Rolla High School - 900 Bulldog Run - Rolla, Missouri 65401- Volume 68 - Issue - 5 December 16, 2016 - www.rhsecho.com
In this issue...
Student Service................................................................10 Christmas DIY gifts ........................................................14 Humans of Rolla High School ........................................18
Letter from the Editor
Five issues down, five more to go my friends. I’ve got to admit that transitioning from six issues a year to ten issues a year has been harder than I expected but I’ve got to give it up to my staff for staying cool, calm, and collected through the hasty deadlines that just seem never ending and my constant nagging to get stuff done. I applaud you all for a semester well done. You see what I did there? I encouraged my staff on a job well done instead of complaining about all the mistakes that we have made through our issues. Lately, this concept seems like a far off dream as it has not been shown very brightly between my classmates, and frankly, I’m pretty fed up with it. Every time one of our issues comes back to the lovely students of Rolla High School, all that seems to come out of their mouths is negativity. “You spelled this wrong, or, “You should have written about something more interesting”, or my personal favorite, “ You guys take a new staff picture every issue, but it’s not like you guys have anything better to do anyways.” Wow. Inspiring. Now, we’re not professional journalists or graphic designers and we are in no way claiming to be. We are high school human beings and believe it or not we will make mistakes in these magazines. Just like us, you are also human and you make mistakes too. You’ve missed the shot or forgot your line and that’s totally normal, but when everyone hounds you on that one mistake rather than the things you did right, it’s just not good for the soul. I’ve attended countless school plays, sports events, variety shows and school dances with every intention to be a positive vibe at all of those events. I know how much time and energy it takes to pull off those events and I know for a fact that you all care about your performance or game just as much as me and my staff care about this magazine. So, why is it that my feedback at something you care about is encouraging but you can’t do the same for us ECHOites in return? All I’m saying is in a perfect world, people encouraged each other instead of tearing them down. But, this isn’t a perfect world and I know that but man, some positive feedback once in awhile would be nice. So, I challenge you to encourage the good and ignore the bad. It’s a difficult concept to grasp, but once you do, you might just make someone’s day. Also shout out to the one and only Maddy Jones. Maddy, you’ve been asking to be in this magazine for a while now, and well, here ya go.
Dan Collier, Agent Get your license Get a car Call Dan Collier for a great rate
1100 North Rolla Street Rolla, MO 65401 Ofﬁce: 573-364-4133 Fax: 573-364-2531 Ofﬁce Hours Mon-Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm After Hours by Appointment
ECHO Magazine Staff
ECHO is an open forum for student expression. All letters to the editor must include the writer’s name, signature and class or position. Anonymous letters will not be published. ECHO reserves the right to reject any letters. Letters should be sent to ECHO, Rolla High School, 900 Bulldog Run, Rolla, MO 65401.
Editor In Chief - Celia Parsons, Copy Editors -Adrienne Pyeatt & Connor Wilson, Webmaster Ashanti OwusuBrafi Staff Writers Sophia Gesualdi, Visaka Ho, Caroline Adams, Lydia Giesey, Theresa Lauer, Bailey Allison, and Lorren Black Adviser - Mary Gillis
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RHS Basketball Season
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‘Tis the season of cheer, and here at RHS, we celebrate in the most literal sense of the term- rooting for the Bulldog and Lady Bulldog Basketball teams. With both of the seasons being officially underway, the players and coaches alike have shared their sentiments and hopes for the season. Although our Boys Basketball team looks different than the previous years, don’t expect the past success to fade away. Coach Mark Miller shared his outlook and expectations on the season. “It’s a completely different type of team [this year]. Last year, it was pretty much Senior dominated. Now we have two Seniors, and we’re mixing in a bunch of younger guys with Juniors and Seniors. So some guys have made big jumps from what they were doing last year to what they’re being asked to do this year. Early in the season, it’s a lot to ask, but I think we’ll see some big things,” Miller said. Returning Senior Brandon Cunningham spoke on the team’s ability and skill as the season continues. “I think all of us, as a whole, have progressed a lot, but I think we have to progress even more by just working harder in practice and playing as well as we can during games to have a successful season,” Cunningham said. With the start of the Lady Bulldogs season as well, head coach Luke Floyd looks to bring new success by building upon the team’s experience. “Hopefully, continued success from last year. They’re a year older, they’re more mature, so they’re used to our system by now, which always helps. I think they’re just as hungry as I am to start getting wins and getting further into the season,” Floyd said. Senior Addy Brow adds on to say that experience will be key to continue past the foundation of last year. “I think this season we’re just looking forward to building up the base that we started last year. Honestly just looking ahead into further seasons-we have a younger team, so just getting them the experience that they need to be successful is going to be a huge aspect of the season. As a team, we need to focus on the little things and just work together to build each other up and not push each other down,” Brow said.
Rolla High School
CREATIVE WORKS SUBMITTED BY RHS STUDENTS b y
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Artwork by Preston Perry
Artwork by Allyson Mack Artwork by Olivia Edwards
Artwork by Abbee Hilgers
Artwork by Nathaniel Conaway
Artwork by Quintin Hudson Artwork by Brandon Soto
Artwork by Destinie Bonebrake
Artwork by Sarah Brumett
Artwork by Destiny Olguin
MORE WRITING, ARTWORK, AND PHOTOGRAPHY WILL BE PUBLISHED ON RHSECHO.COM.
All I want for Christmas is For You to Check Out These Awesome Traditions! We asked students of Rolla High School what their favorite Christmas tradition is or what their favoritie part of the holidays is. b y
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“I have a cat and a dog, and for my cat we fill a mini stocking with little cat toys, and I have a stocking for my dog, with a D on it because his name is Dobby, and we fill it with dog treats. We started this tradition because when I got my dog I wanted to get him presents, but I didn’t know what to get him.” - Sophomore, Maia Bond, said.
“Since I have such a large family, we all participate in a Secret Santa exchange every year.” -Senior, Noah Lewis-Daly, said.
“Every year our family does an advent calender during the month of December, but my little sister doesn’t like chocolate so I always end up eating it all” -Sophomore, Abbey Williams, said.
“My mom and I always take an impromtu vacation. Last year, on Christmas day, we drove to a random beach in Florida!” - Senior, Wade Hawks, said.
“Every year when we put up our Christmas tree, we watch It’s a Wonderful Life. We started this tradition because my dad did it with his family when he was younger.” - Sophomore, Emily Phillips, said.
“Last year, I dressed up as Santa and scared my brother, and that was the best part about my Christmas.” - Sophomore, Devon Green, said.
“My favorite Christmas tradition is making snow ice cream with my grandma. One year, when I was six, she just found the recipe online and we decided to try it, and we’ve done it ever since.” - Junior, Lexi Turner, said.
“In my family we decorate our bedroom doors, each sister does a different theme, and my is usually the best. When we first moved into our house, it was close to Christmas time, and we thought our doors looked really boring. So, we decided to decorate them.” - Sophomore, Jessica Crump, said.
“Each year my family and I buy a huge jigsaw puzzle and put it together throughout December and Christmas break.” -Sophomore, David Meusch, said.
“In my family we like to do something we call Chrisgiving. It’s a three day event: it starts on a Friday, we celebrate Thanksgiving on a Saturday, and celebrate Christmas on a Sunday. We pretty much get lit for three days in a row.” -Senior, Luke Gibfried, said.
Congratulations December Graduates Keith Ahart, Sean Barrett, Kolton Black, Dustin Blake, Christina Bramer, Issac Clark, Douglas Colvin, William Craighead, Kaylie Dean, Ciara Garabrandt, Danial Gresham, Matilda Guetersloh, Kalie Happgood, Jullyann Harmount, Erin Hawkins, Alcina Reese, Jade Shelton, Chloe Weddle, Caleb Watkins, and Killian Williamson
1st Semester Final Schedule
Stay On Track It’s YOUR Choice..... •Scholarship opportunities •Graduate with Cords and Medallions •attend recognition ceremony •better jobs •college •money •choices
Don’t Ever Give Up! Talk With Your Counselor Today!
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We have riots and issues that happen everyday and we may feel like some things are beyond us, but we can end these types of things if we are actually willing to and wanting to change a little or listen to what is going on. Values we lack in our society today in the real world and in social media. Senior Allyson Mack explains how we need to be more respectful on social media. “People have disrespect of others. They have disrespect for the president, and it started with Obama and they wouldn’t accept him as their president, but he is the president. He is the leader of the country, and now people are doing that with Trump. I think people get way too up in arms too quickly and I feel that social media has something to do with that and media. It really exacerbates problems in society to make it seem like a bigger issue than it really is. Things are a bigger deal on social media and people bring that into the real world and have riots on safe spaces on college campuses. People seek out to find triggers and a reason to disagree,” Mack said. Taryn Kamprath a sophomore felt similarly to Mack but added more about the importance of open-mindedness. “Treat each other better. I feel like we just need to be more accepting of people and their religions and other people’s views on things, because I feel like there is a loto of controversy. I feel like people need to be to just be more open minded about what people believe. That goes with respect,” Kamprath said. Kelly Leach another senior believed we need more responisiblility. “If you look at it today, we have so many people acting like kids, like grown adults acting like children. As a whole I think people would be able to keep jobs, we wouldn’t be going through so many people. Like at my work we go through a bunch of people because they lack responsibility. People who have that they need to show people the responsibility and teach others,” Leach said. Senior Erin Hawkins tied together the previous student’s ideals with her explanation of to how we should utilize social media. “We know what we should be doing but not how to take the first step. I think that there are two benefits from social media, I feel like it does bring a sort of culture for places that wouldn’t have it if it weren’t for social media or connects you to friends and family that may not be very close to you, and I think the sense of humor is a plus from it. You have a Twitter, Tumblr and
Instagram sense of humor like these different senses of humor that come from social media, but that is about it, everything else is just strong opinions and just hate, just comments everything else besides the connection and humor. “It’s almost impossible to eradicate social media and work with it to use in our favor. I think if this world wanted world peace in the next year, no matter what president we had or the struggles we went to, we would still maintain function in the community, we would have to speak up. This is what I don’t like about social media; it is there and we can do so much with it. Like that lady who was nominated the world’s ugliest woman and she didn’t know until she saw the video on YouTube and she became a speaker because of that. We can do so much with it and nobody does, a majority of the population uses it for their own selfish reasons, to better their self and their ego and confidence. They don’t use it to their maximum potential. We would have to speak up as a whole community. We would have to start with not raging by saying “the system sucks, rise against”, no it needs to be a rise of love, a rise of self love and a rise of other loves. Sometimes people who are all about self love have a darker side to that which is they may not be about supporting other people. They are so strong about their own selves that it is difficult for them because that is how their brain works, so anytime it comes to supporting the other side of the spectrum they just can’t and they struggle with it a lot. We need an even amount of both of that together, and we need a strong force consistently. If we are going to make a footprint, we need to make a positive footprint. A footprint that leads to a spring, that leads to a river, that leads to food. We can’t just be walking around and leading people to negative things. If we want community and peace and togetherness, we need to try and obtain these things. People say they preach about love and peace but at the same time there are people in your community and neighborhood that are killing each other, hating each other on some social media somewhere just sending negativity in some way. It doesn’t have to be directly like ‘you look terrible in this’, but it can be something like the people who hate on celebrities. People who feed into this waste social media and waste our opportunities. Stuff like that are going to lead us nowhere but into a circle which is what it has done until this point. Think: Is it thoughtful? Is it honest? Is it inspiring?, we need to do that - think before you speak,” Hawkins said.
MAKING A D
Rolla High School Clubs Take Action with Co
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Family Career and Community Leaders of America FCCLA; Family Career and Community Leaders of America, one of Rolla High School’s many clubs committed to community service projects has a heavy load of them during the holiday season. One of them being the head of Rolla High School’s Toys 4 Tots toy drive. “Toys for Tots is a nation wide toy drive that’s run by the marine corps typically and they have people all over the country that recruit toys to give away.The toys that are collected at the Rolla High School will go to the Rolla Community to children of families in need,” FCCLA’s academic sponsor, Carol White said. Not only do members of FCCLA get involved with the toy drive, but all students at the Rolla High School are encouraged to help the cause. “They [G.R.A.C.E] contact FCCLA every year and ask us if we’ll be like the point of contact at the high school but we try to get the whole school involved and try to get all the different advisories to donate. We have a contest with FCCLA sponsoring it and we encourage the different advisories to bring in toys and then the advisory that brings in the most toys, FCCLA will provide some kind of tasty treat for them,” White said. Not only does FCCLA lead Toys 4 Tots, but they also take part in the Adopt a Family program, providing families with everything they need to have a successful Christmas. “We adopt two families for the holiday season and we collect gifts from just FCCLA members and then whatever holes we have left that are for things in need, we go out and buy some more gifts so that the family will have a nice Christmas and we wrap them all at the [FCCLA wrapping] party,” White said. FCCLA officer, Brittany Miller, has been apart of FCCLA’s contribution to the Adopt a Family program for three years now. “We normally get 1-2 families and we buy clothes, toys, fun gifts, shoes, and some snack items. We then have a fun wrapping party with the whole club and then Mrs. White and Mrs. Cantrell get the gifts to the families. It feels so good to help family’s out. There are people in need and FCCLA is always so generous and it makes me feel so good to know how much people care for others,” Miller said. Along with their generous donations to the local community, FCCLA members are also the spreaders of holiday cheer with their annual trip to the Parkside Assisted Living Nursing Home. “We went to the nursing home on December 7th. We went to do fun activities with all of the residents. In years past we sang Christmas carols and did little Christmas games. We do this because sometimes the residents don’t have many people come visit them and so we came to spread joy to all of them. They were so so excited to be with us. It was so rewarding to see the smiles on their faces as we were interacting with them,” Miller said.
ommunity Service During This Holday Season
Another one of Rolla High School’s community service driven clubs is Key Club. Not only are the members in charge of the Courtwarming dance, they also have a packed schedule during the holidays with the Coat Drive and this year’s new addition, The Warming Tree. “The Coat Drive is district wide and it is at the elementary schools all the way through the high school there are boxes located at the front offices for people to drop off coats. The coats will then be cleaned and then given to students who are in need of coats. If we have coats left over, then we will be given to the coat closet at the first baptist church which is who the district uses to get coats from when needed as well,” Christi Green, Key Club’s academic sponsor, said. Lacy Hance, the Vice President of Key Club, explains the responisbilites of the Key Club members in order to have a successful coat drive. “Certain [members] are in charge of certain schools and they go to the different schools and were supposed to set up boxes for kids to donate their coats to and they were in charge of picking up the coats and bringing them back to the high school. We bring them here and they are organized and we give them back to the different schools and they requested certain costs in certain sizes and the rest of them were donated to the Coat Closet,” Hance said. While you’re sorting through your winter-time clothing, you might be at a loss as to what to do with your outgrown winter accessories. Fear not for Key Club has the perfect solution; The Warming Tree. “The Warming Tree is where we decorate a Christmas Tree with items such as socks, gloves, stocking hats, [and] scarves, items that people may not have in order to keep them warm. Those items will be collected and again distributed within the district first as needed and then we will look to local charities and possibly the coat closet to help be delivered with those coats as necessary,” Green said.
STUDENTS W NHS National Honors Society
National Honors Society; one of Rolla High School’s most prestigious clubs not only has members who are dedicated to their school work but also to helping out their community, starting with the Phelps County Faith Distribution. “The Phelps County Faith Distribution serves 500600 families. Walmart provides extra food supplies at the Grace Church here in town. A major part of National Honors Society is the service component and our students have been volunteering at the food distribution. Just this this November, one of our students was helping a lady and it turned out she had been digging in a trash can that morning when someone told her she could go to Grace Church for food. The student was so humbled by the experience and even seeing that there were other high school students that came in need of food. How it all works is on Wednesday night the Walmart truck comes in and volunteers help unload, take inventory, and plan for Saturday. On Saturday, volunteers help distribute the food and push the carts of food to the families’ cars,” Brenda Spurgeon, NHS’s academic sponsor, said. Rylie Viek, a National Honors Society member, worked at the food distribution on November 19, unknowing of how impactful the experience would be. “I wasn’t expecting so many people to be there. I didn’t know that many people in our community needed help and there were people there from all walks of life, both young and old. I was in charge of loading people’s carts and helping them to their cars. That was really interesting because you got to have one on one conversations with people while you’re walking them to their car and I got to make some new friends,” Veik said. Along with the food distribution, NHS members also decided to be apart of the Adopt a Family program, providing a needy family everything they need to have a great Thanksgiving meal. “NHS also adopts a family through Grace for Christmas and Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving we purchased the Thanksgiving meal for a family and with left over money were able to buy them a really nice cutting board. This almost brought the mother to tears because she had never had a cutting board before. This is the kind of service that our kids are going out and doing. They see the need in our own community and learn that we don’t have to go very far to help others. We have opportunities right here
WHO SERVE Along with helping people in the community have a nice holiday season, National Honors Society members also do many other service projects during this time of year. The main project being called “Service for Those Who Serve.” “Service for those who serve was an initiative by the National Honor Society to give back to those in the community who make an impact everyday. Our club decided to honor police officers, firefighters, EMTs, Highway Patrol (Troop I), and new teachers here at RHS. We split the club into separate committees with each assigned to come up with a way to show appreciation towards these groups. Each group came up with a unique way of serving, whether it be through meals, baked goods, or goodie bags. Members set aside time from their day to express gratitude for those who serve our community on a daily basis,” Jacob Cunningham, NHS’ Vice President, said. Each committee had to brainstorm different ways to show the servers of our community the appreciation they deserve. “My particular group was the Highway Patrol based out of Troop I here in Rolla. We decided to make goodie bags for the 67 officers that cycle through that Troop. Along with signed thank you cards from many NHS students, we filled the bags with small snacks and cookies. After we finished, we went to Troop I and presented the gifts. The Patrolmen were very appreciative of the gesture and were thankful for the sentiment,” Cunningham said. Just like the Highway Patrolmen, our Rolla Community Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), were also very grateful for NHS’ support. “My committee had the honor of doing something for the EMTS. We made cookies and brownies for each of the EMTS and delivered them. It was great to see how happy they were when we took the stuff in, they had had a rough night the night before and were thankful for their goodies. The project was a great experience for all of us,” Anna Kaczmerek, National Honors Society Secretary, said. As were our local firefighters. “My group had the firefighters and we decided to bake cookies and brownies for them. We put them in bags and wrote thank you notes for the hard work that they do and tied them to the bags. When we delivered them it gave us a very rewarding feeling because of how grateful the firefighters were even though to us it was a simple task. It’s important to do little things like this for the men and women who keep our town safe because it shows how much we appreciate them and acknowledge how difficult their jobs are,” Allison Pernicka, National Honors Society Historian, said.
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-Take air dry clay or oven bake clay and roll into a ball. (You will need more clay than you think.) -Push in with your thumbs to create room for a tea candle. -Push the tea-light candle into the ball -Shape the clay into whatever shape you. want. (I made it more of a geometric shape by cutting the clay with scissors. I also added texture by using a credit cards to make cross hatch patterns) -If it is air-dry clay let it dry, but if it is oven-bake clay bake according to instructions. -You can paint it or not when it is dry.
Tiny Pinch Pot
-Take air dry clay or oven bake clay and roll into a ball. -Push your thumbs into the ball to make a bowl shape. -Smooth it out with your thumbs. -If it is air-dry clay let it dry, but if it is oven-bake clay bake according to instructions. -When it is completely dry, paint with acrylics. -You can put dirt in the pot and use it as a plant pot, or you could use it as a ring holder and other small jewelry.
-Simply take 3 colors and measure the wingspan of your arms. -Take each color and cut it into 4 equal pieces. -Then tie them together at the ends. -Separate into two parts with two strings of each color on either side. -Fishtail braid the bracelet. (Take the outer string and put it over the same colored string on the inside, and then take the other colored outer string and wrap over the middle of the second color.) -Tie the ends when the length is long enough.
Dry Erase Board
-Get a picture frame and printed design paper. (You can use wrapping paper or draw your own.) -Using the back piece of the picture frame, trace the size onto your design paper and cut it out. -Put the design paper inside the picture frame. -Get a dry erase marker, and you are ready to start writing!
-Collect a bunch of paper (I use neon notecards, but they can be patterned, etc.) -Fold them in half and staple at the spine. -Fill it up with your favorite quotes, poems, drawings, song lyrics, etc. (Bonus: You can hole-punch the tiny book and tie ribbon and use it as a Christmas Ornament.)
-Get a plain notebook that you would like to paint on. -Print out a large letter that you would like to use with the correct size. -Cut out the letter and trace it onto the notebook. -Paint the letter according to your taste and let it dry.
-Take air dry clay or oven bake clay and roll into a plate like shape. -You can use a cylinder can such as a Pringles can and trace the shape of a coaster. -Cut the shape with an exact knife. -If it is air-dry clay let it dry, but if it is oven-bake clay bake according to instructions -When it is completely dry, paint with acrylics. -Let it dry and then you are done!
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the team aspect of the game. Win or lose, she enjoys playing her best with the other players. “My favorite thing is mostly just playing with my teammates, and not necessarily winning, but getting excited about the game with them,” Burken said. When the team does lose a game, Burken Basketball season tries to keep a positive attitude, but it can be is an exciting time for difficult to accept the turnout of a game. students of Rolla High; many “It’s hard to keep a tough mentality about students enjoy watching from the it. When you lose, coaches will not be happy, student section. The Lady Bulldogs have but you just have to think that you will go officially started their season, and sophoout and win the next one. You have to have more Olivia Burken has been enjoying every the right mindset,” Burken said. second of it. Burken hopes that her team will accomIn preparation for her high school career, plish great things in the future as they work Burken started playing basketball in third toward their goals. grade through the S.I.R. basketball program. “I want to win a bunch of games, that’s a “I started basketball in third grade. It was given. It would be great to go to sectionals or my dad and my S.I.R. Coach, John Brown, state with the girls my junior or senior year,” that really got me into it,” Burken said. Burken said. Through this program, Burken learned Burken plans to keep academics as her about basketball by traveling and competmain focus, but she is open to playing basing. ketball in the future. Until this time, she can “We actually had two teams; we had an A be found on the courts of Rolla High. and a B team for our grade because we had “If I got the opportunity to have a scholarso many girls. We traveled around, and we ship, I would love to take it, but academics actually played boy teams. come first. That would be great to have that As time progresses, Burken appreciates opportunity though,” Burken said.
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The Rolla High School Drama Department produces a variety of productions throughout the year. It takes the work of many students to make this a reality, and anyone who goes to see a show can see the talent that some of these actors possess. Sophomore Abigail Bragg, who has been deeply involved in the drama department, discovered that theater was one of the only things she had interest in as a child. “I tried doing a bunch of other stuff. [I tried] sports and music, but I wasn’t good at any of it, so I disliked all of it. My parents were like, ‘okay, this is the last thing you’ll like, but go try it.’ So, I tried theater, and I fell in love with it,” Bragg said. Bragg found her passion for theatre by acting in community plays. “I did a lot of community theater when I was in middle school because there wasn’t much with the school. In my first play, Annie, I was just an additional orphan, but it was fun to play that part,” Bragg said. As she gains experience, Bragg finds that the most rewarding part of acting is that she is able to play characters that she is not similar to in everyday life. “I am usually a really quiet person, so it’s cool to get up there [on stage] and be loud. Being someone else is really cool,” Bragg said. Over the years, Bragg has played many characters in productions such as Peter Pan and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “When I was in Peter Pan, I got to play the bear lost boy, and I had
this really fun voice that I loved doing. I also liked Veruca Salt because she was insane. I also thought Kim MacAfee was pretty cool in Bye Bye Birdie.” Bragg said. Each new character presents Bragg with a new personality to portray. Bragg finds that the hardest part of acting is to make sure she presents each character in her own style. “Trying to make it my own is the hardest part of learning a new part. I’ve seen other people play my characters, but I don’t just want to copy them; I want to make it my own. That’s usually hard for me,” Bragg said. Bragg is currently working on the Spring production of Once Upon A Mattress, and she can soon be seen on stage as a princess. Bragg is looking forward to the production, and she encourages anyone who is interested to come see the show. “It’s going to be so much fun. I am ‘Princess #12’, and I am so excited about it. I have never gotten to play a royal person before. There are no small parts, but it is not a very large role, so I get to sit back and watch other people take over. It’s very exciting,” Bragg said. At the end of the day, Bragg accredits God for all of her success in acting, and she is grateful for the opportunities that she has been provided. “All my opportunities and any ability I might have is all thanks to God and all of his wonderfulness; I owe all to Him,” Bragg said.
Humans Of Rolla High Summer Pilkenton lived in Cuba, Missouri for most of her life but moved to Rolla High School for her Sophomore year. Pilkenton grew up in a very large household with eight sisters, younger and older. Pilkenton at age 14 was diagnosed with scoliosis. Which causes spine deformities that get more severe as one grows. Severe scoliosis can be painful and disabling. Summer was lucky to catch it early enough. “At first it didn’t affect me so it didn't cause very much pain. It started off at 25 degrees on top and 20 on bottom, so that wasn’t a big degree curve. But as I grew, I grew six inches in six months and it got a lot worse. It increased by 40 degrees on both curves and that is when it got more painful. I had to miss a lot of school from surgery so it was stressful too,” Pilkenton said. Time in hospitals is important for the healing process, but it can be a long experience. For Summer, she was able to leave after only eight days. “I was in surgery for 14 hours and then I was in the ICU for four days. Overall eight days in the hospital. But I don’t remember much of it because for a major surgery like that they gave me a lot of drugs. So I was pretty out of it. Also they deflated one of my lungs so I had to be able to breath so they had me on a breathing mask for five days. And my lungs have finally started to get stronger, they still aren't back to normal yet but I’m working on it.” Pilkenton said. After a major surgery such as that, it sometimes can affect our health. Even though surgery is supposed to help, it can cause other things to happen to our bodies. “I have a brain disorder from when they straightened my spine so it kind of pushed up into my brain. That caused my tonsils from my brain to drop down into my spinal cord. That causes me to get really light headed sometimes. Also because of getting the surgery, and my brain disorder, my heart now it has to pump almost twice as hard to get blood to my brain because the opening is so much smaller. It causes me to pass out spontaneously because my heart is pumping too
Before and after photos of Summer’s spine.
fast trying to get spinal fluid to my brain. And I also get really dizzy a lot and my ears ring,” Pilkenton said. Support from families during surgeries is an important part for the healing process. Summer had more than enough people worried about her at the hospital. “My mom and sister spent most of the days in the ICU with me. Then once I got into a normal room more people came and saw me. They were really good. They stayed in the hospital with me some. I have eight sisters so they all came down and supported me. One of them came down from North Carolina and Candice, who is still in town, took a few days off work to visit me. My entire family was very supportive,” Pilkenton said. Taking the news that one of your children has scoliosis, and will be in a major surgery for 14 hours, can be stressful. But for Summer’s mom, she was able to be strong. “I would say my mom took the news the best because she is a nurse. So she kept saying, ‘this is all treatable’. My insurance with the surgery, it was such a new procedure that my insurance would hardly cover any of it. So my mom basically begged them to take it because my back is over half a million dollars and we could never pay that. And I had to have the surgery, so mom took it the best and fought for me. My dad just kinda went with the flow and stood by me the entire time,” Pilkenton said. The military is a very strict facility to work for, their standards are high and hard to reach. Since Summer has had a major surgery, they will no longer accept her. “Yeah, I wanted to go into the air force but now they won’t take me. I’m not going to be able to do that, which was disappointing. But I want to be a Biomedical Engineer. I really like the medical field but I don’t like all the blood and guts. And I’m really good at math, like right now I have two math classes. So it has the math and the medical field but without the gross stuff,” Pilkenton said.
Summer and four of her sister’s during the holidays.
Summer showing off her gun skills after the surgery.
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Rumor has it... that students of Rolla High School are mentally preparing themselves for finals week. B
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Students of Rolla High School are lucky to have challenging classes available to them. However, with the great opportunitites come great responsiblity. In order to keep up with the demanding classwork in addition to studying for finals, students have come up with ways to cope. “You have to get a lot of sleep during finals week. If you don’t, you’ll be falling asleep during tests. You need to save time to relax. Don’t spend too much time studying or else you’ll stress yourself out. Go easy on yourself. Don’t overwork yourself,” sophomore, Abbey Williams, said. Types of finals may vary among students depending on their classes. Although the standard written test is common, Senior Aliyah Turner, provides another perspective.
“Most of my finals are big projects. They take up a lot of time. Having to do a project while getting the normal amount of homework can be very stressful for me,” Turner said. In order to study for finals efficiently, students may prioritize certain classes. “I feel like some finals are more stressful and time-consuming than others. Dual-credit classes have finals that are more difficult and put on more pressure than normal classes. They require more effort and dedication to studying to obtain the goal of college credit as opposed to normal classes,” junior Brayden Gruben said. Finals week is a stressful time for many students at Rolla High School. However, by keeping calm, avoiding procrastination, and prioritizing difficult finals, students can get through finals and look forward to a long break.
Welcome to this month’s installment of Completely Credible, the column where I state my opinion on things that I know too much about, all while not providing a single source to back it up. Essentially, a typical news column. The subject of each column is bound to be different, and this will more or less be about whatever happens to catch my attention at the time. While reading be sure to keep in mind this is purely my opinion on something that probably doesn’t matter. on just one single test. Not everything that By Connor Wilson is taught in class can possibly be covered Staff Writer over a single test, and not only is it imposIt’s December, the end of the first sesible for all information to be covered but mester, and also the beginning of finals. it is also incredibly difficult for a student Many students find finals to be terrifying, to retain all of that necessary knowledge to and for good reason. These tests typically pass a test over several months with how take up a large portion of the grade for the the current education system is set up. entire class, and in some cases finals can Currently with most classes the way it be over 50% of the entire semester grade works, is the work is broken up into secfor a class. This one single test at the end of tions. These sections are covered extenthe year can quite literally make or break sively at a time, then the students take a a grade, so for how much of an impact on test over it, and then completely forget a student’s future these tests make, one about it and never use any of what they just would hope they would at least be able to learned again until the final. This is where tell if the student truly understands the the problem of finals being so difficult subject. comes from, the current system set in place The issue with finals lies in the fact that is horribly flawed in this aspect. How can it’s basing all of the knowledge a student a student be expected to remember all that learns over the course of an entire semester they learned back in August, when they
never use any of that knowledge again until December, over 4 months later? Now, the solution to this may seem simple enough: just keep adding more and more and having constant reviews throughout the year, so that it always stays fresh. The issue with this, however, is that for all the information to continue being renewed, homework assignments would continuously get longer and longer and longer to the point of unreasonableness. Here is where the largest issue of this lies. It simply isn’t possible for most classes to keep covering all information taught throughout the year while also keeping assignments at roughly the same length, and the most obvious alternative would be to get rid of finals altogether. However, that also presents a whole host of new challenges, as getting rid of finals would change almost the entire education system. This drastic change would require millions to all agree on taking a major risk to fix a problem most are happy to simply just deal with and move on, so despite how necessary it may be to make a change, I simply don’t see any changes happening for a long time, if ever. While the solution to this issue may be muddled and unclear, most can agree that finals week is just all-around a bad time.