put it over your head, if the egg whites stay put in the bowl, you have achieved stiff peaks!  (I do not take fault for giving you this idea, if the egg whites fell out and your kitchen is a mess.)
4) Put a bag in a tall glass, flipping the edges inside out. Then using a spatula put the meringue in the bag, cut the tip and began piping Chips Ahoy sized dollops.
5) Put the finished cookies in the oven for 1 hour, checking every once in a while.
6) When out of the oven, let sit for 45 minutes to 1 hour to harden.

Enjoy with caution!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies:
The second recipe is these delicious banana oatmeal cookies. They only require a few ingredients but there are many things you can add in to spice them up a bit. They are also a great way to get rid of brown bananas you might have. Plus, they are also somewhat healthy and are great snacks. 

Ingredients-
Brown Bananas (the number isn’t exact but two would be my recommendation)
1.5 cups of Oats
⅓ cup mini chocolate chips 

Extra ingredient ideas:
Raisins
Chopped Nuts
Cinnamon
Vanilla

Recipe:
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
2) Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. (or you can use cooking spray)
3) In a medium sized bowl mash your bananas until they are broken down (that’s honestly my favorite part). You can mash with a fork or if you have one a potato masher.
4) Next, add in the oats and stir until it’s all mixed together properly, it should look like a thick batter. If your batter looks runny add in more oats until your batter is able to form a cookie.
5) Once you have achieved this batter, you can add in the chocolate chips! Mix until the chips are spread throughout the batter. (This is also when you can add any extra add-ins!)
6) Now using a spoon, scoop out some batter and plop it onto your baking sheet. You can kind of shape it with your hands to fix it up. Make as many as you can!
7) Finally bake for 12-15 minutes until they are lightly golden. Once they cool you can enjoy them warm! You can also freeze some for later –  they taste great both ways! (Also eat with caution. I can almost guarantee you will want more!) 

Cookie Cake:
Surprisingly cookie cake is not that hard to make. So for our third recipe we’re doing just that! This cookie cake recipe doesn’t make the typical flat and large cookie but instead a smaller but thicker cookie. You can even top it with frosting or whipped cream or anything else you like.  

Ingredients:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
⅔ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup white sugar
1 egg and 1 yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips 

Recipe:
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then grease a 9 inch cake pan. (I used a 8 inch pan when I first made this so whatever you have will work)
2) Cream the brown sugar, white sugar, and butter together in a stand mixer for two minutes.
3) Then blend in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
4) Next add in your dry ingredients: the flour, salt, and baking soda, mix until combined. It should start to become more like dough.
5) Now for the best part, the chocolate chips! Take your bowl off the stand mixer and mix in the chocolate chips using a spatula. Save 2 tablespoons of your chocolate chips for later!
6) Take your dough and put into your greased pan, pressing it down with your hands until it meets all the edges. Before you do this wet your hands slightly so your hands aren’t covered in cookie batter. (unless you want them to be)
7) Sprinkle the rest of your chocolate chips on top and then press them into the batter softly.
8)
Bake your cookie cake for 22-25 minutes until the top of the cookie is golden brown.
9) Once it’s done, let it completely cool before removing it from the pan. 

Finally, once your cookie cake is out of the pan you decorate it with frosting or just eat it as is! Enjoy your delicious cookie cake with a glass of milk! We hope you enjoy all three cookie recipes!! 

Dear Izzy #1: The Annoying Brother

By: Izzy Rosa

(For legal reasons, please do not follow these instructions if you have strict parents and/or a snitch for a brother, or any other reason that could result in serious punishment for you.)

Dear Izzy, 

I’ve got a bit of a problem. My younger brother is being really annoying to me every day and just doing everything he can to make my life a turd pit. What should I do? 

From,
Your biggest fan 

Hello reader, I’m Izzy, the beloved advice giver. This problem is very relatable and I have the perfect solution. 

Imagine, it’s dinner time on a cold Wednesday night, you’re walking to the table. Grab your food and offer to get some for your brother. You walk into the kitchen and grab your pre-placed and disguised sleep meds. You sprinkle the powdered sleep meds onto his food and bring it to the table very UNSUSPICIOUSLY. 

You all enjoy dinner and afterwards your brother states that he feels tired and is going to bed early. 

You wait until about 12:00 when all your family is asleep and you creep to the kitchen slowly. You slowly open the creaky cabinet door and glance over your shoulder for any people. You grab the Nutella and shut the cabinet door. You creep out of the kitchen and to your brother’s room, avoiding all the creaky floorboards you marked earlier. You manage to get into your brother’s room and he is fast asleep, just as planned. You sneak to his underwear drawer and open it, lifting the drawer slightly so it doesn’t squeak on its rails.

You take out a pair of his underwear with two fingers, though you know they are clean, it’s still gross, And you take the Nutella jar and unscrew the lid. Then take the plastic knife out of your pocket and scoop the Nutella. You smear it in his underwear, imagining his reaction when he discovers it. You repeat the process on all his underwear and chuckle under your breath. You’ve done it. It’s the perfect payback. 

Now imagine, in the morning, waking up, and seeing that face. The expression on your brother’s face… And it was all worth it.

Sounds great? Well this could be you if you follow this advice. Thanks for reading! Submit your problems in the comments or at rosais2028@u4sd.org. If you want a silly article dedicated to you, submit a problem and I will choose 1 to 3 every month!