Michael Smith: Proffesional Teenager

By Allison Miller

On the ninth of January, 2018, a speaker named Michael Smith made an appearance at Tri-City Prep. He spoke to the kids that day with more than one intention, and many of the kids believed him to be one of the best speakers they’d seen. He shared his story with all of the students there with hopes to inspire them to work hard and do the things they say they will, of course, but also to be able to look outside of their own little bubbles and take interest in helping those around them with pure intentions.

Michael Smith told students that even he doesn’t know what his job is. He said that every year on his taxes he writes ‘Professional Teenager’. As odd as it seems, that’s what most of his audiences would consider him to be. He’s just the right age to be able to relate to current high schoolers, and with his interest in skateboarding, his audience only finds him more relatable. One of the things that make him seem like such an inspirational person is that he doesn’t define himself by a job. He defines himself as a person who helps others by way of things that he enjoys.

That was the way he presented himself to all of the kids: as someone who used to be very flawed, but woke up and realized that he couldn’t sit around and only care about himself forever. He chooses to do the things he think will positively affect the needy around him, instead of saying that he will and giving up halfway through. One of his main messages to his audience is that setting your mind to something and actually following through with it is one of the best skills one must learn if they want to change the world in the slightest.

Smith shared how the mistakes he made in high school only came to his attention right before his senior year. He had one year to change how his entire school viewed him. That doesn’t seem like much time, but he did it. He decided that he wouldn’t be remembered by his misdoings. Once he decided so, he made sure to carry through on his promises.

This is something all people today should learn, whether it be young children, high school level teens, or their parents. If one says they want to do something, they need to do more than wish about it and actually achieve their goals through hard work.

Michael Smith shared with the students and teachers the many things he’s done (and plans to do) over his life: opening an indoor non-profit skating rink, skating from one end of America to the other, and opening his own high school, to name a few. Despite all of his achievements, however, Smith wants his audiences to pay even closer attention to the things and people that their achievements affect who aren’t in their immediate circles.

After listening to him speak about his experiences and work with the homeless and less fortunate, it’s easy to see that he is truly one of the good people on the planet. He said to the kids that day that if they were only doing volunteer work because they thought it looked better on a college application then people like him were most definitely not impressed. He explained how volunteering and taking time to help people is only truly helpful when it comes out of the goodness of one’s heart, and not for show and one’s own benefit. He told his audience that it made him angry so many high schoolers today don’t get involved in helping people without their parents forcing them or their look into the future of how assisting people could benefit them.

The biggest thing many took away from this presentation is one of the phrases Michael Smith first heard when he was the age of the majority of his audience: a high schooler. It makes sense that just a few words would impact the crowd as they were the same few words that changed his whole life around when he was in his junior year and cared only about sports and what his teammates were doing that night. These words meant the world to him and hopefully now mean the world to at least one of the people in the auditorium that Tuesday: kindness happens when no one is looking.

Michael Smith is an amazing speaker who is able to relate to his audience and stay grounded. When he speaks, he affects everyone in the room. Tricity Prep was lucky to have him come speak, and so would any other place be lucky.


New Year Resolutions

By: Ellie Cartier


Ah yes, the words people hate to hear the most around the time of the new year. Conversations that start with “What are your New Year Resolutions?” or “Have you made a New Year Resolutions list yet?” make many people want to hide under the bed until February when they can at last be free of the pestering.

Now, let’s be honest, how many people actually follow through with that horrid list of things they wanna change? Well, according to a survey done by Huffington Post, a whopping eight percent keep up with these promises. That’s… actually not much of a shock to me. Change is hard, especially when you want to change something you’ve been doing for years. So, because I care so much about you, I have put together a list of a few things that should help you follow through with some of the most common resolutions. If they don’t work, please don’t sue me.


  1. Eating healthier.

Haha, even I put this one on my list. As someone who drinks nine cans of Dr. Pepper and eats way too many chips to count, I can say this one is difficult for most. The best thing to do that I have found is to do it a little bit at the time. If you want to get rid of things such as cupcakes, sodas, or pies, start out slow. I’ve limited myself to one soda per week and it is much easier than just cutting it out entirely.


Find substitutes for the foods you want to cut out. I’ve been eating grape tomatoes instead of chips, and it’s been pretty good so far. So, cut out a little bit, and find other things for you to eat in place of those foods.


  1. Exercising more.


Honestly, this one is the worst. My exercising is exercising my fingers by typing papers or playing video games. But as I have learned the hard way, exercise does make you feel better, mentally and physically. It helps release dopamine, a hormone that causes happiness, and makes you feel better about yourself and your body.


Now, do not ever go to the gym and work out for six hours straight after never walking for more than thirty minutes in your life. Start out slow, like I said before for eating healthier. Going on short runs and small sets of squats or planks are great places to start. Begin with the basics and then advance onto the more challenging stuff. The last thing you want is to pull a muscle or break your leg.


Also, stretching is so important that words can’t even express how much it effects your work out. Start stretching off with simple stuff, please do not jump into the air and attempt to land in your middle splits.


  1. Swearing less.


This one is a really fun one for me. Instead of using non-school appropriate words in your vocabulary, why not use other things such as: Ice cream flavors, animal names, or the item closest to you.


Some examples for you if you aren’t sure what I mean or where to start: “Son of a butternut squash”, “motherfudgecakes”, “I bet my asteroid on it”, “vanilla swirl cup”, or if you want to stay hip with the kids, “holy heck” is a great place to start.

Swear jars have never been useful in my opinion. Having a good friend be there to look at you in disappointment or to smack you whenever you use a foul word isn’t a bad idea either. Just try to make yourself more conscious of the way you speak.

  1. Finding love

“Love stinks, the end.” A great quote from my dad.

To be real though, finding a girlfriend or boyfriend starts with you. If you learn to first love yourself and be okay with who you are it’s easier for you to find ‘real love’. Those who change themselves to be with someone else are only kidding themselves. If you truly love someone, you can love them for everything they are. Yes, you can still change, but it should be for the better not to make the other person like you more.

There’s a lot of misconceptions about love and infatuation in my opinion. Learning to understand the difference between the two is a valid detail to know. So, to all the singles looking for ‘the one’ this year, I wish you only the best of luck.


At the end of the day, no matter what your goals are, they are achievable if you are willing to put the work and effort into making them possible. You can do just about anything you put your mind to these days. So, good luck to all and welcome to the start of a great year!





The Game of Go

By Maya Schenne

When someone says, “the game of Go,” what do you think of? Most people might say Pokemon Go. But the game of Go is completely different from Pokemon Go. For starters, Go originated in ancient China, about three to four thousand years ago. That’s even older than chess, almost two times older. Chess was played only a mere thousand and a half years compared to Go. The game is played with two players who choose either black or white. The board is similar to a chess board, only you play on the intersections, not in the squares. The rules are simple, but the game itself is complex. It is one of the oldest board games that you can still play today.

The game is played as follows. Two players each chose their color, the “weaker” player choosing black.The game contains 181 black stones and 180 white stones. The stones are called Yunzi stones. Black always goes first. Once you choose your color, black places their stone at an intersection. White follows, placing their stone. The object of the game is to control more territory than your opponent. You can “capture” a stone by cutting off all of its supply lines: the lines that connect it. There are many different techniques to use in this game. It is all about strategy. There are many different terms involved in this game. An Atari is a move that makes a stone, group, or chain only have one “supply line” left. An aji is a weakness left behind in the opponent’s position. You can find more terms at https://senseis.xmp.net/?CommonGoTerms.

The American Go Association (AGA) has lots of information that is useful for anyone wanting to learn the game. They describe Go as an “ancient board game which takes simple elements: line and circle, black and white, stone and wood, combines them with simple rules and generates subtleties which have enthralled players for millennia.” They also have a place where you can find places to play Go. One thing that was interesting is their list of Top Ten Reasons to Play Go. Here is the list:

  1. Go is the simplest of all games.
  2. Go is the most complex of all games.
  3. Go is the most popular game in the world today.
  4. Go is about building, not destroying.
  5. You always know where you fit in.
  6. All players are equal.
  7. It’s easy to learn from mistakes.
  8. Ancient rituals impart important values.
  9. Every game has a winner.
  10. Go is the oldest game still played in its original form.

You can find more information about the AGA at http://www.usgo.org/what-go

Under this, they say, “Go is the ultimate mind sport. It has no equal in the strategic gaming world. The learning path can seem steep at first, but it gets better as you go along. We welcome you.” Now, you know all about the game of Go. You can find games online, or play against a computer if you don’t have the equipment. The price of the actual game board and stones can vary between 20 and 200 hundred dollars, depending on the quality: although they do make small travel size ones for around ten dollars.

Many people have played the game of Go. Here are a few quotes about the game from people who have played it.

“Chess has only two outcomes: draw and checkmate. The objective of the game . . . is total victory or defeat – and the battle is conducted head-on, in the center of the board. The aim of Go is relative advantage; the game is played all over the board, and the objective is to increase one’s options and reduce those of the adversary. The goal is less victory than persistent strategic progress.” — Dr. Henry Kissinger, quoted in Newsweek, 11/8/04

“In chess, you start with everything you have on the board. In Go, you start from nothing and build.” — Tim Klinger, quoted in the New York Times, July 29, 1997

“Studying Go is a wonderful way to develop both the creative as well as the logical abilities of children because to play it both sides of the brain are necessary.” — Cho Chikun 9-Dan, among the world’s strongest players

Go is the most popular board game in the world, even though it is not played as much in the United States. There are about 60 million Go players in the whole world: most of them in China, Japan, and Korea. Hopefully, more people will be aware of it in the United States. It is a very enjoyable game that uses strategy and creativity together. Maybe you will be the next Go player at Tri-City Prep.

The Boys’ Basketball Game on December 5th

By Ellie Cartier

The bleachers are packed. Everyone is refreshed from the previous girls’ basketball game loss. Hopes are high for this next match. The sound of shouts of encouragement fills the air, and everyone is on the edge of their seats.

Everyone is holding their breaths as the clock hits 4:59, and there are loud cheers as the game clock begins to count. There’s a lot of screaming, and the crowd is pumped. The ball is put into play, and the game begins. Within the first five minutes, Trinity snags two points from us, making the score 0-4. Our team doesn’t give up yet though. The chants, courtesy of Pep Club, are being shouted from all fans. Spencer, number twenty-two, earns a free throw and makes the shot, the score is now 1-4.

There are cheers and anxious chatter already swirling in the crowd.  Number two from Trinity attempts a free throw but it hits the rim and misses. Our team quickly steals the ball. Spencer races across the court and scores for us again, bringing the points to 3-4. The two teams start a head-to-head fight over which side of the court the ball is going to go. It’s like a ping-pong match, everyone watching back and forth. Luke from our team attempts to maneuver his way through and almost gets us a point, only to have the ball snatched from us by Trinity, and player 13 from their team scores. In very little time, the ball ends up back in Trinity’s hands, and 13 scores again, racking up points for his team, giving us the total of 3-8. Luke is having none of this and sprints his way to victory, not once, but twice, giving us four points.

Spencer seemed to feed off of this streak, as he too joins in and scores for us. The points are tallied up to 9-8. We’re in the lead and the crowd is feeling it, but that energy is taken away as player 2 from Trinity is able to gain four points for his team.

Connor, number one, is not okay with it. As the score is 12-9, he shoots and scores with Spencer following right behind him. The score is 13-12. We’re back in the lead, and everyone is excited. Everyone but number two because he scores again and takes away our lead. 13 does the same, and together they brought their points to 16.

It seems like the rush of the game is getting to everyone’s heads as 14 from Trinity somehow manages to hit the backboard from behind. They obviously need a break and they will get one soon. In the final minutes of the first half, Spencer and Connor both score with 13 from Trinity right behind them both. We end the half with a total of 17-19.

During the halftime, the crowd remains alert and ready to continue their support, and Ashton Burch is leading the chants loud and proud. The boys return, looking refreshed and ready to play once again.

Trinity starts us off with a two-point shot, thanks to a pass from number 2 to 13. 2 attempts a follow-up shot, but our Luke jumps out of basically nowhere and blocked it. Sadly, 2 earns a free throw and makes it twice. The score is 17-25 and our team is giving it everything they have. Iaasac, number 21, even slams into the wall in an attempt to get a shot. Gabe, 31, has got his back and scores a three-pointer for him. Trinity’s number 2 is back and shoots, earning a point before our Iaasac scores as well. The score is 26-29.

Ashton is back at it again, with chants of ‘Who’s gonna win? TRI-CITY!’ and ‘Who’s got better defense? IT’S TRI-CITY!’ Joining in with him are all the upperclassmen around him. Everyone’s hopes are still high.

13 from Trinity scores, spurring both Isaac and Connor to snag it and score themselves. Sadly, Trinity gets a foul and two free throws, scoring one of them. It’s 28-32. Spencer scores but Trinity gets another free throw and scores twice. 30-34, then 30-36 after 23 from Trinity shoots and scores again.

It’s the final countdown, and everyone is on the edge of their seats. Gabe gets a free throw and makes it, only to be outdone by 13 who scores two free throws, ending the game with a total of 31-38.


Although we lost, after talking with some boys from Trinity, they all agreed that we had improved greatly, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we hope to beat them in our next game.

Coco Movie Review

By Savannah Shah

Everyone knows Pixar, the amazing studio responsible for amazing blockbuster films. In case you didn’t know, Pixar has made Toy Story, Monster’s Inc., Finding Nemo, and countless others. Although they are kids movies, the recent ones often make the audience cry. For example: Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, and Up. Coco is no exception. The movie was absolutely amazing and was a big hit for Pixar. A lot of people said that they were going to skip out on Coco, but I have a word of advice for you: don’t. From the beautiful animation to the catchy songs, Coco will go down in Pixar history.

The first point to hit would be the animation. Pixar is really starting to push the boundaries of animation because Coco was visually stunning. The dark backgrounds were highlighted with bright colors, which gave an extremely pleasing effect. The detail was also amazing, for example, the skeletons who were closer to being forgotten had a lighter yellow color to them than those who were remembered, yet it wasn’t too much to be distracting. The characters themselves have come so far in animation since when Pixar first started. And the landscapes looked almost real as if they had stuck cartoon characters into the real world.

The next point to hit would be the characters. All the characters were extremely likable and had a lot of depth to them. The main character, Miguel, was likable in that he was more relatable than that of a Disney Princess. He was funny and an amazing lead for the movie. Miguel’s pet, Dante, was pulled off well because of the mixture of stupidity, yet knowing what was happening in the story led to a likable sidekick. The next big character was Hector. Hector was extremely likable because not only was he funny, but he had a lot of heart behind his character. Some of the characters who received less screen-time, but still played an important role, included Ernesto De La Cruz and Miguel’s dead family. A few of the characters, such as Miguel’s living family, were lumped together and didn’t have a lot of plot behind them.

The story centers around Miguel. His main goal in the movie is to play music, but his family forbids it because of what happened to great-great-grandpa. After his great-great-grandpa had left his great-great-grandma and their daughter, Coco, their family thought music was a curse. Miguel is different from his family because he likes music, specifically that of Ernesto De La Cruz who is a famous singer who had died and had learned how to play guitar. After figuring out who is great-great-grandfather was, he accidentally reveals that he loves music to his family, causing them to destroy his music merchandise. From there, Miguel gets his hands on a very famous guitar, and after strumming it transports himself to the land of the dead. To return to the land of the living, he must get a blessing from his family before he turns into a skeleton. There are a few complications that cause Miguel to join forces with Hector, a jokester who lives in the land of the dead. The plot was absolutely amazing, somewhat breaking the mold that Pixar uses so much.

Coco was Pixar’s first, somewhat, musical. The movie featured about five songs, all of which were pretty catchy. All the songs have a Mexican vibe to them because that is where the movie took place. One of the songs, Remember me, was used in three different ways. Each way gives another aspect to the story and the song itself. The songs were played at appropriate times instead of the characters just bursting out in music, which was a nice change from other Disney movies.

For those who cry during Disney movies, bring tissues. The movie was amazing but had a couple sad scenes, the last one is the saddest.

In the end, Coco was an amazing movie. The beautiful animation, heartbreaking story, and catchy songs made the movie unforgettable. I highly recommend to see Coco, Disney Pixar did wonderfully and I hope they keep up the trend. The next Pixar movies to come out are Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4, so hopefully, they can make them as memorable as Coco. Before Coco heads out of theaters, I highly recommend to stop by and see it, and don’t forget the tissues!