Page 1

Band page 8

mcpherson high school

Sarah Siemer, English

Russell Kahle, Orchestra

Janice Parker, Spanish

Vicky Kloeppner, Special Education

Jennifer Fiedler, Help Room/ Foreign Language

Jeff Lough, Psychologist

News Briefs

schedule We will have the usual Wednesday scehdule next week with a seminar/activity period. School pictures for all students and staff will be held Tuesday the 18 in the big theater. MHS students will enjoy their first day off school on September 1, for Labor Day.

hours Hello happy McPherson High School students on your first day back! Today you will spend 409 minutes in school. Next week you will spend 2,045 minutes at MHS, so enjoy your 2,880 minute long weekend thinking about how you will make it great.

On August 11, all MHS staff members participated in “Olympic games” to enhance quantum learning methods. This included relays indoors and outdoors with an award presentation at the end to recognize those staff members whom excelled.


The lunch offered by the school will cost 2.40 and breakfast will be 1.50. The price did not spike greatly as some had speculated. Juniors and seniors will continue to be allowed to have an open lunch everyday with the option to stay for school lunch.

The class of 2012, or the freshmen of 2008-2009 and new students enjoyed 20 minute classes yesterday commencing at 8:15 and ending at 11:30 getting to know their teachers and settling in to the high school in preparation for the year to come.


At the beginning of every year in high school, the new faces of freshmen are seen in the hallways and the faces of last year’s seniors are missed. But the seniors are not the only people who are missed; teachers are also remembered after they depart. English teacher Valerie Stout and computer instructor Trena Lackey are among those who will also be gone. “The thing that I liked the most about teaching was the students and making a difference in their lives,” Lackey said. Somewhere or someone once said to teach is to touch lives. I think that is a wonderful saying and something that I really believe.” Lackey taught at the high school for two years and was the National Honor Society sponsor for both of those years. Stout started teaching English in 1996 at the high school. “I am now going to teach secondary English at Canton-Galva. I will be the head volleyball coach and the sponsor of the freshmen class,” Stout said. Stout has learned a lot about life from teaching other people the importance of English. “I learned to really enjoy talking and listening to kids and trying to understand them,” Stout said. Lackey has also learned important lessons while teaching others. “I learned to expect the unexpected,” Lackey said. Both look back fondly on their tenures at the school with one or two unforgettable moments pop out the most. “Last year when the AP scores came in I remember how excited everyone was,” Stout said. Lackey remembers every day as a wonderful time at the school. “Each day I woke up to come to work at MHS was one of the most memorable moments,” Lackey said. I loved my job. It wasn’t just a job. I loved my students and I loved helping them learn.”

leighloving sports editor


Kloeppner, who will be working in the special education department, comes to MHS as something of a veteran. “I will be team teaching special needs students with Jim Munsey. I have taught special education in the Buhler District for 20 years,” Kloeppner said. Although it’s his first year teaching, Kahle has high hopes for the orchestra. He would like to get the students involved in bigger activities and encourage them to try playing harder pieces than they have before. “I am hoping to increase the size of the orchestra, especially in the Middle School and High School. I am also planning on pushing the students to play more difficult music and eventually attend a large convention such as the Midwest Clinic in Chicago,” Kahle said. Other additions to the staff at MHS this year include Todd Brittingham, who will be teaching journalism and English as well as coaching soccer. Janice Parker will be filling the second Spanish teaching position, Jeff Lough is the school’s new psychologist, and Jennifer Fiedler will be teaching foreign language as well as being a help room teacher.

“I’m looking forward to working with the wonderful staff and students at USD 418.” Vicky Kloeppner

As the school floods with students and staff on the first day of school, many new faces will be lost in the crowd. Nearly 200 freshmen will get their first taste of trying to navigate McPherson High School’s winding hallways. Some will take a wrong turn, some will be tardy, some will have to hold it in until they get home because they can’t find a bathroom. But let’s not forget the seven new staff members that have to familiarize themselves with the MHS setting as well. “I’m pretty intimidated by it [the school]. I’m directionally challenged. I stay mostly in here [my classroom]. If I need to venture out, I have someone take me,” freshmen and junior English teacher Sarah Siemer said. For many of the additions to staff, this will be their first year teaching. Some are experiencing McPherson as well the joys of a career in education for the first time. “This is my first teaching position. I am new to McPherson. McPherson is slightly smaller from Emporia (where I just came from) but I grew up in Wichita, so it is still a small town for me,” new orchestra director Russell Kahle said. Others have quite a few years of teaching experience already under their belts. Vicky

clarissafenimore copy editor

New teachers prepare for upcoming year

Todd Brittingham, Journalism/ English

Additional educators

Teachers depart to pursue other opportunities

Due to the foundation around several classrooms falling, administration had to take action and hire a team to raise the foundation back to its original standing to maintain the integrity of the building. The construction should be over on August 18, although it should have been completed approximately two weeks before students came back. Teachers will most likely be able to start moving back into their original classrooms on Monday. photo by Nikki Wentling

est. 1919

Freshman orientation

801 e. first mcpherson, ks

Classroom construction continues

issue 1 volume 90

Ulster page 3


high Life Fall preview page 6

15 august 2008



august 15, 2008

clubs that want to work concessions, they are not required to. “No [clubs are not required to work concessions] they’re just good money makers for them. Last year some clubs made up to two thousand dollars,” Backhus said. “In years past, the clubs have been able to keep one hundred

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As of press time, there were 58 classes for both semesters that were listed. Any class was susceptible to being included on the list, ranging from Desktop Publishing to AP American Government. While this might upset most students who want to change classes, there is a reason that the counselors close the classes. “After a certain number of students are in the class [we close the class],” counselor Cheryl Thalheim said. If a class you are interested in is not listed on the closed class list, visit with a counselor to see if your schedule would work out with this new class.

Closed Classes

When students walk into the doors of MHS for the first time during the year, many things greet them. New students, new staff and a new sign posted on the door. This sign would be a list of closed classes; classes that under no circumstances can be joined. “I wanted to take AP United States History, but I cannot,” junior Max Goering said. Counselors try to compromise with students on which classes will efficiently fit into the student’s schedule. “I fought with Ms. Thalheim for so long. It just wouldn’t fit with my schedule,” Goering said.

brentgipson staff writer

Classes filling up mean fewer choices for students

School. The word alone makes most students cringe. But, while most students will agree that school is not the most exciting place in the world, nearly all the students do enjoy attending the school’s sporting events, especially when you can watch a game and make a lot of money. That is exactly what many of the members of clubs are doing by working concessions. In fact, there are so many eager volunteers that there are not enough spots open for everyone. “Football is the most popular game to work concessions at. Everybody wants to work it but there are not enough spots available so I draw out of a hat. It’s kind of like a lottery,” Athletics Director Shane Backhus said. Although there are quite a few

rochellecottrell myhighlife editor

what game the club is working. “Varsity football games, volleyball games, and basketball games [are most busy]. And especially football games with a lot of attendance like the Goddard and Great Bend games,” Backhus said. While some may think it is unfair that some clubs will be working busier games causing them to make a better profit, Backhus feels indifferent about the situation. “I don’t really think it is fair or unfair, it’s just the luck of the draw. Those with busier games are more fortunate than the ones that aren’t,” Backhus said. So, even though some clubs may make a bit more money than other clubs they still all come out on top by raising money for their club or activity.

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Class Schedule

percent of the profits, but this year we split it up so it’s not all going to one person. Eighty percent will go to the activity and twenty percent will go back to the activities budget,” Backhus said. The clubs will still obviously make a lot of money, but some will make more than others depending

Excessive amount of clubs leads to new method

Backhus finds new way to assign concessions

page 2

• basic facts

• The Northern Irish conflict has been waged for 800 years. • There are 28 participating American Communities. •As of 2003, 6100 Irish teens had been through Ulster Project International.

Ulster History

A young boy and his father survived an attack from an 86 pound bear. The boy was allegedly playing in a national park when the bear attacked and the father made a heroic move and pulled the bear off his son.

Two common drugs ,when combined, may offer a new way to treat breast cancer according to UK and Finnish researchers. The common chemotherapy drug and brittle bone medicine almost completely stopped the growth of tumors. Actor Shelley Malil, who appeared in the hit movie “The 40- Year-Old Virgin”, was recently charged with attempted murder after police said he stabbed his former girlfriend twenty times.

Alex Graber, senior

“I’m looking forward to Independent Study Photography. I enrolled because I like photography.” “I’m looking forward to all my classes.” “It’s my senior year, I think it will be a good year.”


Drew Harger, soph.

“I’m looking forward to band the most. I like working on the music with the rest of the band. We did well last year, so I would like to do it again.” “I’m not looking forward to Physics because it’s hard.” “I want to live up to the expectations I’ve set for myself .”

At the opening ceremony of the Olympics, a young girl was selected to sing for the audience. However, this girl was deemed not pretty enough for television, so another girl was chosen to lip-sync to the girl’s voice.

Bear attacks boy

Emily Reese, junior

“[I’m looking forward to] Speed, Power, and Strength. I enrolled to improve my athletic ability.” “I’m not looking forward to Geometry. It seems hard.” “I think this is going to be a good year.”


Hannah Martin, frosh.

“I’m looking forward to Journalism because I like to write.” “I’m not looking forward to English. I don’t really like grammar. It’s boring.” “I don’t have any worries. This year’s going to be awesome.”

Hope for cancer


Actor to murderer

rachellee feature editor


looked down upon for mixing with one another. In this way, they can experience an environment where they can go anywhere and make friends with anyone. Walls currently exist to separate the Catholic and Protestant communities in an attempt to maintain order. Five McPherson High School students had the opportunity to participate in this global effort for peace in a seemingly endless international conflict. Senior J.J. Krehbiel comments about the many things he is taking from the project. “It was one of the better experiences of my life. I made a lot of really great friendships and got to see things through more of a global perspective,” Krehbiel said. Sophomore Allie Miller had a similar take on the experience. “It was the most amazing experience of my life.” Miller said. “I learned not to take what we have for granted.” Krehbiel also learned many important lessons. “I learned a lot about the violence and segregation in Northern Ireland. I learned a lot about stereotypes, not only in Northern Ireland but also here in America.” Along with Krehbiel and Miller, Kassidy Glazner, Samantha Silver and Carly Jones hosted Irish teens this summer. Ulster Project International is currently scheduled to take place in McPherson again in July of 2009. If anyone is interested in hosting an Irish teen or assisting with the Project, the McPherson contact for Ulster Project International is Alex Tyler, or any of the teens from the 2008 Project. “It’s something you will never regret and is completely worth giving up sports and friends for a month.” Miller Said. Krehbiel agrees. “There is no excuse that is good enough to keep you from doing the Project because it is the best month of your life.”

Class breakdown

This past July, several McPherson High students had the opportunity to participate in an international effort towards peace and tolerance. Ulster Project International was founded in 1975 in an effort to ease the tensions in Northern Ireland between the Catholics and Protestants. The founders of the project felt that if they could change the attitudes of Northern Irish teens by seeing and experiencing America and the “melting pot” culture, they could change the future of Northern Ireland for the better. Since its founding, Ulster Project International had grown to 28 American communities paired with eight Northern Irish communities by 2003. Over 6,100 teens from Northern Ireland have gone through the project. The root of the conflict started when British leaders placed Protestant settlers in Ireland in an attempt to protect themselves from potential Catholic invasion. They gave the Protestants prime land and pushed the Catholics towards the coasts. This caused much tension between the two religions. For 800 years in Ireland there has been conflict and turbulence as Catholics want Ireland to be united and Northern Ireland to remain a part of the Republic of Ireland but Protestants are loyal to Britain and want to remain a part of Britain. This tension has often resulted in violence and bloodshed. The month of July is when the conflict escalates every year. The 12th of July is the Protestant celebration of the Battle of Boyne when William of Orange defeated King James II. At this time, the Protestant Orange Order marches down streets of Northern Ireland in commemoration. Some of the marches take place in Catholic areas causing a lot of violence and rioting. Ulster Project International takes the youth from both sides and religions in the Irish community out of Northern Ireland during the heart of the troubles and to a neutral background where they aren’t

adamsilver opinions editor

Northern Irish teens spend month of July in Kansas

Dating | Events | Friends | Jobs | Media

Page 3 M y H ighLife Ulster Project International

What made you want to enroll in that class?

Behind the curtain

Last Day of School

285 days until


274 days until


239 days until

Christmas Break

126 days until


77 days until

Fall Homecoming

56 days until

Kansas State Fair

21 days until

Labor Day

17 days until

Fall Sports Preview

14 days until

School Pictures

4 days until


The people in International club love to meet, eat and enjoy cultural experiences. Sign up in Mrs. Krug’s room (room 83) or at lunch next week. Dues are $2.


Family Career and Community Leaders of America is a Club that prides itself in personal growth, leadership skills, and preparation for adult life. Dues are $5. See Mrs. Diepenbrock for more info.


Auditions for the fall play: “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” will be held Wednesday August 20 at 3:40 p.m. and Aug. 21 at 6:30 p.m. For more information see Mrs. Marion.


Running Club will meet after school M-W-F. This club is open to anyone wanting to get get into shape for yourself or stay in shape for a sport. Questions? See Mrs. Nixon in room 22.




August 15, 2008

Which class are you looking forward to the least? Do you have any worries about this year?

What class are you looking forward to the most?

August 15, 2008

At first glance


your why? (Y).” Coach Chad Brake

“How big is

2007-2008 Records Results from state: Girls team - 7th Boys team - 5th

First Game Saturday, September 6, at 8:00 a.m., at the Wichita State meet.

Cross Countr y

Junior Kelsi Beam passes a competitor at last year’s McPherson Invitational cross country meet.

“We’re excited to get things going this year. Our goal is to be fully prepared for each and every opponent and game.” Coach Todd Brittingham

2007-2008 Records 20-1 with a third place finish at state

First Game Thursday, September 4, at 2:00 p.m., during the McPherson Invitional.

Senior Johnny Fibranz attempts to steal the soccer ball away from fellow senior Layne Johnson.

“We have lots of experience, but at the same time some of the younger kids will have to make a big transition into the varsity level.” Coach Christy Doile

2007-2008 Records 23-14

S occ er

Senior Haley Leblanc practices her passing skills during the volleyball team’s summer camp.

Volle yball

First Game Saturday, Aug. 30, at 8:00 a.m. against Hutchinson.

leighloving sports editor

“We are excited for this season. Hopefully we can do well at state.” Sophomore Casyn Buchman

2007-2008 Records Results from state: Gayer/Buchman - 4th Reith/Heidebrecht - 9th Horton - 6th Bomberger - 11th

First Game Thursday, September 4, at 3:00 p.m., during the McPherson Invitational.

Senior Margaret Davidson serves it up at the tennis courts.


Two members of the footbal team practice blocking with a dummy during the summer months.

“I think we are going to have a good year. We did really well competing against other teams at the Pittsburg State camp.” Coach Tom Young


2007-2008 Records

First Game Friday, September 5, at 7:00 p.m., against Goddard. The game will be held at McPherson stadium.

Fall sports use summer to prepare for competition

page 4

Footb all


Nathan Werhman

of competitive tennis tournaments with committed players,” Holle said. Wehrman thinks the sheer size of the tournaments is impressive. “They are big tournaments with brackets of sixty-four players from each of the five states,” Wehrman said. The benefits from playing in the Future tournaments with the best players in the surrounding states are numerous. “Every match you play against kids who play hours every day at tennis clubs and it makes you get better,” Holle said. Wehrman thinks that the tournaments not only make you better but they expose you to some opportunities. “The tournaments are used to rank the players and college coaches can watch the players,” Wehrman said. The weekends are not only a sacrifice for the players, but to their parents as well. “My parents usually drive me to the tournaments. I played in three this year, two in Wichita and one in Norman, Oklahoma,” Holle said. The tourna.m.ents are not played in the summer only. They are put on by the USTA (United States Tennis Association) year round. “There are about fourteen in a year. I’ll play in about one or two to improve my game,” Singleton said.

The 2007-2008 school year proved to be a successful year for MHS athletics. Beginning with football, boys soccer and girls tennis all winning AVCTL Division II titles. The girls tennis and boys soccer teams continued their success in post-season play by winning regional championships. Then as the warmer weather moved out, and the colder weather moved in, so did a very successful winter sports season. This season was highlighted by boys basketball winning a AVCTL Division II title and substate. The success moved on with the girls basketball team and bowling as they both won AVCTL Division II, substate championships and a state title. The warm weather migrated back for the spring sports season, but the success continued. Five AVCTL Division II titles were won that season by boys tennis, boys golf, girls track, baseball and girls soccer. Baseball was the only sport able to continue its success into the post-season with the team winning a regional championship. Senior Kristen Reith hits a backhand Hopefully the success will stick around at the state meet last year. The team again for a marvelous 2008-2009 sports finished third at state. season.

brentgipson staff writer

2007 2008

“Don’t do anything stupid”

Words of Wisdom :

Yes, my Dad was a head coach for over twenty years at schools like Russell, Jeff West (Topeka), and Kingman. My brother is a head basketball coach at a private college in Missouri.

Does coaching run in your family?

My wife’s name is Chaunzey, she was a McPherson grad. I have a daughter that is almost two. Her name is Cora. We are expecting our second child in early November. I have two dogs named Venus and Serena and a cat named Storm.

Tell us about your family:

“It was hilarious when Coach Corcoran sprained his ankle on the sidewalk on his way to breakfast.”

Do you have any fun memories from camp this year?

“We are very excited for the year to begin. We have had neraly perfect attendance in the weight room by all juniors and seniors all summer long.”

How do you feel about the football team for this year?

five minuteswithcoach Pavlovich


Most weekends during the summer are cherished by high school students as a way to unwind from their week, but some use their weekends as a way to improve at a sport they absolutely love. About every weekend in the summer tennis players from the Missouri Valley congregate to challenge each other during the Futures tennis tournament, and if you look closely enough you may see some familiar faces. Juniors Tyler Singleton and Nathan Wehrman, freshman Kirsten Holle, and a couple of others participate in these tournaments around Kansas during the blazing hot summer months. “I played in about five or six tournaments this summer,” Wehrman said. The Futures tournaments are different than other tennis tournaments as they are a much higher level than other tournaments. “The tournaments are a step above the junior open tournaments with players that come from all five Missouri Valley states, which are Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas,” Singleton said. Holle agrees that the tournaments are much harder than other tournaments she has competed in. “The Futures tennis tournaments are a higher level

leighloving sports editor

Playing for the future

August 15, 2008


1000 Fox Run McPherson, Ks. 620-241-8530

18 Hole Public Golf Course-Driving Range Available

Turkey Creek Golf Course

Tee it up at...

She’s been pitching for the MHS girls varsity softball team since freshman year. She has been competing in tennis since she was in seventh grade. Senior Kristie Clark simply lives for competition. “I’ve been playing softball since I was six, and tennis for about six years,” senior Kristie Clark said. Clark not only competes for McPherson High’s tennis and softball team, she is also on the McPherson Lady Express softball team during the summer months. “I [also] went to a softball camp in Colorado and one in Salina. I did Mac Advantage, too,” Clark said. When asked about College, Clark said she’d like to go for softball. “I plan on majoring in pharmacy,” Clark said “Maybe Johnson Community College or Friends University.” Before looking too far ahead, Clark has one year left to make her mark at MHS. ‘[I am excited about] finally being at the top of the school and getting to decide what the posters and t-shirts will look like,” Clark said.

kelsiesorenson editor in chief

Sport to watch: Softball Food: Ice Cream Color: Teal Genre of music: hip hop Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Working as a pharmacist while living in Hawaii with my rich Hawaiian husband

player of the week Kristie Clark

page 5

beliefs We believe that a free press is essential to maintaining a healthy democracy. Likewise, we believe that a free student press is essential to maintaining the free exchange of ideas on a school campus. We believe that we have an obligation to serve as a voice for our audience. We believe that we have an obligation to expose dishonesty in public affairs by public officials, and the improper or illegal use of power by public officials.

Letters to the editor should be submitted to Room 43. Please limit comments to 300 words. Letters must be signed by the writer. The High Life is the official publication of McPherson High School, the opinions expressed in this newspaper are those of the students and do not necessarily reflect those of its administration, faculty and staff. The paper is published 16 times a year. A publication schedule is available upon request. The subscription is $10 a year. Student price is $2 per year. Professional memberships for student journalists include Kansas Scholastic Press Association, National Scholastic Press Association, and Journalism Education Association.

Todd Brittingham


Staff meets 6th hour daily. Staffers also in newsroom hours one, two, three, and six. Staff usually meets Tuesday evenings before printing in room 43.



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singing We Are the Champions whenever the US won gold. 6- Getting to play at tennis districts with the coolest team ever. It was such a fun day, and we almost got first place. 5- Having some free time. Normally, I have such a busy and hectic life. I’m involved in so much (music, tennis, journalism) that I don’t really have “me” time. I also could sleep in...sometimes. 4- Playing Wii for the first time and becoming very addicted to it. My nephew (Austin) and I played with our Mii’s and dominated in tennis doubles. I even got Wii arm from playing Wii way too much. 3- Jumping on a trampoline for the first time and doing some amazing tricks. Including the Olympic jump pictured below. The Olympic jump started out with three jumps while singing Oriental music and then proceeded with a jump up in the air while yelling the word “Chinese.” Austin and I came up with it on an early Sunday morning after church. 2- Going to Québec City, Canada and seeing a show about the 400 year anniversary of Québec on the side of 40 silos. In the show they had water shoot out of the silos; they made the silos look like candles; and (my favorite part) they made the silos look like a full functional airport. It even had a light that revolved around. 1- Being in Boston, Mass. on the Fourth of July and getting to hear the Boston Pops live. It was unbelievable, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

kelsiesorenson co-editor in chief nikkiwentling co-editor in chief hannahlujano news editor rochellecottrell myhighlife editor leighloving sports editor adamsilver opinions editor rachellee feature editor clarissafenimore copy editor kathyhouse distribution/ads/online editor aliciadean staff writer brentgipson staff writer michaelfay cartoonist

high life


student. Your first year of figuring out how to suck every last hour out of the day. Your first year of realizing your schedule is substantially harder than you had anticipated. Your first. My last. WHOSE HOUSE NOW!? Oh wait...

Wow! Summer is at its end? I can’t believe it. I mean, now I’m a senior! Summer this year flew, and before I knew it, it was time to come back. I definitely will miss this year’s summer because it was one of my favorites. I did so many things this year including an out-of-thisworld vacation, loads of tennis, and a trip to Omaha. So, because I know some people are going to ask what I did this summer and because this was a fun-filled summer, here’s my summer top 10. I hope yours was as good as mine. 10- Getting the chance to play in a quartet for a dinner. It may not sound like that much fun, but it really was. We might have messed up a couple of times, but in the end it didn’t really matter. 9- Helping little kids learn how to play tennis. It probably was one of the most entertaining parts of my whole summer. The little kids would come up with the weirdest ways to hit the ball and have fun playing. 8- Receiving college credit in two out my three AP tests and then jumping up and down because I thought I failed one of them. 7- Spending time with my awesome nephews and coming up with the craziest ideas ever, including fashion do’s and don’ts, commentary on commercials, and

cities, states, books, laptops, and majors. Next year, I get to decide what it is I’m spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to do for the rest of my life. I think it’ll be fun. As a freshman at MHS, I came into this school not knowing how to navigate the halls, much less find the derivative of complex equations. As a senior, I am in a much different position. I now have a tolerance for things that simply don’t make any sense at all, memories of some of the worst ideas we’ve ever had, the ability to not use a locker, an uncanny ability to procrastinate virtually anything, a fun addiction to caffeine, and better friends than I could ever ask for. I was always told by the wise seniors that these four years just fly by, and I disagreed, but sitting at the end of my high school career, I can confidently say that the years flew by faster than I could’ve ever imagined they would. To the freshman, I say welcome. Welcome to your first year Your first year of being a high school


Going into my senior year of high school, I feel like I should be more excited. Then again, somewhere in the deep recesses of my being, I do feel a minute bit of excitement for the fact that this is it. This is my last year. My last year of public school education. My last year of complaining about No Child Left Behind. My last year of having my email blocked from me. My last year of living at home, hopefully. My last year of having to drive 55 miles per hour to lunch. My last year. It is a good feeling. It is also the worst feeling because next year will be my first year. My first year of incoherent professors. My first year of surviving primarily on ramen. My first year of valuing pocket change. My first year of doing my own laundry. My first year of spending ridiculous amounts of money to attend more school. My first year of missing high school. As for right now, my mind is a confusing deluge of scholarships, applications, schools,

adamsilver opinions editor

Senior life strife

Many people don’t like giving up the commoditites they are used to having. Whether it’s having our own room or being able to hang out with whoever we want, there are many things that some Americans take for granted every day. Some students were willing to give up many of these freedoms to make a difference in the lives of students from Northern Ireland this summer. In Northern Ireland, there is a great amount of tension between Protestants and Catholics. Kids who live there are not allowed to associate with kids of the other religion. The Ulster Project is an effort to show the youth of Northern Ireland what life can be like without prejudice between religions. Here in McPherson, there isn’t a great rift between Catholics and Protestants. The students from McPherson who participated in the Ulster Project gave up a month of freedom this summer to show the kids from Northern Ireland that it is possible to live in peace with people of different religions. Though it required some sacrifice, the participants in the Ulster project now have a fuller appreciation of all of the freedom we experience here in America.

Ulster Project

nikkiwentling co-editor in chief

As summer has come to a close, students find themselves once more in the throes of academia. They must now busy themselves with preparing for the studying, the testing, and the projects that are coming their way. It can sometimes seem as though school takes over kids’ lives for nine months each year. Any spare time is spent playing sports, sleeping, or hanging out with friends. The last thing on anyone’s mind is how they can use their limited time to help someone else out. Everyone’s got to take care for number one, right? Well, maybe not. Maybe people don’t have to groan every time they hear the words “community service”. There are plenty of ways to serve the community without putting a strain on your chill time. Doing something good for the community and the people in it doesn’t necessarily mean spending every weekend working tirelessly or even stepping out of your comfort zone. Just taking the time to help out a kid that you know who is struggling with their math homework counts as service. There are tons of ways to help out; from helping at a fundraiser to volunteering to work at a family or church get-together. If you have a special talent or there is something you like to do, see if you can find a way to use your gifts to benefit someone else. Even the smallest things can make the biggest difference.

Community Service

This is our opinion, read it. kathyhouse online editor

august 15, 2008 opinions Summer activities can Editorials be fun, educational

page 6

opinions page 7

“Seeing friends again and drama class.” Zac Sawatzky, fr.

“Funny teachers that embarrass themselves.” Libby Graber, fr.

“Seeing my friends again.” Liz Nichols, fr.

adamsilver opinions editor


“Having new and better classes.” James Suenram, fr.

up to others that should never be role models, to the point that they follow in their actions, believe what they believe, and do things they would never do just for these people to accept them. I failed at understanding how people with so much potential can linger on something bad until they don’t have the will to fight it anymore. I failed to grasp how people can believe the ridiculous propaganda that streams through the media. I failed at understanding the logic behind people and their behaviors, but I did come to understand something else. I realized that all the things that I question about other people are all things that I should be questioning about myself. How can someone question others so much and still be blinded to their own faults? How can you question people without really knowing yourself? You can’t. But we all do. With a new school year should come a new perspective, and I’ve found mine.

New year brings new outlooks

The Search for the Next Elle Woods on Broadway was pretty much manufactured to entertain MTV viewers; there wasn’t too much originality to it other than its dedicated performers who took it all so seriously and could fill up a stage with nothing more than a voice and jazz shoes. This important trait allowed this show to break the cookie cutter challenge/reward mold that every reality show has. A similar show, “You’re that Once That I Want,” which portrayed the Broadway hopefuls of Grease, cannot compare to all the Elle Woods wannabes. Ranging from ages seventeen to twenty-eight, these young women endure utterly confusing eliminations. The girl who soared that week and won all the challenges too could quickly fall to the bottom and be sent home. Only one girl seemed to possess the intangible Elle factor that all the others failed to attain. One of the best singers was eliminated over a girl who couldn’t hold a tune because she had a goofiness that was Elle. This factor simply trumped talent. I did not understand the judges at all, but in the end the natural blonde who was chosen was perfect for the part. However, I had no idea how Haylie Duff was handed the host position as she was handed the role in the Broadway musical Hairspray. I don’t think that her acting chops in Napoleon Dynamite quite qualifies her to judge who gets the starring role in a brilliant modern day musical. Paul Canaan, a current cast member, Heather Hach, a writer of Legally Blonde, Bernie Telsey, a casting director and Jerry Mitchell another casting director headed up the list of judges who actually deserved to be there. Even if these girls did not make it to the end goal of becoming Elle, they did get great coaching with the actual dance, acting and singing coaches from Legally Blonde on Broadway. As well as exposure. One of the reasons I enjoyed this show so much is probably because they performed without the aid of technology. Often, they did not even use microphones, they could fill an entire theater with their powerful voices and like I said, their jazz shoes. Another important part is that they all had to dance, sing and act, all at the same time with two days at most to prepare. Just the memorization alone was impressive to me; I usually forget what somebody told me almost immediately. On top of it they also had to look preppy and perky all the time even though they were on the brink of exhaustion and some even became ill due to stress. Contrary to its MTV home, Elle Woods is even suitable for the mature ages.

hannahlujano news editor

A new spin on reality TV hits the mainstage

Some people have asked me what I spent this summer doing, but they all want the same answer. Working, playing sports, swimming, wasting time, checking Facebook, etc. And I gave them this answer because this was what they were expecting. Nothing unordinary. This summer, however, I have spent my time trying to figure out the people around me. To some, this is a waste of time. Why try to understand something that you will never be able to grasp? Anyway, I tried to take on this task, and all the doubters were right.. I failed. I failed at comprehending how people can sit through their lives and only focus on the next material possession that they wish to obtain, or how high they can climb on the social ladder before everything collapses. I failed to perceive how people can look

nikkiwentling co-editor in chief

SillyBob Freshpants

Search for the Next Elle Woods on Broadway

“Making new friends since I’m new here.” Monica Bruce, fr.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

august 15, 2008


How are the middle school and high school different? High school has higher expectations, you don’t get off as easy as you would in middle school.

If you could go anywhere where would you go and why? Germany, I’ve wanted to go there all my life. I would go to a few concerts while I was there.

What activities are you involved in? Marching Band.

What are you nervous about for freshman year? Getting lost, I’m very good at that.

Hailey Colaw, frosh


August 15,

As the years have gone by and opinions have changed, the rapidly growing online social community, Facebook, has changed its layout yet again. Sporting 9.5 Million users, Facebook has quickly grown into an Internet giant. Of the many changes to Facebook’s old layout, one of the most prominent is the absence of the left hand navigation. All of the buttons commonly found there have been moved to the top of the site. The search feature has also been moved, it can now be located at the top right of the page. The new design has also pushed applications off of the main profile page, bringing the focus to the wall and mini-feed. While the dramatic shift from the old layout to the new may be earth shattering, the new layout has been aimed at making publishing easier. Anything from notes, to albums, to posting on a friend’s wall has all been streamlined into an easy to use format. After getting over the shock of change, you may want to give the new layout a try.

adamsilver opinions editor

The old Facebook

The new Facebook

source http://www.satirev.

source http://news.cnet.

Students hesitant to let go of old layout

Facebook’s new de-

You might expect band director Kyle Hopkins’s son to be a musical prodigy. You might assume that he excels at playing instruments. You might believe he engulfs himself in his music. You might be right. Sophomore Isaac Hopkins plays the trumpet in the MHS marching band as well as the jazz band. “My primary instrument has always been trumpet, but in 8th grade I learned how to play French horn and I even played a solo on it. My main instrument is still trumpet though,” Hopkins said. Hopkins packed up his trumpet and headed to Fort Hays State University for a band camp this summer. He did exceptionally well at the camp, which ran from July 20-26. Kids of a large range of ages gathered at the school to improve their instrumental skills. “There was something like 300 hundred people there, ages 6th grade through college freshmen. [I was] first chair in honor band (the top band) for concert band and lead trumpet (first chair) in the honor jazz band which was the top jazz band,” Hopkins said. It was a great privilege to take part in this band camp as several well known conductors took the helm and directed the students. “The honor band was directed by world-famous composer and conductor David Holsinger and I had some pretty major solos in several of the pieces. The honor jazz band was directed by Jim Pisano from Bethel College,” Hopkins said.

Another prominent figure in the band directing world took an interest in Hopkins and his trumpetplaying skills. “I was approached by the Fort Hays trumpet professor Dr. Brad Dawson. He worked with me during the week and offered to give me a private lesson any time I am in Hays. He told me that he liked my playing and that he thought I was a really good trumpet player. He told me to keep in contact with him and that he would be glad to help me with music or any questions I had about trumpet,” Hopkins said. This could be quite helpful as Hopkins plans to continue playing trumpet not only during college but throughout his life. “I would love to be able to play trumpet for a career but there are a huge number of professional trumpet players, but if I become good enough to play professionally I probably would,” Hopkins said. Despite having a band director as a father, Hopkins insists that he wasn’t given a tremendous advantage over other kids that play instruments in the band. “Everybody thinks my dad makes me practice but he actually has never told me to practice. I practice because I want to get better. I started playing trumpet when band started in 6th grade. I started playing trumpet the same time everybody else did,” Hopkins said. No matter where life takes him, Hopkins will continue to immerse himself in the thing he enjoys most. “Music is a very important part of my life, especially playing trumpet,” Hopkins said.


Hopkins goes to clarissafenimore copy editor


Issue 1  

Issue 1 of The High Life newspaper

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