The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

Pictured above is a RealCare baby that is used for the baby care project. Students in the Human Growth and Development class had to take home these babies for a weekend and learn how to care for a baby’s needs. “I liked having a constant companion with me,” Lehman said. “I was never alone for more than two seconds because it was really loud and needed constant attention.” 
Photo by Julia Seiden
Robot Babies On the Loose
Julia Seiden, Reporter • December 8, 2023

Her dark room...

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Tom Blyth’s portrayal of Coriolanus Snow in “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” book-to-movie adaptation has become a staple on social media. The TikTok hashtag “#coriolanussnow” has over one billion views with almost all of the featured videos being a fan-made edit of the actor.
Snow Lands on Top
Alyssa Fox, Reporter • December 6, 2023

Scrolling through...

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A list of 12 Christmas movies you should watch this holiday season!
The 12 Movies of Christmas
Mia Morneault, Reporter • December 6, 2023

It’s the most...

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Crossing the finish line, senior Isabel Conde De Frankenberg secures first place at the Cedar Park invitational on Sept.9. This was Conde De Frankenberg’s first race of the season and she has won this race every year since she was a freshman. “Winning felt good because it’s good to represent your school,” Conde De Frankenberg said. “Being able to run on your own campus is really exciting and I had fun.”
From Start to Finish Line
Mai Cachila, Reporter • December 4, 2023

In the rhythmic...

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AT&T stadium in Arlington is the next big hurdle the Longhorns need to leap over in order to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.
Is Texas Back?
Jonathan Levinsky, Reporter • December 1, 2023

“Longhorn Nation,...

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Taking a selfie with some of their castmates, including senior Aidan Cox, who plays Buddy the Elf, junior Brooke Ferguson shows off a sign presenting the arrival of “Elf. This year’s musical, “Elf” runs Dec. 1-3 in the CPHS PAC. “[Learning a new script is] always kind of a challenge,” Ferguson said. “You get a new cast and you get your own part. I’ve never worked closely with these people before. It’s a different environment and doing character work with someone new, trying to partner work and scene work is interesting. The script is good and it has a lot of jokes, it’ll be a lot of laughs.” Photo by Brooke Ferguson
Elf on the Stage
Jane Yermakov, Reporter • December 1, 2023

A mix of unprecedented...

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Oh Shoot

The Not-So Fantastic Experience of Family Pictures
Photo by Kassidy Wilkinson
In the early years of my life, I thought there was nothing to be scared of except bulldogs and people putting raisins in baked goods. However, there was one thing that would always make the color drain from my face and cause a cold sweat to break out across my brow, and it was just two terrifying words. Family pictures.

As a kid, I didn’t think thunderstorms signified the end of the world. I never cared about the monsters in my closet and I believed the most horrifying thing on TV was the ending of a Hallmark movie when the two leads kissed. In the early years of my life, I thought there was nothing to be scared of except bulldogs and people putting raisins in baked goods. However, there was one thing that would always make the color drain from my face and cause a cold sweat to break out across my brow, and it was just two terrifying words. Family pictures.

On the days when I am forced to live out this nightmare, it seems my alarm clock suddenly becomes a race officials’ air horn, signifying the beginning of an all out sprint. My house of two parents, two older siblings and five quintuplets all turn to their competitive side, stealing bathrooms, stealing hair blow dryers, and stealing the last waffle. In this blur of blue-toned outfits, fights over “who had what first” and “it’s mine” break out and add to the building chaos. By some miracle in the form of Rachelle Wilkinson, my mom, we all seem to make it to the car on time with decent looking hair and somewhat real smiles.

Unfortunately for my family, and the entire world, the sun chooses for 7:30 a.m. in the morning to be when outdoor picture lighting looks the best. It’s almost as if it woke up one day and asked itself, “what can make the already torturous experience of family pictures even worse? I know! Let’s make everyone wake up early so they can be tired and grumpy throughout the entire photoshoot!” The sun can’t even behave for longer than a second before it’s getting in everyone’s eyes and creating too many shadows. The majority of family picture-taking time isn’t even spent taking the picture; it’s spent pleading with the sun to go behind a cloud.

To get us to at least pretend we are happy while we make enemies with the sun and stand for what feels like hours in our positions, my mom has to resort to bribery. This has been a staple of my family pictures for as long as I can remember. Since the age of one, in pictures of me and my quintuplet siblings, you can always find Cheerios wrapped tightly in our tiny fists or see the glint of an iPad playing The Wiggles in our eyes. With age, the bribes increased. First it was Cheerios and TV, then it became skittles and ice cream, and now it’s Diet Coke and chocolate. I don’t like family pictures, but I’ll cooperate in exchange for  a can of Diet Coke and a bar of chocolate any day.

When I was younger, poses in my family were so much easier. The small five quints in the front and the older, taller kids and parents in the back. Somewhere in the course of our lives, my brothers grew taller and so did I. My sisters, on the other hand, remained short, or vertically challenged as we like to call it. Seven out of the nine of us are practically the same height, so there’s no perfect pose for our family anymore. Every time we go to take pictures we either have to line up in a long line spanning the frame of the camera or find a place to stand on to give us different heights.

Every single time we’re standing in our places, getting ready to take the picture, we’re never able to just stand there in peace. Someone always decides to lean too far right or too far left until suddenly the pressure and tension between our stiff and smooshed-together bodies become too much to bear. We have to quickly disperse from each other to avoid ending up in an unwelcome doggy pile. The disrupter then doesn’t stop there but usually attempts to break the silence again by surprising unsuspecting victims with a tickle fight. From there, a small scrimmage can turn into a full-blown tickle war with everyone taking sides and making secret alliances. The peace treaty isn’t signed until the promise that the pictures will be done soon is made and everyone finds their position once again.

The group pictures never seem to end, and when the time finally does come for individual pictures, we all wrestle over who gets to go first, as if we think we’re going to get to go home early instead of just being stuck watching the next six people take their photo. At this point, the promise of Diet Coke and chocolate is not enough to keep even a fake smile on our faces, and complaints start slipping left and right out of our mouths. But eventually the glorious last picture is taken and we are home free.

My family, however, is never really free. I’m pretty sure family photos have made up 36% of my entire life because my mom is constantly stopping us for a quick pic,  claiming, “if there’s no picture, it didn’t happen.” The nine of us aren’t exactly a cute, small, traveling group and every time we stop to take a picture we draw tons of attention to ourselves while some of us duck and others stand on their tiptoes so we can all fit into the frame. I don’t know about anyone else, but there are only so many pictures I can take in front of a pretty sky or historical building before they all start to seem like the same thing. 

My mom always tells me that I will appreciate these pictures when I’m older, and I hope she’s right because I don’t want to have wasted 36% of my life taking photos I don’t like or cherish. One day I may even join the generations of moms before me that say they enjoy taking pictures with their families, though that might be stretching it. Perhaps, one day, I will even say that you need pictures because if you don’t have them, then your life didn’t happen. Right now, though, I can’t imagine myself ever saying that.

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About the Contributor
Kassidy Wilkinson, Reporter
Kassidy is a junior and second year reporter. She was born in the early 2000s to Rachelle and Jayson Wilkinson who gave her a name and a few other things like shelter, hope... and four other siblings her exact age. Along with her other quintuplet siblings, Kassidy is a part of the CPHS pickleball club. She believes Diet Coke is heaven's water, and spends her time reading romance novels, dreaming of Torchy’s Tacos and writing articles.

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