Spyglass: Volume LVIII | Issue III | March 2017


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Volume LVIII | Issue III Joplin high School March 2017 A Multicultural Marriage| PAGE 11 one-act plays | PAGE 15 The identity crisis | PAGE 19


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What’s Inside 4 Superintendent Selected 5 College Across the Continents 6 ACT Tips 6 Cheering in the New Year 7 Best Friends On and Off Stage 8 Tales of Proms Past 9 Bee-ing Productive 11 A Multicultural Marriage 12 Lasting Scars 13 Canvas or Mask? 14 Pawprints on our Hearts 15 One-Act Plays 16 Swinging Roles 17 Sports Superstitions 18 ‘Fake News’ 19 The Identity Crisis 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. 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 Maggie Brister Zoe Brown Jesse Croney Jake Jones Rachel Patterson Becca Brown Keaton Campbell Grace Hughes Grace Overman William Emma Simon Schwarzenberger Adviser Mrs. Mary Crane o wnership • decisions • people We are PROUD to be your LOCALLY-OWNED 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


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news| 4 New Superintendent Selected Dr. Melinda Moss appointed as new superintendent of Joplin Schools By Halli Robinson On Nov. 29, the Joplin Schools Board of Education voted to hire Dr. Melinda Moss as the new Joplin Schools superinten- dent. “Dr. Moss was the unanimous choice of the Board, and we are pleased to welcome Dr. Moss to Joplin Schools and our community as our next superinten- dent,” said Jeff Koch, president of the Board of Education. “We are excited for the future and know our schools and students will be in great hands.” With the community in mind, the Board of Education conducted many surveys and received much input from the community so as to choose the right superintendent for the Joplin School District. After many interviews and extensive background and reference checks, the Board believes they have found the right person for the job. “I had worked in southwest Missouri schools for most of my career, so com- ing back to this part of the state is kind of like returning home,” said Moss. “It’s just a wonderful place, and I think that it’s really ready to take off.” Currently serving as the superinten- dent of the Harrison School District in Ark., Moss will begin her new position at the end of the school year. She is anticipating getting to know the Joplin Photo Contributed community and finding out how she can help it grow. “Right now, I’m just excited to get to know people and do a lot of listening and a lot of learning and finding out more and more what works and what is treasured and tradition here,” said Moss. As she starts her new position in April 2017, Moss intends to adopt some of the plans that current Joplin Schools Interim Superintendent, Dr. Norm Ridder, has in place. One of these plans is the cognitive coaching process, which compels teachers to explore the thinking behind their teaching practices. “I absolutely plan to build upon some of those things that he (Ridder) has done. I’m starting to learn a little about the cognitive coaching process, and I have asked to be a part of some of the in-service coming up this spring,” said Moss. “I see the cognitive coaching piece as not only good for students and student-teacher interaction, but I’m hearing from Joplin teachers that it has helped elevate the conversations even among themselves.” Another change Moss plans to address is measuring Joplin Schools’ educational progress. “I think those questions have now kind of started to solidify, and so now we’re ready to get our feet under us and really figure out how to adjust to what that is asking us to do in the classroom,” she said. Moss is excited to start her new position, join alongside the educators, and build upon the good things happening in Joplin Schools. “I see Joplin Schools as the district of choice,” said Moss. “I see Joplin Schools as innovative, and I see it as offering a wide variety of opportunities for its students so that a very well-equipped student graduates from Joplin and is ready to take on the next phase of their life.”


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News | 5 College Across the Continents Anna Graves plans to continue education at Minerva By Keaton Campbell When most high school students think of the “college experience,” things like all-nighters, new friendships and endless homework likely come to mind. For senior Anna Graves, add “transcontinental travel” to this list. Next fall, Graves will be attending Minerva, the only university of its kind. “I am always at a loss for words when asked to describe Minerva because it is truly a brand new college experience,” said Graves. “Instead of having final exams, we have final projects. Instead of having concrete grades from our freshman year, we have grades that change based off whether or not we sufficiently exercise the skills we were taught in the sophomore through senior years.” However, the most unique thing about Minerva isn’t the way that the classes are taught, it is where the classes are taught. “We gain cultural immersion by living in seven global cities. For the first year, we live in San Francisco, California. For the following three years, we spend each semester in a different global city. I will be living in Seoul, South Korea; Hyderabad, India; Berlin, Germany; Buenos Aires, Argentina; London, United Kingdom; and Taipei, Taiwan,” said Graves. This unique college experience isn’t available to the vast majority of students. With an acceptance rate of 1.9 percent, Minerva is currently the most selective undergraduate school in the world. This put extra pressure on Graves during Minerva’s already rigorous application process, which included a series of online tests designed to measure academic aptitude. “The application process was quite unique, yet intimidating at the same time,” said Graves. While Graves is excited by the idea of living in global cities and being immersed in foreign culture for three years of her study, some aspects are nerve-wracking. “I am most nervous about my ability to learn the languages necessary in such a short period of time. With the exception of San Francisco and London, every city I will visit has a different language,” said Graves. “I need to be able to learn the basics of each language in order to live my daily life in these locations.” Minerva attracts many students who, like Graves, are interested in finding a school that operates outside of the status quo. “Minerva is the first school to take a radical approach to reforming modern day higher education,” said Graves. “I am thankful I get to join other like-minded students in this incredible educational journey.”


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ACT Tips By Jesse Croney The ACT is the most academically defining moment of a high school student’s life. One’s ACT scores can determine whether or not they will get into the college they want. If you want to get a decent score on the ACT, here are some tips the books won’t tell you: Listen to rock music on your way to the test It will put you in the mood to rock the test. Drink some Smart Water before the test It’s not scientifically proven to make you smarter, but it can’t hurt. Only cry between tests, not during Tests aren’t waterproof. All jokes aside, if you really want to do well on the ACT, there are real tips and tricks that you can follow. Here are a few: Pick the most concise answer ACT English questions are looking for answers that result in the most straightforward, logical sentence structure. Skip hard questions If you find a question too hard, skip it and go back to it at a later time. It might save some time. Don’t study too hard That doesn’t mean blow it off to the last second or try and study all in one night. Take things easy to study slowly. feature| 6 Cheering in the New Year By Becca Brown Senior Amy Walser travels to London to march in the New Year's Day Parade Many Joplin High School students traveled over Christmas break. One JHS student happened to travel farther than others. Senior varsity cheerleader Amy Walser traveled to London, England to march in the New Year’s Day Parade. Walser got the opportunity to go on the trip to London while attending a cheer camp over the summer. “I attended the National Cheerleading Association (NCA) cheer camp this past summer. Along with a few other girls on the team, I was nominated by NCA staff members to try out for the All-American team, which is the most prestigious honor an individual cheerleader can receive in America,” said Walser. “Since I tried out and made the team, that is what enabled me to go.” Though Walser was in London for just one week, she managed to see many historic monuments including Big Ben and the Buckingham Palace. Though she loved sightseeing, her favorite memory was marching in the New Year’s Day Parade. “Marching in the parade was honestly the most fun that I have ever had that I can remember. It made me remember the whole reason why I am a cheerleader,” said Walser. “I remember that it started pouring rain, and that’s when the thought hit me that I was in London and I was marching in the New Year’s Parade. Sometimes I look back on it and think, ‘Did I really go to London?’ because the whole situation still seems so surreal.” When a cheerleader makes the All-American team, they have several opportunities throughout the year to travel to different places and perform with the other All-American cheerleaders. Walser knew from the time she made the team that she wanted to go to London. “I have made the All-American team two other times when I was in middle school. I went to Houston, Texas to perform in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in seventh grade, and I also went to Orlando, Fla. to march in the Disney World Christmas Day Parade in eighth grade. I was given the option to go to those again or go to London,” said Walser. Walser says that she is appreciative of the experience she earned. “NCA is a really wonderful organization because they select cheerleaders and dancers from all over America and take them overseas to give them a really cool experience that most people don’t have the ability to do, especially at this age,” said Walser. “I am so thankful for this experience. I’m thankful to my parents, to God, to London, and just all the people that made it possible.” Photos Contributed


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FEATURE | 7 Best friends on and off stage Juniors Nate Vainio and Howard Nunnelly join a band together By Emma Simon For most teenagers, music is just a hobby. But for juniors I was nine, so that’s where I feel like I learned how to Howard Nunnelly and Nathan Vainio, playing music is play and flow with other musicians in a band. I arguably both a passion and a job. learned more playing at church than I did taking drum For Nunnelly, being a lessons,” said Nunnelly. musician has been his Within less than two way of life for nearly 10 years of playing instru- years. ments, Vainio got connect- “I started playing ed with Nunnelly. drums when I was eight “I started playing at my years old, and I never church my sophomore actually was interested year. Then, September of in picking up any other 2016, I was asked to play instruments until this with Howard for an artist past year when I bought named Jake Bennett,” said a ukulele,” said Nunnelly. Vainio. Vainio’s love for music, With influences such as however, came out of Mutemath and Twenty something tragic. One Pilots, they want their “I have played piano music to be just as im- for about three years. I pactful to people as their started playing freshman influences were to them. year when I suffered too They are also planning many concussions, so I couldn’t play basket- “It’s not about how many followers or fans on recording their own record soon. ball or any other sports anymore. Then, my sophomore year, I picked up we get... It’s about changing people’s lives and reaching people’s hearts by doing what “For Howard and I, it’s not about how many followers or fans we get my stepdad’s guitar and asked him to show me some chords. I’ve been we love.” - Nathan Vainio or how many people will listen to our music or how famous we get. It’s about playing ever since then,” changing people’s lives said Vainio. and reaching people’s hearts by doing what we love. I just Without their church worship band, they wouldn’t have want our music to affect and relate to people’s lives,” said gotten the skills they possess as quickly as they did. Vainio. “I started playing in my church’s worship band when Photo Contributed


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Feature | 8 Tales of Proms Past Joplin High School teachers compare their high school proms to current proms By Maggie Brister We’ve all seen the trending pictures from prom that people wish would have never resurfaced and heard the stories about the couples that met at prom. Though most proms share similarities, every prom is different. Not only are they different from school to school, but they are different from year to year. English teacher Susan Primm thinks that proms now have more work put into the attire than when she attended prom in 1977. “Prom was not as important as it is now. It was important, but we didn’t spend as much money or put in as much effort to get our dresses,” she said. Foreign language teacher Christopher Young believes the amount of money spent today on formal wear corresponds with society’s timeless ideals of “cool” and “popular.” “We are also very much infatuated with labels, so we want to have the fancy dresses, and people spend a lot more money on makeup, accessories and getting hair done all before prom,” he said. For this reason, English teacher Linda Unser is grateful for the opportunities that Joplin High School presents to students looking for dresses for prom. “Because there is so much expense and so many kids could feel left out, I think it’s nice that everybody can go with the help of Fairy Godmother,” said Unser. Her mother made her dress for prom, which was the trend in the 1960s according to Unser. “My mom made all of my formals, and that was the cool thing to do. If you had a mom that could make your dress, you were really lucky. Otherwise, you would have to go out and buy something, which was not as cool,” said Unser. The emphasis on prom has altered for psychology teacher Jeff Brown since he was in high school. “One difference was that the majority of students attended. For the most part, everyone was there. It seems that we don’t have as big of a turnout nowadays,” said Brown. Young’s high school prom experience was similar to Brown’s, but he believes that the importance of prom at his high school may have been a result of the size of his city. “I would say back then, prom was almost more important. I don’t know if that’s [just due to the size of the school], but in my high school, everyone went to prom. My high school was very tiny in comparison to the number of kids that attend Joplin High School,” he said. Despite the changes, Primm would rather attend a current prom for the dance but keep the simplicity of the attire that she had when she attended her prom. “These (current proms) are much more fun. They’re just huge compared to what we had,” Primm said. Photos Contributed


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FEATURE | 9 Bee-ing Productive By Jake Jones One Joplin High School principal has taken up an interesting hobby: beekeeping Some people play video games, others work out, his own honey in-house. Flora and other home others read books. One Joplin High School princi- beekeepers’ honey is different than most store- pal has a hobby more unique than most. Fresh- bought honey, however. man principal Joshua Flora spends his weekends “[It’s] raw honey. All we do is cut the cap off of tending to a group of five bee hives. And yes, he the honeycomb itself, spin the honey out, and has the suit. Almost every day, he goes out into drain it through filters, then bottle,” he said. his backyard to tend to his bees. He has had this With most store-bought honey, there is just one hobby for quite some time and seeks to expand associated flavor, “honey flavored.” But with further into a much larger operation. all-natural honey, there are several different vari- He became interested in beekeeping through ations of flavoring. The flavor of honey depends family. His moth- on the diet of the bees, er and father-in- according to Flora. law have a significant beekeeping operation, which “With bees becoming extinct, more and more people are wanting to get bees. It’s If one hive of bees eats only a plant like alfalfa, its honey will drew his interest. His in-laws have a considerable actually becoming a big thing,” - Joshua Flora be light and sweet. If it feeds on different plants, like buck- number of hives wheat, it will have a and have built completely different what amounts to a small business off of it. flavor and consistency. “My in-laws go down to Texas and get about 200 As many already know, bees are on the verge of starter ‘nooks,’ which are like starter hives, and becoming endangered. Due to honeybees’ brush they sell out pretty quickly,” said Flora. with extinction, many have taken up beekeeping Of course, there are the obvious occupation- as an attempt to save the bees. al hazards associated with raising a group of “With bees becoming extinct, more and more 350,000 bees. Flora has been stung several times, people are wanting to get bees. It’s actually be- an almost daily occurrence when he tends to his coming a big thing,” said Flora. bees. “I would say every time I go out and mess with the bees, [I get stung] probably two times,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt like a wasp does. It just kind of swells up your joints.” There are measures to protect against such dan- gers, such as the beekeeping suit. However, some are braver than others. “Some people just go out there in jeans and a hood,” said Flora. “But my bees are pretty mean. If you aren’t wearing a suit, you’ll get hammered a good hundred times.” Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when bees are mentioned is the product for which bees are most well known and why most people get into beekeeping in the first place. Flora makes


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IDENTITY Photos by Spyglass Staff


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FEATURE | 11 A multicultural Spanish teacher Mary Vu combines Vietnamese and American wedding traditions marriage By Ashlynn Scott When you think of a typical American wedding, you may think of a big white puffy dress, a bride walking down the aisle with her father, and her soon-to-be husband waiting. But for a traditional Vietnamese wedding, that’s not the case. Women in the Vietnamese culture were traditionally sold for a dowry, often without their consent. Mary Vu, Spanish teacher, is marrying her fiancé David Barwick July 16, 2017. The ceremony will incorporate both American and Vietnamese traditions. “Both cultures have some serious traditions. We had to sit down and question what was important to us and why do we do this tradition,” said Vu. They are retaining some aspects of Vietnamese weddings, such as the Vietnamese bridal gown and the traditional roasted pig to be served at the reception. Because some Vietnamese aspects aren’t as meaningful, Vu and Barwick plan to exclude them. “The thing we are taking out is the tea ceremony, where the bride receives the groom’s family at her own house and they basically bring a dowry, like a payment for the bride or trying to show off their wealth,” said Vu. Several obstacles had to be addressed for the wedding preparations. “The first thing that I had to do when planning the wedding was have a really serious talk with my parents. I knew that they had very strong opinions and expectations for my wedding and I gave them an ultimatum,” said Vu. “I told them I know what you want from this wedding, but that’s not what I want. And it goes against every value that I have to have an event where it’s all about paying a dowry for me, like a payment for me. I refuse to do that. I’m not an object.” According to Vu, the Vietnamese vision of a woman is a second-class citizen, and it’s reflected in the wedding ceremony. “The dowry was just a payment for the bride. The bigger the dowry, the more the people will be in awe of the family and their wealth. It was just a lot of show, and it wasn’t based on love like we have today,” Vu said. Vu elaborates how the Vietnamese culture influences their traditions. “To Vietnamese people, it is important in society to have a good reputation, even if it’s at risk of hurting your loved ones. It didn’t take my wedding to realize that women are oppressed,” she said. “Thankfully, things have changed a lot in Vietnam. It’s become more westernized, so you see [arranged marriages] less and less. Women actually choose their marriages for love.” Since the image of women being reduced to an object is reflected in traditional Vietnamese weddings, Vu is using her wedding as a means to let her voice be heard. “I honestly don’t let any culture or idea define who I am. I definitely honor where I come from and what my ancestors and my family do, but I always question, ‘Why do we do this?’ ‘Why is this important?’” said Vu. Overall, Vu is looking forward to her wedding. “I’m most excited about getting married to my best friend and love of my life. The best part will be seeing my fiancé’s face when he sees me walking down the aisle,” Vu said. The lesson of letting a person express who they are in a culture rather than the culture defining the person is a perspective that Vu sees as a universal concept. “We are complex beings that go beyond a culture. Though culture is a part of who we are, it is not something that defines us. We choose what defines us. Each person is unique. We have our own experiences, genes, traditions, passions and unique personalities that contribute to the culture we are raised in,” said Vu. Photos Contributed


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feature| 12 Lasting Scars Junior Ashlynn Scott’s struggle with a childhood disease and the scar it left behind Story and Photo by Sarah Peterson Shortly after her second birthday, junior Ashlynn Scott’s life changed forever. Her parents first noticed something was wrong when part of her nose started to turn red. They took her to three different doctors who prescribed various rash medications, but the color kept spreading. Finally, they came in contact with a doctor who believed she recognized the symptoms. Scott was sent to a hospital in Kansas City where she was diagnosed with linear morphea, a rare and incurable disease that affects the skin as well as the bones and muscles beneath it. The disease lasted only a year, but it left Scott with a scar on her nose and chin. Certain parts of the bones were damaged and could no longer grow in proportion to the rest of her face. “It was really hard because in elementary school, kids don’t really know any better, so they’d say ‘you have stuff on your face’ or ‘you have dirt on your face’ and make fun of me,” she said. The transition to middle school was also a challenge for Scott. She had to move from a school where everyone knew her story to a school full of people she had never met. “It really hit me hard,” she said. “Everyone stared at me. They were so confused, and they would say ‘Oh, that’s the girl with the scar on her face. What’s wrong with her?’” During middle school and the first years of high school, Scott was bullied because of her scar. She was told her face was “ugly” or “messed up.” “Especially at that time when you’re like 15, you don’t know who you are as a person. And having to go through all that stuff and having people treat you like that ... I didn’t know how to deal with it. I went home crying just about every single day.” Throughout this period, she depended on her family and friends for support, and they helped to build up her confidence. “I would come home, and my mom would say ‘Ashlynn, It doesn’t matter how people look at you. It matters how you look at yourself,’” she said. According to Scott, she still deals with people staring at her and treating her differently, but it no longer affects her to the extent it once did. “The fact that people bullied me made me strong. Now I know who I am, and I’ve learned not to let people get to me. I’ve definitely learned to love myself and cherish the moments that I have,” she said. She wishes more people would understand that there is nothing wrong with being different from others. “Different is good,” she said. “That’s such a cliché, but honestly, different is good. And people just need to realize that not everybody’s going to be the same. Not everybody is going to look the same, act the same.” Ultimately, she believes that although her disease and her scar have shaped who she is, they do not define her. “Yes, I have a scar on my face,” she said, “but that’s not who I am. I’m not the scar-faced girl. I’m Ashlynn.” Top: Scott poses for a picture her junior year. Right: Scott (left) shares a moment with her sister shortly before her second birthday. Photo Contributed


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feature | 13 Canvas or Mask? Students discuss makeup and its impact on their lives By Grace Overman Imagine waking up every morning with a blank canvas, clean and ready for you to express how you are feeling that day. Imagine the excitement as you take the first stroke on the canvas with a brush, the thrill of many colors and designs to be used. To some, an eyelid can be a canvas, with the perk of showing everyone their artwork all day long. Makeup can be an art form that allows them to create whatever their heart desires. Junior Carsen Steele has several makeup projects that follow certain themes. One of her projects, which she calls “The Rose Series,” involves finding lipstick colors that match the colors of roses. For Steele’s next project, she is teaming up with sophomore Aspen Reed to create makeup designs that match Reed’s original artwork. “Aspen sent me a picture of the painting and asked if it would be possible,” said Steele. “Of course, I wanted to try.” Reed’s love of painting as well as Steele’s love of makeup have combined to create one art project. “I feel like Carsen is very good at interpreting how pieces are to be presented. Art can be interpreted in so many different ways by different people, and it’s so interesting to see who does what with it. Art connects to people differently, but it always connects everyone,” said Reed. Using makeup as an art form became popular in 2016. “Makeup has always been an interest [of mine]. However, from 2015 to 2016, it has become more of an art form on social media,” said Steele. Practice and patience seem to be the key when it comes to this day-to-day activity. Often, makeup artists will seek information and tutorials from social media, looking to expand their knowledge of the art. “While learning new techniques, I watched an artist known as Jeffree Star. He is probably the most mainstream Youtuber that people watch. However, now he has moved on to have his own brand of makeup,” said junior Alyssa Smith. Buying big name brands, however, is not necessary to make a collection of makeup grow in significant ways. Drugstore makeup often makes it possible for the best makeup artist to attempt new creative ideas. “Brands do not matter when it comes to makeup. I remember buying a 30 dollar setting spray and buying a four dollar setting spray, and they had worked the same,” Smith said. From having the perfect eyebrows to having a defined jawline, makeup is constantly changing and evolving. “One of the great mysteries of makeup is that makeup never looks the same. You can use the same color, the same brush and the same idea as the day before. It will never look the exact same,” said junior Kirstin Martin. “I think that is one of the reasons I love it so much. Every day, I am a new me.” Makeup is sometimes looked at as a way to hide one’s true self. “Makeup is sometimes called a mask or the term ‘cake face’ is used. It honestly insults and shames the ones that do the full face. It is what a person likes. Don’t judge them for doing what makes them happy,” said Smith. Steele agrees. “I would never shame anyone who didn’t wear makeup because everyone is beautiful with or without it. I don’t wear makeup every day, and I still love myself.” ontributed Photos Contributed


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Feature | 14 Pawprints on our hearts Students tell how pets have positively impacted their lives By Rachel Patterson Since domestication, pets have been improving the lives of humans in almost all areas of life. They are man’s biggest supporters, best friends and most comfortable pillows (unless they are fish). They are there when their human companion needs a shoulder to cry on, an exercise buddy or even just something to hold while watching a scary movie. Pets are known for loving their owners unconditionally. Getting a pet is inspired by many things. Some have always had and loved pets. Some met an animal and fell in love automatically. “I’ve always loved dogs. I love how sweet they are and how they can make your day so much brighter just by a wag of a tail or resting [their] head on your lap. I love all breeds of dogs, but I’ve always wanted a golden retriever. My grandma had a golden retriever named Mitchell while I was growing up, and I was really attached to him. He was the first dog I ever interacted with, and ever since he passed away, I always wanted to have a golden retriever of my own,” said senior Alli Cloyd. “I’ve always had pets. They’ve always been a part of my life, and they’re like a family member,” said sophomore Sam Kraner. Pets often have a strong connection with their owners. “[My dog is] always very excited to see me when I come home, and I know that no matter what kind of day I’ve had, he’s always going to be at home waiting for me,” said Cloyd. Pets are sometimes even regarded as family and treated as such. “I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have [my dog]. He sleeps with me every night. I take him for walks almost every day. He’s a really big part of my life,” said Kraner. “The saying, ‘dogs are a man’s best friend’ is definitely true in my life. Beaux really is my best friend, and he’s become such a blessing for me and also for my family. He’s there to comfort me when I’m sad, and also always makes me laugh because he’s always so happy. My dog truly is one of a kind, and I wouldn’t trade him for the world,” said Cloyd. 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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Feature | 15 One-Act Plays Joplin High School brings back student-directed one-act plays By William Schwarzenberger This February, the Joplin High School Theater Department performed fully student-produced one-act plays for the first time in recent years. Ashley Trotnic, head of the theater department, selected two students to be directors, seniors Michaela West and Andrew Chesney. After only a month of rehearsing, they performed the one-act plays Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Each director had six actors, a stage manager and a small production crew. They also got to select their one-act plays and had access to props and costumes. They designed the sets themselves. Michaela West, who has participated in 15 theater productions in her high school career, chose “These Shining Lives” for her one-act play. It is a true story based on the experiences of the 1920s “Radium Girls,” women who painted painted watches at a radium dial factory and contracted radium poisoning. The story follows them sueing the company and fighting for workers’ safety. West, as director of the show, faced many challenges with design, costumes, blocking and tech, but the main challenge was the fact that her play was based on a true story. “These are real people. These are real names. This is a real story. You feel a certain obligation to do good by it, whether you are on the tech side or the acting side. You feel like you need to do justice to it because otherwise it’s not going to speak to people,” said West. Andrew Chesney, taking part in the 10th show in his high school career, chose “Louder I Can’t Hear You.” The play, placed in the 1970s, follows the tale of a mother, Marge, who recently won “Mother of the Month,” but nobody seems to care or even notice. She eventually visits a doctor to gain advice about her family but comes to realize that he is not paying attention to her either. By the end of the play, she is forced to confront the family. “I just wanted to choose something that was fun and a comedy to kind of contrast the other one-act, which has more of a dramatic and sad tone,” said Chesney. Photos by Sarah Peterson



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