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PANTHERPRIDE Midlothian High School

Midlothian, TX

May 9, 2014

Volume 29

Issue 4

Farewell, Panther Pride! Graduation

The graduation ceremony will start at 8 p.m. at the MISD Multi-Purpose Stadium. The Senior Class All-Night Party will start at 12:00 a.m. at Main Event in Addison.

Yearbook distribution The first annual Yearbook Distribution Party will be Tuesday, May 27 in the Blue Gym. Students who preordered a book will be sent invitations leading up to the event. Seniors will go to the party during 5th period, juniors and sophomores during 6th, and freshmen during 7th period. Extra books will be on sale for $90 cash only beginning at 8:25 a.m. on Wednesday, May 28

Support MHS cheer

Help support the cheer team on May 19 by stopping by Cici’s Pizza in Waxahachie. If you declare that you are at Cici’s to support the MHS Cheer Group, they will put the receipts in a designated bucket and at the end of the night, they will give 10 percent of those sales toward the cheer team.

WOW showcase May 19 is a student holiday so there will be no school for students. However, you can come up to the high school for the WOW showcase from 12:00 to 5 p.m.

AP testing AP Testing will take place May 12-21. Biology, US Government, US History and Macroeconomics tests will take place in the morning. Physics, European History and World History will take place in the afternoon. See the counseling office for a schedule of all AP tests.

‘Seussical’ receives multiple nominations at Dallas area theater competition The cast of “Seussical” performs a big musical number during their opening night show. Photographed by Katelyn Lee

Eboni Ellinger Co-Editor-in-Chief The Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theater Awards is a competition where local students can be considered for awards in 15 categories. Against 56 other high schools, this year’s “Seussical” production received five nominations. “The amount of time and hard work those kids put in to the show I think it would be difficult not to give them the nominations,” choir director Matthew Fisk said. This year marks the second year, MHS has competed

in DSM and the first year they have been nominated. “Last year the music was brutal,” Fisk said. “This year’s music was more refreshing and it is also easier to add energy to this show.” With problems such as a large amount of students dropping out of the show, the nominations did not surprise junior Mckenna Woodlan. Though “Seussical,” did not receive any wins, Woodlan sees this as a way to garner the attention of administration. “I feel as if we are overlooked in comparison to other school groups,” Woodlan said. “Hopefully next year, the administration will be more inolved in production and we can

win.” After first getting involved in the theater production as a freshman in “The Sound of Music,” Best Supporting Actress nominee senior Megan Johnson has been participating in the annual theater production since. This year was her first to be nominated for an award. “It was a huge honor being nominated,” Johnson said. “I’ve learned from the theater program that hard work shows when talent does not.” Among the various other members of the theater program who will be leaving, such as Best Actor nominee Ashton Smith and theater director Susie Rouw, Johnson plans to come back next

year to cheer on her former cast mates as they hope for a future victory at Music Hall in Fair Park. “I want to see how the program has grown since I left,” Johnson said. “This year with five nominations, we have definitely put our foot in the door to win next year.” Currently, the search is going for what will be next year’s musical production. The desire to win an award at DSM is prepared to take center stage. “We got a taste of how good it feels to earn nominations,” Fisk said. “Next year there is going to be a drive to go even further and top our five nominations.”

Seniors to be honored on annual Scholarship Night Mia Love Staff Member Students who have earned scholarships will be honored on May 28 at 6:30 p.m. for Senior Scholarship Night. The recipients of many local scholarships will also be announced that evening for the first time, so it is important for students to attend if they applied for any scholarships locally.

Many students should have already received notification of any scholarships they have been granted. “Filling out scholarship applications is a lot of work, so it’s a way to recognize all that hard work,” counselor Melissa Tomlinson said. The counseling office has no way of knowing what scholarships students have been awarded unless notified. Any scholarships

awarded after the date will be recognized on Panther TV. “Scholarships are money that does not have to be paid back, so getting as many scholarships as you can help your college cost stay lower,” Tomlinson said. Any students who want to have their scholarships recognized on this night must have proof that the scholarship was awarded in the 2013-2014 academic school year. Any student who has

midlothianmessenger Calling all Muggles The newspaper is not going away–it is moving online. Check out our web site, midlothianmessenger. com by scanning the QR code or searching us on the web. Stay up to date on the latest news, scroll through photo galleries, find out recent sports scores, read student profiles and more.

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Universal Orlando Resort is adding on to their Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The park plans on adding Diagon Alley and London’s King’s Cross Station. These attractions are set to open this summer.

been awarded scholarships will need to provide their counselor with detailed contact information for the organization awarding the scholarship. This information must be submitted to the counseling office no later than Thursday.

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Gatsby prom

The 2014 junior-senior prom took place last Saturday at South Fork Ranch with a Great Gatsby theme. With food, dancing, and a great atmosphere prom was a success.


Officer killed in severe crash Remembered for ‘firecracker’ personality friends. I now feel a disconnect...a void.” The accident took place in the 2000 block of West US Highway 287 at 2:11 p.m. Officer Phares, off duty at the time and working a special assignment, was driving a Ford pickup when she collided into a tractor trailer carrying steel. Phares was the only person in her car. Phares was removed from her vehicle by Midlothian Fire Department and was taken by CareFlight Air Ambulance to Parkland Hospital in Dallas. There she was held for several days in the surgical I.C.U. for severe head trauma. “The Midlothian Police Department has lost one of our finest and there are no words to express our deep sadness,” the department said in a release according to myFOXdfw. Friday, April 25 was Phares’ funeral. The service was held at Midlothian First Baptist Church. After the service, Phares was laid to rest at the Midlothian Cemetery on South 9th Street. An account has b e e n made at Midlothian’s Wells Fargo b r a n c h under the name “Officer Heather Phares Donation Fund,” to help with the mounting medical bills

that Phares’ family now faces. Donations can be placed at any Wells Fargo branch. Phares grew up in Mansfield and graduated in 2009 from Mansfield Summit High School. At the age of 21, Phares started wor k i ng for the Midlothian Police Department on November 26, 2012. On April 12, 2013, Phares graduated from the North Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Police Academy. “At some point early in her life, she decided she wanted to be a police officer and pursue that and applied with our department,” Captain John Spann said in an interview with CBS DFW. Phares was viewed by her colleagues as the ideal officer for any agency. “Phares was recruited by the Midlothian Police Department for her integrity, sound judgment, enthusiasm, willingness to learn and commitment to service,” Spann said in an interview with WFAA. Recruiters in Phares’ class described her as talented,

She wasn’t going to be a good cop. She already was. - Officer Thaxton

“ ” SMACK TALK Photograph courtesy of Midlothian Police Department

Officer Heather Phares passed away April 21 after a fatal accident at age 22.

Kaylee Evers Staff Member

The Midlothian Police Department lost Officer Heather Phares April 21 after a severe motor vehicle accident, which

took place on April 17. After spending several days in the intensive care unit, Phares was pronounced dead at 9:45 a.m. “She was definitely my closest connection to MPD,” Officer Jeff Thaxton said. “We weren’t just co-workers, we were

energetic and wise beyond her years. According to NBCDFW, the police department said that c o u r s e instructors found Phares’ p o s it ive attitude and leadership qualities contagious, two traits that provided peer cohesiveness even in the most challenging circumstances, the department said. “She treated people fairly, usually made the right decisions when and when not to arrest,” Thaxton said. “Most importantly, she was a daughter, sister, girlfriend and for me, she was my friend.” Known for her wit, good judgement and great potential, Phares will be missed by her coworkers and community. “She was a firecracker,” Thaxton said. “Very spunky. She wasn’t going to be a good cop, she already was.”

Phares was recruited for her comittment to service - Capt. Spann

Contributions by Amanda Penwarden, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Juniors, seniors raise hype over powderpuff game

Hannah Splawn Staff Member

Tonight’s annual powderpuff game has succeeded in stirring up the juniors and seniors involved. The junior team and their coaches are dead-set on being the first class to beat this year’s seniors. However, senior coaches Brendan Cornell and Tariq Mustafaa, like many of their teammates, replied with, “That’s cute,” when hearing of the juniors’ confidence. “See, they have Carly

Hazlip as quarterback and Lexi Petty as wide receiver,” Cornell said. “I don’t think that’s a good combination. I think they’re going to come in, thinking that they’re going to win. I just don’t want to see any crying when they lose.” Replies like this do not stifle the juniors’ pride any. “I am super pumped to represent the class of 2015,” junior Carley Haizlip said. “We are feeling confident and excited about the game. I think we are going to do amazing.” After weeks of beforeschool practice and hard work, the

junior team, especially coaches like junior Mason Walker, are confident in the team’s ability to come together and take down the seniors. “Everyone has loved getting to come together as a grade and bond with one another,” Haizlip said. “We all love being around each other.” The juniors believe their hard work will pay off. “We’ve put a lot of hard work into this, especially the coaches,” junior Ariana Masole said. “We’re ready to go out there and have some fun and kick some

senior butt. There’s been a lot of smack talk going on, but we’re going to show up and win.” This year, the seniors have been absent from several practices, team members and coaches alike. Despite this, senior Grace Bell does not think this will affect their performance. “We are experienced,” Bell said, “and we all are very excited about playing. When it’s game time, we will be ready to go.” Last year’s juniors lost, as they have almost every year. According to Bell, last year’s junior team lost by one touchdown.

Adviser

Panther Pride is a student publication of the Midlothian High School media department and is free to all students. The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the administration of Midlothian ISD. Panther Pride is a member of the Interscholastic League Press Conference (ILPC) and is governed by all UIL

guidelines. Panther Pride is printed by the production staff of the Greater Dallas Press in Garland, Texas. Any complaints, comments or letters to the editors may be submitted to the below address: Midlothian High School Newspaper Staff 923 S. 9th St. Midlothian, TX 76065

PANTHERPRIDE Co-Editors-in-Chief Eboni Ellinger Amanda Penwarden

Rachel Kidder

Photography Editor Celina Robinson

Dr. Al Hemmle

Sports Editor Desmond Smith

Dr. Jerome Stewart

Staff

Kaylee Evers Elli Keener Mia Love Hannah Splawn

2 NEWS

Principal

Superintendent

“We want to be the class that beats them,” Walker said. “We’ve been teaching them lots of plays. They’re aggressive, and they’re hungry for the win. I think we have a good chance in beating them.” Despite their confidence, the junior coaches have been saving everything they have to say for the game, according to Hazlip. The game begins at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the practice football field.

Letters to the Editor

We welcome your letters about our publication and/or Midlothian High School. Please send all letters to rachel_kidder@midlothianisd.net. We reserve the right to alter the letter for space purposes and grammar issues if we choose the letter for publication.


Panthers pounce opponents Varsity baseball starts playoff push Desmond Smith Sports Editor The varsity baseball team faced Harker Heights High School in the first round of the playoffs sweeping the series 2-0. With those two wins the team now has the school record for most wins in one season with 27. The Panthers won game one 12-1 and game two 8-1. Head Coach Ray Hydes had already started scouting his opposition and had every intention to keep increaseing Midlothian’s five game winning streak. “Harker Heights was a good team and they are very scrappy,” Hydes said. “We had to

prepare well against them. We just stuck to doing the same thing we did all year and that involves good pitching and solid defense.” Senior center-fielder Ethan Hallmark was impressed with his team and is excited about going to the next round of the playoffs. “Our pitching was really good and our bats really came alive at the right times,” Hallmark said. “I was really proud of all of my teammates.” The Varsity Baseball team has been led by seniors rightfielder Dylan Sweeney, pitcher Jimmy Fouse, and Hallmark, who showed his leading ability in one of most exciting and exhausting games of the year. “I try to show leadership

by setting an example for my teammates on and off the field,” Hallmark said. The Panthers hosted a showdown a couple of weeks ago against district rival South Grand Prairie that lasted for more than three hours. “The South Grand Prairie win was a huge lift for us to fight and win,” Hydes said. “Our team never quit and we kept battling. Fortunately we were able to pull out the win.” Midlothian jumped out

an early lead thanks to a solo shot home run by senior right fielder Matt Heck in the bottom of the first inning. The Warriors struck back and scored quickly with a barrage of runs in the second inning. The Panthers finally responded with a pair of singles in the fifth and sixth inning to tie up the game. Defense became a huge part of the stalemate for next several innings. “Pitching for both us and South Grand Prairie was pretty good and it kept both teams

Photographed by Desmond Smith

off the scoreboard,” Hallmark said. “There were a lot of good defensive plays too.” Finally in the top of the 12th inning Hallmark stepped to the plate and delivered a single to potentially end the game. “They had just walked the guy in front of me so they could pitch to me,” Hallmark said. “I just waited to get a good pitch so I could hit it to the outfield and that’s what I did.” Midlothian swept all of the district teams except for the Mansfield Tigers. The Panthers have an average margin of victory this season of five. Impressive victories such as the 14-0 win over Grand Prairie and the ten to nothing “skunk” against Cedar Hill have only proved to Coach Hydes that this team is ready for playoffs. “I feel like we really hit our stride when district games began,” Hydes said. “This team is the same group of guys as last year but they have had a year to mature. The players’ skills have really seasoned since last year.” The Panthers next opponent in the playoffs will be either Heritage High School or Hebron. No matter the opponent though, Hallmark thinks Midlothian can go far. “We can go as far as we want this year,” Hallmark said. “We have to keep working hard, stay within ourselves and play our game.”

Senior pitcher Jimmy Fouse throws a fastball down the pike to a Mansfield batter.

Softball accomplishes season goal Amanda Penwarden Co-Editer-in-Chief “Love the Panthers” are the words Head Softball Coach Alex Lozoya uses to describe the Lady Panthers’ Softball team. At the beginning of the season, the teams goals were to compete against the best in state, win a district championship and finish the season with 20 wins. “The non-district part of our season was a success as we not only competed against the best the state had to offer but had some impressive victories including wins over 2013 5A State Finalist Kingwood and 2013 State Champion Lewisville,” Lozoya said. “Our postseason goal is still alive as far as going beyond round one and having a strong finish to this season.” Injuries formed the main obstacle for the team this year, setting them back from achieving their goal of a district title. “Considering all the injuries this year, I feel the team did well,” softball mom Emily Markham said. “The starting pitcher was out with an injury most of this season. A car accident involving three of our starters set the team back a couple games, but thankfully there were no serious injuries.” In spite of unforeseen setbacks, the rest of the varsity team stepped up to keep the season alive. “Juniors Carley Haizlip and Rachel Jones have been steady in the top of the line up along with senior Katie Daniel,” Lozoya said. “Sophomore Destiny

Rogers has stepped in and has done a marvelous job filling in a hole left by a senior at second base. She’s quietly becoming a defensive standout in the district. “Freshman Georgia Cappell has also stepped in and done a great job behind the plate for us as a catcher. While catching isn’t her primary position, Cappell is a tremendous team player and is expected to grow and provide leadership for years to come.” In addition, several sophomores and freshmen on junior varsity showed what they could do. “The standouts this year were freshmen Emari Hudson and Taylor Horton,” Lozoya said. “Their ability to pitch strikes gave their team a chance, kept them in many games and helped them win many as well. “Freshman Sierra Sullivan did a good job behind the plate and sophomores Infinity Rogers and Aaliyah Johnson grew from last year.” Lozoya says he is looking forward to seeing his juniors and sophomores grow into leaders. Similarly, he would like to see his Varsity underclassmen continue to excel. “Our underclassmen are learning that they don’t have to wait for their turn,” Lozoya said. “If it’s there, take it.” Not only are the players learning how to grow in their skills and experience in the game, but also in their day to day lives. “Athletics is a reflection of life,” Lozoya said. “It’s not always how you start, it’s how you finish. This team has learned that you can’t assume things are

Courtesy of Emily Markham The softball team huddles up to discuss their game. The team has overcome many setbacks this season and achieved personal goals.

the way they are. They’ve learned to always stay sharp because you never know when you’ll be required to stand out.” “Our upperclassmen are learning that things can change quickly and to appreciate the moments.” Softball has taught players how to handle themselves when the game or life gets tough. Markham believes these life lessons are learned in any team environment. “My girls are encouraged to work hard, and as a team. In life they’ll have to do the same,” Markham said. “They’ve also learned that things aren’t always easy and don’t always go how they want them to, but they pick their heads up, rely on God and move

on. It is the same in life. There are good days and there are bad days, but it is up to them to make the most of both good and bad, so that they can grow to be all they were meant to be.” Behind the comradery apparent on the field lies relationships that have been forming for years. This is especially true with senior Katie Daniel. “This year’s season is really special because most of the girls on the field we’ve played with since we were eight-years-old and we have an experience and a trust that comes from just playing with each other,” Daniel said. While some players will be moving on to college next year, competing against the

best in state, obtaining a district championship and 20 wins are the goals Lozoya expects his team to recognize in the years to come. “A coach would like to always leave with the feeling that both teams gave it their all,” Lozoya said. “I believe both teams have this season. We had moments this year in which we were heavy underdogs and the girls pushed through to come out with a victory. “There were others in which the team gave it everything they had but didn’t get the result we worked for. No matter the result, they went out and competed hard.”

SPORTS 3


UPCOMING CONCERTS Christina Perri

House of Blues

May 9

Ingrid Michaelson

Gexa Energy Pavilion

May 13

Dave Matthews Band

House of Blues

May 24

Neon Trees

House of Blues

June 1

Paul McCartney Warped Tour

American Airlines Center Gexa Energy Pavilion

KISS/Adam Lambert

American Airlines Center

New boys in town

vs.

June 16 June 21 July 10

photos courtesy of NBC

UPCOMING MOVIES May 16

Title: Million Dollar Arm Lead Actor: Jon Hamm Lead Actress: Lake Bell Run time: 120 min. Genre: Drama

May 23

Title: X Men: Days of Future Past Lead Actor: Michael Fassbender Lead Actress: Jennifer Lawrence Run time: 130 min. Genre: Action

May 23

Title: Blended Lead Actor: Adam Sandler Lead Actress: Drew Barrymore Run time: 170 min. Genre: Comedy

4 ENTERTAINMENT

With Fallon having I really wanted to love Elli Keener almost five years of late night the new “Late Night.” I wanted experience and continuously being to be all goose bumps and smiles Staff Member on point with great bits, his superb after the opening night. Then, start on the “Tonight Show” hit me I was not. I stopped, took a by no surprise. While the show had insanely high breather and began assuring myself, Seth Meyers rating from the get-go, it seems to be plateauing just needed time to settle in. and settling in to a steady niche. Time has passed, and I still face the Fallon pulls off the show but at times unfortunate truth. Bada ba ba baaaa…. I’m still comes off as though he forces laughs during not lovin’ it. It’s not that the show is bad, but interviews. Other than a few hairs, the show seems with Fallon away and Meyers not yet into a good to be picking up speed and has officially made a rhythm, it leaves me wishing that the set didn’t seemless transtition from previous host Jay Leno. look so much like Jeopardy and the bits made my The new “Tonight Show” gives the audience more sides split instead of giving me chuckles. interaction and online availability, making Fallon Despite the faults, Meyers is doing an build popularity at 10:30 p.m. CST and any other overall good job at filling the fun-loving, audiencetime online. attracting shoes left behind.

Monologue Other than a little overuse of the phrase “hot crowd” and the excessive responding “I love you, too” to audience shout outs, Fallon rocks the monologue every night. Keeping to the format of news-related jokes, Fallon makes sure to poke fun at everyone: Putin, Obama, Juan Pablo from “The Bachelor” and anyone else worthy of a laugh. Although technically not a by-thebook monologue with announcer Steve Higgins comments woven throughout, the show always starts out with laughs and a hot crowd (dang it, now I’m doing it).

Meyers has a natural and clean delivery when it comes to the monologue. His experience on SNL’s “Weekend Update” has given him a good transition into a monologue, which covers the same weekly news and popular people. The monologue has also helped to humanize Meyers. With a joke going wrong and lacking laughs, Meyers will casually mock himself. Also, the audience interaction on screen is evident and humorous. By lightly bashing himself and the audience, Meyers gives the viewers a chance to see him as a funny friend instead of a pristine professional, unapproachable comedian.

Interviews Fallon’s interviews are good, but not always great. The interviews with Will Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegger had some great stuff. Interviews, such as that with Michelle Obama, fall under the okay category. Although Michelle offered a down to earth talk about her daughters who want to be normal girls, she also heavily pushed Obamacare and seemed to swerve too much into the political agenda for a late night show. While Fallon works well with celebrities, his enthusiasm can get the best of him during interview time. The stories are funny and talks are normally informative, but sometimes Fallon’s reactions come off as forced.

Meyers has solid interviews that hold the audience’s attention. However, they tend to stay flat and consistent throughout without surprises or interesting random funny information. The best Meyers interview yet was his chat with friend and former SNL cast member Andy Samberg. Thanks to their extensive number of topics of conversation, Samberg and Meyers kept the audience focused and laughing during the entire interview. While Meyers does have a good demeanor, the puny chairs and Jeopardy set gives interviews a gameshow feel. Meyers has been doing a decent job and seems to work best with people he knows outside the show.

Skits, bits and games This is where Fallon truly shines. With bits ranging from “The Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing” with Will Smith to his classics that continued on from “Late Night” like “Thank You Notes,” Fallon has always put on a great show when it comes to the skits and games that make the show shareable online. Thanks to these successful bits done along side celebrities, the “Tonight Show” YouTube channel has over 2.8 million subscribers and consistently comes out with intriguing, funny videos with millions of views. Fallon has hit it big and continues to rock the stage every night.

Meyers’ skits and bits need a lot of work. His attempt to add audience participation capitalized with the “Fake or Florida” bit that has three people try to determine whether a news story is false, or if it actually happened in the state of Florida. The jokes were poorly received, and Meyers did not seem to add anything to the bit. He still has time to build his portfolio of bits, so only time will tell how successful he is in the category. Hopefully, more bits like “Venn Diagram” that recently started on the show will highlight Meyers wit and cleverness. Overall, for his first time, Meyers is doing... not bad.


Thumbs up to School is almost over

CBS to add spinoff to television lineup Celina Robinson Photography Editor The hit TV show “How I Met Your Mother” has been bringing people laughs for about seven years now, but all good things must come to an end. CBS, however, is still not ready to let go of such a high grossing and hilarious idea. October last year, a sister series called “How I Met Your Dad” was pitched. CBS closed the deal with 20th Century Fox Television for a pilot to premiere this fall. The new story is written by producers, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, and “Up All Night” creator and executive producer, Emily Spivey. The spin-

off has been described by CBS as a “a kindred spirit of ‘How I Met Your Mother’, telling the story from a female point of view.” The new show debuted in the finale of “How I Met Your Mother,” which aired March 31, but, other than that, it will share little with it. “How I Met Your Dad” will feature a new cast and story, but will still be in the “How I Met Your Mother” universe. The main gal of this new story is named Sally, played by Greta Gerwig, who is also expected to write. Sally has recently separated from her husband of less than a year, Gavin, who will be played by “Workaholics’,” Anders Holm.The story will follow Sally and her friends after the split. On

the “How I Met Your Dad” Wiki Sally is described as a “female Peter Pan who has never grown up and has no idea of where she’s going in life.” “Mixology” actor, Andrew Santino, will play Danny, Sally’s overachieving, uptight, gay older brother. After her split, Sally moves in with him and his husband, Todd, Sally’s best friend and roommate from college. Todd will be played by actor, Drew Tarver. Juliet, Sally’s sexy, flamboyant, party-girl, best friend who runs the most successful fashion blog in the country, wil be played by Tiya Sircar, who had recently stared in the “Internship.” The cast will also include “Master of Sex” actor, Nick D’Agosto, as

Frank, the head of IT for Juliet’s fashion blog, who continuously flirts with Sally and has genuine feelings for her. Spin-offs do not always work out so well, but there are high hopes for “ How I Met Your Dad.” Hopefully, it will be able to bring viewers just as many laugh as its counterpart, if not more.

Calling all muggles Listen up, Muggles: Harry Potter just got real...well, realer. On June 18, 2010, Universal Orlando Resort brought the world of Harry Potter off of the pages and into reality. It took them two years to create the real-life magical world, named The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the theme park is located in Florida. The park has many features such as the main attraction “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” which takes guests through scenes in and around Hogwarts Castle, two roller coasters, and a complete recreation of Hogsmeade village, complete with gift shops and restaurants from the series. So basically every Potter fans dream.

Austin City Limits concert line up

“The Elder Scrolls” video games online coming out

photo courtesy of Universal Studios

Celina Robinson Photography Editor

KISS inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

But why stop there? This summer, Universal Studios is planning on opening a new addition to its mythical world. They plan to add on Diagon Alley and London King’s Cross station. The Alley and “London” will be next to the already standing Hogwarts and Hogsmeade village. From the station to the Alley you can experience the Hogwarts Express, which can also take you to the older theme park. The Ally will have more shops and feature a new ride called “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts,” in which you ride though the caverns of Gringotts to get to the vault. This addition adds to the experience that every Potter fan dreams of, and is should be just as exciting and awesome as its older counterpart.

Thumbs down to

While Apple, Inc. has held the top spot in sales for quite some time, this next year looks iffy as they compete against rival Samsung to release the next best handheld device and push their way to the top. While America and other industrialized countries always find a way to cough up enough money to exchange for a shiny, new iPhone or Apple device, others are finding it difficult to pay for such a luxury. Even though industrialization is still spreading, it is also taking its time, hindering Apple’s sales. Competition plays a key role in sales as well, potentially pulling Apple customers toward other companies such as Samsung, Nokia, HTC and BlackBerry. With the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One 2 and Sony Xperia Z2 releasing soon, this forces Apple to pull something even better than before to stay ahead of the game. Phones are not the only means of improving sales. Tablets are becoming increasingly popular with companies trying to outdo Apple’s legendary iPad.

As always, there are talks of Apple’s next step and people are excited to see what new gadget or improvement will hit the market. “There will be new categories,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “We’re not ready to talk about it, but we’re working on some really great stuff,” This could mean a number of things. An iWatch could be a possibility, as Apple has never released a true smartwatch before. A larger 12.9-inch iPad rumored to be the Phablet. Speaking of Phablet, there is also to be said a larger iPhone, similar to an iPad, putting it in its own category: phablet-style iPhone. In addition, the iPhone 6 is suppose to release in 2014 alongside the IOS 8. Lastly, there have been rumors of iTV. This would put Apple into a whole other league with TV providers such as U Verse and Direct TV. Whatever Apple ends up deciding on, hopefully it will wow their customers and boost sales.

Warm weather

Pharrell's hat at the Grammys

Apple promises fresh ideas in spite of competition Amanda Penwarden Co-Editor-in-Chief

Announcement of “Incredibles 2” movie

Teachers who don’t put in grades immediately Die-hard “Frozen” fans EOCs Paying for tests Spring Fever Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist comments

ENTERTAINMENT 5


Entertainment takes a turn Elli Keener Staff Member When I turn on the TV, I instantly click the DVR button to see what recorded shows I can binge. If I run out of shows or get tired of network television, I pick up a laptop and hop on YouTube to see what’s new and what’s trending. On a long weekend, Netflix has my back with endless shows to binge-watch. Although some time is still spent watching TV and entertaining myself the traditional way, technology has taken the entertainment business by storm, changing the way people receive and respond to their entertainment. According to a new study by Motorola Mobility, 29 percent of weekly television viewing is content that is recorded and being played back. Having only been available for the past 15 years, the DVR has had

an incredible impact on how people watch TV. Instead of being home on time for the game to begin, just set the DVR to “record” and start over. Another power the DVR has given people is the ability to skip commercials. Weeknight CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” charges more than $325,000 for a 30-second ad spot, according to CBS. Average Joes everywhere now have the superpower to deny those hundreds of thousands of dollars in ad viewing. The DVR has freed TV watchers everywhere from the restrictions of commercials and show schedules, and gives them television like they always wanted. Another explosion in the entertainment world is YouTube’s immense popularity and success that draws more than a billion unique users each month. It makes sense why YouTube attracts such a large audience from around the globe, with over 100

Hannah Splawn Staff Member Technology has put students in touch with such a wide variety of information that rather than picking up an encyclopedia and looking up information on the Civil War, students can type their questions into Google and obtain endless results. According to DeVry University, 67 percent of teachers believe that video, blogs, podcasts and Wikis are necessary teaching tools, and 27 percent of students list their laptops and tablets as the most important learning devices over the 10 percent of students who listed textbooks. Technology provides opportunities to communicate with teachers and classmates, to take classes online, make note-taking easier and to form better study habits. Technology has become a necessity in studying, as 78 percent of students claim they cannot study without the aid of technology. While students hold word processors, e-mail and presentation

hours of video uploaded to the site every minute, there is bound to be something for everyone. Also, YouTube gives individuals the chance to become the entertainers. With a video camera ordered off Amazon and clever comedy, craftiness or charisma, anyone can become the next big online thing. As entertainment opens up to the public, new styles of entertainment that could never pick up funding from studios are now being created online for a global audience in 61 countries. Entertainment had been changed forever by the open forum available online to post videos and share what individuals have created. Additionally, web sites like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime give audiences a mass of shows and episodes to choose from when looking to find entertainment. Without waiting for new episodes or

software as valuable tools, a quarter of students spend class time browsing content not related to coursework. While technology provides a chance to make courses more engaging, they also present a distraction. With 38 percent of students hiding their cell phones under their desks to check their notifications every 10 minutes, technology has become both a blessing and a crutch. According the New York Times, some teachers believe that technology is “hampering [students’] attention spans and ability to preserve in the face of challenging tasks.” With Google at the tips of students’ fingers, having to concentrate too hard on a subject seems counter intuitive when just typing the question into the search bar is “so much easier.” However, while this generation may come off as “distracted,” there is another way to perceive this problem. Take for instance Sugata Mitra’s experiments in self-teaching in which he placed computers in poverty-stricken areas in developing

sitting through commercials, people have the chance to watch TV in large quantities in a simple format. TV online gives audiences the opportunity to binge-watch classic television or the latest season of “Once Upon a Time” at their convenience. Networks have also begun to release episodes on their web sites after they air, allowing audiences to freely watch the shows by streaming them online. Entertainment has changed drastically with changes in technology. The key element affected is the freedom of the user. DVR’s, online video sites and websites that allow the audience to stream their favorite shows have all given the viewer freedom in their entertainment choices. No more restrictions, no more commercials, no more scheduling. Simply, entertainment.

countries. Starting in 1999, where he embedded a computer into the wall of a slum in New Dheli. Children who had never seen a computer before, did not go to school and spoke very little English, learned how to use the technology to browse the Internet, record their own music and play games online in only four hours after coming in contact with the computer for the first time. After repeating these experiments with several other Indian villages, Mitra realized children adapted to the technology they had been given. This generation is not “distracted” so much as they have accommodated their lives, as well as their study habits, to what they have been provided with. Rather than having their noses in newspapers and encyclopedias, their information is just a click away. Technology has given students access to information that teachers and textbooks alone could not provide before. While this generation may seem to be buried under information, that may not be a bad thing.

Education transformation 6 SPECIAL

background photo courtesy of Wallike.com


“How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” Type that in to Google, and the second link will inform you that the answer is 361.9237001 cubic centimeters per animal per day. But let’s say you wanted to know the answer to that same question thirty years ago. You would have had to go to the library and ask a librarian to point you to the wildlife section. But with the here-andnow technology such as the Internet, searching and receiving information is quick and easy. Fifty-six percent of American adults and 47 percent of American teenagers have smart phones. That is a

lot of people who have a constant feed of what their friends, family and pretty much the rest of the world is up to. On the more personal side of it, technology and social media now allows us to know things about our friends that we would have to otherwise talk to them to find out. Instragram lets us know what they had for lunch, Facebook tells us when they check into a place, and Twitter lets us know what is on their mind. It is also easier to hear about things happening in the community when just about everyone and every organization has a Facebook page and Twitter profile. On the upper end of information there is real news. Technology has greatly impacted the way we get our news. For instance, instead of having to wait until the next day to find out what is going on in the world, events from around the globe can be uploaded

In the new age

Celina Robinson Photography Editor

in. There is no longer a time constraint on when information can reach people. New age technology also means that news providers have had to change the way they function. Just about every major newspaper has also made the switch to online. Instead of having until the next morning to write stories, the demand for news is always there on the world wide web. If you have not noticed, sites like Yahoo never sleep. It is constantly updating with topics ranging from news to diets. New technology lets us access all kinds of information faster then ever before. Whether this information is updates on a revolution across the ocean, or that your sister is now in a relationship with Stan, we should appreciate that we live in a time where we have all this knowledge at our fingertips.

Information revolution Technology in everyday life Mia Love Staff Member Social media sites such as Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook have contributed to society by connecting the world and helping the spread of information. Bloggers, rebloggers, trolls and lurkers... and Google... make up the 'Internet' culture by essentially obsessing over fictional characters and writing fan fiction while sobbing into a tub of Ben and Jerry's when their ship either officially sets sail or sinks. It's a very emotional time. Information is spread quicker. Cultures are shrinking and the world isn't so far away. On the other hand, people are more often than not on their phones or lap tops, scrolling through Pintrest or whatever catches their fancy. People are using technology to accomplish simple tasks that could very easily be done without the help of technology. Electric toilet seats, for example, are not necessary for the existence of mankind. In fact, most technology only serves to accommodate unimportant human needs. Then there is the stuff that is incredibly important, such as

medical advances. Vaccinations, life support, penicillin – basically any medicine is incredibly important for humans. Unlike electric toilet seats, medicine actually serves to better mankind, and gives many people the chance at a better life. Technology is used daily– there is no doubt about it. Some people use it more than others, such as professional bloggers and vloggers. Technology, depending on your perspective, is either good or bad. Fandoms, for example, are often lumped with the bad. As mentioned before, fandoms make up a lot of the Internet, and therefore have a large impact on society as a whole. A fandom is, by definition, all the fans of a sport, activity, or famous person. Meaning fandoms basically exist for everything. Joining a fandom often leads to the dreaded “shipping.” Shipping, for those unaware, is an Internet-based term coming from the word “relationship,” a term used to describe fan fictions that take previously created characters and put them as a pair. It usually refers to romantic relationships, but it can refer platonic ones as well. Shipping and fandoms quickly become confusing, and get rather messy when wars break out.

Fandom members aren't just any old fan, because in the eloquent words of Dan Howell, you have your 'Internet fans' and your 'non-Internet fans'. Internet fans are the ones screaming and yelling at the characters, and sobbing when their ship finally becomes canon (basically another word for official) while a nonInternet fan sits patiently and maybe cries a bit when the series finally ends. An Internet fan usually feels devastated like their soul has been brutally torn from their chest and smushed into the ground by a truck. The Internet has a heavy influence on everyday life, and social media. You can try to escape, but rest assured, they will eventually find you and convert you. Internet culture heavily influences daily life, changing social norms and cues. New words have been accepted as actual terms, selfie made its debut in the Oxford Dictionary, along with other words such as twerk and binge-watch. Either you love it or you hate it, but there is no denying that the Internet is having an impact on society and our everyday life as a whole.

graphics by Mia Love

SPECIAL 7


‘Food’ by Kellis

‘Head or Heart’ by Christina Perri

‘Demolicious’ by Green Day

Desmond Smith Sports Editor

Kaylee Evers Staff Member

Hannah Splawn Staff Member

Kelis has come a long way from her past hit singles “Milkshakes” and “Bossy.” The ex-wife of legendary rapper Nas has a new record label a new sound and a new look. The album reaches to an assortment of instruments from brassy trumpets to the sounds of bongo drums. From a listener’s standpoint Kelis has matured a lot as an artist. “Food” opens with a message from four-year old Knight Jones, Kelis’ son, informing listeners that “his mom made food.” From there, the album plucks from different areas and moments of life. One moment you can jamming to a funky bass line, next you could be all in the feels listening to lyrics that pluck your heart. This album really shows that Kelis has many styles in her repertoire she can pick from as an artist. You can tell from a listening stand point most of the expressions in her music come from her life experiences. Kelis said the album is “a kind of unspoken love fest.” Most songs are upbeat, thought-provoking and something you wake up to in the morning when you want to start off your day with energy and a smile. I would totally agree with her. “Food” is not R&B in terms of today’s electronic synthesized version, but the total opposite. It features real instruments and a soulful voice.

Looking through the song titles of Christina Perri’s newest album “Head or Heart” the first thing I though was “gee what a great break up album.” With songs such as “Be My Forever,” “I Don’t Want to Break” and “Shot Me in the Heart” I prepared myself for songs of heartbreak and sorrow. Though not typically a fan of the mushy love songs, this album had a lot of catchy and upbeat tunes that would make the perfect sound track to any chick flick. With artist such as Ed Sheeran featured on the album, I have strong intuition it will appeal to the masses. What I liked most about this album is Christina Perri’s natural and unique mix of rasp and soul that her voice holds. The sweet melodies and even balance of of pop and soul suites Perri’s voice and showcases her impressive musical abilities. The album itself is just slightly above mediocre. It was not that the album was bad it is just something that we have all heard before. A typical soft rock album. I would recommend this album to anyone who likes an alternative-pop sound. It was good, but not necessarily my cup of tea. “Head or Heart” can be purchased for digital download on iTunes and Amazon.

“Demolicious,” a teen-angst-filled flashback to middle school, is the taste of Green Day many fans have been waiting for. The album is the result of their “¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!” recording sessions in 2012. It is made up entirely of demos, including two previously unreleased tracks, “State of Shock,” an acoustic version of “Stay the Night,” and alternative versions of already released demos like “Angel Blue,” “A Little Boy Named Train,” and “99 Revolutions,” from earlier albums. This compilation was an exclusive release for Record Store Day 2014, available for one day only and only at participating record stores. Now, there are very few outlets left to hear it. Some record stores have listed the album on Amazon for anywhere from $50.00 to $100.00. The only other option would be to listen to the awkwardly pitched videos on YouTube before they get taken down for copyright reasons. From what decent postings there are on YouTube, the sound still is not that great. Apparently, this is how it is supposed to sound, and the jump in quality between songs is a little odd. Despite the sound quality, each track has such an unpolished, unfiltered and raw sound that provides a look into Green Day without the studio-finish.

MOVIE

TECH

Eboni Ellinger Co-Editor-in-Chief

Eboni Ellinger Co-Editor-in-Chief

Write down everything you know about the tale Noah’s ark and replace it with talking rocks and magical grandfathers. Noah is loosely based on the biblical tale, “Noah and the ark.” The movie is set in a world where man’s recklessness had ultimately destroyed the land that the Creator had placed them on. Noah and his family, however, were the exception to this and when the Creator decided to flood the world, Noah and his family would be spared along with two of every animal species. The added fancifulness in the movie came from Noah’s magical grandfather and the giant, walking, talking rocks with human features that aid him in his endeavor. Overall, “Noah” was just an ordinary movie for me. If I were bored on a Saturday this might be what I go to see, unless you are head over heels excited to see the movie, I recommend waiting until it appears on Netflix.

19th and final level. What makes this gaming app so addicting is that if you run into glass, you lose ten balls, and the moment you run out of balls you have to restart from the first level. It may not sound infuriating, but after ten restarts, I suggest thinking again. While playing this game I developed an addiction to the tiny crystal pyramids hidden within the game. Every time you break a crystal, you gain three extra balls, and remember to pay attention to the purple crystals which can score you five balls. Overall, “Smash Hit” is no incredibly addicting “Flappy Bird” or thoughtprovoking “100 Floors.” It is a time-waster and a boredom-killer. But I must warn you, that if you decide to play “Smash Hit” there is a special prize for you at the end, that I’m sure you’ll “love.”

FOOD

BOOK

Celina Robinson Photography Editor

Mia Love Staff Member

Dee Tee’s doesn’t look like much from the outside. It is one of those hole-in-the-wall kind of places. First thing that stands out when you arrive is the smoke. My mother and I sat in the non-smoking area, but the smell still hung heavy in the air. After a few minutes we adapted to the smell and it did not affect our eating experience. I had the french toast, while my mom ordered a bacon cheese omelet. The food was good and this is coming from someone who has a somewhat spiritual connection with french toast. The toast was not really eggy, which is one of my pet peeves when it comes to my favorite version of toast, so Dee Tee’s got points there. The food reminded me of a home-cooked breakfast a grandmother would make. Service was extremely fast and we were seated as soon as we entered. The food came out quickly and the waitress was nice and attentive. Overall, I would give Dee Tee’s a three out of five stars.

8 OPINION

The free app “Smash Hit” captured my short attention span. The purpose of the application is to break any glass that gets in your way until you reach the

Rafe was a normal teenager growing up in Colorado. His coming out was, for lack of a better term, atypical. His parents were supportive and not only accepting of his revelation, they celebrated it. His desire to be ‘just one of the guys,’ however, spurred him to transfer to Natick, an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, where he keeps his sexuality a secret. I’m not going to lie. I didn’t get into this book at all. After skipping every other chapter and skimming pages of the ones I did read, it became apparent there was no way I would finish this book. I also didn’t like Rafe. I couldn’t stand how judgmental he was. Then there are the other characters, who were stereotypical–jocks, nerds and the “weird kids.” I wanted to like this novel. The writing was brilliant and funny. But Rafe, I just couldn’t like him. Basically, he just wasn’t the best choice of protagonist, and it takes something away from the book.


Senior Candace Woolverton screams “looking at her” to senior Marli Koonce while singing and dancing to “Apple Bottom Jeans.”

Named prom king and queen, seniors Grace Bell and Michael Scott pose for a picture outside the ballroom. Bell now holds the title of queen for both homecoming and photo by Erin Walts prom court.

photo by Elli Keener

Sophomore Maggie Tullius twirls around in her long white gown. “I like prom because I can hang out with my friends and dance,” Tullius said.

photo by Elli Keener

Senior Nicole Chilinski dances with her date senior Shane Thompson. Prom has “great people, great place, and it’s fun to hang out with friends,” Chilinski said.

photo by Elli Keener

Senior Sarah Moore and Will Dorsett pose for a picture as they come into the prom.

photo by Stephanie Schroeder

Students hands go up and they stay there when the DJ puts on “All I Do Is Win.” The music played ranged from upbeat hip-hop music to classic songs for slow dancing. photo by Elli Keener

PROM Elli Keener Staff Member

Junior Shae Ray (brown horse) and senior Dustin Craffey (white horse) dance around in props for prom photos. “Prom’s awesome, and I’m dressed photo by Elli Keener like a horse,” Ray said.

In the ballroom at South Fork Ranch on Saturday night, the annual junior-senior prom had students partying. “I like prom because I’m chilling with my friends, dancing, partying and finishing up senior year,” senior Walker Needels said. For one night, senior, juniors and underclassmen dates get to dress

up like royalty and have a night dedicated to fun. “I love that the girls get to be princesses for a night,” junior Paige Soto said. The “Great Gatsby” theme was evident in the video playing at the front of the dance floor and the Gatsby party wear everyone donned for the party. “It’s great seeing everybody all dressed up and having fun” senior Molly Whitworth said.

PHOTO ESSAY 9


GOODBYE TO Eboni Ellinger Co-Editor-in-Chief

Amanda Penwarden Co-Editor-in-Chief

Celina Robinson Photography Editor

Desmond Smith Sports Editor

Journalists are not pretty. They aren’t the blonde-haired, blue-eyed damsels of the music world who can blast a note that would make Whitney Houston jealous. They are not the tall, dark, handsome and muscular Babe Ruths and Jackie Robinsons whose faces appear on cereal boxes. They are not the tall, skinny dancers who bring audiences to tears with their physical interpretation of Romeo and Juliet. No, journalists are people awake at 3 a.m. trying to make text columns the same width on their page layout. Journalists are crying because they cannot figure out the correct HTML code to make a table for their online paper’s web site. Journalists are the ones getting wrinkles as they stare at a camera trying to turn the flash off. No. Journalists are not pretty. With stress wrinkles and hips full of midnight snacks, they aren’t too visually appealing. But being a journalist was all I ever dreamed about. When I was told the print paper would be retired, I cried a little. I loved this. I loved all of this. And I wished, hoped and prayed other people would feel the same. I wanted for others to see the hours spent reading, re-reading and re-re-reading for grammar mistakes. I wanted for people to squeal as they saw the neat photographs displayed across the pages. This was a tradition. It was a history older than my parents. And my parents are pretty old. Frankly, when I was told that the Panther Pride would be no more, I was in denial and even at the moment of writing this, I am still in denial. By laying this newspaper to rest, it meant putting myself to rest. I am not ready to say goodbye to this. At least, I think. But I know that it is from this parting with Panther Pride that I can truly be able to make a big leap into becoming the most unpretty journalist there is. I know it’s weird to fantasize about being up at 3 a.m. working on a new article while binging on off-brand Coke and candy. It was with scribbling in my note pad that I learned there is more to school than football and cowboy boots. It was in the newsroom each and every one of us had a story to be told. It was with Panther Pride that I made my mark in history. And though it is a small mark, it adds on to the much larger small marks made by the dozens and dozens of journalists before me. And I am speaking for myself as well as them, when I say, farewell Panther Pride.

God made me a technologically savvy baby. So, when asked to write a column about what I would miss about the print paper, my first question was, “What if I don’t particularly like the print?” Don’t get me wrong, I love writing and I love newspaper, but I am so on-board with putting everything on the wonderful world-wide interweb. The world is changing. People with smart phones check their phones an average of 150 times a day. Now think beyond phones. Laptops, tablets, work computers, TV are all sole sources of attention for the average person. Why wouldn’t you want to find your news online, at the click of a button? It’s so much more convenient, and not to mention timely. While it takes an unreasonable amount of time to walk down the sidewalk, pick up the paper, walk back inside, sit down, fumble through to the right section, swim through all the ads and find what you’re looking for, Internet readers can find the same info in seconds. Not only is it faster to get to, it’s also available sooner. Photographers can upload pictures immediately after a game, reporters can post election results right after they come out. School newspapers typically come out every six weeks. By the time it gets designed, edited, re-edited, sent to press and distributed, what’s the point? The majority of Midlothian students do not take to reading Panther Pride with much interest. We’ve seen the piles of unwanted newspapers floating around classrooms. The truth is, high school students spend more time on their phones (even though it is against school policy) than reading Panther Pride. The solution: stick the news where their eyes already are. If I haven’t convinced you to switch yet, at least open your mind up to the positives of online. Color. Brighter, bigger, as much as you want. Design. We can virtually create anything our skills allow. Scroll-over photos, interactive tables, links to other stories and endless possibilities. More. More. More. With the Internet able to hold unquantifiable amounts of information, we can give you every detail to every story. I could go on and on about what online news can do for you, but you have to be willing to accept the change. Journalism isn’t a dying field, it’s a changing field.

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye... It’s true. The sad day has come, and it’s time to say goodbye to the good ol’ newspaper (and I finally have an excuse for a “Sound of Music” reference). Well, time to say goodbye to the physical newspaper. We will still spread the word about what is happening around school on our website. You can either jump with joy or sigh sarcastically about the newspaper still existing, I do not care. I still plan to write stories I am sure about 85 percent of the student body will never read. (Kudos to you 15 percent who do kinda/sorta read the newspaper. I am grateful.) At first, newspaper was not what I expected. To be honest I thought I would just be taking pictures of events and not really have to talk to people. Wrong. Unlike photojournalism class, all my pictures needed a “who, where, what, why and how,” and that included communication with other living beings. On newspaper staff, I have learned new skills that may pay off in the future. I am glad newspaper is continuing and improving, but I am going to miss the print paper. I’m not really losing anything. My stories and pictures will still be published, but it is not the same. It’s just that there is something fulfilling about holding a fresh issue and getting to see a picture you took on the cover. It feels so professional, and I get this stupidly prideful feeling in my chest when I see my stuff in print. When I publish something online, that feeling never comes. Maybe it is because everyone and their mother can put something online. With print, only me and other staff members could publish because we put in the time and effort. There are also advantages to online as well. Instead of being just a school newspaper, we hope to become a news outlet for the whole community. Granted this probably will not happen for a few years since our staff is so small and we are still working out the kinks on how we operate. We can also reach more people, and the fact that it is online appeals to you yung’ens (or at least it is suppose to). In the end, even without print, I still get to do what I enjoy, and I can not wait to see where Mrs. Kidder and future staffs take the newspaper. On that note, I shall finish how I started. So long, farewell, Auf Weidersehen, goodbye.

Goodbye Panther Pride. I will miss all of the staffs and the variety of personalities that have contributed to this newspaper. All the stresses, successes and strife from newspaper have left a special spot in my heart filled with memories. I will miss the meaningless life conversations with my homie, Gabriel Porter. Our conversations made us think we had life’s answers. However, our final result to each question was, “Naaaah”. I will miss the many jokes Kayli Jones cracked on people, including myself. Most of all, I will miss the awkward interviews I had with people who didn’t know what to say. You people need to learn how to put words together that express your thought or point of view. But seriously, the experience of being a staff member on Panther Pride taught me that students at this school do care about newspaper, because some people criticize it fairly and others ignorantly. It’s easy to criticize someone’s craft, but it is another thing to actually do it. So haters please stay on the sidelines and just enjoy what we do and what we have accomplished. Being on staff has taught me many life lessons. Panther Pride taught me to be on time, because I am the master sensei when it comes to procrastination. Evidently, I learned that lesson countless times from staying after school just finishing my sports story in time at the end of almost every deadline week. I have learned to never take “no” for an answer in certain situations. I have learned to be prepared. And lastly, do not be afraid to meet new people. As a senior, I am especially sad to see Panther Pride go because I feel like every aspiring journalist who comes here needs to go through the experience of Panther Pride. The stress of trying find one person out of 2500 for a quote for your story due at 5:00 and it’s 4:53. The ugly stares teachers gave while you ask to borrow a student out of their classroom for 45 seconds. And of course, the tradition of staff members getting at each other’s throats because of misunderstanding or wrong pictures or simply out of frustration. Goodbye, Panther Pride. You were exactly what I needed.

10 GOODBYE


PANTHERPRIDE Elli Keener Staff Member

Kaylee Evers Staff Member

Hannah Splawn Staff Member

Mia Love Staff Member

I keep waiting. I wait for classes to end. I wait for each second to pass sitting in uncomfortable desks. I wait for homework to be over. I keep waiting, but the truth is I will miss this. I know that I will look back on high school and whether it’s because of the memories I have made in these halls or the memories I make up over the years, I will miss these days. When I go to college, I’ll make more friends. I’ll have a great time with some great professors and some great classes, but I know it won’t be the same great times. I will never again call my calculus teacher “Mrs. Spil-til-pil-stillers?” I won’t have another physics teacher who everyone is pretty sure is secretly a Navy SEAL. Seriously, she once said we should make a “pre-emptive strike” on our homework. What non-SEAL teacher would say that? Despite all the things I could complain about, after freshman year high school wasn’t so bad. As time progressed, I met interesting people who are witty, classy, smart, obnoxious (myself included) and talented. I think how much fun I have had in high school could be calculated by how many inside jokes I have with people. Let me see if I can count. Well, this year in physics, Melanie and I made up a t-shirt slogan: “We Can’t Stop. There’s No Friction in Physics World.” Also, last year, so many came out of Mr. McClung’s stats class: Z-score, the blasphemous T-score and his classic parachute test question. Many others colored my days around school. The beauty of high school is that stupid-funny inside jokes can bring a smile to your face, and they are different for everyone. All the kids in band have a “band story” that only band kids who went on the trip to D.C. will ever understand. I won’t understand why some people laugh at stuff that happened in Spanish class junior year, and some people won’t get why “Green is not a creative color” is so funny to my English class. All I’m sure of is I am going to miss this. From eating Golden Grahams in newspaper class while my editor gives me a weird look to rushing to scribble in variables on a physics test, I will want this back. Sometime when I’m sitting on a laptop in a different state or different country, I will think back to today. I am a student, a friend, a weirdo, a dork and a self-pronounced nerd. But most of all, right now, I’m a Panther, and I will miss everything that means.

My year on staff of the Panther Pride has been one I will never forget. It’s been full of stress, headaches and late nights at the school trying oh-so-very-hard to meet our deadlines. But, all the anxiety was worth it once we got the stacks of our latest issue delivered and, though most were discarded, distributed to the student body. It always made me equal parts nervous and thrilled to walk into class and see the folder stuffed full of newspapers with my name on the cover. Fortunately, my nerves would subside when the students would either turn it into a high-quality paper airplane or take the green approach and place it in the recycling bin. Either way, it still would fill me with pride to show off that paper, grammatical errors and all. Unfortunately, the Panther Pride is coming to an end. I know the majority of students can’t even say what the school newspaper is called, and I completely understand that (I probably couldn’t either if I weren’t on the staff). It still seems important to say thank you. Whether you were an avid reader or used it as a flying paper mechanism, the fact you acknowledged our paper’s existence means more than you can imagine. Through newspaper, I have been fortunate enough meet some of the coolest people in this school. We don’t always see eye to eye, but they are all pretty awesome people. They have all contributed to making the Pride what it is today. Even though the Pride is coming to an end, don’t fret young padawan. We will still utilize our skills to bring you the news on the Midlothian Messenger website, Personally, I am an 80-year-old man and don’t like or trust technology, but the switch will bring our staff into the 21st century. With majority of today’s news shared online, this switch was inevitable. I’m excited to see where the site goes in the future and hope for nothing but the best. The Panther Pride has been a part of MHS for so long. It’s saddening to see it go, but I am confident the new territory of online news will be worth the exploration. This was my one and only year on staff of the Pride, and I’m thankful to be apart of it. But, as I said before, this is not a goodbye it’s simply just a, “See you over at www.midlothianmessenger.com.” You stay classy, MHS.

I am well aware that the paper is not exactly popular. I have received my fair share of criticism, but despite any hurt feelings and moments of high anxiety, I have poured my heart, soul and all of my free-time into this newspaper. I feel that, after two years of being on staff, I have found another side to myself. Someone who is not afraid to speak to others, who is presentable and doesn’t hide behind a purple jacket. This staff and the one before it have become like family, and I could not forget them even if I tried. As terrified as I was, little sophomore Hannah in a room full of scary seniors, I eventually warmed up to them. I just wish that I had stopped being scared of them a lot sooner. I know my impact on their lives was fairly minimal. A few years from now, they’ll pick up their yearbooks from senior year, search through their signatures until they find mine and think very little of me, but I think of them often. I remember being far too shy to talk to them, though I had, still have, a great amount of respect for them, hiding just around the corner until I could find another sophomore to go ask questions for me. I remember just standing there in front of their desks in total silence, too afraid to speak up to get their attention. My entire sophomore year in this class embarrasses me. Why I didn’t just talk to them, I don’t know, and even though they were still intimidating to me at the end of the year, I could never forget having to say goodbye. I know this isn’t supposed to be the end. This is supposed to be a new beginning, the start of something great and new, but I can’t help but feel disappointed. Bringing home something tangible feels a lot less dull than pulling up a web page. There is a sense of pride that comes from walking around school with ink on your fingers all day, knowing even if a mistake of two was printed, what comes off the printer is final. And getting to bring a stack of newspapers home makes me feel like I am in elementary school, bringing home an arts and crafts project my mom will keep forever in a box in the attic. Pulling up a web page feels dull in comparison. Whether they are good or bad, I don’t want the memories I associate with the paper to die alongside it. This isn’t supposed to be the end, , but the more I think about it, the more it feels like it is. Even now, I still don’t want to say good-bye.

I seriously have no idea what to say. I’m not speechless with horror, or paralyzed by the idea of saying goodbye. In fact, I’m more concerned with the fact that my teachers think it’s a good idea to give a thousand projects due on the same day. On top of that, school has been a relative let down of the monumental sort. Classes are boring and quite frankly, I would much rather be doodling or torturing myself with the jellybean game. Whatever. The story of how I somehow got into newspaper is incredibly confusing and consisted mainly of me awkwardly realizing I missed the deadline for notifying Mrs. Richie as to whether I had chosen newspaper or yearbook, promptly forgetting all about the entire incident, only to receive my schedule and learn that I was, in fact, actually in newspaper. While nothing particularly lifealtering as happened because of newspaper or in regards to it, I like the class more than any of my other ones. Granted, that isn’t really saying much, as I hold a sort of inevitable dislike of all my classes. The most interesting thing that has happened the entire school year was probably the whole tablet ordeal, for those who don’t actually know (either through ignoring my constant ramblings or having never actually met me), the tablet which we use was being horrible and vanished for about half the year before spontaneously reappearing and deciding to only work on one computer. Then, after this problem was solved, the comics themselves decided they were much too good for properly uploading onto the web site. Through many trial and error attempts, we, or actually I, found a way to get it to not be the size of a ladybug when published. Basically, not much happens aside from the occasional rant or panic over deadlines. With those words of wisdom, I bid you all farewell. May we never meet again.

GOODBYE 11


o f r u g o iving y k n a us h o t t T a g l n k i h a t b e o m u o t . s t

- Panther Pride Staff


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