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Languages At Riverwood

By AJ Powell

How Linguistically Diverse is Riverwood?

Riverwood takes pride in its International Baccalaureate programs which allow students to broaden their education “through intercultural understanding and respect” that our school strives to instill in its students. Naturally, one of the primary tenets of intercultural understanding comes through the teaching of foreign languages. Riverwood administers 5 language classes, including Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, and ASL. It also offers the opportunity to take German and Latin within online courses. For a school that offers this many opportunities for cultural insight, one could reasonably ask the question “How many languages are represented at Riverwood in total?”. Of course, English and Spanish are very prominent, but what about the dozens of other major languages that are spoken throughout the world? As a result of hearing some of these languages offhand from being in the county for several years as well as asking around, I found a total of 17 languages that are spoken by the students and staff of our IB school, though it is not an exhaustive list. This map puts into perspective the extent to which different cultures are represented at Riverwood and serves as a more direct representation of our diversity as a school. 

Language breakdown by family/region:
Germanic: English, German, Danish
Romance: Spanish, French, Italian
Slavic: Russian, Polish, Bosnian
Semitic: Arabic, Hebrew
East Asian: Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese
Other: Persian, Hindi, Tamil, Albanian


By Emily Taylor

Attention Riverwood! It’s that time of year again… SADIE! If you are new to Riverwood or have never been to Sadie before, trust us, you don’t want to miss it! The theme for this year’s Sadie Hawkins Dance is Riverwood Glows Crazy, presented by the class of 2022. Prepare for an exciting night filled with all your favorite songs, peers, and of course, the dancing. Mark your calendars because Sadie is on leap day this year, Saturday, February 29th. If you are thinking about asking someone, we encourage you to take a picture of your “ask” and send it over to the Riverwood Sadie Instagram @ricssadie20 for a chance to be featured. New to Riverwood this year, the National Art Honors Society will be offering a quick online form open to everyone to help you with your poster ask needs. Sadie ask posters can be extremely time consuming and even challenging, but NAHS is here to help. Buy a personalized sign, and all proceeds will go to Team Summer, a charity that supports kids with cancer. Team Summer was started by a former Riverwood student, Summer Dale, who lost her fight with cancer back in 2012 at the age of 16. Raiders, let’s work together and donate towards this fantastic cause while producing some beautiful posters. Thank you, National Art Honors Society. Fill out the form and email NAHS president Gabriela Jones at gabrielamariej@gmail.com if you have any questions or concerns. Sadie is the perfect way to spend your Saturday night and get into the Riverwood spirit. Hope to see you there, Raiders.

(Sadie 2020 Logo, Designed by Anna Edmondson, Devon Green, Hannah Levy, and Emily Taylor.)

Metro Swim Meet


Many teams from Fulton County came to participate in the Metro Swim qualifying meet. The meet occurred on Saturday, January 18 in the early morning with warm ups starting at 7:45. The meet took place at the private school, Westminster, in their beautiful facility. Students were able to swim their desired events, such as the 4×50 relay and freestyle to attempt to reach their goals of making state and dropping time. In addition, this swim meet is one of the last meets that students are able to swim in before States, which is another qualifying meet with certain time cuts for an individual to be able to participate. The Metro Meet is a “prelims” and finals meet, meaning that a  swimmer has to qualify in the top 20 to swim later in the day for finals. The meet offers an A and B final, so the placements of 10-20 go to the B final while the top 10 swim in the A. After a very long 3 hour prelims portion of the meet, students got to go home or to get lunch. Then, the people who made finals came back at 5:45 pm for warm ups. However, everyone who came to the meet was encouraged to stay to cheer on their friends. The pool was definitely cold but refreshing at the same time. The Riverwood swimmers did an amazing job, not only were there many personal bests, but also some people made state. Macy Rose and Kayla Hodges swam their best in the 100 freestyle resulting in them both making state. Also, TJ Shannon swam a great race in the 100 fly and placed in the A final. Tj Shannon and Trevor Arndt were asked a series of questions pertaining to the meet. Tj replied to, how he thought the team did and if he does anything to psych his competitors out, in a very positive way, “we did pretty well, we got third overall in the 4×50 relay… I want to beat them (competitors) at their best.” Trevor had a more humorous approach to answering the questions, “motivating myself to try is very physically exerting, it takes a lot from you… I shake my arms out and I slap myself to get the blood flowing. I love the rush of adrenaline provided by my vicious slapping.” Another question from these two swimmers is if they listen to any music to get them hyped up before a swim. Trevor answers by saying, “I listen to Yummy by Justin Bieber.” Tj enjoys listening to xxxtentacion to get ready for a race. In conclusion, we as a team placed 6th for the boys and 7th for the girls out of 32 teams.

(On the left it is Piero Maddaleni, next to him is Sasha Wildstein, then Nina Ouellette, and on the right is Jaden Manuel– taken by Kara Schwartz)

Australia Fires

By: Sahil Bashir

This newspaper has covered global warming in the past. In the previous issue, we discussed the Paris agreement, Trump’s decision, and what those mean for the rest of the U.S. citizens. In this issue, we will continue the discussion of global warming, but we’re going to look at a more severe, impactful problem occurring right now in Australia. This is, of course, the bushfires. 

The Bushfires, starting in September 2019, are currently ravaging Australian forests and towns. Fueled by the drought Australia faces and sparked by both human and natural causes, lightning has been observed as the main cause. Dry lightning was particularly responsible for fires in the Victories East Gippsland region in late December. That fire then went on to travel 12.4 miles in just 5 hours. There have been incidents where many humans had attempted to start fire. It was speculated that 75% of the fires were caused by arsonists, according to Heather Wheeler, a foreign office minister, but this was quickly corrected by Kerry McCarthy, a Labour MP. She stated that the true figure of arson was less than 1%. Most of these cases were unintentional, such as children “playing” with fire or people who don’t take proper precautions. However there are cases where those who intentionally start fires. These cases usually see arsonists with psychotic tendencies, and the situation allows them to be able to act upon them. Dr. Paul Read, co-director of Australia’s National Centre for Research in Bushfire and Arson, explained that “The general mayhem of fighting bushfires, the evacuation of people, enables them to be furtive [attempt to avoid detection]. They know they’re not likely to be identified. It’s like planting a tree in a forest.” CNN states that at least 24 people have been charged by the New South Wales police for intentionally starting bushfires, and an additional 183 people are being taken to court for fire-related offences since November.  

The fires have claimed at least 28 lives, 300 homes, and 10.4 million hectares of land, according to Global News. The sheer size and damage of the bushfires makes it six times more deadly than the 2018 California bushfires and almost twice the damage of the Amazon fires. New South Wales has been the most affected Australian city, and it’s most populated. Almost every state has been affected, including Sydney and Melbourne.  

People are not the only casualties of the fires. Around half a billion animals have been affected with millions dead. Ecologists claim the total amount of affected animals could be over a billion. These include birds, reptiles, mammals (excluding bats). Almost a third of koalas have been killed, and they lost around a third of their habitats. Certain animals, such as the koalas, are not at too much risk from becoming extinct due to widespread bushfires, but other animals in more niche environments, such as frogs or birds, are at a higher risk, according to BBC. 

The fires have also brought other hazards to Australia. Canberra, the capital, has been hit with hail storms that have damaged buildings, businesses, and homes, as well as flash floods. In the western region, covering Broken Hill, Dubbo, and Nyngan, is a 186 mile wide red dust cloud carried by 66 miles-per-hour winds. Flash floods rained down on Brisbane and Queensland state, though these rains have not put out the fires. Below is a picture of the dust storm.

So what is being done to stop the fires? According to the BBC, around 3700 firefighters, including volunteers, are deployed around these areas, as well as another 3700 army reserves, 440 emergency personnel, and 240+ firefighters from the US, Canada, and New Zealand. The NSW Rural Fire Service has around 100 aircrafts in the air when fires are bad, and the Victoria Country Fire Authority has 60. 

As for what you can do at home, there are many websites that take donations such as UNICEF, WWF, or people can donate directly to the fire stations in Victoria and New South Wales. These donations help the firefighters by purchasing equipment, medical kits, and gear. Simply talking about the issue is a great way to help. By spreading word of the issue and raising awareness, you’re bringing the issues to light and making more people aware of what is going on. This has many benefits. People who are aware of the issues in Australia would be more careful and take more precaution while people around the world will take action, through donations and even through volunteering.


By Lauren Cohn

By now, I’m sure everyone has heard of President Donald Trump’s recent impeachment, at least to a degree. Whether you have just heard the word tossed around or have been scouring the news for updates, it is clear that this announcement has left its mark, but what exactly does it all mean? What is impeachment and what are the next steps? 

For starters, an important distinction must be made between impeachment and removal from office, as they are often confused for one another despite their differences. When a president commits a high crime like treason or behaves in unconstitutional ways, the House of Representatives can begin the process of removing him from office through impeachment. Essentially, impeachment acts as a final check on the president’s power, but does not necessarily imply that he will be removed from office as it is only the first step of the process. Donald Trump is the third president in United States history to get impeached, which only goes to show how momentous these past few months have been

Reaching impeachment can take a long time, as evidence needs to be collected to prove the wrongdoings of the president and representatives must be meticulous and careful when going about the process. Before a president can officially become impeached, the House of Representatives must draft the articles of impeachment, describing what the president has done that warrants this action. In President Trump’s case, the House, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, moved to impeach him on two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of congress. The House accused Mr. Trump of blackmailing Ukraine by withholding aid and preventing Congress from investigating, but those who support the Republican party and Mr. Trump have denounced the accusations, calling the process a “hoax”.

All of these time consuming steps culminated in the House with a vote, one that was greatly divided primarily along party lines. However, because of the Democratic majority, the articles were approved. President Trump was officially impeached.

At this point, the articles have been sent to the Senate, where there will be a trial and another vote to determine whether or not President Trump will truly be removed from office. So, while the president has been impeached by the House, there is no guarantee that the Senate will agree and actually remove him. The Republican party rules the Senate, so chances of removal are extremely low given party loyalty; yet, this event still marks an important milestone in American history, representing a call to action by those who disapprove of the current administration and the further polarity of political parties as the process continues to divide the nation.

UPDATED February 5, 2020: The senate has voted on whether to remove President Trump and the result is exactly as expected. Members of the Senate voted along party lines, with the exception of one Republican, Mitt Romney, who voted for removal. So, the president will not be removed from office and has been acquitted on both articles of impeachment, marking the end of this historic trial.


*Disclaimer: This is an opinion and these views do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire newspaper staff.

By Ben

Government controlled healthcare, or a socialist medicare system, sounds good in theory: all citizens get access to healthcare regardless of their socioeconomic background. Medical care has become increasingly expensive and many are unable to afford it. The market driven care system creates a dilemma. We have the ability to choose from various doctors, medicines, and hospitals because our medical market is so profit driven; however, we lose that choice if we give into government controlled healthcare. Yes, healthcare will be available to everyone nationwide, but that doesn’t mean we will have it when we need it as we will have to wait long periods of time for any care according to The Hill. Medical innovators will no longer have the motivation to create the “next best thing”, like a universal flu vaccine that kills all forms and mutations of the virus, something we are currently trying to develop. When we pay our doctors and scientists minimum salaries without incentives, they will lose a significant percentage of motivation to innovate as claimed by The Hill. Additionally, supporters of this system have re-marketed this service to sound better to consumers. While most Americans would fear a socialist medical system, a “Medicare for all” system might not sound as bad according to Investopedia.

With government controlled healthcare, all of our medicines will become the bare minimum; instead of receiving medicine that treats our illness, the government will give us a cheaper alternative that only masks the symptoms so that we just feel better. When the government monopolizes our healthcare, they benefit from the cheapest option and raising taxes as found in The Hill. And with a fixed, low salary for medical professionals, the quality of our doctors will plummet as cited in Investopedia. Without the incentive to be the best doctor and get the most clients, they won’t care because they know how much money they will be receiving, regardless of the quality of their care and quantity of patients treated. This could even result in a scarcity of medical professionals The Washington Post argues. Take Canada, for example. Canada is currently using this system and their healthcare quality is much below standard for a modern nation as cited in The Toronto Sun, a Canadian media source. They are also facing an extreme scarcity of medical professionals The Toronto Sun reports. Patients in need of care are having to wait long periods of time: weeks if not months, to get below-average treatment as claimed by The Toronto Sun. Imagine waiting three days for a diagnosis and treatment of a simple broken arm, which only takes only a few hours right now in America. The wait time is atrocious, let alone how agonizing it would be to wait that long in immense pain. If you doubt this reality, I encourage you to read this Canadian news article from the Toronto Sun that speaks about this issue from the Canadian perspective while also presenting the facts. These are only some of the underlying problems with this ideology. Government controlled healthcare sounds good in theory, but it is ultimately detrimental to ourselves and the country overall.

Biggest Trends of the Decade

Writers: Sydney Fox, Emily Taylor, Bradley Friedrich, and Mat Fluker

Editor: Lauren Cohn

2010: Kik, Wii, Angry Birds, Silly Bandz

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2011: Call Me Maybe, Temple Run

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2012: Vine, Candy Crush, Gangnam Style, Snapchat Filters

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2013: Selfie, Dumb ways to Die

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2014: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Frozen, Black and Blue Dress

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2015: The Dab, Hoverboard, Whip Nae Nae

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2016: Mannequin Challenge, Pokemon Go

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2017: The Fidget Spinner, HQ

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2018: God’s Plan, Fortnite, Juuls, Tide Pods

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2019: Tik Tok, Vsco Girl + E-boy

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“Call Me Maybe.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Dec. 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_Me_Maybe.

ET Bureau. “Why the Angry Birds Is Making Headlines.” The Economic Times, Economic Times, 8 May 2016, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/why-the-angry-birds-is-making-headlines/articleshow/52166855.cms. Accessed 11 Dec. 2019.

“Fidget Spinner.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Dec. 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidget_spinner.

“God’s Plan Starts Playing.” Know Your Meme, 22 Nov. 2019, https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/gods-plan-starts-playing.

Hamburger, Ellis. “Indie Smash Hit ‘Flappy Bird’ Racks up $50K per Day in Ad Revenue.” The Verge, The Verge, 5 Feb. 2014, https://www.theverge.com/2014/2/5/5383708/flappy-bird-revenue-50-k-per-day-dong-nguyen-interview.

Jones, Gary. “Pokemon Go: How to Get Smeargle Catching Tips Revealed with Warning.” Express.co.uk, Express.co.uk, 28 Feb. 2019, https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/gaming/1093575/Pokemon-Go-How-to-get-Smeargle-easy-tips.

lee23j. “Some YouTube Commenters Argue PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ Is Japanese.” Soompi, Soompi, 13 Aug. 2012, https://www.soompi.com/article/415986wpp/some-youtube-commenters-argue-psys-gangnam-style-is-japanese.

Litman, Laken, and Like. “Cam Newton Says It’s Time to Let the Dab Go.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 9 June 2016, https://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/06/cam-newton-says-its-time-to-let-the-dab-go.

Mahler, Jonathan. “The White and Gold (No, Blue and Black!) Dress That Melted the Internet.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Feb. 2015, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/28/business/a-simple-question-about-a-dress-and-the-world-weighs-in.html.

Mix. “TikTok Is Testing a WhatsApp Shortcut to Share Videos with Close Friends.” The Next Web, 18 July 2019, https://thenextweb.com/apps/2019/07/18/tiktok-whatsapp-instagram-youtube-snapchat/.

Top Ten Things to do During the Winter Holiday Season

Writer: Hayden Jacobs Editor: Lauren Cohn

10. Go Shopping for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a great time to purchase items for your friends, family and even yourself. We all know about black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but there are sales from now through the end of December. Right now is a fantastic time to save money, so go shopping, and if you hate crowds (or people in general) stay at home and browse online for equally great deals.

9. Watch holiday movies/shows with friends and family

The holiday season is home to some of the most iconic movies and shows of all time. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with your friends and family and embrace the holiday season.

8. Exchange gifts with friends and family

It is the season of giving, so show your appreciation toward your friends and family with gifts. They don’t have to be expensive or nice; it is the thought that counts. (Plus, giving now most likely means you’ll receive something in the future)

7. Bake holiday-themed treats and share them with neighbors, friends and family

Everybody loves holiday treats, and the reaction received when showing up to an event with a batch of freshly baked holiday cookies is like no other. Embrace the holiday season and find some festive recipes online to share with your friends and family.

6. Go to Snow Mountain (tubing)

Snow Mountain is not just a tourist attraction designed to interest your annoying relatives in town for the holidays, it is also a great thing to do during the “winter” in Atlanta.

5. Celebrate the new decade

It’s the end of an era, the end of the glorious 2010’s. New years is always a great holiday, but it is especially special this year, since we will be beginning a new decade. Have a 2010’s movie marathon, throw a 2010’s themed party, and definitely listen to the top songs/artists of the decade.

4. Make new year’s resolutions

The beginning of a new year is close by and what better time than now to finally get all your stuff together like you keep saying you will. Use the new year as an opportunity to enter the new year as a new and improved person. Write down all the things you want to do, this way you are twice as likely to accomplish them.

3. Learn about a holiday you are not familiar with.

The holiday season is a wonderful time to learn about someone else’s culture since there are so many holidays from different religions taking place during this month. If you are interested in another culture you have not heard much about, there is bound to be a place to observe it.

2. Decorate your home in style of the holiday season.

Buy a Christmas tree and/or wreath to make your house more festive for the holiday season (if you celebrate Christmas or just enjoy the holiday, of course). Also, what better place to buy a new decoration for the holiday season than from your Raider softball and baseball teams!

1. Help someone in need

It is the season of giving back and your help can go a long way. Find opportunities in your community to help out those in need. ‘Tis better to give than to receive!

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