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17 Places to go in Austin Texas

By | Uncategorized

Taya Thornton

Of all the crazy, wicked, and weird cities in the world, Austin Texas has a special place in most southerners hearts. There are endless opportunities in this city and many wonderful places to go. That includes places to eat, hike, swim, and relax. There are even places to have a nice cup of coffee with cats surrounding you if you’re into that. Here are 17 places to go in Austin Texas if you ever happen to find yourself in town.

1. Head to Hamilton pool for an afternoon of relaxing, natural pool time.


2. See over 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tailed Bats fly from under the Congress bridge at dusk.

3. Take a dip in the giant year-round natural spring in the heart of downtown, Barton Creek Pool.


4. Dig through antique objects and see how many crazy finds Uncommon Objects has to offer.


5. Hike up to Mount Bonnell and look what view the city has to offer.


6. Check out the sea of Burnt orange at a University of Texas home football game.


7. Lean back, get comfy and be served delicious food while you watch a movie at the alamo draft house.


8. Get a chance to sing your favorite song that not everyone knows at Karaoke Underground.


9. Do the full loop of the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike trail.


10. Get lost in the wonder of the Cathedral of the Junk.


11. Spend an hour or two drinking coffee with some adorable cats at Blue Cat Cafe.


12. Check out the endless amount of food trucks all over the city.


13. Head over to Torchy’s Tacos for a bite to eat.


14. Sit down at HopDoddy’s for a delicious burger and a milkshake.


15. Explore the shops on South Congress and visit the legendary “Willie For President” mural.


16. Stop by Hey Cupcake and get an oversized treat.


17. Pack a picnic and relax in Zilker park with the dog community, otherwise known as Zilker Bark.


Sweater Weather

By | Uncategorized

Skylar Schanen

Although we live in Texas which is moderately chilly, in other places it is freezing. In the northern Indian city Mathura the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center are making an immense effort to keep their elephants warm. How are they doing this? Well by making colossal sized sweaters that take roughly about four weeks to make. So far they have only made three but they are busy like bees at the Center. At this Center they lodge about 20 elephants that they have rescued from traffickers, bad circus environments, and other terrible scenarios. Since these elephants have suffered some extreme circumstances this makes them more prone to pneumonia in the bitting cold of winter. With these sweaters these elephants should be able to have a cozy, agreeable winter.

Jk Rowling and What She’s up To

By | Uncategorized

Skylar Schanen

JK Rowling and What She’s up To

For all of the Harry Potter fans out there I have some marvelous news!!! JK Rowling has recently given us something to look forward to when she declared at the end of 2016 that she was working on a new project. The even more impelling news came about now that she showcased a painting that is posing as the muse to her book. The painting is by an artist whose name was Harmen Steenwyck who lived from 1612-1656. The painting is called “Still Life: An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life”. The painting is a very intriguing one and is painted with oil on oak panel. It is a superb example of something called a Dutch ‘Vanitas’ painting. In a ‘Vanitas’ painting they place caution to not put a lot of stress on being wealthy and to abuse the pleasures in life because that will only lead to obstacles in the journey to redemption. In the painting we catch a glimpse of a Japanese sword and a sea shell (both shadow wealth). A scull is also exhibits worldly possessions. The painting is one that you could stare at mesmerized for hours. So the mystery continues but we be euphoric about the future because just by seeing her inspiration we already know that we are going to be in for a reading delight.




Stand With Standing Rock By Mary Carrigee

By | AESA Advocate, World News

Stand with Standing Rock

By Mary Carrigee

Standing-Rock-water-protectors-e1478015078825On January 25 of last year, Dakota Access released a statement regarding a permit to begin construction on a pipeline known as the Dakota Access Pipeline. The route was set to start in Northwest North Dakota and travel southeast through South Dakota and Iowa, eventually ending in Patoka, Illinois. The plan was originally to complete development of the pipeline by the end of 2016, but they faced many obstacles along the way that eventually led to their downfall.


They found resistance in a group of Native Americans called the Standing Rock Sioux tribe who learned of the plans for the pipeline in 2014. Energy Transfer Partners prepared to run the Dakota Access Pipeline straight through the Cannonball River which is a part of the indigenous tribe’s reservation. These waters are sacred, beautiful, and honored by the tribe. In response, the attorneys for Standing Rock Sioux tribe took their first legal action to halt the process, filing a complaint against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for granting the permits in the first place.


Shortly after the lawsuit was filed the issue became widespread across the nation, gaining social media coverage and dispute amongst many people. Activists and native groups began organizing demonstrations and protests against the DAPL (Dakota Access PipeLine). The protests were peaceful and included marches and prayer circles. As September got closer, people and volunteers were coming from all across the world to stand with Standing Rock. Policemen from eight different states came to “fight” the peaceful protestors in riot gear, equipped with more than half a dozen military armed vehicles.


These individuals stood up for what they believed in, even if it meant putting themselves at risk. Aggressive behavior arose from the policemen, they began expelling clouds of pepper spray, releasing attack dogs, firing off rubber bullets, blasting tear gas, and setting off noise cannons. As a result, many of the people there were needlessly injured, some even hospitalized. Protestors were being arrested, having to spend their time that they could be using to find a resolution, in a 10 by 14 foot cage packed in with other protestors all with their hands bound. Later they would be put on a dark bus to Fargo, North Dakota where they were processed and put in cells for the night.


Despite the combined efforts of protesters across the United States, a federal judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s request for a temporary injunction. But with hope still in sight, President Obama weighed in on the growing movement of protest against DAPL. He hosted more than 500 Native American leaders at the White House for the last Tribal Nations Conference held with him still in office. Here they hoped to find a solution.


Towards the end of 2016, protesting the issue was inexhaustible, officials surrounded the protesters. This resulted in 141 people arrested that day, bringing the total number of arrests to over 400. But the combined effort was well worth it because on December 4, 2016 a cry of victory rang out from the Oceti Sakowin Camp upon receiving the news that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the easement allowing the pipeline to cross the Cannonball River, bringing the work to a halt. This injunction is only temporary however, so we must do what we can to help finish this for good! Once the temporary halting is lifted, we must not forget what has happened, and remain vigilant.

Sugar and the Effects It Has on the Brain

By | AESA Advocate, Science

                    Sugar and The Effects It Has on The Body


Sugars are named in 61 different ways due to years and years of genetically modifying the way they are produced. Glucose, fructose, honey, high fructose corn syrup, the list goes on and on. Although we are all curious as to how these processed sugars are produced, the real question is what are these sugary syrups and hard candies doing to our bodies. These sweet solutions not only affect us in a biological manner, but also the way our brains function.


Eating sugar-sweetened foods and beverages has been identified as the cause of a large number of health issues. These health issues include being overweight, or even obese, type two diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Sugar slows down your biological functions in many ways. In 2012, a Harvard university study found that people who drink about one can of soda a day automatically increase their risk of chronic heart disease. Participants who drank the least soda had dramatically lower risk of heart attack, seeing as those who drank the most soda had a 20 percent higher chance of a heart attack. The intake of sugar also affects the way other organs, such as the lungs, function. Scientists linked sugar and soda consumption to elevated risk of pulmonary complications, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). Dr Zumin Shi, a researcher at the University of Adelaide, stated that “The amount of soft drink consumption is associated with an increased chance of asthma and/or COPD”. She also stated in one of her 2012 studies, “There exists a dose-response relationship, which means the more soft drink one consumes, the higher the chance of having these diseases”. Biological processes are not the only aspect of the human body affected by excessive amounts of sugar. Mental processes are also greatly affected, as well as common dental hygiene.



Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., founder and medical director of UltraWellness Center, stated during a recent interview on HuffPost Live that sugar and cocaine both make your brain “Light up like a christmas tree”. This is because when sugar and cocaine reach brain receptors, they trigger almost the exact same response and produce nearly the same amount of dopamine. Dopamine is defined as a compound present in the body as a neurotransmitter and a precursor of other substances including epinephrine. When the brain’s receptors release dopamine it triggers a feeling of relaxation and pleasure, which trains the brain to crave substances such as these. Once the brain is trained to crave and seek out these substances it becomes
an addiction. A 2012 study on rats conducted by researchers at the UCLA, found that a diet high in fructose (a form of sugar) takes quite the toll on the way you learn and remember things by literally slowing the brain’s activity. Heavy sugar intake caused the rats to develop a resistance to insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar levels and regulates the function of brain cells. Artificial sugars were also found to breakdown and rot teeth overtime. Each time you sip soda sugar bonds with bacteria in your mouth, giving rise to acid. This acid weakens enamel, which oimgresver time leads to bacterial plaque and can eventually cause cavities. Soda also lowers the PH of the saliva, boosting bacterial proliferation and dental erosion. The biological and neurological side effects that excessive amounts of sugar causes is shown in many case studies, which we will talk about next.



Research shows that the average American eats three times the daily recommended amount of glucose, which is 139 calories from sugar. The World Health Organization also recommends that 5 percent of daily caloric intake comes from sugar, however the average American daily diet is made up of 13 percent calories from sugar. Glucose, fructose, honey, and corn syrup are found in 74 percent of packaged foods in supermarkets. Sugars also affect the media and how we advertise food. We now show all these sugar filled foods as energizing and fulfilling, however they are nothing of the sort. Sugar is highly addictive, just like any drug. Excessive amounts of sugar also have very similar side effects to other drugs, a high followed by a crash. Just like alcohol gives one a hangover or marijuana leaves one with a unfulfilled feeling, sugar has this same effect.

Artificial sugars are praised now more than ever, but what we aren’t paying attention to is what it does to our body. Sugar practically rots one from the inside out, leaving them with nothing but a meaningless sugar high. And as they say, everything that goes up, must come down. It’s time we began paying attention to our mental and physical health, and how artificial sugars harm both. It is just as addictive as any drug, and it’s time for some rehabilitation.




N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/06/sugar-brain-mental-health_n_6904778.html>.

Scutti, Susan, and Susan Scutti Susan Scutti Is a Reporter, Novelist, and Loather of Self-descriptions. Read More. “4 Dangerous Effects Of Artificial Sweeteners On Your Health.”Medical Daily. N.p., 10 July 2013. Web. 05 Jan. 2017. <http://www.medicaldaily.com/4-dangerous-effects-artificial-sweeteners-your-health-247543>.

Ericson, John. “This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Soda.” Medical Daily. N.p., 20 June 2016. Web. 05 Jan. 2017. <http://www.medicaldaily.com/what-happens-your-body-when-you-drink-soda-sugar-affects-brain-heart-lungs-and-271193>.


New Students and Parents – Welcome to AESA!

By | Uncategorized

Welcome to AESA! We are so excited to have you join the AESA family.

We want you to feel completely comfortable and welcome. Please ask any teacher or staff member any questions you may have, no matter how large or small! We are here to help you and make your first weeks at AESA easy and positive.

Here are some important information and trips and tricks for parents and students:

Middle School / High School School Supply List

2016 / 2017 AESA Calendar


STUDENT ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE TIMES –  Classes begin promptly at 8:30 am and dismiss at 3:00 pm.

Please plan on arriving at least 10 minutes early to get settled and find your classrooms. (The first few days will be relaxed as students make their way back from summer vacation.) Please pick up your child before 3:15 pm.

DROP OFF / PICK UP – Students enter and leave the school from the front entrance ONLY. Side and back doors remain locked.

Please pull around to the front of the school roundabout to drop off your child. For security and safety reasons, please DO NOT pull up in the parking lot and let your student out to walk the rest of the way. If you need to park and walk in, please park in the main AESA parking lot as you enter the grounds.

Picking up your child – your child will be waiting inside the school or on the front steps, accompanied by a staff member. Students are not permitted to wait by the parking lot. Please pull through the roundabout to pick up your child, or park and walk to pick your child. If you are new to the school, a staff member will ask you to identify yourself and your child’s name until we get to know you by sight. Please indicate on your emergency info form who will be authorized besides yourself to pick your child.

If you will be late or are sending somebody else to pick up your child, PLEASE INFORM THE SCHOOL and we will convey the information.


To help students excel academically and develop excellent social skills, AESA has a “no cell phone during school hours” policy. This is from the beginning of the first class at 8:30 to the end of the last class of the day at 3:00 pm, and includes lunch time. This means that your student will not be texting or calling you during school hours. It also means they will not receive calls or texts that you send during school hours, until after their last class. If you have important information you need to share with your child, please contact AESA directly and we will connect you with your child or relay the information to them.

You will receive detailed information regarding this and other AESA policies in the parent / student handbook.


AESA has detailed emergency procedures in place. You will receive documents describing our emergency procedures and what to do if there is a weather advisory or other type of unique situation that may require school lockdown, late arrivals or early dismissals. AESA is implementing a text message system this year to alert parents of important information.


AESA has a centralized system called Haiku Learning where you will be able to view your child’s schedule, syllabus for each class, teacher profiles, upcoming events, assignments, tests and other important information. You will be able to monitor your student’s attendance and grades as they are posted. You can communicate directly with your students teachers through email, direct message through our central system. You are always welcome to schedule an appointment to meet with any teacher!

If you have any questions at all please let us know! We are here to help and want you and your child to feel completely welcome, safe and happy here at AESA.