Spyglass: Volume LVIII | Issue II | December 2016


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Volume LVIII | Issue II Joplin high School December 2016 From deployed parents to foster children, the true meaning of home is displayed among the diverse families of Joplin High School. Pages 9-12


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What’s Inside 4 Marching Strong 11 Fostering a New Purpose 5 Taking Learning Outdoors 11 What is Home? 5 Athlete Leadership 12 Truly Traditional 6 Perseverance Prevails 12 Home(s) for the Holidays 7 A Higher Degree of Learning 13 DIY: Snowman Cookies 8 The Point of Success 14 Lack of Youth in Politics 8 From Teaching to Preaching 15 Action Against Distractions 9 Deployed Parents 15 From Runway to Hallway 10 Life Beyond Foster Care 16 Humans of JHS Spyglass is the 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 correspondence to Mary Crane, adviser, marycrane@joplinschools.org or Sarah Peterson, editor-in-chief, sarahpeterson.stu@joplinschools.org. Cover Design by Annie Le Editor-In-Chief Sarah Peterson Online Editor Annie Le Assistant Editor Ashlynn Scott Copy Editor Halli Robinson Sports Editor Jessica Beebe Business Manager Drew Romero Staff Becca Brown Kyler Powell Emma Simon Maggie Brister Grace Hughes Megan Petersen Grace Overman Rachel Patterson Jake Jones Jesse Croney Keaton Campbell William Schwarzenberger Zoe Brown Adviser Mrs. Mary Crane Straight talk from someone who knows you Sound financial advice means only making recommendations that line up with your goals and risk tolerance. Thoughtful guidance: It’s how we make sense of investing. Marshall Hogue Financial Advisor . 526 S Joplin Ave Joplin, MO 64801 417-781-0835 www.edwardjones.com Member SIPC o wnership • decisions • people yoWureLaOreCPARLLOYU-ODWtoNbEeD independent bank. Since 1979, all of our decisions are made right here by people you know! We offer all the great services you expect. 417.623.5959 smbonline.com Joplin • Carthage • Duquesne • Neosho • Jasper • Alba MKT-9650-A


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Marching news|4 Strong Photo by Rachel Patterson Joplin Eagle Pride Marching Band qualifies to finals twice in one year By William Schwarzenberger “It’s like time slows down once you know your class is being called and [are waiting to hear] what bands made it into finals out of your class. When we heard Joplin High School, there was a moment of silence, and then everybody just roared because we finally did it, and from now on we know that we can do it again,” said senior Jerry Bland, trumpet player. The Joplin Eagle Pride Marching Band had a massive spark of recent success in the 2016 marching season, making finals twice, once at U.S Bands Branson and again at the Carthage Maple Leaf Parade. In addition, at the Maple Leaf Parade, they won ”Best Horn Line” and “Best Drum Majors.” There is much excitement surrounding this since the band has not made finals since 2012. “Everybody started screaming as they listed out the caption awards that we have received, ‘Best Horn Line’ and ‘Best Drum Major’, which honestly I did not expect, and it made it just that much better,” said senior Joseph Fry, mellophone player. Many of the band members attribute this recent success to the new middle school directors who have been helping them perfect their performance, and many feel that they would not have made nearly as much progress without them. “We are very fortunate to have the middle school directors to assist us,” said Bland. “One of them [is] Mrs. Wright who has worked with Drum Corps International, which is basically the NFL of marching band. She has really improved us musically and marching-wise.” Band director Mike Wassenaar has also been a major cause of the band’s success in recent years and has given the band a solid footing after numerous director changes in the last four years. “We have improved a lot. I think the band as a whole has started taking things more seriously, and so I think the people that are in band now want to be there, and they want to win. Mr. Wassenaar has really pushed us to do our best,” said senior Carissa Scalia, color guard captain. The band’s spirits are at an all-time high after getting 12th place out of 16 in the U.S. Bands Branson finals and 7th place out of 8 in Maple Leaf finals. Many of the band members agree that this was the happiest moment in their high school career, and the seniors are elated that they are able to end their final marching band season on such a good note. They are confident that the JHS Band will keep getting better after they graduate. “I think even after the seniors leave, the JHS Band will continue to become one of the best bands in the Four State Area,” said senior Dakota McCash, drum major.


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Franklin Technology Center’s construction class builds an outdoor classroom at Jefferson Elementary By Sarah Peterson Throughout the month of October, this project,” said Curtis. the juniors and seniors in Lorin Curtis’ Franklin Technology Center’s con- construction technology class trav- struction class was chosen to complete eled to Jefferson Elementary School the outdoor classroom because it to build an outdoor classroom for the was easily fit into their curriculum. A students. hands-on program, students generally This took place as part of a larger spend no more than three days a week project to improve the Jefferson play- in class and instead work on various ground. According to Chris Young, Jef- construction projects. ferson Elementary PTA president and “They always need real life situa- Joplin High School tions and opportuni- teacher, the over- Photos by Annie Le ties to practice their all goal is to allow skills,” said Young. “It students to have worked out perfectly more interaction to give us the opportu- with nature and nity to get this project the outdoors. going and give them “In the high the experience.” school, we have The classroom was a lot of different designed by Curtis places we can go. and consists of a roof We can go outside, supported by three we can go to the posts on each side. think tank, or It stands against the wherever it may wall of the school and be. We wanted to shelters a platform give that to the for a teacher to stand kids too,” said on and a space for a Young. class to sit. The idea origi- Lorin Curtis’ construction technology “This morning, a nated as an out- class uses their block period to work on lady came out with door classroom, the outdoor classroom. her class and sat on but has since ex- the steps and read panded to include them a book. Well, planting trees and building a walking instead of sitting on the steps, they’ll track around the playground. In an ef- come over here and sit down. It’s fort to improve literacy, the track will neat,” said Curtis. have waterproof book holders placed A highlight of the project for Curtis around its perimeter for students to has been interaction with the elemen- read while they walk. The project will tary students and teachers. be accomplished with grants from “I would have never thought I’d the Lowe’s Foundation and Walmart be over here at a grade school doing as well as help from Empire District something for them,” he said. “But Electric Company. it’s a good interaction. These kids see “With Dr. Ridder talking about our what we’re doing. And it’s for them, communities and our people and ac- but it’s just a great thing we all work tually coming together, you see this on together and make things happen.” Student Athlete Leadership Team By Keaton Campbell “It is our hope that the training SALT members receive will help them become better student leaders to make a positive impact on our teams, school and community, as well as prepare them for success in all aspects of their lives after they leave JHS,” said Matt Hiatt, assistant athletic director and head of the Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT). SALT is a new organization composed of one student athlete from each of Joplin High School’s 21 varsity sports. “We asked our head coaches to send us the names of some of their younger athletes who have demonstrated leadership qualities as a member of their team, and Mr. Starkweather and myself selected the group from the coaches’ nominations,” said Hiatt. The reason for creating SALT was to encourage leadership inside and outside of athletics. “SALT was established as a way to empower and train student athletes to be leaders on our teams and in the classroom,” said Hiatt. Meetings for SALT are held monthly, and the group does many activities and covers a variety of topics. “During meetings, the group listens to guest speakers on the topic of leadership, participates in leadership training activities, and [has] group discussions on leadership and issues pertaining to Joplin Athletics,” said Hiatt. While the fundamentals of a particular sport are considered largely important, SALT is built around the belief that the most valuable lessons learned through athletics are character skills. “Character skills include communication, teamwork, self discipline and leadership. We believe these lessons last a lifetime and lead to success in more areas than just athletics,” said Hiatt.


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Photo Contributed Billy Sticklen poses with his physiatrist Dr. John Luce in December 2015 during a checkup in Kansas City. “It was kind of a reality check for me. As cheesy as that sounds, you just have to take life one day at a time because you never know what may happen.” - Billy Sticklen, Sophomore feature | 6 Perseverance Prevails Joplin High School student fights back against rare disease By Grace Hughes When somebody gets sick with a common cold, it can typically be remedied by a few days of rest and chicken noodle soup. However, for sophomore Billy Sticklen, a ‘cold’ developed into something life-altering. “I had a fever with a lot of dizziness, coughing and neck pain,” said Sticklen of the initial symptoms. After two weeks, his condition took a turn for the worse. One morning, he noticed something was wrong when he had difficulty getting out of bed. “I was laying on my back, and usually I just sit up, but I couldn’t. So I had to turn and lift myself off,” said Sticklen. “My first thought was ‘this is not good.’ So I went downstairs and told my parents I couldn’t move my arms.” A sudden trip to the doctor led to an unexpected ambulance ride from Joplin to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. In less than 24 hours of his arrival at Children’s Mercy, the disease had caused paralysis from the chest down. On Sept. 24, 2014, he was diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis, a polio-like condition. “In the history of mankind, there are less than 120 people who have had the same disease as me,” said Sticklen. Despite the severity of the illness, no medications were administered for treatment. “I was in the hospital for two months up in Kansas City at Children’s Mercy. Then for two months after that, I was working in the Kansas City Rehab Institute,” said Sticklen. A typical day consisted of six hours of physical therapy and some schoolwork; there was not a lot of free time, but when there was, Sticklen enjoyed playing video games. Finally, in May 2016, Sticklen was released from all required therapy. “It is not mandatory I work with somebody; I do work with a personal trainer, though,” said Sticklen. “I’m working towards being able to run again. I’m not far from that, but there is still more work to do.” Throughout the duration of the two-year recovery process, Sticklen was not alone. He had family, friends and doctors to talk to and lean on for comfort and encouragement. “My parents were fantastic at helping me get where I needed to be for rehab,” said Sticklen. Many friends made a big impact by visiting Sticklen in Kansas City, but one friend specifically helped him through the recovery process. “My best friend Sidney has helped me cope with it all by giving me words of encouragement,” said Sticklen. “Though she may not be able to directly relate, she helps me cope mentally.” Although this ordeal changed his daily life, it brought some insight as well. “It was kind of a reality check for me. As cheesy as that sounds, you just have to take life one day at a time because you never know what may happen,” said Sticklen.


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A higher degree of learning Students work toward receiving their associate’s degree during high school By Megan Petersen Receiving an associate’s degree usually requires you to be a college student. Six Joplin High School students, however, will receive theirs before they are out of high school. The process of achieving this degree comes with high expectations. “You have to prove that you’re focused on academics, and you have to have a certain GPA. You have to show that you have some kind of ability to achieve such a heavy course load,” said senior Madisen Goeller. Many students in this program decided to participate based on the economic benefits. “If I were just to go to Southern after high school and get all these credits, it would be $14,000, excluding books. It only cost us $3500. It was $50 a credit hour versus $150,” said senior Kaeden Morris. However, there are several other benefits of completing this program. “Another major benefit of the program is how much time it will save. Roughly two years of college are completed before you even graduate high school,” said senior Nathan Storms. In fact, many students see benefits in their present life. “I am to the point now where everything gets done when it needs to get done, and everything gets turned in,” said Goeller. Despite the heavy course load and high expectations, several students find that the program is quite enjoyable. “I’ve made a lot of different friends based off other people who are in the program, so it’s given me a new realm to live in and associate myself with because now I know more people who have the same mindset as me,” said Goeller. Success in this program isn’t based purely on how intelligent a participant is. “Base [whether you should go into the program] off of your motivation and your determination. How well you do or how well you succeed is all based off of how much you want to succeed,” said Morris. Those who are currently in the program advise others to pursue their associate’s degree in high school as well. “Go for it, especially if you’re considering going [to] college. And even if you aren’t, college educations are so important,” said senior Natalie Eudy. Despite all the hard work these seniors do, the results are worth it. “It’s definitely a very challenging and time-consuming course load, especially with two consecutive years of summer class,” said Storms. “To me, it all seems worth it when I think about the end goal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited to get to sleep in this summer, but it’ll be that much nicer knowing I already have my associate’s degree out of the way.”


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The point of success Othellis Roper is accepted to West Point By Jesse Croney Recently, Othellis Roper was accepted into West Point, the United States Military Academy. He is one of the very few people selected to take on the challenge of West Point. “At least 10,000 people apply to West Point, but only 1,000 people get accepted, so to be accepted into West Point means that they believe I can do something,” said Roper. West Point is a four-year college, and students have to be nominated to attend. Roper was nominated by his JROTC instructors. “Mr. Roper is a cadet in our program. I first met him two years ago when I started substituting here at Joplin High School for the JROTC program, ” said Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Reitz. “Othellis always stood out by earnest ability, always wanting to do the right thing.” After graduating from West Point, one must go into active duty for five years and then go into reserve for three years. Photo by Jesse Croney FEATURE | 8 From Teaching to Preaching Phillip Gloyer is deployed as a National Guard chaplain By Ashlynn Scott Students may look at Phillip Gloyer, world geography and world religions teacher, like an average teacher. But others consider him a hero. Gloyer is enlisted in the National Guard of Missouri and will be deployed in late December 2016. “Our mission is just a pretty simple security mission. We just have some installations that we’re trying to keep protected from any bad guys that might get any bad ideas. It’s not an active engagement,” he said. Gloyer will attend training starting in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. and then continuing in Texas. He will travel to Qatar for about nine months for his deployment, returning before Thanksgiving of next year. “I’m the Missouri National Guard battalion chaplain for the first 148th Infantry Regiment. [It has] about 950 soldiers across the state of Missouri, and we are taking about half of them over to our deployment to Qatar,” Gloyer said. “It’s a little peninsula sticking up on the north east edge of Saudi Arabia, so it sticks out into the Persian Gulf.” This will be Gloyer’s first deployment, and he can’t wait to see what’s next. “Just meeting people and seeing other places around the world is something that is really exciting. You can get on Google Maps and look at a lot of pictures, but being someplace is a whole lot different,” said Gloyer. Gloyer shares his feelings about deployment. “When I joined, I was told, ‘it’s not a matter if you’ll be deployed, it’s a matter of when.’ I was honestly expecting it years ago, and I got close to it once or twice. But it looks like this one is going to happen. It’s really neat. My first annual training was in Japan, and it was really exciting. This will only be the second time that I’ll have been outside of the country with the guard,” he said. The military has chaplains to protect the religious liberties of soldiers. Soldiers have a wide variety of religious beliefs, and chaplains are authorized by the government to make sure that soldiers’ religious rights are protected. Gloyer works with soldiers of all faith backgrounds. If they need a special place or special dietary requirements, he makes sure the command knows about that. Gloyer believes his job as a chaplain is rewarding. “Finding out months later that a conversation really meant something to somebody [is the best feeling]. You might have told them something that was just a quick encouragement, and you find out that it was something they never thought of, and it changes their perspective on life,” said Gloyer. Along with the valuable aspects, there are some hardships. “The first few times you go through something, it’s a little difficult. But then you realize that you have strengths and weaknesses, and you work around those. And you realize that the soldiers you are working with have strengths and weaknesses, and you encourage their strengths. It’s very much a team, and the sooner you understand that and really embrace it, it makes all kinds of things possible,” Gloyer said.


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One aspect of his job has been more difficult for Gloyer than any other. “The hardest thing is helping soldiers work through the death of a fellow soldier. As a chaplain, one of my roles is to really help with some of the grief,” said Gloyer. “So I’ll perform funerals and memorial services, sometimes go to the hospital and be with friends and family [and] provide some counseling afterwards. We’ve had a few suicides over the years. We’ve had some accidental deaths, and it’s always hard. There’s nothing you can do to make it better, but you have to press forward. It’s always difficult.” Gloyer adds one more thing that’s important to remember. “I’m a chaplain in the National Guard, but I’m also a teacher, and I would really want to encourage anyone to take the world seriously. It’s a big world. It’s a dangerous world, and the more seriously students take it, the better prepared they are to be successful in it,” said Gloyer. Photos Contributed Phillip Gloyer poses with Sergeant Davis, instructor at the United States Army Chaplain Center and School, at Ft. Jackson, S.C. Gloyer attends a Commander’s Update Brief with the battalion and infantry battalion of the Japanese Ground Defense Forces. FEATURE | 9 Overseas and in our thoughts Students face the struggle of having a parent overseas in the military By Emma Simon More than 900,000 Photos Contributed children nationally have experienced the deploy- ment of one or both of their parents numerous times. (DoSomething.org) Within Joplin High School, many are affected by the deployment of a parent or family member. “My dad (James Gilliland) has gone to Kosovo over- seas. He is a medic in the National Guard. It made me really sad when he left for Kosovo. I was young, and I didn’t know how to handle it,” said junior Kaitlyn Gilliland. Senior Maddie Campbell Maddie Campbell and her father Derik Campbell also has a family member in the military. Her father, Derik Campbell, is currently deployed in Kuwait with the Air Force. “It scares me a little that my father is stationed. I’m used to seeing my dad more, but when he’s gone, obviously, I don’t see him as much,” said Campbell. Even though they are thousands of miles away, family members at home communicate as much as they can with family overseas. “I talked to him a lot over Skype which made me feel a lot better about the situation,” said Gilliland. Although the thought of family members being stationed overseas is worrisome, it gives their families a sense of pride. “It’s a mixed feeling of worry and pride. I, like others, worry about the safety of my father but I am proud because of the fact that my fa- ther is devoting his life to protecting our country. My family and I are just counting down the days till he is back home,” said Campbell. Gilliland feels the same sense of uncertainty about her father. “It scares me at times because I never really know what’s going to happen when he’s out in the field working. But it makes me feel good knowing that he is helping others and serving his country,” said Gilliland.


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Life Beyond FOster Care Reading teacher Sara Adcock navigates life as a former foster youth Story and Photo by Sarah Peterson Life is an uphill battle for most foster youth. Born into situations of abuse, neglect and abandonment, the odds are stacked against them from the beginning. Joplin High School teacher Sara Adcock is a former foster youth who defied the odds, graduating college and going on to work with struggling students and current foster youth. Adcock faced abuse and neglect during her childhood, never attending either elementary school or junior high. At the age of 14, she was removed from her biological parents and placed in the foster system. Initially, she stayed in an “emergency care home” in a foster family with seven other children for eight months. Her next long-term placement was a group home called the Boys and Girls Town of Missouri. While intended to be temporary, this too lasted eight months. Adcock’s stay at the group home was a difficult time of transition in her life. She was involved with drugs and crime, ran away from the home multiple times and was arrested once. “I was trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be,” she said. “I couldn’t control anything in my life. Everything was controlled for me. I was just grasping at straws, trying to have any form of control.” She believes she made it through this period partially due to the help of the workers at the Boys and Girls Town. They encouraged her to take on leadership roles among the children. “Even though they knew I had gotten into legal trouble and stuff like that, they were very encouraging and supportive of me,” she said. “I think that’s why I got out of all the trouble I was in. Because someone really took a chance on me and had faith in me.” Adcock was next placed in a foster home, which proved to be an abusive situation. She remained there for two years until she turned 18 and was able to live on her own. At this point, Adcock chose to pursue something only three percent of former foster youth attain: a college degree. After taking a year off school to earn money, she went to college full time while working full time at a paintball factory. She graduated from the teacher education program at Missouri Southern State University in 2012. She currently teaches READ 180 and System 44, classes composed of English language learners and students who read below grade level. “I have one-on-one conferencing with them multiple times a year, so I really try to build a relationship with them and see why it is they got to high school with these reading deficiencies and try to build them up from there,” she said. “And I love being a READ 180 and System 44 teacher because of that. I think it’s exactly what I need to be doing.” Those who age out of foster care can find themselves in a difficult situation with no family support system to fall back on. Adcock retains a strong connection with her “foster sisters,” some of the girls she lived with at the Girls and Boys Town. “I think that’s a good bond because I don’t know a whole lot of people from that time period who know what I was going through and understand, and they do,” she said. Another way she connects with fellow former foster youth is through a national Christmas gift exchange. “That’s one thing a lot of people don’t get,” said Adcock. “I don’t have anyone to buy me Christmas gifts or to buy Christmas gifts for. It’s just an exciting thing to know that they are just excited about this gift as I am. And it’s so meaningful to each of us.” Adcock helps current foster youth transition from foster care into adulthood through a network called Foster Leaders Movement. She also raises foster care awareness to encourage people to foster parent or do volunteer work for foster youth. “I think it takes somebody to just understand and say, ‘Hey, you’re going through a hard time. Let’s work this out,’ instead of ‘You’re being a bad kid. Let’s punish you,’” said Adcock. “They’re not all bad kids. They might get into trouble, but I think they just need some understanding.” Her message to current foster youth is that they can accomplish more than they think that they can. “I would say not to think of the present, to try to have a future mindset,” she said. “This isn’t all that there is to life. There’s so much more in the world. It’s so beautiful, and there are awesome people.”


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Feature | 11 Fostering a new purpose Faculty members describe experiences as foster parents Story and Photos by Rachel Patterson Cheryl Warstler Cody VanVactor “One of the hardest things is trying to meet the emotional needs of our foster girls, who miss and love their mother very much. [The biggest joy is] probably each night praying with them and telling them they’re precious,” said Joplin High School financial secretary Cheryl Warstler. Foster parents are people who act as guardians for a child in place of their natural parents for a period of time. Warstler has been at JHS for 15 years and has been fostering since this summer. She and her husband are fostering two girls. “There was a situation in our family where a couple of relatives were already in the foster care system and needed a home, so DFS (Department of Family Services) had contacted us to see if we’d be interested in foster parenting,” said Warstler. Cody VanVactor, a science teacher at JHS for three years, has been foster parenting for 14 months. “My wife and I recognized a need. We talked to some people from our church who were involved in foster parenting, and it seemed like something we wanted to do, to do our part,” said VanVactor. According to Warstler, before a family can foster, there are background checks, home study, training, employee references and health screenings. In addition, they are required to lock up chemicals, medications and house cleaners to prepare the home. “We took a 10-week course that was training specifically for foster parents. There was an instructor and about 20 potential foster parents. They talked us through everything, from the legal side of stuff, to emotional concerns, to health and nutrition concerns, and a variety of other issues that may come up when fostering,” said VanVactor. Both VanVactor and Warstler agree that fostering has changed their lives in numerous ways. “It’s made my wife and I more aware of the big need out there to take really good care of kids who are in a really difficult spot,” said VanVactor. “We have a new appreciation for people who do foster care and the foster system. We weren’t ever really exposed to it before this situation other than what I came in contact with here at school,” said Warstler. Fostering children is a very tough yet very rewarding job. “The hardest part [of foster parenting] is just seeing the emotional toll that it takes on kids: seeing them be excited and be disappointed and just feeling the weight of that. The biggest joy is seeing moms and dads be successful and seeing their kids be happy about that,” said VanVactor. What is home? By Halli Robinson Home. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see that word? Is it the building you grew up in? Or maybe it’s the memories of Christmas with your family? What is home? The Merriam Webster Dictionary says that home is “the place where a person lives,” while Oxford Dictionary calls home the “family or social unit occupying a permanent residence,” and still Urban Dictionary says home is “a place that you feel comfortable in, most like yourself.” With all these different definitions, how are we supposed to know what home really is? After talking with many Joplin High School students, it has become clear that home is many different things. For senior Jessica Kantra, home is where her family is. “As long as you are happy and surrounded with people you love, that’s as close to home as you can get,” she said. Freshman Savanna Hubbard feels home is a place she can be worry and anxiety free. “[Home is] my pack porch step,” she said. “I can have a clear mind and feel totally comfortable.” But one thing we can know to be true is something freshman Maggie Thompson has stated. “Everyone has a home. If not, they haven’t found it yet,” she said. So is there any true definition of home? Is it possible to give one definition to something that means so many different things? Does Merriam Webster Dictionary have the right definition? Or does Oxford or Urban Dictionary truly tell us what home is? Could it be that there is no true definition of home? Or maybe the word home is unique to each person who uses it. Maybe each person who talks about home has a different definition, a different image or feeling. Maybe we have to discover for ourselves what home means to us. So I leave you, reader, with this question: What is home?


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Truly Traditional Students celebrate the holidays with diverse traditions By Becca Brown From opening the presents under the tree on Christmas morning to watching the crystal ball drop at midnight on New Year’s Eve, there is a wide range of celebrated holiday traditions. People from all different beliefs and backgrounds have traditions that are celebrated in their own unique ways. “Every Christmas, it is a tradition in our family to wake up early and take our presents from under our Christmas tree. We put them in our car and drive off for Christmas breakfast at my Aunt Becky’s house,” said senior Unique Moore. “It is really fun because I get to be around my family when we are all in our pajamas, still half asleep. We usually stay there all day and play with board games and the other things we got.” For senior Alexandra Stelts, celebrating Christmas is a two-part celebration. “Every Christmas, I go from one parent’s house to the other’s at 8 a.m. So on Christmas morning, I open presents at one parent’s house while the rest of my family waits for me to get home at 8 p.m. to open presents with them. We separate the gifts, and we go in a circle and open one gift at a time,” said Stelts. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are also widely celebrated amongst Joplin High School students. “Every year on New Year’s Day, my dad makes us eat black eyed peas and cabbage. We eat the black eyed peas for luck, and we eat the cabbage for money. You have to eat a little bit of both,” said Stelts. “It is disgusting.” Moore thinks that traditions are important and keep families connected. “They are just a way of showing that you are a family, that this is what [you] do together. In a way, traditions just say that ‘this is my weird family.’ You can be proud of it,” said Moore. Stelts agrees with this idea. “I think traditions say a lot about your family. They are just good things to pass down. Everyone’s family has different traditions, and I think that is important too. If we are all the same, what’s the fun in that?” said Stelts. Senior Kerry Stadler even plans on making his own traditions when he is older. “One I think it would be cool to make would be to have a day a year where my whole family sleeps in around Christmas time. We take off time from work and school and just spend the day together,” said Stadler. Holidays where traditions are not celebrated would be different from how they are now. “Quiet, empty and meaningless: that’s what holidays would be like without traditions. There wouldn’t be laughter or cheers around the holiday season. You wouldn’t have those horrendous family photos to look back on and laugh about,” said junior Ann Cole. Home(s) for the holidays Split families celebrate the holidays together and apart By Grace Overman Christmas is full of holiday cheer and joy spread throughout homes all across the world. Amid the smells of holiday treats and the sounds of carols in the streets, families gather around to celebrate the joyous time. These traditions are shared in many different ways for homes of all shapes and sizes. While some students’ Christmases are filled with the traditional activities, others are spent traveling from one family to the next. “Part of me always feels empty when I go back and forth, and that really takes a toll in the long run. I am just grateful I can see them both,” said junior Catie Evenson. Typically, in a split family, a system is in place where the children spend an equal amount of time with each family. However there are not two of every holiday each year, so a family must work together to enjoy the time together. “That first holiday after the divorce, I spent the first half with my mom and the second half with my dad. This year, I’ll be going the day of Christmas to see my dad,” said Evenson. Most often, divorced parents get remarried years later. Their children receive another parent as well as the new siblings that parent brings with them. “My parents have been divorced for four years now, and they are both in new relationships. I have one biological brother, a stepbrother and three stepsisters. I find it difficult during the holidays to be with each family,” junior Korah Higdon said. Holiday cheer is still spread through homes of split families, and traditions are not lost with the separation. “My favorite thing about the holidays has to be baking with my mom. As long as we are baking cookies and candy in the kitchen, everything is alright,” said Higdon. While two Christmases may sound chaotic to most, Evenson is grateful for her situation considering that some children are not able to have even one. Evenson feels strongly about the Christmas season and everyone being able to receive the love that is in her life. She had the privilege of being a part of another girl’s Christmas when she chose to give away gifts instead of receiving them one year. “I don’t really think it’s fair that I get two Christmases when there are some that don’t get one. I am truly grateful for everything I get, and I would like everyone to get the holiday cheer and joy that I have a great amount of,” said Evenson.


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DIY: Melted Snowman cookies Story and Photo by Maggie Brister interest | 13 Directions: Step 1: Follow baking directions on sugar cookie pouch, dividing dough evenly into round cookies. Step 2: On cooled cookies, draw a “snow puddle” with the white cookie icing. Tip: Draw the outline of the puddle, then go back and fill in the shape. Step 3: While the icing is still wet, place a marshmallow on one side of the cookie. Step 4: Making the arms: Once the icing and marshmallow have set, pipe two “branches” onto each cookie using black gel. Add the fingers with chocolate sprinkles. ‘Tis the season for roasted chestnuts, corn for popping and figgy pudding. Once the temperature drops, we’re pulling out our sweaters, stockings, CDs and string lights. The holidays can be hectic with busy schedules and expensive food and gifts. Here is an inexpensive, unique dessert idea that can be made at the drop of a hat (snowman’s hat at that) and with a personal flare. Supplies: 1 package sugar cookie mix 1 pouch white cookie icing 3 pouches icing your preferred colors Tiny marshmallows (1 per cookie) 1 container chocolate sprinkles 1 tube black decorating gel 1 pouch rainbow baking chips Step 5: Making the face: Using a small dot of white cookie icing, stick two “coal” eyes and a nose onto the marshmallow with the rainbow chips. Pipe a dot for the mouth with black gel to give it a surprised look. Step 6: Making the scarf and buttons: Using the colors of cookie icing you desire, carefully draw a scarf around the base of the marshmallow. Using a small dot of white cookie icing, stick three “buttons” made of rainbow chips beneath the scarf. Step 7: Allow cookies to set for at least an hour before serving. Step 8: Enjoy! Holiday Word search BAKING BOOTS CANDY CANE CAROLS CIDER COOKIES COUNTDOWN FEAST FIREPLACE FROST GINGERBREAD HOME HOT CHOCOLATE MITTENS NEW YEARS NUTCRACKER ORNAMENTS PUMPKIN PIE SNOWDAY STOCKING TINSEL TRADITIONS HH S Z F R B Y F E X G S S Y SM O O L E E I A A N R I O N T O NW TME D I DRAKNOE EORO C C E I I WK C E G I N S T O N I A HCBOP YOE P ENVTBATR O L N E D N R OWL I G I VM I O C S E N A B I Y C P A QMO E D L OEA S RR EKCAR C TUNA S L C C ENAFOPDTDENTR F A R AWR I Y Q TMB N U Y S T T T D Y S C J T Q C O U N T D OWN E G N I K C O T S AWP F E A S T


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opinion | 14 Old enough to fight, Young people’s voices historically have old enough to matter not mattered in American politics By Jacob Jones The famous quote goes “youth is wasted on the young.” But maybe youth is wasted more by lack of opportunity than anything else. There are issues within the system that prevent young people from properly representing themselves in government. Forty-five years ago, 18-year-olds were granted the right to vote by the 26th Amendment to the Constitution. This right was only guaranteed to 18-year-olds after lengthy protests. Youth, especially veterans of the Vietnam War, wanted to change the current voting age, 21, to 18, citing that a person could enlist in the national armed services but could not vote. Aside from the issue of voting, age is important in another aspect of local, state and national politics. To run for office at all three of those levels, minimum age levels must be met. For state offices, such as the state senate, a possible candidate must be 30 years old at the time of their candidacy; 30 is also the age required to run for the Senate in Washington, D.C. The ages range from 25 to 35 for all other offices, including the presidency. There is a clear disparity, similar to the disparity between 18 and 21 in 1971, between the 18 at which a person can vote and the 25 to 35 at which they can hold office. There is no real, quantifiable reason for why this strange set of abstract age restrictions exists. If a person can be entrusted with voting for a person who makes decisions, why can they not make the decisions themselves? In every other aspect of life, 18 is the defined number at which people can begin to make decisions for themselves and their environment. Everything from buying a house to dangerous things like buying cigarettes can be done immediately as soon as someone turns 18, but they cannot run for elected office. One often-suggested alternative for young people instead of directly running for office is activism, getting involved with their community. While it is a positive thing that young people get involved with their community, this argument does not hold weight for the topic at hand. Being active in a community, picketing or any other forms of community organizing are not workable replacements for holding elected office. When a person is elected to office, they hold active decision-making power. They can be the guiding hand in government policy, very different from knocking on doors in the name of a candidate. This issue, in the end, is similar to the issue of voting age. As it currently stands, a person can serve in the military, possibly even die doing so, but cannot hold office upon their return to civilian life. It was an issue of inequality then, and it continues to be today. MSSU CAMPUS 3950 E. Newman Rd. Joplin, MO 417.659.4400 INDIANA CAMPUS 2220 Indiana Ave. Joplin, MO 417.659.4400 franklintechnologycenter.com GET WITH THE PROGRAM.


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Taking Action Against Distractions Students and staff discuss the student dress code By Jessica Beebe From the Runway to the Hallway Story and Photos by Zoe Brown M. Short skirts, saggy pants and wild hair have been seen in Joplin High School’s halls for the past few years. With the generations and trends changing, certain looks such as unnatural hair coloring are becoming the new norm. Vibrant hairstyles, sleeveless tops, hats, hoods, bandannas, unique contact lenses and eyewear are all a part of today’s fashion culture. Given these changes, many students believe that Joplin High School’s current dress code is out of date and inconsistent. “I see either a teacher not caring if someone’s wearing a crop top and booty shorts [or] another teacher getting on to another student for showing the smallest amount of shoulder,” said senior Grace Roush. “[The dress code] is supposed to encourage professional dressing, but that doesn’t seem to be the real purpose. It just seems to be more of a restriction on students and shaming them for what they wear due to its inconsistent enforcement.” The school’s dress code does have reason, despite many students’ negative opinions about the restrictions. According to JHS’s student handbook, “The Board of Education recognizes the value of allowing individual student expression as well as the necessity of protecting student health and safety and maintaining an atmosphere conducive to education.” The student dress code is designed with the goal of balancing these competing interests. Teachers are expected to enforce the dress code for the sake of students and maintaining an atmosphere conducive to education. Many teachers try to encourage students to dress in respectable and professional ways. One example is Spanish teacher Mary Vu. “I like the dress code. I think that we’re not as strict as other schools, especially private schools [such as] McAuley [or] Thomas Jefferson. Students still get the opportunity to express themselves in an appropriate way that’s not distracting in the classroom. It also sets the tone for a more professional environment as well. Any job you get outside of school requires some type of uniform or dress code that you must abide by. It gives you guidelines on what the professional work life is going to be in the future,” said Vu. Notoriously ‘90s trends are making their way back around, appearing on the runways of New York Fashion Week and in the halls of Joplin High School. Worn by Cher in Clueless and reappearing on the 2016 Fall Runway, the choker has proven that it can withstand the test of time. Often seen as a passing trend, chokers have been around long before their most wellknown appearance in the ‘90s, emerging in the 1940s and even as far back as the late 1800s as a marker of elite status. This gothic accent adds visual interest to otherwise simple outfits. Chokers have been spotted on the red carpet and on the streets worn by Rihanna, Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. The choker makes a major statement with minimal effort. Crushed velvet is another iconic ‘90s trend to make an appearance this winter. Even as an accessory, the lush fabric adds an instant sense of luxury. Velvet is remarkably versatile and has a place in the wardrobe of all. Subtle accents add character and a sense of eccentricity to your wardrobe, especially when paired with denim or leather. The puffer coat is an uncompromisingly functional and androgynous trend that made an appearance on the runways of fall 2016 designers and on the pages of Vogue. In all shapes and sizes for both men and women, the puffer has taken a new form: a more chic, modern modification to the bulky ‘90s staple. One might venture to try a puffer vest, which nods to the trend while complying with the need to layer in this unpredictable Missouri weather.



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