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MAVERICK Morton Ranch High School 21000 Franz Road, Katy Tx 77449

House Bill to Change Texas Education By Leen Basharat Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, the class of 2018 will be enrolled into the new curriculum system set up by House Bill 5. With this bill, the Texas School Board of Education has made radical changes to the education system. Some of the changes, and to whom they apply, are still under discussion. One thing, however, is definite: House Bill 5 has administrators, teachers and students talking. “It gives students more choice in what courses they can take to meet graduation requirements,” said Principal Lee Crews. As opposed to the current Distinguished and Recommended graduation plans, under House Bill 5 all students will be on one plan, the Foundation plan. Its requirements, although less than what current seniors, juniors, and sophomores have to take, provides more flexibility for students to choose courses that directly relate to their career paths. “I think it’s a good thing. I don’t think that every student is cut out for Algebra 2 and everyone has different talents and different strengths and math isn’t everybody’s strength,” said math teacher Vanessa Bayci. “I think that it would be helpful letting students do what they’re successful at.” Algebra 2 is one of many courses students are no longer required to take.

Under the foundation plan students take four English courses, three math courses (Algebra and Geometry are required with two additional advanced math courses), three social studies (students choose between world geography and world history, but are required to take U.S. history, government and economics), three science (biology required, then students must choose between IPC or an advanced science course followed by an additional advanced science course). Along with core classes, students are required to get one Fine Arts credit, one P.E. credit, and five electives resulting in a grand total of 22 credits. An elimination of many E.O.C.’s has also been decided. Although this new plan may allow students more options, the lack of exposure to certain courses, and how it directly affects future course selections, becomes an issue. “If you’ve never been exposed to it [a subject area], how do you know if you are going to like it or not? If you do Biology and IPC, you’ve been exposed to a little bit of everything. So at that point you should be able to decide which ones you like and which ones you don’t,” said science teacher Carrie McDaniel. “I know that they are trying to develop more career paths for kids. I think it’s good to give kids options, but the problem is what age do you decide what your

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STAR

Vol. 10 | Issue 2| March 5 , 2014

FFA Students Sweep Livestock Show

Junior Kaitlyn Mask shows her pig at the KISD Livestock Show and Rodeo where MRHS competed on February 18 and February 21-23. Morton Ranch FFA swept Grand Champion Showmanship in all species including hogs, goats, lambs and steers. In addition, Senior MaKenzie Young brought home the title of Grand Champion Hog. Mavericks totaled five Grand Champions, one Reserve Champion, 31 top ten class placings and numerous banners. For more information about FFA results and awards, visit www.maverickstar.org. Photo courtesy of Casey Wilson

interests are? Do you know what you want to major in college right now? Most people don’t, and how many people change their majors anyway?” Although the plan offers “pathways” for students to follow, some courses are required for college or careers. According to math teacher Stephanie Nite, various professions require higher level classes like Calculus, which can be taken in high school or college. Nite also stressed the importance of Algebra 2 as well

as Pre-Calculus. “If there are kids who are going to do something in engineering, science or math as a profession, they will definitely need it to advance to move on to Calculus at some point, whether they are in high school or college. They would need that Pre-Cal background to help them,” Nite said. Junior Triston Patten doesn’t see House Bill 5 as a problem. “I actually agree that with some things [teachers] go a little too in depth,” Patten said. “I understand

Teen drivers take care. The Maverick Star investigates the danger behind reckless driving on our campus.

it’s to keep us well rounded, but I don’t feel that they should have to go into depth with every subject.” Patten also mentioned how the bill allows students to choose what they want to pursue and saves the educational system from wasting money on unwanted classes. House Bill 5 allows students to participate in the Distinguished Level of Achievement Graduation Plan. Through this plan, see “House Bill” page 5

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Maverick Star Newspaper * March 5, 2014

Editorials/ Opinions

Dress Code Reveals Double Standard In Society By Didi Martinez Senior Editor-in-Chief

A look at the Katy ISD dress code indicates that there are more provisions geared specifically toward females than there are for males. Upon the return from winter break, students were shown a video reiterating the dress code. The majority of the video consisted of a couple of female students modeling what not to wear to school, while just a fraction of the remaining minutes addressed male dress code. Currently dress code provisions made by the district include that skirts must be worn at the waist, dresses no shorter than

mid-thigh, no spaghetti straps, and no pants made with “form-fitting” material. These very specific provisions would prove to affect more women than men. A look at the official Katy ISD dress code list only addresses men directly once with stating that men may not wear side-burns below the earlobe. This rule does not even have to do with clothing at all but rather, grooming. So while men must worry about if whether or not their facial hair surpasses their earlobe, women must worry about whether or not their dresses, skirts, or shorts will rise up above mid-thigh. We also must note that the consistency at which the rules are enforced also vary with gender. For example, female student are not allowed to wear Nike Tempo Shorts to school because they are deemed “too short.” Young men on the other hand, are allowed to wear the notoriously short shorts by the name of “ Chubbies.” A comparison of the inseam of Nike Tempo Shorts and Chubbies proves that the

shorts do not differ that much in length with the former being 3.5 inches and the latter, 5.5 inches. While some might be quick to point out the difference of 2 inches, one must take into account that the average female height (about 5.5 feet) is much shorter than that of males (5.9 feet). In fact, if a male is the average height their shorts would be proportionally shorter than the average girl wearing Nike shorts. However, we rarely see a guy in Chubbies stop to check if his shorts are above “mid-thigh.” While the opposition might argue that there are more dress code provisions for females simply because they have more clothing options, we do not believe this is necessarily the case. Instead, we hold that the root of the problem lay in an underlying double standard. For example, many have made the case for modest clothing for women in order to keep them from looking “provocative,” but is the problem with the clothes or the mentality?

According to a study from the University of Buffalo, women have increasingly become victims of over-sexualization in the media. For this reason, we are not surprised that females are prone to be seen as more sexual in clothing than males. We have been exposed to an environment that has subliminally sent those messages to us. However, should women have to pay the price for this mentality by disproportionally restricting what they can and cannot wear? No. There is no single solution to gender bias in society. After all, sexism has been around for centuries and according to former first lady Hilary Clinton, women’s rights remain the “great unfinished business of the 21st century.” We can acknowledge when and where the bias happens instead of pretending it does not exist. From that point, we can all begin moving toward a future in which we see dress code videos with equal air time for both men and women.

our high school experience, preparing to go out to the real world, everything hits us all at once. No one is going to be there to hold our hands. In the eyes of this society, we are just another person in a global population of six billion. Another student at a university. Another worker at a job. Another person on the street. Are our college professors going to take the time to chase us down for an assignment or extend a deadline? No, they are there to teach us, grade our work, get paid and go home. They are not there to be your friend. Is the government going to lower our

taxes and help us find jobs so we can make a living and thrive? No, we have to go out into the world, find a job ourselves, and make ends meet. It does not matter if we were star athletes. It does not matter if we maintained a 4.0 G.P.A. It does not matter if we made regionals for U.I.L. events. Whenever we get that diploma, our high school careers are over. No one will care if we were the wellknown and most liked person, because after a year in college we will not hear nor see most of our high school friends. They will move on, and so will we. That is just how life is. Yes, it is brutal,

but going out into the real world can be thought of as a tabula rasa. The amount of work we do will define us. We will choose our paths and craft our fate. Some, will take a stroll while others will make a detour. Some, will sprint while others will coast. For all of us, however, a new life awaits, one where we are foreigners in this land of opportunity. Although things may seem overwhelming at first, once we get the hang of it, living life will become second nature. All it takes is the right mindset, a dedicated heart, and drive to keep pushing forward no matter what obstacle blocks our paths. It takes an unwillingness to accept any other fate than what we genuinely desire. All it takes is initiative to start off on the right foot. All it takes is a baby step.

Stepping Beyond Our Sanctuary, Beyond Our School By Leen Basharat Editor-in-Chief

It starts with a baby step. From day one, whether it was the first day of school, practicing an instrument, or learning how to play a sport, it all starts with a baby step. Our parents tell us to just take things one step at a time, to not overwhelm ourselves; that things are going to be all right, that things are going to be okay. But here is the thing: it is not the same scenario anymore. In reality, when we are near the end of

“It takes an unwillingness to accept any other fate than what we genuinely desire.”

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2012-2013 Maverick Star Newspaper Staff Editors-in-Chief: Leen Basharat Didi Martinez News: Emily Levin Design: Caleb Ortega Advertising: Alyssa Garza Contributing Staff: Anaya Madama Kenya Phillips Chloe Sledge Morgan Spears Cara Templeton

The Maverick Star Newspaper is not a professional paper. It is created by a group of hardworking students who spend their time and energy to bring the students of Morton Ranch High School a quality publication. The staff welcomes comments from their readers. The content of this paper does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the faculty and staff of Morton Ranch High School or the Katy Independent School District.

Adviser: Stacy Slaughter Principal: Lee Crews


Maverick Star Newspaper * March 5, 2014

Voices

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Four Keys To Keeping Your Money By Didi Martinez As a senior, I have heard many horror stories of people who have gone to college and ended up in debt. In fact, a work colleague of mine recently revealed to me that the reason she is working a part-time job on top of her full-time job as a teacher is because she is still trying to pay off the large amount that is her student debt. However, she is not alone. According to a Fidelity survey of 750 graduates, the average class of 2013 graduate accumulated about $34,500 in debt by that time they left college. With that being said, it is never too late to start finding ways in which you can manage your money easier so that even if you do find yourself in debt, your finances will still be manageable and hopefully, paid off within a couple of years. Here are some helpful tips to begin building good financial habits: Start with Debit: With more and more commodities switching over to online for purchasing and payments, it would be in your best

interest to look into getting a debit card. Sure, you could opt for a credit card instead but as a person barely jumping into the world of finances, it is best to avoid all temptations to spend more than you know you can pay. With a debit card, your money is linked to a checking account and so you can only spend what you have. No surprise bills (unless you go over your available balance), no more debt. As an added bonus, when you purchase something at a store with a debit card, you can often get cash instead. Separate Your Accounts: While getting your first few paychecks may be exciting and you might want to spend all your money at once, make sure to think long-term by investing in the future. That is why it is recommended that when you go to the bank to make a checking account, you make a savings one as well. Until you have a constant flow of bills to pay, it is recommended that you always have more money in your savings account than your checking, or at least

Misconceptions of Perfection By Cara Templeton “Don’t put yourself down. The world does enough of that.” –Anonymous High school students, along with most humans, are prone to harsh self-judgment. And while a clear perception of yourself is something to strive for, excessively harsh self-evaluation does more harm for everyone than it does good. Criticism can stem from a wide variety of places, including parents, grades, friends, celebrities and even ourselves. Humbleness is a virtue and all, but when people spend more time worrying about their own perceived flaws and imperfections, things in every category of life can take a turn for the nasty. Concerns can turn into a grotesque compulsion to strive for the unattainable goal of perfection. This ends up harming relationships, success, and even health. One recurring preoccupation that can lead to stress is appearance. There is constant pressure in our society to look like celebrities, to buy the things they wear and use the makeup they use, to mold ourselves into the “perfect” person. But nobody is perfect, and no one is supposed to be. Without that reassurance it’s quite

easy to be overwhelmed with personal imperfectness. An obsession with personal flaws often leads to the manifestation of self-criticism on undeserving others. As the late Audrey Hepburn said, “You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.” Verbal abuse is how an unhealthy self-image has a negative effect on unsuspecting others, the victims of people’s insecurities. At the very least we can feel better about ourselves, and at the most, exude confidence that inspires others to do the same. Is it better to be too humble, or to be too proud? It seems easy to knock someone down a peg rather than trying to build someone up. No matter how many times a person is praised, they will always remember the one unwarranted insult that caused self-doubt. My advice to combat this is simple: we must get to a comfortable, strong, self-assured place so that when we face criticism, which we inevitably will, we can afford to get knocked down and pick ourselves up again, stronger than we were before.

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that the balance gap between the two not be so great. If you want this concept a bit further, consider having two sources of income. No, this does not mean that you have to work two part-time jobs (though I certainly did, and isn’t much of a problem given a little bit of planning), but that it would be good to consider making money off of side-projects such as babysitting, crafting, or tutoring while maintaining a part-time job. In this way, you can receive income from two different sources for each account. For example, your money from working your part-time job can go into your checking account and the money from your side-projects into your savings. Or if you prefer, you can work one job and put a percentage of your check into each account though personally, I find that this takes a bit more self-control. Get the App: By now you have probably heard, “Get the app for this, get the app for that,” at least a dozen times, but when it comes to managing your banking accounts getting

your bank’s app is a necessity. Why? The majority of banking apps allow you to view the balance in your accounts and even transfer money. By using these tools, you will always be able to know exactly how much money you have (or do not have) in your accounts before you decide to go shopping or transfer money from your savings account to your checking in case of an emergency. Ask for Large Bills: When it comes to resisting the urge to needlessly spend, the bigger the bill the better. When you get cash, ask for a few large bills rather than say, 100 ones. By doing this, you can keep track of where your money goes because the physical task of breaking a large bill will not only remind you of how much came out of your wallet, but also discourage you buying multiple cheap things here and there. Lastly, if not most importantly, give yourself a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly fixed amount and commit that once all of it is gone, it’s gone. So make it last.

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Maverick Star Newspaper * March 5, 2014

Features

Too Much To Lose:

Students Show Love By Giving Blood By Didi Martinez Heart-shaped balloons filled the air as students streamed into the competition gym ready to give blood on February 14. The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center hosted the blood drive with the help of EMT students. The drive, a daylong event, advertised that each donation can save three lives. “Typically blood cancer patients are mostly getting platelets, surgery patients are mostly getting red cells, and there are some cancers that uses the plasma,” said Andrea Johnson, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center High School Blood Drive Recruiter. “So when you donate a unit of blood, and we say it saves three lives, it’s because each one of those units is potentially going to a different patient.” With M.D. Anderson being the largest transfusing hospital in the country, about 400 to 650 units of blood are used up daily, and the demand for blood is always high. However, M.D. Anderson has found a reliable resource in high schools. “High school is the best place to collect blood,” Johnson said. “You have a large population of people in one place, so what we collect today, normally we’d have to go to four corporations on four different days.” Large populations aside, Johnson said part of what makes high schools ideal is the mentality. “[High school students] have been taught to have a sense of community. With high school, because you do so much community service, you’re willing to do this,” Johnson said. “Students don’t care who it goes to as long as it goes to someone that’s sick. A lot of times adults that have never donated, they only want to do it if it’s someone they know.” Junior Josh McGann expressed a willing attitude toward the donation process. “I’m not really losing anything from it, but my blood

Fast driving risks Maverick lives

Senior Aaron Lerro donates blood on February 14 in the Competition Gym. photo by Brooke Todd

and stuff,” McGann said. “I thought it would hurt a little bit, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.” EMT students helped out at the event in order to acquire experience in the medical field. “As volunteers we help make sure that everybody else can do their job,” said Senior Evelyn Ekundare. “So we’ll call kids out of class, and by doing so, it helps everything run smoothly.” With one of the biggest turnouts in the drive’s history, Ekundare is also surprised at the school’s response to those in need. “ I didn’t know that there were so many people out there that were actually willing to donate,” Ekundare said. “To know that so many people are willing to sacrifice for the sake of others is really touching.” According to Johnson, because the number of people who could sign up to donate reached capacity within a day, other students were turned away. However, there is good news. “This year we’re coming here twice, so we’ll be back in April,” Johnson said. “High schools account for 30 percent of the blood supply we collect in MD Anderson, so high schools are very important to us.”

Students Open The Cellar Door Lit Mag By Cara Templeton The Morton Ranch High School student-produced literary magazine, The Cellar Door, is currently in production. Maintained by creative writing students, the magazine is a medium for student expression. According to Senior Chen Neal, editor-in-chief, the Cellar Door is a “melange of things that allows artistic people to showcase their work.” The magazine includes poetry, artwork, photography, screenplays and short stories that are submitted via the Cellar Door’s blog. The staff reviews and edits all submissions on Fridays. Producing the Cellar Door is a mandated part of the Creative Writing class period, but students who aren’t in the class may still contribute. “Sometimes we meet after school and people can come,” said Sponsor Cliff Scrogin. “If you want to join, come to my classroom.” The Cellar Door will be published anywhere from late March to late April, and the deadline for submitting material is in early March.

Seniors Jhante´ Rivet and Chen Neal collaborate during Cliff Scrogin’s Creative Writing class. photo by Stacy Slaughter

By Alyssa Garza With the recent and tragic death of “Fast and Furious” star Paul Walker, drivers have become aware of the results of hazardous driving. A place where few people expect to find reckless driving is in a school zone. However, most students claim their only accidents or near-accidents have occurred going and coming from school. “Me and my friend Ernesto were leaving from the band hall,” said Senior Joshua Jamilosa. “While we were pulling out a mother in a white Honda sped right past us going 50mph Ernesto had to do a drastic turn, hit the curb and popped his tire. She kept going like nothing happened.” Last year after the tardy system had been put into place, three students were involved in a car accident rushing to school from lunch. Junior Bruno Mona said he is lucky to be alive after the accident, and it was a wake-up call. “The tardy system had just been put into place, and we all agreed we did not want to be late to class. My friend driving was going 121 mph. He hit a curb and lost control. We hit one of the trees in front on the school then the car rolled over and hit another tree. After we finally came to a stop, my car door wouldn’t open. My friends were badly hurt and in shock, so I climbed over the seat and got out through the driver’s door. I had to pull both of my friends out of the car before we caught on fire.” “Granted, me and my friend who was driving had bruises and cuts, but our friend in the back seat didn’t have his seatbelt on and he broke his jaw,” Mona said. Going to school is stressful enough without having to worry about whether the student in the car next to you is fully alert or stayed up all night and is running on their fifth cup of coffee. Being sleepy while driving is just as dangerous as driving drunk because people become unaware and drowsiness clouds their focus. “I know someone very close to me who fell asleep while driving and she hit the light pole,” said Senior Lauren Castillo. “It wasn’t the first time she drove tired. She pulled lots of all nighters cramming for tests. I don’t know why students do that to themselves. It’s too easy to be careless because there isn’t enough supervision around the school zones.” Junior Genesis Munoz said walking to her car is the real struggle because students back out really fast and drive with no concern. She just waits until traffic dies down to leave school. “It may cause me to get home a little later, but I would rather wait and let everyone in and be that one nice driver who lets people in than risk being in an accident just to be home earlier because it is not worth it,” Munoz said. “I feel like there needs to be more security set up outside before and after school.” Paul Walker lost his life in the passenger seat because the driver was being careless. With the “Fast and Furious” franchise being a big part of this generation’s pop culture, students should learn from his tragic example. Instead of racing or driving recklessly, honor Walker’s death by learning from an incident that could have been prevented. His loss proved a point to drivers: nobody is invincible, not even the famous. Accidents can happen to anyone, so slow down and drive safe.


Maverick Star Newspaper * March 5, 2014

Features

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Wong Makes Spanish More Than A Class By Alyssa Garza After learning three languages before the age of 14, Spanish 4 teacher Josephine Wong has turned a talent into a vibrant teaching career. Originally from Houston, Wong moved to Los Angeles as a child to live with her aunt and uncle until her parents were able to care for her. At age 6, she moved back to Houston, and her family hired a Spanish-speaking nanny who knew no other language. From there, Spanish became Wong’s second language. Wong then learned English in elementary school through an ESL program. “My English was terrible which is why now I have such a heavy accent,” Wong said. Growing up in a traditional Vietnamese family, Wong said she was pushed at an early age by her parents to go into the medical field. They insisted she stay home until she graduated and was married. After graduating at top of her class from Katy High School, she attended the University of Houston, where she met her husband, Kenny Wong. She studied abroad in Spain to extend her knowledge of Latin culture. After graduating class of 2008 with a degree in Liberal Arts and Education, Wong discovered her true passion. “I student-taught here at Morton Ranch High School. I loved the campus. I loved the ambience it gives off and the good mix of culture of the school. Something sparked in me that I wanted to teach, and I wanted to teach Spanish. I am the only cousin that did not go into the medical field.” Wong doesn’t let her struggles in life affect her teaching methods. She still makes time to listen and help students after school. “Every time I need help after school, she always stops what she’s doing to help me,”

said Junior Anthony Arambula. Wong has past experience working as a pharmacist and as a model for Vietnamese fashion designs, both of which she gave up to become a full-time teacher. “Even my husband notices that I wake up with lots of energy ready to go to school,” Wong said. “I look forward to it. I find that you have to be energetic in class because it’s contagious. If I’m tired, that will affect the students’ mood. I have to make sure I’m top notch throughout the day.” With so much passion for her career, Wong puts a lot of time and effort into her job as not only a Spanish teacher but also as sponsor for the Spanish club. “My biggest struggle in life is I am such a work-a-holic. I’ll work and forget to take care of myself, and then I forget to think about others as well. My 2014 resolution is ‘you’ll always have work but you have to make time for yourself.’ ” Wong’s energetic personality and school spirit encourage participation in not only learning Spanish but also joining the Spanish Club. “I honestly hate Spanish but I love going to Mrs. Wong’s class because she keeps it fun and not so serious which is a great break from stress filled classes,” said Senior James Ng. “In Spanish club we have a great time learning about Spanish cultural traditions and eating. It gives me something to look forward to.” Wong’s ability to inspire students to expand their horizons and learn about Spanish culture is what makes her stand out as a teacher. “Growing up with such a strong Spanish influence made me who I am today,” Wong said. “I wouldn’t change one thing about my life because teaching is something I am truly passionate about, and I know this is what I was meant to be doing.”

Sophomores Kamran Khan and Patrick Casbeer perform a skit to demonstrate their Spanishspeaking skills after school in Josephine Wong’s classroom. photo by Alyssa Garza

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House Bill to Change Texas Education continued from page 5 students are required to obtain 26 credits by following the Foundation Plan with the addition of another math course, including Algebra 2, an additional science course and an endorsement. Endorsement areas are STEM, Business and Industry, Public Services, Arts and Humanities, and Multidisciplinary Studies. These require students to choose a broad area of interest to guide their course selections. According to Crews, the main goal of the

House Bill 5 was to provide students an alternative pathway to learn in school that would directly aid them in their selected career choice. “How all this is phased in is going to be a challenge for schools,” Crews said. “There is a lot of positives because [students] will have choices as opposed to the 4 x 4 plan. The two main positives are the elimination of many of the E.O.C.’s that I know were pressure points and more choice in what courses students can take to meet graduation requirements.”

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Maverick Star Newspaper * March 5, 2014

Entertainment

D.I.Y: Beat The Moving Blues Keeping Up WithThe Resolutions By Kenya Phillips Starting out in a new situation can be the scariest thing in the world. (Trust me, I know. I’ve done it several times.) Changing your surroundings creates nostalgic feelings. Here are five tips to ensure a stress-free relocation: 1. Breathe. Yes, there are a lot of memories along with possessions to pack, and heavy hearts along with boxes to move. All of it will get done but not with a stressed version of yourself. Become level headed. Sometimes things in life need to evolve so that they can grow and prosper. This is one of them. So don’t stress. 2. Divide. Sit down and create a plan. Things done chaotically don’t tend to end nicely. Pack your life one box at a time. 3. Conquer. Schedule packing days and don’t put them off. If you set a goal, get it done. Procrastination helps no one. 4. Get help. Recruit a moving crew of friends. You are only one person, and as much as we like to believe we are capable of doing everything, we aren’t. And that is what friends are for. 5. Reward yourself. Whenever you finish a big project, it’s always nice to have something to look forward to. Maybe treat yourself to dinner after you are done packing. Or go out with friends on your last night in the area. Already relocated? Here are five tips to

help with the transition: 1. Meet new people. You have to explore your new home, and sharing the adventure with other people makes it more fun. 2. Find familiarity. Maybe you are a painter? Visit museums. Maybe you like to exercise? Find a new gym. Whatever your hobby, find a place to make it happen. 3. Try new things. Explore your new surroundings. Take a drive down a back road, and turn off your GPS. Every city has hidden gems. You just have to find them. 4. Laugh. Laughter is the best medicine in the world. So let go and allow yourself to enjoy the new social atmosphere. Not everything is going to be thrilling at first, but open your mind to all possibilities. And when something is funny, laugh. 5. Comfort food! Bring on the foods you’re not supposed to eat (I suggest starting with the chocolate) and have a Netflix marathon. See it as a reason to go exercise the next day. The reason people get nostalgic is because we constantly search for that “Aha!” moment when everything feels right. We long to feel something that resonates with a time when we were happiest with ourselves. The truth is, we can never get that time back. And that is okay. Knowing that, move forward with a dream, a wish, and a hope. Live well today, and everything will be okay.

Book Review: Shatter Me By Morgan Spears In this alternate Earth life is deteriorating. Animals are dying, and the food supply is low. The environment is unpredictable, and nobody can control it. Living in the midst of it all is Juliette. She is 17 years old and has been thrown in jail after being deemed crazy. Why? Her touch can kill. She can’t control it, and she doesn’t know why, but throughout her whole life she was not allowed to touch anyone. Not even her parents would hold her. It has been three years since Juliette stepped outside or has spoken to another human being. Then she gets a cellmate, Adam, and everything changes. Now they want Juliette to work for the government, but can she really be the Reestablishment’s personal weapon? From the start this book intrigued me. A girl who can kill you with her touch? That sounds pretty cool to me. The style of writing makes “Shatter Me” even more interesting. Mafi writes like it’s a journal, and there are cross-outs when Juliette thinks something that may not be right. This treatment gives a poetic style to it while still being an action-packed dystopian novel. Each of the characters are well developed, and a reader can easily see their personalities. There is Warner, the evil head of the Reestablishment, and Adam, the solider, with Juliette stuck in the middle. There is obviously a love triangle brewing, and I am definitely “Team Adam”. Even the minor characters of Kenji and James were very enjoyable and had me laughing at many parts. I recommend this to anyone looking for a dystopian read mixed with a bit of love, a lot of strength, and a girl finding how she really fits into this world.

By Emily Levin At the start of each new year, people worldwide make promises to themselves and those around them which they plan to follow through over the course of the upcoming year. We have come to know these promises as New Year’s resolutions. Many of these resolutions are made with good intent, but according to recent research done by the University of Scranton, only approximately 8% of people who make resolutions are successful in achieving their resolution. “Resolutions are basically goals,” said AP Economics teacher Jerry Coker. “[If ] you’re always making goals, and you’re always reevaluating your goals to make sure that they line up with your life, [then] what you set on December 31st may not match with what your life is on July 31st,” Coker said. Despite the broken promises made year after year, 45% of Americans continue to make more New Year’s resolutions without fail. Speech and Debate coach Shawna

Moulton said New Year’s Resolutions are mere habit. People make resolutions to demonstrate they are a different person, “when really they are the same person as they were the day before.” A lot of resolutions are different in purpose, however. The difference between resolutions that last and resolutions that don’t is dependent on where they come from. Resolutions from the mind as opposed to the heart are the resolutions that fail. According to the University of Scranton research, 47% of those who make self-improvement resolutions are 13% more likely to follow through with them than people who make money-related resolutions. Although New Year’s Resolutions contains the phrase “new year,” they are still just goals. Goals can be made year round on any day. “They are a fresh start,” said Staff Member Ramona Barrera. “Every day is like a new year because every day we have the opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life.”

Back by popular demand!

Maverickan Idol March 28 at 7pm in the PAC

$5 presale v $7 at door Teacher Entertainment & Special Guest Judges Tickets sales March 24 28 during lunches


Maverick Star Newspaper * March 5, 2014

Sports

Mavericks Fight To The Finish Coaches In Challenging Season Teach More Than Soccer By Anaya Madama With boys and girls basketball seasons finished at Morton Ranch, players and coaches shared their journeys and memories of the season. With boys varsity coming in second place, and girls continued with multiple injuries, both coaches are proud of the effort put forward by their teams. According to Khris Turner, varsity and freshman coach, “Perseverance, and overcoming the odds,” was the motto his students stuck by all season. With the boys powering through injury after injury, a new coach in the program, and general team issues, the season presented some challenges. Despite that, the Mavericks were able to place second in district. Varsity finished10-8, Junior Varsity 9-9, and Freshman A 7-9. According to Sophomore Johnathon Chevalier, “Be prepared to work hard and represent” is key advice for participating in the Morton Ranch High School basketball program. According to Darren Russell, Junior Varsity and freshman coach, the toughest challenge of the season was making early morning and Saturday practices. “The meaning of high school basketball is to have student athletes join together for a common goal and work as a team,” Russell said. This was a guideline for the Lady Mavs to lead them through the ups and downs of their season. According to Freshman Sara Rosado, her team went through a lot of changes.

Senior Laura Huckleby jumps for the ball to start the game against Katy High School on January 14. photo by Bryan Hernandez

By Chloe Sledge Soccer is the number one sport in the world, and Morton Ranch High School has a sacred soccer world of its own. With practice and games practically every day, the players still manage to perform well in school. With the seven losses and two wins, the Varsity Girls Soccer Team works hard to reach their goals. “It’s a good work ethic to practice and to be prepared for the game, because the competition here is tough,” said Megan Browne, Varsity Girls Soccer coach. “They just have to mentally prepare themselves to get ready.” The goal of all our soccer teams isn’t just to win, but to learn. From every win the players look at what triumphed, but with every loss the teams and players push even harder for the next win. The Varsity Boys Soccer Team’s record this season is 4-5-1.

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“I think winning is great when it’s happening, but when it’s not happening it’s what you do to get those wins. A loss can teach us a lot more than a win,” said Oscar Marquez, Varsity Boys Soccer Team coach. The coaches of all soccer teams all have one thing in common. They all want their players to learn life lessons and how to apply them. Soccer may not be the career path for all their players, but the coaches want to teach discipline. For the Boys Junior Varsity Purple Team, it is about becoming men. “I want my players to learn how you can get better through hard work. Also I want my kids to evolve into good men,” said John Martin, Boys Junior Varsity Purple Team coach. The big picture isn’t to win but to prepare young athletes for whatever life has to offer. Success in the classroom is just as enforced as success on the field. “I need them to understand that there is a bigger picture, it’s not all about the sport,” said Juan Carreon-Toledo, Boys Junior Varsity Soccer Team coach. “It’s about what the sport can help you accomplish because I need them to be successful in life and use soccer as a resource to find their way into college and their career paths.”

“Although there are changes coming to our basketball program, I look forward to it,” Rosado said. The coaches in both programs hope to teach student athletes more than just basketball, but also lessons that will guide and take them on to a successful future. “I think our players will take the memories of the time that they’ve had, some of the games that they’ve played, but also a sense of what it takes to be successful in anything in life,” Russell said.

Drumline Aims For Perfection By Morgan Spears The MRHS Drumline, run by Percussion Director Ben Pyles, has come back this year, after winning their state title, with a great attitude ready for the start of this season. According to those who participate, Drumline has become a part of their lives. They spend hours practicing their music every day. Sophomore Mateo Sierra said Drumline gives him useful skills he can apply to his daily life. “It teaches you how to multitask with school and the activity itself,” Sierra said. Drumline members are now in an advanced class of competition. They are preparing for this year by practicing more

than ever before. Sophomore Kiyahn Navissi, Drumline section leader, is confident the group won’t stop until they’ve reached “perfection.” “I have faith we will leave this season being proud of what we’ve done,” Navissi said. For this season Drumline members want to focus on being the best that they can even if they do not win. “I want the highest possible score for our school,” Sierra said. Navissi and Sierra both love the feeling they get when they perform. “My favorite part of Drumline is a tie between being able to perform awesome shows and getting to meet new people along the way,” Navissi said.

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Maverick Star Newspaper * March 5, 2014

Sports

Balser Named Wrestling Coach Of The Year

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By Leen Basharat Wrestling Coach Mark Balser was awarded Wrestling Coach of the Year at the District 11-5A Tournament by the district coaches. “I was very proud,” Balser said. “I hold the other coaches in the district in really high regards. It’s an honor.” This award is the fifth ‘Coach of the Year’ award Balser has received, three for boys and twice for girls. Balser started in junior high school. He conTIMEwrestling TO START THINKING ABOUT tinued through highSUMMER!!!! school and during his service in the Air Force. However, it was not until Balser was in the Air Force that he decided wanted to become ON a wrestling KEEP CALMheAND LIFEGUARD coach. Lifeguards, Assistant Managers, “I joined the LGI’s Air Force right out of high school and I Managers, & WSI’s joined something called Leadership School,” Balser said. “One of the things we hadProgram to do was we had to teach. As Referral !!!! IRefer was 1doing my unit of teaching, some of my colleagues New employee to SWP - $10.00 Refer telling 2 New employees SWP - $20.00 were me that toI should be a teacher. In my opinion, Refer 3 New employees to SWP - $30.00…. coaching and teaching go hand in hand. So it’s basically (Stipulations apply) doing the same thing but in a different venue.” This is Balser’s seventeenth year in teaching. If BOTH of you work through Labor Day Weekend each of you could receive an additional $15/ea.

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Morton Ranch High School march 5 issue