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The Catalyst

Turn to pages 8 and 9 for Fruita’s very own Mythbusters!

Fruita Monument High School

1102 Wildcat Ave. Fruita, CO 81521 Volume 17, Issue 1 September, 2012

The Catalyst is a publication of Fruita Monument High School, 1102 Wildcat Avenue, Fruita, Colorado. The Catalyst is published twice per quarter and is distributed free to Fruita Monument High School students and staff. Advertising rates and deadlines are available via e-mail at Content of the student newspaper is an expression of 1st amendment freedom of speech and press rights and do not represent the position or policies of Mesa County School District #51 or of Fruita Monument High School’s administration or staff. As stated in School Board policy, school-sponsored publications are a public forum for students as well as

an educational activity through which students can gain experience in reporting, writing, editing and more in the effort to promote responsible journalism. Content of school publications may reflect all areas of student interest, which may include topics about which there may be dissent or controversy. Comments, questions, suggestions, or letters to the editor are welcome. Unsigned editorials will not be printed. Letters may be edited for length and grammar. Some material courtesy of American Society of Newspaper Editors/MCT Campus High School Newspaper Service.

The Staff: Managing Editors: Alyssa Urban and Jennifer Robinson. News Editor and Business Mannager: Keaton Brown. Commentary Editor: Taylor Scofield. Features Editor: Alyssa Urban. Sports Editor: Eden Laase. Arts & Entertainment Editor: Jennifer Robinson. Photography Editor: Madison Wittman. Reporters: Kate Andersen, Adrienne Chiapuzio, Megan Corisdeo, Taylor Eatwell, Sydni Hart, Logan McGovern, Melissa Murphy, and Josephene Owens. Staff Adviser: Trent Wuster (970) 254-7280


Pg. # 3

CSAP to TCAP New content and higher expectations

FFA A journey to Indianapolis


Pg. # 5

Meticulous Marching Explore the efforts of marching band

To Be Released Upcoming movies, a short preview


Pg. # 7

Rockies’ Rookies

An inside look at the minor league team

Sophomority to Seniority Respecting underclassmen

Above: FMHS varsity soccer player, Brett Payton, makes a corner kick at the Fruita vs. Montrose game. Right: The warming sun shines over the football field bleachers on a cold Septmeber morning.

Commentary Shoutouts

S/O to anyone - good or bad


Pg. #13

Creeping From Afar Your wierd neighbor stories revealed

Colorado Pride Where’s your flag?

Teacher Interviews

Get to know the new FMHS staff

Pg. # 11

The Catalyst



September 2012

The Fussing about Bussing By Sydni Hart, Reporter On the first day of Elementary school school this year, over 1,000 kids within one to two miles District 51 students woke up of the school were elimito no bus ride. Some students nated from bus services. that once had access to a bus Middle and High school had to walk, some had to carstudents within a two to pool and some parents even three mile radius from the had to change around their school were also not offered working schedules to be able services. The only middle to transport their and high school Over 1,000 child to school. students that District 51 Why is are guaranteed this? Last spring, students woke busing are those the Board of Eduthat would have up to no bus cation needed to to walk more ride. make cuts to balthan three miles ance the budget to get to school. eliminating some While some other areas but also targeted schools lost no busing, other one specific area: transportaschools such as Chatfield, tion. Pear Park and Orchard The number of Avenue lost all busing. students riding the bus went Appleton didn’t lose any. from nearly 9,800 down to 8,500 according to The Daily Tim Leon, safety officer Sentinel article about the isof School District 51, said, sue. It wasn’t until August 6th “We felt it was unsafe bethat parents were able to find cause of the extremely rural out if their child would be area to have it cut.” Grand able to ride the bus. Mesa Middle School and

Safe walking boundaries are being drawn in order for students to get to schools safely and avoid any unsafe obstacles. Keirns said she felt it was safe walking to Fruita Monument except if you had to cross the interstate, and that those students were an exception to the three miles or under rule. A few students from FMHS were cut. Morgan Bus cuts are affecting many students in District Rayside was one of them. 51. Rayside said “It was hard tryCentral High School were ex- Fruita Monument principal ceptions because they would Jan Keirns said “We had two ing to find a ride when I only am only just barely less than 3 concerned parents that filed need to cross I-70 Business Loop. concerns because they felt it miles away from the school.” Blake Leany was Leon said there were was unsafe for their child to a lot of upset parents, but the walk to school here at Fruita, another student that was less majority understood. He said but mainly it was the Elemen- than three miles away from the school. “It didn’t really aftary school kids whose par“I would be concerned too as a parent.” Some students ents had the most concerns.” fect me; I didn’t need to ride the bus anyways.” were able to look at other By eliminating bus District 51 administrabus routes in order to get to routes it will save approxitors are hoping that by next school. mately 645,000 dollars for At FMHS we have the high- the district in the 2012-2013 year the District will have the funding to bring the elimiest percentage of students school year budget. It also nated bus routes back. It all that ride the bus, due to the helped to save 18 teaching depends on the budget. high rural population. The positions.

T-Cap: How do we stack up? By Taylor Scofield, Commentary Editor As a student attending Fruita, we go to class everyday, study homework every night, and try our best to receive good grades. What is this all leading to? For some students, this hard work will doubtless lead to success at a college or university. For others, high school is about having the knowledge to get ahead in a tough job market. Either way, we know that learning is important. So how much are Fruita Monument students learning compared to everyone else? Every sophomore at Fruita must take the TCAP test. The TCAP test, or Transitional Colorado Assessment Program, allows school, district and state officals to analyze high school students one last time. The results of this test can influence everything from teacher positions to disctrict standards. So how did the district perform? The scores were different according to the

subject. A small percentage of District 51 third- through 10th-grade students scored proficient or better on TCAP math and writing tests this year. Also, all but the 10thgraders under-performed the state average on TCAP science tests. However, seventh- through 10th-graders in the district surpassed the state average in TCAP reading tests.

Photo by: Madi Wittman

After hearing those One way is by the year-to results, it sounds like District year test scores which are a 51 has some good picture Sevenththrough catching up of a stu10th-graders in to do. But it dent’s current is important knowledge. the district surto under Another way passed the state stand that is by growth average in TCAP there are two percentage. reading tests. ways the The district TCAP tracks looks at where student’s students were learning. last year and

compares it to this year’s scores. That way they can see how much the students are improving. In District 51 students outpaced the state average in test score improvement between the 2011 CSAP tests and 2012 TCAP tests. This is great news because while we are still behind in some areas, we are improving. If this trend continues, District 51 should be back to district standards soon. Andy Laase, District 51 executive director of academic achievement and growth for elementary schools, said the district’s growth is on the rise in most grades and subjects and is at its fastest pace in math and writing since the growth model was introduced. As far as high school goes, we seem to be hanging out around both the proficiency line and the state average. So good job last year Juniors; and Sophomores, here’s to a great TCAP!



Sophomore School Lunches

September 2012

The Catalyst

By Josephene Owens, Reporter There’s a new policy being enforced at FMHS that may not affect all of the students but it does affect the sophomores; sophomores have a closed campus policy but what is the reason for this policy? “This is not about the juniors from last year, it’s about a successful and transitional plan,” said Jan Keirns FMHS principal. Yet sophomores blame the junior class for ruining it for sophomores, “It’s dumb because juniors ruined it for us and they should be the ones being punished,” said Nicole Moss a sophomore at FMHS. “Its juniors fault anyway so it’s a rightful blame,” said Wade Toothaker a junior at FMHS. Some juniors take the blame but others believe

that they are being Photo by: Keaton Brown singled out. “I don’t feel responsible for the issued eight tresactions of a few. It reflects on passing tickets.” the whole group of juniors,” We base this Keirns said Abbey Wampler a junior wants to make it off the honor at FMHS. to where sophosystem and Even though Keirns mores ease into hope kids do stated that it was not because freedom so sophof the juniors she said, “With- omores know the right thing.” in the first month of school how to respect it last year the Maverik had when they get it.

working. “No because kids are going to leave anyway,” Tristen Foster said one of the seventeen sophomores. “We base this off the honor system and hope kids do the right thing,” said Keirns. Keirns also said, “The first time a sophomore is caught leaving campus they get a warning and the second time they have to do a twenty minute lunch detention.” Keirns expects the Keirns best of kids and puts her trust wants to into every single sophomore model out- and if they break it they pay standing schools the consequences. to get FMHS The sophomore school to improve. lunch policy has many dif Twenty ferent opinions on it but it sophomores were doesn’t change the fact that surveyed and it’s still a guideline and even three out of the though it’s a strategy to make twenty believe the the school better everyone policy is actually will keep their own opinion.

Too big to handle By Megan Corisdeo, Reporter

Are you an individual learner? Are increasing class sizes blocking that? Between last year and this year, the class sizes have increased tremendously and have impacted not just the students, but the teachers as well. “I get less individual attention, and one on one time with the teacher because there are so many students.” Junior, Toni Gonzalez stated. “It does not give students enough one on one time with the teacher to

Photo by: Madi Wittman

learn things they are struggling on.” Junior, Wade Toothaker says. When you walk through the hallways you can see how full they are, and how long it takes to get from one class to another. “The hallways are too crowded because everyone just crowds together all at once, right in the middle of the halls and it makes it difficult to

and from Photo by: Madi Wittman get class, that is to why so many students get to know all the students show up to class late.” Junior, and their needs, to be able to Keisha Cunningham said. Not offer them the help they want only are class sizes affecting has become more difficult the students, but the teachers because student have differas well. ent learning abilities.” ESL “The class sizes are teacher, Elizabeth Elliott says. a lot bigger, thirty-five kids “The larger the class in one class. I had to bring is, the less opportunity you in new desks.” Math teacher, have to give each student the Haira Resindez, claims. individual attention that they “There are six to need.” Spanish teacher, Clint seven more students per class, Davis, states. and that makes a difference.” “Larger class sizes Science teacher, Deb Nelson, make it harder to do group says. work; it limits what we can “When it comes to do, and our resources. In a bigger class sizes, it is hard to way we are kind of lucky, be-

cause it could be a lot worse, my largest class size is thirtythree, when I know other schools have up to thirty-six students per class.” Comp Lit teacher, Vanessa Hayward says. The school has not grown very much since last year, according to Jan Keirns, FMHS principal. “Last year there were 1286 students enrolled, and this year there are 1315 students enrolled. The average class size for last year was about thirty students per class. This year the average class size is about thirty-two. “

The Catalyst



September 2012

Whats App-ening? Applications you might be interested in By Alyssa Urban, Co-Managing Editor With the use of cell phones, computers and technology in general increasing, the number of iPhones and iPod touches owned by teens is steadily on the rise. As one of the main features of the iPhone or iPod touch is the iTunes app store offering over more than 500,000 apps, users are constantly trying to find new and unique apps to satisfy their entertainment needs. This list of unfamiliar utilities, games and other applications may be just what one of these consumers are looking for.

most people, but this amazing alarm clock rings during its user’s It is that time of year lightest sleep again, the 2012phase. When 2013 NFL placing the football season. iPhone on a This app helps bed, it then users manage studies the their fantasy sleep patterns teams on the go as it shows the and phases that one is in, waking leagues, standings, the user up when they are most scores and schedules on gamedays. rested. 2. NFL

Fantasy Football ESPN/

5. Songkick Concerts A 1. Snapchat Songkick Picture chatting friends user is able has never been to search easier with based on the Snapchat the artists in app. Capture the music a moment by library and/or snapping a pic location of the iPhone or iPod. to a Snapchat Then a personalized calendar of contact and concerts being performed by fachoose how vorite bands and singers is created. long the receiver can see the picThe calendar sets off alerts when ture. Set the timer up to ten seconds, 4. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock new shows are released, shows the allowing the picture to live for that It is no secret that waking line-up of shows, and gives ticket long until it disappears forever. up early in the morning is a drag for options. 3.

iSwap Faces This is not the average Photoshop app, but beyond that of any kind. Whether it is one photo or two, iSwap Faces can take any two figures and switch their facial features and transform people into each other.

users entertained for hours on end. Collaging photos Cat-ify any image saved or taken on an iPhone by is now posadding various sible as Piccat cutouts stitch allows ranging from users to comkittens to bine two to tigers. Show four pictures the newly into one. The created picture simple set-up by uploading it to offers different designs, patterns and Facebook or Twitter. effects to any or all pictures in the current project. 9. Songza Unlike Pandora, Songza is 7. MLIB My Life Is Bro has become a music app that plays music based on the indicated mood, activity or a commonly used term and has ingenre. By choosing one of the opspired this app to let members tions, Songza creates a playlist that is bound to find the right music for share their “bro” moments the moment. in life. Read, 10. Bouncy Seed discover and This game is sure to have laugh at hilari- ous stories sub- users addicted to saving Paul the seed and collecting sunlight points. mitted by various bros describing their chill lifestyle. By drawing a magical trampoline to help the seed jump, try to overcome the difficulties leading Paul through 8. Cat Effects Made for cat lovers around the different seasons throughout the year. the world, Cat Effects can keep 6.


Meticulous Marching:

What it takes to be a member By Logan McGovern, Reporter I asked the man, “Does Marching Band qualify as a sport?” and drew away slightly; a little fearful that I would be on the receiving end of his signature response at such a question: a sarcastic laugh that signals his dual disapproval and irritation. Thankfully, he was in his usually cheerful demeanor. A serious expression replaced Ryan Crabtree’s happy face at the question. “Yes, yes it is a sport. Did you know that some people tested marching band kids, they took these machines, and they found that their bodies are working at a rate similar to that of a marathon runner?” I did not question or mock him for his claim. Some would consider it bold and untrue, that the only thing required to excel in the activity known as marching band is a little fancy footwork and musical talent of a mediocre caliber. Marching band is more than this, much more. The most difficult aspect is the mental requirement. Marching band is multitasking, and multitasking always requires a sharp mental focus. “It’s multi-tasking on steroids,” Crabtree summed up. Marching band members are beasts, like all other athletes, but a different breed of beast: They’re the mental monsters on this campus. Madison Davis, a writer,

the Rider online, frames the difficulty of the activity nicely: “While marching band does involve grueling physical stances and intense muscular flexing, it also requires masterful, meticulous playing of instruments, some weighing up to 50 lbs. It also involves memorization of sets, forms, stylistic flair and performance quality which can only be achieved by a great deal of practice and determination.” But aside from the mental focus, and physical stamina that is required of marching band members, there is a third characteristic that can’t be learned through repetition and hard work. It is the most important aspect of participating in marching band: Character. Crabtree said to me, “We’re going to be working on building character throughout this whole season. Having character is crucial to being successful.” Historical figures have validated these words. Martin Luther King, who saw through the civil rights movement, Gandhi, who defeated inequality in India, and Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, all possessed great character. After the interview, I was very optimistic at the competitive prospects of the marching band this year.

Fruita Monument High School marching band performs during the half time at the Fruita vs. Douglas County football game. Photo Courtesy of Logan Pfister


6 September 2012

Seeing Double:

The Catalyst

FMHS students and their celebrity look alikes

Story and Photos Madison Wittman, Photography Editor It’s not uncommon to spot a familiar face on the street and think, where could I possibly know this person from? After several minutes of painfully racking your brain, usually it’s the same result: they are a complete stranger but resemble a close friend or even a celebrity. JASMINE HIGGS (SNOW WHITE) Jasmine Higgs, junior, says she gets those double takes all the time. “I don’t even know how many people have said I look like Snow White,” Higgs said. But what is it about her that resembles this classic princess? There isn’t a group of seven dwarves following her around and I’ve yet to see a poison apple in her hand. “I think it’s just because I have black hair and am really pale,” said could be princess Higgs. “I think it’s a good thing though.” CALEB HICKS (FRODO) “People have been telling me I look like Elijah Wood (the actor who plays Frodo) since college,

even before “Lord of the Rings” came out,” Hicks said. Elijah Wood has been featured in a number or other films, ranging from Back to the Future Part II, to his lead role as Mumble in the Happy Feet Films. Frodo remains one of the most common connections students make. “I don’t know what it is, maybe the long curly hair,” Hicks said with a smirk. Hicks has seen the whole Lord of the Rings series three times. “That adds up to a lot of hours.” He takes it all in good spirit, “Frodo is a role model of mine, so I find it a good thing being compared to him. If you don’t have a sense of humor teaching high school, you’re going to get mulched.” MORGAN MURRAY (DIANNA AGRON) It’s easy to spot the differences between Fruita Monument and the way Hollywood can make high school appear. One notable similarity is that between Glee star Dianna Agron (Quinn) and Morgan

To Be Released

Murray, sophomore. “I’ve never been told I look like anyone famous. I didn’t even know who Quinn was until now,” Murray said. “She seems cool though, so I guess it’s a compliment,” Morgan added. SYDNEY HEART (JESSICA ALBA) Sydney Heart, senior, was somewhat caught off guard after hearing she had been recognized as a Jessica Alba look alike. “Someone told me I look like Natalie Portman once, but I was dressed as a ballerina so that may have had something to do with it. I’ve never heard Jessica Alba and I don’t really see it, but I’m super flattered,” Heart said. She “hasn’t got the slightest idea why” someone said she looked like Alba but thinks it might be because they are both always smiling. Due to Alba’s “down to earth personality”, Heart says she’s flattered to be compared to her, even if she’s not all that familiar with her movies.

The Hobbit-December 14th, 2012 “The Hobbit” follows the journey of the main character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is taken on a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor that was conquered a long time ago by the dragon Smug. He is approached by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), and all of the sudden Bilbo finds himself joining a com-

Caleb Hicks, science teacher, holds a picture of Elijah Wood, his celebrity look alike.

The Play of the Century By Adrienne Chiapuzio, Reporter

By Sydni Hart, Reporter

Have you ever read a really good book and wanted to see it in a movie? Here are some movies that are popular books that will soon be hitting the theatres within the next year or so. If you haven’t read the books, you’ll have some background on what’s happening when you go to see the movie.

Morgan Murray, sophomore, holds a picture of her celebrity look alike, Dianna Agron.

Acting and performing arts have played a big role in the lives of our Fruita Monument students. Each year multiple plays are performed by the students. Every play is performed differently because every play brings in new actors and actresses. This month’s play is called ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The original production of the play opened at the Booth Theater on December 14, 1936 and has had 837 performances. This quarter, it is performed by a mixture of sophomores, juniors and seniors. Bella Roberts, sophomore said, “It’s a comedy about a very odd family and some visitors and such, my character and I are somewhat alike, we are both kind of girly The Hunger Games-Catching but have a very good work ethic and Fire November 22, 2013 are still very prestigious.” Roberts In Catching Fire, Katniss has been in plays every year since adjusts herself into her new role as 7th grade and each time she has aua victor of the 74th annual Hunger ditioned she has gotten a main role. Games when she returns to District “It’s different from middle 12. She’s satisfied with the victor’s school plays because its and exgifts that can now feed her famtracurricular activity now which ily. She’ll have to participate in means we are more able to focus a Victory Tour in the 11 defeated on every aspect of the play and not Districts of Panem and the Capitol, The Host March 29, 2013 just remembering our lines and that Katniss is unaware of the trouble Based on the "Twilight kind of thing,” Roberts said, “If she started with her rebellious acSaga" author Stephanie Meyer, tions in the Hunger Games’ arena. "The Host" is a story about the sur- there was anything I could change It doesn’t take long for Katniss to vival of love and the human spirit in about the play, it would probably be understand that she has emerged as a time of war. An unseen enemy has to maybe add a little more drama a symbol of rebellion. invaded our world and humans be- mixed in with the comedy.” Brian Palmer is the direc In the exciting sequel to come hosts for these invaders, their The Hunger Games, author Suzanne minds taken over while their bodies tor of the plays and enjoys it very Collins expertly creates another sus- remain intact. Most of humanity has much. Every actor says he is a very good director and that he shows penseful story and ties in in a few given in. pany of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) . Their journey takes them through into the Wild with many treacherous obstacles they have to overcome. Although their goal lies east they must first go through the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo Baggins will meet the creature Gollum (Andy Serkis) that will change his life forever. Bilbo Baggins also discovers the courage inside of him that surprises even himself. He gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities, that is tied to the fate of the middle-east more than Bilbo will ever know.

surprises that will have fans’ dropping their jaws as they watch the twists and turns in Katniss’ world. Fans are finally given a glimpse into the truth about what lies in things that the Capitol has been trying to cover up since the first rebellion, and will finally realize the fate of District 12 and the people Katniss loves most.

he wants to be there and help them succeed and do the best they can. “I think that Mr. Palmer is an awesome director and really helps us get in character and makes it definitely worthwhile for everyone whether you’re in the play or of just coming to see it. The cast and crew are really fun people to hang out with and be around. We definitely always encourage a wide variety of people to audition as well,” said Roberts. Jennifer Lesko is in play production where they create the settings and the backdrop to the plays. “They are called flats. It’s a lot of 2x4 glued and screwed together. The setting mainly depends on the play and the director. Sometimes it can be an ominous setting or it can be a bright setting, it just depends on the mood of the play,” Lesko said. As you know, the setting is a main detail in the play, along with props and of course, the actors. “I enjoy being in Play Production because it’s a great class to meet people and learn how to work together. I always learn how to use different tools as well,” Lesko said, “it will for sure be worth your time to go see it, I’m sure it will be the play of the century.” The opening night will be on October 4th (Thursday) in the auditorium at Fruita Monument Highschool and there will also be showings on Friday the 5th and Saturday the 6th.

The Catalyst



September 2012

Sophomority to Seniority

Poms X 2

By Taylor Eatwell, Reporter “I usually take a nap before a game so my body is full of energy and ready for what is coming up.” Skillicorn claims. “Blasting pump up music really gets me excited and reminds me that its game time,” Bell stated, “messing around in the locker room gets me ready also by loosening my muscles and allows me to go out on the court being serious but also ready to have fun.” As players move up from freshman to junior varsity to varsity their whole approach to the game often changes. Now that volleyball sophomore, Ryanne Buck has moved up over the year she practices a lot more to prepare herself for the new season. Most sophomores look up to a Junior or Senior because of how they play or their actions. “I look up to Mallory Paulson because she is a great leader and player. We also play the same position which is a bonus.” Skillicorn said. “I have a lot of upperclassmen I look up to,” Bell stated, “Joelle LeFevre, Jordan Eatwell and Kasey Dollerschell because they are amazing friends and give me great advice that helps me be a better volleyball player and a better person; they are truly amazing people and players.” Sophomores do not have to be the only players who look up to one of their teammates. “I look up to some underclassmen for the experiences they have been through but still keep playing the sport,” Sneddon stated. What you see and hear in the movies is nothing like real life. Every team is like one big family, sophomore or senior; it does not matter.

In most teen movies, there making me the player I am today,” Skillicorn stated. are stereotypes dealing with rela“Moving from junior varsity was tionships between upperclassmen a bit of a challenge because JV and underclassmen. Typically, upperclassmen show a lack of respect did not care as much and varsity toward underclassmen and often do is more serious.” As players move up they face more challenges and not even acknowledge them. responsibilities. “When I started they “Being one of the team (upperclassmen) were all nice and captains for junior varsity treated you equal. means that I am responsible They still do,” “I have a lot for the team and myself. It sophomore softof upperis going to be difficult at the ball player, Rachel classmen I beginning, but I think it will Skillicorn, stated. get better and easier throughlook up to” out the season.” Sophomore In the volleyball player, Kiana Bell, movies they stated. Preparing yourself for always take fresha game is a really big trick to help man and sophomores for granted your performance. because they think they are so “Preparing myself mendifferent from juniors and seniors, tally is a big factor,” stated senior when really they are the same. volleyball player, Jennifer Morris, “When I first started out “I tell myself what I need to work the upperclassmen were all shy but on and what I do best and just letnow we are all really close.” senior ting myself know that I am going to softball player, Jenni Sneddon, do fine.” Besides getting mentally claimed. prepared for a game, you can get “Over my first year I physically prepared. learned so much from each coach

Photo by Madi Wittman, Photography Editor

Kelin Henke and Dylan Row show some Sophomore, Senior love.

By Josephene Owens, Reporter

Photo courtesy of Kaley Kreidler

Poms are now split into two groups, the JV team and the Varsity team. Now that there are two teams they get to perform more often and do different things. This way both teams get to compete in large events and no one has to stay behind. “I like having 2 teams because there’s less girls so it easier to practice. If you need one on one time with the coach you can get it,” said Kaci Copeland a senior on the Poms team. There are 24 girls total and only 16-18 can go to state. With two teams all the girls can go if both teams make state. There are 6 seniors, 7 juniors, 3 sophomores, and 8 freshmen this year total. Kayla Bensley and Kaitlin Duran are the captains; Ashley Vincent and Peyton Whalen are co-captains. But having the two teams

isn’t the only change this year. They also have a new coach. “Kerri Bensley is very nice and supportive; I like her as my coach because I know I can go to her when I need help on something we are learning,” said Monica Burdett,sophomore. The reason for the two teams this year is because they took 24 girls instead of taking the average 16-18. They wanted to give everyone that deserved it a chance to go to state. With two teams it means they can both have their own style for the teams and they can do different things. All the girls work hard to be on that team and put good effort behind all their work; and Kerri Bensley helps support them throughout practice and all the events they attend.

The Toll of Athletic Fees By Adrienne Chiapuzio, Reporter

Photo by Madi Wittman, Photography Editor

Marshall Gore and Luke Goodrich feel the pressure to pay increased athletic fees.

Many students in District 51 are not only students, but also dedicated athletes. Many of the students look to sports as a release from the day’s struggles, and they also see it as a good way to keep their grades up. Unfortunately, the athletic fee has increased by 30 dollars (per sport) each year. Is this beneficial or does it hurt the students and parents of District 51? Paige Hobson is one of the many students who juggle sports and school. She plays multiple sports such as basketball and tennis, making her busy school schedule even more jam-packed. “The increase in athletic fees has made it harder for me to be able to play and afford sports, especially when you play more than one,” Hobson said. She is one of the many experiencing this dilemma.

”I think that athletic fees will increase as the years roll by because I believe the district has no money, and sports are an optional thing. As the school has less and less money, sports will seem more and more unnecessary, therefore making students pay more to keep them,” Hobson said when asked to predict the fees in the future. Libby Hicks is a parent who has been affected by the rise in athletic fees. She has two kids who go to Fruita Monument, and they both are involved in multiple sports. “The high fees have caused me to postpone paying other school fees and making payments on other bills for the sole purpose of letting my children play the sport they desire,” Hicks said. Just like Hobson, Hicks believes the athletic fees will con-

tinue to increase. “District 51 is not a school district that receives more federal financial help with tax payer dollars. And no matter what, I think parents will pay for their kids to be in those sports because they it isn’t cheaper than letting their kids get into mischief due to lack of activity to keep them occupied,” Hicks said. The athletic fees have impacted parents and students of District 51. Many students believe that they will keep increasing due to the economic status of our country. Some students even said the athletic fees could push them to having to drop out of sports all together. But other students and parents believe that the increase is a good thing. Will the athletic fees ever go down again? Or will they always steadily increase?

Saltine Challenge

Behind the Bustings

By Keaton Brown and Taylor Scofield In the midst of the greatest human accomplishments- scaling Mount Everest, landing on the moon, inventing the wheel; there lies a greater obstacle…the Saltine Challenge. Six saltines in one minute doesn’t sound too hard, but for us (and probably everyone, because we’re pretty good), it was impossible. After our intense, three-and-a-half minute warm-up to get into the saltineeating mode, we were ready to begin. The small stack of six saltines lay there on the table, tauntingly, ready for yet another victory. All eyes were on the clock. When the minute hand struck 12, we began. We both hit it hard right away. Taylor attempted the all-at-once, take-abite-out-of-it-like-it’sa-McDouble strategy, while I resorted to

quickly eating one at a time. When more than half a minute had passed, neither of us had swallowed yet, and we were both only about three crackers deep. This challenge was looking a lot harder than it sounded. By the time a minute was up, neither Taylor nor I had even swallowed once. After we failed the challenge we looked it up online to see how others fared. We couldn’t find a saltine champion even on the World Wide Web. We hypothesized that it was impossible because the saltine soaked up all the saliva in one’s mouth. So we tried the challenge again. This time, we each had a glass of water next to us. We were able to complete the challenge and feel like champions.

The Catalyst staff took on four well-known household myths in attempt to either confirm or bust the theories. From saltines to scantrons, in depth experiements were preformed and conclusions were drawn. If our studies are not enough proof, test these myths yourself at your own risk.

Myth: Confirmed

Scantron Myth By Eden Laase and Taylor Eatwell Students are always looking for new ways to cheat on tests. Several of these tactics are used for scantron testing. Some of these cheating strategies include, putting chapstick on the side, filling in every bubble and filling in the key bubble. Chapstick: It’s a common belief that putting chapstick on the side of a scantron will make it impossible for the ink to leave

Myths: Busted

a mark. This makes it so the incorrect answers will not appear. However, after testing this myth, we found it to be… BUSTED All Answers: Students have also attempted to trick the scantron machine by filling in every bubble. Supposedly, the grading machine will be confused and simply skip over the question without marking it incorrect. After attempting this tactic ourselves, we found this myth to be… BUSTED Filling in the key bubble: Another theory on how to trick the grading machine is to fill in the key bubble in the top corner. The idea behind this myth is that when it is being graded the machine will assume that all of the answers are correct. Experimenting with this myth, we found it to be… BUSTED

Mythbusters: Catalyst Edition Lifesavor Myth By Alyssa Urban and Josephene Owens Is it possible for a harmless breath mint to create a spark by crushing it? With a dark room, coffee mug and bag of Wint-o-Green mints, we were able to test this mint myth. When first attempting to witness the spark, we immersed ourselves in the dark closet and bit down on the mint hard with our teeth. The mint made no spark, and we thought the unfortunate myth had been busted. After deciding that a bit more pressure breaking the mint might be useful, we then used a coffee mug to smash the mint. To our surprise, if the mint was hit right, a small, short lasting spark would appear. The spark was usually faint, but the Catalyst staff confirmed this myth to be true. Knowing that our test on this mint myth

was successful, some may wonder if the mints are safe to eat and what causes it to spark. The mints are still safe to eat because once saliva touches the mint, the spark will not work anymore. This myth works because of triboluminescence - the electric charge that builds up within the crystalline structure of the sugar within the candy. When atoms are forced violently apart, they lose a larger portion of their electrons faster than they normally would. In other terms, the sugar releases little electric charges in the air and they attract the opposite charged nitrogen in the air causing the mint to spark. Sparks will occur not only in the mints, but most hard candies and are not harmful to eat.

True or False Myths A heated jawbreaker will explode: True. A disposable lighter will explode in a clothes dryer: False. Pain from eating hot peppers can be cured by drinking milk: True. Helium will make a football fly farther: False.

It’s possible to make a candle out of earwax: False. Yawning is contagious: True. A human voice can really shatter glass: True. Salami can be used as rocket fuel: True. You can hit the hide off of a baseball if you hit it hard enough: False.

Myth: Confirmed Taylor Carlson and Lyndi Cates can’t seem to stop yawning Sophomore Micheala Hoffman displays her glassshattering voice.

Coconut Myth By Jennifer Robinson and Megan Corisdeo Ever thought about sending a strange item; a pair of shoes, a brick, or maybe even a coconut? “Coconut mail” can be sent from tourist locations in Hawaii to any given destination, but the Catalyst staff wanted to find out if it was possible for any ordinary citizen to mail a bare coconut with the proper postage stamps attached. Before attempting to send our coconut, we had to find a way to attach our destination address. After smoothing a spot on the coconut using sandpaper, we wrote the destination and return address using a permanent marker. When dropping off the coconut at the post office, many questioning looks were given. The checkout clerk simply stated, “I’ve never sent a coconut before.” After receiving the

proper postage stamps, we figured out a way to attach them to the oddly shaped and rather furry coconut. Our tactic used multiple layers of tape around the whole coconut. The 1 pound and 10.5 ounce coconut cost $5.30 to send only 2.2 miles down the street, and was received in two days.

Myth: Confirmed

The Catalyst



September 2012

Rockies’ Rookies By Eden Laase, Sports Editor

This summer, Grand Junction welcomed their very own minor league baseball team. Last October, the Casper Ghosts, a Rookie ball team for the Colorado Rockies, officially moved to Grand Junction. After many years of hosting the Junior College World Series this “baseball town” finally has a team to cheer on all summer long. We all know what it’s like to be a fan, and many know what it’s like to be a player at least at the little league or high school levels. But what is it like to actually be out on Suplzio field, playing minor league baseball? Brian Rike, Juan Ciriaco and David Dahl all provide different perspectives on playing for the Grand Junction Rockies and baseball in general. Brian Rike Brian Rike, a left-handed pitcher, began playing baseball at a young age in order to meet people. As a child he moved a lot and used baseball as a way to make friends. “Your friends play, so you play. You have a common interest with everybody.” Rike continued to play baseball and jumped at the chance to play it professionally. “[I am proud] of getting drafted and getting an opportunity to play baseball at a higher level.” He was drafted out of Louisiana Tech University in 2007 as an outfielder. He played five years on various Rockies teams before being converted to pitcher and optioned

to the Grand Junction Rockies. According to Rike, the most difficult part of changing positions is keeping focused. “In the bullpen you have a lot of downtime, so you have to know when to turn on the switch and turn it off very quickly.” Rike says that as a position player, it’s much easier to stay focused because you are constantly doing something. Making a transition from outfielder to pitcher may be challenging, but one thing about the change that Rike has enjoyed is getting to come to Grand Junction. “I love [Grand Junction]. It’s a great town. The fans have welcomed us with open arms. It’s a real warming feeling.” Rike is 26 years old, making the age gap between him and some of the other players as much as eight years. The age difference hasn’t had any negative effects on his relationships with the team. In fact due to his experience in the sport, many of his teammates approach him for advice. “Being older, I had to take on kind of a leadership role.” Rike says that he helps the younger players get adjusted to the minor leagues and to how manager, Tony Diaz, wants things done. He knows from experience that it can be challenging to make the jump from college to the minor leagues. “It’s a lot different. Down here you are a professional now so

you’re expected to go about your business knowing what you need to do to get ready for a game and how to prepare.” Baseball is a challenging game and it only gets harder as you move up the levels. There are moments of pride and happiness in a player’s career, but there are also moments that lead to discouragement. According to Rike, “[Baseball] is a game of failures. If you think you’re going to go out every day and [hit] three for three it’s not going to happen. It’s a very humbling sport. Once you think that it’s an easy game, that’s when you get humbled and it shows you that it’s not.” The more that Rike has played, the more he has realized how important it is to “keep it in perspective.” “It’s a game and it’s supposed to be fun, but at the same time, it’s also a job.” Juan Ciriaco Juan Ciriaco is a second baseman for the Grand Junction Rockies. In 2009 they signed him as an undrafted free agent out of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. Ciriaco’s first language is Spanish, so his interviews are generally conducted with a translator. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, baseball was all around Ciriaco. He had many family members in the sport, but it was his mom who pushed him into the

Photo By Eden Laase, Sports Editor

Suplizio Field: Home of the Grand Junction Rockies

sport and inspired him to continue playing. Ciriaco spent two years playing in the Domincan Summer leagues before moving to the Pioneer League last year. He spent 2011 playing for the Casper Ghosts before they were relocated to Grand Junction. When he began playing in Casper, Ciriaco noticed differences in the baseball environment between the Dominican Republic and the Pioneer League. “Here, there are more people [watching] and it’s more relaxed,” he said through teammate Julian Jan. The move from Casper to Grand Junction has been a good experience for Ciriaco. “I [enjoy Grand Junction] a lot. The people are great.” Wherever Ciriaco is playing, be it the Dominican Republic, Casper or Grand Junction he always sticks to the same pre-game routine. “I [listen] to music to get relaxed.” All the things that Ciriaco has done over the years to improve his game have certainly been paying off. This season he was selected as an honorable mention for the Pioneer League team. “[When I found out] I was surprised and also happy because I knew that I was doing [well]. Coming from another country and speaking a different language might make it difficult to develop good relationships with your teammates. For Ciriaco however, that is simply not the case. “[My teammates] are like part of the family now. We have very good relationships.” Ciriaco has had a great season in Grand Junction this year. He loves the game, the fans and his teammates. No matter how long he plays for, Ciriaco will always follow the advice that he gives to younger kids playing the game. “Enjoy it. Don’t take anything for granted, no matter your age.” David Dahl David Dahl was the Rockies number one pick in the 2012 draft. While most kids his age were getting ready for college the 18 year old from Birmingham Alabama played his first season of minor league baseball for the Grand Junction Rockies. Dahl opted out of playing college baseball for Auburn who he signed with prior to getting drafted. “[It wasn’t a difficult decision.] I wanted to start my pro career. I grew up wanting to get drafted and play pro baseball. I’m happy I signed.” There are certainly differences between high school and minor league baseball, but Dahl had very few problems adjusting. “We are just working on little things in high school and here. It’s different with the games because you play every single day,

whereas in high school you play every two, three, four days. It was pretty tough to start out. My body had to get used to playing every day.” Dahl says that the summer baseball he played in the past helped him make the adjustment, not only in the game, but of the field as well. Living with a host family is a change that all of the minor league players have to adjust to. Dahl says that he was “used to it” since he lived with multiple host families during summer ball. Before his sophomore season, he stayed with a host family in California. Then, he stayed with another family while trying out for the USA National team. Though he is young, Dahl has a lot of baseball experience. He credits his dad for getting him involved in the game. “My Dad got me started playing baseball. He went out with me every day. He’s the reason why I’m pretty good.” Its safe to say that Dahl is better than “pretty good.” He ended the season with 57 RBIs and a .379 batting average (according to milb. com). Dahl was named not only the Pioneer League MVP, but the player of the year in all four rookie leagues as well. Even though the expectations are extremely high for Dahl, he doesn’t feel any extra pressure. “I don’t really think about it. I try to go out and play hard. Whatever happens, happens.” Much like Brian Rike and Juan Ciriaco, Dahl enjoys playing in Junction. His favorite thing about it is the fans. “I like the atmosphere. It’s exciting to come play in a packed stadium” Playing baseball is a learning process and Dahl has spent this season taking everything in and learning as much as possible. And who better to learn from than his Grand Junction Rockies teammates? “I try to pick their brains, see how they go about their business. I just try to learn from everybody. Dahl has already achieved some spectacular things thus far in his career; however, there are two moments that stick out in his mind. “[I’m most proud of] getting drafted by the Rockies and winning a gold medal with the USA National Team.” Dahl has a lot more goals that he wants to achieve in the future, and not all of them have to do with baseball. “I want to be a liked person, be known as somebody that people look up to; be a leader.” Playing baseball is a lot of things. It’s challenging, enjoyable, difficult and humbling. But, Brian Rike, Juan Ciriaco and David Dahl are enjoying every bit of it. After all, not everyone can be a professional baseball player.



The life of an exchange student By Kate Anderson, Reporter People have no clue what it is like to be an exchange student, but they are very curious when they find out that I am from Denmark. People ask a lot of different and weird questions about my country such as ‘Do you have McDonalds in Denmark?’ ‘Do people have pets where you are from?’ ‘Do you speak the same language in Denmark as in Turkey?’ ‘Can you hunt in your country?’ I hear all kinds of questions, but I have had fun answering them and telling about my homeland.

wasn’t very happy about it at first, want to get disappointed about anybut she accepted my choice, and has thing, so I chose not to have any exbeen very supportive. pectations. But of course I had some ideas about how things might be. I have always been very For example I expected everything fascinated with America in the to be bigger in America. I was told movies, and I had never been here. that the meals would fill the whole Since I already knew the language, plate, and that I should be prepared America was the best choice. to gain some weight. But I landed in a family that prepares decent sized I’m staying with FMHS Junior meals, and I actually think I’ve lost Sarah Gray, who I consider my weight since I came here 3 weeks sister. We get along so well and we ago. have already made a couple of But I am getting a little The biggest difference between traditions homesick. Well, mostly I miss the America and my own country is the and have Danish food, and all of my friends school system. In Denmark, where several back home. I talked to my best I’m from, we spend the first ten years inside friend, Kathrine, on the phone, and in the same school, with I realized how much I miss her. I the same kids. We started crying on the phone, because don’t walk she told me about her new boyaround friend, and I just wished I could be from there for her. But honestly, I don’t class to miss my parents that much class, yet. I’m sure it will come, but but the I have got two amazing parents teacher here, so I don’t really think does. That was something I had about my mom and dad to get used to! We also don’t have very much. the same schedule every day; it changes, so it doesn’t get as repeti It is very different from tive as it does here. But on the other what I’m used to, and math is hand, here in America there are a especially hard for me since they lot more subjects to choose from. use different words for everything. In Denmark, it has already been deBut people are very nice and welcided which subjects you will take. coming to me, and I have found a There are a lot more crecouple of friends that I enjoy spendative subjects in America, than what ing time with. I am used to. In Denmark it is all about studying and reading books, My homeland is actually but here you can think abstractly and jokes. not as different from America as I, use your hands. That is a very posiI’m staying here for the whole and a lot of curious kids thought. tive change for me. school year. I heard of exchange Yes, we do have McDonalds. Yes, students who change family every we do have pets too. No, if I went to I had a friend who was go- quarter, but I think that would make Turkey, I would not understand their ing to be an exchange student, and the year a lot harder than it already language! And yes, we can hunt., she talked about it constantly. She is going to be. I’m glad that I got not as wild and exciting animals as made it sound like so much fun and the family I did. here though. But we do have rabbits an amazing experience. So, I talked and deer. to my dad about it, and we started re- I tried my best not to ex There is a lot of things that searching it. We didn’t tell my mom pect anything before hand, because we do differently in Denmark, but until I was certain I wanted to be an I had no idea what would happen in this case, different does not mean exchange student in America. She when I came over here. I didn’t wrong.

September 2012

The Catalyst

Kids these days! By Keaton Brown, Business Mannager Among the many recurring problems at the beginning of every school year, sophomores probably top the list. It’s not one single sophomore class that has been mocked and “hated on”; every incoming class of students is noted for their irritating, persistent habits. To ease life at high school for everyone, there are several do’s and don’ts sophomores should be aware of. First and foremost, sophomores, learn to spell “sophomore” the right way. It’s not “softmore,”and it’s not “sophmore” either. The sophomore class is always known for being “less experienced” than the rest of the high school, so at least try to ease that stereotype and spell sophomore the right way. Just because Justin Bieber happened to say “swag” in a chorus does not at all mean you should use the term. Also, there is no such thing as “sophomore swag.” There are millions of words out there- learn them. “I hear someone say ‘swag’ probably every five minutes. Justin Bieber’s bad enough. I especially don’t want to hear it from sophomores,” said Jake Gulden, junior. The hallways at FMHS have always been crowded, so forming groups in the middle of them isn’t necessarily a plus. Other people are trying to get to their classes, too. “I think the most annoying thing sophomores do is form groups in the middle of the hallways. I mean, it’s a passing period. What could you possibly need to discuss with ten people?” said Logan Pfister, senior. You have your own hallway to form friend circles- sophomore hall.

Also, right door’s the right way. Going to the left door labels you as either an idiot or a rebel, and nobody likes a rebel. Don’t act superior to upperclassmen- you’re not. “The thing (about sophomores) I hate most is when they try and pull the seniority card,” said Michael Harris, senior. If you’re tired of being “hated on” for being an underclassman, I hear some- this is one say ‘swag’ probably why. Also, probably every don’t fake five minutes.” your way into being an upperclassmenyou’ll be there soon enough. This is especially important to remember at pep assemblies. If you try and blend into the senior section, believe me, your high school career will not be pleasant. Keep it classy, sophomores. No one wants to hear how many times you can drop the F-Bomb in one minute or how low you can sag your pants before they fall.

Lastly, and most importantly, just be nice. You’ll get far in life if you remember this and, if you’re lucky, you might even see an end of being “hated on.” Sophomore year is hard for everyone. To make it easiest for the entire school, sophomores, just listen to these tips.

Photo By Madison Wittman

Proud Supporters of the:

Fruita Monument Wildcats 633 24 Rd., Grand Junction, CO (970)683-5560

Juniors Kyle Griffith and Blaine Smith are halted by sophmores Ian Lummis and Matt Steele who are going through the wrong door.

The Catalyst



September 2012

A race to the finish

By Keaton Brown, News editor This November, many FMHS students will be able to cast their vote in the 2012 presidential election. However, many students will have no idea who to vote for in the first place. To aid in this troubling situation, I have tackled each of the major issues each candidate is facing and their suggested

solution to fix it. First and foremost; free healthcare. Every firstworld European country is shocked that America still lacks decent, affordable health care. I’m sorry, conservatives, but just because the democrats support affordable health care, doesn’t

mean it’s a bad thing. The problem is- whose health care? Romney or Obama’s? Obama passed the current health care reform earlier this summer, but Romney wishes to repeal the current reform and “modify” it. They are very similar, however. I have to give the props to RomneyCare, mainly because it would leave one percent of Americans uninsured, whereas ObamaCare would leave 16% uninsured. Also, it would encourage individuals to purchase their healthcare instead of relying on their employers. America’s

economy is doing poor arguably because of capitalism- that is, a free market; richer get richer, poor get poorer. When George Bush was president, he initiated tax cuts on the wealthy (the high end of America’s social class had to pay less tax). Romney wishes to make these tax cuts permanent, whereas Obama wishes to repeal them. Because this social class gap was what got America into such trouble in the first place, I think it makes more sense to create greater taxes on the wealthy, which is what Obama plans to do. Also, he plans to create stimulus in the economy to get it going, and then cut spending to reduce the deficit for a long-term plan. As for foreign affairs, both candidates want to keep troops out of Iraq. Though it isn’t an incredibly difficult matter-athand for America right now, abortion has become one of the most controversial issues. Obama is pro-choice, meaning, he believes the government shouldn’t have a say in female reproductive


choices- he supports abortion. Romney, on the other hand, believes states should have the right to ban abortions, except in cases of rape or incest. I have to agree with Romney on this one- for the cases of abortion that aren’t caused by rape, I think the individual should assume responsibility for their own actions. Illegal immigration is still a problem, but it’s begun to die down. Romney would make English the official language of the US, and "turn off the magnets like tuition breaks or other breaks that draw people into this country illegally." Obama wishes to create a path to legalization for illegal immigrants that includes paying certain fines and learning English, which I agree with. When it comes to voting, many people will vote for someone regardless of their opinions on political issues. From a bipartisan point of view, if I could vote, I would cast it for Obama. I think one more term from Barack Obama would be beneficial to America.

Shout outs!

S/O to the kid who cut me off in the parking lot today

S/O to whoever made sophomore advisory

S/O to the sophomores for not knowing how to walk

S/O to the class of 2013!

By Madison Wittman, Photo Editor

S/O to the tall kid that sits in front of me for blocking the board

S/O to the kids in Mrs. Resendiz’s 7th hour!

S/O to the cops that don’t pull me over

S/O to the people that tag my car

S/O to the football boys for always giving it their all

S/O to whoever wants to take me to lunch

S/O to the slow walkers out there

S/O to the kids that have homework every night

S/O to the athletes

S/O to the teachers who let us watch movies in class

S/O to the kids obsessed with their phones

The Catalyst



September 2012

The Monster inside... By Melissa Murphy, Reporter

Another sleep-deprived night and you are studying and working hard to finish that essay that you put off until the last minute. The next morning during class, you can barely keep your eyes open. So what do you do? You run to Maverick and purchase a Monster, hoping to get a burst of energy. This may be an inexpensive way to boost your energy, but there are many secrets hidden inside that can that can affect you for the rest of your life. The caffeine is by far the highest ingredient at 160mg in a single can of Monster. Constant intake of caffeine can cause heart palpitations.

Most of the ingredients perfectly healthy person are different sorts of supplements can turn into an addict. such as ginseng, Guarana, and plant Luckily not all teenagroots, which can be good for the ers are drawn to the body in moderation. However, too sweet sugary taste of a many of these can cause an overmonster. load to the body, causing shaking Carlos and numbness in hands and feet. Matthews, a com The biggest secret that the petitive swimmer companies hide from their consum- at Fruita, complains ers is that they are not required by that “Too many kids I law to say what any of the roots go to school with are and plants used are sprayed with. addicted to Monsters. Dr. Edward Group explains that I think these toxins are the they are worst part of the energy much drink. These so called I can easily too high “healthy” and “stimudrink up to three in sugar lating” ingredients and are each day.” terrible for could be covered in pesticides and poisonthe body.” ous chemicals. NeuCarlos rotoxins are the main ingredient in has never drank a monpesticides. These toxins build up ster, and he doesn’t plan in the brain and cause neurological on starting now. “I sure issues, such as trouble sleeping and wouldn’t be as good of trouble concentrating, as well as a swimmer if I drank a loss of memory. monster every day before Jesus Rivera, junior, drinks practice.” monsters on a regular basis. “I love Next time you monsters, when I’m not in band I crack open a 16oz. can of can easily drink up to three each “sugary goodness” just try day,” Rivera said. and remember what you’re It is a scary thought that af- drinking, and the possible ter living a teenage life consuming impact it can have on the rest Monsters and other energy drinks, a of your life.

Weird to you but normal to them Your creepyneighbor stories revealed By Taylor Eatwell, Reporter All we know is that these people could, in fact, be our neighbors.

High school in India? Count me in!

By Lucy Colson, Special to the Catalyst

is nothing else down there but the safe,” said junior Jasmine Higgs.

they go and actually live in their shed,” said sophomore Bryce Carlson.

Even during the melanalso commented on how her dad choly spells, Savannah Tompkins said it was so annoying that she was would never trade going to an constantly saying, “Their teeth are I have a neighbor when I international boarding school in so white!” I have a neighbor who walk outside he will just be staring I have a neighbor who Uttrarakhand, India for a regular Even though goes out to the front yard with at me through the window and if I will stand outside and throw beer Fruita monument Thompkins said she a ninja sword and cuts up boxes stay outside he will pull up a chair bottles at my dog for no reason. high school career. wouldn’t want to “be daily,” said junior Lindsey Thomp- and sit there the entire time I am out They also go out to the front of my Ever since It has always anywhere else for son. there,” said junior Alex Bingham. yard where my trash cans are and Tompkins was six been a dream of school,” she did mention will throw their trash into my trash years old, she never how there were some I had a neighbor who Whenever I go outside cans instead of theirs,” said sopho- stopped thinking mine and now restrictions that might always sat on her porch with her my neighbor will go outside, if I more David Calvin. about the day she it has become a keep her from finishing dog and every time I would walk go inside then he will go inside. He would become reality.” high school in India. by to get the mail or something she has no purpose to be out there but My neighbor will run involved in India “I truly hope to would ask me if a wanted a cigato creep. Whenever I go outside he his sprinkler system for the regular missions. spend the rest of my rette. Every day she would wear a will just sit down with a drawing time and then will go outside and “I can’t quite explain it, high school time here. If I am able moo moo dress and slippers,” said pad and draws while looking at me” spray his grass with the hose for an but I have always had this calling to money wise and make high senior Tobias Keller. said junior Mckenzie Logan. hour. After he mows his lawn he to go. It has always been a dream of grades this year I am almost guaranwill bring his lawn mower out to the One time I went outside My neighbor has a shed street and will wash it,” said teacher mine and now it has become a real- teed to come here again,” Thompity,” Tompkins said. kins said. and my neighbor just came up to me in his backyard and a giant house, Tom Goff. As the time got closer and She expressed her love and pointed a shotgun at me. I do but instead of living in their house closer for her to pack up her bags not know why because I did for Woodstock as if she felt like and get on the plane, she started to absolutely nothing to him,” home there. The games and sports worry. From leaving said senior Cody Church they play there she all her family and described as “close to My neighbors friends to even leavexactly the same.” The I cried when I dorm rooms are similar hang their clothes in their ing her own bed she tree to let them dry and they almost could not bear left all of them to college ones but, if even have a working dryer,” it. and I think about you are late to them said sophomore Kiara “I cried get written up them every day. ” you Stringer. when I left all of with a “derami”, which them and I think have the same idea as a I have a neighbor about them every day,” Tompkins hall sweep pass here at Fruita. who built an underground said. The only frustrating room just for a safe. You When asked about the and funny part about going to an walk down a stair case into different cultural ways, Thompkins international school was that she a regular size room and it laughed and said, “Where do I couldn’t take her ketchup. is just empty, then you go start.” “They think it’s a sin through this tiny hallway She explained how the first here to add extra flavoring such into a small room where time she went there the kids were as ketchup, but I snuck it into my A peeping neighbor there is a medium sized simply disgusted at how she used travel bag anyways!” Thompkins safe just sitting there. There looks over their fence. Photo by Madi Wittman the same toothbrush every day. She said laughing.


14 September 2012

What’s up Fruita?

The Catalyst

Story and Photos by Taylor Scofield, Commentary Editor Many teachers at Fruita have found a creative way to decorate their formerly bland ceiling tiles. In your next period class, look up! You will most likely see a wide array of beautiful art. This kind of distraction could keep you off task all year. So what’s up Fruita? Here’s a sample.

This tile, which can be found in Ms. James’ room, is a reproduction of Salvador Dali’s most famous work, “The Persistence of Memory.” The melting watches symbolize the irrelevance of time and the creature in the middle is supposedly a self-portrait of Dali.

This tile, which hangs in Mrs. Miller’s room, pays homage to one of the great tales of Fruita. Former Catalyst editor Tucker Blake decided to start coming to school without shoes. This did not sit well with the administration and war began. This piece of art is dedicated to the struggle for freedom down under. It could be said that painting this tile was quite a feet.

In Mr. Palmer’s class hangs this beautiful tile which depicts the Hindu deity “Shiva.” Lord Shiva is the Lord of mercy and compassion. Though, he is also sometimes shown fighting off demons. It is said that while wearing a tiger skin, Shiva is fearless. This tile is Mr. Palmer’s favorite. This book related tile is also in Mrs. Miller’s room. The tile imitates the cover from Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Old Man and the Sea. The person that created this tile was able to create an exact replica of the actual artwork.

This tile in Mr. Palmer’s room uses a play on words to change a common quote. Generally, this quote uses “sun” instead of “son”. However, the painter changed the word in order to make the quote religious in nature. This is a good example of impressionism.

Colorado pride

Mrs. Miller’s favorite tile is this “Memoirs of a Geisha” artwork. The novel, told in first person perspective, tells the fictional story of a geisha working in Kyoto, Japan, before and after World War II. This tile is painted with extreme accuracy and precision.

By Alyssa Urban, Co-Managing Editor Just by walking the halls of FMHS, one will most likely notice the vast amount of clothing, stickers, hats and other accessories on teenagers that have the Colorado flag on them. Some ask why so much “pride” is shown for Colorado and if the excessive amount of flags are necessary. The simple four-colored flag may not seem much to those who live out of state, but for the kids of Colorado it may mean a bit more. “The flag actually symbolizes a lot of the state,” senior Kiani Vogt said. “The blue is the sky, the yellow is the sun and the white is the snow on the mountains.” Even the red “C” refers to the Spanish Colorado meaning “red.” The many environmental features of Colorado can be affiliated with the sight of the flag as the mountain state is known for its many ski hills, open lands and well known Colorado sun. The flag represents these features and is why many stores sell the merchandise. Vogt is one to represent the state as she made and wears a Colorado flag sweatshirt along with other flagdesigned items. “It’s just a unique trend that Colorado has taken over throughout the years,” Vogt said. Some people from the

Grand Junction and Fruita area stereotype the group of people showing their support of the flag to be hardcore skiers. Although this may be true, the general group of flag-wearers is anyone living in Colorado that may or may not enjoy

the outdoors. “It’s become such a cool thing to wear and have on stickers and stuff,” senior Logan Pfister said. “It seems like everyone has at least one thing with the flag on it.” Senior Mariah Hartle

Photo courtesy of Kiani Vogt

agrees with Pfister as she describes the trend to be “a Colorado thing.” “You probably don’t see people walking around with the Kansas flag on their shirts and hats,” Hartle said. Although many enjoy the

image of the red, blue, yellow and white flag, some question the fad among teenagers. Junior Lindsey Burenheide doesn’t find the style as appealing as others do. “I just don’t get why everyone is so obsessed with wearing the flag so much,” Burenheide said, “Mid-calf socks with the Colorado flag on them isn’t something I would be down for buying.” She is originally from Texas and because of that reason is able to recognize the difference in “state pride” between there and Colorado. According to Burenheide, her hometown in Texas did not have the same flag craze as Colorado does. “People don’t go crazy at the sight of the Texas flag on a sticker,” Burenheide said, “And I don’t see why people of Colorado do when they see their flag.” The state that one originated from may change what kind of state pride they decide to show. As out of state residents may not understand the connection that Coloradans have with their environment, the locally born citizens appreciate the importance their state flag represents for them.

Kiani Vogt represents Colorado by wearing the flag on her homemade Knon sweatshirt.


20 September 2012

Welcome to Fruita: New Teachers Brian Stone By : Jenn Robinson, Co-Managing Editor Mr. Brian Stone was welcomed into the Grand Valley just a month before he was introduced into Fruita Monument High School as our new choral director. Stone, new to the life of teaching, is an experienced conductor and singer. As an undergraduate from the University of Puget Sound, he was once an assistant conductor, and a member of the St. Martin Chamber Choir. Just one month before starting as our choral director, Stone moved from the big town of Denver to the farm town of Fruita. However, the qualities of the Grand Valley do seem to be more complimenting of his interests of hiking, biking and climbing.

Niki Johnston By : Taylor Scofield, Commentary Editor Sometimes it can feel like Fruita Monument administration is disconnected from the student body. It seems like they break up fights, enforce new rules and run the school, but they don’t really know what it’s like to be a student. Well our new assistant principal, Nikki Johnston, knows exactly what it’s like to be in your shoes. That’s because she is a FMHS graduate. “You guys still do a lot of the same things we did with the football games and the dances,” said Johnston. “My favorite part of Fruita was the camaraderie of the student body.” Johnston ran cross country, played basketball, and even ran track at Fruita. Now her favorite hobbies are scrapbooking and hiking with her kids. However, she hasn’t forgotten the sense of tradition that Fruita has. Johnston says she plans on staying at Fruita for a while. So next time you think that the administrators are completely out of touch with high school kids just remember that they are not that different from you.

Nicholle Busch By : Josephene Owens, Reporter Have you ever thought about a teacher’s life before they were your teacher? What they were like? Where they came from? Or why they decided to become a teacher? Nicholle Busch a FMHS math teacher was willing to give details about her life before becoming a FMHS math teacher and what inspired her to teach. Grand Junction has always been her home. She went to Central high school and was a Warrior and went there her 4 years of high school. “I can’t really compare Fruita and Central as schools because I only went to Central as a student and have only been to Fruita as a teacher so it would be an unfair comparison,” Busch said. She had always been inspired to help people and she was good at math. When she was in school herself, she would help others around her with their math when they asked. After 7th or 8th, grade she decided she wanted to be a math teacher to teach kids and help them understand math. “It was a fun subject, I always personally liked it while I was going through school,” Busch said. She hasn’t always stayed local though. She started college at UNC in Greely but transferred to Mesa State to finish off college. After graduating high school, she was a substitute until being offered the job here at FMHS. Soon realizing that high school was a much easier grade to teach than elementary, she prefers to teach students in high school. She feels as if older kids are easier to relate to and they comprehend things easier than younger kids do.

The Catalyst

Emily Clodfelter By : Megan Corisdeo, Reporter Emily Clodfelter is an English teacher and this is her very first year teaching. Clodfelter attended Colorado State University to become a teacher. Before she became a teacher, she was a waitress. Clodfelter, chose to be an English teacher because she believes “without the proper skills that I teach, life would be a lot more challenging, and I wanted to share my love for reading with others.” Clodfelter chose to teach high school students because while she is teaching, she can also joke around with them as well. Clodfelter advices that the students taking her class should always be prepared and on time. If she could do anything in the world, she would travel to every country.

Elizabeth Elliot By : Taylor Eatwell, Reporter It has been three years since special education teacher, Elizebeth Elliot, has been an actual teacher and this is her first year of teaching at Fruita Monument. She was a teacher at Independence Academy and was a substitute for three years after that. Elliot went to Colorado Mesa University and is still going there to get her master’s degree. Even though Elliot is a teacher now, she has not always wanted to teach. When Elliot started college at Colorado Mesa University she was studying political science. “Throughout high school I always thought I wanted to do something with politics, but then I decided to become a teacher because I thought I could change more for a school than I could with politics,” Elliot stated. If Elliot wasn’t teaching she would want to travel the world. She has already visited many places in the world, but the most exciting place for her was Spain. Elliot has always been a good listener and was always on the honor roll throughout her high school career. For any students taking her class, the best advice she has is to always try your hardest no matter what.

Billy Dreher By: Alyssa Urban, CoManaging Editor As a 1988 Fruita Monument High School graduate himself, Billy Dreher has come back to the small town to teach team sports and weights at the high school. In addition to teaching, Dreher will also take the head coaching job for the boys’ varsity basketball team. Dreher moved back to Fruita from Louisiana with his wife and baby on the way. He previously taught physical education and geography there. Before teaching, Dreher went to college at McNeese State in Louisiana. During his college years, he continued his basketball career. “Coach Dave Fox was actually my freshman high school basketball coach,” Dreher said. When not teaching, Dreher’s hobbies are anything and everything related to fitness from riding bikes to playing tennis and especially practicing basketball. He has previously played on a professional basketball team and has traveled to countries around the world playing the game. “I’ve been to Iceland, Singapore, Panama, Taiwan and many other countries,” Dreher said, “Basketball has always been has always been a passion of mine.”

Zeb Hayward By :Keaton Brown, News Editor It’s 1996. Vanilla Ice is still popular, and Bill Clinton hasn’t yet had “…sexual relations with that woman!” It’s also the year Fruita Monument Business teacher Zeb Hayward graduated from FMHS. Years later, Hayward would graduate from Mesa State College with a major in history and a minor in business. He hasn’t always been a business teacher. Last year, he taught social studies. As a person, Hayward enjoys history more. However, “I think business has a greater impact on more students,” said Hayward. Outside of school, he likes to spend time with his wife and children (his wife is the English teacher Vanessa Hayward) and coaches the freshmen boys’ basketball team. Hayward also enjoys golfing and skiing.

Cindy Pritekel By :Melissa Murphy, Reporter Cindy Pritekel is the new agriculture science teacher here at Fruita. Before coming here, she taught at Ft. Morgan high school as science teacher. According to Pritekel she really likes Fruita. “I love the community; it’s like a big family.” She also finds her teaching partner Ryan Hudson, to be a fun bonus to the job. “Hudson is great! He’s very supportive with me and the students and is a lot of fun to work with,” Pritekel explained. Although it’s only her first two months on the job, she’s looking forward to the years to come. “I am so excited to work with these amazing students, and I can’t wait to be involved with the FFA.

If you could vote anyone for president, who would you choose?

Photos by Eden Laase

Deborah Nelson By: Eden Laase, Sports Editor Deb Nelson has been teaching since 1997, but this is her first year at Fruita Monument High School. Teaching had been her goal since elementary school. “My fourth grade teacher inspired me to teach. I thought she was amazing. I cried all the way home from the last day of school because I was going to miss her so much.” In college Nelson followed her dream of teaching and studied music, P.E., and health at BYU. Then, she continued her education at Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University). There, she studied Biology and Teacher Education. Finally, she finished her education at University of Northern Colorado where she got her Educational Technology Masters. “I love learning; it’s a passion.” Although Nelson loves teaching, if she could be doing anything else it would be relaxing. “[If I wasn’t a teacher], I would be sitting on the beach, or researching my family history.” If you are taking on of Mrs. Nelson’s classes this year, the only advice she has is, “Do your work and turn it in. Also, 20 minutes a night; they know what that means.”


Sharon Jackson By: Madi Wittman, Photography Editor & Kate Andersen, Reporter

ESL teacher Sharon Jackson worked at Orchard Mesa Middle School for two years before she was transferred to Fruita. “I probably would have stayed at OMMS if they hadn’t shifted the ESL program,” Jackson said. Do not be misled; Jackson enjoys it here at Fruita too. “I’ve worked at the 8/9 before and I always really liked it here,” Jackson added. “I’ll be here as long as they don’t make any more changes.” As a native to Colorado, Jackson attended East High in Denver and later went on to graduate from Colorado Mesa University. Jackson has been teaching for eight years but has a colorful past. “I was actually in the Navy for five years. I’m a Vietnam veteran and I’ve raised my own family,” Jackson said. Somehow she still finds time to do dressage, riding and training horses, make quilts and read. If Jackson wasn’t teaching she’d “love to be a travel writer” going all over the world writing blogs about her adventures; but expect to see her around Fruita, she doesn’t plan on leaving.