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The Catalyst 1102 Wildcat Ave. Fruita, CO 81521

Fruita Monument High School

Special Edition April, 2014

Everyone has a story. No matter how remarkable or how simple, each and everyone one of us could find 300 words to express our own essence. Brady Dennis, the man who thought up the “300 word story”, challenged reporters to cover more than just tragic or noteworthy news, but instead report on average people, moments, events; run-of-the-mill occurrences like the power of the human nose or how sticky notes can be used to spread encouragement. But the real challenge was observing and presenting these ordinary stories in an unconventional way. The Fruita Monument Catalyst staff members attempted to do just that: to seek out the things that happen every day and write about it in an extraordinary way. There is beauty in the simplicity of the lives we lead and that is often overlooked. “My hopes with the 300 word story assignment was, one, that students would be exposed to a larger range of events to report on, and two, give students the chance to write in a more creative and literary manner than most news stories allow,” said Trent Wuster, newspaper adviser. With the help of the photography club and classes, we’ve compiled a collection 300 word stories accompanied by unique pictures, with the hope that we can remind our readers that even the average is significant. Story by Madi Wittman

Stories by 2013-2014 Catalyst Staff Photos compiled by Photography Club and and Classes

300 Words

2 April 2013

The Catalyst

Marching memories By Noah Turner, News Editor Three months of work. In the heat, in the cold, in the rain, and in the wind. The marching band marches on, rehearsing and practicing. Continuously playing and marching, with the sound of a metronome forever ingrained in their heads, they traveled to Fort Collins humming Big Smorgas Wunderwerk to themselves. Rachael Deweber sat on the bus talking with her friends and enjoying the general air of friendship. She describes the bus ride as “a great time to make memories and enjoy yourself in the company of friends.” When the bus arrived in Fort

A new daddy By Taylor Scofield, Editor For months, the back of Brook Stockert’s SUV has been decorated with the words “I love my wife and baby girl,” even before he officially met his daughter. Most fathers would be uninclined to put such a blatantly emasculating phrase on their vehicle, but Brook isn’t like most fathers. Lately, he has come to school looking haggard and worn from his new night job as a daddy. Every two hours he gets up and brings his baby girl to his wife arms to be fed. Then he falls asleep again only to be brutally awoken in two hours. “I have learned to nap,” he says with a fatigued smile. Every class period he shows a slideshow of his daughter to a more than eager group of teenagers. The students let out a resounding “aw-

wwww…” and joke about stealing the baby to be their own. Brook can’t take his eyes off the screen. He searches every picture; they are his temporary antidote until the next class period, or until he can go home to her. He starts to count the hours. In government class, they are studying famous court cases. Brook is close to tears when he has to describe the landmark case Roe vs. Wade, there is no debate in his eyes. Life is too precious; his daughter’s life is too precious. The final bell rings, students go over to friends’ houses, or go to sports practices; teachers go for a bike ride or take their spouses out to dinner. Brook goes straight home, trying hard not to speed.

All about art By Bram Heberle, Reporter Jack Laiche. You see him in the hallways, and, like many other students, you probably wonder what Laiche does. He paints. It wasn’t just painting at first. It was any kind of art. Drawings, and then pastels. His real passion, though, is painting. It’s the subject matter of the painting that makes his art so unique. Some of the pieces are just bizarre, but at the same time they make so much sense. Laiche lets the art come to him. “I never know what I’m going to paint. I may have a vague idea, but usually I just start to paint,” said Laiche. To him, it doesn’t matter what type of art, just as long as he’s painting. “I’ve been into abstract lately, but I just like painting,” said Laiche. Laiche is an artistic looking individual. Wearing nothing other than

the skinniest skinny jeans and some sort of ironic shirt, it’s no wonder he was voted most hipster his senior year of high school. Fruita Monument has few students as unique and individualized as Laiche, and he takes pride in his individuality. Raised in Grand Junction in the area known as the Redlands, people would always say he was good at art. Growing up, he was always scribbling on something whether it was plain paper or cups. “If I could draw on it, I would” said Laiche. “There was never a doubt that I wanted to do art.” He plans on going to college to pursue art and making it his profession, but Laiche doesn’t care if he’s even successful. For him it’s just about the art. “I just love to paint and make art,” said Laiche.

Collins, the tension grew in anticipation of the competition to come. The band unloaded from the bus and enjoyed finding their rooms at the hotel, then assembled to begin the marching band tradition of paper plate awards. Each person was assigned a partner to get to know and design a paper plate specific to them. Each paper plate was presented, then the band enjoyed a great dinner. The next day was the performance. The band awoke early and arrived at the field at seven thirty. The sense of importance was magnified by the enormity of the field. They sat and listened to other bands perform, anxiously awaiting their

turn. Deweber describes the performance as, “the peak of our performance. It was the best we had ever performed.” The team scored 13th at state, but were only a few places away from semi-finals. Though the team was disappointed, all were satisfied with their performance, and the team enjoyed lunch in a park while presenting gifts to the section leaders who, in turn, gave gifts to the members of the band. The ride home was yet another time to grow as a team; joking, laughing and telling the story of the judge that became entrapped by the drum line.

The Catalyst

3 April 2014

300 Words Photo by Kade Likes

Photo by Leah Allard

Bus drivers are very rarely recognized for their hard line of work. Our drivers get up early every morning to get students to school on time and deal with rude and crazy kids every day.

In the Criterion races, hosted by Colorado Mesa University, cyclists race at high speeds around a closed circuit course for the fastest time.

Photo by Katie Rice

These two construction workers from Namaste Solar are installing solar panels on the north side of FMHS on November 5, 2013. With all of the solar panels installed we will have a cleaner and more effective way of using energy for our school buildings. This is just one of many steps our community is taking to help to save our planet. Photo by Greta Morano & Samantha Terry

Miss Allard & Taylor Cole sign their names on the Anti-Bullying wall that was in the school for a week with the purpose of spreading the word about Anti-Bullying at FMHS.

Photo by Baseley McClaskey

It’s time we add a new trophy to the case at Fruita Monument. GO Wildcats!

300 Words

4 April 2013

The Catalyst

Nose knows By Jessica Bennett, Editor A heavy mix and mash of body fragrances is to the locker rooms as peanut butter is to jelly. Certain things simply go together. However, one of the least noted senses is smell. What does a school smell like? In the running for most prominent in mind when looking at scented areas of the high school building is the locker rooms and adjoining hallways. A passerby who walks by them at any given passing period is assaulted with a sickening cocktail of every perfume, cologne, deodorant, and bodily odor known to teenaged kind. Everyone who’s been near a high school locker-room

knows this. Nevertheless it is rarely thought of as a classic combination. “Cowboys and Indians” vs “Perfume Cocktails and Locker Rooms” ... More questionably is the smell of coffee in every text book. Is it from late night study sessions when students are furiously absorbing coffee and the text book while the text book seals away the coffee as well? Maybe the simple connotation of the two adds the scent for some but not for others. Regardless there is a distinct and peculiar smell that goes with all school owned books. “Spaghetti and Meatballs” vs “Coffee and Text Books”

Possibly the most disturbing is the permanent smell of fish in a cafeteria. When was the last time they served fish? & why is the smell still permanently lodged into the ceiling tiles? Fish is admittedly a rather pungent aroma but it’s longevity in a school cafeteria is, needless to say, disturbing to those who notice it. “Mario and Luigi” vs “Fish and Lunch Room” . . . Well, no matter the connections and their trustworthiness we make with our noses maybe in the future instead of asking “What did it look like?” or “What did it sound like” you can be that peculiar person and ask “What did it smell like?”

Photo by Danica Palmer

On chewing rather than choking By Lyric Fortson, Co-Managing Editor There are moments of appreciation, moments that we grasp, savor, chew slowly and really feel as they go down our throats, but much more often, we choke them down without reflection or awareness. We fail to actually recognize the value of the passing moments, the simple things that are not so habitually portrayed or identified unless on an inspirational poster suggesting “Enjoy the little things.” Suggest-

ing. As if it’s a novel idea. But to many, it is exactly that. When all is said and done, what is a Rolex when time is measured by the date of the next release? What is an unexamined life? Maybe Socrates was had a point when he said it’s not worth living. We live in an age of materialistic mindsets that seem to grow exponentially with their sources—the technology, the “next big thing,”

the power. We are thriving off of what comes next. The next edition, the next version, the next moment. Until, suddenly, there is a falter in our step after a moment worth savoring, tasting, has passed. And only when it’s gone, or the battery has died, do you realize you’ve grown out of that expensive pair of shoes that you thought you bought just last Saturday. But last Saturday was a year ago. A year ago? I was

March of Dimes By Christian Lobato, Reporter The March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization that helps mothers with premature babies. Lindsay Lobato, sophomore, is a premature baby that was born at one pound, 10 ounces and was born 3 months prior to the expected pregnancy date. When Lindsay was born, the doctors had to immediately put her on oxygen because her lungs could not expand. The doctors were unsure if Lindsay was going to be able to make it but because of all the hard work put in, Lindsay has been stronger than ever. She is currently on the Fruita Monument High School Varsity Poms squad and has played sports all her life. Many fundraisers have been put on around the U.S. and on October 19th, 2013, the 75th Annual March of Dimes Fundraiser was put on at Allen Unique Autos, Grand Junction. Grand Junction March of Dimes volunteers set a goal to

raise $65,000 that night. This fundraiser included a dinner and hundreds of auction-off items and all money raised was donated to the March of Dimes. Lindsay is even starred in a March of Dimes video which is showed at almost every March of Dimes fundraiser here in Grand Junction. “It just lets people know why we are doing the fundraisers and how the March of Dimes has helped so many premature babies like me,” Lindsay said. The March of Dimes video tells Lindsay’s life story as being a premature baby and how she is thankful for the March of Dimes Organization. The fundraiser held at Allen Unique Autos raised a total of $91,000. “The March of Dimes continues to help premature babies and is a great organization,” Lindsay says.

supposed to do something in that year. I was supposed to be something in that year. I was supposed to see things. I was supposed to say I’m sorry. I miss you. I want you. Forgive me. Where are the chances we thought we had? Where did the opportunities go? Are we really just now finding that even our gold plated dreams that may have seemed set in stone, were actually the dust we let slip through our fingers while we

were busy on our phones? And in the blur of those spinning hands on the sullen face of that dizzy clock, in the twirling of the seasons and whirling of this world about us and before us and suddenly behind us, we step out of the shoes of a year ago last Saturday, and only now look down at our feet and try to feel the moments go down our throat; try not to choke.

Sing us a song By Taylor Scofield, Editor

Photo of Lindsay Lobato by Melinda Neff

The piano is the most important instrument in music. To call it simple or common is surely an insult to its undeniable ability to produce beautiful sounds and its unbelievable versatility. Pianos are all around us; in hotel lobbies, concert halls, even other’s houses. Yet, they are almost without exception donned with a sign that reads “do not play” (if not written, then in spirit). It is true that these instruments are majestic and occasionally fragile, but these piano owners have become drunk with the grandeur and forgotten its true purpose. The Cavalcade in downtown Fruita has not forgotten though. On the corner of North Mulberry Street and Aspen avenue sits an old piano. The keys will stick and sometimes not even budge at all. The exterior is beaten up. The original paint job has been replaced

with many decades worth of aging palates. It needs a tuning job like a cancer patient needs a cure. Classical pianists and prejudiced music lovers beware, the thing sounds awful. The pithy, often sour notes can be heard for blocks. Children run their fingers down the keys or see how many the can hit at the same time. Parents look on with suppressed envy. Perhaps a tone deaf couple will wander by and produce a nails-on-the-chalkboard rendition of Chopsticks. Yet it has become a sort of equalizer. Whether you are playing a complicated Mozart piece or seeing how many keys you can press down with your butt, it will likely sound about the same. If you want to experience what real music is, check out the piano that sits in front of Cavalcade. If you want to hear beautiful sounds, don’t.

The Catalyst


300 Words

April 2014

Comeback Cass By MacKennea Broyles, Editor

The fall weather is a bit on the bitter side this cloudless November morning, but that doesn’t stop Cassi Ahrens from showing up in her orange knee-high socks and matching hat signed by Emma Coburn (one of her idols), ready to run. She’s been running this trail for 4 years now, and it has become one of the only constants of her life these past 4 years. A year ago, her gait was “bouncy and wasteful”, according to her coach, who she trusts with her future. Today, she strides smoothly and swiftly over the uneven terrain. A year ago, she was only allowed 5 minutes a day to run on the grassy

Aurora Sports complex. Today, she will spend an hour and a half on one of her favorite trails, Mary’s Loop. A year ago, she spent much of her time in a clinic that was desperately trying to convince her to eat better, eat more. Today, she talks about a fantastic bagel she enjoyed the other day. A year ago, she exercised constantly with one goal in mind: stay thin. Today, she trains hard with one goal in mind: to win. A year ago, she showed up to practice and started a ripple of worried whispers because her rib bones were semi-visible.

This year, she showed up to practice and caused smiles all around because she had cheeks and not just cheekbones. A year ago, the girls’ cross country team worried about whether or not she would even be able to race at the regional meet in her condition. This year, the team was counting on her to finish toward the top. A year ago, Cassi Ahrens finished the regional meet in 74th place, limping and clutching her hip. This year, she finished 20th, cheering and clutching victory.

No Tardy November By Jake Gulden, Reporter

The bell is going to ring in seven minutes. If they were anywhere close to the school, it’d be easy to make in time for the tardy bell. They’re nowhere close to the school though, in fact they’re seven minutes out; there is no way they could make it back. They rush to the car and try to make a quick return, but as they begin to drive, they lose hope and it falls silent as they pull in to the filled up parking lot. Then there is a realization that it is “No Tardy November” and a small sense of panic kicks in. They know that when the walk through the classroom door late, a surge of awkward glaring will rise up. They know that in that awkward surge there also lies a bit of disappointment. It’s a long walk to class, longer than it usually takes. They think to themselves that they don’t really care, in an instant later,

in which that thought is crushed, they notice the assistant principal handing out cookies. Almost disappointed in themselves they pick up the pace in their walking. They start to notice signs on the walls patronizing “No Tardy November” and the stance against tardiness. Finally they reach the class but before immediately walking through the door they hesitate for a second. They muster up some strength and enter the room only to find the principal holding two boxes of cookies. Their fellow peers look at them in silence. As if the cookies were just stolen, the eyes of those who were on time glare at them in disappointment. The principal make a comment and looks at them who were late, “So much for No Tardy November!” They are the tardy students. They are the disappointment of No Tardy November.

Suddenly seventeen

Photo by RJ Reust

What sticks the most By MacKennea Broyles, Editor To Junior Karly Myers, antibullying week is a positive influence. This year’s involved a shower of colorful sticky notes and a large, teal peace sign. But wait, bullying isn’t a positive event. By putting a positive spin on a negative event and taking a week to highlight this, student senate is changing the way we look at bullying. Myers, head of the Anti-Bullying week committee, holds personal ties to this week. She was made fun of for her religion and for not going along with what her friends suggested. This was the revelation that caused Myers to realize that bullying was not what was stereotypi-

cally expected, that it wasn’t just kids being pushed into lockers and that was why it was overlooked. So Myers branched off of SBA President Katie Vidmar’s Pay it Forward Project and caused the flurry of paper squares filled with positive messages - a little way to help a larger problem. With help from advisor Amy Sexe, Myers came up with a peace sign to symbolize that going to school should be a peaceful occurrence that is not influenced by the stress of bullying, and used teal because it was the color that represented anti-bullying. Guest speaker Mrs. Mixon gave

the final say in what Anti-Bullying week was really about: being able to RISE: Respect, Inspire, Serve, Encourage. “She didn’t focus on bullying, but the need to realize the influence people have every day and that our actions say a lot about who we are, which is really what this week was about,” added Myers. The week received its share of complaints, but it was still a success: “Even if I made a difference for one person, I feel like my goal was reached. I hope that one person will lead to the influence of many,” smiled Myers.

By Bella Roberts, Reporter “Good morning Denver! Today’s mile high announcement is…” the 96.3 Cove DJ began enthusiastically with his daily routine as Kacin’s alarm clock went off. “Good morning sweetheart! Happy birthday! It’s the big day you’re finally seventeen! Do you feel like a new person yet?” Kacin’s mother eagerly shouted. “Mom, it’s just another day of high school.” Kacin firmly stated with little excitement. “Well you won’t have any fun today with that attitude! Now come on get out of bed. I made your favorite breakfast… chocolate-chip pancakes!” Kacin didn’t give his new becoming of age much thought until lunch. His friends would come up to him every ten minutes or so and ask what his plans were, and what he was going to do now that he’s “the big one-seven.” He started putting more and more thought into it as the day went

on. He began to question himself, and pondered what should change, and what the real meaning behind seventeen actually was. Was he supposed to grow a Willie Robertson beard overnight? Was he supposed to lose all sleep staying up late watching rated R movies? Was the world going to end or would it just start to begin? Finally what is the real difference between sixteen and seventeen? He thought to himself and realized he was very ill prepared for this new age. There was so much that had to be done! He had to make sure he had a job, a car, and he needed to start looking at colleges. He came home from school and was the most confused he had ever been. His mother sensed this and asked him “What’s wrong?” He expressed his concern about his age with the most baffled look his mother had ever see. “Oh honey, you just need to continue growing and finding yourself.”

300 Words


The art of two skis

By Fiona Tanner, Reporter Normal life in the winter consists of Starbucks coffees, warm clothes and cuddling by the fire. Most wouldn’t even consider going out in the bleary weather for the joyful feeling of flight. More teens these days haven’t ever been skiing, and if they have, they decide that the sport just isn’t for them. Logan Downey, a junior here at Fruita Monument appreciates the blissful snow gliding underneath his skis. “I have been skiing since probably third grade, and I enjoy it. I’m not super serious about it, its just kind of a leisurely thing,” he says. Downey wouldn’t consider himself a wild skier. “I like to keep my skis on the ground,” he said. He

just is a ‘chill’ skier. “During the weekends I like to go up and hang out, have fun,” he said. Summer is a different story. “During the summer I train for track and do track stuff,” he said. He enjoys the warmth also. “I like to ride my bike around a little bit,” he said. He describes his preference thoughtfully, and decides, “I prefer summer sports more than winter because I just like to run,” he said. Downey is on the cross-country team and runs the 300-meter hurdles in track. He relishes the sport of skiing for many different reasons. “I can fly when I ski,” he said. “Also, it isn’t running.” He said he doesn’t

like the cold of the winter, but he accepts that it can’t be changed. Telluride, Colorado is one of the top places to ski in the United States. It is also one of the most expensive. Powderhorn ski area is the resort closest to Grand Junction, and is also less money demanding. “I prefer to ski at Powderhorn because it is cheaper,” he said. Skiing is a sport that everyone can easily get into, not to mention the beauty of the Colorado mountains. The snow that makes some strive for warmth and sun makes others revel in the beauty of getting on the skis and just soaring through the trees.

The key to survival

April 2013

The Catalyst

The spills surprise By Bella Roberts, Reporter It’s a Monday morning, I’m running late, like always. It’s the middle of December and the fog roars as it comes tumbling off the Monument. I can’t see a thing! I walk through the blue gates and the first thing I think is “Is he going to notice me today? Ugh of course not! I look awful! I better just stay out here long enough so no one will see me… yeah I think I’ll do that! Well it’s been a whole thirty seconds and I can’t feel my toes. Alright, I guess I can go inside and just hope for the best.” I stop to fill up my water bottle and start imagining him saying some cheesy line like “Do you have a map? I’m getting lost in your eyes.” That’s when the most embarrassing, most unthinkable, most unbearable thing happens. I spill my water bottle all over the gross, colorful, gum-covered floor

and slip, unable to grab ahold of anything, except… you guessed it. Him! We both slipped on our sides and looked like fish fresh out of the water gasping for a breath. Then for some odd reason the fisherman decides we aren’t good enough and throws us back in the water! We’re breathing again, and I get hit with a harsh reality check. I started to receive an uncontrollably aggravating headache because all I could think about was whether or not he would ever look at me again. We both sat there and said “I’m so sorry! “at the same time and then chuckled a little about the timing. He got up and said “Here let me help you up” My heart melted. “Thanks” I said with the most prevalent smile and vivid red cheeks. That is how I found my Valentine.

Surviving out in the wilderness takes a variety of unique skills and people must be prepared for whatever Mother Nature may throw at you. Here at Fruita Monument High School, on Thursdays at lunch, a survival club is offered, otherwise known as the “Extreme Wilderness Survival Club” according to seniors Mackayley Rossman and Cory Odom. “Extreme Wilderness Survival Club” led by instructor and teacher, Daniel Carlson, provides students with the necessary surviving skills that they may need if ever stranded by themselves in the wilderness. Not only do students learn and do activities inside of school, students are able to go on camping trips as well. “We’ve only taken two trips this year but are in the planning of

our next trip,” Mackayley Rossman says. “We have learned several survival skills so far like trapping, how to start a fire and build an igloo, ways to collect water, and how to fish for salmon,” Cory Odom, another member of survival club, says. The two trips that have taken place so far were to at Radium Springs, about a three hour drive outside of Grand Junction, and to a spot by the Blue Mesa that took approximately two and half hours to get to by car according to Rossman. “I really enjoy this club and glad the school offers it! I love the outdoors and the other members of the club,” Odom says. There are currently about eight or nine students in the survival club and is recommended for any students interested in the great outdoors.

By Christain Lobato, Reporter

Photo coutesy of Maggie Sackse Extreme wilderness survival club visiting Radium Springs (left to right): Noah Nelson, Mackayley Rossman, Joe Englbrecht, Maggie Sackse, Antonio Gueretta and Cory Odom.

The hard life of a millennial By Keaton Brown, Business Manager No one knows that she falls out of bed in the morning, only to find that she has lost four followers on Twitter. The sheer heartache of losing virtual followers and the loss of virtual support that comes with it is unbearable for everyone. No one knows that he has to drive a car made in the 90s because his parents are not willing

to buy him a 2013 Mustang. How is a teenager supposed to carry on in life without a brand new car? No one knows that her math teacher won’t let her turn in her assignment today. Granted, it was due two weeks ago, but that’s beside the point; her teacher obviously hates her. No one knows that he made it to level 26 in Call of Duty:

Zombies, only to spend $950 on the Mystery Box and receive a pair of EMP grenades. How, I implore, is a man supposed to survive a zombie attack with nothing but EMP grenades? No one knows that she dropped her phone last night after a shocking twist on the latest Pretty Little Liar episode, only to have both her phone and her hopes of

love between Ezra and Aria shattered. No one knows that the reason for his tardy was not his fault, but the exceedingly long line at Rib City. Assistant Principals simply don’t understand their illogical reasoning of assigning detention for something completely uncontrollable by students. No one knows she saw

that her crush opened her Snapchat at exactly 8:23 PM, and she now sits impatiently wide-eyed and hopeful for a reply at 8:28. Does he still like her? Does he hate her? Was her Snapchat mean? Will they ever have a chance of love? Oh, the agony. No one knows.

The Catalyst


300 Words

April 2014

By Micheala Hoffman

Jory Goetz kisses the FMHS Drama Pig! This small pig key chain brings good luck to the cast members on perfromance nights.

Micheala and Hunter Hoffman are some of those people who embrace the agricultural lifestyle. Here is just one of their many farm animals, Nugget the chicken.

“Drama Pig” By Isabella Harris

“Powderhorn” By Madeleine Bedell

A bird’s eye view of Mesa County’s closest ski resort, Powderhorn, from a plane.

Spirit Express competed at the NDA competition in Denver on November 16th where they placed second. Many of the girls on the team go to Fruita Monument High School.

Our lunch ladies work very hard to keep our student body fed. They put a lot of thought, time, and effort into making nutritious food for the students to eat. They find recipes and bring new thoughts for food to keep the kids coming back and interested in what they’re eating. Sometimes they don’t get the recognition they deserve. So next time you go into the lunchroom and purchase something to eat, don’t forget to say “Thank You!” “Express Allstars” By Madison Lowe

“Lunch Ladies” By Amber Erekson

300 Words

8 April 2013

The Catalyst

Sara Cesark’s nails

By Madi Wittman, Features Editor She dips her brush back into the red polish, proceeding cautiously, making sure the paint is evenly spread and covers her whole surface. She has ten tiny canvases to cover, each begging for color but none of them as easily accepting it. It isn’t not as easy as it looks: painting your nails that is. Sara Cesark, senior, is no stranger to these difficulties as she meticulously paints her nails at least once a week. “My nails are long and they just look better painted,” Cesark said. Perhaps that’s why she never leaves them bare. Her nails have been every color on the wheel- cool colors and warm colors, primary and secondary; her polish inventory is overflowing. But it isn’t simply

how well they’re executed, but the variety of subject matter on them. While she would prefer a professional manicure, painting them herself allows Cesark to express her large creativity on a small surface. Inspired by designs she finds on Pinterest, the art marking Cesark’s nails always impress. Those who know just how difficult it is to paint a solid color especially appreciate her attention to detail. “One of my favorite designs was over Valentine’s Day. I painted ‘love’ in cursive across my nails,” Cesark said. Whether they’re holiday themed or simply painted, Cesark’s nails are the model to which other nail art enthusiast should measure their work.


By Megan Hunter, Reporter “1….2….3” while the Fruita girls basketball team claps their hands together and on beat one person counts down and then silence. The Fruita Girls Basketball team has many traditions some old and some new. The newest one is the clapping of hands into a circle and putting hands in and saying “CATS” as loud as they possibly can. One that is particularly old is who counts down. That one is strictly seniors only. When the girls have their hands in one senior says “Cats on three.” And the other says “1 2 3…… Cats” no one else is allowed to do that until they are a senior. Not only is that strictly seniors but the prayer as well. Before each game the girls come together hold hands and pray for his head of protection over them and the opposing team as well. They also pray

for a win especially when they are at home. “It’s respect having the seniors do it. They showed respect to their seniors and waited to be the ones to count down therefore underclassmen do the same,” junior Taylor Eatwell commented. After a prayer the team turns to the lockers in the locker room and gets ready to get their blood pumping. The team is on beat and bangs on the lockers with their hands. They start off really slow and soft then they progress louder and sometimes start kicking and punching the lockers. After they are done banging they huddle up and do one more cats before heading on to the floor to dominate. The team has many rituals they enjoy it and it brings them closer together as a team and it is entertaining to watch.

Sleeping with sharks By Elisia Koury, Reporter Brett McBride is part of the Oscearch Team of sailors and scientists that tag sharks. McBride is a 47 year old Shark wrangler that leads Galapagos sharks onto a Ship platform of the coast of Costa Rica. On the ship $10,000 worth of satellite tracking equipment is placed on the sharks, blood samples are taken, and an ultrasound is conducted.

To prove that not all sharks should be feared, McBride fell asleep underwater for a few short minutes while a hundred 12 foot long sharks swam around him during a feeding frenzy.Being calm and composed the sharks ignored his existence. Over the years he has learned that if you show no interest in a shark he will show no interest

back. “It would seem crazy, but it’s not. It really just shows you how bad a rap sharks get. They’re just like any other fish,” said McBride. Fans of the show Shark Men have dubbed McBride as a Shark Superhero. “I’m not a shark wrangler for the adrenalin rush. I believe Oscearch’s scientific work is an essential part of protecting these

ancient predators -- and other fish in the sea,” said McBride. Fishing since he was five years old McBride wants to do as much as he can to keep the fish in the ocean healthy by aiding scientific research. Being a key part in capturing the biggest Great White of 17.9 feet long McBride has gained respect from even his coworkers

.Oscearch showed their appreciation for all his work and named the shark “Apache,” after McBride’s family dog. McBride may be a superhero to Oscearch’s research but he is known to his friends as a husband, father of two and champion bull-fishing competitor.

The Catalyst

9 April 2014

Fondest Christmas

By Elisia Koury, Reporter

She knew there was something special about this year when she woke up to the sound of her mother singing a hymn. The family of ten quickly collected around the wood fireplace. Jeannie looked at her mother. Usually enveloped in a grey shadow of depression, it was almost unfamiliar to smell perfume and see a smile upon her mom’s face. Her family owned the local coal yard but Jeannie and her seven siblings expected very little for Christmas due to the great depression. Under the tree there was a can of Prince Albert for her father, new pair of winter gloves for each of her brothers and something extra special for Jeannie and her sister. The gifts were more than a set of matching bracelets. The two strands of metal were something to hold the bond between her and her sixteen year old sister Rosa. On the inside of the bracelet the verse Proverbs 17:17 was engraved “A friend loves at all times, but a sister is born for adversity.” Rosa had just got engaged so she would be leaving soon. Jeannie was going to be left to take care

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of her six brothers and mother while her dad spent his days at the coal yard. But on this Christmas of 1950 Jeannie felt closer to family than ever. For once her mother had pulled herself together and was the life of the house. And the pain of her sister leaving was temporarily hidden beneath the happiness of her gift that would remind her every day of her special friendship with her best friend and sister.

Origins of Christmas What was the meaning of Christmas before the promise of new iPhones, cars, book, socks and plane tickets to far off places? Before Christmas music, romantic walks in the snow, and before the fun traditions, Christmas cast a dark shadow over the faces of some. According to Roman pagans, it was pretty much the equivalent of the movie The Purge. Roman pagans called this festival Saturnalia. They picked a totally

By Fiona Tanner, Reporter random citizen, naming them the ”Lord of Misrule”, pampering them for two weeks, and giving them plenty of rich food and other physical pleasures. For the rest of the community, all crime was legal. They closed all of the courts and no one could be punished for harming anyone or anything. At the end of the week, they would brutally murder the innocent man or woman to destroy the forces of darkness and evil in the world. During this time, Roman pagans were highly against Christianity. No one knows when the birth of Christ actually occurred. Because of the lack of punishment through December 17th through December 25th, Christians made it so that they could celebrate Christ during this time without being punished.

The Christmas tree also originated from the Roman pagans, who worshipped the trees and decorated them in their homes. Christians observed this and brought it upon them to do the same during the celebration of Christ. The Mistletoe came from Norse mythology, and it recounts how a god was killed with a mistletoe arrow while fighting for his lover. In Saturnalia, the pagans also used mistletoe to imprison the “Lord of Misrule”. The Christian custom of “kissing under the mistletoe” is sort of a misunderstanding. Imagine, in a few hundred years, on April 20th our ancestors will celebrate Hitler’s birthday. They will forget the concentration camps, they forget the horror that was once present, and they would celebrate the great leader that they know so little about. So Christmas really is a misunderstood holiday to many people. While joyous, the origin is rather different from what we make it today.

Photo by Cienna Miller

Emotions & Missions By Kendal Clark, Reporter When a member of the Mormon Church turns eighteen, they can choose to go on a mission for two years and spread the word of God and tell others of their religion. If one decides to go, the young adult will get a letter in the mail a couple of months prior to their leaving and they will begin preparing them-

Just A Lonely Book By Keaton Brown, Editor

selves by studying the scriptures, becoming physically and emotionally prepared, and making sure they have the finances to get them through the two year trip. The letter came in the mail for Derek Winstanley, senior Devin Winstanley’s older brother. He was anxious to open the letter, but

Here I sit, opened, on the floor of the middle of the Fruita Monument High School Library. I am an atlas, so naturally no one wants to read me, but no one will even pay me a glance.

when he did, he found out he had been sent to Brazil and was thrilled. He immediately started preparing himself as he knew he would be leaving in only a few short months. Derek recently left on his mission. “I already miss him so much, but I am extremely proud of him,” said Devin. While on a mission,

the family has limited contact with their loved one, making the trip much more difficult. Since Devin’s older brother has been gone he has received a few emails from him, and within those emails Derek describes his many experiences. Devin says, “He is doing great and loves it.”

A teacher approaches, and my hopes are high. Alas, she glances at me lying on the floor, but shows me no emotion. Not pity, nor disgust, nor interest is even offered to my open pages.

Minutes go by and no one is interested. A library full of students and not a single one of them is concerned. I may be full of useless maps from the 1970s that still suggest the Union of Socialist

Although Devin is very proud of his brother and the religious faith he is spreading, he isn’t sure if he wants to go on a mission yet.

Soviet Republics exists, but even if I am not enjoyed or read, shouldn’t I at least be picked up? A student walks by and almost steps on me. He looks down, puzzled, and stands there for a minute to consider his options. He could pick me up. He could check me out (in more ways than one). He could report me to the librarian. Instead, he chooses to walk away as if he had never seen me. Finally, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. As if he was Jesus, Ira the Librarian comes to my rescue. He sees my helpless, lifeless body on the library floor and picks me up off the treacherous and filthy ground. He holds me in on hand, reads me for a second, and then walks around the library inquiring to whom I belong. Finding no answer, he retreats back to his cave in the library, perhaps to read me, perhaps to find where I belong, perhaps to leave me on the floor somewhere else. The world may never know.

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Meet Me at The Big Tree

By Kendal Clark,Reportor As I sit in this white walled classroom that holds nothing but a lack of personality I reminisce of elementary days, and wish for the consistence those days had. The biggest drama of the day was a change in assigned seats, or maybe a good trade at the lunch table. Innocent and oblivious to the hatred in the world around us, one memory from elementary school stands out the Big Tree. Everything happened at the Big Tree. Day after day our little legs and big winter coats brought us

back to the Big Tree. Our juvenile secrets whispered through the autumn tree leaves making them fall, and our imagination made the tree bloom in the spring. We met there every day to decide what game we would play and tell each other the exciting things that happened in our class that day. If childhood crushes were deep enough, a wedding would take place under the tree. Notes would be passed around the class in the morning and at lunch the whole class would meet at the Big

Tree to watch the two be wed. With innocent smiles the two would say a few very informal “I-do’s” give a quick halfway hug and be on their separate ways. The groom went to play touch football with his friends, and the bride ran off with a dandelion gift from the groom to braid hair with her friends. I crave the simple days that passed all too quickly; and would give all there is in the world to spend one more day at the big tree.

Photo by Lyndsy Jhonson

New Additions

By Megan Hunter,Reportor There are over 1,782,000 kids are adopted within the US. Kids each year are adopted into new families. A year ago, Junior MiKealy adopted her baby brother, Andrew King Thomas, from Utah. By the biological mother’s request, the Thomas family had King be his middle name. His family calls him Drew for short. Andrew smiles, giggles and loves to play. He is talking as well as walking. When he hurts himself MiKealy will kiss it and make it better then he will walk away then come back and ask for

another one and then repeat it again and again. He loves to be chased by his sisters as well. Brielle and MiKealy will hide on each end of the coach and he will go back and forth and they will pop out and say boo and he will run the other direction with a smile on his face. The Thomas family is getting him sports-ready as well. Andrew has a small basketball and basketball shorts given to him by his sister MiKealy. He has started his baseball card collection thanks to his loving father Chris Thomas

who gave him some for his birthday. His dad also gave him a signed Grand Junction Rockies jersey that is framed and hanging up in his bed room. He also has a small football given to him by his grandparents. Andrew is going to be playing sports when he gets older. Adoption can be hard for everyone from the adopted family to the kid and to the parent who is giving the child up. Not every child adapts quickly to their new surroundings but that’s not Andrew’s case he is adapting well and is enjoying life as a happy baby.

Remaining Unforgotten By Alyssa Urban,Managing Editor The news of the accident on November 27th, 2011 was shocking. No one ever expected Deke DeCrow to not return after leaving to work in the oil fields in North Dakota. The passing of the 32 year old man affected an entire network of friends, family and many softball players. The uplifting and compassionate personality of DeCrow will never be forgotten by his wife, Autumn, and his two children, Rheanna and Owen. As a stud baseball player himself, DeCrow made an impression on so many when he decided to coach his nieces’ fast pitch softball team. Most of the softball players at Fruita Monument High School will never overlook their experience growing up with DeCrow as a coach and a friend. The mental inspiration

he gave to these girls was just as impactful as the hitting fundamentals he taught. DeCrow showed to be not only a coach, but an outlet for the players. He was the go-to person

Photo by Ammon Pierce about anything from school to relationships. The fact that he could be personable to his players about not only softball but everything else

April 2013

The Catalyst

Library Magic By Bram Heberle,Reportor The library of Fruita Monument High School, a place where everything goes on. But one of the most interesting things about the library is something few people know of – magic. Not Hogwarts or Lord of the Rings magic, but the game of Magic. Off in the corner of the library there sits a table filled with people who appreciate the highest art. It may seem that they are playing just a simple card game but they are doing so much more. The game takes months to master and even longer to know how to win, the strategy that it takes to win the game is extreme. However it is not the game that is so interesting, the real story are

the people who play the game. James Tiffin is widely accepted at the table as one of the most skilled players. Holding one of the best records there. “I definitely win more than I lose,” said Tiffin. There are an average of five people who play every day and most are very experienced players. Ben Stites is the newest member to begin to play. “I have been playing for almost a year now, and I’ve only won once,” said Stites. The game is an every morning occurrence. The players are always ready, the people are always welcome, and the game itself is ready to play, but only those with the fiercest desire to win will become masters of the game.

Photo by Alexya McCormick

Words can explain By Alyssa Urban, Managing Editor

After having no intention to participate, no planning or brainstorming of any type of storyline whatsoever, AP English teacher James Vanpelt decided on Nowas one of the many reasons he was vember 1st to become one of the 305,589 novelists that would be so special. writing a 50,000 word manuscript He was the funny guy. in only 30 days. The soft guy. The guy who was Because National Novel always at birthdays and family gettogethers. DeCrow was the guy who Writing Month is November, the NaNoWriMo website (nanowrimo. was always around for the org) allows writers across the counpeople who loved him. try to take part in the 50,000 word The news left all challenge. Through the website, not sad, but heartbroken. writers can track their word counts It was almost unbelievable that the coach that had and other stats on their profile. molded these players since A graph tracks the growth of the manuscript and recommends 1667 they were toddlers would not be returning. He would words per day to stay on track for not be there to talk to when the 50,000 words on November 30th. someone was having a bad Vanpelt finds the chalday. He would not be able lenge as an encouragement to be to fix a player’s swing at productive. As he identifies himself practice. as a writer, any day without writing “We knew Deke was feels like an unproductive day. important, but we didn’t realize “Have you ever heard the how important until he was gone,” quote, ‘When I want to read a good said Kenzi DeCrow, niece of Deke DeCrow.

book, I write it’? That’s kind of how I think about it. I want to write to create something,” said Vanpelt. Vanpelt uses the strategy of making the story up as he goes. As a scene changes or a chapter ends, there is a plethora of options for the next section. There could be a scene about a character’s actions, a flashback, a deeper description of the previous scene. Vanpelt sees it as the choice of whether the plot should chase the character or if the character should create the plot. The original idea of having two childhood friends grow to realize they are very different people has evolved into a focus of the relationship with the new girl next door. As he started off with inspiration from “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” his writing has turned more to something from “Of Mice and Men” or “Pride and Prejudice.” Vanpelt’s writing process is anything but predictable, and even he himself cannot wait to see how his story ends.

The Catalyst


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April 2014

Rebekah Borg does silks, which is where she climbs and hangs gracefully from silk suspended above the ground.

“Silks” By Kaitlyn Foss

Hudson Robison and the Fruita Monument High School students fill in the “E” of “Rise Above Colorado”, encouraging one another to understand the dangers of drugs. “Rise Above” By Madeliene Bedell

FCA members gather together to pray during a meeting. The FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) is a new organization started by a group of Christian athletes at FMHS. The FCA promotes religious, academic, and athletic performance. This group is trying to bring these qualities to FMHS along with Gods amazing strength and grace. “FCA” by Rachel Worth (left)

“Lindsey Thompson” By Allisa Hash (right)

Lindsey Thomson is a devoted student with a GPA of 4.32. She is ranked 3rd in the school and still balances homework AND sports. I think everyone can learn something from this girl!

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12 April 2013

The Catalyst

Leaving the nest By Chris Martin, Reporter With senior year ending comes many things: working, college, and for some senior trips. Zach Lowe, senior, and friends are planning an end of the year trip, entitling it “Leaving the Nest Trip.” Planning it for about seven months now, they plan to leave early June, every destination is not chosen yet but the plan is to stop in Vegas for a couple things and get to Las Angeles in one day, 11 hours by their route. After multiple stops in L.A., including Newport Beach, they are going to San Francisco, where not much yet is planned except the Golden Gate Bridge. “From San Fran we leave, driving on the coast, up northwards to the Redwood National Forest” says Lowe. In Redwood National Forest they plan to camp for a couple days. From there they are traveling north to Portland and driving on to Boise, Idaho and then migrating southeast

through Salt Lake City and back home. Not everything is planned out yet, but “that’s the beauty of this trip,” says Lowe, “We don’t have a strict schedule, we don’t want one, we’ll just go where the road leads us.” Their mode of transportation, a VW Vanagon Camper that gets a whopping 15 mpg city and 20 highway and can only get up to 70 miles an hour. The VW will also be their hotel during the trip, sleeping 4 comfortably, the van has a kitchenette, containing a fridge, 2 burner stove, and sink. The van also, “… has hooks up like a normal camper has, but also has a water tank, and propane tank in case you don’t have access to a hook up” With any luck ,we can all get away from home this summer and hopefully they’ll pack a lot of air fresheners and febreeze.

Secrets shared... By Jessica Bennett, Editor

What could they say? Oops? They never should have said anything. It was a secret after all. They should have thought about the potential. But they just didn’t. So they whispered, they murmured, they explained. Then it was out of their control. It could have happened to anyone but it had to happen to Timmy. How could he know how it would end? That first crush. Stewing for months on end. Finally someone had to become obsessed. It just wasn’t either of them. Third party. So awkward. So he explained. “No. No. Not you. HER.” Within the hour the number of people who knew went from two to four. A day and it was eight. Soon enough everyone knew. The mortification lasted the entire year. What could he say? Oops? Everyone knows that learning to drive contains a certain amount of trial and error. Martha only drove into a ditch and nearly flipped the truck, drove into a

Photo by Ammon Pierce

cliff, and ran over several prairie dogs. Seriously, no big deal. What shouldn’t have happened was telling her best friend, Sarah. It doesn’t sound that bad. The pair are best friends. Oh no, there had to be jokes. “So, which fuzzy little creature did you kill today?” Then there were those stares. Martha knew people were appalled that she apparently murdered tiny critters for fun. What could she say? Oops? Then there was homecoming. Sweet memory upon memory upon FAILURE. Joey trusted Christopher with the perfect secret. Sweet as strawberry gelatin. How-to-ask his date, Emma, to Homecoming. Sure enough he spilled. A sprinkle of tattling. A dash of sharing-iscaring. The infection spread straight towards Emma’s toes and only barely swerved aside in time to let Joey, nervous as a fish in solidifying gelatin, complete his daring feat. What could he say? Oops? Oh yeah, Oops.

Growing into Fruita By Sabrina Mayer, Reporter In 1882 the first probable settlers made their way to the fertile land where Fruita, Colorado is now located. These brave people were Mr. and Mrs. Albert Lapham. They first took up residency in a preexisting log cabin with a dirt floor and an old blanket as a door. Soon other settlers followed them to farm the rich fertile land that covers

much of the Grand Valley. Attempts by these settlers to make Fruita a real town and community failed until William E. Pabor showed up in 1884. With his plans to sell town plots and make this town a farming heaven, Fruita, Colorado was born. He had a vision of Fruita spanning across 80 acres with a park in the middle (this park later became

Circle Park.) Following his dreams of Fruita being a peaceful town, Pabor passed a law that liquor was not to be sold or manufactured in his town, this law was later voted out by the community in 1970. Early Fruita consisted of two little stores and a little log cabin school for the children to go to. The first year class had only

14 students. Fruita was a simple town that did not have sewers or any other water systems until much later when Mr. Pabor helped dig canals that brought water from the river to the surrounding farms and orchards. Mr. Pabor did everything he could to keep the little town of Fruita up to his dream standards. From that fateful year of 1882

when Mr. and Mrs. Lapham first settled in Fruita to now, this small dream community has grown in to a flourishing town full of farms and orchards, a reflection of the initial vision but also proof of progression and evolution.

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