Author Archives: The Leonid

How to Tell Someone You Love Them Without Awkwardly Saying “I Love You”

By Shana Carey

Co-Editor in Chief

If there’s one thing I’m not grateful for, it’s finding myself in the awkward situation every year where I have to tell my entire family what I am thankful for. Sitting at a long dinner table before eating an ungodly amount of mashed potatoes, the last thing I want to talk about is my feelings.

Although I dread talking about how I feel, this Thanksgiving, I’m taking time to live in the present and be grateful for the people that genuinely make my life better. In the spirit of self-betterment, I decided to tell my friends, family, and romantic interests that I love them. 

However, outwardly saying “I love you” is not really my style. Small acts of kindness and simple psychology are the true ways to show someone how you really feel. So here are five ways to tell someone you love them without actually saying it.

  1. Listen to them. 

This is easier said than done – by far. We are naturally designed to want to talk about ourselves constantly. According to Adrian Ward from Scientific American, our brains release feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine whenever we talk about ourselves in conversation. What this means is that we get less of a natural high by changing the subject. By actively listening to someone talk about themselves, you show that you genuinely care about them and find joy in listening to what they have to say. Asking questions, nodding, smiling, and noticing when they aren’t okay show that you care and respect them. This subconsciously demonstrates a deep emotional connection between you two. 

  1. Remember the little things. 

 Let’s face it, nothing feels better than when someone remembers your favorite ice cream flavor. This completely useless detail about you was important enough for them to remember and demonstrates that you are prominent in their mind. It’s not just ice cream either. Taking the time and brainpower to remember a miniscule fact about someone else shows to them that you consider them a priority. 

  1. Use their name. 

Saying someone’s name might not seem like you’re professing your love for them, but it comes pretty darn close. Joyce E. A. Russel for The Washington Post suggests businessmen learn a person’s name and use it throughout a sales pitch to psychologically manipulate a buyer into picking up what they’re putting down. Using a person’s name grabs their attention and immediately connects the two of you. This builds a deeper connection and shows that you are putting effort into your relationship. 

  1. Look them in the eyes.

We’ve all heard that eyes are the window to the soul, but psychologists Daniel Lee and Adam Anderson from Cornell University think that this is more than an old wives’ tale. According to their research, human eye muscles convey complex emotions. Not only can our eyes demonstrate how much we love someone, but our brains are naturally hardwired to translate what other people’s eyes are saying about their emotions. So subconsciously tell your friends how you really feel by looking at them with loving eyes. 

  1. Confide in them.

Do you remember when I said that we like to talk about ourselves all the time? Well, here is your chance to do so. People like honesty. They want to connect with you, and being vulnerable is the ultimate test of love. It’s hard to build a deep-rooted relationship with the kid in your math class that says hi and then talks about the weather. Every. Single. Day. Don’t be afraid to show your personality, your weaknesses, and your fears. Giving someone your trust is a clear indication that you love them. 

Being thankful is an important part of recognizing how you feel, but expressing this is another challenge. If you find yourself staring at a turkey and struggling to express your gratitude, tell your loved ones how you really feel using these five psychological tips.

Top 5 Creative Exercises to Defeat Writer’s Block

Every writer has experienced the dreaded beast under the alias of “Writing Block” at some point. It’s a pain we all know but never talk about. If you ever find yourself trapped in that proverbial corner, here are some of the best writing tricks known to mankind, all compiled into one lovely list.

 Note: Before trying the following exercises, I’d recommend going for a walk, having some tea, or closing your eyes for a few moments. Do these first for the best results! 

  1. The 10-10-10 Rule:
  • Write down ten names, ten fun facts, and ten unique familial situations (i.e. financial issues, close sibling bonds, etc.). Then, match one of each randomly and build your characters from there.
  1. Write what you know:
  • It’s easier to produce writing about things you have experienced. Whether it be the happiest day of your life or a traumatic life event, let your emotions control what is being put on the paper. Make sure to keep the emotions raw and keep it real. 
  1. Find an object and write from its point of view:
  • What does it see? What does it have to say? If it has a certain emotion, why? Be creative! 
  1. Write from an unknown 1st-person point of view:
  • Leave it up to the reader to conclude who it is. The more vague, the better. Bonus: create a twist at the end.
  1. Write everything that comes to mind:
  • It could be a list, a poem, a short story, or even a constant run-on sentence. Spelling and grammar are the least important things at this moment, so put pen to paper and let everything you write convey your stream of consciousness. 

If this list didn’t help you, I don’t know what will! Hopefully, your writer’s block has diminished and you are well on your way to writing the next best seller book. Good luck! 

By Livi Foraker

Staff Writer

Squid Game Sweeps the Nation into a Whole Different Reality

By Payje Davis

Staff Writer

The Netflix hit series, Squid Game, is captivating the attention of millions. With all of the plot twists and various characters that people can feel a connection with. Squid Games is directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk and was released on September 17th, 2021 with nine episodes.

For three weeks, this thriller & drama held the number 1 position on Netflix. According to Insider, Dong-hyuk began working on his script in 2008 but struggled with funding and casting then and now, up until Netflix decided to pick it up.. 

Financial debt is on a large rise in South Korea, people are desperate for money in any way, shape, or form, even if it means death. Seong Gi-hun, a severely in debt chauffeur, was invited by an unknown man in a subway station to play a set of six children’s games for a massive cash prize.

He accepts and is taken to an island in the middle of nowhere (unknown to the players) along with 455 others. The players are forced to wear green jumpsuits displaying their numbers on the right side of their chest. (Gi-hun being 456).

There is constant surveillance from masked guards with different shapes on their masks in red/pink jumpsuits. This is all overseen by a man known as the frontman, who dresses in all black head to toe.

The players, after the start of the first game, realized that loss results in their death, each death adds 100 million won to the potential 46.5 billion grand prizes earned.

People eventually start to ally, Gi-hun allies with characters such as Abdul Ali, Sae-beyok, Sang-Woo. A childhood friend & Oh Il-nam to try to survive the physical and psychological curveballs of the games.

Some things I noticed throughout the show were “Easter eggs” that hinted that one of the characters was not like the rest of the others, through some of the camera angles and minor details. Another thing to notice is if you don’t see a character’s death, don’t assume that they are actually dead just because it was implied that they “died.” 

The director’s message is that people will do bizarre things for a lot of cash. Everything from the acting to the writing is absolutely perfect, especially the music selection.

Throughout the show, the music was spot-on and fit the mood of what was going on. It made you feel uncomfortable when it was meant to achieve that feeling. Everything trying to be conveyed in this show was spot on. 

A big strength in this movie is how the writers portray the characters, their backgrounds, their struggles, and heartbreaks, as well as how they interact with others.

One weakness is how the show ended, I believe the show should have ended completely differently than how the writer ended it, it just made me super frustrated. 

In all though, I felt like it was a big eye-opener of how selfish people get when loads of money are involved. It was extremely interesting, I would 10/10 recommend it to anyone who is thinking about watching the show. The character-viewer connection and the number of plot twists are insane, it is 100% something everyone should watch at least once. 

To conclude, this show left me in awe of how you can just turn your back and betray someone who stuck by you through thick and thin when something like a large amount of money is involved. It also brings out how selfish people really are.

This show earns an A- because it’s an amazing show that was very well produced, just the ending could’ve been done differently.

Post-Pandemic Renaissance: Mr. Eck Provides Insight into the Re-Emerging Art Program

By Max Vigue

Multimedia Content Editor

After all the chaos of the 2020-2021 school year, the art program underwent a major change. Not only did they move from the second level to the tech wing, but Mr. Hopkins also retired. 

Despite the circumstances, the art program is beginning to reset itself on course. 

Seth Eck is the newly hired art teacher at Red Lion Senior High and teaches introduction to art, introduction to drawing, painting, and advanced drawing. He has now taught at all levels in K-12 education, starting out in middle school and then working in elementary school for six years.

Mr.Eck is helping critique his student’s project, he often interacts with his students like this in order to get to know them better. Here he is teaching an intro class.
Photo by Max Vigue

 Self-expression has many outlets, according to Mr. Eck, and had many benefits 

“Whether you’re doing a project for a different class or you’re learning to express yourself,” he said. “Whether it’s fashion, whether it’s art, it’s a healthy way to get emotions out, and learn about the world around you, and how to observe it, and recreate it if you want.”  

“To me, art isn’t everything,” said Mr. Eck  

Mr. Eck has been teaching for nearly over ten years, and Red Lion will be his third district.  Believing that reaching out to students is an important part of his job, he says his favorite part is,  “Building connections with people and helping foster their love of art.” he said.

Despite his passion for his current profession, being an art teacher was not his first choice for an occupation. 

“As a kid, I had all kinds of different aspirations to do stuff,” he said. “But my mom always told me how well I helped other people and taught them to do things naturally.”  

In addition to having  a natural talent for teaching, Mr. Eck has always had appreciation for the medium of art.

 “I always enjoyed it as a kid.” Mr. Eck said. “And then as I learned more in high school and the different kinds of art that’s out there.” 

“It seemed like that was what I was kind of meant to do, and to then teach others how to do so as well”. 

Before going to Edgewood Middle School for his first teaching job, Mr. Eck went to Millersville University for undergrad, from 2004 to 2009.  

“In college I had two jobs. I worked at the library. Almost the entire time I was there,” he said. “I also worked as an art technician in a computer lab in the art building helping people learn how to print their digital products.’

Mr. Eck’s teaching career has taught him many valuable lessons, especially what it takes to be a great teacher. 

“Just work hard, and continue to learn,’ Mr. Eck said. “I might know some things about art styles and art history and techniques, But there is always more that I can do personally, and to make my own art grow as an artist.” 

As Red Lion slowly begins to make up for lost time, teachers like Mr. Eck continue to lead the charge into bringing new life into elective programs, sparking a new renaissance for student creativity, and the first steps into a post COVID world. 

Allison Keller Battles Against Her Mom’s Breast Cancer Diagnosis

By Shana Carey

Co-Editor in Chief

About one in eight U.S. women develop invasive breast cancer affecting nearly every American family. When the doctor diagnosed Senior Allison Keller’s mom with breast cancer, she was in shock.

 “I always saw my mom as a very healthy and active person,” Keller said, “and could not comprehend how she out of all people would get cancer.”

Keller first heard her mom’s diagnosis of stage 1B breast cancer toward the end of eighth grade. Keller said that she was numb during this time because she felt helpless.

Allison Keller and her mother sit on a dock wearing pink. Allison and her mother have always been close with each other. When her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Allison felt guilty but took a leadership role in her family.

 “It’s hard when someone you depended on all the time now depends on you,” Keller said. “So it was difficult juggling that change.”

Keller did not tell many people about the diagnosis because she was worried about their reactions. 

“I think for me it was difficult to confide in others because I didn’t want any pity,” Keller said, “so I kept it mainly to myself.”

This diagnosis was a shock for Keller because she always felt a strong connection with her mother. Whether it’s running or thrifting together, Keller and her mother are inseparable.

 “My mom and I are very close and always have been.” Keller said. “We share a lot of the same interests and are always together.”

After her mother’s diagnosis, Keller felt culpable that her mom was sick. According to, this is common in children with parents who have cancer. 

 “I felt very guilty that I wasn’t the one who was sick.” 

Helping her mother was a way for Allison to feel more competent and in control during her mother’s diagnosis. Allison and her father helped support her mother because she was very stressed. 

“My dad and I tried to be calm and caring for my mom,” Keller said.

Keller took on the role of a leader and helper as a way to get her mother in remission. Her father worried for the entire family during this time, and her mother also attended cancer support meetings to speak with people that were going through the same diagnosis. 

Helping her mom through a stressful time, Keller took a leadership role in her family. She helped around the house and finished some of the tasks that her mom usually did. 

“I had to make dinners and clean up, but I didn’t mind at all,” Keller said. “The medicine my mom had to take and radiation treatments made her very dizzy, lethargic, and fatigued, so I stepped up to help her.” 

When Allison heard the good news that her mother was in remission towards the end of her 9th grade year, she was ecstatic. 

“I felt complete relief,” Keller said, “It felt like a huge weight was taken off my shoulders.”

Keller said that her mother’s breast cancer was scary, but it ultimately brought her family together. She and her parents had to work together to get her mom to remission. 

“Nowadays I’m just happy that she’s okay and healthy,” Keller said. “We still have to be nervous after her yearly checkups and breast exams, but I feel like it’s brought us closer together as a family.”

Osamu Dazai’s No Longer Human Dives into Facade, Apathy, and Disparity

By Max Vigue                       

Multimedia Content Editor

What does it mean to be human? For centuries humans have forged societies and cultures out of the efforts for exploration, pride, and greed. Culture generally tends to come and go, remaining inconsistent due to reformation, changed ideals, or flat out abandoned.

 As a result, it’s hard to analyze an individual’s morality solely upon cultural values or embedded societal beliefs. Especially if that individual was raised in a different culture entirely. So that leaves me with a burning question. How do you universally measure morality regardless of cultural difference? 

More so, what does it mean to universally be a good human being? Although at first, there are certain universal acts that are seen as inherently evil such as murder, petty theft, torture. However, the more you look into the nuances of a culture, each culture has a different take for what they view is right and wrong. 

Morality is a grey muddy pond, tainted by the thousands of different perspectives cultures and individuals themselves view morality. Such a divisive topic among us, yet at the end of the day your take on morality is a key part of what makes someone human. 

But what happens when someone, even when raised in a very traditionally strict dedicated culture, never develops a sense of morality? When they see peers as creatures, completely unable to comprehend their ideals, motives, and emotions. Someone who masquerades their entire identity, in an effort to study people like a sociopath.  

Someone who believes that due to their lack of empathy, lack of morality, lack of personality, and lack of basic understanding of human culture. They consider themselves an enigma, someone born into the flesh of a homosapien,  yet with the mind of an alien. 

When in reality, they are simply the byproduct of mental illness, social anxiety, and a suicidal mind. Someone who never believed that their eternally questioning of the human being, was an escape to flee their ugly reality.  A life haunted by depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, lack of purpose, unrelenting lust, and a massive inferiority complex. 

This is the life of Oba Yozo, Dazai’s proxy for his own struggles. No Longer Human is often referred to as Dazai’s “sucide note”. As Yozo’s ordeals are based on Dazai’s own life experiences, yet not exact word for word reproductions. Thus many call this work pure “original fiction”, while also being semi-autobiographical.

Throughout the course of the novel we see the world Yozo grows up in, a world much like our own – a normal 1930’s Japan which is perceived by Yozo as a world ridden with lies and false personas. Viewing humans as not of his own kind, rather as if he was an imposter in mortal flesh. 

From his perspective, his journey in life is a case study trying to understand what it means to be a human. What it means to be a morally good person. What it means to have empathy for another person. But the more you read Yozo’s long monologues about his lack of understanding of humanity, the more the reader realizes this is a documentary of his down world spiral. 

The book is written in the style of three separate journals throughout the course of Yozo’s life. With the prologue and epilogue being written from the viewpoint of a man who happened to pick up the journals. Much like the rest of the audience, he is baffled by the actions and just the mindset of Yozo. 

This book isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s a journey full of hardship. A mind ridden with depression and anxiety, a world view with little to no empathy, and traumatic experiences put to pen. But by the end of that long voyage, you have experienced the darker parts of the human psyche. 

A better understanding of suffering in silence, how someone who could be the most outgoing person can isolate their true nature. It provides a window into the deep consciousness of Dazai as a person, without outright speaking on his own troubles.

I would recommend this book as a must read for anyone, but only while in a healthy state of mind. It tackles very uncomfortable but important subjects that are hard to discuss. This book is for a mature audience, specifically from ages 16-17 as a starting point. 

No Longer Human is a straight dive into a downward spiral, exploring the dark side of human morals, and looking into the perspective of someone whose views are all but alien. In contrast, it is someone already suffering from deteriorating mental health. Enabled by a life full of vice, and betrayed by their own persona they acted for so long.

The modern version of the No Longer Human cover, a shadowy outline of Yozo.

Under the fair use act of 2007, specifically “Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing United States Entrepreneurship Act of 2007” were using this graphic for educational purposes, and providing a transformative work of content in the form of a review. No profit is being made from this article, and is only for the purpose of review

Student Council Threw an Outdoor Homecoming as Students Planned a Private Event

By Olivia Foraker

Staff Writer

Homecoming dances have been steady traditions for high schools around the globe, and have rarely been subject to much change. The same is typically true for Red Lion Senior High School –up until this year, that is. 

 Students who attended the annual dance were met with changes in location, dress code, and even the duration of the event. The student body was made aware of such decisions prior to ticket sales launching on Oct. 4 for seniors, Oct. 6 to juniors, and then open to everybody on Oct. 12.

 These alterations resulted in a slight decrease in sales compared to past years’ where homecoming remained exactly as it had always been. 

Student gather on Horn Field for Student Council’s 2021 Homecoming. The DJ sat on the home sideline at the 50 yard line in front of dancing students. Photo by Jesse Schwartz.

 “Our sales have decreased a little bit. There is another homecoming that people are going to, and with the outside stuff,” said Student Council Vice President Gabrielle Lynd.  “People are hesitant to go as well as the no heels.” This year, 560 tickets were sold in comparison to an estimated 800-900 two years ago. 

While Student Council members and advisers alike revealed that the 2021 homecoming was successful, statistics demonstrate that there was a significant decrease in sales.

 Freshman Student Council member Cinzia Fowler said that the student body is upset due to the price of tickets. Although the twenty dollar price for a single ticket is the same as previous years, the option for the double’s ticket discount was not offered this year. In the past, attendees could purchase a double’s ticket for $30. 

Student Council adviser Jane Dennish told The Leonid that she was pleased overall. 

“It was a lot more successful than I expected it to be outside,” said Mrs. Dennish. “The only downside was the wind.” 

Mrs. Dennish said that $2,300 worth of balloons were purchased for the event; however, none of them could be put up due to the weather, and she expressed her distaste in this. 

Mrs. Dennish said that those in attendance enjoyed the dance despite the unusual conditions. 

The Leonid Reporter Recalls Homecoming on Horn Field

By Shana Carey

Co-Editor in Chief

Walking around Horn Field barefoot and almost dying in a mosh pit is not exactly what I expected for my senior year homecoming, but it was unforgettable nonetheless. 

Going into senior year, I was unsure whether student council would even host a homecoming or not. Always looking for an excuse to get ridiculously dressed up, I anticipated the worst.

Upon hearing that the homecoming dance was occurring outside this year, I initially thought the idea was an interesting way to encourage social distancing. I also had the impression that having homecoming outside was an exciting opportunity that probably won’t happen again. 

This was all good and fun until I got to the dance floor and had the stark realization just how big Horn Field actually is. A couple hundred students gathered on the 50 yard line with just enough room between them to put their hands in the air. The remaining people spread out across the field in awkward looking clumps. 

Initially in one of those clumps filled with band kids, I just enjoyed being surrounded by my friends. It didn’t matter to me that we were outside under the daytime-like football lights because I had the opportunity to joke with the people I’ve grown closest with over the past four years. 

As our clump looked to the mosh pit, we observed a screaming friend of ours crowd surfing multiple times as a freshman jumped onto the retaining wall and danced while everyone watched in awe. These two boys were promptly met by multiple administrators warning them to behave. 

These shenanigans were what made my senior homecoming memorable. 

Absolutely determined to say hello to one of my friends that was in the very middle of the scary conglomeration of people dancing, I pushed and elbowed my way straight to her. In the middle of the circle, I saw some of my dearest friends from elementary school having the time of their life. 

Seeing their smiling faces and people laughing louder than the DJ equipment truly made my evening. 

At the end of the obscure night, the DJ played the first slow song as couples and groups of people swayed back and forth in a more spread out fashion. 

The students begged for one more song and screamed excitedly when the DJ granted their wishes. However, teachers promptly stopped the final song from finishing and sent everyone home unsatiated. 

All in all, it doesn’t matter whether homecoming was in the gym or on the field. It doesn’t matter that it was like broad daylight with the football lights turned on. And it doesn’t matter that half the students were clumped together with no breathing room while the others were miles away. 

I’m glad that I had the opportunity to dance and enjoy the company of my friends. Homecoming isn’t about the decor or location, but it’s about celebrating and just having a good time. 

The Leonid Staff Writer Attends Private Homecoming

By Emma Billets

Staff Writer

My final homecoming looked a lot different from what I expected. First of all, it wasn’t even at my school. It was in a church. The dance was held at The York First Church of the Brethren on Kingston Road on Saturday Oct. 16 from 7-10 p.m. Senior Red Lion student Adelinn Banzaca organized a homecoming for the public due to the restrictions of the school’s organized dance. 

The reason I decided to attend this dance instead of my school’s homecoming, is because it was being held indoors on a cold and windy night instead of being outside, outside guests were allowed, and the tickets were very affordable at only 10 dollars for a single ticket and 15 dollars for a double ticket. 

As I pulled into the parking lot of the church, I saw way more cars than I thought there were going to be. I walked in and saw so many different people. It was nice that this homecoming was not only open to Red Lion students, but other students and even older people who aren’t in high school anymore. 

As I started to seek out friends, I heard music, but it wasn’t very loud. Everyone gathered into their cliques and were talking and enjoying the refreshments that were provided. There were gatorades, water, cookies, and chips. The table had glowing decorations including a whole box of glow sticks and connectors for people to wear during the dance. 

A little bit of time passed and the music got louder as the lights went out. It took everyone a good half hour to get comfortable enough to move up to the front of the gymnasium and start dancing. The music and lights really set the mood for people to get up and dance. The music choice was pretty good! They had a mix of all different types of music for everyone to enjoy. 

There were confetti balloons, LED lights, photo backdrops, and a loudspeaker. Honestly, I feel this homecoming was a huge success and was so much fun. Having the choice to bring someone who you couldn’t bring to the school’s homecoming was so nice and being indoors was also a huge bonus. Everyone was able to wear whatever they wanted and listen to whatever music they wanted without judgement. It seemed like a lot of people had a great time and the dance was an overall great experience and huge success for the guests and the provider. 

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