The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

The winner of the 2024 Kinetic Grand Championship: HumBULLdt Pie Factory
Competing for the glory at the annual Kinetic Grand Championship
Ryenne Kile and Taya Holmes June 12, 2024

The 2024 annual Kinetic Race took place over Memorial Day Weekend. It launched on Saturday, May 25 at 12:07 p.m. from the Arcata Plaza and concluded...

Cast of Alice by Heart bowing at the end of closing night
Down the rabbit hole: A review of “Alice by Heart”
Ilana Maclay, Feature editor • June 12, 2024

Lights fade. Drapes open. The audience falls quiet. The Spring musical production of “Alice by Heart” opens with a beautiful image of Alice...

Ethnic studies class postponed yet again
Taya Holmes, Copy Editor • June 12, 2024

California will be the first state to implement a high school graduation requirement for an ethnic studies class. California is requiring that...

Bathrooms vandalised, students suspended
Caterina Morones, Production Manager • June 12, 2024

Admin closed multiple bathrooms until further notice due to accounts of vandalism, vaping, and other disrespectful acts. Principal Ron Perry...

Gary: The man behind the cemetery gate
Andrea Merezko, Social Media Director • June 12, 2024

When one goes to school it isn't plain to the mind what surrounds the school campus. Whether that’s coffee shops or gas stations for snacks...

Are tattoos still taboo?

“For me, it all had to have a place and a meaning.”
Natalie Lehman
Kresge’s 3/4 sleeve tattoo.

Body tattoos have been an essential part of human expression for thousands of years. It is only recently, in the last few hundred years, that they began to develop an “unprofessional” reputation. Despite this, various students and teachers around Arcata High have important tattoos that represent a variety of meaningful things.

Samuel Hood is a senior who recently got his first tattoo at Primal Decor, one of the most popular tattoo parlors in Humboldt. His grandma paid for it as an eighteenth birthday present.

He chose a cicada, a symbol of change.

“I grew up in New Mexico, and I chose it because [the cicada] is a symbol of change, but not in the same way that a butterfly is. The cicada doesn’t just come back one time and become beautiful, it comes back many times, and it takes a really long time,” Hood said. “When it sheds its exoskeleton, it’s super vulnerable. So, if you want to change, you have to be vulnerable.”

For many, the designs carry personal meaning. 

“One of my kids has a memorial tattoo to somebody that passed away,” science teacher Shannon Kresge said.

Kresge is the most tatted-up in the science department (possibly, at AHS), with no runners-up. (Or, at least, none who have been willing to show themselves.) 

Apart from her iconic full-color sleeve tattoo, she also has an upper arm tattoo, two wrist tattoos, two feet tattoos, and one ankle tattoo.

“For me, it all had to have a place and a meaning,” Kresge said. “I got my wrist tattoos with my sister, and it’s something that unifies us, the female power symbol and the Celtic sisterhood knot.”

Tattoos are a unique and individual art form meant for the sole purpose of self-expression; they are also a very permanent choice, almost always a lifelong commitment. Kresge advised you to be thoughtful about what you choose to put on your body.

“The first one, the one that I got at seventeen… I don’t hate it, but I could do without it,” Kresge said, in reference to the Grateful Dead bear that she got on her ankle at a music festival. “You have to be able to tolerate the pain, but you also have to have something you’d want to look at for the rest of your life.”

Hood’s cicada tattoo. (Samuel Hood)
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About the Contributors
Anthony Vasek
Anthony Vasek, Managing Editor
Anthony Vasek has been a reporter for the Pepperbox, a student-run publication with nearly a century of history, since 2022. This year he is excited to use his knowledge to take on an editorial role. His coverage revolves mostly around sensitive topics, such as mental health and drug use. He also does a great deal of graphic design, leading the class in InDesign during each layout session. Two articles of his have won both first and second place, respectively, in the Feature category of the Jackie Awards. Personally, he has a strong belief towards the supremacy of felines and fish.
Natalie Lehman, Social Media Director
Natalie Lehman is a 16-year-old senior at Arcata High School. She is new to The Arcata High Pepperbox staff this year! Natalie is interested in pursuing a career in social media content work. She hopes to learn more about social media’s influence on journalism. As her mom is the teacher for the journalism class at Arcata High, Natalie has watched a decade of Pepperbox issues being published. From watching over the years, Natalie has been waiting for the opportunity to join the staff herself. She is excited to finally join her senior year!
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