The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

Navigating life and school after an attempt
Navigating life and school after an attempt
Ell Franklin and Anthony Vasek November 3, 2023
“I’ve been focusing more on myself and what I need because I used to be a really bad people pleaser. I’ve always put everyone else first before me.”
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The CCLL Leadership team 

(top row, left to right: Erika Homan, Carolyn van Mantgem, Melanie Zapper, Taylor Nada, Tim Clewell.
bottom row, left to right: Johanna Mauro, Fionn Conroy, Kayla Gaskill)
Hello CCLL!
Taylor Nada, Online Editor • December 7, 2023
This year, the Arcata Arts Institute joined a new program known as the Creative Careers Leadership Lab (CCLL), an organization aimed at helping art students gain skills to succeed in future careers in the arts.  
Pepperbox Broadcast
Pepperbox Broadcast
Rey Barber, Art Director • November 17, 2023
“It’s the first time we’ve ever had a broadcast,” Kloe Bryant said, “so it’s really just testing everything out,”
Difference Between America and Other Countries
Shu Yamashita November 14, 2023
“In Italy, we have just one class and the same classmates, we don’t change classes. We have been in the same class for four years. We have twelve subjects,”
Is study hall really for studying?
Kyndle Eisner, Production Manager • November 14, 2023
“I feel like it’s less strict than last year, but the pass system is stupid and doesn’t work.”

Arcata High loves to mosh

“When I went to like, my first show two years ago, I was like terrified, and then everyone ended up being like the nicest people ever,”
Jayden Virrueta
Students at a recent punk show at RampArt in Arcata.

Humboldt County offers a variety of artists and venues that allow young people to enjoy the local music scene while finding a place where they belong. At Arcata High School, there is one known smaller, music-loving group: punks and metalheads.

Punk is a type of rock music that is stripped down and aggressive. It is full of raw emotion and often addresses societal problems in confrontational ways.

While it may seem intimidating to a young audience, many Arcata High students have found their place within the county’s punk and metal communities. “Everyone’s like super nice,” junior Jayden Virrueta said, recounting his first experience at a punk show. “When I went to like, my first show two years ago, I was like terrified, and then everyone ended up being like the nicest people ever,” Virrueta said on his favorite music venues, which include Rampart and Siren’s Song Tavern, because of their regularly packed shows and significance in the Humboldt music scene.

Many students feel strongly about the importance of seeing live music. Eero Vernallis, a sophomore at Arcata High, frequently goes to local shows. “When you’re out at a show, you’re around people with the same music taste. You get to talk with them, interact; you get to hang out with them. But if you’re alone with your earbuds in, you don’t get the full experience,” Vernallis said. Beyond being surrounded by people, Vernallis quite literally likes to be enclosed by people in the large mosh pits that take place at punk shows.

One student-favorite band around Humboldt County is the Critics. The Critics have been around for about four years and play alternative rock music at venues like The Jam, The Arcata Theatre Lounge, and Blondie’s Food and Drink. The band is made up of four members. In an interview, Ethan Fuller, the drummer of the band, talked about the supporters of The Critics. “We get a lot of high schoolers at our shows, but we also get a lot of other people, up to their mid-40s. We play for everyone” Fuller said. Beyond that, he believes that seeing live music is important “because there’s not much to do around here honestly.”

Local concerts provide amazing opportunities for students and young adults to connect with like-minded people and make memories that will last for years. Although many venues are accepting of teenagers, the music scene tends to still be dominated by adults. Most teenagers are understanding of 21 and over shows; Sophomore Omari Johnson sees the reason behind 21 plus limits in shows. Johnson said that they “don’t really like getting alcohol split on me when the show is crowded like that.”

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About the Contributor
Lillian Afridi, News Correspondent
Lillian Afridi is a junior at Arcata High School. Although it is her first year working for The Pepperbox, she couldn’t be more thrilled. Lillian has always had a keen interest in storytelling, and since middle school, she has aspired to be a Pepperbox reporter. She looks forward to bringing the paper new stories that help others connect with people in their community. In her free time, Lillian enjoys listening to music, spending time in nature, and training Jiu-Jitsu. You can contact her through email or Instagram.
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