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HI-LIFE | LEE’S SUMMIT MO | VOLUME 98 | ISSUE 5 | 12/20/16 | $0.50

14 | Self(ie)-Love

From the editor F

ake news has been a hot topic everywhere in the media lately, leading to the question of the jounralist’s role in modern society.     Obviously in a high school setting, journalism is much smaller deal and cannot sway the public nearly as much, but believe it or not the HiLife often evokes big reactions from students. Recently, I feel the journalistic media is getting a bad wrap for reporting the truth, with permission from sources and accurate research. This can be seen in politicians talk of the “crooked media” and bias against them. Whether journalists take all the necessary steps or not, their stories will always get scrutinized for their opinions and the way things wer said. This process is oddly ironic, as the ones criticizing often have no experience in media production or AP style English.   The goal of journalism is to tell stories and tell the truth, but the unfortunate truth of modern journalism is that speed will always take precedence over the truth or quality, as seen by the fake news explosion in recent months. Because of our global obsession with speed in internet and communication, it is no surprise that Americans want their news fast as well. This explains the fixation with Twitter as a news source and the trust of random Twitter accounts as trustworthy news sources. All the fake news hype culminated in the real news story of a man showing up to a pizza place heavily armed, ready to liberate children from Hillary Clinton’s alleged child-trafficking ring. This fake news problem can also lead to the distrust of real journalists, even at the High School level. For example, our Hi-Life twitter reported an incident in our parking lot, with accurate details and permission from sources, but was still ridiculed by some people of the school, claiming my staff was jumping to conclusions withouts facts. In reality, we had sources in the police, from the victim, and permission all around. I for one am proud of my staff, the ones that hold themselves to a professional standard and use proper journalism techniques.

Carter Moore Editor-In-Chief






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NOW Christmas is a beautiful time around the globe, but Kansas City has a special holiday spirit.

FEATURE Cello, art and theatre are just three of the countless activities that Madi Tozier excells in

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FEATURE With a kill animal shelter, there is an epidemic of pets being bought and returned in the holiday season.

IDEAS The holidays are a time for giving and recieving, but all too often we focus on the idea of gifts at all.



hi life



EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Carter Moore WEB EDITOR Garrett Stroginis

“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” - J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

FEAUTURE EDITORS Cori Matney Johanna Holmberg Makenzie Kraxberger PHOTO EDITOR Julia Ngega

“It’s not your life, it’s life. Life is bigger than you. Life isn’t something that you possess, it’s something that you take part in and you witness.” - Louis C.K.

OPINIONS EDITOR Madeline Antey COPY EDITORS Molly Goetz Angela Lenhardt MEDIA MANAGER Mathewos Keller

“Make yourself so happy that when others look at you they become happy too” - Yogi Bhajan

ADS MANAGER Abby Ault ADVISER Marc Russell

“Carpe Diem: Seize the day boys, make your lives extraordianary!” -Robin Williams, Dead Poet’s Society

REPORTERS Sara Alley, Yonny Astatke, Audrey Badgerow, Ariel Benedict, Kaylee Blair, Ignacio Cabero, Nora Carrell, Keyara Conn, Clayton Couch, Gabrielle Cunningham, Izzy DeMarco,Aspen DePeralta, De’yhon Doughty, Britten Duet, Zack Easley, Kennady Elliot,Anna Erich, Christina Felix, Maggie Gadd, Charde’ Gahagans, Payton Gale, Cami Hager, Renee Haskell, Tommy Hicks, Makayla Holmberg, Mallory Huser, Emma Jenkins, Jada Johnson, Lauren Kroh, Brittany LeJune, Jonathan Marszalek, Mason Mackey, Da’Qoun McGee, Hunter Montgomery, Makenna Nickens, Ariana Pelzer, David Perkins, Mallory Rajer, Brooke Renfro, Samantha Schierholz, Savannah Setley, Mike Smith, Chris Teeter, Sierra Terry, Parker Tozier, Jordan Turner, Anthony Villarreal, Claire Wagner, Sydney Weyrauch, Tyler Williams, Jessica Winkler

what we think H

undreds of outraged adults and students gather in front of City Hall crying two very different messages with the same passion. These protests occurred for numerous days after the election of Donald Trump, and have sparked a great deal of conflict. Many ask themselves of it is unpatriotic in itself to protest who will inevitably be the president, and if these people’s free speech is hurting the country more than it is helping it. “The First Amendment protects our freedom of speech, press, religion, petitioning, and protest,” David Wiebenga, an American history teacher, says. “The main function of it originally was protecting our right to speak out against the government. Prior to the country’s founding, it was not uncommon for the king to throw citizens or people that had spoken against the government in prison,” Wiebenga says. In a trying time for the country, it is vital to look back at our past and the principles the country was founded on to understand what the true “patriotic” and “American” thing to do in this situation. “The original intent of the amendment was so that people would be protected from the government, and so that they would be able to participate in the government in a constructive manner, and to challenge the government,” Wiebenga says. Despite this, there are certain instances in which an individual’s free speech can be revoked in the event that it endangers, infringes on the rights of others, or is speech that is directly inflammatory to the government in trying times. It is important to understand that it is impossible to generalize the mindsets of all the individual protestors. There are many people, with many different mindsets, ideals, and different answers to why they are protesting Now, some will say they seek to impeach Donald Trump, which, is obviously unrealistic at this point. The other answers you might hear range from claiming voter fraud, or that they are protesting the ideas spread by the president-elect. Regardless of an individual’s opinion on Donald Trump, there is a general agreement that he is a confident candidate, who loudly and proudly states his opinions which trickle down to almost every source of media an average American could possibly come in contact with. This incited a flood of support, and, as we all know, a strong opposition. The Hi-Life staff thinks it is important to understand that regardless of this fact, and whether one lies in strong support of the president-elect, strong opposition, or indifference, what the people of this country decide to do going forward is what will define it. It is obvious the past election has created a great divide in the nation, and many people are taking the initiative to make themselves heard. The freedom to express oneself has been fundamental in the construction of this country, but equally important ask speaking out-whether that means in conversation, online, or in a protest-but to also listen when others speak out. It is the knee-jerk reaction of both sides in such a politically polarizing climate to shut out the opposition. But it is vital that going forward from this division that the American people can listen and solve the problems that try this nation, regardless of if they side with the left or the right. More importantly than the candidate citizens support is that they are citizens of the same nation. In this unprecedented time in American history, its people must remain united, and remember what truly has made, and makes, America great.





Written by: MAGGIE GADD Photographed by: ARIANA PELZER Designed by: MILES WARD



A winter day spent in Kansas City is a day spent in paradise and serves as a Christmas vacation right here at home. THE PLAZA:

  On the corner of Broadway, lead visuals merchandiser of West Elm Jania Amador welcomes visitors into a warm store selling comforters and pillows coordinated with the holiday season.   “We want people to feel like it is Christmas, which is very simple and elegant with a modern twist. Basically make it feel like a cabin in the woods,” Amador said.   Radiant colors string their way through the buildings beside the streets and a variety of colorful voices can be heard down every walkway.   “We work with beautiful textiles. We especially love candles, trees, and ornaments,” Amador said.   The Plaza provides an experience radiating with the wonders of the holiday season.

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  Christmas spirit fills all empty spaces of the hallmark shopping center with the smell of cinnamon pastries and the voices of rushed shoppers.   Just above the bustling crowd, the second floor is home to a beautiful Christmas store. Occasions is a lively holiday shop full of ornaments, nutcrackers, and snowglobes. Smiles can be seen on every face throughout this joyful emporium.   Across the street from the shopping center is a sparkling paradise. A fountain display welcomes visitors into a grove of beautifully lit trees and a small make believe village with a massive Christmas tree towering over.   Nothing can compare to an experience one can find in Kansas City, a town where everyone will be home for the holidays.







Not having a car is only one of the reasons why employers will not hire a fifteen year old.

he walks into the interview confident in her personality, but not her appearance. Her jeans are ripped her shirt is wrinkled, and her hair is unwashed.   This is just one story Vicki Crisafulli recalls about why a student was declined a job, but what to wear is not the only struggle students are facing when going on the job hunt.   “Because of laws in Missouri, very few places hire at fifteen, “ Crusafulli said. Another struggle is having a car and licence.   “When I was looking for a job it was very hard to find a place close to my house that hired at fifteen, and I can’t look far away because I don’t have a car,” sophomore Aly Alvarado said. The previous state of the economy might also be another reason that there are not many places that hires at fifteen.   “For a long time it was because of the downturn in the economy and adults needed those jobs to provide for their families and the would rather give a job to

an adult or someone older rather than a fifteen year old so they can support their family,” business teacher Tami Krones said.   Finding places that hire at fifteen is hard, but students can always look for personal job opportunities.   “The best thing you can do is probably look for jobs like babysitting and yard work for people that you know because there aren’t many places here that hire at fifteen,” Crisafulli said   Employers want to know they can depend on their employees to get there on time, and at fifteen that may be hard to guarantee. “Employers also want someone who is able to drive themselves to work so they can depend on them getting there and they won’t use an excuse that they didn’t have a ride,” Krones said.   There are also things students should keep in mind if they do get an interview.   “You should dress nice and do your research about the place you are applying for. You should know about it incase they ask you questions about the business,” Crisafulli said.   Another thing students may not know is that the school can help student find jobs.

Written by: CHRISTINA FELIX Photographed by: BROOKE RENFRO Designed by: MASON MACKEY

  “You can go to the counseling center and they have a list of places that are hiring,” Crisafulli said.   Not having a car is a big problem for students looking for jobs at fifteen.   “Sometimes I have to walk to work because I don’t have a car,” Alvarado said.   There are some things students can do to increase chances of getting a job.   “They need to have a resume prepared and need to brag about themselves even if they don’t have any work experience. Anytime they can show they have needed to be depended on for a job like babysitting and mowing lawns,” Krones said.   There are also downsides to having a job.   “Sometimes people don’t take me seriously sometimes,” Alvarado said.   While looking for a job students should try different strategies.   “Looking for a job is a full time job. Try lots of different avenues, network, look online at the job postings, and if there is a place you would really like to work, go in there and ask about if they are hiring and follow up with them,” Krones said.   Working somewhere you enjoy a lot is also something to consider.   “The people I meet there are great people and we make really great memories,” Alvarado said. Finding a job at fifteen is a hard process, but by talking to businesses you want to work at and being educated on the places you want to work at, students can increase chances of getting jobs.

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ROCK YOUR WORLD Crystals and gemstones have a variety of meanings, and are meant to be looked upon as multiple symbolizations.


any people believe that rocks are just rocks. Piles and piles of heavy sediment with no meaning. Senior Hanna Swartz and manager of Blue Heron Larran Williams seem to have a completely different and inspiring outlook on these unique geodes.   “Each rock or gemstone has its own affiliated metaphysical properties. So for each one we have individual informational cards that gives you a description of its properties,” Williams said.   Every rock has its own symbolization or one of a kind story behind it. Different rocks can radiate different energies based on its true meaning.   “Citrine is really close to me personally. It is a self healing stone that absorbs negative energy and promotes vivid dreaming,” Swartz said.   Different rocks and

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gemstones can have different things they are associated with spiritually.   “Rose Quartz is strong in improving one’s love and Moonstone enhances feminine energy and being in touch with the psychic senses,” Swartz said.   Swartz has a plethora of rocks and gemstones. She has been collecting specimens since she was little, but had started studying the properties and making jewelry out of them a few years back.   “I found one on a necklace at a market a few years ago and felt it radiating really warm energy. There had to be something more to it,” Swartz said.   At Blue Heron, there is a variety of rocks there. They’ve got everything from raw uncut specimens to polished set and jewelry.   “The ladies there always help me find stones for specific

things. I adore that we have a place in Lee’s Summit that is so knowledgeable and genuine towards crystals,” Swartz said.   Rocks can be underrated at most times, but it is not hard to remember that each gemstone or crystal has a meaning deep within that can hold near and dear to a person’s heart. Written by: MAGGIE GADD Photographed by: PARKER TOZIER Designed by: MILES WARD

ROCKS ON | Senior Hanna Swartz dons a plethora of rocks. To Swartz, these rocks are just as essential as a shirt or shoes, but they mean so much more. “The gems for me feel like a connection between the natural world and the spiritual,” Swartz said.

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SHELTER PETS Each year hundreds of pets are adopted but are quickly returned.


PLAYFUL PUPPIES| One year old terrier mix Scooter tugs the rope with all his might. Scooter is up for adoption at the Lees Summit Animal Control Center.

here are many people saving lives everyday. Whether it be human or animal, they are equally important. Animal shelters across the United States are known for helping save the lives of animals in need.   “People bring their pets into the shelter for many reasons. The main reasons that people tend to bring their pets into the shelter is because they did not think it through, it was a spur of the moment decision, they did not understand the amount of responsibility that came with owning a pet, and they do not realize the amount of work that goes with having a pet,” Great Plains SPCA Independence volunteer Jackie Lightle said.   The concept of animal shelters came from pounds, which were originally used in colonial towns to round up and hold wandering livestock that could be picked up from the pound for a fee. Once the pounds started to receive wandering dogs and cats, both the livestock. The animals were killed because they had such little monetary value that was placed on them. The animals were killed by euthanasia. The euthanasia methods that were used included clubbing, drowning, electrocution, decompression chamber, and carbon monoxide poisoning, all of which have been considered a quick way.   “Great Plains SPCA Independence is a considered a third party shelter, meaning that they are contracted through the county and receive money through the county, they are still considered private,” Great Plains SPCA Independence volunteer Bert Lightle said.   There are many types of animal shelters around the Kansas City area. There are municipal, for profit, nonprofit, and rescue shelters. Municipal shelters are ran by the city. For profit shelters are no-kill, private shelters. Nonprofit shelters are no-kill shelters that are open to the public and

are not private. Rescue shelters are much smaller shelters that only deal with certain breeds.   “On an average day at the shelter, we receive around 15-20 animals. There have been days where we would get pets come in and then there were days where we had 60 pets come in.” Jackie said.   In the United States, there are about 13,600 community animal shelters nationwide. Approximately 7.6 million animals enter into animal shelters each year. Out of those 7.6 million animals that enter into animal shelters, roughly 2.7 million of them are euthanized, or killed, 1.2 million of them being dogs and 1.4 million of them being cats. About 649,000 animals who enter into animal shelters are returned to their owners. 37% of all animals in animal shelters get adopted each year.   “Before Christmas time, there are a lot more animals being brought into the shelter and then getting adopted, but after Christmas time it is a ‘return-athon’ because there are so many people returning pets.” Lightle said.   Numbers of animals being returned to shelters after Christmas time is due to the fact that many people realize that they can not handle taking care of a pet. When people return a pet back to a shelter, it is more beneficial than putting the animal to sleep or just leaving it out on the streets. Before Christmas, animals tend to get adopted more because parents are adopting the animals as gifts. After Christmas time is over,animals that are in the shelter tend to get adopted.   Animals across the United States are being helped in many ways when taken into a shelter. Animal shelters are positive facilities for both humans and animals. Written by CAMI HAGER Photographed by JOHANNA HOLMBERG Designed by JOHANNA HOLMBERG

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Layers are the key to staying warm and trendy during winter. It is easy to find items that fit with individual styles. To look edgier, throw on a large jean jacket over a casual outfit. To look preppy add a classic wool coat to stay warm. The options are endless.


simple way for guys to look nice and stay warm would be to throw on a shirt jacket, such as a heavy flannel, or a sweater to layer on top of a thin tee.   Denim is a heavy fabric that is easy to match. Dark wash jeans have deep tones that feel appropriate for the season. To dress up an outfit wear loafers, they go with almost anything and can give dressier trousers a looser feel. However, a casual outfit can be paired with boots. Boots can block snow, and cold wind from affecting the skin.   “Switch to shoes you can wear socks with, like oxfords, loafers, the ‘smoking slipper’ look out right now, or even the aforementioned, wide boot,” according to fashion blog Corporette.   This year popular colors

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for winter are copper, burgundy, brown, colors that pop, and black. Add a red scarf to a copper shirt in order to have a color that stands out, yet still be trendy. Bomber jackets are a great gender neutral option to look stylish and keep warm. They are the perfect thickness to wear indoors and outdoors. To stop the chills take a bright windbreaker and travel back to the 80’s in order to stand out.   “The trend for bomber jackets shows no sign of abating anytime soon however, this season the item is going higher-end than ever,” as reported by men’s fashion magazine GQ.   Searching for a way to stay toasty may be difficult in the winter, especially on dress up days. However, it is not impossible. Wear

a short dress with thick tights and a long cardigan, or short jacket to balance lengths. Another way to balance an outfit is by wearing various textures, for example cotton, denim, and leather.   “Pair a cropped jacket with a short lace dress to prove more is not always more, even when the weather turns frigid. Just rock some tights and make sure that coat is thick (or lined),” according to fashion magazine TeenVogue.   Turtlenecks cover the majority of the neck, which allows for more cover in the winter. They are layered with anything and are easy to find. Turtlenecks are very trendy this winter and most commonly come in a thick fabric.   “The high neck gives

you that artsy hipster look we all secretly want and they’re great for layering under strappy dresses or collared jackets,” as stated in fashion magazine Seventeen.   People may comment on how challenging it is to find clothes to wear in the winter, but it can be simple without over complicating an outfit. Find layers and textures, different lengths and trendy colors, and the outfit all comes together.

Written by JORDAN TURNER Photographed by JORDAN TURNER Designed by CORI MATNEY




FEATURE Written by: LAUREN KROH Photogrraphed by: ARIEL BENEDICT Designed by: MILES WARD

PROVE ME WRONG There are many positive benefits for joining Debate.


ebate is a really positive place for anybody. It has a family feeling to it, It’s a place you can always go to and feel safe. I haven’t experienced that anywhere else,” freshman Luke Harrison said.   The debate is a nice place for just about anyone. There all types of students in debate from all sorts of aspects. Debate contains anyone football players all the way to mathletes.   “Debate looks really nice when you go to apply for colleges that is why I’m doing it for all 4 years of high school,” freshman Grant Fielder said   Debate really helps for any aspect. When signing up for colleges and jobs, having debate on applications looks nice. Debate helps improve confidence, speaking, and listening skills.   “Debate really helps for

preparing for colleges because we’ve noticed kids in debate get really good scores on things like ACT and SAT,” teacher Nate Smith said.   Not all classes offer skills that you can use in real life. Public speaking is probably one of the biggest fears out there. Debaters must go up in front of an opponent and voice their opinion and why they are correct even if they do not feel they are.   “Rounds are intense but the pay out it awesome. Tournaments and things can be scary but you soon realize this is what you live for,” Smith said   Lots of work is placed into a debate, research upon research. But even novices are coming home with trophies. The reward of going to tournaments is unlike anything else. Novices are ones that this is their first year of competing and if they decide

to continue this, they end up being varsities.   “During a round it is intense but i enjoy the struggle and the thinking process i have to do right then and there,” Harrison said   Debate is like football or any sport. It gives off this sense of family because everyone has to spend long hours together. There are work sessions that go on for about 3 hours and tournaments for about 2 days, so everyone is close and no one is ever alone   “Being a novice is weird because everyone picks on you but everyone wants to help you and they are not out to get you,” Harrison said   Debate seems like a difficult class you can do, but it will be worth it in the end. All the preparation and hard work that happens pays off in the end.

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J HEALTHY & HAPPY Treat Yourself this Christmas


hile staying physically healthy is important, mental health is something commonly ignored but that needs attention. Long days of school, work, extra curricular activities, and studying for finals can really be draining. This month I decided to set aside a few days to what I call a pamper evening. The point of this was to take some time out of my day to just breath and relax. My favorite ways to relax include a bubble bath [2], some good music [3], and my favorite candle. I also


1 find it really helpful to stay off my phone, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why I like to listen to music on my record player. I started out by running a bath with a bubble bar from my favorite brand, Lush. Lush sells animal cruelty free, all natural, handmade products that make your skin look and feel amazing. I used the comforter bubble bar and

bubble gum lip scrub from Lush, Peaches and Clean face wash from Soap and Glory, and Sweet Spun Sugar candle from Target [1]. Everything smelled good and worked really well. Overall, I think it was wonderful just getting to relax and treat myself. Written, Photographed, and Designed By JOHANNA HOLMBERG

HOW THIS IMPACTED ME + I got together with a riend to do this so we got to talk about a lot of stuff and relax at the same time +My skin feels amazing, the face masks did wonders +It was super calming with music and candles all around, it was really good to not worry about anything and just breathe

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HEAD TO TOZIER Madi Tozier tells about her life and involvement in the arts outside and in school.

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ARTISITC AMBITIONS | Madi Tozier shades in her drawing in 5th hour Portfolio JUST CELLIN | Tozier practices at her cello, preparing for state competition

Written by:TYLER WILLIAMS Photographed by: JOHANNA HOLMBERG Designed by: SIERRA TERRY

tories can be told in a thousand different ways. Painting allows for the creation of a beautiful narrative with one still illustration using vibrant colors and unique brushstrokes. Acting can give any audience member goosebumps by retelling a tale with tangible vocabulary laid out into a monologue.   Music grants any instrumentalist the ability of making a story with just a series of notes on a page that translate into sweet harmonies and melodies. It takes quite an indifferent person to use any of these platforms to display their own stories. However, one very well rounded individual in particular uses all three to form an artistic trinity that helps her shine brighter than most.   “My creative outlets allow me to be who I am, and I wouldn’t be anywhere near the same person without any of them,” senior Madison Tozier said. Madi sits in first chair of symphony orchestra’s cello section. Here, she displays leadership amongst her compatriots as well as helping to build a great comradery within the entire orchestra.   “[Madi] has a standard of excellence for both herself and her pupils as well as a very thorough knowledge and skill set that helps her be the leader she has become,” orchestra instructor Dr. Carrie Turner said.   While definitely considered a great leader in orchestra, she also contains a high level of dedication when it comes to theatre.   “If I had to choose over the other two, I would have to pick acting. It combines my love of performing and music and my passion for creatively expressing myself and extroverting myself, which helped me come to the conclusion that acting is what I want to do for the rest of my life” Tozier said.   With all the talent and drive inside of her, it comes as no surprise that she gathers inspiration from all around her.   “I couldn’t pick one role model because I can gather inspiration from just about anyone. From famous authors and actors to even random strangers. There is art inside everyone and everything and everywhere,” Tozier said.   Certainly, Madi’s love for the arts runs far deeper than the average person, which explains the seemingly effortless talent that courses through her veins. Without any doubt, Madison Tozier is an extraordinary person.with gifts that cannot go denied or ignored.

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SELF[IE]-LOVE SELF(IE) -LOVE Selfies and iPhone photos draw scrutiny from all corners and generations, claiming they are the cause of narcissism and self-obsession. However, selfies may be causing more problems than vanity.

NARCOTICS OF NARCISSISM The selfie, having just been added to the Webster’s Dictionary last year, has been revolutionizing the millennial generation, but also bringing criticism from older generations and the world alike.


he diver holds his mask to his face, plunging into the deep blue to study and swim among the sharks. 10 years ago, this would be one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, due to high amounts of shark attacks and deaths among divers and surfers. However, swimming around the wreck of the ship, this diver knows he is safer than the girl on the beach, taking a selfie with her phone.   “In the past year, dozens of tourists have died from taking selfies, compared to 6 people worldwide that have died from shark attacks,” a report by Conde Nast Traveler said.   In fact, over 70 people of at least 15 nationalities have died just in 2016 from falling or drowning while taking a photo of themselves in foreign countries.   Selfie is defined as a photo taken by one with a camera phone held at arms length or in a mirror, with the goal of making one

look good to peers.   “There is a correlation between selfie-taking and narcissistic tendencies,” a study from Albright College said.   Surveying 748 people with Instagram accounts, the study concluded that people who often take selfies and post them to their Instagram accounts have higher tendencies to be vain, anxious and selfconscious.   “However, selfies taken with romantic partners and friends often led to people who are more inter-connected and less narcissistic, ironically,” the study said.   The narcissism associated with selfies is not entirely without reason, but is highly overplayed, as shown by the study. While people who have an unnecessary amount of selfies seem to have the tendency to be more narcissistic, the average selfie poster has no more tendencies toward narcissism than the noblemen of the past who

56.2K LIKES 2,513 COMMENTS “Glad this was the only Bear I met in the park. -bo”

commissioned portraits.   “Without a doubt, the selfie is going to be one of the defining keys to our generation in the 21st century,” the Albright study stated.   From Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie with over 2.5 million retweets, to the famed wall-breaking selfie of the gymnasts from North and South Korea, selfies have broken records and barriers across the world.   “The selfie [featuring an BLM protester and a police officer] truly showed how both sides just want peace and happiness, and we really aren’t all that different,” BlackLivesMatter protester and social activist Shaun King said.   The idea of coming together for photo used to be reserved to families and yearbook photos, but now thanks to the smartphone camera, anyone can tell their story, join in solidarity, or just show off their cheekbones with a selfie.


I got my selfie!!! I really loved hearing her speak & hearing her goals for our country! #HillaryForPresident

Written by: CARTER MOORE Designed by: CARTER MOORE

Photos courtesy of AP subscription


702 LIKES 87 COMMENTS “He will never forget this moment. #walkwithfrancis #popeindc”




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rt is a concept that many eople explore, but is never a clear collection of hobbies and skill. It can be molded, and interpreted in ways that aren’t common, and freshman Elijah Wilson models that everyday with his personality. He sees the world as a canvas, not literally, and always finds new ways of expression.   “Art is a creative interaction between you and something you devote your time and thought into. Art can literally be anything that you use your full mind into creation”, Wilson said.   Among his many talents and interests, he takes pride in a Eli has been skating for over three years, “My brothers were both skaters so I picked up on that, and I used to watch Rob Dyrdek on Fantasy Factory, and Ridiculousness”, said Wilson.   “I’ve broken my leg and some other bones, but I’ve never broken or sprained anything skating” said Wilson. Adrenaline can be a factor with how people perceive pain, and adrenaline flows freely in skating.   “The moments that give me a rush are probably when I learn something new, something that was harder for me to do,” Wilson

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said.   Adrenaline can be a factor with how people perceive pain, and adrenaline flows freely in skating.   “The moments that give me a rush are probably when I learn something new, something that was harder for me to do,” Wilson said.   Many see skating as a sport, but Elijah sees a different side of it.   “I think it’s almost like a form of art, kind of like how music and drawing is a form of art, it’s a way to escape. There are a lot of free people who are skaters, and there are a lot of serious skaters, and people that skate just for fun. So, skating is kind of like an escape for me” Wilson said.   Finding ways of expressing art seems to come freely to Eli, who has aspirations to become a fashion designer.   “What made me want to do clothing, was freedom basically. You’ll see a boys section and a girls section, and I kind of want to do both. Like, anyone can wear these clothes, it’s just clothing, it’s cloth, anyone can wear what they want to wear. I don’t think you should have a problem with what people want to wear,” Wilson said.   His inspiration for clothing comes from many sources.   “The world, and basically the internet, it is like travelling because you can see so many


things. Over the years, I’ve been researching cultures, like different films and artists,” Wilson said.   He considers clothing to be just another form of art. “To even design clothes is hard, and you actually have to use your mind to do it,” Elijah said.   Designing takes practice and thought, It isn’t like going to a store and picking up a pair of pants, slapping your name on it and calling it your own, it’s innovation.   “I want to create my own style. I used to draw cartoons, and put my own clothing on the cartoons. I’d say ‘Alright this looks cool,’ and I’d want to create it,” Wilson said.   Like every artist, Wilson finds inspiration in everyday things, and uses his creativity to develop ideas.   “A lot of research. I spend most of my time researching stuff, like popular items from the late 70’s to early 90’s. Even shapes, shapes can be creative to me.” Wilson said.   From shapes to sounds, there isn’t a place that his mind can not stretch to.

  “Music is the biggest inspiration. I don’t really have a certain type of music I listen to all the time, I’ll listen to anything. I’m pretty free on what I listen to, because life is short, you don’t want to stay on the same thing all the time,” Wilson said.   Among his close friends, he expresses emotion and thought in a very profound ways to think about things, and how it can alter the world around you is tough, but to create from there is even tougher.   In a place of concrete and order, He shows what thinking out of the box really looks like. Elijah Wilson is an incredible influence on the people around him, and affects many with his artistic talents and intricate thoughts.  






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As the countdown to Graduation begins, the battle for valedictorian is neck and neck. Seniors Paige Maxwell and Paige Anschutz are at the top of their class. Maxwell and Anschutz are currently interlocked in a struggle for the title of number one.

Where do you hope to go to college this fall and what would you want to study?

“Right now I am trying to decide between Baylor, Auburn, and Ole Miss. I am trying to decide between mechanical and industrial engineering.”

“ I do not know where I’m going yet, but I do know that I want to study both theoretical physics and neuroscience.”

What is your favorite memory in your four years of high school? “Probably any memories associated with Robotics. We have a lot of fun on our trips. Even working in the shop, it has been a bunch of good times.”

“ My favorite high school memory is the State Thespian Festival my sophomore year. We were all low on sleep so everyone was CRAZY. That whole day was an adrenaline rush and the performance went awesome.”

What is your favorite movie quote? “I do not really go around quoting movies in my free time. However, I can quote the entire “She’s The Man” movie.”

“The world is not split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” --Sirius Black”

What do you think of the “Battle of the Paiges?”

“I’ve never really seen it as a battle between us before. Freshman and sophomore year we never had classes together but since IB, junior and senior year we’ve had a couple more together. We’ve kinda both known we were up there in class rank but it’s the same with anyone else, we just happen to have the same name!” Written by YONNY ASTAKE Photographed by BRITTANY LEJUNE Designed by CORI MATNEY

“I like the competition because it pushes me to work harder every day, but I think it has become a little less of a competition and more of a team effort with the IB diploma! It’s challenging both of us. It is a team effort to finish, so while you call it a “Battle of the Paiges,” it’s not really that. There’s a lot of mutual respect for the amount of work we both do, in and out of the classroom.”

> HI+ LIFE | 19

Monday - Thursday 11 am to 10 pm Friday - Saturday 11 am to 10:30 pm Sunday 11 am to 10 pm

547 SE Melody Ln Lee's Summit (Missouri) 64063 816 525-3663

1605 S State Route 7 Blue Springs, (Missouri) 64014 816 228-4697




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MATERIALISM The holiday season brings love, laughter and... consumerism?


hile holidays were originally created to be a time of reflection, recognition, and remembrance, they have been transformed into something dramatically different.   “Our culture has emphasised and been bombarded with material things and commercialism,” psychology teacher Debbie Baanders said.   In contemporary society, many people’s ideas of the holidays do not always coincide with their original intentions. An abundant number of people are much more fixated on something else.   “Getting stuff.

Commercialism and materialism have stolen the day,” Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn said.   When the holidays were started, there were specific reasons. They were intended to be a time to be thankful, to be with family, and whatever their religious significance may be. Materialism has, for some, stripped the holidays of those intentions.   Hanukkah is about taking pride in our identity, about recognizing the huge efforts and suffering our ancestors underwent in order to remain faithful to God, Torah, and the Jewish way of life.   Christianity and

Judaism may be different in the religious aspect of it, but their holidays are both about rethinking and refocusing values.   “For me, it [Christmas] is about the time with my family, and for our family that is centered around celebrating the birth of Jesus. We know that Jesus

was not born on December and appreciate everything 25, but this is the time of that live has to offer. They year that we remember should be about giving, the significance of Jesus not getting. being born,” Pastor Ryan Schrekenghaust said. Written by: AUDREY BADGEROW   The holidays are Photographed by: MAKAYLA HOLMBERG Designed by: MAKENZIE KRAXBERGER designed to be about spending time with family and friends. They should > HI+ LIFE | 21 be a time to reflect upon





eaders are not born, they are made; at least that is what the newest addition to my T-shirt collection says. Earlier this month, I ventured to Jefferson City to attend the 67th annual Youth in Government convention.   I was all set with my bill and ready to take the house floor to defend it, but boy I was under prepared for what I was going to





experience that weekend. short days we became great friends.   As I took my first few steps onto the   One of the best things about Youth in House of Representatives floor my breath Government was that despite having a vanished. It was a beautiful space that I wide variety of political opinions present, was both intimidated and inspired by. everyone was able to have a good time.   When the house took session for the The debate on the floor was very heated, first time I was but the heat never too nervous to overflowed outside the say anything, room. but by the   Listening to the bills beginning of that were debated and the second day, passed gave me a lot I was in full-on of hope for the future debate mode. of our country. Even “As I took my first Going in I was though the recent few steps onto the sure that my presidential election bill would be did not turn out as house floor my breath my favorite to some of us had wanted, vanished.” discuss, but I foresee true American some of the greatness in the near topics that future as some of these students Youth in Government brought to the floor had me in students aspire to take real government awe. We discussed controversial positions. topics such as conversion therapy, I also discovered that America has a immigration, women’s rights, rape long way to go before it will run into a sentences, and many more. generation that strives to level the playing   I found myself feeling extremely field giving people from all walks of life a passionate about other’s ideas as fair chance to excel. well as very opposed to some. Youth in Government was an amazing   Being surrounded by people experience that filled me anticipation and my age that share my passion high hopes for the future. I cannot wait for the future of America was to see what next year brings. exhilarating. Getting to learn from and bounce ideas off of them was even better.   I met some girls that shared my values and quite a few of my interests as well and in three




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Each year 1 in 5 females and 1 in 7 males engage in self- injury

chool comes along with stress, but it overwhelms her. She drags her feet along in the halls of school, craving to go home. To feel something other than her mental pain. When she does get home the satisfacting click of locking her bathroom door is heard, then the whoosh as she pulls the draw open. Then the feeling of the of relief when the razor touches her skin. She feels guilt for cutting, but she wanted relief. This is how she did it. She is like others who want to feel something, so they self-harm.   “A lot of times self-harm is connected to different stressors or different emotions going on with teenagers. I think a lot of those stressors and emotions just are continuing to rise in [teenagers]. Unfortunately for some kids, that is their outlet. That is their way of expressing that emotion or pain by choosing to self-harm,” counselor Kirsten Little said.   Self-harming is self inflicted pain that affects one out of ten people. Students have stress with school, peers, family and a negative outlet for it is self-harming.   “Self-harming can be a lot of different things. A lot of people assume it is always cutting, whether it be with a sharp object like a razor, pen, scissors, a knife. I have also heard of student who self-harm with lighters, or they will do it with friction,” Little said.   While people may think it is for attention, self-harmers do it to feel in control.   “There is a stigma around mental health issues in general. Anybody who has a mental health issue is crazy or they’re weak, or they’re

attention getters. A lot of times can be accused of creating these behaviors because you can not see [mental health issues]. They are trying to do the best they can,” counselor Sally Sabata said.   Student do not self-harm just for attention.


“Students who self-harm need help, some tell a friend, while others hope someone will notice.”

They are dealing with pain and it is a negative way for them to express it.” Little said.   “There is so much pressure put on people, [they] do not have the skills to deal with whatever they are going through in a healthy manner” Sabata said.   While students do not have the necessary skills to deal with stress, they selfharm to express that. There are common places that are damaged with self-harming, and signs of selfharming.   “The marks on the body can be easily covered up. Three of the most common places I have seen on student are their arms, upper legs, and stomach area. Except for arms, the legs and

the stomach area are very easy to cover up,” said Little.   Students who self-harm need help, some tell a friend, while others hope someone will notice.   “A lot of times I’ve worked with kids that either have admitted to self-harming, or I’ve seen something, or maybe a friend or teacher has seen something. I think it is because the student kinda wants to be discovered. It is almost like they want somebody to notice those markers. Almost like a cry for help,” Little said.   There are ways for others to help selfharmers, so they can get the attention needed.   “First, ask that person about it, whether if it is a friend or classmate, asking them what is going on. After that making sure an adult knows what is going on. Whether it is an adult here at school, or an adult outside of school,” Little said.   It is not bad to tell someone. Self-harmers need help from someone who can provide it. “[A misunderstanding is] people do it strictly for attention, and they have no intention of hurting themselves. In the past it was believed that people who were engaging in self-harm were not suicidal, and that it was not a suicidal indicator. However, that’s not necessarily the case. These are students that we need to be keeping a close eye on,” Sabatta said.   To feel something other than their mental pain, people like her self-harm. While selfharming has a stigma around it, self-harmers need help and others can provide it.

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Meditation focuses the body and mind, and can lead to more health benefits than apples.

is why so many high school students do it. In a twitter poll, over 61 percent of students have tried meditation or want to. Zoie Lee suggests that everyone should try it. “Stress is overwhelming at times, but meditation slow down the world and helps you take a step back and look at the big picture,” Lee said. Between school and extracurriculars, life can get pretty hectic. A little stress helps to motivate, but too much is the last thing anyone needs. “Really important to maintain a healthy mental state and suppress stress to the best of your ability,” Swartz said. Meditation seems like a foreign idea to some, but is unique to every person. “Be open minded and accepting of things, but everyone’s different and need to discover meditation in their own way,” Lee said. Meditation is a great way to relieve pain, focus on the tasks at hand, and suppress stress enough to make people’s everyday life healthier. Everyone is different and needs to find meditation in their own ways. As Zoie Lee said, “Everyone deserves to be happy, and meditation can help them do that.”


anna collapses into her bed for the first time since she left for school this morning. Exhausted from a full day from school and dance, she looks over to find the clock reads 9:07 pm. As she breaths in deeply, she envisions a warm light engulfing her, and all the stress and physical strain of the day melts away. As the years go on, more and more students and adults attempt meditation and says it changed their lives. Hanna Swartz is one who was changed forever “Meditation is really important to me because it helps me physically recover from dance,” Hanna said. Meditation is a conscious effort, and can be used in so many aspects in people’s lives, like to diminish stress, relieve pain, or simply get focused. Orchestra teacher Dr. Turner agrees with the importance of meditation, and helps others by teaching occasional classes to give tips on looking through an objective view. “We’re all emotionally charged, and we need to take more control of our lives. Meditation helps with all the mental chatter that you need to control,” Turner said. Going from task to task in people’s daily lives can be challenging, and that




Written by CHRIS TEETER Photographed by CLAIRE WAGNER Designed by JOHANNA HOLMBERG


Helps with Balances higher Aids spiritual unity and lower self as communication, and purifies well as helping independence, consciousness with consciousness and self and inner guidance expression

26 | HI+ LIFE <


HEART Helps inner growth and acceptance as well as complex emotions





Aids basic Helps connect Helps with emotions, oneself with the personal power and lowers fear friendships, and world and aids helps overcome stability. and anxiety addictions






NO PAIN(T) NO GAME Dashing on the field avoiding splats, they try to exchange more shots than the opponent.


imed to resemble war like battles, the extreme sport has become a phenomenon. The adrenaline, that game brings, allows even the most preserved person to explode with alleviation. Simple concept, shoot and do not get shot back as swift movements with are made with teammates. The game brings pain, but the correct gear and enough adrenaline keeps pain irrelevant. The

activity can be done as simple fun or be advanced to competitive paintball with set teams and planned objectives. “I’d shoot a case of paint myself. I had a seventeen hundred dollar gun and was passionate about it. It’s like anything else; if you were passionate about biking you’d want to get thousand dollar bike. Getting into it is so easy once you start having ball,” Chemistry teacher Mr.

Reese said. Players shoot from many sizes, shapes, and ages. With around three and a half million participants, someone least expected could take pride in play. In particularly, Mr. Reese claims students are astonished to find out that their chemistry teacher is a former paintballer himself. From emphasizing with covalent bonds to being marksman on the paintball field, the

SPLAT| Senior Jack Pfetcher concentrates on a target to take the perfect shot. “You get such a rush when holding [the gun]. The sudden adrenaline rush when you shoot is awesome. It feels like a movie, like it’s wartime,” Pfetcher said.


teacher loves the game of paintballing. The ‘retired’ player shows that paintball is joy to anyone that seeks from from thrill.   “Unfortunately, I got older and stop going. Time got the better of me and my friends. I unofficially retired, but still still love the activity. Getting a bunch of my friends together and going out to have fun is what the game is all about. I’ve went to a local tournament years ago and seen kids that I knew. Most kids I talk to think it is something that would hurt, but in the

end they believe it sounds fun. Pain is usually the least of worries when you’re out having a thrill. Students would never guess I paintball because most believe that teachers are fun,” Reese said.   The sport spikes interest and awe because it does not fit the category of ‘traditional sport’. The best players can be the worse in gym class sports or vise versa. Teenagers to chemistry teachers, all can gain the same adrenaline rush as they play. Paintball provides a way for anyone to have fun and get an adrenaline rush.




> HI+ LIFE | 27


1 2 4

1) Berlin the polar bear tears into his birthday cake 2) The lions lounge around after eating their Christmas tree 3) Seals joined in the fun, before their pond freezes for winter 4) Emperor penguins got to march outside their habitat 5) Cheetahs are no fast shoppers for Christmas

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