Spyglass: Volume LVII | Issue I | October 2015


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Volume LVII | Issue I Joplin High School october 2015 Joplin High School students travel beyond the 36 square miles of Joplin—bringing culture, experience and service back home with them. Pages 8-11 ‘out of cancer’s grasp’ page 6 serving internationally page 8 Mo missions page 11


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great programs of amazing new friends mssu.edu


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what’s inside 4 a change of course 5 casual friday 6 ‘out of cancer’s grasp’ 8 serving internationally 9 wilberth’s new world 10 an adventure in america 11 mo missions 11 a new face in futbol 12 DIY: Fall edition 13 what goes around comes back around 14 deadly deja-vu 15 media bias 16 hauntingly fun Students and staff, High school, in general, is a time for teenagers to make lifelong friends, discover passions and learn through mistakes. The four years of endless classes and late nights of homework can also be a huge opportunity for self-discovery. Multiple JHS students have stepped out of their comfort zones in an effort to learn about cultures different from their own and to encourage selfless acts among their peers. It definitely hasn’t gone unnoticed. This past summer, numerous students travelled internationally while others left their host country to experience the American culture through schooling in Joplin. This issue is dedicated to highlighting the experiences of these individuals. Though many students come from different countries and backgrounds, we as world citizens are all able to unite under a single similarity: as students of Joplin High School. -Emma Thompson, Editor-in-Chief Spyglass is student publication of Joplin High School. All articles are student produced and any views expressed are that of the author. This magazine is distributed throughout the Joplin R-8 School District and local business sponsors. Please direct all correspondance to Adviser, Mary Crane, marycrane@joplinschools.org or Emma Thompson, Editor, emmathompson.stu@joplinschools.org. Emma Thompson Editor-In-Chief Jennifer Nguyen Co-editor Sarah Peterson Co-editor Matt McMullen Layout & Design Editor Kathleen Hughes Copy Editor William Henness Sports Editor Tyler Viles Online Editor Kobe Collins Business Manager Briley Beck Audrey Kanan Karly Weber Halli Robinson Annie Le Emma Simon Maggie Brister Ashlynn Scott Rebecca Brown William Schwartzenburg Staff eaglealley.com


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a change of course Norm Ridder, new superintendent, makes plan for Joplin Schools By Jennifer Nguyen and Emma Thompson news | 4 wants for its kids,” he said. “This will be the place to raise your children in five to ten years from now. It just doesn’t know it.” The “non-traditional” interim superintendent believes Joplin, as a community, and parents should focus on long-term goals concerning students’ schooling. Ridder plans to form a student forum in order to address these needs from the students’ perspectives. “It’s not so much being with kids, it’s working for kids,” said Ridder. “You students are my boss; you need to tell me what you want. The difference is between what you want and what you need. There’s a fine line between the two of them.” As one of 12 siblings raised on a farm in a German Catholic community, Ridder formed many of his current practices and beliefs; he became “rooted in service.” “I love working for kids. What I like is to build hunger in students for what they’ve been called to do,” said Norm Ridder, 2015-2016 Joplin Schools interim superintendent. Ridder, past superintendent to major school systems in Springfield, Mo., and Colorado Springs, Co., entered the Joplin School District the end of July with a focus on the individuality of each student. “Too often the education system, parents, [and] culture doesn’t really get into that core culture of competency that the child has,” said Ridder. “The student is never the problem. The problem is usually the system.” While serving in the district, Ridder aims to “understand the student culture” and “make sure that the system is listening to the community.” Ultimately, he intends for the school board to compile a one page strategic plan for the district by March 1. The plan will focus on moving the district away from a control centered mindset in an attempt to improve an “already healthy community.” “I think the community of Joplin is very rich in what it Humans of Joplin high school Nathaniel rose “[My greatest struggle is] trying to balance everything between school, family and work. It’s kind of confusing. Sometimes you just don’t get the sleep you need or anything, but you just gotta do what you gotta do.” angela delph “Part of my personality is that I’m a perfectionist, and letting go is the biggest struggle. When I went to college, I thought I had to be the best student there. I just needed to realize that I could keep my scholarships and have a good time. I could get a degree, but still take the pressure off of myself.” to view other humans of joplin high school, visit www.eaglealley.com


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news | 4 Casual friday New dress attire and date for football homecoming dance By Maggie Brister Updated laptops. Tardy sweeps. New teachers. With these foreseen changes comes a more sur- Pictured, right, is a possible new look for the fall 2016-2017 homecoming dance. Sophomore Aileen Aldridge attended this year’s dance in formal attire. prising adjustment: the switch from a Saturday to Friday night homecoming dance. According to student council (STUCO) advisers, Mark LaTurner and LaHeather Fisher, the changes concerning the night of the dance are designed to encourage better attendance for the homecoming dance. Changes will take effect during the 2016-2017 school year. “It’s just going from Saturday to Friday. They can dress as formally as they want,” said LaTurner. The STUCO advisers hope having the dance on a Friday will make a lot of sense,” Campbell said. “But then again, I don’t think it’s fair for the underclassmen to kind of lose their formal.” For junior, Sara Benson, the practicality of adjusting the dance makes sense, but she believes the decision will “be met with tension.” With the interests of students and staff in mind, LaTurner and Fisher hope to ultimately boost the attendance and spirit for the game and dance. allow for a maximizing of the homecoming game and dance experience, especially since the two go hand in hand. “I mean Friday is a big day, that Friday of homecoming— that game, it’s a big build up,” said Fisher. Besides the potential increase in school pride, this change is hoped to be a positive change for students prevented from attending the dance due to scheduling, as well as cost. “We have a student body that has different sets of needs at home. It’s an added expense that families don’t need,” Fisher said. For sophomore Yourong Tang, the ex- pense of dress attire has prevented her from attending football homecoming in previous years. “I don’t want to pay for a dress or dress up. I think it’s better to go casual,” she said. Along with Tang, freshman Mallory Cravens agrees that going casual could be better in the long run. “I’m glad that it’s the last formal be- cause I get to experience it, and then I don’t have to buy dresses every year,” said Cravens. Junior class president, Madeline Campbell, sees both advantages and disadvantages to hosting the dance on a Friday night. “I like it, because the reasons for it


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feature | 6 Photo by Matt McMullen ‘out of cancer’s grasp’ Joplin High School freshman reflects on her personal experience fighting cancer By Kathleen Hughes At the age of 12 years old, most children are worrying about what they are going to wear to school the next day or what is for dinner that night. But for Kaitlyn (Katie) Moore, it was a different story. It all began in the sixth grade. Moore did not feel up to par, therefore she began to seek medical attention. At first doctors assumed she had the flu. When Moore was not improving and the symptoms were not alleviated, the doctors then recommended they test her for cancer as a safeguard against the possibility. This is where she and her family found their answer. On May 9, 2013, Moore was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This is a fast-growing cancer dealing with certain types of white blood cells, lymphocytes, that crowd the bone marrow and prevent it from making both red and white blood cells, as well as platelets, which are essential for the body. “My initial reaction was definitely shock, and I was scared, but after 10 minutes of hysterical crying I was actually fine. Everybody else was so sad, and I was sad too, but I was the one calming everybody else down,” said Moore. Upon the doctors making this discovery, the first step taken was packing bags in order to get Moore to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City to start her first week of treatment. “One of the biggest obstacles I had to go through was being comfortable with myself. I was losing hair and I wore a hat to school everyday. I just had to realize that people probably weren’t going to judge me, I would be fine and I just needed to be myself,” said Moore. While working to come to peace with herself about her condition, Moore had to focus on her education and work hard to stay caught up with her classes. “I would email my teachers basically everyday and a teacher would come to my house and give me homework whenever I just couldn’t go to school at all. But whenever I would just miss a couple days of school I would email my teachers and they were really nice and lenient,” said Moore. After three years of treatment while juggling school work, Moore had her last spinal tap in July, which was followed by her last chemotherapy treatment, pill intake and removal of her port in September. “Knowing that I am done with this whole process is an amazing feeling. It all seems kind of surreal that it is already over. The night that I took my last chemo pill I was actually so happy I cried,” said Moore. Throughout her journey she came across a plethora of people who inspired her to keep pushing forward. “There are a lot of people when I go to the hospital; like other patients that are younger than me or older than me. They will always just be really happy and smile at me and so I am like well, I am this far, I can get farther.” Having people there to influence her and help her through her experience made the coping process in some ways easier, but there are other ways in which she is reminded of her experience on a daily basis. “I obviously will always remember it. I have a big scar on my chest from my port, so a lot of people ask about that and then I have to explain the whole situation. Sometimes I just think about what came out of it; for “I definitely realized the strength I had. I didn’t know I would be able to go through something like that and still be a positive and happy person.” -Katie Moore, Freshman


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feature | 7 instance, my hair wouldn’t be curly. I would still have long hair and it would be straight,” said Moore. When reflecting back on her recovery, Moore explained, “It goes by really fast, so don’t be stressing about it. It’s going to be hard, but it will be over before you know it.” She believes she has grown as a person through this experience. “I definitely realized the strength I had. I didn’t know I would be able to go through something like that and still be a positive and happy person. It’s such an amazing feeling to know that I’m out of cancer’s grasp and that, hopefully, it’s never coming back,” said Moore. Photos contributed Moore is sitting with her dad, very left, Scott Moore, outside of Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. This photo was taken during her first week of treatment. Moore poses for photo, left, after getting her haircut. Shortly after, her dad cut his hair to show support for his daughter.


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Where are they now? Previous foreign exchange students reflect on their time in the states By Briley Beck Paula Lanta from Germany Q: Do you miss Joplin? Why? A: I really miss Joplin because I loved my school and all the people there. They were so friendly and spontaneous which I really liked. I also miss their lifestyle and all that stuff which is different than in Germany like schools, houses, food and malls. Q: What was one of your favorite memories at JHS? A: My favorite memory was when I played tennis for Joplin High School and got to know a lot of great people. We spent a lot of time together and [and I loved the] matches. Rebecca Cenzato from Italy Q: What did you miss about your country? A: While I was in Joplin, I didn't really miss anything in particular. I was happy to be there and it felt a lot like home. Anyway, I missed the atmosphere Italy has. It's easier to make new friends in the U.S., but friendships are deeper here. I missed Italian food. I also missed physical contact. I know it sounds weird but we hug and kiss people a whole lot more. Q: What are you doing now? A: I'm about to move and go to college. I'll study physics in Bologna, Italy. I'm an AFS volunteer now and I'm also part of an experimental drama company. I still love traveling and can't wait to make enough money to come visit you all. Joplin is always in my heart and a piece of myself is stored somewhere between Illinois Avenue and Cape Kiwanda and will be forever. to hear from other past foreign exchange students, visit www.eaglealley.com FEATURE | 8 Serving Internationally Since Summer of 2015 A gift to us and a gift to them By Emma Simon and Jennifer Nguyen Seven students. Four countries. One mission: to serve others. In an attempt to aid international volunteer efforts, seven Joplin High School students traveled beyond the borders of their in nicaragua lieurance homes and experiences to towns, unlike Joplin. These cultures were rich in their distinctions of language, religion and societal practice. These students were exposed to not only poverty, but also perspectives of life which differ from the traditional viewpoints in America. For Bradley Sitton, JHS senior, taking part in missionary activity was something she felt challenged to do since she attended a Christ in Youth Move session a few years ago. In December of 2014, she found out about a trip to Zambia. “Africa’s always been big on my heart,” said Sitton. Sitton spent over a week in July volunteering in Ndola, Zambia with a church group she traveled with from Pryor, Okla. Throughout the week, her mission group partnered with Seeds of Hope to build water filters, help with farming and conduct vacation bible studies. One of the most memorable moments for Sitton occurred when she performed a song in Bemba with Ndola community members in front of the community church. “They (the people of Ndola) were very quick to accept us and big on community. They were trusting and ready to help whenever needed,” said Sitton. Fellow senior, Delaney Cash, had a similar experience. Cash was the recipient of a scholarship offered by Potash Corporation. As a result, she was able to volunteer through Free the Children, a nonprofit organization based in Canada, but branched out to international communities. She was sent to India. Out of the entire group of scholarship recipients, Cash was the only American. While it was surreal for her to believe she was actually serving the people of Kumbhalgarh, India, she approached the village with a determined mindset to help. Her volunteer group dug trenches and built walls surrounding village schools. She was able to build relationships with students, even though her time was limited. “Our mission was really just to learn and experience different cultures and just see what all these companies had done for them,” said Cash. Lauren Fogarty, JHS sophomore, had a life-changing experience over the summer as well. Fogarty spent around 10 days in Haiti and has made plans to go back over Christmas break. “I just look at everything differently since Haiti. I learned to be more grateful for what I have. I want to go back,” said Fogarty. She and her parents frequently go to Haiti to assist surgeries, help deliver babies and play with the children in the orphanages there. “You go to the schools and the orphanages and you think that all the children would just be sad or crying, but they’re all really happy that they’re there and that they’re still alive,” said Fogarty. Jesse Brower, JHS senior, went to Haiti with Fogarty’s family this summer with


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Fo garty in Haiti FEATURE | 9 an interest in the medical field. Brower was able to shadow doctors in the medical room through a program called Haitian Nation. “Lauren, my cousin and I got to go in the operation room and check out what was going on. It was a really eye opening experience,” said Jesse. His sister, Abby Brower, JHS freshmen, who attended the same mission trip in Haiti, served in a different area of the island. Instead of doing medical work, she volunteered at Rapha House, an organization that provides a safe house for girls that have previously been involved in human trafficking. “These girls [Haitian girls at Rapha House] were so loving. One of the girls and I bonded when I first got there. On the very last day she told me, ‘You’re my sister forever. I’ll never forget you.’ We were trying to be strong for them, but it was really hard,” said Abby. Spencer Gibson and Caroline Lieurance were two other JHS students who travelled to serve others this past summer. Both went on a mission trip with St. Paul’s United Methodist Church to Nicaragua where they spent roughly a week putting on vacation Bible schools for children within the area. “[When I returned to Nicaragua] kids that I didn’t think would remember me at all came right up to me the minute I got there like I had just been gone a couple of days, not a year. That really hit home,” said Gibson. Lieurance went to Nicaragua to see what the rest of the world has to offer and to experience a new culture. “They [the Nicaraguans] were so grateful. They all had nothing, but they were happy all the time. Here [in America] people are sad, but they have so many things,” said Lieurance. Sitton connects with students at a school in Zambia. Sitton’s mission group partnered with Seeds of Hope to conduct vacation bible studies. Salazar from Hon duras wilberth’s new world Honduras native embraces new culture Story and photo By Halli Robinson “I came to learn,” said Wilberth Salazar, Joplin High School student from Honduras. Salazar moved to Joplin from Honduras to learn English and take classes unavailable to him in the schools of Honduras. With little education offered there, Salazar is excited to come where he can learn more. “I like all of my classes,” said Salazar. “They are all good, and my classmates are good people.” Not knowing much English, Salazar is required to take many English classes to strengthen his understanding. “I am a freshman,” said Salazar. “But I’m 16 years old.” He is only a few weeks into his English classes and has made some humorous mistakes because of his lack of understanding of the language. “I accidentally went into the ladies’ restroom,” he said, laughing. According to Salazar, the greatest difference between the two schools is the use of technology. “It (technology) is very important here, but at home we don’t use technology in school,” said Salazar. Learning to use technology is a challenge, but an even greater one was leaving his family in Honduras. Although he lives here with his brother, he still misses his family. “My family is back home,” said Salazar. In Honduras, many of his friends played soccer, but he had never enjoyed the sport. Instead, he enjoyed basketball, and he plans on joining the high school basketball team this year. In addition to sports, Salazar spends his free time doing other activities. “I like to play basketball, write occasionally and draw,” said Salazar. He likes to draw the things around him, including his new home, the United States. “It (the United States) is very beautiful,” said Salazar. “And Joplin is very pretty.” Being new to the United States, Salazar is aware of the differences in culture, food and the weather. “During this part of the year, it rains quite a bit,” said Salazar. He is excited for the new opportunities that will arise this year and the next. He hopes to meet new people and enjoy the rest of his high school years.


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FEATURE | 10 iann aadvmeneturrieca Four exchange students experience American culture at JHS By Sarah Peterson It’s always scary to be the new kid at school. It’s even scarier being the new kid in a country with an unfamiliar lan- guage and culture. High schoolers who choose to be foreign exchange students embrace this challenge, leaving their homes and families behind to travel to a country full of strangers. Joplin High School is home to four such students this year: Hiro Kikuchi from Japan, Marcell Loben- wein from Hungary, Jule Löhnert from Germany and Vinicius Passos from Brazil. All four made the decision to do an exchange program because they wanted to take advantage of opportunities they wein from hungary couldn’t in their home countries. “I love traveling and this was an option for a high school stu- dent to actually experience other things,” said Lobenwein. Several were at first intimidated by the idea of living with a family they hadn’t met before. Kikuchi went from being an only child to having two host siblings, a change he described as “excit- ing and a little bit scary.” Passos had a similar experience. “It’s hard to live in another house that’s not yours,” he said. “In the beginning I was very shy, but now everything is okay.” Attending American school has also been a major change for the ex- change students, as it differs in many ways from the schools of their home countries. All four said JHS has a wider selection of classes than they are used to. To Lobenwein, the most notable is pathophysiology, a class he has really enjoyed that would never have been available to him in Hungary. A big difference for Löhnert is that extracurriculars are offered through the schools whereas in Germany they are separate. “I really like the American high school life because everything you do in ssos from Brazil your daily life you are doing at the school,” she said. Another unique experience for many exchange students is the opportu- nity to participate in well-known American traditions. Before Löhnert’s arrival, most of what she knew about America came from movies and TV. She looked forward to getting involved in activities such as football games and homecoming. Kikuchi is excited to take part in American holidays, especially Christmas, which according to him is known about in Japan but not widely celebrated. The JHS exchange students still have the majority of their program re- maining and many more American experiences to come. “I’m excited every day about just getting up and going outside because I’m still in the phase where everything is really new. Just sitting in the car and riding around the city is a totally new and exciting experience,” said Lobenwein. Loben Pa Löh nert from germany 


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Mo Missions Junior Reilly Sitton volunteers at local camp for kids with special needs By Emma Thompson While some Joplin High School students travelled to various countries for mission trips this past summer, Reilly Sitton stayed close to home to fulfill a more local need: a shortage of volunteers at Camp Barnabas. Located in Purdy, Mo., Camp Barnabas is a week long adventure camp that caters to kids and young adults with special needs. Volunteers such as Sitton, also known as Barnstormers or counselors, spent an FEATURE | 11 extensive amount of time serving and helping the campers who attended. A typical day for Sitton included serving every meal, cleaning up afterwards and spending time with campers while helping them participate in various fun activities. “I learned a lot about patience,” said Sitton. “The kids... don’t always understand you all the time, so you have to be patient with them in order to help them.” While it wasn’t easy at times, Sitton found a way to find joy in many little things. The friendship formed between two attendees was something which specifically impacted Sitton. A “Blast from the Past” dance party, put on by the volunteers for the campers, was, for Sitton, “one of the best nights with the campers.” “I struggled with putting myself last,” said Sitton. “(But the campers) always seemed to have smiles on their faces, making the whole week worth it.” Camp Barnabas hosts those with disabilities for more than six weeks in the summer. Each week is specialized towards a specific disability or age group, whether it be campers who will be confined to a wheelchair for the majority of the week or campers who don’t have the ability to hear or talk. Sitton volunteered at Camp Barnabas on two different occasions: during the “Young Friends” (children) week from June 13-19 and during the “Challenge” (wheelchair) week from July 25-31. Sitton helped for two weeks, the first week with her church, but when she found out the camp was short volunteers later in the summer, she returned for an additional week. “Entertaining” was how Reilly described her experience. “You never know what’s going to happen, and most of the time you’re just laughing and learning,” said Sitton. Sitton plans to return to Camp Barnabas for the 2015-2016 summer. new face in futbol Former soccer player, Luis Percovich, uses past experiences to coach JHS soccer team By William Henness New head soccer coach Luis Percovich has brought his experiences from Peru to Joplin, fusing the different coaching techniques he has been exposed to into his own unique style. With his leadership, the Eagles look to make a strong run at their fourth conference championship in five years. This is Percovich’s first head coaching job after previously playing professionally for the St. Louis Lions Percovich from pe and Springfield Demize. The new Joplin High School coach was born in Lima, Peru where he lived for the first 11 ru years of his life before moving to Florida with his family. Peru had a big influence on who he has become today. “Soccer is the main sport of the country, so everyone pretty much plays it at some point,” said Percovich. “The opportunities in Peru are not as abundant; you learn to appreciate everything you have and to work for everything that you want. Not very much is given to you there.” Following his graduation from William Woods University in Fulton, Mo., Percovich was injured while playing soccer, pushing him towards coaching. “I’ve been coached by many different people and they have taught me different ways to look at the sport. Based off of that, I have created my own style and it helps me to relate to some of the players,” said Percovich. When talking about this year’s team, he believes there is a lot of talent and they have the ability to be great. “We look good, but are a young team still trying to get used to each other. We have a lot of potential,” said Percovich. He believes everyone should seize opportunities. “The goal always has to be to go as far as possible. You can’t limit yourself,” said Percovich.


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interest | 12 DIY: Fall edition ‘Fall’ in love with these fall favorites By Audrey Kanan and Becca Brown Mini caramel apples As the fall season blows in, celebrating the holidays is a must. But who wants to spend a ton of time or money on some favorite foods? Let’s all just admit it, we love a classic caramel apple. Here is a simple alternative to a fall favorite that won’t require you to break the bank or break your braces. Pumpkin spice latte Getting Starbucks can be expensive, especially when it comes to their seasonal drinks. That doesn’t hold anyone back when the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back on the menu. This homemade version is just as delicious and much cheaper. Supplies: Melon baller Apples (3 large apples usually make 20 mini caramel apples) Kraft Caramel Bits Topping of your choice (chopped nuts, crushed Oreos or M&M’s, or pretzel crumbs) Lollipop sticks Step 1: Peel all of the apples. Step 2: Use the melon baller to scoop small balls of apple. Step 3: Place a stick into an apple piece to give yourself something to hold on to. Step 4: Melt the caramel according to the direc- tions on the bag. Step 5: Sprinkle the toppings onto the caramel. Now you’re done, enjoy! Supplies: Pumpkin Spice Syrup 1 cup water 2/3 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup pumpkin puree 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice ½ teaspoon vanilla extract Pumpkin Spice Latte 1 shot (3 tablespoons) espresso or coffee 1 shot (3 tablespoons) pumpkin spice syrup ¾ cup steamed milk (I used almond, but any kind works) directions: Whisk water, brown sugar, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice together in a small saucepan over medium high heat. After bringing the mixture to a boil while stirring occasionally, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until slightly thickened (about 3 minutes). Add vanilla extract and remove syrup from heat. Combine the milk, syrup, and coffee in a mug and top with cream, chocolate syrup, etc. Now sit back and relax while enjoying this coffee shop worthy drink.


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interest | 13 What goes around comes back around Teachers recall trends from when they were in high school By Ashlynn Scott From a change of atmosphere and attitude; from scrunchies to extensions; and “I Love Rock and Roll” to “Shut Up and Dance,” times have changed. Lately, the younger generation has embraced former trends that have taken Joplin High School teachers on a nostalgic trip back through time. “All that boho chic that’s coming back right now, with the big shoes and kind of the grunge look... that was still really popular in high school,” said English teacher Amber Cooney, a graduate from ‘03. “We wore big Doc Martens shoes and plaid shirts.” Shoes like Vans, Converse and Nikes are classics and have made an impact on today’s attire. In addition, music has changed over the decades. “Head banging, a lot of rock n’ roll. I don’t remember much country when I was growing up,” said Dan Hueller, senior principal, graduate of ‘83. “I listened to a lot of what they call ‘long haired Circa 1985 rock ‘n’ roll musicians.’” Foreign language teacher Mary Vu, graduate of ‘06, also listened to a variety of music. “I really liked to listen to Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and N’ Sync; now and then Evanescence and Nirvana during my angsty stage,” said Vu. Music and clothing styles may have changed since then, but the atmosphere of a high school hallway is something that has remained the same. “When I went to school, you were shoulder to shoulder with someone trying to get through the hallway and you had to really move to get through the halls so you weren’t late,” said Franklin Technology industrial art teacher Levi Reed, JHS graduate of ‘06. While most JHS students do not have lockers now, Angela Delph did when she went to school in the 80’s. “Between classes, we would be going to our locker. We would have been paired up--we had top and bottom lockers. But I also went to a small school,” said Delph. Circa 2015


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editorial | 14 Deadly Deja-Vu The United States’ lack of involvement in Syrian Civil War appears to be history repeating itself By Karly Weber and Jennifer Nguyen A mother rushes her children out of their home. Her husband has been killed, and she is fleeing for her life, leaving behind all she knows in a desperate attempt to save her children. This tragic scene could have taken place in Nazi Germany in the 1940s. However, this scene can just as easily take place right now; the scene of a nation escaping the danger of the Syrian Civil War. For the last four years, the Syrian government has engaged in a war with an anti-government group called the Free Syrian Army. The war has killed 220,000 people--almost half the casualties resulting from civilian deaths. Individuals uninvolved in combat have no choice but to flee because this war truly has no mercy. Innocent men, women and children are injured, killed and starved because of combat. An estimated 11 million Syrians have fled to find solace in other countries. With this many people relocating, the Syrian refugees are running out of places to go. Imagine being in their place. Imagine losing your only home and being driven out of your native country with nowhere to go, having done nothing to deserve the treatment you have and are about to endure. Imagine knowing there are people on the other side of the world watching your tragedy with the ability to help, yet aid and involvement cease to come your way. My friends, this is where the United States stands in this situation. Instead of getting involved to save the defenseless people of Syria, the United States government is choosing to simply mind its own business. U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey has said that the U.S. will move against the Syrian army only if it becomes a direct threat to the United States. Is it not this kind of reasoning that allowed the atrocities of Nazi Germany to continue far too long before the United States finally intervened? Isn’t this the kind of situation that the U.S. government promised not to let repeat itself after World War II? And yet, this is exactly what is happening. As individuals of the human race, we have a responsibility to ourselves and our fellow Syrian brothers and sisters to make ourselves aware of the situation. If the government doesn’t initiate change, it doesn’t mean we can’t. In this instance, history does not have to repeat itself.


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editorial | 15 Media Bias The underlying culprit in today’s society By Matt McMullen Everyday we are constantly bombarded with media such as the internet, the television, the radio and even newspapers. The media controls what we see: giving those who create it the power to decide whether something is important or not. It is crucial for us to find a balance in media and to make a distinction between news and entertainment. Americans are exposed to influence almost every waking moment of their day; whether it be traffic laws, peer pressure or an advertisement convincing you why you always need something new. Most news outlets will tell you their mission is to provide the most accurate news, while their true main goal is to generate larger funds. Without profit, news outlets wouldn’t succeed. A large amount of this profit is obtained through sponsorships in businesses, both local and national, as well as a rise in social media advertising. However, businesses only sponsor a certain news outlet because of what information it releases and if it agrees with their morals. Due to this, many news organizations find it more beneficial to release news that is not necessarily accurate in order to release new and possibly very popular material before any other news source. While this isn’t a journalist’s main intention when developing a news article, it’s necessary to distinguish the ethical journalists from the unethical journalists. The time it takes for a news outlet to publish a major story is a determining factor of making money or losing money. Some prefer quantity over quality. Social media is a large growing influence today. According to Statista. com, on average, American adults use and are influenced by electronic media up to 11 hours a day. Research performed by the Pew Research Center states that 90% of American adults own a cell phone. This proves that during the span of your day, you’re influenced mainly due to rising social media. Every news outlet has the task of determining whether or not a news story is considered important to their viewers. Time Warner, VIACOM, Vivendi Universal, Walt Disney and News Corp are five major corporations who own 95% of the media we see and use everyday. They get to control what their consumers see, sometimes developing mistrust between the organization and its consumer. With five major organizations controlling the large majority of what we are influenced by, it’s sometimes hard to tell when something is truly being hidden from us. Many people today find it very difficult to differentiate between what is entertainment and what is news. I find this very troubling, especially when we tend to care more about what Miley is doing on a day-to-day basis than what Syrian refugees have to face every day. Trust me, I often fall into the trap of caring more about entertainment than actual news. It’s interesting and doesn’t make me feel as bad that I’m not spending my time trying to solve world issues. But it’s important that we know when to draw the line on entertainment and update ourselves on what’s going on around the globe.



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