Endometriosis Awareness Month

Endometriosis Awareness Month

by Serena Gestring, staff writer

MARCH 2021 – March is Endometriosis Awareness Month. This is a time to spread awareness of a little-known illness and hear the approximately 176 million voices of those living with it all over the world. 

Endometriosis is a medical disorder in which endometrium, the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus, grows outside of the uterus, usually onto the ovaries, fallopian tubes, pelvic tissue lining, and sometimes other pelvic organs.   

According to the Mayo Clinic, endometriosis can be very painful. This is because the endometrial-like tissue growing outside of the uterus also congeals, breaks down, and then bleeds with each menstrual cycle like normal endometrium does. Unlike endometrium, however, there is nowhere for that blood to go, and so it is trapped in the body. 

Other complications can arise as well. If endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts referred to as endometriomas can form, causing the surrounding tissue to become irritated. Scar tissue will eventually form, as well as adhesions, or abnormal bands of fibrous tissue. These can cause pelvic tissues and organs to stick together. Fertility issues are also common with endometriosis. 

Christine Whyde is a senior Bio-Med Science Academy student who was diagnosed with endometriosis when she was fifteen years old. The process that led to her diagnosis was long and repetitive. 

Pictured above is Christine Whyde, a 12th grader at Biomed Upper academy, who was diagnosed with endometriosis.

Although Whyde did not provide details, she said she could tell something was wrong  at around age ten. Whyde went to a doctor who put her on birth control. According to her, normally doctors will start patients on a basic hormonal birth control, usually an oral medication, as many reproductive conditions are treated with those. For Whyde, the birth control made her symptoms worse.

If previous attempts do not work, doctors will move on to a shot to regulate hormones. Whyde tried this medication option, but that also made things worse. Then she went to another doctor who gave her a new medicine that ultimately did not work as well.  

“I was just passed around from doctor to doctor for over three years,” Whyde said. “Basically it was a chain of that [until] I finally had to go to an adult OBGYN when I was fifteen, which was unusual because I was the youngest person that was in there.” 

At that point, Whyde underwent surgery so the doctors could look with a small camera to see any problems that could be the cause of her symptoms. They also biopsied the surrounding tissue for examination. Afterwards, Whyde was finally diagnosed with endometriosis. 

“I’m trying to think of a way to word this that isn’t very depressing,” Whyde said in regard to living with this condition. Whyde went on to say that it makes her feel bad because she cannot do things that regular people her age can do at times because of her symptoms. 

“Sometimes when my parents are outside doing yard work and they need help with something, I feel terrible because since I’m in pain a lot of the time, I can’t help them do anything. It really kind of limits me,” she said. Whyde also had to be exempted from gym class due to her illness. 

The immense pain that can come with endometriosis was one of the major reasons Whyde pushed to get diagnosed. 

“[The pain] was so bad that I was missing days of school because when I would have a flare up or something, I couldn’t even get out of my bed. I couldn’t even sit up or do anything,” she stated. “So it was affecting my education at that point, and my social life because I was just staying home instead of doing anything.”

Whyde’s condition also makes her sad because of its extremity. 

“Some people will just get put on birth control or something and it gets fixed for them, which is great,” she said, “but it sucks that the condition is different for everyone who has it and unfortunately I am just one of those people that it just gets worse as I get older … I had two separate doctors look at my parents and say that there was like nothing else they could do for me.” 

Having endometriosis has limited Whyde’s future as well. 

“I wanted to be in the military for example, and [I] can’t do that because technically … endometriosis isn’t considered a disability yet because again there are some people who aren’t in any pain at all, but it’s a chronic condition regardless,” she said. 

There is also the possibility of Whyde not being able to have children or needing to have a hysterectomy at a young age. 

“It’s put me into some difficult thing, like I have to think about things that other kids our age don’t have to think about,” she said. 

There are millions of people with stories like Christine Whyde’s. It is estimated that one in ten women have endometriosis, but not all of them are aware of it. According to the Metro OBGYN Team, a lack of awareness of this illness and the normalization of its symptoms has contributed to delaying a diagnosis for many women. The National Institute of Health and US Library of Medicine reported that it can take between three and eleven years for someone to be diagnosed with endometriosis. 

Yellow is the color of endometriosis awareness. March is endometriosis awareness month.

Becoming educated is a start for correcting this issue. Get familiar with what endometriosis is and its symptoms. This will provide the ability to educate others. Then begin talking about it. Yellow is the symbol of Endometriosis Awareness Month. Wearing yellow clothing or a yellow ribbon is a simple conversation starter anywhere. 

By spreading awareness about endometriosis, more people will be diagnosed and treated sooner for this illness. Endometriosis Awareness Month is a great time to start. 

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January is a SOUPer month! The National Month of Soup

January is a SOUPer month! The National Month of Soup

By McKenna Burchett, staff writer

FEBRUARY 2020 – According to a survey conducted by The Hive, only 12.9% of students at Bio-Med Science Academy knew that January is National Soup Month. National Soup Month was started by Campbell’s Soup Company in 1986 to promote the company. Campbell’s is a multinational food company headquartered in Camden, N.J., with annual sales of approximately $8.69 billion. It was founded in 1869 by Joseph Campbell and Abraham Anderson. The company initially started selling only soup, but have since expanded to other foods. 

However, is there more to soup than just selling it? 

Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup.

“Soup is a very relaxing food,” said freshman Nathan Jimenez. “It’s for calming.” 

Eighth grader Zachary Hamilton agreed, calling soup “warm and comforting.” 

Meanwhile Kali Crawford, a sophomore, recalled a very emotionally charged experience involving soup. “One time I burnt my entire hand making soup, but the soup was good. It didn’t feel that good, but the soup was worth it. Soup is one of my favorite foods, so it makes me happy.”

Soup itself came about around the development of clay pots, as the waterproof pots allowed for boiling of ingredients. The oldest evidence of soup dates back to 20,000 BCE. The word originates from French’s word for soup, which is “soupe.” This in turn came from a Latin word, “suppa,” meaning bread soaked in broth. This is also where the word “sop” comes from.

As for the big question, “Is cereal soup?” a variety of answers were given. 30% of students said yes, 46.7% said no, and the rest said “sometimes.” Students said things ranging from “Soup contains broth, milk is NOT a broth,” to an entire rant about how “Soup is a job killer for inner mouth and jaw muscles. ”  

Further elaboration was gathered from a few students. Hamilton says that cereal is soup. “Soup is a liquidy substance with things in it that you can drink. Some cultures heat cereal up and make it warm, so that makes it soup. I think that if it’s thicker than runny, then it’s stew.” However, on the topic of gazpacho, a cold soup, he says “I don’t know, what is soup? It’s almost like a conspiracy theory…”

Crawford, however, disagrees with that notion. “I feel very strongly about cereal being soup, just like hot dogs being a sandwich, because soup is defined as a liquid dish with stuff in it.” When further probed about other solids within liquids, she clarified “If it’s not edible, it’s not soup.”

Here are a few soup recipes provided by Bio-Med students: 

Loaded Baked Potato Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

6 slices bacon

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk, or more, as needed

1 cup chicken broth (no salt added preferred)

5 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

6 green onions, thinly sliced

1 small clove garlic, finely minced

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Evenly lay the bacon on a 2-3 ply paper towel- lined plate, cover with a paper towel and microwave until cooked and crispy– about 6 minutes. (You can also do this in a skillet, and remove and blot on paper towels.) Coarsely cut most of the bacon, finely chopping 2-3 tablespoons, as a garnish. Set aside. If using a pressure cooker, place the prepared potatoes in a steamer basket, on top of a trivet, with 2 cups of water. Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes, do a quick release and remove the lid. Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds; add the green onion. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk, and chicken broth and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. If not using a pressure cooker for the potatoes, add them in at this time and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Otherwise, add the steamed potatoes, stir in cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately, garnished with green onion, cheese and bacon, if desired.

Taco Soup

Ingredients:

2 tsp olive oil

1 1/4 lbs lean ground beef

1 medium yellow onion chopped (1 1/2 cups)

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (optional)*

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 (14 oz) can low-sodium beef broth

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

1 Tbsp chili powder**

1 tsp ground cumin

3/4 tsp ground paprika

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1 1/2 Tbsp dry ranch dressing mix, or 1/3 cup chopped cilantro and 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (see notes***)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups frozen corn

1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (14.5 oz) can can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Shredded Mexican blend cheese, chopped green or red onions, diced avocados and corn tortilla strips/chips

Directions:

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat drizzle lightly with oil. Add ground beef in a large along with chopped onion, crumbling and stirring occasionally until browned. Add jalapeno and garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Drain excess fat from beef mixture.  Stir in tomatoes with chiles, beef broth, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, ranch dressing mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover pot with lid and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in corn, black beans and pinto beans and cook until heated through. Add 1/2 cup water to thin soup if desired. Stir in cilantro and lime if using. Serve warm finished with desired toppings.

Creamy Chicken, Spinach and Mushroom Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

1 1/3 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)

1 1/3 cups diced carrots (about 3 medium)

8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded evenly to about 1/2-inch thickness

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup unsalted butter, sliced into 1 Tbsp pieces

1/3 cup flour

2 1/2 cups milk

9 oz refrigerated three cheese tortellini

4 oz fresh spinach (4 cups)

1/3 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and mushrooms and saute 3 minutes then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Add in chicken broth, chicken, oregano and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot with lid and allow to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through (it should register 165 degrees in center on an instant read thermometer). While the chicken is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly 1 minute. While whisking vigorously slowly pour in milk. Season with salt and pepper and bring mixture just to a light boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside. Remove cooked chicken from soup and transfer to a cutting board, let rest 5 minutes then cut into pieces. Meanwhile, add tortellini to soup in pot, cover pot with lid and allow to boil over medium heat about 7 minutes (or time directed on package) adding in spinach during the last 1 minute. Stir in chicken, white sauce and cream. Serve warm with parmesan cheese.

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2020 Election Results

2020 Election Results

by Aliscia Phillips, editor and chief

NOVEMBER 2020 – At the writing of this article, Joe Biden has been elected the 46th president of the United States. Despite numerous recounts in states like Georgia and Wisconsin where the results were close, Biden has maintained a significant lead with a current total of 306 electoral votes versus Trump’s 232. The election has been officially called by the Associated Press in favor of Biden and it is unlikely at this point that any major changes will occur state-by-state.

Jarrod Cummings, a junior at Bio-Med explains that the results were not incredibly shocking to him. “I am honestly not surprised as President Trump has lost a good amount of support this past year due to the Coronavirus pandemic and other major issues. I am surprised, however, by how many votes Joe Biden was leading by. I thought it would be much closer, to be honest.”

The way the pandemic was handled by the Trump Administration likely played a role in his loss. Bio-Med Science Academy senior Avery Coates describes, “Personally, I felt that President Trump’s COVID-19 response was lackluster. The strategies that took foreign nations and local cities weeks to implement took months for the President to enforce, if at all. Even then, these efforts were not consistent, and have led to several spikes and periods of lockdowns. However, not all of these failures can be attributed to Trump. The executive branch, while powerful, cannot create many policies and mandates (such as cash stimuli) without support from Congress, and both the Republican Senate and Democrat House have refused to work together and with President Trump on meaningful solutions to the pandemic. Countless Americans remain sick, hungry, and at risk of eviction due to petty differences and political party lines. While many can argue that the COVID-19 virus is overblown by the media and government, the crisis would have ultimately been resolved, or at least reduced, if Trump created a consistent, bi-partisan effort. Other nations, such as Australia and Japan, have returned to some sense of normality as the US must re-enter lockdowns once again.” 

Another hot topic this election has been voter fraud. Bio-Med senior Jacob Fergis expresses his worries about possible voter fraud: “As far as the elections themselves, especially the general election for POTUS, I have no doubt that there was some foul play going on, most likely on both sides, but I’ve seen videos of people going through and filling out multiple ballots, and I’ve heard reports of there being ballots found thrown out or discarded.”

The United States does struggle with election fraud according to The Heritage Foundation database which holds a sampling of 1,285 proven cases of voter fraud within the last four years. However, this year’s results have not been disproportionately affected by voting fraud, and President Trump’s claims of a fraudulent election aren’t backed by evidence. The New York Times called election officials from many states who said there has been no evidence to support the claim that fraud has influenced the election results. In fact, the process has gone very smoothly considering complications due to the pandemic, according to both Democratic and Republican officials. In a released statement, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency called the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.”

While the results of this year’s election should not be doubted, it is important to students that the United States continues to keep voter fraud under control. Jacob Fergis says, “I was hoping that because of more public knowledge about the fraud, it might actually be exposed and dealt with. I know Trump will be and already is taking legal action to get recounts and investigations, but there’s a lot of resistance against it, and I just want the fraud exposed, no matter what side it’s on.”

At the writing of this article, however, most of the legal motions filed have been withdrawn by the Trump campaign or dismissed or denied by the courts.

Other students are less worried about what is to come. “While people say the election is scary, I don’t see much change happening,“ says Coates. 

Despite his political worries, Fergis also believes that his personal life won’t be majorly impacted. “Most likely, my day-to-day life won’t change much. I think it’s likely that things like taxes and gas prices could go up, maybe Biden/Harris will try to raise the minimum wage, which would get me more money as a minimum wage worker, but I am against raising the minimum wage. Another thing that could change is more restrictions due to Covid. Other than some of those things, I don’t think my everyday life will be affected much.”

Younger students at Bio-Med are showing interest in the election as well. Seventh-grader Molly Phillips was happy about the turnout. “The results were unexpected, but turned out to be good. I didn’t like Trump’s treatment of POC, the LBGT community, or women.”

It’s never too early, or late for that matter, to get involved with politics and practice civil duty by voting. The next presidential election will take place in 2024. 

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Seniors take on Civic Responsibility

by Christine Whyde, staff writer

OCTOBER 2020 — Millions in the United States will be casting ballots Nov. 3 to elect a president for the next four years. This year, a number of Bio-Med Science Academy seniors will be eligible to vote for the first time. While many high schoolers have had the opportunity to vote in a presidential election in the past, this year is no ordinary circumstance. The current election has put many Americans at odds as strong opinions have formed about the potential candidates and issues at hand. 

Seniors at Bio-Med are choosing to vote for multiple reasons. Some feel that they are fulfilling their civic duties while others hope to sway the course of the election. Madison Gibbons says, “I think it is important. Our country has fought hard for the rights we have and I’m going to make sure I use them.” 

Being eligible and making the choice to vote does not mean that every senior is comfortable voicing their opinions. Each senior interviewed stated that they were only willing to detail their views in the right situation. 

For Jacob Fergis, this is mostly due to his political leaning: “I only talk about my political beliefs when asked, and only in smaller groups of people. Among people my age, conservatives are often just automatically viewed as racist, sexist, and insensitive. I’d rather not be seen that way, and I think that it’s ridiculous how political beliefs can divide people. I’d rather not be known for my politics.” 

When asked why others are choosing not to vote even though they are eligible to do so, many believed that it was partially due to dislike of the candidates. Suzie Krauss also suggested that some have actually been silenced by those with opposing views: “One of the presidential candidates has an extremely aggressive following and other voters could be targets for harassment. “ 

A few seniors strongly felt that others should be voting regardless of their apprehensions. Jacob Fergis explained that, “People will say they dislike both candidates, and so they just don’t vote at all. You’re surrendering your say in the matter. If you want things to change, you have to pick, even if that decision is the lesser of two evils.” 

As the election nears, the candidates are making their final efforts to sway voters. Most recently the televised presidential and vice presidential debates allowed millions of Americans direct access to the perspective of the major party candidates. Third parties were excluded. Many viewed the presidential segment as a particularly chaotic display, including Stephanie Kover. 

When reflecting on the debates she stated, “I watched some of the debate, but eventually decided to turn it off as it wasn’t really worth watching. Just by the way the candidates talked to each other, I knew nothing beneficial was going to be talked about. I feel as though the vice presidential debate was a lot more informational on how each candidate felt on certain topics.” 

The debates were not the first time that the presidential election was covered through the media. For many months, there have been dozens of news segments, magazine articles, and radio shows put out daily to give Americans the latest updates. For some, these interactions have altered their political beliefs and decision making. Many of the seniors expressed that they try to steer away from mainstream media due to bias. 

When asked if the media impacted his decision to vote, Kevin Akers replied, “No, I’ve purposefully only done my own research and found my own beliefs…” 

Madison Gibbons acknowledged the impact of bias on her personal views: “I would say I normally lean one way no matter what, but I’m sure the information I receive from the media makes me feel positively or negatively towards certain political beliefs.” 

Although the seniors were in general agreement on various topics, their political leanings and candidate choices are wide ranging. Some did not feel comfortable naming their candidates of choice while others got straight to the point. 

Jacob Fergis, for example, plans to vote for the re-election of Donald Trump. He explained, “I’ll be voting for Trump. First, he’s the Republican choice. Being Republican/conservative, my stances align with his more. Not only that, but I’ve seen all of the great things Trump has done in his time as POTUS already. I support what he’s done in Israel, as well as his Middle Eastern peace treaty. I also believe he’s done very well for the economy. Biden on the other hand is in clear support of leftist ideas that I disagree with, and it seems clear to me that Biden is really just a puppet. When you get sheltered in your basement for the whole campaign and only speak with the help of scripted questions and teleprompters, I don’t trust you to be president.”

Other students, such as Stephanie Kover, are choosing to vote for Democrat Joe Biden: “I will be voting for Biden. Not necessarily because I support him, but because I don’t want Trump to get re-elected. I hope in future elections there will be a candidate that aligns with my views more, such as Bernie Sanders.” 

Two of the seniors have yet to decide who will earn their ballot, but have very different perspectives. Kevin Akers is presumably deciding between the two major party candidates, “waiting for the final debate” to make a decision. Suzie Krauss on the other hand, is considering third parties. She stated, “I’m not sure who I will be voting for just yet, but it will absolutely not be Donald Trump. I feel he threatens many of America’s core values and should not be in office.” 

Regardless of their choice, each of the seniors is embarking on a new journey. Many feel nervous to be given such a responsibility. Others are disappointed given the current political climate but hope for something better. Stephanie Kover says, “For this being my first time voting, I am disappointed in the candidates that are running. The choice is between a very moderate Democrat and a far right Republican. I’m just hoping next election I will be able to vote for a candidate I’m actually proud of.” 

Senior Madison Gibbons at her home, after voting for the first time. By Owen Baird.

Even though there may be downsides, there are still positives to find in the experience. Each of the seniors is excited to be opening a new chapter into adulthood. Some also feel that voting will allow them to learn more about the government, politics, and even themselves. Madison Gibbons looks forward to the experience, stating, “I feel nervous yet excited and proud to be voting.” 

No matter the outcome of the election, each of the voting seniors can be proud of the fact that they fulfilled their civic responsibilities and took part in a moment of American history.

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Bigger Bio-Med: the Expansion to the Rootstown Campus

View from new wing which contains classrooms for grades 7-8. By Owen Baird.

by McKenna Burchett

OCTOBER 2020 — The Bio-Med Science Academy Rootstown Campus now features a new addition. This new building, dubbed the “Contemporary Wing,”  includes classrooms for grades 7-12, common spaces, IT rooms, and a cafeteria, all spread across the three floors. Students and teachers both enjoy the large space, the decor, and of course, the slide that stretches between the third and fourth floors. 

Students say they find this change to be exciting. They say they are adjusting well to the new environment and classmates, though some of the younger students say they’re a little intimidated by the older ones. The layout of the classroom is such that students don’t need to walk too far to get to their next class. This makes navigating the large space far less intimidating, sophomore Mady Hunter reports. Freshman Irene Scherer compares the transition to be similar to that of switching from the Shalersville Campus to the Rootstown Campus, as she’s wandering around a new building with her friends. The teachers enjoy the new space and the ability to have their own classrooms. They enjoy the potential for collaboration provided by the Contemporary Wing.

The idea for an extension to the Rootstown Campus originated four years ago from the desire for more space. 

“We were out of room,” says Stephanie Lammlein, chief administrative officer and superintendent of Bio-Med. “We needed more room, we needed more class space, we needed larger lab space, larger commons, [and] collaborative space to allow our programs to grow.” 

She described the aesthetics of the building to be “industrial rural,” incorporating the small town aspect of the county and the cutting-edge future the school is trying to build. The layout of the classrooms specifically were designed to facilitate collaboration, with room for larger gatherings (when safe.) The Bio-Med space sits atop land owned by Neo-Med, and the building itself is a combined partnership paid for using OFCC (Ohio Facilities Construction Commission) money. Moving forward, a few classrooms in the Vintage Wing still need to be painted white, as well as some designs on the walls of the Contemporary wing. Right now, the administration is happy with where it stands, and no further expansion plans are yet in the works.

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Coney Barrett Confirmed to the Supreme Court

Pictured is the Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC. Coney Barret was confirmed as Supreme Court Justice on October 26th.

by Havann Brown, staff writer

OCTOBER 2020 — The Senate confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the highest court in the land on October 26. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Sept. 18 at the age of 87, of metastatic pancreatic cancer. One week later, President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy. This announcement came just 38 days before the 2020 presidential election. 

Amy Coney Barrett is a devout Catholic and self-described “originalist,” meaning she interprets the Constitution as it was written and does not incorporate her views into it. At 48-years-old, Barett has worked as a law professor at Notre Dame, clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and was nominated to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. She is the third justice appointed to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump.

Coney Barrett’s past opinions and rulings have revealed her right-wing stance on issues like healthcare, Roe v. Wade, immigration, and gun rights. Many students at Bio-Med Science Academy have expressed their concerns about a conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Juniors Kate Donovan and Nora Haddon described the future of the court as a “conservative revolution that would stop all progress” and “a major setback for social justice.”

The Senate hearing to confirm Judge Barrett began on October 12.  Robert Greenwood, a junior at Bio-Med, stated, “the hearings should not happen this close to the election because Republicans set a precedent four years ago.” When Democratic senators pointed out the hypocrisy of Mitch McConnell, he argued that the situation is different than four years ago, since the GOP now controls both the Senate and White House.

In 2016, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, blocked President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court because it was an election year. On the Senate floor, McConnell said, “the American people should have a say in the court’s direction. It is a president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice, and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on the president and withhold its consent,”as published by NPR. The eleven Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee signed a letter saying they had no intention of consenting to any nominee from Obama.

Democrats were not able to stop Judge Barett’s confirmation process, because of  Republicans’ 53-47 majority in the senate. At the beginning of the hearing, The New York Times reported Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC), proclaimed, “This is probably not about persuading each other unless something dramatic happens… All Republicans will vote yes and all of the democrats will vote no.” Coney Barrett was expected to be confirmed to the court unless four Republican senators voted against her, which was highly unlikely.

Despite being questioned, the Senate hearing revealed little on how Amy Coney Barrett would rule as a judge on the Supreme Court. She was asked extensively on issues relating to voting rights and healthcare. On November 10, a week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in California v. Texas, a challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Barrett’s presence on the court would contribute to a conservative majority that would have the power to rule the ACA as unconstitutional. Freshman, Logan Cook, believes the court will attempt to “overturn Obamacare as soon as Amy Coney Barrett joins.” Democratic senators used the hearing to emphasize that Republicans were rushing the confirmation process so the court can repeal the Affordable Care Act and take away healthcare from millions of Americans. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Barett’s nomination on October 22, and the entire Senate voted the following week. With the presidential election occurring just days after Barrett’s confirmation, close results in swing states and disputes over absentee ballots could allow the Supreme Court to decide the outcome of the 2020 election. Colin Martau, the sophomore history teacher, stated he does not anticipate that the court will decide the results but, “President Trump is intentionally creating mistrust in mail-in voting, which has existed in states for years. That mistrust is strategic on his part so that if there’s any uncertainty about the legitimacy of the election he will have the conservative majority on the Supreme Court backing him.”

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The Virtual Life

by Alyssa Cocchiola, staff writer

OCTOBER 2020 — For some students, an average school day consists of turning on their computer and completing work alone for hours at a time. While learning at home has its benefits for staying safe, there are some challenges that arise from digital learning. 

By Owen Baird

Due to the increase of COVID cases, many students at Bio-Med decided to stay virtual for the first semester. With the hybrid schedule in place, students at school and at home learn the same content and complete the same projects. The only difference is that students attending school get to listen to these instructions and ask for help in person, while virtual students’ education lacks face-to-face interaction.

Not being able to communicate face-to-face can be difficult. Students completing school virtually had similar responses to hybrid students in regards to digital learning. Most people agreed that they had a harder time learning online.

Mady Kohout is a sophomore, and, like many students, is completing school online because she feels that it is unsafe to go in person. When being asked which method of learning she preferred, she responded, “I definitely prefer in-person school over virtual. It’s a lot more engaging, fun and motivating than learning remotely,” 

However, when asked if she would like to stay virutal all year, she said “yes.” A plethora of virtual students share this same opinion. And for some, they feel like they had to choose between feeling comfortable and safe while learning, or feeling uncomfortable while learning in a way that is easier for them to focus.

There are also some benefits from learning online, like being able to work at your own pace. “ I like being able to do certain things on my own schedule,” Kohout added. Some assignments can take longer than intended, and vice versa. One of the biggest advantages that comes from attending school virtually is being able to complete an assignment on your own time, without necessarily having to worry about following the schedule. 

Communication can also be a struggle for online students. If they need help during school and email their teacher, they might not get a response right away. This is because the teacher is most likely teaching a class and is not checking their email. While Zooms are occasionally held for asking and answering questions, they are not held every day, and students online feel like they get less opportunities to ask for help.

“Sometimes it’s harder to communicate since a lot of people don’t answer questions and stuff,” Skyler Earl added. “We don’t have a lot of Zooms this year, so sometimes it’s harder to focus.”

Other students also expressed similar concerns about not being able to focus. However, there are ways students can work to overcome these challenges. Virginia Adams, a 10th grade student,  offered insight on how to keep focused throughout the day, “I would recommend taking very short breaks throughout the day. That way it gives you a minute to reevaluate what work you have to do. Also keeping a list of what work you have to do and cycling through that as your day or week goes on. This helps you prioritize what you have to do.”

Feelings of isolation can also arise from learning digitally. Many 10th grade students mentioned they felt like they were missing out on the high school experience by attending school virtually. While they have a small amount of communication with teachers, they have even less with their peers. 

When being asked about how their first week of school was going, Ren Fejes replied, “It’s very…surreal. Like it’s weird not talking to people most of the time, which can also feel isolating, but at the same time I’m less at risk of Covid, so there’s that too.”

According to the CDC, social isolation can also lead to physical health problems, like increased risk of dementia, heart disease, and stroke. To feel less isolated, and reduce these risks, the University of Chicago recommends things like writing down positive things or memories, smiling, spending time with an animal, joining a class (most likely online), creating a schedule, enjoying nature, or even just talking to people through a phone call or zoom. 

Mrs. Lee, a Guidance Counselor at Bio-Med offered some advice for students feeling isolated due to virtual learning. “I encourage them to reach out as much as they can to friends and family. If you’re feeling isolated, there’s a good chance that one of your loved ones is also feeling the same way. Seeing one another through a screen isn’t ideal, but it at least gives us some sort of interaction! Schedule a dinner date where you and some friends Zoom in and eat dinner together, host a watch party with friends via Netflix, play online games with one another, or just a simple chat. I’ve also suggested offering to help other students in courses via Zoom that you may excel in during Advisory or after school. This could get you to know new people, gives you the satisfaction of helping others, all the while giving you a sense of interaction!!” 

Despite feelings of isolation and a harder time communicating, most virtual students stand by their decision to learn online. They also acknowledge the benefits it has like being safe from COVID, and being able to work at their own pace. 

Even then, some students are overall benefiting from digital learning. For instance, being at home can provide a safe space for students, especially when it comes to things like bullying. When being asked if there were social benefits for kids staying home, Mrs. Mihalik, an 11th grade CCF teacher responded, “As a teacher I 100% acknowledge that there’s kids at home probably not because of any health risks or anything like that. Either because they enjoyed online learning or because it feels like a socially safer environment versus a physical safer environment, and I think that’s a really good opportunity for those kids.”

While many aspects are different, some things have stayed the same compared to last year. When being asked if they were able to focus on their work at home, Ren concluded that, “It’s about the same as in-person learning, which is to say, never. So it has less to do with school itself and more just the state of the world right now.”

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A Second First Day of School

Photo by Alyssa Cocchiola
View of the newly constructed wing, which houses grades 7-8 and new common area.

by Alyssa Cocchiola, staff writer

OCTOBER 2020 — For students attending Bio-Med Science Academy, Sept. 28 was the first time they physically attended school since last March. In response to safety guidelines and an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the school implemented what is known as a hybrid schedule.

The hybrid schedule separates students in two groups: purple and green. The groups run on a rotation in which one week, the green group goes to school, and the next, the purple group does. On the weeks they aren’t school, students attend virtually.

Each color group is broken up into smaller groups called cohorts. Each cohort consists of about 15 students who all share the same schedule. This way, the number of people students come in contact with is limited. While at school, students are required to wear a mask and keep at least a minimum of three feet distance from their peers. Desks are also cleaned after every class to prevent the spread of the virus.  

After students were given the option to return, many shared their excitement upon their arrival. When being asked about their first week, many students initially felt unsure how things were going to operate due to the safety protocols in place. 

However, students were pleasantly surprised by the welcoming and collaborative environment the school had to offer. “It’s been very fun and very interactive lately, and I think to be honest, we are going to have a lot of fun,” said Natalie Hammerschmidt, a current 9th grader at Bio-Med Science Academy. 

From a teacher standpoint, the cohort system is also appreciated for the most part. When being asked about it, Mrs. Mihalik commended, “The cohort system, I actually really like. Before when they were trying to do hybrid with our original schedules, it was all mixed up and this way I can at least try to make it even.”

Despite the safety protocols, students still feel that they are receiving a good educational experience. When asked about her opinions on the new schedule, Chloe Cook, a current 8th grader, offered some insight on her first week back. “Being here on Monday definitely did feel like the first day back at school, even though we had been in school for like three weeks already,” she said.

When asked about the hybrid schedule, Cook responded,  “I like being back at school. It’s definitely easy to learn that way, and I love the new building. And just like being here; it’s a great environment but I mean I am pretty sad I won’t be here next week. But I understand why and how they are doing it.” 

While students are generally pleased with the in-person weeks, online weeks are a different story. Many students shared their concerns about struggling while completing assignments online. 

Hailey Mills, a 10th grade student, said of her first few weeks at Bio-Med, “They have been good at school, but at home it’s hard to understand what the teachers expect from us and it’s hard to stay focused.”

Despite their concerns with the digital weeks, students at Bio-Med are happy to be back in school, and are enjoying the positive community it brings. By implementing the hybrid schedule and following these safety precautions, people attending school are able to receive a learning experience that is enjoyable, while also staying safe. 

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Behind the Scenes of COVID-19

by Aliscia Phillips, staff writer

With the spread of coronavirus, front line workers and first responders continue to risk their lives to help those in need. One registered nurse takes on the hardships of a pandemic head-on. This nurse, who has requested to remain anonymous, works primarily with digestive disease but, because of her line of work, has been in contact with patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

She explains that her field has primarily been impacted by the personal protective equipment shortages. Masks and cleaning supplies are kept locked up and strict policies have been put into place to avoid running out of essential equipment. Employees that require them are allowed one N95 mask per day. When not in use, the masks are draped over brown paper bags with handles despite being labeled single-use. 

“No one understood the full scope of things,” she said. 

 Society as a whole was not prepared for this pandemic as shown by the PPE shortage, but our nurse admits that not even she expected the magnitude of its effect on the country. She explains that Ohio was lucky; it was able to control the spread quickly with the stay-at-home order. 

Many of the nurses she works with are still fearful of getting the virus. She describes how her coworkers send their children to other families to avoid potentially spreading the pathogen to them. 

“Earlier this week I had taken care of three COVID-positive patients and I walked through the door and my daughter just wanted to hug me and I had to be like ‘Get away.’” 

The strain put on front line workers’ relationships is a hard one to bear. The virus also makes for long, stressful days in uncomfortable conditions. The masks hospital staff wear are tight, often causing headaches and bruising. She says the one thing she misses the most, however, is the hands-on care for patients. Everyone has to be much more careful to avoid harming patients so maintaining distance is a necessary sacrifice.  

The long-term effects of the pandemic will hopefully show growth within the healthcare industry and the way it’s managed. Our nurse explains that she sees hospitals being run by different people. She believes that because hospitals are run by administrators who lack patient contact, there is a general disconnect that could have even contributed to the PPE shortage because they don’t see what’s going on at ground zero. She also thinks that virtual visits may become more popular even after the pandemic because they are convenient and avoid bringing patients into areas with a high risk of contamination. 

Life in quarantine may be rough, but the future always brings the possibility of change and a positive outlook. This pandemic is yet another opportunity for society to hopefully learn and improve upon itself.

Note: It is usually The Hive’s policy to not publish anonymous interviews, but we are honoring the request of this front-line worker to remain anonymous because she is afraid of possible repercussions from her employer.

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Diabetes affects more than 100 million Americans including Bio-Med staff and students

By Evelyn Berry, staff writer

According to the CDC, in America today 30.3 million people have diabetes. That’s about  9.4% of the population. Further research suggests that 7.2 million people (23.8%) have the disease but are not diagnosed. Diabetes is caused when the immune system attacks insulin cells, which causes the body to no longer produce the correct amount of insulin to regulate blood sugar. For people who have the disease, it affects every part of their lives. A few Bio-Med teachers and students know this firsthand. 

At six years old,  senior Ashley Pawlowski was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. 

“I went to a normal pediatric check-up … and they tested my urine for ketones,” she explained. Ketones indicate Diabetic Ketoacidosis, but it can be an indicator of other issues as well. “From there the doctor ordered that I go to the hospital.” 

Ashley described the painful process that then occurred at the hospital. 

“I got an IV, the worst pain in my whole life, because I was so little. I had to get my blood sugar checked every 15 minutes, and that hurt,” she said.  “After about two hours of that, they took me to an overnight unit.” 

At this point, Ashley hadn’t eaten for 12 hours. 

“I was so weak due to me not eating, and they constantly came in to take my blood.” Ashley said that she was afraid of the prospect of the nurse giving her a shot, but the nurse said, “This is happening for the rest of your life, dear; you have to get used to it.” 

Reflecting on how her diagnosis changed her life, Ashley said, “Becoming diabetic was a big eye-opener for me. I had to become more responsible at a young age. I was fully taking care of myself two months after. That includes giving myself shots, carb counting and more.” 

There are other challenges as well, like the increase in the price of insulin. 

“It’s not even in insulin,” she said.  “It’s everything that has to do with Diabetes. For example, about a month ago Insulet, the makers of my insulin pump, decided to up the prices and not even tell us. My order used to be like $150 per mail order (three boxes of ten pods) and now they are $200 per box. That is outrageous. I am on Generic Insulin now. We can’t even afford the real kind! They make it for like $8 and sell it for like $600. It’s ridiculous. We even have two insurances covering my stuff, and my parents still have to pay out of pocket for meds. It’s not just the prices, it’s the insurance companies too. ”

Insurance coverage isn’t something that most teenagers have to worry about.

“With the new pre-existing conditions rule I might not even be able to get covered,” she explained. A pre-existing condition is when a patient already has a diagnosed condition prior to getting insurance. Some insurances will not cover costs associated with these pre-existing conditions. “Who knows what life has in store for me. Let’s just hope things work out.” 

In 2015 a teacher here at Bio-Med, Mr. Ulliger, received the same diagnosis of Diabetes, but at the age of 32. He described the symptoms that lead him to his diagnosis. 

“I wasn’t really sleeping and I wasn’t really eating. I also didn’t understand; it felt normal that I was mysteriously losing 40 or 60 pounds over the course of four months. Then I started noticing things, like I always had to go to the bathroom, I was sweating a lot, you know. I started finding myself on Kent State campus walking across campus and suddenly stopping and wondering where I was going. Just forgetting where I was at. Because like, your brain function is affected by [Diabetes].  I was a lot more irritable; my wife started noticing that.” 

He also remembers the confusion and fear that was brought with this diagnoses,

“It was finally on Thanksgiving of 2015. We were at my wife’s grandparents’ house [and they commented] about how skinny I was looking. And finally I was just like, I am going to get this checked out, and they told me I had type one diabetes. Adults usually don’t get diagnosed with it. I had problems with insincere people believing me. It’s kind of a scary thing. You don’t know what the cost of healthcare is going to be. So it was kinda scary.”

The increased cost of insulin affects Ullinger too.

“Luckily, I have been pretty decently insured. I have my insurance and my wife’s insurance, so it costs me about $25 to $30 for a one month’s supply of my daytime insulin and $55 for my night time medicine, something like that.”

Not everyone is so well insured, according to Ullinger.

“The biggest thing,” he explained “is one of the few people who had it like I have … passed away last January because he couldn’t afford his insulin. And many of us knew he was struggling; like we were trying to give him extra insulin pens and this and that. And you know he was rationing himself; he was cutting himself off from insulin on certain days or only doing it at certain times.”

Ullinger explains that if a person with low pancreatic function waits until later in the evening to administer insulin, his numbers might be too high or too low, which makes it hard to administer the right amount of insulin. That person then runs the risk of injecting too much insulin.

“And that’s pretty much what he did,” Ullinger explains. “He gave himself too much insulin and died on his kitchen floor. His girlfriend came home in the morning and found him like that. That kind of stuff has been hard, but you know I have been lucky.” 

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