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The official student news of Normal Community High School

Inkspot

The official student news of Normal Community High School

Inkspot

The official student news of Normal Community High School

Inkspot

Mantra Dave

Mantra Dave, Staff Writer

Mantra Dave is a senior at Normal Community High School and the captain of the varsity speech and scholastic bowl teams, as well as a four-year member of the varsity Ironmen tennis program. This is his first year working as a staff reporter for the Inkspot. 

My guilty pleasures include The Bachelorette and The Good Place. A book that moved me was Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air. I love to watch Tottenham Hotspur FC and listen to Hozier.

All content by Mantra Dave
MIX host Chris Petlak on air from his wifes closet during the Illinois Stay at Home order

Adding a closet into the MIX: ISU alum on radio hosting during COVID

Olivia Plangger and Mantra Dave Jul 15, 2020

Shifting from a spacious radio studio to a close-quarters closet did not faze Chris Petlak, host of Chicago's 101.9 THE MIX's evening radio programming when the Stay at Home order was issued in March....

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Senior Showcase Galleries

Senior Showcase Galleries

Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger May 26, 2020
The Class of 2020 was showcased on the Inkspot Instagram account, taking advantage of the opportunity to share their high school achievements, favorite memories, and their future plans.
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Senior Showcase Gallery Five

Senior Showcase Gallery Five

Olivia Plangger and Mantra Dave May 26, 2020

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Senior Showcase Gallery Four

Senior Showcase Gallery Four

Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger May 26, 2020

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Senior Showcase Gallery Three

Senior Showcase Gallery Three

Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger May 26, 2020

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Senior Showcase Gallery Two

Senior Showcase Gallery Two

Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger May 26, 2020

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Senior Showcase Gallery One

Senior Showcase Gallery One

Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger May 26, 2020

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Q & A: Seniors Speak Up

Q & A: Seniors Speak Up

With Satya Garapati
Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger Apr 24, 2020

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Four-year Lady Iron soccer player Courtney Dage (20)  plays during the 2018-2019 campaign.

IHSA cancels spring tournaments

Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger Apr 21, 2020

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors announced its decision Tuesday, April 21 to “cancel all IHSA spring state tournaments” in a statement released at noon. Though the...

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Q & A: Senior Athletes Speak Up

Q & A: Senior Athletes Speak Up

With Kailah Carter
Olivia Plangger and Mantra Dave Apr 17, 2020

Tonight, Friday, April 17, NCHS would have hosted the 2020 Normal Community Co-Ed Track Invitational and recognized the senior athletes of the boys and girls track teams. However, like so many other events,...

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Kennedy (left) and Piper (right) Coe model two different patterned masks they sewed.

Sewing for safety: Coe family combats coronavirus

Olivia Plangger and Mantra Dave Apr 12, 2020

  The struggles of those combating COVID-19 have hit home for the family of Kennedy (‘21) and Piper (‘20) Coe. Utilizing their sewing skills and passion for helping others, the sisters...

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Q & A: Seniors Speak Up

Q & A: Seniors Speak Up

With Sheri Stewart
Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger Apr 12, 2020
School closures due to COVID-19 present unique challenges for all students. However, for senior athletes in their last semester at Normal Community, the experence is on a different level. Missing out on their senior season, and that final chance to make memories in Normal Community colors has led to seniors running the gamut of emotions. This is the second installment in a series of articles where seniors detail their experiences through the COVID-19 crisis, featuring soccer player Sheri Stewart.
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Q & A: Seniors Speak Up

Q & A: Seniors Speak Up

With Sabrina Chang
Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger Apr 8, 2020
School closures due to COVID-19 present unique challenges for all students. However, for seniors in their last semester at Normal Community, the experence is on a different level. Possibly missing out on a variety of senior memories, and having to transition to E-learning has led to seniors running the gamut of emotions. This is the first installment in a series of articles where seniors detail their experiences through the COVID-19 crisis, featuring Sabrina Chang who spoke to the Inkspot during Spring Break.
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IHSA remains hopeful for return of spring sports seasons

IHSA remains hopeful for return of spring sports seasons

Olivia Plangger and Mantra Dave Apr 6, 2020

In response to Governor JB Pritzker extending the ‘shelter in place’ order until April 30, the IHSA has announced that they are hopeful a shortened spring sports season will remain possible.  “We...

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5 throwback movies to watch

5 throwback movies to watch

Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger Apr 1, 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting schools down until at least April 30, students have more time to fill than ever before. The current chaos across the globe is stressful for all - and nothing helps us to calm down like a familiar film. With shelter at home orders requiring us to stay inside, streaming services offer a plethora of potential watches. Here are five classic movies available to rent or stream from the comfort of your living room.
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5 things to do to keep your mind active

5 things to do to keep your mind active

Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger Mar 26, 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting schools down, students have more time to fill than ever before. Students might have longed for Spring Break before the COVID-19 strike, but time away is not the utopia imagined. Due to national guidelines recommending social distancing, students face boredom as the days pass by. This is the first in a series of articles detailing things to do during this unprecedented time. Each column will focus on a specific theme, starting with Keeping Your Mind Active.
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Let, second serve: Iron Tennis warms up for new challenges

Let, second serve: Iron Tennis warms up for new challenges

Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger Mar 25, 2020

Editor's Note: According to the IHSA, "April 8 is the target date" for the resumption of spring sports. "However, there are state governmental, educational and health bodies that will need to approve this...

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Coach Short, Ironmen seniors offer opinions ahead of baseball season

Coach Short, Ironmen seniors offer opinions ahead of baseball season

Olivia Plangger and Mantra Dave Mar 25, 2020
After graduating 14 seniors, the Ironmen varsity baseball team began their 2020 season with clear goals and high hopes.  The goal isn’t “really about doing any better than last year,” Head Coach Ryan Short said, but “just trying to do as well as this group can.” Prior to the postponement of the season, Short was optimistic about the team’s potential, saying he  “think[s] this group can do really well.” After last year’s exit on a rainy day in the Regional Championship game against Moline, Short is determined to make it a step further this year, and he thinks the Ironmen are up for the challenge. On their journey to Regionals, Short hopes to win the Big 12 Conference since NCHS is currently half a point ahead of Peoria Notre Dame for the all-sports trophy. “We spring sports need to pull our weight,” Short said. Short believes that the key to the team pulling its weight and reaching its full potential is camaraderie and chemistry, something he doesn’t think will be an issue for this group, which will make it easier to focus on and achieve season success.
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5 podcasts you should be listening to

5 podcasts you should be listening to

Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Mar 21, 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting schools down, students have more time to fill than ever before. Across the nation, people are curing their boredom through podcasts - with over 150 million people tuning in to podcasts of their choice each month. If you have already listened to the Inkspot’s very own podcasts like Social Buddies and Point of Two, here are five diverse podcast series that should appeal to a wide variety of audiences. Tune in through Spotify or the Apple Podcast app.
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College Board announces AP testing revamp

College Board announces AP testing revamp

Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Mar 20, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College Board has announced a revamp of Advanced Placement (AP) testing. Keeping in line with recommendations for social distancing, there will be no in-person AP testing...

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Coronavirus Update: Impact on Unit 5 and NCHS [3/16 11:35 a.m.]

Coronavirus Update: Impact on Unit 5 and NCHS [3/16 11:35 a.m.]

Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Mar 16, 2020

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has ordered all schools throughout the state closed from Tuesday, March 17 until Monday, March 30 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Due to the unprecedented nature...

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NCHS Favorite Teacher: March Madness

NCHS’ Favorite Teacher: March Madness

Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger Mar 13, 2020

Updated: 4/1/2020 With the cancelation of the NCAA March Madness tournament, fans should not be prevented from fulfilling their bracket-filling fix. While basketball might not be airing on CBS,...

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Co-founders Jathin Nama, Sivani Sayani, and Sunny Shaheen (left to right) present at the Showcase.

Coding meets community

Computer Science Honor Society showcases key concepts
Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Mar 9, 2020

Computer Science (CS) Honor Society members presented their projects -- highlighting the impact and importance of computer science and its related fields, while also showcasing members' creativity and...

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Teachers in Training: Making a Mart-in the classroom

Teachers in Training: Making a Mart-in the classroom

Mantra Dave sits down with Mr. Michael Martin
Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Feb 26, 2020
This is the fourth in a line of columns that looks at the student teachers that are an integral part of the Ironmen experience.
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Loving Valentines cards and decorations were made from the eco-friendly paper they created; a positive effort made to spread compassion while helping the planet.

Earth Club’s reusing and repurposing: Valentine’s Day

Olivia Plangger and Mantra Dave Feb 15, 2020

One for you, and you, and you. Walking around the classroom, elementary school students traditionally place their Valentine’s day cards into the decorated shoeboxes of their classmates, saving their...

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Nikhil Samayam prepares to examine internal tissue after making incisions into his groups cadaver.

Insightful incisions: peering into the Cadaver Lab

Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Feb 14, 2020

35 bodies crowd into the back room of a LeRoy law office for their weekly Saturday morning meeting. Holding sharpened knives and bone saws, each person has a wide grin, eager to splatter their shiny new...

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Movie Guide: How to spend your Valentines Day

Movie Guide: How to spend your Valentine’s Day

Olivia Plangger and Mantra Dave Feb 12, 2020
Celebrate the day of love by spending the night watching a romance, by yourself, with your significant other, or with friends and family.
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Mattapalli (left) and Mikkilineni are in their second and third years respectively as members of the NCHS FBLA Board.

Project with purpose: ‘Gotcha Boxes’ look to make impact

Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Feb 11, 2020

570,000 people across the United States don’t have a place to call home, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. The homeless often lack social services, as well as access to clean water,...

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Teachers in Training: Working in Spata of challenges

Teachers in Training: Working in Spata of challenges

Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Feb 8, 2020

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Teachers in Training

Teachers in Training

Learning to not get Ehret-ated
Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Jan 30, 2020

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Teachers in Training: Aske-ing the right questions

Teachers in Training: Aske-ing the right questions

Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Jan 23, 2020
This is the first in a line of weekly columns that takes a look at the student teachers that make up an integral part of the Ironmen experience.
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Mila Sajovec, Olivia Wexler, and Jenna Muehleck (left to right) are the co-founders of the newly-formed Earth Club.

Protecting the planet: Earth club springs into action

Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Jan 12, 2020

Fires across Australia. Rising sea levels. Species disappearing. With environmental disasters raging across the globe, environmental issues seem too big to solve. Three NCHS juniors are aiming to change...

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Sivani Sayani (left) and Sunny Shaheen (third from left) collaborate with other interns while developing the framework for the CSHS.

Computer Science Honor Society boots up for first year

Olivia Plangger and Mantra Dave Dec 18, 2019

Three seniors launched the NCHS chapter of the Computer Science Honor Society this year, with the help of faculty adviser Mrs. Amy Feeney, in an effort to celebrate computer science students’ academic...

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Cohort students work in groups on their escape rooms,

Decoding a dual degree: An inside look at the Computer Science Associate’s Degree Program

Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Dec 9, 2019

When the Computer Science Associate’s Degree Program Class of 2022 walks across the stage at Grossinger Motors Arena to receive their diploma, they will leave with two: one hand on their high school...

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Lady Iron swim & dive seniors cap off their athletic careers

Lady Iron swim & dive seniors cap off their athletic careers

Mantra Dave and Olivia Plangger Dec 9, 2019

Two senior State-qualifying athletes ended their high school athletic careers with a splash

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ACT acts on policy; announces change

ACT acts on policy; announces change

Mantra Dave, Staff Writer Nov 18, 2019

A new policy will allow students to retake individual portions of the ACT starting September 2020. Currently, students must complete all four subject sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science - in...

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Well-run season: Girls cross country finish campaign; Hartke onto state

Well-run season: Girls cross country finish campaign; Hartke onto state

Olivia Hartke (‘22) qualified as an individual for the IHSA State Cross Country Finals and will line up at Detweiller Park on Saturday, November 9 against the best runners across the state. Hartke ran...

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