Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Gay Rights Movement

Tuesday, the controversy for same-sex marriage moves to the Supreme Court. Justices will hear the debates as to whether it should be a constitutional right to unions nationwide. A defeat at the Supreme Court would be a huge deficit to the Gay Rights Movement, which has had (in recent times) major success. Gay Rights is also becoming a major argument in the 2016 presidential election, with Republicans trying to stabilize the quickly-changing campaign around  the issue of same-sex marriage. A settlement isn't anticipated until June, but Tuesday's debate could help determine how and what the outcome will be.

For more information, please visit  CNN.
By: Karlee Daniel

Feature: Nepal Shaken to Pieces

Credits to Art of Anderson
Only last Saturday, a deadly earthquake shook up one of India's neighboring countries, the small south Asian country of Nepal, destroying countless lives and its rich culture.

Hari Kumar
Hari Kumar pictured here, credits to GeoHazards International

Hari Kumar, according to The New York Times, is the Southeast Asia Regional Coordinator for the non-profit organization for GeoHazards International, who is currently researching and reporting information on the recent earthquake.

"We were expecting an 8-magnitude to happen along the Himalayas, this is not it," quoted Kumar, reporting on this disaster. 

Kumar has also quoted, "The stress which was developing west of this earthquake has not been released," to confirm that not all of the data has been confirmed or developed. 

“In several places, the higher seismic risk overlaps with places with poor construction," also quotes Kumar, according to TIME.

Overall, the Nepal earthquake is one of the most devastating natural disasters for the small country since 1934, also recorded by the New York Times.

-Catherine Cober

Devastating Earthquake in Nepal

According to NPR news, the earthquake in Nepal on Saturday has a horrendous and rising death toll. Right now about 3,000 people are dead, with more than 5,800 injured. The earthquake itself had a magnitude of 7.8 with a powerful aftershock of 6.7 on Sunday that did a lot of damage in Kathmandu, a city with a rich history. The city has many ancient buildings and shrines for Buddhism and Hinduism that have been destroyed. NPR's Julie McCarthy, who is reporting from the capital, described what happened on Weekend Edition Sunday: "When it struck, I didn't feel it right away, but I heard this roar of people around me rise in sheer panic shouting 'It's coming!' and they begun running for their lives all over again," she said.

At least three U.S. citizens are among the dead, with another 61 confirmed dead in India, and more in the Tibet region of China and Bangladesh. Saturday's earthquake was also very close to Mt. Everest causing new avalanches of snow and rock to form. Some rescue helicopters lifted the wounded from the slope, but at least 17 people died at the base camp, along with 61 injured. Many people from around the world are coming to help the people of Nepal; hopefully no more powerful aftershocks will occur.

-Faith Hamman

DIY Friendship Braclet: Chinese Staircase

Materials needed: string, scissors, and tape

Cut the string into equal sections and take your first color aside from the others

Make a "4" with your first color

Pull tight and then pull up

Repeat the knot until you like the length

Switch to the next color

Repeat the steps from above

Tie off when you like the length, and enjoy!!
-Faith Hamman

Literary Spotlight-- Life Through Faded Eyes: Part 11

It was Sunday. I had nothing to do. My Jurassic Park flip phone was on my dresser next to the paper Haley had given me with her phone number. I was playing Skyrim, but my eyes kept drifting to the paper. Each time they did, I would lean towards my dresser, but the Xbox would make a noise, and I would return to Skyrim.
I was doing a quest for the Dark Brotherhood, a group of assassins in Skyrim, but I kept dying. After my third attempt, I stood up, turned the Xbox off, and fell backwards onto my bed. Again, my eyes drifted towards the dresser, and my heart started pounding. In my mind, I spent the next ten minutes convincing myself I needed to do something.

I sat up on my bed, with my feet hanging off the right side where the dresser was. I had my hand on the phone, and the paper laid out where I could see it. Haley had told me to text her, but I wasn’t that great at texting. Plus, with my dinosaur phone, you had to press a button four times to get an s, and that was just painful. It wasn’t like having a keyboard.

I sat for what felt like an hour: fifteen minutes to pick up the phone, fifteen minutes to dial the number, another fifteen minutes of encouragement, and fifteen minutes to finally hit the call button. Once my finger hit the button, I wanted to hang up; I came pretty close, but I let it ring. The ringing lasted even longer than the hour it took to get to the ringing. My heart was pounding even more, and my hands were so sweaty I thought I was going to drop the phone, but I didn’t.

“Hello?” Haley’s voice chimed in on the other end of the phone.

“Oh, hey Haley,” I rubbed the back of my head, and breathed into the phone awkwardly. I hoped Haley couldn’t hear it. “It’s Charlie.”

“Oh!” Haley sounded surprised, and it kind of hurt my ear when she shouted into the phone. “Yeah, ok. I thought you were going to text me?”

“That would have taken even longer than it did to call you,” I muttered under my breath.

“What?” Haley said on the other end.

“Oh, nothing. I didn’t say anything.” I was pacing my room for no reason. Why do I move constantly when I’m on the phone? I planted myself in my desk chair.

“Okay.” Haley responded. There was some awkward static. “So, I just got out of church.”

“You go to church?” I interrupted while standing up. Crap. I sat back down again.

“Yeah, are you surprised?” Haley chuckled into the phone a little. “I guess I’m not doing so hot with the whole Christian thing then.”

“No, that’s not what I meant,” I said. Why am I sitting down? She can’t see me. I stood up and started pacing.

“No it's fine, Charlie,” Haley said. More awkward static. “Do you want to possibly go hang out later, or something like that?”

“Sure. I’m not busy.” I responded, and scratched my head. “Do you want to eat diner somewhere?”

“Yes. Let’s meet at the diner in town. The one with the old-fashioned drive in? Be there at five.” She said. It was very commanding.

“Sure. I’ll see you later, Haley,” I responded. Haley hung up, and I could finally breathe again. Why was I pacing?

Dylan Crigger

Rural Retreat Band Keeps "Jazzin' it Up"

Sunday, April 26, 2015, the Rural Retreat Band program presented its spring concert. There was a wide variety of music, from Beethoven to jazz tunes, and the color guard also performed a routine. Musicians from sixth grade to seniors performed on stage in a great concert.

The music was all great and well prepared. The sixth grade band, seventh and eighth grade band, jazz band, flute quartet, saxophone quartet, and high school band all performed on stage that night. At the end of the program, all the band members performed on stage as a large ensemble. The music was all entertaining, with some favorites being jazz band and Zachary Sheckles’s solo performance, but there were some flaws.

The concert was an entire two hours long, which is a bit lengthy. The transitions between groups was odd, due to the rearranging of chairs on the stage. This problem could have been easily fixed if the chairs were set up for the largest ensemble that would perform, and leave those chairs present until the end of the concert when the color guard could perform, but these awkward chair moving transitions added unnecessary length to this concert. Also, some of the performances were arranged in an odd order: the color guard performed their routine in the middle of the concert, calling for the stage to be entirely cleared and then reset, and the high school band performed the Star Spangled Banner before their performance, which was towards the end of the concert anyway.

Despite these small flaws in the concert, the Rural Retreat band program is growing stronger each and every year. More and more groups and performances are being done each year, and the new students coming into the program are faced with a great variety of choices. Congratulations to all those who performed Sunday, those who help with the band program, and the band parents.

Dylan Crigger

New Star Wars movie will it be a bust

So the continuation of the Star Wars saga continues with Chapter 7: The Force Awakens. Why they are doing another Star Wars movie?  It puzzles me because the last was supposed to be the end; Darth Vader and the Emperor, both die so who is there to be the villain-- unless they turn Luke Skywalker into a villain, which would be the same thing they did to Anakin, aka Darth Vader. Plus all of the heroes are gone, like Obi Wan, Yoda, and Anakin. However, if they were to turn Luke into a villain, who would be the one to defeat him, because all of the heroes have died throughout the series of Star Wars? Plus it would just get boring seeing Luke turn into a villain because it has already been done in the series. However there are some rumors that Count Dooku, who had supposedly been killed, will be reborn and become the villan. If so, there might be hope for this movie after all. So one thing is for sure: the new Star Wars movie will sure be interesting. I can't wait to see if it sinks or swims.

How To: Everyday Eyeshadow

You want to start by applying the base.

Then follow up with any translucent setting powder or you can use your foundation powder. 

Next apply any matte light pink shadow with a big fluffy brush in and above your crease.

After that grab a smaller brush with a darker matte pink color and apply that directly into your crease.

Blend out with the same brush you used to apply the light pink color (with no additional product).

Next apply a shimmery or metallic pink (I picked one that was lighter then the dark pink color I used, but you can choose how dark and smokey/light you want your eye shadow to look right here) put this all over your lid. then blend out with that same big fluffy brush with no additional product.

Now take any light might white color and put this in you inner corner and on your brow bone, turn your brush sideways to blend this highlight with the light pink color. 

You can choose to put a shimmery highlight in the center of the lid to create a hallow affect or in your inner corner for a wide eye affect, this is totally up to you.

Now clean up any fallout and sharpen up the edge of the eye shadow. 

Apply concealer and foundation.

Now continue with the under eye by using a small pencil brush and applying the light pink matte shadow all under the eye.

Using the same brush pick up the darker matte pink eye shadow and apply with only on the outer half of your eye. 

Take a black liner and line the tight line and water line.

Now apply your mascara.

-Haley Vannatter 

Earth Day 2015!

Last week marked the 45th Anniversary of Earth Day! If you don't know what Earth Day is, it's a celebration which is all about the modern environmental movement that developed in 1970.
As stated by, Earth Day in 1970 "capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center." So, what are some things that you can do to celebrate Earth Day and help the planet? I have a couple ideas that may put you in "the Earth Day mood."

1. Walk, hike or even ride a bike! 
  • Make a fun day out of earth day by doing something physical.
2.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. 
  • Make the planet grenner by just doing simple things.
3. Plant a tree or plant. 

  • Trees produce oxygen and with all the homework we've been getting-- we need oxygen!
4.Swap your lightbulbs out. 
  • Floresent lightbulbs use less energy than regular lightbulbs.
5.Go outside and have a picnic! 
  • Getting outside for any reason is always a good idea. 

 Hope you have a fun and very green Earth Day!

-Karlee Daniel

The Nicest Snow Day Ever

Earlier this week, Wythe County and the surrounding area experienced a large amount of rainfall. The area received enough rain this weekend that school was closed Monday, April 20th, and was put on a two hour delay Tuesday, April 21st. This surprised several students who woke up thinking they had slept in, and even took some teachers by surprise.

Kevin Brown said he woke up thinking everyone in the family had slept in, but found out later school was closed due to flooding. I personally received a text from a friend asking why school was closed in the first place. I explained it was due to severe flooding. One area in Max Meadows had enough flooding to close the road to Max Meadows Elementary School. Sunday night, Parsonage Avenue in Rural Retreat had severe flooding simply from run off from nearby hills. Stories of sink holes, mud slides, and overflowing rivers are all to be heard about the flooding.

Of course, with the intense weather in the area and eventual cancellation of school, a wave of excited Facebook statuses flooded Facebook (Do you see what I did there?).  My mom, a Teacher at Jackson Elementary, decided to call Monday “the nicest snow day she’s ever seen.” It was a worthy day off, but let these "snow days" remind us of the potential dangers floods can bring.

-Dylan Crigger

2015 NFL Schedules Released: Toughest and Easiest Schedules

The 2014 NFL season ended with the New England Patriots defeating the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. However, last season being finished just makes everyone even more impatient for next season. It's official, we now know who each team is playing for the 17 week schedule in 2015. According to The Washington Post, the teams with the toughest strength of schedule are: the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinatti Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, and the Oakland Raiders. The teams with the easiest strength of schedule are: the Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Indianapolis Colts. The 2015 NFL season is going to be kicked off on Thursday, September 10, with the Pittsburgh Steelers traveling to the Foxbourough to face the Super Bowl defending New England Patriots. In fact, NFL says that this will be a game that a lot of people expected to be the AFC championship game last year, but when Le'veon Bell went down with a hyperextended knee, the Baltimore Ravens beat the Steelers in the Wild Card round, a game that I happened to attend. Baltimore actually ended up losing to New England the next round, and the Pats ended up with a Super Bowl win. It's going to be a great year, with some teams that could surprise. Will it be your team winning it all? We can only watch and find out!

-Blake Holmes


Video Games: a Controversy

   Do video games make people (especially children) violent? That question has plagued gamers almost since the dawn of video games some 40 years ago. It all started with the release of Death Race in 1976; the objective of the game was to run over goblins to increase your score. Unfortunately not long after the game's release, parents protested and many cabinets were destroyed. Ever since then, video games have come over heavy criticism and many wanted video games banned, at the helm of this argument is Jack Thompson, an anti-video game activist who claimed that some games act as "murder simulators." Thompson has also claimed that games like Grand Theft Auto, Doom, and Max Payne are    "dangerous physical appliances that teach a kids how to efficiently kill and love it." 

Though convincing, Thompson's claims are false; in fact, data showed that the crime and arrest rate for children under 18 decreased by 40 percent in the 90's after video games hit mainstream popularity. That's not all, research has shown that video games can increase the hand-eye coordination and decision-making skills of the player. Though when playing, a player must be aware of the risks of playing too long. Eye strain, headache, and fatigue are common side effects of exposure longer then 12+ hours. 

Video games can be a great stress reliever not only do statistics show this but video games have helped me through the struggles that life has thrown my way. Games like Super Mario Galaxy, Medal of Honor, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl helped me cope with difficult situations in my life. I hope one day video games won't just be scapegoats for violence, and people can come together and figure out a way to minimize violence across the globe.   

-Thomas Brown                   

A Day On Sugar Maple Spring

One of our dogs, Lola

The view of the farm from our driveway

Some of the kids

One of the mammas waiting to have her kids

Some of the mammas grazing

Our billy, Icy Black Magic

Our guard dog Brie

Brie and the Icy playing

My brother and mom collecting the eggs

Some of the eggs that we get daily

The chickens

Two of our new kids

The kids playing

The sugar maple tree and our spring

Some of the cheese we make(the light brownish is old bay and the green is a mix of herbs)

The kids playing on the hay
 -Faith Hamman

Congradulations, Mr. President

This year, the SCA attempted something new: instead of just voting for SCA president in an SCA meeting, they would elect two candidates to run for office and be voted in by the student body. This year, the candidates were Isaiah Addair and Mitchell Cook, both of the junior class. This year’s winner was Mitchell Cook, and he shall be the SCA president for the 2015-2016 school year.

Isaiah and Mitchell both gave their speeches on April First, or April fool’s day, which was also the day voting took place. No, the votes were not a joke. Mitchell won against Isaiah in a close race, and either candidate was amply equipped to handle the job. Mitchell had already started a chess club for next year, and Isaiah also planned on adding some new clubs. It just so happened that Mitchell was elected, and I would like to personally congratulate him.

After finding out he had won the election, Mitchell jested: “Now I just need someone to be my Marilyn Monroe.” Oh dear, Mitchell, that’s a very large request even for Rural Retreat High School’s SCA President.

Again, congratulations, Mr. President. May your years in office be numerous.

P.S. I’ve recently discovered that SCA president only works for one school year, being that next year Mitchell will be a senior. May your year in office be good, Mitchell.

-Dylan Crigger

Literary Spotlight-- Life Through Faded Eyes: Part 10

“Thanks for dropping me off at my house, Mr. Trenton.” I waved while stepping out of the car. I wanted to go straight to my bed room. I didn't know what I would do when I got into the darkness, but I just wanted to feel safe. I wanted to feel hidden.

“Wait!” I heard the passenger door open as I was walking to my front door.

“Thank you for coming to help us today, Charlie.” Haley said. She looked me right in the eyes, and then looked away while pulling a strand of stray hair behind her ear. “You don’t know how much it meant to me.”

“Haley,” I let out a sigh and shrugged my shoulders, “I didn't do much to be honest. You and Garry deserve most of the praise.”

“No.” Haley shook her head. The wind rustled through the trees, and Mr. Trenton and Garry waited patiently in the car. “Me and Garry didn't save the Interact Club. I’m sorry I was so rude to you about being dared to join the club. Whether you wanted to be here or not, I believe you’re here for some purpose.”

“You better get going.” I motioned to the car. Mr. Trenton was staring out the still-open passenger door.

“Yeah, see you Charlie.” Haley started to walk back to the car. “Oh, wait!” she turned and ran to me while pulling a paper out of her pocket. “This is my phone number. Text me some time or something. We still have to do that whole date thing I guess.”

“Yeah,” I said, but my words just kind of fell out. They had no meaning. Why did I feel this way? “See you soon, Haley.”

Haley handed me the paper, smiled, and ran back to Mr. Trenton’s car. She waved before shutting the door, and I forced a smile and waved back. I just wanted to go to my room, and I did. I didn't even tell my parents I was home, just retreated to my room, and shut the door.

The bed felt so comfy, and I played Skyrim that afternoon. I came out only to eat dinner and use the bathroom. I lay down in my bed that night to go to sleep. I closed my eyes, but I couldn't sleep.

Those eyes kept staring at me. Those cold eyes burned into my soul. I felt like those eyes saw me for everything I truly was, and it made me feel uncomfortable. Why did they make me feel ashamed? Why couldn't I meet the old man’s gaze?

I wasn't a bad person. I just kept to myself. I knew what I was good at, and it wasn't helping elderly people, or anything like that. I was good at Skyrim, and Skyrim was fun. I liked the chess club even though I’d never played chess before, so why did I feel so empty when that old man looked at me?

I've never done anything bad, really. I guess I've never really done anything good either. I didn't deserve to be a part of the Interact Club. I didn't deserve a date with Haley. Those eyes told me that much. With those dark thoughts, I fell asleep in my dark room. Maybe I would feel better in the morning.

-Dylan Crigger

Mutt-in But Trouble (Mutt-in Good Here Chapter 2)

Now where were we...Oh yeah!


After my madre arrived from a dull job in the local state park, my pet lizard Bowser screeched from his aquarium due to the closing of the oak-brown door. I changed my Skype status to "Away," picked up Bowser, and took him downstairs to see mama.

"Laverne, how was your first day at that crazy ol' high school?" she asked, setting her papers down and seating herself at our bar-style counter.

"It sucked more than a lifetime supply of lollipops, mama!" I groaned, staring down at the omelette my padre had been cooking. Bowser seemed to be the only one enjoying the meal, the rest of us awkwardly poking through it.

"Sorry, Shanique, I put WAY too many eggs in that dish," mi padre apologized, his dusty-brown skin running with sweat.

"Mauricio, it's fine!" mi madre sighed out, disappointed in the meal he cooked for us. "At least someone is happy," she added, glancing down at little Bowser.

The rest of dinner was a blur in my memory.


After that, I got back onto Skype, not realizing that Bowser was clinging to my ponytail the whole time.

"Laverne! You're finally back!" my other friend Cat cheerfully exclaimed, pushing her crow-black hair off her face. "I just beat Becky in Super Smash Bros with Greninja!"

"Greninja's overpowered, Cat! Besides, you know Shulk is my main bae!" Becky giggled, her peachy skin hidden away by sunset-orange hair. "Laverne, who are you gonna use in our next Super Smash Bros game?"

I chuckled. "Kirby of course. He'll take Shulk by the Xenoblade and BLAST him away!"

"Laverne, don't you talk trash about my fictional husband!" chuckled Becky.

"Guys, guys, guys, GUYS. My Luigi Amiibo finally arrived from Amazon!" Mikasa squealed, displaying the figure as Chowchow barked in the distance.

"I am so jelly, Mikasa," gushed Becky, throwing a Goomba plush at the camera.

"Please, I got my Lucario one the day it came out," I scoffed, showing it off as Bowser licked my cheek.


"Cat, I can't just send Lucario over to West Virginia!" I sighed out, accidentally barking.

"Then, just draw it for me and put it on deviantART, dummy!" typed out Cat, coughing from talking excessively.

"Guys, guys, it's 3 AM over here, we gotta end the call," groaned Becky as the Skype call immediately ended.

It was rather late here in Arizona as well, so I set my Skype status to "Do Not Disturb," shut down Chrome, then turned off my Dell. I gently placed Bowser inside his aquarium, crawled into bed, then slept the night away.


Stay tuned for Chapter 3!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Literary Spotlight: Got It! At the Buzzer!

This was it. This moment was the one that would make his career, and the National Championship. His Radford Highlanders had overcome all of the odds to make it here. They beat number one Kentucky in the first round, becoming the first number 16 seed to do that, but they didn't just stop there. Many exciting moments and upsets had built up to this, 74-75 with 12.4 seconds remaining. If Radford scores, they beat Duke and make history. If they miss, Duke wins, and their journey would mean nothing.  With each dribble up the floor, the anticipation grew, as Joshua Thompson was trying to win it all. Many thoughts were running through his head during the biggest moment of his career. "If I score here, I could go to the draft, and be in the first round, but what if I miss? Everybody expects me to score, but what if I miss?" These thoughts were about to drive him insane, as he crossed half-court with 8.6 remaining. He went right, as everybody knew that Josh would take the shot. "Do I go for the two, or the stepback three?" he thought, as he stared down his defender. Six, five, four, three seconds remaining in the game, as he made his decision. Three, two, one. Josh drove right, then shot a stepback jumper in the corner. When it left his fingertips, he knew it was in, as it felt so sweet. The buzzer sounded, and the ball was in the air. AT&T Stadium erupted as the ball went in with a swish, and history was complete. The Radford Highlanders, led the whole way by Joshua Thompson, had just won the National Championship, becoming the first 16 seed ever to do so. Josh was tackled by his teammates at halfcourt, and the crowd started to storm the court. When the trophy came out to be given to them, Josh won the Final Four MVP. He eventually went on to be drafted in the first round of the NBA draft. After everything was said and done, he was humble, because after all, he was a small town guy out of Radford, Virginia, who happened to somehow hit it big.

-Blake Holmes

Dancing With The Stars Week 6

This Monday was a big deal on Dancing with the Stars, because it was Spring Break Night and Team Dance Night. My favorite dance of the night was Team YOLO's Team Dance; they were on fire, and their outfits were super cute!

Week 6 - Total scores 

Riker and Allison - 37
Nastia and Derek - 34
Willow and Mark - 34 
Rumer and Val - 32 
Chris and Witney - 31 
Noah and Sharna - 29 
Robert and Kym - 28
As we already know, someone has to be eliminated every week, and this week it pains me to tell you that Patti and Artem were eliminated with a score of 29. This is a huge reminder that we all need to vote, every week!!

Week 6 - Team Dances 

Team YOLO includes Nastia and Derek, Willow and Mark, Noah and Sharna, and Robert and Kym. They danced to "Wipe Out" by: The Surfaris. Their total score was 39 points.

Team Trouble includes Rumer and Val, Riker and Allison, Patti and Artem, Chris and Witney. They danced to "Trouble," by Iggy Azalea and Jennifer Hudson. Their total score was also 39 points.

-Kaylee Patrick

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Soccer vs. Oak Hill

Early game hype

The human statue 

The thousand yard stare

Hanging on the ropes

Half time huddle 


Kick off

Goalie Kick


A good game all around 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

DIY: Lace Nail Art

Material needed.

Paint your nail white, let it try completely, and draw a black line on the top of the nail.

Draw little semi-circles off of the line.

Add little dots....and you're finished!!

- Faith Hamman

Literary Spotlight-- Life Through Faded Eyes: Part 9

Saturday: normally a day to play a few quests on Skyrim. This Saturday: waiting in the school parking lot at eight-o-clock waiting to go visit some wrinkly old people. Yay for Charlie! (Not.)

“It looks like we’re only waiting on Haley,” Mr. Trenton stated, waiting in the front seat of the car. I sat in the back seat with the stranger named Garry sitting beside me. My dad had dropped me off early. He even woke me up early, but really it was all in vain. We’re waiting on Haley, and it’s too early to be waiting on anyone. I should be asleep.

Finally a car pulls up, and Haley makes a speedy transition into Mr. Trenton’s small Prius. He was a high class hippie teacher. No way would he drive a Volkswagen van with peace signs on the outside and beads instead of windows. That was too much, especially since Mr. Trenton was a hippie teacher. He had to be somewhat professional.

Once Haley was inside, we were off. We made it to the nursing home sooner than I desired. I wanted to wait in the car until it was all over, but Mr. Trenton noticed when I didn’t get out.

“C’mon, Charlie. You’ll do fine.” He said opening my door. I stared forward into the headrest of the seat in front of me, let out a sigh, and stepped out of the Prius. “You’ll do fine.” Mr. Trenton repeated. I felt like he was trying to convince himself just as much as he was me.

It really wasn’t that bad. We didn’t do anything outrageous (like massage wrinkly old people). We made their beds, and helped serve their breakfast. I was in charge of getting the elderlys' drinks and make sure they all had the lids on tight with straws. The nurses said some had a difficult time drinking out of real cups, and that they used to have a lot of nasty spills before they started using basic Wendy’s cups.

When someone would need help eating their food, or needed someone to talk to, Mr. Trenton, Haley, and Garry were all up and anxious to help, so I didn’t have to be socially active (Yes!).

They had the TV on, and it was turned onto the news. Old people portray their boringness by the things they watch on TV. I tried to change the channel, but the old people started complaining, so I flipped it back to the good old news. I don’t know how they were content with that.

Most of the day, I really just watched everyone from the food bar. I watched Haley serving people, and wondered how she did it so easily. Mr. Trenton was good too, but he was a hippie teacher; he’s supposed to be good at this stuff. Garry was a little awkward talking to the old people, but he slowly got better throughout the day. I just watched them, and wondered what I was even here for.

Then, I noticed someone watching me. He was sitting in the far left corner, directly across from the TV on the right side of the room, and his seat was turned facing the TV. But he wasn’t watching TV; his head was obviously turned facing me in the back, because it was a very difficult angle to reach even for flexible young people. His faded eyes felt cold as they watched me all day.

Later, we had to leave. It was about twelve. All I remember were those cold eyes watching me as I walked out the front door. I had ignored them all day, but I had still felt them.

They made me feel ashamed.

-Dylan Crigger

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tornado strikes Fairdale, Illinois

On April 9th, 2015 a tornado striked Fairdale, Illinois during the night. According to, after being tracked the tornado seemed to be a single long-track tornado. This deadly tornado was an EF4 (Devastating damage). To be defined as an EF4, well-constructed houses are leveled; structures with weak foundations are blown away some distance; and cars are thrown and large missiles generated.). An EF4 tornado brings windspeeds of 166 to 200mph. There were two people killed and 11 were hospitalized. Tornadoes are serious and can happen. Be prepared for anything because you don't know exactly when they will strike. 

-Cailie Pollard

Thursday, April 16, 2015

DWTS - Disney Night Week Five Scores

Ahh! It's Disney Night on Dancing with the Stars-- by far my favorite night of the season. All of the dancers were on their toes to make sure everything went as planned.  There were even dancers flying down from the rafters to add to the Disney magic. Anyway, let's get into the scores. 

Week Five - Total Scores

Rumer and Val - 39
Nastia and Derek - 38 
Riker and Allison - 38 
Willow and Mark - 34
Noah and Sharna - 28 
Chris and Whitney - 27 
Patti and Artem - 27 
Robert and Kym - 24 

Even on this awesome night of dancing, one couple had to go home, and this week that couple was Suzanne and Tony, with a score of 28 points. This is just another reminder that you should always vote for the couple you like! 

                                                                             - Kaylee Patrick

The Story of Slenderman

That may not be a branch you're seeing ....

The story goes that Slenderman was a real person, and that he was beaten and hanged with his arms pulled out of their sockets. So you can see why he would haunt and torture people. He is said to stand seven feet tall with very long arms. He has no face, only indents where his eyes and mouth should be. It is said that he is only seen in remote places, like in the woods or abandoned buildings, and sometimes if you're out at night by yourself, he can be seen. When he picks his target, he starts messing with him/her: the person will only see glimpses of him from far distances, and he does that until s/he gets home and that's when it really gets weird. He will be seen outside windows in the tv screen or in mirrors. Basically he plays with his victim's mind. Then when s/he goes to sleep, he comes into the bedroom and stands until s/he wakes up. It's said that he will ask him/her a question. If s/he gets it right, he will just break his/her arms and legs like what was done to him, but if s/he gets it wrong, he takes the soul. It's said that Slenderman was made up by someone on the internet, but there are reports dating back to Germanic tribes that called him Der Grossman, meaning tall man. It was said that kids in the tribe would say that they saw him and then the next day they would go missing. Is Slenderman a myth or a real demon still haunting people to this day? You tell me.

-Collin Aker

How-To: Homemade Laundry Detergent

  1. Grate the soap using a hand grater or food processor. Grate into fine particles so it dissolves easily.
  2. Carefully mix with the washing soda and borax (use gloves or a spoon as these can by drying if used directly on skin)
  3. Add essential oils and stir.
  4. Store in an air-tight glass jar.
Use 1-2 tablespoons per load. Add 1 tablespoon of Oxygen booster if needed . . . I use this on white loads.

Hopefully this will be helpful to our parents! Found by Wellness Mama.. 

-Kierra Gertz.

Chris Soules and Whitney Bischoff are in it for the long run.

Chris Soules was the Bachelor for the 2015 season. After leaving 2014 Bachelorette season without Andi Dorfman, he still wanted to find love. One of the contestants for Chris's love on the 2015 Bachelor season was Whitney Bischoff. Bischoff is a fertility nurse from Chicago. They had the best connection from the very beginning and it never seemed to fail them. They were both so real and so in love with each other. Chris had to find a girl that he could settle down with and that would be willing to move to his tiny home town, Arlington, Iowa. It was very hard to find a woman that would life in that small of a town. His sisters visited the show during the season to talk to the girls in the house and Whitney was one of them. Of course she was one of the favorites! When it came time for hometown visits Chris went to Whitney's in hope of getting her sisters blessing to propose to Whitney, if that's what he decided to do in the end. Her sister said "No, call me when you know she is the one you are choosing for sure." When Bischoff made it down to the final two she got to meet his whole family. When she talked to them she explained her love for Chris to the family which brought them and herself to tears. At the end he decided Whitney was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. She said "Yes!" and they are still together battling through the press, side-by-side, supporting each other. 

-Cailie Pollard

Tornado Breaks Loose in Oklahoma

A tornado touched down on March 25th, 2015 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to the Washington Post, there was one person killed in the tornado and some were injured. There was also a tornado to touch down in Moore, Oklahoma. This area has been damaged more than once by deadly twisters. These tornadoes ended the long 2015 tornado season. 

-Cailie Pollard

Editorial: Parent Teacher Conferences Unnecessary

I disagree with after school parent teacher conferences, at the high school level. They are unnecessary. I believe schools should still allow them, but maybe instead of having all teachers stay for hours upon hours after school, even if they don't have any parents coming, just let those teachers leave.  Parents could schedule conference times in advance.

After-school conferences are a good thing; don't get me wrong, but sometimes they are just bothersome to those who may only have one or two parents show up. 

Parents should be allowed to still come to these conferences, but they should try to call ahead of time to set a time limit, so therefore the parent doesn't  have to show up at the same time as an other parent and wait in "line." I feel like this will help with the misunderstandings and help teachers want to actually be there.
                                                                  - Kaylee Patrick

Monday, April 13, 2015

Literary Spotlight: Mutt-in Good Here

Story by Catherine C. Cober
(from the point of Laverne Padilla, our protagonist)

Hola! Como te llamas? Me llamo Laverne.


Okay, sorry about that. But let's get to work (it harder, make it better).

I'm Laverne Padilla, and I'm a 15 year old girl stuck in the middle of Nowheresville, Arizona. Okay, I'm kidding, but it is a small place in Arizona. I used to live only minutes away from Detroit, until *groan* my madre got a new job here in Arizona. She said the move would be a lot better since we're closer to my padre's relatives in Mexico and this job gets her better money. Moving on . . . 
It was the first day of this new high school I'm stuck in. I was supposed to be a sophomore, but ever since the first grade, the old school moved me a grade higher due to my intelligence, so I'm basically a junior at this point. First day in, and chaos was everywhere. Luckily, both lockers next to mine were empty, so nobody would bother me there, heh.

"Oooooooooooooooooooooooo," a variety of voices gasped, then came the giggles. I looked up from placing my signed Daft Punk poster on the wall, then saw nearly the entire junior class laughing like hyenas.

"Uhh . . . what's so funny now?" I had to ask, annoyed by the immaturity of the class.

The shortest girl in the group laughed, "You got the haunted locker!" then giggled like no tomorrow, almost choking on her nest-like hair.

"Someone tell me, please, in the name of the bass, what's the 'haunted locker'?" I groaned.

"Well . . . " a boy with tangerine-like hair blurted out, "Legends say that a girl was shoved in there and DIED, so anyone who gets that locker now is cursed . . ."

The class then left, a piercing ringing going off in the hall. I checked my schedule, then walked into first period: statistics.

"Ah, Miss Padilla, you're here," the cheerful woman at the desk chirped, her vanilla-like skin and daffodil-yellow hair glowing amongst the dull classroom. "Please, pick a seat."

I looked around frantically, hoping to get a good seat. Unfortunately, every seat with a person nearby was taken, forcing me into a rickety desk with splinters everywhere.

"Watch out, that desk is haunted too!" the girl from earlier cackled, causing the class to burst into laughter.

After that, I don't remember the rest of statistics, or school.


It was finally time to go home, and I dashed out the door like a dog to dropped sausages. After bursting home, I saw my father cracking a few eggs for tonight's dinner.

"So, how's your new school, mi hija?" he questioned, blending the eggs together.

I groaned "Ugh, HORRIBLE, papa! Everyone in my entire grade keeps saying everything I touch is haunted!! Why are people so stupid?!?!"

"We may never know, hija," he sighed, turning our oven to a higher setting.

I kicked off my sneakers, tossed them at the door, then ran into my bedroom. After shutting the door as quick as can be, I immediatly turned on my Dell desktop, waited a few minutes, then turned on Skype to start a call with my old friend Mikasa.

The familiar tone of the program hummed in my ears, until a nasally laugh erupted in my headphones.
"Laverne!!! Wassup, my kitty!' she laughed, pushing her charcoal-black hair behind her shoulders and giggling more.

"Not much, my Titan-slayer!" I exclaimed cheerfully, pulling out a few things from my pockets. "You won't believe how crazy these noobs are!"

"How crazy? So crazy they make 4chan users look sane?" Mikasa chuckled, pulling an Iron Man figurine off her desk and showing it to me.

"Almost. They think everything here is haunted," I groaned, playing with the Grumpy Cat plush sitting atop my lap.

"Who we gonna call?" she asked.

"GHOSTBUSTERS!" we both yelled, laughing until Mikasa fell off her chair and her Rottie, Chowchow, ran over and licked her face.

"No! Bad girl!" Mikasa chuckled, gently shoving the rottweiler off of her and climbing up onto her desk.

"MIKASA!!" a female voice hollered from her end of the call.

She groaned "I'M COMING MOM!!!! Be right back, Laverne, my mom made yakisoba and tempura for dinner."

The Skype call ended, just as soon as my mother came home from work.


Stay tuned for Chapter 2!