The School Newspaper of Southwest Career and Technical Academy.

Southwest Shadow

Southwest Shadow

Southwest Shadow

All content by Summer Thomad
So long, farewell

So long, farewell

May 13, 2016
My journey as a columnist has come to an end, and as bittersweet as it is, I could not be more filled with gratitude and contentment.
Photo Credit: Becagraphy

Where You Lead

May 6, 2016
It's been a long school year, but along the way, I have been accompanied by the infamous Gilmore Girls.
Female Characters—unsimplified

Female Characters—unsimplified

April 24, 2016
The negative reaction to the introduction of a female protagonist in Star Wars' Rogue One sparked some of my thoughts on women's representation in media.
The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen

April 14, 2016
Before I put my seventeenth year behind me, I’d like to reflect on some of my most memorable experiences.
PRO/CON: The technological take-over

PRO/CON: The technological take-over

April 8, 2016
In the argument of tablets vs. textbooks, the benefits of technological learning tools outweigh physical books in terms of budget, the environment, and education.
The Future is Now

The Future is Now

March 31, 2016

This week marks the beginning of my final quarter of high school; for seniors like myself, the future has become more prevalent than ever in our thoughts, conversations, plans—nearly everything. However,...

Humans of Southwest (and beyond)

Humans of Southwest (and beyond)

March 18, 2016
I seek inspiration everyday in the conversations I have and the stories I hear from those around me.
Naked Face or Naked Palette?

Naked Face or Naked Palette?

March 11, 2016
Makeup is a outlet for creativity and expression— not a blanket to cover insecurity.
Down memory lane

Down memory lane

March 4, 2016
In moderation, nostalgia can be a heart-warming blast to the past.
Photo Credit: Themeplus

“Free Kesha”: an outcry from victims everywhere

February 29, 2016
Sony Music has denied Kesha freedom from her contractual obligation to alleged abuser, producer Dr. Luke.
A future to believe in

A future to believe in

February 19, 2016
After attending a rally for a presidential candidate, I am inspired to step up and have a more active role in choosing who serves in our nation's government.
Photo Credit: Nothing Ahead

There goes the fear

February 11, 2016
Fear can often dictate our life choices, and is something that I have struggled to overcome.
Love Yourself(ie)

Love Yourself(ie)

February 4, 2016
Millennials have created a space on the web to express their individuality and embrace their self-worth through the social phenomenon of the selfie.
PRO/CON: Enough is enough: America’s problem with gun control

PRO/CON: Enough is enough: America’s problem with gun control

January 27, 2016
Gun control has been an on-going problem within the U.S.; in order for any progress to be made, Americans must be willing to adapt to new ideas and abide by new safety regulations.
In Loving Memory

In Loving Memory

January 15, 2016
After losing my mother, life seems somewhat unrecognizable; I now have to relearn how to lead a normal life after this life altering event.


December 22, 2015
Despite my strange relationship with Christmas as a child, I have recently come to embrace the holiday spirit.
PRO/CON: Syrian Refugee Crisis: A matter of survival

PRO/CON: Syrian Refugee Crisis: A matter of survival

December 11, 2015
The country is split regarding the decision of whether or not Syrian Refugees should be allowed within the U.S.
When in the presence of friends, put away your phone and engage yourself in the conversation.

The use and abuse of social media: a pow-wow

November 23, 2015
While some argue that people's obsessions with their phones is all bad, I believe that it is all about finding a balance.
Fifteen of my favorite feelings

Fifteen of my favorite feelings

November 12, 2015
When life feels like too much, there are always certain pleasures that can initiate positive feelings in me.
Illustration: Khloe Faria

Excessive police force in schools: inexcusable

October 31, 2015
Insubordinate students are not criminals; at what point will law enforcement stop treating them as such?
Despite the stigma surrounding it, there is nothing beautiful about mental illness. 
Photo Illustration: Summer Thomad

The ugly romanticism of mental illness

October 24, 2015
The romanticism of mental illnesses has become prominent in media in recent years.
As one of his first orders of business as President, Donald Trump commences construction for the wall placed on the Mexican/U.S. border.

Photo Illustration by Gabi Fernandez

Trump’s America: Day One

October 10, 2015
If Donald Trump were elected President of the U.S., the America we know today would be drastically different—starting with his first day in office.
Although certainty and doubt seem to be two different concepts, the two must meet in the middle for a healthy balance.
Photo Credit: Althea Gevero

Finding certainty in doubt, and vice versa

October 8, 2015
When it comes to the relationship between certainty and doubt, finding a healthy balance is key.
An Hour In ... Student Council

An Hour In … Student Council

October 7, 2015
For this week's slideshow, we take a look into Student Council's classroom as they prepare for the Week of Respect.
Homemade clock or bomb? The teachers and administrators at MacArthur High School supposedly could not tell the difference in the case of Ahmed Mohamed. Personally, I think they knew better.
Photo Credit: Summer Thomad

Tick Tock goes the—bomb?

October 2, 2015
Ever since the 14 year old's homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb, Ahmed Mohamed has received international attention; but was the student's experiment ever truly thought to be a bomb?
It was a short one liner but what she said had a huge impact. Nicki Minaj did not go out of her way to start a “feud” between pop stars. She was just one of the many artists fighting for equality within Hollywood.
Photo Credit: Iris Zervalakos

Systematic Racism, What’s Good?

September 14, 2015
The Minaj-Cyrus debacle is shedding light onto a much bigger issue than simple celebrity drama.
Those who idealize see the world through an alternate, romanticized lens, almost as if they have another pair of eyes.
Photo Credit: Summer Thomad

Through my ideal eyes

September 10, 2015
The act of idealization contains many ups and downs; It is a complex behavior that is experienced by different people in different ways.
With senior year and the new school year come a multitude of changes; the best way to approach them is to embrace them with open arms and a positive attitude.
Photo Credit: Danijel Zekanovic

Sing the Changes

August 31, 2015
Life is rapidly changing in a variety of ways; coping and adjusting to these new experiences can be just as exciting as it is scary.
In the words of famous psychoanalytic psychologist Sigmund Freud, Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.
Photo Credit: Nikki Molina

Embracing Vulnerability

May 15, 2015
Repressing vulnerable emotions is a common practice in society; however, getting in touch with my vulnerabilities can be beneficial in a variety of ways.
Sleeping in class is not an uncommon occurrence with school start times as early as 7:00 a.m.
Photo Credit: Jenika Chiang

Nice Sleep If You Can Get It

April 30, 2015
High schools should be required to start at 8:30 a.m. or later in order to ensure that teenagers are getting enough sleep.
The availability of gender neutral restrooms are a reasonable solution to helping all students, no matter what their gender identity, feel comfortable at school.
Photo Credit: Acel Soriano

School: A place of education, socializing and . . . segregation?

April 24, 2015
For transgender students, selecting which bathroom to utilize can be a daunting task with the implication of a new district wide bill.
We are often confronted with choices in life in which we must decide on one path over another. Decision making is a skill I have yet to master.
Photo Credit: Nikki Molina

Outgrowing indecision

April 9, 2015
Indecision proves to be an ongoing struggle I have yet to overcome.
Candles, books, and products meant for livening up my bath are essential to a night dedicated to self-care.
Photo Credit: Summer Thomad

Self Care 101

March 26, 2015
Occasions spent alone became some of my most cherished and needed time through self-care.
Competitions may be taking place right before my eyes, but I remain uninterested in the pursuit of proving ones superiority.
Photo Credit: Althea Gevero

Competition: the good, the bad, and the ugly

March 13, 2015
Competitiveness is often regarded in a positive light; however, the nature of competition has its downfalls that are important to recognize.
Not even Taylor Swift can fill this blank space.
Photo Credit: Summer Thomad

Insert title here

March 4, 2015
Writer's block is an irritating, but unavoidable occurrence. How can it be overcome?
Though the chances of receiving an Oscar are quite unlikely, I would most definitely use my speech to do more than simply thank the Academy.
Photo Credit: Migi Contreas

Speak up, Oscars

February 25, 2015
Celebrities and movie stars who use their platform to talk about political issues sway the conversation from the superficiality of the Oscars to more significant societal issues and movements.
While being bombarded with pictures of various events, feelings of FOMO are at their strongest. Photo credit: Summer Thomad

Fighting FOMO

February 18, 2015
FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out caused by social media has become a strain on my life as well as others.
At times when I see others excel at something, I cant help but feel envious of their talent.
Photo Credit: Nikki Molina

Envy: the double-edged sword

February 10, 2015
A feeling of inadequacy or a form of motivation?
Ever wonder what its like to wear the hijab?
Photo Credit: Andrea Galvan

“What is under your head-scarf?”

January 31, 2015
Since I began wearing the hijab, certain questions have become a frequent part of my life.
To the recent uproar surrounding Charlie Hebdo, I say: Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie.
Photo Credit: Summer Thomad

Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie

January 22, 2015
After the recent attacks of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, there has been an international outcry of people proclaiming "Je Suis Charlie." However, I do not stand with this statement.
Cheyenne Folias and a friend cosplay Margaret Moonlight and Dr. Naomi, characters from No More Heroes 2 at Anime Expo in Los Angeles. My favorite part about cosplaying is actually making my costume and seeing it all together as the final product for the first time, Folias said.
Photo Credit: Gary Thompson

Not-So Fake Geek Girls

December 3, 2014
The stereotype of geek culture being male-dominated has every right of being diminished.
When debates start to get heated, many of us choose the position of neutrality rather than picking a side to avoid getting involved.

Neutrality: The easy (and oppressive) way out

October 29, 2014
While neutrality may seem like the easiest and best option, it can lead to greater dangers.
Noticing some serious dark circles? Great! This is a physical sign that shows how dedicated you are to the path of success!

How to be a successful student

October 21, 2014
In order to make it in this world, there are certain steps that must be followed.
College Night provides a great opportunity for parents and students to look into future education and career options together. 
Photo Credit: Alexis Drevetzki

Work for passion, not for parents

October 17, 2014
When it comes to their child's future career choices, some parents take full control rather than allowing their children to pursue the career of their choice.
Although the end is near for both these programs, Glee and Parks and Recreation have stood out as shows that will stay with me forever.
Photo Credit: Alex Nedelcu

Parasocial Relationships Evident in Media Forms

October 1, 2014
With the beginning of the end approaching for two of my favorite television series, the realization that everything ends has become more tangible.
Although being an Eminem fan may seem out of character for someone like myself, I embrace it as a part of who I am instead of passing it off as a guilty pleasure.
Photo Credit: Summer Thomad

Guiltless Pleasures

September 24, 2014
Passing off interests as “guilty pleasures,” instead of embracing them as a part of who you are may stand as a barrier to personal growth.
Senior Huilin Chen remains professional in her work environment, despite having fuchsia hair and facial piercings.

Body Modifications vs. The Workplace

September 10, 2014
With the growing population of people who have body modifications such as tattoos and piercings, measures should be taken to eliminate prejudice.