Page 1

May 2012 Volume 5

Summer Activities How to Make Your Summer Exciting

The Real World Life After High School

GiftWhat Ideas to Get Those Graduates


Working Together 2

To Create A Pack 3

7. Jesus Was Homeless 9. Phone Apps

10. Games 11. Prom Overview 12. The Real World

17. Summer Activities

The lake awaits.


14. Mackenzie Mattix

16. People Underwater


17.Summer Activities 18. Gift Ideas 20. Stephens College 22. Tribute 23. Final Thought

Reeds Spring High School PULSE Staff Story Editor - Bob Lynch Graphic Editor - Matt Locke Assistant to the Editors - Bailey Sullivan Graphic Designers Addie Fortner Amelia Fisher Andre Morganstern Ellise Verheyen Jesus Moreno Mariah Merath Marissa Johnson


18. Gift Ideas

You can’t go wrong with flowers.

The Happiest Meals By Mackenzie Mattix

What do you think of when you hear the word homeless? Probably old men in scruffy clothes, wandering the streets of big cities come to mind at first. That isn’t necessarily the case, though. The fact is there are struggles with homelessness all over the country, and even here in our own town. Although the national percentage of homelessness is decreasing in small amounts, it is still a huge issue for many people. This problem weighed on the hearts of a local group of people in Branson. They came together to form a nonprofit Christian organization call Jesus was Homeless. They were founded on the belief that Jesus called his believers to “experience” the community together, with their main goal being to meet the needs of local families that are struggling to get by. It all was started four years ago by a man named Brian Asher. He started out by creating around 42 meals out of his own kitchen. The meals were a normal sack lunch, consisting mostly of a cold sandwich with chips, cookies, and granola bars and fruit snacks. The simple act of meeting a need by providing a meal and sharing the gospel of Jesus while doing so, has really made a huge impact. Jesus was Homeless strives to build up the community through their simple ministry. Every Thursday morning volunteers spend a few hours preparing the hundreds and hundreds of sack lunches that the group calls, “Happy Meals”. These are then delivered on Thursday afternoons to the thirteen different locations of the homeless and the many fami-

lies that stay in motels across Branson. Most of the motels that the organization delivers to are very run-down and aren’t suitable for standard living. The rooms are extremely low qualities, very dirty, small and have a not-so-pleasant smell. The majority of rooms only have one or two twin sized beds for one family. That family keeps everything they own in that single tiny motel room. People our age live like this day in and day out, pretty shocking. Austin Vaspuez, a regular volunteer with meal deliveries at Jesus was Homeless says that it is a really humbling experience to see the poor conditions that people have to deal with every day. It was a huge eye opener for him. The many times that he has witnessed the poverty of Branson gives him a drive to reach out to those in need within our community. Not only does Jesus was Homeless provide meals for the hungry, but they have a few other great activities to benefit the people in our community too! For example, the Yellow Bike Program provides a way of transportation for the ones in need. Along with the problem of hunger, the need for transportation is a huge deal

too. Having six locations across Branson, these yellow bikes are available twentyfour hours a day, seven days a week to fill the great need of a way to travel. Each bike comes with a bike stand, signage basket and an odometer. The odometer is used in hope of the Yellow Bike Program extending to more locations and creating a case for public transportation and bike lanes. This organization is a great way to get involved in our community in a way that benefits all that are involved. Meal deliveries take place at 5:30 to 9:00 on Thursday evenings. Those that wish to volunteer meet at The Living Room, which is located on the back side of the Vista Plaza shopping center across from Wal-Mart on W. Hwy 76. If you wish to participate in this particular activity, you must be sixteen years or older, or accompanied by an adult. There are also great needs for volunteers in the Yellow Bike Program. Volunteers work from 1:00 to 5:00 every Saturday evening working to repair damaged bikes. This takes place at the Yellow Bike Program location in the Gretna Plaza on 2001 Hwy 248, near Century Link.



Angry for Birds? By Quintin Russell

Everyone always wants to know more about the growing world of technology. This includes how and why we have applications for our mobile phones. Phone apps can make life easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable. There is quite the history behind phone apps and where they came from. Also, there are many kinds of apps and operating systems that can use them. The varying categories and types of apps make the mobile world incredibly big. Everyone has a favorite app and everyone likes to try new technology. There is a seemingly endless amount of apps out there just waiting for you. There is no doubt that phone apps have really made a grand impact on the world we live in today. In the late nineteen-nineties, some of the first phone apps were unveiled. These first apps were intended for leisure, learning, and earning. The invention of the WAP (wireless application protocol), and data transmission greatly boosted cell phone development. Applications like calculators, calendars, and alarm clocks began the rush of technological ease that was to come. Shortly after, camera phones were brought into play, where one could save a moment forever in a picture, taken straight from a personal cell phone. The BlackBerry phone came out as a business man’s favorite, allowing easy access to organizing, planning events, and meetings through e-mail and the internet. Although for their time these apps and devices were groundbreaking, they barely scratch the surface of what we have today. There are several different types of apps that have been placed into about twenty categories. The major categories include, but are not limited to: Games-15% of all apps, Books-at 14%, Entertainment-11%, Education-8%, Lifestyle-7%, Utilities and Travel-6%, Music and Business-4%, and others take up the last 25%. There are other types of apps such as: Communication, Health & Fitness, Photography, Sports, and Weather. Some apps require you to pay in order to acquire them, while others remain free. About 37% of all of the apps available are free. Most app stores-where you can attain apps-- use a method of rating each app that is in the store. Members of that store can rate and write

reviews about any application. The app that stood at iTunes’ number one app list for the longest amount of time--275 days- was Angry Birds, created December 11, 2009. Same as every industry, there is competition, and the mobile phone industry isn’t shy of it. Companies like Windows, Google, and Apple are constantly competing for the best new technology. Google produces several of the Android phones, and Apple is responsible for the iPhones and iPods we know today. Even though some of the same apps can be found on Android and iPhone, there are different markets that each use. Android users know the Android Market is the place to go for apps, just as iPhone users know that the iTunes Store is their place to shop. There are also different app stores that one can use known as third party app stores, for example, the Amazon App Store. Some of the newer and more well-done apps require special operating systems, or certain phones to run them. We may consider these things modern and new, but the future has yet to come. Since July 2008, there have been 500,000 apps approved for the iTunes app store, of which about 400,000 are still available at this moment. One of the first apps produced on the iTunes app store was the Pandora app, which allows you to choose and customize your own radio station based on the music you like to listen to. Two days after Pandora was released, the Facebook app and Google apps launched, allowing people to communicate with friends and have access to the internet everywhere. The people or groups that produce apps are known as developers. As of last year, there were more than 85,000 developers in all. From iBooks to Checkers to Bank of America, there are many different styles of apps to be created. Usually when a developer finds a knack for the type of apps they like to make, they stick with it, and try to make more apps in the same field. This is just another way to be creative and inventive. Most anyone who knows about phone apps has a personal favorite. When students at Reeds Spring High School were asked their opinion on their favorite apps, they responded with many different answers. Puzzle apps such as Word Warp, Unblock Me, and Shortyz were

recommended, as well as fun games like Temple Run, Draw Something, and Line Runner. Other recommendations from students were ChaCha, Jetpack Joyride, and SuperBox pro. The top apps by the popular vote right now for the Android app store are: Angry Birds Space, Words With Friends Free, Fruit Ninja Free, and Drag Racing: Bike Edition. Most apps are frequently updated and improved based off of what reviewers say and just to keep up with the technology advances. Apps released a long time ago, like Facebook, have been vastly updated and now work with much more control and likeability. You can assign your apps to automatically update so that you always have the best version out there. Remember that new apps are constantly released for you to try and then review at your own pace. As technology continues to increase, so will the phone app industry, as well as the level of amazement they will be able to deliver. The new 3D phones and applications have already been made, and we can only imagine what will be next. As time goes by, our days are changed by the technology we surround ourselves with, along with the applications that we use. Eventually we will be able to do things with our personal devices that we can’t imagine now. Apps are far past just utility and communication now, but in the future they could be means of sport or even transportation. The world is what you make of it, but technology can only assist and help you with your goals.




Prom: The Overview By Hailey Stuart

Prom: The one day of the year when girls can take some serious pride in their efforts to look perfect for their date, friends, or if you’re a weirdo, even your friend’s date. From a girl’s point of view, prom is a magical occasion where you can dress up, look your best, spend time with your date and friends, and feel like a total princess. From a guy’s point of view, prom is a day where you had better have a lot of money saved up to eat, pay your driver (if you hired one), but best of all, get to see your beautiful date and dance with her for hours (unless of course you don’t like to dance… But you can still stare at your date.). Prom 2012 was originally going to be held at the Hilton in Branson, just like last year. However, due to some tornado damage, unless you wanted to be dancing barefoot around broken glass and smashed pieces of furniture, it was held at the Stonebridge Club House. Inside, it was complete with a hired photographer and Hollywood-looking scene to take pictures in front of. Tables were set up to where you could sit and chat with friends, as well as watch all of the cute dates glide in through the double doors. If you were hungry, you could make your way back past all of the dancers and right to the food tables, where a beautiful cake was served. If you didn’t want cake, however, you could always eat the crackers and cheese, meatballs, mini turkey sandwiches, and have a glass of punch, can of soda, or a bottle of water. The dresses this year were absolutely gorgeous. I know that there was one person that a lot of people were looking for, and that was Maura Pozek. Last year, Maura hand-made her dress out of poptabs, and the year before that was out of Dorito bags. This year, she came wearing her purple and blue painted dress that was made out of cardboard! Prom King Joe Grimes with Seridate Hailey Stuart.

ously, it was pretty hanging from balcony sweet. The general railings, with colored style of dresses this lights wrapped up in year was a nice varithem. The tables were ety, but the one that also decorated with appeared the most colored tablecloths. was called a High-Low The prom committee Dress, which is cut did a wonderful job high in the front and decorating (especially longer (like a little train) taking into account the in the back. Another fact that Stonebridge dress that appeared was pretty last-mina lot was the Halterute). style Dress, which just has two straps that Now, the best connect around the section of this article: neck. There was ab“What was your favorsolutely no end to all Prom Prince Stephen McAndrews ite part of prom?” of the different types alongside his date, Kylee Goddard. of color schemes be“Renting a limo was tween couples, but evpretty cool… And so eryone appeared to match perfectly. The was the huge nap before I came.” –Zach most popular style for the males at Prom Lightner ‘12 were black, or the occasional white tuxes, “When all of the senior guys got on the colored ties, and a colored vest if they stage and danced to “Single Ladies”.” – wanted to add even more pizazz. Only a Tyler White ‘12 small number of guys this year modeled “Just being with my friends; having everya bowtie and a vest, such as Joe Grimes one together.” –Jordan Miller ‘12 and Patrick Lambert, who looked just as “Dancing with my beautiful girlfriend, Haiclassy as the rest. ley.” –Joe Grimes ‘12 Prom King, Queen, Prince, and “Dancing with Mickala.” –Evan McGregor Princess Nominees were a nice selection ‘12 of great people this year. For Prom King, “Seeing everyone dress up for the last the nominees were Joe Grimes and Kyle time.” –Maura Pozek ‘12 Ayers, and Prom Queen Nominees were “Aaron crowd surfing!!!” –Jacob Lewallen Hannah Youngblood and Mindy Dohner. ‘12 The Prince nominees included Steven “Aaron Kyle crowd-surfing… That was McAndrews and Chris Walton, and the pretty cool.” –Kylie Goddard and Emily Princess nominees were Bayley Greiner Highfill ‘13 and Marissa Peebles. Congratulations to “Before prom when Bonnie surprised me Joe Grimes and Mindy Dohner for winning with a boat ride!” –Brian Blankenship ‘13 the honor of Prom King and Queen, and “The decorations were cool.” –Haliegh Steven McAndrews and Bayley Greiner Sanders ‘13 for the Prom Prince and Princess. The “Helping Aaron Kyle crowd surf.” –Eric annual King and Queen dance followed, Wolf ‘13 which was beautiful as well, but this year “Food!!!” –Kylie Tannehill ‘13 the king did something surprising, and half “Just being with all of my friends, and esway through the dance, got Kyle Fulwider, pecially sharing time with all of my senior who is Mindy’s boyfriend, to come out and ones who will be graduating. “ –Glenna share a dance with his Queen. Joe’s girl- Dement ‘14 friend also got shoved with rather impres- “Definitely watching Bob, Eric, Chris, and sive force, might I add, onto the dance Jesse dance.” –Amelia Fisher ‘14 floor, and to quote myself, “It made me So, as you can see, Prom was feel very special, and embarrassed on so pretty interesting this year! But no matmany levels”. ter how last minute Prom gets, it will al The theme for Prom this year ways be a blast for the people who come was Simply Forever and the decorations to dance and have fun. Hurray for Prom consisted of mainly white silky steamers 2012!!


The Real World By Ellise Verheyen

With graduation quickly approaching, seniors across the nation are getting ready for life beyond high school. That may consist of getting a job or joining the military for some, but for the majority, it means attending college. Being so late in the year, it is expected that most seniors have already been accepted to a college or are making that final decision. Whether you are going to a large, state school, or a tiny, technical college, it is important to prepare yourself because you’re going to realize sooner or later that the real world can be a scary place. So you think you’re ready, huh? Think again. You may think you are prepared, but there is a lot you need to be aware of before you make the big leap into college. This time of year, seniors should be finishing up college plans, getting room assignments, picking out roommates, and even scheduling classes. This is all the easy stuff. There are step-by-step directions that guide you through these processes, but most of your college experiences will come without instructions. Did you know that a lot of college professors assign work before the semester even starts? Or that some classes say you need to purchase a book, when in reality, the professor doesn’t require it? With so many little things that aren’t considered, college can be a little confusing. So why not go in prepared? One college essential is a computer. Most schools will have a computer lab, but it’s always good to have a portable laptop for convenience. Depending on your field of study, you may even require a specific computer. For the most part, Windows-based computers seem to play a major role in the world of technology. They have great software, but you’ll find a variety of styles from the different manufacturers. For Windows products, I would recommend


Windows 7 Home Premium or Ultimate so you have all the programs essential for classes. With the 64-bit version, you can use more RAM for a much speedier performance. This way, if you have multiple programs open, the computer won’t be nearly as slow. If at all possible, select an Intel Core i5 or AMD Phenom processor. However, a dual-core model will work for most students. Also, remember that storage space is important, so you shouldn’t settle for a hard drive any smaller than 250GB. Another thing to consider would be the number of USB ports and a possible DVD burner. The average Windows PC with these specifications begins at $500. If all this is gibberish to you, just go to your local Best Buy or computer store and ask for help. On the other hand, you may prefer a Mac. Macs are truly a matter of preference. Most MacBooks meet any school’s requirements. The cheapest MacBook Pro is a 13-inch, which features an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, has a 250GB hard drive, and 2GB of RAM. The average cost for this laptop is $1000, and it also comes with a DVD/CD burner and webcam. MacBooks are fantastic laptops that run on different software. You can still purchase Microsoft for Macs, but it may be a little more expensive. With Macs, you aren’t simply paying for the name. Due to the program that Macs run on, they are less likely to get viruses and you don’t necessarily need Anti-Virus software. You will spend a lot less time troubleshooting and more time working. Macs are also extremely user-friendly and last for a long time. Again, the Mac is a bit more

expensive, so the decision comes down to preference and major. Some majors may require a certain type of computer because of the programs they use. So if you’re unsure of what you need, do a bit of research. Most colleges make sure that students know what they will need. A few even have deals on computers and they can be paid off with tuition. So look into your major, decide what you personally want, what size laptop you’re comfortable with, and most importantly, what you can afford. Something that you shouldn’t necessarily consider is a netbook. They are low-priced machines with small screens and limited RAM. As a student, you are likely to need something much more powerful that this product. They may be handy for certain things, but for the most part, a full-sized laptop is what you’ll want. Now that you’ve got your computer taken care of, it’s time to think about dorms. Next year, you will be moving out of your house and into a small room that you share with a stranger--a big change for most. Dorms should be chosen wisely. Where do you want to be in relation to the rest of the campus? Close to the gym, or maybe close to the food? Which dorm fits your comfortability level? There are community-style dorms in which you share a bathroom with several other people on your floor, or suite-style where you share a bathroom with one other room. Are you someone that is fine with using public restrooms, or do you prefer a little privacy? There are several factors to consider when picking your new home, so choose wisely. Once you’ve gotten your dorm room assigned, it’s time to go shopping. There are several things to consider when shopping for a dorm room. First, look at the list of items your school provides for each

dorm. It isn’t likely that you’ll have to purchase a bed or desk, but you may need to provide your own desk lamp or seating. Check what is provided and then decide what you need. Some things to consider are: storage bins, a minifridge, coffee maker, comfortable chairs, a television, and bedding. If you don’t have the money to afford all of this, split the list with your roommate. If you don’t have a roommate, look online for deals. Companies often have great deals for college students because they understand your lack of funds. So I’m sure at some point you have thought about how expensive this is. College has been known to be extremely pricey and even with scholarships, it can still seem out of reach. This is where student loans come in. They may be a hassle, but considering the alternative of not attending college, they are well worth it. You have loans for cars, houses, and other necessities in life, so why is your education any different? When you get loan information in the mail, don’t assume it’s all junk. By consolidating student loans, you’re able to combine all your loans into one, making it much easier to pay off. Though it appears impossible, plenty of people attend college each year and they are able to pay off their loans. Now that you’re in, take some time to consider your education. It’s easy to forget that college isn’t one big party,

but whether or not you attend class, you’re still paying thousands of dollars to be there. Working hard in college is essential if you want to graduate and get a good job, so start early. Don’t skip those first classes. Some may just be going over a syllabus, but others may begin right away. College is very different than high school. If you don’t take the initiative to meet your professors, they won’t take the time to get to know you. Take advantage of office hours; most professors are willing to help any student in need and they may even give a few clues about an upcoming exam. Though you may not feel the need to study much now, it’s imperative to study in college. Now when I say study, that doesn’t mean cram before a test. This means for every class, spend an hour or more of your own time going over notes, reading your textbook, and learning the material each week. By doing this, you eliminate the need to stay up all night before a test studying. Do you know what you want to major in? If not, don’t worry. It’s normal for students to change their major multiple times through college. Most colleges even assign academic advisors for the purpose of helping students make a decision on what they hope to accomplish in college. If you’re ever feeling doubtful about a class or your entire major, just stop by their of-

fice or shoot them an email. It’s the advisor’s job to help, so you should never feel like a burden. One of the most important things to remember about college is that this is your chance to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. This step may lead you to study partners, connections in the future, and lasting friendships. College is the primary networking source. In college, you’ll rely on friends more than anyone else; so don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to as many people as possible. By being kind, positive, and radiating happiness, you’ll easily make friends with anyone. College can be big, intimidating, and absolutely terrifying, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s easy to know what you should be ready for. If you have a computer, then you have access to everything that prospective college students should know. If you don’t have a computer, your school does. However, if you’d rather learn first hand, talk to some of your friends that were seniors last year. They are experiencing their freshman year in college, and they’re sure to be full of knowledge.


Dreaming With Your Feet By Hailey Stuart

Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to capture people’s attention by gliding gracefully across a stage, or twirling like a mini cyclone while the crowd goes wild? If so, just ask Sophomore Mackenzie Mattix. Mackenzie has been dancing since she was 3 1/2 years old, and has gone to some pretty far lengths to keep her talent in pursuit. Dancing 16+ hours a week, it would seem that this 16 year old would have no time for fun. However, Mackenzie enjoys a wide variety of activities outside of just school and dance. From hanging out with friends, to volunteering with her church, Kenzie’s schedule hardly ever lets up. “I have no free time, really.” One of her favorite things to do with her Dance Studio, Dance Branson, is competing. Mackenzie has competed in 16+ competitions in the last four years, representing Dance Branson. I asked Kenzie about competing and what she thinks about it. Her response was: “Well, it’s so much fun to see everything we’ve been working on come together. Getting to see what other studios are doing is pretty cool, too! It’s really tiring, though. Sometimes we’ll be up at 6:00am and to bed at about 11:00pm.” Impressed with what she had to say, I tagged along with her to her most recent competition at the Chateau in Branson, MO, where her team placed first in the two group dances she was in. Then I dug a little deeper and asked about her previous competitions. As it turns out, Mackenzie has placed in a multitude of competitions. Not only by herself, but with her team, too! “All the girls on my team are really close and the teachers are just like moms to us. Even if we compete against


each other and lose, we are still always so proud of each other.” For her most previous competitions, Mackenzie partook in a few that were a little closer to home. The most recent was, like I said earlier, at the Chateau in Branson, where she and her team placed 1st overall for a small group number called “Count on Me”. Another 1st place was to another group production called “Burn Down the Mission”. A little further away, and her second most recent competition was in Kansas City, where Mackenzie placed an outstanding 2nd place in solos, and qualified for nationals. These may seem pretty minute because some of them were team efforts, but Dance Branson happens to be one of the smallest teams that compete. With only 37 girls on the team, the studio is fairly small compared to all of the others. Now, some people think that competitions are all about just winning a trophy, or qualifying for another chance at the gold. However, Mackenzie received an unexpected surprise while at the Chateau. She, and five other dancers (out of 400) were chosen to be given a scholarship because of their technique, grace, and entertaining dancing (not just popin’ and lockin’). Another scholarship was given to Kenzie, along with three other dancers (also out of 400 others), by the people hosting the competition. One of the men hosting it actually died on his way there, so that scholarship was awarded to the girls who the host’s fellow hosting partners thought he would appreciate watching the most. Now, Mackenzie has an all-expense paid tuition for a competition for nation-

als sometime this coming summer, and had all of her tuition paid for her previous DMI competition. (If you’ve never entered someone or have been entered into a dancing competition, they are pretty dang pricey). By definition, the word dance means to move one’s feet or body, or bother, rhythmically in a pattern of steps, especially to the accompaniment of music. You can go off of that definition if you wish, but really, when you’re exposed to the art of dancing, it’s so much more than that. Watching dancers is like watching a production that can completely turn your emotions around and really suck you into the picture that is being perceived through the dance. So really, I guess you could call watching a dancer like being sucked inside of a book. My favorite thing about watching Mackenzie dance was watching her move beautifully, what appeared to be flawlessly, across the stage. Another was watching how she interacts with the girls she was dancing with, and the respect she gave to dancers on opposing teams. I asked her what her favorite and least favorite things about competitions were, and she responded: “My least favorite thing is probably the extremely long days, and snotty dancers and their moms from other teams. My favorite thing is definitely performing, being with my girls, and not only watching our dances, but watching the other studio’s too!” Along with asking her about competing, I also asked about the art of dancing in general, because I know it bothers her a little when people say dancing isn’t a sport. “Dance is SO not easy; not just anyone can do it. If you want

proof, just watch Hailey try to dance. It takes strength, stamina, and flexibility in addition to dedication, perseverance, creativity and brains. Everything in dance is down to a science. Every muscle needs to know how to be controlled, and everything is so exact and precise. We train and condition just like all athletes for months and months and we compete against thousands of other dancers who want to win, just like we do.” I know most people, even if they don’t watch dancing, have a favorite kind, or at least one kind that they prefer over another. Personally, I loved watching Kenzie dance on pointe because it is so beautiful and graceful. According to her, it’s one of the most painful things you can do with your life. “My favorites are tap and jazz. I like jazz because it gives you a style or character that you have to become, and it’s fun to play around with the choreography. I love tap because it sounds really cool, and I think I‘m pretty good at it.” You may wonder what this dancing machine of a girl is doing now. Actually, Mackenzie just competed in a com-

petition up in Kansas City, and her studio got first and second overall on some of their group dances. Along with competing, she is also using her dancing abilities to choreograph her own dances. Aside from choreographing her little-girl’s class, she was the first student in the whole studio to intricately design an assistance dance for her own class. I remember the day that she found out that one of her dance teachers had asked her to do that. She was practically bouncing off the walls, excited. Being asked to construct and build up a dance from scratch is a great honor, especially if you are a student. Normally, something like that would never occur spontaneously. Fortunately, I’m not the only one who recognized Mackenzie’s talented being, and she was bestowed with that grand honor. After finishing, the teacher that assigned the special task complimented her hard work and acknowledged the fact that she used her talent wisely. Being around her teachers so often, Mackenzie’s other character traits have also made themselves known. One of her studio teachers offered her a desk job, which requires someone with a ton of responsibility and motive. So, as you can see, hard work and persistence in one area of your life can and will open lots of doors for you in the future. Mackenzie is a good example of how hard work will re-

ward you down the road. From the personal experience of growing up with Mackenzie, it’s been clear that she has a definite passion for what she does. Always striving to be the best of the best, Mackenzie is what you could call an elite type of person. She is devoted, sacrifices, and enjoys every moment of what she does. Another thing I can say with a great amount of certainty is that she has a serious gift for dancing. Honestly, I have seen very few people with a gift that still strive to be the best of the best, and put everything they have into what they love, instead of just skimming by. Mackenzie is also someone that a lot of people look up to, not only for her leadership skills, but her passionate and high-achieving spirit. Keep up the hard work, Kenzie.


People Underwater By Glenna Dement

As you dive beneath the calm, crystal clear waters off the coast of Cancun, you notice a world that is beginning to teem with diverse life. You behold a man-made reef comprised of... people? You dive closer. Yes, they are, in fact, people. But just how did these people--these life-like statues--get down here?

Jason deCaires Taylor, artist of the underwater sculptures


ganic compost and soil. About nine-hundred holes were drilled from the outside of the sculpture to the inner chamber that was filled with seeds from the native plant species present in Crete, Greece. As the plants grew, the differences between the evolutionary cycles on land and in the sea became obvious, providing stark contrasts that will perpetually change with the seasons for as long as the sculptures survive. Though the survival of these sculptures and their marine life may seem inevitable, there are factors that threaten their wellbeing every day. For instance, when people dive to these artificial reefs, they could affect the rate at which they are allowed to grow. If a person touches any of the structures there, the fragile coral life will be damaged. These underwater marvels that seem so remarkable are really only remarkably delicate living things. They can be helped and even saved if they are allowed to exist in areas that have not only warm tropical water, but a normal level of salinity in the water, appropriate levels of sunlight, appropriate nutrients, and vigorous waters. Since these diverse ecosystems, such as the ones that Taylor has created, support about twenty-five percent of all marine life, it is important that we protect these ecosystems. Despite the many controversial matters that find themselves intertwined with these fantastical sculptures, one thing is certain--they provide not only a wonderful site to behold, but also a way to help save the ecosystems that are slowly dying out.

Photos Courtesy of National Geographic

Artist Jason deCaires Taylor, the man behind these strange underwater people--grew up in Europe and Asia, as well as on the coasts of Malaysia near the coral reefs. There, he developed his love for the sea and the natural world. This early passion steadily grew into the sculptures we know today. After working as a graffiti artist, sculptor, and scuba diving instructor in various parts of the world, Taylor began his first project, the underwater sculpture museum, in Moilinere Bay, Grenada, West Indies in 2006. His project includes sixtyfive sculptures that cover an area of approximately 800 square meters. Contrary to popular belief, these sculptures do not merely act as a tourist attraction. After suffering severe storm damage in the past few years, these underwater works of art offer a new environment for various forms of life to flourish and grow. Though it acts as an artificial reef, it also provides a diversion from other areas of the nearby coral reefs that are becoming endangered through over use as tourist hot-spots. In the last few

decades alone, we've lost forty percent of naturally existent coral reefs. By 2050, scientists are predicting that eighty percent of the natural reefs on Earth will be permanently destroyed. In addition to that, only approximately ten to fifteen percent of the sea has a base substantial enough to support life. With statistics such as that looming over our heads, it is important that projects similar to the one at Grenada continue to remain intact and growing. Since his first project, Jason deCaires Taylor has created another artificial reef and done several other sculptures. His second artificial reef is located off the coast of Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and Punta Nizuc. This ambitious project consists of over 400 sculptures. Each and every one of these living, underwater creations is lifesized. Together, they represent the largest and most ambitious artificial formation the world has seen so far. The largest installation at the site is called The Silent Evolution, which contains 400 figures that form an immense congregation of people. This portion of the reef is designed to usher in a new era of symbiotic relationships between nature and modern art. There are three other statues that have been installed so far. They are La Jardinière de la Esperanza (The Gardener of Hope), Coleccionista de los Sueùos (The Collector of Dreams), and the Hombre en Llamas (Man on Fire).The third stage of this vast underwater museum commenced in 2011. It involved the contributions by local artists. They are attempting to further the installations, expand the reef, and host special underwater cultural events celebrating the Arts and Sciences. Though these reefs are certainly Taylor's most impressive works of art and ingenuity, there are several, much more simple sculptures that he created. Known as UnStill Life II, this sculpture was carved from a block of Travertine stone, which is basically limestone that is deposited in springs and is used across Italy for building purposes. The inside of the stone was hollowed out to make room for or-

It’s Summer! By Kylee Goddard

With summer break less than a month away, not only the seniors are getting senioritis, but it’s hard to stay focused on school when summer looms so close. The strange warm weather we’ve experienced this year hasn’t helped the longing for summer either. I know I can’t wait to go for rides on the boat, relax, and just have fun. Unfortunately for most of us it seems the fun only lasts for about two weeks before the whine of “I’m so board!” can be heard. Living near Branson and Table Rock Lake one could wonder why we teenagers have trouble finding ways to entertain ourselves during the summer. Of course there are the normal activities such as shopping at the Tanger Outlet or the Branson Landing, going to Silver Dollar City and White Water, and of course playing out on the lake. Unfortunately, these things can only entertain us for so long. I mean how many times can a person ride the Powder Keg and still get the same adrenalin rush? Another factor that turns us off is the overwhelming numbers of the dreaded tourists! Fortunately for us there are many other places to go where tourists normally don’t congregate. If you like hiking but are not sure exactly where to go, there are some great places around Branson. High school librarian Ms. Mallard enjoys going to Busiek State Park, North of Branson on Highway 65. In addition to hiking there is also a shooting range and a chance to take horseback rides. Another great place to hike is Ha Ha Tonka. Ha Ha Tonka is home to an old castle built around the turn of the 20th century plus many great trails and a river that runs into the Lake of the Ozarks. Many people also enjoy going to Roaring River State Park which is approximately six miles south of Cassville, Missouri. Another great state park is Johnson’s ShutIns State Park in Reynolds County. Here you can swim in the shut-ins in the Black River, hike, camp, and bike even. Living on the lake presents us with the opportunity to experience water sports and activities. But with gas being estimated at being over four dollars and

boats only getting an average three- four miles a gallon it’s not going to be very practical to spend the day riding around. Instead of riding in your boat try kayaking or canoeing. Not only can you enjoy being out on the lake in the cooling water, it is also great exercise. In addition to Table Rock Lake, some great places to kayak or canoe are the Buffalo, Current, Jack’s Fork, and James rivers in southern Missouri. Another great thing you can do on the lake is fish. If you need bait, look under some rocks or leaves for worms, get some hooks, rods, and you’re ready to go! Spending time outdoors is great, but some people would rather spend time looking at art or going to plays and museums. Springfield has many great art museums including Fresh Gallery, Drury Pool Art Center Gallery, and Missouri State Student Exhibition center. In addition, on the first Friday of every month Spring field hosts the First Friday Art Walk in the Downtown Arts District. You can experience original art, demonstrations and performances, and music in twentyfive gallery venues. Springfield also has a wonderful community theater. The Springfield Little Theatre is going to be performing several different shows this year including the hit Broadway musical RENT and Into the Woods. If you like museums Springfield is home to the Railroad Hilstorical Museum of Springfield Missouri, Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks, and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Closer to home though is the Veterans Memorial Museum, College of the Ozarks Museums, Dinosaur Walk Museum, and Branson Auto Museum. Silver Dollar City is of course one

of the main attractions in Branson, however I’m sure most of us can’t count on our hands the number of times we’ve been there. Down in Arkansas southwest of Little Rock there is a park called Magic Springs & Crystal Falls Water and Theme Park. Tickets are $39.99 for general admission, $29.99 for anyone under 48” and seniors fifty-five years and older. Not only can you enjoy the rides, this summer the park is hosting a concert series featuring artists such as Colbie Caillat, Hinder, Switchfoot, Creed, Trace Adkins, Josh Turner, and many more. The cool thing is the concert is included in the general admissions ticket! With summer also come vacations and road trips! Even though most of us have jobs during the summer and aren’t able to take a long period of time off, overnight or two-day trips to St. Louis and Kansas City allow us a mini vacation. Kansas City and St. Louis are unsurprisingly the largest cities in Missouri and offer many things to do. St. Louis is known as the “Gateway to the West” and is where the St. Louis Arch is located. Another thing to see in St. Louis is the St. Louis zoo which is home to 655 species including giraffes, see lions, lions, elephants, and cheetahs. It is also one of the few free zoos in the nation. Of course you can’t go to St. Louis without visiting the Cardinals’ Baseball Stadium. Kansas City has many great things to do not only the Missouri side, but the Kansas side as well. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opened last year where you can experience music, opera, theatre and dance. Another main attraction is Crown Center which is really a city within a city and holds several entertainment attractions, several hotels, and has great shopping. As you can see, there is plenty to do in the area for all you adventurers out there. Just be sure you don’t forget to take the cover off your grill, because it’s about time to clean it up to throw some steak and potatoes on to make the neighbors jealous.


A Mother’s Dreaded Day By Lacey Curtis

Graduation is right around the corner for all the seniors in Reeds Spring High School and around the United States. Everybody knows that with graduation come gifts. It is common graduation etiquette to send a gift if you are invited to a ceremony or party to celebrate this grand rite of passage. However, it can be hard to pick out presents, even for those close to you. For example, it is not always the easiest to get gifts for your mother, and yet there is an entire holiday dedicated to observing the things that mothers do for us. So if you are having trouble getting a gift for the graduate in your life or if you find yourself with nothing to give your mother on May 13th, there’s no need to worry. There are plenty of great gift ideas for graduates and mothers alike to consider before you break out the handmade cards and start re-gifting any unwanted Christmas presents. On the second Sunday of May each year, Americans take time out of their busy days to recognize motherhood and the importance of mothers and maternal bonds. Since it was established as a national holiday in 1914, it has been tradition to give mother’s cards and gifts to show the great gratitude for all that they’ve done and that they continue to do in our lives. It can be tricky picking out just the right gift that expresses the appreciation we feel towards mothers. However, it is easier than it seems. One widespread custom is to buy flowers, making that is a foolproof way to go. Find out what her favorite type of flower is and get her a bouquet. If you are not sure what kind to buy, then beautiful and bright spring flowers, such as carnations and tulips, are sure to brighten up her day. To go the extra mile, buy her a nice vase to keep the new flowers in. Another spe-


cial thing to do for your mother is to cook breakfast for her. You can incorporate the flowers into this by planning ahead of time and buying the flowers either on Saturday night (you can place the flowers in the refrigerator to keep them from wilting overnight) or before she wakes up in the morning. Arrange the flowers in a vase in the center of the table and set the table, after you have made the breakfast of your choosing, around the flowers. She will love the fact that you thought about her. Say you are not the best at cooking and would like to show your appreciation through a material gift rather than burned pancakes. There are plenty of gifts out there aimed at mothers. Most mothers live stressful lives, taking care of our laundry and working hard, so any presents that have to do with relaxation should be considered. If it is affordable for you, get her a day at a nice spa. Make it a mother-daughter day if you are a girl and if you are a boy, then you can splurge and pay for one or two of her friends to go along with her. Instead of spending money on an expensive spa, you can always create your own home spa. Spa Baskets are a great gift for mothers. There are plenty of already put together baskets that you can purchase, but you can easily create one. All you need are bath supplies such as soaps, gels, bath salts, bubble bath, and of course something to store it all in. Tie a ribbon around it and you have got yourself the perfect Mother’s Day gift. For something extra, buy candles in her favorite fragrance to wrap up the spa experience. There are many other relaxing gifts like comfortable bathrobes, slippers, and even blankets. Anything that would help your mother unwind after a long day would make for a great present.

For the majority of mothers, the

most important things in their life are their children. Not only does this make them easy to buy for, but it makes it easy to give them gifts that center around yourself and, if you are that generous, your siblings. Mothers love to receive presents that reminded them of how sweet their kids are capable of being. There is no real limit when it comes to things you can incorporate kids into. Figure out what your birthstone is and get your mother a piece of jewelry, such as a necklace, with that gem. If she has more than one child, a charm bracelet with the multiple birthstones or even small charms that represent each of her kids would be a neat idea. One popular idea is a picture frame. Pick out a favorite picture of your family and put it inside the new picture frame to present to her on Mother’s Day. When it comes to incorporating pictures into gifts, the possibilities are endless. If you do not have a lot of money to spend, a nice collage of family photos and other memorable trinkets is a creative gift. Along the same lines, handmade cards and gifts are just as special, if not more, than any you could buy from the store. Take some time out of your day to make her a card that will put a smile on her face. If we really want to break it down, nearly anything that you buy your mother will make her happy. It truly is the thought that counts and as long as you make sure that the mothers in your life know that you appreciate what they do, you have done your job. The point of Mother’s Day is not to buy her the finest gift or spend the most money on her. It is to recognize the contributions that they have made to society (even if you may believe her greatest contribution was you.) For at least this one day out of the year, do something to make your mother feel special and have a good Mother’s Day while you are at it.

Here at Reeds Spring High School our graduation is being held on May 17th. This means that after you have decided on the perfect gift for your mother, the next thing on the agenda is to pick out a present for any graduates whose party you have been invited to. Friend or family, it is a tradition to give them a present. If their graduation party is before the 17th, it would be a good idea to give them the gift before then, but a late gift is better than none at all. If you are not sure what to buy, teenagers can be hard to give gifts for in general, especially teenagers that are practically adults with the passing of this milestone. Just like mothers, though, if you know what you are looking for then you will find just the right thing.

that, many companies create gifts specifically for graduates, such as jewelry and stuffed animals. You can even buy M&M’s for the ‘Class of 2012.’ Stores like WalMart always have these types of graduation items and you can go online to buy them as well. Really, whatever you buy your graduate, they will be thankful that purchased them something regardless.

With Mother’s Day and graduation approaching, take these gift ideas into account, and know that no matter what you might get them, it really is the thought that counts. Remind your mother (remind all the mothers you know!) that you truly appreciate the work that she has done and send those Seniors that are close to you off into this big world the right way.

Of course cards, flowers, chocolate, and even money itself are all great gifts that a graduate will enjoy. However, if you know that they are going to college once they are finished with high school, it is not a bad idea to get them things for their college days. This might include merchandise of the school they are going to (make sure you know for sure what college they are officially enrolled in, otherwise your gifts might seem rather strange) or things to put in their dorm room. Keep it simple or else ask them what they need so you do not end up getting them something they already spent their money on. Also, make sure to look up what the college does not accept in their dorm rooms so that your gift can actually be beneficial to them. Basically, if you are going to buy things for your graduate’s dorm, make sure you know what you are doing. As for the college gear, as long as you buy it for the correct college, it is hard to go wrong. T-shirts, blankets, key chains, and bumper stickers are all good ideas when going this route with gift giving. They even make Pillow Pets for some colleges. Personalized gifts are also a good idea for any high school graduate, college bound or not. Things that they can cherish and that will remind them of you while they are off building a life of their own can be very beneficial. Just like with mothers, nice frames with a pretty picture of you and your graduate are a good idea. For most, this can be a big change in their life and having things to remember simpler times can be pleasant. Other than


Stephens College By Katie Bell


Stephens College is a small, private women’s college located in Columbia, Missouri. It is the second oldest women’s college in the nation and is also the only four-year higher learning institution for women in Missouri. The college, which lies on 86-acres of land, was established in 1833 as a finishing school for women. Colonel Richard Gentry and 14 other leading males in Columbia got together to discuss their daughters’ education, establishing the Columbia Female Academy. A century and a half later, the women who attended Stephens College took on leadership roles in every industry and field of study imaginable because of the skills they learned. Later, James L. Stephens donated $20,000 to Stephens College, enabling it to expand and help more women succeed. In his honor, the college was renamed Stephens College. Today, Stephens College remains committed to teaching women the skills that are essential to succeed in a society where needs continue changing. Stephens College was ranked number 29 in the top 100 colleges in the regional Midwest by US News. Stephens has proved to be one of the top colleges as the college strives to teach students everything they will need. The faculty has a commitment to the women’s education and teaching is their first priority. The average class size of 12 students helps the professors to work one-on-one with students when it is needed. The low student-to-teacher ratio also allows more opportunities to work hands-on. The entire faculty has PhD’s or appropriate degrees and most have had direct experience in

their fields. The professor’s also help students get internships in their field of study. Stephens College even has a separate internship program for students to apply what they have learned in a professional work setting. Stephens College’s Office of Career Development has a list of employer contact information for students to go through to find an internship that is right for them. Many students from Stephens have successfully completed internships at Ralph Lauren, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, the American Horse Shows Association, MTV, the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C., local elementary schools, hospitals, and many other places. A variety of programs are offered at Stephens College: many undergraduate level programs, distance-learning, and graduate and continuing studies. The distance-learning program, otherwise known as online education, was recently ranked in the top 15 for Top Online Education Programs by US News. The most popular undergraduate majors for students who attend Stephens are theater, dance, and fashion. The theater program is routinely ranked in The Princeton’s Review. Stephens College is also very well-known for their excellent dance and fashion programs. Although these three are the most popular majors, there are more than 50 other outstanding majors and minors such as biology, business/marketing, education, and legal studies. There is also a student-designed major available for those students who mix and match different classes. Along with the variety of majors and minors offered for the undergraduate program, Stephens also offers the opportunity to study abroad. There are nine different college programs that have a relationship with Stephens College for students wishing to study abroad. Studying abroad gives students the chance to explore other cultures. This program not only allows students to broaden their academic instruction, but

teaches them how other cultures live, study, work, and communicate with each other. Studying abroad opens up career opportunities all over the world. Studying abroad can also enhance your major by offering different classes to complement it. In addition to studying, Stephens College has relationships with different study abroad programs that offer elite internships and educational volunteer opportunities. Stephens College requires all students to live on campus until graduation. Living on campus enables students to be just steps away from classmates, faculty, labs, campus dining, and any other service that will be needed. There are seven different residence halls for students. While some of them are reserved for upperclassmen only, there are four different halls for freshmen to choose from: Roblee Hall, Pillsbury Hall, Hillcrest Hall, and Searcy Hall. Pillsbury and Roblee are suite-style rooms with a bathroom adjoining two rooms. Roblee Hall is also currently the Freshman Honors House Plan residence hall. Searcy and Hillcrest have community bathrooms. Each room is unique as none are set up as the next, including different dimensions. Not only are the rooms unique, but Stephens offers students the opportunity to paint their room yellow, white, purple, or blue. There is a fee for painting your room, but you are provided everything from paint to paintbrushes. Each residence hall has 24-hour locked residence hall entrances, 24-hour direct line to security, laundry facilities, full kitchens, lounges with cable television, VCR and DVD players, vending machines, 24-hour computer lab with laserquality printers, wireless internet access, and a short walk to classes. Stephens College itself is unique not only because it is a women’s college, but because it also allows students to bring their furry friends along with them. Searcy Hall is Pet Central for students and their pets. Pet Central is home to more than 40 pets including dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits, rats, mice, gerbils, sugar gliders, guinea pigs, lizards, and birds. For those students with dogs, a doggy daycare is available in the basement of Searcy Hall for the dogs to play while students are in class. Not only are students able to bring their pets, those students without a pet that would like one can foster through Co-

lumbia Second Chance. This animal rescue organization sends pets to live with students until they can find a permanent home for them. While fostering the pets, Columbia Second Chance pays for all of the food, veterinarian bills, and any other utilities that may be needed such as cat litter. Columbia Second Chance also houses the animals while students go back home on breaks. Stephens College is also able to offer sports such as basketball, cross country, golf, softball, tennis, and volleyball. In the 2012-2013 school year, they will also be introducing soccer for any girl who would like to participate. They even have their own campus media, which includes the radio station KWWC-FM, a creative arts magazine named Harbinger, and the student newspaper Stephens Life. Stephens College also houses two national sororities: Sigma Sigma Sigma and Kappa Delta. There are also religious life opportunities for students, even though Stephens College is not affiliated with any organized religion. The campus has several religious organizations such as the Catholic Student

Association, Christian Science Organization, Mikreh “Happening”, and Stephens Christian Outreach Fellowship. Stephens College also has many other activities and organizations for the students to participate in. The fashion design major puts on fashion shows throughout the year for students, faculty, and locals to watch. The fashion show allows the fashion design majors to show the community what they have done and other students to model the designs. The theater department also puts on many plays for the community to watch and enjoy. The film making majors even get the one of a kind experience to participate in Stephens own Citizen Jane Film Festival to celebrate women in film. During this three day festival, women from all over the world gather to showcase their talent. Performing arts at Stephens puts on around 18 events for the community to enjoy during the school year. As Stephens College is so close to University of Missouri-Columbia, they have a partnership. One of the most popular things from the partnership is the MU Recreation Complex. The complex is ranked number 5 on the list of Most Innovative Gyms in the United States. The complex offers many classes, such as Zumba and yoga classes. The complex also contains racquet sports courts, a competition pool, cardiovascular fitness room, bouldering wall, and a lazy river. Stephens College partnership does not only offer the recreation complex, though. The partnership also allows Stephens students to participate in classes at Mizzou

that are not offered at Stephens. One of the biggest things Stephens College likes to enlighten their students with is the advantages of attending a women’s college. Some of their reasons are that women who attend a women’s college are more successful in careers, hold a higher position, and are happy with their success. Women who attend a women’s college also have more opportunities to hold leadership positions and learn how to function in top leadership jobs. A study by Lee and Bryk from the University of Michigan resulted in the conclusion “students at all-girls schools far out-paced their coed counterparts in science and reading and were at least equal in academic achievement in other subjects. They also had stronger self-esteem, took more math classes, and set higher educational goals for themselves. In addition, they were less likely to hold stereotyped views of specific careers as ‘a man’s job’ or ‘a woman’s job.” If you are thinking about what college you want to go to, do not rule out Stephens College! When you are thinking about colleges, remember to look at more than one college! Do not limit yourself to one or two colleges; you can always look at several and then decide which one in particular you would like to attend. It is also important to look at the quality of education and the support of the faculty the colleges provide. Stephens College has a very good quality of education and the faculty is very helpful.

Game Zone Answers


In loving memory of Mason Weitzel

A New Beginning The lessons of this school year have surely been some of the most meaningful we could have imagined. Our teachers have given us countless lessons on Science, Math, Social Studies, English and all of the elective areas offered. Officer Byrne’s lectures on taking responsibility for our actions, Mr. Sooter’s on being honest, our coaches’ on commitment and effort. The list is long and, like it or not, each one is right. But one of the most important lessons we’ve been offered this year may be the one we’ve missed. Mason Weitzel was arguably the happiest kid in the building. His smile and laughter will haunt our hallways for a long time…for some of us, forever. It was common to see Mason in the center of small groups of people, all kinds of people, talking loud…laughing and being, well…Mason. There are several lessons we could talk about in regards to Mason, but I think the one that is most important is his acceptance of everyone. It didn’t matter who you were, what crowd you ran with, which sport you played…Mason would talk to you. Everyone is unique…special. Appreciate everyone. Sometimes the most unlikely people become the most important in your life.


Reeds Sring High School Pulse  

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