The Cord News The Student News Site of Dakota Ridge High School Mon, 20 Dec 2021 15:46:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hark the Herald Holiday Happenings Mon, 20 Dec 2021 15:46:03 +0000
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Heritage, Family, Traditions — Oh My! Sat, 18 Dec 2021 14:16:44 +0000 The Corridoris — Josie and Stephanie

Josie Corridori almost gets dropped as her dad, Ed, barely catches her. He keeps smiling as he keeps smiling for the picture, unaware she was going to fall. (Annamarie Burford)

The Corridoris are what some would call “friendly giants,” quite literally. They’re very welcoming, and the majority of them, four out of six, stand at least 6 feet tall; they dominate any basketball court, to say the least. With Italian, German, Irish, and possibly Native American in their blood, the family has a unique set of values and are far from traditional. All the kids: Vincent (19), Gino (18), Josie (17), and Matt (16), were born and raised in Colorado, and parents, Stephanie (45) and Ed (45), were U.S. born — from Colorado and Illinois.  

With their background and heritage, the family greatly values sharing meals, music, and a sense of humor to get through hard times. Coming from a very large family, holidays are spent in large family gatherings with lots of food and only welcoming energy for “anyone who needs a home.” Unique to them is the tradition of the grandkids switching off each year on Christmas to read their family-favorite children’s Christmas book to everyone. Josie Corridori is going to read the book this year. The moment is always filled with tears and emotion as the tradition continues to carry on. 

The Corridoris continue their close-knit lives where they support and love each other the best they can in their own goofy, caring, and unique ways. 


The Hemingways — Sophia and Yvonne

Sophia and her mother, Yvonne, sit together in the kitchen enjoying their Sunday afternoon. (Sophia Hemingway)

Sophia Hemingway, a senior at Dakota Ridge, is just like any of her other peers — good grades, involved in sports, likes to hang with friends, and loves her dog more than life itself — but her background is unique and far from normal. Sophia was born in California before moving to Colorado shortly after, but American life was not her only lifestyle; she lived in a home rooted in German traditions. 

Yvonne Hemingway was born and raised in a small town in Germany with eight other people in one large home; it was nothing short of hectic. The home was a large part of the family’s heritage, with generations of the family being born and raised in the home. Yvonne was the first child to be born in a hospital instead of in the house. Yvonne first moved out to Frankfurt, or what she called “The New York City of Germany,” at 18 years old where she built her independence, had her first daughter (Sophia’s older sister), and worked her first real job. By the age of 37, Yvonne and her daughter moved to California where she had Sophia with Sophia’s father before moving to Colorado three years later. 

Colorado is where they have been ever since, but their home is still filled with their unique background and history. Sophia was raised bilingual, speaking mostly German at home. After visits to family in Germany when they were young, Sophia would struggle to switch back to English. This led to a few innocent and confusing conversations at school when she accidentally spoke German to her teachers and peers, leaving them puzzled as their typically English speaking friend or student suddenly began speaking a different language. As Sophia and her sister grew older, she got better at being able to separate the two languages. “We always joke the girls learned English from “Spongebob,” maybe that’s true, either way, they can speak it fine now,” Mrs. Hemingway said.

Sophia is an outstanding student, college-bound, with a passion and talent for swimming. Her sister is living on her own working as a, perfectly fitting, German teacher. 

In light of the holidays, the Hemingway family is excited to visit Yvonne’s childhood home in Germany soon, after many years of being unable to see family because of Covid. Family is such an influential part of the Hemingways’ lifestyle and everyday life that is unique to them, and that is how they like it. 


The Shirvans — Keemia and Sahar

Keemia and Sahar share a wholesome mother-daughter moment in their family room. (Annamarie Burford)

There is nothing more welcoming than walking into the Shirvan home —  filled with light, warmth, color, personality, and snacks on the coffee table.  The place has an energy that greets any company openly.

“You won’t walk into a Persian home without a table full of treats and snacks always layed out; it’s what’s expected in our culture for the home to have. I love it because of how much it will always remind me of home,” Keemia Shirvan said.

The family has close Persian roots. Both parents were born in Iran, in Tehran and Mashhad. Raised in the Middle East, they moved to the U.S., which was a huge step for Keemia’s mother, Sahar Shirvan, as she took the leap to leave her home. 

Keemia now lives in Colorado as a junior attending Dakota Ridge. Her family and relatives come in great numbers, spanning across the world near and as far away in her parents’ home country. But no matter how far the Shirvans get from their first home, their traditions and cultures will forever live on. 

Norooz is a Persian holiday to celebrate their new year and takes place during early spring. To prepare, they begin March with planting lentil seeds which grow through the holiday until 13 days after the New Year when they gather the lentil, tie them in bundles, and throw them into an open stream or body of water. 

“We do this to symbolize the rebirth and beginning of the new year. I think it’s quite a beautiful and peaceful representation of starting new — it keeps me engaged and aware of the ending of a cycle and the start of a new one,” Shirvan said. 

The Shirvan family’s home is back in Iran, but it’s also here in Colorado. Both worlds in one home — the family, the house, the experience, and the traditions are so special and distinct to them.

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Ice Hockey Season Starts Strong With a Varsity Win Fri, 17 Dec 2021 17:18:20 +0000 The Dakota Ridge Varsity hockey team took a 12-2 win against Woodland Park High School on  December 10th at the Edge Ice Arena. The game was dedicated to the military and U.S. veterans with a ceremony held before the game to commemorate. 

The team played strong throughout, the win seemingly locked-in by half, Dakota already having a several point lead. After that, the team was sailing from there, racking up the points scored by multitude players, including a defender getting a hat trick. 

With a team composed of several high schools including Dakota Ridge, Chatfield, and Columbine, the Dakota Ridge hockey game included a diverse group of boys that bond over their love for hockey and their shared skills. 

Holden Spence, a junior at Dakota Ridge on the varsity hockey team, has been playing hockey since he was young.

“Hockey has always been a huge part of my life, and I’m excited to keep playing with the guys on this team. This season is looking really promising, and hopefully we can make it far,” Spence said. 

Almost as important as the game is the fans. The school spirit and support is overwhelming at most Dakota Ridge games.

“There is nothing better than having all of my friends cheering me on during the game,” Spence said. “I always play so much better when there’s a big student section.”

Support was brought in truck loads at the game, with a constant hum of cheering and the explosion of shouting after every goal. 

“Some of my favorite moments are while I’m at games, in the student section, cheering for my team and being with my friends,” Dakota Ridge senior Andrei Zamfirescu said. A leading member of most Dakota Ridge student sections, Zamfirescu brings the excitement into the hockey season by attending every home game this season. The ruckus he and many other students made demonstrated the energy that is going to fuel the team throughout the season. 

The Dakota Ridge varsity hockey team continues to go strong as they blaze through the season, skating for as far as they can, with State Championships on their minds. 


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“Dear Evan Hansen” Leaves an Impact on Viewers Fri, 17 Dec 2021 16:43:30 +0000 The film “Dear Evan Hansen,” directed by Stephen Chbosky, and written by Steven Levenson, is a coming-of-age musical film derived from a Broadway play. This film focuses on the life of 17 year old Evan Hansen, and how he navigates life while dealing with severe anxiety and depression.

When doing an assignment from his therapist, Evan Hansen has to write a note to himself beginning with, “Dear Evan Hansen.” In his letter to himself, Evan writes about his everyday struggles with mental illness, and Zoe Murphy, a girl he is beginning to like. In the library, Connor Murphy signs Evan’s cast because he sees it is empty and says they can pretend to have friends. Evan has printed off his letter to himself, but Connor gets to it before Evan can and sees his sister Zoe’s name. Easily aggravated by the letter, Connor takes it and leaves the library. 

A few days later, Connor’s parents come to the school requesting to see Evan. Evan goes to the office, and Connor’s parents tell him that Connor has died by suicide, and they found the note Connor took from Evan in his pocket.  But the parents assumed it was Connor’s suicide note. They also see Connor’s signature on Evan’s cast and immediately assume Connor and Evan were best friends.  Evan doesn’t want to make them even sadder, so he goes along with it. Evan gets so lost in the lie, and he becomes part of the Murphy family as they mourn the loss of Connor. Throughout the film, this lie spirals out of control. But will it catch up to Evan, or will he be able to continue lying to the world about knowing Connor?

Ben Platt (Evan Hansen) and Colton Ryan (Connor Murphy) are the only two members from the original Broadway cast to return for the film. (Universal Studios)

Opinions about the film have been mixed, with many people questioning the casting of the movie with 28 year old Ben Platt who plays 17 year old Evan. 

Mixed signals about people’s opinions of the movie are being sent, with “Dear Evan Hansen” receiving a 30% Rotten Tomatoes rating, but receiving an audience rating on Google of a 4 out of 5,

along with glowing reviews. 

This movie is worth the watch, but just understand what you’re walking into. The film is a musical, so there are many different songs incorporated into it.  The  film deals with issues like suicide and mental illness. With a run time of 2 hours and 17 minutes, and a rating of PG-13, this movie leaves a strong impact.

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“Dune’s” Special Effects Exceed Expectations Fri, 17 Dec 2021 15:01:32 +0000 “Dune” is a recent, powerful science fiction movie written by Jon Sphatis and Eric Roth, with stunning visual effects and acting.  Released in October of this year,  “Dune” is a set up for a soon-to-be series with “Dune: Part Two” coming in 2023.

The movie really only covers the first of the book series, but still did it in a decent way.

Each scene, visual effect, costume, and line of dialogue has detail etched into it, and you can really see how much effort and care the director, Denis Villeneuve, and the actors put in.

The set design was of high quality, with a few flaws that still accurately portrayed the desert planet that was created by the original “Dune” book.

The film tended to struggle with pacing, though, making it difficult to attach to the characters and it made me become bored and disinterested in the later half of the film.

My biggest problem with the film was probably the shooting and the camera angles. The camera often felt too close or too far from the scene, removing the sense of immersion I had earlier on while watching. 

The length felt unnecessary also. I argue the movie could be reduced to 1 hour and 45 minutes while still including important plot points and saving production costs.  

A spice worker is attacked by the sandworm. (

Some of the CG was also extremely distracting, despite the estimated 165 million dollar budget. It often looked too realistic or the CG was obviously CG and removed my attachment to the characters in these scenes.

Despite its flaws, it is still a decent film that did a decent job as the first movie in a series, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. My final score is a 6/10.

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Winter Break Activities in Colorado Fri, 17 Dec 2021 14:59:50 +0000
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What Is Art to You? Fri, 17 Dec 2021 14:59:07 +0000
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Apple TV’s “Finch” is One of Tom Hanks’ Best Wed, 15 Dec 2021 21:38:00 +0000 Set many years into the future, in a post apocalyptic solar-flare torn-earth, Tom Hanks as Finch has one thing he values in his chaotic world: his dog Goodyear. A heart-wrenching movie with each aspect of drama, comedy, and fear explored, this movie is yet another successful production for Apple TV. 

Released on November 5, 2021, only available for audiences on Apple TV+ (Apple’s premium movie streaming service),  Miguel Sapochnik, a British filmmaker and Primetime Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Directing For a Drama Series, is the lead director for this film, with his past guaranteeing a dramatic aspect to “Finch.”

This movie explores the realm of truly beautiful relationships, especially with the characters in the movie placed in such a vulnerable situation. The tone is unmatched in terms of their companionship and bond developed throughout the film. 

As Finch, Goodyear, and their new robot companion Jeff travel to San Francisco to avoid a super-storm, they encounter all types of challenges surely to keep you stuck in your seat, including tornadoes, intense sunlight radiation, and other survivors.

The dog in this movie, Goodyear, has a real name of Seamus, and he was rescued from a rough previous life. (

“Finch”, a PG-13 rated film, is somewhat slow moving, so it is best suited for a more mature audience. Don’t get me wrong, the movie holds plenty of emotion-filled and suspenseful moments, but the 115 minute run-time may seem too long for younger viewers.

This film perfectly suits Tom Hanks’ style of acting. Specific scenes in the movie truly showcase his ability to portray such intense emotion to the audience without saying a thing. The struggles Hanks endures, the connection with Goodyear, and his overall outlook on such a dreadful situation constantly preaches the idea that it is possible to be grateful for your surroundings and to be grateful for those around you, no matter what.

The positive perspective that Finch and Goodyear share, contrasted with the barren and scarred earth, consistently iterates the variability in terms of emotion in the movie. One moment the audience is jumping for joy, and the next moment tears are running down their faces. During an interview with “ComingSoon.Net” Hanks spoke about how he believes the variability in emotions can be found everywhere.

I think in every comedy I’ve done, there have been serious moments. And in every serious moment in a movie I’ve done, there have been some comedic moments. That’s the way life is,” Hanks said.

As the film industry slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, movies are beginning to be released as normal. The film “Finch” truly encapsulates what a fundamentally sound movie is, thus earning 5 stars. 

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The New Xbox Console is Worth the Wait Wed, 15 Dec 2021 21:02:18 +0000 Microsoft recently released their new gaming console. With the upcoming holiday season, people may be hoping to get their hands on one, as consoles come into stores near you. 

There are two versions of the console/next generation. The Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. Luckily, I was able to get my hands on the Series S model for MSRP. With scalpers, people who sell consoles for double their value, with the low stock on consoles/chips being made, it’s going to be a challenge for people to find one with the original price point of $300.

The Series S was released November 10, 2020. Here’s how this console has aged, and let’s see if it’s worth upgrading to.

Starting off, statistically the Series S has an 8-core CPU that can clock up to 3.6 ghz, as well as 10 gigabytes of ram. Comparing this to the last generation, the Xbox One S, which has a 1.7ghz AMD Jaguar eight-core GPU: 1.4 T-FLOPS, 12 compute units at 914MHz and has 8 gigabytes of ram, this is a much better improvement for players to launch games more quickly. 

The brand new controller designed to make the Xbox interface more interactive and efficient. (Microsoft Store)

When trying to boot GTA 5, which has 120 gigabytes of storage, it took around three to four minutes to launch on my Xbox One S. GTA 5 launched in 30 seconds on the Series S, and I was able to start gaming in an instant. This is remarkably quick for a console and will improve overall performance and wait times for gamers. The visuals have improved; you can now game at 120 frames a second and play in 4K. Statistically, compared to older generation consoles, the Series S is clocked faster at 1.825GHz, compared to the One S model which is at 1.565GHz.

Old games are still cross compatible with this new generation of Xbox, which is great. I was able to boot up Halo 1 which was made for the original Xbox. I found out shortly after this that I could play Xbox One and 360 games as well.

Something that people may be considering is that the Series S model does not have a disk drive, so all games will have to be bought off the Xbox Store/Microsoft Store. For me, this was not an issue, as most of my games are online. 

Overall, this new generation of Xbox is much improved and better than the previous generations, and if you have the money, it would be worth upgrading to the next gen. If you are going to buy the Series S above MSRP and from a scalper, just wait for a sale to get your hands on one. For $300, this console is great. Overall, I am giving it a 4 out of 5 stars as it has a lot of potential — but give it a little more time for new generation games to release, and this console will be even better.  

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Take A Trip To The Magical Boiling Isle With Luz Noceda Wed, 15 Dec 2021 21:01:53 +0000 Take a trip to the world of the Boiling Isles, a city filled with magic, witches, demons, and many other types of monsters, with Luz Noceda, a human who stumbled into a portal that spat her out into this magical world. She’s determined to make the best of it and achieve her childhood dream of becoming a witch, just like her hero, the Witch Azura, a character from her favorite book, The Good Witch Azura.

After stumbling into the portal, she meets a wanted criminal  who calls herself the strongest witch on the isles, known as The Owl Lady, or her real name, Edalyn “Eda” Clawthorne. Eda promises to let Luz go back home if she helps Eda get something from the emperor that he stole from King, Eda’s friend that lives with her at “The Owl House.” The episode continues on with Luz, at the end of the first episode, deciding to stay with them and learn to become a witch, instead of going back home for summer camp.

As the episodes continue, Luz starts to explore this new world, showing off the amazing world building of Dana Terrace. The Boiling Isles is a mix of creepy and beautiful in a way that leaves mystery hanging on the horizon. These mysteries are explored throughout the first seasons, and in the second season they dive even further into them. But that isn’t the only thing about this show that’s amazing. The characters are just as interesting and lovable.

Luz’s friends, from left to right: Willow Park, Gus Porter, Amity Blight. (DisneyPlus.Com)

While making friends was difficult for Luz in the human world, it seems she doesn’t have that issue in The Boiling Isles. She meets a witch in training, Willow Park, who eventually lets her meet her other friend, Gus Porter, and they all quickly become great friends. But the good characters don’t stop there. Even her enemies are interesting and complex characters that you could find as a surprising favorite. One of her enemies who turned into a friend and then something more is Amity Blight, another witch in training from an elite family running a successful company. The girls meet over and over before they find a tentative friendship, and they work surprisingly well together. Their relationship leads to another lovely part of this show.

Representation is done so well in this show — it’s heartwarming. Luz is canonically bi, and Amity is canonically lesbian. Though this isn’t exactly a first for Disney, it is the first time this type of thing is front and center and not just danced around like it is in other Disney shows. But another huge first includes the character Raine Whispers — they are the first nonbinary character in Disney. This is a huge win for the LGBTQ+ community, and they’re an amazing character.

“The Owl House” is now airing its second season on Disney+ and is quite popular. The first season is eighteen episodes, and the second season will include twenty-one. Though the show is already greenlit for a third season, it will only include three, forty-four minute long episode specials, instead of the normal longer seasons. There have been petitions for the show to continue, but it seems Disney isn’t planning on doing that anytime soon.

Either way, fans love this series, and it deserves the love. From the characters, to the plot, to the beautiful designs, this series is a must-watch for anyone that loves intriguing animated stories.

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