Spyglass: Volume LVI | Issue III | December 2014


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volume lvi / issue iii joplin high school december 2014 mo^sTtheoEfagles have landed Seat Belts: Bust or Must? Pg 9 DIY: Christmas Edition Pg 14 Ebola Outbreak Pg 18


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4 Dial Dedication 5 Santa’s helpers 6 Little scientists, big minds 7 science teacher recognized 8 Rising above poverty 9 seat belts: bust or must? 10 Nearly landed 12 ‘tis the season 12 gifts of christmas past 13 global christmas 14 DIY: Christmas edition 15 cookie cutter christmas 16 Winter driving tips 16 College prep and tips 17 winter sports preview 18 ebola goes viral Spyglass is a 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 Rylee Hartwell, Editor, ryleehartwell@joplinschools.org eaglealley.com Cover photo by Rylee Hartwell Editor-In-Chief Rylee Hartwell Assistant Editor Emma Thompson Layout & Design Editor Matt McMullen Sports Editor Chris Martucci Copy Editor Kathleen Hughes Photographer Devon Johnson Business Manager Logan Whitehead Adviser Mrs. Mary Crane Staff Emma Claybrook Nene Adams Jennifer Nguyen Maggie Baker Sarah Peterson Taylor Ford


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NEWS Long-time Educator Recognized Administration and Counseling Center dedicated to principal Marion Dial By Rylee Hartwell @RyleeHartwell Joplin Schools hosted a dedication for the Marion Dial Administration and Counseling Center at Joplin High School on Nov. 9. Following the ceremony, a community open house was held at the new school from 2:45-4:30 p.m. Dial served on the executive committee of the Joplin Teachers’ Association and served on an advisory committee for the study of black education in the state of Missouri. He was one of the organizers and the first president of the Southwest Missouri Negro Teachers’ Association. Dial became the first African American in Missouri to be elected to a citywide or state office when he was elected in 1954 to Joplin’s City Council. He was also active with George Washington Carver National Monument and served as a ranger historian there for 17 years. Dial passed away in 1972. Jim West, Class of 1967, spoke at the event. He was a student of Dial’s at school and Unity Baptist Church when growing up. Dial gave him the inspiration to run for Joplin City Council. “His ways of doing things and teaching, it stayed on me and influenced me for a long time,” West said. Betty Smith, Joplin, also spoke at the event of her time under Dial. “He always taught us so well,” Smith said, adding if a student had a question, Dial would tell him to look up the information in a book, “because if you learn something yourself, it will stay with you.” In April 2014, Joplin Schools Board of Education voted to name the center after Marion Dial, a longtime Joplin principal who played an instrumental role in school integration in Joplin during the late 1950s. Dial was born in 1903 in Chetopa, Kansas and began his teaching career for the Joplin School District in 1932. He taught and coached at Lincoln High School. In 1933, he was named principal at Lincoln and remained in that position until 1958. He continued as principal of Lincoln School for Special Education and retired from the district in 1968. He also coached basketball at Lincoln, and during his tenure, led his team to many state championships. The Joplin Globe contributed to this story. Photo contributed by Joplin Schools Marion Dial Marion Dial was employed by the Joplin School District for 36 years. Throughout his tenure he was principal at Lincoln School and retired as 4 principal of Lincoln Special School.


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FEATURE Santa’s Helpers Students send hope to the community for the holidays By Jennifer Nguyen @smiliefacejen Faith travels in different forms. This mentality explains the sense of community uncovered with each passing of the holiday season. By reaching out to individuals of the city, key groups at Joplin High School display the meaning of service, humility and hope with their actions. Community outreach isn’t an act simply restricted to the holiday season, though. It’s rather a yearlong project in the works. Deonna Anderson, FTC Engineering Graphics instructor, recognizes the importance of pre-planning. A leader of the SkillsUSA program, Anderson has been in charge of organizing traditional Winter Wonderland festivities in past years. Winter Wonderland is an event designed to allow children in Joplin’s Head Start programs to experience the atmosphere of FTC while engaging in activities at the same time. “Our goal is to provide opportunities for little people to just come and have a good time with us and also to expose them to different areas of career opportunities. So that’s why we try to theme the activities towards the particular class they’re in. We try to not influence them really, but just try to expose them,” said Anderson. These activities include snowball fights, automobile courses, watching movies, and of course, gazing at hallway decorations. “Schools are the beneficiary of the community contributing, and I think it’s only fair and equitable that students learn to give back, so when they’re in that situation, they can continue the legacy,” said Anderson. The event will take place on Dec. 2 and 3 at FTC and will host an estimate of 250 visitors. Following the same thought pattern, David Welling’s transitions class was inspired to implement a new idea entitled “hope baskets.” After a discussion concerning poverty rates in Joplin, the idea originated as a way to cater to the needs of students at elementary grade levels. The goal of the project is to provide elementary students with small gifts in the form of baskets that can be distributed throughout the school year. The baskets would include items such as food, clothing, toiletries, and toys. While the process of gathering supplies is still in motion, the class plans to host collaborative fundraisers with additional organizations to raise funds and aware- ness for this cause. By doing so, the class hopes to inspire others to recognize the reality of poverty and take action to help those in need. “I know that I personally hadn’t thought of activities like this to do. So, of course there will be those kids that just pass it off, but there’s a possibility that even those people can be changed by it. The fact that it originated with the student body gives it a quality that will appeal to the students more than if it was a teacher’s idea,” said Alec Welch, senior. In addition to hosting the annual Bowling for a Change event, FBLA is also working on a new project. The club plans on participating in a collaborative effort with the Joplin Fire Department. Kristi McGowen, FBLA sponsor, has plans to challenge clubs throughout the school to be participants of the project. FBLA, as a club, will push for its success. “I truly think a majority of FBLA kids do it, because they know it’s the thing to do. It makes them feel good about helping out and giving back to the community,” said McGowen. By embodying the example of giving instead of receiving, these groups of students are able to make their own subtle impacts on the community. They are able to provide hope to the younger demographic, and by doing so, teach others to follow their lead. “Schools are the beneficiary of the community contributing. And I think it’s only fair and equitable that students learn to give back.” -Deonna Anderson, FTC Engineering Graphics Instructor Children in Joplin’s Headstart programs participate in a game of musical chairs. FTC hosts around 250 children each year for Winter Wonderland. Photo Contributed by Franklin Technology Center


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FEATURE Little Scientists, Big Minds Science Research begins class for the second year at Irving Elementary By Maggie Baker @maggiebaker_1 At Joplin High School, a class of scientists step out of the confines of JHS willing to promote scientific research to young scientists at Irving Elementary. This is the third year the science research class offered at JHS. Last year Nathan Mutic, former science teacher, took the students involved in the program several times to Irving. Since Mutic moved, Karisa Boyer now teaches the course. “I love seeing the older students interact with the younger students as well as all of the kids getting excited about science,” said Boyer. Students involved in the class put great amounts of effort into brainstorming for the event with around four class periods to prepare for the elementary students. “We pick a theme for a visit, then search around in books and on the internet for different experiments and demonstrations that we like that would fit that theme and that we could do,” said Caroline Statler, senior. “Then we come together and narrow down what we want to do, and what we can do,” she said. The first visit to Irving was Oct. 30 with the theme of spooky Halloween. A total of five experiment stations were designed for the students to visit. One of the stations was the screaming balloon. Juniors Gil Salgado and Anum Ahmed demonstrated a balloon that made a screeching sound while the fifth graders got their own balloons and decorated them. “My favorite part when visiting the kids would have to be their interest in all of the experiments. They were so willing to learn and be involved in the experiments,” said Salgado. When the research students visited Irving, the participants were not only interactive with the demonstrations, but with the fifth grade teachers as well. “The kids enjoy doing this because it is hands-on, and that’s something they don’t get to do that often. It’s good for the kids,” said Lauren Musgrove, fifth grade teacher. This experience is not only beneficial to the elementary students, but also to the science research students. “From a teacher’s point of view, these camps really help these students understand why it is important to be organized and they gain experience presenting to large groups,” said Boyer. The class will further develop the presentation experience when they visit Kirkwood High School in the Spring. The Science Research class will be returning to Irving in December to demonstrate Frozen themed experiments. Those involved in the class are leading the next generation of students to like science and plan to help recruit the next generation of Science Research students. Photos by Devon Johnson 6 Fifth grade students work with the science research class. The group is now in its second year of partnering with Irving Elementary to promote science.


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FEATURE Boyer > Phylum > Class > Order > Family > Genus > Species Karisa Boyer accepts teaching award locally and is a statewide finalist “If you put your heart into your job, your students will know it.” -Karisa Boyer, Missouri Teacher of the Year Finalist By Kathleen Hughes @KatHughes10 “I felt humbled. We have so many great teachers here in Joplin. I felt like I needed to do my best on the paperwork so that I could represent Joplin well,” said Karisa Boyer, Joplin Schools Teacher of the Year and one of six finalists for the Missouri Teacher of the Year. Last spring Boyer, Joplin High School Biology and Science Research teacher, received the Joplin Schools Teacher of the Year award. With the local honor, she was able to enter in a statewide competition run through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The process entailed filling out a nomination packet with 12 pages of essays, a biography regarding her educational background and recommendation letters from three sources. It was through this nomination that she was named one of six finalists for the Missouri State Teacher of the Year award. “It is a great honor for Ms. Boyer as well as Joplin High School. Karisa Boyer is very committed to her students and she is also a leader in her department,” said Kerry Sachetta, JHS Principal. Boyer graduated from JHS in 1997 and then moved on to further her education at Missouri Southern State College, which is now a Univer- sity. She graduated with honors and a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Spanish. Boyer then attended Missouri State University and earned a Master of Art in teaching. “Also, as a graduate of Joplin High School, who is teaching at her alma mater, she is an example of what students can achieve,” said Sachetta. Over the years Boyer has taught, she has learned to “be flexible and patient because the hard work pays off.” “I have always enjoyed science and helping kids so teaching seemed like a good fit,” said Boyer. “I have taught for 13 years and can’t imagine doing anything else.” With more than a decade of experience, she found her passion for teaching. “My favorite thing about teaching is seeing students achieve. You know, those moments when you can see the ‘light bulb’ come on for the students once they understand something,” said Boyer. She has used her skill set in order to “try and put her student’s first, even if it meant working on the weekend.” “If you put your heart into your job, your students will know it,” said Boyer. Karisa Boyer explains directions to fifth graders at Irving Elementary. Her Science Research class demonstrated science concepts through spooky experiments. Photo by Devon Johnson


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FEATURE Rising Above Poverty in schools impacts students on many levels By Nene Adams @znene777 One Person’s Story “Poverty used to be something you were ashamed of when you were a kid, but you have to realize that you have no control over it,” said Susan Carter, Project Hope Coordinator. “It doesn’t matter what your background is, it’s where the future takes you.” Carter is one who is able to identify with those caught in the cycle of poverty. That was her story, too. As a baby, Carter was under the care of her grandparents in the Kansas City area. At age six, her grandparents divorced and she was left in the care of her grandmother, Lucy Stevens. Moving often, Stevens would follow jobs working as a waitress, housekeeper or as a factory worker, struggling to support not only Carter, but also her brother, sister and cousin. When working at a restaurant in a hotel, she was sometimes able to rent a room while she worked there. Carter said she lived in hotels often, but when she wasn’t, she considered herself homeless. At other temporary locations, the home’s gas utilities were disconnected, which meant they didn’t have hot water, heat, nor could use an oven. “My grandma would boil water on hot plates and run cold water in the bathtub half-full, before dumping the boiling water into the tub,” said Carter. “We would take baths in that water. Once we got out, my grandma would go in there and wash clothes in that same water.” Hardships were also a part of her school experience. According to Carter, she was the student who had holes in her shoes, didn’t have the latest fashion and the one that might have skipped taking a bath for a day or two. “My grandma was too proud to ask for help,” she said. She uses the experience she’s been through to help her understand students she works with today in her role as Project Hope Coordinator. At age 15, Carter moved out of the house and started life as a ‘couch hopper,’ never staying long in the same place. Carter said she knows what it feels like for students wanting to move out because they might feel more of a burden to their family. When she turned 17, she quit school, only to realize the mistake she made and went back. “Letting people know the things you have been through or knowing other people who have been through the same stuff as you, gives you hope,” said Carter. For the longest of times it was hard for her to tell her stories because she was ashamed, but now that she speaks up, it gives her the drive to help others. “You just have to decide what do you want to be, who 8 do you want to be,” said Carter. “It is something we have to do our best to understand, and do our part to help mitigate circumstances for our students,” said Kerry Sachetta, principal of Joplin High School. It isn’t uncommon for teens today to not have money to participate in things they want to do: getting the latest fashion from Rue21, watching brand new movies, or being able to eat out when friends do. But it’s another matter for someone to live day-to-day with the reality of the effects of poverty. “It is very The school district measures poverty by the number of students qualifying for free and important for us, as a community, reduced lunches. The school district’s Director of Food Services, Rick Kenkel, said free and reduced lunches to continue to is at 48.7 percent, which is not much different from last year. look for ways to According to Sachetta, poverty, as a result of economic help our struggling status, seems to be more prevalent in the southwestern part families, so the education of the of Missouri, more so than in other parts of the state. Because of this situation, Sachetta believes many families students does not suffer.” struggle for basic necessities, which can lead to students struggling in school. “Poverty affects their focus on schoolwork and students’ -Kerry Sachetta, drive to do well,” said Susan Carter, Project Hope Coordinator, an organization that seeks JHS Head Principal to be a support system for students who might be struggling. Because of the frequent moving; sophomore, Kyler Kemp, said he struggles to stay focused on his homework. Prior to the loss of his home during the 2011 tornado, his family was living in a rent-to-own home. Standing two stories tall, he said it was something to look up to. Since being displaced, he has moved from house to house, shifting between living with friends and relatives. “I’m not really ashamed of it, because it’s just how life is,” said Kemp. “Some people have it a little better than how others have it. So I’ve just put up with it and kept on going.” Kemp recognizes the struggle of poverty and the difficulty of overcoming it. “Poverty, it puts you down and it’s hard to keep on going,” said Kemp. “It’s so much of a struggle to get through.” According to Sachetta, education is a key to helping students. The overall health of families, he mentioned, does tend to im- prove when the standard of living increases. “It is very important for us, as a community, to continue to look for ways to help our struggling families, so the education of the students does not suffer,” Sachetta said.


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INTEREST Seat Belts: Bust or Must? By Emma Thompson @emmat106 On March 29, 2006, a school bus crashed on its way to a soccer game in Humble, Texas. Two were killed: Ashley Brown, 16, and Alicia Bonura, 18. Many more were injured. According to two parents associated with this tragedy, the buses were missing a dire component that would’ve completely changed the outcome: seat belts. Though adding seat belts to buses may seem like an obvious solution, it may not be the ultimate solution. BUSES ARE INHERENTLY SAFE According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), students riding in school buses are eight times safer than students driving in cars. The fatality rate for school buses is only 0.2 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) compared to 1.5 fatalities per 100 million VMT for cars. “The yellow school bus is the safest transportation there is,” said David Pettit, director of Transportation at Joplin Schools. According to Pettit, It’s all due to compartmentalization, an alternative to seat belts. Compartmentalization is the idea that surrounding the students on the bus with a padded seat behind and in front serves as a “protective bubble” and would absorb impact if a crash or collision were to occur. NEGATIVES OF BUS SEAT BELTS It is common knowledge that seat belts aid in maintaining safety in passenger vehicles. Some may ask why it wouldn’t be the same case for buses. According to Pettit, they could potentially do more harm than good. “We don’t feel the need for seat belts,” said Pettit. “They could put us (bus riders) more at risk. Though money and the engineering process is something to be concerned about, safety is the top priority for people in the transportation world such as Pettit. He addressed that, if seat belts were administered, in case of an emergency that would require students to evacuate the bus as soon as possible, seat belts may stall the students or keep them from getting off the bus as fast as they might need to. According to the NHTSA, seat belts could cause more harm than good. Though administering seat belts may prevent future ejections, seat belts could “increase the incidence of serious neck injuries and possibly abdominal injury among young passengers in severe frontal crashes.” Four factors come into what adding seat belts on buses would bring along: additional costs, additional unnecessary engineering, reduced seating capabilities, and, most importantly, an overall increased lack of safety. To supply present buses with seat belts would cost an estimated $5,485 to $7,345, stated the NHTSA, and for Pettit, this is a price too high to pay for a commodity that could potentially hurt more than help. While six states have passed school bus seat belt laws, states such as as Louisiana and Texas have not had the ability to imple- ment them due to a shortage of funds, one of the widespread problems keeping school districts from putting seat belts on buses into practice. But, according to CJ Huff, superintendent of Joplin Schools, the price has never been and never will be part of the problem. “The cost isn’t really a conversation that’s been driving that discussion over the years,” said Huff. “If it was a safety (issue), buses would already (be equipped) with seat belts.” In addition to the cost, unnecessary engineering added to buses that are already engineered in a way to keep children safe would be impractical. Limited seating would also add to the cons of having seat belts, said Pettit. If, per say, 3 seatbelts were administered for one school bus seat, this would start to limit arrangement of seating for different aged or sized students. In an article written by the National Education Association (NEA), it is addressed that bus drivers’ have concerns about seat belts on buses. The potential of misuse or abuse of the seat belts would be a serious concern. “It would greatly impact the responsibility of the bus drivers. Bus drivers obviously have a difficult job as it is,” said Huff. For the time being, no seat belt law has been passed for the state of Missouri, even if it is a commonly discussed topic, especially after an accident, said Huff. Safety administrations such as the NHTSA is “continuing its research program, focusing on side impact protection, (and) working with university-based researchers” to improve safety on buses, though this may not mean the addition of seat belts. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), students riding in school buses are eight times safer than students driving in cars. 9


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NEWS Nearly Landed Work is still underway on the performing arts center, slated to be open March 1 By Rylee Hartwell @RyleeHartwell Mission Accomplished. This was the hallmark slogan used by the Joplin School District at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. But some programs slated to be in the “A” wing of Joplin High School aren’t holding their breath. In total, all instrumental music, theatre, speech, debate and choir classes are still displaced since the high school’s opening in September. As of the middle of November, the new completion date for the “A” wing has been predicted to be mid-February for teachers to be in classrooms and midMarch for the auditorium to open. Two of the programs that don’t have permanent homes are the marching and concert bands. That group is currently meeting in the former 9-10 campus’ cafeteria and practice marching in the streets near the building. Since the tornado, the Joplin School District had rented Memorial Hall for the band. However, that lease expired this past summer. The jazz band began their year in the wrestling room at JHS. At the time of publication they were practicing in an alcove near the gymnasium. Denton Williams, senior, has been a member of the marching/concert and jazz bands for the past four years. He said the bands are used to change, but feel displaced. “We have always been separate,” he said. “They say we’re all in one building but we really aren’t. We still don’t have a permanent place to call home.” Williams said that after hearing the projected start date, he remains skeptical. “I don’t trust the move-in date.” he said. “I see the priorities here; there are sports fields and construction is still going.” In addition to the shuffled spaces, Mike Wassenaar, began his tenure in early August as band director. Wassenaar will be the third director in the past year to take over the program. He assumed the position after Chris Mudd resigned this summer. 10 In the interim, Wassenaar and his students meet in various locations throughout the school district. “The [A wing] project was never meant to be completed on time,” said Kerry Sachetta, building principal, on the initial plans for the wing to be complete. According to newly hired staff, members of building administration originally told new hires that they could be in their classrooms by Oct. 1. This plan shifted and construction workers were pulled off the performing arts wing at the beginning of August, according to Sachetta. “The construction company possibly put so much time in the school they couldn’t complete [A wing],” he said. CJ Huff, superintendent, said the school district’s construction management firm, Universal, made the recommendation that workers be moved from the performing arts center to the remainder of the school. The decision was made in June and was approved by Huff. “It was an either-or moment,” he said. “We could either finish the rest of the building or still be in temporary facilities.” The delay in construction also means that Universal will be on-site longer than originally expected according to Huff. The bid process that is approved by the Board of Education locks in materials and sub-contractors for the job. However, this process doesn’t secure a definite amount of dollars that will be paid to Universal upon completion. “We have contingency funds to cover things like this,” said Huff. “These [funds] were a part of the bond issue.” Universal is projected to be on site until the completion of the performing arts center. Ashley Trotnic, drama teacher, is also feeling the need for a permanent space, especially with the fall production of The Crucible. Trotnic and the cast of the play practiced and performed in the auditorium at the former JHS 9-10 campus. Challenges with the arrangement included a crowded stage,


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no heat and minimal wing space constrained the production. Trotnic was told this summer that she would be in her classroom by Oct. 1. However, at a meeting in August, all teachers in the Fine Arts department were told by central administration that their move in date would be delayed. “I don’t know if the deadline means it is ready to go or if there will still be more to do,” Trotnic said in anticipation of the March 2015 musical. The drama department is scheduled to perform the musical, Legally Blond - on the contingency of the opening of the auditorium. Due to the size of the production, combined with minimal space for set changes, Legally Blond can only be performed in the new facility. “I want to let seniors be able to perform on that stage,” she said. That is a huge goal for me.” Mike Johnson, director of facilities, has overseen all building projects in the Joplin School District since the May 2011 tornado. Johnson said the delay in the performing arts center came after many setbacks due to mining previously done in the vicinity. The area had to have extensive earthwork done that wasn’t done in the rest of the building. According to Johnson, there are roughly 100 piers that hold up the performing arts wing. In the rest of the building there are 40-50 piers that hold up the remainder of JHS and Franklin Technology Center. A pier is a large concrete cylinder that is drilled in the ground - once the cylinder hits bedrock it is dug deeper and is set. Once set, it serves as the support for the building. Johnson said the time it took to undertake and complete the project made Joplin “a rockstar” in construction. “We got a four year job done in less than two. The workers really pulled a rabbit out of their hat,” he said. “It was a very tough challenge and they came through big time for us.” He ultimately believes that with the average of 100 workers per day, the project will be finished as a top quality product. And some dissatisfaction with the project’s timeline may be misplaced. “What people must remember is that they were ultimately displaced by the tornado,” said Johnson. Mary Baum, vocal music instructor, said the circumstances for the vocal department are less than ideal, but workable. She currently changes “classrooms” six times a day. “The students really feel like they are the only ones left who are displaced,” she said. Baum is the third vocal instructor since the tornado and replaced Breana Clark after her resignation this summer. Currently, all choirs are performing at Joplin South Middle School. Baum said that arrangement presents a different set of logistical problems for staff. “It isn’t ideal to be in a space that you won’t perform in. We make the best of it.” In February 2015, the vocal department is planning a regional show choir competition. It was previously slated to be in the whole performing arts center, but it has now been moved in to the gymnasium area. The event is the first since the May 2011 tornado and is estimated to raise $8,000-$12,000 for the vocal department. It will also bring an expected 1,500 students and parents to JHS. Photos by Rylee Hartwell The performing arts center at the time of publication. The space is expected to open March 1. 11


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INTEREST ‘Tis the Season Students and teachers discuss their holiday favorites By Logan Whitehead @loganwhitehead_ When people think of the holiday, many things come to mind like family, happiness and their favorite forms of holiday entertainment. December seems to be the most festive month out of the year due to the numerous holidays and joy that comes with them. Jim Whitney, high school math teacher, celebrates Christmas and enjoys every aspect of it. “I love hearing Christmas music everywhere I go and driving around to see everybody's lights and trees,” said Whitney. Every year he fills his classroom with lights and plays Christmas music daily, in preparation for the season. Carol of the Bells is in his top favorites, as well as “Gloria” by Mercy Me and “anything by Sarah McLachlan.” Rebecca Bell, english teacher, agrees with Whitney’s music taste. “Carol of the Bells, pun intended, is my favorite Christmas song. I love the way it sounds like chilly air and sleigh bells,” said Bell. Movies play a role during this time, as well. Whitney’s top list of holiday movies can’t be narrowed down to just one. “Elf” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” are some of his must watch Christmas movies. Bell also prefers to stick to the classics, with “A Christmas Story” coming in as one of her favorites. Gabe Murdock, junior, has a tradition of watching his favorite movie “Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer” and decorating the tree with his mother. “I love the animation of the movie and the way it gives me that warm Christmas feeling,” said Murdock. Ashtyn Tuner, sophomore, insists on watching her favorite holiday movie, “The Polar Express”, every Christmas Eve. This, along with reading the pop-up book of “The Night Before Christmas”, is a tradition Turner’s family partakes in every holiday season. The common aspect all these people share is the happiness that comes with spending time with their families during the holidays. Gifts of Christmas Past By Emma Claybrook @EmmaClaybrook Throughout the years, the best gifts have changed drastically. A teenager in the 1930’s would not have been able to imagine the digital world we live in today. Here is a list of top favorites from decades of old. Top Gifts of 2014: Beats by Dr. Dre - starting at $169.99 Galaxy Tab Tablet (Samsung) - starting at $159.99 GoPro Cameras - starting at $199.99 Top Gift of 2004: RoboSapiens - starting at $24.00 A remote-control, 14 inch tall, humanoid capable of performing 67 pre-programmed actions and movements, including break dancing, farting, and belching, of course! Top Gift of 1994: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - starting at $6.00 An instant global sensation, five racially diverse teenagers fought the powers of evil aliens that threatened Earth. Top Gift of 1984: The Transformers (Hasbro) - starting at $14.00 Plastic robots that turn into cars, planes, tape recorders, insects, and dinosaurs. Transformative indeed. Top Gift of 1974: Connect Four (Milton Bradley) - starting at $2.89 A bit like tic-tac-toe, only a player needs to get four pieces in a row. A perfect game of friendly competition. Slogan: “Pretty sneaky!” Top Gift of 1964: Easy Bake Oven (Kenner) - starting at $15.95 A working toy oven with incandescent light bulbs as a heat source. Children could make their own cakes, just like mom! Top Gift of 1954: Matchbox Cars (Lesney Products) - starting at $2.79 Originally, Matchbox cars were sold in boxes that were similar in style and size to those in which matches were sold. Top Gifts of 1944: 10 cent comic books - starting at $0.10 These comic books were the most popular gift exchange between children. Dolls - starting at $0.15 Military Set - starting at $0.39 Military set included a helmet, gun, holster, two bullets and a whistle. This was at the prime of WWII. 1994 1974 1964 1944 12


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FEATURE Christmas Across the Continents Foreign exchange students celebrate Christmas with diverse traditions By Sarah Peterson For many Joplin students, Christmas brings thoughts of snow, turkey dinners, and presents under the tree. But for the three foreign exchange students attending JHS this year, the holidays include things like barbecues, cod for dinner, and shoes filled with candy. Davi Camargo is a foreign exchange student from Curitiba, Brazil. Because he lives in the Southern Hemisphere, Camargo’s holiday season takes place in the middle of summer. Instead of sledding and building snowmen, it is typical for Brazilians to go to the beach or have outdoor parties around the holidays. Last year, Camargo’s family held a barbecue. “After Christmas dinner, we had to get in the pool because it was so hot even at night,” he said. Despite the heat, some Brazilian Christmas traditions are influenced by colder climates. Camargo and his family decorate with cotton representing snow and set up a fake Christmas tree since they don’t have access to real ones. They usually watch American Christmas movies and shows. “In the movies, we see people play in the snow on Christmas “I don’t think I Day. It’s so far from our reality,” he said. know anyone in Camargo anticipates the most exciting part of the American Brazil who has Christmas experience will be snow and cold weather. Although believed in Santa he has seen short snowfalls in Brazil, he saw snow on the ground Claus.” for the first time this November. “I loved it! The snow was so pretty,” he said. Another big cultural difference -Davi Camargo, is Santa Claus. Although they have the legend of Santa in Brazil, Brazilian Foreign Camargo says he isn’t spoken of very often. He was surprised to Exchange Student learn American children believe in Santa Claus. “I don’t think I know anyone in Brazil who has believed in Santa Claus,” he said. Anna Gillmann is from Erfurt, Germany. She has many traditions leading up to Christmas Day. One is Advent, a period of four weeks before Christmas which are counted by lighting pink and purple candles on an advent wreath. Another is St. Nicholas’ Day, or Nikolaus, a holiday on December 6th. They celebrate by putting their shoes in front of the door so that St. Nicholas will come by to put presents and candy inside them. German children believe in St. Nicholas the same way they believe in Santa Claus. “Nikolaus not as important as Christmas, but I really like it,” said Gillmann. “You get as much as you can put in your shoes, so everybody uses their biggest shoes.” They still have the figure of Santa Claus as well. Someone, usually a grandparent, dresses up as Santa Claus and comes to the children’s houses on Christmas Eve. The person playing Santa makes the children sing songs or recite poems before giving them their gift. João Matos is from Portugal and spends Christmas in the capital city of Lisbon. Nativity scenes are very common there, with full-sized scenes located around town and smaller ones used to decorate houses. Matos’ grandmother owns 150 nativity scenes which are set up all over the house and decorated with moss from outside. Like Camargo and Gillmann, Matos has almost all of his Christmas celebrations on the 24th. The most important tradition is the Christmas Eve dinner. His grandmother spends weeks cooking in preparation, and all 40 members of his extended family gather for a meal with the main course of turkey for the adults and cod for the children. For dessert, they have Bolo Rei, a cake with a bean hidden inside. Traditionally, whoever gets the bean in their slice has to buy the Bolo Rei cake next year. “Christmas Eve is special because we all get together. That doesn’t happen very often since my family is spread all over the world,” said Matos. After dinner, Matos, his brothers, and his fourteen cousins sing, dance, and perform plays. They write the plays themselves and practice for days in advance. The night ends with a final song as they place their shoes underneath the tree for Santa Claus. “The youngest of my cousins are very small and the oldest ones are in their 20s, but they all still do this with us. It is very cool,” said Matos. Camargo, Gillmann, and Matos will be in America until summer of 2015. 13


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INTEREST DIY: Christmas Edition Easy, fun holiday gift guide By Jennifer Nguyen @smiliefacejen As the season of gifting starts to close in, the process of finding presents of quality at modest prices can become a struggle. Whether searching for the ideal gift for a friend, or simply acting as a Secret Santa, gift giving seems to be an essential factor in the holiday spirit. But it can often be costly. The following are simple ideas that combine creativity and low-cost budgets to produce a collection of exceptional holiday gifts. Sprinkle Ornament (Under $5) SUPPLIES Elmer’s Glue Water Paper Baking Sprinkles Transparent Plastic Ornament STEP 1 Mix about one teaspoon of Elmer’s Glue with water until the glue becomes runny. Equally distribute the mixture inside the plastic ornament, making sure the glue spreads across the entire innersurface. Pour out excess glue, and allow the ornament to sit for 30 seconds. STEP 2 Create a funnel using a sheet of paper. Use the funnel to pour baking sprinkles into the ornament. Rotate the ornament until the sprinkles cover the inside surface. Leave the ornament to dry for 10 minutes before reinserting the cap on top. SUPPLIES Presents in a Jar (Under $10) Glass Jar Fun Size Candy STEP 2 Decorative Paper Empty Toilet Paper Roll Small Surprise Attach a tag to the outside with a greeting or holiday wish. Place small present, or money inside the toilet paper roll. Replace the jars lid. STEP 1 Cover the toilet paper roll and top of the lid with decorative paper. Create a base of candy for the toilet paper roll to stand upon. Set roll inside the jar and pour small candies (M&M’s, skittles, peppermints, ect.) around the roll. 14


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INTEREST Cookie Cutter Christmas Family recipes that can be passed down through the generations By Emma Claybrook @EmmaClaybrook Holiday traditions vary from family to family. Putting up a Christmas tree, making holiday cards, and driving around to see the light displays are just a few examples of activities. For Susie Ramsour, Joplin resident since the 1970’s, making Christmas cookies is what makes her season bright. “The tradition started when my daughter was three years old,” said Ramsour. “We had a Christmas Eve party to go to Ramsour’s Traditional Sugar Cookie Recipe ¾ cup shortening (part butter or margarine, softened) 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 ½ cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt • Mix thoroughly shortening, sugar, eggs and flavoring. • Blend in flour, baking powder and salt. • Cover; chill at least 1 hour. • Heat oven to 400 degrees • Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered board. • Cut into desired shapes. • Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until very light brown. and I was tasked with making five dozen cookies.” Ramsour admits that she wanted her family to be involved with decorating the cookies because it was too much work for one person to do. “I like decorating the cookies, but I’m too much of a perfectionist. I spend 10 to 15 minutes on one cookie because I want to make it flawless,” Ramsour said. Red, yellow, green, blue, and white icing, sprinkles, cinnamon drops, and sugar crystals cover the table while the cookie decorating is in full swing. “My favorite part of this tradition is watching the joy on my family’s faces,” Ramsour said. “It doesn’t get much better than that.” To Ramsour, bringing the family together is the biggest joy of the holidays. Traditions are set so generations to come can look forward to a special occasion at a certain time of the year. For those who would like to make their own Christmas Cookies, Ramsour shared her holiday recipe for all to enjoy. JOPLIN Transmission & Auto Center ‘Get Your Auto Fixed On Route 66’ www.JoplinTransmission.com NATIONWIDE WARRANTY AVAILABLE We Accept Most Extended Warranties Ask About Our 24-Hour FREE TOWING* Financing Available (W.A.C.) ASE Certified Mechanics TRANSMISSIONS AIR CONDITIONING COOLING SYSTEMS OIL CHANGES EXHAUST TUNE-UPS BRAKES TIRES & ALIGNMENT M-F 8-5, SAT 8-12 2620 E 7TH St JOPLIN 417-626-7300



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