Tree Choice Strikes Debate

Rachel Harrington loves the tradition of decorating her Christmas tree.

When one thinks of Christmas, one big motif that comes to mind is the Christmas tree. It has a place of great importance in many people’s memories around the holidays. Recently, certain debate has gained more heat as we reach another year of practicing this christmas tradition, this debate being, real versus artificial trees.

While real trees have been a long time tradition for families, the world has modernized and artificial trees provide new opportunities to compete against the evergreens. According to the American Christmas Tree Association, 81 percent of christmas tree consumers ar using artificial trees while 19 percent are using real trees. However, real trees are not going down without a fight and are still a favorite among many.

Real trees come with many pros and cons. Beginning with the pros, real trees provide a very a traditional experience for people. Junior Rachel Harrington says that she prefers real trees over artificial trees for this reason.

“It’s fun to pick a new and different tree each year,” she says, “I like going out with my family and getting excited for the holidays.”

Another benefit includes the environmental benefit, some argue that cutting down real trees is not environmental friendly at all but christmas tree sellers and the American Christmas Tree Association combats this by saying that the trees are grown mainly on farms so they are not causing deforestation.

They also argue that real trees are a better option environmentally as they are 100 percent biodegradable, lead and chemical free, recyclable and created from renewable resources; all which artificial trees are not.

However, there are some cons that have been brought up to argue against real trees. One argument is that they are very dangerous as they are a possible fire hazard and people also comment that many are allergic to the pine trees. Sophomore Gillian Royal is one of these people so she has an artificial tree that she brings down from her attic every year.

Other arguments include the mess and maintenance as real trees constantly drop pine needles and require to be watered every day. Consumers also comment that real trees are too expensive and since you only have them for about a month and then throw them out, the prices are unreasonable.

Artificial trees come with their pros and cons as well. One pro that many enjoy is the wide variety that the artificial tree provides. Because, the trees are man made, consumers can buy them in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Royal says that it’s fun to have a variety of things to choose from and sophomore Cammi Winston says that her family puts up a white tree and “it makes a tree unique.”

Another pro is the financial benefit. Winston says that her family gets their tree from Walmart. “They usually have a good variety of colors and prices,” she says. Although they can be found to be more expensive than the average real tree, consumers can use the tree every year, therefore, they save more money every year.

Unlike real trees, artificial trees are argued to be safer and cleaner as most are argued to be non-flammable, do not drop needles and do not require watering.

However, like real trees, artificial trees also have their cons. For one, they are not very environmental friendly, according to tree sellers across America. They are created from non-renewable resources such as petroleum and contain lead. They are also not recyclable and many end up in landfill when thrown away.

Artificial trees also do not provide the annual tradition of going out picking a christmas tree and do not have any other traditional factor such as the smell. Royal says that real trees “smell nice and it’s like growing a tree in your house,” but due to her allergies, she can not have a real tree.

While people claim that artificial trees are non-flammable, tree sellers debate this is not true and allege that when the lights burn out or blow on an artificial tree, they have a high chance of catching fire.

Despite the hot debate, one thing most can agree on is that the christmas tree is a beautiful part of the holiday which brings both sides together. “You can still celebrate christmas without a tree but it’s a big part of the holiday,” say Winston. Royal agrees in saying “it brings spirit, joy, light, and happiness; it just makes Christmas better.”

by Rachel Singleton–Sports Editor


Wrapping Up for Christmas

Emma Anderson always puts he love and time into every gift she wraps.

Gift-giving has been a long time holiday tradition that started as a mainly religious rite in which Christianity used it in remembrance of the three wise men gifting gold, frankincense, and mure to the baby Jesus. The rite quickly spread and is now a popular christmas tradition that is practiced by many.

As the Christmas season comes around for it’s annual visit, so does the holiday stresses. While the holiday comes with feelings of joy and celebration, it is also accompanied by many expectations that many feel may be unreachable. According to a poll taken by the American Psychological Association, 61 percent of Americans experience holiday stress due to the financial and time strain, specifically around one expectation which is gift-giving.

This stress can be especially impactful on students who don’t always have the time or money to practice this tradition. According to a survey taken by the Falconer,  52 percent of Fauquier students experience gift-giving stress while 15 percent do not and 33 percent said sometimes.

Freshman Ellie Henry says that christmas shopping can be stressful when you don’t have enough money and when you don’t know if they’ll like the gift. She says that it’s always ok to just give a nice card because it shows you thought of them. “Christmas gifts should not always be expected, it’s the appreciation you show on a daily basis that matters,” Henry says.

Sophomore Aidan Stanton also experiences holiday stress and says that he loves giving gifts but sometimes shopping is difficult when you don’t have enough money. “Sometimes you might want to give someone a big gift but you have lots of other people to gift things to,” said Stanton. Stanton says that he usually shops midway through December because he needs to get all the money for shopping first.

Stanton does not believe gift-giving should be expected as some people don’t have the time or money to do so. “But that’s ok,” said Stanton, “the best and easiest gifts to give someone is a big hug or a nice text… because it shows you care.”

Students also say that gift-giving is not stressful. Sophomore Emma Anderson says that gift-giving is not stressful for her because she can usually afford to buy the gifts and she enjoys giving gifts to the people she loves. She, however, still plans in advance and shops weeks in before christmas so she has time to wrap and give them.

Anderson believes that it should be expected to give gifts on christmas, “it is a tradition… but it’s understandable if something conflicts that.”

Senior Nick Furr agrees with Anderson in saying gift shopping is not stressful but also says that he can’t but anyone any expensive gifts as he like to give gifts to a lot of people.

No matter if gift giving is stressful for you or not, Christmas is a period of celebration where one can spend time with family and friends and enjoy life and should not be a time of stress and anxiety. If any student is feeling stressed about the holidays, talk to someone; whether it be friend, a trusted teacher, or guidance counselor. Make sure the holidays this year are full of joy and memories and not stress and negativity.

by Rachel Singleton–Sports Editor

Warrenton Christmas Parade is Bigger and Better Than Ever

The FHS track team brings holiday spirit to Main Street.

The spectacular Warrenton Christmas Parade made its way down Main Street this past Friday night, boasting unicyclists, fire trucks, boy scouts, and even a cow. The parade attracted thousands of people from near and far to view the wonderful spectacle with their own eyes. The Town of Warrenton Director of Planning, Brandie Schaeffer, stated that “The whole community rallies around a good parade and this is our best.” Schaeffer also commented that this parade was  “the largest parade we have had to date” with ninety-four floats. The crowded streets and loud cheers proved to many that this was one of the best parades our town has ever had.

Included in the parade were many of Fauquier High School’s students, club members, athletes, and members of other participating businesses and organizations. One participant, Hans Burch, said he “enjoyed being in the parade because [he] got to hang out with his friends on the track team.” The FHS band was also very prominent in the parade, marching down the streets with great pride, and blending in with the rest of the parade with their red, white and black uniforms.

The end of the spectacular parade was marked with the annual Christmas tree lighting at the courthouse by Mayor Carter Nevill, and concluded with fireworks, signaling an end to the parade, but the beginning of Old Town’s holiday season. Gumdrop Square also began this past weekend, filling streets with excited children and adults, ready for a day of shopping and a photo with Santa. The Warrenton Christmas Parade continues to grow each and every year, and to many, is the greatest annual event in Warrenton.

by John Tedeschi–Staff Reporter

December 2018 Artist of the Month

Caroline brings her ideas to life in the form of art through different mediums and colors.

Junior Caroline Austin was nominated by the art department to be the Fauquier Falcon’s Artist of the Month. Austin is currently taking Art 3 with art teacher Charlene Root. Austin said that she loves art and just being able to sit down and express herself. She said her favorite mediums to work with are water colors and painting with acrylics. Her art teachers, Dawn Brown and Root, have been very supportive as well said Austin. “Mrs. Brown is amazing and Mrs. Root has really helped me learn,” Austin said. Both teachers agree that Austin is an exceptional art student. “[She] is a very creative, hard-working artist who enjoys the challenge of every assignment,” said Root. Brown said that Caroline is one of the best art students she’s ever had. “She is creative, innovative, and original in her thought process and project production,” said Brown. “I can always count on her for Art Club, often working on community projects on her own time.”

by Rachel Singleton–Sports Editor

FHS Introduced to the Art of Dance

Arttacgo Luckett impressed many FHS students during his brief time teaching them dance.

Acclaimed dance choreographer Arttacgo Luckett from Indianapolis, Indiana came to Fauquier High School on Monday, November 26, on an invitation from drama teacher Emmett Bales. Mr. Bales invited him to come give the students a dance experience as Luckett is a professional choreographer. Mr. Bales was Arttacgo’s drama teacher back in 2002 when he was a senior in high school.

The students react positively to his spirited energy, fun personality, and insightful criticism.  “He is very cool, chill and smooth,” sophomore Dayvonte Hill said. “Its kinda like he is just one of the boys.”

Luckett was excited to come to FHS to teach the theater classes. “I’m here to share my gifts with the wonderful students of Fauquier,” Luckett said. “My favorite thing is definitely seeing the growth in the kids, and everyone having fun and getting introduced to new things that they haven’t been exposed to necessarily.”

The theater classes break up their lessons into about a week and a half to get a feel for different experiences of theater. Each class is being taught how to waltz, afro funk (a fusion between hip-hop, jazz and African dancing), and the students are working on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as well. The dances are based upon how Luckett is feeling and the energy the students give off. Luckett has worked with professional recording artists, who are in development.

Along with being a talented choreographer, Arttacgo is gifted in other fields in the arts including hair styling, wig design, staging for musicals, painting, drawing, singing, writing music, and costume design. He has been choreographing and teaching dance since he was twelve years old–about 21 years.

Luckett gets to travel often and he has the opportunity to meet new people since he doesn’t have a studio keeping him to one city. “I don’t have my own studio because I like the freedom to not be tied down to one place so I can go share my gifts to other places,” Luckett said. “Having my own place is a lot of responsibility so I like to not have to worry about that.”

Arttacgo travels all over the country and continues to teach dance and share his gifts.

by Dakota Santee and Emilee Korent–Staff Reporter

2018 Trip to Spain is an Unqualified Success

Spain is a beautiful destination for FHS students every November.

On November 14th, seven FHS students including teacher Ms. Rodriguez took two flights to arrive to Spain. There were seven students including me who took the program. Once we arrived to Spain, we went to the city of Palencia. It was a completely different life in my visualites. Everyone was from different countries around the world and walked to go to one place to another. Each student had a host from Spain who took them all around the city. The city was very interesting because everything was so close, and there were so many people who wore different clothing, spoke different languages, and their attitude towards people seemed so calm and happy. We attended a school in Spain called “La Salle”, which was a private school that contained only 800 students. Everything around Spain and the cities was fantastic to me, and everything I saw wherever I went was something I  never saw before. After Palencia, we went to Madrid, which was a wonderful place to see. Everything appeared exactly how it was explained and there were many people from Italy and they were very interesting to talk to about their life in the city.

Everyone in the group had a unique experience and enjoyed everything about Spain and met many different people. Junior Tim Anikis attended the program and saw many things that he would like to learn more about. “The trip to Spain was very exciting and interesting, I learned [about] a completely different culture there and [did] many new activities [that]  I’ve never done before.”

Ethan Hawes, who is also a Junior is another student who also attended the program. He enjoyed everything there and it was his first time there. “

Spain was a new life there. The school program was different and we had learned how they kept everything under control. There was always something to do and we enjoyed every minute of it.

by Luis Rodriguez–Staff Reporter

Dealing With Anxiety in Today’s World

Anxiety plagues people from all social statuses all over the world.

Anxiety is expressed in many different ways depending on the person who is suffering. It is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease–typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. In the United States, there are about 40 million people who suffer from anxiety, which is 18.1% of the population. People may experience anxiety physically or mentally, and can be treated by medicine and/or counseling.(“Facts & Statistics”) If someone feels like they are experiencing anxiety symptoms, see a doctor. Never self diagnose because it may not be accurate.“It’s like a mental breakdown in your head that you can’t get out of,” sophomore Julie Lukoins said.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is the most common teen anxiety disorder. Moreover, teens with GAD typically experience excessive worrying and low self-esteem.

A few physical symptoms of anxiety may include panic attacks, shaking, nausea, headache, shortness of breath, and more. Some mental symptoms include feeling like the world is slowing down or speeding up, worrying that you are losing touch with reality, and worrying about what might happen in the future. Almost half of people who struggle from anxiety also struggle with depression.(“Panic attacks and panic disorder” 2018)

“Anxiety to me feels like you have someone in your ear telling you that everything you do is wrong or you should fix this,” freshman Tyler Young said. “It’s like your mind and your heart are in two different places, and it feels like you’re always lost.”

What causes anxiety is still being researched, but brain scans of people suffering with various anxiety disorders have often shown evidence of chemical imbalances. The United States is considered one of the most anxious nations on earth. Anxiety disorders are more common among females than males. Variations of anxiety include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), agoraphobia, specific phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). (“Facts & Statistics”)

Anxiety is the most common form of mental illness in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 10 percent of teenagers and 40 percent of adults suffer from an anxiety disorder of some kind. Although this illness may be treated with medicine and counseling, 2/3 of adults with anxiety do not receive treatment. Teenagers with anxiety receive treatment less frequently, and only 1 in 5 teens who suffer do. (“11 Facts About Anxiety”)

“When I am having an anxiety attack I start to panic and my heart beat increases,” sophomore Lilly Shilling said. “I feel that everything is spinning and my head starts to hurt,”

It is recommended that if you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety, to consult to your doctor to recieve help.

by Dakota Santee–Staff Reporter

Fauquier High School's student newspaper. By the students, for the students.