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volume 106 | issue 5 | Mar. 5, 2014 Kearney High School



Kearney High students use the auditorium for multiple purposes. They watch plays, listen to concerts and attend assemblies throughout the school year. The Cope Foundation has given Kearney High $550,000 for the new school auditorium. (Photo by Heidy Boteo)


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volume 110 | issue 5 | march 2014 kearney high school HOLLAND-INSPIRED

The Cope Foundation has donated $550,000 to model the new school’s auditorium after Omaha’s Holland Performing Arts Center.


Prom is just around the corner and The ECHO has created an infographic displaying everything one needs to remember for the big event.


Some listen to classical music. Others do yoga. This story exposes the odd ways that students get better focused when studying and when teachers grade papers.


Readers can find out what flavor of ice cream they most relate to through this eccentric personality quiz.

WORLDLY WONDERS From blue sand in the Maldives to a pink lake in Australia, The ECHO explores the most interesting wonders of the world.

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The dangerous new trend of Young Adult Dystopian novels turning into films will captivate movie theaters across the nation in 2014.

DESTRESSING High school students in general are subject to stress in all aspects of their lives. Here are some ways to escape the anxiety that comes with school and work.

BROMANCES Multiple male friendships at Kearney High can be considered bromances, or romances between brothers.


Heavy backpacks, loud headphones and a lot of caffeine. How much is too much for high schoolers?

WESTERN WORLD Describes the situation of women’s education and advances in the Western World.

Notice of Non-Discrimination: Kearney Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of services.

Spring into a Good Book As The ECHO staff prepares for the warmer weather that comes with spring, we discuss some of our favorite reads.

Dayna Schultz

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Ashlyne Meseure

The Selection

Colten White

The Fault in Our Stars

Lauren Falconer

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Tristy Goetz

Game of Thrones Series

Isaac Liberman

The Overachievers

Hannah Nutt

Love You Forever

Brenna Braden

The Last Song

Karla Chavez

Jane Eyre

Ruth Boteo


Laura Stoner

The Hot Zone

Emma Holbrook

Age of Innocence

Mrs. Johnson


Adrienne Cavill

Water for Elephants

Kasidy Dobish

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Courtney Albrecht

Catcher in the Rye

Hannah Woodward

The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy

Jack Shea

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Emerald Miles

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Alex Irish

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Brianna Humphrey

The Lightning Thief

Keona Koster

The Hunger Games trilogy

Christa Lovitt

Stranger With My Face

Brenna Petersen

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Jaydn Trimble

Spindle’s End

Tianna Engen

The Great Gatsby

Alex Green


Shelby Janke

The Kite Runner

Emma Hunnicutt


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New Auditorium: Cope Foundation donates $550,000 BY EMMA HUNNICUTT This past January, the students of Kearney High received news that a $550,000 donation had been made by the John and Carol Cope Foundation to help pay for a state-of-the-art auditorium for the new high school. This new auditorium will be unlike anything else in the area. Instead of the usual theatre-style auditorium typically found in high schools, this auditorium will be a concert hall similar to the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha, NE. Expected to seat around 1,000 people, the auditorium will have many capabilities, including the ability to transform into a theatre stage for plays and musicals. To accomplish this, the open concert hall stage will have sliding walls that move forward to form the traditional proscenium-style stage. The hall will also feature a choir loft and some of the latest sound projecting technology to offer a higher-quality concert experience. Not only will the auditorium benefit students, but the residents of Kearney, as well. As a result of having a larger, more versatile performing arts center, Kearney will be able to cater to a variety of concerts and performers. “People from all around are going to look to what Kearney has done and want to emulate it as well as use it,� says Kearney High Band Director Nathan LeFeber. Being only the second auditorium of this type in existence, this venue will offer the many musically talented students of Kearney a unique performing experience, as well as draw attention to the quickly growing community of Kearney.

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Above is a view of the concert hall style open stage that would be used for orchestra, band, and choir type concerts. To the right is a view procenium style stage to be used for theatre productions. All three photos are architectural drawings of the auditorium in Michigan that the new auditorium at Kearney High School will be modeled after. The auditorium in Kearney will feature a one tier balcony instead of two as shown in the picture to the left. Drawings from Van K. Phillips and Frederick W. Gore.

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Y I O D ST P A welcome to


A dangerous literary trend has taken bookshelves and big screens by storm over the past year. Young Adult dystopian novels-turned-films have captured countless nominations and box offices alike. There is something about despair that keeps readers and viewers coming back. The rapid appearance of Dystopian stories being translated into films began in 2012 when Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games grossed $211.8 million worldwide on its opening weekend. What made this film so attractive, especially to young audiences, was the fearless and unique novel which it was based on that was written specifically for teens. Including the importance of family, the woes of love and the possibility of death, The Hunger Games trilogy is enough to keep readers captured by Collins’s writing while being able to imagine the plot in their minds. Similarly, most Young Adult dystopian novels carry heavy emotion and exhaustion wrapped around tragic events that, usually, young teenage characters must face on their own.

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The Giver by Lois Lowry Young Adult dystopian novels did not begin with The Hunger Games trilogy. Rather, Lois Lowry’s The Giver was published in 1993, approximately 10 years before the famous trilogy, and started the concept of teenagers living in a corrupt world that on paper looks perfect. The Giver is a story about a boy named Jonas who lives in a community that is designed as a utopia, but throughout the novel is revealed as dystopic and crooked. The oppressive structure of this community limits both creativity and individuality. On every child’s 12th birthday, they are assigned a role in society according to their strengths that have been observed throughout their childhood. Jonas is assigned as the “Receiver of Memory,” the one person who can recall stories of life before the sameness. Although The Giver has been pegged by critics as an inappropriate book for children due to its subject matter, Lois Lowry received a Newberry Medal in 1994 for her daring and controversial read. This mother of the dystopian trend for children is both a major contribution to children’s literature, as well as an eye-opening book for young readers. The Giver is sequeled by Gathering Blue, Messenger and Son. Both the novel and its film adaptation have been written by Lois Lowry and can be seen on the big screen in 2014.

Divergent by Veronica Roth A weighty predecessor to The Hunger Games (2008), Veronica Roth’s Divergent was published in 2011 and parallels the fast-paced action that Young Adult Dystopian novels tend to offer. Also a Young Adult trilogy, the Divergent series is considered dystopic because its society, like The Giver, assigns roles to its citizens once they reach a certain age. In this case, however, they are put into five distinct factions based on their personalities. These factions include Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful) and Erudite (the intelligent). The beginning of Divergent is introspective for the reader, for she or he will naturally try to decide what faction they would like to belong to. However, each faction is extreme in its virtues and have limiting factors that make them equally unattractive. For example, residents of Abnegation are not allowed to draw any attention to themselves, and they wear grey clothes and live in grey houses in order to remain plain and invisible. The Dauntless jump out of trains once they reach their destinations and are constantly proving their bravery during everyday activities. Starring The Secret Life of the American Teenager’s Shailene Woodley, Divergent can be found in movie theaters in May of 2014.

Epitaph Road by David Patneaude Published in 2010, David Patneaude’s story is about Kellen, a boy living in a world where 97% of the male population has been wiped out by a mysterious plague. Epitaph Road takes place in 2097, where the majorly-female populated society has put a cease to all wars, poverty and crime. However, this utopia displays extreme unfairness and endless challenges for the male minority. The plague reappears when groups of men increase in size and number, and Kellen lives in fear that this unclassified epidemic will affect him. Similar to several other dystopian novels, Kellen’s main goal is to save one of his family members: his father. This novel was nominated for the 2013-2014 Nebraska Golden Sower award and overall deals with the struggles of a minority, a family and a broken society.

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PROM: A Survival Guide





Make plans with date/group (dinner, photos, ride, post-prom, etc.)

Make plans with date/group (dinner, photos, ride, postprom, etc.)


Tux rental

Buy and break in shoes

Find a tie that matches your date’s dress

Schedule hair/nail appointments

Order a corsage

Order a boutonniere

Coordinate a carpooling plan. limo, bus, trolley, etc.

Purchase prom/post prom tickets

Purchase prom/post prom tickets

National Average Cost of Prom Per Couple

Did You Know?





*The term “prom” comes from the word “promenade,” which signified the parading of guests at upper-class galas and debutante balls during the Victorian era.



2013 Expected for 2014 Statistics provided by VISA

*The first proms were held at northeastern colleges in the late 1800s. High schools did not adopt the trend until the early 20th century. *Actresses Halle Berry, Rosie O’Donnell and Cindy Crawford were all prom queens. Glee’s Matthew Morrison was also crowned prom king in high school. *In ancient times, flowers were worn on special occasions to ward off evil spirits. In the 20th century, corsages became popular to wear on the wrist or shoulder, customary at both weddings and formal dances. Facts provided by

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Go-To Places

Go-To Places



Tuxedo Rentals

Dress Shops

Bridal Images

3301 2nd Ave. (308) 234-9333

Bridal Images

3301 2nd Ave. (308) 234-9333

Varsity Formal Wear

820 25th St. (308) 234-1165

Bridal Isle

315 Commercial St. Loomis, NE 68958 (308) 876-2583

Nail Salons

Safety First

Nails Unlimited

3905 N. 2nd Ave. (308) 234-4243

Pretty Nails

2524 1st Ave. #2 (308) 236-6801

Jenny Nail

3710 2nd Ave. (308) 234-9443

* Do not drink and drive, and do not get in a vehicle with anyone who has been drinking. * Wear a seatbelt every time, no matter how short the trip is. * Make sure parents or guardians know where you are at all times in case of an emergency. Call a parent, guardian or someone you trust in case plans change or help is needed. * Many teens do not report dating violence because they are afraid to tell friends or family. Tell a family member or call 911 if you or someone you know is being abused.

Hair Salons Alejandro’s

5613 N. 2nd Ave. (308) 234-3733

Harper’s Hair Studio

2003 Central Ave. (308) 455-3500

Olivia’s Salon

2025 Central Ave. (308) 234-5593

Statistics from Liberty Mutual/Students Against Destructive Decisions, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

1/3 Teen Deaths are Caused By Alcohol

54% Amount of students that had 4+ drinks on prom night in 2013

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De-stressing Your Distress BY TRISTY GOETZ

Living in the age of technology where everything is tweeted, posted, texted and messaged at the speed of sound, updates and trends change faster than the weather in Nebraska. All of this can be stressful. The constant bombardments of new, distracting shiny objects can lead even the most studious student astray. Just a quick Facebook break or one quick tweet about the snow leads to procrastination ending in a pile of homework and a late nighter to pull it all together before Monday. Finally, everything is done, handed in or not due for another week. But wait, then arrives the creeping feeling that something was forgotten... “Chem was handed was handed in, right?” Finally, free time has come but the feelings of PTHWD (post-traumatic homework disorder) are still looming. It threatens the student from every nook and cranny with worries that he or she does not need to be concerned about, which is cheating him or her out of precious and very limited destressing time. Here is a short guide to get the stress monster off one’s chest.

Just breathe

It may seem silly, but taking a few deep breaths and concentrating on just letting the air in and out can totally take the edge off stress. The science? Studies have shown that when people become stressed or emotionally distraught, they tend to take short, quick breaths, allowing the body only the minimum amount of oxygen. Taking calm, deep breaths after a stressful day can help a person calm down.

•Laugh it out

Yoga and Tai Chi

Yoga is a popular relaxation and destressing process, and a person does not have to be an eco-fanatic or a hippy to enjoy the benefits of yoga practice. Tai Chi is a different alternative to yoga. Tai Chi is a form of Chinese martial arts that reaps the same health benefits as yoga. Regular yoga practice can reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, relieve physical pain across the body and alleviate the symptoms of depression. When done regularly, both practices can improve the quality of life among patients with cancer and heart disease.

Laughter is the best medicine. A study done by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that people •Unplug who laughed more and could appreciate humor lived 35% lonThough being constantly connected to the outside world ger than those who did not. via mobile phone and internet is exciting and brings people closer together, it also gives people very little time alone, which can wear on nerves. For just an hour, turn off the com•Meditation puter, power down the phone and take some time to be with There is no need for hours of silence or years of practice. oneself. Read a book, spend time with family or just take any Meditation can be a quick and easy way to get into a relaxed sort of break from technology. zone. There are several free guided meditation podcasts that can be downloaded from iTunes. “My Meditation Station” is a great short meditation podcast that gives a few fixes for stressAdding just a couple of these relaxation practices to a daily ers. From “Work Detox” to catching up on “Zzzz…” these 5-10 routine can be beneficial. Do not let daily stressers get in the minute fixes will have one ready to relax in no time. way of enjoying life to the fullest.

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Students, teachers:

Weird ways to study, grade BY JACK SHEA For every high school student, the second their alarm clock goes off in the morning, the pressure is on. On top of wanting to look nice, befriend everyone and perform well in extracurricular activities, kids in high school are expected to do well in their classes. With tests and quizzes almost every day, studying is a daily routine. How do teachers expect kids to do it? How are they supposed to get to after school meetings, watch How I Met Your Mother and study for multiple tests all in one night? Well, there definitely is not only one way to study, that is for sure. Sophomore Cassie Sleicher says, “Sometimes I will pace my room frantically while reading, or when I have to memorize something I will make up a song.” Senior Lainey Russell tapes her notes to her shower to study. “I get my best ideas in the shower and I memorize things better in the shower, too” Russell says. It sometimes seems that the studying never ends. One test after another, students lose more and more sleep every night. However, are the students the only ones that suffer? Almost every student wishes they had a magical homework machine they could use. Just put the blank worksheet in and get it out complete. Well, most teachers wish they had a magical grading machine. The students study for one test but the teachers grade all of them. Some even have their own little habits while grading them. Mr. Mishou will play an annoying song while he grades, forcing him to complete them more quickly to spare himself. Mr. Kuecker says, “I just throw the stack of papers up the stairs. The higher the paper goes, the higher the grade.” Kuecker may have been joking. Mrs. Diane Johnson will alternate grading four papers and cleaning her house. “I’ll do anything not to grade papers,” she says. It does not matter if you are a teacher or a student, you cannot escape work you do not want to do. However, you can choose how you want to get through it.

The Dallas Morning News by Vikas Bajaj and Doug Bedell

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There are many friendships at Kearney High, but, they all pale in comparison to the famed “bromance.” As defined by Urban Dictionary, a bromance is a highly-formed friendship between male friends, or “bro’s.” This is a common male phenomenon, with most male students being involved in one at one level or another. A few of these friendships represent a vast variety of bromances throughout Kearney High. In no particular order:


Sophomores Jack Shea and Zach Ryan

Offering one of the most intriguing bromantic relationships, Shea describes, “There is nothing stronger than a bromance. For instance, Zachary and I have been known to purchase baguettes from Panera Bread, buckle them into their car seats and go home and dual using them as swords. This ritual is always followed by a feast. The level of friendship required to have a baked goods sword fight with one of your bros is a level unattainable by the common man.” Adding another important detail, Ryan says, “Our couple name is JZ.”


Mr. Mishou and Mr. Chadek

Even students who have never been in either instructors’ classes are well aware of the teacher bromance between Mr. Mishou and Mr. Chadek. One example of their friendship is shown by the book podcasts that the two produce together. Chadek makes an interesting remark: “We have a shared hatred for pandas. I would really enjoy eating a panda leg for supper sometime,” he says. Mr. Mishou relates his statements to one of his co-worker’s favorite works of literature, saying, “Mr. Chadek is a reminder of my wonderful youth gone past - and I like to make fun of Hobbits.”


Senior Justin Liveringhouse and the KHS male student body

It is simple; everyone loves Justin.


Sophomore Ben Dillon and senior Brian Whetstone

Both of these young gentlemen enjoy speech, music and theatre. These activities show through their vibrant and entertaining interactions with one another. Describing their friendship, Whetstone said, “Our friendship consists of layers of sarcasm.” Dillon has another dynamic description, saying, “Our friendship is an inescapable swamp of inside-jokes and ugly laughter.”


Junior Brian Arp and Mr. Cherry

Both involved with Kearney High athletics, Arp and Mr. Cherry have a very unique bonding experience. Arp says, “We go on sushi dates and talk about things like sports, or whatever else. We really bond over food.” A little embarrassed over being included, Mr. Cherry kept it short and sweet with his description: “Good kid, likes food.”

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We all have one 6

Senior Joe Hanson and junior Noah Murrish

These two theatre and music prodigies certainly have a lot in common and their friendship shows in public as Hanson describes, “Whenever I see Noah in the hallway, no matter how many people are present at the time, I always shout out, ‘NOAH!!! I LLLLLOOOOOOVE YOU!!!’”


Seniors Jake Kingsley and Keaton Lewis


Seniors Isaac Liberman and Nolan Thurston

Even though Isaac and Nolan do not spend as much time together as some of the other Kearney High bromances, the time they do spend together is high-quality. Interestingly describing their friendship, Liberman states, “Our friendship is very open. We can always talk about anything.” When Thurston was also asked to describe their friendship, he stated, “It is an open friendship.” Keep in mind they were asked this separately at different times and places.

These Kearney High seniors have a truly special connection. According to Kingsley, “Keaton and I go way back. We enjoy activities such as screaming at each other while playing video games, cuddling while watching How I Met Your Mother on weekends and long walks on the beach. The long walks on the beach part isn’t true, because we don’t have a beach here in Kearney. If we did, I’m sure we would. Oh, and a phone call never ends without a light-hearted ‘love you buddy’ at the end.” Lewis reflects this sentiment by saying, “No matter thick or thin, Jake is always there for me and I love him like a brother!”


Mr. Pocock and Theodore Roosevelt

As shown by the countless books about Roosevelt on his bookshelf, Mr. Pocock’s bromance with President Roosevelt truly transcends time. Mr. Pockock states, “Our friendship is rather one-sided. [...] His energy and zest for life are traits that I wish I could emulate. [...] He was one tough dude, too!” While it is unlikely that Mr. Pocock will ever be a boxing champion, go on an African safari or lead the Rough Riders to victory in the Spanish American War, his six blocks of freshman geography this semester definitely place his resiliency next to that of Roosevelt’s.

From these examples, it can be seen that the bromances at Kearney High run deep and show the best of friendships of all ages and backgrounds. Other students at Kearney High can merely aspire to be adored by another as deeply as these bro’s love another.

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What does your favorite ice cream flavor say about BY KEONA KOSTER

VANILLA You are far from boring, but like to keep life simple. Why fix what is not broken?

CHOCOLATE CHIP You enjoy having fun while staying classy. You really want the pure chocolate, but it may be too much for you to handle.

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CHOCOLATE This flavor is for the young at heart, the creative and the happy. Who would not be happy with a cone of chocolate ice cream?

MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP You are ambitious and confident, yet sometimes skeptical about life. You prepare for both the future and reality.

YOU? COOKIES AND CREAM You are the person everyone counts on in difficult situations. You are a romantic with a loving personality.

ROCKY ROAD You find balance between practicality and charm. Not only are you outgoing socially, but you are also stubborn and goal-oriented.

SORBET You are light-hearted and content, but still indulge sometimes. No one chooses fruit all the time; live a little!

NEOPOLITAN A neopolitan lover is often times indecisive or confused. Who would not want the best of three worlds, though?

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How is Much? too Much BY LAUREN FALCONER

With all that is going on in the modern student’s life, it is easy to neglect basic health needs. Keeping sickness at bay, exercising and eating healthy are all common health strategies, but there are other ways to stay healthy such as paying attention to backpack weight, headphone volume and the amount of sleep a person gets. Backpack weight is a problem that may not seem like an issue, but it is important to not carry too heavy of a load daily. With all of the textbooks, notebooks and now Chromebooks that students carry around, the weight begins to add up. According to WebMD, a backpack should not weigh more than 20% of a person’s relative weight, or it could cause back pain that can be felt for six months. Sheri Crosier, a junior at Kearney High, says, ”Yes, my backpack is far too heavy. I feel like if we have our Chromebooks, we shouldn’t have other books, too. It’s too much to carry around.” Converting physical textbooks to solely online books would greatly lighten the load on student’s shoulders. In order to combat the problems that heavy backpacks can cause, WebMD recommends wearing them on both shoulders, shortening the shoulder straps, placing heavier items against the back and carrying only necessary items.

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Teenagers are used to hearing about headphone volume and the idea that it can cause ear damage. However, the extent of the damage is often underestimated. says that hearing loss can occur after only an hour and 15 minutes at full volume (120 decibels), which is the equivelant of a rock concert. It is recommended that people should not listen to music with headphones for more than 60 minutes a day at 60% volume, known as the 60/60 rule. About one in five teens today have some form of hearing loss, which has increased greatly since the 90s due to the widespread use of headphones. Symptoms of hearing loss include buzzing or ringing in the ears, difficulty understanding speech and listening to music at higher volumes than is typical. If any of these occur, visiting a doctor is highly recommended.

Students, many of whom have jobs on top of school and extracurricular activities, do not get enough sleep on a daily basis. The Sleep Foundation says teenagers should get between eight and a half and nine hours each night. With schedules and school starting time, it is next to impossible to get a full night’s rest for many people. Lack of sleep can cause stress, lack of awareness, and even depression. Balancing sleep and studying is especially difficult, as sometimes one must be put as a priority over the other. For example, if a person has a big test the next day, getting a good amount of sleep is more important than staying up into the early morning studying. The later it gets, the less effective studying becomes as the drowsiness kicks in, and getting more sleep makes a person more attentive during the test.

Health can be difficult to keep track of, but with practice, maintaining it slowly becomes routine. Sleep, headphone volume and backpack weight, along with food and exercise, are all key components of leading a well-lived life.

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Our World: Seven wonders that many have not heard of...


When one hears “seven wonders of the world,” they think of the Grand Canyon or the Great Barrier Reef. Here, one will learn about seven wonders that are not quite as popular, but are still unique. From Germany to Austrailia, there are many wonders that cover the earth. Globe illustated by Ric Thorton, Macon Telegraph 2007.

1. Blue Sand Beaches of Maldives

In the Maldives, one can walk along the beach and see blue lights on the sand. This phenomenon is because the water glows blue from bioluminescence phytoplankton, a microscopic organsim. They glow blue when the waves hit the sand, agitating them. Walking on this beach reminds one of walking through the night sky.

2. Lake Hillier

Located on the Middle Island of the Recherche Archipelago in Australia is this pink colored lake. Made up of salt water, the water does not change color even when it is put into a different container. The causes of the pink hue is unknown, but the thought is that there is of organisms of Dunaleilla saline and Halobacteria. Another idea is that there is red halophilic bacteria in the salt crusts. Senior Carleen Glenn desribes what she would do if she ever visits this lake by saying, “I would taste test the water.” No matter what the cause, air passengers can always get a great view.

3. Socotra, Yemen

Made up of four islands in the Indian Ocean, Socotra, Yemen contains over 700 species not found anywhere else on earth. It is believed that its extreme heat and dry weather are the cause of the different plants and animals. One of the most common types of plant found there is the dragon’s blood tree, pictured here.

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4. Salar de Uyuni

As the largest salt flatland in the world, Salar de Uyuni is also known as the world’s largest mirror. This phenomenon happens when the flatland is covered with a thin layer of water. Senior Katherine Berke shares her feelings about this wonder by saying, “I think it would be pretty to see, especially at sunset.” It is made up of several prehistoric lakes in Bolivia.

5. Mendenhall Ice Caves

In Juneau, Alaska, a twelve mile glacier is melting, forming these amazing caves. As the glacier continues to melt, researchers are finding strange trees from ancient times. The glacier is presenting forests that have been frozen for around 1,000 years. Even though the glacier is melting into a lake, researchers are unearthing amazing discoveries hidden in this unknown wonder of the world.

6. Black Forest of Germany

Made up of pine and fir trees, the Black Forest is a mysterious phenomenon located in southwest Germany. It is supposedly the setting of many of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales. Many different movies have also been shot at this erie location.

7. Wai-O-Tapu

Located in New Zealand, Wai-O-Tapu is a geothermal area. It is full of hot springs that are known for being colorful. The most popular hot spring, Champagne Pool, was formed 900 years ago by a hydrothermal eruption.

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WESTERN WORLD BY COLTEN WHITE The countries of the Western World, primarily those in UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION North America, Oceania and Europe, are often seen as the It has been found that women are more likely to pursue embodiment of education equality. While these regions are undergraduate education in countries with higher levels of among the most advanced in the field of women’s education, national wealth, which encompasses the vast majority of some potential has yet to be fully realized. western countries. In most wealthy countries, female students clearly outnumber males at the undergraduate level. One example is Iceland. There are almost twice as many PRIMARY AND SECONDARY ENROLLMENT The field of primary education can be considered almost women enrolled in undergraduate education as men. In the entirely equal, throughout a vast majority of western coun- United States and Russia, there are about 129 and 126 fetries. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific male students, respectively, for every 100 male students. These numbers often pose a question of causation and and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics, the Western World has seen near gender equity in regards controversy, with some wondering if men are losing opporto education. Within the Western World, there are several tunities with the increasing number of female scholars. The regions with historically high proportions of countries that answer is not that women are taking a larger piece of the fall within the range of gender equality in primary education. pie, but rather that the pie is getting larger. The UNESCO These regions include North America and Western, Central has found that a rising number of women who are pursuing and Eastern Europe. About 90% of the countries within each higher education does not mean that there are fewer opporof these regions have demonstrated gender parity at the pri- tunities for men. The growth in female enrollment partly reflects the changing values and attitudes related to the roles mary level prior to 1990. Secondary education has shown similar trends. Both of and aspirations of women in society. These are the legacies these areas in education have very few problems with gen- of social change and feminist movements which emerged der equality when speaking of the western countries. Partici- globally in the 1960s and 1970s. Rather than opportunities pation rates in secondary education for women equaled and being taken away, they are expanding beyond their historithen surpassed those of men in North America and Western cal reach. Overall, this provides countless positive results Europe from the beginning of the 1980s. In 2008, the Gross for devoted women. Enrollment Rate for women was at least one quarter above that for males in North America and Europe. COMMON FIELDS In terms of what fields see the greatest amount of female graduates, the results are fairly predictable in some COLLEGE ENROLLMENT regards, but nonetheless intriguing. Women are just as likeOnce students graduate from secondary education, ly to graduate as men in the fields of science, social scienchowever, the numbers begin to tell a more interesting story. es, business and law. Education is another popular field. In Once men and women enter college, there tends to be more some western countries, nine out of ten education gradudiscrepancies, both positive and negative. According to the ates are women. However, some fields that have been traUNESCO statistics, women started catching up to men in ditionally held by men continue to see a higher number of North America and Western Europe in the 1970s and even male graduates, including engineering, manufacturing and surpassed male enrollment rates by the early 1980s.

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construction. In the fairly new field of computer sciences, men are also more likely to receive degrees. It is important to note that these discrepancies are not necessarily a problem, as students should be free to choose whichever field they wish. Once women gain access to higher education, they tend to exceed men in grades, evaluations and degree completion. The growth in female participation should be seen as a positive development, especially given the spillover effects that benefit the individual, households and society. As long as the door is open for those of both genders, this inequality is not necessarily harmful.


In total, all of these statistics have shown the benefits of progress in women’s education in the Western World. However, some inequality does exist in the highest positions of education. Women face considerable barriers as they move up the education ladder to research careers. When looking at the number of

graduates produced, men surpass women in virtually all countries at the highest levels of education, accounting for 56% of all PhD graduates and 71% of researchers. One example is the National University of Lesotho, where more than 70% of the students are women and yet men hold the top administrative positions at the university. Most of the PhD scholars from around the world come from western countries. This shows that a discrepancy exists in western countries in terms of how many male versus female students become PhD-yielding graduates. Overall, the Western World shows that in terms of opportunity, both genders are approximately equal at almost all levels of education. Despite this, the very highest levels of education are still not as highly achieved by women as what should be expected at the current point in western education. While great progress has been made in these countries, there is still some work to be done in order to improve equal opportunities for women in western countries.




70% 45%






30%20%10%PhD Graduates


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The ECHO  

The 5th issue of the ECHO.

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