FMS Reporter June 2013


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FMS Reporter FARNSWORTH MIDDLE SCHOOL’S STUDENT NEWSPAPER V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 1 J U N E 2 0 1 3 MOCK TRIAL A SUCCESS! Page 2 FMS Helps OK Schools Page 1 FMS Students Win Awards Pages 1, 2, and 3 Results of the FMS Short Story Contest Page 11 Should You Buy a PS Vita? Page 8 Valley Cats Exclusive Interview! Page 6 Photo by Michelle Zhu


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PAGE 1 FMS Helps Oklahoma Schools Destroyed by Tornadoes By Alex Gugie Towers and Briarwood schools will have to be moved elsewhere for the 2013-2014 school year. Moore School District Superintendent Susan Pierce said “We think it’s essential for the kids and the community to come back strong at the same location. It’ll be good for them to see the construction there” (CBS News Oklahoma schools stroyed by tornado to rebuild on May 30th 2013). There is currently an ongoing fundraiser in our school for the schools affected by the Oklahoma tornadoes. We held a hat day fundraiser on March 31, along with a fundraiser for the staff called Casual for a Cause. If teachers donated a certain amount of money, they got to dress in casual clothes, such as jeans. So far we have raised $300.12. Please decide to support the people of Moore in their time of need. Any donations can be brought to Mrs. Escobar in Room 101. On May 20, the small town of Moore in Oklahoma was ravaged by a massive EF5 tornado. Not only was there damage to suburban homes, but two elementary schools were completely destroyed. The Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary Schools were demolished and seven thirdgrade students at Plaza died. After the storm had subsided, officials say that a total of 51 people had been killed in Moore, with over 300 others injured. To add to the devastation, another tornado hit the town on May 31. Rebuilding will undoubtedly be difficult for the town of Moore. 1,150 children from Plaza Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ks0stm FMS Student Wins Foreign Language Award J acob Brislin was recently honored with the Philip A. Fulvi Love of Language Award, given out by the New York State Association of Language Teachers. The award is given each year to one eighth grade student who is studying a language other than English. The student must show high academic success in the language that is studied, as well as in other courses. Mrs. Dugan nominated Jacob for the award because she found out that his relatives live in Florida, and he enjoys visiting restaurants, stores, etc., where Spanish is spoken. He also has a pen pal from Spain. He keeps a sign on his door that says "Spanish spoken here," which is written in Spanish! One winner was selected from all of the applications from the Capital Region. Jacob started taking Spanish in sixth grade, and it is his favorite subject. FMS Reporter Editors 2012-13: Jonah Goldstein, Editor in Chief; Mallory Trainor and Caroline Murphy, CoEditors For Kids By Kids; Alex Gugie, World News Editor; Clayton Bastiani, Entertainment Editor; Kevin Murphy, Sports Editor; Shahnila Mahmood, Photography Editor; Shahrina Mahmood, Art Editor. FMS REPORTER


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Full of Surprises S ince around February, the harm of another. PAGE 2 By Jonah Goldstein Farnsworth who leads the team and prepares them for the trial) Debate and Law team at Farnsworth Middle School has been preparing for their annual mock trial at the Guilderland Town Hall’s court room. Each year, before the presiding judge, Judge Randall, two sides of either a criminal or civil case present their arguments in hopes of being the prevailing side. This year, the case was a particulargreatest group I have ever seen do a mock Judge Randall said, “This is by far the As the two sides (the plaintiff, or those people suing, and the defense, those defending against the lawsuit) prepared their arguments, they enjoyed help from a professional actress and speech therapist who aided them in public speaking, and were urged to research their sides from topics as loose as objections, to as complex as toxicology. for twenty years on the mock trial, such a compliment really gave an inspiring air to the trial. As it is also the final time Mrs. Escobar will lead the Debate and Law team for the mock trial, it was a “bittersweet moment,” as Mrs. Escobar put it. ly interesting and somewhat difficult trial here before.” I myself have not participated in a better trial. It was full of twists and one for the team to tackle. It involved an elementary school remodeling a classroom and furnishing it with carpeting on the floors and wall. Many of the students had, as the school year wore on, attained certain symptoms of carpet related conditions. Itchy, burning eyes, and asthma attacks were among them. In response to the school not taking any action to remove the carpets, the parents of these students sued the school for negligence, which is defined as one not using “reasonable care,” resulting in the When at last the day for the mock trial came, the two sides brought forth their witnesses and directed them and cross examined them, to the point that each side had presented such persuasive arguments, that Judge Randall said, “This is by far the greatest group I have ever seen do a mock trial here before.” She then continued to say how she had never seen a group so able to “Think on their feet, and to adjust.” As she has been working with Mrs. Escobar (the Enrichment teacher at turns, and full of constant action. The defense side prevailed in the end, but each side was equally argued. “You’re only as good as your case,” is how Judge Randall put it. Looking back, I can only hope that future ones come close to as good as this 2013 mock trial was. Next year will be full of new things, as Mrs. Escobar will no longer be with us. But I am sure that we will succeed with her teachings, and continue to surprise. Judge Randall said, “This is by far the greatest group I have ever seen do a mock trial here before.” Guilderland Students Compete at National History Day By Clayton Bastiani Two Guilderland students have won the chance to participate at the national level of National History Day. Ashley Visker, an eighth grader, and high school student Michelle Kang will represent New York State at the contest, held in College Park, MD from June 9-13. What did you do exactly? Ashley: I made a documentary on polio vaccine. My grandma’s uncle used to tell stories about polio, so when I needed a topic that came to Picture taken by Melissa Hale-Spencer, Altamont Enterprise mind. How hard was it? Ashley: I didn’t have very good time management. Sometimes I had to pull all-nighters to work on the documentary. Would you continue on to do History Day again? Ashley: Yes, if they offer it at the high school. What is your experience with history day? Ashley: In sixth Grade I did a documentary on child labor laws, and last year I did one on Walt Disney. In sixth grade, I won at regionals and went to the state level, but this is my first time going to nationals. The organization's website states that "National History Day (NHD) is a highly regarded academic program for elementary and secondary school students. Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide participate in the NHD contest.’


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PAGE 3 Character Ed Awards Presented to FMS Students FMS honors students who have displayed outstanding character traits. Teachers nominate students and Character Ed tshirts are given to students who have not previously earned an award. The following students were honored in sixth and seventh grade assemblies: Sixth Grade: Ryan Avery, Jack Billington, Alyssa Burg, Sarah Castellanos, Nicole Chiang, Ben Drzymala, Mason Early, Julianne Ford, Marissa Gordon, Jacob Govel, Patrick Kelty, Jordan Kimbrough, Emma KlindtSeventh Grade: Reva Bardhi, Matthew Creighton, Angus Cropley, Rachel Brucker, Donny Chrysler, Haydn Elmore, DJ Futia, worth, Sierra Liotta, Jack Lumley, Allison McKenna, Caitlyn Miller, Michael Neal, Victoria Nemeth , Chris Riley, Grace Serravillo, Jessa Smith, Chloe Sullivan, Caleigh Taveras, Conner Traegger, Nick Tyson, Diego Verduzco, Adam Webber, Sara Williams, Hannah Zwack. Abbey Goes, Ally Marino, Austin McGee, Erin Miceli, Abraham Mohammed, Allie Moser, Molly O’Brien, Joseph Pasquini, Lily Pickett, Angelo Sbardella, Samantha Sellie, Maya Septer, Laura Shaffer, Megan Smith, Alexandra Stevens, Taniya Thomas, Amanda Thottam, John Tricozzi, Skyelar Winnie. Eighth Grade: Avi Bajaj, Madison Bini,Lauren Cassella, Matt Coburn, Ryan Dempsey, Daniella Duglin, Abby Kaplan, Imaan Nasri, Priyan Pathirana, Zachary Poland, Jonny Schulman, Olivia Sciocchetti, Elena Toscano, Anh Vo, Alexa Watts, Kevin Wehner, Eddy Yu. Math Olympiad Team Wins Honors 34 sixth-grade students from Farnsworth Middle School were among the nearly 150,000 students worldwide to participate in and complete the Math Olympiad program during the 2012-13 school year. The students participated in a series of five monthly contests of five problems each, from November to March, and practice sessions. Students attended weekly coaching classes and monthly contests on Tuesday mornings before school. They learned to solve unusual and difficult multi-step problems, and to think creatively and productively during problem-solving. All Math Olympiad Teams are considered for a school award, based on the ten highest student scores on each team. Farnsworth’s team earned a plaque for “Highest Team Achievement,” given to the top 10% of all schools participating. Farnsworth has participated in the contest since the early 1990’s and has earned the highest team achievement plaque 16 of those years. All students who completed the program were recognized with certificates for their participation. 27 of the mathletes won national awards for excellence. The gold pin is awarded to those in at least the 98th percentile (top 2%) of all participating students. At our school, the following five students won the gold pin: Rubin Chen, Jin Shang, Daniel Bemis, William Guo, and Jason Moon. In addition, Rubin Chen and Jin Shang tied for school champion and will each receive a trophy. The silver pin is awarded to those in the 90th to 97th percentiles, and the following students earned this honor: Henry Li, Ved Kumar, Sandra Eldeiry, Sophie Gerchikov, David Gong, and Karen Zhu. The embroidered felt patch is awarded to those who scored in the top 50% of all participants. The following students earned this honor: Chloe Chae, Ashutosh Yaligar, Sonal Swain, Dhanush Busarapu, Travis Rathwell, Aman Avvaru, Pierce Bright, Samantha Dell’Acqua, Jared Leader, Nicole Chiang, David Loparco, Karthik Vinnakota, Sean Walsh, Nikhil Bodduluri, Tarun Kilaru, and Zachary Madeksza. Other students who completed the program included Benjamin Schutter, Miranda Thottam, Riley O’Lena, Sidharth Shamshabad, Rohan Manohar, and Aasiyah Virjee. The GoGreen Event The GoGreen and Recycling Extravaganza event on April 27th of this year attracted over 1,000 visitors. GoGreen was highly successful, educational, and got a lot of community participation, especially for an event held at Farnsworth Middle School for the first time. We had lots of sponsors and vendors. Selling raffle tickets is also a VERY good idea. We raised several hundred dollars for the butterfly house! Someone from Coeyman’s Recycling Corporation bought 40 TICKETS!! There were over 40 booths with lots of cool things to see, eat and buy! The Recycling Extravaganza let people from all over the area come drop off things they wanted to recycle or donate. It By Victoria Panetta also helped to raise money for the school district. The reason {for this event}, I believe, is that not enough people are recycling in this generation. Some do, but many others, (who don’t) you probably couldn’t pick out of a crowd. You can’t see a difference between the people who recycle and the people who don’t…it’s not one of those things you can see just by looking at a person – you can’t single them out. This event was planned by two imaginative and enthusiastic people, Karen Finnessey and Renée Panetta, with a lot of help from the Green Task Force (from Guilderland Schools) and the Capital Region Recycling Partnership (from lots of towns nearby).


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Swimming in Plastic By Ryan Avery guin gets a soda six-pack plastic thing stuck around his neck. Animals can suffocate if they have it on too long. It doesn’t just apply to fish or penguins, you know. All of this could happen to a seabird, a sea turtle, or even a whale! To stop the pollution in the oceans, we must all work together to clean up the pollution. If nothing happens, the next thing we’ll know we’ll be swimming in plastic. P eople are polluting the ocean way too much. So much marine life has been affected by our trash. There are so many ways we are doing this. One example is the 2011 Japan tsunami, which spilled a lot of trash and the trash was trapped in currents, which then sent all that garbage all around our planet’s oceans. Another reason is how cargo ships are spilling so many things during storms on the ocean, even though all of the stuff is tied onto the ship! People are also just simply littering and their trash gets in the water stream and ends up in the oceans. What can you do to help? You could join organizations to help defeat ocean pollution, like “Project Aware” or “Ocean River Institute”, or just clean up a lake or pond in or around your community. The most common type of pollution is ordinary plastic. Some plastics that are colorful and can float are a problem. Picture this: a fish is just swimming around when it spots the plastic. It thinks that the colorful plastic that floats is a small fish. Food! The fish swims up and gulps it down. The plastic will get stuck it the fish’s insides or won’t digest and break down. The fish will not feel hungry and won’t want to eat. The fish will die. Plastic can also get caught around animals’ necks and cannot come off. Have you ever seen the movie “Happy Feet”? In that movie, a pen- “To stop the pollution in the oceans, we must all work together “ What’s The Threat of North Korea? We’ve been hearing a lot about how North Korea is going to launch a nuclear missile to US or South Korea, well here’s the truth. It is true that the recently tested missile, Taepodong 2 can reach South Korea, Hawaii, and Alaska. We don’t know if they are able to equip the missile with a nuclear warhead (aka the bomb), but there are 28,000 troops from US stationed at the coast of South Korea. Also, South Korea and Japan has set up a missile interceptor which can destroy a ballistic missile outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Still, it is unknown if North Korea actually has a rocket which can contain a nuclear warhead and will launch the missile, or if it’s just a propaganda to distract South Korea and the US. Currently, all the countries related with this issue are in a stalemate, the US cannot attack N. Korea because that makes the US an invader, while N. Korea cannot attack either, because the result would be a legal attack from US. China and Russia put their hands off this because China doesn’t want N. Korean refugees or the US near their borders, and Russia doesn’t want to ruin their relationship with America. However, nobody knows what’s going to happen. By Paul Nho It’s never been this tense between North Korea and South Korea since the end of the Korean war in 1953 (60 years ago). This war occurred after Japan surrendered at the end of World War II, and let go of Korean territory. Then the Soviet Russian Army moved into Korean territory and the US army did, too. The Korean War ended with the division at the 38th parallel. Currently, North Korea follows Juche, a totalitarian form of government which is the same form of government as Hitler, and Mussolini used to dictate over a country and which led to World War II (that’s not good). South Korea follows Democracy, so there is a president, and government with democratic rights. So, what do YOU think about this? Or... 이 사태에 대해 당신의 생각은 어떠습니 까? :) What’s Wrong With Our Media? By Caroline Murphy Last week in Iraq, 55 citizens were killed by a bomb. Did you hear about it? No. Yet on April 15th, everyone in America heard about the Boston bombing. Why do we not care about other countries and their attacks? Why does the media keep things like this from us? People have the right to grieve and show support for whatever they feel strongly about, but we need to put things in perspective. I, in fact, heard people in school saying the Boston bombing was the worst bombing that had ever occurred. Yet that very day, 52 more people were killed in Iraq. The media supports these ignorant views by only covering the violence close to home. Yes, I do understand people are more interested in subjects that they live around, but why do reporters not even attempt to cover these other issues? People should care and know about other world events. We all know that Jimmy shaved his head for cancer and Mark saved the cat from the tree yesterday, but not that 100 people were killed walking to work in Syria. Yeah, it might be mentioned, but only in the most offhand way. I agree that news should be an equal balance of bad and good events, but we don't truly acknowledge the violence in other countries, and it's affecting the way our generation looks at terrorism as a whole.


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PAGE 5 Cow of the Sea By Conor Quinn hen you hear the phrase sea cows, what do you think of? A cow swimming through the ocean? Well, that is not what that is. The dugong is a sea mammal that is known as the sea cow because they graze the grass across shallow sea bottoms. They are named after an Aboriginal word which means “lives by the sea." They’re very unique marine animals that are actually more closely related to the elephant than other sea mammals. They are still related to the manatee, though. They look like manatees but instead of a round tail, the dugong has a more dolphin-like tail and the dugong is strictly a marine animal. They are known as herbivores mostly, but there have been some reports of crab remains found in the stomachs of dugongs. The dugong unfortunately is one of the animals on the endangered species list. The problem for dugongs was because people were hunting and killing the animal in the past. Now it is against the law to hunt the animal, but it is still in danger because it gets easily caught in fishing nets and gets hit by boats. Also, the dugong is W vulnerable to more sea predators such as tiger sharks. The dugong has found a way to avoid tiger sharks, though. They swim in deeper water than the water they usually swim in, and where tiger sharks don’t swim. Unfortunately, there is not nearly as much food in the deeper areas. But the dugongs find the situation to be worth the small cutback on food. On November 6th the government of Mozambique announced the creation of the second largest marine protection area in Africa, in order to help the dugongs. Dugongs spend much of their time alone but are sometimes found in large groups and can be found from as south as Australia to as north as Japan. Mother dugongs usually have one baby at a time, which is known as a calf, and which is born after a yearlong pregnancy. The calves stay with the mother for the first eighteen months. They will be breeding themselves by the age of nine or ten. Most people at our school do not know what a dugong is and how much they’re in danger of going extinct. So now I’m here to inform YOU the readers of this article to do whatever you can to make sure the dugong does not disappear any time soon. Who Harvests Your Cocoa? You wake up one morning and everything is black. You feel around and what you feel are other people. A door creaks open and there is tons of light. When you look outside you have a frown on your face: You are not at home. What I just described are some of the conditions of a cocoa slave’s life. They were either told they would get paid and didn't, or they were kidnapped. They are then brought to an unknown location, so they don't know how to escape. There is a good chance these people are poor or lost their parents or guardians. There is no education in their lives. Living conditions are horrible. You feel bad, right? The good thing is there is a way to make a change. WHAT HAPPENS ON A COCOA FARM Living conditions are dreadful. The people are treated very poorly with little food, lack of education and little access to water. They are locked into a shed at night. The shed has no windows and you are not alone, there are many people housed in one shed. Can you imagine being stuffed in a shed with strangers? These young people picking cocoa range in age from 5 years old to 14 years old. That is way too young to be working full time. You can’t get a job in America when you’re that young. Some kids are kidnapped because their parents died, or could not keep them for economic reasons. POVERTY People older than 14 can also get enslaved to harvest cocoa. This is different than child labor because these people are kidnapped or are told they would get paid, and don’t. Once they are on the cocoa plantation they are kept prisoner. By Anna Capuano The children have no education whatsoever. I think there should be a law that every child should have an education like the children in the U.S.A. Children need an education to get a better job later in their life. Every child should have that chance. To help end cocoa slavery, look for the Fair Trade symbol on the chocolate that you buy. This means it was grown and harvested with slavefree labor, for a fair pay. Fertilizer Plant Explosion By Luke Aghanenu On April 17, 2013, an explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company storage and distribution facility in West, Texas. Did you hear about that? There’s a good chance you didn’t, because just two days earlier, the Boston Marathon was cut short when two bombs went off near the finish line. This act of terror culminated into a manhunt in Boston, in which only one of the two suspects were arrested and the other was killed in a gun battle with police. Due to almost all media covering the Boston bombing, the Texas explosion, along with other events, got minimum coverage. Why, you ask? The Boston bombing was an act of terrorism. Ever since 9/11, any act of terror has driven attention away from all other issues in the world. In the plant explosion, 35 people were killed. In Boston, three perished. I am not saying that the deaths in the fertilizer plant overshadow Boston, but the occurrence deserved more coverage than what it got.


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S P O RT S PAGE 6 Valley Cats Season Preview ell, another summer is coming up at it is fun time at the Joe. The Valley Cats got all the way to the New York Penn League final but lost. Returning to the Cats this year is Dan Gulbransen, Juri Perez and Juan Minaya. The TriCity Valley Cats are the minor single A short season of the Houston Astros. I had an interview via email with Chris Dawson, the Account Executive for the Valley Cats. By Michael Neal that all fans who attend a Valley Cats game this summer will have a good time. All signs show that we’re on pace to break our attendance record for the 10th consecutive season. Fingers crossed for beautiful weather this summer and a competitive team on the field. ME: Where is Stubby Clap now? CHRIS: Stubby is currently the Hitting Coach for the Long Season Class A Dubien Blue Jays, an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. With Stubby being a Canadian icon this was a great move for him and I wish him the best of luck. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the Big Leagues at some point with the Blue Jays organization. I thank Chris for his time and I hope you all head out to the Joe this season. W the Joe this year? CHRIS: Mariano Rivera and Greg Floyd (CBS 6) ME: Can you give me some info on the new coach, Ed Romero? CHRIS: I am still getting to know Ed myself; one thing that I do know is that he has a super cool mustache. Ed Romero was a member of the 1986 Boston Red Sox team that last the World Series to the New York Mets. He played in the Major Leagues from 1977 to 1990 for four teams (Red Sox, Tigers, Brewers and Braves). Last year he coached in the Gulf Coast Rookie Ball League for the Greenville Astros. Me: What do you think we can expect from the Cats this year? CHRIS: I can only control off the field. With that being said, I expect “All signs show that we’re on pace to break our attendance record for the 10th consecutive season.” ME: What promotions are coming up at the Joe this season? CHRIS: Our big hit this summer is going to be the Mariano Rivera Bobblehead in an Albany-Colonie Yankees uniform. Another popular promotion has been our Bark in the Park event as well as all 14 of our Fireworks Nights. ME: What are the bobblehead nights at Guilderland Track One of the spring sports that Guilderland has is track. For track, you don’t only have to be a runner! There are a bunch of events, like hurdles, long distance, sprints (100m, 200m, 400m), and there are also relays (4x1, 4x2, 4x4, 4x8). If you don’t want to run, you can also choose long jump, high jump, pole vaulting, or discus. Track is also a great way to socialize with friends, and make new friends. Practice is every day right after school until 5:30 (except Fridays, they are 4:45). There are invitationals on Saturdays, that you need to get invited to, and meets are usually on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays, usually two a week. If you’re looking for a way to pull your mile time down, there is track in the spring, indoor track in the winter and cross country in the fall. We just ended a successful season, but you can sign up for next year. I thought the track team was really fun, but because everyone was doing different events, we weren’t as much as a family as cross country, but it was still a good way to bond with some of your friends, and make new friends. It has made me a stronger runner, and opened my social life more. “Track is a great experience. When they say you meet new friends and have a lot of fun they weren’t lying. I made a lot of new friends and it was a great experience run- By Skyler Spanbauer ning with older and faster girls. I really improved as a runner,” said Mallory Trainor. Track was overall a great experience. I recommend everyone join!


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PAGE 7 DR. HORRIBLE By Mallory Edelle Trainor ENTERTAIN Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog is a short 40 minute movie made by Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen. The short tragic comedy stars Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day, Nathan Fillian, and Simon Helberg. It was created and produced in 2008 as a result of the Writers’ Strike. During the Writers’ Strike, writers weren’t paid enough and went on strike for 14 weeks and 2 days. After the Writers’ Strike, Joss Whedon had the idea to show the world you could make a quality movie on no budget, and Dr. Horrible was born. Dr. Horrible follows the story of a lowrent villain with two goals: Make it into the Evil League Of Evil, and talk to the girl he loves, Penny, who knows him as Billy, the quiet man from the Laundromat. Dr. Horrible also has to put up with his nemesis, Captain Hammer, who is constantly foiling his plots. The characters often express themselves in song, resulting in eleven amazing songs, ranging from hilarious to somber and dramatic. The soundtrack is made up of “My Freeze Ray”, “Bad Horse Chorus”, “Caring Hands”, “A Man’s Gotta Do”, “My Eyes”, “Bad Horse Chorus (Reprise)” “Penny’s Song”, “Brand New Day”, “Everyone’s a Hero” “Slipping” and “Everything You Ever.” For such a light sounding plot, Dr. Horrible is surprisingly deep. While Dr. Horrible claims “The world is a mess and I just need to rule it,” most of his actions lean towards the welfare of the world, not just himself. He seems to truly believe he can fix things, yet he is the villain. Captain Hammer, the city’s “Hero” acts only for the good of himself, and often beats Dr. Horrible up for the press to see. While Dr. Horrible claims to be a villain, he is the real hero of the film, while Captain Hammer is clearly the villain. During this film, there are almost two plots running, plot A and plot B. Plot A is about a good guy trying to make his way through the world – get the girl of his dreams, get the job he’s always wanted, and fix things up for good. Things always go right in plot A. Plot B similar to plot A, but with a few vital changes. Plot B is about a bitter villain trying to make his way through the world – get the girl of his dreams and get the job he’s always wanted. Everything seems to go wrong in plot B, which only reinforces Dr. Horrible’s idea that the worlds a mess and he should take over. It is unclear until the end which plot will reign supreme – If it’s plot A and Billy gets the girl and overcomes the evil inside, or if it’s plot B and Dr. Horrible will fall to his inner evil, losing everything he ever wanted. Hannah Gallagher, a 7th grade student in Tawasentha said “The songs really tied Into the whole theme of how society is wrong. I disagree that you need to kill to get to a better nation but I agree that it (a better nation) is needed. My favorite part was when Dr Horrible realizes what needs to happen. I also like how he changes (Throughout the movie).” Jordyn Sommo, a 7th grade student in Seneca said “I liked this movie a lot. The songs were very catchy and I like how it ended.” Skyler Spanbauer agreed with “The songs are very catchy.” I definitely give this short musical web series five stars. The songs are incredibly catchy, the plot is well thought out, and the ending twists and turns, leaving you with something you would never ever see coming. It has light humor and funny lyrics, but has a darker, deeper meaning running throughout the entire film. I recommend everyone watch this on Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu right away. IRON MAN 3 By Paul Nho The story starts with a flashback of Tony Stark, he recalls a New Years Eve party with Maya Hansen. They were researching Extremis, which can regenerate and heal injuries (with a possibility to explode) to anything. Later in the party, Tony meets a scientist who offers him a place at AIM or Advanced Ideas Mechanics. Stark tells him to meet him on the roof in five minutes but as Killian waits cold and lonely, Tony Stark never came. In the present day, Tony still suffers from the Alien Invasion in New York (The Avengers) and gets panic attacks constantly. Still, Tony creates dozens of Iron Man suits which starts to get in the way of Tony and Pepper Potts. After a series of “bombings” by the Mandarin, Tony states that he is not afraid and he will get the Mandarin, he also tells him his home address. At his home, Tony is visited by Maya Hansen. Maya tells Tony that his boss (Aldrich Killian) works with the Mandarin. As the discussion goes on, Maya sees a missile approaching Tony’s house on the TV. Suddenly, the house is bombarded and as Pepper and Maya try to escape, Tony fails to escape and sinks to the bottom of the ocean with his suit on. Later, Tony manages to escape but he lands on Tennessee because of the flight plan Tony scheduled for the investigation about the bombing. The prototype suit runs out of power and everyone believes he’s dead. How will Tony Stark aka Iron Man stop the Mandarin?


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NMENT REVIEWS Finally 12 By Chloe Chae Divergent Finally 12 is the sequel of 11 Birthdays. It is written by Wendy Mass. It is about Rory, a girl in Willow Falls, going through bad and good luck. Rory is finally twelve and had written down everything her parents said she would get when she turned twelve, for instance getting a phone and drinking coffee. She first convinced her parents to buy her a phone, even though it was not a fancy one. When she got her phone, she lost it in less than 30 minutes. Luckily, she had paid for phone insurance with her saved up allowance. The first call she got was from a guy that wanted to order pizza. This kept happening until she realized she had a pizza parlor’s number. Later on, she found out that Jake Harrison, a famous actor, is shooting a movie at her school. This is a very humorous book to read when you feel like nothing goes your own way. I would rate this a 3 and a half stars. This book is good for people who love realistic fiction and can relate to the accidents Rory had. PAGE 8 By Chloe Chae Divergent is a science fiction trilogy written by Veronica Roth. It is about Beatrice being divergent (which means different). If the government knows she is divergent, they will kill her. When she goes to Dauntless, one of the four factions, she learns things she didn’t know. She learns that her mother was once in Dauntless, and was transferred to Abnegation. She goes through all the stages and becomes first place. Her instructor, Four, shows his secrets such as: why is he called four, who was his family, and why he didn’t become the head instructor. One night, she found out that there was a plan to attack the Abnegation, the faction that controls the government. The attack started one night and all of the Dauntless was turned against her. Her mom comes to the rescue, but it didn’t meant that she would be safe. This book is great for readers that love a lot of action. This was one of my favorite books! Should You Buy A PS Vita? By Tarun Kilaru The PS Vita is a very nice portable game system. It is actually a second generation to the PSP, which is pretty much the same thing except it is a little lower in technology. The PS Vita has a huge sparkling 5 inch touch screen display. Have you ever seen a PS3 controller? Because it’s the same thing with a big screen in the middle. It has an arrow on the left side, there are your classic arrow buttons and an analog stick. On the other side there are the buttons – triangle, circle, X and a square. It also has this really cool touch screen on the back so you can play a game using the back. The PS Vita has numerous games to play and there should be at least one to play no matter how old you are. One of the bad things about the PS Vita is that the battery life is not that great. It is roughly about 4 hours and it is not the fastest at charging, but what it does have is a fantastic sleep mode. You could pause a game leave there all week only to find it missing one point in battery. Is something going on? Do you need to take a photo or a video? Don’t worry, the PS Vita can do it, it may not be the best camera but you barely notice it. One of the bad things is that the PS Vita is a complicated piece of tech and is not like things you usually use, but it is still amazing. The PS Vita is also pretty pricey but is totally worth it, it costs about $299 to about $329. You can find this device almost anywhere in stores. One of the best things about this device is that it comes in a bundle so you can get a PS Vita with a game and a 4 gigabyte memory card. So if you are looking for a good device worth the money, this is the device for you.


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PAGE 9 Goodbye, Class! By Reva Bardhi School isn’t very popular but everyone has a favorite class even if they don’t want to admit it. We love the subject, we know what to do, and we love the class. Part of learning is discovering who you are and what you can do. Schools give classes and programs for everyone to find out their talents. But some of those classes are getting canceled or getting bigger. What happened? Budget cuts happened. Schools have to have enough money to keep classes running to buy books, equipment, and pay for the teachers. When the school doesn’t have enough money to keep classes going, they cut them. The classes that aren’t canceled get bigger. That is a big disadvantage because the teachers can’t make sure that each students understands the topic and grades will drop. Schools should pay more attention to the students. Students will grow up and will end up being the ones that will sponsor education and pay the taxes. The low economy is taking its toll on schools. The schools are taking it so far at saving money for students that they are cutting the classes that students go to. That is like fighting fire with fire. You are saving money for students but you are cutting their classes. Where’s the logic in that? Enrichment is a class where some of the higher than average students go to. That is where they can learn and challenge themselves rather than in a regular class on subjects they already know. At the school that I go to, enrichment was going to get canceled. Most of the students, including some of my friends protested. They created a petition. The students along with my friends got enough signatures to save enrichment — for now, anyway. Budget cuts would save money but students need the proper education to bring to their future. Students will soon be the ones teaching, being the parents. By taking away their education, when kids are the adults, they won’t have what it takes to follow their dream career. At school, you always tell us to go for our dream careers but how can we when we don’t have the proper education to take STUDENT O with us. Budget cuts are taking away the chance to have the future that is crucial for success. Taking away our education—even if it is only a part of it, you are taking away a possible future for us. All of the kids in school want to have all the opportunities and taking a part of our education away takes a part of our options. Teachers always tell us that we are all unique and that we each have our own talents. There are classes to show off what we can do and some of our talents are really rare. Sometimes there may not be a lot of people in the class. Schools taking away our class that we need may have just ruined our future. To keep our future bright, you must give and take. Pay more taxes. I know how that sounds at first but students need to have the proper education. We want to succeed. If you want us to succeed, pay the taxes that will save our futures. It will be priceless after you see what it will do to the students that it affects. Protest to keep classes running. Each student should speak up to show their true potential and speak up when they don’t know what to do– even if the teachers don’t have enough time. Students should participate more and show what they can do. Futures have to be bright but first budget cuts have to stop. Give us the chance to have the future we choose to have. All the students I know have this great talent and some of our classes are getting bigger and getting taken away. Our FUTURE depends on taking away budget cuts. Success can only begin if the budget cuts are taken away. Save the classes! Dance Should Be An Olympic Sport! By Ava Doyle The Olympics are huge games that bring our countries together – a way for athletes of all sports to connect. However, dancers all over the world have been saying something’s missing – there’s no dance! Dance is one of the most athletic things you can do, and still it’s not fully acknowledged as a sport. Are you skeptic? Hopefully this article will change your mind. I mean, we all know dancers work really hard, right? I’ve danced for ten years, and it’s so much more than spinning wildly with your arms held aloft (which is, unbelievably, what many people picture when they think of ballet). It is a combination of strength and flexibility, physical and emotional, body and soul. Anyways, why are gymnastics and ice dancing Olympic sports when dance isn’t? People have even applied for yoga to be in the Olympics! As Terri Dysart says, “Dancers train their whole life for their sport. It requires crazy talent, commitment, focus, and determination to succeed in dance… just like any other Olympic sport.” Now, some may say that dance is an art form and shouldn’t be judged. But the judges would only grade you on the physical aspect. While that is only a small part of dance, it’s also only a small part of ice dancing, gymnastics and yoga. Plus, you can be artistic and athletic at the same time. I hope you can now see how important to the Olympics dance is. Here’s what you can do: 1. Spread the word! People need to realize that dance has to get to the Olympics. 2. Help on getting dance administered to The International Federation. 3. Make sure dance meets the criteria produced by the IOC. With everybody working toward it, I’m sure dance will be an Olympic sport in no time! The Power of Sports Rituals By Matt Swintek LeBron James throwing chalk before games. Tim Tebow doing a “Tebow” after a touchdown. That is right, these are both sport rituals. Many athletespro and- youth have rituals. This may include before a foul shot, after a touchdown, before a serve and many more. What bugs me about sport rituals are people who think they are “useless.” I myself have a sport ritual in basketball. My ritual is spinning the ball, dribbling three times, spinning it again, then dribbling two more times. If you think this is stupid, then we have a problem. When people on the opposing team, or even my own team yell at me for having a long ritual; I say is if they give you the time, take advantage of it. According to NHL for Kids, rituals have been linked to better focus in the game. This could be better concentration, preparing you physically or mentally. Having a ritual makes you have muscle memory allowing you to succeed more often. If you do not have a sport ritual, then you better make one now. Well, right after this. As you all know, everyone is different, but when you don’t have a routine, it is almost like you’re the same as everyone else who doesn’t have one. If you want to be unique, make a ritual! When I say make one, I don’t mean copy LeBron or Tim, I mean be original! Some people think having a sport ritual is dumb Photo by Caitlin Gagan because it is a waste of time, or you look stupid doing it. Well, I’m here to clear the smoke. First of all, you don’t look stupid doing one. If you ask me, it makes you cool. Sport rituals can really help you! If you don’t have one already, make one soon. Sport rituals make you a one of a kind person in the world of sports. Rituals will make prepare better physically and mentally. Make your own now.


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OPINIONS Bullying Can Be Stopped! By Matthew Dean that they’re sorry, but then what? They go to the victim and make fun of them for getting an adult to solve their problems. Sorry if this is insulting to you, adults, but great lesson. Some adults kind of understand, and they decide to suggest comebacks themselves, as I mentioned before. These things are often done publicly, or are just outright stupid. There have been anti-bullying presentations at my school about using ‘nice’ comebacks to settle the bullying situation. Comebacks like “that’s your opinion”, or “you can think that”, are NOT HELPFUL. If done publicly, when someone uses the comeback, the bully just mocks the victim because he knows where he/she got it from, and it’s kind of… Well, lame. In my opinion, the best way to help would be to insult the bully in a way they won’t understand that they’re being insulted, but others will. That way, they won’t know what’s happening and won’t know what to get mad about. The only thing is, I haven’t seen this happen without the bully calling the victim a nerd for using ‘big words’ which would often be used to achieve this procedure. Part of the reason for being bullied is how people judge you. No, not courtroom judging, more by your actions. For example, there have been past incidents where you (again, general) have to form partnerships for class work. There have been times when I don’t want to work with certain people, but I do so to be nice. You might be saying: “Oh, that isn’t bad”, but in a way it is. The people around you see that you are acquainted with that certain person, and think you to be just as annoying and weird as they are. But they don’t know you, or your reason for making that partnership. You should try to be nice to everyone, not just your friends. Judging is part of bullying, because ‘if you aren’t good at sports you aren’t good at anything’. What I don’t like, though, is when people actually show they’re good at something, and their otherwise enemies all of the sudden want to be their friend. Try to detect this tomfoolery… Did I really just say that? Here’s another problem: parties. Why? Well, I for one sometimes don’t like parties. There are often a lot of people there, often some that will gang up on you and bash around your feelings. I was at a birthday party once during which everyone camped out in a tent, and this one kid was making fun of me. Everything about me he could find. This was hurtful enough, but there was something more. My close friends didn’t lift a finger to stand up for me, they just laughed with the others. Go get an adult? Too bad, I’m in a forest alone with these jerks. I hated that party. There is also the element of the invitation. It’s often the people concerned about their popularity that give out their invitations in school, and why? I don’t have much real evidence, but I believe it is to make those uninvited feel bad. There was recently an invitation giveaway for a party that I was not invited to, and let me tell you, when the people were talking about it, it really did sound like a scam. Like it had been rehearsed many times, although my bet is that it wasn’t. Issue with the apparent setup, is I didn’t give a wet sock to go to that party. That’s right. A wet sock. Now what’s the point of all this? Well, let’s just say that by the way things are going I don’t think bullying will ever be stopped. Although people may think it can be if people learn how to deal with it, there will always be that jock that thinks he’s so cool. So think on this for a minute… Are you a bully? Is your friend a bully? Is your friend being bullied? If so, STICK UP FOR THEM. It’s a whole other world of hurt when your friend betrays you. So take a stand, not for yourself, but for everyone. Bullying still very much exists, although it is not as much like the bullying that occurred decades ago. Usually, people think of bullying more as a physical thing, but this might just be my imagination, after all. What some people don’t realize, is that although words don’t cause physical pain, doesn’t mean it’s okay to insult someone every chance you get. Words can hurt too, in terms of feelings. If you haven’t noticed it yet, bullying often makes the victim depressed. In fact, according to, 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s involved people with a history of childhood bullying. Now, bullying can happen to anyone. Let’s start with the people involved with bullying. First, there’s the bully. He/She can be in this social status for a few reasons: They feel that they have social power, they’re overly concerned about their popularity, they feel depressed or anxious, often from their home life, or they think badly of themselves and others. Along with this, there’s also the one who is being bullied. The, well, let’s call him/her the victim. There are reasons for this status as well: Feelings of sadness or loneliness, changes in sleeping or eating patterns, appearance and hygiene, or decreased academic achievement. There’s also that third person, but there are often many. The bystander(s). They’re the ones who stand there and watch you get bullied by their… Well… Leader, who is the bully himself. The general reason for these people to act this way is because of peer pressure and protection of their reputation. After all, they don’t want to be the ones getting bullied. Now, you may be asking, why are you arguing? What’s the, per say, “other side”? Well, one thing people say, is that you (generally) are being too sensitive. This can happen when a teacher yells at you or someone say something that really makes you feel bad. There are a whole lot of times when I’m in class and get a question wrong, and sometimes people make fun of me for it. I’m not saying this is bullying, as it doesn’t happen often, but it still makes me depressed for the rest of the class time, and even later into the day. But hold on, that isn’t all there is. People on the ‘other side’, or the bullies, say “just kidding” in defense of their reputation, meanwhile they can go and chat with their friends about how they insulted so-and-so. Sometimes it’s truthful when they say this, but you can tell by the tone in their insult whether or not they were ‘kidding’ or not. Let’s put it this way: If they are a close friend, they probably don’t mean it, and if they’re someone you know to be mean, they probably do. Yet another thing: “Kids will be kids” or “boys will be boys”. Some adults witness bullying and don’t take action, as they think it’s just a playful affair. This happened to me last year in Spanish class, my feelings were completely thrashed by all the others at my table, and there wasn’t much I could do. I insulted them back at one point, but of course that backfired as someone tattled on me. Now isn’t that great? Sometime later my parents tried to help with this, and suggested comebacks. The comebacks parents suggest are often not very helpful, as there is one key element that is ignored: If they insult you bad enough and you come back with a sort-of “brush-off” statement, they’ll proceed to insult you even more. Believe me, they’ll find ways to insult the phrase you had just said. There’s where we have a problem: It definitely isn’t good to drop to their level, of course, but where’s the alternative? Adults are trying to help with bullying, but they don’t understand it has taken a new level. If a kid gets an adult to deal with the bully, the bully says HOMEWORK IS STRESSFUL! By Kailyn DiBianco What if I told you that doing more homework doesn’t actually make you do better in school? You’d probably be pretty angry with your teachers. In fact, students that get less homework tend to score higher. An article that I read states that countries such as Japan, Denmark, and Czech Republic assign less homework, but their students score higher on tests. But low-scoring countries like Greece, Thailand, and Iran are piling it on. Why is this? I think it’s because of the amount of stress that homework puts on kids. If they’re stressed from staying up late and not having any fun because of their homework, they are not going to be prepared to take tests and the sort. The stress can also put kids in a bad mood. Another disadvantage of having too much homework is that it takes away from kids’ free time. If they have hours worth of homework, there’s no time to play sport, do activities, see their friends, or get plenty of sleep. I know that on many occasions, I have stayed up very late to finish my homework, like around 11 or 12 o’clock. Then the next day, I’m falling asleep in school, which isn’t good because I might miss important information. Homework does do some good though. It’s a good way to improve your independent learning skills, and to practice the lesson that you have just learned in class so it stays in your head. That still isn’t a good enough reason though for teachers to give us loads of it. Part of the reason why kids are getting so much homework is because the government wants us to do better in school, and they think extra homework is the answer. But like I said in the beginning, that doesn’t necessarily make our test grades higher. I think that students should tell their teachers these kinds of things. Maybe it will convince them to give us less homework, because too much of it can have a negative impact on our lives.


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Please enjoy the winning entry in our Short Story Contest. Edward Yu won a $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble for his story, “The Video Game.” FOR KIDS By Edward Yu The Video Game “3 seconds left on the clock, Miami down by two.” I felt the pressure from my teammates, the tension in the crowd, and the ball in my hand. I jumped, and let go of the ball. “LeBron James goes for the three… It’s good! LeBron James has just won the game for Miami!” I reveled at the sound of the announcer. I pumped my fist into the air. The crowd roared for me. My teammates crowded me. I loved being LeBron James. Even though he played almost half a century ago, he was still my favorite player. I shook Michael Jordan’s hand as he acknowledged my play, and I left to go to the locker room. I still can’t believe how the inventors of the Perfection 360 managed to transport you into the game and be whoever you chose. I was playing NBA 2k60 right now and had beaten Michael Jordan as LeBron James. I was celebrating with my teammates when I heard “Josh, time for dinner!” Ughhh. That was my mom. The game was programmed so I could always hear when my mom was talking to me. I said the magic words that would get me out of the Perfection 360. “I want to leave Perfection and go home” I waited to feel the fizzy feeling in my stomach that would tell me I was being transported back home. It didn’t come. I tried again. “I said I want to leave Perfection and go home!” I said it five more times. Still nothing happened. Something was wrong. You were only supposed to say it once and it would take you home. True, recently I’ve had to say it a couple times, not just once, to get out but I always got out. “LET ME OUT!!!” I screamed and punched a nearby locker as hard as I could. Somehow I felt the fizz in my stomach and found myself in a chair in front of the Perfection 360 system in my house. I breathed a sigh of relief, then felt my hand throbbing. I looked at it and almost fell out of my chair. My hand was all bruised from punching the locker. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Any injuries you got in the game disappeared when you came back to reality. This was scary. The red pulse on the Perfection 360 system blinked at me in an evil way. I vowed not to play on the Perfection 360 until someone came and fixed it. I raced up and pressed the shut down button on the Perfection 360 system and ran out the room. If I had looked back, I would have noticed the red light still pulsing. Refusing to be shut down. Later that afternoon I was lying on my couch deciding what to do now that I couldn’t play NBA 2k60 when I heard my mom. “Josh, I don’t want you playing your video game system anymore until the problem is solved. I’ve got to go shopping. Be back in a couple hours.” “ What problem?” “Check the news. Bye. Love you!” she called as she walked out the door. I turned on the television and heard “Is the Perfection 360 really safe?” “Louder!” I said as I tuned in to the reporter. As the volume went up, I listened to what the reporters said, “As kids spend hours upon hours every day playing on their Perfection 360, something weird is happening. A number of incidents have occurred where kids are having difficulty leaving the game. Injuries in the game have also become a reality in some places. But the worst thing happened last week. A young boy was playing FIFA 60 and wanted to leave but couldn’t. His parents went into the game also but they were stuck as well. Perfection 360 is trying to solve this issue but I’ll leave you with a warning. Too much technology is bad for you, take a break once in a while.” I was still staring in shock at the T.V. when I heard the doorbell ring. I looked up at the monitor and saw my best friend Steven at the door. “Open,” I said and the door unlocked and opened. “Hey, let’s play NBA 2k42!” Steven said as he walked into the room. “Let’s not,” I said. Steven froze. “Did I hear you correctly? You don’t want to play Perfection 360?!!!” “Something’s wrong with the Perfection 360. I promised my mom I wouldn’t play it anymore today. It’s getting harder to get out each time. Plus look at this,” I showed Steven my bruised hand. “That’s nothing. It’s only a few glitches in the system.” “Maybe we should play some basketball outside. Like for real.” “Why would we play basketball with our skills when we could do the same thing with the skills of Michael Jordan?” I had no answer to that. “Ohhhhh, I see the real reason that you don’t want to play NBA 2k60. You’re afraid I’m going to beat you like last time and it’s going to hurt your standings!” “You only beat me last time because the ref made a bad call!” “If you think your LeBron James can beat my Michael Jordan then you need to go to the hospital.” “You’re on,” I said as I got off the couch. I decided to break my vow, a decision that I would greatly regret later. On the court I did what LeBron James did best. Rule the court. I was guarding Michael Jordan when it happened. Michael Jordan jumped to shoot and when he came down, he fell awkwardly on his right ankle and fell to the ground clutching his ankle. I rushed over. “Is it bad?” I asked. Steven/Jordan nodded. “I want to leave Perfection and go home.” Nothing happened. I said it 10 more times. Still nothing. “Hurry up! My ankle’s killing me,” Steven said. “It’s not working.” “Try again.” I was about to try again when I heard my mom’s voice. “Josh?! The government has ordered that all the Perfection systems be destroyed immediately. Josh? Josh?!!! He must have gone to Steven’s house. He better not be playing video games again. Now where’s that baseball bat?” I stared in horror at Steven and he stared back at me. “This is bad,” I said. “I know. No Perfection? How could I live!!” “Not that you idiot! We’re trapped and my mom’s going to destroy the Perfection system with a baseball bat!” “What will happen if she destroys the game system?” “We will be trapped in this arena forever!” “Quick call your mom!” Steven shouted as he forget about his twisted ankle. I grabbed my phone out of my pocket. “Dial Mom!!!” I shouted. “Hey Josh, I have terrible news. The government has ordered everyone to destroy their Perfection Systems immediately.” I breathed a sigh of relief as I heard her voice. “Mom I’m stuck in…” “I would wait until you were home but the government has ordered us to destroy the systems immediately. So here goes…” “STOP!!!” “Now I know that you love your video games but this is for your own good.” And with that, she brought down the bat and pieces of the Perfection system flew everywhere. “Where were we? Oh yeah, Josh you should come home for dinner now. Josh? Josh???” I stared at Steven. He stared at me. It was too late now. We both knew it. I didn’t want my mom to live in guilt forever, so fighting back tears I implored “I love you mom. No matter what happens I love you. Please remember that.”


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S, BY KIDS The Adventurer PAGE 12 By Andrea Lurie has been sent out into space, dozens of times, but never got over that sensation of being pushed down. He felt as the he was being crushed. John craned his neck, to look over his shoulder. He could see the fire coming from the back off the spacecraft, and earth quickly disappearing before his eyes. The Adventurer was built for incredible speed, going hundreds of thousands of miles in a matter of seconds. He was to reach the outskirts of the galaxy in a matter of days. John turned his head around, to face forward once again. In front of him was nothing but endless space. January 6, 2060 At exactly 8:30 PM, the time on earth, that is, John had passed Neptune, and not even a week after launch. In a matter of hours, he would be approaching the end of the galaxy, closer and closer to his dream. He sent out a signal to NASA base, and He could see the entire headquarters. Everyone was clapping and cheering wildly, beaming at John. John waved feebly back, which made everyone laugh. Emily ran down the flight of stairs, and came into full view in front of the giant screen. “The beginning of a new era will arrive before dawn, Mr. Armony!” “In a matter of hours, you’ll reach The New Earth! The biggest moment in science, in a matter of hours! All thanks, to John!” Adam Mandalle shouted from the balcony. He was another member of The Explorers, a great friend of his fathers. He was wounded in the explosion at the moon colony. Ever since the accident, he was forced into retirement from The Explorers. All John could do was smile, a great big grin. He was at a lost for words, but he manage to say; “ I couldn’t do it without you guys. Not without your share of passion for my dream, and my father’s.” Adam, Emily, and the rest of them bowed their heads in respect, for a moment of silence. After a little while, she glanced back up, at him, and Emily began to run off the mission info. “We have to be prepared for everything, everything imaginable. John, you have to do a rundown of the ship. Is everything in order? “Yes, it is.” “Send me a copy of your mission log. This is crucial, John. We have to know everything happening on the ship, at every second.” At exactly 8:30 PM, the time on earth, that is, John had passed Neptune, and not even a week after launch. In a matter of hours, he would be approaching the end of the galaxy, closer and closer to his dream. He sent out a signal to NASA base, and He could see the entire headquarters. Everyone was clapping and cheering wildly, beaming at John. John waved feebly back, which made everyone laugh. Emily ran down the flight of stairs, and came into full view in front of the giant screen. January 1, 2060 The sound of applause erupted throughout the Grand Hall of the White House as John Armony came through the door. He walked confidently down the hall. On the outside, he was calm and collected as he approached the President. On the inside, his mind was racing wildly. His pulse was pounding in his ears; his thoughts were coming and going. John gazed around, and he was bombarded with flashes of photography, shocked by the hundreds of thousands of people like a roaring ocean. John took a deep breath, and rose up to shake President James Drucard’s hand. The President beamed down at him, and patted his back in a friendly manner. John gave him a nervous smile in return. “It’s my honor to welcome you to the White House, Mr. Armony.” “I thank you for the gracious welcome, Mr. President.” The President chuckled softly, and turned to face the crowd. He raised his hand, signaling the crowd to quiet down. The crowd fell silent instantly, as if a spell was cast over them all. The President nodded, and began his speech. “This man, John Armony, is the face of a new era. It will be an era of exploration. An era of new beginnings! This man, standing besides me, for the entire world to see, is the future of mankind, and him alone! He represents hope, bravery, and America!” At President Drucard’s words, the crowd began to applaud again. The President waited calmly for the crowd to settle down. President Drucard took a breath, and continued on. “John Armony will become a legend, among the rest of us. The first man, to ever leave the galaxy, to set foot on the New Earth! He will make untold advances, in the world of science. He will change the lives of millions! He will change our lives as we know it, and carry on the dreams of many, including his father’s. Anthony Armony brought light to the idea of space travel and John will carry on his legacy. The legacy that Anthony Armony forged from spirit of America! Everyone’s hopes and dreams shall be brought into space, because of John Armony. God Bless him and God Bless America!” As President Drucard stepped down from the podium, he shot a glance down at John. His eyes were glazed over, looking over at the crowd, but not particularly at anything. The crowd was in frenzy, clapping like mad. John raised his arm up high, in a salute, and bowed his head. January 2, 2060 John’s heavy footsteps echoed across the loading deck. He walked slowly and steadily, his eyes staring straight ahead at The Adventurer. The Adventurer was magnificent. The giant spacecraft, right before him was his father’s creation. Anthony Armony was the spirit of NASA.Anthony Armony had created the elite group of NASA astronauts, The Explorers. It was a high honor to be a member of the group, for they carried out the most dangerous missions. The biggest accomplishment The Explorers ever met was the moon colony. John was a young man at the time. This was the mission that his father was going to retire from, and John would become the leader of The Explorers. It was also the mission his father never came back from. John was told his father had died in an explosion at the colony. It was impossible to believe. Anthony Armony, the original legend, died simple as that. John remembered his father’s last words said to him as clear as day. They will stick with him forever. “You, my son, will represent many. You will do great things. It is the beginning of your time, and the end of ours.” His father’s words replayed in his mind as he climbed into the spacecraft. As he prepared himself for launch, he swiped his hand across the desk, to bring up to screen, and bring The Adventurer to life. Emily Buerker, the New Earth Mission Director’s face appeared. She smiled warmly at him, and asked calmly, “You ready for this, Mr. Armony?” “It’s a little late to say otherwise, Em.” John replied jokingly, but nervously. Emily nodded, and shouted to the rest of the astronauts and scientist; “All clear for takeoff!” The countdown began. Sirens broke the calm and silence of the loading deck, as the giant dome began to open up, revealing the bright starry night sky. “Launch will begin in exactly one minute.” Emily’s voice rang out over the loudspeaker. The countdown began.“59, 58, 57, 56, 55…”The Adventurer began to rise off of the floor, rising up to the sky.“44, 43, 42, 41, 40…”John could see his father smiling down at him, even though he knew he wasn’t there. “32, 31, 30, 29, 28…” Emily’s face disappeared from the screen, yet her voice was still coming from the loudspeaker. The Adventurers wings spread out from the spacecraft, and the blasters prepared to ignite. “15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10…” Less than 10 seconds to blast off. Every last number pounded in John’s ear’s as they were counted off. He gripped the desk, preparing to get propelled into the sky. “This, all of this, is for my father.” He thought to himself. “9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…” It all happened in a blur of speed. The blasters ignited in a roar of flames, sending John and The Adventurer skyward. John gasped, as he felt himself being pushed back into his chair, by an unstoppable force. He hated that feeling. John


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PAGE 13 The Adventurer (Continued) “John, you did it. I can’t believe it. I thought we lost you. We thought you had died.” Emily began to cry, out of happiness. “You made it John. I can’t believe my eyes. It’s amazing. We’re looking into the future. We are looking into the beyond, into time!” John brushed the screen to the side, to gaze out of the window. In all honesty, what was in front of John was not beautiful. Vast black emptiness of space was in front of him. It frightened John. John Brought Adam and Emily back into view, and they were ecstatic. “I… I… It’s spectacular.” Emily choked out. “There’s no time for emotion.” Adam said in a soft voice. He glanced back up to the screen. “We have absolutely no navigation for you from this point on, John. Everything you send us is new. Now, you’ll have to follow the path of The Voyager has mapped out in order to find the planet. Otherwise, we can’t do anything.” In 2020, The Voyager left the Milky Way Galaxy. A couple of years later, it began to send images of a new planet. Soon after that, it landed. In 2026, Anthony Armony sent out a satellite to retrieve The Voyager. Shortly after, NASA stopped receiving signals from both of them. It was unexplainable. It took a few moments for the news to sink in for John. He understood what he had to do, the responsibility. Responsibility was an understatement. He knew all of this beforehand, of course, but to hear the words was just scary. January 8, 2060: The New Earth The New Earth was absolutely magnificent. The planet was much bigger than earth, and it was a pale blue color. It was one of the farthest planets from the new galaxy’s sun, closet to the outskirts of the Milky Way. As the Adventurer came closer and closer, the gravity of the planet began to pull harder. It began to crash through the planet’s atmosphere, at an astonishing speed. John prepared for landing on the planet. The Adventurer skidded to a halt. It hovered for a moment, than gently sank to the ground. The protective shield on the outside of the spacecraft lifted, and John was able to see out of the windshield. The planet was bare. Everywhere he looked was dull, gray rocks and mountains. There were deep trenches cutting across the surface of the planet. That was what led the scientist to believe that water used to flow on the planet. That it was sustainable for life. John turned on the camera, so NASA Headquarters could watch his every movement, in and outside of The Adventurer. He put on his space suit, slid the door open, and walked out of the ship, holding the American Flag proudly. He gazed around for a moment. It was all bare. Giant mountains and caverns surrounded him. There were no plants, or trees, or anything. It was unnerving to John. He walked a few yards away from The Adventurer, and raised the flag above his head. That’s when it hit him. The entire world was watching this. Every news station on earth was focused on him. Everyone will see that The New Earth belongs to America. He gently placed the flag on the ground, and tears came to his eyes. It was all for his father. January 15, 2060: 8:00 PM, Earth Time John had spent the last seven days exploring as much as possible of The New Earth. His fascination drove him to go as far as he could, no matter the cost. He documented all of his finds, and sent the information to Headquarters constantly. John was going to remain on The New Earth for only six months. On the night of January 15, as he was preparing to go back to The Adventurer, he heard low shuffling noises coming from a few feet behind him. He thought he was just hearing things, but of course, he wasn’t. He turned around slowly. All he could see was the giant cliffs rising up above him, and the caverns beneath him. He could have sworn he saw something move between the giant boulders, but he brushed it away from his mind. He went back into The Adventurer, but after a little while, he heard a loud bang from outside. He stood up, and went to the window. He lifted the desk up, and grabbed the laser lying under it. It was for safety requirements to bring one onto the ship, but he was skeptical of running into any other life forms. He thought wrong. When he looked outside of the window, what he saw was a terrifying sight. There was movement coming from the cave, from what John could see. The American flag was ripped to shreds, the flagpole bent in all angles. Rooted to the spot in horror, he simply stood there. When what was happening registered in his mind, he raced over to the control panel, and contacted NASA Headquarters. “Emily, Adam! Can anyone hear me?” Emily appeared instantly. Worry was plastered on her face. “John, what’s wrong? What’s going on?” “Get everyone into Headquarters now! Hurry, Emily!” At the sound of John’s frantic screams, Adam appeared, with the same look of worry. The other’s flooded in through the doors, and gathered on the balcony, looking up into the screen. “What’s going on, John?” Bewilderment shone on everyone’s faces, but soon fear replaced it. No one said a word as “The beginning of a new era will arrive before dawn, Mr. Armony!” “In a matter of hours, you’ll reach The New Earth! The biggest moment in science, in a matter of hours! All thanks, to John!” Adam Mandalle shouted from the balcony. He was another member of The Explorers, a great friend of his fathers. He was wounded in the explosion at the moon colony. Ever since the accident, he was forced into retirement from The Explorers. All John could do was smile, a great big grin. He was at a lost for words, but he managed to say; “I couldn’t do it without you guys. Not without your share of passion for my dream, and my father’s.” Adam, Emily, and the rest of them bowed their heads in respect, for a moment of silence. After a little while, she glanced back up, at him, and Emily began to run off the mission info. “We have to be prepared for everything, everything imaginable. John, you have to do a rundown of the ship. Is everything in order? “Yes, it is.” “Send me a copy of your mission log. This is crucial, John. We have to know everything happening on the ship, at every second.” John could see some of the others snickering behind Emily, and he fought the urge to laugh. “John, we’ll make contact with you once you’re safely out of our galaxy.” Without anything else to see, she shouted, “Good Luck John!” Everyone else began to applaud once again. John thanked them, and turned off the screen. He braced himself for what was about to happen. As The Adventurer came closer and closer to the end of the galaxy, the pressure coming from the outside mounted. John’s head began to spin, and a horrible suffocating feeling came across him. He felt like a useable force was crushing him. It was horrifying. The universe was literally coming down on him. He turned the blasters onto full blast, and he was launched forward with tremendous speed. The fear that overwhelmed him at launch came back, on top of everything else. John let out a scream of rage, as The Adventurer kept getting faster and faster. He kept getting smaller and smaller. At some point, everything went black as John faded into unconsciousness. Hours Later John woke up in a sudden jolt of shock with a gasp. Sirens had wakened him from a deep sleep. Voices were screaming his name. He was in a daze. Trying to focus in on something took all his energy. He concentrated on the face before him, and saw Adam and Emily before him. Tears were streaming down Emily’s face. Adam face was contorted with fear. When they saw that John had awakened, Relief swam onto both of their faces. “John!” Both of them screamed. Emily let Adam speak first.


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John turned his camera to face the window. He turned the camera so everyone could see the damage to the flag. Everyone gave out a gasp. John opened the door, holding his laser and began to walk outside. It was a foolish mistake. John walked toward the cliffs and caverns until he was standing outside of the biggest one, where he saw the movement. He stood there, frozen in his spot, for what felt like hours. It was only minutes. Suddenly, the rocks began to crumble and John could see a shadow approaching him. He heard a low growl, coming from the darkness. He took a step back, and the monster took a step forward into the light. Where I’m From By Alana Harvey I am from the sound of laughter before midnight. I am from the bright street lights. I am from parks full of kites. I am from the dogs that bark at the dark. I am from parks filled with fresh smelling flowers. I am from people who used to believe they had super powers. I am from the cool. Days at the pool. I am from bulldogs that drool. This may sound strange but I am just me. I am different. So how are you different? PAGE 14 Window to My Mind The Alien towered over John. It was huge, gray, and ferocious. Its mouth opened and closed as it breathed in, revealing hideous fangs, like daggers. The thing’s eyes were giant black orbs, of nothingness. It was hunched over; its apparent arms touching the ground, with three legs behind it. Three others appeared behind the first one and that is when John reacted. John ran faster than he ever had, faster than he could possibly imagine towards The Adventurer. The monsters began to pursue him, and let out an ear splitting roar. John’s heart was pounding in his throat, threatening to beat right out of his chest. His feet thudded against the rocky terrain; sounding off like drums, but it wasn’t enough. The monsters were faster, and stronger. They caught up to him instantly and pounded on him, knocking his gun out of his hand. All that could be heard was the roars of the monsters. With a swift swipe of the arm, John was silenced forever. Emily, Adam, and the rest of the scientists, had witnessed everything. John was only the first of the millions that would die, in the coming era. A new era that will be the end of mankind. By Mallory Edelle Trainor I am the girl who looks out the window Hopeless they call me Realist I am I am not one to rely on fantasies Whispers I hold the palm of my hand. I am the nightmare that hides in the mist Horror they call me Truthful I am I am not one to gloss over reality Rumors I’ve heard, that I know firsthand. I am the island hidden in storm Abandoned they call me Empty I am I am not deceit, a thing of fantasy



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