By Sofie Axelsson
Every time a year comes to an end, we like to start a new chapter, make resolutions, and look forward into the future with everything that it holds. Sometimes, it can be just as fun to look back at everything that happened and everything we accomplished over the past year. Twenty-twelve was a great year in many ways: we witnessed amazing athletes compete in the Summer Olympics, the 57th presidential election was held, new world records were set, and all around the world people fought for reform and better living conditions.
As always by the end of January, Americans got ready to watch the biggest sporting event of the year, the Super Bowl, with friends and family. The match between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots was intense all the way up until the end, when Eli Manning scored the last touchdown in favor of the Giants, with only 57 seconds left of the game. For those who didn’t care for the game, last year’s Super Bowl offered half time entertainment by the queen of pop, Madonna, and hilarious commercials by Doritos. Many students enjoyed their Super Bowl traditions; one of them was Giants fan Danny Pando (12th grade) who hosts a party at his house every year.
An unfortunate event of 2012 was the death of famous singer Whitney Houston. At 49 years old, she passed away at a Beverly Hills hotel the night before she was going to perform the honor of giving out Grammy awards. While she has battled drug addiction in the past, the official cause of her death was not an overdose as many suspected, but a tragic heart attack. Eleventh grader, Shicole Shaw, considers Whitney a legend and says, “Her music has inspired me,” therefore Shicole will keep listening to it a long time from now.
In the spring, Viera High students were talking about the horrible actions of Joseph Kony taking place in central Africa where he was abducting children to build up his own personal army. He was made known by an organization called Invisible Children, who posted a video on YouTube to raise awareness and increase support to be able to arrest Kony in the near future. (Representatives from the organization also visited the school in the fall.) Many students watched and shared the video called “Kony 2012” which helped it become the fastest growing viral video in history, reaching 100 million views in only six days. Up until this point, Invisible Children has made great progress in reducing violence, by, for example, handing out flyers in the affected areas to warn and inform. However, Joseph Kony has still not been found.
Even though the popular Graphic Interchange Format (GIF) celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012, it was really the year for these moving pictures to become popular among students because of their quick spread on the internet. GIF can often be seen on the social media sites Tumblr, Gifboom, and Gifyo, and many think they make things way more interesting. Scenes from many popular movies have been made into life, and posted on blogs with help from the GIF. Many students like the GIFs because they are funny, and 10th grader Nadia Wanna even finds regular pictures to become boring compared to GIFs.
The popular social media website, Facebook, was launched to the stock market on May 18th this year. It was presented at a value of 104 million dollars, and thereby became a victim of over-speculation when the stock dropped by over 50% since the launch. Can the rise in popularity of other forms of social media like Instagram and Twitter be a cause of the drop? Some students at Viera say that they would not invest in the stock, and Averi D’Anna is upset because she believes that the ads on her page have increased since Facebook went public.
An event that deserves to be mentioned because of the big impact it will have on world history, is the overthrowing of the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. After demonstrations started in 2011, he held on to power until early in 2012, when he was forced to step down as protesters marched towards the Presidential Palace. An element of the revolution that has been called extremely significant is the great affect Egyptian youth had, for sharing information about demonstrations at the Tahrir Square on social media and websites. They were also the ones on the front line when conflict erupted between demonstrators and government military.
In the midst of summer, when students all over the U.S. were relaxing, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family, tragedy struck for many Colorado families. During a showing of the latest Batman movie, a shooter dressed as the Joker from the same movie took the lives of 12 innocent people. Viera High School students felt for the victims and called the 24 year old gunman crazy. Both Jamie Serapiglia and Michele Pcolka have been feeling less safe when going to the movies ever since the Colorado shooting. This shooting was also one of the first events during 2012 that started a big public debate about gun-control, which is still carrying on into 2013.
Every four years, the world comes together to compete in the Summer Olympics, and this year England received the honor to host the events just before students went back to school. American athletes did an amazing job and took home a total of 104 medals, putting the United States at the top of the medal count. Michel Phelps was one of those successful athletes, officially becoming the most successful Olympian in history when he won his 11th gold medal for swimming. Many Viera High School students enjoyed watching the competitions; Senior Sarah Denison says, “I love watching rhythmic gymnastics because I could never do anything close to what they do. I also think that it was cool to see many different cultures in the closing ceremony.”
A big talk of September was the gutsy world record set by Felix Baumgartner, the only man to ever jump from space and break the sound barrier in a free fall. Felix himself says that he didn’t enjoy the jump very much, and that nothing makes you so humble as standing on the top of the world. Jared McGullough, a 10th grade student, says that he would possibly want to try something similar, but not as dangerous, because he loves high adrenaline sports like cliff jumping and snowboarding. When asked the same question, 9th grader John Vargas answered, “No I would never do anything like it; I enjoy living.”
Students all over Brevard County stayed home from school on October 25th because of the strong winds hitting the coast from the east. Hurricane Sandy had made it impossible for school-kids to make their way to class on roads made slippery from the rain. Floridians were lucky enough to not get the full effects of Sandy’s center, but the flags on nearby beaches waved double-red and advised no one to swim or surf, no matter how experienced. While most respected this counsel, some skilled Viera High surfers reported that the waves were the best in a long time.
One of the most important events for American history in 2012 was the 57th presidential election. Media was filled with coverage of presidential debates and statements made from both presidential candidates. Senior Ian Smith recalls that it s important to follow politics to make educated choices in voting.
The candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were predicated to go up for a very close vote, so both spent a lot of time in the months leading up to the election campaigning around the country. Students at Viera also received the opportunity to vote in a mock-election, where Republican candidate got the majority of votes by 60%. In the real election however, sitting president Barack Obama received 332 electoral votes compared to Mitt Romney’s 206.
In December of 2012, many people were talking about the doomsday prophesy, based on the Mayan calendar. While there has been similar theories in the past, this time end of the world was widely discussed in media, and many people around the world believed that their days were numbered. One of them, Viera High student Brooke Sheppard said, “I don’t really know why I believed in it, but I did. Luckily, the Mayans were wrong.” Reicha Lopez expressed, “If the Mayans would have been smart enough to predict the end of the world, there would still be Mayans.”
Sources: nfl.com, the Oprah Winfrey’s show, guardian.co.uk, forbes.com, cbsnews.com, london2012.com, todaynews.today.com, election2012.npr.org, cfnews13.com, bbc.co.uk