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dec. 16, 2013

Holiday season missing good tidings Society obsessed with the newest gifts rather than the spirit kayla schimmer opinions editor

Now that we are midst in the holiday season, it is time for cookies, caroling, and Christmas cheer. As the weather gets colder, our hearts are warming up as we focus on Christmas shopping and finding that perfect present for the ones we love. Even though this is the season to be jolly, I notice that more than a few people act pretty Grinchlike this time of year. People are taking on a new belief of what the Christmas spirit is. Many are focusing more on the materialistic point of view. “What am I getting for Christmas?” “How much is my Christmas bonus?” I believe that these should be afterthoughts rather than the main picture. Some people focus on a bonus so intensely that they might actually work on Christmas Eve or Christmas. I think that is taking things too far. I understand if you have to work; that’s the employer’s fault. Focusing on your career isn’t a bad thing either, especially if you’re supporting a family, but I cannot imagine having to spend Christmas away from my family. Think about it: not many Christmas songs focus on the presents. It’s “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” not “I’m dreaming of white presents.” We should not be Scrooges during the holidays, and need to focus on what really matters: our families. I will admit how fun it is opening presents on Christmas morning, especially if you open up that one gift at the top of your list. But, isn’t it just as fun helping your parents wrap the presents? Or

seeing people’s reactions when they open the gifts you got them? The holidays have become so commercialized and corporate that the general public does not think about that kind of stuff. Presents may be valuable money-wise, but the most valuabe part is truly being together. Everyone needs to remember that giving is just as fun as receiving. The receiving part of Christmas also includes charity work. I have personally done charity work with the Salvation Army as a bell ringer. I did my volunteering with a school club, so there was a decent sized group. We sang Christmas songs, and band kids brought their instruments and played the classic tunes. We made standing out in 20 degree weather fun while raising a lot of money. People are more willing to donate to a group of enthusiastic teens than just a single person standing there. It was the most fun I had that holiday season, and I felt even better knowing that what I did helped people. I understand that people do not always think about volunteering or charity in general, but it’s not something to overly stress out about. It can be something as simple as buying a new toy and dropping it inside a toy drive box either at school or stores such as Walgreens. People do not have to volunteer as bell ringers, but putting your loose change in the Salvation Army buckets would help out a lot. Every little bit counts. According to the Salvation Army, it only takes one bell ringing shift to provide two nights of shelter and four meals for people they help. More people need to think about how so many get by on so little, especially since during Christmas time they are struggling to provide a good holiday for their family. Low-income, less fortunate families cannot always buy presents for their children, but they manage to stay cheerful and jolly by focusing on what they do have, and

READY, SET, SHOP!: Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is notorious for its fantastic deals. This day is considered perfect for those who need to pick up some presents.

“I just do not want the Christmas spirit of love and generosity to be completely lost.”

Source: MCT Campus

we should follow that example. Those who get basically everything they asked for Christmas should count their blessings rather than ask for more. Look, I know that plenty of people care about the true meaning of Christmas and the holidays, I

just do not want the Christmas spirit of love and generosity to be completely lost. Christmas is the time to be with your loved ones and spread a little cheer. Just remember that spreading cheer doesn’t always include a nicely

Snow days put students at disadvantage dalvin parker sydney reporter hallett news editor

As you all know, OHS had its first snow day on Friday, Dec. 6. Some praised the beloved day off and others went crazy due to being stressed out, considering finals were only a few weeks away. Since the snow day occurred on a B-Day, our ANP was taken away, which gives us one less ANP before finals. In the two weeks before finals, we have only three ANPs, as we would have originally had five, but one was taken away from the snow day and the other by the two-hour early dismissal that was on Thursday,

“The less help we are able to get from teachers...the harder it is to perform well on finals.” Dec. 12. This does not help us in the long run when craming for finals because the less help we are able to get from teachers in our free time, the harder it is to perform well on finals. We should not have snow days first semester, because when that happens, it is usually in December and very close to finals. The snow days take our time away from study for the finals that we need to do well on. This puts our final semester grade in jeopardy, which in return affects our overall GPA. Unfortunately, nobody can control the weather,

so I understand that if the roads are slick and icy, it is too dangerous for students to get to school. Though the snow days give us time to relax during this stressful time before finals, for a lot of students, they become even more stressed when there is a snow day. When we miss a whole day of classes just before finals, the teachers get stressed as well because they have less time to teach the class. This especially hurts students and teachers involved in honors and college courses. Most of those courses are fast pace as it is, and snow day

put them farther behind. Finals have been a very important part of our high school career. These are the tests that can make or break a letter grade. Hopefully it works out in the long run and getting that snow day has relaxed us all before the finals. I also hope we do not get another snow day, because then we would get even farther behind.


dec. 16, 2013

opinions

11

Prices driving students crazy Does the district charge too much for parking? reporter

Editorial Board

Tina Haberberger

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Advisor Jeff Kuchno

PICK OF THE LOT: The parking lot behind Gym B is just one of the few places OHS upperclassmen can park, for a fee of course. Source: Kayla Schimmer

the option to drive my own car to school, I would obviously rather do that, and I don’t mind having to pay to park. But $100 is a little much for a high school parking spot. If my $100 was solely used on OHS expenses, then there’s not much I can complain about. But, in theory, my money could be spent on repairing a pothole in an elementary school’s parking lot. I do not think this is fair. The district should not depend on roughly 700 upperclassmen from

the two high schools to provide that much money to the fund. If they need this money, then they need to find a different way to generate this income. Lindbergh’s system would be very useful at OHS. It’s another way to reward students who are doing well in school. It may also give students an incentive to do better in school. But, most importantly, it would lower the price for a parking spot for everyone at OHS.

letter to the editor Student says ‘Love thy neighbor’ Throughout the course of high school, people realize that not everyone is your friend. With no reason whatsoever to dislike you, people do anyway. Maybe it has something to do with growing up, but it doesn’t have to be that way. So many of the problems of the world could be avoided with simple thought, love, and understanding. Part of Oakville’s mission statement mentions the importance of creating “compassionate citizens and leaders”. People with compassion are the people that make the world a better place for everyone. Oakville can make the world a better place by embracing a very special word as its core value. The Greeks had a lot of different words for love and each word described a different kind of love you can have for people. The word we should focus on is Agape. It means a totally unconditional, indiscriminate love for the world and people around you. In the Bible, Agape is even used to describe the love of God. It is a word

prowl the

Hannah Hoffmeister Sydney Hallett Carrie Noblitt Kayla Schimmer Evan Lachnit Ally Schellhase Maddie Foster Dalvin Parker Megan Haislar Lucas Bennett

shannon stegmann

Over 300 students pay to park on the OHS parking lot. In order to be eligible for a spot, the each student must have a 2.0 or higher grade point average, while also paying a fee of $100. This is a district wide fee, so Mehlville High students have the same price. But this price is significantly higher than those offered at neighboring schools. To get a parking spot at Fox, for example, all eligible drivers pay $25. At Vianney all eligible drivers pay $50. Lindbergh does things slightly different. Only upperclassmen are eligible for a spot, but if they have a 4.0 GPA or higher, the price for a parking spot is $45. If they have between a 3.0 and 3.9, it is $50, and if the GPA is below a 3.0, it is $80. I feel that the price for OHS students should not be $100 when other South County schools are charging a rate so much lower than ours. OHS brought in approximately $38,000 just from parking this year, and Mehlville brought in approximately $34,000. The money both schools received does not go into funds for their own school; it goes straight to the district. The revenue is added into a general fund. It’s not the entire fund, only a portion of it. Parking is considered a privilege, not a right. I understand that I could take the bus, but if I have

“People with compassion are the people that make the world a better place for everyone.” that represents an ideal that we should try our best to embody. Of course, it would be impossible to exemplify Agape perfectly. I know that personally, sometimes the stress in life makes an Agape-like love impossible. But that doesn’t mean that I, that we shouldn’t try! “Who says that we should love each other anyhow?” some folks might ask. First, it’s the right thing to do, and if that doesn’t sell it to you then maybe a doctor could. Psychologists figured out a long time ago that it is much easier to love and to be happy that it is to feel angry and act on hatred. That means that you might not want a thing to

do with anybody, but it’s still in your own best interest be kind. Imagine a world, or even just one school, where Agape is how people treated one another. I think that if our goal in “Our House” is to be a school of character, then we should also be a school of love. Don’t let that sound cliché. It’s a worthy, noble goal. Agape. The New Year’s Resolution of “Our House.”

Daniel Carter, OHS Student Body Vice-President

Mission Statement The Prowl is the official student newspaper of Oakville Senior High School. Our mission is to inform the student body about issues relevant to their lives, community and education. We will report in a balanced fashion and uphold the standards of professional journalism. Editorial Policy Views expressed in The Prowl do not necessarily represent the opinions of the school, administration or Mehlville School District. All unsigned editorials represent the view of the majority of the staff. All columns, signed editorials and reviews represent the opinions of the author and may not coincide with the opinions of the staff as a whole. Letters to the Editor The Prowl welcomes readers’ opinions and encourages signed letters to the editor. Letters must be 300 words or less and may be delivered to Room 234, given to any staff member or e-mailed to prowlpaper09@hotmail.com. The Prowl reserves the right to reject, edit or shorten letters. Advertising Information The OHS journalism program is completely self supported. The staff raises money by selling advertisement space. Advertisers can reach an audience of over 2,000 students, parents and other community members. Interested businesses may contact The Prowl at (314) 467-7225.

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