What makes a break a good break?

The approach of a break is always a sign of hope for high school students. Break means no early morning alarms, lectures, pop quizzes or tests.

It is often difficult to determine what balance is needed for a break.

It is hailed as a time for rest and relaxation, and for most high school students, as a getaway from school.

Unfortunately, breaks always have an end.

The reality is that when I am on break, the knowledge that it will be over soon and I will have to return to school holds me back from truly enjoying myself. And for some, this thought encourages them to do the opposite, essentially having the “you only live once” break.

This doesn’t necessarily mean going bungee jumping off a cliff, but rather looking past the idea that your break will end, and enjoying the moment.

If you are able to go on a tropical vacation away from home, that’s a wonderful opportunity, but keep in mind that shifting back into school mode after returning home is quite difficult.

At the same time, staying home while studying and doing homework is not much of a break either, which poses the question of how one can create the perfect break.

Think of how much you need this break. If it is a three-day weekend and you don’t feel drained, then stay at home and work on your homework, but set aside some time to go on a hike or shopping with your friends. This way, you are not confined.

But if you just finished a long week of finals and can no longer look at a textbook, then it is best to take some time away from school work and enjoy what makes you happy, so your break is memorable.

Really, it’s about the balance that fulfills your need for a break.

Slang Word of the Month: ‘Tea’

‘Tea.’ A three letter word that was once just a simple hot cup of water with herbs, is now a commonly

English teacher Steve Lavelle mistakes the word ‘tea’ as a verb. Illustration by Avalon Allen.

known slang word referring to gossip.

According to Merriam Webster, the word’s popularity and common use is owed to the drag culture. With all of the hustle and bustle in the drag world, there is loads of gossip to go around, requiring drag queens to create a slang term.

The most common usage of ‘tea’ is by saying “spill the tea,” meaning “spill the gossip.”

However teenagers’ prone laziness in this century has given the alternative spelling of ‘tea,’ simply using the letter ‘T.’

Though many teenagers are aware of ‘tea’ as a slang word, a special HHS staff member is not.

“Tea is used as a slang word when you say I ‘TEA-D’ you. It means you are pouring a hot cup of tea over someone’s head,” English teacher Steve Lavelle said.

Rated out of 10, Lavelle gives this word a very poor score with a negative three.

“My feelings toward the word are ambivalent because tea is a boring drink,” Lavelle said.

Lavelle also adds that he rarely uses the word even in a normal context because he never drinks tea.

The first usage of ‘tea’ was in the 1990s. Lavelle, however, claims he heard the word long before.

“I was in my mother’s womb and she was having a tea party with friends,” Lavelle said. “I heard the phrase, ‘pass the tea, please,’ so I was born with the word in my mind.”

For a slang word, ‘tea’ has stuck around for a long time. Many question how long it will take for the word to wear off.

“As long as it takes to dry the tea on your shirt!” Lavelle said.

Winchester: Spook or Spoof?

W ith the exception of Helen Mirren’s tasteful performance, the Spierig brothers’ “Winchester” is  another movie to be added to the list of cliché horror films.

Based on true events, the movie is set in the 1900s in the dark and unusual San Jose mansion of Sarah Winchester, the widow of a gun manufacturer.

Troubled doctor Eric Price is sent to the mansion to assess Sarah’s mental state in order to determine if she is fit to run the company. To the doctor’s dismay, Sarah’s continuous building and plans for additions to the house is an attempt to appease the spirits and ghosts who have been killed by Winchester guns.

At the same time as the doctor’s arrival, an unknown spirit is present and more powerful than ever, refusing to leave until it gets the revenge it seeks.

“Winchester” had so much potential, but its execution was typical and dull.

The jump scares consisted of random ghosts popping up, which is seen countlessly in the horror genre and resulted in a loss of authenticity and mood in the film.

The arbitrary details to the house such as a finger suddenly appearing from a wall, roller skates, shaking cabinets and single mother all caused the plot to occur with no rising action or climax. It was all just a tangle of events.

The setting was an aspect the directors could have taken advantage of in order to induce more thrill. However, the only thing reminding me that this story was set in the 1900s was a couple of the costumes and one or two hairstyles.

There was no “wow factor” that made this movie one to remember, as it only included  stereotypical components.

Mirren was one of the very few elements that uplifted “Winchester.” She delivered a convincing performance of a possessed and yet still intelligent and charismatic character.

Overall, “Winchester” lacked originality and thrill, and was not worth the line nor the ticket.