Category Archives: features/arts

Humans of Fauquier

Trinity Chrzan

I was homeschooled before ninth grade. I didn’t know how to read until the ninth grade. My parents didn’t really teach us how to read, they said “it’s whatever.” So when I started coming here, I had to do all this testing and stuff, and the lady said you have the reading capability of a second grader. So I had a really nice teacher who I’m actually taking English with, he taught me everything. It was a little stressful but I’m doing pretty good I made honor roll for tenth grade, I was very surprised.

I actually enjoy high school, I enjoy learning all sorts of things. I didn’t know much at all when I first arrived at FHS, but I started learning all these new cool things, like biology, and learning all about how the human body works, and it’s really cool. I think one of my favorite classes was natural resources because I’m really outdoorsy and I love nature and I think Biology is my second favorite. I have Mrs. Fisher, she’s the best. Having friends is really nice because I have someone to talk to other than my sisters. I didn’t have many friends when I was homeschooled because we never really went anywhere. We lived out in pretty much the middle of nowhere.


Transgender Students Share Their Story

High school is a period of growth in a teenagers life, especially for those who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming. According to a report by the CDC, two percent of high school students identify as transgender. Although that percentage might seem small, in reality, it represents flesh-and-blood students that need to navigate their way through high school just like everyone else.

Sophomore Joe Tucker started questioning his gender during his freshman year, “I first thought I was gender fluid and then I thought I was gender non-binary.” He finally settled on transgender over the summer.

His family accepts his new gender identity. Tucker said his biggest supporter is his sister, “I actually came out to my sister first because she’s the easiest to talk to. I told her throughout the entire process, we figured it out together she helped me through it.”

This is his first year being openly trans at school and his peers have met him with acceptance and tolerance. “I believe [students] try to be polite about it if they don’t agree with it, [and] most of them try to keep their mouths shut or maybe do their best to understand,” Tucker said. “I don’t believe a majority of people here are [transphobic], and very few of the [transphobic] people are open about it.”

However, he says he has been confronted with confusion from his peers. “Many people call me ‘he’ some call me ‘she.’ I don’t have any trouble, most of the time I might get a name called here and there, locker[room] chat but nothing too bad.”

The US has made progress in recent years creating equal opportunities for trans individuals. Title IX of the Educational Acts of 1972 protects individuals from sex discrimination in schools, including trans students. However, trans students still experience discrimination at school. According to the CDC report, nearly 35 percent of trans students admitted they were bullied in school, and 27 percent feel unsafe at or going to school.

However, schools are progressing in creating a more comfortable and accepting environment for trans students. Tucker believes that FHS is making a lot of progress, and it is much better than other schools. He says he has other trans friends from other states who have it much harder in regards to the high school experience. His friends here help him by giving him tips on how to pass, and stand up for him when he encounters a bully.

He says teachers have also been accepting of his new identity. “In gym, I let Coach Prince know that I wanted to run with the boys and mix with the boys ,and he was completely fine with it. He explained it to the other students, and they were confused [but] he was very polite about it.”

Junior Caspian Glascock-Simpson is another student who identifies as trans. He began questioning his identity when he was 13 and shortly after came out as transgender. “Before I [thought I] was just like every other guy [and would] take my shirt off and run around but once puberty started to hit I was like oh I can’t do that anymore,” Glascock said.

His family is generally accepting of his identity and so are his peers and teachers. “All my teachers when I came here in freshman year were extremely supportive, respectful, called me by my preferred name, would use he and him pronouns (…) no difficulty at all [people have been] very open minded very supportive,” Glascock said. He mentioned that in the near future he will start taking testosterone, and wants to have breast removal surgery once he is financially stable.

Glascock offered advice to other trans teens seeking to come out to friends and family, “make sure you’re in a safe environment before. Make sure you are certain that it’s the right thing to do, just don’t put yourself in an unsafe situation where it can go totally wrong in an instant.”

By Nayeli Arellano – Sports Editor

Fashion Spotlight – Ashelyn Kyne – Junior

Q: Where do you usually shop for your clothes?
A: Wherever is the cheapest, maybe Forever 21, or even looking through my mom’s closet to find clothes that I can make my own with my own style.

Q: Do you like summer or winter clothes better? Why?
A: Honestly spring! Big hoodies, big tops, tighter bottoms. The contrast is kind of exciting! The weather is perfect to wear warm and cool clothes!

Q: Do you enjoy dressing more modern or more vintage?
A: 100% modern! Bright colors, pink hair, making a statement, being different from the crowd and moving towards the future in fashion.

Q: Would you say that your style is a part of your identity?
A: Maybe. I tend to wear things that are “me.” My friends will say what I am wearing is definitely “Ashelyn.”

Q: Who or what is your fashion inspiration?
A: Early 2000’s, Britney Spears vibe.

Q: Briefly describe your style.
A: Bright, bold, pops or stands out from what other people are wearing, not the usual, I like to make a statement out of my style.

Artist of the Month

Capturing those special moments isn’t easy, but with senior Kari Willard’s excellent photography skills, she makes the difficult task look easy. The Falcon’s Artist of the Month recognition goes to Willard, nominated by photography teacher Tom Falkowski.

Willard began Photography I junior year and then continued on to Photography II last term. However, she has been taking photos all her life, mainly at family events. “I just take the camera from the adults and take pictures,” said Willard.

Photography is mainly a hobby for Willard, and she often uses social media as a platform to share her work. She prefers to use digital cameras, specifically Canons.

One of Willard’s favorite parts about photography is editing and playing around with the colors. She edits on Adobe Photoshop which is a software the school provides.

Willard said her teachers are very supportive. “They critique me on what I can do better, or they show me tips and tricks on what I can use.”

“Kari is a hardworking photographer who takes her compositions seriously,” said Falkowski. “Kari will take time to use Digital Photo Professional and Photoshop if necessary to produce an image that truly captures the situation and the feelings she wants to express to others.”

By Rachel Singleton – News Editor

Just Arson Defies Genre

Just Arson, a band comprised of nine students, has piqued the curiosity of students and staff. They officially formed a band in August and have released several singles and an album titled “Indus.” Although high school bands are typical, Just Arson has changed the playing field thanks to modern technology. Their music is available on most major streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify.

“Now in the modern age, you don’t have to sign to a record label to put out an album,” senior and guitar player Ben Crane said. “We just decided we wanted to do it and we did it and I think that’s really cool.”

Although their band is fairly new, some members said they have improved. “Our writing has drastically changed since we’ve begun and I look back and [think], ‘that’s so bad,’” Crane said. “We’ve learned how music actually works [and] we’re working on learning about music theory and how it all works so we can get better at writing.”

They accept there is room for improvement, “We haven’t really played together like fully so that’s what we’ve been practicing on, together, live,” said senior and manager Max Gannon.

Many of the members met by pure chance and admit they weren’t close before the formation of the band. Senior and violin player Lindsey Finks jokingly said, “It was like ‘Oh I play an instrument’ and then we just started [making music].”

Senior and guitar player Bryce Moore also remembered how senior Johanna Huber joined the band. He recounts after several failed attempts at asking her to sing with him for theatre, he finally succeeded. Moore said, “I was talking to Johanna in front of her mom and her mom was like ‘Johanna you have to sing a song with Bryce,’ so when we [were] writing a song I was like ‘Hey Johanna you know how you have to sing a song with me come sing this song,’ so she came to sing with us and we kept asking her to come back and she’s now [one of] our singers.”

Ever since their first release, they haven’t stopped making music and are pursuing new goals. “We [were] really hyped about the release of our first album in January,” said senior and manager Fell Gannon. “Right now the focus is to try and start performing live at various venues and gain a bit more recognition but we’re also hoping to get another album done by the end of the school year.” They hope to continue on after they graduate high school and over the summer where they are planning to go to Costa Rica and shoot a music video.

By Nayeli Arellano-Sports Editor

FFA Exibits the Importance to Giving Back

Giving back is not something everyone thinks to do on a regular basis, but the FFA teacher’s lunch is an example of just that. FFA is a national organization that focuses on three main aspects: leadership, personal growth and career success. Although it is centered around agriculture, they organize many other activities.

FFA has hosted many service projects including the teacher’s lunch on February 19. Many agreed that this project reflected the amount of work and thought put into planning an event to give back. Some just see this as a school tradition but there is a bigger meaning.    

“We do it every year and every year our goal is to give back to the teachers because they put in so many extra hours helping us become better students and people,” FFA President Claire Ledbetter said. “It’s just a small way to say thank you for all the work they do.”    

The teachers found this event very touching and a nice way to see the students doing something for others. It was an opportunity to come together and interact. The teachers had nothing but great things to say about the lunch.

“I thought it was very nice. The food was very good, I thought it was nice to have a chance to sit down and talk with people on different floors,” math teacher Ann Meyer said. “I don’t normally see anybody but other math teachers.”   

FFA drew attention to the fact that teachers are important and that giving back leaves a memory. Many students became interested in what FFA was during lunch because they saw teachers coming in and out of the gym with smiles and food. They wanted to know what else these students got to plan and participate in throughout the year.

“I think it very nice that they do that by reaching out and doing something nice for the teachers.” Meyer said.

The FFA Organization planned a simple way to show students and teachers that they care about their school.  They have been working to make others more involved in their own lives as well as with the school. Members of FFA believe that the teacher’s lunch achieved the goal of successfully giving back to others.

By Catherine Smith-Staff Reporter

Teens Switch Out Paper for Vapor

Imagine you’re walking into the bathroom and you’re suddenly hit with the smell of cotton candy and mango. You peek around the corner and see a group of friends vaping. Well, you don’t have to imagine this because it happens daily to many high school students.

A vape is a type of electronic-cigarette (e-cigarette) that uses an e-juice usually containing flavoring, glycerin, nicotine, propylene glycol, and water. The e-juice is vaporized and, unlike tobacco smoke, an aerosol vapor is released. Popular vapes include the tiny Juul, which contains a large nicotine dose, the pod and the pen vapes.

Statistics from the National Institute of Drug Abuse show vaping among high school seniors has increased from 27.8 percent in 2017 to 37.3 percent in 2018. Nowadays, vaping is seen by many high school students as cool. According to a study run by Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, this is often the leading reason as to why students start vaping. Either their friend is doing it and is peer pressuring them or they see others vaping and are curious to know what it’s all about.

“One of my friends pushed me to try it,” said an anonymous student. Another student said peer pressuring was not the reason for trying it but it was simply a matter of “choice and curiosity.”

Some students say it depends on the circumstances, “I think vaping or juuling is fine as long as you don’t do it for anyone but yourself,” said another anonymous student.

Many other students, however, do not see vaping as cool but are very frustrated by it. “I think it’s disgusting and gross when people do it in the bathroom and on the bus. It’s just disgusting and it smells bad,” said another anonymous student. “My grandmother died of lung cancer despite never smoking and seeing my peers do it makes me sad that they are taking risks like having lung cancer.”

Increasing popularity of this issue has caused many to step up and search for solutions. Junior Eireann Maybach, junior Katherine Warren, senior Camden Gillespie and sophomore Olivia Gulick, four students who want an end to the issue. The four attended a program known as Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP). They developed a plan that they hope will help FHS with its vaping problem. “Our plan was called Address, Prevent and Recovery (APR) Program and it’s been enacted throughout the school systems,” said Maybach.

“It’s so normalized in schools today, in our school especially. I know because people have done it right in front of me,” said Maybach. “People ask me, do you ever get vape juice on your eyes when you’re putting on your contact and it burns and it’s just so normalized that people don’t know that it’s a problem.”

One debate is on whether vaping is safer than smoking. Many believe that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking and it helps end smoking addictions while others say it is just as dangerous. The American Heart Association argues vapes still contain nicotine and produce the same harmful substances as smoking.

“E-cigarettes and vapes were originally invented to help adults get off of nicotine abuse but now they’re just normalized in society through the advertisements and the social push for it,” said Maybach. “Your right, it is less harmful than cigarettes for adults, but not for adolescents.”

The group later enacted their plan to solve the problem. They spoke to each grade level at the beginning of the year about the dangers of vaping. They also integrated “the help box” allowing students to report others who need help but can not actively get help themselves. “It was purposefully a very subtle plan. I didn’t want it to be out in the open because I didn’t want to address my friends and people that I knew who were doing this,” said Maybach.  

While the normal vape is being scrutinized, another type of vape has arisen that is argued to be perfectly safe. This vape is produced by MONQ Therapeutic Air and Vitastik. They contain essential oils rather than the normal vape ingredients. It is described as a “personal diffuser.” Their website claims the device is safe and does not contain tobacco, nicotine, artificial ingredients, GMOs, gluten, diacetyl or propylene glycol and is not tested on animals. The “diffuser” comes with 3 pods and is breathed in through the mouth and out the nose.

So is the “personal diffuser” really as safe as the website claims? The answer is uncertain. Doctors say vaping is such a new thing that they aren’t sure what to expect. One side argues that the essential oil vape is 100 percent safe and claim it is a good alternative. Meanwhile, others say there is a lot of danger with this new device, saying it has a possibility to produce formaldehyde or other dangerous substance when heated. Other debates similar to this revolve around the idea of nicotine-free vapes and whether they are what they’re labeled. Maybach said they are not and most vapes always contain nicotine.

“They use what’s called the tic-tac rule. Basically, tic-tac companies can list tic-tacs as sugar-free because they weigh less than a gram,” said Maybach. “But they are 99 percent sugar and that’s exactly what e-cigarette companies use to label their nicotine items.

Maybach said what school systems can do now is bring awareness to the problem. “[Vapes are] getting kids hooked on a drug. It is a gateway drug even though many say it isn’t.” Maybach said if she could tell the world one thing about drugs, she would say, “It isn’t as harmless as it seems.”

By Rachel Singleton-News Editor