Tag Archives: students

If you were to vote today, who would you vote for?


left to right: joel mcguire, dylan voss, lindsay schmidtmann, tatjana shields, masahisa takahashi

Joel Mcguire, junior: “I’m currently undecided. Both sides aren’t really appealing to my personal philosophy. If it comes down to who would do the least harm to the country, I’m betting either Hilary or Cruz, but I’m more inclined towards Hilary.”

Dylan Voss, senior: “I’m definitely supporting Donald Trump at this point. Mainly my reasons are [his] immigration policy, but I also really like his tax policy. I think he brings a lot more to the table than any of the other Republican candidates.”

Lindsay Schmidtmann, senior: “I would vote for Bernie Sanders. I’m in government right now, so I know a lot about the different candidates, and he’s the one that’s the easiest to understand and the one with the most logical views on things.”

Tatjana Shields, sophomore: “It would be between Bernie Sanders and Hilary. Both of them are strong candidates, but they haven’t really spoken to me. I feel like Hilary would be more effective because she knows more regarding diplomacy.”

Masahisa Takahashi, sophomore: “It would be between Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz. Bernie Sanders [wants] to help people he just doesn’t know how to do it. Ted Cruz because he’s on the ball and he does have the right ideas and will come in and do some good.”


A new label: breaking down ‘Basic’

Natalie's BasicFrom the jocks to the punks, high schoolers always love to label their peers. In the last few months, however, a new label has arisen amongst teenagers: basic.

“Being basic refers to a girl who conforms to current trends,” senior Mackenzie Rollins said. “Guys can be basic, but when I think of basic, I definitely think of teenage girls.”

The use of basic as an adjective can be traced back to a rap by comedian Lil’ Duval, who uses the term to describe a woman who puts herself above others because of her arrogant attitude and material wealth. The song quickly became a hit in the underground rap community, and soon enough, the term emerged on social media web sites. Among high-schoolers, the term describes a certain breed of teenage girl.

“My definition of basic would be a young girl who is easily driven by society and can be corrupted with the slightest movements,” junior Sabrina Gaytan said. “She craves attention at any given moment and wants the entire world to lay eyes on her. The most well-known term for basic at any regular high school is the girl who wears an upscale North Face sweater and the appropriate yoga pants, and frequently visits Starbucks Coffee.”

Gaytan says that the term basic is less of a tag for an individual clique and more of an adjective that describes a widespread community of teenage girls.

“Basic can be found in singular form, but also in plural form,” Gaytan said. “I’ve noticed that young females associate together and after school hours, making it plural. Nevertheless, a young female can be found in her room taking a selfie, applying a filter to it, and posting it on Instagram with the hopes of capturing the attention of other Instagram users.”

Social media has had an influence in defining what most teenagers consider basic.

“What you tweet and the pictures you post on Instagram definitely influence if people call you basic,” freshman Lauren Canard said. “A picture of a Starbucks cup with the hashtag ‘love’ is pretty basic, because everyone does it. Girls who tweet inspirational quotes or complain about their lives on Twitter are basic, and it’s annoying. Get a blog.”

While adding filters to iPhone photos of lattes and using Twitter as a diary are considered basic, a large part of the label comes from what a girl wears.

“When I think of a basic girl, I definitely think about Ugg boots, leggings, and sweaters,” Canard said. “They shop at name-brand stores, like American Eagle, but basic girls also go thrift shopping.”

According to senior Makayla Marshall, basic girls are particularly visible in the winter months.
“October through February is when girls break out their North Face jackets and have a Starbucks in hand,” Marshall said. “In the summer, they wear Hollister booty shorts, high-waisted shorts, sandals, crop tops, and lots of friendship bracelets and anklets.”

According to senior Brad Curtis, girls aren’t the only ones who dress basic.

“Guys can definitely be basic, like when they wear khakis and Sperry boat shoes. Lanyards also make a guy basic,” Curtis said. “Sometimes I dress basic, like when I wear colored shorts with button down shirts. I guess a lot of it is the physical aesthetics of what you wear.”

While the adjective basic has become popular in the last few months, Rollins believes that basic girls roamed the halls long before the term was coined.

“There have always been basic girls,” Rollins said. “The trends like Starbucks and North Face jackets are the current trends of basic girls, but at different times, it could be different trends.”

According to Rollins, mainstream culture shapes basic girls.

“I think the current trends come from an influence of things some girls do, like listen to Taylor Swift and watch Gossip Girl,” Rollins said. “You’re conforming to the ditzy and plain stereotype of a teenage girl. ”
Following popular styles and trends, such as the “hipster” look sold by retailers Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and Free People, can make a girl basic.

“Anyone basic is unoriginal,” Marshall said. “No one wants to admit to being basic. If you get Chick-Fil-A before school and wear boots in the fall, you’re basic. Just about every girl does that, yet they think they are the exception.”

Senior Caroline Sutton says that the negative connotation is undeserved, because the majority of apparel and aesthetics enjoyed by basic girls are popular with most teenagers.

“I don’t think the term basic is offensive,” Sutton said. “I have basic qualities; I think everyone has basic qualities, but you become ‘basic’ when you exaggerate your basic qualities to come off as more basic than you are.”

~Abby Seitz, managing editor

Students win big at Publication Champions

FREDERICKSBURG, VA — Five Falcons were named first place winners at the 2013 Virginia High School League Publication Championships on October 7.

The Falconer was well represented in the newspaper competition; Alumna Sophie Byvik (2013) placed first in the Straight News/News Feature for her piece, “Volunteers Coordinate Relief Efforts,” while Alumna Fiona McCarthy took home gold in the Feature: Human Interest/Personality. Alumna Sarah Thornton’s ad for Toslon’s Appliance Center ranked first, as did senior Natalie Smith’s submission in the Infographics/Secondary Packaging category.

“I didn’t expect to win at all,” Smith said. “The entry was a graph that compared the different costs of playing various school sports that I did to accompany a story my friend was doing. I’m really honored to place first in a state competition.”

Fauquier also placed first in the literary magazine category. Senior Abby Seitz’s photograph “Twists” received first place honors.

~Abby Seitz, managing editor

Leif Heltzel rooted in three sports

As a returning three sport varsity athlete, senior Leif Heltzel starts on both of the varsity football and basketball teams, and then runs track in the spring. He has played football since freshman year and is a captain on this season’s squad.

“He leads by example,” head coach Jamie Carter said. “He has always been a leader, and the team looks up to him, especially after losses like [against Loudon County].”

Senior co-captain Marcus Smith says that Heltzel’s not only a leader, but also a producer.

“He is the one who gives the speeches and gets the team motivated,” Smith said. “He will definitely lead the team in receptions and yards too.”

Junior QB Louis Heisler will have Heltzel as his main target this year.

“Leif is awesome; he’s one of my favorites,” Heisler said. “He’s a playmaker. I know that when I get the ball to him, he’s going to do something with it.”

Heltzel has been an impact player on the football field since his sophomore year. Last year Heltzel was named to the second team all district, and he hopes to play football in college.

“I am being scouted more as a receiver,” Heltzel said. “Honestly, I will do anything they need me to do [on the football field] that will help me get into college for free.”

Carter says that Heltzel has the potential to go far and play Division 1 in college.

“He has all the right tools that coaches look for,” Carter said. “He has a huge upside, which is what college coaches say when they see a player with potential.”

Heltzel hopes to major in creative writing.

“You can do what you want [in creative writing],” Heltzel said. “Anything like a math field is structured. You have formulas and rules. [In creative writing] you can write about anything you want.”

Independence and originality is a theme in Heltzel’s favorite TV show, The Boondocks, which is about the life of two underprivileged urban
African American youths.
“They take real stuff, like real life situations and satirically murder them,” Heltzel said. “It is just sarcastically funny.”

In the winter, Heltzel is a starting forward on the basketball team.

“He does really well,” senior Jay-Jay Roberts said. “Going straight from football to basketball can be difficult but he does it well.”

Heltzel believes that this basketball season will be more successful than last year.

“I think that the other seniors who didn’t start last season are going to have the opportunity to play and make the team better,” Heltzel said. “There will also be a better team chemistry.”

According to Roberts, Heltzel will have a positive impact on the team’s morale.

“He contributes more size to the team,” Roberts said. “He executes well and will definitely be a leader on the team. If there is a guy on the team who isn’t playing well or having a good day, he keeps us up.”

~Caroline Liebel, advertising director

Gaytan siblings visit family in Mexico

While many teens spend their summers lounging by pool sides or splurging on the latest trends, siblings freshman Alex and junior Sabrina Gaytan got a taste of the cultural side of life by embarking on a 37 day family adventure to Monterrey, Mexico, where they stayed with their extended family. 

“I did a lot of physical activity while I was there, hiking, mountain climbing, and a lot of long distance running,” Sabrina said. “I come from a very active family, so we always do these kinds of activities every year. It’s very lively.”

Although Mexico is recognized for the upbeat sounds of mariachi bands and the explosive flavors of the foods, for Sabrina, being out in the vast mountains and experiencing the wildlife was a highlight to remember.

“My favorite scene was the view from the top of one of the tallest mountains in Mexico, El Cerro dela Sill,” Sabrina said. “It was beyond beautiful, a sight everybody needs to see at least once in their lifetime. Being in the clouds, seeing creatures in their natural habitat, the trees towering over you, feeling the mist of the air and the expansive rocks carved beautifully into the mountain was subliminal.”

Alex also enjoyed the outdoor activities while in Monterrey.

“We went up to this place called Horse Tail to go mountain climbing, and it’s nothing but amazing views,” Alex said. “Seeing all the things the area has is really cool, and I was happy to go.”

But for Alex, the city lights and late nights out on the town were memorable parts of the overstates experience.

“We got to go see all the movies that were showing in the theaters and that was cool,” Alex said. “We just took an entire day and saw every movie that was available in Spanish.”

Aside from the scenic beauty, the way of life in Monterrey helped the siblings appreciate another culture.

“The cultural differences are very different from the ones we’ve been exposed to here,” Sabrina said. “Every year I go, I find myself understanding and admiring, rather than questioning, them. The food is what captured my attention first. The people over there are big on eating healthy; no matter what house you enter, you’ll always find fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Monterrey teens have a fashion edge, according to Sabrina.

“The fashion is mostly the same, but the difference I find is that teenage girls are always on top of it all before it reaches [America],” Sabrina said. “They’re always trying on the latest trends and styles.”

Sabrina is also impressed with the way religion is integrated into their lives.

“The predominant religion there is Catholicism,” Sabrina said. “Mexico has unique events for the celebration of their religion there. Faith is an element that holds their independence greatly, more than any place I’ve ever seen.”

Although the touring and long plane rides proved exhausting, the benefits of the experience made the trip a meaningful adventure.

“Because we only go once a year, we try to make the most of the time we have,” Alex said. “Family means the most to me.”

~Eryka Hackett, staff reporter

High school students save lives

Many high schoolers are familiar with the responsibilities of having a job, but few have to deal with the pressure and responsibility of making sure that others’ lives are not at risk. 

Senior Henry Weber has been a lifeguard at the Fauquier Springs Club for four years, and says that the responsibility is what he enjoys most about the job.

“Ninety-five percent of the job is sitting in a chair and cleaning bathrooms, but I’m constantly running procedures in my head, counting kids, and checking pool lines so that I can be prepared,” Weber said.

Danette Askew, the Aquatics Coordinator at the Warrenton Aquatic and Recreational Facility, or the WARF, says that the first thing that people interested in becoming lifeguards need to do is get comfortable in the water.

“Lifeguards need to be able to swim 300 yards continuously,” Askew said.

The training to become a lifeguard lasts a week, followed by a written test and an in-water test at the WARF.

“I didn’t have a problem with the in-water test,” Weber said. “I’m a pretty confident swimmer, so the only difficult part was how some of the written questions were phrased.”

Weber says that although the job can be boring sometimes, all of the training pays off in an emergency.

“There was a younger boy in the pool at about three-and-a-half feet deep,” Weber said. “He told me that he was drowning, but the fact that he was able to tell me he was drowning meant that he wasn’t. Then he started panicking, and started to actually drown. I blew the emergency whistle three times, went to the edge of the pool, grabbed his hand, and jerked him out of the pool.”

Weber said that making the save was a little scary, but he remembered exactly what he was supposed to do.

“Making a save is pure adrenaline,” Weber said.

Senior Dustin Constantino is a lifeguard at Chestnut Forks Swim Club and made his first save at the beginning of the summer.

“There was a kid about five years old who jumped off the diving board when he didn’t know how to swim,” Constantino said. “I was sitting in the chair when he yelled for help. I jumped in, pulled him up from under the water, and got him out of the pool.”

Askew says that alertness, physical fitness, and an outgoing personality are important qualifications.

“The more outgoing a person is, the better they tend to do,” Askew said. “A lifeguard has to be comfortable talking to people and enforcing the rules in certain situations.”

Askew says that the main skill lifeguards learn for the future is responsibility, and when she is looking for potential employees, she needs to see dependability.

“Lifeguards have to be dependable,” Askew said. “It can sometimes be hard to find that in high schoolers.”

Sophomore Tyler Pavlock has been a lifeguard at the WARF for four months and says that supervising the pool can be the most challenging aspect of the job.

“There is a lot of responsibility,” Pavlock said. “I always have to remember what I should do in certain situations, and constantly watch the pool to make sure that no one’s life is at risk.”

~Caroline Liebel, advertising director

Burke refuses to brake

Intense workouts, exciting races and the thrill before the starting gun never seem to be too much for junior Claire Burke. A national competitor and successful student, Burke finds a way to balance school, sports, and student council obligations as junior class president. Nevertheless, Burke remains modest about her capabilities and often questions if she can remain successful in all areas. As she prepares for a race the simple words “don’t die” lead her to the finish line.

“Making it through the race is my biggest achievement every time,” Burke said. “You have to get your pace right in order to finish. If you start out too strong by the end of the race you might struggle to keep up.”

Through the persuasion of her older brother, alumnus Joey Burke (2012), Burke started running in the winter season of her freshman year. Since then, she has competed at the national level with her relay team, placed highly in most of her races, and impressed her coaches with her talent.

“Last year at states I placed eighth for the 800 meter,” Burke said. “I have been ranked all-state for all the races I ran at states. Also, my relay team placed 15th in nationals. It was held on the collage track at Greensborough NC last year.”

According to her cross country and winter/spring track coach, Burke came in as a talented runner her freshman year which has opened up many opportunities for her to compete at the highest levels.

“She is very disciplined, she is very dedicated, and she is very competitive,” Coach Mark Scott said. “Those are the three things that make her a success not just as an athlete but in general.”
Burke also holds the title of junior class president, and she demonstrates leadership qualities not only on the track, but also in the classroom. Currently she is enrolled in four AP classes. While she admits it is a lot of work, she is able to balance her commitments.

“Keeping up with my classes and also training for my races isn’t that tough,” Burke said. “Practices don’t last that long, and my teachers understand that I might be out late on days I have meets.”

Burke makes time during practice to have fun with her friends. Among her favorite memories, Burke reminisces on a rainy practice, where instead of running; she and her teammates rolled around and had a giant mud fight.

“Running keeps me in shape for homecoming,” Burke laughed “but it is also a way for me to have fun with my friends because many of them have been on the team.”

Burke sometimes struggles with accepting her capabilities. Before a race she often questions if she has the skill to make it through the race.

“Why do I run?” Burke said. “I guess it’s because I’m competitive. Even though during a race I think I can’t make it to the end, when I do finish it reminds me of how great this sport really is.”

This fall hasn’t gone the way Burke planned. She twisted her knee in the scrimmage against Culpeper on Aug. 21, preventing her from doing as well as she hoped in the invitational against Chancellor on Aug. 31. However, Burke plans to work through the injury.

“Coming off the injury will be a slight set-back, but I’ll be fine,” Burke said. “I’m trying my best to push through it.”

~Kendall Scott, staff reporter