Issue 4 December 2010

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Issue 4 December 2010

  1. 1. theECHOES Scottsbluff High School | December 2010 | Volume 94 | Issue 4 Senior Meghan Pritchard performs in the One Act play. Pritchard and six other actors portrayed furies, demonic figments of Mary Girard’s imagination. photo by Terry Pitkin TheI n s a n i tyof M a ry G ira rd One Act play captures third at district competition | pg. 12 [also]Transfer students are having a huge impact on Bearcats athletics this year | pg. 20
  2. 2. A good cause that’s causing trouble BRIEFLY s pe akin gBreast cancer awareness bracelets hit school District DECA is a more appropriate way to spread The Greater Nebraska awareness and it seems like the only DECA Conference was held people wearing them are teenagers. I at Scottsbluff in the Monu- think it is a way for them to get away ment Mall on Nov. 1st. with something normally inappropri- ate,” family consumer science teacher Over two hundred stu- Lorna Davis said. dents from Scottsbluff, Hast- “I find them more humorous than ings, Central City, NE and offensive. It’s an excellent market- Gillette, Laramie and Chey- ing scheme to promote awareness. enne, WY competed. Students wear them to get a rise out The conference was a great of it and at first it was humorous but success, due in large part to it’s getting to another level,” science the contributions of 40 local teacher Heather Haberman said. business and community Some students have been wearing bracelets very similar, but instead of leaders who served as judges the phrase “I (heart) boobies” it has for the conference. been replaced with other more inap- Students were required to Photo from mindschmootz.net propriate phrases. take a written test and par-story by “I think that they are offensive. ticipate in a judged role play.SCOUT WILSON | news editor and were suspended from school It is a bad play on words. It’s for a The scores of the two are “I (heart) boobies,” is the latest until they would come back without good cause but they are distracting added together to determinebracelet fad, as teens have bought into the armbands. They did not return to and some students wear them for the the top three places in eachthe new breast cancer awareness cam- school until after the planned pe- wrong reasons. I think they should marketing area.paign. But are teenage boy’s using it riod for wearing the armbands had be allowed to wear them, but inside expired, which was until New Year’s out,” science teacher Melodie Foos Scottsbluff DECA had 18as a clever comical way of expressionor are they actually wearing them to Day. said. winners out of the 33 places.support awareness? The answer may The fathers of the students soon So where does the money raisedjust be in the eye of the beholder. filed a complaint with District Court, which was dismissed but then moved from the bracelets and shirts sales go? The Keep A Breast Foundation UNL Math Day A recent fad that has hit youthacross America is the bracelets and through the system to find its way to webpage says: The funds raised Students competed in theshirts being made by the Keep A the Supreme Court resulting in the from donations go to support Keep UNL Math Day on. ThereBreast Foundation in support of breast following ruling: the Court found A Breast education and awareness were two competitions: thecancer awareness. that the actions of the students in programs. These unique programs PROBE 1 competition (Prob- Though in support of a good cause, wearing the armbands did not cause use art and artistic expression to lems Requiring Outstandingsome schools across the nation have disruption and held that their activity inform young people about meth- or Brilliant Effort) and thedecided to ban students from wearing represented constitutionally protected ods of prevention, early detection, symbolic speech. coping and support. Through these Math Bowl contest.the bracelets. “ ” These new breast cancer aware- programs, Keep A Breast strives to The PROBE 1 is a 25-ques- This has brought a heap of con- ness bracelets are stirring up a similar eradicate breast cancer by inspiring tion multiple choice test.troversy along with it. Students, suchas two middle school students young people to adopt lifestyle Students earn four pointssuspended from school in choices that have long-term for each correct response, one There is a more appropriate way health benefits. point for each question leftEaston, PA say the school’sdress code violates their First to spread awareness and it seems Principal Rick Porter has the blank, and no points for each opinion many other principalsAmendment rights and are su- like the only people wearing them are taking towards the brace- incorrect response.ing the school district. PROBE 1 team scores This situation sounds eerily are teenagers. lets. are computed by taking asimilar to a past case brought -Family consumer science teacher Lorna Davis things certainappropriate. This “In aren’t places certain school’s top five students onto the Supreme Court in 1968: is a learning institution, and the PROBE 1 and averagingTinker vs. Des Moines. In December 1965, a group of controversy today and the issue will students need to show respect. The their scores.adults and students in Des Moines, have to be settled. bracelets can promote a bad image The Math Bowl contest isIA, held a meeting and determined The Keep A Breast Foundation for the school because the first thing an oral competition in whichto publicize their objections to the background page states that the shirts visitors are going to see are the stu- teams of three answer fifteenhostilities in Vietnam and their sup- and bracelets act as an awareness- dents and they will judge the school questions. Teams have 30port for a truce by wearing black raising tool, allowing young people based on the how the students may be seconds to respond to eacharmbands during the holiday season to engage and start talking about a dressed,” Porter said. subject that is scary and taboo and In the end, the guideline students question.and by fasting on Dec. 16 and New Scottsbluff finished 7thYear’s Eve. making it positive and upbeat. should follow is to wear the bracelets Though the campaign has good turned inside out or find another way in the Class A team results The principals of the Des Moinesschools became aware of the plan intentions, the phrase printed on the of supporting breast cancer. Don’t just and made it to the 8th of 11for the armbands and quickly held a bracelets may offend those people buy the bracelets to have one, actually rounds whick was the bestmeeting in which they passed and ad- who have been through breast cancer donate to the cause. This will help bowl finish in school history.opted a new policy that any student or know someone who has. keep confrontations with studentswearing an armband would be asked Many of the breast cancer survi- vors have had to have a breast re- and staff to a minimum. “I (heart) boobies does get your at- Senior photosto remove it, and if he refused hewould be suspended until he returned moved to combat the cancer and these tention, but in the school environment Seniors must seniorwithout the armband. bracelets are saying “Keep A Breast,” it is not appropriate. As a staff we will pictures into the Journalsim Three students wore the armbands which seems like something offensive discourage the wearing of the brace- room by Winter Break. Pic-to school, aware of the new policy, to someone who had no other choice lets. Some will be taken away and oth- tures taken by local photog- but to have their breast removed. ers will be asked to cover them up,”2 | NEWS “I think it is sort of offensive. There Porter said. rapher are exempt.
  3. 3. Smoking Statistics A life turned to ashes -There is enough nicotine in four or fivestory by with their friends or family and feel headaches that can stop me from do-RYAN MEISTER | news writer pressured into trying “just one” to fit ing my homework,” Keith said. cigarettes to kill an aver- in. However, teens that have smoking Smoking while in school also has age adult if ingested Millions of people are affected by relatives are more likely to try smok- an influence on what the student doessmoking each year, hundreds of thou- ing, as in the case of Keith. in the way of school activities. whole. Most smokerssands of people die and hundreds “Now I am completely addicted “When I was a freshman I had take in only one or twomore become addicted to the nicotine to smoking and do it about 7 times a planned on going out for basketball,found in the smoke from a cigarette. milligrams of nicotine day.” Keith said. but with my smoking causing health When most people think of the The average pack of cigarettes has problems and a back injury earlier in per cigarette however,seasoned smoker, they have a vision 20 in a pack, which means that Keith the year I just couldn’t,” Keith said. with the remainder be-of the grandfather smoking a pipe or is smoking about one pack every two A common question for teenagea big wig in New York City puffing ing burned off. to three days. smokers is ‘why did you start?’his imported cigars. Smoking is also an expensive habit “I don’t really know why I start- But even the high school student on top of an unhealthy, with one pack ed,” Keith said, “I guess I was just so -Kids are still pick-will take what cigarettes they can, costing as much as 6 dollars. Also pressured to just try it once that I feltonce addicted, in order to get their fix. ing up smoking at the they are much more expensive for like I had to.” We see them every day walking teens that have to go around the law Smokers also experience problems alarming rate of 3,000across Second Avenue to Frank Park in order to get them. that the normal teen might not. a day in the U.S., andto “light up” and get their fix. “I spend about three to six bucks “I have a lot of health problems Some don‘t care about possible 80,000 to 100,000 a day on every pack I buy depending on and if I don’t have one it will just keepside effects, some try to quit, but the the brand,” Keith said. “And, I have bugging me. It also completely kills worldwide.withdrawal is so severe that even probably gone through 3 cartons easy me financially.” Keith said.when trying to quit, the stress over- since I started 2 years ago.” However Keith, a smoker of 2whelms them and forces them to re- -Worldwide, one in With each carton having ten packs years, is now trying to take on theturn to the highly addictive substance in them and each pack containing impossible task of quitting. five teens age 13 to 15to take the “edge off.” twenty cigarettes this means Keith “It’s my senior year and I have smoke cigarettes. Most smokers are addicted after has smoked 600 individual cigarettes been regretting the decision of startingonly one use of tobacco, and at least since starting. since I started and now I think it willhalf of these people will become long “I regret the decision of starting be a very good thing to quit before -Every eight seconds,time smokers of 15 to 20 years. and have even tried to quit before, I college,” Keith said. a human life is lost to Around the world one in five teen- went a whole school week without it Smoking ruins the lives of millionsage people start smoking with up to tobacco use somewhere and thought that I could make it and and millions of people whether it’s100,000 teens starting each day. then the weekend came and when I the life of the person who smoking or in the world. That trans- “I remember that when I started was around my friends it was just so the life of loved ones who lose their lates to approximately 5smoking, I was 15 and I was with my hard not to have one.” Keith said. parents, siblings, or grandparentssister and brother in law.” Keith* said. million deaths annually. This is a common problem for early to one of the hundreds of dis- Teens, like Keith, often times have smokers who try to quit “cold turkey” eases related to smoking.a much lower level of tolerance to thenicotine found in cigarette smoke than while their friends continue with their Every smoker has the choice and Common Diseases habits. It becomes incredibly stressful the opportunity to quit whenever theyadults and are much more likely to for the person attempting to quit. get the chance but many don’t andget hooked faster. Smoking can also have some major many never will, but Keith has seen • Lung cancer “I remember we were in a bowl- repercussions on the health of the what mistake he has made and is try- • Cancer of the mouthing alley for my 15 birthday and bothmy brother in law and my sister were smoker. ing for a better future. • Cancer of the throat “When I first started I couldn’t stay *Name changeddoing it. Then they just convinced me in school for more than about 2 weeks Information abtained from: www.fami- • Stomach cancerto try it and I was hooked instantly.” at a time because it made me so sick lyfirstaid.org/teen-smoking.html • Kidney cancerKeith said. www.soundvision.com/Info/teens/ Often times this is what happens to my stomach. Now I have chronic stat.asp • Cancer of the bladder cough and shortness of breath and itto teens who try smoking- they are can make me have horrible nicotine www.teenhelp.com/teen-health/teen- • Liver cancer smoking-statistics.html • Prostate cancer A false alarm, but still to be taken seriously • Heart attack • Cardiovascular diseasestory by freezing rain, watching and waiting • StrokeRYAN MEISTER | news writer to see if their school would burst into • Leukemia flame or whether it was just “some On the 16 of Nov. 3:15 p.m. stu- kid” playing a prank. • Emphysemadents were anxiously standing aroundwaiting for the final bell. All was Minutes later students were called • Chronic bronchitisquiet in the hallway until the annoy- into the building to retrieve their • Pneumonia items and once inside heard anothering blare of the fire alarm resounded discouraging warning “students • Asthmaaround the school. Many teachers hid their initial we have not been cleared by the fire • Diabetesshock from the students and went on department to be in the school, please • Stomach ulcers exit the building.” department.as if it was a normal fire drill, some Students hurriedly grabbed their Events like this although not • Cataractsteachers told their students this was common in Scottsbluff happen allnot a drill, but once outside everyone items and left the building with one • Gum disease question in mind. too often around the nation causinghad one question. unwanted stress on students and • High blood pressure “What just happened?” “Is this a real fire or just another It is obvious now that the school teachers. • Crohn’s diseasedrill?” With this stress and the stress of fi- The question was answered sec- did not burst into flames and burn to • Premature aging of the skin the ground, instead what happened is nals pressing down upon the studentsonds later when the roar of the fire of Scottsbluff high school we would • Loss of smell and taste someone had pulled the alarm.engine was heard racing around the This, although not taking valu- like to remind students to make good •Reduced fertilitycorner. decision in regards to what might 3 able class time away this time, caused NEWS | Students waited outside in the cause a class room disturbance. a major disruption to the city’s fire
  4. 4. The future of alternative energy SHS finds environmentally-friendly ways to produce energy The AIr SAmpLe mONITOr The weather unit isn’t getting much solar data on this fine foggy morning, but no doubt it is still collecting some information, possibly humidity. Photo by Scout Wilson they’re testing the ground level ozone, which is where a lot of respiratory Alternative energy problems can be caused and finding One of the more soberingstory by about the air sample monitor needing that in the city the particulate matter solar power facts is that in oneSCOUT WILSON | news editor a new location. She called the National Depart- in the air is pretty high,” Haberman hour, the said. Gaze into the crystal ball of the ment of Environmental Quality The challenge now with the unit is earth re-future and see all the endless possi- (NDEQ) because they were in charge getting the data program to be more ceives morebilities the future of alternative energy of the unit and they said they could user friendly. The program that storescould hold: entire homes completely put one up on the school campus. energy than all the data is called the Environ-self-sustaining or cities powered by Next the idea was pitched to the mental Systems Corporation which the entirethe rays of the sun. One day all the school board. It was approved, and planet con- located on a computer in Haberman’spower consumed by society could be the unit has been on campus since.produced solely by alternative means room and must be running in order to sumes in a Now what does this unit do, record the data.and the concepts of self-sustainability. exactly? full year. The The data at first glimpse is a screenThe key to this future is the oncoming The unit is equipped with a fair full of numbers and can be very hard sad part of this statistic is thatgenerations and their set of skills and sized wind generator, two sets of solar very little of this free energy is to decipher. Mrs. Haberman wants toknowledge they will bring into the panels, an air quality sampler, large find a way to present the data graphi- currently being converted forworld. batteries, and other equipment used cally such as in bar graphs or charts use. Even though the tech- Students in science teacher, Heath- in recording data. The unit collects which would be easier on the eye.er Haberman’s classes are already meteorological data such as wind nology exists to harvest this Along with the unit on campus,being exposed to means of alterna- speed, precipitation, solar radiation, Mrs. Haberman, with the help of power, it is only being usedtive energy as well as the concepts of humidity, temperature, and air qual- by a very small portion of the students, has been landscaping theself-sustainability. This opportunity ity- just to name a few.provides students with knowledge school’s inner courtyards. The idea world’s The wind generator and solar pan- behind the landscaping is to cre-they can apply to their everyday lives els provide important energy data for popula- ate a place where students could beand in-turn form habits that can help this region and as a result also make outdoors and can also be used as a tion.save the planet. the unit self-sustaining in conjunction From learning environment for classes that All of Haberman’s classes have an with the large batteries that store its want to use it. - http://environmentally friendly tone which, energy. One idea Haberman has in mind www.helps students to learn about helping These parts of the unit can give us for the courtyard is to make labelsthe planet and even become active in important data about the efficiency bakhuso- for all the plants and provide a guidethe issue. of wind power and solar power in booklet. Teachers could use the book- lar.com/ One piece of equipment that has comparison to the changing seasons. solar-power-statistics/ let to take students out and have themled to further exposure of alternative For example, the data can show the learn about the many varieties of na-energy and also helped students to solar power efficiency in the summer tive plants in the courtyard.learn hands-on is the air sample moni- versus the winter when the solar rays Today, one-fourth of the Something Haberman has in thetor located on the northeast part of are at a more indirect angle.campus. This unit provides students works is applying for a grant to have electricity used throughout The air quality monitor on the unit a certified organic garden in the smallwith the opportunity to view data and contains a small filter that opens every the world is generated with courtyard north of the counselor’sapply it to their classes. few days to collect the air. Then the office. This would give Meyer’s foods hydroelectric power. In total, The chance to get such a unit for filters are sent to Lincoln for analysis hydroelectric power meets classes the opportunity to work withthe high school came about a few to see if we are meeting the Environ- fresh organic produce. 5% of theyears ago when the Scottsbluff Li- mental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “If the organic garden starts to take global de-brary started its renovation. There had standards for air quality in regards to off, we are considering starting a gar-been an air sample monitor on the li- particulate matter. mand for dening club for students interested,”brary but after they began renovation, So, how is the quality of our air? Haberman said. energy.it was determined they would need to Haberman assures that our air http:// Haberman’s classes are helping tofind a new location for the unit. quality is good and the only major At the same time Haberman was create environmentally enlightened library. contributor of emissions in the area is students and these students are thelooking into a school project that the Sugar Beet Factory. thinkquest. building blocks to the future, promot-would bring wind generators to the “When you get into bigger cities ing others to have a healthy green org/26026/school. Then, someone contacted her like in eastern Nebraska where the Science/ earth.4 | NEWS NDEQ is doing most of the sampling, hydroelectric_power.html
  5. 5. Confucianism Jainism Wikka Taoism Deism Shinto Atheism Umbanda Buddhism ZurvanismIslam Hinduism Judaism Students who reject the faiths Gnosticism Christianitystory by discovered her own beliefs. to have a point, and if it doesn’t, it’s “I’d like to think that when I die IASHLEIGH SMITH| feature writer Samantha, along with almost one just based on chance,” Roger said. would come back as another animal. It’s Sunday morning. Tired eyes billion others in the world, is an athe- “We are here on this particular planet Maybe not my soul itself, but when Ipry themselves open to make out ist. Although atheists are a minority, not because we were placed here by am done my life would still continuethe blurry red numbers on a buzzing she isn’t alone at SHS. *Roger shares God, but because it just so happened on,” Roger explains.alarm clock - 8:00 a.m. *Samantha Samantha’s atheist beliefs as well. that we evolved here.” At this point, some religiouscrawls out of bed and drags her feet Even after debating and explor- Most atheists, including Roger and students may be in an uproar. Theyacross the floor towards the shower, ing other religious beliefs, both have Samantha, believe in the theory of are probably wondering how these “wishing she had one extra day to come to the conclusion that there are evolution rather than the belief that minorities have friends - but they do,sleep in. no gods, or any other higher powers. a higher power created mankind. and lots of them. While Samantha After primping and throwing on Samantha was We are here on this particular This scientific and Roger’s friends do not agree with raised in a family planet not because we were point of view their beliefs, they are still accepting ”her Sunday’s best, Samantha joins her with Christian is consistent and look past their differences.family to head to what seems like the beliefs, but de- placed here by God, but be- throughout “They don’t dislike me becauseinevitable for some teens: church. Sure, many kids look forward to veloped her own cause it just so hpapened that atheism be- of my thoughts. We are just alike inthose Sunday mornings; they jump thoughts during we evolved here. liefs concern- other ways. We’re still able to getout of bed with anticipation for the her teenage years ing many along even though we don’t agree.sermons and ceremony that awaits - her parents weren’t exactly thrilled. other matters as well. I really don’t like when people hatethem. Many others, however, are “It was between seventh or eighth “I don’t really believe that God other people just because of theirmerely forced to accompany their grade that I started to have doubts. created the earth either... I agree more religion,” Roger said.parents and sit while religious words The Bible began to sound sort of with the Big Bang theory,” Samantha While Roger and Samantha havestream through one ear and out the fictional to me... then I just gradually said. found accepting friends, there is stillother. became an atheist,” Samantha said. Many religious people would ar- a vast majority who strongly and Samantha used to drag herself Roger, who is unsure of his fam- gue that there are books and scripture blatantly disapprove. The typicalout of bed and attend church with ily’s religious thoughts, has had his to prove the existence of God or gods, response to these students’ atheism isher parents, but that was before she own atheist beliefs since he was about but atheists tend to question their negative. twelve. authenticity. “There was a time in class that we “I was never “I think the Bible is just a docu- were discussing religion. When I said really defined as any- ment. Parts of it are probably true, I was atheist everyone turned around thing. I have thought but about God making the earth and and looked at me in shock,”Samantha about various other doing all those things... I don’t really said. “Most teachers question me to viewpoints, but the believe that,” Samantha said. death and students usually roll their point of view from Many Christians, Hindus, Mus- eyes if I tell them I’m atheist.” the atheist side just lims, and other religious peoples Although many disapprove, it makes the most aren’t afraid to die; they believe there doesn’t appear that Samantha or sense to me.” is life of some sort after death. As for Roger will be changing religions Many might the most atheists, this is ludicrous. anytime soon. Both have thought long judge and wonder Samantha admits that she fears and hard and weighed their options, why one would death, but believes nothing will hap- but have agreed that atheism is what choose to not believe. pen after she dies and that the world suits them best. To some it may even will just go back to the way it was “If something ever happens that seem outrageous. before she was born, which coincides can only be explained through reli- But Roger and with many other atheist beliefs. gion, I might reconsider. But other Samantha have their Roger, however, strays from the than that, everyone has their right to reasons: Roger’s rely strict atheist viewpoints and wonders their own beliefs, and I have chosen on science, Samantha about death and the afterlife. Here, mine,” Roger said. on other options. his views are similar to those of the *Names have been changed.www.religioustolerance.org “Everything has Hindu religion. FEATURE | 5
  6. 6. Adoption adopted. Being adopted is a very posi- rysm when he was 10 years old. tive thing, but can also be negative. He was living with his mother’s “In grade school kids would actu- dad prior to 2009 until a tragic event ally try to pick on me for being adopt- happened: Wheeler’s grandpa passed ed,” Rein said. “I got over it quickly away in a car accident four years ago. because I know that my parents chose This is when Wheeler went to For some it’s the best thing that me to be their son and the other kids parents just got stuck with them.” live with his stepdad’s mother. Four years later she legally adopted him. has ever happened to them However, Rein’s grandparents treat him and his siblings a little bit Wheeler was happy that his grand- mother could take him in.story by Rein’s biological parents did tons differently because they are adopted. Senior Matt Hall’s type of adoptionRACHEL CLEMENS | feature writer of research to find the right parents “My grandparents act a little more is called Fost-Adopt because he was for their newborn. Rein sees his careful when we are around,” said adopted by his foster family. Junior Cody Rein will never forget biological father once a year. He has Rein. Hall was placed with a foster fam- “the day he came home from kinder- met his birth mother, but doesn’t have Rein is glad he is adopted and ily when he was six months old andgarten to find a stranger sitting on the contact with her as thinks he is they adopted him at age seven.couch. “Who are you?” asked Rein. “Cody, I am your biological fa-ther,” the stranger said. “I’m adopted?!” Rein yelled. Rein was very surprised, shocked, often. “My birth mother and father are both really nice people. It is a privilege to be able to talk to them,” ...I know that my parents chose me to be their son and the other kids’ parents just “ better off than he would have been if he wasn’t. Junior Alex Wheeler also Hall’s biological father was a heavy drinker, his biological mother was a smoker and the case worker didn’t like the environment so he was placed with a foster family. “When I was younger I didn’tand excited at the same time. He Rein said. got stuck with them. has an under- really think about the fact that I washad so many questions that needed Every now and -Cody Rein, 11 standing of adopted. I knew I was in a good homeanswered. again Rein wonders what it is like and they took care of me and that’s all Rein was adopted when he was what it would have been like if his to be adopted. He was adopted by his that mattered,” Hall said.three days old through a private biological parents would have raised grandmother in 2009. Hall was very glad to be adopted,adoption, which is different from an him, but he wouldn’t want to change His father is in prison and Wheeler and he was excited to change his lastagency adoption in that agency adop- anything. hasn’t seen him since he was four or name from Judd to Hall.tions are funded by and go through a Rein has an older sister, a younger five years old, and his mother passed He is proud to be adopted andstate or agency. brother and sister, all of whom are away in her sleep from a brain aneu- wouldn’t want to change anything.SHS One Act captures Sophomore Derrick Goss assumes major role third place at districts three days prior to competition Goss said. lows the downward spiral of Mary “We all started clapping for Der- Girard (senior Sara Frederick), the rick right after he finished his scene 18th-century wife of a well-to-do that night,” senior Jessica Schluter, a Philadelphia businessman, Stephenstory by Act Class A-4 district competition.KARIN SHEDD | editor-in-chief “After Tuesday (Nov. 30) night’s fellow cast member, said. “Everyone was so proud of him and very grate- Girard (Harvey), into insanity during her time in the Pennsylvania Hospi- rehearsal, when (the two seniors Sophomore Derrick Goss, dressed ful. He really pulled through for all tal for the mentally deranged. While performers) got kicked out, I got ain circa-18th century white shirt, of us.” there, Mary is plagued by ‘furies’ text from Ms. Rada at 11:30 saying tocalf-length black pants, and black coat The cast competed against eight (seniors Meghan Pritchard, Taylor memorize Mr. Philip’s lines,” Gosswith tails, waited for his cue back- other schools at the district competi- Ziegler, Madelin Parsley, Layton said. “The next morning, I got anotherstage at the North Platte High School tion on Saturday, Dec. 4 in North Croft, Jessica Schluter, Paige Steinle, text from her that said ‘It’s final.’” “ ”auditorium. Platte. They beat out fourth and fifth and sophomore Mahalah Booth), Speech/drama teacher Kara Rada, Deep breaths. Don’t panic. Re- place Grand Island imaginary creatures who mock and the directormember your lines. of the play, Everyone was so proud of North- tease her. The furies allow Mary to Goss and senior Sam Harvey, who westwas similarly attired, silently sidled to cited Goss’ him and very grateful. He really High revisit people and scenes from her experience past and future, including the wardertheir places on the stage. on the stage pulled through for all of us. School of the asylum (senior Nick Roussel), ‘Generosity.’ I always forget thatword in one of my lines. ‘Generosity.’ and speech -Jessica Schluter, 12 (Doubt) her mother, Mrs. Lum (junior Karenna team when and Lex- Booth), one of her husband’s mis- Seconds later, a spotlight lit up ington High School tresses, Polly Kenton (junior Ashleigh asked why sheGoss’ and Harvey’s side of the stage. (The Long View), Smith), her unborn baby, the nurse picked such a young performer to Game on. respectively, to capture third place who adopts the baby, Mrs. Hatcher replace a senior. Goss is no newcomer to theatre. behind runner-up North Platte High (senior Victoria Bravo), and Mr. “Derrick is a dedicated member ofHe has played many roles in numer- School (Snappy’s Happy Half-Hour) Philips (Goss), all of which contrib- the speech team, so I knew he couldous theatrical productions since his and champion Kearney High School utes to Mary’s eventual insanity. pull it off,” Rada said. “He is a teamelementary school days. (Mother Hicks). Along with their third-place player and I knew he would take it What was new for Goss regarding Though they had hoped to win dis- title, four members of the cast won very seriously.”his role in this year’s One Act play, tricts, members of the cast didn’t lose additional honors: Roussel, Harvey, Take it seriously he did - Goss,The Insanity of Mary Girard, was the their own sanity. Senior Allie Brisco, a Frederick, and Smith each received an with the help of several other castamount of preparation time: due to first-time One Act performer, was just Outstanding Actor award. members, spent all of Wednesdaythe last-minute expulsion of two se- glad for the experience. From the long nights and lunches practicing his lines in order to havenior performers from the show, Goss “I’m so glad I did it this year. I love of rehearsals to the hours of applying them memorized by that night’swas thrust into the role of Mr. Philips, how well the cast mixed together,” and removing eery stage makeup, ask rehearsal.the head of the insane asylum where Brisco said. “Everyone was really nice any One Act cast member about their “I rehearsed during homeroom,Mary Girard was kept, a mere three and accepting.” experience, and they will sum it up in6 | FEATURE classes, lunch, and even stayed after days before the One The Insanity of Mary Girard fol- one word: insane. school until rehearsal started at 7,”
  7. 7. A WEST NILE NIGHTMARE A mosquito bite changed one sophomore’s family foreverstory by and tremors in his hands and head. doing so that weMEGHAN PRITCHARD | feature editor “My pain on a scale from one to can do things as ten is always a three when someone a family,” Martha School had drained everything out else’s would be a zero,” Randy said. said.of sophomore Allison Stricker. She He now has holes in his stomach Randy’s battlewas exhausted, ready to just be home. from taking so much Ibuprofen for with West Nile has She walked into the kitchen, set the pain. impacted his faithall of her books by the computer and From what the doctors can deci- in God.prepared to shovel through a pile pher, the virus attacked Randy’s brain “I am on theof homework when her dad, Randy and nerves. board at myStricker, walked in. “Before we knew it was West Nile church and teach She greeted him with a smile, there was a big scare that my dad had Awana and Sun-prepared to hear him ask how her day a brain tumor,” Allison said. “I was day school. I’m ahad gone. so relieved to find out that wasn’t the strong Christian,” But she knew better than that as case.” Randy said. “Butshe watched his hands twitch and his The family tried everything with for a while I waseyes glare in pain. persistence and hope, from acupunc- angry at God for As quickly as Bruce Banner turns ture to epilepsy medicine, and then fi- not curing me. Itinto the Hulk, her dad became a nally decided to send a letter to Mayo took me a while tomonster. Clinic in Minnesota where some of accept it.” “Young lady! You didn’t do any of the best doctors researched cases like Randy andyour chores! I come home expecting a Randy’s. Martha know thatnice clean house and all you’re doing “I got a letter back in the mail al- hard times areis sitting on the computer!” her dad most like a college rejection letter that ahead, but havescreamed. made me lose all hope,” Randy said. promised each As he stormed out, Allison fought “My wife was very hopeful in all that other that divorceback tears that threatened to stream we were doing, but it was too expen- will not happen -down her face. sive, so after this I knew I needed to no matter how bad A KISS Sophomore Allison Stricker is shown with her dad during happier times, “I know it’s not his fault. He can’t accept the circumstances.” things get. FROM before he contracted the West Nile virus.help it,” Allison thought. After battling it out Randy realized “I made a vow to love him in sick- DAD Courtesy Photo In the fall of 2005, Allison found this is how it’s supposed to be. ness and in health, for good or bad,out her father had contracted the West Unfortunately, the after-effects of and I will not let that change,” MarthaNile virus. West Nile have changed the Stricker said. virus so in reality I am lucky,” Randy The effects of West Nile now over- family’s life forever. Looking at the situation postively said. “It could always be worse.”take his better judgment and he can’t Randy is now like a ticking time is not easy, but Randy remains accept- The Stricker family has overcomealways control his temper. bomb. He has to pace himself, other- ing. huge obstacles, but their faith, deter- Randy played softball in the sum- wise his effects get worse. “I know people who are wheel- mination and love have kept themmers with friends. The family now has to be able to chair bound or lost their life to this strong. At one of those games a mosquito tell if it’s a good day or bad day for West Nilebit him, infecting him with the virus. Randy. “I just thought it was the flu or a “I have to gauge my dad in the Breakdowncold until I got a nasty rash on my mornings to see how he’ll react to Thearms and chest a few weeks later,” stuff,” Allison said.Randy said. Because of the headache pain 1 Martha Stricker, Allison’s mother, Randy has a harder time staying calm 2is a nurse at Regional West Medical and keeping his temper.Center, so she knew something was “I become an ogre with a clubwrong immediately. when something doesn’t go right The virus is often People typically develop “West Nile was very new around when in reality it shouldn’t be a big spread by the bite symptoms between 3that time so no one knew how to treat deal,” Randy said. of an infected mosquito. and 14 days after beingit or what exactly it was because it At first Allison didn’t realize what bitten. 3 4affects patients differently,” Martha was going on with her dad, now shesaid. “No case is exactly the same.” understands why he blows up. After running countless tests and “It’s really difficult because it’s not There is no specific Use insect repellent atfiguring out all the diseases he didn’t normal for him, but I understand thathave, the doctors concluded it was his pain every day is my worst pain treatment for the dusk and dawn whenWest Nile. imaginable,” Allison said. infection. Every case the mosquitoes are For the Stricker family, each day is The virus has left him with a host precious. has different symptoms. most active.of medical problems.. He is haunted by constant head- “When I know that Randy is up to 7aches that can’t be relieved, short- doing things because his pain level isterm memory loss, unsteady balance, low, everyone will drop what they’re FEATURE |
  8. 8. SAME-SEX With a same-sex marriage lawsuit making its way to the Supreme Court, June 16, 2008. idea of homosexuals marrying? Hundreds of couples flood California court houses. I’ve heard some of the more impractical reasons like Their time together ranges from a few months to 55 homosexuals can’t reproduce and that they’re seeking gabriellecarlin years, but they all had one thing in common: They were homosexual couples who had endured “special rights.” Since when is there a law that declares that the purpose of marriage is to reproduce? If there their fair share of discrimination and were at last being is, someone might want to inform all the sterile hetero given a sliver of acceptance as the California Supreme couples of the world. Also, were the protesting mem- Court ruled “the right to marry in California extends bers of the African American community of the 1960’s equally to all, gay and straight alike.” seeking ‘special rights?’ when they asked to have a Thousands of homosexuals and gay rights advocates choice in where they ride on a public bus? No - they, came together and cheered on as one same-sex couple like the gays of today, just want the rights enjoyed by after another left the San Francisco Court House with the rest of the population. brand new marriage licenses. It was an exciting and However, neither of these arguments against gay triumphant day for those supporting gay rights. marriage rights seem to be the most popular. Little did these people know that their days of equal- The “homosexuality is a choice” argument is relent- ity were numbered. less. November 2008. First off, this argument is against gays and has noth- Proposition 8, an amendment which eliminates the ing to do with their right to marry. right of same-sex couples to marry, is passed in Califor- Secondly, it’s such a huge judgment. If homosexuals nia. choose their sexual orientation then doesn’t that sug- 52.3% of Californians gest that heterosexuals voted in favor of the marriage ban, while those Not allowing homosexuals the do the same? And if this is true, why should the wishing to stop the ban came up short with only same rights as heterosexuals is choice to be heterosex- ual be favored over that 47.7% of the vote. It keeps getting harder nothing short of bigotry. of homosexuality? The second argument for me to comprehend I hear a lot is Bible- why people are so against same-sex marriage, and why based: gay marriages need to be banned because of amendments like Prop 8 are being passed. some of America’s population’s religious beliefs. Marriage, which, in all legality, is a contract between This is another useless argument. The First Amend- two people has been twisted into something so much ment of the US Constitution bluntly forbids congress more than it is. Social and religious connotations have from passing laws “respecting an establishment of reli- been linked to the institution of marriage, which people gion.” Last time I checked, I didn’t live in a theocracy. use as tools to fight against same-sex marriage. Look - this column could go on and on, but what it Marriage is simply another right, and to say that a really comes down to is basic human rights. person or significant group of people should be denied Putting it bluntly, it shouldn’t matter what your the same rights that everyone else is given is not only opinion is on homosexuality. Whether you agree with morally wrong, but intolerant as well. their lifestyles or not, they are people and they deserve In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jef- the same rights as everyone else. To deny homosexuals ferson states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, the right to marry is a massive step back for not only that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by the United States of America, but the world. their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among According to Webster’s Dictionary, love is a pro- these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” foundly tender, passionate affection for another person. Thomas Jefferson wrote “all men,” not “all men, There are so many ways that a person can show their except for homosexuals.” If the word “all” in that state- love for another, and one very popular way to do so is ment does not in fact mean everyone, then how can by legally joining in marriage. When two people devote anyone assume it pertains to them? the rest of their lives to each other it is a very bold and And, the notion that marriage is not included in the intimate step. pursuit of happiness is absolutely ridiculous. Heterosex- Now imagine loving someone so much but not uals and homosexuals alike deserve the right to pursue being allowed to marry them because the govern- happiness, which includes the right to marry. ment doesn’t view that particular type of love as being For some reason, some people think they can de- legitimate. termine what rights homosexuals are allowed and not Homosexuals need to be given the right, as hetero- allowed to attain. Rights are rights, and it is time people sexuals are, to be legally joined by the institution of realize that everyone is entitled to them. marriage. Not allowing this is nothing short of bigotry. While I’ve been sitting here writing this column I started to think: why are some people so against the8 | OPINION
  9. 9. MARRIAGEtwo reporters debate head-to-head on this explosive social issue I almost feel trapped being asked to write this riage or not.column. Among the “politically correct” crowd, any I suspect there may be some other ulterior motivesposition that even slightly appears to be anti-homo- here as well. Perhaps those wanting gay marriage aresexual will have me branded a bigot. truly interested in being able to add their same-sex Because of my evangelical Christian beliefs, I spouse to their health insurance policy for economic meghanpritchardagree with the Bible that homosexuality is unnatural reasons. Or maybe to get a family rate at the YMCA.and wrong. Asking me to believe any differently is Or to save some money on their taxes by filing as aasking me to deny my God. married couple. However, people automatically assume that this I believe that marriage is more than just a li-means I hate homosexuals. On the contrary, I have cense or a contract to give rights and benefits. It is amany friends that are homosexual and I love and life-long commitment to building a family together,care for them as much as any of my other friends. which includes having children. Overall, children Proposition 8 is a statewide ballot in California in a family with two married parents turn out muchthat eliminates the right of same-sex marriage. Vot- better than children in households with only oneers approved Prop 8 on November 4, 2008, but their parent or unmarried parents. So it can be argued thatdecision was shortly overturned by a federal judge as an important function of marriage is to raise a strongunconstitutional and next generation of success-barred its enforcement. Before it was ruled Marriage has purpose and ful children. Extending mar- riage to same-sex couplesnull and void, Proposi-tion 8 created a new meaning. It is not simply a only diminishes this very important role of marriage.amendment to theCalifornia Constitution contract to guarantee rights. Until recently, it was considered taboo to havewhich said, “only mar- children outside theriage between a man covenant of marriage. Itand a woman is valid or recognized in California.” seems to me that the same social liberals that want Before Prop 8 passed, same-sex marriage was a to diminish marriage by making out-of-wedlockconstitutionally-protected right in California. Now it births mainstream, also want to use the institution ofis making its way back to the courts. marriage when it suits their agenda. They want all People who take the opposite view of same-sex the benefits of marriage without taking on any of themarriage might say that I’m intolerant. But isn’t it responsibilities.interesting how intolerant they are of my views? Proponents of gay marriage will say that ho- Almost everyday I am persecuted for my faith. mosexuals have just as committed, loving relation-Since faith in God is not very logical to progressive, ships as a man and a woman. If that is the basispolitically correct people, I only see writing this for defining who should be allowed to marry, thencolumn as more ammunition against me. The reason logically we would then extend marriage to anyoneI write this is because I stand firm on my beliefs and who claims to be in a committed, loving relationship.am not afraid to defend my faith. Should we allow a father to marry his eight year old For thousands of years, it has been understood daughter or son? Or a polygamist to marry the threethat marriage is between a man and a woman. Even Thompson sisters? Or Aunt Matilda to marry her40 years ago, the idea of saying 2 men or 2 women litter of cats?could marry would have been ridiculous to most Only 1.5% of Americans identify themselves aseveryone. So how in the world has this even become gay, lesbian, or bisexual (adherents.com). It is notsuch an explosive issue in our society? unreasonable for people to want to keep a traditional Basically, a few activist judges have taken it view of marriage when such a small minority wantupon themselves to try to redefine the traditional to distort what most Americans believe marriage isview of marriage without any input from voters. all about. The majority of Americans want to keepHomosexual activists know that they are unlikely to marriage between a man and a woman. It has beenachieve their goals if voters are allowed to have a say that way for thousands of years and it is only veryin the matter, so they have bypassed the will of the recently that a small minority has wanted to forceAmerican people and used liberal judges to redefine their views on everyone else.marriage. There is a long-held traditional view of marriage In the end, they hope that this will become an that has purpose and meaning in it. It is not sim-issue in the federal judiciary, with the hope that ply a contract to guarantee rights, and it certainlyall states will be forced to recognize gay marriage, shouldn’t be the framework for pushing an activistwhether those states have laws allowing gay mar- agenda. OPINION | 9

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