Better watch out
You know the feeling. Runny nose. Headache. High fever. Clinging to life as it runs its course. Along with the joys and beauty of this season comes the flu. Every year, this dreaded virus sweeps the nation in midwinter. But this year, this not-so merry season has come early. The earliest start in nearly a decade, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes this could be the beginning of a bad flu season. With a high number of cases already reported in Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana, it isn’t clear why the flu is so early, or how long it will stay. To keep your holidays full of Christmas cheer, get the vaccine and your favorite holiday hand sanitizer.
Just ask us
Last year, the drastic change in semester exam policy caused a lot of confusion... but no worries, this policy is here to stay. In previous years, students have been able to use their exceptions for any class, core or elective. The current policy ensures that all students take the semester exams for their core subjects– English, math, science, and history. The administrator’s motivation for this change is preparation for comprehensive college exams. Do you think the semester exam policy will prepare you for college?
24% said yes
Semester exams give students a studying mentality and helps develop study skills. -michaeldumas, 11
76% said no
High school exams are a lot easier than college tests or semester exams. -baylietaylor, 11
on the edge
The next big thing After months of WiFi rumors, Pleasant Grove’s internet is up and running. If you haven’t already registered your device, here’s how. Step One: Pick up and complete the SNRC Addendum from the Front Office, get it signed by a parent or guardian, and return it to the office or Mrs. Pesek in Room 101. Step Two: Sign into your school e-mail account. Student e-mail: gradeyear.firstname.lastname. firstname.lastname@example.org Your password is the same as your network access password. Step Three: Complete the online form sent to your account. You must have your device’s MAC address to complete the form.
pg. 9 Glued to the Screen
pg. 2 Semester Stress Buster
dg e e
pleasant grove high school
5406 mcknight road | texarkana, tx | 75503 vol. 28 #3 | Dec. 14, 2012
Going out with a ‘Baktun’
Upcoming Mayan prediction sparks students’ survival awareness Ashlyn Hurst reporter
unior Alisa Robinson stocks her home with all the season’s must-haves. An evergreen decorated with bright red candy canes. Paper snowflakes hung in the living room with care. Water purification tablets. Ten buckets of rice and pinto beans. And guns. Lots of guns. These survival items aren’t on her wish list, but if apocalyptic predictions dating back to the Mayans are true, they will be more useful than this year’s best of the best. “I believe there is a possibility the world could end based on scientific facts like magnetic pole shifts and solar flares,” Alisa said. “Even if the world doesn’t end this year, I think it’s a good idea to be prepared.” Since the beginning, humans have been predicting the end. As early as 2800 BC, prophets, scientists, and the average person have sparked “doomsday” fear and frantic last-minute preparation. From the second coming of Christ to the invasion of aliens, there are many different theories about how the world will end but the outcome is the same– the end of humanity. Last year, the discovery of an ancient Mayan calender flooded the media with end of the world predictions. The Mayan Long Count calender marks time in 394-year periods called Baktuns. A Maya stone tablet was discovered at a ruin in southern Mexico describing the return of a Mayan God at the end of the 13th Baktun– Dec. 21, 2012. Archaeologists and Mayan scholars interpret this day to be the of an era, but some have interpreted it to be the end of humanity. With the history of predictions, there is a long history of “believers.” In 1997, the Heaven’s Gate cult believed the human race would be destroyed by aliens, and their only hope was a spaceship tailing the HaleBopp comet that would carry their souls to “the next life.” In March, as Hale-Bopp crossed the sky, 40 of the cult’s followers committed suicide. Mayan scholar Sven Gronemeyer explained in an article for ABC News that humans are attracted by apocalyptic ideas, and the Mayan calender prediction is just another case of people assuming
the worst and their fear of the inevitable end. “It’s weird to hear the people talk about the world ending in a week especially with the natural disasters that have been occurring,” said junior Patricia Hale said. “I don’t believe the world will end next week, but it will be interesting to see what happens.”
Whatever happens, senior Brett Eakin isn’t counting down his last days. He’s prepared. “I always have at least three exits out of any room. I am a black belt, can throw knives, and pick locks,” Brett said. “I’m about as prepared as one can be.” His doomsday plan: Survive. “Detailed plans are tricky because situations change. No one knows how the world will end,” Brett said. “If I had it my way, it’d be zombies.” As the end of December approaches, businesses have risen to the latest trend–apocalypse survival. From zombie bullets to private underground bunkers, even the most extreme “doomsday-er” can feel prepared. “We have supplies to get a fire going, medicine
kits, extra food, and a place to go if something does happen,” Alisa said about her family’s stockpile. Survival is on the shelves and on the screens. In the movie“2012,” “the end” begins with the flooding of New York. Two months ago, Hurricane Sandy ravished New York causing major flooding and destruction. While this disaster may have worried some, not everyone is scared by this coincidence. “It doesn’t seem realistic. Nothing strange has been happening,” sophomore Savanah Garrett said. “The predictions just sound really extreme.” Recently, National Geographic aired “Doomsday Preppers,” a show highlighting some of the country’s most extreme. The show also offers a quiz that calculates how long you would last in the event of an apocalypse based on your resources. “I thought I had a lot, but taking the quiz, made me realize if there was an apocalypse, I would be toast,” senior Kyle Green said. The recent rise in end of the world preparation has also created countless of business opportunities. Luxury hotels around the world have created unique end of the world packages for guests who want a comfortable way to enjoy their final moments. A company in California constructs underground bomb shelters in Indiana and California to withstand manmade and natural disasters selling each spot for $50,000. While many students don’t have any extravagant plans for Dec. 21, when the end comes, they won’t waste any time enjoying their final days. “I would go skydiving, bungey-jumping, and finish everything on my bucket list,” Patricia said. “Quickly.” Other students have a simpler plan for their final moments. “I would spend time with my family,” freshman Allison Haley said. “We would pray a lot, watch Christmas movies, and do what we love, together as a family.” If the world ends in complete destruction, it’s been fun, and if next week’s zombie apocalypse strikes, Brett welcomes anyone to his house, but with one rule: don’t steal his food.
A look at a few of humanity’s countless “doomsday” predictions 634 BC- Twelve eagles revealed to Romulous a mystical number representing the lifetime of Rome ending in this year.
1806- A hen in England began laying eggs etched with the phrase “Christ is Coming.” The prophet hen was later discovered to be a hoax.
1658- Claiming the Earth was created in 5343 BC, Christopher Columbus predicted the Earth would last 7,000 years and end during this year.
Jan. 1, 2000- As the year turned to “00”, many people believed computers would crash causing worldwide catastrophes and the end of humanity.
July 1999- Nostradamas, famous worldwide for his accurate prophecies, predicted the “King of Terror” would come during this month.
events, activities, and news briefly
completed by Ruth Kliewer, Taylor Langdon, Kenzie Floyd
gimme 5 Hoby Winner: Chase Densen Alts: Son Nygyen and Chelsea Cole Charity Drives: The district collected over 75 coats and blankets and around 75 toys.
About That Time Semester exams are just around the corner, and students are already cramming because everybody has to take their core exams: English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. So don’t start dreaming about break until these dreaded exams are over with. * 50 students surveyed What will be your hardest exam? English- 10 Math- 15 Science- 16 History- 4 Other- 5 How many hours do you spend studying for your exams? Less than one hour- 17 Two to five hours- 20 Five to ten hours- 3 None- 10
Exam Schedule WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 7th & 8th periods THURSDAY, Dec. 20 1st, 3rd, & 5th periods FRIDAY, Dec. 21 2nd, 4th, & 6th periods
In the last issue of the Edge, a political survey entitled “Pleasant Grove’s Ideal Country” gave the perception that the entire student body agreed with the survey results presented. This was not the case and we regret the error.
Broadway to Bluegrass Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. Singapore. London, United Kingdom. New York City, New York. Texarkana, Texas? These are the cities that Ramin Karimloo, the West End star, has performed at in his career. Made famous by his performance as the youngest Phantom to ever star in Phantom of the Opera, he has made a big name for himself worldwide. “I was shocked at the thought of someone who is so well-known in the theatre world coming to Texarkana,” technical theatre director Greg Schwartz said. “I mean, this is Texarkana; we never have anything like this happen to us.” So why Texarkana, of all places? Because Ramin has never stepped foot in Texas, he knows this is a fantastic
opportunity to get better known here and to promote his new solo album, Human Heart. During his week-long Texas tour, Ramin performed in Austin, then he traveled to Texarkana and was with Mrs. Sutton conducting workshops for the theatre students. On the 12th, he performed in Dallas, and on the 14th he is performing at our own high school. “The opportunity to see a professional Broadway artist break out with his own album will be amazing,” Mr. Schwartz said, “Being able to see him before he explodes will be a once-in-a-lifetime thing.” Tickets for his performance on Dec. 16 are $30 for preferred seating and $15 for general seating. Also, Tshirts are available for $20.
Getting in the Christmas Spirit
Junior Kristen Crawford working on props for the performance.
The Nutcracker may be over, but you can stay in the Christmas spirit by attending “Christmas At the Perot”. The Texarkana Symphony Orchestra will be putting on the show for all ages. Curtain Call Productions will be singing and acting while the Showstoppers will be dancing to many of the Nutcracker songs. Ramin Karimloo, the Broadway singer who is presenting a concert here Friday night, will be singing two different numbers. “Ramin will be singing while our theatre students act out the songs by telling a story about the music,” technical theatre director Mr. Schwartz said, “It should be really interesting to see how it all turns out.” The show is Dec. 16 at 4:00 at the Perot Theatre. Tickets are online at www.texarkanasymphony.org.tickets or at the Perot. There is a special price for children who want to see Texarkana Symphony Orchestra director, the special guest: Santa Claus. Marc Bougie, directs the symphony.
Semester Stress Buster
Stress is all around, whether it’s cramming for your next test, your next game, or your next deadline. So to get away from the overwhelming homework and studying, STUCO sponsored the first-ever dodgeball tournament Dec. 7. It was an easy way for everyone to get rid of all the anger and frustrations from the semester exams that are coming up. “The semester stress buster was a way to get away from the exams and just have a lot of fun with
friends,” said senior STUCO member Rachel Weems. The players of the winning team were Jacob Brown, Nick Cockrell, Marshall Ward, Avery Borrell, Katie Brolo, and Julia Stover. “We had to beat three other teams before the championship,” said Jacob, “then we had to play Dustin’s team.” The “Twerk Team” received T-shirts and major bragging rights.
Senior Adam Owens, who was on the team “Dirty Dodgers.”
Red River Pecan Plantation
To order, call 870-896-2737 237 River Road Fulton, AR 71838
Not yet tired of listening to Christmas music? Come to the Perot Theatre at 4 p.m. to watch the drillteam and theatre do their thing.
Time for relaxing week days, hot chocolate, and cozing up at your fireplace with your boyfriend or girlfriend... or your dog.
Boys & Girls Soccer
It’s soccer season, and the boys’ first game is at home against the alumni. The girls’ first game is at North Lamar the next day.
Dust off your books, pack a lunch and restudy for that test because it’s that time again to get back into rhythm with school.
Miss PGHS Pageant Any girls wanna be a princess for a day? Do you have a unique talent? Go sign up for the pageant. Or just go watch. It’s 7 p.m. in the PAC.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Getting out of school on a Monday to celebrate King’s birthday? We can live with that.
Five Pleasant Grove Locations 2802 Richmond Road - 670 N. Kings Hwy. 6424 Richmond Road - 5602 Summerhill Road 5121 Summerhill Road
Proudly supporting Hawk Nation
It may be snowy and cold, but the girls start their season at Hughes Springs with expectations to make it to the playoffs again. The game starts at 5.
A Taste of American Pie Megan McCorkle
Q&A with Jordi, Petr, and Patrick
Foreign exchange students get the real American experience
It was like a movie. Jordi Camps nervously boarded the plane. The day he had been waiting for was finally here. Months of paperwork and preparation were finally paying off. His adventure was beginning. From his seat, Jordi stared out the window as his home faded into the background. He was on his way to America. Jordi filled the long hours on the flight imagining what his year in an American high school would be like. Cheerleaders at the football games. Lockers in the hallways. Cliques in the cafeteria at lunch. His year would be just like “Mean Girls” or “American Pie.” And he was ready. Everything afterward was a blur. He stepped off the plane. Got his luggage. Arrived in Texas. Met his host family. It was so... Overwhelming. But it was just how he imagined it. Just like the movies.
New Kids: For foreign exchange student Jordi Camps, a dream of his has been to go to college in America. He didn’t want to go in blind, so he thought that a year of high school in the States would help him improve his English and adjust to the culture. While he admits that he would have preferred to go to California or New York, he was just ready for the American high school experience. “People know about America from the movies,” Jordi said. “I was really excited about the lockers and cheerleaders. It’s what everyone associates with the American experience.” Before leaving Spain, Jordi had a long road ahead of him. Step-by-step his dream became reality. 1. “There were several forms that needed to be filled out,” he said. “They were about my personality and what I’m like. The host families are able to read those and select students that they felt they could connect with.” 2. Next the family has to come up with the funding. The average cost for all of the paperwork and handling fees is nearly the equivalent of $10,000. Then once he was selected by a family, they were able to connect and exchange contact information. 4. “About a week before I moved in with my host family,I had to go to Chicago for orientation,” Jordi said. “It was like a camp.
They told us how we should act with our host families. We were given rules we had to follow while we were here; one is that we aren’t allowed to drive. And we were told how to adjust and what to expect from the culture here.” Now Jordi, along with the two other exchange students currently at Pleasant Grove, are living their American dream. With a year of sports, school dances, and friendships ahead, Jordi is sure the whole process will be worth it.
What has life been like in Texas? It has been so much fun. This has been a once in a lifetime experience, and I’ve enjoyed every second of my stay. How has your adjustment into our culture gone? It was difficult at first, but I’m getting used to how things work around here.
Behind the Scenes: Opening your home to a complete stranger sounds like a daunting task, but for Patricia Hale and her family, it’s an annual thing. “Every summer I visit my dad in Germany so it’s easy for my family to connect with the exchange students,” junior Patricia Hale said. “Since we know what it’s like to adjust to a culture you’re not used to, it’s easy for us to empathize with them. I mean they just become part of the family. When they get here, I hug them and say ‘Hey. You’re going to be my brother for a year.’” The agencies regulate the students’ stay throughout the year. There is a long process for potential host families before they are approved to have the students move into their home. 1. “We have to upload pictures of our house to the agency’s web site,” Hale said. “There have to be pictures of what the house looks like so they’re not blind sided when they arrive.” 2. Next, the host family reads different students’ profiles, which include letters from teachers, parents, and themselves. These give an idea about what the student is like and if they would have anything in common with the families. The host families then choose up to three students they might be compatible with. 3. Once a decision is finalized on which student is moving in with them, they contact the student and their family. 4. When moving day finally arrives, the adjustment period begins. “When they first get here, we talk about what it’s like in their country in comparison to here,” Hale said. “We’re supposed to treat them just like family; they get chores and rules just like I do.” With the close bonds that are formed over the course of the year, good byes are the hardest part. “It’s hard to grow so close to someone just to have to say goodbye,” Hale said. “But we keep in touch. I still talk to the people we hosted several years ago. You can’t forget an experience like that.”
What is your least favorite thing about America? I don’t have a least favorite thing. Everything is really good here. Do you like high school? Did it live up to your expectations? I really like American high school. I like how things are taught here and your extracurricular activities and friends revolve around school. What do you like most about America? The fast food! It’s so good. I love it. What do you miss most about your home? My friends, most definitely. I’m always talking to them on Skype or something.
4012 SUMMERHILL SQUARE TEXARKANA, TX 903.792-0088
where PG gets
T-shirts Hats Bags Screenprinting Promotional items Vinyl lettering Banners Signs
Delivery • Gift Shop Gourmet Items Knives & Fishing Supplies
Marcia Peeples Owner/Pharmacist
The Perfect Re-Gift
Selfish Ambitions Ruin the Holidays for the Entire Family
My eyes shoot open, and I jump out of bed. I check my phone. It’s six o’clock in the morning, and the sun is barely up yet. Normally, I would bury myself under the covers until I fell asleep again, but today was different. It was Christmas. I had to race to the living room so I could tear open my presents to see what I got this year. I imagined gift cards and money and DVDs, boxes upon boxes of gifts. Once my family had woken up and gathered around the tree, I would tear open a present, hardly look at it, and move on to the next. I had an imaginary check list in my mind. I would mark through each item as I got it. I got some cute clothes from American Eagle: check. The boots I’d been begging my parents to buy me for months: check. Scented candles: check. Starbucks gift card: check. It went on and on like that for a while. I started opening this one box that was from my parents. It was pretty small and had a velvety covering, like the ones jewelry are put in. I opened it, and there were these beautiful silver hoop earrings inside. But the more I looked at them, the more familiar they seemed. Then it hit me. I had bought them for myself a few weeks ago! We were at the mall doing some Christmas shopping when I saw them. I picked them up and carried them around until I was ready to check out. The clerk put my meganmccorkle, reporter earrings in one of those tiny bags specifically for jewelry. Since we still had a few more stores to look at, I threw my bag into one of my mom’s and continued shopping. I was so annoyed; the mistake seemed so careless. Who
does that? I spent the rest of the day holed up in my room, fuming over the stupid earrings. I spent all year dreaming of Christmas. We were supposed to be one of those cliche families that you see on Christmas cards, but no. My mom had to go and ruin it all. And since my holiday was ruined, so was everyone else’s. It’s one year later; the holidays are back, and I found myself thinking about last year’s ‘incident’. Honestly, I’m pretty ashamed about my reaction because it was so unbelievably selfish and greedy. I got mad at my mom on Christmas because one little present wasn’t perfect. I realize now that it was equally my fault because I forgot to get the earrings out of my mom’s bag as well. Every time I wear those earrings, I feel guilty because I acted so childish. It took a few weeks before I was able to admit I was wrong, but once I did, my mistake became so obvious. I had turned a holiday about giving, into a holiday about receiving. This year I’m changing my attitude and perspective. The holidays are about family, friends, and the holiday spirit. It’s about Christmas movies and decorating the tree. It’s about candy canes, hot chocolate, and Santa. But most importantly, it’s about being thankful for everything you have. So this year, I’m going to make my holiday about helping others and showing how grateful I am for everything I have been blessed with.
staff editorial More Time in Seat Doesn’t Equal Better Student Performance Open your notebooks and sharpen your pencils, school for thousands of public school students is about to get quite a bit longer. Schools in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee have been selected to test a new program that would lengthen the school year by 300 hours, or just under 38 current school days. The pilot program is scheduled to last three years, and could then be expanded to include more schools. Instead of adding another 34 days to the school year and risking student burnout, just a slight shift in the curriculum is all that is required to accomplish the same thing--improve test scores. Lawmakers proposed this plan in order to raise the US education performance against other nations. These changes are based on the findings of a Harvard study that showed the only two options were to either greatly increase funding to the
teachers, or make the school year 300 hours longer, or 34 school days longer. One of the problems is that schools could add class time to areas not related to the core curriculum, instead increasing time allowed to areas not related to academics. Adding more class time could help some students, but simply giving more time to schools without a focus could just result in 10 minutes being added to each period. More days on the calendar doesn’t just raise the possibility of causing students to burnout--teachers could also run into the same problem. Teachers currently are almost forced to teach to the state level test, and administrators agree that this narrows the focus of classes. Instead of more regulations from the State and Federal governments, schools need to be allowed to teach their students. What works in Massachusetts won’t necessarily work in Texas, and what works in Dallas may not work here in Tex-
arkana. Other changes that may work would be a year round school calendar. Instead of the nine months of school followed by three months of summer, students would instead have three weeks of instruction followed by one week of break. Principal Bill Harp explained that this could help fight the slip-back that usually occurs because of summer break. While some may hope that this measure could help increase performance in core subject matter, the mandate itself doesn’t specify where the class time would be added, and it isn’t stated how schools are expected to spend the extra class time. Administrators agree that the best way to improve education isn’t through a 300 hour longer school year. Local schools know their students best, so the schools should be allowed to determine what would work best.
Head to Head
- catherinedadatto, 12
How do you celebrate Christmas break?
Which is your favorite reindeer?
“I usually travel with my family. Like last year we went to New York. That was really fun.”
“Rudolph because he didn’t have any friends, and then his nose started to glow and he was popular.”
How do you feel about the upcoming finals?
Do you believe in the apocalypse theories?
“I’m nervous because on top of that my grade has to learn all this new criteria for the STAAR testing.”
“No. I believe in Jesus, and he’ll come when he feels like it.”
“I turn off my phone and everything else and disconnect from the world so I can just play video games for hours.”
“... Jupiter? I guess he has the coolest name. I mean I don’t really know the reindeers’ names...”
“I’m nervous because they are going to determine wether I keep my 4.0 GPA.”
“I do, but not in the conventional ones you hear about.”
“I hang out with my family and celebrate Christmas.”
“Rudolph. He’s so cute with his shiny nose and everything!”
“Pssh. It’s whatever. I’m going to make hundos on all of them.”
“Not really. They’re really weird...”
pleasant grove high school
5406 mcknight rd . texarkana, tx . 75503 phone: (903) 832-8005 . fax (903) 832-5381
Kenzie Floyd Josh Whitt Naveed Haque Editors Avery Borrell Collin Craytor Carson Craytor Natalie Thigpen Peyton Trippe Landon Young Photographers Kyle Green Jordan Hearn Ashlyn Hurst Alex Kauai Ruth Kliewer Taylor Langdon Nick Marchesani Megan McCorkle Mark Northam Curtis Zachry Reporters Meredith Payne Contributors Charla Harris Adviser William Harp Principal
Editorial policy Edge is produced by the newspaper students in the publications department of Pleasant Grove High School and are responsible for its production and content. The newspaper serves as an open forum for student expression and the discussion of issues of concern to students. Unsigned editorials represent the opinions of the student staffers and do not necessarily reflect those of the administration. Signed columns and reviews reflect the opinion of the author only. Edge encourages and accepts letters to the editor. Letters must be signed and will be edited to eliminate obscenity and inappropriate content. Letters may be submitted to the editor in room 603. Edge is a member of the Interscholastic League Press Conference, National Scholastic Press Association and Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
12 Days of Texarkana
What to do if you are Home Alone for Jordan Hearn the Holidays reporter
Day 1-Holiday Drinks It’s the holidays and that means Starbucks. “My favorite ‘game’ to play during the holiday break is to go to Starbucks and try every holiday drink at least once,” junior Michael Dumas Day 2-Gingerbread Houses Break out the rolling pins and flour and improve your baking skills. “We start by making the dough by hand. Then the next day we cook it and start decorating our houses,” said Life Nutrition teacher Tiffany Horton. “Everything had to be edible except the plate that the gingerbread house will sit on.” Day 3- Christmas lights on Spotswood Road Get your friends together one night, make a score sheet, and rate your favorite roads to drive down for the holidays. Day 4- Ugly Christmas Sweaters Its that time of year, everyone knows the dress code for the cheesy Christmas parties. So break out your ugliest Christmas Sweaters and strut your stuff. It’s all about outdoing your friends.
page5 feature Day 5- Recreate your favorite picture with Santa Clause Go get a picture with Santa at Central Mall (Monday- Saturday 10am-9pm / Sunday 12:30pm – 6pm.) Day 6-Hot Cocoa Use your Holiday break to perfect your cocoa recipe. Day 7-White Elephant Gift Exchange It’s the gift-giving time of year, so make it fun with a white elephant exchange. “The worst Christmas gift I’ve ever gotten from someone was a mole killer to use in the yard at a White Elephant Gift Exchange,” AP English teacher Sharon Womack said. Day 8-Alternative Snowmen It’s 70 degrees one day and 30 the next, so if we have a brown Christmas break out the Styrofoam to make your snowman “If I had to make a snowman out of Styrofoam I would carve mine with a chain saw to make it look like a Godzilla thug,” senior John Altenbaumer said. Day 9-Snowcream “Whenever it snows my sister and I get some snow and mix it with vanilla, milk, and sugar. Then it turns into snowcream,” said freshman Katie McCorkle. Day 10-ABC family’s 25 Days of Christmas. Home Alone, Elf, and Rudolph. Sit on your couch and Countdown to Christmas with the classics.“I watch every single movie during the “25 Days of Christmas” marathon,” said junior Kristen Crawford. “My favorite is either Holiday in Handcuffs or all the Home Alone movies.” Day 11-Michael Buble on Pandora You hear it in the art room daily, but tis the season to make your Christmas station. Day 12-Fudge Season The weather starts dropping and the fudge starts showing up. Its perfect Fudge weather so break out your cooking skills and make fudge for your Home Alone marathon.
Put Your Christmas Knowledge to the Test 1. Who is the smallest Who in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”? a. Cindy Lu Who b. Lucy Who c. Cindy Mu Shu d. Little Lucy Who
4. In “Jingle Bells”, who was seated next to me a day or two ago? a. Miss Fanny Bright b. Miss Lanny Wright c. Santa d. Buddy the Elf
7. In “A Christmas Carol” who is the first ghost to appear to Scrooge a. The Ghost of Turkey Past b. The Ghost of Tiny Tim c. The Ghost of Christmas Present d. The Ghost of Christmas Past
2. How many times does Santa check his list? a. Never Santa doesn’t need a list b. Three times c. Once He’s Santa and doesn’t make mistakes d. Twice
5. On the eleventh day of Christmas what did my true love send to me? a. Eleven Elves Wrapping b. Eleven Ladies Dancing c. Eleven Pipers Piping d. Eleven Tubs of Ben and Jerry’s
8. What do Alvin the Chipmunks want for Christmas? a. A Hula Hoop b. Halo 4 c. Nerf Gun d. Frozen Waffles
3. What is Buddy the Elf’s favorite thing to eat? a. Waffles with Sprinkles and Whip Cream b. Sprinkles c. Spaghetti with Syrup d. Chocolate Syrup
6. In the “Polar Express”, what is in the middle of the train tracks on the way to the North Pole? a. Santa’s sleigh b. Moose c. Deer d. Caribou
9. How do you say Merry Christmas in Spanish? a. Merrio Christmaso b. Feliz Navidad c. Feliz Cupleanos d. Prospero ano
ANSWERS: 1.) A. Cindy Lu Who 2.) D. Twice 3.) C. Spaghetti with Syrup 4.) A. Miss Fanny Bright 5.) C. Eleven Pipers Piping 6.) D. Caribou 7.) D. The Ghost of Christmas Past 8.) A. A Hula Hoop 9.) B. Feliz Navidad
L A RE
voting Eighteen is the magic number. Not only can you can buy lottery tickets, cigarettes, and enlist in the army... you now have the right to vote. First, you have to register at the DMV. Fill out a form and pay a small fee, and you will receive a voters registration card in the mail soon after. On voting day, bring your card and I.D. with you to the place you have been asked by the government to vote. Your polling place is usually determined by where you live. Polling places are normally in schools, libraries, community centers, and other public buildings. Once you arrive at your polling place, you will be checked in and handed a ballot. Take a seat at a voting booth, read the instructions on the ballot, and take your time voting. Once you’re done, simply stand up and hand your ballot to the poll worker. You’ve made your mark! “Since I’m only a sophomore, I haven’t even thought about voting yet because it doesn’t concern me,” Emily Cochran said. “I’m counting on my mom to teach me how to vote when the time comes.”
Taxes are special kinds of fees or charges that the government requires people to pay in order to live and work in their state or country. The government needs money to operate, and taxes are a way for it to get this money. This money goes to fund many different types of programs. You already know that you pay a sales tax on items you buy. You’ll be required to pay income taxes once you start working, and property taxes once you have your own place to live.There are many different types of taxes, and these are only three of them. You can learn more about taxes from your parents or online, because it won’t be too long before you’ll have to pay them yourself. “I’ll learn about taxes eventually, but it would probably be better to learn before I actually have to do it,” sophomore Carson Craytor said. “I guess I’ll have to depend on Google to teach me how.”
Since you’ll be on your own soon, there are some things you need to know about defending yourself. “My brother has taught me plenty about defending myself,” sophomore Shea Swanson said. If you’re moving to a bigger city for college, things are going to be different. You need to be prepared to be on your own and know what to do in situations such as being mugged, assaulted, kidnapped, or any kind of personal danger.
Once you’re making and spending your own money, your outlook on budget might change. “My step dad has sat me down and explained our family budget to me before,” junior Tia Farmer said. “I understand keeping up with money, I just haven’t had a hands on experience with it yet.” It’s important to create a budget so you can keep track of your money. There are many different budget strategies, but a simple way to keep your money under control is to put your money in a bank account and only take money out of it for things you need. The bank will have all of your withdrawals and deposits on file. There are also many apps and web sites that help with budgeting. That way, you have everything you need about budget at your fingertips.
150 students surveyed
of students think they could live on their own right now
of students know how to manage money
% } ^
of students know how to create a résumé
Twelve years of sitting in white cinder block rooms with tile floors. Seven hours a day, five days a week. Learning, testing, learning, testing, repeating. When most students reach the point of graduation, they’re more than ready to brave “the real world.” But are they really ready? To graduate from a high school in Texas, students must complete at least 22 class credits and pass four exit level TAKS tests– and that is the bare minimum. By the time they’re seniors, students are expected to know things like the Pythagorean theorem, certain chemical elements, and how to write a literary essay. Nothing about money management, politics, survival skills, or other things that one should know to live on their own. “I think that the education system sticks us on a curriculum and everybody gets lost in the system,” senior Marissa Barkto said. “We do a lot more learning about the past
than we do preparing for the future.” Sixty percent of Pleasant Grove students think that the current school curriculum teaches more unnecessary things than necessary things. Most students learn their life skills from their parents, and others teach themselves. “It’s important to learn things as home as well as at school,” freshman Katie McCorkle said. “It’s the school’s responsibility to give us an education, but it’s also our family’s responsibility to teach us other things we need to know.” Whether stu- “We do a lot more dents are ready or learning about the not, it’s a known past than we do fact that they’re go- preparing for the ing to be on their future.” own sometime in Marissa the next few years. Barkto (12)
“Even if I’m not ready, I’m excited to get out in the world and see how I function as an independent being,” junior Logan Young said. “I want to explore all the opportunities out there that we don’t see in high school.”
You’ll probably never want to do it, but you’ll need to. Housekeeping. Whether you’re cleaning up after a party or preparing the house for guests, it’s important that you have proper knowledge on how to take care of a home. “I already have to clean my house, so I’m not worried about growing up and having to do it myself,” junior Liam Cork said. “My parents taught me how to do almost everything, and my dad has been really strict about it.” You’re going to want to know how to do basic things like vacuum and mop floors, clean bathrooms, make and change beds, clear up clutter, do your laundry, and take out the trash.
college After 12 years of forced schooling, it’s finally time to take matters of education in your own hands. College is the one of the first steps to the rest of your life. It’s important to pay attention to your grades during high school, especially during your junior year. College applications open up sometime in the late summer. You can submit your application anytime after they open until spring. If you get your application done before the early decision deadline around November, you’ll be more likely to be accepted to the college of your choice and you’ll be first in line for scholarship opportunities and housing choices. After you get accepted, it’s time to work on getting scholarship money. The average cost of going to a college is $32,775 a year. Scholarship money sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Make sure to get all of your housing and tuition deposits taken care of before it’s too late. The college you choose will most likely have a website that helps you keep up with everything you need to know. “Applying for college was a lot harder than I thought it would be. You have to work really hard on your résumé and essays,” senior Emily Stouffer said. “I got super stressed out with trying to get everything done before the deadlines. It was exhausting, but when my acceptance letter came in, it made everything worth it.”
getting a job Living on your own requires one vital thing: money. Once you’re paying for things yourself, your outlook on money is most likely going to change... and you’re probably not going to be getting cash from your parents for too much longer. It’s important that you know how to get and hold a job so you’ll have the money you need. “I kind of know how to apply for a job because we learned how to in Mr. Tomberlain’s class,” sophomore Nick Ebel said. “I think I can handle going to college and having a job at the same time.” The first step to getting a job is researching what your opportunities are. Look in the newspaper, ask around, and search online for job openings in your area. Pick up and fill out applications for jobs you’re interested in- some may even be available online. Once your application has been reviewed, you will be get a call from the employer to set up an interview if they’re considering you. The next step is to prepare yourself for the interview. Dress nicely, use your best manners, and make sure that you’re on time. Some time in the next few weeks after your interview, you’ll get a call to let you know if you got the job or not. Some jobs require a lot more qualifications and preparation than others, but this will give you a basic idea of what to do.
Are we an Unprepared Generation?
of students know how to take care of their car
of students learn life skills from their parents
of students think school teaches mainly unnecessary things
Can you Dougie? What does Dougie mean? I can definitely dougie, It came from the rapper Doug E. Fresh. All you really do is whipe your head off, it’s basically swag.
What’s your favorite music? My favorite is R&B, it helps me calm down. I use it when I meditate or just want to chill.
If you were a candy, what kind would you be? I’d be a Hersheys chocolate because I’m so chocolatey. Plus, girls love chocolate.
questions Greg Elliot
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What position did you play in football? I was a linebacker. It’s probably the hardest position to play, but I like it because you get to hit people. What is the biggest hit you’ve ever had in football? I came up during practice last year during practice. I was full back, and on the play we cut back the other way. Sean Young didn’t see me and got leveled. What are your favorite College and Professional football teams? NFL team would be the Baltimore Ravens, they have one of the best defenses in the history of the league with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. My favorite college team would be the University of Texas, I’d love to play there, but it looks like that won’t be happening.
What will you do after high school? I’m going to be in the Marine Corps, I’ve already enlisted and want to work on aircraft electronics. That would help me learn about mechanics and the electrical parts of different aircraft.
So, what life are you about? I’m about THAT life.
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What’s your life motto/song? Hold Me Back by Rick Ross, it’s a song about the how nothing will hold you back.
Single life, or married life? Single life, that way you’re free to do what you want. What’s your favorite place to eat in town? Smashburger, they have the best hamburgers I’ve ever had. I don’t remember what it was, but it had jalapenos on it and was amazing.
Where would your dream vacation be held? Bora Bora would be an amazing place to go. The water there is super clear there.
If you could star in a sitcom, what would it be? The Bernie Mac Show. The guy is just funny, and he’s a legend
If you could add any sport to the PG roster what would it be? I’d add wrestling because we have a lot of guys that would like that sport. I couldn’t do it because I’d get too frustrated, and you can’t just hit your opponent.
What’s it like in a day of the life of Greg Elliot? It’s a day of excitement, I make people laugh, and I have a lot of friends.
Where did the term ‘stanky leg’ come from? Did the guy who first did it just have a ‘stanky’ leg? It came from a song at first, but it’s a song with a dance where you act like you’re putting out a cigarette. It’s a really strange way to put a cigarette out, but people tried to make it look cool.
If you could do something over, what would it be and why? I’d like to have another football season. I miss it already. I think if we had this year over we would do a lot better. What is the best city in the United States? Houston, Texas. It’s in the south, you can see a lot of stars there, and it’s in the state of Texas.
What is your favorite hairstyle? The taper fade, for sure. There is hair on the top of the head and then it fades as it gets to the sideburns.
How did your parents get your name? Well, I am a Junior, so I guess my name came from my dad.
What’s a good joke? Two men walk into a bar. The first says, “I’ll have some H2O.” The second man says, “I’ll have some H2O too.” The second man died.
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Editor in Chief/Producer Jim & Laurie Booker DeAnna & Bret Craytor Gary & Jennifer Engstrom Joel & Carol Green Richard & Allison Payne Neil Peters Paul & Lynn Whitt Stacy Yates
Glued to the Screen Holidays bring new releases that appeal to both sexes
Kyle Green reporter
n the video gaming world, kids use a different language. This language is made up of all kinds of insults, taunts, and words that quite frankly make no sense at all. So here’s the gaming lingo, for all you noobs out there. Noob- A beginner at a game that has no skill whatsoever gg- good game glhf- good luck and have fun afk- away from keyboard scrub- A nicer word for noob RPG- Role Playing Game Rage Quit- Getting so mad at a video game that you turn off your console or quit the game. Pwn- meaning to ‘own’ or ‘shut down’ I just pwn’ed you!!!- I’m better than you Wow, you have no life- You were better than I was Face Palm- Something so frustrating, you collide your face with your palm at high speed Face desk- similar to face palm, but with a desk FTW- For the win!!! Lol, U mad?- I just destroyed you, you mad? Woot!- I’m so happy, that I’m going to scream nonsense. DPS- dammage per second DOT-Damage over time AP- attack power AOE- Area of Effect HPS- heals per second lol- laugh out loud kik- lol, but your fingers were on the wrong keys. Ding!- A word to inform others that you just leveled up. 2012 popular releases: Halo 4 Assassins Creed 3 EA Sports games Border Lands 2 Diable III Mass Effect 3 Sleeping Dogs Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Guild Wars 2 Borderlands 2
What started out as a video game and movie debate between Kyle Green and Megan McCorkle quickly turned into an immature third grade argument about which one is better. With outstanding evidence supporting each side, which is truly better? Video games or movies? We’ll let you decide. Kyle- Halo 4, or the game of the century, is packed with an incredible story line, and like the other three before it, great graphics, insanely good gameplay, and mind-blowing online play. If you’re looking for a first person shooter, this is your game. Megan-If people keep talking about video games, they should just shoot me. I don’t get all the hype. Les Miserables is coming out soon and it will be phenomenal. Anne Hathway cut all her hair off for the role because she was that dedicated. And the singing you hear in the movie will be their raw voices without any editing. Kyle- Sounds like a bunch of feminine mumbo jumbo to me. But ya know, I understand, maybe Halo 4 isn’t you’re thing. That’s why there’s Assassin’s Creed 3. It’s the fifth game in the series and one of the best games of the year. It has great graphics, a great story line and plot, and incredible interaction content. You can pretty much interact with any object in the game–it’s incredible.
Megan McCorkle reporter
hile girls don’t have a completely different language when it comes to movies, there are a few one-liners that have managed to stick out from the rest of the crowd. Between “Mean Girls,” “Pitch Perfect,” and everywhere in between, here are a few that everyone should know and love. So fetch! In “Mean Girls,” Gretchen Weiners says this throughout the movie. This is a better way of saying, “Wow! That’s awesome!” Acca-awkward. This is one of the many “acca” phrases in this movie. All you do, is add the phrase “acca” to whatever you want to say, and you’ll be a certifiable acca-diva. I’ll think about that tomorrow. This is one of Scarlet O’Hara’s iconic lines in “Gone With the Wind.” And let’s be honest, is there a better way to avoid a little bit of work? May the odds be ever in your favor. Effie Trinket delivers this famous line in the first of the “Hunger Games” trilogy. Whether you can find real life applications or not, it sure is fun to say in her quirky accent!
Jesse Gorse Halo 4. It has an awesome storyline, graphics, and the gameplay is phenominal. I’ve already beaten the game on Legendary and have gotten tons of achievements. My favorite game of all time has to be “Fallout 3.” It was the first XBox 360 game I ever played. I loved the format of the game along with the storyline. Video games, they are much more interactive than movies, you can do much more with video games than movies.
Upcoming 2013 releases: Bioshock: Infinite- 2/13 Dead Space 3- 2/13 God of War Ascension- 3/13 Crysis 3- 3/13
Megan- Who cares about Halo Creed 5? Lord of the Rings is the series you should pay attention to. The Hobbit is being released after the rest of the series even though it’s the prequel. It’s not a chick-flick and there’s a lot of action! I heard that at the preview screenings the 3-D action cameras made people sick because the scenes were that intense. Kyle- Ok, The Hobbit actually looks pretty good, but why watch an adventure like that when you can play it? Two RPGs that I highly recommend are Borderlands 2 and Diablo 3. Weapons by the butt load, unbleievable storylines, plus great interaction with the elements in the map are all the things that make up these great two games. Megan- Speaking of unbelievable... Gerard Butler. Playing soccer. Shirtless. I mean I don’t know what else there is to say about that. Kyle- You don’t need to watch a movie to see a model on the soccer field, all you have to do is watch me. Just goes to show that movies undermine the talent of the real models and athletes. Video games rule! Megan- Viva la movies! Video games should die in a hole. Kyle- Testosterone! Megan- Estrogen!
My favorite character in a video game is Link from “Zelda Ocarina of Time” because plain and simple, he is a beast.
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It’sOrder not too late yours today. $50. Room 603.
Out of the recent releases, which one is your favorite? Favorite release of all time? Movies or video games, and why? Favorite actor/character in a movie or video game?
Rebecca Puente My favorite has definitely been “Skyfall.” Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem are phenomenal, and the action is awesome.
My favorite release of all time is “The Dark Knight.” It is truly one of the best movies made.
Movies, most definitely. I’m not a big gamer, and I love the storylines and actors in the movies.
Johnny Depp. He is such a great actor and has shown the audience so many sides of himself in great ways.
If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.Even if you’re not a sappy romantic, this line from “The Notebook” was sure to make you jealous of Allie for having a guy like Noah for saying something as sweet as that. Not with a fizzle, but with a bang.- This is one of Olive Penderghast’s funnier lines from the movie “Easy A.” This is what she titles one of her webcasts as she melodramatically narrarates her experiences as the high school outcast. Upcoming/recent releases: 12/07/2012- “Playing for Keeps” 12/14/2012- “The Hobbit” 12/25/2012- “Les Miserables” 1/18/2013- “Monsters, Inc. 3-D”
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Soccer is the world’s most popular sport, but for students in Pleasant Grove it can be a little confusing. The game is more than just a ball and some feet.
Another Ring for the King? Basketball season has finally started and people are already making predictions about who will win. King James and the Heat pulled out the championship win last year. He still has not silenced all the critics though. What do you think about Lebron James and the rest of the NBA?
Is Lebron James the best basketball player ever? Yes- 5% No- 95%
Who will win the 2013 championship? OKC Thunder- 14% LA Lakers- 8% Miami Heat- 46% Other- 32% 50 students surveyed
Q&A with Faith Lipham
What position do you play? I play guard and forward. At guard I work the ball around so others can take shots and at forward I take more shots.
A Beautiful Game Alan Oubre dribbles around a T.O.M. during tryouts. aborrellphoto Pass. Run. Pass. Run. Repeat. To the untrained eye that’s all soccer is. Just running around and passing. Although there are exceptions, most teams put a little more thought into what they do on the field. “People think it(soccer) is just a bunch of messing around and not really being serious,” senior Jose Rangel said. “They don’t realize how tactical it is. They think it’s just getting a fast player and trying to get the ball to him.” What people don’t know, is how many factors actually play into a successful soccer game. Players and Coaches deliberate about what formation to run, which players to play, and when to substitute. Just to name a few. The most basic formation in the soccer
What are your goals for yourself? I want to start. I want to shoot more and start playing better defense.
world is the 4-4-2. Excluding the goalkeeper, this formation has four defenders, four midfielders and two attackers. The defender is the player who stays back and protects their own goal. They are the ones that make sure the other team never takes a shot at the goal, a task not easily done. “The defenders stay on their side of the field and are the last line of defense before a 1-on-1 situation with the goalkeeper,” senior Curtis Zachry said. “Normally the defenders are a little bigger or stronger than the forwards and their ball control is not as big of a deal.” In the middle of the formation lie the midfielders. Normally, they are the most versatile players on the field. Known for their ball handling skills, the midfielders are the players that make the most passes and try to keep the ball in their team’s posses-
Signing For The Future
Senior Dustin Thomas signs with the Colorado Buffaloes to play basketball while senior Katie Brolo signs with UT Tyler to continue playing volleyball in college.
When and why did you start playing basketball? In first grade my parents really pushed me into it. I always enjoyed basketball. What is it like on varsity? It’s exciting and different. I’m excited for my first year on varsity and as a freshman. It’s a lot more competitive.
sion. “Midfielders play a little of offense and defense both,” junior Ryan Young said. “They control the game and how fast it is played. Usually the best at trapping, passing and finding open space” The players that get all the glory are the attackers, or strikers. These are the players that score the majority of the goals. Strikers are good at shooting and are either fast enough to outrun the defense, or tall enough to get up and win headers. “Strikers are the ones that normally take the most shots, not saying no one else takes shots,” Rangel said. “Strikers are pretty fast and good at ball skills, but really good at shooting.” All of the thought and planning that goes into soccer means nothing without practice, and that’s not only during the season. Many of the players got together over the summer break to have unofficial scrimmages with other players around the area. Three senior players, Luke Bultemeier, Jose Rangel, and Josh Whitt, also competed in a travelling league called Texarkana United Soccer Club. Playing with other area soccer players they competed in tournaments in Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. “I really enjoyed playing for them(TUSC) as it helped prepare me as a striker for the upcoming Hawks soccer season. We played teams that were much better than us which made us a lot better,” Jose said. “The playing styles and formations between my two teams are kind of different but I think we can conform to either.” Both JV and varsity teams were selected through a week long tryout, and they are now getting back into the routine of practice. Head coach Matt Wright has not told the team what formation they will be running. Instead he has been getting the team to focus on skill work and passing. The varsity soccer team will play their first game Jan. 3, against the alumni team. Until then they will be working on their playing styles and other routines to get an advantage over their opponents.
Dustin Thomas signs with Colorado. lyoungphoto
Senior Dustin Thomas signed a letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Colorado. Dustin’s head coach Billy Brewer was on hand to watch his star player sign. Dustin was a two year starter on varsity and helped lead the team to the regional finals last season. “The first time I visited I knew it was the place for me,” Dustin said. “It’s such a privilege to get to play at the next level, it really does make all the hard work worth it.”
Katie Brolo signs with UT Tyler alongside her mother. lyoungphoto
Who do you look up to on the team? Paige Rikel(senior.) She is always positive and works really hard.
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TCU and Notre Dame because their shiny helmets are really sick. - averyborrel, senior
Oregon. Their chrome and shiny helmets stand out. And the wings on the shoulders pads are cool. - mattday, junior
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Senior Katie Brolo committed to play volleyball this coming season at University of Texas at Tyler. Katie Brolo has been on varsity since her sophomore year and has helped the team to playoffs every season. Her family and coaches where on hand to watch her commit to UT Tyler. “I have always had the full support of my family,” Brolo said. “I can’t wait for them to come watch me play at the next level.”
Playoff Time? College football fans have dealt with the BCS since 1998. After cries for change, they’re finally getting what they want BCS. Buncha Crap System. The BCS, or the Bowl Championship Series, since 1998 has chosen the two “best” teams in the nation in college football to play in the national championship game. It has chosen other top schools to play in the best BCS bowls. But most of all, it’s ruined many schools’ chances of getting into not only a BCS bowl, but also a national championship. Being a Texas fan, I am all too familiar with this. In 2008 the University of Texas finished the season in a threeway tie with Texas Tech and the University of Oklahoma in the Big 12 South. All three teams had a great case for the national title with only one loss, but the kyle green, reporter voters ended up sending OU to the Big 12 Title game and eventually the National Championship where they lost to Florida. With a playoff system, this wouldn’t have happened. Most likely, two of those three teams would have gone to the playoffs, and the fans would have gotten to see who the real number one team was. Although it may be a bit late, the playoffs are finally entering the picture. And I don’t think anyone is going to miss the BCS bowls. The NCAA has planned for the playoffs to take effect in the 2014 season. This gives us this season plus another season before the playoffs start. The playoffs will consist of the top four teams in the nation, rather than the best teams out of five conferences like the BCS did. After the top four teams have been put into the playoffs by the NCAA, the teams with more than six wins that aren’t in the playoffs will be put into a bowl. So although the BCS bowls and the national championship will be eliminated, all of the other bowls will remain so the teams that have had a successful season will be rewarded with another game. Personally, I like this idea, and I think most fans will be very pleased to see that they are not getting jipped when it comes to
The Alabama football team celebrates their win over Georgia to secure their place in the BCS National title game. Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCTphoto the national championship or other big games. Although you will sometimes have the number five and six ranked teams upset when they don’t get to enter the four team playoffs, I think that this idea will ultimately keep fans happy. One of my concerns about the playoffs, however, is that college football is becoming more and more like the NFL. And I absolutely hate the NFL. As a college football fan, I love the intense passion of college, the tradition, and the connection that the fans have to the school. To me, the NFL lacks all three of these aspects. And when college football makes a playoff system just like the NFL’s system, it worries me. All of the NFL players combined make over one billion dollars a year, so it’s not hard to tell that the NFL is all about money. I feel this has taken away a lot of tradition and passion for the game. With a playoff system, I feel that the voters and will be motivated to choose teams based on who is going to make the most money for the NCAA. And as we’ve seen with other things, greed ruins everything. As a die-hard college football fan, the last thing I want to see is college football losing what is so unique about it in the first place.
No Pain, No Gain
Powerlifters get ready for the grueling season ahead
Curtis Zachry reporter
Senior Collin Craytor lifts at a 2012 meet. lyoungphoto
Another issue that I have with the playoff system is with the teams that are right outside of the top four rankings. I feel that an eight team playoff system would truly determine which team is the best in the nation, rather than just four teams. And not only that, it would also keep all top eight team satisfied. Like the BCS, you’re still going to hear teams complaining when they are one or two rankings out of the top four. And instead of going to a respectable BCS bowl like teams play in now, those teams will be forced to play in regular bowls that aren’t any more significant than the 6-6 teams’ bowls. I don’t think that is fair. I believe that the top eight teams are good enough to compete in the playoffs, and shouldn’t be compared to a 6-6 team that isn’t even ranked. I think the playoffs are a pretty good idea. They allow more teams to have a shot at the National Title, which I think makes the end of the season much more interesting. Sure, it may have some flaws, some things that could be better, but as long as it’s better than the BCS, you won’t have people complaining. For now at least.
Legs cramp. Blood vessels pop. Whole body strains. “Up!” senior Collin Craytor hears his coach yell. For Collin, lifting heavy weight has been a way of life for the past two years. “I started powerlifting to help me get stronger for football, but I really have grown to love it,” Collin said. “It has really pushed me to get a lot stronger and help me to really gain more mental toughness.” For powerlifters, like Collin, the season isn’t just a school activity, but a life change. “Powerlifting really has changed my everyday life. I work out in the offseason a lot more and in season we do intense workouts everyday.” Collin said. “Also, I really have to watch what I eat because I can’t gain too much weight if I want to stay in my weight class.” The first meet for the team is Jan. 22 in Maud, Arkansas. The team is looking to start the season off strong. Collin noted that it was tough waking up early, staying late and being sore for six days out of the week. But the feeling he and the rest of the powerlifters get when they lift big is unlike any other.
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The team does not have as much senior leadership as usual, but that is just another reason for Collin to work harder. “I am the only senior who is lifting on the team this year but we aren’t giving up because we know we can all step up,” Collin said. “The team has a lot of young guys and last year we sent two guys to regionals so we are going to try and repeat that successes again this year. We are focused on improving from last year and our goal is to be the best powerlifting team in the area.” However, the regional meet isn’t the only thing he has his eyes on this season. “My personal goal is to make it to state,” Collin said. “Last year I made it to regionals, and after all the hard work I have put in I am going to be disappointed if I am not able to make it to state this year. As a senior I am really confident going into this year about what I can do and that has really made me feel good about this season.” For sophomore Carson Craytor, the hardest part of powerlifting isn’t all the weight, but the equipment they have to wear. “We have to wear really tight shirts when we do bench press, and after a while it cuts of circulation to your arms,” Carson said. “Then there are also the really tight knee wraps and leotards that are all super uncomfortable, but after you have a really good lift you forget all about how uncomfortable your equipment is.”