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THE PURPLE

Scholarship Tips –Page 2 Basketball photo essay –Page 6 Box 110 425 East 11th Street • DeWitt, IA 52742 563-659-0715 • www.central-clinton.k12.ia.us

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CENTRAL COMMUNITY SCHOOLS of DeWitt, Grand Mound, Low Moor and Welton, Iowa

Christmas Season –Pages 8-9 The New Year –Page 10 January 1, 2011 Vol. 24, No. 3

Central band: Orange Bowl or bust Chloe Myers Review Editor You’re at the edge of a football field and you can feel the turf under your feet. The lights are beating down on you and you can hear the millions of people in the stadium around you, cheering. With the rest of the band, you march onto the field; left, right, left, right, and you try not to trip over yourself for everyone to see. You find your spot on the field and wait. It feels like hours before you’re called to attention. Finally it’s time for the show to start. And you’re off. This is the intimidation that the members of the Marching Saber’s Pride have to cope with during the halftime show of the Orange Bowl. Luckily, to help with the nerves, the members from our school will be joined by other band members from a school in New York. For some, this could be more intimidating but for others, it’s not a big deal. “We’ve marched with a different group before,” senior Brooke Kindelsperger said, “they just weren’t from New York.” The bands will play a fanfare of songs from The Goo Goo Dolls for half of the show, then the actual Goo Goo Dolls will give a performance. Not only will they be performing at half time, but also marching in the Junior Orange Bowl parade. “The only thing that’s new for us is the fanfare,” Kindelsperger said. “The music is interesting, but it’s too soon to tell if I’ll like it or not.

Packing for the long haul. Central band members pack for their eight day trip to Florida, taking all the goods and making sure their instruments remain safe during the long trek. Photo by Chloe Myers. I’m more nervous for the half time show because more people will be watching.” The band members leave Dec. 29 via charter buses and make the two-day trip down to Florida. On the way down, they make a side trip to Universal Studios in Orlando. “I plan on sleeping the whole

way,” Kindelsperger said. “I can’t wait to be down in Florida and be warm when everyone’s freezing up here. The trips there and back are what I least look forward to.” The two teams playing in the Orange Bowl are Virginia Tech and Stanford. Most of the band members aren’t die-hard

fans of either school so part of the fun of watching the game will be pretending to be a big fan of a school you’ve never thought about cheering for. “Virginia Tech is ranked higher,” Kindelsperger said, “so I think I’ll root for them.”

Driving dangers pile up along with snow Molly Keegan Staff Writer We all know the song about the joys of walking in a winter wonderland, but driving in one is nothing to sing about. Being out on the road in this wintry weather can be nerve-wracking and more than a little dangerous. The snow and ice that create these hazards are an unavoidable part of the season, but there are many ways that people can be prepared to make the roads a safer place for everyone. First of all, it’s important to listen to the warnings. If the weather report or even your parents tell you it might be smart to hang up the keys, it would be a good idea to take the advice. Although you may think it doesn’t look too bad out, remember it’s better to be safe than sorry. Many times you may not be able to see the ice until it’s too late. Also remember that if the speed limit is 65, you don’t have to go 65. Try to take it slow because it could allow better reactions to any unexpected incidents. Here are some useful tips in case of any mishaps while on the road. Of course, the It’s not just deer you have to look out for anymore. The mounds of snow lining the first thing is to get rid of any unnecessary roads in winter can seem to sneak up on drivers in poor weather conditions. Photo distractions, yes, including the cell phone. Focusing on the road is more important by Ethan Haley. than finding out where the party is this

weekend. This tip is a good idea all year long but is really stressed with the winter road conditions. Another suggestion is to just make smart choices while driving. Think about the consequences before you try to pass that car just because you’re in a hurry. A rash decision made on icy roads could end up with someone in the ditch or worse. Try to avoid overusing cruise control on icy roads. Always be ready to make any unexpected adjustments to other drivers. Do your part by keeping your headlights on so you stay visible to everyone sharing the road. Of course, accidents do happen but you can try to be prepared. Here are some things to keep in mind if you should ever end up stuck along the road or in a ditch. If you are trying to get unstuck, do not spin out your wheels because this will only dig you in deeper. It is helpful to keep useful supplies in your car at all times. This could include warm clothes, a scraper for windows, and kitty litter, salt or any other substance that could be used for traction. If you can see there is no chance of getting out without assistance, find a way to contact someone to let him or her know where you are and what you need. Make sure to stay with the vechicle when unsure if help is within a reasonable distance. These tips seem simple but they have the ability to make a huge difference in making winter driving safer for everyone.


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The Purple Onion January 1, 2011 Vol. 24, No. 3

A delicate balancing act Teen girls pushed to become sexier earlier Alexandria Necker Design Editor Girls are getting sexier sooner, as concluded by Leonard Sax, author of Girls on the Edge. Over the past 50 years, the sexualization of girls continues to increase in momentum causing an identity crisis. Even pre-pubescent girls face this problem, with girls dressing as though they had a sexual agenda. In their low rise jeans and midriff-baring tops, sexual confusion reigns. Girls today are being pushed to present a sexy front, to put on a show for the boys, before they are even ready to decide if it’s something they want to do. According to Sax, girls are bombarded with the idea that revealing your body is a reasonable means of self expressions, even a manifestation of girl power. Many girls and teens feel the pressure from society to dress and act a certain way. The idea perceived through all sorts of media, television, internet, magazines, and even fictional teen novels. Recently a graph was published about the sexualization of American girls throughout the years. The authors concluded that girls today are being pushed to wear “sexy” clothes at age 9 and 10, well before these girls have any adult sexuality to express. Halloween costumes went from being cute and creative homemade costumes, to sultry French maids and fishnets. In some schools ultra-miniskirts and cleavage bearing tops are acceptable where in the past they’d be sent home to change into something appropriate. Many girls today don’t dress “sexy”

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of stories about teenage girls and problems they face in a highpressure society.

Photo Illustration by Alexandria Necker because they are looking for sex. They want attention. They want to feel special. As a result, the girl wearing the short skirt can easily confuse her desire for attention with desire for other things. However, does this really gain respect from peers and the people important to them? There has never been a culture in history previously where young women have had so many years of unprincipled sexuality. Your personal values will determine how

you feel about this development; what’s clear is that girls today have more freedom and more choices, but less guidance than any generation in the past. It’s no longer clear what it means to be a “good girl” or even if a girl would want to be “good.” With so much attention being focused on what teenage girls wear, how do they remain strong about what they know is right and follow their morals? How do they not get stuck in the trap that society and the media are laying out

for them and stay true to themselves? How do we end this downward spiral girls are falling into? According to Sax, not every girl is struggling. Some are doing just fine. They are confident and self-assertive, without being self-centered. They know who they are, they know their own strengths and weaknesses, and are comfortable in their own skin. He encourages teen girls to define themselves by who they are rather than how they look.

Three major tips for scholarships Lauren Weirup Assistant Editor Once you become a senior all of the stresses of high school rise to their peak. All of a sudden you feel pressured to grow up and move on, whether you would like to or not. You are expected to know where you want to go and what you want to do. Everywhere you go the people all around you ask the famous question: “Do you know what you want to do with your life?” There is a famous saying that should come to mind whenever you hear that question. “College is your time to explore, take some chances, and have an adventure.” Even if you don’t know where to go or what to do, for some it’s best if you start fresh and break away. Breaking away takes guts. Even if you figure out where you want to go after high

school there is that ever pressing stress of, How am I going to get there? Scholarships are a great way to get some financial help to get you through the education process. Though the scholarship process may be a little bit scary there are some key points that scholarship committees are looking for when choosing candidates to support. According to www.scholarshiphelp. org there are three key points in selling yourself in a scholarship application. The ability to organize and prioritize is huge when applying for scholarships because it shows the committees that you will take college seriously and have the potential of a terrific student. The second tip in scholarship applications is having the ability to write about all kinds of subjects even those that are not interesting to you. This gives the committee the idea that you have a passion for your education. In the end, scholarship committees are

Puttin’ the pencil to the paper. Harrison Stahl takes a few moments to fill out a scholarship application. Photo by Lauren Weirup. really looking for students they can relate to, therefore you should be able to express yourself by understanding your points of strength and weakness, and portray yourself to the committee in a way to make them want to support you. By expressing yourself in such a way

you will be giving yourself an edge that sets you apart from the other applicants. These key points can help you to attain the funds that can ease the stress of finding your future and give you room to explore and broaden your horizons.


The Purple Onion January 1, 2011 Vol. 24, No. 3

Students want change

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Word ‘dropout’ doesn’t tell the whole story Kassandra Prier Staff Writer

Deanna Hansen Features Writer Small towns’ means small dances. At central Dewitt, the high school students like the idea of more dances, but they are so boring that they don’t see a reason to go. The dances are unsatisfactory to the student body, and if things can change at the dances, maybe Central students will go and Central can become a more social place. “When I’m at the school dances, I’m always thinking I could be somewhere better,” Connor Murphy said. “It’s always too hot, and I hate dancing.” Connor is not the only one who doesn’t like school dances. Paige Kruse does not attend any of the school dances. “I think they are a waste of time, people always go to them, then leave early, and say it was dumb and pointless.” Other students do want more school dances, though. Jessica Fenske suggested a masquerade ball for around Halloween time. Cory Hansen said he wanted more casual dances. “I don’t like formal dances,” Cory said. “the guys always have to wear extra clothing which makes it hot and uncomfortable when you get into the dance and try dancing.” Mrs. Denise McAleer said she would be all for the idea of more school dances. She also thought since the Junior Senior’s

Many people might think school is not fun or interesting. Most people think schooling might be dumb, but it will get you far in life. Life is tough, but going to school and seeing your friends just might help make things easier. Many people give dropouts bad reps Bust a move. Alexis Jackson, Hannah Andersen, and Kayla McAleer Show without justification, which isn’t fair. Some people think that the kids from their passion for dancing. Photo by our school are dropouts but really they are Deanna Hansen. still going to schools or getting their GED. have a dance for their own Freshman and People don’t always have the choice of Sophomores should, too. However, the quitting school, but people will make fun students need to get more involved when it of them for dropping out. Most people comes to helping set up the dances. When don’t know the real reason why everyone the students don’t help, it’s harder for the drops out. outcome of the dance to be exactly what “I have always been an independent kids want. goal oriented person,” Gage Hansen said. Many students agreed that there are Hansen has had a clear picture of what he certain things that would make the dances wanted to do and how he wanted to do it. better. The number one thing said by all Looking into his future required him to put is a concession stand. “I would enjoy go- a lot of work and time in order for everying to the dances if there was a concession thing to play out to his favor. stand,” Connor said, “because I’d just sit Everyone has accused him of being a in there the whole time.” This is not only dropout, but he wasn’t a dropout. He took a good idea for the students, but for the online classes that cost him $1200. school, too. This can help bring in more Many people that dropout of high money for other school functions, like sup- school usually have a lot of free time. Gage porting after prom. Another suggestion is doesn’t have much free time. He works having a better DJ, or just hooking up an with his dad at their store 5 days a week, iPod. This way the music is constantly go- and on the weekend he puts his time to his ing, and there are no interruptions. band that he plays in.

Foster kids face challenges Deanna Hansen Features Writer

They walk into the school and right away they notice the stares. They can feel the judging that is already happening. Will he be good at sports? Is he fun and worth my time? Is he dating worthy and goodlooking? This is what every student thinks whenever they see a new kid, but instead of judging these things about the new kid, wonder why they are here. That is the real story for these two boys at the high school.

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Central Community High School Box 110 • Old Highway 30 East • DeWitt, IA 52742 563-659-0715 • www.central-clinton.k12.ia.us

Editor in Chief: Bree Dunkel Assistant Editor: Lauren Weirup Features Editor: Alexandria Necker Sports Editor: Creighton Fox Design Editor: Alexandria Necker Photography Editor: Andrew Risinger On Campus Editor: Kyle Miller Opinion Editor: Haley Rusk Review Editor: Chloe Myers Adviser: Mrs. Christine Gilroy THE PURPLE ONION WELCOMES LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. LETTERS MUST BE SIGNED.

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Aaron Embry has changed in the past nine years more than most kids do all during their first 18 years. Unlike most kids, Aaron had to grow up and accept the factthat life isn’t always perfect. Aaron lives with Nancy Barnhart along with Philip James (PJ) Arceo. There are five kids total in this foster home. Both Aaron Embry and PJ have been through a lot, and have seen a lot. However, the things they’ve been through have made them who they are today, and have taught them how to be a better person. PJ and Aaron have gotten into trouble throughout their lives, but each time has helped them learn from their mistakes. PJ was put into a foster home because of some bad mistakes he made while living with his family in Waterloo. Aaron was almost adopted by a foster family he had been living with for two years when he began to act out, because he didn’t know what else to do. Aaron didn’t want to be adopted. Aaron ended up making some bad choices that landed him in Clarinda Academy for 19 months and then juvenile detention for another five months after that. He was away from all his friends for two years. Unlike some people, both PJ and Aaron worked harder to stay out of trouble. Both PJ and Aaron miss their families very much. When Aaron turns 17 he plans to go back to live with his mom, whom he is still in contact with. Later on, he plans to go into the Marines and serve our country. PJ plans to apply to Kirkwood and go to school for Culinary Arts. Without the past

these boys had, they may have never been able to fulfill their dreams. “The hardest part about being taken away, was I didn’t know why I was being taken away,” said Aaron. “I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong, or why my mom didn’t want me anymore.” Aaron was put into foster care nine years ago, and has been in seven different foster homes. Aaron was taken away from his family because there was abuse within the home. This abuse was not occurring to Aaron, but to a sibling of his. Aaron lived with his mom and stepfather. When Aaron found out about the abuse he didn’t believe it. No one did because of how shocking and unexpected it was. After he found out it was true he was in shock, and before he could do anything he was taken away. Aaron’s stepfather is now in jail. Aaron was taken away from his mom because she was an “unfit” mother. Aaron still doesn’t understand why. Aaron is used to the changes of different scenery, schools, and people. But these changes are not the important ones. The important changes are the ones that have changed Aaron for the better and for the worse in life. Aaron admitted that ever since he’s gone into foster care he’s been used to fighting more. He can’t control his anger, which always results in another fist fight, and more problems. Aaron also has changed for the better, too. Aaron knows now what to stand up for and appreciates what he had, which was his family.

Everyone should go to school, because you need a good education even if people get on your nerves they won’t matter in 5 years. Quitting school was very hard for Nichole Haack. She didn’t want to quit but she didn’t have a choice. She had health issues and many procedures. Schooling wasn’t the most important thing on her mind at that time. Now she is going back to school to get her GED and is deciding what she wants to study in school. “I am very happy with my life, and that people should be very understanding with my situations,” Haack said. It is not very nice when you don’t know the situation and many of her peers accused her of faking it and along with teachers that talked about her to other classes. Haack said that she enjoyed high school when she was healthy along with having good grades, but being sick took a major toll on her. When it comes to a student dropping out, the school tries many things before they let the student dropout. “Every student that drops out has a different situation and we do what we can to provide resources and help to each student,” Mrs. Nancy Murphy, school counselor said. Some people can be stressed. They might be an independent person who doesn’t like being with many people and just have different health issues that they can’t take school any longer. “NOT all high school drop outs are bad news,” Haack said.

Top 5 Favorite School Lunches As they walk into class a famous question runs through the minds of students, “What’s for lunch today?” With the division between the students on whether lunch is good that day or not, the school nutrition staff and Publications class got together and decided to ask the students: “What are your top five favorite school lunches?” After placing a survey in the lunch room and counting the votes, students chose the week of Feb. 14-18, which is the first full week in February. Here is the lunch schedule for the Top Five Favorite Lunches for the week: Monday, Feb. 14: Pizza, corn, strawberries, and chocolate cake with frosting. Tuesday, Feb. 15: Nachos with beef and cheese, pineapple, cottage cheese, and a cinnamon roll. Wednesday, Feb. 16: Chicken patty on school made bun, mashed potatoes with gravy, fruit fluff, and ice cream bars. Thursday, Feb. 17: Spaghetti with meat, coleslaw, kiwi, orange sherbet, garlic French bread. Friday, Feb. 18: Crispitos with lettuce, cheese and salsa, Saber salad, applesauce, brownie with frosting.


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The Purple Onion January 1, 2011 Vol. 24, No. 3

Girl wrestler adds diversity, models good team attitude Kassandra Prier Staff Writer

In high school you don’t really hear of any female high school wrestlers, but Madison Cousins, a junior girl, has stepped up and has been practicing and wrestling with the big boys. Cousins said she has always liked Wow, is that true? Andy Risinger and Jared Urwin talk about the latest gossip. wrestling.Her brothers are out for wrestling, Graphic design is always fun when there is a rumor. Photo by Logan Miskowiec. too, so they are enjoying it also with her out. “Going out for wrestling is not only fun, but it is making me stronger not only physically but also mentally,” Cousins said. Most sports make you not only stronger at practice but also with your teammates. Since Cousins is the only girl out for wrestling she has to become tougher with said, after she fell victim to a rumor. her actions. Being a girl wrestler and the According to The Ultimate Guide to only one going to practice might just be Logan Miskowiec Prevent and Stop Bullying Now!, teenage different. Staff Writer girls, rather than boys, are more often the “Umm, at first it was weird, but now targets of rumors. I don’t mind it,” Cousins said. She likes Rumors spread fast among high school The reason might be because girls “are being the only girl out, because she takes it students. mostly indirect,” according to the article seriously, unlike some other girls who just “They either don’t like the person they “Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones start a rumor about or they think it would But Words Can Never Hurt Me” by Lynne be funny,” David Holm said. Neitzchman. Whether or not that is indeed the reason Neitzchman says, “Girls spread gossip, rumors are spread, they are going around start rumors, or exclude other girls if not the school and affecting people’s lives. isolate them, from the clique or even “It starts out with a little bit of truth and it the crowd.” This is known as social goes around, and by the time it reaches the victimization and can also include peer Holle Michoski third or fourth person it (the information/ pressure. Staff Writer rumor) has been changed,” Mrs. Nancy Boys aren’t off the hook, however, Murphy, guidance counselor, said. because Mrs. Murphy has noticed “Rumors can be a good thing,” Emily something different. “It goes either way. After elementary school, middle school Willis said, “It gives people an excuse to Both boys and girls get involved with and high school, 11 seniors are ready to find out the truth.” rumors,” Mrs. Murphy said. “Oftentimes take their next step in life...college. To Nicholas Woodford agreed. “Sometimes rumors are the cause of harassment.” some seniors, homework, projects and tests they can be (a good thing),” Woodford “Nobody wants to be charged with don’t bother them. said. But for some, senioritis kicks in and their harassment, but everyone wants to know According to Willis, rumors actually everything about everyone,” Kyle Miller senior year seems so much longer than it decreased from last year. should. said. Not everyone feels that way, however. For Megan Everett, senioritis kicked in It isn’t that hard to create a rumor. It is “I think the rumors have increased,” Cara hard however, to keep a lie from blowing the first day of school. “Senior year there’s Melvin said. “I personally have had more up in your face. Nowadays it doesn’t take quite a bit of projects. Trying to get them rumors spread about me. That’s why I much looking to find out how to create a all done and cramming them in,” is her believe they’ve increased.” rumor. There are detailed articles on ehow. least favorite part about senior year. Her Victims of rumors often times find com, wiki.answers.com, wikihow.com, advice to the underclassmen is to get your themselves in awkward positions. Some and many more websites on how to start homework done as soon as possible. people, however, come out of the situations and spread a rumor without it being traced Open blocks are Scott Adams’ and Tanunfazed. Willis, who just a few weeks ago back to you. ner Connor’s favorite part of senior year. was the mark of a rumor said, “It (the One thing about rumors will always Adams said that senioritis affects his grade rumor) was no big deal; just a quick phone remain fact. It’s that rumors are call solved the issue.” questionable. “It depends on who says it,” Woodford also found himself the center Willis said. “I know who I should believe of a rumor. “It didn’t affect me too much,” and who I shouldn’t believe.” Woodford said. “Most of the time (rumors) are completely Not all rumors are easy fixes, though. untrue,” Melvin said. Holm agreed saying, “I actually lost a couple friends,” Melvin “They’re not very believable.”

True or False?

Rumors cause concern for some as they zip throughout the school

might not take it as seriously. “I never have imagined how intense, physical and difficult practice would be,” Cousins said. There will always be something to struggle against in life and practices will always be tough. The hardest thing during wrestling for Cousins is cutting all the weight and getting all the moves down right. Being encouraged to do something in life is first getting the best advice from parents. Cousin’s dad kind of encouraged her to wrestle so she could stay in shape, but Coach Vance told her she would have to go out so she went out. “You can only go out if you get 250 ‘likes’ on your Facebook status about it,” Cousins’ mom said. By going out for wrestling and working hard, Cousins has been encouraged by her coaches, family members, teachers and friends. Cousins is a confident person and always concentrates when she walks into the wrestling room she is ready to work. She wanted to try something new for a sport and make many memories. So never give up and always work hard at any practice “Go the extra mile,” Coach always says.

Senioritis at its finest only in Spanish because that class, he says, is insanely hard. For Tanner Connor, senioritis set in the third day of school. “There’s nothing bad about it,” said Connor about senior year. “Teachers aren’t as strict, it seems like.” For those who choose to graduate early, senioritis starts up faster and comes at full force because they have less time to wait. Sadie Banowetz chose to graduate early because she wanted to move out. “This way I’ll be on my own and start college,” Banowetz said. “I plan to continue working, move out and start college,” Banowetz says about her plans after she graduates. “In January I plan to take online classes only so I can build up more money while I’m on my own.” “Embrace your senior year like it’s the last day of your life,” Connor said. “You’ll never experience anything like it again in your life.”

Early grads. These students have fulfilled the requirements to graduate early. Front Row: Shelby Burke, Sarah Hughes, Amber Hansen, Ariani Oehrlein, Alexandria Naughton, Cassie Frahm. Back Row: Sam Starr, Alex Dalldorf, Amanda Chance, Sadie Banowetz and Melanie Burke. Photo by Kassandra Prier.


The Purple Onion January 1, 2011 Vol. 24, No. 3

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Semester end means grade pressure’s on to keep or improve final grades Reactions to academic stress vary: giving up or giving it your all Tiffany Allers Staff Writer

Get the project done, get the project in on time, and get a good grade. That’s all she wanted. Cara Melvin was making a video for her mass communication class and the pressure was on. “My camcorder broke and I was freaking out,” Melvin said, as she was scrambling around at the end of semester trying to improve her grades to satisfy her parents. Melvin is working hard because she wants to be a neurologist. Melvin said the most stressing factor of school is “making everything perfect, pleasing parents, and balancing extracurricular (activities) and school.” Kelli Olson also feels stress from her mother and herself to do better. “Grades are important,” Olson said. Olson believes her grades need to be better and is working hard to raise them. Olson takes resource class and said it helps her grades. Tyler Carlson believes grades are important because they help you keep a high standard to work for. Carlson pressures himself with thoughts of college and his future as an architect. Carlson said the most stressing thing about grades is “keeping them up.” With his future in

mind, Carlson feels the pressure as the end of semester comes. Ashley Sawyer also believes good grades are essential, but she doesn’t stress about them. “I study and work hard to get good grades because they are seen by colleges later,” Sawyer said. Sawyer works hard in all her classes and does all her homework and has good grades, but if her grades were lower she would probably stress to bring them up. Another student who does not feel the stress of grades is Cejae Ketelsen. “I think that they are important but we shouldn’t fuss over it too much because students get too stressed out and it makes them sick,” Ketelsen said. “A little stress can push you to do better, but too much can cause you to do badly.” Ketelsen also thinks about the future. She pushes herself to do well because she knows colleges will look at grades. Ketelsen knows her grades could be better, but she tries her best on the assignments she is given. Melvin also is thinking about her future. Melvin is taking honors classes and has felt pressure to do well. Melvin took the classes because she knew she could rise to the challenge. “It looks good on my transcript and colleges like it,” Melvin said. Other students stress out and give up, but there are ways to recover. “Don’t assume nothing can be done,” Ms. Liz Dague, a Language Arts teacher, said, “Never give up.”

Balancing act. Ashley Sawyer works hard to keep up her 4.0 grade point average. “The harder you work in class and on homework gets you good grades,” Sawyer said. Photo by Cara Melvin. Ms. Dague said students look at the grades near the end of semester and panic. The rush to improve grades begins. Some of the stress is useless because there are steps that can be taken to improve your grades. Ms. Dague advises students to communicate with teachers. Most students believe the school’s attitude towards grades is satisfactory. Melvin believes that, overall, the school attitude towards grades is decent but “teachers could be a little more on the ball.” Ketelsen agrees the school is decent but she also think a little change is needed. “I think that (teachers) do (grades) fine but I think they need to make it so the

student feels good about doing good (with grades)” Ketelsen said. “As long as you try (teachers) don’t flunk you most of the time,” Sawyer said, “plus it is a good incentive for sports players that they can’t have any F’s.” Sawyer believes students who have D’s should be motivated to do better. “The harder you work in class and on homework gets you good grades, and if you don’t really care about the work, that shows through your grades,” Sawyer said. Sawyer’s grades are exactly where she wants them to be: all A’s. She is diligent and works hard. “And it can’t get any better than that.”

Diabetes: A disease throughout her life Sophomore faces challenge of daily testing and stress Cara Melvin Staff Writer Getting diagnosed with diabetes would be a shock to anyone, but for sophomore Leighana Franks getting diagnosed with diabetes was the biggest shock of her life. “I got diagnosed with diabetes when I was 12. I was in shock and it took me a few seconds to comprehend what was just said.” Leighana said. According to the World Diabetes Foundation an estimated 289 million people live their lives with diabetes as of February 2010. “I can still participate in sports, but I have to check my blood sugar regularly. If my levels get to low I can not perform to the best of my ability.” “Hanging out

with friends is more difficult because my mom is very protective.” Leighana said. “ One good thing that came out of being diagnosed with diabetes was I found out that I loved running and that I am good at it.” “The bad thing about having diabetes is I live in fear everyday not knowing if I will not wake up in the morning or if I will pass out at school and no one will know what to do. On top of all that I hate knowing that I am going to get teased for being diabetic even though I can’t do anything about it” Leignana said. According to the American Diabetes Association people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing depression. The stress of having diabetes added with the added stress of school and rude teenagers makes living a lot more stressful for someone with diabetes.

Lunch time ritual. Leighana Franks checks her blood sugar before lunch. “I have to check my blood sugar 4 to 6 times a day,” Franks said. “Before I eat is the biggest time of day. At least I can still eat all


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ON CAMPUS SABER BASKETBALL

The Purple Onion January 1, 2011 Vol. 24, No. 3

Saber basketball is turning out to be, once again, a fabulous season. These pictures are of the boys’ varsity players and fans supporting them.


The Purple Onion January 1, 2011 Vol. 24, No. 3

ON CAMPUS

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Demand for pork causes confinement conflict Scott Adams Staff Writer While hog confinement buildings are good for the economy and help our farmers, and provide a lot of food, there are some environmental concerns and some neighbors to those buildings don’t like the smell. Hog confinements play a major role in feeding the population of the world. It’s the No. 1 consumed meat in the world and third most consumed meat in the United States. Years ago, there were a lot of small farms that produced a few hogs, and a few cows, but now those farms are gone because most of the land in Iowa has been turned into crop ground. Hog confinement buildings make up for the small farms that aren’t there anymore. Since we use most of our ground in Iowa for raising crops, hog confinement buildings are a more efficient way to produce pork. “There is no way for small hog operations to make money, you have to go big if you want to be successful,” said Bob Gannon, hog confinement operator. With such a great demand for pork, it is much more efficient for farmers to produce in a hog confinement. With an average confinement holding 2,400 hogs it’s easier to produce more hogs per year. Most hog confinements turn over their hogs twice a year. Hog confinement buildings are a good economic stimulus. They create a lot of jobs locally, and throughout the state. Owners hire people to do the chores for the hogs, and they have to buy feed, they need people to help load the hogs when they are ready to go to the slaughterhouse, people to spread the manure, and people to clean the buildings. “Agriculture is Iowa’s main source of income, and we need to be as efficient as possible with it,” said Gannon. Confinements also make a lot of jobs outside of the local area. About 75,000 hogs are killed and butchered every day in Iowa. People are needed to work at the slaughterhouses and truck the hogs. There are a lot more jobs that come indirectly from hogs, too, like jobs at

grocery stores or restaurants. A lot of people don’t like the thought of having a hog confinement building in their area, because of the smell and the noise. There have also been some worries of pollution in the local water supplies. “Hog confinement buildings are necessary but it is not the best way to raise hogs,” said Tiffany Allers. Hog confinement buildings have a lot of rules and regulations. There are rules on how close a confinement building can be to any waterways, people’s houses, churches, or cemeteries. One of the biggest concerns of hog confinement buildings is the manure. There are a lot of rules concerning the manure that comes from these hogs. Any hog confinement building that has 1,200 head of hogs or more has to have a manure management plan, and confinement building owners have to turn one in to the Iowa DNR every year. There are two main types of manure systems used in hog confinement buildings. The most common is a manure pit, where the manure is stored in concrete containing walls underneath the building. The other popular way to do it is a lagoon. The underground system works better for keeping the smell contained in the building, and it is pumped periodically to get the manure out. The lagoons keep the smell out of the buildings, and is a little better for the hogs, but then it can be smelled more in the area of the building. Another main concern with confined animals is animal abuse or animal neglect. There are strict laws against both of those things in Iowa. The animals are supposed to have easy access to feed and water. There are also rules about transporting them so that it is humane. They can’t go more than 28 hours on a trailer without food or water. Although hog confinement buildings are still a pretty touchy subject for some people, they’re becoming more accepted as people are realizing that they’re not as bad as they thought it was going to be. “When I was putting my building up, I had a lot of complaints when people found out what was going on,”said Gannon. “But we haven’t had any complaints since the building went up.”

Fashion flair. Models sport the new looks for Mrs. Valarie Betz’s fashion class in the fashion show. Photos by Kassandra Prier.

Matt Zimmer

Brianna Kueter

Joe Carber

Samantha Stafford

Ms. Courtney moves to new job in Davenport Zachary Ewoldt Staff Writer

Branching out. Ms. Pamela Courtney will be leaving Central Community Schools to help out Davenport with dropout prevention. Photo by Zachary Ewoldt.

Students groaned Friday, Dec. 10, during their Day 2 Block 4 resource when they came to Ms. Pam Courtney’s class only to hear that she will be transferring to Davenport schools. Although she will be leaving Central to work for the Davenport School District as head of their dropout prevention program, she will be leaving many memories behind. She doesn’t plan on leaving completely though since she plans on visiting as much as possible since she will not be moving out of town.

Ms. Courtney first started off as an atrisk coordinator about five-and-a-half years ago but for the past couple of years she has been the School Within a School Language Arts and Resource teacher. Resource has given many students a time to be in a class not just filled with one particular grade level but all four, allowing them to meet new people and socialize while doing there homework, oftentimes with the aid of Ms. Courtney, of course. It is not certain who will be replacing her and is yet to be decided by Principal George Pickup. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me,” said Ms. Courtney. “It’s been absolutely a wonderful experience and I will by far miss the students and staff most.”


CHRISTMAS

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The Purple Onion January 1, 2011 Vol. Vol. 24, No. 3

Christmas Surveys

Deanna Hansen Staff Writer

Bree Dunkel Editor-in-Cheif

Deanna Hansen Staff Writer

Auburn Templeton Staff Writer

Top Ten Gifts You Wanted When You Were Little 1. Barbies 2. Tractors 3. Legos 4. Beanie Babies 5. Board Games 6. Hot Wheels 7. Pokemon Cards 8. My Little Pony 9. Remote Control Cars 10. Scooters

Top Ten Most Wanted Gifts

1. Laptop 2. Ipad Top Ten Christmas 3. Ipod Movies 4. Cell phone 1. How the Grinch Stole 5. Money Christmas 6. Gift Cards 2. Elf 7. Digital Camera 3. Home Alone 1,2,3 8. Clothes 4. Year Without Santa 9. Video Games Clause 5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed 10. Movies Reindeer 6. The Santa Clause 7. A Charlie Brown Christmas 8. A Christmas Story 9. Four Christmases 10. Alvin and the Chipmunks


The Purple Onion January 1, 2011 Vol. 24, No. 3

CHRISTMAS

9

Christmas overkill? Chloe Myers Opinions

People in this world have their own favorite holiday. Now, thanks to all sorts of commercialism, it seems that Christmas is taking over, especially considering the fact that stores advertise and decorate two months early for it, almost knocking Halloween and Thanksgiving completely off the grid. It seems a bit much for just one day. Those who believe in Christ might argue that it should be a big deal because it’s the night of the Savior’s birth. I respect that argument but when you look at what it is that is taking over, it’s the commercial part of Christmas; the Santa Claus and buying presents for loved ones part of Christmas. Sure, people might just want to get their Christmas shopping out of the way and you can do that. Those toys are there all year so you can do your Christmas shopping for next year right after the 25th, but the decorations for it are completely unnecessary. It’s not like someone needs encouragement while they’re shopping for someone. The tinsel and holly might put someone in the Christmas spirit while shopping but come on, why would you want to look at the same type of festive decor for three months? Besides, if you do go Christmas shopping in October, doesn’t that just give kids more time to find the presents hidden in your closet? Don’t get me wrong, I do love Christmas, but it seems to be a bit much. With all the hype starting so early, it starts to get annoying and I don’t want to have anything to do with it by the time it comes a long. My mom loves to listen to Christmas carols, and when I was younger she used to start listening to them the day

after Halloween. I remember one year almost crying every time we got into the car because it was the same song I heard three times the last time we were in the car. I was very grateful when she realized how annoyed my sisters and I were getting of them by Christmas time and now doesn’t start until after Thanksgiving. How do some people not realize that hearing the same songs over and over doesn’t get annoying? Some days I do want to listen to Christmas carols on the radio but I would like to be able to listen to my regular music too. There are only so many carols, just because there are different arrangements of one song, it doesn’t make it a different song. It’s still the same words, close to the same rhythms, and almost the same length. Just because a different person is singing the song, it doesn’t mean that it’s not going to get annoying if it’s played seven times. I counted once how many times “The Little Drummer Boy” was played on the radio within an hour. The song came on eight times with two different versions. I never wanted to hear that song again. While all of the Christmas overkill does get annoying, another part of the problem is that it puts the holidays of the fall in the dark. It’s kind of pathetic when you walk into Wal-Mart three weeks before Halloween and the costume/Halloween candy section is a forth of the size of the Christmas section. When people are trying to find things in browns, yellows, and oranges for Thanksgiving, they can only find a limited number, but if they wonder on over to the Christmas section, they can find hundreds of different plates and cups in greens and reds. This is a slight exaggeration, but the idea is in proportion. It saddens me sometimes to walk into a store and see a bunch of Christmas decorations when I don’t even know what I want to

Checking out the flashing lights. Erin Weirup and Caitlyn Griem gaze upon the lovely effort that was put into the tree in the high school lobby. The tree was set up by the student counsil to help give the student body a feel for the holidays. Photo by Deanna Hansen. dress up as for Halloween yet. Talk about taking it one day at a time. If you have to think about two different holiday’s at once, one of which isn’t even for a few months, your head might explode. It isn’t just people that bring Christmas too early, sometimes it’s Mother Nature. Snow should come in December, and only December. After New Years it could just go away. Unfortunately the only way one could control that is to move to the tropics in January. I’ve used this article to go on and on about what annoys me about the holidays, one thing that I absolutely love about Christmas is the lights. When I was little, we would always drive down a certain street where every house was decked out in Christmas lights and we’d be in awe, even if the lights were the exact same as the year before. In my opinion, if you’re going to go all out, go all out in lights. It’s always fun walking down the street and seeing how creative people get with their house decorations. Another good thing about the Christmas holiday are the cookies. I think if people baked like they do around Christmas time all year round, America

would be a lot fatter than what people are claiming it is now. That and hot chocolate are two things that are sad to see leave after the Christmas season. I think it’s humorous when I get a weird look from people when I drink hot chocolate in the summer but there are people who drink coffee every day without judgment. Everyone knows the Dr. Seuss story of the Grinch. Sometimes I think he didn’t steal the presents because his shoes were too tight or his heart was too small, it was probably because he got sick of all the Christmas hoopla that started way too early. I don’t want to condemn getting into the Christmas spirit, but maybe get into the Christmas spirit when it’s actually the Christmas season. I admit, this year, all the excess Christmas joy hasn’t really gotten on my nerves. There were some moments when I thought that it was crazy to have Christmas paraphernalia up, but nothing to the point where I wanted Christmas to be over already. I’m glad that either people are starting to tone it down or that I have developed the ability to ignore all of the ridiculousness.

What is the real story behind Santa Claus? Bree Dunkel Editor in Chief

He’s a round-bellied man with rosy cheeks and a snow-white beard. He brings joy to all the little girls and boys by sliding down chimneys in the depths of the night without making a sound and eats all your freshly baked cookies and drinks the milk. He’s the fellow who brings Christmas together for many. Of course, this is none other than Santa Claus, but who is this man behind the beard and red hat? Santa Claus evolved from a man named Nicholas who was born in the third century in a village called Patara which is located in modern-day Turkey. He was born into a very wealthy family but his parents died of the plague at a young age. They told him to “sell what you own and give money to the poor” so that’s exactly what he did. He took his inheritance that he received

from his parents and used it to help the needy, the sick and the poor. So even though many children believe that a jolly old man creeps into their house to put presents under their brightly lit Christmas tree, the story behind Santa Claus goes much deeper then that. The word of Nicholas’ generosity traveled quickly and he soon became known as a saint. Santa Claus was first introduced to the United States by Dutch settlers who knew him as Sinter Klaas. The image of Santa Claus that we know today of the big white beard and round belly with the bright red suit, was first created by Thomas Nast who drew him for Harper’s Magazine back in the late 1800s. Santa Claus may be the center of most of the Christmas spirit during the holiday season but remember where he came from. He’s more than just an old man who knows how to make a few good toys, he evolved from a regular man with a huge heart. In fact, there’s a little bit of Santa Claus in all of us.

Holly jolly jingles. Chamber Singers make their annual holiday performance in the lobby of the high school on the last day before Winter Break. Photos by Haley Rusk.


NEW YEAR’S

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The Purple Onion January 1, 2011 Vol. 24, No. 3

Your New Year’s Resolutions: are they a boon or bah-humbug? Haley Rusk

Opinion Editor As the holidays come, stress piles up with visiting relatives, preparing huge meals, getting presents, wondering what the winter weather will bring your way, and holiday gatherings. Just when you think it’s all over and you’re watching the New Year’s Ball drop at midnight in New York City, you remember it: your New Year’s resolution. New Year’s resolutions are unnecessary to some, a life change to others, and just a thing you do every year for a few people. People all over the country make resolutions, you hear ads on the radio and see them on the T.V., they seem to be a big deal, but it doesn’t seem too often that they are actually followed through on.

Due to a lack of commitment, fewer and fewer people believe in making resolutions. Skylar Henningsen is unsure of her feelings toward resolutions. “Most of the people that make them end up breaking them,” Henningsen said. Neither Anthony Green nor Joseph Carber believes in making resolutions. “I never make resolutions because I don’t believe in them,” Carber said. “If you have a habit you obviously like it and you can’t just stop because of a certain day.” Green’s opinions are similar to Carber’s. “I’ve never made any resolutions. I guess because I’ve never thought I needed to change any of my habits,” Green said. He added that resolutions are good “if you can commit yourself to it. But I think the best way to do anything is not put it off and just

get it done.” So has the faith in New Year’s resolutions died? Is an annual occasion over? Although many don’t believe in the power of resolutions anymore, many still do. Take Megan Salyars for example. “Getting in the weight room and watching what I eat” was Salyars’ resolution; and she stuck to it. How did she do it? “I beat myself up a lot mentally. For some reason it’s the only way it works. But if it gets the job done then I have to do it,” Salyars said. Salyars has already lost a total of 10 pounds because of her promise to herself. After the nonbelievers and the believers come the ones that are still on the fence about how they feel about resolution time. Henningsen and Stephanie Schrader both think resolutions can be important,

but neither has been able to stick to their set goals. “Every year I say I’m going to go on a diet but I only do that for like a day because that’s all the longer I can go without chocolate,” Henningsen said, “That’s the only one I’ve ever really made but I’ve done it the last couple of years but it never works out too well.” Although Henningsen hasn’t been able to follow up on her resolution, she still believes that they can have a great significance in one’s life. “It gets people thinking about what they want to do or what they want to change and it gets them motivated to do it,” Henningsen said. Schrader has also forgotten the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions because “I’m not good at following them all year,” Schrader said. Still, Schrader too knows they can help someone out “if you intend to follow what you set.”

Illustration by Alexandria Necker

New Year’s traditions are varied Molly Keegan Staff Writer

Five, four, three, two, one, Happy New Year! Yes, it’s that time of year when we can’t seem to wait for a new year to set goals for the person we want to become, but also a time to reflect on the person this past year has made us. Whatever New Year means to you, everyone has a unique way of celebrating. Some people like to make resolutions, and see the new year has a chance to start

clean, to break bad habits or to commit to good ones. Others feel some resolutions can become unrealistic. “Resolutions are not for me,” Fletcher Paulsen said. “Plus, a lot of them don’t get accomplished so I don’t set any unrealistic resolutions.” Erin Dorpinghaus said, “I don’t believe in them. I mean think about it, has anyone actually followed through with them? I don’t even try to make them.” No matter what the coming year holds, we all like to have fun getting there. It’s the one night when the whole country stays up late to that midnight hour just to yell those

three simple words, Happy New Year! Traditions are a must on New Year’s Eve, Paulsen said. “Watching the ball in Times Square drop is always a given, and also I try to call my mom and grandma at midnight to wish them a happy new year.” There are also many different ways to celebrate that last second of the countdown. Becker says, “We drink sparkling grape juice and put shredded paper on our fan so when we turn it on at New Years it goes everywhere.” Darcie Farrell has a much quieter way of leading up to the new year. “Me and my brother always do a puzzle,” she said, “while we wait for midnight.”

What do you expect to happen in 2011? “Maybe, just maybe, I’ll pass calculus.” –Emily Ketelsen

“I try to just take each “I don’t think the world day as it comes.” will end in 2012.” –Mr. Matt Ohnemus –Ms. Dee Dau

“We get the economy turned around.” –Mr. Karl Burmester


The Purple Onion January 1, 2011 Vol. 24, No. 3

SPORTS

11

Seniors look to carry on teams, careers Andrew Risinger Photo Editor Saber basketball has always been something students look forward to. Whether it’s dressing up for the games or just coming to support when our rivals come to our house to play versus us. Jen Keitel and Lindsay Smith are two of the girls’ basketball team captains this year. Keitel has been playing since fourth grade and has officially signed with The University of Northern Iowa to play basketball. Smith has also been playing basketball since fourth grade and with Keitel. Smith has officially signed with The University of Wisconsin and is expected to

start as a freshman at one point in college. Anthony Burke is a captain for the boys’ basketball team along with Patrick Burmester and Brandon Jasper. Burke likes basketball because it’s all around competitive and he enjoys playing. He idolizes Alex Engelman because he isn’t a starter or the best guy on the team but works super hard in practices. Burmester leaves it all on the court when it comes to game time. His playing time on varsity for the past three years has definitely helped him with experience. He was somewhat injured for his sophomore and junior year but now can play with complete health for his senior year. Not a single boys basketball team member has committed to a college to play yet but there is still a high change someone will.

Patrick Burmester

Lindsay Smith

Jennifer Keitel

Anthony Burke

SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT. These Saber basketball players bring their best when game time rolls around. All photos by Andrew Risinger.

Students take to slopes Andrew Risinger Photo Editor

Just chillin’. Callen Stone and Tanner Connor ride the ski lift to their next destination while at Chestnut. Stone and Connor have season passes to Chestnut this year. Photo contributed by Callen Stone.

For the past few years there has been a controversy with skiers and snowboarders. Skiers believe they are free and all around good kids. Snowboarders believe that skiers hate all snowboarders. Shawn Paarmann is a snowboarder that loves to be out there just doing his thing. “Snowboarding is better then skiing because it’s harder to learn, fewer people do it and its definitely growing in popularity” Paarmann said. Snowboarding is a sport that sometimes gets overlooked. Snowboarders consider snowboarding harder then skiing and skiers consider skiing harder then snowboarding.

Callen Stone is a skier who skis not only to be unique, but also for “freedom”. Chris Lubben is also a skier who skis not only to be unique but also skis because when he skis he feels “free on the skis”. Stone and Lubben Both said they ski because there is no conformity like there is with snowboarders. But Paarmann insists that there is no conforming when it comes to snowboarding but instead everyone brings their own style and the younger kids and even skiers envy the snowboarders. When asked who they like to watch, Stone, Lubben and Paarmann each had different choices. Paarmann likes J.P. Walker because Paarmann rides some of the same styles. Stone likes Tom Wallicsh because he skis amazingly. And as for Lubben, he enjoys watching Bobby Brown.

Kickin’ it indoor Creighton Fox Sports Editor There’s no such thing as the offseason. These wise words strongly represent a group of die-hard soccer players who will take any opportunity thrown their way to improve on upon their futbol skills. One of those opportunities includes playing indoor soccer at The Bubble in Davenport. The one responsible for registering a team and finding the guys williing to play was senior and soccer standout Callen Stone. Not only did indoor soccer give Stone a reason to hang out with his closest friends it also gave him a chance to improve his game. “What pushed me to play indoor soccer was the chance for me to compete and get better year round,” Stone said.

Coming off an 11-4 season and just short of the State Tournament the indoor soccer partcipants look forward to games at The Bubble knowing it will be a good time and by the time the spring season rolls around a lack of team chemistry won’t be a problem. “Before, after and sometimes even during the game we’re really laid back. We jus like to have fun and be physical,” senior A.J. McNeil said who somehow finds the endurance to run up and down the soccer field even after an excruciating wrestling practice. Defender Andy Risinger also participates in indoor soccer knowing it will help him compete come springtime. “It’s just really good offseason training and it’s a great way to get some touches in before the season starts,” said Risinger. Other members of the indoor soccer team include Christian Hansen (Cal-Wheat), Tom Dohrmann, Stefan Garton, Colby Azinger, Ryan Hamby, and Daniel Barnes.

Pin’ em. Sophomore Steven Adams (pictured right) forces his Wilton opponent out of bounds. Despite starting several underclassmen, the Saber wrestling team have put up a solid 4-1 dual record and recently finished 2nd at their own Saber Invitational. Photo by Andy Risinger

QUACK, QUACK, QUACK! Andy Risinger, AJ McNeil and Callen Stone are three of the nine players that currently play indoor soccer. Photo by Creighton Fox. Not pictured are Daniel Barnes, Tom Dorhmann, Christian Hansen and Stefan Garton.


OPINION

12

The Purple Onion January 1, 2011 Vol. 24, No. 3

Sad life of Christmas trees Haley Rusk

Opinion Editor

Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree. The Christmas tree in the high school lobby was decorated by the National Honor Society members to encourage Christmas spirit. Photo by Deanna Hansen.

Tangled up in life Chloe Myers Review Editor

Everyone is familiar with the story of Repunzel, or at least the gist of it. In the 2010 movie, Tangled, Disney takes the story and puts it’s usual charm in it. The movie starts out, like every Disney princess movie; with the story of how the princess ended up the way she is now. In this case, the queen is pregnant and close to death. A flower that has powers to heal saves her. When Repunzel is born, she’s given the same powers as the flower, but it comes from her hair. The evil witch, Gothel, kidnaps Repunzel and locks her in a far away tower so only she can use her hair’s power to stay young. In hope that the “lost princess” will return, every year on Repunzel’s birthday the king and queen release hundreds of floating lanterns into the night sky. Where the story picks up is a few days before Repunzel’s 18th birthday. She had seen the floating lanterns, but didn’t know what they were for. The only thing she

wanted for her birthday was to go see the lights. Her so-called mother (Gothel) refuses to let her go and Repunzel doesn’t want to leave because it would hurt her “mother’s” feelings. When all hope seems lost, along comes Flynn Ryder, a local thief trying to get away from the guard. The two make a deal to have Flynn take Repunzel to go see the lights and when they return, she will give him back his bag (which had something valuable in it) and so their adventure begins. Tangled has to be one of my favorite Disney princess movies. I do get skeptical about Disney movies nowadays that have an unoriginal story but this movie blew all of my negative thoughts out of the water. Some of my favorite characters don’t even have lines, it’s just how they respond to what’s going on that makes my laugh. It doesn’t have very many good lines that you could just pull out of nowhere to quote, but I laughed during the whole movie because of some of the situations that came about. This movie may not be a Disney classic, but it sure has the potential to be one. I don’t care what gender you are or even your age, if you are a Disney fan, you must go see this movie.

One of the most well known symbols of Christmas is the Christmas tree. It seems to have a great life; it gets brought into nice homes, decorated, and is the center point of the celebration on Christmas Day. But, have you ever really thought about the life of a Christmas tree? And I’m not talking about the fakers that are made of plastic; I mean the real, sweet smelling, sticky with sap Christmas trees. Christmas trees, during the winter months they are a big deal to families. Children love to go out and find the perfect Christmas tree to put in their homes, decorate them, and see it glow with lights every night. These trees are the shelter to the presents everyone receives on Christmas day and the provider of the sweet scent that comes with the Christmas season. Christmas trees start out in the woods or on a tree farm. They live quiet lives, minding their own business, just growing away. When they reach a certain height, the trees start to disappear from their birthplace. Slowly, they leave the field, one by one, people come and go with axes and chainsaws, cutting the trees at the stump to take them away. The freshly cut trees are then taken to a place where they can be sold: grocery stores, home improvements depots, and different parts of the tree farm. After being escorted to their selling places, the Christmas trees are well, sold. Being sold can become a difficult process, trees are inspected for height, fullness, how the stump looks, and how the top looks. You must also factor in how much of the stump should be cut off and if any limbs should be trimmed. Thus far, it seems as if some trees could be looking at a make over in the near future. Next comes the ride home. Trees are mercilessly tied to the top of cars and driven at high speeds to the buyers home all the while being stuffed in netting to keep

the limbs together. Finally the tree reaches it’s destination and is set standing to let all the limbs fall out and produce a nice, full Christmas tree. It’s best to leave the tree to fall for a short while, giving the tree its last moments of peace before the big holiday happiness push. At last, the tree is ready to be officially set up in true Christmas tradition. Trees are set in their tree stands for maximum hold, lights are spun around it and ornaments are put in every open spot available. After it has been lit up and decorated, the topper comes, whether it’s a star or angel, it’s a big deal. After all of your hard work, the Christmas tree is ready to be gazed about by the eyes of mystified children and looked at with memories that parents have of their Christmases as children. Christmas day comes and everyone races to the tree to see what it holds, and presents are opened with the tree in the middle of it all. Christmas trees stay bright all day on Christmas and everyone adores it. Then there’s the day after, December 26 rolls around and Christmas is over. It’s take down time. Children usually never participate in this painful action and the parents take over. Ornaments are put back in boxes, lights are unplugged and put up until next year and all you are left with is a bare, lonely tree. With this tree that now just sets in your home, you have a decisions; what to do with it? You have a few options, you could just throw it out to become a landfill item, you could supply a bon fire with it, or you could let it naturally decompose by finding a random area to leave it in. Tough decision, I know. In the end, I don’t know if the Christmas tree really does have such a great life. Sure it’s celebrated and loved, but only for about month. After that it become bothersome and a nuisance. Still, I know I’m for sure not stopping the Christmas tree tradition, I’m just pointing at that one icon of the most anticipated holidays of the year, kind of gets the short end of the stick.

This was your teacher’s last incoming text 12/20/10: Ms. Liz Dague “It’s Monday ugh :) How was your weekend?”

Mrs. Lynn Kuehl “Yeah it’s probably for the best. They will be keeping her over night.”

Mrs. Cathy Paar “I’m hungry.”

Mrs. Kathie Goetsch “Donna called about 8 last night to say she is working both jobs Saturday.”

Mr. Cody LaKose “Should I come over now to make supper or should I just come at 7?”

The Purple Onion 1/1/11  

Central High School Publications Class DeWitt, Iowa 52742

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